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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

356 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 356
Reviews: 241
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 22
Gots: 32 | 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:
Beer added by: Rayek on 11-15-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 356 | Reviews: 241 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of morenone
3.06/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not a big fan of porters and usually don't get them unless there aren't many other decent options, but this just caught my eye. I guess their marketing gurus said hey let's make a label that Shawn can't stop looking at. OK Left Hand, it worked, you got me. But not completely, I only bought one. I'm not used to drinking porters, so I really can't give a fair judgement. I think i need to drink more of them for a good reference. About all I can say is it was good and I drank it.

Photo of cocogan
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Visuals - Pours blacker than night. One finger head that diminihes after a few minutes. Nice lacing

Aroma - Lots of smoke, wood, caramel, roasted malt. Also has a pungent uncooked beef smell to it.

Taste - Strong smoke presence throughout. Also notes of dark chocolate, wood, and raisins. Sweet finish and a slight lingering hop profile.

Mouth - Medium body, smooth feel, appropriate subtle carbonation

Drunkability - I like the big ABV. Nice beer to relax with by the fire.

Photo of KajII
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Dimpled mug]

Poured black in color with a large light brown frothy head that lasted throughout and had excellent lacing. The aroma was of dark smoked malts, an earthy yeast with notes of chocolate, caramel and coffee. It tasted a little acidic and slightly bitter with a smoke overtone in the beginning and finished with a little more of a bite with hints of chocolate, coffee and again a smoke overtone that was not heavy at all and stayed with you for an average lenghth of time. Mouthfeel was full in body and creamy in texture with a nice soft carbonation. Overall a nice tasty and quite drinkable smoked porter.

Photo of ms11781
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to duff247. Bottled on 12/07/2010. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep, dark brown. I'd think it was black if I didn't watch it go into the glass. A small tannish color head rises and falls rather quickly leaving a thin, foamy ring around the glass and decent lacing.

Nose isn't all that strong. Hints of some black licorice and chocolate notes are present at first, along with a slight roasted character. There is a subtle hint of smokiness as well. Nothing here really stands out on it's own but they all blend together nicely despite not being too strong as a whole.

Taste follows along closely with the nose at first. Slight roasted character with a hint of black licorice leading the way. Zero appearance from the chocolate that was in the nose. There is a touch of smoke initially but as it warms it turns into a completely different beer. When it warms there is a slight roasted flavor up front then a strong smoke character takes over and overpowers everything else. Smoke is really intense if the beer gets too warm.

Medium body with medium carbonation. Drinks and finishes smooth despite the amount of smoke present as the beer warms.

Decent drinkability. Most likely a one and done due to the strong smoke character but it goes down smooth enough. Not sure of the ABV as I drink it (turns out to be 7.8%) but I would imagine it's relatively high and there is no hint of alcohol here. Probably best enjoyed if served a bit colder than normal and finished before it gets too warm.

Photo of plfahey
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Jet black and SO opaque-no light's getting through this one. Moderately large tan head with moderate retention and some lacing.

Aroma-Smoke, bacon, and chocolate take the forefront here, with slight coffee as well. Hints of sweet caramel and dark fruit are also present, though are very light.

Flavor-Nice smoky flavor-not so strong as to overpower the other flavors, but definitely present. Slight dark fruit flavors give way to roasted notes of chocolate, and eventually coffee grounds. Hop flavor and bitterness are low, and the hint of sweetness up front is balanced by the roast. There's something oddly vegetal about the aftertaste that I can't quite put my finger on-it doesn't overwhelm the other flavors, but it keeps this from being an excellent beer.

Mouthfeel-Medium full body, medium carbonation. Very slight alcohol warmth. No astringency.

Decently drinkable, but the flavor falls a bit short in my opinion. Certainly a good beer, but not a great beer. Something about the strange/off-flavors i pick up in the aftertaste just turns me off a bit.

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

A: Deep, thick, opaque black. I don't think beer can get much darker than this.

S: Heavy chocolate nose with a faint but noticeable coffee scent. Extremely pleasant!

T: Great smoky taste with a fantastic hoppy aftertaste. The chocolate nose does not translate over to the taste as much as I thought it would. Thick and full bodied. Absolutely fantastic!

M: Smooth and pleasant.

D: Goes down smooth and easy, but it is thick and filling.

Overall: WOW! What a fantastic beer! The scent is unbelievably alluring with strong cocoa scents and the taste is absolutely phenomenal. The perfect amount of smokiness and hops with subtle but noticeable barley flavor. This is a MUST have beer!

