Serpent's Stout - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Serpent's StoutSerpent's Stout

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1,455 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,455
Reviews: 538
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.49%
Wants: 288
Gots: 334 | 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: 1,455 | Reviews: 538 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of badbeer
3.1/5  rDev -26.9%
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.

Photo of GbVDave
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

2009 Vintage

A: Pours pitch black with a two finger, mocha colored head that's kept fed by some decent carbonation (yay Tomme!). Minimal lacing.

S: Wow! Huge aroma of dark chocolate, rum soaked raisins, fudge brownies, chocolate covered cherries, brown sugar/molassas, and some blackened malt.

T: Much like the aroma but the flavor changes from heavy dark fruit to homemade fudge as it comes up to temp. Delicious layers of chocolate. Milk, dark, bittersweet, and bakers...all are represented.

M: Thick and chewy. Coats like that old gallon of lead paint you found in your grandpas basement.

D: While the alcohol was not readily apparent, this one got a little tiresome by the end of the bottle. Not hard to drink, just increadibly filling.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 picked up a long while back at John's Marketplace .. I've had a few of these before and was surprised that I've never reviewed a bottle... The ABV says 11%.. I would guess this is an '08. Poured into my Delerium goblet... 2 finger dark tan head... amazing retention and pretty lacing.

Nose is fudgey chocolate with some coffee.. dark fruits that scream dried sweet cherries.. Some minor BSDA yeasty notes.

Flavor is very well integrated mash-up of Belgian Stout characteristics with a proper West Coast treatment... the chocolate is front and center with French Roast in the back... the palate meshes very well.. slight fruity esters show prune and some dark dried cherry..

with warmth.. and some booze in my noggin.. I think my Grandma Shaw's X-mas fudge may be in the mix.. Great body and carbonation..


I am still trying to figure out if this is supposed to be a "Belgian Big Stout"... If not, I would like to see this brewed with a slightly fruity Belgian yeast while keeping the mouthfeel and carbonation. Could be out of this world.

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

Appearance: Nice opaque pour with brown soda-pop carbonation that quickly fades, no lacing to speak of.

Smell: Roasted malt, lots of dark chocolate with a bit of mocha. Nice hops, despite being in my cellar for at least a year (which I imagine did this bottle a great deal of good)

Taste: Nice fundge brownie element, sweet molasses, mocha, dark chocolate, kayro syrup as well. Very thankful the burnt flavors do not dominate. Bit of tobacco, but very faint.

Mouthfeel: Starts out a bit fizzy, but perfect after it sets for 30 minutes. Only slightly thin for the style (or at least compared to the mastheads of the style). No noticeable alcohol.

Drinkability: It gets much more drinkable as it warms. The fudge element of this beer is remarkable. If you get one sit on it for a year.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had at a tasting 1/29. Poured from a 750ml. bottle into a 8oz. pint glass. Reviewed from notes and honestly... at the risk of pre-empting the review... this one totally stole the show for me.

A: Moderate pour yields a .5 finger chocolate head with no retention, that flattens as quickly as its formed. Beer is opaque, just black. Lacing is spotty. Not the pretties beer.

S: Boozy, coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, slight, faintly detectable prunes and/or raisins.

T: Starts of with a subdued chocolate, bourbon is oddly detectable. Boozy, sweet malt backbone. Dried red fruit towards the finish all combined and lightly covered by a lightly sweetened creamy coffee. Finish is a slightly sour roasted coffee.

M: Medium bodied, slightly coarse but smooths out very quickly. Oily but not sticky. Finish is short and sweet. Doesn't linger to mess around with the palate.

D: Talk about under-rated. For all the -bal this and limited-release that... this is one fantastically solid beer that is actually relatively available. Flavor is completely off the charts and so ridiculously balanced... with a mouthfeel that ties things together perfectly. Find this beer and have it... cause it'll be better than most of the limited stuff you'd have to wait much longer for.

Photo of masterhomebrewer
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

2009 bottle a year old at tasting.

A = Thick, black and opaque. A half centimeter of beige head forms a few seconds after pour.

S = Chocolate, dark fruit.

T = Similar to smell -- chocolate, dark fruit, very faint roast, little to no hop flavor. Not quite as complex or interesting as I had hoped. Still hot after a year and tastes like the 11 percent it is.

M = Thick and viscous. Exactly how I like my Stouts to feel -- heavy and chewy.

