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 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 ChainGangGuy
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.89 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia. Bottled on: 11/11/10.

Appearance: Pours out a black body topped with a medium-sized, tan-head that quietly slips out of existence, leaving behind a skimpy ring.

Smell: The Smoked Baltic Porter smells of chocolate, espresso powder, roasted malts, dark German rye bread, a bit of dark fruitiness, meats cooking over a campfire, and ground-up Whoppers candies.

Taste: Malty tastes of dark chocolate squares, callously burnt sugars, and scorched bread crusts given a generous sip of Italian roast coffee. Charcoal and smoked currants follow. Medium sweetness. Some underlying earthy hop character brings about a slight bitterness. Takes on more dark bready character as it warms. A chew of smoky beer jerky nearing the roasty finish with a bit of tangy Hershey chocolate bar in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Light creaminess.

Drinkability: It's a good, well-crafted smoky brew. Sufficiently smoky for me, though some might consider it a bit too restrained. A nice addition to the burgeoning FtB series.

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Photo of projectflam86
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this on tap and in the bottle. The following review is of the bottled version.

A- Pours a very deep dark black color with a thin head that leaves a tiny bit of lacing.

S- Incredibly smoky nose with an almost "meaty" aroma. Some roasted scents and alcohol are also present.

T- Wow, this really is "smoked". I've had several beers that claimed to be "smoked" but this one might take the cake. Very smoky roasted flavor initially with a slight sweetness in the finish.

M- Medium/full bodied with ok carbonation.

D- Smoky just like it says!

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Photo of InsolublePancake
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark, dark brown with ruby highlights and a half-inch of tan head. The head dissipates over the course of a couple minutes and leaves behind small traces of lace.

S- Bitter chocolate and molasses with nice hints of smoke and charcoal. Not overly complex, but the aromas are very nice overall.

T- Sweet, chocolaty malt upfront segues into a dry, smoky burnt toast middle. Some herbal hops contribute to a dry, slightly bitter finish of unsweetened cocoa and tobacco.

M- On the full side of medium-bodied and somewhat syrupy. A good dose of carbonation balances things out nicely.

D- Quite nice. I can't detect any part of the 7.8% ABV, but it's clear that this is a pretty big beer given the body and flavor. Still, I could probably put down a couple of these.

I must say, this is quite a nice beer. The smoke character is definitely there but not overwhelming. The only problem is that I couldn't really distinguish this from a stout. It's a porter but I didn't really get any dark fruit notes and I still tasted a lot of roasted malt. Perhaps it's just my inexperienced palate, but I was hoping for a distinctive porter character that I could clearly differentiate from that of a stout. Still, I can't complain. It's a good beer. Recommended.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to TheManiacalOne for this brew.

Pours a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy/creamy tan head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with nice chocolate/toffee notes, smoky, nice little licorice note. The taste is malty, sweet, nice touch of chocolate/toffee, nice little smoke note. Medium body. Drinkable, this is one tasty brew, not too much smokeyness.

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Photo of midwestbrewers
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle that was bottle on 12/07/2010

A: Pours pretty much black. Thin almost chocolate head. Very eye appeasing.

S: Very strong chocolate malt smell. Full robust smell.

T: Very smooth chocolate flavor on the first of the pallet. Somewhat sweet and creamy. Very roasted and smoked appeal as well. A little carbonation. Also noted is the warmth in your mouth that the 7.8% ABV brings but the alcohol is not really noticeable in the taste.

Good smell and flavor. Very good in character. I like the way the beer was designed and brewed. The ABV makes it not a sipper but for sure not a sessioner. Great beer Left Hand Brewing!!!

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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 Gambrinus1184
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Thomas Hooker pint glass.

A: Black in color with a thin head of cappuccino foam that fades to a bubbly film rather quickly, leaving some clingy lacing on the glass.

S: Very deep roasted malt aroma with notes of licorice, burnt coal, wood stove, smoky meat, clove and mineral spiciness. There's an herbal, almost briny hop aroma in there as well.

T: Bittersweet dark roasted malts up front with some herbal hops and smoked wood flavors off the bat. Some mineral and oyster flavors jump out a bit as well. These flavors give way to waves of bittersweet cocoa and earthy tobacco. A dose of fruity alcohol snaps around mid palate, sending the brew into a cascade finish of smoked peat, burnt sugar and bitter, herbal hops.

M: Full-bodied, smooth and creamy feel up front, becoming slick and resinous across the palate to a bitter, semi dry finish.

D: A very good Baltic porter with a pair of sea legs to prove it. You'll need them too with the brew nearing 8% ABV and being so seductive. I was nearly lost in the deep, heady and complex roast malt bitterness of this porter. A fine brew to chase the chill off a winter night.

