Beer Review 0028: Left Hand Fade To Black, Volume 2

Fade To Black, Volume 2 is brewed by Left Hand Brewing Company, located in Longmont, Colorado. This beer is a seasonal product for Left Hand and is brewed in the Smoked Baltic Porter style — the company intends for this beer to be darker than the winter night sky.

Left Hand traces its roots back to 1990, when it was started by two homebrewers. Fast forward through a couple of mergers and Left Hand is growing faster than ever today, and has the various medals and awards to prove their quality.

As you might expect, there was a Fade To Black, Volume 1. I have not tasted this beer; however, my educated guess is that it was very similar to what we have here with Volume 2, if not the same. “Volume 2” indicates this is the second year Left Hand has brewed this seasonal.

Alright, I know: shorter on facts, longer on reviews. Here we go… Fade To Black, Volume 2.

This Smoked Baltic Porter pours as advertised, a dark black that is completely opaque. The head is of average quantity and extremely creamy, producing a dark tan, almost brown cover over the drink. The appearance is intimidating, which goes along with its higher alcohol by volume (ABV) content of 7.8%. I cannot attest to any particles or sediment as the beer is too dark to tell if there are any present. The lacing is thick and plentiful, forming sheets all the way down the glass.

The aromatics are nice if one dimensional; as expected, there is a huge and pungent malt presence. Delicious roasted coffee is up front with a cocoa/ semisweet chocolate backend, and all that gives way to hints if smoke that are not harsh whatsoever.

On the palate, Fade To Black delivers loads of semisweet chocolate that transitions into a bitter note of coffee, which changes to sweet coffee on the finish, which is long and creamy. There are notes of smoke present as well but the coffee dominates and it is a tasty mixture with the semisweet chocolate. Like the aromatics, the flavors are one dimensional favoring malts, but the flavors are so delicious that it is hard to take points away for the lack of complexity.

I found Fade To Black to be a wonderfully tasty heavy beer. The flavors are full powered and I believe that anyone who likes heavily malted dark beers would get along with this one nicely.

If the flavor profiles I have described fit your palate, pick up a bottle of this today.

Left Hand Fade To Black, Volume 2, 89 points. Price: $1.99 US for one bottle.

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