Saturn (The Bringer Of Old Age)
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Saturn (The Bringer Of Old Age)Saturn (The Bringer Of Old Age)
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American Barleywine
4.18 | pDev: 8.85%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Saturn (The Bringer Of Old Age)Saturn (The Bringer Of Old Age)
Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 766 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
2.92/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottled 4/3/15; drank 5/8/15 @ the Yarchives.

Murky orange/red rust appearance.

A rough pour yielded a nice eggnog head; decent lace.

Oak, caramel, booze heat & mild dill pickle notes in the nose.

Thick mouthfeel.

Booze heat & mild caramel flavors up front; a carbonated booze heat finish. As this warmed hints of vanilla emerged, but overall this was unpleasantly boozy.

I'm aging the rest of mine, as it's nearly undrinkable currently.

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Photo of Buck89
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle poured into a snifter. A hazy amber orange color with a surprising number of small floaties. A tiny light tan head formed and left quickly. A nice mix of bourbon and vanilla on the nose, slightly boozy. Similar taste with smooth caramel malt, a softer bitterness, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Medium to light bodied. Excellent.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From April 2015, aged properly since. Poured into Belgian ale glass and allowed to warm.

L: Very small head, less than 1F. Not much retention, no lacing. Thin ring and partial cap. Beer is a clear very dark amber, almost chestnut.

S: Oak barrel, dried fruits, vanilla, caramel

T: Oh man, this has gotten SMOOVE over the years. Nice dried fruits and caramel up front, with citrus and vanilla characters, and a smaller dose of bourbon barrel than the nose might indicate. Only a bit of alcohol heat on the finish.

F: More medium than full than you might expect. A bit of carbonation. Flavors soft, rounded, and beautifully melded together after these years of aging. Balanced nicely.

O: Well worth the aging wait. A very nice drink to start a weekend.

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Photo of AyatollahGold
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pouring from a 12 oz. bottle dated 4/3/15 into a tulip glass. This beer pours out looking like a tea. That light brown and almost lemon highlight color. No crown was formed and there is sediment floating throughout the beer. The smell is warming bourbon and alcohol mixing with oak, figs and even some vanilla. The taste brings those fig notes forward even more and it definitely brings the bourbon and alcohol for a big presence. There really isn't a "pop" that I want. It's a little flat. I think the carbonation might have died off some since 2015. It would really help to go along with these flavors, because with out it, this is a little too forward. It also leads to the mouthfeel being very flat and one dimensional. Overall, sadly, I just don't think time was this brews friend. I can see the workings of a really good beer and while it is still solid and drinkable, I can see how this could've been better those years ago.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 FL OZ bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours rust colored with ruddy orange highlights. Suspended yeast is visible. It is topped with less than an inch of tan head that leaves speckled lacing.

It has a sweet aroma. I get some toffee and caramel notes along with vanilla. I also get hints of date, fig, and alcohol.

The taste is malty but not as sweet as the smell would indicate. A healthy dose of booze cuts through that sweetness. I do taste the fig and date from the smell.

Medium mouthfeel and syrupy

It has aged well although there is still plenty of booze flavor. It is pretty good. It is not the best BA barleywine that I have had in the last month though.

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Photo of jhavs
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a snifter.

Amber tinted brown, teeny tiny foam bubbles with moderate pour, but no real head.

Booze and oak in the aroma with some toffee sweetness.

Flavor is smooth booze and sweet caramel. Some earthy oak.

Much lighter feel than I expected, a bit syrupy, light carbonation.

Smooth and sweet, doesn't come together all the way for me.

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Photo of Vidblain
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's startling how rife with floaties this beer has become - I've only ever seen it happen to this degree with a couple Mikkeller beers (IPAs I found sitting on a shelf in Des Moines... several YEARS past their bottling date) and with Cassian Sunset (hugely disappointing to me - I love Cassian Sunset).

The beer is still quite drinkable - though it's cloyingly sweet and syrupy. I don't hate it, but I'd rather have a '17 Bourbon Bounty Barleywine, given a choice.

