Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
2,328 Ratings
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
averybrewing.com

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
Black
Aromatic
Special B
2-Row

Yeast Varieties:
Westmalle Belgian Ale

Hop Varieties:
Bravo
Sterling

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,328
Reviews:
907
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
12.14%
 
 
Wants:
336
Gots:
857
For Trade:
47
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,328 |  Reviews: 907
Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark black with a small head. Alcohol is in the aroma like a hard drink. Average mouthfeel and above-average stout taste,but very bitter really with sugar in the finish. A bit of coffee, chocolate and roast. I would take a lot of other stouts before this one.

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Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

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

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Retsinis for sharing this one at mrbubbler's "end of the world" tasting.

Bottled 11/2012. Batch 8.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, dark fruits, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with quite an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it's very boozy and needs time to settle down.

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Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -9%

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

another colossal stout from avery. this one is famous for a reason. pours inky black with a coffee brown lacey head 2 inches tall but fading out before long. smells like licorice, alcohol, cocoa, and espresso. the flavor holds all of those flavors and more. wood, vanilla, and a sugary sweetness all present themselves in turn. the taste is constantly evolving, seemlessly moving from one intense sensation to the next. finally a really strong alcoholic sweetness overtakes everything as it fades out. feel is a bit sludgey, but how could it not be? overwhelmingly full bodied, moderate carbonation. a good beer to share with your lady if you are lucky enough to have one that enjoys imperial stouts!

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The really is a monster of a brew. The pour of the beer is a deep black color with a light brown head. There isn't much lacing but the head stuck around from start to finish. The smell is boozey, chocolatey, and has some old leather aromas on the nose. The taste has a rich chocolatey flavor mixed with a heavily roasted flavor with a alcohol burn. There's even a sweet caramel flavor too. The mouthfeel is smooth, it's got a light carbonation to it. It's drinkable for the massive abv this has. Overall this is a killer brew, it's really worth trying if you see it around.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer poured jet black with a finger sized tan head that quickly faded away leaving yet only a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. A light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are prominent aromas of alcohol and bourbon in the nose, which are so strong that they are noticeable as soon as the bottle is opened. THere are also hints of dark fruits in the smell.
T: Flavors of alcohol, bourbon, burnt malts and coffee really stand out in the taste, which becomes more complex as the beer warms up and also has some notes of brown sugar, chocolate, licorice and raisins. A strong amount of bitterness from the hops is present, most promiently in the finish.
M: It feels full-bodied, smooth, rather dry and a little sticky on the palate. There are a lot of warming sensations from the alcohol.
D: This is a beer that definitely needs to be sipped very slowly; I would try this again if it was a cold winter night and all I wanted was a single sipping beer.

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

Just call it heaven in a bottle. Expecting an over-bearing, alcoholic monster that I'd have to choke down, this was a tremendous surprise. Serious flavors and aromas jump out of the onyx-black brew. Big aromas of roasted malts, coffee, chocolated, ripe fruits, sherry, and oh yea, malt. The roasted malt comes through with a silkiness in flavor and feel. Coffee flavors remain mellow, yet strong. Sherry and soy sauced decorate the fringes. Cherries, dates, figs, plumbs, and a hint of vanilla liven the beer a lot. Sweet and strong alcohols compliment the brew from sip to finish without becomming overly harsh. Thick, robust, full, and rich. Also smoother, rounder, and more balanced than expected. I'll love to have one in a year or so to compare.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was lookin' to combine dessert with a nightcap - that dubious proposition brings me here...

This beer pours a total black, no light escapes from its edges, not for a lack of trying. It gives up one skinny finger of soapy beige head, which leaves a solid wall of lace up and down the glass. The aroma is lightly roasted caramel malt, stewed black fruit - prunes, raisins, and a soft, but insistent, and persistent, booziness. It tastes of roasted chocolate malt, more sozzled black fruit, molasses, baker's chocolate, a bit of bitter coffee, some mild zingy hops, and an overarching alcohol warming. The carbonation is quite low, and the body smooth, dense, slick, a bit oily, and heavy. It finishes quite sweet, with an increasing dry hop essence, but still overwhelmingly malty.

