Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

904 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: 904 | Ratings: 2,318
Photo of smakawhat
3.16/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter. A nice solid dark brown color on pour, good chocolate/tan colored bubbles giving a decent lacing. Very dark dark chestnut/walnut like in color. Pretty good looking.

Bouquet is surprisingly small, but also not with much heat which is nice. Malty, yeast like and molasses.

On the taste faint anisette, but really a giant alcohol bomb that overpowers everything. Lots of heat... kind of disappointing, missing complexity, more interesting notes, and character.

I'll pass on this, I'd rather have Mikkeller Black, or Dogfish Head World Wide Stout.

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Photo of SirChugsAlot
3.16/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
A- a very dark dark pour i can't see any light though this puppy. about 1/4 head that didn't seem to stick around long. no lacing that i can see.

S- molasses and malt. i can smell the 16% abv on this.

T - hints of licorice and molasses can taste the 16% too.

M- this is for sure a sipper. Pretty thick. I think if i had let this age it would mellow out a bit and i'd enjoy it more. This is a full bodied beer that takes a while to drink and it makes me warm inside haha.

D- I think one is enough for now. Maybe i'll go buy another bottle but at $7.45, and let it age, we'll see.

EDIT: Here is a re-review after aging.

I have reviewed this beer before when it was fresh and that's just a bad idea... so I aged a bottle for a few years and here we go..

12oz bottle dates Nov 2008 Batch #4 poured into a snifter ~45-50 degrees F

A- Very dark with very little head that quickly receded to the edges of the glass.

S- Chocolate and figs with roasted malts and molasses

T- Even after aging this beer there is still a pronounced alcohol taste. the chocolate and coffee flavors come through with a general sweetness

M- This beer isn't as thick as i would like, but it is smooth and maybe a bit more on the carbonation then i would like.

D- Sitting at 15.92% ABV, this beer is a beast that should only be attempted to be tamed after a few years in the cellar. The alcohol burn that i get from this even after aging it for a while is crazy and while i am enjoying this beer, i don't think i would buy it due to the amount of work and storage time that is required to be able to enjoy it.

After aging the scores that i give this beer have not changed very much. i would raise smell to a 3.5 and the mouthfeel to a 3.5

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.17/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

09/08/10- Had a 2006 (Batch 2) 12 oz bottle of this courtesy a generous trader.
A: Pitch black with a tan head that died to a film and collar.
S: Rum vanilla, chocolate, caramel (strong), less banana, cocoa powder.
T: Harsh, sticky, cocoa powder, whiskey. caramel, some bananas.
M: Sticky, frothy.
D: Bad, really a sipping beer.

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Photo of beerman21
3.18/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Appearance black, brown head that dissipates quickly. Smell figs, sweet molasses alcohol. Taste pretty much the same alcohol is a bit to overpowering for me and not really stout in flavor way to much fruit flavor. Alcohol holds sticks to your mouth and lingers. Overall not impressed but would say it's probably acquired taste for some. I would not buy this again.

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Photo of BeerRun13
3.21/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black as can be. A thick, rocky, tan head stands strong and leaves behind a wake of incredibly thick lacing.
Roasty. Fusel alcohol. Some estery fruitiness. "Pilot to base, this ones comin' in hot."
Wow, that packs a punch. Alcohol and fusely esters dominate this one. Fruity, caramel, roasty combo. It's quite complex, and to be honest, maybe a little much to handle. The beer almost changes from sip to sip, sometimes even seeming a almost cloying, while some sip's, and I emphasize sips, are decent.
Full bodied and moderately carbonated. A bittering finish seems to be one of the few constants about htis beer. Oily slick.
Strong and definately a little hot. Mellowed out well with some chocolate pieces near the end. I have another, and will really re-examine this one.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.21/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 3, bottled in 2007. Got this from a BIF, thanks to Ben in Illinois! Poured into an Allagash tulip. Nice giant mocha head on top of a black body. Not too thick looking in the pour.

The smell is strong. Only a hint of booze, lots of chocolatey aroma and a hint of vanilla. I've smelled better, but this isn't bad.

Bitter chocolate start and a slightly hot finish. Nice vanilla in the middle. As I keep sipping the sting from the alcohol becomes a little more noticeable.

The mouthfeel would probably be creamy but my tongue is a little numb from the heat.

Not a bad sipper. Don't know if I'd seek it out again, but I might drink it again. I certainly can't complain for what it is.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.23/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - as billed, this pours totally black and opaque. A big dark mocha cloud on top resembles the thick top of a chocolate cappuccino or something. Thick, creamy, lucious. Thin crystalline lacing leaves a ring at the high water mark with little else happening beneath that.

Aroma - sweet dark fruits out of the bottle. Sets up and shows off vapory alcohol all over the bittersweet chocolate and espresso.

