It's Alive! | Mikkeller ApS

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It's Alive!It's Alive!

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

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.

Added by DarkerTheBetter on 06-06-2008

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Reviews: 194 | Ratings: 410
Photo of meeekyh
4.92/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a new term, gonna use it. Thanks last reviewer.
Live review:
Big bottle, and I'm glad as it was $16.99 for the wine-bottle-sized serving, sealed with the Belgian-standard cork-and-wire apparatus (love the hyphens). Opens without incident. Pours (into my standard footed-hurricane glass) a dark amber, nearly red. The head is full, tight, and light-sepia with remarkable lacing that looks like pour-foam.

The nose is like Christmas, floral and spicy with undertones of baked-goods straight from the oven, and citrus. If I could bite into it I would. Upon a second nosing I notice a bit of the alcohol, this is an 8.0% beer after all, and the caramel pops.

The flavor is very satisfying, even after the buildup of the nose and the remarkable view. Complex and dense like few beers I have tried, and few wines for that matter, it is almost intimidating. The spicy, citrusy nose clouds the actual taste to a point... tangy, sweet, and lingering is my best assessment. The carbonation is light and full, and pops off of the tongue bringing the joy of carbonic acid in abundance.

The mouthfeel is full but not syrupy. I would classify it as velvety. It allows the complex taste to linger without the alcohol becoming the most present component. Caramel and lemony-leather comprise the aftertaste.

Drink at your own risk; this beer is about the best you could hope for as to a representation of the style. It is quaffable, if strong and should be treated with the required respect.

This is truly an aspiration of the brewer's art. To make a beer that is so complex as to confuse one's taste buds is pleasing. To fill it with so many memories and evocations is sublime. That I get to enjoy it is ethereal. May you be equally elevated and enjoy this fine brew. I suggest sharing it with someone you love. Merry Christmas!

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.71/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml corked and caged, into White Birch flute. Yay Mikkeller... had the it's allright!, time to try the it's allive!

A- Brilliant gold, copper accents, and a fluffy, snowy head that lasts for days. Instant chunks of lacing and snowcapped awesomeness in the glass.

S- Yeasty, mild funk (but very mild), slight lavender or lilac... grassiness and a bit of hops... pretty interesting.

T- Phenomenal. Grassy, floral, hoppy, yeasty... a crisp, clean pale with a lot going on. Well, it's not really clean, it has a pretty wide spectrum of flavors here.. but it finishes very well. Kind of bitter and slightly chalky, but oh-so-perfect for the beer at hand. Unlike any Belgian I've had, kind of a cross between a Belgian IPA, a saison, and a trippel. Really interesting stuff.

M- Crisp, great body, great carbonation... a delight to drink.

D- 750ml done and done. I love this beer. I am going back to clean out stock, as I have found what I've been looking for in a beer.

Mikkeller is really quickly becoming my favorite brewery, US or abroad. This is some amazing stuff. Not for everyone? Fine by me. Gimme some more!

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Photo of scoots511
4.6/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Belgian Wild Ale 8% ABV 750mL with european sized metal cap. Imported by Shelton Brothers Belchertown, MA.

Production notes: This beer was produced as a tribute to the Orval beer.

It pours a tight off-white active head that dissipates very slowly. The head grabs on to the sides of the glass well, when swirling many more minute bubbles are produce (belgian carbonation pressures). Color is amber that is not translucent but not completely cloudy with yeast.

I get a hint of berry and subtle leather in the smell.

More taste of berry that fades upon the 3rd taste or so, the leather tones remain. Well balanced with proper malt and hop levels with respect to the other tastes.

Mouthfeel is great like other higher carbonated great belgian beers.

I want to buy the store out of these. This beer hits all the right notes for me. After the initial tasting I finished the bottle with a farmer's market meal of halved and browned brussel sprouts (with salt and olive oil), artichokes (with salt and olive oil) faro, mustard greens, with sautéed oyster mushrooms, garlic, and caramelized red onion! I felt like I was having a king's feast! This has tied Maudite for one of my favorite beers for my personal taste!

