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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

116 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 116
Hads: 298
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 19.05%
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: 116 | Hads: 298
Photo of kawilliams81
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- pours near black with a ridiculous 4" light brown head, watch out its a gusher. 2" head remains in the glass.

S- coffee, chocolate and some pine.

T- big coffee and chocolate notes, slight dark fruits, some pine bitterness and you notice the peppers that gives a slight burn at the finish.

M- Medium body and high carbonation. Crazy high carbonation.

O- if it wasn't for the crazy high carbonation this would be a very good beer. Nice amount of coffee and chocolate with some pepper burn.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Coffee is prevalent on the nose, more than whatever chipotle is in here. Chocolate is subtle, but brings a nice sweetness to the nose to balance the roast of the coffee.

Pitch black in color with a light mocha head which is humungous! It looks over-carbonated just by the head. I poured so slow and it still generated a 4-finger head. Unfortunately, lacing is non-existent.

First thing I noticed wasn't the taste, but how this bear foamed up right when it hit my tongue.. it's HIGHLY carbonated. The medium-full body brings a bunch of roasted coffee beans right upfront and through the mid-palate. The beer finishes with the slightest heat and then more coffee, only to be followed by by a bit of an itch in my throat form the peppers again. The flavor of this beer is coffee-forward and comes in waves. Quite interesting, but the burps come in waves afterward too.

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Photo of zac16125
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Black Pheonix Chipotle Coffee Stout
22oz bottle poured into a mug
no born on date

Thanks to Redbeeron for sending this one over as an extra.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a massive 3 plus fingers of light mocha colored head, which is light and bubbly and takes a long time to dissipate down.  1/2 a finger remains throughout most of the drink, but leaves no appreciable lacing.  

S: Heavy spicy pepper notes, mild coffee and roasted malt characters.  Nice aroma here, but rather mild and pretty one dimensional.

T: Coffee, roasted malts.  heavy cream. Initially I dont taste much spice on the palate, but it burns my lips so I know its there.  But as I continue to  drink, the peppery heat builds significantly.  I like that component but the base flavors, I guess you can call it that, are just significantly lacking.  Not enough strength of stout flavors to go along with the chipotle heat.  

M/D:  Really thin mouthfeel, and a carbonation that seems both too high, and too low at the same time (if that makes sense, which Im sure it doesn't).  It comes off like soda from a soda gun.   That with the peppery spice make this indigestion in a bottle.  Drinkability is low and mouthfeel is poor.  

O:  Overall, this is one I would pass on in the future.  I like how big the chipotle heat is, but the stout flavors and characteristics just arent there.  I appreciate what they were trying to do, but its sure as hell no Mexican Cake.  

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Photo of FosterJM
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1514th Review on BA
Growler to Snifter

Filled @Bootleggers 9/14/12

App- More of a crimson looking brew in the glass with a bit of darker browns mixed in. I would say some red and yellows make the mix but not much. A small 1/2 finger head was there and gone and didnt leave any cling.

Smell- I liked the aromatics but it didnt wow me. This one is more of a small coffee note with with a bit of water. Not a lot of the chipotle comes through and thats okay. A more smokey and roast malt aroma with a bit of BBQ.

Taste- I am not normally one for smokey or Rauchbier like beers, but this was good with the balance of the chipotle and the coffee. It was like when watching a cooking show and seeing a coffee rub on a good piece of meat. The smokey malts paired well with the heat of the peppers and didnt leave it too hot or too spicy really.

Mouth- A lighter medium body and a lighter carbonation. Just thin all around. The malts are quite tame and a bit of the chipotle comes through and tingles the tastebuds on the residual flavors of this one.

Drink- I enjoyed it. I am just not a fan like I said of the smoky hot thing. I like the addition of the coffee on this one and it was a good idea to keep the ABV low to make everything a bit more mellow and not compete against the booze.

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Photo of harrymel
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled: unk
Pours black, and has a rim of light tan foam and quite a bit of clarity. Smells of herbal hops, some some, some soily dust, bits of coffee and some cardboard. Taste is empty, watered down stout with toasted and roated malts, some coffee, a little too much smoke flavor, some hints of coconut and weedy. Mouth is empty with alittle too hi carb and an off dry finish. Okay beer. My wife really dug it so she drank most of the bottle.

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Photo of Blackwolf
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I loves me muh stouts and porters!

