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Black Xantus - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black XantusBlack Xantus

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

937 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 937
Reviews: 359
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.24%
Wants: 111
Gots: 260 | 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: 937 | Reviews: 359 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of garrisonp
4/5  rDev -4.3%

garrisonp, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of Pahn
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle, poured into Duvel tulip. Batch #2. Big thanks to BA KevSal for sending this as an extra in a recent trade!

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch tan head that dissipates steadily and leaves a short-lasting ring of lace. Pours a reddish brown with soda-like bubbles on the side of the glass. Little to no lacing, big legs.

Smell: Bourbon and toffee/banana-like malt. Wave of well-integrated coffee quickly emerges. Some graham cracker / cookie aromas.

With time, freshly ground coffee beans aroma really opens up, but also comes to dominate the aroma. Smells awesome, but could be more complex.

Taste: First sip: Creamy, delectably balanced malt and American oak, with a big coffee note through the middle, then a long oak and malt aftertaste. Mild chest warmth at the end the only indication of the 11%ABV. There's no solvent--or indeed any abrasiveness at all--in this flavor.

The second sip is more of the same, with the coffee really highlighting and bringing out the husky roasted malt flavors. Perfect balance of bitter and sweet; smooth and rich through the main body of the sip, with a mild bitterness and dryness coming through in the end. Nothing dominates; it's not too-rich, not too-roasted, not overwhelmed by coffee. It's not heavy, not confusing, but just right. Malt notes deepen to coffee liqueur sweetness with time, and the coffee also transforms from a creamier, coffee ice cream like flavor to a more bold, black coffee flavor.

Another .5 would come if this beer had more complexity, like the endless adventurous flavor that you get from the absolute top tier of American bourbon barrel aged stouts. Still, this is a great tasting beer. It has typical American oak vanilla weaving in and out with toffee-like malt and amazingly well-integrated coffee.

Mouthfeel: Light side of full bodied. Absolutely beautiful creaminess from the oats, with just a bit of dryness in the finish. Perfectly unobtrusive carbonation keeps it from being too rich or thick. The mouthfeel really couldn't be improved.

Overall: Excellent beer. Best coffee integration I've ever experienced in a beer (Bourbon County Coffee might be a bigger, deeper stout, but even that retained a bit of alien-ness to the coffee, while this beer comes together as naturally as malt and hops).

This is one of the easiest beers to review that I've had. As usual, perfect mouthfeel equates almost immediately to 5.0 for overall, and the flavor makes sense (and delivers excellence) within the first few sips.

Pahn, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of CaliHop82
4/5  rDev -4.3%

CaliHop82, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of jhimstedt
4/5  rDev -4.3%

jhimstedt, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of Birdlegs
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Birdlegs, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of mrip
3/5  rDev -28.2%

mrip, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Keyes88
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Keyes88, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of Luchman
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Luchman, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

ygtbsm94, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of morningthief
5/5  rDev +19.6%

morningthief, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of nucmedmario
4/5  rDev -4.3%

nucmedmario, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of kennylopez
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: a dark black color with a tan head that fades and leaves little spots of lacing.

Smells: I pick a light oak smell and a mild roasted coffee and barley.

Tastes: wow this is a tasty brew. I love the perfect balance of the roasted malts and coffee flavors. there is a subtle vanilla hint that is tasty with a mild hop character.

Mouthfeel: the 11% is so smooth with the subtle roasted oak flavors. I am not used to a small amounts carbonation, but I kind of dig it and love the sweet aftertaste.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. I would recommend if you see it, pick it up and try it. If you like sweeter Imperials this is great and the $10 tag was well worth ever cent.

kennylopez, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of towlea25
3/5  rDev -28.2%

towlea25, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of kevgod
5/5  rDev +19.6%

kevgod, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of nlmartin
2.75/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks mulder1010 for yet another beer from secret santa 2011. This beer was lightly chilled and served in a snifter.

A- The body of the beer is black with a thin chocolate milk colored head. No retention noted to the head a viscous oily discoloration marks this beers passage from my glass.

S- The beers aroma is dark chocolate bourbon balls rolled in espresso. A bit of char and ash kick around the aroma.

T- Inspite of a nice olfactory experience this beer fails to deliver. The roasted and charred notes are nice until they arrive at the level of burnt coffee. Picture the coffee at 4 am at the stop and rob burnt. Very muted cocoa and underwhelming bourbon notes.

M- The body of the beer seemed to be thin with low carbonation. The alcohol is a bit too hot for this thin bodied over roasted beer.

O- This beer is not a drain pour but not really impressive. The beer smells nice but thin muted flavors are not really agreeing with me.

nlmartin, Jan 07, 2012
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.

sergio1va, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of otrejo
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

otrejo, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of areich6
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

areich6, Jan 06, 2012
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.

abrethanson, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of Stoffel
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Stoffel, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of Faina
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Faina, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of Mscarpen
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Mscarpen, Jan 05, 2012
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

DividedAvery, Jan 04, 2012
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.

wyattshotmaker, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of SteveRod
1/5  rDev -76.1%

SteveRod, Jan 04, 2012
Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 937 ratings.