Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Imperial Phoenix | Bootlegger's Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
11 Ratings

Brewed by:
Bootlegger's Brewery
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A slightly different (and higher gravity) version of Black Phoenix brewed with more chipotles as well as the addition of some black pepper and smoked malt.

Added by womencantsail on 09-18-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 11 |  Reviews: 4
Photo of tourdot
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of sliverX
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of rtaps
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of davelag
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of GarrettB714
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of mikennat
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of Vanlingleipa
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

When I go to Thai restaurants, I request my meal to be made extra hot. This is usually met with a question along the lines of 'Thai spicy or farang (foreigner) spicy? My answer is always Thai spicy and they rarely make it four alarm enough for me.

This has been my gripe with Black Phoenix - too heavy on the coffee/chocolate, faaar too easy on the chipotle. Even Bootlegger's Spicenator, despite it's name, is way too mild for my taste.

Then they brewed the Imperial Phoenix, although not hot enough to sear your mouth, will definitely warm your stomach.

It pours thick and black and essentially headless from the Bootlegger's tap, smelling of dark flavors like the fore-mentioned chocolate and coffee. I taste the chipotle; present, but not overwhelming.

A hint of chile is present at first mouth, getting spicier as you slowly slip this burning nectar. Once the swallow makes it past your tonsils and you sit back and measure the fall out, it's basically like the mouthfeel after eating a plate of spicy kingpao chicken. Again, not four alarm, but definitely warm and tingly.

 1,083 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.97/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the source itself in a half-pint quantity. On to the beer:

Obsidian colored with a small head formed on top, leaving a little bit of lace and legs on the sides of the glass. A great aroma at first, lots of mocha, coffee, and chili peppers greet the nose in a friendly way. Shortly after it loses some of its intensity. The first few sips were a great thing; there seems to be a never ending mountain of mocha that enters the moith alongside the punch of peppers. More sips see fewer mocha and cofee, and higher intensities of peppers which warm the throat. If you think buffalo wings are too hot, then it would best for you to stay away from this creation. Medium-heavy in weight, the alcohol is not found, though the peppers could be playing a role disguising its strength.

Although I enjoyed my sample of Imperial Phoenix, it did seem a little too samey to the standard Black Phoenix. I would say this was a little more spicy, but all the other aspects seemed very similar. Regardless, I was craving a burrito from Chiptotle after this adventure, and I am curious what an Imperial Phoenix would beocme after it takes in the character of bourbon barrels.

 1,168 characters

Photo of BA23598
4.01/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I agree with everything that the first revewer posted..
This beer should definately be tried when ur in the area.. Very nice imperial chile stout.

A. Black/ no head - just little brown bubbles
S. Coffee/mixed spices
T. Everything a typical imprial stout should be with a long complex spicy finish.. A meal in a glass.
D. Wish they'd let me take it home to pair it with a juicy ribeye steak.

 392 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pilot batch from Bootlegger's with a beefed up ABV, some smoked malt, black pepper, and extra chipotle peppers added.

On-tap at Bootlegger's

A: The pour is pitch black with almost no head, just a few scattered brown bubbles.

S: Tons and tons of coffee on the nose that really dominates most of the aroma. Once you get past the coffee, there is a nice earthy spice and smokey to the beer, presumably from the chipotles and the addition of smoked malts.

T: The flavor is really quite nice, too. The coffee is not quite as pronounced, but certainly still there. Some mild chocolate sweetness in the middle of the tongue followed by a definite peppery and earthy quality. The heat doesn't really come until the very finish where it lingers on the tongue and throat.

M: The body is medium with a low, but smooth carbonation.

D: I'm not the biggest chile beer fan, but this was really good. Fairly complex and the coffee character was just great. I hope they re-make this.

 974 characters

Imperial Phoenix from Bootlegger's Brewery
Beer rating: 4.36 out of 5 with 11 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.