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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 582 | Ratings: 1,779
Photo of Uscjojo
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just opened a bottle of Serpents Stout.
It pours black and oily looking. It has a dark brown half finger
head. The smell is chocolate, coffee, malts, toffee, and licorice.
The taste is strong espresso coffee, toasted malts, and some sweet hints dark fruits like plums.
The feel is a nice medium chewy feel. The alcohol is well hidden, for a 11% abv.
Overall, this is a very well made Stout by Lost Abbey.

 404 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Type: 750-ml. bottle
Glass: AleSmith Barrel-Aged Reserve snifter glass
From: Barons Market in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $12.99
Purchased: June 18, 2016
Consumed: June 25, 2016
Misc.: Received from Rachel for Father’s Day; No BOD on bottle; Cork and cage top

Thanks, Rachel!

Got this and another good one from Rachel for Father’s Day. Surprised that I had never had this one. I always think that the Los Abbey is a bit pricy across the board, but I thought I would have tried this by now. Have some high hopes. Bummed that there was no bottled on date.

Poured a pitch black color with two fingers of frothy tan head. Very serene setting. Lovely. Good-to-very good spotty lacing. Excellent retention. (Sight - 4.50)

Smelled dark cocoa nibs, milk chocolate, almost a chocolate cake feel, toffee, caramel, roasted coffee malts, light molasses and hints of licorice. (Smell - 4.50)

Taste follows the nose nicely, maybe not quite as good. Chocolate cake, milk chocolate, dark cocoa, roasted nuts, bitter dark roasted coffee (but not overwhelming), roasted toffee, molasses, black licorice, char wood, malt chocolate and dark espresso. Not boozy at all. (Taste - 4.25)

Full body. Creamy-to-sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish. (Feel - 4.25)

This was very good, much better than I even thought. Would recommend it to anyone. (Overall - 4.25)

4.33 | 96 | A

 1,378 characters

Photo of CraftBeerRunner
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Post m2b marathon. A great recovery beer :-) A: black, minimal head S: don't recall T: rich coffee hops chicory almost M: thick, robust creamy O: very very good. Not Yeti, but a good second for me. Barrelhouse 101, Ventura CA, May 2016

 235 characters

Photo of josanguapo
4.74/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From XXXII. In Naparbier glass, at Carlo's house. Great, but the difference with a samuel smith imperial stout doesnt compensate the difference in price (price: 15€) Alcohol very well hidden, be careful

 204 characters

Photo of HockeyBrewmeister
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

LOOK: jet black with two-finger, creamy, mocha head.

SMELL: boozy dark fruits, licorice, with some dark chocolate. Alcohol is present. Chocolate and coffee come out as it warms.

TASTE: contrary to the smell... tons of bitter chocolate, coffee bean, caramel and a slight alcohol bite on the finish. Not much dark fruit flavor at all considering the aroma.

FEEL: thick, thick, thick. Amazing stuff.

OVERALL: Top notch imperial stout. Very rich & full mouthfeel. Complex flavor. The Lost Abbey really dotted all of their i's with this one. Drinks super smooth for a 11% beer. I find it very odd that the smell did not match the flavor at all.. but what the hell. Great brew.

 675 characters

Photo of Vixie
3.94/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark and thick beer. I have only ever seen one other beer that is this thick and dark. Forms a decent sized tan head that stays around longer than expected.

Fairly sweet smell to this one. Chocolate and coffee dominate, maybe a touch of vanilla and coconut as well.

Like the smell, a lot of chocolate up front. There is also coffee and roasted malt. Bit of dark fruit, and finishes with a dark chocolate bitterness.

Almost smooth as silk going down, the tingling on the tongues keeps it from being as smooth as some I have had.

Even though this is a bit high on the bitterness scale for me, I still enjoyed it. It is more a dessert beer, would pair well with a good chocolate cake. It is a touch on the sweet side, but for me that was a positive. I think if the bitterness was toned down a little, this would possibly be the best example of the stye I have had. Very much worth a try.

 893 characters

Photo of q33jeff
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to snifter. Dark black thick pour. Creamy head...color of cafe au lait. Aroma is coffee, malt, dark fruits. Taste is blackberry, raspberry, chocolate, whiskey, wine, plum. Good strong stout. This will probably be my last new beer for a few weeks."

 268 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.

 159 characters

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!

 416 characters

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.

 645 characters

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

Bottle shared by Mike yesterday, thanks man.

Pours a unsurprisingly dark black color, with a mocha colored head, about a half inch head, and not much in the way of lacing.

Smells like dark chocolate, roasted malt, some tobacco, and coffee.

This is really solid straightforward imperial stout from Lost Abbey. Lots of flavors were able to coaxed out of the malt without any flavor additions. Chocolatey flavors lead the way, with some roasted coffee, a bit of earthy bitterness kind of reminiscent of tobacco, and dark, slightly smokey roasted malt. It's really quite delicious.

This has a nice creamy mouthfeel, full and rich, with a normal level of carbonation for the style.

Lost Abbey somewhat quietly does really good stouts.

