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Tweak | Avery Brewing Company

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 17.81%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as Meph Addict and Coffeestopholes.

Tweak is Avery Mephistopheles Imperial Stout, with a chunk of coffee thrown in. If you haven’t geeked out enough, the brewery aged in four months in bourbon barrels.

Added by rye726 on 02-18-2010

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Reviews: 229 | Ratings: 1,835
Photo of BarrytheBear
2.96/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Just ungodly harsh and boozy....coffee notes meagerly call out while being punished unmercifully by the long arm of overly oaked Boozesaurus. Nearer shots than beer. A rough ride my friends.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.1/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Thin khaki collar.

Smell - Boozy. Milk chocolate. Bourbon. Lots of vanilla.

Taste - Holy crap it's boozy. Bourbon. Coffee. Booze. Very sweet, but alcohol masks a lot of the sugar. Hefty alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel - Extremely boozy. Heavy. Sweet. Kinda rough.

Overall - This was unpleasantly boozy.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.19/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Falling Rock was pouring this one tonight. What a pour! Black and luscious, creamy head and soft. Nice. Reddish hints on the rim. Oooh-la-la...

Coffee. Black rich coffee in the nose. That's it.

Coffee again in the taste. This time, though, it's accompanied by black plum and a bit of roasted malt. Not much else to describe this one. It rivals KBS and is a bit thicker on the palate. Coffee. Coffee. The scourge of coffee

Easy drinking for a 16% whopper. Dangerous.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
3.25/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nothing smooth about this beer at all. This sent my palate screaming for mercy begging me to drain pour it. Halfway through my glass I listened to it. Just way too bitter and acidic, not a pleasant drinking experience at all. There is no comparison here to BCS / BCBCS IMO.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.48/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #2, bottled Jan 25, 2016. Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Black color. A short, short-lived beige head formed and left a single wisp of lacing. Pretty standard for a beer this huge.

3.5 S: Very surprisingly smell in terms of intensity. For a 17% beer with coffee and barrel treatments, this is tame. Even more crazy is that the booze isn't detectable at all. Roasted barley, milder coffee, peaty bourbon. Molasses, leather, touch of woody oak. It smells good, but it's not impressive.

3.25 T: The flavor definitely picks up in the taste. For starters, the booze show up and in a big way. A ton of roastiness gives a hefty bitterness. Leathery and peaty bourbon with a mild tannic astringency. Coffee, light vanilla, molasses, caramel, and hints of licorice. I get the feeling that the complexity and intensity of flavors found in this beer could easily be achieved at 10 or 12%. The added alcohol seems unnecessary and only distracts from what the beer should be aiming for. Bitterness lasts into the aftertaste. I'd rather have a more formidable maltiness to balance it out.

4.0 M: Heavier medium to heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Pleasantly creamy. A bit sticky, but much less chewy than a beer this big should be (which I tend to like at times).

3.5 D: Eh, I'm really not that impressed. The high ABV does nothing to pack in more flavor or complexity.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.56/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz brown glass with gold foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap. Appealing label design. Bottled 10/28/14. Batch No. 1.

Served cold into an Avery stem-tulip in high altitude Fort Collins, CO and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. 17.81% ABV.

Thanks to Blakelive784 for the share. Expectations are pretty high, but in fairness I wasn't that big Mephistopheles - which I understand is the base.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: One finger wide. Dark khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Retention is damned impressive considering the ABV - about 3 minutes, not including the retreat to a floater ring. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque dark black - not an ink or jet black, but a dark black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears aptly carbonated. Not unique or special appearance, but good for the style certainly.

AROMA: Dark malts, chocolate malts, marshmallow. I pick up on faint coffee when I look for it, but the coffee isn't rich or evocative, and lacks the roastiness and java characteristics I seek in a good coffee stout. The bourbon notes are mild - some mild vanilla but not much oak. Cream.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

Overall, it's a pleasant aroma of average strength. I'd like more of a bourbon-forward profile, with more evocative rich notes of vanilla and coffee. Adding (more) chocolate would be a good call. Sweetness seems perfectly dialed in based on the aroma.

Seems a biteen reticent overall. The notes don't jump out at you; they're rather contained, but in fairness they don't seem muted or subdued. Just mellow - which at ~18% is unexpected.

