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Black Xantus | Humboldt Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
420 Reviews
THE BROS
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
420
Ratings:
1,319
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
18.45%
 
 
Wants:
126
Gots:
377
For Trade:
32
Black XantusBlack Xantus
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

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%

Added by ThreeWiseMen on 10-09-2009

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 420 | Ratings: 1,319
Reviews by seaoflament:
Photo of seaoflament
3.23/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought this bomber at SouthBayDrugs about 2 weeks ago and just haven't gotten around to drinking it until tonight.

Pours a dark burnt sugar color, not completely dark but with a few hint of dark amber on the sides when held to the light. About a quarter inch of foam amassed but quickly reduced to a ring.

Almost immediately I get a blast of booze, brown sugar, dates, lots of raisins, oak, vanilla, toasted coconut, almonds, caramel, and a little more heat in the background. Not bad really, the alcohol is quite fruity and there is quite a bit of barrel presence in the aroma that is fairly well integrated with the beer. Hints of toast start to come through. There seems to be a vinous and grape-like aroma that is at the front of the nose at times. A lot of "green" barrel notes and something somewhat chalky. Multi-grain bread, soft vanilla, brown sugar coated raisins, and dark chocolate. As it warms up a bit I start to get an aroma akin to a fruity/chocolaty coffee with low acidity.

Roasted malts, dry roasted barley, brown sugar, bitter dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, sweet toast, and raisins. Then I start go taste some dried dark cherries, dates, and some caramel. The beginning is a little rough with some roasted malts and booze that don't quite blend together well, but the middle has the sweetness coming though which brings the caramel and chocolate flavors and finishes with some brown sugar, vanilla, oak, and smoother bourbon. Oak tannins and dryness in the finish with the roasted barley making a full circle from beginning to finish. The aftertaste is quite nice with some toast, oak, vanilla, brown sugar, toasted coconut, a bit of coffee, and almonds. Overall though, this one is quite rough around the edges and suffers on drinkability. The taste seems to get more acrid as the glass empties, harsh roasted flavors, harsh coffee...not that pleasant.

Moderate carbonation, could be a little smoother or creamier on the palate and the finish is a tad thin. Definitely a sipper with 11% being quite evident on the aroma and finish. The alcohol is a bit numbing at times.

 2,098 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Brutaltruth
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thoroughly enjoyed from the big bottle in a snifter. This most excellent imperial stout pours a deep dark blackish brown with a very nice head of light tan foam that subsides to a thick ring, nice pool of foam, and light lacing. Nose of light bourbon, subtle black coffee, vanilla, moderate black licorice notes, subtle char, and deeply roasted malts with moderately strong chocolate notes. Flavors exceed the nose with rich dark raisins that intertwine with light coffee and dark cocoa on all sides. Vanilla fades into the middle of the taste with bourbon and warmth followed by a light cream and roasted malt with a char aftertaste that is filling and substantial. Full mouth feel with light carbonation makes for a fine sipper with a moderately boozy warmth.

A most excellent imperial----had to buy this since I blew the tap and could not get it in a growler.

Cheers

 876 characters

Photo of ccg
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's jet black but still somehow looks slightly watery. Above-average retention, but the foam on the edges hides the tint that's often a give-away on a BBA stout.
The smell is excellent. I had to keep the bottle in the regular refrigerator (beer fridge is full) so it was a little too cold when I opened it, but the sweet bourbon barrel smell was still there immediately. It mingles perfectly with the coffee scent.
I can taste vanilla, bitter chocolate, coffee, a bit of caramel and toasted malt, lots of oak, and something with just a hint of smokiness, like sweetened pipe tobacco. It has a somewhat bitter finish, with the chocolate and coffee dominating at the end.
Overall: With Humboldt Brewing being a part of Firestone Walker, I'm not sure how this beer manages to fly so completely under the radar. It's one of the best beers you've never heard of. It's probably difficult to find outside of California, but if you see one, buy it. It's comparable to Epic Big Bad Baptist, but, in my opinion, better, because more of the barrel comes through in the flavor.

 1,066 characters

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 alarmclock314
3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, no date. Pours nearly black with a large khaki head with good retention. Smells of dark fruit, sweet malt, and bourbon. The taste follows closely with dark fruit, sweet malt, and port with some char, bourbon, and nearly undetectable coffee flavors. Pretty sweet and moderately bitter. Higher carbonation and medium body. Overall, it's closer to a Barleywine than an Imperial Stout; it left me craving more roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and bourbon. There are better IS's available on the shelf.

 516 characters

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

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Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 420 ratings.