Mephistoheles' Stout - Avery Brewing Co., Boulder
It seems like all the beer Avery brews are bigger than average. Their IPAs are hoppier, their Stouts are darker and everything in between just has more alcohol in it. Avery has a series of even more extreme beers with alcohol contents pushing 20%. This bottle of Mephistopheles' Stout in part of the demonic series of Avery beers that are sold as individual 12 ounce bottles for $7-9 each. Mephistopheles' Stout is a 16.83% ABV Imperial Stout that looks as evil as it sounds. I'm hoping it is as enjoyable as The Beast Grand Cru I enjoyed from the same series last year.
This beer pours every bit as dark as you'd expect. It has an opaque black body and starts off with a thin khaki colored head that quickly fades away. There's no lacing, no bubbles, no highlights, nothing... just black.
The aroma is, not surprisingly, dark but it has a sweeter side of chocolate and cream. There's also a definite beef jerky characteristic to the aroma that smells a little smoky, a bit like bacon and very high in alcohol. The flavor of Mephistopheles' Stout doesn't stray too far from the aroma, it's got even more alcohol than expected but the super dark malt takes a lot of the edge off of it with a burnt caramel and toffee flavor. It's much smoother than it sounds like it would be, there's only a light bitterness followed by an alcohol burn that coats your whole mouth. As an extreme beer, it's definitely up there with some of the biggest I've had, it's bold and very flavorful. As an Imperial Stout, Mephistopheles' is absolutely one of the best that I've had.
The high alcohol content of this beer may be just as off putting as the price tag, but I think this beer is definitely worth going out of your way to try. It's the sort of beer that other brewers would bottle and sell only once a year, and you can go pick up a bottle right now at the liquor store without waiting in line for six hours.