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Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,935 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,935
Reviews: 838
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 12.38%
Wants: 279
Gots: 636 | FT: 39
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
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Ratings: 1,935 | Reviews: 838 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wheatman106
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First of all, this beer was a huge pain to get. My beer guy on the south shore was able to get his hands on the only 2 that NY Beverage could bring him which he kindly reserved for me. Enjoyed and reviewed with capra12.

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Completely opaque. Pours jet black, 2 finger head. Great retention but little to medium lacing.

S: Robust aroma, strong alcohol which almost burns the nosehairs off... Strong malty, bitter chocolate and toffee scents.

T: Opens very sweet, like a culmination of brown sugar, dark chocolate and maple syrup. The dreamy sensation ends abruptly as the middle explodes to an intense alcohol rush that spanks you aggressively and leaves you in tears. Fortunately, the medium length finish awards some relief as you nurse yourself back to health enjoying the creamy end and aftertaste.

M: Extremely full bodied and heavy. Don't expect anything less than filling your oral cavity with syrup.

D: Not very drinkable, I had a hard time finishing this guy even with 2 other friends.

Know exactly what you are getting into before trying this beer. It is not for the faint of heart. You will get your ass kicked. Aside from that, it is a wonderful beer, and I am fortunate enough to have another bottle aging in the cellar. Hopefully this devil's kick will weaken and will be a bit more tolerable next time.

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Looks like a solid stout. Big chocolate head with some retention. Amazing for 16% ABV. Leaves decent lacing.

S- Big biscuity malts (surprised me) with some woody character. Nutty too with some almond. Reminds me of the Hazlenut Brown Nectar from Rogue. Smells great and unlike most stouts I've had.

T- Again, nutty (almond and hazelnuts?) and biscuity. Roasty finish with some woody notes. Slightly sweet from the alcohol. Some chocolate malt comes through too. Robust flavor. Alcohol is VERY well hidden.

M- Thick and big. Pillowy, creamy. I love it.

D- Way higher than I thought it would be, especially for a high-ABV stout. Good stuff here, but not convinced it's worth the $9 I paid for it.

Photo of drunkboxer1
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

100th review:

Nov 2007 vintage. Out of a Chimay goblet. Pours a deep brown. I expected it to be black. "Motor oil" isn't a bad description once the head goes away. Gives a half inch leather-brown head which fizzes away in a few minutes. You can tell the sugar content is very high by looking at the way the beer clings to the glass when you roll it around. Smells of a lot of dark fruit, brandy-like alcohol, roasted flavors, coffee, and chocolate. You can taste all those things as well as a biting, piney hop finish with more bitter flavor than I would have thought. The alcohol is extremely warming; like a port wine or something. These massive imperials are kinda like the ports of the beer world I guess. As it gets warmer, you get a liquor-like alcohol sting when you sip it. All around a pretty unique beer. Worth whatever the hell I paid for it (7 dollars I think?).

Photo of Hunter
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Jet black, nearly opaque brew with dense head of foam. About as stout as stout gets, I should think

Smell: Something astringent, chemical, with undertones of smoke, malt, coffee grounds, and anise.

Taste: Holy crap, the alcohol hits like a sledgehammer as soon as you pause to breathe! Once the shock dies off, flavors of coffee, smoke, meat, dark spices. Not for the faint of heart. Aftertaste is bitter and sharp.

Mouthfeel: Not terribly viscous, but definitely feels like motoroil. Scouring effect on the tongue, the aftertaste lingers a bit too long for my taste.

Drinkability: I wonder if they didn't jack up the alcohol as a selling point only. It doesn't seem to contribute to the brew's complexity or appeal, beyond shocking the imbiber. Personally I prefer Stone's Imperial Stout to this, primarily because I find it more enjoyable going down than this. This is interesting, a good beer to pair with strong cheese or pate or beef, but I doubt I'd drink it on its own.

Photo of ComicalAli
3.89/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I like the smell of this beer more than anything else, it reminds me of beef jerky but also something undefinable, vaguely chemical...I can't quite put my finger on it.

A: Inky blak with a tan head

S: Hickory, beef jerky, smoke, something chemical

T: Smoke is the most pronounced flavor, and its strong. Hints of chocolate.

M: Not as thick as some other stouts, about average for the genre.

D: I like this beer, but its strong both in taste and alcohol content. Most people won't want more than one, and they will sip that one for a while. Still, if you like stouts, this is a good strong stout which will not disappoint.

Photo of andythejerk
2.3/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

I don't generally review beers anymore. But this one begs for a review. Bottled Nov. '06. Somebody decided to make the biggest, baddest beer on the block. They may have succeeded with baddest, as in worstest. I love Avery--they do amazing things. And I get where this is coming from and there may be some people who can appreciate this. But I cannot. This is not what beer is about nor what it is supposed to be. Beer should be enjoyable. This is not. This is a "mine is bigger than yours!" cockfight. I don't enjoy a cockfight in my mouth.
It IS beautiful. I'm still amazed by the red in the head and lacing. Soo dark and opaque. I love that. But then it smells like pure soy sauce. Tastes like equal parts soy sauce, molasses, and grain alcohol. That doesn't taste good. The 97% dark chocolate bar taste is interesting, though.
I'm glad I tried it. I didn't finish my glass. I wouldn't buy it again. Even three years couldn't tame it. Maybe it needs twenty. Waste of a lot of grain, if you ask me.

Photo of TheLocust830
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ha! I just found the NOV 2006 Batch 2 at my local store for, get this, $2.99 each. Distributor had to get rid of them, so I'm stocking up to follow its evolution until at least NOV 2016. Yayfun! onto the review.