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Photo of drpimento
4.59/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! What a brew! Poured with a nice small (in a small sample glass) off white head and a little lace. Aroma is an incredible floral with yeast, malt and some hop. Flavor's about the same with massive malt and a little earthiness. Great, chewy body and carbonation. Color is a copper amber. Finish is like flavor. Deliscious. Brett. adds a lot to the the beer with the flavor and edge. Could even be a session for slow drinking.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.59/5  rDev +22.7%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent amber with 3+ fingers of sand colored head. Crazy lacing & head retention

S: Pears, sourness & dirt

T: Funk, pears, a little bit of lemony hop up front. Green appple peel, a touch of dirt as this warms, a touch of dryness, the Brett is working for me. Finishes fruity & dirty with a bit of piney & lemon hops sneaking in through considerable funk

MF: Medium bodied, with firm carbonation, great balance

This drinks really easy if you are into Brett, A nice take on the style, albeit a touch pricey

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.48/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Silver foil says 15/12/14

A- Hazy, orange copper colored body with a big, frothy head made up of big and small bubbles. Lacing is extra-sticky and makes interesting sheets of lace

S- I have a cold, but I smell candy sweetness mixed with some tangy bitterness. Reminds me of candied oranges

T- Bold and all over the place with flavor. Buttery yams and caramel peaches? Also some orange zest in there

M- Almost too much body and almost too much carbonation. Not too much though

D- I'm going to enjoy this entire bottle quite thoroughly tonight

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Photo of jellikit
4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Orange. Slight haze. Thin, white head.
Smell: mango and wine.
Taste: Chardonnay. Malt. Booze.
Mouthfeel: medium high carbonation. Medium body. Dry.
Overall: very tasty wine beer. I love it.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very cloudy, murky light-brown color with a small but persistent head. Excellent nose presenting a lot of light fruitiness, delicious yeasty lemongrass aromas, grassy floral hops, and a light leathery funk. Quite hoppy initially to taste, grapefruity, highly bitter, with spicy phenols developing later. Brett character is light, similar to Orval, but provide a good contrast. Well-attenuated and very dry at the close.

Very tasty beer--more of a saison with light brett than anything else, though the hops taste American.

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Photo of stevoj
4.34/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Mi Orge Mi Houblon. Nice tribute to Orval, poured into Orval chalice. Amber color with silky, thin head. All else smells and tastes like Orval. Uncanny....

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Photo of mverity
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
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 rye726
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
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 tmoneyba
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25.4oz bottle into a unibroue tulip.

A - Poured a brownish rubyish amber with a spurt of carbonation upon pour that raced to the top of the glass at first and then trickled sporadically from the bottom to the top. Had a really nice frothy yeasty head with extremely sticky lacing.

S - In a word...candy. Cloves, spices, hops, citrus-like sweetness. Tropical fruit candy.

T - Tangy flavor. Not overwhelming. Kind of an even blend of all the flavors from the nose without any one dominating the flavor. Has a bit of the funky sour flavor from the brett, but subdued.

M - Kind of lively, but extremely smooth. Feels like beer, but so subtly. Leaves a touch of a bitter aftertaste, but not dry at all.

D - Very easy drinker. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours slightly hazy light brown with a huge off white that has the retention of a... well, the head lasts forever, and leaves very sticky lacing.

S-The aroma has a very unique sweet green raisins and caramel, not so much caramel but toffee and... bubblegum indeed! It also has a very pleasant sour yeast aroma. At first, it's slightly funky, but that goes away after it warms.

T-The flavor also has a lot of sweet and sour toffee flavor with just enough bitterness to balance as well as keep it interesting.

M-Big body with a sweetness coating up front and a dry finish, nice balance. Kind of a tanginess that is a turnoff.

D-At first, the beer isn't easy to drink. period. But as it warms, the beer becomes very easy to drink. I would highly suggest buying some if you can find it. I'm so glad for my friend Jason who hooked me up with this beer for my birthday.

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Photo of brendan13
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice homage/clone/tweak on a classic Orval… Rather bretty…

Presentation: 75 cl capped De Proef Bottle. Simple silver-grey label with black typography noting style, and 8.0% Alc. by Vol. Offers a semi smudged bottling number on the cap. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Initially a clear, then hazed, medium amber pour. Towering foamy head, good retention, nice surface memory and good lacing.

S - Long funky nose, very fresh and bretty, plenty of fresh funk…

T - Rich funky sense, brett, leather, barnyard, all that funk, very fresh… with citric, grassy and grainy notes… Hint of light spices in the final tingle after touches of malt, with some caramel/sugar insinuation that never quite reaches the surface.

M - Light-medium body with generous if finely tuned carbonation and a nice long dry finish over a rather smooth creamy sense.

O - Very nice flow, assertively bretty, funky and complex if one likes that range.

