1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Black Xantus - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black XantusBlack Xantus

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,063 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,063
Reviews: 375
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 110
Gots: 283 | 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:
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 (5) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,063 | Reviews: 375 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kew
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of ChipMurray
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Mattyb79
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Techichi
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of leroybrown10
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Kerne
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Benjammin107
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amazing, complex flavor! It seems all at once, but not too suddenly, it goes through malt, chocolate, coffee, and a perfect amount of bourbon flavor. After the first sip I was left thinking, "how will I ever finish this 650 ml bottle!" But after a little while it grows on you in the best of ways! Great for keeping warm this winter. A+ beer!!!

Photo of csmalley
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Tone2467
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of osuskin
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of gueuzegossage
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of egrace84
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of champ103
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an inky, nearly opaque black color. A small, bubbly, khaki film forms and sticks throughout. Plenty of of lace is left behind.
S: A mix of dark fruits/stone fruits with roasted malt, vanilla, and chocolate. Coffee grounds and cream. The stone fruity aroma is at odds with the roasted coffee grounds. Still interesting.
T: Much the same with that stone fruit flavor up front. Pithy cherries and grapes almost. Roasted malts, coffee grounds, vanilla, and milk chocolate. Interesting, just does not mesh as well as I would like.
M/D: A full body and moderate carbonation. Almost oily and resinous. A big beer with a bit of fusel alcohol. A slow sipper and/or sharer for sure.

I do like this. I am just not sure what to think of the stone fruit mixed with roasted malt and coffee grounds. Interesting and worth the price of admission, just not one of my favorites for the style.

Photo of Prager62
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of mjw1200
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of sprucetip
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle was given to me 2+ years ago, not sure how old it is.

Pours inky black but initially no fizz or foam at all. Eventually a very thin mocha head appeared briefly then receded. Questioning the carbonation, but it still looks petty inviting.

Sweet toffee, vanalila, cocoa, flavors balancing the deceptively strong boozyness. There is also a woody/earthy character that adds depth.

Caramel, toffee, oak, chocolate, and vanilla are what come through most clearly to me at first. The booze is sneaky, but more noticeable through the middle and into the finish.

It's pretty flat. But it still feels very rich, thick, full and highly viscous.

Really nice smelling beer, and it tastes great too. Damned good. Even with the low carbonation. Would like to try it again sometime.

Photo of Pearlstreetbrewingco
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of mklisz
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of CoolEthan
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Beerbuddy21
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of McStagger
3.79/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

No idea how old this one is. Knowing my local liquor store, probably fairly. Says Nectar Ales on the label.

A: Pitch black. Finger of tan espresso creme head. Retention is moderate. Lacing is above average. Head is made of large and small bubbles. Looks fairly standard.

S: Huge hits of baker's cocoa. Underneath is chicory, super dark roast coffee. Toffee, some vanilla. Just a touch of dark fruit. Not much alcohol perceived.

T: Dark fruit up front. Transitions into prickly heat. Roasted barley, toffee, more dark fruit, dark sugar syrup, oak, some bourbon element. Coffee picks up in the end, but it's much milder than anticipated. I suspect that they've had this beer for awhile. Alcohol warmth helps the dark fruit to shine.

M: Low carbonation, as to be expected. However, this one isn't chewy enough. A bit thin across the palate.

O: Fairly mediocre for the style. And at the same price point as Parabola and from the same brewers...well, it's dissapointing to say in the least.

Photo of ohiobeer29
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of Danny1217
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of artoolemomo
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Received with excited head that is pushing a finger's worth of a foam crowning from the top of the glass. The head is a medium beige while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate black. Lacing is prevalent and tends toward sheeting.

Nose- Some chocolate notes, hints of cocoa at first. Needs to warm up a bit though. A little bit of fudge brownie. Light notes of caramel and vanilla. Very faint roasted notes.

Taste- Really broad and dark chocolate that evokes Tootsie Roll and beyond. Definite coffee but fortunately this doesn't take over too much. I realize they describe this as an Imperial Java Stout and it doesn't show its force until the finish. I think this works for this beer. Some oak and a bit of a vinous quality. Slight red grape. The coffee has a good amount of presence but still manages to be discreet. The barrel notes are very light- the beer tastes as if it were aged on spent barrels (whatever that's supposed to mean). Not exactly complex but is very solid. I can understand the displeasure from paying full price for a bottle of this. Good to very good beer but certainly doesn't command the price a Firestone Walker barrel-aged beer should. Some hints of coconut but not enough to keep me interested.

Mouthfeel- Between medium and heavy bodied. A tiny bit chewy and a little over carbonated. A beer this robust doesn't need this level of carbonation. Definitely drops my overall impression of the beer.

Drinkability- Pretty easygoing and shows none of the heat of a 11% beer. Fairly boring for a barrel aged beer though. 4 bucks for a 6 oz pour seems a bit pricey for the quality but I'm glad I gave it a try on tap instead of springing for a whole bottle.

Overall- It's good beer with some tendencies toward being a really good beer. I would try it but there are dozens of better imperial stouts out there for the price or less.

Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,063 ratings.