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: 355 | Ratings: 907
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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Photo of stlfatguy
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent stout. Black as the night sky... in the middle of a lake...in a rural area... when it's cloudy out... and your boat battery is dead... and you have no flashlight. Smells like a roasted chocolate cream cola. Taste is not easily described... Not too sweet... Not too much carbonation... Not too dry... Not too much roasted flavor... not too much alcohol for a high abv...just right.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.44/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz can,into a Funky Buddha snifter.Best by 11/29/2017.

Pours a deep dark brown,almost black color.Thick,creamy,dark khaki colored head,consisting of small to large bubbles,stands just under 1 finger tall.Moderate lacing on the side of the glass.Oily jet black in color,with no light showing through the glass.No visible carbonation.

On the nose I get dark roasted coffee,roasted malts,dark fruit,toffee,caramel,and licorice notes.Also getting some trace elements of vanilla.Smells very nice.

On the palate I get dark roasted coffee and roasted malts up front.In the middle I get dark fruits,and trace elements of alcohol with a smokey wood flavor.And on the back end I get caramel and vanilla,with hints of black licorice.

The body is heavy,sticky, and viscous with a slightly chewy mouth feel.You do get a little bit of oxidation on the tongue,and a slight alcohol warming on the way down.

This is a very good foreign stout,it almost even plays like an imperial stout.I would definitely recommend this one,and look forward to drinking it again in the future.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.49/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce bottle copped from Bonds Tavern in West Orange. Pours a jet-black, ebony hue with minimal frothing. Assertive aroma redolent of black licorice, espresso, and chocolate. Smoky flavor profile.

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Photo of akolb
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mild aroma: coffee and dark fruit
While the aroma was mild the taste is most definitely not! Lots of coffee, cream, brown sugar, and vanilla. A hint if licorice in the aftertaste. Sweetness gives way to a bitter and spicy finish with a bit of alcohol burn. Moderate-thick bodied. This is a great stout, drinks like a big imperial but it's only 8.5%.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Date stamp 2711616 5042. Best before 09/27/17.

Appearance: Black letting no light through. Thin light tan foam died back to a thin ring. Some sheets and strands of lacing.

Smell: Roasty - coffee, raisin, a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Roasted malt giving way to a bit of burnt sugar, chocolate (bittersweet), malt sweetness, and then transitioning into bitter flavors of black coffee, and a mild lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Nicely thick, good carbonation, not too sticky on the teeth. Very smooth.

Overall / Drinkability: A very good stout that hits the style quite well. A slow sipping and savoring beer that I would not mind having another one of. All good by itself but this one I think would really pair well with a wide range of meals.

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Photo of jaketaz
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from can to goblet, the design on the can is more intricate and wraps all the way around, looking like something a black metal band would drink. Combine that with the "left hand" imagery and I'm ready to summon some ancient Norse demons. Hopefully this lives up to its foreboding presentation and isn't the same old coffee/chocolate/vanilla/malt combo we get from every other American stout.

I'm in luck... it uses a familiar stout flavor profile to sneak in the more deviant flavors. Pours thick with a dark brown head that isn't tall, but leaves great lacing that lasts through the whole drink. It entices you to the dark side with a smoothness that barely tastes alcoholic, but about half way through I started feeling the impact. There's the requisite chocolate and roasted malt, but little coffee compared to others in this style. Licorice aftertaste brings absinthe to mind, molasses sweetness is another point of departure. Malted wheat lends a pumpernickel flavor and a smell of Scandinavian pastry.

Mouthfeel is lighter than my preference but I recognize that it's well done, smooth and perfectly carbonated. The bubbles hold up nicely even if it sits a while, and it's easy drinking for this style and weight. Quirky yet accessible.

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Photo of atr2605
3.67/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-pours black with a tan head with good retention and nice lacing
S-roasted coffee, unsweetened cocoa, slight hint of licorice
T-more coffee, chocolate, sweet vanilla, roasted coffee in the finish, hops providing nice balance throughout
M-medium-full bodied and smooth
O-pretty solid brew, not sure I would have pegged it for the style but still worth trying

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can with a canned on date of 11/14/16; into a pint glass.
Appearance - very dark pour, but allows just enough light in to give off a deep reddish hue in spots. No head, only a trace formed from bubbles. Lacing is absent.
Smell - I pick up the black licorice and molasses described on the can, as well as robust coffee!
Taste - well rounded flavor profile that hits on the flavors hinted in the nose; roasted coffee bean gives it a brawny foundation; the licorice and molasses give it a sweetness, almost jagermeister like!
Feel - the body is broad and sturdy supporting a strong arrangement of roasted char, mild sweetness and alcohol!

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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 ThaneMcC
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as night with scan khaki head.
Smells of cocoa, toasted malts, coffee, leather. Sweet malts forward, balanced by unsweetended cocoa - hints of coffee. Clean finish. Medium bodied
Overall, pretty solid stout for the style - very clean and well balanced.

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Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Purple, dark brown-colored porter with a small head. Smells kinda like a roasted malty cough syrup. This fades to a dark mildly chocolate smelling malt as the beer warms out of the frisge. Everything considered it is pretty appealing in person despite what one might think from the syrup description. Light drink, goes down smooth even a little watery and has all the caramel and barley notes that the smell suggests. One of my favorite "porters" mostly because it retains many characteristics of an ale.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Really dark brown color with tan head. Aroma has nice fudge, milk chocolate and some fresh coffee. Taste starts with fudge, continues with bitter chocolate and finishes with roasted coffee. Medium body, carbonation is on the low side. Overall it's quite good, classic and tasty.

