Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout) - Left Hand Brewing Company

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Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout)Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout)

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643 Ratings

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Ratings: 643
Reviews: 315
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.07%
Wants: 42
Gots: 118 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: superdedooperboy on 11-13-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 643 | Reviews: 315
Reviews by JohnnyDuvel:
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Roasty, roasty, roasty. This beer has a tremendously burnt flavor and aroma, like strongly roasted coffee. This could be Starbucks beer. Good, full body - ABV well disguised. Reminds me of Bell's Java stout. One of the better offerings I've had from Left Hand. Thanks Deepak!

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This style of stout should be more popular,I hope to see more in the future.Poured at first seemed to be a jet black,after being held up to a strong light a ruby tint showed thru the darkness,a creamy one finger light mocha head atop that left one big drape of lace behind as it settled into a creamy mass.Awesome aromas,just complex as all get out,a mix of fudge cake and coffee,a slight alcohol dark fruit sweetness came thru as well.The flavors were just as complex, if not more,starting out with big coffee roast and dark chocolate,the alcohol lends some molasses and dark fruit,there is big earthy dryness in the finish that was just a great cap.The only thing that isnt great about this brew is just a little bit of a thinner feel,other than that its as good as it gets for the style in my opinion,not to sweet,just right!

Photo of brownbeer
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany with a fluffy, light brown head.

Nose has lightly roasted coffee, unsalted cracker, and faint dark chocolate.

The flavors are roasty with notes of cocoa powder, biscuity malt, and black licorice. Finishes with an earthy hop and somewhat sharp alcohol bite.

I thought this beer, within it's style especially, was very well made. This is the way our Guinness should taste. Job well done from Left Hand.

Photo of marvin213
2.73/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

It's sure'nuff black--not tar-black like some of the motor oils on here, but opaque in a true sense. The fizzy pour reminded me of Guiness and nitro stouts. The head, though, dissipates fairly quickly, leaving only a splotchy top on the cover with some hop-like stickiness around the edge. Without being extravagant, it looks genuinely good.

Smells like a foreign stout (read: Guiness). This one was obviously manufactured in Colorado, but what is it about these foreign stouts that smell like diluted and aerated? It's diluted in that it's like a watery malt smell and aerated like there's something else in there...problem is, that "something else" is like nothingness. It's like a malt ball with holes in it, or malt ball crumbs, or the dark matter that's empty mass in the Milky Way (I may have gone too far).

That light, airy vibe allows for a stout taste without an overbearing assault on the palate. The hop presence, however, bitterizes the beer. It's not, unfortunately, the yummy hoppiness-bite characteristic of IPAs. Instead, it's a dull, medicinal kick that tastes more like a Bayer than a beer. It's not exactly bad, but you're left wondering where's the chocolate? the licorice? the vanilla? the coffee? the ___? I realize it's not a double chocolate oatmeal or a vanilla coffee Russian Imperial, but is this what to expect from a "foreign stout?" It feels much drier than a Guiness (my template, obviously enough), and the watery stoutness with only a dry bitterness doesn't do wonders for the palate. On the contrary, the artist left something on the palette. (Ha!)

The puns and other literary devices I've used to describe this beverage might prove more memorable than the liquid itself. As I continue trying to decipher what's here, I detect a charcoal. There's a smoked quality without any food-worthy flavor. Liquid charcoal has its place, but nobody wants to drink it! It's not that bad, but I know I've enjoyed a foreign-style stout before; this one, however, you should leave on the shelf.

Photo of Beaver13
3.62/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a brownish black with a thin tan head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves a touch of lacing.

The aroma is sweet grains, lactose, chocolate, tobacco and roasted malts.

The flavor is roasted malts and chocolate with a little lactose and coffee. It has a tarry bitter finish that is almost mouth-puckering. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a decent foreign style stout. A little on the tarry side for me.

Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, has a place on the label for "Bottled on" info, but alas, it is blank...Pours black under a retentive dark khaki head, thick film, sliding sheeting down to a collar, respectable bits of lace, the hole bit, not a bad looking glass of stout...roasty, light coffee and dark chocolate nose...flavorful, very smooth/velvety on the tongue, with more then ample notes of more chocolate, roast grains and dark stouty goodness...nice first offering in this hopefully varied and fruitful series from LHBC...I believe this was about $12.99 for the sixer from DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY...go get some and enjoy...

Photo of tigg924
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: black in color, 1 inch head, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: milk chocolate, coffee, some burnt malt

Taste: creamy, dark and milk chocolate mix, dark coffee, and some smoke at the end

Mouthfeel: smooth, moderate carbonation, heavy body, sweet start-bitter middle, sweet end

Drinkability: This one drinks like a dry RIS or Baltic porter. It is a nice full and heavy beer. It does get tastier as it warms. I like it, but I only have the desire for one more max per session.

