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Black Phoenix (Chipotle Coffee Ale) - Bootlegger's Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Phoenix (Chipotle Coffee Ale)Black Phoenix (Chipotle Coffee Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

117 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 117
Hads: 303
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 19.1%
Wants: 22
Gots: 34 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bootlegger's Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DoubleJ on 04-12-2009

Stout brewed with coffee and chipotle peppers.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 117 | Hads: 303
Photo of domtronzero
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Slightly hazy very dark brown colored with a big, dense, thick mocha head, quickly collapsing into a thin ring around the glass. Little lacing.

S - Light aromas of dark roasted malts and a little coffee. Not much else going on here.

F/M - Dark roasted malts. Burnt coffee, with a very low, almost indiscernible pepper flavor. A little bit of pepper-like warmth. Medium bitterness, accentuated by dark roasted malts. Moderate carbonation. Dry finish with a lingering roasty coffee aftertaste.

D - Okay. This is an okay coffee stout, but with the light, almost unnoticeable pepper flavor and heat, its just a little bit weird.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a burnt chocolate color into my SA Perfect Pint. Over two fingers of mocha colored head is achieved that dissipates relatively fast leaving little lacing.

Smell - Nice, sweet roasted malts. Bittersweet chocolate/cocoa, fresh coffee, and just a hint of the spicy peppers in the tail end of the aroma. With it sitting a few feet away I can still smell this beer. Can't wait to try it.

Taste - Similar to the nose but wow, you can really taste the chipotle peppers. This is a very tasty beer with the roasted malts and chocolate up front followed by the coffee bitterness and peppers. There is a lactic quality to this beer, and while the peppers can be tasted, they are not "spicy" per-say though they do add quite a dynamic to the beer. Very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, slightly creamy, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - Damn drinkable. And for how cheap this beer is, a definite repeat. Bootleggers continues to impress!

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.26/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Purchased at K&L in RWC.

A: Pours a dark brown body, opaque right to the edges. It's capped by a half-finger of light beige foam, which retains decently and collapses into a moderate collar on top. There's no cap except for some effervescence generated by my etched Duvel tulip.

S: Smoked chili peppers; this reminds me of the smoked chipotle sauce I had at, well, Chipotle earlier. Roasted grains, chocolate, and even a touch of coffee are present. It took quite a bit of swirling to get all this, though. I wouldn't call this the most expressive aroma.

T: The taste is a bit better. Chocolate, coffee. This has the slight sourness of roasted grain that you find in non-imperial stouts; it's not quite a lactic twang, but I could see someone calling this a milk stout. I don't think it has the heft to hold up to adjuncts, but I don't think it's really trying for that, either. Instead of having a clean, roasty finish, it brings out an aftertaste of lingering coffee and smoked chipotle peppers. If I'm regarding this as a regular stout (or porter), it delivers; the adjuncts give it enough uniqueness to distinguish it from the average stout.

M: Light-medium bodied. Not a ton of residual sweetness, not a heavy body. This enhances the drinkability quite a bit. It's easy to put down a full bomber without feeling like I have a food baby.

D: For $5 it's well-priced, and it's tastier than a number of traditional stouts. I'd buy it again.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this growler.

The beer pours a dark reddish-brown color with a white head. The aroma is very nice. I get chocolate, coffee, smoke and roasted malt. The flavor is roasted malt, chocolate and smoke. Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation. I don't get a lot of pepper flavor or aroma, but I get the smoke from the chipotles. Very nice beer.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark pour with a huge tan head on top. a lot of foam at first that quickly receedes into nice fluffy head. Mocha and chocolate aroma upfront. Bit of roasted graininess, mildly metallic. Improves as it warms aroma wise. Big roasted mocha and chocolatey flavors with a decent level of roasted grains. The chile peppers tend to come thru near the end with a pleasant bite on the back of the tongue. Coffee is more of an afterthought here-hence the mocha flavor over straight coffee? Smooth and velvety mouthfeel for the most part-a bit acrid in the finish. Very enjoyable and well balanced between the ingredients in here.

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Photo of ZX6Chris
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-A hard pour produces a 3 finger dark tan mocha colored tightly packed head. Black but a little lighter around the edges. Head settles to a little ring around the edges and some bubbles on top. Nice lacing that slowly settles back in the glass.

S-Sweet roasted malt, nice big roasted coffee aroma. A little spicy pepper on the background. Dark bitter chocolate and milk chocolate aromas.

T-Roasted malt with bitter coffee and chipotle peppers on the finish. A nice milk chocolate in the middle of the palate. The roasted malts and coffee come through in the finish. The coffee bitterness and chipotle peppers linger on your tongue. As you keep drinking the peppers hit you in the back of your throat and belly.

