Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) - Left Hand Brewing Company
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Ratings: 340 | Reviews: 241 | Display Reviews Only:
3.85/5 rDev -4.7%
IMPORTANT: This is classified as a Smoked Baltic Porter, and for the record I HATE smoked beers, but I really enjoyed this, because it was barely smokey. On to my notes:
Aromas are initially roasted malts highlighted with dark chocolate and espresso notes; mild charred maltiness.
The tastes somewhat follow the nose but are less astringent. Initially you are presented with cocoa powder flavors that flip flop between sweet and mildly bitter. A strong full caramel malt presence continues to represent throughout but is never the dominant contributor; full mouthfeel as well that lingers pleasantly on the palate. Dark/milk chocolate are the main contributors here with underlying charred and espresso malts.
Overall this is a great showing from Left Hand, especially due to the fact that it is available in 6 packs, what a treat.
03-12-2011 04:40:49 | More by claspada
3.95/5 rDev -2.2%
Bottled on date of 12/08/10
A- Very thin dark mocha head quickly receding atop a dark brown/black beer. Below average head retention and no lacing.
S- Dark chocolate immediately hits my nose.
T- Follows the nose with the chocolate, then coffee. Not getting much, just a little, of the smoke. Leaves the mouth watering for another sip.
M- Slightly syrupy, not much in the way of carbonation it seems.
D/O- A tasty beer. This one got better as it warmed, as far as the subtle smoke notes. Probably would only want to drink one of these per drinking period and would be a good one to keep a stash of to note differences in every few months. One hundredth different brewery reviewed.
04-23-2011 02:49:04 | More by Duff27
3.65/5 rDev -9.7%
A: Pours an ink black color, nearly opaque. A small, bubbly, tan head rises to a finger. The foam recedes in a second with light lace.
S: Big roasted malt up front. Slight acrid and astringent coffee. Plenty of meaty smoke as well.
T: Follows the nose. Big roasted malt and coffee. Big meaty smoke flavors as well.
M/D: A medium to full body. Good carbonation, and silky smooth. Easy to drink. The bottle is gone in no time.
I am enjoying this, though the smoke is strong, and I am really not a big fan of smoky beers like this. The beer succeeds as a smoked beer for sure, and will be a huge hit with any smoke head. Well done Left Hand, even though it is not among my favorite style.
12-29-2010 03:04:44 | More by champ103
4.25/5 rDev +5.2%
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.
01-11-2011 00:49:26 | More by Brenden
4.43/5 rDev +9.7%
12oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. Bottled on 12/21/10 indicated on the bottle. Pours an inky black with a quarter inch, mocha-colored head that quickly dissipates and disperses towards the edges. Some specks and strands of lacing revealed during the tasting. Fantastic nose - bold dark fruit gradually gives way to a roasted coffee quality with a suggestion of cocoa. Taste consistent with nose; however, a smoky quality pleasantly permeates the flavor profile, bringing the coffee and roasted character to the foreground, with the dark fruit lingering lightly in the back. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lively carbonation that leaves a light residual burn at the back of the throat. This is a fantastic Baltic Porter - great flavor and complexity. One of my favorites by far. I'm going to have to obtain more of this before it goes away. Too bad this isn't part of Left Hand's regular line-up because it is quite exceptional.
01-08-2011 22:50:14 | More by Jwale73
4.22/5 rDev +4.5%
Excellent beer! Served with a thick, creamy, fine, light tan head and good lacing. Color is an opaque brown black. Aroma is malt, toffee, roasty, toasty, fire pit. Flavor is a sweet porter with excellent smoke balance. Body is good and carbonation is just a tad light. Finish is like flavor and has good length and balance throuhout. Session beer.
08-01-2011 04:57:07 | More by drpimento
3.93/5 rDev -2.7%
This bottle was given to me by Preismj in a recent that requires a couple boxes. Thanks Matt!
This one pours between light and medium in body, a very, very dark brown in color that eventually pooling to resemble Coke. The aromas consist of slight smoked bacon, sweet roasted malts, both slightly sweet and bitter chocolates. The smoke is pretty nice. It's enough to push it past smoked ham and into bacon territory. That's a must. It's moderately complex. It features a nice mix of smoked malt, chocolate, coffee, milk chocolate, with a slightly bitter finish. Solid flavor through and through. The mouthfeel is a little sticky for the style, since this one is on the sweeter side of Baltic Porters. Overall it's a solid beer. I'm glad this one was good since they're often very hit and miss with me.
08-28-2011 02:30:23 | More by aasher
4.3/5 rDev +6.4%
This beer pours an opaque black color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes rather quickly into a thin cap of lacing. The aroma is camp fire smoke, roasted malt, and a hint of bacon. The taste is of bacon, chocolate, and smoke. I'm really digging the taste of this beer. The aftertaste lingers beautifully, and screams drink more of me. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a really good beer that I will drink a bunch of until it is gone. Kudos to Left Hand for hitting another one out of the park with their Fade to Black series.
