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Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,703 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,703
Reviews: 795
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 12.92%
Wants: 233
Gots: 504 | 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: 1,703 | Reviews: 795 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of compass40204
4.18/5  rDev 0%

2008 vintage, poured into stemmed tulip

Black. Did I say black? I meant BLACK. This beer is so dark I had to turn on another light. It pours with a modest head, rich beige colored. The head disappears quickly and leaves no lacing. Smells a bit like molasses, with a hint of licorice. And it reeks of booziness. The taste is also alcoholic and warming. Bitter chocolate or cocoa, with undertone of coffee. I love a strong beer with this intensity of flavor. It is not by any means a balanced beer, but they clearly weren't aiming for balance. More boozy than Dark Lord, but at 15.9%, it should be. Body is light for the style, again, due most likely to the immense volume of alcohol. It makes me want to play in the snow with shorts and a t-shirt, and maybe sandals.

compass40204, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of AdamBear
4/5  rDev -4.3%

2009 bottle

A-black with a nice tan head

S-smells like a strong dark roasted coffee..and liquor..the alcohol is actually overpowering at first but eventually the coffee is stronger.

T-wow...this taste is like the ABV suggests but very much in a good way. It tastes like a good strong coffee but the after-taste is beautiful...exactly like a chocolate covered coffee bean. There's a bit of bourbon flavor in there as well.

M-medium carbonation with a dry finish. Its a very tingly feeling to the mouth due to the ABV.

D-mmmm this sure is a sipper but the taste stays so well all the way through. I enjoyed every second of this beer. I wouldn't mind having a whole case of these.

AdamBear, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of perrymarcus
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%

[edit: bottle served] at american craft, brookline, MA. (12.18.10)

typical imperial stout motor oil black, yields less than a finger of mocha-toned head with decent retention and lacing.

nose is good, fronted with bold roasted, chocolate notes. maybe a hint of hops loitering in the background.

flavor profile is intense. this is a big, big beer. coffee, chocolate, molasses and roasted malt are all major players. a subdued presence of dark fruits - notably raisin - is perceivable, along with booze. very tasty, perfect for a blustery winter day.

mouthfeel is amazing. full, luscious, and chewy. wow. i will definitely seek this beer out again. obviously it's a sipper, but one to savor.

perrymarcus, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of garymuchow
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%

Evening of the start of classic MN winter snowstorm. Plenty of snow (now starting as icy rain/snow) followed tomorrow (when the snow finally ends) by very cold temps and nasty winds. Seems the right time to roll out a big winter warming beer.
Batch 1 Jan 2006, so almost 5 years old, purchased on vacation in Fla - I believe at a time prior to Avery being available in MN. 15.1% abv.
Poured into SN tulip. Still had a little gas upon opening. From afar still holds a real chocolaty aroma. Closer up, more intense roast with still sharp alcohol with a boozy, bourbon quality. Just a hint of hops. Really liked the initial chocolate.
Poured with a small dark cap that moved rapidly to ring only. Almost completely opaque with just a hint of color in the bottom.
Flavor hold nice complexity. Some vanilla that's sweet and nice. Richness from alcohol, which is warm but not burning. Mild roast. The drink coats the teeth. Nicely carbonated with smallish bubbles that hold minimal intensity, but add just a touch of lightness to cut the richness. Not as thick and smooth as one might think. Closer to medium than heavy. The roast is subdued, as is the bitterness (just enough to cut the sweetness a tad). Some heavy dark fruit up front, but in time a short shot of hops that come and go quickly. Doesn't evolve in the glass as much as I expected.
A real enjoyable sipper. Perfect for a night such as this. Drink slowly, although I keep wanting to going back to this well.
Sure would be nice to have another of this batch to sit on for a few more years.

garymuchow, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of the1DarkLord
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%

Nov 2008 bottled, Consumed Dec 2010.

I poured this beer a little more aggressively than usual... knowing it is 15+% i figured there would be little head as it were. Going into the Bruery Tulip, it formed about a 1 finger head, and which slowly receded to lacing bordering the perimeter of the glass and an island in the middle that looks like australia. Damn near close to black with a dark beige head.

Right off the bat, there is loads of raisins and molasses and dark chocolate. A deeper whiff reveals a bold roast vanilla aroma. There is almost a potpourri type spiciness underlying all of this (which i would assume is the fusels playing off the aromatics already present).

First Sip (I have to admit, I am a little scared. Having had this beer only once before when fresh, I did not enjoy it much... at all). Hmmmm this is not bad. Big bold sharp chocolate espresso up front, which settles into straight-up roast on the mid-palate, and finishes almost charcoaly from the bitter roast. There is obviously a noticable alcohol burn as well.

