Fade To Black - Volume 1 | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Fade To Black - Volume 1Fade To Black - Volume 1
Fade To Black - Volume 1Fade To Black - Volume 1

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.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 1,034
Photo of GuyFawkes
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Best by 10/27/16"; drank 8/14/16 @ the Yarchives.

Black appearance.

A rough pour yielded a nice, dark tan head; strong, frothy lace.

Bakers chocolate, cream & fresh earth notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Dark chocolate, cream & fresh earth flavors up front; black coffee notes on the finish.

Robust but drinkable; this was like a palatable RIS. I'd have another...

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Photo of Ahypercube
4.71/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Alright, this is worlds better than the other two stouts I've found while living in Colorado. In fact, I'd gamble that this kicks the pants off of anything that's widely produced in the state besides Son of a Baptist, which I still do prefer slightly, but that's been a favorite for a while.

L: Super opaque dark brown body. Looks unfiltered. Head is minimal, but it leaves very nice bands of lacing on the glass. Can art is nice, but not impressive.

S: Spices are notable first, predominantly clove, black pepper and cardamom. A dark chocolate note presents almost simultaneously, followed by dark roast espresso, some black olives, and a hint of molasses and licorice sweetness. Charcoal dominates the finish but some woody tobacco comes through as well.

T: The first impression comes off like semi-sweet chocolate, which is significantly sweeter than the nose suggests (i.e. almost none). Coffee joins quickly, bringing in the black pepper and other spices. As they arrive, the toasted barley notes start to come up and mellow things out. There's a flash of salty black olive, and then charcoal takes over and dominates the finish on the palate as well.

F: Nice creamy texture and clean dry finish. A nearly ideal mouthfeel for a stout.

O: This might be a little tastier than Son of a Baptist. It's hard to say, since that's more coffee forward and this is more focused on the character of the roasted barley malt. Kinda depends on how much coffee you like in your stouts. Regardless, this is a delicious brew. I'd pair it with a fire grilled chicken dish of some sort. Fajitas could work; fettuccini alfredo would be even better.

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Photo of RMehrenberg
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick opaque blackness. Tiny bit of head but clings to glass well. Scented of coffee and black licorice. Tastes of dark roasted coffee and well blended hops...licorice (gratefully) does not transfer to taste. Warming mouthfeel. Well worth trying again

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Photo of SB2017
3.79/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Not too impressed by the look: kind of like coke zero. Would love to enjoy this on tap instead of poured from a can. Good smell, loads of brightness to balance out the heavily malty base. The beer itself becomes a little overwhelmed with an espresso-like flavor and acidity. This should be billed as more of a coffee stout given its strength. A good stout, and one which I will continue to enjoy, but a little disappointing in one or two regards.

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

12oz can into a pint glass. Best by 8/15/19, so plenty fresh.

Black body, small tan head, decent lacing.

There is a pretty strong aroma, but I can't put my finger on what it is. (Then again, I've no idea what black cardoman is supposed to smell like) Pleasant aroma though.

Decent tasting. medium roast malt, faintly bitter, and a nice pepperiness to it. Some spice and faint coffee notes. Also a little smoky.

Mouth between medium and full, finish is roasty, spicy, and slightly bitter.

Overall, one of those beers that I was happy to try, and enjoyed, but not something I'd want to drink more than one of at a time.

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3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can with a best by date of 9-24-19
Dark brown to black with a 1 1/2" tan head. Great retention and sticky lace left behind.
Roasty, estery nose. Grilled meat, earth, licorice.
Licorice, coffee - espresso, char, faint smoke. Piney hop buried deep in the finish.
Medium body. Lengthy charred finish, touch of sweetness.
Enjoyable, full of flavor and a unique style somewhere between a "regular" stout and a RIS.

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

Pours a deep brown with a thick, foamy, tan head. Smell is roasted malts, chocolate, hint of smoke, licorice, and dark fruit. Taste is smoke, roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, and licorice. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Delicious example of a foreign stout, certainly glad I grabbed a 6 pack.

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Photo of hman43
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours dark brown with a brown head Head retention is moderate.

Smell: It has roasted aromas with chocolate notes. There is a very low burnt note in the background. There is also a bit so dark fruit and hint of smoke.

Taste: There are heavy roasted flavors with a hint of smoke and burnt. There is a low amount of alcohol.