01-25-2011 22:28:05 | More by KarlHungus
4.5/5 rDev +11.4%
12 oz. bottle.
Very dark, used motor oil body. Steady finger of lasting, dense, dark khaki head. Nice lacing. Nose of dark chocolate, black licorice, roasted coffee, earthy peat, and a hint of campfire.
Meaty, roasted malts up front. Coffee bitterness sits above smoky dark chocolate, roasted barley, and some earthy tobacco. Faint sweetness, with a little dark fruit in there, but the smoky, earthy roastedness steals the show (with an applause from this drinker). Flinty, lingering smoke, semi-sweet chocolate and coffee bitterness in the finish. Full-bodied, with a nice chewy feel. Terrific beer and a cool label to boot!
12-12-2010 01:37:43 | More by alexgash
3.93/5 rDev -2.7%
This looks wonderful. Deep and dark, with maybe a hint of dark brown around the edges. Light mocha colored head adorns, laces nicely, retention is good.
Very smoky. Not quite overboard, but definitely one of the more smokier brews I've had. Bits of roasted malts and sweetness round it out.
Starts out smoky, then some nice sweetness, roasted malts, chocolate and even some roasted coffee.
Feel is full, creamy, and smooth.
Overall solid drinkability. Very enjoyable, and I'll definitely be getting some if I can find it in TX later this month!
01-13-2011 02:24:24 | More by EgadBananas
4.43/5 rDev +9.7%
12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A thin mocha colored cap sits atop a near ink black body. Head doesn't stay around too long, but does leave a thin collar and rings of lace.
A tasty little aroma here. Cocoa powder, smoked malt, and lightly roasted coffee beans. Often, the smokiness in smoked beers is too intense and detracts from the overall experience. However, Left Hand has done a nice job of blending everything together.
The flavor pretty much follows the nose. Mild roast with cocoa powder, bitter coffee and a mellow smokiness. Everything plays well together. A unique take on a baltic porter that definitely makes it stick out in the style for me.
Smooth and creamy, medium bodied, carbonation is perfect. I served this chilled a little below room temp and it was perfect.
There was nothing that detracted from the drinkability of this beer for me. The alcohol was held in check, very good mouthfeel, flavors worked very well together.
This definitely isn't the best one of the style I have ever had, but it stands out. The layer of smoke is a welcome addition. This is definitely a beer I would seek out again.
01-15-2011 22:47:42 | More by ColForbinBC
3.53/5 rDev -12.6%
An interesting concept, but execution is just so-so. A nice, mainstream Baltic Porter - some heft to the body, with inky roasted malt notes. The smoke in the malt is very lightly handled - while I wouldn't want it to overpower the beer, here it needed a bit more distinction. More like the smoke you get from peat than anything.
01-17-2011 14:52:59 | More by Brent
4.45/5 rDev +10.1%
big thanks to cfh64 for sending me an amazing surprise thank you box that included this!
a - opened the bottle and filled my CCB snifter. black hole with some liquid shine. thin bubbled head that bubbled away quick. has a bit of a brownish tint to it.
s - very nice. chocolate roastiness. all malt. wonderful smelling porter.
t - even roastier than the nose. again, chocolate...burnt wood...and a malt party.
m - standard porter tingle. much smoother than i'd normally expect.
o - overall, this is an excellent beer. really fine example of a robust porter with wonderful bold flavors. very excellent.
07-19-2011 03:43:03 | More by cosmicevan
4.18/5 rDev +3.5%
Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Bottled on 120710 stamped on label. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $2.
A: Very dark brown with healthy 2-finger soft beige tightly bubbled head with very good retention and more than a few scraps of lace around the glass.
S: Heavy roasted barley note with some dark fruit and light tobacco hops note. No smoke detected. Alcohol is also not present.
T: The flavor is a well-blended collection of roasted barley with mild burnt qualities, chocolate, burned black coffee, and a subtle cured, meaty flavor which is really well-done, as compared to the obnoxious, overbearing, artificial, chemical smoked flavor in some beers (cough, Immortale). The hoppiness is background but is earthy and tobacco and supports the overall robust profile. Despite the ABV, alcohol is well-hidden.
M: The mouthfeel is hefty and medium-bodied plus. Carbonation is suitably low and this drinks very easily because of the creamy, smooth feel.
D: I definitely enjoyed this brew. I wish it had a bit more malt complexity and power in the flavor. But this is a really good Left Hand beer, up there with their Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout and Brandy Barrel Aged Widdershins barleywine.
03-16-2011 01:52:34 | More by argock
4.2/5 rDev +4%
I love the label on this one.
Pours a flat black color with a small tan head.
Aromas are very nice. Smoky with some charcoal, campfire, light chocolate, and cocoa.
