Serpent's Stout | The Lost Abbey

579 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: 579 | Ratings: 1,761
Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
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 pknyc
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: Vintage 2013
Opened: July 2014

This one had a tough cork to pull, but once I got that open with a large pop, the cork was very wet and sticky, even though this had been stored upright for the last year or so.

A: There was an aggressive pour which resulted in a 3 finger tan head with various sized bubbles. The head receded very slowly to a sort of thick film which left nice lacing. I believe that this is black, but it could be very dark brown.

S: The nose was ok, but doesn't compare to the taste. There was some chocolate, some bitterness, some roast. I get a little oak, or woodiness. There is a dash of a sharp anise type smell.

T: Smooth, creamy, chocolate. A brief prickliness from the carbonation. Much more dark chocolate comes through than the nose in a luxurious, velvety way. It is similar to the nose, but the taste was much more intense. There is no alcohol.

MF: In addition to the above, it was creamy and silky. Quite nice.

O: Very nice and very enjoyable with about a year on it.

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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 mabermud
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This stout was served on tap into a 10oz tulip glass. The head on this beer looked impressive. The beige lacing was sticky, fluffy, and good looking. The smell of this stout was a balance of roasted malt, bitter/dark chocolate, molasses, and something pungent. This stout tastes roasted, sour, and chocolatey, with a weak boozy ending/aftertaste. Mouthfeel = medium/smooth/dry.

Overall, I was not very impressed. When I read Serpent's Stout, I started thinking of something slithery, poisonous, and big. This brew's name mislead me. If it was named The Lost Abbey Snake Stout, I probably wouldn't be as disappointed. As for being a serpent, :(

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Photo of puboflyons
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From the corked, caged bottle dated 12/24/13. Sampled on June 9, 2014.

This has a very dark brown pour to nearly black with a tremendous, foamy, silk tan head. But the head fades after awhile. I used a small glass so the second pour was not as heady.

The aroma has all of the stout characteristics you might expect including dark malts, chocolate, dark fruit, and yeast but it is also boozy.

The body is about as good as it gets for the style with a bold and full texture. Two "5" ratings.

But because of the booze the dark malts and dark fruit tend to get a little buried but this is still an outstanding beer. I should have bought two and tried it 2 years from now when the alcohol bite faded a little.

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Photo of EvoRich
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing this on my phone, at the bar.

Look: Pitch black, dark tan head. Fades into a ring with slight lacing.

Smell: Dark chocolate, malts, coffee

Taste: Nearly the the same as the smell. Chocolate, coffee, vanilla. Super good.

Feel: Medium bodied, creamy texture.

Overall: Short review as I feel like a douche on my phone. But this is a really good beer. I'm definately going to have to be on the lookout for this in stores.

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

750 mL bottle poured into an enlarged snifter. This was bottled on 12/29/11 so has about 2.5 years of age on it.

Appearance: Pours very very dark brown/black and leaves a dark medium-brown head of a couple fingers which fades at a medium speed to a brown layer atop the beer.

Smell: Big roasty malts, light coffee, dark chocolate, light must, molasses,

Taste: Big toasted malts, coffee beans, marshmallow, bitter dark chocolate, vanilla; very well balanced and easy drinking big flavors. ABV is really well hidden/integrated.

Mouth-feel: Low carbonation (but definitely enough) with a thick, creamy body. Finishes a little bitter, but pretty smooth.

Overall: Very well balanced, big stout. Nice malts, coffee, chocolate and mild vanilla flavors all very well integrated with each other. Top notch stout for sure. Time has mellowed it well.

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

Opens with a big pop so I know there's some carbonation going on. Black and opaque body with a darker brown head.

Dark fruit, lots of coffee roastiness, and an all inviting fudgy chocolate note on the aroma.

A little heat from the alcohol comes through, plum, cherry, roast, chocolate.

The carbonation keeps the body feeling lighter and more of a medium body. Ends dry.

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Photo of wolf_switzer
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Our first review, so here goes nothin'...

