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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 NCSUdo
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, 2009 bottling

A: Pitch black under a small brown head. No lace, no retention.

S: Roasted, chocolate, sweet, some dark fruit hints, maybe a hint of coffee.

T: Sweet with chocolate up front, roasted and toasted malt in the back end, mild to medium bitterness, a bit of toffee, can't really feel the alcohol.

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation is high. Drinkability is pretty good, a very balanced, flavorful stout.

NCSUdo, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of raverjames
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 bottle shared with n8h.
A: black with light tan head. There is carbonation, which is a big deal coming from LA.
S: booze. Ethanol. Cider. This beer is way too young. There is a nice roasty chocolate malt profile in there, but it is drownded out by alcohol.
T: alcohol, cacao, roasted barley, and caramel malts.
M: good carbonation, med body, and boozy.
D: ok, but would greatly improve with age. Needs the alcohol to be more hidden.

raverjames, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of bonkers
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter. The pour is jet black with a thin tan head, nice lacing. The aroma is chocolatey, with generous amounts of esspresso and the slightest hint of booze. It taste nearly as good as it smells. Lots of rich chocolate malt and it finishes with a pleasant bit of alcohol. The beer is full bodied and a great sipper. A very good stout.

bonkers, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of drtth
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a nonic glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is pitch black with a thin light brown head that leaves speckles of foam and lacing when sipping.

Smell: The aroma is filled with roasted dark malt that has all the right components, some coffee, some dark chocolate and some dark toffee or dark molasses to round it off.

Taste: The flavor is comparably complex with the roasted malt providing dark chocolate, some coffee, and some dark molasses or toffee. While there is noticeable alcohol, it shows mostly in a touch of sweetness without the burn

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is full bodied creamy and soft, finish is long with a lightly sweet ending that leads into a dry finish

Drinkability: This is one of those beers that is drinkable as a special treat. With this complexity and ABV its good for one a night of quiet sipping and enjoyment. I certainly will enjoy having this one again.

drtth, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of poonamibaxter
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to FosterJM

A- Dark dark brown very small head

S-Wow this smells amazing, chocolate and brown sugar

T- What I want out of a big stout, chocolate malts with nice hop bittering

M- Creamy, velvety, voluptuous, big and beautiful

D-It hid the abv well. I couldn't put it down, I wanted but didn't need another bottle

Serving type: bottle

poonamibaxter, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of crusian
3.28/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle from awesome girlfriend from boston of all places.
pours an awesome black viscous sludge.
smells as thick as it looks.
tastes... well... not saying it is bad. it is very heavy on the roasted flavors are heavy, but seems like they are hoping that will do it for them. a combination of the rarity and the heavy roasted flovors... seems like they are banking on that, and ignorant people to put it into the MUST have category. it is good, it is not GREAT... after all this time, I was let down. try it once, but only once.

crusian, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of WhiteOak
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled: Jan 2010

A- Opaque black-brown, with a jewel-like reddish glow deep within. Brown, cloud-like head. Sticky lace is retained well.

S- Impressive aromas soar from the glass.

My friend said "Valentine's Day just came early, because here is the box of chocolates!"

Rich, dark chocolate and Billigton's Dark Brown Sugar aromas. Dark coffee, chocolate covered raisins. Hermit cookies. Tamari.

T- Sweet German chocolate cake. Rich, creamy dark brown sugar, molasses. Chocolate covered raisins. I did not detect any tartness. Thankfully, the roast was without any char, and the hops were well-restrained, as they should be. Long lingering chocolate notes on the finish.

M- Creamy, viscous, velvety, slightly tacky feel. Soft, rounded, opulent, voluptuous, gorgeous feel and structure. Big and beautiful. Not a sharp corner to be found on the Serpent's Stout.

D- ABV of 11% was totally unapparent to me, and was simply buried beneath mountains of malt and chocolate structure. Only the massive weight posed any limitation to the drinkability, with all other characteristics lending to an all-to-easy rate of libation.

