Bière De Mars | Brewery Ommegang

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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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Reviews: 274 | Ratings: 405
Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a Hurculean effort, requiring the use of tools, the cork finally relented with a most satisfying pop. Ruddy, with a slight bit of turbidity and a massive, tight head. Loads of yeasty funkyness going on here, with distinct bubblegum and tutti-fruity notes. Some malt settles in later, but this is without doubt a brett showcase. A bit sweet toward the end. Not something you'd want to drink all evening, but quite interesting.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

349th review on BA
Bottle to wine glass
750 ml
Batch #2. Oct. 2008

App- Dark sunset amber orange with a gigantic three finger head. Stuck around for a long time. Faded to a nice soft one finger.

Smell- Tart, yeasty lemon zest with a tiny hop note.

Taste- I wanted to be blown away. This was pretty good but a little too carbonated water tinge. A kick of funk on the back end.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a high carbonation. Crisp, funk and a bit of dank retains.

Drink- A pretty good little beer. It's very crisp and refreshing. Nice to have a 750 at the end of the day with a low abv. I have to say I probably won't buy this again.

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Photo of harrymel
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch #2: bottled October 2008
Yeast: Brettanomyces

I bought this beer with the intention of better helping me understand Brettanomyces. Here we go:

A: KAPOW! Cork shot out of this bottle with anger and vengeance! I immediately looked to the bottle with anticipation of gush, gush, gush!!!...Nothing. huh. Anyway, pours a golden ale with obvious chill haze. Three finger peanut head dissipates over a few minutes to a single finger which will hang out for the duration. Thick lacing. Good looker.

S: Yum! Tart, funky nose with some really appealing caramel malt backgrounds. If this is exemplary of Brett, now I know. For some reason this reminds me of "it's alright" by Mikkeller.

T: Not tart. Nose does not fall into here. I'm starting to believe Brett offers the nose, but not the palate tart I seek. simple, pale malt backbone with metallic tones. Very hollow mid palate - almost watery.

M: Light body and high carbonation. The carbonation dies quickly in the mouth and falls down quickly in a hollow fashion. Very complex mouthfeel.

O: I think this beer was well crafted, and I think it solidifies my distaste for solely Brett beers. I love sours, but this beer isn't my cup of tea.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Twelve-ounce single, newly available in this dimension. Typically reserved for 750 ML bottles, I had the opportunity to sample this French-inspired offering from an American-Belgian brewery. Go figure. The style itself translates to "March Beer" and was the product of Northern-French farmhouses which sought to introduce a new twist to the seasonal variations. True to the style, the beer takes on European characteristics although to a slightly overbearing extent. Ruddy, copper-colored hue with a thick head and distinct carbonation. Faint aroma of malts and yeast noticeable in the background. Thick, rich taste with nuances of vanilla and honey dominate the palate. Flavor overall was pronounced and assertive. A good depiction of the style, but slightly over-the-top.

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Photo of Avagadro
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed Nov 2008

A: BDM is hazy copper in color, with little in the way of head formation or retention. Lacing is also minimal.

S: Bouquet is well presented, but not overly complex, with bing cherries and a slice of granny smith.

T: This is easily this beer's best aspect. Almost dry, with notes of cherries, tart apples, honey, and toasted bread. Light, delicate, and well balanced.

M: Medium body with a slight slickness. the brew feels as though it is flat.

D: A great brew, but the Brett doesn't really shine. Despite this, it is a well made brew, and is worth a shot.

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Photo of BeerMaverick
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 750ml bottle...

A - Burnt orange color with noticeable sediment floating around. Off-white, very thick head and great retention. Moderate lacing deposited on the wine glass walls.

S - Slight orange/citrusy aromas and definite wood/earthy notes.

T - The orange/citrusy flavors definitely dominate the taste. Alcohol hidden very well behind barnyard taste given by wild yeasts. Slight hoppy bitterness present.