TASTE: The coffee isn't very rich or evocative; I get some grounds but no real roastiness or fresh java. The base is as you'd expect: plenty of dark malts and chocolate malts, but not too much sweetness. It's not cloying. I pick up on no yeast or off-notes, but judging by the sweetness (or lack thereof) the yeast has an unnaturally high attenuation.

Tame marshmallow. There're hints of bourbon, but they're mild. I get a kiss of vanilla or vanillin, and maybe a bit of charred barrel wood. No rich toasty white oak or genuine vanilla bean. Maybe a brief kiss of coconut?

There's alcohol warmth, but I'd never guess this was 17.81% if I tried it blind.

Is it balanced? I guess...the alcohol - well hidden as it is - is still disruptive, and I just don't feel like the barrel notes accentuate natural characteristics of the base, nor are the barrel notes prominent enough for my tastes. Mephistopheles may be too aggressive a base beer to start with, and the coffee just didn't take. I'd recommend richer more distinctive coffee and a longer barrel aging period. But I could see this mellowing out with age.

It's complex, sure, but compared to the best beers in the style it's not horribly intricate. While it's carefully handled for a 17.81% ABV beer, I wouldn't call it subtle or nuanced.

I do like it, but it never feels like a gestalt whole and there are obvious areas for improvement. The bitterness/sweetness tug-of-war is never resolved, and the barrel isn't well-tailored to the base.

TEXTURE: Creamy, smooth, plump, wet, supple, full-bodied, thick, and chewy.

Should be softer. I love that the ABV is as well hidden as it is, but I also wonder why Avery skews so high on their ABVs in general; this would be more drinkable and approachable at a more reasonable 10-12% ABV. Thankfully, it's not too sticky, syrupy, or viscous.

It does have a harshness to it, an aggression that unsettles. But it's not boozy.

Overall, this texture is a decent companion to the taste, but doesn't elevate the beer and doesn't seem tailored specifically to this flavour profile.

OVERALL: It's got some alcohol warmth, but nowhere near what you'd expect at ~18%. Admittedly, I wasn't huge on the base beer (Mephistopheles), and I don't taste a natural harmony between the bourbon barrel notes and the base. It's surprisingly drinkable for its monstrous ABV, but I think Avery goes big on alcohol to a fault, and gains little in the process. I'd like to see the alcohol dialed back, the bourbon aging period extended, and some nuanced notes added - coconut, milk chocolate, vanilla bean, et al. Worth trying, but not world-class.

Huge thanks to Blakelive784 for the share.

Low B

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Photo of yourefragile
3.6/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes, on tap at Union Jack's on the Manatawny ~2010.

Pours a standard pitch black, opaque and a thin tan head. Intense roast espresso nose, light bitter chocolate and intense alcohol. Very smooth, creamy and chewy body, minimal carbonation and surprise surprise, a potent wallop of warming booze. Coffee is a little less intense in the nose with molasses and dark fruit adding some sweetness, but this is still an intense coffee bomb with a ton of booze. Easier to drink than expected (or than I probably described), but this was a chore and I'll pass on revisiting.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.65/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Brief write-up. It looks amazing - the retention seems impossible for 18%. The aroma is also great, like a coffee-infused chocolate cake devoid of booze. The taste, though, is really hot. But it's only hot if you leave it in the mouth - just drinking it, it's nice and smooth. Naturally, the chocolate, coffee, bourbon, and dark fruit flavors are massive, as is the lingering sweetness. Letting it reach room temp will help balance it out, though it remains too sweet throughout. While it's fairly likable, it's just way too over the top for it's own good.

3.65/5: Nice, but too damn OTT

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Photo of smb
3.68/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Way too hot and way too carbonated for an imperial coffee stout. There are some nice barrel characteristics, slight chocolate sweetness and bourbon in the aroma and the flavor, but burnt coffee is the headliner, which isn't a good thing. Smells much better than it taste, and that's always disappointing in any beer. It may get better with a few years on it, once the alcohol and coffee fade more... but that's a little bit of a cop-out.

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Photo of Mcj6986
3.73/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Too potent for it's own good (and I love high ABV stouts like Black Tuesday, etc)... The coffee flavors were also those that I do not enjoy. Instead of being roasty, they were very peppery... Not anywhere close to as good as BCBCS.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.74/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

'14 vintage, 12 oz bottle poured into Teku.

A- Pours a very dark black with a thin creamy mocha head that has decent retention.

