NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - FEB 7, 2006
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Batch Numero Uno. I slaved away like a dog doing back breaking grunt work for Matta to score this beer. I hope it is worth the hernia Iím sure to develop.
Aroma is quite strong. Burnt, caramelized sugars, burnt malts and something meaty almost like meat roasting on a spit. Some dark roasted chocolate lies beneath that aroma. Handsome beer this one. Deep black color that poured thick, though not gloppy. Thumb thick tan head is lasting and creamy with only a few mild bubbles. Very sweet prune/molasses fore followed by a massive bitter dark chocolate barrage. Then the alcohol wafts in burning the throat. The initial sweetness carries through hinting at cherries, papaya, grapes, fat ripe blackberries, premium esspresso and gobs and gobs of black licorice.
You really have to slip this slow. The alcohol can burn out some of the other flavors, but as you sit with it and sip tons of different flavors pop out. There is complexity to spare, but personally the alcohol isnít well hidden. It really hammers the throat and that is hard for someone who is naturally a fast drinker. That and the vaguely meaty aroma are the only off points.
beernoevil (3) - Suwanee, Georgia, USA - FEB 4, 2006 does not count
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I donít ususally rate the beers Iíve had but WOW!!! Had this (batch #1) at the brewery while on a trip to Denver. There is so much going on in this beer that I found it difficult to describe - thick, pitch black, syrupy and yet silky, chocolate, espresso, raisins, licorice, cherries, etc. Think "Belgian Imperial Stout"! I canít compare with what the others have written but had to put my 2 cents worth in. John was even kind enough to give me an unused label!
matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - FEB 3, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Nice packaging! Although very similar, I think better than the Beast and Samaelís Ale: more eye-catching!
Obviously, Batch #1
Pours a rich black oily body and a tall dark khaki head. The aroma explodes with proposals of weighty molasses, bittersweet chocolate, a plethora of date sugars, a front loader full of black, chocolate, and other highly roasted barley.
The flavor is IMMENSE! - Itís full of sweet dark fruits and barrel flavors, gallons of molasses, very roasty and heavy on the sweet spiced rum flavors. Mentions of fruit range from, a touch of tangyness from green apple and chardonnay grapes, into plums, over to figs, dates, and raisins, then into sweet Michigan cherries and Bordo grapes. Iím also pulling out mentions of Blackcurrant, blackberry, vanilla bean, mint, and rosemary. There is a dry and bittering submission coffee solidly tied into the finish. Honestly, there is a depth and complexity to this beer that is rarely found. Though, it may be too big and boastful for my palate.
The palate is as described, velvety, and Uber creamy. This is probably the most viscous beer Iíve ever set before me! Itís sticky like a flytrap and sweet like a Southern BelleÖ This is not a beerÖ This is a liquid labyrinth, and Iím at a loss!
BeerandBlues2 (9701) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - FEB 2, 2006
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 27, 2009 THANKS ERNEST!! Batch no. 1. Wow, Adam has outdone himself this time. Pours opaque, like black spent motor oil, black like coal, sporting a medium sized frothy tan head, and at this ABV, hangs out with the brew for a good while yielding some lined lacing. Aroma is extraordinary array of dark fruit (plum, raisin, prune) and dark chocolate, cherries, light notes of fruity hops, yeast (dark sour bread) and malt (cookie, dark roasted), candied, caramelized sugars, and port. At first, I could not decide whether to eat this cake-like creation of savor it sip by sip; it never reveals its ABV. Warm, moderately bitter and acidic, never offensive, dark chocolate, dark slow roasted coffee beans and dark fruits provide a flavor of immense pleasure; it dries your mouth begging you to take down some more elixir, port greets the next draws from the glass and leaves some tart fruit behind to remind you that the beer was there, medium sweetness, just the right amount to counter the tart dark fruit. Dark, full bodied desert, fizzy start and dry finish. This beer is by far the best I have had the pleasure of drinking. A monster to conclude the Deamon of Ales series at Avery.