D = Lack of complexity in the taste and the alcohol heat hurt the drinkability. Couldn't finish the 750-ml myself, which is unusual.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
I've had this a couple of times before now. I 'found' this bottle in my cellar recently and I know that it's been down there for almost a year now. Realized that I didn't have a review posted for it, so here we go...

This is some damn black liquid here. This is what a good stout should look like, IMO. The one-finger head of chocolate brown colored foam appears very creamy. It recedes to a sporadic filmy surface covering, after a few minutes. The lacing is in broken strands and is fairly sticky.

A fair amount of roasted malts and a touch of char are most evident in this nose. There is also a good deal of some dark fruit hints, along with some notes of caramel and lighter hints of vanilla. A good deal of dark roasted espresso in the undertones mixes with some mild hints of dark chocolates.

This is a big mouthful of chocolate flavor. Loads of chocolate notes, both milk and dark, mix with big notes of cocoa powder. There is a great underbelly of espresso and roasted malts. Sweet hints of vanilla and caramels dance in and out of the flavor profile. Mild hints of dark fruits bring a touch of sweetness, which helps give balance, but no individual fruit seems to stand out. The finish, which is sweet and roasty, just goes on and on and on.
This is a good complex flavor profile, though not overly so. It is a wonderful example of how beautifully tasty a stout can truly be.

This is full-bodied and somewhat viscous. It has a mild level of carbonation which gives it a smooth and silky mouthfeel. I like it.

I could drink alot of this one, for sure. It is complex with a wonderful level of balance. The 10.5%abv is very nicely hidden, giving just a touch of warmth, way down in the back of your throat. Delicious.
A wonderful beer from Tomme and Lost Abbey.

Photo of horshack7
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Out of a 1 pint 9.4 ounce corked bottle. Then into a snifter pours an abyss of darkness completly opaque. On top is a caramel colored head about two fingers thick with decent head retention.

Aroma: Large amounts espresso, dark chocolate. A slight hint of vannila bean. A little bit of burnt hoppiness and wonderful dark roasted malts.

Taste: Wow this is an evil sinister beast of a brew. Wonderfully creamy mouthfeel lots upon lots of dark chocolate. Stunning hop bitterness but with only enough to round it out. The malt back bone is huge immensely sweet and chocolatly. The espresso notes are massive.

Notes: It's a beast in a bottle or maybe it's plain pure evil and that's allright with me. Truly a remarkable stout. Cheers.

Photo of Lunch
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 750ml bottle purchased at Shangy's in Emmaus, PA into my Lost Abbey Signature glass at the cellar temperature (01/08/10).

A: Pours a thick and luscious motor oil black capped with a 1.5 finger mocha colored head with nice retention and some sticky lacing.

S: Potent aroma of rich cocoa and roasted malt combined with notes of milk chocolate, espresso, and some dark chocolate as well.

T: Absolutely an incredible flavor profile highlighted with a rich and creamy cocoa engulfed in layers of roasted malt, milk chocolate, espresso, and dark chocolate. There is a slight warming sense from the 10.5% alcohol which adds some nice heat that is never overpowering. Some bitterness is also present from the dark chocolate as well as just a hint of citrus hops. Overall this is truly an exceptional Imperial Stout.

M: Full-bodied with low and creamy carbonation. There is a slight sticky feel, that helps to coat the entire palate with its rich flavor profile. A slight warming sense is present especially once it warms a bit.

D: Extremely drinkable as I had no problem finishing the entire 750ml bottle in an evening, but it is certainly a sipping Imperial Stout. The 10.5% is well hidden with the exception of a pleasing warming that adds even more complexity to this beer.

Overall this has become a new favorite of mine and certainly one of the most complex Imperial Stouts that I have tried. My Highest Recommendation.

Photo of meatyard
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up early in 2008

Hard to describe it as anything other than an opaque black. The head is a good 3-finger. mocha color though it recedes pretty quickly.
The aroma is toasty cocoa, dark chocolate, a light smell of coffee, a hint of vanilla and, surprisingly, a note of alcohol.
The taste replicated the smell, though with more intensity all the way around with the exception of no noticeable alcohol. The taste is a bit sweet but overall has a lot going on and is really great.
Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth and alcohol is nicely hidden in the taste. Carbonation is on the low side but not any kind of a problem
Drinkability is exactly what you want in an Impy Stout. This is not a problem to drink on your own but excellent to share with an appreciative friend.

