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Fade To Black (Volume 4 - Rocky Mountain Black Ale) - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fade To Black (Volume 4 - Rocky Mountain Black Ale)Fade To Black (Volume 4 - Rocky Mountain Black Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

393 Ratings
THE BROS
69
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 393
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 7
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bsp77 on 11-04-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 393 | Reviews: 72
Reviews by Cyberkedi:
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.51/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap an opaque coffee brown with a thin tan head. Aroma had notes of roast malt and quality coffee plus a snip of hops. Flavor has rich mocha and hop notes, like the best stout mixed with the best IPA, plus caramel, nutty, earthy and licorice tones and a fruity hint. Not too sweet, not too bitter. Firm texture is quite smooth and quite fizzy, leaving a hoppy mocha finish. Don’t fade away, drink one!

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #72 (Jan 2013):

The next volume in Left Hand’s series of black beers, this dark ale is brewed with Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, malted wheat, hops and yeast. Personally, we’d like to see the wheat dialed back on this one. It’s very tannic and paired with a dry malt and hop-centric profile creates an unbalanced, harsh brew.

STYLE: American Black Ale
ABV: 6.5%
AVAILABILITY: Limited

LOOK: Opaque, pitch black, tan head and lacing

SMELL: Herbal, roasty, straw

TASTE: Smooth, crisp, bitter, pine, resin, light citric, roasty, coffee, earthy, bone dry, aspirin, astringent, husky, tannic

Photo of Beaver13
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours dark black with a smallish tan head that goes to a thin film and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is a bit subdued - heavily roasted chocolate malts and some piney hops.

The flavor is roasted chocolate malts with a good sized resiny, piney hop finish and some char in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, an OK black IPA.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle from Merchants Fine Wine in Dearborn, MI, alongside a few other Left Hand brews I have yet to have the pleasure to have tried.

Poured into a nonic. Nearly black indeed, with a sturdy half inch of cappucino foam which settles into a thick ring with lots of sticky lace. Great looking brew, for certain.

Nose is a mix of the citric and piney hops of a cascadian dark with the coffee, chocolate and dry roastiness of an English porter.

I enjoyed this one a great deal, simply because it drank so much like a porter. Hearty, bitter brew, with a nice pine-grapefruit-earthy hop finish. Nice coffee and chocolate notes as well. Dry, very flavorful. Medium bodied, mild carbonation, good feel to it.

Fine example of the black ale style. Hops and dark ale base work well together.

Photo of bsp77
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Near black with moderate tan head and light lacing.

Smell: Mostly milk chocolate, with some coffee and molasses. Don't detect much hops in the aroma. Fairly mild.

Taste: Strong roasted taste, with coffee, chocolate and molasses. Some light citrus and light to medium bitterness.

Feel: Moderately low carbonation with a smooth body that is a little thinner than expected.

Overall: Even though I just entered this as an American Black Ale (because Left Hand says it is), this is really a Porter. And not even one of the hoppiest Porters I have had. Even as a Porter, it is barely above average.

Photo of doubledteague
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bottle into a frosty glass.

A- Very Dark Brown, Almost Black of course. Very small but a lingering light brown head, after several drinks little to no lacing or stikyness left on the glass.

S- Significant Coffee, coacoa, earthy malts.

T- Taste starts off slightly choclatey almost smooth, then hit hard with a coffee flavor, deep almost wooden flavor. Lingering burned coffee aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, light to medium carbonation, rather filling.

O- This is only like the second or third American black I have ever tried, and of those i would put this at the top. (Now for my disclaimer.) I have a very hard time with the Blacks, porters, stouts and all around dark beers. I am not a fan of coffee or deep earthy flavors. However Im a huge fan of beer, want to try all that is available, and try very hard to have an open mind on these beers. I will be the first to tell you not to form your opinion of these beers based on my comments.

Others comment on this is not the best of the "Fade to Black" Series, but its the only one of the series I have tried.

Photo of tdm168
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to brewdude1982 for this one.

A - black with a short-lived white head

S - faint citrus, some pine, some chocolate, some faint peppery spicyness

T - roasted malts at first followed by some faint citrus and a some spicy hops; the finish is a bit bitter with some underlying coffee notes

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

I'm not sure how I feel about this beer. It comes across as a somewhat porter-like beer with an above-average hoppiness. I wouldn't describe this as a Black IPA. The hops are present and some great character, but the roasted malts and coffee notes are most prevalent. I'm glad I tried this one. I'm not sure I'd seek it out again, but I'll never turn it down.

Photo of WoodBrew
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The vol. 4 is a great porter....I look forward to this release every year. This vintage seems to be a bit more hoppy than in years past. The beer pour an opaque black with thin off white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent is happier than most Baltic porters...yet still has coffee and peat tones. The taste start bitter quickly followed by coffee and espresso which then a peppery spice settles in on the follow through. The mouthfeel is full bodied with subtle carbonation. Overall this is another good year for the FTB!

