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Til Fra (To From) | Mikkeller ApS

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56 Reviews
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Til Fra (To From)Til Fra (To From)

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malt (pale, cara-crystal, pale chocolate and chocolate), unmalted oats, dark cassonade, hops (Centennial and Cascade), spices (star anise, cinnamon, clove and coriander) and yeast.

Added by mikesgroove on 11-22-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 77
Photo of stevoj
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared with Boise RBers. Initial impression was disappointment, but this was one to sneak up on you, very subtle in many ways. I had hoped to resample before leaving to get a second impression, but was left with lots of positive thoughts and approving nods.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.79/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Love the label on this one, gift tags are overrated...

Black pour, thick brown head, this easily could be mistaken for an imperial stout by the appearance. Patchy cap left behind, great retention and lace.

Nose brings roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, spices, pine. Very little sweetness and a decent Christmasy feel to it.

Taste follows mostly. Malts are definitely roast-forward with some smokiness and char there as well, some dark chocolate and coffee, bread, maybe some dark fruit as well. Spices are pretty noticeable, maybe a tad strong but fine here. Clove definitely sticks out with perhaps some cinnamon.

Mouthfeel is slick and somewhat thin-feeling considering the bold flavors, but considering this is actually a porter it's understandable. Medium-low carbonation, some booze, a bit of a sipper.

One glass is probably enough for me, but a good holiday beer that's bold in malts and spices. Kinda like their Santa's Little Helper, but in baltic porter form. A nice one to split on a cold eve.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.61/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Generous gift from my good friends at Boo's in Columbus Ga (thanks much Chris).
appearance: Beautiful opaque brown with some ruby highlights. Huge fluffy mocha head that leaves swaths of lacing.
smell: Dark cocoa and spice. Quite dry.
taste: Mostly dry with a hint of sweetness. again, dark cocoa and spices.
overall: Another very interesting beer from Mikkeller. Keep experimenting guys.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It took me some time to find this beer on the site, but after looking at all of the variants, I'm confident the bottle I have is indeed this listing. Brought to me from France - thanks Pauline! Brown glass bottle with foiled-over standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Best before date is 30/08/15. Reviewed live.

Expectations are high; Mikkeller is me favourite brewery.

Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger beautiful tan colour head of excellent cream, fantastic thickness, and great retention for the high ABV (~4-5 minutes). Body colour is a solid nontransparent black. Quite appealing.

Sm: Light smoke, dark malts, roast, cream, and hints of coffee and chocolate. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Dark malts form the foundation alongside roasted barley, with hints of chocolate, cream, caramelized malt, nuts,molasses, spices (cinnamon) and some hints of smoke or even bourbon. Tasty and balanced. Built pretty well. Not unique or special, but certainly pleasant and enjoyable for the style. I do like it.

Mf: Creamy, smooth, wet, and thick. Apt for the style but not horribly impressive. Complements the flavours decently.

Dr: Very drinkable for the high ABV - which it itself well hidden. Another good dark beer from Mikkeller. I won't actively look for it on-draught, but if I found it I'd give it a go.

Might age well.

Would pair well with smoked fish/meat or chocolate.

High B-

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

Had on tap at Armsby Abbey Ho-Ho Belgian Christmas.

Dark creamy smaller head, dark molasses colored looking beer with hints of ruby light.

Nose is typical baltic porter, dark roasty bitter charred malts, hint of very dark choc, black patent malt, light earthy hops.

Taste big bold, dark malts, dry bitter charred malts roasted, little scorched, hint of nutty malts and light spices, caramel, light clove and cinnamon like spices, heavy, hint of booze, finishes bitter and roasty, more sticky syrupy feel, bit of booze and hint of choc, dry light woody ester taste late.

Mouth is heavier full bodied, rich, decent carb, warming booze.

Overall nice baltic porter with hints of spices, light booze, nice roast that barely starts to get briny burnt, nice bitterness and hint of hops. It has its good and bad points, fairly typical but not the best in show.

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Photo of mattboyer182
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours dark dark brown with a light tan, one fingered head. Good lacing.

S - a really light smellkind of a light fruity smell to me. Some wood as well.

