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

very good
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.

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Reviews: 242 | Ratings: 359
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 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.

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Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Pours very dark brown color with a dense 2 finger dark tan head with very good retention that reduces to a lacing cap that leaves some nice lacing. Aromas of roasted malts, chocolate, burnt wood, and cedar. Taste of chocolate, roasted malts, smoke, and cedar. Some very slight bitterness, but not very much on the finish. Insanely creamy and smooth body, with some smokiness and roasted flavors lingering after the finish. Medium body and carbonation. Overall it is a great beer, and one of the few smoked porters I have had, and maybe the best one as well. I would love to have more of this, it has an great balance of flavors, and one of the best mouthfeels I have had. Excellent.

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Photo of meatyard
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost opaque, dark brown with a 3-finger, light brown head that falls to a cover while leaving some decent lace.

The smell is rich, roasted malt, light alcohol and some smoked malt plus a little licorice as it warmed.

The taste is a very pleasant roasted, smoked malt that is not too light or over the top-just well-balanced smoke.

The mouthfeel is medium/thin with light carbonation.

Drinkability: This is nicely drinkable even at nearly 8% ABV. I like porters & I liked smoked beers. This one does both very well. I will buy more if I see it. This is pretty good as I also liked LH Smoke Jumper.

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Photo of NefariousR
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

A - Jet black with litte-to-no light shining through. Forms a one-finger creamy, tan head, sticking to the sides of the glass.

S - Roasted coffee, sweet malt, cocoa, and just a hint of smokiness. Some dark fruit in the peripherals -- fig, raisin.

T - Again, coffee and chocolate with a strong roast character. The smokiness is present but not particularly strong.

M - Thick and sticky. Not quite to "syrupy" levels of stickiness, but fairly close. Light on carbonation, the roasted, smoky flavors stick to the mouth.

D - Damn fine porter. I enjoyed this thoroughly, and not too heavy.

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Photo of rrski198
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: almost completely black with very little dark red hues around the bottom of the glass. Medium sized mocha to rust colored hear that disappeared quickly.

S: Smoked ham, burnt malt, toffee.

T: The smoked flavor (hickory) really takes center stage here. The flavor is excellent for the style, however, I would like to get a little more of the malt. Mild spicyness from the booze that lingers around nicely. The smoke really reminds me of smoked meats such as ribs or pork.

M: High carbonation and just the right mouth feel. Some porters leave me wanting something more in terms of body, however, this one is just right.

D: Overall for the style, this is a solid brew. Nicely balanced and a great body. I would purchase again.

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Photo of Merkur
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

I went to Half Acre seeking a trade and some Hugs, came away with both and a sixer o' this. Not a bad afternoon, really. It pours a nice obsidian topped by a finger of dark tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, light charcoal, molasses, dark chocolate, and a touch of dark cigar (you know the ones). The taste does not want to deviate much, save for an increase in the molasses and a shift from charcoal to peat. Me likey. The body is a strong medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a lovely little smoked Baltic, another win from the Fade to Black series!

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Photo of chicano4craft
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Great Divide Willi glass. Black with a fingers worth of tan head. Some ruby highlights when held to light. Pretty nice.

There is some smoke in the nose without taking over. There's also roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Very inviting.

Nice balance of flavors. Everything in the nose is delivered in the taste. Just enough smoke. Nice bitter dark chocolate. Touch of molasses. Reminds me of their Smoke Jumper.

Good mouthfeel. This one wraps around the tongue and leaves you wanting more. I don't know the abv, but I find it highly drinkable.

Volume 1 was great and I didn't think this could live up to it. Left Hand really came through. Can't wait to head up to the brewery and try it on tap.

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Photo of Brenden
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours in the glass creamy, thick and heavy. It's a deep brown that comes just short of black, and a small but thick brown head forms on top that soon fades to a thick foam and leaves some light to moderate lacing.
There's definitely something lactic in the aroma, giving a cream feel to it, underneath a bit of smoke and thick malts. This one's got lots of barley and charred woods to it.
Roasted barley malts are heaviest here, blending very nicely with a milk/cream flavor, smoke and a separate charred woods taste. There are some hops in here as well, adding a bit of balance. All throughout is a touch of the acidity I've come to realize is natural of Baltics. There's a nice mix of bitter, creamy, lightly sweet, smoky, and tart in the flavor.
This is one rich, thick beer with lots of smoothness to it. The mouthfeel is excellent, and this beer just flows nicely. There's little carbonation, but enough to give it life and allow focus to go to the thick smoothness of it.
This is a great one and certainly one to have again.

