Serpent's Stout | The Lost Abbey

581 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: 581 | Ratings: 1,769
Photo of MiScusi
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased and drank at Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe in Sierra Madre.

A- black body, brown dense head. Thick as hell, as expected.

S- Cocoa powder smell. I wanna say there was some sort of acidic or soy astringency, but it was very low, as opposed to other imperial stouts I've detected this in.

T- Huge roastiness, chocolate, and a fruity component that peaks out every once in a while.

M- thick, creamy, slick.

Overall a good imperial stout. Interesting with the very mild fruit component that is easy to miss I think. Must be the Belgian influence on the beer?

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Photo of MaduroMike
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours black with a thick brown head that dissipates quickly. Almost no lacing.

S- Strong roasted malts, chocolate, coffee/espresso faint cherries. Alcohol is masked very well.

T- Like it smells but alcohol pulls through in the end

M- Heavy, sticky, and bitter light carbonation

D- Decent offering and taste. Could see myself drinking it again but one is enough.

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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 roadhouse
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

Appears pitch black in color with a three-quarter inch dark tan head. It sinks to a skim, and leaves a small amount of lacing.

Aromas of dark chocolate, espresso, dark fruits - cherries and plum, and some charred wood.

Taste has a slight sweetness up front that is joined by a wonderful rich dark chocolate as well as the cherry and plum fruit flavors that I detected in the aroma. In the finish the espresso and burnt wood flavors appear.

Mouthfeel is medium-full in body, with a very nice creamy texture from a good level of carbonation that is almost Belgian like in it's effervescence, but not quite that much.

This was even tastier than I was hoping it would be. Really good stuff and glad I was able to pick up a bottle of this.

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Photo of tempest
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 750ml bottle from only $6.50 at Abe's Cold Beer. What a deal. I'm not usually a big fan of strong stouts, but I take exception to this beer. The flavors are a great mix of darkly toasted bread crust with semi-dark chocolate. The aroma has similar roasted grains, and black toast. This beer is made more drinkable by the lack of excess residual sugars and that pays off additionally with a dry, cocoa finish that balances an earlier chocolate sweetness. Yum. Give this a try.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of numbeercruncher - great trader, thanks!! Split w/ dkachur and proteus93, w/ my portion poured into a 10 oz. cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a thick, murky, inky black, evolving - initially - a good two-fingers of tan head. The head bubbles and froths at first, slowly fading though eventually settling down into a firm one-finger of bubbly, sticky goodness. I'd call the retention above average on this one. The lacing is incredibly sticky, snowy, sheet-like in places, crystalline and three-dimensional in others. Just a very attractive-looking brew.

Aroma: A little faint. Very fruity, with dark notes - raisins, figs - and lighter ones - definite peach, stone fruits, cherries. Lots of earthy, toasty, roasty notes, not quite charred or smoky, but heavy coffee, bitter chocolate. Fruit notes definitely dominate here, though, though the heavy malts do emerge somewhat as this one warms.

Taste: I can definitely see how the Moonlit Sessions Lager was made from the second runnings of this. The notes are very similar - heavy, heavy toast notes, nearly charred but just shy, espresso, bitter chocolate, and tons of fruity overtones (peaches, cherries, raisins). The big difference between this one and the MSL is the overwhelming amount of sweetness in this one, making the bitter chocolate seem almost milky, sweet, the fruits seem dried and concentrated, and everything just, generally, more intense. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: This beer's worst aspect, probably. It's thick, and though it's not quite sticky, it's big-bubbled and a little uneven. A little too big-bubbled.

Drinkability: This one's all over the place. On the one hand, the head retention and lacing are stellar, and the tastes and flavor profile truly impressive. On the other hand, the aroma is way too faint and a little strange, and to be honest, I think it's a little overcarbonated. So I'm gonna put drinkability about smack dab in the middle for this one, despite the relatively high abv%. This one's interesting, intense, rich ... I'm gonna give it a "recommended."

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is jet black, no light gets through. Light brown head, doesn't last long.

Initial aroma is burnt sugar, roasted malts, coffee, and cocoa.

Taste closely matches aroma, roasted malts, coffee, but with lots of bitter cocoa.

