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It's Alive! - Mikkeller ApS

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It's Alive!It's Alive!

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349 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 349
Reviews: 176
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 12
Gots: 35 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

Ingredients: Water, malt (pale and cara), light candy, hops (hallertauer and styrian goldings), yeast and brettanomyces.

(Beer added by: DarkerTheBetter on 06-06-2008)
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Ratings: 349 | Reviews: 176 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
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
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
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
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
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
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
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
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
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
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
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
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
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
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
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
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
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
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
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
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
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
3.45/5  rDev -7%
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.

Photo of nick76
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is wild and funky, there is pepper and ginger as well as sour fruit, malt, herbs, and cedar. The appearance is amber with a huge head. The flavor is like the aroma but not overly funky. The palate is thin. Overall not bad for a wild beer. It's more than I expected.

Photo of rhinos00
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into my Corsedonk tulip glass.

A- Pours a semi-clear amber with a healthy, pillow fluffy white head.

S- Very subtle lemon, citrus aromas. Some funk with nice brett is detectable as well.

T- Completely opposite of the aroma. I was truly expecting something sour and funky. What I got was something that had mellow, bland flavor that tasted more like a weak Belgian Pale Ale than the wild ale description on the bottle. All surprises aside, the taste was just not that impressive.

M- Medium bodied. Just had a watered down characteristic that I didn't really care for. Finished dry.

D- Okay. It was pretty easy to put this down even though it didn't have much of a taste profile.

Overall, once I put the anticipated taste aside, the beer definitely became more drinkable. Still, given the price tag on this beer, I would probably not buy it again.

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Copper body with two fingers of head with decent retention, but little lacing.

S - Big juicy fruit aroma, with strawberry and raspberry sweetness, green apple tartness, sour cherry funk, hints of leather and earthy funk, all while being quite vineous.

T/M - A lot more bitterness than I expected. Big funk, big hops. As it warms, I picked up nice rose nectar, raspberry, and honey sweetness, in addition to the big funk. Alcohol is present and warming. A lot different than expected. Finish was a bit watery. Mid bodied.

D - Shows great complexity, and weak balance. The funk is fantastic, but even a sucker like me would love to see some more sweetness to balance out the huge funk. Fun, but not overly drinkable.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep, translucent copper amber hue. What an awesome, thick, dense, sticky head. Spongey and very light tan in color. But very small and slow lacing. The aroma makes me think of the produce aisle at my local grocery store, Dominicks. More specifically, like when you bury your nose in th apple display. Particularly, green apples. Very yeasty, fruity taste. Unsweetend apple sauce and caramel malts. The apples and caramel slowly move to a smokey toasted malt. Hints of Tandy leather give an earthy hop finish. Not as funky as expected, but pretty hoppy and earthy. Saddle leather palate earthy. Pretty easy to drink considering the 8% abv. You would never guess the abv. without looking at the bottle.

Photo of nrbw23
2.38/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a murky orange color with a foamy white head. Head has good retention and leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Smells of Belgian yeast, flowery, funky, caramel hops and floral hops.

T- Wow didn't like this at all...totally different from the nose. Pretty complex but it just doesn't go well together. I let this on sit for a while and came back to it and it was pretty much the same taste just a lot stronger. Just didn't taste good at all.

M- Light to medium body and high carbonation.

D- No thanks I'll pass.

Photo of klewis
2.58/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a hazy amber with a moderate, bubbly head. Light lacing.

S: Citric aromas with just a bit of funk.

T: On the first sip, caramel malts with a light lemon zest flavor and a bit of brett. On consequent sips, the brett overwhelmed the palate, replacing the light malty taste with a dry tannic one.

M: Medium-bodied with lots of carbonation. Dry.

D: No thank you sir. If every sip tasted like the first, this would be a solid beer, but this unfortunately did not happen.

Photo of Franky3
2.88/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Caged and corked bottle..pours a orange red ice tea color with about a half inch thick good white head.

Smell- a thick head gives notes of ginger...notes of brettanomyces and possibly cherry...traditional and good belgian scent. A bit of a face warming sour scent.

Taste- Sort of where I believe this beer goes wrong...the smell calls for a bold sharp brew with sticking brett, but delivers a dull, low, back of mout dusty and flat feel. There is something in there that tingles your tonsils, not neccesarily in a good way...it is reminding me of the grape bubbalicious that I never really liked after you have had it in your mouth for too long...

not very drinkable...just not my favorite

Photo of NoLiberty
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden amber color, with slight partial cloudiness. Some suspended particulation. Nice head that stays the whole time with good lacing.

Hop, lily, fermenting haystack, earth, paperwhites and slight sweet wildflower honeyness.

Very present hop character at the start, slight floral that moves through to a middle that's bready and malty with some sweet hop finish. Nice clarity and balance of the flavors.

Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Moves fluidly around the mouth carrying the flavors throughout.

Very drinkable. People put this down very easily and wanted more. That's a good sign.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle From Champane Wine.

Poured hazy amber color with a large frothy off-white head that was mostly lasting with excellent lacing.

Moderate to heavy spicy, yeast and bubblegum aroma.

Medium body with a slick texture and soft carbonation.

Medium to heavy bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration.

My expectations where met with another of my top active bottled beers for style.

It's Alive! from Mikkeller ApS
84 out of 100 based on 349 ratings.