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.

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Reviews: 905 | Ratings: 2,320
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Vintage 2008.

A: Black as black gets with a sheen like a black opal. Minimal head retention shouldn't come as a shock considering the strength and age. Thin, wispy lacing.

S: Fudgey and rich. Flourless dark chocolate torte. Dense chocolate truffles and semi-sweet dark chocolate. Chocolate covered espresso beans. Fleeting roast and just the slightest suggestion of soot. Blackstrap molasses and dark rum. Vinous notes similar to a big chocolatey cab-sauv. Rum raisin. Anise. Slight cardboard oxidation. A deep and intoxicating nose.

T: Rum and blackstrap molasses up front. Sticky sweetness. Burnt sugar. Soot. French roast coffee. Dense chocolate truffles and double chocolate cake. Spicy alcohols and strong vinous notes come into focus middle to end. Lots of dark fruit. Dose of anise and perhaps even some black pepper. Endless finish is redolent of double espresso.

M: Thick in body. Sticky and syrupy. Still some fine, prickling carbonation on the tongue. Big and soothing alcohol warmth.

O: Intoxicating and ridiculously complex. Time is a friend to this one. It has aged perfectly. The alcohols render this beer pretty much undrinkable fresh. It really benefits from an extended aging to round everything out. There aren't many beers I would confidently cellar for 5+ years, but this is definitely one. It now drinks like a fine liqueur, and is meant to be sipped and pondered.

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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 Sabtos
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Small head, coffee black, persistent thin ring of bubbles.

Dark bitter chocolate nose with a hint of cherry.

Flavor of merlot barrel, and a hint of red grape in this very boozy, super richly roasted stout. However, as opposed to other brews, the booze here is somehow less offensive, tolerable, incorporated well...for the first couple of sips. It builds and builds, as is often the case, to an extremely formidable, if too potent heat.

Very complex and challenging beer, I like it, but need a healthier, harder day working out in the cold with no other beers on the docket to really enjoy this to its fullest.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 edition in 12 oz. bottle. I wasn't sure what to expect and I'm not sure what I had, but it was very interesting and didn't feel like I was drinking something @ 17.1% abv.

Very dark, but didn't pour as darkas I thought it would. Body started to show as it warmed up. I didn't smell- or really taste - the chocolate, but the dark fruits were present and really seemed to evolve as I worked my way through this sipper.

I enjoyed the experience and might pick up another bottle to cellar for a year or two.

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Photo of Joe_Palooka
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured 10/2015 release into a snifter, black as coal with no light able to penetrate through. Slight amber head dissipates fairly rapidly. Good lacing, good mouth-feel, a little hot and boozy at first. Improves even more as it breathes in the snifter. Definitely a sipper. I purchased 8 of these so I will cellar 4 or 5 and update as this great stout ages. I do put it a notch below Avery's Uncle Jacobs but right there with Bourbon County Brand Stout.

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Photo of Donco
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into my trusty Stone tulip glass.
10/15 vintage.

This is very consistent with Avery's "big beers". High ABV but flavorful and a cold weather sipper for sure!
Smell is dark fruits, almonds, deep, dark chocolate and coffee...and more dark fruits.
Taste follows the smell: Hard to hide 17% ABV with it's tummy-warming qualities. But the sweetness is cut with a good measure of bitterness on the back end. A well-brewed and pretty balanced big beer.
I would categorize this as similar to World Wide Stout in many ways. Bought two that I drank now, and one to cellar for at least one year to see how it develops.

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Photo of gmoneyproductions
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

had this on tap at avery in a 5 oz snifter glass
pours amber brown with a small tan head
smell of coffee chocolate smoky and boozy
taste very much same as smell boozy coffee chocolate and smoke
feel dry and low carbonation not too thick
overall another winner but like uncle jacobs not something i would drink regularly due to the ultra high abv special occasion or night ender for me for sure

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Photo of Yancey82
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch No. 7 from November 2011. Crazy good beer. Tons of licorice and chocolate. A big beer but surprisingly smooth despite the 16.4%. Pleased to still have one in the cellar, especially since Avery retired this monster.