Vintage bottle (12-29-2011) poured into a Lost Abbey teku

A - Looks like liquid dark chocolate in a glass, with two fingers of khaki head

S - Lots of roasted/burnt malt, some mocha and just a bit of alcohol on the nose

T - Tons of dark chocolate, coffee and roasted malt flavors, with some raisin in there as well. Little to no hop bitterness at this point

M - Extremely smooth, balanced well with a perfect amount of carbonation for the style

O - Though everything we've had from The Lost Abbey has been great, this one was a huge surprise. Maybe it was the nearly two and a half years in the cellar that did the trick, but this one was probably the best, straight-up imperial stout we have had yet. A new favorite, and one that would be fun to age more of

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage corked and caged 750 ml bottle grabbed off the shelves on my visit to Hoboken. Pours pitch black with a massive dark brown head that lingers a good while. Big chocolate and roast aromas, some dark fruits, and some smoke and char. Flavor is big smoke and char, more char, roastC some chocolate covered raisins, then a bitter smokey finish. Not what I was expecting but a nice surprise. Medium bodied with low plus carbonation. Sweetens up as I go. Not bad.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Black in the glass one finger white head with some lacing.

S-Very roasty, burnt malt, raisins, slight chocolate.

T-Starts with lots of burnt and roasted malt. Raisins, slight vanilla, mild dark chocolate.

M-Medium to heavy, nice carbonation and rather creamy.

O-A solid stout, more on the burnt side but it was not a detraction.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on draft at Lost Abbey on 4/3/14

A-Pours a dark coffee color with a two finger creamy tan head with great lacing.

S-Aromas is of a dark coffee and milk chocolate.

T-Taste is coffee and chocolate with a dairy creaminess.

M-mouthfeel is awesome well balance smooth to the tongue

O-Overall great stout, need more

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Photo of KYGunner
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This poured gorgeously with a deep black thickness, a lasting brown head and a sheet of thick lacing.

The nose was a dry chocolate, smoke and a phenolic plastic aroma.

This tastes creamy but feels dry. The chocolate is dry and the stout character resembles an Irish Stout but I get a milky creamy lactose as well. It then gets a little chalky with cocoa powder and embers but finishes with an Irish creme.

I'm a bit lost on this whole experience as it presents itself with a near schizophrenic personality. I liked it than didn't, loved it than hated it.

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Photo of McStagger
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Massive two finger head. Very tight, almost like whip cream. Stellar lacing. Stellar retention. Beer is black as night.

S: Roasty, touch gamey. Leather, cedar box, all spice. As it opens, a big hit of dark fruit rushes through. Peppery alcohol in the nose, as well.

T: Big, dark and roasty. Raisined fruit. Toasted. Very deep in flavor. Not quite burnt, but close to that. Very complex.

M: Big, but not overwhelming. Very drinkable. Warming on the back end, but by no means alcoholic.

O: A big, roasty stout. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. My buddy noticed some barrel characteristics, but as far as I know this one doesn't touch an oak barrel. Very tasty.

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Photo of kdahnke123
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured at cellar temperature into a snifter.
A - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a medium brown head. The head is very voluminous (3+F) and long lasting.
S - Smells like roasted coffee. Some hints of malt and hops but mostly coffee.
T - The taste follows the smell. Roasted coffee, some chocolate with a slightly bitter aftertaste.
M - Medium mouthfeel with lots of carbonation.
O - Overall an average stout. Very heavy on the roast/char. Difficult to tell the malt/hops balance with all the roasted flavor. If you like very heavily roasted stouts this is for you.

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Photo of jwchestnut
3.81/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Its pours totally black with a small khaki head. The nose is all sweet chocolate, chocolate pudding and maybe some coffee. The taste follows the noise closely though maybe some burnt marshmallow thrown in. While it was delicious, it began to be a little much for me by the end of the pour and I found a little single noted as it warmed. It went down thick and easy with medium carbonation.

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Photo of dar482
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The aroma has big chocolate and notes of coffee.

The flavor follows of chocolate, some vanilla, a big roasted coffee with a medium plus hop bitterness on the finish. Dark fruit throughout.

