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Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

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887 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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 887 | Ratings: 2,277
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 Bottle. HaHa. Cheers to Peter from Avery!

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

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

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

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

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Photo of edskirk3
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this little beauty last week. The label says Bottled in Nov 2006 so it's already aged a year.

Pours into a Brandy glass opaque black and viscous, with a caramel-colored head. It sticks to the sides of the glass like hot chocolate foam. There's so much going on in the aroma, most prominently licorice. Also alcohol (16%!), figs, smoke and coffee.

The sharp burn of alcohol makes it a little rough to drink at first, but soon enough the heat relaxes the tongue. I am then treated to nice amalgam of mocha coffee bitterness, licorice, and rich dark fruits dunked in bourbon.

Oh, what a beer this was. I'd follow Mephistopheles to Hell and back.

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Photo of Stoneman78
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed at the 2007 Strong Ale festival

A- Brown/black hue with orange highlights, nice layer of brown condensed bubbles in the head with tinges of bright orange, moderate lacing

S- Nose is rich dark fruits (plums, figs, raisins), touch of smoke, citrus, and stiff alcohol presence

T- Initial taste is mostly dark fruits, opens up to flavors of charcoal and smoke, alcohol warming and sweet raisins in the finish

M- Full-bodied, creamy texture, lively carbonation

D- Exciting flavors that are well-balanced and shine through despite the hefty alcohol presence, this is a treat to have on draft

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Photo of iceball585
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pitch black color, non-transparent, two finger thick dark brown head that lowered slowly to a thin layer

S- Dark fruits, cocoa, coffee, slight tingle of alcohol in the nostrils

T- Cocoa, smokey, dark fruits, coffee, dark malts, strong alcohol taste at the end

M- Medium/heavy body, medium carbonation, starts smooth but then the warming of the alcohol kicks in

D- Definatly can't drink more than one of these

Well I'm glad I finally tried this beer but don't know if I'd get it again. Good auroma and flavors but then the alcohol content kicks in. I love my stouts but the alcohol burn is a bit too much for my liking. I still can't believe I tried a beer that is 16% ABV.

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Photo of mdubzfrumpdubz
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

For the record, I have been looking at this beer on the shelf for about a year before I decided to spend the $8 for this mysterious 12 oz. However, Avery rarely does me wrong, so here we are...

Pours like motor oil, black like Darklord or Bourbon County, but a bigger head....nice and brown that doesnt last long.

Smells like alcohol, chocolate and molasses....ALOT of alcohol, but I knew what I was getting into since they warn you on the label...16% ... wow

taste is complex...again, chocolate, molasses, I almost want to say blueberry sweetness, but after the burn I realize it is the alcohol. Alot of alcohol sweetness....really intense. To be honest, I am currently eating olives to quell the intensity...would that be considered irony?

I guess I would call the mouthfeel "exciting" ... or maybe more "marauding"....I mean after all, we talking about the devil here. This one certainly has the body to accomodate the complexity, but the alcohol is still so apparent...

Considering the alcohol content, this is the epitomy of a sipper....I am actually regretting not enjoying this with a friend....now that I realize the calibur of this beer, I will not scoff at the pricetag.

Overall, a very good beer...I will certainly buy one or two and let them sit in the cellar for AT LEAST a year, probably 2

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Photo of jeffmonarch
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass

A - Have you ever poured a beer and wanted to cry? This beer is a thing of beauty. It's as black as motor oil with a dark brown thick head that doesn't stop.

S - Chocolate scents. Strong smell, almost like liquor.

T - Wow, alcohol, alcohol, alcohol. Burns a little as it goes down. Those are the blatant and obvious standouts. It does have a subtle sweetness with some fruit undertones.

M - Attacks your taste buds as soon as it hits your tongue. Because of the strength of this beer you have to sip it and it still manages to fill your mouth with flavor.

