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Serpent's Stout - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Serpent's StoutSerpent's Stout

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1,555 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,555
Reviews: 552
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 8.51%
Wants: 297
Gots: 391 | FT: 35
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: 1,555 | Reviews: 552
Photo of ericmunley
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at Jessup Beverage in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I must say, there is always a solid variety of Lost Abbey in this area.

As with most brews from LA, I had to put some work into the pour to get a head. The beer is jet black with a thin, yet sticky light tan head.

Serpent's Stout has a fantastic smell. The aroma gives off hints of sweet chocolate and dark fruit...a very sweet smelling beer.

Upon tasting SS, I was very impressed. The taste follows the smell almost note for note: the heavy stout base with milk chocolate, sweet fruit, and slight alcohol coming through. Very satisfied with this brew so far.

Concerning mouthfeel, LASS falls into the "thick, motor oil-like stout" category that I adore. A very ballsy beer.

I'll say the same thing I always say about drinkability: when drinking a beer like Serpent's Stout, it is meant to be enjoyed responsibly. Drinking more than a bottle of this beer in one sitting is a waste.

Overall, the most impressive Lost Abbey offering by far...better than Angel's Share. Every stout lover should give this brew a shot!

Photo of mrshoes
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Midway in East Atlanta Village (8oz served in tulip). Dark as a moonless night black with small caramel colored head. Smells absolutely delicious- roasted maltiness, dark chocolate, and a hint of rum in the nose. Full taste of roasted malts, some nuttiness with a strong dark chocolate presence and hint of espresso. Medium bodied with chewy, nougat-like texture. Overall, a very delicious roasty, dark chocolate tasting beer- perfect with dessert, or even a dessert all by itself. Wonderful beer that I would love to get my hands on again. As far as imperial stouts go this one is in my top three- highly recommended!

Photo of bamadog
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I received this in a trade a while back, and based upon the electrical tape, I'm pretty sure it came from drazzamatazz, so thanks to him for the hook up (if I'm correct). Review is from notes taken on 1/22/2011 and poured from the corked and caged bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a very dark deep brown/near black coffee-like color; starts with a short 1/4 dark brown head that fades pretty quickly to a thin and incomplete skim and a moderately thick ring around the surface; body is dark and nearly entirely opaque; only a a few spots of dark brown lacing are left behind.

Smell: Upon pulling the cork, I'm inundated by a strong presence of sweet chocolate and some sweet, very/overly ripe dark fruit (cherries, especially); bit of dry, cocoa powder; some alcohol definitely lingering in there as well, but at 11%, that shouldn't be a surprise; slight vanilla and woody sensibility; buried burnt roastiness.

Taste: Much like the smell, there are a lot of chocolate aspects to this one, but it's certainly not all sweet -- there are some definite strong hints of bittersweet and even bitter baker's chocolate; definite alcohol presence and it's still kind of hot and bourbony; gritty burnt espresso roastiness; bit of vanilla and oak. Is this beer barrel aged? The bottle doesn't say anything about it, and in my searches I see that there are other varieties offered, so perhaps it's just the high ABV creating this sensation.

Mouthfeel: Body is medium in weight; the carbonation is soft and very smooth; the alcohol is big in this one, much how like the Force is strong with Luke, and it definitely makes the mouth warm and tingly, and the belly is left very warm from it (this booziness SERIOUSLY reminds me of BABO); there is a bit of grittiness left on the teeth and a thin, dry/cottony coating is left all over the rest of the mouth.

Drinkability: A really good beer with great smells and flavors, but a definite boozines and a high ABV certainly puts some limits on this one. A must-sip kind of beer, but one that should be tried by any stout fans.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.84/5  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.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Normyk for this one.

