It's Alive! - Mikkeller ApS

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It's Alive!It's Alive!

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very good

183 Reviews
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Reviews: 183
Hads: 379
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 12%
Wants: 13
Gots: 43 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 183 | Hads: 379
Photo of badbeer
2.78/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Amber colored with a white head that retains pretty well. Smell is pretty good, I got a lot of horse blanket in it, as well as some earthy notes, and some spices. Taste unfortunately, did not have as much of the horse blanket, or much of what I find enjoyable, best thing to describe it was like Vick's green cough spray. I wanted to like the taste better, but I just kept being distracted by this flavor. Medium bodied and high carbonation. Don't know that I'd have this again. (478 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours off brown/orange/amber color, hazy, and light coloured head. Nose is miscellaneous soft fruit and spices, with a marshmallow scent as well. High carbonation is noted on the palate, with a soft malty core and sweet candy flavors. Finish is a tad warm and the candy sugar coming back again. (294 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle sampled on 09/26/08 at Night of the Funk. Pours a dirty light brown with a small white head. Aroma of citrus and bitter hops. Wow, what an inviting aroma! Flavor is quite ASA-like: lots of wheat and citrusy hops. I didn't get any funky or sour or even Belgiany notes from this, so I'm not sure why it's classified as a BSA...but in any case, I don't really care because this was quite an awesome beer!
8/4/8/4/15 (3.9/5) (427 characters)

Photo of grub
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 1: Sour/Wild Ales. i contributed this one, purchased at merchants fine wine in dearborn, mi.

750ml bottle, corked and caged and topped with silver foil. sampled nov 27/08.

pours orangey amber with a touch of haze. a huge fluffy tan head forms, dropping very slowly and leaving tons of clumpy lace.

aroma is good. grapefruit, orange, bit of tangerine. bread and biscuit. touch of cracker. fresh green hops - floral and a bit perfumey. more like an ipa than a wild ale (indicated on the bottle) or belgian pale (in the listing here). jasmine and light spice. bit of caramel. nowhere near as wild as i was expecting.

taste is good. just over medium bitterness level. bread and cracker. bit of biscuit. light citrus. bit of grapefruit and lemon. mot much other funk or sour character. again, more like an ipa than a wild ale.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. just over medium body.

drinkability is pretty good. nice balance. good overall, just not really fitting into the expected style parameters. (1,045 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grub cracked this one on Day 1 of the 2008 Biergotter Tasting. Thanks!
This one had a gigantic, frothy beige head that produced big, chunky clumps of lacing. Semi-clear and a red/amber colour. The aroma was full of hops of the floral/soapy variety and there was a bit of fruity tartness, some sweetness, and faint earthy funk, perfume and jasmine. Bitterness was a bit assertive, but still nicely balanced. The flavour was very floral and perfumy, with many of the same characters that were in the aroma. Medium bodied with lowish carbonation, decent texture. Pretty good overall, but outclassed by the other beers we enjoyed this evening. (639 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to grub for opening up this one! Last beer of day 1 of insane DrJay visit epic tasting.

Pours a hazy copper orange, huge off white head forms, tons of lace on the glass, great retention, forms a solid layer. Smell is neat, sweet and spicy, fruits, musty grapes, grapefruit and orange peel, wood, very fragrant and perfumy, some jasmine, bit of funk, neat. Taste is similar, perfumy, floral, very spicy, jasmine tea bitterness, bit of funky woodiness, light fruits, interesting stuff, a bit astringent and drying in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodieed with medium carbonation, not too bad. From the name I was expecting more of a wild ale, but for a Belgian pale this had some pretty cool character to it. Thanks Russ! (733 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-clear amber with a large beige head that goes down quickly, good lacing.

smell is of fruits, caramel, spices, white pepper, coriander.

taste is warming, lots of spice, apricot, peach, orange, and lemon, a touch of caramel, some hops, a few malts, end is dry and just a little bitter, aftertaste has a spiciness that lingers. (339 characters)

Photo of spointon
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 25oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip snifter.

A= This ale poured a bright orange color with a huge 3" rocky tan head. Incredibly, the head dropped quickly to just about zero and did not leave any lace.

S= Incredible complexity in the nose, comprised of a mild sourness, a spiciness, and a faint grainy sweetness.

