Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) - Left Hand Brewing Company
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Ratings: 340 | Reviews: 241 | Display Reviews Only:
4.15/5 rDev +2.7%
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.
12-13-2012 03:08:55 | More by Sammy
4/5 rDev -1%
Served in a Cantillon tulip.
Pours near black with a single-finger light mocha head with pretty good retention and some spotty lacing as it goes down, eventually settling down into a thin collar. The nose has some roasted malt character as well as some nice chocolate and espresso notes with a bit of dark fruit backing. Dark chocolate is the predominant character.
The taste is pretty congruent with the nose, as there's some roast up front followed by some slightly-bitter espresso as well as chocolate, and then finishing up with some dry bitterness. Body is medium with moderate levels of carbonation. No booze is apparent. Very nice beer overall and I definitely prefer it to Volume 1 of the series.
01-27-2011 03:08:45 | More by Thorpe429
4.13/5 rDev +2.2%
A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high mocha head that quickly faded away and left faint lacing on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: The overall taste has flavors of roasted malts and smoke along with some notes of espresso beans and oak. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is a sipper but it's not too difficult to drink because the smoke is well incorporated into the taste (it isn't overpowering) and the alcohol is masked.
01-08-2011 06:13:10 | More by metter98
4.03/5 rDev -0.2%
Appearance: Pours a midnight black color with a frothy tan head that gets very rocky as it leaves clumps of foam behind
Smell: Chocolate and fireplace ash, with a hint of coffee
Taste: Black bread and chocolate, with a growing smoke and coffee character; a bit of fruit appears at mid-palate and fades just as quickly; the finish edges sweet, with a blast of smoke in the aftertaste
Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation
Overall: Not really a Baltic Porter nor an overly smokey beer; still, I really enjoy the chocolate/smoke character present in this beer
06-26-2011 00:21:25 | More by brentk56
3.88/5 rDev -4%
Clever with the marketing campaign on these annual dark beers. Fade to Black hits home with another stellar beer.
Volume 2 begins with a heavy and creamy looking pour heading into the glass. As dark brown as it gets before going actual black and with complete opaqueness. A froathy/creamy tan head forms and sits properly on the beer for a soft and even coat across the surface. Both rings and a tapestry of lace adorn the surface of the glass as the beer falls.
A delicate aromatic blend of malted milk or cream tempers the smoke-heavy and roasty elements of the Porter. With low esters, the beer showcases roasted barley, mild peat, charred woods and true malt in the aroma.
Flavors follow the aroma profile to the tee. Creamy malt sweetness hits the front of the mouth with heavy cream, burnt caramel, and roasted grains. The mid palate turns to smoke, peat, and earthy hop notes. The taste finishes with a fleeting malt, sharpening roast, and hoppy bitterness that doesn't allow for much flavor other than bitterness. While certainly tasty and full of flavor, the beer is a bit simple in profile (except for the heavy flavor of charred smoked meats) leaving me wanting more dimensions of complexity and layering.
Creamy and full throughout, the early richness is tempered later by bitterness from both hops and from roasted grains, only to finish malty-dry and with a long roasty aftertaste.
The beer hits all of the high notes for the style with me wondering if the smoke is more a bennefit or detraction. Interestingly, without the fruity notes that sometimes accompany ale-fermented versions are missing, and the smoother lager-like mouthfeel and flavor do very well the beer doesn't tell me much, but the lable insists that it's indeed an ale. But I'll admit that a slightly fruity note could add to the complex makeup of the beer. I'd also like to see a better procession towards dryness in the finish to accompany the smoke for better scores.
12-30-2010 03:10:20 | More by BEERchitect
4.47/5 rDev +10.6%
big thanks to rich for sending me down the sixer. i cracked this one open with lunch today.
very dark pour, nearly totally black with nice hints of brown around the edges and a head of light tan that sat on top throughout the entire session really quite nicely. aroma of roasted malts and peat, campfire smoke and a rich chocolate note.nice mixed of flavors here with loads rich campfire smoke. lots of caramel and hints of dark notes as it warms. smooth and lightly sweet in the finish i was quite impressed with it overall.
nice and solid beer, not sure about the baltic porter as the style, but very nicely done.
02-05-2011 22:41:00 | More by mikesgroove
4/5 rDev -1%
A: The pour is a very dark brown color with a bit of amber in there too. A small khaki colored head goes with it.
S: Definitely smokey, but at least there are other things going on here. Some creamy vanilla and roasted malts along with a slightly sweet caramel note and maybe even a little bit nutty.
T: Again, it's smokey, but not overwhelmingly so. Moderately sweet with some caramel, toffee, and a bit of creaminess. There's a nice nutty flavor along with the roasted malts.
M: The body is medium with a somewhat low and smooth carbonation.
D: Not a bad smoked beer. Pretty well balanced with a lot of different flavors going on.
01-11-2011 19:12:46 | More by womencantsail
4.45/5 rDev +10.1%
Single finger tan head on a jet lack background with no light getting through. Sweet chocolate and roasted malt, more like a stout, with coffee notes. Sharp coffee and roast up front which transitins to a sweet chocolate and vanilla finish. Intermixed bitter nd musty hips. Moderate carbonation and full bodied. Very smooth and surpisingly drinkable. More stout like than a porter though.
01-25-2012 01:37:50 | More by kylehay2004
3.98/5 rDev -1.5%
12 ounce bottle - $1.89 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia. Bottled on: 11/11/10.
Appearance: Pours out a black body topped with a medium-sized, tan-head that quietly slips out of existence, leaving behind a skimpy ring.
Smell: The Smoked Baltic Porter smells of chocolate, espresso powder, roasted malts, dark German rye bread, a bit of dark fruitiness, meats cooking over a campfire, and ground-up Whoppers candies.