T - taste is fruity and malty. Not a whole lot of complexity to this. I don't get a lot out of it.

M - medium to heavy bodied with light carbonation.

O - its not bad but not a great example of a Baltic porter.

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Photo of corby112
4.8/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes:

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even a slight trace of lighter color when held to a light source and a massive three finger frothy mocha colored head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with large chunks of soapy lacing.

Roasted mal aroma with lots of spicy notes and roasty chocolate. Hints of peppermint, pepper and cinnamon as well as some toast, coffee bean, toffee and oatmeal in the nose. That unpleasant medicinal cough syrup presence that often appears in holiday beers is absent. This beer smells amazing!

Wonderful chewy full body with lots of different flavors bouncing off of one another. Roasted chocolate maltiness with silky lactic creaminess as well as plenty of peppery spice. I'm picking up a lot of peppermint and cinnamon which add a decent balance to the roasted coffee, oatmeal and toffee notes. This beer is extremely well balanced with some subtle dark fruit notes thrown in there as well. The ABV is very well masked making this beer extremely quaffable. Excellent and highly recommended!

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Photo of beerpirates
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

75 cl bottel had this at the 16th christmas beerfestival 2010 in essen belgium

Pours an opaque black color with a thin brown head. Nice aroma of spices with dark, roasted malt and chocolate. Good flavor of chocolate, dark roasted malt and spices. The body is medium with a liquorous texture and gentle carbonation. This is an interesting porter with christmasy spices added to it, nice!

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought this bottle last year a bit after Christmas so I wanted to wait until the holiday season to drink it. Cracked it last night with a couple friends. The beer pours dark brown with a huge light mocha colored head that is very fluffy and holds good retention leaving sticky soapy lace behind. The smell is pretty interesting. I mostly get cinnamon up front so it's spicy in the nostrils and has a bitter cocoa and roasty aromas behind the spice. It's certainly not what I expected but I can dig it. The flavor is a bit more mellow than the aroma. Spicy cinnamon and a bitter chocolate and espresso finish. Seems more balanced than the aroma for me. The body is relatively light but it's smooth and creamy making this one drink pretty well, but the flavors a little intense at times.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With Stout-like maltiness at heart, this Christmas beer takes on the Belgian tartness, spicy character, and high gravity heaft that ultimately make for an aggressively experimental ale.

Dark brown in color and with an opague cloudiness, the beer has a thick appearance that's only exacerbated by the moussey lightly tanned foam that blankets the glass and laces wildly during the session.

Aromas are a blend of roasted grain, heavy toast, coffee, and phenolic spice/smoke/peat (edging on plastic at times). A tawiny-tart aroma takes the shape of charred currants and berries to ride along side of a plethera of tart fruity esters.

Flavors of cocoa, coffee, toast, and acidic tartness lines the mouth, giving balanced yet conflicting flavors. High bitterness from both hops and roast are amplified by a moderagte dose of grainy astringency. Otherwise, the burnt fruit, malted milk, and high roast character give more intrigue than conflict.

Full creaminess early on, the beer turns from rich cocoa and milky textures and makes a quick turn to dry roast, medium astringency, and acidic tartness. Never reaching full dryness or crispness, the beer leaves some residual malty-roasty sweetness on the tongue.

The Christmas-like spice never really makes the impact that is expected. But as a Belgian foreward Stout, the beer fares well. The early phenolic notes and the late astringency are too distracting and could be ommitted for optimal taste and drinkability. But overall the beer fares well.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 3/6/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a dark brown with moderate carbonation evident and about an inch of tan head.

s - Smells of spices, primarily cinnamon and nutmeg. Also smells of some malts and hops.

t - Spices and hops jump out. Bit of a bitter kick to it. Small amount of chocolate, malts, and maybe a little dark fruit.

m - High carbonation and light bodied.

d - This was an ok porter. Lots of spices, but I would have liked a little more chocolate and malt flavor out of it. The high cabronation wasn't great either; I wouldn't really look for this again.

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Photo of irishking1977
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Rich deep black with possibly the largest chocolate milk head I have ever seen. Head retention is ridiculous leaving some decent lacing. I can't say enough about how massive the head on the brew is, and how unique and unexpected it was.