With barely a pop from the cork (Lost Abbey lives up to the rumors again) the beer flows forth into the glass looking very demonic indeed. Luckily this beer isnt flat, I suspect its just naturally very lowly carbonated. It supports a small dark brown head that fades quickly. The aroma is dominated by assertive alcohol. Plenty of chocolate comes out to give this a nice decadence. There is a woodsy, almost musty yeast aroma. If I am correct, I believe this beer uses Brett in some quantity. The more detailed you get into investigating the aroma you will find lots of chocolate covered raisins and figs with a dash of licorice. The taste is right in line with the aroma. It does, however, bring more sweet chocolate covered fruits than the bouquet does. That is a good thing for someone like me. The sweetness approaches the realm of a dessert beer but is never over the top. Alcohol is no slouch but its managed buy licorice, espresso roast, figgy fruit, and worn leather. A distinct yeasty set of flavors bring on flavors of old wood. Carbonation is much higher on the palate than you would expect. This hurts the overall feel of the body, disguising it as less full than it may really be.

Photo of imagese
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark chocolate with a ruby edge. No head. Zero lacing

S- sweet oaked dark fruit

T- bitter chocolate and dark fruit. Big earthy hop slam on the back end

M- pretty viscous with good carbonation

D- right up my alley for imperial stouts. Keep 'em coming!

Photo of drabmuh
3.82/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I split this bottle of flat stout with Throrpe. Beer is black with almost no head, no carbonation, and no lacing, it is really black though.

Aroma of the beer is super sweet with only a mild roast to it, it almost smell boozy. It does not smell bad though. Just really sweet.

Beer is medium bodied and like syrup up front but in a good way, the back fo the palate is a little dry with only minimal bitterness. This beer leads with it's front palate flavors and falls off quickly after that. It's a decent enough beer, I wonder if the low carbonation levels in it are indicative of a problem or by design, I thought only their barrel aged beers had carbonation problems. Overall it is a decent Impy stout but I'd be slow to buy it again (or trade for it as this was the case).

Photo of mithrascruor
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a solid black color with a dark tan head that dissipates quickly. Still leaves a bit of a bubbly film on the edges.

Smell: Has a dark roasted aroma. Some hints of cream & coffee, but not much.

Taste: Very roasted flavor, with a little bit of sweetness up front, and at the finish, but generally a very solidly, monolithic, roasted flavor. It is definitely tasty, but not very interesting.

Mouthfeel: Medium- to heavy-bodied; very smooth, with absolutely minimal carbonation.

Drinkability: Strong ABV but no presence in the flavor.

Nice, but not much that sets this apart from other similar beers.

Photo of Bfarr
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark black with thin umber foamy head with okay retention and little lacing. Alcohol and rich chocolate with yeast and roasted malt aroma. Smooth and balanced chocolate with coffee notes and hints of molasses. Light alcohol flavor but strong warming sensation. Powerful flavor of truffles lingers on the palate. Silky smooth with nice velvet mouthcoating.

Very easy to drink especially considering the 11% abv. Great gourmet chocolate flavors that I didn't consider quite sinful... until it warmed a bit more and added some plum/prune notes. It certainly wasn't mindbending like "Inception" (my paired movie of choice) but I do think it was slightly more enjoyable. Perhaps it should have been paired with something more robust and intellectual.

Photo of laituegonflable
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark mahogany colour. Head is yellow-tinged beige but a bit lacklustre; thin film and some large bubbles. Lacing is small but some nice patterns; looks quite good.

Smells dark, unsurprisingly. Quite strong with a nod to burnt. Slight charred aroma with mild espresso notes and a touch or two of licorice, black pepper and cocoa. Slight wood-smoke at the back and slight unfortunate fusel alcohol. Good, though.

Taste is also quite dark and burned, and there is a strong, warming booziness as it goes down. In spite of that, it's remarkably smooth, with nothing huge or overpowering leaping out at me. A good espresso belt with lashings of roasty grain, mild rye note and a touch or two of leather on there, adding a mild oaky funk to the back. Slight nip of booze on the finish as well which is the lowest point, but a nice smooth stout-like beverage overall.

Yeah, smooth, just a slight desiccation from the alcomohol on the back.

It's a surprisingly well-balanced brew that goes down on quite friendly terms with my digestive system.

Photo of russwbeck
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark black pour with a nice sized and think brown head with nice retention and lacing.

S: The smell is of chocolate and coffee. Really very distinct smells.

