Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

896 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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 896 | Ratings: 2,295
Photo of kerry4porters
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

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

2014 batch from November 17.1% abv.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12oz bottle shared with 2 people

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

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

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

2013 vintage poured into a Grand Marnier snifter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can't speak highly enough about this beer.

It pours inky black, with colourful brown head. The smell is wonderful with chocolate, espresso, licorice, and some dark fruit.

I first had this beer bottled in 2010 and couldn't leave it in the fridge to age more than a few months. When young, it is sharp and a bit boozy. Let it age a year and the booze falls back to lets the flavors thrive. Two years in and it becomes quite complex. At three years the raisons come forward and the complexity flattens. Ranging from fresh on tap to three years fridge aged, my favorite is at two years.

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

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

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

Nov 2014 batch (17.1% ABV).

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

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

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Photo of spoony
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 355 ml bottle (November 2014 Release, Batch 10) into a snifter. Reviewed from notes dated May 24, 2015.

A-The beer pours heavily into the glass. It is black and still. The short head of brown foam fades steadily to a few patches of foam and then to a collar. A sheen of boozy alcohol sits atop the beer.

S-The aroma is big and aggressive. I get wisps of smoke and alcohol that warm my nostrils. The alcohol is lightly fruity and medicinal. Underneath is a heavily roasted mixture of coffee and espresso, some blueberry, fudge brownie, and caramelized grains.

T-The taste is similar to the smell. Big flavors of roasted coffee, bitter espresso, chocolate syrup, caramelized grains, toasted marshmallow, macerated cherries, and blueberry. The alcohol is strong but well integrated.

M-The heft is medium with a little kick of prickly carbonation. A bit sticky on the finish.

O-This is a pretty damn good beer. It drinks almost like a port at 17.whatever percent alcohol for this batch and the flavors are as complex as a dessert wine. If you like big and bold stouts, you could a lot worse than this one.

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

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


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

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

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

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

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

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Photo of maxifunk777
3.49/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Tired this for the second time last night bottled November 2011 17.1 ABV.
Strong coffee, Bourbon, and tons of Alcohol. decent mouth feel but just too over powering in the alcohol taste. Which simply killed what could have been a very good and made it an average beer.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BOD 333/14, 17.1% ABV

Pours black as a witch's heart. Normal head volume, lacing and retention.

Rich nose of chocolate over alcohol. As it warms, notes of molasses, vanilla and anise arise.

Rich full body with a texture that defines creamy. Below normal carbonation with very little effervescence present in the finish.

The flavor profile can be summed up in one word...intense. Sip about a quarter of it to let your palate adjust to the alcohol, then you can savor this remarkable uber imperial stout. You first experience a wave of rich chocolate over an equally rich heavy malt base that screams molasses (with caramel notes) and vanilla. The middle accentuates the vanilla and malt before the alcohol lends its spicy heat as if from a hellish caldron. The finish produces the only bitterness, which is slight, a final wave of rich molasses like sweetness and lingers with a somewhat astringent alcohol burn at the back of the throat. This devil will light you up!!

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.71/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dec 2013 bottle opened in Mar 2015

Appearance – Pours a pitch black color with a nice creamy brown head and a medium lacing.

Smell – Heavy malt, molasses, anice, barley, and a hint of espresso. Very Nice! There is also some raisin notes.

Taste – Similar to the smell, but better! A perfect mix of malt, anice, and espresso, with vanilla. Very tasty!

Mouthfeel – Creamy, nicely carbonated, velvety, and smooth. The bottle says this is 15.4%abv, but it feels like only 12%. Very nice!

Drinkability – Very easy drinking, especially for 15.4%.

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Photo of barhoc11
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This thing is rough around the edges right now but I like it for this brutal cold day. Was bottled in November 2014, I will see what some age does to this with my other bottle.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Opaque black body, very dark and a bit foreboding even. Half finger offwhite head that sticks around a bit more than expected for such a large beer. No lacing.

S- Rich dark chocolate, earth, cocoa, licorice. A little bit of dark fruit. A fair amount of booze, but not as much as I would expect. Smells very tasty; the chocolate and booze are pretty intense.

F- Chocolate, cocoa are the predominant flavours along with a moderate alcohol bite that is nevertheless not altogether unpleasant. Some roast coffee, small amount of roasty flavours, dark fruit. Nice complexity although more roast would be nice.

M- Thick bodied, not syrupy but definitely substantial. The heat on the backend makes it a sipper and definitely encourages sharing the 12oz bottle.

O- A majorly high gravity beer that imparts plenty of flavours and a bit of booze that actually works reasonably well as a whole. The booze adds a layer of flavour to a big, complex and bold base beer.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Young bottle; packaged November 2014. This batch is listed as 17.1% ABV. This evil bitch pours thick and disturbingly dark. Head is a thin-yet-dense formation of level, brown froth. Milder lacing. Smell is different. It seems to have a bit of hops to it. Pine hops. Dark malt, dark bread. I could venture to say it smells like the 'go-to' coffee and chocolate but I'm not certain it actually does. Dark fruit. Not very impressed with the aroma. The flavor is better. It tastes more traditionally Stout-like. could it use some age? Yes. I find the alcohol dominates the experience more than the specific flavors. Really leaves a lot of heat on the back of the tongue and in the cheeks. However, I schelled out $11 for this bottle knowing how much of a monster it would be so I will not complain from here on out. Syrupy dark malt. Almost like dark malt extract. Burnt malt. Bitter cocoa and roast. Almost tastes bourbon barreled. Finishes hot and stiff. Thick shit! Carbonation is low enough to make me nervous that it would hold up to much aging. I will sip this beer with determination and probably die in my sleep due to its evil powers.

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Photo of Jahjehwa
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014, 17.1 abv. Very original, I really like the absence of sweetness here. Passing the obvious. It's like a burnt, unsweetened raw molasses. Nice heavy coating on glass. Nice throat heat from the alcohol. Don't mind the buzz as well. Don't bother sharing, enjoy!

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

November 2014 bottle, batch number 10.

Poured from the 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Engine oil spits out of the bottle into my glass and produces a thick, chewy mocha-colored head that requires a few waits before I can get the whole bottle into the snifter. Sticky lace runs around the glass while the head persists for an eternity.

Mephistopheles smells as big as that name is long. As the head was chewy, this beers smells like such, thick with caramel and molasses, booze, chocolate and vanilla. It is very hot actually, so I'm curious as to how that will play out on the palate.

Surprisingly booze doesn't overwhelm the taste here, although it is very much apparent. Chocolate abounds and interplays with vanilla and a spiciness that seems to be half booze and half hops.

Somehow this brew retains a creamy and smooth quality in spite of the booze and many a sip seem pretty tame until a wallop of heat works in. The finish lingers wet like a shot of alcohol, but with some cocoa sprinkled on top. That's interesting.

If it's not obvious already, this beer can use some aging. I picked up another bottle and I'll revisit in a couple of years. By then, I think the stout qualities will shine on their own and be quite enjoyable.

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Photo of cfhjimmyb
4.69/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark as the Devil's @nu$. Intense chocolate and roasted malt nose. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel breaks way to prominent licorice flavor and then the heat of the ABV takes over. I would liken it to taking your favorite Russian Imperial and dropping an ounce of Maker's in to it.

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 2,295 ratings.
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