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Serpent's Stout - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Serpent's StoutSerpent's Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
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: 370 | 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 vrbulldog22
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of beergorrilla
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Mister_Joshy
4/5  rDev -5.4%

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

750 to tulip. 5 months old. Served cool.

A - Opaque black with nice, textured, dark tan head

S - Toast, coffee-caramel-fudge, Golden Grahams

T - Delicious. Robust, rich, dark chocolate and cocoa with a nice bitterness. Some unidentifiable fruit submerged in all of that right on the swallow. You're left with a mild bit of char bitterness in the aftertaste along with some sweetness and nice warm chocolate notes wafting up on the booze fumes, masking them. The booze isn't otherwise noticeable in flavor, but nicely so in warmth and brain peace.

M - Not as thick or viscous as expected. The smell promises more than it delivers in this case. It's not a bad thing, just unexpected.

O - Winner. Its hallmark is its richness and depth. Lots of different things going on, not all easily defined. This would be a treat anytime, appreciated.

Photo of jondeelee
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serpent’s Stout opens with a rich, malty aroma that can be smelled from quite a few inches away. Deep and complex, the nose bears coffee, tobacco, ash, milk chocolate, chocolate malt, black malt, and a heavy earthiness, as of fresh loam. Mixed in with these darker notes are a few caramels, brown sugar, molasses, and handfuls of fig, black cherry, and date fruit esters. Smatterings of grapefruit and pine speak of a decent hopping. As a whole, the nose speaks to an excellently crafted stout, the ingredients varied and finely chosen to create a wide-ranging series of aromas. The nose does fade slightly after a time, this being about my only complaint here, but still remains enticing.

On the tongue, the beer is as big and dark as the nose implies, being full of ash, coffee, tobacco, black and chocolate malt. The sugars are more present here, however, bringing in heavy cream, caramel, brown sugar, and molasses. Fig and black cherry fruit esters add complexity, and the malts also contribute a thick brown bread and toast crust effect. The most noticeable difference is the larger hop presence, which adds a good layer of grapefruit and, to a lesser extent, pine. The aftertaste is heavy on ash and tobacco, with lingering sugars and breads, and a heavy alcoholic vapor, this last note somewhat detracting from the effect (though it says much that the 11% ABV is hardly noticeable during the main mouthful). Mouthfeel is medium to medium-high, and carbonation is medium to medium-light.

Overall, this is excellent stout, the flavors wide-ranging and complex, but working together in great harmony. The extra shot of ash and tobacco at the end of the swallow is a very nice closing touch as well. I did find the high grapefruit notes somewhat counterintuitive to the blackness, and the alcoholic vapors in the aftertaste were a bit much, but even with that, I’d easily purchase another bottle or three of this one.

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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

2010 bottle sent to me by ShadesofGray, poured into a brandy snifter. Thanks Ryan!

A: Pours a straight jet black with a chocolate-colored head. Head sticks around for a bit with some nice lacing.

S: Sweet syrupy alcohol, dark fruits, savory dark chocolate and a good amount of roasted black malt.

T: Rich dark fruit sweetness - juicy plum and raisin. Strong milk and dark chocolate, pleasant smoky malts, sweet warming alcohol underneath. A heavy roasted bitterness sets in midway through, but smooths out into the finish.

M: Nice amount of carbonation, silky thick mouthfeel.

O: Very enjoyable. Great use of roasted malts.

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

bottled jan 6th 2012, ive been cellaring this one for some time. pours an impossibly black midnight color with a 3 inch darker than mocha head, lasts forever, sexy lacing. smells very very very very dark, bitter to a degree, even a bit tart from the yeast. dark chocolate and espresso are intense. flavor is more coffee than chocolate, a little woody, very alcoholic. booze comes out even more as it warms, almost burning. some faint tobacco notes as well, tar and resin of burnt organic matter. feel is good not great, its full bodied but not heavy really at all. carbonation is a little more than average. feels nice, but leaves a residue in the mouth, this is a real serious stout. i love the writing on the label as well. overall a wonderful stout, nice to share. lost abbey is one the my favorites.

