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: 364 | Ratings: 929
Photo of jtrem14
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass (bottled shared between three people)

A - A nice dark black color, with a light tan head, that quickly subsides.

S - Molasses, Raisins, and a bit nutty.

T - Very earthy flavor, with a nice molasses sweetness and also coffee flavors

M - The carbonation is almost nonexsistent, and comes off as a bit stale in the mouth.

D - Tastes great, but the staleness really keeps me from wanting this over and over. Still a good brew to drink.

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Photo of jacobseyb
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in my St. Bernardus Chalice a dark nearly opaque black, with a tannish yellow head that faded quickly to a light tan crown and film. Aroma is primarily of coffee malts with a slight presence of alcohol. Taste is the same coffee malts with some alcohol spiciness on the finish. Feel is lightly warm and gently carbonated. Definitely drinkable with great flavors and very enjoyable.

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Photo of abrand
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Volume 1 from the fade to black series from Left Hand.

Pours a cola brown with very minimal head that bubbles away quickly. Nose is coffee and a malted nutty finish. Also hints of chocolate and raisins. Taste is rather bitter with chocolate and coffee dominating the flavor profile. I'm not picking much more in the quaff. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth. Overall a pretty good brew from the brewers at Left Hand. Not sure where they are going with the future brews in this series but i will look forward to sampling the others.

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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 stephens101
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clean black into a goblet. A pure tan head stops in its tracks at one finger, lingers a while, then slowly dissipates, leaving a thick sheet of lace behind.

A whiff reveals some coffee notes, some roasted nuts, a hint of caramel and some chocolate syrup. The aroma is slightly subdued, but well presented, and has a pleasant quality to it.

Tastes woody and hoppy with an earthy spiciness and a good enveloping of hops toward the end. A second sip presents some almost indiscernible notes of candied bubblegum. Whereas the smell was somewhat tame, the taste incites a riot of complexity in the mouth which provides for a perfect juxtaposition.

Goes down a little dry with a creamy middle and a medium to full-bodied mouth-feel. There's plenty of carbonation to keep things interesting, but still somewhat moderate according to style. Alcohol heat is noticeable, but doesn't overwhelm.

In all honesty I wasn't hoping much from this beer, as I feel some of the recent Left Hand outings have been less than stellar. That being said, Left Hand was one of the my first favorite craft brewers, and I've always held them in pretty high regard. The Fade To Black is proof positive Left Hand hasn't lost their touch, and I am fairly stoked about that.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a jet black with a thin tan head on top. Retention is lacking, but it leaves some lace and webbing on the glass edge. Scents of oats, Cheerios, cocoa, and faint coffee. About what I expected.

Great smooth and creamy body on this beer. Subtle carbonation on the tongue, but the creaminess just washes over the palate. Flavors are simple but very good. Chocolate flavors right off the bat, some mild espresso bitterness, and a dark fruity finish. This is a great beer. I downed this one easily enough and could have another. The alcohol presence, though higher, is not prominent. Recommend.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via SS09 from vasdef42. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" mocha head above the barely translucent dark brown brew. Head falls at somewhat quick pace, with average lacing. Aroma is dark roasty grains. Taste is rich chocolate upfront, coffee bitterness in the middle, and closes with some hops character. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and drinkability is good as well. Glad I got a few of these.

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

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Cool label graphics. Poured a deep black with a finger of tan head. Pretty fragrant with lots of roasted barley and chocolate. Solid medium body with a smooth mouthfeel. Some malt sweetness to begin. Plenty of roasted malt bitterness along with some hops. Really long dry malt finish with lingering coffee flavor. Nice beer.

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Photo of MrStark
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is black with a one-finger foamy tan colored head which slowly dissipates leaving a small amount of lacing.

Smell upfront is pretty heavy in roasted malts followed by coffee. A small hint of chocolate in the back and a bit of hops as well.

Taste is similar to the nose with a good amount of roasted malts. There is a fairly strong bitter coffee flavor with a light amount of sweetness in the end. As it warms the sweetness becomes a little more noticeable and a hint of the alcohol becomes present as well.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a pretty mild amount of carbonation. Fairly smooth on the tongue.

Drinkability is pretty good for the style and goes down easy. I could see having maybe a couple of these at a time and wouldn't mind having it again. Overall a pretty nice example of the style.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Bottled on 11-04-09.

(A)- Pours a dark black with the slightest dark brown highlights. Produced a good creamed coffee looking head but dissipated very quickly. Did leave some bits of lacing behind.

(S)- Very big on a raisin bread aroma dusted with cocoa & coffee grounds.

(T)- Pretty much exactly as the smell dictated. Very big raisin bread & molasses core. Bits of cocoa laced coffee beans.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A good complexity to it. Much thicker feeling in the mouth than the appearance led me to believe, but there is just so many bread-like textures in this beer. Just a bit bitter within the coffee nuance.