M - The label on the bottle describes the mouthfeel as a "zing"...that's really the only way I can describe the barnyard citrusy mouthfeel.

D - At 6.5% this is a very drinkable enjoyable beer...a highlight of its category. Only one or two however at 750mls.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Original review date: 10/4/08, batch #1 bottling.

Pours clear, dark amber with a ruby hue. A one inch head of white fluff settled down slowly, and revealed some nice lacework and a solid skim coat on the surface.

Aromatics lead off with clove-laden malt, pineapple skins, caramel, and earthy overtones. Hints of menthol, peppercorns, toffee, cut grass, and lemon zest follow through.

Medium bodied, with a crisp, slightly creamy mouthfeel.

Spice-steeped malt, cedar bark, bitter fruit seeds, and a hint of leather start the palate.
Suggestions of caramel, toasted nuts, clove dust, and dried pineapple follow through.

Finishes with a firm bitterness, prickles of warmth on the throat, and lingering drying malt and spice.

The Brett is starting to come forward on this one. Already a bit dryer and more barn-like than the fresh one I had at Cooperstown.
Still a bit light on the funk for my taste, but a very balanced Brett beer, and we'll see where this one goes in the cellar.

Revisit 2/11/11, batch #1 bottling.

This beer seems to be standing still in time. The brett might be a bit more pronounced after over two years since the initial review, but hard to say. Still very subtle, with hints of apples, pineapples, clove, and peppercorns.
No visible signs of oxidation and the beer is quite dry at this point.
I really don't see this one improving anymore and I'm surprised the brett hasn't ramped it up more.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A powerful pop when I pulled the cork! Wow, what a brew! Great looking, a touch of chill haze, but mostly clear and orange, huge, long lasting head, tons of thick, sticky lacing, and a literal torrent of powerful bubbles coming up from the laser etching on my snifter.

Smell wise it's a bit sweet and fruity, spicy, with a touch of caramel malt and a nice hoppy profile.

It's funky and fruity, malty and hoppy all at once. A good spicy background, very peppery. A touch of yeast rounds it out. A bit more like a wild ale than what I expect from a biere de garde, but that's just fine by me.

Mouthfeel is tangy, peppy, medium bodied and strongly carbonated, with warming action despite the lower alcohol content. Rather dry.

Drinks pretty good. A bit over the top but still a very nice brew.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this beer lurking in the back of my lagering cooler. I don't recall how long it has been there, but it must have been at least 6 months. I guess it should be settled. Here we go:

Appearance: Pours a very clear orange with a slight peachy tint. There was a huge 3" head of light tan foam that was maintained by tons of bubbles rising to the top. The head has only fallen a little in a couple minutes, but there is already some thick lacing left on the glass.

Aroma: MMMmmm!!! I really dig the aroma in this beer! It has an obviously funky character, yet it still has enough malt and back bone to be a beer, so there is a nice medley of sweet and sour. There are dry wheaty grains and some light caramel sweetness. There are generous hops in here that really compliment the mix of aromatics and remind me of a Tripel. Outstanding!

Taste: The flavor is also complex, but doesn't quite have the punch that the huge aroma led up to. It is medium to light bodied with a generous amount of sweet caramel malts up front along with the funky character that comes across quite citrusy in the flavor, and the hops accentuate this character, leaving the finish to be a bit tart and remind me a bit of lemonade. Overall the wild yeast contributes a bit of funk in the beginning and then adds dryness to the finish, which leaves their reserved use of bittering hops hanging in the balance a bit. With the high carbonation and light body, the beer slips across your palate pretty quickly. The sweet caramel is still left on the lips long after the sip, so you don't forget that you just had a quality beer...though the mouthfeel doesn't speak much of it.

