Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) | Left Hand Brewing Company

Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter)Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter)
Liked This Beer
4.03 w/ 359 Ratings
Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter)Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter)

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Rayek on 11-15-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 359 |  Reviews: 242
Photo of PurpleCloud
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, thick, opaque black. I don't think beer can get much darker than this.

S: Heavy chocolate nose with a faint but noticeable coffee scent. Extremely pleasant!

T: Great smoky taste with a fantastic hoppy aftertaste. The chocolate nose does not translate over to the taste as much as I thought it would. Thick and full bodied. Absolutely fantastic!

M: Smooth and pleasant.

D: Goes down smooth and easy, but it is thick and filling.

Overall: WOW! What a fantastic beer! The scent is unbelievably alluring with strong cocoa scents and the taste is absolutely phenomenal. The perfect amount of smokiness and hops with subtle but noticeable barley flavor. This is a MUST have beer!

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I dig their description of this beer on the website (http://www.lefthandbrewing.com/beers/fade-to-black-vol-2). I often visualize what I am tasting. Had I known what they had in mind...

Black as night and looking poisonous in the micro-chalice it was served in. Foam eschewed on this pour, sadly. Slightly visually viscous. Boiled and pureed dark (drupe) fruit, singed grain, and oily chalk liqueur in the nose - booze weighed down but poking through. Complex, appropriate scent. Greeting: Medium-smooth, silty, toasty-smoky, subtly bitter-roasted malt. Excellent balance of flavor, restraint of smoked character. Tastes like a fine blend of English porter, dunkel-rauch, faint tiny bitter-berry fruity, with a clean lager feel all at the same time. The texture is appropriate, though I was left desiring a marginal degree more malt body...

Goddamn well done, all the same. I'll be hunting this down. Thanks Dan!

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pitch black and lacking in head retention, but some decent sticky lacing

smell: smoke and burnt coffee aromas

taste: deep smoke flavor. you have to like smoked beers to liek this no doubt. To me it's balanced with all the deep dark coffee dominated flavored malts. love the burnt coffee flavor, gets more pungent as it warms.

mouthfeel: medium bodied to full bodied

drinkability: well I think LH does stouts/dark beers as their best. vol 1 was fantastic and this was better. Probably one of the best Ive had from them

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Damn near black with a fingers worth of mocha colored head. Nice sticky lacing.

S- A good bold smokiness is immediately picked up but it sure isn't overwhelming. Roast roast roast. A bit of booziness is detected

T- Mesquite smokiness up front. The smoke taste in this porter outweighs the smokey scent After that I taste a lot of rich roasted coffee. A very roasty brew

M- Covers the palate pretty well. Its a a bit thin of a feel but still left me at a lose for words at first. Damn smooth for such a brew.

D- Because this brew tastes so rich and complex it might be hard to kill a whole six pack but I could drink it until my belly is full that's for sure

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Photo of jera1350
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pure black with a thin, yet creamy brown head that leaves some nice lacing.

Deeply roasted malt with a dry charcoal smell. Little to no sweetness present with plenty of smoking wood as well. Can't wait to dig in!

Wow, is this spot on for a smoked beer. Plenty of roasty malts abound, but the smoked malt is the highlight. Big smokey campfire taste that lingers well into the finish. Hints of bacon, espresso bean and caramelized sugar are also present. An early Christmas gift for the palate!

Big, creamy and oily smooth. This feels how a good imperial stout should.

Absolutely loving every bit of this. This beer is a homerun especially in the flavor department. Quite possibly the best baltic/smoked porter I have ever had. I could easily enjoy a couple of these and look forward to the next one already. Go out and get this one!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark pitch black hue with a full tan head forming thick with fine even lacing between sips. Aroma has a back end of smoked malts with a creamy dark chocolate/mild coffee dark roasted malt layer. Flavor is full of smoke/dark fruit/dark chocolate creamy roasts with hints of vanilla in the finish. Very bitter smoked malt finish actually works within this complex awesome one off seasonal series. Dark chocolate bitterness smoked malt brightens my day, yet the beer is called Fade to Black...isn't life ironic? All fucked up comments aside, I'm enjoying the dark roasts I bought a whole six without hesitation at 9.99, because last years volume one export stout was just as heavenly. I'm glad their keeping the dark/black/stout/porter theme alive, and there's definitely more to life than just milk stout. Mouthfeel is creamy, carbonation is mellow, body if full this, my friends this is a baltic porter lover's cream pie. Drinkability overall is wonderful, not as heavenly as some formerly brewed baltic porters but amongst the best of the current widely available versions out there.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of Axic10
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a thick black with about two fingers of light mocha head that settles to a thin layer.

