Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

902 Reviews
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / 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
Special B

Yeast Varieties:
Westmalle Belgian Ale

Hop Varieties:

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 902 | Ratings: 2,312
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. Batch 7 from November 2011.

Appearance - Inky black with a small mocha head. No retention. Not even all that leggy as I swirl it. Thought it would look more viscous.

Smell - Booze is nostril-burning. Fudge all over the place. About as strong as the booze, which I appreciate. Black patent malt aroma with fudge.

Taste - Chocolatey as all getout. Fudge flavors persist here. Just buckets of chocolate until I get a bitter roasted malt finish and a fruity uptick in the back end. It's still boozy.

Mouthfeel - Well it's gigantic and it tastes every bit of it. I actually expected it to be boozier. Decent carbonation, but it's pushing the low end of medium.

Overall - Definitely not something I need to drink again. I expected it to be worse. Pleasantly surprised that I was able to consume as much of it as I did.

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Photo of Zorro
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled through BA johnnnniee and BEERFEST THE MOVIE BIF!! (Yeah you spell it that way.)

Jet black beer with a glass filling brown colored head.

Very aromatic beer from the moment you pop the cap. Sweet and aromatic lots of fig and licorice aroma. Chocolate vanilla coffee and a definite booziness. Coconut and berry aroma but I can't positively say it is black berry.

The flavor starts out sweet and bitter with a strong chocolate and coffee flavor and an alcohol burn. Fairly strong berry flavor the sweetness seems to enhance this. Pretty much stays sweet and bitter. Strong alcohol bite detracts from the beer flavor quite a bit here it is a little annoying and stronger than Kahlua liquor.

The mouthfeel is quite thick.

Tasty and interesting but best experienced in small doses. Like DFH WWS and some of the more extreme beers this is a little too intense for much more than about half a glass.

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Photo of crossovert
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2008 Vintage. For my 200th review.

Pours into my snifter a thick black, there is a surprisingly large head that takes a mightly long tme to dissipate and leaves some speckled lacing. The head is dark tan.

Smell is chocolate decadence. There is hints of dark bready malts, molasses, coffee, dark fruits, and caramel.

This one is a sipper but it isn't too cloying or overly alcoholic. It tastes much more roasty but the molasses and chocolate are there in a big way on the palate. The alcohol is persistent and noticeable but that is expected with this abv. The alcohol and sweetness never become obscene.

The mouthfeel and drinkablity aren't bad for the abv but they are a bit weak style-wise.

Overall this massive beer is alright, pretty good, it is something decadent to share with a friend.

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Photo of chilly460
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours black with a finger of cocoa colored head, dissipates to a ring around the edge of the glass.

S: Whoa, plenty of warm booze hits up front. Get some dark fruit here, currants, with dark chocolate as well. Overall effect is of candied fruit, quite sweet.

T: Lots of prickly warmth up front, a rugged burn like you'd get from a brandy. Some sweet and roast flavors come in secondary to the booze. Mild chocolate as well. Finishes with more warmth, and got some earthy hops as well.

M: A thicker, sticky feel to this beer. Decent amount of carbonation which kept it from being syrupy.

O: Pretty interesting brew, the booze is the main player on this one, but it is fairly warming and makes for something unique.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
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 lifeboyq
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ohhh... I'm excited. I love these high ABV novelty beers...and if its anything like The Beast comparatively within the style as novelty grand cru is to novelty stout, I'll be a fan. Pours of dirty motor oil black with a tan head that holds up surprisingly well for a beer of this ABV although not REALLY well. Wow, an alcoholic taste, slightly biter roasted malts. The malt bill is slightly hidden by the too many hops which tells me this beer would probably age well and I'll def. put a couple away. Despite the over hopped profile its really pretty interesting albeit not very complex. Fun stuff and will be interesting to revisit and age. Roar!

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Photo of srandycarter
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Into the tulip

Mephistopheles IS your name, and it is appropriate.

A - Black, thin mocha head, aggressive thin lacing.

S - Smoky molasses and booze.

T - Harsh at first. Thick, hard tastes of very dark chocolate and coffee and molasses. One is almost too much not to share.

M - Full body, good carb and thick coating. Thick, thick, thick.

