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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: 394
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 17.91%
Wants: 15
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.
View: Beers (275) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 187 | Hads: 394
Photo of Brad007
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I just couldn't say no to Mikkeller and I'm glad that I didn't.

Pours a luscious amber with a thick head that quickly fades. I absolutely love the presentation here.

Funky fresh with grape, pear and apple notes from the funk. Aging this in wine barrels is a brilliant tactic. It accentuates the grape.

A cooling rush of funk coats my tongue, leaving behind a plethora of grape and apple notes. Not very heavy on flavor but it gets the job done.

The mouth warms up due to the 8% level. Personally, a bit of aging would only strengthen the appeal of this ale. The carbonation is overwhelming at this stage.

Well worth a try if you're a Mikkeller fanboy like I.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.16/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Hennepin tulip

A- pours a dark shade of orange with a puffy two finger offwhite head. The beer isn't really *cloudy* as much as it's...dark. Some sediment in here too

S- slight hints of brett in the nose, and not much else

T- I'm going to assume there's a lot of brett in here, because I get that typical flavor...and not much else. A little bit of sweetness from the yeast, and that's about all

M- medium bodied. Fine.

O- not great. Not bad. Also not worth the price though

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.06/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Appearance: Cloudy, amber orange, pours with a large, rocky, white head - keeps a nice cap, leaves sheets of sticky lacing,

Smell: Somewhat light, with Belgian yeast and some hops - some Belgian yeast, a mild spiciness, some light fruity esters - citrus hops - some light minerality that kind of reminds me of pool chemicals, and lots of phenols

Taste: Somewhat strange - pale, pale malts, very light - some Belgian yeast, with some clove, some spiciness - some light funk, some light fruits, some citrus - very phenolic, like bitter Band-Aids - not really sour, slightly tart, but mostly watery - woody flavors, some light sweetness

Mouthfeel: Lightbody, overly carbonated, with a phenolic stickiness

Overall: It's... not great

This is really strange. It's lightly sweet, lightly fruity, lightly funky, definitely phenolic, and watery. It's doesn't really make sense to list this as Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but I guess it doesn't really fit into any categories.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.95/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Shared the bottle with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Hazy sunset orange. Head is off-white, sticky, loose and rocky. Massive head retention. Drops off after a few minutes. Massively sticky.

Smell: massive hit of Belgian yeast from the start. Clove in abundance with some overripe banana coming through. Powdery Brett. Earthy with hay and grass. Slightly musty. Some slightly sweet malts. Faintly bready. Some nice citrus. Cracker dry.

Taste: Massive clove. Seriously massive. Backing earthy spiciness hits at pepper and nutmeg. Cardamom? Powdery Brett plays right behind the base yeast. Some bready malts and slight citrus hopping as. Earthy and slightly spicy. Tiny layer of funk. Yeast heavy. Bread crust. Slightly cooked malts.

Mouthfeel: Modertely light body with a solid carbonation.

Overall: Unique to say the least. Belgian yeast layered over a pronounced Brettanomyces funkiness is just crazy. Not sour, not really funky, not Belgian. This is a beer made of nots because I have no idea what it is.

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Photo of andrewinski1
2.87/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip. The color is blood orange. There is a light off-white head that only barely covers the body.

The aroma is very vinous. There is a good dose of sweet oak and some tart vinegar notes. There is a good dose of mustyness and dirt in the aroma as well.

The taste starts out with sweet orange malt like flavor. There is a hint of caramel in there as well. The finish has more wild yeast flavor components with just a hint of tartness. Some of the dirt-like flavors come through in the finish as well. The flavor is mostly dirty the more i drink it.

This is medium bodied. This might be passed its prime. I'm not sure how wild I am about Mikkeller's wild ales in general.

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.91/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip. This one pours a muddy light brown with a bit of a reddish hue. It has a small cap of bubbly light foam.

The aroma has a strong sweet caramel smell with a vinous aroma. Musty grapes in the aroma with some earthy notes. This one seems a bit all over the place. Earthy dirt notes on the pallet with some sweet toffee. Pretty subdued flavor, nothing offensive but less than exciting.

the body is light with slightly low carbonation. Overall this one is okay. A little messy overall but this one is drinkable.

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Photo of sommersb
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 06-29-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 750ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip
Purchased: Received in a trade

A: Pours a clear and bright copper color, topped by a massive, rocky off-white head. Both retention and lacing are super; in fact, this may be the most lace I've ever seen on a beer.

S: Aromas are sweet and fruity, plus have a tangy yeast odor. I also smell floral and grassy hops.

