Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

904 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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 904 | Ratings: 2,320
Photo of StoutFox
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Enjoyed at brewery in snifter
Appearance: God Awful Black, dark brown head
Aroma: Sweet, Woody, a bit grainy, really not much aroma,
Taste: Sweet, flavors of caramel, then then it hits you with so many flavors; toasted grains, smokey, molasses, hops, etc. and finishes back on the Caramel flavors
Complexity: one of if not the most complex beers, very good!!
Overall: I have had this beer on tap at the brewery and in the bottle and aged 2 years and though its always amazing when I had it on tap that was when it really drove this beer home for me.

 553 characters

Photo of Slack
4.83/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a goblet. Dark as used motor oil and razor thin head. Boozy fruits dominate the nose. Taste is fruit, malt, and roasted coffee. Very subtle bitterness is present as well.. Body is a bit thinner than I expected but still on par for the style. Finish is warming alcohol. Overall an excellent sipper that opens up as it warms.

 341 characters

Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Finally cracked the 2013 and this guy is quite delicious. I figured I would prepare myself for Tweak and this beer did not disappoint. DARK rich chocolates and lots of malts, but it somehow hides the booze quite well. Definitely a sipper, but I was quite happy with it.

 272 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%

On tap:
Pours dark with medium tan head that sustains very well. The lacing is robust in this beer, and every sip brings more tan head to the party. The nose is alcohol, barrel, chocolate, and a hint of coconut in some sniffs, licorice in others.

Taste starts sweet, chocolate with a hit of raisin, then bitters out to a coffee-liqueur type taste thanks to the alcohol making its presence felt. The beer plays lighter on the tongue thank to carbonation, but by the end is more syrupy, with a drying feeling that could be hops, but fades to woody (barrel).

A very good beer, but I've liked others by Avery more. Obviously a supper, and probably not gonna find it cheap. Glad I had it, but would need an occasion to try it again.

 734 characters

Photo of dcscientist
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the beast. Clocking it at nearly 17% ABV, it'll slap you around, but you'll come back for more. Well balanced despite the heaviness, and a good stout flavor underneath all that heft. When you want to go big instead of going home, this is your beer.

 259 characters

Photo of pat61
4.9/5  rDev +18.9%

Nose: alcohol, chocolate, bourbon,
As brilliant deep dark brown one can get without being pitch black under an enormous 3" clingy, rocky, persistent, lacy foam cap that marks each drink with a ledge of lace.
Palate: A rich alcoholic chocolate bourbon malt drink that makes an excellent sitting by the fire after dinner drink.
Chewy, creamy, very soft fine medium carbonation, surprisingly well balanced and nuanced.

 417 characters

Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%

Thanks to RayOhioFelton for this bottle, among many others, for guessing his favorite Browns player in the Johnny Football LIF. This has been a longtime Want, really since I first got started on BeerAdvocate, back when I thought high alcohol equaled good beer. I still prefer higher ABV beers, but I've had some real booze bombs based on this mentality. 12 oz bottle poured into a stemmed tulip, vintage November 2012, nearly two years old.

A - Meph has a big head on the forced pour, maybe just under two fingers, but it dissipates insanely quickly. The Bros. called this beer a "chocolate wine;" I can see what they meant, as the viscous texture is evident out of the bottle and the brew is oily. Seriously, the top of the beer retains a blight brown film that just won't give way. Super black color, no light penetration even on the periphery. Despite the high alcohol, there are some active bubbles on the edges of the glass and a little lacing when I swirl the beer around. Looking forward to trying this.

S - the nose is a bit restrained, which I guess is expected from a two year old beer, but I can't believe that a 16% brew lurks in this glass. There's a bit of anise here, some sweet spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a rich meatiness. I'm reminded of World Wide Stout in the slightly bittersweet chocolate aromas I get, but it's not nearly as overpowering as WWS. I detect barbecue at the end of the nose, along with some sweet, dark fruits, plums and sugary dates.