A- Poured into a pint glass. Dark fudgy color and a milk chocolate head about a fingers width. The head dissipated almost too rapidly and the lacing was slippery to smooth. I enjoy looking at a deep rich ale in ambient lighting :)

S- A medium scent is evident with malts, coffee. As much as I hyped this ale up I was expecting something deeper =/

T- Smokey Roasted Malt, A piquant coffee/dark chocolate taste settles on the palate briefly, but this bottoms out quickly with the bold flavor. HOWEVER... The chipotle finishes quite well from the start to finish... but especially on the finish! I have had my share of chipotle beers and this one takes the cake. The nice subtle spice that tickles and plays with your tongue in the end definitely puts a smile on your face! Kudos bootleggers for pulling off what many chipotle beers can not!

MF- Scrumptious semi-thick stout, kinda syrupy and it sticks to your mouth for a bit. It is a deep beer with medium carbonation. This will go great with bbq or a greasy mexican fusion breakfast plate :P

O- I like my stouts and porters very much, this one is a very filling and bold stout. I don't know about breaking the wallet for one, but if you can afford it go for it! Yum yum YUM!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bootlegger's already makes several variants of its Black Phoenix beer; Spicenator Black Phoenix, Imperial Phoenix, Barrel-Aged Imperial Phoenix. Does a nitro version of Black Phoenix count as well. If it does, let's makes some notes of it:

Once again, that nitro gas leaves a super creamy, long lasting beige head atop a black body. Beautiful, once again. The nose is softer on nitro, but it still delivers the key notes, of spicy coffee, and even some brownie chocolate.

I'll confess, the nitro does soften the flavor. Still, it does it in a good way. The peppers are softer, which allows the stout part of the beer to come out. The dark malt body and the nitro gives the flavor of devil's food cake. It's very smooth and creamy in the mouth, medium bodied, and much easier to drink than the "standard" Black Phoenix.

So there are a few differences between the nitro and non-nitro versions. The nitro version is easier to take, while the non-nitro version fills your mouth with more spicy peppers and coffee. I'm totally taking this ride again.

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Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber while in El Segundo. I opened the bottle after dinner and it makes a fine dessert beer. It's by no means sweet, but there's a medium, thicker body and tasty cocoa notes. I only get the slighted hint of chipotle and heat once the beer warms to cellar temperature, but it's a nice touch. This is definitely not a beer to drink too cold, the subtle flavors are totally lost. I'm not getting any noticeable coffee, but the smooth chocolate liquor taste, balanced by a mild roast will ease your mind and please your palate. Give this a try if you find it.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from Whatsarezaf (thanks for the extra man!). No bottling info. Served in a Sweetwater 15 snifter. 

Pours a deep, near-black brown with barely one finger tan head. Next to no lacing. 

Interesting nose with coffee, cocoa and a hint of peppery spice. 

Black coffee taste comes out first. A little bittersweet cocoa follows with a nice pepper bite on the finish. Not much else but not bad. 

Fairly thin feel with mild carbonation. 

No false advertising here- it says chipotle coffee stout on the bottle and that's exactly what it is. Not as big or complex as I prefer my stouts but overall it's not bad at all. No problems finishing the bottle myself in one sitting but not something I'll hunt in the future. 

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown color...borderline black. Has a small tan head. Scent is nice and toasty with some roasted malt and chocolate cocoa. Sweet vanilla and some cinnamon as well. Fresh coffee. Not really any chile or chipotle in the aroma. Taste is a little different however. Initially, there is a definite chile pepper flavor. Not heat, but just the flavor. The heat is very subdued and only comes through on the tip of the tongue after quite a few sips of this. Not overwhelming at all, just some tingling heat that lingers on the tip of the tongue and the lips. There are lovely coffee flavors and great cocoa taste. Very well balanced and a great way to introduce someone to what peppers can do to a beer. Mouthfeel is where this beers lacks... it's a little too light (I wish I could try the bourbon barrel aged version). Mild spicy finish. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this beer is an outstanding chile stout. I would definitely buy more of this.

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Photo of BilbosNuts
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to McD0uche for hooking me up with this one.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown that is almost black. A one finger, khaki colored head sits on top which slowly fades to a thin film.

S: The overall aroma is a bit subdued. There is mostly roasted malts with a touch of coffee. I can't seem to find the chipotle at all in the nose.

