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Black Tie | Mikkeller ApS

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Black TieBlack Tie

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black Tie was first dubbed Mandeøl (Man Beer). It was brewed for the Swedish market and only as draught beer. After spending four months in Scottish whiskey barrels and then being bottled it earned it's present name, Black Tie. Black Tie is an imperial stout with honey and smoked barley. Sweet, smokey and sophisticated - slick and sexy like a black tie.

Brewed at Nøgne Ø.

Added by niklas0770 on 06-16-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 100
Photo of tendermorsel
1.64/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Man this was a bad beer... an abosultely over malted mess. yikes!

no head and totally flat. very viscous like motor oil.

Horrible taste. cigarette butts, ash and charcoal. Burnt malt. Ugh. Extremely hot. The Scotch barrel aging doesn't help with this one at all. The Scotch barrels added a awefull peaty taste. Basically this tastes like 100 cigarettes where put out in swamp water and they decided to bottle it.

I rarely bash a beer like this one. To me this is undrinkable. I cannot see age helping this one either. It is just an over malted burnt mess.

Drain pour and an expensive one at that as I paid almost 15.99$ for the 550 ML bottle.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.4/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2


Pour It Black
Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Black throughout with nearly no head and very little visible carbonation. This beer doesn't leave much at all in the way of lace or stick, though that can be expected at this ABV.

The aroma is not particularly pleasant. There's a lot of melted rubber (or plastic?) character in the nose along with tons of char and stale smoke. Unpleasant.

The flavor follows the aroma, unfortunately. While there's a huge amount of smoke flavor, it doesn't seem particularly earthy or meaty--just stale, sort of like an old casino ashtray. The melted rubber/plastic character is back as well.

Medium to thick bodied with low carbonation--oily and extremely rich. The beer does at least succeed here.

I advise you not to drink this.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.63/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Got this at a warehouse just on the other side of the Belgian border.

From a bottle into a pint glass.

APPEARANCE: Pours a 2 finger medium-thick looking frothy mocha colored head with good retention. Jet black body with higher levels of carbonation evident for the style. Tiny bubbles. Head recedes to a healthy thick foam cap. A splotchy film and a ring remain but leave minimal lacing down the glass. Decent looking brew, especially off the pour.

SMELL: Not quite as bold as expected, especially given the ABV. Roasted malts, some smokiness, and touches of pure chocolate. Perhaps some wood notes in there as well. Average.

TASTE: Roasted malts and plenty of booze everywhere. Some woody notes through the middle, and finishes with some chocolate notes, bitterness, and a strong boozy flavors. A little one dimensional, and the booze is overpowering, failing to mesh well with the other flavors.

PALATE: Big full body and creamy on the palate. Goes down creamy smooth and finishes with an evident but not off-putting alcohol burn at the finish. Finishes slightly dry on the palate.

OVERALL: If you like your stouts boozy, this one just might fit the bill. For me, however, it was simply too much. Boozy elements can compliment a brew and cooperate with the flavors beautifully, such as in their big 17.5% stout BLACK, or they can dominate a brew and lay the rest of the flavor profile to waste. Unfortunately Black Tie fits in the latter category. Not one I'll be looking for again.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.71/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The pour is black in color with a small tan head. Really just an intense nose. Very heavy on the roasted malt, char, and ash. A mild alcohol note, some herbal aromas, peat, smoke, and wood. The flavor is quite off-putting. Over the top roast, ash, and char with a rather pronounced alcohol flavor. Quite bitter, chalky, and astringent, as well. Some whiskey, wood, and vanilla notes. Just a bit too much for me.

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Photo of thebigredone
2.98/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Yikes, this was a real mess of a beer.

The scotch whiskey and char notes are so overpowering that it is difficult to even drink.

The mouthfeel is almost ashy.

This beer is not for me. Glad that it was something that was shared with me, rather than something I wasted my money on.

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Photo of 100floods
2.98/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a bubbly pitch black with a thick bronze head. Wow, very interesting aroma. It smells a little like smoked/roasted honey at first and there's something that resembles the scotch/barrel, but it's not what you'd expect. This is definitely something I've never smelled before, it almost smells like this mead I made years ago. The first sip tackles my tasted buds from multiple angles. The mead/honey aroma carries into the taste. You definite get some woody flavors, and then some hints from the scotch. So.... where's the stout? After much searching, I find it hiding in the corner, away from the honey, wood and alcohol flavors. The scotch barrels provides a nice change from the typical whiskey or bourbon barrels, but it blends with the woody flavors enough that it's presence is faint. This is definitely the type of barrel aged beer that uses the beer itself as a jump off point for further experimentations via barrels and such. Mikkeller definitely achieved something new and unique, but does it succeed as a good beer? I'm not quite sure. the honey and scotch barrel would be good with an IPA? Definitely points for innovation, but not worth the price I paid for this bottle.

