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

242 Reviews
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 242 | Ratings: 359
Photo of chocosushi
2.83/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bought in haste at Freeman's
Assumed I was buying the F.E.S.
but I just didnt look at the bottle.
12 oz -> Leinenkugel pint

A ~ Molasses with a coffee like hue to it. Tan Head that fizzles down. Solid lacing.

S ~ Black coffee, brown sugar, leather, with a light hickory scent.

T ~ Burnt oak and Espresso on the forefront. Roasted malt slathered in Shoyu (soy sauce) follows. Bit of smokey dark chocolate on the end.

M ~ ABV on the back of the throat that doesn't quit which isn't that bad, but combined with that dang soy sauce flavor practically coats all ends of the mouth halfway through the brew.

D ~ you know, I think I just don't like baltic porters... This one didn't wow me either. Almost a drain pour. Not Left Hand's best. Need to get the F.E.S!!!

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Photo of crossovert
2.88/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, bottled about 2 weeks ago.

It pours a nice dark brownish black with a cascading burnt tan head. The head recedes quickly to globs of lacing.

The smell has root beer, dark fruits, sugar, buttery malts, metal, and some chocolate. No smoke what so ever, is it a joke?

The flavor is a bit more believable. It is fruity and roasty. Still not smokey at all but at least there is a roasted flavor. I think they made a bad decision when they used a Baltic porter rather than an English, or American porter.

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Photo of morenone
3.06/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not a big fan of porters and usually don't get them unless there aren't many other decent options, but this just caught my eye. I guess their marketing gurus said hey let's make a label that Shawn can't stop looking at. OK Left Hand, it worked, you got me. But not completely, I only bought one. I'm not used to drinking porters, so I really can't give a fair judgement. I think i need to drink more of them for a good reference. About all I can say is it was good and I drank it.

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Photo of DIM
3.1/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.13/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

01/27/11- Had this one on-tap at Dirty Franks in Columbus.
Honestly, I realized that this tasted different than last year... but not because it was an entirely different style. Good to know that I'm not crazy.
A: Black with yellow hues, sparse film and collar but good lacing.
S: Strong banana, caramel, roast that is almost bacon but more campfire, slightly earthy hops... almost like a smore.
T: Caramel, strong pork roast, bananas, slight rum, chocolate. Not very good.
M: Almost crisp frothy mouthfeel.
D: Good.

I'm not a big fan of smoked beers, but this one was tolerable.

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Photo of vapodge
3.16/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Poured into a pint glass nice and black with a pretty head and lacing.

S - Malty & smoky

T - Smoky, but not overwhelming - it's no rauchbier; slightly acidic aftertaste

M - Creamy, bubblier than other porters I've had

D - Not very boozy going down, but don't know if I'd go for more; maybe Baltics ain't my thang

Awesome label -- one of my favorites that I've seen out there.

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Photo of Brianofthemarsh
3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

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Photo of thain709
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
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

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Photo of matty
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is smoky malts.Taste is smoky malts and chocolate.The smokiness prevents this from being smooth in any way although the alcohol is well hidden.I would recommend to try this at least once and as for me even though it was decent one was enough.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.39/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into A & W pint glass (I know...) in high altitude Denver, CO in December 2010.

A: 2 finger, creamy head. Dark black colour.

Sm: Light but nice scent of roasted barley and some hops. Appealing.

T: Balanced body, with strange notes. Can't place them all; they're obscured by the smoke. They're balanced in that no particularly note is pronounced over the others, and the beer is built quite well. I rather fancy it.

Mf: Adequately coarse and dry for a porter.

Dr: I'd have it again at the right price.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tried this one on tap a week or so ago at Liquids and Solids, was unimpressed, so I picked up a couple of bottles earlier this week. After trying one, I still find it lacking. Poured a beautiful garnet color, with a creamy light brown head. Very smoky aroma, alomst burnt, like a campfire. On the palate, more of the same; overwhelming smoke, along with a little roasted malt and dark chocolate. Too much smoke for my tastes.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours thick and black looking with a small head of tan bubbles after a pretty aggressive pour. The head faded while I was typing my notes, so it was gone within 20 seconds or so. The beer looks a bit like coffee sitting in my glass with no foam or anything.