T: The taste mirrors the smell nicely. Starts off like I am eating a chocolate bar. Delicious. The aftertaste is all coffee, and it sticks around for a long time.

MF: Big and dark. Full bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

D: Crazy drinkable for a stout of this size. The tastes are wonderful, and the alcohol is nicely masked. I really wish this was more readily available in Western PA.

Photo of garbercury
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Reed415 for early xmas gift...Poured into snifter...

A--Dark with a lot of lacing, and believe it or not, decent carbonation. Lacing stays...

S--Tones of chocolate in the nose, also, a tad bit of bourbon? I think maybe I have had to many BA versions of beer, but I do taste it..

T--Tasty RIS, flavor dominated by smoky malt flavor. Chocolate and coffee all over this one. Touch of vanilla add to the flavor profile, very nice.

M--Excellent MF, smooth with nice viscous feel.

D--This is a another heavy hitter, A love the way this beer transitions as it warms, getting some cherry in the end. This is a very solid beer. It sucks that LA ownership is weak, because when their beer is carbonated, and they are not busy being fools, they make excellent beers such as this one...

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Purchased in the US and brought back to Sydney at the request of @LaitueGonflable. Cracked open with him and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours dark and black. Really, just black, not even some browning at the edges. It looks thick and oily as well, with an incredibly heavy body that forms miniscule carbonation bubbles when tilted. Head is very fine bubbled, but minimal overall, which is not really that surprising when you think of the ABV, but it is something of a disappointment. Overall, though, it's a very exciting looking brew, and it has some wonderfully deep characteristics.

Nose is dark and charred, with notes of iodine and coppery blood. No oak barrel character coming out, although I'm not sure this is oak conditioned - I just expect it from the style nowadays. Some sweetness, but like sugared coffee, it's just masking the roastiness. Nice.

Taste is very charred and black, but with a silky suppleness throughout that stops it from being overpowering. Finish lingers for a long time with a dark charred note, but there's some residual burnt sugar sweetness to leaven it. Marmite and coffee come forward as well. It would make a great breakfast beer. Booze is very well hidden among the other robust characters. Not a huge amount of depth to it - there's a great deal of flavour, but it doesn't get layered and intermingled with other more subtle notes.

Feel is wonderful. It's soft and smooth, but with a little tingle of tiny-bubbled carbonation throughout the length.

A very nice beer this one, and one that is incredibly robust and flavoursome. Doesn't have the fantastic balance and complexity I've had from some others, but it's still an excellent beer.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the Port/Lost Abbey Brewery. The beer is jet-black, with a light brown, two-inch head. There are notes of malt and coffee on the nose, giving the smell a very well balanced aroma. The flavors are VERY round and robust. Full tastes of heavy malt, with sweet caramel and molasses highlights. The beer is more on the dry side, without any of the creamy or thick characteristics of other stouts, but not quite a dry stout, either. The beer has aftertastes of nut and spice (red pepper and coriander??), with a slightly sour finish. Decent beer.

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage poured into a tulip glass at above cellar temp.

Midnight black with a tootsie roll and milk chocolate sweetness on the nose.

Taste is grain sweetness, roasted barley, coffee, bitter, dark chocolate. Finishes dark chocolate, with a very long lingering sweetness that you can feel on your teeth. Medium to full bodied with a great level of carbonation. Alcohol is masterfully masked. Overall a solid stout that sets the bar for what an Imperial Stout should be.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a-Bottle opened with no pop at all (uh oh) and then poured a silky watery black into my oversized snifter. a thin mocha head formed which eased my nerves that the brew would be flat. semi-slick lacing when swirling my glass all in all an attractive imperial stout.

s-Milky chocolate shakes. Really buttery and nice.

t-FANTASTIC. at first seems like a lot going on then settles into a dark chocolate bar.

m/d-Incredibly smooth and easy to drink. medium bodied and not to thick for the beer it is. I could drink this all day. Leaves a touch of a bitter taste as if you had taken in a small spoonful of cocoa powder. Refreshing for such a powerful style. This is a fantastic beer and I hope to have it again soon.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged, thanks to Phelps through the Blind Beer BIF III. Reviewed blind.

