NachlamSie (3479) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 4, 2006
UPDATED: JUL 1, 2008 Bottle, batch 1, acquired in a well executed trade with SoLan. Rating #600. This is one of those really black beers. One of those that is so black it is staggering. I held the goblet to the light for a few minutes trying to discern an iota of light coming through the very edges of this beastly brew. Nope, maybe some dark opaque reds are seen on the most outer boundaries. A solid, dark tan head sits atop for quite some time as well. The aroma is equally as intense. It was assaulting my olfactory glands from the moment I cracked open the glass vessel. Loads of espresso and thick, dark fruit are apparent along with a milky, sugary sweetness. This is quite sweet for the style, but not gritting. I was a little afraid of the sweetness factor after sampling their Samael, but this is nowhere near that level. Plenty of roasty espresso notes and bark are apparent then a wash of licorice and dark, dark rum, though perhaps not quite as reminscent of sugar cane. An earthy, ripe boquet of vinous notes coat my palate throughout. The mouthfeel is thick and coating with minimal carbonation. This is extreme and sets itself apart from other impies with the dessert-like qualities. Completely solid brew. The alcohol is only detected in a pleasing warmth on the back of my palate.
holdenn (2116) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 4, 2006
[June 11, 2008]
Bottle from November 2007 thanks to BossHossBikes. Look at this stuff. It is pure black and absolutely opaque. A small dark head forms only to recede to a ring. The aroma is roasty, not absurdly so, and most of the focus seems to be on dark fruits, chocolate brownies, and molasses. What is striking is the absence of alcohol in my nose. The mouthfeel is very slick and thick as oil, highlighting the fruity notes that come out in something akin to cherries. More baked brownies, spiced rum, and earthy coffee. The alcohol now is slightly detected, but for 16%. . . .it is masked quite well. I’m really enjoying the flavor and especially the palate on this one, however I prefer drier, roastier imperial stouts. Still, this is a mammoth beer to behold. I must say I remember the first batch having more defined flavors after 6 months.
[July 1, 2008]
Bottle of Batch 2. While I enjoyed my bottle of batch 3 quite well, it didn’t live up to my memory of my first encounter with Mephistopheles. I picked this one up in hopes of reliving that original glorious moment. The pour is just what I expected: solid viscous oil with a black color. The head was dark and frothier and longer living that expected. The aroma is boozy with heavy suggestions of dark fruits, some molasses, cherries, brownies. I welcomed the familiar heavy, near-still, sticky palate. Now this is more like it. I get all that sweet, boozy stuff that I experienced last time, but also a nice earthy, bitter note for balance. It makes the whole thing a bit roastier, just like I like my imperial stouts. Hints of coffee beans, dark chocolate highlight the heavy chocolate foundation. I am completely digging this one. What a beast. Alcohol is apparent, but certainly not overwhelming. I hear a lot of people griping about the sweetness of this one, but I haven’t encountered that problem. Believe me, some of Avery’s beers are way too sweet for me but this is not one of them. I’m not sure if I just preferred this batch better or if it is the age on it that brought everything together. Whatever it is, I like. My score reflects this tasting.
12 oz bottle pours a thick black with ruby hints and a thick chocolate milk shake colored head. First aromas are sugar and alcohol wow, lots of both. As it warms these aroma mellow and more roasted and sour aromas come out, but underneath them all the alcohol and sugar is the real back bone to the aromas as well as the taste. First taste is a thick sugar sweetness that fades to a brief chocolate dark fruity flavor before setting fire to your throat with alcohol. But luckily as it reaches room temperature the alcohol and sweetness mellow out a ton. Changing more than most any other beer that i’ve had. The first sugar sweetness rounds out with more roastedness before the complex dark fruit, cherries, chocolate, and carmel slide across your tongue. The alcohol finish then comes in but now only warming your throat instead of torching it.
I could barely notice any oxidation, but the sharer of the bottle, drewbeerme, could taste a hint of it even though this was only 9 months old. Overall it is overly sweet and I think they’re trying too hard with this one. It should be bottle conditioned so it can age for about 4 years but alas it might well be a piece of cardboard by then. beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - OCT 2, 2006
Pours dark brown.
Settles as black paint.
Smallish topping of tanned foam.
Doesn’t last long but sustains a thin cloud on top.
Lacing is thin and thickly stringy.
Aroma is hot and deep.
Nosey with dark molasses tang and a breeze of chocolate.
Otherwise its actually fairly understated and uncomplexing.
Taste is mostly tangy and darkly deep.
Molasses and portly so.
Semi cloying, heated, and thick.
Chocolate covered currants and plums stick the finish into a firm hold across the palate.
Wow, does this stuff have some stick to it.
Doesn’t want to let go.
A nice effect to the overall as its diversity doesn’t supersede its complexity in flavor.
An all or nothing portly tanged character of molasses and dark fruity malts.
Some choclate is evident in a dark under score mixing with the fruity sided tang.
