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Fade To Black (Volume 3 - Pepper Porter) | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Fade To Black (Volume 3 - Pepper Porter)Fade To Black (Volume 3 - Pepper Porter)
Very Good
523 Ratings
Fade To Black (Volume 3 - Pepper Porter)Fade To Black (Volume 3 - Pepper Porter)

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by claytong on 09-28-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 523 |  Reviews: 192
Photo of karatebartender
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of ColSanders123
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of scott2269
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of corby112
2.86/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours pitch black and nearly opaque with faint mahogany edges and a very thin beige head that immediately disappears without a trace of lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with a touch of smoke along with a prominent pepper presence. Hints of roasted coffee and dark chocolate along with licorice/anise but the chili peppers really come through especially as it warms.

Medium bodied with a decent amount of roasted malt up front with coffee, toast and chocolate notes followed by some light fruit and licorice before the peppers come in on the finish. Tastes kind of sweet with peppery spice up front with subtle vinous notes as well along with the anise/licorice character. The chilies aren't that noticeable until they come on strong in the finish. Plenty of lingering heat along with strong alcohol presence make this one a bit harsh. The pepper flavor isn't that bad but the alcohol and weird licorice notes clash resulting in a bit of a mess. I'm glad I got to try this one but finishing 12oz is proving to be a chore.

 1,017 characters

Photo of mcorwin
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Paul68
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of ej285701
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of EROCK75
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of John_M
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rustico Ballston the other day.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, primarily showing coffee grounds and dark chocolate. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this moderately sweet porter, and once again the coffee ground flavor really seems to dominate. Mouthfeel was a bit thin I thought, in what was basically a medium bodied beer. The alcohol is well disguised, and the finish was fairly long and coffee driven.

Frankly, this came across as more of a stout than a porter, and I can't say I picked up any of the pepper used in the recipe. A decent beer, but probably not something I need to revisit any time soon.

 695 characters

Photo of Jspriest
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of MichaelBurns
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of justintcoons
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very light fizzy head covering fades to nothing almost instantly, over pitch black thicker looking beer.

Nose brings nice roasted malts, dark chocolate, powdered cocoa, some smoked malts, light creamy porter aroma, a bit of a chewy malt and light oats, very light peppery aroma as it warms, hint of caramel and vanilla like.

Taste starts with chocolate milk, creamy lactose like with a big chocolate kick, hint of baker's chocolate and cocoa, light chalky cocoa too, with a bit of caramel and vanilla. Then a big spicy kick suddenly rings through, some pepper heat like a light cayenne stings the tongue, but not heavy, with a bit of a peppercorn like flavor. Behind all that is a hint of roast and chocolate malts, almost chewy but not quite. A bit of bitterness comes through, probably more from the malts and pepper than any hops, which brings the finish. It finishes slightly drier with lots of spicy pepper lingering, a nice heat, with some creamy chocolate and lactose lingering, hint of caramel.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied, quite creamy, a spicy pepper heat, and lower but decent enough carbonation.

Overall interesting, a nice pepper flavor and heat kick without being overpowering, nice malts, plenty of chocolate and lactose like chocolate milk, very drinkable and a nice creamy.

 1,303 characters

Photo of Rayek
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fade to Black 1? Great beer. Fade to Black 2? Great beer. Fade to Black 3? Not so much. My sample is a mere eight days removed from the bottling line.

Volume 3 hits my glass with a near pitch-black hue and a fizzy tan head. The head fades quickly to the edge of the glass and leaves no lace.

Peppers, peppers and more peppers. The molasses, licorice and burnt bitter goodness of the first FTB beer are here, but over-matched by the hot peppers. The heat carries through the finish and lingers on the palate for a long time. Despite the ABV, the body is rather light and slick. The fizz is too great for my desires.

I guess I should avoid chili beers, because this is another one that's not working for me. The earlier FTB beers were much stronger efforts.

 758 characters

Photo of Spider889
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the brewery on 9/25. Served in a tulip.

Vol. 3 is brewed with a mix of peppers. My notes indicate that the beer is really 7.2% but the bottles don't say at all...

The brew is black and thick for a porter. A tall creamy head floats atop the beer leaving some spotty lace.

