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Mephistopheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

843 Reviews

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Reviews: 843
Hads: 2,071
Avg: 4.11
pDev: 12.65%
Wants: 308
Gots: 731 | 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: 843 | Hads: 2,071
Photo of nase
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottled in Nov. 06 - Batch 2

First thing I noticed was the dark tan head. Virtually no lace after a while. The alcohol scent is SO strong and being over 16% (per website), the alcohol is quite potent in the taste as well. Goes without saying to age this one. Would be interesting to try this next to a WWS. I'm guessing they're not too far off from one another. All in all, an excellent brew.

App - 4, Smell - 4.5, Taste - 4, Mouth - 4.5, Drink - 3.5

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

It says here Mephistopheles was a crafty shapeshifter that does not like light. After drinking this 16.02% beer, I start seeing the lights start shifting and soon my eye lids blinding me. The pour is a viscous black color with a decent head to start but disappears quickly although. I really like the "motor oil" viscous quality,

The nose is no surprise, very pheonlic. Mostly sweeter malts with some darker-esk malts coming out, like roasted and patent. Some fruity esters as well, mostly figs and prunes. Some lighter notes of licorice.

The taste is big. No big! No BIG! A big malty presence with a even bigger phenolic finish. There are chocolate and darker caramel malty flavors with a lactic finish leaving a somewhat milky finish. The phenolic value is in high gear with some heat. Some oak aged esters as well, such as vanilla and woody finishes as well.

The body is thick and viscous. Carbonation is limited but understandable. Drinkibility falls due to the heavy phenolic value and big ABV, but I really did enjoy this beer.

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Photo of dherling
4.58/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out darth vader black, thick creamy light brown head. The nose has bunches of dark roasted coffee, some hops, dark fruit, and alcohol. The taste is an eruption of flavors, coffee, wood, pine, leather, tobacco, dark chocolate, sherry, pine resin, cherry, it keeps going and going. Fantastic! Has a fairly sharp mouthfeel, with a long slow burning finish. The alcohol is masked extremely well.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.59/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Beerandblues2 (Batch #1 – Bottled January 2006 Drank February 2007): Poured a pitch-black color stout with a big foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of light coffee and sweet malt. Taste is totally dominated by sugar with some light coffee and some light warming alcohol. This is definitely a sipper and not something I would drink too often as it is way too sweet for my personal taste, with way too much pure sugar (à la cane sugar). Alcohol had probably time to disappear a bit after one year of cellaring. Overall, an interesting takes on the style and better then some other Avery’s big bees.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick viscous black with ruby edges. The head is dark tan and much bigger then I expected from a beer of this weight. It dissipates pretty quickly leaving meandering lace trails behind. The aroma is huge and full of chocolate, espresso coffee, piney hops and some spicey alcohol, very very nice. The taste is roasty with a sugarcane sweetness and and a good dose of hop bitterness and alcohol heat. The mouthfeel is nearly syrupy with very light carbonation. The finish is long and bitter, very roasty and sticky with malt sugars.

This is one kick ass stout. Its packed with flavor and has a good deal of hop bitterness. The alcohol is always noticeable, but is less apparent then many beers of half the ABV.

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Photo of dbalsock
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

App: Poured very black with reddish hues and a dark brown head that lasted almost until I finished drinking the beer (probably about 1hr 30min at least). Some lacing, but not the most attractive lacing and it disappears somewhat quickly.

Smell: The nose was faint, but I picked up a chocolate covered strawberry scent. It was pretty nice, but hid a lot of the quality of the brew.

Taste: The chocolate (sweater than bakers chocolate) comes through, along with the strawberry fruitiness. There are hints of coffee, but not as strong as other stouts. Some mild pine hops, but nothing to write home about. As it warms to room temperature other flavors diminish and the alcohol becomes more noticeable.

Mouthfeel: It was bitter because of darker malts, but there wasn't a lot of hop action going on. The alcohol became much more intense as it warmed and contributed negatively to the mouthfeel, making it more overpowering than I would have liked. While it was colder, the alcohol wasn't nearly as noticeable as one would expect (the bottle said the abv was 16.03%).

