Avery Brewing Co. was founded in September 1996 in scenic Boulder, Colo. by Adam Avery.
For years the company produced beers in a seven barrel fermentor and thus distribution was very limited. Regardless, the company garnered a reputation for brewing up top-notch eclectic ales. In 2015, Avery Brewing Co. opened a new $30 million dollar facility allowing it to increase reach to new areas of distribution. In contrast, it discontinued seven of its older recipes in order to increase output for their barrel-aged series.
One of the discontinued beers is the focus of today’s review. Mephistopheles, part of The Demons of Ale Series, is a massive imperial stout that uses Aromatic, Black, Roasted, Special B and 2-Row malts and a “hellion” of a Belgian yeast strain. The alcohol content has varied from year-to-year with some being upwards of 16.2 percent and some going all the way down to 14.6 percent.
The blackest incarnation of the second fallen angel is revealed in the darkness of the pour. Settling into the glass is what appears as a supermassive black hole into which no amount of sobriety can escape. The beast rabidly froths producing a solid inch and a half worth of light brown head. Aromas bellowing forth carry notes of dark chocolate, molasses, raisins and burnt toast. A Belgian yeast character is also distinct on the nose; think “roasty quad.”
This purgatorial offering showcases flavors consisting of espresso, dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses and Belgian yeast. A slight burning and warming sensation rises in the chest reminding me of the hellish alcohol content. The biggest thing to note here is the heft of the beer on the palate. This is the heaviest beer I have ever drank without being syrupy thanks to the ample level of carbonation. Dark Lord doesn’t have shit on Mephistopheles, this beer is actually enjoyable.