Fade To Black (Volume 3 - Pepper Porter) - Left Hand Brewing Company

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Fade To Black (Volume 3 - Pepper Porter)Fade To Black (Volume 3 - Pepper Porter)

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very good

521 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 521
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.36%
Wants: 17
Gots: 48 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: claytong on 09-28-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 521 | Reviews: 191
Reviews by codysjb:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep chocolate brown with a thin beige head that was gone quickly.A great mix of smoke and pepper overtop of chocolate and roast,alot going on.Wow this os a pepper porter just like the label says,sharp smoky peppers mixed with dark roast with some light chocolate coming into play,the pepper spice is the real deal here.No holds barred here its a bold peppery porter...the way it should be.

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown with one finger of tan head. Head doesn't last long and leaves minimal lacing.

S - Aroma is chocolate, roasted malts and coffee. Bit of a sweet cream aroma as well.

T - Coffee more prevalent here than in the aroma. Actually drinks a bit like a coffee milk stout. After the initial coffee with cream taste,, more roasted malts and chocolate come through, with a nice subtle pepper bite coming in near the finish.

M - Medium mouthfeel that is quite creamy. Finish is a bit more dry and roasty.

O - This is an enjoyable beer that uses the pepper component wisely, adding just a touch of heat without being distracting.

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled at the Green Growler Grocery in Croton-on-Hudson, NY.

Pour is very dark amber, long lasting dark mocha head, and leaving dense low sheeting, bits and some larger strands and blobs of lacing here and there.

Moderate nose of chilis, with some dark chocolate mixed in.

Flavorful porter with ample chili notes and character. More then a hint of chili heat and flavor hitting me in the back of the throat. Quite enjoyable for a chili head such as myself. Nice dark chocolate, and smoke notes as well.
Complex and well crafted with multiple flavors combining nicely.

I'll be on the lookout for bottles of this one. Chili heads unite and go get some of this one.

Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a very dark brown to black color with a very small tan head. The aroma is classic porter with a lot of chocolate and roasted malt notes. I also get a hint of smoke in the aroma. The flavor is more of the same. There is a ton of chocolate in the flavor, as well as some roasted and nearly burnt malt. There is a little bit of heat from the peppers as the beer is swallowed and some earthy pepper notes in the flavor as well. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of bsp77
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Near-black ruby with thin tan head and minimal lacing.

Smell: Chocolate and molasses, with a touch of smoke. Expected a little more in the aroma department.

Taste: Smoky and roasted, with char, chocolate, molasses and coffee. The peppers are noticeable in the finish, proving a long, spicy, hot aftertaste. Other than the peppery finish, this is a fairly subtle and mild beer.

Feel: Creamy and full-bodied. Moderately low carbonation. Finish is mostly dry with some very light heat.

Overall: Nice Smoked Porter with the peppers providing a slight kick. Well balanced overall, and nothing is overdone. I wish I had tried the first two Fade to Black beers.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark opaque body with a light tan head with fine speckled lacing. Aroma has an earthy chile pepper noted about amongst the dark malts. Flavor has the dark roasted malt sweetness with a perfect amount of heat coming from the peppers even a hint of smokiness a really creative interesting take on the porter style. Fade to Black has been an excellent by the six pack specialty release series so far. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied dry spicy finish with some linger heat that warms the belly quite a bit. Overall an enjoyable pepper/chile beer that caught me by surprise I didn't inspect the neck label to determine what style this beer was so it was a surprise with my first sip to catch the heat.

Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very fresh (tto fresh?) bottle produced 22 Sept. 11.

Appearance: Nearly black with red-brown highlights at the edges and a tan head,. Decent retention and fairly good lacing.

Smell: dark roasted malts; smokey with subtle hint of chile pepper. Surprisingly sweet and floral/fruity. Quite complex. ABV rather apparent.

Taste - roasted malts and a moderate dose of chile pepper: enough to produce a clear flavor contribution and some heat (just short of a burn). Some coffee and smoke in the lasting, but not especially enjoyable, finish.

