USAlive! (Alive) - Mikkeller ApS

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USAlive! (Alive)USAlive! (Alive)

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BA SCORE
89
very good

69 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 69
Hads: 183
rAvg: 4
pDev: 6.25%
Wants: 12
Gots: 17 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Nickls on 03-02-2009

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

Ingredients: Water, malt (pale and cara), light candy, hops (tomahawk, cascade and amarillo), yeast and brettanomyces.
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Reviews: 69 | Hads: 183
Photo of BiochemicalBrewMachine
4/5  rDev 0%

This is a great beer.

Could use some more hops; but on the whole - I love it.

I swear it had a stronger flavour a couple years ago when I first tried it (on tap and in the bottle) ? (184 characters)

Photo of Karibourgeois
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Cloudy rust and amber colored pour with a two-finger off-white head. Big aroma of sour fruit. Very nice mildly sour taste that has elements of tropical fruits and grapefruit with a good malt backing. Also, has a bit of spice, funk, and yeasty flavors. Finishes with a lightly bitter and spicy flavor. (300 characters)

Photo of MV_CHI-NS
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Carmine/rufous body with a crisp isabelline/snow head.

Aroma: Blackcurrants, cherries, raspberries, quince, and a slight 'peppery' spice undertone.

Taste: Much like the aroma, but with what I would best describe as...imagine grapefruit not as a fruit, but rather as a wild nut/berry hybrid - that comes like a tidal wave as it goes down.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, tart, refreshing.

Overall: Again, Mikkeller gets it right with 'USAlive!'. Should you come across this, get it, as you will not be disappointed. (516 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

With the underpinnings of seemingly an American pale ale but with the soul of spontaneous Belgian ale, Mikkeller's USAlive! isn't just alive, it's wildly alive!

There might as well be two beers living in the snifter- the first entice the nose with deeply earthen, gamey and almost mushroomy brine character. Cellar-type musk, dried sandalwood, curing leather and dried citrus while another host of initial flavors rise with steely caramel, biscuit and toasted grain.

Its middle palate awakens with a sweet and sour tone with firm caramel, nutty and toasted support and an acute lime, grapefruit and under-ripened orange character. Its minerally taste is briney, oaken and dusty. Gaining a bitter taste, its hops are grassy and dryly of hay.

Its off-dry finish retains much more malt character than wild ale normally do even while its musty and earthy veil wafts above. Leaving the palate with a sharp hop bitterness, its iron-side taste invites a powdery sensation of sawdust to linger afterwards.

Uncommonly malty, the pale amber ale delivers on its barley-rich promise even though its "wild" brettanomyces character normally dries the beer more completely. Balanced to the malty side, its a sour ale perhaps on training wheels. (1,233 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A rusted amber color, somewhat shiny and brass colored hues as well. A nice middle column of carbonation as well, but a little hard to see. Head is a nice solid two to three fingers tall with off white fluffy character and lots of staying power. Solid looker.

Nice wine and wild yeast fruit character. Hints at oud bruin spice and sour character with some soft clove and solid funk. Some very hint of sweetness of very light toasty brown sugar, and citrus fruit also. Real nice balanced mix going on here.

Palate is really delicious. A very different take on a wild going on here, a real nice first blast of sweet brown malts and molasses like sugar. Peppery sugar action on the finish and a nice hot brett dry funk that matches. A real interesting fascinating finish between sweet malt caramel aromatics and hop earth/floral spicy qualities and funky wild yeast punch.

This is like a caramel brett sundae without the fake cherry on top, which makes it even better. (1,013 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance - Clear amber body. Huge cream head. Sticky lacing and an eternal pillow of foam.

Smell - Funky saison yeast aromas. Mild brett earthiness. Some slight acidic notes and deep caramel malt.

Taste - Sharper acidity, but nothing I'd call sour. A little metallic. Some lemony citrus, maybe from hops or yeast. Sweetness comes from a substantial caramel malt base.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation. Medium body. Lots of flavors going on in the finish.

Overall - Not what I expected. I think I like it. Strange one though. (567 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.11/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: single finger thick off white head with nice lacing on a amber with copper uses body.

S: smells very soapy, like dishwater, hint of peppermint, caramel and fresh flowers. This beer smells terrible initially. It has more strawberry aroma one the head goes down.

T: peppermint, red hots without the spice, yeast, toasted malts, a little strawberry initially in the finish then moving to a very medicinal and aspirin finish.

M: medium body and medium carbonation.

