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Black Xantus - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black XantusBlack Xantus

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

930 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 930
Reviews: 359
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.24%
Wants: 110
Gots: 259 | FT: 19
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 930 | Reviews: 359 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

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4.15/5  rDev -0.7%

mikeburd1128, Aug 19, 2014
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3.6/5  rDev -13.9%

LukeK, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of bluejacket74
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%

22 ounce bottle, date stamp on bottle says 11/22/13. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both OK. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit (cherries, plums), vanilla, wood and some bourbon. It tastes like milk and dark chocolate, roasted malt, oak, dark fruit (plums, raisins), red grapes/wine, molasses, coffee, and a bit of bourbon. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and coating with moderate carbonation. The 11% ABV is hidden well, doesn't seem too boozy to me. Overall I liked this brew, it's a good imperial stout. I think the flavors seem more fruity and sweet than roasty. I'd like to try this one again in the future. $15.49 a bottle.

bluejacket74, Aug 16, 2014
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4/5  rDev -4.3%

ncstateplaya, Aug 14, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

sjrodriguez, Aug 13, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

GeorgeCarroll, Aug 12, 2014
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5/5  rDev +19.6%

scottchambers, Aug 12, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Azeotrope, Aug 11, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

DCgolfpro, Aug 09, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

bbsaur, Aug 08, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

SharkNado, Aug 07, 2014
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2.85/5  rDev -31.8%

22 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a finger high, with a lighter tan shade. Retention is quite good for an 11% barrel-aged monster, and the creaminess of the head leaves behind a ring of lacing on the glass.

S: The first whiff I get almost has a wine-like aroma. But after that, it transitions into a regular bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout, bringing notes of chocolate, vanilla, oak barrel, and (of course) bourbon. There's also some coffee to be found - it's not like FBS (or for that matter, BCBCS) where the coffee is punching me in the face, rather it's a subtle note that timidly appears in the rest of the beer. It's a solid aroma, but it's problem lies with how defined everything is...or should I say, how defined everything isn't. It's a bit too muddled to be a great BA RIS, but it still smells nice. Also, it doesn't have a perceptibly boozy aroma, which I always like.

T: Just like the nose indicated, the general flavor profile is both muddled and undefined. It opens up with some healthy vanilla flavors, along side touches of bourbon and chocolate. Some of the oak barrel comes through in the back end, with a mild bite (expected for 11%) of alcohol. I'm really not picking up much coffee (and this is a fresh batch), but what I do get seems stale and vegetal. This also finishes up with some generic fruit notes. Not only is it undefined in its flavors, it's rather imbalanced and disharmonious to boot.

M: As far as barrel-aged imperial stouts go, this is (somewhat) light on its feet and even dry. There is a boozy kiss that I find a bit welcoming. It's not that dry, as the sweetness tends to build up after many sips - hey, it's a monster imperial stout, this isn't going to go down like a good pilsner. Carbonation is gently backgrounded like I expected.

O: Ah yes, the beer famous for making the long missed Arbitrator go "lolololol, Black Xantus, ewww..." While the pedigree is here for this to be an excellent beer - imperial coffee stout, aged in multiple barrels, brewed by Firestone Walker (albeit via contract brewing) - it actually kind of sucks as far as barrel-aged brews go. It's problem lies in how it not only has a muddled flavor profile, but how it also comes off as being imbalanced and messy. Parabola with some coffee (Parabajava?!) this is not, that's for damn sure.

2.85/5: On the lower end of barrel-aged brews

ThisWangsChung, Aug 05, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

Chuffbomb, Jul 23, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

fox227, Jul 22, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

blavod, Jul 21, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

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4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

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Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 930 ratings.