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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548 Ratings
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Ratings: 548
Reviews: 129
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 8.59%
Wants: 32
Gots: 239 | FT: 35
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: 548 | Reviews: 129
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was really looking forward to this but overall I don't love it. I feel like Bell's rushed this one and would like to let it sit for a while before cracking open another one. What Bells needs to do is bring back Mars full-time and bag their Oracle IMO.

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

The "bringer of old age" translates quite literally to the Bell's team and their newest taste that should stand up to time rather easily and maybe even expand upon it. And that's why their "Saturn" is a powerful and mature taste that's indicative of a long and bourbony slumber.

Its deep camel hues are strongly reflective in the beer's high caramel scent. As a dainty creme-laced froth swirls on top, the nose is redolent of caramel, toffee, honey and earthy sorghum. The same translates to a super sweet palate that's full of "Wurther's Original" candies and mild port and sherry influence.

Rich, hearty and nearly chewy, the malty-sweet favors unfold on the middle and latch onto the tastebuds with their decadent caramel, toffee and maple. Rising hops begin to rival the malts with their own citrus peel and pine character.

Deep, savory and succulent to its core, the malty and full beer is a testament to fresh and juicy barley. Like syrup and spirit, the ale has a bight palate that's simply plump with malt, simmering with bourbon and sweet with baklava.

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.

Photo of BB1313
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch #14128; bottled on 4/3/15. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a amber with an orange tint; subtle haze with some clarity. Little head that leaves little lacing and retention. The aromas are full of bourbon, caramel and vanilla. Lots of malts. Everything is balanced and nothing is overpowering. Same goes for the flavors. More caramel and vanilla. Raisins and dark fruits are there. Oak/wood notes are there. Bourbon is there blended with everything. It's not hot or boozy. Slightly spicy. There's a subtle warmth in the finish, but the alcohol basically goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with lower carbonation; pretty syrupy. Ultimately a smooth drink. I never would've guessed this was 11.5%, it drinks much smaller to me.

This is a nice barrel-aged brew. Sometimes I feel like I'm drinking a scotch ale instead of a barleywine, but oh well. Very solid stuff and the price is right.

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 4/3/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy reddish copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, honey, toffee, toast, butterscotch, vanilla, raisin, apricot, apple, bourbon, oak, and oak/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate dark fruit notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, honey, toffee, toast, butterscotch, vanilla, raisin, apricot, apple, bourbon, oak, and oak/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of bourbon/oak spice and earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, honey, toffee, toast, butterscotch, vanilla, raisin, apricot, apple, bourbon, oak, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate dark fruit flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged barelywine style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of Apellonious
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The name of the beer seems to fit the circumstances. 12 oz bottle, pkg. 4/3/15, poured into a tulip glass. Bought two singles, putting the other one away for as long as I can stand to.

A - Cloudy, ruby red with brown overtones. Little to no head that moves to a thin lace.

S - Well then....immediate bourbon, then dark fruit, fig and caramel

T - Follows the nose, with a smidge of back end heat (barely noticeable) and a cream soda like finish.

M - Very smooth. Carbonation is low, but there is some sizzle if you let it settle before sipping it down.

O - This is dangerous at 11.5%. This could easily be finished in a few minutes.

Photo of SerialTicker
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

*Beer #700*

My 700th beer is our 6th from the sun -- Saturn. This was something like $3 bottle. Bottled 4/3 and poured 4/16... let me just say I'm glad I got two bottles, so I have one to sit on for a couple years. It says "The Bringer of Old Age" ... sure, I'll put some age on it.

Appearance: Hard pour gave a two finger head with "tight" bubbles -- didn't last long, but looked great. The beer is copper brown with some floaters. Spotty lacing at best.

Smell: Beautiful vanilla, oak, and malt aroma... awesome blend. Just a very nicely blended beer that smells phenomenal. I mean, if I'm going to whine about something, I guess it's that the barrel could be a bit "strong" for some people (really though, who complains about that?). I absolutely love the barrel, booze, malt, and overall richness of this beer's nose. Stunning.

Taste/feel: Essentially the smell of the beer ... on the taste buds. Maybe this beer doesn't have the hugest amount of depth compared to some other barleywines I've had, but I couldn't ask for much more -- warming alcohol, oak, a little vanilla, rich sweet malt... something about this brew is never truly cloying though. There's actually a bitterness in there that's void in a number of English barleywines I've had before. There's a little dark fruit, but it's not as prevalent as I was expecting. The only thing that could *maybe* improve this beer would be a little maple flavor. The feel is solid -- a moderate sort of body with a slightly syrupy feel and a minor prickly carbonation; it really makes it all come together for Saturn.

