Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

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879 Reviews
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 16.80%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2006

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Reviews: 879 | Ratings: 2,242
Photo of Bobikel
2.99/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Pours a thick black oily sludge with a 1/2" chocolate colored head. Lacing is very good. Retention is very good.

Smell - Roasted barley, coffee dominate the nose. A little chocolate, and some earthyness creep through.

Taste - Roasted bitterness is the first flavour you taste. Which is quickly followed be a sweetened chocolate flavour. Alchohol warms down the throat and in the belly. No noticible hops. Also a slight cidery flavour.

Mouthfeel - Lightly carbed, thick and viscous, it slides down the throat more like sushi than a liquid, I wonder what the T.G. was on this monster.

Drinkability - This is a sipper, and probably best left to one bottle sessions, prefferably on a cold night.

Overall - A slightly dissapointing stout. Imereal or otherwise. Just to sweet. Needs more hops, or more blackened barley.

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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 hammer09
3.51/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One word: Wow!

This beer is huge. Avery Mephisopheles' Stout pours a brownish-black with a half inch thick, smooth, foamy, brown head. Head retention is excellent and lacing is thin, yet consistent. Smell is sweet and estery; reminiscent of a Belgian ale. Aroma has hints of apple, grape, and a mild, leathery, earthiness. Taste is very sweet at the front with a faint roasted finish. Powerful malt presence with slight bitterness. Any hops used in the beer appear lost in comparison to the malt. Mouthfeel is very warming and alcoholic. Thick and syrupy, but good carbonation. This beer is best sipped. Slowly. A very good beer, but one not to be taken lightly nor consumed quickly.

Personally, I want to give this beer a rating of 4 for both smell and taste, but I'm trying to rate this according to its style. It's listed as an American Double Stout, but I'd have to say that a hybrid descriptor such as "Belgian Imperial Stout" would more accurately describe this brew, given its complex aroma.

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Photo of BabyBastard
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow, exceptional deal on this twelve ounce bottle. From batch number three, November of 2007, this only cost me $2.85. Poured it into my chalice, comes out black as a moonless night, dark brown thin head comes and goes very quickly. Looks like crude bubbling up from the the Gulf. Whets the appetite. Believe this bottle when it says Mephistopheles does not love light, as this is the anithesis of light.

Smell is truly great. Rich and very roasty malt, heavy on the coffee notes, toffee scents and that huge alcohol smell is still very much present, even after all this time. Tons of barley and sweet caramel make way up the nostrils as well. One of the best smelling brews I've had the pleasure of tasting in awhile. I can only imagine what the scent of this is like from a fresh batch.

Taste has huge alcohol bite still, no surprise from this big 16%er. Lovely, slightly bitter and sweet at the same time, this has a ridiculous malted barley flavour, huge coffee overtones and a bit difficult to get past that big alcohol bite, even after almost three years of lying in wait. Has hints of dark chocolate and a slight hop bite present in the aftertase. Still, this is very good tasting, massive malt presence, almost overwhelms the palate. This one is surely not for the tentative and/or weak.

Feel is surely warm here, no surpise. As stated earlier, this coats the entire palate in that glorious malted barley goodness. After a sip of this, you know you are drinking a real beer. This one warms the gut as well, almost like a shot of whiskey. Tread with caution here.

Drinkability here is slightly above average, for me. I could have another, but I won't. One of these is enough for one night. Truly a great sipper, good for a night of drinking slowly by your lonesome. Though you could count Mephistopheles as being by your side. Or in your gut.

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

This is a big beer for sure. This is somewhat as close to Dark Lord as another stout is going to come. That is the only other stout I've had that taste like this. Heavy molasses up front,thick oily mouth feel. This is a drinkable beer that goes down nice.A definite warmth with the high alcohol content but don't shy away this one is an ass kicker and worth seeking out and will not be disappointed. This is a beer to have on a cold winter night or around a Fall campfire and be sure to share with friends..I did!

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

Appearance: Dark and purty, but the head gave up quick.

Smell: Prunes, chocolate and alcohol.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste was RIS all the way, with loads of warming alcohol in the finish, smooth and rich, it had a touch of soy sauce and bitter tannins, but otherwise a great brew and extraordinary for the 16% abv.

Drinkability: 32 proof baby, be careful.

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Photo of alpineclimber
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12oz bottle poured rigorously into a chalice. A decent sized tan head on a pitch black brew, at any moment I expect Mephistopheles himself to rise out of the glass.

The nose is very sweet and rich. Caramelized sugar, the sweetness of condensed milk and sweet malt. You can smell the booze in this one.