Opinion: Even though I believe that this beer fell short a bit on flavor, it still delivers a fine impression of the wild side of a Biere De Garde. This style is so wide-open, it sure fits, but I haven't tried a commercial one this wild...I don't fault it for that. This is obviously a hard style to hit, and I am really nit-picking it here to say that it could use a bit of tweaking on the balance...though I would hate to even speculate where that is. This tweaking would be the difference between the excellent beer that it already is into a world-class contender. This is a great beer, and I would definitely recommend it...especially if you are into sours.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ommegang Bière de Mars is an incredibly turbulent, amber ale with a huge, foamy head that just keeps growing. It's alive! It has a funky aroma that's very earthy and musty, with notes of hay, grass and tropical fruit. It's lively and light on the tongue like champagne. The finish is very clean, quick and dry. What a unique flavor. It's funky and earthy, like the aroma. It's a little bready and a little tart. It's very hard to dissect this flavor. There's a lot going on in the taste, but it's tightly melded. I taste a lot of hay. It's a touch bitter and a touch sour. It's quite dry and the finish is musty. It's a unique treat that's fun to drink.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated October 2008. Pours hazy amber with a foamy off-white head, much lacing and carbonation.
Aroma is of caramel malt and barnyard. Full, tangy body. Caramel malt, brown sugar combine with spicy hops and funkiness on the palate. Long, dry finish. Love it or hate it rustic brew.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle. this is from batch 2 which was bottled in october of 2008. drank from my duvel tulip

WARNING: the cork shot itself out of the bottle as soon as the cage came off with intense force and gushed all over my floor.

A- this one pours out of the bottle a glowing golden orange colored body with a massive cream colored head on top. the head lasts for a really long time, and leaves behind large globs of lacing. i have to take off points for the gushing here.

S- the first thing i notice about the nose is the funky yeast used in this one. theres also a strong odor of lemons. a little bit of green apple skin. some spices at the end.

T- the taste starts out with spicy and funky belgian yeast. lots of lemon and green apple. this is somewhat tart, but definitely not overly sour. the faint remains of grassy hops at the end.

M- really light body with a very high level of carbonation. very dry finish. my mouth is left very parched.

D- easy to drink my share of this bottle. a little pricey to drink often, but every once in a while i could see this being a special treat. i dont think i like this one better than rare vos.

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Photo of drewba
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beware: the cork shot out hard and of course it gushed moments later. This had been sitting in the fridge for days, so apparently it's volatile as hell. The sediment at the bottom of the glass looks like dirt or sand.

A - A gentle pour gave roughly 3 inches of head to 1 inch of beer. After it evened out, I'm left with a stagant yellow-hay colored beer with a nice, half finger of white goodness on top.

S - tart lemon notes, some peppery spice, a little sour apple and a very grassy but muted hop presence.

T - This has qualities of a belgian pale ale mixed with a saison, pretty interesting. It also tastes just as it smells: lots of tart and funk from lemon, green apple and grass, a touch of pepper bite and the finish is muted, grassy hops. The brett is definitely there, but not overstated in any way.

M - The heavy carbonation is somewhat an issue - when I move it around my mouth, the carbonation flares up and then I can't taste anything. Otherwise, the beer is medium in body, crisp - almost champagne-esque as the carbonation doesn't let up.

D - Hard to say; I enjoyed this, but don't know when I'd see a time to drink another one. Me and my roommate finished the bomber fairly quickly, so the drinkability is there, I'm just not sure if I see myself revisiting this again. I think would do great in a Brett tasting or lineup.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

After opening the wire cage and stopper, it was easy to pick up the aroma of the spices. The pour was real creamy with a nice golden head. My first sip reminder me between the Ommegang WITT and SouthHampton Grand Cru.

It was sort of a cross between a Wheat and Spiced beer.

It was so easy to drink, smooth with a nice lasting taste

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Photo of BeerNinja007
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch #2, October 2008, so it's a bit over 2yrs old at this point. 750mL corked & crowned bottle. I got it in July 2010 at Green Mountain Boys Discount Beverages, Rutland VT, for $12.49.