(D)- Definitely a tasty stout with some good things going for it. Lighter in body, but with a much much thicker texture. Just a solid drinking stout if you want something more than just having Guinness.

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Photo of Natural510
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with creamy dark tan head. Quality retention and lacing. Yep, it's a stout.
A dry, chalky roasted malt, lightly sweet, with a hint of milky chocolate makes up the body of the scent.
Flavor is sweet, but not too sweet, with caramel malt with a roasted coffee bite. Dark cocoa begins to creep in toward the end, and a dry bitterness seals the deal.
Body is heavy, strong and dry, yet drinkable enough to not be a "sipper" in the RIS category.
A high-quality homage to Guinness FES. Strong and brooding, without overindulging in its sweet & roasted characteristics.

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Photo of Kelp
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got the beer from the tap way to cold for this type of beer. So i had to wait a while just to take my first sip. A nice blackness to the beer as it was served to me with a light brown head on it. Smells of dark chocolate and roasted malts. Taste was of coffee and the bitterness of the chocolate to begin with, followed by a fruitiness and no real alcohol taste to it. The mouth feel was alright, slight carbonation and a decent thickness to it. I could maybe have had one more, but prolly not more than that. Nothing bad about this beer but nothing exceptional either.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served cold into a pint glass, this beer has a nearly black color with creamy bone white head. The head sticks around beautifully leaving a sheet of lace on the side of the glass.

Aroma is relatively strong dominated by roasted, toasted, and smoke malt.

Flavor is impressive in it's fullness and complexity. There is a definate smokey quality but it's not overwhelming like I usually find smoked beers. Roasted malts contribute to the coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel is very nice - full bodied and creamy smooth with very low carbonation.

Overall a really nice version of the style.

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Photo of BigBigPickle
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. to Tulip

A: Small, toasty brown head with limited staying power. Pours ink black.

S: Toasty Malt at first. Warm spices second. Dark fruits as it settles into the nose.

T: Smokey and Bitter malt. Peat. Coffee hits a few seconds after first stip. Coffee Liqueur is there as well. Finally, I think it combines to a chocolate covered espresso bean. This is fantastic.

M: Surprisingly, the mouthfeel is lacking a bit. The coffee stays around which is neat but this is the only weak point of this for me.

D: I was a bit surprised at first, what with the smoke/peat. But after one, I couldn't wait to have another. This is great stuff.

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Photo of everetends
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the J. Clyde tonight in B'ham. Served up in a half sized nonic, a 10 oz pour. Was kind of happy to see it on the tap list.

A: Pours a very black in color and builds a wonderful finger and a half of light brown, almost toffee colored foam. Can't see through the glass whatsoever, dark and solid. The head retention is quite nice, long lasting goodness. Foam is pretty tight and fluffy. Lace is sticky and puts up a decent amount foam on the glass. Can't see any carbonation activity. Looked a hell of a lot better than I expected.

S: Good amount of coffee and dark chocolate hit me first. Kind of threw me off and I forgot this was a Foreign/Export stout. Has a bit of weight to it on the nose. The malts are nice and have a decent amount of roast on it. Hops aren't as heavy as I expect from an export but this is all stout. There might be a bit of dark fruit lingering around here with the rest of the grains, can't fully tell but I do like it.

T: Taste is very much like the nose. Good amount of dark, slightly bittered chocolate along with lighter notes of coffee/espresso. Getting a touch of toffee in here as well. Good amount of roasted chocolate malts rolling around in here. Might be a little too roasted at times, almost burnt in some sips. Hops are very light and don't really play a factor here in balancing the sweetness. Got some prune and raisin peeking out from time to time. What I really like about this beer is that the grains really come across well and are pronounced at times. Very nice indeed.

M: Gonna have to give this a full bodied description. Comes across robust and has some thickness to it for sure. Carbonation is medium, trying to lighten things up a bit. Just an incredibly creamy texture to it. The aftertaste is all grains and coffee.

D: It is a bit of a sipper due to the sweetness and weight. With that said, its very nice. It doesn't have the hops presence I would expect from an Export, but it does have that heavy roast for sure. It is a different beast from what I remember of the Guinness Export. Still a good tasting and drinking stout. Would absolutely have more and think this is a great offering from Left Hand. Reminds me of their collaborations with Terrapin.

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Photo of argock
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. Freshness date stamped on back is illegible. Single purchased at Market Street Wine Shop (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.70.

A: Opaque black with solid 1-2 finger light brown head with good retention and above-average lacing in layers.

S: Espresso, dark chocolate, and roasted malts are big time with some sweeter caramel and plum notes and earthy hops

T: Coffee and bitter dark chocolate are the early flavors with roasted malt and sweeter carmaelized dark fruits like candied dates and finished with moderately leafy, earthy hops. Big flavor and no alcohol other than a little bit of berry flavors through the middle.