M-Light to medium bodied and well carbonated. Nice and smooth.

D-At only 6.7% it's pretty easy drinking. I'm really loving how the peppers and coffee shine in their own ways and compliment each other.

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Photo of billshmeinke
2/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a nonic.

Coca Cola fizzy head that quickly disappears leaving behind a black/brown Coca Cola like liquid.

Smell is of slight chocolate, and lots of smokiness. Slightly metallic smelling too.

Tastes of smoke, faint chocolate, and something that is almost meaty, like bacon. Pretty awful.

Mouthfeel is similar to Coca Cola. Really high carbonation, thin mouthfeel.

This beer is really bad. Big fail for Bootlegger's. Made it through about an inch of this beer before the rest went down the drain.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown to black beer without head. My nose is greeted with pleasing milk chocolate and coffee aromas immediately. Also, a certain milky creaminess and a little smoke. Very chocolaty taste, I wouldn't put this in the chile beer catagory at all, even though chiles are used. Would we put Wrath of Pecant in the plantain catagory just because they are used? You know what I mean. There isn't much chile or spice to this beer at all, maybe a hint of chipotle late in the swallow. It could much easier pass as a coffee stout. It's clean with quite active carbonation. It's enjoyable, but you know what not to expect.

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Photo of rallison
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rather good.

Lots of coffee and some roast and chocolate in the nose.

Taste is well done with lots of coffee (minimal astringency, thank you), cacao, roasted malts and very light chile. I find the chiptole very minor (although my taste is tuned to enjoying very spicy things).

Mouthfeel is pleasantly carbonated.

Very drinkable.

Nicely done. I'd drink this again.

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Photo of tpd975
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice deep dark flat black hue. Nice tall tan head. Dies to a ring with some spotty lace noted.

S: Aromas of roasted chocolate malt, earthy peppers, stale coffee, and sweet candy.

T: Semi Sweet chocolate, mild chili's more earthy than hot, hints of fresh coffee, and sweet malts. Almost has a lactic milky quality to it. Is the base a milk stout?

M: On the thinner side of medium, smooth, tasty.

D: Good, nice drinkable stout with a hint of chili. I like it a lot.

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Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to one of those wonderful California BAs for this one. Taken from notes.

Pours dark brown with minimal head.

Smells of some sweetness, a little chili, earth, and... Chlorine?

Tastes of sweet peppers, some chocolate. We--balanced with a pleasant slight burn in the finish.

Good carbonation, but a little lighter than expected.

This one is pretty good, actually. Interesting and worth a second look. Hopefully that Chlorine smell was just my imagination.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, rich black color, with a nice, dense brown head. Coffee is prevalent on the nose, along with dark chocolate and just a hint of the promised chipotle. Tastes like a big roasty porter, with hints of coffee, smoke, chocolate and chipotle. As the beer warms, I start to feel a little more of the heat coming through. A very nice effort; smooth, flavorful and easy to drink.

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle included as an extra from vacax - thanks!

Pours one shade from black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with good amounts of cocoa powder. Also present are hints of chiles and milder hints of vanilla that intensify as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although with more influence from the chiles. Mild roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by slightly sweetened cocoa powder. Midway through the sip mild amounts of chile flavors and heavier amounts of heat enter into things. The heat continues through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this wasn't the best example of a chile stout I've had however it didn't skimp on the chile flavor like some others I've had either. Worth a shot.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.39/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recieved in the Big Black Booty BIF, love my black booty!

A-pours a thin dark brown looking liquid that is almost completely opaque. The head is a light coffee color that is tight and fluffy, it fizzles away quickly and leaves no lace on the glass.

S-the nose is pretty huge and quite diverse. the big roasted malts come in up front with tons of dark chocolate and hints of vanilla. the roasted chili peppers immediately take over and take hold of the nose. it is very spicy at the finish however also chocolaty with some dark chocolate mixed in. This is so sweet with roasted malts and milk chocolate up front.

T-this is a very big stout that has some chili peppers worked into the finish. roasted malts dominate up front, lots of dark chocolate and sweetness with just a touch of vanilla. the finish brings a hint of spicy pepper that actually lingers a bit with some nice roasted coffee malts and then more dark chocolate. There is a light sweetness at the finish with a hint of dark fruits, plum and raisin.

M-this is extremely smooth and creamy with a good full body. It has a nice carbonation base that gives it has a crisp finish but a slight bite at the back of the throat.