1/27/09: This beer was awesome the first and second batch but is starting to lose some luster in batches 3 and 4.
luckygirl (1223) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 30, 2006
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 8, 2006 Third or fourth time Iíve tasted this and Iím pulled deeper into it every time. Everything about it is exemplory and seductive.<P> Beer pours an opaque, warm, dark-brown color with a small, light-brown colored, frothy, mostly lasting head.<P> The aroma is a sweet, dark, plush wall: Heavy malt notes of sweet, deeply roasted grain, almost-burned caramel, milk chocolate and strong coffee; Pointed moderate hop notes of pine, a light note of herb; Light yeasty notes of fresh bread and basement; Myriad miscellaneous, intoxicatingly pretty notes that shift and develop with every passing minuteóraisin, rum, sherry dried stone fruit, wood, ginger, vanilla. Thereís a faint note of alcoholóbut not 15% worth! This wicked thing could have my knees out from under me before I realized what I;íd done to myself.<P>
The flavor is very heavily sweet, heavily bitter, lightly acidic with a long, moderately citric-acidic, lightly bitter, moderately sweet finish with a gorgeous amount of tummy-warmth.<P> The body is full, the texutre is velvety-syrupy and the carbonation is soft. Very lovely and very dangerous! Bravo Avery!
Crosling (1863) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JAN 30, 2006
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Opaque black color. Full, dark tan head, which looks great. Distinctly Avery extreme beer smell. It smells a lot like Samaelís and Beast, but still certainly has its own unique characteristics. Hints of rum soaked raisins, red grapes, chocolate and espresso in the aroma. This is an impressive beer for sure. The body goes beyond chewy. Itís fully texturized and massive in body. The flavor throughout the front and mid-palate is very vinous (with cherries, grapes, fully extracted and juicy as hell.) Towards the finish, the chocolate and coffee malt flavor begins, with a very, very light hop hint on the finish. Tremendously well hidden alcohol. Very impressive work, fellas.
Ratman197 (9828) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - JAN 29, 2006
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle poured an opaque black with a large, lasting, creamy brown head. Aromas of coffee, roasted malt, vanilla, pepper and bitter chocolate. Palate was full bodied, smooth and warming. Flavors of roastiness, coffee, vanilla, bitter chocolate, and a hint of licorice with a warming, lingering bittersweet finish.
Aubrey (3432) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JAN 27, 2006
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: DEC 2, 2007 This beer pours with a demonic darkness, covered by a shroud of tan head. Lace lingers in a purgatory state of being. Nose was pumping out sweet aromas of candy, fresh-baked yeast cake and freshly crushed vanilla beans. Mouthfeel was beyond amazing ... took me back to that first Beast, and then some. If you could swallow liquid silk, this is what it would feel like. Iíd give it a 6 if I could. Man, where do I start? As I sip incessantly, I canít type as fast as Iím thinking. Chocolate, black licorice, earthy wood, cooked raisins, quenchy apricot, brown sugar, plums, vanilla, toasted bread, creamed coffee, sweet grass, peat, very rich molasses ... itís a swirled hurricane of flavors and aromas. Alcohol is hidden amazingly well, but it does surface beautifully in the background. Hops are healthy, but the hop boldness is very complementing ... enough to be classic Avery, but not "over-the-top," as some might say. The fat-ass malts have the advantage on this teeter-totter. Man, what an incredible beer! Mephistopheles pushes the Imperial Stout style to new levels, and it more than raises the bar. RERATE (Dec. 2007 batch; just bottled): They nailed it again; what a fantastic beer. Seems a bit fruitier than the sample I had months ago. I enjoyed it immensely.
Ernest (6222) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 26, 2006
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: JAN 3, 2014 Bottle (batch 9).
Head is initially small, frothy, dark brown, mostly diminishing.
Body is black (opaque, flashlight tested).
Aroma is moderately to heavily malty (chocolate syrup, fudge, roasted grain), lightly hoppy (grapefruit, resin), with notes of alcohol and vanilla.
Flavor is heavily to harshly sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Finish is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter.
Full body, syrupy texture, lively/soft carbonation, heavily alcoholic.
At last, this yearís Meph has come back down pretty close to the ABV of batch 1, and itís quite a bit better than batch 2 and 5 were. Itís still a hot mess of sugar and booze, of course, but thatís what this brewery is primarily about. And hey, at least thereís a little bit about it to enjoy again.