Wild Rose Life on Mars

Reviewed by on March 7, 2014 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Wild Rose Brewery

  • Origin: Calgary, AB

  • Rated On: March 1, 2014

  • Best Before: May 30, 2014

  • ABV: 8.2%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Bière de Mars

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

I first thought that the dude on the left on the label was an old photo of James Hetfield – sorry, Perkins! On to the beer – it proclaims to be Wild Rose’s take on the Bière de Mars sub-style of the Bière de Garde style, a decidedly spring-like type of brew.

This 650ml bottle pours a hazy, dark red brick amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves some streaky melting snowbank (subliminal wishing may be at work here) lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of savoury spices up front – ginger, clove, mixed milled peppercorns – a bready caramel malt, lime and orange citrus, and leafy, somewhat perfumed hops. The taste is mildly metallic ginger, faint cinnamon, white and black pepper, grainy pale and caramel malt, soft muddled citrus notes, a hint of dry yeast, a certain tart apple fruitiness, cold mojitos, and a further understated leafy, earthy hoppiness. The carbonation is lively in its even-handed frothiness, the body a solid medium weight, and mostly smooth, with a sort of airy creaminess. It finishes off-dry, the bready caramel malt duly lingering, amongst a still active spice and vodka slime (this is an Alberta brew, I’m using a historical Alberta underage drinking reference) fruitiness.

A pretty solid, and agreeably drinkable effort, even with all those extra ingredients tossed into the fray. I have to say that I’ve only sampled but a few versions of this style from the origin, and from what I remember, this does their influence a great service – you know, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, and all that.

Brady White

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