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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Ratings: 415 |  Reviews: 194
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 alpinebryant
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1pt, 9.4 oz bottle with Silver label (stamped 22/04/16 on back)

Pours a very healthy head, almost overtaking the top of a Duvel Tulip which is massive and left very heavy lacing. Smell of strong juicy fruit bubblegum flavors, caramel, a bit of funk, belgian malts and a caramel presence.

Taste of bubblegum / fruity flavors from the foam on top. The Brett is bringing out this aroma and it was quite nice. Taste of
heavy leather followed by caramel and some moldy brett characteristics. Later , wet dog hair and slobber flavors really come out and make you wonder. The leather flavors that come our are similar to those in Adam from HOTD., although not nearly as thick or pronounced. A bit of twang mixed with belgian candy sugars, heavy carbonation and a medium mouthfeel.

Decent, nothing great. I enjoyed their yeast series Brett more than this one but they are different beers entirely.

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

A- 1 inch head that drops out steadily and leaves some sticky lace. The color is a hazy honey orange.

S- The nose is very aromatic. An apple wine fruitiness and floral quality similar to potpourri. Slightly funky, and earthy as well.

T- Again I'm getting a lot of the apple fruitiness up front, the sweetness turns slightly sour towards the end and is mixed with a bit of bretty funk. A touch of floral/earthy hops round this out.

M- Body is medium with a fair amount of carbonation. Sharp and lively. Dried out mouthfeel.

D- Fairly Neutral for a Wild Ale. I was hoping for a little more punch, but what I got out of this was another tasty brew from Mikkeller anyways.

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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 Arenbeer
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 cork and caged received from abrand! Thanks man

A- Pours a dark cloudy orange brown with a thing 1 finger white head that dissipates real wuick leaving a nice ring around the glass.

S- Strong malts with a sweetness from the yeast and definitely a good amount of spice, funk, orange, and citrus.

T- Really not to sour more so smooth malts if anything. Most of the sourness and brett comes in the finish after your done drinking but still not to bad or overpowering. Delicious yeast character combined with a slight wheat or rye bread flavor combined with a nice citrus and hop presence.

M- Medium body with a decent amount of carbonation and a semi-sour finish.


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

A: This poured a hazy dark copper with fluffy white head.
S: It smelled spicy and wild and funky and tart, with a bit of floral hops and wheat and other subtleties.
T: It tasted like tart and funky yeast with sweet tropical fruits and honey malt, and a bit of white grape and other subtleties. It had a smooth and tart aftertaste.
M: It was watery with lots of carbonation.
D: This was a great wild ale that was delicate and complex and very clean. It wasn't too funky, as the brett was well integrated and balanced. Body was decent, and the alcohol was well hidden, so it was incredibly easy to drink. Great brew fresh that may improve with age.

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Photo of thetomG
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mostly clear color with a nice thick layer of sticky foam on the top - massive amounts of chunky lacing left all around the glass.

Aroma is bready yeast with just the slightest sour hint. Flavor is a bit more sour in the finish, but the yeasty notes really dominate.

Well carbonated & bubbly, this is an easy drinker.

Would drink again if given the chance.

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

A: Hazy orange with a thick, bubbly head that leaves a generous amount of lacing on the glass.

S & T: Brettanomyces, citrus, spices, peppercorn. Decent tasting brew with a lot of things going on. Fun and interesting. Definitely identifiable as a Belgian strong pale ale.

M & D: nice feel with a good brett aftertaste. The beer has a prevalent brett aroma and taste, but I wouldn't say this beer is sour. There is no pucker or tartness in the flavor or finish. Overall, a decent beer. I'd drink it again.

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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 detlefchef
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Curious, I could have sworn this was a fresh batch. Maybe not. It sure wasn't worse for wear. In fact, it was lovely. Thick, lingering head. Beautiful brilliant amber color.

Certainly some malt to it, but the bret did a fine job of using up the sugar, so it was pretty dry. Not really at all sour.

As the guy I was tasting with said, "This is what I want beer to taste like. There's lot's of beer-like flavors." Now, sounds simple, but it's true. There was some funk, some malt, some great balance. It did taste like what a beer should.

I guess that's the only thing that would keep this from being exceptional, it didn't have layers of things going on. Of course, that's not always a bad thing.

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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 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 glid02
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy orange-copper color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth pale malts with candied light fruits - apricots and pears - with a mild tartness. Also present are moderate amounts of funk and hints of herbal hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mildly grainy pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by soft and lightly tart medium fruit flavors. Midway through the sip hints of funk work their way into things before fading out into a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this was a solid beer but no one thing stood out as exceptional. Still, it's worth a shot.

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Photo of jrallen34
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Mikkeller. This is an Orval clone.

This pours a super dark orange with an off white head, very flimsy head that falls quickly, light lacing...Aroma is super light, sweet apricots mostly with a touch of sourness on the end...The taste is ok, a little sweet and sour, lots of herbal notes. This is actually a pretty good clone of Orval, really close, this is just a little sweeter.