S: An unsusal combination of bitter hops and chocolate and cinnamon. Other spices as well that i can't quite put my finger on.

T: A different brew, that's for sure. Mildly bitter hops fight for domination over mild bitter dark chocolate and dark fruits, and some moderate malt. Odd spiciness, perhaps from other unknown ingredients and the above average ABV.

M: Solid feel and carbonation that doesn't hurt the brew at all. A mild chalky mouthfeel based on the maltiness

D: Interesting brew that would need to be re-visited. First impressions aren't bad, just a bit unrefined. Seems like too many competing flavors were jammed into this brew. Something I will try again, but won't go out of my way to look for it.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750mL bottle that appears to be the 2007 vintage, the date is smudged a little bit. Pours a jet black color with a creamy, dense brown foam that leaves a complete coating of lace on the glass. Darker than expected, but a pretty impressive looking beer.

Nose is quite fruity - sour cherries come to mind, seems like there is more than just a mere hint of sourness, makes me wonder if some bacteria was intentionally introduced during the brewing process. Dark chocolatey malts come into play, as well as some citrus fruit flesh. The nose reminds me a bit of those cheap orange and brown wax paper wrapped halloween candies.

Very mixed bag of flavors here, but I would not go so far as to say deliciously complex. Weird spices smack you around a bit upon first sip. Theres a cherry fruitiness with a pretty hefty hop bitterness that is accentuated by the spices. Very strange brew! Grows on you a bit as the glass empties, but I am not quite sure I am totally enjoying the experience. I think I have come to the conclusion that it tastes like a nutmeg encrusted pine tree...probably spruce.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours dark black with a rich, tan head, nice lace all-around.

S: Not as robust as I would have thought, but some nice dark malt notes.

T: Dark baker's chocolate, black malt and mocha dominate the flavour. Really a straight up RIS type flavour, strong heavy malt with a light note of booze. Moderate notes of smoke and licorice.

M: Smooth, creamy, but thin at times for me.

D: A very good beer from Mikkeller, not a classic Christmas beer with the spicing et. al, but a pretty nice big ol' porter for the holidays.

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Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store - it's a newer keg however it clearly stated it was To From and not From To in two locations on the keg.

Pours one shade from black with a 1.5-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of semi-sweet chocolate with light spices that don't overpower the flavor profile rather they take some edge off of the roastedness of the malts.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Dark chocolate flavors up front are backed by a mild roastiness. Midway through the sip light hints of anise enter into things then fade a bit to make way for a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with mild carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall this was an easy-drinking porter. Light on roasted malts but without being light in flavor in general. A good holiday porter that's worth a shot.

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Photo of nick76
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The aroma is toasted with hops and a bit of rubber and plastic that just don't suit any beer. The appearance is super dark brown with a medium tan head. The flavor is like the aroma with some burnt taste as well as licorice. The palate is thin for the style. Overall I don't really like it but it still has some good qualities.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours opaque black with a thin, small-bubbled brown head.

Nose has some lactic sourness, a bit of roasty coffee underneath, spices - notably some cinnamon and nutmeg. Very different, I like it.

Taste is sweet up front, cocoa, then roasty, with a light lactic sourness, dry, nutty, woody, a bit smokey. Finish is lightly sour, a bit acidic, with some lingering spices - citrus zest, more that I can't pin down. A lot going on here, past the point of complexity and into muddled territory. Too much at times - flashes of greatness, but too often sinking into just too much going on at once.

Mouthfeel is fairly thin, a bit too fizzy. Fra Til is a much stronger effort in my opinion.

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Photo of ccrida
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle (winter 2007 release) poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, To: From: is pitch brownish black with a large, very dense, dark tan head, super thick with tons of last, leaving heavy, foamy lace, very nice. I really like the look, like a Belgian stout. I don't know what it is about these De Proef bottlings, the cork limps out so effortlessly that I always expect them to be flat, but they never are.

Smell is rather chocolaty, with some coffee, spices, kind of mish-mashy. As it warms, I get some fruity Belgian esters, which I dig. Also a hint of vanilla. Complex and hard to pin down without being to over the top, I'm really enjoying the juniper with the sweet dark malts, especially as it warms, almost minty.

