1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

It's Alive! - Mikkeller ApS

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

358 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 358
Reviews: 180
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 13
Gots: 39 | FT: 1
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 (260) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 358 | Reviews: 180 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alleykatking
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spilt a bottle with my employee at a party.

A- Pours a hazy dark copper/amber color. When held up to the light there was some orange tints toward the sides of the glass. Nice slight eggshell white 1 and a half finger head that dies away leaving some lacing on the sides.

S- Little more funk than what I'm used to with this style. Some fruity hints came out with this (pear and grapes). Big sourness to the aroma. Slight malt sweetness to this as well. Some barnyard scents to this as well.

T- Well this has a sour beer taste to say the least. Big sour hint to this (reminds me of a wine upfront and finish to this). Some sweet malts in the middle mingle with a fruity taste.

M- Medium mouthfeel to this. Big carbonation to this makes the beer a fine sipper. Leaves a big sourness in the palate and aftertaste.

D- I couldn't drink this beer all the time but...well every once in a while this is a perfect tasting beer.

Photo of brendan13
4.32/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours quite a clear copper colour with orange highlights when held up to light. 3 centimetre slightly off white head slowly falls away.
S - Initially quite a fruity aroma comprised of peach, pears and some sweet grape notes followed by a phenolic spice quality with some biscuity malt touches and a mild yet noticeable horsey funk.
T - Quite fruity also in the taste but with more clove and pepper spiciness coming through. Also quite a floral taste. Again a biscuity maltiness and a touch of the horsey funk.
M - Lighter side of medium bodied with a fairly high carbonation. Dryish finish.
D - An interesting beer indeed. Not quite a "Belgian Wild Ale" like the label suggests but certainly different to most BSPA. A Brettified Belgian IPA? Anyway, well worth a try.

Photo of hughesm4
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours a light copper color with a decent amount of head.

S. A few random spices come out, but has a little of a winelike odor.

T. Not exactly what I expected. My initial drink tasted more like a white wine. The following drinks where not really consistent. Some where had small amount of a spices, but several drinks where just flat and foul.

M. It leaves a slight aftertaste, and it fills the mouth during the initial drink, but nothing spectacular

D. It goes down decently well, especially for the abv. Probably not something that I would drink again, but it was something that I was glad I tried.

Photo of ThaBobfather
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper with a few millimeters of beige head.
Smells got light hints of spice and some zest.
Taste has good yeast, grain, and spiced zest throughout.
Crisp finish with a decent yeasted spice after-taste.
Drinks very well at 8.00%, while not being what I could call smooth.

Photo of degerbah
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a red-orange with good amounts of head. Bottle was filled all the way up to the bottom of the cork. Aroma is a little acrid and slightly sour. Reminds me of a drier white wine mixed with beer. Not really what I was expecting from reading the bottle, this makes much more sense when listed as a Belgian Pale Ale than as a Wild Ale. It tastes like a hybrid in style, not sour enough to really be a wild ale, but too acrid to be a strong ale. Not a terrible beer and I'm glad I tried it, overall though I am not impressed.

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

750ml corked and capped bottle bought online from the Cracked Kettle, Amsterdam...

Poured a slightly cloudy amber orange colour. White head poured fairly thick and foamy then faded slowly to decent covering with lots of lacing climbing the glass... steady carbonation stream...

Aroma - Quite floral (lilies ?) and perfumed, peppery, spicy, hints of clove, yeasty notes, light brett funk, earthy, juicy fruits (oranges, lemons, apricots, white grapes, pear), sea salt, light mustiness, faint caramel sweetness...

Taste pretty much mirrors the aromas... very floral and perfumed, light biscuit maltiness mixed with some earthy brett notes, spicy tart fruits (apples, pears, grapefruits, lemons), yeasty, quite sour, light clove... reminded me a lot of Orval

Mouthfeel - Quite sharp and dry then smoothes out a little... light / medium bodied... a pretty quaffable and refreshing brew..