T= As one would expect, this wild ale was quite sour on the tongue. Also present were flavors of faint malts and a strong peppery spiciness. Finish was short and remained spicy, while hiding all alcohol.

MF= This was a medium bodied ale with a high sharp carbonation feel. Crisp to say the least.

D= Though I am not a big fan of sour ales, this was one of the more enjoyable ones I have had. The peppery spiciness saved this from being a one-trick sour pony. Could be a good gateway beer into the style. (846 characters)

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 22oz bottle - Pours a somewhat cloudy orange/red color with small quickly dissipating head. Average carbonation. Smells super sweet with plenty of bread and fruity yeast notes. First sip is very bready and biting with mild tartness. Extremely tasty. Great and welcomed bitter finish. Nice medium bodied. (310 characters)

Photo of revkibosh
3.05/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Pours a beautiful amber color with a thick head that hangs around.

S: Smells wonderful right out of the bottle, fruits and flowers with that typical Belgian undertone. Smell alone, this is a wonderful beer.

T: eh... doesn't taste the way it smells. Fruity and floral at the start, very earthy in the middle with an almost smokey flavor, and lasting bitterness on the end. The more I drink the more the bitterness lasts. Each new sip tastes more fruity in the front and bitter on the end. Doesn't work for my tastes. Not terrible, but not great.

M: very carbonated. Based on the pour this is to be expected. Leaves my mouth very dry.

D: aside from the flavor this beer is very drinkable... the 8.0% is well hidden.

Overall this beer is decent. I just don't like the taste all that much. The complexity is amazing but I don't like the combination of flavors.

edit: I let this beer "open up" while I drank a different one and thought I'd comment on the change.

umm... Wow, the smokiness has changed to cigarette butts... Not even kidding. While the nose has gotten funkier and sweeter smelling, almost candy like, the flavor has, shall we say, developed. It still has the fruity front, but the smoky flavor that was once there has become more prominent and the aftertaste is straight ashtray. Not as bitter as before but not better. Still very interesting and complex flavors but good god... (1,398 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is curiously lackluster. Not bad in any particular way, but it really doesn't have any spark or zing to it. Pours a hazy orange amber with a nice head that sticks around. Smells very earthy and with a fairly big hit of dry malt. Tastes earthy as well, but fairly plain. Nice bitter finish, but no hoppy zing or Belgian yeast fruit and spice or candi sugar sweetness. Just sort of dry and bready with some earthy hops and fairly flat in flavor. Some spicy hops at the end that carry through in the mouthfeel, which is a bit rough around the edges. Not bad, but not memorable. (584 characters)

Photo of waltonc
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed some of this courtesy of abfraser. Deuces wild, brutha.

We had this right after the Isabelle Proximus. Quite a contrast. This one is more of a copper/carmel color. Significant carbonation levels.

Smell: quite floral. Kind of reminds me of jasmine tea.

Taste: Malt, funk, floral notes. Very interesting blend of flavors. Not mouth puckering.

Mouthfeel: Not too light and not too thick.

Drinkability: Not bad.

The description of this beer on BA is "Belgian Pale Ale." Is that right? Doesn't taste like it to me. (523 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Julio's, brought back by Jason. Cloudy orange with lots of white head, lots of lace after. Wierd aroma, but great control. Spiciness with a malted offset. Musty, a funky experience from the wild yeast but very good for what it is. This aroma may fall away with some ageing. (285 characters)

Photo of DrDogbeer
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared with a couple of friends over the weekend. Pours a dark copper color with a full champagne-like head into a snifter. Good retention. Smells of sweet carmel type candy with a good amount of mustiness to boot. With some warming you cna get more funk on the nose. Taste is sweet and malty at first. Finishes extremel dry with no aftertaste. I get some pheno/ bandaid flavor in the finish that intensifies as the beer warms. Good active, fizzy mouhtfeel. Solid wild ale, nothing spectacular. (494 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber body with a large, frothy, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Aroma smelling of toasty, candyish caramel, spices (particularly pepper), citrus juices, bitter herbs, flowers, must, mildew, and a faint, faroff note of Edam cheese.

Taste: Toasty, candied caramel maltiness with a medium sweetness. Splash of tropical citrus fruits. A spoonful of NyQuil. Green peppercorns, maybe some ginger, too. Strong herbal, floral qualities, all a bit perfumy, and with a decent hit of bitterness. Hint of cheese. Sharp musty yeastiness. Finishes markedly dry with a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus body. Very slight oiliness.

