Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

897 Reviews
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 897 | Ratings: 2,301
Photo of Scotchboy
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz 2015 bottling into a snifter - thanks Aaron!

A: Dark brown out of the bottle into an opaque black body in the glass. Huge three fingers of fluffy brown head with medium bubbles.

S: Dark bitter chocolate, fruity Belgian yeast esters, charcoal, coffee, roasted malts, vinous alcohol esters.

T: Bitter cocoa powder, charred malt, rum-soaked raisin, fruity warm alcohol, roast, burnt caramel, suggestions of blackstrap molasses and dark licorice.

MF: Boozy alcohol. Thick mouthfeel, full bodied. Warm. Good carbonation.

O: Darn impressive Belgian stout, extremely complex and still manageable at this ABV.

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Photo of smatthis49
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers all time. Was my introduction (accidentally) to high abv stouts. Was handed to me by someone who knew nothing, back when I knew nothing. Immediately I knew I was drinking something special. Only have two left in my fridge, and it breaks my heart.

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Photo of gatheredwaters
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle (November). The heat smoothed out real nice, much nicer than a similarly aged Tweak actually. Thin mouthfeel for my tastes, but tasted great.

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Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have no freekin' idea how a bottle of this found its way into my beer fridge but I am happy it did. Pitch black pour with some nice lacing, very smooth drink ability and even I, at 70, have a nice smell to this beer. I would buy this in a heartbeat if I just knew where I got it in the first place. Damned fine beer.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a goblet. batch 11 october 2015, so roughly 14 months old.

pours black as the darkest night. a decent tan head to begin with, which dissipates to a thick ring and covering. no lacing to speak of.

aroma is lots of dried fruits and alcohol.

on taste, there is a burn which logically must be the alcohol, but comes off more of a pepper burn around the edge of the tongue. There is a molasses type sweetness on the body of the tongue. The dried fruit aroma doesn't really come through in taste.

Full in the mouth, with a significant burn.

overall, this is a pleasant sipper, the only beer last night. I think I've preferred others of Averys high octane stouts, but am happy to have tried this before it disappears forever. one more in the fridge.

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Photo of weareallfalafel
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch no. 9, December 2013, enjoyed December 2016. Poured into a snifter (in 3 installments). Pours a thick, thick jet black, with a half a finger of brown/khaki colored head that lingers longer than you'd think, and some of the head lingers on the side of the glass as you drink. Looks dark and deep, as one would expect. Smell is huge, o cannot possibly overstate how huge the aroma is on this, with loads of caramel, bakers chocolate, marshmallows, roasted grains, with smaller hints of licorice and leather. Taste follows suit, and is just as huge and in your face. Like being lovingly punched in the face, if that's possible. Layer upon layer of complex bitter/full/flavors unfold as it's on your palate. Amazing complexity and layering of flavor, with some booze on the throats at the very end, but nearly as overpowering as one might expect, and that likely has a lot to do with the age on this specific bottle. Extremely full in body, luxurious would be an understatement. Everything about this is simultaneously decadent, and sinister. Unbelievably delicious, and a beer to keep you warm as it's sipped over hours and hours. 5/5. No questions.

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Photo of donspublic
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into sniffer from tap, nice 2 finger tan colored head, nice retention and lacing. Looks like motor oil in a glass. Smells of roasted malt and alcohol, seriously hot smelling. Taste is the shit, soon much going on here. Initially sweet dark fruit, fig, raisin and so much more that I can't pick out, wrapped in caramel sweetness. Finishes on the sweet side and this keg hides the abv soon well, this is hell in a glass. Mouthfeel is like changing the oil in your car and having the drain plug fall out and getting a mouth full of oil, very viscous in a good way. Still have one of these from 2014 in my cellar, might have to hint more down

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.79/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours deep black with a thin brown head. The aroma offers up chocolate, biscotti, hazelnuts, maple, and brown sugar. The flavor features burnt brown sugar, maple, chocolate, cream, bittersweet chocolate, some roasty flavors, and hickory wood. The mouthfeel is supple and full, but not overly thick. Overall this is an incredible beer - neither too sweet nor too boozy, with a balance of classic stout flavors.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is grapes/dark fruit, dark malts and a hint of sweetness. The flavor is dark fruit/grapes, dark malts, earthy and first dry and then acidic in the finish.

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Photo of q33jeff
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Bottle (10/30/15) to snifter.