Overall - A pretty good take on a Belgian pale ale. If you like Orval you'll definitely like this... well worth a try

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a shiny amber color ale with a large foamy head with great retention and very good lacing. Aroma of fruity ester is very interesting with nice Belgian style malt and a slightly dry hoppy finish. Taste is also dominated by some fruity ester with some Belgian style malt with some lingering sweetness and some very light Poppering style hops at the end. Full body with great carbonation and no signs of the alcohol. Very well done though not very close to Orval as suggested by the label.

Photo of photomike
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with BA NPAwesome. Thanks Nat!!!

Pours a hazy orange brown with an orangy white head. Moderate retention. Not a lot of light passes through it. Kind of an ugly color, but its got a nice head on it.

Smell is crazy. Very funky and spicy with a strong fruity flavor reminiscent of overripe, fermented orange. Tart on the nose with some vapor.

Taste is musty and dry, with some vague, nondescript fruit flavors. Lightly tart with a bitter finish that reminds me of orange peel.

Mouthfeel is sparkly and effervescent. Medium bodied with a slightly oily finish. Nice.

Highly drinkable for 8%. Very dry with little detectable alcohol. Somewhat refreshing and it goes down easy.

Overall, very funky and unusual. Hard to evaluate, but definitely worth at least one try.

Photo of JohnQVegas
2.71/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle into red wine glass. Opened and poured chilled, rated at 45 degrees and up.

Pours a copper-brown, with a stout light-khaki pillowy head that settles into a thin cap, lots of random big bubbles in the middle with a tenacious grip on the side of the glass.

Nose is interesting. Some very sweet caramel is the first thing to hit the nose, rich and a bit bready, bit of burnt toffee, along with some very light acetic acid and green apples that come off kind of odd, perhaps because of how sweet the nose is. Black pepper makes an appearance as well.

Taste isn't any better. Earthy, organic tasting, lots of band aid. Plasticy. Peppery and spicy underneath, but even that ends up taking an earthy, musty, vegetal character. Bready malt sits underneath it all, present but showing up more in the finish and exhale than anywhere else - half hidden behind the weirdness that sits on top of it. Earthy, peppery bitterness sits on the palate. Not an entirely pleasant experience.

Mouthfeel is actually ok, full bodied and a bit lush, creamy, though a bit grainy and chelky as well, which hurts.

Drinkability is pretty terrible. It's not revolting, but it's definitely not something I'd look forward to.

Photo of Proteus93
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I've looked at this one a few times before, and finally figured that Father's Day would be a good enough day for it.

A: Copper-hued, with a nice and sticky head leaving a bit of a caking lace on the opposite side of the glass. There almost seems to be a very slight haze. On the second fill, the head is fuller and rolls nicely as it recedes.

S + T: Fruit-like scents, perhaps even like canned fruits. Some hay and a bit of pepper. There's a note of funk, but nothing too extreme or intense. Some soft malts, which come out more as it warms. This beer breathes very nicely, and develops well with patience while drinking it. A lot more hay comes out on the nose, but it's not so much as to come across as a 'barnyard scent,' really.

M + D: Slightly sparkling, but it could be a bit richer, really. Modest, but medium body, quite smooth. As mentioned above, the flavours and aroma opens up very nicely with time, so it is good to allow it to breathe and open up.

Photo of asabreed
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged bottle into a Brooklyn snifter / tulip, split with friends.

Appearance: Hazy fire orange with a creamy and dense white head that sticks for a while and leaves some fine lacing rings.

Smell: Very different and very much something that keeps changing as it goes from good to awesome. I'm getting, weirdly enough, beach and ocean salt-water breeze, the kind of effervescent salty air that comes off the beach as the sun comes up. And there's a shampoo perfumed smell, like really tropical, flowery shampoo, sans feigned medicinals. Vinous white grapes, and some minor funk. What a bunch of good weirdness, and nothing I expected.

