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

Pours a thick viscous black with ruby edges. The head is dark tan and much bigger then I expected from a beer of this weight. It dissipates pretty quickly leaving meandering lace trails behind. The aroma is huge and full of chocolate, espresso coffee, piney hops and some spicey alcohol, very very nice. The taste is roasty with a sugarcane sweetness and and a good dose of hop bitterness and alcohol heat. The mouthfeel is nearly syrupy with very light carbonation. The finish is long and bitter, very roasty and sticky with malt sugars.

This is one kick ass stout. Its packed with flavor and has a good deal of hop bitterness. The alcohol is always noticeable, but is less apparent then many beers of half the ABV.

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

Bottled in December, 2009 - Batch 5

16.83% ABV
1.135 OG

A-A beautiful, opaque, deep-black center framed by a rich, dark brown around the edges. Thin, quickly dissipating, tan-brown head.

S-Dark, robust chocolate comes through immediately. Roasted coffee. Mild hints of burnt caramel.

T-Extremely pleasant booziness that seems to amplify rather than mask the flavors. Everything that the nose would lead you to expect is there for you to taste but is more intense. I could sip on this for hours. Key word is sip. Large sips, of course.

M-Thick and syrupy with low carbonation. This sticks to the inside of your mouth like watered down molasses.

I've been abnormally partial to chewy, boozy stouts lately, so my praise might be inflated somewhat. Ultimately though, I can't see this disappointing anybody. I'm curious to try and age it (though I've heard this is somewhat of a gamble) but definitely wouldn't mind having it immediately post-purchase again.

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

i bought this on a whim, as i wanted to explore some avery at my local store, but hadn't read up much about the brews online, i knew that they were popular. anyway, needless to say, i was incredibly happy with this pick (im always in the mood for a good stout).

a. jet beautiful black with a light head that lingers well and leaves a little lace. there is a distinct reddish tint at the edges of the glass where light can barely squeeze by.

s. the smell is unavoidable, its sitting on my lap 2 feet away from my nose and i can smell every chocolatey bitter note. Chocolate is big, coffee is there, roasty malts hints at the tastes to come.

t. boom big chocolate and booze. it is sweet but balanced by a bitter dark chocolate flavor, and coffee. roasty malt is all there, and a bitter aftertaste. absolutely incredible, an entire stout experience. I told my inexperienced beer drinking friend, now this is a stout. Everything that should be here is here in the flavor and smell.

m. a little on the light side in aftertaste, although the beer itself is thick while in the mouth.

d. its strong, so slowly does it. every so often, you just need to dig back into its deep chocolatey essence.

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

Thanks to Sprinkle for the sample. Appearance is as expected with the ABV. Mostly black, if I hold a lighter on the other side of it I can see through it. Smells vinous and roasted.

Tastes of currants and other dark fruits, deeply roasted. Mouthfeel is good, there is a wine like quality to this beer. Can't wait to get my own.

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Photo of thequeen711
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured chocolate brown, with a big tan head. 2007 version is a chocolatey, caramel. coffee nose,(as most stouts are) and the sip is true nirvana! There's something truly special about this brew. A slow, savory swallow to get to the alcohol content without a hitch. Smooth as ice, and the aftertaste is begging for another sip. I would vote this brew top 25 in the World!

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Photo of edskirk3
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this little beauty last week. The label says Bottled in Nov 2006 so it's already aged a year.

Pours into a Brandy glass opaque black and viscous, with a caramel-colored head. It sticks to the sides of the glass like hot chocolate foam. There's so much going on in the aroma, most prominently licorice. Also alcohol (16%!), figs, smoke and coffee.

The sharp burn of alcohol makes it a little rough to drink at first, but soon enough the heat relaxes the tongue. I am then treated to nice amalgam of mocha coffee bitterness, licorice, and rich dark fruits dunked in bourbon.

Oh, what a beer this was. I'd follow Mephistopheles to Hell and back.

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Photo of keriguma
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Bottle says it was brewed in November 2006, Batch 2. Store bought just a few days ago, so I'm quite pleased with the amount of aging on it.

Pours a thick, viscous black oil-like substance that blocks all light. Has a small dark brown head, which slowly dissipates, leaving faint lacing. This is a brutal-looking beer.

Burying my nose in my Samuel Smith pint glass, the aroma of this beer is so overpowering that my nostrils sting a bit. A wave of sweet, sugary alcohol hits me in the face, with notes of dark chocolate. Surprisingly, no coffee to be found here. Maybe some molasses.

As I swallow this brew, it sticks to my tongue and throat like tar, and oh God is it pleasant. The taste... like no other Imperial I've yet tried. The beautiful sugars are there, the chocolate, some smokiness and most definitely alcohol, though it's remarkably well-handled. The alcohol doesn't burn or overpower the rest of the taste, but it warms the throat and stomach all the way down. What I find most appealing about the taste is that, while sweet, it's not at all cloying. It's like drinking a chocolate liqueur, but a hundred times better. Again, no coffee to speak of.

