Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
886 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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 886 | Ratings: 2,274
Photo of becktone
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes 2-22-09

Done horizontally with Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, Southern Tier Choklat, Redhook Double Black, Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast, Avery Mephistopheles, and New Holland Night Tripper.

Eye: This beer is on par with the Redhook, they both have creamy almost nitro looking heads, however they are both just thick stripes that create a blanket over the beer. Black in color, no light gets through, no highlights.

Nose: So far this one smells the best, more complex, stronger and overall more pleasing than Beer Geek Breakfast. This one has some vinuous character to is as well as a load of dark fruit. Also a pretzel like breadiness. I don't want to say this but there is something in this one that reminds me of the smell of Combos...this isn't a bad thing this aroma is very interesting in this beer and it smells great. Also some roasted aromas in the background. Alcohol comes through and I believe that it is creating a great deal of complexity.

Tongue: Alcohol is evident and helps to balance out an intensly huge malt backbone. Roasted and dry flavors come through in the aftertaste. Dark fruit in here too. Big chocolate and some coffee flavors. Roasted grain bitterness. This is one real good stout.

edit: of the six beers here the most difficult to drink were the World Wide Stout, Avery Mephistopheles, and New Holland Night Tripper. After coming back to the beers once done with the tasting, these three had alcohol in the foreground, the most prevalant....making them sippers.

Feel and Drinkability: Thick, heavy, and velvet like. This is perfect. Carbonation is perfect. They just don't get any better. Warming as it goes down.

 1,663 characters

Photo of spoony
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 355 ml bottle (November 2014 Release, Batch 10) into a snifter. Reviewed from notes dated May 24, 2015.

A-The beer pours heavily into the glass. It is black and still. The short head of brown foam fades steadily to a few patches of foam and then to a collar. A sheen of boozy alcohol sits atop the beer.

S-The aroma is big and aggressive. I get wisps of smoke and alcohol that warm my nostrils. The alcohol is lightly fruity and medicinal. Underneath is a heavily roasted mixture of coffee and espresso, some blueberry, fudge brownie, and caramelized grains.

T-The taste is similar to the smell. Big flavors of roasted coffee, bitter espresso, chocolate syrup, caramelized grains, toasted marshmallow, macerated cherries, and blueberry. The alcohol is strong but well integrated.

M-The heft is medium with a little kick of prickly carbonation. A bit sticky on the finish.

O-This is a pretty damn good beer. It drinks almost like a port at 17.whatever percent alcohol for this batch and the flavors are as complex as a dessert wine. If you like big and bold stouts, you could a lot worse than this one.

 1,114 characters

Photo of Clonies720
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a thick, oily black. No light shines through this beer. 1 finger chocolately head forms and dissipates to a thin ring.

Smell: Dark fruits like figs/dates/prunes, and an aroma reminiscent of wine grapes. I'm also detecting chocolate, roasty malts, and black liquorice/star anise.

Taste: Huge, intense flavors that are coming at me all at once. I'll try to interpret them all individually... It starts off very sweet, and kind of toes the line at being "cloy", which means it is sickeningly sweet. Then I taste almost like a chocolate, cherry flavor with a boozy, almost double espresso kick in the finish. Slight hints of vanilla, plum, and a dash of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: FULL-BODIED. Carbonation is medium-high, but seems to fit the beer fairly well, despite the high alcohol content. VERY chewy. This is a beer that I like to say "you can practically eat it".

Overall: This is a life-changing beer. The sweetness is borderline too much, but the complex flavors that take over after the initial sweetness make it worth the enjoyment.

 1,056 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

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

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

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

 1,299 characters

Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Finally cracked the 2013 and this guy is quite delicious. I figured I would prepare myself for Tweak and this beer did not disappoint. DARK rich chocolates and lots of malts, but it somehow hides the booze quite well. Definitely a sipper, but I was quite happy with it.

 272 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coming in at 15.95% bottled in December 2010.

Pours a deep, deep, dark black with 1/4" of dark brown head that fades to a thin lacing. Licorice and roasted malt notes in the nose with a little alcohol coming through. Rich, smooth, chocolaty; roasted malts and mild coffee. Full bodied, mild carbonation, rich, smooth, delicious.

This is sooo good. The alcohol is well blended. The flavors are well balanced. This is an amazing stout.

 435 characters

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter, bottled in 2006 (batch 2) let's see what some age has done to this one.

A: Pours a thick velvety black with a coffee and creme one inch head. Jet black on this one, the only thing I see is my reflection in the glass. The head fades down into wispy rings after a few minutes and leaves some decent lacing down the sides as well, again impressive as I was not expecting this.

