Serpent's Stout - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Serpent's StoutSerpent's Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,602 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,602
Reviews: 562
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.49%
Wants: 305
Gots: 409 | FT: 38
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-10-2007

The history of the bible and religion is indeed the struggle of good vs. evil. Our Serpent’s Stout recognizes the evil of the dark side that we all struggle with.This is a massively thick and opaque beer that begs the saints to join the sinners in their path to a black existence.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,602 | Reviews: 562
Reviews by Devinph:
More User Reviews:
Photo of 05Harley
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Bottled on 2009

Discovered this gem in my cellar while cleaning out some near empty beer boxes.
Purchased @ at Julio's Liquors, Westborough Mass on 7/22 for 13.99/bomber. Really, don't ask O.C.D.

As holy as this beer looks on the outside when poured you can see the inside is full of the dark side, almost evil like. When held up to the light I get nothing, just dark matter... A frothy tan curtain covers the top for a minute or two before fading to a thin sheen with bubbles clinging to the sides. Appearance is raw beauty!

The nose is full, rich and roasty. The oak comes in nicely breaking through the dark chocolate barrier revealing even more secrets of licorice, coffee and dare I say the scent of a good cigar, faack.

The taste buds dance over the flavor of dark chocolate, roasted malt, black licorice, burnt sugar and an overlay of vanilla. A very flavorfull example of the style.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth with a warm feeling of heat quick on it's heels. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy with some bitterness joining the party in the end.

Overall this beer continues to hold my interest. I've been diving into this one for years and feel lucky enough to have stumbled upon one stored properly with a good amount of age. I was surprised to see I hadn't reviewed this in the past but here it is #175...

Photo of BEERchitect
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Substantially malty and chocked full of roasted grain flavor- The Lost Abbey continues to churn out world class beer after world class beer. Imperial Stout: check!

Opening with a deeply hued bark-brown color, the beer is absolutely opaque but not because of haze. In fact, the beer carries an onyx-like sheen; rather the inability for light to pass seems because of the sheer density of roasted malts. An abundance of carbonation fuels a huge froathy tan head and laces with intermitten patterns of foam on the glass. The beer delivers everything that's expected from stouts- at least to the eye.

Strong aromas of roasted grain hinges on burnt scent of grain, but releases just in time for the moderate scent of burnt caramel instead. Malted milk, rummy alcohol, cherry-like esters, and nail polish remover are just a hint of elements that hide beneath the blanket espresso, cocoa powder, walnut, grass and charred woods.

Flavors follow similarly with the bulk of the emphasis on espresso, wood fired malts and woods, bitter cocoa, walnut, slightly scorched toffee, malted milk, and a slight grassy taste that morphs evenly into mild resin bitterness in finish. Strong alcohols are somewhat distracting with the flavor of acetone and rumy sweetness.

Full bodied, but not as insane as many newer Imperial Stouts. Instead Serpent's relies on a firm malty early texture that's lifted by the airy carbonation and high attenuation- the beer seems to lift off of the tongue with ease in comparison to it's fullness. Creaminess subsides at mid palte and ushers in a malty-dry finish of acrid roasted grains, coffee grounds, and mild powdery ash.

Though quite dry and efforvescent, the lack of sweetness here allows the brunt of alcohol and burnt grain to reveal the rougher edges that cause slight difficulty in drinkability although the flavor profile sings praises. Unfortunately, heartburn inducing acids limit this beers ease of enjoyment.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as sin. No highlights are seen, in spite of bright afternoon sunshine behind the glass. An incredibly loud pop! on cork extraction was followed by the creation of a massive head of caramel colored foam that has a whipped creamy texture. A generous amount of lace only adds to the magnificence.

The nose is full-to-bursting with a roasted maltiness in which dark chocolate is much more prominent than black coffee. The beer has a freshly baked brownies aroma that is lightly accented with American hops. Increased intensity with warming allows the score to be increased without a second thought.

I am continually amazed at how many different styles The Lost Abbey nails to the wall... with authority. SS is a wonderful ADS that's almost as good as Santa's Little Helper, which is the only other big stout that I've had from this brewery (if Port Brewing counts as 'this brewery').

Serpent's Stout teeters on the edge of greatness in the flavor department. The first few ounces had 4.0 written all over them. After the next few, 4.5 is making a serious case for consideration. It looks like the final call will have to wait until the second half of the 750 ml bottle. I need to finish this review before the beer is gone because the 11.0% ABV is beginning to work its magic with a stealthy efficiency.

Even if it isn't as thunderously black malty and as mind-bogglingly complex as The Abyss, Serpent's Stout means business. Flavors include double chocolate fudge brownies made with generous amounts of coffee, vanilla and blackstrap molasses. A background citrus fruitiness is welcome, even if the alpha acids are fighting a losing battle against the tidal wave of malt sugars. Maybe it's the alcohol talking, but 4.5 is now an easy call.

