1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

993 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 993
Reviews: 365
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 109
Gots: 264 | FT: 20
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 993 | Reviews: 365 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Schwag
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Schwag, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of juliusseizure
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

juliusseizure, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

superspak, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of Onibubba
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown pour, not much of a head at all. Looks thin. Woof. What that smell? Something unusual going on here. Not in a bad way, just not in the expected coffee/dark chocolate realm. What is that? More herbal than sweet. Interesting. A bit of...marzipan? in the taste. This is not going in the direction I was expecting at all. Malted milk. Milk chocolate. Awesome taste. Alcohol is non-existant. Mouthfeel, despite the appearance, is thick and rich. I am so digging this beer. It is taking me places I was not expecting. I really wish I had another bottle, but due to distribution, this beer was a one night stand for me. And one that I will look back on fondly.

Onibubba, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of lackenhauser
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

lackenhauser, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of 2beerdogs
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

2beerdogs, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

imperialking, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of mkotsayfan
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a deep dark black with nice tight bubbles and a one finger light mocha head. Very unique smelling stout, almost smells like a strong ale - dark fruits, coffee, and chocolate. The taste brings out those flavors with a very nice balance, I was worried the barrel aging and dark fruits would come through too strongly, but it accentuates the nice coffee and chocolate flavors. A nice mouthfeel too, very smooth and good carbonation along with the right amount of thickness to the beer. The alcohol is there, but just lingering in the background, which is perfectly acceptable for a 11% ABV.

A great beer from Nectar Ales, didn't expect the dark fruits, but everything came together beautifully, which isn't suprising considering that Nectar is owned by Firestone, one of the best breweries at producing blended/barrel aged beers.

mkotsayfan, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of shelby415
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

shelby415, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A rich deep black color with wonderful light mahogany head.

S: Deep raisin covered with chocolate

T: An unreal smooth chocolate, oak, vanilla mixture that is blended like the best of wet dreams. Serious complexity with mild roast gently caressing the taste buds.

M: Perfectly soft and gentle on the tongue without the alcohol heat.

O: This bee was a great experience. Quite engaging with the flavors.

PatrickSwayze, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of isualum12
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this last night at an imperial stout party here in Boise. Great beer that I was really excited to get my hands on. Smooth and rich. Actually richer then I originally thought it would be.
Color was pitch black and had a great looking head that stayed with it.
I would love to get my hands on it again.

isualum12, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of marct
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

marct, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of johnhenryconway
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

johnhenryconway, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of billab914
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured black in color with a thin, bubbly head clinging to the edges of the glass.

The aroma has dark chocolate mixing with some roasty coffee, brown sugar, vanilla, oak and a touch of bourbon. It has some alcohol heat to it, but otherwise the aroma comes together pretty well.

The taste shows a lot of alcohol to it right off the bat. Coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla and oak all come out in it as well as some brown sugar and boozy bourbon. The flavors just don't seem to work well together for me. There is too much going on and they just don't really compliment each other all that well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Overall it was a decent beer, but not one that stood out in the style for me. The barrel aged flavors didn't really come together well in my opinion. It seemed to have more of a boozy, alcohol flavor that clashed with the coffee. Not a bad beer, but there is better for the price.

billab914, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of MrBillyMac
5/5  rDev +19.3%

MrBillyMac, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of LaChupacabra
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

LaChupacabra, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of muskiesman
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 Oz Bomber poured into a snifter glass

A- Poured aheavy almost blackbody with a foamy tan head that slowly faded to nice lattice lacing.

A- Real big roasted malts. Lots of toasted barley and vanilla with bourbon. A sweeet element, Some molasses and perhaps caramel too

T- Roasted malts, Cocoa, and mild coffee. As it warms the bourbon and vanilla become more pronounced. Sweet dark fruits and dark sugars, slight bitterness from hop presence

M- Creamy body smooth with mild carbonation. The sweetness is there to counter the bittersbalances out the bitter but leaves a sticky feel.

