1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Xantus - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black XantusBlack Xantus

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

872 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 872
Reviews: 354
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.24%
Wants: 107
Gots: 243 | FT: 13
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 872 | Reviews: 354 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sergio1va


4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, a truly amazing craft beer worthy of hunting down at tour favorite bar. Pours to a dark brown almost black colof with a light brown head. Taste is a magnificent blend of toffee, dried fruits, and lots of caramel malts. The alcohol, rated at 11 per cent is well hidden within this coffee flavored beer. After several sips the warming of the tongue and throat remind you of the alcohol content. Love this beer and would recommend it without a doubt.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2012 07:16:30 | More by sergio1va
Photo of otrejo


4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

01-06-2012 16:59:36 | More by otrejo
Photo of areich6


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

01-06-2012 08:32:14 | More by areich6
Photo of abrethanson


4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to Korker Liquor for this limited release.

Appearance - Like oil as it emanated the glug glug glug from glass to bottle. Not really much head to it. Swirls like the black abyss in my glass. I can see the roasted toffee, chocolate, and chewy sweetness soon to be touching my palate.

Smell - Sweet, burnt, light roasted coffee beans. Supported the appearance perfectly.

Taste - Just how it looks and smells; sweet, chewy, burnt, and loads of dark chocolate. Not as much coffee as expected. The alcohol is thick & heavy on the back end (yet not overpowering) paired with unexpected hoppiness. Deliciously smooth like a fine after-dinner bourbon.

Mouthfeel - creamy, smooth, and a little boozy

Overall - Smooth and sweet like a delicious dessert. Goes down easy and really surprised me. Wish I had bought (2) bottles.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 05:25:11 | More by abrethanson
Photo of Stoffel


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

01-06-2012 03:00:08 | More by Stoffel
Photo of Faina


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

01-05-2012 04:10:34 | More by Faina
Photo of Mscarpen


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

01-05-2012 01:18:23 | More by Mscarpen
Photo of DividedAvery


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Hill Farmstead Tulip...

A: Pours obsidian black with a two finger tan head which lingers. The lacing is not very prominent on this guy

S: Sweet with bourbon, coffee, vanilla, caramel and a little bit of a dark fruit note. Notes of booziness are hidden well by sweeter flavors

T: Reminds me a lot of a more coffee forward Parabola. This guy is sweet, yet not cloying, smooth, yet has a little bite. The hop presence is more noticeable and the coffee flavor has faded slightly. This one is a truly great beer. If I lived somewhere where this was around more often I might buy it by the case.

M: Creamy and smooth with a slight hint of booze, not bad though for 11%

O: A great BA stout. Got this one in a trade so not sure of the shelf price but a great beer nonetheless

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2012 05:47:10 | More by DividedAvery
Photo of wyattshotmaker


4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a snifter, black w/ a creamy mocha head. looks solid.

coffee, vanilla, milk chocolate, touch of alcohol.

very seamless, vanilla, coffee, oak, strong but not overbearing roasted character. slight vinous note with a pleasant sopping tannic finish.

full bodied without being overly sweet. this beer is fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2012 03:25:44 | More by wyattshotmaker
Photo of SteveRod


1/5  rDev -76.1%

01-04-2012 03:22:23 | More by SteveRod
Photo of PacNWDad


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

01-02-2012 18:31:32 | More by PacNWDad
Photo of pest


4/5  rDev -4.3%

01-02-2012 07:32:54 | More by pest
Photo of coreyfmcdonald


3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

01-01-2012 19:52:32 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of SpillyBeers


4/5  rDev -4.3%

12-30-2011 03:39:07 | More by SpillyBeers
Photo of klipper


4/5  rDev -4.3%

12-29-2011 18:44:50 | More by klipper
Photo of shrek806

New York

4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving was a 22oz bottle and poured into a Troegs Mad Elf snifter.

Served at room temperature and poured a lovely dark, dark brown with a delicious cocoa colored head. The head receded quickly to reveal a sticky chocolate lacing on the glass.

The smell is that of roast coffee beans, with hints of chocolate and a boozy bourbon smell.