Taste: I had a feeling this might happen. The taste doesn't come across nearly as wild as the aroma does. There's an interesting back-end IPA-like bitterness to this, in a lighter way. The perfume and flowery tropical nature is there, but everything is so subdued, light, and skips what could be amazing nuances of flavor before the back-end mild bitterness upon the finish. That said, it's very easy to sip at the ABV level, and no alcohol can be detected.

Mouthfeel: Champagne-effervescent-like and bubbly, while still maintaining a lighter feel overall.

Drinkability: A fantastic bottle to split with friends. We all got weird things from this, probably due to the yeast and the brett overall, though it's missing some good prominent funk we were all hoping for. I could drink a bottle of this, but it's such a different and exciting brew that it's nice to see the responses of others also. With some tweaking in the future this could be amazing stuff, but right now, for the price, I'd stick to spitting the cost (around $12-$14 in my area) with a few friends.

Photo of vrazionale
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a ruby-brown body with a thick, creamy 2-finger head.

S - Lots of hoppy citrus - sweet orange, lemon, grapefruit. The citrus notes are very reminiscent of a west-coast IPA. There are other fruit notes as well - ripe green pear, ripe papaya, a touch of pineapple, lychee. I also pick up some grassy, piney notes that round out the nose.

T - Hop-forward, for sure. There are the expected bitter fruit flavors here: lemon, bitter orange, and grapefruit. But this is well-balanced by sweet malt and sweet fruit: papaya, pear, and banana. As it warms, the bitterness transforms into a more medicinal and herbal flavor profile, rendering the brew less enjoyable to drink.

M - Very crisp, with a carbonation level that borders on too much, but doesn't go over the edge.

D - Looks, smells, tastes, and feels like a well-crafted IPA - except that the label calls it a "Belgian Wild Ale." So much for trying to categorize beer, I suppose! I had a really tough time picking out the brett here. Try as I might, I couldn't pick up any funk. Nate from Gordon's recommended that I get two bottles of this, one to drink now, and one to cellar, so we'll see what happens with the other one after a while.

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

750 (fake) corked and caged 750ml bottle into 25oz wine glass.

Cloudy dark burnt orange hue with a thick and very fluffy off-white two finger head, which slowly settles to a thin cap, with a thin island floating in the middle.

Plenty of sharp and spicy phenols mixed with very dry musty aromas. There's also so dark fruit aromas and a bit of orange peel.

For the style the flavor is relatively light, but still very complex. More orange peel mixes with some more phenolic spices. Some fruit flavors, including apple and plum, are in the background. The overall flavor is very tart. Full bodied, highly carbonated.

Somewhat tame for a Wild Ale, but it still has the same complexities. Very drinkable, and a good introduction to the style. Recommended.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice addition to the Mikkeller lineup. As expected the beer has a cleverly sculpted blend and balance of wild yeasts and bacteria to stimulate and challenge a beer drinker's palate.

The beer pours a medium caramel color that looks surprisingly like a Pale Ale. But the beer takes on a highly carbonated tone that is both efforvescent and lively to the eye. Initially great head formation fades soon enough atop a Belgian Wild Ale that has cut through all proteins and substantial sugars that would have lead to better head retention.

Mouthwatering aromas of under-rippened fruits: think blackberries, raspberries, apples, pears, and grapes to name a few. Throw in a dusty scent of grandma's attic and a hint at caramel malts and we have a beer.

Flavors represent the same, but in reverse. Camelized malts make a greater impact than expected with a medium malt and raw barley taste. The astringent fruits soon follow with also a medium boldness and later hits the jawls with a light, acidic sharpness. The funkified nature of the beer also hits a moderate stride with a white wine vineous note that will be sure to challenge the novice beer drinker. The crab-apple, lemony, berry-ey, peppery notes rise at mid-palate and gain intensity into both the finish and aftertaste. Hop flavor and bitterness also show extra depths of complexity and variation, as if the beer needed it.

