1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

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

1,737 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,737
Reviews: 798
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 12.92%
Wants: 243
Gots: 513 | FT: 25
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Mephistopheles' Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,737 | Reviews: 798 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of andrewm190
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Most people find rock and roll to be a generally agreeable form of music. As the music gets more narrowly defined, so does its fanbase. The music get louder and more extreme, the fanbase follows suite, but the number of followers may drop off. Mephistopheles seems to be the punk rock of brews. It pours a thick head that quickly dissipates into nothing. The peer itself is extremely thick, giving a syrupy dark chocolate taste right to your face. You are left with a sort lingering bite, but overall, the massive ABV is largely hidden, at least to the drinker, though passers-by may notice the effects. One might also notice how sweet the beer is, with maybe a light tone of butter. Perhaps even slightly tart with a touch of spice. The aroma is very much of the roasted malts and coffee, but is somewhat subduded compared to the taste. This beer is black as black gets. Maybe it's just the bottle art, but the brew conjures up images of surpentine dungeons and doom unearthed. In this beer lies the devil. Surely, any chest will find more hair.

andrewm190, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of Elimination
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

November 2007 dated bottle says 16 percent on the label, found in whole foods in Bend

Pours a motor oil thick, glugging out of the bottle black as night. Very strong mocha colored head that dissipates quick after settling

Smell is strong coffee, warm chocolate, chared wood, molasses, black scorn sugar, a bit of a burn, probably coming from the higher abv.

Taste strong bourbon, charcoal, dark chocolate, deep coffee, smokey, has a oak bite to it. A bit of darker fruits, blackberry, a tad bit of darkened pie crust. This would honestly score a 5 if it werent for a over the top alcohol presence, yes it comes with the territory, and cant be avoided, but wow it really kicks you in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is super slick, tangy, tart, keeps with your tongue and coats it, very syrupy.

Drinkability, when it comes to something that is 16 abv, you cant really drink much of it, this is delicious but at the same time hard to swallow.

Elimination, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of MadBeerX
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This again tried after the 5 year mark. Bottled in 2006 - 16%

Honestly to keep this one short. It was remarkable. It was very swift and light footed for such an aggressive beer.

The aroma was there, all the flavors were intact, and it was noticeably complex.

Definitely surprised with the quality and integrity of this brew.

MadBeerX, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a plastic tumbler.

Okay, I know I've had this before, but I can't remember anything about it. Let's see how things go this time... It pours a very dark sienna topped by a finger of dark tan foam. The nose comprises a ton of roasted malts, charred pretzel, and some light smoke. Whoa now. It's almost too much. Almost. The taste walks the same line, though the roast is not quite as dizzominant, some molasses and cedar are added to the mix, and a small boozy kick comes in at the end. The body is pretty hefty, with a very light moderate carbonation and a pretty chewy feel. Overall, this stout would be pretty nice were it not so overblown. I'll leave it at that.

TMoney2591, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of Foxtrot
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 4. Bottled November 2008. Finally have a excuse to pull this out of the cellar, the weather finally got chilly in California.

A special beer like this calls for a special glass. My mid-sized cognac snifter will more than gladly hold and showcase this beer. Pours deep deep obsidian black with not even the faintest change of color around the edges. Head was in good abundance, being tan and lasting for about 8 minutes after the initial pour. A big stout like this needs a longer retention period.

The nose showcases some incredible aroma's that are to die for. Huge molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, vanilla and intense roasted coffee, and by far my favorite, black licorice. The licorice is just about damn near incredible. I get no hints of alcohol in the nose, thanks to the 2 years of aging.

This beer would be a chocolate lover's heaven! Intense notes of chocolate, some light roast and molasses, followed mid palate by dark currants more roast, some mild bitter hoppiness to balance out this incredible sweet brew. Black licorice and alcohol are in the finish. I pick up just the faintest hint of dark fruits, but is hard to really distinguish with the huge sweetness factor.

