Uranus (The Magician)
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Uranus (The Magician)Uranus (The Magician)
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American Black Ale
4.18 | pDev: 6.7%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Uranus (The Magician)Uranus (The Magician)
Notes: The sixth release in our Planets Series, Uranus, is a Black Double IPA. It is also our first large release of this style of beer. The hop profile is enormous and complex with help from Citra, Galaxy, Polaris and other hard to find hops. The use of de-bittered or de-husked black malt lends color without the overly astringent or roasty flavors normally associated with stouts and porters. Don’t let the illusion of The Magician deceive you. Dank, tropical, stone fruit, citrus, floral and pine hop characteristics with a touch of light chocolate are all revealed.
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Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 619
Photo of macrosmatic
3.57/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from (very long-standing) notes. I didn't specifically date the review, but the bottle was consumed about a month after the beer showed up on shelves in Florida. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Russian River pint glass.

A: Pours essentially opaque and black, with a foamy two-finger tan head that has average retention. Minimal visible carbonation.

S: Pretty low amount of aroma for a DIPA. Resin, chocolatey malt sweetness, and a touch of grapefruit rind. That's it. Disappointing here.

T: Chocolate, both dark and baker’s. Citrus pith and sticky resinous hops. Bitterness from both the hops and malt roastiness. A touch of roasted coffee, vegetal hop bitterness, and ethanol burn. It finishes nearly balanced with residual sticky chocolate malts and alpha bitter. Meh.

M: A nice heavy body, although the alcohol seems somewhat overly prominent. Low carbonation sensation.

O: Thoroughly disappointing, though not a terrible beer. Overly boozy, and underly hoppy – there’s more alpha-bitterness than hop flavor here. Just a disappointment…though, to be fair, about equally as disappointing as the other few Bell’s Planet series I've had. I'd tell you not to seek it out; but honestly, I’d probably tell you to avoid it unless the completionist in you (or the 12 year old laughing at "Uranus" like me) objects to missing out. A big fat meh.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

"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 Black Imperial India Pale Ale. Available in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on limited draft.

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

(Appearance) Pours a foamy frothed head of a sandy tan color over a black body. Retention is good and lacing is light and patchy. 4.25

(Smell) Chocolate malt, caramel grains, bread malts, soft black patent bitterness, delicate fruit and moderate hop bitterness, generating aromas of vibrant fruit, trace citrus and delicate pine. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Bread malts and caramel grains with subtleties of chocolate and roast, but a hotly exposed graininess throughout. Finishes grainy and sharp with a strong hop bitterness, yet no discernible hop character. The initial impression is jarring, although with some time and warmness the beer comes around slightly for the better, with the graininess fading out somewhat. 3.25

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, silky, lightly oily, moderately dry. Carbonation is light, generating a light frothiness and a lightly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is slightly grainy and hoppy bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is moderate and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) One of those bottles that hid deep in the cooler for well over a year, there isn't much left to speak about in The Magician. Pretty grainy and sharp malt characters with a shallow malt profile and no remaining hop flavor, although the bitterness is still there. No doubt this was a more enjoyable beer a year back. 3.5

Bell's Brewery, Inc.'s
Uranus: The Magician

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Photo of chinchill
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Porter Bar goblet. 24 May 2015 bottling date

Appearance: the beer is a very dark, brownish-black color, with a small size, light tan head.

Aroma: dark roasted malts with less hop presence than expected but some sweet tropical fruit and herbal notes,

Flavor: rich and fairly strong mix of dark roasted malts and hops. Some tropical fruit notes, including pineapple, early on, followed by a bit of char and smoke, with faint earthy and peat tones. Moderately bitter.

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Photo of BWood
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Super smooth black IPA. I was very surprised at this one. I am not a huge IPA fan so the smooth black ipas are nice for me. I wish I could taste this fresh from a tap.

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Photo of Pencible
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

A: This poured an opaque black cherry with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like grapefruit and orange zest with some honey malt.
T: It tasted like grapefruit and resin hops, with a little honey and mocha. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was one of the better black IPAs. It really just drank like a solid IPA that happened to be black. The body was a bit weak, but the finish was smooth with well hidden alcohol, so it was easy to drink. Not my favorite style, but this is a great take on it.

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

This beer was given to me. It was left at a friends home months ago by some of his friends. The bottle date was 5/24/15. I went into this brew with no expectations and was delighted by its appearance, smell and flavor. Would love to try it fresh.

