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

Not Rated.
Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout)Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout)

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302 Reviews
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Reviews: 302
Hads: 659
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 51
Gots: 128 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 302 | Hads: 659
Photo of jwc215
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at 3 Cellars, Franklin, WI:

Pours black with a thin lasting head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of rich espresso, chocolate, hint of licorice.

The taste is of deep-roasted espresso beans with chocolate. Licorice is slight, but enough to give balance and another layer of complexity. Long finish.

It is smooth with roasted coffee/espresso lingering.

The alcohol level is very well covered. This is a rich, dark, complex brew, yet easy to drink!

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Photo of October
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A solid offering from left hand. Mouthfeel is wonderfully smooth. Full bodied and a nice hop kiss at the finish. Will have to compare this to their milk stout and/or other fade to blacks once I have a chance to try those.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.71/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of OldManMetal
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fade To Black is a very attractive stout; a thick tan rocky head sits atop a murky black, ruby-litten body, settling to a lingering tan scree that leaves lots of fine lacing everywhere it touches. The nose is all malt, predominately chocolate ice cream with some molasses and other hints of dark sweetness, plus hints of alcohol and a coffee note that foreshadows the palate, where the chocolate ice cream is joined by bitter chocolate, coffee and other heavily roasted notes, producing a more bitter flavor than the nose may have led you to expect. This mild bitterness and the chocolate ice cream flavor remain on the finish; both linger for an appropriately long time. A very creamy texture and soft carbonation create an ultrasmooth mouthfeel that combines with the lingering flavor to produce a compulsive drinkability that might lead one through the glass a bit faster than one might want for a full-bodied, 8.5% ABV ale.

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It has a really strong roasted flavor, and there's a little hint of licorice. Overall this is a bit on the strong side, but it's still a very tasty stout.

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Photo of seedyone
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. I foynd this to be, overall, just so-so. Looks were OK, but there was something on the nose that manifested in the taste that was off putting.Perhaps I'm so used to the coffee-chocolate bombs in the stout field of latethat I had a predisposition that was not met.

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Photo of mchegash
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4/5
Pours an extremely dark brown with a finger of light brown head.

Smell - 4/5
Strong roasty milk chocolate aromas, faint hop aromas.

Taste - 4/5
Roasty chocolate malts, boozy, moderately sweet.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium bodied, crisp, a moderate amount of medium-intensity carbonation.

Overall - 4/5
This was a great stout, with great chocolate notes and an overall good look, smell, and feel.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.36/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Off black color, smell of smoke and wood chips, tastes of coffee, but a little woody smoke there too. The feel is lighter than I expected. Overall, I think it's good, but I must admit I'm not a fan of this style.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours the colour of cola, but thicker, like a rich fabric that's not quite black. The edges give a deceptive ruddy brown like a rich wood. Tight half finger head of creamy head that settles in to specimens soon enough.

Nose starts out a creamy sweet with hints towards a dry ashy finish. Roasted backbone with notes of sweet dark chocolate.

Flavour further brings forth the above alluded amalgamation. Nuanced and layered, this strikes me as a really well crafted brew. Starts off with the same creamy chocolate sweetness before mild layers of coffee and... is it Nips I'm thinking of?? There's a roasted undercurrent running through the whole thing, and a sprinkle of ashy not quite smokey dusted across the top. Finish is hte sweet of chocolate, the bitter of coffee and some light hops.
Appropriate moderate carbonation and a medium body. This is another one that feels like a 'quintessential' of what it is. It's not gussied up, duded out, getting down, or where it's at, but it is a damn enjoyable export stout, one that ends up being greater than just the sum of its parts. Grab this if you see it, and be greatful that Left Hand likes to make dark beers, because they've got another solid offering here.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Ruby black with a creamy tan cap that goes pretty quick. 3.5
Rum raisin nose with some sawdust, dried black cherries, meat juice and melted brown sugar. 3.75
Cola, cold coffee, frozen raspberries, charcoal, dark chocolate shavings, a lean roasty hit, and some wood.
Smoky finish and bitter chocolate ending. 3.75
Medium and then some, chewy, round. 4

Sugar and roast. Not heavy on coffee and chocolate but IBUs and black bitterness keep the sweetness in check. Not hot or cloying, either. Like ups pretty well for the style, though without the craveability. And yet.... just not special. Warning track power from Left Hand. 3.75

