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Serpent's Stout - Bourbon Barrel-Aged - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Serpent's Stout - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
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26 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 26
Hads: 67
Avg: 4.31
pDev: 8.82%
Wants: 63
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rye726 on 03-04-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 26 | Hads: 67
Photo of AgentZero
3.68/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to TJBurgess for sharing this, been a want of mine for a while.

A - Black beer, looks just slightly thin on the edges, not much in the way of head on it. Decent coating action on the sides of my taster glass.

S - Wow, this is really hot. Smells of booze, and then some more booze. Almost rubbing alcohol like at times, stings the nose a bit. There is a little bit of stout sweetness in here but the booze is pretty dominating.

T - Taste is much better than the nose. There is some nice bourbon and cocoa sweetness. The base beer comes out more than expected given the aroma. A bit of molasses, and some burnt malts. There is some thinning alcohol burn on the end giving it a pretty hot taste, but nowhere near as hot as the nose was.

M - Heavier side of medium bodied, slightly thin on the end. Moderate carbonation.

O - Decent beer, but needs a lot of time to cool off. Would be excited to try this again in 6 months to a year as it had some potential with nice things going on in the taste.

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Photo of mothman
3.87/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Ryan. Thanks man!

Pours a light layer of fizzy dark tan head. Color is a dark brown with a ruby hued edge.

Aroma: A lot of bourbon and whiskey flavors. Vanilla and oak. Chocolate with some roasted malts. Dark fruits and a touch of creaminess.

Taste: A dark chocolate bitterness with some warming bourbon is up front. A touch of peat and roasted malts. Vanilla and oak. Some caramel and chocolate malt mixed in.

Mouthfeel: Warming, smooth, and creamy. Medium to full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, a pretty solid beer. Nothing too crazy, but enjoyable. Some things worked well with this beer, but I wasn't a fan of the peat flavors in the taste.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. growler into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip glass.

A: Dark brown to black with little carbonation as I expected.

S: Booze nation. Based on the nose, this beer needs more time to settle down.

T: The flavors do this beer a little more justice. Not too sweet with a distinct grainy character. The bourbon doesn't come through like it does in the nose.

M: A little light, watery, and underdone. A little more time and this would be ready to go.

Overall, the taste of this beer does justice to the base beer, Serpents Stout. I enjoyed this one because it was not too syrupy like a lot of big stouts are.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.04/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a snifter.
Thanks to Ryan for sharing this, only 12 bottles handed out at by the brewer to friends.

A- This beer pours a dark brown almost black color, no carbonation is present, no lacing, not the most attractive looking stout.
S- The aroma is Big booze up front, dark malts, big bourbon notes, vanilla, some dark fruits (plums, raisins).
T- Huge Bourbon upfront, caramel, vanilla, sweet malts, bitter sweet chocolate, slight coffee aroma,
M- Medium mouth feel, under carbonated, sticky, smooth drinking, dry finish.
O- Overall this is a tasty beer, would be better with more carbonation, the bourbon takes over this beer, not balanced at all, big heat as it goes down, still enjoyable.

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Photo of levifunk
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. thanks chris!

a - black pour. head forms!...but dissipates.

s - roasted malts, vanilla sweetness, some booze.

t - roasted malts, dark chocolate, anise (but not as much as reg SS). I don't get a ton of bourbon flavor; mostly the vanilla and booze on the finish. oak flavor as well.

m - kind of a creamy thickness. lower carbonation, but not out of range.

overall - very enjoyable. I don't think it would hurt if it spent a little more time in the barrels. Also would age fantastically.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Courtesy of Ryan. Am told that only 12 bottles were made for friends of the brewery. Pours a dark brown reddish color with a slight tan collared head. Swirling around creates a wispy tan, tiny bubbled head that lingers on. Bourbon abounds in the nose with very little else but does have some roast, chocolate, and leather aromas. Medium mouthfeel. Bourbon upfront taste with a sharp dark chocolate bittersweet taste. Some coffee and leather as well. Ends a little dry. Booze is there but not overpowering. This is one of those beers where the bourbon barrel just takes over and dominates every aspect of the beer. Perfect for sipping on and letting warm to let the flavors come out but balanced this is not.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gunned from a maverick keg.