WhiteOak, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of Bonis
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black and thick like a stout. No carbonation, cork almost fell out. Small tan head settles to ring quickly and leave a little lacing.

S - Roasted malts, chocolate, hints of molasses, vanilla, brown sugar, and pancake syrup. A touch of alcohol is definitely there.

T - This was amazing. Very big roasted chocolate flavors along with all the other components from the aroma, with the exception of the booze. I get very little booze. Very sweet, very little bitterness in this one.

M - Smooth, creamy, and sticky feeling. No carbonation, which benefited the beer in my opinion. Very little alcohol feel. Feels almost like a regular American stout.

D - Really drinkable at 11%. I'd have this many more times if it were available to me.

Bonis, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of msmezher
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serpent's Stout is a contender for my favorite Lost Abbey beer (the other being Gift of the Magi). I poured this 750ml bottle out into a pint glass (the only glass available to me at the time), and it poured a deep black, with a little head that, as others have said dissipated fairly quickly leaving a little lacing. The beer itself feels great in your mouth, definitely one to let roll over your tongue and breathe in. The beer is rather viscous, almost syrupy, and very decadent and sweet. Strong notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, and raisins. Serpent's Stout becomes truly exceptional when you factor in how drinkable it is, as normally something this syrupy and sweet is hard to put down, especially with as much alcohol as is present (11%ABV), but I had this 750ml all to myself and would have been happy to have another.

msmezher, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of Beaver13
3.15/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

Beaver13, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of JAXSON
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle, pours a thick black with heavy bubbles rising into a large, creamy head. Nose is low on roasted malts and char, but is quite fruity, focusing on a lot of red berries and cherries. Sweet and a bit chalky. Vibrant and expressive flavors, brings up more roasted elements than the nose, but still plenty sweet with a lot of those cherries. Reminds me of what Churchill's Finest Hour tried to be. This is actually quite good and is probably one of the best beer of this weight from Lost Abbey that I've had.

JAXSON, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of Hex92
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours BLACK....no head. Goes down smooth. Can't taste the alcohol. Tastes kinda flat, but the beer is chocolattey and coffeey and just over the top flavors. Feels great on the tongue. Smells amazing and overall its a great beer.

Very good. I would buy this one again

Hex92, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of deereless
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Little to no pop of the cork, the head is quite thin though it has some serious retention and consists of the tightly packed espresso-like bubbles, there are a few signs of very minor lacing, extremely dark in color with only a hint of deep amber evident at the edges of the glass, based on a swirl of the glass there seems to be some serious viscosity to the Serpent's Stout - 4.00, S: The initial smell yields a thick molasses like sweetness as well as quite a bit of espresso and dark chocolate, the faintest hint of grass is present in the depths of the beer and also a little bit of powdered cocoa - 4.00, T: Thick and sweet on the palate with a bit of charring on the tail to keep it from being overly-sweet, there are some strong raisin and tootsie roll flavors, lots of double fudge brownies and a hint of citrus that bites at the end of the beer, alcohol is present but just manages to skirt a harsh burn, all around a very nice double stout - 4.50, M: Thick and creamy mouth feel, almost velvety and with a heavy body - 4.50, D: A very enjoyable and dangerously drinkable 11% beer, the sweetness has the potential to deplete the palate but so far that has not been a problem, unquestionable worth a try - 4.00

deereless, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of drummstikk
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Syrupy and roasty, but not cloying or astringent. This is a strong stout of exceptional balance. It tastes like biting into a dark chocolate bar, with hints of currant and plums. It smells like alcohol and chocolate. Hops are unnoticeable until right when you need them in the finish when they scrub your palate clean. Carbonation is low, but this might be the best way to enjoy the tremendous flavors.

drummstikk, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of Patrick999
2.68/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Well, this should be fun. Poured into a small snifter. Thin but formative head, and pretty damned black to say the least.

Aroma is to me kinda muted and frankly a little disappointing for the style. I'm just getting a little fruity alcohol....

