Draft Bear | Mikkeller ApS

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Draft BearDraft Bear
Very Good
243 Ratings
Draft BearDraft Bear

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

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

Ingredients: Water, malts (pils, carapils and amber), light candy sugar, hops (amarillo and cascade) and lager yeast.

Added by akorsak on 02-15-2008

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 243 |  Reviews: 131
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #41 (Jun 2010):

Giving the bird to the ho-hum lagers. Pale orange-amber color, good sticky lace. Taffy from the malt sweetness and peppery from the hops and alcohol--the nose is pleased. Fluffy medium body, bigger than expected. Hops are a bit serious with a lot to offer in flavor and bitterness. Malt isn't holding back either, with rustic bread and dried grass on the palate. Warming alcohol and chalky yeast in the bitter, semidry finish. Raw and in your face--the punk of Pilsners here.

 533 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Adventurous and currous, this larger-than-life Lager pits assertive grainy-sweet flavors early against a dry and fleeting finish.

Draft Bear opens with a hazy golden color and good head formation/retention of stark-white foam. Low lacing on the glass.

Water soaked barley kernels give a grainy start but mixes well with softer breadier sweet notes. Herbal and grassy notes speak to the assertive hop additions. Red apples/bruised apples come to the forefront as the beer warms.

Bold Pilsneresque flavors give a grainy-sweet flavor up front. A mix of apples (red, bruised variety) give a part ester/part yeast taste. The beer makes a quick transition from its flavorful upstart and towards a fleeting and somewhat empty taste well before mid palate. Hop flavors of pine and fresh cut grasses sit just behind the sweetness and take over the beer as the malty flavors fade. Low aftertaste of soft grain/malt and moderate hop bitterness.

Medium-full upstart quickly empties out for a very dry and powdery shaddow of a beer. The dryness is amplified by hop bitterness and moderate alcohols. The dry finish is satisfying, but the empty mid stride certainly speaks toward American adjunct lagers.

An interesting choice that has a promising early taste and drinkable dryness in the end- just a bit soul-less in between.

 1,316 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a brownish golden orange with yellow highlights that had a 2 finger head and it did leave lots of bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I definitely got lots of sweetness in the aroma from the candy sugar but did have a slight malt prsence with very fainy hop notes in the background. It also seemed to have a little citrus character as well.

T: the candy sugar and the hops really mesh quite well and give good flavor contrast between them with a little bit more sweetness from the malts coming through but still had crisp citrus notes and a touch of booze.

M: the brew was medium in body with lots of carbonation which had a sweet, slight hoppy, but silky, crisp finish.

D: it drank very well and was quite tasty considering the lack of ingedients going into this beer. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try this brew.

 836 characters

Photo of Stigs
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, split

A - pours with a small and short lived loose bubbly off-white foam. the beer is slightly cloudy, dark gold in color.

S - noble hops, bringing some grassy and lemon notes. crispy cracker malts, belgian yeast, and grains.

T - assertive grassy and citrus hops, picking up a good bit of pear, and lemon zest early. grainy from the middle to the end, finishes with a strong crackery malt, subtle alcohol and lingering grassiness. very tasty.

M - medium bodied with bright and lively carbonation. finishes very clean with a minor alcohol burn.

T - yummy and unique. i was sipping on this from the balcony of an oceanfront condo, during a storm, nursing a fresh jellyfish sting. all was well with the world.

 725 characters

Photo of Brez07
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing from notes a few months old. Poured into a snifter

A: Murky golden brown pour that leaves minimal white head. Not much lacing left on the glass

S: A subdued nose consisting of lemon zest, lemongrass, some floral notes, yeast and some light fruit. There is also some hop qualities (pine, mostly)

T: Interesting, reminded me a little of cider but much less sweet. Lemongrass, some apple and funk

M: Clean, crisp, light bodied. Good carbonation

D: Easy to drink, could have drank the whole bottle (instead of splitting it). However, I had it on draft a few months before and it was much better. More hoppier and grassy

 630 characters

Photo of lumikuuro
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle.

Appearance: Opaque ambery gold with a huge, thick cream head that becomes mountainous and has the best retention I've seen for a long time. Only sporadic lace left as the head is so tight. The colour is a little dark for a pilsner, but then it claims to be an imperial pilsner.

Aroma: Lots of floral citrus hops; smells like a pacific northwest IPA. A good pilsner should have noticeable hops in the aroma, so I accept this as a different take on the style.