S: Can pick the chocolate on this one as it comes out of the bottle, very strong woody tones, dark alcoholic fruit and the chocolate hinted at as it was coming out of the bottle. Very decadent smell and not at all boozy for as high as the ABV is.

T/MF: Pretty damn strong carbonation profile for a beer this size, not at all like the world wide stout that is comparable in weight. Strong boozy woody character greets the tongue as well as the heat that one would expect from a beer this size. The carbonation really does its job in making this beer extra palatable. Behind the woodiness is a prune and raisin covered in bitter bakers chocolate. The finish is very sticky and quite bitter, coats the tongue in a huge amount of hop oil. A well balanced beer for one this size.

D: This is a slow drinker to be sure and seems to have aged quite well even on the store shelves I bought this from. Very sippable but the alcohol profile is just high enough to let you know that you should take it easy when drinking this. An excellent pairing with some Godiva truffles.

 1,476 characters

Photo of Thiestru
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into my Terrapin pint glass.

Appearance: Black with a one-finger brown head. Very good retention.

Smell: Dark chocolate and roasted malts with some alcohol underneath.

Taste: Exactly like the smell suggests, but with even more alcohol. This is a very 'warm' beer. I'll have to drink this during winter. A good hearty stout!

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, typical of the style.

Drinkability: Man, how do I rate this? This is the strongest beer I've ever had, and the alcohol wastes no time getting to me. This is a great beer, but in order for me to knock back more than one of these, I'd need to bolster my alcohol tolerance. Still, really excellent. A hell of a good beer.

 704 characters

Photo of jim102864
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've only recently discovered Avery products in my area, but I'm finding just how creative and talented the brewers are at this Colorado company. This ballsy 16% abv is no exception.

A very aggressive, deep dark brown, chocolatey head in my new Allagash tulip glass. Thick and creamy head and dark, brooding and evil appearance. I'm probably going to go to hell for drinking this, but I forge on anyway.

Anise from brown sugar and molasses but swirl this bitch around and woa! The alcohol licks at your nose like the fallen angel himself flicking you with his pointed tail. This is not a shy brew!

Sweet candi sugar and molasses with a massive maple flavor and whiplash from alcohol which, is subtle and caniving like the fallen one himself, but that bursts forth in the finish. A warm burn follows. What a brew!

Alcohol burn in the finsh but again, sublte at first. Thick and chewy. A true sipper.

This is a massive, sipping stout and really improves as it warms to the touch. Even I had a difficult time getting beyond one. Just can't wait till my next visit from this evil beast.

 1,087 characters

Photo of moosemoose
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into pint glass

A: Black w/ brown head, half inch to an inch thick.

S: Licorice (good), caramel, dark fruits, alcohol

T: Great malty, coffee taste with the warmth of almost 17% ABV.

M: Coats your mouth with dark fruit and chocolate. Awesome.

O: Pricy, but worth it. Very tasty, very high alcohol content.

 317 characters

Photo of BringusKilkenney
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass with the deepest marians trench black you could imagine. Had a coke like head about 2 fingers that disappeared quickly and left some lacing.

Smell is good you can definately pick up burnt toast and malts. The largest part of the smell is the alcohol a little disappointed in that but with 16% it is to be expected.

Burnt malts caramel and chocolate bitterness prevail in this evil brew. It reminds me of maybe licking mephistopheles boob if it were a girl just evil and hot at the same time.

the mouthfeel is heavy like drinking a dumbbell with carbonation.
Couldnt handle to many which is why the drinkability is low just to much alcohol to consume many of these or just one very quickly at that.

this is definitely a great brew and on the top of my list for imperials will get this one again and again.

 833 characters

Photo of MCain04
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased for $9, bottled 10/12, poured into a 12 oz Half Acre snifter.

A: Motor oil-black body with 2 fingers of milk chocolate head and amazing retention and lacing.

S: Roasty dark malts and dark chocolate. Not overly aromatic but nice flavor notes.

T: True to the taste, lots of roasty malts and dark chocolate, not hoppy or overly bitter. A lot of heat though, expected for the >16% ABV.

M: Smooth, coats the tongue, chewy, nicely (although a little overly) carbonated, wet finish.

O: A big, big, stout. I got 2 bottles of these, and will keep the other on the shelf another 10 months or so to see if this boozy brew will calm down. At $9/12 oz probably won't buy too many more of these but glad to have the opportunity to try.

 753 characters

Photo of imstimpy
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't speak highly enough about this beer.

It pours inky black, with colourful brown head. The smell is wonderful with chocolate, espresso, licorice, and some dark fruit.