Almost two years in the cellar hasn't hurt this one any. If I can get ahold of another, I think I will hold on to it a while too.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle

A-pours a deep jet black that allows absolutely no light through. it pours a bubbly 1 1/2 fingers of an extremely dark brown head that lingers for a little and leaves little to know lacing on the glass.

S-huge notes of cocoa and roasted malt, absolutely glorious, hints of coffee come in with a light citrus hop towards the back

T-big roasted malt comes in first with a taste of sweet cocoa and just a touch of espresso finishing with a little bit of sweet citrus hop

M-very smooth, not huge body but full, quite creamy and silky with a light carbonation and slight alcohol burn on the back of the throat, very light though.

D-extremely solid imperial stout, one of my absolute favorites!

Photo of hrking
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

This is a unique stout. I pick up an almost cocoa something like suntan oil sweetness from this stout.I like the fact that it steps outside the norm of all others with the flavors not being to overwhelming to any one area. Nice balance with roasted malts and seems like there is some added sugar here as well. All in all a great offering...

Photo of Blakaeris
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown-black. Tan head quickly thins to a dense ring.

Aroma is charred dark grain and coffee bitterness. Underlying milk sugar sweetness. Alcohol comes on strong with a bourbon quality.

Taste is what the nose led me to expect. Smokey burnt malt matches well with rich chocolate sweetness. Bourbon is still coming on strong with a vanilla and a dry woody oak quality that lingers in the finish.

Mouthfeel is full and round.

Overall a substantial stout. Flavor is rich and enticing. Alcohol heat brings a pleasant sting to the finish. This is a big beer that is still very drinkable.

Photo of bashiba
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark black with no light coming through, had a very dark tan head, with mild retention.

Has a big sweet nose with hints of molasses, vanilla, and caramel, a dark burnt bitterness lingers in there as well.

The flavor is almost overpowering, a huge blast of sweet vanilla and caramel with some bourbony alcohol notes poking through then quickly turning to the dark burnt black coffee, leafy green hops, and chocolate bitterness that seems to linger on forever.

The mouthfeel is thick, oily, and very coating.

What a powerful stout, drinks much bigger than it is and reminds me of some of the best.

Photo of nsmartell
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this from the comfort of my own living room. From the 2009 vintage, 750 ml bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a jet-black color that does not allow any light through with a half-inch mocha colored head that lasts and lasts. Quite a good-looking beer.

Smell: Roasted malts, bitter, dark and sweet chocolate and coffee.

Taste: As the smell suggests, the bitter chocolate dominates and is quite sweet. The hops come through on the finish for a nice balanced taste. The alcohol comes through a little here.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, thick and creamy. Coats your teeth and tongue and will not go away.

Drinkability: Excellent beer. The alcohol does not dominate and the taste and mouthfeel keeps you going back for more. Would definitely recommend and drink again.

Photo of wnh
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours an opaque black with a nice, dark tan head.

Aromas of dark milk chocolate, malted milkballs, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Complex, with a great interplay between the various aromas. Thick and choclately on the palate, turning to bourbon-y oak before finishing earthy and dry. Delicious; this short review doesn't do the beer justice.

Photo of jrallen34
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice.

This beaut pours a dirty oil slick black with dark brown head and decent lacing.

It smells mostly chocolate with slight notes of coffee.

This is a very drinkable stout, almost to my detriment with 10.5% alcohol. The taste starts smooth with a nice cofee finish. Very good stout. This like a sessional stout.

Photo of
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle. Zero head on mine unless forced and then didn't but a few minutes. Mouth feel was quite good, medium to thick and highly viscous, easily coating my entire mouth. Smells of chocolate and coffee as expected, not much else.

As for the taste, the alcohol is hidden remarkably well. Chocolate and coffee showing up here as wellas toasted malts. Very light carbonation. After thoroughly enjoying the subtle comlexity of Lost Abbel's 10 Commanments I was hoping for something more complex. Overall pretty disappointing, I'd rather be drinking an Old Rasputin.

Photo of PDXHops
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage 750 ml bottle, courtesy of mauerhan, poured into an oversized snifter.

Pours dark and oily, with only a skim of dark tan head. This can be kept alive with a swirl now and then, though, and leaves a bit of drippy lacing.

