Thursday, December 31, 2015

Left Hand Fade to Black, Volume 1

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20Chad9976 (1529) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 31, 2015
The “Foreign Extra Stout” is a niche style that’s close to traditional imperial stouts, but there’s a finite difference between them. I’d say Left Hand Fade to Black, Volume 1 is a good example of the style and I could tell it was a “FES” right away. Stylistically it’s on-point in all aspects, and as a beer it’s really tasty and nice to drink. 


I poured a 12oz bottle into a wine glass. It had a best by date of 10/27/16 and cost $2.29 ($0.19 per ounce).

Appearance: Despite the name it’s actually a deep dark brownish red hue. Not completely opaque. Pours to a small, tan, foamy head which laces and retains fairly well.

Smell: Plenty of dark roasted malt as well as sweet confectionery notes of toffee, treacle and molasses. No alcohol presence.

Taste: A bit mild up front, but plenty of roasted malt flavor and dry coffee-like bitterness at the apex. The finish is the best part as it changes on a dime from bitter to sweet. Just like the aroma, the palette is pretty rich with toffee, treacle and molasses. It leaves an aftertaste of syrup, though the hops linger as well. I get some dank piney hop character throughout, which is nice. I would consider this to be a pretty well-balanced brew.

Drinkability: At 8.5% ABV, Left Hand Fade to Black, Volume 1 is actually bit big for the style, though it seems much lighter than the average imperial stout. The alcohol never comes through in the aroma, taste or body. The mouthfeel is not quite the sticky sensation you might think; full-bodied for sure, but still quite crisp with a smooth finish. Not quite a liquid dessert, though I’m sure it’d pair well with your favorite chocolate or vanilla treat.

RATING: 8/10