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Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

845 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 845
Hads: 2,086
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 19.71%
Wants: 316
Gots: 740 | FT: 44
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Mephistopheles' Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 845 | Hads: 2,086
Photo of Westsidebuddha
3.32/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought at Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles. Bottled in November 2008, Batch 4. ABV: 15.92%

Pour into a pint glass. Smell from the bottle has a mild soy sauce scent to it. Dark, black pour into glass with a very fizzy head. Strong roasty taste with a very definitive abv back end. Second and third sippings, the taste and abv becomes more pronounced to my palate. Soy sauce smell becomes more stronger with each sippings. Definitely feeling the effects from this strong stout! Seems to get stronger with each sip. Just how I like my strong beers to act. Not an everyday beer but good when the weather is cold. In L.A. that's below 60 degrees here. A warm-your-belly beer that's drinkable. Wish I had some sushi now as this would pair good with it. Mmmm, spicy tuna!

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Photo of Brandywine
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage

Appearance: 2 and a half fingers of a mocha head with tight bubbles. Pitch black. No light around the rim. Tons and tons of lacing.

Smell: Chocolate, coffee and cane sugar. Some roasted notes as well.

Taste: Bakers chocolate, rich coffee with cream. There's a little oakiness and some roasted quality but the rich cocoa and coffee really come through. The alcohol is noticeable but not unpleasant. Starts sweet and finishes with some bitterness. There's a subtle but non-descript dark fruit quality.

Mouthfeel: On the light side of full. Not as a thick as I would have thought. Good amount of carbonation.

Overall: This was a pleasant surprise. It's well balanced between the rich and sweet and the high ABV. Going to grab a few bottles to age.

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Photo of charliedvrs
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2007, Batch #3

Pours a completely opaque black with a small dark tan head. The aroma is full of dark chocolate, roasted malts, and chocolate covered espresso beans. The alcohol comes through noticably, but not overly strong as bourbon soaked oak.

The first sip is a bit overwhelming, with an almost rum-like alcohol presence. As the beer warms up and my palete adjusts, lots subtle complexities come into play. The dark chocolate and licorice notes from the nose are amplified, while the roasted malts and 100+ IBU bitterness keep the stark burnt caramel sweetness in check. The beer continues to move towards room temperature, bringing out a layer of bing cherries and plums. The mouthfeel is thick, with the consistency of a light syrup. The flavor sticks to your tongue and stays with you for a long while.

Four years in the bottle and the alcohol is still present but not to an unpleasant level. Very impressed with this beer, especially with how well it's aged. Thanks for sending this one along, Bill.

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Photo of Nowhereman529
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a very smooth and very dark color from the bottle, about as dark as I've ever seen a stout pour. No head, just a few brown bubbles on top.

S: Smell is sweet and darkly malty. I'm pretty sure that I detect some coffee in there and of course dark chocolate. Additionally, there seems to be a caramel undertone that is probably lending the sweetness to the smell.

T: This is very sweet upfront and quite malty as well. There is definitely chocolate involved in the flavor as well as some alcohol shining through, but not as much as I would expect for a 16% abv beer. It finishes off with a bit of bitterness and coffee. I hate to say it, but it's almost too sweet.

M: Very smooth and velvety, this is definitely a nice heavy bodied stout. They got the mouthfeel just about right on this one.

D: Overall this is a pretty drinkable beer. I have to mark it down a point for being overly sweet, but I'll be darned if I didn't thoroughly enjoy this one!

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Photo of DrinkinBuddy
3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a complete midnight/darkness black. Slight brown head covers the top of the glass. Aromatic experience is mostly malty chocolate/caramel tones. Taste is definately roasted malts with a nice sweet alcohol warmth that screams this is some strong shit! Some hidden traces of dark fruits are masked pretty well in this. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Very slow sipping stout that becomes immensely complex with warming. Drinkability is low because of the extremely high ABV. Overall: a very decent stout well worth trying.