The primary aromas are cocoa and burnt malts, with layers of dark fruit, mocha and alcohol underneath. In the mouth, burnt malt, coffee and warming alcohol dominate (the latter to a degree that is slightly distracting). Raisins, dark chocolate and a bit of peppery spice come into play as well. Really nice oily, coating mouthfeel that delivers lingering roastiness and a bit of bitterness to all parts of the palate.

Overall impression: Enjoyable fireside sipper.

Photo of taylorhamrick
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours out an incredibly dark color, no light passing through right from the start. And a nice dense brown head forms on top. It leaves a little lacing, but with the drinking speed I had with this, the head didn't have a chance of making it to the finish. Very nice looking though. The smell is mostly raisins, burnt bread, a little roasted malt, some chocolate, with a hint of booze. Smells good. The taste is really interesting. Comes out very sticky, raisins, overripe plums, dark and sweet, but dried out a bit through fermentation. There's nutty grainy bread, and maybe a taste of earthiness. It's very dense, but the booze is immediately present. Very slow drinking. Actually, the carbonation was nice and light at the start, but by the end, there was nothing, just beer and the burn of some alcohol. Very strong in the flavor department, which makes it nice, but any small glaring weakness is intensified by the alcohol, and the intensity of flavors may overwhelm at points. But overall, a very good beer. I just have to say that to call this drinkable, would be a lie, a huge lie, this took me something like 3 or 4 hours, but I can't say I didn't enjoy it all throughout.

Photo of Rizow
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark and thick, with a modest, foamy, tan-and-brown head. Bears the vanilla, coffee, and chocolate scent one would expect. The vanilla seems to be more present here than in other of its Stout peers. Tastes of rich cocoa and coffee. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, not too heavy. Highly drinkable, with its high alcohol held nicely in check. Another of the outstanding Stouts.

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL cork and caged bottle into a tulip, 2008 vintage. Consumed on 8/7/09 from notes.

Pours black with a lively 1 finger mocha head. Leaves spotty lacing. Looks very inviting and sinister at the same time.

Aromas of deep roasted malts, dark chocolate, espresso, cherries and french roast (oily) coffee.

Taste follows with the same, low bitterness from the roasted malts. Cocoa nibs and chocolate malts. Not overly complex, but very satisfying.

Creamy and coating mouthfeel. Smooth and silky. This bottle is very drinkable and the ABV is negligible on the way down, but feels a bit warming after a few minutes. Appropriately carbonated.

Overall I think this is a really underrated stout, I would love to try the Port version of it.

Photo of MisterClean
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ups to Matt for sharing the drinko.

A - Pours jet black, with 1/2 finger of capuccino head. Dissipates moderately fast leaving no lacing.

S/T - Dark coffee, chocolate, anise, leathery, smokey, with pine and bittering hops.

M - Full-bodied, well-balanced, but with a lingering alcohol taste.

D - Not bad. That lingering alcohol really fouls up a good beer. Reminds me to hold my bottle for a while.

Photo of koopa
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle purchased at Capone's in Norristown PA.

Appearance: It pours an inky black with a small dark brown crown that rapidly dissipates and shows the tiniest swirls of lace.

Smell: Roast malt, loads of chocolate, a nice amount of roast coffee, and a hint of black anise.

Taste: Coffee, nuts, a minor hop addition, and booze fused with nicely roasted malt. The booze presence isn't bad in the winter time but it definitely detracts from the wonderful malt profile.

Mouthfeel: Thick and rich with slightly prickly carbonation. Gets better if you leave your glass for a little while and allow the carbonation to be released a bit.

Drinkability: The boozy quality isn't enjoyable for me and the carbonation is a bit off but the creamy heaviness of this brew is really enjoyable.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - black as night of course, with a thin fizzy tan head the laces to the rim quickly

S - big coffee flavors, some sweet licorice notes adn of course some dark chocolate, not an overly complex aroma, but quite nice

T - the first element that hits is the coffee, in compnaionship with the chocolate for a nice mocha thing, some residual licorice, the finish is earthy like charcoal, or smoky peat

M&D - rich malts make this a thick brew that is still smooth and easy to drink, it hides the double digit ABV pretty well, one of the better stouts i have had in a while. Lost Abbey continues to impress. as if i needed more motivation to move to Cali

Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 1,455 ratings.