Fade To Black (Volume 4 - Rocky Mountain Black Ale) - Left Hand Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 376 | Reviews: 71 | Display Reviews Only:
3.55/5 rDev -3.8%
As the gloom of winter settles in, we look for bright spots in what else?... a black ale! With hops piercing the dark malts the beer is a metaphor for shaking the dark and looking forward to brisk days with brisk taste.
But first, the beer matches the wintry essence with a dark, porterish brown color. As the beer settles into the tumbler, a dense and creamy mocha head reaches for the rim of the glass. Its strong staying power gives the beer a sturdy and confident appearance, which is further reinforced with it's blanketed lace left in its wake.
Cocoa and caramel malts align for a decidedly dark roast aroma. Citrus, wood, and grassy hops notes follow closely behind and offers a bright and zesty counterpart to the roast coffee, cocoa, and caramel notes.
Burnt sugar flavors of caramel, toffee, and molasses set the stage with the slight malty-milky taste that supports the roasted grains. Bittersweet chocolate flavors rise just as the citrusy taste of hops deliver a zesty grapefruit and grassy herbal middle palate. The procession through taste then results in fading malt flavor and sweetness and a developing hop bitterness with light leafy, stemmy taste.
Medium bodied, yet the creamy malt textures seem to give the beer a little more heft than is likely actually there. As the carbonation pulls from the malt, the beer develops towards a crisp, dryish, and roasty finish. An after palate reveals sharp grain and hop derived astringency that's easily mistaken for roast and hop bitterness.
Where the black ale has the taste and satisfaction of moderate porters and stouts, it's drinkability is much like an IPA- aided by the crisp citrusy taste of American hops and a dry finish. It's a great option when borrowing time, waiting for spring.
01-17-2013 04:49:49 | More by BEERchitect
3.53/5 rDev -4.3%
12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Appearance: Pours a black body with an inch worth of khaki-colored froth.
Smell: Roasty nose with touches of charred bread crust, coffee, and bitter dark chocolate with a nice, cleansing citrus scent.
Taste: Heavy roastiness, slight burnt quality. The palate is almost soothed by the sweetish caramel, toastiness, and chocolate, but that's when the citrus, resins, and hop bitterness aid the astringent blackened maltiness. Resinous, bitter, but also bitter chocolate in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.
Overall: A solid though not scintillating beer.
11-22-2012 21:10:05 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.95/5 rDev +7%
Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.
Something tells me Mr. Denver wouldn't have been quite as successful with "Rocky Mountain Black"... Anyway, this stuff pours a deep, dark black-brown topped by a finger of sandy ecru froth. The nose comprises mild pine needle, blackened pretzel, dark chocolate powder, and a few sprigs of flowers. The taste brings in more of the same, with some roasted malts really making their darkly-roasted selves known. Yeah, the bitterness is relatively high here, but all of the constituent parts work well together. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a very nice black ale, one that creates and maintains a healthy balance between sweet and bitter. Good times.
01-16-2013 04:04:15 | More by TMoney2591
3.88/5 rDev +5.1%
A- Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small tan head of foam. It left sticky patches of lace on the glass.
S - It smelled very piney with some chocolate notes. A touch of maltiness, too.
T - Lots of bitter, piney hops up front woth roasted malt and chocolate as a backbone.
M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.
O - THis is a good black ale. Not my favorite Fade to Black but still worth a try.
11-24-2012 15:47:20 | More by zeff80
3.78/5 rDev +2.4%
Cool label. No clue what it means though. Just art I suppose.
Looks nice on the pour. Nose gives some berry tones at first. Flavor profile seems fairly one dimensional and not really giving any punch. Smooth feel. Overall a pretty pedestrian drinking experience.
02-27-2013 05:01:04 | More by RblWthACoz
3.43/5 rDev -7%
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...
12-09-2012 01:59:32 | More by russpowell
3.59/5 rDev -2.7%
Best by 4/05/13
Pours a nice creamy darker colored 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with decent lacing, pretty much pitch black beer
Nose starts with darker malts, light black malt and cocoa dust, caramel and creamy toasty brown malts with hint of fluffy nougat. In there are light earthy grassy hops.
Taste starts creamy dark malts, but then quickly into hops. Light spicy earthy hops come through, with touch of pine and citrus, with fair bitterness. The malts bring dark creamy malts, light milk chocolate, caramel, light mocha, and fluffy nougat. Finish is drier, long lingering spicy earthy hops, a bit of dark malts. The hops and malts really clash and why I don't like hoppy black ales.
Mouth is med bodied, creamy, decent carb.
Overall unimpressed. This is almost the definition of what I don't like in American black ales, the malts and hops would be fine on their own, but completely clash together and I can't really enjoy this beer.
02-10-2013 03:26:18 | More by jlindros
4/5 rDev +8.4%
this has been a great series so far by left hand, and this one is a nice addition. it pours like a porter, dark brown with a mocha head about an inch tall, excellent retention and lacing on the glass. the nose is surprisingly smokey for a black ale, with some hop bitterness on the back end. big malt profile, burnt popcorn and coffee grounds. the flavor ties all that together, with a slightly smokey black american pale ale, thats about how i think of this. its got some sturdy hopping, which combined with the heavy roast malts gives a nice bitter edge, while some sweeter cocoa notes come in to mellow things out. this is a very complex beer, and one that isnt the easiest to describe, but one ill certainly buy again. it has bright carbonation and a full but not massive body, quite quaffable. props to left hand for this fall beauty!
11-05-2012 19:49:28 | More by StonedTrippin
3.43/5 rDev -7%
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.
03-06-2013 06:19:40 | More by mactrail
3.64/5 rDev -1.4%
Pours near black with a tan head. No light passes. There's some streaky ring lace but the head is quite modest, settling into only rim bubbles.
Mild smell of predominantly crystal malt--sweet and nutty. The color belies the smell.
The taste features dark chocolate and some background floral hop. The aftertaste reminds me of the experience of eating dark chocolate. Neutral body with ample bubbles.
04-06-2014 19:23:03 | More by smcolw
4/5 rDev +8.4%
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.
12-04-2012 02:54:23 | More by Zorro
4.1/5 rDev +11.1%
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.
09-07-2013 05:23:02 | More by superspak
3.99/5 rDev +8.1%
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.
01-25-2013 18:39:19 | More by tdm168
Fade To Black (Volume 4 - Rocky Mountain Black Ale) from Left Hand Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 376 ratings.