Taste: Smooth, rich bready malt with very gentle sweetness and mellow bitterness at first; then the hops run rampant for the rest of the drink, overpowering the once pleasing malt profile and making the beer taste like an IPA, not a pilsner. The alcohol is noticeable but sensible.

I was really excited to try this beer, as I like a good pilsner. Unfortunately, this beer tastes nothing like the style it's supposed to be. I like a good IPA, but that's not what I wanted from this beer. It doesn't even taste like it's bottom fermented.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, fuller side of medium bodied. A little dry. Nice.

Drinkability: It's a delicious beer, but don't expect anything remotely pilsner like after the first couple of sips. I won't be buying this again because it is far too expensive and similar to an IPA, and does not deliver at all as the imperial pilsner it claims to be.

If this beer was marketed as an IPA or a hopped ale, it would have received much higher marks.

 1,448 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at the Mikkeller bar...Pours a dark gold with a hint of orange. A white head that is gone right away, light lacing...The aroma is way to light here, a tad bit going on but not strong enough to really enjor. This is a summer matly beer, tons of caramel and alcohol all over the place, a bit of pine resin on the end...The taste is ok, again super matly way too caramelly and sweet for a light beer, you can really see how this is a double.

This beer is interesting hybrid, but not quite there yet. You can skip over this one.

 543 characters

Photo of drpimento
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Killer beer. It's pretty much the way they say in the commercial description. Poured with a nice white head and plenty of lace. Color is a hazy amber. Aroma is very aromatically spicey yeast malt and hoppy. Flavor is clean like aroma and bigger. Body is appropriately full and well carbonated. Finish is like flavor but then tapers to quite bitter, almost a little too bitter

 375 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a large white head. The aroma is pilsner malt with a mix of hop flavors including grass, pine and citrus. The flavor is orange citrus hops with some light pine notes and a strong backbone of pilsner malt. There are also a lot of grassy hops in the flavor. Low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 343 characters

Photo of Xul
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a translucent golden with a very slight red tint. A rocky, two finger white head settles down to one finger and slowly recedes from there.

S: Hop forward with piney and earthy elements, backed by a beefed up pils base - grainy, some caramel and lemon zest, and very light fruit.

T: Strong hop profile hits first with the piney and earthy elements, along with some standard pilsneresque characteristics. Grain base in back with some caramel, a bit of cloves and some banana.

M: Moderate body with high carbonation, supports the higher ABV.

D: Very drinkable for such a strong beer, would love to have a chance to try this on draft.

 643 characters

Photo of OneWoman
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The Draft Bear has slightly translucent reddish, copper color, that shines. It has the pilsner smell (the fresh, yeasty whiff of pils malts), but nothing of your Danish grandpa's pilsner in color or flavor. At 8% ABV, it's a slow sipping beer that's warmly hopped and tastes like light brown sugar or that cotton candy flavor, but without being too sweet. All this is lovingly well-balanced to make a sexy, modern, beer. I was unable to find any clues about why the Mikkeller Draft Bear is called a "bear" (is it related to the mythical Boontville creature from Anderson Valley, the Beer?). But, come to think of it, the Draft Bear is sort of grizzly bear-colored.

 664 characters

Photo of ohoh
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft Bear, what a great name for a bear. Sorry, beer.

75cl bottle shared with friend with a pair of snifters.

Lovely, dark pilsner colour with a quite big head, slowly disappearing. The aroma is quite hefty, with of course citrus dominating it. I can also feel some caramel malt.

Considering the powerfull smell this is very well-balanced. Lots of differents tastes comes to mind as the breadiness of the pilsner part is mixed with the distinct bitter hops of the imperial part. Great.

Lots of bubbles remind us that this is no IPA. Quite refreshing considering the force of the taste and aroma. I could drink this bottle myself. There isn't 8% in here. 4.5%?

Another fine brew from Mikkeller, I'm astonished. I gotta go back to Copenhagen. Thank you!

 760 characters

Photo of meeekyh
4.97/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml into a pilsner glass.

Slightly hazy, dark-honey color beer with a 3 finger, off-white head that is hesitant to depart and leaves thick lacing when it does.

The piny hop aromas from this one are evident from rather a distance. Upon closer inspection citrus, banana and caramel present themselves. Heavy malt and bread aromas, licorice, vanilla and some dark fruits release as warmth works its magic. This beer almost smells oaked.

