Bell's Saturn: The Bringer Of Old Age - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Bell's Saturn: The Bringer Of Old AgeBell's Saturn: The Bringer Of Old Age

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545 Ratings
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Ratings: 545
Reviews: 129
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.59%
Wants: 32
Gots: 241 | FT: 36
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mothman on 06-27-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 545 | Reviews: 129
Photo of ThickNStout
4.36/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 3.49. Bottled 4/3/15. Served in a Bells snifter.

Pours a turbid, deep golden brown with about one finger of near-white froth. The head quickly dissipates to a meager halo, leaving only a few scattered specks in the way of lace.

Aromas of caramel, some faint bourbon, wet wood, dark fruit and a hint of floral. The sweet notes are considerably more prominent as it nears room temperature.

The flavors start out similar to a Scotch ale when cooler but gets much smoother and sweeter with more barrel notes as it warms. Burnt caramel, toffee, bourbon, cereal grains, leather, dark fruit skins, a good bit of vanilla creeps in towards the finish and the whole experience is touched by a slight boozeyness. Great mixture, particularly towards the end.

Smooth, semi syrupy, full body with soft carbonation. Bourbon, caramel and grains rest on the palate in the finish.

Particularly as it warms, Saturn is a damn good barrel aged barleywine. The earthy sweetness and barrel character blend well. Too bad I wasn't able to pick up more than a single bottle because I imagine "The Bringer of Old Age" would age quite gracefully.

Photo of LooseGasCap
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Huge oak nose and a fascinating color make this a trip to remember.

Photo of ovaltine
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: amber cloudiness, 2 fingers of off-white head.

Smell: B-O-U-R-B-O-N up front (in all caps), then vanilla, carmel and toffee plus some earthy hops. Wow.

Taste: more bourbon, but the vanilla flavors from the oak don't allow it to overwhelm a non-bourbon drinker. Then the caramel and toffee flavors kick in ..... exquisite.

Feel: smooth bourbon, with creamy notes from the malts.

Overall: my favorite - by FAR - in the planet series. They hooked me with Two Hearted many moons ago, and they continue to brew great stuff. World-class brewery, IMHO.

Photo of Jwale73
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle courtesy of northernbrewer (thanks Jeff) served in a tulip. Pours the color and clarity of unpasteurized cider with no head, just a thin soapy band and slick of foam. Nose expresses bready notes, figs and prunes and a light sugary quality muddled with ethanol. Taste is great - consistent with nose; however, vanilla and toasted oak notes dominate the flavor profile nicely. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a mild, even carbonation and slight oiliness to the texture. Finishes slightly dry. Overall, quite delicious and drinkable for the style and abv. Would love to see what age does to a bottle or two.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy copper in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint honey orange + ruby red highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy foamy beige head that reduces to a large patch of thin film surrounded by a very thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of caramel and toffee malts with moderate aroma of bourbon barrels from the aging (oak, vanilla, and bourbon all stand out).

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of caramel and toffee malts with a moderate amount of sweetness. That is followed by strong flavors from the bourbon barrel aging - bourbon, toffee, and oak. Minimal hop presence but there is still a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness in the finish. Hints of booziness in the finish which lingers.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of alcohol warming.

O: Definitely the best of the beers in the Planet Series so far and probably one that would age really well. Big bourbon flavors/aromas make this one a slower sipper but it is a very easy to drink (for the ABV). Glad I grabbed this one, maybe wish I had pick up another to age.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dirty copper color ale with a small foamy head with light retention and no lacing. Aroma of residual sugar notes with quite a bit of oak notes also discernable. Taste is also dominated by residual sugar notes with light toffee notes and some strong oak notes and loads of bourbon grainy notes with light vanilla flavors. Body is pretty full with good carbonation and light alcohol is apparent. Pretty intense beer with loads of barrel-aging flavors. Enjoyable but may lack a bit of balance and attenuation

Photo of chefbigjon
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The best of the series so far. Better as it warms. Caramel, bourbon...really similar to Backwoods Bastard.

Photo of RickS95
3.49/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The pour presents a light mahogany color with a slight chill haze. While a lighter shade of brown in color, it's dark enough to keep out the light except for the edges, which show as a golden brown. The head is just under a finger thick, tan in color, with decent retention.

Nothing stands out in the nose. A savory, earthy scent is present, but nothing individually, particularly the oak bourbon barrel casks.

The taste is a different story. The malts dominate and the bourbon flavors are prominent. The earthy scent is the hops, can't tell which variety. Alcohol is prevalent.

Mouthfeel is mostly warm and bitter. The hops and alcohol are clearly at the forefront. It's an attack on the palate and throat as there is little sweetness or any other sense to grant a slight reprieve to the aggressiveness of the malt, hops, and bourbon. Very full bodied with a warm, drying finish.