Feel: It has a moderate feel with high bitterness in the finish.

Overall, an abundance or roasted flavors with some burnt elements and a bit of smoke.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a lacey tan head and very dark brown color. Aroma is toasty smoky malts and sweet alcohol. Flavor is a very dry, brandy-like affair featuring the roasted grains throughout. Mouthfeel is medium and CO2 is light. A great dry sipper.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Completely black color, medium carbonation as well as body. Aroma is roasted malt, licorice, and yeast. Taste is identical, a little bit of coffee which didn't show up in the aroma. The licorice isn't very strong which is a good thing. Definitely needs to warm up which greatly improves the flavor

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Photo of barnzy78
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz can, best by 09/15/2018
Pours near black with a creamy tan head. Aroma is lots of charred roasted barley, cocoa, and earthy hops. Bold flavors with notes of dark baker's chocolate, roasted barley, smoke & char, fig, anise, earthy hops, and a hint of vanilla and creamed french roast coffee. Full body, finishes somewhat astringent with roast and smoke lingering. Very solid foreign stout. Glad to come back around to it after a couple of years.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single can - pretty cool to see more of this brewery's offerings available up here in Alberta.

This beer pours a solid black abyss, with the scantest of amber basal edges, and three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and bubbly brown head, which leaves some decent splattered snow rime lace around the glass as it evenly bleeds out of sight.

It smells of bittersweet cocoa powder, gritty and grainy caramel malt, day-old coffee grounds, a hint of anise spice, some free-range ashiness, and very tame earthy, weedy, and floral green hops. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, medium dark chocolate, acrid cafe-au-lait, ethereal black licorice, some muddled stone fruitiness, wet char, and more understated earthy, musty, and gently lit-up floral verdant hoppiness.

The carbonation is adequate in its palate-satiating frothiness, the body a sturdy middleweight, and more or less smooth, once the smokey character starts to dissipate. It finishes off-dry, but not by all that much, as the malt starts to falter, and the coffee, spice, and charred notes hold fast.

Overall - this comes across as a studious and well-rendered version of the style, with some nicely-restrained roastiness, and the other attendant stout notes duly checked off. Add to that a pleasantly concealed 17-proof booze factor, and, yeah, crank up the mid-80s Metallica, because we have a winner here.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown so dense it appears black. The pour produces 1.5 fingers of somewhat lasting, frothy, mocha head that leaves only a hint of surface cap & lace. Aroma is earthy dark malt, pumpernickel crust, fudge brownies, dark semisweet chocolate & molssses notes with hints of dried figs, coffee, thin floral hop tones & a little smoke. Taste is fronted by dry, dusty cocoa, dark semisweet chocolate, roasted/burnt malt, molasses & smoke followed by mid-sip fudge brownie, licorice, coffee, figs & toffee. Finishes sweet & smooth with burnt bread, watery Hershey's Chocolate Syrup, smoke & licorice hints in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is heavy bodied with medium carbonation, prickly up front with a smoothness developing at midsip & intensifing into the aftertaste, creamy & a little chewy, dry throughout.

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Photo of Roughsauce
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Really a visually stunning beer- super dark coffee hue, wonderful chocolate colored head. I don't even know what else to say about the flavor of this beer, other than it is positively delicious. Typical stout flavor profile, but very full and smooth flavor, with just enough bitterness to provide a nice complex profile. Unfortunately, hard to find around my area, but I found a brewery relatively close by that keeps it on tap- hallelujah. Probably one of my favorite Stouts all around. At 8.5% too, hard to beat.

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Photo of Chris215
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Candlelight Inn in Scarsdale NY tonight waiting for wings. This was surprisingly good. It was smooth and balanced and didn't taste like 8.5%.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Type: 12-oz. can
Glass: Ball 16-oz. mason jar
From: Bine & Vine Bottle Shop in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $2.25 with 10 percent off for a variety 6-pack
Purchased: Nov. 2, 2017
Consumed: Nov. 9, 2017
Reviewed as: Foreign / Export Stout
Misc.: Best by Sept. 15, 2018

Picked this up on my monthly visit to Bine & Vine, along with a bunch of other stuff. Just my third review (and third check-in on Untappd) from them, giving Milk Stout a 4.08 on Sept. 10, 2014 and Good Juju a 3.68 on May 2, 2013. Amazingly, I had to look online to see where they were out of. I think I mix Left Hand up with New Holland for some reason. Generally a big fan of Foreign / Export Stouts. Can description called for licorice, espresso bean, molasses and black cardamom notes. Was really looking forward to it.

