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Bière De Mars - Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Not Rated.
Bière De MarsBière De Mars

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

488 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 488
Reviews: 200
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 100
Gots: 69 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-05-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 488 | Reviews: 200 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by spoony:
Photo of spoony
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 750 ml bottle to a wine glass.

A-A normal pour produces just less than a finger of white head. The retention is short and the beer leaves no lacing on the glass. The brew is dark honey in color and sort-of murky, dirty-water in appearance.

S-The aroma is musty and subtle with suggestions of wine vinegar, white grape, and green apple tartness. The malt aromas are caramel with a slight spice and dough flavor that reminds me of fruit cake. I'm not sure I'm into it.

T-The taste, like the smell, is a bit jumbled. I taste malt flavors like toffee, prune, and a musty wet wheat flavor. I also taste pear and apple fruit, and the aforementioned white grape. The fruitcake spice is still there too, lurking in the background with some white vinegar tartness. It is complex, but not in a good way.

M-The feel is medium in body with a smooth carbonation that stays active on my palate.

O-I had a hard time getting into this beer. There is just so much going on that I am not sure it all fits together. Between the tartness (that is typical of Jolly Pumpkin), the strange malt flavors, and the lighter flavors of apple and pear, it feels and tastes a bit odd to me. Oh well, I can see the appeal, but this beer is not for me.

spoony, Jul 22, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Man you gotta love the labels of the Jolly Pumpkin beers,this one poured a nice chesnut brown wich looked great when held up to the light a lighter fast dissapating head atop.The complexities of in the aroma are unbelievable,big orange zest with a number of herbs including sage and clove and quite musty.A beer to sit and savor and drink with food like cassoulet like me today,herbal and musty with a sour orange note in the finish.Much more to this beer than what I wrote I just dont take the time to type it all out,I absolutely love this beer.

oberon, May 08, 2006
Photo of tectactoe
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Mike for splitting this with me since it seems to have disappeared rather quickly from shelves this year. It pours murky and brown, akin to swamp water with opacity turned all the way up. The yellow-ish, beige-ish cream cap fizzles swiftly into a thin layer that covers the top of this boisterous and somewhat ugly brew.

The aroma is relatively fundamental in terms of its components; apple skins, faint cherries, mild vinegar, dry oak, and a stingy, lactic sourness. Nothing incredibly off the wall or obscure, but it's the refinement of these simple elements to form an exceedingly pleasing nose when combined that's so captivating here. The mild corky and wet-hay funk, a la Jolly Pumpkin, is a nice finishing touch.

You get a nice acidic, sour bite up front from the very first sip that comes hand in hand with a mountain of oak barrel. The amount of dry oak in the flavor profile is astounding, and despite it's ominous presence, it never washes out other flavors or becomes too overpowering, rather it provides an incredibly stable and reliable backdrop for everything else.

Apple skins, ripe and mushy grapes, light cherries, sharp vinegar, musty florals, and damp cellar funk, all collaborate and play together so nicely among the still-heavy garden of oak that has a lasting presence throughout. The up-front, sharp tartness mellows out rather quickly to a more subtle, mildly astringent sweetness that fades into the once again oak-dominated, uber-dry and funky finish. The crisp carbonation helps this beer scrape every ounce of fluid from your palate in the end.

What a wonderfully delicious treat, and one of my favorite "non grand reserve and/or super limited release" beers from Jolly Pumpkin. Very drinkable with a nice tartness that I'd place somewhere halfway between La Roja and the Biere de Mars Grand Reserve. Such a heavy oak presence on the palate, but it works to strangely well. I will be hard on the look out for more of this one, and will be damn sure to buy as many bottles as I can find each time it comes out.

tectactoe, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

t2grogan, Oct 08, 2014
Photo of atomeyes
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

No need to go into details. This beer is absolutely incredible. I wish i could drink a bottle every day. it would be my elixir.