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Solid barley wine, thought it was barrel aged but didn't detect much. Price point was nice.

Photo of mfnmbvp
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date 04/03/2015 printed on the back label. My sixth beer in the Bell's planet series of beers.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - It pours a ruddy caramel orange with hues of brown. One finger of creamy tan head that falls to a ring quickly. Some okay spotty lacing. Looks very nice for what it is.

S - The aroma is very pleasant: lots of sticky caramel, vanilla, toffee. Strong notes of oak wood and some strong alcohol phenols. Smells very delicious.

T - Taste is the same: lots of smooth creamy caramel, vanilla, toffee, oak wood, and some hot booze fumes. Comes off a bit boozy and hot, but it is to be expected from an 11.50% abv beer.

M - A smooth and creamy mouthfeel. A hot and slightly astringent finish. Medium-bodied, excellent carbonation, and very easy-drinking for the high abv.

Overall, a nice addition to the Planets series, and a nice barrel-aged offering from Bell's. I could definitely see this beer benefiting from some age and time to mellow, and I wish I had more bottles to put away.

Bell's Saturn -----4/5.

Photo of Catracho5
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Dark amber, with no head retention, little carbonation, not much lacing, pretty clear.

A: Toffee, vanilla, bourbon, oak, sweet caramel, not getting much alcohol, smells like other bourbon barrel aged barleywines I've tried.

T: Bourbon, caramel, toffee, oak, bitterness in the middle, lots of flavor, a little rough, doesn't blend as well as other bourbon barrel aged barleywines I've tasted.

M: Medium mouthfeel, with a dry finish.

O: My first impression is that this beer is a little rough, it's not smooth, lots of flavor, bourbon, caramel, toffee, oak, but I think this beer would definitely age well. I would like another bottle to cellar to see where it's at in 1 or 2 years, not disappointed, but I've had better bourbon barrel aged barleywines. Still, a great beer.

Photo of utopiajane
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brick orange with a golden edge. Off white head. Stately and rich to the eye. Nose is malt and citrus notes. Caramel. taste is good firm caramel. Stand up in the glass malt but creamy and breaddy. Smooth finish with some alcohol. A touch of spice and pepper from both alcohol and hops finish this one. herbal backnotes. Nice.

Photo of mabermud
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Deep amber and brown, opaque body. Thin off-white head that dissipates to a thin halo, with a broken film over the top. Rich appearance. This looks like it has some substance.
Smell: Soft caramel richness with malty goodness. Rum raisins and alcohol, plus a dab of overripe mango. Fresh baked sweet bread and hints of bourbon.
Taste: Bitter-sweet, mostly sweet. Touch of hops, leaning on the malty side. Soft caramel throughout. Fruity background. Alcohol is faint. Sticky and sweet, toffee finish.
Feel: Goes well with everything else. Lower level of carbonation.

Overall - I have not had any of the other beers in this series, so I cannot compare them. The taste steps forward and stands out, it is sweet and balanced. This my cup of tea. This beer is good, but not great. I like the bottle design :) I like the color yellow.

Photo of gatorlove
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This one had me torn. I appreciate the vanilla caramel flavors, but those flavors are followed but a harsh alcohol burn. This brew is tasty but perhaps the harshest beer I've had.

Photo of Slack
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Color is a clear deep amber with about a quarter inch of head that vanished. No lacing is present.

Smell is sweet fruit, oak, vanilla, obvious bourbon, and alcohol.

Taste is fairly dominated by oak with a sweet fruit undertone mixed with bourbon. The finish is a lingering warming/rough alcohol.

Mouthful is light to medium with medium carbonation.

Overall this is a nice american style barlwywine. I felt this was a bit lighter than typical and the alcohol finish was a bit harder than one might expect. That aside, I would gladly buy this again.

Photo of Odysseyalien
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Don’t know what to say here. This is a tremendously delicious barley wine. Clearly an American style barley wine with a strong tip of the hat to the English style. Among the most balanced flavors for the style of all that I’ve had. It’s tempting to have’ve been warned!!!

Photo of Sparty1224
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Founder's CBS snifter. Bottled on 4/3/15, making this just over 2 months old.

A: Pours a burnt orange color, pretty hazy, with a trace of a white head around the rim.

S: Tons of vanilla, oak, toffee, fig, raisin. Lots of fresh, wet barrels. Surprisingly reminiscent of BCBBW.

T: More vanilla, oak, dark fruits, maple syrup, bourbon. Very nice balance of flavors here. Definitely more on the malty, English-style Barleywine side.

M: Big and bold. Good carbonation. Maybe a tad too much alcohol/booziness on the finish, but otherwise very balanced.