A- Big bold dark beer, like fresh coffee. Nice dark brown head that leaves a nice lace ring at the top of the glass.

S- Dark roast, dark fruit, dark chocolate. dark.

T- Matches the nose. This is a big, dark stout. A bit of a twang of sourness- very fleeting though. Lots of dark fruit and some semi-sweet chocolate. Not as roasty as the nose led me to believe. Flavors linger on the tongue.

M- Thick, great carbonation, no off flavors. High marks for execution. ABV is nonexistant.

D- Fairly high. Very enjoyable. Wow, I'm impressed. I raaarely buy Lost Abbey, and usually it's 'well, I like it but it's too expensive'. Not this one. One I've slept on.. going to have to buy a bottle or two of this next time I go to the store.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite dark, might be black. Head is decent, leaving a smattering of taupe lacing. Nose is strong and pungently bitter with roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate, maybe tilting toward the latter in balance. Hoppy pepper note jump in, and the overall, slightly chalky aroma gets a big thumbs up.

Another bang-up job from Lost Abbey. Big and brawny, but infinitely drinkable. The abv is known and appreciated, but doesn't make a big difference from sip to sip. The chocolate and roast notes are all over the place, but don't try to hide or overtake molasses, chicory, vanilla, and citric fruits.

Body is smooth and velvety, way too big to be creamy but maybe something like viscous. Finishes slightly sticky but almost miraculously smooth. I'm ready for another drink as we speak. The Lost Abbey does the damn thing and does it damn well. Pick this, and their entire lineup, off the shelf and enjoy.

Photo of JamesMcPolin
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle that's been aged 9 months into a snifter. Not impressed with the head retention. Had to pour second glass rather aggressive to even get a decent head. Drank plenty of Serpent before but never remember it having such a lackluster appearance. But then again, never reviewed it before, so unsure.

Hate to say it, but not real impressed with the aromatic profile either. As it warms, you can begin to detect hints of the multipart taste. Chocolaty. Enticing. Almost a bourbon-barrel-aged aroma that you wish was present in the taste. But even then, an overall disappointing aroma for such a delicious brew.

Tastes exceptional! May not look or smell like the best but the Serpent strikes where it counts. Roasted malts, coffee and chocolate, abv extremely well hidden. Unlike many imperial stouts that have the typical warm alcohol finish, the Serpent seems to slither across your palette with pleasantly warm alcohol in the middle and instead end on bitter chocolate and coffee notes.

Very smooth for 11%. Thickens as it warms but in my opinion still not thick enough. I love a nice thick, viscous imperial stout. Amazing that the 11% is so well hidden considering the mouthfeel is so 'relatively' (emphasized for the style) light.

Highly drinkable! A definite recommend for anyone who's a fan of the style. A little surprised that my grade comes out no higher than the average to be honest. Can't knock the original sin. I can see exactly why Eve had no choice but to submit before the temptations of the Serpent.


Photo of jampics2
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. 750ml bottle into a snifter.

The cork popped with authority but no one lost an eye, so I guess it was all fun and games. Some serious gun-smoke afterward, like the ghost of the beer within, or the devil's breath was escaping. The beer looks great in the glass. It's as dark as Hades, reminiscent of a ferry ride across the river Styx. No other colors escape the evil within, and this devil wears a brown crown that clings and provides nice lace.

The temptation begins with the smell. The roasted malts slither around, giving notes of only the darkest chocolate and black strap molasses. There's some bitter roast and sweet sugar underneath, giving just a hint of dark fruitiness to the nose. A minor touch of coffee is there, but this is mostly decadent chocolate and a decent share of sugary booze. A minor amount of toast gets swallowed by the burned malt. A hint of licorice finishes the alluring aroma.

The taste isn't exactly straight out of the garden of Eden, but it's close. It follows the smell with huge notes of chocolate and molasses. The beer starts to get sweet, then burned malt acidity and bitterness comes in. Then a serpentine sweetness kicks in and makes this simply a massive experience. This beer isn't subtle - it's coming at me like a black mamba, spitting venomous and voracious notes of huge roast and a hint of vanilla. There's even some citrus from the garden, no apples, just some minor grapefruit that again is dominated by the black malt.