D- One is more than enough.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
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 CrellMoset
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a thick, viscous, oily dark brown, not quite black but damn near black. Absolutely no transparency at all when you hold this one up to the light. The one finger of dark cocoa-hued head is marginally alcohol-retarded, fading to a thin but persistent sheen and a spongy foam collar fairly quickly, but there are a few eruptions of glittery lacing that desperately cling to the sides of the glass. Not a bad start.

Aroma: The first thing that's surprising is the paucity of alcohol in the nose. A lot of metallic notes are slightly odd but not exactly offputting, nor are a few char and smoky notes, but a hint of rubber might be. Dark, toasty malts - baker's chocolate, toast, earth - and a handful of fruity notes - both light (berries) and heavier (raisins) -

Taste: Rum-soaked raisins dipped in dutch process baker's cocoa and rolled in light licorice. A slew of lighter, sweeter notes - caramel, dark toffee - and heavier, blacker notes - char, smoke, ash - do a fair job between the both of them of covering up the alcohol. The heat is present largely in the finish, and more as a prickle - albeit an intense prickle - than as a chemically or ethanol-ish note. The remainder of the overtones are yeasty in origin, fruity mostly - cherries, tons of vinous notes, apricots, peaches, a slight backing tartness. It's quite a combination, and a lot seems to be muddled, lost in translation, buried.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, but with a surprising amount of balancing carbonation (which made itself evident in the head formation and surprising retention earlier), and that slight "lift" actually does a great deal to keep this one from being what I would have to describe as "cloying." As it stands, it's just syrupy.

Drinkability: Nothing is drinkable at 16%+ - hell, nothing is drinkable at 12%+ - and this one's a little muddled, but I wouldn't say it was bad. It has a few good characteristics - a relatively complex array of notes, for instance - but plenty of bad ones too (the heat, oh the heat!). Wouldn't see myself trying this one again, though it is a good example of a "say you had it once" beer.

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Photo of Benish
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2016 release.

Appearance: poured jet black with a thin film of dark brown colored head.

Smell: strong notes of white chocolate and vanilla. It has a very sweet aroma without any roasted character.

Taste: starts out with the sweet bitter chocolate with notes of cherries. Very sweet but then ends with a charred and bitter finish with final notes of strong coffee. The bitterness tend to linger around long after the sip. Alcohol not as noticeable as I expected. Little bit of warmth at room temp.

Mouthfeel: thick and full-bodied but I expected a little more viscosity.

Overall: seems this could use a couple years of age. Seems harsh with too much clash of flavors.

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Photo of flexabull
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 3 from November 2007. I found this for $4.50 at a store in Mt. Shasta, figured that was a very fair price to pay.

Pours thick and sluggish, very black, with a thick tan head that quickly faded.

Aromas are sweet, bitter dark cocoa, slight hoppy bitterness and pine. I like the smells on this one.

Taste is really bitter, with strong booze and alcohol. Some dark bitter bakers chocolate , light sweetness, plus some creamy and almost cola like malts. Finish has a crispness, more bitterness, and alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is good, a bit prickly and hot though.

Drinkability is pretty good. But this beer is a bit much. Too much alcohol, it overwhelms everything else. I'm not sure if a lot more time is going to help it out, since it's a year an a half old. But this is huge, and maybe some more time would help it out, but the more I drink it, the more I think it doesn't have enough "behind it" to have it improve much.

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Photo of boomer31
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 4 bottled Nov. 08. I think I read somewhere this beer has 16 different sugars added during the process

A - Black pour into DFH sig glass leaving a quarter inch beige foam that disappeares quickly but rises up with a swirl of the glass. In the light a dark brown around the edges.
S - Resiny sugary booze with dark malts. This one smells hot and at 15%+ I assume it'll taste as such.
T - Hot but not as boozy or hot going down as I was expecting at first. As it approaches room temp the alcohol comes thru and the heat is apparent. Sugary aftertaste and bitter chocolate but a very nice dark malt and faint fruit taste.
M - Malty smooth and rich. Not a Bells 9000 rich but nice, more so than DFH WWS.
D - Hot and a sipper. Plan to savor this for a while.

