Fade To Black (Volume 5 - Black Rye Ale) | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Fade To Black (Volume 5 - Black Rye Ale)Fade To Black (Volume 5 - Black Rye Ale)

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BB1313 on 10-30-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 255
Photo of BFCarr
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap 1/8/17. Pour black with a whispy tan head that fades quickly. Not much aroma, maybe malty? Taste is roasted and smooth and not very bitter. Feel is very good.
Worthy of a try.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an almost clear deep brown that gives the appearance of being black, & has garnet highlights when held to the light. Pour produces 1+ finger of frothy, shortlived, tan head that leaves minimal lace other than a few scattered motes & a surface collar. Aroma is malty roast & toast, dark chocolate, chocolate milk & molasses notes with hints of anise, dark fruits, faint rye & a trace of smoke. Taste is toast, roast & a little char, bittersweet chocolate, cream, smoke, molasses, rye spice, a hint of floral & citrus hops, taking a turn toward a bitterness in the finish that becomes predominant in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, silky, smooth with a milk-like creaminess but lightly peppery (from the rye?) in the finish.

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Photo of K_schrim
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

This stuff smells like a karaoke bar where I am about to blow up some Alanis Morrisette. There is no other way to describe it. Taste is good, feel is excellent, but I will never forget that smell- or all of the words to "Ironic." Poured from 12 oz bottle to ale glass.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

served on draft in a shaker pint glass

black in color, with a thick khaki colored tan head. decent head retention. aroma is a mix of roasty and herbal flavors. taste follows - bitter cocoa, some earthy hops. good balance. could have been thicker.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

"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 an American Black Ale. Released as the fifth entry in the Left Hand Fade to Black annual rotating seasonal series. Brewed for the 2013-2014 winter season. Available in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Left Hand tulip glass. Served above 53 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy cream head of a medium mocha brown over a dark brown body with mahogany highlights. Retention is very good and lacing is light and patchy. 4

(Smell) Moderate roasted barley malts, mild chocolate malt, black patent and a light touch of bready rye body. Light earthy and piney hop notes, but this is a beer that is majority led by the malt profile. Potency is medium. 3.75

(Taste) Black patent, earthy cocoa and toasted rye grain up front, finishing with a nice cap of creamy roasted barley. Low hop flavor, moderate earthy hop bitterness combined with the moderate grain and malt bitterness of the rye and blackened malts. The ample body really provides a filling and enjoyable drinking experience. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is silky smooth, slick and moderately dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a light crispness. The body is medium+ for the style and medium/heavy overall. Balance is nearly evenly sweet to bitter. Alcohol presence is low and there are no notable off flavors. 3.75

(Overall) Left Hand delivers the fifth installment in the Fade to Black series as one of the finest yet. While not dominant in rye flavor, it thickens the body just enough to pull together an enjoyable, well-rounded roasted and chocolatey malt body that delivers a signifigant malt body to strongly counter any chance of a bitter edge. I'd categorize this ale as falling closer between a porter to stout than a Black ale or even a Black rye ale. Regardless, this is a reputable kickoff beer in the Fade to Black line for anybody looking for an opportunity to sample the series. 4

Left Hand Brewing Company's
Fade to Black Ale Volume 5: Black Rye Ale

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Photo of Nickcal
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Don't know why the liquor store I bought this at still had it. Last 6-pack on shelf and says it is best by 05/24/14. My first beer from the Fade to Black series. Looking forward to trying the next addition to come out. Tastes of rye, molasses and caramel. Great mouth feel and flavor.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yet another installment in the Fade to Black series that doesn't disappoint, this one displaying the sort of well-balanced roasty features you'd expect from Left Hand, with a touch of rye spice to, er, spice things up.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Left Hands Fade to black from a 12 oz bottle pours a thick blackish brown with a light tan
head that dies down to a thin pool of foam and nice lacing. Nose of chocolate, caramel, dark
rye, molasses, and deeply roasted goodness. Flavors are light sweet up front fading to a nice
roasted profile of molasses, dark chocolate and a nice dryness from the rye. Most excellent
mouthfeel, thick and full with a pleasant chocolate/black coffee like aftertaste.


