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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.

1,437 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,437
Reviews: 537
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 8.49%
Wants: 286
Gots: 331 | 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: 1,437 | Reviews: 537 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Corked and caged brown 750 with typical, beautifully-done L.A. label

Appearance: Pitch black and opaque; there's a dark mocha head of large bubbles...took a fairly hard pour to get much of a head at all but once there it had decent retention

Smell: Sweet dark and roasty malts with a decent amount of dusty dark fruit and burnt caramel.

Taste: Big roasted and lots of burnt malts, dark fruit, a touch of barnyard (as in red Bordeaux, not Belgian funk)...alcohol is hidden quite well for the abv

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and viscous

Drinkability: Pretty high for the abv

Conclusion: This is a deceivingly drinkable, burnt, roasty stout...I like the dark fruit here as well and just the hint of barnyard...this is quite nicely done and one I'll definitely try to return to.

BedetheVenerable, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, 11% ABV stated on the label. Pours a pitch black color. Nice tan, fluffy head. Good head retention, especially considering the alcohol content.

Chocolate aroma, with some roasty, and yeasty notes. A good whiff of alcohol in the nose as well.

Some bittersweet chocolate up front. A few different layers of chocolate actually. A hint of butter. Some yeasty character comes out and interacts quite well.

Lighter body with a good amount of carbonation. Some of the alcohol still shows through, though not overwhelming. Good chocolate finish, without being overly sweet. Very nice.

Bierguy5, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of mcallister
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a thick rocky mocha colored head fades fairly quickly leaving splotches of lace.

Blasts of chocolate fudge yeast black fruits with a hint of cardboard however not distracting. Hints of caramel with a vanilla swirl.

Just a total chocolate bomb. Layers and layers of chocolate flavors, fudge,cake, icing, fudge, cocoa, bakers chocolate then some caramel, black fruit and hints of bittering hops. Some alcohol on the finish. Very nice.

mcallister, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of bort11
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

mikesgroove, you sonovabitch. You've kicked me in the face again from the Fight Club Project Mayhem BIF.

750 ml corked and caged bottle, poured into my classic Boulevard Smokestack goblet. Dark mocha head, stands up quick to a solid fingers width. Recedes to a complete cap, though not much in the way of lacing. Color is black/brown with milk chocolate highlights.

Smell has a dark roasted chocolate with a hint of cherry skin sweetness. There is a yeast note, not quite Belgian, but definitely not a standard stout yeast. Taste has strong cocoa powder sweetness. Still, just a hint of cherries in the background.

Mouthfeel is just short of thick. Very full body with a dry finish. Very enjoyable and I want more.

Blipped "Black Snake" by John Lee Hooker

bort11, Jul 16, 2009
Photo of berkey
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap last week but didn't take notes so I picked up a bottle last night for review.

A heavy handed pour creates a fairly large foamy burnt sienna head that settles quicky to a thin cap with good retention. Very little filmy lacing. Body is about as black as a beer can get with almost zero light penetrating.

Aroma is of sweet cocoa, alcohol, and coffee, with some additional sweet fruit in the background. Also some faint yeast.

First sip mildly chocolately but nearly not as sweet as the nose and the aftertaste is dominated by big coffee and booze flavors. Almost like black coffee with whiskey. Once the palate recovers from that frontal assault the cocoa sweetness and mild fruitiness start to come through once again.

Mouthfeel is fairly high in carbonation for the style but not so much that it's distracting. This isn't as viscous as some other beers in the style but still fairly thick. The big flavors keep the drinkability down a bit but drinkability isn't what this style is about and I still got through the bottle surprisingly easily considering the ABV.