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Photo of WeisGuy
2.99/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle shared by twig86 - thanks, Derek!

Pours quite black with a one-finger, dark mocha head. Head dissipates rather quickly and leaves a light lace. The aroma is dominated by styrofoam packing peanuts, strangely (though admittedly, others in my tasting group didn't get this smell). Underneath the packing peanuts, there were notes of toasty malt, bitterweet chocolate and a strong scotch booziness. The taste is dominated by an intense bitter chocolate flavor with an underlying scotch component. The oak really comes through on the palette as well along with a lighter plastic flavor. Rather full-bodied and creamy with only light carbonation. Strong alcohol warming effect. Not particularly drinkable stuff due to the intensely bitter and boozy flavors, not to the mention the strange styrofoam aroma and light plasticy taste. I can't say I've been a big fan of many Mikkeller products aside from the Beer Geek Breakfast series, especially considering their high-end price point.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was a let down. Poured into a Bruery tulip. Beer is brown and with brown head that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Beer smells like roast and smoke. Not much else.

I really wanted this to taste like bourbon but this is tastes like a rauchbeer, straight up. The bitterness from the grains are overwhelmgin and it damages the beer overall. As the bitterness from the roast comings rolling down the palate, you are left with this dry smokiness. Not my favorite flavor profile.

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Photo of vkv822
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml : snifter
2010 vintage.

Pours black with a thick, foamy, dark brown head. Dissipates to leaves a thin foam across the surface.

Honey and cocoa notes blend well with the whiskey and oak notes.

Starts out okay, with more honey and cocoa notes, but is quickly by strong boozy Scotch notes.

Medium body, a bit viscous, low bubbly carbonation.

A good beer, though the intensity of the Scotch/whiskey/char notes in the palate are a bit distracting.

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Photo of claaark13
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch No: 427
Brygget (brewed?): 180509
Best Before: 180514

A - A great looking pour. Pitch black, dark brown head that eventually fades to a complete lacing across the top of the beer. 8oz pour into a Founders tulip. Sticks well to the side when swirled. It appears to be a magnificent stout.

S - Rubbing alcohol mixed with scotch? As it settles I start to get a permanent marker odor instead of the previously noted aroma. Sharpie is seriously what I smell in passing. I suppose than another interpretation could be scotch mixed with smoke, but I'll stick with Sharpie. Poor aroma.

T - Smoke the whole way through, especially at the end and on the tongue. The thickness helps the flavor stick around. I can't decide if I really like this or think it is sub-par after my 2nd sip. It tastes a lot like dark roasted malts turning almost immediately into a smokey stout. I think if I preferred smoked stouts, this beer would be magnificent. I actually don't like smoked stouts, but I refuse to dock the beer due to my personal preference here. I am bumping the score due to balance. I will admit, there is a great amount of balance throughout each sip I take. The further I get into my pour, the better the taste gets. I begin to get the subtle burnt wood instead of just "smoke". Further down the glass, I start to find a small amount of sweetness that was otherwise hidden. I think this helps keep everything together. It really helps the drinkability.

M - Great body, great texture. I think this is what a stout should consist of....no real complaints here.

O - Even for a smokey beer, I actually think I will enjoy the rest of this bottle. The body/mouthfeel are beautiful. Flavor gets better as the sips continue. However, it still smells like a Sharpie. I would SPLIT a bottle of this in the future instead of opening it without company. I think if I smoked cigars, this beer would be perfect. If I'd known ahead of time that it would taste exactly like this, I would've split this and two cigars with my neighbor.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A – Pours like tar. Zero highlights. Creamy, hot chocolate colored head with a nice lace.

S – Bacon smoke. Light honey. Huge scotch note. Oak and thick molasses.

T – Big scotch flavor permeates the profile, but doesn’t necessarily slap you in the face. Sweetness up front with honey and brown sugar. Vanilla in the middle with dark roasted coffee. Bitter woody note, light smoke, and toasted nuts on the backend.

M – Full body. Silky mouthfeel. Warm booze into rolling scotch through the finish.

O – The booze is too aggressive for my palate. While it’s not oppressively harsh, it overshadows most of what the beer has to offer instead of accentuating it imho.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is full of chocolate, with some light smoke, burnt malt and a little bit of oak. The beer is very burnt tasting. The malt is heavily charred, but there is also a little bit of chocolate and whiskey. I also unfortunately get a little bit of bandaid character in the flavor. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Black beer with a tan head that had decent retention. Exceptionally dark and viscous.

S - Roasted notes with a bit of chocolate and a little too much booze. Smells like it could use time time. Roasted notes are nice, but the whiskey is just a little too strong.

