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Black Xantus - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Black XantusBlack Xantus

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

790 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 790
Reviews: 349
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%


Brewed by:
Humboldt Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Barrel aged for 6 months in combination of Bourbon, retired Firestone Union and wine barrels and Infused with fair-trade, organic coffee from local roaster Jobella.

Style: Imperial Java Stout IBUs: 50 Color: Black ABV: 11%

(Beer added by: ThreeWiseMen on 10-09-2009)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 790 | Reviews: 349 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by bnes09:
Photo of bnes09
bnes09

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black, dense looking brew with no light visible. Bold and luscious, whole wheat-colored head gradually recedes to a thin film and creamy corona around the edges of the glass. Blankets half of the glass (opposite the drinking side) in creamy lacing.

Smooth, bourbon, dark fruit and molasses aroma dances around my nostrils begging me to take a sip. Sweet, oaky and very well balanced.

Flavor begins with smooth sweet molasses, prune juice and black currants. Oaky bourbon character comes next, rich and satisfying. Just a hint of booze. Mid-drink, coffee notes dominate and compliment the malty, roasted almond flavor. Hops come to life in the finish with a well balanced, herbal, leafy character. However, somewhere between the finish and the aftertaste, the hops turn from pleasant to off-balanced with an aggressive pine-sol, grapefruit, detergent bitterness which does not blend well with the smooth bourbon tones. Thankfully this flavor is short-lived and is not dominating thanks to the massive malt bill in this beer. I think there are just so many flavors here, you are bound to find something that doesn't quite fit.

Dense, full bodied beer. Near syrup consistency. Sticky texture on the tongue and lips. Relatively low carbonation but works well for the style.

Overall, a very tasty bourbon-barrel aged double stout. Has all the bells and whistles I am looking for and has great balance throughout the majority of the drink. I am about half way done with a glass and am already beginning to feel the alcohol take hold. This is some strong stuff but it does not taste that way. Respect this beer, sip and savor.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 02:11:12 | More by bnes09
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Texas

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

04-16-2014 19:59:38 | More by gshak
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04-14-2014 04:36:14 | More by mrbubbler
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Heretic42

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04-14-2014 04:14:16 | More by Heretic42
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kevwcamp

Washington

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

04-13-2014 03:40:38 | More by kevwcamp
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New York

4/5  rDev -4.3%

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04-12-2014 02:36:29 | More by BeerBeast
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Darkmagus82

Virginia

4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours an almost pitch black color with a one finger of tan colored head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer has tons of chocolate and coffee in the nose. Along with these smells are some wonderful oaky and bourbon aromas mixed with a good dose of caramel and vanilla sweetness. Some other lighter aromas of a more dark fruit nature are thee as well with smells of cherry, raisin and plum all there. Overall the aroma is big roasty and sweet producing a nice warming aroma overall..

Taste – The taste begins with a huge sweet chocolate flavor with tons of caramel and vanilla mixed within along with a decent sum of a roasted malt flavor. While described from the bottle as a coffee stout, I got much more chocolate and sweetness out of this then coffee. From the onset with the big roasted, chocolate and sweet flavors does however come some notes of a coffee flavor as well as a bit of a oaky flavor. Some lighter alcohol flavors, for a brew of 11% abv, come to the tongue at the end of the taste, which are accompanied by some fruit flavor of raisin and fig, end up mixing with the other flavors that had come up throughout the taste profile to leave a nice smooth and sweet, chocolaty roasted flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both were fantastic for the big chocolate, and sweet flavors of the brew with the lower carbonation only accentuating these and making for a nice slow drinker that is surprisingly easy to drink.

Overall – A nice and “easy drinking” Imperial stout at 11 % abv. It has tons of nice smooth flavors that make it a real pleasure to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 01:04:17 | More by Darkmagus82
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Claytonbrewsby

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

04-10-2014 22:21:47 | More by Claytonbrewsby
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Mike

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

04-07-2014 23:13:56 | More by Mike
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dtomes

New York

4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

04-05-2014 02:25:15 | More by dtomes
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freewill35

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

04-04-2014 23:58:14 | More by freewill35
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neurobot01

California

3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured at fridge temp into a snifter, allowed to warm while drinking. Have been sitting on this since late Nov.

Look: Dark brown, with very minimal head, not much carbonation.

Aroma: Initial smell is really hard to place—pretty sure it was the wine barrels coming through, but didn't quite smell like wine. I think the best description I can give overall is that it smells Iike Ghirardelli Raspberry-filled Dark Chocolate Squares. Also a hint of astringency. Honestly not sure what to make of it.

Taste: First thought was, "What the hell is in my mouth?" Sort of bitter/tart fruitiness, has a kind of rotten something going on. Followed quickly by intense sweetness, chocolate, then sweet fruit (or fruit-like goo; see aroma). I also feel like I'm getting some char—maybe that's part of the initial bitterness. Lingering taste of fruit, chocolate, and burnt wood. Surprisingly pronounced yellow bell pepper way on the back end. As it warms, things meld a bit better—it almost has the feel of an ABA, thanks to the combo of roastiness and bitterness. Might also pick up a bit more Bourbon.