T - jeez, there's an immense sweetness here, almost cloying. I find that aging most beers brings out one aspect (usually carbonation), and here it's definitely the sugar. Along with that is the chocolate, rich and creamy, incredibly thick. There's not a ton of bitterness, but the sweetness is just overwhelming that it's almost bitter, like a flavored coffee. The alcohol too is a bit much, not as well-hidden as I like, especially for a vintage.

M - like I mentioned, the sweetness is easily mistaken for bitterness, and the alcohol is strong to the point of discomfort. The carbonation really shows this beer's age. I can't imagine it being sweeter, but I'd love if it was a little flatter.

O - definitely a sipper, definitely not something to splurge on often, but worth it if you seek the stronger beers. Samael's is one of my favorite strong ales, so I was looking forward to sampling another Avery offering of similar intensity, but I was a bit let down. If I get another bottle, I'll be sure to put it away for at least another two years.

 2,547 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.45/5  rDev +8%

Poured from a bottle into a Fremont small snifter. 2012 vintage. Pours pitch black with a fine one finger brown head with great retention and lots of lacing. Rich aroma of dark toasted malt, chocolate, latte coffee, light vanilla. Flavor is semi-sweet dark toasted malt, cocoa chocolate, hints of anise and vanilla, dark coffee. Finish exhibits light cherry and slight hopping. Rich and boozy, but nicely balanced. Nice heavy, creamy body. It's hard to understand how this can taste so much like a quality liqueur at its lower (but still substantial for an ale) ABV. The deep, rich flavor is more than a match for the alcohol, but a few sips of this are still warming and inspire slow sipping. Glad to get back to this for a review, this may well have been my first introduction to a big ale many years ago, and it was both mind blowing and overwhelming at the time. One of the great big stouts, although I don't think it's barrel aged, it has a lot of the same characteristic depth of a barrel aged stout, without the woody flavors. It is quite boozy, its only real drawback, although one that seem unimportant as the glass is emptied. Perfect aperitif or dessert beer.

 1,175 characters

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.


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-

 4,931 characters

4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle. 16.2abv. It's amazing a non BA stout is so smooth at this abv. I'm just finishing it and feel it. It's almost three years old and sweeter than I remember in the past. Avery rarely disappoints.

 205 characters

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

Appearance: Black. Dark brown head that goes away quickly. Bottle has a great label and is trimmed with red foil.

Smell: Chocolate and Coffee. The alcohol makes its presence know as well.

Taste: Boozy. Wonderful chocolate flavor with some sweetness. I pick up more of the coffee as well as some bitterness on the finish. The Alcohol is in your face on the fist taste, but fades a bit once your palate becomes more accustomed to it.

Mouthfeel: Full. Maybe a bit oily.

Overall: Terrific Beer! Although a bit upfront with the alcohol, the flavor makes this one a definite must try.

12 oz bottle
Release Dec. 2013 Batch No.9 (15.4% Alc/Vol)
Served in an Oversized Wine Glass

 675 characters

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

This beer is a beast! the monster clocks in at 15.5% ABV and it hides it pretty well. The beer is thick as motor oil, has a subtle roasty taste combined with cocoa and maybe molasses. If you are a stout lover you have to visit this beer. Avery has done an outstanding job with this mega brew!

Bottom Line: Darn good stout!

 323 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Originally posted 12/19/09... lost from the server, and now re-posted.

Mephistopheles' Stout: "Bottled in Nov 2007 Batch 3"
Two years old.

