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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Reviews: 360 | Ratings: 921
Photo of melpacino
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Been looking for the perfect smoked beer since I went to a beer festival and had one which I could never find in the beer stores. THIS one is the ultimate!

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

Stfu this is awesome poured a big black dark liquid gold from a 12 oz bottle couldnt tell what the best by date was very little head so chocolaty
So tasty so right about of coffee flavor so smooth yet has body to it going tomorrow to by the store out

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

This is not your ordinary stout. Whoever on here said it's not as good as Guiness has no taste and should go see a doctor. Well thought out and flavor is perfect.

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Photo of undeadozzy
4.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got on tap at a local bar. Served in a goblet.

Appearance: Deep, dark black. Some light creeps in from around the corners of the glass, but for the most part it is very dark. Has a thick chocolatey colored head which stays for the entire time.

Smell: Beautiful aroma of coffee, rich smoked hops, and even some hints of chocolate and licorice.

Taste: Absolutely delicious. I personally enjoy many different kinds of stouts, but this is definitely the best I've had in a while. Warm taste of espresso and malt instantly rushed into my mouth and didn't let up until the last drop. The licorice I smelled initially is more of an aftertaste and isn't really part of the initial blast of flavor during drinking.

Mouth Feel: Feels as silky smooth and warm as it tastes. Has a similar thick and creamy texture to many other stouts, but has a similar disposition to rich, dark coffee. A very interesting yet extremely pleasurable experience.

Drinkability: As I mentioned earlier in my review, I love stouts, and as such had 3 goblets of this fine brew before I recieved my meal, a steak burger, which it paired perfectly with. It goes down smooth and its rich dark taste hides its ABV, making it dangerously drinkable and incredibly enjoyable.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rich, strong, smoky aroma has tones of chocolate, fine coffee and molasses and just a shade of sweetness - very tempting and inviting. It pours an opaque sable that is just a red tomcat whisker above black and has a fairly thick and fine-bubbled light tan head. Flavor is absolutely fabulous - rich and mouth-filling, mainly fine roast coffee, unsweetened chocolate and molasses with a whisper of licorice. Texture is strongly fizzy and tingly, yet smooth and sublime. A must for anybody who loves stouts!

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Photo of BobbyBeerman
4.82/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep dark brown/black that light doesn't penetrate except at the extreme edges. A vigorous pour produced a tan-colored head that faded to a thin layer that produced decent lacing.

S: I get the normal tones for a stout with the addition of a little extra chocolate. Even when cold the major nose was sweet molasses. At temperature a little woodiness comes through along with some coffee.

T: It follows the nose closely. I love the taste!

M: There is a little warming sensation from the alcohol but not a big burn. Just a little oily but it works well. A little lighter bodied than what I'm use to.

D: I would say that I could drink this all night but the alcohol content is what stops me. The alcohol is masked well and this is VERY easy to drink. I love this.

Blessed be the Brew!!

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.71/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color, with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with lots, tons really, of roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly brewed coffee, licorice, slightly burned toast, a hint of smoke, a touch of clove, and a hint of hops.

Taste: Delicious! Tons of roasted malt up front, imparting strong notes freshly brewed coffee, a touch of licorice, a touch of dark chocolate, and a touch of dark chocolate. This beer reminds me a lot of a German Rauchbier, without being as ashtray-like smoky as most rauchbiers are.

Mouthfeel: Medium to slightly chewy, and extremely smooth and creamy as there is no carbonation what-so-ever, and I think some lactose to help make it creamy. With an ABV of 8.5%, there is very little alcohol on the palate

Overall: This is another terrific beer from Left Hand Brewing, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries! Highly, highly recommended.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.64/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this individual bottle cellared since April 2010. I've kept it at exactly 42.5 degrees F for the 2 years its spent aging.

A - Poured into a sampling snifter it is dark as night with minimal head.

S - The aroma deep dark chocolate and a hint of bitter coffee fill the air with the pour.