Mouthfeel - a bit thin; heat from the chilies. Good carbonation excepting it makes the body feel lighter than it would with less carbonation.

O - certainly has character and complexity. Enough chile to put off some tasters, no doubt, but I found the combination interesting and enjoyed the added dynamics. Still, the taste got old, partly due to the smokiness, before the bottle was done.

Photo of Aml42000
2.98/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark brown, a bit translucent against a light.

S- A bit shy on the nose. Some smoke and roasted aromatics.

T- If you like smokey flavor, this is the beer for you. An interesting component, but at the expense of everything else, not so much.

M- Medium bodied and a bit thin for porter. High carbonation. Nothing special.

O- A decent porter, but not my favorite left hand offering. Would drink one if poured, but would not seek out in the future.

Photo of cokes
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The blackest shade of brown possible, inky with light barely penetrating the edges. The head is no more than a slumped shoulder of tan, and where it sticks around in stunted form it leaves a few streaks of lace.
Raisins-in-dark chocolate nose, augmented with earthy, herbal cigar smoke, liquorice, vanilla pod, Port, and burnt autumn leaves. The pepperedness is hinted at, but not expressed forthright. It smells delicious, regardless.
It rolls past the teeth with milk chocolate and raisin notes. The chocolate fortifies and migrates darker. Cocoa nibs show incredible legs and last long past the swallow. It cycles past burnt toast and espresso, with wafts of campfire and cigar smokiness, along with the meatiness of grill scrapings. For a while, this suggests Vol.2 with its smokiness, though I don't believe it's from the malt. The culprit arises as the distinct smoked bite of chipotle materializes. The heat, subdued and smoky initially, builds towards the potent seeds and chile oil and lingers past each gulp. A subdued Port sweetness adds a countpoint on the close.
Medium bodied, inching fuller as its nearly still in carbonation. It actually works well here, giving a cask-type feel, and letting the malt and the smoky heat play off each other.
This is a stunner. A girthy porter with a weighty addition of pepper seems like an overreach, but there's either a deft balance or a harmonious overload of both here.
My feelings on Left Hand are generally lukewarm, but the Fade to Black series has established itself as something I eagerly look forward to every year. This is its most idiosyncratic yet, and probably its best.

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barcade Jrsey City. Clear winner of the what I tried tonight. Three-eighths of a n inc of head. on a black bodied. Thick lace. Chile spicey aroma and some stout and licorice. Tasty, it grows on me and I finished my pint.Peppers all chiles.Wouyld have again.

Photo of secondtooth
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep oil-black. Modest head of tan bubbles, and no lace.

Nose is a little roasty, with only a hint of peppery spice. Different and subtle.

Taste is chocolate roasty up front, followed by that hint of spiciness near the finish. The pepper tones are definitely muted (maybe my bottle was aged for some months), and this subtle and smooth porter is an easy and enjoyable one.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Left Hand "Fade To Black Pepper Porter"
12 oz. bottle, no freshness date
$1.99 @ Joe Canal's, Egg Harbor Twp., NJ

I appears and smells like a standard porter. If there is a bit of pepper in the aroma it's not strong. I think I'm finding something, but I also believe my mind might just be suggesting it to me because I know there are peppers in there.

The flavor, however, is a bit different. It remains a fairly basic porter upfront, but some pepper flavor does become apparent at the swallow, and then lingers in the finish. There's a bit of smokiness as well, and of course, some heat. It's not overdone though, and I certainly wouldn't call it "hot"... perhaps it's got the heat of a mild salsa. It will build on your palate as you progress, however, and by mid-glass you should be feeling some tingling on your lips and in your throat.

That said, it remains quite drinkable. They've done a great job of adding a little bit of character and interest without stepping all over the rest of the beer. Nice.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.22/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The volume 2 fade to black was AMAZING...so hig hopes going in on this one. Unfortunetly this is not as good as #2. The beer poured black and opaque with slight ecru head that is slightly lacing. The smell is weak than desired...some roast and peat. The taste starts as a typical porter with roast and peat and then the pepper takes control. The mouthfeel is a good medium body with mild carbonation. Overall its decent.