Jet black pour, but thin looking where some spots look brownish, or muddy.

Roasted malt, yeast, raisin.

Cocoa, burnt sugar, there is a definite similarity to a "Rum and Coke" taste here. Alcohol hits hard.

sudsy, but not fizzy. Medium body. Thin enough to hold carbonation. Acidic bite.

Interesting beer. I am a tad disappointed in the overall experience, but look forward to having my other 2 bottles further. At 17.1%, maybe 13 months was too soon. Still excellent, but my expectations were very high.


2016 vintage in Growler from TRT, poured to snifter.

Looks a bit cleaner, less Silty.

TASTE and AROMA are consistent with 2015.

Good stuff.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black (but not oil-black) body, and a 1 finger frothy beige head.

Aromas of metallic chocolate, maybe a little roast malts... and little else.

Oats, lactose, pure sappy alcohol, burnt prunes, fuel, alcoholic chocolate, cake, more fuel.

Water out front then a huge wave of thickness and buzzing. Dry finish. For the most part on point for the style.

Overall a little heavy on the fuel and just overall chokeable. That being said, it's not something I'd have by myself and glad I had a friend to share it with.

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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 do_ob
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a snifter. Black in color on the pour, and the last little bit that trickled out of the bottle looked like syrupy chocolate milk. Pitch black in color once in th glass. A 90 degree pour yielded about 2 fingers of frothy, tan foam.
Wonderful nose of sweet, toasty malt, dark chocolate, light tobacco, and hints of dark fruit and booze. This smells very well balanced despite being so large in ABV (this year's is 14.6 %).
The taste follows along very closely. Big, big notes of bittersweet chocolate, toasty malt and dark fruit, a little leather & tobacco. As it warms on the palate, you do get some degreee of alcohol, but nothing near what I was expecting. There is a sweet, caramelly burn that sets in on the back end, but it is incredibly pleasant.
The feel is dense, chewy, and syrupy. Like drinking a home-made, bourbon and chocolate flavored milkshake.

Overall, this one blew me away, and far surpassed my expectations. I've had a few other Avery beers that were similar in potency, and most of those just seemed too overdone for me to really appreciate. They weren't ever bad, just a bit too much for what I was wanting. This one, however..this is a decadent beverage, no question.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage from my cellar for review #666 (on YouTube not here)!

Pours out totally pitch black almost like motor oil with a dark tan head.

Aroma starts out with intensely roasted/charred/burnt malt, deep chocolate notes, coffee, dark fruits and a hint of leather.

Taste follows suit with the huge malt bill front and center. Dark, roasted, burnt, almost ashy malts, dark fruits, bakers chocolate, brownies, fudge, layers of chocolate with some leather, bit of molasses and finishes with an intense coffee/espresso note.

Full bodied, creamy mouthfeel, VERY smooth after 5 years of aging. Bit of warmth, but not boozy at all. An absolute beast!

Delicious, dangerously drinkable and super complex! Awesome!

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Photo of Bartleby91
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great high abv beer from avery. Really feel the 14.6%.
The appearance is pitch black with substantial alcohol legs.
The aroma is huge with anise, cherry, chocolate, and dark fruit. Also a boozy spiciness coming through.
The taste is big boozy sweetness, and alcohol heat along with the anise, dark fruit, chocolate cherry and caramel malt sweetness as well. Nice and complex.
The palate is full with a lingering boozy spice that was rum like. Lingering sweetness also lingered well.
Overall this is a big and aggressive imperial stout that I would love to try an aged bottle of.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from 6-pack purchased for the low, low price of $9.99. Bottle labeled "Annual release Oct. 2016, Batch No 12".

Dark black elixir poured into Funky Buddha snifter. Tan-brown head to rim with thick rings of lacing.

This has one nice aroma of dark chocolate, char, spice, oak and caramel.

The taste really comes through with the chocolate balanced by the dark fruit and roasted malts. The rum flavored alcohol is balanced by the sweetness of the chocolate creating a decadent sipper.

It's a big brew but balanced by the chocolate giving it a velvety feel and keeping the alcohol well hidden.

Well done RIS which makes for a nice after dinner treat on those hoary, dark and cold Cleveland nights.

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Photo of chinchill
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Shared bottle.
Very strong and intense. Boozy, but much of the alcohol is hidden. Excellent balance for a beer this strong.
Overall: like an concentrated Imperial Stout.

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Photo of DrinkThemAll
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is my first experience from Avery.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Snifter.