Poured a pitch black motor oil color with 2-to-3 fingers of frothy-to-rocky tan head. Smooth serene setting underneath the head with no bubbles. Very good spotty lacing. Good retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled dark-roasted coffee, bitter dark chocolate, molasses, char wood, licorice, crayon, toasty (burnt?) coffee, chewy dark caramel and dark cocoa powder. (Smell - 4.00)

Taste was arguably better than the nose, but still same elements. Big roasted black espresso, bitter dark chocolate, char wood, molasses, anise, ash, licorice, crayon, burnt toast, dark cocoa powder and vague hints of vanilla, but probably more wishful than anything else. Does not taste 8.5 pct. (Taste - 4.25)

Full body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, roasty finish. (Feel - 4.25)

Solid beer for the style. Is seems like I always overrate coffee-style beers, which is funny because I’ve had just ½ of cup of coffee in my life. This is at least outstanding though. (Overall - 4.00)

4.13 | 92 | A-

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.31/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Dark coffee black with an almond colored head.

Aromas of coffee, earth, and hints of raisin.

Flavors of coffee grounds, roasted barley, ash, suggestions of raisin and dark fruits, more coffee. This is an extremely bitter stout.

Very carbonated, dry and roasted, slightly charred and resiny finish.

Overall, not my kind of stout. Very bitter, very ashy.

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Photo of MrOH
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black, pretty opaque, thin black head. Retention lacking, but ok lace.
Smells damn near exactly like what it says on the can!
Licorice, ash, dark roast coffee, blackstrap molassas. I dig it. Bitterness from roast makes up for lack of hop bitterness.
Full bodied and delicious!
I really like this. Exactly what I want when I'm craving a stout.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can, best before September 28, 2018. It pours a pitch black with a healthy head of tan foam and good lacing.

Roasted malt, coffee, and dark chocolate nose.

Big roasted malt, chocolate, coffee flavours easy to find. Swishing brings out the licorice. Tasty.

Bordering on if not full bodied. Perfect carbonation. An impressive Foreign strong Stout.

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Photo of OhioLimoncello
3.54/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comparing Fade to Black to Bittersweet Nitro, i prefer the latter. Not that this is bad, it's just that Bittersweet is better in every rating category. Pick this if Bittersweet isn't available.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep black with a large mocha head. The aroma is with roasted malts, dark chocolte, black coffee, soy sauce, burnt ends, molasses, brown sugar, and licorice. The flavor is beautifully rich with dark chocolte and espresso starting off, mellowing to molasses, caramel, brown sugar and licorice. The mouthfeel is fairly full with abundant foamy carbonation. Overall this is a really classic stout, with awesome rich flavors and just the perfect hint of umami.

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Expect slight sweet tone from this one with a balance of a stoney finish. If you are enjoy some sweetness you'll enjoy this one! Like the description says, licorice and espresso.

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Photo of andrewh995
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a tan head. Smells of licorice, chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Tastes slightly bitter, of licorice, dark chocolate, espresso, and heavily roasted malts. Medium-heavy creamy body with medium carbonation. Overall a very good export stout.

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Photo of DrinkThemAll
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz can

At first glance, it looks like a Nitro charged beer by its foamy Head. Smells the same as a Nitrogen infused beer. Couldn’t really pull out any distinct flavors besides sweet malt.

Tasted like a guiness on roids. Didn’t really care for this guy all that much. It wasn’t terrible, but it definitely isn’t worth drinking again.

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Photo of bushbeer75
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle - best before 8/30/2017

Left Hand Brewing Fade to Black Volume 1 has an opaque black body with slight dark red edges when held up to the light. A 1-finger bubbly tan head was produced that held well. Only spotty lacing was present. The nose was dominate by roasted malts - coffee, chocolate. The taste is very similar to the nose. The flavors of black coffee, chocolate, black licorice, and burnt toast were noted. A slight taste of hops was present at the finish. Make sure you do not drink the Ale too cold [50-55f per label]. As it warms it becomes smoother and more flavorful. Mouth feel was smooth, full bodied with medium carbonation.

A tasty Foreign/Export Stout that paired well with barbecue potato chips.

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Fade To Black - Volume 1 from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 1,034 ratings