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Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

841 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 841
Hads: 2,061
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 7.86%
Wants: 302
Gots: 721 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Mephistopheles' Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 841 | Hads: 2,061
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)

Photo of minterro
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bought at Little's Wine and Spirits a month or so ago. Store aged (about 6-7 months) 2013 version, batch no. 9.

A&S: The aroma mostly consists of rum and bourbon flavored alcohol tones. Beer is jet black and thick looking. Head pours in a thin layer and retains in a ring of deep tan, leaving no lacing.

T&M: Lots of caramel and oak flavors. Other flavors include cocoa, Very warming on the way down. As it warms it becomes pretty hot (a little too hot). I would probably want to buy another and see how a little over a year feels. Finish is very roasty and bitter with a touch of sweetness. Not as smooth as I expected, but not super crisp. On the low side of medium carbonation and highish body.

Overall: I don't remember how much I paid for this beer, but it was probably around 10 bucks a bottle. Worth a try and probably will buy again, but not on a yearly bases. (872 characters)

Photo of kemoarps
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage. Batch No. 8.
This is a truly beautiful beer. Pours just shy of black; like coffee that you just know is top of the line. Less than a finger or so of brown head, dissipates quickly settling into a nice little foamy topper that lingers and tags the sides of the glass like so many train cars after a late night bombing session.

Smells smoothe and round, chocolate on the forefront, but certainly the 16.2% creeps in a little bit. Molasses and roast, with a sweet underpinning of dark fruits. I'm usually more of a chocolate and coffee guy when it comes to stouts as opposed to fruity notes, but this incorporates bits of both masterfully, balancing them and letting them each take their turn in the sun. As it warms the boozy plums and the like take more of the attention from the chocolate, but I ain't even mad at it. I even get bits of a fine cigar as it evolves. Amazing.

I must say the flavours are top notch, but even at a year and a half this is still pretty darn hot. I'd probably give it another year or two before it really hits its stride, which is saying something considering how tasty it is now. The dark fruits continue to take the forefront here, sharing time with more bitter tobacco than came out on the nose. Less chocolate, more leather than my olfactory bulb suggested, at least until the finish, which is creamy bakers cocoa: that lush meeting of creamy, sweet and bitter that masterfully crafted stouts present so well.

As previously stated, this is still pretty hot as 16.2% is a hell of an elephant to try and hide. Beyond that first impression, though it has a creamy silky mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to dance across your tongue and offer some nuance. Not quite as thick as the pour indicated, but by no means thin... I'd call it medium heavy? But incredibly smoothe. I can't wait to get another bottle and let it sit for even longer to let the alcohol mellow out a little more, because this is great as is, but with that sorted out it could be galaxian... you heard me. (2,033 characters)

Photo of Imperial_Stout_Junkie
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I have ever had the pleasure to drink. The guy a the liquor store told me if I liked RIS I would love this. He was right. (161 characters)

Photo of guityler83
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch 8 (Nov 2012)

A: A thick mocha head poured over two fingers tall from the bottle into the snifter glass. It sustained for about a minute before slowly falling into the black liquid. No light shines through. Some nice scattered lacing left as the foam fell and defiantly some legs on it.

S: The aroma is complex and full of burnt caramel, tobacco, toffee, roasted dark coffee, dark chocolate, smoke and sweet caramel. No hop aroma detected it comes of as moderately sweet.

T: More focused flavors as compared to the aroma. The bitterness is moderate and clean but it's only apparent in the middle. The first impression is firm sweetness with all the malt/roast flavors coming through in the way of toffee, caramel and candy raisins. The roast comes through as dark chocolate over sparged coffee, vanilla and a touch of smoke, with some soy sauce.

M: Huge thick and creamy body. It goes down with a moderately high alcohol warming sensation. The carbonation is medium.

O: A nice sipping beer no doubt, I would even go so far as call this a poor man's Dark Lord. Not nearly as sweet but has a similar flavor profile and alcohol level. (1,143 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours quite a dark black color. It is probably the darkest I've seen to date. As dark black as it is the head color is pretty light being a darker beige. Lingering lace dot the glass.

Being a recent purchase and not cellared, there is a considerable amount of alcohol in the nose. After getting passed that one can smell dark roasted malts, candied fruits and sweet sugars.

On my first sip I got mostly a big dose of alcohol, which I was expecting. As it warmed the alcohol presence faded with more roasted malts and sweetness coming into view. I get some cocoa nibs in there too.

