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Fra Til (From To) | Mikkeller ApS

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Fra Til (From To)Fra Til (From To)
BA SCORE
4.17/5
Exceptional
107 Ratings
Fra Til (From To)Fra Til (From To)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark
mikkeller.dk

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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 cjgator3 on 11-18-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
64
Ratings:
107
pDev:
8.63%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
7
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 107 |  Reviews: 64
Photo of paulmcm
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of randomdanger
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of cps98
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours out as a nice deep rich brown color with a really good sized head on it. The lacing was nice and the retention was really good too. The smell of the beer is herbal, Lots of different aromas coming off of it. The taste of the beer is really nice, plenty of anise in the flavor, some other herbs I'm not really sure of and it's got a hefty amount of malts too in it. The mouthfeel of the beer is thick like a stout, I really like the body this one. Overall I founf this to be very nice, it's a really good brew to have in the winter time around the holidays. I would love to have this one again.

 609 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008; Sampled June 2011
Pours with a frothy, somewhat large bubbled, well browned head (it is dark enough that you can’t really call it tan anymore); the head subsides quite slowly leaving lots of lacing and falling with a very varied, rocky surface. The beer is a deep, dark brown color that perhaps some black touches to it. The beer smells quite spicy still, with notes that remind me of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. There is perhaps a hint of nuttiness to this beer, that suggests at a very feint oxidation. There is a rich underlying, toasted maltiness here that suggests also at a rich caramelized malt character. Notes of molasses mix with the spice character that suggests of pumpkin pie. There is perhaps a hint of tartness here that also suggest at pumpkin pie and perhaps a dark fruit character (though this last is fairly subtle). The aroma on this is quite vibrant and interesting after all this time (I wonder if the spices were overwhelming when this was fresh).

Nicely carbonated, which helps to carry the medium’ish viscous body across the palate without letting it get too heavy. The body lingers on the tongue after a sip. The beer has a sweetness to it that speaks of complex toasted malt, browned caramel and molasses. There is a certain phenolic character to the finish that produces a smokiness as well as a clove note; the smokiness lingers in the palate, though it is fairly soft overall and the spiciness adds something to the finish that is quite different but sort of substitutes for a hop bitterness (though it is nothing like it). There is a nice, toasted brown bread character that has a spiciness that is reminiscent of spicy browned whole grains. The smokiness the finish at times also tastes a bit vegetal at times. The finish can actually get a bit weird at times. The spiciness also takes on a certain woodiness to it (which seems to be akin to the flavors of aged cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice). I like that this beer is not overly heavy, but has a certain richness to it. There is a touch of a cola flavor to this beer, though it is fairly subtle. As the beer warms up, lots of roasted, quite porter like notes start to become noticeable; the dry quality this accentuates helps to balance the sweetness and sweet accentuating spice character that is here, though this was certainly never a cloying beer.

Despite being a touch rough at times in the finish, I find that I am quite enjoying this spice dominated beer. The spices definitely play a large role here, but there is just enough malt complexity to keep this fairly balanced.

 2,582 characters

Photo of ZacharyJ
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mikkeller continues to surprise. Pours black with a huge head that consumes 2/3's of the glass. Lacing sticks, and retains. Mint chocolate on the nose. Crisp and malty on the tongue. Sweet and creamy. Very nice as it warms. Pretty hoppy for the style. Malt lingers well after the drink. Relatively low ABV means you can enjoy plenty of these if you have the opportunity. I don't know how he does it, but Mikkeller seems to get it right every time.

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Photo of CMB2012
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gold wrapping over a plastic cork held with a wire basket. This a 2008 vintage, 1pt 9oz bottle, and it was poured in a large stemless snifter.

The beer pours an impressive and elusive black. Almost no light can penetrate this dark brew. With little effort it produces a thick, soapy, mocha brown foam which dissipates slowly and goes the distance.

I can smell it from here! Starts with cocoa powder, then butterscotch, a yeasty funk, mmm... chocolate milk, cherries, plumb, and dried apricots. Some spices too.

Starts thick and smooth, creamy, coffee bitterness, no real hop presence other than to back up the malts. Almost instantly the palate changes to a noticeable vinous character. The taste is almost tangy, and I think the somewhat strong 8%abv is hiding here as well. I have to eat bread to clean my palate and drink some water too. Is this taste for real? Dark fruits come to mind, starting with plum, then cherries, dried apricots are next.

