Left Hand Fade to Black Pepper Porter


Beer:  Pepper Porter
Brewery: Left Hand Brewing Company
Style: American Porter
ABV: 7.2%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pint glass
Drinking Establishment: Ally’s apartment
Primary Consumer: Ally



Sight: Very dark, near-black, espresso-brown color.  About 1/2-inch of creamy, mocha head.

Scent: Smoky, almost isopropyl (in a non-threatening kind of way) aroma.

Flavor: Subtle coffee flavors mix with a slight bitter bite, reminiscent of black licorice–and underlying it all, the smokiness of the peppers.

Feel: Smooth and lightly carbonated, with a tingly–dare I say, peppery?–linger.

This is the third in Left Hand’s winter seasonal Fade to Black series.  After releasing an Export Stout and a Smoked Baltic Porter in seasons past, the 3rd Volume of the series offers a complex flavor extravaganza.  Okay, maybe extravaganza is too bold a word–the brown chipotle-serrano-ancho chile blend isn’t domineering–but there is a lot going on here in the flavor department.  On first sip, it was hard to distinguish what it all was; but the flavors blend nicely to provide a very unique Porter experience, analogous to a chile-infused dark chocolate bar: you mostly taste the chocolate–or the sweet malts–but there’s an undeniable hint of something contrastingly smoky.  Left Hand considers the Fade to Black brews to be “exploratory beers,” and I’d say this Pepper Porter lives up to that.

Concluding remarks: The mosaic of flavors in this beer offers something different from your average coffee-caramel-flavored Porter.

Categories: Porter | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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