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 | website

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: 340 | Ratings: 844
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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Photo of spoony
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 355 ml bottle (best by November 18, 2015) into a snifter.

A-The beer is sufficiently black in color to earn its name. The head is tan and pretty short despite an aggressive pour. The foam fades to a film after about a minute and leaves no lacing.

S-The aroma is nice mixture of dark, roasted malt flavors. I get some black licorice sweetness, some vague dried fruit, big doses of dark molasses, some smoke, and a little bit of coffee ground bitterness.

T-The taste is also heavy on the dark roasted flavors. Dark molasses, some barley, whiffs of smoke and ash, cold coffee, and a little bit of black licorice.

M-The feel is medium in heft with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is drying and almost gritty.

O-This is a very solid foreign export stout. I think this one nails many of the true characteristics of that style, while amping up the ABV just enough to put a new-world craft beer spin on it. It may not be as complex as many BA offerings, but it drinks well and the drying finish is nice change from many stouts out there.

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Photo of stortore
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

A fairly dark and opaque pour, with a small head and not much lacing. Smell brings roasted malts, coffee, chocolate- all pretty evenly. Taste shifts the chocolate to the lead, followed by the roasted malts and the coffee. Really, they're still all pretty evenly balanced, like the nose. Some hop bitterness hits about halfway. Smooth, a little creamy, good level of carbonation.

Best of the style I've had to date, very flavorful. Really well balanced. Glad I had a few of these. Would certainly buy again.

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Photo of NiceTaps
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass.

A- Dark brown, almost black. A touch of reddish-brown highlights. A thin mocha colored head leaves fat cascading lacing.

S- Coffee roast and dark chocolate smell.

T- Dry bitter dark chocolate flavor. Not sweet. Lots of roasted malt and a touch of light smokiness.

M- Big body and chewy feel. A slightly metallic sour smoky finish brings it down.

O- Great aroma, flavorful and drinkable.

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Photo of interzen
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

355ml bottle served into a tulip glass

Look: Black, and fairly opaque with it - not much going on when held up to the light. Not much in the way of head either - a thin, tan layer which dissipates quickly to a foam cap.

Smell: Dark chocolate, roasted malts and woodsmoke with some fruity hints. The smokiness dominates but manages to stay just the right side of overpowering.

Taste: Toasted malts, chocolate, coffee and a nice, alcoholic warmth. The smokiness isn't that apparent right out of the gate but once it warms up a bit it starts to become a bit more up front. The smokiness adds a good bit of depth to the already complex mess of flavours.

Feel: Very smooth and mellow - obviously it's fairly malty but at the same time manages to be fairly undemanding and isn't excessively fizzy. Once it has warmed up enough to let the smoke flavours come forward it's really rather special.

Overall: Got this as part of a 'random' case, although I've been pretty impressed with Left Hand's Milk Stout before now. This one really scores in the taste stakes, and has a bit more depth than their Milk Stout. Definitely a winner - I'll be seeking this one out again for sure.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Black with garnet highlights. A thin layer of tan foam that dissipates fast. Filmy lacing.

S: Roasty, toasty. Chocolate malts, dark fruits, smokey.

T: So mellow/smooth. Toasty malts insinuate themselves in for a warming, roasty smokiness. A great fireside sipper. Let it warm for maximum yum.

M: I expected dry for a Foreign Export, but this one works well with its low to medium mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation. Nice.

O: Just a terrific pick from Hop City, Birmingham. Not sure why I grabbed it, but Left Hand never fails at great taste. Would drink again.

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Photo of beerbeardguyfromCO
4.61/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This black beauty is exactly why I keep falling in love with the Fade to Black series, one release at a time. Silky on the palate with notes of cardamom and licorice, this brew warms up with espresso and molasses on the finish. Cloud-like head and a well-developed perfume contribute to make this a sensory experience not to be skipped.

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

Fade to Black is like the best dark beer series....EVER! I am glad they re-produced Vol. 1 as I missed it the first go around. This one is a very nice stout. Has all the characteristics that one would like. Definite must try!