D - I'm so torn. Really, I love this beer. I want to rate it high but it's not a beer to drink like any other beer. This is one of those rare to find beers that’s like a fine whiskey; you drink it slowly and enjoy the massive flavors it will throw at you. You can't drink more than one and still function. I will however give it a slightly above average score because I love the beer, I just think it is a very special beer that requires a special occasion to pop this one open.

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Photo of Zorro
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled through BA johnnnniee and BEERFEST THE MOVIE BIF!! (Yeah you spell it that way.)

Jet black beer with a glass filling brown colored head.

Very aromatic beer from the moment you pop the cap. Sweet and aromatic lots of fig and licorice aroma. Chocolate vanilla coffee and a definite booziness. Coconut and berry aroma but I can't positively say it is black berry.

The flavor starts out sweet and bitter with a strong chocolate and coffee flavor and an alcohol burn. Fairly strong berry flavor the sweetness seems to enhance this. Pretty much stays sweet and bitter. Strong alcohol bite detracts from the beer flavor quite a bit here it is a little annoying and stronger than Kahlua liquor.

The mouthfeel is quite thick.

Tasty and interesting but best experienced in small doses. Like DFH WWS and some of the more extreme beers this is a little too intense for much more than about half a glass.

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Photo of DrinkinBuddy
3.81/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a complete midnight/darkness black. Slight brown head covers the top of the glass. Aromatic experience is mostly malty chocolate/caramel tones. Taste is definately roasted malts with a nice sweet alcohol warmth that screams this is some strong shit! Some hidden traces of dark fruits are masked pretty well in this. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Very slow sipping stout that becomes immensely complex with warming. Drinkability is low because of the extremely high ABV. Overall: a very decent stout well worth trying.

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

P: 12 oz. Brown longneck bottle, 16.03 % alc/vol

A: Black oil pours with an intense 1finger head that lowered and after a very long time lowers to a scant cover.

S: Raisins, anise dark and dark roasted espresso.

T: Effervescence is gone but a warm spread of creamy and fruity dark roasted grain, raisins and a hint of licorice with the alcohol heat to keep the flavors going long after it’s gone.

M: I applaud the alchemists that brewed this potent, intense myriad of flavors. Closest to a Utopia, in a good way, that I have yet tasted.

D: Woa Nelly! Need to sit down, relax and take your time to enjoy this savory brew! Definitely will buy more to share and experience with other stout lovers as this is not for the timid or feint of heart.
but it comes

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I tried this the day after trying Avery's potent Grand Cru of the same line, and was much more impressed by this offering. This beer concealed its potent (16%) alcohol content far better than the Grand Cru, was far more drinkable, and offered a much more pleasant drinking experience.

The beer poured only slightly viscous into my goblet, with a small amount of tan head despite a pretty hard pour. I got a lot of toffee in the aroma, with a surprisingly mild amount dark "burned pizza crust" character and only a hint of roasting coffee. Flavor was also surprisingly mild, smooth and balanced. Flavor was very complex, with notes of raisin, toffee, and coffee all intermingling in a very harmonius way. I don't think it's easy to make a beer this high in alcohol this drinkable, and I would say this beer is a brewing achievement, although it makes me think far less of its sister product, the Grand Cru.

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

Great beer. Very smooth and slightly syrupy and sugary. Notes of chocolate and molasses and oatmeal in aroma. Strong alcohol taste throughout. Pour was black in color with a tan head. Coffee and nuts with some dark fruit flavor as well. This is quite a complex and rewarding beer.

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Photo of Mdog
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Completely opaque black, with a foamy cocoa-colored head, way more than I expected from this strong of a beer.

Smell: Extremely sweet, brown sugar and booze-soaked raisins.

Taste: Explosions all around. Starts with a super-sweet burst then a extremely bitter dark chocolate taste and alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel: Lasting bitterness and alcohol burn.

Drinkability: Very strong, I prefer to have a few beers a night, this one will knock you down if you don't respect it at 16%.