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours jet black with a thick tan head. Good retention, light rings of lacing.

S: Milk chocolate, vanilla, smoked malts, faint coffee, and some earthiness.

T: Smokey tastes caress the tongue first. Roasty chocolate and coffee tastes follow. Mellow creamy vanilla pleases the palate. Woody and earthy hints round out the taste. Quick, faint notes of plum-like esters are barely perceptible. Hops are hard to place, but seem to be grassy and a bit herbal. Finishes sweet with notes of milk chocolate and smoke.

M: Moderately thick, smooth, and velvety. Extremely creamy. Some warmth from the alcohol. Mouthfeel is the shining point of this beer. Very sexy.

D: Easy enough to drink, and it is tasty, but something just seems missing.

Notes: Smoke taste is my no means overwhelming, but it does seem to cover up some of the other flavors and prevent subtleties from coming through. Besides that, something just seems missing from this beer, and I can't really say what that something is. A very good beer, but this "intangible" withholds it from the ranks of the elite.

Photo of joshrosborne
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to pint glass.

A- Deep, dark black with a tiny tannishhead that disappears almost immediately

S- Smokiness present right away, get a little coffee and chocolate from the roasted malt

T- Smokiness and a tiny bit of bitterness up front, I get more chocolate than coffee in the taste. Not a huge fan of the smoke, but I knew what I was getting myself into.

M- After the initial booze, it is very smooth and creamy, the carbonation is there, but doesn't take away from the smoothness.

D- Good, but not my favorite porter ever. I'm not the biggest fan of smoked porters, but this is a good beer for the style. The drinking is slow with this one, not b/c of the alcohol, but b/c of the smokiness.

Photo of crossovert
2.88/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, bottled about 2 weeks ago.

It pours a nice dark brownish black with a cascading burnt tan head. The head recedes quickly to globs of lacing.

The smell has root beer, dark fruits, sugar, buttery malts, metal, and some chocolate. No smoke what so ever, is it a joke?

The flavor is a bit more believable. It is fruity and roasty. Still not smokey at all but at least there is a roasted flavor. I think they made a bad decision when they used a Baltic porter rather than an English, or American porter.

Photo of Shrews629
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Black in appearance with some slight ruby highlights around the bottom. A small, thin, tan head with not much size or retention. Settled to a small ring and just left a scant amount of lacing.

Smell - More subdued aromas of coffee and espresso than what I have typically found with the Porters I have tried. A roasty, smokey type of aroma adds some complexity. A slight "woody" note that was somewhat pleasant. Chocolate notes are very mild.

Taste - The taste showed more of the burnt, roasted coffee. Some smoke is present and the chocolate is more up front in the taste. It's not a sweet chocolate, but a dry, dark chocolate. I think the taste is solid. I am enjoying it.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium/full mouthfeel. Somewhat creamy. Left touches on the palate and it provided a bit of warmth also.

Drinkability - I rather liked the taste of this beer. Nice touches of smoke and coffee make this an ok example of a "smoked" Porter. I might pick this up again sometime. Worth a try for sure.

Photo of indiapaleale
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

wow, I didn't realize (until I looked closely) that Fade to Black had different volumes. So naive.

Pours dark brown/black like a stout with a good inch of coffee colored head.

Aroma is a great subtle smokiness that I absolutely love. Its a bit like a campfire mixed with coffee and dark, roasty malt. I love smokey beers and this one smell amazing.

Taste is malty, caramel, licorice, smoke, a bit salty and finishes clean and crisp. It all comes together beautifully.

Love it. I need to get more while its fresh and before its all gone...

Photo of Gushue3
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours black with nice medium head that stays a bit. Medium lacing. Looks pretty nice for a porter

S- smells smokey, wood notes, malty, smells somewhat sweet.

T- nice smokey and light bitterness up front. Bitterness lingers for a while. Roasty smokey and slightly hoppy. I like the combination. Interesting brew.

M- feels good. Medium feel on the tongue and small carbonation.

D- I really like this one. Not he king of porters but absolutely a great one. Id take this beer all night.

Photo of Fenris244
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a tan head, poor retention, looks like pretty low carbonation overall, thin bubbles keep rising to the surface though

Coffee and smokey aromas as well as some caramel sweetness, bitter notes as well as a licorice aroma

Taste is chocolatey smokey and has alot of the coffee flavor, smoked flavor is a pleasant compliment to the coffee. Finish lingers a little long

Smooth beer, medium in body, lighter than a sipping beer though.

