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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 344 | Ratings: 866
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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Photo of plinythethirsty
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm venturing outside my preferred style here, but, to this hophead, it seems a worthy brew. I didn't get as much head as some of the other reviewers (but that's the story of my life).
This is a black brew, with a campfire smell and taste. I get some chocolate and more than a bit of coffee, but they're burnt, smoky chocolate and coffee. It's got a righteous abv, and I'd pick it over Guinness every time.

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Photo of samie85
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Originally consumed 12/21 at Melt in Lakewood, OH.

A- Pours a deep black with a one finger head.

S- Smells of chocolate and roasted malts.

T- It follows the nose exactly with chocolate and roasted malts and a hint of sweet alcohol.

M-It was medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D-This was ridiculously easy to drink. I can hardly believe it's 8.5%. I went into it expecting it to be a bit more complex, but it's a very solid brew.

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Photo of degerbah
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours guinness black with about three fingers of head. As I write this the head is barely settling at all with a ton of thick lacing. Huge roasted malt smell that is almost overpowering. Some coffee smell in there as well.

The taste is mostly of coffee and is extremely dry. I think that when non-BA's refer to dark beers as thick like guinness, this is what they are mentally picturing. Fade to Black is thick with a very heavy roasted character that is overpowering of the other flavors.

It's not my favorite style, but it is extremely drinkable and very tasty, especially after I get further and further into the beer.

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Photo of drseamus
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to aerozeppl for providing the beer.

A: Dark chestnut at the edges but fairly black in the middle.
S: Very tight nose. I hardly get anything except a touch of roast that is nice.
T: Roast up front. A little sweetness with a touch of bitterness but nothing behind that . Pretty thin overall but that is typical of a foreign export stout.
M: Very light.
D: Alright but not great.

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Photo of enfield249
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark, dark black hint of red highlights in the lower extremes. No real head to speak of, but a slight white head of foam.

S - Malty, dark fruit and some slight roast.

T - Roasty, full, malty and sweet.

M - Full and rich.

D - I have not had a export stout before and this one is excellent. Great beer. Drink it now.

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Photo of corby112
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark brown, almost black color that is completely opaque with only the slightest of mahogany edges when held to a light source and a two finger frothy light tan head that quickly settles into a thick lasting ring.

Slightly roasted chocolate malt aroma with hints of burnt toast, toffee, coffee bean, oatmeal and smoke. There's also a bit of sweet lactic creaminess present along with the deep roasted sweet bitter dark chocolate notes.

Deep roasty chewy body that's on the fuller end with a strong dark malt character, slight chocolate sweetness, lactic creaminess and a bone dry finish. Pretty complex with hints of roasted espresso bean, bitter sweet dark chocolate malt, lactic cream, burnt toast, oatmeal and toffee. Way too roasty and bone dry and not very well balanced. There's a lot going on but only a touch of sweetness. Too one dimensional for my liking but not bad.

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Photo of ZAP
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Looks the part...black...a little excessive frothy head...

S-Smoky...some java...burnt malts...then sweeter notes of caramel and vanilla.

T-Dark Chocolate....fresh roasted coffee....burnt malts...caramel...a little vanilla...a lot of dimensions and very tasty..

M-Medium bodied....nowhere close to RIS land...but bigger and fuller bodied than a dry stout...

D-Very enjoyable...well made with nice flavors...

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Photo of Bung
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. A solid black pour with brown around the edge. Just a ring of cream colored head. Aroma is subdued roast coffee and malt. Taste has good roast malt and coffee as well. Dark chocolate with some anise and some minor hop bitters. Not as dry as some with espresso and nice hints of vanilla in the finish. Good medium body with some prickly carbonation making it not quite creamy. Easy drinking considering the descent abv. This is a quality foreign stout from Left Hand. Try it out if you can.
They should consider doing this regularly as it might be their best stout.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black cola like body with a white head and lace patches on top of a roasted malt body that had hints of bitter chocolate and other sweet malts. A smooth, sem-creamy medium body that has a pleasant sweet malt taste like cocoa and vanilla mixed with some roasted/espresso like malts that balance the beer and give it a dry finish. A very enjoyable sipper and a must try.

