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

Fade To Black (Volume 4 - Rocky Mountain Black Ale)Fade To Black (Volume 4 - Rocky Mountain Black Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

344 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 344
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 13.51%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: bsp77 on 11-04-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 344 | Reviews: 70 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of MrBoz21
MrBoz21

Colorado

3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Color - black with copper hue. Thin white head quickly faded into light skiff. A bit murky.

Aroma: Diacetyl. Light nutty roast, hint of molasses.

Taste: Apple hiding behind roast. Molasses, resiny-grassy hops.

Mouth: Dry and tingly. Thin-ish ... not creamy.

Overall: Sorry to say I'm a bit disappointed. Not as much balance and interplay with flavors as I think should have. Astringent.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 02:17:22 | More by MrBoz21
Photo of whoahwhat
whoahwhat

Indiana

3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thin tan head when poured that dissipates almost immediately. Nutty coffee scent, does smell very much like a stout, and flavors like a stout. I feel like it's missing something but I can't put my finger on it. Not a very complex flavor, but not bad either. Strong coffee notes stand out the most, little bit of carbonation, hint of hops. It's alright.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 00:41:14 | More by whoahwhat
Photo of GorgonSed
GorgonSed

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Jet black and opaque. Head disappears quickly. Head is thin and light.

S - Smells like a stout. Roasted chocolate, nuts, grain.

T - Starts out like a stout but doesn't develop as much. Flavor stays the same, roasted chocolate, I want to say barley, nutty finish. Little bite as you take the sip.

M - Thinner than expected from it's look but still some weight to it. I'm expecting a stout mouthfeel every time and not getting it.

O - I like it. Like a stout but different. I tend to like Left Hand's offerings.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 03:24:32 | More by GorgonSed
Photo of shacawgo24
shacawgo24

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

A-Black as outer space. Held to light you cannot see through. Dark brown edging. Barely perceptible carbonation bubbles shoot up beautifully giving an appearance of a star spangled dark universe. Head is collar thick and brown. One can stare deep into this beer for minutes.

S-Basic notes of cocoa beans, coffee grounds, caramel malts, alky. These smells don't grab your nose per se, but are detectable. Wish it smelled more mind blowing. Meets the bar.

T-Initial taste and smell join hand in hand sharing the same ingredients. Cocoa, coffee, caramel malt. Further sips, a medium bitter finish reminiscent of IPA hops. Bitter chocolate let's say. Wheat and rye grown on the palate. Resin and smoke billow out to the edges. Some sugar here. Smooth flavors.

M-Black velvet envelops your tongue. A creamy body. With time thins out, but this is good because it's an ale, not a stout/porter. You experience both spectrum sides with the mouthfeel.

O-Not a typical cocoa/coffee/malt dark beer. The use of field grains and hops come to play as welI. I sum it up to being ironically Left Hand Milk Stout without the milk. With a bitter start and finish. Left Hand is on the forefront when it comes to mouthfeel in beer. Look and feel standout most.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 12:40:28 | More by shacawgo24
Photo of MartzMimic
MartzMimic

Oklahoma

3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a tulip. Dark doesn't begin to describe it, as the light on my phone couldn't pierce the blackness. Off-white foamy head that dissipated a little sooner than I would have expected based on other reviews. Smells of chocolate, coffee, plum and licorice. Burnt coffee and chocolate predominate the initial taste, but turns to hoppy bitterness that lingers. A bit of carbonation, but it really coats the tongue. I'm not really sure what this beer is trying to be. I don't dislike it, but it feels a little muddled.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 01:59:38 | More by MartzMimic
Photo of chugalug06
chugalug06

Colorado

2.63/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

A good appearance. Black as night brew, a bit thin. Head has lots of volume. Head falls fast and is made of thin loose foam. Lacing is nice, but uneven.

Roasty, toasty, and far from style... Lots of burnt chocolate. Not a bad aroma, just not on style.

Nice backend bitterness. Front flavors are wet, forward, roasty and dark chocolate flavors. Creamy, earthy, coffee, slightly dirty, and milky. Carbonation is much too high, sweetness is close to too much, and bitterness is absent for the most part. Again, far off style.

