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

241 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:
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Reviews: 241 | Ratings: 358
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours black without highlighting. Small brown foam fades fast and leaves a nice collar.

Smoke is there, but not over the top. Smells a bit like putting fresh pine boughs on a campfire. Some molasses and caramel come through from the malt.

This is a pretty good beverage here. Mouthfeel is viscous and smooth. Smoke is plentiful yet restrained. There is just enough sweetness to compensate for the smoke and alcohol. Hops are piney and add plenty, a little more than I would like actually, of bitterness. Some licorice hints come in on the back end. Not bad, gets a bit old the more I sip on it. I think one six pack is enough for me.

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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 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 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 thagr81us
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Beachwood BBQ at the Bruery RS Post-Party (can't remember who shared this one, BM me to give proper credit). Served from bottle into a goblet. Poured pitch black with a minimal light tan head. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, smoke, and nutmeg. The flavor was of roasted malt, smoke, and wood. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this thing was smokey as crap. Despite this fact, it was a pretty good brew though. Had a decent aroma as well. Just wish that some of the smoke aspect to this one would not have been present and allowed some more modest things to come through. Worth trying at least once.

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Photo of Dope
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown with a light brown head. Not much if any lacing.

S: Smells very smoky and of roasted malts. Very similar to a smoked stout.

T: Unfortunately the smoke flavor is pretty overpowering. There is some coffee and chocolate bitterness behind it but the smoke covers it up pretty wel.

M: Medium body, decent carbonation. Overall feels like a stout and not a porter.

D: Hard for me to say, I think the smokiness would get old fast but that's my opinion. Pairs well with food though, I don't really like to drink it by itself.

Overall not a bad beer. I dropped it some points for the smokiness because I don't like it. I didn't drop it too far because I want to review by style and this is well, a smoked porter. As mentioned this is good with food, especially BBQ-type food.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks nice, poured into a goblet, black as night and virtually no head.

Muted smoke, a sweet malty smell, and burnt malt on the nose.

Solid porter. Lots of roasted malt and a tinge of burnt malt quickly followed by sweet malt nicely placed at the end.

Soft and creamy, light carbonation... sublime mouthfeel.

Overall a great beer. The smoke is subtle, just like "smoked" is written on the bottle. I like that.

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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 argock
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Bottled on 120710 stamped on label. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $2.

A: Very dark brown with healthy 2-finger soft beige tightly bubbled head with very good retention and more than a few scraps of lace around the glass.

S: Heavy roasted barley note with some dark fruit and light tobacco hops note. No smoke detected. Alcohol is also not present.

T: The flavor is a well-blended collection of roasted barley with mild burnt qualities, chocolate, burned black coffee, and a subtle cured, meaty flavor which is really well-done, as compared to the obnoxious, overbearing, artificial, chemical smoked flavor in some beers (cough, Immortale). The hoppiness is background but is earthy and tobacco and supports the overall robust profile. Despite the ABV, alcohol is well-hidden.

M: The mouthfeel is hefty and medium-bodied plus. Carbonation is suitably low and this drinks very easily because of the creamy, smooth feel.

D: I definitely enjoyed this brew. I wish it had a bit more malt complexity and power in the flavor. But this is a really good Left Hand beer, up there with their Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout and Brandy Barrel Aged Widdershins barleywine.

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Photo of jsh420
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours black with a 1 finger tan head that left no lacing

smells of burnt roasted malt with some milk chocolate

taste is much like the nose but the booze flavors overpoer just a little too much from the roasted milk chocolate malts

mouthfeel is medium body with good carbonation

drinkability is ok but not more then one for me

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Photo of Jeffo
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one it a trade a while back with G311. Good times man!

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A black pour makes a really small, thinner looking, overly fizzy, tan head with terrible retention. Vanishes in a snap. Black body and zero carbonation evident. A slight ring remains most of the way, but it looks rather flat by the end. Boring.

SMELL: Medium nose of roasted malts, light coffee, and a decent dose of smoky aromas. A touch of cream and vanilla in there, and the nice smoky notes tie it together nicely without dominating. Some caramel too. Quite nice, but do with it was a little bigger for a Baltic.

TASTE: Very nice, and much bigger than the nose. A roasted beginning shows notes of caramel and toffee as well. Middle introduces some nice coffee and chocolate notes, moving into a good dose of smoky nuances at the swallow. A touch of cream and vanilla as well. A bold and lingering aftertaste is bitter-sweet with chocolate, cream, and some smoky and roasted malts to tie it together. This is really nice, and is done very, very well.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Decent here.

OVERALL: The flavor of this one was simply wonderful. Very complex and all the elements meshed really well together. The rest of the beer, however, just didn’t quite have it. The look was pretty lousy, and the nose and palate both needed some beefing up. Regardless, this is one of Left Hand’s tastier brews, and I was glad to drink it. Would definitely have it again. Thanks for the brew G311.

