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Black Xantus - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black XantusBlack Xantus

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

399 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 399
Hads: 1,236
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 6.11%
Wants: 116
Gots: 350 | 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: 399 | Hads: 1,236
Photo of Ghenna
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark mahogany, with only the slightest tinge of red around the sides of the tulip glass. Got ~2 fingers of milk chocolate head that had so-so retention. Smells heavy of malts and caramel.
The first thing that struck me about the taste is the almost perfect coffee aftertaste. Otherwise it tastes of toasted malt and caramel.
This is an awesome beer. I'm not sure that it is quite worth the $15 my wife gave for it, but it is plenty good. In fact, I'd go as far as saying it is one of the better RIS I've ever had. A definite buy- especially if you can find it for less than $8 (595 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, bordering on completely black but with some light passing through the edges. The head is a big, creamy tan cap that recedes slowly and leaves little lacing.

The aroma is an interesting mix of dark roasted malts, espresso, oak and bourbon. There is some vanilla sweetness as well.

The taste is big and has a few different things competing for dominance. There is a stronger vanilla and oak presence up front with the heavily roasted malts and coffee staying in the background. The alcohol is not only present but very prevalent in the finish. The barrel character, especially the wine I think, leaves the finish very dry.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with strong carbonation and the combination of dry oak, toasted malts and alcohol make it a bit abrasive.

This is a decent beer with some interest things going on but I'm not sure it all blends together in the end. The competing flavors remain just that, competing, and limit the drinkability. (974 characters)

Photo of Chambic
3.74/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

02.06.10 at City Beer

A: black, like cola with mocha head

S: like dessert, a mix of dark chocolate and ripe berries

T: similar to the smell, with some vanilla, and a chocolate/tobacco finish

M: low fizz, medium-bodied, and smooth

D: could have some more, but would probably pick something else

What happened? I really loved this beer when I first had it on draught at Toronado. This time around, not so much, though it was still good. Maybe I was disappointed because I remembered it to be fantastic. (506 characters)

Photo of scootny
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A super dark brew. If it aint black it's so close it doesn't matter. Tan head of decent proportions but not much lacing. Smell is gratifyingly rich and deep. Oak and bourbon, chocolate and coffee, vanilla and roasted malt. Fruitiness is a pleasant extra with cherries blanketing a dark molasses dipped stash of raisins. Bourbony alcohol scents here and there. Taste is very good with an excellent blend of the aforementioned players. A little brash and bourbon heavy at first. As it warms up the chocolate blossoms to round the barrel flavors out and give body to the taste. Alcohol is a warming presence but very well integrated. Finish is kind of long and sweet with cherries chocolate and bourbon with an earthy based hop kiss. Lingering notes of bourbon, oak and cherries. Feel is full and smooth with a velvety carbonation that helps in the chewing of this girthy one. A sipper for sure but quite easy to sip quickly on a cold night as the smooth warming character of this one draws you in. If you like smooth easy drinkin' bourbon and big chewy stouts this is a good place to be. (1,085 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown colored liquid, almost black, allowing some red hues shine through, a tan colored head that is bubbly and thin, it dissipates a little quickly leaving almost no lace.

S-the nose is fair in strength, it brings a good bit of bourbon in the nose, some molasses, a touch of dark chocolate and vanilla, some nice oakiness all make up the nose.

T-the taste is well blended bringing some roasted malts up front, some molasses and dark chocolate accompany that, the oaky bourbon comes in next, a touch of vanilla, there is a light malt sweetness towards the back brining just the right amount of balance to this brew.

M-smooth and thick, this has a great big body, low carbonation, it is chewy and falls down the throat

D-this stout is great, it doesn't say anything about barrel aging but it definintely seems to have been aged in bourbon barrels. Fantastic RIS, I really love this beer! (897 characters)

Photo of jampics2
3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 22oz bottle, think I got this in a trade with CPFerris, thanks Chad!

Opened up to enjoy while doing some home improvement projects on a Sunday afternoon. This bottle took me a while to finish!

Pours a deep black with brown edges and a fluffy tan head. Looks great in my New Belgium snifter!

Smell is intense - Bourbon is obvious, then a bunch of interesting other scents...dark raisins or plums, a huge oak scent from the wood, chocolate, some vanilla. This doesn't smell sweet or malty as much as just a HUGE barrel presence.

