Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,692 | Reviews: 795 | Display Reviews Only:
4.7/5 rDev +12.4%
It's appropriate, and a great coincidence, that Black Sabbath's 'Heaven And Hell' appeared during an iTunes album shuffle just as I was about to pop the top on this monster. My first in-person meeting with Mephistopheles was last year at NYC's Ginger Man. A good friend and I found him to be a bold and boisterous character, yet sophisticated and alluring. It was an amazing meeting, and it capped the end of a legendary day.
My second meeting is with this Nov. 2006 incarnation. Poured into a Lucifer snifter (also a coincidence--it's the only snifter I own). The appearance is truly exceptional: toasty, billowy brown head sitting on top of abyss-black depths; the visible carbonation marches up in formation relatively slowly, scuttling up the sides of the glass like fire-ants hurrying toward something dreadful. It's beeee-yooootiful.
The aroma is alive with dark fruits, melted chocolate, steamed milk, toffee taffy (ever had it?), and chocolate licorice whips. At 16.03%, I expected some nostril-flaring, but so far this guy remains in-check despite an already huge ego.
Flavor is absolutely insane. Incredible. Perfect. No really. You want depth? It's here. A slow sip makes the flavors ride out a long time. First there's gooey chocolate, then bourbon-soaked blueberries, then the best maple syrup you've ever tasted. Next is a sweet candy flare-up followed by an infernally wonderful glow from the alcohol. Finishes with burnt graham cracker and roasted marshmallow.
Served with just the tiniest chill on, the liquid rolls over the tongue with a sensual glide, cherry-sweet, slightly sticky, mouth-coating. Some would say if feels "sinfully" good. Some would call it "heavenly". I would call it "5 out of 5, as good as it gets".
Ok, let's get down to earth and strip away the supernatural bullshit: this beer is amazing. Its drinkability is merely "good", due to the high alcohol and its bold, unsubtle characteristics. Not an every day. How can anyone bitch about the price? It's so worth it. If you love stouts of any kind...if you're not afraid of a big beer and a little buzz...indulge thyself.
01-03-2008 23:28:04 | More by Metalmonk
4.22/5 rDev +1%
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.
01-02-2008 02:38:16 | More by StoutHearted
3.18/5 rDev -23.9%
poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
A- a very dark dark pour i can't see any light though this puppy. about 1/4 head that didn't seem to stick around long. no lacing that i can see.
S- molasses and malt. i can smell the 16% abv on this.
T - hints of licorice and molasses can taste the 16% too.
M- this is for sure a sipper. Pretty thick. I think if i had let this age it would mellow out a bit and i'd enjoy it more. This is a full bodied beer that takes a while to drink and it makes me warm inside haha.
D- I think one is enough for now. Maybe i'll go buy another bottle but at $7.45, and let it age, we'll see.
EDIT: Here is a re-review after aging.
I have reviewed this beer before when it was fresh and that's just a bad idea... so I aged a bottle for a few years and here we go..
12oz bottle dates Nov 2008 Batch #4 poured into a snifter ~45-50 degrees F
A- Very dark with very little head that quickly receded to the edges of the glass.
S- Chocolate and figs with roasted malts and molasses
T- Even after aging this beer there is still a pronounced alcohol taste. the chocolate and coffee flavors come through with a general sweetness
M- This beer isn't as thick as i would like, but it is smooth and maybe a bit more on the carbonation then i would like.
D- Sitting at 15.92% ABV, this beer is a beast that should only be attempted to be tamed after a few years in the cellar. The alcohol burn that i get from this even after aging it for a while is crazy and while i am enjoying this beer, i don't think i would buy it due to the amount of work and storage time that is required to be able to enjoy it.
After aging the scores that i give this beer have not changed very much. i would raise smell to a 3.5 and the mouthfeel to a 3.5
12-31-2007 23:54:28 | More by SirChugsAlot
3.25/5 rDev -22.2%
Wow. This surprised me. I gotta say, I was not impressed by this beer.
The 16% seemed like a nice idea at first. After my firt sip I was turned off.
The alcohol overpowers the true flavor of the beer. I thought it could have been better served if the abv was around the 12% mark.
I'm not sure what to think of this. I would like to try it again but not anytime soon.
