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Neptune (The Mystic) | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Neptune (The Mystic)Neptune (The Mystic)
Very Good
572 Ratings
Neptune (The Mystic)Neptune (The Mystic)

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
With Neptune, our Planets Series comes to an end. Inspired by one of Larry Bell’s old homebrew recipes and the music of Gustav Holst, this complex, strong and spiced Imperial Stout offers prominent herbal notes along with flavors of chocolate, roasted malt, licorice/anise and pepper with a touch of heat. Reminiscent of a mystical creation brewed in days gone by, this beer is a good candidate for aging due to the robust characteristics of its ingredients.

SPICES: Star anise, dried cayenne, raisins, dates, black pepper, hickory bark, dandelion root, nutmeg, grains of paradise, fenugreek seeds and dates

Also brewed with maple syrup, molasses and cane sugar in addition to hops and malt.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 572 |  Reviews: 145
Reviews by DeFaz:
Photo of DeFaz
4.49/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought two bottles, tried to let one age, but I enjoyed the first one so much that I had to drink the second. Pours black--and I'm tired of people saying that a beer is really dark brown--it's black, and it's OK to say that, right? Tons of ingredients here, and I'm not going to pretend that I can recognize all of them in the beer. What I love is the raisins and/or figs. The beer's primary weakness is that the spice is a bit too much. Why put something like 20 ingredients in a beer only to cover so much up with a spice that isn't balanced enough? Anyway, this beer is great, and I wish it was more available. I'd love to see them cut the spice in half and let the other flavors shine...there's a lot going on, and again, most of it is fantastic. I wish I could enjoy this again, but likely I never will....

 811 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Sparty1224
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter. Bottled on 7/10/15, making this about 5 weeks old.

A: Pours nearly pitch black. Soft, dark brown head around the edges. Medium body.

S: Honey, pepper, cherry, raisin, dark chocolate, vanilla. Just a brilliant-smelling beer. Only thing missing might be some barrel or bourbon, but even then, that might overpower this beautiful aroma. Very complex, could smell for hours.

T: Unlike the aroma, things get muddy here. There's so much going on, it's hard to tease every flavor out. Not much up front, usual chocolate and roast notes. Maybe some honey sweetness. Next thing is the pepper bite in the finish. Quite spicy and warm, but not overpowering. Bitter on the finish as well. Aside from that, it's just a conglomerate of spices.

M: Full, well carbonated. 9% hidden well. Nice burn on the finish, not too hot.

O: Ah, the final beer of the planets series. So sad. It's been an awesome run, and boy do we have quite the beer to finish it out. The description on the label is ridiculous. There's nine official ingredients on the bottle, and even more listed on the website. That's insane. I think it works when it comes to the aroma, because it's awesome and very complex and deep and everything works well together. But the flavor just gets really muddy. It's pretty much just imperial stout, with lots of spices thrown in and then a hot, peppery finish. To compare it, I'd say it's trying to be in the Mexican Hot Chocolate league with Prairie Bomb! and Abraxas, etc. Aroma-wise, this one competes. But the flavor is just too clogged with all these ingredients. Spice isn't dominating, but in the end, it's the only true flavor I can tease out. Not a bad beer overall, just probably couldn't pulled back on how much stuff was thrown in it. Didn't quite fit the music piece either. I was expecting some big bombastic conclusion that went all over the place. Not so much. As for my final thoughts on the series and where this beer ranks, I'll go: Saturn>Uranus>Mars>Neptune>Mercury>Jupiter>Venus. Middle of the pack for this one. Overall, I thought the series was brilliant and a great idea. Very fun and creative. Can't commend Bell's enough. It's been a great journey over the last year, trying these amazing beers and pairing them with the music. Each one had it's own personality. Would like to see Bell's and other breweries do fun things like this more often.

Recommendation: If you've gotten this far, you gotta finish off the series with this beer. On it's own though, it's still pretty good and I recommend it if you like the spiced stout.

 2,612 characters

Photo of BWood
3.69/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Definitely tasting the cayenne pepper and the black pepper on the finish. Keeps my throat warm. Smooth stout feeling up front. Small maple in the middle. This beer didn't blow me away but was not a disappointment either. Picked this and a few other bells planets from my online site. Not sure if I would reorder yet.

 316 characters

Photo of DruC4
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kevinpitts
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of pat61
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours deep, dense dark brown producing a 1” finely bubbled tan foam cap that suggest a nitro beer. Recedes to a very thick film after 4 minutes. Very lacy.

S: Smells like a rich, malty, molasses, maple cake loaded with spices. Pepper, raisin, cocoa and coffee aromas stand out.

T: It is a complex, layered palate with maple, molasses sweetness with a nice dose of pepper heat that is just enough to let you know it is there but not too much to over power. Another layer of root beer is supported by a layer of dates and raisins.

F: A full bodied beer with medium carbonation and an exceptional nitro-like creaminess

O: This beer is a balance of boldness and restraint loaded with diverse flavors that work surprisingly well together and avoid tasting muddy.

 771 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WoodBrew
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The Mystic Neptune by Bells is an interesting stout. It poured a jet black with no head or lace. The scent was mostly spice....thinking anise nut meg mix. The taste had dark fruit, earth, coffee and anise. The mouthfeel was fuller in body with no subtle carbonation. Overall its a very flavorful beer...not very sessionable.

 329 characters

Photo of MisterMike
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sjones5045
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12/29/15 Home Bottle

Pours Jet black with minimal tan head. Nothing special about the look. But nothing bad either.

The smell is kind of a sweet tobacco. Some maple and chocolate as well. Kind of a little of a lot of smells. Not bad.

Taste is good. Kind of a sweet chocolate and burnt chocolate mix. I really don't get everything else they say is in this such as peppers. Maybe faintly only because I know it's supposed to be there.

Very smooth beer all and all. DFrom first sip to the end it is pretty velvety.

I enjoy this one. Not great but pretty damn good.

 579 characters

Photo of soulcougher
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mattreitz49
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gregf51
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kbuzz
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dheldman
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of LastMalkieri
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jamesod
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ffshore545
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Harvey98
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Nolster
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rolltide8425
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AdmiralOzone
3.18/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of onlymurderers
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle to tulip. Jet, oily black with a mocha head that dissolves to a thin ring. Aroma is all over the map. Look at the bottle. You can smell each and every one of those ingredients, and some whiffs, it doesn't seem too appealing. But the taste is something else. The is the first brew I've had where the aroma is almost radically different than the taste. Smoky, roasted smoothness with just a touch of heat.

 422 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from Ale Yeah (Roswell, GA). 2.99. Bottled 7/10/15. Served in a Bell's snifter.

Pours black with a little over one finger of khaki head. A few wisps linger accross the surface but leave no lace.

Smells of chocolate, peppers, some herbal earthy notes, hints of sweetness and something seemingly metallic. At once strange and alluring.

Flavors of both black and cayenne peppers hit the palate right up front followed by chocolate, anise, molasses, dark fruit, herbal/ vinous, a little earth and a touch of booze. Very similar to a Mexican/ molé stout but also a touch disjointed with arguably at least 3-5 adjuncts that just plain did not need to be added.

Creamy,medium body with fairly soft carbonation. Aftertaste of spice, cocoa and a vague hint of maple.

Bell's closes out the Planets series with Neptune, a decent but ultimately forgettable spiced stout. There was some good flavor here but it seemed to lack focus with the palate being led in several not necessarily complimentary directions by all of those additives. Still glad to have tried it and happy to see Bell's experimenting.

 1,113 characters

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Neptune (The Mystic) from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 572 ratings