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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 BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #48 (Jan 2011):

A hint of smoke hits the nose even before it's done being poured; bubbles appear within the darkness and jockey for position. A firm smoke with a roasty sweetness akin to dark chocolate and espresso coffee in the nose all make the mouth water. Silky smooth on a stodgy cream body. Sweetness in front of smoke, though the smoke does lay it on pretty thick. Roastiness wraps around the taste buds with suggestions of bitter dark chocolate, burnt sugar and fresh espresso. Smokiness coats all; warming alcohol drops a burnt currant flavor middle to end. Finishes quite roasty. An all-night sipper here.

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Photo of wedge
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a beautiful, large, thick tan head. Great patchy lacing and a permanent creamy cap. Relatively gentle smoke and creamy roasted malt aromas. Nutty dark chocolate, char, and an earthy hint. Smooth, creamy smoky flavor...roasty chocolate malt, leafy earthiness, and a touch of underlying fruit. Burnt and bitter, but not overly so. Full, rich mouthfeel and no real hints of alcohol. Pretty tasty stuff...

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This looks wonderful. Deep and dark, with maybe a hint of dark brown around the edges. Light mocha colored head adorns, laces nicely, retention is good.

Very smoky. Not quite overboard, but definitely one of the more smokier brews I've had. Bits of roasted malts and sweetness round it out.

Starts out smoky, then some nice sweetness, roasted malts, chocolate and even some roasted coffee.

Feel is full, creamy, and smooth.

Overall solid drinkability. Very enjoyable, and I'll definitely be getting some if I can find it in TX later this month!

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Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Very dark, used motor oil body. Steady finger of lasting, dense, dark khaki head. Nice lacing. Nose of dark chocolate, black licorice, roasted coffee, earthy peat, and a hint of campfire.

Meaty, roasted malts up front. Coffee bitterness sits above smoky dark chocolate, roasted barley, and some earthy tobacco. Faint sweetness, with a little dark fruit in there, but the smoky, earthy roastedness steals the show (with an applause from this drinker). Flinty, lingering smoke, semi-sweet chocolate and coffee bitterness in the finish. Full-bodied, with a nice chewy feel. Terrific beer and a cool label to boot!

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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 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 PorterLambic
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours luxuriously black. A dark tan layer of foam that looks oh so much like the top of a cake. Decent retention, some lace.
Smell is rich with toasted malt, smoke, peat, vanilla and coffee. Great balance.
Taste is phenomenal. Notes of roasted malt, coffee, smoke, whiskey, soy and vanilla(light). Amazing balance.
Rich, mostly full-bodied, light effervescence, almost creamy, smooth throughout. Aftertaste fades nicely to a smoky, dryish, teriyaki flavor. Absolutely first rate brew. Only knock is I'd like a bit more body.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Single, twelve-ounce bottle copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield. Not a bad American depiction of a classic Baltic style. Pours a prune-colored, dark, midnight hue with a tan and creamy complexion. Smoked aroma evident in the aroma with hints of viscous chocolate and roasted malts. Similar flavor as well, although the smoked essence was more dominant in the nose. Alcohol content well-hidden behind a varied array of intense and robust flavors. Not bad.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now this is a series of beers I could get used to. I loved volume one and I absolutely love the fact that it is packaged in an affordable 6 pack (and very cool artwork).

A: pours pitch black, opaque, no light passage. Some cocoa colored head and a fair amount of lacing. Decent retention.

S: big notes of mequite smokiness up front paired with roasted barley, chocolate, and coffee. The smoke is center stage here but doesn't overpower.

T: the taste isn't quite as smokey as the nose suggests, rather it is loaded with roasted barley and cocoa powder character with highlights of smoke. Very well balanced, not too smokey. The finish is a touch sweet which is a nice end to a big roasty beer.

MF: medium body that leaves a silky texture on the palate. Mellow carbonation.

D: wow, this is a well crafted smoked beer, and as mentioned before, an insanely good value. I recommend this to any imperial stout/porter aficionado ..you will not be disappointed. This one is up there with the big boys of the style (Surly Smoke, Alaskan Smoked Porter)

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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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Photo of flexabull
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love the label on this one.

Pours a flat black color with a small tan head.

Aromas are very nice. Smoky with some charcoal, campfire, light chocolate, and cocoa.

Taste has a very nice up front smoke flavor. Not overpowering, but with notes of burnt wood, hickory smoked bacon, and a malty semi sweet chocolate note. Finish has some nice crispness, and a lingering campfire flavor. The sweet malty flavors balance well with the smoke.

Mouthfeel is good, full and well rounded.

Drinkability is pretty good. This is a flavorful and balanced smoked beer. However, the smokiness is a touch strong, and makes this one a one and done. But it is a pleasant one at that!

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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 BeerLover99
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: deep black as midnight, big pillowy oatmeal head, head is 1 inch but disappears after a few minutes, very nice lacing.

S: big roasted smoke, hint of cocoa, nuts, malt and licorice.

T: strong roasted malt, nutty, cocoa, no aftertaste.

M: med/heavy body, almost in the imperial stout body category. goes down so smoothly.

D: WOW! I have always loved Porters and this doesn't fail. Nice brew by Left Hand, well done. Must sip this EXCELLENT brew, go easy! Need to run out and buy some more to enjoy in front of the fire during these bitter Winter days here in The Land of Lincoln.

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Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) from Left Hand Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 358 ratings.
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