Serpent's Stout
The Lost Abbey

Serpent's StoutSerpent's Stout
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #349
Ranked #1,237
4.24 | pDev: 8.25%
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
Serpent's StoutSerpent's Stout
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 610 | Ratings: 1,873 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of macrosmatic
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from (long-standing) notes. Bottle was purchased online in 2012. Somehow cellared until consumption on 1/13/18. Poured from the 750 mL bottle into an El Catador Barrel-Aged glass.

A: Very dark brown, nearly opaque, with only a minimum of visible carbonation and only small/thin head. Not much cork pop either while opening this one.

S: Nice roasted malts, dark chocolate, and a fair amount of bitter cacao. Mild coffee, caramel, tobacco. Noticeable ethanol sweetness on the nose, and some vanilla comes up as it warms.

T: Big roasted malts - dark chocolate roast and milder coffee. Caramel, vanilla, and drying tobacco. Mild cola, and a notable amount of roasted bitterness here too. More chocolate with dry bitterness in the hang.

M: The body is on the thin side for an Imperial Stout, especially one with this hefty of an ABV. Very low carbonation sensation here, but I’m willing to accept that that might be due to age. The alcohol is prominent, but not overly hot for 11%.

O: A pretty tasty roasty and “European” type stout. Plus there's enough chocolate roast to prevent this from being a charred/smokey/tobacco fest in its entirety. Not maybe my personal favorite, especially the lack in the mouthfeel, but pretty good.

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Photo of philbe311
3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I've wanted to try this one for quite some time, finally getting around to it... Two plus fingers of rich dark brown batter-like froth with excellent retention... Slick jet black color with limited visible carbonation... The nose is subtle but all the usual suspects are present - dark chocolate, licorice and roasted malts... The roasted malt is dialed up on the palate, but everything else holds true... Full bodied and sleek with a slightly astringent finish... Really good, but nothing remarkable...

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was thick and big stout and yet surprisingly easy drinking. It is delicious.

Look: black with a very thick mocca colored head

Aroma: roasted malts, chocolate, coffee.

Taste: roasted malts, milk chocolate, a bit sweet, and coffee

Body/Overall: full body, oily, thick and slick

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Photo of rex_4539
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Jet black color, half finger brown head, excellent thin lacing, no visible carbonation.

S: Chocolate, coffee, sweet.

T: Chocolate, coffee, sweet. Delicious. The essential imperial stout.

F: Full bodied, full flavored.

O: A signature imperial stout. How it "should" taste.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 vintage; drank 10/21/15 @ the Yarchives.

Black/brown appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE dark khaki head; a frothy curtain of lace.

Chocolate milk & fresh earth notes in the nose.

Thick, chalky mouthfeel.

Bakers chocolate & faint blood orange flavors up front; fresh earth notes on the finish. Faint dry booze heat notes emerged as this warmed.

This was a good RIS to me; earthy & solid.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the Bruery Store in Washington, DC. Bottle caged and corked. Poured into a small stemmed tulip.

An OK imperial stout that reminds me of Founders Imperial Stout. 3.5

A – Pours a dark, black and viscous with a three-finger brown mousey head. Good head retention. A nice light brown/tan lacing. 4.25

S – Aromas of vanilla, roasted malt and then lesser coffee notes. 3.75

T – Coffee, roasted malts and light alcohol. 3.5

MF – Medium heavy bodied. 3.75

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Photo of ChipChaight
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Tavour
Pours black with a finger of tan head drapey lacing, smells like sweet roated malt husks, cocoa powder with hints of chocolate fudge, roast coffee, and booze, taste is sweet and bitter dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, booze, and finishes with a fairly bitter earthy roastiness, this beer if full bodied and well carbonated. As if the apple were to turn to coal as you took a bite, the delightful curse of the serpents persuasion.

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Photo of chitoryu12
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: As thick as motor oil when pouring, creating a deep black body. Slightly less than a finger of chocolate milk head with average retention.

Smell: Noticeable alcohol, cherries, chocolate, toasted bread, and some spiciness.

Taste: Slightly bitter coffee and chocolate malt, backed by mild alcohol and a little hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Despite pouring like motor oil, it doesn't feel as thick and creamy as you would suggest. There's also noticeable carbonation.