Phew this is a big brew, a record for me when it comes to flavor and alcohol presence. Sweetness dominates the flavor profile of the beer. Caramelized sugar, bitter coffee, sweet malt and a fruit sweetness that I can only attribute to other styles. There is an astringent after taste. Big and full mouthfeel, almost syrupy in nature.

This is a definite sipper. Next time I might split the remaining bottle with a willing participent, after it ages about ten years.

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Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just picked up two of these of from my local beer shop. Decided to keep one for aging.

A: poured from the bottle. Straight oily black with a dark tan head that lasts a good amount resulting in thin ring of head about 10min after pour.

S: Rich and deep roasted notes mixed with figs and roasted peanuts. Black licorice and figs hit the background

T: This one did take me by surprise. Expected it run hot down the tongue, but instead is full up deep complexities with a lingering roast, complemented by chocolate and molasses like flavors. There is some heat but it is really low for how high the abv it is. It also is quite dry thinking that it would be super sweet. Helps with drinkability.

M: Oh yeah this one is full and mighty on the taste buds. Not hot at all but has nice carbonation and bitterness to cancel out the sweetness.

O: An exceptional beer that i expected to be just alright. The fact they they make it so drinkable and still maintain a true stout flavor is why i am so impressed by this beer. I will def by more to age.

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Photo of macktbone
4.61/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I retrieved this bottle as part of a trade many states and over 6 months ago. I recently found that my local BevMo has decided to stock it so it was time for me to crack my bottle to determine wether or not this was a new go to stout.

A- 98% black with a 2% brown hue. Light brown head with good lacing to start that fades over time.

S- Smells HOT! Anise, coffee, toffee, vanilla ice cream, and leather. I can taste the aroma on the back of my throat.

T- It strangely burns the back of my throat and coats the roof of my mouth with a nutty flavor and oily texture. A deffinate "swisher", this really brings out the broad nature of the brew. Very hot and keeps the heat throughout. Has a strangely hoppy end. Lots of anise and nutty cocoa.

M- completes the package, nice thickness without being too sticky.

I got through 70% of this glass and wondered why my typing got rough and my brain loose. I took another look at the bottle and realized, "holy [email protected]", its 16%....!!! I guess this won't be a daily drinker, but it's nice to have around for visitors that want to taste a really extensive stout with lots of flavor and depth.

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

Bottled in November 2007 Batch 3 OG 1.134 Great smell of roasted coffee, warming up flavor. Wow very drinkable at the first sip, but then after, it becomes into an amazing happy strong brew. This is a pretty balanced stout and for $8 makes it a novelty one. Cherries, maybe plums and cappuccino all together into this beer that is stronger than wine.

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Photo of wangbruins
3.46/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Typical dark black with a very thin head that left quickly

S- Dark fruits with a nice earthy, smokey aroma

T- Very earthy and smokey with a subtle chocolate flavor

M- Thick and syrupy and kind of sticky but oily at the end with a bit of a bite

D- One at a time due to the very high ABV and bite throughout

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Photo of mdr4669
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in Dec. 2009, Served March 17, 2011.

Appearance: Black as night, with about a finger of creamy white head, and nice fluid lacing.

Smell: Smokey, bourbon, chocolate, they're all noticeable. Along with the scent of aged wood.

Taste: Smokey and smooth, the booze is more noticeable in the taste than the smell.

MF: Very rich, very creamy, works very well with the high ABV, the finishing kick snaps to the back of your mouth and just sticks there.

Drinkability: Excellent, glad to have kicked off St. Patricks Day with this one.

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Photo of Kirch
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Glass: Avery 16 oz. Strong Ale English Style Pint Glass
Aging Notes: May 2010 vertical tasting of 2007, 2008, 2009
Bang for the Buck (oz*%/$): 12*16.8/8 = 25.2

A: Inky blackness, reminiscent of motor oil. No light gets through this one. The head pours a rich, syrupy brown with uniform bubbles, and this attenuates over a few minutes to a thin layer across the top and a ring around the glass. Nice lacing as the beers are consumed.

S: Consistent between years. Heavy aromas of roasted malts, coffee, and toffee. Some alcohol comes through (as expected with a ~16% ale).

T: INTENSE. Commensurate with the smell. No off fermentation flavors. Heavily roasted, nice hop bitterness, dark, malty, rich. 2007 aged well, but was slightly out of balance (hard to pinpoint exactly how). 2008 was definitely the best vintage, well balanced, blanketing the alcohol. 2009 was markedly more alcoholic tasting (compare to the ABVs listed to verify), and this was off-putting. Consistency in this regard would have merited a 5 in taste,

M: Thick, almost a little chalky. Light carbonation goes well with the style and nicely avoids shielding the rich components of the beer.