Drinkability: I would gladly have this in my cellar and try again fairly often. It's definitely for sipping and it took me a long time to finish off a 12 ounce bottle, but I could drink this again tomorrow and be happy about it... and the next day too.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with 15 months of care under its belt. Poured into a snifter it forms a sizeable, brown, loose head that leaves sticky mountainous lace. Oil slick consistency and color.

First pull has me kabuke'd out. This is incredibly aggressive. While thats not entirely unexpected considering the brewery, I think they've outdone themselves with this one. Dopplebock like fruity underlying goodness that is squashed by this immense, thick, rich, and a huge charred bitter backdrop. Enough balance to make this enjoyable. Smoked and charred make up the body with the smoked side winning out.

Notes: Belly warming goodness. While I liked this offering, I couldn't see this being more than a 3 or 4 bottle a year type purchase. Some novelty to it, some goodness to it. Overall its just OK.

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

A dark pour like a stout should be. The head is small, brown and sticks to the side before going away.
Smells of coffee, cocao and some caramel. Alcohol breaks up the stickiness and sweetness. I can make out dark plum, raisin and perhaps a bit of anise.
Taste is fantastic. Combines all the aromas together nicely. Some spice creeps in before the finish. Alcohol makes surprise appearance at the end, a nice burn that is coated by the roasted left overs.
I like.

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Photo of jaxon53
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served at cellar temperature in a pint glass. Poured a deep oily black with about two fingers of beautiful coffee brown head. Had great retention, and left plenty of sticky lace. Smelled nicely of coffee , chocolates and plenty of alcohol. Tasted almost the same, coffee, roasted malts, chocolate , black licorice, and tons of smooth warming alcohol. Seems to be pretty well balanced except for the alcohol. Mouthfeel was thick, almost chewy, but full and flavorful. not the most drinkable, a sipper in my opinion.Would like to lay a few down and try in a year or two.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Whew! I made the mistake of choosing this for my last beer of the night. Smells and tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, and burnt sugar. Beguiling. In the future I will have to share this with two other people if I'm drinking other beers that night. I couldn't finish it, but in honor of its serious pedigree I have saved it for making a reduction to pour on ice cream.

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Photo of blackie
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The pour into my snifter gives a 2/3" deep mocha colored head. After receding gradually, a ring around the glass and an island of bubbles are al lthat remain. Great head for such a monster beer. The beer is practically black, save for some brown coming through on the edges.

smell: Hot chocolate spiked with dark booze? Very interesting and pretty complex, with a bold ethanol presence that pricks the inner nostrils. Rich chocolate aromas, roasted barley, and dark sugar syrups dominate...even smells a little creamy. Almost a vinous chocolate liquor. Obvious notes of port wine.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is low and smooth, and the body about as full as can be...coating the tonge for awhile after the sip.

taste: Where to begin? It seems futile, given my limited beer-verbal abilities, to try and describe this thing accurately. Port wine, cocoa-heavy milk chocolate, roasted grain, booze, concentrated dark fruits. A moderate bitterness lingers for awhile with some roast and a sugary sweetness on the lips.

drinkability: pretty drinkable, considering...would make a nice dessert beer. A sipper by design. It might seem easy to rate this one lower in both smell and taste, given its unapologetic brashness, but it's just too interesting...and that's what I look for these days.

12 oz. bottle, thanks to BeerBeing on the final leg of No BS BiF. Bottled in Jan 2006, Batch 1...right around 1 year old.

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Photo of TheBungyo
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From Notes:
As black as a lump of coal with the lights off in the basement at midnight. Head is dark brown and dense. I’d say about half an inch thick. Nose is sugar sweet molasses, espresso and milky overly sweetened chocolate. It’s nice but the sweetness is somewhat cloying.
Wow this one will clear out the sinuses! As soon as it enters my mouth I can feel my nasal passages clearing (and they weren’t clogged to begin with). Taste is burnt marshmallow sweetness, bitter chocolate … hints of espresso. I like it but as I’m nearing the end of my glass I’m definitely ready to be done with it. The sweetness just builds until it’s dominating the taste. Mouth is certainly as thick as can be. In all, I could see myself buying this again. This is probably a dessert beer.

