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.
BA SCORE
85
very good

289 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 289
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 22
Gots: 32 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 289 | Reviews: 118
Photo of RaulMondesi
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of ehammond1
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle

Dark black with a thick brown head that is quite persistent. Moderate lacing left down the glass. Perfect for the style.

Subdued aroma, even after warming, of roasted malt, some coffee, and a somewhat nondescript sharpness I'm attributing to the chipotle.

A simple, balanced stout with typical roasted malt and some coffee flavors and a sharpness on the finish. I don't get much chipotle flavor, just a somewhat bland, quick spice warmth.

Somewhat thin mouthfeel for a stout and the chili sharpness isn't particularly welcome or married well with the other flavors.

A simple though uninteresting chili stout--nothing special, but nothing unpleasant either.

Photo of Cavery
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml shared with Klym, poured into Stone Nonics.

A: Black with a bit of brown give to it. Sandy brown bubbles sit very lightly over the beer, and move quite violently. Honestly this looks a bit watery, even perhaps a bit light for a porter; let alone a stout. However I can't remember the last time I had a non-imperial stout, so I'll give it points for color. Not bad looking at all, the body just looks a bit suspect.

S: Real pronounced smokey chipotle and adobo with a coffee roast background. Very nice upfront nose that goes into chocolate brownie crusts and coffee cakes. A lot of median flavors are created between the chipotle and coffee. Winner winner chicken dinner, this smell matches the label. However, this is really smelling like coffee with pinches of chipotle.

T: This tastes like a coffee with chipotle creamer. This chiles come off so lightly, and give off absolutely zero heat. However, their lightly smokey presence is unmistakeable. The coffee beans and peppers are married together harmoniously. Chile infused dark chocolates are dropped into the coffee. Very good flavor, but I am missing the heat. The sweet smoke does a lot for me here, but it's more or less a saving point in the beer rather than a detail among many great flavor characteristics. Good, but I'm left wishing for better.

M: The mouth is quite creamy despite incredibly rapidly dissipating bubbles. There is a bit of staying power in the carbonation that at least allows for the peppers to take over in their smokey sweetness. Once you get all that coffee flavor coating your mouth, the body is much more better perceived. The body is medium-light with a saving point of creaminess.

O: This beer is really on the edge of quite good and just good for me. The smell would be a lot weaker if it wasn't for that smokiness, but the chipotle in that smokiness is a hard note to pick out. Furthermore, the taste is a bit tame considering the ingredients. The chocolate and coffee is there, but the chipotle is done with a pretty light hand. Lastly, the body is saved by the creamy sensation of smokey adobo. This is a good beer with a lot of saving graces in each category. Definitely worth trying, and I think Bootleggers have a decent starting recipe to a much better beer.

Photo of mactrail
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stark black beer with a faint pepper burn.

Black as a bad bone. Not much head. General impression is kind of harsh and sharp. Heavy on the hops. I don't taste much in the way of peppers, but the aftertaste has a slight burn to it. Grainy malt flavors along with raw vegetables, like a touch a brussels sprouts. Some body but not any richness.

Drank most of a tulip glass at Pizza Port in Ocean Beach, San Diego.

Photo of FlyingBull
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer from a 22 oz bomber. My wife picked it up cause she wanted the bottle cap for her bottle cap board. ...Go figure.

The beer poured a deep dark brown with a tan head that lasted though out the drink. There was considerable lacing down the sides of the glass. Carbonation looked good.

The aroma carried strong dark malts - roast malts that were fresh ground coffee like, some caramel sweetness, and some spice.

The initial flavor was of dark roasted malts, followed by some caramel sweetness that was balanced by pleasant hop bitterness and spicy smoky chipotle pepper flavor. There was a lingering but pleasant bitterness backed up by a spicy pepper flavor that was actually quite nice.

The beer was medium heavy in body with a pleasant mouth feel, a little higher than average carbonation for this style, but easy to sip.

Overall, I liked this beer. I really don't like too many coffee stouts or chipotle stouts (or chipotle/chili pepper any beer...), but I enjoyed this one. I think the roast malts, hops, coffee, and chipotle was all balanced very nicely. I think this beer would be good with a big bowl of chili on a cool fall night watching football...or with a big bowl of VENISON chili in deer camp. I would get this beer again.

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.61/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of ThickNStout
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
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. 

Photo of womencantsail
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Photo of kawilliams81
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of rtaps
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of DM1293
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of dgilks
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Translucent brown colour with a foamy tan head. Good head retention.

Slightly stale coffee aroma. Nice chocolate and roast notes. Pretty good.

Moderately toasty with touches of chocolate. Good coffee hit. Mild spicy and smoke from chipotle. Good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

A solid beer. Nice flavour and good to see it on tap in an airline lounge.

Photo of Sark
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber

Appearance- healthy finger of caramel head that's slightly pebbled but mostly velvet. Almost completely black with only a dark mahogany showing up to the light

Smell- coffee steals the show with sweet maltiness rounding it out, the chipotle is only a slight hint after the two

Taste- very mild sweetness to start, nice roasty toasty notes of espresso and dark grains that envelop the mid mouth, peppers come to play on the way down and linger with a satisfying mild spice finish

Mouthfeel- medium/full bodied but a little watery that doesn't quite balance with the flavor profile of the ingredients, I could use something a bit more to chew on

Overall- A good winter warmer, having played around with my own chile brews I know the temptation to just go wild with the spice, but this beer keeps it on the quiet and lets the coffee and peppers take turns with the palate. The mouthfeel left me a bit unimpressed, but I'd gladly have another.