O: Outstanding, especially the 2008, and even more so with dessert.

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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 jsapunor
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured inky black into a snifter leaving about two fingers of head that bubbled away quickly.

The smell is malt, cherries, coffee and alcohol, most definitely alcohol. The taste follows the nose but is more complex with coffee, liquorice, cherry, some molasses and most definitely alcohol on the back end. It is thick and syrup like with lots of alcohol burn in the finish.

This is a terrific and unique double imperial stout. It demands to be sipped because of the insanely high ABV but sipping is the only way to go with a brew this special with so much to offer by way of flavors.

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

2007 Bottle.

A black-brown body reveals a creamy chocolate colored head the dissipates quickly with few remnants. Aroma is lively with roasted coffee and charred wood, with alcohol ethers peeking through. Taste is roasty and delicious. Yummy roasty flavors abound surrounded by molasses and maple syrup. Thick, syrupy and sticky. Dry finish. Fantastic.

Notes: The alcohol is unbelievable blended at 16%. I like to call these double imperial stouts, but this feels like a standard imperial at 2 years old, with an persistent rolling roastyness throughout that is just great.

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Photo of Thingus
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Live review, 2011 bottle into tulip glass...

This is not my first experience with this monster however it is my first solo attempt... I have shared a 2007 vintage recently as well as a 2011 bottle at a recent tasting get together... I felt the 2007 felt faded as compared to the 2011 and wanted to open one of my '11 bottles for the review as a result... All notes are for '11 bottle.

Appearance; poured into a 16 ounce tulip, two fingers worth of oak colored head which faded fairly quickly into a "bullseye" shaped ring of lace with a dot in the center... Moderate lace on the sides of the glass, beer is a solid black and even when held to light I can't see through it. In smaller portions it didn't appear this dark.

Smell; I get a ton of coffee on the nose of this, hints of toast and soy sauce and surprisngly no alchohol... The lack of alcohol is consistent with both of my previous experiences with this beer.

Taste; taste is in line with smell, although I can't taste any soy sauce... Hints of maple and smoke and a touch of vanilla and chocolate accompany the dominating coffee flavor quite nicely... Not a hint of the alcohol monster I know to be lurking in this brew until the finish, when a touch of booziness shows up for a moment and then disappears... Goes down smooth with no warming or afterburn...

Mouthfeel; quite smooth given the ABV in this beer, a very slight carbonation, not overwhelming by any means, but nicely compliments the taste of the beer. I don't think it's overly syrupy or viscous by any stretch but I've been really doing a number with some super thick beers lately (Labyrinth, Utopias, Black Tuesday are standouts) so I think that is a big part of why Mephistopheles doesn't seem so thick to me.

Overall; my final impressions on this beer are outstanding. I feel like the content may lure some people in for the novelty of it however on its own merit this beer isn't a sideshow freak, but rather a monster beer jammed and locked into a tiny bottle. I can see how some would be overwhelmed with the content or reputation of this beer however I think that this would be an extremely solid beer even without those. I will say that the age on the 07 really numbed this brew down for me... I far prefer the liveliness and more in your face flavors within the 11 version and will likely track down several more bottles to drink fresh. I've only got one left and I enjoy this beer quite a lot!!

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Photo of purdueflyguy
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 5 2009 picked up last week at a liquor store couldn't believe they had it.

Appearance pours near motor oil black very little head dissipated quickly just a few bubbles around the edges of the glass.

Smell booze a little sweet vanilla slight coffee and dark chocolate.

Taste sweet dark chocolate and coffee. Finishing to a dry coffee. A little oxidation I'm guessing because it sat on a shelf at a liquor store for 3 years and got a lot of light I dunno. But still very good.

Mouthfeel silky smooth yet warming pleasure.

A very good beer but probably could have benefitted from proper cellaring.

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Photo of claybeer
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Avery Mephistopheles Stout Bottled on November 2008
Without a doubt the darkest beer I have ever seen! This vivid black beer also has the most appealing head on any beer. It is very frothy and looks like thick chocolate cream. I can smell this beer as I opened it. It really fills the room sweet caramel and Tootsie Rolls. Big! Big! Full of chocolate with some bitterness, walnuts and just a little coffee on the end. There is not a noticeable alcohol taste but just a warming sensation fills my stomach. The coffee and walnuts linger on the end. It is very pleasant! his is a 12oz. beer you wouldn't mind sharing with a friend. It is not very easy to drink but so enjoyable. All rookie beer drinkers beware! All veterans beer drinkers proceed with caution but defiantly try it.

