Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) - Left Hand Brewing Company
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Ratings: 340 | Reviews: 241 | Display Reviews Only:
3.83/5 rDev -5.2%
Pours w/little or no head but a lacy rim
nice cellophane porcupine brown
This beer does not have a particularly strong scent; all of the flavor is packed in the taste, which starts off malty and caramelly, both sweet, then -- I guess -- "fades" into burnt toast and lots of smoke. Other reviewers don't seem to sense strong smoke, but I did and I think the smoke overplays its hand and obscures the finishing flavors. Semi-heavy body but very fine, dense carbonation fends off any syrupy sweetness as well as undercut the smoke a bit. A very, very good porter but I'm not sure you could drink more than two.
12-31-2010 22:23:55 | More by marcellaproust
4.28/5 rDev +5.9%
Poured from a 12oz. glass bottle into a pint glass.
A - Jet black with litte-to-no light shining through. Forms a one-finger creamy, tan head, sticking to the sides of the glass.
S - Roasted coffee, sweet malt, cocoa, and just a hint of smokiness. Some dark fruit in the peripherals -- fig, raisin.
T - Again, coffee and chocolate with a strong roast character. The smokiness is present but not particularly strong.
M - Thick and sticky. Not quite to "syrupy" levels of stickiness, but fairly close. Light on carbonation, the roasted, smoky flavors stick to the mouth.
D - Damn fine porter. I enjoyed this thoroughly, and not too heavy.
12-31-2010 18:20:05 | More by NefariousR
4.28/5 rDev +5.9%
No head. Other than that it looks great. Color is black chocolate dark and is very opaque.
The aroma is on par. You can definitely pick up the smoke scent as well as the malts and a bit of dark fruit. It almost smells like a fireplace.
Taste is huge, literally. It's a very chewy beer and the 'smoke' flavor comes through big time. You go straight into the smokiness of this one and then into some bitter chocolate and a sweet, yet dry finish. Pretty tasty.
Great mouthfeel. It's not too weighty.
Drinkability is great. I would love to (and probably will) try this with some straight dry rub BBQ.
12-31-2010 00:39:05 | More by tchenery
4.2/5 rDev +4%
A- poured nearly jet black, somewhat flat-looking, with a little bit of brown head that faded quickly, befitting it's name
S- a delicious mix of espresso, roasted grains, some malt sweetness, and of course the smoke
T- the smoke adds a wonderful element to a blend of coffee bean, charred malts, a touch of cream, and an appropriate alcohol warmth
M- medium body, low yet ample carbonation, and a rich smoky aftertaste with some booze warming your tongue
D- it may not quite be Smoke Jumper, one of my all-time favorite smoked beers, but it is definitely a gem in it's own
12-30-2010 06:00:46 | More by BDJake
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
3.95/5 rDev -2.2%
12 ounce bottle, bottled on 12/7/2010. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half tan head after an aggressive pour. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is smoked and roasted malt and some chocolate. The brew tastes like smoked malt, dark chocolate, roasted malt and a bit of coffee. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and a bit slick. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and goes down easy. I think it's a good overall brew, not a bad choice at all!
12-30-2010 00:08:50 | More by bluejacket74
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
3.8/5 rDev -5.9%
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into Staghorn Beer Stien.
Appearance: Black Oil slick just got poured into a glass. Aggressive pour yields almost 2 fingers of tanish brown colored creamy head. Decent lacing.
Smell: moderate smell of smoke. Chocolates and malty.
Taste: Heavy smoke right away that malty sweetness takes away as fast as it showed up. Dry and bitter chocolate in the middle and then just a bit more smoke flavor, this time the smoke tastes sweeter. Slight taste of charred oak and some vanilla hidden in the background, not very pronounced at any time throught entire beer, but still reminding you its there.
Mouthfeel: my favorite part of this beer. Silky and creamy, i think this is what brings the whole beer together and it surprised me a bit!
Drinkability: good drinkability for a porter. The smoke is not overdone at anytime, its probably the best smoked porter that i have had since New Glarus Unplugged Smoke on the Porter. I did not think anything would compare.