Smell: Smokey, burnt malt, coffee and chocolate as well.

Taste: Smoked malt, deep dark chocolate, roasted coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very smooth.

Drinkability: I was very shocked by how tasty this beer really is. Good job Left Hand, thankful I have the rest of the six pack to enjoy!

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Photo of Fenris244
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a tan head, poor retention, looks like pretty low carbonation overall, thin bubbles keep rising to the surface though

Coffee and smokey aromas as well as some caramel sweetness, bitter notes as well as a licorice aroma

Taste is chocolatey smokey and has alot of the coffee flavor, smoked flavor is a pleasant compliment to the coffee. Finish lingers a little long

Smooth beer, medium in body, lighter than a sipping beer though.

Quite drinkable and I must say a good super bowl beer.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark black color with some hints of brown around the edges and a finger of brown-tanish head. The head fades down to a ring around the glass leaving behind some nice lace spots.

S - Aroma is a mix of deep roasted caramel malts and some oak and smoke. There is a bit of vanilla and chocolate. Also a touch of milk sweetness.

T - Starts off with nice roasted caramel malts and some smoke/oak. There is just a touch of coffee in the background. Through the middle, some chocolate flavors and a bit of vanilla and milk sweetness come through. The finish is a mix of deep roasted caramel and chocolate malts, some oak and vanilla, and some smoke that lingers nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A touch creamy and the smoke flavor really coats the mouth nicely. The finish leaves a slight dryness that mixes nicely with the smoke.

D - Very drinkable. Nice mix of flavors in a smoked porter here. The smoke flavor is at a nice level compared to the other flavors. Not weak enough to get over-powered, however, it also allows the other flavors to be known.

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Photo of bfflo
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a mild but dense nut-brown head, which leaves a sticky if uneven sheet of lacing. Smell is smoke and jerky, all the way; a very unusual but not unpleasant bouquet. Makes me wish I had some meat to go with this. Taste, wow. This is definitely one of the most "smoked" tasting beers I've tried; upfront chocolate malt notes are overtaken by a spicy hickory smoked middle with darker, more bitter chocolate notes, then a zingy, carbonated finish boasting just a pinch of hop bite. Less alcohol heat than the 6.5% Founders Porter I had earlier. Mouthfeel is sort of chewy, body is full. I must say that if you like the "smoked" style, this could be a primary go-to for you. Rich, robust, and tasty; probably great with a steak or some actual jerky. Very nice effort from Left Hand. Beautiful bottle label art, too. A-.

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Photo of Bung
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Fairly black pour with just some brown around the edges. Thin layer of light tan on top.

Aroma, a good dose of roastiness. Smoked peak, malt, coffee. Dark chocolate.

Not getting the overwhelming smoke others get. Just a nice accent on the roast giving this more coffee than peat, earth and chocolate. A less sweet, more roasty baltic. There is some dark chocolate and cocoa that comes with the roast and smoke in the finish.

Medium bodied, and coating. Carbonation is all right, could be a little less to make it more creamy and less harsh.

No complaints with this for me, especially for 9.99 a sixer. This style has definetely creeped into 2nd on my favorites list.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on date on Jan 2011 lasered on neck. It was near black in color with lots of carb streams breaking the surface. It has an average sized mocha head that slowly settled into a good collar and partial film. Good quick sliding sheeting with a little sticking.

The aroma was good with roasted and chocolate malts along with some coffee, peat and smoke. Wish it had a little more smoke but still good. The taste was really good with the sweet chocolate malt and the bitter coffee blending for a good mix. A little bit of smoke flavor as well. Never been much of a baltic porter fan but this sure tastes good. But that may be because it's not right on style according to several reviews. Either way I do like it. Medium full mouthfeel with good carbonation. Has a really dry aftertaste.

Overall, an excellent baltic porter that I really enjoyed and another great offering from LHB. Highly recommend but hurry as it's a one-time seasonal. Avail here in TX. Rotation - bought a single since not a baltic fan but will pick up a six for sure now. Would get some every season if they kept it as seasonal. [O;Y]

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Photo of samie85
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a dark black with two and a half fingers of thick, mocha-colored head.

S-Smoked hickory and chocolate malt with a hint of roasted malt.

T-Rich roasted and chocolate malt with a subtle earthy hop and chocolaty finish.

M-Thick, luxurious, milkshake-like body with low carbonation, and a slick feel.

D-Really insanely drinkable. i was expecting one of the components of this beer to be really in your face but it's a very balanced and complex beer.

