Avery Brewing: Mephistopheles' Stout

Mephistopheles' Stout is the last installment in Avery's The Demons of Ale series. That is too bad, because after drinking this fine stout, I am interested to see what more they could do to make a more fantastic beer!

If one were to concoct this magical blend of malt, hops, yeast, sugar, and water with just ingredients lieing around the house, here is what you would need:

1 Blender (you need to mix the ingredients somehow)
1 Bar of Dark Chocolate
1/4 Cup of Ground Espresso Beans
Licorice (and not the fake red crap made by Twizzler)
1 Small Bunch of Merlot Grapes (for an added touch)

Now, just press blend, and viola! Okay, I would not recommend drinking that mixture, but, the nose of Mephistopheles' Stout is comprised of all these ingredients. If there wasn't so much alcohol in this bad boy (~16% alcohol by volume), you may spend more time just sniffing than drinking. This is a sipping beer after all and its complexity elegantly evolves as you plow through it.

I started this guy off at about 40°F (not recommended) . . . if I were to drink it again, I'd try to pour it at about 52°F to 56°F as that is about the temperature of the beer when the malt really comes through. Also, at such a low temperature, the feeling in the throat was a bit unpleasant, sort of like taking shots of rum. However, as the beer warmed, it became something that words can not describe (but I will make every attempt to do so!). First, are the hops . . . coming in at 107 IBUs, this stout is loaded with those green friends of ours. Two variates are used: Magnum and Styrian Goldings. The immense amount of malt in this beer does kill some of the bitterness that you might expect from a beer that has 107 IBUs. So, don't go pick up Mephistopheles' Stout expecting the bitterness of your standard IIPA . . . not going to happen. The Magnum hops (13-15% alpha acid) provides the bulk of the bittering and the, much lower acidic Styrian Goldings give the beer is delicate aroma.

This beer is complex, on par with some of the world's finest wines in complexity. The two notes that were most clear to me were the black malt and roasted barley. The combination of these two ingredients not only gives the Mephistopheles' Stout is charcoal black color, but also its sophisticated taste. I don't want to say that it tastes burnt, because it doesn't, but it approaches that taste . . . its like standing on the edge of a high dive looking down at a pool with no water in it . . . I, personally love this flavor in a beer, especially when drinking a high quality stout. Avery notes on the bottle that they use some added sugar (turbinado sugar) . . . makes you think when you pour this beer that you are about to indulge in something sweet, like eating half-gallons of ice cream late at night. But, taste buds do not lie . . . sweet is probably the last word I would use in describing this beast (and lets face it, when you are a beer with 16% alcohol, you are a beast). Don't get me wrong, there is a slight sweetness to the Mephistopheles' Stout, but nowhere even remotely close (like "really sweet" is the moon and the Mephistopheles' Stout is the Earth) to what you might expect.

The bottom line: Tons of dark malt + tons of hops + some special yeast + water + sugar = tons of alcohol + tons of beer goodness!


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