Amazing tartness, relatively complex. One of the better sours I've had.

the only thing that sucked? i had it in the fridge for 30 min. not long enough. i forgot that JP beers are gushers. hot damn.

atomeyes, May 19, 2012
Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

SkiBum22, Jun 11, 2014
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A new bottle of Jolly Pumpkin is always a delight to this beer lover. The Biere De Mars pours from the 750ml hand labeled bottle a deep reddish brown with nice clarity and lots of active carbonation. A two finger cap of tight bubbly off white foam sticks to the top and draws me in. Aromas begin with a burst of spicy, earthy yeast tones. Caramel, brown sugar and sour fruit predominate (apple, cherry, grape skin). Underneath there's a nice dry, woodiness that's a touch wild and funky. Classy.

First sip brings a big fruity, caramelized maltiness. There's a big grape skin flavor with hints of apple and sour cherry. Spicy yeast intertwines and brings in an earthy, musty aspect to the brew. It flows down a bit dry with a well paced oak flavor. A touch funky with a slight touch of acidic vinegar. This is a tasty beer.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the lighter side, smooth and refreshing with a just enough bubbles. Keeps me coming back for more. I'd have to say this is one of my favorite JP brews so far and perfect for a 50 degree March day. Thanks to marburg for the opportunity. I'm planning on doing a Michigan trip this summer and can't wait to visit JP!

orbitalr0x, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of sabitu
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

sabitu, Sep 02, 2014
Photo of warnerry
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Blend 2; bottled 2/24/10; notes from 4/25/11

A - A bit of a foamer on opening. Pours copper with two fingers of head that dissipate quickly and fade to a collar.

S - Nice lemony tartness, along with a subtle earthy funk. I am a bit surprised by the subtlety of the aroma, but what is there is very nice.

T - Wonderful lemon tart pucker on the first taste. Earthy on the finish. Leaves a lingering bitterness composed of both earthiness and lemon zest. Actually quite refreshing. This might be my favorite from Jolly Pumpkin.

M - Light/medium mouthfeel is nice and crisp with pleasant carbonation.

O - Definitely a winner from JP. I would love to try the Grand Reserve.

warnerry, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of Afroman
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Afroman, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of Beaver13
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Pours a hazy copper-orange with a fizzy white head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves some fine lacing.

The aroma is oak, pepper, some hops and bready malts with some sour sweet-tarts.

The flavor is some bready malts and grassy hops with a little tart sourness. The finish is a weird muted bitterness that tastes kind of off. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly watery with some sharp fizzy carbonation.

Overall, a decent beer. So far it's my least favorite JP beer. I would've like to see a little more sourness, and less of the off bitter finish. As it warmed, it did smooth out some.

Beaver13, May 23, 2007
Photo of dgfool
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

dgfool, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of merlin48
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle pours a hazy golden copper body with an enormous offwhite head that falls into a meringue. Excellent retention and splotchy clump lacing.

Aroma is subdued for a Jolly Pumpkin ale but quite good. Soft exotic spices, yeast, lime, mint, and oak.

Mouthfeel has a light medium body with a crisp velvety carbonation.

Taste has a hint of malt sweetness which quickly gives way to lasting dryness. Fresh cut lemons, earthy yeast, subtle oak woodiness, mint, dry lime, and soft exotic spices weave into a satisfying blend. This one really gets a lot better as it warms.

Extremely drinkable and remarkably complex.

merlin48, May 26, 2007
Photo of Mora2000
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to djrn2 for sending me this beer off my wants list. Batch 256.

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is very nice. I get a lot of dark fruit, with some plums and cherries standing out the most. I also get some caramel malt.