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Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Khaki head with lace. Caramel brown color.

Lots of caramel and brown sugar. Very malty. Big oak and barrel flavor. Bourbon and vanilla. Toffee.

Warming. Smooth. Solid.

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Photo of aclockworkchris
4.97/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had many many beers from West Michigan and across the US and this forever holds a spot in my heart as my favorite of all time

Update: November 18, 2017. Bottle aged since April, 2015. This beer has become unbelievably sweet and the 11.5percent is absolutely hidden. Wonderful caramel aroma and hazy, almost juice IPA like appearance. Less boozy than fresh, it has tame down a bit in that’s category which has brought light to the malt. Very sweet now, full of toffee and dense vanilla and bourbon. Quite smooth. 2 bottles left ;)

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

"This is one of a seven part series inspired by Gustav Holst's musical composition, 'The Planets.' Strap in and embark on a flavor tour of our solar system - in the order of Holst's piece, Mars to Neptune." Brewed in the style of an American Barleywine, available in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on limited draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp foam head of a pale tan shade over a mildly hazy copper amber body with abundant flecked sediment in tow. Retention is average and lacing is light and patchy. 3.75

(Smell) Rich bread and caramel malts with undertones of peat smoke and nutty, earthy English-style yeast compounds that pair nicely with the impact of bourbon barrel qualities. Very reserved alcohol nose, appealing balance of aromas. Potency is moderate. 4.25

(Taste) Taste is a bit more gruff and grainy than the aroma, but carries many of the same flavor qualities- robust bread malts, caramel syrup undertones, cold smoke peat malts and a rich, smooth English yeast to generate added complexity in between the malt notes. The bourbon barrel flavor is very enjoyable, generating smooth, clean tannins and leather with a more subtle vanilla. Accessibility improves as it warms, finishes nutty and smooth. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is smooth, slick, softly grainy, medium dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, short of heavy overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to specialty malt and grain alcohol. Alcohol presence is modest and there are no off characters. 4.25

(Overall) A very interesting take on the American Barleywine style, with lots of curveball surprises in the malt build, the yeast profile and the inclusion of bourbon barrels. In the end, it's without a doubt one of the finest entries in the series, enjoyable throughout. Outstanding richness, complexity and balance, and the bourbon comes through very gracefully. Worth a shot, and it's held up very well with time. 4

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

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Photo of blackcompg
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've been sitting on this one for just over a year, let's see what we have here..

Appearance - Pours a quick finger of light yellow khaki foam, body is a gorgeous hazy deep copper amber, but you can still see carb rising steadily through the body, head diminishes to a thin cap pretty quickly, lacing is somewhat inconsistent and webbed hap-hazardously inside of the glass.

Smell - rich dark bourbon, dark toffee and molasses, vanilla bean and caramel, and a whiff of oak, smells incredible

Taste - this was incredible fresh, but time has smoothed and balanced the flavors noticeably. it begins bourbon, much because of the nose, and immediately there is rich dark toffees and caramels, moist oak and light vanilla is right there, then a quick transition to darker almost unsweetened molasses and lightly charred oak. The finish is feigning bourbon and stronger dried oak and nearly unsweetened dark molasses. There is some alcohol flavor, and just a touch of astringency at the back of the tongue, but it is more felt on the breath.

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy weight, carb is low and smooth but still has a few edges on the sides of the tongue and in the mouth corners. There is still enough bourbon to keep this one a sipper, but you'll want to sip anyways as the flavors intensify as this warms in the mouth.

