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Fade To Black (Volume 5 - Black Rye Ale) - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fade To Black (Volume 5 - Black Rye Ale)Fade To Black (Volume 5 - Black Rye Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

239 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 239
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 7
Gots: 36 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BB1313 on 10-30-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 239 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by Gryphon69:
Photo of Gryphon69
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
best by: 4-29-14

A- Dark Brown, nearly black. A slight tan colored head with light lacing. Under the light it has a lot of sediment throught the glass.

S- Roasted malts, cocoa, bread, slight earthiness.

T- Much like the nose, except nothing jumps out, it has a nice balance throughout. Has a dryness right from the first drink to the finish, also has a decent bitterness in the finish. Not noticing a lot of pine, but a definite hop kick.

M- Light to medium with a smooth, slick dry in the back of the throat.

O- I very much like the taste and drinkablility of this black ale. Hope to get more.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

12 oz. bottle poured into a can glass.

Appearance - Medium khaki head that lasts quite a while. Thick collar. Dark, viscous black body.

Smell - Rich chocolate. Rye becomes much more prominent as it warms. Molasses.

Taste - Molasses is the strongest flavor. Chocolate behind it. The rye isn't anywhere near what it is in the smell. Booze is strong and lends a bit of a fruitiness.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. A bit creamy. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Not what I expected at all. But then again, I never know what to expect from a style as vague as "Black Ale." This drinks more like a stout than anything else.

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Left Hands Fade to black from a 12 oz bottle pours a thick blackish brown with a light tan
head that dies down to a thin pool of foam and nice lacing. Nose of chocolate, caramel, dark
rye, molasses, and deeply roasted goodness. Flavors are light sweet up front fading to a nice
roasted profile of molasses, dark chocolate and a nice dryness from the rye. Most excellent
mouthfeel, thick and full with a pleasant chocolate/black coffee like aftertaste.

Excellent

Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint a dark chocolate brown color with ruby highlights,a thin quick to fade lighter beige head atop.Aromas of roasted nuts and bitter chocolate stood out most with a little spiciness from the rye as well as some dark roast.Flavors are roasted and on the dryer side with the spicy rye coming into play more as I drank more,a nice firm nuttiness was also there.Not a bad beer,the rye played a role but wan't in your face,and there subtle malty complexities.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love Fade to Black series from Left Hand there's only Volume 4 that I've never tried this is the 5th rendition of dark liquid beauty since the labels conception a few years back. This one pours into a Chimay chalice pitch black body with a light khaki tight bubbled tan head fine even lacing. Aroma has toasted marshmallow aspects, dark roasted malt, hints of cocoa and toffee, and mild creamed coffee presence on the nose. Flavor creamy lactose infused sweet stout with a presence of dark roasted malts and spicy rye complements the overall depth of the malt profile. Again I can't help but think of cocoa, toasted marshmallow, maybe even a bit of s'mores on the palate, a very complex and frivolous sweet stout...I thought it may have been a black IPA...I'm pleasantly surprised that it wasn't excellent bigger sweet stout to add to their extensive lineup of great dark beers. Mouthfeel is upfront all over on the sides of the sweet palate, but as it graduates into the dark roasts and creamy textures it ends quite balanced and the lactose sweetness tends to clear off the palate. Even full on natural carbonation overall medium to full bodied. Overall, a beer I will revisit complex roasted malts and big flavor will sell me any day add to the fact that it's Left Hand and from the Fade to Black series is just an added plus.

Photo of Brenden
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one definitely is black, very little by way of highlights showing at the edges even in the light. The tan head that forms off the tap is about a finger high but doesn't last particularly long. A strong foam does leaves some pretty good lacing.
Malts are pretty roasty, but there's actually more toast than I expect. There's bittersweet chocolate with a creamy sort of sweetness and barley grains along with a note of licorice and a nice smokiness underneath. Rye is evidenced by a certain bready/spicy combo and some earthy undertones.
The taste has slightly more char to it, with fruity esters building up a bit of tanginess. It's still roasty and toasty/bready, but the rye is limited to the earthiness, and I wish it had just a little more of the spicy thing going on. An almost lactic sweetness does come in, and it goes into a very interesting creamy/smoky finish.
The body is medium, and this beer is crisp with a nice flow to it.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The Fade To Black vol. 5 is another fine edition to a great series of beers from Left Hand. The beer poured opaque black with virtually zero head and no lace. The scent there is a little hint of rye in the scent....and perhaps some chocolate and roast. The taste has roast and some coffee and earth. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall....it was good and worth a sampling.

Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is pf roasted malts, some smokiness. Taste is malts, some coffee, smoke, a bit of chocolate, tasty and easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, while not as much hops as I would expect from this style, is a good quality beer.