This is one of those big beers whose mouthfeel improves the more it sits. The reason is slightly too harsh carbonation early on. Now that almost half an hour has passed, the bubbles have calmed considerably and the beer is nougat chewy and borderline thick. Exactly like I like 'em.

My experience is that beer from The Lost Abbey is anywhere from good to great to world-class. Serpent's Stout isn't at the pinnacle, but it's one of the best offerings from one of the best American craft breweries in business today. Bottom line: sinfully delicious and devilishly drinkable. Thanks Tomme. Long may you brew.

Photo of ricke
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a small black beige head that quickly settles into a fine ring of lacings.

S: Not overly powerful, but still with a pleasant character of roasted malts and delightful fruity notes. Quite a lot of coffee. Hints of chocolate and vanilla.

T: A somewhat sweet taste with gently roasted malts and coffee to the fore. Fruits are more muted than in the smell. Some tannins. Notes of chocolate. The finish is somewhat bitter with a faint salty note of licorice, and a hint of wood. The alcohol provides a nice warming sensation, but not much to the flavors. All in all, quite tasty and balanced nut not overly powerful or complex.

M: Full bodied with a velvety texture. Mild carbonation seems to fit the laid back character of the beer well.

D: I think I was expecting more from this. Still a good beer, though. It's well composed, but it could use a bigger spectrum or aromas and flavors.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue V:

Riding on the whole "original sin" theme, darkness and evil, we are now tempted enough to give this brew a go. Lively carbonation brings a slow foam right out of the bottle, not a gusher but a creeper. Quick to foam though the lace does dissipate into the thin ring. Dark as the darkest night: opaque and sooty. Mild acrid tartness in the nose, sweet chocolate cake in the aroma and flavor. Carbonation is super fine on the palate with a fluffy, full body. Again, chocolate cake and dark chocolate. Sweetness is mild and up front. Ever so faint tartness, but a more prominent woody flavor in the middle. Hint of rich molasses and black currants in the back. Modest hop character, that's fine as the roasted character takes care of keeping the balance. Doesn't taste like an 11 percent beer at all, extremely deceiving even with a slight warmth from the alcohol.

A very delicious bottle-conditioned stout, impressive and drinkable for 11 percent. The more it warms up the better it gets. Malt flavors are really in sync with each other. A must try in our book because it stands out from the rest of the Lost Abbey lineup as being one of their best.

Photo of Beaver13
3.18/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours black with a small light brown head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is fudgy lactic chocolate malts, black licorice and some alcohol.

The flavor is sweet fudgy chocolate malts and molasses with a charred roast, black licorice and some alcohol. The finish is a lot of charred bitterness and alcohol. The mouthfeel is lighter than expected - light to medium bodied with low carbonation and kind of watery.

Overall, starts off promising, but it's just too hot, charred and unbalanced for me to truly like. I remember this beer being a lot more decadently sweet, and liking it a lot more that way.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Typical L.A. bomber, caged and corked, w/o vintage nor freshness info (it would kinda be nice to have this info on beers like this one) Pours black, with a very dark tan head, that leaves moderate slippery lace. Espresso mostly in the nose, with whiffs of mocha and vanilla. Dense, deeply flavorful brew. More espresso, layers of cocoa, mocha and burnt/dark malty goodness. Sweetness is somewhat counterbalanced by some fairly subtle and late to the party hops. All in all a tasty and thoroughly enjoyable dark and muddy creation., Highly recommended.

Photo of tigg924
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, dark brown in color, opaque

Smell: chocolate, roasted malt, and cream

Taste: big dose of chocolate--both dark and milk, roasted malt, and cream, subtle coffee and a touch of nut

Mouthfeel: light bodied for the style, light carbonation, sweet start with a slightly bitter end.

Drinkability: I really like the complex multiple layers of chocolate going on here. I do want this again. This is worth the price and is a really good beer.

Photo of badbeer
3.1/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a beige head that retains fairly well and leaves bits of lacing on the glass. Smell is of malted milk balls, earthy hops, light roast and plenty of booze. Taste of light caramel, a touch of coffee, earthy, grassy hops, malted milk balls and fusels. Medium body and higher than medium carbonation. Had this beer a few times and I fail to understand the extremely high ratings. They make other beers I enjoy quite a bit, but this isn't one.

Photo of reitzbrewing
4.79/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On draft in a Lost Abbey tulip glass. Wouldn't guess that it is 11%. Alcohol very well hidden with the malt

Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours dark brown to black with a tan head. The aroma is brown sugar with roasted malt, smoke, dark chocolate and coffee. The flavor is chocolate, oak, vanilla, coffee and roasted malt. The alcohol is very well hidden. Medium-thick mouthfeel and low carbonation. Another very good beer from Lost Abbey/Port Brewing.

