Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

836 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 836
Hads: 2,051
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.29%
Wants: 298
Gots: 712 | FT: 45
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  16.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2006

Mephistopheles is the crafty shape shifter, the second fallen angel. Amazingly complex, coal black, velvety and liqueurish, this demon has a bouquet of vine-ripened grapes, anise and chocolate covered cherries with flavors of rum-soaked caramelized dark fruits and a double espresso finish. Cellarable for 10+ years.

Mephistopheles is the final installment of “The Demons of Ale” series.

Food pairing: We like Mephistopheles’ Stout with chocolate (60% cocoa or more), chocolate lava cake, flourless chocolate cake, tiramisu or traditional fruit cake made with rum-soaked fruits.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 836 | Hads: 2,051
Photo of RobinLee
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep black, off-white head that fizzles away fairly quickly. Smell's not the best, doesn't convey the message that this is a bit more than the average American stout. Taste is supreme fudge, with roast and a pine/spruce bitterness. Silky mouthfeel, the carbonation keeps things lively. Finishes bitter, bit boozy. Very well hidden alcohol. (352 characters)

Photo of jeffdillon
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured this monster in a Tulip, let it stand 20 minutes to get a little closer to ambient temperature and the only thing it lacked was what I thought would have been a more heady aroma, everything else tickled me! A really big, bold, sweet treat, I loved it, and would would buy it again. (290 characters)

Photo of embass
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a deep black, with a dark brown head (dissipated quickly). Love how it grabs the glass.

Not much aroma there…got some barrel and booze.

Tasted a bit sweeter up front then I could imagine, moved to some chocolate and then a gambit of bitter/toasted/roasted/smokey taste and ended with sweetness again.

I really liked that sudden burst of sweet booziness at the first sip and how it grows on you over time. This is definitely one that you should work through as it warms. (482 characters)

Photo of smbslt
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A certain level of communion is created when one decides to open and consume a beer of this gravity. Aptly named, as there are promises implied, not necessarily kept and at a cost (figuratively and literally). Hoped for more but that was on me. (246 characters)

Photo of mjpolzin
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a 12 oz bottle with 3 friends during a long night of beer tasting. This was probably about the 9th or 10th beer we had this night so I'd love to go back and have it again and maybe enjoy an entire bottle.

To me this tasted like what a good imperial stout should taste like. There are so many great barrel aged stouts out there so it is nice to have a beer where you can just enjoy the other aspects of it without the barrel aged flavor. With the high abv though, the only complaint I would have is the beer was a little hot but with some age I could see it becoming really delicious. I think I like this better than World Wide Stout; another amped up imperial stout. (674 characters)

Photo of Absolut
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2011 version. A serious beer. Been scared for four years. Time to face the devil.

Doesn't pour. It plops. Oozes.

Smells of Dark molasses, burnt coffee, cocoa, licorice.

No carbonation. Pretty sure I see smoke twirling up. If I stir it I expect the spoon will melt.

Taste much like the smell. Not sure how this is 16%. Clearly a powerhouse but no burn. As complex as can be.

I am afraid. Best matching of a beer and a name. Outstanding.

See you on the other side. (476 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

The nose is huge with a big creamy chocolate, lots of boozy alcohol and light roasted coffee.

There is a sudden burst of huge alcohol brashness at first but after you ride through and it warms, Mephistopheles produces a lot of toffee, bitter cocoa, some chocolate malt, coffee, and a bit of roast.

