It's Alive! | Mikkeller ApS

BA SCORE
84
good
411 Ratings
THE BROS
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It's Alive!It's Alive!
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark
mikkeller.dk

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
411
Reviews:
194
Avg:
3.74
pDev:
12.3%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
48
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 411 |  Reviews: 194
Photo of Sammy
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Julio's, brought back by Jason. Cloudy orange with lots of white head, lots of lace after. Wierd aroma, but great control. Spiciness with a malted offset. Musty, a funky experience from the wild yeast but very good for what it is. This aroma may fall away with some ageing.

 285 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by 2/2/21.

Pours a murky reddish-orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of candied fruit, rock candy, earth, Brett, and funk aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour fruit, fruit punch, earth, Brett, and funk flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that has a Brett presence that still allows some fruity characteristics to come out all around.

Serving type: bottle.

 649 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

still great beer here, but unfortunately i think i enjoy the many variations far more than the original here. this is more of a belgian than the others, and as such the brett comes through a lot less. the ak alive version i thought was the supreme wild ale, a perfect example of dryness and brett character, while its alive here is just a bit more generic as they go. hazy rust colored liquid, maybe a touch lighter than that, with a prominent several inches of cream colored fluff. it smells like belgian yeast first, orchard fruit esters and dusty grain ith some amber malt sweetness. the brett is really only on the finish for me, not super dry or effervescent, but farmy, more like a belgian saison here than a true wild ale as i have come to know them from mikkeller, but i like it a lot just the same. the brett pushes the denser grain to the forefront of the flavor, where its sweetness is balanced nicely. the diversity of yeasts and yeast characters make this beer unique and special, but i just dont find the complexity or wonderment i discovered in all the variations of it. great carbonation and a lof of body still. very well made beer, but i would take ak alive over this one any day.

edit: the above review is even more true for the new release in the smaller bottles. malty, sweet, with an under developed brett flavor (or lack there of one), and really left quite a bit to be desired. i think this one needs some time to mature and hopefully improve. others have similar experiences?

 1,501 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice addition to the Mikkeller lineup. As expected the beer has a cleverly sculpted blend and balance of wild yeasts and bacteria to stimulate and challenge a beer drinker's palate.

The beer pours a medium caramel color that looks surprisingly like a Pale Ale. But the beer takes on a highly carbonated tone that is both efforvescent and lively to the eye. Initially great head formation fades soon enough atop a Belgian Wild Ale that has cut through all proteins and substantial sugars that would have lead to better head retention.

Mouthwatering aromas of under-rippened fruits: think blackberries, raspberries, apples, pears, and grapes to name a few. Throw in a dusty scent of grandma's attic and a hint at caramel malts and we have a beer.

Flavors represent the same, but in reverse. Camelized malts make a greater impact than expected with a medium malt and raw barley taste. The astringent fruits soon follow with also a medium boldness and later hits the jawls with a light, acidic sharpness. The funkified nature of the beer also hits a moderate stride with a white wine vineous note that will be sure to challenge the novice beer drinker. The crab-apple, lemony, berry-ey, peppery notes rise at mid-palate and gain intensity into both the finish and aftertaste. Hop flavor and bitterness also show extra depths of complexity and variation, as if the beer needed it.

The caramel malts make the beer seem a bit sweeter and heavier than it really is. The bolserous carbonation lifts the beer from the mouth and makes drinkability decidedly easy. Acidity and tartness helps to thin the beer to help out in the upcomming summer months. Moderately astringent and sharp at times, but that's the name of the game when considering the wild brews.

Comparisons to Orval come to mind. But this beer takes on a more caramel flavor and not as aggressive with the 'wild' character. Still, musty, horse-y, and dusty throughout. Even the dry-hopped character of the beer draws comparisons.

 1,992 characters

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.

 1,322 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +7%

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.

B-

 1,339 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a rocky head that leaves a rather spotty lacing pattern

Smell: Rotting pears, ginger, clove, watermelon rind with phenolic hints of acetone

Taste: Rather sweet and fruity (in a wild ale way, of course), up front, with pear, watermelon and peppery spice flavors; by mid-palate, some earthy/oaky flavors add complexity; after the swallow, however, a blast of phenolic acetone elements arrive to dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Try as I might, I just cannot get past the finish in this schizophrenic beer

 606 characters

Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a shiny amber color ale with a large foamy head with great retention and very good lacing. Aroma of fruity ester is very interesting with nice Belgian style malt and a slightly dry hoppy finish. Taste is also dominated by some fruity ester with some Belgian style malt with some lingering sweetness and some very light Poppering style hops at the end. Full body with great carbonation and no signs of the alcohol. Very well done though not very close to Orval as suggested by the label.

 501 characters

Photo of largadeer
1.9/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Murky, slightly turbid amber, darker than I was expecting. A gentle pour leaves me with three fingers of head in my glass, which takes a few moments to settle. Head retention is good, but this one is overcarbonated.

Smell: Lightly funky, not overly so, with a sweet toffee backbone from the malt and a touch of herbal hops. Somewhat medicinal overall.

Taste & mouthfeel: Herbal, peppery, slightly tart up front. The malt base is very dry, but there's more bitterness than I'd like and not enough bretty funk or sourness. Like a rough, unrefined Orval with excessive bitterness. The finish is loaded with bitter herbal hops and dry husky grain. After half a glass all I could taste was bitterness - not terribly impressive. Most of the bottle went down the drain.

 776 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, light copper color with orange highlights. It had a small, foamy, off-white head that left a little lace.

S - It smelled funky, but it was mild. Some caramel notes and sweet fruits.

T - It tasted candy sweet with a bubblegum-like flavor. There was a nice yeasty taste, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a very dry finish. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty interesting Belgian-style pale ale. It tasted nothing like it smelled but it was very good.

 496 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 11/23/2012 on the cork. Cork did no pop off. Pours hazy reddish orange color with a fairly dense 1-2 finger off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of oak, raisin, red wine, pear, caramel, apple, wine vinegar, earth, grass, hay, herbal, pepper, leather, funk, and yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and high complexity. Taste of oak, raisin, pear, caramel, pepper, earth, hay, leather, molasses, grass, clove, funk, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of oak, dark fruit, caramel, molasses, pepper, earth, herbal, grass, leather, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavor; no cloying flavors at all after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium body; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is ok; definitely needs more carbonation. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Belgian wild ale. The taste was a bit odd at first, but it grew on me; nicely complex and smooth to sip on. Enjoyed this quite a bit despite low carbonation.

 1,203 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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It's Alive! from Mikkeller ApS
3.74 out of 5 based on 411 ratings.
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