Fade To Black - Volume 2
Left Hand Brewing Company

Fade To Black - Volume 2Fade To Black - Volume 2
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Porter - Baltic
4.05 | pDev: 9.38%
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Fade To Black - Volume 2Fade To Black - Volume 2
Notes: Smoked Baltic Porter
Reviews: 242 | Ratings: 359 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Another entry from the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody! There are just so many bottles, but the end is growing nearer.

From the bottle: "Ingredients: Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, malted wheat, hops and yeast."; "Please keep refrigerated[,] please recycle this bottle"; "Design By Moxie Soto Artist: Nate Dyer".

Mine was an aged bottle, so a Pop! of the cap followed by a slow, gentle pour was as much as I dared. Once sufficiently decanted, I conducted an in-glass swirl which raised over two fingers of foamy, rocky, deep-tan/light-brown head with decent retention, leaving modest lacing in its wake. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose had a smoky, charcoal quality like the aftermath of a house fire, along with a dark chocolatiness that signaled a good time ahead. Mouthfeel was thick & full, very condensed. The taste was not as smoky as on the nose, but it still had a meaty, Lebanon bologna-like flavor to accompany a chocolate & anise bitterness. Mmm. I really like the way that the flavors had kind of melded over time since I had one of these fresh and it was over-the-top smoky. Finish was dry, but more towards bitter than sweet. The anise/bittersweet chocolate taste was what lingered followed by a smoky aftertaste. I CAN only hope that they also bring this one back.

Apr 26, 2017
Photo of barczar
barczar from Kentucky

4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque deep brown with a frothy mocha head that lingers.

Aroma is slightly smoky, with deep notes of cocoa dominating. There's a hint of dark fruit and soy.

Flavor follows suit, with dark chocolate malt forming the backbone of the profile, finishing roasty with a hint of coffee. Cocoa is rich. There's a touch of dark cherry tang. Smoke is subtle and adds nice complexity, reminiscent of peat in a scotch ale.

Body is fairly full and smooth, with minimal carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Didn't get to try this one fresh, but it's holding up amazingly well. Might be the perfect time to drink it, as the smoke is subdued.

Jul 18, 2014
Photo of Brianofthemarsh
Brianofthemarsh from Oklahoma

3.24/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

a-Dark brown/black
s- don’t remember…but nothing remarkable
t- roastiness followed by a light smokiness. Earthy hops. I think I had this brew a couple of years back and remember it to be just a bit more smoky (to my liking) than this.
m- medium
o – eh, not bad, but nothing remarkable.

Dec 09, 2013
Photo of chugalug06
chugalug06 from Colorado

4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very slow to rise two finger head, but what does rise, has great staying power. Brew is thick and rich black. Moderate lacing too.

Deep smokey bacon aroma. Salty. I am not a fan of smokey brews, but the aroma on this one is killer. Chocolate, meaty, bready.

A very unique and different brew for being a heavily smoked brew. I'm typically not a fan of smokey beers, but this one is very different. It's well-blended, hearty, roasty, well (lightly) smoked, salty, airy, earthy, lots of crystal and caramel. Heavy amount of milk chocolate. Dry well placed smoke. Carbonation is thin, prickly, and pillowey. Sweetness is tamed and smoothed into great dry bitterness without being over done.

It's a medium smoked beer, but drinks with the best of them, plus the smoke doesn't dmoinate, at all. One of the best brews I've ever had from Lefthand. Dare I say highly recommended? $2/12oz... I may be back for more.

Nov 12, 2013
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GPHarris from Alabama

3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a - poured a 1/2 finger thick tan head into a nonic that settled into a thin ring. the body was black with some brownish tints around the edges. i would have liked the head to stick around a little longer.
s - smokey with some chocolate malts underneath.
t - lighter smoke flavor with a nice malt balance with some coffee flavors.
m - medium.
o - very solid smoked beer.

Jan 14, 2013
Photo of Sammy
Sammy from Canada (ON)

4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Steve in Warren. Smoked baltic porter nails it. Starts with licorice. Thick black pour. Smoke and roast aroma. Roast to near burnt. Big big mouthfeel. Some ice cream. Chocolate and coffee. Very tasty and lovely drinkability. Something special.

Dec 13, 2012
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with creamy and sweet flavors of coffee and chocolate. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. There is some flavor of dark fruit in the background as well. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid porter to drink for a while.

Nov 11, 2012
Photo of Kendo
Kendo from New York

3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Body is noticeably carbonation-free; appears oily and slick. Body is black and a smidgeon of brown head appears when I get aggressive with the pour.

S: Charcoal, some smokiness and roasted barley malt.

T: Charcoal and smoke is there in the flavor too. Also some dried fruits. Finishes with smoke, char and an earthy hoppiness.

M: Medium-to-full in heft, carbonation is modest.

O: OK. I have a feeling this was past its prime; the "born on date" portion of the label either was blank to begin with or it got rubbed off or lost while in a wet cooler at DelFest. Would've liked to have had this fresh.