T - Roasted malts, chocolate, scotch. There's enough scotch that this beer actually has to be pretty big to keep the flavor profile that it does. Quite a bit going on, but not sure it's the best combination of large flavors, just a bit much for me.

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation and an alcohol-like finish.

O - Good beer, not great, and maybe it will be better with time, but it's worth trying.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 ML bottle poured into a wine glass

A-- Poured black, almost motor oil black in the glass. Very thick looking and sort of ominous looking. Dark roasted coffee bean looking head that at best was one finger, settled down to just above film. Few lines of lacing but not much else.

S-- Whifs of the barrel right after opening this. Whole lot of scotch and peat in the nose followed by smoked malts, burnt coffee, liquid smoke and more scotch to offset the malts and coffee smell. Do I get ice to put this on?

T-- More scotch and wood in the taste. A whole lot really. Also get a lot of smoke with this as well. Fairly thick taste.

M-- Big body and low carbonation. I had to let this sit in the mouth for a bit and besides the wood and scotch I got more liquid smoke, over roasted or burnt coffee, and big, rich baking chocolate. Very dry finish and get a whole lot of peat with the finish and an acidic overdrawn espresso finish. Barrel really overpowers the beer in a lot of ways. There is some thinness in the beer body itself but it is hidden but the amount of peat and acidic espresso that really kills what the beer is.

O-- Is this a scotch with a lot of peat or is it a beer? The barrel really eats away at what the beer is and the overdrawn coffee hurts it. Still am finding I like it. Probably would be better with some long term cellaring I think. It is a serious slow sipper due to the barrel and the coffee taste but not all that bad once you get down to it. Personally I am finding I like this more and more even with so much scotch in the taste.

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Photo of Patrickbrusil
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My virgin Mikkeller experience.

Pitch black with slight hints of a dark red chocolate cake around the edges where the light hits the glass and in the head.

The smell. Oh the smell. I'm blown away with smokiness. Smells like a campfire that was extinguished a few hours ago with a package of Hersey bars that were intended for s'mores which were accidentally thrown in.

I get the barrel. I get the stout. I get chocolate. I get slight coffee. Im not sure if the intense smoke comes from the aging in scotch whiskey barrels or something else. It throws me off.

Im not a huge smoke beer guy. Not in the least.

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Photo of HoppyMcStout
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into red wine glass. Typical dark opaque impy stout color. Pours as if no head will develop, but surprisingly a very respectable layer appears, mocha color. Smell is delicious. Pure honey, reminiscent of Sam Adams Honey Porter. I was anticipating a similar taste but this quite smoky. Even more surprising is the absence of heat given this was aged in a scotch barell. Ends up being pretty tame. I'll give it credit for the balance between smoke and sweet.

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Photo of gford217
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle.

Pours completely black with a rush of tiny mocha bubbles that stream to the top and feed a thick, creamy head that leaves great lacing. Gorgeous beer.

No doubt this one was aged in Scotch barrels given the nose. Big smoky, peaty Scotch aroma with some honey thrown in. The underlying beer brings some heavily roasted malts and bakers chocolate. Some wood as well.

Taste is also dominated by the Scotch with some smoked wood, peat and alcohol burn in the finish. The honey brings an interesting sweetness that balances the heavily roasted malts a bit.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft carbonation but doesn't feel too much different that a shot of Scotch on the palate.

Well, I've never been a big fan of Scotch-aged beers and this is no exception. The flavors are strong but don't come together completely for me. I think the honey is a good addition but it's tough to get past the Scotch.

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Photo of ajcormier
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500ml Bottle - Ebenezer's Pub, Lovell, ME
Chalice type stemware

A- Good looking, decent 1" head of caramel color. Large bubbles in the foamy head stuck around for longer than I was anticipating. Poured well, black as night, large viscosity.

S- Peat.... the Highland Park scotch oak comes through immediately, followed by bitter chocolate, and almost burnt roasted malt. After warming oak and dark cherry start to come to the nose.

T- Again Peat.... I do love an aged RIS but the scotch barrel is almost too much. Perhaps aging it it a sherry-wood or port-wood cask that was used to aged scotch, just to mellow the dry peaty-ness. Bowmore 21yo Portwood I feel would have been a better barrel choice. Followed up with the bitter roasted chocolate, vanilla and dark fruits. The alcohol is definitely noticeable which is nice because of the scotch nuances.

M- Good but nothing spectacular, on par with a barrel aged stout.

D- Average. I could split a bottle with a friend and that's about it. More personal opinion I think as I'm not a scotch drinker but rather a bourbon man. I prefer the sour mash, vanilla oak notes of American Oak.