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pitch black color with a fingers worth of head that fades down to a thin ring around the glass

S: Roasted malt, licorice, dark chocolate, dark fruits, molasses, and very light coffee stand out. Nice and layered

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the roasted malts, licorice, molasses, and dark fruits pop first, followed by the coffee and dark chocolate notes. Licorice and molasses carry through the finish. Lightly bitter

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A great FES with some nice layers and depth of flavor. The 8.5% goes unnoticed, which makes it all too easy to drink. A solid seasonal indeed

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is slightly over a finger high and khaki in shade. While the texture is beautifully even, retention isn't very impressive. An inconsistent ring of lacing sticks to the glass. (3.75)

Smell: I expect lots of chocolate, roast, and a bit of hoppiness from an export stout. Guess what I pick up? That's right, chocolate, roast, and a bit of hoppiness. The hop profile pops up more strongly as it warms up. It could be a hair roastier for my personal tastes, but this smells extremely well done otherwise. (3.75)

Taste: Tastes exactly like I expected. It starts off with some nice dark chocolate flavors, ballasted by a gentle hoppiness. A subtle roasted flavor finishes it off: I get both roasted malts and auxiliary coffee notes. On occasion, it's slightly smoky. You know how when you drink a beer, it just works really well and it's hard to explain why? This is that kind of beer - it's balanced to near perfection. Excellent work. (4)

Mouthfeel: They nailed the mouthfeel - not overly light, yet surprisingly dry and crisp. It's even refreshing. Any stout over 8% that manages this is a beautiful thing. Light carbonation helps it go down even more easily. (4.5)

Overall: Delicious, just delicious. The label goes on about black this, darkness that...yet at the same time, it's light, refreshing, and delicate. It's 8.5%, yet I could genuinely drink this one all damn day. I absolutely will look for this again. (4.25)

4.03/5: It's as good as the song, and that's high praise

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Photo of 57md
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color with ruby edges. The nose has a mild roast. The flavor profile includes more roast than the nose might indicate. The body seems right on for a relatively high ABV stout.

This is a good, solid and drinkable stout

I did not get a chance to sample this the first time it was brewed. I'm glad that I got a crack at it thye second time around.

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Photo of JamesMN
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best by 11/2015. Poured into a DFH chalice.

Appearance: Jet black body with a thin light brown head.

Aroma: Cream with a hint of black coffee from the roasted malts.

Taste: Although I don't have a lot of experience with the foreign/export stout style I'm hoping that this one is a good example since it is delicious. The depth of malt character includes everything from toasty goodness to bitter black coffee and its all wrapped up in a blanket of cream flavor. Hop bitterness steps in to provide a much needed balance creating a savory taste. Smooth finish followed by a burst of grassy hop bitterness that fades through the aftertaste. The 8.5% ABV hides behind the malt bill but is completely believable given the amount of flavor in this thing.

Mouthfeel: Between medium and full in body with smooth carbonation and high level drinkability for its weight class.

Final Thoughts: In a marketplace flooded with breweries pumping out IPAs it's sometimes easy to overlook one that does such a fine job on darker beers. First Milk Stout, then Wake Up Dead, now Fade to Black will be another reason to commend Left Hand for putting out great beer. Would I drink it again? Yes.

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Photo of spoony
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 355 ml bottle (best by November 18, 2015) into a snifter.

A-The beer is sufficiently black in color to earn its name. The head is tan and pretty short despite an aggressive pour. The foam fades to a film after about a minute and leaves no lacing.

S-The aroma is nice mixture of dark, roasted malt flavors. I get some black licorice sweetness, some vague dried fruit, big doses of dark molasses, some smoke, and a little bit of coffee ground bitterness.

T-The taste is also heavy on the dark roasted flavors. Dark molasses, some barley, whiffs of smoke and ash, cold coffee, and a little bit of black licorice.

M-The feel is medium in heft with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is drying and almost gritty.

O-This is a very solid foreign export stout. I think this one nails many of the true characteristics of that style, while amping up the ABV just enough to put a new-world craft beer spin on it. It may not be as complex as many BA offerings, but it drinks well and the drying finish is nice change from many stouts out there.

