Friday, November 20, 2009

143. Left Hand Fade to Black

Our second beer from Left Hand (the last one was their Milk Stout); we had this on tap at the Trolley Stop for Left Hand night; one of the Left hand brewers was in town for this, although no one seemed to really want to talk to him, as small talk fares poorly when confronted by the man who had a hand in making your beer. Oh, and Fade to Black is a Foreign Extra Stout.

Fade to Black starts with a roasted burnt malt smell, along with some chocolate as well, and has a deep black and brown color (sorry—the bar was dark and that’s the best we could do). It starts with some roasted malt flavors with sweetness and chocolate, moves into burnt roasty and light coffee flavors with some biscuit, and finishes dry with some bitterness and some lingering burnt notes. The mouthfeel is creamy, well-rounded and balanced in flavor. Very even and smooth—the sweetness and dryness work very well together in this beer. There is minimal carbonation present, but very little bite from it. Overall, a well-crafted beer. Smooth and clean with no real noticeable alcohol warmth or flavor—the alcohol is well-hidden for an 8.5% ABV beer.

From the Left Hand website: “Welcome to Fade to Black. That time of year when the day seems to fade away. Drifting further into the darkness with each passing day. Pours black with licorice, espresso bean, molasses, and black cardamom notes that give way to a feeling of self loathing, burnt opportunities and smoked relationships.” Way to make that beer sound like it is full of fun—because what I look for in a beer is a feeling of self loathing.

ABV: 8.5%
IBU: 30
OG: 18° P
Malts: Pale 2-row, Roasted Barley, Black Malt, Chocolate Malt, Cara-Aroma, & Malted Wheat
Hops: Magnum & U.S. Goldings


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