Wednesday, January 20, 2010

204. New Belgium Biere de Mars

This is our fourth beer from New Belgium; the previous three include Fat Tire, 1554 Enlightened Black Ale and La Folie. Biere de Mars is part of the Lips of Faith series, which is where good dogs go to die.

Biere de Mars has a hazy orange color and a light white head. The nose is pretty clean—there is a slight odor of brett-based funk, but other than that, not much else. In terms of flavor, Biere de Mars starts dry and thin—about the only real malt flavor present is flat and crackery. The middle has some low-level citrus and light mustiness and spice flavor combined with a bit of sourness, and it ends clean in terms of the malt profile; there is some lingering yeast-based sourness and spiciness. Biere de Mars has a very light, thin body and a dry crisp bite from the carbonation—we’re guessing this one has a very low final gravity, which is par for the course for saisons. The funky odor in the nose does increase with warmth, as does the spiciness in the middle. Overall, a lighter and cleaner beer than we expected, but enjoyable and very drinkable.

From the bottle: “A celestial collision of orange-hued ale, citrusy lemon verbena, and unidentified flying brettanomyces.”

From the New Belgium website: “For the first time in three years we are pleased to offer one of our favorite harbingers of spring, Biere de Mars. With earthy tones of ripe mango and lemon verbena, this bottle-conditioned ale reflects the hearty character of the southern Belgian and northern French countrysides. Brewed with barley, oats and wheat malt, Biere de Mars’ celestial orange hue inspired the planetary play on words. Brettanomyces, a wild yeast strain, added for bottle-conditioning creates a refreshingly sour flash across the palate. Lemon peel coupled with the lemon verbena imparts fruitlike character and a citrusy finish.”

ABV: 6.2%


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