Bell's Mars (The Bringer Of War) - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Mars (The Bringer Of War)Bell's Mars (The Bringer Of War)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,058 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,058
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.68%
Wants: 122
Gots: 202 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mothman on 06-27-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Mars is the first beer release in the "Planet Series," inspired by the symphony written by composer Gustav Holst. Mars is a Double IPA with an intense hop profile and malty backbone. The hop flavor and aroma is complex, with notes of tropical fruit, pine, and citrus. A generous addition of Munich malt gives Mars it's toasty, deep malt character.

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second smallest planet in the Solar System, after Mercury. Named after the Roman god of war, it is often described as the "Red Planet" because the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth. The rotational period and seasonal cycles of Mars are likewise similar to those of Earth, as is the tilt that produces the seasons. Mars is the site of Olympus Mons, the second highest known mountain within the Solar System (the tallest on a planet), and of Valles Marineris, one of the largest canyons. The smooth Borealis basin in the northern hemisphere covers 40% of the planet and may be a giant impact feature. Mars has two known moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are small and irregularly shaped.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,058 | Reviews: 118
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -2.9%

From a bottle, pours a hazy dark golden orange with a full fluffy pure white head. There is alot of carbonation and bubbles.

The nose is resin and pine followed by mango and more citrus. The nose is really balanced without a dominating hop characteristic overpowering the other. You can also really pull out the malt backbone with a little caramel and biscuit.

The flavor is citrus zest, tropical fruit, heavy malt and moderately sweet. The alcohol is very present and hits you from the beginning. Lots of pine, mango and resin on the bitter citrus rind finish.

This is good, I like it, but I am torn because it is an absolutely palate crusher. After drinking the whole bottle, I can pull away one characteristic I loved above the rest. Not because everything is perfect, but rather because every flavor or note seemed to be fighting each other. Don't expect to taste anything after this.

Photo of Nugganooch
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to my FW snifter glass
Notes taken on 09/07/14

A: Pour is red like the planet. Okay maybe more like a nice crimsoned amber color with a considerable amount of haze running through the body. A dense layer of cakey tan suds forms over and holds true for quite a while. Super sticky lacing webs across the glass after every sip.

S: The nose brings some serious caramelized pineapple character. Sweet and fruity just like pineapple syrup with a all of that sticky Crystal malt presence. There is some further hops of pine and citrus lying underneath. Really quite fruity with plenty of sugary malt there.

T: The flavor is super juicy in both malt sweetness and resinous hops. I get a fruity mélange of pineapple, mandarin orange, lemon-lime and assorted stone fruits, with a light tropical presence. The beer has an upper level of bitterness to it and some softer notes of pine surfacing. There is plenty of malt to go around but in good balance and this all comes together like a pineapple cake. Really nice with some alcohol warmth noted on the back end.

M: Thicker more moderate to full bodied but with good carbonation to keep it creamy on the palate. High level of perceived bitterness with some light drying towards the finish. Sticky and resinous with a good deal of alcohol warmth.

D: More of a sippin’ DIPA right here. Big in every way. I don’t think I could drink much of this one but I did enjoy it quite a bit. Really interested in what hops were utilized cause man Dat Pineapple! I think the Planet Tour series is an awesome idea and now that we get Bells distributed here in SoCal I can’t wait to try the others.

Photo of SerialTicker
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 7/31 and poured 8/18. $2.19 single purchased at The Lager Mill in Frankenmuth, Michigan. First time being there -- I'd go back and recommend and beer aficianado go there as well. Very nice selection, and great prices. I have a feeling a single bottle of this would've costed $3 at my normal store.