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Photo of JDew
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a snifter

A - Deep and thick, not much light makes it through. Milk chocolate colored head about half finger, leaves a thin trace behind

S - Smokey and woodsy, some sweet nodes come through but the finish of the smell is all charred wood... mmm

T - The smell didn't lie. Chalky charred taste with smooth malts and a little bit of sweet caramel taste. Full and long aftertaste like smoke

M/D - Medium to heavy body, smooth and easy to drink, wet aftertaste that stays in the nose. I could get caught up in a six pack of these, the homey feel this one gives me is worth every penny

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Photo of drpimento
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Excellent beer! Served with a thick, creamy, fine, light tan head and good lacing. Color is an opaque brown black. Aroma is malt, toffee, roasty, toasty, fire pit. Flavor is a sweet porter with excellent smoke balance. Body is good and carbonation is just a tad light. Finish is like flavor and has good length and balance throuhout. Session beer.

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Photo of rawfish
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours black like coffee with a thin head of mocha that leaves a spotty lacing down the glass. The little foam on the top behaves like thick cream and lasts the whole glass.

S: Definitely smoked wood chips and roasted coffee from the malts. Some nuttiness and unsweetened chocolate is there too.

T: Lots of smokey flavors both woody and meaty, coffee and unsweetened chocolate, just like the smell. There is some sweetness on the finish from the malts and the hoppy bitterness is there but it has more of a coffee feel to it. The flavor lingers for quite a long time but it is pleasant with this beer.

M: Rather chewy but not syrup heavy. Medium to full bodied with some mouth coating and low to medium carbonation.

D: The taste is rather addicting but this one's got some serious body even for a porter. The alcohol is detectable in the warming feel after but not in the taste at all. A great offering from Left Hand, I'll buy it again but I need another session to polish off these bottles.

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Photo of Rayek
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Tulip. My bottle has a bottling date of 11/10/10, which makes this one a whopping four days old.

A: Deep garnet, almost black as my light has trouble penetrating the brew. A huge tan cap slowly falls to a patchwork blanket. Leaves a good amount of lace.

S: Obviously smoked, but not crazily so. The smoked malt mingles nicely with vinous black grape, cherry and currant aromas. A bit of molasses is at work too. There's an ever so slight alcohol tingle that rounds things out.

T: The nose falls seamlessly into the flavor. Again, the smoke is there but not too much so. Still, it exerts its presence more here than in the aroma with an almost mesquite bite. The molasses and dark fruits keep things interesting. Bitterness is low and slightly burnt. The beer gets a touch acidic in the finish. The smoke and molasses flavors linger on the palate. Alcohol adds just a bit of warmth going down, but is otherwise masked. Letting the beer warm a bit only aids the experience.

M: The syrupy body is very dense and thick. The carbonation feels right on.

D: Very, very nice. It was a cold night and this beer's warmth and heft made me a happy camper. I'm really glad I picked this one up.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A-Deep brown pour with a nice tan head that laces well.

S-Roasted coffee and cream, with a hint of smoke, but not overpowering. Rich malts are present.

T-Smooth rich, creamy smoked slighly sweet malts feature caramel and coffee. Not the worlds most complex beer, but damn it is pretty tasty.

M-Creamy and well balanced.

D-I could drink this one all night. A great addition in the new series, possibly better than last years, and almost makes me forgive these guys for killing Snowbound.

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

Pours as dark as the Baltic Sea at night with mocha colored foamy waves crashing against the side of the tulip.

Wow, starts on the nose like your sitting around a campfire but then quickly turns into the smell of salt cured ham. Also notes of dark chocolate, and dark malts.

Just as unique in flavor as the smells. Smoke & salty bacon. Under the thick malts are some pretty bitter hops. Actually feel the lingering effect on my taste buds. As it warms, the nice alcohol flavor begins to shine through.

Medium to full body with just the right amount of carbonation.

One of the most unique smoked porters I've tasted but it works. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of biggred1
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ebony with dark red highlights when backlit and a thick chocolate milkshake head with a few different sized bubbles lazily popping on the surface. The aroma is roasted, charred malty goodness at it's best, dark chocolate, coffee and anise all come to mind. Heavy-duty smokiness with some band-aid and cocoa flavors, the smokiness is borderline Rauchbier intensity. Velvety smooth and full bodied for the style. I really like this beer but it is assertive for sure.

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

A darker 1 finger fluffy head rises and fades semi slowly, light lacing, over pitch black color.

Nose is loaded with roasted barley, black patent malt, dark crystal, and more dark malts, a light bitterness coming from the scorched malts, some smoke aroma and a bit of smoked cured meat, a light fluffy nougat and chocolate, very light earthy hops.

