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Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

858 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 858
Hads: 2,145
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 19.71%
Wants: 322
Gots: 794 | FT: 48
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

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

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2006

Mephistopheles is the crafty shape shifter, the second fallen angel. Amazingly complex, coal black, velvety and liqueurish, this demon has a bouquet of vine-ripened grapes, anise and chocolate covered cherries with flavors of rum-soaked caramelized dark fruits and a double espresso finish. Cellarable for 10+ years.

Mephistopheles is the final installment of “The Demons of Ale” series.

Food pairing: We like Mephistopheles’ Stout with chocolate (60% cocoa or more), chocolate lava cake, flourless chocolate cake, tiramisu or traditional fruit cake made with rum-soaked fruits.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Mephistopheles' Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 858 | Hads: 2,145
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, bottled Nov. 2006 / Batch 2, served in a pint glass.

A - black color with a big dark tan head that had staying power and left lots of sticky lace.

S - sweet raisin/date aroma.

T - very sweet malt & raisin flavor almost like a barley wine. abv is well masked by the taste. Burps are coffee flavored.

M - full bodied, lightly carbonated. It may taste like a barley wine, but it feels like a stout.

D - good as a nightcap sipper.

Final Note: This is not for the timid. One must work themself up to a brew like this. It took me about 90 mins. to finish a 12 oz bottle and it left me full and content.

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Photo of tavernseeker
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a fan of both barley wines and stouts. This is like a mix of the two.

Appearance: Pours almost black with a brown head that has very little lacing and fades to just a brown ring.

Smell: Very dark. Raisins, dried plums and other dark dried fruits. Molasses, caramel, chocolate and alcohol.

Taste: Roasted malts (almost burnt), molasses, and chocolate, with just a hint of hops. This brew is defiantly high in alcohol but it's not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy sweet. The alcohol makes it a great sipper.

Drinkability: This beer BIG. Make a night of just one and really enjoy it. It's a very complex beer and the flavors change and mellow as it warms up. (though the alcohol doesn't)

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours black as oil with a pretty impressive 1/4" tan head of small bubbles that sticks around for a solid 45 seconds. The beer then falls to a small ring around the top of the beer where it meets the glass.

Aroma: Rich dark fruit with plenty of roast and caramel in there to draw you in. Alcohol is obvious in the nose of even the cold beer, so this is a little freaky. The beer gets a lot more nutty and coffee like as it warms up some.

Taste: This beer is really thick and a bit like syrup. It hits your palate really hard with a very viscous mouthfeel that leads the entire flavor profile. You can pick up a whole lot of roast and dark malts in there as you get into the sip, but still the resiny thickness of the beer is the predominant part of the experience. The finish is pretty bitter for such a thick and big beer...and somewhere very late in the finish there is an assertive alcoholic warmth that sets in and stays with you for a very long time. The overall experience on the palate is like a roasty Niquil.

Opinion: Man, what can you say about such a beer experience? This beer is huge and has a whole lot more to offer than some of the empty Barleywines or Old Ales that you get from some brewerys. This beer is an experience for the palate. It is not that easy to drink overall, but it is something to try. I will probably share this with some of my friends in my homebrew club next time.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I remember some time ago when there was debate over whether to recognize "Imperial IPA" or "Double IPA" as a category for over-the-top hop monsters. I don't recall when "American Double Stout" came on the scene, but this beer should be pictured with the definition. Poured a tar black with a slight dark mocha lace ring. Aroma of brown sugar and a hint of apple. Mouthfeel initially borders on syrupy, but then goes a bit thinner when you acclimate to the density. Density is also the description for the flavors - the turbinado sugar used in brewing is evident in a strong maple syrup flavor that integrates quite nicely. Alcohol is evident, but not overpowering. One of these is plenty, but, having said that, I found it surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.23/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - as billed, this pours totally black and opaque. A big dark mocha cloud on top resembles the thick top of a chocolate cappuccino or something. Thick, creamy, lucious. Thin crystalline lacing leaves a ring at the high water mark with little else happening beneath that.

