Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,691 | Reviews: 795 | Display Reviews Only:
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.
11-27-2010 03:33:59 | More by SeasonalBrew
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.
11-25-2010 03:34:35 | More by steve8robin
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.
11-23-2010 23:50:18 | More by biglite351
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...
11-22-2010 03:09:31 | More by Arbitrator
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.
11-21-2010 04:20:21 | More by alpineclimber
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.
11-21-2010 02:10:00 | More by kingcrowing
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.
11-12-2010 05:38:34 | More by biegaman
2.6/5 rDev -37.8%
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.
11-08-2010 04:46:59 | More by jjanega08
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.
11-05-2010 00:52:37 | More by JoePat
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.
10-31-2010 15:24:40 | More by dtivp
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.
10-26-2010 07:49:58 | More by 104bob
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!
10-26-2010 00:12:46 | More by Slatetank
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.
10-20-2010 21:42:03 | More by lordofthewiens
4.25/5 rDev +1.7%
"Mephistopheles is coming to claim me for hell." -Deicide
Opaque sinister looking ebony color. Thin tan head quickly fades away and leaves that empty stout cola kind of feeling.
Sweet cocoa, rum raisin and dark caramel tar aroma. Taste boasts roasted malt carried by alcoholic warmth. Each sip is like sliding into a warm, roasty bathtub. Dark fruit and molasses. Mouthfeel is sufficiently chewy but not quite the sludgefest I was hoping for.
I'm starting to get sick of the ridiculously expensive double stout craze but this one stands above most. I like the small bottle packaging too as 22oz. of this would be way too much. A hearty sipper.
10-13-2010 22:36:22 | More by donkeyrunner
4.45/5 rDev +6.5%
12oz singleton into a Chalice.
Avery, oh avery. You and your demon ales, your strong ale fest, and your stout month. Avery ... my Avery.
A: Pours syrupy and thick. Black. Jet Black. hinting at red when held to light. Generous rich thick head.
S: Chocolate malt and booze, lots of it. Hints at coffee but slight sweetness at the back.
T: Bitter dovetails into booze, back to chocolatey sweetness. Fades into a lingering strong bittersweet finish.
F: Rich and thick, burns satisfyingly going down.
D: Most drinkable 17% stout on the market, period.
10-13-2010 04:39:38 | More by codewarrior
4.6/5 rDev +10%
2009 bottle from Olive Market in Ocean Beach.
A- I did not get much of a head, might have chosen the wrong type of glass. Dark coffee like.
Smell - Exactly burnt raisin bagel. Nice.
Taste - O so much to take in. I get the chocolate bit. Would love to age this a couple of more years so that the alcohol heat would come down a bit more.
10-04-2010 03:34:20 | More by foxbat2500
3.85/5 rDev -7.9%
opened a 2006 edition. nearly 5 years old.
appearance: This pours and maintains a crema like an espresso. black beauty like coffee with great head but low head retention. some nice lacing from what it had though.
smell: smelles borbon aged or smells very hot. deep dark malts, dark fruits, like raisins.
taste: wow, strong but mild. it;s 5 years old so the hops have faded, but it's an extreme dark malt bomb. the largest explosion in my mouth ever. liek drinking a shot of stout though. Hot as hell!
mouthfeel: full bodied beauty, low carbonation
drinkability: well its a slow sipper, but good flavor.
10-01-2010 22:43:33 | More by CampusCrew
4.08/5 rDev -2.4%
I have been waiting for the first cold night this year to crack this beer. Split between me and my roommate and I am glad I did not try to overcome this feat myself.
Poured into a New Holland snifter. Black as night with a thin dark brown head. The head dissipates rather fast and you are left with a very dark liquid.
Oh what a heavenly smell! Dark chocolate, roasted almonds almost with a heavy onset of brewer's licorice. I am definitely reminded of Bell's batch 9000 here. The smell is enough to put a smile on one's face.
Taste is similar to the smell. Probably one of the best tasting beers I have ever had. Heavy chocolate with strong alcohol flavors. This beer will put hair on your chest, not recommended for women who do not want this hair.
Frankly this beer even though it was so delicious burned like hell going down. My first sip made me cough a little. I am not at the point in my life where I have drank a lot of scotch and can handle this burn. I am still young and cannot stomach this burn all that great. The six ounce pour I took lasted about an hour and a half. This is a great beer but it is a sipper. I could never have a full bottle to myself because it is too strong. The alcohol is not hidden. It compliments the taste in a phenomenal way but this is really a hard to get down beer but still in my opinion smoother than something like Bourbon County.
Overall this is a stellar example of a to the point extreme stout. It accomplishes its goal of kicking one's ass without any of the gimmicks of barrel aging or anything. I am not sure if I would have this again but that's only because I do not feel like I could handle it yet.
09-28-2010 07:03:08 | More by beerhan
3.83/5 rDev -8.4%
Dated November 2007.
Poured into my DFH oversized snifter.
A-Pitch black body. Pours a big brownish/red head. Looks exceptional.
S-Soooo sweet. Like candy. Sugar, fruit, chocolate. A bit of raisin in there as well(I personally dislike raisins a lot).
T-Not quite as sugary sweet as the nose gave lead to. Booze, chocolate, dark fruit, and sugar all prominent here.
M-Feels hot on the way down, from the high abv obviously. Body seems average, yet sticky. Carbonation is also average. Lingering aftertaste on the tongue.
D-16% abv. WTF you think the drinkability is?
