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Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

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Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout
BA SCORE
4.22/5
Exceptional
2,386 Ratings
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
averybrewing.com

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.60%

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.

Malt Varieties:
Roasted Barley
Black
Aromatic
Special B
2-Row

Yeast Varieties:
Westmalle Belgian Ale

Hop Varieties:
Bravo
Sterling

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
922
Ratings:
2,386
pDev:
11.61%
 
 
Wants:
332
Gots:
854
Trade:
47
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,386 |  Reviews: 922
Reviews by NorthSideSean:
Photo of NorthSideSean
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Absolut
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

Doesn't pour. It plops. Oozes.

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

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

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

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

See you on the other side.

 476 characters

Photo of smbslt
3.97/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

 246 characters

Photo of beersnobraven
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

2013 vintage poured into a Grand Marnier snifter

A: Black, black, black! Poured thick and viscous and actually had a decent amount of head for such a big beer, although it disappeared pretty fast, leaving just a few evil looking bubbles. Definitely living up to the name appearance-wise.

S: Wow! I think I got a buzz just from smelling this baby. I'm getting notes of bitter dark chocolate, as well as dark fruits like raisins dates, and plums. Smells almost (almost!) quad-like. Really powerful aroma!

T: Pretty similar to the aroma. Actually a lot hopper than I was expecting, although definitely not in a bad way (and I'm not usually a fan of hoppy beers). Alcohol is definitely present, although not nearly as much as I would've expected in a beer this big. Tastes more like it's 9 to 12 percent rather than the 15.whatever percent it actually is. Aftertaste is actually pretty dry, with hints of an almost woody character even though I know this beer wasn't barrel-aged.

M: Again, hefty, but not as big as I would have expected. Pretty much perfect. Not too thick, not too thin (for the style at least).

O: Definitely a big beer, although it's very drinkable. Can still be a lot to handle and is definitely something you'd want to nurse over an hour or two. But don't let the name and the high ABV scare you off; this is a seriously delicious and oddly-drinkable offering from Avery.

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Photo of cfhjimmyb
4.69/5  rDev +11.1%
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 kojevergas
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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

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

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

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

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

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

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

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

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

4.0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Average flavour duration and intensity. Nice flavour amplitude.

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

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

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

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

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

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

High B-

*

06.14.17:

Boozy (even aged)

C+

 4,966 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

No that's not a typo, Batch #3 bottled in November 2007 is indeed 16-percent ABV, which without a doubt is pushing the envelope.

Three fingers of brown head rise from a steady pour down the side of the glass, and the bubbles have a tough time getting through the viscous liquid to form their head. Black, there is no light when looking at this beer ... just black. Aromas of a charred raisin bagel, alcohol-soaked Bing cherries, light molasses, vague licorice root and vanilla, clean solvent and vinous alcohol, espresso and baker's chocolate all come to mind. Creamy and a little syrupy with a semi-smooth carbonation. Dense flavor profile slowly unfolds with each sip and each degree it warms up. Choco-goodness seems the strongest out of the bunch, molasses, charcoal, molten chocolate cake flavors blanket the taste buds. Hops are mellow and drop a little bit of flavor. Alcohol dials in quite cleanly for its size and the faint solvent flavor is a little spicy, but a vinous character really shows the complexity. Peppery sweet chocolate finish.

Chocolate wine? An extremely enjoyable sipper. Seriously, it tastes like chocolate wine if there is such a thing. Don't just buy one bottle, this is one gem that could be consumed now and cellared.

 1,299 characters

Photo of brownbeer
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Nov 2008. Slayed in the name of Dio. The liquid pours as black as the bowels of hell. Whiffs of bread, chocolate, peanut butter, nouget. snickers bar, if you will. A heat comes out in the taste. I cry for magic. Molasses and bready notes lift me up. Nice beer. Like a rainbow in the dark. I look forward to tasting a bottle of this that's five years old or more.

 370 characters

Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black like motor oil with a brown head that leaves lacing on the sides.
S - Smell is sweet and boozy.
T - Flavor is a little chocolate, a little carame and booze.
M - Thick and chewy with low carbonation.
O - This is a big boozy stout. A slow sipper for sure. I was a little disappointed as the alcohol tended to dominate everything. Might by another one and lay it down for a couple years.

 401 characters

Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of MYJELLOMISFIT
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 Bottle. HaHa. Cheers to Peter from Avery!

Thick mocha colored head roarin' for a fork. Head did not cascade like I expected but faded slowly to an even spread along the top of the body. Body was deep, dark, and almost un-penetrable by light. There was a real slight red, brown hint at the edges of the glass.

The aroma was just as deep and dark as the looks. Full of coffee, alcohol, chocolate, caramel, and spices. There is a deep fruit smell there too ... cherry or something. Almost a smokey finish on the back of this BIG beer.