Served refrigerator-chilled in a similarly chilled tulip, yes a bit colder than the recommended 50F, but I figure I'll start low and it'll be at least 60F before it's gone and that'll give the widest experience. Paired with slow-cooked pork loin in cranberry chutney and caramelized onions.

A: Big billowy fluffy ivory-colored head, 3" in height. In a couple minutes it settles from within to a 1/4" cake, then eventually to a thin whispy layer. Minimal lace at first, then becoming more generous as it warms.

S: Some warm ginger spice, bright cherry/ berry esters, and an earthy blend of yeast and brett funk. Semi-sweet. Overall not too much unlike raspberry ginger ale. Smell stays mostly the same through the session. The yeast/ brett funk mostly fades away. I do notice a bit of floral character, but it could've been there before and I didn't make note of it.

T/M: In the mouth it is tart and dry, thin and fizzy, watery, not very flavorful... though it is still cold. The carbo is heavy in a thin way, very fine bubbles, kinda typical for Ommegang.

As it warms, the fruity stuff comes out a bit and softens up, the tartness looses its edge. The yeast/ brett funk dissipates significantly. But the renaissance I was hoping for didn't come, still pretty flat and watery on the taste. :/

D: The soft carbo and lack of body ensures this goes down quick and easy.

As much as I want to like this, and to justify the >$12 I spent on it, in all honesty I have to be quite disappointed. Yes there's a lot to be said for subtle quaffable brews, but I wanted more than that out of this. I wanted something unique to ponder and explore rather than something to chug, and in that light this largely fell flat.

If I was to rate this on a cost-benefit basis it would fare much much worse (D?). Spend your money elsewhere.

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Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy brownish amber in color and poured with a finger high off white head that faded away and left lacy rings of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: The nose is slightly sour and has aromas of apples and pears.
T: The initial taste has a slight amount of sweetness and is rather fruity with apple flavors standing out in particular; the beer finishes with a slight amount of sourness from the Brettanomyces. No hop bitterness is perceptible, although there are some hints of spicy yeast in the finish.
M: It feels on the lighter side of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: Compared to other beers in this style, this one is extremely easy to drink.

Note: Batch #3, November 2008

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark caramel amber color with a thicker bubbly off white head.

S-the nose has a hint of cookie with fruity brett right behind. some dried melon with some soft peaches as well.

T-the flavor is much of the same hints of spicy yeast, dry cookie and melon that is slightly empty with notes of soft peach and fruity brett, the back adds some juicy lemon flavors.

M-soft palate on a light body, somewhat yeasty malt presence with an assertive carbonation and crisp clean finish.

D-the flavors are pretty nice but the mouth is slighlty pale up front with lots of juicy fruits and spicy yeast in back. this isn't bad but the flavors just don't roll together that great.

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Photo of drewd0g
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, purchased at Big M in Potsdam.
appearance is kind of orange a little cloudy. smells like straw and a littly funky and tart. Mouthfeel is good with nice carbonation. its feel like small bubbles, it's nice. the drinkability is pretty high, i could drink a bomber of this. the 6.5% is pretty well hidden.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.51/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #3 november 2008. Pours a dark redish with a smaller head. Smells very sweet and similar to a wine. The taste is sweet and then tart, but not overpowering, very mellow and smooth, very intersting taste. Smooth nice to sip, not much for carbonation, but this one doesnt need it. Overall really good really different. Would get this one again.

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Photo of ryantaussig
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From Batch #3 (November 2008). Cellared at the brewery. I'm looking forward to tasting this after a solid two years of aging.

A: Nice amber hue with a big head in a tulip. Retention isn't great, but it leaves a decent lace.

S: Lots of fruit and funk come through. Malt character is present with some yeast.

T: Mostly fruitiness comes through here. There's a certain amount of yeast and funk, but the Brettanomyces is mostly present in the nose. There's a certain spice toward the end from the yeast as well. Some slight hop and malt notes.

M: Medium from start to finish. Slight bit of drying toward the end, but not particularly noticeable.