I saw this beer was a few bucks off its normal $9 per bottle so I picked it up to try. High-octane stuff, a little stronger than necessary, but full of interesting flavors.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from 12oz bottle(bottled Nov 2006 Batch 2) a near pitch black with a tiny head of foam that shrinks to a few islands in the middle with just a bit of lacing. A few minutes in and the foam is gone but that's not all that unusual for the style.

The smell hit me as soon as I popped the cap....roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and the alcohol is very evident in the nose.

The taste has oodles of caramel malt, roasted malt, molasses, chocolate, cocoa, and it's got a big alcohol presence that warms even when it's in my mouth, nevermond the swallow. Hey, this puppy is +16%abv so it comes as no surprise. This bottle is going to take me a *long* time to finish as I dare not take more than the tiniest sips at a time. Man, I do like the lingering aftertaste; it just won't quit long after taking the last sip.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick and creamy and the carbonation is lightly done. Whew. This is one *huge* Imperial Stout!!! I think I'll let my other bottle age for a few more months and see what happens.

Bottom line: Big huge taste, big huge alcohol, little tiny sips. Drinkability for me is going to be on the lower end of the spectrum because it's so strong but the flavours are a delight. A brew made for a snifter and a schedule day of nothing to do. Give it a shot and enjoy it for what it offers.

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Photo of biggmike
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, Batch 2. Pours an oily black color with tan head. Aroma is roasted malt, fruit, and caramel. Taste is also an explosive blend of dark fruit, caramel, chocolate, and coffee. This is definitely a beer to savor with 16% abv. Finish is long and goes from sweet to bitter. Very complex beer.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out looking like a 10,000 mile oil drainage with a thin light brown head. God, this one's going to kick my ass sooo hard. I just kinda picked it up, not really paying much attention to the details on the label. 16%!? I definately served it too cold too. Even cold the aroma is boozy and roasty. I'll come back to it in a little while. Hoalee phuk, this beer scares me. I just took a sip and it's like stout whiskey. Aroma curls one's nose hairs, assaulting it with dark fruits, carob, dark roasted and scorched malts, hops, and one tremendous alcohol kick. Without a doubt, one could say that the alcohol plays a major factor in the taste profile, too. A lot of sweetness, somewhat sugary, with black patent, chocolate and dark roasted crystal malts providing some counterbalance. Hops are certainly there, but only provide bitterness, hard to detect any specifics. I feel like I should be lighting up a cigar with this beer. Mouthfeel's thick and viscous, carbonation is ample and soft. It's good, but I think I'm only drinking half the bottle and making a reduction sauce with the other half for my lamb chops tomorrow. Good stuff, but I wasn't prepared, I thought I was going to go to bed within the next hour, but I'll be spending at last amount of time slowly sippin' on this monster.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.64/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a snifter.
Bottled 11.2006.

Pours a syrupy, deep maple during the pour, and settles as an opaque oil. Creamy coffee-colored head that looks like snowdrifts as it settles. Spotted and thin lacing with a decent hold.

Intensely rich chocolate and mocha aromas. Notes of vanilla, peat, and oak. Strong, cutting notes of bourbon. Dark, aged fruity esters: plum, cherry, fig, grape. Hefty dose of rough, floral hop aromas.

Intensely rich and smooth, milk chocolate, toffee with rounded, dark fruit flavors. Liquid, peat-smoke joined by a complex wave of alcohol. At mid-sip, the 100+ IBU's show through with a muddy, earthen profile. The finish is a wonderful mix of hazlenut, mocha, caramel, and toffee.

Full bodied; creamy, with a spot of roughness in the middle. The alcohol certainly gives the finish a sharp slickness.

Obviously this is a unique brew due to the abv, but the flavor profiles are fantastic as well. A must have in stock for extreme drinkers.

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

Presentation: bottle for Chicone's poured into a pint glass cold, sipped slowly to warm.

A: Very dark black, truly opaque with a thick light brown head that remained a 1/4 inch thick after 10 min. Pretty in the glass.