Aroma: OK, now the aroma is stepping up a bit. I can definitely get the roasty notes you expect from a Porter with the coffee, dark cocoa, burnt toffee, etc. The smoke is definitely there and is becoming much more noticeable as the beer sits some and warms up. There are some hops noticeable in here too, but they are mostly floral...they too get more noticeable as the beer warms up.

Taste: The flavor has some strong coffee notes along with the smoke, but overall the flavor is coming across with a coffee balance to it. I am also getting dark cocoa and chocolate along with a spiciness that I believe is both from the hops as well as the alcohol, but they are playing pretty nice together. There is some bitterness, but the beer finishes with the balance toward the malt. This is a good thing as all of the dark grains are rather acidic on the palate, so they are contributing their own challenge to any sweetness left to linger. The beer is medium bodied with low carbonation. The alcohol lightens things up some, but with the lack of carbonation, you don't really notice the part of the profile between the initial flavor and the finish. The middle is missing, how odd...

Opinion: Well, this is an OK beer, but unfortunately it fell short from what I would call an "outstanding" beer for this style. I guess the fact that it is a baltic porter makes it fit in a bit more, but it still doesn't really seem to showcase either one flavor or the overall blend of flavors. The way this beer is, it has some really assertive notes and not a lot of backbone to back those up, so they end up out of balance and hanging on your palate waiting for something. Even a while after my sip, when I swallow I can pick up the coffee and cocoa. This beer is really bold in ways. I just wish it was a little more balanced.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled on 11/10/10. Pours a dark brown black with a medium cream light brown head that slowly goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is subdued - a little charred chocolate and liquid smoke.

The flavor is sweet lactic chocolate with some smoke and a weird plasticky hot (almost peppery) bitterness in the finish. There is some warming alcohol present. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, it's got some weird notes to it, but it kind of grew on me as I drank it.

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Photo of plfahey
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Jet black and SO opaque-no light's getting through this one. Moderately large tan head with moderate retention and some lacing.

Aroma-Smoke, bacon, and chocolate take the forefront here, with slight coffee as well. Hints of sweet caramel and dark fruit are also present, though are very light.

Flavor-Nice smoky flavor-not so strong as to overpower the other flavors, but definitely present. Slight dark fruit flavors give way to roasted notes of chocolate, and eventually coffee grounds. Hop flavor and bitterness are low, and the hint of sweetness up front is balanced by the roast. There's something oddly vegetal about the aftertaste that I can't quite put my finger on-it doesn't overwhelm the other flavors, but it keeps this from being an excellent beer.

Mouthfeel-Medium full body, medium carbonation. Very slight alcohol warmth. No astringency.

Decently drinkable, but the flavor falls a bit short in my opinion. Certainly a good beer, but not a great beer. Something about the strange/off-flavors i pick up in the aftertaste just turns me off a bit.

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Photo of charlesmcd
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer got better with time. At first drink, it was a bit too poignant on the top end for me, but as it progressed, and the VERY evident smokey end notes came through, this beer became a winner in my book. It isn't a beer that I could drink a lot of at one time, but it was very enjoyable, and I would most definitely recommend.

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Photo of KajII
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Dimpled mug]

Poured black in color with a large light brown frothy head that lasted throughout and had excellent lacing. The aroma was of dark smoked malts, an earthy yeast with notes of chocolate, caramel and coffee. It tasted a little acidic and slightly bitter with a smoke overtone in the beginning and finished with a little more of a bite with hints of chocolate, coffee and again a smoke overtone that was not heavy at all and stayed with you for an average lenghth of time. Mouthfeel was full in body and creamy in texture with a nice soft carbonation. Overall a nice tasty and quite drinkable smoked porter.