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Photo of zeff80
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured an opaque, jet black color with almost no head. What foam that existed was bubbly and brown. Not much in the form of lace, either.

S - It smelled boozy and sweet - not malty sweet, I think it was the honey coming through. Very unique aroma.

T - It was sweet with honey and caramel malt with some mild okay notes. There was a noticeable vanilla and smoke presence, too.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a very interesting stout. The honey really changes things. It left a weird smoky aftertaste 30 minutes afterward.

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Photo of maximum12
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Impulse buy in the check-out lane at Target the other day. Really, I don't buy much Mikkeller due to the price points but hell, every once in a while can't hurt. I've spent a few dollars on stupider stuff.

My plus-size Terrapin snifter will take this whole bloody 500ML bottle in one swoop. Black on black, dark head that's hefty for a big stout. Nose is a lovely with hard whiskey, steroid-bulked up malts, & nice sweetness on top of the malts. My salivary glands perk up.

Black Tie is much smokier than expected - no hint of that from reading the label or sticking my nose in it. The smoke isn't pure, but leavened with good black farm dirt. The stout underneath is a bit tough to get at; the scotch makes its presence known in a mix of whiskey & vanilla, along with an oaky dry in the back-waters. There are malts in there too, but submerged beneath the murkiness of the other ingredients. Suprisingly lively. I'm enjoying this, but I'd much have preferred a 12 oz. bottle or splitting a bomber vs. putting down 500ML.

Well, what? Good beer, but not at all what I was expecting. The barrel is lovely, but this strayed into smoked beer territory. But who cares? Tasty, but the pleasant flavors were slugging each other rather than ballroom dancing. Another couple years in the cellar might have done this one good.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice stout from Mikkeller. I can't read Danish, so I'm not entirely sure what's in this but I get the impression its whisky-barrel aged.

Thick, oily black with a very dense brown head that will not dissipate. Sweet, sugar smell - almost creamy too. Strong suggestions of whisky. This smells almost like a whisky liqueur.

The taste is quite bitter: full of roasted malt, wood and whisky. Very little of the sweet, sugariness in the scent translates to the taste. Winey background, and a noticeable alcohol burn.

Smooth, thick and very little carbonation.

A good beer, but the bitterness and alcohol could be toned down. A little work and this could be awesome.

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Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with an oil slick-like mocha head that quickly dissipated. It poured almost like the consistency of motor oil.
S: There are strong aromas of scotch with notes of smoke and tobacco in the nose. Hints of roasted malts are also discernable.
T: The taste is very complex and consists of flavors of dark roasted malts, leather, smoke and tobacco along with some hints of oak. It is very well balanced.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate with lots of warming sensations from the alcohol.
D: This is definitely a beer that needs to be sipped because of its complex flavors and strong alcohol content.

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Photo of ratedz
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with a huge two finger chocolate brown head. Impressive looking beer in the glass.

A quick sniff reminds me of a jar of honey, but getting into it a little more reveals some smoky notes along with a bit of whiskey.

Taste is full of roasted malts. A hint of honey comes into play, but it is quickly overtaken by more smokiness. The little bit of whiskey that was present in the nose is not noticeable at all. Roasted/burnt malts dominate every other flavor.

Mouth feel is smooth and creamy. Light carbonation and relatively thick body.

Not much alcohol burn for a whiskey barrel aged beer, which makes it a little more drinkable, but the heavy smoke flavor didn't do much for making me want to slam it.

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Photo of Dave2010
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An intense beer. Good, worth trying, but I honestly thought the balance was a bit off. The alcohol was a bit too much and there was not enough complexity of the flavors. The smell and color are good. No real head but that's pretty typical of these types of beers. I think because this is barrel aged it has such an intense flavor and alcohol taste to it. If you like over the top beers you should like this. It's worth trying but don't expect much chocolate or coffee flavors to come out.

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Photo of johnnieoz
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml brown bottle, batch nr etc section contains no visible information.

A: Deep black color with an espresso-colored head that dissipates rather quickly. Some lacing with bountiful tears on the side of the wine glass.

S: Honey aroma is strong on this one. But it is nearly balanced out by the Scotch infused wood.

T: Not as sweet as the nose would suggest...thankfully. Dark malts are present with some coffee and cocoa flavors, but the peaty Scotch and honey coat the palate.

M: Full-bodied and very dry with appropriate carbonation for the style.

D: A sipper that is boozy yet not overly hot.

The honey and Scotch combination sounded intriguing and promising, and the delivery is there. This is an unique imperial stout that some will love and some will hate. Not one of my favorites yet, but a quality beer that I suspect could grow on me.

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Black Tie from Mikkeller ApS
3.86 out of 5 based on 100 ratings.
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