Serpent's Stout | The Lost Abbey

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Serpent's StoutSerpent's Stout
1,841 Ratings
Serpent's StoutSerpent's Stout

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: American 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,841 |  Reviews: 598
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the trade Crushinat0r. Pours a chocolately thick dark brown with lots of attractive dark brown head. Balance is always worth currency, and this RIS has it. Chocolate and roast and not overdone though substantially roasty. Thick mouthfeel. I have had lots of great imperial stouts recently, and this is included in the group. Satisfying and very drinkable.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -5.4%

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.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ransackingpete for sharing this one!

Bottled sometime in 2012 (date stamp is partially smudged off).

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch dark khaki head that fades to an oily film. Small dots and streaks of lace slowly drip back into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, coffee beans, and some alcohol aromas. Chocolate chip cookie dough aromas come out as the beer warms. Taste is of dark roasted malt, chocolate chip cookie dough, roasted coffee beans, and a slight alcohol kick on the finish. There is a very nice roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good stout with some awesome aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured out as a nice looking black color with a thin tan/brown colored head on top. The smell of the beer was had a good amount of roasted malts on the nose along with some dark fruits and wooden aromas. The taste of the beer was rich with some dark chocolate notes coming through with a bitter aftertaste of burnt malts and caramel. The mouthfeel of the beer wasn't as heavy as I thought it should be. The carbonation was decent and it was still a drinkable brew. Overall it's not most impressive stout to me but I'm glad I gave it a try.

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Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin dark tan head that died down and left wispy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: Light aromas of dark malts and chocolate are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, there are flavors of dark and chocolate malts in the taste.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. The beer tends to coat your mouth a bit.
O: This beer is quite easy to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

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Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bomber of this on a roof top deck on a hot Baltimore night. Pours thick like motor oil, roasty aroma. Taste is pretty boozy, nice chocolate notes, coffee, roasted malt. Nice and creamy taste. A definite sipper for sure, this one was a bit more heavy on the alcohol than what I would like which kills the smoothness, but overall a nice beer to give you a kick in the pants with plenty of flavor.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of CO2 in this one. Didn't quite foam over like the Angels Share but it created a very tall brown head that had some pretty good retention to it. There was little to no light shinning through the beer in my pint glass and it was a solid black color.

Aroma was roasted and chocolatey but not too roasted. It was a nice balance. I agree with the last guy that this could probably use a year but it was pretty good brand new.

Taste was sweet and roasted with mild to moderate bitterness. Not too much coffee in the taste which is what I was expecting when I bought this. The harshness of the roasted grains were manageable but it didn't blend with the sweet flavors as well as it could have. Overall a nice tasting stout.

Body was thick and carbonated. Pretty drinkable. Would drink it again if it wasnt $11.50.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
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 oline73
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of kojevergas
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass with hood and wire cap over a cork served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high; I've had this before on tap and it was lovely. Acquired at Wades Wines in Westlake Village, California a couple months ago. Cost was $11.99 plus tax.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as (in spite of the brewery) I don't anticipate any carbonation issues.

A: Pours a one finger head of incredible beautiful rich tan colour, heavy mocha cream, damned impressive thickness, and obscenely good retention. Colour is a solid black with a fair amount of rising bubbles. No yeast particles are visible, but it's nontransparent and opaque. It's a beautiful beer. I can't wait to drink it.

Sm: Extravagant coffee, vanilla bean, hints of rich chocolate, exquisite roast, milk, cream, and traces of nuts. Coffee is dominant. Incredibly subtle. A mild strength aroma. Very inviting. I can't wait to taste it. The aroma makes a big promise I'm not sure the taste can fulfill.

T: Cream on the open. Exquisite coffee over a subtle yet full roasted barley foundation. Some chocolate. Heavy rolling cream. Some vanilla. Dark malts. Hints of subtle caramelization. Hints of yeast right on the finish and into the aftertaste a biteen. No alcohol comes through in the flavour, though you feel it in your stomach. The roast and coffee are dominant and fantastic. Fully layered. Great body. Complex yet subtle. A refined flavour profile that fulfills the promise of the aroma.

Mf: Creamy, smooth, and wet, with some subtle underlying dryness from the roasted barley. Perfect thickness and carbonation. Complements the flavour profile extremely well.

Dr: Extremely drinkable for the style and high ABV. It borders on dangerous. It's almost a sipper merely because you feel the alcohol when it reaches the stomach, generating a warm sensation. Would make a great winter beer (this doesn't seem lost on Lost Abbey). It's well worth its price. Definitely do what you can to get your paws on this gem. I'd love to have this again. A remarkable special brew in a highly oversaturated style. I'd definitely recommend this to friends.

An excellent candidate for aging. One of the finest I've come across, actually. I'd like to try this with 2 or 3 years on it.

Would pair well with weaker flavoured chocolate, prunes, and raisins. Tiny twist pretzels would be ideal methinks.

Drank real well out of me Guinness goblet. Narrow-mouthed goblets and snifters are likely ideal for this beer.

Low A

12.23.14: Brief notes on a 2010 vintage bottle:

Pours a 1 finger wide head of tan colour. Creamy, full, and thick. Has a nice even consistency. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes. Retention is great - about 8 minutes. Body colour is an opaque solid black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Sm: Luxurious subtle dark fruit, cream, deep dark malts, chocolate malts, dark chocolate, buried roast, cookie dough, hints of char, chocolate milk, caramel, cocoa powder, a hint of some kind of nut...what I don't find is alcohol or hops. It's a pleasant aroma of moderate aromatic intensity.

T/Mf: The malty backbone is comprised of dark malts and chocolate malts. The following notes just melt into that dark foundation: subtle roast, chocolate milk, caramel. Charred sugars and burnt caramel give some rough edges to this otherwise silky smooth and creamy brew, drawing out the flavour duration. There's a hint of nougat.

Some drinkers will note harsh roastiness or perhaps even acridity.

Not as balanced as I remembered it, but certainly intricate.

OVERALL: She's a sipper. It's a classic imperial stout from Lost Abbey, but I do prefer it fresh. Not a great beer for aging. To its credit, it hides its ABV shockingly well.


Pairs well with snickers.

August 5th, 2016 impressions from a 2010 vintage.

It's drifted into the outer limits of dark fruit territory, yielding emergent notes of prune and plum. All the caramel is there, and the chocolate/dark malt too. The balance is just so damned good, and it's so magnificently well built. Charred barrel, noticeable roast, creaminess, suggestions of coffee grounds without going overboard in terms of bitterness.

Mouthfeel doesn't suffer with age; it's perfectly carbonated, nicely soft, and aptly full-bodied without betraying signs it's old.

A treat of a brew from Lost Abbey. Thank God this tends to get passed over by most craft beer mavens - more for me!


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Photo of BEERchitect
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
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 WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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

2500th review! 750 ml bottle into snifter, 2013 vintage bottling. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger fairly dense dark brown head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, dark bread, smoke, light char, molasses, raisin, plum, light licorice, and roast/smokey earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome complexity and balance of big dark/roasted malt and light-moderate fruitiness; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, dark bread, smoke, molasses, light char, raisin, plum, light licorice, herbal, and roast/smokey earthiness. Good amount of herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, dark bread, smoke, molasses, light char, raisin, plum, light licorice, herbal, and roast/smokey earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of intense dark/roasted malt, light-moderate fruitiness, and light earthy hop flavors; with an awesome roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, and moderately slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible imperial stout! All around amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of intense dark/roasted malt, light-moderate fruitiness, and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. An extremely outstanding offering.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 1,841 ratings