T - Black licorice, coffee, burnt malts, smokey middle, and a slightly bitter ending bfore finishing again with burnt coffee. This is a full flavored stout that offers this category an exceptional specimen.

M - The feel is slightly coarse with an almost ribbony feel throughout. Basically the texture is stead from start to finish making for an easy to drink beer while allowing the robust flavor character to come through.

~ What more can I say other than go find yourself one of these retirees if you can. This beer, while aged appropriately has given true value to my cellaring project. I am extremely pleased and would not hesitate to recommend this fine beer to a friend.

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Photo of Vader444
4.62/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour from bottle into tulip.

Pretty damn dark with nice tan head. Smell was muted as one might expect when straight from the fridge but developed into a complex herbal delight one at room temperature. Tastes divine and the mouthfeel is spot on. Great stuff once again from LH. Cheers!

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Photo of beerbeardguyfromCO
4.61/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This black beauty is exactly why I keep falling in love with the Fade to Black series, one release at a time. Silky on the palate with notes of cardamom and licorice, this brew warms up with espresso and molasses on the finish. Cloud-like head and a well-developed perfume contribute to make this a sensory experience not to be skipped.

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Photo of Oopssorryy
4.61/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black, and ultra thick. Didn't seem to want to leave the bottle. Even with a rather aggressive pour, I only got about an inch of dark tan head. This head fell down to a thin cap as I let the brew warm. Lacing is fantastic, some of the best I've seen in a while. I get a lot of coffee in the nose, along with hints of chocolate, caramel, and bread. There is a milky sweetness present that goes along well with the bitter notes from the roasted coffee.

Flavors are rich and thick. I get lots of chocolate, roasted malts, hints of coffee and caramel all playing off one another beautifully. The initial mouthful is somewhat subdued, with bready, roasted malts lightly flavoring the experience. Hold it there and the ABV will begin to warm you. It's on swallowing that this beer really opens up. You get a rush of dark bitter chocolate, with soft fruit, like plums and dates, adding a bit of sweetness. After this you get a wave of bitter coffee, with a caramel and milky sweetness helping balance the coffee out. The finish is roasted malts tinged with a great bread flavor.

Mouthfeel is perfect. It's rich, thick, smooth and velvet. Just the right amount of carbonation helps keeping this beer from getting too heavy for it's own good, keeping the beer highly drinkable despite hit's heaviness. Overall this is right up there with Founders Breakfast Stout for me as favorite beers. I will defiantly be seeking this one out again.

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Photo of mwa423
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black as night. You can't see light through it at all. There is a small amount of head which dies down to an exceptionally sticky

S - Rich malt and coffee flavors that fill the nose with a bit of caramel.

T - Very rich and think dark bittter and coffee flavors with sweet malt aftertaste A fantastic stout that I wish I would have bought sooner

M/D - Mouthfeel is thick but perfect. This is about the most drinkable 8.5% beer I have ever had.

This is by far the best left hand beer I have ever had.

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Photo of btorsdog
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got to admit, my son talked me into getting this because the label/packaging was so cool! Any how...
Never had nothing bad from this brewer and the same can still be said, tis is a quality brew throughout!
Beautiful Black is the best way to describe color.
Beer has a semi-sweet smokey type smell to it.
Taste was pure joy,similar to a creamy chocolaty.
Kind of a thick/full mouth(what I had expected)
Went down real nice with a sweet alchol taste to it.
Very Nice Product!

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Photo of Ramiro235
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Black coffee color with a light laced nutty brown head on pour. Smells of roasted coffee. Tastes roasted with hints of chocolate with the taste going seamlessly from sweet to bitter in a single gulp. Light and refreshing feel in mouth. Overall a very nice stout, particularly for anyone who likes their coffee black as it has strong taste and aroma notes of black coffee. The feel is different than expected from a stout, but not in a way that detracts much, rather it's just something special to remember as the light stout.

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Photo of rabsten
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Ashland Beverage Center.

Pours thickly from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass - I'd have gone with a tulip but the official photograph shows a glass that looks just like mine (except mine doesn't have that neat etched hand. Gotta get me one of those). Dark black with fine, mocha head. Good, solid lacing.