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

Purchased this in Ohio I believe, batch 2 bottled Nov. 2006, minor contradiction on bottle from its description on this BA page and Avery website, bottle says 16.3 Abv and OG 1.148 where on the latter says 15.10 Abv OG 1.145. Any how chilled and poured this bad mother into nonic. Inky black body, completely opaque with nesqicky creamy chocolate head a centimeter off the surface. Hardened sugary lacing thin, but it already has very good hold. Smells of dry roast coffee, with in that notes of chocolate, hints of anise and a lingering nuttiness. There is a sugar sweetness that sort of cuts this richness aiding in complexity. Alcohol is present although not overbearing. Along with this sort of a mild fruitiness, I’m not sure what exactly the rich coffee nuttiness, sort of makes it hard to get a good hold on, but enticing all the same.
The taste comes off at first as a sweetened coffee flavor, but then it goes a little further in terms of bitterness. What at first seems to be simply a bitter dark chocolate coffee, becomes more bitter and the earthiness of the hops them selves become apparent, which on this brew I can’t decide if I like or not, all the same it is very interesting. Behind this there are notes of rich nutty, roasted, sherried, caramelized fruits. Starts rich and sweet and the bitterness becomes apparent toward the mid section some sweetness and then as stated, by Avery its self sweet, rich, bitter "double espresso" finish. There is absolute alcohol warmth on this demon of a beer. I have to say weather you like Avery's demon serious or not they have been totally fun to try. And I will undoubtedly try them year after year. This is a very interesting beer one that absolutely deserves a chance to warm up and be drunk while thinking on its enormity.

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Photo of nkurz129
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is truly an amazing beer. On pouring into a snifter there is no transmittance of light, completely opaque held up to the light. It managed to retain a dense tan head the entire time it sits in the glass, which should be a while given its 16% punch. That said, there is no overwhelmingly strong alcohol presence. It drinks like an amazingly smooth brandy, with the warming sensation and everything. A cherry-espresso taste up front with a lingering taste of caramel.

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Photo of rsyberg01
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S - 12 oz. Bottled Jan. '06. Sampled Dec. 29 '06.

A - Pours black with a chocolatey head that dissipates to a thin ring around the surface of the beer.

S - Chocolate, cherry, vinous, coffee, molasses, alcohol swirled in as well. Intriguing elixir this is.

T - Cherry, sugary, chocolate, roasted flavors, bitterness in the finsih helps balance the sweetness, alcohol warmth.

M - Smooth, viscous, syrupy.

D - 15.1% ABV? Certainly Doesnt act like it. This devil will sneak right up on you.

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Photo of Bobikel
2.99/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Pours a thick black oily sludge with a 1/2" chocolate colored head. Lacing is very good. Retention is very good.

Smell - Roasted barley, coffee dominate the nose. A little chocolate, and some earthyness creep through.

Taste - Roasted bitterness is the first flavour you taste. Which is quickly followed be a sweetened chocolate flavour. Alchohol warms down the throat and in the belly. No noticible hops. Also a slight cidery flavour.

Mouthfeel - Lightly carbed, thick and viscous, it slides down the throat more like sushi than a liquid, I wonder what the T.G. was on this monster.

Drinkability - This is a sipper, and probably best left to one bottle sessions, prefferably on a cold night.

Overall - A slightly dissapointing stout. Imereal or otherwise. Just to sweet. Needs more hops, or more blackened barley.

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Photo of BeerRun13
3.21/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black as can be. A thick, rocky, tan head stands strong and leaves behind a wake of incredibly thick lacing.
Roasty. Fusel alcohol. Some estery fruitiness. "Pilot to base, this ones comin' in hot."
Wow, that packs a punch. Alcohol and fusely esters dominate this one. Fruity, caramel, roasty combo. It's quite complex, and to be honest, maybe a little much to handle. The beer almost changes from sip to sip, sometimes even seeming a almost cloying, while some sip's, and I emphasize sips, are decent.
Full bodied and moderately carbonated. A bittering finish seems to be one of the few constants about htis beer. Oily slick.
Strong and definately a little hot. Mellowed out well with some chocolate pieces near the end. I have another, and will really re-examine this one.