Taste has a very nice up front smoke flavor. Not overpowering, but with notes of burnt wood, hickory smoked bacon, and a malty semi sweet chocolate note. Finish has some nice crispness, and a lingering campfire flavor. The sweet malty flavors balance well with the smoke.
Mouthfeel is good, full and well rounded.
Drinkability is pretty good. This is a flavorful and balanced smoked beer. However, the smokiness is a touch strong, and makes this one a one and done. But it is a pleasant one at that!
01-14-2011 05:43:56 | More by flexabull
4.33/5 rDev +7.2%
A - Pours a dark black color with some hints of brown around the edges and a finger of brown-tanish head. The head fades down to a ring around the glass leaving behind some nice lace spots.
S - Aroma is a mix of deep roasted caramel malts and some oak and smoke. There is a bit of vanilla and chocolate. Also a touch of milk sweetness.
T - Starts off with nice roasted caramel malts and some smoke/oak. There is just a touch of coffee in the background. Through the middle, some chocolate flavors and a bit of vanilla and milk sweetness come through. The finish is a mix of deep roasted caramel and chocolate malts, some oak and vanilla, and some smoke that lingers nicely.
M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A touch creamy and the smoke flavor really coats the mouth nicely. The finish leaves a slight dryness that mixes nicely with the smoke.
D - Very drinkable. Nice mix of flavors in a smoked porter here. The smoke flavor is at a nice level compared to the other flavors. Not weak enough to get over-powered, however, it also allows the other flavors to be known.
05-09-2011 20:59:33 | More by ngeunit1
4.33/5 rDev +7.2%
12 oz. Fairly black pour with just some brown around the edges. Thin layer of light tan on top.
Aroma, a good dose of roastiness. Smoked peak, malt, coffee. Dark chocolate.
Not getting the overwhelming smoke others get. Just a nice accent on the roast giving this more coffee than peat, earth and chocolate. A less sweet, more roasty baltic. There is some dark chocolate and cocoa that comes with the roast and smoke in the finish.
Medium bodied, and coating. Carbonation is all right, could be a little less to make it more creamy and less harsh.
No complaints with this for me, especially for 9.99 a sixer. This style has definetely creeped into 2nd on my favorites list.
12-21-2010 02:04:24 | More by Bung
4.53/5 rDev +12.1%
Now this is a series of beers I could get used to. I loved volume one and I absolutely love the fact that it is packaged in an affordable 6 pack (and very cool artwork).
A: pours pitch black, opaque, no light passage. Some cocoa colored head and a fair amount of lacing. Decent retention.
S: big notes of mequite smokiness up front paired with roasted barley, chocolate, and coffee. The smoke is center stage here but doesn't overpower.
T: the taste isn't quite as smokey as the nose suggests, rather it is loaded with roasted barley and cocoa powder character with highlights of smoke. Very well balanced, not too smokey. The finish is a touch sweet which is a nice end to a big roasty beer.
MF: medium body that leaves a silky texture on the palate. Mellow carbonation.
D: wow, this is a well crafted smoked beer, and as mentioned before, an insanely good value. I recommend this to any imperial stout/porter aficionado ..you will not be disappointed. This one is up there with the big boys of the style (Surly Smoke, Alaskan Smoked Porter)
12-11-2010 03:57:07 | More by homebrew311
4.38/5 rDev +8.4%
Pure black with a thin, yet creamy brown head that leaves some nice lacing.
Deeply roasted malt with a dry charcoal smell. Little to no sweetness present with plenty of smoking wood as well. Can't wait to dig in!
Wow, is this spot on for a smoked beer. Plenty of roasty malts abound, but the smoked malt is the highlight. Big smokey campfire taste that lingers well into the finish. Hints of bacon, espresso bean and caramelized sugar are also present. An early Christmas gift for the palate!
Big, creamy and oily smooth. This feels how a good imperial stout should.
Absolutely loving every bit of this. This beer is a homerun especially in the flavor department. Quite possibly the best baltic/smoked porter I have ever had. I could easily enjoy a couple of these and look forward to the next one already. Go out and get this one!
12-22-2010 02:40:25 | More by jera1350
3.78/5 rDev -6.4%
A: Very dark brown with a light brown head. Not much if any lacing.
S: Smells very smoky and of roasted malts. Very similar to a smoked stout.
T: Unfortunately the smoke flavor is pretty overpowering. There is some coffee and chocolate bitterness behind it but the smoke covers it up pretty wel.
M: Medium body, decent carbonation. Overall feels like a stout and not a porter.
D: Hard for me to say, I think the smokiness would get old fast but that's my opinion. Pairs well with food though, I don't really like to drink it by itself.
Overall not a bad beer. I dropped it some points for the smokiness because I don't like it. I didn't drop it too far because I want to review by style and this is well, a smoked porter. As mentioned this is good with food, especially BBQ-type food.
05-21-2011 03:14:32 | More by Dope
Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) from Left Hand Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 340 ratings.