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 Traquairlover
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a Reidel shiraz O-glass. Bottled Nov. 2006 Batch 2

A = Black liquid, dark mocha brown head of about 2 fingers which slowly dissipated leaving very small amount of lacing on glass.

S = Bittersweet chocolate and espresso americano coffee, slight alcohol sensation.

T = Tart bitter chocolate on front of tongue, then bittersweet espresso with slight taste of maple syrup, roasted-burnt grains, all followed by a very bitter finish that dwells in the back of the mouth. Very good but with maybe not quite enough sweetness to balance the extreme bitterness.

M = Medium bodied, good mouthcoating, carbonation may be just slightly more than I expected from the style, slight but not unpleasant stinging on the tongue. Alcohol is apparent but not unpleasant.

D = I will definitely have this again but it is a sipping beer.

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Photo of largadeer
2.54/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

November 2007 bottle.

Appearance - Black and syrupy with a modest tan-colored head. Even the appearance is somewhat imposing.

Smell - Chocolate and raisins, burnt toast, molasses and sharp alcohol. Pretty punchy stuff.

Taste & mouthfeel - Intensely roasty and bitter with a sweet, boozy backbone. The body is ridiculously thick and syrupt. I was expecting cloying sweetness, and I more or less got it, though there's a ton of acrid burnt grain to balance it. The flavor hints at fruit, but it's dominated by a bittersweet molasses and burnt toast character. The finish is on the sweet side, with a lingering note of dark chocolate in the aftertaste. The presence of alcohol is both felt and tasted; this is the only beer I can recall trying where I actually felt a slight burn as it was going down.

Notes - Decent, but overly sweet, syrupy and boozy.

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Photo of tpd975
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one came in a high ABV package from Sudsdog some time ago.

A: Pours as dark as night, the demon on the front of the bottle is fitting. The head is wimpy but a solid collar does linger. There was some spotty lacing noted as the contents disappeared from my chalice.

S: Nice big bitter chocolate notes. This one has hops to balance out the charcoaled malts. Sweet cherries and nice whisps of booze as well.

T: I sipped this one stright from the beer fridge at 51 degrees at the start. Deep dark bitter bakers chocolate, along with coffee, charcoaled grains, and oh so sweet molasses right up front. The sweetness lingers with chocolate still hanging around when cherries make their prescene. Just a nip of booze hits you followed by more sweet chocolate. For such a high ABV I really enjoyed this one.

M: Smooth ,thick, with ample carbonation.

D: Most have described this as a sipper but i have to tell you I enjoyed it in gulps. A rather enjoyable brew that is a perfect match with the 12 ounce bottle.

Overall: Avery has a winner with this one. When this years batch hits the shelf I will plunk down the cash for at least a six pack. Tons of big bold flavor, with lots of added sweetness makes for one tasty treat. There are many flavors that can be detected in this one, and there is just enough booze to tickle your throat in the finish. It's very easy drinking for the high ABV, and I really enjoyed it. Thanks Avery for pulling off the challenge of putting out this tasty high test beer.

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Photo of timbro81
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled Nov 2007 batch 3. Pitch black beer topped with an intimidating dark tan head. Smells of burned goodness, booze, cinnamon, deep dark fruit, raisins and plums and such. Taste is big. Deep dark smokey velvetey motor oil. tingles the tongue with alcohol. A complex beer with dark soul of its own. A slow sipping monster of a beer, its only downfall which really isn't one at all. Not for the faint of heart. This beer got the better of me, be careful.

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Photo of showdoglq
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle, Nov 2007 batch 3 date

A. Thick and black, it pours less like beer than a motor oil

S. I caught some dried fruit(it reminded me of cherries), a little cocoa whiff, and a lot of alcohol. It smelled a bit like what I'd imagine a black forest cake would smell like if soaked in alcohol.

T. It tastes just like it smells, with a little bitterness in the finish. The dark chocolate is a bit more pronounced in mid sip, and the alcohol is readily apparent all the way to your stomach.