Overall a good beer. According to style this hits the alcohol and sweetness on point but I can't tell if its the hops or bitter chocolate behind the sweetness. I would not seek this out if it wasn't so readily available. I've seen a batch 3 which I may think about grabbing and cellaring for a bit longer to see how it holds up but aside from that I would not seek batch 4 again (especially at $8/bottle).

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Photo of claybeer
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Avery Mephistopheles Stout Bottled on November 2008
Without a doubt the darkest beer I have ever seen! This vivid black beer also has the most appealing head on any beer. It is very frothy and looks like thick chocolate cream. I can smell this beer as I opened it. It really fills the room sweet caramel and Tootsie Rolls. Big! Big! Full of chocolate with some bitterness, walnuts and just a little coffee on the end. There is not a noticeable alcohol taste but just a warming sensation fills my stomach. The coffee and walnuts linger on the end. It is very pleasant! his is a 12oz. beer you wouldn't mind sharing with a friend. It is not very easy to drink but so enjoyable. All rookie beer drinkers beware! All veterans beer drinkers proceed with caution but defiantly try it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 release on-tap 4/16/2011 at Armsby Abbey in Worcester served in an over-sized wine glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark black color, large beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bready malts, some chocolate, a little coffee and touches of dark fruit and hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong bitter-sweet flavor of dark chocolate up front. There’s a rich roasted malt character and touches of dark fruit and smoke in the background. The hops presence is very mild as you would expect for this type of beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is a decent strong stout to sip on for a while.

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Photo of Donnie2112
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

batch 3

appearance: HUGE creamy brown head and curtains of sticky lacing. Imperial Stout Black as well

smell: big boozy smell, coffee, black currants a bit metallic from all of the booze

taste: very boozy, a bit of vanilla, some caramel, a bit of anise and a burnt coffee flavor at the finish as the beer has warmed up there is something a bit cinnamon like in the back of my throat, I also seem to notice something slightly more metallic. Definately interesting

mouthfeel: slightly viscous, very warming, rather carbonated

drinkability: I suppose this might be a good cold day beer, it really is very boozy and warms me up a lot. It's just a little much I guess.

In this style I'd go with the World Wide Stout from DFH instead

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 2/26/08. 2006 vintage. Pours dark black with a surprisingly thick beautiful dark tan/reddish head. Aroma of light fruits- apple and pear. Tastes initially of dark fruits (more apple, pear, fig, prune, raisin), alcohol, and I got some sweet carmelly nougat in the swallow. Very thick and sweet and heavy. I thought it was very good for the high alcohol content, but the sweetness/heaviness was still a bit much for me. 8/5/7/4/15 (3.9/5)

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pour into tulip with opaque brown body and orangey head. Diminishes into some faint lacing.

Nose is alcohol, fruit is secondary, perhaps some pork?

Flavor is powerful malt, lingering coffee bitterness, and hoppy finish which is balanced by sweetness and caramel on the front.

Mouthfeel has enough carbonation to avoid becoming pure syrup.

Drinkability is low, because it's so intense. It's fantastic, but even a 12oz. is one to share.

Trying a Dec 2009 in March 2012, lots of soy sauce character.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my doppelganger for sharing this one with me one weekend while over at his house! Served from growler into a Stone nonic. Yes, you read that right, an effing growler. We killed it too... One of the dumber things we've done so far. Anyways, this one poured pitch black with a minimal light brown head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, caramel, and brown sugar. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, caramel, brown sugar, and big alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Just a heads up, do not mix this brew and tequila shots later in the night as my doppelganger found out (lead to a blackout). This thing lays an assault on your palate with the alcohol just like a nice glass of bourbon would. This definitely kills the drinkability of this one for sure. But who buys a growler of this and doesn't expect to be wasted??? Definitely worth trying if you get a chance to, but I would stick with the 12 oz bottle as it is more manageable.

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Photo of peabody
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a really black concotion with less than a finger of brown suds. Lacing lots around the glass.
Smell is strong caramel and malt and alcohol.
I get a chickory smoke and fruityness like a grape or dark cherry.
Taste is a sour mix of dark cherry and chocolate cordial with lots of sugary malt to finish it off. Then a sourness hits before the dry coffee taste brushes the palate.
Mouthfeel is sticky sweet and leaves the mouth wanting water.
Drinkability is not that good here because of the abv.

