Lots of beer geek hype on Black Xantus. So fuck it! I closed my eyes and bought a 22 ouncer for $14, ignoring my terribly-self-enforced Bomber Boycott. While looking around for more info about the beer, I came across this very informative article about the brewery. Go ahead and read it yourself, but it's really interesting and ends with the sale of Nectar Ales.
To find out more about this beer in particular, I found this old post at the seemingly abandoned brewery website. Latest post 2009? Buzz happenings 2011? Well, I guess I better grab the info now before the site disappears too.
Black Xantus (pronounced Zantis) is truly a unique bird. An Imperial Stout aged in American oak barrels, infused with fresh organic/ fair-trade coffee from our local coffee roaster, Jobella Coffee Roasters. This special, limited release beer bursts with bourbon and espresso aromas leading into chocolate and black cherry flavor. It’s 11% ABV is softened by time in barrels which also contributes to the beer’s appeal. We are very proud of this new addition to the Nectar Ales family.
Only 400 cases produced (22oz bottles/very limited draft) - TAKING FLIGHT September 2011
Russian Imperial Stout
Aged in Bourbon Barrels
Alcohol By Volume - 11%
Color - Black
IBU - 50.0
15% OATS / HOPPED WITH 100% US GROWN FUGGLES
Bomber bottle has a very nice depiction of a Black Xantus, a hummingbird that is found throughout Southern California. The cap was covered with a plastic cover. My cap was a little rusty when I took away that cover. I wasn't really concerned, though rusty caps are not a favorite sign.
GREAT aroma! Rich creamy chocolate. Sweet with a hint of awesome coffee, licorice hints bob in and out. The flavors followed with rich, luscious chocolate. So far, this beer is all it was hyped up to be! The bourbon-barrel aging is just right, not overdone like is usually the case. The bourbon sweetness blends perfectly with the chocolate and the espresso flavors.
The 11% alcohol is noticeable but well-disguised. It also helps to cut through the thick, sweet, chewy flavors and offers some relief from that, while also providing a good dose of heat in the throat and chest. Creamy, milky texture. Nicely boozy. Medium carbonation and not flat which I liked. Enough bitterness that there is some balance. And a dry finish.
Kicks ass! Better than almost all the $14 bottles I can remember buying. You know who you are! Buy it if you find it!