Bière De Mars | Brewery Ommegang

very good
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Bière De MarsBière De Mars

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ommegang Biere de Mars is a Belgian-style dry hopped amber ale with a bit of magical space dust woven in Brettanomyces bruxellensis, a wild-yeast used in the secondary fermentation. The Brett imparts added tartness, a bit of zing and some farmhouse funkiness.

Biere de Mars reveals a copper-amber body and a frothy white head that builds, clings and stays. Aromas are of malt and grain, clove, fruit and a bit of funk. Flavors are full-bodied with delicate malty sweetness, followed by spicy, peppery yeastiness and Brett-induced funk. Hopping is subtly bitter and aromatic, bumped up a bit by dry hopping. The finish is dry and gently lingering. At 6.5% ABV; it also pairs nicely with spicy foods such as barbecue.

Added by akorsak on 07-17-2006

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Ratings: 404 |  Reviews: 273
Photo of lhaqq
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Cloudy orange-amber body with a large fluffy orange-white head that leaves little lacing.
S: White wine, yeast, a fair amount of sugar.
T: The malt takes up most of the flavor. Some of the Brett yeast comes through, giving it a little bit of tartness.
M: Fairly heavy, hard to pour while keeping the yeast separated.
D: Nothing amazing; a bit too heavy and not unique enough in flavor to be sessionable. Still prefer JP for this style.

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Photo of pzrhsau
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice cloudy amber color with a finger measure of head that does not go away.
Smell: It has a fruity aroma with almost an oak finish.
Taste: The amount of yeast gives it almost a peach or apricot taste to it with a slight hint of hops at the end.
Drinkability and Mouthfeel: Very clean beer and easy to drink. Not too carbonated which really helps to bring out the fruity flavors from the ingredients.

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Photo of nickfl
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Two fingers of off-white head on top of a hazy, copper-orange body. The foam settles down quickly and leaves light lace.

S - A light note of sweet malt with some toffee and toasted bread notes. Some wheat tartness and mild lactic acidity with just a hint of fruity brett funk.

T - Toasted malt flavors up front with a little bit of tartness and some musty, herbal notes of both hops and wild yeast. Dry caramel in the middle becomes an even dryer bread note in the finish with moderate hop bitterness balancing. Lingering toasted malt and light musty funk that echoes the herbal hops in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body, very high carbonation, and a very dry finish.

D - I wasn't quite sure what to expect here; would it be a rich, malty French ale or would it be dominated by sour funk? The answer, as it turns out, is neither. There is a significant malt character, but the beer is so dry that it sucks the life out of the grain and just leaves a burnt toast character that I don't care for. There is also a surprising level of hop bitterness and flavor, and while it is good hop character, it is not what I would have expected in this beer. The European hops enhance the dry toast flavors of the malt, and all of this is further set off by the similar character of musty funk that the brett has contributed. The funk is not particularly complex or powerful, just a dull musty character that blends into the malt and hops. I don't want to suggest that this is a bad beer, it is well crafted and all of the flavors work together well, but it doesn't do much for me. Overall it is kind of one dimensional and lucks both the richness that I would want in a Biere de Garde and the liveliness that I expect from a wild beer.

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Photo of koopa
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked 2008 bottle.

Appearance: Frosty hazy dull orange body with a 2 finger white crown that shows good retention and lace.

Smell: Belgian yeast, horseblanket, and sweet malt.

Taste: Same as the nose. Fairly tame.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with decent carbonation and fairly crisp.

Drinkability: Crisp mouthfeel, low abv, fairly balanced and easy to drink.

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Photo of roblowther
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Coppery orange in color with a dense, active white head. The color is like an ipa but the head is stickier. Smell is funky, like wet hay. Also has a cinnamon and orange thing going on. Taste is much milder than the smell. Tastes of lemons, followed by a sourness that mellows into a sharp, wood-like flavor. Pepper in there, and the aftertaste is like caramel that isn't sweet. Whatever that means. Mouthfeel is well-carbonated and sticky as gum on a hot day. In Houston. (I would know). Drinkability is good, although it dissapears a bit quickly and leaves me not....quite....satisfied. A good one. Reminds me of a milder geueze. I like it!