It feels rough on the palate and has a dry bitter finish not to mention a big warm alcohol finish.

This is a pretty good not everyday beer. (734 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at ChurchKey in DC. Batch 9, 2013. From notes.

A - Poured black with one finger of deep mocha brown head. Small rings of lace and a film of retention. The head was the darkest dark brown you can think of.

S - Chocolate, roast, sugar, a bit restrained. It opened up later and gave off much more intense sweet dark fruit notes as well as bread and more intense sugar and chocolate.

T - Got excited when I tasted this one. Some booze, lot's of rich sweet notes with chocolate and dark fruit, whiskey notes, spirits, booze. The booze was never rough or harsh, but added a pleasant dimension to the flavour.

M - Good carbonation, full body, sweet and boozy finish.

O/D - A lovely, intense, and complex stout. Took me about an hour to an hour and a half to finish and it was a real pleasure to sip and pick out all the flavours. It worked well and the sweetness was something that I enjoyed a fair bit. Great stuff. (923 characters)

Photo of CowsandBeer
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle with red foil label bottled in 12/2009. Picked up years ago who knows where? Poured slightly chilled into a Blind Tiger Brewery snifter.

Appearance: Pours a couple fingers of thick cappuccino like head. Body the color of black coffee. Very thick strands of lacing and a film hang about when the beer settles. Surprising retention for a beer of this strength.

Aroma: Sweet, nutty dark chocolate, caramel, and dried cherries. Imagine a dark chocolate candy bar with nuts and raisins. There’s a bit of port like sweetness to it as well with a bit of oxidation.

Taste: Strong floral alcohol is the first thing you notice, singeing your nose hairs and warming your cheeks. I can only imagine that his would have been unpleasant when fresh but now it’s a warming, almost spirit like bite. More of that nutty, rich chocolate with the dried cherries/raisins and a port wine sweetness/heat at the end.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation with a very creamy mouthfeel. Thick and decadent. Not boozy but certainly warming.

Overall: An ageing success! A very appealing looking beer; I really enjoyed tilting the glass and watching the thick, molasses consistency like lacing crawl down the glass. A very inviting nose of nutty chocolate and port wine which followed through to the taste. Very creamy mouthfeel which just settles in your mouth. As mentioned, this was probably way too strong fresh, but now it’s like some liquor infused brownie or something. I wholeheartedly recommend grabbing a few bottles of this next time you see it around and saving them for a future date. I bet this beer could even go another year before it starts to go downhill. (1,659 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance is a deep dark brown with a finger of tan head that enjoyed some good retention and left nice thick lace behind. Roasted malts abound in both the nose and the flavor profile. The finish is a touch too astringent and puts a damper on an otherwise exceptional offering. There is a slight alcohol presence, but considering the ABV, it is very mild and unobtrusive. (372 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz 2011 vintage into a snifter.

dark, thick black pour with a slight beige head. smell is actually quite subdued..slight sweetness perhaps. the taste starts out a tad sweet...and is incredibly smooth. this is almost like a cross between a stout and barleywine. ABV not really apparent either. but you feel it quick. very malty on the finish. dark fruits...big big beer. full bodied. mild carbonation.

overall an interesting and very tasty hybrid beer. (455 characters)

Photo of SoupKitchenBeerSnob
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had to try this one out. At $8.75 a bottle I figure it must be good right? Ok, I've been burned using that logic before, but as a spoiler alert, this one was spot on. I've now reached my benchmark for stouts. Holyfuckingmotherofgod, this beer rocks! First of all, I poured this one into one of my Chimay goblets and the first thing I noticed is how this looks like the hell-spawn of motor oil and expresso with a rich, light brown head. So far, so good. Next is the deep aroma of, what? Deep, dark decadence? Don't care, I've got to taste this... I get hit with an overpowering mixture of flavors that my humble palate is incapable of describing, followed by the fumes of alcohol that run rampant through this brew. I have to finish this review so that I can savor what's left. Drink this. God commands it. Cheers! (814 characters)

Photo of ricknelson
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Our group of 4 Beer Advocate members did a recent small bottle tasting of high alcohol brews.
Among the 12 brews tasted was; Mephistopheles American Double Imperial Stout from Avery.
Mephistopheles received our highest average score of the 12 brews tasted at 4.94. We had tasted
this brew once before and it took us each 15 minutes to drink the 3 ounce pour.This time it took us just 10 minutes and the brew was even better than the first time we had tasted it.
It deserves a higher BA rating. (496 characters)

Photo of bpasquini
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6, bottled december of 2010, 15.95% ABV, this was a birthday present from a friend and I am stoked to finally try it

A: I set my glass down on my black coffee table and the beer is still darker than my table some how, it is pitch black, left a small tan/chocolate colored head that leaves a minimal amount of lacing around the glass, this beer is so dark I'm literally searching my house to find things that are darker than it, it's almost like you're staring into space with out anything to see in space, just darkness, and it's awesome!