The balance in this one is stunning considering the fullness and depth in the nose. Tangy, grassy, bready, a bit of anise, citrus, grain, bitter hops, and joy; I distinctly taste joy.

Mouthfeel is light-medium. Carbonation is high and sparkly and the finish is dry but lingering.

Drinkability is very high. I could imbibe this beer all day long for days, except it is 8% ABV and I would die. Be carefull but enjoy.

I love this brewery (brewer). They (he) seems to have the love, and it comes through in the beer, it kicks ass.

This shall prove to be my highest rating yet and I stand by that. I might just choose this beer if it was the last thing I could ever taste.


 1,134 characters

Photo of wedgie9
3.22/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tasted from a bomber bottle, purchased in early 2009 (assumed 2008 bottling).
Very light pitted fruit aroma. Also a very light yeasty smell and slight lemon zest that could possibly be attributed to hops. As the beer warms, there is a slight caramel maltiness that comes through.
The color is orange with a light amber tint. The beer is cloudy with a frothy, off-white head.
The beer has a slight sweetness which I think shows the higher alcohol content. It is quite bitter, and has a sour lemon flavor that lingers for a while.
Medium body, slightly oily. Average carbonation with a longish bitter finish.

This is a beer of great pedigree, and drunk at it's peak, would get a much higher score. This bottle is simply a little past prime drinking. The most fun thing about the Draft Bear is the lemon essence that goes from light on the aroma to strong on the palate, and even comes through with the oily texture.

 914 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml... I need a beer.

A- Golden copper kettle amber, kind of dull. SNowy, jagged peaks of head in the glass. Sticky icky lacing.

S- Hops! Also getting green apple sweetness. A faint alcohol booziness is noted, and a bit of a peppery spice. Intriguing.

T- Wow! Zesty, peppery, and bitter hops are competing with a fruity malt sweetness I didn't expect. Hops are bitter, floral, have a citric twang, like lemon zest. Works well with the taste of alcohol, which is not hidden but is well-blended. Hop profiles reminds me of USAlive from Mikkeller, but with a bit more punch and a bit sweeter malt profile as well.

M- Really clean, crisp... an imperial pilsner? Fuckin' spot-on. Amazing life on the tongue, flavors and carbonation are other-worldly.

D- Wish I got distribution of this. I think I'll trade for a few more. Really a treat... just what I needed. I had a great time with this beer.

 900 characters

Photo of Absumaster
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this beer on tap at the Beer Temple in Amsterdam. It pours a yellow, light orange color with a thin head.

Smell is quite hoppy with notes of citrus. The beer has light raspberry smell. A nice smell beer, that has a big smell.

Taste is bitter with a nice balanced hop taste and bitterness. The bottom fermenting yeast adds a whole new light on a big, hoppy beer. The yeast adds a light maltiness, some light sulfur and crisp taste. The hops are US hops, but I also get some European, herbal and light grassy tastes. The balance of this beer is just right. The hops are not bold. It's mouthfeel corresponds nicely with the bitterness. A great drinking beer.

 666 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today. I'm glad I got to try it before springing for a bottle.

A touch darker than the Danish Dream I compared this beer to, this one's amber with an off white head with great retention and lacing.

The nose is full of pine, but not as big as the Danish Dream, thanks to a noticeable caramel sweetness. A touch of alcohol is noticeable as well. The palate opens a mix of bitterness and sweetness, pretty solid. Pine again is the big flavor but the grainy and caramel sweetness rein it in a bit. Mildly sweet on the finish with a blend of resiny hop and palate-coating sweetness, this medium bodied beer has a moderate level of carbonation. Decent stuff, but I found the Danish Dream to be quite superior

 721 characters

Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got to try this side by side with the Danish Dream. Clearly these two beers are cut out of the same cloth.

The draft pours a rich gold color with good head retention and lots of sticky lacing. The nose is similar to the Danish Dream, but is not as "candy-ish" or sweet. Still, there is some serious bitterness on the nose, which is replicate on the palate. However, this beer is a bit more complex, with some honey, pepper and dry ginger ale. Like the Danish Dream, the finish is surprising bitter (albeit not quite as dry). Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a pretty long finish. Alcohol is pretty well disguised, thought the beer seems on the boozy side after the Danish Dream. Nevertheless, this is yet another very fine beer from Mikkeller.