S: Alcohol is clearly present by not overwhelming in spite of the 16% billing, chocolate, dark fruits, strong spicy hop blended well=all big, bold, and balanced.

T: Sweet, maybe a little cloying, but not bad. Notes of sherry, hot, oak???, chocolate, and burnt raisin. Spicyness in the nose doesn't hit until the after taste and lingers with the malt.

M, D: Thick and chewy, but smooth in spite of being big.

Overall. A very good beer that is bold and fun. A malty monster with that's a little hot but really a good time with the bitter kick on the way down--almost like it's fighting you, as the name would imply.

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Photo of theformula
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Jacob @ Capital Ale House (Innsbrook, VA) for this generous gift. Cellared since late '06.

Pours into my chalice an evil, inky black body; impossibly black. Crema colored head w/ surprisingly good retention. Spotty lacing.

Nose is all dark chocolate covered cherries w/ a brown sugar/molasses sweetness. Very sweet. Dark, ripened fruits, black licorice (?) and cocoa. Subtle earthy yeast twang. Lightly tart. Moderate phenolic alcohol; it's there but not overpowering.

M.F. is full, lightly carbonated and very slick; oily smooth.

Massive flavors, as expected. Only thing I wasn't expecting is the omnipotent sugar sweetness that takes over. Like a tawny port with vanilla, cherry cordial, molasses and whole bean coffee/mocha. A punch of alcohol wraps it up but is pleasing. A moderate dose of leaf-y hops add to complexity. Very dark fruits and brown sugar again into the long finish, which is roasty, grassy and lightly bitter.

Well, obviously a nightcap, as this is how I drank it and reviewed it. The sugary sweetness may be overwhelming to some and could be toned down, but alcohol is well hidden and is a challenging beer that's for sipping. Really well done for the style.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.45/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours an inky black, viscous body with a creamy-looking, beige head.

Smell: Dark malt aroma of roasted grain and burnt sorghum. Hints of dark fruits and soy sauce.

Taste: Severely sweet with only a hint of chocolate. Some hop bitterness and an ashen roastiness struggle to get around the candylike sweetness. The glaringly unbalanced finish is sweet and burning, with the alcohol being very apparent.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Mild carbonation. Syrupy texture.

Drinkability: Well, I guess you could say, it doesn't get any SWEETER (or more alcoholic) than this!

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Photo of woemad
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $8.92 (those goofy Jim's prices...). According to the bottle this was bottled in November, 2006.

To paraphrase Nigel Tufnel, how much more black could this beer get, and the answer is none more black. This is the color of Michael Vick's chances of getting an endorsement from PETA, with no concession whatsoever made when held up directly to light. Surprisingly, given the high abv of this beer, a 1 1/2" mocha colored head formed at the top, with some staying power, as sheets of lace slowly slid back down into the beer residing in a SA BL glass. The head is easily re-agitated back to life, and about a quarter-inch of foam remains permanently atop the beer.

I get chocolate covered cherries from the nose of this beer. Sure, there's also prunes, raisins, roasty whole bean coffee, but what really jumps out are the chocolate covered cherries.

The taste starts off surprisingly sweet. To be sure, bitter roastiness and dark fruits kick in right away, and nearly balance it out, but to me the number one component of the flavor is a brown sugary sweetness. As it warms up, a warming alcohol sensation is apparent, without much surprise considering it's 16.03% (what's up with the ".03" on this label, anyway? Are the brewers at Avery thinking, "If we put 16.03, they'll feel we're more professional" despite the fact that the average punter is staring at the 16 with their jaw hanging down in disbelief?) The brown sugar parade ends on a pleasing dry note.

The mouthfeel is hedonistically (I think this beer inspired me to create a new word) oily. I would actually describe the body as port-like, and would exhibit ths as proof that a massive boozy flavor bomb of a beer does not need to have a heavy body.