Overall - a fantastic take on a bourbon barrel aged strong ale/barleywine. You'll find quite a few flavors from their Third Cost Old Ale here, and the bourbon barrel makes the perfect accompaniment. Since this does well with aging I highly recommend if you can find a bottle that's been stored properly. Have this one in the evening as the ABV is 11.5%, and the bourbon that's still there makes this believable, and wonderful.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I've been holding on to this one for a while. My bro-in-law gave it to me...and I'm most grateful. It poured a clear copper with thin white head that did not leave a lace. The scent was bourbon and peat. The taste was almost scotchy...with nice earth base. The Mouthfeel was fuller in body with smooth carbonation. Overall it's a big beer and worth the wait.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage
1 year since bottling date

Appearance- Pours a burnt orange, medium to light amber color. Turbid and hazy, lots of floating particles. Fine layered, off white colored head, dissipates quickly to soapy layer. Lots of sticky alcohol legs.

Aroma- Vanilla, caramel, hints of nuttiness and butterscotch. Sweet bourbon and molasses, subtle fruitiness. Dry oak and spice notes.

Taste- Brown sugar, toasted malty sweetness, molasses and toffee. Vanilla and caramel creaminess, sweet bourbon notes, dried fruits. Tons of dry oak spice on the finish.

Feel- Medium feel, actually feels a bit thinner than fresher bottle tastings. Very dry and astringent feel, lots of oakiness. Lower carbonation.

Overall- Beer has aged very well, oakiness seems to be getting more and more forward, while bourbon notes are a bit softer. Lots of creamy flavors from the barrel as well as the base beer, still a real nice decadent quality exists.

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Photo of matt_duthie
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Packaged April 3rd, 2015, just over a year on my last bottle of this.
A: Some sediment's dispersed throughout the copper/orange pour, minimal white ring of lacing
S: Vanilla, bourbon, fig/raisin, sweet malt, yummy.
T: Hmm, not how I remembered it. Starts with sweet and vanilla and bourbon, then something odd, burnt oak-y butter? and a simultaneous super-earthy hop bitterness hit, and it is nothing like I recall this beer tasting. Not unpleasant, just different. Hmm, maybe should have enjoyed this one some months back, or I saved the wrong bottle...
F: A touch thin, but nicely carbonated.
O: Just didn't hold up as well as I'd have hoped. I massively enjoyed it fresh, and thought it pretty good here a year out.

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Photo of stortore
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle into a snifter, dated 4/3/2015.

Pours an orange amber, a little hazy, not much of a head and no lacing. Smell is malt, vanilla, figs, raisins,bourbon, oak, caramel, plums. Taste leads with malt, then bourbon, good amount of vanilla, oak, caramel, dates, figs, raisins. Fair amount of alcohol, some bitterness. Good body but a little light for the style, good level of carbonation. It's a little harsh.

Not bad, but not nearly as good as I thought it would be. Have had a number of BA Barleywines, and this would be near the bottom. I think my biggest source of disappointment is that Bell's is so good at pretty much everything.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Pours murky amber, thin white head fades quickly, no lace. Sweet malt and wood in the aroma, vanilla. Taste is a delish blend of the above, just enough woodsy hops to balance the sugary side. Thin, oily mouthfeel. Very tasty Barleywine, wish I had some more.

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Photo of stevoj
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from Syndicate. Another mind blowing beer. Hits all the right marks, tasty, fulfilling, perfect beer. Would be nice to see what additional aging would do for this brew.

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Photo of BSiegs
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy, reddish pour with a finger of off white head. Lingers around the edges and leaves a little lacing. The nose is fantastic - raisin, fig, bourbon, molasses. The taste is equally as big, with bourbon coming first, then the waves of dark fruits and a slight hint of anise. Complex and delicious. The mouthfeel full with light carbonation. A dry and slightly bitter finish. Really excellent.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 1.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

