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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

326 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 326
Hads: 799
Avg: 4.08
pDev: 14.22%
Wants: 52
Gots: 182 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout | 8.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

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

Volume 1 - Foreign Stout - Pours black with licorice, espresso bean, molasses, and black cardamom notes that give way to a feeling of self loathing, burnt opportunities and smoked relationships. 2010 Gold Medal Winner at the Great American Beer Festival in the Foreign Stout category.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 326 | Hads: 799
Photo of SaltofOH
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle BB 11/06/16 - is that for real? DFH Snifter.

A: Pours a completely opaque black, zero light penetrates, except along the very edges, where only barely so. Despite a fairly aggressive pour, little head to speak of, and that fades to nothing quickly.

S: Even straight out of the fridge, this smelled of an intense earthy/grainy roast character. It does not smell sweet initially, but sweetens as it warms. It is a complex and heady mix of roast and grain, with an overlay of malty sweetness. Never really smells like coffee or chocolate, but really like roasted barley and perhaps carob. Very nice.

T: A very light and drinkable stout. Does not overdo things with sweetness, but definitely is a sweet-ish beer. Roasted grain and robusta coffee notes; maybe roasted carob; not really "chocolate." Lingering bitterness, with an earthy/woody twinge.

M: A very smooth, surprisingly lighter than expected (truly mid-weight). Virtually no carbonation. Surprisingly clean finishing.

O: A very roast-driven, slightly sweet, highly drinkable higher-ABV stout. The sweet edge is there, but not overdone. This reminds me a lot of Great Lakes Blackout Stout, which I love. At 8.3%, this beer is absolutely dangerous for how drinkable it is.

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Photo of Myotus
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured hard at 50°F from a 12oz bottle (best by 28Sep16) into a goblet. Consumed on 05Feb16.
LOOK: Pours with a fingers worth of khaki foam that shrivels into a line after 1 minute and 15 seconds. Black in color with an orange tint. I do not see any rising bubbles. Lacing is thin and moderate.
SMELL: Strong aromas of coffee and vanilla are backed by mild bitter roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and cardamom aromas.
TASTE: Strong cardamom and mild bittersweet chocolate flavors first strike the palate. Strong flavors of coffee and bitter roasted malt along with mild vanilla flavors immediately follow as chocolate flavors grow stronger. Subtle molasses flavors (weren't perceived in the smell) enter lastly as all previous flavors press on.
FEEL: Full-bodied with moderate levels of carbonation. Goes down somewhat smooth while also clinging to the back of the throat like syrup. Ends with a mildly dry finish. A slight alcoholic warmth can be felt as it goes down the throat.
NOTE: Only my second of its style. Huge on the roasted malts, which I don't normally like. But these were balanced well with the sweetness from the beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stoneyard Brewing Company in Brockport, NY.

This one pours a fairly dark black, with a 1.5 inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells really good, and unique for a stout, definitely some earthy roast, licorice, something kind of like birch wood, and dark roasted coffee.

This is possibly the best beer I've had from Left Hand, it's super compled and nice. There's some chocolate for sure, and earthy roast, with caramel, licorice, dried fruit, birch wood, and smoky ash. There's a bit of dark roasted, burnt coffee, almost like used coffee grounds left behind after brewing. There is a nice sweetness from the caramel and chocolate, which balances out the bitterness of the roast character. This just screams "black" in the best way.

This is medium bodied, pretty rich and creamy, with a normal level of carbonation.

This is an absolute stunner, really quite, quite good.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear jet black in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy dark tan head that reduces to a large patch of very thin film covering 70% of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted and charred malts with lighter aromas of bittersweet chocolate and espresso beans. Hints of licorice.

T: Upfront there is a slightly stronger than moderate flavor of roasted and charred malts with a hint of ash. That is followed by moderate of flavor of bittersweet chocolate and espresso beans. Finally there are light flavors of licorice towards the finish. Moderate to strong amounts of roasty bitterness in the finish which lingers for quite a while.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp.

O: Easy to drink and really enjoyable with very nice roasted and charred malt flavors + aromas. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Nice complexity to the flavors and aromas. Definitely worth grabbing again.

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Photo of TheElectricOne
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Slow Rhode in Providence. 16oz can glass:

Appearance: pours a deep, inky black, with a thinnish tan head that lingers for a solid few minutes. Eventually leaves a ring of mocha colored foam around the edge of the glass.

Aroma: got mostly roasted malt here, and not much else, but it is very pungent to say the least. I did get a little bit of cocoa, and a touch of milk chocolate, but otherwise, it's mostly roast.

