Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company

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Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

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836 Reviews

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Reviews: 836
Hads: 2,049
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 7.86%
Wants: 299
Gots: 711 | FT: 45
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

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
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Reviews: 836 | Hads: 2,049
Photo of DoubleJ
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Am I a horder to drink the entire 12 ounce bottle to myself? This 2009 vintage has been sitting my cellar for almost four years, and I think that its time has come. No turning back now, here I go. On to the beer:

This beer is shiny and obsidian colored. The head on to is tanned and quickly drops and hugs around the rim of the glass. Replacing the lace are "legs", similar to what you would find with some wines. The aroma is very sweet and has some oxidation. There's a semi-sweet molasses note which hits before chocolate syrup, a kiss of cherry, and some of the alcohol make their marks.

Great taste! All the filling! There's a great balance between the strong base and the alcohol. I get the sensation of oak chips even though this beer hasn't been around oak. I also get lovely toasted coconut notes. Chocolate sauce adds the stout part. There's is some oxidation present, though it's like a wine. Despite the 16.83% alcohol by volume, it's gentle, cuts the sweet base, and works very well within the beer. It does provide a little heat. Yes, it is full bodied stuff with light carbonation, and within an hour the bottle is gone.

I like the diversity of strong ales which are being produced at this time, though sometimes you just need to go back to basics to get a great beer experience. Mephistopheles' Stout is just that, a basic strong stout without the whiskey barrels nor the single-day festival which stands near the summit of the best. (1,452 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. Batch 7 from November 2011.

Appearance - Inky black with a small mocha head. No retention. Not even all that leggy as I swirl it. Thought it would look more viscous.

Smell - Booze is nostril-burning. Fudge all over the place. About as strong as the booze, which I appreciate. Black patent malt aroma with fudge.

Taste - Chocolatey as all getout. Fudge flavors persist here. Just buckets of chocolate until I get a bitter roasted malt finish and a fruity uptick in the back end. It's still boozy.

Mouthfeel - Well it's gigantic and it tastes every bit of it. I actually expected it to be boozier. Decent carbonation, but it's pushing the low end of medium.

Overall - Definitely not something I need to drink again. I expected it to be worse. Pleasantly surprised that I was able to consume as much of it as I did. (863 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 2, 2006. Pours inky black with a very tightly beaded dark beige head. Looks rich. Tremendous amounts of licorice and dark fruit aromas. There is also a bit of cocoa and this is quite strong as well. definite smell of alcohol here. Equally intense in the mouth, but not quite as hot. Very fruity with rich almost port-like fruit as well as dark chocolate and licorice. Mouthcoating and strong, this is a sipper. (416 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown/ black color with a dark coffee brown foam head. Hints of caramel, chocolate, and alcohol in the aroma. Sweet chocolate/ roasted coffee, toffee, oatmeal, burnt toast and dark fruit taste makes this one of the tastier imperial stouts I've had. Very strong though. Definately a sipper. (307 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review # 666 seemed fitting for this beer. I had it in between St. Pat's Day and the Feast of St. Joseph, so I let evil rule for a day.
Appears a midnite black with a fluffy tan head that slowly fades. Blotchy film lacing, like little islands, are left around the glass.
Smell is of creamy sugar with rich chocolate, espresso, lactose, rich hops, and nuts. Perhaps one of the most complex beers I've smelled lately.
Taste is of caramel shot, sweet espresso topped with cocoa and drizzled with resinous hops.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sugary sweet, caramel, syrupy, cocoa filled, with hops in the mix. Slightly cloying and a bit too rich to handle but this is an excellent beer.
Drinkability - Sweet Mephistopholes(the one that fell after Lucifer), this sucker is very rich and very potent. Very enjoyable but it's a sipper for the most part. (860 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Nov 2006 Batch 2

Pours a solid black with a stingy mocha head that disappears quickly. Smells of bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt, and alcohol. I could smell every bit of the 16% I was about to ingest. Tastes like it smells, but adds some figs, dried fruits and more alcohol, definitely a sipper. Creamy mouthfeel. Thick body. Low carbonation. Not something I could drink everyday, but would make a great sipper on a cold snowy New England night. (453 characters)

Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer. Very smooth and slightly syrupy and sugary. Notes of chocolate and molasses and oatmeal in aroma. Strong alcohol taste throughout. Pour was black in color with a tan head. Coffee and nuts with some dark fruit flavor as well. This is quite a complex and rewarding beer. (280 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black satiny curve of delicious deep, dark malignity. Head is a full and creamy head of biscuit brown, filtering out with some wonderful cascading in the glass. Some lacing, the head is extremely fine. It looks deep, heavy, rich, malicious and captivatingly evil.

