Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter)Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter)

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

355 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 355
Reviews: 241
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 21
Gots: 31 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Rayek on 11-15-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 355 | Reviews: 241 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by nhindian:
Photo of nhindian
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A - As the name aptly suggests, this beer is essentially more black than the darkest winter night, and all light essentially fades into this vortex. There's a big, 2-fingered, tan head that has the appearance of a crater-filled moon, and it has good retention. The lacing is pretty good as well, with a thin layer of film that covers most of the glass.

S - The smell begins with a pretty big smokey note; not like a ham, pulled pork, or barbecue kind of smoke, but a fireplace or campfire kind of smoke. It's smooth like the smell of your clothes long after you go home, or your hair after you shower after a long night of sitting around the campfire. Next comes the chocolate and coffee, which are both pretty sweet, and the malts almost give off the impression of some dark fruit in here as well. At first I wasn't a big fan of the aroma, but it definitely grew on me.

T - The first taste brings a lot more smoke than was in the nose, and I'm a bit disappointed as it throws the synergy of the aroma askew. All the things that were in the nose are present, but the smoke takes the lead and the chocolate, coffee, and fruits are almost in the audience watching. It's still pretty sweet, but the coffee now turns slightly acrid. The fruits come through stronger than in the aroma, and give off a pleasant taste.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderately low carbonation. It's surprisingly light given the appearance and it goes down smoothly. The smoke and chocolate are the lasting tastes here.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. Although I was a little disappointed that the taste is so much more smokier than the nose, it is still a great beer. It balances the smoke with a nice sweetness, and the chocolate and fruit are a nice complement as well.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep chocolate brown with a smaller mocha colored head that settled slowly leaving a few broken chunks of lace behind.A nice mix of stuff in the nose,the smoke is light but is there,some dark fruit,as well as some French roast coffee as well,as it warmed a detectable earthy/woodiness shows thru as well.Light to medium feel,its pretty smooth but maybe not quite as full as I would like.Flavors are complex and rich,the smoke is lighter but holds up well to the sweeter dark fruit,and alcohol flavors,there is a drying woodiness in the finish wich brings everything together nicely.Volume 2 is as good as Volume 1,hopefully Left Hand will keep making good "Volumes".

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #48 (Jan 2011):

A hint of smoke hits the nose even before it's done being poured; bubbles appear within the darkness and jockey for position. A firm smoke with a roasty sweetness akin to dark chocolate and espresso coffee in the nose all make the mouth water. Silky smooth on a stodgy cream body. Sweetness in front of smoke, though the smoke does lay it on pretty thick. Roastiness wraps around the taste buds with suggestions of bitter dark chocolate, burnt sugar and fresh espresso. Smokiness coats all; warming alcohol drops a burnt currant flavor middle to end. Finishes quite roasty. An all-night sipper here.

Photo of Beaver13
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled on 11/10/10. Pours a dark brown black with a medium cream light brown head that slowly goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is subdued - a little charred chocolate and liquid smoke.

The flavor is sweet lactic chocolate with some smoke and a weird plasticky hot (almost peppery) bitterness in the finish. There is some warming alcohol present. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, it's got some weird notes to it, but it kind of grew on me as I drank it.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pitch black, small caramel colored head, good retention.

Aroma: Smoked malts, BBQ, noble hops.

Taste: Sweet roasted malts up front, bitter coffee, fades into a deep roasty, smokiness. A bit too sweet.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation fighting through a creamy body.

Drinkability: Decent. A couple pints are more than enough.

Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Gingerman Dallas.

The beer pours a very dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate and caramel malt, with some nice smoked notes mixed in. The beer is smokey without being overwhelming. Very nice.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a nice amount of smoke in the flavor, but I also get some chocolate and roasted malt. There is also a slight amount of coffee in the flavor. The smoke is not as meaty as with a lot of the smoked beers I have tried - such as the Aecht Schlenkerla beers - but it is still very enjoyable.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very nice overall and a very good smoked beer for those that enjoy the style.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Skye1024
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Tabni
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark pitch black color. Great smell of toasted chocolates. Taste is just a clean smoked taste of dark chocolates and espresso. Serious drink, it's like eating a dark cacao bar. Drinkability is good, goes down quick at the beginning but the aftertaste puts you back in track. A strong porter and another seasonal gem by Left Hand.

Photo of whoneeds8
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass black with a one finger dark tan head. Good retention and lacing all the way down the glass. The scent isn't too strong, but it has all the basic Baltic notes. The taste is about the same, all the basic baltic notes. What makes this a little better than just average is the solid mouthfeel and perfect carbonation. The acidic feeling is rather strong. It also has a warming feeling from the alcohol content that otherwise is not detectable.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark pitch black hue with a full tan head forming thick with fine even lacing between sips. Aroma has a back end of smoked malts with a creamy dark chocolate/mild coffee dark roasted malt layer. Flavor is full of smoke/dark fruit/dark chocolate creamy roasts with hints of vanilla in the finish. Very bitter smoked malt finish actually works within this complex awesome one off seasonal series. Dark chocolate bitterness smoked malt brightens my day, yet the beer is called Fade to Black...isn't life ironic? All fucked up comments aside, I'm enjoying the dark roasts I bought a whole six without hesitation at 9.99, because last years volume one export stout was just as heavenly. I'm glad their keeping the dark/black/stout/porter theme alive, and there's definitely more to life than just milk stout. Mouthfeel is creamy, carbonation is mellow, body if full this, my friends this is a baltic porter lover's cream pie. Drinkability overall is wonderful, not as heavenly as some formerly brewed baltic porters but amongst the best of the current widely available versions out there.