If you like Orval give this a shot to just compare the two, if you don't know Orval, skip 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 russellaaron69
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy orange with a soft fluffy head that lasted for a good while. Left a lot of lacing behind with each sip. Smell was good. I picked up spices, mainly pepper, and citrus fruit. There was also something funky in the nose too. I've smelt it with other beers of this type but I can't really place what it is. It reminds me of the stables at the horse track. The taste was on par with the smell. Spicy and peppery with a nice citrus fruit character. The funk was present in the taste also but not near as apparent. I swear I tasted watermelon in there too. Mouthfeel was full and it left a nice tingle on the tounge.Very drinkable and hides its alcohol well.

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3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

From 750 mL bottle to wine glass. Attractive minimalistic presentation. Synthetic cork and cage. $18 at my bottleshop.

A: Pours with a 1 finger fizzy foamy head that dimishes quickly. The body is muddy and tawny brown. Lacing is spare.

S & T: Brett dominates the nose. Heavy barnyard as well as a funky wet horseblanket aroma comes through. Semi fruity yeast esters. The darker fruit flavors are a surprise: Grape, berries, raisin and plum. Short flavor duration, lightly sweet and moderately sour and acidic. The malts (pale and cara) are quiet as are the hops (hallertauer and styrian goldings). Nice flavor although I want more INTENSITY of flavor in a wild ale.

M: I also prefer some other bugs like pedio or lacto to enhance the mouthfeel. I wish the label of wild ales would list exactly which wild yeasts were used since Brett-only beers are a completely different experience. I just want to have a vague idea of what I'm getting into. Medium body with a thin texture that is creamy and gritty at the same time. Lightly chalky.

D: It's Alive drinks well and is a satisying brew, but not the mouth-killer I expected. I'd buy it again, but not for $18.

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Photo of Bubba83
4/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of mobyviacheslov
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy, and burnt orange. Color resembles that of a pale ale. Head is creamy, and subsides to about 1 finger. Decent lacing from the receded head.
S - Nose is very hoppy and piney. There is a slight apple note as well. I hadn't researched this beer before buying it, and was expecting a gueze/lambic style, so the lack of sour odors was surprising. Now that I've looked up the beer, I realize that's not the style they were going for. I haven't tasted yet, but I'm not getting much of the brett-funk odor.
T - Very dry, very bitter hop forward. In fact, the hop profile seems to be masking much of the brett-dryness and funk. After a swish in the mouth, I do find an apple flavor, but not the sour notes of the apple, just the fruit flavor (if this makes sense?). Outside the piney hops, there is a grass flavor, and just a very minor sweetness from the high alcohol content. The finish is bready and reveals just a little more brett, but still hop dominated.
M - Thicker than your average hop-driven beer (pale ale/IPA), but similar mouth feel. Very crisp and dry.
D - Honestly, if you like your hops, this is very easy drinking. The brett-funk that turns some people off is not dominating, so its really just a matter of liking the dryness. The ABV is not obvious, so a 750ml bottle per person is too easy.

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

Pours with a big fluffy off-white head, that leaves two or three fingers of sticky Belgian lace. Aroma is sour apple and fresh sourdough bread. Very dry and funky, with sparkling carbonation. Bursts of brettanomyces yeast come through now and again, bringing notes of leather and hay. Astringent hops complete the grainy finish. A refreshing, straightforward wild ale, on par with many of the classics of the style.

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Photo of berpwillie
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a cloudy copper orange with spare head but much more heavu in the lacing. delicious and lively but very flat at the same time. bit of a funky hay flavor. very cloudy but lively carbonation is still very noticable. medium body with a sticky oily texture. slightly bitter to the finish. over all very good beer, but don't let the smell fool you, the taste doesn't quite follow through.

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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 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 crossovert
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged brown bottle with a WHITE label and silver foil.

Pours into my tulip a rich orange/plum color, murky, with a rocky off-white head that leaves a frosting of lacing.

The smell is definitely unique, a mix of noble hops and brett with some candi sweetness. The hops are really full, slightly piney, they mix with the sugar and the fruity yeast creating a candy-like scent with a bit of funk.

The mouthfeel is low carbonated almost syrupy, not what I expected. The beer is slightly funky, slightly bitter, and slightly cloying. It has a huge caramel, barleywine like presence. The hops are still an integral part of the taste and provide a piney bitterness. There is also a huge dark fruit presence (rasins, dates). There is also some wood, spices, and earthiness.The alcohol is there but it blends with the other flavors. If you mixed Orval with a barleywine you'd have something like this, a sublime and original brew.

This is another hit form Mikkeller, quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries. And they are certainly one of the true innovators of the brewing industry.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark raw apple juice. Near white head reduces fast to ring. Lots of cling lace.

S - Deep sweet caramel. Like a barleywine.

T - Taste follows smells. Sweet caramel center, although not cloying in the finish. Bittering and almost a slight menthol in the finish.

M - Nice medium body, good coating and carb, nice balance.

D - For the style, a fun and very drinkable beer.

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It's Alive! from Mikkeller ApS
3.74 out of 5 based on 415 ratings.
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