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Photo of dbossman
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a brown, thin head; little retention but steady; lacing is decent

S: Very meaty and smokey--almost more meat than smoke: ham, salt, bacon--all on top of a roasted malt and charcoal aroma--a bit of chocolate too perhaps

T: Pretty smokey and meaty: wow, do I get ham flavors here; some darker fruit and chocolate flavors persist as well; this is an earthy, ashy, roasty beer; it's good but maybe not quite balanced right--something seems slightly off

F: Good balanced body and carbonation

D: The alcohol does become fairly evident and the ham quality from the smoke becomes a bit wearing; but this makes a two for two in the Fade to Black series

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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 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 cocogan
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Visuals - Pours blacker than night. One finger head that diminihes after a few minutes. Nice lacing

Aroma - Lots of smoke, wood, caramel, roasted malt. Also has a pungent uncooked beef smell to it.

Taste - Strong smoke presence throughout. Also notes of dark chocolate, wood, and raisins. Sweet finish and a slight lingering hop profile.

Mouth - Medium body, smooth feel, appropriate subtle carbonation

Drunkability - I like the big ABV. Nice beer to relax with by the fire.

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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 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 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 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 ryan1788a5
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours jet black with a thick tan head. Good retention, light rings of lacing.

S: Milk chocolate, vanilla, smoked malts, faint coffee, and some earthiness.

T: Smokey tastes caress the tongue first. Roasty chocolate and coffee tastes follow. Mellow creamy vanilla pleases the palate. Woody and earthy hints round out the taste. Quick, faint notes of plum-like esters are barely perceptible. Hops are hard to place, but seem to be grassy and a bit herbal. Finishes sweet with notes of milk chocolate and smoke.

M: Moderately thick, smooth, and velvety. Extremely creamy. Some warmth from the alcohol. Mouthfeel is the shining point of this beer. Very sexy.

D: Easy enough to drink, and it is tasty, but something just seems missing.

Notes: Smoke taste is my no means overwhelming, but it does seem to cover up some of the other flavors and prevent subtleties from coming through. Besides that, something just seems missing from this beer, and I can't really say what that something is. A very good beer, but this "intangible" withholds it from the ranks of the elite.

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Photo of joshrosborne
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to pint glass.

A- Deep, dark black with a tiny tannishhead that disappears almost immediately

S- Smokiness present right away, get a little coffee and chocolate from the roasted malt

T- Smokiness and a tiny bit of bitterness up front, I get more chocolate than coffee in the taste. Not a huge fan of the smoke, but I knew what I was getting myself into.

M- After the initial booze, it is very smooth and creamy, the carbonation is there, but doesn't take away from the smoothness.

D- Good, but not my favorite porter ever. I'm not the biggest fan of smoked porters, but this is a good beer for the style. The drinking is slow with this one, not b/c of the alcohol, but b/c of the smokiness.

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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 Shrews629
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Black in appearance with some slight ruby highlights around the bottom. A small, thin, tan head with not much size or retention. Settled to a small ring and just left a scant amount of lacing.

Smell - More subdued aromas of coffee and espresso than what I have typically found with the Porters I have tried. A roasty, smokey type of aroma adds some complexity. A slight "woody" note that was somewhat pleasant. Chocolate notes are very mild.

Taste - The taste showed more of the burnt, roasted coffee. Some smoke is present and the chocolate is more up front in the taste. It's not a sweet chocolate, but a dry, dark chocolate. I think the taste is solid. I am enjoying it.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium/full mouthfeel. Somewhat creamy. Left touches on the palate and it provided a bit of warmth also.

Drinkability - I rather liked the taste of this beer. Nice touches of smoke and coffee make this an ok example of a "smoked" Porter. I might pick this up again sometime. Worth a try for sure.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

wow, I didn't realize (until I looked closely) that Fade to Black had different volumes. So naive.

Pours dark brown/black like a stout with a good inch of coffee colored head.

Aroma is a great subtle smokiness that I absolutely love. Its a bit like a campfire mixed with coffee and dark, roasty malt. I love smokey beers and this one smell amazing.

Taste is malty, caramel, licorice, smoke, a bit salty and finishes clean and crisp. It all comes together beautifully.

Love it. I need to get more while its fresh and before its all gone...

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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 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 mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to rich for sending me down the sixer. i cracked this one open with lunch today.

very dark pour, nearly totally black with nice hints of brown around the edges and a head of light tan that sat on top throughout the entire session really quite nicely. aroma of roasted malts and peat, campfire smoke and a rich chocolate note.nice mixed of flavors here with loads rich campfire smoke. lots of caramel and hints of dark notes as it warms. smooth and lightly sweet in the finish i was quite impressed with it overall.

nice and solid beer, not sure about the baltic porter as the style, but very nicely done.

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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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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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