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Photo of iceball585
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pitch black color, non-transparent, two finger thick dark brown head that lowered slowly to a thin layer

S- Dark fruits, cocoa, coffee, slight tingle of alcohol in the nostrils

T- Cocoa, smokey, dark fruits, coffee, dark malts, strong alcohol taste at the end

M- Medium/heavy body, medium carbonation, starts smooth but then the warming of the alcohol kicks in

D- Definatly can't drink more than one of these

Well I'm glad I finally tried this beer but don't know if I'd get it again. Good auroma and flavors but then the alcohol content kicks in. I love my stouts but the alcohol burn is a bit too much for my liking. I still can't believe I tried a beer that is 16% ABV.

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Photo of drumrboy22
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 1 bottled January 2006. Poured from 12oz. bottle into a Unibroue chalice. Beer was completely black in color with a two-finger, espresso colored head. Moderate lacing.

Aroma was raisins, prunes and other dark fruit, molasses, boozy rum, vanilla, licorice and chocolate. Very complex.

Huge flavor. Starts off very sweet with molasses and raisins. Moves to a very bitter taste and finishes with notes of chocolate and coffee.

This one has to be consumed at cellar temperature to get all of the flavors out. Very enjoyable and still aging well. I have another bottle from this batch that I will hang onto for a few more years. Still very hot, which reduces drinkability.

Great beer that can be aged for a long time.

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Photo of haazer
3.74/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Dec 2010, batch # 6.

A- Hard pour produces a big gray, brown head. But it bubbles and fizzes down rather quickly. No lacing, and no cap. The brew is motor oil black.

S- Heavy smells of sweet chocolate, dark fruits, a bit of booze too. Some heavy roast, coffee, and a little smoke. There's an underlying vanilla, and some phenolic character from the booze.

T- Initial tastes of dark fruits. Plum, black cherry, and then heavy chocolate. Chocolate covered fruits. A bit of coffee. Insane warming from the alcohol. Borders on overbearing but makes it out. almost like a liquor.

M- Medium bodied stout. Low carbed. A definite sipper by the alc content.

O- Feels more like a cordial then a beer really. It's not as extreme as black magic, but one is drinkable. Nothing to seek out but worth having.

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Photo of jslot38
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Easily the most bad ass bottle I've seen so far.

Appearance: Nice... pretty sweet looking beer. Black as can be with a dark brown toffee like head adorning the glass.

Smell: Alcohol just lingering all over the place. You can smell the sweetness. Sweetened chocolate, some roasted coffee and a touch of toffee and roasted nuts.

Taste: Wow... now thats some alcohol. As pbr85 put it, "Well, thats a sipping beer if I've ever had one." The usual complexeties that you see in a stout quickly fade away to the onrush of alcohol and sweetness. But somewhere mixed in there is some dark chocolate and caramel, touches of candied nuts.

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth actually. Low level of carbonation, very smooth from the hops which I have to imagine load up this beer, even thougth they don't have much of a presence in the taste.

Drinkability: Yeah... right. Actually, I'll get through one, but that will probably be enough for me. Its a sipping beer all the way around.

Notes: Well, its tough to place this one. It takes their Czar stout and adds some more alcohol, some more sweetness and lingers along that line of taking it over the top. A fine looking beer, and certainly worth the experience with its highlights and lowlights.

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Photo of seanpachefddfa
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- poured a deep dark black color with a thick milk choc head. Settled quickly into a thin skim-like lacing.
Smell- getting some chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and some booze.
taste- getting all the flavors that i got in the nose but also got some rum flavor, molasses and some pepper.
Mouthfeel- a medium to full body beer. the alcoholic in this warms the mouth.
Drinkability- this one is a sipper. i have one more that i will let age four 6 or 8 months. If this one ages like i think it should i might get a couple more.

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Photo of cvfish
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer poured a dark brown color that produced a frothy brown head which had great retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer were roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, dark fruits, and a fair amount of of heat form the alcohol

T - The taste of this beer started like a syrupy mix of roasted malts, brown sugar, and molasses, raisins, and some toffee, but a sizable blast of heat kind of made you wonder whether this was a beer or not

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium to full body with a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - As a beer, I had to take off points for the burn that alcohol produced, good beers that I have had no matter how high still were able to hide the heat, but this one did not

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 2,312 ratings.
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