Photo of schoon
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Pours black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of heavy roasted malts with good amounts of semi-sweet chocolate. Moderate amounts of smokiness waft in and out, intensifying as the beer warms. Hints of earthy hop aromas come into play as the beer warms as well.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Robust roasted malt flavors with slightly sweet dark chocolate flavors kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are smooth smoked malt flavors, more earthy than leather-like or meaty. Slight leafy hop flavors make an appearance before fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I was expecting a little more of this beer after last year's inaugural success but I was slightly disappointed. A solid beer but nothing special.

Photo of goast8127
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of JMS1512
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of Brenden
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours in the glass creamy, thick and heavy. It's a deep brown that comes just short of black, and a small but thick brown head forms on top that soon fades to a thick foam and leaves some light to moderate lacing.
There's definitely something lactic in the aroma, giving a cream feel to it, underneath a bit of smoke and thick malts. This one's got lots of barley and charred woods to it.
Roasted barley malts are heaviest here, blending very nicely with a milk/cream flavor, smoke and a separate charred woods taste. There are some hops in here as well, adding a bit of balance. All throughout is a touch of the acidity I've come to realize is natural of Baltics. There's a nice mix of bitter, creamy, lightly sweet, smoky, and tart in the flavor.
This is one rich, thick beer with lots of smoothness to it. The mouthfeel is excellent, and this beer just flows nicely. There's little carbonation, but enough to give it life and allow focus to go to the thick smoothness of it.
This is a great one and certainly one to have again.

Photo of caddybuyer
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A-Deep brown pour with a nice tan head that laces well.

S-Roasted coffee and cream, with a hint of smoke, but not overpowering. Rich malts are present.

T-Smooth rich, creamy smoked slighly sweet malts feature caramel and coffee. Not the worlds most complex beer, but damn it is pretty tasty.

M-Creamy and well balanced.

D-I could drink this one all night. A great addition in the new series, possibly better than last years, and almost makes me forgive these guys for killing Snowbound.

Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Steve in Warren. Smoked baltic porter nails it. Starts with licorice. Thick black pour. Smoke and roast aroma. Roast to near burnt. Big big mouthfeel. Some ice cream. Chocolate and coffee. Very tasty and lovely drinkability. Something special.

Photo of haddon
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours as dark as the Baltic Sea at night with mocha colored foamy waves crashing against the side of the tulip.

Wow, starts on the nose like your sitting around a campfire but then quickly turns into the smell of salt cured ham. Also notes of dark chocolate, and dark malts.

Just as unique in flavor as the smells. Smoke & salty bacon. Under the thick malts are some pretty bitter hops. Actually feel the lingering effect on my taste buds. As it warms, the nice alcohol flavor begins to shine through.

Medium to full body with just the right amount of carbonation.

One of the most unique smoked porters I've tasted but it works. Very enjoyable.

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very good pitch black hue. Medium head fades to thin tan layer.

S- Rich, sweet, robust, chocolate, coffee, smoke. Everything I would expect. Very balanced.

T- Rich bittersweet barley with heavy cocoa and loads of maduro smoke. A nice sweetness that is not cloying. Balanced, and unique smokey flavors. Upfront smoke that fades away.

M- Very nice heavy feel with rich bittersweet cocoa aftertaste.

D- Flavors are very rich and a little harsh, and it impairs the drinkability. The ABV is concealed will and it has a decent mouthfeel, however a sipper.

Photo of secondtooth
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured pitch-black upon dispersal into my tulip glass, with limited lace.

Scent of chocolate, berries, a woody smoke, and coffee.

Taste of sweet coffee and a brisk, smoky finish.

Very tasty and heavy-duty. Perfect for a chilly night.

Am going to cellar at least one of these for next year.

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: One of the darkest beers I've tried. Pitch black, with only average lacing and not great foam.

Smell: I have to say there's not much of a smell overall. Some chocolate malt and that's about it. Nice smokey notes as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Nice thick chocolate syrup. Goes down nice and velvety.

Drinkability: A pretty enjoyable porter based on taste alone.

Overall: See drinkability.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As might be expected, Left Hand's "Fade To Black Smoked Baltic Porter" lives up to it's name.

It's a bit dark for the style, appearing closer to 'black' rather than a very dark "almost black" brown, but the fluffy head of tan holds nicely. Unfortunately, I think the lacing could be a bit better.

In the nose the rich maltiness appears with just enough smoke to make itself known and add another note to an already complex mix that includes toasty grain, caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, raisin and prune.

The flavor is fuller, tossing in a bit more chocolate, more nuttiness, brown sugar, and molasses. The fruitiness also comes through fuller with more plum than prune, and a bit of red berry and currant as well. It hints at the roastiness of coffee in finish, but it's nicely restrained. Some underlying hops follow that, along with a bit of dull bitterness (probably around 37 IBU's), and there's a subtle spritz of 'refreshing' alcohol that helps prep the palate for the next sip.

In the mouth it's full bodied with a distinct dextrinous edge, but balanced by a gently bristling carbonation. Some alcohol is most likely lending a bit of snap to it as well.

Overall it's fairly impressive that they've kept it so nicely reigned in, balanced, and finely polished. The hops are kept in check, the bitterness is perfect, the roastiness is held back, and the smokiness is just enough that it's noticeable without standing out. Really nicely done! Quite drinkable as well.

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Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) from Left Hand Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 355 ratings.