Wow, just when I thought that a stout couldn't get any darker or more chocolatey and deeply caramelish, I come across Avery's Mephistopheles' Stout and it knocks me backwards. Stunning! It reminds me in many ways of Samuel Adam's Triple Bock in that it's super-rich, but somehow not overdone! It just is what it is. There's alcohol for sure, 16% by volume, but it doesn't seem like it as it's not brimming or drenched in alcohol, and it doesn't seem hot (well a little, but there are no higher alcohols). Nor is it too malty or full; and there's a really beautiful fruitiness to it that helps to round out and polish the edge of alcohol (think berries, figs, prune, and maybe even some cherry). It's rich and complex, but at the same time it's neither too rich nor too complex - and that gives it a certain amount of drinkability once you ascertain that it's a large, intensely flavored sipping beer. But what about the density of flavor? Well, that changes as you progress through the glass, but there are notes of dark chocolate, fudge, cocoa, brown sugar, deep caramel, golden caramel, wort, berries, cherries, soft melon, alcohol, and raisins/figs/prunes.

 1,300 characters

Photo of kdahnke123
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

December 2013 release. Batch No 9.
A - Poured into a beer glass at cellar temperature. Pours a very dark black with a dark brown head. The single finger head dissipates slowly to leave a moderate amount of long lasting lacing.
S - Equal amounts of dark coffee, malt and hops. Small amounts of licorice and oak play in the background.
T - Hops are in the fore with a middle of heavy malt and a slightly medicinal tang on the finish.
M - Mouthfeel is excellent with a long lasting coating and a moderate amount of carbonation.
O - Overall a good strong ale if you don't mind the medicinal notes. The alcohol is well integrated and the mouthfeel is very good. If you like Deschute's The Abyss you should like this.

 716 characters

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

A: Oily and viscous pitch black body with a mocha colored head. Moderate rentention and a sparse amount of lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, and hazelnut coffee upfront. A dark cherry note rounds out the aroma. Amazingly, no booze to speak of. A year in the cellar was definitely helpful.

T: Dark fruit, and a lingering roasted/ashy malt are most prominent. Slight sherry oxidation note. Heavily roasted raw espresso bean finisher lingers about the palate for minutes between sips. Only slight boozines for 15.4%. Again, think cellaring this beast was the way to go.

M: Thick, viscous, and lingering forever. Appropriately low carbonation.

Great stout overall, and about as balanced as a beer of this ABV can be after sitting on it for a year. Was definitely a little rougher around the edges when I had a fresh bottle. Not mind blowing in any aspect, but just a solid representation of a high ABV stout. That being said this is absolutely screaming for a bourbon barrel. Hopefully we see that sometime in the future.

 1,014 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle dated December 2010. I have cellared this brew for 3 years. Finally cracking it open!

A - Pitch black. Black as black can be. Slight head retention and no lacing.

S - A ton going on here. Chocolate, booze, coffee, bitter hops, and sugar cane. Wow..potent!

T - Chocolate, coffee, sugar, vanilla, and slightly bitter hops. The tastes lingers in your mouth for literally minutes. Alcohol is so well hidden its dangerous. But you feel it right away! Drink it like wine or you will pay the price. Amazing beer!

M - Full bodied and warms in your mouth. Medium carbonation. Awesome

O - An incredible sipper. Split it with someone special and enjoy!

 660 characters

Photo of Brenden
4.56/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is clearly a big stout just by looking at it. It's a thick, viscous and heavy black color that lets some mahogany come off the top and the very outermost edges when set right in front of a very bright light. The head is a thick, pillowy brown one about a finger tall that retains its height and form well, like a frothy crown, and lets some of itself down stickily in strong patching pretty far down the glass.
There's so much wood, and it's so delicately and warmly boozy without immediately inducing a headache or going heavily ethanolic, nor does it give the impression that I'll get drunk simply from smelling it. It does, however, give the impression of some fantastic spirit. For the massive ABV, it comes together magnificently in every way. There's a whole lot of wood in the smell and the taste, not too dry, a little bit with some freshness that isn't exactly raw, even with that slight, almost indescribable salty nature. Tons of breads, toasted, with dark fruits off the roasty backbone give way to the creamier sweetness of vanilla and cocoa (the latter offering more bittersweetness), as well as the thick and not-too-heavy molasses element. Some reminiscence of coffee builds off the roast, too. This is absolutely amazing in every way, showing off so much depth, complexity and even balance, so much robustness without being too heavy. It's close to perfect, and one of the best I've ever had.
Thick and robust, this beer is somehow both heavy and easy-drinking. The alcohol thins it out a little, but that works in this beer's favor considering how big and rich it is despite that. It finishes with lingering complexities and a touch of dryness that sneaks in off the big sweetness. It's a little vinous, in fact, with a bite on the tongue as well.