The aroma is rich and malty. I love the Fade to Black series and vol. 3 is already off to a nice start. There's a nice earthiness to the brew that I attribute to the chiles. Roasty yet smooth. A nice chocolate aroma grows as the beer is given time to warm up a bit.

While the malt-driven flavor of this volume is tasty, at first the chiles seem to have checked out. There's still plenty to appreciate: clean and crisp flavors of coffee and browned grains. But over time the chiles make themselves much more apparent. They are mostly earthy, but do leave a mild residual smokiness on the palate.

The mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, but also very crisp and refreshing for the style. The heat, while never strong, definitely does grow with each sip until a mild tingling mounts in the back of the throat (but never grows into a burn).

While I did prefer last year's volume more, this year's is still awesome.

 1,197 characters

Photo of billab914
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone IRS glass. It poured black in color with a thin tan lacing scattered across the top of the beer. The head retreated to the edges of the glass after a minute or so.

The aroma has some roasty coffee and milk chocolate flavors coming out at first. The peppers seem pretty mild at first, but the more I get into it the more they seem to come out. I get some leathery notes mixing with a touch of chipotle heat. I get a little bit of a dark fruit presence to it at times as well. Great aroma, I was worried the peppers would dominate but instead they were a little more subtle. They added some very nice flavors and depth to it as well.

The taste shows more of the sweeter, milk chocolate flavors to it up front. Towards the finish I start to get more roasty coffee and bitter, dark chocolate. The peppers really start to come out in the finish as well with chipotle, smoke and a little bit of pepper heat to it. A little bit of the heat lingers with some of the bitter, burnt flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a very good beer and probably pretty easily the best pepper infused beer I've had. They really did a good job not letting the peppers dominate. The big roasty, bitter, chocolate flavors really worked well for it as well. I liked the little bit of heat I get in the finish as well. Very good and interesting beer overall.

 1,442 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes taken during a tasting with a friend.

A - Poured into a tulip a deep brown, almost black one finger mocha head that fades to leave a nice halo and good clouding.

S - Very nice coffee and chocolate with some creamy roast malts and a very light spice note on the end of the nose.

T - More of the nose with the nice roast malts and chocolate. The spice is much more pronounced and lingers pleasantly.

M - Creamy and smooth, semi thin but with a nice spice finish on the tongue.

O - This is a good porter, could use a bit more chocolate and coffee, but with a nice light spice kick.

 594 characters

Photo of Reaper16
3.09/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a dark, dark chestnut color. It's practically black except when held to direct light. 1/4 of a finger of light beige head forms and quickly dissipates. Meh.

The smoke is no joke on the very first toke, not woodsy like oak, but more like alright I'll stop this joke it isn't even funny anyway. It's smoky. The label doesn't mention that this is "Pepper Porter" is a smoked porter, but the aroma makes it very evident. There's some brown sugar here, and some grilled meat like aromas. The pepper is here in similar to every other pepper beer in that it doesn't smell like chilies but instead like Big Red gum or something. You smell more of a sensation than you do a definite aroma.

The base smoked porter flavor is pretty average. There's milk chocolate, a quick pecan-like nutty sweetness, and a flush of grape jam. It's pretty underwhelming. The pepper heat and flavor, though, salvages the beer. There's a cinnamon gum sort of flavor, with a heat/tingling sensation that distracts me (in a good way) from the meh base porter.

This is watery, frankly. It feels insubstantial to me. There's no body for the porter flavors to latch onto. I'm scoring this a 3.0 because the peppery tingling sensation seems like it falls under the purview of mouthfeel.

This reminds me a lot of the Stone Smoked Porter with chipotle peppers. The base beer is not great and the peppers only make it mildly more interesting. Not bad, but I won't buy this again.

 1,491 characters

Photo of Jips
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured black with a thin tan head, smelled of chocolate, black pepper, and dried whole peppers whose names I can't pronounce.

Medium bodied, average carbonation. Tastes overall sweet upfront: caramel, some chocolate, brown sugar, and a little raisin/plum action. On the back end is great blend of dry pepper flavor. Starts all leathery, transitions into slight acidic "heat", then finishes as a hint of fresh black pepper. The effect is a similar to a dry hopped beer with multiple hop varietals added.

Don't let the 'pepper' name scare you spice wimps! Just enough to make it interesting. This is an excellent spice beer, although the base porter is nothing exciting. Great brew, especially if you like molé.

