Review: Avery’s Mephistopheles Stout

by | Beer reviews




Background

I like stouts, and I’ve liked most everything from Avery, so I thought I would give Mephistopheles Stout a try.   The name gives everything away for this stout.  This is a devil of a beer.

avery mephistopheles

Mephistopheles is such a mouthful

Avery’s Mephistopheles Looks

Mephistopheles has a dark tan head and a thick head.  Everything about this beer screams DARK!

The dark brown head stood for quite a while, lasting a few minutes.  The head is really thick and foamy.  The head on this stout could hold a dime, and is one of the better beer heads I’ve seen in a while.

This stout is a very dark beer.  (Did I say that already?)  A quote from the label states “he who does not love light”.  The quote is no exaggeration; this beer abhors light.  I held the glass up to the light and I could see no light through the glass.  I can’t get coffee to do that!  The glass was held a few inches from the light bulb.  I am officially impressed at how dark this beer is.  The color was dark like black coffee, but no light could pass through.  Mephistopheles is like a beer black hole.

Aroma

This beer makes a very impressive entrance, and when the bottle cap is popped off everyone around knows it.  Mephistopheles Stout has a very strong smell of spices and nutty coffee.  I could actually smell the beer from several feet away.  The aroma could almost be described as toffee.  There are also hints of caramel.  I could smell a bit of the hops, but I would not say it was pronounced.  The beer has just a hint of hops.

Taste

The stout has a good creamy mouthfeel, with an alcohol bite which creeps up on you.  Mephistopheles is a very strong beer.  The alcohol content is 16% ABV, much stronger than most imperial stouts.  The mouthfeel may be from the lower carbonation levels which give the beer a smooth seductive feel.  The mouthfeel does seduce you a bit, but the bitterness and alcohol quickly overrun any flavor you might enjoy.  There are strong notes of whiskey.  The roasted malt flavor seems like “burnt coffee”.  The beer has some maltiness, but not sweet.  I’d even call it a whiskey coffee or whiskey double expresso.

The beer claims 107 IBUs, although I thought I had read 100 IBUs were the effective limit for any beer.  Needless to say the beer is a bit very bitter.  I think you need to add a ton of hops just to balance the amount of malt needed to reach 16% ABV.  The label states they also added turbinado sugar (brown sugar), most likely to get the alcohol content high.  The grain bill for this beer must be impressive, second only to the hops needed to reach 107 IBUs.

It takes a while to drink this beer.  It took me a very long time.  If you enjoy very strong stouts, this is a good sipping beer on cold winter nights.

Results

Mephistopheles is much stronger than I’d like it.  Imperial Stouts are usually around 9% ABV to 10% ABV.  I think 16% ABV is too much, and it really overpowers this beer.  The bitterness is very powerful, and the roasted malt tastes too burnt.  I’ll give this stout 7 dark princes out of 10.

Brewery: Avery
Country of Origin: Colorado, USA
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 16% ABV


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DJ Spiess

DJ Spiess

Beer buddy

I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!