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Serpent's Stout | The Lost Abbey

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573 Reviews
Serpent's StoutSerpent's Stout

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerBeing on 06-10-2007

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 573 | Ratings: 1,741
Reviews by sfoley333:
Photo of sfoley333
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from PP bottle shop and poured into a Duvel snifter. Poured a jet black color with a mocha brown thick head, plenty of lacing.( read other reviews the carbonation is diffently a plenty in the bottle). Their is a lot of sediment at the bottom so watch out when pouring.( a quarter sized piece settled at the bottom of my glass but I was careless when pouring) Smell is a mix of dark fruit covered with slight chocolate and medicinal hop smell with a lingering alcohol present. Taste is upfront dark fruit with the chocolate and coffee coming next followed by a mild alcohol finish. Mouthfeel is fullbody but a little lighter than a lot of thicker Imperial stouts out there. The carbonation is a little high for my taste especially when combined with the alcohol feel but by no means overdone. This is a complex high alcohol IS ( bottle states 11% ABV) that isnt a session beer but I couldnt stop sipping until it was all gone.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of 05Harley
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Bottled on 2009

Discovered this gem in my cellar while cleaning out some near empty beer boxes.
Purchased @ at Julio's Liquors, Westborough Mass on 7/22 for 13.99/bomber. Really, don't ask O.C.D.

As holy as this beer looks on the outside when poured you can see the inside is full of the dark side, almost evil like. When held up to the light I get nothing, just dark matter... A frothy tan curtain covers the top for a minute or two before fading to a thin sheen with bubbles clinging to the sides. Appearance is raw beauty!

The nose is full, rich and roasty. The oak comes in nicely breaking through the dark chocolate barrier revealing even more secrets of licorice, coffee and dare I say the scent of a good cigar, faack.

The taste buds dance over the flavor of dark chocolate, roasted malt, black licorice, burnt sugar and an overlay of vanilla. A very flavorfull example of the style.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth with a warm feeling of heat quick on it's heels. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy with some bitterness joining the party in the end.

Overall this beer continues to hold my interest. I've been diving into this one for years and feel lucky enough to have stumbled upon one stored properly with a good amount of age. I was surprised to see I hadn't reviewed this in the past but here it is #175...

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Photo of biboergosum
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml caged and corked bottle, lots of religious iconography and blather surrounding this one. Procured at the Yoke's across the road from my hotel in Ponderay, Idaho earlier this crazy-ass month.

This beer pours a solid black chasm, no highlights, no edges, no nothin', with a rising tower of puffy, loosely foamy, and chunky brown head, which leaves some thickly spattered globular lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of powdery bittersweet chocolate, roasted, and somewhat meaty caramel malt, licorice root, lightly charred day-old coffee and the cream sitting next to it, subtle dark orchard fruit flesh, and the suggestion of alcohol bristling at the gates. The taste is bready, lightly toasted caramel malt, medium dark cocoa, edgy black licorice, an increasingly sour fruitiness (prunes and red currants, mostly), testy cafe-au-lait, subtly grainy brown sugar, a weird green spiciness, and some still tethered and gnashing booziness.

The bubbles are fairly active in their swirling, tingly and tempting (yeah) frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight (sort of like the In Flames currently bleeding out of my speakers), and sort of smooth, the char and lurking (but yet fully signing on, amirite?) alcohol taking their unholy measure. It finishes well off-dry, the variably singed caramel, chocolate, and milky coffee not quite ready to throw it all in for their sin.

A pretty heady and ultimately enjoyable big-ass Yankee stout, one that may have even challenged Eve as a salve for Adam's needs, in that particular story. For the rest of us, the more or less hidden alcohol will surely play the role of the snake, as this hefty vessel and metaphor are duly played out.

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Photo of CHickman
4.73/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Got the bottle 6 months ago, it pours pitch black with a massive 3 finger whipped/foamy dark tan head that was full of bubbles of all sizes, fading extremely slowly as it leaves excellent foamy lacing that forms honeycombs as it went down. A fine looking stout, perfection on both pours.

Smells of molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, dark chocolate, burnt coffee grinds, vanilla, cocoa powder, roasted malt, charred campfire wood, caramel, Whoppers candy, dark fruit and sweet, dark alcohol like a Jamaican rum. After sitting a while some more fruit like dates and black cherries come out, along with espresso, toasted nuts, grassy floral hops and earthy herbs. The roasted coffee, rich chocolate and malty sweetness completely hides the ABV among all the perfect stout complexities, making this wonderful to inhale.