This is a big beer that doesn't disguise the booze very well but after you get past it the flavor shines through. (413 characters)

Photo of ajm5108
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Some burnt hickory on the nose and the mouth, flavor is mixed with the black liquorice and toasted cocoa. Not bitter or boozey which is surprising given the high alcohol content, though it certainly finishes warm like a smooth bourbon. (236 characters)

Photo of StoutFox
4.74/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Enjoyed at brewery in snifter
Appearance: God Awful Black, dark brown head
Aroma: Sweet, Woody, a bit grainy, really not much aroma,
Taste: Sweet, flavors of caramel, then then it hits you with so many flavors; toasted grains, smokey, molasses, hops, etc. and finishes back on the Caramel flavors
Complexity: one of if not the most complex beers, very good!!
Overall: I have had this beer on tap at the brewery and in the bottle and aged 2 years and though its always amazing when I had it on tap that was when it really drove this beer home for me. (553 characters)

Photo of Slack
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a goblet. Dark as used motor oil and razor thin head. Boozy fruits dominate the nose. Taste is fruit, malt, and roasted coffee. Very subtle bitterness is present as well.. Body is a bit thinner than I expected but still on par for the style. Finish is warming alcohol. Overall an excellent sipper that opens up as it warms. (341 characters)

Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Finally cracked the 2013 and this guy is quite delicious. I figured I would prepare myself for Tweak and this beer did not disappoint. DARK rich chocolates and lots of malts, but it somehow hides the booze quite well. Definitely a sipper, but I was quite happy with it. (272 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%

On tap:
Pours dark with medium tan head that sustains very well. The lacing is robust in this beer, and every sip brings more tan head to the party. The nose is alcohol, barrel, chocolate, and a hint of coconut in some sniffs, licorice in others.

Taste starts sweet, chocolate with a hit of raisin, then bitters out to a coffee-liqueur type taste thanks to the alcohol making its presence felt. The beer plays lighter on the tongue thank to carbonation, but by the end is more syrupy, with a drying feeling that could be hops, but fades to woody (barrel).

A very good beer, but I've liked others by Avery more. Obviously a supper, and probably not gonna find it cheap. Glad I had it, but would need an occasion to try it again. (734 characters)

Photo of dcscientist
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

This is the beast. Clocking it at nearly 17% ABV, it'll slap you around, but you'll come back for more. Well balanced despite the heaviness, and a good stout flavor underneath all that heft. When you want to go big instead of going home, this is your beer. (259 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.9/5  rDev +20.4%

Nose: alcohol, chocolate, bourbon,
As brilliant deep dark brown one can get without being pitch black under an enormous 3" clingy, rocky, persistent, lacy foam cap that marks each drink with a ledge of lace.
Palate: A rich alcoholic chocolate bourbon malt drink that makes an excellent sitting by the fire after dinner drink.
Chewy, creamy, very soft fine medium carbonation, surprisingly well balanced and nuanced. (417 characters)

Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

Thanks to RayOhioFelton for this bottle, among many others, for guessing his favorite Browns player in the Johnny Football LIF. This has been a longtime Want, really since I first got started on BeerAdvocate, back when I thought high alcohol equaled good beer. I still prefer higher ABV beers, but I've had some real booze bombs based on this mentality. 12 oz bottle poured into a stemmed tulip, vintage November 2012, nearly two years old.

A - Meph has a big head on the forced pour, maybe just under two fingers, but it dissipates insanely quickly. The Bros. called this beer a "chocolate wine;" I can see what they meant, as the viscous texture is evident out of the bottle and the brew is oily. Seriously, the top of the beer retains a blight brown film that just won't give way. Super black color, no light penetration even on the periphery. Despite the high alcohol, there are some active bubbles on the edges of the glass and a little lacing when I swirl the beer around. Looking forward to trying this.

S - the nose is a bit restrained, which I guess is expected from a two year old beer, but I can't believe that a 16% brew lurks in this glass. There's a bit of anise here, some sweet spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a rich meatiness. I'm reminded of World Wide Stout in the slightly bittersweet chocolate aromas I get, but it's not nearly as overpowering as WWS. I detect barbecue at the end of the nose, along with some sweet, dark fruits, plums and sugary dates.

T - jeez, there's an immense sweetness here, almost cloying. I find that aging most beers brings out one aspect (usually carbonation), and here it's definitely the sugar. Along with that is the chocolate, rich and creamy, incredibly thick. There's not a ton of bitterness, but the sweetness is just overwhelming that it's almost bitter, like a flavored coffee. The alcohol too is a bit much, not as well-hidden as I like, especially for a vintage.