12-31-2007 15:25:08 | More by slagle9480
3.48/5 rDev -16.7%
Pours an impenetrable black with a tan head. Even without putting my nose to the glass I am already getting some strong fragrances. Let's dive in. Eek. So strong. Had to pull away before going back again. The most overpowering scent I get is that of wet, mineral rich dirt. Beyond that a super sweet edge. Strong malts. Flavor is massively sweet for a stout. Just way too much sugar here. Molasses. Even molasses type character over the tongue. Licorice. I am getting licorice on the end. I will say that the warmer it gets the better it gets, but still. Feel is thick and syrupy. Drinkability is low. If you buy this, absolutely do not drink it immediately. This monster needs to age for some time. I am thinking one to three years would mellow this puppy out quite a bit. By then it might be calm enough to provide a more enjoyable experience. The analogy of a puppy really comes to mind. Sure it can be fun when it is wee little. But when they are older and more mature is when they are really the best companions. I personally think we might be rushing too quick to drink this one and review it. This and all of Avery's other high ABVers.
12-30-2007 09:05:43 | More by RblWthACoz
3.8/5 rDev -9.1%
Into the tulip
Mephistopheles IS your name, and it is appropriate.
A - Black, thin mocha head, aggressive thin lacing.
S - Smoky molasses and booze.
T - Harsh at first. Thick, hard tastes of very dark chocolate and coffee and molasses. One is almost too much not to share.
M - Full body, good carb and thick coating. Thick, thick, thick.
D- One is more than enough.
12-27-2007 05:32:52 | More by srandycarter
4.2/5 rDev +0.5%
A dark beer. In fact almost no light passes through the glass but you can see a little ruby like colors on the sides if you hold it up to the light and look real hard. It has a reddish head that rises about a half inch up from the pool of black liquid. The scent is nothing spectacular, it has a little of everything in it but its mostly smells like a fine wine. The taste reminds me more of a belgian ale then a stout. The high abv seems to thin out the liquid and calm the stout-y-ness. The flavors blend well but are masked a little by the high abv. Before you get to the warm feeling left over from this beer you get hints of chocolate, fruityness and even some spice. This beer is exceptionally easy to drink. Good thing its expensive at the local bar.
12-25-2007 01:37:46 | More by jbphoto88
4.5/5 rDev +7.7%
I've only recently discovered Avery products in my area, but I'm finding just how creative and talented the brewers are at this Colorado company. This ballsy 16% abv is no exception.
A very aggressive, deep dark brown, chocolatey head in my new Allagash tulip glass. Thick and creamy head and dark, brooding and evil appearance. I'm probably going to go to hell for drinking this, but I forge on anyway.
Anise from brown sugar and molasses but swirl this bitch around and woa! The alcohol licks at your nose like the fallen angel himself flicking you with his pointed tail. This is not a shy brew!
Sweet candi sugar and molasses with a massive maple flavor and whiplash from alcohol which, is subtle and caniving like the fallen one himself, but that bursts forth in the finish. A warm burn follows. What a brew!
Alcohol burn in the finsh but again, sublte at first. Thick and chewy. A true sipper.
This is a massive, sipping stout and really improves as it warms to the touch. Even I had a difficult time getting beyond one. Just can't wait till my next visit from this evil beast.
12-24-2007 10:34:44 | More by jim102864
4.25/5 rDev +1.7%
'06 Vintage poured at 50F into a snifter
Dark midnight color with some red and brown hues. Thick espresso head that produces nice lace. Head setlles to a silky cover and shows some of the best retention I have seen in a beer this big.
Classic Avery hop and malt smell. Aromas of chcolate, coffee, molasses, fruits with a faint alcohol sent.
Lots of sweet fruits up front. There are also flavors of big roasty malts, molasses, and caramel. A warming alcohol in the finish with bitter floral hops and chocolate.
Full body and good carbonation. Very thick, but not syrupy.
Very drinkable for such a huge beer. Most triple stouts take an hour to open up, but this was tasty right out of the bottle. However, this is still best if enjoyed after a substancial decanting. Nice complex character and well balanced.
Edit June 2009: Just enjoyed a four year old bottle that has aged very well.
