1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,896 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,896
Reviews: 831
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 12.41%
Wants: 262
Gots: 608 | FT: 34
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Mephistopheles' Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,896 | Reviews: 831 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of johnd513
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours dark, thick and black like motor oil with a nice little tan head that quickly disappears. Smells of dark fruits, chocolate and roasted malts. Tastes follows the smell with huge roasted coffee notes followed by vanilla and bittersweet chocolate, everything I would expect from a great huge stout. The mouthfeel has a nice full body and is thick and creamy. This beer is dangerously drinkable but obviously limited by the high abv. I split this one with my father but almost wished I had the whole bottle to myself.

Photo of sonicdescent
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Been sitting on this one for a long time, received in a trade from angelmonster. Thanks and cheers!

Looks pretty fantastic, I am a sucker for stouts with good head, and this one has a nice thick mocha beast with excellent lacing over a black liquid.

Smells strongly of chocolate and roasted malt. A bit of toffee and cream, and a tiny tiny hop background. Good.

Taste is very similar, this is a heavy beast. There is some smokey flavor over top of chocolate and cream with a slight bitterness in the end. Roasted malt is present, but plays a background to the chocolate.

Mouth is where I have some issues..this is a thick, heavy beast, which is good..but its just too highly carbonated. It creates a harsh feeling going down that masks some of the rather robust and good taste.

Overall, its a good stout, but one I wouldn't likely seek out again. Maybe letting this flatten out would do some help, but why get more to let it flatten when there are more solid stouts right out of the bottle?

Photo of coldmeat23
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

VINTAGE 2008 15.92%ABV:
Pours an almost black color. Very dark. Creamy, one-finger head of milk chocolate colored foam. Head dissipates to a thin film somewhat quickly. Lacing is spotty, but oily and slick, so it doesn't stay long.

Dark fruits rolled in coffee grounds. The coffee scent is quite prominent, in this one. A light dusting of cocoa powder. Good roasted malts and a hint of vanilla. Slight booziness.

Big roasted coffee notes dominate the taste, also. Bittersweet chocolates, slightly balanced with hints of vanilla. Dark fruits dusted in candi sugars. Booziness and alcohol warmth.

Good full body, as expected. Carbonation seems a little bit off, though. Not quite creamy enough and nowhere near smooth enough. Has an undesired sharpness to it.

This one needs a year or two of age on it, I think. It's still a bit young. A little too sharp and a little too hot.
GRADE=3.6 (B)

VINTAGE 2007 16.00%ABV:
Total black appearance. Almost three-fingers of espresso-foam form the head. Retention is great. Lacing is in a solid ring and fairly sticky.

Molasses. Over-ripened dark fruits. Candi sugars and toffee. Licorice. Charred oak. Mild hints of coffee and dark chocolate.

Huge dark fruits. Roasted caramel. Undertones of coffee/espresso. Milk chocolate and a tiny touch of dark chocolate. Mild booziness in the taste and a mild alcohol warmth, in the throat and belly.

Still full-bodied. Carbonation is better in this one than in the 2008. Very smooth and almost creamy. Almost silky.

This 2007 is drinking very well, right now. I imagine it still has a way to go though, before it peaks. I still have a couple bottles downstairs that I will check in with, in another 6 months to a year.

Photo of BierFan
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip. The label says that the beer was bottled in November 2008 and is from batch 4. It also lists an original gravity of 1.133 and an ABV of 15.92%.

A strong pour produces a sturdy one finger head of light brown foam. The body is, of course, black as night. A little bit of alcohol is detectable in the aroma. Smells very sweet and dessert-like, not much roasty character that you usually get with American made imperial stouts. The flavor is a smooth combination of coffee, caramel, and alcohol. Don't let the high abv scare you off, this is a great beer. It's definitely a very rich sipping beer though, I couldn't drink this fast if I tried.

Photo of jgasparine
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this bottle quite a few times- most recently at the Avery tasting room in Boulder, CO.

A: Straight black, almost no cohesive head.

S: Black molasses, dark dried fruit, and booze.

T: Incredibly complex- candy sugar, dried figs and raisins, vanilla, some hop bitterness, with some chocolate, coffee and booze on the tail-end.

M: Surprisingly thin when compared to other imperial stouts on the market. Nonetheless, it coats the pallet and lingers after swallowing.