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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

12 oz. bottle poured into a can glass.

Appearance - Medium khaki head that lasts quite a while. Thick collar. Dark, viscous black body.

Smell - Rich chocolate. Rye becomes much more prominent as it warms. Molasses.

Taste - Molasses is the strongest flavor. Chocolate behind it. The rye isn't anywhere near what it is in the smell. Booze is strong and lends a bit of a fruitiness.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. A bit creamy. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - Not what I expected at all. But then again, I never know what to expect from a style as vague as "Black Ale." This drinks more like a stout than anything else.

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Photo of kkleu357
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%

From notes on 11/14/13

Dark black in color with a minimal cream colored head. Not much aroma, but what I do get is hints of roasted coffee. Very smooth drinking beer. I’m getting a roasty chocolaty flavor.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a near-black color with a few brown highlights around the edges. Retention is just ok and lacing spotty.

Nose is whole grain bread and chocolate....almost like a Nutella sandwich on whole wheat. In other words, the rye and dark malt are both prevalent. I dont get much hops here though.

Taste is much smoother than I thought it would be, the rye and chocolate malt flavors compliment each other well. There is a bit of raisin fruitiness that is nice. Roast comes out as it warms...got a nice complexity thing going on here. Good stuff, another good offering in the FtB series.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: very dark brown; less than 1 finger khaki head that dissipated quickly; no lacing;

S: deeply roasted malt; bittersweet chocolate; a little earthiness;

T: chocolate up front, mixing with coffee on the finish; low to moderate bitterness;

M: medium bodied; low to moderate carbonation;

O: well balanced; a bit too chocolately for me and I would have liked a little more bitterness, but good none the less;

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Photo of smcolw
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Near black color but light does shine through the edge. Minimal lace (spots) on the glass. The head is light beige although it settles quickly.

Deeply toasted malt aroma. Borderline burnt but there's a sweetness that creates balance.

The flavor is more burnt with a definitive hop presence. Thinner body than expected but the low carbonation balances it well. Definitive alcohol in the swallow and the aftertaste.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with very little light transmission in the glass. Half finger tan head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of mild toasted dark malt, molasses, rye spiciness. Flavor is dark toasted malt with slight char, molasses, hints of chocolate and coffee, rye spiciness shows up in the finish which leaves a light lingering grassy hop bitterness. Exceptionally creamy medium body. A very nicely made black ale where the creamy mouth feel enhances the flavor of the malts to almost resemble an imperial porter. The rye and other flavors bring things back to black ale territory. Nicely done and perhaps one of the better ales of this style I've tried. This Fade to Black series has been uniformly well executed and interesting.

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Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a decent tan head that leaves a swirling pattern of lace

Smell: Malt-forward aromatics, with toasted brown bread, caramel, a hint of molasses and an earthy quality; just a touch of smoke

Taste: Much the same on the tastebuds as in the aroma, with the malts really making a statement in the front and the hops balancing things out in the back; a bit spicy and earthy in the finish from the rye, perhaps, but well balanced, overall

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not what I was expecting given the stated style and a bit more like a hoppy porter than an ABA; I really like the balance in this beer, primarily because of how the malts add complexity

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Photo of Gryphon69
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
best by: 4-29-14

A- Dark Brown, nearly black. A slight tan colored head with light lacing. Under the light it has a lot of sediment throught the glass.

S- Roasted malts, cocoa, bread, slight earthiness.

T- Much like the nose, except nothing jumps out, it has a nice balance throughout. Has a dryness right from the first drink to the finish, also has a decent bitterness in the finish. Not noticing a lot of pine, but a definite hop kick.

M- Light to medium with a smooth, slick dry in the back of the throat.

O- I very much like the taste and drinkablility of this black ale. Hope to get more.

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Photo of Abra
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid, well-crafted, transitional black ale.

Pours flat black in color with a complementing off white head.
Smell starts off sweet, ending on a refreshing note.

Taste begins with a mild sweetness, chased out quickly with the hops, leaving a smooth bitter finish that mellows back into a subtle sweetness. Fuller bodied, with undertones of chocolate, toffee, and molasses.

A very enjoyable beer perfect for the early nights of winter.

