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

Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter)Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter)
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 359 |  Reviews: 242
Photo of FreshHawk
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cola brown/black with a creamy, good sized, thin meringue, fluffy, light cafe color. Really nice retention with a nice lace left.

S - Really nice and interesting aroma. Smoked meat and smokiness comes out first. Not super smoked meat aroma, but more balanced and smoked wood. Next whiff brings out some roasted coffee and a little bit of coffee and roasted malt. Hints of earthy and dark fruit aroma in the back.

T - Just like the nose, the flavor is a mix of smoked meat and wood and some roasted coffee and malt. The smoked wood flavor starts out the sip with it fading into more of a smoked meat. Not overly pork-like like some smoked meat flavors. Mid sip some more roasted coffee and malt along with some chocolate. Faint hints of tart dark fruit. Finishes with a slight tart flavor and faint hop bite. Slight bitterness on the finish.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Pretty creamy fullish feel.

D - Nice beer to sip with a good balance between the smokiness and the porter flavors. Not one I would drink a lot of in a day but I would drink again.

Notes: Really nice balance between the smoked wood, smoked meat, and traditional porter flavors. Definitely has a smokey aspect, but that doesn't dominate the flavor. I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. Not amazing but quite good.

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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 Urbancaver
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- pitch black... Light brown head with small bubbles.

Smell- some light smokiness on the nose. Sweetness on the nose as well with lots of roasted malt characters

Taste- pretty milder smoked malt flavors with some rich chocolatey malt. Sweeter than i expected.

Mouthfeel- rich and thick. Very nice in the tongue

Drinkability- very drinkable thick rich characters

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

Fade to black part 2 .
poured into snifter glass smell of very dark cocoa .
Taste complex allot going on here first thick smoky , stays on the tounge oily,nice mouthfeel .

Easly drinkable not as strong in abv like voulme 1 very nice beer .

still my favorite is there Left Hand Milk Stout .

But still another good beer from this brewery
Hope this helps

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

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

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Photo of elgiacomo
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottled Nov 11, 2010. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours medium black with a small brown head that quickly fades to a wispy cap and ring leaving some spots of lacing behind.

Aroma features some smoked malts, nothing too crazy but it's there, some smoked meat and campfire, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits are there as well. Picking up more smoke in the aroma than in the flavor. Good strength.

Flavor features chocolate, coffee, anise, some dark fruits, smoked and roasted malts, some sweetness is there, just a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied if not a tad light, yet creamy, low to medium carbonation, spot-on for a Baltic Porter.

Tasty stuff. Moderately smoky, very drinkable Baltic Porter.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. Bottled on 12/21/10 indicated on the bottle. Pours an inky black with a quarter inch, mocha-colored head that quickly dissipates and disperses towards the edges. Some specks and strands of lacing revealed during the tasting. Fantastic nose - bold dark fruit gradually gives way to a roasted coffee quality with a suggestion of cocoa. Taste consistent with nose; however, a smoky quality pleasantly permeates the flavor profile, bringing the coffee and roasted character to the foreground, with the dark fruit lingering lightly in the back. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lively carbonation that leaves a light residual burn at the back of the throat. This is a fantastic Baltic Porter - great flavor and complexity. One of my favorites by far. I'm going to have to obtain more of this before it goes away. Too bad this isn't part of Left Hand's regular line-up because it is quite exceptional.

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Photo of russpowell
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review based on notes, consumed about 2 weeks ago...

Pours chestnut/mahogany with a pinky of brown head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit & roastyness

T: Roasty malt, chcolate, & dark fruit up front. Molasses notes & slight smokeyness as this warms, plus dryness & more roastyness, plus woody hop notes. Finishes dry & roasty with plums & dark cherry in abundance

MF: Medium bodied, smooth carbonation, nice warming quality to this

Drinks very easy, one of the better Baltic Porters out their if you not completely obsessed about style guidelines...

Given the chance, I will happily get more of this..