The booze, while strong, is quite even, and mostly well integrated, and it hangs around this beer like a dark storm cloud, changing the feel of the air, and of your senses. Definitely a sipper, and a devilishly good one at that.

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Photo of SocalKicks
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kojevergas
3.45/5  rDev -16.3%

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz brown glass with appealing label art and a red foil-ed over pry-off pressure cap.

November 2012 vintage. Batch No. 8. 1062 cases. 16.2% ABV.

Expectations are high given the style coupled with the brewery. Served at fridge temp and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured into a Guinness goblet with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: It's a gorgeous rich tan colour. 3.5 fingers wide. Incredible shiny complexion. Stellar consistency; it looks soft, smooth, even, and creamy as hell. Retention is nothing short of amazing considering the high ABV; the head sits there for over 10 minutes.

No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

This is a hell of a cap for an imperial stout.

BODY: Colour is a predictable opaque jet black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment can be seen in the ink-black.

Appears well-carbonated. It's not unique looking for an imperial stout, but it sure is appealing. Sure, the head could be darker, and some ruby hues in the body would be nice, but I'm nitpicking. It looks more or less as it should.

4.0

AROMA: Coffee notes are present, but I don't find any roast, earthiness, etc. Not the most complex or subtle coffee presence, but nice overall.

Dark malts, chocolate malts, burnt sugars, milk chocolate, caramel, and a faint kiss of dark fruit. Raisin. Turbinado sugar. Molasses. Caramelized/chewy dates.

Shockingly, the alcohol presence seems like it's maybe 9% judging by the aroma alone.

I detect no overt yeast or hop character. The label mentions it's brewed with Belgian yeast, but I detect no real Belgian character.

I crave roasted barley, but none is present. It's on the sweeter side, but doesn't seem like the cloying mess many imperial stouts are. I've definitely come across sweeter, richer, and more "dessert beer" examples of the style. Merely average in strength.

TASTE/TEXTURE: Marshmallow, burnt sugars, caramelization, chewy sticky dark fruit (especially dates and raisins), dark malts, chocolate malts, and some generic coffee notes. Sadly, the coffee lacks roastiness, earthiness, richness, and anything else that would set it apart. Milk chocolate comes out more and more as the beer comes to temperature, along with the molasses. The turbinado sugar is present throughout, but lacks enough intensity to bring this flavour profile into the "Mexican chocolate" territory of imperial stouts.

It doesn't feel Belgian in character, but the dark fruits and unconventional sugars do separate it from the distinctively American examples of the style. It's low on hops, as it should be. The burnt character is nice, but some drinkers will find this acrid.

It's balanced and enjoyable, with some lurking booziness but nowhere near as much as you'd anticipate. This is a cohesive build for an imperial stout with plenty of complexity as well as some limited subtlety, but there are far more intricate beers in the style which boast much more depth of flavour.

Average flavour duration and intensity. Nice flavour amplitude.

It's certainly on the sweeter side, but I wouldn't quite call it a dessert beer per se. I do wish there was a roasted barley backbone to balance the sweetness a bit better.

Texture-wise, it's lightly powdery on the palate, as well as chewy and sticky. It's nicely thick and full-bodied, and perhaps a biteen syrupy. Its subtle dryness and coarseness fit the dark fruits featured in the flavour profile. It could be creamier and softer. It's a biteen overcarbonated, even after the two-ish years it's had to calm down in my cellar. Overall, it has a good presence on the palate and this texture supports the flavour profile well, but never feels like it's custom-engineered to bring out the best in the taste.

OVERALL: It hides its high ABV pretty well, and isn't quite the sipper I thought it would be. I think age has mellowed it out. It's a very nice imperial stout considering its wide availability, and I'd certainly recommend aging this.

