Serpent's Stout | The Lost Abbey

582 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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Reviews: 582 | Ratings: 1,778
Photo of Mebuzzard
2.48/5  rDev -41%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Never heard of this one before, but I loves me some Imperial Stout.
Nice pour. Opaque and thick looking. Head was minimal but still looked good and for the style, expected. Still, a bit more would be great.
Anyway, from there the beer goes downhill. Alcohol, chocolate, roasted malt smell. Strong. Noticeably in the background is magic marker smell. Oh, no.
Sure enough, magic marker dominates the taste. Then alcohol, then burnt chocolate. This is not good. It's worse than "not impressed" and I couldn't finish it. I'm hoping this is a bad batch, but it is still the beer I was drinking. Something went wrong here.

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Photo of Patrick999
2.65/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Well, this should be fun. Poured into a small snifter. Thin but formative head, and pretty damned black to say the least.

Aroma is to me kinda muted and frankly a little disappointing for the style. I'm just getting a little fruity alcohol....

I don't taste a lot of alcohol, though. It's roasty and quite dry, with bitter cocoa, espresso and hops. It's kind of unpleasantly bitter, and it hits you like a ton of bricks.

It has a really big, thick chewy feel.

This will be hard to drink - I think it lacks the typical Lost Abbey complexity that I was expecting. Plus, you feel the big alcohol immediately. Definitely not my favorite Lost Abbey beer....afraid I'm going to have to be on the left side of the bell curve here. Wow, you know what, I really do not like this beer.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.66/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Absolutely impenetrable black, no highlights or edges when held to a lamp. Just incredibly thick looking. Would be a 4 or higher if it weren't completely flat. No head, no lace, nothing. Yeah, it captures the color, but that's not really too hard.

S: Moderately pungent with a nice roasted malt and dark chocolate aroma. Couldn't really detect anything else. Smelled great, but not too complex or strong.

T: Roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors in a nice blend -- moderately sweet, with a lightly bitter finish that brings in some coffee. A good, solid stout.

M: Medium to full-bodied. Zero carbonation. Just a little carb and this would have been great, very creamy!

D: Lost Abbey has made some solid-tasting beers, but they absolutely fail on mouthfeel. Both bottles of Serpents Stout that I bought were flat. Given how overrepresented this style is on BA, Serpents Stout is pretty much at the bottom of the pile. I'll get something else (or several somethings else) for this kind of money.

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Photo of alpineclimber
2.78/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I received this one in a trade back in December.

Poured into my favourite chalice, a small tan head forms on a black brew.

Not much for the nose. I detect a slight cola sweetness and a slight smell of molasses and booze.

Typical flavours of an Imperial stout although fairly muted, coffee, chocolate and a roasty flavour from the malt. The taste finishes with booze, this brew seems quite hot.

A nice thick and creamy mouthfeel.

Overall I expected a lot more from this brew. The typical flavours were there but were very muted and the booze was not hidden very well at all. I have drank stouts that are 18% ABV and were less boozy. Very underwhelming to say the least...

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Photo of badbeer
3.1/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a beige head that retains fairly well and leaves bits of lacing on the glass. Smell is of malted milk balls, earthy hops, light roast and plenty of booze. Taste of light caramel, a touch of coffee, earthy, grassy hops, malted milk balls and fusels. Medium body and higher than medium carbonation. Had this beer a few times and I fail to understand the extremely high ratings. They make other beers I enjoy quite a bit, but this isn't one.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.11/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into the bottom of my Duvel tulip. Split with friends. This bottle is at least a year old.

A: After a very soft lackluster pop this beer pours pitch black with a couple fingers of dense light-brown head that slowly receded into a thin film that left streaks of lacing down the glass.
S: Dominant notes of coffee and dark chocolate with surprising notes of fruit? There is something sweet at the end of the scent that reminds me of chocolate covered exotic fruits. Probably hops.
T: Expected notes of coffee and dark chocolate with notes of raisins and bourbon in the finish. I get notes of toffee and roasted malt as well. Aftertaste is warm and full of alcohol and maybe a hint of vanilla. The flavors are all there, but are a bit burnt tastes, and the alcohol is similar to a Sharpies smell.
M: Still a bit of heat left on this one even after a year. Mouthfeel is initially a touch thin, but becomes more chewy as time passes. Medium bodied could be thicker but I'm getting picky.
D: Not sure how I feel about this one. I want to like it, but compared to other great stouts out there, this one seems a little unpolished. It's not bad, it's just not that outstanding or overall that pleasant to drink.