Lots of wonderful boozy, dark and sweet aromas. Certainly noticeable hints of roasted coconut, smoke, roasted almonds, even spit roasted meat. It's all so deliciously deep and dark and complicated. Very complex, and utterly delectable.

Very full and sensual flavours on the palate, huge notes of rich roasted malts, sweet deep toasty flavours of smoked chocolate, and again piquant notes of roasted meat. It fits together so well that you don't notice the oddities on the palate, they add some fascinating notes of interest, while still caressing your palate with the warm, smooth, silky touch of sweet roasty goodness. Absolutely phenomenally delicious.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, silky and amazing.

An incredibly complex and lusciously delicious treat. Very flavoursome, rich and complicated. It sticks itself in your face, but then caresses it gently. Wonderful. (1,148 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled through BA johnnnniee and BEERFEST THE MOVIE BIF!! (Yeah you spell it that way.)

Jet black beer with a glass filling brown colored head.

Very aromatic beer from the moment you pop the cap. Sweet and aromatic lots of fig and licorice aroma. Chocolate vanilla coffee and a definite booziness. Coconut and berry aroma but I can't positively say it is black berry.

The flavor starts out sweet and bitter with a strong chocolate and coffee flavor and an alcohol burn. Fairly strong berry flavor the sweetness seems to enhance this. Pretty much stays sweet and bitter. Strong alcohol bite detracts from the beer flavor quite a bit here it is a little annoying and stronger than Kahlua liquor.

The mouthfeel is quite thick.

Tasty and interesting but best experienced in small doses. Like DFH WWS and some of the more extreme beers this is a little too intense for much more than about half a glass. (904 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a jet black with good carbonation and a small head. Nose has a booze presence immediately, roasted,m coffee, chocolate, fruits. Taste follwed the nose, big roasted notes, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and a strong tinge of booze halfway to the end.Mouthfeel is smooth at first but heats upo in a hurry. Drinkable yes. Ageable, YES! (339 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's the other day.

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color with good (frothy) head retention and lacing. On the nose, I get a promient aroma of vanilla and licorise, coupled with some light coffee and dark chocolate. This beer smells as if it will be fairly sweet and boozy. Flavors do replicate the nose pretty well, and once again the most promient flavors I get are sweet licorise and dark chocolate. There is also a fair amout of hoppy bitterness in this beer, which helps to counter the sweetness somewhat. The alcohol is pretty noticeable in this beer, and it comes as no surprise to learn the abv. is in the 16% range. Mouthfeel is pretty full, with a long, drawn out finish. The beer almost tastes a bit tannic, which makes me think it would likely age well. Drinkability is OK, considering the abv., but the sweet licorise and noticeable alcohol make this very much a sipper.

An interesting beer, though I cannot imagine consuming an entire bomber of this stuff. This is definitely one to share with friends. (1,041 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It wouldn't matter if you were E.T. himself - there is no chance of seeing a finger - even a glowing one - on the other side of Mephistopheles Stout. I mean, all stouts are one shade or another of black but few are this invincibly black. This looks thick as tar; I think the walls in my house are thinner than this. And its thin halo is impressive considering the 15.92% ABV.

Likewise, even for a style with no shortage of luxuriant offerings, few are quite this burly and upholstered. The combination of clumps of melted dark chocolate, licorice puree, week-old espresso and all the ooey-gooey fudge known to man is decadent enough to mask nearly all of its titanic amount of alcohol.

The character of the oak barrel is easily perceivable in the taste; never mind vanilla or bourbon notes, the beer's bittersweet flavours are grounded in good old dry, splintering wood. The beer has all the qualities of a high-caliber RIS but also has the stiff reward of a shot of grappa. Notes of cream and burnt sugar are made more welcome with warmth.

I get the impression there's more flavour in there... buried somewhere beneath about 30 proof worth of booze. It's not that the alcohol is tasted outright - it's not - but there's no doubt more of that chocolaty, espresso-like flavour could be better appreciated if the alcohol percentage didn't start with the number 1. But I wouldn't want that distinguishing ouzo character compromised, it goes with the coffee-crusted blackcurrants.