Photo of drabmuh
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extra in a trade recently from Andrew I think, at the time of this review it is the #2 chile beer on beeradvocate best of lists. Thanks!

Beer is a dishwater brown, really hazy with a lazy head, no lacing moderate carbonation, not the most attractive beer I've ever seen.

Aroma is roasty, coffee, with hints of smoke and mild chiles. Smells decent.

Beer is medium in body and pretty bitter at the back, lots of roasted coffee coming up in this one overall. The beer has this mildly dry finish and on that desert of a palate remains this slight smoky heat. Interesting. The chili flavor comes out the more I drink it, the stronger it gets but it never get overwhelming. It is just resting there, in the background popping up to remind you, "This isn't a porter it is a chile beer" -- I don't think I'd have it again but I did enjoy it.

Photo of SalukiAlum
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of TBonez477
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours nearly black, tall brown head which dissipates almost instantly indicating quite a bit of carbonation.

S: Smells of bittersweet cocoa, a hint of roasted aroma and earth.

T: Flavor starts with big roasted coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and finishes with warming spicy heat. If the bottle didn't read 'chipotle' you wouldn't guess that to be the pepper used. The heat is the only flavor indicator that peppers are present.

M: A little thin on the feel and more carbonation than the style typically calls for.

O: A good pepper stout, not integrated the best but actually improves as it warms.

Photo of Mike_Amps
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The heat from the chipotle peppers comes through as the beer warms up.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Cisco619 for this!

Pours a light black color. Light tan head, creamy, with good retention.

Roasty, with a light chocolate and coffee aroma. It's hard to detect the chipotle aside from the light burning in the nostrils.

Taste has a pleasant chocolate note, and mild bits of coffee. It's not a lot of coffee, unfortunately. The chipotle comes in very subtly on the finish with a slight peppery burn in the throat.

Feels lightish to medium bodied. Seems right for the style.

Photo of FosterJM
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of oline73
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

Pours a black color with a half finger of off white head. There is just a touch of heat in this beer until the finish when the peppers ramp up. I'm getting some coffee, but it's more in the background than the peppers. Just enough sweetness from the roasted malt.

Photo of Klym
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: What can I say, a healthy stout look. Black (browner on some parts), solid browned head with lacing that slides off at a medium pace.

S: Coffee, chocolate, chipotle. At first I hardly even got any chocolate but as it warmed up it really came up powerfully in the nose and mouth. Honestly, smells a bit watery but we'll see.

T: Again, coffee, chocolate, chipotle. Pretty simple and straight forward taste. I honestly got more chipotle character as it was colder and less as it warmed up. The flavors run together simultaneously instead of being broken up into a sequence of transitions. It actually surprises me how well chipotle and coffee run together but they do quite well, and chocolate goes with both so it's an easy mix in. As this continues to warm I just have to repeat it, tons of chocolate in this.

M: More carbonated and more creamy than I expected from the nose, but still not as much as I'd really like. I think an imperial version of this would do well, as I think a thick and creamy body would really serve the flavors better than a medium body with medium carbonation. It's certainly not horrid though and it's probably just the result of trying to keep this a single stout, which is a fair effort.

O: Definitely not a bad beer. Good mix of flavors, but I think it was a little simplistic and straightforward, and underplayed it's most interesting ingredient: chipotle. Worth picking up if you like the aforementioned flavors; not worth picking up if you're looking for an intense pepper experience or just something complex and new. Hats off to bootlegger's, though, as everything I've had from them so far has at least been good.

Photo of vande
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
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

Photo of BrewerB
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A large medium tan headed formed atop the pitch black body. Good retention. Aroma includes smoky bqq, coffee, dark chocolate and heavy focus on the roasted malts. Dark chocolate, earthy. Clean ferrmentation. Non-threatening, moderate level of bitterness. Carbonation level seems slightly high, medium-bodied.

Photo of riotontheroad
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

especially good on nitro!

Photo of TMoney2591
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Chambord shaped pint glass.

Big thanks to jodan for this LIFed bottle!

The post-fantasy football draft party continues here. This stuff pours a garnet-highlighted black-brown topped by a finger of dirty tan foam. The nose comprises light coffee, hickory smoke, roasted malts, light dark chocolate, and a rather light twinge of hot pepper in the background. I'm not entirely certain how much the power of suggestion was at work here, but I could swear the pepper was back there. The taste holds notes of mild smoke, roasted malts, watered-down coffee, and a larger bit of pepper in the back. With every drink, the pepper seems to grow more powerful, similar to the effect found in Hunahpu's (just with different flavors surrounding it). It makes for an interesting taste experience, believe you me. Unfortunately, the ancillary flavors are all kinda weak, save for the roasted malts. The body is a straight medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, a rather enjoyable brew. I was hoping for something a bit thicker and more full-bodied, but it wasn't too big a deal here. I'd also been worried that the pepper had faded (seemed to be the recent review consensus), but instead it seemed the coffee had faded, though this allowed for a nice cumulative pepper effect. I'd say this brew was a success regardless, just not a monstrous one.

Black Phoenix (Chipotle Coffee Ale) from Bootlegger's Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 289 ratings.