M - like I mentioned, the sweetness is easily mistaken for bitterness, and the alcohol is strong to the point of discomfort. The carbonation really shows this beer's age. I can't imagine it being sweeter, but I'd love if it was a little flatter.

O - definitely a sipper, definitely not something to splurge on often, but worth it if you seek the stronger beers. Samael's is one of my favorite strong ales, so I was looking forward to sampling another Avery offering of similar intensity, but I was a bit let down. If I get another bottle, I'll be sure to put it away for at least another two years. (2,547 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

Poured from a bottle into a Fremont small snifter. 2012 vintage. Pours pitch black with a fine one finger brown head with great retention and lots of lacing. Rich aroma of dark toasted malt, chocolate, latte coffee, light vanilla. Flavor is semi-sweet dark toasted malt, cocoa chocolate, hints of anise and vanilla, dark coffee. Finish exhibits light cherry and slight hopping. Rich and boozy, but nicely balanced. Nice heavy, creamy body. It's hard to understand how this can taste so much like a quality liqueur at its lower (but still substantial for an ale) ABV. The deep, rich flavor is more than a match for the alcohol, but a few sips of this are still warming and inspire slow sipping. Glad to get back to this for a review, this may well have been my first introduction to a big ale many years ago, and it was both mind blowing and overwhelming at the time. One of the great big stouts, although I don't think it's barrel aged, it has a lot of the same characteristic depth of a barrel aged stout, without the woody flavors. It is quite boozy, its only real drawback, although one that seem unimportant as the glass is emptied. Perfect aperitif or dessert beer. (1,175 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz brown glass with appealing label art and a red foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap.

November 2012 vintage. Batch No. 8. 1062 cases. 16.2% ABV.

Expectations are high given the style coupled with the brewery. Served at fridge temp and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured into a Guinness goblet with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: It's a gorgeous rich tan colour. 3.5 fingers wide. Incredible shiny complexion. Stellar consistency; it looks soft, smooth, even, and creamy as hell. Retention is nothing short of amazing considering the high ABV; the head sits there for over 10 minutes.

No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

This is a hell of a cap for an imperial stout.

BODY: Colour is a predictable opaque jet black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment can be seen in the ink-black.

Appears well-carbonated. It's not unique looking for an imperial stout, but it sure is appealing. Sure, the head could be darker, and some ruby hues in the body would be nice, but I'm nitpicking. It looks more or less as it should.

4.0

AROMA: Coffee notes are present, but I don't find any roast, earthiness, etc. Not the most complex or subtle coffee presence, but nice overall.

Dark malts, chocolate malts, burnt sugars, milk chocolate, caramel, and a faint kiss of dark fruit. Raisin. Turbinado sugar. Molasses. Caramelized/chewy dates.

Shockingly, the alcohol presence seems like it's maybe 9% judging by the aroma alone.

I detect no overt yeast or hop character. The label mentions it's brewed with Belgian yeast, but I detect no real Belgian character.

I crave roasted barley, but none is present. It's on the sweeter side, but doesn't seem like the cloying mess many imperial stouts are. I've definitely come across sweeter, richer, and more "dessert beer" examples of the style. Merely average in strength.

TASTE/TEXTURE: Marshmallow, burnt sugars, caramelization, chewy sticky dark fruit (especially dates and raisins), dark malts, chocolate malts, and some generic coffee notes. Sadly, the coffee lacks roastiness, earthiness, richness, and anything else that would set it apart. Milk chocolate comes out more and more as the beer comes to temperature, along with the molasses. The turbinado sugar is present throughout, but lacks enough intensity to bring this flavour profile into the "Mexican chocolate" territory of imperial stouts.

It doesn't feel Belgian in character, but the dark fruits and unconventional sugars do separate it from the distinctively American examples of the style. It's low on hops, as it should be. The burnt character is nice, but some drinkers will find this acrid.

It's balanced and enjoyable, with some lurking booziness but nowhere near as much as you'd anticipate. This is a cohesive build for an imperial stout with plenty of complexity as well as some limited subtlety, but there are far more intricate beers in the style which boast much more depth of flavour.

