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

Not Rated.
Fade To Black (Volume 3 - Pepper Porter)Fade To Black (Volume 3 - Pepper Porter)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

500 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 500
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.36%
Wants: 11
Gots: 34 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: claytong on 09-28-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 500 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of climax
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Volume III pours with nearly no head, which fades to nothing as my glass fades to deep deep brown. One more shade and it's black, but just doesn't quite make the cut.

I don't pick up a whole bunch of pepper at first whiff. I do get ripe fruit, vanilla, and a kiss of licorice. The alcohol is hidden wonderfully considering the mellow aroma.

The chili flavors begin to march in just before the finish, and then linger in the throat after all is said. A bit of roasted coffee and black pepper overpower any sweetness.

The base is very smooth, nice and slick in the mouth. Carbonation greets the mouth sharply and remains moderate throughout. It finishes with a dash of dryness, and a semi hot chili pepper tingle in the back of the throat.

I wasn't too optimistic after my first two senses had the privilege of assessing this, but what ensued was a pleasant experience. The chili flavors were subtle but clearly evident, and the body was done wonderfully. For that, I would drink it again but not go out of my way to make that happen.

climax, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of gtermi
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours a black with a little dark red. The head is thin and barely there.

S: I pick up a lot of roasted malt and a little bit of spice.

T: The beer has a lot of roastedness along with some spicey flavors and a nice coffee finish.

M: The beer is very smooth and easy to drink. It is almost like water going down its so easy to drink.

O: This is one of the better stouts I have had in a while. It looks nice, tastes good and very smooth.

gtermi, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of ChugginOil
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown/almost black with an inch of tan head. Bubbly lace throughout.

The nose is smokey with tobacco, leather and a chipotle finish.

The flavors of this brew are much similar to the nose. Leather, smoke, a bit of cocoa and a chili pepper finish that has a slight kick to it. I'm feelin' the heartburn already.

The mouth is carbonated nicely and has a creamy texture to it. The spice has a crispness to it that is enjoyable.

Overall, I enjoyed this brew and admire it for the flavors it holds. The peppers are present but not overpowering at all. This is a robust and kick ass porter.

ChugginOil, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of ocelot2500
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany color with a small, off-white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of some deep roasted notes.

Tastes of varying roasted notes with the pepper coming on the end. Notes of brown sugar, cocoa, and roasted coffee come through. A bit of sweetness, but is still fairly dry. A bit of earthy pepper notes add at the end, but only to give a little heat.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, a good porter worth giving a try.

ocelot2500, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of silentjay
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pure black with a small head that quickly recedes to a thin film and leaves behind a bit of lacing.

malty, chocolate, black strap molasses, a touch of bitter coffee, and a tingle left on your nose hairs from the pepper. the aroma is enticing, but a bit subdued, unfortunately.

nice mixture of sweet and bitter up front and then once you swallow, BAM, pepper. not overbearing, and the pepper is only on the finish, but its there and its nice.

medium bodied with a low level of carbonation, but the pepper fills your mouth and lingers for a while.

nice. Probably the best Left Hand beer in quite a while. I only like pepper/chipolte/spicy beers when they are balanced, and this one is. great job!

silentjay, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of uawildcat
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer into an English pub glass. Pours very dark with a decent off-white colored head that leaves lacing. The more I rate appearance of beer the more difficult I realize this is.

Smell is of sweet dark malts (brown sugar, molasses, coffee) mostly. Has an ever so slight pepper aroma to it thats masked by the malt.

As I sipped this beer I was surprised how full bodied it was and how creamy it felt. The taste is pretty extraordinary. Very dark carmel sweet upfront with a vanilla hint in it. The pepper in my mind is a back drop. You taste it more at the end. It is very subtle in my opinion, but then again, I eat lots of spice foods.

Overall, I wish that I bought a 6-pack of this beer rather than just an individual bottle since its never going to be brewed again ;(

uawildcat, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of BARFLYB
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter glass. Review #1200

Fade to black volume three goes in the glass looking sorta black, more like a darker brown. A inch of loose tan foam up top leaving nothing on the glass.

Smells the part with roasted/brown malt, some light coffee roast, pepper in the nose. Traces of vanilla and some bark. Has a old porter scent with english malt.

FTB is pretty good beer, as advertised some black pepper shows up but does not kill the base which is pretty tasty as well, might be my favorite porter from left hand to date. Some roast, coffee, pepper, faint vanilla, peat.

Very smooth beer here, the pepper does not linger out for long, medium bodied, lightly carbed, no trace of the alcohol. The old porter taste stays with me the most.

All around, a solid beer that is pretty simple and very easy drinking.

BARFLYB, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of Sweasty
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another fade to black release from left hand. This is also my 100th review! This time around we get a chile infused porter. This brew pours deep brown, practically black color. Things are topped of by two fingers of khaki head. Head settles to ring. A fair amount of lace is left coating the glass.