I can't think of a better candidate for the cellar. This November 2008 (Batch 4) vintage has held up fantastically to this point (exactly 2 years since entering the bottle). Furthermore, I can think of only a few other beers that are as formidable, as grandiose, as sensual and as devilishly intoxicating as this that I'd want to serve to guests after dinner.

A beer with this much alcohol could probably be considered a fire hazard; if this doesn't get you drunk you don't know how to do it. That being said, it is undoubtedly a most gratifying, exquisite, knockout of a tipple that might be better described as a digestif and it's likely one of the more absorbing beers you'll try from Avery, or any American brewer for that matter. (2,219 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (1,195 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours like molasses a five+ finger brown head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Pitch black color. Light-medium carbonation and very bodied. Sweet molasses nose. Flavor is sweet molasses, roasted caramel, roasted coffee aftertaste; warming, very high ABV is noticeable. Why is the really good stuff wicked expensive? $8.20 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA. Nov 06 batch. (397 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The ale is a deep oily black color with an off-white head that has red highlights.

S: The stout has an aroma of wine, chocolatey malts and intense alcohol. The vinous aroma betrays a complex body.

T: The first sip is a warming alcohol, followed by a big malty taste. The malts are roasted and wine-like, further augmenting the alcohol. The flavor is almost too sweet, with a quad-like malt strength that quickly loses the vinous impact and becomes very sugary.

M: An overabundance of sweetness mixed with a decent malt body, I am conflicted because parts are good while others aren't.

D: Drinkability is limited by the strength and the sweetness. This is decent, but not in my top 5 ADS list. (707 characters)

Photo of plaid75
2.18/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured a dark brown hue with a two finger thick caramel head. Decent head retention and lacing.

The smell was extremely sweet with a strong alcohol presence. There were also traces of coffee.

The taste was sugary sweet. In fact much too sweet for my liking. I could tell there was quite a bit of complexity, but the excessive sweetness inhibited the full appreciation of this. I could detect, however, coffee, caramel, corn syrup. I could taste the sugar on my lips after I put the glass down.

The mouthfeel was full but the sweetness put this fullness over the edge. Not a good mouthfeel.

I had a hard time finishing this one - overly sweet and high ABV. (667 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Nov 06, Batch 2, 16.03% ABV

Poured into a chalice a thick black color, nice carbonation, very nice one-finger plus creamy thick tannish head, tons of sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is very malty, prunes, figs, dates, raisins, vanilla, oaked, toffee, chocolate, and some caramel. The taste is awesome, malty, sweet, oaky, nice touch of dark fruits, lots of toffee/chocolate/caramel. The first sip is sweet on the lips, with a good warming factor afterwards, the finish is sweet/slightly bitter. For a brew this high in alcohol, it is hidden very well. Medium body, very complex brew. Very drinkable, a truly awesome brew from Avery, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! (676 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz 2011 vintage into a snifter.

dark, thick black pour with a slight beige head. smell is actually quite subdued..slight sweetness perhaps. the taste starts out a tad sweet...and is incredibly smooth. this is almost like a cross between a stout and barleywine. ABV not really apparent either. but you feel it quick. very malty on the finish. dark fruits...big big beer. full bodied. mild carbonation.

overall an interesting and very tasty hybrid beer. (455 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #4 12oz picked up a while back at Brewforia... Cheers to Rick for getting these new treats in. Poured into my Delirium goblet while entering in a few reviews from the weekend RIS tasting.

3 finger head... great retention surprisingly... big drapes of lite brown lacing.

Nose is cocoa... toffee... plummy esters... molasses... tawny port... no where nearly as sweet smelling as I was expecting.

Woah.. there is the sweetness.. the alcohol cuts through the thick maltiness pretty quickly leaving a long lingering melange of deep cocoa.. dark raisins.. sorta burnt caramel... molasses essence with a bit of char.... lite coffee.... acidity from the dark grains helps get rid of the sugars .. the body is thick but not as much as I was expecting.... lite small bubble carbonation is always there to clean things away leaving an easy :30 finish of raisins and coffee

Whew... There is ALOT left in my glass.... This is going to take a long while... Cool to have these locally finally.. I will buy them when I can afford them and cellar them for at least a couple of years before I open one again.