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Photo of morimech
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #2, October 2008

Pours a clear orangish amber color with a large white head that never really goes away. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Expecting a funky aroma and was greeted with a mild farmhouse type smell. A lot of fruity esters are detected. Just a faintest hint of funk. The flavor likewise is dominated by fruity esters, lemons, pears, and bananas. A faint hint of funk. Not picking up any charactor from the malt or hops. Finishes dry. The body seems a little thin and it also a touch overcarbonated. If a drinker is looking for a Brett beer, he should look elsewhere. But this beer does have some nice flavors that will not offend anyone. Easy drinking but it is overly expensive.

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Photo of BDLbrewster
3.22/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a wonderful hue of orange, very bight with tons of visible carbonation. Large sticky white head that is taking forever to recede.

The smell is that of a nice, rich farmhouse ale. Earthy grains, sweet bready yeast, and fruity esters. The tiny amount of funk I do pick up is very reserved and buried. This brew smells great.

The taste does not run parallel to the smell at all. Nothing is popping out here, I was expecting a little more richness but what I got was small hint of bready malt and slightly spicy hops followed by a muted, musty funk that finishes fairly dry. As the brew warms the goodness starts to emerge, deeper sugary malt flavors and banana become more evident, the brett works well to cover any alcohol taste.

This brew came up short here, very thin and watery with maybe a bit too much carbonation left me feeling like I was drinking a bottle of perrier.

Another solid brew from a great brewery, easy to drink fair representation of the style, but a shade underwhelming for me.

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Photo of Florida9
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch #2

A: Cork and cage: Nearly took my nose off as this one is very overcarbonated. Pours with a enormous head; I was drinking out of a 0.5L glass and the head was over 0.3L of it, with annoyingly long retention. Amber in color. Surprisingly clear.

S: Wild fruity yeast. Gum. Juicyfruit.

T & M: Tickles the tongue with lively carbonation. Light and effervescent with a light fruitiness to it. Light yeast flavors. Light malt. Just too overcarbonated - the flavors almost get lost in the carbonation. With that said, it has a very clean mouthfeel.

D: Good. Turned out to be a more enjoyable bottle than I expected with nice fruits and yeast ester flavors. If the carbonation was turned down, I would have enjoyed it even more. A word of warning when you get to the bottom of the bottle: there is practically a yeast cake down there that ruins the delicate quality of this beer once it gets in your glass.

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Photo of Patrick999
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date on the bottle's neck states October 2008, so this is a little over a year old. Poured this one into a Westmalle chalice. Has very thin but crisp looking carbonation, the bubbles look very large and coarse. I poured some of the sediment in on the second pour, so the color is that of unfiltered apple juice. Otherwise, it's a clearish light amber.

On the nose, I get a little hop aroma, though undoubtedly the effects of the dry-hopping were stronger when fresh. I'd had a fresher bottle of this before, I just don't remember it, so for all practical purposes I'm drinking (and sniffing) this for the first time. I also get the hot buttered toast aroma I often get in bieres de garde. Some slight florals - lavender, rose. Very nice aroma, but very subtle. This beer isn't screaming at this point.

On the palate, I definitely notice hops, hops of the grassy, flowery variety, like picking and chewing a handful of wildflowers. Also a substantive malt backbone contributing a foundation of toasty bread. And of course, the Brettanomyces Bruxellensis contributes a slight medicinal quality and wet hay. Dry.

While this beer isn't *screaming* "farmhouse," it is sure as hell whispering it.

Carbonation is big and rather coarse, true to this beer's likely intention as a palate-cleanser to pair with food. Not overcarbonated at all though.

At a dry 6.5%, this is a drinkable beer. I think it is best paired with food, however. Otherwise, the medicinal quality may get tiresome as you down the 750ml bottle yourself. In any event, this is a cool attempt at a sub-style of a style I wish more brewers would attempt more often. We need more bieres de garde!