Appearance: Beautiful looking beer. Semi-aggressive pour gave a pillow-y three finger head and left behind a lot of lacing right at the start. The color is that of our fourth planet as well and there's a slight haze. Appropriate choice of beer for "the red planet." (4.5/5)

Smell: Assertive, I'd say. A lot of malt, earthy hops with stone fruit undertones, and then a surprising amount of alcohol in there as well -- certainly not hidden, at least on the nose. Do I mind? No, not really... especially since the text under Mars says "The Bringer of War." Not off-putting with the amount of alcohol in this one, but be ready for it. It's there even when the beer's fresh out of the fridge. (4/5)

Taste/feel: Absolutely outstanding... Bell's has still got it, no doubt about it. Huge DIPA... loads of malt (as you may guess from the color alone), but there's a heap of hops in there as well with a quite bitter and super dry finish. Super sweet on the front thanks to the Munich malt, but then it's fresh-as-hell earthy and herbal hops with a suck-your-mouth-dry alcoholic finish. I'm normally turned off by the flavor of alcohol in most beers (most especially DIPAs), but it works here for some reason... it really does. The feel of Mars is a bit heftier than medium, not quite heavy. Carbonation is moderate, but at the same time, it's not prickly? It's very nice though. I basically already said it, but the finish is dry, yet sticky and resinous. (4.5/5, 4.5/5)

A fabulous start to the Planet Series, and an utterly outstanding DIPA overall period. A reviewer below me mentioned that it reminded him of Space Cake by Clown Shoes -- this tastes a bit different (maybe even BETTER), but there is a definite similarity between the two.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

i am temped to call this more of an american barleywine or hoppy strong ale, rather than a double ipa, i mean, its just so distinct and different from any big ipa i can think of. its rust colored, glowing an eerie halloween orange, with a permanent and thick white head. the nose is tons of burnt sugars and candied orange peel with a unique mix of malt sweetness and citrus bitterness combining beautifully. the alcohol is there, but its reserved and most intense in the finish when the other flavors are also at their apex. the body is thick and stocky, not oily and sticky like west coast ipa, but just like barleywine. no appreciable yeast character here, but its not missed. the candied orange hop thing is all i taste in the flavor, and once i start to consider it, i fixate on it, and cant get anything but it, which is fine because its incredibly good. id love to know more about the hops used and the schedule, its unique in flavor and feel to me. i think this sort of goes beyond the style conventions into a new realm of hoppy beer, which i totally dig. radical evolution and sensational beer.

Photo of KevinGordon
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%

This beer was 2 months old by the time it was distributed to NC. Very disappointing malt bomb

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewing from notes after drinking this on 9/6/14. Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with a bottling date of 7/31/14. I do wish Bell's beers got to our market a little quicker. Poured into a Speigelau IPA-specific glass.

Appearance (4.5) - A decadently beautiful beer, with a fantastic reddish-orange hue showing notes of scarlet and rust. Combined with a hazy dusting that is drifting down through the liquid, the body emulates the very planet from which the beer takes its name and mimics the picture on the label. Atop sits two fingers of tight orange-cream colored foam that retains for quite some time before dissipating to a healthy collection of film across the surface and spotted streaks of lacing.

Smell (4.0) - A pleasant blend of pine and herbal notes complemented by a considerable tropical fruit presence. Mango, passionfruit and pineapple are all dancing around alongside a great base of grain and malt, with notes of barley, caramel and biscuit all coming through quite clearly.

Taste (4.0) - Picking up where the aroma left off, there are nice notes of mango and pineapple alongside fainter notes of pineapple, and now some tangerine citrus that I didn't get initially on the nose. As before, the malty grain presence balances out the big pungent hop profile and depth-creating bitterness. Sweet caramel and toasted biscuit cause this one to border on that "red IPA" territory, which I suppose is fitting for a DIPA named after the red planet.

Mouthfeel (3.75) - Medium-to-full bodied, with moderate carbonation and lingering bittersweetness. My only real complaint about this beer is that the body seems to overpower some of the more delicate aspects of this beer and makes it feel a bit heavy on the tongue. Perhaps that's a good thing for a late summer to fall IPA.

Overall (4.0), a very nice beer, and while I know it's not intended to be compared directly, I like it much better than The Oracle, which is another Bell's DIPA that came out right about the same time. This one has more depth of character to keep my interest through the entire 12 oz. I'm not a huge Bell's fan, but this is definitely one of my more liked beers from their portfolio. I hope the rest of the series is as good.

