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Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

874 Reviews
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 16.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Mephistopheles is the crafty shape shifter, the second fallen angel. Amazingly complex, coal black, velvety and liqueurish, this demon has a bouquet of vine-ripened grapes, anise and chocolate covered cherries with flavors of rum-soaked caramelized dark fruits and a double espresso finish. Cellarable for 10+ years.

Mephistopheles is the final installment of “The Demons of Ale” series.

Food pairing: We like Mephistopheles’ Stout with chocolate (60% cocoa or more), chocolate lava cake, flourless chocolate cake, tiramisu or traditional fruit cake made with rum-soaked fruits.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2006

For Trade:
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Reviews: 874 | Ratings: 2,230
Photo of Pahn
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled in November, 2007, batch 3. Reviewed from notes taken on September 16th 2010 (about a week ago).

Appearance: Free pour yields a one and a half inch dark tan head that dissipates slowly. Pours a solid black. Leaves a fair amount of lacing but it doesn't last very long--huge legs, however.

Smell: From the bottle: raisin and coffee. In the glass: Deep, deep raisin (well aged English barleywine deep), chocolate cake, and a hint of coffee. The raisin note goes so deep it sort of vacillates between raisin and banana (I never noticed the similarity between the two, actually). Some fudge brownie notes. Faint hint of solvent, as well as sourdough bread and banana bread. All of these aromas work very well together.

Taste: Thankfully, very much like the aroma, with a long, hot but complex finish. The chocolate and raisin keep on giving in the aftertaste, eventually giving way to fig and plum. There's a good amount of heat from the start. Chocolate and roasted malt flavors coat the mouth while the finish goes on and on.

This beer delivers a barrage of huge, clear flavors coexisting with a big alcohol burn. It's equal parts chocolate (chocolate cake, chocolate covered espresso beans, fudge brownies) and dark fruit (raisin, fig, plum), with additional hints of coffee and roasted flavors.

It tastes like a better version of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, and I *love* (not like--*love*) Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

Mouthfeel: Between medium and full bodied, with more carbonation than expected, but not too much. Hot. Some tannic character, especially in the finish.

Drinkability: The ABV necessitates that you sip, but it delivers so well and so long that this is no problem. This beer is exactly what it should be. I would guess it would be amazing with 10+ years on it.

When I started drinking this beer, I was watching television. I missed the last 10 minutes of the show I was watching because this beer commanded 100% of my attention. The beer is simply excellent.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.71/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and a light brown head is thick, initially, with large bubbles that lace nicely. This settles down.
Smells like black coffee, some chocolate, some booze (not surprisingly there). Initial impression in the nose was also like I was about to have an after dinner drink of Sambuca and coffee. So yeah this smells great.
This is very nice, sweet and robust coffee and burning cocoa, feels juicy out of the gate. But I mostly get molasses and dark plum pulp, with a general sensation akin to sipping some sort of a red wine. Really the sweetness with the carbonation here is pitch-black perfect. I certainly do get the whole "rum-soaked caramelized dark fruit" thing here. In fact this brewery's entire description of this stout is spot-on. Very chewy, sticky. Truly a monster. I should get one more and cellar it for a long time.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.71/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dec 2013 bottle opened in Mar 2015

Appearance – Pours a pitch black color with a nice creamy brown head and a medium lacing.

Smell – Heavy malt, molasses, anice, barley, and a hint of espresso. Very Nice! There is also some raisin notes.

Taste – Similar to the smell, but better! A perfect mix of malt, anice, and espresso, with vanilla. Very tasty!

Mouthfeel – Creamy, nicely carbonated, velvety, and smooth. The bottle says this is 15.4%abv, but it feels like only 12%. Very nice!

Drinkability – Very easy drinking, especially for 15.4%.

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Photo of tetu
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first beer from Avery.

Poured it into my wine glass, all I could think of was that it looked like syrup or oil going in there. Black, no light was getting through this glass. Formed a nice foamy head, slowly dissipated but could bring it back with strong swirling.