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Photo of arboristfish
2.93/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color of this beer is a clear copper color, with a fizzy white head. The smell is interesting. Smell hints of spicy malt and fruity yeast. The taste is a little different. I notice they do use bretto in their beer. For me the sweet taste that should be there is quickly mellowed out by a slight sourness. Overall the body of the beer is a medium light, with a slighty fizzy carbonation. It is drinkable even though the flavor is bland.

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Photo of therica
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No date on the bottle but purchased about 5 months ago at a high-traffic beer store.

A= orange like a lot of pumpkin beers; bubbly carbonation like a soda-pop.

S= a nice mix of fruits, hints of Belgian yeast.

T= somewhat tart as well as bitter and dry, some smooth fruits and berries, there's some biting carbonation that's turning me off in the nose, mouth and belch.

M= tart berry, fruit, light sweetness.

D= I'm not into this beer, will probably have another glass or maybe the whole bottle only because it's opened and it's sitting here. One of those "interesting, next beer" experiences for me.

FOLLOW-UP: sorry but after the first glass I couldn't stand to pour another one, so the rest of the bottle will be left out and open, and eventually should probably make some great beer vinegar for soups or marinating or something.

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Photo of thecarster1
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a- 750 ml corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter, two fingers head, hazy light chesnut coloring, some chunky yeast floating around, great lacing - thick and creamy, active bubbling.

s- funk, tart, acidity, some unripe berries - strawberries, some vinegar.

t- tart, funk, sweet and tart unripe berries - strawberries and raspberries, vinegar, some bready, biscuity malt, a bit horsey, finish is dry, a hint of hops linger.

m- light, active in the mouth.

d- good, this is my first biere de garde style, and it was a solid one at that, i would drink this again.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fair amber ale with brett... A bit subdued on the funkiness, a bit irregular on the profile, but ultimately decently drinkable.

Presentation: 750 ml brown corked and caged bottle. Main label with a an image of the red planet with the name of the brew over it. Right side notes main intent, ingredients and process. Left side note offers serving instruction, brewery background and perfunctory legal sections. Shows serving temperature, and Alc. by Vol. (6.5%). Notes batch number and date (#3, November 2008). Served in a tulip glass.

A - Medium to deep amber pour, with a good frothy head, medium to low retention, little lacing and a modest surface memory.

S - A bit malty, with a touch of spices, and almost no funk to talk about.

T - Hmmm, bizarre initial take with a lightly funky touch, very faint, and a metallic push, weird. The metallic touch fades leaves a lightly fruity sense over a bready touch. Final pour is dominated by a malty and caramel sense... Much more prominent and assertive than anything before in the ride with other nuances going away.

M - Medium body and carbonation, with a relatively smooth range.

D - Hmmm, it is not bad, but swings so much between different profiles, and not in a particularly dynamic way, that the brew is a bit disorienting. Good for the occasion but not a particularly remarkable choice.

Notes: Strange brew indeed, for a brew that is almost two years old I was hoping a stronger sense of the sense of brett, and it is almost absent, maybe wrong expectations... It feels like it is being pushed in plenty directions and while it is OK in the end none takes over worth highlighting.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy amber-orange color with some nice fizzy head that fades away and leaves behind on a tiny bit of lacing

S - The heaviest aroma is the tartness of sweet/sour fruits and citrus smells. There is also a bit of the floral aroma behind the tartness.

T - The taste is a combination of the tartness, even bordering on sourness of the fruity elements and the bitterness and spiciness of the spices and the hops. The aftertaste is even a bit on the bitter/sour side.

M - Very crisp beer, mostly due to the high level of carbonation. It feels fairly light, while still having some body to it.

D - This is a fairly easy to drink beer, with the tartness and sweetness in the flavors it stays crisp and fairly refreshing overall.

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Bière De Mars from Brewery Ommegang
3.86 out of 5 based on 405 ratings.
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