Taste is similarly dominated by the coffee and chocolate, as well as some of the indistinct spices, some juniper and coriander maybe? Tough beer to wrap my head around, but overall pretty good. Really loads of chocolate, it reminds me a bit of the 2007 Mikkeller Santa's Little Helper that I recently had, but with some spices, some dark stone fruit as well, cherries. Super rich, I'm sure this would age really well, especially with the spices, like an Anchor OSA on steroids. But certainly not a Baltic Porter, way to Belgian - which I really like. De Proef in the house, I'm really enjoying this after the first half a glass, but am not at all rating it to any style. Letting the last third of a glass sit while I munched on some pretzels, it really turned on me, not sure if it was the slight warming in temp, or more likely the salt on my palate, but I got really acrid, solvent notes, ashy and harsh, whoa! Don't pair it with pretzels!

Mouthfeel is creamy, medium bodied, with an herbal zestiness to it that makes it's rather digestible, like what I assume those German tonics probably taste like.

Drinkability is pretty good in regards to tastiness - I have to say, I'm surprised how much I enjoyed it. Based on the reviews, I'm glad I gave it a year to come together. Not exactly smooth, very full flavored, but it really suited me, a nice dose of Belgian Christmas. While the alcohol isn't overt, the robustness makes it a slow sipper. Also, it was a one off release, and I certainly don't need another bottle after this one, at least tonight. But for the cellar, yes!

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Photo of magictrokini
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours opaque brown, nearly black, with a short, thick off-white head. Patchy lacing. Holiday spice aroma, blended with chocolate malt. A blend of star anise, brown sugar, cinammon, spruce, pine, and something veggie. While the aroma was great, the blend did not translate as well in the taste. Mostly "Whoppers" candy-like taste of chocolate and malt with the expected currants and licorice, but the spice gives it a unusual bite. The spruce tips quality comes out again, whether with hops or actual spurce. Its kind of a minty, herbal pine character that is enhanced by the anise. The nutmeg/cinnamon flavors subdue bite a little, but give it a long, spiced finish. Got to be the most interesting Baltic Porter I've tried, but that doesn't make it the best.

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Photo of hellbilly
4.37/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a walnut stained black shade of brown with a teenie tan head and sporadic spots of lace.

this smells intensely of fruit cake...yum! aromas include chocolate, molasses, licorice, anise, candied nuts, black raisins, faint acidity/milky sourness and something meaty and smoky akin to beef jerky when it is warm.

the palate is far drier than the aroma lead me to believe... flavors of chocolate, coffee, frisee, toasted walnuts, anise, molasses and roasty grain with an enormously dry finish. that dryness carries over into the aftertaste and is joined by ash (and lots of it) which lingers on the tongue. creamy smooth carbonation but it has a lighter body than one would expect. fairly tart mouth feel combined with ashiness keep it really easy to drink.

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Photo of biegaman
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

An intensive and concentrated canvas of black; you might occasionally spot a glint or two of maroon but this is fiercely opaque. Its ultra milky, cocoa stained head leaves gloppy prints of film all along the perimeter and looks like it will make a most creamy drinking beer.

The aroma is, truthfully, a little overpowering. The 'best before' date printed on the cork read 25/09/11 and judging by smell it might as well have been the 'don't open before' date. It's a little like a super strong Mexican mole that combines chilies, spruce tips, pine sap, all spice and tons of black licorice. The proportion of spice is simply staggering.

This measure of spice (which includes star anise, cinnamon, clove and coriander seed) is near overwhelming. That said, there is more dimension to the taste and more to mask the spice. A splash of black coffee, a block of bakers chocolate, and a few pinches of vanilla attempt to balance out the spice and spruce. Although they can't quite manage, their effort is admirable.

I find the spices at this point in its life span (just over 1 year) to still be a tad too strong. I decided to open it now because I was worried about letting a Baltic Porter sit until another holiday season. Little did I know this wasn't your Grandmother's Baltic Porter - it's more like your grandmother's spiced Christmas cake (or if you're Mexican: your abuela's mole).

