5 stars due to the dry seasoning alone - it truly carries the chili in my opinion (and maybe the beer?).
MEAT: Dry seasoning is spectacular - the cocoa seemed to enhance the other seasonings and add a little twist. I had time to marinate meat for only a couple hours so I can imagine how much better after several. I only used ground beef and turkey due to cost of listed meats. Meat was also nicely "tenderized" so that any gristle was unnoticeable (the one barrier to my loving meat!). Bacon was perfect to round out the chili; I really think this could use more than 2 slices though. I did fry onions and meat in bacon grease as recommended - yummy!!!
BASE: I like that this didn't taste "canned" to me. Found variety of ingredients and amounts pricey and possibly unnecessary since great results were achieved with substitutes - Pace Southwestern Chipotle with tomato sauce and extra paste as fillers instead of both salsa and picante. The rest I had. I did cut down on amount of garlic listed by half. Caution: Mr. Bill ain't kiddin' - this is hot and spicy so adjust accordingly! Lastly, I forgot to add the beer - ugh!! Will certainly make this again (WITH beer). Thanks, Mr. Bill! You have a flair for flavor!
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5 stars due to the dry seasoning alone - it truly carries the chili in my opinion (and maybe...