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Serpent's Stout - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Serpent's StoutSerpent's Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,438 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,438
Reviews: 537
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.49%
Wants: 286
Gots: 332 | FT: 30
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:
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 added by: BeerBeing on 06-10-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,438 | Reviews: 537 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the trade Crushinat0r. Pours a chocolately thick dark brown with lots of attractive dark brown head. Balance is always worth currency, and this RIS has it. Chocolate and roast and not overdone though substantially roasty. Thick mouthfeel. I have had lots of great imperial stouts recently, and this is included in the group. Satisfying and very drinkable.

Sammy, Aug 17, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of CO2 in this one. Didn't quite foam over like the Angels Share but it created a very tall brown head that had some pretty good retention to it. There was little to no light shinning through the beer in my pint glass and it was a solid black color.

Aroma was roasted and chocolatey but not too roasted. It was a nice balance. I agree with the last guy that this could probably use a year but it was pretty good brand new.

Taste was sweet and roasted with mild to moderate bitterness. Not too much coffee in the taste which is what I was expecting when I bought this. The harshness of the roasted grains were manageable but it didn't blend with the sweet flavors as well as it could have. Overall a nice tasting stout.

Body was thick and carbonated. Pretty drinkable. Would drink it again if it wasnt $11.50.

t0rin0, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5.7%

spycow, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ransackingpete for sharing this one!

Bottled sometime in 2012 (date stamp is partially smudged off).

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch dark khaki head that fades to an oily film. Small dots and streaks of lace slowly drip back into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, coffee beans, and some alcohol aromas. Chocolate chip cookie dough aromas come out as the beer warms. Taste is of dark roasted malt, chocolate chip cookie dough, roasted coffee beans, and a slight alcohol kick on the finish. There is a very nice roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good stout with some awesome aromas and flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.7%

djrn2, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -5.7%

zestar, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -5.7%

acurtis, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Served in a tulip.

Pours near black without any head other than a few bubbles forming a collar around the edges. No lacing to stick. Not a good sign in the carbonation department. The nose is slightly roasty with a good amount of chocolate. Hints of coffee as well. The flavor is pretty good with some roast and chocolate and a bit of sweetness in the background. Mouthfeel is medium without any carbonation to hold anything up. Drinkability is pretty good, even with the low carbonation.

Thorpe429, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

nmann08, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Texasfan549, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin dark tan head that died down and left wispy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: Light aromas of dark malts and chocolate are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, there are flavors of dark and chocolate malts in the taste.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. The beer tends to coat your mouth a bit.
O: This beer is quite easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

metter98, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -5.7%

GRG1313, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

kjkinsey, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a nearly black color with ruby highlights and a dark tan head that sticks impressively and patterns the glass with lace

Smell: Loads of chocolate, molasses, dark fruit char and, to some extent, licorice

Taste: Opens with a chocolate base that adds the molasses and char elements by mid-palate, with bitter dark fruit arriving as well; after the swallow, the molasses and fruit elements balance the chocolate and char to provide a complex tobacco finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This is a very nice Double Stout; consumed young it is nothing special, but with a year of age on it, the flavors have blossomed

brentk56, Jun 28, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

BEERchitect, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium brown foamy head with great retention and great lacing. Aroma of tar with some light alcohol, some coffee and a huge Belgian style malt base. Taste is also quite different then most IS out there right now and is comprised of a mix between some tar, some light coffee, load of Belgian style malt but no black chocolate note as I had expected. Full body with great carbonation and some light alcohol was discernable. I thought this was an interesting beer closer to Allagash Black then most American style IS out there.

Phyl21ca, Sep 25, 2008
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.

BuckeyeNation, May 01, 2009
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

ygtbsm94, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was thrilled when I was able to get this lovely bottle last week and I could not wait to pop it open, but knowing the strength of it, I wanted to wait until the right moment, well last night I figured was good enough and I went for it.

Appearance - This one poured out a thick dark black. Completely opaque with no light shining through I knew this one was going to be a dozy. A big chocolate brown head of foam came up over the top to a height of around three inches before it finally was able to settle down to a reasonable layer of about an inch and a half, and this hung around throughout the entire session. Very nice lacey looking webs of froth going up and down the sides of the glass really highlighted the body of this one. Very impressive looking

Smell - The aroma was huge. The first thing I noticed was a deep smell of chocolate, lots of roasted malts here. Nice hints of vanilla and lactose mingling in throughout really giving it that extra-added touch of sweetness that made it just wonderful. Loads of dark fruits underlying everything with a rich blend of raisins and plums. Nice little touches of spiced rum as well. Very complex and typical of Lost Abbey brews, very strong.