Jun 08, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber from Washington

3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark read amber appearing black in the glass. Minimal head and virtually no lacing. Smoky malt and dark fruit aroma. Rich smoked and dark malt flavor. An odd artificial smoke flavor in the middle and finish, but overall pleasant. Not as assertive smoke as a rauchbier or Smoke Jumper, but pleasant. A nice smoky porter. Better balanced than the first iteration.

Apr 12, 2012
Photo of zander4dawin
zander4dawin from Texas

4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A fabulous smoked beer. Jet black with a thin head. The smell is rich with almost a fresh leather scent. The taste is a smokey rich with chocolate finish that lingers. Mother feel is classic porter. Overall fade to black volume 2 is an awesome smoked beer worthy of a taste.

Apr 08, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As might be expected, Left Hand's "Fade To Black Smoked Baltic Porter" lives up to it's name.

It's a bit dark for the style, appearing closer to 'black' rather than a very dark "almost black" brown, but the fluffy head of tan holds nicely. Unfortunately, I think the lacing could be a bit better.

In the nose the rich maltiness appears with just enough smoke to make itself known and add another note to an already complex mix that includes toasty grain, caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, raisin and prune.

The flavor is fuller, tossing in a bit more chocolate, more nuttiness, brown sugar, and molasses. The fruitiness also comes through fuller with more plum than prune, and a bit of red berry and currant as well. It hints at the roastiness of coffee in finish, but it's nicely restrained. Some underlying hops follow that, along with a bit of dull bitterness (probably around 37 IBU's), and there's a subtle spritz of 'refreshing' alcohol that helps prep the palate for the next sip.

In the mouth it's full bodied with a distinct dextrinous edge, but balanced by a gently bristling carbonation. Some alcohol is most likely lending a bit of snap to it as well.

Overall it's fairly impressive that they've kept it so nicely reigned in, balanced, and finely polished. The hops are kept in check, the bitterness is perfect, the roastiness is held back, and the smokiness is just enough that it's noticeable without standing out. Really nicely done! Quite drinkable as well.

Mar 07, 2012
Photo of beergod1
beergod1 from Ohio

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with thick tan head. Aroma of smoke, dark roasted malt, and a touch of chocolate. Flavor is very smokey with rich dark roasted malt and some chocolate notes, a little sweetness comes through the smoke. Mouth feel is medium-heavy body with medium carbonation. Overall, solid brew!

Mar 07, 2012
Photo of Merkur
Merkur from Tennessee

4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Flying Saucer who aged this one year. Poured into a pint glass.

Beer pours a nice dark black color with very little head. Just a slight line of brown oily head.

The beer smells of roasted coffee and smokey.

Beer tastes of sweet chocolate on the front side, before moving to a strong, but pleasant smoke flavor. Very nice bitter coffee taste on the back end. Much better on tap than any bottles I had of this last year.

Mouthfeel was a bit dissapointing and a tad thin.

Overall a very nice smoked porter.

Mar 01, 2012
Photo of hopfacebrew
hopfacebrew from Colorado

4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

A - Pitch black with a 1 finger dark tan/brown head and noticeable laing.

S - Noticeable coffee, roasted and smoked barley aromas.

T - Strong raosted malt character up front. The flavor transitions into a mild smoky coffee flavors. Mildy bitter and finishes smooth.

M - Medium to heavy body with lighter carbination.

D - Very drinkable for such a roasted/smoky flavor.

Overall, I would agree this beer is a well balanced brew. I do enjoy it, one of the better offerings from Left Hand.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 01-15-2011 22:17:27

Jan 27, 2012
Photo of nickfl
nickfl from Florida

4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured with two fingers of off-white foam on an opaque, dark brown body. The head fades slowly and leaves nice lace.

S - Dark bread, molasses, and smoky caramel.

T - Dark caramel and sweet malt up front. Smoky chocolate comes out in the finish with more caramel, brown malt, and a lingering hint of chocolate.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish

D - Very well balanced and drinkable. The smoke is light but noticeable and adds nicely to the complexity of the beer.

Jan 25, 2012
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004 from Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single finger tan head on a jet lack background with no light getting through. Sweet chocolate and roasted malt, more like a stout, with coffee notes. Sharp coffee and roast up front which transitins to a sweet chocolate and vanilla finish. Intermixed bitter nd musty hips. Moderate carbonation and full bodied. Very smooth and surpisingly drinkable. More stout like than a porter though.

Jan 25, 2012
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81 from North Carolina

3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Glad to see a bottle of this still on the shelf at my local haunt, as I missed it when it first came out. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark black with absolutely no head at all. Not even the slightest bit of lace on the edge. Suspicious. I've seen more foam on a Coke. Light smoky aromas in the nose, roasted meats, sweet malts. The body is a touch thin. I'd prefer a bit more heft. A nice smoky flavor wraps this beer up nicely. Faint chocolate in there, but the char and smoke qualities win out. Slightest sweet kiss on the finish. Not bad.