Overall another solid Lost Abby offering I'm sure I'll revisit at some point soon when the mood strikes.

berkey, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of atsprings
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #1000! 750mL corked and caged bottle into a Duvel snifter pours an opaque black with a thin tan head that diminishes to an island of foam and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice amount of fresh ground coffee, cocoa and roasted malts. The taste is an absolutely wonderful smooth blend of powdered cocoa, fresh ground coffee and roasted malts, very complex, smooth and quite easy drinking, especially for a hot summer night. The beer is medium bodied with the stated 11.0% ABV VERY well hidden, the beer is also quite nicely carbonated, especially given Lost Abbey's recent reputation. This is a truly spectacular beer, certainly one worthy of a milestone review!

atsprings, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of illidurit
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy bret27. Pours pitch black with a very dark tan head. Aroma is perfumey dark chocolate, a little booziness, some roastiness, brownies, light coffee. Flavor is cocoa powdery with bitter chocolate and a ton of roast in the finish. Booze makes a spicy but not overbearing appearance. Rather dry with some astringency. Another good Lost Abbey beer.

illidurit, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of mugglesandhops
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is another one that Davey brought back from Portland for me. This is the only thing I have had from Lost Abbey at this point. Poured 750ml bottle into snifter. Poured a chalky looking darkbrown/black color, creamy tan head. Smells nutty, spicy, little coffee, bitter chocolate. Taste a little boozy, It taste stronger than 10.5 to me but we did drink it pretty fresh. Mouth was creamy but still a little fizzy in there. This was good but there are so many better Impy Stouts out there.

mugglesandhops, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of augustgarage
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes; on-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood. Served in a non-branded straight-walled tulip (similar to a short stemmed heavy wine glass).

Extremely dark brown, approaching black in color. Opaque and topped with a resiliant desert sand head that fades to a wide ring.

Aroma is very distinctive, though I can't place it. Very spirity, raisins, dates, cherries, and an almost yeasty funk.

Roasted malt, coffee, dried fruit, and some sourness. Alcohol comes through strongly. Bitterness brings to mind fruit-pits rather than hops. This is probably a bit of an acquired taste.

On the higher end of medium bodied, kind of chewy, though it isn't a slick beer. Very warming, a bit of astringency, strong carbonation subsumed by the ABV.

Because of how heavy it is and the unusual aroma and flavors within, I find this to be a bit of a chore to drink.

augustgarage, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of rhinos00
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage. Poured from a 25.4 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark black. If I was staring into an abyss this would the color I imagined. Produces a tow fingers width of mocha colored head. After a few minutes, it was reduced to a nice thin layer.

S- So complex and rich. Getting a base layer of roasted coffee beans. Piled on top is a myriad of aromas that give it great depth. Lots of malts, chocolate and dark fruits with a little hint of vanilla. Do yourself a favor and just take a nice huge whiff...soak it all in.

T- Upfront getting plenty of burnt coffee beans and chocolate malt flavors. About midway through toffee and a subtle dark fruit flavor kick in and grow until the finish. I can't help but think how great this would be with some age on it. The finish was just a little too hot for me. Instead of a nice, chocolate, fruit finish, there was an alcoholic presence that really affected the taste.

M- Medium bodied. Not as viscous as I had hoped for, but still manageable. Had a healthy amount of carbonation. Left a semi-dry mouthfeel on the palate.

D- This one is definitely a sipper. The flavors are there, but you really feel every bit of the 11% abv. Warms up the chest rather nicely.

Overall, I can't imagine how smooth and complex the flavors would be when this beer gets some age on it. This beer was definitely a bit too young for my liking. One of those beers that I will have to revisit.

rhinos00, Jun 05, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serpent's Stout constitutes the dark side of the dark side. It is an opaque, nebulous, single-toned black that rejects all light and luster; I think it's too dark to even cast a shadow. The colour is beautifully pristine, its simplicity and lack of highlights seems to suggest it doesn't care if you look at it or not. In addition, the beer's surface, a rich mocha colour, appears scorched and crunchy just like creme brulee.