Taste: starts with roast, and perhaps a little bit of nuttiness, and moves into some sweeter flavors, like the aforementioned cocoa and milk chocolate, and finishes, again with roasted malt. No one flavor is overwhelming, but it's a solid, complex flavor profile as a whole.

Feel: a little bit thin for my tastes; drinks more like a lighter milk stout than an export stout, but it's solid for sure. Creamy.

Overall: it's not the greatest stout, but I'd be happy drinking it most of the time in lieu of the common stouts available on tap (Guinness, etc.). It was one-note in some areas, but I enjoyed it overall.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated BB 10/2016 (it looked):
Pour offered little head. At one point it actually seemed that I had more head at the edges after walking across the room with the glass. The pour was, however, a nice inky black, and only looks like it doesn't reach full blackness at the very edges.

Nose is anise, spice, and roasted malt that leans unsweetened chocolate. There is a little woody bitterness as well that reminds me of a porter.

Taste shows the export portion of the beer up front when cold. That anise-like nose comes across to me as being an attribute of the alcohol bite/heat, almost. Roasted malts lean chocolate in the taste as well, but there is a malty sweetness to the beer to keep it from being "unsweetened". A rooty earthiness turns the beer to the bitter and I get a woody-bitter porteresque impression going in to the end beer. Things did smooth out with warmth, and the beer was a bit more cohesive malt and spice mainly.

A little heat stays throughout. More carbonation on the feel than I would've expected from the look. Bold but light on the tongue, the liquid washes through and leaves a lingering anise/wood bitterness to linger.

Better than I expected given my other experiences with Left Hand brews. Thanks, BAs, for posting about this and making me try it.

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Photo of ccg
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jet black, thin khaki head that fades quickly. Smells highly roasty and somewhat cocoa-like with a hint of coffee. It also has a nutty smell, almost like peanut butter. Flavor is similar but not as bold as the smell would suggest. Low carbonation with a slightly watery feel. A solid expression of a quality stout without gimmicks.

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Photo of jooler
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Smell and look are amazing. Initial taste is a big let down. Taste alittle watered down. There are better export stouts like saku that are a lot better

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Photo of MacMalt
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into stout glass. It's jet black in color with a thick, frothy, two-finger khaki-colord head and lacing. It smells of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt. The taste features burnt coffee, dark chocolate, some very subtle vanilla, and char. It finishes quite bitter. For a stout, it's rather thin. It's lightly carbonated and it masks its 8.50% ABV quite well. Overall, this is fine stout from a good brewer. It's a more bitter version of Left Hand's Milk Stout. The only thing that's missing is some dark fruit, which I really enjoy in a stout.

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Photo of dcscientist
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another solid offering from Left Hand. This is a drier stout than their famous Milk Stout, but it's still really good. You can taste a bit of chocolate here, but not overpowering to the point of drowning out the bitterness. It's also a bit higher alcohol than most stouts, but that makes it a great choice for a cold winter night at home. This is a better version of a Guinness, so if you find it somewhere and you like that style, give it a try for sure.

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Photo of hopflyer
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Best by 10/6/16. My first try of this beer, brewer, and style.

Pours dark brown, light orange/yellow highlights. Light tan head. Fades but doesn't completely disappear.

Faint roasted coffee and bakers chocolate in the nose. Both subdued. Smells roasts, but a light rather than deep dark roasted malt.

Taste is similar but it carries with it a mild bitterness. Wouldn't say there is much of any sweetness but there is a touch of milk chocolate, but offset by the bitter notes.

First impression of the feel is on the lighter side in the body dept. and DRY. wasn't expecting such dryness but now I see that goes along with this style of beer. Finish is pretty clean except for some lingering bitterness, but very palatable. Carbonation is on the lower side of medium.

I saw this for a decent price and in a six pack so thought I'd give it a try. It is a new style for me and it did not disappoint. A light bodied, flavorful stout without the complexities of a big RIS. Enjoyable on this Sunday AM.

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Photo of alarmclock314
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, best by date of 10/6/16. Pours nearly black with a smaller-sized tan head. Smells predominately of roasted malt with some chocolate and char. The taste follows very closely with roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and char. Somewhat assertive roast, but still very smooth and even. Below average carbonation and medium body. Well done Export Stout.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best by: 10/27/16.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. A foamy lattice of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, char, and earth aromas. Taste is much the same with dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, char, earth, and coffee bean flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with great roast and cocoa qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz.

Pours jet black, light tan film for a head retains indefinitely.

Smells of roasted coffee, cocoa, and brown sugar.

Tastes of fresh roasted coffee, mesquite, oak, brown sugar, and toasted biscuit.

Medium to full body with light tingly carbonation on the tongue.