The flavor is full of tart apples and tart cherries, as well as some yeast and a little bit of funk. The toffee malt adds a touch of sweetness to the flavor profile, which goes well with the tart fruit notes. Overall, a little more sour than I expected it to be. Very enjoyable overall.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Cynic-ale, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of doremite
4/5  rDev -3.8%

doremite, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of williamjbauer
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

williamjbauer, May 26, 2013
Photo of ADR
3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

More or less translucent brownish chesnut color on the first pour. Small struggling head with not much going on in staying-power. Lace is much better, good rings on the glass. Orange-ade aroma, slightly estery with a bare yeastiness, but not that much. A little uncarbonated and flat (or is that just this bottle?), mouthfeel is lighter. Starts out with the characteristic Jolly Pumpkin sharpness with funky tones. Middle impression spreads out a little bit, slightly chalky bitter with mandarin orange and mellon notes. But the finish is a let-down, seems to fade to a definite wateriness that's not helped by the lack of carbonation -- not much but a bare tartness remains. Mildly warming in the stomach. Meh, not a favorite for me.

ADR, May 05, 2006
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appears a burgundy burnt caramel amber hue with a large tan beige head forming with fine even lacing around my glass of course tiny bubbles cling to the glass and head has nice retention, with even Belgian style lacing left behind on my chalice. Aromatics bring tart with spicy funk reminiscent Jolly Pumpkin tones but the tart aspect rains supreme and brings with it some fruity vinous notes combining a cherry and raisin nose about it of course the wood aging and spice additions openly fermented all way into the wave of different characteristics this beer is capable of. Flavors a blend of sweet lactic tinged cherry juice with oak barrel woody and pine notes coming out. Underlying spice and horse blanket funk and yogurt like tang. Really a fine beer by the way you almost need cheese and crackers to pair with this beer, it really cuts through it all quite nicely. If any hops are detectable they come off like herbal earthy cherry pits, by the way this stuff goes so well with food. Completely clears all fat from the palate mouthfeel is fine bubble carbonation streaking effortlessly leaving a dry tart lactic tone on my tongue. Sounds not so good, right? But when it comes down to it, this characteristic blends so well with so many other familiar flavors that I'm not accustomed to. Drinkability is really effortless the bottle drains itself just pair this fine brew with some food and everything will come together for you, definitely a delicious brew that I'm ready to handle any time. Worth the hype on this one, I still love Jolly Pumpkin like the first time I tasted their beers, now that''s love.

WVbeergeek, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of jtladner
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

jtladner, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of jeonseh
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle of Batch 256 and poured into my Bell's tulip glass.

A - a rather cleary and a bit watery. Color is a mix of brown and crimson. Has a good bit of carbonation flowing though it as well. There is also a nice head that I would say is a light bronze color and leaves some nice lacing as well.

S - smells is a tart cherry with a hint of lemon as well. The cherry tartness and even what I would call red wine vinegar is really what dominates the nose. There is a slight hint of oak as well.

T - The taste is at first cherry that comes on strong. There is a slight bit of funk that comes in the middle before a hint of lemon comes in. The funk is a big whiff of brett that gives blends in well the rest of the flavors. Also has a slight hint of lemon grass and vinegar in there as well that comes in before the aftertaste starts out strong.

MF - The mouthfeel has a nice hint of carbonation of it. The body is medium and a little light but that is what I think you would expect for this style of beer. I wouldn't want this to be any thicker as I don't think it would go well with the flavor profile of it. Has a nice tingly feeling that sticks around on the tongue after you drink it which I think

D - Overall, this is a good beer. The bottle is not hard to finish at all but I think it would really be one of those beers that you either like or hate. You have to like the tart and brett taste of this one to enjoy this beer. If you don't like those flavors, I would avoid this all together. Fortunately, I like tart and funk so I think this is a good beer. Reminds me a bit of the LA Red Poppy even though they are completely different styles.

jeonseh, May 10, 2008
Photo of Shovelbum
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a healthy off-white head of cream that piles up over a light mahogany body. Head recedes fairly quickly leaving nice whirls of lace on the side of my new La Choulette glass. Aromas of caramel malt waft up from the glasss before I even begin proper olfactory investigation. In addition to the substantial caramel malt there are also nice notes of oak and earth- also a hint of alcohol. The oak notes switch with the malt for the lead in the taste, although there is still a respectable amount of sweet malt in here. What else?! The malt is quite complex—a mixture of sweet biscuits and caramel malt with hints of coffee and vinousity. A nice little Brett tartness as well. Very little if any detectable hop characteristics. Warming alcohol. Medium bodied with fairly high carbonation. Drying finish.