TURBID, gross, lazy-hazy, uninviting, bad bad bad BAD, infuriating burnished-amber body, off white coarse head that fades to nothing, no lace. Yuck, bad, gross, already not worth the trouble to find this/money spent on it. I hate it, I hate it SO much. WHY, Bell's, WHY did you bring this abomination into the world? Swamp water looks more wholesome than this turbid infested crap water. I HATE it, it is an offense to beer. It makes me question continuing the now-arduous trial of consuming this witch's brew.
Nose contains butter, sweet and warm malt, caramel, oak bark, slightly boozy, toast. Taste is butterscotch, very sweet, vanilla, toasted malt, oak that is nearly tannic but drowned by the caramel-like sweet malt, surely aided by the bourbon lent from said wood. Alcohol breaks through the taste threshold. Medium body, slightly sticky.
I HATE SHIT FLOATING IN MY BEER. It serves no purpose, it it disgusting, gross, revolting, and insulting to the senses. The sight of this beer dug itself a pretty massive grave to crawl out of, which it did to some degree. The nose and flavor was almost sickly buttery and sweet, given an almost mature edge from the oak. Lots of flavor, but I could see it becoming cloying in anything larger than a 5oz proportion.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a reddish brown color. a finger or so of an off white head forms. moderate retention and leaving behind a nice small lacing. pretty dark and opaque but some nice brightness.

Smell: barrel character up front with notes of strong oak, vanilla and cinnamon. some caramel sweetness seeps through along with some dark fruits. some additional bourbon and alcohol.

Taste: opens with a caramel sweetness. a huge barrel character burst through with smooth vanilla, strong oak and light cinnamon. some dark fruits come through on the backend along with more sweet malts, some caramel and some toasted grains. some bitterness along with alcohol can be found on occasion.

Mouthfeel: incredibly smooth and silky. some light to moderate bitterness. alcohol can vary from hidden to booze depending on freshness and temperature but never becomes astringent. medium to full body but not quite chewy and viscous as some.

Overall: I drank a few of these fresh and then revisited it recently and it has been outstanding at all times. right now the flavors are just so smooth and well balanced. another great memory of the planet series. Can't wait for the next Bell's experiment.

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Photo of Kylo76
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into teku glass. Nice deep red color, I really liked the nose on this, combination of caramel and toffee. Mouthfeel was thinner than I expected and the taste seemed a bit off for me, a lot of alcohol flavor and a weird sweetness that tasted artificial.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: rusty brownish red, with floaties and small white head.
S: sweet alcohol
T: like the smell, sweet alcohol, smooth bourbon flavors, but still has too much of an alcohol presence for me.
F: smooth, and coating.

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Photo of Lucnifter
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark gold/amber with a creamy white head. Toffee malts and alcohol on the nose. Malty giving way to a bit of hop bitterness before the alcohol and intense oak flavors dominate in the finish. Thin on the mouthfeel.

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Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I sampled some of this at The Friendly Greek when it was first released and decided that it could do with a bit more aging. Now that the entire series has been released, it is time to drink it.

From the bottle: "The Bringer of Old Age"; "Malt Beverage Aged in Oak Bourbon Barrel Casks"; "This is one of a seven part series inspired by Gustav Holst's musical composition, 'The Planets.' Strap in and embark on a flavor tour of our solar system - in the order of Holst's piece, Mars to Neptune."

I Pop!ped the cap and gently decanted it into a large brandy snifter, taking great care not to rouse any lees. I did fine, but it caused the tawny head to diffuse and turn quickly to wisps. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. The nose was big, boozy, hot and laden with caramel and bourbon. Phew! Mouthfeel was big and chewy, like a dollop of caramel ice cream. The alcohol heat caused my tongue to tingle, followed by flavors of coconut, caramel and bourbon. Whew! Warming, it became even hotter, making me wonder if I should not have let it age even longer. Finish was dry and quite boozy. I didn't dislike it, but I was not its biggest fan, either.

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Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle (about 6 months old) poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a ruby red color, almost resembling a rosa wine. No head or lacing observable.
S: Smells like carmel, bourbon, and alcohol.
T: Follows the nose with carmel, bourbon, toffee, and some notes of cinnamon. Leaves the mouth feeling slightly dry.
F: Light carbonation provides a nice bubbly mouth.
Overall, this is like a barrel age light. Defiantly get the barrel aging but the carmel and toffee flavors meld well making this a nice smooth brew.

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Saturn (The Bringer Of Old Age) from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 766 ratings