Taste - incredibly sweet, wow. Malts come through very roasted, husky at times, and with notes of tobacco now and then. Plenty of espresso after the swallow, lots of late roastiness. For as strong a beer as this is, the abv is very well-hidden in taste, but in effect... not so much. Ends very warm, heady, and incredibly sweet, enough to kind of get in the way, IMO.

Mouthfeel - smooth, slick, though not as heavy as I expected.

Drinkability - huge and while tasty at times, this can be overbearingly sweet. I might buy this again just to cellar it for five years but otherwise...

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Photo of ghebel
3.24/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours dark black with a smallist brown head that leaves only minor lacing on the glass.

S - Dark fruit and roasted malts, but overpowered by alcohol.

T - After you get past the initial alcohol bite (ie your tongue goes numb), the malts can be appreciated - roasted, burnt. Moderate bitterness. A strange mixture of too much sweetness with a dry finish.

M - Burns initially and afterwards. Heavy on the palate and the alcohol can definitiey be noticed. Cloying sweetness. Makes me shiver.

D - Sipping only. Way too strong for any number of beers.

Overall - This is what I consider a novel diversion from normal. A sipping beer to save for a special occasion or to give as a gift, but too strong and sweet to drink regularly. It fits the style, but would be better with a lower ABV and not so sweet. I would not choose this over other Imperial Stouts that I have tried.

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Photo of spazmonkeyy
3.24/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured in a chillled mug.

A--> literally as thick and dark as motor oil!!!
S--> smell immediately like raisins, figs and alcohol
T--> strong figgy and molasses and hops all covered with some smoke! a very interesting experieence and extremely aggressive and thick!!! this might be the manliest beeer I've ever tried....seee I cant even type. lol

MF--> viscosity is pretty heavy and full of sweetness! alcohol has kick!!!!
D--> I would suggest sharing this with a buddy to experience it, but trust're gonna need a a nice german hef or something. :-)

you definitely must try though!

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Photo of davey101
3.24/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 3, November 2007, 16.00% abv. Foil topped 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a black that allows some light to shine through the edges exposing a dark brown/red body. Thin edging of light mocha foam. Swirling creates insane alcohol legs that stick around forever and stain the glass dark yellow. Lacing is minimal and retention nonexistent.

S - Starts off with super bitter and over roasted coffee beans. Its like getting pelted with a cup of a gas stations attempt at an espresso. After that nasal assault there is some sweet vanilla, charcoal, soy sauce, and red wine notes. Seemingly all over the place and just confusing. I feel like there is so much happening in here, but I don't have the will power to find it all. Alcohol finally burns the nose on the finish. Not great.

T - An improvement. Coffee and milk chocolate lead into acridic red wine and vanilla. A touch of savory soy and cigarette ash rounds it out. Alcohol is warming but not super noticeable. Mouth feel is thin to medium with plent of carbonation still kicking around.

O - The aroma was pretty offensive but the taste was actually pretty nice for a 5 year old 16% monster of a stout. Worth the try for sure.

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Photo of tewaris
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

16% ABV
107 IBUs
OG 1.134
12 oz. bottle of 2007 vintage, bottled 11/2007, shared with 3 other people, poured into small snifters.

I had been eying Mephistopheles for a long time, but never bought it because of its price until I found a cellared 2007 vintage at the regular retail price. Super excited to try it because I have heard only good things about aged Mephistopheles. Poured dark brown, but not as nearly dark as most bigger stouts, with a medium dark head that dissipated into a thin collar rather fast. No lacing on the glass.

Decent aroma but fairly generic if you ask me, roast and sweet malts, dried fruit... Not much of what I would expect from a 1.134 malt forward beer with 3+ years on it. Tastes rich with roast, dried fruit, prunes, and acidic (without coffee) and has a roasty astringent finish. Good.

Very thin and carbonated for its ABV, and not silky enough. A good stout yeah, but equally satisfying examples exist for half that ABV and price.

Scores: Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Taste 4, Mouthfeel 2, Drinkability 2

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Photo of tobelerone
3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage purchased from the dusty shelves of Route 59 beverage in Nyack. Yeah that place (lol).

Jet black body with a very small cream-colored head that dissipates quickly. Minimal lace. Aroma smacks you in the face with booze after all this time; some chocolate, molasses, raisins, anise, roastiness, but alcohol fumes predominate.

Tastes pretty much the same; lots of booziness and heat remain; rum-soaked raisins, less chocolate and roast than the nose indicates. Something about this reminded me quite a bit of an overly strong, overly sweet and flat rum and coke. Syrupy but still a bit thin. Overall it's only medium-bodied and could use a bit more viscosity to support the heft of the booze. Carbonation was low but present. Sticky, somewhat oily mouthfeel with lingering sweetness and definite warming in the gut.