S- Chocolate fudge, vanilla, oak, bourbon, light coffee, some underlying alcohol. Very sweet and decadent smelling, can definitely smell the booze there but for the abv hides it nicely.

T- Very sweet chocolate fudge, bitter baker's cocoa, cocoa powder, vanilla, oak, plenty of booze, light coffee (was expecting a bit more), bourbon that adds to the sweetness.

M- Very thick and viscous, can definitely taste the alcohol and has a burn going down but not too bad for the ~18% (just wouldn't suggest taking a big gulp), carbonation fairly lively and consistent- could maybe do with it toned down a little bit due to the style.

O- Tweak is just another one of those over-hyped ultra-sweet gimmicky high-abv beers. As far as beers in the 18% realm go this is pretty decent, just above Black Tuesday in my opinion but not better then the variants. Definitely a sipper and probably enjoyed over the course of at least an hour or two if consuming solo.

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Photo of LouZ
3.76/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Draft pour; dark, black. Minimal head with no retention. Aroma was not very strong; mostly notice the coffee and not much of the bourbon, surprisingly. Taste was okay; got the coffee, but the lasting impression here is how hot this brew is. You taste and feel all 18% of the ABV. Alcohol presence is quite strong. Think of black coffee with booze instead of creamer. This is closer to liquor than to beer. Overall, it's an okay novelty to me. Glad I got the 4oz poor as that is more than enough in my humble opinion.

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Photo of milehighhop
3.76/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Based on the ratings, I was thinking this would be something I would really enjoy. It was good, and perhaps I need to try in the winter, but the strong alcohol and bourbon taste was a little overwhelming for me. Served at Lucky Pie in a snifter, black with a tan head. Looked great, definitely one to sip.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.78/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I could almost start and end my review with a single word: Kahlua.

Dark brown color with a short head with dissipates quickly. Most of my time with this beer, it had neither cap nor foam. Nose is full of chocolate and espresso. Highly roasted, but also a sweet presence. Alcohol is all over this one.

The flavor is very boozy. Switches from chocolate to coffee as the dominant flavor, with plenty of good stuff like molasses and dark fruit. Full, thick mouthfeel, and a velvety soft finish.

There's a lot to be said about this one, but to my taste buds it was way too sweet - almost like hot chocolate - and the booze was far too apparent. This was a shot at a gold medal in abv and that's about it. Dial this one back and you've probably got a damn fine ale, but as it stands I can't recommend this.

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Photo of beergoot
3.8/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Unique bottle label data: Bottled Oct 28 2014

Coal black body with a wispy, dark tan head. Rich, dark aroma; dates and figs; booze; vanilla. Big alcohol warmth with a spicy, chocolate backbone. Heavy body with a burning heat.

Boozy bitterness is the game. There's some chocolate malt and roasted grain notes, too, but they're very much subdued by the high ABV. And, if one can bypass the alcohol heat, there is some semblance of coffee in the mix, too. Ah, it ain't a bad beer for what it is, but it's hard to get excited by anything other than its hammer-like presence of rough, dark husky grains and loud-ass booze. I suppose, for me, it's a love/hate kind of thing as I really do enjoy heavy, dark, boozy beers, yet this one just seems way too rough around the edges...

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Photo of jbwimer
3.8/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mega booze, but oh, so good. Dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, vanilla, hint of bourbon. Fusel alcohol detracts from the beer, but some great flavors here.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.84/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Tipples. Pleasantly surprised to see this hit Florida distro. Pricey as hell at $15 a bottle but had to try it once. Pours nearly pitch black--not quite as thick looking as Uncle Jacobs or Black Eye--with a nicely forming dark brown head on top. Aroma of beautiful vanilla and licorice, some coffee, dark fruits, molasses, chocolate. Picks up the bourbon tones without smelling like a shot of bourbon. Smells soft and smooth and very nice. Taste is sweet molasses and cocoa, a bit of coffee spice, with a sweet boozy finish that leaves a bit of vanilla and a bit of earthy coffee left coating the palate. Some metallic notes. Boozy for sure, much thinner than I had hoped but still big and rich. I’m not a fan of Mephistopheles, honestly, and I feel like that dislike is coming through a bit here relative to its peers like Uncle Jacobs and Black eye. But it’s definitely an improvement over the base by miles and a solid after dinner sipper.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.85/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Rattle n Hum, this one was served in an 8oz wine glass.