Overall: Awful smell really, I had to make sure the review reflected that. I can't really tell hot this beer as received as many decent reviews as it has. I would not get this beer, especially for what you tend to pay for Mikkeller. (700 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.36/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours with a small head of off white foam on a hazy, amber body. The head fades slowly and leaves nice lace. Phenolic aroma with some spice and lemons, which oddly combine to smell like dish soap. Dry caramel, pepper, and some aspirin. Moderately light body, fairly high carbonation, and a very dry finish. Not great, the aroma is very odd and the flavor follows. (363 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.54/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

7.5% ABV according to the beer board in the bar where I got it. Served on-draught at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, California. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger khaki colour head of nice cream, good thickness, and great retention. Body colour is a chestnut-auburn (if you'll excuse the pretension inherent in that phrasing). Nontransparent; non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Berry esters, fruit, wild yeast with some spice, cream, light caramelized malt, clean malts, and hint of toasted malt character. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Toasted clean malts with delightfully subtle spice. Nice underlying cream. Biscuity spicy yeast. A collage of fermented fruit, caramelization, and a tea like bitterness emerges about the climax. Nicely put together; really well balanced. The spice really accents the subtlety. A lovely vibrant build. Complex and above all subtle. Some butterscotch (not diacetyl).

Mf: Coarse and wet, highlighting the complexity without compromising drinkability. Near perfect carbonation. Good thickness. Not too heavy or overbearing on the palate.

Dr: Very drinkable. A delightful example of the style. Another winner from Mikkeller. I'd definitely get this again. Hides its ABV well.

Low B (1,260 characters)

Photo of GuzzLah
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - medium orange with a one finger head and nice lacing.

S - tutti-frutti bubblegum, soft caramel malt and slightly vegetal

T - ambiguously fruity flavor with some tropical/citrus. Low/medium bitterness with a short sustain. Hint of acidic tartness. Aged about 1.5 years.

M - medium body, decent carbonation, pleasant and easy bitter finish

O - Not a funky wild ale. Zero barnyard and a hint of lacto, perhaps from Acid Malt. Fruity from hops and Brett. An enjoyable Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Fair price at $13 per 750ml. Would drink again! Mikeller and De Proef usually impress me. This is no exception. (609 characters)

Photo of hagbergl
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received a bottle of Mikkeller Alive! as a Christmas gift. It was purchased at Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, MA. I think this should prove to be quite the interesting beer...750 mL bottle, poured into my Rodenbach Grand Cru glass.

Appearance (4/5): Alive! has a cool burnt orange-reddish hue and is topped by a gorgeous, towering off-white head of foam of 2.5 fingers. The beer is translucent and brilliant when held up to the light.

Smell (4/5): Hoppy, spicy, a little funkiness (due to the Brettanomyces), herbal, grassy hops, earthy, a little bit metallic (perhaps this bottle is a bit on the older side and has begun to spoil?).

Taste (4/5): Not what I was expecting from its style identification, printed on the bottle, as an "American Wild Ale." This beer tastes quite hoppy, and has an interesting fruity-spicy yeast quality that comes on late, making this beer reminiscent of a Belgian IPA, but with Brett. Fruity-bitter aftertaste is like ruby red grapefruit, semisweet and balanced at the end, perhaps from the caramel malt. Brettanomyces adds a layer of earthy, grassy funkiness. This beer has a very complex flavor profile: every sip brings a slightly different taste to the fore. Its complexity makes classifying Alive! pretty difficult. Maybe by calling this an "American" Wild Ale Mikkeller was trying to indicate this beer would be an unusually hoppy affair.

Moutfeel (4/5): Medium body, medium carbonation. Not super active or effervescent like some wild and sour ales. A little hop prickliness can be noted, along with a light dryness (perhaps contributed by the Brett?). Goes down easy (this is helped by the fact that there is little alcohol flavor to be remarked upon.

Overall (4/5): Mikkeller Alive! is a strange beer...what is it? It's grapefruit hoppy, a little dry, a little Brett-y, some Belgian yeast sweetness, not sour...Is it a Belgian Strong Pale? An American Wild Ale? A Belgian IPA? Whatever it is, it's a fairly tasty beer, so I say embrace the weird and try it. It won't disappoint if you like a beer curveball every once in a while. (2,079 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From: John's Grocery, Iowa City, IA
Date: None listed on bottle, but bottle has what I assume is an older, "white" label
Glass: Tulip

Called a "Belgian Wild Ale" on the label, which certainly caught my eye at the time. I really enjoyed this very complex beer that manges to mix sweetness, spiciness, wildflower/herb, and Brettanomyces components together in a way that is very palatable to me.

Pours a 2cm tall head of small to medium-sized bubbles, faint tan in color, with excellent retention. As it slowly descends, the head leaves substantial and interesting lacing along the sides of the glass, some looking like the Earth's continents: very pleasing. Head settles to a thin cap atop the body at all times. Body is a deep, orange-tinted, burnt, light brown color, with light bringing out the pale orange undertones. The haziness of the beer's body still allows for carbonation to be visible, reaching up from the bottom of the glass.