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, best before 04/01/14 stamped on bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with a 2 inch tan head. Head retention is good, and there's also a lot of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, dark/rye bread, nuts and some coffee. It tastes like roasted and burnt/charred malt, bittersweet chocolate, dark/rye bread, nuts, and a bit of molasses and coffee. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and coating, with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good brew, definitely worth a try at $9.99 a 6-pack.

Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cola color with a tight, off-white head that leaves rings of lacing.

Smells of roasted malt with a big cocoa component.

Tastes of solid roasted notes with some rye. Cocoa notes lead off with some coffee and brown sugar. Toasted bread notes come through as well as rye. A bit of earthy hop and a touch of spiciness rounds everything out.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is tasty and definitely falls in line with my expectation.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with very little light transmission in the glass. Half finger tan head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of mild toasted dark malt, molasses, rye spiciness. Flavor is dark toasted malt with slight char, molasses, hints of chocolate and coffee, rye spiciness shows up in the finish which leaves a light lingering grassy hop bitterness. Exceptionally creamy medium body. A very nicely made black ale where the creamy mouth feel enhances the flavor of the malts to almost resemble an imperial porter. The rye and other flavors bring things back to black ale territory. Nicely done and perhaps one of the better ales of this style I've tried. This Fade to Black series has been uniformly well executed and interesting.

Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a half finger high dense tan head that quickly died down, leaving a collar around the edge of the glass and bits of lacing on the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted and chocolate malts are present in the smell.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has lots of flavors of roasted malts along with bitter notes of chocolate and some spices from the rye.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The taste of this beer has a nice mix of roasted, chocolate and spice flavors. It's not that bitter compared to other beers in the style.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a near-black color with a few brown highlights around the edges. Retention is just ok and lacing spotty.

Nose is whole grain bread and chocolate....almost like a Nutella sandwich on whole wheat. In other words, the rye and dark malt are both prevalent. I dont get much hops here though.

Taste is much smoother than I thought it would be, the rye and chocolate malt flavors compliment each other well. There is a bit of raisin fruitiness that is nice. Roast comes out as it warms...got a nice complexity thing going on here. Good stuff, another good offering in the FtB series.

Photo of mntlover
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black but shows deep brown when held to the light. A thumb sized coco head falls pretty quick

Aroma is some light roasted noted most chocolate dominating this one. Light nutty aroma with hop hints.

Taste is like the nose lots of chocolate some nuts mingled through out with roasted hints. Hops are more evident in the flavor herbal grass like notes maybe a touch of rye. Not bad but not anything I would go buy more of.

Mouthfeel is medium lightly peppy carbonation and a little dry chalkiness in the finish.

Overall its worth a try but that be about it for me. Its not a bad beer just not good enough to be a regular choice.

Photo of undeadozzy
4.71/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Darkness in a glass. Pours pitch black with an enormous off-white head that sticks to the glass like glue. Extremely heavy looking.

S - Pumpernickel bread, chocolate cake, some coffee, hints of walnut. and some smoke.

T - Huge pumpernickel/marble rye slap in the face. Huge showing up front. Some coffee sweetness, a little salt bitterness, hints of brownie fudge and caramel thickness. On the way down hints of dark, dried fruit come to light. It leaves some slight a lingering hint of coffee and chocolate cake flavor in the throat. Very enjoyable.

M - Very chewy and thick. Sticks to my teeth and my tongue. Not too thick,but the perfect viscosity for a darker beer.

O - A delicious and devilishly dark beer. The flavors and look are wonderful, especially the dark bready highs and the earthy cocoa lows. A magnificent and heavy beer.

Photo of BB1313
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best by 4/1/14. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours black with some brown hues that shine through; small khaki head that fades and leaves solid retention and decent lacing. The aromas are very roasty. Lots of cocoa malts. Lots of vanilla bean along with some roasted chocolate. Nice complex nose. The flavors are loaded with milk chocolate. There's also some maple in the mix. Hints of expresso along with some black coffee. Subtle earthy bitterness. Some black pepper. The rye is there, but it seems subtle. It's not as spicy as I anticipated. Mouthfeel is very creamy and fluffy with moderate carbonation; smooth and velvety. Alcohol goes unnoticed and it's very easy to drink. I never would've guessed this was almost 8% abv. It wasn't on the label, so I checked their website.

This is a very nice beer. Lots of stout/porter qualities going on. Not as much rye, but I really like the vanilla aspect. This is very fitting for the Fade To Black series. Definitely worth checking out.

Photo of 57md
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown to black color with over a finger of beige head. The nose is quite roasty. Roasted malt flavors are upfront. A pleasant bitterness from both roasted malt and hops is evident on finish. The rye notes are definitely present, but very mild in this offering.