The aroma doesn't disappoint. Chile notes hit the nose first. Notes of ancho and chipotle chiles stand out. A fair hit smoke comes through behind the chiles. Dark roasted coffee notes flow beneath the smoke. A light dark chocolate note is present. Things are rounded out by a general earthiness.

The chiles in the nose are stronger on the palate. Smoke heavy chipotles dominate upfront. Earthy, raisin-esque, ancho notes hit next. Traditional porter notes flow beneath the chiles. Dark roasted coffee makes a strong showing. A light dark chocolate quality is present as well. The finish is earthy with a lingering mild chile burn.

Fade to Black is nice full bodied porter. The carbonation is good, and helps lighten the body a touch.

Combining chiles and beer can be a difficult thing to pull off. The folks at Lefthand have more than pulled it off. The chiles are ever present, but never clash with the classic porter qualities. The chiles compliment the dark roasted malts, and add a wonderful depth of flavor. This was a worthy beer to make my 100th review.

Sweasty, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of jera1350
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Charcoal colored with a ring of tan foam around the glass that leaves some fair lacing.

Awesome nose on this one. Big smoky and meaty nose. Smoked meat, ancho and chipotle pepper sweetness and smoke. The malt lends a substantial sweetness as well. Can't wait for the first sip.

Very nice taste. There is a very solid chocolate malt presence with plenty of sweetness as well. The smokey notes are also present. Not overwhelming at all. The pepper is very subdued, but it comes into play at the end and at the back of the throat. They add a warming feel as well.

Very slick feeling, but I feel this could use a carbonation bump to help the flavors along.

Really enjoying this beer. Last years smoked baltic porter was amazing and I really miss it. This though, is in the same zip code and really is a satisfying porter with a nice smoke presence. Give this one a try.

jera1350, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of wvsabbath
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark black/brown, creamy 1 inch head, some lacing.

Smell - Malts, coffee, chocolate, sugars, cocoa, some dark fruits, no pepper though....

Taste - Smokey malts and coffee, with some pepper at first drink. Cocoa, chocolate and some sugars comes in after the pepper. Dark fruits like plum add some bold flavors.

Mouthfeel - Coffee and bitterness at first hits tounge, then the pepper and alcohol add some heat and sting to tounge. Palette gets alot of chocolate and cocoa, and minor pepper ting. Aftertaste is thin and malty.

Overall - Decent and easy enough to drink. Peppered beers seem to be catching on, this is the 3rd porter/black ale peppered beer ive had so this ranks as good compaired to them. It does have a decent amount of booze in it so i think that adds some heat to it. Pretty balanced, the pepper doesnt over power it, chocolate and cocoa add some mellow sweetness. This is worth a drink.

wvsabbath, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of beesy
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle was labeled as being bottled 09/22/11. Interesting that the bottle date was on the neck when the label has a white box specifically for this reason.

A - Poured a clear, dark brown that appears almost black in the glass. One finger tan head that fades to a slim head with good staying power. Some lacing present.

S - Notes of chocolate and caramel. Having a hard time picking up any pepper, but I'm coming off of fighting a cold and still a little congested.

T - Very noticable chocolate with a slight sweetness that finshes up with a touch of black pepper taste. I get a lingering warmness of hot peppers but cannot detect its actual flavor. Very slight detection of black pepper. (maybe the congestion is causing my smeller and taster to be a little desensitized).

M - Medium. Fits well with this beer. Any thicker and I fear it would become cloyingly sweet and any thinner and it couldn't hold the warmness of the pepper or the black pepper flavors.

D - Moderate to moderate low. I dont think I would sit around and kick a 6er in one sitting. I think this would pair nice with braised pork belly and cheddar mashed potatoes.

Overall an interesting beer. I like how they've listed the Scoville units in place of the IBUs on their website. I was surpirised this was listed as 7.2% ABV.

beesy, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pepper Porter? Black pepper? chili pepper? Well, I checked the website, I guess it's both

Comes out of the bottle dark brown and turns black in the mini-snifter. Cola-like edges. Even line of tan foamy head, slick lacing.

Roasted malt, cocoa and baked caramel in the nose. Some prune or raisin and anise/licorice.

Dark chocolate, unsweetened flavor profile. Roasty. Smoky. Baked caramel. Dried fruits and very slight black pepper. Almost like a weak Shiraz as far as spice goes. While the flavors are good, they just don't pop and fade a bit.

Chilies don't make themselves known until the feel in the back of the throat. Very mild heat. Slightly coating.

Mebuzzard, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of LiquidCucumber
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours very dark with minimal head. Looks slightly weak, but better than many porters.

S - Smells sweet and malty, and a little smoky. Also slightly fruity, like figs.

T - Quite a bit more smoky and earthy in the flavor than in the scent. Not too much fruit but still a bit of sweet malt. There is some heat on the back of the tongue; builds as the glass goes down.

M - Medium bodied with fairly low carbonation. Kinda light and spicy.