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

This beer was sent to me by a friend. Hops had faded quite a bit since brewed. Hope that it gets brewed again to give it proper review and score. Cheers.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Dark brown chestnut color with thick pillowy tan head that lasts awhile, coats the glass with lace, thin layer lasts throughout. Sweet chocolate aroma with big citrusy hop aroma. Great tasting black ale, a balance of semi sweet roastiness and grassy hops up front. As it warms, more earthiness comes out in the hops; some wood and a little burnt syrup. The mouthfeel is medium thick and very soft. This is a very good brew that I would return to frequently if it was available here.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, brownish-black coloring, with a fluffy, clingy, foamy, light tan colored head. Aromas of dark roasted malts, subtle sweet tropical fruit notes, earthy and peat highlights, and a subtle dank, wet vegetal tone. Smells heavy. Flavors are rich and roasted forward, heavy on the char and smoke, with earthy and peat tones coming through some more. This all has a strong undertone of tropical fruit sweetness, with notes of pineapple and melon. As soon as that blend is registered on your taste buds, the bitter and vinous hops notes come crashing down, with solid characteristics of cut grass, pine pitch, pine tassel, and even a little bit of a medicinal note. Very heavy and dynamic, on a full, soft, smooth body. The aftertaste is balanced, with all of the bitter and vegetal notes sticking around to mingle with a subtle resurgence of campfire notes of charred wood and smoke. The finish is smooth, layered, and slow, with a solid resinous hops linger. This is a big, chewy, dynamic beer.

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Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a dark brown color with a one-finger, light brown head. It smelled strongly of citrus - mostly orange. There were some pine notes and a roasty aroma, too. It tasted of rich roasty malt with some sweet orange bitterness. It was crisp and smooth.

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Photo of SHDoyle
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On draft at the Bell's taproom

Pours a dark black with minimal white head. You can certainly smell the hops on this one but they're not overpowering, which is appropriate for a black ale. Hops were nicely balanced with malt and the mouthfeel was smooth with a little carbonation.

All in all, this beer exceeded expectations. Not that I thought it would be bad, just didn't think it would be so good. The closest comparison I could make would be Founders Dark Penance and I'd have to give the nod to Uranus.

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

Bell's The Planets series with Holst accompaniment.

Mahogany body with a thin, beige, soapy collar. Aromas of light spice, brown bread, malt, yeast. Bready, lightly sweet, mild alcohol. Pretty good.

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Photo of russpowell
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours chestnut/mahogany with plenty of effervescence & 2+ fingers of tan head. stellar lacing & head retention

S: Pine, a little dark fruit & white pepper, all fade as this warms

T: Follows the nose, a little roastyness, & tree bark up front ( in a good way ) & some jammy notes. Figs, carob, herbal & woody hops as this warms, plus a little dry; pineyness & a little grapefruit as well. Finishes with resiny & grapefruitty hops, some woody hops & just a bit of dates

MF: Medium body, subtle carbonation, superb balance

I really enjoyed this, a multi-layered take on the style, well done Bells! Drinks very easy despite the complexity & ABV. Not sure how you could ask for more from this style

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Photo of porter_collie
4.39/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

An unremarkable smell belies a magnificent black IPA. The smoke and chocolate of the malts blend masterfully with resin and citrus from the hops. Velvety and luxurious mouthfeel. A must try for fans of the style.

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Photo of deebo
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pulled from my fridge with a bottling date of 5/24/15. Poured into a pint glass a towering 3 finger dense sticky tan head tops this dark ass brew. Aroma is Big. Notes of dark toasted cocoa complement tropical fruit mango. Taste is big roasted malt with some pine needles and some pineapple. Mouthfeel is quite silky smooth upfront with a little alcohol vapor coming through. Pretty damn drinkable for a big dark dipa. Solid effort. This ones runs maltier than most but I like the balance of toasted, dark chocolate with some nice aromatic hops to round it out.

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Photo of ovaltine
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: jet black, 2+ fingers of tan head.

Smell: chococlate/toffee/caramel maltiness - but some piney hops shine through.

Taste: the malts share the stage with the piney/citrusey hops. For a beer that pours at 9.5% ABV, there is no alcohol to be found, which is remarkable.

Feel: creamy from the malt, but a bit of hop tang on the tongue.

