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 homebrew311
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Extra'd by daveydapoolman- thanks!! Pours a deep opaque brownish black. Pour yields minimal head with no lacing or retention to speak of. The nose starts with medium roast coffee followed by a hint of smoke, and some green pepper. Notes of chocolate and vanilla are sprinkled in, but coffee and pepper dominate the nose. The taste starts with mild acidity, presumably from the coffee, this develops into notes of chocolate and deep notes of fresh brewed coffee paired with smoke. The chipotles don't bring much heat to the table, but some definite smoke and vegetal notes. The finish dry and revisits the coffee along with roasted barley. Mouthfeel is medium to light with moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a nice brew that could be so much better. I think the brewers went a little shy with the chipotles as heat never really presents itself on the palate.

Photo of abrethanson
3.76/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of DeanMoriarty
3.76/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Smell is light all around but what comes through is plum, sweet cigar, chocolate, coffee, toasted grain with a slight astringent finish. Flavor is dark chocolate, cherry, tobacco, strong roasted coffee, slightly sweet, no bitterness, mild chili on the back end - heat dissipates instantly. Finish is dry, light effervescence, on the lighter side of medium bodied - wish the chili lingered a bit longer, but still a good beer.

Photo of tjkinate
3.76/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of ShanePB
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, courtesty of DearthVader from the Hotter than Hot BIF, an extra that fit well with the theme. Poured into a snifter.

A: Opaque dark brown body, borderline black, with a small tan head. The retention was quite good, holding onto a nice ring throughout, but the lacing was almost non-existent. Pretty good for a stout but I want it thicker, darker and creamier in general.

S: Baker's chocolate, roasted breakfast blend coffee beans, black pepper flakes and a bit of roasted spice from the chipotles used in the brewing, but not much.

T: Chocolate cake starts things off, backed by black coffee and finishing with a really wonderful lingering spice from the peppers. They don't impart, in my opinion, much to the flavor profile but it was an interesting sensation to have that burn in the back of your throat from the pepper oils. Really diverse flavors that play extremely well with each other.

M: A little thin to be calling this a 'stout' as the bottle claims, though all other characteristics make it so. A nice bit of carbonation here probably is leading to this thinner feeling.

This is most certainly reminiscent of a stout, like Bootlegger's claims, however classifying this as a Chile Beer here is wrong, IMO. Nonetheless, this is probably the best example I've seen of how to properly use chipotle peppers in a beer. They should not be the focus, instead blended with other flavors that will play well off each other -- something Bootlegger's has done.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a Port Brewing pint glass...

A - Pours a deep brown with mahogany hues and a two finger tan head on a passive pour. Head dissipates fairly quick and there is not much lace to be had...

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts and a hint of pepper...

T - Chocolate, coffee and a hint of caramel. Ends on roasted malt note with a slight pepper presence. Pepper is really subdued. Abv is well hidden, and there is next to no heat from the pepper...

M - Pretty thin for a stout. On the lower side of being medium bodied with a good amount carbonation...

O - Good brew, but I was hoping for more of a pepper kick. While I still enjoyed this, it's nothing that's going to be in my regular rotation. Would be interested to try the imperial version...

Cheers...

Photo of sliverX
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
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

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice dark chocolate brown with a solid two-finger buff head that slowly fades leaving nice web-like lacing.

aroma of roasted malt, hints of burnt coffee, smokiness, and a touch of milk. a mild herbal hop note and more earthy roastiness. not bad.

taste is interesting. chocolate, coffee and roasted malt evenly intermingle somewhat subtly, with a hint of pepper intermingling here and there. smooth, relatively mild, both in the coffee and the pepper. The coffee adds more earthy roastiness than normal coffee, which works nicely.

mouth is smooth, moderate, and well suited to the flavors goin' on here. A touch drying in the finish, which helps accentuate the roast, smoke, and bite of pepper.

smooth, mellow, yet just enough character to keep me interested. I could see myself drinking a few more of these easily.

