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Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,709 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,709
Reviews: 796
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 12.92%
Wants: 235
Gots: 505 | FT: 24
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: 1,709 | Reviews: 796 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled January 2006, Sampled March 2006
Pours with a rich, creamy-chocolate brown colored head that is initially two-fingers thick. The beer is simply midnight black in color. An interesting aroma; initially I get notes of dates and alcohol. There is a rich, malty, almost salty note; a sort of umami kind of notes that could perhaps evoke thoughts of soy sauce, though not really. When you go in for a good, long draught of the aroma your nose gets just a bit singed by hot alcohol notes. There are some hints of chocolate aromatics here, a definite roast-acidity & I have a feeling this is a bit too cold right now.

Thick, almost syrupy, no it definitely is syrupy. It is quite sweet, almost in a sugar-like fashion (as opposed to the richer malt derived sweetness found in many strong beers). The finish has a certain, almost astringent, and lightly hot alcoholic note, that is not really all that detracting, in fact it is almost needed to cut thought the sweetness. Definitely rich and decadent, in fact it is a malt bomb up front, it is not until the middle that a detracting, sugary sweetness takes hold. The finish has a lingering roast bitterness, as well as a hop derived bitterness. My impression up to this point is that this beer is too sweet, and that it seems like filtration has robbed this beer of a lot of complexity.

I am really surprise at how subtle the roast character is; it is definitely here, but is completely dominated by the sweetness. There is a touch of coffee ice-cream here, perhaps some chalky roasted malt, and a bit of burnt acidity in the finish. Put another way, there is a ton of roast character here, it just plays second fiddle to the sweet notes. Fairly drinkable for all its concentrated flavors and thickness, though I certainly won't be pounding this any time soon. In the end this beer ends up being a bit too cloying, after the first 4oz it becomes a chore, even a 12oz bottle of this is too much. I think there is some potential here; I can actually see this getting quite a bit better with age, what complexity this beer currently lacks, will be added to and made better by some years of aging and subtle oxidation. Even though this is filtered, with the alcohol this beer will age for quite some time; perhaps I will sample this vintage again in 5 years or so.

Gueuzedude, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

MarkyMOD, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, 2007 Version,

A: Pours black with a soft tan head, good lace and head retention.

S: Smell is strong, heavy amounts of roast, coffee and chocolate.

T: Major mix of coffee and molasses, black malt and dark chocolate. Even at 2 years old though, the beer is still quite young, rough around the edges, definitely has some heat on the back end. Probably needs a couple more years to get really good.

M: The mouthfeel is outstanding. Thick, rich and creamy, full-bodied.

D: It's always interesting to try these really big stouts, defintely a sipper for me in the end.

Halcyondays, Aug 25, 2009
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
Photo of Gavage
2.4/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: pours a dark black color with a 1" head that lasted quite a while for a high alcohol bomb.

Smell: tons of brown sugar sweetness and strong alcohol.

Taste: alcohol is way up front, thick roasted malts, raisins, licorice, soft bitter dark chocolate tones, and loads (too much) brown sugar sweetness. This was way over the edge for a big stout and personally I did not find it enjoyable, neither did the wife. The alcohol dominates, and the sugary sweetness is too much. It did not improve as it warmed either.

Mouthfeel: heavy, smooth and syrupy throughout. The finish was long on the alcohol and annoying sweetness.

Drinkability: extremely slow sipper, and I can't call this one impressive as some have. This is a brew I would like to try 5 years down the road to see how it ages. This is not for me.

Gavage, May 17, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

01/03/09- Purchsed at John's Marketplace in Portland, OR.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, brewed in Feb '06. Poured into my Kentucky Breakfast Stout snifter.

Appearance- In between and black and deep brown pour. Slight rim of a head that is milk chocolate in color. Leaves some light spotty lace behind.

Smell- Scent of oak, coffee, alcohol, dark fruits such as raisins and prunes. And of course some dark chocolate. Fairly strong nose.

Taste- Quite sweet in flavor with soaked raisins and prunes in a oak liquor barrel. Mild coffee flavor with a dark chocolate liquor flavor as well. Lots of alcohol, but does not burn going down.

Mouthfeel- Quite smooth with a low carbonation level. Still tasting some dark chocolate in the aftertaste after a good 45 minutes from finishing it. Hops pretty much non-existant in the aftertaste of the consumption.

Drinkability- Quite easy for a high abv beer. Tasty, smooth and satisfies your sweet tooth. For $8 I will pass though. Once in a lifetime good experience though.