Coats the mouth, silky, with just a "prickle" of carbonation. Alcohol warmth sneaks up on you, envelopes you, and tempts you to

It'd be a sin not enjoy this more than once...just not in the same sitting, or you'll never stand up.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a-like how nestlie's cocoa mix would look if there was a two inch stack of brownies floating on top of it!!!

s- up front cocoa, rich ground coffee rinds, muted anise, and toffee.

t- very lasting, coating and soothing brew. 11% barely rears its head, more or less after a few sips in. massive amounts of chocolate in this one. i love beers like this.

m- lighter than i expected, but has some nice grainy textures to it from the crystal malt.

d- outstanding. i like how easily this goes down.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with one finger of tan head and a thick ring of lacing.

Scent of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, molasses, maple syrup, dark fruits and hidden alcohol. Huge, robust, balanced very well, and well masked alcohol make for an excellent scent.

Taste of chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts, molasses, maple syrup, and coffee. Finishes with some alcohol and roasted malts, but the alcohol is far from overpowering, great stuff.

Mouthfeel is heavy bodied and thick with a small amount of carbonation, keeping it lively.

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Photo of rye726
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, near black color with an espresso head. The nose has roasty malts, chocolate, coffee, molases, dark fruits, wood, bourbon and anise. Really opens up at warmer temps. The taste has a nice balance of sweet and bitter flavors. Full body, but the carbonation is a bit off. Still drinks well. Good stuff.

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

A- The beer is a dark syrupy brown, but in the glass it looks jet black. The tan head was thin and disappeared quickly.

S- When I popped the cork I got a good deal of chocolate, and coffee. The roasted/burnt malts are present but mixed in with the coffee more then anything. I'm also getting the very present smell of rubbing alcohol in this beer as a large underlying smell.

T- This has an interesting taste. The chocolate is very potent for sure. Then this fades into the coffee, almost more of a mocha taste. Mixed in is a slight cherry taste. The alcohol taste does give a slight twinge to the taste buds, but they will live to taste another day.

M- Thick and kind of chewy. I would like just a touch more carbination.

D- Fairly easy to drink, and gets easier as the beer disappears.

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

Sampled while enjoying the Big Sur Coast 2008. Poured into a snifter for review.

Pours out an almost black with a 2 finger deep brown/coffee colored head. Head has good reetention and leaves a stout moustache on my mouth. Yummy. Loads of sticky lacing & webbing on glass.

Big chocolate aroma, roasted/charred malts, faint booze, nutty, fruity.

Roasted/charred flavors, coffee, chocolate, booze, nice bitterness. Quite tasty and complex.

Full bodied, chewy, creamy, ABV well hidden.

Easy to drink & smooth.

A fine and unique example of an American Imperial Stout. Will be gladly buying again.

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Photo of JonathanL7890
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had last night bottle shared by MiguelMandingo. Thanks Mike!

Poured a 1 finger gorgeous brown head.
Fine bubbles from the laser etching on my New Belgium snifter glass caused the foam to hang around. Some lacing on the glass.
Thick and black.
Aroma is like chocolate ice cream. Chocolatey and sweet. A slight amount of hops. Maybe some cinnamon.
Taste is roasty, chocolatey dried fruit, some bitterness.
Big chocolate aftertaste that lingers for awhile.
This one is a real slow sipper. The alcohol is nowhere to be found in this beauty.
Mouthfeel: a little bit thick but ok for the style.
Drinkability: Good but very rich. I could drink a whole bottle but it would take all day.

A wonderful RIS. Not a style that you would think Lost Abbey would be good at but they've nailed it.

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

Wax dipped corked and caged 2008 Vintage:

A: Pours fairly black with a s loose cinnamon-colored head that recedes quickly, leaving very little lacing as it settles to a ring and a blanket.

S: Roasted malt, some smoke and a bit of leather, dark chocolate powder, and booze in the background.

T: Chocolate and burnt malts pretty much dominate though there's a unexpected subtle fruity pop on the tip of the tongue near the finish. Bit of alcohol on the finish but its very well masked. Flavors are all nicely balanced

M: Really subtle, fluffy and almost velvety feel. Lighter than expected, but that's a good thing. Noticeable carbonation.

D: A refined, well-balanced RIS. Was a bitch to get the wax off the cork cage but after that, all was good.

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Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.6/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased in early 2008.

Poured part of a 750ml into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours a thick opaque black into the snifter. It produced a solid one finger tan head. The head is very fine textured. Great head retention - the head never truly goes away, only dissipates to a thin crown. A swirl of the glass makes the head grow right back. Decent lacing.