I cellared this one for about 4+ months before I cracked it (not all that long, but it was calling me tonight). The 'fresh' samples I've had were much sweeter and less tart- both excellent, but different. Either way this is one of my favorite of Capt. Ron’s creations, and the beer that turned me on to the Biere de Garde style. That being said this is definitely an outlier for the style—not that it matters or that the jovial yet menacing Jolly Pumpkin gives a damn. The oak aging makes itself far more well-known in this brew than its francophone brethren. It’s also quite a bit darker and perhaps a bit thicker bodied. But again, the Pumpkin could care less—and I’m with him.

Shovelbum, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Five Points in Athens, GA.

Pours a good looking color - deep orange in the middle that lightens up around the edges. The head is two-fingers of big-bubbled white foam that recedes pretty quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. Not much lacing.

Smells good. Tart fruits are the most prevalent but even that isn't terribly pungent, mostly cherries and apples. There's also a bit of funkiness from the yeast.

Tastes good as well. A fruit flavor that isn't quite sweet starts things off, and it quickly turns mildly tart. It does end with a bit of an earthy sweetness, almost like vanilla, that I assume is from the barrel aging. Somewhere between dry and not dry, but leaning more towards dry.

Mouthfeel is good. Even with the big head the first glass of this was a bit heavy on the carbonation and I would've liked a bit more thickness. However, after pouring the rest of the bottle it calms down it smooths out a bit more.

Drinkability is good. Lots of flavors working very well together make this one go down easily.

Overall I was OK with spending this much money on a beer from a brewery that I wasn't overly impressed with previously. I'll be sure to try more of their beers after this, and you should too.

glid02, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an inverted pear shaped chalice)

A- The deep copper brown body is crystal clear but a bit dense with a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles gliding to the surface. The thick tan head pushes a mushroom cap of foam above the glass and last and last.

S- This beer has a soft brightness of grapefruit and a bit of wet wood and wet basement qualities that are subtle but addictive. It makes me keep sniffing this beer to try to rap my olfactory lobes around this brew.

T- This beer has a big flavor of grapefruit pith with a full flavor of funk with a bit of wet cinder block to it. There is a soft roasted malt hint in the finish that blends into the other flavors but lingers for just a brief moment after the other flavors finish.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a slightly creamy texture that adds to the mystery. No alcohol and no real lambic astringency noted.

D- This beer has a really nice balance of grapefruit and funk with all of the flavors well blended and a bit mysterious. This beer makes me urn for spring and the warm months of sipping great beers.

rhoadsrage, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of Auraan
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a nice cloudy amber with little bits of yeast floating in it and no head. It looks wonderfully rustic and wild, very nice. Scents of sour brett yeast, a slight sweet maltiness and a hint of cinnamon. Not the most intense aroma, but it is nicely subdued and pleasant. Flavor begins with a strong hit of sour brett yeast, quite apple cider vinegar-like, with some lemon notes. The sour flavors override the malty base and make this quite dry upfront. This opens into further sour flavors in the middle, with the addition of an excellent oak undertone that includes hints of oak and vanilla on the palette. Finish is dry and sour with hints of oak. Aftertaste is sour and oak. A very good flavor profile, though not as malty or toasty as a biere de garde normally is, still quite nice. Mouthfeel medium-light bodied with light carbonation and a drying feel. Very nice and easy to drink. Overall this is an excellent sour with a nice bit of underlying complexity in the aroma and flavor. At first glance it seems to be simply sour but as you drink the character of the beer unfolds and becomes nicely complex and very well executed.

Auraan, May 12, 2014
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Bière De Mars from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
93 out of 100 based on 488 ratings.