GClarkage, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -4.3%

InspectorBob, Sep 21, 2013
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -4.3%

imperialking, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

corby112, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of weeare138
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
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 Lucifer...er 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.

weeare138, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.68/5  rDev +12%
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.

lacqueredmouse, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

orangesol, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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!

barleywinefiend, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Beace for the bottle. Batch #2 from 2006. Listed ABV of 16.03%. Shared with BA smoked and poured into several 6oz snifters. This brew appears black in color with a finger of brown head that fades to a line around the outside edge of the glass. Impressive looking initial carbonation for such a big beer. Spots of lace and legs of alcohol are noted all around the glass. Around the edges you can faintly make out some lighter brown clarity when it is held up to the light.

The smell of this brew is sweet with chocolate malt and plenty of roasted quality. There is some anise present smelling like a chocolate/black licorice liquor. There is a tangy presence of alcohol that is lightly citrus-like with a touch of vinous quality. As the brew warms up, it gets a bit fusel with a solid kick of alcohol in the nose. It is lightly oxidized across the back which brings out a touch of almost musty grain but that is very mild in comparison to everything else going on in this brew's aroma.

For 16% abv, this brew is pleasantly enjoyable and quite a well balanced sipper of a brew. There is sweet chocolate upfront with bitter roasted coffee and charred grains. Black liquorish runs throughout with a citrus tang of alcohol. There is a light hoppy citrus element present which breaks up the flavoring of residual sugar verse roast and alcohol. As the brew warms up, the alcohol gets fusel and tingly with a minor note of oxidation coming through. While this brew was still colder than ideal, the alcohol seemed a bit vinous with almost a fresh grape touch. Nicely done.

This is a full bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Very well balanced and a very enjoyable sipper. 16% abv is probably not the best choice when it is 90+ degrees outside but I found it to be very enjoyable. Think of this along the lines of DFH's world wide stout. If you enjoy that beer, you will really enjoy this. Initially this was surprisingly sweet but as the experience continues, you almost wish there was a bit more of that sweetness that was primarily only evident in the beginning.

stakem, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of dbrauneis
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 6 Bottled Dec 2010

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with no hints of any reds or browns when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall mocha colored head which reduces to about a quarter of a finger tall but covering the entire surface of the beer. Light lacing is observed.

S: Lots of aromas of dark roasted malts, chocolate, anise, butter, and some moderate presence of the alcohol. The beer almost smells creamy if that makes sense to you.

T: Upfront the flavor is dark roasted malts with a hint of chocolaty sweetness, followed by some bittersweet chocolate + anise, and the alcohol really dominates the finish. There is a very light bitterness in the flavor but it gets a little overwhelmed by the alcohol.

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slight alcohol heat but not surprising at 16.8% ABV.

O: This beer is a bit strong/harsh in flavor and could probably do with some additional aging to mellow it out. There is a really strong alcohol presence in both the aroma and the flavor as well as the heat in the mouthfeel. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this beer but it is not an easy drinker and definitely not sessionable. There is a nice complexity and depth to the flavor and the smells.

dbrauneis, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, nice looking graghics on label, "brewed in Jan '06, batch #1" Pours jet black, thick darkest shade of tan head and some semi-sticky thick lacing. Bold nose of dark coffee, chocolate milk shake and roasted grains. Thick and creamy brew, over the top flavors of more coffee, malted chocolate milk and loads of smooth roasted goodness, drying late in the long finish. Stout lovers/big beer lovers rejoice. World class dessert beer/night capper. Aging potential obvious, dangerously drinkable

Billolick, Jun 29, 2006
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Georgiabeer, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

akorsak, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

rhoadsrage, Jul 02, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

DoubleJ, Aug 05, 2013
Photo of Zorro
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Zorro, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of jdhilt
4.6/5  rDev +10%
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.

jdhilt, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

ejimhof, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of mothman
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Nov. 2006. 16.03% abv

Poured into Bruery snifter.

Pours 1/4 of tan head. Decent retention with some nice lace. Very surprising. Color is a dark molasses brown, nearing black.

Aroma: wow, just wow is all I have to say. If I had to quote something for this beer, it would be this... "and boom goes the dynamite." Massive malts. I think I am getting a buzz from smelling it. Licorice, molasses, dried cherry, booze, English malt. Massive. Wow.

Taste: massive beer with a lot of malt, cherries, molasses, toffee, and licorice. Booze is present but not too much heat. Huge English malt. Very bready. Thick. Crazy buzz.

Mouthfeel: Rich, creamy, thick, smooth. This is a massive beer. One of the biggest beers I have had. Decent carbonation for the age. I am surprised that it isn't oxidized at all.

Overall, for a beer that is over 3 years old, it is pretty decent. This beer doesn't f**k around. It is in your face big. Just smelling the beer made me a little light headed. It is good, but splitting it with my home dog Peter was a great idea. Give it a try if you can with some years on it.

mothman, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

afsdan, Apr 04, 2014
Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,709 ratings.