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Photo of AdamAlway
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew has one hell of a punch! The look matches the smell. I could easily mistake it for a cup of coffee. Non-existent head with a deep brown, opaque body. The smell is predominantly coffee while the taste is a little over-powered by the alcohol. I am definitely planning on aging another bottle to see what it changes.

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Photo of kerry4porters
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Nice heavy stout that isn't out of hand pricey at the abv
Great and smooth flavor that doesn't have the booziness other beers do at the %
Great flavor of Belgian Chocolates and hints of coffee great stout and the Belgian Yeast does not detract from it

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

2014 batch from November 17.1% abv.

Dark dark beer with no head. But not like there would be much at 17%. I smell the chocolate hidden behind the booze. This beer definitely has a bite. But it's what I've come to love from Avery.

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Photo of mabermud
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Ultra dark brown body, opaque. Mocha colored head that is darker mocha around the edges. The head is fine, dense, and attractive. Clingy and slow melting curtains. Very good looking legs slowly streaming down the sides of the glass. Classy appearance.
Smell: I love the lactose smell. Dark milk chocolate-cake, roasted malts, vanilla, faded mushy coffee grounds, and a wandering booze aroma. I also smell volcano cake. This smells like it is going to be rich...
Taste: The taste is described above. Sweetness. Throw in some wet wood and a touch of root. This taste fades after my palate gets used to the beer. The beer has the unfinished sugar taste.
Feel: This has some heat. This creates warmth below the chin, mainly in the esophagus. This has a syrupy body, low level of carbonation, and is creamy in the box.

Overall - Excellent alcohol kick, I enjoy the brain stun. This is overwhelming beer. Over the top, but good to go.

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Photo of VT9091
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black. Thick and rich and Choco-lick - well - more like drinkable crude oil. If Oskar Blues' Ten Fidy is motor oil (and I love Ten Fidy) this is boozey crude. Goes with chocolate, almonds, and gear boxes. Loved it. Five 'Fives.'

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Photo of SGerrard
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My go-to stout whether I'm sitting in a chair by the fire or on the back porch in mid-summer. Dark black, viscous with raisins, anise, and dark cherries. Lovely!

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Photo of Kramerwtmf
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch 4 bottles nov 2008. I will say that this beer has aged beautifully. The usual hot alcohol in high abv Avery beers is nonexistent here. The thick viscous feel really stands out, especially as the beer warms. Both nose and taste is of bitter dark chocolate and the finish ends with dark malts anise and dark roast coffee along with some raisin. I am also getting a bit of vanilla all the way through this beer. Overall this beer is very good, but it is a little too sweet. If you can age this beer do it you will be much much more satisfied!

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Photo of pagriley
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle shared with 2 people

L - pours pitch black. surprisingly for such a big beer 1 inch of dark mocha head
S - Soy sauce and dark roasted malts hidden behind a waft of big boozy heat
T - Hot up front, but complex with smoke, bitter dark chocolate and booze
F - ok body, but a touch thin.

Overall a very well made and commendably big beer - I would pick one up again

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Photo of beersnobraven
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

2013 vintage poured into a Grand Marnier snifter

A: Black, black, black! Poured thick and viscous and actually had a decent amount of head for such a big beer, although it disappeared pretty fast, leaving just a few evil looking bubbles. Definitely living up to the name appearance-wise.

S: Wow! I think I got a buzz just from smelling this baby. I'm getting notes of bitter dark chocolate, as well as dark fruits like raisins dates, and plums. Smells almost (almost!) quad-like. Really powerful aroma!

T: Pretty similar to the aroma. Actually a lot hopper than I was expecting, although definitely not in a bad way (and I'm not usually a fan of hoppy beers). Alcohol is definitely present, although not nearly as much as I would've expected in a beer this big. Tastes more like it's 9 to 12 percent rather than the 15.whatever percent it actually is. Aftertaste is actually pretty dry, with hints of an almost woody character even though I know this beer wasn't barrel-aged.

M: Again, hefty, but not as big as I would have expected. Pretty much perfect. Not too thick, not too thin (for the style at least).