12-28-2010 01:03:37 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.1/5 rDev +1.5%
A: Pours a very dark brown with a tan head, about a finger thick. Head is tight laced and creamy.
S: Very roasty, raisins and figs with some chocolate bitterness. Deep notes of coffee and bitter chocolate. Has sweet notes of vanilla and milk chocolate, smells like a sweet stout.
T: Dark and roasted chocolate malt, a good coffee kick with some chocolate. Definitely a good dry and roasted flavor here. Small amount of leafy hops, this beer finishes fairly sweet.
M: Carbonation is crisp but light, tingles the teeth but not the tongue. Very creamy and full bodied porter.
D: Drinks very easy, hints of cherry and oak may make this one a nice cigar companion. Made my way through the review without even finishing half of the beer, definitely a sipper. Nothing offensive here, great Baltic Porter.
12-27-2010 02:32:40 | More by kiddynamite920
4/5 rDev -1%
Aggressive pour into a Sierra Nevada pint glass produced a "Fade to Black" ale with about a finger of tan head which faded quickly. Upon drinking leaves some nice lacing on the glass. Classic porter appearance.
Smell's of smoke and licorice and something sweet. On the palate the smoke is up front along with semi-sweet chocolate and coffee. The smoke follows through to the finish and is joined by a pleasant bitterness of unknown origin.
About halfway through I lit a strong, aged Nicaraguan puro cigar. Interestingly, the smokey flavor was still easily perceived. In fact all the original flavors refused to be outdone by the cigar.
The mouth feel is medium and a little decedent with no dreaded porter wateriness. Highly drinkable. My 6-pack is doomed to be gone in a few days. One could easily have 2 in a row without losing interest.
Is it a Baltic porter at just over 7% ABV? As a newbie I'm not qualified to answer, but it seems to have more something than an a traditional American porter.
To the best of my knowledge this is my first brew from the Left Handed Brewing Company. Kudos for a really well made porter. If you like your porters a little (but not overly) on the smokey side this should be a must try.
12-23-2010 20:31:29 | More by airheadmtrcycle
3.9/5 rDev -3.5%
12oz bottle poured into Skull Coast Pint Glass.
A- As the name describes, pours very black with a thin tan head.
S- Smells like slightly burnt toast (smoke really comes out to me).
T- Taste of smoky malt, slight coffee and dark chocolate.
D- Drinkability is above average, not the best but I could drink a couple of them in a session.
Not a huge fan of the style, but I would drink it again.
12-23-2010 01:40:56 | More by GehenHerzog
4.15/5 rDev +2.7%
12oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a deep opaque black that show the slightest amount of ruby highlights when held to light. The beer is topped by a thin diminishing light tan head. Aroma is just a bit of dark malts and smoke. The taste is a nice blend of smoky dark malts, cocoa and molasses with a hint of licorice. The beer is somewhat light bodied with very well hidden alcohol. This is a very enjoyable beer, I need to pick up some more of this one!
12-22-2010 02:59:34 | More by atsprings
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
4.03/5 rDev -0.2%
Served in a pint glass
Thanks to TMoney2591 for this interesting brew
This beer pours a pretty dark with a light tan head. The smell is pretty good holding on to much of the smoke and slight roast and there is a toasted bread. The taste is much filled with bacony smoke with the taste. There are also flavors of toasted bread and a bit of sourdough. The mouthfeel is pretty decent. This is a good beer and was pretty enjoyable to drink.
12-21-2010 07:05:34 | More by Vdubb86
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
3.4/5 rDev -15.8%
Pitch black colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is smoky malts.Taste is smoky malts and chocolate.The smokiness prevents this from being smooth in any way although the alcohol is well hidden.I would recommend to try this at least once and as for me even though it was decent one was enough.
12-20-2010 11:56:58 | More by matty
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
4/5 rDev -1%
The color is brown black in color with not much head retention yet still there is decent carbonation. The sweet waffle cone note is still present and blends well with some nice smoke and coffee undertones. In the taste, the waffle cone note is somewhat tempered by the espresso notes and the smoke. This makes for an interesting flavor profile and while there is more body than the stout from last year, it is not quite as good as last year.