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely cloudy reddish orange colour, quite deep and thick with a huge and boisterous rocky head of large-bubble yellow foam. Lacing is crazy but patchy. The carbonation is a story in itself, with huge crowds of bubbles fizzing in anarchy through the body. This is a big and wild, crazily boisterous brew. I love it.

Decent wild funk on the nose, Lots of hay, sweet citrus acidity, and an oddly spicy note like New York pizza sauce. Maybe it's a herbal, basil-like fragrance, but that's what it reminds me of. Quite sweet, but with that lightly rank meaty/yeasty/herbal character to just skew it off-centre. Awesome.

Taste still has funky overtones, but it returns very much to the base organic phenols of a traditional bière de garde. More earthy and gritty, quite refreshingly dry, but with very little acidity. Some herbal bitterness on the very back. To my mind, a little sour note would set this off nicely. Despite the zealous carbonation, the mouthfeel is round and merely tingling, although the beer feels a little bloating after a while.

Yes. This is a pretty wild brew, and to my mind, it's doing what Ommegang does well: taking a very decent Belgian style ale and twisting it slightly off-kilter. They really up the funk on the aroma with this beer, but bring it back to a more traditional basis on the palate. Very nice indeed.

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Photo of specksnreds
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It had it all until I tasted it. Hazy orange pour, lovely Kool-Whip-like head. Smelled of sour apple and blackberry, followed by sweet malt. A relatively complex blend of aromas. Tasted OK, but no where near the level of the nose. A subtle sour with the malt and a slightly bitter finish. I liked the mouthfeel for its near perfect balance of weight and ease of drinking. Way too much money to get it again.

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Photo of champ103
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy copper/orange color. At first a two finger white head forms, but recedes in a second. Light lace is left behind.
S: Funky barnyard aromas up front, but it is not overwhelming. Yeast. Lots of fruity esters. Slightly sour apples and pears. Light grassy and floral hops linger. Lots of subtle complexities in the nose.
T: Where did everything go? All the great complexities in the nose are gone. What is left is sweet malt, bread/biscuit flavors, and yeast.
M/D: A lighter body than I thought with some higher carbonation. A little thin and watery. Easy to drink. I will not have any problems finishing the bottle.

I love the nose, but the flavor is really bland. This is still a good beer, and worth a try. Though I have had better Brett beers.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange color with a huge, white head. There was a lot of yeast sediment in the bottle that poured into the glasses.

Aroma is a malty sweetness with a lot of fruitiness mixed in. There is even a little funkyness in the aroma. Very inviting.

Taste is a mix of fruit and funk. There is brett in the beer and it is definitely in the flavor, though not overpowering. I didn't get much hoppiness in the flavor.

There was a lot of carbonation in this beer which goes very well with this style. Overall, a very drinkable beer. My favorite so far from Ommegang.

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Photo of NCSUdo
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle

A: Slight tan body under a bubbly white head. No lace, no retention.

S: A subtle toasted malt surrounded by big yeast character. Sweet, earthy and a bit funky and tangy. Pretty good balance.

T: Sweet maltiness gives way to the yeast character again. Earthy, funky, tangy. A bit of citrus character, mild bitterness in an otherwise dry finish.

M/D: Medium bodied, very crisp and carbonated. Drinkability is pretty good. A very solid beer.

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Photo of EvilPumpkin
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

M: Light ruby red, great initial head with nice retention and strong lacing. A very nice looking beer.

S: Sour and tart with a slight sweetness afterward. A tart and sweet combination that is comparable to sour apples.

T: Initially a strong tartness, that is to be expected, but is followed up nicely by a hoppy bitterness that blends very well with the sour notes up front. Stronger with the hops than other sour ales I've had and in a very good way.

M: Moderately thick with a nice smooth carbonation, compliments the taste nicely.

D: Great. Had about half a bomber but would have very much enjoyed drinking more.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a large wine glass. Pours a nice copper color with thick tan head. It bubbles the whole time, but the head quickly retreats with no lacing.