Taste is similar, but the smoke comes out even more. A nice smoked malt flavor, some light smoked cured meat, a slight salty flavor, plenty of roasted malts again, a bit of coffee, light black patent, a bit of crystal, hints of fluffy nougat and chocolate, a little bit of a warming booze taste, fairly rich and a little creamy, light cocoa powder, a bit on the sweet side, and fairly bitter. The bitterness mostly comes from scorched malts, but a slight bit from earthy hops. It has a definite baltic porter like flavor. The finish is fairly bitter still, dries a bit, with more lingering earthy scorched malt flavors, tannic, light coffee and molasses, bit of chocolate and roast. The second half of the sip, after the smoke fades a bit, reminds me somewhat of Duck Rabbit Baltic Porter, which is an awesome beer.

Mouth is heavier bodied, a little thick and chalky, with decent carbonation and hint of warming booze.

Drink is decent, a bit of warming booze but on par for 7.8%, fairly smooth, the burnt and roasted flavors are there but don't get heavy, overpowering, or even unpleasant, a good middle of winter beer.

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

Paid $1.99 at Total Wine for this 12 oz bottle.

It poured a near black with a 1/2 inch cap of medium brown foam which continued to produce lacing. I poured quickly into a pint glass.

The nose was of smoke, roast malts, and a hop undertone. A pleasant fragrance that was well balanced without any one scent dominating.

Flavors were a smoked chocolate with the roast malts and I thought I was catching some peppercorns and/or anise buried in there. This was reminiscent of a smoke stout as it was thick and full-bodied.

A very nice well-balanced brew. At 7.8%ABV it wasn't boozy or overpowering. Very nice mouthfeel overall. At a buck 99 a great value.

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

A: Pours very black with a generous tan colored head with thin lacing that dissipates shortly.

S: The smoke is subtle, not like a Rauchbier, it kinda melds nicely with the dark roasted nut like aroma, almost as though it has been just slightly over roasted.

T: It is a very well balanced beer with the sweet Baltic Porter flavor sitting on the tongue with its heavy chocolate and caramel like flavor. The smoke flavor was mild and in the background, just enough to let you know it was there., dry and somewhat meaty in taste.

M: Like most Baltic Porters it is not as heavy as it looks, as though the sweetens lightens it up a bit, but still heavy enough to thoroughly coat my mouth and linger with the smokiness.

D: Very drinkable beer, would recommend it to any one who likes darker likes a good sweet stout.

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Photo of Gushue3
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours black with nice medium head that stays a bit. Medium lacing. Looks pretty nice for a porter

S- smells smokey, wood notes, malty, smells somewhat sweet.

T- nice smokey and light bitterness up front. Bitterness lingers for a while. Roasty smokey and slightly hoppy. I like the combination. Interesting brew.

M- feels good. Medium feel on the tongue and small carbonation.

D- I really like this one. Not he king of porters but absolutely a great one. Id take this beer all night.

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

12oz bottle (2010 bottle) poured into a tulip glass

A: Straight down the middle pour results in less than an inch of head (mocha brown, very tight). Pours black with clear brown around the edges when held to the light.

S: Smoke (peat malt?), heavy roasted malts, bakers chocolate, espresso, slight dark fruits, some faint brunt wood. A rather complex and seemingly balanced nose.

T: Follows the nose, but with more sweetness. Heavy roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, molasses and espresso first hits the palate with the smoke and wood slowly coming into play from the middle to finish. There's a good bit of bitterness throughout (though peaks to start and fades through the finish) that seems to be mainly from the charred malts, but perhaps a bit from hops as well. The dark fruit quality on the nose barely presents itself, it's mainly a very slightly tart cherry wood flavor near the finish. There's a lot of dried wood and smoke on the finish that lingers. I can't really detect any alcohol.

M: Close to a full body, moderate carbonation (perhaps very slightly more than average for the style). Fairly creamy with bitterness kicking around. Dry finish with wood tannins and smoke.

O: I prefer smoked beers that are balanced and this is just that. A big robust porter with good depth, balanced sweetness, and the right amount of smoke. I feel that I really have to be in them mood for beers like this, with smoke and heavy wood/char character.

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

$1.99 for a 12 oz bottle. Inspired by collaboration with Norrebro brewing in Denmark. Brewed with 2-row, smoked Munich, malted rye, Cara aroma, chocolate malt, carafa, Special II and Carafa III. Hopped with Magnum and Northern Brewer. Fermented with a house lager yeast strain.
7.80% ABV. 35 IBU's. OG=18P.

Pours out to a very dark black, forming a tall very dark tan head which almost has purple accents. Leaves excellent lace with very good retention. Carbonation is mild and requires a hefty pour to achieve a head. The aroma is really nice...rich with black currant, smoked malt, licorice, and black walnut. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with a dense body. The taste is exceptional...a recap of the aroma...very well balanced with a nice roasted malt sweetness, sitting on top of the sharp burnt marshmallows, resinous hops and smooth bitterness. The smoke rings throughout and really adds a nice polish to it all.

A wonderful beer. I would buy this again for sure. Recommended.

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Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) from Left Hand Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 359 ratings.
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