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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: 193 | Ratings: 408
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.

 359 characters

Photo of PerHops
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S- 1 pint 9 ounce bottle into a large snifter

A- A lighter dark amber (if that makes any sense) with nice lacing and a beautiful head

S- subtly sour, grass, hay, herbs, lemon, slight funk

T- much different than expected. A lot of caramel presence, but there are sour components in tact, supported by a beautiful dry finish. A lot of apple, grass, a little lemon, some minerals.

M- Great malt presence. Very easy to drink at the 8% ABV.

O- I like this beer more than I expected to. It reminds me of the BBB from fantome, but a little richer. Good beer and I am now a Mikkeller fan.

 586 characters

Photo of DrDogbeer
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared with a couple of friends over the weekend. Pours a dark copper color with a full champagne-like head into a snifter. Good retention. Smells of sweet carmel type candy with a good amount of mustiness to boot. With some warming you cna get more funk on the nose. Taste is sweet and malty at first. Finishes extremel dry with no aftertaste. I get some pheno/ bandaid flavor in the finish that intensifies as the beer warms. Good active, fizzy mouhtfeel. Solid wild ale, nothing spectacular.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml cellered for a good while Thanks to Gregus. Mikkeller is alway expensive, but pretty much alway unique and good. Clear amberish color, amazing looking head. Frothy and solid looking, like wax. I walked away for 20 minutes and came back to the head still holding like a champ, and lacing still clinging. This beer has great visual appeal. Smell is an appealing, but very delicate aroma. I smell flowers and bright acidic yeast. Not what I was expecting. Beer is surprisingly drinkable. Subtle malt notes, minimal hopping. Seems like the recipe is designed to push the yeast character, which is complex and exciting to the palate. Ph is low and puckers the lips a bit. Thin body, booze is quite well hidden. I could have used a bit more sour. But wonderful beer. Pleasure to have tried.

 790 characters

Photo of Trilogy31
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich burnished brown leather with a ridiculously frothy massive head leaving thick chunks of foam on the glass as it ever so slowly dissipates. The nose has bright sour citrus, red fruit, a touch of pleasant funk along with belgian spices. The taste brings sour raspberry, lemon, along with clove and almost a touch of banana, very light sourness and funk - tasty stuff. I did find it to seem a bit diluted at this abv though i was highly impressed with the look and taste.

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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.

 521 characters

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.

 225 characters

Photo of DaggerEyes
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy Carmel color with a
fizzy off white head.

Great nose. Sweet fruity. Notes of apples, berries, pear, slight band aid scent

taste is very strange. Sweet and fruity up front with some of the pear apples and berries, gets funky in the center and and over whelming burnt plastic phenolic taste on the finish. The taste is very pleasant until the finish.

interesting mouthfeel. fizzes up a bit when it hits the tongue but then becomes very silky and smooth.

 468 characters

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

Appearance: Medium orange not much carbonation. Head died relatively quickly. Not much lacing.

Smell: Not what I expected. A little funky, dry, almost want to say soft cheese, old bread. Missing the faintly tangy sour smell I hoped for though.

Taste: A continuation of what I perceived on the aroma. Pleasant and unique, the higher ABV supplies a nice warmth that some other wild beers are missing. Again, it's lacking some pungency and sour flavors I look for in beers of this type.

Drinkability: Fairly drinkable, not a problem to finish the 1 pt 9.4 fl oz bottle but I'm not craving more from there.

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

750 ml poured in a wine glass.

A: amber, slightly cloudy, fluffy head with loose bubbles.

S: tart fruit, green apple, funky,

T: tart, funky flavors, as it warms the tart fades in the background and the funk come out.

M: crisp, and clean, has refreshing qualities,

D: beers like this tend to go down quickly as there not rich and filling but rather crisp and refreshing. it was good I enjoyed it

 401 characters

Photo of NoLiberty
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden amber color, with slight partial cloudiness. Some suspended particulation. Nice head that stays the whole time with good lacing.

Hop, lily, fermenting haystack, earth, paperwhites and slight sweet wildflower honeyness.

Very present hop character at the start, slight floral that moves through to a middle that's bready and malty with some sweet hop finish. Nice clarity and balance of the flavors.

Light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Moves fluidly around the mouth carrying the flavors throughout.

Very drinkable. People put this down very easily and wanted more. That's a good sign.

 607 characters

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.

 525 characters

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.

 673 characters

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.

 635 characters

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Copper body with two fingers of head with decent retention, but little lacing.

S - Big juicy fruit aroma, with strawberry and raspberry sweetness, green apple tartness, sour cherry funk, hints of leather and earthy funk, all while being quite vineous.

T/M - A lot more bitterness than I expected. Big funk, big hops. As it warms, I picked up nice rose nectar, raspberry, and honey sweetness, in addition to the big funk. Alcohol is present and warming. A lot different than expected. Finish was a bit watery. Mid bodied.

