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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: 342 | Ratings: 848
Photo of MbpBugeye
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- The appearance isnt anything to write home about. It looks pretty much just like an ordinary old dark beer. Its really really black, the head that rises with a pour is small and off white, there is really no retention at all, no lacing.

S- French vanilla coffee and chocolate. and roasted malts.

T- Bitter and sweet. Nice balance. Coffee, unsweetened chocolate and some faint alcohol. Its really nice.

M- Creamy, low carbonation. Slightly hot at times.

D- On the heavy side and kinda hot for an 8.5% abv. Still this is a really good stout. It falls in between a milk stout and a RIS.

This style is starting to become one of my favorites. I just wish there were more export stouts being crafted. Maybe Left Hand will start the ball rolling with this one.

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Photo of fropones
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at the Blind Pig in Champaign tonight.

A - Nice and dark, half a finger of mocha head.

S - Lots of unsweetened chocolate and coffee as well as some roasted and caramel malt.

T - More toasted malt and coffee, with a bit of sweetness in the back. Some dates and raisins. Nice warming from the alcohol. As it warmed, some more sweetness came out and more fruit flavors.

M - Nice carbonation, but it could be much bigger bodied. It was a little to watery.

D - Good. A very deicious brew that drinks a little too easily for 8.5% alcohol. Alcohol is very well masked.

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Photo of emerge077
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single of this in WI for around $1.50 at Breeze-Thru.

As expected, a black body with some dark khaki foam leaving spotty lacing at the edges. Aroma of charred toast, woody tobacco, some light chocolate pastry sweetness.

Soft, roasty, and lightly bitter in the finish. Some vague raisin sweetness in the aftertaste, complimenting the smooth creamy feel. It's subtle and flavorful at the same time. Well balanced.

I'll pick this up again before it's gone, definitely worth a 6-pack purchase to enjoy in the cold weather.

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

Pours a beautiful thick and rocky head. Roasted overtones and sweet aromas. Very very smooth stout, wonderfully balanced sweetness and bitterness. Smoky, roasted and very tasty maltiness reigns. I really recommend this one, especially at the low low price of $1.60 a bottle at my local beer store. A winner for sure. Can't wait for Volume II!

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Photo of DIM
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was black as...(insert your own spooky/gothic analogy) It poured with a large, foamy head that quickly faded to moderate lace.

s: I haven't had many examples of this style, but they all seem to have something i can't quite describe in common. They remind of imperial dry or milk stouts I think. Anyway, I smelled plenty of roasty cocoa and milk chocolate.

t: This tastes familiar. I'm reminded of Lion or Guiness Export, and that is a compliment. Gentle, roasty malt flavors of chocolate with some faint bitterness at the end. I couldn't find 8.5% abv anywhere.

m: Gently foamy carbonation and a lush, creamy body.

d: Great beer and a bargain at $35 a case.

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Photo of SiphonKing
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a nice tan head atop a dark, almost black body. A nice balance with good mouthfeel and a tasty, malty finish. I look forward to v. 2 and what Left Hand may be releasing in the near future. A delicious offering and also very sessionable for a foreign extra stout.

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Photo of tpd975
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap Varga Bar.

A: Pours a lighter shade of black with a nice solid off white head. Okay retention with some nice lace.

S: Nice toasty aromas. Toasted bread, dark malt, chocolate, and coffee.

T: Black Black roasted malt. Strong notes of coffee and bitter chocolate. Mild dark fruit and a hint of smoke.

M: On the fuller side of medium. A pretty damn good beer at a pretty damn good bar.

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Photo of beerman207
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours very black. The beer looks very sticky once it settles down. Nice.

S - Coffee and caramel are dominant in the nose. very inviting.

T - Coffee, buttery taste, caramel, slight hoppiness.

M - It's thick but in a good way. Goes down easy for me.

D - very high considering the ABV. I'm impressed by Left Hand on this offering.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful black body beneath a cocoa head. The aroma is roasty and smokey with notes of cocoa. The flavor is roasted, nearly charred malt, bitter coffee, chocolate, and a smokey finish. The body is rich, creamy, and smooth. The finish is medium in length showing smoke and bitterness primarily. A fun Winter stout, why don't we see more Export Stouts? Richer than an American Stout, but more drinkable than an Imperial Stout. Nice work by Left Hand, too bad this is a one off seasonal and not a staple of their portfolio.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks very nice. Damn near opaque. Thick creamy brown head drops islands of lace all over the glass as I drink. Great aroma of roasted peanuts, mocha, chocolate malts and caramel. Flavor is top notch as well. This is well done. Roasty and chocolatey but aslo a little nutty. Some char and bittersweet chocolate. Great depth. Creamy easy going mouthfeel. This is one of the better Left Hand beers I've ever had. Nice pick for Volume I. Not too many export stouts around. And for 8.5%, the alcohol is really negligible on the palate. Quite drinkable.

