Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Firestarter Chipotle Porter - Right Brain Brewery

Not Rated.
Firestarter Chipotle PorterFirestarter Chipotle Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

15 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 15
Hads: 67
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 25.45%
Wants: 4
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Right Brain Brewery visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: oline73 on 09-08-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 15 | Hads: 67
Reviews by kattmunkel:
Photo of kattmunkel
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of GRPunk
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, poured into a nonic pint.

A- A normal pour created a 1-finger brown head that sustained nicely at 1/4-finger and left good rings on the glass. The body was a very dark brown, near black through the middle.

S- Almost a smoked porter at first. Chocolate and coffee with a strong dose of smoke. It reminds me of this funky, beef jerky chocolate bar my brother-in-law sent me. I don't know if it's just me, but the chipotle seems to get lost in all the smoke.

T- Chocolate up front with a smoky middle/finish. Just when I think they forgot to add the peppers to this batch, there's a rush of spicy peppers through the late finish. It's a really light, pleasant burn. Really nice, not overdone, not lost either.

M- Moderate-full body. Medium carbonation. Slightly chalky. Nice burn, tingle from the chipotles.

O- Interesting little beer. Not little at all, really. Quite bold, actually, especially in the flavor department. Up front it wants to be a smoked porter until this rush of smooth heat comes through well into the finish. I love it when a beer becomes multi-dimensional like this, especially when it's an herbed/spiced/pepper beer. A decent price tag makes this a possible go-to for BBQ or slightly spicy/Southwest/Mexican fare.

 1,252 characters

Photo of clager
4.93/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on tap at Right Brain

L: Jet black, small tan head

S: Smoky, chocolate, coffee, vanilla

T: Up front creamy stout with coffee and sweet notes, remainder a sharp smoky chipotle flavor that is absolutely delicious

F: Low carbonation as expected for a porter

O: One of my favorite beers, great balance, flavor, and creatitivity. Maybe they'll brew it again someday!

 374 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap, Michigan Summer Beerfest 2013. Firestarter pours out black. There's no other way to say it, really. This bad boy is black as hell, with a luscious and foamy, creamy tan head. Micro-bubbled and well carbed, the head perches softly on top of the void and shows good retention. Not much lacing to speak of, but it could be due to my taster glass. Very bold and assertive looking porter... with a name like Firestarter, I expect nothing less.

The aroma is fairly simple, yet still pretty enjoyable. I'm getting a contemporary mix of roasted malts, light cocoa powder and chocolate-y notes, and just a touch of back-end peppery spice. It doesn't smell like it's going to burn a hole in my ass, rather the apparent sweetness of the malts helps to tame and keep balance, at least in my nostrils. Refined quite well for a beer loaded with chili peppers, I'd say.

Each sip starts off with a dose of chocolate-y goodness with the added dimension of a heavy, nutty flavor. The peppers waste no time creeping their way into the mix, and begin their ascent to the top of the food chain right from the start. Halfway through the gulp and they're beaming at nearly full strength, getting ready to wreak havoc on the corners of your mouth. The creamy chocolate and faintly roasted malts are doing everything they can to maintain balance in the cosmos.

The peppers tingle the back of the throat and the intensity grows with each and every successive sip. Halfway through the glass, your palate is really feeling the heat - a lively tingle and excess warmth of the chili peppers, which also have a spicy flavor to them. Chocolate is still a mainstay for the aftertaste, but it's not long before the chilies assert their dominance and punish your palate to oblivion in the finale. Medium bodied, bordering on thick, with a smooth and creamy mouth feel, carbonated well.

Well, Firestarter is no joke. That's for sure. A heat that starts off little and just complies upon itself exponentially. Quite tasty, actually, although I could understand why people might not enjoy this as much as I did. In all honesty, it would be tough to get through a pint, but a 4-6 oz serving seems like a perfectly sized portion. I do love the unabashed, fiery heat, though. Shows that Right Brain isn't afraid to push the boundaries of what's considered "acceptable".