The caramel malts make the beer seem a bit sweeter and heavier than it really is. The bolserous carbonation lifts the beer from the mouth and makes drinkability decidedly easy. Acidity and tartness helps to thin the beer to help out in the upcomming summer months. Moderately astringent and sharp at times, but that's the name of the game when considering the wild brews.

Comparisons to Orval come to mind. But this beer takes on a more caramel flavor and not as aggressive with the 'wild' character. Still, musty, horse-y, and dusty throughout. Even the dry-hopped character of the beer draws comparisons.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dull rustic-orange with a 3 finger, foamy ivory colored head that was well lasting.Visible carbonation was a mixture of slow steady rising micro bubbles with spontaneous rapidly rising macro bubbles. The lacing left a random spotty spongey patching down the sides of the glass.

S: The nose yielded sour oranges and pale grains along with musky scents of lemon. A mildewy floral hopping closes things out. The nose was subtle from the brettamyoces, pale and soft, and somehow was expecting more here.

T: sharp and acidic with funky sour oranges that blast the tastebuds from the start thanks in part to the lively carbonation. Things settle down after the initial sip with soft mildew lemons and sour citrus. Alcohol is well detected here with a tart yeasty nature delivering hints of sour fruit (pears), bananas, warm pineapple and warm grapefruit. the overall flavor was musky and tart wit a warming sour alcohol presence just before the finish of lingering sour citrus.

M: light bodied, very smooth, and despite the visible nature fairly soft carbonation wise. A sour funky citrus laces the tongue.

D: Wild and funky but overall well done and toned. A sour citrusy, Belgian pale, good for a single serving (bomber) but not intriquing enough to warrant repeatability or future purchase. One try is suffice and only moderate when compared to their other fantastic beers they brew.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 750ml corked bottle split with psycohops. Poured into twin shaker glasses, the ale appears akin to murky iced tea with a finger of off white foam. The head settles to a thin layer as it warms. Nose and taste - spoiling tart apples, mild funk, candied apples, smarties candies. Super dry and bitter.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 750 ml single from Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, around $11. Cork date reads as 11/03/12.

A: Dark amber, not quite brown, almost copper in color, khaki colored head, about half an inch of so, extremely dense and sticking around quite nicely. Pretty cloudy beer. Fair amount of carbonation coming to the top on this one as well.

S: Bret, funk, and a fair amount of malt, the two mixed together results in a sort of pie crust smell? That's the best way to describe it, not quite barnyard funk though, more sour, acidic phunknasty. I like it a lot.

T: Wow, weeeird. Not at all what I expected. Has some of the more common Belgian pale tastes, a little bit of spicy hops, a fair amount malty sweetness, and dare I say...mint? Slightly puckering, but the sour is pretty subdued. Big time struggle between yeast and malt for who wants to dominate this one. Odd power struggle, but it works. Slightly astringent as well. One of the most complex beers I've tried. Very interesting. Definitely a workout for the palate. Even some sour apples in here. A little bit of lemon rind too.

M: Extremely dry, wow, slight bit of alcohol heat, prickly carbonation, flavors really linger too, everything sticks around.

D: One 750ml is more than enough for me on this one. It is ridiculously complex, yet only somewhat flavorful. Nothing quite makes me say, dude, take another drink, this is amazing, its more like, take another drink, did you really taste that. I highly recommend this beer to anyone that wants to challenge their palate, this one is a workout, almost to the point of being annoying. Still good, but wow.

Photo of Nick3
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Burnt orange in color with an off-white head. Beer has a malty aroma with citrus and some mild brett funk. Taste is very similar with a finish that is slightly bitter, sour and dry. Alcohol is well masked. The beer got better as it warmed and as I drunk it but I was a bit disappointed overall.

Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle picked up at Capone's just under a year ago.