D: This beer is so strong, I can appreciate sharing a bottle with a friend, and maybe consuming a whole bottle by myself on a winter night. It can never be a session beer, and I probably won't have more than one/week, given the opportunity.

Photo of Ungespundet
1.95/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to Hotterthanhell for the Flasche!

Where to start where to start...

This beers is somebody's brainchild and I wont knock anyone for trying something but this has nothing to do with being creative its all about one upping someone or a pissing contest. I have no idea which but the beer suffers.

Color as black as night with a thin head creamy head that doesn't stick around too long. I would have expected less head when considering the amount of alcohol. The aroma was upfront nothing other the warming effect of the alcohols begging to be released from the brew. Dark roasted grain with hints of toffee and coffee aromas. Background is fruity and estery. After sipping this beer for a couple of minutes (this can not be drunk as one would any other beer and shouldn't be I assume) I realized a very nice beer had been buried in an uncomplimentary amount of alcohol. What a shame! What I could make out was pleasant but robbed by a biting alcohol. In the end I could only see it as a Molasses liqueur. Thin it out and make it drinkable and it would be very nice. As is, it's not drinkable and has no beer qualities at all. Sam Adams tried this same shit too and was as bad.... Come on back earth people!!!

Zum Wohl!

Photo of becktone
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes 2-22-09

Done horizontally with Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, Southern Tier Choklat, Redhook Double Black, Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast, Avery Mephistopheles, and New Holland Night Tripper.

Eye: This beer is on par with the Redhook, they both have creamy almost nitro looking heads, however they are both just thick stripes that create a blanket over the beer. Black in color, no light gets through, no highlights.

Nose: So far this one smells the best, more complex, stronger and overall more pleasing than Beer Geek Breakfast. This one has some vinuous character to is as well as a load of dark fruit. Also a pretzel like breadiness. I don't want to say this but there is something in this one that reminds me of the smell of Combos...this isn't a bad thing this aroma is very interesting in this beer and it smells great. Also some roasted aromas in the background. Alcohol comes through and I believe that it is creating a great deal of complexity.

Tongue: Alcohol is evident and helps to balance out an intensly huge malt backbone. Roasted and dry flavors come through in the aftertaste. Dark fruit in here too. Big chocolate and some coffee flavors. Roasted grain bitterness. This is one real good stout.

edit: of the six beers here the most difficult to drink were the World Wide Stout, Avery Mephistopheles, and New Holland Night Tripper. After coming back to the beers once done with the tasting, these three had alcohol in the foreground, the most prevalant....making them sippers.

Feel and Drinkability: Thick, heavy, and velvet like. This is perfect. Carbonation is perfect. They just don't get any better. Warming as it goes down.

Photo of froghop
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours jet black with a thin beige head, and some lacing.

smell of cocoa, coffee, roasted nuts, and a touch of sour malt.

taste is dry, thick, dark and milk chocolate, licorice, sour malt, and roasted walnuts, ends on the dry side with and alcohol bite.

Photo of thisnamestoolong
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance -- The beer pours jet black with a soapy brown head that dissipates quickly, as would be expected with the high ABV.

Smell -- Smell is wonderful, sweet malts, with a bit of cherry and a hint of chocolate. The ABV is present but much less so than I was expecting at 16%.

Taste -- Sweet, sweet, sweet. The flavor is very similar to the smell, but even sweeter. The cherry flavor is a bit more present in the taste, as is the subdued chocolate. The alcohol becomes much more present on the swallow, but is far from overpowering. In a word -- delicious.

Mouthfeel -- Much thinner than I was expecting, but very nice. The beer has a very slick texture which is balanced nicely by the light but present carbonation.

Drinkability -- Very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV, but I definitely would not want more than one of these bad boys, but I don't think this was intended as a session beer to begin with.

Photo of Nowhereman529
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of jkendrick
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black as one would expect and virtually no head, also as one would expect from a stout this high in alcohol.

S: Roasty chocolate and coffee with that dark fruit and licorice character as well. I can already smell that I'm in for a hot beer.

MF: Full bodied becoming fuller as it warms. The carbonation is just about right but it is VERY hot with the alcohol.

T: I've reviewed a lot of imperial stouts and all the usual suspects for stout flavors are here: espresso, dark fruit, licorice, molasses. They are all in relative balance and make the beer complex. The alcohol is VERY present and makes this one a bit much to take. There is bitterness for sure, but it is mostly roasted espresso and alcohol.

