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 corby112
3.27/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy dark golden amber/chestnut brown with a tick one finger foamy yellowish beige head. Decent retention, slowly fades into a lasting ring. Not much lacing.

Bready/yeasty aroma with subtle light fruit notes and earthy tartness. Hints of apple and pear as well as a grassy straw character compliment the earthy brett.

Very yeast medium body with slight roasted malt, peppery spiciness and a sour/tart earthy dry finish. There is some slight crisp light fruit character but this is overpowered by the funky tart brett flavor.

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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 thagr81us
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one at the Down South Beer Tasting while aasher was in town to visit! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured red-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, orange rine, fruit, banana, and subtle funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, sugar, wheat, banana, and fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. There was just something about this one that was a little off-putting in the flavor. Maybe it was the way the sugar blended with the fruits present??? Who knows, but this could have been a lot better if this were not the case. Glad I got to try it, but that is about it.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle. Served in snifter, the beer pours a hazy copper/brown color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both average. Aroma is mostly fruity (but also a bit light), it smells like tart apples, vinegar, funk, peppery spice, and some pears. Unfortunately, a lot of that doesn't come out in the taste. It tastes like some bready malt, yeast, peppery spice, and a little bit of tart fruit. There's also a bitter finish, but something just seems a little bit "off" about the taste. Mouthfeel is medium, it has moderate and soft carbonation. Drinkability is decent, it's smooth and not hard to drink at all. I'll have to revisit this one in the future.

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Photo of Nick3
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Burnt orange in color with an off-white head. Beer has a malty aroma with citrus and some mild brett funk. Taste is very similar with a finish that is slightly bitter, sour and dry. Alcohol is well masked. The beer got better as it warmed and as I drunk it but I was a bit disappointed overall.

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Photo of thefreakinjman
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz B, Enjoyed 10/20/15

A: blood orange to amber color

S: sweet candy, melons, dry straw scents

T: dry grassy at first with fruity pale ale and bitterness at the end

M: Dry, high carbonation, feels like the little brett bacteria hang on to the tongue

O: Like the funk and bitterness together.

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Photo of ccrida
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, It's Alive! is copper with a large, off-white head, fairly slow settling and some what rocky, with pretty heavy, sugary looking lace. Darker then I was expecting, or prefer, but nice head, which is really the main thing I'm looking for here.

Smell is good and funky, with traces of caramel and hops that I wasn't expecting, as well as wafts of alcohol. It gets sweeter as it warms, tropical fruits, although I served it at cellar temp. An 'interruption' let it warm to room temp.

Taste is pretty acrid, very peppery, with a musty note from the brett that is a bit moldy. Not to exciting, the bitterness of the hops is amplified by the bugs, although the (unusual for the style IMHO) richness of the malt helps temper that. I wish I had aged this for another year at least to let the bugs do their thing and develop some complexity, I expect they'd soften the sharpness of the yeast and hops. Still, it grew on me as I worked though the bottle and let it warm up, but that also made the ABV more apparent.

Mouthfeel is actually on the thinner side, well a bit watery but medium bodied, with a drier finish, a bit sharp.

Drinkablity is not to stellar at this point, just not too exciting or tasty, a bit thick, very bitter and lacking depth. For the price, you'd be better served to sit on these for a while. The cork had a nice pop, but the beer barely moved. I'd hope with some time under it's belt, it would overflow a bit!

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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 BrewnZ
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Just had this on draft at The Trappist in Oakland (8/28/10) so I wonder if they stashed a keg or if this beer iis truly retired.

A: Hazy gold with dense white head, sustained by high carbonation.

S: Spiciness from yeast, orange notes from hops?

T: Sweetish honey & malt balanced to a degree by yeast character (spicy) and hops. Finally a poke of sourness & barnyard from Brett. at the end.

M: Medium-full bodied with high carbonation

D: Rich sweet character leads to a medium drinkability.

