Not what I expected.  If I had one thing I had to say about this beer, it’s my previous statement. Having sipped It’s Alright, I had to believe that this would be a sour as well.  The label mentions that it’s a Belgian Wild Ale.  Well, you’re going to have to wait on those Brett yeast yuckies to come through.  When I first sipped the beer I was looking for the those dirty bastards to assail my taste buds.  Yet, after a consultation with Mikkeller’s site, I realized that storing this for a while is essential for that quality.  Was a disappointed? In a sense.  I really wanted a sour, almost true lambic style beer.  However, I want to review the beer on its own merits before dismissing it.  Rather, I needed to dismiss my presuppositions about what it was.

The Pour: This is a very finely carbonated, active, and foamy-headed brew.  Its color reminded me of an amber Oktoberfest styled beer.  The yeast itself looked like a Krausening yeast head of a brewing beer. When I knew what I was getting into, my guess was that the similarities ended there.

The Nose: The powdery, yeast and caramel malt qualities melded together with a slight touch of alcohol. The Styrian gold hops and Hallertau made for interesting, yet highly functional hop tones in a Belgian styled beer.  Within the brew was a very nice touch of malty sweetness along with the slightest hint of smoke.

The Taste: Were the Bretts there?  At the very end of the brew, I did catch just a simple, little taste of them.  However, more predominant caramel malts and a lovely array of hops (both aroma and bitterness) were a pleasing attribute.  I was especially relieved that the hops were not the normal citrusy Cascade hops that I’ve lamentably become accustomed to tasting in so many beers.  Why do I say that about this particular beer?  I personally found it to be more like a cross between and IPA and normal Pale Ale.  The grain-bill seems to be very much in that vein.  The smoke that I noticed on the nose came more to the fore, but not overpoweringly so, when I sipped the beer.  A touch of sweetness, the slightest sourish tone, and Belgian candy sugar were also very nice aspects to beer.  A hint of vodka alcohol qualities were present, but it was far more winish than I expected.  The beer finished very much on the drier side, which also played a bit like wine.

Overall, I’ll give this beer a very hardy thumbs up.  Not what I expected but very good nonetheless.  It is indeed alive but will be far more alive in a year or two of aging.

Mike’s Rating:

Overall Satisfaction: ★★★★☆ 

Among other Bretts: ★★★¾☆ 

Rating: ★★★★☆