12-20-2007 04:08:54 | More by rye726
5/5 rDev +19.6%
What a unbelievable beer! Poured motor oil black with a nice dark chocolate head and great lace on the glass. The smell was big with toasted malts, molassis, plums and a touch of hops. The taste was very big with good sweetness in the beginning, a bit of alchohol flavor in the middle and a nice slightly bitter finish leaving you wanting for more. This will taste great if aged and I bet it would taste great as part of an Imperial Stout Float with some nice vanilla bean ice cream! Try it now!
12-19-2007 10:44:45 | More by Dmann
4.15/5 rDev -0.7%
2007 Bottle. HaHa. Cheers to Peter from Avery!
Thick mocha colored head roarin' for a fork. Head did not cascade like I expected but faded slowly to an even spread along the top of the body. Body was deep, dark, and almost un-penetrable by light. There was a real slight red, brown hint at the edges of the glass.
The aroma was just as deep and dark as the looks. Full of coffee, alcohol, chocolate, caramel, and spices. There is a deep fruit smell there too ... cherry or something. Almost a smokey finish on the back of this BIG beer.
So the 2007 Batch No. 3 rolling in at 16.00% ABV packs it's punch. Alcohol is prevalent but so are the roasted malts, cherry and grain. I bet with some cellaring this beer opens up a lot.
Mouthfeel is creamy like it should be. There is a little tingle of the carbonation but overall is wonderfully delightfull to drink.
12-06-2007 03:10:42 | More by MYJELLOMISFIT
4.5/5 rDev +7.7%
Found this little beauty last week. The label says Bottled in Nov 2006 so it's already aged a year.
Pours into a Brandy glass opaque black and viscous, with a caramel-colored head. It sticks to the sides of the glass like hot chocolate foam. There's so much going on in the aroma, most prominently licorice. Also alcohol (16%!), figs, smoke and coffee.
The sharp burn of alcohol makes it a little rough to drink at first, but soon enough the heat relaxes the tongue. I am then treated to nice amalgam of mocha coffee bitterness, licorice, and rich dark fruits dunked in bourbon.
Oh, what a beer this was. I'd follow Mephistopheles to Hell and back.
12-05-2007 04:06:25 | More by edskirk3
3.98/5 rDev -4.8%
Reviewed at the 2007 Strong Ale festival
A- Brown/black hue with orange highlights, nice layer of brown condensed bubbles in the head with tinges of bright orange, moderate lacing
S- Nose is rich dark fruits (plums, figs, raisins), touch of smoke, citrus, and stiff alcohol presence
T- Initial taste is mostly dark fruits, opens up to flavors of charcoal and smoke, alcohol warming and sweet raisins in the finish
M- Full-bodied, creamy texture, lively carbonation
D- Exciting flavors that are well-balanced and shine through despite the hefty alcohol presence, this is a treat to have on draft
12-02-2007 07:52:18 | More by Stoneman78
3.75/5 rDev -10.3%
A- Pitch black color, non-transparent, two finger thick dark brown head that lowered slowly to a thin layer
S- Dark fruits, cocoa, coffee, slight tingle of alcohol in the nostrils
T- Cocoa, smokey, dark fruits, coffee, dark malts, strong alcohol taste at the end
M- Medium/heavy body, medium carbonation, starts smooth but then the warming of the alcohol kicks in
D- Definatly can't drink more than one of these
Well I'm glad I finally tried this beer but don't know if I'd get it again. Good auroma and flavors but then the alcohol content kicks in. I love my stouts but the alcohol burn is a bit too much for my liking. I still can't believe I tried a beer that is 16% ABV.
11-29-2007 22:02:09 | More by iceball585
4.2/5 rDev +0.5%
For the record, I have been looking at this beer on the shelf for about a year before I decided to spend the $8 for this mysterious 12 oz. However, Avery rarely does me wrong, so here we are...
Pours like motor oil, black like Darklord or Bourbon County, but a bigger head....nice and brown that doesnt last long.
Smells like alcohol, chocolate and molasses....ALOT of alcohol, but I knew what I was getting into since they warn you on the label...16% ... wow
taste is complex...again, chocolate, molasses, I almost want to say blueberry sweetness, but after the burn I realize it is the alcohol. Alot of alcohol sweetness....really intense. To be honest, I am currently eating olives to quell the intensity...would that be considered irony?