Mouthfeel is the highlight and heart of this beer. Thick and viscous, like used motor oil in a diesel truck kind of thick. Syrup coats the tongue and mouth with its gooey gracefulness. Hard to find any improvements for the mouthfeel.

Drinkability is limited, that's for sure. Its a great sipper Stout on a cold winter day, but be warned, the alcohol is hidden modestly but still got me pretty buzzed after a 12oz. serving. Good but not grand.

I'm glad I tried this, have had it kicking about for 2 years in my cellar and thought "this is as good a night as any". Cheers!

Foxtrot, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of Fenris244
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a one finger tam head, great retention, the lace keeps clinging to glass and leave a good amount of residue, I always like it when beers do that

The coffee aroma is very strong and is almost the only thing I can smell, toffee, chocolate and licorice are certainly playing second to the onslaught of coffee, that being said I find the coffee to be pleasant ant the other aromas are a great accent. Caramel aroma is also pleasant and was only apperant after the beer warmed for bit.

Chocolate and coffee flavors are very strong, great coffee like bitterness follows, this stout is like a hammer to me, it's not that complex but full of a flavor punch nonetheless, the alcohol is well masked despite being above 16% and the strong flavor I think help to mask the power of this brew

Mouthfeel is almost syrupy but the amount of carbonation in my bottle is a nice contrast to the heavy flavors of the beer, it's certainly a sipping beer but at such a high abv I wouldn't expect much else.

Fenris244, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of notyourdadsbeer
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz batch 8 Avery's Mephistopheles poured into a snifter at Euclid Hall (Denver).

A: Head is a dark brown that recedes quickly with great lacing. The beer itself is deep, dark, black. Zero light passes through - fits the name if you ask me.

S: Rich, burnted, roasted malts. This goes beyond coffee into triple shots of espresso. There is a hints of sweetness - toffee- but it's truly espresso to the next level in terms of a bitter malted beer.

T: Amazing! Instantly your palate is hit with intense rich espresso and coffee flavors with just a touch of sweetness to mellow it out. This is a sipper. The malts are rich and complex and it nearly forces you to sip and enjoyed. The finish is strong and lingers. There is a touch of booziness on the finish but that's expected at 15.9% Outstanding!

M: Full bodied and rich. Coats your mouth and tongue very well. Carbination is on the light side allowing for the rich thick malts to linger.

D: Amazing beer and kudos to Avery. This beer is massive and intense and made for imperial stout fans and bitter beer loves everywhere. Potential to age 5 years or more are there. In fact i'd pick up a case of this and taste one each year for 6 years out just to see where it takes you. Avery is quickly becoming known as the aging brewery since their beers (this one as a prime example) are massive and intense and need time aging to bring all the flavors into fruition. Outstanding beer, pick up a case!

notyourdadsbeer, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of andrewinski1
3.2/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 3, bottled in 2007. Got this from a BIF, thanks to Ben in Illinois! Poured into an Allagash tulip. Nice giant mocha head on top of a black body. Not too thick looking in the pour.

The smell is strong. Only a hint of booze, lots of chocolatey aroma and a hint of vanilla. I've smelled better, but this isn't bad.

Bitter chocolate start and a slightly hot finish. Nice vanilla in the middle. As I keep sipping the sting from the alcohol becomes a little more noticeable.

The mouthfeel would probably be creamy but my tongue is a little numb from the heat.

Not a bad sipper. Don't know if I'd seek it out again, but I might drink it again. I certainly can't complain for what it is.

andrewinski1, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of Bendurgin
3.55/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice courtesy of my brother Andy. Thanks! Pours jet black with about a finger of rocky mocha head. I'm impressed with this given the high abv. It's eventually settles down to a cap of foam with sticky lace. The aroma on this is really rich. It's not all to different from your run of the mill stout but it's like it has be reduced to intensify the aromas. Lots of charred smokey aromas and fresh out of the jar molasses in the nose. The flavor is much like the nose just kind of seems intensified. Smokey molasses flavors; really a lot of sweetness going on here and some dark fruit undertones. The body seems a bit flat and it kind of seems to have an icy hot kind of feel. If nothing else the feel is pretty unique. As far as drinking this goes, I'd say it's about as easy as one of this style goes. I'm impressed out how hidden the booze are, it's just kind of warm going down.