Stellar brew, lots to like here. Great presentation and aroma, and very good flavor that is distinct. I could pick this stout out of a lineup of export stouts no problem. Could stand to have a heavier body, though on the other hand with all the flavor here, that might go overboard. Definitely worth trying and something I will return to.

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Photo of Carb-Overlord
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a soothing balm for this sore shoulders... as daylight fades to darkness in this cold fall to winter transition. This beer will warm the bones; very thick and boozy. If you enjoy beers with in your face flavors this is a good one for you. There isn't much subtlety to these flavors or an attempt at balance (which for me can be good depending on what I'm seeking). I would drink again, for instance in a cold Beerline somewhere. The appearance is that of the old oil can; thick and dark. You get hit upfront with a boozy alcohol flavor followed by your normal sweet chocolates stout and it finished with rather strong hoppy / bitterness. Very interesting, but again very clear flavors. I would certainly recommend giving this one a try.

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, no date. Initially pours like a typical stout, but the head builds very slowly, and remains with a thin film. Strong aroma of dark malts and coffee. Taste of dark malts, coffee, and perhaps a bit of caramel, with a very dry finish. Flavors become more prominent when it warms (and a bit of sweetness shows up as well). Mouth-feel is medium to heavy, and smooth. It seems to be well balanced, overall.

I am not a big fan of export stouts, I think because they can be so dry, but I did find that this one got better as it warmed. If I am going to have a stout, I prefer an imperial, but this isn't a bad alternative at a slightly lower ABV. This is a beer I would gladly drink again.

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Photo of AC-Mivsek
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a deep black with a small mocha-tan head.
S- Chocolate, hazelnut, black liquorice, roasted malts, espresso, dark fruits
T- Black liquorice, roasted malt, slight smokiness,
M- This is a big beer, thick heavy body, medium carbonation, very slick and smooth.
O- Very tasty big stout

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Photo of whitetale
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black. A tan head lingers with good lacing.
Aroma is of roast malts and a little chocolate.
Taste follows the aroma with dark roast malts and a little bitterness (in a good way - it is an export stout). Alcohol is very well hidden.
Mouthfeel is wonderful - very smooth. Carbonation is just right.
Overall, one of the best export stouts I have found. Well balanced - just enough of everything. Highly recommended.

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Photo of lastmango
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with 1 finger tan head. Moderate lacing. Nose is chocolate malt. Taste is a flavorful roasted sweet malt with just a mild but well balanced bitter finish. Moderate carbonation and creamy smooth. This is such a well balanced delicious stout. Great job Left Hand!

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 8.5% abv

Appearance- Pours a rich, dark charcoal color, 2 finger head with an obvious brown tint. Murky.

Smell- Darkly roasted barley. Smoky. Coffee bean

Taste- A dark and flavorful malt, exceptionally roasted. The roasted grain qualities enhance from the smoky flavor soon to be imparted. Coffee flavor is subtle but adds complexity to the malt. The finish is mildlt bitter, and ends with a blend of toasted barley and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Medium heavy in body with active carbonation.

Overall- A fine stout of the export variety. Very complex, this stout has all the qualites any good stout should. Pleny of flavor and not too excessively bold on any particular notes. Well balanced indeed.

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Photo of Bis4beer70
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Life it seems to fade away
Drifting further everyday
Getting lost within myself"

...with this stout!
Thanks to my wife & her friend for picking this one up!
High alcohol (8.5) but you don't really taste it as much as the Coffee & roasted malt.

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Photo of Dan_K
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours black with 1 finger of light mocha head
S: Smells of black licorice, roasted malt, lactose notes, and a little booziness.
T: Deep roasted malts, slight dark fruit, a little coffee, a little smoke. Very "roasted". Some sweetness and creaminess is also here, but with some assertive hops for bittering balance.
F: Feels smooth and creamy, with moderate carbonation. Feels a little hot/boozy as well.
O: This beer is very smooth and drinkable, quite delicious and well roasted. The only problem is that at 8.5%, it really bridges the gap between session stout and a hearty Imperial Stout. Should hold up pretty well to age. It's not a sipper, it's a drinker. But be careful because this black beauty packs a punch.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black with one finger high, beige head.

Nose: Chocolate, licorice, smoke, espresso, roasted malt and hops.
Taste: Coffee beans, chocolate, roasted malt, molasses and licorice.
Body: Medium to full body. Smooth. Moderate carbonation.

A great stout from Left Hand!

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

Stfu this is awesome poured a big black dark liquid gold from a 12 oz bottle couldnt tell what the best by date was very little head so chocolaty
So tasty so right about of coffee flavor so smooth yet has body to it going tomorrow to by the store out

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Photo of jwc215
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
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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Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout) from Left Hand Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.