Quite drinkable and I must say a good super bowl beer.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of jlindros
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A darker 1 finger fluffy head rises and fades semi slowly, light lacing, over pitch black color.

Nose is loaded with roasted barley, black patent malt, dark crystal, and more dark malts, a light bitterness coming from the scorched malts, some smoke aroma and a bit of smoked cured meat, a light fluffy nougat and chocolate, very light earthy hops.

Taste is similar, but the smoke comes out even more. A nice smoked malt flavor, some light smoked cured meat, a slight salty flavor, plenty of roasted malts again, a bit of coffee, light black patent, a bit of crystal, hints of fluffy nougat and chocolate, a little bit of a warming booze taste, fairly rich and a little creamy, light cocoa powder, a bit on the sweet side, and fairly bitter. The bitterness mostly comes from scorched malts, but a slight bit from earthy hops. It has a definite baltic porter like flavor. The finish is fairly bitter still, dries a bit, with more lingering earthy scorched malt flavors, tannic, light coffee and molasses, bit of chocolate and roast. The second half of the sip, after the smoke fades a bit, reminds me somewhat of Duck Rabbit Baltic Porter, which is an awesome beer.

Mouth is heavier bodied, a little thick and chalky, with decent carbonation and hint of warming booze.

Drink is decent, a bit of warming booze but on par for 7.8%, fairly smooth, the burnt and roasted flavors are there but don't get heavy, overpowering, or even unpleasant, a good middle of winter beer.

Photo of Jadjunk
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

#82. Very exquisitely designed label really caught this eye on the limited release (bummer) of this beer. Really sad is that I think I missed volume 1. This beer is good but heavy on the smoky accent, so unless you like a smoky beer it may be best to pass on this one. In my opinion, it's worth a shot regardless.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Pours a fizzy 1 depth finger tan head of a very fizzy consistency and retains average. Beer is a dark brown/black and thick, letting some very light traces of light in on the side which come through in ruby tones. The occasional small carbonation bubble comes up around the edges but overall, they're small and scarce. The head on this one was quite unimpressive, but as a high ABV dark porter it's understandable; fares well. 3.5

(Smell) Some smoky wood chips, faint cocoa bean nibs and a touch of smoked licorice round out the nose with graceful balance. There could be more flavor, and the smell could be far more potent. What's here however is intriguing enough. It's a very light smell with no dominant aromas, aside from the smokiness which grows in intensity as the beer warms. 4

(Taste) Wow, did not get that smoky wave at all from the nose, but the name would have suggested it. Some wood taste and less emphasis on coffee or cocoa flavor, but this beer does well with the simplicity. The smoky taste is actually quite nice, blending later into a slightly thin but boozy finish. Lightly bitter and none of the flavors are going to shock anybody, save for the outright smoked sensation of this porter, which I'm all for. 4

(Mouthfeel) Slightly spicy up front from the smoky taste and the alcohol, but considerably smooth upon the tongue from that point forward. A medium to full bodied drink. 3.5

(Drinkability) Quite filling. The smoky taste is probably going to slow the majority of drinker's speed down a little bit and it should be good to let this beer warm as more hidden flavors seep out. There is good potential for a second or third of these as nothing is really going to drain the palate, but the smokiness can really impact the impression and desire for another of these. You really have to be in the mood. In terms of smoked porters, however, it's done well. 4

Verdict: Good for smoked porters. Some alcohol presence which may dictate worthy of only a few rounds but a really nice filling beer that plays its cards well. B+ (3.85)

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

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a SA perfect pint glass, jet black with a thin tan head. The aroma is what you would expect from a smoked beer, lots of smoke. Up front lots of smoke and bacon, some sweetness, and it finishes with more smoke. The body is medium/full and it has average carbonation. Pretty typical smoked beer, if you like smoke, you will like this one.

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

Poured in tulip

A: Jet black, very low amount of light brown head. Noticeably low carbonation.

S: Molasses. Wonder aroma. The nose could have been a bit stronger, but as the beer warmed up, the roasted and smoky aromas were front and center.

T: Great balance between coffee, smoke, and the malt. Really enjoyable. Glad to taste the smoky-ness.

M: Great full bodied mouth feel to it. A bit acidic, but nothing over whelming. This is a satisfying porter.

D: Easy drinking Porter, with a great flavors. The 7.80 ABV does not stand out, but was appreciated.

Overall: Great Porter. Up against Bells Porter, Edmund Fitz Porter, Sierra Nevada Porter, and Founders Porter, it holds its own. I would probably purchase this over the Bells Porter, due to the slightly higher ABV.