Flavor picks up right where the nose left off: molasses, espresso, cocoa powder, maple syrup, dark chocolate, burnt coffee grinds, strong vanilla, roasted malt, charred campfire wood, brown sugar, caramel, Whoppers candy, sweet, dark alcohol like a Jamaican rum or bourbon, fruit like dates, plum, black cherries and chocolate covered raisins. Improves as it warms with more malty dynamics coming out and just enough hop bitterness to make you wonder if its the hops or the coffee influence. Either way, it just gets better as it sits there with some smoky notes coming out, as well as brownie batter, red wine like merlot and what seems like oak barrel aging. The earthy malt and burnt aspects combined with the fruit is really flavorful, keeping the sweetness in check somehow that makes this one to savor and appreciate.

Mouthfeel is creamy and slick, velvety smooth on the palate, with very, very mild carbonation, a thick, dense chewy body and feel, and a slightly bitter aftertaste which lets the alcohol peek through. This is a heavyweight contender beer with 11% ABV looking for the knockout punch, but it maintains only mild and very bearable sweetness that allows it to be an outstanding slow sipper that is quite deceptive. Packaged up masterfully, this beer nails it on drinkability and feel.

I drank the whole bomber myself and didn't want it to end. World class indeed, a very high recommendation that I will need to order online again since they don't sell The Lost Abbey brews in NY. Top notch all the way.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle. Bitter, dark chocolate, cocoa, dark fruits and roasted malts. Medium thin, good carb. Holding up extremely well. Dried out. Nice lingering flavor. Good.

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Photo of jopezu
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a black oil slick with a massive head that hangs around. nose; bitter dark chocolate, hops, & light coffee. taste; massively charred malt, strong bitter hops, dark chocolate, ash, licorice, leather, oak, & black coffee. heavy carbonation & medium mouthfeel. bordering on too roasty for me - the aftertaste is almost like licking spent firewood. there's some great flavors here, just be ready for the char!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Substantially malty and chocked full of roasted grain flavor- The Lost Abbey continues to churn out world class beer after world class beer. Imperial Stout: check!

Opening with a deeply hued bark-brown color, the beer is absolutely opaque but not because of haze. In fact, the beer carries an onyx-like sheen; rather the inability for light to pass seems because of the sheer density of roasted malts. An abundance of carbonation fuels a huge froathy tan head and laces with intermitten patterns of foam on the glass. The beer delivers everything that's expected from stouts- at least to the eye.

Strong aromas of roasted grain hinges on burnt scent of grain, but releases just in time for the moderate scent of burnt caramel instead. Malted milk, rummy alcohol, cherry-like esters, and nail polish remover are just a hint of elements that hide beneath the blanket espresso, cocoa powder, walnut, grass and charred woods.

Flavors follow similarly with the bulk of the emphasis on espresso, wood fired malts and woods, bitter cocoa, walnut, slightly scorched toffee, malted milk, and a slight grassy taste that morphs evenly into mild resin bitterness in finish. Strong alcohols are somewhat distracting with the flavor of acetone and rumy sweetness.

Full bodied, but not as insane as many newer Imperial Stouts. Instead Serpent's relies on a firm malty early texture that's lifted by the airy carbonation and high attenuation- the beer seems to lift off of the tongue with ease in comparison to it's fullness. Creaminess subsides at mid palte and ushers in a malty-dry finish of acrid roasted grains, coffee grounds, and mild powdery ash.

Though quite dry and efforvescent, the lack of sweetness here allows the brunt of alcohol and burnt grain to reveal the rougher edges that cause slight difficulty in drinkability although the flavor profile sings praises. Unfortunately, heartburn inducing acids limit this beers ease of enjoyment.

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Photo of mchegash
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Beautiful. Possibly one of the blackest beers I've ever seen. And the head is a fantastic darker brown-salmon color that's hard to describe, but I've never seen head this exact shade of brown before.

S: Chocolate/cocoa, lots of booziness...a little bit too boozy of a smell, since it overpowers and I can't really detect anything else.

T: Deep cocoa flavors, dark roasted malts, some smoke and/or tobacco as well. The booziness is much more balanced here in the taste.