The aftertaste is reminiscent of rustic wheat, oats, and other grains, nesquik chocolate milk and milk sugar. And at the long end spices/herbs such as nutmeg, cinamon, mint, maybe some pine too.

Overall this is definetly a beer to try if you can. The complexity is intriguing and as much as I am bewildered or confused, I seem to be going back for more. Mikkeller is a great brewery and a good one to keep up with.

SjG

 1,377 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fra Til is an awfully dark beer for the so-called season of lights; its black and opaque body is without even a single highlight and shuns any of my and the room's overhead lights' efforts at making some. Its head, however, is most decorative and even just a little colorful too; its tan brown lacing festoons the glass in an elegantly patterned drapery.

Judging by smell, this beer is certainly in the running for most distinctive and original brew I've ever tried. The aroma is nothing if not offbeat, showcasing lively, effervescent spices as well as the more familiar roasty and bittersweet components. It's like a giant breath of Christmas air (and it's got enough booze to warm you up a little too).

An ingredients list containing pale, cara-crystal, pale chocolate and chocolate malts, oats, dark sugar, two varieties of hops as well as star anise, cinnamon, clove and coriander reads less an ingredient list and more an inventory sheet for a homebrew store. There's a lot of things put in this and, as result, there's a lot of flavour that comes out of it...

The spices are all unbridled: clove is as rabid as coriander is riotous while cinnamon is only slightly less firm than anise is forceful. The sensation is like a fourth of July pyrotechnics celebration for the palate. Dark, rustic breads are also tasted, albeit slightly overrun by pressing notes of roasty coffee, bakers chocolate, dried fruits and anisette liqueur.

A certain piny, spruce-y quality was also present - I felt as though I were drinking the thing in an enchanted forest. Each sip was at some point resinous, leafy, spicy and minty; evidently Mikkeller found a way to get hops and spices to work together. One must also factor in the esters of the yeast to fathom what a spicy, savory, complex treat this was.

It takes a very skilled brewer to blend so many spices in such a bold manner and create something as palatable and delightful as this. Fra Til is one of the most simultaneously distinctive and delectable beers I've had (even more so than its predecessor Til Fra) and considering how well this bottle held up after 2 years aging, I'm sad to not have more.

 2,155 characters

Photo of wingedeel
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2008. Had this at Old Crown Coffee in Ft Wayne,IN.

Poured a lovely dark color into a Tulip glass.

Smokey up front with minimal spices on the back end.Roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors are also present.Rather unique, and quite drinkable.

Were this not so expensive, I would have snagged a couple more bottles. I would guess this one would improve even more in another year or so.

 398 characters

Photo of Murchmac
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was the best beer of the night after having many fine beers. A great way to cap the evening.

dark dark color with brown highlights, creamy tan head.

Great smell, chocolate, earthy, spices, hops, dark fruits, coffee.

smooth, creamy, molasses, chocolate, coffee, and some hops.

Excellent, creamy, velvety beer. Perfect, with some age on it, it would be great.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for sharing this bottle. Bottled in 2008.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a large tan head. The aroma is roasted malt, dark cherries, chocolate and molasses. Fairly complex with all of the elements blending nicely.

The flavor is burnt and roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit. The flavor is much roastier than the aroma, which works out nicely. The dark fruit is hidden in the background behind the malt. The heavily roasted malt also provides some bitterness. I don't get much spicing in the flavor, but that may be because the malt is so prominent.

Medium to full mouthfeel and high, prickly carbonation. The only thing I would change about the beer is to dial down the carbonation a little bit.

A nice, complex porter that has aged very nicely.

 792 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottled in 2008.

Pours black with a large brown head, very fluffy and foamy, leaves tons of lacing and holds a foamy island and ring.

Aroma starts with the spices, clove, cinnamon, anise then in come the roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, smoke, dark fruits such as cherries and plums. Complex and strong aroma.

Flavor is also rich and complex with strong chocolate notes, tangy cherries, raisins, plums, figs, roasted & smoked malt, caramel, coffee, spices, very little alcohol.

Medium bodied, very creamy and velvety texture, low carbonation.

A very unique, tasty and complex Imperial/Baltic Porter. The spices give it that little extra to separate it from others in the style.