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Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high mocha head that quickly faded away and left faint lacing on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: The overall taste has flavors of roasted malts and smoke along with some notes of espresso beans and oak. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is a sipper but it's not too difficult to drink because the smoke is well incorporated into the taste (it isn't overpowering) and the alcohol is masked.

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

A - dark as a porter can get - similar to a Black IPA. Nice tan head which dissipates to the placid liquid platform

S - smoky malts like my clothes after a night at the fire pit during a nice session

T- the smell leads with an initial smoky taste but blends a bold coffee like flavor into a chocolate finish. ABV hides well with the smoke.

M - smooth as the carbonation tingles my tongue and clears the palate to enjoy each flavor's benchmark

D - very tasty, not overwhelmingly smoky but enough to set the stage for the rush of secondary flavors

Will try this one again. Great during a nice wintry night and maybe with a nice cigar to finish.

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

Wow... This is a unique beer. Pours a jet black color with a finger of tan foamy head. The aroma is fantastic! Smells like coffee at a BBQ. The taste has the same characteristics with a hint of chocolate and oatmeal. The mouthfeel is the only detractor with a slight sensation of overcarbonation at the very beginning. The finish is smooth however and leaves you with a sensation of calm.

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

Poured into a mug.

Pours a deep, near-pitch black brew with a tan head that fades pretty quickly into a thin covering. Modest lacing.

Smells of Smoked wood - reminiscent of a backyard bonfire, roasted malt and dark, earthy, woodsy smell.

Tastes of dark smokey woods - maybe oak, earthy, malty with a mild clove or anise in the finish. Mild earthy hop presence.

Smooth, thick, creamy.

Goes down nice. Not too overdone - would recommend for a smoked brew.

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Photo of Beejay
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown, it is obsidian black in the glass with a fairly full tan head broken out in large bubbles, and frothy goodness.

S: Huge smoked scent coming off of this guy. Smells like a nice wood smoke with some nice malt in the background. Some bready notes as well.

T: The smoked malt is not as intense as in the smell. Good solid smoked flavor, sweet, but not overpowering or cloying. Nice bit of malt in there but the smoke really dominates.

M: Medium in body, but it gives the appearance of being lighter. Carbonation is good, and there is a nice creaminess to it.

D: Nice, but a bit one note. I think the volume #1 was far better, still, not a bad brew.

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Photo of amcmaho1
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque black body, with a small creamy coffee colored head. Little head retention, with some very nice lacing. With a name like "Fade to Black," the color of this beer definitely fits it's title well.

Smell: Lots of smokey undertones, along with some peaty and burnt coffee accents. Perhaps the burnt coffee comes through most for me, along with obvious smokiness, maybe some chocolaty bits to the nose which seem subdued (overpowered?).

Taste: Definitely a smoked Baltic porter, with the smokey, charred notes remaining very upfront and accented in the nose and initial taste. Towards the end of the taste, I start to get a hint of chocolate, though augmented by smokiness still.

Mouthfeel: I feel this to be a relatively chewy beer, and also quite sticky. Even with the carbonation it remains relatively smooth though.

Drinkability: With the inherent smokiness of this beer, i'd have to imagine it's drinkability to be questionable. That being said, i find this to be a very interesting beer, and a representation of the style which i have thoroughly enjoyed. Where the smokiness and peatyness may steer some away, i would love to pair this beer with some sort of smoked meat to see how the flavors would mesh and work off of each other.

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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 Georgiabeer
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with little head but some very slight lacing. Very nice smoky smell with some roasted grains underneath and a touch of fruit. The smoke doesn't hit you over the head, but nicely complements the rest of the brew. The taste is also a nice balance between the smoke, roasted flavors, and nice earthy hops. Robust, but quite drinkable.

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Photo of KidsDoc
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle (shared with Shelton/Howard)

A: black/opaque with thin tan head, clean, some visible carbonation

S: smoked wood, roasted malt, faint earthy/floral hops, coffee

T: complex and held together nicely start to finish with some sweet chocolate malt, dark roasted malt with subtle dark fruit sweetness, smokiness build throughout the taste and as this beer warms a bit

M: smooth and clean with just a bit of stickiness on the tongue with a lingering smoked bitterness; more full bodied than I anticipated. Carbonation was perfect.

