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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.

495 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 495
Reviews: 200
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 99
Gots: 69 | FT: 11
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)
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Ratings: 495 | Reviews: 200 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mudpuppet
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Pours a hazy amber with a nice pillowy head that sticks around.

S- Nice bretty and fruity nose. Notes of cherry and peaches. Note overly sour or funky. I would say less funky than most JP brews.

T- Starts out fairly bitter with sour cherry notes. This quickly becomes more sweet and fruity then much more astringent and bitter. Nice complex beer but I don't like how the bitterness sticks around in my mouth. Did you notice sour and funky are missing from this Taste review?? I don't find that normal JP funky and sour taste in this beer. There is some of both in here but differently than I expect from JP.

M- Nice carbonation in this beer. Smaller bubbles make it almost creamy but it has a thinner consistency.

D- I like this beer. It pails in comparison to other JP beers I have had but that is entirely relative. They make incredible beer!

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an cloudy amber with one of the most perfect heads I have seen in a long time; thickets of tiny bubbles capping the liquid leave copious webs of lace

Smell: Malty must, with peppery yeast, rotting apples and some grapefruit pith

Taste: Very intriguing opening; spicy sage and pepper phenols with a tart apple/cherry/plum element that turns increasingly sour and musty by mid-palate, with grapefruit pith intermingling with the rotting apple flavors; after the swallow, the oak barrel flavors mellow out while a leathery Brett aftertaste develops

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with buoyantly assertive carbonation

Drinkability: I'll be sad when this one is gone as I cannot remember where I got it (it's been in my cellar for a while) and I haven't seen it recently

Photo of Flyer
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful deep cherry color, translucent near the bottom and becoming darker near the thick, creamy head. Oak on the nose, with huge Belgian floral notes coming through with the first sip. Lots of sourness, with cherry, bitter unripened peach, ans spice in the background.

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.

Photo of brewcrew76
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 256

A - Pours raisin brown with ruby highlights and a thin tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

S - Sweet malt followed by tart apples, cherries, oak and a sour funk.

T - Caramel malt with a tart apples, white grapes, sour cherries and a woody, musty funk.

M - Light and crisp with good carbonation.

D - Another tasty funky beer from JP.

Photo of trevorwideman
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Today is the day after the Ides of March and the day before St. Patrick's, and it's week 'til my birthday. What a perfect evening to pop this one open. Thanks to demcorhip for procuring this beer for me. Poured into a tulip glass.

Pours very tamely compared to other JP beers I've had, which is welcome. Carbonation is medium-low, 1/2 inch of head recedes to some patchy lace fairly quickly. Colour is somewhere in the orange-red-brown area, slight chill haze. Very clean aroma with a crisp, tart, Granny Smith apple character, some funky brett, sharp cheese, peppery hops. Grassy, earthy, hay-like aroma as well with hints of oak.

The taste is acidic up front, tart and sharp and full of funk and cheesiness. Melds nicely into a balancing apple sweetness. There's lots of woody, oaky notes as well with a hint of vanilla, very pleasant. Spicy hop notes, peppery and herbal, meld into a surprising bitterness in the finish, and a hint of mellow malty sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a mellow carbonation that's just about right. A little sticky but not super dry. This a nice sipper for a chilly spring evening, and one I'd like to have again in the future.

Photo of goochpunch
3.4/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled sometime in 07

This was a gusher.

Pours out a hazy to cloudy honeyed amber body with a thick, full head and tons of bubble action in the body. Leaves a lot of lacing. Smells of faint crackery malts and caramel tones underneath loads of funk, fruitiness and spiciness. I get lots of fresh apples, apple cider and apple cider vinegar here. Yeast gives this a spiciness with tones of clove and ceylon cinnamon. I pick up some oranges as well. Flavor is kind of thin in the malt department. Extremely dry. What subtle caramel and toasted malt qualities I got in the nose are even more muted here. Kind of like this has funk for funk's sake and it doesn't mesh as well as with their other beers. Has a weird acrid bitterness in the finish. Has quite a medicinal lingering effect. Mouthfeel is light and spritzy. I usually love JP's offerings, but I'm quite disappointed in this one. Maybe fresher would be better for these, but for a beer touting itself as a stock ale, I would expect better from a beer having been aged for a year under good conditions.