Body is immensely thick and absolutely smooth with a very nice intregrated warmth of alcohol thats port-like and thickly set upon the backing of the tangy sweet malts.
Finish is lengthy.
And then some.
Again, this stuff has a stick to it that works well with what it offers.
Mephistopheles’ is not quite a deserving namesake in my book of evils.
Although...the ABV is hellishly sneaky so perhaps I can see why.
But as Milton put in Paradise Lost -
"Long is the way, and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light."
The light here is not seen through the beer, nor the taste, in most aspects, warmth being the exception, and hard it is to drink a bunch of this before seeing the light on in the bathroom, and hard is the way to have it come back up the way it came in.
How’s that for a drunken stupor of religious type philosophy.
Take that Milton! xmarcnolanx (937) - Kirkwood, Missouri, USA - OCT 1, 2006
UPDATED: MAY 19, 2010 Pours a quickly dissipating bubbly brown head. Smell is overwhelmingly sweet and malty. Taste, well, taste is something I would ascribe to a beer so close to perfection that I cannot differentiate. Chocolate, coffee, roasted grains. The sweetness of the brew is not cloying, but sticks to the palate and does not let go. I honestly have not found a better imperial stout. And no noticeable heat.
-------& Wow, this is a sugary, sticky mess of a beer. Fantastic aroma, taste, and everything. Just so sugary and sweet that it is hard to finish. I would probably rate it somewhere around a 42 now. I think my tastes have changed 6/20/2007
--- Update: at the time I didn’t realize that they were different batches.
The first rating is from batch 1 and the second is batch 2. I have yet to try batch 3.
----re-rate--- Batch Nov 06 Batch 2 on 4/29/09
Taste is sweet soy sauce, some paper, lots more chocolate and soy.
Wow, this is yummy. Like The Beast, but an Impy Stout.
Aroma is a bit of paper, some soy and chocolate. Lots of sharp soy.
Finish is soy and sweet.
--- re-rate---- Batch 1 Jan 06
Taste is sweet soy sauce, some oxidation, chocolate, soy, sweetness.
Damn. Very nice, but fucking sweet.
I think this could go a bit longer. Some fruity esters complicate the matter of the sweetness, the soy sauce, and the oxidation.
848416 ChillCoat (1029) - Concord, California, USA - OCT 1, 2006
Bottle. Pours coal black with a dark tan head. Burnt wood, tobacco and alcohol nose. Thick mouth feel. Liquid smoke, charcoal, dark fruits and even A-1 sauce. A train wreck of flavors, none of them subtle. This beer needs aging desperately.
JMFG (1587) - Florida, USA - SEP 29, 2006
Pours dark and thick and with very little head. Aroma is of brown sugar and alcohol. Taste is sweet, chocolately, and somewhat bitter with a very warm finish, but not caustic, which is what I was expecting from 15%. Bottle showed some signs of oxidation, but not horrible. Will re-rate a fresh bottle from the next batch. Good, but could use tweaking. biz82 (1327) - austin, Texas, USA - SEP 28, 2006
The demon on the the label looks right at you no matter where you are!!! Pours as black as any beer I’ve seen, with a thin tan head. Crazy, medicinal aroma with alcohol soaked leather, licorice, rotting plums. Extremely sweet. The alcohol is hugely prominent, particularly in the sinus. There are underlying flavors of cofee, chocolate and dark fruit. Interesting beer but I gotta say that World Wide Stout beats the shit outta it. xav33 (313) - Midland, MI, Michigan, USA - SEP 26, 2006
Avery Mephistopheles Stout
12 oz bottle
Bottled 01/06, sipped 09/06
Medium pour in a snifter
Poured black with dark brown edges with a tiny brown mostly diminishing head with a wee bit of lacing.
Smelt of rich dark chocolate, coffee, licorice, and vintage port.
Taste was upfront strongly sweet and slightly acidic, dark chocolate and dried dark fruit, followed by a harsh bitter coffee taste that dies into a harsh coffee with cream and sugar and a vinous quality that linger mercilessly. Mouthfeel was full, syrupy, lively carbonated, and moderately alcoholic and moderately astringent towards the end.
Overall, an explosion of taste that results in a sipping beer. Took me well over an hour to finish one, and I can still taste different nuances I hadnt tasted to this point. JensenTaster (1719) - DENMARK - SEP 26, 2006
)on bottle, thanx hopscotch)Oily and black as a welldiggers butt, thisa looks imprssive. Aroma is dominated by alcohol and malts, but a surton herbyness and madeira-like feel lies under the surface, mysterious and dark. Taste is powered up by the oilyness and the herbs comes through in a big way. The 15,1% is very well hidden, but hits like a jackhammer real fast. Looong aftertaste, but not the must complex. bitbucket (2165) - Kirkland, Washington, USA - SEP 23, 2006
Bottle shared with after4ever. Pours an opaque blackish brown with a thick brown head. Aroma of chocolate cherries. The taste is very sweet (maybe a bit too sweet) with molasses, chocolate, prunes, that somehow gets to a reasonably dry finish.