EDIT: as I continue to drink this beer, more and more tastes emerge. Lots of dark fruits, almost a rum characteristic. I LOVE the way it changes as it warms.

If anyone can drink more than one of these in a sitting I want to shake your hand.

The text on the bottle is awesome, too: "Mephistopheles is the crafty shapeshifter, the second fallen angel; he who does not love light. Herein he patiently lies, waiting and willing to do your bidding, but for a price. Enter into his darkness, a tangled and intricate labyrinth of bittersweet rapture."

Highly recommended.

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Photo of nriech
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

06 bottling. Smells of dark roast grains and some chocolate, dry roast and woody. A malt sweet saves this beer. Not nearly as sweet as I was anticipating to be but very welcome.

Extremely dark, no light at all penetrating. Smell is full of sweet syrupy dark fruit odors with a sweet burnt malt smell as well. Had a nose of chocolate and expresso maltiness with whiffs of a grape vinous, dark ripe fruits and a rum-like alcohol.

Taste, Cherries, candy, alcohol, roasted malt. This is one complex brew. Plenty of alcohol layered with candy sweetness, alcohol. Subdued coffee and chocolate.

Moutfeel, Its thick body is silky without being cloying, paired nicely with low carbonation and this one remains drinkable. Very drinkable still. Im sure even more so if some one could manage to hide it for a 3-4 years.

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Photo of woemad
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $8.92 (those goofy Jim's prices...). According to the bottle this was bottled in November, 2006.

To paraphrase Nigel Tufnel, how much more black could this beer get, and the answer is none more black. This is the color of Michael Vick's chances of getting an endorsement from PETA, with no concession whatsoever made when held up directly to light. Surprisingly, given the high abv of this beer, a 1 1/2" mocha colored head formed at the top, with some staying power, as sheets of lace slowly slid back down into the beer residing in a SA BL glass. The head is easily re-agitated back to life, and about a quarter-inch of foam remains permanently atop the beer.

I get chocolate covered cherries from the nose of this beer. Sure, there's also prunes, raisins, roasty whole bean coffee, but what really jumps out are the chocolate covered cherries.

The taste starts off surprisingly sweet. To be sure, bitter roastiness and dark fruits kick in right away, and nearly balance it out, but to me the number one component of the flavor is a brown sugary sweetness. As it warms up, a warming alcohol sensation is apparent, without much surprise considering it's 16.03% (what's up with the ".03" on this label, anyway? Are the brewers at Avery thinking, "If we put 16.03, they'll feel we're more professional" despite the fact that the average punter is staring at the 16 with their jaw hanging down in disbelief?) The brown sugar parade ends on a pleasing dry note.

The mouthfeel is hedonistically (I think this beer inspired me to create a new word) oily. I would actually describe the body as port-like, and would exhibit ths as proof that a massive boozy flavor bomb of a beer does not need to have a heavy body.

As a dessert beer/nightcap, which is what I'm using this as, Mephistopheles is eminently drinkable. It wouldn't be much use for any other type of drinking. No one in their right mind would session this, and few would be up to it.

I think I could become a Meph addict.

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Photo of aromatorio
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought several bottles of 2007 Meph from Joey at South Bay Drugs. Had one as a bit of a nightcap with some dark (70 or 80% cacao) chocolate. It poured a little thick, growing an intimidating 3-4 finger head. The head was a nutty color, with maybe the slightest tinge of red. The stout itself I would call inky - I poured into a Guinness pint-glass and couldn't see any light pass through.

Smell was a little dangerous, but I had expected that. Nutty and potent. I had been hoping for a velvety mouthfeel, but it was a little more forceful. I may have been tainted, but I detected chocolate and an aftertaste of coffee.

As a caution, I let it warm up before drinking it, but I think it could have benefited being a bit warmer. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I was not over-powered by the alcohol content. Wouldn't recommend drinking more than one of these at a time though, or in conjunction with other brew.

One thing to note is that the most recent batches have a lower ABV content than in previous years.

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Photo of barhoc11
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This thing is rough around the edges right now but I like it for this brutal cold day. Was bottled in November 2014, I will see what some age does to this with my other bottle.

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4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle. 16.2abv. It's amazing a non BA stout is so smooth at this abv. I'm just finishing it and feel it. It's almost three years old and sweeter than I remember in the past. Avery rarely disappoints.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful black color. Fine tan lacing, good persistence.

Smells like coffee and malty, bittersweet chocolate. Just lovely.

Taste is fairly awesome - molasses, licorice, just a little sweeter than I prefer.

Mouthfeel is damned near perfect. Rich, very fine carbonation. Tastes more like 12% than 16.8%. Others could learn from this. (DFH WW Stout, I'm looking at you...)

Finish is lovely - licorice, plums, blackberry - this is the bomb - really well integrated. Sooooper complex.

I kinda wish it had less alcohol so that I could enjoy more of it in a sitting, but c'est la vie.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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