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Photo of seanpachefddfa
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- poured a deep dark black color with a thick milk choc head. Settled quickly into a thin skim-like lacing.
Smell- getting some chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and some booze.
taste- getting all the flavors that i got in the nose but also got some rum flavor, molasses and some pepper.
Mouthfeel- a medium to full body beer. the alcoholic in this warms the mouth.
Drinkability- this one is a sipper. i have one more that i will let age four 6 or 8 months. If this one ages like i think it should i might get a couple more.

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Photo of StoutHearted
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer has gorgeous looks, but is it worth the $12 I paid for it?

Like it said, it looks great. I was shocked by how dark it was, even for a stout, with a deep chocolate-colored head that fluffed up to about an inch. The smell was very fragrant (but keep sniffing too long and all you'll get is alcohol fumes), but has a sticky sweetness that may turn some stout lovers off before the first sip. The sweetness follows through in the taste, but not in a fruity way. Rather, it conveys a similar sweetness that whiskey does, and with the same punch to the taste buds. This slows down the drinkabilty and forces you to sip slowly. It's not a thick beer, but the high alcohol content can make it difficult to grasp different flavors. A lasting impression of syrupy molasses sweetness will not put it on many people's favorites list, but thankfully it's not terribly annoying for those willing to stick it out.

In answer to my earlier question: The 16% alcohol content may warrant a $10 price tag, but $12 is kind of pushing it for a tiny bottle that looks better than it tastes. I'll pay those extra two dollars the next time when the beer delivers more than molasses.

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

On tap
A: darker than dark, no light gets thru. Very little head so no lacing
S: chocolate, coffee and a bit of eye watering for the vapor. I don't smell the alcohol but my eyes can feel it - interesting
T: fruit (raisin?) sherry chocolate with a expresso finish alcohol burn is the last sensation
M: a little thin but nicely carbonated
D: suprisingly good and I am not one for the super dark beers not being a coffee drinker but I throughly enjoyed this beer

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Photo of SeasonalBrew
3.47/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Received this in my first trade, been cellared since. Bottle is from Batch 4 Nov 2008, so I'd celebrate its 2nd birthday by finally opening it.. poured into a tulip.

A: Pitch black. Dark as night. I managed a thin chocolate brown head when I first poured it, but that disappeared just as quickly as it came. Only a thin ring around the top remains. Can't be surprised considering the outrageous abv!

S: Strong roasted malts and freshly brewed coffee, quickly followed by a blend of chocolate, raisin, and vanilla. Maybe a slight sting of booze.

T: The taste is slightly sweet to start, with a touch of vanilla and bittersweet chocolate. It quickly turns to mix of roasted malts and dark fruits, like fig or plum. The beer closes with a punch from the alcohol and slightly burns going down. Reminds me of my first shot of whiskey. I'm surprised that even after two years of aging, this hasn't really come together as nicely as I had expected.

M: Not as full bodied as I had expected and suffers from a little too much carbonation. Poorly masks the abv level, as well. Just, meh. Not wowed by this, at all.

D: Ha! I'm supposed to drink all of this? I mean, I definitely will, but it's just going to take quite a while. Not exactly what I would call drinkable. If I'm ever going to have this again, I will definitely be sharing it.

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Photo of Clonies720
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a thick, oily black. No light shines through this beer. 1 finger chocolately head forms and dissipates to a thin ring.

Smell: Dark fruits like figs/dates/prunes, and an aroma reminiscent of wine grapes. I'm also detecting chocolate, roasty malts, and black liquorice/star anise.

Taste: Huge, intense flavors that are coming at me all at once. I'll try to interpret them all individually... It starts off very sweet, and kind of toes the line at being "cloy", which means it is sickeningly sweet. Then I taste almost like a chocolate, cherry flavor with a boozy, almost double espresso kick in the finish. Slight hints of vanilla, plum, and a dash of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: FULL-BODIED. Carbonation is medium-high, but seems to fit the beer fairly well, despite the high alcohol content. VERY chewy. This is a beer that I like to say "you can practically eat it".