The Planet Series has been disappointing as a whole. The only one I really enjoyed was Mars, which I thought was insane. Mercury and Venus were both mediocre at best, and Jupiter, while a good brown ale, didn't do much for me. Saturn is an outstanding beer, and worthy of being my 700th beer.

Photo of dmgeng
4.57/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from a coworker since my local bottle shop was just doing a lottery for the two cases they got in.

A - Deep, dark orange color that is pretty hazy. Very small, rocky white head with very light lacing.

S - Sweet malt, soft bourbon, caramel, raisin and some booze. Smells like the prototypical BB barley wine. It's sweet, complex, and a good sniffing beer.

T - Initially the sweet malts hit the tongue with the malt, caramel, vanilla, and bourbon. Then in the middle there is more toffee, dark fruit, and oak. The finish is sweet but soft and the booze is strong allowing it to clear the palate like a bourbon and not be too cloying. It is rich and complex but sweet and boozy.

M - High mouth-feel with light carbonation. Overall it feels like a 11.5% barley wine; sweet, and sticks, but with enough booziness to keep it palatable.

Overall, this is much better than I thought it would be for the price and low acclaim. This is probably the best "drinking" BB barley wine that I've had! If you don't like sweet beers or bourbon this one is probably not a good choice but if you haven't tried one of the style this is the perfect one to try. If you can still get this I would definitely get some more to try in a few months when the booziness has died down and all of the flavors are more harmonious.

Glass- Snifter

Photo of warnerry
3.71/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

At this point the aroma is quite boozy, and this basically tastes like a bourbon and water with a little extra malt thrown in and some very faint hops. Still, has some very nice vanilla flavors. Incredibly dry, tannic finish. Time will tell if the base beer offers anything interesting, but right now bourbon is dominating the show and the beer is pretty one note.

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

Packaged on 4/3/15. Poured into a lager glass this beer is a bit hazy and looks like apple cider. Luckily it doesn't smell it. Not much head, but the tan lace is sticky. Aroma is reminiscent of an English barleywine with notes of slightly sweet barley. Toasted barley with a hint of toffee. Cold it's not super aromatic. I can get just a hint of vanilla and boozy wood. Taste is a different story-this pops with big English malty goodness. Toasted barley, a bit nutty with a little toffee sweetness. Quickly followed up with nice oaky barrel ends with charred vanilla and a hit of bourbon booziness. It's warming but not overally biting in the nose. Body is average but yet not overally boozy. Moderate carbonation. Overall-more of the barrel aromas come out as this warms. This beer stacks up quite nicely with other BA barleywines. I prefer it to many. You add the price point and this is a keeper. Now I have to go find more. Ready to drink now, but imagine it won't suffer with a little age.
The planet series have been interesting-Mars was awesome, Venus was aweful. This one is probably my favorite so far. Best beer I've had from Bells since both versions of batch 9000. Big ups!

Photo of MattyG85
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice. Bottled on 04/03/15.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Small finger of off white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A nicely boozy, sweet, and bready aroma with big hints of bourbon, caramel, and toffee. Big upfront barrel presence with a scent of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, and oak. Toasted barley malt with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, and yeast. Sweet hints of molasses. Also some light fruit hints of fig and apple. Light earthy hop hints. A very good barrel forward aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a boozy, sweet, and bready barrel forward taste with big notes of bourbon, caramel, and toffee. Big barrel presence with notes of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Toasted barley malt with bready notes of biscuit, toffee, caramel, and yeast. Sweet taste of molasses. Fruit undertones of apple, fig, and dates. Light notes of earthy hops. A really good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, chewy, and pretty rich. Some booze heat is felt as expected but it’s not overly hot.

Overall: A really good take on a Barrel Aged Barleywine. Great barrel presence with some nice sweet malt notes.

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

This is a very decent barleywine. However, for a BA barleywine it's good but not great. Pours a deep glowing burnt orange color. Aromas are vanilla, caramel, figs, leather, white grapes, oak and of course bourbon. Taste is all the above and falls into the easy drinking barleywine category. The bourbon adds a nice dimension but is not over the top boozy. Feel is smooth, oily and slippery. Far from my favorite BA barleywine but this beer is still top notch. And at this fantastic price point . . . I would buy every one of them in sight.

Photo of spacecake9
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I like this beer.Very well balanced, alcohol is right there but not too much. Really great "warmer".

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 Alieniloquium
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a wine glass.

Appearance - I was surprised by how light colored it was. Barely amber in color. Nice off-white head. Medium collar and a few floating islands of foam.

Smell - Blend of toffee, bourbon, and oak, probably with toffee being the strongest aroma.

Taste - Toffee is definitely the dominant flavor here. A variety of sugars, some brighter and fruitier, some more like brown sugar. Tastes a little buttery. Strong bitterness in the back end.

Mouthfeel - Easy drinking, really. Not cloying. The bitterness is aggressive, but I'd probably find this to be too sweet without it.