Bendurgin, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of jayhawk73
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This big beer poured into a tulip glass. I can't imagine a darker beer. It's completely devoid of any light, almost like a black hole. Nice chocolate head, which thins out fairly quickly. The smell is surprising in that I don't detect any alcohol. Surprising for a 16% ABV stout. I mainly get chocolate and coffee w/ the smell. I was surprised that the smell of this beer is fairly subdued compared to the taste. The taste is fantastic. Almost like a taste bomb going off in your mouth. Coffee first, then chocolate w/ a hint of liqorice thrown in. Also LOTS of malt. The mouthfeel is amazing! It's like a journey w/ every sip. The taste lingers in your mouth long after you swallow too- fantastic! This is definitely a great stout that will warm your insides on a cold day- Highly recommended.

jayhawk73, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of PhiloPsych
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Paid nearly $10 at Hi Time in Costa Mesa for a 12 ounce bottle.

Very dark brown color pouring into the bottle with a chocolate-colored head that dissipates quickly. Smell is strongly sweet, high in alcohol, with anise and molasses. Mouthfeel is incredible! It is thick, creamy, dry, then slightly sticky. Wow, I love it! The taste is a bit alcohol-hot, but there are so many other rich flavors that it isn't overwhelming. The taste has lots of dark chocolate and brown sugar, but the beer is not overly sweet.

PhiloPsych, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid a pretty penny for an individual 12oz beer ($7.99) poured into a snifter glass. Pours a nice pitch black color with a nice roasted brown head. The head evaporates fairly quickly and turns into a lacing. Aroma is very powerful and complex, i smelled it from just opening the bottle without putting my nose in it. The aroma is very roasted and sweet. I get booze, dried dark fruits like raisins and plum, vanilla, wood, liquorice, espresso coffee, and a slight burnt note. Flavor is also very complex and very roasted. There is alot of espresso coffee in the flavor, a charcoaly burnt note, liquorice, dried dark fruits, wood, slight and faint amount of hops, tobacco, a slight smoky note and booze. The body is full and creamy, with a very sticky oily mouthfeel. The high ABV is extremely well hidden thus making this a very dangerous (and drinkable) beer - couldn't have asked for a better logo to portray that warning. Overall an extremely complex and powerful imperial stout and a definite sipper.

CuriousMonk, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a blackish body w/ slow dying one-finger head that is light brown colored. Roasted malts abound inthe aroma with a dry woodiness like oak and there are touches of molasses, bitter chocolate, toffee and black cherry as well as a touch of dark fruit. Very heavy, thick, creamy but flavors abound with a buttery stickiness - molasses, syrup, bitter chocolate, caramel, toffee and wood w/ hint of vanilla are all over. Not much of a hop or fruit flavor profile as malts are so intense they leave a cloying sweet sensation all over tongue. The high ABV is barely noticeable in the drink, although there is a "whiskeyish" finish that is crisp and strong. A well-designed brew you slowly sip on and savor.

clayrock81, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of DaveHS
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #4 (2008) poured into a white wine glass.

A-Pours coal black with an aggressive dark khaki head that sits for a long time. Eventually it receeds, leaving a small cap of foam and light, soapy lacing.

S-Wow, I can smell it from 3 feet away! Fruity, sweet, boozy. Like a broke-ass Dark Lord. This is gonna be a malt bomb.

T/M-A hell of a lot better than I expected, given the 15.92%ABV. This is pretty smooth. There's a well balanced smoky roastiness that's growing on me with every sip. Thin and sharp, but the ABV doesn't get in the way as much as it could. The body is soft at first, but becomes sharp and a bit hot mid palate, carrying through to the finish.