Taste is much sweeter than the nose indicated. Toffee and caramel impressions from the malt, chocolate, wood, bourbon, and raisins. Huge alcohol bite. This is hot hot hot. Big bourbon peak - interesting that there are a couple different flavor sweeps that make up the whole ride, but this is way too hot and huge right now to be super tasty and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is where this falls apart. Alcohol makes this burn - the astringency takes away from the joy of the different tastes. Thin and not substantial. Maybe the barrels were too wet?

Drinkability was OK, but this is just not coming together as it warms. Not a cohesive beer, I'd almsot like to see if some age treats this well, but nothing I see myself drinking again when there are many superior barrel aged stouts in my cellar. (1,323 characters)

Photo of Night
4.54/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours rich black with glimmers of burgundy and crimson. Head is medium-large, solid, with a creamy top layer and a bubbly under layer. Lacing is minimal; small islands form and die down quickly. Aroma is strong, spicy, warm, and dry thanks to lots of booze. Slight earthiness washed in lots of dark fruit, brown sugar, pralines, and hints of bourbon. Not overpowering, but delicious smelling. Very distant notes of cool vanilla. Mouthfeel is silky, juicy, and smooth with a refined spicy tingle at the end. Flavor is immediately vanilla creme and bourbon with a nicely mellowed undertone of charcoal. Dark cookie-like malts and dark fruits follow. Anonymous sappy hops provide a fair amount of bitterness. Roasted pepper sort of spice and plantiness. Lots of boozy warmth and some sappy, herbal, almost medicinal hops in the finish; aftertaste is bittersweet chocolate and quiet fruity yeast flavors mingled with a savory, puckering tartness. (942 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist. Extra special thanks to Errantnight for this from our big trade!

Bottled 10/6/09

A: Pours a pure, pitch black with a light khaki colored head on top. The head is quite bubbly/frothy with some sticky lace left in it's wake.

S: Excellent aromas of dark chocolate, licorice, coffee liquor, brown sugar and/or molassas, and booze drowned dark fruit.

T: See above with a decent whallop of espresso.

M: Rather sweet and bitter with a sizable alcohol burn.

D: Pretty good, actually. Alcohol is VERY apparent. (602 characters)

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

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some minimal sticky lacing. The nose is very nice, malty, with lots of chocolate/toffee, vanilla, licorice, and caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, with a very nice chocolate/toffee note, nice touch of vanilla, and licorice/caramel. Medium body, a very nice sipper, smooth, ABV hidden pretty nicely. Very drinkable, WOW! this brew surprised me from this brewery, LOL Glad they did it. (491 characters)

Photo of raverjames
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchase at my local organic food store. I knew nothing about the beer and just bought it because I had never seen it before. I was surprised to see this was an oak aged ale with coffee.
A: Black with a small tan head. Head retention is so-so.

S: I get hints of vanilla and gingerbread. There is some molasses in there as well.

T: Chocolate and vanilla. There may be some coffee in there, but the oak really seems to hide it. Then again, I am not sure how old this bottle was.

M: Slightly boozy and bitter. I would back off the bittering hops, or age it a bit longer.

D: Despite the bitterness, it was easy to drink. This may be due to my love of oak aged beers, but I had no issue downing a pint. Overall, this was a very pleasant drinking experience. (765 characters)

Photo of Lunch
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 22oz. bottle acquired in a trade from thegonzz (Thanks man!) into my Cigar City snifter at cellar temperature.

A: Pours rather thick and viscous dark brown that is almost black. A one finger mocha colored head with decent retention leaving a bit of sticky lacing and some legs.

S: Quite aromatic with tones of bourbon, coffee, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, toffee, roasted malt, and perhaps a bit burnt sugar.

T: Mirrors the nose exactly leaving layers of chocolate, coffee, espresso, roasted malt, toffee, burnt sugar, and caramel of the palate wrapped in a coating of sweet bourbon. I greatly enjoyed this flavor profile.

M:Medium-bodied (for the style) with creamy, low carbonation and just a slight trace of the 11% abv. Could be a bit thicker, but nice.

D: For an 11% RIS this has good drinkability.

Overall this was another wonderful bourbon barrel aged RIS and one that deserves a bt more praise, than it has seen. I will be seeking this one out again and seeing what some age does to it. Recommended. (1,031 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a friend.