Average flavour duration and intensity. Nice flavour amplitude.

It's certainly on the sweeter side, but I wouldn't quite call it a dessert beer per se. I do wish there was a roasted barley backbone to balance the sweetness a bit better.

Texture-wise, it's lightly powdery on the palate, as well as chewy and sticky. It's nicely thick and full-bodied, and perhaps a biteen syrupy. Its subtle dryness and coarseness fit the dark fruits featured in the flavour profile. It could be creamier and softer. It's a biteen overcarbonated, even after the two-ish years it's had to calm down in my cellar. Overall, it has a good presence on the palate and this texture supports the flavour profile well, but never feels like it's custom-engineered to bring out the best in the taste.

OVERALL: It hides its high ABV pretty well, and isn't quite the sipper I thought it would be. I think age has mellowed it out. It's a very nice imperial stout considering its wide availability, and I'd certainly recommend aging this.

But there are many great imperial stouts out there, and this one lacks unique or special elements. The coffee should be richer, there should be a roasted barley backbone, it should be creamier and softer, there could be more of a dark malt presence, there could be some less common notes (e.g. coconut). More commitment to the marshmallow would be nice as well; if this was more carefully executed they could easily evoke s'mores between the burnt sugars and the marshmallow. Ultimately, you've got to bring more to the table if you want to stand out in this style.

I'm glad this is easy to come by in my home state, but I can't say it's a fantastic beer. Just a surprisingly mellow, drinkable imperial stout with a no-frills flavour profile. There's little here for the discerning drinker.

This would have been a pretty impressive brew 8 years ago.

High B- (4,931 characters)

Photo of IGOTASIXPACK
4.49/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle. 16.2abv. It's amazing a non BA stout is so smooth at this abv. I'm just finishing it and feel it. It's almost three years old and sweeter than I remember in the past. Avery rarely disappoints. (205 characters)

Photo of priwen
4.46/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black. Dark brown head that goes away quickly. Bottle has a great label and is trimmed with red foil.

Smell: Chocolate and Coffee. The alcohol makes its presence know as well.

Taste: Boozy. Wonderful chocolate flavor with some sweetness. I pick up more of the coffee as well as some bitterness on the finish. The Alcohol is in your face on the fist taste, but fades a bit once your palate becomes more accustomed to it.

Mouthfeel: Full. Maybe a bit oily.

Overall: Terrific Beer! Although a bit upfront with the alcohol, the flavor makes this one a definite must try.

12 oz bottle
Release Dec. 2013 Batch No.9 (15.4% Alc/Vol)
Served in an Oversized Wine Glass (675 characters)

Photo of themind
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer is a beast! the monster clocks in at 15.5% ABV and it hides it pretty well. The beer is thick as motor oil, has a subtle roasty taste combined with cocoa and maybe molasses. If you are a stout lover you have to visit this beer. Avery has done an outstanding job with this mega brew!

Bottom Line: Darn good stout! (323 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Originally posted 12/19/09... lost from the server, and now re-posted.

Mephistopheles' Stout: "Bottled in Nov 2007 Batch 3"
Two years old.

Wow, just when I thought that a stout couldn't get any darker or more chocolatey and deeply caramelish, I come across Avery's Mephistopheles' Stout and it knocks me backwards. Stunning! It reminds me in many ways of Samuel Adam's Triple Bock in that it's super-rich, but somehow not overdone! It just is what it is. There's alcohol for sure, 16% by volume, but it doesn't seem like it as it's not brimming or drenched in alcohol, and it doesn't seem hot (well a little, but there are no higher alcohols). Nor is it too malty or full; and there's a really beautiful fruitiness to it that helps to round out and polish the edge of alcohol (think berries, figs, prune, and maybe even some cherry). It's rich and complex, but at the same time it's neither too rich nor too complex - and that gives it a certain amount of drinkability once you ascertain that it's a large, intensely flavored sipping beer. But what about the density of flavor? Well, that changes as you progress through the glass, but there are notes of dark chocolate, fudge, cocoa, brown sugar, deep caramel, golden caramel, wort, berries, cherries, soft melon, alcohol, and raisins/figs/prunes. (1,300 characters)

