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 Carb-Overlord
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a soothing balm for this sore shoulders... as daylight fades to darkness in this cold fall to winter transition. This beer will warm the bones; very thick and boozy. If you enjoy beers with in your face flavors this is a good one for you. There isn't much subtlety to these flavors or an attempt at balance (which for me can be good depending on what I'm seeking). I would drink again, for instance in a cold Beerline somewhere. The appearance is that of the old oil can; thick and dark. You get hit upfront with a boozy alcohol flavor followed by your normal sweet chocolates stout and it finished with rather strong hoppy / bitterness. Very interesting, but again very clear flavors. I would certainly recommend giving this one a try.

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, no date. Initially pours like a typical stout, but the head builds very slowly, and remains with a thin film. Strong aroma of dark malts and coffee. Taste of dark malts, coffee, and perhaps a bit of caramel, with a very dry finish. Flavors become more prominent when it warms (and a bit of sweetness shows up as well). Mouth-feel is medium to heavy, and smooth. It seems to be well balanced, overall.

I am not a big fan of export stouts, I think because they can be so dry, but I did find that this one got better as it warmed. If I am going to have a stout, I prefer an imperial, but this isn't a bad alternative at a slightly lower ABV. This is a beer I would gladly drink again.

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Photo of AC-Mivsek
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a deep black with a small mocha-tan head.
S- Chocolate, hazelnut, black liquorice, roasted malts, espresso, dark fruits
T- Black liquorice, roasted malt, slight smokiness,
M- This is a big beer, thick heavy body, medium carbonation, very slick and smooth.
O- Very tasty big stout

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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 lastmango
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with 1 finger tan head. Moderate lacing. Nose is chocolate malt. Taste is a flavorful roasted sweet malt with just a mild but well balanced bitter finish. Moderate carbonation and creamy smooth. This is such a well balanced delicious stout. Great job Left Hand!

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 8.5% abv

Appearance- Pours a rich, dark charcoal color, 2 finger head with an obvious brown tint. Murky.

Smell- Darkly roasted barley. Smoky. Coffee bean

Taste- A dark and flavorful malt, exceptionally roasted. The roasted grain qualities enhance from the smoky flavor soon to be imparted. Coffee flavor is subtle but adds complexity to the malt. The finish is mildlt bitter, and ends with a blend of toasted barley and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Medium heavy in body with active carbonation.

Overall- A fine stout of the export variety. Very complex, this stout has all the qualites any good stout should. Pleny of flavor and not too excessively bold on any particular notes. Well balanced indeed.

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Photo of Bis4beer70
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Life it seems to fade away
Drifting further everyday
Getting lost within myself"

...with this stout!
Thanks to my wife & her friend for picking this one up!
High alcohol (8.5) but you don't really taste it as much as the Coffee & roasted malt.

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Photo of Dan_K
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours black with 1 finger of light mocha head
S: Smells of black licorice, roasted malt, lactose notes, and a little booziness.
T: Deep roasted malts, slight dark fruit, a little coffee, a little smoke. Very "roasted". Some sweetness and creaminess is also here, but with some assertive hops for bittering balance.
F: Feels smooth and creamy, with moderate carbonation. Feels a little hot/boozy as well.
O: This beer is very smooth and drinkable, quite delicious and well roasted. The only problem is that at 8.5%, it really bridges the gap between session stout and a hearty Imperial Stout. Should hold up pretty well to age. It's not a sipper, it's a drinker. But be careful because this black beauty packs a punch.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black with one finger high, beige head.

Nose: Chocolate, licorice, smoke, espresso, roasted malt and hops.
Taste: Coffee beans, chocolate, roasted malt, molasses and licorice.
Body: Medium to full body. Smooth. Moderate carbonation.

A great stout from Left Hand!

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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 jwc215
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at 3 Cellars, Franklin, WI:

Pours black with a thin lasting head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of rich espresso, chocolate, hint of licorice.

The taste is of deep-roasted espresso beans with chocolate. Licorice is slight, but enough to give balance and another layer of complexity. Long finish.

It is smooth with roasted coffee/espresso lingering.

The alcohol level is very well covered. This is a rich, dark, complex brew, yet easy to drink!

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Photo of October
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A solid offering from left hand. Mouthfeel is wonderfully smooth. Full bodied and a nice hop kiss at the finish. Will have to compare this to their milk stout and/or other fade to blacks once I have a chance to try those.

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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 OldManMetal
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fade To Black is a very attractive stout; a thick tan rocky head sits atop a murky black, ruby-litten body, settling to a lingering tan scree that leaves lots of fine lacing everywhere it touches. The nose is all malt, predominately chocolate ice cream with some molasses and other hints of dark sweetness, plus hints of alcohol and a coffee note that foreshadows the palate, where the chocolate ice cream is joined by bitter chocolate, coffee and other heavily roasted notes, producing a more bitter flavor than the nose may have led you to expect. This mild bitterness and the chocolate ice cream flavor remain on the finish; both linger for an appropriately long time. A very creamy texture and soft carbonation create an ultrasmooth mouthfeel that combines with the lingering flavor to produce a compulsive drinkability that might lead one through the glass a bit faster than one might want for a full-bodied, 8.5% ABV ale.

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

It has a really strong roasted flavor, and there's a little hint of licorice. Overall this is a bit on the strong side, but it's still a very tasty stout.

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Photo of seedyone
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. I foynd this to be, overall, just so-so. Looks were OK, but there was something on the nose that manifested in the taste that was off putting.Perhaps I'm so used to the coffee-chocolate bombs in the stout field of latethat I had a predisposition that was not met.

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

Appearance - 4/5
Pours an extremely dark brown with a finger of light brown head.