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Photo of biglite351
3.13/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - pour pitch black with a tall brown head. Foam is tight and lasts.

S - inviting chocolate malts.

T - something in the flavor I do not like. There is a nice chocolate malt flavor, but something extra that I rubbed me a little wrong. Mild alcohol after taste.

M - mild coating with a slight alcohol burn in the throat. No tingles.

D - the high alcohol rating on a 750ml bottle makes this a one bottle brew.

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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.

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Photo of codewarrior
3.23/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750mL Bomber poured into a Snifter

Picked this up at Colorado Liquor Mart while grabbing a 4-pack of Colorado standard Ten Fidy. I'm still trying hard to love The Lost Abbey, everyone else seems to, while I keep finding them ... rather boring.

A: Deep black with 2-fingers deep brown head.

S: Rich roasted malt, but shallow. Lots of booze here.

T: Sweetness up front into a coffee bitterness in the middle. Finish is burning boozeitude.

F: Thick, but not thick enough for my liking.

D: Decent stout, not disappointed, not blown away. This is pretty consistantly my opinion of The Lost Abbey.

Not considering price for a moment, If I'm to measure this against American Double Stouts, Green Flash Double - also from california - just absolutely demolishes this. If I'm to measure this against Russian Imperial Stouts, North Coast Old Rasputen - also from california - just absolutely demolishes this. Now taking into consideration that each is roughly half the price per ounce that this is ...

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.24/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

750 mL bottle of the 2009 vintage pours a murky black with a brawn head. Moderate retention and lace.

Nose is black licorice, cocoa powder, carob and oddly enough, overripe bananas. There is still a bit of clingy grass hop aroma as well.

Taste is dusty cocoa powder with a surprising amount of hoppy bitterness still. Black licorice pervades and it is not really a stout to my liking. It reminds me of Nightstalker. The mouthfeel is silky yet I wish there was more sweetness. This one just isnt really for me...I had a fresher sample a few times and liked it about the same as this aged version.

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Photo of jdklks
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark black with brown edges and little milk chocolate colored bubbles. The smell is of sweet plums, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and roasted malts.

No surprise, the beer is pretty flat, and the taste is about average. The aroma pretty much sums it up, but is better. Some sweet dark fruitiness with some bitter chocolate and alcohol. Flat coca cola. Not as much roast or coffee as expected, but its still there to a limited extent. Not very complex at all. A decent beer, but by no means great.

The mouthfeel, is, as previously stated, flat, and it's a little thinner than expected. Drinkability is okay, but it's an 11% stout that isn't all that great, so that certainly limits it here.

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Photo of crusian
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle from awesome girlfriend from boston of all places.
pours an awesome black viscous sludge.
smells as thick as it looks.
tastes... well... not saying it is bad. it is very heavy on the roasted flavors are heavy, but seems like they are hoping that will do it for them. a combination of the rarity and the heavy roasted flovors... seems like they are banking on that, and ignorant people to put it into the MUST have category. it is good, it is not GREAT... after all this time, I was let down. try it once, but only once.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

25.4 oz. bottle, bought at Hi-Times,

A: Pours black, with a full tan head into a Chimay chalice, good retention, leaves a smattering of lacing.

S: Could be better, but definitely chocolate and molasses notes.

T: Huge amounts of roasted malts bombard the palate at first, but then the flavour calms down a bit leaving a more mild chocolate character. Great milk chocolate notes in the aftertaste, though overall I found the beer to be too bitter at times.

M: Thick, lusciuos, and viscous, full-bodied, great for an RIS.

D: A powerful beer, wasn't my favourite RIS of all-time, but certainly a tasty beer, definitely a sipper I'd like to have around Yuletide.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap, this brew pours a dark brownish black in color and offers a very rich colored half inch of head. Retention is brief however and soon gives up to a glossy surface. A nice pour that doesn't hold up.