D-this is a great stout! I actually am not a huge chile beer guy and would prefer the chilies not in this to take away that peppery spice; but, knowing that is what they wanted the rest of the stout properties are great! Big flavors, nice roasted malts, chocolate, and a little sweetness at the finish with a very solid body. I'd love to try a regular (or even better an imperial) stout!

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Photo of womencantsail
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bootlegger's

A: Dark, dark brown (bordering on black) with a fluffy tan head.

S: The chiles were not quite as dominant as I had anticipated (thankfully). The primary aromas were roasted malt and coffee with just a touch of chipotle.

T: Like the nose, this one is mostly roasted malt and coffee with an ever so slight heat of chile on the finish. The chipotle flavor gives the beer a little bit of a surprise taste.

M: Medium bodied, but maybe leaning a bit more towards the lighter side. The carbonation level was moderate to high.

D: Not nearly as "bad" as I was expecting, for the style, that is. From talking to people, it seems they have dialed back the chipotle component, and it's for the better of the beer. It's not spicy, but does have a little kick. That said, it wasn't my favorite beer, but an interesting one to try.

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Photo of Overlord
2.64/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap Holinghseads

Pours a brownish black, with a robust dark tan head. Smells like ... coffee. This is a chile beer? Interesting, cause I get no chile in the aroma.

No chile in flavor either. Just a kind of brackish, flat coffee flavor with a hint of ... sourness? Kind of an acrid, pungency. Maybe that's the chile influence.

Won't be revisiting.

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Photo of gford217
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber courtesy of a generous BA, poured into a tulip.

I'll start by saying I haven't a clue how to level-set a rating for a chile beer, so I'll stick with a stout review. Pours reddish brown out of the bottle and sits almost completely black in the glass underneath a thick tan head that recedes very quickly to a collar.

The aroma is excellent - starting with some roasted coffee and dark chocolate malts. But there's definitely an intriguing pepper burn in the nostrils that keeps me from confusing this aroma for that of a straight-up stout.

The taste starts with sweetness, chocolate mostly, with a heftly dark malt backbone. There's some coffee bitterness that starts to come out, but the real uniqueness hits in the finish where the chipotle peppers come in. They start with a solid pepper character but then you realize your tongue is burning in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft carbonation and leaves that interesting burning sensation after each sip.

This is a very complex and original stout with the peppers really bringing something different to the table. I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this one recently as part of a box from somewhere, I swear I get these all way too confused at times, but no matter, I cracked this one open after dinner last night to get my fix for something a bit different. Served chilled in a pint glass, it was consumed on 12/25/2009.

The pour was warm and inviting, rich dark brown in color, nearly black with a big tan head on top that showed no signs of letting it down. Nice webbing on the side of the glass, a really good look. Aroma was dominated by coffee at first. Rich, dark roast with a light touch of sweetness trying to balance it out. Not really picking up the peppers at first. I go in for a sip and a luscious, chocolate and coffee flavor rushes across the tongue, not terribly strong but nice and mellow, well thought out and nicely done. But the pepper kicks in about ten seconds after this sip with a nice light burning on the tongue and throat. Well done I have to admit with nothing coming across as too course or overdone. I was actually really digging this and with the smooth, even flavor and light abv, we had ourselves a winner.

Overall this was pretty damn solid I have to say. Nothing really over the top and the pepper really balanced well against the coffee, playing off each other very nicely. A solid brew from top to bottom.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. Medium amount of head. Strong coffee aroma and light nutty and chile aromas. Slightly spicy front end followed by powerful coffee/stoutish flavors on the back end. Light to moderate sweetness. Low carbonation/very smooth going down typical of style.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - pours deep dark brown/nearly black with a two-finger tan head, moderate retention, not much lacing

s - not a huge aroma, dark chocolate and coffee are the predominant smells, only a slight hint of the smokey pepper component from the chipotles

t - semi-sweet chocolate up front with the bitter coffee flavor developing in the mid-palate, finish has hints of the chipotle with smoke and a little heat adding a nice layer of flavor, kind of thin in flavor and disappears from the palate pretty quickly, I was worried that this would be all about the coffee and chipotles, but the two additions are there but they don't overwhelm at all

m - medium-bodied but a bit too thin for a stout, pretty active in the mouth with a decent amount of carbonation, not much heat from either the alcohol or the peppers, fairly bitter on the finish

d - pretty drinkable, actually, which is surprising for a coffee/chipotle beer, the alcohol is well hidden though not all that high to begin with at 6.7%

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Photo of sliverX
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Received from PretzelCity in a trade, stated on the bottle as a Chili and Coffee beer
poured pitch black light sucking brew, with a wisp of cocoa colored head that hung around the edge
smell is all coffee, don't pick up any pepper in this
taste yet again is all coffee, but very late in the sip you pick up a bit of pepper that lingers
Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, kind of thin on body
Drinkability is still pretty good but don't expect a huge hot pepper bomb
Paired real well with our sweet and hot pepper cheddar

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Photo of Genghis22
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very deep dark brownish black, with the slightest hints of ruby on the edges when held up to the light. A nice mocha color head.