Smelled like spicy chocolate, there was something else strong in the mix but I couldn't place it.

Taste was dominated by chocolate that balanced the alcohol, and also had a roasted malt and coffee flavor to it. As it warmed the alcohol came out more. It was like drinking a wine in texture and feel: low carbonation, alcohal spice, good body (much lighter than the pour indicated).

Was very surprised at how easy it was to drink despite it being >30 proof (This has been said over and over about this beer, but it is because it's very true).

Great beer for sipping around the fire on a cool night.

I have two more bottles, one for sharing with the wife after our baby comes, and the second for storing in the cellar.

Great beer, would suggest it to anyone who likes the style and then some.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage

Poured from a 12 oz ounce into a wine glass-pours a pitch black (just like the coffee from the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks) with very minimal head, only a thin ring of retention around the edge, and a few little spots of lacing.

Smell is wonderful and intriguing- immediately smells like chocolate, mint, and coffee- then the dark malt and chocolate malt sweetness take over. Hint of booze.

Tastes like a thick frappaccino- coffee, chocolate, thick malt, a little bit of cream, and a little taste of booze.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly good for such a high alcohol content- full body, medium light carbonation. Excellent beer- if you have an interest in beer, find this beer and buy it.

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Photo of fatmusic14
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet. From Batch No.7 of Nov. 2011 release.

Pours like a chocolate milk. VERY little head, pours dark, silky smooth. Very little lacing and carbonation. Carries a simplistic elegance about it.

Smells exactly like it looks. Dark - hints of coffee, chocolate, slight caramel. Not nearly as pungent as you'd expect from a 16.43% alcohol percentage beverage.

Taste is really special. Coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt and a slight hint of fruitiness. Hits you for a split second like a raspberry, and then the kick of the stout settles in. Complex and simple at the same time. Really, really special.

Mouthfeel - one of the better that I've had. No chalky or thick coating on the tongue, but the flavor lingers and creates a craving for a book and a cigarette, while curling up in the corner of a basement bookstore.

Overall - this beer makes your mind wander, in the best possible way. $8 for a 12 oz drink might seem pricey, but the complexity of this drink makes it absolutely worth it.

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Photo of pzrhsau
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pure black color with a slight lace of head but really not much clear carbonation going on. This is a Batch 3 from Nov. 2007.
S: The scent starts out with raisins and plums and finishes with a warming chocolate sensation.
T: The beer has a nice dark fruit flavor that blends into a mix of chocolate and coffee. This settles into a nice warming sensation where you get a nice roasted malt flavor.
D/M: Very rich black imperial stout with a lot of punch but also a lot of flavor. Just prepare for it because it really hits you.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
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!

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Photo of Boto
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 2 bottle: This one pours an inky, thick, dark brown color. There is a finger of a light brown head on it. A bit of alcohol is the first thing that hits the nose. After that I get molasses, chocolate, rum, and some dark fruits also. Taste has a bit of alcohol to it. Somewhat sweet taste. Notes of chocolate, coffee, molasses, dark fruits. Silky feel on the tongue. Very Nice!

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Photo of pvo
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great, given the alcohol content. I've been having some of Dogfish Head's limited beers recently, and with all of those have found the alcohol overwhelming. This is an example of a strong stout that is still predominantly a stout, rather than some sort of gimmick.

I will look forward to having this again, but it's still a step below Weyerbacher's Tiny, Bell's Black Note, or Haandbryggeriet's Dark Force. Not to take anything away from it, but that's where it stands in my book.

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Photo of Migrios
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served ice cold in an IPA glass and sipped slowly as it warmed up. Jet black with a tan head. Rich chocolate aroma. Noticeably boozy. Tasted like a rich and boozy dark chocolate bar. Tasted hot, even when it was ice cold. This is definitely one to sip and savor. Pleasantly thin body for something so strong. I've had 10%abv stouts that poured thicker and felt heavier.