Drinkability: A beer inspired by Orval as a homage of sorts, but certainly quite unique in its own right with a complex, zany array of flavors. Fairly decent overall. (836 characters)

Photo of number1bum
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of NEPA BC split #16.

Pours a dark amber color with a couple inches of fluffy light tan head. Head is pretty light and bubbly, and settles slowly to a nice lace and leaves some messy stick.

There's a lot going on in this nose. At first is it a bit sour and funky, but then takes on some earthy hop characteristics. It's also quite fruity, with apples especially, and has some peppery spice. Spice really comes out more and more with each whiff, and there's just a ton of complexity here. I like it.

Taste starts off bready and earthy, then there is some spice, and then it's really all hops. The hops are really earthy and woodsy tasting overall, with a moderate level of bitterness in the finish. There is some of that apple and fruit flavor, but the hops really dominate this one. I don't get much of any sour or funk either to be honest. The yeast is mostly spicy and earthy, not tart or sour. I was hoping for more sour because it would have played with the hops in a really interesting way. But mostly this just tastes like a hoppy Belgian pale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty crisp, with a tingly carbonation. It gets pretty dry through the finish though with all the bitterness.

This is pretty good, but not spectacular. The nose is really complex and interesting, but that doesn't translate flavorwise as this tastes much more straightforward. For the price, I would hope for more. (1,407 characters)

Photo of largadeer
1.9/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Murky, slightly turbid amber, darker than I was expecting. A gentle pour leaves me with three fingers of head in my glass, which takes a few moments to settle. Head retention is good, but this one is overcarbonated.

Smell: Lightly funky, not overly so, with a sweet toffee backbone from the malt and a touch of herbal hops. Somewhat medicinal overall.

Taste & mouthfeel: Herbal, peppery, slightly tart up front. The malt base is very dry, but there's more bitterness than I'd like and not enough bretty funk or sourness. Like a rough, unrefined Orval with excessive bitterness. The finish is loaded with bitter herbal hops and dry husky grain. After half a glass all I could taste was bitterness - not terribly impressive. Most of the bottle went down the drain. (776 characters)

Photo of mymrnngjckt
2.9/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml poured into an unmarked chalice glass.

Beer pours a golden brown with a two finger head. Smell of hops and yeast are dominant in the nose. Some citrus notes and also a bit of clove perhaps.

The taste was unique. A hoppy beer with a sour beer aftertaste. Or is it a sour beer with a hoppy beer aftertaste. I don't know. The mouthfeel was very carbonated. The sour beer sensation, which I liked, seemed to go away the more I drank.

The beer is drinkable but not overlly impressive.

Not sure I would seek this one out again. (532 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best By Date March 2012; Sampled July 2008
A soft pour easily produces over three-fingers of foamed that is a dirty, light tan color. The beer is a full amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, orange-tinged, light amber color when held up to the light. The aroma is very fruity smelling; aromas of berries, aromatic apples, sauvignon Blanc, some light zinfandel grape notes and some Asian pear are each noticeable. Funky, though not overwhelmingly so; it is more spicy than funky with ample notes of woody black pepper, cedar, ginger and clove. A backdrop of bready malt notes round out the complexity in the nose. Really it is the woody, peppery notes that make this such an interesting beer to smell.

Despite resting for almost ten minutes it is still incredibly well carbonated and it fizzes up as soon as it hits my tongue. The beer tastes fairly sweet which really accentuates fruit flavors up front. It then starts to get funky towards the middle and into the finish. The fruit notes remind me of currants, some generic berry notes, a touch of apple and some light pear. As to the funk, well this is dominated by huge phenolic notes that are a mix of some band-aide notes, lightly rotting vegetal notes and a curing plastic / acetone note that lingers on in the mouth after each sip. Underneath the strong phenolics is a solid, if not piquant, spiciness that provides flavors of pepper, fruity young ginger and lingering clove. At times the phenolics seem to contribute more of a spicy, wood-like character that is almost like cedar, but does seem to pick up a turpentine edge.

As the beer warms up it loses the harshest of the plastic phenolic notes, or perhaps it is just that my palate has become saturated. It almost becomes enjoyable from the beginning to ending of each sip, though the harsh, plastic phenolics never entirely dissipate. This is light and quaffable, especially for an 8% abv beer.

