Serpent's Stout - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Serpent's StoutSerpent's Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

553 Reviews

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Reviews: 553
Hads: 1,628
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 14.52%
Wants: 312
Gots: 412 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 553 | Hads: 1,628
Reviews by everetends:
Photo of everetends
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My girlfriend and I shared a tulip of this as our last beer on the way out of Toronado San Diego. She ordered after hearing a description while I was talking to my new friends. I was trying to avoid Lost Abbey brews due to a few moral issues with Tomme but there it was, and I gave it a go.

A: This one hit the bar in front of us as . . . a black stout. Right in line with what one expects. It has an opaque body that is black as night. The body is glossy and shiny. The head sitting on top of this pour is a deep mocha in color and sits a little over a finger (the dude at Toronado had all of his pours down). The head is sticky and tosses up some pretty good lace, only a little bit slides back down into the glass, creating a nice webbing all over the glass.

S: Its chocolaty. Lots of dark and milk chocolate coming out of the glass. Behind that is a bit more lactose/milk/cream. Vanilla makes itself known along with a little bit coffee bean. With all of that mentioned, the most prevelant aroma is that of alcohol. Not a distinct booze of any type, just alcohol. Other than that, not getting a whole lot. I expected a little more complexity but mostly getting the usual suspects of a stout with no real wow factor. It smells good though.

T: It . . . tastes good. Actually pretty damn good. It has a serious dose of chocolate but still remains not too sweet. Hops are cutting it down, but its not hoppy. Its well crafted in this department. It still is a sweet stout, but its not out of hand at all. Lots of dark chocolates and milk chocolates that are really creamy. Lots of milk and cream coming through. Coffee and vanilla work their way into the mix to add a little bit more. Little bit of roast brings some smoke and bitterness. Dark fruits (dark berries) and hazelnut make an appearance. There is a little bit of citrus (hops) coming out that brings a light chocolate covered orange flavor every once in a while. This rounds off with a little bit of nougat.

M: Full bodied with a light carbonation. This beer is thick, creamy, and smooth. It coats the mouth but doesn't over stay its welcome. ABV is present. Brings the heat on the throat and tummy tum. Finishes a little sweet but not cloying. After taste isn't far off from Nutella (which is one of my favorite flavors).

D: Its good. I was afraid that was going to happen. This is pretty damn well crafted and tasty. It could use a bit more in the nose arena and the ABV could be hidden a bit more, but still it is nice. Its not in that ELITE category of Imperial Stouts but it is close. It was a good deal on tap but the bottles I saw for $13+ were a bit of a turn off. I would have it on draft again, but I can't see myself buying a bottle. Well done.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of 05Harley
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

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...

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of aszatk01
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ricke
3.95/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of joemetric
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of jose_alehouseSD
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of DahWag
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of freshflesh
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Afroman
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Beaver13
3.18/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

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Photo of freydaddy
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of Britton
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of tigg924
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of aquazr1
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of badbeer
3.1/5  rDev -26.2%
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.

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Photo of reitzbrewing
4.79/5  rDev +14%
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

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Photo of Mora2000
4.37/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
93 out of 100 based on 553 ratings.