Photo of McNealc31
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is perfect and the fragrance promises lots of smoked chiles. There is a lot more depth to the flavor than just chiles, though. There's bittersweet chocolate, anise, and the smoky chiles.

There is some subtle heat, and at just a touch under 2000 Scoville units, that puts it at about the same as a poblano. It's just enough that you know it's got chiles in it.

Smooth, complex, drinkable, and just enough heat to have you know this is something unique.

Photo of tempest
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a glass at Crescent & Vine. I enjoyed the previous Fade to Blacks, but wasn't terribly excited about them. This impressed me though, with a deeper chocolate character. There was a tasty roasted barley up front, and peppery heat in the finish, and then cooled hot chocolate between. It's the smooth, almost milky, cocoa that gets me—it's not something I'm used to finding in a porter, but damn it's good. Check this out, if you don't mind a little heat.

Photo of dbossman
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a thin quickly dissipating head; great lacing

S: Roasted malts and chocolate and a roasted pepper aroma that is subtle but burns the nose just a bit

T: Tastes like a good porter with a warming pepper burn on the finish: chocolate, roasty malts, some dark fruits, and then the roasted peppers--like a blend of really good roasted peppers

F: A touch thin but pretty standard for a porter and a pleasant oily viscosity from the peppers is in the finish

O: This is a nice porter with just the right amount of pepper burn--such a good warming beer for the winter

Photo of scootpolute
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown with a simple yet inviting label...b&w flames with bubbles...

Appearance: Jet-black with a clinging tan lace that seems to stay for a while.

Smell: Lots of malts, chocolatewith hints of charcoal, more roasted malts and a touch of marshmellow...

Taste: Pretty smooth start with a nice medium bodied mouth feel. After the luscious mouth feel come the flavour which is quite malty, followed by the spicy pepper tones...the spice of pepper lingers until the end there 'are' chocolate/mocha flavors (espresso) along the way from the malts, but with each and ever sip, the 'pepper' is what sticks out (hence the name) ... not many hops to mention...

Notes: This one is interesting...The pepper thing kind of killed it for me...if the pepper was left out, I think it would have been better...I'll give orininality though, but I think 'THAT' kind of stuff should be left for 'session' beer, or special 'tap-room' show-cases...chasin' cheers :~)

Photo of russpowell
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahogany with a sliver of tan head.

S: Dark chocolate & chile powder. Some lacing & head retention

T: Dark chocolate, a touch of woody hop dryness, some charred grain plus a little spicy pepper kick up front. Sweet cocoa as this warms with a touch of vanilla & even more pepper kick, some dark fruit lingers at the edges too. Finishes with pepper lick, a touch of somewhat cloying carob sweetness

MF: Medium bodied, fairly firm carbonation, thins out a bit once warm, skews a touch too sweet

A chile porter with some flaws, but I enjoyed this. Would love to pair some Mexican or Indian food with this

Photo of beerhan
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Almost no head with a thin faint tan lacing. Blackish brown body.

S-Smells very muddy and earthy. Very chocolatey nose with some old italian spice smell.

T-The best way to describe the taste of this beer is a poor man's hunahpus. It is seriously the closest thing (besides zhukov) to huna. It has a lot of chocolate with this peppered aftertaste that is fantastic. It gets a lot of point for being so unique and I am shocked by how good this was. It is still a bit hoppy which is kind of weird. There are some bitter notes in the aftertaste that contribute to the spice

M-A little spicy from the peppers but the little carbonation added to the bitter aftertaste makes this a real sipper.

O-Price, taste, and uniqueness make this one worthy beer. I was shocked by how good this was. I intended on only getting this for a friend (to preface he is a hugmetaliicae fan) to drink with but we ended up really enjoying it. I recommend.

