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It's Alive! - Mikkeller ApS

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

187 Reviews
no score

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

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

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

Ingredients: Water, malt (pale and cara), light candy, hops (hallertauer and styrian goldings), yeast and brettanomyces.
View: Beers (294) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 187 | Hads: 393
Photo of PerHops
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S- 1 pint 9 ounce bottle into a large snifter

A- A lighter dark amber (if that makes any sense) with nice lacing and a beautiful head

S- subtly sour, grass, hay, herbs, lemon, slight funk

T- much different than expected. A lot of caramel presence, but there are sour components in tact, supported by a beautiful dry finish. A lot of apple, grass, a little lemon, some minerals.

M- Great malt presence. Very easy to drink at the 8% ABV.

O- I like this beer more than I expected to. It reminds me of the BBB from fantome, but a little richer. Good beer and I am now a Mikkeller fan.

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Photo of brotherloco
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml capped bottle. Served in a tulip.

Pours mostly clear medium-dark gold, with a massive, towering meringue head. The type that dominates your tulip glass.

Has a light Belgian aroma. Fruity, spicy, some warm earth. Tart cherry, sweet strawberry.

Flavor brings out similar notes from the nose. Sweetness is restrained though, and earthy notes move forward. It's kind of one dimensional, but pleasant. Alcohol makes its presence known in the finish, which also gets a bit tart and bitter.

Medium body with high carbonation, very smooth on the palate and very drinkable.

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

So, I have no idea where to write this review. I found this bottle just recently, but it is in a 750ml bottle and labeled as a Belgian Wild Ale. I thought it may be the It's Alive that is not retired, but the ABV is off and there are no 750ml bottle reviews...so I'm VERY CONFUSED. So anyways, pours an almost-clear golden amber color with a HUGE, beautiful, frothy cream-colored head. Scent is a bit of Brett with some sugary sweetness to it. Lots of pepper and spiciness to it with a hint of lemon zest and citrus...orange peel. Taste is initially citrusy with hints of funk from the Brett. Not as funky as I was expecting. Has a lot of Belgian yeast flavors and sugar cane. Then I some lemon tartness that finishes sweet and Bretty. Mouthfeel is full and crisp. Drinkability is high. Overall, this is an awesome beer. I can definitely see how people would compare this beer to Orval, but IMO it can't compete. In fact, any beer that is a tribute to Orval can't compare...this one may be the closest though.

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Photo of Trilogy31
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich burnished brown leather with a ridiculously frothy massive head leaving thick chunks of foam on the glass as it ever so slowly dissipates. The nose has bright sour citrus, red fruit, a touch of pleasant funk along with belgian spices. The taste brings sour raspberry, lemon, along with clove and almost a touch of banana, very light sourness and funk - tasty stuff. I did find it to seem a bit diluted at this abv though i was highly impressed with the look and taste.

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

First had: on tap at Farmers' Cabinet, Philly, PA
Labeled as a tribute to Orval.

Poured into a tulip glass, a nice bronzed amber with a thin ring of white head. Smells of yeast, citrus zest, and bubblegum. Sweet taste, pale malts, very citrusy, pear, pineapple, and a bit of hay. Some hop bitterness coming through, but not much. Almost saisonish. Very complex and enjoyable array of flavors. Medium mouthfeel, and quite drinkable.

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Photo of brystmar
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: copper body, *tons* of white frothy head, strong lace, very bubbly.

S: funky and complex! Fruit, Belgian yeast, malts, spices, and plenty of funk. This is a saison if I've ever smelled one.

T: all the characteristics of a rich Belgian golden ale with the funk of a saison. Spices, funky Brett yeast, and malty sweetness kick things off. Turns bitter as the hops show themselves midway through, then finishes dry with more spice and funk. Gets even better as it warms.

M/D/O: medium bodied, lots of carb. Smooth and easy to drink with very wide appeal. A delicious beer with good balance; a great introduction to the saison style for newbies.