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Photo of Pencible
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

This poured an opaque cola with a bit of tan head.
S: It smelled like bitter dark chocolate, with some roasted coffee and cream and licorice.
T: It tasted like earthy dark chocolate and smoky espresso, with sugar and cream and licorice. It had a clan bitter aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. Light body.
D: This was a nice strong stout, but the scent and taste weren't anything special and the body was a little weak. The finish was smooth, so it was easy to drink. It might age ok. Fresh was good but forgettable.

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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 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 60sFolks
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 16 oz bottle into my favorite sniffer. Mocha coffee fills my mouth. I know it is a beer but close to a bitter desert. Smell is burnt coffee beans. This bold stout deserves its export rating and deserves a try by you.

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

Pours an opaque black with very faint hints of deep brown around the edges and a one finger khaki color head that disappates quickly. Aroma is dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. Taste follows with dark fruit, vanilla, roast, coffee, and an almost medicinal roast coffee bitterness on the back end. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium. Overall, this is a pretty good foreign stout, not quite on par with Guinness however.

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Photo of BeernOnThe4thOfJuly
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with tan head. Nose is dark fruits, cocoa, malt and coffee. Flavor is led by more dark fruits, with a mocha coffee quality backing them up. Dark fruits hang on until the end, accompanying the coffee finish. A very approachable stout, but still flavorful.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass out of a 12 oz. bottle, this beer pours a very dark, almost black color with a tan/light brown head along that's about 2/3 of an inch thick when first poured that eventually settles to a fairly thin ring lining the inside of the glass and not much lacing. Aromas of roasted malts with some chocolate and coffee notes along with some light hop notes. The taste is pretty much the same, with a big roasted malt flavors with chocolate and caramel follw d by some black coffee notes that are all rounded out with some earthy hop bitterness. Has a somewhat crisp, somewhat smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Has a clean and slightly dry finish. Easy to drink in the way good beer ought to be.

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Photo of Shippy
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Pours deep reddish brown, almost black with a quickly dissipating head. Aromas of roasted coffee, molasses, chocolate. Taste follows along the same lines of roasty malts, molasses, and also some raisin sweetness, even some brownie when it warms up. Slick, medium feel with little carbonation. Overall, not write as good as I had expected, but a dark, roasty beer that is certainly very good.

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Photo of happenstance
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Overall: "Angry!" (the beer, not me; and in a good way)...

L: Love it. D-A-R-K.

S: Again, nothing here to complain about. Make it as dark as you want. I'll drink more. (Make it even darker, I don't care.)

T: One of my top three beers. After Avery's Czar and Founder's Porter, I love it. RICH. Thick. Good after-taste.

F: Maybe it's just me, but slightly acidic. Tongue stings afterward.

As I said, after Avery's Czar, one of my two favorite beers.

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Photo of dd43
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ok so I've not had a foreign extra stout before that I was blown away by upon the first sip. This beer is the tits. Beautiful roasted coffee bean aroma, with a blend of molasses and licorice that makes it seem that much more decadent. Mouthfeel is superb for this style, if a little bit more crisp than what you might expect having a look at the inky opaque liquid in your glass. The only thing I'd ask for is a more aggressive and long lasting head.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | 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 Export stout, available in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on rotating draft. Volume 1 in the Fade to Black series, rereleased in 2014 after a multiple-year hiatus.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a milk chocolate brown head of a creamy frothed consistency over a near black body. Retention is above average, lacing is light and patchy. 3.75

(Smell) Deeply roasted barley, toasted grains, light smokey malts, cocoa and subtle caramel bread body. Fairly clean and accessible. Its a rich, complex and promising aroma. Potency is moderate. 4.25

(Taste) The flavor largely follows the aroma of this beer. Rich toasted chocolate, bread malts and roasted grain flavors, smooth but rich with an appropriate level of malt sweetness underneath to compliment it. Incredibly enjoyable. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, silky, smooth, mildly dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a mild frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium+ for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is nearly even roast and earthy bitter to sweet. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no off characters. 4

(Overall) I started reviewing Fade to Black with the second entry back in 2010. I can easily see why this entry in the Fade to Black series deserved an encore the most, and let's hope that 2014's batch won't be its last appearance. Rich roasted and toasted malt characters with a lingering char finish, amidst subtle chocolate, bread malt body and a mild, but not drying sweetness. I'm kicking myself for picking up a single bottle of this, and at 10 dollars for a 6 pack, it's easily justified as a worthy buy. Solid stuff and one of Left Hand's most solid releases. I think this is the masterpiece of the series- they don't have to change it one bit. 4

Left Hand Brewing Company's
Fade To Black Volume 1: Export Stout

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Photo of Dinglehacker
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into chalice. Abyssal noir. No head. No lace. Only black.

Smells almost exclusively of roasted malt. Faint pepper.

Tastes of roast malt, burnt wood, coffee, cola, the air of a breakfast-stoking kitchen, a surprising hint of floral hops, even.

Mouth is full, but incredibly smooth.

The Platonic absolute of a heavy stout. Delicious when enjoyed at the recommended temp range (50-55 degrees Fahrenheit). High in the pantheon of stout beer. Essential.

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Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout) from Left Hand Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 907 ratings.
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