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

115 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 115
Hads: 290
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.11%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 115 | Hads: 290
Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (986 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.39/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

D-this is a great stout! I actually am not a huge chile beer guy and would prefer the chilies not in this to take away that peppery spice; but, knowing that is what they wanted the rest of the stout properties are great! Big flavors, nice roasted malts, chocolate, and a little sweetness at the finish with a very solid body. I'd love to try a regular (or even better an imperial) stout! (1,574 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.63/5  rDev -4%
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. (844 characters)

Photo of Overlord
2.64/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap Holinghseads

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

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

Won't be revisiting. (358 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

This is a very complex and original stout with the peppers really bringing something different to the table. I really enjoyed this one. (1,126 characters)

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

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

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

Overall this was pretty damn solid I have to say. Nothing really over the top and the pepper really balanced well against the coffee, playing off each other very nicely. A solid brew from top to bottom. (1,305 characters)

Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. Medium amount of head. Strong coffee aroma and light nutty and chile aromas. Slightly spicy front end followed by powerful coffee/stoutish flavors on the back end. Light to moderate sweetness. Low carbonation/very smooth going down typical of style. (295 characters)

Photo of WeisGuy
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
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% (991 characters)

Photo of sliverX
3.78/5  rDev 0%
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 (513 characters)

Photo of Genghis22
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (1,153 characters)

Photo of sweetbrew82
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. into a pint glass

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

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

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

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

Notes: I could definitely see how some people would love this beer. If what you're looking for is some smoky spiciness in your American Stout, then this is probably your holy grail. Personally, as much as I liked the aroma, it just didn't float my boat when it hit my palate. Still, excited to see a Bootlegger's brew in a local shop. Gotta support the locals! (2,374 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black with a nice whisp of head.

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

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

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

D: A very nice beer from Bootlegger's. Both of the local North County breweries have made a chile beer and both have turned out to be really good. Check this effort out. (644 characters)

Photo of PretzelCity
4.44/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Verdugo Bar. This beer came out black as night with only a trace of head that quickly fizzled away. A little disappointing, until I got a whiff. The nose was a big hit of coffee. I don't particularly care for coffee by itself but I love me some coffee in my beer. This one did not disappoint. The taste was more of the same, fresh ground coffee perfectly blended with roasted malts and a touch of spice at the end. The chipotle takes a back seat in this beer, with the coffee up front and then a nice touch of spice in the finish, complimenting the beer instead of overpowering it. The mouthfeel is very smooth with a medium body. I could have had a few of these if the Verdugo didn't have so many great beers to try. Overall this was an excellent beer, well balanced and extremely drinkable. I'll be looking for more of these in the future. (862 characters)

Photo of vacax
4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from La Bodega. This stout is brewed with fresh locally roasted coffee from Kean Coffee, so in my opinion the fresher the better. Also, of course, it is brewed with chipotle peppers.

Pours the color of black coffee with a robust head dark tan head. It dissipates at moderate speed, but in the end little head lives on.

Aroma of roasted coffee, smoke, and dark malts hits first, followed up by some bittersweet chocolate. At first I am not sure if I am picking up a bit of spice or if it is just my imagination, but the next time my nose went to the glass the chipotle was clear to me for a split second. Since chipotles are smoked, this beer definitely will remind the drinker of a rauchbier.

The flavor is upfront with sweetened coffee and chocolate malts, highlighted by the sweet smokiness of the chipotles on the tip of the tongue. On the midpalate this is all about the freshly roasted coffee. Smokey, tingly, finish with bitter coffee and maybe even a touch of cinnamon. Honestly, I could not detect any spiciness until about half way through a pint of the stuff, when I finally noticed a touch of residual heat. This beer is not only creative, it walks a fine line between the roasted coffee, roasted barley malts, and smoked peppers. Considering the balance and creativity, for me this is an excellent American-style stout.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly light for having such rich flavors, but it doesn't feel wrong at all, it keeps me going back for the next sip. Active natural carbonation keeps the coffee and peppers prickling the tongue, causing the perfect confusion as to whether that is spice or just bubbles. Nice. One drawback is that the sweetness can take its toll on the palate, I would probably recommend splitting a bomber.

When I saw "Ale brewed with Coffee & Chipotle Peppers" I knew I had to taste it, what I didn't expect was such a well done brew that highlights outstanding coffee flavors as well as the delicate balance between sweetness and spice. My favorite bottled beer from Bootlegger's.

Recommended. For the locals, if you aren't keeping up with Bootlegger's you are going to get left behind. I have tasted this a couple times on draft as well, the the local roasted coffee stood out more, intense and delicious. I plan on putting up another review for the growler format soon. (2,327 characters)

Photo of Floydster
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
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 (1,245 characters)

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Black Phoenix (Chipotle Coffee Ale) from Bootlegger's Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.