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.

Photo of oakbluff
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Darkness goblet. First off- bottle wasn't a gusher, so that's a minor victory. Ok, now what do we have? Dark reddish oak colour with excellent clarity and fluffy off white head. Nice silky lacing. Nose- a big whiff of that classic JP funk and woodiness. Taste- rich wood and earthiness. Brett presence is felt, but overwhelming sourness. Green apple, crab apple Very dry finish from the wood and some hops show up as well. Reminds of Fantome brew. Various spices in flavour that I can't pick out. The wood has really imparted a lot of flavour and character into this. Carbonation is spritzy and drinkability is high. Very addictive and just great stuff plan and simple.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours chestnut with a great head that sticks around. Great lacing as well. Aromas of sour lemon, and a light graininess as well as sour orange and a touch of wood. The taste is similar, very drinkable with evolving complex flavors of sour and bitter and light overtones of oak. Mouthfeel is smooth and a bit creamy. The carbonation is restrained enough, the body is light enough, and the flavor profile is refreshing enough that you could just suck this one down.

Photo of nickfl
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of thick, creamy white head slowly recedes and leaves massively thick lace. The body is amber-orange and hazy.

S - Sour, funky yeast aroma with a good dose of citrusy hops. Notes of grapefruit, lavender and wet stone.

T - Moderate sourness and a big, wet, funky earth note. Slightly roasted amber malt note in the middle along with significant woodiness; all of which is followed by lots of citrus hop flavors and strong bitterness in the finish.

M - Thick, creamy body with high carbonation. Dry, sour finish.

D - Very refreshing and drinkable. Quite reminiscent of Orval, but with a more pronounced sourness.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gah! What is this nonsense? I'm being spewed on here. Anyway, we later end up with a hazed, reddish-amber body showing plenty of effervescence and topped by a monstrously huge, off-white head. Oh, and don't even get me started on the lacing.

Smell: Altogether musty aroma with notes of oak planks, caramel malts, dried fruits, funk-bringing yeast, and even a few mint leaves.

Taste: Caramel maltiness at first with a delicate sweetness that is quickly ensnared by a sharp sourness and bracing woodiness. Fair amount of barnyard funk. Tart cherry fruitiness. Some more of the malts perk back up for the woody, acidic finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Quite well carbonated.

Drinkability: As always, it's another weird, wild ride from Jolly Pumpkin.

Photo of AndoBrew
2.83/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

*want to like, would not buy, unless someone made me sure i had a bad bottle*

app: hues of the red planet itself. nice looking, good head! lost half the bottle to an eruption tthough.

smell: some pepper some tart some chemical blonde yeast butter malt smell as well, odd.

taste: tart sour refreshing, light, yummy, not to complex, a bit watery. the almost chemical tart sourness does add up a bit to much sip after sip. it has a very small backdrop of almost porterish malts.. you get more of the malt mouth if you hold it in your mouth for a bit, this is silly though. i want to like it but only kinda do. lil more balance toward normal and i would love it.

mf. spritzy, but good, it fits.

drinkable?: eh, you can drink it and finish.. its not a dumper.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another outstanding offering by Jolly Pumpkin. This beer may be the funkiest beer of the beers that I have had the privilage of sampling. The beer fills the nose with a mix of malt sweetness, soured malts, and a firm spicy, woody note. Very peppery, tart, fruity, and musty throughout. The look is a typical rusty hue, moderate haze (from sediment), and very well headed and constant lacing. Flavors alternate between estery fruits, malt sweetness, and bretnomyces sourness. No attribute dominates the brew, but complements it fully. Phenols gain precedence as the beer warms and also adds complexity without detering from the other flavors. Nicely bitter to round out the sourness and offset any sweetness. Much bitter and spiciness comes from the wood, and not so much from the hops. Finishes warm, dry and with a part-wood / part-fruit lingering. A seriously good offering from a seriously good brewery.