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

a: served in a small chalice, the beer is black in color, capped with a light layer of carbonation

s: big charred malt body with an underlying sweetness of dark fruits - mostly raisin, nice blend of dry roast and sugar, burnt coffee bean

m: body on the heavier side, supporting a moderate carbonation

t: heavy roast structure - mostly dry burnt malt with hints of dark cocoa and coffee grounds, raisin and molasses sugars push out some of the astringency but quickly fade in the finish, very solid

d: easy enough - abv well disguised

draft at Thirsty Monk, Asheville

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Photo of bfields4
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice mahogany just a light amber hue. A thin off white head.

Burnt malt comes off the noes that nice charcoal and a vague hint of dark fruit comes through as well.

The roasted malt is done so well in this beer. Dark coffee and espresso with a nice creamy flavor as well. An earthy finish just makes for such a well rounded beer.

The light body and great taste hide the abv very well. Just a phenomenal non-imperial stout. Really shows what else you can do with those dark malts aside from the sweet and heavy bodied RIS and AIS(not that is a bad thing).

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

Nose is softly chocolaty with nutty roast. Lots of malt aroma. Soft tart fruit, grape. Toasty bready body. Slight caramel. Smells good.

Pours pitch black with well formed light brown head. Looks quite nice.

Full bodied thickness with plenty of bitterness. Lots of roast: black coffee, dark chocolate, and some dry woodiness. Soft tart fruit - grape, apple. Slight alcohol. Sinister dryness from roast character. Finishes dry and roasty with just a hint of sweetness. Tastes good. Feels good.

I love the label, it is a very dynamically aesthetic branch off of the traditional Left Hand label; the ominous, intricate black and white pinstriping with the red hand... nice. If points were awarded specifically for artistic stance, it would get an A+. The roast of a Schwarzbier, but much thick and richer in body like a Robust Porter. I see now that it is a Foreign Export Stout, which makes sense as many of the Export Stouts I've had are hellishly roasty. Good drinkability.

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

On tap @ the Capital Ale House (Richmond, VA) on 12/13/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours black, with a finger of smooth & creamy mocha colored head. This stays nice and rich looking, leaving a strong smattering of spotty tan foam behind. The aroma is very dark smelling, with a lot of roasted coffee character, and bitter malts. A good bit of the sweetness comes from sticky notes of chocolate and molasses, while floral and herbal hops hang on the edges. The espresso and dark roast really put out most of the flavor though.

The taste is burnt chocolate malts and coffee, which gives this a deeply roasted flavor. Blackstrap molasses adds a sticky tang and an extra layer of darkness to this. Hops are fairly strong, adding a prickly and bitter feel, while some citric and herbal character rides along with the bitterness. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a big mouth-filling sharp creaminess to it that then thickens up some towards the back of the swallow. This actually goes down pretty darn well for the size of it.

This was a bit of a surprise. Packed with a ton of dark flavors, yet this stayed well balanced and very drinkable for a higher ABV Stout. A winner of a new beer here from Left Hand.

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

Picked up at Colorado Liquormart. $9 a six. Tried in a pilsner glass

A. Perfectly dark, nearly pitch black stout. Light creamy-tan head.

S. Strong malt / coffee aroma

T. Sweet / not as hot as I expected for the 8.5 abv. Chocolately, roasted malts, tastes similar to a Great Divide Yeti stout.