Overall a nice Belgian style beer who's sweet malt overshadows the Brett. If I had a bottle I would age it 6 to 12 months to allow the Brett. character to develop.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a De Molen beer stemflute in low altitude Los Angeles, California. I love this brewery, so expectations are above average. [I had to retype this review, because beeradvocate logged me out by the time I submitted it, so I'm a little pissed]. Reviewed live. Not paired with food or anything. Served refrigerator cold but allowed to warm up over the course of drinking it.

A: Pours a four finger head of good cream and thickness, and great retention for the ABV. Colour is transparent copper. Generally appealing.

Sm: Yeasty. A honey adds a welcome note to the balance. Some hops towards the end. Clean malts.

T: Yeasty - but not as much as expected. Clean malts. Some caramelization notes. Pleasant cream. Some hop bitterness right on the finish, which I don't like. Well balanced and built, but not as bold as I'd want. I like it. Enjoyable and flavorful.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream. Some dryness on the finish from the hops is not ideal. Complements the flavours well overall.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV. Not watery. Hides its ABV well. I like it and would try it again especially on tap. I don't think it would age well in a bottle. Wouldn't pair particularly well with any food, but would suit it generally. An enjoyable Belgian Wild.


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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cloudy burnt orange color with a thick head of small off-white bubbles that seemed like it wanted to stick around for a while. There is some pretty thick lacing left on the glass after drinking the beer.

Aroma: My first impression was of hops with a little bit of a dry woody-like impression. As the beer sits for a bit, the flavors are still there, and get a bit more defined.

Taste: The flavor is actually right on with the aroma. It tastes to me more like an Oak Aged IIPA than a wild ale per-se. As the beer warms a bit, it doesn't change, but seems to get a bit more bitter on the finish. I don't get any alcohol in the mouthfeel, but it does come in as a mild peppery component to the flavor. Overall, the finish is dominated by the malt, but the flavor of the hops is there the whole time.

Opinion: Well, this beer falls short of what I would classify as a wild ale. As i mentioned in my review, it seems more to me of an oak aged IIPA than a wild ale. Unfortunately it even falls short a bit for an Oak aged IIPA. It is an alright beer, but not one that I will be trying again after i drink this whole 750ml myself.

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Photo of degerbah
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a red-orange with good amounts of head. Bottle was filled all the way up to the bottom of the cork. Aroma is a little acrid and slightly sour. Reminds me of a drier white wine mixed with beer. Not really what I was expecting from reading the bottle, this makes much more sense when listed as a Belgian Pale Ale than as a Wild Ale. It tastes like a hybrid in style, not sour enough to really be a wild ale, but too acrid to be a strong ale. Not a terrible beer and I'm glad I tried it, overall though I am not impressed.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy amber with a fluffy, unusually distributed, thick sea foam head.

The aromas and flavors are hard to describe to be honest, there aren't many discernible notes. I get a hint of apple, and a perfume of strawberry-banana.

Overall it's a pretty smooth, unoffensive Belgian. It does not go overboard with the yeast bite, and is sweet and slightly tangy.

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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 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 OneDropSoup
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Reddish-amber, translucent with glowing orange highlights. Loads of fast nucleation bubbles. A finger of beige head that falls to a thick, bubbly coating.

Smells of cooked orange & grape, very sugary, with some other baking-like herbs & spices. Kind of a holiday potpourri of sorts. Just a slight twist of earthy funk, & a tiny savory character (soy sauce?).

Taste is a little savory too, like vegan jerky, if this makes sense to anyone. Also some bitter orange aspects, some sugary grape, heat from booze. A subtle smokiness rounds this off & makes it a little more interesting. Can't say I love the taste, but it's entertaining to dissect.

A big mouthfeel, pretty full & "chewy," with the heat I mentioned above. There's an impression of grittiness, even, like there are particulates of some type, though I don't see any in this glass.

I'm noticing a trend of higher ABV amber Belgian styles that I'm not crazy about -- the alcohol is too hot, the flavors muddled, not crazy about it. This is right in line with those characteristics. There are some interesting things going on, but they don't outweigh the toll that this takes on your palate & sobriety. Kind of disappointing.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Good theme beer for Halloween, but not one the fine people at the party would care for, so I enjoyed this one solo.

