Til Fra (To From) | Mikkeller ApS

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Til Fra (To From)Til Fra (To From)
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.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 77
Photo of smellsofstout
2.23/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thick brownish black pour. Alcohol and spice hints on the nose.
Smoky malts with bittersweet notes of chocolate.
smooth palate and bitter resonating finish. very sour and oily finish that did not sit well for my tastes. Couldnt do more than a sample of this one.

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Photo of talkingpoints
2.39/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

its funny when you absolutely love one beer from Mikkeller(Santa's Helper) but are totally dissapointed in another. I cracked this one open after drinking this four months ago, I found that I am still not a fan of this beer. The aroma was a burnt barrel type and the beers hops weren't really balance in any way to bring out a characteristic of this beer that I would say well done but rather what's going on. Not the porter style that I was expecting didn't have a malty thing in this going on at all. Will save my last bottle for this winter and come back, but don't try this one at home.

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Photo of Todd
2.47/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

750ml split with the bro.

Opaque black. Creamy and creeping coffee colored head with good retention.

Phenolic in the nose with a chaos of spice characters that borderline overwhelming with hints of pine.

Smooth and creamy, with an tangy, somewhat acrid, roastiness upfront. Coffee, some light molasses, chocolate, with some burnt raisins in the back. Bitterness melds with the tanginess and offers a leafy feel on the palate. Spices steal the show, unfortantely, with a very strange pine sap character and a mess of flavors from what appears to be an overuse. Dry finish, slightly smoky in the linger, with a residual powdery spice and malt dusting.

Had high hopes for this one, and it was good in places, but ultimately I was let down. There's just too much going on and absolutely no balance which leads to a beer that's virtually undrinkable; hardly enjoyable. Tastes like it wasn't meant to be released yet; unfinished and rough.

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Photo of Jason
2.52/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Excellent head retention, no doubt there. Big tan froth with lots of clinging going on. Aromas of toasted cocoa beans, pine sap, harsh herb and a warming alcohol. Incredibly smooth with a medium to full body and bitty mouth feel. Burnt malt flavors overwhelm the palate odd herbal and spice flavors come second. Hints of lemon peel, molasses and burnt bread crust come to mind. Harshness clouds the palate a little. Wet charcoal finish.

Interesting is the best word to use for this beer. Hardly drinkable let alone palatable, not pleasing to the taste buds at all. Homebrew-esque in a few ways.

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Photo of Floydster
2.71/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

750 ml corked and caged bottle with gold foil, purchased from Cooke's market for close to fifteen dollars after tax, split with some friends last night, poured into my New Belgium snifter

A-Color looked promising and was a very dark brown, nearly black, 1/2 inch creamy light tan head that stuck around for about two minutes, not much lacing

S-Spices, herbs, burned malt, charcoal, caramel, tons of piney hoppiness, dark fruits, cherries, earthy aromas, and some espresso

T-Started off with a big charcoal taste, spices and bready malt in the middle, super dry and herbal finish, dark chocolate and coffee a little later on, got harder to drink when it warmed and the spices really stood out, ingredients seemed misplaced, lots of hops in the finish by the end that left a dry bitter finish to go along with all the java, oddly balanced and not very good overall

M-Medium to thick body, spicy and dry mouthfeel, not enough carbonation, a little syrupy towards the end, taste lingered too long

D-Could not have gotten close to drinking this by myself, five or six ounces was too much in my opinion, not smooth, super heavy, tiresome

Usually buy each new Mikkeller beer I see regardless of the price but this was not worth the money, one of the worst beers I have had from them, would not drink again, recommended only if you are curious to taste a much different and spicy baltic porter

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Photo of jwolfie70
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a jet black, with a thin tan head. Smell is of chocolate, smoke and toasted malt. Taste is very dry, a lot of smokiness, strong coffee, burnt chocolate and hops. This beer doesnt have a lot of malt sweetness and the bitterness seems to rule. Definitely a beer for sipping.

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Photo of nick76
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
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 gford217
3.14/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark, dark brown with a huge three-finger tan head that lingered for a long time as a cap and showed tons of lacing.

This one smells a lot like a spiced-up porter. It's got the coffee and chocolate malt undertones like a porter but the spices are present in spades with some modest hoppiness. Very interesting.

The taste also has the base of a porter but with a big spiciness on top. There is a bitterness from the hops and coffee on top a huge dark malt base.

The mouthfeel is slightly thin with good carbonation and a fairly big bitterness for the style.

This is an interesting porter but not one that I was terribly impressed with. The flavors just didn't come together for me.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
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 ChainGangGuy
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a black body with a very tall, very frothy, tan-colored head.

Smell: Aroma of dark malts imparting notes of chocolate and coffee and maybe chocolate-flavored coffee. Touch of spiced, stewed fruits.

