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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

408 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 408
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.07%
Wants: 28
Gots: 36 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: superdedooperboy on 11-13-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 408 | Reviews: 268 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of witster18
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours Black as the themed label. Smell is sweet choco and alcohol. Head is relatively tame. About .5" and dissapates rather quickly - due to the abv surely.

Taste is raisin, cherry, and the choco from the dark roasted malts. Suprisingly the alcohol is not nearly as strong in the taste as it is on the nose. A really easy drinker for 8.5. Careful! The only negative here is that there isn't really any earthy or chalkiness to this brew. And the late hop presence is more cloying than enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is nice and oily. I've had much better.

This is good, but not as complex or as good as I thought it would be. A bit too sweet. Comes off like a strong Mackeson's with less flavor.... really... this is like a milk stout with fig/raisin notes and kick.

doubt I'll revisit, but wouldn't turn it down either.

witster18, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of spartanfan
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a (not surprisingly) opaque black color with a nice tan head that quickly fades to a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass. Leaving no lacing behind.

S: Nose is of sweet roasted malts and dark chocolate. Maybe a hint of alcohol as well.

T: Quite strong tastes of roasty, almost smoky malts. A lingering bitter finish. A slight warming sensation from the alcohol.

M: This beer has a medium body and has a higher than usual level of carbonation.

D: For the alcohol content this beer is quite drinkable since the body is lighter and the flavors are not overpowering.

spartanfan, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of MPLS
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Tap offering was delicious, so giving this single an attempt at making glory. The "bottled on" date is blank, but I'm sure most were brewed in November-December when it was initially released.

A: The bottle of this beer is great with it's black and white vector images around the bottle with a very black metal-esque font. Hell yeah. The beer itself is well...black, maybe the darkest shade of brown possible. The head is pretty small and has no retention. The beer does possess some lace to redeem itself though.

S: True to style with some nice roasted malts, whiffs of coffee, and a bit of chocolate acidity.

T: The taste has a bit more complexity. There is the roasted malts almost throughout the flavor profile, but there is chocolate + coffee sweetness that gives way to some sort of spicy and herbal hops in the finish. Overall this is a good for the style, but the acidity doesn't sit super well with my palate.

M: Like other Left Hand brews, this is a pretty creamy medium bodied brew.

D: I think it's a great example of this style, but I would like to see it more extreme in the roasted/smoke fashion or up the sweetness. Not a bad brew though by any means.

MPLS, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of beer2day
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with impressive 2 finger head of medium dark cream. Retains the head very well. Decent lacer, too.

Sweet, roasted malt greets the nose. There is chocolate and cream further down. Weak vanilla slides in at the end. I'm not picking up on the strong coffee that other's report, but it's there also. Very nice.

Creamy hit, with a sharp bite from dark chocolate. Finishes very dry with a strong hit of roast malt and bitter coffee. Somewhere in the middle you can find some milky sweetness, but that is very fleeting.

Body is spot on. Just creamy enough to balance out the strong flavors. Rich enough to compliment the nose.

I am liking this one a lot. Incredibly easy to drink for the style.

beer2day, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of Ricochet
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black. I put it up to light to see that it's got a bit of carbonation. No head and little lace.

S: Coffee ice cream cones? Yep. Like a Joy ice cream cone, and a mild coffee. So that would be vanilla and whatever they mash up to press cones. Only beer yet to give me that.

M: Creamy, creamy and creamy. Licorice end. Bitter aftertaste. Imperial anyone?

T: I'll start with a heavy dark chocolate to start. Swirl in that vanilla and a little coffee. Then alcohol. Major, bracing backbone to warm the soul. That is where the licorice hides and the outside bitter balances.

D: We have a winner! This is the best I've had from Left Hand PLUS it's at a great price compared to other great stouts I've had. Get it and pour it over ice cream. Nahhh.

Ricochet, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a very dark brown that is nearly black. Around the edges where the light can shine through it is brownish. Pours with a finger of darkly tanned head. Head receeds fairly fast to just a thin film across the top of the beer and a little bit of spotty lacing clings to the glassware. Very strong aroma of coffee mostly with some burnt grains and hops. Taste is quite bitter from a mixture of hops and is heavily toasted...no, burnt grains. Lingering taste of strong black coffee and a nice dose of warming alcohol to boot. Feel is medium and has a moderate amount of carbination. I really enjoy this beer but it feels a little light and is missing more depth outside of the heavily bitter coffee/espresso character in both the aroma and the taste.

stakem, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of DenverLogan
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mmmmm...drinking it now, from a growler a week old from the brewery. Beautiful color and brown bubble clusters hanging to the side of my glass...granted, not that cool Left Hand glass in the photo, but a nice Cheeky Monk Belgian style glass. Nice swirling head...with a beer tasty enough, just looking at the bubbles can be fascinating. There's a lot in the aroma and taste, from coffee to light tobacco, chocolate, espresso, dark roasted malts, bitter chocolate, yada yada... I first had this at a place called Jonesys in Denver...a neighborhood semi-fancy food drink joint with creative offerings. They have a modest but cool selection of brews, and this I hadn't had yet. I wanted a second but I was the DD with a long haul to the DenVUH suburbs....uh...have I run out of room left? How much ranting can I do?!! This is no wimpy brew...chocolate, liquroice, dark roasted malts, some bite, beautifully dark color and lovely rich aroma and taste for the big beer hunters of the world...lovely.