Overall: Actually not one of my favorites! It's still quite good, but it feels lacking compared to something like Founders Breakfast Stout.

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Photo of EMH73
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a massive medium brown heat that is remarkably well retained and leaves excellent lacing. Smells of roasted and toasted malts with a bit of coffee. Tastes of roasted malts, espresso, cocoa powder, nuttiness, slightly burnt molasses and a woody quality. Full bodied, light to moderate bitterness, creamy mouth feel and a dry, slightly bitter finish.

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Photo of mrl2112
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark, with a huge head and lacing that lasts as long as it does. Taste... Roasty, toasty, malts and slight wood/ash. Very smooth and silky, with a little alcohol too. At 11%, the alcohol just warms you up, not too much.
Excellent stout for a winter eve

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Photo of antonyliu
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter


Poured black and syrupy; dark mocha head that lasted entire duration.

Toasty espresso bean. Maple and brown sugar. Chocolate.

Toasty malt. Nutty. Strong alcohol and boozy. Red wine. Soy sauce and teriyaki.

Thick and smooth. Velvety and viscous. Good carbonation and fizz.

A big beer right up there with others in the style. However it had a lingering boozy, bitter, soy-sour finish that was just a bit too unbalanced for me.

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Photo of Tone
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color. 3/4 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, wood, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of piney hops, and chocolate. Fits the style of an American Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. There is a slight dryness as well. Tastes of alcohol, wood, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of piney hops, and chocolate. Overall, good appearance, aroma, blend, body, and complexity.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Speiglau stout glass.

Look is a pitch black with a thin off-white head.

Aroma is thick with roast malt and a hint of coffee.

Taste completely matches aroma. So much roast and a bunch of coffee.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a good coffee brown head that dissipates at a moderate pace but leaves quite a bit of head around the inside of the glass. The beer itself is a dark chocolate black with a good oily texture to it.

The smell is pretty good. It has a good wood note through out the entire beer that mixes well with a strong coffee note and a slight hint of vanilla. There is a slight alcohol note but that largely gets hidden and comes out more in the finish.

The taste is pretty good. It has more of a bitter coffee note that dominates the taste. There is a sweet chocolate note that shows itself even though it sometimes gets covered by the coffee. Within the coffee note, there is also a wooden note that mixes well with it. Underneath all of this is a light bitter hop note in the finish.

The feel is good. It has a heavy body with a good biting carbonation that is thin but still has a milky feel as well.

Overall, this was a pretty good beer and fairly solid. Often beers from breweries that have been around for a while taste differently and aren't as appealing but this one holds up well against the newer styles of stouts from newer breweries.

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Photo of BarrelchesterHamfist
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tiny, tiny, little stubborn bubbles packed down tight tell you all you need to know.
Double mashed. Bourbon barrel fermented.
The fruit and barrel nose amplify the taste of roast and chocolate with the bittering elements of char, coffee, and hops.
Beautifully crafted.

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Photo of mushroomcloud
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Pint and Cork in Maui.
Has a little sour twang mixed among the deep, dark roasted flavors that I thought was tasty. Drinks like an Export Stout (would have been my guess) not an 11% Imperial Stout.
Really good stuff.

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Photo of laketang
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout checks all the boxes for me
Thick, lightblocking black with a real thick tan head.
Smells include roast and anise.
Nice flavors of roast and anise, silky smooth.
Thick mouthfeel, rich and decadent.
Well done beer that I always enjoy drinking
In cooler weather.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

