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Serpent's Stout - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Serpent's StoutSerpent's Stout

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,507 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,507
Reviews: 543
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 8.51%
Wants: 296
Gots: 369 | FT: 32
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: 1,507 | Reviews: 543 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

Shazam! One fine beer. Rich. Got this bottle at Sam's in Chicago a few months ago. Poured with a nice tan head and some lace. Color is an opaque brown almost black.... hell, maybe it is black. Splitting pubic hairs. Aroma is divine: chocolate, yeast, burnt malt, toffee, and a hint of fruit. Flavor is all a that and more. Add a touch of black walnut and french roast coffee. Finsih is surprisingly mild and easy. Body is great with fine carbonation. Killer beer.

Photo of kiddynamite920
3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

January 2009 vintage?

A: Pitch black, no light getting through this bad boy. Brownish-tan head stays around for longer than I would have expected.

S: Coffee and chocolate are strong on the nose, some alcohol aroma, but seems to be hidden behind the strong roasted aroma. Very strong smelling.

T: I think I expected more considering the all-powerful hype that The Lost Abbey has wrapped around it. It is a very nice Imperial stout, but not something that stands out from most. Strong coffee and chocolate malts, a bit bitter. Cherries and figs and dark fruits are present but not heavy. Balanced flavors make this a very nice beer.

M: A bit sticky, but very slick and medium bodied like most. A little hotness from the alcohol, with some carbonation that tickles the teeth.

D: Very drinkable now, but I think some aging could have taken some hotness off this. I'll have to pick up another one to age, although the price tag is quite high.

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

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a corked 750ml into a snifter.

Note: Lists 11% ABV on the bottle.

APPEARANCE: One finger medium looking light brown head that fades slowly to a thin wisp and a ring. Color is pitch black, opaque, with some carbonation evident; decorating the top of the film. Wisp and ring remains and leaves a few dots of lacing down the glass. Good looking RIS.

SMELL: Robust nose of smoked malt, and roasted and burnt malt. Almost like charcoal. Full of espresso and coffee notes, with hints of pure chocolate in the background.

TASTE: Bold flavors. Lots of coffee and espresso with touches of dark bitter chocolate. Roasted and burnt malt with some smokiness as well. Strong and long lasting roasted and bitter aftertaste has a good solid spicy alcohol punch as well. A little hot as well; they don't really hide the 11% alcohol like they could, though it does adds to the complexity of the beer.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy slick on the palate, goes down surprisingly smooth for the ABV and finishes with a small bite to remind you it's 11%. Finishes slightly mouth-coating on the palate.

OVERALL: Very drinkable and very enjoyable, despite the higher ABV. This is one I could sip on for quite a while. Well done Lost Abbey.

Photo of AgentZero
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Talk about an intimidating looking beer. Pours like motor oil, I half believe I could throw this in my car if I were running a quart low. No light getting through on this one. Great looking bottle, as always by the Lost Abbey.

S - Coffee and chocolate, definately smells like a stout.

T - Not a huge fan of stouts, but as far as these go this on is fantastic. More chocolate than coffee, a touch of smoke, a touch of subtle fruit comes through in the end.

M - Full bodied, thick. No drag on this one, goes down smoothly, especially considering how full it is. Doesn't linger, finishes quickly.

D - I know it says 10.5% here, but the bottle I just poured out of says 11% abv. Ridiculously easy to drink for this much alcohol, not to mention the fact that it is a stout. Could down way too many of these too quickly.

Overall great selection.

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

Pours an opaque darkness with a tight two finger dark brown head that resists fading and leaves a good amount of stringy patterns of Belgian lacing behind. The smell is timid but nice with a good amount of complexity...chocolate brownie, licorice...a little booziness, coffee and moderately roasted malt. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is accented by a boozy note of alcohol and a creamy silky texture compliments the flavors nicely. Full flavored, the chocolate brownie taste is accented nicely by a vanilla cherry character. VERY NICE! The 10.5% ABV is revealed by a subtle warming sensation. This one is a very nice drinker!!
Highly recommended.

Photo of plastik
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A. Beautiful. Very dark, ruby-brown highlights. Thin head, quickly settles.

S. Chocolate. Slightly sweet, fruity undertones.

T. Char, with a slight taste of alcohol, but not bad for the abv. Bitter roasted malts on the front and back, with a complex fruitiness between.

M. Very nice, thick mouthfeel.

D. A delicious brew. Couldn't drink too many, but I thoroughly enjoyed my one... put a nice dent in the wallet too.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a creamy dark tan head that settles to a ring as it sticks around. Heady smelling, with chocolate, espresso, prunes and licorice. Tastes slightly hot, but with nicely developed flavors. Lots of licorice after the alcohol burn, as well as some dark fruitiness that develops slowly and finally some espresso and chocolate flavors on the finish. The alcohol heat makes this a little tough to drink, but that should mellow over time. Very nice overall.

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of mcallister
4/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of bort11
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
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

Photo of berkey
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
94 out of 100 based on 1,507 ratings.