I guess I would call the mouthfeel "exciting" ... or maybe more "marauding"....I mean after all, we talking about the devil here. This one certainly has the body to accomodate the complexity, but the alcohol is still so apparent...
Considering the alcohol content, this is the epitomy of a sipper....I am actually regretting not enjoying this with a friend....now that I realize the calibur of this beer, I will not scoff at the pricetag.
Overall, a very good beer...I will certainly buy one or two and let them sit in the cellar for AT LEAST a year, probably 2
11-27-2007 06:27:24 | More by mdubzfrumpdubz
4.28/5 rDev +2.4%
12 oz. bottle in a pint glass
A - Have you ever poured a beer and wanted to cry? This beer is a thing of beauty. It's as black as motor oil with a dark brown thick head that doesn't stop.
S - Chocolate scents. Strong smell, almost like liquor.
T - Wow, alcohol, alcohol, alcohol. Burns a little as it goes down. Those are the blatant and obvious standouts. It does have a subtle sweetness with some fruit undertones.
M - Attacks your taste buds as soon as it hits your tongue. Because of the strength of this beer you have to sip it and it still manages to fill your mouth with flavor.
D - I'm so torn. Really, I love this beer. I want to rate it high but it's not a beer to drink like any other beer. This is one of those rare to find beers thats like a fine whiskey; you drink it slowly and enjoy the massive flavors it will throw at you. You can't drink more than one and still function. I will however give it a slightly above average score because I love the beer, I just think it is a very special beer that requires a special occasion to pop this one open.
11-25-2007 06:33:33 | More by jeffmonarch
3.73/5 rDev -10.8%
Sampled through BA johnnnniee and BEERFEST THE MOVIE BIF!! (Yeah you spell it that way.)
Jet black beer with a glass filling brown colored head.
Very aromatic beer from the moment you pop the cap. Sweet and aromatic lots of fig and licorice aroma. Chocolate vanilla coffee and a definite booziness. Coconut and berry aroma but I can't positively say it is black berry.
The flavor starts out sweet and bitter with a strong chocolate and coffee flavor and an alcohol burn. Fairly strong berry flavor the sweetness seems to enhance this. Pretty much stays sweet and bitter. Strong alcohol bite detracts from the beer flavor quite a bit here it is a little annoying and stronger than Kahlua liquor.
The mouthfeel is quite thick.
Tasty and interesting but best experienced in small doses. Like DFH WWS and some of the more extreme beers this is a little too intense for much more than about half a glass.
11-15-2007 06:40:23 | More by Zorro
3.83/5 rDev -8.4%
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.
11-12-2007 03:16:32 | More by DrinkinBuddy
4.72/5 rDev +12.9%
P: 12 oz. Brown longneck bottle, 16.03 % alc/vol
A: Black oil pours with an intense 1finger head that lowered and after a very long time lowers to a scant cover.
S: Raisins, anise dark and dark roasted espresso.
T: Effervescence is gone but a warm spread of creamy and fruity dark roasted grain, raisins and a hint of licorice with the alcohol heat to keep the flavors going long after its gone.
M: I applaud the alchemists that brewed this potent, intense myriad of flavors. Closest to a Utopia, in a good way, that I have yet tasted.
D: Woa Nelly! Need to sit down, relax and take your time to enjoy this savory brew! Definitely will buy more to share and experience with other stout lovers as this is not for the timid or feint of heart.
but it comes
11-10-2007 19:27:24 | More by NitroGen
4.08/5 rDev -2.4%
I tried this the day after trying Avery's potent Grand Cru of the same line, and was much more impressed by this offering. This beer concealed its potent (16%) alcohol content far better than the Grand Cru, was far more drinkable, and offered a much more pleasant drinking experience.
The beer poured only slightly viscous into my goblet, with a small amount of tan head despite a pretty hard pour. I got a lot of toffee in the aroma, with a surprisingly mild amount dark "burned pizza crust" character and only a hint of roasting coffee. Flavor was also surprisingly mild, smooth and balanced. Flavor was very complex, with notes of raisin, toffee, and coffee all intermingling in a very harmonius way. I don't think it's easy to make a beer this high in alcohol this drinkable, and I would say this beer is a brewing achievement, although it makes me think far less of its sister product, the Grand Cru.
