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.
Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 621 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Hopyard57:
Photo of Hopyard57
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of GOBLIN
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Only one thing I want to say about this beer . . . Can we quit with the 7th grade Uranus jokes already ? Other than that it's a decent Black ipa in my book.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a shaker pint glass. Bottled 5/24/15

L- Black, no real light coming through, two finger light mocha head.

S- Citus, tropical notes of pineapple, passion fruit, guava. Very light roast, alcohol hidden well.

T- Similar to aroma, citrus, tropical, light roast, and the alcohol is hidden really well for 9.5% and kinda only comes through in the after taste as it warms up. Bitterness is pretty medium for a DIPA.

F- A medium-full mouthfeel, still very drinkable given the abv.

O- One of the best Black IPAs I've had and definitely my favorite of the Planet series so far. Up there with NightTime, Self Righteous, and Inspired Artist for my favorite of the style but I think this surpasses them. The key to black IPAs is to drink them as fresh as possible and this is only 4 days old. And at $11.75 for a six pack this is one of the best values I've had. I think it would be nice if Bell's added a black IPA to their seasonals, I'd think Summer would be the place to put it, and this is a winning recipe.

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Photo of Beermanmiles
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I believe this is the single best black IPA I have ever had. For a beer of such a high alcohol content (9%) you would assume that the black would take over, creating a syrupy taste similar to that of most barrel aged beers and imperial stouts. This beer manages to maintain it's bitter, hoppy integrity while soaking up the typical chocolate notes of most black beers. It even maintains the IPA crisp mouth feel though most high alcohol black beer would take on a creamy mouth feel. This beer can keep you warm in the winter or relaxed in the summer. I believe it is the best of the Bell's Planet series so far.

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

Got last six pack at Martin's in Stevensville, Michigan for just under $14

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color. The head is three fingers high and mocha in shade. Not only that, but the head is amazingly dense and creamy. Head duration is excellent, as well. Streaks of lacing are left on the glass. (4)

Smell: It's not often I come across a black IPA with new school hops like Citra or Galaxy. This really brings notes of tropical fruit and citrus quite well. My main question is this: how well does it work with a dark malt base? In this case, it works well. I still pick up subtle caramel and chocolate, yet those notes don't run over the hop profile. As it opens up, a touch of grass appears. Still, this smells quite mellow (not in a bad way, either!) (4)

Taste: Malts hit the palate first. There's a goodly amount of chocolate, brown sugar, and caramel to start. Afterwards, citrusy, tropical hops appear in a balanced fashion, while the bitterness is very mild, at best. You could call this a hoppy porter and I'd be perfectly fine with it. This could be a little deeper, but otherwise, this is rather excellent. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: This betrays its strength with its overall heft on the palate. Still, it's smooth and easy to drink for 9.5% - thanks in no small part to how dry it is. Carbonation is medium. (4)

Overall: This isn't like Wookey Jack, a DIPA disguised as a black ale. No, this is more of a typical example of the style, where chocolate and citrus flavors intersect. The new school hops, though, really give it a nice twist without any excess bitterness. This is a tasty beer that should be made again, plain and simple. (4)

3.9/5: Forget the sophomoric jokes, this is really good

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Photo of mjshearer1
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, I’ve been lucky enough to get up close and personal with Uranus.

The color of Uranus is a nice change up from the normal golden or bleached look that is mostly preferred with this sort of thing. I get a good chunk of floral notes (not too dissimilar from roses or tulips) when I smell Uranus. I could probably stick my nose in and whiff Uranus all day long, it smells that good. Uranus is a dark, cavernous well of bitter roasted taste that just coats my tongue with a slick bath of flavor. Uranus has good mouthfeel too. Not too heavy, certainly not too light, but a nice, middle of the road, vivacious body. Uranus finishes almost slippery with all sorts of oils coating my mouth and throat that linger long after it’s peaked.

Also, this beer is pretty good.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jokes aside (and believe me, there's about a billion of them), the key to fusing together a proper India dark ale is to resist it becoming simply a hoppy porter. To keep the hop aroma and bitterness showcased and to keep the maltiness supportive but dry regardless of the ale's darkness. And in this vain, Bell's pulls this one out of their Uranus.

The sixth in their planet series of ales would easily be confused with stout because of its sheer opaque blackness. Swirling about the rim is a creamy, lacy and longstanding sandy froth that sheds a hoppy perfume. Orange, grapefruit, mango, pineapple and gooseberry start the aromatic show with a tinge of toast and coffee lurking behind. But leading with malt, the initial taste is of toasty caramel, coffee and burnt toast.

Sweet malt flavors dissolve effortlessly on the middle palate, yet the toasty, roasty char remains along with a supple creamy substrate. All the while, the hops float above the tongue in all their tropical and citrusy glory. But as the ale proceeds across the mouth, the hops develop into a bitter, grassy, woody and pithy bite.

While the hops can only carry the bitterness so far, the added coffee-like bitterness of charred grain joins the hops. In tandem they give an exponential bitterness that neither hops nor char can achieve on their own. Magically medium weighted on the tongue, the imperial ale finishes dry, toasty and bitter with a strong citrusy aftertaste.

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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 Big_V
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tim007007
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of midlifec
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

This is, for the most part, what I feel like a black ale should be like. Finally, the Planetary series gets it right (for the 2nd time).

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

Photo of ryanhooks81
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color—when you tilt the glass traces of dark amber are visible near the edges. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that died down, leaving some lacing on the surface, a collar around the edge, and some trails of bubbles coating the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark malts and passionfruit are present in the nose along with notes of orange citrus.
T: The taste generally follows the smell, with the dark malts making up the initial taste and the fruity hops taking over towards the middle and finish. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is deceptive and you wouldn't expect the fruity flavors nonetheless the lack of roasted and burnt malt aromas and flavors for a Black IPA. For such a bold beer, it does a good job at masking nearly all of the alcohol from the taste.

Serving type: bottle

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

Photo of joshstl
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of fgilbert2
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Lukass
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 5EKF
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 chewy6935
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Uranus (The Magician) from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 621 ratings