DenverLogan, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with an unreadable smudged bottled on date. Pours a lighter shade of black with a few brown highlights showing around the edges. Large, 2-inch cap of dark tan foam displays average retention and lacing.

Nose is chocolaty sweet with just a hint of charred, roasty malts. Alcohol is detectable as well. The smell actually reminds me of a bigger and bolder version of their milk stout and that is a good thing.

There is plenty of big flavors in this beer and the complexity is showing much more than the nose would indicate. There is some toast and roast along with some sweeter, lighter malts that make for quite a wide range of malty flavors. There is a definite hop bite on the back end and a bit of bready yeast somewhere in the middle. Low on the fruitiness, which seems to work well for this style. Mouthfeel is noticeably creamy and oily, but not quite viscous. Alcohol feels about what the ABV is...there, but not overpowering. This is a pretty solid stout that is well worth a six-pack purchase.

twiggamortis420, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 1/1/2010 (Bottled 10409):

Pours a nearly pitch black color body, average tan color head, diminishing. Strong dark chocolate aroma, sweet like a milk stout. Bitter chocolate taste. Sweet. Some bitterness on the end, but balanced pretty well. Some bitter coffee taste on the end. Thick, not as bitter as it warms. somewhat chalky or something.

jujubeast6000, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of minnunderground
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Bought a 6er, came with a LH sticker, cool.

Pours A stout black with a creamy tan head if you hold a small part of it to light it is a dark brown.

S-Roasted malts, coffee smell, dark fruits, sweet smell.

T- Taste is good, starts out roasty malt, ends on a bitter kind of coffee taste

M- seems kind of dry but still light and not big

D- Highly drinkable I seriously thought this was a 6-6.5% but its a 8.5%

Overall a night FXS not that I exactly know what that means...haha really a good stout that drinks like a porter.

minnunderground, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of bernardus1212
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from Datz in Tampa. (thank you roger.) At first glance the beer looked very dark. Then when investigated under a light, It was more of a deep amber, brown color. nice light brown head. Smell was very sweet, bit of dark chocolate, brown sugar, some hops notes as well. The taste was very similar to the smell. With a creamy texture. I was a dead tie for me with the blackjack porter. Very recommended.

bernardus1212, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of Katahdin
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a very rich dark color with a nice tannish head. Initial aroma is off roasted malts and a toffee type smell that tells you it is a big beer. Taste is full of the roasted malts and coffee and toffee coming through with a hint perhaps of molasses. An aftertaste of dried fruit and a touch of vanilla lingers after it goes down and gives a pleasant warming sensation. The beer is very smooth in drinkability, cannot taste the alcohol at all.

Katahdin, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of Jayli
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed this at Marty's in Newton

A: This beer pours a thin but opaque black with a one finger of medium brown, creamy head. Head retains nicely and leaves ringlets of sheet lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of major roasted and burnt malts, coffee is present, and as the beer warms some vanilla and dark fruit is detectable.

T: Taste starts with roasted and burnt malts up front, but quickly fade out to a dark fruit - I think raisin, and molasses flavoring that is then just as quickly replaced with a bit of bitter baker's chocolate, coffee, and a hint of hop.

M: Medium to full body, moderate to low carbonation, nice creamy feel.

D: This is a well blended beer. Flavors really compliment each other rather than dominate. I could enjoy another pint of this one.

Jayli, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of goblet
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a bottle of fade to black into a wine glass (no tulips,gotta get one)and took a look.

a deep dark stout with a lite brown frothy head that fades to a thin coating on top.no carbonation that i can see.

hints of bitter dark chocolate and coffee.rich,sugary malty smell and some hops oils and prunes scent in the back ground.

a smooth black coffee with sugar flavor. some bitter hops and spices.a bit of bitter chocolate dark sweet malts and fruits that give it a very good taste.

a medium body stout with a some what of a light malty spicy feel on the palette.

an easy to drink stout ,i enjoyed it and would pick one up again.cheers.

goblet, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of Yojimbo1941
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle

A- Black as pitch with a tan, 1/2" head.

S- Cocoa, sweet chocolate, slight hops, hint of vanilla, raisins, cocoa krispies.

T- Sweet, dark chocolate taste which gives way to a slightly bitter chocolate mixed with hops. Slight alcohol bite at the end but is surpassed by the silky finish. Prunes.