Photo of McNealc31
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color certainly matches the title. Thin, creamy head floats atop a pitch black body. Very strong pine hops are noticed first. Charred wood comes through next, followed by sweet malt. Bitterness from the hops really linger. More than 60 IBUs almost make you pucker. Chocolate comes through as it warms.

The balance is what makes this so good. There is enough going on with the sweetness, bitterness, texture, and char to give it great flavor.

Photo of russpowell
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahogany with 3 fingers of mocha colored head.Very good lacing & above average head retention

S: Cocoa & not much else

T: Cocoa, roasted grain, woody hops & a touch of pears up front, along with some dryness. More roastyness as this warms, a touch of aspirin & a modicum of smokeyness, slight figgyness. Finishes dry, roasty with a whisper of astringency & herbal hops

MF: Light/medium body with slight carbonation

Easy to drink, but not a great example of the style. Easily the weakest of the Fade to Black series to date...

Photo of goochpunch
3.04/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours out almost black with a khaki frothed milk head. Smells strongly of crystal malt. Very toasty, with a bit of a roasted twang. Smells heavily of fruity esters. PNW hops in the nose, as well. Flavor is big on chocolate, toast, citrus/pine hops, and lots of jelly fruity esters. Mouthfeel is sticky. Could use more carbonation. Too sweet overall, and the flavors don't meld together well. Not a fan.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 11/07/12. Served in a goblet (like the label on the bottle says), the beer pours dark brown/black with an inch tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a lot of lacing, too. The brew smells like roasted malt, pine and citrusy hops, burnt/charred malt and a bit of coffee. Taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but there's the addition of some bittersweet chocolate. Nice balance between the hoppy and malty flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and smooth, with a good amount of carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, definitely worth a try at $9.99 a 6-pack.

Photo of LuDookie
4.72/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I poured this from the bottle into a mug.

Black, with no translucency, and very little head.

The smell is a little lacking in sweetness, but the lack of sweetness as you drink it more than makes up for this.

This is an excellent tasting beer. It is definitely one of my new favorite dark beers. It has a very nice roasted flavor without overwhelming chocolate sweetness.

the mouthfeel is perfect....just the right amount of carbonation and the burnt coffee aftertaste lingers.

Overall, this is one of my favorite dark beers by the Left Hand Brewery, which I am a fan of anyway.

Photo of screamking
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into glass.

Thick khaki head, above a black sea of beer. The head stays quite awhile leaving tons of dark lacing on the glass. Lots of chocolate and coffe on the nose. This drinks very easy, even easier than a porter. Not as much coffee in the taste, but still lots of bitter chocolate. The aftertaste falls a bit flat, none of the notes seem to linger. Glad I got to try this one out and I will be looking for more in this series.

Photo of DAllspaw
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours dark enough with nice mocha head, certainly looks the part of a proper black ale. A bit of pine and citrus in the nose ,but this is a malt forward beer for certain. It reminds me more of a belgian black than some other american black ales which are more hop forward (i.e., Black IPA or CDA).

This beer has a definitely roasty quality that I can't quite describe, not as heavy or astringent as the heavier porters or stouts, but a more mellow roast quality, which is kind of a theme for this beer for me anyway, lacks a certain balance.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass. One finger dark tan head with good retention and lots of lacing; looks good. Aroma of toasted malt, with hints of chocolate and grassy hops. Flavor follows with toaste malt, light chocolate, a bit of coffee; transitioning into a long charred coffee, toasted malt and grassy hop finish. There is an interesting suggestion of dark fruit after the first rush of malt. Pleasant medium creamy body. This has some of the body of the earlier porters in the series, but true to American black ale style in the flavor. I liked this a lot. Great series of dark ales.

Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Tudor brown head, moderate retention on a black body (of course) with a bit of sticky lacing. Aroma includes roasted malt and a touch of coffee but clearly behind the roast is a ton of hop goodness. Very fresh, piney hops. Taste also includes coffee and a pleasant roast but once again the hops are very present, demanding attention. Nice resinous hop aftertaste with mainly grapefruit and pine standing out. Excellent.

Photo of blakelive784
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours an incredibly dark, non translucent shade of brown with two fingers of bubbly khaki head. Retention is poor, but it leaves a bit of lacing as it recedes.

S - Light cream, roasted malts, hints of cinnamon and other indistinct spice. Light grassy hops. Simple, but seemingly balanced. Restrained.

T - Roasted malts and bitter chocolates steal the show. Thin. Bittering hops near the finish. Closely follows the nose. The roast is nice, but it's a bit one note. No yeast or alcohol present. Easy drinking but simple and restrained.

