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It's Alive! - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
It's Alive!It's Alive!

Educational use only; do not reuse.

187 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 187
Hads: 393
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 17.91%
Wants: 15
Gots: 44 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DarkerTheBetter on 06-06-2008

Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malt (pale and cara), light candy, hops (hallertauer and styrian goldings), yeast and brettanomyces.
View: Beers (294) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 187 | Hads: 393
Photo of thefreakinjman
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz B, Enjoyed 10/20/15

A: blood orange to amber color

S: sweet candy, melons, dry straw scents

T: dry grassy at first with fruity pale ale and bitterness at the end

M: Dry, high carbonation, feels like the little brett bacteria hang on to the tongue

O: Like the funk and bitterness together.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Mikkeller Bar in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Essentially, hazy lighter orange body. Smells of sweet pale malt, a bit of graininess, a light white vinous-like character. Not much acidity or hoppiness though. Flavour is similar, a bit bland even. Mouthfeel is thinner, refreshing, a bit astringent on the backend. Not my glass of beer, but not bad.

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Photo of Dentist666
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into tulip.
Pours orange/amber beer, slightly hazy with nice off-white head, good retention.
Smell - funky, vinous, grassy, malty.
Taste - tart, boozy, estery, dry.
Medium body and carbonation, not very impressed by this one.

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3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A foam brick of three fingers of light tan head is quick to reach the top of my glass and curls over the edge with stick bubbles clinging to the side of the glass on the outside. head has excellent retention and turns rocky as it slowly fades leaving lots of lace. Body is a brownish murky amber tone. nose is crisp with some soft hops and fresh fruit tones. A very fruity pale ale kind of feel. With the first couple you really get that same pale ale kind of feel as the hops are very up front. Hops are fruit rind based in terms of flavor. There is a hint of a tartness, just after the hops kick in but it is so muted and really just a led down in terms of what I was looking for in terms of sour or tartness. The beer stays very crisp on the tongue throughout the palate. Mouthfeel is dry and softly hoppy. This is a very easy to drink beer even though it is a bit of a let down if you were looking for any tartness.

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Photo of dustin22martin
3.26/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer had been sitting in a cooler for over a year. It was slightly orange, fairly heady with a grassy, barnyardy smell. The taste, however, was nothing but barnyard. It tasted like it was brewed IN a horse. Too much for me, but if that's your thing, give this one a go.

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Photo of dbossman
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Cloudy orange-ish hue with a big, steady head and lacing is good

S: So much funky cheese, fruity esters, sweet candied sugars; bubblegum, pineapple, hay, grass--this smells delightful

T: Dry fruits up front followed by a bit of funk and grass and mustiness and then even some toasty malts

F: Creamy and lightly carbonated--nice mouthfeel

O: I really like this beer; such a pleasant mix of malts and funk and fruity yeasts--mmm

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Photo of jellikit
4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Orange. Slight haze. Thin, white head.
Smell: mango and wine.
Taste: Chardonnay. Malt. Booze.
Mouthfeel: medium high carbonation. Medium body. Dry.
Overall: very tasty wine beer. I love it.

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Photo of mahakaya
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L-Soapy froth and a orangey amber body. Really active coming out of the bottle.

S- Lightly herbaceous, a bit musty, some mouldy hay, damp grass and other pleasantries.

T- Very herbaceous, but with little caramel rotten apple middle, and cardamon finish. Over bitter, and too green tasting.

F- Very carbonated, a little soapy though, too soapy.

O-Interesting. I think i should have let it sit for a year or so.....

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Photo of aleigator
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange, amber color, with a fizzy, soon disappearing head.

Fruity, sour aromas of orange and peach, also grass.

Sour Brettanomyces driven first impression, coated up by bready, soft malts. Also ripe, fruity orange, which goes well with the sourness. Then dry, noble hops hit the palate, which give the beer a well balanced, decent complexity. Sweet molasse becomes detectable for a glance, which soon gets swallowed by the hoppy sourness. This actually reminds me of Orval in some way, but adds a very well fitting fruit note to the beer, while it isn’t very aggressive on the hops. Leads to a bitter finish, very dry aftertaste, which dries up the mouth completely.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip. A dark red-bronze hue with bountiful sudsy white foam that condenses into thin soapy lace on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is tannic, sweet, fruity, moderately funky. Mixed fruit cup (peaches, berries, pineapple, melon, pears), bubble gum, soap, musty straw, a whiff of horse blanket. A few tart gooseberry notes.