Overall - Not a complicated beer by any means. Bourbon and sugar. Good, but not going to really amaze anyone.

Photo of ohiobeer29
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

really solid American Barleywine the vanilla and bourbon really shine as this one warms up solid job Bells

Photo of deakin
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Lightly colored for the style, a nice dark amber with decent lacing.
Aroma: TONS of vanilla. Reminds me of the smell our container of whole vanilla beans has at work. Smells a bit like caramel chews. Can definitely pick up on the bourbon notes here.
Taste: Toast, figs, and some herbal qualities. I get some baked apples too. The oak barrel is apparent alongside some earthy, floral notes from the hops. Definitely hot on the tongue but not unpleasantly so.
Mouthfeel: Rather thick and warming. Compliments the taste well.
Overall: Easily the best of the series since Mars. I'm eager to see what a year or two in the cellar does to this beer.

Photo of Jjski
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I wonder why I don't like this as much as others. BB BW is my thing.... Maybe because it lack the hugeness of flavor that I associate with Hand & Seal, Double DBA, BA Bigfoot, Old Conundrum, etc...

On its pluses: a very affordable, easy drinkable, accessible variant of the style. The toffee butter flavor is outstanding, but the depth of it and other malty tones is where this comes up short IMHO. Barrel is definitely present, but not dominant. It is very well balanced in taste versus mouthfeel with a fine effervescence. This balance is on the lighter side, while I prefer richer

Very good, but not a giant killer by any means. It's hard to find BA BW in six packs, so that's a plus too. If given the choice, I would buy Weyerbacher Insanity, which I cannot find this year.

A golden, lightish, balanced, easy drinking BW

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 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 n2185
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear copper color with half a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Caramel malts, vanilla, and oak dominate with bourbon, burnt sugar, and sweet breads following.

T: Caramel, vanilla, and a bit of maple up front before caramel malts, hearty and slightly bitter bread, and bourbon come through. The finish is boozy.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer is syrupy sweet and feels that way as well.

O: A solid beer, overall. I wish I had more to age since this one's a bit too boozy currently, but oh well. Still an all-around good beer.

Photo of Beejay
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: A muddy brown in in body, with a small amount of white head on top.

S: There is a nice rich malt aroma. Vanilla, oak, bourbon, and caramel come out. Smells just lovely.

T: Rich and malty, with a nice strong kick of oaky bourbon, the finish is a long lingering caramel and vanilla sweetness.

M: Medium thick in body, with somewhat higher carbonation than I would think for the style, although it does make it super easy drinking.

O: Overall a damn tasty beer, and the price point is really decent for a near 12% abv bourbon barrel Barley wine. Fine work.

4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Really excited to try my first experience with a Barley-wine from Bell's.

A strong pour easily gets me over two full fingers of biscuity tan head. Head has excellent retention that turns rocky as it slowly fades. Body is a deep honey brown amber in tone. Nose is full of carmel, toffee, graham cracker and soft sweet bourbon. The nose really makes you expect a sweet brew. The taste plays close to the chest in terms of what the nose promised. Very sweet with tons of graham cracker, and toffee. There is a bit of dry bready tones that are created by the hops on the back side of the palate. This dryness builds as you continue to drink. As I dissect this more it really comes through as a deep oaky feel which is more bold as it reaches more of a room temperature. This is a very good beer. Nicely complex and yielding wonderful potential for aging.

Photo of Highgrade
1.7/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Big disappointment. Don't know if the one bottle I got was bad, but it was a 2 sip then drain pour. Tasted like Old English with a hint of Jim Beam.

Photo of smakawhat
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

Thick out of the bottle, with a deep bronze orange color for the body. Fills the glass and looks a little hazy and cloudy, but has some real shiny clarity as well. Head creation is pretty tiny, manages a thin creamy one finger tan head, dissolves to big bubbled and thin puck and collar. Some leggy lacing and weeping on the edges.

Very enjoyable aroma. Thick toffee and mild maple like sugar, with a nice vanilla quality but not horribly sweet. Toffee candy and crisp caramel qualities and an almost maple like oak sensation it seems, with a hint of fruited tropical hop aching out. Sweetness slowly builds to a real nice controlled toffee and malt richness, thick, airy, inviting.

Palate takes a solid angle but goes for some hop aggression within the right limits. Tangy mid palate mixing in with toffee but also some chocolate angle comes out, slightly milky tasting. Large fruit blast in the middle, pine and earth with a mix of tropical sweet finish. Excellent mouthfeel, chewy and dense, full rounded in the palate coating everywhere with a perfect sense of sweetness, caramel and honey coating aromas and flavors abound. Really mellows out nicely with great soft sweet touches of oak and woody character.

A great barrel aged barleywine taken to a good level.

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Bell's Saturn: The Bringer Of Old Age from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 548 ratings.