Bells Brewery Saturn The Bringer Of Old Age (11.5%)

12oz bottle served in a snifter.
Preamble: When we moved from Ohio to San Diego last September, there was the question of what to do with all the beers I'd been aging. Some, I gave away to fellow beer pals, others I just couldn't part with, thus 120-odd bottles made the 2,300 mile journey with us to the west coast.

Bell's Saturn The Bringer Of Old Age was one of them - actually, two as I'd managed to snag two of them when Bell's released it. Saturn was one of a series of seven beer styles that Michigan-based Bell's released over 12-months. The seven bottle series celebrated Gustav Holst's seven-movement The Planets suite. I grew up near Cheltenham and Holst's splendid house off Pittville Park was always a visit during the summer months.

Saturn The Bringer Of Old Age was an 11.5% Barley Wine aged in Bourbon barrels. You couldn't miss the hefty bourbon nose which gave way to a rich, silky smooth body of caramel, horse chestnuts, Christmas Pudding, dark fruit (especially dates) and soft bourbon notes. Cinnamon and Dundee marmalade also found their way into the mix, with a touch of aniseed joining a reprise of caramel, dates and bourbon in the long and lingering finish.

This was a very special, mellow Barley Wine, which went down well with an aged Cheddar Cheese and Carr's Table Water Crackers.

We'll see how the second bottle compares in about six-months.
Sounds wonderful, Ian. I do enjoy your notes on US beers, even if some of them are unlikely to make it over here. Are you finding the San Diego beer scene significantly better than Columbus?
Thanks Mark, for your kind words. Yes, absolutely significantly better than Columbus. There's over 85 craft breweries in San Diego County alone and that's before you take in the pubs and bars. If a brewery doesn't have its own restaurant, then most of the time they'll have a food truck parked outside. The new AleSmith location prides itself on having TWO food trucks!

Columbus was always somewhat behind the times in the brewing world and I believe that having a statewide beer alcohol ceiling of 12.5% has contributed to the slow growth. Certainly, it's been a barrier to other brewing companies (Stone being the prime example) from building a Midwest brewery in Ohio. That said, some quality Columbus breweries have popped up and it certainly hasn't stopped BrewDog from building their first-ever US brewery in Columbus in 2016.

The one thing I do miss is the Midwest and east coast beers that don't distribute out as far as California, but that aside, this part of the country is truly a beer-lovers dream.
This beer sounds wonderful. I love the names that USA breweries give their beers. It would be interesting to know what type of beer was the bringer of war.
Alan - Funny you should mention Mars The Bringer Of War as that's the only other one in the limited-edition series that I got a chance to taste.

Mars was a 10.1% Double IPA. Lots of tropical flavours balanced with Munich malt.

Yes, our American cousins can really come up with some classic beer names. Somewhere in my notes I have a review of Against The Grain Brewing Co Citra Ass Down IPA!