Aroma is dispassionately faint. There is some sourness and funkiness and a bit of maltiness in the background. Flavor is pleasant and smooth with nothing particular standing out. The brett funkiness is still there in the background along with some grass hop notes. Mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is high. Very drinkable. Much better than the only other brett beer I've had, ommegeddon.

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Photo of sociallooter
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer I'm drinking now! My first review while actually drinking the beer at the same time. My friend turned me on to this strange beer. Honestly a true traditional beer style, although the term "Bière De Mars" seems to be a new "type" for me. I'm totally convinced that this could be a landmark in tasting beer for me. It has such a strange taste. I have tasted this funk in beer many times before but as this beer warms up it becomes insane with yeasty cow shit funk smell. I kinda like it. Every other reviews on this page does not address this matter nearly at all. I hear of mango, pear, apple, citrus and black pepper. I can sometimes taste these things. I really feel that the suspended Brett chunks reminds me of old apple cider vinegar with little tornadoes of nasty swirling around and around.

This beer is cool...rare vos is very similar just without the extra funk. At least try it costs a lot but money is common and this not so much.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 750 into my wide snifter, split with roommate. A mild brown with orange highlights, this beer had a formidible head. It was followed with a tart, twangy aroma.

I enjoyed this beer. Enough funk to leave a tinge on the tongue but not nearly as heavy as you would think. This is a drinkable beer, with a boozy fruit (although not a strong ABV), nutmeg, and pumpkin? taste.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #2, October 2008, sampled September 2009. The bottle was corked and caged, and gave a loud "pop" when opened. The beer is dark copper color and clear with a fragile foam, composition being mainly large bubbles. An easy approximation of the smell: A touch of Orval but with less hops. The aroma of light barnyard funk, a little non-citrus fruit like apple and pear, other than that somewhat clean smelling (all of the afore-mentioned notes are not strong). The taste is likewise clean, some toasted malt and just a touch of fruit with a lingering light sour bite in the aftertaste. The body is light to moderate, very easy drinking, it matches the flavors (tasty but under-stated).

If I were to choose a sour or American Wild ale from Ommegang's lie-up I'd start with Ommegedon. Maybe after that I'd go for Ommegang Rouge, just more sour bite in both of those. Each beer was targeted after a different style of course, and in the case of Biere de Mars they apparently targeted a biere de garde (at least by name). So maybe they put their own fingerprint on the style with the Brettanomyces bruxellensis, and it's a good touch, but finally if it's sour I'm after I'm gonna choose Ommegedon.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, into an Orval glass, Batch #2,

A: Pours a cloudy dark burnt orange with a fizzy finger and a half of head. Great head retenion, some yeasties.

S: Cherry and bubblegum esters hit first. Also musty barnyard oranges, yeast, earthy hops and soil.

T: Amber ale malt and candied oranges form the main flavour. Secondary notes of copper and grassy rustic hops. Brett isn't prevalent, but lends a musty undertone throughout the experience of drinking the beer.

M: Mouth-filling carbonation, had to coax some out to get at the full flavour. Creamy, medium-bodied.

D: Very drinkable, rustic provisional beer. Too bad it's $15 a bottle, but when I can get Hennepin or Rare Vos at half the price I don't think I'll ever have it again unless it's on-tap. Fun beer to try though.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. The beer was a hazy orange color with a thick white head. It had that slightly barnyard aroma, and also had a sweet, spicy aroma. Taste was mostly fruity, with some cinnamon and allspice. I thought it was a bit on the fizzy side, but still very enjoyable.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle from Batch 1 that I acquired from a NY-based co-worker who was kind enough to have a few bottles shipped to him. From my understanding, this is Rare Vos dosed with Brett B.

A: A gorgeous hazy amber with a thick beige head that recedes slowly, leaving no lace.

