Mars, The Bringer of War by Bell’s Brewery

Tasting: September 25, 2014
Style: Imperial IPA
Beer #: 619

© 2014 popsonhops

© 2014 popsonhops

Mars, The Bringer of War

Mars, The Bringer of War, is the first installment of Bell’s Brewery seven-part beer series inspired by British composer Gustav Holst’s century-old orchestral suite also collectively known as “The Planets”. Holst’s series of movements were composed in pieces over a number of years with each portion named for one of seven planets. Sorry, Earth wasn’t included in Holst’s series and Pluto’s discovery ten years later in 1930 didn’t cause Holst to return pay homage to the newly discovered planet. He would die in 1934 – maybe he didn’t have the energy to return to touch up his opus. Others however, have taken a few stabs at it.

The order of each of Bell’s Planet series releases corresponds with the order and title of Holst’s planetary segments. First up is “Mars, The Bringer of War”. Surprising that they went with a double IPA, I thought it was a natural to go with an imperial red ale being the Mars is the red planet. But who would argue with an imperial IPA from Bell’s? Not me. Mars, The Bringer of War was released last month (August) and each subsequent release is promised to come in two month intervals with the final release of Neptune, The Mystic promised for July of 2015.

Since Bell’s is not available in New Jersey, this was a purchase in New Paltz, NY.

Out of the bottle and into my glass flows this 10.1% ABV reddish brown imperial IPA. Mega-hop aroma . Rich caramel sweetness lays a heavy foundation which compliments the tropical fruit, lemon and hop resin. Some boozy heat and black pepper rolls in on the finish. I’m very impressed with the malt base and the syrupy mouthfeel. Not as much hop complexity here – but I’m digging Mars, The Bringer of War. 93 points from me.

In case you’re curious, here’s Bell’s Planet Series lineup:

“Mars, The Bringer of War” – Double IPA
“Venus, The Bringer of Peace” – A Blonde Ale brewed with honey, apricot, vanilla and cardamom
“Mercury, The Winged Messenger” – A Belgian Single
“Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity” – A malt forward Brown Ale
“Saturn, The Bringer of Old Age” – A Bourbon Barrel-aged Barleywine
“Uranus, The Magician” – Black Double IPA
“Neptune, The Mystic” – A beer inspired by Dr. Bell’s Medicinal Stout, one of Larry Bell’s homebrews that also helped inspire Eccentric Ale

I’ll check back once they get to Saturn.

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