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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.

393 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 393
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 7
Gots: 21 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fade To Black (Volume 4 - Rocky Mountain Black Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 393 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Milkysunshine
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of PaulsBrew
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Thedrizzle
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of WebGuyMike
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

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

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: None on bottle, released fall-winter 2012
Glass: Standard US pint glass

Left Hand's Rocky Mountain Black Ale is a solid version of the style, hitting the major notes quite easily, with a little extra emphasis on the pine resin and bitterness underneath the roasted malt. I enjoyed the beer, and would get it again.

Pours a 1.5cm tall head of dark tan bubbles, mostly small in size, creating a very dense-looking effect. Retention is about average, lasting about a minute, before settling to a ring around the perimeter of the glass and a few spotty islands capping the beer. Lacing is very significant, appearing in all manner of shapes, ranging up to sheets of caked-on foam. The body is dark brown to black, with light bringing out the faintest hints of red-amber coloration along the edges of the beer. Carbonation is not visible due to the opacity of the beer.

Aroma is at first of roasted and chocolate malt with a touch of smoke, which effortlessly fades in to a bright, oily set of citrus, pine resin, and woodsy scents contributed by the hops. Enjoyable and right on target for the style.

The beer has a strong set of flavors, featuring bold roasted malt, citrus (primarily grapefruit), and pine resin, but uses some cocoa powder and smoke to add a bit of depth and accentuate the major characters. Front of palate is surprisingly sweet, with roasted notes, cocoa powder and smoke characters. Mid-palate has roasted malt with slight acridity, mild cocoa powder, and a seamless, though sudden transition to medium to medium-high intensity grapefruit bitterness and pine resin flavor. Back of palate continues the roasted flavors, with a higher emphasis on pine resin, but grapefruit and bitterness remain. Lingering aftertaste of pine resin, grapefruit, roasted malt acridity and hop-derived bitterness.

Beer has a medium weight to it, with medium-low carbonation, leading to a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. The problem with this is that as the beer sits, the carbonation naturally lessens, leading to a somewhat placid beer on the palate by midway. Closes dry and astringent, with lingering bitterness in the throat and mild stickiness across the palate.

Photo of crobinso
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of BrianMMMBeer
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of vanillacokaine
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Tozac
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

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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 TimoP
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of wmickdds32
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of sendbeer
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of psmith161
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of jrfehon33
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of HavasuDG
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of StefanosG
4/5  rDev +8.1%

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 nikbullet
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Ravenacht
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of thinwhiteduke
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

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