Beer Review: BOOTLEGGER’S IMPERIAL BLACK PHOENIX (AGED IN BOURBON BARRELS)

Beer Review: BOOTLEGGER’S IMPERIAL BLACK PHOENIX (AGED IN BOURBON BARRELS)

Bootlegger’s Brewery presents their Imperial Black Phoenix, a bold step up from the famed Black Phoenix Stout. This Imperial version elevates the flavors, boasting a blend of fresh roasted Kean coffee, black pepper, chipotle peppers, and smoked malt. The pièce de résistance? A patient aging of over a year in Wood Barrels, intensifying the already complex flavor profile.

Appearance:

The pour reveals a pitch-black elixir crowned by a diminutive tan head that fades into oblivion. Not a hint of lingering swirls or film graces the surface.

Aroma:

Aromatically captivating, with notes reminiscent of a graham cracker crust. The fragrance unfolds a symphony of chipotle, bourbon, and a touch of smoke, teasing the senses.

Taste:

The palate is greeted by a melange of flavors, from the decadence of chocolate to the robust embrace of bourbon barrel notes. Roasted red pepper adds a subtle complexity, while vanilla and a boozy linger leave an indelible mark.

Mouthfeel:

Delivering a full-bodied experience, the texture is punctuated by a prickly spiciness, creating a sensation that complements the beer’s bold character.

Overall:

In a word—awesomeness. Having sampled earlier pilot batches at the brewery, the extended year-long aging process distinguishes this batch. Bootlegger’s Imperial Black Phoenix emerges as an exemplary rendition of a barrel-aged imperial stout, standing apart with its distinctive chipotle infusion. With bated breath, one can only hope for additional batches resting in barrels—anticipating the sequel to this exceptional brew.