Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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
87
very good

42 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 42 | Hads: 240
Photo of WoodBrew
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (941 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Ahh, the beer series I almost nearly always forget as the bottle label never changes (admittedly, their new labels are quite eye-catching).

Appearance: Pours a black body with a lean, light khaki-colored head that doesn't stick around too terribly long.

Smell: Roasty, sure, but, there's also a strong Munich toasty note present. Nice chocolate scented accent. Incorporated dark fruitiness, maybe a sliver of licorice. Minor rye. A very thin trace of smokiness. And all of the creamy, milk notes you'd expect from a milk stout, 'cept this isn't!

Taste: Roast, deep toasted barley, and a coating of chocolate and whipping cream. Fair sweetness, some additional caramelized sugars. Modest rye character. A singular drop of smoky molasses. A light touch of dark fruits. Huh. You know, for a beer that isn't supposed have an infusion of lactose, for me, it definitely has a great milky/creamy quality to it. Faint, faint herb, citrus imparted by the hops. Sweetish, roasty, and still so smooth and milky on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I was actually expecting something a bit more along the lines of their previous Volume 4. Thankfully, that wasn't the case. V5 is the best non-milk non-stout I've had in quite some time! (1,329 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (478 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (273 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - syrupy thick pour, dark brown body, very thin beige head fades to nearly nothing quickly
S - roasted barley, earth, chocolate, faint pine
T - nice flavors of roasted barley, chocolate, earthy rye, caramel, brown sugar, piny hops, nice balance
M - fuller, syrupy body, rye is drying on the palate but not overly. Modest bitterness on the finish
O - good ale, but I wouldn't get it again. I was hoping for better. (415 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Black, Dark tan with brown tint. Minor 1/8th inch head, decent lacing.

Smell - Chocolate, coffee, cocoa, roasted malts. Molasses, brown sugar. Slight hop citric note at the finish.

Taste - Very roasty, smoked and charcoal malts at first sip. Coffee, chocolate and cocoa is a main flavor. Sweet molasses, brown sugar and honey are the added sweet sugars. Some minor hops like grapefruit and orange add a little sweet citric note at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Huge smoked note nails the tongue. More malts, some sugars and faint citric fruits coat the palate. Aftertaste is smokey, chocolate and coffee sweet.

Overall - Rye ale? So much roasted malts and coffee I don't get any rye at all. I actually like this beer but if you don't like smoked, roasted heavy beers this aint for you. Maybe a little less malt and more rye? Either way, still enjoyable, just not what I was expecting. (918 characters)

Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (478 characters)

Photo of rangerred
3.54/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap in a pint glass.

Pours a clear very dark brown, nearly pitch black, with a small half finger tan head.

The aroma is very toasty with some coffee and char. Pine is present from the hops but it is not all that complex.

Mouthfeel has pine and earth and a fairly strong bitterness from the get go. The rye sort of lingers in the background and is not as prominent as I was hoping. Mouthfeel is quite chalky with a sticky finish.

Overall, the rye is just too suppressed in this beer and the hops are too up front. It lacks balance and is really not all that interesting. Oh well, glad I got to try it. (611 characters)

Photo of mntlover
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (638 characters)

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

Pours an opaque black with a frothy mocha head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of lacing.

Roast malt, nuttiness, and chocolate are evident when the bottle opens. Cocoa dominates, but there's a hint of rye spiciness adding complexity. Hops are eclipsed by chocolate.

Flavor unveils a subtle grassy and citrusy hop combination underlying a huge roast and chocolate malt character. The backbone is rich, slightly sweet, but becoming a touch burnt and bitter at the spicy rye finish. Malt is certainly the star, but the hops do balance a bit.

Body is a touch full, with low carbonation and moderate alcohol warmth.

I expected more hop character, but I like the malt profile. Rye is not overpowering and plays well with other flavors. The balance is chocolatey and roasty, and that's fine with me! (803 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (1,331 characters)

Photo of Z_Borynack_PhD
4.71/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First, let me qualify my review by stating that this is the 4th year that I have partaken of this Left Hand gem (please come up with a vol. 6 next year if this is even possible). These ales are seasonal and only available in late fall, which is perfect. Also, in appearance, I have to comment on the label artistry, which I think is so perfect for the beer, but also very creative and unique in its own right.

First, this is a porter to stout ale with a very dark, nay black, appearance...hence the name. It had a very nice head to it that is tan and medium in creamy thickness.

I noticed smoky, smooth light coffee, caramel and bitter-dark chocolate notes, both in taste and aroma. It has a smooth texture, some earthy/grainy aspects to it as well.

The abv is almost perfect at about 7.8, though I prefer an 8-9 abv for this kind of ale (which is the reason I did not give it a perfect score). However, I am not sure a higher abv would be best for this particular ale as it might mute some of the wonder flavors previously noted.

I think this is a very versatile beer. Pairing it with a smoked gouda cheese and crackers or with pecan halves and a double cream brie or just drinking it solo would be perfect. Other ideas for pairing from my view would be with summer sausage, spicy asian meatballs, or other similar hors d'eurves would be great.

Overall, if you enjoy dark, seasonal ales, I highly recommend this one. My only request is that you share and don't buy up all that you find. (1,494 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (550 characters)

Photo of ozark123
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (264 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle with a best by date of 4/1/14, into a pub glass.
Appearance - aggressive pour yields a dark black hue, but with the slightest bit of light coming in to reveal carbonation bubbles and a hint of mahogany. Big, creamy vanilla head with sheets of lacing!
Smell - not as hop forward in the nose as I'd like. Chocolate, coffee, rye bread.
Taste - drinks more like a stout than a black ale. Flavorful, roasted malts, barley and coffee, some bitter chocolate.
Feel - not much in terms of hop bitterness, medium body, easy to drink at 7.8%.
Overall - a really good beer, one I'll enjoy a few more times; just not in the same class as Wookey, Sublimely and Mountain Standard. (686 characters)

Photo of BB1313
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (988 characters)

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Fade To Black (Volume 5 - Black Rye Ale) from Left Hand Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.