We’ve been kicking around the idea of running 2-3 beers a year in The Rare Beer Club that are not packaged in 750ml bottles, but rather 22 oz. bottles for quite some time now. There are some pretty sweet beers out there that are only packaged in 22s and ultimately, it would open up that many more breweries and beers as prospective features. Think special offers or RBC exclusives from Shmaltz Brewing Company like Funky Jewbelation or Cigar City’s Marshal Zhukov’s Penultimate Push, an 11.5% Imperial Stout with Coffee and Vanilla.
Most recently, we’ve been presented with a special offering from Humboldt Brewing Company. Specifically, they sent us a couple bottles of 2015 Black Xantus, an 11% Imperial Stout infused with fair-trade, organic coffee from a local roaster, Jobella, and aged for 6 months in a combination of Bourbon, retired Firestone Union and wine barrels. It’s taken the gold at the Denver International Beer Competition and US Open Beer Championship and boasts a 99 overall rating on RateBeer.
The short of it is, we loved it. A lot. It poured opaque with a dense light brown head. The nose showed big roasted and chocolate malt contributions, coffee, and toffee, all on a notable malty molasses backdrop. The nose was a solid representation of the flavor profile: Dark caramel, molasses malty goodness, chocolate malt, coffee, and roasted malt. And with nearly a couple years in the bottle, some sherry notes started to emerge. This baby’s only going to get better with time. Mouthfeel was viscous as hell and body was full.
Anyway, we liked it enough to put it out there to our members to see how you’d feel if a couple times a year one of your Rare Beer Club bottles was in a bomber (22 oz.) rather than a 750ml (roughly 25 oz.). We’re talking about 3 ounces less beer, but in our humble opinion, well worth the trade-off.