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Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,738 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,738
Reviews: 798
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 12.92%
Wants: 243
Gots: 514 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  16.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,738 | Reviews: 798 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kojevergas
3.45/5  rDev -17.5%

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz brown glass with appealing label art and a red foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap.

November 2012 vintage. Batch No. 8. 1062 cases. 16.2% ABV.

Expectations are high given the style coupled with the brewery. Served at fridge temp and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured into a Guinness goblet with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: It's a gorgeous rich tan colour. 3.5 fingers wide. Incredible shiny complexion. Stellar consistency; it looks soft, smooth, even, and creamy as hell. Retention is nothing short of amazing considering the high ABV; the head sits there for over 10 minutes.

No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

This is a hell of a cap for an imperial stout.

BODY: Colour is a predictable opaque jet black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment can be seen in the ink-black.

Appears well-carbonated. It's not unique looking for an imperial stout, but it sure is appealing. Sure, the head could be darker, and some ruby hues in the body would be nice, but I'm nitpicking. It looks more or less as it should.


AROMA: Coffee notes are present, but I don't find any roast, earthiness, etc. Not the most complex or subtle coffee presence, but nice overall.

Dark malts, chocolate malts, burnt sugars, milk chocolate, caramel, and a faint kiss of dark fruit. Raisin. Turbinado sugar. Molasses. Caramelized/chewy dates.

Shockingly, the alcohol presence seems like it's maybe 9% judging by the aroma alone.

I detect no overt yeast or hop character. The label mentions it's brewed with Belgian yeast, but I detect no real Belgian character.

I crave roasted barley, but none is present. It's on the sweeter side, but doesn't seem like the cloying mess many imperial stouts are. I've definitely come across sweeter, richer, and more "dessert beer" examples of the style. Merely average in strength.

TASTE/TEXTURE: Marshmallow, burnt sugars, caramelization, chewy sticky dark fruit (especially dates and raisins), dark malts, chocolate malts, and some generic coffee notes. Sadly, the coffee lacks roastiness, earthiness, richness, and anything else that would set it apart. Milk chocolate comes out more and more as the beer comes to temperature, along with the molasses. The turbinado sugar is present throughout, but lacks enough intensity to bring this flavour profile into the "Mexican chocolate" territory of imperial stouts.

It doesn't feel Belgian in character, but the dark fruits and unconventional sugars do separate it from the distinctively American examples of the style. It's low on hops, as it should be. The burnt character is nice, but some drinkers will find this acrid.

It's balanced and enjoyable, with some lurking booziness but nowhere near as much as you'd anticipate. This is a cohesive build for an imperial stout with plenty of complexity as well as some limited subtlety, but there are far more intricate beers in the style which boast much more depth of flavour.

Average flavour duration and intensity. Nice flavour amplitude.

It's certainly on the sweeter side, but I wouldn't quite call it a dessert beer per se. I do wish there was a roasted barley backbone to balance the sweetness a bit better.

Texture-wise, it's lightly powdery on the palate, as well as chewy and sticky. It's nicely thick and full-bodied, and perhaps a biteen syrupy. Its subtle dryness and coarseness fit the dark fruits featured in the flavour profile. It could be creamier and softer. It's a biteen overcarbonated, even after the two-ish years it's had to calm down in my cellar. Overall, it has a good presence on the palate and this texture supports the flavour profile well, but never feels like it's custom-engineered to bring out the best in the taste.

OVERALL: It hides its high ABV pretty well, and isn't quite the sipper I thought it would be. I think age has mellowed it out. It's a very nice imperial stout considering its wide availability, and I'd certainly recommend aging this.

But there are many great imperial stouts out there, and this one lacks unique or special elements. The coffee should be richer, there should be a roasted barley backbone, it should be creamier and softer, there could be more of a dark malt presence, there could be some less common notes (e.g. coconut). More commitment to the marshmallow would be nice as well; if this was more carefully executed they could easily evoke s'mores between the burnt sugars and the marshmallow. Ultimately, you've got to bring more to the table if you want to stand out in this style.

I'm glad this is easy to come by in my home state, but I can't say it's a fantastic beer. Just a surprisingly mellow, drinkable imperial stout with a no-frills flavour profile. There's little here for the discerning drinker.

This would have been a pretty impressive brew 8 years ago.

High B-

kojevergas, Aug 23, 2014
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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,738 ratings.