Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout) | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout)Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout)

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Volume 1 - Foreign Stout - Pours black with licorice, espresso bean, molasses, and black cardamom notes that give way to a feeling of self loathing, burnt opportunities and smoked relationships. 2010 Gold Medal Winner at the Great American Beer Festival in the Foreign Stout category.

Added by superdedooperboy on 11-13-2009

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Ratings: 930 |  Reviews: 365
Photo of Red5StandingBy
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Snifter. Best by September 27th 2017.

L: Completely black, no ruby edges or anything. Thin brown head appears and quickly disappears.

S: Coffee, black licorice, wood smoke is pretty strong, not much arises from a swirl.

T: Richly dark roasted malts, wood smoke and black licorice.

F: Light bodied, crisp carbonation and slightly dry.

O: Pretty good stout.

 401 characters

Photo of Scott17Taylor
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a khaki head.
The aroma is mostly dark roast and cocoa powder with some earthiness.
The flavor is dry and roasty with quite a bit of sweetness mid palate before finishing with a slightly dry earthy finish. It's good, but honestly I've had several better stouts around this abv.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I am still eradicating the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody but when I realized that I had (perhaps) done a disservice to a couple of Left Hand's Nitro beers, I decided to use a revisitation as the impetus to delve into Left Hand on a horizontal basis. This is the first of the newbies and a bottle/CAN side-by-side/head-to-head to boot!

And now for The CANQuest (tm) entry!

From the CAN: "Seasonal"; "Brewed on the banks of the mighty St. Vrain Est. 1993"; "Foreign Stout Fade to Black Pours black with licorice, espresso bean, molasses and black cardamom notes"; "30 IBU"; "Ingredients: Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, malted wheat, hops and yeast."; "Employee owned, righteously independent"; "Please recycle".

As to that last, I used to recycle my CANs until I met Jeff Lebo of York County. He now comes over a couple of times a year to pick up my rinsed, spent CANs for his collection which he keeps in a two-story five-bedroom house constructed specifically for that purpose.

Ah, the Crack! of a CAN is like music to my ears. This fiddling about with bottles has left me bereft of one of my pleasures. Unlike a bottle, however, I still indulge in the inverted Glug, which, properly executed, will bring forth enviable head. In this case, I created two fingers of dense, rocky, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with quite good retention which left nice lacing in its wake as it fell. Life is great at Super 8! Color was a deep, dense Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose was redolent with anise/licorice, underlain by treacle/molasses with notes of dark chocolate, coffee & light smoke. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, still slightly lacking, IMHO. The taste was riotous with the anise/licorice really holding forth! Everything else was a mélange of flavors with each elbowing its way to the forefront, only to be shoved backwards by the aggressive anise. Coffee/espresso, treacle/molasses, an unidentifiable spice, all made their way to the forefront, only to be subsumed and forgotten in the swirling mass. Beer as punk rock! Finish was dry, exhausting & life-affirming. If you CAN walk away after one of these CANs, then you are truly living!

Now, before we gleefully shout, "CAN wins, CAN wins!" let us bear in mind that mine was an aged, ancient bottle. It held up extremely well, but it was not a fair fight. Still, CAN wins, CAN wins! I'm putting some in a cooler & heading to the beach this summer.

First, from the bottle: "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."; "Ingredients: Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, malted wheat, hops and yeast."; "Please keep refrigerated[,] please recycle this bottle".

Trust me, I recycle or reuse everything that comes through Chez Woody. The cap, once Pop!ped off, is set aside for a local artist who uses them in her multiplicity of creations. Having accomplish this small triumph, I began a VERY gentle pour into the awaiting goblet. Once sufficiently decanted, an in-glass swirl was the next order of the day, raising a finger of foamy, fizzy, deep-brown head with limited retention, quickly falling away to wisps. Color was Black/Opaque, allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose was rich - smoky, chocolaty, anise-like. Phew! Mouthfeel was medium to full, not quite creamy, but dense on my awaiting tongue. It was definitely smoky, not quite burnt, but close, with a taste of espresso chocolates and treacle. My one complaint was that the anise/licorice was not as flavorful as noted on the nose or mentioned on the label. Everything else was as advertised & it was easy to see how this could have been a GABF Gold Medal winner. Finish was surprisingly semi-dry with enough residual sweetness to keep it from being outright dry. The tastes of dark chocolate and espresso lingered well after the swallow & I kept thinking of those espresso chocolates that someone brought to a party. I generally eschew sweets, but they were both interesting & memorable.

