USAlive! (Alive) | Mikkeller ApS

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USAlive! (Alive)USAlive! (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 (tomahawk, cascade and amarillo), yeast and brettanomyces.

Added by Nickls on 03-02-2009

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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 202
Photo of kwjd
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this as part of a private order to Ontario. Pours a cloudy orange colour with thick white head and tons of lacing down the glass. Smells of cirtus hops, candy suger and something a bit funky (I assume brett?). Nice bitterness mixed in with the Belgian sweetness. Big carbonation level. A very nice beer, which I had more!

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Photo of SleepyMonk
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled corked 750ml bottle poured into a standard sized Tulip glass.

Removed the silver foil wrap and cage and then popped the synthetic cork expecting an explosive pop, but instead got nothing - understandably I'm a little concerned at this point. Still it is able to generate a generous amount of off white egg shell colored head, approx. 2-3 finger that starts out full and gives way to a very aerated and light whispy head with plenty of lacing. Body is a striking tea like color with almost impeccable clarity.

Sweet hoppy aroma with carefully cut citrus and pine notes with mild hints of phenyl and soft alcohol.

Taste is slightly aggressive as it hits out hard with a sour grapefruit blended with more citrus and pine flavors. I do detect some amount of caramel and/or candy sweetness that others have reported but neither flavor is strong in the mix and they certainly do nothing to help define this palate .

Weighting is possibly a notch or two below moderate and the carbonation is most certainly thin (see opening appearance description). Aromatic notes are well clarified. Taste opens up with a hard hit of sourness but mellows out as your palate grabs onto some of the more subtle notes. The finish is a very interesting dusty barnyard gueuze-like funkiness.

Great beer but I must say I have tasted a lot of Belgian Strong Ales and I don't recall tasting anything quite like this, so I'm not too sure about the style. I find it very comparable to Unibroue's Terrible if anything.

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Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow with off-white three inch head, looks great. Hop aromas are terrific, medium mouthfeel, very lacey. Citra hop taste, orange. A full bitterness, lots of hops. A tad of sourness-astringency. Ken's bottle from the private order.More of an American strong.

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Photo of bludtek
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this hazy, light amber-orange Belgian strong ale from a corked 750 mL bottle. The head was a beige white that stuck around and clung to the sides of my tulip glass.

I smelled citrusy hops, followed by fruity candy.

A honey maltiness was followed by grapefruit, floral, and grassy hops. Slight earthy acidity was also present.

There was a thin carbonation, medium body, and bit of a dry aftertaste.

Smooth taste and dry finish makes this drinkable for me. The alcohol was hidden with all the flavour. I would buy this one again. Interesting character for one of my favourite styles.

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Photo of scott451
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy orangey brown with a two finger rocky head. Good head retention. Lots of lacing.

Smells of piney citrusy hops in the smell. Very smooth flavour. Big citrus burst up front. The alcohol is quite apparent. There is some twang from the brett, but it is pretty subdued. A nice long hop finish.

Medium body. Good carbonation. Very drinkable. An unusual but well crafted and interesting beer. It seems to span several styles so calling it a Belgian Strong Pale Ale is probably not correct.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, with a simple Stars and, well, stars label, reminiscent of something out of Patton, the movie.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium copper amber colour, with two chubby fingers of foamy, rocky, and vaguely creamy beige head, which maintains pretty decent retention, eventually leaving some sudsy curtains of lace around the glass. Not too shabby.

It smells of moderately bitter grapefruit and orange flesh, bready caramel malt, brown sugar, white wine must, soft, almost indistinct clove spice, and some mildly funky yeast. The taste is gritty caramel malt, candy sugar, earthy, weakly funky yeast, steady blended citrus rind, a hint of wet pine needles, acidic white wine, some muted Belgian spice, and a further leafy, quite understatedly perfumed hoppiness, as that 16-proof booze is well masked.

The carbonation is moderate, just a dwindling tight frothiness, the body a more or less medium weight, and sort of smooth, the yeast and hop astringency cutting - none too deeply, but cutting nonetheless. It finishes mostly dry, the citrusy hops and dusty funk presiding.

Just what it purports to be - a funky strong Belgian ale, with prominent American west coast hop stylings. Overall, while a tad distracting in its various goings-on, it does work, the numerous influences generally playing nicely together. This would have been awesome to have had during Olympic hockey a few months ago, when the USA was indeed alive, at least until the Canadians finished them off in the final, in OT.

