Sunday, August 17, 2014

Nectar Ales Black Xantus

This 11.0% ABV imperial stout is from Nectar Ales of Paso Robles, California. They have been brewing since 1987. They were purchased by Firestone Walker who is still brewing their beers, although another company I believe now owns the name. The company was originally founded by a former Oakland Raider who used his Super Bowl bonus as the start-up funds.

The beer pours a deep and dark black, nothing else even when held up to the light. There is about an inch of light brown foamy head, nearly creamy. The aroma is surprisingly light, but get some char and mocha. The taste is also surprisingly light for an imperial stout of 11% ABV. Light char, light dark roasted malt, light coffee, very light dark chocolate. It is smooth and full and round in the mouth. It hides the high ABV well, but does have a noticeable warming effect. This stout would make great sense at 5.0% or so ABV, but I don’t get why its aroma and taste were made so mild in an imperial style.

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