Mars (The Bringer Of War)
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Mars (The Bringer Of War)Mars (The Bringer Of War)
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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #576
Ranked #2,727
4.13 | pDev: 9.93%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Mars (The Bringer Of War)Mars (The Bringer Of War)
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 186 | Ratings: 1,367 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Hopyard57:
Photo of Hopyard57
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -3.1%

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.

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Photo of jmasher85
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Like the remake of Total Recall, or frankly 90% of all Mars-based movies, this trip back to the Red Planet was not worth the voyage – and certainly not worthy of the 2 bottle per person limit at my local shop. I didn't try it first time around, but if I had, I wouldn't have picked the reboot over any other DIPA in the store. The Munich malt sweetens and thickens the flavor a bit too much, especially for a DIPA, the advertised tropical fruit flavors of the hops are little more than the classic apricot/stone fruit mixed with a piney, acidic zing that you get in half the other beers of the style out there. Most interesting part is the vague hint of bubblegum odor. You can certainly feel the heat of the 10% abv, the body is thick and a bit resinous, and the hops and malts both make their presence known, but if there's another strong, semi-sweet hoppy ale on the shelf when this sells out, you'll do no worse picking it up.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.99/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of jkblr
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottled 4/7/17 poured into a snifter at fridge temp 10.1% ABV. The beer is a golden copper color with about an inch of khaki head from an aggressive pour. The beer is not hazy, exactly, but I can only see a shadow of my fingers on the backside of the glass. The head settles into a cap with some lacing. Aroma is tropical fruit and a little sweetness. The taste is a little sweet with the tropical fruit and citrus hitting first followed by a moderately bitter pine finish. Mouthfeel is full with some oily/sticky feel from the hops. Carbonation feels sharp, but that could be partly from the ABV. There is no hint of the ABV in aroma or taste. Overall, great example of the west coast DIPA. Thanks Bell's for bringing this one back around for those of us who missed it the first time.

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Photo of MJSFS
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holy malt balls Batman! Bottled dated 4/7/17, taste like it was bottled 1/7/17. The malts are overpowering the hops in this brew. It's not completely unpleasant, but the balance is skewed a little too far on the bready sweet side. If you enjoy bready paper tasting DIPAs, this one is for you. At nearly $20 for a 6 pack though, there are far better beers that I would rather spend my time and money on. At least I got a new cap for my beer fridge.

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Photo of russpowell
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a slightly hazed & effervescent Amber with 2+ of fingers of fluffed up cream colored head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Breadyness, faint tropical notes, orange peel,

T: Follows the nose, grapefruit & dryness as well up front, along with mango & a little tangerine. Grapefruit peel, breadyness & dryness as this warms, faint breadfruit notes. Finishes with mango, dryness, tangerine, grapefruit pith & dryness

MF: Bready, firm carbonation, warming. stellar balance

Great DIPA, nothing to complain about here

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of Brolo75
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a hazy amber color with a creamy white head, lots of lacing.

A: Lots of aroma, slight sweet citrus, resin, lots of malts on the backend, bready, cracker aromas, not picking up any alcohol on the nose, very nice.

T: Hit of orange, tangerine, slight tropical notes, lots of piney, sappy, resin, finish has a balanced malt profile of cracker and bread, aftertaste is more pine and sappy resin, very balanced and easy to drink, well done.

M: Full bodied with a semi-dry finish, very smooth for a IIPA.

O: Very impressed, a very drinkable and balanced IIPA, it's not very bitter but has plenty of hop bite, a little hoppy sweetness up front then a big hit of piney, sappy resin with a good balance of malts, will pick up a six-pack.