Smell - 4/5
Strong roasty milk chocolate aromas, faint hop aromas.

Taste - 4/5
Roasty chocolate malts, boozy, moderately sweet.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium bodied, crisp, a moderate amount of medium-intensity carbonation.

Overall - 4/5
This was a great stout, with great chocolate notes and an overall good look, smell, and feel.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.36/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Off black color, smell of smoke and wood chips, tastes of coffee, but a little woody smoke there too. The feel is lighter than I expected. Overall, I think it's good, but I must admit I'm not a fan of this style.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours the colour of cola, but thicker, like a rich fabric that's not quite black. The edges give a deceptive ruddy brown like a rich wood. Tight half finger head of creamy head that settles in to specimens soon enough.

Nose starts out a creamy sweet with hints towards a dry ashy finish. Roasted backbone with notes of sweet dark chocolate.

Flavour further brings forth the above alluded amalgamation. Nuanced and layered, this strikes me as a really well crafted brew. Starts off with the same creamy chocolate sweetness before mild layers of coffee and... is it Nips I'm thinking of?? There's a roasted undercurrent running through the whole thing, and a sprinkle of ashy not quite smokey dusted across the top. Finish is hte sweet of chocolate, the bitter of coffee and some light hops.
Appropriate moderate carbonation and a medium body. This is another one that feels like a 'quintessential' of what it is. It's not gussied up, duded out, getting down, or where it's at, but it is a damn enjoyable export stout, one that ends up being greater than just the sum of its parts. Grab this if you see it, and be greatful that Left Hand likes to make dark beers, because they've got another solid offering here.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Ruby black with a creamy tan cap that goes pretty quick. 3.5
Rum raisin nose with some sawdust, dried black cherries, meat juice and melted brown sugar. 3.75
Cola, cold coffee, frozen raspberries, charcoal, dark chocolate shavings, a lean roasty hit, and some wood.
Smoky finish and bitter chocolate ending. 3.75
Medium and then some, chewy, round. 4

Sugar and roast. Not heavy on coffee and chocolate but IBUs and black bitterness keep the sweetness in check. Not hot or cloying, either. Like ups pretty well for the style, though without the craveability. And yet.... just not special. Warning track power from Left Hand. 3.75

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Photo of cambabeer
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

really heavy on the coffee and toasted notes. there's some licorice in there as well and some smokiness. Balanced and drinkable, the ABV is not very perceived. a really good export stout.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pitch black color with a fingers worth of head that fades down to a thin ring around the glass

S: Roasted malt, licorice, dark chocolate, dark fruits, molasses, and very light coffee stand out. Nice and layered

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the roasted malts, licorice, molasses, and dark fruits pop first, followed by the coffee and dark chocolate notes. Licorice and molasses carry through the finish. Lightly bitter

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A great FES with some nice layers and depth of flavor. The 8.5% goes unnoticed, which makes it all too easy to drink. A solid seasonal indeed

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is slightly over a finger high and khaki in shade. While the texture is beautifully even, retention isn't very impressive. An inconsistent ring of lacing sticks to the glass. (3.75)

Smell: I expect lots of chocolate, roast, and a bit of hoppiness from an export stout. Guess what I pick up? That's right, chocolate, roast, and a bit of hoppiness. The hop profile pops up more strongly as it warms up. It could be a hair roastier for my personal tastes, but this smells extremely well done otherwise. (3.75)

Taste: Tastes exactly like I expected. It starts off with some nice dark chocolate flavors, ballasted by a gentle hoppiness. A subtle roasted flavor finishes it off: I get both roasted malts and auxiliary coffee notes. On occasion, it's slightly smoky. You know how when you drink a beer, it just works really well and it's hard to explain why? This is that kind of beer - it's balanced to near perfection. Excellent work. (4)

Mouthfeel: They nailed the mouthfeel - not overly light, yet surprisingly dry and crisp. It's even refreshing. Any stout over 8% that manages this is a beautiful thing. Light carbonation helps it go down even more easily. (4.5)

Overall: Delicious, just delicious. The label goes on about black this, darkness that...yet at the same time, it's light, refreshing, and delicate. It's 8.5%, yet I could genuinely drink this one all damn day. I absolutely will look for this again. (4.25)

4.03/5: It's as good as the song, and that's high praise

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Photo of 57md
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color with ruby edges. The nose has a mild roast. The flavor profile includes more roast than the nose might indicate. The body seems right on for a relatively high ABV stout.

This is a good, solid and drinkable stout

I did not get a chance to sample this the first time it was brewed. I'm glad that I got a crack at it thye second time around.

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

Best by 11/2015. Poured into a DFH chalice.

Appearance: Jet black body with a thin light brown head.

Aroma: Cream with a hint of black coffee from the roasted malts.

Taste: Although I don't have a lot of experience with the foreign/export stout style I'm hoping that this one is a good example since it is delicious. The depth of malt character includes everything from toasty goodness to bitter black coffee and its all wrapped up in a blanket of cream flavor. Hop bitterness steps in to provide a much needed balance creating a savory taste. Smooth finish followed by a burst of grassy hop bitterness that fades through the aftertaste. The 8.5% ABV hides behind the malt bill but is completely believable given the amount of flavor in this thing.

Mouthfeel: Between medium and full in body with smooth carbonation and high level drinkability for its weight class.

Final Thoughts: In a marketplace flooded with breweries pumping out IPAs it's sometimes easy to overlook one that does such a fine job on darker beers. First Milk Stout, then Wake Up Dead, now Fade to Black will be another reason to commend Left Hand for putting out great beer. Would I drink it again? Yes.

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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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