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

tasted a 1 yr old bottle. dark brown and totally opaque. sweet aroma. notes of fruit. sweetness and bitter on the tongue but very thin. i like a stout that i can almost chew. overall, a very good stout.

Photo of magictrokini
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a dense brown head of tiny bubbles. Roast malt, leather, cigar, bacon, coffee, chocolate and charcoal in the aroma. Huge is not a big enough descriptor for the roasted malt. It hits like a sledgehammer. Smoked bacon, dark chocoalte, cocoa powder, and coffee are also there en masse. Nice alcoholic warmer at the back. Smooth, velvet mouthfeel. I could drink this all night.

Photo of jondeelee
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serpent’s Stout opens with a rich, malty aroma that can be smelled from quite a few inches away. Deep and complex, the nose bears coffee, tobacco, ash, milk chocolate, chocolate malt, black malt, and a heavy earthiness, as of fresh loam. Mixed in with these darker notes are a few caramels, brown sugar, molasses, and handfuls of fig, black cherry, and date fruit esters. Smatterings of grapefruit and pine speak of a decent hopping. As a whole, the nose speaks to an excellently crafted stout, the ingredients varied and finely chosen to create a wide-ranging series of aromas. The nose does fade slightly after a time, this being about my only complaint here, but still remains enticing.

On the tongue, the beer is as big and dark as the nose implies, being full of ash, coffee, tobacco, black and chocolate malt. The sugars are more present here, however, bringing in heavy cream, caramel, brown sugar, and molasses. Fig and black cherry fruit esters add complexity, and the malts also contribute a thick brown bread and toast crust effect. The most noticeable difference is the larger hop presence, which adds a good layer of grapefruit and, to a lesser extent, pine. The aftertaste is heavy on ash and tobacco, with lingering sugars and breads, and a heavy alcoholic vapor, this last note somewhat detracting from the effect (though it says much that the 11% ABV is hardly noticeable during the main mouthful). Mouthfeel is medium to medium-high, and carbonation is medium to medium-light.

Overall, this is excellent stout, the flavors wide-ranging and complex, but working together in great harmony. The extra shot of ash and tobacco at the end of the swallow is a very nice closing touch as well. I did find the high grapefruit notes somewhat counterintuitive to the blackness, and the alcoholic vapors in the aftertaste were a bit much, but even with that, I’d easily purchase another bottle or three of this one.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark black, brown head, good lacing. Aroma was roasty nuts, coffee flavor not too prominent in there. Surprised at the smell of some bitter hops in this.

Chocolate comes out more on the tongue, but never sweet, amazed how well this hides the alcohol. Not overly thick. Smooth. Mildly oaky, nowhere near the presence of the barrel fermented version though. Tobacco and leather elements to it.

Kind of strange how this is only $11 for a 750 bottle. . . I guess it doesn't sit in a barrel. Anyways, about the best price/quality ratio from LA.

Photo of mondegreen
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a Stone IRS Tulip.

Pours the blackest pitch black with a nice mocha cap. Looks every bit of the 11% stout it purports to be.

Aroma is huge chocolate. Beneath the mocha lies a layer of rich roast and a faint alcohol/hop bite.

The initial taste is roasty coffee, followed by sweet chocolate. Finishes slightly bitter with a touch of lingering heat.

Mouth is medium. Surprisingly light for the ABV, but not detrimentally so.

Drinks very very well, all factors considered. If it were cheaper, it could be a go-to for me.

Photo of williamjbauer
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled served in conical pint glass on 4/30/12

A - Obsidian 2ith no light penetrating with 2 finger light brown with great retention with good lacing.

S - Strong alcohol at first with sweet caramel and molasses notes.

T - Very strong alcohol followed with great caramel and molasses and then some dark chocolate with a slightly bitter and a fiery smokey bitter scotch like finish.

M - Full body and moderate carbonation with a chewy finish.

O - Really enjoyed this one with my dad, but wish the EtOH was a little more subtle at its 11%, but really nice smokey finish.

Photo of chinchill
3.52/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery in San Marcos.

Pours black with a short-lived head that leaves little lacing.

Aroma: moderately strong and dominated by dark-roasted malts.

Flavor: more funky and less fruity than the aroma, but not challenging to drink. Lightly bitter finish.

Feel: medium body; medium-light carbonation.

O: good, not great. High ABV is too obvious.

Photo of rudylaw
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the 750ml bottle into a snifter, it in fact, looks like a typical RIS. Nice and dark, with a 1-1.5 tan head that diminishes to a ring.