Taste: Malty tastes of dark chocolate squares, callously burnt sugars, and scorched bread crusts given a generous sip of Italian roast coffee. Charcoal and smoked currants follow. Medium sweetness. Some underlying earthy hop character brings about a slight bitterness. Takes on more dark bready character as it warms. A chew of smoky beer jerky nearing the roasty finish with a bit of tangy Hershey chocolate bar in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Light creaminess.
Drinkability: It's a good, well-crafted smoky brew. Sufficiently smoky for me, though some might consider it a bit too restrained. A nice addition to the burgeoning FtB series.
02-23-2011 04:28:05 | More by ChainGangGuy
4.18/5 rDev +3.5%
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".
01-12-2011 21:52:09 | More by oberon
4.25/5 rDev +5.2%
Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.
I went to Half Acre seeking a trade and some Hugs, came away with both and a sixer o' this. Not a bad afternoon, really. It pours a nice obsidian topped by a finger of dark tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, light charcoal, molasses, dark chocolate, and a touch of dark cigar (you know the ones). The taste does not want to deviate much, save for an increase in the molasses and a shift from charcoal to peat. Me likey. The body is a strong medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a lovely little smoked Baltic, another win from the Fade to Black series!
12-20-2010 01:22:41 | More by TMoney2591
3.8/5 rDev -5.9%
A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a one-finger, light brown head of foam. It has some nice retention and slowly receded to leave some nice ring so lace.
S - It smelled of smoked meats and woody notes. There was a mild roasty aroma.
T - It tasted of rich roasted malts with a mild smokiness - not as strong as the aroma. There is some grassy hop bite like Baltic Porters can have.
M -It was crisp, sharp and smooth. It is a medium bodied ale with a slightly dry finish.
D - This is a very nice beer. Although, I preferred Volume 1 - it was just easier to drink.
12-11-2010 03:03:58 | More by zeff80
4.35/5 rDev +7.7%
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.
03-07-2012 22:54:31 | More by NeroFiddled
4/5 rDev -1%
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.
A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.
S: The aroma contains roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and a touch of hops.
T: The taste starts out with creamy and sweet flavors of coffee and chocolate. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. There is some flavor of dark fruit in the background as well. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.
M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.
O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid porter to drink for a while.
11-11-2012 23:44:08 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.33/5 rDev +7.2%
A - Poured with two fingers of off-white foam on an opaque, dark brown body. The head fades slowly and leaves nice lace.
S - Dark bread, molasses, and smoky caramel.
T - Dark caramel and sweet malt up front. Smoky chocolate comes out in the finish with more caramel, brown malt, and a lingering hint of chocolate.
M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish
D - Very well balanced and drinkable. The smoke is light but noticeable and adds nicely to the complexity of the beer.
01-25-2012 01:53:24 | More by nickfl
4.35/5 rDev +7.7%
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.
01-09-2011 05:42:54 | More by WVbeergeek
4.22/5 rDev +4.5%
Review based on notes, consumed about 2 weeks ago...
Pours chestnut/mahogany with a pinky of brown head. Good head retention & lacing
S: Dark fruit & roastyness
T: Roasty malt, chcolate, & dark fruit up front. Molasses notes & slight smokeyness as this warms, plus dryness & more roastyness, plus woody hop notes. Finishes dry & roasty with plums & dark cherry in abundance
MF: Medium bodied, smooth carbonation, nice warming quality to this
Drinks very easy, one of the better Baltic Porters out their if you not completely obsessed about style guidelines...
Given the chance, I will happily get more of this..
01-08-2011 14:30:29 | More by russpowell
4/5 rDev -1%
Full ebony appearance, nice roasted tan head, copious bubblation, leaving lace. Good looking' stout.
Aroma: beautiful, cocoa and light espresso give way to smoked malt. Full and sturdy meets soft and creamy. Dry, roasty, with the essence of smoked meats and fish in the air.
Taste: A bit rough and thick up front, rather chunky and powerful on the palate. Rich and chocolatey, with some dark fruit mixing it up with the salmon and ham. Smoke is rising high in the flavor now, taking over. It's kind of a strange mix, but tasty, smooth, and easy-going. I'm liking this. Just enough hanging in the end. Long, tasty, smoky finish.
08-06-2011 21:52:55 | More by feloniousmonk
3.98/5 rDev -1.5%
I should track down the FES stout from this series, maybe it's in VA. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle dated in December of 2010 into a Russian River wine glass. I believe this came as an extra in a recent trade but I don't recall from whom.
Beer is black with a tiny head with low retention. The head is diffuse and breaks, pulling to the walls of the glass as quickly as it formed originally. Some lacing is left on the glass but overall the beer is undercarbonated. It looks like a Baltic porter.
The aroma has a mild air of smoke to it. By what is written on the neck of the bottle I assume this is intentional. The smoke is definitely present but it is not overwhelming. There is a mild yeast character to the aroma and perhaps some maltiness too. I like the aroma.
Baltic porters are an odd bird to me. They are often thin and have a watery aftertaste. This one is similar but the finish is more bitter from the smoked malt and the dryness of the finish is filled out with a kind of late smokiness. I am curious if this was in fact lagered as it seems to have some qualities that I associate with lagering. There is a yeastiness to the beer but not in the sense that a Belgian style ale would be, more in the sense that a kellerbier would be. If I were to hazard a guess I would say that this was made with lager yeast. Overall, it is a decent Baltic porter and I'd have it again if given the opportunity but I doubt I'd seek it out.
04-21-2011 13:32:58 | More by drabmuh
Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) from Left Hand Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 340 ratings.