Photo of mondegreen
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle into a Chimay goblet

A: Very dark with a thin tan head. The head fades quickly, leaving a ring around the outsideof the glass and decent lacing. Brown and ruby highlights when held to the light.

S: Dark roasted malts. Very straightforward nose, but very appealing.

T: Lots of dark chocolate goodness and toasty malts on the tongue. The chocolate bitterness melds with the 8.5% abv bite for a lingering aftertaste. This beer is right up my alley, great stuff.

M: Creamy and delicious. Everything is dead on here.

D: Each sip begs for another. On my first encounter with this beer, I drank three in a row. The ABV will catch up with you, but this one goes down like silk.

Hands down, this is the best Left Hand solo brew I've had. The only one better was the Terrapin collab 'Depth Charge.' Grab this one while you can!

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The neck label reads Volume 1 I guess the seasonal will vary by style with the same name each year that daylight savings comes around. Pours completely opaque black with no light making it through not even the ruby highlights, head is creamy textured nice tan khaki hue going on. Lacing left behind is sporadiac with big chunks but definitely clings well to the sides of my chalice. Aroma is strong with the herbal mint like hop profile, dark roasted malts bring out a creamy dark chocolate bitterness strong roasted burnt coffee a nice underlying fruit note with a soft caramel presence as well. Flavor is big roasted malt presence brings out espresso bean hints of vanilla, caramel malt, with dark chocolate cocoa nibs. A soothing alcohol finish with herbal and mint toned hop flavors. Mouthfeel is creamy textured full bodied softly carbonated no complaints I let this one warm up a good bit and I'm glad that I did. Drinkability is smooth and the price tag is right what a value, a big foreign export stout for 1.69 a bottle I will be back for more of this stuff, what a god send for this time of year thanks to Left Hand out in Longmont, CO.

Photo of sarahrenai
2.01/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

It tastest like charred meat. Not a real pleasant taste.

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a six-pack purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours black with a one-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of black malts with hints of roasted coffee.

Tastes good. Black and roasted malt flavors - more robust than the smell let on - kick things off. Midway through the sip a good deal of smooth roasted coffee flavors enter into things and carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall this is one of the better beers I've had from Left Hand. A very smooth and well done beer for the style and one worth a shot.

Photo of degerbah
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours guinness black with about three fingers of head. As I write this the head is barely settling at all with a ton of thick lacing. Huge roasted malt smell that is almost overpowering. Some coffee smell in there as well.

The taste is mostly of coffee and is extremely dry. I think that when non-BA's refer to dark beers as thick like guinness, this is what they are mentally picturing. Fade to Black is thick with a very heavy roasted character that is overpowering of the other flavors.

It's not my favorite style, but it is extremely drinkable and very tasty, especially after I get further and further into the beer.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.71/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color, with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with lots, tons really, of roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly brewed coffee, licorice, slightly burned toast, a hint of smoke, a touch of clove, and a hint of hops.

Taste: Delicious! Tons of roasted malt up front, imparting strong notes freshly brewed coffee, a touch of licorice, a touch of dark chocolate, and a touch of dark chocolate. This beer reminds me a lot of a German Rauchbier, without being as ashtray-like smoky as most rauchbiers are.

Mouthfeel: Medium to slightly chewy, and extremely smooth and creamy as there is no carbonation what-so-ever, and I think some lactose to help make it creamy. With an ABV of 8.5%, there is very little alcohol on the palate

Overall: This is another terrific beer from Left Hand Brewing, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries! Highly, highly recommended.

Photo of mbatley
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Whoa, way better than I expected.

Poured a deep blackness with no head.

Nose: Coffee, Dark 80% Chocolate, and charcoal

Taste: let this one warm a bit in a large bowl glass... got better as it warmed up a bit. Very dry and bit hoppy finish but a nice lingering finish. Again, dark, dark chocolate, coffee and a bit of dark maple sweetness. Gets better as you drink.

Bought as a single. Would easily buy a 6 or two and save to cold dead of winter to have in front of fire. Great stout.

Photo of caddybuyer
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass at cellar temperature.

Left hand killed one of my favorites, Snowbound to do this new winter release. I assume it is a series as this is marked "Volume 1". Pretty pleased to find this one on the shelves at the Wine Library in Millburn NJ as I was looking around for it with no luck.

A-Black is right. Only the faintest ruby highlights when viewed from the top of the glass through to the sides. Hold it up to the light and nothing shines through this sucker. Thick tan head that lasts awhile. Pretty nice.

