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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
94
outstanding

1,374 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,374
Reviews: 533
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.49%
Wants: 284
Gots: 323 | FT: 28
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 06-10-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,374 | Reviews: 533 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a light brown head. In the aroma, roasted malt, chocolate, and a sweet oatmeal. In the taste, a nice sweet and roasted malt with hints of chocolate. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry roast and dark chocolate in the aftertaste. Smooth and thinner than expected, but hides the 11% and tasty.

OWSLEY069, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of notyourdadsbeer
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml at Euclid Hall into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black, thick dark brown head, great lacing.

S: Chocolate, molasses, roasted malts, blended with the essence of coffee

T: Strong roasted malts, chocolate to begin with coffee to finish. Very boozy on finish- goes down hot.

M: Mild carbonation, full bodied, hot and slightly boozy.

D: Very large beer that will be a sipper. Age could do it some good but it’s very drinkable now.

notyourdadsbeer, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of chicano4craft
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a snifter. This was one of the easiest corks I've ever removed.

Pours pitch black with a fingers worth of bubbly and foamy tan head. The lacing is quite good and sticky. Great looking beer for any RIS fan.

Big chocolate and roasted malt in the nose. There's also a big burnt coffee smell. It seems to get a little sweeter as it warms. The high alcohol is well hidden at first. It becomes more prevelant as it warms. It takes the form of alcohol soaked figs and molasses.

The beer hits my taste buds with everything expected from the nose. The burn from the alcohol is hotter than I thought it would be. Nothing I can't handle and it adds it's own character. Could use a few more hops to bitter the sweetness a tad. This is a minor complaint. I've always thought this beer was under the radar.

Mouthfeel is solid. I like the heaviness without overwhelming the taste buds with a syrupy feel.

One of my favorites. I look forward to drinking a bottle all by myself. Of course the big ABV means a night of one and done.

chicano4craft, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into snifter glass. thanks to cjo for sharing.

Pours an inky black, thick layer of coffee brown head, retains with filmly legs and a bit of lacing.

Nice hoppiness in the nose with deep chocolate and cocoa, some coffee roastyness, malted sweetness and a hint of dark fruit with anise.

Bitter hops up front quickly followed by rich malts with sweet caramel. Dark fruit creeps through with candied dates. Smoked hints, coffee and chocolate underlying. Some slight boozy warmth towards the finish with more dry hops.

Full body, mild carbonation (no it's not flat), creamy and easy on the palate. Surprisingly easy to drink for the ABV and really nice flavor, a delicious imperial stout, I'm glad I have another bottle.

xnicknj, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of PSUDREW
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: beer pours a deep black, with a foamy dark tan head. Lots of lace.
S: Hints of chocolate. alcohol notes. not much else to speak of with my bottle
T: Little bit of raisin in the after-taste. roasted flavor, some chocolate. But the roasted flavor and a strong alcohol (not over baring, but it is there through out) flavor really are pronounced, and not in a bad way. Interesting mix, plays out but nothing overloads the other
M: Very full bodied, smooth, and there is some carbonation to boot.
O: I didn't know what to expect, but this was pretty impressive

PSUDREW, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of dcsoke
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011
A: Pours dark as night with a light brown foamy head that quickly subsides. Leaves a thick lining on the side of the glass.

S: Chocolate roast aroma with the smell of alcohol. The alcohol will probably subside with aging.

T: Very roasty, like a cool espresso. Chocalate and molasses like flavors are also present. Again, the high alcohol comes through but should subside with aging.

M: Big bodied stout that's lightly carbonated. Great mouthfeel, beware of the fullness after a glass.

O: Great stout, one of the better to date but not the best. I'd definitely buy again next year and compare an aged bottle to fresh.

dcsoke, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of uturn
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle is dated 2009. I was a little worried about the condition of this bottle as I noticed that the cork was working its way out of the bottle despite the cage and that the exposed cork was discolored.

750 ml corked & caged bottle poured into Kastaar tulip.

A: When I pulled out the cork I heard only the slightest hiss. Now I was really worried about this bottle. The beer poured a pitch black and to my delight it had a one finger dark brown head meaning that it did not go totally flat due to a cork problem. The head did dissipate quickly and left a very minimal but sticky lacing on the glass.

S: The nose was of dark chocolate, dark dried fruit, vanilla and roasted coffee.

T: The taste was sweet of dark roasted malts with strong notes of chocolate upfront, then milder hints of roasted coffee, vanilla and some dark dried fruits.

M: The mouthfeel was of a medium to heavy viscosity and was as smooth as silk on the tongue, with low carbonation (either by design or due to the cork issue).

