MarsNovember 22, 2014
The first of seven limited releases in Bell’s Planet Series, Mars is a double IPA hopped with about 3.4 pounds of hops per barrel.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1094
AVAILABLE: AL, AZ, CA, FL, DC, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, MI, MN, MO, NC, ND, NY, OH, PA, PR, SC, VA, WI
Sneak attack. Just as I was appreciating the resin-forward nature of this ale, the burnt orange, lemony-grapefruit hop characters crashed the wall of my taste buds. It’s easy to make a double IPA—just add more hops. But it’s hard to do one well. This is well done, the herbal hop notes get a lift from solid biscuity, slightly toasted malts. It’s a multi-pronged approach to a positive result. Mars is the Roman god of war. This entry into the crowded double IPA market is a formidable opponent and ready to battle for supremacy.
- John Holl
From the aroma of this hazy copper double IPA, you might expect reticence, or at least even-handedness on the hop front, with its boozy, spiced orange toffee aroma. Don’t be fooled. Although it hits the palate with bright, fruit punch fruitiness, hops creep up quickly to add a rounded complexity that brings nutshell and citrus, perfume and pine tree to the mix, becoming increasingly alcohol-soaked as it goes. The finish is bitter and brandy-ish, with lingering herbals and grapefruit rind. Certainly an end-of-night beer.
- Stephen Beaumont
John is the editor of All About Beer Magazine, the host of The Beer Briefing on iHeart Radio, and the author of three books, including The American Craft Beer Cookbook. Find him on Twitter @John_Holl.
Co-author of both The World Atlas of Beer and The Pocket Beer Guide (with Tim Webb), Stephen travels the world sampling beer, hosting dinners and tastings, and eating too much airport food.