Mouthfeel is great, sticky, coating, lingering finish, all the things one might look for in an Imperial Stout.

I am not quite certain my gripe on this beer is a worthy one, but it is just so damn strong, I almost dont know how to rate it... for me the drinkability is the one thing that gets knocked down because of the ABV. Having had beers like Black Tuesday, Big Worst Barleywine, Dark Horizon etc.. recently, I feel like this beer can be more balanced and drinkable. Otherwise, I like it alot and give a thumbs up to Avery.

the1DarkLord, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of ZacharyJ
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%

2008 Vintage. Bottled in November of 2008. Batch #4.

A- Black and Brown. Cherry red around the edging. Inch of head, brown like coffee, that fades pretty quickly. Not much as far as lacing.

S- Smells of both Chocolate and Vanilla. Smells boozy, with a little molasses.

T- Sweet chocolate. Reminiscent of a liqueur. Sugary. Espresso notes.

M- Very warming, can taste the booze. Steady alcohol and chocolaty mix, though the booze can over-power the smooth flavors at times.

D- Real nice drink. Very warming. A slow sipper for sure. Only plan on drinking multiple of this stout if your going to be stationary for the evening.

ZacharyJ, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of zhanson88
2.35/5  rDev -43.8%

Appearance: Mephistopheles' stout pours close to pitch black with almost a finger of super dark tan head. It reduces down pretty quickly to very little head.

Smell: Dark roasted malts, coffee and a bit of fig and other dark fruits. A lot of booziness and soy sauce that really overshadows everything else.

Taste: Dark roasted malts and coffee are overshadowed by a ton of booziness and saltiness. Weird aftertaste too, a lot like soy sauce. I wouldn't call this enjoyable at all.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is heavy bodied, with smooth mouthfeel and carbonation. Overall this beer is a mess of booze and soy sauce. I couldn't get through a 12oz bottle.

zhanson88, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of VaTechHopHead
2.8/5  rDev -33%

A - Poured into a pint glass. Deep black with a medium tan head that fades quickly and doesn't leave much lace. Beer is filtered from what I observe.

S - A little faint for me but there is a robust aroma of chocolate, toasted malts, and slight sugars. Very heavy smelling.

T - Not quite a traditional stout to me because there is a very big bitter flavor, but not like IPA bitter. Tastes as if there was a bunch of coffee or candied sugar added to offset the large malty/sweet flavor. Also there's tons of booze in this one that makes it very difficult to drink.

M/D - Big 'ol body with great carbonation. Finishes way too sweet alcoholic and makes it a tough sipper. Nice foamy/dense texture complimented by a pretty evident alcohol presence.

It's a good beer I just think the flavor profile is a little off to me and that the beer has way too much alcohol for my palate. Sorry Avery, not that good in my book

VaTechHopHead, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of DrewZ926
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%

Batch 2, 2006 bottle into ithaca beer tulip

a- jet black and syrupy body with about an inch of khaki head that recedes slowly

s- very rich smell, bold roasty body, lots of maple syrup, burnt molasses, dark chocolate, faint bitterness like dried fruit.

t- so smooth and creamy, subtly sweet, picking up barely any heat, just a little bit warming afterwards. lots of bittersweet chocolate and espresso beans.

m- again, like a milkshake, flavors get even more complex as i let it warm to room temp

d- drinks like a session beer, the age clearly did this guy well. pretty sweet and chewy though, so it's a sipper in my book.

DrewZ926, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of claspada
2.8/5  rDev -33%

Aromas of dark dark roasted malt, dark fruit, a boat ton of alcohol and some molasses.

The taste has way way way too much booze. I should have let this age before sampling. I am struggling to finish even this meager 12 oz serving. Beyond the alcohol heat there is some molasses, raisins, dates, chocolate and roasted malts. The alcohol is not disguised at all, it is out front.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and thick; really syrupy, hot with alcohol, chewy, with decent carbonation. If not for the alcohol burn, this would be a lot better, and would get a much higher score. Thankfully this is only a 12 oz. bottle.

claspada, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of Chico1985
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

Batch 4, bottled in Nov. 2008. ABV listed as 15.92%.

Pours black with a 1-finger or so tan head. Quickly turns to a thick ring not leaving much lacing. Understandable for ABV.

A pretty nice scent I could smell upon taking off the cap. Reminds me of dark fruits (raisins, some cherries) covered in chocolate and caramel. Booze is there but overall it just comes off as a sweet dessert liquor. Really nice.