Smell - This smells awesome. Dark chocolate notes intermingled with roasted malt that resembles coffee, licorice, dark fruit - plums cherries, burnt sugar, and toffee. Wow. Better than I remember, and get better as the beer warms.

Taste - Even better. This has really developed nicely over the last year. Wow. There are primarily flavors of chocolate and roasted malt, but it is really complex. There are notes of coffee licorice and cherry. There is a sweet note that resembles caramel and toffee that lies underneath. The 11% ABV is extremely well hidden. This is awesome.

Mouthfeel - The initial feel is creamy and smooth, and then a sharp carbonation comes through at the end. Medium/full bodied. Mouthcoating without being too oily or sticky.

Drinkability - Holy crap, this is awesome. This has held up amazingly well over the past year. This could stand to be aged even longer, but this is delicious. It has been a while since I have had a stout this good. I could drink this all the time.

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Photo of sleazo
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A_Pitch black liquid with a soapy coffee coloured two finger head. This settles down to a fairly nice cap and leaves sheets of lacing.

S_Big coffee and dark chocolate notes up front followed by dark fruits and a hint of alcohol.

T_Once again big roasted flavours with dark and bakers chocolate coming to the forefront. There is a good bit of roasted grain husk. The coffee hinted at in the nose is a bit subdued. The dark fruits are also minor notes but they all add well. While the whole package is mostly bitter, the aftertaste lends a nice sweetness to balance it out.

M_On the lighter side with a bit too much carbonation. The carbonation is along the lines of a tripel which is a bit too much for the style.

D_The light body while a flaw style wise make this fairly easy to drink. Very tasty.

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Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to throwitallaway for this corked and caged 750 mL bottle.

A: The stout is black. No other words can do it justice. The only hint of color comes from the coffee-and-cream colored head that looks like it will lace in strata around the glass.

S: An excellent aroma, even when cold. Thick bready aromas are decadent, throwing off nutty, graham notes. Coffee and cocoa powder also make appearances.

T: Ample carbonation fizzed in my mouth like a soda. Behind the fizz, big things started happening. Roasted malts, burnt and scorched, set the tone for the stout. Fast on their heals were powdered cocoa, espresso and a mild spice profile. Caramel follows in what is fast becoming an orgy of flavor. Hops add a citrusy flourish and yet another dimension. I am very impressed.

M: The mouthfeel is full, changing flavors from one sip to the next. The depth is remarkable, I've rarely had an imperial stout that was this complex.

D: At 10.5%, this is no pounding stout. I'll be lucky to finish the bottle before it knocks me out.

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

2009 bottle, served in a pint glass. This bottle lists 11% ABV.

A - One finger of milk-chocolate-colored foam that dissipates slowly and leaves some spotty lacing. Pitch black - not even a little lighter at the edges of the glass.

S - Heavily roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, and a touch of dark fruits and hoppiness. You can tell this is a fresh bottle. The smell just leaps out of the glass.

T - This is pretty intense. It starts with bitter coffee and dark chocolate, but unleashes a torrent of sweet milk chocolate, malt, caramel, and floral hops on the middle of the tongue. The aftertaste mirrors this with strong bitterness up front but a lingering sweetness at the back of the throat. Maybe the tiniest hint of booziness.

M - Full bodied, with moderate carbonation - goes down smooth and velvety. Leaves a clingy residual stickiness. Very warming.

D - My wife and I will easily finish the 750ml bottle. The carbonation and high ABV will probably keep me from drinking much more afterward.

I've had this beer before, and I don't remember it being this good. Perhaps being fresh improves it, or perhaps they've tweaked the recipe slightly. I'm so glad we're getting the Lost Abbey seasonal brews, as the regular lineup is a little overrated. Highly recommended.

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

Purchased at Julio's in MA in May of 2008. Consumed on 1/16/2009.

A: Poured into a nonic. Thick dark black body with a 2-finger chocolatey-brown head. Leaves some lace.

S: Roasted malt, some coffee and a hint of cocoa powder or chocolate. Not terribly strong on the nose, but pleasant.

T: Chocolate malt and roasted barley malt. I wrote "nice and roasty" and that about describes it. Some cocoa powder is evident as well. As it warms there's fruit too -- dark fruit or maybe even chocolate-covered cherries. "Rich" is another word I wrote to describe it.

M: Definitely a heavyweight in heft, good carbonation to it.

D: Very drinkable for a beer of 11% ABV. I couldn't find any evidence of the alcohol at all.