 734 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black pour, used motor oil appearance with a tan head on the top of it. Aroma was plenty roasty, coffee malt, nutty, even a little bitterness.

Taste was more chocolate malt, leather, tobacco, ash, oats, oak (I don't think this is ba though). A little bit of dark fruit and more coffee malt bitterness. Nice and chewy mouthfeel, smooth. Covers the high alcohol relatively well.

 383 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shiny boot black with a fine sheet of residual lace. An aroma of dark chocolate, prune and cherry melt into other notes of coffee and pine. The sticky sweetness on the tongue mimic the rich chocolate and fruit notes while touches of cocoa mingle with a balancing bitterness and a lingering fusel heat that cuts through it all. A soft and balanced sipper that still holds plenty of flavor and never wavers.

 410 characters

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.

 165 characters

Photo of Can_has_beer
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Corked and caged, bottle date 2009. For being 6 years old, this definitely held up very well. Oxidation had set in on the back end of the taste, but the smell was untouched. The smell was actually very lovely, lots of chocolate and body. The oxidation got to me, but what the hell can us do.

 291 characters

Photo of stortore
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours really dark and opaque, two finger head with a fairly hard pour. Some foamy cling throughout. Smell brings lots of roasted malts and chocolate, some molasses, a little coffee, a bit of smoke as it warms. Taste pretty much follows the nose, with more coffee presence and some vanilla. Less bitterness than expected, but not sweet. Smooth, very creamy for the style, well carbonated.

It's a pretty straightforward beer, just wonderfully blended and delicious. This is one everybody should try. Very enjoyable

 553 characters

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.

 2,343 characters

Photo of Robomunky
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Always a treat. Pitch black, brown head, some lacing. Smell is very roasty, a lot of chocolate and some molasses. Taste: smoky, charry, bitter chocolate. Coffee at the end. Something herbal I can't quite place. Feels exactly how you want a black beast of a stout to feel. Serpent's Stout falls just short of a world class imperial stout for me but considering the price, I can't not buy several of these every year.

 415 characters

Photo of MrDell
3.61/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The Lost Abbey - Serpants Stout – Bottling and Best Before dates unknown. Apparently this is a seasonal beer brewed in Dec & Jan only but I picked it up in September.

Appearance: BLACK! Even when held to light, completely opaque. Head- half finger coloured of head is coffee with one drop of milk in it, leaves thick lacing on glass.

Aroma: Espresso, dark choc, sweet like dark caramel/treacle, strong whiff of mashed up black liquorice, damp wood, moist tobacco.

Taste: Liquorice, rum, strong black coffee in finish. Slight bourbon taste. Can taste the strength in this one. As its warming it becomes more bitter, hop character coming through.

Mouth feel: Thick and leaves oily residue

Overall: While I did enjoy this one, I found it a little on the bitter side for my taste and I the 75cl bottle was too much , got a sickly towards the end. Would only buy again if it was to share with someone that I knew liked this kind of thing. Its also expensive at 17.50 chf per bottle (in Switzerland).

 1,004 characters

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.

 1,709 characters

Photo of cjohns73
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured pitch black with a huge clay-colored head that billowed quite a bit. Smell is subdued, a bit of chocolate on the nose. The taste is very dry: chocolate; charcoal? Definitely something earthy. The feel is neither thick nor thin. Leaves a very chalky feel on the tongue and a bit of an alcohol sting on the nose. Nice roasty beer, an alternative to the sticky sweet options in the style.

 392 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark black with a two finger mocha head, with good retention and lacing. Nice aroma with dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, and some earthiness.

Tastes a little sweeter than I would have guessed with dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, and lactose. No alcohol taste, which is surprising for an 11.0 % abv beer.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Has a roasted malt and cocoa aftertaste. Well worth trying again, if I get the chance.

 466 characters

Photo of BWood
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Love this beer. Thick oil can presence with one of the best head and lacing there is. Honestly one of the best non ba beers there is. Roasty malt and chocolate. This is what a stout should be like.

 197 characters

Photo of jancona
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours ink black with a mocha colored foam and pretty lacing. Smell is lactose, bitter chocolate and coffee. Taste is milky goodness, chocolate cake, roasted malts with a creamy mouthful. A fantastic stout.

 205 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Shared at the Malt House while waiting for Great Taste tickets.

Dark brown body, nearly black, dark hued with a one finger mocha head with good retention, nice lacing. Smells of chocolate brownies, just the right amount of bourbon, oak, dark fruit, espresso. Rich cocoa. Flavour is similar but with a more pronounced roasted malt and dark fruit presence; cocoa, espresso, whiskey, oak, all adding their contribution. Nice balance; sweet but not cloying; mild earthy, oak bitterness on the backend. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, good carbonation, nice slick feel, easy to drink, no heat. Overall, a very tasty barrel-aged imperial stout that is surprisingly flavourful and drinkable. The price point isn't ideal, but at $14/750ml, it is certainly better than that of its cousin, Older Viscosity which is even more for a 375ml bottle. I would heartily recommend this.

 870 characters

Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,779 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.