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Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark black with a small head. Alcohol is in the aroma like a hard drink. Average mouthfeel and above-average stout taste,but very bitter really with sugar in the finish. A bit of coffee, chocolate and roast. I would take a lot of other stouts before this one.

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Photo of geexploitation
4.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is quite thick coming out of the bottle. Decent sized head raised on the pour, especially given the high alcohol content, although it fades to just a collar pretty quickly. Incredible aroma of nuts (almonds), madeira and dairy smoothness -- almond cream, perhaps. You can smell some raw alcohol, alongside some vanilla. The overall aromatice impression is whiskyesque.

The palate of this is huge, thick, and rich, and reflects quite well the elements found in the nose. The nutty flavors are there, along with a creaminess reminscient of the filling in some Italian pastry. Some high fruit notes pop up, then a finish that's pretty alcoholic and active with raw sugar, dark rummy notes, and roasted malts. Mouthfeel is very intense, with thick malts, hops that just provide a bittering balance, and some raw alcohol burn vying for your attention. What a wonderful beer. This could benefit from aging, but it's also good for drinking right now. A well integrated, interesting brew that's not just your usual big stout flavors. Excellent.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in Nov 2006 - Batch 2
[OG 1.148, Alcohol 16.03% by Volume]

Presentation: 12 fluid ounce brown glass bottle, sealed with silver backed thin red foil on the neck which has a large silver letter ‘A’ set against a black circular brewery stamp. This foil covers the upper 2” of the neck, as well as the black and gold Avery logo’d crown cap. Another Avery dark black satanic label with a horned devil definitely fits the bill. Cost $7.99. Owe, hurts the pocket, and kidneys too.

Appearance: Dark brown, like a brooding out of control head from a warm bottle of Cola which rises in a cold glass, the foaming kopf fills my Stone RIS goblet. It soon settles down and finishes revealing an intense silk woven head which is composed of a fine delicate tapestry. Jet black body is hard to penetrate; the viscous alcohol clings to the glass walls and provides a solvent that enables the lacing to rejoin the main body of the beer easily.

Smell: Intense odors of dark chocolate locked into a high octane jet fuel nose. Dark fruits, more specifically those dark skinned cherries with prunes and caramel too. The alcohol is like an elephant hiding behind a lamppost, hard to miss.

Taste: That jet fuel feel soon provides a vehicle for the dark chocolates and caramel. Melting brown sugar and dark hardwoods fill the middle with a hefty dollop of malts. The finish has an after-burn which produces the blue diamonds and heats up the back end to a temperature hotter than most can handle. Burnt liquorice and caramel are heavy on the palate, so are dark fruits molasses and roasted prunes. The tastes start nicely but the finish is just too damned hot to make this an enjoyable offering in the long term.

Mouthfeel: Gosh this is hard, harsh and a bit of a nutcase. Only a lot of time could ever temper the demonic nature of this “hot” brew. It certainly has smoked malt and dark chocolate background which helps put the scorching burn down a little. But that fiery trait runs from the middle and starts a bush fire in your throat at the death; it’s all a bit too much.

Drinkability: This is one that needs to be gently sipped; actually a few slices of cold meat and aged hard Irish cheddar help to temper the heat in the back end. The 12 ounce soon looks insurmountable and it is fair to say that this will be your last drink of the night for sure.

Overall: Absolutely massive. A huge beer that bruises with punches yet comforts with a crushing bear hug. Harsh and far from refined, yet it exhibits some balance, but at 16.03% this is everything you expect but with some low key refinement that will improve with time. I bet Michael Schumacher would be proud of this…..I’ll wager my farts smell of burnt rubber tomorrow. I’ll be offering donuts at work in the morning but not the ones with sugar and jelly.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like unrefined crude oil. Has to be one of the blackest beers I have ever had. That being said it's not outstanding looking some some beers can be. Very, very heavy aroma-notes of port, burnt raisens, molasses, vanila and oak. The port/sherryish aroma is great. Big, thick, sweet syrupy flavor-anise and licorice flavors. Some bil ole espresso notes-like the dregs from the bottom of the cup!! This is probably so far out of any style guidelines but it is an amazing experience. Great, thick heavy mouthfeel-get a spoon! Very, very drinkable beer. One that could be consumed often but in moderation.