Chocolate on the nose with a bit of coffee and sweet malts, yet not a lot variety/complexity. Touch of alcohol is present but not overwhelming.

Taste follows the nose with roasted malts, cocoa, and chocolate. Finishing with more coffee notes. A bit thin in the end, this beer is unremarkable. A decent, yet average stab at the style.

ABV is well hidden nonetheless.

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Photo of rvdoorn
3.36/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Look: dark brown-black, with nice brown head, leaving a messy lacing.

Smell: Sharp alcohol, vanilla, coffee, roasted caramel malts and some red fruits.

Taste: Again, sharp alcohol. Sweet syrup, coffee, chocolate, roasted malts. Aftertaste is very alcoholic and bitter-salty.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy (like alomost all the lost abbey beers I tried), medium carbonation, smooth.

Overall: It is not that I don't like it, but the beer is way too alcoholic for the style. The strong presence of the alcohol spoils the others flavors too much. Nice try, but will not drink it again.

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Photo of chicagobeerriot
3.43/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serpents Stout pours with a classic, mocha-colored head that releases a whiff of dates and cherries. The mouth feel is slightly more carbonated than its impy bretheren which lends to an initial chalky sensation that disappears when the flavors kick in. Dark chocolate and espresso flavors initially dominate, but dates, prunes and spice show up to provide a little balance and to keep the alcohol at bay. That balance is thrown off a bit by a slightly acidic finish, but, overall, this is a very solid stout that should pair nicely with aged sharp cheddar or a raisin-based bread pudding.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.46/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black w/ brown tint and chocolate brown 1/4" head.

S: Smells like coffee and cola. Cola honestly seems to be the overpowering flavor. A little bit of bitter chocolate and soda sweetness compliment each other makes themselves known under the covers. Not sure I want my beer to smell more like pop than beer.

T: Good coffee flavor in a seemingly light and mild beer. Dry roastiness on the finish. I do get some cola essence again but this seems to be more attributable to the carbonation and mouthfeel and is pretty much mute compared to the nose. Again the tiny pinches of sweetness and dryness ying and yang each other in a way that makes you think they've got to be attributable to separate ingredients/processes.

M: Very full and far spreading. The dryness also seems to keep spreading and amplifying.

O: Good, interesting stout. However, I wouldn't go out of my way for it again given the price point and lack of distribution to me.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well carbonated as a reasonably careful pour produces a four-finger thick, creamed chocolate brown colored head in my 25cl glass that threatens to over flow. The beer is a rich black color with just a hint of concentrated brown to it. The head only slowly subsides and leaves a thick layer of froth on the sides of my glass. No amount of moving it up to the light makes this anything but opaque. Rich roasty malt notes, with a distinctly toasted grain note. Not totally unsurprisingly this smells exactly like the Moonlit Sessions Lager, perhaps a bit more intense, but not overly so; even that distinct, toasty grain character is replicated. Aromas of chocolate, well browned bread, toasted cracker aromas, dark roasted coffee. Underneath the dry, roast-driven malt notes is a deep malt sweetness with notes of burnt raisins and blackened figs. While this has a touch of burnt acidity and acrid roast character, these are fairly well in check and this has a fairly nice nose for a beer of this style.

Despite resting for 10 minutes it is still quite well carbonated; it feels frothy as it first hits the tongue, but it is thick enough to over-power the ample carbonation. After swirling this to degas it a bit, the texture becomes a bit more manageable; thick, chewy, with a creamy texture, though it is not hugely thick, though most definitely a powerful beer. Lots of sweet malt flavors contribute notes reminiscent of charred raisins, dark chocolate, touches of molasses and even some black liquorice flavors. Chalky grain notes stick to my teeth as does a slight astringent, burnt grain character. A light burnt acidity mixes with thick sweet malt notes in the finish, providing a bit of balance. The hop character is fairly mellow here, at least the malt character is so big that you really don't notice any hop contributions. The roast grain notes can at times contribute a burnt vegetal note, though it is not nearly as offensive as some examples.