A - Dark, near black, not much head. Tan ring. Very light spotty lace.

S - Cocoa, soy sauce, burnt malt and booze.

T - Tobacco and leather come into play and add to the smell attributes. Nice.

M - Carb low, as to be expected from high abv and gun, a little watery at very finish.

D - Palate killer. Thank you ZX6Chris for offering this sample. It is very tasty!

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours brown with caramel with a super small head.

S. Bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt, and caramel.

T. A nice roasted chocolate flavor with a well integrated bourbon character.

M. Oily and slick with a medium body.

D. Very drinkable, but not phenomenal.

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Photo of newsage
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tastes of bitter dark chocolate and very boozy, silky smooth although the booziness is a bit much i would say it is still a great beer! but again with that said i like a hand full of other stouts better, like Class V, velvet merlin and merkin, parabola, the abyss, rogue stouts.

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Photo of seeswo
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle recently split at a tasting that included the regular, the bourbon barrel and the barrel fermented versions. Pours black with a very small tannish brown head. Smells of roast, chocolate booze, vanilla and a bit of anise. Despite barrel-again, it retains a good portion of the full body and creaminess of the regular version. The taste begins similar to the regular version, but with a nice vanilla, bourbon tie-in which is very nice. It finishes very hot and becomes a bit of a bourbon bomb. This beer does not have the balance of the base beer. The anise element lingers in the flavor that coats the tongue. Really enjoyable, in a totally different way than the base beer. Low-medium carbonation. The barrel-aging is good, but not the best barrel treatment I've had. I think this may be a work in progress, and I would experiment with either less time in the barrel or blending it down a bit.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at City Beer. Served in a snifter.

A - Half-finger of lightly tan foam settles to a thick collar, a few wisps, and no lace. Pitch black body.

S - Vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts, oak, bourbon, dark fruits, dusted cocoa. Mike said this was really hot last summer, but it seems under control at this stage - there's still a bit of obvious alcohol but it's not offensive.

T - Roasty malts, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, light oak, caramel, a bit of prunes and raisins, and perhaps some molasses as well. Alcohol is a bit better hidden here.

M - Medium body that seems a tad thin for 11%. Smooth texture, moderate warming alcohol, some light tannic dryness.

D - Quite good. Another sipper, as it took me a while to work through my 11oz pour, but a delicious one that I'd recommend seeking out. I enjoyed this quite a bit more than the bottled Barrel Fermented take on Serpent's Stout.

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Photo of jnn4v
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hand-bottled a week or two ago. Thanks to a leftyawh13 for the brew.

A: Very stout-like in appearance (black, mostly opaque, etc.). Very minor head. No visible sediment or haze.

S: Very sharp American oak, vanilla, bourbon, oak, molasses and a hint of chocolate syrup.

T: Oak, coffee, molasses, vanilla, bourbon. Decent amount of bitterness and some alcohol burn as well.

M: Mild amount of carbonation. Not flat at all, but definitely less than the average amount of carbonation for the style.

O: Good overall beer. Nice, strong bourbon flavors with the standard serpent's stout flavors behind it. They match very nicely for an improved overall result.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse. Served in a wide-mouth tulip.

Motor-oil black rimmed by a faint collar of buff cream. Abstract designs tattoo the surface. Average lacing, but thick clear ribbons of legs.

Brown sugar, molasses, prunes, and roast malt in the nose.

Heavy spirit flavors lead into the palate. Charred oak, young bourbon, faint vanilla. Sweet and complex stout flavors come out mid-palate: dark fruit, licorice, loam, roast malt...lots going on here...a grab-bag of flavors. The finish is long and dry. Flavor imroves as it warms, but then the alcohol come on stronger as well...

Oily, thick, chewy mouthfeel - with light carbonation. Very warming, but the base is sweet - so potent you have to take your time (took me well over an hour of sipping to get through this glass).

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Photo of nickd717
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesome. I just said in my last review that when a -bal aged beer comes out, I am often the first one on the scene. This is no exception. The call of the -bal sang to me like an angel on high, and I heeded it. "Get thee to Toronado," the voice said, "and thou shalt partake in -bal aged awesomeness that no one has yet experienced. They also have Veritas 007 on tap." So after I finished watching Peyton Manning get handed a spanking in the Super Bowl, I headed over for Lost Abbey night.