M. It was thick, creamy and a little oily. I found myself smacking my lips for quite a while after each sip.

D. I wish I could handle a couple in a night, but that would be a very bad idea. The high alcohol content is the only thing that detracts from a delightful slow sipper.

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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 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 mattster
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One 12 0z bottle poured into pint glass.

Good head for tan foam across a opaque black brew. Nice bubbles as head dies down to a lacy layer.

Smell is quite nutty, of roasted hops and a bit chocolaty. TAste is very similar. Roasted hops with notes of chocolate and nice pleasant finish.

Body of the beer makes for a nice full experience. Very coating and drinks well.

ANother hot one by Avery. Excellent Stuff.

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Photo of JonathanL7890
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Batch no 3. Bottled Nov 2007
Poured into a 12 oz glass.

A: Dark 3 finger head of foam. Opaque appearance.

S: The strong alcohol is very apparent in the aroma, along with roasty and chocolate notes.

T: Chocolaty but the alcoholic strength is immediate. Hot Hot Hot!. I am going to put my other bottle away for 1-2 years and see what that's like.

M: Mouthfeel is excellent creamy with the right amount of carbonation.

D: Drinkability on this one is difficult. I can only put away half a bottle and the rest is going in the fridge.

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Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my nightcap beer the other night and I have to say it did the trick,poured into a brandy snifter pitch black no light could break thru here a thinner beige colored head atop.Deep darf fruit in the nose and slightly nutty like a good port more than anything alcohol is very prevelant as well with noticeable molasses/brown sugar as well.Great full bodied almost chewey mouthfeel great for sipping,I go back to the port example for this beer on the palate as well very sweet up front with big raisin and prune flavors along with some sweet alcohol with an onslaught of nutty terrine-like flavors in the finish.A great sipper with alot of character be careful with this devil though it packs a punch.

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Photo of ballewblake
1.91/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Shared a 12oz bottle with the bar owner at Amsterdam Bar.
A-Nice heavy stout, dark, very little transparency
S-Very sweet smell with little to no apparent desires to conceal the alcohol. Some malty and caramel smells break through in the sniffer.
T-A heavy stout to conquer. Had lots of coffee and dark chocolates mixed in there, very complex.
M-Not easy on the tongue, wakens your palette than kills it with alcohol.
D-If I didn't have only half a bottle this would have been a drain pour. Alcohol over powered the taste and made every sip a challenge.

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Photo of YonderWanderer
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours as dark as the being that graces the bottle. Evil, with a thin dark tan head.

S: I get a lot of booze in the nose, whiskey-like, with a hint of sweetness.

T: At first, the alcohol is overwhelming. As you sip on it, other flavors come to the forefront. Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted grains, and molasses are all present. There's an alcohol bite to every sip, but it fades as you continue to drink.

M: Smooth ,thick, with little carbonation.

D: This is a sipper. Not something you could throw down easy, it's a challenge to drink this beast. But patience yields some great flavors. A strong stout, and quite enjoyable with the right approach.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours like molasses a five+ finger brown head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Pitch black color. Light-medium carbonation and very bodied. Sweet molasses nose. Flavor is sweet molasses, roasted caramel, roasted coffee aftertaste; warming, very high ABV is noticeable. Why is the really good stuff wicked expensive? $8.20 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA. Nov 06 batch.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It's appropriate, and a great coincidence, that Black Sabbath's 'Heaven And Hell' appeared during an iTunes album shuffle just as I was about to pop the top on this monster. My first in-person meeting with Mephistopheles was last year at NYC's Ginger Man. A good friend and I found him to be a bold and boisterous character, yet sophisticated and alluring. It was an amazing meeting, and it capped the end of a legendary day.

My second meeting is with this Nov. 2006 incarnation. Poured into a Lucifer snifter (also a coincidence--it's the only snifter I own). The appearance is truly exceptional: toasty, billowy brown head sitting on top of abyss-black depths; the visible carbonation marches up in formation relatively slowly, scuttling up the sides of the glass like fire-ants hurrying toward something dreadful. It's beeee-yooootiful.