S: It is a little hard to identify much because the smell is a little faint, you can definitely notice the booze right away though (expected), I get a nice amount of chocolate, and a nice amount of tobacco as well, it has a sugary smell to it as well, and I get a small amount of coffee and a vanilla/caramel mixture, the tobacco is a little overpowering and is slightly bad in my opinion, but if you like the smell of tobacco you would really love the way this beer smells

T: Again right away you get booze, but the beer transitions really well, after the boozy flavor your palate is hit with sweet milk chocolate, which then turns into a 50/50 chocolate coffee blend which is fantastic, then the beer finishes with a perfect blend of chocolate, coffee, tobacco, vanilla, and caramel, the alcohol leaves a nice warming feeling as it goes down, this is definitely a cold weather beer! Fantastic taste, I am not sure if this beer is barrel aged or not, but if it were, it would bump the taste up to a 5/5 for me, it just needs that little extra something to it, fantastic flavor profile, way better than what I was expecting!

M: This beer is very thick, and very creamy, the creaminess to it gives it a smooth drinking characteristic which is much needed for how strong this beer is, it is also slightly oily which also helps with the drinkability, since the beer is so thick it almost becomes chewy, pretty solid feel to it, works well for this beer

O: Great beer, definitely exceeded my expectations by a lot, this beer could definitely use some serious aging though, would definitely by more of this if I can get my hands on it, if you got a cellar pick some up and let it age for awhile, I can imagine this would be a damn good beer with 5 plus years under its belt, but after 3 it was still pretty good in my opinion (2,370 characters)

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

November 2011 Batch

A- Pours a very dark brown that settles into the glass as a black-looking body with a frothy mocha-colored head. The head lingers around, but fades slightly.

S- Roasted malts, hints of cocoa powder and vanilla, peppery Belgian yeast comes through as well. Big and bold aromas.

T- Tons of roasted malts, hints of peppery yeast, some dried unsweetened fruit flavors come through too. Lots of roastiness, lots of rich malty flavors, hints of earthy mocha, but not a lot of fruit sweetness, all malt sweetness.

M- Full-bodied, medium carbonation, a big beer that does a number on the palate.

O- A big, bold beer with lots of flavor. Very drinkable for the abv, but you notice the huge body and flavors. (723 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a brown ring of head.

S: Roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate in the nose.

T: Dry, coffee, dark chocolate, bittersweet chocolate.

M: Full bodied and smoothish.

O: Not quite the best non-barrel aged imperial stout I've ever had (that'd probably be Hel & Verdoemenis), but an excellent example of the style. It really makes me want to try Uncle Jacob's Stout.

Note: 2008 batch, consumed in 2012. (415 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2013 release - 12oz bottle purchased at Holiday Wine Cellar – Escondido, CA
Notes from 01/01/14 – Stone IRS Snifter glass

A: Mephisto is a very dark and ominous looking brew. Pitch black cole with no light coming through even at the edges. Thick cap of creamy light brown suds. Nice hang time for such a big ABV brew with some slippery specks of lace clinging behind.

S: Smells of roasted barley, dry roast coffee, brown sugar/molasses, and some obvious alcohol. A little warming of the brew conjures up a bit of the Belgian yeast esters and dark fruits. Faint but present and intermingling with the other aromas. Earthy roast. Has a bit of solvent paint thinner likeness though that is slightly detracting.

T: The taste is very sweet with dark caramels and brown sugar notes up front a lot like pecan pie. I get some BBQ smoke with dark roast coffee, charred clove spices, plum fruit, and a dash of black licorice. Not really much chocolate as others have noted. The beer has a heavy alcohol bite which is to be expected and a high amount of hop bitterness. Turns somewhat leafy and earthy with a twist of banana peel esters coming through. Brings something almost artificial or unnatural but I can’t quite identify it. This is definitely one intense brew. The fusels are actually well integrated considering the ABV and the high bitterness is necessary to cut through all that sweetness.

M: Mouth feel is the saving grace of this beer. It is thick and full bodied but with such a creamy and lush consistency. Really just coats the palate before transitioning into a peppery bitterness and slight drying lift towards the finish. Warming with the alcohol heat.