Taste: Chocolaty dark malts, a taste of roasty coffee and an expressed sweetness. Moments later the chocolate flavor begins to deeper, becoming a bit more dessertlike. Slight sourness. Spoonful of plum pudding. There's a growing spicy, herbal component, as if they chucked into a couple Ricolas into the fermentor. Herbal, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A mixed bag for me, I appreciate the pleasant maltiness, but I found the sourness and herbaceousness to be more of a hindrance than anything else.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
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 irishking1977
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
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 drseamus
3.31/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer just didn't do it for me. It was too sweet for my taste. It pours very dark with a thick dark mocha colored head. The flavor is very roasty but with a very powerful sweetness that lasts partly through the aftertaste until some bitterness steps up and takes over. It's not a bad beer, but that sweetness was too much for me.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle purchased from Table & Vine, West Springfield, MA. Corked & caged, gold foil, plastic cork.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 3/4" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head dwindles slowly as bubbles pop, with plenty of coating lace. Aroma is dark grains, fruit, and spices. Taste is well, hard to describe. A team of dark maltiness and dark fruits starts the show, then dance through the middle with some heavy spicing, which all linger on after the swallow. Mouthfeel is smooth, with drinkability somewhat limited by so much flavor action going on. A little too intense with all facets of the flavor for me.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
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 stevoj
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
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 weeare138
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to axilla for sharing this bottle...
Appears a dark brown with crimson highlights when held to the light. A silky, dark tan head slowly fades out into a mild cap. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, and toasted nuts.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a heavy hand of bitter chocolate, and some java notes coming to the front of the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spicy, bitter, and slightly thin on the swallow.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.5/5  rDev -2%
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 mattboyer182
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
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 froghop
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a opaque with a large mountainous khaki head, very excellent lacing.

smell of sour malt, cocoa, some coffee, a touch of spice.

taste is of sour malt, dark fruits, some cocoa, roasted hazelnut, some coffee in the back.

overall this is good beer, different, but good.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
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 deltatauhobbit
3.59/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ncvbc for this bottle.

Pours a dark black color, no light shining through, large head that has great retention, leaves patchy lacing all over the place.

Smell has a strong coffee presence, some weird smokey aspect as well.

Taste is of roasted malt with an interesting burnt coffee bitter aftertaste, some sour funk in the mouth but is mostly covered up by the roasted malt and coffee, carbonation is a bit high and harsh and would be better if it was softer.

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
3.61/5  rDev +1.1%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black coffee with twinklings of ruby and gold along the edges. The upper half of the glass is filled with an outstanding looking crown of sticky bubbles the color of coffee ice cream. As it slowly melts, thick sheets of cheese grater-like lace stick like glue. This is one serious looking Baltic porter.

Given the added ingredients, winter warmer might have been a better choice. The nose smells like some spiced chocolate and coffee drink that one might find around the holidays. I like that it emphasizes dark chocolate more than java. Some of the added spices are appreciated (star anise, clove) and others aren't (cinnamon and coriander).

Those who are ambivalent about spiced beer shouldn't gravitate 'To' this Christmas porter, they should stay away 'From' it. Although the above spices aren't overpowering, I can see how they might polarize due to the uniqueness of the flavor profile. Hmmm... I would have bet that either spruce tips or juniper berries were in here somewhere.

In the end, the base beer isn't a sturdy enough porter to carry the day. There needed to be more malt, more malt sweetness and less tart fruitiness. In addition, the spices tend to clash rather than cooperate. I'm usually onboard with Scandanavian brewers using American hops, but the citric tanginess of Cascade and Centennial were not good choices in this case.

On a positive note, the ABV is almost unnoticed. As far as the cork-stamped 'best by' date of 25/09/11, there's no way this ale will hold on that long. The mouthfeel will almost certainly be more broken down than it is at present. It's too thin for the style and lacks any creaminess whatsoever due to a serious shortage of bubbles.

This is decent beer, but it isn't one of Mikkeller's better efforts. I still love most of what they brew and will continue to plunk down my hard-earned money to see what they've come up with next. To: Mikkeller. From: BuckeyeNation. Message: better luck with From To.

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Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a black color with a fluffy tan head that falls to a thick surface foam. Mild lacing dots the glass.

Smell: roasted malts, sweet cherries, yeast spiciness, and some hints of earthiness are all easily detectable.

Taste: roasted malts, hints of chocolate and coffee, yeast, and earth tones are pleasant. Fruit sweetness and tartness can be detected for some confusion for the tastebuds. Bitterness is strong here. Alcohol provides some warming.

Mouthfeel: smooth throughout. Long aftertaste. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: decent but this is a true slow sipper. One bomber bottle is nice to split with someone but a bit much for one session.

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Til Fra (To From) from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 77 ratings