D-The best of Avery's strong beers. Wouldn't touch this one fresh, though. Give it at least 2 years.

DaveHS, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of breweryaprntc13
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a strong dark black with a thick muddy/ chocolate head which settles to a thin but solid layer with little to no lacing.

Strong caramel/ toffee nose, slight burnt smell, malty/ nutty.

Very rich, strong alcohol, burnt malts, chocolate, coffee, slight bitter notes.

Full, creamy but bitter, medium carbonation.

Strong, delicious but not a drink to have regularly.

breweryaprntc13, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of rrski198
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from brief notes at a beer festival. 2008 vintage.

A: oil black and thick. small off white head. harder to tell as this was about a 3 ounce sample. Thick as hell.

S: Alcohol, burnt coffee, sugar, spicy at the end. The hops are coming through all the burnt malt. This is very complex.

T: Heat from the booze up front followed by a huge rush of burnt sugar and molasses. Amazingly bitter at the back of the mouth. NIce rotten dark fruit flavors of rasains and plums.

M: Thick and super chewy. Alcohol is burning my gums and the bitterenss is making my mouth pucker. my whole mouth is coated in this burnt sugary goodness.

O: This is a huge beer. Everything tastes burnt and bitter. My mouth is absolutely demolished. Love this but in very small amounts. A sipper for sure.

rrski198, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of artdob
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Dark as night. Brief brown tinged head.

S: Dark roasted chocolate cake/malt.

T: Absolute decadence. Hints of molasses, dark caramel - more sugar than normal. If Bosco became a beer, this would be it.

M: Light carbonation and full body.

D: A bit steep at $8.99 a bottle but a great and unusual beer at over 16ABV. This one is a sipper - a warmer - yet no alcoholic burn even with the high ABV.

artdob, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of kiddwhiz
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: Black as oil, initial one finger caramel head settling in to a tan dusting.

s: Malt, sweet caramel, espresso, black liquorish, dark chocolate

t: Malty sweetness on the tip of the tongue which slides in to a smooth bitterness. Finishes with a taste of true dark, bitter chocolate. Great imperial stout!!

m: Creamy, dense, not in a hurry, perfect amount of carbonation.

d: This is very drinkable for being north of 15% ABV! I've always described this beer as a perfect addition (maybe the main attraction) to a good movie. It's a beer that sticks around and evolves as it warms. Well done Avery Brewing!

kiddwhiz, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of SteveO1231
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Brown bottle. Bottled Novermber 2007 Batch 3. A devilish label done in papyrus, booo! Pours thick black, the slightest red highlights and a billowing tan head that settles quickly. Fantastic aroma of fudge, roasted malts, walnuts, coffee, some cherries & raisins, and a hint of vanilla beans. I love thaw aroma, very complex a lot of stuff going on here. Full bodied, thick like honey, super slick. Booze numbs the palate like novicaine. Super sweet up front almost syrupy, a lot of licorice, burnt sugars, caramel, roasted malts, black coffee and bakers chocolate. Lots of roasted bitterness, still a lot of bitterness for a three year old beer. ABV hits the palate with a sting and leaves it dry and bitter like eating baker's chocolate Nd washing it down with black coffee. The flavors are super aggressive and in your face. Tons of malt sweetness, tons of bitterness, tons of booze. I woulnt not expect less from an Avery brew. This is good but a bit too much for me. The aggressive flavors and alcohol content make this one a tough one.

Cheers!

SteveO1231, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of buschbeer
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Bottled November 2007, batch 3. 16.00%ABV
Served in snifter.

A - This beer is very dark. There is no light getting through this one. I got about a half inch of mud colored head.

S - Dark roasted malt.

T - Obviously lots of roasted malt but it seems to leave a burnt aftertaste.

M - Very thick and viscous.

D - I thought it was good enough to try again. The price tag is kind of prohibitive of a budget though.

buschbeer, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of mithrascruor
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a solid, still, black color. Doesn't quite look like motor oil when pouring, but still thick. Nice small but dense dark tan/orange/brown head.