And for all the spices, chili like yeast, and dried fruit flavour it is quite tasty, albeit a little too heavy. All in all, it's a very happening mosaic that blends exotic eastern spices with wild Scandinavian juniper berries. Not completely lost neither are hints of espresso and notes of apricots and figs. It almost tastes wood aged because of all the inherit spice flavour.

Because it is such a distinct beer I hesitate to compare it to anything, but if you've tasted Anchor's 'Our Special Ale' then you have a bit of a reference point. Imagine the spicy, sprucy, fresh evergreen character and put it on lots of steroids. This is one mighty coniferous tree with one generous addition of spice. It is almost ideal drinking for a cold winter night.

Mikkeller's 'To From' isn't (at this point) the easiest drinking ale; it may, however, be one of the most promising for the years to come. If you know someone who'd like the taste of (among many other things) spruce tips and black licorice, then fill in the label and put a bottle under the tree for them... either for this Christmas or any of the next three to come!

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Photo of GClarkage
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12/18/08- Purchased at the Pizza Port bottle shop in Carlsbad, CA. $11.99 price tag.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with a synthetic cork..looks like best by 2011 according to the cork. Poured into a celebrator glass.

Appearance- Deep black colored pour with a very dirty brown and large bubbled fat one inch plus head. Looks mildly creamy and leaves some light chunks and patches of lace behind.

Smell- I'm going to base all my facts on a room temp consumption as I will explain in the taste category. If drank cold, it's a super burnt charcoal nose with a bit of alcohol and the deepest malt you have put your nose to. When smelled at room temp..there is still a super dark malt base, the charcoal has mostly faded as well the alcohol, but a very nice dark cherry scent has emerged.

Taste- This is the true tale of two beer. Read this and do it. Do not drink this cold....DO NOT DRINK THIS COLD! Do NoT dRiNk ThIs CoLd!!
Drank cold it is a drain pour. Huge burnt acrid harsh charcoal flavored liquid. Some alcohol and some hops, but I'm not sure if the hops are actually just a bitter burnt flavor. If you sit this out for about 45 minutes or so...you will be rewarded. The flavor has done a complete 180. Malt is very dark, but has some light super dark chocolate notes, a bit of super roasted coffee bean flavors and a wonderful dark and sweet cherry flavor. The charcoal and burnt to a crisp flavor has all but gone away. Only in the aftertaste can you detect a slight burnt chicken skin like flavor.

Mouthfeel- Hihgly carbonated at first, but gets to normal at room temp. Slight annoying burnt aftertaste.

Drinkability- A very good and interesting beer at room temp. A very bad and harsh beer right out of the fridge. Don't waste your money if you are planning on drinking it cold, or even slightly cold.

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Photo of baggio
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[email protected]

A: Very dark brown with a thick brownish head.

S: Roasted Malts, Coffee, Spices, Bitter Chocolate.

T: Cardemom, Cinnamon, Bitter chocolate, Belgian Yeast, Coffee.

M: Filling beer with lots of spices and a nice bitterness at the end that feels very plesant.

This is a good take at a christmas porter. Looking forward to try this years version of this beer (From - To). Recommended!

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Photo of cjgator3
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle

A- Corked and caged 750ml bottle with a gold foil wrap. Classy looking bottle. Pours a

S- The aroma is dark and roasty with some cocoa, almost like a Russian Imperial Stout, but it has some hints of spices as well which sets it apart. The nose is also just a tiny bit tart as well. Pretty solid.

T- The taste like the aroma starts out dark and roasty, with a god amount of roasted bitterness in the finish as well as some alcohol.

M- The mouthfeel is just a touch under medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This was a sipper for me, the ABV wasn't that high but I did take my time with it. One bottle is plenty with this brew. Overall, To From is a solid beer that is worth a shot.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a light tan/ brown-ish head. In the aroma, roasty coffee and hints of caramel. In the taste, bitter coffee, hints of cherry and a small caramel like sweetness. A small bite and medium to big bodied mouthfeel, with a dry coffee and small caramel like aftertaste. Nice flavoring, especially with hints of cherry. I did not know this was a porter until right now.

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Til Fra (To From) from Mikkeller ApS
3.59 out of 5 based on 77 ratings.
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