Photo of PhatAtUT
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into duvel tulip

A: very dark. looks like a cup of black coffee. virtually no head, no lacing.
S: sweet black licorice and dark chocolate.
T: tastes about how it smells. not quite as sweet as i guessed from the aroma alone. fairly bitter on the back end. pretty well balanced.
M: seems a little thin. very little carbonation.
D: pretty easy to drink but then its a fairly mild brew.

overall, pretty average. decent tasting beer but a little thin for my personal taste and just not too interesting.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours thick and black looking with a small head of tan bubbles after a pretty aggressive pour. The head faded while I was typing my notes, so it was gone within 20 seconds or so. The beer looks a bit like coffee sitting in my glass with no foam or anything.

Aroma: OK, now the aroma is stepping up a bit. I can definitely get the roasty notes you expect from a Porter with the coffee, dark cocoa, burnt toffee, etc. The smoke is definitely there and is becoming much more noticeable as the beer sits some and warms up. There are some hops noticeable in here too, but they are mostly floral...they too get more noticeable as the beer warms up.

Taste: The flavor has some strong coffee notes along with the smoke, but overall the flavor is coming across with a coffee balance to it. I am also getting dark cocoa and chocolate along with a spiciness that I believe is both from the hops as well as the alcohol, but they are playing pretty nice together. There is some bitterness, but the beer finishes with the balance toward the malt. This is a good thing as all of the dark grains are rather acidic on the palate, so they are contributing their own challenge to any sweetness left to linger. The beer is medium bodied with low carbonation. The alcohol lightens things up some, but with the lack of carbonation, you don't really notice the part of the profile between the initial flavor and the finish. The middle is missing, how odd...

Opinion: Well, this is an OK beer, but unfortunately it fell short from what I would call an "outstanding" beer for this style. I guess the fact that it is a baltic porter makes it fit in a bit more, but it still doesn't really seem to showcase either one flavor or the overall blend of flavors. The way this beer is, it has some really assertive notes and not a lot of backbone to back those up, so they end up out of balance and hanging on your palate waiting for something. Even a while after my sip, when I swallow I can pick up the coffee and cocoa. This beer is really bold in ways. I just wish it was a little more balanced.

Photo of caddybuyer
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
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 ne0m00re
3.13/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

01/27/11- Had this one on-tap at Dirty Franks in Columbus.
Honestly, I realized that this tasted different than last year... but not because it was an entirely different style. Good to know that I'm not crazy.
A: Black with yellow hues, sparse film and collar but good lacing.
S: Strong banana, caramel, roast that is almost bacon but more campfire, slightly earthy hops... almost like a smore.
T: Caramel, strong pork roast, bananas, slight rum, chocolate. Not very good.
M: Almost crisp frothy mouthfeel.
D: Good.

I'm not a big fan of smoked beers, but this one was tolerable.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a big brown bubbly head. good lacing. Light won't go thru this.

Charred malt, bitter coffee, and a hint of woodsmoke. Just right.

Great balance between the sweet and bitter here. Initial taste is charred malt, with a punch of sweetness, even some vanilla. Some bitter chocolate and burnt, carbonized toast. As the palate clears, you get alcohol, fading bitterness, and a light smoky edge. Full flavors.

Fuller boded, appropriate carbonation. Just tingly enough on the tongue to keep this from being cloying.

Liked this alot, but this is a rich one. One or 2 and you need to move on. Very very good.

Photo of Tilley4
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a bad ass this is... I picked this up on a recent jaunt to the bottle shop... Liked the first edition and I love smoked porters (see Sue) so I had to grab it...

Pours into my DFH signature a jet black, thick and creamy looking with a lush creamy head of mocha... Its not brown, its not almost black, its completely midnight black... Void of light...

Huge roasted malt aromas that have been infused with smoky bacon and ham hocks and a good dose of cocoa... Its aroma heaven as far as a Baltic Porter goes and in my top 5 overall... Its intense and smoky and dense.. As if I'd stepped into an old smokehouse (which I have-I live in TN) and inhaled deeply...

A velvety blend of smoky bacon, dark roasted chocolate malts, good ol smoked ham hocks, and a touch of caramel sweetness on the finish... Its a sipper, for sure... Intense and smoky but in the best possible way.. It doesn't seem overdone or overworked to me... Its just right...

Best Baltic Porter I've ever had and that's a no brainer... Its a 5 for the style which is what I'm rating it on... Top 10 beer easily as well... This needs to be a seasonal... Nice for the winter...

Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) from Left Hand Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 356 ratings.