Mephistopheles' Stout | Avery Brewing Company

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878 Reviews
Mephistopheles' StoutMephistopheles' Stout

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

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: 878 | Ratings: 2,239
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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Photo of tavernseeker
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a fan of both barley wines and stouts. This is like a mix of the two.

Appearance: Pours almost black with a brown head that has very little lacing and fades to just a brown ring.

Smell: Very dark. Raisins, dried plums and other dark dried fruits. Molasses, caramel, chocolate and alcohol.

Taste: Roasted malts (almost burnt), molasses, and chocolate, with just a hint of hops. This brew is defiantly high in alcohol but it's not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy sweet. The alcohol makes it a great sipper.

Drinkability: This beer BIG. Make a night of just one and really enjoy it. It's a very complex beer and the flavors change and mellow as it warms up. (though the alcohol doesn't)

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours black as oil with a pretty impressive 1/4" tan head of small bubbles that sticks around for a solid 45 seconds. The beer then falls to a small ring around the top of the beer where it meets the glass.

Aroma: Rich dark fruit with plenty of roast and caramel in there to draw you in. Alcohol is obvious in the nose of even the cold beer, so this is a little freaky. The beer gets a lot more nutty and coffee like as it warms up some.

Taste: This beer is really thick and a bit like syrup. It hits your palate really hard with a very viscous mouthfeel that leads the entire flavor profile. You can pick up a whole lot of roast and dark malts in there as you get into the sip, but still the resiny thickness of the beer is the predominant part of the experience. The finish is pretty bitter for such a thick and big beer...and somewhere very late in the finish there is an assertive alcoholic warmth that sets in and stays with you for a very long time. The overall experience on the palate is like a roasty Niquil.

Opinion: Man, what can you say about such a beer experience? This beer is huge and has a whole lot more to offer than some of the empty Barleywines or Old Ales that you get from some brewerys. This beer is an experience for the palate. It is not that easy to drink overall, but it is something to try. I will probably share this with some of my friends in my homebrew club next time.

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

I remember some time ago when there was debate over whether to recognize "Imperial IPA" or "Double IPA" as a category for over-the-top hop monsters. I don't recall when "American Double Stout" came on the scene, but this beer should be pictured with the definition. Poured a tar black with a slight dark mocha lace ring. Aroma of brown sugar and a hint of apple. Mouthfeel initially borders on syrupy, but then goes a bit thinner when you acclimate to the density. Density is also the description for the flavors - the turbinado sugar used in brewing is evident in a strong maple syrup flavor that integrates quite nicely. Alcohol is evident, but not overpowering. One of these is plenty, but, having said that, I found it surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.23/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - as billed, this pours totally black and opaque. A big dark mocha cloud on top resembles the thick top of a chocolate cappuccino or something. Thick, creamy, lucious. Thin crystalline lacing leaves a ring at the high water mark with little else happening beneath that.

Aroma - sweet dark fruits out of the bottle. Sets up and shows off vapory alcohol all over the bittersweet chocolate and espresso.

Taste - incredibly sweet, wow. Malts come through very roasted, husky at times, and with notes of tobacco now and then. Plenty of espresso after the swallow, lots of late roastiness. For as strong a beer as this is, the abv is very well-hidden in taste, but in effect... not so much. Ends very warm, heady, and incredibly sweet, enough to kind of get in the way, IMO.

Mouthfeel - smooth, slick, though not as heavy as I expected.

Drinkability - huge and while tasty at times, this can be overbearingly sweet. I might buy this again just to cellar it for five years but otherwise...

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Photo of alexatlatx
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours spent-motor-oil black with a khaki head, that hangs out for an hour. If the hairs in your nostrils haven't disintegrated from the heat, you will experience a lovely aroma of fruitcake and fig.

The taste is a tug-a-war between an RIS and an aged barley wine.

The mouthfeel is thick, sweet, and leaves behind coffee aftertaste that will hang out in your mouth for about 15 minutes.

I doubt my wallet or I could handle one of these each day, but I'd definitely love to share one in the winter with a close friend. This beer would pair well with desert, especially a chocolate or cream based offering.

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

I picked up a couple of these on my last beer run. I seem to be in an Avery state of mind this weekend. Yes, it's a huge brew and fresh when considering the ABV.

A - pitch black, a wisp of dark tan head.
S - dark ripe fruit, roasted grains, a lactose type sweet note and a warm / hot alcohol feel.
T - Similart to the aroma but with a complimentary sharp hop bite on top of the roasted grains.
M - full bodied, sweet but not cloying high ABV hot.
D - A sipper for sure.

Oddly, when compared to another high ABV fresh beer this one sipped / settled much better. Still, way over the top for heat. I'm happily cellaring a few for future years. If now is any indication this should be really good down the road.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch #1, Bottled in Jan. 2006, 15.1% ABV….

Pours a truly viscous, oily black with a thick, well-sustained brown head. Sweet dark fruit aroma. The rich and exceedingly full palate features loads of roasted malt sweetness, burnt coffee bitterness, a strong note of smooth, sugary cocoa character, plenty of dark fruit, and rich caramel/toffee flavors. Despite the complexity and richness, no one character really eclipses the others. And, even though the alcohol is sugary and sharp, the boldness of the other flavors keep it from being too cloying or fusel.

Now, just to be clear, this is a sipping beer only, but what drinkability it does have is quite surprising considering the ABV. And, despite the boldness of the palate, there is a nice degree of smoothness here and an even more impressive balance in flavor; nothing stands out too much (even though everything is pretty intense). A rather luxurious treat…

Highly recommended…

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter. Labled Batched #2, 2006. Also abv is listed as 16.3%

Pours a very thick black with a small tan head that drops to a slight ring. Leaves nice lace.

Smell is bang, pow! Bold coffee and chocolate. Very bold alcohol.

Taste is sweet. Chocolate and alcohol. Very, very hot! Hints of coffee and earthy flavors.

Mouthfeel is solid.

Overall, just as tasty as batch #1. More spicy. Super hot, but very enjoyable.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to admit that I love Avery's big beers. Many people find them too hot and I have to agree...they ARE hot..but very complex and ones to be enjoyed over an hour rather than just drunk like a simple stout or lager.

This one poured very dark but not quite black...lots of red hues showed through in the light. Small head as to be expected that melted to a faint ring.

Aromas are burnt, toasted dark malts, brown sugar, definite dark, dark candied fruits, and alcohol.

Tongue first tasted burnt dark chocolate malt..then a softening from dark prunes, dark raisins, and other dark fruits....dark, dark brown sugar but not overly sweet. Bitter hops actually do make their presence known after awhile but seem to get lost in the very hot alcohol that finishes the swallow.

Mouthfeel is sufficiently thick and creamy for style and aftertaste is mostly of the burnt, dark chocolate malts.

A very impressive sipper and while $8 for 12 oz may sound exorbitant, considering this is a 12 oz'r that can last you the late night, it's a bargain.
UPDATE: Dec, 14th, 2007
Damn this is good stuff.

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Mephistopheles' Stout from Avery Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 878 ratings.
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