I first had this beer bottled in 2010 and couldn't leave it in the fridge to age more than a few months. When young, it is sharp and a bit boozy. Let it age a year and the booze falls back to lets the flavors thrive. Two years in and it becomes quite complex. At three years the raisons come forward and the complexity flattens. Ranging from fresh on tap to three years fridge aged, my favorite is at two years.

 586 characters

Photo of Fitwitchik
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 7

Poured into a half pint glass as this beauty was to be shared.

Thick black motor oil with tan head with a beautiful ivory lace.

Smell of cocoa with sweet maple.

Taste smooth sweetness then distinct bitterness of burnt dark cocoa. Alcohol burn on the back of the throat reminds me happily that I LOVE high gravity brews especially stouts. Paired this with a Smoked NY Sharp Cheddar

Looking forward to laying down my second bottle.

 442 characters

Photo of corby112
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown/ black color with a dark coffee brown foam head. Hints of caramel, chocolate, and alcohol in the aroma. Sweet chocolate/ roasted coffee, toffee, oatmeal, burnt toast and dark fruit taste makes this one of the tastier imperial stouts I've had. Very strong though. Definately a sipper.

 307 characters

Photo of dcscientist
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the beast. Clocking it at nearly 17% ABV, it'll slap you around, but you'll come back for more. Well balanced despite the heaviness, and a good stout flavor underneath all that heft. When you want to go big instead of going home, this is your beer.

 259 characters

Photo of Crosling
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black color. Full, dark tan head, which looks great. Distinctly Avery extreme beer smell. It smells a lot like Samael’s and Beast, but still certainly has its own unique characteristics. Hints of rum soaked raisins, red grapes, chocolate and espresso in the aroma. This is an impressive beer for sure. The body goes beyond chewy. It’s fully texturized and massive in body. The flavor throughout the front and mid-palate is very vinous (with cherries, grapes, fully extracted and juicy as hell.) Towards the finish, the chocolate and coffee malt flavor begins, with a very, very light hop hint on the finish. Tremendously well hidden alcohol. Very impressive work, fellas.

 680 characters

Photo of geexploitation
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is quite thick coming out of the bottle. Decent sized head raised on the pour, especially given the high alcohol content, although it fades to just a collar pretty quickly. Incredible aroma of nuts (almonds), madeira and dairy smoothness -- almond cream, perhaps. You can smell some raw alcohol, alongside some vanilla. The overall aromatice impression is whiskyesque.

The palate of this is huge, thick, and rich, and reflects quite well the elements found in the nose. The nutty flavors are there, along with a creaminess reminscient of the filling in some Italian pastry. Some high fruit notes pop up, then a finish that's pretty alcoholic and active with raw sugar, dark rummy notes, and roasted malts. Mouthfeel is very intense, with thick malts, hops that just provide a bittering balance, and some raw alcohol burn vying for your attention. What a wonderful beer. This could benefit from aging, but it's also good for drinking right now. A well integrated, interesting brew that's not just your usual big stout flavors. Excellent.

 1,049 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Avery Mephistopheles on tap at The Pony Bar, Hell's Kitchen, NY, part of an Avery "tap takeover" celebration.

Appearance: Served in an eight-ounce glass, this beer comes with two fingers of super frothy head and tons of bubbles. Beautiful creamy head, coffee color. Great retention, almost the full head remains throughout. Good (but not incredible) lacing. Color appears black throughout, with few nuances.

Smell: Barrel/dump wood aroma. Some bourbon and vanilla. Subtle, almost underwhelming considering the ABV and hefty overall.

Taste: So different from the bottled version! Smooth, harshness is not here. Oak/wood. Chocolate, some bourbon/hard liquor. Dry, pungent/prickly finish. Some light vanilla around the mouth. At the end of the sip, I was reminded of Ferrero Rocher, the sweet-and-crunchy chocolates from my childhood in Europe.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, but also hot and burning. Sweet and chocolaty at the end, with full body, full flavor and medium, perfect carbonation. Boozy at times, but kept in check.

Overall: Super drinkable on tap! The booze is well controlled, and eight ounces help. Not as fully flavored as the bottle, but it wins in drinkability and freshness. A gorgeous brew.

 1,216 characters

Photo of Jmoore50
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on November 2008, Batch 4. Bought in San Francisco at Healthy Spirits.

The appearance of this one is straight black. There is absolutely no light coming through, nothing. Surprisingly it came with a one finger head that was cocoa brown. The bottle is classy and it better be for how much I paid for it.

The smell was nothing special. Smells like some sweet cocoa, with a bit of alcoholic tinge. Also has a hint of dark fruit sweetness.

