Everything about Left Hand Brewing Company’s Fade to Black says Big Beer. A quick look and swirl shows you the thick body and dark color of the beer. That’s followed by the nose, which is deliciously smoky like smoked cheddar with notes of espresso and chocolate. The first taste starts with the same wonderful smokiness, which is soon complemented by dark malt and light raisin flavors, and subtly accompanied by high-alcohol warmth throughout. Finally, the aftertaste of smokiness and roasty malt lingers long after the sample. In my opinion this is the perfect sipping beer to warm up with on a frigid winter evening while watching the snow fall. Hands-down this is the most excited I’ve been about a beer in quite a while, and I don’t attribute that just to the 8%+ ABV, as I made sure to make my tasting notes during the first few sips.