Quick Take: Venus tries to take the concept of the blonde and turn it into something you’ve never experienced before. In that regard, it’s successful. In making it a beer I want to drink again, it fails miserably. There is an audience for it, but I can’t say for certain who it is. All I know is that if this is what peace tastes like, I’ll take war every time.
Brew Facts: Brewed as the second beer inspired by Gustav’s 7 movement suite, The Planets, this blonde represents Venus, the Bringer of Peace. Venus was released alongside Mars, the first beer and the Bringer of War, a tropical, malty DIPA. Next up is a sessionable Belgian single called Mercury, the Winged Messenger.
Appearance: The pour fills the glass with liquid gold. The appearance is flat, watered-down honey with just a hint of bubble film on the surface. The slightest of haze doesn’t really muck up the clarity on what is a nice looking blonde (though I like mine a little more leggy). It’s less straw yellow and more a copper penny in color, but decent looking all the same.
Aroma: A sniff is a face slap of apricot and cardamom. In fact, the intense, floral potpourri of herbs is strong enough that people not even in the room may comment on it. As I live with the aroma, I have fleeting thoughts of tea. The wafting waves of herbs, citrus fruit and honey remind me of gluten-free beers that try to compensate by tossing in a spice rack in hopes of giving a bland beer character. That’s not to say it’s all bad. There is some vanilla bean, but it’s an afterthought compared to the apricot/honey sweet. On the plus side, the smell of vanilla intensifies as it warms.
Taste/Mouth Feel: A sip, and the prophecy of the aroma is fulfilled. There is a weak, but prickly carb to it. The mouth feel has an oily touch that causes it to slick around the mouth. Tangy apricot dominates a rather bland grain bill. It has an overly acidic, floral marmalade finish that overstays its welcome. The sweet honey and apricot is too big, hitting a strange, delicate earthy sweet that cripples the vanilla. Not a cloying level of sweet, but there is tart, tangy, and frankly unpleasant tongue smacking quality that makes this a chore to drink.
Final Thoughts: Venus tries to take the concept of the blonde and turn it into something you’ve never experienced before. In that regard, it’s successful. In making it a beer I want to drink again, it fails miserably. The closest comparison I can think of is a thin gluten-free beer mixed with a lite mead. Have something salty on hand for a palate refresher as the tangy sweet of Venus can wear you down quickly for such a lite drinker. If it isn’t clear, I didn’t care for this, however my wife took to it and finished off the glass. There is an audience for it, but I can’t say for certain who it is. All I know is that if this is what peace tastes like, I’ll take war every time.
Recommendation: Pass it on by.