In a blind tasting by BJCP trained experts, this beer rated


Humboldt Brewing Company Black Xantus

Aroma: “Dark fruity esters up front, with raisin, plum, dark cherry, and currant. Vanilla and oak, with some sherry and raisin aged character, but works nicely in this beer. A unique spice character hues back and forth between bourbon and sarsaparilla.”

Flavor: “Intense dark fruity sweetness, with a concentrated raisin and currant character. Chocolate, sherry, and oak add complexity. It’s quite boozy and sweet, with moderate bitterness to balance. The roastiness comes out much more as it warms, and it lingers with every passing sip. Some of the finishing sweetness tastes like vanilla from the oak, or even smoked licorice.”

Overall: “Sweet, boozy, and complex. It’s an intense drinking experience that benefits from a healthy blend of both chocolaty malt, molasses, and fruity esters. A bit sweet on the finish, but it has a roasty dryness, too. Given a little time to rest, this will be a fantastic beer.”