I wonder what the final gravity of this beer is. I have brewed some homebrews with a close OG-and after the yeast craps out they finish just like this beer. I have a Sami clone that finsihed very similar. Beers like this are great in my opinion. A six pack would last me a year. Not something to do all the time but when you do it's a great thing! A tad pricey but well worth it.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed November 26, 2006. 12 Oz Bottle. Dusky aroma full of freshly mulled unripe juniper berried in coarse vodka with an edge of single estate Ecuadorian chocolate, with some dusky deep pants. Deep dark chocolate pour, with a coffee and cream head. Flavor is the most ridiculously power packed punch. I’m surprised how easy it is for me to recognize the distinct character of the brewers yeast, in a sultatory sugary and planty presentation. The intense pack carries both a sweeping cream of bourbon vanillas and a rich deep oak char, followed by characterful fruit, yet it’s so cloyingly sweet I can’t believe it. It blows me away. The palate falls away as almost unattenuated and slightly too hot, but the alcohol carries this incredible nutty profusion over the currents on a bright profusion of intense dates, apricots and cherries. All around some of the most intensely packaged beer. Even the juniper comes through, before flourising out in an intensley packaged presentation, with a fresh hop finish. Wow on the flavor. For 15% it doesn’t do too bad.

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Photo of Kendo
3.55/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to MRMOJORISIN for sharing. . . .

A: This monster pours black -- black-as-night black. No real head is present, but there is a small brown film resting on top.

S: Big nose of major alcohol. Some prunes and black licorice, but the spicy alcohol dominates in a big way.

T: Heavy alcohol again. Also heavy on the sweet malts. After your mouth adjusts to the heat (it's not warm, it's hot), tastebuds discover some roasted coffee and chewy raisins. With those flavors and the heavy mouthfeel, it's almost like drinking a port rather than a beer.

M: Chewy and thick.

D: The alcohol takes some getting used to, but slowly but surely I was able to put down a portion of a bottle. It did go well with cappuccino truffles, but on its own, this is a real slow-sipper and the overwhelming alcohol takes some getting used to.

Notes: This beer has been aged for awhile, but I think it could stand to benefit from even longer cellaring. It really needs to mellow a bit. Drinking it now it's a BIG beer. Its weaknesses were especially evident when we followed it with two more moderate RIS's -- a Stone (I think it was '04) and the Left Hand. Both were much more moderate, more mellow, better balanced and substantially more drinkable.

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Photo of maundythirsty
2.69/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Lights-out black beer, with more than an inch of surprisingly spry and delicious-looking head the color of chocolate milk. Bubbles hang loosely on the glass.

Maybe the best beer smell ever to wander up my nostrils. I spent so much time inhaling that I may have let this beer warm too much. This stout sit below a thick vapor that is sweet and boozy with anise, chocolate and coconut. Smells a little grapey, like a heavy red wine.

Taste is another story. Hello, alcohol! Hello, turbinado sugar! Goodbye, beer, down the drain. Very boozy and sweet beyond my tolerance. I'd say there's a burned malt taste, but it's so far underneath that sweetness that I can't really get a handle on it. Mouthfeel is thick, and quite chalky.

Just too big, too sweet, too far out there.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.19/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

January 2006 batch poured into a tulip glass. Very, very black in color. I got a decent head which surprised me given the high alcohol; I thought higher ABV = less head. It smells sugary and roasted. The taste is cloyingly sweet and almost meaty. I just cannot get past the sweetness I did not like this stout at all, I would much prefer a Storm King, Old Rasputin, or a Stone IRS. I can’t believe I dropped seven bucks on a 12oz bottle of this stuff although I should be glad its not a bomber. I saw a poster at the liquor store advertising a new batch of this stuff with an ABV of 16%, yuck.

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 843 ratings.