Mephaddict pours a standard stout black, totally impenetrable by light. The wispy tan foam that crowns the beer is barely there, and definitely not enough of a base off of which to make any judgements about head retention or lacing. The nose is a one note coffee bomb. The almost espresso-like aroma is great, but the novelty wears off quickly with nothing else behind it. I hope there's more to this beer, as I'm not a huge fan of anything that drinks like straight cold coffee. Thankfully, in addition to the expected heavy handed coffee flavor, a nice robust dark chocolate note fills out the profile. I still would have preferred the base beer to come through a bit more relative to the coffee, but the balance here is certainly serviceable. The body is full, but not as viscous as I might have guessed given the ABV. The carbonation is just a little too bubbly though, to the point where it distracts from all the malty goodness on occasion. Mephaddict is one of the better cofee infused stouts I've had in a while.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.86/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours jet black with a thin tan head that fades quickly, but still lingers around the circumference. The nose is booze-forward followed by coffee and some caramel/vanilla sweetness. It drinks with slightly charred grain and aggressive booze upfront, bourbon barrel, malty sweetness, coffee bitterness, and lingering toasted oak. There is minimal carbonation, thick and rich coffee and bourbon, but abrasive ethanol that really hurts the drinkability. This beer has huge flavors and I can understand the appeal, but have little desire to try it again.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.93/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a solid black, just a tinge of deep mahogany around the edges. a half a finger of a tan head with weak retention but leaving behind a decent sized lacing. completely dark and opaque.

Smell: Strong chocolate hinting at fudge, some coffee, big alcohol leaning towards bourbon.

Taste: opens up with a little bit of chocolate and a good dose of coffee. chocolate returns after initial taste hinting more at fudge. towards the end alcohol burns through with quite a bit of bourbon. coffee grinds make occasional appearances.

Mouthfeel: heavy and hinting at syrupy. slight boozy astringency and alcohol hot.

Overall: very nice but I will take the regular mephistopholes over this one. not the biggest fan of coffee added to stouts but this one does well. the flavors are big and bold and the coffee is at an average level making the balance nice for me.

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Photo of breadwinner
3.94/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's big, it's boozy, it's bourbon, it's coffee, it's thin, it's fruity, it's almost certainly not worth $13/12oz bottle, it's not bad, it's fine for what it is, it's not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of Zorro
3.98/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thick pour like 40 Weight motor oil.

Black colored beer with a thick brown colored head.

Smells decidedly boozy. Scents of coffee and grapes. Scent of chocolate and rum. Scent of coconut.

Starts out sweet and strong chocolate. Slight soy sauce taste. Strong alcohol warmth in the chest. Taste of berry and grapes. Mild bitterness. The alcohol does tend to numb your tongue.

Mouthfeel is gravy thick.

Overall worth a try once but I would buy something else in the future.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.98/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on draft at the Avery tap take-over event at the Craft Ale House.

Appears jet black, thin tan head that leaves great lacing. Smells like a cup of espresso. Monster coffee bean aroma. Taste is pretty much as expected, all coffee. roasty, but not overly bitter.
Seems thinner than the base beer, and has low carbonation.

amazingly, it hides the huge alcohol content very well, totally different than the regular Mephistophele's.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.98/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Bear Republic tasting glass. Bottled 28 October 2014. 17.81%.

A: Predictably dark. No head. Hints of clinging lace.

S: Coming right off a KBS, I'm hit by the sweetness/bourbon-ness with the coffee receding into the background but still zippy enough to perk my interest. Mmmm, and now it's flipped. Such balance. Such richness. Yum.

T/M: Hot and harsh and boozy, as is the case with many of these Avery bigguns. Granted, it's fresh, but still...Especially transitioning from such a stellar nose. Loads of ground coffee, hints and whiffs of the hard stuff, with a long, lingering, bitter toffee-chocolate-burnt finish. Surprisingly thin for such a BIG beer.

O: Good by brute force if nothing else. Might recommend.

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Photo of KansasBeerLover
3.99/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

8 oz. Draught served in a snifter.

Appearance: Black body. Head was a thick, dark creamy foam one-half finger deep. Lacing was absent.

Smell: Espresso, malt, plums.

Taste: Alcohol is overpowering. Espresso, chocolate, fruit and bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied. Dry with some bitter. Left a “fuzzy” tongue with the espresso taste.

Overall: Too much alcohol. But is should be good after 5 years in a cellar.

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Tweak from Avery Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 229 ratings.