Smell: Good aroma of roasted malts with some toffee and sugar. Surprisingly, no alcohol.

Taste: Not very complex, but good. There's strongly roasted malts and a bit of caramel sweetness - though hardly overpowering... just enough to add some balance. It is pretty much the same at the finish and the aftertaste. Sometimes there's a hint of spices that I can't quite place. Of course there is some alcohol in the taste, but it doesn't stand on its own and is pretty low in the mix.

Mouthfeel: Medium- to heavy-bodied (a bit lighter than I anticipated) with a little bit of carbonation tingle, and quite smooth.

Drinkability: Definitely one to sip, but I am seriously amazed that the alcohol isn't right out in front here - very well done!

As someone who cannot stand Samichlaus and other beers exceeding the 13% mark, I wasn't expecting much here. Instead, I am pleasantly surprised! The alcohol flavor is kept at bay, and it isn't either too sweet or too bitter. Definitely the strongest beer I've ever had (alcohol-wise). While not the most interesting beer, taste-wise, for this style it is definitely enjoyable and I will get again.

mithrascruor, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of 1MiltonWaddams
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought two bottles from the local bottleshop... one to cellar and one I am drinking and reviewing. The brew pours thick and finishes with one finger of nut-brown head. Looks inviting. Smell is sharp, which is indicative of a strong character. Mouthfeel is good, thick and heavy. Robust character and hearty consistency. Taste is sweet at first sip, hints of rasins and fig. The alcohol overwhelms the initial sweetness but never rises to a bite. Smooths out and finishes with a nice warmth. Overall, a strong stout with an aggressive nose and smooth finish.

1MiltonWaddams, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
3.18/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. A nice solid dark brown color on pour, good chocolate/tan colored bubbles giving a decent lacing. Very dark dark chestnut/walnut like in color. Pretty good looking.

Bouquet is surprisingly small, but also not with much heat which is nice. Malty, yeast like and molasses.

On the taste faint anisette, but really a giant alcohol bomb that overpowers everything. Lots of heat... kind of disappointing, missing complexity, more interesting notes, and character.

I'll pass on this, I'd rather have Mikkeller Black, or Dogfish Head World Wide Stout.

smakawhat, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of Barleythenred
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black as night maybe even darker

Smell: strong ethanol smell with a fragrance of sweetness and malts

Taste: sugary, rich with a strong alcoholic flavor (it is 16%)

Mouthfeel: thick and creamy

Drink-ability: decently ingestable

To my mistake I accidentally ingested about a 1 inch of the glass full in one gulp not something i would suggest to the casual drinker i even had to put the glass down and walk away for a minute to return to this delectably desert

Barleythenred, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of ericmunley
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thank you to my friend Mark Carpenter for bringing this naildriver up to Pennsylvania from South Carolina.

Whenever a beer is in the 15% plus ABV category, I always want to try it to see if it can maintain balance and not just be all booze. Avery Mephistopheles is my latest review.

I poured the 12 oz. bottle into a Founder's pint. Mephistopheles pours jet black with very little tan head.

Mephistopheles has an earthy, boozy smell. I expected a bit of a stronger smell for a beer of this weight, but the chocolate, malt, and alcohol definitely make their presence known.

Avery does an above average job balancing such a high ABV beer. While the alcohol content is far from unnoticed, the malt and grain bill go a long ways to round out this beer. A very pleasant-tasting pint with chocolate and malt flavors.

Mephistopheles has a thick, viscous mouthfeel, which is one of the best traits for this beer. I would say this beer is up there regarding mouthfeel with the Ten Fidys of the world.

Concerning drinkability: to drink more than one of these in a sitting is a waste. At 15+%, Mephistopheles is a rare treat that should be enjoyed in singularity. I rate Mephistopheles' drinkability as "good" with this logic in mind.

ericmunley, Jan 10, 2011
Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,737 ratings.