S - Smells like a big roasty porter. Good amount of smoke and roasted malt. There is just the faintest hint of chile spice in the nose. Not enough to make you think of it, but the nose tingles just a tad, and knowing that there is chipotles in here, one knows what the tingle is from.

T - Yum! A nice big roasty malty porter. Hints of chocolate and a fair amount of smoke. The chipotle is in the aftertaste and attacks the back of your throat. It provides a nice addition. This starts of tasting like your normal big malty porter, but the peppers, really elevate this beer, and add a totally differnt element.

M - Medium body, with moderate to high carbonation. Very rich and smooth. The carbonation, provides a nice feel, and finish is like velvet.

D - Not sure how many of these I would really comsume in a night, probably just one. This is tasty beer, and very unique, but like all spicy foods, the more you drink the more chipotle you taste. The burn is not intense, but it is there. One and done for me.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. into a pint glass

P: Midnight black with only glimmers of rosy brown light streaming in through the edges of the glass. On top is a 2 fingered crown of wet sand-colored foam that's a little more on the soapy side of the spectrum rather than on the thick and creamy one. Showed decent retention, then sank to form a thick collar with little strings of lace left behind in its wake.

A: This is one of the most unique aromas I've come across in an American Stout. It's really roasted from the malts, obviously, but there's a moderate amount of smokiness here that I wasn't expecting. Meanwhile, the boldly roasted coffee beans outshine the chocolate by a good distance, while the spiciness from the chipotle peppers adds a new dimension that forces my nasal passages open with each and every whiff. I was expecting the peppers to be a little more subtle, but I really like it nonetheless.

T: As much as I enjoyed the aroma of this beer, I'm afraid the flavor just isn't my cup of tea. I love how the dark malts are perfectly-roasted and never even hint at being burnt or charred, while once again, the locally-roasted coffee beans are dominant over the creamy chocolate flavors at the halfway point in the mouthful. However, as much as I appreciate the heat that the chipotle spice brings to the table, it feels a bit intrusive and really grainy at the back of my throat. It almost reminds me of the unforgettable "drip" sensation I experienced in my throat after a friend dared me to sniff some cayenne pepper, that when teamed with the moderate amount of smokiness present, imparts a spicy, grainy, almost ashy kind of burn to the back of my throat that becomes distracting and unenjoyable after awhile.

M: Black Phoenix feels a touch fuller than medium-bodied, and even though there's not much to chew on, there is some rich creaminess accentuating the nice C02 levels. However, that grainy spice is kinda killing any sense of smoothness for me. Still, it feels good enough to earn the "good" score.

Notes: I could definitely see how some people would love this beer. If what you're looking for is some smoky spiciness in your American Stout, then this is probably your holy grail. Personally, as much as I liked the aroma, it just didn't float my boat when it hit my palate. Still, excited to see a Bootlegger's brew in a local shop. Gotta support the locals!

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black with a nice whisp of head.

S: Heavy on the coffee and chile spice, capsaicin rich, very pungent.

T: Big time coffee and dark chocolate start the brew. The spice component is robust, not extremely hot, not mild either. It's really there from mid-palate onward. Long aftertaste, you'll be feeling this one long after you finish it.

M: Medium-bodied, felt watery at times to me though, light carbonation, spice makes it interesting.

D: A very nice beer from Bootlegger's. Both of the local North County breweries have made a chile beer and both have turned out to be really good. Check this effort out.

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Photo of PretzelCity
4.44/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Verdugo Bar. This beer came out black as night with only a trace of head that quickly fizzled away. A little disappointing, until I got a whiff. The nose was a big hit of coffee. I don't particularly care for coffee by itself but I love me some coffee in my beer. This one did not disappoint. The taste was more of the same, fresh ground coffee perfectly blended with roasted malts and a touch of spice at the end. The chipotle takes a back seat in this beer, with the coffee up front and then a nice touch of spice in the finish, complimenting the beer instead of overpowering it. The mouthfeel is very smooth with a medium body. I could have had a few of these if the Verdugo didn't have so many great beers to try. Overall this was an excellent beer, well balanced and extremely drinkable. I'll be looking for more of these in the future.

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Black Phoenix (Chipotle Coffee Ale) from Bootlegger's Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.