D: The drinkability was amazingly good for an 11%abv brew.

This is a sipper for such, but the alcohol level was not the reason, it was just that I wanted this bottle to last forever. Like most Imperial Stouts it greatly improved as it warmed in the glass.

uturn, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of jnn4v
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottling, tasted in 2011.

A: Black and very stout-like. Actually appears to have carbonation, despite being bottled by Lost Abbey. Tan head.

S: Chocolate, cocoa powder, day-old coffee, and molasses. Smells absolutely delicious.

T: Chocolate, molasses, and some serious alcohol burn in the aftertaste. The non-alcohol flavors are well balanced and very smooth. Seems like a nicely integrated stout.

M: Mild to moderate carbonation. Good viscosity - middle of the road mouthfeel for an imperial stout. A bit too hot, though.

O: Seems like a good overall beer. Difficult to consume in large quantity but appropriate flavors for the category. Nothing terribly detrimental, but nothing exemplary either.

jnn4v, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of d4114
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Jet black with about 1/2 finger of head

S- Roasted malt, caramel, coffee and alcohol

T- At the front its pretty bitter, it then cuts to sweet but fades to the flavor the yeast

M- Smooth; You can taste the alcohol but you would never know its 11%

O- Very tasty, smooth and creamy; Its drinks really well for such a big beer

d4114, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of TheFightfan1
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Opague black Extremely heavy coffee colored heading. That leaves excellent lacing and keeps a nice collar all the way down to the last gulp.

The nose however is very average. Your basic coffee notes,chocolate,slight hot boozey notes.

Taste is much more enhancing than the nose. An amazing chocolate fluid invades the mouth.The burning booziness takes over the ride and throws this into second gear for a bit. Big american hops really flexes it's muscle and takes over for a much smoother,bitter finish.

Fuller than full bodied,and the carbonation stays intact and stings the palate all throughout the tasting.

The 11% ABV is intimidating but in no way a chore to sip. This is quite drinkable and goes down smoothly.

TheFightfan1, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of azdback
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Pours as black as the heart of Lucifer himself. Holding this up to direct light yields no transparency whatsoever. This beer has one of the prettiest heads I have ever seen. 4 fingers of mochaccino colored perfection.

Th aroma is very complex. There is so much going on here. Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, alcohol. Sort of reminiscent of Victory at Sea, by Ballast Point (another San Diego great) there is also some spicyness, star anise, fennel, and black peppercorns. Ethanol is prevalent as well.

Man..not quite what I was expecting from the taste. A lot of the nuances of the smell are lost to the alcohol at the beginning, but the coffee and chocolate do power through at the end. A little tangyness at the end also takes away any trace of the spices, and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is a little disappointing for the style. It is a little watery. Not the explosive, taffy like chewiness that I get from something like The Abyss.

Perhaps the anticipation was more than I could bare. As it warms and I sip, some of those initial spices are starting to poke out. The licorice is starting to come out. The smell is still amazing, but by the time it hits me tongue, I am still slightly disappointed. All in all this is a great beer, and one that I recommend everyone give a try.

azdback, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of ptykozoon
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pretty damn dark. Trying to find color in this thing is a challenge. A nice mocha frappuccino tinted head lasts. Pretty faultless actually.

Coffee, chocolate, raisin.

Taste is sweet, the chocolate coffee dances around the abv which is sharp in this one. There is also a subtle sweet fruit character (grape?) that lets this one stand out.

The abv is very noticeable, was guessing 10% at least.

This is not the most complex nor subtle stout I've had but I am particularly fond of the taste regardless. This seems like a regular purchase type beer for me.

ptykozoon, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of perrymarcus
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked & caged bottle served in a snifter.
bottled date illegible.

pours a thick, opaque jet black tone with maybe 1" creamy/foamy mocha colored head that dissipates into a collar fairly quickly but leaves impressive lacing.

nose is fantastic. rich, bold notes of chocolate and coffee up front, followed by roasted malt, anise, and vanilla in the background. a bit boozy, but overall pretty much just what i look for in my imperial stouts. very nice.

taste largely follows the nose. nice layering of the chocolate, coffee, roastiness et al. alcohol is present but not overwhelming, esp. considering its 11% ABV. a vague touch of astringency to the finish but not enough to significantly detract from the taste.

creamy, medium-full mouthfeel with about average carbonation.

overall this is a fantastic, well-crafted imperial stout. perhaps not a candidate for world class status, but highly enjoyable nonetheless.

perrymarcus, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of justintcoons
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a half finger of fluffy brown head that dissipates at a moderate pace. Medium-low carbonation and nice lacing.

