Left Hand Brewing Fade to Black (bottle 8.5%)
The bottle suggests serving this in a goblet so I do – it’s a Brakspears Triple goblet. That rare Oxfordshire triple has tragically just been discontinued by Marstons, U.K.
The beer in the glass is obsidian black with a tight vanilla-hued head. Little rivulets of carbonation ascend up the glass. It smells like the black chocolate chunks in Battenberg cake or in Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream: those nuggets of thick full cocoa sticky sponge. When you breathe in the vapours, it recharges that chocolate cake glory across the palate. The mouthfeel is malty like liquid porridge; it’s like a food – a nourishing grain broth. There’s also a tubery starchy dimension but it’s not forward. There’s even a fruity edge like blueberries.
Despite its strong character, the beer balances itself out and is drinkable for 8.5% The malt and luxurious flavour carry the alcohol and each other very well. No pungent ethanol comes through.