T: Spicy and dry, the taste has a sour and tart twang to it. There's some unusual spice flavor that I can't identify and can't decide if I like it or not.

M: Body is medium, with a high amount of carbonation. The finish is complex, very dry and spicy with a slight sour aspect as well.

O: Overall this was an interesting and unique beer, my first from Mikkeller. I'm not sure I'd seek it out again, but I am glad I tried it.

Thanks to TheBishopco for this one!

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure about the style category here, but I guess I'll rate it against BSPAs...

Pours a rather dark and cloudy orange colored body, with a very soapy tan head. Decent lacing.

Aromas are inviting. Sweet and tangy. Lime, leather, barnyard hay, and toffee. Interesting.

Flavors and mouthfeel seem to fall somewhere between a BSDA, BSPA, and American Wild Ale. Rich, sweet, and tangy. Lime-like tartness is prevalent, as is caramel, with a lemongrass-like finish. Carbonation is fairly light for the style, leaving it a bit sticky on the palate.

This should definitely be listed as an American Wild Ale. Pretty complex and unique, but deeper and richer/stickier than a BSPA.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy, ruddy amber wih a puffy, thick khaki head.

S: Lots of brettanomyces funk on the nose with some spiced pear, green apple, talc, caramel, and candy sugar scents beneath it.

T: Notes of caramel, candy sugar, grass, lemon, spiced pear, green apple, chalk, talc, and tart, lactic brettanomyces assault the palate. The finish is sharp and lactic with huge brettanomyces funk underscored by subtle notes of orchard fruits, caramel, and candy sugar.

M: Medium-bodied and syrupy. Carbonation is very, very firm. Alcohol is subdued.

O: This is an interesting strong ale. With its overpowering wild yeast character, it should please fans of lambics, American wild ales, and the funkier, yeastier saisons. A very solid offering.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Craft Beer Co. into a goblet.

A: Clear orange body under a solid finger of dense tan foam. Tremendous retention, heavy lace. Gorgeous beer.

S: Big bad Brett: grass, barnyard, leather, perfume, spice, and a bit of tropical fruit. Complex and outstanding.

T: Toasty malt joins the parade of Brett craziness; the complexity isn't quite as big here, though, as grassy, fruity, and herbal flavors dominate. Bitingly dry finish. Very good.

M: Lively, frothy, soft. Pleasant.

O: Maybe a couple weeks drinking almost nothing but traditional real ales put me into funk withdrawal, but this beer absolutely hit the spot. The nose was especially glorious. One of my favorite Mikkeller experiences ever.


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Photo of Daniellobo
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice homage/clone/tweak on a classic Orval… Rather bretty…

Presentation: 75 cl capped De Proef Bottle. Simple silver-grey label with black typography noting style, and 8.0% Alc. by Vol. Offers a semi smudged bottling number on the cap. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Initially a clear, then hazed, medium amber pour. Towering foamy head, good retention, nice surface memory and good lacing.

S - Long funky nose, very fresh and bretty, plenty of fresh funk…

T - Rich funky sense, brett, leather, barnyard, all that funk, very fresh… with citric, grassy and grainy notes… Hint of light spices in the final tingle after touches of malt, with some caramel/sugar insinuation that never quite reaches the surface.

M - Light-medium body with generous if finely tuned carbonation and a nice long dry finish over a rather smooth creamy sense.

O - Very nice flow, assertively bretty, funky and complex if one likes that range.

Notes: Something away from Orval, or those I have had in some malt, sweet/caramel sense, but rather nice and memorable.

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Photo of dgilks
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This had just run out at The Pumphouse in Sydney but the bartender offered me a glass from his growler of the beer. Thanks mate!

Hazy, dark amber colour with a smooth, foamy head. Poor head retention.

Lots of barnyard funk on the nose with a touch of tropical fruit. Slightly earthy. Really nice Brettanomyces character.

More funk with only the lightest of acidic touches. This is what a Brett beer is all about. Plenty of fruit as in the aroma and some malt.

Medium-full body with low carbonation. Smooth.

A nice beer with lots and lots of funk. I feel like it lacks a bit of depth and is a little one dimensional in terms of the funk but that is what you get from Brett.

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Photo of chocosushi
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orval Chalice
A ~ Pours a red/sienna. Great head & very effervescent bubbles of carb. Specks of lace. Head settles into a puff in the center. I don't remember Orval being this color.

S ~ Musty & dusty. . .Fermented citrus. . Raw Sugars. .Durian fruit & hay. .Aloe vera & notes of flowering fields whisper through.

T ~ Boastful notes of papaya, underripe pear, & durian. Brett lends slight mushroom/moss notes. Herbal hops. Tonic water & Aluminum on the finish.