T: The initial tastes are roasted malts and coffee again. But towards the finish, the chipotle peppers make their appearance. They provide some slight heat that isn't overpowering, just enough to let you know they're there.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is almost a chewy feel to it. The peppers give off a slight heat that doesn't linger very long.

O: Overall, this was just slightly above average for me. I like the addition of chipotle peppers, just wish they were more present in the aroma. However, their presence in the taste saved this one for me.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark black with a hint of brown mixed in and a finger of frothy khaki colored head atop. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind a touch of lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of some roasted and burnt chocolate and coffee with a touch of sweetness and some peppers.

T - Starts off with some roasted and slightly burnt chocolate malts and coffee with a bit of hot pepper in the background. Through the middle some more pepper flavor comes through with some bitter coffee flavor and a bit of earthiness. The finish is a mix of roasted chocolate and coffee with a touch of pepper.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth was a warming, roasted, and dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice stout and the touch of hot chipotle is a nice touch for some depth.

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Photo of DM1293
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taste: I was taste-testing this, and I had to try this with a fresh bottle to be sure; but the biggest problem I have with this taste is the fact that it doesn't feel...carbonated. Like, even mildly. Its kind of flat.

That said, it still doesn't hold back the flavor of this. Its pretty smooth, with chocolate and coffee up in front with very little of the chipotle (which made me avoid this stout before). Instead its a little smoky flavor, and a little bit of bitter on the finish.

Overall: If you don't mind the light carbonation of it, its still a solid drink. I really wish it had more carbonation though, because I believe it would liven up the flavors. The man who was doing the samples said to get it on tap, and I think it'd help.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Playground in Santa Ana, California. (Shout out to tha homies.)

Raul b hesitant at first. I approached this thing like I wuz a mongoose and it was da cobra. And in tha end, I think we both won.

Crazy beer. Looked good n had a nice coffee smell. I wuz hesitant about the chipotle at first thinkin' it wuz a gimmick; but nah, dawgy, it wuz der.

Smooth beer, very smooth. Initial hits of the coffee flavor, den that lil spicy note crept up on me like all sudden n stuff. Kinda like wen I'm watchin tha Dodgers in my own zone, n my girl all of a sudden asks me for a 20 to get her nails did. She look good with her nails did.

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Photo of corby112
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft at the brewery.

Pours a dark chocolate brown color with a half finger beige head that quickly settles into lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Roasted malt aroma with a strong chocolate character that lingers before being countered by the chili powder.  Hints of roasted coffe bean, dark chocolate, lactic cream and caramel.   These notes blend well with the spicy chili powder.

Chewy body with a good balance of sweet chocolate and roasted malt.  Lots of sweet and bitter dark chocolate along with hints of toffee, coffee and oatmeal.  Toward the end of the palate there is a prominent chili pepper spiciness that lingers well after the finish.  Chocolate and chili well integrated, creating a well balanced and flavorful sipper.  Reminds me of an artisan chocolate bar.

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Photo of TheCrowsNest
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served on nitro at Bootlegger's tasting room in Fullerton.

A thick, viscous head stands above the cascading bubbles. Pitch black.

Coffee, vanilla. I didn't get any chipotle flavors in this beer.

Coffee, vanilla, chocolate upfront. There's a subdued complexity that gives the drinker a lot to think about without overpowering.

Creamy. So creamy.

Bootlegger's should only put this on nitro. It's so much amazingly better than the carbed up version.

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Photo of Murrhey
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber. Reviewed live.

A- Poured out a thick bubble head, two finger width. Almost no retention, like soda. Very well carbonated. About as black a beer as you can get.

S- What a smell! Coffee and chocolate but majorly spicy. Montezuma's hot chocolate! Very intriguing.

T- So many flavors are bouncing around in the beer and yet it manages to be drinkable and subtle. The coffee and typical porter tastes stir first but then subside to the spiciness of the peppers. Truly a unique beer for me.

M- Heavier, lots of carbonation (maybe a tad much) but a crystal clean finish. I almost wish it would linger longer so I could enjoy those crazy peppers.

O- Tasty, smells nice. Appearance and feel are less than perfect. Would love to try at the source.

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Photo of Phelps
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nitro tap, served in a mason jar at the brewpub.

Dead black, super inky with a one finger head of creamy foam the color of hot cocoa powder. Big, thick, creamy — the usual nitro stuff. Thick strands of lace.

In the nose: deep cocoa, toasted bread, oats, some chipotle. Great blend.

