lamas (1360) - Washington DC, USA - MAR 24, 2006
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Bottled in January 2006. Batch #1. A pitch-black pour with a thick, creamy chestnut brown head. Roasty malts, vanilla extract, chocolate, rich coffee, molasses and a good bit of alcohol in the aroma. A full, sticky body. This is SWEET! Very sugary throughout. Caramel and chocolate-covered dark fruits start things off. Coffee and vanilla extract follow. LOTS of candied sugar. Only slightly bitter with a minimal warming presence in the finish. Very cloying. Better and more drinkable than the comparable Dogfish Head WWS, but this is obviously not the type of beer Iíd want all the time. More than one would just be too much.
entertheiceman (242) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 24, 2006
3.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAY 9, 2006 Opaque black with a monstrous rocky head. Beautiful. Aroma is blue cheese, bacon and white wine. Sounds strange but if you donít believe go mix some up and youíll see for yourself. Huge full body bitter cherry, smoke and chocolate syrup combine with the aforemetnioned blue cheese and bacon to create quite a funky beer on the palate. In my opinion this needs years in the cellar to come to fruition. As a fresh bottle it is cloying and funky albeit impressive.
GarrettB (1039) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 24, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2007 It is lamentable, I think, that the whole of the earth has been explored. The bygone days of adventurers and explorers will forever remain in textbooks and in the dreams of cartographers. Still, there is room for us to do more than wax romantic of the golden days; we still find legends and precious artifacts even where man has erected civilization. At least, I did so, and in a most unexpected place. My family and I were shopping at Whole Foods, enjoying the free samples and gawking at the elegant displays of high life culinary treats. After awhile I sauntered off to the affiliated wine store and started browsing their beer selection, assured from past experiences that nothing exciting would be present on the shelf. As I scanned the bottom rows I came across the Avery stouts, covered in their trademark non-descript silver visages. As I skimmed the selection my brain triggered an alarm flare, and reversed course until I was once again examining the Avery beers. Sure enough, there were two bottles of Mephistopheles, sitting placidly in their own overlooked glory. I gathered them up in my arms like a father cradling his long lost children, purchased them from the cashier (who was sad to see them go) and left, my feet jubilantly dancing in between steps. The trip from the store to home was a quick one, filled with all the fanfare of a parade, marking the victory of my acquisition. At home the beer matched up to its reputation, proving why all the wise Ratebeerians were clamoring for it. Itís rusty red ferrous soil colored head is an elegant crown to the thick, oily textured and unctuously black base of the beer. Base and pensive flavors like soy sauce, licorice, molasses, smoke and even broccoli rule the aroma, wrapped in the strong smell of the alcohol. It slithers down the tongue creepily, leaving its distinct trail of earthen flavors. The mouth feel is thick and full, and edges from the tongue out towards the cheeks in an effort to effuse to freedom. It begins with an easy flowing semi-sweetness, then crashes into a chasm of hickory flavors. Also present are sweet raisins and a distinct fig taste. This is indeed a legendary beer, worthy of the attention that so many adventure seekers are giving to it. It proves that we need not gather our spelunking equipment or apply to NASA to find long sought after treasures or push the boundaries of our human understanding. This gem from Avery was only a half hour drive away, and did all that and more.
jayme9874 (756) - Hamburg, New York, USA - MAR 23, 2006
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: APR 4, 2006 Pitch black, thin but lasting lacey head. Huge aroma of seared malts, licorice, raisons, other fruits, booze, soy sauce, a bit of smoke, chocolate, coffee and others that emerge that Im too impatient to wait for. Smooth body, thick but not as syrupy as I thought it would be, the carbonation is perfect. Huge, chewy flavors of alcohol soaked raisons, sweet caramelly seared malt, boozy alcohol but not oppressive, burning or harsh. (i thought DFH 23% was more of a burner) You feel it in the belly but what do you expect? Beautiful hoppy, expresso finish, balances it out a more then you would think and gives it an addictive flavor. Awesome impy here and I am impressed. World class I have to say. Maybe a little nap to meld and this will be perfect. Thank you Ernest!
BBB63 (6045) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - MAR 23, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Well folks, It is Michael reporting here, the not so quite archangel, for I am the king of the Dark Side of Stoutieland. I am a about to pass judgment on this fallen angel Mr. Mephistopheles, should he be banished to the layers of hell and over-rated beer or given forgiveness and allowed to rise to the gates of Pantheon of beer nirvana? This is my word and testament...so it is noted:
This beer is completely lightless as a darkened soul. Is joined by a tan frothy topping, which lays claim to my Expedition snifter.
The vapors of this demon lord are quite restrained surprisingly as he seems to lay in wait. Oh, those molasses cured malts, Starbucks Mocha latte and heavy vinous qualities are there but they seemed to be afraid of my stoutie snout. Only the alcoholic phenols are will to give it up for beergeekdom. Disappointing, you coward!
The olde one finally come out to play and attack full force upon my palate with swords of black strap, star anise, semi-sweet chocolates, and effective brandy imbued oak. Just as I counter, he throws up a wall of cursed near rotten fruits and full throttled espresso bitterness. Damn him to hell I say and pressed forward I quickly subdued the alcohol golem and say no more. Only hell should bar the way.
Alas the Demon is driven off has only the oily black blood lingers on my beaten down palate.
I am victorious, Mephistopheles is no more. No passage onto field of brew heaven this beast for he failed to pass the test. Sorry, but you are NO DARK LORD, only a lesser demon!
