Tonight’s beer is Left Hand Brewing’s Fade to Black Vol 2. This year the beer is a smoked baltic porter and each year the recipe will change to be a new style.
Today there are two lady reviewers, the wonderful people at The Beer Drinker’s Guide to Colorado:
Zenia works for The Beer Drinker’s Guide to Colorado, and is a founder of the Siserhood of the Suds, a women’s beer drinking group based in Colorado Springs. She was a “whatever there is” beer drinker until she started working for Beer Drinker’s Guide to Colorado and got to try good craft beer. A whole new world was opened to her. In the beginning her preferences leaned towards the darker beers, porters and stouts, then as her palate become more accustomed to the wonderful world of beer, she began to enjoy, on occasion a beer with more hops. Now she deems herself a hop head. Although as the days become shorter, she can hear the winter warmers calling to her…
Carol is a long time beer lover, gravitating to craft beer for the last decade. She is the Marketing and Sales Manager for the Beer Drinker’s Guide To Colorado, and has been for the past 2.5 years, so now her life is all about beer. She and Zenia started The Sisterhood of the Suds in an effort to further their own knowledge of craft beer, and to help other women do the same. They’ve had a great time with it so far.
Zenia: Beer pours black and thick, there is not much of a head and what little head there is dissipates quickly. Like a nice cup of black coffee, I’m ready to dive right in. The nose has hints of carmel, chocolate and a tiny bit of smoke. The first sip: coats the tongue, there is a hint of hop bitterness on the front and a nice toasty malty finish. The finish is also very dry, no one element leaves any sort of aftertaste, meaning I want to continue drinking, just to remember what it tastes like. Although it is 7.8% ABV, there is not any strong alcohol burn or taste at all, which makes it that much easier to drink, perhaps a little too fast. As the beer warms and I continue to sip I’m getting more caramel in the nose, and the finish becomes more like a nice dark chocolate, bittersweetness. It’s starting to make me hungry for some nice cheese and a smoky meat, like a salami. I’m also beginning to get more of the smokiness, but it’s still not overwhelming, just a lovely hint, like a cold winter night next to the fireplace. I could sip this beer all night, and perhaps make it into a milkshake, which would be fabulous!
Carol: This is my kind of winter beer! After pouring this inky black brew, I immediately noticed the smoky aroma in the nose, enticing, not overpowering. Some smoked beers can be overwhelming on that point, this was not. For me the smokiness enhanced the beer. It has a luxurious mouth feel, very full, coating the inside of my mouth. I noticed pleasant notes of astringency, the kind you get from molasses came to mind. Also the taste and feel of bittersweet chocolate in the back of my throat when I swallowed. Overall a nice malty experience, pleasantly bitter, this beer makes me think of wintertime, when you just want to curl up, contemplate, and savor. Yum! Way to go Left Hand!
He is Eric. He considers himself a beer geek. His favorite style changes a lot, but currently it’s probably vegetable and spice beers and Farmhouse ales. He is currently a bit burnt out from IPA’s and his least favorite styles are Barleywines and Dopplebocks, but that could change any minute. He teaches art at UCCS and moved to Colorado from Oregon.
The beer pours quite black with a nice brownish-tan head with nice lacing. The aroma has some definite smoke to it, raisins, and some dark chocolate. There is an astrigent bite from the burnt malts that turns into a smokiness, it also feels like smoke in the mouth. I actually taste some smoked bacon. It is mostly earthy flavors but I also feel like I could taste some dark cherries with chocolate. It reminds me of a cigar and the smoke texture stays a long time in my mouth. In fact, the artwork on the label reminds me of the swirling smoke designs that come from puffing a cigar. It’s a really great beer that is a nice balance of complexity mixed with an ease of drinking. I would sip this beer, not chug it, but I could probably drink a few in one night.