M- Medium. Not the type of beer to absolutely coat your tongue. Carbonation does not linger. Very smooth.

D- Not bad. Very smooth on the palate and is definitely a dessert type beer due to the sweetness. Well worth the 2 bucks I paid for it.

Yojimbo1941, Feb 01, 2010
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.

glid02, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - stout black, light does not penetrate, over a finger of creamy dark tan head

S - coffee and small amounts of chocolate are first perceptions, background earthiness, almost peaty

T - super bitter dark chocolate is heavy on the palate, the earthiness remains in the background which is where the roasted coffee bean flavor has migrated to, nothing too amazing or fancy, but blended well

M&D - a bit of alcohol burn, but decently smooth,a nice blended flavorful beer, well balanced and hopefully the start to a great series

sinstaineddemon, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of Mdog
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, good head.

Smell: Chocolate, dark fruits.

Taste: Nice creamy chocolate, mild sweetness, some fruity hints, finishes with mild dark chocolate bitterness.

Drinkability: I had no idea this was 8.5%, seemed lower.

I was pretty impressed by this one from Left Hand. It is a nice flavorful stout that I thought was more in the 6-7% range. I think I'll have to pick up a 6er, good stuff.

Mdog, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of drumrboy22
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a New Belgium globe glass. Beer was dark brown, almost black in color, with a one-finger, lt. brown head. Moderate carbonation and little strands of lacing around the glass.

Aroma was roasted grains, chocolate, with a touch of coffee and hops.

Taste was bitter hops, coffee, chocolate, roasted grains and malt. Interesting. Wouldn't mind aging one of these to see how it changes as the bitterness fades.

Nice, new beer from Left Hand. I look forward to Volume 2 next year.

drumrboy22, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of Gmann
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black color that is brown around the edges. Frothy tan head that settles into a light cap. Aroma is nothing special, the most distinct aroma is that of milk chocolate. The taste is fairly sweet, kind of like chocolate milk, though not that chocolatey. There is some bitter roasted coffee notes towards the end. The taste has an almost refreshing quality to it; it doesn't taste heavy at all. Moderate feel, lighter than most stouts. Fizzy carbonation adds to the drinkability of this brew. Quite an easy drinking stout. The roasted coffee flavors in the end make it known that this is a stout. The ABV is no where to be found. Not crazy but very good.

Gmann, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of Gyle41386
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Thanks, bhalter8!

Cola-colored pour with some reddish highlights. Smallish tan head retains for a little while, and leaves some decent lacing behind.

Milky, sweet, chocolatey, roasty nose. Reminds me of an iced coffee drink in a way.

There's a light sweetness up front that transitions into a bitter roasty finish. Not much else to it.

Medium-light body. Carbonation is appropriate. Fairly smooth, easy drinker. Not a terribly interesting beer, but quite solid nonetheless.

Gyle41386, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single into a Lancaster Brewing pint glass.

Fade to black is black, like Morton Downey Jr's lungs. Some light penetrates the top 1/2 inch of the glass but nothing beneath that. Pouring hard, I yielded a 1/2 inch of mocha dark tan foam that became a sheet covering the surface, spotty dots of foam.

Black's scent is bold, a very robust smokey and hoppy milk stout. This fresh bottle displays the hops nicely reminding me of a light storm king in the nose although the styles differ. Cream and a big malty presence.

While I got hops in the nose they are muted in taste. Fade to Black is roasty with some char and some smoke, but it's creamy with milk and malty with caramel. Barley and some grain in the finish. Not as sweet as thought but a good balance between that and roast.

FTB is very smooth for the style but it does not glide, there are some kinks in the road. The roast smoke effect is noted, but this remains pretty creamy. The carb does not sting in any way so it's at a great level, letting you know this is alive. I would not mind having a sixer of this lying around during the cold months. This is the first Left Hand beer that I enjoyed, finally.

BARFLYB, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of Beaver13
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Beaver13, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 1/27/2010 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts and a very slight touch of hops.

T: The taste is loaded with black coffee and milk chocolate. There's a very hearty roasted malt character along with some lactose creaminess. The hops presence is very mild as you would expect from this kind of beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, nice representation of style, this is a very good stout to drink for a long time.

TheManiacalOne, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip at Track 84. Poured the color of cola with a quarter inch, khaki-colored head that dissipates into a thin speckled cap. Head was refreshed with a swirl. Some delicate strands of lacing to start; however, no retention. Nose is roasty, a little sweet and suggests some lactose. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of coffee and chocolate notes. Mouthfeel is light-medium with an assertive carbonation level and a dry finish. I haven't had too many Foreign/Export Stouts, and have found a great deal of variability in the ones I've tried. That being said, this is an incredible offering. If you like stouts and porters, seek this one out. The only disappointing thing about this beer is that it's a one-off.

Jwale73, Jan 29, 2010
Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout) from Left Hand Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 408 ratings.