So is my testament given this day March 23 of the year 2006. Enjoyed while listening to Loreena McKennitt - Danteís Prayer which fit the mood perfectly!
Kevin (2084) - New Mexico, USA - MAR 23, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
To get ready for this I waited until the sun was setting and I put some Danzig in the CD player. Dazing 4 actually just for the song call on the dark. It seems appropriate. Brand new god is playing as I contemplate opening this. It is cloudy out and cold. The sun is setting but no one can tell the dark is creeping across without announcement. Tonight is the night to unleash Mephistopheles. This monster pours a pitch oily black that looked like crude coming out of the bottle and sitting atop it is a thick arrogant brown head. I could smell the booze from this dark demon before I finished pouring. Also in the nose are plums, plump raisins, and cheesecake. I cupped my petrus glass in both hands to take the first sip and I tasted rocket fuel, then I started to pick out ultra sweet mango, pineapple, super sugared chocolate, and the kind of sweetness that would kill a diabetic at 30 yards. I like it. Oh yeah, Iím hearing the words from, canít speak as I try to wrap my mind around this. It is appropriate. I think I need more than a 12 oz er I wish Avery still made bombers of their BIG beers. Third sip is so evil and mean with alcohol and sweet flavors attacking my taste buds. Something port like, something like a mocha coffee blend, something like everything I have tasted in a stout but uncontained and wild. This tastes like the beast but with more chocolate and that is not a bad thing. But the finish is the same as I remember slick, fruit but with cocoa and the slightest coffee. Plum and green raisins also play a large part in this. But it is choc full of chocolate and incredibly sticky. The alcohol is much more prevalent than some stronger impyís Iíve had. I really need to get a hold of a few more to age. Oh yeah here comes the song I was waiting, oh can you see it now how black your future will be, oh can you see it. Until you call on the dark. A nice beer that can only get better
Ap-5 ar- 8 tas-7 pal-3 ov-17
Padron4KM (535) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - MAR 22, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
12 oz bottle, born in Jan 06, batch 1.
Inky black topped with a thin esspresso head that never realy went away. Lacing and alcohol coat the glass in a thin sheet.
Initial aroma is soy sauce, but allowed to warm slightly, you find chocolate, molasses, cherries, port and alcohol.
Flavors are sweet, prune, cherries, chocolate, port. also some salty soy sauce and just a little hops on the finish
definitely a big, decadant, desert type beer.
frankenkitty (1959) - Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA - MAR 22, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours oily black with a hint of purple at the edges and a thick, mocha head keeps as a fat, creamy souffle, leaving a wet sheet of lace on the way down. Aroma finds big salty soy sauce & anchovy opening to bitter & oily Java bean with asphalt and ham. Alcohol is apparent even when chilled. Huge and thick with a sweet affront in the flavor... esters creeping around all over the place amidst hard fruit candy. Fruity malts lead to a meaty, salty finish and coffee bitterness shows in the aftertaste in a lingering conglomeration of sweet, salt & bitter.
Hot, as mentioned, but... wait! Look! Thereís a freakiní demon on the label!! ("Hisssss... it burrrrnnsss!!") What did you expect? This is a 15.1% Imperial Stout for chrissakes. Let it sleep if youíre timid, but quit whining and let the more able-bodied open their bottles now to find the decadent portion of Hell dedicated to the Lustful and the Gluttonous.
<font size=-4>Bottle from <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Liquors, Chicago, IL 60638<font size=-1>
JoeMcPhee (8410) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 21, 2006
3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
12 oz bottle shared with beastiefan2k and dickinsonbeer at Spuyten Duyvil. Dark black beer with a dark brown head. Very unusual aroma, quite boozy and a bit petroly (like some aged white wines). Very floral and light smelling for something that is so black. Underneath is some toffee, yeasty esters and some spiciness as well. The spice and molasses intensify as the beer warms up. Flavour though is all booze. Really alcoholic and hot tasting, which masks the nice burnt sugar and toffee that I can taste behind it. Fairly sugary palate as well, despite all of the booziness. Some really great flavours in this beer, but in the end itís too damn hot to be enjoyable. Iím in the minority on this one, but I didnít enjoy this one at all.
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - MAR 21, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle obtained in trade with illinismitty (thanks man), Batch 1, bottled January 2006. Sampled at cellar temperature from a Maudite snifter. Thick, thick mocha-malt head, fine-bubbled and lasting, atop a jet oily body, dark icicle-lacing, gorgeous....tar, port, cherries, old pipe tobacco, bit of vanilla-oakiness, succulent and already speaking of some age, hints of alcohol but they are fine and warming, dark cocoa when warmer and alcohol becomes oppressive to an unpleasant extent....Plenty of bitter dry hops in the body, juicy fruity wine and tannins, lots of oaky vanilla and a big alcoholic burn late, orange peel and sour cherries, thick espresso bitterness, so much going on itís the kitchen sink approach but it sort of works, huge caramel sweetness amidst the dark espresso and hops.....Thick, rich but also syrupy and burning, a barleywinish palate that is just too harsh for me, with a light soy quality that grows stronger towards the dry, corrosive finish....thereís no questioning the quality that went into this, it certainly shows oceans of flavor especially, and I enjoyed it in many respects, but thereís too much harshness and fuesel alcoholic quality when it approaches room temperature for me to ascribe greatness.....little subtlety, lots of burn doesnít do it for me in this style, or in any. Mixed.