Palate is more fruity than funky, quite drastically so. The aforementioned fruit flavors dominate, with more low key bandage and burlap phenolic notes in the background. Was expecting more sour elements. A good showcase of the "pie cherry" many folks taste in certain members of the brett family but with sweeter fruits (particularly peach and pineapple) and a few peppery spice notes here and there. Does become more dry and vinous over time. Less carbonation than expected and a rather thick body, at least to my palate. The malt contribution is most noticeable in the finish, slight toast and green weedy hops.

A mid-range sour beer. I prefer other Mikkeller efforts in this style space. Was appreciated by my friends who would generally shy away from anything too funky. I might taste this again down the road to see if the present assessment holds up.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber to brown in color with plenty of haziness. A fingernail of off white head is on top. Brussels lacing. I smell sour Brett. The flavor is Brett forward with a tart cherry note. The body is heavily carbonated and crisp.

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Photo of dcmchew
4/5  rDev +7%

Pours dark orange with shiny ruby hues and a bit hazy. Huge pillowy fluffy head, gets shredded by bubbles soon, receding to a few floating messy specks and a thick sticky lace.
Smells great, with orchard fruit (red and yellow apple, pear, quince, apricot) rolled in candi sugar, a touch of tartness, even a faint tropical note. Sweet smell amplified by caramel, butterscotch, banana chips, reminding of spongecake and dominating over the Brett funk (a bit of wood, moldy, spicy), hopefully not entirely.
As a first note, it's surprisingly light. Starts fruity, a bit bitter, but mostly sweet and sour, with lime, green apple, white grape, faint pear and sour cherry, with a cider-like acidity. Yeasts take over, with a big earthiness. Somewhat typical Belgian mix of spice & herb (pepper, faint coriander, lemongrass, floral tea) followed by light Brett funk (some mold, hay, faint stave, green grass, twigs). Malts enhance the earthy notes with bread crust, with a lower level of sweetness than in the smell and just a few drops of candi sugar. Finishes with a woody dry feel, funky, with some earthy/green hop showing up to provide a mild bitterness.
Medium to light body, as is the carbonation, just slightly prickly. Taste reminds of a champagne, but the body doesn't. Aftertaste is funky with some lingering fruit, but not much. The sugars seem to settle in more seriously in time, but it doesn't become too sweet.
I prefer the Orval. Getting that out of the way, this was indeed a nice Belgian-style ale with nice saison characteristics, not as funky as the Lychee/Wine Barrel version (only one that i tried, pretty sure the others are great too), but lighter and actually.. almost a different thing entirely.

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Photo of seedyone
3/5  rDev -19.8%

10/02/12 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. This is a tongue twister. Team taste buds is having issues with signals. One swallow is sweet-ish, the next less so, & the next not at all. Never any sweet or bitterness but far from all together sweet. Hate to submit to the suggestion, but it does strike me as an organic/evolving taste. All this w/a funky finish. Can't imagine what a bottle gets you.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Surprisingly dark burnt orange, even with a bit of pink at the center. HUGE head, foamy, with long retention but little lacing. Lots of sediment, quick and strong column of bubbles.

S: Pungent since the first crack of the cap. Apple and yeast funk are foremost, white grapes and some tropical fruit make up the background.

T: Heavy on the funk, then yeast, apple, and grapes, in that order. Very, very dry. The initial flavor fades quickly as a slightly unpleasant chalk/earth takes over. It's good overall, a lot to pick out, but the finish is off-putting. I'm pretty lenient and open to unique flavors and overall enjoy this, even some of the stranger notes, but they have to be accountable for some of the components that are downright out of place, even bad. No notes of wood from the barrel aging.

M: Prickly carbonation but exceptionally smooth body, almost to the point of a slick stout.