O - A pretty good brew, but I'd prefer a little more pepper flavor (of both varieties). I'll vote for Mikkeller's Chipotle Porter over this one, although this is a much better value.

LiquidCucumber, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 9/22/11, $9.99 a 6-pack. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. The head retention is good, and there's a decent amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is roasted malt, smoke, coffee, and a bit of pepper and bittersweet chocolate. Lucky, the heat from the peppers is stronger in the taste. In addition to the peppers, there's also coffee, roasted malt, smoke and milk/bittersweet chocolate flavors noticeable. The peppery heat lingers in the finish, and there's enough heat to make this brew taste interesting. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth and has moderate carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, I liked it.

bluejacket74, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 9/22/11

Couldnt figure out what style this was or which volume it was until i had the brilliant idea to look at the neck label. If I knew it was a "pepper porter" I may not have purchased it. Let's see how this goes...

A - Pours a dark brown looking black body, and there is a small amount of tan head that quickly thins to a film and ring.

S - Reminds me of Chocolate Yeti. Some heat that seems like spicy wood, some chocolate. Dark roasted malts also. It smells mostly like a normal porter, for which I am thankful, but there is a small bit of pepperiness to it.

T - Thank GOD! the pepper is tasteful. It's a nice roasty malty chocolatey beer with a tinge of hot pepper. Some earthy dryness to it as well.

M - Pretty full body for this one. It's a good thing, but I feel like its a bit big for the style.

O - I am happy with this beer. I was concerned, but I think it works well. A good, well-rounded, well-incorporated beer.

ColdPoncho, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of homebrew311
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a dark brown, some light passes through at the edges, minimal head, no lacing

S: nose features dry chocolate, smoke, a little bit of licorice, some bright pepper notes, and some ashy wood.

T: starts out roasted an dry, middle is sweet and malty with a zesty and peppery finish. The peppers are pretty tame compared to similar brews, they build a little bit, wish there was a little more punch from them.

MF: body is medium with low carbonation

O: this is my least favorite of the Fade To Black series thus far. Not that it is bad or anything, it just doesn't pop like the last two do. I wish the peppers were a little more assertive.

homebrew311, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish dark dark brown. Some nice white head. Looks decent. Like an average porter. Smells spicy and interesting. Some nice rich chocolatey notes as well. Tastes similar. Spicy, rich roasted malts. a bit weak on the moutfeel. Overall pretty enjoyable.

Urbancaver, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of BB1313
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on date noticeable. 12oz bottle poured into snifter. Pours a very dark, practically black with a decent slightly off white head and nice lacing. I'm picking up alot of coffee and smoke in the aromas, along with some milk chocolate. I don't really sense the pepper in the nose, but I can taste it. The black pepper isn't over the top and is subtle. Don't get me wrong though, you can feel the heat after every sip, but it's enjoyable and far from scorching. Lots of milk chocolate in the flavors as well. Mouthfeel is fine.. slightly thin, but smooth and perfectly carbonated. Good stuff..

Overall, this is a good porter which delivers on the pepper without being offensive. Something is lacking, and I can't put my finger on it, but I appreciate this considering they took a chance and didn't blow it. The subtle spicy finish makes this one legit.

Note: I thought Vol. 1 was world-class.. Vol. 2 was pretty good.. and Vol. 3 is more on Vol. 2's level.. good stuff.

BB1313, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

I've been impressed with the first two entries in this series, so word of this one came happily to my ears. It pours a dark garnet-sienna topped by a finger of dusty cream-white foam. The nose comprises molasses, brown sugar, chocolate syrup, light black pepper, and the faintest hint of smoked chipotle pepper. The taste brings in more of the same, with emphasis on the molasses and chocolate, and the heat from the peppers finally makes itself known. It's mild, subdued, but still noticeable. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly dry finish. Overall, a very nice porter, one that mixes a strong base with a nice amount of pepper (in terms of both heat and flavor). Keep 'em comin', Left Hand!

TMoney2591, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite (I think) from the Fade to Black series. Poured from the bottle a dark reddish brown/nearly black color with a good brown head. Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malt and coffee. On the palate, this one is medium bodied, spicy and rich, with flavors of roasted malt, black pepper, dark chocolate and cocoa. ™

emmasdad, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Mora2000, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of McNealc31
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

McNealc31, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +11%
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.

WVbeergeek, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of chinchill
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

chinchill, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of claytong
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - black with an off white head, seen this a bit often these days. decent retention and lacing but not great by any means.

smell - roasted almost burnt malts, minor chile heat

taste - mmm good roasted malts, quite a bit chile, and not just pepper taste, were talking some heat, quickly leaves. cocoa and sugar.

mouthfeel - love the chiles in here. otherwise a bit thin for my liking. good carbonation which doesnt help with the body.

claytong, Sep 28, 2011
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Fade To Black (Volume 3 - Pepper Porter) from Left Hand Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 500 ratings.