This is ABA needs more substance and needs to drink less like a Milk Stout. It's good, just not on style. Recommended, just not to style.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 03:52:51 | More by chugalug06
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 11/7/2012. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, floral, pine, char, and floral/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and hop notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, floral, grass, light pine, char, and floral/roasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus zest, dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, light pine, floral, char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of hop and roasted flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy, lightly sticky, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Black IPA style. All around great balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 05:23:02 | More by superspak
Photo of bcsbeer
bcsbeer

Florida

4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured black with a healthy dark head. Good retention and lacing.
At first sip I knew I was in for a treat. It had all the dark roasted goodness of a quality porter with notes of coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts followed up with a light hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouth feel was solid, it had a nice weight to it, silky and easy to swallow. Very drinkable. I'm headed back to the store for more.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 04:29:05 | More by bcsbeer
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 18:00:28 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of schoolboy
schoolboy

Ohio

4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

What a nice black fade in. This is black with loads of white lace. Nice. The aroma is hoppy and roasty. Also nice.

The taste is bitter roasty as well, and lingers nicely as a nice bitter, almost licorice flavor. Overall, this is less over the top than American styles often are but it is quite good and balanced. I would definitely get this again.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 23:38:00 | More by schoolboy
Photo of chefhatt
chefhatt

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I poured this beer into a glass, it is black as night with a small tan head that quickly dissaperead. The smell has a roasty, chocolate aroma to it. The taste has a roasty malt taste and chocolate up front, then followed by a little bit of hops, not to much just a hint of them. This drinks more like a stout than a black ale.
The mouthfeel is very nice, rolls off the tonuge good and overall a pretty good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2013 02:24:09 | More by chefhatt
Photo of gleemonger
gleemonger

California

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

As the name implies, this one is almost totally black, just the slightest bit of brown coming through. Very small tan head that goes away pretty quickly. Not much lacing.

Chocolatey with some roasted malts. Smells more like a stout - not picking up any hops. Not super complex, but smells pretty tasty.

Like the nose, mostly chocolate and dark roasted malts. Not really any hops at all except for some bitterness. Kind of tastes like an Irish stout, but with a touch of chocolate. Again, good, but not what I'd expect from the style.

Pretty full bodied with lighter carbonation and a pretty smooth and creamy feel.

Pretty nice, I guess my only problem is that I don't get the hops at all in this one, so I'm not sure why they'd call it an ABA, unless it's an old bottle and the hops died back. If I were to measure it in the Irish stout style, I think I'd like it much better and for that reason, I'd say it's just a pretty damn good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 21:30:51 | More by gleemonger
Photo of screamking
screamking

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 02:53:50 | More by screamking
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +12.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2013 02:02:21 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Puffy, creamy, lumpy purple-tinged tan head that clings like mad over black body.
Orange oil, charcoal, plum and a bit of burnt rubber on the nose.
Black currant, ash, and black bread then pine sap, more orange oil and resin for hops.
Prune juice finish and charcoal bitter linger.
Medium, chewy, silky, some oil.

Snakey hops underneath a lot of black. Another way of saying this is surprisingly deep. Too many dark notes, but above par for LH.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2013 18:40:45 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of RWLawman
RWLawman

North Carolina

3.29/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A - Just about jet black, with a generous white head that sticks around for the majority of the experience. Scattered lacing left behind on the glass.

S - Some chocolate and roasted malts, but to me the piney hops stand out the most.

T - Chocolate, roasted malts, maybe a little grain, but finishes with a noticeable piney hop bite. I'm not a huge fan of pine hops, but it's not enough to absolutely kill the beer.

M - A little sticky, moderate mouthfeel, with a little creamy texture as well.

O - A "not bad" beer. Not something I'd seek out again, but it wasn't too bad.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2013 02:00:32 | More by RWLawman
Photo of Jadjunk
Jadjunk

Georgia

3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Brewed on the banks of the mighty St. Vrain. Fade to black. That time of year when the light fades away. Brewed for the darkness, Fade to Black speaks in volumes." Brewed in the style of a Cascadian Black Ale. Fourth individual installment in the annually released series. This early winter release resembles dark ales, but this is the first year that it doesn't showcase a "porter" of some kind.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter. Served north of 55º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy mocha brown head over a very dark brown, near black. Nice thin curtain of lacing and good head retention makes this an appetizing-looking beer. 4.25

(Smell) Aroma is certainly indicative of a black ale, with bitter, roasty malts, a moderate level of resiny and piney hops and a mild bready yeast profile with a hint of diacetyl, not uncommon in my experience with the style. Notably more sweet than the average black ale, this one leans a bit more towards a chocolatey malt-forward black ale than a hop-led beer but comes off with a nice balance and no perceptible undesirables. Potency is medium. 4

