Appearing in October 2014, Venus The Bringer of Peace is the second beer in The Planets series from Bell’s, a line of brews inspired by Gustav Holst’s seven-movement orchestral suite of the same name. A total of seven beers make up this particular line, with each intended to be released in the same order as Holst’s piece.
- Mars, The Bringer of War – Double India Pale Ale – August 2014
- Venus, The Bringer of Peace – Blonde Ale – October 2014
- Mercury, The Winged Messenger – Belgian Single – December 2014
- Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity – Malt Forward Brown Ale – February 2015
- Saturn, The Bringer of Old Age – Bourbon Barrel-aged Barleywine – April 2015
- Uranus, The Magician – Black Double India Pale Ale – May 2015
- Neptune, The Mystic – Mystical Stout – July 2015
In the musical sense, Venus, with its promise of peace, follows Mars: The Bringer of War and is said to deliver a restful respite from the clamour of its predecessor. Applying this to the two beers in question, Mars was an aggressive double IPA, while Venus is something else altogether. A blonde ale brewed with honey, apricot, cardamom and vanilla, Venus is certainly in stark contrast to Mars, but I’m not so sure it will bring you any measure of peace.
Amber in color with an infusion of gold, there’s no denying that a lot is going on in this beer. Aromas favor the cardamom addition, with fresh fruit, herbal notes and a touch of honey overlaying a base of biscuity malt. The mix is unique and not at all unpleasant, but my first thoughts were that Venus seemed a little more like like a fruit wine or maybe a mulled cider, and not so much like a beer.
From a taste perspective, spice flavors fade into the background while the fruit is much more forward. There’s a fair amount of sweetness through the middle, as the beer takes on a kind of apricot creamsicle character before things level off a bit on the back end. From there, the cardamom lingers along with faint hints of vanilla into a slightly tart finish.