1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) Alström Bros
Ratings: 355 | Reviews: 241 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GehenHerzog
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

M- Medium-full

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.

Photo of atsprings
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of jera1350
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of Vdubb86
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Bung
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of matty
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of AboutBeverages
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of emmasdad
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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 Mitchster
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$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.

Photo of BeerLover99
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of TheBigE5
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of charlesmcd
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer got better with time. At first drink, it was a bit too poignant on the top end for me, but as it progressed, and the VERY evident smokey end notes came through, this beer became a winner in my book. It isn't a beer that I could drink a lot of at one time, but it was very enjoyable, and I would most definitely recommend.

Photo of codewarrior
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz from a 6-pack poured into a Snifter.

Picked this up on an attempted Dissident run to Colorado Liquor Mart. A not-bad consolation prize.

L: Pours a good motor-oil thick black with deep nut-brown head, 4-fingers on a straight pour. As it opens up, the head tans out into a lighter, near white fluffiness.

S: Burnt-toast bitterness, a touch watery, into a larger sweetness, then a larger bitterness. The bitterness and sweetness fade into one another, and then into nothing. For all this play between sweet and bitter there isn't much else going on.

T: Sweet up front into a bitter, smokey middle. This gives way to booze and then receding waves of bitterness. A touch thin, but good, if still somewhat 2 dimensional.

F: Thicker than it tastes, thinner than it looks, all in all about the right thickness for the brew.

D: Pretty damn enjoyable beer.

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into The Bruery tulip. Drank at cellar temps.

Pours true black, with a thin brown head on top that fades quickly. Not much retention, but nice lacing from the ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

Nose is very forward - smoke hits first, mingling with a dark caramel sweetness to bring forth notes of maple-glazed applewood-smoked bacon. A bit of orange zest comes out as well from the hops, as light alcohol and underlying chocolate.

Taste is quite good as well - campfire smoke pairs up with dark, slightly burnt caramel sweetness and orangey citrus coming through from the underlying hops. Finish comes through with a moderate hoppy bite and a lingering dryness, lightly bitter, with more smokey orange.

Mouthfeel is quite good as well, pairing up a moderately full body with a nice, soft carbonation that still has just enough sharp bite to get noticed.

Drinkability is good as well - the light hop bitterness could be toned just a bit given the smoke, but honestly, that's personal taste more than anything. Quality beer.

Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of homebrew311
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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)

Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of rrski198
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: almost completely black with very little dark red hues around the bottom of the glass. Medium sized mocha to rust colored hear that disappeared quickly.

S: Smoked ham, burnt malt, toffee.

T: The smoked flavor (hickory) really takes center stage here. The flavor is excellent for the style, however, I would like to get a little more of the malt. Mild spicyness from the booze that lingers around nicely. The smoke really reminds me of smoked meats such as ribs or pork.

M: High carbonation and just the right mouth feel. Some porters leave me wanting something more in terms of body, however, this one is just right.

D: Overall for the style, this is a solid brew. Nicely balanced and a great body. I would purchase again.

Photo of grittybrews
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep black with just a hint of brown around the edges into a tulip with a thin film of extremely dark mocha head. Intense aroma of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and smoke.

Moderate carbonation and an ultra-smooth, creamy mouthfeel that was just a touch syrupy. Surprising (but mild) sweetness up front with traces of caramel, molasses, and milk chocolate before transitioning into roasted espresso and smoke on the long, slightly spicy bitter hop finish.

Extremely drinkable (well-hidden ABV) and exceptionally balanced. I expected to like this one but was very pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Enjoyed the subtle vanilla/wood elements in the smokiness that played well off the more traditional chocolate, coffee, and caramel flavors.

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

Appearance -- Pours a deep, dark brown that appears nearly black in the glass with one finger of sudsy tan head. Not bad.

Smell -- Woodsmoke, dark chocolate, coffee, plum-like esters. Pretty good.

Taste -- Well-roasted malt, coffee with cream, cocoa, and plum. The woodsmoke is gentle and earthy, which helps balance the malt sweetness and helps bring out the coffee-like flavors. Overall, rich and roasty.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full in body with an abundance of prickly carb. Damn good.

Drinkability -- Quite good! The chocolatey malt sweetness and the tangy and acrid woodsmoke flavor balance one another quite well. A pleasant surprise for me, as I'm used to smoked Baltic Porters to be woefully smoky. Good job, Lefty!

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy Smokes (no pun) this bottle was purchased at Binny's in Chicago today and was bottled on 29 Nov 10! That's fresh and a fast distribution network.

Cost: $10.49 for a six pack.

A: near opaque, deep, deep black-copper color, nice tan head dissipated to just clinging on the side of glass
S: very nice, deep roast grains with plum character, smokiness is evident but not overpowering, well done
T: very, very good - deep roasted malt, great smokiness, well balanced, earthy
M: great mouthfeel, velvety quality going down, nice balance and smoke is strong enough to give it justice
D: very for a fine winter day (like today) in Wisconsin where the temp is currently 7 degrees in my backyard

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