As a dessert beer/nightcap, which is what I'm using this as, Mephistopheles is eminently drinkable. It wouldn't be much use for any other type of drinking. No one in their right mind would session this, and few would be up to it.

I think I could become a Meph addict.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a decent size pumpkin pie colored head that slowly receds to a ring. Aroma is big and bourbony, dark ripe fruit, chocolate and berries, very nice and inviting. Big and sweet in the taste, chocolate, smooth and thick cut with a nice bourbon that comes in mid taste and lasts all the way through. Mouthfeel is thick and sugary, some twangy acidity before a slightly dry and alcoholic finish. Wow, this beer is big and could go forever, the alcohol is extremely well balanced but is definitely there. Great bourbony ris characteristics, a sipper for sure, could be dessert all on its own. Not something you could drink many of but I sure sipped it like I didn't want it to end.

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Photo of kernalklink
3.11/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This brew poured a syrupy black, with a very attractive tan head, smooth and silky. Aromas were of roasted malts, molasses, candi sugar and green apple skins. Incredibly sweet taste- caramel malts, some roasted flavor and a big hit of currants and dried fruits. Gritty dry mouthfeel is somewhat unappetizing, but the alcohol is hidden very well despite the huge ABV with only a small burn to the throat. There is a slight herbal bitterness on the finish which helps counteract the extremely sweet brew. Definately and sipper.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Revisit: 24 Jan 16
12 oz. Bottle
Red Foil/Capped
Annual Release: Oct 2015
Batch No. 11
ABV 17.1%

Been A Long Time Coming!

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice small tan head, which leaves some very nice islands and sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice malty, with some very nice chocolate/toffee notes, very nice vanilla note, dark fruits. The taste is very nice, malty, chocolate/toffee, very slight coffee note in there, some very nice vanilla sweetness, nice touch of dark fruits. Full Body, with a nice slightly dry/bitter finish, ABV is hidden very well, for a Impy it is pretty complex. Overall, this is an exceptional brew. Glad to have it available to me near by.

Bottled Nov 06, Batch 2, 16.03% ABV

Poured into a chalice a thick black color, nice carbonation, very nice one-finger plus creamy thick tannish head, tons of sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is very malty, prunes, figs, dates, raisins, vanilla, oaked, toffee, chocolate, and some caramel. The taste is awesome, malty, sweet, oaky, nice touch of dark fruits, lots of toffee/chocolate/caramel. The first sip is sweet on the lips, with a good warming factor afterwards, the finish is sweet/slightly bitter. For a brew this high in alcohol, it is hidden very well. Medium body, very complex brew. Very drinkable, a truly awesome brew from Avery, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle that indicates that it was bottled in November 2006 from Batch 2. It leaves less than one finger of an espresso-foam colored foamy head that quickly fades to surface skim and then finally, a foam ring at the edge, and there is some good lacing. Body is black.

Smell - oak, dark-skinned pit fruit, burnt crust maltbread, dark chocolate, smoky roasted malt, fusel alcohol.

Taste - as the nose indicates. Dark-skinned pit fruits and smoky roasted malt, all imbued with oak tones and everything washed in alcohol.

Mouthfeel - full bodied, very dry, and alcohol burn.

Drinkability - this is pretty good ale, but it is a sipper, not a session beer as the very high abv severely limits sesssionability.

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

12 oz bottle, bottled Nov. 2006 / Batch 2, served in a pint glass.

A - black color with a big dark tan head that had staying power and left lots of sticky lace.

S - sweet raisin/date aroma.

T - very sweet malt & raisin flavor almost like a barley wine. abv is well masked by the taste. Burps are coffee flavored.

M - full bodied, lightly carbonated. It may taste like a barley wine, but it feels like a stout.

D - good as a nightcap sipper.

Final Note: This is not for the timid. One must work themself up to a brew like this. It took me about 90 mins. to finish a 12 oz bottle and it left me full and content.

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 2,277 ratings.
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