 1,770 characters

Photo of minterro
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bought at Little's Wine and Spirits a month or so ago. Store aged (about 6-7 months) 2013 version, batch no. 9.

A&S: The aroma mostly consists of rum and bourbon flavored alcohol tones. Beer is jet black and thick looking. Head pours in a thin layer and retains in a ring of deep tan, leaving no lacing.

T&M: Lots of caramel and oak flavors. Other flavors include cocoa, Very warming on the way down. As it warms it becomes pretty hot (a little too hot). I would probably want to buy another and see how a little over a year feels. Finish is very roasty and bitter with a touch of sweetness. Not as smooth as I expected, but not super crisp. On the low side of medium carbonation and highish body.

Overall: I don't remember how much I paid for this beer, but it was probably around 10 bucks a bottle. Worth a try and probably will buy again, but not on a yearly bases.

 872 characters

Photo of kemoarps
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage. Batch No. 8.
This is a truly beautiful beer. Pours just shy of black; like coffee that you just know is top of the line. Less than a finger or so of brown head, dissipates quickly settling into a nice little foamy topper that lingers and tags the sides of the glass like so many train cars after a late night bombing session.

Smells smoothe and round, chocolate on the forefront, but certainly the 16.2% creeps in a little bit. Molasses and roast, with a sweet underpinning of dark fruits. I'm usually more of a chocolate and coffee guy when it comes to stouts as opposed to fruity notes, but this incorporates bits of both masterfully, balancing them and letting them each take their turn in the sun. As it warms the boozy plums and the like take more of the attention from the chocolate, but I ain't even mad at it. I even get bits of a fine cigar as it evolves. Amazing.

I must say the flavours are top notch, but even at a year and a half this is still pretty darn hot. I'd probably give it another year or two before it really hits its stride, which is saying something considering how tasty it is now. The dark fruits continue to take the forefront here, sharing time with more bitter tobacco than came out on the nose. Less chocolate, more leather than my olfactory bulb suggested, at least until the finish, which is creamy bakers cocoa: that lush meeting of creamy, sweet and bitter that masterfully crafted stouts present so well.

As previously stated, this is still pretty hot as 16.2% is a hell of an elephant to try and hide. Beyond that first impression, though it has a creamy silky mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to dance across your tongue and offer some nuance. Not quite as thick as the pour indicated, but by no means thin... I'd call it medium heavy? But incredibly smoothe. I can't wait to get another bottle and let it sit for even longer to let the alcohol mellow out a little more, because this is great as is, but with that sorted out it could be galaxian... you heard me.

 2,033 characters

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

2012 vintage drank in July 2016. The age really allowed this beer to develop and mellow. More complex than most BA stouts, this beer is a must for any imperial stout enthusiast. It's huge, no doubt, but it will take you for a ride if you are open to it. I recommend giving it some time to age. It's BA brother Tweak may have this beaten out, but meph stands on its own as a world class experience.

 400 characters

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

One of the best Russian Imperial Stouts I have ever had the pleasure to drink. The guy a the liquor store told me if I liked RIS I would love this. He was right.

 161 characters

Photo of guityler83
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch 8 (Nov 2012)

A: A thick mocha head poured over two fingers tall from the bottle into the snifter glass. It sustained for about a minute before slowly falling into the black liquid. No light shines through. Some nice scattered lacing left as the foam fell and defiantly some legs on it.

