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Draft Bear | Mikkeller ApS

very good
127 Reviews
For Trade:
Draft BearDraft Bear

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malts (pils, carapils and amber), light candy sugar, hops (amarillo and cascade) and lager yeast.

Added by akorsak on 02-15-2008

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Reviews: 127 | Ratings: 236
Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

1pt 9.4 oz brown glass bottle with a cork reinforced by one of those four prong twisted metal caps served into an imperial pint glass in high altitude Denver, Colorado. Reviewed live. Note that Mikkeller is me favourite brewery in the world. I believe I'm new to this style of beer but I could be mistaken.

A: Four finger head of lovely soft cream lacing, great thickness, and really good retention. Colour is a cloudy transparent copper. Very appealing.

Sm: A strong scent of souring hops, cream, and milk (I know). Rather pleasant and appealing.

T: Stilted strange cream alongside some weird soft ester I've not encountered before. The cream carries through as an undercurrent through the finish, which is pleasant and aids the otherwise overburdened unobtrusive barley body. It is a bit imbalanced, and the middle act lacks inspiration unfortunately. That said, it's built pretty well and is refreshing.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with a touch of unwelcome coarseness right on the finish. Doesn't really complement the flavours of the body, a disappointment coming from Mikkeller.

Dr: It drinks very well for the relatively high ABV, but doesn't deliver promising or inspired flavours. The middle sags in its blandness. I was very disappointed as a Mikkeller fanatic, but in fairness Mikkeller always does better at darker stronger beers than this. Moreover, it's wildly overpriced.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours orange/amber with a large, lasting head.
Nose shows lots of fruity hops, lychee and pineapples really stand out but also mango and peach. Other than that, very clean with some soft biscuity malt in the background.
Similarly fruity flavours, but there's also a huge resinous, piney kick that lasts right through the sharp, bitter finish. Also lots of light sweet clean malt and some alcohol.
A bit too much booze, and when combined with the sharp, unchecked bitterness it seems a bit harsh.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours light gold in color into my snifter with a good two fingers of bubbly head that leaves sticky bubbly lace along the glass with moderate retention.

S - Lots of caramel sweet malts, candied sugar, grassy hops, slight citrus of lemon, and yeast.

T - Initially it is sweet and malty. Candied sugar and caramel notes are present, as it mellows on the palate the grassy hops and citrus notes become more present as well as a nice lingering bitterness.

M - Medium body, well balanced, very smooth and creamy.

O - Really like this one more than I anticipated. It had some barley wine characteristics to it that made it really rather nice and enjoyable. Worth trying if you can get your hands on it!

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

Overall this was a very good and interesting beer. Obviously you would expect a Pils to be very bitter and aromatic but the imperial variety adds a strong feel of sweet maltiness and sweet ethanol to it - I really like this more than I should considering its abv....

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Photo of Gmann
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden honey color with a huge merangue off white head which slowly settled into a cream pie type of head.

The aroma is of grassy and peppery hops, some light honey and tropical fruit notes. Solid bready malt and hop aromas.

The taste is more balanced between the malt and the hops. A big bready honey malt mixes with a grassy and peppery hop. Solid tropical fruit notes as well from the hops. A flavorful beer for sure, just doesn't remind me of a pilsner, nor does any of these "imperial" pilsners. A strong hoppy lager, it is what it is. A pils should be dry, not so much in this beer. Anywho, the beer tastes good.

Moderate to full feel with soft carbonation. Hoppy bitterness throughout. Again, doesn't feel like a pils, way to heavy. I get that it is an "imperial" pils but the beauty of a pils is the cracker like dry malt.

A good flavorful beer, nice hoppy flavor.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
1.9/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

It was quite a struggle to get the cork out, but I prevailed without the cork screw.

Appearance: The beer poured a murky brownish yellow color with very little head after an aggressive pour. The head was reduced to an off-white to tan ring where the beer meets the glass.

Aroma: The aroma in this beer is off. Man, it is oxidized, but was this beer oak aged or something and they didn't tell me? Either way, it is off even for a wood aged beer. I assume that the "imperial pilsner" label is misguided, but there are woody notes in here a-plenty with malt being the other thing to notice amongst the plethora of oxidative papery aromatics among others.

Taste: I seriously don't know what they were trying to achieve here, but in my opinion, they missed it entirely. This bottle must be infected or something, but I have no idea how this beer was supposed to taste. The oxidation and woody notes are so strong in the flavor, that you hardly notice that this brown syrupy mess is going down until this completely unbalanced hoppy bitterness hits the back of the throat and completely stops all progress...and just sits there until the alcohol cooks it off.