Overall: I liked it, but the abv makes this one tough to finish even sipping. I've had other imperial stouts in this abv range that don't come across as hot. I cellared it for a while, but perhaps it needs years to mellow to a reasonable level.

Photo of ThaBobfather
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Strong aroma of coffee and chocolate.
This stout is pure blackness and even thick then disappates to thin dark brown head.
Strong chocolate taste right up front. There is some roasted malt here.
The finish is a little too much alcohol burn. Great.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mephistopheles' Stout pours a midnight black into the glass with a big, creamy brown head on top. The foam dissolves slowly down to a think blanket on the surface of the beer. Lots of netted lace is left behind as the foam disappears.

The aroma is very malty with notes of chocolate, toffee, roasted malt and an earthy nuttiness. Each sip of this full bodied beer is very smooth with a mild carbonated tingle on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is very malty, but well balanced with some bittering hops that come through at the end. It begins with notes of chocolate, toffee, roasted malt, dark fruits (plum and rasin) and pistachio nuts. Towards the middle some hoppy bitterness moves in to try and balance out this beer. At the end a taste of alcohol finishes off the sip. Once gone the roasted malt flavor and some bitterness lingers on the palate.

This beer is quite drinkable for 16% abv. Also, the flavors really come alive as the beer warms in the glass. It hides it's ABV very well, which sneaks up on you when you least expect it.

Photo of flexabull
3.77/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 3 from November 2007. I found this for $4.50 at a store in Mt. Shasta, figured that was a very fair price to pay.

Pours thick and sluggish, very black, with a thick tan head that quickly faded.

Aromas are sweet, bitter dark cocoa, slight hoppy bitterness and pine. I like the smells on this one.

Taste is really bitter, with strong booze and alcohol. Some dark bitter bakers chocolate , light sweetness, plus some creamy and almost cola like malts. Finish has a crispness, more bitterness, and alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is good, a bit prickly and hot though.

Drinkability is pretty good. But this beer is a bit much. Too much alcohol, it overwhelms everything else. I'm not sure if a lot more time is going to help it out, since it's a year an a half old. But this is huge, and maybe some more time would help it out, but the more I drink it, the more I think it doesn't have enough "behind it" to have it improve much.

Photo of BringusKilkenney
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass with the deepest marians trench black you could imagine. Had a coke like head about 2 fingers that disappeared quickly and left some lacing.

Smell is good you can definately pick up burnt toast and malts. The largest part of the smell is the alcohol a little disappointed in that but with 16% it is to be expected.

Burnt malts caramel and chocolate bitterness prevail in this evil brew. It reminds me of maybe licking mephistopheles boob if it were a girl just evil and hot at the same time.

the mouthfeel is heavy like drinking a dumbbell with carbonation.
Couldnt handle to many which is why the drinkability is low just to much alcohol to consume many of these or just one very quickly at that.

this is definitely a great brew and on the top of my list for imperials will get this one again and again.

Photo of CHSLBrew
2.74/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a stemless wine glass.

A-Black beer, opaque and very dark. Pours slightly viscous. Brown head, thick and frothy, big and beautiful, sustains surprisingly well, finally reducing to lingering sparse bubbles.

S-Berries and fruits, other esters. Slightly boozy with a bit of chocolate.

T-Some roasted malt, which is subdued and floats aove it all. Deep fruits, as in the aroma. However, it's all kind of squashed and overwhelmed by the alcohol and hop bitterness. Alcohol flavor and feel comes through strong in the finish.

M-Very full body, viscous and chewey. Carbonation is low, appropriately so. Alcohol is warming, which is not surprising.

D-Not really very drinkable. It tasted like an imperial stout with a shot of vodka mixed into it. Overall, the flavors were not as intricate as I would have liked. I've got an inkling, though, that a bit more time in the bottle may be able to smooth out the overwhelming alcohol and overall improve the flavor.

Bottled November 2008, Batch 4

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #3 November 2007

A: Deep black color with a thin mocha head that quickly fades to a ring in my snifter.

S: Fills the nose with a big bitter chocolate with dark roasty malts.

T: Dark chocolate and roasty malts. Also still has a surprising presence of hops.

M: Full Bodied, good amount of carbonation, and a pleasant little hop bite.

D: This is a very good beer and I can easily get through this bottle, but not sure if I could get through a 2nd.