Fantastic overall. With age, I can only imagine that it would taste as smooth as Avery Uncle Jacob's Stout.

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

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

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

Woot! Review number 666! Kind of a milestone, so I figured I should at least pick something with a relative name, so Mephistopheles' Stout it is. Bottled in November 2007, Batch 3 -- review is from notes taken on 3/30/2011 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is black, pitch black and I should say I would expect nothing less from a stout with this name; starts with a fair 1/2 finger tan head that fades quickly to nothing other than a creamy ring around the surface and a very scant wisp of skim on the surface that keeps swirling around; body is entirely opaque as it should be;

Smell: Wow - very robust smell -- lots of everything one would expect in a beer like this: lots of chocolate (some very sweet, some more bittersweet) and it's pretty reminiscent of syrup; bit of a vanilla scent that is reminiscent of the syrup in a chocolate covered-cherry, as well as the cherry itself; bit of a butterscotch/caramel flavor; bit of a meaty/woody scent; definitely some alcohol too and just a touch of some roasty espresso... Really good...

Taste: Jesus, just like the smell -- very robust burst of flavors: tons of the syrupy chocolate (both sweet and bittersweet) and it is well blended with more of the roasty coffee-like presence than the nose would suggest is present and it is very reminiscent of a chocolate-covered cherry as mentioned above (sticky and vanilla sweet syrup included); presence of caramel and alcohol (almost like bourbon), but I have to say that for being labeled as a 16% ABV, the alcohol is fairly well masked; smokey presence that reminds me a bit of charred wood and burnt meat... this beer is fairly epic.

Mouthfeel: Body is thick and smooth -- carbonation is basically a non-factor as the body is really that viscous; bit of a tingle on the tongue and gums from the larger ABV; a thick and fairly dry sticky coating is left all over the mouth; belly is left especially warm from the ABV, and it is indeed reminiscent of sipping on a decent bourbon.

Overall: A great stout with amazing flavors -- I would say that this particular bottle rivals the '10 Dark Lord, and is therefore likely better than '09, and the best part about it is that it seems to available all the time. Price point is a bit high for a 12 oz. bottle ($9) and the ABV is too high for too much, but well worth trying and is great on a chilly night.

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

Oct 2015 release - 17.2% abv. For anyone who loves really big imperial stouts, this is a must try. Thick, sugary roasted goodness in a bottle. This one hits all the right notes of a decadent imperial stout. Liquid diabeetus. A good dessert beer, and it'll put you right to bed. Enjoyed every sip. The chocolate/syrup/espresso notes pretty much make the alcohol non-existent, which is an insane thing, given the ABV. This is one of the only beers that I wouldn't feel guilty buying again and again for $9/bottle. A real treat. As expected from Avery.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It's appropriate, and a great coincidence, that Black Sabbath's 'Heaven And Hell' appeared during an iTunes album shuffle just as I was about to pop the top on this monster. My first in-person meeting with Mephistopheles was last year at NYC's Ginger Man. A good friend and I found him to be a bold and boisterous character, yet sophisticated and alluring. It was an amazing meeting, and it capped the end of a legendary day.

My second meeting is with this Nov. 2006 incarnation. Poured into a Lucifer snifter (also a coincidence--it's the only snifter I own). The appearance is truly exceptional: toasty, billowy brown head sitting on top of abyss-black depths; the visible carbonation marches up in formation relatively slowly, scuttling up the sides of the glass like fire-ants hurrying toward something dreadful. It's beeee-yooootiful.

The aroma is alive with dark fruits, melted chocolate, steamed milk, toffee taffy (ever had it?), and chocolate licorice whips. At 16.03%, I expected some nostril-flaring, but so far this guy remains in-check despite an already huge ego.

Flavor is absolutely insane. Incredible. Perfect. No really. You want depth? It's here. A slow sip makes the flavors ride out a long time. First there's gooey chocolate, then bourbon-soaked blueberries, then the best maple syrup you've ever tasted. Next is a sweet candy flare-up followed by an infernally wonderful glow from the alcohol. Finishes with burnt graham cracker and roasted marshmallow.