O- A very agreeable stout, plenty of layering and complexities at work.
Took a little warming up to really get into this one but glad to have given its paces it was very rewarding.

muskiesman, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of Gmann
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick near black color with a small frothy light brown head that slowly settles into a cap.

The aroma is of a big roasted malt/barley. Notes of vanilla, caramel, and bourbon provide a sweet scent. Some molasses and burnt toast and there is a bit of a sour berry note in the finish.

The taste is of roasted malt and coffee grounds. Not overwhelming on the coffee but noticable. A bit woody and barky. This is followed by some bourbon and vanilla notes. Caramel and molasses provide some sweetness. Some light berry flavors that provide a touch of sourness. Light burnt toast in the finish.

The stout has a thick body, almost syrupy. Bitter throughout the palate and especially in the finish. Enough sweetness balances out the bitter but leaves a sticky feel.

This is an enjoyable stout, lots of flavors going on. I didn't find it too bitter from the roast

Gmann, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of YaKnowBrady
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

YaKnowBrady, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of AwYeh
1.65/5  rDev -60.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bomber from, I believe, 2009 poured into snifter; thanks to madvermin for splitting his bottle of this with me– had actually been one of my top wants prior to relocating to California.

A: Pours a deep, opaque black, with a faint brown/purple tinge around the edges. No head whatsoever with a fairly aggressive pour; looks viscous.

S: Plums, molasses, semisweet chocolate (smells almost exactly like chocolate chips), vanilla from the bourbon, alcohol. There's a lot going on, and most of them are stereotypical imperial stout flavors, but the balance on this one is too much in the favor of sweet with far too much alcohol present, resulting in a rather medicinal mess. Since madvermin is probably not going to review this one, I'll point out that he thought it smelled "exactly like Sharpie."

T: Roasted malts, alcohol, and a sharp, acrid, almost sour, burnt flavor. A lingering medicinal, chemical, unpleasant aftertaste amplifies this on the next sip. Perhaps coffee flavors would be around if this was fresher, but I'm surprised that even with the aging this one is giving off so much heat. The only enjoyable flavor here is that of the roasted malts, but they're minimal for an 11% beer of any style and fade quickly.

M: Thick, sticky, syrupy, flat, and hot– little else to describe. The heat makes the flavor issues worse too.

O: It's rare that I don't enjoy a beer in this style, but I couldn't finish my glass of this. Tempted to drop a 1 on it overall, but I'll give Black Xantus the benefit of the doubt and say there could be a worse offering for the style somewhere. Avoid unless you're really psyched about it and have a fresh bottle (acknowledging the possibility that it could be a better beer at that stage).

AwYeh, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of jburchett
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

jburchett, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of MBrausen
4/5  rDev -4.5%

MBrausen, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of SgunnarW
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured in my 12oz snifter

A: Pours a deep brown, almost black, with a 1/4 finger tan head that settles quickly. Almost no lacing.

Sm: Lots of dark chocolate and coffee come through first, followed by notes of licorice, brown sugar, and molasses.

T: Roasted malts with a huge hit of coffee and a strong boozy finish. Very warming on the way down.

Mf: Medium to full bodied. Very creamy and light on the carbonation. A bit dry, but the chocolate and alcohol lingers.

O: A really solid imperial stout. I wasn't sold on the first few sips, but after about a half of glass, I couldn't put it down. The infused coffee is amazing, and the bourbon/wine aging makes for a great comparison. Definitely an unexpected, yet worthwhile find.

SgunnarW, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of FullObs
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

FullObs, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of Rutager
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Super brown, getting close to black in the glass with a 1/4 finger creamy tan head that doesn't last very long.

Smell. Semi-sweet bakers chocolate and some roasty coffee and coconut with a bit of booze.

Taste. Big punch of sweet dark chocolate, some dark coffee that gets more pronounced in the finish. A little sweet caramel and roasty malt.

Mouthfeel. Full and thick, low carbonation. Some warm booze, but not super offensive.

Overall. Great sipper. Should also mention that I'm a big fan of Arbitrator's contribution to this beer. http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/17963/53256/?ba=Arbitrator

Rutager, Feb 07, 2012
Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 993 ratings.