O: My first Mikkeller experience seems to be a well-worn one. Glimpses of genius hidden behind strange off-notes. The nose was great, clean and clear, the taste markedly less so. The mouthfeel was a mix of both; contrasting but well structured, which I enjoy, but a significantly off for the style. I don't discredit them too much for this, as he is a very experimental character, but that only gives him so much leeway.
I should also note that because there is no bottling date I'm not sure how old this is; I feel like age may account for some of the shortcomings.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

still great beer here, but unfortunately i think i enjoy the many variations far more than the original here. this is more of a belgian than the others, and as such the brett comes through a lot less. the ak alive version i thought was the supreme wild ale, a perfect example of dryness and brett character, while its alive here is just a bit more generic as they go. hazy rust colored liquid, maybe a touch lighter than that, with a prominent several inches of cream colored fluff. it smells like belgian yeast first, orchard fruit esters and dusty grain ith some amber malt sweetness. the brett is really only on the finish for me, not super dry or effervescent, but farmy, more like a belgian saison here than a true wild ale as i have come to know them from mikkeller, but i like it a lot just the same. the brett pushes the denser grain to the forefront of the flavor, where its sweetness is balanced nicely. the diversity of yeasts and yeast characters make this beer unique and special, but i just dont find the complexity or wonderment i discovered in all the variations of it. great carbonation and a lof of body still. very well made beer, but i would take ak alive over this one any day.

edit: the above review is even more true for the new release in the smaller bottles. malty, sweet, with an under developed brett flavor (or lack there of one), and really left quite a bit to be desired. i think this one needs some time to mature and hopefully improve. others have similar experiences?

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Photo of mverity
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle that I split with scotchzi. Pours a perfect amber-brown-tan. Healthy amount of light tan head with very sticky lacing. Aroma is a funky butterscotch, toffee, earthy. Really great smell. Taste is more funky than the aroma; but otherwise follows the smell. Great carbonation lends to the bubbly mouthfeel. Light in body, but it works very very well for this beer. Definitely looking forward to the variants I have of this.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper colored ale slightly hazed with yeast sediment big chunky off white khaki head leaves fine Belgian style lacing, great look to it. Aromatics tart funky yeast notes acidophilus, brettanomyces, the gangs all here...It's Alive! The beer's yeast that is. Great barnyard funky edge to it, acidic hints of yogurt borderline vinegar lactic acid notes, this beer was aged on white wine barrels. I'm not sure what they were going for but I like sour ales. On the second sniff I'm getting ripened pineapple, oak barrel aging effects, a slight buttery note, there's everything in here. Flavor wise, bitter yeast and acidity collide, a hint of band aid, medicinal notes, with big fruit thing ripened pineapple, tropical fruit notes embedded in barnyard/horse blanket type flavor aspects, grassy hay and wet acidity. Some people would say cat piss but I don't find it offensive in the least regards. I find hints of sliced green apple, plump raisins, and other fine infused tart characteristics, this is probably my favorite Mikkeller thus far, I find hit or miss to be their game but this is dead on for a beer called...It's Alive! I'm a fan, of their de Proef gypsy brewed offerings I've had limited contact with their hoppy ales but have found them to be lackluster compared to most American brewed versions. Mouthfeel upfront has a rolling carbonation a bit prickly with acidity and sharp dry finish but the mix of carbonation and dry character seems to treat the beer superbly on the palate. Overall what can I say that I didn't already go try this brew.

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Photo of wl0307
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Coming in a 750ml green bottle, BB 31/07/2018, served chilled in Hapkin’s short-stemmed tulip-shaped sniffer.

A: pours a semi-murky, dark reddish amber hue, coming with a thin layer of beige foamy head and lively carbonation.
S: lightly caramely sweet, assertively tangy woody, citrus-peel-ish, spice-estery, overripe-pear-ish and lightly funky-yeasty, but the sweet malty edge seems to be constantly on the top; given a good swirl, the creamy perfume of esters intensify.
T: lightly sour-sweet malty and pleasantly grapefruit-zesty on the entry, with a pretty dry palate immediately ensuing along with richly spicy esters, leaving deepening hop bitterness, lightly funky elements and Styrian Golding’s aroma to go with the tangy tannins developing towards the end of each sip; obviously warming at the rear of the palate. Not terribly complex, but the flavour is quite lovely.
M&O: throughout the drink the mouthfeel remains softly refreshing with rather decent and subtle carbonation, against a medium-plus body of Orval-like flavour profile. The attenuation level is not quite as high as the original, nor is the funky Brett’s performance, but all in all this is a highly drinkable Belgian ale with layers of flavours and aroma to offer.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

300th beer review and I’m still alive so I feel this is appropriate.