A: The bottle was a gusher after the cork popped, requiring fast action to get it into a glass as opposed to the floor. The ale has a visible red hue, darkening what starts out as a copper colored brew. Despite the high carbonation, the head is practically nonexistent.

S: A dry horseblanket aroma lies just behind a rather fruity body, both the work of tireless yeast.

T: The taste s very dry, all the sweetness having been sucked out of it. Grainy malts fight with, and lose to, the brettanomyces with its funk. The ale is very reminiscent of Orval, although I suppose that that was the intent. A vegetal flavor, the remnants of some hops, leaves an odd finish that is barely noticeable against the brett.

M: The mouthfeel is light, despite the funkiness. The sharpness of the finish makes me want another sip.

D: The heft of the 8% alcohol never gets in the way, allowing the funk to shine through. Another Danish standout.

Photo of cvfish
3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer poured a light copper color and produced a fluffy white head that had little retention and left moderate lacing on the side of the glass

S - The aromas that were produced by this beer were all about the Belgian funk, with a little sweetness and grain

T - The taste of this beer had some sweet grainy notes, lots of funk, and a lot of earthiness mixed in with a yeasty aftertaste

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body and a light amount of carbonation

D - The drinkability of this beer is mixed for me, while it was and enjoyable break from what I am used to, I wouldn't come back for this again

Photo of Gavage
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a cloudy orange color with a spotty head.

Smell: yeast, barnyard funk, bubblegum, and fruit sweetness is easy to pull from the glass.

Taste: nice malt base with some big yeast tones, pears, tart green apples, some funk and a bit of sourness. Bitterness is decent and balancing. Alcohol is mildly noticable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout. Some dryness late. Aftertaste is long as the funk, yeast and sourness lingers on the tongue a while.

Drinkability: this wild ale is a slow sipper. Nice flavor but one bottle will be enough in a session.

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, light copper color with orange highlights. It had a small, foamy, off-white head that left a little lace.

S - It smelled funky, but it was mild. Some caramel notes and sweet fruits.

T - It tasted candy sweet with a bubblegum-like flavor. There was a nice yeasty taste, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a very dry finish. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty interesting Belgian-style pale ale. It tasted nothing like it smelled but it was very good.

Photo of berkey
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Medium orange not much carbonation. Head died relatively quickly. Not much lacing.

Smell: Not what I expected. A little funky, dry, almost want to say soft cheese, old bread. Missing the faintly tangy sour smell I hoped for though.

Taste: A continuation of what I perceived on the aroma. Pleasant and unique, the higher ABV supplies a nice warmth that some other wild beers are missing. Again, it's lacking some pungency and sour flavors I look for in beers of this type.

Drinkability: Fairly drinkable, not a problem to finish the 1 pt 9.4 fl oz bottle but I'm not craving more from there.

Photo of peabody
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out slightly cloudy amber to red ice tea color with one finger of white suds. Different sized bubbles don the glass. Lacing occurs.
Smell is bubble gum and then sour apple and lemon zest. Some sugary caramel and some alcohol are way in the back.
Taste is tobacco and dirty socks. Some caramel and some malt but mostly spices like corriander and clove.
Mouthfeel is somewhat clean but this is cold now and as it warms it might get dirty.
Ok as a session brew but it needs more of the sour.

Photo of jojox
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice gold hue. Lots of CO2 and head. Doesn't seem to be moving.

s - malt and funk. Some sour.

t - Wow. VERY funky. Bread, yeasty barnyard and weird funky. Not usual. Quite a bit pissy/earthy, I can't describe it but it must be some crazy brett character. Horse blanket? A strange bitter aspect at the end. HOps??

m - a bit harsh but OK.

d - I dunno. I kinda got used to it by the end but I can't really say it was pleasant and I wanted to open another. My cat Jingle loved it.

It's Alive! from Mikkeller ApS
84 out of 100 based on 358 ratings.