Spring 2012 Bière De Mars | Almanac Beer Co.

Spring 2012 Bière De MarsSpring 2012 Bière De Mars
49 Ratings
Spring 2012 Bière De MarsSpring 2012 Bière De Mars

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brotherloco on 05-01-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 49 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of jjohnston87
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden-orange color with a finger of frothy slightly off-white head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some thick lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of Belgian yeast esters, candi sugar, anise, caramelized malts, with a touch of bread and citrus.

T - Starts off with some sweet caramelized malts with some candi sugar and a bit of fruity Belgian yeast esters. Through the middle, a bit of dark fruit comes through alongside some anise and some farmhouse flavors. The finish is a mix of anise, plum, a bit of bready and caramelized malts, and some Belgian yeast flavors.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and lightly spicy finish.

D - Very drinkable. The plum and anise flavors are a nice touch on top of the Bière De Garde base. They add some nice complexity.

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Photo of mjtiernan
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mike Sardina for sending me this bottle!

750 ml bottle poured into an oversized stemmed tulip. Bottle #09428 March 2012.

A: Poured smooth with a hazy copper body and a nice creamy one-finger head. Tons of lacing. I don’t usually give appearance points for packaging, but this is one of the most tasteful and appealing labels I’ve ever seen. Love it.

S: Really nice and complex. Some funky hay and grain, caramel and dark fruit, clove and a hint of anise. If you really take it in, you start to get a little soapy perfume but nothing that’s a turn-off. Very inviting. As it warmed up, more of the caramel aroma came through.

T: Many layers to the flavor. The start has some floral perfume that is reminiscent of a pilsner (saaz hops?), then it transitions to a dose of caramel and grain, and finishes with a complex bitter spiciness. Each taste does a wonderful job of showcasing the ingredients from start to finish. There isn’t much that’s hidden.

M: Body is medium, texture starts creamy and then ends on the dry side. Carbonation is soft. Drinkability is moderate...the alcohol is very well hidden but its full-flavors prevent you from plowing through it... and that's just fine.

O: A wonderfully unique beer and I’m grateful that I got to try it. I know it’s a spring beer, but I can easily see myself pairing it with numerous fall ingredients including sausage, apples and smoked cheeses. I’m glad I have a second bottle.

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Photo of pkalix
4.15/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle. Bottle #06484. Served in a tulip.

Pours a hazy deep amber with a bit over two fingers of beige colored foam. Sticks around for a short while. Moderate bits of lacing left behind.

Aroma of moderately funky Belgian yeast, Belgian candi sugar, sweet caramel malt, mild dark fruit, lots of earthy grassy herbs including licorice from the fennel and a touch of onion. No alcohol detected.

Flavor is really earthy. Malt sweetness starts things out, but grassy herb-like flavors quickly join in. Fairly pronounced bitterness blossoms through the finish and aftertaste. Anise notes from the fennel definitely emerge through the finish, which dries up considerably. Alcohol very nicely buried. Flavor is a nice upgrade from the aroma, especially as it warms up.

Solidly medium in body and a touch below medium in natural, soft carbonation. Dry finish is nice but overall feel is just a tiny bit thick.

Another enjoyable and unique beer from Almanac.

 976 characters

Photo of Pugs78
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of GregoryMo
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of avaldivia
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle number 04421, March 2013. Fancy looking label, lots of text, cool imagery of tree / roots/ sky, nice cool, foil wrapped, the whole package. Let's see if it performs as well.

Smell is a little sweet, and vegetable, celery stalk (or as is apparently the case here, anise).

Taste is interesting. The base biere de mars is there, nice malty, clean. The bitterness is firm. The fennel really comes through, not so much pure anise, more the sweeter part of the bulb, giving it an unusual tang and aftertaste. Some of that is surely the esters as well.

Mouthfeel is dry, decent carbonation, medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good. It's an interesting, and enjoyably flavored brew. It's fairly robust though, and not something I find myself drinking with any speed. Glad I gave it ago though, the packaging lured me in, but the creative recipe and execution delivered. The impressive use of the anise is what impressed me enough to bump the whole thing up overall, I would have never thought to add that in a BdG....

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Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of taospowder
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of nrb1
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of vfgccp
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Clear, deep apple juice with bright orange highlights. Off-white head has excellent lace and great retention.

S - Semi-sweet, green plant stems, definitely get a touch of the fennel, lime, booze, and lemon basil.

T - Great opening, but takes an unusual twist through the center before a refreshing finish. Soft, smooth caramel malts up front with gingerbread and biscuits. The flavor profile drops off in the center with a spike of lime, spicy ginger and anise. Fresh fennel brings up the backend and lingers deep through the aftertaste. The finish blends through the opening as you continue to drink the beer, balancing things out after about a quarter of the way through the bottle. The net effect left our tasting group split, but I loved it.

M - Medium body to start, but gives way to a light tangy finish.

O - Not the best of the Almanac brews, but their outstanding quality that might not be saying much. The profile is unique and probably not for everyone, but for the adventurous connoisseur it's worth a try.

 1,026 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
3.91/5  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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is probably my least favorite Almanac beer so far. Not so much because it isn't well made, but possibly because this interpretation of the style just doesn't do it for me. It has the toasted tones, yes. Malts, sure. But it just isn't my thing. Will all the Belgian styles Almanac has done in the past with all the locally sourced fruits added in, I guess I just want to see more of that. Either way, this is a tough style to pull off well, and I think they did a pretty good job on this one.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to stupac2 for this bottle...

A: Pours a clear gold with a massive pure white head. The foam takes forever to settle, and there is an insane amount of lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is mainly sweet malt, yeast, fennel, and light citrus. Biere de Garde isn't exactly my favorite style, but who can resist a beer brewed with fennel? It smells weird, but in a good way.

T: The flavors pretty much follow the nose. It's sweet, yeasty, and kinda peppery right up front. The fennel ads a layer of spice and funk to this beer that I enjoy. In the middle, it gets sweeter, with soaked bread and light caramel. The finish is a big mix of all of the above mentioned flavors. Yeast, citrus, pepper, bread, caramel, fennel, and malt.

M: It starts out sweet, coats the palate, gets fennel-y, and then finishes kind of dry.

O: Weird beer that I'm happy to have tried, but it's not really something I'd want to drink on the regular. I thought it more interesting than good.

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Photo of LakerLeith
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of CelticAleMan
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of mactrail
3.66/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice progression of flavors from malty sweet to bitter yeast to fruit to edgy darkness. I would never guess this has fennel, which is a good thing to me, but lots of herbal flavors. A touch of the "meaty" flavor I always hope for in a Bière de Mars. The alcohol and flavor reminds me of a strong golden ale.

Lovely sudsy pour in the Duvel tulip, with a warm amber color and lots of lacing along the glass. Not so much on aroma. A lighter body. Pleasantly bitter, tangy, and refreshing. Some resiny flavors. With only 23 IBU listed, the bitterness must be due to the Belgian yeast. Quite bitter aftertaste.

Tasty and interesting beer, but a ridiculous price. Only place I saw this was BevMo in San Diego, which I normally try never to patronize.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 1,520 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of OldMar
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium golden rusty orange color. Neutral beery smell -- maybe a little sweet. First sip is bitter. If I didn't know better I might call it an IPA. Long finish. Green herbs and grass, but if there is fennel in there, it is very subtle. Bright effervescence. Second pour had yeast from the bottom of the bottle, clumped (oops), which added body and heft -- I actually liked the last pour the best. It seemed better balanced.

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Spring 2012 Bière De Mars from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 49 ratings
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