(Taste) Flavor is notably shallower on the sweetness of the malt body and instead has a light roasted chocolate, mild caramel and lightly toasted black malt blend for a slightly lighter body, but finishes with a forward resiny and hop character, a key player in the flavor which may not be to everybody's liking. A bit lighter on flavor than I was hoping for, I had my hopes set on fulfilling the malt aroma I picked up on earlier, as this one goes much lighter in flavor than expected, despite maintaining a nice balance. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Goes for a mild carbonation presence, mildly airy, slightly creamy with a medium dry finish accentuated with a resiny hop bitterness. Body is slightly below medium for the style and medium/heavy overall. Alcohol presence is very low, thoroughly concealed by the hop blend. Slightly lower body than I had hoped for, but the carbonation is right by the style and makes up for it. 4

(Overall) This would have been a top-notch beer provided the malt body had kept in line with the aroma, which was very sweet and chocolate-forward. The end result is enjoyable, but not extraordinary for the style, going for high drinkability and showcasing a bold hop resin undertone. It's certainly quite good for what it is, but it could have been much more unique with a bolder malt presence. 4

Left Hand Brewing Company's
Fade To Black Ale Volume 4: Rocky Mountain Black Ale
3.79/5.00

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 00:21:30 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of DenverLogan
DenverLogan

Colorado

4.48/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 22 oz bottle. Poured in Great Divide tulip glass.
Pours black with big brown head that lingers with lace.
Aroma of dark roasted malts and chocolate.
Modest carbonation and significant mouthfeel.
Flavors of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bitter malts. Overall very smooth and tasty...goes down easy yet has rich flavors...will have to taste next to Tommyknocker's Hop Strike.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2013 03:05:52 | More by DenverLogan
Photo of denver10
denver10

Colorado

2.94/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Pours black with a slight brownish hue and a nice mocha head. A nice deep roasty aroma filled will bakers chocolate and significant coffee and slight piney hoppiness. Flavor wise, the first half is fantastic with the deep roastiness filled with bakers chocolate and a buttload of coffee, second half introduces the hops and I am not as big a fan of that component and they totally kill this beer for me. A medium bodied, somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Overall, can't say I appreciate the hops inclusion on this one. Wish they made it a stout or porter because the malty side to this was great.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2013 02:03:11 | More by denver10
Photo of blakelive784
blakelive784

Colorado

3.04/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 23:31:20 | More by blakelive784
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 03:55:39 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of ThomasAWilson2
ThomasAWilson2

Virginia

3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is not my first foray into black ales, that belongs to New Belgium’s Snow Day Ale. While I wasn’t a fan of Snow Day, Left Hand welcomed me back to the black ale party once again, taking a not so popular style of beer and showcasing it for those brave enough to venture off the beaten path of brew.

I liken this offering to a stout with the guts ripped out. The bold, robust flavors of a stout provide not just the base but the main stars of a dark beer; Fade To Black has a roasty base of malts and mid range grapefruitish hops that add the right amount of bitter, but there’s a whole range of “refreshing” that comes from the ale brewing style. You won’t get any coffee or chocolate like an imperial stout, but there’s a perfect amount of char and also no heavy alcohol burn to mask in this medium gravity (6.5%) ale.

Bottle into a pint glass

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2013 03:26:48 | More by ThomasAWilson2
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Barley and wheat in the brewing is always intriguing to me, especially in a non-standard style of beer. This, whatever the category, is more tart than a stout. The wheat seems to add the rye-like biterish grainy flavor. Fairly hoppy with some resins. Rather winey taste. It's actually quite hoppy with more of an IPA finish.

I'd call this a Cascadian dark IPA, though it's a brighter flavor with less of the dankness. A cakey sweetness leaves hints on the lips. Quite dark, of course. Pleasantly carbonated. Overall, the big, harsh bitterness lowers the drinkability, but it's an interesting puzzle.

From the 12 oz bottle bought at Jubilation Fine Wines in Albuquerque.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 06:19:40 | More by mactrail
Photo of tophers
tophers

Michigan

3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance is of a billowing off-white head. Very thick and foamy. When I use Breiss' Midnight Wheat in my brews it looks similar to this head. Jet black in color.

Aroma is of a spicy nature with some roasted and chocolate malt notes in the background.

Quite roasty with strong hop bitterness. I'm not detecting a whole lot of hop flavor besides a slight pine taste. Slight chocolate and roasty malt flavor but the bitterness dominates.

I thought the mouthfeel was a good balance. Not to thick and a moderately light carbonation fit well with this beer.

Overall this one was a bit too bitter for me. Didn't get to taste much of the malt character. This beer is a very clean, bitter beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2013 01:29:16 | More by tophers
Photo of LuDookie
LuDookie


4.73/5  rDev +27.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 02:17:11 | More by LuDookie
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Fade To Black (Volume 4 - Rocky Mountain Black Ale) from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 344 ratings.