4.5/4/4/3.5/3.5 (1,117 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
2.84/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle picked up as a single somewhere local, probably Julio's in Westboro, MA. Red foiled.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 3/4" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head isn't going anywhere fast, with lots of heavy lacing, nice for the abv. Aroma is lots of dark dark grains and overwhleming alcohol. Taste is sickly sweet dark maltiness upfront, a light fruitiness, and then a super warm close. Strong alcohol seems to be much more present in the nose than the mouth. Mouthfeel heavily coats, and seems smooth, but the drinkability is just dead in the water from the syrupiness and blantant alcohol presence. Enojyed this more than The Beast, for what that's worth. (704 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #5. Bottled December 2009. Poured in to brandy snifter.

A - Poured pitch black with almost no head.

S - A big alcohol presence up front accompanies rich milk chocolate, molasses and roasted malt aromas. Very sweet overall nose.

T - Massive sweetness up front with milk chocolate, molasses and roasted malts and dark caramel. A big alcohol presence helps cut through the massive sweetness. Lighter notes of char and licorice in the background.

M - Medium to full body. Light carbonation. (499 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Mephistopheles is just beneath. Hes reaching out, to grab me."

This bottle is Batch 3, November 2007. This beer pours a full bodied midnight black in color with a slight khaki lacing. The aromas are smooth and well refined. It features smooth chocolates, a slight roast, mild sweetness, and is just really creamy. I don't detect any of the 16% at all. Great nose for a beer this old. The flavors featured are a lot of roasted malt with a Baltic like sweetness. You get plenty of dark chocolate with some dark fruits as well. There is slight alcohol but not nearly as much as I expected. It's really smooth and drinks very well for its size. It's a nice beer. At four plus years old, it's prime for drinking. It's a really nice, very big stout. (745 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

Poured from a bottle into a Fremont small snifter. 2012 vintage. Pours pitch black with a fine one finger brown head with great retention and lots of lacing. Rich aroma of dark toasted malt, chocolate, latte coffee, light vanilla. Flavor is semi-sweet dark toasted malt, cocoa chocolate, hints of anise and vanilla, dark coffee. Finish exhibits light cherry and slight hopping. Rich and boozy, but nicely balanced. Nice heavy, creamy body. It's hard to understand how this can taste so much like a quality liqueur at its lower (but still substantial for an ale) ABV. The deep, rich flavor is more than a match for the alcohol, but a few sips of this are still warming and inspire slow sipping. Glad to get back to this for a review, this may well have been my first introduction to a big ale many years ago, and it was both mind blowing and overwhelming at the time. One of the great big stouts, although I don't think it's barrel aged, it has a lot of the same characteristic depth of a barrel aged stout, without the woody flavors. It is quite boozy, its only real drawback, although one that seem unimportant as the glass is emptied. Perfect aperitif or dessert beer. (1,175 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
3.3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage purchased from the dusty shelves of Route 59 beverage in Nyack. Yeah that place (lol).

Jet black body with a very small cream-colored head that dissipates quickly. Minimal lace. Aroma smacks you in the face with booze after all this time; some chocolate, molasses, raisins, anise, roastiness, but alcohol fumes predominate.

Tastes pretty much the same; lots of booziness and heat remain; rum-soaked raisins, less chocolate and roast than the nose indicates. Something about this reminded me quite a bit of an overly strong, overly sweet and flat rum and coke. Syrupy but still a bit thin. Overall it's only medium-bodied and could use a bit more viscosity to support the heft of the booze. Carbonation was low but present. Sticky, somewhat oily mouthfeel with lingering sweetness and definite warming in the gut.

This was actually fairly unpleasant to drink. It's too boozy and sweet and lacks a lot of the more appealing flavors of the better big stouts. It left me asking myself, why? In the end I may have scored this one charitably; I can't see getting this again and it has raised doubts about the other super high ABV Avery beers in my cellar at the moment. (1,180 characters)

Photo of Duff27
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 5

A- Pours a dense black. Small brown head that quickly recedes. No lacing.

S- Chocolates, dark fruits, and oh yeah...booze!

T- Somewhat sweet but mostly boozy. Is this bourbon barrel aged? Dark dark fruits.

M- Thick mouthfeel, adequate enough carbonation.

D/O- I think this is one for instance in which the high abv hurts the overall product. Thanks for sharing TATURBO but I can't much get past this small snifter. A sipper. (437 characters)

Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 836 ratings.