Until now, it seemed unnecessary to ask anything more from the aroma of an Imperial Stout. So full of rich dark chocolate, potent coffee and roasted caramelized maltiness, what more was there to want? Apparently, sambuca-soaked currants and a cinnamon-laced yeast, just to name a couple things. This smells sophisticated yet indulgent and decadently rich. It offers all of your guilty pleasures, it's like a bottomless dessert tray.

And I thought the aroma smelt good - this tastes fantastic! Coffee, licorice, dark fruits, roast malts, you name it, it's all here. The head of the table belongs to the mighty cocoa bean. This tastes like chocolate and everything ever made with chocolate. Tomme Arthur can brew an endless repertoire of styles but as this beer suggests he could do away with all the others, focus only on stouts, and still be one of the world's most artistic brewers.

There is a light ashy/smokiness to the malts that leaves the impression of a heavily roasted espresso; it is a very bitter quality. At the same time, a full cast of intensely caramelized flavours provide plenty of sweetness. The result? A very well rounded mouthfeel that makes for a two-pronged decadence. I suppose 'silky' would be the best word for the job although I doubt even it can encompass the magnificence that is this mouthfeel.

You see, the beer possesses the flavours of dark dried fruit, charred oak and espresso but it also incorporates the textures of said things, too. It can have sweet and chewy like crunch while other sips are dry and excessively phenolic; on other sips yet it is crushingly bitter and roasty with a sweeping amount of dark, caramelized flavour. The alcohol is starting to be sensed but I still wonder if that 11% is just a wee bit exaggerated.

For a sinful beer this was awfully heavenly. Sure it's decadently gratifying and, given the alcohol content and bottle size, gluttonously indulgent, but name me one stout lover who could resist the potency of this bouquet, the rich and bittersweet flavours and the cold, black stare of this magnificent beer! If sensual pleasure and slow, lasting enjoyment is wrong, then I don't want to be right. Huge thanks to MasterSki for answering a prayer!

biegaman, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of MEsquandoles
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL from early winter '08, poured into Unibroue Maudite snifter.

Much like a thick mocha cappuccino, but with a lot of licorice, and noticeable tootsie roll and peat too. Rich!

Different carbonation and finish, fizzier than any other big Imp Stout I've had...a surprisingly dry slightly sour finish, but strong woodiness takes earlier flavours long through the palate. Interesting and satisfying.

I get some Quad flavours as I near the end of the bottle, and in the burp. Some cola too.

For 11% there was almost no harsh booziness.

A unique Imperial Stout. I have yet to taste a Lost Abbey brew I didn't think was well made and significantly above average. Definitely worth trying, and i'd love to try it aged a year. Possible my 3rd favorite Imp Stout behind Abyss and Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5.

MEsquandoles, May 30, 2009
Photo of Grabbin2nd
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From Notes: 3/29/09
The Lost Abbey
Serpent's Stout 2009
Imperial Stout
11% Abv.
750ml caged and corked into NB snifter

Appearance= Vigorous pour into NB snifter yields a fat 3 finger, dark brown head. Head retention is impressive. Cakey and thick looking. Deep, dark, opaque, black body. Excellent lacing and cling. This beer looks like it wants to kick your ass.

Smell= Coffee and Chocolate. Good smell, but not super pungent.

Taste= Flavor is excellent. So good I was quaffing it and some slipped out of my mouth onto my review sheet! Coffee, Choco, the usual suspects.

Mouthfeel= Mouthfeel is really thick. Like a big booty dancer. Lingers for awhile like a friend that's overstayed his welcome. Perfect for the style.

Drinkability= Abv. is not detected, flavor is good, mouthfeel is thick. I would probably not drink more than one, but it is excellent and the bottle didn't last long.