Served with just the tiniest chill on, the liquid rolls over the tongue with a sensual glide, cherry-sweet, slightly sticky, mouth-coating. Some would say if feels "sinfully" good. Some would call it "heavenly". I would call it "5 out of 5, as good as it gets".

Ok, let's get down to earth and strip away the supernatural bullshit: this beer is amazing. Its drinkability is merely "good", due to the high alcohol and its bold, unsubtle characteristics. Not an every day. How can anyone bitch about the price? It's so worth it. If you love stouts of any kind...if you're not afraid of a big beer and a little buzz...indulge thyself.

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Photo of kerry4porters
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Nice heavy stout that isn't out of hand pricey at the abv
Great and smooth flavor that doesn't have the booziness other beers do at the %
Great flavor of Belgian Chocolates and hints of coffee great stout and the Belgian Yeast does not detract from it

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Photo of IAmAPenguin
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of Spica66
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottled in December, 2009, Batch 5. O.G. 1.135 16.83% ABV.

A: Thick, dark black pour. Wonderful brown fuzzy head. Excellent carbonation.

S: I smell STOUT!! Roasted barley, coffee, slightly malt-caramel. Wow, I can not wait!!

T: Fabulous! This is the way a stout should taste. Deep dark and roasty. Alcohol is there around the edged of your tongue, but does not burn at all. I am amazed!!

M: With this level of carbonation, I expected it to be too bubbly, but it is matched perfectly to the thickness of the beer. The alcohol actually adds to the excitement on your tongue instead of detracting from it.

D: I NEVER thought that I would give a 17% ABV beer a 5 for drinkability, but this deserves it.

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Photo of NitroGen
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

P: 12 oz. Brown longneck bottle, 16.03 % alc/vol

A: Black oil pours with an intense 1finger head that lowered and after a very long time lowers to a scant cover.

S: Raisins, anise dark and dark roasted espresso.

T: Effervescence is gone but a warm spread of creamy and fruity dark roasted grain, raisins and a hint of licorice with the alcohol heat to keep the flavors going long after it’s gone.

M: I applaud the alchemists that brewed this potent, intense myriad of flavors. Closest to a Utopia, in a good way, that I have yet tasted.

D: Woa Nelly! Need to sit down, relax and take your time to enjoy this savory brew! Definitely will buy more to share and experience with other stout lovers as this is not for the timid or feint of heart.
but it comes

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: As dark as Satan's magic, a thick black darkness with a dark khaki head to it, everything about this just proclaims obscure undoing. The head takes forever to subside and the murky depths below allow no light to pass through, not even at the edges or bottom. Oil.

S: theres the expected coffee and toffee but also a tiramisu smell or a rye bread in there as well, complex in the overlapping smells, not in the variety.

T: The heat from the alcohol hits first and is very apparent, along with aggressive bitterness and a burnt wood smokiness, next a coffee and toffee finish rounds out the taste. Very aggressive in every aspect, it's like getting your ass beat by a series of different martial arts in a matter of seconds. The middle cherry chocolate dryness is aggressive and some have called it "chocolate robitussin" but i dont think the medicinal quality is that overstated, the alcohol is the first to come but the coffee and cherry start pounding on your tongue just as hard. its over in 5 seconds but with serious residual taste.

M: It coats like cough syrup, if you drank this at 8 am, it would be with you almost until lunchtime, also if you drnak this at 8 am you have issues that I cant wrap my head around. Very thick, chewy, like liquid chocolate that you can just feel making residence in your gumline like those mucinex characters, only brown, and with presspots of coffee. really over the top.

D: In some respects, very drinkable, its a warming, thorough drink that hits so many notes youd appreciate it regardless, however, anyone who has more than 2 of these is a liar, or has demons that we cant comprehend. Just too much, too fast. I can't hang with stouts of this calibur.