Pours jet black with a nice well-retained tan head and good lacing.

Aroma is awesome and intense: bourbon, roast, smoke, oak, and a little chocolate.

Flavor is also great even though it's a bit hot. Bourbon, roast, and coffee stand out, along with dark chocolate, oak, and even some dark fruits.

Really full on the palate with slight booziness and low carbonation.

Drinkability is good for a bourbon -bal aged stout. Overall a really excellent beer. You heard it here first!

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Photo of womencantsail
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: The pour is essentially jet black with a small layer of brown foam sitting on top.

S: Intensely barrel oriented. Lots and lots of bourbon and vanilla, giving a very rich nose. Plenty of dark and milk chocolate providing a bit of sweetness. Almost no roast is left as the barrel has really taken over.

T: Great sweetness from the chocolate and vanilla flavors. Bourbon and the inherent booziness of Serpent's Stout are there, but surprisingly not hot and abrasive. A touch of oak in the background and maybe a little bit of roast.

M: Definitely full in body with a smooth but low carbonation.

O: The barrel aged Lost Abbey beers are a thing of beauty when done right. And this was done right.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


On cask at Pizza Port Real Ale 2011.

A: Black and ominous, no head. Viscous.

T: Vanilla brown sugar bourbon cookie. Smells very good. Booze is well hidden. Bourbon is powerful but melds very well with the rich dark chocolate and brown sugar.

T: Taste matches the excellence of the aroma, with a bit more booze character but not at all out place for a beer of such potency. Strong bourbon and wood notes accompany vanilla, brown sugar, cookie dough, fudge, and chocolate. Excellent.

M: Full in body with low carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth and sticky with lots of warming.

Overall: Very good. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of Pencible
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to adamharbaugh for sharing this hand bottled gem!

A: This poured pitch black with almost no head.
S: It smelled like velvety dark chocolate, with smooth bourbon and oak and vanilla and coconut, and a bit of coffee and fine balsamic.
T: It tasted like rich dark chocolate with smooth bourbon and oak and vanilla, and a bit of coconut and coffee. It had a smooth but hot aftertaste.
M: It was oily with almost no carbonation. Nice and slick.
D: This was a fantastic barrel aged stout! The scent and taste weren't super complex, but they were amazingly rich and delicious. It had nice body, but the alcohol was quite noticeable, so this should be sipped. Age would probably help mellow it out and turn this into one of the best stouts ever.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to injuredreserve for sharing!

Pours black as night, with a slight dark khaki head. Looked mildly carbed. Aroma had a nice chocolate note, with a pleasant oak and bourbon, vanilla and toasted notes. The barrel was wonderfully pleasant, not overwhelming. Balance was nearly perfect.

Taste was wonderfully chocolatey, roasty, with some light coffee notes, vanilla, toasted oak and touches of bourbon. Again, brilliantly balanced, with no nuance overpowering another.

The little to no carbonation lends a nice smooth, creamy and chewy texture. Undeniably full-bodied and mouth coating.

Really, there wasn't much noticeable alcohol, so this was pretty easy to put away. This was a fantastic BA stout.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bomber courtesy of a nameless friend, I opened this up last month, so reviewed from notes. poured into a darkness glass.

jet black with a big tan head that rose up nearly three inches across the top before finally settling down. Nice side glass lacing as webs of tan stretched out across it. Aroma is rich with notes of vanilla, woody tones, coffee, molasses, hints of cherries or dark fruit coming through now as well as warms, and as it hits room temp, the coffee really shines. Nice feel here, lots of carbonation lets the flavor really pop for me. Smooth, and subtle vanilla tones turn to coffee and hints of light hops, especially in the finish with a nice touch of dark fruit thrown in. The alcohol was totally absent for me here, really well done.

Overall this one was intresting and not at all what I was expecting

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Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Single bourbon barrel version, straight from the barrel.

Pours a viscous still black - no carbonation. Leggy, slightly coating and clingy.

Smells like liquid chocolate cake. Bourbon barrel is there, but it's exceptionally well integrated, lending layers of toffee and vanilla that work wonderfully with the foundation of dark chocolate and anise. There's slight smokiness to it as it warms, light and pleasant booziness, a bit of spicy oak.