So the 2007 Batch No. 3 rolling in at 16.00% ABV packs it's punch. Alcohol is prevalent but so are the roasted malts, cherry and grain. I bet with some cellaring this beer opens up a lot.

Mouthfeel is creamy like it should be. There is a little tingle of the carbonation but overall is wonderfully delightfull to drink.

 860 characters

Photo of eerbayman
2/5  rDev -52.6%

Photo of siege06nd
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of dipso123
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of schopenhauerale
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of skaboom420
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of TechBrew
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Paponetti44
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black satiny curve of delicious deep, dark malignity. Head is a full and creamy head of biscuit brown, filtering out with some wonderful cascading in the glass. Some lacing, the head is extremely fine. It looks deep, heavy, rich, malicious and captivatingly evil.

Lots of wonderful boozy, dark and sweet aromas. Certainly noticeable hints of roasted coconut, smoke, roasted almonds, even spit roasted meat. It's all so deliciously deep and dark and complicated. Very complex, and utterly delectable.

Very full and sensual flavours on the palate, huge notes of rich roasted malts, sweet deep toasty flavours of smoked chocolate, and again piquant notes of roasted meat. It fits together so well that you don't notice the oddities on the palate, they add some fascinating notes of interest, while still caressing your palate with the warm, smooth, silky touch of sweet roasty goodness. Absolutely phenomenally delicious.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, silky and amazing.

An incredibly complex and lusciously delicious treat. Very flavoursome, rich and complicated. It sticks itself in your face, but then caresses it gently. Wonderful.

 1,148 characters

Photo of Stoneman78
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed at the 2007 Strong Ale festival

A- Brown/black hue with orange highlights, nice layer of brown condensed bubbles in the head with tinges of bright orange, moderate lacing

S- Nose is rich dark fruits (plums, figs, raisins), touch of smoke, citrus, and stiff alcohol presence

T- Initial taste is mostly dark fruits, opens up to flavors of charcoal and smoke, alcohol warming and sweet raisins in the finish

M- Full-bodied, creamy texture, lively carbonation

D- Exciting flavors that are well-balanced and shine through despite the hefty alcohol presence, this is a treat to have on draft

 600 characters

Photo of jkendrick
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black as one would expect and virtually no head, also as one would expect from a stout this high in alcohol.

S: Roasty chocolate and coffee with that dark fruit and licorice character as well. I can already smell that I'm in for a hot beer.

MF: Full bodied becoming fuller as it warms. The carbonation is just about right but it is VERY hot with the alcohol.

T: I've reviewed a lot of imperial stouts and all the usual suspects for stout flavors are here: espresso, dark fruit, licorice, molasses. They are all in relative balance and make the beer complex. The alcohol is VERY present and makes this one a bit much to take. There is bitterness for sure, but it is mostly roasted espresso and alcohol.

Overall: I liked it, but the abv makes this one tough to finish even sipping. I've had other imperial stouts in this abv range that don't come across as hot. I cellared it for a while, but perhaps it needs years to mellow to a reasonable level.

 954 characters

Photo of DanielRP
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Ølbutikken, Copenhagen. Batch 3, bottled 2007-11, served at 2010-08. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Dark, nowhere near see-through. Brown to light-brown head, leaving its mark on the glass.

Smell: Dark, heavy smell speaking of prune and a bit of smoke. What is expected of a heavy stout, deluxe!

Taste: The alcohol is tasted at first, and felt when the aftertaste kicks in and you feel the warmth in your throat, a noticeable difference from eg. regular 10% stouts. It leaves a remarkably noticeable flavour of nuts after some time, hazelnuts I would say. Below the nuts there is a touch of coffee. The taste comes a bit below the strong sensation of the mouthfeel, so one has to seek it a bit more than usual. One can isolate some roasted flavours that don't feel as they come forth very strong in the mouth, it's probably a sensation that is connected to the strong alcohol running through.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, not at all flat. Good (perfect?) carbonation for this type of beer. The high alcohol percentage is felt in my tongue and palate, making them go a tad numb after a while.

Drinkability: 16%. Half a bottle later I am feeling it. But I never got tired of drinking it, even after I finished it, I could have taken more. Obviously you won't drink many in a (fruitful) night, but it is a pleasure to drink.

A strong beer, in many aspects. I already feel eager to drink more bottles. The price is a bit hefty though, but I guess it's connected to the alcohol percentage in some way. I will, however, certainly get more bottles if/when I get the opportunity again. Avery really shows off that they can make top-class beer when they have the ambition to do so.

 1,683 characters

Photo of raffy313
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Mantooth
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of AmitC
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 2,386 ratings