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 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 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 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 drumrboy22
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750mL bottle into a N'ice Chouffe chalice. Served at cellar temperature. Beer was black in color with a two finger, creamy, sand colored head. Heavy lacing around the glass with light carbonation.

Aroma was sweet and spicy. Lots of pine, ginger, cherries, earthy notes and bread. Also slightly sour. Reminds me of a fruitcake.

Taste was chocolate, orange, gingerbread and holiday spices. Finish was just a hint on the sour side.

Pretty tasty beer. Taste was not what I expected, based on the appearance. Still, very enjoyable and unique. This one has been hiding in the beer fridge since last xmas. I wish I had a few more.

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Photo of morimech
4.58/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black, appears viscous with a large brown head that had excellant retention. The head never really goes away. Heavy lacing is left on the glass.

The aroma is sensational. Belgian strong ale like. Spicy and fruity with some vinous qualities. A hint of chocolate and alcohol is also detected.

The flavor is more porter like. Big malt flavors of chocolate, coffee, charcoal, with a touch of smoke. Definate Belgian yeast qualities are present such as grapes, plums, and cloves. The flavor is like combining a great porter with a great Belgian Strong Ale. A little alcohol is detected in the finish and it gives some warmth to the beer. I could not really detect any hops and the bitterness comes from the burnt aspect of the malt.

The body is not as heavy as I would expect from the pour. Moderate body with low carbonation lend a semi-creamy texture.

I obviously enjoyed this beer much more than other reviewers. Mikkeller's website does not list this beer so I assume it is not brewed any longer. The age of my bottle could not be determined so I assume it has some age on it and it improved immensly. I knocked the drinkability down a little because of the high ABV and, well, it is not exactly inexpensive. This turned into a great treat for myself. I hope to try it again someday.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.08/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown on the pour with a nice, huge, frothy head. Looks good!
Smell is a bit of chocolate with plenty of seasonal spice like clove and nutmeg. This is a well done beer. Taste is very nice. Huge and creamy on the mouthfeel. The spices blend very well in the beer.

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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 mhewes
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : Pours a dark brown with a beige head that hangs around and leaves good lacing

S : Spices, fruit, spruce, and a sourness

T : Overpowering spruce taste along with some spice and a little bit of chocolate. There also a nice hop bitterness with this one

M : Thin, good carbonation

D : I really enjoyed this one and would love to have it again.

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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 GbVDave
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Struise tulip.

Date on cork: 25/09/11

A: Pours a forbidden looking pure black with a huge creamy dallop of cocoa colored head, the consistency of meringue, with excellent retention. Copious amounts of lace as the glass is drained. Beautiful!

S: Slightly sour at first. This calms down as its' temp rises. Also there are roasted malt, chocolate, spices, and a faint pine needle aroma.

T: Just like the smell, the slightly sour flavor is prominant at first but lessens as it warms. This allows the other flavors to shine. Heartily roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, cherry, cocoa, spices, piney hops, anise, and dark roast coffee. The flavors become more and more chocolate-y as it warms.

M: Quite prickly and sticky and, true to the style, slightly thin (but not watery-just right). Finish is quite peppery, with a healthy dose of funk, and lasts forever. Becomes sweeter as it warms up.

D: This is not meant to be guzzled. Enjoy it over the course of a couple of hours. Try it fresh out of the fridge and then notice how its' flavors, aromas, and textures change as it warms.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of goryshkewych: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a huge brown foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of dry roasted malt notes with some spicy notes in there as well. Taste is a mix between some dry roasted notes similar to a dry stout with some easily discernable spices mix that could have been used in a strong Belgian ale with some weird yeast attenuation. Full body with a creamy texture and some good carbonation and no alcohol was discernable. This one does not fit into one style in particular but is enjoyable nonetheless.

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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 akorsak
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 750 mL corked, caged and foil-wrapped bottle that I received as a Christmas gift (the To From has been kindly filled in by the family).

A: The beer opened with a small hiss but erupted in the glass. The first pour was 2/3 head and 1/3 beer, requiring several pours. The coffee-and-cream head laced nicely around the glass. The beer itself is a thick black hole.

S: The nose prominently features chocolate, both semi-sweet and baker varieties, and lots of hops. Coffee also makes itself known.

T: The taste matches the complexity of the nose. Hops are omnipresent, bitter with resiny pine flavors. They make themselves known without detracting from the malt profile. That malt profile is strong on chocolate, much like the nose, supported with coffee, anise, cinnamon, graham and burnt toast. A lot to take in and the tastebuds are definitely jumping.

M: The complexity of the malt is astounding and if you like hops, Mikkeller never disappoints. It's not really Baltic porter but it works.

D: The abv is a little high and the tastebuds can be overwhelmed by the profile. I'll finish the bottle but wouldn't want to try another.

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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 brewdlyhooked13
3.69/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pours fully black, nearly four fingers of mocha foam pile up and fade back unevenly, with meringue-like peaks and valleys. Thick ropes of lacing, clumps as well, very sticky.

Aroma - deep roastiness. A little odd sour bit at first but that fades before long.

Taste - sweet boozy malts up front, a good roast to them. A bit of char to the roast level adding some ashiness. Going along, some spiciness opens up, reminiscent of anise. The swallow bitters up appropriately, more dry roastiness and chocolate joining in. The finish is chalky, burnt, warm, and pretty good aside from some pushy burnt flavors.

Mouthfeel - smooth as can be with plenty of carbonation to spare. I could go for a little less bubbling but besides that this is right on.

Drinkability - a fine bottle of beer that I would enjoy even more with some more participation from the non-charred malt flavors.

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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 Viggo
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting with grub and Lexx, I picked this one up in Buffalo.

Pours an opaque dark brown, bordering on black, thick tan head forms, settles to a medium sized layer, tons of chunky lace. Smell is caramel, chocolate, lots of pine needs, light funkiness, bread, lots of spicy phenols. Taste is roast and chocolate, smokey, chocolate is almost spicy and bittersweet, some citrus, a sour spicy bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, very smooth, quite nice.

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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 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 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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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 grub
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Viggo was nice enough to share this one. thanks eric!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. cork is dated 09 25 11. sampled jan 11/08.

pours opaque black with a big fluffy brown head. the head drops slowly with tons of chunky lace.

aroma is great. touch of lemon and funk, making me think of something like the madrugada obscura from jolly pumpkin. hint of baltic sourness too. light vanilla and oak. toasty multi-grain bread and biscuits. bit of alcohol. light roast.

taste is good. nice smoky character. bit fruity. nice roast. bit of chocolate. light baltic character. bit of vanilla. light coffee. low bitterness level. earthy hops.

mouthfeel is ok. medium carbonation level. medium body with very dry finish. bit of astringency.

drinkability is nice. the dry/astringent bitterness kind of takes away from the drinkability. fairly interesting. alcohol is hidden fairly well.

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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 Georgiabeer
4.23/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a big tan head that sticks around. Great lacing. Smells spicy with sappy evergreen. Tastes spicy as well with spruce and juniper as well as some other Christmas spices. Sappy and slightly bitter. Mouthfeel is spicy, sharp, and full with a creamy finish. Quite nice, and a great addition to the winter lineup.

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