Aroma is, at first, richly sweet, like toffee; this fades into a sharp hop bitterness mixed with a bit of Brettanomyces pepperiness; finally fading into substantial Belgian amber candi sugar.

Backbone of toffee-like malt sweetness with fruity, herbal, and spicy undertones overall. Front of palate discovers toffee sweetness along with flowery/herbal flavors and Brettanomyces pepperiness. Mid-palate finds mild hop bitterness, equally mild and pleasant Brettanomyces peppery and pineapple-like characters, and Belgian amber candi sugar. Back of palate has sharp bitterness from hops well-tempered by toffee-sweet malts, Brettanomyces pepperiness, and . Fades out with a faint burst of peppery spiciness that indicates Brettanomyces and ethanol. Lingering taste caramel malts and Belgian amber candi sugar mixed with Brettanomyces pepperiness and pineapple, fairly substantial hop bitterness, and ethanol. Really, pretty excellent.

Beer is medium-light to medium in body, with fairly high carbonation that leads to an at first fizzy mouthfeel that becomes soft and pillowy as the carbonation crosses the palate. Closes dry, with modest stickiness across the palate. (2,109 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is a classic mikkeller brew, all thing things ive come to expect from this guy. its different, strong, expensive, and worth it. pours a very hazy amber brown color with a massive head in my tulip glass. head does not subside at all. smells like intense funky wild yeast and sweet earthy red malts. its belgian yeasty in that super carbonated, mildly spicy, still alive aspect, but its more of a farmhouse in the funk department. this is somewhere between a saison and a sour, right down the middle. the flavor is definitely yeast driven, maybe a touch of brett tartness, but more fieldy meadowy polleny glory. it leaves a real dry tongue sticking to the roof of my mouth, ready for another gulp. its a fast drinker for its strength, and a beer that has a really memorable flavor profile. im somewhere between white pepper and lavender, its very unique, complex, and rewarding to the patient drinker. id gladly pay 14 bucks for another bottle of this, its exquisite. just short of magic. (991 characters)

Photo of Viciousknishs
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a coppery amber color with a finger and a half of creamy off white head. Superb head retention with gobby lacing.

S- floral citrus peel hops with musty Brett funk laying underneath. Light candy sugar notes with a cookie like malt on the finish.

T- Belgian candy and cookie like malt up front. Musty wet hay and earthy Brett with a substantial floral hop characteristic. Citrus orange peel notes blend in as well. Eatery fruit notes of green apple and underripe peach on the finish.

MF- slick expressive mouthfeel with a medium body. Frenetic carbonation.

D- very drinkable

Belgian IPA with Brett! Love it. (620 characters)

Photo of dansmcd
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a lightly hazy orange amber, with an off white head which remains for a few minutes.

S - Sweet fruity hops, grapefruit and tangerine, balanced against a mild stables funkiness.

T - Follows the nose with the citrusy hop character, some dank brett and wet bread brings some interest.

M - Moderately carbonated, medium body, starts out with a sour acidity before mellowing. Alcohol is well hidden.

O - Very enjoyable sour. Not sure about the nominated style here. (474 characters)

Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been looking at this Big Bottle at the store even since we tried this one at Beerfest. Poured an orangey color, with a large foamy head. Good retention and some thin strings of lacing. Aroma has the distinctive sour bacteria, tart and hoppy. Taste is definately complex with lots of flavor not normally in a beer. Yeast notes with some tartness, floral and grapefruit hops, and the unmistakable smell of wet, wool blankets that have been left in the barn (my daughter works on a ranch). Body is fuller then average, good level of carbonation. Some lingering yeast flavor, dry finish.
A good one to share, to experience some unique flavors. (646 characters)

Photo of dogfishandi
2.67/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750ml capped bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. about 1 year of age.

pours out a nice cloudy light orange color with a big 3-4 fingers of nice retentive off white head. good lace, looks good!

kind of off aroma. definatly not your usual barnyard brett aroma as i was expecting. hard to detect any brett at all, smells more like really old bottle funky. a wierd wet cardboard, concentrate grape juice thing going on. slightly figgy, maybe a touch of apple juice. becomes a little carmelly as it warms.

the taste is much the same, something doesnt seem quite right here. sweet fruity malts, concentrate grape and apple juice funkiness. this just tastes really off. slight caramel malt. no real sourness. some bitterness in the finish.

finishes a little sweet and dry. lots of carbonation. just slightly tart.

this was just awful, im not sure if something went wrong with this batch or it was just a really old bottle, but i could hardly finish a glass. avoid this! (976 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Beer Street Brooklyn in New York, NY

A: Pours a hazy dark orange to copper/amber in color. The beer has a quarter finger tall off-white head that reduces to a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Very light amounts of funk with a moderate amount of grapefruit aromas.