Dec 12, 2011
Photo of Whadawookie
Whadawookie from Nebraska

4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I left this bottle which is dated to 11/29/10 in my mom's fridge about a year ago. Today while watching her dog I have realized that this is left in here. I remembered not liking this beer much when I bought a six pack of it, but it either aged nicely or my tastes have changed to appreciate it better. Poured black with a decent tan head that dissapated pretty quickly in the small pint glass I'm using. The musty smell of smoke goes for a stroll around your glass and it's tasting mighty fine. Nice and bitter up front, then the roasted grains come through. It settles on the smoky, scotchy sort of flavor and leaves a creamy film on your tongue.

Pretty full bodied. This is my first experience drinking an "aged" beer, and it is pleasantly rewarding given that I wasn't initially drawn to this brew.

Nov 13, 2011
Photo of DIM
DIM from Pennsylvania

3.1/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a: This had a black body and it poured with a short lived light tan head.

s: Light smoke and some roasty porter twang.

m: Thin and kind of muddled overall. Vaguely smokey with hints of chocolate and sour coffee.

m: Lightly carbonated and a bit watery.

o: I loved volume 1 but I was let down by volume 2.

Oct 08, 2011
Photo of thain709
thain709 from Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours with a pitch black body and a thin, brown head...the head doesn't stick around for long and falls to a patch in the middle with a strong bead...some lacing clung around

S - There is a lot of roasted malt in the aroma as well as chocolate...I'm also picking up a sweetness from some vanilla...the thing I can detect the most is a strange lactic aroma

T - The sweetness actually comes out up front...that lactic flavor is there adding to the sweetness, but it's mostly vanilla doing its thing...the roastiness is throughout the entire beer...it coats your palate...some dark fruits are creeping in towards the back end just adding another dimension...the malts turn smoked in the finish

M - Medium bodied...comes up thin sometimes but is smooth...a combination of roasty and smokey

O - The whole lactic presence in the nose really through me off...I got past it in the body because it wasn't as prevalent...if it wasn't for that flavor I think this would have been a decent beer...Volume 1 is my favorite so far in the series

Sep 20, 2011
Photo of Demer
Demer from New Jersey

4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Thick black motor oil with a slight tannish head. Leaves behind some nice lacing.

S. Coffee and Chocolate with some burnt wood thrown in there also.

T. Coffee and Espresso with burnt wood and slight smoke. Like someone mentioned in another review its like "sitting around a campfire." Nice bitterness as well.

M. This is a medium bodied beer with low carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. Cant taste the alcohol at all in this one.

O. Overall this was enjoyable and im glad I got to try this one shot before its gone forever.

Sep 10, 2011
Photo of aasher
aasher from Indiana

3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle was given to me by Preismj in a recent that requires a couple boxes. Thanks Matt!

This one pours between light and medium in body, a very, very dark brown in color that eventually pooling to resemble Coke. The aromas consist of slight smoked bacon, sweet roasted malts, both slightly sweet and bitter chocolates. The smoke is pretty nice. It's enough to push it past smoked ham and into bacon territory. That's a must. It's moderately complex. It features a nice mix of smoked malt, chocolate, coffee, milk chocolate, with a slightly bitter finish. Solid flavor through and through. The mouthfeel is a little sticky for the style, since this one is on the sweeter side of Baltic Porters. Overall it's a solid beer. I'm glad this one was good since they're often very hit and miss with me.

Aug 28, 2011
Photo of Samp01
Samp01 from New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours black with a small brown head. Has a nice smoked dark malts tastes and aroma with some cacao, roasted espresso and some dark fruits. Palate is a nice full bodied and nicely carbonated and rich mouth feel. Finish is roasted dark malts some bitter cacao, roasted espresso and dark fruits. The flavors become more pronounced is it warms up. Overall a nice smoked porter

Aug 20, 2011
Photo of QuadLover
QuadLover from Pennsylvania

4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh pour from a 750 ml bottle

A - dark, black brown with a light Lacey brownish head.

M - medium body. Expected a bit thicker mouth feel. A slight bit on the upper side of carbonation.

S - roasted, nutty, carmel with slight smokiness.

T - in line with smell but a bit more smokiness. Medium to light body.

D- very drinkable. Just a bit over the medium carbonation. Love the overall smoothness withe the after taste.

Aug 19, 2011
Photo of ooshrooms
ooshrooms from New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours black with a short tan head that leaves moderate lacing.

S - Sweet and dry roasted malts are balanced with just enough chocolate flavor and smoke. It makes me more hungry than thirsty. I can't honestly say I smell coffee, but that usually gives me the hunger.

T - The first thing I notice is the underwhelming smoke flavor. I always fear smoked porters will be like rauchebiers (not a fan). Roasted malts are upfront with chocolate, coffee, and the smoke following in that order.

M - Silky smooth. It coats the mouth nicely letting the flavors linger. Medium carbonation.

O - I think this has a great balance between flavor/complexity and drinkability. I really enjoyed having one, but I would gladly drink them all night. You can find many more flavorful porters and stouts, but to me, that doesn't necessarily make them better beers.

Aug 13, 2011
Fade To Black - Volume 2 from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 359 ratings