Overall: This is a life-changing beer. The sweetness is borderline too much, but the complex flavors that take over after the initial sweetness make it worth the enjoyment.

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

A- Pour with a daaark brown colour. Very opaque. Even if the beer is more than 2 years old, a nice little brown creamy head is present.

S- Roasted coffee. Toffee. Fresh and hot chocolate brownies.

T- Woooah. Very sirupy. Then, a big coffee taste. And then, sweet, little burning alcohol. You have to concentrate to discover the flavours of this beer. Definately caramel/toffee. To my surprise, I do not taste much of dark fruits. In fact, the fruitiness might be a little bit hidden by the strong alcohol content.

Definately an intense beer. Remind me of a strong espresso with some frangelico. This cold night of february is the best moment to enjoy the Mephistopheles.

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Photo of lifeboyq
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ohhh... I'm excited. I love these high ABV novelty beers...and if its anything like The Beast comparatively within the style as novelty grand cru is to novelty stout, I'll be a fan. Pours of dirty motor oil black with a tan head that holds up surprisingly well for a beer of this ABV although not REALLY well. Wow, an alcoholic taste, slightly biter roasted malts. The malt bill is slightly hidden by the too many hops which tells me this beer would probably age well and I'll def. put a couple away. Despite the over hopped profile its really pretty interesting albeit not very complex. Fun stuff and will be interesting to revisit and age. Roar!

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

Dark black in color with slightly lingering tan head. Deep nose of anise and roast with coffee and port notes, smells more like a strange liqour(strange in a good way!) Rich and vinous in your mouth, complex flavors, deep carmel, coffee, roasty and fruity at the same time. Alcohol is on the finish but not offensive. Would like to see this beer in a couple years.

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Photo of ksbrainard
4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black and thick. There's a surprisingly "large" head that is very dense with small bubbles, and it sticks around for a while. Finally after about a half an hour, it's totally gone.

Smell: I can hardly smell anything at first. A subtle chocolate-caramel-raisin smell. As the bubbles subside, a very burnt smell comes through, like that stuff that lives on the inside of your grill, but then it fades. Next up is a whiff of dark rich thick fruity syrup. So far, an appealing and complex aroma, if subtle (somehow). The darkest chocolate of all comes through after that. At first, alcohol barely manages to show through, but eventually as the beer warms up, that's all that there is in the nose.

Taste: It is big and roasty, but that is quickly overtaken with a fruity flavor, almost like a Barley Wine. A Black Barley Wine. Alcohol warmth kicks in right away, to nobody's surprise. Hops and roast provide a balance to each other, in their collaboration for an intense bitterness. That sweetness, though, it is almost like red graps. The finish drops off quickly, but remains at that low level for quite some time. You really feel like you're indulging in something that should be forbidden.

Mouthfeel: Big and thick - almost granular feeling. This is almost solid, as opposed to liquid. It is only somewhat sticky, though. It is surprisingly unoppressive, while completely full.

Drinkability: Pretty good. This beer is a unique experience. It is not a great value - if you want an intensely Stout experience, you'll get a better value with Avery's The Czar (keeping it in the family). But this beer is an experience for all lovers of black beer to have at some point in their lives. I would recommend sharing it with two or three friends over the richest dark chocolate dessert you can get your hands on. It would also probably make a great ice cream topping when mixed in equal parts with hot fudge.

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Photo of Jtthegreat
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought the bottle to open during a family function this weekend.

Opened the bottle and poured a small amount into a balloon glass. The look was black with a dark caramel colored head. There was no lacing in the glass because of the amount poured but the stout coated the sides of the glass with a chocolate brown layer of liquid that dissipated slowly back into the bottom of the glass.

The smell was a lot of alcohol just escaping the freshly poured liquid which mellowed a bit and was replaced my molasses and wood. The first taste was unsweetened cocoa with a slightly bitter finish. Realizing it needed to warm a bit I waited a few minutes for it to warm to room temperature and sipped again to reveal chocolate, black coffee, rum soaked raisins and a slightly bitter sweet finish.

