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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

72 Reviews
THE BROS
69
poor

(Read More)
Reviews: 72
Hads: 396
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 8
Gots: 26 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | 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
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Reviews: 72 | Hads: 396
Photo of McNealc31
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
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. (442 characters)

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (1,077 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer from Total Wine in early November for $8.99.

Beer poured black with an OK tan head that is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is roasted malts, some coffee, and some northwest hops.

Taste is focused on the roasted malts which is strong up front and is balanced quite nicely by a decent amount of hops. Hints of cocoa and coffee linger in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and satisfying.

Overall this is another nice brew in the Fade to Black series. Black Ales seem to becoming in vogue this time of year with several other brewers going to this as the seasonal style. Glad to have tried and would recommend (647 characters)

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a dark inky black. completely opaque. maybe an inch of tan foam forms from a heavy pour but dissipates very quickly.

S - interesting aroma. Lots of char character, possibly some burnt bread. Some sweet fruit character not just the classic citrus hops but a sort of berry-like jam (blueberries?) quality as well. Notes of chocolate sauce and pine needles too.

T - Smooth chocolate matly flavors up front. Lots of rind forward citrus fruit, which also mixes with the chocolate notes creating a coffee/mocha sort of character. Finish is fairly quick with just a tinge of lingering citrus rind.

M - silky smooth texture. medium bodied. medium carbonation.

O - nice beer. nose is the more interesting portion of the beer but otherwise quite enjoyable. (764 characters)

Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

Smells of dark roasted unmalted barley, black patent malt, fruity hops, and hints of cinnamon, cedar, and something like acrylic paint.

I had yet to taste a good melding of American-hop-forward flavors with darker roasted malts. Until today. I have tasted some good ones, but they all end up being something like overly grassy bitter cola. This pulls off the balance though. The hops are spicy (cinnamon, ginger?) and the malts cut right to a near chocolate flavor. The bitterness isn't too high, but clips the sweetness before it gets very far. Impressive and complex melding of spicy, earthy, roasty, and hoppy.

The mouthfeel is balanced and medium bodied, with slightly lower carbonation.

Conclusion: The first American Black ale to totally nail it for me. Well done Left Hand! (808 characters)

Photo of BierStein711
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have started to appreciate this style more!

Appearance: Jet Black

Smell: Charcoal, hops, herbs

Taste: Hop, herbal middle, nice bitingly bitter finish

Mouthfeel: Smooth, almost refreshing!

Overall, I'd say this is a winner.

Try it while you can find it. (260 characters)

Photo of thlayli87
2.86/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours opaque black with one finger of head. Decent lacing on the glass.

S - Grassy hops, but not a real strongly aromatic beer.

T - Very hop forward brew followed by coffee flavors. Some bitter dark chocolate notes as well.

M - Creamy mouthfeel with good carbonation.

O - Well crafted brew but not really my thing. I think it would be better if they toned down the bitterness slightly. Overall I much prefer the Fade to Black vol. 3 (chili porter) to this. (464 characters)

Photo of doubledteague
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (1,079 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
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... (537 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (613 characters)

Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (470 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +7%
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. (603 characters)

Photo of Alcorn
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a super dark, inky jet black. It literally seems to absorb light. Nice kind of tan/khaki head. Decent lacing.

S - Roasted coffee, almost char burnt toast instead of a nice gentle brown smell. Hints of dark chocolate and faint pine notes.

T - Solid coffee and dark (like 70% dark) chocolate. Resinous piney, hop notes come in on the finish.

M - Nice and smooth. Flavors come across cleanly across the palate. Finish is nice and dry.

O - A very tasty black ale, one of the better black ales I have tried. However, not my favorite of the Fade to Black Series. I may very well grab another in my next mix-a-six but I doubt I would want a whole 6 pack. (660 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a pitch black pour with a finger of tan head poured into a snifter. smells of roasted dark grains, coffee, tobacco, and a hint of grassy hops. a roasty bitterness throughout the drink with notes of coffee, dirt, and tobacco. a slight hint of vanilla lingers in the roof of your mouth. a heavier medium body beer with a moderate amount of carbonation, leaves a creamy / milky coat in your mouth.

a very nice addition to one of my favorite yearly seasonals, though not my favorite from the 4. lacks a bit in the flavor/aroma departments and ceases to be unique, like most of the other fade to black series. it's a good beer, just not very different from a roasty bitter stout/porter. (682 characters)

Photo of BB1313
2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
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. (1,189 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (452 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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. (648 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
2.86/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a sixer of this because I liked the last installment, big mistake. This is just as black as you would expect, decent head, good lacing. Aroma is more burnt malts than roast malts, meh. Flavor is kind of burnt too, not quite a stout, certainly not a black IPA, just a below average porter I guess. Really disappointing, not sure how I'll drink the rest. (364 characters)

Photo of Dave1999
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pure black with a tiny black head.

The smell is roasted coffee.

The taste is coffee with a hoppy finish. It's interesting the hops hit you right at the end. There's citrus lemons and oranges.

This is light to medium bodied with low carbonation.

This is an interesting beer nothing too special but enjoyable as the less. (329 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
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. (382 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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! (839 characters)

Photo of bsp77
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (664 characters)

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Fade To Black (Volume 4 - Rocky Mountain Black Ale) from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.