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Photo of marqoid
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a tulip. Pours a dull amber with a large off white head that did not last more than 30 seconds.
S: Not what I was expecting. Some caramel, oak, toffee, alcohol. I don't get any sourness or Brett.
T: Even less of what I was expecting. Minimal hop, sourness, or Brett. Much like the nose, caramel, oak, toffee, but really pretty flat.
M:This has a good feel on the tongue, a little slick, but too much alcohol for 8%.
O: This makes me think of the typical run of the mill amber ale with a bit of oak. I was really hoping for more hops and more Brett.

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Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a bright amber color and a clear consistency. There was a massive, fluffy, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A combination sweet/musty aroma, with traces of fruit and yeast.

T: Tasted of Belgian yeast, esters, light fruit, malt, and a hint of a woody element. An interesting and lively flavor with a good personality. Well done.

M: A super-carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A solidly made, tasty and drinkable beer.

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

Pours a pretty, slightly dark, slightly hazy golden amber with a VERY thick buttery off-white head. The bottle I got fizzed like nobody’s business, so have a towel handy! Aroma is average strength, fruity, yeasty and somewhat sweet with a malty hint. Flavor is mainly fruity, sweet but not too sweet, and has malt and yeast hints plus just a bit of butterscotch. Texture is fairly fizzy, leaving a rather persistent tingle on the tongue and lips.

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Photo of petacutlasaurus
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So you know those scenes where a bunch of friends are mulling around in the kitchen, standing over some food or desert they've made, maybe something in the microwave, and whatever it is, as they check it out, it starts growing and expanding, like a souffle that's blowing up in the oven or a bag of popcorn expanding as it's heated. And then there's the one friend who gets at eye level with the food, stares blankly, and whispers - "it's alive" - .

Well, that's no doubt how this beer got its name. I have never seen a beer with such explosive, ever-expanding head. And I suppose that when the brewer poured his first glass, he thought this same thing to himself, and knew the name of his new beer.

Light and fluffy, the beer itself is a light yellow amber. Smells are pretty plain, but pleasant - very light fruits, citrus, bread, and thick floral smells. The taste is that same collection of smells after they go to funk dance-off. Very wild and Bretty. I think the taste takes a hit with the body. Those notes get lost a little bit in the ensuing explosion in your mouth. Still, very fun to drink and maybe even more to pour!

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

Bottle poured into a snifter
A - Poured a good shimmering amber color. It is not crystal clear but nice. The head was huge and had a slight redish hue to it. Huge and bubbly with good lace on the head.
S - very nice smell on this beer. The fruits and malty sweetness hit on the front end. Very fresh and lively crisp fruits. Then it opened up to floral and herbal notes in the middle with a slight funk background. Then the nose goes almost oaky, woody earthen and the peppery spices kick in. Very nice and complex nose that covers a range of notes.
T & M - The beer is very carbinated and incredibly light on the mouth. The sweetness hits you in the front and brings the crisp fruits with it. Then the mouth becomes funky oaky and woodsy on the back end quickly. There is not as much pepper to balance the sweet front end as I would have liked.
O - Where did all the aroma go in the taste. Such a great variety of smells and the taste came up short. I would have enjoyed a little more sour spice to complex it out and help finish the beer. With that being said a very interesting brew.


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Photo of SkunkWorks
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Bar Great Harry in Brooklyn, New York. Served in a tulip glass. I'm surprised to see its been retired. I'm not a huge Belgian Strong Pale Ale fan, so hopefully this can impress.

Look: cloudy, almost murky orange, one of the darker BSPAs that I've seen. Thin, off white head that retains relatively well and leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: I get some citrusy hops, pale, bready malt, and some brett character with some barnyard funkiness. Perhaps a name like "It's Alive!" should've clued me into the fact that this was going to have some wild yeast.

Taste: follows the nose with a big brett taste, a bit of mustiness. Hints of fruitiness, some citrus notes and a dry finish.

Feel: medium bodied, subtle carbonation, and a dry finish. As for how drinkable it is, well, I dunno if I'd have more than one but drinking mine wasn't difficult.

Overall: this is only my second of Mikkeler's beers and I like it. Its not spectacular but its still pretty good. I'm still new to wild beers, so the restrained brett character, lack of acidity, etc was easy for my palate to appreciate. I think it is worth a try but I don't know if I would've paid for a bottle of this, given how expensive Mikkeler products are. On tap, it was fairly priced. Cheers!