I don't taste a lot of alcohol, though. It's roasty and quite dry, with bitter cocoa, espresso and hops. It's kind of unpleasantly bitter, and it hits you like a ton of bricks.

It has a really big, thick chewy feel.

This will be hard to drink - I think it lacks the typical Lost Abbey complexity that I was expecting. Plus, you feel the big alcohol immediately. Definitely not my favorite Lost Abbey beer....afraid I'm going to have to be on the left side of the bell curve here. Wow, you know what, I really do not like this beer.

Patrick999, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of 1759Girl
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance> Dark as night. Light brown head. Good lacing. om nom nom

Smell>brownies and lots of coffee. Freaking excellent. Really.

Taste>Ashy and bitter to start. Huge burnt malty goodness comes to fruition. I'm not sure why people are complaining about the alcohol heat... Honestly, for 11%, this puppy is smooth as glass. The hang began with coffee but had a tiny bit of metal.

Mouf>Smooth. Slightly syrupy, but really nothing bad at all.

Drinkability> yes, please

1759Girl, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First off want to thank my buddy Drew for picking this one up for me. Been aging this one for about six months...

Poured from a 750ml into an Old Raspy pint glass...

A - This one pours pitch black with next to no head. No head retention, as next to none was produced. Have had this beer on a couple of occasions before, and don't remember the head being non exsistent. Think I might try a fresh bottle next time, to see if somehow I get a different result...

S - Chocolate, chocolate, and some more chocolate. Also pick up notes of some dark fruits, or maybe licorice, but the scent of chocolate definitely dominates. Even the wife enjoyed the smell of this one, and she is not a big fan of stouts...

T - Roasted malts, and lots of dark chocolate comes through first. After that, black licorice comes through with a hint of alcohol. Don't understand why alot of people are complaining about the alcohol taste. I think this one is pretty smooth for the ABV. You get just enough to let you know that it is present...

M - Good full bodied syrup beer...

D - Looking foward to trying this one again fresh. Another solid brew by Lost Abbey...

Cheers...

comfortablynumb1, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of andrewinski1
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black into tulip with a light tan head of about 1 inch that shrinks into lacing just around the perimeter of the top of the beer. Not bad. I immediately smell the fruity esters from the yeast during the pour. Further investigation into the smell reveals lots of coffee and licorice notes, not much sweetness detected here. A faint hint of alcohol is also detected. This is one of the nicest smells I have noticed on an imperial stout. The taste is full of bitter roasting and coffee flavors; right up my alley. The belgian yeast works nicely to smooth out the harsh roasted flavors. There is a noticeable alcohol burn that I am okay with, but keeps it from being outstanding. This is a big stout that isn't too thick. Recommended.

andrewinski1, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of Bendurgin
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my brother Andy for cracking this one. Pours black into a tulip with about an inch of tan head. Nice lacing on this with some dark spots atop the tin layer of head. Really nice nose on this. A big whiff of Belgian yeast, revealing dark fruits and a faint hint of very bitter cocoa. After a few nose dives in this one I've become a bit used to the yeast smell and richer chocolate notes are revealed as well as a faint alcohol aroma. The taste has a big espresso flavor. A very bitter finish. This has a syrupy richness to it with a nice malt balance. The bitter finish balances the richness of this beer nicely. A bit more carbonated than what would fit my preference, but this drinks like a nice sipper.

Bendurgin, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of Pencible
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage.

A: This poured an opaque black with a bit of dark tan head.
S: It smelled rich and sweet like fine dark chocolate with roasted coffee, brown sugar, and molasses.
T: It tasted rich and sweet also like fine dark chocolate and roasted coffee, with molasses and aged balsamic and a bit of brown sugar and alcohol. It had a smooth and bitter aftertaste with a little alcohol warming.
M: It was somewhat thick with some carbonation.
D: This was a fantastic stout with a delicious scent and taste. It had good body too, and the alcohol wasn't bad, so it was fairly easy to drink while also being enjoyable to sip. The taste wasn't terribly complex, but it was far from simple. It was very sweet, but also balanced. This beer will probably continue to improve with age for quite a while, but I'm already really impressed with it.