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

750mL bottle poured into a tulip

Big creamy head rises to the top of tulip. Head is cocoa color and sits on top of a nearly pitch black body. Little to no lacing.

Nose is of deep, roasted cocoa, subtle dark fruit, caramel, and sour belgian yeast.

Deep roasted, almost charred malts with sweet caramel and a dose of bitter hops. Bittersweet chocolate, molasses, caramel and dark fruit up front with a floral hop/roasted malt finish.

A big robust mouthfeel without being too thick. Soft and luxurious, velvety smooth. There's a lot going on in this beer and they did a great job on thinning it out to make it more palatable.

There are some pretty intense and extreme flavors going on here with a high abv. Put your brakes on, this one is to sit back and enjoy slowly. Considering how big and bad it is, I really had no problems cutting through it.

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Photo of orcasteve
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

review taken from notes, poured into my stella artois tulip glass, poured as black as a cave at midnight with a creamey tan thick head rising to the top reduses to a thin film over the entire top as it settels, the taste is the begning a strong oak age flavor, bitter chocalate, strong alchoal and a hint of coffiee. the middle is ware a tuch of of hops kick in but just slightly also a hint of black pepper spicyness. the finish is like creamy mollassess and sweet burbon. this is an overall smoth well blanced great siping stout that i was luckey to get one of. i am seeking to get more of theese

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Photo of CoolJosh
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

With Girlfriends present, and both treyrab and I having received packages earlier in the day, why not have a tasting? Thanks Trey for getting me hooked on my new favorite stout, and a big ups to stevemacqueenjr for trading one to me.

A. Looks beautiful, great 2.5 head with no visibility through, karate black belt in color.

S. Very vanilla sweet and tons of butterscotch and caramel, some scents of vanilla, floral. It all mixes well and comes out so nice and plesantly. The scent really does a superb job of pulling you in.

T. Very creamy and caramelly, with great bitter chocolate a lot of toffee. Creamy but a little bit too crispy and carbonated, hopefully this will affix itself over time. Very nice dark fruits.

I really enjoyed this one, and would recommend to anyone interested in hooking a friend onto RIS's. My girlfriend is typically a Fruit Beer drinker (though I must tip my hat to her as she is beginning to branch out a lot), and really enjoyed this one.

EDIT: Just had the 09. Drinking incredibly well, a lot more bitter roasts and a slight soy sauce taste in addition to everything mentioned above. Other then these changes, everything else in the 08 was the exact same in the 09. Huge thanks to Hophead101 for hooking us up with this bottle. Thanks Greg!

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/31/08. Bottle. Pours black with a huge, HUGE dark tan head, so pretty!! Aroma of coffee, roasted malt, milk and bitter chocolate. Flavor of heavily roasted, sweet malt, roasted nuts, bitter chocolate. Very smooth palate and really drinkable. I was expecting more richness from an imperial stout, but this tastes more like a strong regular stout to me. Very smooth, wow I did not get the 11%. Interesting, very good, but not quite worthy of its 4.03 average...
7/5/8/4/14 (3.8/5)

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The last time I had this I was a wee bit hung over, so I didn't fully get to enjoy it. Poured in to a Portsmouth Brewery tulip glass. Color is completely black, and has about a half finger of light tan, rocky looking heading. Sweet, rich dark chocolate and earth make themselves known in the nose, as well as some cigar tobacco and dark fruit. Taste is full on with the rich chocolate, which has multiple layers. Sometimes it resembles chocolate powder, other times dark chocolate cake, and even chocolate cheesecake at one point. The dark fruit (raspberries and strawberries come to mind) also sits in the background to complement everything else. Mouthfeel is perhaps a tad light, but still very good. Drinkability suffers for me only because of the higher ABV. I am liking this beer a lot as I sit here listening to Black Sabbath's first record (seemed fitting). Taste wise, it is like a more subtle, refined Surly Darkness. Cannot complain with this beer. Cheers

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Photo of magictrokini
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a dense brown head of tiny bubbles. Roast malt, leather, cigar, bacon, coffee, chocolate and charcoal in the aroma. Huge is not a big enough descriptor for the roasted malt. It hits like a sledgehammer. Smoked bacon, dark chocoalte, cocoa powder, and coffee are also there en masse. Nice alcoholic warmer at the back. Smooth, velvet mouthfeel. I could drink this all night.

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Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,769 ratings.
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