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Photo of TexIndy
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip. Other reviews mention corked and caged but my just had a crown?!?! There was a pretty faded date on the crown but couldn't read it all except for ending in 12 so figure it's best by 2012. Was a hazy orange color with lots of carb streams. It had a massive 3+ finger head that never got below a full finger of foam cap. Great lacing and sticking obviously. Knocking the score since too much head - don't say that too often.

The aroma was wild ale with brett funkiness in there along with hops, lots of spice and candied sugar. Good but was missing something. Taste was also just good as it needed some more of the tart and funk to balance the dry from the spices. Very dry and spicy finish. Mouthfeel was creamy but over carbonated.

Overall, a good but not great wild ale for me. Not many wild ales choices here in TX but for $17.99 it would need to be a lot more re-memorable before I'd buy another. [N;O]

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Photo of BarrelO
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

400th review!

750ml bottle poured into a snifter. I can't quite make out the date stamp on the cap, but I think it says "1911012." I guess that means best buy November 19, 2012.

A: Dark orange body. Massive rocky off-white head leaves quite a bit of lacing.

S: Lots of barnyard funk and citrus.

T: The funk continues to make its presence felt. Some citrusy notes. Crisp clean bitterness. Finishes dry.

M: Effortlessly light with lots of carbonation.

D: This owes more than a little debt to Orval, but it's pretty much exactly what I look for in a BSPA. Incredibly easy to put down.

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Photo of lnashsig
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Duvel tulip glass- pours a crazy amount of foam that fills the glass immediately. Excellent head retention. Smell- tart sour, musty, green apples. Taste- dissapointing. Not much here, not bad by any means. Flat apple juice. Some bitter funk from the brett. Boring, bland, but I guess highly drinkable, since it really doesn't taste like anything. The store owner advised me against this one, and I didn't listen. Oh well, could have spent 14 bucks worse ways than this. Mikkeller dissapoints here for sure.

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Photo of Donnie2112
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a stang, bad choice of glass ware I think

looks like: medium copper in color, very little head retention

smells like: vaguely sweet, not a lot on the aroma front maybe a hint of must

tastes like: It's again sweet, very malt forward, slight hints of fruity esters, just a bit of mustiness and a faint sourness

feels like: Very little carbonation, thin on the mouth, rather dry

There are some redeemable things about this beer but on the whole it was "just ok." I'm really tempted to drain pour it, not because it's not palateable but because I was expecting something much better and much different and I didn't get it.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, with a Charles Smith Vineyards style labeling effort, it would seem. Good name for a wild ale, I gotta say.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium golden copper hue, with two chubby fingers of densely foamy, fizzy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves some nice Swiss cheese lace around the glass as it slowly fades away.

It smells of somewhat acrid and yet crisp yeast, semi-sweet wheat grain, aged lemon rind, funky tropical fruit, wet straw, lye, and a weak alcohol measure. The taste is kind of biscuity pale malt, neutered citrus, still funky and musty yeast, a growing domestic and south-seas fruitiness, a tame phenolic astringency, and more understated booze warming.

The carbonation is a tad below average, just a meek swirling frothiness to be had, the body a so-so medium weight, a bit fluffy, but otherwise decently smooth. It finishes with a severe push towards dryness, the alcohol, restrained funk, and leafy hops doing all they can in the concerted effort.

Drinkable? Ya. Edgy hops, not quite controlled yeast, and underwhelming malt? You betcha. Enjoyable enough to warrant the price? The jury's still out on that one, but hey, this is Mikkeller, so you pretty much know what that verdict's gonna be, eh? Suggested for only the most stringently ardent fans of the style.

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Photo of thedoubler55
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Poured into a Globe glass

A - Poured a nice tint of ruby red, about 2 inches of head that left lacing all over the glass.

S - Very sweet, smelt like sweet candy, lots of sweetness!

T - Tangy in flavor, very odd but not bad. Also a bit of sourness.

M - Very subtle, bit of carbonation, nothing crazy on this brew.