Notes: Something away from Orval, or those I have had in some malt, sweet/caramel sense, but rather nice and memorable.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750mL bottle into tumbler pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden-amber color with a large blonde head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves behind thick lacing.

Smell: Smells of sweet, bready malt with musty Belgian yeast. Notes of citrus and apple.

Taste:Begins with champagne flavors before rounding out to sweet, bready malt flavors. Finish is of grapefruit with an earthy, champagne yeast backbone.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with balanced, natural carbonation. Finish is dry.

Overall: A good beer- a lot like champagne. Not the best, but worth having. The shelf talkers for this beer at BevMo said that this is Orval-inspired; I can kinda see that, but this is definitely its own animal.

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Photo of Tone
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
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 ngeunit1
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Fairly clear copper-orange with a big finger of frothy off-white head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Sweet pale and caramel malts, funky brett, tartness, vanilla, lemon zest, citrus and grassy hops.

T - Sweet pale and caramel malts, funky brett, tartness, lemon zest, citrus and grassy hops, some mild bitterness, a touch of vanilla.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a dry, tart, and funky finish.

D - Well balanced BSPA. Great brett character.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml served in a Duvel Tulip.

A - Pours a clear and beautiful orange amber with a giant 3 finger rocky head that forms cavernous mountains of foam. Incredible 3/4 inch 3D lacing.

S - Strong barnyard funk, horse blanket, dry hay, dusty grain, lemongrass, honey, lavender, old leather, musty wood.

T - Sweet malt with some grassy grain, green apple skins, powdery yeast, honey, pears, lavender. Minty herbal hops and muted orange citrus come out on the finish.

M - Ultra smooth carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

Wow! One of the funkiest aromas I've ever come across from a beer. The taste followed the nose only way less funk. The funk almost rounds out the flavors. Very good especially if you like funky brews. I enjoyed this one with some aged cranberry white cheddar.

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Photo of ToasterChef
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. The first thing I notice about this beer is high amount of carbonation clinging to the sides of my glass. It's more than I expected. The liquid itself has a rusty orange color. On top was a thin tan head that settled to a skim.

There is a lot of funk in the nose, like a stinky cheese. I can also detect a slight sweetness and a bit of grass.

The flavor starts out big and malty. There is a good amount of sweetness--all of the carbonation helps it feel airy, like ginger ale without the ginger. It is a bit sour in the finish, but not as Brett heavy as some US uses of this yeast. The end is also a little bit bready. Both the sourness and bready flavors linger on after I swallow.

The beer is full bodied and has lots of carbonation. It leaves a noticeable coat, but it isn't very sticky. I was afraid the level of carbonation would be too much, but it works. I'm curious to know how it felt when poured from a bottle.

It's Alive is pretty drinkable. Its a filling beer. I wouldn't want more than one, I think it would sit too heavy. There is a good amount of funk--it isn't limiting at all.

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Photo of dbossman
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Cloudy orange-ish hue with a big, steady head and lacing is good

S: So much funky cheese, fruity esters, sweet candied sugars; bubblegum, pineapple, hay, grass--this smells delightful

T: Dry fruits up front followed by a bit of funk and grass and mustiness and then even some toasty malts

F: Creamy and lightly carbonated--nice mouthfeel

O: I really like this beer; such a pleasant mix of malts and funk and fruity yeasts--mmm

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Photo of NilocRellim
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy, dark orange colour. Grainy, oaty, sweet smelll, with hints of dates and molasses. Syrupy/heavy mouthfeel, Bready, grainy, malty taste; raisin/fig/sticky fruit notes, but also citrus, orange, and clean hops. Very flavourful and complex.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a thistle glass:

P: Huge decadent and dense yellowish white head hovering over a bed of streaming bubbles and cloudy golden amber.

S: Viberant pineapple with a funky wild almost barnyard yeast, laced with spices, faint phenol and honey. Reminds me of peroxide.

T/M: The taste follows the nose with huge wild funky yeast in a playful sloshy and bubbly concoction. Touches of pine, honey, citrus, coriander, cloves and alcohol. Finishes dry, somewhat numbing, with a lingering timid bitter funk.

O: My first wild ale and I really enjoyed it. Hard to pinpoint the exact flavors and aromas but truly enjoyable. I will be looking forward to more of this interesting variety. " It's Alive" will be frequently enjoyed in my house.

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It's Alive! from Mikkeller ApS
3.74 out of 5 based on 410 ratings.
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