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

Full ebony appearance, nice roasted tan head, copious bubblation, leaving lace. Good looking' stout.

Aroma: beautiful, cocoa and light espresso give way to smoked malt. Full and sturdy meets soft and creamy. Dry, roasty, with the essence of smoked meats and fish in the air.

Taste: A bit rough and thick up front, rather chunky and powerful on the palate. Rich and chocolatey, with some dark fruit mixing it up with the salmon and ham. Smoke is rising high in the flavor now, taking over. It's kind of a strange mix, but tasty, smooth, and easy-going. I'm liking this. Just enough hanging in the end. Long, tasty, smoky finish.

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

Pours jet black with a very fizzy mocha head.The nose, I find, roasted barley, coffee, dark chocolate. . . not much sweetness.
The tongue is very similar to the nose, roasted barley is large and it gives a strong coffee taste. Some lingering chocolate in the aftertaste, but the coffee flavor is the fulcrum. Provides an awesome experience. Maybe a little less carbonation for this one.
Overall, very pleased with this brew. A go-to porter in my eye.
Served from bottle, reviewed from notes, early June.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to cfh64 for sending me an amazing surprise thank you box that included this!

a - opened the bottle and filled my CCB snifter. black hole with some liquid shine. thin bubbled head that bubbled away quick. has a bit of a brownish tint to it.

s - very nice. chocolate roastiness. all malt. wonderful smelling porter.

t - even roastier than the nose. again, chocolate...burnt wood...and a malt party.

m - standard porter tingle. much smoother than i'd normally expect.

o - overall, this is an excellent beer. really fine example of a robust porter with wonderful bold flavors. very excellent.

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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 JayS2629
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a creamy tan head that fades fast but leaves sea foam lace.

The aroma is of roasted malt, some dark fruit notes like black raisin, fig, and prunes, with some smokey elements coming through. Woody, nutty notes and some cocoa.

The taste follows with some strong hickory notes giving way to roasted barley, coffee tones, and some bitter cocoa. Hints of vanilla melt away for some woody, nutty notes. Earthy hops peek through with a touch of floral accents.

Overall, a very roasty edged, bitter beer, but very mild, balanced and drinkable.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Ithaca Excelsior Tulip. Thanks to my buddy Audi for sharing this beauty with me.

A: Pitch black, no light coming through. Aggressive center pour leads to a 1 finger off-white head that disappears quickly. Lacing is consistent and covers the glass.

S: Not a lot to this one, honestly. Not a ton of smoke, it's there but it's not up front. Probably the most prevalent smell is the toasted barley.

T: Toasted barley, smokey flavor is more prevalent here. Coffee flavor and some cocoa round out the taste. Not a lot of hop bitterness.

M: Light body, lightly carbonated. Aftertaste does not linger.

O: This one doesn't blow me away, but it is a solid porter. Nice smoke here but I'm not like I'm feeling like I'm drinking a campfire.

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Photo of hmph
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: dark, black with bits of brown, head is moderate lacing is fairly prevalent

S: Smoked but not to a huge degree, a nice mix of smoke and sweet

T: pretty much same as the smell with a smoky taste along with a bit of sweetness

O: good beer, not the best and doesn't go above and beyond but all around solid beer, would be glad to have again.

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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 brentk56
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a midnight black color with a frothy tan head that gets very rocky as it leaves clumps of foam behind

Smell: Chocolate and fireplace ash, with a hint of coffee

Taste: Black bread and chocolate, with a growing smoke and coffee character; a bit of fruit appears at mid-palate and fades just as quickly; the finish edges sweet, with a blast of smoke in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not really a Baltic Porter nor an overly smokey beer; still, I really enjoy the chocolate/smoke character present in this beer

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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 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 thedoubler55
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A -Opaque black with a nice finger of tan head, leaves a slight lacing around the glass.

S - A nice chocolate flavor with slight scent of coffee at the tail end, some very dark malts.

T - Nice taste of dark chocolate up front, with bit of bitterness from the coffee taste. Great espresso aftertaste.

M -Great mouthfeel, not to much carbonation very subtle.

O - Great Great Brew, I enjoyed it immensely especially because it was in a growler.

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

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A - As the name aptly suggests, this beer is essentially more black than the darkest winter night, and all light essentially fades into this vortex. There's a big, 2-fingered, tan head that has the appearance of a crater-filled moon, and it has good retention. The lacing is pretty good as well, with a thin layer of film that covers most of the glass.

S - The smell begins with a pretty big smokey note; not like a ham, pulled pork, or barbecue kind of smoke, but a fireplace or campfire kind of smoke. It's smooth like the smell of your clothes long after you go home, or your hair after you shower after a long night of sitting around the campfire. Next comes the chocolate and coffee, which are both pretty sweet, and the malts almost give off the impression of some dark fruit in here as well. At first I wasn't a big fan of the aroma, but it definitely grew on me.

T - The first taste brings a lot more smoke than was in the nose, and I'm a bit disappointed as it throws the synergy of the aroma askew. All the things that were in the nose are present, but the smoke takes the lead and the chocolate, coffee, and fruits are almost in the audience watching. It's still pretty sweet, but the coffee now turns slightly acrid. The fruits come through stronger than in the aroma, and give off a pleasant taste.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderately low carbonation. It's surprisingly light given the appearance and it goes down smoothly. The smoke and chocolate are the lasting tastes here.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. Although I was a little disappointed that the taste is so much more smokier than the nose, it is still a great beer. It balances the smoke with a nice sweetness, and the chocolate and fruit are a nice complement as well.

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Photo of smcolw
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A minimum of light passes through a near black beer. One finger thick beige head that sticks around. Leaves some streaks.