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Photo of stortore
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

A fairly dark and opaque pour, with a small head and not much lacing. Smell brings roasted malts, coffee, chocolate- all pretty evenly. Taste shifts the chocolate to the lead, followed by the roasted malts and the coffee. Really, they're still all pretty evenly balanced, like the nose. Some hop bitterness hits about halfway. Smooth, a little creamy, good level of carbonation.

Best of the style I've had to date, very flavorful. Really well balanced. Glad I had a few of these. Would certainly buy again.

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Photo of NiceTaps
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass.

A- Dark brown, almost black. A touch of reddish-brown highlights. A thin mocha colored head leaves fat cascading lacing.

S- Coffee roast and dark chocolate smell.

T- Dry bitter dark chocolate flavor. Not sweet. Lots of roasted malt and a touch of light smokiness.

M- Big body and chewy feel. A slightly metallic sour smoky finish brings it down.

O- Great aroma, flavorful and drinkable.

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Photo of interzen
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

355ml bottle served into a tulip glass

Look: Black, and fairly opaque with it - not much going on when held up to the light. Not much in the way of head either - a thin, tan layer which dissipates quickly to a foam cap.

Smell: Dark chocolate, roasted malts and woodsmoke with some fruity hints. The smokiness dominates but manages to stay just the right side of overpowering.

Taste: Toasted malts, chocolate, coffee and a nice, alcoholic warmth. The smokiness isn't that apparent right out of the gate but once it warms up a bit it starts to become a bit more up front. The smokiness adds a good bit of depth to the already complex mess of flavours.

Feel: Very smooth and mellow - obviously it's fairly malty but at the same time manages to be fairly undemanding and isn't excessively fizzy. Once it has warmed up enough to let the smoke flavours come forward it's really rather special.

Overall: Got this as part of a 'random' case, although I've been pretty impressed with Left Hand's Milk Stout before now. This one really scores in the taste stakes, and has a bit more depth than their Milk Stout. Definitely a winner - I'll be seeking this one out again for sure.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Black with garnet highlights. A thin layer of tan foam that dissipates fast. Filmy lacing.

S: Roasty, toasty. Chocolate malts, dark fruits, smokey.

T: So mellow/smooth. Toasty malts insinuate themselves in for a warming, roasty smokiness. A great fireside sipper. Let it warm for maximum yum.

M: I expected dry for a Foreign Export, but this one works well with its low to medium mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation. Nice.

O: Just a terrific pick from Hop City, Birmingham. Not sure why I grabbed it, but Left Hand never fails at great taste. Would drink again.

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Photo of beerbeardguyfromCO
4.61/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This black beauty is exactly why I keep falling in love with the Fade to Black series, one release at a time. Silky on the palate with notes of cardamom and licorice, this brew warms up with espresso and molasses on the finish. Cloud-like head and a well-developed perfume contribute to make this a sensory experience not to be skipped.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
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!

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Photo of gonzo000
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours an extremely dark brown color with a one finger tan head that flattens out and floats on the top. The smell is of chocolate. Poured the beer at about 40 degrees. The taste at that temp was dominated by chocolate. as it warmed, the taste became more bitter. I preferred this beer c

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.32/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Sampled last night on 2/2/15. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a snifter glass.

Pours a pitch black in color with a thinner beige foamy cap. A little sediment was seen in the bottem of the bottle after the pour.. Some spotty lacing is seen when sipped. The aroma is of dark roasted malts and black espresso for the most part. More going on with the taste with the black coffee right up front followed by the roasted malts that leave a bitter dry finish with a good amount of smoke. Didn't last too long but it was there and a bit much for me. Really didn't taste the alcohol but you could tell it was in there. A heavy-bodied brew with perfect carbonation. It came out of the beer cooler at 36 degrees and on the side of the label it says: "Enjoy at 50-55 degrees F". I will say that it did taste better when it warmed up some.

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Photo of melpacino
5/5  rDev +22.9%
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!

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with a two-finger foamy tan head. The head leaves a nice sticky lacing.

S - Aroma of dark chocolate and roasted malts.

T - Taste is a mix of sweet dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. There is a heavy coffee and smokey finish that leaves a lingering bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel that is a little thin. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

O - A nice stout. Lots of strong roasted flavors. Definetly worth checking out.

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Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout) from Left Hand Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 302 ratings.