M ~ Good balance but slightly off phenols on the finish. Sort of drags on the palette with a slightly salty, medicinal note.

D ~ Good beer, but only the frame work of Orval. Lacks finesse, but is drinkable. It is merely a shadow of the beer it is imitating but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into tulip 15/3/12

A slight haze in a golden amber body, about as many tiny bubbles as you could fit in the glass make it hard to well fit in the glass, even the gentle pour ends up with half a glass of soapy foam that ends up as an eraser top island after leaving spider web lacing well down the glass

S smells like some mildly funky brown sugar with a little fruit and dark bread

T some more hops then I could smell but not by much, some thistle and earthy notes maybe even a little tea bag, the Brett is mild and although a decent brew I was hoping for more

M a little foamy from all the bubbles with just a little heat from the booze but its pretty mild, a fruity funky aftertaste is faint but lingers

O maybe I'm missing the point with this one but I wasn't all that impressed, its decent beer but considering the price tag I wont be buying a second

not worth 15$ but there was only one way to find that out, looks great but perhaps it needs some age or something, I remember loving USAlive this ones not as impressive

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 750ml capped bottle in a trade with Dawson's Liquor in Severna Park, MD and poured it into a Odell branded tulip glass - thanks fellas!

A: Pours a honey-like hue, effervescent with a slightly off white fluffy head that sticks around leaving good amounts of lacing from start to finish.

S: Not as much funk as I had anticipated - it's there but slightly muted and quickly washed out with sweet carmel malt and bready belgian yeast - where's the funk??? Also, not much going on in the hop department for a "pale ale".

T: Alright, here we go! Super funk - wet leather and saw dust, earthy burnt wood - black pepper corn gives way to sweet grainy malt, green apples, fresh baked bread, mild hop and a slight hint of booze on the back end.

M: Medium bodied with vigorous carbonation similar to champagne, dry finish with a lingering funky bitterness.

Overall damn tasty funky pale ale that, in my opinion, comes close to a saison/farmhouse in style - maybe even more so than a pale ale. Easy drinker that I could post up on all night.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Very clumpy and thick head, leaving sticky lacing. Pretty standard for the style. Beer is more orange than pale yellow.

S: Aroma is tart, funky, citrusy and is dusty a smell? Perhaps moldy would work better. Definitely noticeable Brettanomyces, but not too much Belgian pale qualities come through.

T: Funky more than citrusy, almost moldy cheese in flavor. Has a bit of sweetness towards the end, but this one definitely leaves a Brett flavor in your mouth.

M: Thin and low carbonation, has a creamy mouthfeel that just fades into funk quickly. Not overly enjoyable.

O: I was drawn to this beer by its stark label, don't regret buying it and trying it but I dont see myself seeking this out ever again. A mediocre base beer with an overly funky character.

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Photo of rinhaak
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a beautiful, rich red with a thick foamy head with phenomenal retention that leaves behind a lovely lace. The nose is potent with aromas of dirt, mold, pears, and prunes.

My initial reaction with the first sip was that the beer tasted like liquid blue cheese. A real earthy funk lurks throughout this beer: lots of mold, lots brett, and bits of candied fruit. There is a bit of hop presence that attempts to balance the mold, but it doesn't quite cut through.

As it sits, the funkiness mellows a bit (or your taste buds simply get used to it), but the beer really touts its wild side. While I very much enjoyed the entire bottle, I don't know that I would ever seek it out again. It's not for the faint of heart or the unadventurous, and it seems a little one dimensional. However, if you enjoy wild ales, you should really pick this one up at least once.

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Photo of russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent amber with 3+ fingers of sand colored head. Crazy lacing & head retention

S: Pears, sourness & dirt

T: Funk, pears, a little bit of lemony hop up front. Green appple peel, a touch of dirt as this warms, a touch of dryness, the Brett is working for me. Finishes fruity & dirty with a bit of piney & lemon hops sneaking in through considerable funk

MF: Medium bodied, with firm carbonation, great balance

This drinks really easy if you are into Brett, A nice take on the style, albeit a touch pricey

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Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a De Molen beer stemflute in low altitude Los Angeles, California. I love this brewery, so expectations are above average. [I had to retype this review, because beeradvocate logged me out by the time I submitted it, so I'm a little pissed]. Reviewed live. Not paired with food or anything. Served refrigerator cold but allowed to warm up over the course of drinking it.

A: Pours a four finger head of good cream and thickness, and great retention for the ABV. Colour is transparent copper. Generally appealing.

Sm: Yeasty. A honey adds a welcome note to the balance. Some hops towards the end. Clean malts.