M - Over carbonated. Thin. Medium bodied.

D - It's not bad, but I've definitely had better (including Volume 3). A disappointment from a good brewery.

Photo of TheSeeker61
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having not had this particular style don't know what to compare it to but I'm really enjoying this offering. Pours a one finger head and pitch black. Some good lacing on the glass. The nose is a nice chocoalaty, piney hops aroma. The tongue is kinda like the nose, a chocolaty, piney hoppy, balanced taste. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall I was pleasantly surprised at how I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end as I was planning to purchase something which kicked and advised to give this one a try. Much enjoyment.

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear black colored ale with a very slight tan colored head.

Smells strongly of patent malt with a sort of aqua velva aftershave scent from the hops. Chocolate and carrot stick with coffee and a little smoke. Slight metallic scent.

Starts out a bit sweeter than expected with a bittersweet malt flavor. Burnt toast and chocolate this gets more bitter as you drink it. Pine resin from the hops, really tastes a bit more like milk stout instead of an IPA.

Mouthfeel is good.

Tasty beer that is a little different for the style. A beer a little closer to the Stout side of Black ale than the hops side.

Photo of shand
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Fade to Black 4 pours ... black. The head is thick and leaves nice sheets of lace behind. The aroma isn't as strong as it could be, and only provides a generic chocolate and nondescript hop nose. The taste comes off at first as a standard hop and dark malt deal, but as the aftertaste comes on, the hop bitterness only gets stronger in intensity. Helped out by the roast, the bitterness gets very intense here on the finish. The mouthfeel is light and very drying, and the drinkability is solid. A nice beer overall.

Photo of bubseymour
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark stout pour with tan head that with aggressive pour left 1 finger. Retention seems decent.

Smells very pleasant with roasted nuts and chocolate.

Really like the flavor of this beer. It has some slight burnt nut flavor with chocolate and malt with some noticeable hop bite in the finish. Some linger.

Mouthfeel - A tad watery but nothing off putting

Overall - I prefer to call this beer "Old Raspy Light" if that is allowable on the site. Its the best way I can describe it and definitely worth trying if you like stouts with a mix of roasted flavors, chocolate and some hop presence.

Photo of BB1313
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours pitch black, barely any light getting through. There's a nice khaki head which eventually fades and leaves nice lacing and retention. The aromas are full of chocolate malts. The hops take a backseat in the aromas. It's basically all chocolate with a hint of smoke. The flavors are pretty roasty. Coffee/espresso in the mix. The hops still aren't really shining, although there's a subtle bitterness. Very grainy and has a mineral like taste. Tastes more like a stout and feels like a porter. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's light, smooth, creamy with moderate carbonation. It's a very easy drinking beer. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

This is definitely my least favorite from the Fade To Black series. It's not really what I look for in a Black IPA, although it never really claims to be one. It's really not bad if you accept it for what it is, which is a "black ale". The craftsmanship is there. I guess I had higher expectations considering I love this series and the style. It's probably better than my score might indicate. It's just there have been alot of great Black Ales coming out as of late, and this one doesn't exactly stand out, in my opinion.

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed a little over a month ago ("Bottled on 11/07/12").

A: A black beauty, dark yet reflective enough to see yourself in the glass. Sandy, smooth head about an inch high. Intricate webs of lacing over minimal retention.

S: Smells like a porter: chocolate syrup, toffee, dark fruit, and a distinctive mineral character. There is an earthy hop tone to it, as well; an attractively mild touch of complexity.

T: Damn, that is almost acrid with its hops and roasts - I'm in love. It's like someone dropped a pine cone in a cup of coffee, bright and prickly, but with a good cocoa background. Slight cedar, brown sugar, and lactose sugar peek out of this thin body fairly easy, too. Finishes acidically metallic and sweet, like cola from a fountain.

M: Bubbles distract from the thinness quite well, working also to accentuate the hops and roasts I enjoy so much. Sessionable, nearly.

O: A fine beer, quite possibly the most pleasingly simple black ale I've ever had. Why does every example of this style have to have an above-average ABV? 6.5% seems to work just fine for me.

Photo of fps_dean
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a tan head, which doesn't stick around for long.black in the glass.

Smells somewhat like a porter, with a strong smell of malt.

There is a coffee, malt, chocolate, caramel and hops. No one flavor is greatly dominant. I would say this black ale, while clearly an ale, is on the stout or porter side and not the hoppy ale side.

It's moderately carbonated, and while it's heavy on flavors, it's not overly thick.

Overall this is a very good black ale, but not the best out there. I would recommend this as I would buy it again, but it would not be something I would go out of my way to get either.

However, for the price I paid for it, it's hard to beat it.

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Fade To Black (Volume 4 - Rocky Mountain Black Ale) from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 393 ratings.