Have you been following the news? I know I have. Astronomy news really, and the flyover of Pluto by the Horizons spacecraft that completes the visitation by the human race to every planet in the solar system. Today, of course, Pluto is said to not really be a planet (there are moons in the Solar System larger than Pluto. It was considered a planet when it was discovered in 1930 though, all the way through the time I was growing up. I think it’s a planet still. Sue me.
I mention this to you now because I’m about to tell you about a delightful ale called Venus: The Bringer of Peace from the Bell’s brewing company of Kalamazoo, Michigan. This series really does not directly commemorate the planets in the Solar System, but more so the music cycle written by composer Gustav Holst that does. Sadly, Pluto did not get a musical score, and as a result won’t get a beer, either (nor will the Earth). That’s because Pluto had yet to be discovered when Holst finished The Planets suite in 1916.
Venus: The Bringer of Peace is the first, and perhaps only, beer in this series I’ll get to try. The last beer, Neptune, comes out this month, but I haven’t seen any of these beers except for Venus. Here’s what Bells says about the beer on their website:
The second release in our Planets Series starts with spicy, fruity and light citrus notes along with herbal notes from cardamom in the aroma. Apricots contribute a very distinct tart character and sweetness from the vanilla rounds out the finish. More than 60 pounds of hand sliced vanilla beans were used to ferment this strong fruit and spice beer with a complex herbal fruit character.
Venus: The Bringer of Peace has a hefty alcohol content of 7.5% by volume and was running $14.99 a six-pack (way high). It’s a one and done for Bells, or so they say, and was released in October of 2014. Mine was packaged on 10/2/2014; I drank it on June 25th of 2015.
Bells Venus: The Bringer of Peace pours to a bright orange amber color with a medium short lived head and a heady nose of rich honey and spicy cardamom. Taking a sip, the beer has a wonderful fruity apricot tartness up front mixed with a hint of caramel malt, luxuriant smooth vanilla and dry spicy cardamom. I get some honey richness and a long dry tartness with sour fruit in the finish. This is a very different beer for sure with perfect balance amongst the spice, but it’s the fruit and spice here that provide all the flavor.
A bit pricey, but worth paying the price for a single to try it. I suspect the same is true of the other entries of the series, so if you see one, be sure to try it.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.