The same dark fruit flavors surprisingly still strong in the taste, just about an even mixture of them and chocolate/cocoa and roasted malts. Molasses and caramel are huge as well, some licorice too. 2 years has helped hide the alcohol pretty well, it's more noticeable in the finish, but in a blind taste test I would probably guess this is around 10%. The turbinado sugar lends some nice sweetness but it is not over the top.

Carbonation is about middle-ground, higher than what I'd expect in a stout of this caliber anyway. Alcohol is well-hidden but does start to become more noticeable towards the end.

I think this is drinking pretty great after 2 years in the bottle. Alcohol and sweetness are there but kept at a very tolerable level. The big dark fruit tastes are very welcome here and blend nicely. The first 6 ounces went down easy and the next 6 were much slower, more of a nice sipper.

Chico1985, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of Crowls
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: Dark, Opaque, nothing is getting through the body, small head didn't retain well, good lacing though

Smell: Chocolate alcohol with a roasted licorice scent, when the glass was away from me thought i smelled cherries

Taste: Strong alcohol flavor, had more of wine rather than a stout taste to it

Mouthfeel: felt like a wine very thin, not as thick as most stouts

Drinkability: Definitely a sipping style beer, one should be enough

Looks like a stout, smells mostly like one, taste not a normal stout, but overall a nice beer to drink to change it up

Crowls, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of SeasonalBrew
3.43/5  rDev -17.9%

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.

SeasonalBrew, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of steve8robin
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%

Got this bottle at a local beer store. Batch 4 bottled November 2008. 12oz bottle...

A: Super dark black with no light shining through. A small 1 inch mocha head that fades at a decent pace. Good.

S: Wow! Super dark chocolate upfront blended with a hint of earthy bitterness. Some great cinnamon and raisin in the middle with Some creay vanilla and cocao on the backend. So good smelling. Very good.

T: A bitter chocolate quick;y buried by an alcohol burn. Some nutty / creamy tastes in the middle with some bitter creamy vanilla on the backend. The burn is definitely there.

M: Full bodied with a good carbonation feel. A thick creamy finish. Very good.

D: A little harder to get through because of the alcohol burn. Good.

All in all, this is a good brew and I'm glad I was able to try it. The alcohol is present, but not too overwhelming. Definitely great to try once if you love big beers and loads of flavor.

steve8robin, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of biglite351
3.33/5  rDev -20.3%

A - sliver of Ted around the edges, tall creamy tan head leaving no real lacing.

S - malty chocolate... both milk and dark chocolate. A touch of hops in the mix, but not much.

T - much like the scent; malty chocolate... but with a solid alcohol flavor and a bitter tinge.

M - full coating. A tingle on the to.for that increases over time. Alcohol burn in the throat.

D - too strong to have too many, but you will want one or two.

biglite351, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
2.93/5  rDev -29.9%

Chilled bottle into a glass. 08 vintage. Shared at the "12 oz beers only" tasting. From notes.

A: Pours a pitch black with no light penetration. Three fingers of dirty brown head, which recedes into a film on the top. No lacing down the glass.

S: Dark chocolate and roasted malt / char dominates the nose, with light aromas of brown sugar and vanilla. Milder still are hints of dark fruit, such as figs and plums. LOTS of booze still, despite two years of aging.

T: The sweetness of dark chocolate, brown sugar, and molasses hits the mouth first. The mid-taste sees these flavors lighten and round out with figs, plums, and espresso. Unlike a fresh bottle, anise is starting to develop. Much like a fresh bottle, the finish is a painful alcohol burn, which warms the mouth and throat on the way down. It forces this to become a sipper instead of a drinker. Roasted malt in the aftertaste. Actually a fairly decent flavor despite the booziness.

M: Thick and velvety, if slightly too carbonated for the style. ABV is not well-masked, and after having Black Tuesday (a smoother beverage at a higher ABV), I can't be as forgiving.

D: A decent imperial stout. For the ABV I expected deeper, more complex flavor. Right now it's an average-tasting stout that functions more as a booze delivery vehicle. Could be decent if you wait x number of years, or you could just spend less and get a better-drinking beer immediately. But that would make too much sense...

Arbitrator, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of alpineclimber
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%

A 12oz bottle poured rigorously into a chalice. A decent sized tan head on a pitch black brew, at any moment I expect Mephistopheles himself to rise out of the glass.

The nose is very sweet and rich. Caramelized sugar, the sweetness of condensed milk and sweet malt. You can smell the booze in this one.

Phew this is a big brew, a record for me when it comes to flavor and alcohol presence. Sweetness dominates the flavor profile of the beer. Caramelized sugar, bitter coffee, sweet malt and a fruit sweetness that I can only attribute to other styles. There is an astringent after taste. Big and full mouthfeel, almost syrupy in nature.