Overall: Bell's is one of my "go to" favorite brewers, and this beer is a great example why. Huge flavors - and no booze to be found. Well done by the folks at Bell's.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, batch 14325 PKGD 05/24/15. I somehow missed this release, but luckily I found a bottle shop not too far from my house that still had it in stock. With the pickup of Neptune that day, I somehow managed to grab all of this series with relative ease
A - near black body with a creamy tan head that holds good retention eventually fading to a foam
S - roasted barley, anise, dark baker's chocolate, pine
T - bold flavors & very pungent but also has a nice roasted malt character to it. Pine, grapefruit, anise, bittersweet chocolate, roasted barley, a bit of pepper, faint background tropical Citra notes add extra sweetness and juiciness; all-in-all flavors meld very well
M - full body, ample carbonation, finishes punishingly bitter yet a bit of residual dark malty sweetness comes through in there as well
O - definitely a wow factor with this one. This is one my favorites from the series along with Mars.

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

Top notch black IPA. Dominated by dark chocolate and citrus, but with a smooth roasted malt note and a dose of pine and resinous herbaceousness underneath.

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Photo of arizcards
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead in late June for $2.79. Packaged on 5/24/15.

Beer poured dark brown with a nice tan head that is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is lovely, dank hops dominate.

Taste has a slight roasted chocolate malt that is overtaken by those lovely dank hops.

Mouthfeel is medium at smooth.

Overall this is probably the best of the Planet Series i have had an opportunity to try. It is still young enough so try it if you see it on a shelf!

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A 12oz bottle with a bottled on date of 5.24.15

L - Pitch black, with 2 full fingers of head and creamy lacing left all over the glass on the way down

S - Dank hops, both citrus and bitter. Dark chocolate and toffee.

T - Dank and hoppy, dark chocolate, citrus notes and some bitterness. High ABV definitely hidden, but you can feel it...

F - Full body, rich and creamy. Slick and oily. Pretty much perfect mouthfeel.

O - An awesome DIPA. Kind of standard for Bells these days.

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Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick consistency. There was a two inch, tan-colored, creamy, long-lasting head. Great lacing.

S: A pretty good aroma of hops, malt, light fruits, and some citrus.

T: Tasted of roasted malt, hops, citrus, tropical fruit (passionfruit), chocolate, and light pine notes. A complex flavor that is surprisingly smooth. Not over-hopped like many ABAs are. The ABV% is barely noticeable in this lively flavor.

F: An above average amount of carbonation with a super smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A very well made beer that is easy to drink. Succeeds on most levels.

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Photo of OldManMetal
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice-looking black ale: a thick rocky tannish head looms over a pitch-black, ruby-litten body, leaving nice rafts of lacing in its wake. On the nose, it is moderate in intensity: predominately grapefruit with lesser amounts of pine and pineapple and a hint of sweet darkness. The palate is a nice blend of citrus, pine and pineapple over a slightly-sweet dark malt foundation. The finish is roasted malt with a hint of sweetness, followed by a moderate-for-style level of clinging hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is mid-sized and creamy, with a peppery feel from the fizzy carbonation. This is a nicely-balanced beer. (12 oz. bottle, 255 days after pkg.)

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

12oz bottle poured into a Teku glass
A: Pitch black with a one-finger tan head
S: Toasted malt/bitter hops
T: A nice toasted malt/hop balance with a bitterness that's taken from both
M: Medium-bodied, dark, a touch bitter, not hot
O: This is tasty though IMO fairly straight-forward

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a clear but opaque jet black in color with moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and moderate cola brown highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark and slightly roasted malts with moderate aromas of tropical/passionfruit, citrus/orange rind, and pine/resin hops.

T: Upfront there is a slightly stronger than moderate flavors of dark malts with light flavors of roasted malts. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of tropical/passionfruit, citrus/orange rind, and light pine/resin hops which impart a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Relatively crisp upfront.

O: I'm not always the biggest fan of Black IPAs - often the roasted malts and piney hop combinations do not work for me - but this is a really nice and enjoyable one. Very nice combination of dark malts, fruity hops, and just a light amount of roasted malts. Alcohol is extremely well hidden.

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Photo of TH28
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. 5/24/15 bottle date. Appearance: Black, opaque, and a thick creamy khaki foam cap with nice lacing. Aroma: Slight roast undertone with a strong hop aroma that is fruit forward, like tropical and berry notes, with pine resin as well. Taste: Starts with a rich, chocolate maltiness that has a slight hint of roast, quickly turning to a strong, but balanced resinous bitterness. Maltiness drowns out any fruity hop flavors. So smooth and drinkable for a beer of this strength and bitterness. Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate to high carbonation, especially for the style. Finish: Touch of roast of chocolate linger with some hop resin on the tongue. Overall: Probably the most balanced and drinkable Black IPA I’ve ever had. has a rich maltiness that is not interrupted by sharp hop flavors. Considering it’s a double IPA, it’s all the more impressive.

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Uranus (The Magician) from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 619 ratings