I love Russian Imperial Stouts. They are so good. This little bastard is a complex brew. There are very strong hints of cocoa, not chocolate but a bitter cooking cocoa. There is bitterness all around. I also get a plumb sweetness, and with that sweetness follows a nice smooth mouthfeel. I get a load of malt in this one, really really nice. Just to let you know, this is a slow sip brew. There is the alcoholic taste that is not bad in this one. I get a hint of sweet caramel, also some brown sugar. The more this one warms up the more characteristics I am starting to get. I am receiving some hop bitterness towards the end also, and with 102 IBU's, there is no doubt the hop characteristics are showing.

The mouthfeel is great as well as the drinkability. This is a tall tall order. I am going to say that if I had this on every night in Winter, I would never go cold. The alcoholic taste does the palate well, but does not really distract from the tastes. The drinkability is good, but not exceptional. If I could get my hands on six of these, (total cost of around $65.00) I would want one every week, but not more than one in a week. This is a great great brew, and made up for the false hype around Maharaja IPA.
Will try and seek this one out again.

 1,713 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I hope this beer is as mean as it looks sitting on the shelf, because I'm looking for a fight. Ok, let's tangle. A soul black as night is topped with a quickly thinning dark tan head. Raisins, nuts, burnt wood and dark chocolates assault the nose in an orchestration of complex and robust aromas. A subtle earthy gravity keeps things grounded.

This monster smells like a stout and looks like a stout, but does it taste like a stout? Yes it does. Many beers with this level of alcohol do not seem to taste like their more innocuous brethren. The alcohol heat is at the forefront of the first sip, followed by big malts and a hoppy bitterness that mixes well. After the initial shock, some caramel and syrupy sweetness circumspectly peek their heads out to see what the hell is all the commotion.

The active carbonation keeps things interesting as the bout continues. The mouth-feel is substantial. This is the kind of beer you buy a drink for after all the hullabaloo is over, and it's very likely you might become friends for life.

 1,035 characters

Photo of AMo
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Avery Brewing Co. Mephistopheles' Stout pours a dense jet black with a short stiff tan head. Aromas are strong of alcohol, malt, and burnt chocolate. The taste is very strong with tons of complex flavors. Alcohol soaked raisins, slightly bitter chocolate, and molases come to mind. Mouthfeel is dense, yet silky smooth. It's close to syrupy, but there is a mild carbonation that keeps it one step away. Overall drikability is great, but this is not for the fait of heart. This is one knock out beer, super strong worth taking a lot of time to experience the continual development of flavors. A bit pricey for a bottle, but well worth it for the experience.

 656 characters

Photo of jsulko
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter.

Had this bottle over a year. Finally decided to break out before it gets too warm around here.

Pours a dark oily black. Small chocolate colored head that fades rather quickly.

Smell is roasty with some of the dark fruit smells. Hint of the Belgian yeast strain.

Taste is dark fruit and malty with a little chocolate bitterness in the finish.

A very unique beer. I think the chocolate notes that others describe have faded. Time seems to have somewhat smoothed out the beer. The alcohol burn is slight which is a bit crazy with the high alcohol content.

Something I would have again. Would like to try it fresher next time.

 658 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a snifter glass. Batch 6 bottled in DEC 2010.

Appearance: Pours a oily pitch black. Decent sized four finger tan head that quickly fades into a thin patchy layer. Decent amount of lacing around the edges of the glass.

Smell: Rich dark caramel malts and toffee with hints of chocolate and coffee. Some good hints of dark fruits including raisins, figs, and plums. Also some oak chips, molasses, and a pretty noticeable aroma of booze.

Taste: Strong mix of dark roasted caramel malts with lots of dark chocolate and some coffee. This is followed by the dark fruits. Plums, raisins, figs, and black cherry. Hints of molasses, oak, and brown sugar. A little heat from the alcohol but considerably less than I expected from the smell.

Mouthfeel: Rich, full bodied, and creamy. Carbonation is fairly low. Alcohol heat is there but pretty well masked for being around 16%.

Overall: A great imperial stout. Very complex mix of chocolate and dark fruits. It also does a very good job of masking the booze in the taste.

 1,048 characters

Photo of kjlued
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I feel so lucky to have even been able to have this beer as somehow it wound up in specialty beer store in my state even though it is above the states legal limit.

Excellent beer however, for the price there are better beers.
It was $10 for a 12oz bottle and there are plenty of beers that are better for half the price.

I say definitely buy one or two bottles if you get a chance but otherwise save your money.

Good beer, just over priced.

 447 characters

Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 2,274 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!