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/31/2014. Pours hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, orange peel, lemon zest, pineapple, floral, grass, light pine, toast, caramel, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, floral, grass, light pine, toast, caramel, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, light pine, toast, caramel, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark malt sweetness; with a great crisp malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent DIPA. All around great complexity and balance of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of blackcompg
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Appearance - Pours 2 quick fingers of rich golden foam, body is a gorgeous hazy orange amber, and there are wonderful thick chunky lace rings left after each quaff.

Smell - Starts with rich caramels, then alot of tropical scents of mango, peaches and nectarines, then sweet citrus like blood oranges. There is a wonderful floral scent in the background too.

Taste - The first sip is nearly akin to taking a bunch of fully bloomed flowers, covered in pollen and dripping with nectar and placing it into your mouth..!!! This is one of the most floral forward DIPA's I've ever had, but right behind this is a tropical explosion of all the previously mentioned flavors of mango, peach, nectarines and some citrusy ripe oranges. The floral aspects keep the tropical, citrus, and caramel backing (caramel is mostly in the nose) from getting overly sweet and keeps these flavors balanced. Then moments after you swallow there is a lightly chalky floral dryness, along with the bitterness of peach pits and dry citrus pith. The 10.1% ABV is completely hidden - amazing.

Mouthfeel - This is leaning towards the heavier side of medium, there is definitely a bit of weight hear, but not lingering or mouth coating in the least. Flavors are very bold and powerful, yet there is a medium carb here that is silky smooth, and foams across the tongue with just enough edges and scrub to leave you with a wonderfully dry and bitter finish - literally begging the next quaff...

Overall -I typically don't care for such a floral forward DIPA, but Bell's has managed to add some strong tropical and citrus flavors that end up being so balanced and so complimentary. This is very different from Oracle and Hopslam, but it is fantastic. If you come across this pick up a few of these, I really don't think you'll be disappointed.

Photo of barhoc11
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Nice differentiation for Bell's in the DIPA game but I wouldn't say it's any better than normal west coast DIPA's you can get off the shelf. I would drink this for sure but I am not going out of my way for it.

Photo of bsp77
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy, fiery orange with thick, foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Definite hop oils in the aroma. Tart grapefruit, orange, pine and tropical notes. Some caramel as well.

Taste: Somewhat sweet malty core of caramel and bread. But the star is the hops, with loads of grapefruit, orange, pine and tropical notes. More hoppy and oily than bitter.

Feel: Carbonation mostly in check. Full body that is surprisingly creamy. Oily and boozy with a dry finish.

Overall: Simply stunning. I wish that this would take the place of Oracle on a yearly basis.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Amber to orange in color with a cloudy profile. A half inch of khaki colored head rests on top. Brussels lacing. Prominent citrus hop aroma is present. The flavor is razor sharp bitter citrus hops with a light malt backbone fighting to keep this beast in check. The mouth is a bit sticky and chewy with a nice deep hoppy bitter burn.

Photo of MattyG85
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice. Bottled on 07/31/14.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber orange with a hint of red. Moderate amount of bubbles and a solid two finger off white head with decent retention. Leaves a s good amount of lacing.

Smell: A juicy, sweet, and earthy hop forward aroma with big hints of citrus, pine, and caramel. Juicy citrus hop presence with hints of orange peel, mango, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, and tangerine. Lots of earthy and herbal hops with hints of grass and pine resin. Big malt presence with sweet hints of caramel, biscuit, cracker, and yeast. A very solid juicy and oily hop driven aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a nicely sharp and juicy hop driven taste with big notes of citrus, pine, and caramel malt. Upfront citrus hops with ripe and bitter notes of grapefruit, orange peel, mango, lemon, pineapple, and tangerine. Dank notes of pine resin and grassy hops. Solid malt backing presence with notes of sweet caramel, cracker, biscuit, and yeast. Nicely bitter and oily. A very good hoppy taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, oily, chewy, and very drying on the finish. Alcohol is felt but the heat is fairly mild.