T: The beer starts out with some light amounts of caramel malt sweetness that turns a little sour/funky as you continue to taste it - there are some light notes of fruit like apple and grapefruit.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: This beer is pretty easy to drink and is enjoyable - certainly not sessionable but a decent sipping beer. A little tough to drink on a really hot afternoon in a shop with minimal AC. (773 characters)

Photo of GONZALOYANNA
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap. ½ Pint glass. Enjoyed on jun´12. Reddish copper color. Clear appearance. Creamy, rocky, white in color, froth. Caramel malt, herbs & wild yeast aromas with bready notes. Mildy toasted sweet malt, fruity touch & spiced flavors. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Oily texture. Resins, wood & citric bitterness in the middle lingers into long finish. ABV well hidden by a solid malty backbone. Flavorful. (412 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a deep amber with a medium white head, leaving solid lace.

S: Candied orange, some sweet malt, dark sugar, dried fig, much sweeter than I thought'd be.

T: Sweet fruit, notes of stone fruit, some grapefruit, with some earthy character.

M: Medium to full-bodied, creamy, soft carbonation.

O: A solid effort, it wasn't as dry as I thought it would be with tasting It's Alright. I enjoyed it, but nothing mind-blowing. (451 characters)

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a large, fading head.
Nose shows caramel, piney and fruity hops, funky brett notes, lemon and soft alcohol.
Flavours are dominated by hops, with piny and grapefruit notes most prominent before the mild acidity and funky brett enter. The alcohol and piny bitterness are very bold in the dry finish.
Carbonation seems a little full on. (355 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

USAlive! pours a redish color, with not much head, but lacy. The smell was a bit on the sweet side, lots of candy aromas, and sugary. The taste however only had hints of the sweet candy flavors, and had a nice strong bitter undertone. Good strong flavors, and the sweetness wasnt overpowering. Overall a really good tasting beer. (329 characters)

Photo of birchstick
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darker reddish brown color with a really nice one finger head that retains extremely well. Nose is onion and earthy hops with some fruitiness and a nice Brett must and funk. Taste is pretty similar - starts off with some sweet malts that are pushed aside by some really earthy, onion, and citrus. These are replaced with some fruity Belgian yeast flavors. Ends with a bit of earthy funk and earthy hops, good combo that complement each other nicely. Overall, this is a nice beer. It combines some stuff that I didn't think would work (hops and Brett), but it did so I. A really nice way. Recommended. (608 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy, ruddy amber with a thick, pillowy beige head.

S: Aromas of brettanomyces funk, pineapple, lemon, lime, and bitter orange are present on the nose.

T: Notes of lactic, oaky tartness from the brettanomyces dominate the entry and are followed by notes of lemon, lime zest, kumquat, bitter orange, tangerine, unripened pineapple, minerals, and caramel. The finish is tart and funky with a pleasant, if rather offbeat, combination of brettanomyces, pineapple, bitter orange, and lemon.

M: Medium-to-full in body, dryish, and satisfying. Carbonation is rather crisp. Alcohol presence is very restrained. This one could easily creep up on you.

O: After being disappointed by It's Alright!, I was a little hesitant to give USAlive! or It's Alive! a shot. Obviously I've finally gotten around to trying at least one, and can say that I'm quite impressed. The citrusy hop flavors really merge well with the brettanomyces. Recommended. (944 characters)

Photo of Humulus85
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Have had a couple of the single hop ales from Mikkeller, but this my first belgian of his. Some confusion as too which "Alive" this was, due to the label and self description as a Belgian Wild, not as strong ale. No worries. From a 750 ml bottle into my Darkness tulip.

Pours a hazy copper with a righteous, 3-finger, belgian head. Some of the most clumpy, clingy, lacing I have ever seen. Superb retention. Well done sir!

Fruity, funky, ester-y, pear, a touch of booze, and some note I just can't put an adjective on; I'll go with leather. The complexity is beyond my expertise, but I like it.

Not as tart as I thought, but plenty of funk. In-fact the funk is quite dominating. Leathery, some tobacco, but a nice hit of earthy hops and toffee malt come through with enough strength to balance.

Exceedingly drinkable for both the style, and the ABV. Bone dry, in typical Wild Ale fashion, and well carbonated.

Overall this was not quite what I expected, but I did like it. I'm still learning my Brett brews, and I think this might actually be a bit green in that regard. Thinking of getting another to throw in the cellar for a year or two. Either way Mikkeller really does know what they're doing. Cheers! (1,213 characters)

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USAlive! (Alive) from Mikkeller ApS
89 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.