Aroma is roast malt and plum with a mild ethanol undertone. Good but not great. The weakest link in the overall experience is still a solid four.

Flavor is everything I look for in a bigger stout: roasty, toasted malt, alcohol, well-bittered hoppiness, and something else for variety - here it's a light, fruity sweetness.

Mouthfeel is round on the palate with a dry finish - surprisingly dry considering the aforementioned sweetness. And it's very, very drinkable. I could have several (but I won't).

Overall, one of the better big stouts I've had recently. Just about everything was done right with this. Kudos to Left Hand for this. I have five bottles left and expect to spread them out over the next oh, I dunno, couple of years. Can't wait to see how this ages. Should be fun.

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

Mmmmm...drinking it now, from a growler a week old from the brewery. Beautiful color and brown bubble clusters hanging to the side of my glass...granted, not that cool Left Hand glass in the photo, but a nice Cheeky Monk Belgian style glass. Nice swirling head...with a beer tasty enough, just looking at the bubbles can be fascinating. There's a lot in the aroma and taste, from coffee to light tobacco, chocolate, espresso, dark roasted malts, bitter chocolate, yada yada... I first had this at a place called Jonesys in Denver...a neighborhood semi-fancy food drink joint with creative offerings. They have a modest but cool selection of brews, and this I hadn't had yet. I wanted a second but I was the DD with a long haul to the DenVUH suburbs....uh...have I run out of room left? How much ranting can I do?!! This is no wimpy brew...chocolate, liquroice, dark roasted malts, some bite, beautifully dark color and lovely rich aroma and taste for the big beer hunters of the world...lovely.

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Photo of phisig137
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep inky black, that lets a bit of brown/ruby light in around the edges. One finger head is dense and has decent staying power, with a lasting cap of bubbles on top of the glass.

S- Char, toasted malts, roasted malts, hints of smoke and raw wood, coffee. Well rounded.

F- Extraordinary mix of roasted, toasted, and crystal malts. Light caramel flavors, backed by huge nutty overtones (hazelnut?), and suggestions of coffee and extra dark chocolate. Never does it taste over roasted, or acrid in any way. Mid way through, a touch of tartness pops in mixing with the toasted malts... likely from the wheat used here. The mild tartness is much appreciated here. Perhaps a touch of smoke way in the back. Very dry finish that lingers for some time, begging for another sip. Exceptionally well balanced.

M- Luxuriously silky, full and smooth, without being heavy or cloying. Exceptional.

D- Very, very good. It drinks as if it is far lower than 8.5%.

Overall, outstanding. Most Left Hand beers are better than average, but this stands out among them. It is nice to see a craft brewer making an excellent traditional interpretation of a style, instead of making it "extreme", double, imperial, or whatever. This beer shows exceptional craftsmanship, restraint, skill, and balance that is rarely seen all at the same time. This is what I always hoped Guinness Foreign Export would taste like... similar to the draft, but with flavor, body, and soul.

This one is worth seeking out, and buying a lot of. I may have found a new favorite for the time being. Now go find some!

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Photo of klewis
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours nearly black with a small foamy head. Light lacing.

S: Roasted aromas with mocha, vanilla, and anise.

T: Burnt oak, dark chocolate, and anise in a well-balanced and complex taste. Lots going on with no alcohol presence.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. A lingering burnt character.

D: An awesome foreign export stout. Solid in every category and a great example of the style.

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Photo of BB1313
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally decided to review this one, w/ the recent release of Volume 2. I've been impressed w/ this one since my first sip last year. I really had no expectations, but wow was I wowed! Pours a beautiful dark black w/ brown hues; fluffy head w/ nice sticky lacing. Smells amazing, w/ scents of expresso, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and faint hops. The taste matches w/ bursts of flavor. Coffee is very prevelant, slightly burnt w/ strong roasty characteristics. Smooth on the palate, carbonation is just about perfect, which makes for good drinkability.