D - Easy to drink, very glad I got to try this brew.

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Photo of dizknee24
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 cork and caged
A- Pours a dark cloudy orange brown with a thing 1 finger white head that dissipates fast

S- sweetness of spice and citrus.

T- Tastes sooo interesting. not amazing not terrible but i liked it.

M- Medium body with a decent amount of carbonationand a sour finish.

mikkeller does not dissapoint

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Photo of fastsrt
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml poured in a wine glass.

A: amber, slightly cloudy, fluffy head with loose bubbles.

S: tart fruit, green apple, funky,

T: tart, funky flavors, as it warms the tart fades in the background and the funk come out.

M: crisp, and clean, has refreshing qualities,

D: beers like this tend to go down quickly as there not rich and filling but rather crisp and refreshing. it was good I enjoyed it

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am surprised to learn that this beer is retired? I just had this on tap at ChurchKey in Washington, DC. Poured into a snifter glass. Beer was served at almost room temperature which is the norm at ChurchKey. Pours pale coppery amber with a lovely, medium, staying, creamy, white head but then fizzles quickly. Retains nice lacing throughout however. Picking up some funky aroma, bread, grapes, oak, and floral notes. Light vinious. High, prickly carbonation, fine dry and mild creamy mouthfeel. Flavor is quite mild, some sugary grape-like sweetness, and esters. Vinious and warming. Good fresh hoppy bitterness to the finish as well.

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

A - Pours a cloudy amber/orange color with about two fingers of fluffy head that has moderate retention and some sticky lacing.

S - Smells like tart apples, malts, funk, spice. Overall a lot of citrus, very floral, and still funky.

T - Sweet malts and tart apple notes, almost like caramel covered apples, floral/earthy hops, a touch of sourness and funk on the back end but nothing too overwhelming by any means.

M - Medium in body, pretty light and dry, a bit too much carbonation for my taste.

D - Very drinkable and worth trying if you get the chance now that this one is retired.

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Photo of aasher
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours like the muddy creek out back. It looks like dark, murky muddy water with an off white head that laces the glass beautifully. It smells great. It's tart, it's sour and it has this light fresh fruity-like sweetness that rounds it out. I know this beer hasn't been made in a little while but it could be more. It could be more tart, it could bolder, it could be more fruity, it could be more sour. I would guess I'd rate this an A- if fresh, but right now I can't do it. Some sours get stronger with age, this one lessens. It's tart but not tart enough. It drinks smoothly enough but it's not what it could be. It's drinkable but not overly so. This beer I'm sure could be better. Regardless, I'm glad I could try it.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1pt, 9.4 oz bottle with Silver label (stamped 22/04/16 on back)

Pours a very healthy head, almost overtaking the top of a Duvel Tulip which is massive and left very heavy lacing. Smell of strong juicy fruit bubblegum flavors, caramel, a bit of funk, belgian malts and a caramel presence.

Taste of bubblegum / fruity flavors from the foam on top. The Brett is bringing out this aroma and it was quite nice. Taste of
heavy leather followed by caramel and some moldy brett characteristics. Later , wet dog hair and slobber flavors really come out and make you wonder. The leather flavors that come our are similar to those in Adam from HOTD., although not nearly as thick or pronounced. A bit of twang mixed with belgian candy sugars, heavy carbonation and a medium mouthfeel.

Decent, nothing great. I enjoyed their yeast series Brett more than this one but they are different beers entirely.

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

A- 1 inch head that drops out steadily and leaves some sticky lace. The color is a hazy honey orange.

S- The nose is very aromatic. An apple wine fruitiness and floral quality similar to potpourri. Slightly funky, and earthy as well.

T- Again I'm getting a lot of the apple fruitiness up front, the sweetness turns slightly sour towards the end and is mixed with a bit of bretty funk. A touch of floral/earthy hops round this out.

M- Body is medium with a fair amount of carbonation. Sharp and lively. Dried out mouthfeel.

D- Fairly Neutral for a Wild Ale. I was hoping for a little more punch, but what I got out of this was another tasty brew from Mikkeller anyways.

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