Grabbin2nd, May 29, 2009
Photo of johnnnniee
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

No date on the bottle so I don't know the vintage, I've had this for about a year. Pours a solid black with a fluffy almost tan head that persists for a while. I got a huge whiff of dark fruits as I popped the cork on this one. Deeper into my nose flows the licorice and sweet chocolates along with some dark fruits and a touch of alcohol. Taste is vinous, followed by some chocolates and some alcohol and roast in the finish. The carbonation is kind of high, Body is medium, mouthfeel is bubbly/oily. The high carbonation messes with the mouthfeel to much, but overall a solid stout.

johnnnniee, May 29, 2009
Photo of BeerStine
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a small wine glass.

Pours a pitch black with a thin almond color. It appears to be lightly carbonated. Spells of sweet malts with chocolate/coffee undertones. Smells pretty boozy too. Has a deep charcoal taste. Hints of coffee and slightly sweet chocolate. Has a light mouthfeel and light carbonation. Drinkablity is good; especially for an 11% ABV beer.

Nothing amazing here. Just a solid stout that I'd drink again.

BeerStine, May 23, 2009
Photo of jwc215
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to PhxHorn for this!

750 ml cage-corked bottle - 2009 vintage - poured into a tulip glass:

Pours pitch black with a dark brown (ruby-ish tinted) head that quickly settles to a very thin cover. Some trailing lacing sticks.

The smell is of a lactose milk sourness with some chocolate, licorice/anise and some alcohol.

The taste is of chocolate - sweeter than the nose - lactose sour there, but more subdued. Some licorice is there. Fruity/peppery alcohol, while sharp and slows it down, adds to the flavour more than it masks it. It has a lingering earthy bitterness in the finish.

It has a creamy, milky body with a sharpness. It has a full, but not syrupy, body with quite a bit of carbonation.

This is a boozy one, for sure, and took a long time to go through (as expected for the high abv). Sweet to start, has a bitter finish. Not too crazy about the slight sour (in a milk/lactose) way here. An Imp. Stout that's a bit different/unique. A pleasant, slow sipper, overall.

jwc215, May 23, 2009
Photo of DefenCorps
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage at Josh and Trey's graduation tasting. Epic.

A: Jet black with a dark brown head, not very good retention

S: Roasty, licorice, unsweetened dark chocolate, some cream. Pretty awesome. The thickness reminds me in ways of The Abyss

T: Medium body with plenty of roast. Rich roasted malt, dark chocolate, mild coffee and firm bitterness. Excellent balance with a mildly smoky finish that also has a bitter component. Mild creaminess on the palate

M: Medium bodied, slightly over-carbonated and an excellent, bitter finish

D: An easy drinking sipper (?)

DefenCorps, May 19, 2009
Photo of PhxHorn
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had several of the Port beers, but this is my first LA one. It pours a deep dark dark brown with minimal head, and I practically dumped it into the glass. Smells moderately of coffee and licorice. Tastes of coffee (mostly) with a decent dose of licorice. Maybe a slight hint of chocolate, but not much--the coffee and licorice dominate. It's a nice blend of flavors, not RIS-style, but moderate but not overwhelming. Carbonation is a bit low, but this is drinkable as stouts go.

PhxHorn, May 18, 2009
Photo of photomike
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a VERY full pint glass at the 3rd Anniversary party.

Pours motor oil black with no head or lacing to speak of. Ugly and imposing. Very fitting.

Smell is boozy with lots of licorice and chocolate.

The flavor is full of bitter chocolate, barley, and malt. Coffee and some raisin. A hint of anise. Extremely complex and satisfying.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Full bodied and creamy. Velvety and smooth. This is what I want in my big stouts.

