Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

905 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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 905 | Ratings: 2,320
Photo of Tone
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of strong sweet malt, roasted malt, strong wood, strong alcohol, hint of dark fruit, and a hint of coffee. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong sweet malt, strong alcohol, slight roasted malt, hint of coffee, hint of dark fruit, and wood. Overall, good appearance, great aroma, body, and blend considering the abv.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with a thick, fluffy tan head. Big bourbon and barley smell. Tons of roasted barley and carmel malt. Big warming frombthe big alcohol. Very unique stout.

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Photo of teromous
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle: "ANNUAL RELEASE NOV, 2012 BATCH No 8 1062 CASES" "16.2% ALC/VOL 31.25° P"

Appearance: It pours oily black into a black body. The head is short with a bit of a darker shade of khaki. The head has this creamy consistency and it very slowly fades away leaving a thick ring and a few islands of bubbles on the surface. It forms and retains a head fantastically for an ale of 16.2% ABV.

Aroma: Right up front there is a rich coffee liqueur aroma. This is followed by a burnt caramel scent and alcohol.

Taste: Chocolate makes its way across the palate. It has a wonderful chocolate flavor combining the flavor of bakers chocolate and powdered cocoa. There is a bit of black licorice flavor in there as well but light and complimentary. The finish has a light burnt bitterness with a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: It is smooth with just a bit of alcohol bite and bitterness at the back. It is a sipper. It has some nice carbonation that pushes back at the smoothness of the beer and sort-of spreads the beer out a bit more across the palate.

Overall: It is an outstanding and decadent chocolate tasting beer that would work great as a dessert beer. I wouldn't really recommend it with a full meal because the beer has a very big character that demands a lot of attention. It is the kind of beer that you could just sit back and enjoy, reflecting on how good it is. While I haven't had this beer fresh I have aged it for a little over four years so I can say that it ages wonderfully. I would like to pick it up again and try doing some verticals with it; certainly try it fresh and see how it compares.

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Photo of PaulElk
4.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Two words. Sweet burn. Batch 12 October 2016. Smell of dark fruit and malts. Smooth as can be for a 14 percent abv. Wanted to have one right away and save my stash for years to come. If you can find some get it while you can!

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Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, Batch 1 bottled January 2006. Pours dense pitch black color with minimal head and lacing on the glass. Nice alcohol legs clinging on the glass. Aromas of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, molasses, toffee, coffee, raisin, prune, fig, date, cherry, licorice, fudge, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, leather, tobacco, soy sauce, and light smoke/charcoal. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and fruity yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, caramel, molasses, toffee, coffee, raisin, prune, fig, date, cherry, licorice, fudge, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, leather, tobacco, soy sauce, and light smoke/charcoal. Light roast/char bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, molasses, toffee, coffee, raisin, prune, fig, date, cherry, licorice, fudge, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, leather, tobacco, soy sauce, and light smoke/char on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and fruity yeast flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Slight dryness from roast/char bitterness, lightly increasing though the glass. Low carbonation and very full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, slick, thick, and lightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is incredibly well hidden, a very mild warmth lingering after the finish, with zero booziness. Overall this is an absolutely amazing Imperial Stout after 11 years of age. All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. Definitely in it’s prime for age, and I can’t see this falling off any time soon. A highly amazing offering.

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Photo of OldManMetal
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

(2016 release) A viscous pour yields a giant (pour carefully!) slightly pebbly brown head on an effervescent, impenetrably black body that shows a few ruby glimmers at its base; head retention is modest and lacing is good, consisting of sticky slabs, ladders and sheets. The nose is medium in intensity: a somewhat bitterish, modestly smoky blend of molasses and cocoa with hints of toffee and fudge, all over significant alcohol undertones, and topped in turn by assertive, faintly solvent-like alcohol overtones. A significant soy sauce character emerges as it warms. The palate is a seamless blend of milk chocolate and molasses with more subtle cocoa and banana notes and a hint of cinnamon-like spice on the back end; alcohol manifests as perceptibly solvent-like topnotes and a deep boozy undercurrent. All told, Mephistopheles lands just on the sweet side of the balance. The finish is a big hit of sweet chocolate and booze, and is a bit astringent and quite warming; the follow is a modestly bitter oaky chocolate flavor that lasts for a good while. Retrogustative olfaction is chocolate-covered banana and booze. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the extra-full body, and is modestly astringent and quite warming; the texture is modestly sticky-creamy and slightly peppery from the well-expressed carbonation. (12 oz bottle, 110 days after pkg)

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

Pours with a great head, a nice very dark brown. One of the best looking beers I have seen. It looked real rich and it laced very nicely. The aroma of this beer was pleasant with several different odors, but even with the high ABV no strong alcohol smell.
An excellent tasting stout that masked the high alcohol content really well.
I poured this beauty from a 12 oz bottle that was labeled 17.1 ABV. This is different than was listed but it may change annually, because the bottle said October 2015 batch. So this beer held op fine over time.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz 2015 bottling into a snifter - thanks Aaron!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

aroma is lots of dried fruits and alcohol.

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

Full in the mouth, with a significant burn.

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

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Photo of Radcpa
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice appearance with a pleasant aroma of fruit and coffee. Very bitter with strong alcohol taste. Better if it were aged for a year or so like most Avery beers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Bottle (10/30/15) to snifter.

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

Roasted malt, yeast, raisin.

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

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

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


2016 vintage in Growler from TRT, poured to snifter.

Looks a bit cleaner, less Silty.

TASTE and AROMA are consistent with 2015.

Good stuff.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Benish
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2016 release.

Appearance: poured jet black with a thin film of dark brown colored head.

Smell: strong notes of white chocolate and vanilla. It has a very sweet aroma without any roasted character.

Taste: starts out with the sweet bitter chocolate with notes of cherries. Very sweet but then ends with a charred and bitter finish with final notes of strong coffee. The bitterness tend to linger around long after the sip. Alcohol not as noticeable as I expected. Little bit of warmth at room temp.

Mouthfeel: thick and full-bodied but I expected a little more viscosity.

Overall: seems this could use a couple years of age. Seems harsh with too much clash of flavors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Delicious, dangerously drinkable and super complex! Awesome!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 2,320 ratings.
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