A-Absolute opaque. Sinister black with short lived light brown bubbles.

S-Frightening. I can smell the chocolate and molasses, figs and wood from a foot away. Powerful. And evil.

T-Bittersweet is an understatement. Every taste I have ever had in a stout. Its like chocolate dipped in molasses with bits of dark fruits sprinkled on it and then glazed with caramelized sugar, but you accidentally dropped it it in ash and soot and said "5 second rule!". But probably a lot stronger than that would probably taste. Very wicked indeed.

M/D-Thick, viscous, and explosive. Small sips is more than enough, and the flavor is not leaving you anytime soon. Can't wait to see how this will be in a few more years when its black soul is even more steeped in hatred.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

November 2006 Batch 2 16.03% ABV

A: Jet black with no light getting , through. Poured with only a slight coating of off white head. Quickly dissipated.

S: This is a huge nose. Big alcohol right up front.Chocolate, rum, figs, burned sugar,toffee, coffee. Basically everything you have ever smelled in a stout at once. Really nice nose.

T: The oak is really strong right up front. Booze is there as well. Chocolate and toffee.Quite a few raisins as well.

M: It is full bodied but not at thick as the smell and flavor would make you think.

D: Been drinking this for an hour now and I am through less than 4 oz. This is a sipper that demands your respect. Much better than this was a year ago. The avery demons demand cellaring.

Photo of elniko
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into tulip glass. Bottle marked brewed in November 2008 Batch 4.

A: Motor oil black with surprisingly large pillowy brown head that stuck around for a while and left nice lacing. Really nice looking brew.

S: Has tones that I would expect. Roasty chocolate notes. The alcohol is apparent as well.

T & M: Mouthfeel is very creamy and enjoyable. Compared to other RIS that I have had this is very well balanced. The hops are apparent but not as overwhelming in some others that I've had.

D: The high ABV is not especially apparent but I still don't think I could do more than one.

Photo of arizcards
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a 12 oz bottle from AJ's back in early April 2007. Bottled in 11-2006 - Batch 002 - 16.03% abv. It has sat in the back of my fridge, and in a dark closet for the last two years. Thought this would be appropriate for review number 666.

Beer poured black as night with a large brown head on the initial pour. Nose is quite fragrant - cherries, raisins, and mocha. Taste initially was raisins with a dry hop finish. There is more of a cocoa powder with hints of cherries, roasted malts, and mocha. Mouthfeel is pretty darn smooth. This is a full bodied and very satisfying to sip on. Drinkability is much better than anticipated, only being very hot on the first sip. I will definitely try this again someday!

Photo of Sanford
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I opened it with trepidation because I haven't been too into stouts since the weather has been warming. In fact, I opened it, and poured just a small amount, and recapped it with a new bottle cap, just to get a taste. And, after my "taste"...I reopened it and poured the rest. I think it is eminently more drinkable than Mikkeller Black (which I also enjoy), which is only about 1.6% higher, abv wise. Thick, black, creamy light brown receding head; rich coffee chocolate bitter sweet...dark fruit(s) in the nose and mouth; smooth-can an incomplete sentence be a run-on? I think that this is a "on rare or special occassions" beer because of its abv and cost. I think I would rather drink 2 Bell's Expeditions, or N. Coast Rasputins, mostly because of the Mephistophele's price tag. But, of all of the 15% and + beers, not just stouts, that I have had the honor of tasting, I think this is one of the best balanced.

Photo of jsapunor
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured inky black into a snifter leaving about two fingers of head that bubbled away quickly.

The smell is malt, cherries, coffee and alcohol, most definitely alcohol. The taste follows the nose but is more complex with coffee, liquorice, cherry, some molasses and most definitely alcohol on the back end. It is thick and syrup like with lots of alcohol burn in the finish.

This is a terrific and unique double imperial stout. It demands to be sipped because of the insanely high ABV but sipping is the only way to go with a brew this special with so much to offer by way of flavors.

Photo of ghebel
3.24/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours dark black with a smallist brown head that leaves only minor lacing on the glass.

S - Dark fruit and roasted malts, but overpowered by alcohol.

T - After you get past the initial alcohol bite (ie your tongue goes numb), the malts can be appreciated - roasted, burnt. Moderate bitterness. A strange mixture of too much sweetness with a dry finish.

M - Burns initially and afterwards. Heavy on the palate and the alcohol can definitiey be noticed. Cloying sweetness. Makes me shiver.

D - Sipping only. Way too strong for any number of beers.

Overall - This is what I consider a novel diversion from normal. A sipping beer to save for a special occasion or to give as a gift, but too strong and sweet to drink regularly. It fits the style, but would be better with a lower ABV and not so sweet. I would not choose this over other Imperial Stouts that I have tried.

Photo of jacobseyb
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A=Pours deep dark brown/black with a dark brown head that starts at one finger and dissipates quickly

S=Roasted malts and alcohol

T=starts with a bitter coffee bite and finishes smoother with chocolates

M=nice early sharp tingle that smoothes away

D=sweet, high ABV both lend to one and done status for me, but keep in the style pretty well

Photo of johnd513
4.62/5  rDev +10%
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 -12.4%
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 -1.2%
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.
A=3.5

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.
S=4.0

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.
T=3.5

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.
M=3.5

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.
D=3.5
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 +1.9%
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 -3.1%
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 -53.6%
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 +6.9%
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 -8.3%
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 +4.8%
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%
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 -8.3%
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.

Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 1,935 ratings.