The aroma is alive with dark fruits, melted chocolate, steamed milk, toffee taffy (ever had it?), and chocolate licorice whips. At 16.03%, I expected some nostril-flaring, but so far this guy remains in-check despite an already huge ego.

Flavor is absolutely insane. Incredible. Perfect. No really. You want depth? It's here. A slow sip makes the flavors ride out a long time. First there's gooey chocolate, then bourbon-soaked blueberries, then the best maple syrup you've ever tasted. Next is a sweet candy flare-up followed by an infernally wonderful glow from the alcohol. Finishes with burnt graham cracker and roasted marshmallow.

Served with just the tiniest chill on, the liquid rolls over the tongue with a sensual glide, cherry-sweet, slightly sticky, mouth-coating. Some would say if feels "sinfully" good. Some would call it "heavenly". I would call it "5 out of 5, as good as it gets".

Ok, let's get down to earth and strip away the supernatural bullshit: this beer is amazing. Its drinkability is merely "good", due to the high alcohol and its bold, unsubtle characteristics. Not an every day. How can anyone bitch about the price? It's so worth it. If you love stouts of any kind...if you're not afraid of a big beer and a little buzz...indulge thyself.

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Photo of StoutHearted
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer has gorgeous looks, but is it worth the $12 I paid for it?

Like it said, it looks great. I was shocked by how dark it was, even for a stout, with a deep chocolate-colored head that fluffed up to about an inch. The smell was very fragrant (but keep sniffing too long and all you'll get is alcohol fumes), but has a sticky sweetness that may turn some stout lovers off before the first sip. The sweetness follows through in the taste, but not in a fruity way. Rather, it conveys a similar sweetness that whiskey does, and with the same punch to the taste buds. This slows down the drinkabilty and forces you to sip slowly. It's not a thick beer, but the high alcohol content can make it difficult to grasp different flavors. A lasting impression of syrupy molasses sweetness will not put it on many people's favorites list, but thankfully it's not terribly annoying for those willing to stick it out.

In answer to my earlier question: The 16% alcohol content may warrant a $10 price tag, but $12 is kind of pushing it for a tiny bottle that looks better than it tastes. I'll pay those extra two dollars the next time when the beer delivers more than molasses.

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Photo of SirChugsAlot
3.16/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
A- a very dark dark pour i can't see any light though this puppy. about 1/4 head that didn't seem to stick around long. no lacing that i can see.

S- molasses and malt. i can smell the 16% abv on this.

T - hints of licorice and molasses can taste the 16% too.

M- this is for sure a sipper. Pretty thick. I think if i had let this age it would mellow out a bit and i'd enjoy it more. This is a full bodied beer that takes a while to drink and it makes me warm inside haha.

D- I think one is enough for now. Maybe i'll go buy another bottle but at $7.45, and let it age, we'll see.

EDIT: Here is a re-review after aging.

I have reviewed this beer before when it was fresh and that's just a bad idea... so I aged a bottle for a few years and here we go..

12oz bottle dates Nov 2008 Batch #4 poured into a snifter ~45-50 degrees F

A- Very dark with very little head that quickly receded to the edges of the glass.

S- Chocolate and figs with roasted malts and molasses

T- Even after aging this beer there is still a pronounced alcohol taste. the chocolate and coffee flavors come through with a general sweetness

M- This beer isn't as thick as i would like, but it is smooth and maybe a bit more on the carbonation then i would like.

D- Sitting at 15.92% ABV, this beer is a beast that should only be attempted to be tamed after a few years in the cellar. The alcohol burn that i get from this even after aging it for a while is crazy and while i am enjoying this beer, i don't think i would buy it due to the amount of work and storage time that is required to be able to enjoy it.

After aging the scores that i give this beer have not changed very much. i would raise smell to a 3.5 and the mouthfeel to a 3.5

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Photo of slagle9480
3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wow. This surprised me. I gotta say, I was not impressed by this beer.

The 16% seemed like a nice idea at first. After my firt sip I was turned off.

The alcohol overpowers the true flavor of the beer. I thought it could have been better served if the abv was around the 12% mark.