The mouthfeel is thick but not too heavy with a nice carbonation to it. This is a stout on the outer edge on my palette but enjoyable and a good slow sipper.

On a side note I ate a piece of chocolate and followed it immediately with a sip of the stout and got a tart black cherry taste on the middle of the tongue. I would recommend this with dark chocolate or a chocolate mousse to make for a fantastic experience.

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Photo of Lledd
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Black, little to no head fading quickly. This stuff is pitch black, no exceptions.

S: Amazingly it doesn't smell boozy at aver 16%. Nice brown sugar smell. Very faint cocoa. Roasty malts. It smells really good.

T: Wow, surprisingly smooth. I can taste "campfire", a smoky wood flavor. The turbinado sugar is noticeable and works nicely with the aggressive flavors in this beer.

M: Heat. The taste is smooth but this beer definitely leaves you warm in the mouth. Moderate to mild carbonation.

O: Excellent. Bold and smooth, smoky and sweet.

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Photo of jdaelhousen
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours thick, black and sticky. Soft brown head atop a black colored body.

Aroma contains strong scents of semi-sweet dark chocolate and mild grassy notes in the trailing nose.

Taste is extremely sweet and has a surprisingly carbonated mouthfeel right from the start. Sweet chocolate flavors packed with a high ABV punch at the center until the finish. There is a mild hop counter-balance to all the sweetness right before the finish, but the sweet chocolate flavors are overwhelming (yet delicious). Aftertaste lets cocoa flavors linger on the palate, while the throat warms with the high alcohol %.

Overall, an extremely well crafted imperial stout.

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Photo of The3rdbeer
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Duvel Tulip aggressively comes up with 2 fingers nice really dark tan head, that is retaining nicely right now.

A: Dark as the demons inside this bottle, cannot get any light through glass, head is still there now at 1/2 fingers after 3 minutes. a nice foamy lacing after 6+ minutes

S: A little smokey, a little burnt, some dark spice, and booze there tingeing my nose

T: starts out malty, then immediately gets put in check by bitterness, some burnt toffee, bittersweet cocoa, dark chocolate, and just enough booze to warm the back of the mouth finishing smooth but you know what you are getting yourself into.

M: Love it, it drinks like a meal, viscous and syrupy but not cloying, a lot like what I love from Mikkeller beer Geek series, that warming sensation from the 15.10%ABV is pleasant and is a constant reminder of what you are drinking(unlike the beast)

D: I could drink this again and will! I have another bottle along with the samael and the beast, and I hear good things from cellaring websites, its a great sipper and its really enjoyable for my favorite style. great to top of a wonderful night of drinking great beers with friends or sitting celebrating a payoff from a lot of work (like I am!)

release the demons within!

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Photo of Fitwitchik
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 7

Poured into a half pint glass as this beauty was to be shared.

Thick black motor oil with tan head with a beautiful ivory lace.

Smell of cocoa with sweet maple.

Taste smooth sweetness then distinct bitterness of burnt dark cocoa. Alcohol burn on the back of the throat reminds me happily that I LOVE high gravity brews especially stouts. Paired this with a Smoked NY Sharp Cheddar

Looking forward to laying down my second bottle.

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Photo of EricMichael
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

NOTE: Bottled in Dec 2010 - Batch 6
ABV: 15.95 %
Poured from bottle into snifter

appearance - This stout comes out as a rich mahogany reminding me of an English antique. As it settles in the glass it turns pitch black. I wouldn't say the dense (opaque) black that many stouts have, but a black that just pulls you and all light in -- abyssal. Poured with one finger of head that hung around while I warmed it in my hands.

smell - Toasted fruit, massive dark chocolate malt and potent alchohol - some masked hops. I really enjoyed the scent and had high hopes for what was to come.

taste & mouthfeel - Extremely potent from start to finish. Very dark chocolate bitterness that I find enjoyable. I feel like a half of a shot of espresso was added. A touch of cinnamon. Lots of alcohol. I feel like the alchohol flash was too much and took away from the other flavors that could have shined. There was also a metallic aftertaste from the dark chocolate? from the alchohol? maybe a combination of the two? Not sure, but I didn't like the feel.

overall - An impressive stout with a lot to offer and that a lot will love. The aftertaste was a little much for me, but the smell and initial taste were great. Maybe some aging would have served this brew better.