Photo of smcolw
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Near black color but light does shine through the edge. Minimal lace (spots) on the glass. The head is light beige although it settles quickly.

Deeply toasted malt aroma. Borderline burnt but there's a sweetness that creates balance.

The flavor is more burnt with a definitive hop presence. Thinner body than expected but the low carbonation balances it well. Definitive alcohol in the swallow and the aftertaste.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aah, the dark volumes of Left Hand Brewing Company roll on- this time with the fifth installment that boasts the title on "Black IPA" which leads with the promise of hop and a backing dryness of dark malt and hightly attenuated dryness. Most of these attempts turn out to be merely hoppy porters so, let's see...

With appearances of dark brown and medium haze, the beer's body is dark and roasted in its look. As its tall froth of sandy-tan foam builds, the ale shares mild IPA head retention but its color is inquisitively porter-like. Lacing lightly with specks of foam, the beer acts more like those porters than it does of IPA.

Once the beer touches the lips, its chocolate and coffee flavor come alive! Malty with toasty, nutty and woody elements- the beer is rich, milky and toffee-rich from the onset. Even with its late charge of hop bitterness, the beer is unwavering with its malty focus.

Its body is medium-rich as its sweet creaminess lingers well into that bitter territory that IPA's of any sort deserve. Lacing that malty-dry character of hop-forward beers severely limit the drinkability seen with Volume 4.

When it comes down to this newly forming genre of beer, they must lead with IPA character- meaning 70+ IBU's, bone dry malty status and just enough charred malt to exacerbate bitterness but without adding any sweetness. This Left Hand variety is a formidable hoppy porter but is no Black IPA. ...oh, and the rye character- its slightly spicy and grainy-earthy but really does little to bring better life to the ale.

Photo of ozark123
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A nice edition to the FTB Series. I love the peppery finish. Nicely layered flavors that morph from dark molasses to licorice. Firm rye backbone, but plenty of hops on the cleansing finish. Perfect quaff while hovering near the fire pit on a cool November evening.

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 4/1/2014. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, dark bread, rye, caramel, molasses, toast, light smoke, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate hop presence; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, dark bread, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, toast, rye, caramel, brown sugar, light smoke, floral, and roasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, dark bread, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, rye, toast, caramel, brown sugar, light smoke, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors; with great robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice rye black ale. All around good robustness and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. Did not have as much hops in the flavor as I expected, but was a very enjoyable offering otherwise.

Photo of micromaniac129
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fade to Black vol.5 pours a dark auburn brown. The light mocha head that formed was small but quite dense and lingered quite awhile before fading.
The aroma had a rich deep roasted malt smell. Hints of earth and licorice is present too.
Taste is dry and bitter with an overall malty taste. A subtle roasted malt taste is present with that has subtle nuiances of earth and licorice like in the nose. Rye is quite subtle and is easily missed but you can detect slight hints of pepper spiciness in the finish.
Drinks reasonably smooth and creamy.
I like it but could use a dose of citrusy hops to brighten it up.

Photo of Nickcal
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Don't know why the liquor store I bought this at still had it. Last 6-pack on shelf and says it is best by 05/24/14. My first beer from the Fade to Black series. Looking forward to trying the next addition to come out. Tastes of rye, molasses and caramel. Great mouth feel and flavor.

Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 05/24/14.

A: Pours black with a tall, fizzy/frothy light brown head. Head fizzes out moderately quickly. Tiny little splotches of lacing. Decent retention.

S: Some charry, lightly smoky roasted malt with spicy rye. Nice combination. A little bit of sweet chocolate in the mix once fully warmed.

T: More chocolate here than in the aroma. Sweet chocolate up front especially, joined by a nice spicy rye malt. Light char and smoke, mainly in the finish. Just a hint of umami too. Lingering chocolate and charred wood in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, lightly spicy. Slight, slight chalkiness in the aftertaste.

O: Pretty simple, moderate roasted malt character mixed with some spicy rye. Kinda tastes like a nice porter with a little bit of rye in it. Nicely balanced and complimentary (spicy chocolate is my favorite, after all). Drinkability is quite good too.

Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a decent tan head that leaves a swirling pattern of lace

Smell: Malt-forward aromatics, with toasted brown bread, caramel, a hint of molasses and an earthy quality; just a touch of smoke

Taste: Much the same on the tastebuds as in the aroma, with the malts really making a statement in the front and the hops balancing things out in the back; a bit spicy and earthy in the finish from the rye, perhaps, but well balanced, overall

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not what I was expecting given the stated style and a bit more like a hoppy porter than an ABA; I really like the balance in this beer, primarily because of how the malts add complexity

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Fade To Black (Volume 5 - Black Rye Ale) from Left Hand Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.