S: Despite having plenty of time (17 months by my count) in the cellar, the Brett really hasn't caught on. Not necessarily a bad thing, since I love the Rare Vos, and it's got a lot of that - subtle citrus and tangerine fruitiness, mango, and papaya with a touch of black pepper. This really is a subtle beer, and as it warms up, the Brett comes out, with a delicate funk reminiscent of wet hay and barnyard. Delicate and gorgeous, though the opening fruitiness is strong. Spices are also present with nutmeg and clove

T: Opens up with a combination of a fruit salad (with citrus, tangerine, papaya and pineapple) and a definite Bretty character, with damp earth and wet hay. Spicy with nutmeg, mace and a little clove. In the end, the fruit character wins, and the beer finishes dry with a plethora of fruity and spicy character.

M: Light and airy with plenty of carbonation. The finish is great too, spicy and fruity in character.

D: This 750 is not a problem, thoroughly enjoyable

Notes: As big a fan of Brett as I am, I'm not seeing it do much in this beer. The base beer pretty much over-rides the Brett, and the extra $$ just doesn't seem worth it.

**Edit 28 Sept 2014**
My last bottle of this beer. Batch 1. Decidedly crackery nose with toffee, a little dust and some mellow Brett fruitiness. Earth, pineapple, candied clove, allspice and a little nutmeg are present. Pretty good! The palate opens with a surprising fullness, a dextrinous malt/wheat body with layers of toffee, earth, honey, floral flavors ( rose, jasmine) and all the Brett characteristics - spice, pineapple, some dust and earth. Drying on the finish with a long lasting blend of burnt sugar, spices and earth, this is pretty impressive stuff. Thanks again, Danny! 4/4/4

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Photo of Finn
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #2 October 08

Poured into a Duvel tulip, this beer gives off an amber, coppery glow with lively carbonation swimming to the top. one finger of head sits on top of this brilliantly clear beer, but dissipates quickly.
It smells tart and crisp, and a little like piss, but in that good sort of brett way. There's a mild malty aroma behind the funk as well.
The flavor starts off much like ommegang's rare vos, with a clean malty backbone, but not cloying, as the carbonation helps cut through the medium body of this beer. The flavor hints at a sour brett beer in the finish, but then stops short. A very nice beer indeed, but if you're expecting a sour funk fest, I'd go somewhere else. Drinkability is good, but I could see the body getting cumbersome after a couple glasses. Overall, another excellent beer from Ommegang, though this one was pricey.
Well worth a try.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big-time pop by the cork. Cover your eyes and hide the valuables. Oct 08 bottle.

Split between two Unibroue tulip glasses. Full pour, no yeast per bottle recommendation.

Golden peach color with big foamy head the settles to 1/2 finger head.

Very unique and wonderful spicy aroma. Can't say I've picked up this much spice on any beer other than obvious holiday spiced beers.

Nice taste. Dry and spicy with a hint of fruit.

Aroma becomes more funky halfway through.

Very nice beer if your a fan of a touch of funk.

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Photo of MaxBrews
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2nd Batch from October 2008. Appearance: 750 poured in my duvel

Appearance: Large white head, quick dissipation but with a thick soapy lacing. Burnt orange in color. Usually I don't care if I get the yeast in my glass. But don't with this. Its thick and chunky and actually grosses me out. Be Careful pouring!

Smell: The first thing you get is a bit of that barnyard funk that is the Brett yeast used. Some may call it horseblanket others urine soaked something. Its a funky smell, barnyard describes it for me. Once you get beyond that you get a caramel malt and a fruity flowerly hopping.

Taste: Your first impressions are that odd barnyard taste but a bit less. Once you get over that you get malt tastes consisting of buttered biscuit & caramel. Hop tastes come through towards the end and present them selves floral and fruity. Mixed with the funk from the Brett it creates a sour green apple taste.

Mouthfeel: Thin and highly carbonated with a little bit of sourness from the Brett.

Drinkability: To me this beer is just Ommegang's Rare Vos but made with brett. It has all the fantastic characteristics of Rare Vos but with a bit funk of sourness. A nice beer if you're unfamiliar to Bret. At double the price of most Ommegang's 750s its not really worth it. Go with a flanders red or Orval. It is a bit filling though I struggled to finnish a 750.

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Bière De Mars from Brewery Ommegang
3.87 out of 5 based on 404 ratings.
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