Beer Name: Mephistopheles’ Stout
Brewery: Avery Brewing Co
Beer style: Double/Imperial Stout
ABV: November ‘11 Batch, 16.43%
Size: 12 oz ($8.49)
Beer Advocate Score: 90 (Brothers: 100)
After a fairly successful weekend in Vegas, I had no reason to sell my liver to the devil, but I did. Before we get into all that, I want to apologize for not reviewing any Ohio beers in a while. I keep lucking out on hard-to-find brews when visiting Kentucky and want to share those experiences with you so that you can be on the lookout for craft beer gems.
Back to Mephistopheles, this beer is basically like posting a “for sale by owner” sign on your liver and getting a single response from Dave Grohl (single best representation of the devil on screen). The 2011 batch rang in at 16.43% ABV, which is the highest I have had in a stout. I am being as humble as I can be when I say initially this beer was too much for me. I like my stouts with a big bite on the back end, but this is more like a megalodon-size bite. Knowing that this beer is meant to shock the palate, I was confident that my palate would adjust and it did. I am going to do a first and break this beer review into two parts: the first half of the glass and the second.
As soon as I popped the cap, the age of the beer let its presence known by emitting an amazing caramel and dark chocolate smell. The pour is extremely easy and carries almost zero head. The smell continues to jump out of the glass and caused me to stand in my kitchen huffing the scent for a few minutes. The first half of the glass can be described in two words: CHOCOLATE HELLFIRE.
Once my palate remembered where its daddy pants were, this beer became extremely tasty.
Taking a big whiff before each drink helped to deliver a big time buttery caramel malt taste on the front end. That malt begins to warm up and flush your cheeks. It slowly fades and bitter cocoa replaces it with what I would describe as a “baker’s chocolate” flavor. The bitter overwhelms every corner of your mouth before finishing with an alcohol bite. My mouth remained warm and full of bitter chocolate flavor between each sip. I savored each sip and it took me an hour to finish this beer.
Sessionability: 1-pack. After being forced to visit to Georgia, the devil bottled all his rage in this beer. One bottle will suffice.
Overall: 5-pack. This is a beer that should be tried by all, but is just a bit too harsh for me to hand out a golden 6-pack.
Would be best consumed: Normally I would say this is the type of beer that should be consumed alone, but I think a really good steak – and I stress the “really good” – would play off the flavor.