S: The aroma is complex and full of burnt caramel, tobacco, toffee, roasted dark coffee, dark chocolate, smoke and sweet caramel. No hop aroma detected it comes of as moderately sweet.

T: More focused flavors as compared to the aroma. The bitterness is moderate and clean but it's only apparent in the middle. The first impression is firm sweetness with all the malt/roast flavors coming through in the way of toffee, caramel and candy raisins. The roast comes through as dark chocolate over sparged coffee, vanilla and a touch of smoke, with some soy sauce.

M: Huge thick and creamy body. It goes down with a moderately high alcohol warming sensation. The carbonation is medium.

O: A nice sipping beer no doubt, I would even go so far as call this a poor man's Dark Lord. Not nearly as sweet but has a similar flavor profile and alcohol level.

 1,143 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours quite a dark black color. It is probably the darkest I've seen to date. As dark black as it is the head color is pretty light being a darker beige. Lingering lace dot the glass.

Being a recent purchase and not cellared, there is a considerable amount of alcohol in the nose. After getting passed that one can smell dark roasted malts, candied fruits and sweet sugars.

On my first sip I got mostly a big dose of alcohol, which I was expecting. As it warmed the alcohol presence faded with more roasted malts and sweetness coming into view. I get some cocoa nibs in there too.

It feels rough on the palate and has a dry bitter finish not to mention a big warm alcohol finish.

This is a pretty good not everyday beer.

 734 characters

Photo of bylerteck
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at ChurchKey in DC. Batch 9, 2013. From notes.

A - Poured black with one finger of deep mocha brown head. Small rings of lace and a film of retention. The head was the darkest dark brown you can think of.

S - Chocolate, roast, sugar, a bit restrained. It opened up later and gave off much more intense sweet dark fruit notes as well as bread and more intense sugar and chocolate.

T - Got excited when I tasted this one. Some booze, lot's of rich sweet notes with chocolate and dark fruit, whiskey notes, spirits, booze. The booze was never rough or harsh, but added a pleasant dimension to the flavour.

M - Good carbonation, full body, sweet and boozy finish.

O/D - A lovely, intense, and complex stout. Took me about an hour to an hour and a half to finish and it was a real pleasure to sip and pick out all the flavours. It worked well and the sweetness was something that I enjoyed a fair bit. Great stuff.

 923 characters

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

12 oz bottle with red foil label bottled in 12/2009. Picked up years ago who knows where? Poured slightly chilled into a Blind Tiger Brewery snifter.

Appearance: Pours a couple fingers of thick cappuccino like head. Body the color of black coffee. Very thick strands of lacing and a film hang about when the beer settles. Surprising retention for a beer of this strength.

Aroma: Sweet, nutty dark chocolate, caramel, and dried cherries. Imagine a dark chocolate candy bar with nuts and raisins. There’s a bit of port like sweetness to it as well with a bit of oxidation.

Taste: Strong floral alcohol is the first thing you notice, singeing your nose hairs and warming your cheeks. I can only imagine that his would have been unpleasant when fresh but now it’s a warming, almost spirit like bite. More of that nutty, rich chocolate with the dried cherries/raisins and a port wine sweetness/heat at the end.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation with a very creamy mouthfeel. Thick and decadent. Not boozy but certainly warming.

Overall: An ageing success! A very appealing looking beer; I really enjoyed tilting the glass and watching the thick, molasses consistency like lacing crawl down the glass. A very inviting nose of nutty chocolate and port wine which followed through to the taste. Very creamy mouthfeel which just settles in your mouth. As mentioned, this was probably way too strong fresh, but now it’s like some liquor infused brownie or something. I wholeheartedly recommend grabbing a few bottles of this next time you see it around and saving them for a future date. I bet this beer could even go another year before it starts to go downhill.

 1,659 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.