A-Pours darker than just about everything I've ever poured, as well as BCBS. Had a beautiful 2 finger tan head that dissipated slowly. Very nice spotty lacing here. Beautiful looking stout.

S-Smells like chocolate cake, with oak, vanilla, Tobacco, molasses, anise/malty spice. Get a slight burn from the 17% in a Snifter. very nice nonetheless.

T-Quite the explosion of flavors. Burnt chocolate, bitter oak, vanilla, molasses, tobacco with a slight spice. Nice and bitter. Very thick, but for 17% it hides the alcohol well, but you can feel in your chest, a bit later. With age, this baby is gonna be amazing.

M-extremely thick bodied, with decent carbonation and a Boozy finish. Definitely taste the alcohol in the mouthfeel. Still a good feel though. Age will do this wonders.

O- very impressed. For 17% it's well balanced on flavors and hiding the alcohol. Great looking as well as smell. I'm gonna age a few of these and see what we have then. Can't wait to pop Uncle Jacobs Stout

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Photo of BlakeAM
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

November 2014 release poured into a New Belgium shifter at ~45-50 degrees. Deep black with a chocolate mousse colored head, about a half inch thick from a hard pour. Thick sheets of lacing coating the glass receding into a tan web. Smells of roasty dark chocolate, dark fruits (i.e. dates, figs, raisins) and a bit of booziness. Taste follows the nose but less burn than expected. Finishes with a strong burnt espresso note that actually ties the room together nicely. Thick, sticky, motor-oil like mouthfeel with a surprising carbonated prickle on the finish, considering the beer's age. Nothing mind-blowing as far as Imperial Stouts go, but it's an impressive brew (especially when considering the ABV). At this age, it drinks like Founders Imperial Stout's big brother.

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Photo of unclekeith
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

November 2014 12 oz bottle into a snifter at room temp

L: Opaque black with a nice tan head fading to a collar
S: Sweet dried fruit, chocolate, roasted malt, caramel
T: Alcohol, very hot, overwhelming
M: Full bodies, plenty of carb
O: Lures me in the an amazing aroma but kicks my ass on the burn, not sure if even a decade would tame this beast

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Photo of mschrei
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into Pipeworks Tales from the Oak 10 oz snifter, enjoyed with a Romeo y Juliet cigar. Healthy foam on the pour for a stout. Dark with tannish edges. Sweet smell with barrel notes. Taste is not as good as the smell, but still good. Nice robust feel, little soy sauciness with a definite alcohol burn.

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Photo of stortore
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. 2014 edition, had 6/11/16.

Pours a mostly opaque dark brown, with a one and a half inch head of darker tan foam, some oily lacing. Smell is roasted malt, chocolate, dates, raisins, molasses, some figs. Very nice. The taste is similar- roasted malt, chocolate, raisins, molasses, vanilla, dates, some cherries and figs. Light alcohol on the finish when fully warmed. Amazingly smooth for the ABV, solid body, well carbonated, the taste lingers.

Lots of flavor, a very well crafted beer. Ridiculously drinkable for the ABV. A high price point, but well worth a purchase.

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Photo of Towee111
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm new to the experimentation with beers. That said I thought this beer was phenominal. The ABV was a bit of a shock, but it was a kin to the smooth finish of a very good moonshine. When I speak of moonshine I'm not exactly talking about bonded ;). Overall outstanding it was a one shot one kill lol.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as night with a fingernail of creamy dark brown on top. Aromas are of sweet bourbon, smoke, roasted barley, and tobacco. I taste lots of dark sugar, bourbon, dark roasted barley, alcohol, and leather. The mouth is warm with alcohol, chewy, and sticky.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a free-standing beer.
Pours a coal black with an instant sculptured head.
My pour had the head collapse-- my glass?
Nose threw off hits-- not hints of anise, toasted everything, raisins, plums, malt, hops-- simply a cornucopia of anything that makes great beer.
This beer produces a big bold flavor- that comes as no surprise after the stellar nose.
This beer troubled me at first-- with its monster flavor and complex taste. But as the bottom of the glass approached-- and believe me, there wasn't much beer left-- I knew I was opening another bottle.
The mouthfeel is just a long lasting never quite power flavor that does four encores then refuses to leave the stage.
Finally this is not a beer to be trifled with. Do not enjoy this with a meal-- it demands to be savored up front and center stage. It won't quench your thirst.

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 2,301 ratings.
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