F: Medium-full bodied. Light amount of slightly higher than medium intensity carbonation.

O: Overall, a decent imperial stout, but nothing that will blow your mind away.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as sin. No highlights are seen, in spite of bright afternoon sunshine behind the glass. An incredibly loud pop! on cork extraction was followed by the creation of a massive head of caramel colored foam that has a whipped creamy texture. A generous amount of lace only adds to the magnificence.

The nose is full-to-bursting with a roasted maltiness in which dark chocolate is much more prominent than black coffee. The beer has a freshly baked brownies aroma that is lightly accented with American hops. Increased intensity with warming allows the score to be increased without a second thought.

I am continually amazed at how many different styles The Lost Abbey nails to the wall... with authority. SS is a wonderful ADS that's almost as good as Santa's Little Helper, which is the only other big stout that I've had from this brewery (if Port Brewing counts as 'this brewery').

Serpent's Stout teeters on the edge of greatness in the flavor department. The first few ounces had 4.0 written all over them. After the next few, 4.5 is making a serious case for consideration. It looks like the final call will have to wait until the second half of the 750 ml bottle. I need to finish this review before the beer is gone because the 11.0% ABV is beginning to work its magic with a stealthy efficiency.

Even if it isn't as thunderously black malty and as mind-bogglingly complex as The Abyss, Serpent's Stout means business. Flavors include double chocolate fudge brownies made with generous amounts of coffee, vanilla and blackstrap molasses. A background citrus fruitiness is welcome, even if the alpha acids are fighting a losing battle against the tidal wave of malt sugars. Maybe it's the alcohol talking, but 4.5 is now an easy call.

This is one of those big beers whose mouthfeel improves the more it sits. The reason is slightly too harsh carbonation early on. Now that almost half an hour has passed, the bubbles have calmed considerably and the beer is nougat chewy and borderline thick. Exactly like I like 'em.

My experience is that beer from The Lost Abbey is anywhere from good to great to world-class. Serpent's Stout isn't at the pinnacle, but it's one of the best offerings from one of the best American craft breweries in business today. Bottom line: sinfully delicious and devilishly drinkable. Thanks Tomme. Long may you brew.

 2,355 characters

Photo of Furlinator
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Slater's 50/50 Rancho Cucamonga on 04/07/16.

Cocoa, roasted dark malt, faint coffee and more dark fruit than I expected. A very good imperial stout.

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Photo of aszatk01
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ricke
3.95/5  rDev -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.

 899 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of CavemanRamblin
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of joemetric
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue V:

Riding on the whole "original sin" theme, darkness and evil, we are now tempted enough to give this brew a go. Lively carbonation brings a slow foam right out of the bottle, not a gusher but a creeper. Quick to foam though the lace does dissipate into the thin ring. Dark as the darkest night: opaque and sooty. Mild acrid tartness in the nose, sweet chocolate cake in the aroma and flavor. Carbonation is super fine on the palate with a fluffy, full body. Again, chocolate cake and dark chocolate. Sweetness is mild and up front. Ever so faint tartness, but a more prominent woody flavor in the middle. Hint of rich molasses and black currants in the back. Modest hop character, that's fine as the roasted character takes care of keeping the balance. Doesn't taste like an 11 percent beer at all, extremely deceiving even with a slight warmth from the alcohol.

A very delicious bottle-conditioned stout, impressive and drinkable for 11 percent. The more it warms up the better it gets. Malt flavors are really in sync with each other. A must try in our book because it stands out from the rest of the Lost Abbey lineup as being one of their best.

 1,196 characters

Photo of jose_alehouseSD
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of DahWag
4.51/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of freshflesh
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of heddar33
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of Afroman
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Beaver13
3.18/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours black with a small light brown head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is fudgy lactic chocolate malts, black licorice and some alcohol.

The flavor is sweet fudgy chocolate malts and molasses with a charred roast, black licorice and some alcohol. The finish is a lot of charred bitterness and alcohol. The mouthfeel is lighter than expected - light to medium bodied with low carbonation and kind of watery.

Overall, starts off promising, but it's just too hot, charred and unbalanced for me to truly like. I remember this beer being a lot more decadently sweet, and liking it a lot more that way.

 662 characters

Photo of freydaddy
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of Britton
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

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Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,741 ratings.
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