Avery – Mephistopheles’ Stout

avery.jpgWhoa! I guarantee that’s the first thing you’ll say if you try this beer. It’s an unapologetically gigantic American Style Imperial Stout which boasts tons of flavor and a huge malt profile – dense, with a choco-fruity character and a freakish 16% abv. Yea, it’s all that. I’ve tried some ‘Imperial’ stouts recently that really weren’t all they’re cracked up to be (cough, Fort Collins) and are essentially overblown one-dimensional efforts. The Mephistopheles, while it may be overly ambitious, is actually really interesting. It entertained me, to be honest. I felt like every sip revealed something new – and more subtle – about the flavor. It starts with a dominant sweetness, with a nod toward molasses, brown sugar, toffee and fruit. Oh, and alcohol. Did I mention that this was a 16 percent beer? I think I did, but I just drank a 16 percent beer so I can’t remember. The carbonation is relatively low, but that’s ok because you’ll never miss it with everything else that’s going on. The mouthfeel is where this beer is really a standout. It’s smooth, creamy and as thick as if it had come off a nitro tap. Very impressive for a beer straight out of a bottle. As it warms, the sweetness gives way to a more roasted texture with a nut-flavored coffee aftertaste – pleasant. If there is one downfall to the brew is that you probably shouldn’t have more than one. It’s not exactly a beer you can burn through and crack open another. In fact, mine took a solid 45 minutes to finish, so carve out some time on your schedule for this one. Overall, however, this beer is great. Sure, you can point to the overpowering flavors, abv, boldness, or whatever to pick it apart, but c’mon, beers like this are fun. It’s not for the faint of heart and you’ll probably need to be a true stout lover to really ‘get it’ , but if you fall into that category you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Another great effort from Avery.

Cheers, ~G

4_25.png score 4.25


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