D: This is a great smoked porter - smooth and settles nicely. However, the taste profile is pretty intense. This would be great paired with a meal next time but not one that I think I would just pour and sip by itself.

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

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

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Photo of Onslow
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i can't believe they killed off that superman villain in the boat movie. .. Pours as black as a panther (peanut) .. . good head with medium strength lacing .. . roast, coffee, smoke, and bbq pit gunk in the nose; which follows smoothly into the mouth.. . damn drinkable, and no awareness of the abv! .. would love to try this on tap, but i know i never will .. . I will DEFINITELY be picking up some more before its all gone!! .. .

you mean you're not my real parents!?!?

-haha!! ya right!!

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Photo of marcellaproust
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours w/little or no head but a lacy rim
nice cellophane porcupine brown
This beer does not have a particularly strong scent; all of the flavor is packed in the taste, which starts off malty and caramelly, both sweet, then -- I guess -- "fades" into burnt toast and lots of smoke. Other reviewers don't seem to sense strong smoke, but I did and I think the smoke overplays its hand and obscures the finishing flavors. Semi-heavy body but very fine, dense carbonation fends off any syrupy sweetness as well as undercut the smoke a bit. A very, very good porter but I'm not sure you could drink more than two.

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

A- poured nearly jet black, somewhat flat-looking, with a little bit of brown head that faded quickly, befitting it's name

S- a delicious mix of espresso, roasted grains, some malt sweetness, and of course the smoke

T- the smoke adds a wonderful element to a blend of coffee bean, charred malts, a touch of cream, and an appropriate alcohol warmth

M- medium body, low yet ample carbonation, and a rich smoky aftertaste with some booze warming your tongue

D- it may not quite be Smoke Jumper, one of my all-time favorite smoked beers, but it is definitely a gem in it's own

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clever with the marketing campaign on these annual dark beers. Fade to Black hits home with another stellar beer.

Volume 2 begins with a heavy and creamy looking pour heading into the glass. As dark brown as it gets before going actual black and with complete opaqueness. A froathy/creamy tan head forms and sits properly on the beer for a soft and even coat across the surface. Both rings and a tapestry of lace adorn the surface of the glass as the beer falls.

A delicate aromatic blend of malted milk or cream tempers the smoke-heavy and roasty elements of the Porter. With low esters, the beer showcases roasted barley, mild peat, charred woods and true malt in the aroma.

Flavors follow the aroma profile to the tee. Creamy malt sweetness hits the front of the mouth with heavy cream, burnt caramel, and roasted grains. The mid palate turns to smoke, peat, and earthy hop notes. The taste finishes with a fleeting malt, sharpening roast, and hoppy bitterness that doesn't allow for much flavor other than bitterness. While certainly tasty and full of flavor, the beer is a bit simple in profile (except for the heavy flavor of charred smoked meats) leaving me wanting more dimensions of complexity and layering.

Creamy and full throughout, the early richness is tempered later by bitterness from both hops and from roasted grains, only to finish malty-dry and with a long roasty aftertaste.

The beer hits all of the high notes for the style with me wondering if the smoke is more a bennefit or detraction. Interestingly, without the fruity notes that sometimes accompany ale-fermented versions are missing, and the smoother lager-like mouthfeel and flavor do very well the beer doesn't tell me much, but the lable insists that it's indeed an ale. But I'll admit that a slightly fruity note could add to the complex makeup of the beer. I'd also like to see a better procession towards dryness in the finish to accompany the smoke for better scores.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 12/7/2010. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half tan head after an aggressive pour. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is smoked and roasted malt and some chocolate. The brew tastes like smoked malt, dark chocolate, roasted malt and a bit of coffee. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and a bit slick. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and goes down easy. I think it's a good overall brew, not a bad choice at all!

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Fade To Black (Volume 2 - Smoked Baltic Porter) from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 359 ratings
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