The only way I can refuse the serpent's siren song is to focus on the mouthfeel. It's acceptable but is syrupy and thick, knocking this down a bit and bringing me back to my senses. The carbonation that is there begins to dissipate and this becomes a sticky black concoction that only the purest of men can resist. This isn't the most drinkable beer, as the booze certainly emerges more as this warms. A beer full of evil and good, much like the battle in the garden it gets its name from. As the last sip slithers down my throat, I'm convinced that the snake knows the way to paradise.

Photo of rudzud
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at Julio's and have been waitign for a nice cold night. Poured into a snifter.

A - A nice dark midnight pour with a earthy brown half finger head that slowly fades to that brown halo. Minimal lacing is left on the glass with each sip.

S - Nice roasted aromas along with bittersweet chocolate. Not picking up any espresso but I do get some dark fruits, almost a raisin aroma.

T - Much like the nose with roasty, smokey flavours and bittersweet chocolate. That being said, the dark fruit tastes are a bit stronger. Definately getting a sweet deep raison flavour that is there on the palette for a brief moment then gone.

M - Like others have said this is a nice velvet mouthfeel that isnt cloy. Nice and creamy.

D - Wow, this 11% is very nicely hidden behind those dark flavours but is still present on the back. This is a very enjoyable imperial stout!

Photo of Vdubb86
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter on nitro at The Barley House in Algonquin, IL

This beer pours a blackness with 2 fingers of thick tan foam. The main aromas are bourbon, chocolate, smoke, char and oak, none of them are particularly strong. The taste mostly consists of the chocolate and the bourbon, but this doesn't work in too bad of a manor with the consistency of the beer. It feels really nice on nitro but perhaps a bit muddled. This is a rather nice drinking beer and I would have no problem having some on hand all night, if it weren't for the fact that it wouldn't take long for me to get hammered.

Photo of Spica66
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this as an extra from Lunch. Thank you, Paul!

2009 vintage.

A: Black as night and very nice head formation and retention.

S: Everything you love about an Imperial Stout. Dark and wonderful.

T: Very nice dark roast and dark fruit. Slightly sour finish, like chewing tobacco, maybe.

M: Creamy and nice with good carbonation.

D: My portion disappeared a lot faster than guwilliums'!

Photo of soze47
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at the Tomme Arthur Tap-Takeover at the Armsbey Abbey in Worcester, MA on 11/03/10.

Ruby black body with a garnet khaki head. Rich and slick looking.

Heavy roasted malts and dark fruit dominate the smell. After a few whiffs, you also get some boozy undertones.

Huge melting of flavors. This has a roasted, almost burnt malt richness that brings toffee, caramel, and dark fruits out of a deep woodwork. Not a simple beer as each drink leads to another dominant flavor as the booze loosens up the beer with accumulative heat.

The is velvet smooth and not cloying. True, this one has a robust linger, but it is driven more by the flavors rather than the body.

Would be a great night cap or after dinner drink. I liked this beer a lot. It almost brought out typical flavors from a belgian, but in a stouts packaging.

33 Beers Flavor Chart (5 high to 1 low):
Alcohol/Solvent: 3.5
Dark Fruit: 4.5
Citrus Fruit: 1
Hoppy (pine): 1.5
Floral: 1.5
Spicy: 2
Herbal: 2
Malty: 3.5
Toffee: 3.5
Burnt: 3
Sweet: 3
Sour: 1
Bitter: 2.5
Astringent: 2
Body: 4
Linger: 3

Photo of BigB415
3.62/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this stout as it warmed up to room temperature. the notes of alcohol were too strong when this was poured right out of the fridge since it is 11% the alcohol dulled when it warmed up even though I could still taste it. This is as black as you can get which is expected for a stout. Not much head but the retention was very high when I swirled it in my glass. I'm not sure if I would recommend this but it was good to try for a first time.

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Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 1,555 ratings.