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RATINGS: 474   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 30   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
2013 & 2010 Gold Medal Winner at the Great American Beer Festival in the Foreign Stout category.

That time of year when the day seems to fade away. Drifting further into the darkness with each passing day. Volume 1 - Foreign Stout - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
geeklimit (282) - USA - JAN 16, 2016
Pours opaque black, little head. Coffee aroma, slight dark chocolate. Chocolate taste with mocha follow through. Slight burnt chocolate aftertaste. Slightly sticky mouthfeel.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
pilsnerrogge (2797) - Finspång, SWEDEN - JAN 16, 2016
Eyes: Black with ruby highlights. Thick head.
Nose: Roasted malt, char coal, smoked ham.
Mouth: Dryish with a somewhat harsh finish.
Tongue: Roasted malt, hops, some coffee, some chocolate.
Brain: Quite ok, but shouldn’t Foreign Stouts be a little sweeter?

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
retinadoc (219) - - JAN 15, 2016
Bottle. Sweet caramel aroma. Slightly above average carbonation. Pours black. Delicious, rich sweet coffee, caramel and malt flavors. Smooth finish. A little boozy at 8.5% ABV, but still a terrific beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DocJitsu (1634) - Pensacola, Florida, USA - JAN 13, 2016
Pours a dark brown with a short-lived tan head. Smoking griddle Porter nose. Soft mouthfeel. Sweeter than I expected. Lactose, coffee, dark fruit. Finishes dry with baker’s chocolate dominating.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
MacBoost (1738) - Penfield, New York, USA - JAN 9, 2016
Cocky, semi authentic foreign stout. Big tobacco and fig. Some fudge. Medium alcohol presence. It’s from Colorado, ok? Let’s be serious here.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MrHult (467) - SWEDEN - JAN 9, 2016
Flaska från Systembolaget. Svart med ljusbrunt skum. Härlig len stout med tydliga vaniljtoner. Smarrig!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jrodooo5 (1465) - DOVER, Delaware, USA - JAN 5, 2016
Pretty opaque pour w/ a tan head & decent lacing. The aroma is robust w/ roasted notes & a slight hint of cocoa. The flavor is roasty upfront & finishes quickly & rather dry. The 8+% is hidden well as the beer is fairly drinkable. Overall it’s a pretty solid offering!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Leini (1790) - SWEDEN - JAN 5, 2016
355ml bottle. Pitch black body with a low tan head. Burnt malt, roasted notes, coffee and a just a hint of caramel. Finishes dry and heavily roasted.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ChadPolenz (1676) - Lakeland, 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

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tightslice (889) - Redwood City, California, USA - DEC 30, 2015
Bottle from K&L in Redwood City, CA. Aroma and taste are chocolate and a touch of coffee. Light and smooth for 8.5%.

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