Black Xantus | Humboldt Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,361 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Black XantusBlack Xantus
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Humboldt Brewing Co.
California, United States
humboldtbrewingco.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

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%

Added by ThreeWiseMen on 10-09-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,361
Reviews:
435
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
10.17%
 
 
Wants:
128
Gots:
375
For Trade:
28
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,361 |  Reviews: 435
Photo of jams1220
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Piglet_rulz_da_yard
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tristancwalshe13
3.55/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

thick and barrel taste with all the stout taste... i would hope that you should enjoy the harsher bitter stout cause thats it. i would love to taste this with some lactose so other than that its very tasty!

 206 characters

Photo of Taybeh
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dewsby
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of daliandragon
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Found this randomly in Charleston, South Carolina. It pours black as night. Nose features coffee, port wine, caramel, honey and hops on the edge. Flavor is very heavy on the dark chocolate malts with coffee and booze. Texture is crazy, motor oil thick. If you are looking for an "imperial stout on steroids" experience, you could do worse than to start here.

 362 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick, impenetrable consistency. There was a quarter inch of creamy, tan-colored head that lasted an average amount of time. Not much lacing.

S: A nice aroma of coffee, bourbon, dark fruit, and chocolate.

T: Tasted of a fair amount of the bourbon barrel - not as aggressive as with some bbl stouts, some chocolate (you get more of this as you go along, some coffee (not as much as I would have thought), light hops, some roasted malt, and dark fruit (raisins, in particular). A solid flavor that's big, yet subtle. Not as aggressive as other stouts of this kind, but still tasty.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a silky smooth finish. Full-bodied.

O: Black Xantus isn't necessarily a perfect stout, but it is incredibly likable. Quite easy to drink.

 827 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Eziel
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cd_beer_disapear
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Lingenbrau
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bammer21
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours black with cola brown edging and a khaki colored head that peaks just under a finger before rolling back fairly quick, leaving behind a mostly barren surface with a fine island of suds in the center and a razor thin ring around the edge of the glass. Nothing for lace.

Smell - Interesting aroma, for sure. Notes of toffee and coffee, with lesser bourbon and oak. A light, cola-like caramel sweetness.

Taste - Good flavor, but a bit condensed and it hits you all at once. Vanilla, coffee, milk chocolate, bourbon, toffee and oak all hit upfront, then the vanilla and coffee fades, leaving the oak and bourbon with underlying toffee and chocolate sweetness as the brew rounds out into the finish. Maybe a hint of raisin fruitiness in there somewhere. Aftertaste lingers with mild wood, faint chocolate, toffee and a trace of molasses.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy at first before turning dry and slightly sticky in the finish.

Overall - Humboldt Brewing's website says this thing packs a punch, and they aren't lying. The brew absolutely bursts with flavor upfront, but it ultimately fades much too quickly, leaving the brew feel a bit hollow on the backend. Really good beer overall, but leaves a desire for the flavor profile to play out in a much longer, more wide-spread composition.

Oddly enough, the aftertaste is almost spot-on to Firestone-Walker's Sucaba, which is a BA barleywine, but since this is made at FW's brewery, maybe some flavor similarities shouldn't be too unexpected.

 1,542 characters

Photo of kdivers
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sulldaddy
4.66/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp 22 oz bottle that I am pouring into a snifter. Picked this beer off the shelf because my daughter liked the humming bird on the label. Hope to enjoy this one. The beer pours a dark cola brown with a spongey tan head of 4 cm foaming up even with a gentle pour. there are some deep garnet highlights when I hold the glass up to the light. The aroma is a malty complex smorgasbord of scents. I get molasses, coffee grounds, brown sugar, a little vanilla and a good dose of roasted malt. no real hop presence that I can detect and actually the 11% seems to be hidden as there isnt a strong peppery boozy note that I pick up.
First sip reveals a bit of a thicker body but not syrupy, I also get fine and spacious carbonation that does tickle my palate a little as i swallow each mouthful.
The flavor of the beer is what was advertised by the nose. The beer starts with some sweet brown sugar and roasted malt, which rolls to more roast and coffee ground and finishes with a deep hit of molasses, vanilla and some raisin and finishes fairly dry with just a hint of alcohol warmth. This beer is still very drinkable for 11% and seems to fit the role of Imperial Stout very well. This is a very nice beer for a cool fall evening.

 1,249 characters

Photo of jschott75
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of swampoodle
4.61/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of madelf66
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bongobeer
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KGilmour
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Amguerra305
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a somewhat thin cola brown that looked black in the glass but you could almost see all the way through it. Did not get any barrel smell and I did not even know it was barrel aged until I went to rate it. Poured way too thin for me to think of that. The smell was rather unremarkable as it just consisted of roast and fermentation but not in a pleasant balanced way, more in your face and harsh. The taste in this beer completely blew me away as it tasted nothing like what it smelled like. Tastes rich and balanced with a pleasant stout coffee/chocolate note on the friend followed by a bitter hop/roast bite. A tad too bitter for my own tastes but still excellent. It did not feel nearly as thin as it looked. Actually felt kind of chewy despite being so thin. Overall a beer that I think would have improved substantially with age. It lacked a nose and just poured too thing for this to be world class. The taste was spot for what a stout should be.

 958 characters

Photo of Ohiovania
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of zachthelaxer93
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kalosjakar
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a tan head that is creamy in appearance.

Aroma: milk chocolate, mild bourbon, vanilla, toffee, oak, have to search for the wine with deep whiffs but its there.

Taste: chocolate hits even as you slosh it around your mouth. then roasted notes, followed by sweet bourbon, vanilla, milk chocolate, so much going on here. a bit of booze on the back end but im drinking this close to fresh. notes of cherry in the finish as well. a bit too sweet though.

Feel: soft, chewy, fudgy, silky, wet.

 511 characters

Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,361 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe