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Serpent's Stout - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Serpent's StoutSerpent's Stout

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1,469 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,469
Reviews: 538
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 8.51%
Wants: 289
Gots: 340 | FT: 31
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: 1,469 | Reviews: 538 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hrking
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
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 +6.4%
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
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
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
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
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
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
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 -6.6%
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
3.79/5  rDev -10.4%
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 -11.8%
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 -3.1%
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 -2.4%
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
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
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
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
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
4.37/5  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

Photo of davod23
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You know, this beer doesn't get as much hype as it maybe deserves. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Bruery snifter.

Pour is somewhat thick, jet-black, with a light-coffee colored head that rises from the dead post-pour. It dissipates, but a swirl of the glass brings it back. Some lacing, quite nice.

Smell is of roasted dark malts, bitter and dark chocolates, a touch of espresso. Aroma is not overpowering, but assertive nonetheless. As it warms, there's a slight negative transformation - some cheap, stale coffee emanates forth from the glass. Not enough to hurt the score too badly, but it's not close to a perfect-smelling imperial stout.

Taste follows the nose for the most part. It's relatively sweet, with bitter chocolate and coffee notes, and a bitter finish. The bitterness reminds me more of dark chocolate than hops though. The alcohol is very well hidden, except for a slight warming sensation that I get in my innards. That's right, I'm talking about my innards.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. It's not quite as viscous and chewy as others out there, but it's certainly not thin. For an imperial stout, I'm thinking this is medium-bodied. Enough carbonation to not feel like a dead beer. Considering this is Lost Abbey we're talking about, I'm happy about that.

Drinkability is great for a stout. 11%? Ha. I could drink a couple of these bottles in a night if it wouldn't screw me up in the morning. As it was, my half of the bottle was gone in no time flat.

Very, very solid effort from Lost Abbey. I wonder what would happen if this were thrown into oak barrels for a while. Worth seeking out, regardless.

Photo of bulletrain76
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl bottle thanks to bret27. An unexpected and pleasant surprise at our last tasting. Bret walked two miles through La Selva/Seascape hills to bring this bad boy, and the effort was worth it. The beer poured out of the bottle with a pitch-black hue and had a nice tan head that left lasting foam. The aroma had some sweet coffee and fruity yeast notes. The flavor was on the fruity side with lower bitterness and lots of dark chocolate. It was more sweet up front but faded into a darker chocolate finish. Full bodied and smooth with carbonation at a medium-low level. A nicely balanced and mellow stout with a good flavor combination of fruitiness and dark chocolate.

Photo of Deuane
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Deep, dark brownish-black with a small dark tan head that reduced to a thin cap and left decent lace.

S-Rich, deep roasted malt, spicy notes with hints of French roast coffee and dark chocolate. Subtle notes of caramelized sugar and earthy hops.

T-Rich, almost chewy, roast malt with a significant blast of espresso and dark chcocolate. Nice spicy kick in the background and a pleasant ending dryness.

M-Medium-heavy bodied and very smooth with lingering bitterness and oak like dryness.

DAn amazingly drinkable 10+% brew. This may be my most favorite regular LA offering. Tough to put down my glass!

Photo of Docer
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An '09 bottle, cracked today... 11/07/2009 thx to BM! I finally drank it!

- Dark black/brown... stout! So simple! Quick fizzy bubbly bourbon-barrel-aged-like fizz... there, in a mocha-front... and then gone! Left a bit of continental drift... light, as if an island was all that was left upon our great planet.

- Rather plain, mild, and hoppy! Even after a year in the cool cellar, it was rather bitter and sweet w/ hops! Loved it!

- Smooth roaring chocolate malts, sweet hop, and a honey madness that was quite nice w/ a bit of raisin... plum maybe... smooth.. whatever it took.

- Dry, parching, and the way and imperial stout should be... I enjoyed the bitterness, and dryness...

- Fantastic Imperial stout... one of the best... smooth, hid itself well, and left me feeling fine! Whart more could one ask for! Tasty!

Photo of pwoods
3.96/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged 750ml brown bottle poured into a snifter. Notes.

A: Pours dark brown with some vinous quality. Decently thick mocha head with good retention and lacing.

S: A bit of strong Belgian spices. roasty notes with some sweet berries. Rich, sweet malts.

T/M: Big hop presence. roasted, charred, lightly woody malts. Rich sweetness, maybe a bit of molasses. Some chocolate and coffee towards the finish. Finishes dry with pleasant alcohol throughout. Body is about full with somewhat high carbonation.

D: Drinks a bit easier from the higher carbonation but still a big beer.

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

750ml bottle into pint glass.

A: BLACK. Modest dark khaki head. Nice sticky lacing. Great looking imperial stout.

S: Coffee, chocolate, toffee, molasses.

T: Coffee, chocolate, toffee, molasses, maybe a bit of vanilla bean. Plenty of malts. Hops presence is pretty low.

M: Full bodied. Medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is nice.

D: Great for the alcohol content, but nothing I'm trying to drink really fast.

Photo of cbanker
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent beer, I was blown away by this on the first sip. Does not taste at all like it's 11%.

A: Deep browish-black. Small dark tan head, that fades to a ring around the outside of the glass. The outer ring of head lasts for the whole beer.

S: Deep malty smell, with a lot of coffee and chocolate. Perhaps some hints of caramel. Smells really inviting. Slight hint of alcohol.

T: Tastes excellent, very malty with a lot of coffee any chcoclate. Slight alcohol taste, but I'd never guess this is 11%. The finish is a little bit bitter, but goes really well with the beer.

M: Smooth, good carbonation for a heavy stout. Leaves a nice little bitter tingle.

D: Extremely drinkable for how strong it is. Tastes great, goes down easy, nothing not to like here.

Overall an excellent stout. Lots of coffee and chocolate flavors but not too overpowering. The % alcohol of this beer is hidden really well and it tastes awesome for such a strong beer. Will definitely buy again. Give it a try, and if you live near SoCal, visit the brewery on a Fri or Sat.

Photo of corby112
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with not even the slightest of mahogany edges when held to a light source and HUGE frothy, pillowy coffee colored head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a thick cap that lasts throughout, leaving large chunks of lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with hints of coffee, dark chocolate, licorice, anise, spicy pepper, dark fruits and a decent amount of earthy hops.

Very roasted full body with a lot of dark chocolate maltiness, spicy pepper and anise, coffee, toffee, oatmeal, caramel malt and a nice bitter hop finish. Heavily carbonated up front with a very roasty dark maltiness, followed by a sweet caramel and chocolate body with a very bitter dry hoppy finish. Recommended.

Photo of ledomelor
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750ml bottle into a 16oz pint glass (my tulip glass was being used at the time)

A: Pours very dark brown, almost black with a nice thin caramel colored head. A little lacing

S: An aroma of burnt chocolate, brownie like aroma, coffee nodes, light milk or lactose aroma, and alcohol. Apparently there is an almond smell (I can't smell or taste almond, which is not uncommon. People with this condition can usually smell cyanide, not that I have ever tried, but I digress)

T: Big dark Chocolate taste, sweeter then the aroma, with small coffee nodes and a little milk on the back of the palette. It tastes of a little smoke and some bitterness that is well balanced. The 11% definitely sticks out in the after taste.

M: Very creamy mouthfeel, full but not syrupy. Very sharp aftertaste being dominated by its high alcohol content. I think this beer would be better as a 10%, but that's just me. Nice amount of carbonation as well, making it more alive on the palette.

D: A nice sipping beer, with the high abv and its thickness you can't drink this one too fast, or all night for that matter.

Overall: Very unique Imperial Stout, delicious beer, however you have to be in the mood for a beer like this one. Best enjoyed in the winter seasons (or fall when it gets cold) in my opinion.

Photo of natelocc787
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thank you to JosephLondon for this beer. A true advocate of beer and one helluva model American!

The abv on the bottle I had was 11%.

Poured black brown, as with all great stouts the light refused to penetrate the inky brown, blackness. Head was an awesome sight to behold for any stout fan. Mocha. Tall and long lasting with small and big bubbles alike. Different colors of brown in the head ranging from light tan to mocha to melted caramel.

The smell was of mocha, milk chocolate and chocolate milk. Add in the smell you get when you take the lid off of a can of powdered NestlieQuik. Yeah the one with the crazy chocolate milk drinking rabbit. Maple and brown sugar oatmeal. The roasty aspect of the head was light so it wasn't burnt. I appreciated this.

The taste of this stout to me excluded coffee period. No expresso ar anything close. I believe this stout could be labeled as an "Imperial Chocolate Stout." Very chocolaty with no dark chocolate noticed. Maybe a tad of light fudge and definitely chocolate chip cookies, chocolate milk, brownies and semi-sweet chocolate. Browns sugary and malty with a smidge of hops in the middle. A little vanilla and cinnamon flavor along with marshmallow round out the delectable flavor of this ale.

Mouthfeel was lacking some of the bubbles and chewiness I favor in the higher ranked examples of this style. Very well done and it was semi-chewy but I couldn't quit bump it up. It was silky and chocolaty but hey, it's hard to be perfect and have all 5 categories make a 5.

Drinkability was outstanding for it's style. This beer was very well brewed and is one I will enjoy again at least twice a year. I have to say I highly recommend this beer if you like chocolate stouts as this is one of the best I've ever had.

The Serpents Stout is the true definition of a treat.

Photo of ricke
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a small black beige head that quickly settles into a fine ring of lacings.

S: Not overly powerful, but still with a pleasant character of roasted malts and delightful fruity notes. Quite a lot of coffee. Hints of chocolate and vanilla.

T: A somewhat sweet taste with gently roasted malts and coffee to the fore. Fruits are more muted than in the smell. Some tannins. Notes of chocolate. The finish is somewhat bitter with a faint salty note of licorice, and a hint of wood. The alcohol provides a nice warming sensation, but not much to the flavors. All in all, quite tasty and balanced nut not overly powerful or complex.

M: Full bodied with a velvety texture. Mild carbonation seems to fit the laid back character of the beer well.

D: I think I was expecting more from this. Still a good beer, though. It's well composed, but it could use a bigger spectrum or aromas and flavors.

Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 1,469 ratings.