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

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Mars (The Bringer Of War)Mars (The Bringer Of War)
Mars (The Bringer Of War)Mars (The Bringer Of War)

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 186 | Ratings: 1,364
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am a huge DIPA fan and although the Planets Series by Bell's has berg very average, MARS was maybe the best DIPA I have ever had! Wish Bell's would mass produce this beer and ease up on The Oracle as I feel like it is jok. Was only able to have a few of these but it is a very special beer!

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Poured into an Ikea snifter. The liquid is a pale golden orange, with a nice off-white head that comes on the pour, but fades to a cap pretty quickly. It leaves a good amount of lace.

Aroma is less intense than I expected - in a good way. Lots of tangerine and grapefruit backed by resin and a caramelly malt undertone. Smells like a hop bomb, but pleasantly balanced.

Flavor is lots of tangerine, grapefruit, and floral hops. Finish is pretty intensely bitter and drying, but there's a wonderful delicate flowery flavor that somehow balances it out. Nice sugar-cookie malt flavors are always present, but never too much, and really come out on the aftertaste. It kind of reminds me of an intensely-hopped version of Founders' Curmudgeon. Really really pleasant. Nice balance, while still being indisputably a hop bomb.

Mouthfeel is pretty thick, with only moderate carbonation... feeling more like an old ale than a DIPA.

Overall, definitely my favorite hop bomb. The malts really balance it out perfectly, and the delicate floral feeling of it is just amazing. I have no idea how they got those floral flavors in there without drowning them out with the excoriating hop bitterness. Tastes like licking sandpaper with caramel sauce, citrus juice, and flowers stuck to it. This is a beer that I can't imagine being any better!

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Photo of acmurphy696
4.78/5  rDev +16%
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 paultierney1
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Absolutely fabulous ale. Thank you, Bell's. Better than the Oracle although that's a 94 (the people) compared to a 93 for Mars. Was able to get my hands on both (in bottles) in Toledo recently. Oracle is a little boozier. Keep those planets coming, please!

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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.

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Photo of kplooki
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Appearance- Pours a dark orange, reddish color. Very little head and some lacing.

Taste- Initial bitterness and hops (Simcoe?) and malts take over. A little heavy on the malt side, but not necessarily a bad thing. Just wish it had a little more hops prevalent throughout, otherwise it would have a perfect rating.

Overall-If you can get your hands on it, its worth a try. I am eager to try others in the planet series.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Orange / amber with 1 finger of fluffy head that dissipates quickly. Slightly hazy.

Papaya, mango, candied tangerine, pine sap, pineapple, and caramel.

Papaya, pineapple, and mango. Candied orange, tangerine, and sweetened grapefruit. Caramel, candy sugar, and some lightly toasted malts. Finishes with pine sap and dried pine needles.

Medium-plus bodied, silky, juicy, and smooth with a medium bitterness.

Damn near perfection!

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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.

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Photo of jwilcox767
4.66/5  rDev +13.1%
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 RonaldTheriot
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mars has a medium, off-white head, a semi-opaque, orange appearance, bubbles, and not much glass lacing. The aroma is of some apricot, some dankness, some strange sauce notes (marinade?), and bread. Taste is of quasi-barley wine, bordering of turned fruit, low bitterness, and lots of booze. Mouthfeel is medium, and the finish is mostly dry. RJT

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Photo of russpowell
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
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 Bryan_Infante_HH
4.61/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tulip: bottle. Mars is one of the more ballsy Bell's brews, with a dangerous ABV and drinkability. Even those who prefer modest IPAs to Doubles/Triples/Imperials will likely enjoy this one. The color was... well, "surface of Mars"-esque red/burnt orange/rust(?). The nose was striking with apricot and citrus, contrasted by significant malt & subtle herbal undertones. This is another beer that I considered giving a 5.0. If I'd tried fewer great IPAs in my days, I probably would have. Needless to say, it's delicious. IPA gurus will certainly love it for it's crisp, complex hop character that is unique, potent, and well-balanced by an appropriate and bread-y malt character. Highly recommend.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%

Enjoyed from a bells tulip. Deep lush orange, the color of Mars. Big off while head that left massive chunks of lace and a head that never left. Nose is a focused resinous citrus. Well rounded ripe fruit bitterness. Taste is spot on with a ripe fruity hop resin. A mouthful of a beer, chewy and full bodied. Quite delicious. I hope that this one comes around again. Great beer!

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Photo of Archimedes3000
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle I tried was 38 days old

A fantastic double IPA and worth trying if you can find it. The aroma is mostly pineapple and tangerine, with some grapefruit. Past that you get some pine and caramel malt undertones. The dominant aroma is citrus. Very pleasing to sit there and just smell it for a while haha

For me the dominant flavor is tangerine with some pineapple undertones. Fantastic fruit flavors! One of the fruiter IPAs I've ever tried. There is a good amount of sweetness from the malts but it's not overdone. The caramel malt is more dominant in the taste than the nose and provides a great backbone for the hop profile. A fantastic citrus-forward IPA with a hefty malt backbone with the citrus flavor of the hops taking center stage for me. I've seen a lot of people say that there is perhaps too much malt in this IPA but I disagree; for me it's just right (for contrast, 90 Minute IPA is more malty than Mars is). For a 10% beer, the alcohol is very much subdued; very well hidden.