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Photo of pvo
4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great, given the alcohol content. I've been having some of Dogfish Head's limited beers recently, and with all of those have found the alcohol overwhelming. This is an example of a strong stout that is still predominantly a stout, rather than some sort of gimmick.

I will look forward to having this again, but it's still a step below Weyerbacher's Tiny, Bell's Black Note, or Haandbryggeriet's Dark Force. Not to take anything away from it, but that's where it stands in my book.

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

Dennis: There are some who would day that the name mephistopheles means "He who shuns the light", and certainly no better name exists for this brew. Aroma wise this beer won't wow you, but once you actually decide to take a sip watch out. Of course with 15.1% alcohol you can expect a powerful punch, but there isn't much that can prepare you for the wonderful power of this beer. Extremly, deeply sweet, it's hard to place the hops that supposedly add bitterness to this brew (107 IBU), but the expected tastes of rum, dark chocolate, and espresso beans are there. The price kills the value, but the quality comes only second to the beast...which is oh so appropriate.
Jen: You better tuck your skirt in if you want to try this one on for size. It pours like molasses that has been slightly heated, and has the color of a long pull of espresso. The smell is very deceptive and does not prepare you for what you about to endeavor upon. At first sip, all I could do was smack my lips...they were covered in a sugary taste, like eating maple-sugar candy. I then realized that the sweetness reminded me of chocolate covered espresso beans. That bit of sweetness followed by a roasty, nutty coffee flavor. There is also a mild resemblance to dark chocolate rum cordials. I think that I will be sipping on this for a while. This is a must have, especially if you have been following the demon series. Sip, don't swallow and enjoy the ride!

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Photo of CManuel
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very deep black, almost opaque. Minimal head that fades fast.

Smells big with mostly roasted malts followed by dried fruits and chocolate, and the warming aroma of booze at the end.

Taste is very similar to the aroma, except that I feel the dried fruit sweetness overshadows the roasted malts. The booze is definitely present and adds a nice touch. Very sweet sipping beer... I love it!

Overall this is one of the better beers I've had from Avery. Highly recommended

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Photo of HopsKeepDroppin
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into maudite snifter.

A- Pours pitch black with a finger of dark tan head.

S- You get some nice roasty notes but there is a lot of alcohol present on the nose.

T- Full of complex flavor. Roasted malt, coffee, plum, raisins, smoke, molasses, vanilla, a touch of heat from the almost 17% abv.

M- Full bodied and very creamy.

O- Another delicious offering from Avery. I thought that they did a great job of creating a nice, slow sipping, crazy high alcohol stout. Definitely wait until it warms up a bit and it grows even more complex.

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Photo of andythejerk
2.3/5  rDev -44%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

I don't generally review beers anymore. But this one begs for a review. Bottled Nov. '06. Somebody decided to make the biggest, baddest beer on the block. They may have succeeded with baddest, as in worstest. I love Avery--they do amazing things. And I get where this is coming from and there may be some people who can appreciate this. But I cannot. This is not what beer is about nor what it is supposed to be. Beer should be enjoyable. This is not. This is a "mine is bigger than yours!" cockfight. I don't enjoy a cockfight in my mouth.
It IS beautiful. I'm still amazed by the red in the head and lacing. Soo dark and opaque. I love that. But then it smells like pure soy sauce. Tastes like equal parts soy sauce, molasses, and grain alcohol. That doesn't taste good. The 97% dark chocolate bar taste is interesting, though.
I'm glad I tried it. I didn't finish my glass. I wouldn't buy it again. Even three years couldn't tame it. Maybe it needs twenty. Waste of a lot of grain, if you ask me.

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 845 ratings.