Photo of axeman9182
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, bottled on date of 12/29/11. It was allowed to warm a little before being poured into my petite Duvel tulip.

Lost Abbey Serpent's Stout pours an intimidating black. The three or so fingers of cocoa colored foam that crowns the beer just sits there like some kind of mousse. Head retention is great, and the head leaves plenty of lacing in its wake. The nose doesn't really leap out the glass, but there are some chocolate and licorice aromas present, the former slightly more than the ltter. . The first thing that comes to mind when sipping on the beer is a chocolate milk shake. There's a fairly strong anise flavor, as well as some overly roasty grain. I don't mind those as supplementary/background notes, but thy're just a tad too present for me to truly love the flavor profile. The body here is nice and chewy, with a suitably understated carbonation. Serpent's Stout is far from an attention getting stout in terms of quality, but there are certainly plenty of less noteworthy ones in the market as well.

Photo of Rickyd
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of KAP1356
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of JohnK17
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of MeParra
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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

Vintage 750ml (unsure of the bottling date) split into tulips.

A: Very dark black, opaque, lots of dark khaki head, decent lacing.

S: Huge roasted malt presence in the nose, hints of charcoal, touch of an acrid tartness, lots of smooth roasted coffee, faint chocolate.

T: The tartness hits here as well but doesn't permeate; this brew is definitely about the malt presence...roasted malt, coffee, toasted caramel, burnt malt, extremely light touch of an estery alcohol, faint chocolate and vinous/dark fruit notes.

MF: Full and creamy, good lower to mid-level carbonation (I was worried about that too). Sticky and dry with some nice level of bitterness on the finish.

O: Its a good beer, no doubt, but its not positioned perfectly in my wheelhouse; I still prefer a handful of other stouts.

Photo of CummingsK21
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of bhir
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A- Dark, DARK black pour, with thick, frothy tan head.

S- Dark, very roasted, malt, dark chocolate note, coffee, and some hints of dark fruits and licorice.

T- Perfect representation of the style. Deep and powerful dark roasted malt, very, very dark chocolate, and black coffee. A taste that only improves with temperature (best near room temperature from my experience). It's simply something to behold. Truly amazing.

M- Very, very viscous. Thick mouthfeel. It coats your entire mouth.

O- Three thumbs up. A near-perfect imperial stout. This is definitely a must-try beer. I cannot wait until next winter, so I can pick up some more of this. I think that this beer is perfect for aging. The only negative experience of drinking this beer is trying to get the cork out. It's simply a perfect representation of the style, and it will leave you wanting more.

Photo of travMI13
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DSlim71 for this one! 22 oz bottle. Illegible bottling date. Served into a tulip.

A: Pours a deep black with two fingers of thick, caramel head. Tons of lacing. This looks great.

S: Coffee, roasted malts, and cocoa. There is some vanilla and caramel in here as well.

T: Huge caramel and roasted malts up front. Lots of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and a touch of oak in there as well. I could even compare this to a creme brulee with chocolate. This is an outstanding imperial stout that is just getting better and more complex as it warms.

M: Tons of carbonation, which I don't mind. It provides a nice creaminess to the body of the beer which only enhances the caramel and chocolate flavors. There is also a lingering stickiness that I really enjoy.

O: I love this beer. I wasn't sure about it at first, but after letting it warm, it is absolutely outstanding. A very worthy non-barrel aged imperial stout that is certainly worth seeking out.

Photo of Kevlee722
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of MaxSpang
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Bottled 12-29-11, enjoyed on May 5, 2012.

APPEARANCE

First off, the cork in this bottle did not want to come out. After several minutes of fiddling with it, it finally opened and revealed a viscus black stout. Absolutely no light comes through this bad boy. The head was about a finger and mocha-latte colored. The lacing was very apparent event before I took my first sip. This beer looks like a sinful delight.