Aroma - sweet dark fruits out of the bottle. Sets up and shows off vapory alcohol all over the bittersweet chocolate and espresso.

Taste - incredibly sweet, wow. Malts come through very roasted, husky at times, and with notes of tobacco now and then. Plenty of espresso after the swallow, lots of late roastiness. For as strong a beer as this is, the abv is very well-hidden in taste, but in effect... not so much. Ends very warm, heady, and incredibly sweet, enough to kind of get in the way, IMO.

Mouthfeel - smooth, slick, though not as heavy as I expected.

Drinkability - huge and while tasty at times, this can be overbearingly sweet. I might buy this again just to cellar it for five years but otherwise...

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Photo of alexatlatx
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours spent-motor-oil black with a khaki head, that hangs out for an hour. If the hairs in your nostrils haven't disintegrated from the heat, you will experience a lovely aroma of fruitcake and fig.

The taste is a tug-a-war between an RIS and an aged barley wine.

The mouthfeel is thick, sweet, and leaves behind coffee aftertaste that will hang out in your mouth for about 15 minutes.

I doubt my wallet or I could handle one of these each day, but I'd definitely love to share one in the winter with a close friend. This beer would pair well with desert, especially a chocolate or cream based offering.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a couple of these on my last beer run. I seem to be in an Avery state of mind this weekend. Yes, it's a huge brew and fresh when considering the ABV.

A - pitch black, a wisp of dark tan head.
S - dark ripe fruit, roasted grains, a lactose type sweet note and a warm / hot alcohol feel.
T - Similart to the aroma but with a complimentary sharp hop bite on top of the roasted grains.
M - full bodied, sweet but not cloying high ABV hot.
D - A sipper for sure.

Oddly, when compared to another high ABV fresh beer this one sipped / settled much better. Still, way over the top for heat. I'm happily cellaring a few for future years. If now is any indication this should be really good down the road.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch #1, Bottled in Jan. 2006, 15.1% ABV….

Pours a truly viscous, oily black with a thick, well-sustained brown head. Sweet dark fruit aroma. The rich and exceedingly full palate features loads of roasted malt sweetness, burnt coffee bitterness, a strong note of smooth, sugary cocoa character, plenty of dark fruit, and rich caramel/toffee flavors. Despite the complexity and richness, no one character really eclipses the others. And, even though the alcohol is sugary and sharp, the boldness of the other flavors keep it from being too cloying or fusel.

Now, just to be clear, this is a sipping beer only, but what drinkability it does have is quite surprising considering the ABV. And, despite the boldness of the palate, there is a nice degree of smoothness here and an even more impressive balance in flavor; nothing stands out too much (even though everything is pretty intense). A rather luxurious treat…

Highly recommended…

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter. Labled Batched #2, 2006. Also abv is listed as 16.3%

Pours a very thick black with a small tan head that drops to a slight ring. Leaves nice lace.

Smell is bang, pow! Bold coffee and chocolate. Very bold alcohol.

Taste is sweet. Chocolate and alcohol. Very, very hot! Hints of coffee and earthy flavors.

Mouthfeel is solid.

Overall, just as tasty as batch #1. More spicy. Super hot, but very enjoyable.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to admit that I love Avery's big beers. Many people find them too hot and I have to agree...they ARE hot..but very complex and ones to be enjoyed over an hour rather than just drunk like a simple stout or lager.

This one poured very dark but not quite black...lots of red hues showed through in the light. Small head as to be expected that melted to a faint ring.

Aromas are burnt, toasted dark malts, brown sugar, definite dark, dark candied fruits, and alcohol...hot alcohol.

Tongue first tasted burnt dark chocolate malt..then a softening from dark prunes, dark raisins, and other dark fruits....dark, dark brown sugar but not overly sweet. Bitter hops actually do make their presence known after awhile but seem to get lost in the very hot alcohol that finishes the swallow.

Mouthfeel is sufficiently thick and creamy for style and aftertaste is mostly of the burnt, dark chocolate malts.

