Mar 1, 2010

Left Hand Brewing Fade to Black

Man, talk about an eye catching design. The label artwork for Left Hand Brewing’s relatively new seasonal release, Fade to Black Vol 1, is as mesmerizing as it is creative. The swirling lines and stark monochromatic design jumped off the shelf of my local shop, begging me to buy a six pack or two.

The only problem with artwork like this is that sometimes the tasty liquid contained in the bottle it adorns sometimes doesn’t live up to the creative license the brewery has taken. Well, this foreign export stout exceeds expectations nicely with a deep, roasted flavor and a warming 8.5% ABV.


Fade to Black pours a near black with a ruby edge. A large, pillowy mocha colored head faded slowly after the initial pour.


Big roasted malt dominate the nose almost immediately upon pouring the beer. There’s a subtle touch of chocolate in there, but not much. I love the smell of stouts like this.


The roast is definitely in there, but it’s not overly smokey. The medium bodies brew is smooth and well balanced, leading off with the roasted malt and finishing with a slightly bitter finish with a touch of hops in there. It’s not overly sweet, but there’s enough in there to go along with subtle licorice and chocolate notes. I didn’t find too much of the alcohol in the taste which made this one a bit too drinkable the other night.


I enjoyed the hell out of this beer. The roasted character, medium body and slight sweetness are balanced to near perfection. I will definitely be buying more of this before it gets too warm out. Ah, hell, who am I kidding. I could drink this on a 90 degree summer day.

Rating: 4/5

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