A decent example of the style, it probably needs a year or more (and will remain good for quite some years) to round out the burnt vegetal notes. I like that this is not overly burnt in character, the roast malt character steers pretty well clear of being overly harsh, astringent and acidic. I am waffling between this being quite tasty and just a bit too green; in the end though, while this is a tasty brew, the second runnings of the mast (Moonlit Sessions) is the better beer.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of raverjames
3.49/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 bottle shared with n8h.
A: black with light tan head. There is carbonation, which is a big deal coming from LA.
S: booze. Ethanol. Cider. This beer is way too young. There is a nice roasty chocolate malt profile in there, but it is drownded out by alcohol.
T: alcohol, cacao, roasted barley, and caramel malts.
M: good carbonation, med body, and boozy.
D: ok, but would greatly improve with age. Needs the alcohol to be more hidden.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thick brown head. Deep brown color, cant tell what the opacity is like due to how dark it is.

Charcoal, smoke, burnt ham, asphalt all on the nose.faint notes of dark fruits, figs, raisins and chocolate.

Definitely some decadent chocolate cake notes right off the bat. Carbonation is brisk for such a giant beer which helps break up the flavors a bit. Rich chocolate flavors. Some savory, smokey, almost bourbon like notes are replicated by this brew. Faintly tannic presence with a touch of alcohol heat that lingers on the lips but not as much as youd expect from an 11% brew. As the beer warms raisins and fig flavors come through but rich chocolate lingers on the palate. A pretty nice brew that begs for food and drinks much smoother than you'd expect.

Also getting some raspberry notes, a deep brew that seems simple on the surface.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.51/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at Port/Lost Abbey

A: The pour is absolutely fantastic--almost black in color with a finger and a half worth of mocha colored head.

S: The nose is roasty with plenty of vanilla and coffee. There's also some bitter chocolate and quite a bit of booze.

T: Like the nose would indicate, the flavor is very...intense. The chocolate, coffee, roast, and vanilla are all very pleasant. Unfortunately, this beer is incredibly hot.

M: The body is on the fuller side of medium with a smooth, low carbonation and some heat on the tongue.

D: I liked some of the flavors going on in this beer, but it was just way too boozy. This beer can definitely benefit from some aging.

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Photo of chinchill
3.52/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery in San Marcos.

Pours black with a short-lived head that leaves little lacing.

Aroma: moderately strong and dominated by dark-roasted malts.

Flavor: more funky and less fruity than the aroma, but not challenging to drink. Lightly bitter finish.

Feel: medium body; medium-light carbonation.

O: good, not great. High ABV is too obvious.

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Photo of harrymel
3.55/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: 06JAN12

Pours black with excessive mocha head and residual spotty lace. Smells of oats, hops, coffee and cocoa. A bit resiny for my tastes, reminds me of young 10/50. Chocolate, leather and tobacco come into the flavor profile and ride across the cavity. Nice earthy aftertaste. Medium on thin bodied for the style with hi carb and an off dry finish. Overall nice beer, needs tweaks in the mouthfeel department, but that's par for the coarse there in San Marcos.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.56/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Solid black with 1 finger of creamy m ocha head.

S - Dark chocolate, coffee and heavily roasted malts.

T - Intensely roasted grains, almost charred to the point of being too overpowering. Charred ash, slight smoke, chocolate and coffee.

M - Thick and chewey. Sticky and syrupy.

D - Too many charred burnt flavors for my tastes.

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Photo of 321jeff
3.57/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750mL dated January 2010

Pours a deep black with lots of fluffy mocha colored head that leaves a little bit of lacing as it fades to a ring around the glass.

Aroma is dark fruits with a hint of roast. I'm getting mostly raisins but there is some other, lighter sweetness in there as well.

Taste has lots of dark fruit flavor for a stout, but there is a definite roast malt flavor in there, it just takes a backseat to the dark fruit sweetness. Some bitterness also attacks the front of the tongue on each sip.

Mouthfeel is thick and viscous but the slight bitterness up front takes away from the overall smoothness of the beer. Enjoyable and drinkable on a cold evening, I can see myself having another one at some point.

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Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,778 ratings.
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