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Black Xantus - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black XantusBlack Xantus

Educational use only; do not reuse.

407 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 407
Hads: 1,274
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 18.69%
Wants: 123
Gots: 358 | FT: 31
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: 407 | Hads: 1,274
Reviews by nhindian:
Photo of nhindian
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Mikkeller wine glass. Bottle generously provided as an extra by Destral, thanks!

A - Pours a dark mahogany with tints of ebony in the thicker parts of the glass. It slowly but surely grows a 1.5-fingered head with decent retention for being a barrel-aged 11% beer. The lacing is a unique shimmering cascade of foam that crests and breaks like an wave on the beach.

S - Right away, the nose is bringing a sweet dose of bourbon and oak, mixed with vanilla. I'm also getting a good amount of rich chocolate. Although it says that it's brewed with coffee, I can't say I'm getting a strong amount of it besides a slight roast. The finish does have a discernible alcohol note that is a little off-putting.

T - While the aroma is quite enjoyable, I feel the taste is a step back. I am still getting the great bourbon note, which in the taste really accentuates the wood and especially the vanilla, but the alcohol heat comes through rather early and makes the whole thing a bit hot. There are some positive characteristics, however, in the almost decadent chocolate note in here that puts it on par with the amount found in excellent barrel-aged beers such as Goose Island's Bourbon County and 50/50's Eclipse series. Unfortunately, those beers are much more smooth and easy-drinking than this one, which is a shame given the retail price of this beer. Again, I'm not getting much coffee or espresso here, just a slight acrid bitterness.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good carbonation. Not as thick as I was expecting, but given the flavors I feel that this "lighter" feel gives it an advantage. While the flavors are a bit hot, the feel at least is smooth and rich. Long-lasting aftertaste of alcohol, chocolate, and bourbon.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. Honestly, the thing that wow'ed me about this beer was the chocolate, and coming in I thought the differentiator would be the coffee. Alas, this beer came up short on the coffee. I thought the nose and flavors were pretty good, but the harshness of the alcohol really hurt the overall flavor. I saw this in Richmond for around $13, and after having it, I don't think I'd spring for it for that much.

 2,188 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of zerosiah
3.74/5  rDev -9.2%
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 -6.1%
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 +3.2%

Photo of t2grogan
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of tbryan5
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Krafty34
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of sabitu
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of warnerry
3.38/5  rDev -18%
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 DuckDodgers
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JakerLou
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque brown with a small amount of tan head.

Smells of spicy raisins, booze (bourbon), some vanilla, and a bit of coffee.

Taste is similar, I get a lot of raisin and booze with a touch of vanilla. The coffee is understated and really comes across as a slight bitterness in the finish.

This beer is a bit on the thin side for an 11% imperial stout.

 361 characters

Photo of BeerMe13
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of SuperbikeShaun
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of mctizzz
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%

Photo of tigg924
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
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 -2.9%

Photo of Mora2000
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
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 -9%

Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
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 +3.2%

Photo of jaminjohnson
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of kingcrowing
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
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

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Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 407 ratings.