This was actually fairly unpleasant to drink. It's too boozy and sweet and lacks a lot of the more appealing flavors of the better big stouts. It left me asking myself, why? In the end I may have scored this one charitably; I can't see getting this again and it has raised doubts about the other super high ABV Avery beers in my cellar at the moment.

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Photo of slagle9480
3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wow. This surprised me. I gotta say, I was not impressed by this beer.

The 16% seemed like a nice idea at first. After my firt sip I was turned off.

The alcohol overpowers the true flavor of the beer. I thought it could have been better served if the abv was around the 12% mark.

I'm not sure what to think of this. I would like to try it again but not anytime soon.

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Photo of Westsidebuddha
3.32/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought at Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles. Bottled in November 2008, Batch 4. ABV: 15.92%

Pour into a pint glass. Smell from the bottle has a mild soy sauce scent to it. Dark, black pour into glass with a very fizzy head. Strong roasty taste with a very definitive abv back end. Second and third sippings, the taste and abv becomes more pronounced to my palate. Soy sauce smell becomes more stronger with each sippings. Definitely feeling the effects from this strong stout! Seems to get stronger with each sip. Just how I like my strong beers to act. Not an everyday beer but good when the weather is cold. In L.A. that's below 60 degrees here. A warm-your-belly beer that's drinkable. Wish I had some sushi now as this would pair good with it. Mmmm, spicy tuna!

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.33/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2007. Thanks Chris!

Pours a midnight black with a nice dark finger of head that camps around for a while.

The aroma is a blitzkrieg of alcohol heat, pine hops, chocolate, and a slight bit of metallic dark fruitiness.

The flavor is a gigantic blast of alcohol and bitter hops, as well as a healthy dose of burnt malt and dry cocoa.

The body is full and the carbonation has a bit of a sting.

Overall, I thought this was was just a bit too brash, even at 3 years old. It wasn't the alcohol heat alone that brought it down, but also the huge bitter hoppiness and burnt toast mix. Those three elements created to form something very complex and interesting, but not hugely likeable.

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Photo of Cavery
3.33/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz split with Klym in Over-Sized Wine glasses.

Batch 4 November 2008

A: Red brown head with a noticeable velvet-like texture. Fine but fuzzy with a mixing of bubble sizes. The head fell relatively quickly to reveal a sticky slow moving mud like lacing. The lacing didn't really stick, but it slid down like mud on a window. Thick looking with some nice colors in the bubbles. The body actually seems to let the slightest bit of light through. Looks like the heaviest cup of decaf coffee you've ever seen.

S: Whiskey dowsed fried fig skins. Bourbon heavy alcohol really sticks in the nose with a crisp woodiness. The smell actually comes off quite mellowed, but there's no mistaking the alcohol qualities in the nose. Faint notes of campfire and a big powdery graham cracker note in the end. Loving the depth of the biscuit like grahams at the middle-end of this beer. Really though, alcohol is the flavor of the day. Older bananas come to mind as I think harder.

T: Nearly three years old, and still hot as a bonfire. Fortunately the alcohol flavor really isn't so bad at all, but my goodness if it doesn't taint every other note in there. Dark fruits, floating in alcohol. Coffee cake biscotti, in a bucket of alcohol. Really to be totally honest the thing I most get out of this beer is how flammable it is. The flavors are rudely interrupted by clean shots of booze.

M: The brew is wetting on the tongue with some pretty harsh alcohols. There is a brief period where you could swear there's some cream added to the booze, but ultimately it's more of a passing phase. It's like having a harsh mixer where maybe baileys is 1/5th of the ingredients. I want the creaminess to blend more proportionately with the alcohol for a silky mouth-feel experience, but it ends up being wet and underwhelming. I don't like how the alcohol finds the back of the throat like those shots you pound in college. Not the fullest of mouths, but at the same time not terribly light either.

O: the highlight of this beer was seeing a semi-impressive head come out of something this old and this alcoholic. there were some interesting notes in the nose that did their best to warn about the amount of alcohol. The taste was pretty straight forward in that it was a crazy boozed of version of a great many dark beers. There were on or two fancy notes in there that took me to fine European desserts, but ultimately a Russian invasion of vodka like alcohols swarmed the palate like angry bees. I longed for a creamy mouth-feel that was at times suggested, but did not stand a chance against the cruel alcohol overlord in this beer. Splitting a 12oz with my brother was more than enough, a rough one to finish.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.33/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in January, 2006. Batch 1.
Sweet bourbon?
Some vanilla extract, maybe.
Dark brown sugar syrup or dark dark maple syrup. Dark honey.
Dark Dark dark sweet sweet sweet.
Barely any hops presence at all.
Overly sweetened espresso just about sums it up.
An all day and night sipper sort of affair.