D - Shows great complexity, and weak balance. The funk is fantastic, but even a sucker like me would love to see some more sweetness to balance out the huge funk. Fun, but not overly drinkable.

 722 characters

Photo of kmatlack
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 poured into my Brooklyn snifter. No bottle date that i can tell...

A- Holy head. Bubbles and fizzes up all the way to the top of the glass. Pours a very good looking orange-red color. Relatively clear, lots of bubbles coming up. Big pillowy slightly yellow head. This thing looks great.

S- Lots of wet barnyard hay. Funky lemon, yeasty aromas, mildly sweet. Bread, malts. Not bad.

T- Spicy Belgian yeast up front, goes right into sweet malty flavors, followed by a lemony, bretty tartness. Finishes off with sweet bready malts.

M- Slick, thin, and alot of carbonation. It is a little over carbonated for me, but not this style.

O- I am not a fan of Belgian beers very much, but i thought this was pretty good. I dont know where this beers horrible reviews came from....

 778 characters

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 CuttDeez
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a snifter
A - Poured a good shimmering amber color. It is not crystal clear but nice. The head was huge and had a slight redish hue to it. Huge and bubbly with good lace on the head.
S - very nice smell on this beer. The fruits and malty sweetness hit on the front end. Very fresh and lively crisp fruits. Then it opened up to floral and herbal notes in the middle with a slight funk background. Then the nose goes almost oaky, woody earthen and the peppery spices kick in. Very nice and complex nose that covers a range of notes.
T & M - The beer is very carbinated and incredibly light on the mouth. The sweetness hits you in the front and brings the crisp fruits with it. Then the mouth becomes funky oaky and woodsy on the back end quickly. There is not as much pepper to balance the sweet front end as I would have liked.
O - Where did all the aroma go in the taste. Such a great variety of smells and the taste came up short. I would have enjoyed a little more sour spice to complex it out and help finish the beer. With that being said a very interesting brew.


 1,097 characters

Photo of josvemden
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Ziet er heel mooi uit. Verwacht een zwaar bier maar Is relatief licht van smaak. Een hele lekkere hopsmaak waar iets zoets aan vooraf gaat. Krijg het er warm van. Ps. Moet iets warmer gedronken worden, vind hem gaandeweg steeds lekkerder.

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

750 mL bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a ruby-brown body with a thick, creamy 2-finger head.

S - Lots of hoppy citrus - sweet orange, lemon, grapefruit. The citrus notes are very reminiscent of a west-coast IPA. There are other fruit notes as well - ripe green pear, ripe papaya, a touch of pineapple, lychee. I also pick up some grassy, piney notes that round out the nose.

T - Hop-forward, for sure. There are the expected bitter fruit flavors here: lemon, bitter orange, and grapefruit. But this is well-balanced by sweet malt and sweet fruit: papaya, pear, and banana. As it warms, the bitterness transforms into a more medicinal and herbal flavor profile, rendering the brew less enjoyable to drink.

M - Very crisp, with a carbonation level that borders on too much, but doesn't go over the edge.

D - Looks, smells, tastes, and feels like a well-crafted IPA - except that the label calls it a "Belgian Wild Ale." So much for trying to categorize beer, I suppose! I had a really tough time picking out the brett here. Try as I might, I couldn't pick up any funk. Nate from Gordon's recommended that I get two bottles of this, one to drink now, and one to cellar, so we'll see what happens with the other one after a while.

 1,267 characters

Photo of petacutlasaurus
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So you know those scenes where a bunch of friends are mulling around in the kitchen, standing over some food or desert they've made, maybe something in the microwave, and whatever it is, as they check it out, it starts growing and expanding, like a souffle that's blowing up in the oven or a bag of popcorn expanding as it's heated. And then there's the one friend who gets at eye level with the food, stares blankly, and whispers - "it's alive" - .

Well, that's no doubt how this beer got its name. I have never seen a beer with such explosive, ever-expanding head. And I suppose that when the brewer poured his first glass, he thought this same thing to himself, and knew the name of his new beer.

Light and fluffy, the beer itself is a light yellow amber. Smells are pretty plain, but pleasant - very light fruits, citrus, bread, and thick floral smells. The taste is that same collection of smells after they go to funk dance-off. Very wild and Bretty. I think the taste takes a hit with the body. Those notes get lost a little bit in the ensuing explosion in your mouth. Still, very fun to drink and maybe even more to pour!

 1,131 characters

Photo of dustin22martin
3.26/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer had been sitting in a cooler for over a year. It was slightly orange, fairly heady with a grassy, barnyardy smell. The taste, however, was nothing but barnyard. It tasted like it was brewed IN a horse. Too much for me, but if that's your thing, give this one a go.

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It's Alive! from Mikkeller ApS
3.74 out of 5 based on 408 ratings.
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