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

Picked this up at Heritage at the advice of Tim (?). Tasted on 11/27.

Poured into a pint glass, this one pours a murky brown color. Looks black in the glass, but obviously brown on the pour. A tan head is produced on the pour, creamy in texture. Decent retention and nice lacing.

The nose on this is a nice combination of toasted malts, bitter roasted coffee and chocolate, with hints of vanilla and toffee. Very nice.

The taste is nearly the same, with dark bakers chocolate, lightly roasted coffee and toasted malts with a nice sweet character, almost brown sugar like. Pretty good tasting too.

Mouthfeel is medium in body, is creamy and smooth with no alcohol to be found. Slighty dry finish. Drinkability is insane. I originally had this pegged for a session stout, had no idea it was north of 8% abv.

Overall, a great example of the style, possibly the best American made Foreign/Export Stout that I've ever had. Great stuff. Thanks for the recommendation, guy who I can't remember your name (Tim?) that works at Heritage!

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

Saw this at whole foods and was intrigued. The label is pretty cool, but also quite elusive. Had no idea what to expect.

Pours a thick, opaque black with a big, foamy, light-tan head that settles slowly. Nice, moderate lacing.

Fragrant aroma of toast and some sweet, bready malt. Roasty.

Absolutely delicious roasted malt flavors, toasted bread, cocoa and some coffee. Light in the hop department.

Medium to full body, with appropriately light carbonation.

Delicious and fairly impressive overall. Though the label doesn't list it, the ABV is probably up there.

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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 roadhouse
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

Pours a very dark brown with a one and a half inch light tan head. Light lacing left on the glass.

Aromas of dark fruit such as cherry and blackberry, some mild cocoa, and star anise.

Taste is, much like the aroma, dominated by the same dark fruit characteristics and star anise. The level of roastiness is much higher however and big cocoa flavors appear in the middle and as the finish builds it gets more intense and akin to coffee.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, very creamy texture with a smooth consistency going down.

Very pleasing stout, can't wait for the next installment. Plus, a beer with Metallica reference is just pretty sweet.

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

A: Black with a one finger dark tan head that dissipates to a thin lining of a head; okay lacing

S: Coffee and chocolate are most evident but anise is also prevalent; the roasted malts also dominate; there is something slightly funky that I can't put my "nose" on but it oddly adds to the aroma

T: Burnt malts; coffee bitterness; funky spiciness--licorice; there is also a slight tobacco flavoring in the back end

F: Slightly thin but fairly good over all; even mouth feel; well-balanced carbonation

D: This is a complex beer that is pretty drinkable but the anise flavors are somewhat overwhelming at times

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass at cellar temperature.

Left hand killed one of my favorites, Snowbound to do this new winter release. I assume it is a series as this is marked "Volume 1". Pretty pleased to find this one on the shelves at the Wine Library in Millburn NJ as I was looking around for it with no luck.

A-Black is right. Only the faintest ruby highlights when viewed from the top of the glass through to the sides. Hold it up to the light and nothing shines through this sucker. Thick tan head that lasts awhile. Pretty nice.

S-Dark roasted coffee, burned bakers chocolate, a hint of anise

T-Bittersweet caramel malts married with a deep roasted coffee backbone infused with with strong black licorice notes. Some molasses balances out the bitterness and some dry hops close out the finish. Alcohol is present throughout, but not overpowering. This is a damn fine beer, and probably will age amazingly well.

M-Deep full and rich with balanced carbonation. Nicely done.

D-A very nice, very drinkable beer. Glad that they put it out in sixers rather than bombers as this is a flavor explosion.

Sad to see Snowbound go. I will miss it dearly. This, however, is a very promising start to the new series. Hail darkness.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany with a fluffy, light brown head.

Nose has lightly roasted coffee, unsalted cracker, and faint dark chocolate.

