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Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

872 Reviews
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Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 16.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2006

User Reviews
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Reviews: 872 | Ratings: 2,225
Photo of Jahjehwa
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014, 17.1 abv. Very original, I really like the absence of sweetness here. Passing the obvious. It's like a burnt, unsweetened raw molasses. Nice heavy coating on glass. Nice throat heat from the alcohol. Don't mind the buzz as well. Don't bother sharing, enjoy!

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

November 2014 bottle, batch number 10.

Poured from the 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Engine oil spits out of the bottle into my glass and produces a thick, chewy mocha-colored head that requires a few waits before I can get the whole bottle into the snifter. Sticky lace runs around the glass while the head persists for an eternity.

Mephistopheles smells as big as that name is long. As the head was chewy, this beers smells like such, thick with caramel and molasses, booze, chocolate and vanilla. It is very hot actually, so I'm curious as to how that will play out on the palate.

Surprisingly booze doesn't overwhelm the taste here, although it is very much apparent. Chocolate abounds and interplays with vanilla and a spiciness that seems to be half booze and half hops.

Somehow this brew retains a creamy and smooth quality in spite of the booze and many a sip seem pretty tame until a wallop of heat works in. The finish lingers wet like a shot of alcohol, but with some cocoa sprinkled on top. That's interesting.

If it's not obvious already, this beer can use some aging. I picked up another bottle and I'll revisit in a couple of years. By then, I think the stout qualities will shine on their own and be quite enjoyable.

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Photo of cfhjimmyb
4.69/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark as the Devil's @nu$. Intense chocolate and roasted malt nose. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel breaks way to prominent licorice flavor and then the heat of the ABV takes over. I would liken it to taking your favorite Russian Imperial and dropping an ounce of Maker's in to it.

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Photo of OneEye78
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 poured into a snifter. Dark as night with about three fingers of dense khaki head. Light nose of caramel, dark chocolate, and burnt sugar. Taste was bittersweet baker's chocolate, licorice, dark fruit, vanilla and burnt sugar with a little alcohol heat. This was a solid stout, but unspectacular.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dec 2013 bottle, opened Jan 2015

A - Cola body. Half a finger of light tan head. Nice retention and low lace.

S - Dark chocolate, burnt whole wheat bread, dried dark fruits, hoisin sauce, and just a hint of warm booze.

T - Huge bourbon note, dark chocolate, charred bread crust, thick molasses, slightly astringent booze, raisins, vanilla, burnt caramel, and oak.

M - Thick and full bodied. A little astringent on the backend.

O - A huge stout: boozy, sweet, and loaded with charred roast.

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Photo of Mike_Amps
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A= appearance is pitch black, with about half a finger brown head that dissipated pretty quickly

S= Sweet, roasty, chocolate

T= A really sweet yet boozy stout.

M= heavy, oily and very boozy. Can really feel the heat going down

O=Pretty good stout, just a tad bit too sweet. The alcohol was more pronounced as the beer warmed up.

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Photo of MartzMimic
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours blackish brown from the bottle into a Mustang snifter. A bit of chocolate brown foam rims the glass. The aroma of cocoa, coffee, and toasted cinnamon is so enticing that I get lost in the moment. The taste reminds me of rich chocolate cake. Dark chocolate, coffee, dark cherries, a touch of nuttiness and the booze is so warming. It's certainly there, but it doesn't taste like 17-plus abv. The mouth is thick and creamy, like liquid velvet. I love stouts, and this is one of the best I've had.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Trappist Westveteren XII Trappist glass
From: Barons in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $8.99
Purchased: Jan. 7, 2014
Consumed: Jan. 8, 2015
Misc.: Batch No. 10; Bottled Nov., 2014; Red foiling; 17.1 pct. ABV

Poured a pitch black color with one finger of dark tan head. Minimal spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average-to-poor retention. (Sight - 3.50)

Smelled black coffee malts, dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, smoky fire, light crayon, toffee, caramel, roasted nuts, licorice and some more coffee. Booziness comes in late. (Smell - 4.25)

Tasted earthy, gritty coffee beans, followed by that 17-plus percent alcohol. Also dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, licorice, smoky woodfire, roasty nuts, chocolate syrup and dark cocoa nibs. (Taste - 4.25)

Full body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Long, warming finish. (Feel - 4.50)

Another great Avery Imperial Stout. I wouldn’t hesitate to get it again. (Overall - 4.25)

4.23 | 94 | A-

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Photo of don1481
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into snifter.

Look: Pours a dark black with a light chocolate colored head that gradually dissipates.

Smell: Sugar. Booze. This is... interesting?

Taste: HOLY SWEETNESS. Coffee, chocolate, SUGAR. Very boozy.

Mouthfeel: Leaves a sticky aftertaste.

Overall: I'm gonna age my other 2 bottles of this for some time and revisit. It's got long-term potential.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, dark black with a big three finger, gorgeous, mocha colored head. It has quite a robust nose. Chocolate, coffee, anise, raisins, dried figs, mild alcohol. The flavor is very boozy, maybe too much. It's very nutty and rich. Quite delicious, but the finish is all alcohol. Nice, thick mouthfeel.

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Photo of Bubbawilly88
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted this year's bottle: 12oz in a tulip glass. Super boozy! Very tasty, but too much going on at once. I'm certain it will be world class once it mellows out. Lots of potential for cellaring 3-5 years.

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Photo of RobinLee
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of jeffdillon
4.82/5  rDev +17%
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.

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Photo of embass
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of smbslt
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of mjpolzin
4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of Absolut
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of StoutFox
4.74/5  rDev +15%
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.

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Photo of Slack
4.83/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

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.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%

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.

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Photo of dcscientist
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

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.

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Photo of pat61
4.9/5  rDev +18.9%

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.

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 872 ratings.