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Photo of glid02
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Five Points Bottle in Athens, GA.

Pours a hazy gold-copper color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of a combination of pale and somewhat grainy caramel malts with good amounts of citrus and smaller amounts of tropical fruit hops. Mild amounts of brett funk waft out as well and intensify as the beer warms.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Malt flavors that skew more toward pale than caramel but with good amounts of both kick things off. Coming in shortly thereafter are candied hop flavors - more earthy than in the aroma but still with strong hints of citrus. Midway through the sip mild hints of funk come in before fading into a mildly bitter finish.

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

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

Overall I thought this was a tasty beer, although more of a wild IPA than a wild Belgian. I'm willing to bet the high amount of hops used is a result of the US part of the name. Worth a shot.

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Photo of drpimento
4.77/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very interesting and very good. Having this version of Mikkeller's It's Alive now. This one's aroma is milder, but the floral component is more pronounced in the flavor. Poured with nice off white head and good lace. Aroma is as above and with yeast malt hops and brett. Flavor's similar with a little more acid than the euro version. Incrediblly full flavored. Excellent body and carbonation. Again complimented so well by the Brettanomyces. Clean finish and almost a session for sipping.

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Photo of elricorico
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A slightly hazed amber colour with a solid two finger head that is just off-white in colour. Lacing starts to stick right away, and the head sustains for some time.

Brett is notable to the nose right away, bring a funky and slightly sour impression. Mixed in is citrus and pine. My nose can't tell what the malt brings to the table.

A touch of pale malt followed by a strong mix of pine hops with a little bit of yeast sourness. A little bit of alcohol heat sticks around at the end, more than I'd like with an 8% ABV. A little bit of caramel sweetness sticks to the tongue. It's okay, but really wasn't what I was hoping.

Body is a bit sticky and acidic, with a somewhat foamy carbonation. Doesn't do a whole lot for me.

Just a bit of a wash of flavours that just don't seem to work together as well as they compete with each other. Not something to avoid, but I won't be picking up another bottle.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 750 ml caged and corked brown bottle, silver foil around cap and neck.

Rich hazy yet translucent copper hue, loose creamy off-white head that leaves behind an insane coating of solid thick sticky lacing.

Mild caramel malt, some brown sugar, grassy and citrus hops on the nose. Reminds me of a young American barlerwine. Lingering floral and perfume notes. Very enjoyable, it all works beyond the sum of its parts.

Light malt, the bulk of the flavour comes from a lopsided balance of leafy green, spicy, grapefruit pith hops, a neutral earthiness lingers in the aftertaste, while some herbal notes pop up longer into the aftertaste. Pleasant to drink, but becomes a bit one-dimensional after a while.

Light side of medium-bodied, mild carbonation, dry, a bit musty.

Holds its own and definitely makes its presence known, but fails to hold interest after a while. Great for a hoppy Belgian ale, but gets a bit lopsided as a result. A great substitute for an English IPA, ignore the U.S. homage when it comes to the hops.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

Pours a murky yellow brown with a white head. The aroma is apple and banana with some spices and some tartness/wildness. The flavor is alcohol with the same mix of fruit that was in the aroma. There is a little brett funk in the flavor as well. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The sister to It's Alive! . Thanks to aparris85 for hooking it up.

A- Darker than It's Alive!, this beer is a robust orange brown with a snowy, frothy head that laces immediately. Peaks and valleys, craters of foam.

S- Grapefruit, floral hops. Sweet, lilac. Similar to Its Alive!, perhaps a bit more twang of citrus here.

T- A lot more hops than the nose would believe. Piny, bitter, fruity hops. Orange, pineapple. Chalky, a bit of an increase on the bitterness of It's Alive... must be the US hops. Very tasty. More of a Belgian IPA and less of a saison when compared to It's Alive.

M- Chalky, but crisp, bitter, great hop flavorings, nice body, no sign of ABV... fantastic.

D- A worthy rival to It's Alive. I can't decide which I like better... I have another bottle of each that I plan to age. We'll see where it goes, and I'll update if necessary. A great beer, though. Mikkeller is really on my awesome list as of late.

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Photo of Dawkfan
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- This pours a hazy apricot orange with a noticeable amount of carbonation. 2 fingers of head that leaves loads of sticky lace clinging to the glass, a nice thin film remains. What a beautiful looking beer!

