popery (1231) - San Francisco, California, USA - NOV 20, 2009
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at City Beer Store (also previously at Bistro BA Fest). Good to very good imperial stout with a lot of flavor but a bit too sweet. The beer pours black with a thin mocha head. The aroma is a pleasant jumble of licorice, bourbon, coffee, chocolate and roast. The taste is similar but the sweetness of the malt and bourbon overshadows some of the underlying complexity, a fairly common problem with these big barrel-aged stouts. However, Black Xantus has a lot of excellent flavor and the sweetness is a minor annoyance rather than a fatal flaw. The feel is a hair too thin, in my opinion, but the beer manages to keep from being cloying or syrupy with a decent bite in the finish. Despite some minor issues, it’s an excellent beer and wouldn’t be entirely out of place in a lineup of the vaunted heights of the style.
dmac (3692) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - NOV 20, 2009
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from boamr, thanks Ryan. Deep dark balck body with a medium sized foamy light beige head. Wow what a complex aroma with a sweet yet dark combo....notes of coffee, honey, nectar, dark fruit, *I actually wrote black candy...what the hell is that, molassess and dark corn syrup. The flavor is sweet with notes of dark corn syrup, with slightly lesser burnt dark malts, alcohol, burnt molassess and charcoal. Body was slightly thin with softer carbonation and some noticeable alcohol heat. This one was just a little to thin and a little to hot and sweat.
Lagunitasfan (1313) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 20, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Obrien’s. Frigging yummy. Appearance dark to black with tan head. Nose is chocolate malt ball. Lightly so. Taste sweet and malty. Lotsa chocolate and smaller coffee. Beautifully sweet and malty. Not a harsh bitter stout at all. Lovely.
BrotherGrendel (787) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 20, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown hue with big tan head. Nose is cocoa, coffee, vanilla, cherries, and woody oak. Flavor is big rich milk chocolate and espresso, opens up to dark fruits and cherries, oaky vanilla and alcohol fill out the sweet finish. Full body, thick texture, light carbonation. A rather young tasting BA stout, more sweet than complex, would likely improve with aging.
j12601 (6585) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - NOV 20, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at the Blind Tiger’s VSK3 event. Pours a still jet black, though some tan head upon agitation. Coffee, chocolate, roasted malt. Medium bodied, long bourbon and vanilla flavors. Lots of raisin, malt, chocolate. Long sweet raisin finish with a bit of roast bitterness to balance.
cbkschubert (2900) - BFE, Arizona, USA - NOV 19, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: APR 1, 2012 22 oz. bottle via trade with Irishboy - Pours a clear deep brown color with a 3/4 finger thick tan head. Very light spotty lacing. Aroma is roasted malt, esters, and alcohol. Flavor is roasted malt, vanilla, coffee, and faint oak. Finish is smooth. Medium body. A very nice beer. Thanks Richard.
playitbybeer (118) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 19, 2009
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured from a tap into a pint glass at Newport Pizza. Poured almost completely headless, it appears very light, like watered down motor oil. Smells like roasted malts, chocolate, cigarettes and pizza...then again, I’m surrounded by these smells so it’s really hard to smell anything else. The mouth is nice and smooth with flavors of chocolate, roasted malts, and undertones of hops. The alocohol is warming and feels awesome on this cool night...almost warming enough for me to take my sweatshirt off...nahh, not that warming but close. SIDE NOTE: I thought this was a porter, very mellow and thin, until dasilky1 told me it was an imperial stout did I realize this beer is unfulfilling...thanks a lot buster.
RCL (2030) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 19, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Superb, pronounced, pure licorice aroma. Flavor is an impeccably balanced harmony of malt and hops that conceals any trace of it’s high ABV. Coffee flavor doesn’t slap you in the face as it does in so many coffee stouts. Flavor is just seamless.
Cornfield (5345) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - NOV 18, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
FoBAB 2009. This poured almost black, having some mahogany around the edges and provided little head. The aroma was chocolatey with some dried coffee grounds and a light touch of booze. Very smooth & creamy mouthfeel. The Bourbon was more prominent in the flavor and the chocolate turned a bit bitter. The espresso noted seemed a bit subdued. Pretty decent, but nothing that makes it stand out from the masses of coffee infused Impys.
Ratman197 (8860) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - NOV 18, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Bistro BA Fest poured a clear dark brown nearly black with a small lasting tan head., Aromas of coffee, pine, citrus, bitter chocolate, light bourbon and light oak. Palate was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of coffee, bitter chocolate, citrus, pine, light bourbon and light oak with a smooth lingering roasty finish.