A very impressive sipper and while $8 for 12 oz may sound exorbitant, considering this is a 12 oz'r that can last you the late night, it's a bargain.
UPDATE: Dec, 14th, 2007
Damn this is good stuff.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a jet black body with a super thick head that is twice the size of the body and the color of hot cocoa. The head is creamy with a few small craters and as it shrinks it sticks to the class to form a meniscus. There is no sign of carbonation in the abyss.

S- This beer has a smooth smell of dark black malt with tar resin notes and earthy wet wood in the background. The inky tar notes are strong. As it warms a bit more the smell of fresh toasted malt and white grapes come through.

T- This beer has a big inky bitter taste with hints of tart and black roasted malt. There are some notes of dark dried fruit, wood and walnuts in the background. As the beer warms there alcohol and bitterness from the malt increase.

M- This beer has a thick mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture in the finish. The soft alcohol heat hits you in the back of the throat when it is cold but as the beer warms it the alcohol kicks quite a bit.

D- This is a great example of what a double stout should be. The big black bitterness is nice and the alcohol is pretty smooth for 16%. It was nice but I thick some age would really add interest to this beer.

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Photo of Derek
3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

OG 1.148, 16.03% ABV, Bottled Nov 2006, Batch 2.

A: Pours like black, well-used motor oil; dark tan head, no retention or lace.

S: REALLY big nose: dark chocolate, licorous, molases, brown sugar, tar.

T: Plenty of tar-like bitterness that's reminiscent of Old Rasputin (a little harsh). Alcohol is burning: port/sherry, dark rum (plenty of fermented sugar here!); black-strap molases, metallic/slightly-earthy hops. Palate bruising.

M: Really well-attenuated considering the strength, full body is still a little syrupy with hints of chalkyness. Roasted acidity is readily apparant.

D: It's a sipper, and a harsh one at that! Should this be compared to other 'double' stouts?

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a used motor oil black color. The head is massive and dark brown, darker than any other head I have ever seen. The aroma is of graham crackers, dark chocolate, grapes, plums, hints of grapefruit, alcohol. The taste is of roasted malt, dark and milk chocolate, graham crackers, grapes, and a trace of alcohol in the finish. The mouthfeel is very full bodied with a nice smoothness. Overall, this beer is pretty well rounded for having so much alcohol. I would certainly drink it again, however, of the three beers in the demon series, I would choose the other two before this one.

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Photo of JuddRogers
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a desert beer. Big, sweet, complex smell, lovely mouth feel.
I tried it against a nice blue and very dry jack. Not bad but the cheese and the beer did not improve each other. I recommend drinking it on its own.

Pours out very black (" ... black as Stephen Kings heart" as someone once said). Nice nose. Lots going on. Very sweet. Strong alcohol but not obvious as you drink it.

Get it again, cellar it. Have it some night with a good book.

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Photo of Suds
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thick and black, with a modest tan head. This is a syrupy, solid and powerful beer. The aroma is a bit of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, alcohol, and over-ripe fruit. It's a complex and intense aroma. The flavor initally reminds me of good Italian espresso. It's bitter, flavorful, and composed of intense roasted flavors. A bit smoky, and not quite as sweet as expected. Moderate carbonation, and very smooth. There's a little wood, and increasingly flavorful fruit qualities in the beer. This is an exceptional and fantastically interesting beer. Outstanding!

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Photo of Onslow
4.78/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I remember cracking this that merry night, pouring it, then sipping that first sip and knowing that i had run into something great!

Pours with a big beautiful brown lasting head..

..lacing is all that!-coco head sticks..

..Alcohol is very well masked for such a large abv..

..quite sweet!....not much balanced when it comes to sweet/bitters but for a massive beer like this, it doesn't detract..

..is very intense + delicous..

..mouthfeel is amazing.

..sometimes you have to spoil yourself-..spoil yourself-..spoil yourself...

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Photo of ThirdCoast
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ST: 12 oz bottle poured in to a Robert Simpson Brewery Glass

A: Black as tar, with a nice tan head, very nice.