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Photo of acmurphy696
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Mars smelled great and lived up to that aroma on the tongue. The hops are nicely balanced by and did not abuse my mouth going down. Its amber red color looks fantastic, matching the planet it's named for.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of Benjolovesbeer
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Went from a 2.5 to 3.4 to current rating. This beer got better by the 5th week. More mango, pine flavor. Now it's my last of my 6 I am going to miss it, my problem was I was drinking it too fresh 5th week from bottle is ideal for this one. Below is my previous review:

I originally gave this beer a 2.5 rating but maybe because I was drinking it too fresh. I've always believed in drinking IPA'S fresh but perhaps it's just too Damn balanced when fresh. In an IPA I like tongue numbness and pine and after about 3 weeks this starts to shine. I have 2 left and will drink them next week with hopes it'll taste even better. Perhaps it's a beer out of this world...Perhaps Mars. As it ages in it's 1st month you get more hops, oily resin, sticky, mango, and pine. Now starting to taste like a DIPA, glad I got a 6 pack. Below is my original take @ 2.5:

L: misty head, orange (not red) body, tiny bubbly hop carbonation

A: starts off fruity, ends with rubbing alcohol scent

F: heavy but not imperial 120 IPA heavy but still heavy, mildly bitter but not bitter enough for a good IPA. Very boozy.

T: bitter, mild grapefruit, scotch like boozy, grassy, sugary, dry finish

O: after Hopslam and so many good Stone IPA'S along with the high hopes of anticipation of deliciousness for this beer I'm left with nothing but disappointment. very balanced but not what I want out of a DIPA, i want tongue numbness, wish I only got 1 but I will still try to enjoy the other 5.

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Photo of jwilcox767
4.66/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy copper, little bit of beige head. I don't really know how a beer can be 'beautiful', but this one manages. Head sticks around for awhile.

S - Lots and lots of citrus hop aroma, just how I like it. Some pine notes as well. Not pine tree strong, but substantial.

T - Same notes as the aroma, pine is more present on the tongue. Alcohol is present and pleasantly strong.

M - Light-Medium body, good carbonation but on the lighter side.

O - Really a great imperial IPA. Definitely a winner. Unfortunately I could only get 2, but at $3, I still think it was worth it and I'll pick up more if I can find it.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.75/5  rDev +15%

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.

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Photo of KevinGordon
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

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

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Photo of dcotom
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a snifter. Unsurpassed in appearance. Gorgeous hazy reddish amber in color, reminiscent of the Red Planet itself. Thick, white, long-lasting head that leaves lots of sticky lacing as it recedes. Big aromas and flavors of citrus, tropical fruit, and pine, with a malt backbone that provides sweetness and balance without becoming obtrusive, The high ABV is present without being overly assertive. Finishes clean, with some resiny bitterness. Overall, well balanced and an excellent beer.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku. The pour is slightly hazy and a beautiful light amber color with about a finger of rocky white head. Average retention. On the nose I get cedar, grapefruit, lavender, fresh linen, and lemon.

The beer has a medium body and a silky feel. There is a fair amount of sweetness supporting the hops. I get fresh toast and marmalade, then orange, lemon candy, grapefruit, and apricot. Very balanced and drinkable. There is no booziness, just a little cedar on the finish along with sweet orange and lemon.

Overall, an excellent IIPA. I really like the malty sweetness that balances out all those hops. It doesn't create a medicinal note, just citrus candy. I'm glad Bell's brought this one back ('cause I missed it the first time). I hope they bring it back again.

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Photo of glass_house
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

Pours an attractive deep burgundy that is mostly opaque. Two fingers of creamy off-white head that blankets my glass with oily lacing and maintains a solid collar. Smell is sweet bready malt with fleeting citrus and pine.

Taste is sweet. Oh the sweetness. The malty, sticky, syrupy, cloying sweetness. It overwhelms the hop presence and dominates the flavor profile to the point that the hops feel out of place. Like pouring maple syrup on fresh grapefruit.

Did I just drink a 5 month old Hopslam? Bottled 2 weeks ago so I'm assuming this is how it's supposed to taste. On the bright side, the 10% abv helps me forget I paid $15 for a six-pack. It is relatively smooth, not quite a drainpour, but I will pass on this in the future.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4/5  rDev -3.1%

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.

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Photo of elkinbrown
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of yancot
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of lswilma
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of nate19red
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Mars (The Bringer Of War) from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1367 ratings