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Photo of bbeane
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into an oversized snifter... starts with a thin brown head on top of a black beer. Head mostly disappears quickly leaving no lacing

S- Faint aroma of sweet malts with a hint of bacon and camp fire

T- Not as intensely smoked as I had hoped, but good none the less. Starts with some toasted malt and coffee notes with a light smokey finish

M- Full bodied with light carbonation

O- This one was ok as a Baltic Porter, but weak as a Smoked Baltic Porter. Could have been a bit more intense IMO


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Photo of Brent
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An interesting concept, but execution is just so-so. A nice, mainstream Baltic Porter - some heft to the body, with inky roasted malt notes. The smoke in the malt is very lightly handled - while I wouldn't want it to overpower the beer, here it needed a bit more distinction. More like the smoke you get from peat than anything.

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pitch black, small caramel colored head, good retention.

Aroma: Smoked malts, BBQ, noble hops.

Taste: Sweet roasted malts up front, bitter coffee, fades into a deep roasty, smokiness. A bit too sweet.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation fighting through a creamy body.

Drinkability: Decent. A couple pints are more than enough.

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Photo of ms11781
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to duff247. Bottled on 12/07/2010. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep, dark brown. I'd think it was black if I didn't watch it go into the glass. A small tannish color head rises and falls rather quickly leaving a thin, foamy ring around the glass and decent lacing.

Nose isn't all that strong. Hints of some black licorice and chocolate notes are present at first, along with a slight roasted character. There is a subtle hint of smokiness as well. Nothing here really stands out on it's own but they all blend together nicely despite not being too strong as a whole.

Taste follows along closely with the nose at first. Slight roasted character with a hint of black licorice leading the way. Zero appearance from the chocolate that was in the nose. There is a touch of smoke initially but as it warms it turns into a completely different beer. When it warms there is a slight roasted flavor up front then a strong smoke character takes over and overpowers everything else. Smoke is really intense if the beer gets too warm.

Medium body with medium carbonation. Drinks and finishes smooth despite the amount of smoke present as the beer warms.

Decent drinkability. Most likely a one and done due to the strong smoke character but it goes down smooth enough. Not sure of the ABV as I drink it (turns out to be 7.8%) but I would imagine it's relatively high and there is no hint of alcohol here. Probably best enjoyed if served a bit colder than normal and finished before it gets too warm.

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Photo of jcartamdg
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Black with a one finger mocha head with nice lacing. Aroma of creamy, smokey, chocolatey malts. Taste follows nose, nice balance of all flavors. The mouthfeel is the only place where I'm disappointed, way to thin, even for a porter, just way too watery. Overall not bad, above mediocre.

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Photo of aepb1
3.57/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- black body with a light brown head

S- Roasted coffee and chocolate malts, smokey

T- Sweet chocolate malts, roasted but I'm missing the smokey flavor I've come to expect out of a baltic porter...

M- Medium-bodied and creamy

D- Good beer but I do look for some smoke in the flavor, otherwise it seems not a baltic

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Photo of codewarrior
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz from a 6-pack poured into a Snifter.

Picked this up on an attempted Dissident run to Colorado Liquor Mart. A not-bad consolation prize.

L: Pours a good motor-oil thick black with deep nut-brown head, 4-fingers on a straight pour. As it opens up, the head tans out into a lighter, near white fluffiness.

S: Burnt-toast bitterness, a touch watery, into a larger sweetness, then a larger bitterness. The bitterness and sweetness fade into one another, and then into nothing. For all this play between sweet and bitter there isn't much else going on.

T: Sweet up front into a bitter, smokey middle. This gives way to booze and then receding waves of bitterness. A touch thin, but good, if still somewhat 2 dimensional.

F: Thicker than it tastes, thinner than it looks, all in all about the right thickness for the brew.

D: Pretty damn enjoyable beer.

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Photo of n2185
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours black with a finger of dark tan head which recedes into a thin ring with a little lacing.

S: Smoky roasted malts followed by some semi-sweet chocolate. The smokiness dominates the aroma, though the sweet chocolate manages to peek through some.

T: Thankfully the smoke is a bit more balanced here than in the aroma. The smoke hits first, but is followed by a slightly sweet and creamy chocolate flavor. The smoke returns on the finish along with a light, charred bitterness.

M: Medium-thick body with light carbonation, this beer is fairly creamy.

O: Overall, a pretty decent beer. It's a bit one-dimensional with the smoke overwhelming any subtleties that might be found, but is still good for what it is.

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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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