This almost has a Jekyll and Hyde flavor personality (thankfully the aroma is all nice, funky, goodness); up front it is quite fruity, smooth and tasty, but towards the finish it starts to get wild, harsh and phenolic. In the end I would balance this a bit more towards the pleasant notes; even in the finish there are solid, good tasting, flavor contributions, all of which ultimately save this from being un-enjoyable. (2,336 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25.4oz bottle into a DT tulip.

Cork dated: 11/03/12

A: Pours a relatively clear, coppery-gold color. Sitting on top is a frothy and bubbly, off-white/light-orange colored, three finger head that leaves a healthy webbing of lace behind.

S: At once, fruity and funky. Aromas of apple, tart berry, apricot followed by a distinct, dirty, funky, Brett smell. Also noticed were aromas of caramel, toasted sourdough bread, and lightly toasted malt.

T: Upfront flavors of green apple, funky Brett, tart berry, caramel, and bread dough. Rounding out the flavors are dry toasted malt, yeasty spiciness, and bitter, dirty hops.

M: Pretty dry. Any sweetness brought to the table by the caramel and fruit is reigned in by the spicy Brett, astringent hops, and dry & toasty malt profile.

D: Better than expected. This beer is meant to be consumed at warmer than cellar temps. I was able to pick up a lot of subtle details of this beer the warmer it got. (959 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, It's Alive! is copper with a large, off-white head, fairly slow settling and some what rocky, with pretty heavy, sugary looking lace. Darker then I was expecting, or prefer, but nice head, which is really the main thing I'm looking for here.

Smell is good and funky, with traces of caramel and hops that I wasn't expecting, as well as wafts of alcohol. It gets sweeter as it warms, tropical fruits, although I served it at cellar temp. An 'interruption' let it warm to room temp.

Taste is pretty acrid, very peppery, with a musty note from the brett that is a bit moldy. Not to exciting, the bitterness of the hops is amplified by the bugs, although the (unusual for the style IMHO) richness of the malt helps temper that. I wish I had aged this for another year at least to let the bugs do their thing and develop some complexity, I expect they'd soften the sharpness of the yeast and hops. Still, it grew on me as I worked though the bottle and let it warm up, but that also made the ABV more apparent.

Mouthfeel is actually on the thinner side, well a bit watery but medium bodied, with a drier finish, a bit sharp.

Drinkablity is not to stellar at this point, just not too exciting or tasty, a bit thick, very bitter and lacking depth. For the price, you'd be better served to sit on these for a while. The cork had a nice pop, but the beer barely moved. I'd hope with some time under it's belt, it would overflow a bit! (1,487 characters)

Photo of Crosling
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker orange color with a long lasting foam, but it doesn't have the mountain-like froth of Orval. Aroma is pleasant, similar to Orval, but doesn't quite have the full aromatics of the original. Flavor is spot on in terms of the trappist pale style...this is a beer style hardly ever replicated because it's hard, but they nailed it, imo. Flavor is a lot like Orval, dry and hoppy, with a little touch of brett. I'm not crazy about the beer, but it's a good recipe and well brewed. (482 characters)

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

An Orval clone with some Brett added for fun.
40 reviews on RB, mine's the first on BA. Hmmm...

This one pours alovely peach color with a touch of amber. The head is a sustained rough 1/2 cm film that is sustained by a field of bubbles from the bottom of my tulip. On the pour, the head exploded quite a bit, so take your time.

There's a sweet and creamy base with touches of nectarine, dinner roll and strawberry that takes on a touch of white flour dryness to transition into a crisp green peppery yeast. There's a tart plumb skin that nestles into the pepper. I'm really not sure where I sit on how the tart and the pepper get along, but I think I like it!

The flavor starts with a touch of dry caramel and a bit of dry bread crust and an ambiguous fruitiness but is then pounced upon by the peppery, doughy yeast with a bit of tart plumb skin on the sides of my tongue. This really doesn't fit nearly as well as it did with the smell. In the finish, the plumb changes from tart to acrid and blends into the peppery yeast and just sits there. I fell that I almost need a chaser for this one.

Feels dense and present, but very slick and clean with a playful carbonation.

I'm a bit confused by this one. I'm not sure what else to say. (1,244 characters)

It's Alive! from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.