This was probably my biggest surprise of 2009. I'm very glad I saved a bottle.. now on to Volume 2.. but I really hope I haven't seen the last of Volume 1. Amazing beer, highly recommended.

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

355ml bottle served into a tulip glass

Look: Black, and fairly opaque with it - not much going on when held up to the light. Not much in the way of head either - a thin, tan layer which dissipates quickly to a foam cap.

Smell: Dark chocolate, roasted malts and woodsmoke with some fruity hints. The smokiness dominates but manages to stay just the right side of overpowering.

Taste: Toasted malts, chocolate, coffee and a nice, alcoholic warmth. The smokiness isn't that apparent right out of the gate but once it warms up a bit it starts to become a bit more up front. The smokiness adds a good bit of depth to the already complex mess of flavours.

Feel: Very smooth and mellow - obviously it's fairly malty but at the same time manages to be fairly undemanding and isn't excessively fizzy. Once it has warmed up enough to let the smoke flavours come forward it's really rather special.

Overall: Got this as part of a 'random' case, although I've been pretty impressed with Left Hand's Milk Stout before now. This one really scores in the taste stakes, and has a bit more depth than their Milk Stout. Definitely a winner - I'll be seeking this one out again for sure.

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Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass, pretty much completely jet black with a very fine mocha colored head, which quickly dissipated into a ring around the edge of the glass. It looks as if it will be a quite viscous, full-bodied beer. not much lacing, other than the transparent film of alcohol left sliding down the sides of the glass with every agitation of the beer.

Immediately upon putting my nose to the glass, I get a strong fragrance of a freshly poured, dark roast coffee. There is a sweetness to it and hints of caramel.

Dark roasted malts and a very dark bitter chocolate seems to be the dominate flavors in the taste of this beer. there is a subtle familiarity of coffee, but not as much as it hints at in the nose. there is a pleasant chalkiness towards the end of each sip. The complexity of the taste really reveals itself as the beer warms.

The apperance of the beer really fooled me regarding how I imagined the beer to feel in my mouth. It was medium bodied, but had the appearance of something full-bodied and chewy.

Overall it was a very good beer, and I gotta say, i'm a fan of the label.

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Photo of Katahdin
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a very rich dark color with a nice tannish head. Initial aroma is off roasted malts and a toffee type smell that tells you it is a big beer. Taste is full of the roasted malts and coffee and toffee coming through with a hint perhaps of molasses. An aftertaste of dried fruit and a touch of vanilla lingers after it goes down and gives a pleasant warming sensation. The beer is very smooth in drinkability, cannot taste the alcohol at all.

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Photo of whitetale
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black. A tan head lingers with good lacing.
Aroma is of roast malts and a little chocolate.
Taste follows the aroma with dark roast malts and a little bitterness (in a good way - it is an export stout). Alcohol is very well hidden.
Mouthfeel is wonderful - very smooth. Carbonation is just right.
Overall, one of the best export stouts I have found. Well balanced - just enough of everything. Highly recommended.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stoneyard Brewing Company in Brockport, NY.

This one pours a fairly dark black, with a 1.5 inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells really good, and unique for a stout, definitely some earthy roast, licorice, something kind of like birch wood, and dark roasted coffee.

This is possibly the best beer I've had from Left Hand, it's super complex and nice. There's some chocolate for sure, and earthy roast, with caramel, licorice, dried fruit, birch wood, and smoky ash. There's a bit of dark roasted, burnt coffee, almost like used coffee grounds left behind after brewing. There is a nice sweetness from the caramel and chocolate, which balances out the bitterness of the roast character. This just screams "black" in the best way.

This is medium bodied, pretty rich and creamy, with a normal level of carbonation.

This is an absolute stunner, really quite, quite good.

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Photo of AboutBeverages
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Brown/black in color with a medium body. Awesome aromas of coffee, waffle cone, and bakers chocolate. It starts out subtle and smooth on the palate and then delivers in a big way on the promise of the aroma with an explosion of flavor on the finish. Overall an excellent beer I wish was available year round.

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Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout) from Left Hand Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 921 ratings.
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