December 1 2009, 11:04 AM
Every time someone expresses disappointment with the earlier sunset, I couldn't agree more. My birthday is doubly disappointing -- not only is it way too close to Christmas, but it's also on December 21, which is the shortest day of the year, when it feels like the sun eases behind the mountains at, you know, noon. Left Hand Brewing Company has not let the dwindling daylight go unnoticed. In fact, it's found a way to celebrate it. Welcome the brewery's new seasonal, Fade to Black, a foreign stout with a thick, bold flavor. Expect an initial bitter, almost burnt-coffee flavor on the front of the tongue, a taste of the brew's espresso beans. There's also licorice, black cardamom, and molasses. While I can see this beer working better in a bomber, at 8.5 percent ABV I also understand why the brewery is distributing it in six-packs. And as strong as the flavors are, I appreciate a beer that has an unapologetic opinion---and I appreciate a surly brew to commiserate with me on my short birthday.