Overall: Another great Double IPA from Bell’s that stands well with the Oracle and Hopslam. Nice big mix of citrus and piney hops with a nice caramel malt backing.

Photo of chinchill
3.69/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle (thanks BH!) poured deep amber in color. Slightly hazy and a trace of sediment left on the bottom of the bottle. Decent head has OK retention and leaves very good lacing.

This strongly flavored ale is bitter and hoppy; appropriate to DIPA style and perhaps extreme, but not obviously over the top. Some balancing malt sweetness makes an occasional appearance. Moderately complex with hints of honey, toffee, lime, pineapple, orange, grapefruit and pine.

Although the high ABV is partially hidden, particularly in the aroma, it does lend some harshness to the mouthfeel and lends a barleywine quality to the taste.

Photo of Auraan
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Poured a rich, cloudy orange body with no real head to speak of. It looks rather nice, though not the greatest looking DIPA. Scents of pine resin, orange flesh and peel, resinous, vegetal hops, fruity esters, tropical fruit and a bit of tangerine and a tiny hint of alcohol. Overall impression is of a very nice DIPA that combines all the usual aromas of the style wonderfully and is quite appealing. Flavor begins with moderate bitterness with hop flavor notes of pine resin, tangerine, orange peel and orange flesh, along with a bit of mango balanced by a nice sweet pale malt and honey-like sweetness. This moves into a middle that is still moderate in bitterness, with pine resin, tangerine, orange zest, earthy herbal hops and a bit of alcohol mingling with nice pale malt. Finish is moderately dry with notes of pine resin, tangerine, tropical fruit, earthy, herbal hops, orange zest, alcohol and pale malt. Overall impression is of an excellent complex DIPA that is modestly bitter, pleasantly sweet, and slightly boozy to combine in a nice whole. Aftertaste is pine resin, orange zest and pale malt. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation and a smooth, resinous feel with a slight alcohol burn. Overall impression is of a good DIPA that has all the aroma and flavor expected from the style, with a nice mouthfeel aiding it. A very nice DIPA and well worth seeking out.

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Decent double IPA. Not too sweet or too malty. Kind of average in the iipa world.

Photo of Roguer
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good looking beer: deep peach/copper brew, thick and hazy, nearly opaque through the center. Topped by a modest light cream head. Retention is good, and lacing is quite nice.

Brown sugar and caramel malt rise to the nose, balanced against strong citrus and pine hop notes.

Sweet and malty brew, reminiscent of Brown Shugga. Caramelized brown sugar and toasted malt stand out, while the hops are represented by big pine resin and a bit of citrus juice and peel. Very bitter.

Lively and sticky brew; moderate body; alcohol heat really takes a while to build up, despite 10% ABV, and isn't at all present in the mouth. Long finish has the hops smacking around your lips for quite a while.

At almost two months old, this beer has the malt backbone to really hold up. Unfortunately, I'm sure the hop aroma is a shadow of itself. While it by no means has fallen off a cliff, I'd love to have had a chance to try this really fresh.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4/5  rDev -2.9%

This beer certainly comes from a great pedigree. 12oz. bottle into a Founders snifter.

Pours a rich, 1 finger light cream colored head with decent retention. Beer is a clear orange mahogany. Lacing is stringy, thick and spotty with good stick. Nice.

Nose is soapy, floral, sweet and hoppy. Hints of citrus, resin and pine. Some cane sugar sweetness too. Aromatic too.

Opens brown sugar, molasses, citrus, resin and pine hop bitterness. Some pear and orange as well as grapefruit and more resin and pine in the middle. Finishes with a big malt profile. Really enjoyable.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and substantial in the mouth and slightly boozy going down. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste.

This is no Hopslam... but its actually close. Certainly a beer that I could revisit over and over again.

Photo of dparker7
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Might be the smoothest Double IPA ever

Photo of Vonerichs
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Hazy rusty orange. White head, good retention, small amount of spotty lacing.