Taste - The flavor were exquisite as well. The first flavor to hit the palate was the rich chocolate malts. Very sweet on the tongue, even from the start. Nice touches of vanilla and molasses in here now as well. Very rich. Dark fruits abound through it as well, with loads of raisins, and plums now coming into clearer view. Some very nice spices in here as well, like a nice spiced rum sitting right under the surface. There was a touch of alcohol, but just a touch, and nowhere near as big as I thought it would be. Nice long lingering finish with an almost burnt or smoked chocolate on the tongue and a decent touch of hops at the end. Very nice, with a lot more yeast then I am used to seeing in a big stout, but it seems to work very well here with the fruit flavors really accenting the malts very well.

Mouthfeel - This had to be one of the smoothest and creamiest beers I have had. The feel is not super thick like you see in others, rather it relies on very nice carbonation to give it that micro bubble silky feel. Really very tight..

Drinkability - For an 11% Imperial Stout, this was absolutely as sessionable as you can get for the style. I did not even think for a second I was drinking something as big as this was. The alcohol is all but covered up and you can just sip on this one for days. Remarkable stuff going on here.

Overall, I really have to say that this one was outstanding. I was not sure what Tomme was going to do with this style, but it came out very nice, with their own little twist to it. This was more akin to the Belgian RIS style. Very big with just the right amount of yeast. Very highly recommended, you need to go get this one.

mikesgroove, Apr 15, 2008
Photo of womencantsail
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at Port/Lost Abbey

A: The pour is absolutely fantastic--almost black in color with a finger and a half worth of mocha colored head.

S: The nose is roasty with plenty of vanilla and coffee. There's also some bitter chocolate and quite a bit of booze.

T: Like the nose would indicate, the flavor is very...intense. The chocolate, coffee, roast, and vanilla are all very pleasant. Unfortunately, this beer is incredibly hot.

M: The body is on the fuller side of medium with a smooth, low carbonation and some heat on the tongue.

D: I liked some of the flavors going on in this beer, but it was just way too boozy. This beer can definitely benefit from some aging.

womencantsail, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured out as a nice looking black color with a thin tan/brown colored head on top. The smell of the beer was had a good amount of roasted malts on the nose along with some dark fruits and wooden aromas. The taste of the beer was rich with some dark chocolate notes coming through with a bitter aftertaste of burnt malts and caramel. The mouthfeel of the beer wasn't as heavy as I thought it should be. The carbonation was decent and it was still a drinkable brew. Overall it's not most impressive stout to me but I'm glad I gave it a try.

Knapp85, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an opaque black body with a small, short-lived, white head.

Smell: Predominately roasty aroma with lesser notes of dark chocolate, smoked dark fruits, spiced espresso, and oven-roasted almonds.

Taste: Roasty, burnt maltiness and a full taste of coffee and dark chocolate. Charred sugars and nuts. Slight berry-like fruitiness. A wisp of smoke. Earthy bitterness. The flavor grows increasingly roasty as it warms. Dash of spent espresso grounds. Sweetish, roast-packed finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Somewhat chewy texture.

Drinkability: Roasty to the max, baby! A very tasty, highly recommended stout from the fine folks at Lost Abbey.

ChainGangGuy, May 06, 2008
Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

SocalKicks, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of largadeer
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark mocha brown, utterly opaque, with a big fizzy head that crackles and pops for a minute or two before settling into a thin sheet.

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate and molasses. Pretty gentle on the nose; no bold aromas jump out to capture the attention.

Taste: Creamy and roasty, molasses and dark chocolate carry over from the nose with an earthy hop flavor appearing in the middle. Charred malt and molasses stick to the palate in the finish. The molasses flavor is a bit aggressive and becomes slightly cloying after a while, but this is still good.

Mouthfeel: Lost Abbey has a tendency to give their big beers a lot of carbonation, and this one is no exception. The crisp effervescence cuts through the thick and chewy body, giving this brew a pretty unique mouthfeel for the style.

Drinkability: Goes down easy for 11% ABV. Not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

largadeer, Apr 22, 2008
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Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,438 ratings.