Black Xantus | Humboldt Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,362 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:
1,362
Reviews:
435
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
10.17%
 
 
Wants:
129
Gots:
374
For Trade:
27
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,362 |  Reviews: 435
Photo of cbutova
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%

Served on-tap last night at the Sierra Grille, Northampton, MA. Full notes taken to phone.

A- Black pour to a snifter from the tap. A one finger tan head builds up to half a finger. Fairly good retention falling to a thick creamy ring. Spotty lace here and there.

S- Decadent and extremely roasty aroma leading me to believe it will be moderately sweet. Oak, spiced raisin, some Bourbon and deeply dark coffee. Toasted and nutty as well.

T- Fruits open up quite a bit with cherry and raisins coming up big. Intensely roasted grains, dark chocolate, toasted nuts, coffee grounds and some alcohol. Wet oak, blackstrap molasses, whiskey and vinous notes.

MF- Thick bodied but not as much as many other similar stouts, not as chewy or oily. Carbonation arrives at a medium high level. Finishes quite warm.

Lots of fruits come out with a highly roasted, dry malty feel complimented by a mix of barrel influence and alcohol.

 924 characters

Photo of Schlafly33
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of JuanAlberto
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%

Photo of Tiernan
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of MasterPenguins
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of AlvinLin
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Maillard
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Beersnake1
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of MonkeyBread
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of Gdirt
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of mikeburd1128
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of LukeK
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of bluejacket74
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%

22 ounce bottle, date stamp on bottle says 11/22/13. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both OK. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit (cherries, plums), vanilla, wood and some bourbon. It tastes like milk and dark chocolate, roasted malt, oak, dark fruit (plums, raisins), red grapes/wine, molasses, coffee, and a bit of bourbon. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and coating with moderate carbonation. The 11% ABV is hidden well, doesn't seem too boozy to me. Overall I liked this brew, it's a good imperial stout. I think the flavors seem more fruity and sweet than roasty. I'd like to try this one again in the future. $15.49 a bottle.

 779 characters

Photo of ncstateplaya
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of sjrodriguez
3.62/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GeorgeCarroll
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of scottchambers
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of Azeotrope
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of DCgolfpro
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of bbsaur
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of SharkNado
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.93/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

22 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is a finger high, with a lighter tan shade. Retention is quite good for an 11% barrel-aged monster, and the creaminess of the head leaves behind a ring of lacing on the glass.

S: The first whiff I get almost has a wine-like aroma. But after that, it transitions into a regular bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout, bringing notes of chocolate, vanilla, oak barrel, and (of course) bourbon. There's also some coffee to be found - it's not like FBS (or for that matter, BCBCS) where the coffee is punching me in the face, rather it's a subtle note that timidly appears in the rest of the beer. It's a solid aroma, but it's problem lies with how defined everything is...or should I say, how defined everything isn't. It's a bit too muddled to be a great BA RIS, but it still smells nice. Also, it doesn't have a perceptibly boozy aroma, which I always like.

T: Just like the nose indicated, the general flavor profile is both muddled and undefined. It opens up with some healthy vanilla flavors, along side touches of bourbon and chocolate. Some of the oak barrel comes through in the back end, with a mild bite (expected for 11%) of alcohol. I'm really not picking up much coffee (and this is a fresh batch), but what I do get seems stale and vegetal. This also finishes up with some generic fruit notes. Not only is it undefined in its flavors, it's rather imbalanced and disharmonious to boot.

M: As far as barrel-aged imperial stouts go, this is (somewhat) light on its feet and even dry. There is a boozy kiss that I find a bit welcoming. It's not that dry, as the sweetness tends to build up after many sips - hey, it's a monster imperial stout, this isn't going to go down like a good pilsner. Carbonation is gently backgrounded like I expected.

O: Ah yes, the beer famous for making the long missed Arbitrator go "lolololol, Black Xantus, ewww..." While the pedigree is here for this to be an excellent beer - imperial coffee stout, aged in multiple barrels, brewed by Firestone Walker (albeit via contract brewing) - it actually kind of sucks as far as barrel-aged brews go. It's problem lies in how it not only has a muddled flavor profile, but how it also comes off as being imbalanced and messy. Parabola with some coffee (Parabajava?!) this is not, that's for damn sure.

2.85/5: On the lower end of barrel-aged brews

 2,401 characters

Photo of jerefreakinmiah
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of wiltznucs
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,362 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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