There's a big chewy mouthfeel with lots of carbonation.

Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Such an incredible stout.

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Photo of smcolw
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Watching the pour, I thought the beer was a little flat, but the bubbles were latent and really exploded when the glass was nearly full. Ended up with a two finger head that settled into a dome. Deep dark brown where no light shall pass. Leaves a web of lace.

I smell Cocoa Puffs and Honey Graham Crackers. Attractive and semisweet.

Starts off like deeply toasted biscuits and ends like dark powdered cocoa. Chewy body. No notable alcohol warmth. Long aftertaste of burnt toast and black coffee.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is thick and black with brown head and nice lace. Aroma starts with nice roast, chocolate, and coffee. Some fruity sweetness comes to the surface from the Belgian yeast. Taste is very well balanced with emphasis on roast and chocolate. Some dark fruits and molasses are present but tame. Mouthfeel is full with moderate carbonation. Overall, very nice.

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

Had this for the first time on tap at a local restaurant. Appearance in a pint glass was black as coal. Very chocolaty smell and taste. Extremely smooth going down. Very pleasurable taste and mouthfeel. A great sipper any time as I'm a stout lover. First time with any beer from Lost Abbey. Nice job. I would seek this out again if I ever saw it.

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

#7 1/24/14

This big stout pours out a rich, heavy dark brown with a surprisingly active carbonation helping to build up the brown head that forms to crown this beer. It's opaque except at the very edges, seeming to be black in the body but with some give further out. The head tops out at one finger, holds itself together well and leaves a ring of lacing at the top followed by a blend of spotting and patching beneath.
This beer is huge with roasty malts, nearly giving a burnt edge to the grains, definitely char, but no astringency on the nose or palate. It's a fantastic blend of dry and sweet, with cocoa powder and still-dry pressed fine-ground espresso balancing some moist cake effected by the sweeter notes with the cocoa, some vanilla to boot, and a rummy but not too boozy note. Woody notes continue dry from the middle to the finish, where a meaty nuttiness, tart dark fruits, and a hint of blackstrap ease in. It's big, complex and delicious.
In the feel, the body shows a fullness without being overly weighty. It's big for sure but not as thick on the tongue as many. Dryness runs all the way through it, but the sweetness keeps up and a certain creaminess lifts it a bit. There's no acridity or harshness, even as the dryer notes hit the palate in the finish.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown head, black body.

S: Roasted malt, malt, chocolate, coffee, smells delicious.

T: Roasty, chocolately, hints of alcohol, but at 11% that's completely forgivable. A bit malty as well.

M: Full bodied and smoothish.

O: One of my first imperial stouts, and one of my favorites. Definitely worth a try.

Note: Old review, as I mentioned, it was one of my first imperial stouts.

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

In review is a 2011 vintage, poured into a Lost Abbey Teku glass.

A - Pitch black pour with a generously thick, toffee colored head - lacing is thick and creamy. H

S - Nice chocolate and chocolate cream aroma with caramel, toffee, vanilla, coffee, and some booziness.

T - Coffee and dark chocolate are most prevalent, with some smokiness/char in the background and ends with a dark chocolate bitterness. There is a slight tannin presence as well. Leaves a dark chocolate/smoke aftertaste with a little alcohol warming on the way down.

M - Full body with light carbonation.

O - For 11% it's pretty well hidden, not crazy about the tannins, but overall, an enjoyable bottle.

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Photo of Jonada
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottled 12/29/2011. Cellared since March 2012. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours black with 1+ finger of a dark tan head that dissipates to a thin cap and collar. Body is completely opaque.

Smell: Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, fudge, toffee and some hints of vanilla.

Taste: Follows the nose pretty closely with roasted malt and coffee upfront. These yield to some sweet caramel, slight astringency and some light smokiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low/medium carbonation. Smooth as hell with hardly any alcohol presence at all.

Overall: Another great beer from Lost Abbey. Really flavorful, complex and easy to drink. Not the best, but certainly one of the better non barrel aged imperial stouts.

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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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Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,761 ratings.
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