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Photo of Ungespundet
1.95/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to Hotterthanhell for the Flasche!

Where to start where to start...

This beers is somebody's brainchild and I wont knock anyone for trying something but this has nothing to do with being creative its all about one upping someone or a pissing contest. I have no idea which but the beer suffers.

Color as black as night with a thin head creamy head that doesn't stick around too long. I would have expected less head when considering the amount of alcohol. The aroma was upfront nothing other the warming effect of the alcohols begging to be released from the brew. Dark roasted grain with hints of toffee and coffee aromas. Background is fruity and estery. After sipping this beer for a couple of minutes (this can not be drunk as one would any other beer and shouldn't be I assume) I realized a very nice beer had been buried in an uncomplimentary amount of alcohol. What a shame! What I could make out was pleasant but robbed by a biting alcohol. In the end I could only see it as a Molasses liqueur. Thin it out and make it drinkable and it would be very nice. As is, it's not drinkable and has no beer qualities at all. Sam Adams tried this same shit too and was as bad.... Come on back earth people!!!

Zum Wohl!

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Photo of jkendrick
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black as one would expect and virtually no head, also as one would expect from a stout this high in alcohol.

S: Roasty chocolate and coffee with that dark fruit and licorice character as well. I can already smell that I'm in for a hot beer.

MF: Full bodied becoming fuller as it warms. The carbonation is just about right but it is VERY hot with the alcohol.

T: I've reviewed a lot of imperial stouts and all the usual suspects for stout flavors are here: espresso, dark fruit, licorice, molasses. They are all in relative balance and make the beer complex. The alcohol is VERY present and makes this one a bit much to take. There is bitterness for sure, but it is mostly roasted espresso and alcohol.

Overall: I liked it, but the abv makes this one tough to finish even sipping. I've had other imperial stouts in this abv range that don't come across as hot. I cellared it for a while, but perhaps it needs years to mellow to a reasonable level.

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Photo of feylure
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Nov 2008, Batch 4

I like stouts. I like high ABV brews. I like demonic, red-eyed and horned guys on my beer. This beer is a win!

Looks like an imperial stout. Dark, thick, slightly brown around the edges, and it has more carbonation than I would have expected.

Smell is roasty, chocolatey, malty. Sort of like a deep sweet aroma.

Taste is intense. Starts off with a toffee like sweetness, followed by a dark chocolate + thick caramel that are heightened with the carbonation. It's a full bodied drink at this point, then the tail leaves a little dry with notes of smokey, dark chocolate.

I like this beer. It's well balanced and complex, so I definitely see myself buying it again!

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Photo of beerman21
3.18/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Appearance black, brown head that dissipates quickly. Smell figs, sweet molasses alcohol. Taste pretty much the same alcohol is a bit to overpowering for me and not really stout in flavor way to much fruit flavor. Alcohol holds sticks to your mouth and lingers. Overall not impressed but would say it's probably acquired taste for some. I would not buy this again.

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Photo of Med
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Wonderful color for a stout. Mephistopheles is an appropriate name for such a black beer. Head was dissapointing with only a slight dark tan head showing from an aggressive pour.

S - Very nice chocolate tones. Not as forward as I would expect for such a big beer but manages not to to be bitter like many similarly dark stouts.

T - This is very good. The alcohol is well hidden in the roasted malts versus an only slightly bigger beer like World Wide Stout. Bitter finish is nice after the slightly sweet chocolate notes.

M - Yowsa. This is VERY full bodied. Oily, leaving a nice coating of dark malty goodness. Very soft carbonation, but it's not missed.Lovely

D - Most beers have a moment where they fall down, and this is where this one does. I can't imagine having more than one of these in an evening.

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Photo of tconboy
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours an opaque hearthy realm of darkness with a marshmallowy caramel bubbly head. Smells of deep rich chocolaty coffee bourbon. The taste, likewise. Deep and rich are two adjectives that are befitting the description of the chocolate roasted coffee twinging brew. It is quite apparent in the taste, however, that this monster packs more than just a bark. The bourbon hints are highlighted by the extreme bite. The mouthfeel is smooth, light carbonation. Drinkability, well I wouldn't advise having more than one of these in a sitting. I do not foresee having more of these in the near future, but that is not to say I did not enjoy the experience.

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 2,242 ratings.
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