Though it is nothing extraordinary in a world now filled with many fantastic IPAs, it is nonetheless one of the best examples of the style you can find. For me the only thing that doesn't put it right at the very top is that I wish it had a bit more pine resin character, BUT that's just my preference. If you like citrus-forward more than pine-forward, this will probably be one of your favorites once you try it. And if you like IPAs with a dominant tangerine profile, put this at the very top of your "must try" list. I drank this beer about 20 minutes ago and I still have an aftertaste in my mouth that makes me feel as if I've been snaking on tangerines. That's how much tangerine character is in this beer haha

I'll also add that I would take Mars over Hopslam any day.

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Photo of jbendtsen
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank this after a Dogfish Head Burton Baton IPA. This beer is much better. Perfect balance of sweetness, fruit notes, and hoppiness. Definitely going on the "Must Drink" list.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle, PKGD 7/31/14, batch #13345, 10.1% ABV. I unexpectedly stumbled upon this while making a quick stop for some other beers. I couldn't resist.
A 4.25 - hazed amber with a frothy ivory head that slowly fades to a foam, thick lacing spatters the top of the glass
S 4.5 - nice fresh tropical nose with caramel, pineapple, mango, pine, bread, grapefruit pith
T 4.75 - huge, bold flavors of caramel, bready malt, toffee, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, honey; fruity apricot esters emerge as it warms. It borders on being overly bitter but had a nice sweetness to keep it somewhat in check
F 4 - full bodied, lower carbonation, definitely a sipper, finishes semi-dry with lingering pine, grapefruit rind, and a peppery prickle on the tongue
O 4.75 - excellent! Up there with Hopslam as far as flavors go. Now I'm going to have to try and seek out the others - something I wasn't planning on doing.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I hate to do/admit this but this review is off of memory. Mars was fanf***ingtastic. I am currently drinking Uranus and once I saw I never reviewed this terrific brew I had to rectify that sin.

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Photo of stillalivetui
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottled on July 31st, Poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a frothy, prominent head that hangs out the whole session. The color is a reddish copper that no doubt resembles Mars, and right away looks like a word-class beer and offering. Incredible lacing.

S: Heavy tropical notes with pineapple, citrus, lime, lemon throughout. Very much a sticky smelling beer that is pleasing.

T: Very rich, yet crisp. Hints of aroma at first, then you get overtaken by malty goodness. Finishes dry and with a slight spice.

M. Definitely a very sticky beer. Well carbonated and medium-bodied. Doesn't necessarily overpower palate, but sticks around in a pleasing way. Hard to believe this is a 10% beer.

O: Fantastic offering from Bell's. Looks and tastes like a world-class beer. A very nuanced IPA that isn't about the bitterness, but balance and flavor. Very fortunate to have found a 6 pack and look forward to the rest of the Planet series.

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Photo of tigg924
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap. Pours clear, amber in color with 1/2 inch head. Taste is big caramel, toffee, pine, bread, and grassy hops. Sweet with light bitterness, heavy bodied, with medium-high carbonation. Big beast of an IPA. Feels more like an American barleywine with its body and complexity. A sipper but an excellent beer. Great combination of hops and malts. I would pick up a six pack of this if I could find it.

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Photo of Korbynlehr
4.56/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color, like many IPAs is copper in color. Head had a 'tinge' of orange. The scent reminded me of creamsicle. Taste is typical of a good to great beer heavy in hops.

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Photo of writer917
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A tropical lava flow bleeding into a river of sugar.
A din of overlapping hops scorched from the inside out.
Tropical distance; fruity orbits; interplanetary toffee.
Comets made of hops. Planets made of alcohol.
Vanilla extract in the dark matter. Minor chords of pine trees.
The swirling together of an invisibly vibrant, rotating line-up of mango, passion fruit, & blood orange.
10% crunk factor. 100% thickness in the taste & aftertaste.
Hot salami to accompany. A manchego to pair. Or better yet: the grassy extravagance of Gruyere.

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Photo of BrewChatKen
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Ah, the bringer of war. I had high expectations for this planet series from Bell's and am hoppy to say that the first one delivered. On the nose I got big tropical and citrus fruits, mainly lemon and pineapple, backed by a bit of pech, grapefruit and tangerine. It poured deep amber with a white head. It's a full bodied beer with a heavy mouthfeel that leaves a stickiness. Onto the palate I got a bouquet of fruit flavors like pineapple, lemon, orange, tangerine, mango and peach. A big malt sweetness balances to hops, but it was not overdone as can happen in come cases. The alcohol was also much better balanced than in their annually released DIPA The Oracle. Overall a great start to the planet series and a beer I wish was available year round. I'm glad I got to try it though, and hope the rest are as tasty.

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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.

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Photo of Brolo75
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
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 BBP
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Piney and tropical tasting. Substantial malt, but much of the sweetness was contained behind the aggressive hops. Moderately boozy, yet very smooth. Dry finish. Very full, and satisfying.

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Mars (The Bringer Of War) from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 1,364 ratings