In the nose, flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and dark fruits. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

I taste plum, cocoa powder and chocolate. Not too much coffee on my tongue. Very sweet, which detracts from the drinkability factor. Mouthfeel is silky smooth... very nice.

All in all, a good stout. I would definitely have again... just not for $11.

Photo of OStrungT
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pouts an inky black color, with a massive, pillowy brown head. The head fades VERY slowly, leaving a thick curtain of lace. When held to light, nothing penetrates this murky beer.

This beer has a strong bitter chocolate aroma. A sweet maltyness is present. Lots of dark fruit, plumbs, raisins, and figs. It has a slight alcohol aroma, but at 10.5%, I would expect as much.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Strong bitter chocolate, with a very noticable dark fruit flavor. The alcohol is also present in the flavor.

This beer is very full bodied. It is very thick, and the carobnation is low, fitting the style perfectly.

This beer might not be the best session beer. It is high in alcohol, and it has a very aggressive flavor. That being said, it is great, and I can definately see myself having a bottle often.

Overall: This beer is great. I am happy to have got the chance to try it. I have a few more bottles, and I am interested to see how it holds up. Another great beer from Lost Abbey.

Photo of jeonseh
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poure into CBS Snifter

A - Color is dark brown. The beer is opaque as no light shines through with a small light brown head sitting at the edges of the glass. Doesn't look too thick and as I swirl on the glass its body leaves a slight stickiness on the sides of the glass.

S - On the whole, the beer has a strong, fragrant nose. Smells of burnt caramel, light coffee, black licorice, dark chocolate. The anise blends in nicely and adds a nice unique profile to the nose. As the beer heats up, the anise becomes a bit more prominent. The nose also gives no hints of the 11% within it.

T - Taste initially has a light sweetness to it. I note candied datesand plums. After the initial dark fruit flavors, the coffee comes in slightly to give the beer a touch of bitterness. There is also roasted malts that come through. The anise comes in on the finish and sits on the tongue. One thing to note is that the flavors blend together well. Nothing overpowers and each has a chance to show itself and plays off of each other.

MF - The body is medium. It has light carbonation that goes well with the beer's mild taste profile (mild in that nothing is overpowering). A nice, slight stickiness to it that fits nicely.

O - Overall, a good, well-balanced stout from Lost Abbey, which is not a style that comes to find when I think of them. I thought the anise profile in the nose made this one stand out a bit compared to a normal stout

Photo of glid02
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this courtesy of 3frog at Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, AZ.

Pours pitch black with a one-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of robust roasted malts with smooth dark chocolate and hints of coffee. Everything that should be in a stout.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted malts and chocolate flavors hit the palate at almost the same time, with a lightly roasted coffee bitterness that comes in at the end.

Mouthfeel is great. A great thickness mixes with soft carbonation to make this go down very smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I easily finished what I had and could finish a bomber or two myself, even at 10.5%.

Overall this was a very solid IS in which everything was done very nicely. Certainly worth a shot if you come across it.

Photo of pwoods
3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged 750ml brown bottle poured into a snifter. Notes.

A: Pours dark brown with some vinous quality. Decently thick mocha head with good retention and lacing.

S: A bit of strong Belgian spices. roasty notes with some sweet berries. Rich, sweet malts.

T/M: Big hop presence. roasted, charred, lightly woody malts. Rich sweetness, maybe a bit of molasses. Some chocolate and coffee towards the finish. Finishes dry with pleasant alcohol throughout. Body is about full with somewhat high carbonation.

D: Drinks a bit easier from the higher carbonation but still a big beer.

Photo of Brenden
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

#7 1/24/14

This big stout pours out a rich, heavy dark brown with a surprisingly active carbonation helping to build up the brown head that forms to crown this beer. It's opaque except at the very edges, seeming to be black in the body but with some give further out. The head tops out at one finger, holds itself together well and leaves a ring of lacing at the top followed by a blend of spotting and patching beneath.
This beer is huge with roasty malts, nearly giving a burnt edge to the grains, definitely char, but no astringency on the nose or palate. It's a fantastic blend of dry and sweet, with cocoa powder and still-dry pressed fine-ground espresso balancing some moist cake effected by the sweeter notes with the cocoa, some vanilla to boot, and a rummy but not too boozy note. Woody notes continue dry from the middle to the finish, where a meaty nuttiness, tart dark fruits, and a hint of blackstrap ease in. It's big, complex and delicious.
In the feel, the body shows a fullness without being overly weighty. It's big for sure but not as thick on the tongue as many. Dryness runs all the way through it, but the sweetness keeps up and a certain creaminess lifts it a bit. There's no acridity or harshness, even as the dryer notes hit the palate in the finish.

Photo of Shawner
3.05/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nothing went right with this beer......big mess!

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Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 1,602 ratings.