 694 characters

Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

brewed in 2008, a gift from last Christmas, aged a year in my cellar and opened with biegaman tonight. Opaque black, tan head, about a finger and reduced to a filmy, spotty, swirled blanket. Nose was coriander, minty chocolate, clove, cinammon, powdered cocoa. Hoppy taste and mouthfeel, spicy, cocoa, bone dry bitter bakers' chocolate, a flash of astringency, big taste and body, roasted malts and espresso. Mouthfeel a touch pine as well, dense and very rich, alcohol well done, benefits from air and warming to take on other dimensions. Nice and complex, one to sip and savour, don't pass up an opportunity to try one if the chance comes along.

 647 characters

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

#5 - 12 beers of Christmas. 750 mL bottle at 45* into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: This pours a completely opaque black color with a two-finger, thick, foamy, and lively dark khaki head with excellent retention and lace. It actually bears a resemblance to FBS.

S: Big roasted espresso notes leap from the glass, followed by dark chocolate, herbal notes, gingerbread, and bittersweet dark fruits; excellent.

T: The taste consists of a blend of espresso, chocolate, molasses, and dark fruits, combined with herbal and winter spices: juniper, nutmeg, cinammon, and gingerbread.

M: This has the typical medium to medium-light body for the style but with thick creaminess and some finishing stickiness.

D: This is terrific all-around and among the best Christmas beers I've tried.

 779 characters

Photo of Bung
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750, into the Gran Marnier snifter.
Near black pour, did not look that black pouring out, but it is pretty solid. About 2 fingers of tan head. Lowers to just under a finger and really sticks around.

Twigs and juniper are the first things that hit in the aroma. Some corriander, roast malt, dark chocolate. May be just a bit too herbal for me.

Taste is very malty, some roast. Whole bunch of cocoa. There is some nutmeg and a mild hop spiciness, but finishes strong with dry roast and cocoa that lingers.

Man is this smooth. I'm guessing the oats help this out. Creamy, coating, not quite full bodied. Nice standard baltic warming sensation, but the alcohol is no where present in the mouth. Have no problem drinking the whole 750.

Glad I finally got to try this one, had a bottle that broke on a flight home(5 others made it, go figure) about 4 months ago and just located another.

A bit pricey, but I think it's worth if for a Baltic fan.

 944 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a wine glass.

What a nice gift. It pours a lovely dark brown topped by a finger or so of tan foam. The nose comprises cedar, mint, chocolate, spruce, and a touch of roasted malts. The taste brings more of the same, along with some light peppermint, figs, and molasses. The body is a light-ish medium, with a moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, though not the greatest exemplar of the Baltic porter style, this is a pretty darn tasty brew. I could see enjoying this happily during the holiday season.

 529 characters

Photo of Vdubb86
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a wine glass

This beer looks gorgeous in the glass with it's chocolate color and it's tan head. The aroma has what I might go as far to say is the perfect amount of smoke. There are some peppered spice notes in the back to accompany the chocolate and coffee aromas. The taste is just as good. The smoke is on point in this beer's flavor as well. The chocolate and the coffee come though in a creamy melange that works so very well for me. At 8% I'm wondering why I can actually still taste the liquor, but It's not enough to detract from what is really an outstanding beer. I could truly enjoy having this again.

 623 characters

Photo of Weizenmensch
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Fra: my girlfriend Til: me on my birthday, 02/12/2010 (today). Holdbar til 02/09/2012.

Pours black with a head that forms slowly as the bubbles swim through the pitch-like body. Head is dark tan and frothy/creamy. Lots of lacing, very fine carbonation.

The aromas detectable from the first pour are the strongest point of this brew. Sweet forest berries, maybe some wood, maybe both berries and woodchips were added. Roasty and enticing. Complex aromas that I can't deconstruct because I haven't reviewed for some time. Impressive though.

The taste isn't as heavyweight as the smell but still rewardingly rich. Tart hop bitterness under the tongue makes me gleek. Creaminess on the back of tongue and a nice sourness on the palate, familiar but I can't quite identify that flavour. Maybe just sweet malt.

Mouthfeel is a letdown - it may just be this bottle but the carbonation is too weak. More effervescence could of course make this brew a mess of mineral water flavours but a little more would improve the mouthfeel.

Only have one of these 750mL bottles as it's imported and a special occasion but I'd be keen to have another one, if only to compare the carbonation. Rich but drinkable, and intoxicatingly sweet and dark aromas. Not excessively alcoholic or warming or heavy, which is good. Recommended, but definitely a winter brew.