Photo of kdahnke123
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

December 2013 release. Batch No 9.
A - Poured into a beer glass at cellar temperature. Pours a very dark black with a dark brown head. The single finger head dissipates slowly to leave a moderate amount of long lasting lacing.
S - Equal amounts of dark coffee, malt and hops. Small amounts of licorice and oak play in the background.
T - Hops are in the fore with a middle of heavy malt and a slightly medicinal tang on the finish.
M - Mouthfeel is excellent with a long lasting coating and a moderate amount of carbonation.
O - Overall a good strong ale if you don't mind the medicinal notes. The alcohol is well integrated and the mouthfeel is very good. If you like Deschute's The Abyss you should like this. (716 characters)

Photo of More_betterness
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Oily and viscous pitch black body with a mocha colored head. Moderate rentention and a sparse amount of lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, and hazelnut coffee upfront. A dark cherry note rounds out the aroma. Amazingly, no booze to speak of. A year in the cellar was definitely helpful.

T: Dark fruit, and a lingering roasted/ashy malt are most prominent. Slight sherry oxidation note. Heavily roasted raw espresso bean finisher lingers about the palate for minutes between sips. Only slight boozines for 15.4%. Again, think cellaring this beast was the way to go.

M: Thick, viscous, and lingering forever. Appropriately low carbonation.

Great stout overall, and about as balanced as a beer of this ABV can be after sitting on it for a year. Was definitely a little rougher around the edges when I had a fresh bottle. Not mind blowing in any aspect, but just a solid representation of a high ABV stout. That being said this is absolutely screaming for a bourbon barrel. Hopefully we see that sometime in the future. (1,014 characters)

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle dated December 2010. I have cellared this brew for 3 years. Finally cracking it open!

A - Pitch black. Black as black can be. Slight head retention and no lacing.

S - A ton going on here. Chocolate, booze, coffee, bitter hops, and sugar cane. Wow..potent!

T - Chocolate, coffee, sugar, vanilla, and slightly bitter hops. The tastes lingers in your mouth for literally minutes. Alcohol is so well hidden its dangerous. But you feel it right away! Drink it like wine or you will pay the price. Amazing beer!

M - Full bodied and warms in your mouth. Medium carbonation. Awesome

O - An incredible sipper. Split it with someone special and enjoy! (660 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4.56/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is clearly a big stout just by looking at it. It's a thick, viscous and heavy black color that lets some mahogany come off the top and the very outermost edges when set right in front of a very bright light. The head is a thick, pillowy brown one about a finger tall that retains its height and form well, like a frothy crown, and lets some of itself down stickily in strong patching pretty far down the glass.
There's so much wood, and it's so delicately and warmly boozy without immediately inducing a headache or going heavily ethanolic, nor does it give the impression that I'll get drunk simply from smelling it. It does, however, give the impression of some fantastic spirit. For the massive ABV, it comes together magnificently in every way. There's a whole lot of wood in the smell and the taste, not too dry, a little bit with some freshness that isn't exactly raw, even with that slight, almost indescribable salty nature. Tons of breads, toasted, with dark fruits off the roasty backbone give way to the creamier sweetness of vanilla and cocoa (the latter offering more bittersweetness), as well as the thick and not-too-heavy molasses element. Some reminiscence of coffee builds off the roast, too. This is absolutely amazing in every way, showing off so much depth, complexity and even balance, so much robustness without being too heavy. It's close to perfect, and one of the best I've ever had.
Thick and robust, this beer is somehow both heavy and easy-drinking. The alcohol thins it out a little, but that works in this beer's favor considering how big and rich it is despite that. It finishes with lingering complexities and a touch of dryness that sneaks in off the big sweetness. It's a little vinous, in fact, with a bite on the tongue as well. (1,770 characters)

Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 836 ratings.