SMELL

Lots of coffee, roasted malt, and chocolate in this one. It has a burnt grain smell which is very nice. There is the slightest amount of raisins in the nose, but it's hidden underneath the "dark" aromas that come out. There's almost no alcohol to speak of on the nose. This is what an imperial stout should smell like.

TASTE

Lots and lots of bitter roasted malts come out, bringing coffee and chocolate. This is a roast bomb, it tastes like dark - almost burnt - grains. It's a really fantastic flavor, but it's a wee bit over the top. There is a nice sweetness that follows the roast flavor, which helps to balance the beer somewhat. There is a slight raisin flavor that is common in high-ABV beers like this, and the chocolate flavors almost give it a dessert-like quality. Alcohol is present, but very well hidden. I would honestly guess this beer to be closer to 8% than 11%. This is a really tasty stout, albeit it is a little harsh on the roast.

MOUTHFEEL

For some reason, I expected this beer to be thinner. This is a medium-high bodied beer that demands to be sipped rather than chugged. The carbonation is medium, which works in this beer. I think without the slight "fizz", this beer would feel way too thick. The beer coats your mouth as you drink and leaves a long lasting flavor well after the swallow.

OVERALL

I'm really happy with this beer. This beer could probably benefit from a year or two of age, but it's pretty good fresh. The only thing that keeps this beer from being mind-blowing is the harsh burnt flavor. Don't get me wrong, that flavor belongs in a good stout but this beer has a bit too much of it for my tastes. I think some age would smooth it out and leave you with a masterpiece of a beer. It may be a sin, but if this beer is what the serpent used to tempt Eve then who would blame her for indulging?

Cheers.

Photo of B33R501
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Real good beer 8oz draft $4 at the Grey Lodge Pub NE Philly been wanting to try this one.

Beautiful black, nice chocolate head. Aroma of milk chocolate leading to dark roasty malts, more chocolate, notes of dark fruits come along for the riide. Big blast of flavor, real tongue bruiser.

Similar, but better than Port's Old Viscosity. Would I get this again? Hell, if I had more time this Saturday morning, 2 or 3 more 1/2 pints would have been in order.

Recommended.

Photo of jegross2
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey. This is part of the base beer used to blend and barrel aged the Deliverance Ale I reviewed earlier this year. Thank you David Forrest for hooking me up with this bottle!
Score: 91

No bottle date, but this was received from California in early January 2012. Served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 05/05/12.

Appearance: Jet black with a film of brown caramel highlight at the very top of the glass when held directly up to light. One-plus fingers of foamy mocha head at pour settles to a creamy ring around the glass and thin film atop the glass. Awesome lacing, amazing retention. This is an absolutely gorgeous-looking stout. 5/5

Smell: Fig, raisin, dark fruit, burnt brown sugar and roasted milk chocolate. Cocoa, faint coffee grounds, and a hint of vanilla bean. There are subtle notes of black cherry and the faintest hint of sweet soy. 4.5/5

Taste: A little alcohol warmth up front along with burnt brown sugar, burnt fig and used coffee ground. A lot of "burnt" roast. Cocoa and raw chocolate on the back of the tongue and on the midpalate. Milk chocolate and brown sugar in the finish. Good roasty chocolate and bitter coffee ground linger. Some fizzy black cherry comes out on the midpalate and in the finish as the beer warms and layers. There's a real nice bitter roast flavor medley here. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, medium-plus carbonation. Too much carbonation for the style, to be frank. The mouthfeel is a little syrupy and sticky. Bitter finish with faint sweetness. 3.5/5

Overall: A really nice smelling/tasting beer marred by overcarbonation. Maybe this is a bottling issue, as Port Brewing/Lost Abbey is well known for their inability to get bottle carbonation right. I would absolutely love to try this one off tap/cask or even a nitro-tap.

Recommendation: Seek a bottle out. Definitely worth giving a whirl, and not overly expensive.

Pairings: Steak.

Cost: $11.99 for a 750 ml bottle.

Photo of JohnLynch
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of twelveinches
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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