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

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Fade To Black (Volume 5 - Black Rye Ale)Fade To Black (Volume 5 - Black Rye Ale)

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BA SCORE
87
very good

42 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 42
Hads: 240
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 7.38%
Wants: 8
Gots: 39 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Hads: 240
Photo of Jadjunk
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

"Fade to Black. That time of year when the light fades away. Brewed for the darkness, Fade to Black speaks in volumes." Brewed in the style of an American Black Ale. Released as the fifth entry in the Left Hand Fade to Black annual rotating seasonal series. Brewed for the 2013-2014 winter season. Available in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Left Hand tulip glass. Served above 53 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy cream head of a medium mocha brown over a dark brown body with mahogany highlights. Retention is very good and lacing is light and patchy. 4

(Smell) Moderate roasted barley malts, mild chocolate malt, black patent and a light touch of bready rye body. Light earthy and piney hop notes, but this is a beer that is majority led by the malt profile. Potency is medium. 3.75

(Taste) Black patent, earthy cocoa and toasted rye grain up front, finishing with a nice cap of creamy roasted barley. Low hop flavor, moderate earthy hop bitterness combined with the moderate grain and malt bitterness of the rye and blackened malts. The ample body really provides a filling and enjoyable drinking experience. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is silky smooth, slick and moderately dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a light crispness. The body is medium+ for the style and medium/heavy overall. Balance is nearly evenly sweet to bitter. Alcohol presence is low and there are no notable off flavors. 3.75

(Overall) Left Hand delivers the fifth installment in the Fade to Black series as one of the finest yet. While not dominant in rye flavor, it thickens the body just enough to pull together an enjoyable, well-rounded roasted and chocolatey malt body that delivers a signifigant malt body to strongly counter any chance of a bitter edge. I'd categorize this ale as falling closer between a porter to stout than a Black ale or even a Black rye ale. Regardless, this is a reputable kickoff beer in the Fade to Black line for anybody looking for an opportunity to sample the series. 4

Left Hand Brewing Company's
Fade to Black Ale Volume 5: Black Rye Ale
3.92/5.00 (2,145 characters)

Photo of Nickcal
3.93/5  rDev 0%
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. (284 characters)

Photo of breadwinner
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yet another installment in the Fade to Black series that doesn't disappoint, this one displaying the sort of well-balanced roasty features you'd expect from Left Hand, with a touch of rye spice to, er, spice things up. (218 characters)

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
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 (466 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

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. (629 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%

From notes on 11/14/13

Dark black in color with a minimal cream colored head. Not much aroma, but what I do get is hints of roasted coffee. Very smooth drinking beer. I’m getting a roasty chocolaty flavor. (208 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.93/5  rDev 0%
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. (597 characters)

Photo of HamdenHector
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: very dark brown; less than 1 finger khaki head that dissipated quickly; no lacing;

S: deeply roasted malt; bittersweet chocolate; a little earthiness;

T: chocolate up front, mixing with coffee on the finish; low to moderate bitterness;

M: medium bodied; low to moderate carbonation;

O: well balanced; a bit too chocolately for me and I would have liked a little more bitterness, but good none the less; (409 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (417 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (795 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
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 (722 characters)

Photo of Gryphon69
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (611 characters)

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

A solid, well-crafted, transitional black ale.

Pours flat black in color with a complementing off white head.
Smell starts off sweet, ending on a refreshing note.

Taste begins with a mild sweetness, chased out quickly with the hops, leaving a smooth bitter finish that mellows back into a subtle sweetness. Fuller bodied, with undertones of chocolate, toffee, and molasses.

A very enjoyable beer perfect for the early nights of winter. (439 characters)

Photo of fr5ed
4.31/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear mahogany-brown-black with a dark khaki head. Aroma - sweet/dark chocolate, dark toast, coffee/espresso. Taste - touch of sweetness, not very bitter, coffee/dark toast/dark chocolate. Slightly heavy mouthfeel, though not like an imperial stout. Like a robust porter. Very, very nice. Definitely recommended.

www.fr5ed.com (327 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
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. (320 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (610 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (1,404 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer from Total Wine in early December for $8.99. Bottled on 10/31/13, best by 04/29/14.

Beer poured dark brown with a one finger head that is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is malty, with some hints of roast.

Taste is well crafted; light roasted coffee and chocolate give way to dark fruits that sweetened things up a bit but the hops balance the sweetness. Rye adds an additional touch of spice. It all comes together nicely!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied that is fairly smooth.

Overall this is a very tasty brew. Give it a try if it is still on shelves. (573 characters)

Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (875 characters)

Photo of _--TAD--_
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Overall this is a very smooth black ale with a good after taste that lingers on the back of your tongue. Though I currently have only had this beer by itself, with its flavoring I can see this pairing very well with beef or a fish such as salmon. One thing I have noticed is that their isnt much carb to it, not even having a 1 finger head when poured. But if you were to pass by this in a store I would recommend picking up a case if you are willing to pay a bit more than for a typical top quality commercial beer (ex. Sierra Nevada), I got my 6 pack for $10. I love dark ales of all kinds, so I couldn't complain too much about the price. (641 characters)

Photo of hardy008
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark black with a 1/2 finger tan head, with pretty good retention and spotty lacing. The aroma is nutty with coffee, dark roasted malt, and earthy hops. The aroma is nothing special. I hope the taste is better.

Tastes both sweet and bitter with coffee, dark roasted malt, earthy hops, a little bit of chocolate, and molasses. This is supposed to be an American Black Ale? Has way too much malt for the style, and the hops take a back seat, which is not what I look for in this style of beer.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a earthy hop and coffee aftertaste. This is too malt forward for the style in my opinion. I'm glad I only bought one bottle. (658 characters)

Photo of undeadozzy
4.71/5  rDev +19.8%
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. (845 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BBD 4/29/14. Black pour with a reasonable head and lacing. Light nose of roast and chocolate, somewhat less than a typical porter, although this is a black ale. Almost medium body coupled with an almost slick mouthfeel. Normal carbonation. The flavor profile is complex, interesting and quite nice. Roast and chocolate comprise the forefront against a slight malt sweetness. This is followed by a burst of light bitterness against a slight rye spiciness and smoke. Smooth finish that is accentuated by the rye spiciness and a slight lingering bitterness. My first Left Hand offering, and it is outstanding. (606 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (1,543 characters)

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. (658 characters)

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Fade To Black (Volume 5 - Black Rye Ale) from Left Hand Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.