Photo of RedHaze
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Pours a fantastic looking bronze with a frothy two finger head that fades very slowly to a thick cap. The resulting lace is thick, leaving ring after ring behind.

Smell; mildly oaky with undertones of vinegar and a touch of some baryard funkiness. There's also a lot of fruity aromas as well, with sour apples & cherries, plums and apricots.

Taste; the oak comes out right up front giving this a dry feel right out of the gates, but a fruity sourness with apples cherries and dates, along with a touch of sweetness help to offset the drying effect from the oak. There's quite a bit going on in the flavor, but no one flavor really dominates.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very soft and smooth, with a very good drinkability. This would almost work as a session beer for me, if I really did that. I will definitely be seeking this one out again the next time I'm in Michigan.

Photo of mynie
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very pretty dark wood panel brown with a lacy white head that sticks around for ages.

Smells of wonderfully sour oak and lightly toasted malt. Simple but firm and very nice.

Tasets like the sour oak only after a couple of sips the oakniess gives way and it replaced with a very wide, almost perfect array of fruit esters--apples, apricots, cranberries, and figs. No off tastes, no plummyness. The finish is dry and just a little wooden. Mostly, it just tates like good.

Goes down way smoother than it should. I could drink this all day long!

Photo of Oxymoron
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pour was a copper color with orange highlights that are more noticeable when held to the light. Decent carbonation aided by a swirl with the body. Also causing a hazy appreance.

The nose had a limited malt aroma that contrast with soft caramel aromas with some definite oat characteristics. Some fruity notes with an apple candy appeal and a touch of apricots. Some off rose-like esters mixes with some fusel alcoholic notes.

The flavor is an odd mix especially considering style. The malt is less subtle as what the nose would indicate. The fruity flavors are more tart with more of a white grape feeling. This is mixed with noted oak-like vanilla and green earthy hops. Some yeasty notes that is distinctive with Jolly Pumpkin.

The body is light as should be with most Belgian. Carbonation mixes well and enhances the tart quality. Overall this just feels off style but what is on style for Belgian beers?

Photo of dgallina
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml capped brown bottle without dating.

Pours beautiful cloudy copper brown with mammoth long lasting tan head that you are forced to drink through. Fragrant with sour oak, earth, yeast, and wine. Flavor is layered and complex. An initial touch of hop gives way to a sour wine and oak center. The finish becomes bone dry, with big helpings of yeast, grainy coarseness, and black pepper. Body is surprising in its relative lightness, with wonderful smooth creaminess and bubbly zing. Great job Jolly Pumpkin!

Photo of dogger6253
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful orange/amber/ruby color, very hazy with a huge head, incredible amounts of foamy goodness - like a tan-colored cloud that keeps rising, never falling. Chunks of lace hang on the glass, so gorgeous. The smells are lightly hinting at corriander, cloves and bananas. Bits of plum come through alongside other fruits, sort of like pineapple even. The aroma is really pleasant, but I have trouble pulling out lots of specific scents.

The moment of truth... amazing taste! Surprisingly citrusy tang, cloves and corriander, banana, slight touch of hops, bits of alcohol, a nutty taste: almonds and cashews, also an overtone of oak coming through. Pretty awesome flavor! Sort of light bodied, but with some kick to it, moderate carbonation kind of buzzes in your mouth This accompanied by an alcohol warmth makes for quite the experience. This is one of the most enjoyable beers I've ever had.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rusted orange with a polished bronze glow. The amount of carbonation and the size of the frothy cap are reminiscent of a Belgian ale, but it doesn't have the sticky rockiness that would make me go gaga over the appearance. It's more of a melted ice cream look. A few streamers of sea foam lace decorate the glass.