D: A menacing brew and a sipper for sure. Fairly complex once you let this one open up. Belgian yeast was an interesting choice. Likely not best served fresh. This one is boasting with alcohol heat and a sugary sweetness. Needs at least a couple years on it in my opinion. (1,948 characters)

Photo of Or80rowley
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this with a friend, I recommend splitting this one

A. As dark as it gets, motor oil, half finger mocha head

S. Chocolate, coffee, alcohol

T. Stronger chocolate than coffee, char, sweet, alcohol, it seems like it is less than 16% alc? nice balance

M. Thick, smooth, good clean finish

O. Worth trying, once! I can't justify spending this much on a beer! It should be bigger or less $$ (393 characters)

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Avery Brewing Mephistopheles

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Served at cellar temperature.

A) Pours out coal black, and looks thick, almost like a syrup. There was nearly a finger of dark tan head. The head settled to a collar, and this had some legs to it for sure.

S) Deep dark roasted malt. Dark fruits, dark chocolate, a little brown sugar cooking down. The alcohol stays hidden on the nose.

T) Big bold dark flavors... Hey, what did you expect from a beer named Mephistopheles. Again, heavy roast, some coffee, burnt brown sugar, hint of dark fruit, bitter dark chocolate. Then the booze hits you. It is not overwhelming, but it will definitely warm you up.

M) Full bodied with rather soft carbonation. It's thick and will coat your palate. It's smooth, even with a little bit of alcohol burn. Nice aftertaste too.

O) This beer is clearly a sipper... I found it quite enjoyable. I am also interested to see how this will age. Definitely worth a try, and I am glad to recommend it... (1,021 characters)

Photo of IAmAPenguin
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Aroma: Big roasted black malts, raisins, figs, dates, cocoa and roasted caramel. Appearance: Pitch black with a fast dissipating two finger foam and nice lacing. Taste: Intense notes of thick, dark chocolate, massive complexity, toffee, burnt caramel, thick, oily, roasted coffee, roasted barley, bourbon and plums. Overall, very thick and agressive booze that lies in the finish and a continuous dark chocolate bar/fudge that stays on the palate. Very good stuff, very thick, very boozy but still that booze is pretty well blended with the malty flavors. A+ rating. (566 characters)

Photo of Zraly
4.86/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

November 2011, Batch #7.

Pours like motor oil. Sharing with my girl so we are splitting it across two Westvleteren XII chalice glass (i.e., the small-ish chalices distributed with the U.S. release). Smells like smoke and Dionysus' armpit.

Tastes like an imperial stout that has been lovingly laced with Sambuca. Licorice and hard-core roasted malts, smoke, scotch-like alcohol notes. Charred barrel and vanilla. Rich, deep, raw chocolate notes that remind me of chocolate liqueur. Sweet slickness that glides down your throat. Heavy bodied and merciless in its want and need to consume your soul. Fortunately for all involved, you'll enjoy that process.

I've never had this fresh so I'm not sure how to compare it to a young version. My intuition told me to leave this one be for a while. At the very least, it is damn good now.

Bad-ass through and through. Makes me think I have chest hair. I'm sure you could pair this with something but...why bother? (959 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12 oz bottle.
Vintage: Nov 2012

Pours a medium thick deep dark brown/back with a nice half inch dark tan head. The head is pretty dense and recedes at a moderate pace. When held up to light no light gets through the brew.

Aroma starts off with deep dark ripened fruits. Nice notes of prunes and raisins and then some slight boozy notes. Nice milk chocolate and cocoa powder notes are also present in the nose. There is some mild roast in the nose but more of the dark fruit note sweetness.

Flavor starts off with some nice dark fruit notes. Notes of very ripe raisins and prune. Sweet notes of molasses as well compounded by some boozy sweetness as well. The middle of the brew brings more of a chocolate and vanilla sweetness that then turns into some mild dark malt roast. This almost seems balanced but then comes in this more booze like sweetness that is actually not overwhelming followed by some mild heat notes. The brew is definitely a sipper and the 16% is not hidden at all but also not overwhelming. Mouthfeel is nice and medium. Surprised its lighter than it is. Maybe the ABV has something to do with it.

Overall the brew is daunting and might detract some but its actually very well executed. The roast balances the sweetness of the dark fruits somewhat and the heat a boozy sweetness while present are not cloying. Well done Avery. (1,384 characters)

Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 841 ratings.