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Photo of fr5ed
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear mahogany-brown-black with a dark khaki head. Aroma - sweet/dark chocolate, dark toast, coffee/espresso. Taste - touch of sweetness, not very bitter, coffee/dark toast/dark chocolate. Slightly heavy mouthfeel, though not like an imperial stout. Like a robust porter. Very, very nice. Definitely recommended.


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Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is pf roasted malts, some smokiness. Taste is malts, some coffee, smoke, a bit of chocolate, tasty and easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, while not as much hops as I would expect from this style, is a good quality beer.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fade to Black vol.5 pours a dark auburn brown. The light mocha head that formed was small but quite dense and lingered quite awhile before fading.
The aroma had a rich deep roasted malt smell. Hints of earth and licorice is present too.
Taste is dry and bitter with an overall malty taste. A subtle roasted malt taste is present with that has subtle nuiances of earth and licorice like in the nose. Rye is quite subtle and is easily missed but you can detect slight hints of pepper spiciness in the finish.
Drinks reasonably smooth and creamy.
I like it but could use a dose of citrusy hops to brighten it up.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 4/1/2014. Pours pitch black color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, dark bread, rye, caramel, molasses, toast, light smoke, floral, light pine, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity of dark/roasted malt and light-moderate hop presence; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, dark bread, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, toast, rye, caramel, brown sugar, light smoke, floral, and roasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, dark bread, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, rye, toast, caramel, brown sugar, light smoke, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors; with great robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice rye black ale. All around good robustness and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. Did not have as much hops in the flavor as I expected, but was a very enjoyable offering otherwise.

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Photo of arizcards
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer from Total Wine in early December for $8.99. Bottled on 10/31/13, best by 04/29/14.

Beer poured dark brown with a one finger head that is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is malty, with some hints of roast.

Taste is well crafted; light roasted coffee and chocolate give way to dark fruits that sweetened things up a bit but the hops balance the sweetness. Rye adds an additional touch of spice. It all comes together nicely!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied that is fairly smooth.

Overall this is a very tasty brew. Give it a try if it is still on shelves.

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Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 05/24/14.

A: Pours black with a tall, fizzy/frothy light brown head. Head fizzes out moderately quickly. Tiny little splotches of lacing. Decent retention.

S: Some charry, lightly smoky roasted malt with spicy rye. Nice combination. A little bit of sweet chocolate in the mix once fully warmed.

T: More chocolate here than in the aroma. Sweet chocolate up front especially, joined by a nice spicy rye malt. Light char and smoke, mainly in the finish. Just a hint of umami too. Lingering chocolate and charred wood in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, lightly spicy. Slight, slight chalkiness in the aftertaste.

O: Pretty simple, moderate roasted malt character mixed with some spicy rye. Kinda tastes like a nice porter with a little bit of rye in it. Nicely balanced and complimentary (spicy chocolate is my favorite, after all). Drinkability is quite good too.

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Photo of _--TAD--_
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Overall this is a very smooth black ale with a good after taste that lingers on the back of your tongue. Though I currently have only had this beer by itself, with its flavoring I can see this pairing very well with beef or a fish such as salmon. One thing I have noticed is that their isnt much carb to it, not even having a 1 finger head when poured. But if you were to pass by this in a store I would recommend picking up a case if you are willing to pay a bit more than for a typical top quality commercial beer (ex. Sierra Nevada), I got my 6 pack for $10. I love dark ales of all kinds, so I couldn't complain too much about the price.

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Photo of hardy008
3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark black with a 1/2 finger tan head, with pretty good retention and spotty lacing. The aroma is nutty with coffee, dark roasted malt, and earthy hops. The aroma is nothing special. I hope the taste is better.

Tastes both sweet and bitter with coffee, dark roasted malt, earthy hops, a little bit of chocolate, and molasses. This is supposed to be an American Black Ale? Has way too much malt for the style, and the hops take a back seat, which is not what I look for in this style of beer.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a earthy hop and coffee aftertaste. This is too malt forward for the style in my opinion. I'm glad I only bought one bottle.

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Fade To Black (Volume 5 - Black Rye Ale) from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 255 ratings.
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