But there are many great imperial stouts out there, and this one lacks unique or special elements. The coffee should be richer, there should be a roasted barley backbone, it should be creamier and softer, there could be more of a dark malt presence, there could be some less common notes (e.g. coconut). More commitment to the marshmallow would be nice as well; if this was more carefully executed they could easily evoke s'mores between the burnt sugars and the marshmallow. Ultimately, you've got to bring more to the table if you want to stand out in this style.

I'm glad this is easy to come by in my home state, but I can't say it's a fantastic beer. Just a surprisingly mellow, drinkable imperial stout with a no-frills flavour profile. There's little here for the discerning drinker.

This would have been a pretty impressive brew 8 years ago.

High B-

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 3 - bottled Nov 2007

Appearance: Pours a mysterious black with an unsurprisingly modest mocha head that manages to leave lots of dashes around the chalice despite a quick decline to a ringlet

Smell: Rich, almost tar-like roasted aroma, with dark fruit and licorice, but there is a dramatic grapefruity bitterness in there as well

Taste: After an initial flirtation with all the usual big stout flavors (espresso, tobacco, dark fruit, licorice) plus oddly enough, cherries, this one turns incredibly bitter by mid-palate; the alcohol joins the fray after the swallow and, after it settles down, the flavor is very bitter but also very roasted, with an espresso character in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with moderate carbonation and lots of warmth in the aftertaste

Drinkability: Despite a year of aging, this beer remains aggressive and should be cellared for some time to come; best suited for a nightcap at room temperature

Note: I tried Batch 4 within six months of bottling and it was almost undrinkable; this is clearly a beer that needs several years to settle down and reach its full complexity

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Photo of oline73
3.13/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2009 bottle reviewed blind. Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours almost black with a finger of cocoa colored head. The head sticks around just enough to leave a ring around the edge of the glass. Looks like we have ourselves an imperial stout. 4

Smell: Holy alcohol batman! This one is hot. Roast and some dark fruit, perhaps some dark chocolate. This beer is sweet, but the dominant smell is really the alcohol. Warms you up just smelling it. 3.5

Taste: Quite hot just like the smell. Not nearly as sweet and full flavored as I would have expected given how high I assume the abv is. Sweet and roasty right off the bad. Mild chocolate and some maple, but that all gets covered up by the heat from the alcohol. The finish is hot and quite bitter with some roast and rather strong hops that I didn't expect. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it could use some more sweetness. 3

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side of medium and sticks to your tongue. There is a high amount of carbonation. The tingle from the carbonation combines with the alcohol to burn the tongue a bit. The finish is slightly dry. 3.5

Overall: I think this one could use some age. Really harsh in all aspects. The burn is intense, and the bitterness in the finish is a bit too much. I think I'd pass on this beer fresh in the future. 2.5

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nov. 2006 Batch 2, 16.03%

Cellared for a few years, I expected a layer of compacted sediment but there was none strangely. Poured into a tulip jet black, a huge billowing head of chocolatey mocha foam on top. Striated rings of lacing made for a nice looking RIS.

Big chocolatey aroma, some malted milk, chocolate milkshake, sweet booze. Oxidation is minimal. Pretty rich and silky smooth. Some slight tingle from the alcohol, but otherwise well integrated. Rich dark chocolate, mild fruity raisin/currant, and bitter char. Packs a punch for sure. A good late winter/early spring sipper.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.59/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Beerandblues2 (Batch #1 – Bottled January 2006 Drank February 2007): Poured a pitch-black color stout with a big foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of light coffee and sweet malt. Taste is totally dominated by sugar with some light coffee and some light warming alcohol. This is definitely a sipper and not something I would drink too often as it is way too sweet for my personal taste, with way too much pure sugar (à la cane sugar). Alcohol had probably time to disappear a bit after one year of cellaring. Overall, an interesting takes on the style and better then some other Avery’s big bees.

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 2,328 ratings.
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