The taste is over-the-top roasted coffee with definitely some cocoa flavor. I dont taste any Bourbon.

The mouthfeel is heavy bodied, but not super boozy. It has a nice, smooth finish. No alcohol burn.

Overall drinkability is a definite 4.5. This is an excellent Double Stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 21:45:46 | More by shrek806
Photo of AApparel


4/5  rDev -4.3%

12-26-2011 04:59:58 | More by AApparel
Photo of teromous


4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off, I aged this beer for a little over one year.

A: The head is about 2/3 thumb's width, with a dark cocoa color. The beer pours dark like bourbon and is black in the glass. The head subsides, leaving a good portion of head in the glass still.

S: This beer has a very strong smell. Being away from the glass, I can still smell it. It smells of oak, cocoa and darker chocolates, with light notes of coffee. There is a malt scent to it as well. It doesn't smell like alcohol, but it smells a lot like bourbon...it has a kind of spicy scent along with the oak scent which are the strongest smells.

T: This tastes so good. It has a rich cocoa flavor to it, like really good chocolate truffles. I pick up the oak a tad, but it doesn't come out as much as it does in the scent. I saw that this is 11% and I get no alcohol flavor from this at all (could very well be from aging).

M: The mouthfeel on this beer is perfect. There's a slight warming without burning. It is incredibly smooth. It goes down so smooth, and it's flavor all the way. I get zero astringency or unpleasant bitterness. It is a heavy beer, with a decent amount of sweet malty flavor. There is great carbonation without it feeling like soda or feeling too flat...just right.

O: Overall this is the perfect example of how great beer can really be. I will be buying this again, for myself and likely for friends if I can get enough of them. I had the beer when it hit the shelves, and it was excellent then, but a lot has changed over one year of aging. It has mellowed and balanced out a lot more. It is so smooth and flavorful. I would rather drink this than have the finest chocolate.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 18:34:52 | More by teromous
Photo of psmoore


1/5  rDev -76.1%

12-25-2011 05:58:35 | More by psmoore
Photo of brokentee


5/5  rDev +19.6%

12-24-2011 16:07:08 | More by brokentee
Photo of jophish17


2/5  rDev -52.2%

12-24-2011 08:41:53 | More by jophish17
Photo of mhaugo


5/5  rDev +19.6%

12-23-2011 17:36:00 | More by mhaugo
Photo of DCon


4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ the iTap House in Chesterfield, MO for $5. Tapped from a Silver Firestone Walker Tap Handle but then the Hummingbird from Nectar Ales on the button & Black Xantus beneath him into a 12oz Snifter Glass. A collaboration ale?

Aroma- A medium amount of coffee hits the nose and then tons of malt and a ton of booze. A very "hot" alcohol characteristic comes around though but maybe be mistaken for a burnt or dark roasty aroma mixed with the booze...

Appearance- Received with a .5 finger, dark brown head that dies quickly. Has a pitch brown (almost black) body that is opaque. Leaves no lacing at all on the glass.

Flavor- Tons of spice and chilies from the start!?!? Very wild beginning! Then has a bittersweet, chocolate taste with tons of malt and grain. Good amount of hops in here afterwards. Medium-High Bitterness level.

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Light Carbonation, Boozy, Tons of Texture, and has a nice warming from the alcohol. Goes down with ton of ingredient and tougher than many 2X Stouts.

Overall Impression- As of tonight, one of the best they had to offer on-tap! Enjoyed thoroughly and simply had to enjoy with a glass of water. Very strong and wouldn't have more than 16ounces in a night (even though 4 more ounces would have been nice :). Enjoyed the spiciness to this one! Strange I found this attribute out and haven't seen much on any other review on it. Would definitely recommend you trying it. Once again, is this a collaboration? The tap handle had Firestone Walker on it but then had the Nectar Ales hummingbird on the label button. Interested about this question!

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2011 08:35:05 | More by DCon
Photo of RocAFella1


4/5  rDev -4.3%

12-22-2011 01:26:34 | More by RocAFella1
Photo of Abrahammer


4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

12-22-2011 00:09:50 | More by Abrahammer
Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 872 ratings.