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)
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Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 766
Photo of mjpolzin
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Been looking forward to this one the most out of all the Planet series beers.......

A very good bourbon flavor complimented with fruit and vanilla. There are some characteristics in this beer that remind me of Central Waters BB Barleywine which for me, is the best barrel aged barleywine out there.

There seems to be a little bit something missing in the taste though. I got a slight meaty, smoky taste on the back end that kept this beer from being outstanding for me.

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Photo of Can_if_you_can
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: clear copper in color, thin off white head, lots of tiny bubbles floating through this one, I really hope that carbonation doesn't reflect in the mouthfeel.
S: I'm getting a rather heavy aroma of cinnamon in this one, that's odd but I guess it's possible from the bourbon barrels. smells moderately sweet from the bourbon, not getting much hops malts on the nose.
T: wow, this may be the easiest drinking barleywine I've ever had... remindes me more of a bourbon amber ale. the bourbon is definitely there, the cinnamon very faint, the sweetness is average. Booziness is pretty reserved for 11.5 %, I'd peg it around 8.5 myself, comes out a little bit more in the stomach than on the palate, its warming. pleasant.
F: Very balanced, not slick on the tongue like other barleywines I've had, but surely a high end lower carbonation which I like.
O.a. : hands down the easiest to drink, least offensive barley wine I've ever had, not the best, just the easiest to drink. Not malty or hoppy enough for this style, more of a bourbon barrel amber ale. The bourbon almost overtakes it, which is just fine by me...

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Photo of IMFletcher
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Despite the coloring that suggests no barrel aging, the nose had me giddy, right up until it hit my tongue. I'm putting my other bottle away for a while in the hopes that age improves this one.

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Photo of aarg
1.83/5  rDev -56.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 1.75

I did not like this beer. As a bourbon aged barleywine, yes it was strong and boozy, but it lacked the complexity and flavor I was looking for. In fact it had a skunky cheese flavor to me. I read someone else described it as butterscotch. That may have been it, but it just didn't go together well for me. I would pass on this one.

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Photo of indianabeerman
3.18/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This most definitely the worst B/A Barley wines I have had. Hopefully it was just my bottle. The best way to describe would be to put Canadian mist on the rocks and let it sit.After the ice melts you would have Saturn

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Photo of jsurfs82
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

When it comes to Barrel Aged Beers, Bell's just simply gets it. This is one of the best BA Barleywines I've had the luxury of consuming. The wood and booze come off very balanced and leave this beer with a nice wood and vanilla tone. Not overly bitter or too large of a malt bomb. Bell's Black Note is one of my all time favorite BA Imperial Stouts and I'll have to place Saturn up there with one of the best BA Barleywines. I can drink alot of this.

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Photo of BB1313
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

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.

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Photo of jp32
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Hazy copper color. A light layer of head was created through a vigorous pour. I had to try for it.

This smell is sticky-sweet. Possibly a touch of dried fruits.

Flavor is interesting. Soured fruits, hops, dried apricots, all with a lingering tangy-ness. Alcohol is present. The flavor profile seems to morph as the beer warms up a bit. Malt characteristics begin to come through with the hop oils.

*After aging for only 6 months, the beer seems to take on a nut-like toffee-flavor which really goes well with the rest of the beer. I'm going to age the rest of my stock longer and see what happens.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of Bisco42
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A bit warm on the initial sip. Malty, roasty, caramel, oak, raisin, grass. Bourbon on the swallow. Thick lacing all the way through. Very delicious. Would search for this again if they came back out with it. I love the MF, thick and delicious. This was poured into a Urthel Long Stem Tulip. Served at room temperature.

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Photo of SchugKnight
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep amber appearance with a bit more carbonation than expected. Aroma of honey, vanilla, and butterscotch. Tastes of lots of vanilla and caramel upfront. Harsh backend that is very alcohol warming. Slight bourbon at end. Needs more time. Mouthfeel is ok, but slightly watery. Second best of the series.

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Photo of TboneRN
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Like a watered down Central waters BBBW if that makes sense...not great, not good, but decent. The bottles I have had have significant "floaties" in them which is not desirable. Nose is muted, Flavor is muted and watered down with an average mouthfeel. All in all but a little boring for the style.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into tulip. Golden copper color, two fingers of white head that's here and gone, leaving a thin cap. Aroma is sweet and boozy; honey, caramel, spice, booze. Taste is harsh on the back end at first, then settles to a warmth. One of the better barleywines I've had, wish it was easier to get a hold of.