Feel: Fairly light, particularly for the abv and style. Pretty spot-on carbonation.

Overall: I really wanted to love this beer—it's a local brewer trying something pretty different. As it is, I may grab another bottle from a local shop where I know it's been in cold storage the whole time. But based on this bottle, this just doesn't quite work for me, and for this price, I'd much rather be drinking actual FW barrel stuff than this step-child brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 01:48:36 | More by neurobot01
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clayrock81

Virginia

4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with one finger tan head that left lace patches. Dark fruit aromas like black cherry and figs are evident as are notes of vanilla and coffee for that java smell, roasted malts, molasses, chocolate and wood. Body is chewy, fuller bodied, breadlike, beer goes down smooth yet at times is also sticky, there are cherry and figs for dark fruit flavors, vanilla, bourbon, coffee, wood, chocolate and there all balanced for a both sweet and dry beer that is a monster sipper.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 14:05:37 | More by clayrock81
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California

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

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Beerdless


4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-24-2014 04:06:33 | More by Beerdless
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01001111

California

3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

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TTAmod

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Received this for free from my beer store. Thanks!! 22 oz. bomber poured into pint glass. Looking at the description, I must say I'm excited....

A: Looks really good. Pitch black beer, even when held up to the light. Thick dark brown head on top. Excellent retention for 11%.

S: Smell is also quite good. Sweet coffee, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, wood, bourbon-soaked cherries....very nice.

T: Very well-balanced for a barrel stout. Get the sweetness up front. Lots of vanilla, fruit, bourbon, brown sugar, etc. Lots of coffee and espresso on the back end. A touch roasty, but not burnt. Not bitter at all. Finishes with a nice taste of coffee. Some alcohol is present near the end.

M: Pretty thick, but not cloying, thankfully. That's typically the problem with these types of stouts. Moderate carbonation, but more lively than your typical stout. Easy enough to drink for a big stout.

O: Color me impressed, here. Never heard of this one, but my guy at the beer store said it's going on clearance and gave me one because he had a ton of them. If people knew what this tasted like, it wouldn't be around long enough to go on clearance. There is a lot of strong tastes and depth with this beer, but nothing overpowers the other. This beer is quite the balanced barrel stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 02:00:14 | More by TTAmod
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Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

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Jdub2839

Florida

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

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BarryMFBurton

Indiana

3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I hope there’s a good reason this bomber was over $15; still, I’m the sucker who bought it, so I guess that’s on me. Cheers.

Bottle 11/22/2013, about four months before the date of this tasting.

A: Dark, dark brown body, pouring nearly black from the bottle, with no head whatsoever. Give the glass a little twist and you get a bit of mocha-colored bubbles hugging the walls, but that’s it. Get a little further into the bottle and a bit of creamy head appears after the pour, but you have to work for it. Looks thick, at any rate.

S: Complex, gourmet coffee and artisan chocolate aromas create an alluring character, one I’ve experienced in only a few special stouts. Wow. Typical stout scents – vanilla extract, brownie batter, heavily roasted coffee – are present in force, but more intricate tones of bright ripe cherry, toasted pecan, and rose water add nuance; that, plus an ever-present maple and bourbon scent, shows that this has some wonderful complexity before even taking a sip. A memorable nose.

T: As expected, this is a rich palate packed with residual sugars, but the coffee and barrel tastes are just odd enough to turn this into something that’s not your typical imperial stout. In each sip, you have a vanilla ice cream and Hershey’s chocolate foundation laying flat beneath sharp and abnormally wild bitters – tastes of earthy coffee and hops add a twist of acidic espresso, herbal mint, raspberry, and a touch of cola. That all wraps up in a catty, mildly flowery hop taste that pulls on the palate a bit, adding some prickliness to the smooth sugars. The barrel aging adds a nice touch, as well, playing on the interesting bitterness with a slight oxidation flavor – a lightly papery note – and an oak sawdust and taste. Finishes with some light whiskey and smoke on the tongue, woody and very slightly dry.

M: This stout is the definition of “milky:” no real carbonation, a creamy (but not thick) body, and a lack of intensely drying features on the palate. It fits, though, since the palate is sweet in a meaty, lactose sugar kind of way.

O: Sometimes a beer with an odd palate is interesting; here, though, the abnormal fruity and herbal tastes end up perceived as off-flavors. I enjoy drinking it, sure, but that’s only because there’s a streak of traditional stout flavor to this beer. I’ll take a stout with an interesting palate any day – Porcine Unidragon, Surly Darkness, Bourbon County Cherry Rye – but it’s possible for out-of-the-ordinary to become unpleasant, and that’s what ended up happening with the hops and the coffee here. Underneath, though, you have a great stout with a spectacular nose and creamy drinkability that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 22:45:18 | More by BarryMFBurton
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kevindp9

Arizona

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-19-2014 08:32:51 | More by kevindp9
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Bilco

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

03-17-2014 23:21:48 | More by Bilco
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Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 790 ratings.