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Photo of gonzo000
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours an extremely dark brown color with a one finger tan head that flattens out and floats on the top. The smell is of chocolate. Poured the beer at about 40 degrees. The taste at that temp was dominated by chocolate. as it warmed, the taste became more bitter. I preferred this beer c

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.32/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Sampled last night on 2/2/15. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a snifter glass.

Pours a pitch black in color with a thinner beige foamy cap. A little sediment was seen in the bottem of the bottle after the pour.. Some spotty lacing is seen when sipped. The aroma is of dark roasted malts and black espresso for the most part. More going on with the taste with the black coffee right up front followed by the roasted malts that leave a bitter dry finish with a good amount of smoke. Didn't last too long but it was there and a bit much for me. Really didn't taste the alcohol but you could tell it was in there. A heavy-bodied brew with perfect carbonation. It came out of the beer cooler at 36 degrees and on the side of the label it says: "Enjoy at 50-55 degrees F". I will say that it did taste better when it warmed up some.

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Photo of melpacino
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Been looking for the perfect smoked beer since I went to a beer festival and had one which I could never find in the beer stores. THIS one is the ultimate!

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

A - Pours black with a two-finger foamy tan head. The head leaves a nice sticky lacing.

S - Aroma of dark chocolate and roasted malts.

T - Taste is a mix of sweet dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. There is a heavy coffee and smokey finish that leaves a lingering bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel that is a little thin. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

O - A nice stout. Lots of strong roasted flavors. Definetly worth checking out.

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Photo of maedhros09
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Deep brown, nearly black, underdeveloped head upon pouring. Smell: Strong aromas accompany this one, roastiness and booziness among them. Taste: Generally roasty and sweet malty quality up front with alchohol towards the otherwise mellow finish. mild hops profile. Flavors blend nicely.

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Photo of VTR
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into the Left Hand Stout Glass.

I was anticipating a lot from this stout. S/some roasted malts with some coffee notes very average. T/started off with roasted charred malts followed by coffee and a huge bitterness that just lingered. O/I was expecting a lot more from this stout. The coffee is nice and mild which is a welcome difference for me. It starts off great and just abruptly ends. It builds up without an exciting finish. The stout was kinda watery and thin feeling. The bitterness did subside as the stout warmed. Overall it was enjoyable but not memorable and I would not seek this out again.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black and sheeting on the pour. Garnet hues at the perimeters of the glass. Fluffy light brown head retains well. Bubbly patches of lacing.

S: freshly roasted coffee beans, mocha, malted milk balls, chocolate sauc. Light whiff of plum.

T: Deep woody roast and char. Mild black coffee type of acidity. Plum and black currant fruitiness is buried tightly. Subtle hints of dried herbs and earthy tones from the hops. Mocha. More Woody char and roast on the finish.

M: Medium bodied. Full, creamy, and silky feel. Airy texture. Some sharp carbonation.

O: A solid stout overall. Big roasty/charred flavors. Not as rummy-sweet as I tend to expect from the style, but that's fine. An enjoyable drink all around. drinks far too easily for its size.

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Photo of TheDoctor
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving: Bottle

Pours a thick black with 3+ fingers of brown fluff that eventually all but disappears. Nutty and sweet with lots of nuts and dryly toasty malt flavors. Thick with a medium body and a creamy, slick feel. Pretty drinkable. Neither the best nor the worst. Reminds me a lot of their milk stout (mainly the underlying clean sweetness of it). Might have again. Worth a shot.

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Photo of Ramiro235
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Black coffee color with a light laced nutty brown head on pour. Smells of roasted coffee. Tastes roasted with hints of chocolate with the taste going seamlessly from sweet to bitter in a single gulp. Light and refreshing feel in mouth. Overall a very nice stout, particularly for anyone who likes their coffee black as it has strong taste and aroma notes of black coffee. The feel is different than expected from a stout, but not in a way that detracts much, rather it's just something special to remember as the light stout.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.64/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12/22...pick a six pickup. Pours black, brown edges, low foam. Milky, creamy milk chocolate nose. Light sweet blend of coffee roasted with a quick dry finish. After bitter. Sweet open hard bitter close, no middle.