Photo of Westsidebuddha
3.32/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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

Photo of taylorhamrick
2.98/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours out a pitch black color, shiny, with an enormous brown head, made up of loose bubbles that slowly pop as the head subsides, leaving a little bit of lacing here and there. The smell seems nice, sweet and syrupy. There's a strong roasted note, some fruity esters - plums, etc., and quite a bit of the dark cane sugar smell. There's also a burnt kind of note, perhaps from the huge alcohol, perhaps from the roasted malts. The beer itself tastes upfront of some sweetness, just a bit of a roasted flavor, then the turmoil comes. The elements seem to be there, but just not in the right balance. I'm hit with a huge fruity alcohol burn, just barely helped out with a bit of a chocolate flavor. It finishes just a bit oily, with a kind of burn roasted taste. The alcohol seems like just a little too much, and all of the effort that went into getting the alcohol seems a little too intense. I wonder what a bit more of a subdued version of this would be like. Probably pretty good, but this isn't about counterfactuals. The mouthfeel is of course dominated by the burning, there's a kind of full taste, but this makes me cringe from time to time. Of course, this one is a monster to finish on your own, even one bottle. It's like a battle filled with flinching, fleeting moments of joy, and a massive effort to swallow it. I probably wouldn't purchase it again unless I was convinced that the recipe was eased up, or if it were quite a few years old. But I'd recommend it to any interested in huge beers.

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.67/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle into snifter, Batch 2 (Nov 2006).

Pours black hole black with a thin, shimmering dark tan head that oh-so-slowly thins out to a rim around the edges.

Nose is huge rum-soaked raisins, a vinous boozey-ness, melted bittersweet chocolate - Avery's description hits it on the head exactly.

Taste is smooth and rich - boozey and hot, with a big wallop of dark fruits, caramelized brown sugar, chocolate, and a bit of vanilla, finishing with an oakey, slightly smokey, melted bittersweet chocolate, a lingering espresso bitterness, with just the slightest hint of sour hops, and more alcohol.

Mouthfeel is full, thick, higher than expected carbonation - but not a bad thing.

To be honest, the alcohol is the only real drawback to this brew - so hot that you start to flinch about halfway through the bottle. Delicious and well crafted, but take the alcohol down 3 notches and you have one of the best impy stouts I've tried. As it is, delicious, but with drinkability to be laughed at.

Photo of everetends
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle thanks to a very generous hopsleeroy. This sucker is a Nov 2006 Batch #2. Served up in my trusty Terrapin snifter. I am a bit afraid of this one being up there in the ABV but I have always been intrigued by this brew.

A: Pours a very nice and viscous black. This poured incredibly thick looking. Slick and oily on the glass. This beer is bound and determined to allow zero light through the body in any area. Pours a really dark quarter finger of brown head. That head has some decent stick to it, leaving some lace on the glass. The lace does have to fight with that oily film this brew produces on the glass. Its what I expect from an Impy Stout for sure.

S: Well this does have a certain alcohol presence that only a beer over 16% could produce. I mean a really thick and rich wood soaked alcohol booziness is the first thing I encounter when I drop my nose in that snifter. Lost in all that booze is a touch of that soy sauce that overwhelmed a SATB, but its not out of hand and is an after thought. Then you get a touch of charcoal and roasty malt sweetness. There is also some nice cocoa powder and dark chocolate presence. Pretty nice and absolutely inviting.

T: The alcohol has been tamed well over the years and I am very pleased in that respect. The booziness is not as in your face as it is in the nose. The booze is thick and full of some oaky goodness. Has an almost bourbon flavor to it. The soy sauce does not translate into the taste at all. . . well, very little. Dark chocolate and deep, strong and bitter coffee is all over the place here. Lots of bitter coffee. There is also some booze soaked raisin and prunes in the finish. Not bad at all, but the flavors a bit out there and in your face.

M: This is a full bodied son of a bitch. Really thick and oily for sure. This beer is relentless on its coating ability. Really saturates the palate. It does have a decent amount of carbonation still in here aftr 3 years of age. The ABV is hot on the palate, throat and tummy. It is a bit overwhelming at time, but thats what one should expect from this beer. Aftertaste is all strong coffee and dark fruits.

D: Well this is a HUGE friggin beer, so its not one that you will be pounding a sixer of. Its a heavy ass Impy Stout that packs a hell of a punch. All the flavors and aromas are big and in your face. This beer doesn't play and lives up to its namesake. I dig it, but doubt I will be putting this in regular rotation. I assume this beer needs to age to calm it down and tame it for easier drinking. I will have to get a newer bottle for a comparison. It absolutely needs to be consumed at room temperature so more flavors come out. Not bad at all.