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Photo of Ri0
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 12oz bottle into chalice.

A - Dirty bronze with a 1.5 finger white head. Surprised how white the head is for this style of beer. Fades into a collar and leaves behind a nice amount of lacing.

S - Sweet bourbon, butterscotch, vanilla, caramel aromas. Not much in the way of dark fruit or wood on the nose. It certainly has a very nice smell.

T - It is bourbon forward with plenty of vanilla, caramel, and some butterscotch. Semi sweet and not very hoppy. No real dark fruit notes, but it does have some oak/wood in the middle.

M - Feels light for a barleywine, which is not a bad thing for this beer. Nice carbonation and a bit of alcohol warming on the palate.

O - Solid BBBW that should mellow a bit with age. It's not overly bourbon, but I think I will appreciate it even more come October-December.

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Photo of vic21234
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on 04/03/15.

A- Pours a cloudy golden with initially a large amount of white colored head which quickly fades.

S- Bourbon, caramel, and sweet malts on the nose.

T- Holy bourbon. A sweet caramel flavor initially before the bourbon comes through. The bourbon takes over the back end of each taste, not a bad thing.

M- Medium bodied, well carbonated, very bourbon forward with a warming sensation through each sip.

Great BA Barleywine, I'm looking forward to sitting the rest of my 6 pack down to see what some ages does.

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Photo of K-Dog
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Strange it took Bells almost 30 years to release there first barley wine. This is by far the best of the series along with mars. The smell dosent get any better than this. It's a bourbon bomb at first but mellows nicely as it warms. I got a feeling with some age my review will go way up.

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Photo of Johnd8
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I like this as a different take on a BA Barleywine. Its not just Third Coast Old Ale in a barrel. I get different flavors then most with this glass, but the 10 month old Gruyère I had just prior. Paired well.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

8/11/15 EDIT: Not sure what to think about this one. Wanted to age my second bottle for a couple years, but impatience and other BAs' wisdom told me I should drink it now. For some reason, I am getting a strange bitterness in this beer I didn't get in the first bottle -- I get it in some beers, and I can only describe it as a sort of copper-like bitterness. The same kind of acrid bitterness vibe that you'd get from eating something that was burnt. It's really letting me down, as I can taste all of the other flavors I loved so much the first time I had this beer. Could it be traces of dish soap in my glass somehow? Not likely, but who knows. This still has a very lovely boozy warmth, beautiful oak flavor, and some malty sweetness. It's just that the end I get some of that horrible bitterness on the back and sides of my tongue. I won't be changing my rating, but it's something I noticed. Very good regardless.

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Photo of hardysf
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Disclaimer - I don't drink much barley wine. But am trying to drink all the planet series.

I thought this was very bourbon up front and a little lighter color than I was expecting. The beer poured with a nice white head and the up front aroma was bourbon. After a second or two I could pick up some smell of vanilla and some rich caramel.

The drink tasted the same way, thick and smooth with a blast of bourbon upfront. It finished with sweetness of vanilla and some fig flavor at the end. The bourbon was a little too overpowering to get strong flavors from the other ingredients.

Going to put some more in the cellar.

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Photo of streeter
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A solid, but not too-harsh barley wine. Nice bourbon smell and flavor with vanilla and some toffee/caramel. Thick mouthfeel compared to an IPA but not overly for this style. No head in my pour into hopslam snifter but was not sloshing. Translucent caramel color. Surprisingly clear for a barley wine. This one should age well. Hard to find but worth a try for a good sippin nightcap.

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Photo of deakin
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a snifter.

L- Deep amber, good clarity, small slightly off white head. Good amount of alcohol coating the glass.

S- Lots of bourbon, vanilla, oak, light raisin, butterscotch. Some alcohol but not burn your nose off alcohol.

T- Similar to aroma, caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, not too sweet, some alcohol but not burning the throat, light hop bitterness on the aftertaste.

F- Thin syrup, good carbonation for the style.

O- A pretty great beer for the price and for the flavor, the base beer seems a bit lacking and fight to come through the bourbon flavors but it has a great amount of bourbon to it and is pretty smooth out of the gate. I do miss some of the more complex fruity notes for something like TCOA though and this is one of the more lighter colored barleywines I've had but again still a great beer.

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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