S: Sweet, nuts, dates, ripe fruit, pecan pie...a wonderful complex aroma.

T: Coffee, roasted, tart, warming, sweet. Very nice.

M: Warming, as it goes down. Leaves a slight numbness on the mouth.

D: This is no "Big Brother" beer. This is not for the hop head either. This is a great beer for a cold winter night, too bad its summer now!

Another nice brew from the Avery brewery. Respect beer...especially this one!

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.04/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This one’s from November of ‘06, batch #2.

This beer pours a dark black with a sandy tan head that stuck around for a while.

Smells of corn syrup, powdered sugar, marshmallow, over-ripe plumb and caramel with a slight roasty character. Sweet, sweet and more sweet.

Tastes of sugary sweetness that fades into an awkward smoky dryness that falls into an oaky hop ash and burnt coffee. Finishes cleanly with a load of carbon. The emphasis on the sour oak seems out of place and the charred coffee makes it all the worse.

Feels medium bodied and syrupy with a nice thickening foam of bubbles.

Maybe I don’t understand this one, but it just seemed awkward.

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Photo of SaltyLime
2.72/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I was really looking forward to this one. The daunting image, 16.03 ABV content and the word "Stout" all together had me mesmerized as I added it to the cart.

Appearance - Black gold...texas tea...could-not-see-light-pass-through-black. Pours thick as oil. Nutty brown color head that gets darker to the bottom of the foam. Head dies quickly before disappearing altogether.

Smell - Alcohol. A rum soaked fruit smell wanted to rise but was overpowered by the alcohol.

Taste - Toasted malts, gritty strong coffee grinds, molasses, alcohol. I think I breathed fire. Goose bump inducing. Warms the gut. Sugar sweetness was an afterthought, but solidly present.

Mouthfeel - Thick and medicinal. It has an after effect of tingling on the palate, I don't think it was the carbonation, might have been the hops or maybe the alcohol was just burning through my tongue. It left a syrup like film in the mouth and peppery feel at the back of the throat.

Drinkability - Definitely not a session beer, more like a challenge. Would not try again unless my girlfriend just broke up with me or my dog died and I just want to get sh*t faced. However, it is worth the experience if you haven't tried it before. I just think they pushed this one too far without regard to balance.

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Photo of RidiculedDisplay
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nov 06 edition.

Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Pours with a massive, two finger, beautiful caramel/coffee bean/tan head. Lacing is magnificent, huge, columnous stuff. Body is a typical stout, but the head and lacing makes up for what it may lack.

Smell: I've been letting this sit for over six months, and it apparently has not soothed much of its vitriol. Huge, almost Belgian-like alcoholic breadiness up front. Deep brush and grass vines, a kind of yeasty, earthiness pervades the whole aroma. Beneath the fury of its beginning lie more familiar stout aromas, including some chocolate, light coffee, coconut milk, and cinnamon-like, cardamom-like spices. I give this points for, if nothing else, smelling nothing like any stout I've ever snuffed.

Taste: The alcohol hits the front of your tongue first, with a sting, but it is not particularly perceptible unless you linger upon what is swirling in your mouth. Peppermint, pepper, chocolate, and a deep espresso. The alcohol on the back end is, indeed, somewhat intense, but after six months it appears more warming than overpowering. The mouth is left a bit dry and hot afterward. There is a woodiness in the aftertaste, a yeast-like quality that will not leave this beer.

Mouthfeel: Hot. Hot. Hot. Adequate carbonation.

Drinkability: After six months, at least, this monster stout is surprisingly quaffable. A good cheer.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle that showed brewed in Nov 06 as batch 2 into a pint glass. It was pure black even when held against a light. It had a 2 finger brown head that slooowly settled to a constant foam, no lacing. The smell was surprising subtle but was roasted malts, chocolate covered cherries, coffee, and a big hint of the ABV within. It set you up for what to expect. The taste was excellent with a good bite from start to finish. It had a slightly sweet finish due to the high ABV coming from fruit sugars. The mouthfeel was excellent as well - full and creamy. Overall, this is a tremendous beer that you have got to try. I generally don't like the high ABV's as they tend to feature the heat too much but this has a great balance. This will be an annual indulgence for sure (4, RB-OAY, T, Y)

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Photo of techdiver
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle states "Bottled in NOV 2006" and "Alcohol 16.03% by volume".