N: Dark chocolate, espresso, ripe dark fruit, roasted barley and some booze.

T: Bitter dark chocolate, espresso, ripe plums, tobacco, molasses and toffee. Finishes bitter with citrus, floral hops and fruity pebbles?

M: Thick and uber-creamy!

D: Decent drinkability. Still some booze taste in this one but a fine candidate for cellaring!

justintcoons, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of JLeege
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage ~ poured into a LA tulip

Appearance- Pours jet black, no light entering the glass; with a nice dense two finger brown head. Good retention, good lacing too.

Smell- Lots of roast, bitter coffee and lighter chocolate notes. Anise, and a bit smoky as well.

Taste- More chocolate and little less roast in the taste. There still is the bitter coffee, but loads of sweet chocolate and even moist chocolate cake is more present. There is a hint of dark fruit in the middle, caramel, anise again, and a quick wave of smoke. Almost reminiscent of a chocolate crème brulee. Slight alcohol on the finish, but it doesn't burn or retract from the overall flavor. Lingering slightly bitter and chewy chocolate on the palate. Excellent.

Mouthfeel- Medium full body, completely coating, yet not to sticky. Perfect amount of carbonation (GASP!). Perfection personified.

Overall- I love big stouts, and seem to always give them high scores, and this is one of the best ones I have had. Incredibly smooth beer, with a great depth of flavors. Very impressed, this 11% 750 is going down quite quickly. (Reminds me a lot of the 2010 Surly Darkness)

JLeege, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of seeswo
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL Bottle recently split at a tasting that included the regular, the bourbon barrel and the barrel fermented versions. Pours black with a small tannish brown head. Smells of roast, chocolate and a bit of anise. Nice full body and creamy. The taste is like the nose. This beer has a really nice balance to the flavor, which becomes more evident against the other options. The anise element lingers in the flavor that coats the tongue. Really enjoyable. Low-medium carbonation. Very solid, drinkable imperial stout.

seeswo, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of uustal
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with a bit of brown mixed in. Coffee colored one-finger head. Nice lacing and retention for the style. Aroma of chocolate, dark fruits, coffee beans and alcohol. Rich flavor. Robust roasted chocolate, bittering coffee beans and dark fruit dominate. Bit of molasses and hint of cream as well. Some whiskey heat and the dark fruits linger a bit. Rich, decadent, creamy and well constructed.

uustal, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of nhindian
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Lost Abbey tulip.

A - After a long time of finally wrestling with the cork, the beer slowly pops to life. The beer slowly glugs out of the bottle, thick and viscous-looking. The color is pretty much black, with only the faintest hint of dark brown coming through when actually tilting the glass to drink. The head is full of tiny little bubbles, about 2.5-fingers in height with moderately low retention. The head has a dark tan tint to it that leaves behind little lacing as it goes.

S - The first thing that surprised me about the nose is how hot it smells. The alcohol astringency really comes through strongly at first, which is a bit off-putting. Behind the alcohol, however, is a very rich beer. Even only by smell I can tell this is going to be a rather sweet beer given the malts here. There is a good balance by some bitter chocolate, however. There's also a good amount of roast in here as well, almost boarding on a slightly-burnt coffee bean.

T - Again, the alcohol comes through at first, almost like taking a half-shot of vodka in the fact that it has a slight burn, but isn't repulsive. This beer is much smoother than I would've anticipated, leading me to think that this has a pretty hefty malt bill as its approaching oatmeal-stout texture. The coffee that is on the back-burner in the nose almost comes to the forefront in the taste, with a very bold roast. Next there's just an absolute ton of bitter chocolate, real dark chocolate here. The alcohol heat comes through again at the end, but not as much as I would've anticipated. The word that keeps coming to mind during this beer is 'decadent'. This beer has typical flavors of other big stouts, but it just takes them to the next level. Tons of malts, providing big roast and chocolate notes. Very sweet as well, one of the sweetest I've had. A true dessert beer.

S - As mentioned earlier, the mouthfeel on this beer is pretty damn smooth. It's heavy-bodied with low carbonation (Lost Abbey's reputation precedes itself here). Very thick, easily coats the mouth and has a long, bitter finish to it.

D - Drinkability is moderate. It's a big beer, there's no questioning that. I took my time with this beer and didn't even start writing this review until about halfway through my first glass and still have a little under halfway to go. I would love this beer in 12oz, but in a 750ml bottle, the sweetness, thickness, and alcohol really start to hinder its drinkability after a while. Definitely think about splitting this!

nhindian, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of vfgccp
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Black with dark brown highlights. Dark khaki, thick, creamy head 3 fingers high on the first pour.