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Photo of haddon
3.35/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

grabbed a growler of this from The Lodge on the first night of our vacation (what was I thinking!?)

pours as black and devious as the demon that appears on the bottle. nice mocha brown head with ample lacing down glass

on the nose: coffee, toasted almonds, dark fruits, chocolate malts and a hint of hops

it starts nice with bitter cocoa, amaretto, roasted malts, and then... crap! there is a wave of hot alcohol that is so sweet and warm it feels like the waves from the ocean outside our window are smacking me right in the face! I was kind of expecting this with a 15% abv, but damn!

full body with a real heavy feel and low carbonation. like drinking the night.

overall, this is an experience to be had but kind of wish I didn't buy a whole growler. oh well, I'm on vacation and it looks like I'm getting tanked tonight!

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Photo of smcolw
3.35/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted at the Extreme Beer Fest in Boston.

Typical stout appearance, although a relatively small head and lace. The smell is largely sugary--very sweet aromas.

Big time coffee tastes. I enjoy the cherry notes, surprising and excellent contrast to the bitter black patent flavors. With 107 IBU's, I'm stunned that I cannot detect any hop bitterness

Still, this is an overpowering brew with expected body and flavors. It blows away the traditional dry stout in terms of the flavor profile.

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Photo of bashiba
3.36/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark black with brown highlights and a swirling bit of dark tan head accross the surface.

Smell is full of sweet syrupy dark fruit odors with a sweet burnt malt smell as well.

Taste is full of dark coffee flavor with burnt malts and sweet chocolate coming through along with a strong alcohol taste. Finishes with a nice bit of burnt chocolate bitterness.

Mouthfeel is syrupy and hot.

Overall not to bad considering the over the top quality of this beer. Not something you would drink on a regular basis, but decent on occasion.

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Photo of stimulus
3.38/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle.
Batch 5 (Dec 2009): 16.83% ABV.

A: Pours a jet black with a thin cream colored head.
S: Smells of chocolate and coffee.
T: IBU bitterness in the front end, followed by dark fruit flavors with a very alcoholic finish. In the aftertaste lingers the alcohol and fruit.
M: Well carbonated but the alcohol burns the throat.
D: Too much alcohol in this one. I guess it's just not that well concealed, especially in the aftertaste. Perhaps this would be better if mellowed out for another six months, although it has already been aging for just as long.

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Photo of biglite351
3.38/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - sliver of Ted around the edges, tall creamy tan head leaving no real lacing.

S - malty chocolate... both milk and dark chocolate. A touch of hops in the mix, but not much.

T - much like the scent; malty chocolate... but with a solid alcohol flavor and a bitter tinge.

M - full coating. A tingle on the to.for that increases over time. Alcohol burn in the throat.

D - too strong to have too many, but you will want one or two.

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Photo of hardy008
3.38/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown out of the bottle, black in the glass, with a 2 finger brown head with nice retention. The aroma has roasted malt, dark fruit, booze, and molasses.

The taste has a lot of booze, molasses, raisins, dates, chocolate, and roasted malt. There is a lot of alcohol heat with this beer. Too much in my opinion. The alcohol is not disguised at all, it is out front.

Full bodied, syrupy, hot with alcohol, chewy, with decent carbonation. If not for the alcohol burn, this would be a lot better, and would get a much higher score. Thankfully this is only a 12 oz. bottle. The abv on the bottle states 16.83%. I believe it.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.4/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle
Bottled Nov 2008
Batch 4

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a dark black color with a light tan head that leaves a ring of lace around the glass.

S- The aroma is a lot of coffee and booze, with some molasses, brown sugar, dark fruits and a lot of alcohol.

T- The taste features a lot of dark roasted malts, bitter coffee flavors, cocoa and a big warming effect in the finish from the high ABV.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is a big ass beer and definitely shoud be a sipper. This is not a beer I would want to drink every night, but I did enjoy it for what it is and think it would be a fantastic beer to age.

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Photo of jdklks
3.4/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

this one pours not nearly as black as expected or desired. it looks more like a porter with a light brown head that begins impressively but fades into a thin ring lacing the glass. the smell is largely of alcohol and roasted malts, the latter of which resemble hazelnut.

the flavor is big up front and all the way through with alcohol. the roasted malts bring to mind coffee and hazelnut, and they shine through the middle, only to fade into an unpleasant smokey bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. the alcohol is domineering throughout, which limits the potential complexity that might be provided by the other flavors. perhaps some sweet dark fruits up front, like cherries and plum, but similar to the smell, the flavor ultimately consists of alcohol and roasted malts.

the mouthfeel is surprisingly lighter than expected (as was the appearance), but it is still nice and thick. the alcohol burn on the palate doesn't add too much here, like it does to really well-made imperial stouts. the drinkability is next to nothing, not because of the high abv, but because of the disappointing everthing about this beer.

another disappointing effort from Avery... when will i learn my lesson?

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 2,318 ratings.
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