S- Wow this smells different from anything else I've ever had. Lots of citrus/pine hop & caramel malt. Some floral notes in here as well, a touch of apples and some funkiness from the brett which really makes for a unique aroma.

T- Hops are the main focus from start to finish. A touch of fruitiness and malt in the middle give way to a big hoppy bitterness that lingers for awhile. I'm not really picking up much funkiness that the smell carried, which is a little dissapointing.

M- Medium bodied, a good amount of carbonation. A little bit oily & resiny, a dry finish.

D- I enjoyed this one, but I was hoping for a little more. If somehow that smell was emulated in the taste with more of that wonderful funkiness I've come to love... that would of made for an exceptional beer.

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Photo of markaberrant
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - pretty dark orange, mostly clear, offwhite creamy head, great retention and lacing

S - Fairly clean at this point, but there is a hint of earthy dankness. Hops are not pungent, but have a sweet grapefruit presence.

T - fair bit of maltiness, plays nicely with hops and light funk, some carmel, firm bitterness lingers and brings out more funk in the dry biscuity finish

M - somewhat boozy, but does not take away from enjoyment, about a medium carbonation at this point, lively, but not agressive, nice and dry in the finish, probably the best part

D - there is a lot going on in this beer, nothing over the top at this point, plays nice, the future looks bright

This beer is extremely well balanced at this point - there are hops, a complex malt character, and a bit of earthy funk. I was surprised at how much this beer looks like a darker pale ale, or an amber ale, but it works. Reminds me a little of a fresh Boulevard Saison with the mix of earthy dryness and american hops. Good stuff, I've got another bottle put away, and I dumped the dregs into a carboy of Flanders Red.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 750ml bottle on our porch with my girlfriend. Enjoying what will probably be the last 70 degree day of autumn in the Chicagoland area.

Pours a cloudy and dark rust colored amber. Pretty good two finger head that recedes to a nice film. The aroma is a sweet green apple skin with flower petals and just a touch of worn leather. The taste starts out bitter green apples and some light bready malts. The American hops dominate the middle to finish with super strog floral notes. The finish does have some interesting fruits that I can't place in the finish mixing with the resiny, almost palate coating hops. Good converstaion starting, bitter Belgian style brew.

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Photo of ADZA
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a see thru copper colour with beautiful carbonation that leaves a frothy two finger head and heaps of noticable lacing,it has a distinct real piney hop aroma to it with some caramel malts in the background very much like a nice AIPA aroma,it has a nice mouthfeel for the style which is neither thin nor thick and the palette is coated with the piney,passionfruit infused hops,caramel malts and of course a little brett but on finish the piney hop taste is the most prevalent to make this brew finish nice and bitter just like a AIPA even tho it is sposed to be a BSPA i would definately buy this beer again.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.63/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml corked and caged bottle with silver foil poured into Corsendonk chalice oct26 2009

A slightly cloudy amber with tonnes of carbonation and a massive beige head that has great retention and lots of lace. this is a pretty sexy looking beer, when the head finally dies down it leaves a 1/4in film with a little island in the middle

S lots of hops, pine, citrus, some caramel and maybe some bread. this to me smells like a huge DIPA and a sweet one at that, there is however something I just can't place, I'm assuming it's the wild yeast

T again lots of DIPA flavors with just some mild grapefruit not mentioned in the smell. I'm liking the taste of the smell I can't place, a little funky but adds a complexity to this ale that is unlike anything I can think of. I do taste booze but it's well concealed

M nice and creamy with carbonation that makes it feel even thicker, no problems here

D I plan on drinking this again soon, it's a unique brew that sinks like the Bismark. my only real complaint with this beer is I only just became aware of it. very nice and well worth drinking

I'm trying to grade this beer based on its style, however as far as I know this is the only Belgian Wild Ale I've ever had. I'm worried that this may not be a world class version of this style and every other one I drink will get straight 5's. now that I think about it I need to get to know this style in great depth

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Photo of GbVDave
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Mikkeller tulip.

Neck foil dated: 03/02/15

A: The cork slid out with nary a sound. Uh oh, did I get a bad bottle? Nah, keep reading. Pours a chill hazed burnt orange, with a 3 1/2 finger thick, rocky, light khaki colored head that retained forever! The head graaaadually melted down to a thick glob that hung around in the center of the glass leaving a lacey mess down the sides.