O: Definitely a big beer, although it's very drinkable. Can still be a lot to handle and is definitely something you'd want to nurse over an hour or two. But don't let the name and the high ABV scare you off; this is a seriously delicious and oddly-drinkable offering from Avery.

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Photo of JebBeerFish
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Taste is too predominantly coffee and just not that tasty. I did not pick up any chocolate flavors.I will age the other two I purchased for a year and see how they fare.

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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 darktronica
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A ring of light brown foam clings desperately to the glass to avoid being pulled into the impenetrable depths below. A thin layer of cocoa hovers over the glass, with subtle hints of apple brandy and rhum agricole lurking just under the surface. This beer starts slow but eventually opens up into a long, lovely finish reminiscent of cookie dough. The high ABV is definitely in evidence, but doesn't overwhelm.

It's hard to believe this isn't barrel-aged, given the various liquor notes that are present. Nonetheless, I'm thankful it isn't, because that's what keeps it out in a semi-reasonable price range; Meph can hold its own against Uncle Jacob and Avery's other top-end offerings.

Nov 2014 batch (17.1% ABV).

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage. Big, rich, and delicious! Pours extremely dark, as black as its devilish label. I can't imagine how hot this would be if I'd had it fresh, but three years of age was marvelous.

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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 neenerzig
4.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this a few years ago at The Party Source in Newport, KY just across the river from Cincinnati. This bottle is from batch # 3, bottled in November 2007 with an ABV of 16.00%. Poured into my snifter, this beer pours a very dark brown color that has no interest in letting in any light, just a very slight hint of deep amber ruby highlights when held up to the light. Has a tan, 1/4 inch thick head when first poured that settles to a medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass. Just a very slight hint of lacing. Aromas of toasted, sweet caramel maltyness is heavily present along with strong cocoa hints and some fairly subtle coffee notes that is followed by other hints of molasses, vanilla and anise. And of course some alcohol. One of the best smelling beers I have ever had, that's for sure. Maybe the best! Has a nice, sweet, toasted, strong caramel malt flavor upfront that gives way to chocolate and coffee notes that are followed by the aforementioned notes of vanilla, anise, and molasses. Rounds out with some alcohol, but the alcohol note itself is not overpowering in the least. It is extremely well woven into the fabric of the flavor profile of this beer. Sweetness along with the spice hints are all that are here taste wise, and in this case that is an absolutely wonderful thing. No hint of hops of bitterness at all, but I guess that should not really be a surprise since this beer is about 7 1/2 years old. Has a very smooth, thick, sticky, chewy, slightly oily, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with very light carbonation. Extremely easy to drink. This is a beer best sipped slowly, as it really needs to sit and warm up for all the complexities and subtleties to become known. I drank mine over the course of about an hour. To use the quote that my friend Passow once said about a different fantastic beer we enjoyed together, "This is a beer that is so good that you can drink it in bed and it will lull you to sleep." Once again no disagreement here, as this beer is fantastic! Get it if you can!


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Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black like motor oil with a brown head that leaves lacing on the sides.
S - Smell is sweet and boozy.
T - Flavor is a little chocolate, a little carame and booze.
M - Thick and chewy with low carbonation.
O - This is a big boozy stout. A slow sipper for sure. I was a little disappointed as the alcohol tended to dominate everything. Might by another one and lay it down for a couple years.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

A - 5 - Pours an oily, jet black color straight out of the bottle. Forms a nice 2 finger, extremely dark tan colored head with an aggressive pour. Decent head potential, medium/low head retention. No lacing.
S - 4.25 - A ton of roasty malt, medium sweet chocolate, light coffee and an herbal, medicinal, star-anise / licorice property to its aroma.
T - 3.75 - Very very sweet, almost cloyingly so...but not quite. SUPER sweet malt upfront which mellows a bit into medium sweet chocolate and finally ends on a much needed, bitter coffee ending. While the finish helps balance the sweetness, this is by no means a balanced beer.
F - 5 - Extremely thick, viscous and oily bodied mouthfeel. Very creamy.
O - 4 - A very good stout, but definitely one to be sipped on quite slowly and on the coldest of days. Could be improved by what I would surmise as, less, if not no use of turbinado sugar.

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