Opinion: I am having a hard time drinking this beer, and I will probably go down in the ranks as the lowest score of the 70+ reviews at this time. The beer itself will almost positively be going down in the ranks of my drain-pipe. This beer is brutal! Maybe it is because the cork leaked and the oxidation killed it. I am surprised as some of the flavors and such are simply not appropriate for a Pilsner, but a lot of them in this beer are down-right unpleasant for me. I have been underwhelmed with Mikkeller products overall, and after this experience, they may have completely pushed me away. I don't know why I keep paying money for this abuse.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Grant for sending me this cool beer in a recent trade. Poured into a pint glass. The beer pours a hazy murky looking golden brown color with about an inch of head with good sticky lace. The body looks a little unapealing but it's not bad. Seems like if I drank this sooner there would be more of aaa hop presence but still a pretty good aroma. Candied orange with sweet toffee. The flavor is just like the aroma. Candied orange with a bit of toffee. Big malt body on this. I feel like I'm not reviewing this in it's prime. The feel is kind of sticky with good carbonation. Still an enjoyable beer. Even though I think it's past it's prime. If you got any of these drink up. I don't think there is any point in holding on to these.

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Photo of Trilogy31
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful golden brown, with a full three fingers of head the slowly dissipates and leaves a beautiful cap. Nose offers bitter citrus, floral tones and what i can only describe as a fresh boiling wort. In the mouth its reminiscent of a mild ipa, with nice citrus, pine and floral notes. Extremely drinkable and refreshing with the alcohol barely noticeable. Finishes with nice grain and a smooth not sweet malt taste. One of my new favorites.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Mikkeller Draft Bear

Appearance: smooth amber, large head, and some good lacing.

Smell: hops, citrus, and faint grain.

Taste: strong hops, some citrus, and a floralness.

Mouthfeel: medium and smooth.

This is flavorful and silky smooth. If you love IPAs, you will love this.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #41 (Jun 2010):

Giving the bird to the ho-hum lagers. Pale orange-amber color, good sticky lace. Taffy from the malt sweetness and peppery from the hops and alcohol--the nose is pleased. Fluffy medium body, bigger than expected. Hops are a bit serious with a lot to offer in flavor and bitterness. Malt isn't holding back either, with rustic bread and dried grass on the palate. Warming alcohol and chalky yeast in the bitter, semidry finish. Raw and in your face--the punk of Pilsners here.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Adventurous and currous, this larger-than-life Lager pits assertive grainy-sweet flavors early against a dry and fleeting finish.

Draft Bear opens with a hazy golden color and good head formation/retention of stark-white foam. Low lacing on the glass.

Water soaked barley kernels give a grainy start but mixes well with softer breadier sweet notes. Herbal and grassy notes speak to the assertive hop additions. Red apples/bruised apples come to the forefront as the beer warms.

Bold Pilsneresque flavors give a grainy-sweet flavor up front. A mix of apples (red, bruised variety) give a part ester/part yeast taste. The beer makes a quick transition from its flavorful upstart and towards a fleeting and somewhat empty taste well before mid palate. Hop flavors of pine and fresh cut grasses sit just behind the sweetness and take over the beer as the malty flavors fade. Low aftertaste of soft grain/malt and moderate hop bitterness.

Medium-full upstart quickly empties out for a very dry and powdery shaddow of a beer. The dryness is amplified by hop bitterness and moderate alcohols. The dry finish is satisfying, but the empty mid stride certainly speaks toward American adjunct lagers.

An interesting choice that has a promising early taste and drinkable dryness in the end- just a bit soul-less in between.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a brownish golden orange with yellow highlights that had a 2 finger head and it did leave lots of bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I definitely got lots of sweetness in the aroma from the candy sugar but did have a slight malt prsence with very fainy hop notes in the background. It also seemed to have a little citrus character as well.

T: the candy sugar and the hops really mesh quite well and give good flavor contrast between them with a little bit more sweetness from the malts coming through but still had crisp citrus notes and a touch of booze.

M: the brew was medium in body with lots of carbonation which had a sweet, slight hoppy, but silky, crisp finish.

D: it drank very well and was quite tasty considering the lack of ingedients going into this beer. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try this brew.

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Photo of Stigs
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, split

A - pours with a small and short lived loose bubbly off-white foam. the beer is slightly cloudy, dark gold in color.