The flavors are roasty with notes of cocoa powder, biscuity malt, and black licorice. Finishes with an earthy hop and somewhat sharp alcohol bite.

I thought this beer, within it's style especially, was very well made. This is the way our Guinness should taste. Job well done from Left Hand.

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

Poured into a flute glass. Black. Really light carbonation. Brownish head that leaves no tracing.

Smells like chocolate. Also cherries, licorice, toffee, malt.

The taste is bittersweet. Dark chocolate, citrus, a bit of alcohol, licorice. The finish is roasted malt.

Feels relatively smooth in my mouth. A bit grainy. Light carbonation and full-bodied.

Nice stout. Definitely my favorite from Left Hand and not pricey.

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

The beer pours pitch black and has a tan head. It looks like a great stout. The nose on the beer has a fair amount roasted malts, but that's really it. The beer has a lot of caramel malts with a nice bitterness from the roasted malt. The beer is sweet, complex and tasty. A slight smoked malt flavour comes through at the end.

I think there needs to be more roasted malts, but it's very balanced. The mouthfeel is great and it's incredibly drinkable.

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

Reddish black with a brown head. Laces well if vigorously poured.

Smells of burnt malts and a touch of hop and chocolate.

Tastes much the same with some ginger and coffee/espresso to accent. A touch of the alcohol shows up on the finish.

Medium in body with a healthy carbonation.

I like this for reasons I'm not sure of. A couple of the flavors would normally be a bit much, but in combination this beer works very well.

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

A - Pours a jet black color with a large beige head that has excellent retention. Huge amounts of lacing on the side of the glass.

S - Roasted and burnt malt, chocolate, and molasses.

T - Very strong taste. The burnt malt comes through first and is soon followed by some sweeter chocolate and coffee notes. Finished quite bitter but very good.

M - Thick and chewy.

D - If the abv was a little lower, I could see myself drinking quite a few of these. However, I would probably just stop at one or two.

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Photo of bamadog
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Review is taken from notes on 11/22/09. Poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is black and opaque; comes with a 1/2 finger dark tan head that fades to nothing but random patches of thin skim and a couple piles of bubbles; body doesn't seem especially thick (like I've heard about some others), but definitely thick enough to know it's a stout, beyond that, I've been deceived by looks of stouts in the past when they don't look especially thick but turn out to hold their own on the palate.

Smell: Deep roasted malts and bit of a burnt coffee/espresso aspect. Smell is pretty strong and really lets you know what you're going to be drinking.

Taste: Just like the smell -- strong presence of the deep toasted malts and the burnt coffee bean flavor; very slight presence of a bitter-sweet chocolate and even a slightly earthy twinge of a hop presence; slight presence of alcohol as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Really digging the body on this one - body is thicker than it lets on in the pour and is quite creamy and filling; carbonation is fair and the mouth is left thoroughly coated; belly is left warm.

Drinkability: For a heavier stout, I have to give it a 3.5 -- it has great flavors and I really like the body as it's almost like a meal unto itself, but it does sit a little too heavy and the ABV is just a tad too high for anything more than one. I'll gladly come back to it though on these cool nights.

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

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pitch black, as the name implies. A swirling tan head has a slight hint of amber to it. Retention is OK, and bits of lace are left.

S: All sorts of fun stuff is going on here. Molasses, cherry, smoke and a bit of burnt oak interplay well. A slight whiff of alcohol rounds things out.

T: Dense. Sweet flavors of molasses and licorice are what hit first. An oak and pine burnt bitterness comes along to provide perfect balance. Alcohol adds warmth, while a mild mineral flavor rounds things out. Finishes with strong lingering licorice and anise flavors.

M: The super thick body is syrupy and chewy. The carbonation feels just about right.

D: This is an excellent beer. Perfect balance, nice warmth and a thick body make this a great beer on a cold evening. I'm really glad I picked this up.

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

Poured from the bottle a deep opaque black with a thin mocha cap and heavy lacing.

Aroma of roasted caramel malts, black licorice, molasses, dark chocolate, and charcoal.

The taste mimics the aroma. Quite malty with black licorice, dark chocolate, molasses, and charcoal. Finish is smooth and full of roasted maltiness. The 8.5% alcohol is well hidden.

Full-bodied, smooth, and lightly carbonated.

This one is a keeper. Easy drinking and full of flavor.

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Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout) from Left Hand Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 848 ratings.
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