I know that biere de garde is a wide-ranging style, but to me, this Jolly Pumpkin offering is a dead ringer for a Flanders oud bruin. It smells brown malty, sour fruity and there's a busload of funkified yeast. Okay, so maybe that last one isn't classic for an oud bruin. Let's see if those impressions hold on the palate.

Biere de Mars tastes like something that Fantome would produce, only not as amazingly complex. I like what I'm tasting, even if the various flavors aren't as bold or as well-defined as they could be. For one thing, this beer isn't quite as arid as most of what comes out of Dexter. It's far from sweet, but at least my tongue isn't crying out for a few molecules of malt sugar.

As far as specific flavors... hmmm... crisp apples mixed with fallen apples (brown and mushy), dessicated fig chunks, balsamic vinegar, a boatload of Brett and a crisp oakiness that gives things a refined, dignified quality. This 'French Style Stock Ale', as it says on the label, is an enjoyable drinker.

Unfortunately, the mouthfeel doesn't get it done. I don't mind its (slightly lighter than) medium feel, but the initially raucous carbonation has faded to such an extent that the beer lacks volume in the mouth. Room for improvement here.

Other than Oro de Calabaza (another biere de garde) and Bam Biere (saison), I haven't been thrilled with Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. Biere de Mars gets thing back on track. Maybe the difference is that I want and expect sour funk in beer of this style. I don't want it, nor do I expect it, in every single style. In any case, this one is definitely worth a purchase. Great label... as always.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color. Nice half inch head on top of the glass. Smell is funky like a monkey. Jolly Pumpkin is rapidly becoming my favorite brewery. Plenty of spice in this beer. Maybe a little too much carbonation would be my only complaint. Anyhow, a very good beer.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I saw this on my last big beer run in MA and thought I should buy that. Glad I did as this was a wonderful taste treat.

A - rich dark reddish brown with a huge reddish tan head. Definitely had a bit of a gusher effect as what I thought was a short enough pour wound up gushing over the glass.

S - tart cherry, sour funk dominates with a nice underlying oaky malty effect.

T - definitely nailed the funky tarty aspect I've come to appreciate. A bit light on the malt underbody.

M - light to medium bodied, highly carbonated with a lingering tart finish.

D - definitely savorable, a drinkable brew for sure.

I just wished for a bit more malt body on this one. That said I would buy another on my next big beer run.

Photo of mcallister
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very nice looking. Dark russet, clean and opaque. Thick off white head is tight and refined.

Fruity spicey belgian funk aromas. Sour apple fritter. Bing cherry, with berry. Earthy, yeasty aromas.

Not as full and round as anticipated. Mid palate is substantially thin. Some floral aspects and spritzy carbonation. Funky and lively. Spicey apple flavors with a berry nut mix. Some delicate new oak on the finish. Very good but missing something in that mid palate.

Photo of Bierguy5
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml, 7 % ABV. Dark copper color, with some orange tint. White fluffy head. Great retention and lace. A fine looking beer.

Aroma is full of sour berries, cherries, a bit of funk, and leather. Not overly funky, but everything seems to be rather soft.

A bit bready, apples seem to come out along with some other fruit. Again, everything is restrained. Not as tart as the nose led me to believe. Some yeasty and earthy flavors. A bit spicy, with some lingering oak flavor. Not overly bitter.

Good body, fluffy, soft carbonation. Not my favorite from Jolly Pumpkin, but still good.

Photo of drumrboy22
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip glass.

Huge, creamy head. Off-white color that lasted a long time. Good lacing around the glass.

Beer was ruby color and lightly cloudy with particulates.

Aroma was all Belgian. Sour, tart, mild funk with apple, pear and other fruits present. Nothing overwhelming. Aroma was mild and I spent quite some time trying to identify all of the different aromas present.

Lively carbonation with a heavy yeast, earthy flavor. Also, had a light fruit/tart flavor. This beer went down very easy. Drinkability is very high. In my opinion, this is one of the better Belgian style beers being made by a U.S. brewery.

Bière De Mars from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
93 out of 100 based on 495 ratings.