Appearance - pours a hazy, almost milky, dark and dirty orange. Pretty frisky head falls back and holds at a thin cover in a Belgian glass. Good strands of lace for the glass decor.

Aroma - funky with a bit of tart fruitiness. Resolves to a tangy, honey aroma and then mostly funk. Certainly on style and better than most wild types I've sniffed.

Taste - fairly light and a watery kind of grain flavor. Quite a bit of hop bite on the swallow, not much flavor to it per se, but certainly dry and bitter. The funk, a level that would have been too much a year ago, now to me seems better blended. Some light honey flavor, and some olivey type stuff on the aftertaste, Orval-like.

Mouthfeel - very smooth with moderate crispness.

Drinkability - I'd *almost* have this again, lol. Not quite, that funk still doesn't quite pass muster on the re-buy option, but this was reasonably drinkable.

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Photo of jojox
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice gold hue. Lots of CO2 and head. Doesn't seem to be moving.

s - malt and funk. Some sour.

t - Wow. VERY funky. Bread, yeasty barnyard and weird funky. Not usual. Quite a bit pissy/earthy, I can't describe it but it must be some crazy brett character. Horse blanket? A strange bitter aspect at the end. HOps??

m - a bit harsh but OK.

d - I dunno. I kinda got used to it by the end but I can't really say it was pleasant and I wanted to open another. My cat Jingle loved it.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 22oz bottle - Pours a somewhat cloudy orange/red color with small quickly dissipating head. Average carbonation. Smells super sweet with plenty of bread and fruity yeast notes. First sip is very bready and biting with mild tartness. Extremely tasty. Great and welcomed bitter finish. Nice medium bodied.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 1/22/2010 (Bottle):

Pours a big foamy off-white head. Semi-turbid body, dark amber in color. Creamy head, good lacing, almost like melted ice cream. Very hoppy sour smelling aroma. Sweet sour aroma. Dry and grapefruity. Chewy taste, some nutty biscuitiness. Light taste. Bitter and sour, but not hoppy tasting. Was expecting more hops. Slight sour taste, and something else. Can't taste the alcohol. Not a fan, not much taste.

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Photo of Philousa
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Imbibed at Original Gravity on 11/16/12.

Pours a slightly cloudy metallic gold with one finger white, dense head. Very uniform and looks sticky. Herbal, barkish hops and tart, sweet bacteria make up the majority of the aroma. Blueberry, raspberry and strawberry. The hops make up the majority of the aroma as the beer warms: pine and resin are coaxed out. I get some nutty crystal malt underneath. The crystal biscuit/nut/bread crust flavor starts things out quickly followed by bitterness and a metallic penny flavor. Hops and alcohol yield a bark and grass finish. This is a dry beer with a slightly viscous body.

This is really earthy. I'm thinking the Brett really lent this quality to the beer that would have otherwise been just another hoppy pale. Really interesting, but not necessarily memorable.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
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 cvfish
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer poured a light copper color and produced a fluffy white head that had little retention and left moderate lacing on the side of the glass

S - The aromas that were produced by this beer were all about the Belgian funk, with a little sweetness and grain

T - The taste of this beer had some sweet grainy notes, lots of funk, and a lot of earthiness mixed in with a yeasty aftertaste

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body and a light amount of carbonation

D - The drinkability of this beer is mixed for me, while it was and enjoyable break from what I am used to, I wouldn't come back for this again

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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 noeldundas
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought a bottle in Seattle last month, and shared it with a pro brewer in Vancouver.

The smell was of Vegemite, a product which is made of autolyzed yeast. There is a slight woody hop aroma, and some funk, with faint barnyard.

The taste is relatively clean with a hoppy bite. certainly related to orval. Alcohol is well hidden.

Despite the fact that I couldn't get past the autolysis flaw, and even with it, it was not bad.

I will look to try again, as I think there's promise in the balance and subtle brett character.

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