This is heavy, but my pint disappeared quickly. Very drinkable for a beer this big.

photomike, May 18, 2009
Photo of chicagobeerriot
3.43/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serpents Stout pours with a classic, mocha-colored head that releases a whiff of dates and cherries. The mouth feel is slightly more carbonated than its impy bretheren which lends to an initial chalky sensation that disappears when the flavors kick in. Dark chocolate and espresso flavors initially dominate, but dates, prunes and spice show up to provide a little balance and to keep the alcohol at bay. That balance is thrown off a bit by a slightly acidic finish, but, overall, this is a very solid stout that should pair nicely with aged sharp cheddar or a raisin-based bread pudding.

chicagobeerriot, May 16, 2009
Photo of froghop
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a jet black with a small brown head, and good lacing.

smell of cocoa, some coffee, sour malt, a touch of vanilla, and a whiff of smoke.

taste is thick and creamy, chocolate, strong coffee in the back, licorice, a touch of smoke, and some sour malt, end is dry

froghop, May 15, 2009
Photo of jwinship83
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 edition

A- this one pours a black as can be body with a very small coffee colored head on a vigorous pour. might be an undercarbonated bottle. wouldnt be the first time. the head is fading fast and leaves a wall of lacing behind.

S- this one smells mean. immediately i notice lots of dark and burnt smelling malts. faint notes of brown sugar also. there are some fruits, raisins and figs. and a little bit of coffee/hops at the end along with alcohol.

T- massively dark and burned malts come up first. lots of the raisins i could smell, but not as much fig. alot of alcohol in this one. alot dryer than i expected. slight amounts of chocolate in this. loads of bitterness from coffee/hops at the end. complex and aggressive.

M- thick and sticky lots of pleasant warming from all the alcohol. a nice low level of carbonation that really works for this one.

D- this one was a treat, but too powerful to have another one. glad i decided to pick this one up, and ill try this year again when the next vintage comes out. lost abbey makes some solid beers.

jwinship83, May 13, 2009
Photo of baggio
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled@Oliver Twist.

A: Very dark-brownish with a generous head.

S: Lots of malt, Caramel, Ripe fruit, Cocoa and hints of yeast.

T: Chocolate, Coffee, Sugar, Belgian yeast and dark bread.

M: Palate: Much like a belgian stout in character with excessive sweetness at the end.

Good brew but too sweet for my palate.

baggio, May 12, 2009
Photo of SFBeerGuy
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured form a 750ml bottle labeled at 11% ABV into a tulip glass

A- Thick. Poured black as night and sloshed into the glass creating a 1/4" very dark brown head. Foam slowly receded leaving behind trace amounts of tan sticky spotted lacing.

S- Complex aromas rise form this brew. Firstly raisins come up, then dates and figs followed by wonderful chocolate and coffee. Lastly, I noticed a sweet burnt caramel linger in the glass.

T- Tastes of toffee, burnt cocoa and cinnamon with complementing fruit flavors similar to the aroma. Raisins, once again, dominate. A lingering dry spice finish of black pepper and cinnamon competes with the ever-present alcohol. Hot ale! It is obvious that this is 11% ABV. I am not complaining as it is difficult to hide this much alcohol. Subdued hop bitterness falls behind a bitter chocolate and spice finish. Hops feel like they too are competing with the alcohol content.

M- Heavy and sticky. This ale coats the mouth thoroughly. Wonderful warming ale. The alcohol lingers on the palate.

D- Easy now! Although it tastes wonderful and rich, this beer is well on its way to knocking me out quick. The obvious presence of alcohol slows me down a bit. Quite the sippy drink and one for the end of the night.

SFBeerGuy, May 10, 2009
Photo of MPLS
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared this with a friend.

A: Black as fertile soil, with a nice light foam head that continued to stick to the glass throughout.

S: Mild dark chocolate, roasted malts, hint of dark fruit.

T: Very pleasing stout, big wave of roasted malts with dark chocolate riding shotgun. Chocolate flavors are not overbearing and this beer remains big and roasted until it's off your palate. A mild fruity bitterness lingers. I was more impressed with this beer at the end of the glass, maybe the alcohol had penetrated my blood brain barrier, but a good warming beer.

M: Very small carbonation and a nice creamy mouthfeel.

D: IMO big stouts possess big drinkability. The first Lost Abbey beer I have taken the time to review.

MPLS, May 07, 2009
Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
95 out of 100 based on 1,437 ratings.