It's Alive!
Mikkeller ApS

It's Alive!It's Alive!
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Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Ranked #255
Ranked #30,566
3.75 | pDev: 12.27%
Mikkeller ApS
It's Alive!It's Alive!
Notes: Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malt (pale and cara), light candy, hops (hallertauer and styrian goldings), yeast and brettanomyces.
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Reviews: 196 | Ratings: 422
Reviews by NEDmiller:
Photo of NEDmiller
4.5/5  rDev +20%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Patrick999
4.59/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this at a tasting, and found it quite intriguing, but couldn't really put my finger on enough of anything to warrant a review. I made a mental note of it, and vowed to get my hands on a bottle. Well, I did, so here's the review.

Poured into a Leffe goblet, it shows a slightly hazed amber body. Foaminess not quite what you'd expect for a Belgian Strong Pale, but it does appear adequately carbonated.

I get plenty of stone fruit and leather in the aroma, along with some apple and very light ethanol. Some musty "cellar" quality noted as well. Almost smells like a farmhouse ale. Some caramel and IPA-like piney hop sneaks in as it warms. Very nice.

Wow, this is a real style mash-up. Is it a Belgian Pale, farmhouse ale, or Belgian IPA? It starts off with a wave of sweet, cake-y malt. Some leathery Brett funk muscles its way in after that, and isn't shy about it, either. Then, some piney hops sweep in, provide some pleasing bitterness, and dry things out. I suspected the hops were American, but then I found that we're dealing with Hallertau and Styrian Goldings. Interesting. Yet at the very mention of Hallertau, I do taste a lot of the hop character of Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner in here. This is highly complex and very good.

Feel-wise, this manages to avoid being overcarbonated. While definitely carbonated, it's very soft and lush. Amazing, this definitely adds to the drinkability quotient of this beer.

Well, I'm impressed. This beer is basically American, in its scope and ambition. This is not surprising coming from Mikkeller and DeProef, though, as both are among the more experimental European brewers. I'm finishing this 750ml bottle in no time, and filing this beer under "right up my alley." This is tasty, tasty stuff, and ridiculously easy to drink.

 1,797 characters

Photo of mverity
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle that I split with scotchzi. Pours a perfect amber-brown-tan. Healthy amount of light tan head with very sticky lacing. Aroma is a funky butterscotch, toffee, earthy. Really great smell. Taste is more funky than the aroma; but otherwise follows the smell. Great carbonation lends to the bubbly mouthfeel. Light in body, but it works very very well for this beer. Definitely looking forward to the variants I have of this.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was certainly an odd one. Not really sure what to make of it here, but anyway, here we go. Served chilled and poured into a pint snifter.

The pour here was rather intresting. Ruddy brown in color with a nice tow inches of head creeping up and over the sides. Nice texture to it, as even when it fades it tends to leave behind copious amounts of side glass lacing. Brown sugar, dark fruits, earthy tartness all come up quite easily in the aroma. Not the funky monster I would normally expect, rather it was a bit subdued, mellow if you will without much, if anything really coming up toward the surface. Same for the taste, an odd mixture of sweetness, dark fruits, like tart and an overall earthy quality that all seem to come together nicely, albeit not the way I had really envisioned it. Smooth, nice delicate body and amply carbonated, we have no issues here, just wish it was a little bit more bolder in flavor.

Overall not at all what I was expecting but still delivered it quite nicely. I would not have a problem going for this one again, but maybe after it has a couple of years on in it.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of Tone
4.27/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, amber/orange color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, yeast, slight floral, slight citrus, slight spice, and hint of tart malt. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight grass, slight wheat, slight tart malt, slight floral, sweet malt, and hops. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of brendan13
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

 771 characters

Photo of Tertullian007
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
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 Stevedore
3.52/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Mikkeller Bar in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Essentially, hazy lighter orange body. Smells of sweet pale malt, a bit of graininess, a light white vinous-like character. Not much acidity or hoppiness though. Flavour is similar, a bit bland even. Mouthfeel is thinner, refreshing, a bit astringent on the backend. Not my glass of beer, but not bad.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.06/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Appearance: Cloudy, amber orange, pours with a large, rocky, white head - keeps a nice cap, leaves sheets of sticky lacing,

Smell: Somewhat light, with Belgian yeast and some hops - some Belgian yeast, a mild spiciness, some light fruity esters - citrus hops - some light minerality that kind of reminds me of pool chemicals, and lots of phenols

Taste: Somewhat strange - pale, pale malts, very light - some Belgian yeast, with some clove, some spiciness - some light funk, some light fruits, some citrus - very phenolic, like bitter Band-Aids - not really sour, slightly tart, but mostly watery - woody flavors, some light sweetness

Mouthfeel: Lightbody, overly carbonated, with a phenolic stickiness

Overall: It's... not great

This is really strange. It's lightly sweet, lightly fruity, lightly funky, definitely phenolic, and watery. It's doesn't really make sense to list this as Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but I guess it doesn't really fit into any categories.

 1,011 characters

Photo of salthemonster
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Vivs85
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Bnoise11
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of Brad007
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I just couldn't say no to Mikkeller and I'm glad that I didn't.

Pours a luscious amber with a thick head that quickly fades. I absolutely love the presentation here.

Funky fresh with grape, pear and apple notes from the funk. Aging this in wine barrels is a brilliant tactic. It accentuates the grape.

A cooling rush of funk coats my tongue, leaving behind a plethora of grape and apple notes. Not very heavy on flavor but it gets the job done.

The mouth warms up due to the 8% level. Personally, a bit of aging would only strengthen the appeal of this ale. The carbonation is overwhelming at this stage.

Well worth a try if you're a Mikkeller fanboy like I.

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Photo of QuamLaetus
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of mltobin
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Hultkrantz
1.25/5  rDev -66.7%

Photo of Bubba83
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml into a Deschutes modified flute. I have to say, this beer's cork was a real burden to deal with.

Pours a murky toffee brown with a creamy offwhite head. Small bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass. Retention is good and lacing is great.

Good depth here. Aromas of green apple, caramel, toffee, green grapes, fig, and hints of spice. A good blanket of funk wafts out as well.

I get toffee apple mainly in the flavor profile. Some of these flavors are reminding me of an ESB. There's also some grape flavor and some funky horse blanket type stuff going on underneath. When I swirl it around a bit lower in my mouth, opening wide, I get quite a few tropical fruits as well, but they're not too vibrant. Hints of pineapple and papaya, maybe some orange. Finishes up with some zingy spice and funky yeast with some semi-harsh bitterness. At times this tastes like a caramel-vanilla dessert, and at other times it's all about the fruit. Pretty complex and interesting.

Mouthfeel is fine, it's about medium, and has a decent creamy feel to it. Definitely some zingy bubbles as well.

Drinks pretty well as far as not finding the alcohol much. The semi-harsh finish makes it a little hard to quaff though. A solid offering from Mikkeller, and definitely a beer to think about. If this is supposed to be their answer to Orval, well, those are tough shoes to fill. Check this one out though.

 1,409 characters

Photo of MastaShonuf
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of rye726
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy stained cedar with a silky beige head. Not much lacing, but great color.

Nose has ripe plums and cherries, funky yeast, caramel and subtle hops.

Taste is much hoppier than I expected with floral hops up front and through the finish. Sweet pitted fruits and tart wild yeast keep a nice balance.

Medium body has a crisp carbonation and is quite refreshing. Nothing like Orval, but still a very nice ale.

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Photo of vmdominguez
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

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It's Alive! from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 422 ratings