This is a definite sipper. Next time I might split the remaining bottle with a willing participent, after it ages about ten years.

alpineclimber, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%

12oz bottle pours into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a very dark thick black with a nice small dark brown head. Nose is malty, rich and chocolatey, quite nice.

Taste is really good, it very chocolate and even a bit coffee forward. Super rich and drinkable. Best of the series.

kingcrowing, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of biegaman
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%

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.

biegaman, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of jjanega08
2.6/5  rDev -37.8%

Batch 5

A= Pours a nice deep black color with no light coming through and a suprising finger of head on it that is a nice brown color and holds nice retention and lacing! I would not expect such a large and lasting head on such a large beer.

S= Again a little suprizing with the nose. Not much booze coming through like I expected. Really quite mellow in the nose actually. A nice amount of roast to it and a lot of chocolate. No real "coffee" in the nose like a lot of stouts. It smells very sweet.

T= The taste isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be either. The sweetness from the nose is missing. I thought this would be bad as I didn't enjoy WWS very much. The roast from the nose comes through a lot more and there is quite a bit of bitterness to it. Tons of warming on the back of the tongue as well as falling down the back of the throat. It actually burns my tongue a little however making it harder and harder to destinguish the flavors after the first sip.

M= Much to light and prickly. I expect Imperial Stouts to be much much smoother and more velvety.

D= The beer is much much much better than I expected. It isn't however great. I wish it had a little less booze to it but I guess that's the point of the series. This beer is sort of a beast of its own. I couldn't drink more than one.

jjanega08, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of JoePat
3.03/5  rDev -27.5%

Pours a dark black without the faintest sign of light coming through with a thick tan head.

I get a lot of dark fruits in the aroma. Plum, raison, fig. Some alcohol but not too much or a burning sensation. A little chocolate comes though also.

The flavor is huge but it is so big and out front it is hard to pick out anything. The alcohol makes itself known in the flavor drying my mouth and causing me to salivate at the same time leaving an almost liquor aftertaste.

This is a thick rich highly alcoholic beer the mouthfeel is a little overwhelming and the drinkability is almost nothing. It took me quite a while to finish this beer and it still gave me a buzz.

JoePat, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of dtivp
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Poured a midnight black with a nice dark tan head, good retention and some lacing.
Aroma of dark chocolate, dark fruits and alcohol.
The first thing that hits you is the strong alcohol and then you taste the bitter chocolate, raisins and dark roasted coffee.
Mouthfeel is thick syrupy, heavy body with moderate carbonation and a strong alcohol burn. You feel the 16.9% abv.
This is a nice imperial stout dominated by the strong alcohol, this is a sipper and I wouldn't mind aging a bottle or two and see what a year does to this stout.

dtivp, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of 104bob
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Batch 5, 2009

Pours think and syrupy with a tan head that dissipates quickly.

The nose is sweet with traces of chocolate and raisins.

The mouthfeel is very syrupy with a good amount of carbonation.

On the first sip, the high ABV makes it's presence known upfront, with chocolate, coffee, and fruit coming next. The taste does not linger (no cloying sweetness here), finishing rather cleanly for a beer this big.

Another great brew from the guys at Avery. I may go ahead and buy a few of these to set aside and age.

104bob, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of Slatetank
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%

thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing this '07 bottle -poured chilled into a taster allowed to warm gently.

A deep brown almost black color with crimson hues in the background. A small light cream head crowns the stout and leaves no lace clinging. The smell is woody and slightly oxidized with notes of vanilla and sherry with a subtle raisin tinge and sweet dried fruit element. The feel has smooth consistency with semi-sweet feel and moderate alcohol warming for the abv. The slight bitterness compliments the roasted and sweet textures.

The flavor has a dry flavor up front of concentrated sugar and mild acidic hop with a mild alcohol and bits of toast with a mild coffee element and more wood in the semi-dry finish. A stout that was incredible as it warms with lots of subtle from the time in the cellar, nicely balanced and incredibly smooth for a 16%+ stout!

Slatetank, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%

An absolutely phenomenal beer.
Poured into a tulip glass, it was a midnight black color with a thick tan head. There was plenty of lace.
Very boozy aroma, but in no way intrusive. Sweet, fruity, chocolatey. Roasted malt.
I can't do justice to a description of the taste of this beer. Strong alcohol, espresso, chocolate, cherry, peppery. All these flavors merged in an exemplary fashion.
This was a rich, rewarding beer, one to sip and savor. Excellent.

lordofthewiens, Oct 20, 2010
Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,703 ratings.