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Black Xantus - Humboldt Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black XantusBlack Xantus

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,029 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,029
Reviews: 370
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 108
Gots: 272 | 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)
View: Beers (5) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,029 | Reviews: 370 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nightwing002
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Nitrogenx
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of richbrew
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of kenm2118
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Satchboogie
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a small mocha brown head. Decent lacing.

S: Rich coffee, dark chocolate, barrel, a little vanilla.

T: Huge roasted coffee with chocolate, lots of barrel character with oak, well integrated bourbon, a bit of vanilla, and some vinous dark fruit notes. A little molasses sweetness, though it's fairly dry.

M: Medium to slightly full body, moderate carbonation, fairly smooth.

O: A great barrel aged coffee stout with some really well balanced flavors, though it lacks in the intensity, depth, and body that some of the bigger bal beers bring to the table (including Parabola). Viewed as a coffee bomb though, it's fantastic.

Photo of hotmanflab666
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of jboyer
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

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

22oz bottle (bottled 8/29/2011) poured into a snifter. Pours jet black with a 1-finger crackly tan head that recedes pretty quickly. Some reddish mahogany light can be seen through the edges.

Aroma is dark coffee up front with some boozy bourbon and dark roasted malt in the background.

Taste is espresso bitter, followed by a malty sweetness. Alcohol is also a prevalent ingredient to the taste of this beer.

Overall this is a pretty straightforward high-ABV coffee stout. I love coffee and I love stouts, so this is right up my alley. Still it doesn't go that extra step to stand above other great coffee stouts (Espresso Yeti and Peche Mortel come to mind). Good, but maybe not worth the high price tag.

(As I finish the bottle): One good thing about Black Xantus is that a bomber will knock you on yer ass.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for MrVonzipper for the bottle share

Look: Black in color and totally opaque with a brown ring at the top of the beer. 1/4 inch head and just ok retention

Smell: Coffee and more coffee to be honest the nose is a bit of a one way street but that is not a bad thing at all

Taste: Upfront is a very nice gourmet coffee flavor with some roasted malt shadowing the coffee. Backend carries a bit of oak and chocolate

Mouthfeel: Full body and medium carbonation and just a bit dry

Overall: This beer has a great coffee and you can definitely tell a difference between beers that are brewed or aged on coffee beans as opposed to beers that have coffee added to them. I really liked this beer but for the price I will only drink it again when I feel like treating myself to something nice

Photo of Gavage
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black in color with a short wispy head that breaks apart to a few bubbles rather quickly.

Smell: loads of roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee, and a bit of alcohol rise from the glass.

Taste: big roasted malt flavor with a huge amount of dark chocolate, some burnt coffee, a bit of vanilla, and some woody / earthy tones arrive late. Alcohol is noticeable and quite warming. There are some faint prune and dark cherry tones hidden in the background too. Nice hearty bitterness here.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth at the start and finish. Long lasting roasted malt and chocolate aftertaste.

Overall: a very slow sipping beer, but I found this to be quite enjoyable. Once the alcohol affect on the tongue is tamed after the first swig or two, the other flavors really come through nicely.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of dlello2
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Really dark. Right up there with the darkest, but doesn't come across as being as thick. Like the looks of it a lot. Alcohol lacing doesn't last all that long.

S - Chocolate and coffee. Good stuff.

T - Chocolate is the first thing I'm getting. Roasted coffee comes right behind. At 11% abv... wow I don't taste any. Chocolate really is dominant but a nice bitterness follows close. The bitterness doesn't stick around all that long and the journey ends with a subtle caramel/honey coffee flavor.

O - Really nice mouthfeel. Good taste. Milk chocolate is present more than dark but not overwhelmingly so. Would probably be great with ice cream.