S - noble hops, bringing some grassy and lemon notes. crispy cracker malts, belgian yeast, and grains.

T - assertive grassy and citrus hops, picking up a good bit of pear, and lemon zest early. grainy from the middle to the end, finishes with a strong crackery malt, subtle alcohol and lingering grassiness. very tasty.

M - medium bodied with bright and lively carbonation. finishes very clean with a minor alcohol burn.

T - yummy and unique. i was sipping on this from the balcony of an oceanfront condo, during a storm, nursing a fresh jellyfish sting. all was well with the world.

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Photo of Brez07
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing from notes a few months old. Poured into a snifter

A: Murky golden brown pour that leaves minimal white head. Not much lacing left on the glass

S: A subdued nose consisting of lemon zest, lemongrass, some floral notes, yeast and some light fruit. There is also some hop qualities (pine, mostly)

T: Interesting, reminded me a little of cider but much less sweet. Lemongrass, some apple and funk

M: Clean, crisp, light bodied. Good carbonation

D: Easy to drink, could have drank the whole bottle (instead of splitting it). However, I had it on draft a few months before and it was much better. More hoppier and grassy

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Photo of lumikuuro
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle.

Appearance: Opaque ambery gold with a huge, thick cream head that becomes mountainous and has the best retention I've seen for a long time. Only sporadic lace left as the head is so tight. The colour is a little dark for a pilsner, but then it claims to be an imperial pilsner.

Aroma: Lots of floral citrus hops; smells like a pacific northwest IPA. A good pilsner should have noticeable hops in the aroma, so I accept this as a different take on the style.

Taste: Smooth, rich bready malt with very gentle sweetness and mellow bitterness at first; then the hops run rampant for the rest of the drink, overpowering the once pleasing malt profile and making the beer taste like an IPA, not a pilsner. The alcohol is noticeable but sensible.

I was really excited to try this beer, as I like a good pilsner. Unfortunately, this beer tastes nothing like the style it's supposed to be. I like a good IPA, but that's not what I wanted from this beer. It doesn't even taste like it's bottom fermented.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, fuller side of medium bodied. A little dry. Nice.

Drinkability: It's a delicious beer, but don't expect anything remotely pilsner like after the first couple of sips. I won't be buying this again because it is far too expensive and similar to an IPA, and does not deliver at all as the imperial pilsner it claims to be.

If this beer was marketed as an IPA or a hopped ale, it would have received much higher marks.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at the Mikkeller bar...Pours a dark gold with a hint of orange. A white head that is gone right away, light lacing...The aroma is way to light here, a tad bit going on but not strong enough to really enjor. This is a summer matly beer, tons of caramel and alcohol all over the place, a bit of pine resin on the end...The taste is ok, again super matly way too caramelly and sweet for a light beer, you can really see how this is a double.

This beer is interesting hybrid, but not quite there yet. You can skip over this one.

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Photo of drpimento
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Killer beer. It's pretty much the way they say in the commercial description. Poured with a nice white head and plenty of lace. Color is a hazy amber. Aroma is very aromatically spicey yeast malt and hoppy. Flavor is clean like aroma and bigger. Body is appropriately full and well carbonated. Finish is like flavor but then tapers to quite bitter, almost a little too bitter

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a large white head. The aroma is pilsner malt with a mix of hop flavors including grass, pine and citrus. The flavor is orange citrus hops with some light pine notes and a strong backbone of pilsner malt. There are also a lot of grassy hops in the flavor. Low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Xul
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a translucent golden with a very slight red tint. A rocky, two finger white head settles down to one finger and slowly recedes from there.

S: Hop forward with piney and earthy elements, backed by a beefed up pils base - grainy, some caramel and lemon zest, and very light fruit.

T: Strong hop profile hits first with the piney and earthy elements, along with some standard pilsneresque characteristics. Grain base in back with some caramel, a bit of cloves and some banana.

M: Moderate body with high carbonation, supports the higher ABV.

D: Very drinkable for such a strong beer, would love to have a chance to try this on draft.

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Photo of OneWoman
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The Draft Bear has slightly translucent reddish, copper color, that shines. It has the pilsner smell (the fresh, yeasty whiff of pils malts), but nothing of your Danish grandpa's pilsner in color or flavor. At 8% ABV, it's a slow sipping beer that's warmly hopped and tastes like light brown sugar or that cotton candy flavor, but without being too sweet. All this is lovingly well-balanced to make a sexy, modern, beer. I was unable to find any clues about why the Mikkeller Draft Bear is called a "bear" (is it related to the mythical Boontville creature from Anderson Valley, the Beer?). But, come to think of it, the Draft Bear is sort of grizzly bear-colored.