09-25-2010 22:58:32 | More by xanok
3.75/5 rDev -10.3%
Avery Mephistopheles Stout Bottled on November 2008
Without a doubt the darkest beer I have ever seen! This vivid black beer also has the most appealing head on any beer. It is very frothy and looks like thick chocolate cream. I can smell this beer as I opened it. It really fills the room sweet caramel and Tootsie Rolls. Big! Big! Full of chocolate with some bitterness, walnuts and just a little coffee on the end. There is not a noticeable alcohol taste but just a warming sensation fills my stomach. The coffee and walnuts linger on the end. It is very pleasant! his is a 12oz. beer you wouldn't mind sharing with a friend. It is not very easy to drink but so enjoyable. All rookie beer drinkers beware! All veterans beer drinkers proceed with caution but defiantly try it.
09-24-2010 18:30:59 | More by claybeer
4.75/5 rDev +13.6%
12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled in November, 2007, batch 3. Reviewed from notes taken on September 16th 2010 (about a week ago).
Appearance: Free pour yields a one and a half inch dark tan head that dissipates slowly. Pours a solid black. Leaves a fair amount of lacing but it doesn't last very long--huge legs, however.
Smell: From the bottle: raisin and coffee. In the glass: Deep, deep raisin (well aged English barleywine deep), chocolate cake, and a hint of coffee. The raisin note goes so deep it sort of vacillates between raisin and banana (I never noticed the similarity between the two, actually). Some fudge brownie notes. Faint hint of solvent, as well as sourdough bread and banana bread. All of these aromas work very well together.
Taste: Thankfully, very much like the aroma, with a long, hot but complex finish. The chocolate and raisin keep on giving in the aftertaste, eventually giving way to fig and plum. There's a good amount of heat from the start. Chocolate and roasted malt flavors coat the mouth while the finish goes on and on.
This beer delivers a barrage of huge, clear flavors coexisting with a big alcohol burn. It's equal parts chocolate (chocolate cake, chocolate covered espresso beans, fudge brownies) and dark fruit (raisin, fig, plum), with additional hints of coffee and roasted flavors.
It tastes like a better version of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, and I *love* (not like--*love*) Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.
Mouthfeel: Between medium and full bodied, with more carbonation than expected, but not too much. Hot. Some tannic character, especially in the finish.
Drinkability: The ABV necessitates that you sip, but it delivers so well and so long that this is no problem. This beer is exactly what it should be. I would guess it would be amazing with 10+ years on it.
When I started drinking this beer, I was watching television. I missed the last 10 minutes of the show I was watching because this beer commanded 100% of my attention. The beer is simply excellent.
09-22-2010 03:57:34 | More by Pahn
3.65/5 rDev -12.7%
2006 Vintage Batch 2 16.03% abv
Poured black as the background of BA into a southern tier imperial glass, tan fluffy fine bubbled head rose quickly and fell jest as fast leaving a nice topping of bubble.
The nose is huge you get booze, chocolate, light coffee, dark raisin notes as well.
Taste has burnt, sugar, booze, light coffee and bittersweet chocolate. What a monster! Black coffee bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel has light carbonation, and a prominent but not by any means overwhelming presence.
Not exactly sessionable but it makes you marvel at stouts like black albert with nearly as much alcohol that can hide it as well as they do.
09-21-2010 01:06:40 | More by STEG
3.15/5 rDev -24.6%
09/08/10- Had a 2006 (Batch 2) 12 oz bottle of this courtesy a generous trader.
A: Pitch black with a tan head that died to a film and collar.
S: Rum vanilla, chocolate, caramel (strong), less banana, cocoa powder.
T: Harsh, sticky, cocoa powder, whiskey. caramel, some bananas.
M: Sticky, frothy.
D: Bad, really a sipping beer.
09-19-2010 17:30:53 | More by ne0m00re
4/5 rDev -4.3%
Bottled in December 2009.
Pitch black. Head looks pretty creamy, lacing looks pretty nice on the glass.
Dark fruits, brown sugar and alcohol.
Brown sugar up front, a little sweet, molasses. Dark fruit, dried prune, maybe a little raisin. There some dark chocolate and roasted malts, just a dash of hickory smoke. Black pepper in the middle, a little spicy, very warming from the alcohol. Smooth finish with a little roasty aftertaste. Body is thick and slight syrupy. There's almost no carbonation.
For 16.8% ABV, it's pretty drinkable, but it's a sipper.
09-13-2010 01:11:41 | More by mjurney
4.5/5 rDev +7.7%
From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:
No that's not a typo, Batch #3 bottled in November 2007 is indeed 16-percent ABV, which without a doubt is pushing the envelope.
Three fingers of brown head rise from a steady pour down the side of the glass, and the bubbles have a tough time getting through the viscous liquid to form their head. Black, there is no light when looking at this beer ... just black. Aromas of a charred raisin bagel, alcohol-soaked Bing cherries, light molasses, vague licorice root and vanilla, clean solvent and vinous alcohol, espresso and baker's chocolate all come to mind. Creamy and a little syrupy with a semi-smooth carbonation. Dense flavor profile slowly unfolds with each sip and each degree it warms up. Choco-goodness seems the strongest out of the bunch, molasses, charcoal, molten chocolate cake flavors blanket the taste buds. Hops are mellow and drop a little bit of flavor. Alcohol dials in quite cleanly for its size and the faint solvent flavor is a little spicy, but a vinous character really shows the complexity. Peppery sweet chocolate finish.
Chocolate wine? An extremely enjoyable sipper. Seriously, it tastes like chocolate wine if there is such a thing. Don't just buy one bottle, this is one gem that could be consumed now and cellared.
09-10-2010 13:41:46 | More by BeerAdvocate
Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,691 ratings.