Faint burnt wood smell, otherwise a relatively mild smell of toasted malts.

The flavor is more powerful than the smell. Lots of burnt malt along with a touch of smoke. In that way, it is well-balanced. The finish has enough hops to create bitterness. The body is below average with a moderate level of carbonation. Overall, a smooth porter with just enough smoke to make it interesting.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown glass pry top bottle. Neck dated bottled 12/21/10. Purchased at Knightly Spirits OBT, Orlando FL.

Pour a thin, but pitch black with 2 fingers of light tan head that leaves a bit of spotting. Nose is mellow. Has aromas of roasting coffee beans, toffee and molasses. Palate is medium-light in body, true to the style. Flavors of toasted nuts, toffee, chocolate-covered caramel, and something that reminds me of kalamata olives. Finish is moderate length but clean and not closing.

Not a ton of smoke here, very restrained. Impeccable. Well made and stylistically correct.

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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 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 mdfb79
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer #2 from Tmoney2591 in Round 5 of the Blind BIF. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip. Thanks Kyle.

a - Pours a deep brown color, almost black, with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for a minute before leaving one inch throughout drinking it and leaves no lacing on the glass. Looks like a pretty nice stout to me.

s - Smells of milk chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, cream, light dark chocolate, and very light coffee. Smells a little bit sweet and lightly smokey. Still thinking this is a stout, leaning towards a Milk/Sweet stout.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, lightly bitter coffee, roasted and smoked malts, light sweet fruit and chocolate, and very light cream. Not as much cream/vanilla as the nose, but heavier on the bitter coffee and smokiness in the taste. Still leaning towards a stout but maybe a smoked stout now?

m - Medium to full bodied beer with low to moderate carbonation. Thick and smooth, very easy to drink.

0 - Overall I liked this beer. Lots of cream in the nose and bitter coffee and smoke in the taste, mixing with roasted malts throughout. The body was pretty nice and thick. I'm going to get this is a 7-8% ABV smoked stout, though the nose makes me think maybe a milk/sweet stout.

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

Thanks to champ103 for hooking this up in a trade.

A - Poured a black color with a thin brown head

S - Is of roasted malt with chocolate and coffee with a good amount of smoked malt

T - The smoked malt dominates the taste with awesome the chocolate and coffee are minimal in the finish

M - This beer has a medium body with higher carbonation to it

O - I'm loving this beer right now great smokey taste while this isn't exactly session beer I could definitely drink a few of these in a sitting if you like smoked beers like me this is one to seek out

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint, thanks to Eric for gifting me with this one. (I guess this is payback for sharing volume 1?)

This brew appears black in color with a finger of dark tanned head that is composed of rather large bubbles. The cap quickly dissolves to only a few bubbles left across the top but a light swirl revives it back with patches of lace clinging to the glass. When held to the light, this brew has some lighter brown clarity around the edges and indications of ruby hues through the body.

The smell of this brew is quite beefy initially. Throughout the middle of the nose, it has a deep chocolate aroma that is very pleasing mingled with dark fruits like raisins or plums. However, the sweetness of this brew's aroma does not last long before the smoked aspect comes back into play and pushes the sweetness and fruited aspects out of the way to take center stage. A light fusel touch of alcohol is evident as well as a minor indication of citrus hops that take on a bit of a mineral feel.

The taste is roasty with flavors of chocolate malt which imparts a pleasant nearly char-like bitterness to the grain. The meaty flavors of smoke are intertwined and not overpowering. It finishes with a roasty chocolate quality that is quite enjoyable. As the brew warms, a bit of sweetness comes out in some sips tasting a bit fruity mixed with some citrus hops that have a bit of a mineral flavor included. This brew finishes crisp with a lasting aftertaste of chocolate and musty grain that is somewhat like coffee.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The complexity of baltic porter meets smoked beer is an interesting and enjoyable concept. Luckily the smoked aspect was not overdone and just complimented the roasty aspect of this beer. Overall not bad, this beer would be fantastic paired with a steak, perhaps I will pick a sixer up if I run across this brew again.

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Photo of badboyrsl84
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a very fizzy mocha head.

Smell - roasted barley, coffee, dark chocolate. Not a very sweet smell.

Taste - follows the nose. Roasted barley is huge and it gives a strong coffee taste. Some lingering chocolate in the aftertaste. The coffee is what shines here. It kicks you straight in your taste buds nuts.

Mouthfeel - I could take a little less carbonation in this one and I think barrel aging this could do this beer real nice.

Overall - the flavor of this jumps right out in the first sip and rocks you all the way through.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a oily black with about a finger of tan head. A lot of coffee with an equal amount of chocolate with a solid based of roasted barley. The flavor is equal to the nose minus anything roasted or smokey. I get more of the chocolate and coffee flavors than anything else. No hop flavors just a thick body with a light milky chocolate finish.

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Photo of devilben02
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep tar brown color with a modest sand-colored head. The smoke dominates the aroma, but it is not overpowering. While some smoked beers can make you feel like you're being smacked in the face with a slab of beef jerky, this one give more of the impression of entering a room ten minutes after a good cigar was extinguished: you're not coughing from smoke in the air, but it is certainly apparent what was going on in here.

The flavor likewise features a dry, earthy, woodsy smokiness, but there is also a noticeable cocoa character on top of an expected roasty malt base. The texture is quite creamy, with only a fine, muted carbonation, but is somehow still manages to deftly conceal the alcohol content. Overall, the smoky aroma and flavor of this beer are comparatively light and pleasurable rather than challenging, but despite this mild character of the smoke, it still dominates the aroma and flavor, making the whole experience feel a bit one-note. That said, this one was still quite enjoyable.

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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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