Photo of osusullins
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoy this year's version of the Fade II Black. The beer pours a dark black with a soft head. The aroma is a strong smoke, similar to liquid smoke if you are a BBQ fanatic. The beer starts off with a strong smoke taste. The pepper starts to come through on the back end, however it is still subtle. If I could change one thing about this beer, it would be to make the pepper just a tad bit more pronounced. That said it is a very solid beer that I have enjoyed on more than one occasion. I think I liked last year's a little more, but both are very nice. Thanks again, Left Hand.

Photo of thagr81us
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured a massively dark brown with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, smoke, smoked meat, milk chocolate, roasted malt, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, milk chocolate, smoke, smoked meat, powdered chocolate, and chili pepper. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. I really like what I found on the aroma as there was a nice balance of sweetness and smokiness going on throughout. I did like the chili pepper aspect that showed up on the flavor as this brew warmed up. It really added a nice touch of complexity to it. The smokiness was definitely the highlight of this brew as it was actually quite nice. A well put together brew, but it just fell a little short. Worth trying if you get the opportunity.

Photo of Gmann
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with some ruby highlights. The toasted khaki head is dense and leaves some sticky lacing on the glass as it slowly dissipates.

The aroma is woody, wet bark, with a hint of smoke and charred meat. There is some lactose and brown sugar scents. Nice earthy aroma.

The taste is quite nice. Solid toasted pumpernickle porter base with some lactose notes. Lots of wet wood flavor with some brown sugar sweetness. There is a subtle vegetale note and a touch of spice. These are quite light and add a nice touch to the porter. A sour lemony edge finishes off the flavor profile.

Well bodied with soft carbonation, quite smooth. Good balance between sweet malt and roasty bitterness.

This is a very good earthy porter. I like the hint of the pepper, it is well done. I wish I was able to have the first two from this series.

Photo of hefehead12
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into tupil glass. No abv info on bottle. Pours dark color with barely a finger of a mocha colored head. Smells of sweet roasted malt and a faint smoke. Taste is smooth with a transition from roasted malt to smoke to pepper. The smoke is not overpowering at all and adds a great deal to the flavor. The pepper is there but not to the point where it burns the mouth. This was a really good beer and I need to try more from left hand.

Photo of dejrrma
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into a pint glass. didn't check for freshness date.

a: pours a dark chocolate color with about a 1/4" inch of tan and creamy head. thin lacing.

s: coffee, slight soy sauce, roasted malts, and a little chocolate

t: chocolate and coffee, and that roastedness from the smell is definitely present. slightly sweet at first. i didn't detect the chili peppers at first, but i felt them on my tongue, lips, and throat shortly afterwards. It's spectacular and a very nice surprise. a nice warmth and spiciness have the edge over that light sweetness.

m- light carb, light-med body, leaning towards light, very balanced and exactly what i want in a porter.

o- solid porter. seriously delicious and out of the ordinary. thanks to my friend Jen for giving me one of these and getting me to try it.

Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very very deep brown with a 1 finger coffee tan colored head.

Wow! the pepper surprised me on my first sniff, stung the nostrils slightly. Big chili scent. Some chocolate and roasted malts hide beneath along with some tobacco and hints of charcoal and leather. Rich and creamy mouthfeel. Creamy chocolate sweetness up front with a touch of charcoal followed by a slight chili spice and a cooling minty hop finish. Flavors are layered quite well making for one of the most interesting sips of beer I've ever had.

The beer starts sweet then comes at you with heat only to cool down your mouth (to a certain degree, still some spice lingers) with it's minty hop finish. Slaps your tongue around in all sorts of places but not in a bad way.

Very complex and loaded with flavors that execute at exactly the right times that compliment eachother wonderfully.

Would be hard to drink more than two of these but this beer begs to be drank with food. Definitely a good beer to go with a hearty meal.

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Fade To Black (Volume 3 - Pepper Porter) from Left Hand Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 521 ratings.