S-Dark roasted coffee, burned bakers chocolate, a hint of anise

T-Bittersweet caramel malts married with a deep roasted coffee backbone infused with with strong black licorice notes. Some molasses balances out the bitterness and some dry hops close out the finish. Alcohol is present throughout, but not overpowering. This is a damn fine beer, and probably will age amazingly well.

M-Deep full and rich with balanced carbonation. Nicely done.

D-A very nice, very drinkable beer. Glad that they put it out in sixers rather than bombers as this is a flavor explosion.

Sad to see Snowbound go. I will miss it dearly. This, however, is a very promising start to the new series. Hail darkness.

Photo of melpacino
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Been looking for the perfect smoked beer since I went to a beer festival and had one which I could never find in the beer stores. THIS one is the ultimate!

Photo of GilGarp
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served cold into a pint glass, this beer has a nearly black color with creamy bone white head. The head sticks around beautifully leaving a sheet of lace on the side of the glass.

Aroma is relatively strong dominated by roasted, toasted, and smoke malt.

Flavor is impressive in it's fullness and complexity. There is a definate smokey quality but it's not overwhelming like I usually find smoked beers. Roasted malts contribute to the coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel is very nice - full bodied and creamy smooth with very low carbonation.

Overall a really nice version of the style.

Photo of cokes
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nearly pitchless black, with a small outline of magenta when held to a light. The head is a healthy column of tan and leaves gobs of lace as it ebbs.
Coffee grounds and cocoa nibs on the nose, with backings from charcoal, toasted dark breads, and traces of anise, black cherry, and vanilla. It's a nice aroma, but a tad dialed-down given its overall potency.
Immediately and thoroughly roasted in the mouth. Espresso and smoke. Cocoa arises, first in a bitter dark sense, migrating sweeter and milkier as it progresses. A dab of dark fruit (cherry) and caramel offset the dark roastiness. The hops swing things back in the parchedly dry direction with their taut bitterness of dead leaves.
Medium plus bodied, slick and glossy. Texturally, its thinner than most big stouts, but it is well structured, hiding its alcohol almost entirely, as it repeatedly slams itself against the back of ones gullet.
Big or not big. This is just a damn nice stout.

Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the Rattle 'N' Hum. Roasty aroma, roast coffee. Slight white head, yet lots of white lace. A yeasty part that I didn't expect or like. I normally really like this style, and others do too, but I just didn't get it today. On the too sweet side, with bitter coffee, not that well integrated.

Photo of GoldenVIKE
2.96/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at Kuma's Corner in Chicago

A - Pours pitch black with not a whole lot of head--maybe 1/2 finger. It did cling to the glass pretty well.

S - Not a very strong smelling stout. Some roasty, smoky, faint smells of old coffee. Not "bad" by any means but nothing special here. Pretty disappointing.

T&M - pretty much like it smells. it's a dry, smoky stout. leaves a roasty aftertaste. Average body for a dark stout, but good.

O - Underwhelming all around. Bear in mind I'm comparing this to GOOD stouts. I'd say that it's on par with a Guinness. Pretty good, but nothing to write home about.

Photo of McMatt7
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Very very very very

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, rileys or somewhere else around

appearance: served in tyranena imperial pint, dark as night - opaque with a creamy chocolate cap and decent lacing

smell: dark roasted malt, char, dark fruit, espresso and chocolate, touch of wood

taste: big bold stout - dark chocolate nibs, espresso, booze soaked dark fruit, smoke/char, roasty bitterness, good - no major flaws

mouthfeel: roasty, moderate bitterness

drinkability: good

Photo of WoodBrew
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Fade to Black is like the best dark beer series....EVER! I am glad they re-produced Vol. 1 as I missed it the first go around. This one is a very nice stout. Has all the characteristics that one would like. Definite must try!

Photo of tempest
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle at Liberty St. Tavern for $3.50. Basically this is a well-made big stout - lots of dark chocolate and roasted grain flavor. But it's not quite an export stout as I understand it. It lacks the sweet candy notes that the adjunct sugar of a typical export stout provides. While it's not a great example of the style, it is still a very drinkable and tasty stout.

Photo of plinythethirsty
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm venturing outside my preferred style here, but, to this hophead, it seems a worthy brew. I didn't get as much head as some of the other reviewers (but that's the story of my life).
This is a black brew, with a campfire smell and taste. I get some chocolate and more than a bit of coffee, but they're burnt, smoky chocolate and coffee. It's got a righteous abv, and I'd pick it over Guinness every time.

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Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout) from Left Hand Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 643 ratings.