Photo of WeisGuy
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
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%

Photo of sholland119
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

HV

Photo of Floydster
3.81/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle purchased from Hi-Times for $4.49, saw this one last bottle on the shelf and snagged it out of curiousity, split with my dad tonight as a big fan of this beer style, poured into my Stone pint glass, color is very dark brown, big 1 1/2 inch creamy tan head, some lacing at the top, decent retention too, aroma consists of mostly coffee, bit of chipotle shining through but nothing like I expected as far as the scent from the peppers, also some roasted malts, smokiness, toffee, and dark chocolate, taste starts off with a slightly sweet coffee flavor, fades into some malt in the middle that is a little roasted, finish is the same but a mild burning sensation from the peppers, once this beer warms up you can taste them more but not much at any point, not like other chile beers I have had in the past at least, roasted, slightly sweet and spicy mouthfeel, medium bodied, moderate carbonation, taste lingers well, could have drank this bomber but not much after that, pretty heavy for how low the ABV is, sweet and spicy at times which can throw the stomach for a loop, still decent drinkability considering its style, would drink again, this was a limited release according to the label but I hope to see it again, recommended

Photo of brownbeer
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of Retsinis
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Have had this one about three times now, mostly recently this past Saturday at home.

A: The beer pours a rich near black, but is more a dark brown. A small half to quarter inch of tan colored head rose, and settled to a ring of bubbles, leaving light lacing.

S: Scents of dark chocolate, coffee, nice mild smoke, chili, roasted malt and mild vanilla round out the aroma's. Chili's pretty mild though.

T: Roasty, malty, coffee, chocolate, mild chipotle chili pepper, pretty much in that order to me sip after sip. Alcohol is just right. Spice is a nice blend with the other flavors, not overly spicy, like say a habanero infused beer.

M: Medium carbonated, light mouth, but smooth.

O: Slightly above average. It's a bit mild on the chipotle side, but it's still there, and in that regard, a good intro for the Chile beer style, imho. Still pretty solid, and I've enjoyed it when I've had it. So far, it's been my favorite offering from Bootleggers.

Photo of koopa
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Sam Adam's Laser etched glass.

Appearance: Pours an attractive dark brown with a nice 1 finger khaki crown...quite quiness like. Moderate retention and lace.

Smell: Coffee and a we bit of chipotle chili.

Taste: Same as the nose but more bite. Pretty nice actually.

Mouthfeel: A touch thin for my liking but not terrible. Definitely on the heavy side of light bodied.

Overall: A decent chipotle brew.

Photo of Gobzilla
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of Genghis22
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of jefferz5000
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

FINALLY opened this baby up. Picked it up a while back on a trip to CA.

Pours a deep brown with hints of ruby. It's clear. Small light tan fizzy head works itself up, then fades rather quickly to absolutely nothing, as if it's just too exhausted to maintain some bubbles.

Aroma is nice though. The coffee is pretty strong smelling and I'm digging it. Some nice smooth roast going on here.

The taste is pretty clean, with lots of coffee that has held up surprisingly well, for not being a very "big" beer. It's a lot smoother than some other coffee beers I've had, and I'm impressed. The chipotle takes time to build up. If you were to only have a sip or two, you would never guess it's even in there. That could have something to do with this bottle's lack of freshness.

Mouthfeel is decent. It's a bit thin for my liking. Lively carbonation, but not overdone. The beer almost needs it, unless it were to have a bit more body.

Overall, I like this beer and think it's a very tasty stout. Like I said before, the coffee in this is better than some I've had before. It seems to be very well integrated. The chipotle adds a weird angle, once you have a glass or two and start to realize it's there. Enjoyable brew.

Photo of farrago
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Photo of tpd975
3.91/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of TheDudeRules
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Thanks for the hookup Brendan.

Pours a dark muddy brown with a tannish one finger head into my Darkness snifter. Lacing remains.

Coffee and chocolate notes prevail. Pepper is evident with a touch of dark fruit on the backend. A peculiar combination.

The taste is definitely a combo of chocolate and coffee. You can feel the pepper finish off the sip in the back of your throat. It is a welcome sensation. The heat isn't overpowering but it is definitely there. As the beer warmed in my glass everything became more prominent. My only knock is the mouthfeel. It is a little too thin. I would like something chewier.

This was an exceptional surprise. I was expecting to have just another tick but this beer is actually quite good. I would gladly drink another.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 1 inch dark khaki head that fades to a thin cap. Random spots of lacing form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee beans, and a smokiness from the chipotle. Taste is just like the smell with a nice roasty pepper taste that lingers after each sip. This beer has a pretty good level of carbonation with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. The body on this beer is somewhat light for a stout though. Overall, this is a good stout and I really like the smoked chipotle aroma and flavor found in this beer.

Photo of djmichaelk
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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