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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 abrethanson
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - dark and scary. I would not want to meet this beer in a dark alley. Definitely get the frothy coffee feelings like I just walked into a not Starbucks and ordered a 5 shot espresso beer. Poured a thick four finger foamy head which left decent lacing around the tulip glass.

Smell - no sense of smell here, but Columbian beans, cocoa maltiness come to mind.

Taste - first initial thoughts were lighter and not as rich and chocolaty as imagined. Notes of 60% cocoa and maltiness in the beginning followed by a sharp lingering of pepper and chipolte spice and ending with slight bitterness. Good balance on the chocolate/chipolte. A little more hop bitterness while upping the alcohol and this beer goes from good to great.

Mouthfeel - smooth, foamy, and light. I was expecting something more to chew on, but still good.

Drinkability - Goes down smooth. A great late night beer (as I am enjoying right right now) handled in moderation.

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Photo of charlzm
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed February 20th, 2011 at Boneyard Bistro, Sherman Oaks, CA.

Beer is a very dark brown pour with mahogany highlights. A thin off-white head becomes some minimal sheeting on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is virtually non-existent. There is a hint of coffee and a dash of chocolate, but I was straining to get even these fleeting notes.

Flavor is standard at first. Some chocolate malt mingles with coffee and a whiff of sourness before the chipotle kicks in. Its presence is felt as a slight warmth and a dash of pepper flavor. Mild bitterness on the finish.

The beer has a medium mouthfeel with a very light carbonation tingle on the aftertaste.

Absolutely nothing I would ever go out of my way to have again: a pedestrian stout with a dash of pepper. I don't like chile beer sin general and this one didn't change my mind.

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Photo of Dlish
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep brown, a ruby red on the edges, little head and rim retention last long.

S- Very smokey up front, with a bbq like smell, then the coffee and malt flood in finally a hint of pepper is at the end. Pretty good, like a stout that was just bbq.

T- A lot of coffee up front, taste simuilar to firestone's coffee porter. Deep chocolate/malt flavor. At the end is a herby/bitter/spicy. The chipotle blends with the hops, which is great, IPAs go great with something spicy. After taking some more sips the chipotle black pepper taste can be found throughout the whole taste very light. After a few sips there a very mild burn on the back of the tounge.

M- Chewy from the coffee, bit grainy too from the coffee and the pepper. Good carbonation.

D- I'll admit I have fall in love with add a dash of chipotle to beers. I've brewed my own chipotle ale turned out great. Its a great twist on a all ready good porter (or maybe its masking some of its bad traits) who knows... I def plan to drink more of this, although after one you might be running a risk of heart burn.

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Photo of claspada
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas are all dark malts: lots of chocolate with a decent amount of roasted/coffee notes as well. Quite inviting...

The taste follows the nose but adds that slight little oomph from the chilies, which was undetectable from the smell. More coffee (minimal astringency, thank you), cacao, roasted malts and very light spiciness. I find the chipotle very minimal (although my taste is tuned to enjoying very spicy things).

Mouthfeel is on the thinner side of medium, smooth, tasty. Good balance for the ABV and style; allows the flavors to shine properly.

Overall, this is a good, nice, drinkable stout with a hint of chili spice. I like it a lot, even though I wish there was a little more spice kick

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Photo of mothman
3.32/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours 1/2 finger of khaki tan head. Color is a dark mahogany brown.

Aroma: Mainly porter flavors with a dark coffee roast. No chipotles here. Dark chocolate. Creamy.

Taste: The chipotles come through more here, having a hot burn in the end. Big roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, roasted, spiced, and dry. Medium bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, decent beer. It could be awesome if it wasn't so roasted. Somewhat drinkable.

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Photo of broken22
3.24/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bootleggers Black Phoenix is being released in limited quantities and I'm glad I picked up a few bottles. This beer has a very bold label that jumped out at me. I love dark beers and when you put coffee and chipotle peppers on the label I'm buying it.