12-19-2010 23:13:59 | More by AboutBeverages
3.35/5 rDev -17.1%
Tried this one on tap a week or so ago at Liquids and Solids, was unimpressed, so I picked up a couple of bottles earlier this week. After trying one, I still find it lacking. Poured a beautiful garnet color, with a creamy light brown head. Very smoky aroma, alomst burnt, like a campfire. On the palate, more of the same; overwhelming smoke, along with a little roasted malt and dark chocolate. Too much smoke for my tastes.
12-19-2010 23:11:40 | More by emmasdad
3.95/5 rDev -2.2%
Pours inky black and somewhat viscous. Foamy, pitted head is off-tan and sticky. Great look for a Baltic porter. Smoky aroma, with cooperage and wood fire notes. Roasted and black patent malt here as well.
Fade to Black is a nice stab at the style. Smoky enough to count, but not enough to overwhelm. The essential porter-ness is unaffected, and the beer takes the smoke well. Grassy, herbal note of hops, with an assertive carbonation component. Finishes medium and slightly dry, good for drinking, and especially for a smoked Baltic porter. Well done.
12-19-2010 05:51:06 | More by BretSikkink
4/5 rDev -1%
Pours a jet black with a small, light brown head that leaves a good amount of lacing.
Smells of roasted malts and some sweetness.
Tastes of roasted malts with some smokiness. Malts have a coffee flavor with some brown sugar. Some dark fruits come through as well. Mild earthy and grassy hops on the end combine with roasted bitterness. Smoke is subtle, it could be mistaken for roasted notes, but it adds another layer to the flavor. Balanced overall.
Mouthfeel is medium-full with a slightly assertive amount of carbonation.
12-17-2010 04:28:21 | More by ocelot2500
4.45/5 rDev +10.1%
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.
12-16-2010 07:01:54 | More by Tabni
4.18/5 rDev +3.5%
$1.99 for a 12 oz bottle. Inspired by collaboration with Norrebro brewing in Denmark. Brewed with 2-row, smoked Munich, malted rye, Cara aroma, chocolate malt, carafa, Special II and Carafa III. Hopped with Magnum and Northern Brewer. Fermented with a house lager yeast strain.
7.80% ABV. 35 IBU's. OG=18P.
Pours out to a very dark black, forming a tall very dark tan head which almost has purple accents. Leaves excellent lace with very good retention. Carbonation is mild and requires a hefty pour to achieve a head. The aroma is really nice...rich with black currant, smoked malt, licorice, and black walnut. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with a dense body. The taste is exceptional...a recap of the aroma...very well balanced with a nice roasted malt sweetness, sitting on top of the sharp burnt marshmallows, resinous hops and smooth bitterness. The smoke rings throughout and really adds a nice polish to it all.
A wonderful beer. I would buy this again for sure. Recommended.
12-16-2010 00:10:45 | More by Mitchster
4.38/5 rDev +8.4%
A: deep black as midnight, big pillowy oatmeal head, head is 1 inch but disappears after a few minutes, very nice lacing.
S: big roasted smoke, hint of cocoa, nuts, malt and licorice.
T: strong roasted malt, nutty, cocoa, no aftertaste.
M: med/heavy body, almost in the imperial stout body category. goes down so smoothly.
D: WOW! I have always loved Porters and this doesn't fail. Nice brew by Left Hand, well done. Must sip this EXCELLENT brew, go easy! Need to run out and buy some more to enjoy in front of the fire during these bitter Winter days here in The Land of Lincoln.
12-14-2010 17:56:42 | More by BeerLover99
4/5 rDev -1%
I have had a few beers that try to market their "smokey" flavors and in my limited experience this taste has been overwhelming and not enjoyable. The Fade to Black Smoke Baltic Porter finally gets it right. Left Hand has created a a nice porter with a hefty smoked nose and a lightly smoked finish.
12-13-2010 22:47:16 | More by TheBigE5
Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) from Left Hand Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 340 ratings.