Today the Stone Arch Brew House brewery team decided to write an article on a beer we were very fortunate to receive. We were the lucky recipient of one out of a total of 12 cases that even made its way into the great state of ours. It is a hard beer to acquire and hard to keep in inventory even with its hefty price tag. At the time of writing this article, the Stone arch Tap Room has it available in 12 ounce bottles and it is something to search out indeed. The beer…..Mephistopheles Stout from Avery Brewing out of Boulder, Colorado. BUT BEWARE – this one is not for the faint of heart packing a powerful alcohol by volume content of 17.1%.
With the demonic name of Mephistopheles, the label needs to stand out. Avery nailed it on that! A reversed metallic image of a devil with the words “the Demons of Ale” placed preciously between the devil horns on his head. The familiar red and white Avery logo front and center at the labels bottom and topped with bright red foil, also boasting the Avery logo, makes this a bottle you can pick out in a crowd. Do so if you’re able to locate one. Taylor said it best when he stated “The angry devil on the label strikes fear into my heart for the imminent doom of glory that awaits us”. Well said, my friend.
13 ounce stemmed Belgian snifter glasses were used at this sampling. Allowed to warm, the pour was thick and slow like 10W-40 motor oil. The color wasn’t too far off either, dark brown to almost black with a dense brown head that diminished rather quickly but held strong lacing throughout our tasting experience.
The nose was boozy or alcoholic for sure. It was accompanied by chocolate, caramel, nutty and dark fruit scents as well. All of this made the beer pretty inviting in an intimidating sort of way. The flavors that blasted us after our first sip were quite similar to what the nose identified; boozy, chocolate, caramel, nutty and dark fruits. A few other flavors popped up like anise, roasted malt and an intense rich sweetness. A dark cherry finish was a common note amongst our team. Of course the high alcohol content created a lasting warm sensation that filled your palette, mind, body and soul. A dry, roasted coffee tone was also a common descriptor our team used to describe the lasting finish.
The Stone Arch Brew team was asked what they feel this beer would pair well with. Unfortunately we did not test any of these theories (yet that is).
Here is what was said: Chocolate desserts, tiramisu and red meats. Personally a pairing I envisioned was a thick cut porterhouse cooked to medium over pecan chip infused natural charcoal. Side this plate with roasted carrots and Peruvian potatoes. Dessert could very well be a mint chocolate cheesecake and finished off with a fine cigar. If you really wanted to take it to the next level, pipe in some music from Chuck Magione or Steely Dan for a great audible pairing.
Proudly boasting the last name of owner and Brewmaster Adam Avery, Avery Brewing was first incorporated in September, 1993. Located in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, Avery Brewing has experienced consistent growth throughout their 22 year run. Avery started out with a seven barrel brew system and utilized older seven barrel grundys as fermenters and bright tanks to get their brand rolling. In 1994 one of their three flagship beers earned a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Production steadily increased and a Meheen bottler was added to offer 22 ounce bomber bottles to the market. Bigger tanks and a larger filter soon followed. Then, in 1996, six packs of 12 ounce bottles of Avery I.P.A. hit the streets. With almost instant success of this beer and the successes of their other flavors, things progressed rapidly. By the time they celebrated their 10 year anniversary, things got crazy! Constant expansions and focusing on their barrel aged beers and special releases has created a path to success for Avery. The continued higher demand is met by expansions and additions allowing this fine brewery to continue their upward trend in the industry.
In 2014, Avery announced that a multi-million dollar (and I mean multi-million) expansion would take place increasing their annual production capacity to 100,000 barrels. Avery is now available in 12 ounce bottles, 22 ounce bomber bottles, cans and kegs.
FINAL WORD: Set out to acquire this beer but handle with extreme care!