M. Oily, low carbonation, with plenty of flavor.

D. A bit sweet for what I was hoping for, but packs a punch. Goes down dangerously easy.

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Photo of tempest
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle at Liberty St. Tavern for $3.50. Basically this is a well-made big stout - lots of dark chocolate and roasted grain flavor. But it's not quite an export stout as I understand it. It lacks the sweet candy notes that the adjunct sugar of a typical export stout provides. While it's not a great example of the style, it is still a very drinkable and tasty stout.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fade to Black pours pitch black into the glass with a small, fizzy tan head on top. The foam fades away quickly leaving behind a few spots of lace on the side of the glass.

The aroma is malty with notes of dark roast malt, coffee, and chocolate.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is soft on the palate with a dry mouthfeel and a moderate carbonated fizz throughout. The flavor is full of roast malt, toffee, chocolate and a hint of peat. It finishes with a touch of grassy hop bitterness. Once gone the roast malt and chocolate notes linger on the palate.

This is a tasty well balanced beer that hides its 8.5% alcohol well. It's easy to drink a second one after the first is gone.

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Photo of heliosphann
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Served in a pint glass after a long, 14hour shift at work...

A: Minimal light brown head. Fades into a swirling whirlpool, which is moving from the carbonation. Pours black, but is somewhat brown. Lacing is fairly good, with a nice cascading look.

S: Dark roasty malts right in your face. Some faint chocolate lingering along with some molasses and brown sugar.

T: Much like the smell, dark roasted malts are in charge here. Some coffee, chocolate and vanilla are also present, with some fairly prevalent sweetness. There is some booziness and a slight bitterness on the finish.

M: Medium bodied, but feels a little lighter at times. Carbonation is solid and feels smooth on the tongue.

D: The 8.5% ABV seems a little high (and unnecessary). One bottle was plenty for me, but you could probably knock a few back if you wanted.

One of Left Hands better offerings and a good start to their "Fade to Black" series. I did think the brew suffered from not being that complex in the taste dept. That and the issues I addressed above about the ABV. Definitely worth a try though.

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Photo of natelocc787
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very black body with a light tan head. As you drink this one it leaves a thick chunky ring in the spot where the head was resting. I believe it took me about 8 drinks to finish the pint so there was 8 chunky tan rings every 1/4 inch or so. Very roasted aroma, like espresso, caramelized blackstrap molasses and dark bitter chocolate. Taste is very roasty and smooth with more espresso and dark chocolate, roasted black malty sweetness, roasted vanilla bean and semi-sweet fudge. Mouthfeel isn't as chewy or as thick as a RIS or even American Double but slightly oily, creamy and silky smooth. Well done.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my new belgium globe.

A- as promised, completely black pour on this one. even when held up to the light theres no color. a small khaki colored head forms and quickly reduces to no more than a skin on the top of my glass, leaving behind a solid ring of lace.

S- putting my nose to the glass brings me a blast of dark roasted malts. the alcohol is also present. the finish is filled with bitter smelling coffee.

T- the taste is equally as dark and roasted as the smell. lots of burnt malts. lots of burnt coffee. some dark chocolate adds a mild sweetness. detectable alcohol.

M- medium to full bodied. ample carbonation. dry, bitter aftertaste. moderate alcohol warming.

D- a nicely done dry stout with a little bit of sweetness to it. a little too strong to session, but something thats welcomed in my fridge.

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

A 12 ounce bottle purchased at Abe's in Bethlehem for around $1.75. Bottled on 11-3-09. Uncapped and poured into my shaker glass. The stout appears a deep brown color with barely a finger of slowly fading tan foam. Nose and flavors consist of rich roasted grain and coffee, both bittersweet and dark chocolate, cocoa powder, a bit grassy/earthy, medium char, fresh espresso, chocolate pudding, caramel, vanilla, a bit smokey and quite complex. Some alcohol heat in the throat after each swallow. Approaching full bodied and amply carbonated. Really nice stuff and about the closest thing to Guinness John Martin, only much more easier to get your hands on. I'll be buying more of this. I'm guessing this will mellow out nicely in about a year, maybe a bit less.

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Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout) from Left Hand Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 866 ratings.
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