Photo of rtaps
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured black in the glass with a good sized tan head. leaving a good amount of lacing in the glass

smell is nice, rich chocolate/nuts/and coffee

taste is similar to the smell, coffee is the major flavor but not over powering the chocolate and nutty note within.

mouthfeel was nice, full bodied and smooth going down. medium carbonation. easy to enjoy

overall this is a good imperial, great smell, and taste happy with it. aging one to crack open down the road.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much lighter than expected. Light coffee/mahogany color with an average tan head. Fair retention and lacing.

Nose is quite nice. Clean robust coffee, chocolate and nuts like a chocolate brownie with nuts.

Flavor follows the nose nicely and similarly. Very nice clean, balanced and not overpowering coffee character that plays nicely with chocolate and nutty notes.

Full bodied mouthfeel but not thick and viscous, but also not too thin. Very nice for this beer. Carbonation is med-low.

Overall this beer turned out to be very nice. I was quite pleased with it and look forward to trying again and testing with age.

Photo of Kshock
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown, with a black hue. little retention, some lacing.

S- Coffee, dark roast, fruit, bitter chocolate. Smells awesome.

T- Bitter roast. chocolate, coffee, little fruit hiding in the back.

M- med to heavy. very nice finish.

O- Awesome beer.

Photo of hopluva1
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Scrumtralecent
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours black with a tan fizzy head. Head fades rather quickly to nothing and looks a little flat. No lacing on this one.

S - Roasted coffee up front and center. Roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and some bourbon and oak round out the back.

T - I must say it took me a while to get through these flavors. On one hand there is the roastiness from the coffee and malts which sit on the bittering side of things. But then there is the slight bourbon, along with a touch of dark cherry to add some sweetness. These flavors battle as the temperature of the beer changes and it made each sip different and a little exiting.

M - At times I felt like the bitterness overtook the mouthfeel, making it a little harsh. But the sweeter sips were on point. Carbonation was a little high I think, but nothing terribly distracting.

O - I enjoyed this beer with the dueling flavors and complexity. The sweetness of the barrel aging is what really saved this beer from being too bitter. And another fine barrel aging job from these folks. Will have to seek this out again the next time around.

Photo of ineva
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of Skunkdrool
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of cpinto6
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of nhindian
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Mikkeller wine glass. Bottle generously provided as an extra by Destral, thanks!

A - Pours a dark mahogany with tints of ebony in the thicker parts of the glass. It slowly but surely grows a 1.5-fingered head with decent retention for being a barrel-aged 11% beer. The lacing is a unique shimmering cascade of foam that crests and breaks like an wave on the beach.

S - Right away, the nose is bringing a sweet dose of bourbon and oak, mixed with vanilla. I'm also getting a good amount of rich chocolate. Although it says that it's brewed with coffee, I can't say I'm getting a strong amount of it besides a slight roast. The finish does have a discernible alcohol note that is a little off-putting.

T - While the aroma is quite enjoyable, I feel the taste is a step back. I am still getting the great bourbon note, which in the taste really accentuates the wood and especially the vanilla, but the alcohol heat comes through rather early and makes the whole thing a bit hot. There are some positive characteristics, however, in the almost decadent chocolate note in here that puts it on par with the amount found in excellent barrel-aged beers such as Goose Island's Bourbon County and 50/50's Eclipse series. Unfortunately, those beers are much more smooth and easy-drinking than this one, which is a shame given the retail price of this beer. Again, I'm not getting much coffee or espresso here, just a slight acrid bitterness.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good carbonation. Not as thick as I was expecting, but given the flavors I feel that this "lighter" feel gives it an advantage. While the flavors are a bit hot, the feel at least is smooth and rich. Long-lasting aftertaste of alcohol, chocolate, and bourbon.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. Honestly, the thing that wow'ed me about this beer was the chocolate, and coming in I thought the differentiator would be the coffee. Alas, this beer came up short on the coffee. I thought the nose and flavors were pretty good, but the harshness of the alcohol really hurt the overall flavor. I saw this in Richmond for around $13, and after having it, I don't think I'd spring for it for that much.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of ithinkimasofa
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 1,029 ratings.