The palate is rather outstanding. Rich cocoa and faint black licorice remain from the base beer, but the roasted bite has been mellowed by the barrel, replaced by flavors of vanilla, oak and caramel. Chocolate cake with caramel drizzle is the first thing that popped into my head when I took the first sip. The mouthfeel is full, heavy, but avoids encumbering the palate with huge amounts of residual sugar. Not to say that it isn't sweet, but it strikes a nice balance between rich and drinkable. Putting down a full glass of this would be no problem.

Pretty damn impressive overall, certainly better than the port barrel and bourbon barrel fermented versions of this beer that I've tried in the past.

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Photo of ArrogantHopHead
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood, CA served in a tall over-sized wine glass...

V: Charcoal black color, moderate body, with minimal head. Little lacing noted to the glass, not exceptionally viscous.

N: Bourbony-chocolate fills the aroma that eminates from this beer, sweet cocoa goodness.

T: Cocoa chocolaty flavors fill first, with espresso right behind it, pushing through with bourbon accentuating undertones with woody notes. Alcohol heat finishes at the back and is quite strong, but with the lingering cocoa, coffee and bourbon notes, the alcohol is forgotten within seconds.

O: This is a big beer. There is a catch 22-likeness about this beer. As it hits room temp, the alcohol overpowers the palate, but you can't drink this beer quickly, so you have to have a good pace while consuming this beer to not hit that point where the alcohol takes over. Recommend getting 7 oz pours or less if possible to truly enjoy and not get overwhelmed with booze...but for sure try this.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap (Nitro)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A cascading jet black pour, though a substantial, surprisingly large, dark brown head persistently remains. The first sips were of nothing but foam. This leaves thick, chunky, sheets of lace down the glass. Surprising and wonderful, all in one.

Decadent, rich, earthy aroma of chocolate (lots of cocoa powder and dark chocolate), mixed with big notes of oak and vanilla from the bourbon, and mild dark fruit. A captivating, full, rich, aromatic experience.

The flavor is similarly nice; the cocoa powder flavors dominate, though they are delicious. The chocolate is complemented nicely by the barrel notes, a fairly strong bitterness, at least for the style, and mild dark fruit character. Still quite drinkable for the obvious heft, however.

Full in body, creamy, thick, and luscious. Decadent.

A wonderful nightcap to a wonderful evening.

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Photo of drummstikk
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serpent's normally has a syrupy body, but the Bourbon barrel-aging has contributed a dry vanilla and dark caramelly spice character that actual makes Serpent a bit more complete. Drinkability is improved, and a layer of alcoholic complexity is added to an already-stellar combination of smooth roasted chocolate and sweet caramel malt. The barrel contribution tames the wild syrup character and dulls the roasted flavors a bit, but the tradeoff for complexity is well worth.

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Photo of 100floods
4.74/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thick, dark bronze head cascades over the lip of the tulip glass. This baby is pitch black. Blacker than a moonless night.

Smells of dark chocolate and malt. Other notes include toasted malt and silky creme of espresso.

Very thick, viscous texture.

The elixir is roasted to perfection. Sweet/bitter chocolate milk with a coffee bean finish. The flavors are very up front. I'm not finding myself a need to really search for things with this beer. Aside from the roasted malt, it also created a creamy sweet flavor as well.

A huge surprise from Lost Abbey. Definitely not what I would have expected from a mostly Belgian mindset, but hey, sweet. This kind of reminds me a lot of Old Rasputin without all the hops.

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Photo of Lunch
4.87/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at EBF 2010 in Boston, MA into a tasting glass at the appropriate temperature (02/21/10).

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

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

T: Absolutely an incredible flavor profile which is enhanced with a sweet and sticky bourbon characteristic. Rich and creamy cocoa engulfed in layers of roasted malt, milk chocolate, espresso, and dark chocolate. There is a slight warming sense from the 11% 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 that is only enhanced by the bourbon barrel aging.

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. The bourbon adds even more of a warming sensation.

D: Extremely drinkable, I just wish they bottled this version.

Overall this has to be one of the best BA Imperial Stouts and a wonderful take on the already incredible Serpents Stout. My Highest Recommendation.

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Serpent's Stout - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from The Lost Abbey
92 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.