Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

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878 Reviews
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 16.80%

Availability: Winter

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

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

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2006

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Reviews: 878 | Ratings: 2,238
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of dcscientist
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

"Mephistopheles is just beneath. Hes reaching out, to grab me."

This bottle is Batch 3, November 2007. This beer pours a full bodied midnight black in color with a slight khaki lacing. The aromas are smooth and well refined. It features smooth chocolates, a slight roast, mild sweetness, and is just really creamy. I don't detect any of the 16% at all. Great nose for a beer this old. The flavors featured are a lot of roasted malt with a Baltic like sweetness. You get plenty of dark chocolate with some dark fruits as well. There is slight alcohol but not nearly as much as I expected. It's really smooth and drinks very well for its size. It's a nice beer. At four plus years old, it's prime for drinking. It's a really nice, very big stout.

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Photo of Danny1217
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 batch, been sitting in the store for two years. Poured into a CCB snifter glass
A completely opaque black color. A small tan head that dissipates and leaves a small layer on top of the beer. Some nice lacing.
Dark chocolate, some dark dried fruits, coffee. A nice roasty scent, almost burnt. A bit of sweet molasses.
Some incredibly powerful flavors. Dark chocolate, espresso, licorice, dark fruit, molasses, and a hint of alcohol on the finish, but surprisingly not overpowering. Extremely thick and heavy in the mouth and light carbonation. The texture is almost syrupy, but manages to be quite smooth still.

I haven't had this fresh, but I would be interested in seeing what it's like, because what I got here is surprisingly smooth and mellow for such a monster of a beer. This is delicious.

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Photo of Douglas14
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As the jet black oil pours into my glass a very thick, dark tan head rises and few inches and sticks around for a while. The head resides after a few minutes of drinking and leaves minimal lace (I'm starting to suspect that it is this glass and not the beer that isn't conducive to lace for some reason...anyone else experience this?). The smell is intensely of caramel, chocolate, coffee, burnt malt, dark fruits, and alcohol. The taste is complex...burnt dark chocolate and strong coffee, roasted malts, cherries, prunes, figs, and other dark fruits...this is incredible. This beer overloads your senses in the best way is not as complex as some other imperial stouts/ Russian Imperial Stouts but it hits you harder than the others...and that is what makes this beer incredible. It has a very full body with a creamy texture that is complimented nicely by the mild carbonation. Towards the finish, the alcohol burn really kicks in, which is usually not one of my favorite things but in this case, it is so well balanced with all the other sweet flavors that it works magnificently.

Oh man, this beer is awesome...I think the 16% ABV slowly took effect on my during my review, haha.

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

Pours a very dark brown, almost black but with a brown glimmer at the bottom of the glass. Enormous mocha head, but I'm the only one from the three sharing this bottle who got any head. Sinks slowly, retains as a pleasant cloud, lacing is nice, a little slippery, but overall that's a shit-hot looking beer.

Nose is very burnt and dark with a strong resiny character, almost metho-esque with lathes of strong wood smoke, very burnt character. Impressively so, though, very potent - just black and dark and sour and carbon-based. Great nose.

Taste is...holy shit! That'll add a body's worth of hair to your chest. One sip explodes with flavour in your mouth. Burnt, dark, soldering roastedness that descends into an intense, biting alcohol all the way through the back, and finishes fiery and hot, so acrid and smoky and sizzles all the way down. It has the most bizarre afterburn long after the finish, still burning as it goes down. All of this would make me hate it if not for the fact that the taste for the most part is exquisite and deliciously sweet, with dark chocolate, oak and smoke flavours all through it.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich and that burn is unbelievably stimulating. This is a red hot stab in the guts of a beer. I love it, what an experience. It's painful and explosive but a magnificent treat nonetheless. A fine monument to brewing.

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

Pitch black with a tan head. I couldn't see any light through the beer. I picked up some smell of alcohol and what I swore was figs. Initial tastes had a fig like character and a little alcohol, and then over time transformed into a roasted character like coffee and a chocolate taste. The chocolate taste dominated. The beer was thick and rich on my tongue. I don't know about drinking a whole lot of this, it's 16% ABV. One bottle was enough for me for one sitting.

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

Extra in a trade with Not Your Dads Beer. Thanks Marc!

Its actually a very beautiful beer. Absolutely pitch black. For 17%, the head is huge (and caramel colored).

I actually didnt get any booze or alcohol at all. Roasted, smoked malt is dominant. Smells sweet, like black caramel if that makes sense. As the beer warmed, from the cellar temp i poured it at, the booze came out to play.

Taste is full of smoked, roasted malt. Exceptionally dry and full of dry grains. Dark dried fruits are there somewhat, but that 17% alcohol is warming. Notes of caramel malt, but still dominated by dryness and a pervading warming alcohol effect. Slightly sweet, which is a nice compliment to the smoke from the malt. Some oak or red wine aging would do wonders for this thing.

Very full body, the booze makes it the ideal sipper.

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


A - deep dark black/brown very sludgy, almost two finger brown head and some nice lacing

S - so much wood in the nose, nice booze note, chocolate, some nice coffee, very nice malts, lots of roadted everything, tons of sugar, vanilla and a bready yeast

T - lots of sugar, chocolate, nice coffee, vanilla, molasses, very boozy, soil, earth, there is a pine/citrus hop note that is actually quite nice, tons of toasted malts and more amazing booze

M - full bodied, huge, low acidity, medium balance, nice complexity and long finish

D - not for most, huge everything! The booze and sugar are out of control but still very tasty. As high an abv as it is, it is still very, very drinkable and deslicious

Final thought - $8 a pop and 17% abv, wow, Avery has done it again! Love their strong beers

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Photo of beertastegood
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Nov. 2006.

Pours an inky black with a tiny head that is pulverized by the very...large...amount of alcohol.

Aroma: toffee, chocolate, rum, plum, raisin, molasses...complexity is amazing. Alcohol is powerful to say the least, but it does not overwhelm the nose. Excellent.

Very sweet at first, followed by an intense rum-like fruitiness and an astringent roastiness that keeps it from being too sweet. Fades into a wisp of hop flavor (tastes like standard American C-hops). Alcohol flavor is noticeable, but again not overly so. However, this beer warms the throat every time it goes down. Finish is bittersweet roastiness, like 70% cacao dark chocolate, with a slightly salty hop bitterness (I get this attribute from columbus, which Avery seems to be fond of). Outstanding flavor and a wonderful sipping beer.

Mouthfeel: Thick & chewy, medium carbonation keeps it from being too syrupy.

Drinkability: Very good for anything over 12%.

Samael's Ale has been one of my favorite beers for a while now, and I was very excited to get this here in Houston - it did not let me down. Looks like I will be shelling out some more cash to get some more of these to age.

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 878 ratings.
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