 4,072 characters

Photo of mpenske
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Stevenw7474
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jjamadorphd
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Another great offering from Left Hand Brewing...

Like most stouts, this one pours out a gorgeous black ink-colored liquid with an appealing tan-ish head, though no lacing to even mention. I was surprised at the lack of scents to my nose on this one. The can touted so many different flavors, not a one I could pull out. Though as boozy as it is, it does not overpower either by nose or mouth. Speaking of the taste, it is so smooth, so rich, so tasteful, you forget you're hitting it at almost 9%. This one comes up on your slowly, taps you softly, but leaves a distinctive mark. The mouthfeel on this beer is quite possibly one of the best if not best I have had - it is creamy, light on the tongue, and adds to its overall drinkability (but makes it a dangerous one, indeed.)

Overall, this is truly a special beer - I was not necessarily impressed with its smell, but the rest of attributes were top-notch.

 918 characters

Photo of Commandophile
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jarrod_LC
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Sabtos
2.59/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Black with a kind of ridiculously massive tan head leaving thin, stained glass-like lacing.

Oh well another poorly aged shelf stout. Metallic Brillo pad, iron, rust, with hints of coffee, milk chocolate and roasted malt.

Taste is woody pine and rug, smokey roasted malt, baker's cocoa, very dark caramel in a medium to full tangy body with a dry finish.

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Photo of Eric_T_07
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Niceroad77
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.37/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scored this down in Tempe, AZ during spring training. Man, Sun Devil Liquors has some dusty shelves.

Pours black, 1/2" tan colored head. Good retention. Aroma of bitter charred malt and some spice rack (American). Taste drinks like a heavily roasted, thick chocolate malt and two row for days stout. The licorice isn't as bad as it usually is in other beers. Minor ash feels. A little bit of raisin/dark fruit aspect. This ain't no sweet adjunct stout. Seems a little stronger than usual for style.

Nonetheless, enjoyable, but at the same time not something I'm clammoring to stock up on. Would not turn down.

 627 characters

Photo of jkblr
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle BB 9/27/17 poured into a Sam Smith nonic pint at 50 degrees. Huge tan head(the glass is nucleated) with substantial lacing. Maintains a 3/8" head throughout consumption. Smell is dark roast. Taste follows with dark roast and an ashy(in a good way) bitterness on the end. There is just enough underlying sweetness to conform to style. Mouthfeel is smooth and adequately carbonated. Overall, very good. I prefer my FES a bit sweeter, but won't fault this beer for my preference.

 497 characters

Photo of spursfaninla
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really a nice stout, drinkable but flavorful. . Rich dark color, good smell. Taste follows smell. Espresso and burnt but not a strong aftertaste, subtle.

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Photo of Vylo
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Oidmoe
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tone77
3.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A thanks to the incredible woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of coffee, licorice. Taste is coffee, roasted malts, some licorice, a touch of smoke. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

 290 characters

Photo of brocktune
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of dsshuck
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ovaltine
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MinerBob
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark with no head. Chocolate smell with a great smooth dark chocolate and dark coffee taste. Great mouth feel with an easy swallow but a dark chocolate aftertaste. Lefthand makes great dark beers.

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Photo of DaveCash
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gatheredwaters
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Duffman79
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with a nice coffee colored head and mild lacing. Smells great, lots of coffee, chocolate, molasses, and little smoke. The taste is really nice, very solid expresso blend with nutty notes and a sweetness that just gives this a great balance. Was surprised how good this beer was, very good stuff. Noted that flavors got a lot better as the beer warmed up, so next one will be room temp and no chilling ahead of time.

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Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout) from Left Hand Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 930 ratings.
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