Pours one shade from black with dark brown highlights and a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of vanilla and a combination of dark and milk chocolate mostly, with underlying roasted malt aromas. As the beer warms hints of whiskey and butterscotch waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. A malt profile that definitely is on the sweeter side - hints of roastiness are present but take a backseat to smooth chocolate flavors along with good amounts of vanilla. Midway through the sip hints of whiskey enter into things before fading out into a sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability was very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall this wasn't quite as odd as I was expecting after seeing the all-over opinions of this beer. Not in the upper tier of RIS's but certainly above average. Worth a shot. (978 characters)

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

Tasted blind with 13 other imperial stouts.

Pours as expecetd; dark, dark, dark. minimal head.

Oatmeal cookie dough. yup. crazy, but that was my first impression. sweet bread dough and over ripe bananas. bizarre yet wonderful aroma.

nice bourbon tone followed by carmelized sugar. herbal hop flavor, grainy roast. light alcohol burn.

warming and delicious. too bad the price was pretty exorbanant. (401 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.87/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours black with a soft off-brown head, fair retention, no lace.

S: Dark chocolate, notes of coffe and fruit/raspberry.

T: Dark chocolate and roasted malt predominate, classic straight RIS flavours. Definite notes of fruit, hints of raisin, fig, and oak with some ethanol in the finish.

M: Not the robust feel I would have liked, rather medium-bodied, smooth, kind of thins out near the finish.

D: A good beer, drinks much faster than most of the beers in its style. Not a huge complexity, but I enjoyed the experience of this stout. (556 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle from Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA. Poured in to a 22 oz. Terrapin snifter.

Apeparance: Pours an oily pitch, thick looking but not nearly on par (not that that's a bad thing) with the Biggest, Baddest Boys on the Barrel-aged Block. A single finger of surprisingly lightly tanned head emerges somewhat readily and has average retention, and the lacing suggests something similar - runny, glittery, and with near zero-to-nothing in terms of stickiness. The collar is as close to non-existent as you can get, thin, faintly bubbly, and with zero surface lacing.

Aroma: Sweet, rolling waves of bittersweet cocoa mingle with hints of rum-soaked raisins and hot, spicy booze. The cocoa intermingles with the spicy, bourbon heat in a way that suggests cocoa liquor.

Taste: A little more neutrally-flavored, though not for lack of trying. You can taste, if you try to dig beneath the sea of relatively hot and spicy alcohol (particularly on the way down), a pleasantly complex array of malts and dark (and even a few lighter) fruits. From plump, well-aged raisins dipped in brown sugar to caramelized black cherries (note: I don't think you can caramelize cherries, but I imagine they could be dipped in turbinado sugar and then slowly and gently roasted on incredibly low heat to produce this sort of flavor, though drinking port may be easier), the fruits intermingle with toast, coffee, plenty of bittersweet cocoa, and a lot of bitter, almost astringently earthy malt notes. It's very earthy, toast heavy, in fact, with enough creamy, lactic, chocolately sweetness to carry this beer. The remainder of the notes - slight oaky notes, barrel sugars, and tons of huge, earthy, spicy bourbon - augment both aspects of this beer, the heat and the struggling malts. As I discuss below, the mouthfeel initially does the latter favors, but eventually falls to the former - is that the mouthfeel's fault or the flavor profile's fault? Who knows, but I'm choosing to express my displeasure here.

Mouthfeel: Perhaps this beer's weakest component, though it's still not "bad." The initial impression I get out of this one is that it's extraordinarily creamy, on the thicker side (contrary to what I expected from above), decadent almost, though this impression is cut somewhat by the abrasiveness of the malts as described above. But even the slightest amount of agitation frees all of the embedded carbonation, and though it's not as if it loses its creaminess, it does seem as if individual sensations that result from all the liberated effervescence amplifies the wrong portions of this one, bringing the malt astingencies and the spicy, heated alcohol to the surface more than you'd want them to be.

Drinkability: I guess I'm gonna knock this beer more in its drinkability than anything else. The overwhelming bourbon and spicy heat were really out there, on their own, bold and in your face, in a way that really does end up distracting - i.e., it doesn't meld, it doesn't compliment, it doesn't augment. I enjoyed it because only because I focused on this one and was able to discern and pick out the good, underlying base notes from the mess. It's a delicious mess, but it's a little harsh, a little abrasive, and it seems like the kind of thing that needs at least two years to mellow out. Will it hold up that long? I don't know if it's well-crafted enough, too. I just know it's not ready now. (3,407 characters)

Photo of berkey
3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Finally worked up the nerve to open this controversial beer. 22oz bottle.

Pours oil black with a small brown head that fades relatively quickly. Briefly sports some filmy lacing.