 2,340 characters

Photo of DruC4
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Big off white head. Thick collar.

Smell - Dark chocolate. Meaty smoke. Light pepper.

Taste - Chocolate and roasted malt up front. Chipotle is much stronger. Nice smokey pepper flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Kinda creamy.

Overall - Has a little bit of a sweet stout component that I don't love, but it's got a very nice smoked pepper flavor.

 411 characters

Photo of Dustin_A_Stoutdrinker
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of beergorrilla
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Stu_Grimson
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of beardown
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of redleg64
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of acostuhhh
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DCdevyl78
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Big_Dave
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of radiofish
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of DMarlinJ
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Canada_Dan
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Buck_Jones
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of HardyA
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of stortore
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%

Photo of oline73
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at the brewpub.

Appearance: Pours almost black with some light coming through at the edges. There is a layer of tan head some a nice amount of lacing.

Smell: Smooth and roasty with notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and some smoke.

Taste: A lot of roast up front. Then I'm picking up some dark chocolate and smoke. The heat from the peppers shows up about half way through the sip and sticks around through the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth, prickly carbonation with a mildly dry finish.

Overall: I thought this was a great use of the chipotle peppers. There was some burn, but it didn't cover up the other flavors. This would have been a really good porter without the peppers in it too.

 732 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Right Brain's Firestarter Chipotle Porter last month for $6.99 at The Lager Mill. I had this beer a while ago when I visited the brewery and I thought it was a nice beer, but since bottles started showing up I thought I should get one to review, so lets see how it goes. Bottled on December 22 2013.. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a nice simple design to it and it's a little eye catching. It poured a very dark brown color that was on the border of being black and it didn't really let any light come through with two fingers worth of brown head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice spotty lacing.behind. This is a pretty good looking Porter, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the roasted malts being the first to show up and they impart some some grainy, medium roasted, light coffee and some nice chocolate like aromas with some fruity yeast showing up in the background. Up next comes a noticeable smokey aroma followed by a light pepper like aroma. The aroma is pretty nice, I like how the Chipotle peppers aren't too overpowering and they add a nice lighter touch to this Porter.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the roasted malts still sticking out the most and they impart all of those roasted malt aspects that I got in the aroma with the chocolate still sticking out the most, but not by much. Up next comes the yeast which still has that somewhat fruity aspect and it reminds me a little of English ale yeast and it's followed by a pretty smokey flavor with a slight charred flavor in the background and maybe a slight pepper flavor but it's not that noticeable. On the finish there's a lower amount of bitterness with a grainy roasted malt aftertaste and a little bit of lingering heat from the peppers. This was a pretty nice tasting beer, but i wish some more pepper taste and little more heat showed up in the flavor.

M- Smooth, lingering warmth,slightly creamy, a little rich, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and a nice example of a Porter, the Porter base was fine and pretty true to style and the chipotle added a good amount of smoke that made this beer pretty similar to a smoked porter. This beer had ok drinkability, it was smooth, a little creamy, a little rich, not too filing and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, but the lingering warmth might start to wear on me after a while so I think one glass is the perfect amount for me. What I liked the most about this beer was that it wasn't overly spicy, I got some pepper spice, but it wasn't overwhelming. What I liked the least about this beer was that there wasn't more chipotle like flavors, it seems like the smoke was the main thing the peppers imparted. I would buy this again when I'm in the mood for a spicy Porter, but it's not something that I would buy on a regular basis. I would recommend this to anyone who likes dark beers brewed with peppers. All in all I thought this was a pretty solid beer, it wasn't my favorite beer brewed with peppers, but it's still a nice beer and the balance between peppers and porter was nice, I just wish more pepper flavors came through. Nice job guys, keep up the good work.

 3,557 characters

Photo of Zaphog
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bobsbigbeershow
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the few spices beers in Traverse City, and it's a good one. By no means is there a scorching burn, but be ready for a nice kick, and don't make the mistake of using the beer as a palette cleanser during a hot sauce competition.

 234 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Firestarter Chipotle Porter from Right Brain Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.