Very floral, pine, sweet mango. Considerable toasty malt.

It tastes very similar to their other seasonal dipas, hopslam withstanding. Lots of tropical and floral flavors with a strong malt backbone.

Heavy body, full and smooth mouthfeel.

A very good DIPA, but is a bit repetitive of their other dipas like oracle and double trouble.

Photo of larryarms847
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Pours a brilliant red orange, very much like Mars indeed.

Vibrant and upfront tropical fruits, citrus, and slight earthiness.

Tropical and citrus fruits are in your face with a slight nutty maltiness that balances it smooth. Damn tasty.

Mouthfeel is thick, sticky, and resinous, the perfect DIPA.

Overall, this takes the #2 spot of favorite Bell's IPAs right behind Hopslam (obviously).

Photo of deakin
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

On tap at the Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo, MI. Poured into a 16-ounce tulip. Mars has one of the most gorgeous colors on a beer that I have seen. It pours an golden amber color with a half finger of soapy white head. I was impressed by the scent as well; as others have said, you pick up on a bouquet of tropical fruits, predominantly mango, peach, and even a bit of strawberry. The typical pine and grapefruit notes are detectable on the first sip, but overall the taste was not as complex as the scent. The mouthfeel was sticky and pleasantly expansive for a DIPA, which balanced out the alcohol-forward taste quite nicely. As the beer warmed up over the course of a half-hour, the bitter hop notes became much more prevalent over the sweeter notes previously mentioned. Overall this was a very nice take an the style, and a beer I would certainly recommend to those looking for a variety of mixed fruit notes alongside a high ABV.

Photo of Rutager
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks Weezy69 from!!

Appearance. Pours a hazy orange-gold with almost two fingers of thick ivory head.

Smell. Sweet caramel candy, dried mango and sweet citrus fruits. Quite sweet and malty with some nice fruity hops. Not usually my kind of ipa but smells really great.

Taste. Again, sweet caramel but not in a bad way, nice sweet orange and lemon with a little bitter rind. Maybe some tropical fruits, honey and floral hops as well.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, low+ carbonation.

Overall. Good stuff. Like I mentioned, sweeter maltier ipas aren't usually my thing but this is pretty decent.

Photo of n2185
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%

A: Pours a slightly hazy honey color with two fingers of cream-colored head that fades into a frothy ring with good lacing.

S: Sweet citrus like oranges, nectarines, apricots, and a bit of pineapple along with caramel and vanilla.

T: Sweet citrus with nectarine and orange flavors along with caramel malts dominate with a bit of grapefruit towards a finish that is sweet and only lightly bitter.

M: Medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer is sticky sweet feeling.

O: An alright beer, overall. The bottle is unfortunately a bit over a month old at this point, but it just showed up in the area. It is a bit too sweet and has the feel of a barleywine rather than a DIPA.

3.77/5  rDev -8.5%

Beautiful deep amber body, almost resin like in tone. Head is an inch of foamy fluffy off white head. Retention is very nice as it stays around for a good amount of time and leaves scattered lace as it slowly fades.

Nose is intertwined doses of malty sweetness and hoppy citrus rind along with a resin based sappy feel.

With first sip I get rhubarb and raw vegetable notes. There is distinct citrus rind tones as well. The malt plays to really accentuate the odd vegetative feel to the body of this beer. I had this beer very fresh on tap about a month ago and remember it being much more dynamic.

Mouthfeel builds on that raw vegetable feel as the hops are vegetable based in the flavors that they yield. Overall this the first of the planet series missed a little for me.

Photo of jmunsters
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unlike Hopslam and The Oracle, this is the first DIPA I've had from Bell's that is mellow on the tongue. In fact, it's so well-balanced, there is almost no way to feel how boozy it actually is unless you take a big mouthful. This is scaringly drinkable. The heavy Munich malts really balance out the hop selection here. Carbonation is limited, but a decent head sticks with a strong pour.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Bell's Mars (The Bringer Of War) from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
92 out of 100 based on 1,058 ratings.