Aroma consists primarily of chocolate along with a healthy dose of hops. Soy sauce character is there but subtle enough as to not be overly distracting. Actually smells pretty decent.

This is much hoppier than expected on first sip. Bitter, dry, and citrus characteristics kind of jump all over the chocolate that was pleasing on the aroma. Now I love hops but something just isn't working for me here. Some coffee in the aftertaste isn't bad but the soy sauce from the aroma is back in a bigger way than I'd like.

Alcohol burn isn't obvious which is a plus but the odd hop and soy sauce finish keep this from what would otherwise be a fairly drinkable beer.

I don't have the strong reaction to this beer that some seem to but I can see how this would be a disappointment if one hadn't already heard the mixed reviews. I know some may consider this a contradiction in terms but this is just a 'meh' Imperial Stout. Not bad but definitely not worth the price. (1,143 characters)

Photo of charlzm
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 2010/01/16 at 52 degrees F.

Pours into my handy Triple Petrus snifter/tulip one shade lighter than opaque black. A one finger dark tan head forms; it subsides quickly into a very fine, thin ring of foam around the edges.

The nose is greeted by vanilla and malted milk. Interesting.

Up front, my palate discerns some subtle wood hints. There is fleeting sour cherry. Chocolate malt is the body of the flavor. Moderately bitter at the end.

The beer is thick in the mouth, but not especially chewy More astringent than I would have expected and there is some alcohol heat on the finish.

I am fairly certain I can easily finish a bomber of this beer solo.

This is supposedly a kissing cousin to Firestone's awesome Parabola; I can taste the relationship, but (and it pains me to say this), Black Xantus is only very good. (833 characters)

Photo of Deuane
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jatallah for sharing a bottle of this one. Shared with Ffejherb among others.

A-Black. A thin, wispy tan head reduced to a ring of retention and left spotty lace.

S-Wood, bourbon, deep roasted malt and a touch of vanilla. All of this fought through ever present alcohol fumes that, at times, hurt my nares!

T-Dark cherry, dry, oak wood, bitter dark roasted malt, some earthy hops and dark chocolate in a building, deeply dry finish.

M-Medium-heavy body with LONG lingering roasted malt and hop bitterness. Gets quite astringent with warming.

D-Nice and complex and VERY dry. Good flavours even with it being so young. This could surely use some aging to help smooth it out as the alcohol heat was a bit too intense for me at times. Certainly was glad to have tried it though.

BTW--love the name and the label! I am sure few beer geeks know Hungarian ornithologist John Xantus de Vesey--who had a hummingbird (refer to beer label) and a murrelet (type of small alcid/auk) named after him. (1,004 characters)

Photo of slasher007
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.

The beer pours black with a thin mocha head. The aroma is a pleasant mix of licorice, bourbon, coffee, chocolate and roast. Lots of vanilla and oak, but some booze as well. Medium body with moderate to high carbonation. It's rich and smooth, but not heavy. Excellent beer (313 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
3.1/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to the brewer who brought this to the meeting. I've been hearing a lot of hype about this beer.

A - Pours dark brown with 1 finger of mocha head. Head dissipates fast. Relatively no carbonation or lacing.

S - Lots of oak and vanilla up front. Obviously barrel aged beer. Chocolate and light alcohol is present as well. Hops are very faint, too faint to describe.

T - Oak, vanilla, chocolate, some grapefruitish hops, and moderate to high alcohol.

M - Moderate bodied and very malt dominated. Finishes thin wth moderate alcohol. Alcohol makes this stout fairly astringent in mouthfeel.

D - Average. Needs lots of aging. Alcohol has way too much presence in an 11 percent beer. Flavor would stand out if not so much alcohol. (734 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A fluffy light brown head looks like a mass of puffed rice...and unsurprisingly it dies to a skim then a soapy crown rather quickly. This Xantus is indeed black...there's really no other word for the liquid ebony sitting in this snifter. Just...black, and mesmerizing at that.

Fair bit of nostril-flaring heat in the aroma, but it's not overbearing and there's more worked into it. Kind of has a nutty exterior, with dark fruit suggestions tucked deep inside, even a dash of anise. Interestingly, not as much coffee and chocolate as you normally get with the style.

Flavor has a hoppy bite, balanced well with deep dark chocolate flavors, a light salty/soy-sauce character, juicy fig and prune, and an accenting glow from the alcohol. Some vanilla creeps in with warming; green wood makes itself known in the main and finish. Nice.