I'm not sure what to think of this. I would like to try it again but not anytime soon.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an impenetrable black with a tan head. Even without putting my nose to the glass I am already getting some strong fragrances. Let's dive in. Eek. So strong. Had to pull away before going back again. The most overpowering scent I get is that of wet, mineral rich dirt. Beyond that a super sweet edge. Strong malts. Flavor is massively sweet for a stout. Just way too much sugar here. Molasses. Even molasses type character over the tongue. Licorice. I am getting licorice on the end. I will say that the warmer it gets the better it gets, but still. Feel is thick and syrupy. Drinkability is low. If you buy this, absolutely do not drink it immediately. This monster needs to age for some time. I am thinking one to three years would mellow this puppy out quite a bit. By then it might be calm enough to provide a more enjoyable experience. The analogy of a puppy really comes to mind. Sure it can be fun when it is wee little. But when they are older and more mature is when they are really the best companions. I personally think we might be rushing too quick to drink this one and review it. This and all of Avery's other high ABVers.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Into the tulip

Mephistopheles IS your name, and it is appropriate.

A - Black, thin mocha head, aggressive thin lacing.

S - Smoky molasses and booze.

T - Harsh at first. Thick, hard tastes of very dark chocolate and coffee and molasses. One is almost too much not to share.

M - Full body, good carb and thick coating. Thick, thick, thick.

D- One is more than enough.

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A dark beer. In fact almost no light passes through the glass but you can see a little ruby like colors on the sides if you hold it up to the light and look real hard. It has a reddish head that rises about a half inch up from the pool of black liquid. The scent is nothing spectacular, it has a little of everything in it but its mostly smells like a fine wine. The taste reminds me more of a belgian ale then a stout. The high abv seems to thin out the liquid and calm the stout-y-ness. The flavors blend well but are masked a little by the high abv. Before you get to the warm feeling left over from this beer you get hints of chocolate, fruityness and even some spice. This beer is exceptionally easy to drink. Good thing its expensive at the local bar.

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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 rye726
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'06 Vintage poured at 50F into a snifter

Dark midnight color with some red and brown hues. Thick espresso head that produces nice lace. Head setlles to a silky cover and shows some of the best retention I have seen in a beer this big.

Classic Avery hop and malt smell. Aromas of chcolate, coffee, molasses, fruits with a faint alcohol sent.

Lots of sweet fruits up front. There are also flavors of big roasty malts, molasses, and caramel. A warming alcohol in the finish with bitter floral hops and chocolate.

Full body and good carbonation. Very thick, but not syrupy.

Very drinkable for such a huge beer. Most triple stouts take an hour to open up, but this was tasty right out of the bottle. However, this is still best if enjoyed after a substancial decanting. Nice complex character and well balanced.

Edit June 2009: Just enjoyed a four year old bottle that has aged very well.

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

What a unbelievable beer! Poured motor oil black with a nice dark chocolate head and great lace on the glass. The smell was big with toasted malts, molassis, plums and a touch of hops. The taste was very big with good sweetness in the beginning, a bit of alchohol flavor in the middle and a nice slightly bitter finish leaving you wanting for more. This will taste great if aged and I bet it would taste great as part of an Imperial Stout Float with some nice vanilla bean ice cream! Try it now!

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4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 Bottle. HaHa. Cheers to Peter from Avery!

Thick mocha colored head roarin' for a fork. Head did not cascade like I expected but faded slowly to an even spread along the top of the body. Body was deep, dark, and almost un-penetrable by light. There was a real slight red, brown hint at the edges of the glass.

The aroma was just as deep and dark as the looks. Full of coffee, alcohol, chocolate, caramel, and spices. There is a deep fruit smell there too ... cherry or something. Almost a smokey finish on the back of this BIG beer.

So the 2007 Batch No. 3 rolling in at 16.00% ABV packs it's punch. Alcohol is prevalent but so are the roasted malts, cherry and grain. I bet with some cellaring this beer opens up a lot.

Mouthfeel is creamy like it should be. There is a little tingle of the carbonation but overall is wonderfully delightfull to drink.

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