I popped the beer open poured a glass and watch the darkness flow out. This is a really dark beer. A nice thick tan head formed at the top of the glass and hung out for a bit until finally dissipating down to just a little bubble ring. I was really expecting to have a fragrant smell to this beer considering the coffee and chipotle but there wasn't really any strong smell to be had. Taking my first sip I notice that for being such a dark beer it is rather light on the palate. This beer drinks more like a brown. When I noticed that there wasn't much smell I figured the taste would be similar. Unfortunately for me that was true. There is flavor and its good its just not very prevalent.

To wrap this up I would have to say that I like this beer. I think it could just be the bottle that gave this beer the lacking smell and taste. I would love to get a nice big glass of this right from the tap. My local beer stores here in San Diego are selling a 22oz bottle of this for $5.99. I think this is very reasonable price considering the expensive ingredients that went into making this darkness. I would say if you like dark beers with coffee and have never tried one with chipotle peppers than pick up a bottle of this and enjoy.

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Photo of farrago
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vigorous pour gets you two plus fingers of creamy dark brown foam, all micro-bubbles with a uniformly flat surface, you can see hundreds of bubbles popping at once as it simmers down to the surface with ease, the foam glides down the glass sides in solid sheets, no lacing. As expected, the liquid is pure jet black without a trace of color, appears to have no haziness. Wastes no time unleashing the chipotle peppers, albeit the heavily roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate and cocoa, follows up with lactose, cumin and coriander spice, over time the pepper recedes in favor of earth, muddy straw and cigar ash. Medium-bodied, firm and muscular, the weak carbonation would surprise if you only viewed the glass after the pour and not minutes later when there is absolutely no bubbles to found anywhere. As a result, the heat and spice are able to soak in and maintain as consistent a presence as the bitter dark chocolate, coffee and milk cream. Except for the burn there's no real roughness, smooth enough overall texture. Oatmeal, corn bread, biscuit breadiness is doughy and not that sweet. Momentary touch of orange peel. Any greenness is akin to tea leaves or tobacco wrappers. Not particularly complex but does show determination in getting its few words across.

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Photo of birchstick
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a very dark brown / reddish color with a pretty small head that forms a rim around the glass

S - smells of rich, sweet chocolate malt, rounded out with some nice coffee tones. Finally, I could pick up the chipotle peppers which added a spicy smokiness to it. The chocolate malt is the strongest smell I detected out of all them.

T - this opens up with the sweet chocolate malts and some oat that is quickly blended with the coffee flavors. Really nice so far. On the finish, spicy chipotle peppers add a touch of spicy heat, but not too much heat where it burns (as Yeti's chocolate does to you). The chipotle really complements the chocolate and coffee malt in a somewhat subtle pleasantness. I get a lot of coffee on the exhale. Really nice!

M - quite a bit of carbonation - I was expecting a little more smoother mouth since it was brewed with some oats.

D - this is a really good chile beer. The chipotle isn't as in your face as I have experienced with other chile beers; instead, the are more subtle and complementary in their use. Big thanks to MaxStout for sending this to my doorstep - I really enjoyed this one!

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a very dark brown in color with brown highlights that had a thin bubbly head and left a little bit of lacing sticking to the glass.

S: chocolate and roastiness dominate the nose with slight chipotle pepper notes and mild coffee character.

T: the chocolate and coffee flavores were more potent on the palate with roasty milky accents and a touch of chipotle peppers that leave a slight sting on the finish.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a pretty low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, mild roasty, and spicy creamy finish.

D: I really enjoyed this beer that featured some roastiness chocolate and chipotle peppers. I just just wished the chipotle character was more potent throughout. Still drank good and was a decent brew.

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Photo of berebrando
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

contrary it what this site says, it is not a stout. its a dark ale, but no stout. I've been sitting on this bottle for a while. stumbled upon it in my cellar and decided it would be a great compliment to a mexican xmas dinner. it was...

pours dark black with a head of medium sized bubbles that dissipated quickly. taste started off with strong coffee and a subtle pepper background. lost a bit of flavor as it warmed to prime drinking temperatures.

it was drinkable at approx six percent and felt alright in the boca.