 712 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Binny's. Served in a Surly pint glass.

A - Hard pour rouses a thin tan foam that quickly settles to a thick collar and a few stray bubbles. Body is a dark brown with some transparency and reddish highlights to it.

S - Very smokey, with some bell pepper notes as well. As it warms up there are chocolate cake and cookie flavors present, as well as some nice roast character. Not much in the way of alcohol.

T - Taste is similar, with chocolate, caramel, cookie, and roasted malts mingling with smoke and peppers. There finish has some charry bitterness, and the aftertaste is entirely smoke.

M - Carbonation is medium-high, and a bit more than I tend to like from a porter. Finish has lots of lingering mouth-coating smoke coating and light stickiness. Medium body with a smooth texture.

D - This beer was a pleasant surprise. The pepper flavor is fairly mild and integrates with the smoked porter base. I had no problems drinking a 12oz bottle, and I'd consider grabbing this again. Definitely the best thing I've tried from Left Hand.

 1,052 characters

Photo of ccarney2
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Jet black pour with a small and quickly diminishing light tan head. Not a very distinct lacing, kind of spotty.

Smell - Very subtle aroma, not many specific attributes shining though. I was kind of worried at this point.

Taste - nice malty plum flavor to start off, but that pleasant flavor quickly turns fierce and surprising. As soon as you finish exhaling, a distinctive spicy flavor comes across the tongue. It was rather unique for me, and I was really awoken at this point. The smoked chili flavor lasts for quite some time. It really intrigued me. I could feel little bubbles of heat popping on my tongue after swallowing this beer.

Mouthfeel - As average as it gets i think. Medium carbonation, and an average consistency did not exactly impress.

Overall - Interesting is the first word that comes to mind. This isn't really a style that i have too much experience with, but i am very intrigued with the heat in the bitterness. It is definitely something i will talk about with friends, but may not be a beer that I passionately recommend. I do think it is worth a tasting though, especially if you are not used to/aware of beers that include a smoked chili taste. I probably won't forget this beer for a while, but i also probably won't buy another 6 pack of it for a while.

 1,300 characters

Photo of hosehead83
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown in color, with ruby highlights glinting on the edges. Moderate head of tan foam.
Aroma-Subtle, but attention getting whiff of chili peppers mixed with chocolate and faint coffee notes.
Taste-Coffee-with-cream, dark chocolate, and a nice chili pepper bite that doesn't overwhelm, but dances pleasantly on the palate. Great flavor and balance. Smoky, spicy and tasty. Right up my alley! A perfect match for a grilled steak, chili, or any spicy fare. Nicely done!

 526 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Much thanks to RocPorterFanatic for this brew.

A: Pours a nice deep brown. In the glass it is black with a soft tan head.

S: Classic porter smells, roasty with hints of chocolate and coffee. There are some bready yeast notes in there as well. I am not picking up so much on the pepper note though.

T: There's the pepper. Pepper flavor comes out right away followed by roasted barley, and chocolate. The finish brings in more of the spicy note with peppercorns and a nice hint of coffee.

M: Medium in body, decent carbonation, a slightly slick feeling in the aftertaste.

O: Overall quite tasty, although I would be curious to taste this beer without the peppercorns. Seems like it would be a fine beer either way, but it would be interesting to compare the two.

 769 characters

Photo of match1112
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured pitch black with a half inch of tan head that fades rather quickly but leaves some lacing. smell is of malts and barley, a little smoke but no pepper noticed. the taste is where the pepper comes thru ever so slightly. also has the usual porter taste with hints of roasted malts and some chocolate and caramel. mouthfeel is medium heavy, almost chewy. has good carbonation, but no spice from the peppers. overall this was more like a smoked beer to me rather than a pepper.

 479 characters

Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep chocolate brown with a thin beige head that was gone quickly.A great mix of smoke and pepper overtop of chocolate and roast,alot going on.Wow this os a pepper porter just like the label says,sharp smoky peppers mixed with dark roast with some light chocolate coming into play,the pepper spice is the real deal here.No holds barred here its a bold peppery porter...the way it should be.

 399 characters

Fade To Black (Volume 3 - Pepper Porter) from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 523 ratings
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