$14.67 (Including shipping)/750 mL cork and cage bottle ($ 0.578/oz) from Tavour, Seattle, WA.
“Vintage 2018” etched beside rear label, stored at 42 degrees and served at 55 degrees in a hand-washed and hand-dried Jester King snifter. Opens with a medium “pop” and does not overflow.
Appearance – 4.
Body – Dark brown/black, opaque. When held to the light, there is no penetration.
Head – Large (Maximum 5.5 cm, aggressive center pour), light brown, dense with rocks, good retention time, diminishing to a five mm ring and a thin complete layer with a rocky center island.
Lacing – Poor – just a triangle of medium to small bubbles opposite where my mouth is.
First pour – Brown, clear.
Aroma – 4 – Roasted malt, chocolate
Flavor – 4.25 - Begins with slightly bitter chocolate and a bit of roasted malt. The roasted malt dominates the middle and end flavors. It ends with a light bitterness with a long hang-time. No hops, no alcohol (11%ABV), no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide, no gastric warming. Allowing it to warm in my mouth brings the otherwise undetectable alcohol forward.
Palate – 3.5 - Full, creamy, lively carbonation.
Impression and summation – 4.25 – This is a dangerous stout! The completely hidden alcohol can put you down, particularly if you’re drinking more than one bottle. The appearance was excellent, until the head dissipated. Lacing produced by dropping the level was poor and tended to coarsen into all small bubbles. The aroma definitely accentuated the chocolate but this failed to translate into flavor past the initial taste – the middle and end are predominately flavored as roasted malt. The palate is somewhat over-carbonated but otherwise only marginally better than other Impy stouts. Overall, this is a better than average example of an Impy stout.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Solid black color, low carbonation with a thick heavy feel. Aroma is all roasted malt followed by a boozy alcohol smell. Eventually the more subtle aroma of black coffee and cocoa came through. Taste played out exactly like the aroma,let it warm so other flavors of coffee and cocoa come through. The roasted malt and alcohol linger and coats the mouth but isnt unpleasant. I would try this again

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Current year bottle, poured into tulip glass and allowed to warm.

L: Very large light brown head with incredibly good retention, especially considering 11% ABV. Leaves lots of sticky tan lacing. Beer is motor oil (remember that?) black.

S: So simple, yet refined. Lots of roasty malts, with hints of coffee, cocoa, leather, and dried dark fruits.

T: Lots of nice roasted malts. Key to let it warm so you can enjoy the subtlety of coffee and leathery notes. Straightforward, but still nice.

F: Full-bodied, not much carbonation. Construction is very strong and balance is great. Very little evidence of high ABV. Drinks well, but you won't want to rush it anyway.

O: About as good as an uncomplicated, non-aged straightforward RIS can be. Nicely done.

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Photo of DaveMaciolek21
3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Does deep, deep roastiness really well. Not complex, but a solid stout you can count on to warm your bones on a winter's eve. The 11% abv is shocking, because nothing about the taste indicates such a torqued up imp stout.

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Photo of markjknowles
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow. It's amazing what can be done roasting malts. I love the motor oil thickness (my son exclaimed, "Daddy, you're drinking mud!). The dark bitter chocolate aroma is so enticing with a mild hint of coffee and worn leather. The taste is all of that with prunes and raisins present as well. The mild carbonation is perfect for it's thick bittersweet flavor. And it seems to slightly foam in the mouth. I poured it in my Garre glass. The brewers suggest a tulip glass. I'd drink from a plastic taco bell cup if it's what I had.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super dark thick beer with a cocoa brown head. Huge aromas of roasted malt, coffee and chocolate. Nice sweet roasted malt and coffee flavor with a bit of chocolate. Just an awesome stout.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL caged bottle into a stout glass.

This is a gorgeous stout. Pours absolute onyx black with a tan/dark brown mottled head that has amazing staying power considering the ABV.

Aromas of coffee, chocolate cake batter, cocoa, and chocolate chips all waft about the nostrils. Smoke/char and anise hint about the background. A nice aroma, but a bit muted.

The flavor is a remarkable mixture of sweet malts and dry, smokiness. Much more in your face than the aroma, this one has plenty of coffee and chocolate with huge herbal notes in the background. The booze is "there" but not as a burn, just some warmth.

The mouthfeel is remarkably "medium" bodied for the style. I'm torn about whether that's great or a bummer. The carbonation is terrific though, so tie goes to the lift.

This is a great AIS that actually reminds me more of its RIS cousin in many ways, other than the sweetness. Tasty and triable for sure.

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

750 ml cage and cork bottle - into red wine glasses. Pours a fantastic motor oil black with 1-2 finger mocha head. Smells of bitter chocolate, rich caramel malt, and licorice. Taste again is bitter chocolate, some dark fruit, a bit of cherry, and I get a fairly strong licorice on the finish. A smooth mouth feel, more bitter than usual for an imperial stout. Definitely liked this, more so as warmed, and I am a big licorice fan but found the licorice effect a tiny bit too much in this beer.

Funny finished bottle (last 8 oz) couple days later and found smoother with less intense licorice - would rate a bit higher.

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Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 1873 ratings