O: The long awaited Saturn is finally here. From the moment the Planet Series was announced, this was the beer everyone had their eyes on. So did it live up to the hype? You bet. This is a great beer. I greatly prefer the English-style Barleywine style to the American style, and this one is definitely English and malty and sweet. Some elements remind me of BCBBW, but Saturn is a bit more rough around the edges and not as elegant. I had Sucaba recently, and I actually prefer this one to Sucaba. Overall, I like this beer a lot and it's surely the best beer in the series so far. Also, the accompanying piece of music fits perfectly. I love how it builds to its brooding climax, much like the journey this beer takes from it's initial brewing, to the time in the barrels, to finally hitting your glass. I'll go Saturn>Mars>Mercury>Jupiter>Venus.

Recommendation: Whether you're into the series or not, this one is a must-try. Up in the lore of Black Note, this beer from Bell's is fantastic.

Photo of BIN29
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: lightly cloudy ruby in appearance with sediments floating around.
S: like a BA stout. it reminds me of KBS honestly as i never had BA barleywine. Lots of oak, vanilla and booze. Big on the caramel as well.
T: Delicious! Smooth and fantastic sweetness.
M: Extremely smooth, no hints of high abv.

This is the best from the Planet series.

Photo of Pencible
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: This poured a murky copper with a little off white head.
S: It smelled like rich caramel and toasted coconut and oak, with some nutty toffee and vanilla.
T: It tasted like toasted coconut and oak and rich caramel and vanilla, with some nutty toffee and a bit of oranges. It had a clean mostly sweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. Fairly thin body.
D: This was a delicious brew with fantastic scent and taste. The body was a little weak, but the finish was smooth with well hidden alcohol, so it was easy to drink. No need to age, it's ready to drink fresh. I hope they brew this again.

Photo of ksimons
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a hazy amber with a thin layer of white head

S-caramel, brown sugar, and bourbon/whiskey notes

T-taste is similar to the smell with a heavy caramel malt backbone, toffee, raisins, bourbon, and some mild hop bitterness in the middle.

M-medium body, moderate carbonation

Overall heavy malt presence, pretty tasty

Photo of cjgiant
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 4/3/2015:
Amber brown with a limited amount of head, gathered at the edges. Fairly good clarity.
Nose is more bourbon barrel notes than barleywine, to me. Warmth does bring out a bit of brown sugar and date, but more so I get whiskey, vanilla, wood.

Taste grew on me throughout the pour. Initially I got more barrel flavors, but started realizing that the barleywine flavors were there, balancing the barrel aging. Light brown sugar, date, raisin join quite well with vanilla, bourbon, woody notes. The beer is smooth, carbonation taking a backseat to the blending of flavors. Light dryness sneaks up in the very late feel.

A very balanced beer that was just enjoyable to drink. The melding of flavors almost works too well to make it seem unexciting. After taking a step back, I started thinking more highly of this beer.

Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 Oz bottle. No head to speak of after a short while, with few white bubbles along the edge of the glass. Look as if it's completely uncarbonated after a few minutes. First on the nose is the bourbon, which goes well with the barley. Taste matches the smell. A little oak on the pallet. Pretty low carbonation. Very good beer. Would age very well.

Photo of mirp1
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A real treat for the price. If you are a fan of bourbon barrel influenced beer, this is really something for 12.99/6. It is not a rival of Bourbon County Barley Wine, not in that class. It is, however, well beyond serviceable. For what one would expect to smell and taste in this style, it is all there for you; vanilla, coconut, dried plums, raisins. Less sticky and syrupy than one would expect given it's 11.50 ABV, perhaps due to the use of Belgian Candy in the ferment, just surmising. More like a quaffable English Old Ale than a Barley Wine as per the color, however, pretty hoppy as well. Not at the level of hops as in SN Bigfoot or Green Flash BW, but hops for sure, more of the earthy version. Anyway, it's an inexpensive treat, and the 93 rating seems quite fair.

Photo of Donco
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice example of American version of Barley wines. A bit more bitterness on the back end than English type. Decent amount of bourbon barrel, oak and dark fruit. Not my top choice, but a very enjoyable example of this type of beer.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.11/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a clear reddish-brown with a quickly disappearing head, and no lacing.

This one smells fairly boozy, with a bit of dark fruit, and some caramel.

This is honestly very disappointing, like the rest of the planets series. This has an unpleasant boozy and oaky astringency, with some dark fruit, and a bit of caramel.

This is very thin, but a bit syrupy, with a lower level of carbonation. Not all that drinkable.

I was really disappointed with this. one.

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Bell's Saturn: The Bringer Of Old Age from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 545 ratings.