M: Smooth but a little lighter than a beer of this large aroma and flavor should muster. Low carbonation and limited aftertaste of roasted malt with a little char. Finish is mildly dry.

D: A pleasurable export stout that provides a little twist from the boozy RIS bunch. I like Lion Stout a little better in this style for its bigger body and roastier flavor, but Fade to Black is really good beer all the same.

Retrying after one year in the cellar -- still a very bitter coffee punch with dark chocolate and heavy roast. Surprised the coffee flavors have held on so well. Wish I had bought more... A really nice foreign export/light RIS from Left Hand.

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Photo of katan
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the saucer

A- pours dark as night. Very opaque with light amber highlights. Head is mocha colored.

s- light roasted barley note. Overall somewhat muted. Some bittersweet chocolate comes through.

t- starts off highly roasted, almost burnt. Chocolate and some American hops compliment the mid stream. Finishes with a husky grain note and then a big whammy of chocolate.

m- very creamy and full bodied. No carbonation bite. Smooth on the tongue. Some clinging sweetness.

d- deceptively drinkable. Abv is there but hidden. Smooth, not filling.

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Photo of champ103
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours nearly opaque black. The faintest amount of brown on the bottom. A very minimal tan head forms, and recedes in a second. No lace.
S: This is great. A huge roasted malt aroma up front. A bit of coffee. Lots of chocolate and and toffee.
T: Follows the nose. Lots of roasted flavor. Tons sweet malt, chocolate, and toffee. Simple, but excellent.
M/D: A medium to full body. Crisp carbonation, but smooth at the same time. Easy and smooth to drink. This shouldn't be a session beer, but I can quaff a few with ease.

This is a really good Export Stout. This reminds me a lot of Southern Stars Buried Hatchet. I have some in the fridge that I am going to pull out next to see how they compare. Highly Recommend.

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Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, has a place on the label for "Bottled on" info, but alas, it is blank...Pours black under a retentive dark khaki head, thick film, sliding sheeting down to a collar, respectable bits of lace, the hole bit, not a bad looking glass of stout...roasty, light coffee and dark chocolate nose...flavorful, very smooth/velvety on the tongue, with more then ample notes of more chocolate, roast grains and dark stouty goodness...nice first offering in this hopefully varied and fruitful series from LHBC...I believe this was about $12.99 for the sixer from DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY...go get some and enjoy...

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. Body is black as the night itself...off-white/beighe head recesses into this black abyss leaving the aroma of dark chocolate, coffee and toasted malts. Taste is thick, abv is well hidden, very well. Coffee and chocolate dominate. Nice complexity and very tasty. Nice timing on this offering, hopefully it will appear more than once.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a thick very dark brown, almost black color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt, burnt malt, graham cracker, and dark chocolate. It is strong without being overpowering. The taste is very malty with a sharp tinge of dark chocolate running through it all. There is also a significant amount of bitterness in it all. The mouthfeel is slightly lighter than full bodied with moderate carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this is a mighty fine beer that I would surely drink again if given the chance.

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Photo of beergod1
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Pours a fading mocha head , with a bit of lacing, nose is heavy coffee, lighter chocolate, toffee, nice burnt and smoky body, mild hop spice,taste is coffee, toffee, bit of cocoa, finishing with a lingering coffee-hop bitterness...mouth feel is thick and creamy, carbonation is medium. Over all this is a rich thick Stout....Love the name too.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Roasty, roasty, roasty. This beer has a tremendously burnt flavor and aroma, like strongly roasted coffee. This could be Starbucks beer. Good, full body - ABV well disguised. Reminds me of Bell's Java stout. One of the better offerings I've had from Left Hand. Thanks Deepak!

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Photo of manahansf
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear dark brown with ruby red highlights. It is crowned with a thin creamy tan head which recedes quickly but clings to the glass sip after sip. Sweet roasted malt aroma is very strong. The taste is robust roasted malt flavor in a mild body with moderately low carbonation. The brew flows into a sweet and semi-tart malty finish and fades slowly into a sweet vinous character and a gentle warming sensation.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

FTB pours a deep dark ruby rimmed black body. The head is a tan two finger that leaves some lacing and slowly slips down the side of the glass. The aroma is tons of roast. I can pick up some of the black licorice as well. The taste matches with a smokiness and little hop presence if any that I can pick up. Roasted malt shines in this beer. The mouthfeel is light for a 8.5 abv beer, but yet the alcohol is still well hidden below the roast.
The abv is high, but I could have more than one of these to warm me up on a cold day. I would pair this with any dark roasted meats.

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Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout) from Left Hand Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 929 ratings.
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