Pencible, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of mwilbur
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into NBB snifter.
A: Pours an opaque raisiny black. The faintest of dark tan heads forms and quickly is gone again. No light passes through with backlighting...none...like a black hole.
S: Pine and citrus hops, dark dried fruit, molasses, and dark chocolate. Intoxicating.
T: Smooth chocolate hits first, shortly followed by the burn of the alcohol and the bite of the pine and citrus hops. Wonderful juxtaposition. Hint of malt in the background. Around the edges lingers dark cocoa and medium-roast coffee.
M: Sumptuously smooth at first, then gives way to the sharper bite of hops. A slow alcohol burn finishes everything off.
D: Wow. This is one hell of a beer. A little too much burn (alcohol) and bite (hops) for me, but this is minor quibble. A tremendous brew...seek it out. Share it with friends after dinner or with a chocolately dessert.

mwilbur, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm not 100% sure how Port and the Lost Abbey are affiliated. This one is listed as Port's Serpent Stout, but I'm sure it's this beer (also, Port brewing on here doesn't have Serpent's listed). From what I understand, however, Port and Lost Abbey are basically the same thing.

Anyway, it pours dark opaque black with a bit of dark chocolate brown head. I'm a little let down on the nose, it's just not that strong for some reason. Even as it warms and opens up, it doesn't dramatically improve. A bit of booze, some roasted malt.

Taste, however, is quite good. Big roasted malts, bitter chocolate, a bit of booze, some fruitiness that reminds me of smoked apples. Delicious and complex, this is a big-time stout. Creamy and smooth, but it might be able to use a bit more body. I sipped it for a while, but I loved the way it continued to change as the pint drained. Worth it.

LordAdmNelson, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of mfunk9786
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Lost Abbey, and I have a feeling it'll be a long and tumultuous relationship. I don't know what it is - they're not that much more expensive than other beers of this size/these styles, but they used to put me off when I'd see them in the store, I'd write them off as lavish wastes of money. But I finally bit on one, and I'm so glad I did. Original sin, ladies and gentlemen. Oh so appropriate for this beer.

A: Beautiful motor oil pour with a dark brown head that lingers on and on. Beautiful.

S: The smell is very strong, mainly black licorice and cloves that dominate the nose with a very "KEEP OUT" vibe that sort of terrifies the drinker. Appropriate, but still kind of spooky. Beautiful for the style, though.

T: The taste is wonderful. The darkest chocolate I've ever experienced in a beer (wow, like pure powdered cocoa, almost overwhelmingly bitter), along with licorice, anise, dark fruit, and a lot of espresso on the finish.

M: Smooth with a grainy, bitter dark chocolate and espresso finish that isn't for everyone.

D: This is certainly a very dry stout, splitting a bottle with a friend is advised. Obviously not sessionable, but I'm not saying that's a bad thing.

I'm looking forward to an exciting, probably tumultuous, and definitely wallet-depleting relationship with Lost Abbey in the future. I have a feeling I peaked right at the outset with this quality brew. Highly recommended.

mfunk9786, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

After a long time o' gapin' at this guy on the shelf, I'm finally gettin' to taste it. Right on. It pours an opaque black that looks like something that washed up on the Gulf Coast (ah, topical humor...slightly better than topical cream...). Hardly any head in formed, though a small colony of brown bubbles attempts a settlement, only to end up like Roanoke. The nose comprises heavily roasted malts, chocolate syrup, molasses, and a heapin' helpin' o' grain alcohol. The taste follows closely, adding force to the chocolate (making it closer to chocolate syrup) and a fairly strong vein of bitterness. The alcohol now expresses itself as a steady burn, just not too hot o' one. The body is thick and heavy, with very little carbonation and a smooth yet chewy feel. If it weren't for a couple key issues, this would be a ridiculous stout; instead, it's just pretty dern good. I kinda want another one...

TMoney2591, Jun 25, 2010
Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 1,374 ratings.