Narrative: The threadbare pallor of the bone throne was welcoming, and cool to the touch. "The vassals are ready my liege" he spoke through baited smoky breath, thick with mist. "SEND THEM IN" proclaimed the necromancer as he wet his undead throat with a...ok I just...I can't
"you can't what?"
"Just keep with the script"
He exhaled, knowing he true intent, a soul as black as murky depths, the production assistant with hatred flowing through his veins, encouraged and strenthened with every fetched latte, piercing darkness with every pejorative hurled his way. "I just..the script"
"OH YOU JUST? WHY DONT YOU JUST STICK TO YOUR JOB" the director ejaculated with scarring epithets. "SOON MY DARK MASTER SOON" he clutched an amethyst pendant and embraced the darkening of his soul.

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Photo of kw_pip
4.66/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

***17.14% version
Draught. Nose sweet and malty and molasses. Toast. Palate thick heavy flavorful imperial stout. Cocoa. Boozy. Slight bite. Rich. Mouthfeel is thick. Quite enjoyed this.

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Photo of evilkalla
4.66/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Bottle into a pint glass.

A: Midnight black with half an inch of brown head, which has remained now for several minutes. LOTS of lacing on the glass.

S: A malty caramel scent. Some toasted essences in there too.

T: An overwhelming punch in the face of toffee, caramel, maple syrup, brown sugar, roasted malt, and in-your-face stout-essence. It is extremely smooth, the alcohol is there but it's masked almost effortlessly by the other flavors.

M: Smooth, silky and creamy.

D: I will drink every last drop of this one, and probably stumble back to the kitchen for my effort. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was a nice surpirse, to say the least. The Liberty Gastropub in Charlotte grabbed a hold of what they said was the only keg in North Carolina. Don't think it's even available for the public. But anyway . . . had this with a Bitter Chocolate Torte with Burnt Caramel
Ice Cream & Flaky Sea Salt. what a combination. Could not even tell how strong of a stout this really is. Very creamy and chocolately, one of my top favorites ever for the style. Worth getting your hands on.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle is from Jan 2006, Batch 1. It pours a dark brown/black color with a nice creamy tan head and good lacing. The beer smells like roasted malt, dark fruit, chocolate and coffee. When it comes to flavor, this definitely has a lot! It tastes like licorice, coffee, dark chocolate, maple/molasses, dark fruit and caramel. There's also some alcohol taste to it as well, but it's not strong as I thought it would be for a beer with an ABV this high. It starts off sweet and has a bitter finish. The mouthfeel is heavy, syrupy, chewy and thick. The drinkability is pretty good too. It's definitely a sipping beer, but it was so good I drank this a little faster than I should have. This is one of the best beers I've had, too bad I have to go out of state to buy more.

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

12oz bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). $10 (wow!). Batch 7, Nov 2011. Served in my trusty $2 snifter from Goodwill. 

Pitch black with half a finger quickly vanishing capucino head. Chestnut tinged edge. Every time it looks like there'll be a tiny bit of lacing, it slides back down into the murk.  

Huge aroma. Starts with nice roasted malt smell. Also some dark fruit and molasses. There also seems to be some piney hops there. And of course booze, but not near as much as I expect from over 16% abv. 

Whoa. Huge booze bite early on. But as it warms there is SO much more. Creamy chocolate, bitter expresso, cherries, wood, vanilla, smoke, raisins... the list goes on. As it warms up it goes through pretty much every flavor you could ask for in a stout. Terrifically comex. 

Now this is what I'm looking for in a big beer. Huge viscous body with a light carbonation tingle. Coats the tongue with creamy stout flavor- and I love it. 

I've never had another stout like this one. Yes, it has a hefty price tag and it definately does kick ya in the pants with the alcohol (both in taste and after-effects) but it's completely worth it. I hope to find more to go with the one I have to age for a few years... it's gonna be phenomenal. If you love a big stout and have a couple hours to spend enjoying a well done stout as it warms up, you really need to give Mephistopheles a try. 

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 874 ratings.
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