 743 characters

Photo of Travlr
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy yellow/orange with a tiny white head that settles quickly to nothing and leaves scant lacing.
S: Aroma of flowers, grass and fresh bread dough.
T: Classic Mikkeller hops at the start and finish. In between is lots of malt and yeast. Very straightforward.
M: Thick and chewy, great body.
D: This does not resemble a pilsener. Very nice, better on draught than in the bottle - smoother with less apparent alcohol.

 421 characters

Photo of philipquarles
3.43/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

75cl bottle. Pours clear gold with a small, fluffy white head that leaves decent lacing. Smells quite sweet, with fairly strong hop character that lends some grapefruit and grass notes. The sweetness carries over to the taste, again with some grapefruit notes. Strong hop bitterness. Slight soapiness (not from soap, I'm sure). Warming finish--slightly boozy. Slick, medium body. Too big for its own good, like most Mikkeller beers.

 432 characters

Photo of Sechavar
3.64/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So, I'm not a pilsner person. It's funny because I think pilsner glasses are really nice but usually I am more impressed with the glass than its contents. The other thing about pilsners is that, in comparison with other beers, there's not a lot of room for show. It's the blonde woman of beer. Can't really get much out of her. But Mikkeller can. I've yet to be disappointed with his brews. While his methods are unorthodox, his brews are delicious, and this Imperial Pilsner is no different. The head was really fluffy, and that means that even on our tall pilsner glasses, you get more lace than an 80s wedding. The head thins out, but you keep it most of the way down. The scent was something like green apples. Tart, crisp, and fresh. Like you could bite into it. Like it would make your breath fresh. The color is just a tad dark for a pilsner, but it is imperial. The taste has a very consistent hop flavor from sip to aftertaste, with the apple notes twisting around it, like snakes around a caduceus. However, it is still a pilsner. But if you have to drink a pilsner, it should be this one.

 1,099 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle
Silver Foil

Pours a very nice golden orange/yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with lots of nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, with some yeast, and slight hop note, slight citrus. The taste is malty, yeasty/hoppy, very slight citrus note. Medium body. Drinkable, a very nice brew, not as hot as other Double Pilsners.

 394 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another Mikkeller beer that has been showing up in Orange County. 750 ml corked and caged bottle, on to the beer:

Brilliant bold gold color in the body. The head on top is thick, luscious, and has outstanding retention...still very thick as the beer is consumed. The nose catches hops, hops, and more hops. Notes of fresh pine emerge alongside a light, crackery malt.

One sip, and you're hoppy side is satisfied. Plenty of hops. Hop bitterness, hop herbs, hop oils, a squirt of hop juice, tropical flavors. The hops really pull through in the beer, though never overbearing or out of place. A bit of of rubbing alcohol is felt in this strong pilsner. Not heavy, smoooothe, goes down without much trouble.

Imperial Pilsners are always an adventure. This one is no different. Worth trying, but very pricey at $14.99.

 819 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

09/14/09- Purchased at K&L Wine Cellars in Redwood City, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deeper golden yellow in color. Full fluffy one inch plus head with good staying power. Some decent lace trails and light patches left behind.

Smell- Nice and hoppy..some grapefruit and lemon in the mix. Smells like a quality pils nose. Maybe just a touch of grain.

Taste- Tastes right on the borderline of a heavy IPA...make that English IPA, or a light Imperial Pils. Nice and hoppy, but not super intense. Light malt base, not too heavy..very mellow.

Mouthfeel- Lightly creamy, nice lasting grapefruit hopped aftertaste, warms up quickly. Keep this one in the fridge until the last minute. Mid range carbonation...gets a touch foamy if it gets towards room temp.

Drinkability- This is a sessionable Imperial Pils if I have ever had one. Not 100% true to style. Really feels like a strong English IPA. Still, quite drinkable and quite tasty...whatever it may be...good job.

 1,032 characters

Photo of Nickls
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy rusty orange color with yellow highlights around; poured with a generous finger of frothy and creamy slightly off-white head; great retention and great chunky lacing

S - Citric fruitiness; grassy hop bitterness

T - Grassy and citric hops; good deal of malty sweetness; lots of light fruitiness going on

M - Medium to thicker body; light carbonation; a big sticky

D - Not the most drinkable for me; perhaps a bit too fruity for my taste

Overall, an interesting brew, but I think I could have done with a lighter malt profile and less fruitiness...but that's just me. Worth a look.

 593 characters

Draft Bear from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 243 ratings