Black Xantus - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black XantusBlack Xantus

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

397 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 397
Hads: 1,221
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 113
Gots: 344 | FT: 30
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:
Beer added by: ThreeWiseMen on 10-09-2009

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%
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 397 | Hads: 1,221
Reviews by flayedandskinned:
Photo of flayedandskinned
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage
Poured into a standard tulip glass.

Appearance: (4.5)
Pours a positively impenetrable obsidian with a creamy, dark tan 2 fingers tall head that quickly reduces down to about a half finger, leaving zero lacing behind.

Aroma: (4.5)
Wow, waves and waves of coconut and vanilla from the bourbon barrels with huge notes of baker's chocolate, pipe tobacco and sweet, creamy milk chocolate intermingling. There is a fairly big espresso presence that is interwoven effortlessly with the notes of coconut, chocolate and dark cherry. There are some light alcohol phenols that surface as the beer warms, but they aren't bothersome at all; they help cut some of the sweetness of the dark malts.

Taste: (4.25)
A big dark chocolate note greets your palate right away which lead right into a creamy, chocolate covered cherry middle. Some light notes of tobacco and a big roasted malt backbone. There is a gentle, herbal hoppiness through the taste. The beer finishes off dry with a HUGE lingering roasted coffee note. The coffee really sneaks up on your palate. To augment the finish, there are notes of toffee and more coconut and vanilla littered through out.

Mouthfeel: (4)
Full bodied and robustly creamy, with moderate, purposeful carbonation.

Overall: (4.5)
The absolute closest beer I've had to Firestone's Parabola(which comes to no surprise, since this is brewed by them under their Nectar Ales brand). The moment I smelled this, I thought "Holy crap, this is Parabola!", but I let the stout warm up a bit more and the creamy, chocolate laced coffee aromatics really started to leap up to separate it from it's relative. This is pretty much Parabola's little coffee addicted sister. Highly recommended! (1,720 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of zerosiah
3.74/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer poured a very dark brown into my glass. With the term "black" in the name I was expecting a darker color. I would put this beer into an imperial (barrel aged) brown category rather than a stout. The toasty bitter taste one might expect in a stout is lacking. However, chocolate presence and smooth barreled mouthfeel are quite forward in this offering. If this beer was labeled as an imperial barrel aged brown I would give it a 4.5. (446 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.87/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a nonic a near jet black with a creamy-like deep beige head that looked good but faded rather quickly.Great mix of vanilla,roast,coffee,and bitter chocolate aromas,really rich aromas.Sweetish and rich on the palate with vanilla and molasses being the main component,its roasted and it holds up to the sweetness well but the sweetness wins out in the end.A rich RIS and its a good nightcap but it gets a tad sweet after mid bottle in my opinion. (456 characters)

Photo of Beerdless
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of t2grogan
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of tbryan5
4.59/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Krafty34
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of sabitu
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of warnerry
3.38/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours black with one finger of quickly dissipating tan head.

S - Sweet bourbon notes up front, with some vanilla, coffee and oak also coming through.

T - Taste is also sweet vanilla, coffee and bourbon, with some roasted malts coming through that were not apparent in the smell. Oak becomes more prominent the further into the bottle, but not necessarily in a pleasant way.

M - a little thin for an RIS.

D With the abv, thin mouthfeel and pervasive, drying oak, drinkability is moderate at best, and definitely not worth $15 a bottle. (542 characters)

Photo of BeerMe13
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of SuperbikeShaun
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of mctizzz
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of tigg924
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Driftwood-Plymouth--served into a tulip.

Appearance: black in color, minimal head, minimal carbonation, opaque

Smell: coffee, cream, and roasted malt

Taste: deep roasted coffee, light cream, vanilla, and oak--especially at the end

Mouthfeel: smooth, moderate-high carbonation, medium body for the style, sweet with oakiness that gives a slight bittering

Overall: Was not sure I was going to like this beforehand, but I love it. The coffee is rich but not overpowering and it mixes very well with the oak. I would love to try this one aged, but on draft it was a treat. This is what a coffee stout should be to me and is the new standard bearer. (663 characters)

Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Mora2000
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this beer.

Beer pours black with a tan head. The aroma is sweet, with a little bourbon as well as some vanilla and raisins. The taste is a strong mix of vanilla and milk chocolate. You also get a little bourbon and oak character. The beer has a thick, creamy mouthfeel and is very good. (316 characters)

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Bottle

A- Pours very dark, a fair amount of carbonation

S- Smells sweet; hints of coffee & vanilla

T- Very well balanced, upfront is chocolate and coffee, as it warms up the back end is more complex, can taste more fruit and a little more booze.

M- Medium body, but still smooth

O- Overall I really enjoyed this. The 2 year point was perfect to smooth it out. Hope this comes to St. Louis in the future. Love the FW line.

Reviewed on: 07-02-2011 (457 characters)

Photo of Mattco
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of jaminjohnson
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of kingcrowing
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours a very dark brown, almost no head but it's dark. Nose bis oaky, a bit sweet and very mellow with vanilla.

Taste is sweet, oak, some. Sort of liquor and a good rich vanilla flavor. Mouthfeel is full, creamy and very good. (263 characters)

Photo of jburchett
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of jondeelee
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black Xantus (Xantus being a species of hummingbird, as per the label's picture) begins with a heavenly Imperial Stout aroma--chock full of tobacco, ash, smoke, coffee, and molasses--but this one is tempered by the promise of brown sugars and caramelized figs.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a lash of coffee, ash, tobacco, black malt, and anise that is truly spectacular. As the mouthful ages on the tastebuds, a sugary layer of caramelized figs and brown sugar filters through, but is obviously struggling to do so against the weight of the primary flavors. Subsequent mouthfuls reveal deeper layers of figs, vanilla, and aged port, as well as a rim of bourbon at the edges. The aftertaste is a continuation of the darker flavors, as well as a slow bourbon alcohol burn that actually increases in intensity, and lasts for quite a while. Mouthfeel is a smooth medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high.

Overall, this is a great Imperial Stout, and sure to please fans of the style. The beer might be a bit too heavy on the bourbon-and-alcohol burn (which does tend to dominate the flavor profile if several sips are taken in a row), but at 11% ABV, it's actually surprising that this isn't more present, and speaks volumes of the levels of flavor otherwise assaulting the tastebuds. Sip this one slowly, but otherwise well worth the price. (1,353 characters)

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Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 397 ratings.