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Photo of Mikus
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Midnight black with a hint of tan head (light lacing). Interesting notes on the nose... bit of rye, some chocolate, dark malts, some roastiness too. Tasting lots of rye, and balanced bitterness. Rather light flavor-wise, but refreshing for a stout. Could go for this in the warmer months... light to medium mouthfeel. Tasty, good, but not something I would chase down. Worth a go if you like stouts.

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Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pure malt. Jet black brew with near-white head that laces well. Nothing but roasted malt, espresso and maybe a little baker's chocolate on the nose. Taste follows, with wave after wave of roasted grain and dark coffee, and notes of bitter chocolate and charred wood around the edges. There's also a slight sting on the tongue, so there are sharp hops in there, they're just overwhelmed by the malt. Feel is medium-dense, very smooth and rich, and I don't pick up much in the way of alcohol. Can't think of too many beers better for sitting around a campfire on a cool night.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%

Came across as a mix between listed style and a cream stout. Very black and nice dark head. Body was creamy and soft with a little grit but also fairly big and full. Had some sweetness and left the impression of vanilla, but maybe it was more of a sweetness. Definitely roast, but not real bitterness noted.
An enjoyable beer but seemed more of a hybrid.

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

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 10/9/2014. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, light pine, and herbal/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, light pine, and herbal/roasted earthiness. Good amount of herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, light smoke/char, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, balance, and robustness of dark/roasted malt and earthy hop flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Foreign stout style. All around great balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of ELS
4/5  rDev -2%

Had this one on tap at the Yard House. Heard that Left Hand had some other good offerings besides their popular Milk stout so I thought I would give it a try.

Right from the start I was impressed. Good black color with the thin one finger tan head. Nice smokey smell of coffee and chocolate. Taste was everything you could ask for a non-barreled stout. Rich coffee and dark bitter chocolate flavor with just enough sweetness to balance it out. My one problem with their Milk Stout is that it's a bit too sweet/cloying (I know, it's a milk stout) but I was impressed that this brewery could make a dry stout this good.

It's not a stout I would drink all the time. After the one, I wouldn't want a second even though the first one was very good. I think it's the finish. At the end of each swallow you don't get that satisfying, lingering good taste in your mouth. If I saw this beer in the store I would pick up a bottle or two to drink occasionally. It's an excellent stout, just not a "go to" stout.

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Photo of Bone53
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%

Appearance (4.25): Black with a slight mahogany tent around the edges with a brown one finger head

Smell (4.25): Dark chocolate, coffee, smoky; Very roasty and stout indeed.. I like.

Taste (4): Liquid chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, smoke, slight molasses. Its not quite robust enough in flavor for me like the smell was. I feel the finish was lacking

Mouthfeel (4.25): Medium body with a silky smooth feel and moderate bitterness

Overall (4.15): This is a fine textbook stout. It has a good chocolate and roasty base with a nice smoky undertone. Something in the finish is lacking for me, perhaps not enough lingering, robust aftertaste that i prefer. This does improve as it warms however. The nose drew me in though. If you see this on the shelf its worth a shot.

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Photo of mbatley
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Whoa, way better than I expected.

Poured a deep blackness with no head.

Nose: Coffee, Dark 80% Chocolate, and charcoal

Taste: let this one warm a bit in a large bowl glass... got better as it warmed up a bit. Very dry and bit hoppy finish but a nice lingering finish. Again, dark, dark chocolate, coffee and a bit of dark maple sweetness. Gets better as you drink.

Bought as a single. Would easily buy a 6 or two and save to cold dead of winter to have in front of fire. Great stout.

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Fade To Black (Volume 1 - Foreign Export Stout) from Left Hand Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 340 ratings.
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