T: Yeasty - but not as much as expected. Clean malts. Some caramelization notes. Pleasant cream. Some hop bitterness right on the finish, which I don't like. Well balanced and built, but not as bold as I'd want. I like it. Enjoyable and flavorful.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream. Some dryness on the finish from the hops is not ideal. Complements the flavours well overall.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV. Not watery. Hides its ABV well. I like it and would try it again especially on tap. I don't think it would age well in a bottle. Wouldn't pair particularly well with any food, but would suit it generally. An enjoyable Belgian Wild.


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Photo of Hopswagger
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a thistle glass:

P: Huge decadent and dense yellowish white head hovering over a bed of streaming bubbles and cloudy golden amber.

S: Viberant pineapple with a funky wild almost barnyard yeast, laced with spices, faint phenol and honey. Reminds me of peroxide.

T/M: The taste follows the nose with huge wild funky yeast in a playful sloshy and bubbly concoction. Touches of pine, honey, citrus, coriander, cloves and alcohol. Finishes dry, somewhat numbing, with a lingering timid bitter funk.

O: My first wild ale and I really enjoyed it. Hard to pinpoint the exact flavors and aromas but truly enjoyable. I will be looking forward to more of this interesting variety. " It's Alive" will be frequently enjoyed in my house.

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

750ml served in a Duvel Tulip.

A - Pours a clear and beautiful orange amber with a giant 3 finger rocky head that forms cavernous mountains of foam. Incredible 3/4 inch 3D lacing.

S - Strong barnyard funk, horse blanket, dry hay, dusty grain, lemongrass, honey, lavender, old leather, musty wood.

T - Sweet malt with some grassy grain, green apple skins, powdery yeast, honey, pears, lavender. Minty herbal hops and muted orange citrus come out on the finish.

M - Ultra smooth carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

Wow! One of the funkiest aromas I've ever come across from a beer. The taste followed the nose only way less funk. The funk almost rounds out the flavors. Very good especially if you like funky brews. I enjoyed this one with some aged cranberry white cheddar.

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Photo of stephens101
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sparkling reddish orange in color with a long lasting, thick, off-white head that bursts to the rim of the tulip. I've witnessed few beers with a residual lacing as big and gnarly.

The aroma puts the "f" in funk; a virtual wild yeast orgy that flows freely and loudly throughout the room. Notes of dark fruit, grain, straw and herbal mint are later realized. Sweet and minty to the tongue with a phenomenal funk wrapping that goes on and on. Lighter fruits, allspice, nougat and caramel eventually orchestrate to provide balance and complexity.

This one is quite easy to drink. Mouth-feel is medium, and it has a pleasing creamy core.

Seems a bit underrated to me, but then again, I'm not really a funky kinda guy if you know what I mean.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml cellered for a good while Thanks to Gregus. Mikkeller is alway expensive, but pretty much alway unique and good. Clear amberish color, amazing looking head. Frothy and solid looking, like wax. I walked away for 20 minutes and came back to the head still holding like a champ, and lacing still clinging. This beer has great visual appeal. Smell is an appealing, but very delicate aroma. I smell flowers and bright acidic yeast. Not what I was expecting. Beer is surprisingly drinkable. Subtle malt notes, minimal hopping. Seems like the recipe is designed to push the yeast character, which is complex and exciting to the palate. Ph is low and puckers the lips a bit. Thin body, booze is quite well hidden. I could have used a bit more sour. But wonderful beer. Pleasure to have tried.

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Photo of kmatlack
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 poured into my Brooklyn snifter. No bottle date that i can tell...

A- Holy head. Bubbles and fizzes up all the way to the top of the glass. Pours a very good looking orange-red color. Relatively clear, lots of bubbles coming up. Big pillowy slightly yellow head. This thing looks great.

S- Lots of wet barnyard hay. Funky lemon, yeasty aromas, mildly sweet. Bread, malts. Not bad.

T- Spicy Belgian yeast up front, goes right into sweet malty flavors, followed by a lemony, bretty tartness. Finishes off with sweet bready malts.

M- Slick, thin, and alot of carbonation. It is a little over carbonated for me, but not this style.

O- I am not a fan of Belgian beers very much, but i thought this was pretty good. I dont know where this beers horrible reviews came from....

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Photo of thagr81us
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one at the Down South Beer Tasting while aasher was in town to visit! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured red-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, orange rine, fruit, banana, and subtle funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, sugar, wheat, banana, and fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. There was just something about this one that was a little off-putting in the flavor. Maybe it was the way the sugar blended with the fruits present??? Who knows, but this could have been a lot better if this were not the case. Glad I got to try it, but that is about it.

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