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Black Xantus - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black XantusBlack Xantus

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

1,037 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,037
Reviews: 371
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 108
Gots: 274 | FT: 20
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)
View: Beers (5) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,037 | Reviews: 371 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by nhindian:
Photo of nhindian
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Photo of Beerdless
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of t2grogan
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of tbryan5
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Krafty34
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of warnerry
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

Photo of BeerMe13
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of SuperbikeShaun
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of mctizzz
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of tigg924
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Mora2000
4.18/5  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.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
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

Photo of Mattco
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of jaminjohnson
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of kingcrowing
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of jburchett
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of jondeelee
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of ehammond1
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A very dark brown with an extremely thin and light brown head. Leaves significant lacing down the glass. A pretty beer, but it doesn't strike me as special or beautiful.

A muted yet pleasant aroma of chocolate and coffee and some sweet dark fruits, but nothing is leaping out of the glass to attack my nose.

A good taste that follows the nose, yet everything seems muted a bit. There's some roasted coffee, some burnt chocolate, and a touch of fruit, but nothing overwhelming or overtly special.

An appropriate velvety and smooth mouthfeel.

A pleasant enough and drinkable enough RIS but it doesn't do any one particular well enough that makes it one of my favorites. Fortunately, I can find better RIS on a regular basis. Ultimately good, but not great.

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into my SA perfect pint, this brew pours a super dark brown. Held to the light you can see some light shine through. The head is lacking body.

S: The aroma deserves a 4.5 simply due to mouth watering .complexity. Medium roast coffee, notes of chocolate and vanilla, some toffee, and maybe some hazel nut.

T: The flavor is almost equally as complex and satisfying as the nose. Very smooth chocolate, vanilla, coffee mix with a slight bitterness on the back of the pallet.

MF: The mouth feel is velvety smooth with excellent carbination for brew supposedly aged in various barrels.

Overall, a brew completely worth the price. It is rare to see a brew of this quality on the shelves here in FL

Photo of Soonami
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks Chad for sharing this bottle of Black Xantus. This was a delicious RIS, I can't remember having a better example of the style. The beer was nearly opaque, dark as midnight with mahogany hues when held up in the light. The beer was topped with a cappuccino foam that held a wonderful aroma of mocha, roasted malt and fresh ground coffee. The beer had great balance with a wonderful amount of malty toasty grain. Often stouts are all bitter and astringent roast, but this beer has delicious maltiness that just makes it for me. Great beer thanks a lot Chad for sharing, i can't wait to be able to buy this soon.

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Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,037 ratings.