S - Anise, ouzo, dark chocolate.

T - A nice mirror of the nose. Bitter 65% cocoa, warm booze, liquorish, dark caramel, dark maple syrup. Delicious, but could use a year or two to smooth out the booze.

M - Medium body. Semi-sweet finish with a lingering liquorish aftertaste.

D - Liquorish is a bit strong. Nice body and overall flavor though.

vfgccp, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Chimay goblet. I was expecting this to be a Belgian-style stout, but this wasn't the case.

A: Opaque black with a one-inch mocha head. Head recedes after a short time and leaves only a small amount of spotty lacing. This looks like a formidable beer. Looks chewy and viscous even in the pour.

S: Rich, deep, layered scents of coffee and chocolate. Fudge, cocoa powder, milk chocolate. French roast. Cherry and plum darkfruit esters lurk in the background. This is one awesome smelling beer.

T: Lots of chocolate up front. Devil's food cake, bitter dark chocolate, fudge. Bitter coffee and an earthy root-type herbal bitterness. Faint currant and plum esters. Lingering coffee and woody smoke in the finish. Right up my alley. Very good.

M: Mouthfeel is a bit lacking. Rather thin, and not as syrupy and mouth-coating as it should be. Prickly carbonation just doesn't feel right. It is creamy. Average for the style though.

D: Good. Mouthfeel hinders drinkability a little bit, but otherwise this is an excellent beer.

Notes: If not for the mouthfeel, this would probably be one of my top-rated Imperial stouts. Right in my wheelhouse in taste and smell. Assertive with great depth of roasted malt flavors.

ryan1788a5, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of rowingbrewer
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on I think nitro tap. This beer pours completely pitch black with a nice one inch mocha colored head. The aromas a rich malty and there are hints of chocolate. The flavor is slightly sweet and roasty the abv is barely noticeable as this was my first beer of the night and I cowshed the pint faster then anyone else finished their session ales. This beer has a smooth as silk mouthfeel full bodied and is very drinkable based on how fast I consumed it. I will definitely be picking up a dew of these to age and might consider trading for chinchillas to try a blends barrel aged version

rowingbrewer, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of Goatshaver
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Dark black color with a nice creamy light brown head.

S-Some nice rich chocolate with a light roasted smell smell backed with some alcohol scent.

T-A definite chocolate flavor that lingers around and leaves a slight warming alcohol taste as well

M-A nice rich feeling with a warm alcohol finish.

D-Very delicious and very easy to drink despite the alcohol. A very well done stout.

Goatshaver, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Relentlessly black with no highlights. Thick and viscous by the pour. Nice head that looks quite creamy.

S-Bold and powerful. Assertive roastiness and rich dark chocolate. Booze is evident in the nose as well. Smells a bit like bourbon or a liqueur.

T-Stern chocolate taste covers the palate. A long, powerful, and lingering roasty espresso flavor sits upon the tongue and refuses to leave. Booze hits the buds quite hard as well.

M-Full bodied. Not the thickest, but holds it own by all means.

D-I have had stouts that were higher on the drinkability scale with more alcohol. That being said, for %11, this one ain't bad at all.

Not my favorite but I respect it for what it is.

VelvetExtract, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of grittybrews
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured deep black into a tulip with only the faintest trace of cola brown at the edges. Just a wisp of mocha film and a bit of dotty lacing from the pour. Somewhat sweet aroma dominated by milk chocolate, vanilla, molasses, and a little boozy heat.

Somewhat low carbonation and a full, creamy mouthfeel. Lots of chocolate and creamy espresso up front followed by molasses and licorice. Nice long finish with a good kick of hoppy bitterness that took on a pronounced coffee character.

Alcohol was well-masked and this drank extremely easily. Great balance of bitter and sweet with lots of traditional "big stout" flavors showing up to the party.

grittybrews, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle at 50 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours pitch black with a thick two-finger khaki head that holds and laces very well.

S: Dark chocolate, strong roastiness, anise, licorice, and a sinister booziness lurking.

T: Chocolate, medium-roast coffee, plenty of hoppiness, lots of sweet dark fruits, and a boozy and spicy finish.

M: The body is very thick and chewy with flavors that linger forever and a sticky finish.

D: This is very smooth and shows more anise flavors than any Imperial Stout except Stone IRS.

bucklemyshoe, Feb 28, 2011
Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 1,374 ratings.