(4.0) A: Dark figgish-copper colour with a couple fingers of head that slowly falls to a thin blanket with good lacing down the glass.

(4.0) S: Brown sugar, white grape, slight balsamic, banana, and yeasty. Nice mix of belgian qualities with a noticeable yet slight funky-sour aroma. Aroma has hints of a brown ale as well.

(4.25) T: Delicious. Similar to aroma but with a pleasant sweet white grape taste throughout that makes this a bit champagne-like. Belgian ale characteristics are still there with cloves, yeast, and tropical fruit. Varying flavours mesh seamlessly creating a wonderful smoothness.

(4.25) M: Medium bodied with a moderate-lively carbonation. Rich and velvety. Appropriate.

(4.0) D: This is very easy to drink considering the smoothness. Having not had something like this before it's difficult to compare but I thoroughly enjoyed this. Taste profile is a very well integrated mix of belgian ale and wine – can’t find much to complain about here.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750mL bottle into tumbler pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden-amber color with a large blonde head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves behind thick lacing.

Smell: Smells of sweet, bready malt with musty Belgian yeast. Notes of citrus and apple.

Taste:Begins with champagne flavors before rounding out to sweet, bready malt flavors. Finish is of grapefruit with an earthy, champagne yeast backbone.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with balanced, natural carbonation. Finish is dry.

Overall: A good beer- a lot like champagne. Not the best, but worth having. The shelf talkers for this beer at BevMo said that this is Orval-inspired; I can kinda see that, but this is definitely its own animal.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a mini pint glass.

Appearance - Orange amber body. Mostly clear. Nice white head. Great retention.

Smell - Super bretty. Very earthy with just a hint of acidity. Malty behind it. Simple but good.

Taste - Still very bretty. Not quite the dominance of the aroma, but strong. Lots of earthy flavors. Malty. Simple again, but clean.

Mouthfeel - Verging on dry. Just a bit of sweetness. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Simple flavors. I like the balance of this right now. Would probably be way too bretty with age.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Fairly clear copper-orange with a big finger of frothy off-white head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Sweet pale and caramel malts, funky brett, tartness, vanilla, lemon zest, citrus and grassy hops.

T - Sweet pale and caramel malts, funky brett, tartness, lemon zest, citrus and grassy hops, some mild bitterness, a touch of vanilla.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a dry, tart, and funky finish.

D - Well balanced BSPA. Great brett character.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Mikkeller bar.

The beer has a thin off white head that leaves some lacing. It has a see through golden orange body.
Smells sweet, fruity, and funky.
It tastes funky and has a slight sourness to it.
It is fairly medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.
Nice and easy drinking. Nothing to write home about.

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Photo of Philousa
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Imbibed at Original Gravity on 11/16/12.

Pours a slightly cloudy metallic gold with one finger white, dense head. Very uniform and looks sticky. Herbal, barkish hops and tart, sweet bacteria make up the majority of the aroma. Blueberry, raspberry and strawberry. The hops make up the majority of the aroma as the beer warms: pine and resin are coaxed out. I get some nutty crystal malt underneath. The crystal biscuit/nut/bread crust flavor starts things out quickly followed by bitterness and a metallic penny flavor. Hops and alcohol yield a bark and grass finish. This is a dry beer with a slightly viscous body.

This is really earthy. I'm thinking the Brett really lent this quality to the beer that would have otherwise been just another hoppy pale. Really interesting, but not necessarily memorable.

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Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 11/23/2012 on the cork. Cork did no pop off. Pours hazy reddish orange color with a fairly dense 1-2 finger off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of oak, raisin, red wine, pear, caramel, apple, wine vinegar, earth, grass, hay, herbal, pepper, leather, funk, and yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and high complexity. Taste of oak, raisin, pear, caramel, pepper, earth, hay, leather, molasses, grass, clove, funk, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of oak, dark fruit, caramel, molasses, pepper, earth, herbal, grass, leather, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavor; no cloying flavors at all after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium body; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is ok; definitely needs more carbonation. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Belgian wild ale. The taste was a bit odd at first, but it grew on me; nicely complex and smooth to sip on. Enjoyed this quite a bit despite low carbonation.

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It's Alive! from Mikkeller ApS
84 out of 100 based on 187 ratings.