Bit of a plastic feel to the mouth, which could be a drying element playing tricks--and it's not a complaint, as it doesn't taste plastic-y, and the gooey, slick, creamy elements of the texture are no less than fantastic. Carbonation is very much present, yet working at a level that highlights the other feels and flavors, and doesn't distract.

Not a mindblower exactly, but a more solid, textbook-example of the style I cannot think of at the moment. Just really, really good stuff; would be an excellent gateway RIS for newbies looking to explore the style. (Can the Xantus Helper or Xantus Claus Xmas RIS be far behind?) (Urgh...) (1,471 characters)

Photo of jminsc76
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at McGs in Chatsworth, Los Angeles.

Pours a small head atop a black impenetrable body, with some thick and impressive legs as I tilt the glass. Exhibits no lacing.

Aromas are medium strength and include bananas, tropical fruit, carob, and a little bit of cocoa. Exhibits an excellent balance between the fruitier smells and the more chocolate-y qualities. To summarize the bouquet: chocolate-covered banana.

Flavors are delicious, and include the aforementioned aromas as well as a slightly malty bitterness that finishes smoothly on the palate. It was excellent upon the first sip and remains excellent down to the last quaff.

The mouthfeel is smooth and soft, almost velvety. Similar to the taste, it goes down smooth.

Overall, this is an excellent RIS that compares well in quality (though doesn't quite match) Deschutes Abyss. That being the case, the price per bottle doesn't provide this beer an advantage, considering it's $14.99 per bottle and an Abyss will run $1 to $2 less per bottle. However, this is quite a damn good deal on tap, and perhaps one day Nectar Ales can (or will) sell it for less at retail. (1,134 characters)

Photo of mbudner
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a snifter.

A- Pours a brownish-black (looks a little thing for a BA RIS when poured) with a light brown 2-finger head that subsided quickly.

S- Toasted marshmellows, some chocolate. I am getting no bourbon or barrel in the aroma at all. On second thought, I am getting some intermittent whiffs of vanilla that I could stretch to associate with bourbon barrel-aging, but nothing like the typical BA RIS (not in a bad way.) Slight soy sauce/salty/oxidized aroma (very slight, but still a little early for this.) The bourbon really starts to come out at warm temperatures (I let it sit out of the fridge for about 45 minutes before opening, but it took another 30-40 minutes after that to really become obvious to me and now it's dominating the aroma.)

T- Vanilla, bourbon, booziness/heat (that seems disassociated from the bourbon and more a result of the base beer itself.) Some toasted malts. Very surprising how much more the bourbon shows up in the taste compared to in the nose. Faint astringency from the barrel which also plays nicely for the mouthfeel.

M- Nice and creamy. Drying from the barrel-aging. A bit under-carbonated for the style for my liking, but nothing detrimental. A nice warming in the throat.

D- Definitely a bit boozy, but when comparing this with other BA RISs, I would say it's quite drinkable. (1,354 characters)

Photo of rhinos00
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a snifter. Thanks Frank!

A- Pours a dark, jet black. Produced two fingers width of tan head, dissipated almost instantaneously. Reduced to a thin ring around the glass.

S- Bourbon, molasses, and a touch of vanilla. The part that threw me off was that I was getting a hint of licorice, which I didn't really care for. If it wasn't for that, I would have really enjoyed the aroma.

T- Upon consumption, picking up some chocolate malts. These leads the way into a nice vanilla mixture. Finishes with oak and bourbon, leather, alcohol, along with a slight bitterness. Lingering at the end of each sip is a distinctive licorice taste...luckily it wasn't as noticeable as in the aroma.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation. Good have used some more viscosity for such a big beer.

D- This one was a little hot with the bourbon, but nothing overwhelming. Went down pretty easily.

Overall, this would have been a fantastic beer if it weren't for the licorice flavors that I was noticing. I don't know if the flavor was just imparted from the barrel or if they actually put it in the beer, but it was definitely a turn off for me. Still a decent BA RIS, one that I feel lucky to be able to try. (1,224 characters)

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

I am not the biggest fan of stouts, but thanks to the clerk at BevMo I decided to check this out.

A - Pours out black, black as night with a light color head.

S - It smells sweet with a good smell of alcohol.

T - A good balance between sweet and bitter tastes. The 11% ABV is hidden really well.

M - Full bodied, but not so heavy where you feel like you had a big meal.

D - I was surprised that I liked this beer. I am not of big fan of RIS beers, but after drinking this beer I will definitely buy another one to store and trade. (535 characters)

Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 399 ratings.