10-30-2007 22:22:03 | More by BeerBelcher
4/5 rDev -4.3%
Great beer. Very smooth and slightly syrupy and sugary. Notes of chocolate and molasses and oatmeal in aroma. Strong alcohol taste throughout. Pour was black in color with a tan head. Coffee and nuts with some dark fruit flavor as well. This is quite a complex and rewarding beer.
10-19-2007 21:21:31 | More by KAF
3.9/5 rDev -6.7%
Appearance: Completely opaque black, with a foamy cocoa-colored head, way more than I expected from this strong of a beer.
Smell: Extremely sweet, brown sugar and booze-soaked raisins.
Taste: Explosions all around. Starts with a super-sweet burst then a extremely bitter dark chocolate taste and alcohol burn.
Mouthfeel: Lasting bitterness and alcohol burn.
Drinkability: Very strong, I prefer to have a few beers a night, this one will knock you down if you don't respect it at 16%.
I saw this beer was a few bucks off its normal $9 per bottle so I picked it up to try. High-octane stuff, a little stronger than necessary, but full of interesting flavors.
10-06-2007 18:01:55 | More by Mdog
3.88/5 rDev -7.2%
Pours from 12oz bottle(bottled Nov 2006 Batch 2) a near pitch black with a tiny head of foam that shrinks to a few islands in the middle with just a bit of lacing. A few minutes in and the foam is gone but that's not all that unusual for the style.
The smell hit me as soon as I popped the cap....roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and the alcohol is very evident in the nose.
The taste has oodles of caramel malt, roasted malt, molasses, chocolate, cocoa, and it's got a big alcohol presence that warms even when it's in my mouth, nevermond the swallow. Hey, this puppy is +16%abv so it comes as no surprise. This bottle is going to take me a *long* time to finish as I dare not take more than the tiniest sips at a time. Man, I do like the lingering aftertaste; it just won't quit long after taking the last sip.
The mouthfeel is fairly thick and creamy and the carbonation is lightly done. Whew. This is one *huge* Imperial Stout!!! I think I'll let my other bottle age for a few more months and see what happens.
Bottom line: Big huge taste, big huge alcohol, little tiny sips. Drinkability for me is going to be on the lower end of the spectrum because it's so strong but the flavours are a delight. A brew made for a snifter and a schedule day of nothing to do. Give it a shot and enjoy it for what it offers.
10-06-2007 17:26:56 | More by Bitterbill
3.68/5 rDev -12%
Bottle, Batch 2. Pours an oily black color with tan head. Aroma is roasted malt, fruit, and caramel. Taste is also an explosive blend of dark fruit, caramel, chocolate, and coffee. This is definitely a beer to savor with 16% abv. Finish is long and goes from sweet to bitter. Very complex beer.
10-04-2007 17:25:21 | More by biggmike
4/5 rDev -4.3%
Pours out looking like a 10,000 mile oil drainage with a thin light brown head. God, this one's going to kick my ass sooo hard. I just kinda picked it up, not really paying much attention to the details on the label. 16%!? I definately served it too cold too. Even cold the aroma is boozy and roasty. I'll come back to it in a little while. Hoalee phuk, this beer scares me. I just took a sip and it's like stout whiskey. Aroma curls one's nose hairs, assaulting it with dark fruits, carob, dark roasted and scorched malts, hops, and one tremendous alcohol kick. Without a doubt, one could say that the alcohol plays a major factor in the taste profile, too. A lot of sweetness, somewhat sugary, with black patent, chocolate and dark roasted crystal malts providing some counterbalance. Hops are certainly there, but only provide bitterness, hard to detect any specifics. I feel like I should be lighting up a cigar with this beer. Mouthfeel's thick and viscous, carbonation is ample and soft. It's good, but I think I'm only drinking half the bottle and making a reduction sauce with the other half for my lamb chops tomorrow. Good stuff, but I wasn't prepared, I thought I was going to go to bed within the next hour, but I'll be spending at last amount of time slowly sippin' on this monster.
10-02-2007 02:16:23 | More by crookedhalo
Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,692 ratings.