Photo of JoeBloe
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from the 12oz bottle into a dfh snifter - black as the depths of hades - complex stout aromas, molasses,wood, soy sauce, among the al-co-hol vapor - taste is dominated by the flavor of soy sauce - alcohol taste is well hidden, but by soy sauce - heavy on the back of the tongue - glad i tried it, but one is enough here - kissed the wife and she asked if i was drinking soy sauce - there ya go....

Photo of Ranbot
3.56/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Extremely dark and thick - it coats the surface of the glass almost like an oil. Dark, but thin head, as expected for the ABV. First sip was amazing! Roasted/burnt coffee and chocolate malts and oaky sweet dark fruits - cherries, plum, apple - with surprisingly [dangerously] mild alcohol flavor for the 16% ABV. Hops were very mild, almost imperceptible against the heavily roasted malts. Very little carbonation. If I rated this beer based on just the first few sips this would be an A+ beer...however, a little over half-way through my glass the roasted/burnt malts were really building up and taking over my palette with an acidic/burnt coffee flavor that lingered way past it's welcome. It's still a great beer, but I had to detract points for this. Definately one to try at least once.

In retrospect, I really wish I had some food on hand while drinking this. I think a periodic cleansing/reset of my palette with some basic mild-flavored fare would have allowed me to enjoy every drop of the Mephistopheles.

Photo of BarrelO
3.79/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a goblet. Batch 4, bottled in November of 2008.

A: Black. Pitch black. #000 black. Surprisingly substantial brown head that eventually withers away and becomes a thin film.

S: Dominated by alcohol and soy sauce.

T: Big-time solventy blast of alcohol right out the gate. It eventually recedes in favor of molasses, licorice, and rum-infused dark fruits. Nice roasty aftertaste. Major warming effect from the alcohol.

M: Between the thickness and the alcohol burn, I feel like my digestive tract has been coated with tar. In a good way.

D: A pleasant surprise. Comparable in bigness to WWS, yet much easier to put down. If I have this in the future, though, I'll definitely split the bottle.

Photo of EPseja
2.85/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Served from a 12oz red foil-wrapped bottle into a big brandy snifter at cellar temperature. Bottled in Nov 2007, Batch 3.

A - Pours an extremely dark mahogany with deep crimson highlights, pushing up a one-inch thick, cappuccino colored head that rapidly settles to a wispy mat. Massively sticky legs and only patchy lacing.

S - Bittersweet chocolate shavings and dusty cocoa powder sprinkled over fresh, warm coffee grounds. Dark molasses and brown sugar sweetness along with some pruny soy notes and sharp, vaporous alcohol. "Dryer" smelling than many other stouts of the same ilk.

T - As found in the nose, there is a bittersweet chocolate start that's laced with molasses, dark fruits and Icelandic salted licorice. However, before any real subtleties can be picked out, a fast-moving massively aggressive alcohol front rips through the mouth, leaving an isopropyl burn that works with whatever hops are present to create a very dry and gripping finish. Some syrupy cloying is also noted after a few sips. I just *know* that there is much more going on in this beer, but nothing much else is discernible now that the taste buds have just suffered a caustic alcohol rape. How sad.

M - Velvety and thick coming into the mouth, rising quickly to a lathery foam. Swallow is like a small alcohol-spiked meal. Very substantial, and perhaps the best attribute of this beer.

D - Mephistopheles' Stout is about as balanced as a two-legged tripod. Even when approached from the after-dinner drink point of view (as one might view a few drams of scotch), the alcohol just leaves your tongue feeling like Rihanna's face after a romantic date with Chris Brown. Exasperatingly difficult to finish, and at $8.00 a bottle, I will not be purchasing this beer again, nor will I be recommending it to anyone. Go find yourself a Goose Island Bourbon County Stout instead.

ADDENDUM: Now that I've put this beer aside for another half an hour, I can firmly state -- DRINK THIS ONE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE! Although I still feel that this beer is out of balance, the alcohol has become more suppressed, and the smoky, chocolate notes did get stronger. Scores have been notched as follows to reflect what changes with the temperature: Taste from a 2.0 to a 2.5. Drinkability from a 1.0 to a 2.0.

Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,896 ratings.