Lots of smoke and dark chocolate in the flavor. Burnt bread along with very gentle chipotle heat in the back of the throat. An awesome, smooth blend.

Subtle, gentle heat in a creamy, smooth medium body. Nice and viscous. Lingering cocoa and pepper heat.

Phoenix is a very, very good porter, especially on nitro. Gentle pepper heat and nice roasty flavors. The body isn’t quite up to the standard of most nitro beers, but it’s good enough here.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black, with a thick mocha tan head that quickly dissipates.

Smells like expresso and malt, a touch of chili as it warms.

Tasted like warm roasted malts and coffee. It has a slight chili aftertaste, more as it warms.

Feels smooth upfront, with a bit of astringency and carbonation on the sides of my tongue in the middle. I even got a little chili tickle in my throat at the end.

Overall, I like this beer. I like heat, so I wish it had more, but I understand that's unreasonable. The coffee is a major player, and for a stout(not my usual fare) it's really good. I little too much carbonation, but I don't mind. If I compare this to Guinness, it's leagues above, as Guinness has almost no flavor. This beer is as advertised, coffee with a hint of chili.


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Photo of rtaps
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours into a tulip fairly aggressive. black bodym with a 2 finger width light tan head. medium retention and little lacing

aroma is pretty good. mocha, some chocolate and a hint of smokiness

mocha in kinda overpowering the flavor with spice the the chipotle. chocolate plays in and out. not find to much smokiness is the flavoring. mocha aftertaste.

light bodied medium carbonation.

overall not bad and higher hopes. wasnt a fan of the spicy mocha after taste.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a nice 1cm khaki head with average retention and little to no lacing.

The nose is probably the best part of this beer. Nice notes of bitter chocolate, espresso and a touch of smoke from the chipotles. Also a bit earthy and leathery.

Flavor is pretty good but I had higher hopes for it. It follows the nose pretty well with pretty good bitter chocolate and coffee notes. But really lacking smokiness and heat from the chipotles I was hoping for and expecting. Pleasant mild espresso aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side for the style which is obviously due to the use of coffee. Low carbonation.

Overall it's a good beer and real easy to drink. I was just disappointed by the lack of chipotle representation in the flavor and the mouthfeel.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Brandon for this bottle

A - a gentle pour yields a whole bunch of foam. A strong fizz when the the cap came open indicated strong carbonation, but I did not expect this much. In any case, this is a very normal-looking stout. Dark body, large brown head.

S - Some nice roast, touch of peppery heat, some chocolate, not picking up too much coffee. It's a nice balance, fairly light.

T - Chocolate, roast, Pepper. Some earthy or woody notes, and some medicinal plastic-y stuff. I think some of this is highlighted by the over-carbonation, but this is a little iffy anyway.

M - thin, carbonation city. smooth.

O - This beer is not too bad. Some good stuff, but there is all sorts of bubbles goin on, and it's not helping.

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Photo of tjkinate
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks goes out to deadeye for this one.

A: Massive foamy cocoa colored head with lots of retention. Dark bodied brew, opaque, not much lacing.

S: Smell is subtle, light cocoa malts, earthy tones, some coffee, no chipotle detected.

T: Chipotle pokes through during the tasting, little lacking in my opinion, but is accompanied nicely by semi sweet chocolate and coffee flavors.

M: Medium, wet and silky.

O: Pretty tasty, and it was my first from this brewery, gotta keep my eye out for more during my trip to Cali to try more of their offerings.

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Photo of SalukiAlum
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Monkeymagic for this. Poured into a snifter. At first lots of carbonation, not sure if that's from movement during shipping. Very black beer, after all it is 'Black Phoenix.' Could smell the coffee in the beer. Tasted dark chocolate malts and coffee flavor. Didn't taste the chipotle very much. Very smokey finish but just too carbonated for me, for a stout. But was overall a good beer.

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Photo of vande
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: pretty average.. a little lighter than I'd have thought..decent head though.

s: dark chocolate, slightest hint of coffee, but the spice of pepper is present.. makes for an intriguing mix.

t: great suprise.. dark chocolates leading to the suttle warmth of pepper on the finish.. and nice warming affect! very pleasent.

m: creamy, which made this easy to sip on

o: pretty interesting, fairly tasty. worth a try

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Black Phoenix (Chipotle Coffee Ale) from Bootlegger's Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 116 ratings.