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Photo of ohoh
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft Bear, what a great name for a bear. Sorry, beer.

75cl bottle shared with friend with a pair of snifters.

Lovely, dark pilsner colour with a quite big head, slowly disappearing. The aroma is quite hefty, with of course citrus dominating it. I can also feel some caramel malt.

Considering the powerfull smell this is very well-balanced. Lots of differents tastes comes to mind as the breadiness of the pilsner part is mixed with the distinct bitter hops of the imperial part. Great.

Lots of bubbles remind us that this is no IPA. Quite refreshing considering the force of the taste and aroma. I could drink this bottle myself. There isn't 8% in here. 4.5%?

Another fine brew from Mikkeller, I'm astonished. I gotta go back to Copenhagen. Thank you!

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Photo of meeekyh
4.97/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml into a pilsner glass.

Slightly hazy, dark-honey color beer with a 3 finger, off-white head that is hesitant to depart and leaves thick lacing when it does.

The piny hop aromas from this one are evident from rather a distance. Upon closer inspection citrus, banana and caramel present themselves. Heavy malt and bread aromas, licorice, vanilla and some dark fruits release as warmth works its magic. This beer almost smells oaked.

The balance in this one is stunning considering the fullness and depth in the nose. Tangy, grassy, bready, a bit of anise, citrus, grain, bitter hops, and joy; I distinctly taste joy.

Mouthfeel is light-medium. Carbonation is high and sparkly and the finish is dry but lingering.

Drinkability is very high. I could imbibe this beer all day long for days, except it is 8% ABV and I would die. Be carefull but enjoy.

I love this brewery (brewer). They (he) seems to have the love, and it comes through in the beer, it kicks ass.

This shall prove to be my highest rating yet and I stand by that. I might just choose this beer if it was the last thing I could ever taste.


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Photo of wedgie9
3.22/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tasted from a bomber bottle, purchased in early 2009 (assumed 2008 bottling).
Very light pitted fruit aroma. Also a very light yeasty smell and slight lemon zest that could possibly be attributed to hops. As the beer warms, there is a slight caramel maltiness that comes through.
The color is orange with a light amber tint. The beer is cloudy with a frothy, off-white head.
The beer has a slight sweetness which I think shows the higher alcohol content. It is quite bitter, and has a sour lemon flavor that lingers for a while.
Medium body, slightly oily. Average carbonation with a longish bitter finish.

This is a beer of great pedigree, and drunk at it's peak, would get a much higher score. This bottle is simply a little past prime drinking. The most fun thing about the Draft Bear is the lemon essence that goes from light on the aroma to strong on the palate, and even comes through with the oily texture.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml... I need a beer.

A- Golden copper kettle amber, kind of dull. SNowy, jagged peaks of head in the glass. Sticky icky lacing.

S- Hops! Also getting green apple sweetness. A faint alcohol booziness is noted, and a bit of a peppery spice. Intriguing.

T- Wow! Zesty, peppery, and bitter hops are competing with a fruity malt sweetness I didn't expect. Hops are bitter, floral, have a citric twang, like lemon zest. Works well with the taste of alcohol, which is not hidden but is well-blended. Hop profiles reminds me of USAlive from Mikkeller, but with a bit more punch and a bit sweeter malt profile as well.

M- Really clean, crisp... an imperial pilsner? Fuckin' spot-on. Amazing life on the tongue, flavors and carbonation are other-worldly.

D- Wish I got distribution of this. I think I'll trade for a few more. Really a treat... just what I needed. I had a great time with this beer.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this beer on tap at the Beer Temple in Amsterdam. It pours a yellow, light orange color with a thin head.

Smell is quite hoppy with notes of citrus. The beer has light raspberry smell. A nice smell beer, that has a big smell.

Taste is bitter with a nice balanced hop taste and bitterness. The bottom fermenting yeast adds a whole new light on a big, hoppy beer. The yeast adds a light maltiness, some light sulfur and crisp taste. The hops are US hops, but I also get some European, herbal and light grassy tastes. The balance of this beer is just right. The hops are not bold. It's mouthfeel corresponds nicely with the bitterness. A great drinking beer.

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Draft Bear from Mikkeller ApS
89 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.