Spring 2012 Bière De Mars - Almanac Beer Co.
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
2.54/5 rDev -30.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5
23 IBU. Spring seasonal. Biere De Mars. Ale Brewed with Fennel. Limited seasonal release March 2012. 06891. Dark Belgian candi sugar is added. Reviewed live. Acquired at a local SoCal beer store within the last month; I guess bottles of this have sat out. Expectations are average. 7% ABV confirmed.
1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with pull-slip foil covering a generic pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Label advises to use a tulip instead of a pint glass; sorry, Almanac - all I have is a pint glass. I would care more if the 5 or so other beers I'd had from them were really impressive, but that wasn't the case.
Served cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: Pours a three finger beige colour head of decent smooth cream, decent thickness, and pretty good (~4 minute) retention for the highish ABV. Body colour is a rather pale copper. Translucent and transparent. Not particularly vibrant. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It's typical yet underwhelming for the style.
Sm: Generic bland floral hops. Pale malts. Pleasant biscuity yeasty notes. Honey. Clove. Light candi sugar. Crystal malt. A touch of spice. I don't get any of the plum fruit, figs, or anise allaged by the label. A very light aroma that doesn't bring much to the table. It's pleasant, but timid. Sort of sells itself short. No alcohol is detectable. Maybe a bit of apple? It's a dry aroma.
T: Pleasant juicy apple and pale malts are the first thing I get. Timid bland floral hopping. Crystal malt. A light hint of candi sugar. No plum, no fig, no anise. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. It's rather simple, to its detriment. Decently balanced. There's not a whole lot of flavour here, although it does strengthen right on the finish, where a bit of malty sweetness arises and bolsters it a bit. Too bitter throughout, and especially on the climax. Lacks complexity or subtlety.
Mf: Slightly acidic. Way too dry for the style, preventing it from being refreshing. Uneven. A bit too coarse. Nicely wet. Palate presence is awful; hardly any flavour impacts. Lacks the full body it requires. Carbonation is a bit overdone. Not soft enough.
Dr: Drinkable but forgettable. A pedestrian biere de mars from Almanac. This "brewery" is largely unimpressive. I definitely wouldn't bother with this again. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, either. It's not that it's really that bad - it isn't. It's just so boring and bland. So much more can be done with this style. I'd pass on this one. Such mediocre beers oughtn't be supported. Why brew this?
Serving type: bottle
03-07-2013 05:23:44 | More by kojevergas
3.93/5 rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Thanks to eyebereej for this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into CCB pint glass.
A: Mostly clear, copper to brown with a 1 1/2 finger white head and medium visible carbonation.
S: Pilsner malt, caramel sweetness, and just a bit of anise in the background.
T: Caramel malts, pilsner malts, and a bit of spicy attenuation, maybe from the fennel? Black licorice flavor is noticeable as well, but doesn't overtake the rest of the beer. Then a dry finish that almost puckers the mouth.
M: Lighter body, a good amount of carbonation sensation, and no alcohol presence.
O: This is pretty tasty, and a nice surprise for a beer I didn't know existed before. It doesn't blow me away or anything, but I would drink another if I found it on tap somewhere.
Serving type: bottle
10-14-2012 16:23:58 | More by macrosmatic
3.63/5 rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Very clear light amber body with a white sudsy head that dissipates to a ring of pancake bubbles and leaves copious, thick sticky lacing.
Smells of caramel/toast malt and sweet brown sugar. A fennel note is there (light anise), but it is dominated by the malt.
Tastes of caramel/toasted malt with a metallic coppery/cola note, and fairly sweet. I can taste a bit of fennel/celery, but it is subtle--I get a little anise in the finish. Tastes moderately hoppy: it has a slightly bitter and grassy/noble hop finish that is long and a little tongue numbing after 2/3 of a glass. The fennel and the hops are interacting in the finish.
The body is medium and the malt sugar makes it seem heavier. Carbonation is moderate, just enough to give it a slightly creamy mouthfeel.
The Almanac seasonals always seem to pack a little more punch than the ABV level says, and this is the case here. Overall, this is a pretty malt forward, sweet bière de garde that is somewhat balanced by fennel and hops. As it warms up and I approach the bottom of the glass, the fennel flavor becomes more evident, but it is still too sweet malt dominated. I confess I am not much a fan of sweet malt beers, yet this has enough complexity to make it an interesting go. Still, it seems almost bordering on a barleywine to me, and maybe that is alright for some bières de garde (can't say I have had many). But I would like this better if it weren't quite as sweet as it is, and then maybe the fennel flavor would be a little more accessible.
Serving type: bottle
10-02-2012 01:31:39 | More by Beerenauslese
4.13/5 rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
so interesting.... made with fennel(?).
pours a golden color with a golden(?) tinted creamy head. used to a white or tan head, but dont recall a golden tinted head. tiny carbonation bubbles rise from the 'recommended' tulip glass ( i always wanted to try pouring it into two different type glasses to see how much of a difference it actually makes) and a slight haziness from the sediment at the bottom. loose, wet lacing down the sides with each draw....
i'm getting a saisson kind of smell from the glass with some pepper but the taste is more malty and their website says it's a candi sugar taste i should be expecting? like belgian ales? it's a little bitter around the sides of the tongue, and the sweetness in the middle reminds me how much i like the doppelbocks.adding the sediment at the end on the 2nd pour of the large bomber-sized bottle adds some different, yeasty bitterness.
overall, it's a good product and i would like to try more from this brewery. it's still the standard microbrewery-calling-itself-craftbeer and it's not all that refined, but it's a decent product. it is a beautiful looking beer and pours well but the taste is just kind of standard fare.
Serving type: bottle
09-30-2012 00:20:06 | More by pkalix
Spring 2012 Bière De Mars from Almanac Beer Co.
83 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.