S: I went into this one, not having read any of the reviews, expecting a sour/funky "Belgian Wild Ale". My first whiff had me wondering if I got a mis-label. Strong piney (American-styled) hops took the forefront with hints of caramel, citrus, and sweet candi.

T: Huge piney hop flavor. Delicious! Rounding out the flavors are cut grass and citrus hops, caramel, white pepper, spices, and a touch of candi sugar. Half-way through the second glass I finally noticed the spicy & funky Brett. I guess proper temp is the key to awakening the slightly funky Brett as I pulled this out of my too cold food fridge and not my beer fridge.

M: Typical APA/AIPA/DIPA mouthfeel: dry, juicy, peppery, oily, and spicy. Finish has a fantastic run of spicy astringency.

D: I kept trying to remember to pace myself to no avail. This beer went down so well. An 8% (let's face it) AIPA/DIPA with a slightly "wild" side? Sign me up, brother!

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Photo of brendan13
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a tulip glass an orange hued dark amber, slightly hazy with an inch of fluffy head that slowly falls away leaving a fair bit of lace.
S - Floral and grassy hops with a bit of a fruity character. Vauge caramel malt character and a touch of brett.
T - Like the smell floral and grassy hops come through initially followed by some fruitiness and light malt sweetness.
M - Quite light bodied with fairly high carbonation. A strong bitterness.
D - A nice beer that I'd recommend trying.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rating #1100!! And appropriate, considering it's also Memorial Day! Anyway, pours a cloudy brown/orange with a thick off-white head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of tropical fruits and floral hops. Smells like an IPA, an awesome IPA at that! Flavor is not a fruity but has a nice bitter finish. Definitely quite hoppy with some sweet caramel malt. Nothing Belgian about this one to me. This is a great beer--I really enjoyed this one!

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Photo of ricke
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber color, slightly hazy due to the bottle conditioning. A really big off-white head with both thick and creamy, and airy, parts. Very good head retention and beautiful chunky lacings.

S: A very fascinating smell. Fresh fruity hop aromas (grapefruit, gooseberries, kiwi fruit) mix with pine-needles and fairly big dose of earthy brett. Here is also some grass, resin and a biscuity backbone. This smell is fantastic.

T: Even better than the smell, absolutely amazing. Very tasty hop flavors of exotic fruits, citric notes, pine-needles, resins and slightly raw floral notes. A big brett character sits side by side with the hops. Earth, yeast, some caramel. In the finish, there is a rather big and very pleasant bitterness coupled with a great combination of chewy malts, spicy and peppery hops and faint mineral notes.

M: Medium body, very creamy with soft carbonation. The beer slides oh so easily down the throat.

D: The taste of this one was as close to beer heaven is it gets, I guess. The rather aggressive hop profile and equally aggressive brett character works fantastic together and the beer is just really really taste. Almost ridiculously easy to drink.

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Photo of hopdog
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Poured a medium and cloudy golden/amber color with a larger sized white head. Aromas of citrus, some pine, some funkiness, and fruity. Tastes of citrus, the same funkiness, lighter pine, and caramel.

Couldn't drown away the way the Flyers sucked while I was drinking this...

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Photo of Nickls
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample both on tap and bottle (bottle reviewed)

A - Poured with a thinner white head, nice lacing on the glass and had an orangey golden color. Pretty translucent and not really hazy. Some rising carbonation

S - Good cedary/piney hop bitterness in the nose, with just a touch of funkiness from the brett yeast utilized in the bew

T - Hop bitterness is the driving taste up front, and very much mirrors the nose, being cedary/piney and just a little citruisy in the flavors. Not as much funk as would have hoped, but would remind one of an Orval in that department. Bit tart in the flavor as well.

M - Thinner MF, and a touch oily. Little snap of carbonation, and overall really pleasant in this area.

D - This is hugely drinkable for me as it is equal parts refreshing and interesting. I think that this could go head-to-head with an Orval which seems to serve as its inspiration. The hyped of nature of the hops really commanded my attention.

Overall, this is definitely solid and interesting and would recommend. My only complaint, very minor, would have been more prominence of the brett. Def. recommend.

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USAlive! (Alive) from Mikkeller ApS
3.97 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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