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

22 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a nice black color. There a bit of reddish tints at the edges in the light. Medium-tan head turns into a bubbly film.

Aroma: Smells of coffee and roasted malts. No chipotle apparent, but smells like a decent stout.

Taste: Initial flavor of roasted malts and a bit of cream and coffee. Just a hint of chipotle peppers (though mostly just mild chipotle adobo) just before the finish, and barely into the aftertaste. Otherwise, the aftertaste is mostly just the roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: This is a pretty smooth beer; medium-bodied with pretty minimal carbonation.

Drinkability Quite drinkable as neither the taste nor the ABV are too strong, but the taste is quite pleasant.

Seriously, my only complaint here is that there's more coffee than chipotle! Though I love peppers, I wasn't a believer when I opened the bottle. But after a few sips, I realized it could totally work! So: More. Chipotle. Please.

Pretty please?!?!

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

Dark brown, not quite opaque - a little light shines through. The small head quickly recedes to collar.

The nose has a mix of roasted barley, grainy sweetness, mild peppery chipotle heat and a reserved coffee presence. This is pretty balanced and harmonious, to my surprise.

The palate is also pretty good, heavy on the grainy/bready malt and dark roasted coffee, light on the chipotle flavor and heat. The beer grows in complexity as it warms, bringing the chipotle flavor closer to the forefront. The finish is roasty and mildly hot, which lingers nicely. Mouthfeel is a little thinner than I'd like, but hefty enough. This was surprisingly enjoyable.

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Photo of sholland119
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep ruby brown with a nice pool of mocha head.

S-Sweet chocolate malt, creamy with a hint of chile.

T-Mild roast, sweet malt, dark chocolate. Very nice but lacking in the smokiness or heat I would expect form the pepper. A hint peeks through at the end of the finish but that's about it.

M-Light side of medium bodied, medium carbonation.

D-Nice. A bit short of expectations but pleasant.


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Photo of djmichaelk
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Chilled 22oz bottle into a perfect pint.

A - On first pour, it seems and sounds almost like cola -- the head isn't huge, maybe a couple of fingers, but crackles angrily and falls away pretty quickly. It leaves pretty much nothing, not even really a ring. Swirling doesn't produce much at all. No lacing, obviously.

S - Big notes of coffee, better than most. Many coffee beers smell and taste more like stale coffee, where this has the aroma more of freshly ground roasted beans. Maybe a hint of smoke, but nothing of peppers in the nose.

T - Again, plenty of roastiness in the beer between the malt and the coffee. This has just the right amount of coffee in a beer for me -- almost as if you added a couple of tablespoons to the glass. Some dark chocolate is there, but I can't say I detect a lot of the chipotle in the flavor. Maybe just a hint of spiciness in the finish.

M - The carbonation is very light, almost bordering on flat. Leaves it with kind of an oily, slick feel. Doesn't ruin the beer for me, but it's detracting from the experience. Could definitely benefit from more assertive carbonation.

D - Despite the challenges from the carbonation, this is still a beer that I would reach for (in the morning!) again.

O - Nice beer overall. I'll definitely be sampling another to see if I just got an off bottle.

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Photo of antioch
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery.

A: Black with a thick dark tan head. Looks like coffee with bubbles.

S: Coffee! I smell a boatload of the amazing Kean Coffee that they use for this. Maltiness! I smell some amazing dark roasted malts too.

T: Coffee, chocolate, roastiness, malt and ending with a slight Chipotle sting on the back of the palate. Went amazingly with a big burger from Grill 'Em All Truck!

M: Smooth and creamy. Very nice on a cold night, especially if this was slightly higher in alcohol with a bit of alcohol burn.

D: I couldn't drink this all day, but it's quite nice. One bomber is probably good for me! I absolutely love this beer now.

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