 1,341 characters

Photo of Parrotshake
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cracked a bottle of this alone a few weeks back and took notes, which I just stumbled across. 2 and a bit weeks later it is hot as fuck here and I couldn't imagine drinking it, but it was appropriate at the time. Lousy Smarch weather. This is the second time I've had it, the previous bottle split with 2 or 3 others, but I had this one all to myself. From Bob, To Bob.

Very dark ruby-tinted brown with a monstrous long-lasting head. Smells like Christmas alright - dark fruits, nutmeg, even a bit of gingerbread.

First impressions upon sipping are mostly chocolate related. Bit of coffee roastiness, and then the spices. The end of each sip is kind of like a liquid panforte - spicy, fruity, nutty, not especially sweet. Fantastic. Nice little hop bite in he finish, too.

Mouthfeel is around medium. Creamy from the carbonation, but a bit thinner than I'd like - in this case, I think bigger would have been better. Overall though, I love this and on a colder night could drink it indefinitely.

 1,001 characters

Photo of lumikuuro
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.

Appearance: Very, very dark brown thick pour, almost black in the glass. Dark beige head that isn't large but exhibits some retention and leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma: Chocolate, cinnamon, star anise, cloves. Lots of smoke. Spices are moderately subtle.

Taste: Changes as the beer warms.

At first, there is lots of chocolate, roasted malt with gentle coffee, clove, cinnamon, star anise. Again, the spices are moderately subtle. Slight sweetness, but this is well tempered with a lingering roasty bitterness. Smoky. Alcohol strength is gently apparent, not harsh.

As the beer warms further, some hazelnut comes through. As it approaches room temperature, a hop bite becomes apparent before a strong piney hop flavour subdues the chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Oily, very full bodied, but with a little crispness when chilled. Dry.

Drinkability: I did not detect the coriander seed at any stage; unless the gentle sweetness comes from them, which is possible. This is a very nice beer that is worth sipping from chilled until room temperature to explore all the flavour transitions; or could be drunk quicker cold, or only drunk warm, depending on the mood. I would like a little more assertiveness from the spices and perhaps a touch less roasty bitterness, but that is just a personal preference; the flavours are there. Definitely a worthwhile beer.

 1,365 characters

Photo of BDTyre
3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had higher hopes for this, but I find it actually somewhat bland.

It looks good...dark ruby, almost black, with a thick, rich khaki head. Malty, gingerbread-y smell with a noticeable hop spice to it. Dry malt and gingerbread flavour, but lacking sweetness. Raisin bread and slight cinnamon hint in the aftertaste.

Nice carbonation, smooth mouthfeel - but its coupled with a weird, dry-spicy taste. Maybe better at Christmas, with Christmas dinner or dessert...but on a hot July night...not so much.

 502 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle tried 7 Jan 2010. Bottled 2008.

Poured in a 0.4 L Steiner Pils snifter. Pours black and thick. Small tight dark brown head. Well carbonated. Asoma is of cinnamon and nutmeg, dark chocolate covered figs. Flavor is full of chocolate and molasses, some coffee. Fairly sweet. A woody perfumy quality to the finish, some of this is noticeable in the aroma too. Aftertaste is somewhat peppery with an ethanol burn. Body is very silky.

Would like this as a gift every year.

 482 characters

Photo of CMW
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - After my struggle with the cork, this beer pours into my pint glass a jet black color. There is a huge tan rocky head that leaves heavy streaks of soapy lacing behind.

S - You can definitely smell the difference between this and a standard baltic porter. This has all the nutty and roasted characteristics but with plenty of sweet Xmas spice.

T - Tastes are pretty straightforward. Coffee, roasted malt, chocolate with some nice bitterness for balance. Very little sweetness with maybe a little spice upfront.

M - Medium carbonation and a little watery.

D - The alcohol is well hidden and I think that is the secret to its drinkability.

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Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, dark, dark brown color with a small, tan head of fluffy foam. It left traces of sudsy lace on the glass.

S - It smelled oaky and earthy with mild "christmas-like" spices. There was a subtle hint of bourbon, too.

T - Chocolate, caramel and toffee flavors at first sip with touches of vanilla. The cinnamon and anise spices are mild but clearly present. It has a bitter hop bite.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a smooth, dry finish. A medium bodied ale with some boozy alcohol warmth.

D - This is a very unique but delicious porter. It's like they've made a Christmas porter with a hoppy kick. Very nice.

 633 characters

Fra Til (From To) from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 107 ratings
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