Wow! Pours a deep opaque black with a massive foamy head that dissipates slowly leaving a solid 1/4" cap.

Nose of malt, molasses, and dark fruit.

Taste is sweet with molasses, mild hops, and a well hidden alcohol content.

Full bodied, coating the mouth with each swallow.

Drinkable, yes, but with this ABV? Good stuff.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.61/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby tinged black with a chocolate mousse head that maintains a thin layer of bubbles on top. Leaves some spots of lacing. The smell of the black malt, fruity esters and chocolatey tones are beaten down by alcohol in the nose. Starts off with tons of roasted malt and chocolate but is followed by an awkward fruity, lactic and boozy middle. Finish lets the hops come out a bit, nice and herbal. Coffee and smoke in the aftertaste as well as some vanilla once I let it sit for a while. Mouthfeel is viscous, a little too bubbly for my taste, and the alcohol has a numbing effect on the tongue. Alcohol makes it hard for this to be drinkable. I really like the flavors presented here, and I find this pleasantly more roasty than their Czar, but it's way too young to be on the shelves. In a couple of years this could be amazing.

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Photo of Winter
2.59/5  rDev -37%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I was really looking forward to trying this. I've had some really good beers from Avery in the past and was eager to taste their take on an American Double Stout. Attractive black metallic label show a black demon (presumably Mephistopheles) with silver highlights and piecing red/yellow eyes. Very cool.

The stout pours black in color with a thick creamy tan head. Impressive for a stout of its strength (16.03% listed). At that strength, usually you're lucky to generate any sort of head and this stuck around for awhile.

Vinous aroma, although there's something amiss about it... I can't quire describe it. There's also dark fruit (cherries) and plenty of alcohol. Feint caramel emerges past the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is full-bodied. First sip of this powerful brew is awkward. It's very, very boozy and not balanced at all. Any sort of stout flavors (chocolate, roasted malt, caramel) are all kicked to the background by the alcohol. This one is hot. I can sort of make out some dark fruit and murky malt, but it's not flavorful at all. Sadly, even if this was laid down for awhile, and trust me, this could sit for a LONG while. I'm not sure if it would actually improve at all. There's just nothing in the background that emerges where even if the alcohol mellowed, what would come through, wouldn't necessarily be worth waiting for.

This was a disappointment, lacking in flavor and overpowered by the alcohol. It just didn't blend very well with the rest of the flavors that may have been intended here.

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Photo of rallison
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Jet black with a 2 finger light brown head that actually lasts for a bit - how is that possible for a 16% stout??

S: Smells of dark chocolate, dark fruits, espresso, cocoa, rum and some alcohol - although not nearly as much alcohol as I would have expected.

T: Mmmm, very nice. Lots of dark chocolate, with tons of plums, dark fruits and rum! Also has a lot of port-like characteristics - as another reviewer pointed out, this drinks in some ways like a red wine. Some hops back there too, but the main bite is from some warming alcohol. Interestingly though, the alcohol finally doesn't detract from the beer, as is the case with many of Avery's extreme beers. This one is nice and warming, but I wouldn't call it too hot (the Beast comes to mind when it comes to way too hot beers). This makes Old Rasputin taste like a Guinness.

M: Thick, thick and thick. Just enough carbonation to keep it lively.

D: I've got to give it points here. For 16%, this is pretty drinkable.

I was hesitant to buy this based on my experience with The Beast and Samael's, but I'm glad I ended up getting it. This is one solid beer. Like your Imperial Stouts strong enough that you can eat it with a fork? This is the beer for you. Highly recommended.

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 858 ratings.