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Photo of ccrida
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Edit to the review below - the next day, I had another pint, after some IPAs, and it tasted quite a bit smokier, meatier. Good, just way a different. Confirmed to the be the same keg. Two different experiences really, both equally good. Smoke vs Malt.

On draught at the Collins Pub, Fade To Black v2 is black with a tan head that leaves scattered lace.

Smell is coffee like, some coco powder as well. As it warmed, the smoke finally peeked though.

Taste is pretty good, a robust dark malts but balanced and not overly sweet. Not getting much smoke, even after it bloomed on the nose, just a whisper, which suits me fine.

Mouthfeel was smooth, medium heavy bodied.

Drinkability was pretty good. I haven't had any of there beers since a CO visit at years ago, at which time I was unimpressed and thought they were unbalanced and generally hot. This beer was none of those thing, and was a really balanced, restrained example of the style.

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Photo of zander4dawin
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy Smokes (no pun) this bottle was purchased at Binny's in Chicago today and was bottled on 29 Nov 10! That's fresh and a fast distribution network.

Cost: $10.49 for a six pack.

A: near opaque, deep, deep black-copper color, nice tan head dissipated to just clinging on the side of glass
S: very nice, deep roast grains with plum character, smokiness is evident but not overpowering, well done
T: very, very good - deep roasted malt, great smokiness, well balanced, earthy
M: great mouthfeel, velvety quality going down, nice balance and smoke is strong enough to give it justice
D: very for a fine winter day (like today) in Wisconsin where the temp is currently 7 degrees in my backyard

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into The Bruery tulip. Drank at cellar temps.

Pours true black, with a thin brown head on top that fades quickly. Not much retention, but nice lacing from the ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

Nose is very forward - smoke hits first, mingling with a dark caramel sweetness to bring forth notes of maple-glazed applewood-smoked bacon. A bit of orange zest comes out as well from the hops, as light alcohol and underlying chocolate.

Taste is quite good as well - campfire smoke pairs up with dark, slightly burnt caramel sweetness and orangey citrus coming through from the underlying hops. Finish comes through with a moderate hoppy bite and a lingering dryness, lightly bitter, with more smokey orange.

Mouthfeel is quite good as well, pairing up a moderately full body with a nice, soft carbonation that still has just enough sharp bite to get noticed.

Drinkability is good as well - the light hop bitterness could be toned just a bit given the smoke, but honestly, that's personal taste more than anything. Quality beer.

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Photo of Bsdch
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of TomFowle
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of KarlHungus
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an opaque black color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes rather quickly into a thin cap of lacing. The aroma is camp fire smoke, roasted malt, and a hint of bacon. The taste is of bacon, chocolate, and smoke. I'm really digging the taste of this beer. The aftertaste lingers beautifully, and screams drink more of me. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a really good beer that I will drink a bunch of until it is gone. Kudos to Left Hand for hitting another one out of the park with their Fade to Black series.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice smoked porter, subtle but with a nice long range.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Black and white label with an elaborate line illustration, almost a pattern-like range akin to some tattoo styles. Neck label notes style alongside brewery branding . Side narrative explains the charity memorial effort celebrated by the brew, and offers a brief description. Notes generic list of ingredients, and an empty bottled date section. Served in a snifter.

A - Black pour with deep brown edges, short frothy head with small retention, faint surface memory save a thin surface ring and some splashes of lacing.

S - Sweet nose with a smoked hint. Malty, lactose dash, sweet malt... Smoked note... Subtle but nice.

T - Taste is longer and shows off its range with dexterity. Long roasted notes, sweet malt with a milky hint, coffee and chocolate rather gently with a nice soft smoked layer covering it all with a bitter insinuation.

M - Medium/full body with a creamy sense, feeling more full in the finish.

O - All flows rather beautifully together. Subtle but quite a nicely woven smoked porter.

Notes: Among the best, if not the best, offerings I've been lucky to try from Left Hand. Thanks Alberto for the treat!

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Photo of tchenery
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No head. Other than that it looks great. Color is black chocolate dark and is very opaque.

The aroma is on par. You can definitely pick up the smoke scent as well as the malts and a bit of dark fruit. It almost smells like a fireplace.

Taste is huge, literally. It's a very chewy beer and the 'smoke' flavor comes through big time. You go straight into the smokiness of this one and then into some bitter chocolate and a sweet, yet dry finish. Pretty tasty.

Great mouthfeel. It's not too weighty.

Drinkability is great. I would love to (and probably will) try this with some straight dry rub BBQ.

 602 characters

Photo of schoon
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85% out of 100 with 359 ratings
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