Serpent's Stout | The Lost Abbey

576 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: 576 | Ratings: 1,756
Photo of DrJay
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been looking forward to this one for a while... The cork gave a solid pop when the bottle was opened and a giant fluffy cap of brown bubbles appeared on the pour. Clumpy, streaky lacing formed as the foam slowly settled. The beer was basically black with faint reddish edges. Great head retention. Rich aroma, lots of malt and chocolate notes, nutty and roasted, light alcohol. As it warmed, dark fruits and vanilla notes appeared, perhaps a bit of lactose character. Very nice balance and complexity in the nose. Dry cocoa and dark chocolate flavours kicked things off, followed by roasted grains and alcohol towards the end. Lingering dark chocolate and alcohol. Hints of caramelized sugar, raisins, yeasty bread, and vanilla appeared as it warmed. Full bodied and smooth, but with high carbonation that didn't really work for me. As it warmed and the carbonation died down a bit the texture really improved. Significant alcohol warmth. I really liked this beer. Other than the initial carbonation, this was top notch and I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance - a deep black pour into a Maudite Belgian glass. A finger and more of soapy, dark mocha foam. Looks sticky for good lacing, but on the head melt, nothing happens. Maybe the abv doesn't let it 'dry out' enough to stick? The lacing doesn't happen until I start tipping the glass, then some streaks and ribbons appear. Holds at a solid cover, quite a bubble feed from underneath to sustain it.

Aroma - a fairly nice roasted grain aroma, but it's a little light. For the style, I sure expected more to jump out and grab me here.

Taste - huge malts, deeply roasted but not burnt, perfection in my book for that metric. The flavors are so deep and intense it's kind of hard to say whether it's a coffee or chocolate flavor. Thou surely hast some of each and they both taste awesome. Plenty of alcohol visible on the swallow and its warmth is certainly detectable in the belly. Balancing bitterness makes for the only hint of char, but it's well into the aftertaste and comes across subdued enough relative to the other flavors that I appreciate them more. The finish has a nice play of dark fruit and dark chocolate for one tasty ending.

Mouthfeel - kind of average body, a bit of a miss for the style. As alluded to in the appearance, this beer is very highly carbonated and "In the beginning..." it interferes noticeably with attempts to get to the flavor. It took several good swirl sequences to release enough carbonation to take care of that.

Drinkability - this is hands-down what a double stout ought to taste like. A few knocks here and there on some smaller details, but a great beer.

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Photo of bassmantin
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to DrAwkward82 for trading this to me at DLD 2008.

Pours a voluminous tan head and a dark brown color. Attractive.

Smell is extremely roasty. This is one of the roastiest stouts I've ever had. The initial taste is intense and floods the palate with tastes of chocolate.

The mouthfeel is very sticky. I'm not a huge fan of those stouts that coat your mouth with a sticky film (like this one), but there are always those that have their redeeming qualities. I think this one qualifies. The flavors are quality and very well done. The roasted malts linger on your palate.

I'm not sure how accessible this one is, but it's definitely worth a try if you can get it.

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Photo of thickerfreakness
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to med for this one.

This pours a dark brown/black with a dense mocha colored head that lasts for some time but leaves little lacing on the glass. It smells of heavily of burnt/roasted malts, followed by dark fruits, chocolate, and booze. Taste follows from smell with plenty of roastiness and chocolate and a warming, bitter, drying finish. Full bodied and easy going down.

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Photo of DIM
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a dense, opaque black. The pour was a bit of a foamer. Three inches of beer and the rest of the glass was full of a sticky, dark mocha colored head.

s: Big nose here, but not all that alluring. Huge smoked malt profile that smells woody with a little cocoa. Cherry aromas, prickly hops, and a bit too much heat round things out.

t: Strong malt flavors of woody, raw cocoa start things off. Pine flavored, slightly astringent, hops and some cherry notes give way to a hot, almost mentholated finish.

m: Great body and carbonation. The lingering heat is a distraction.

d: Thanks to WeisGuy for this one. I had high hopes, but this one came up a bit short. Overall though, this was a big, full flavored stout that was a lot of fun to drink.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Revisit: 19 Jun 16


Been A Long Time Coming!

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger tan color, which also leaves a very nice medium size oil slick and some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some very nice chocolate/toffee notes, vanilla, a very nice touch of figs/raisins/cherries/plums. The taste is very nice, malty, very nice sweetness, chocolate/toffee, with some very nice dark fruit notes. Full body, ABV hidden very well. Overall, this still is a pretty awesome brew. Highly Recommended! Glad to see it around here.

Thanks goes out to ampzilla for this brew.


This is my 1300th review, and many more to come.

Poured into a tulip a very nice dark black color, awesome carbonation, huge two-finger plus creamy dark tan head, which leaves tons of nice thick sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with some figs/raisins/plums, nice tones of toffee/chocolate, nice touch of caramel. The taste is awesome, slightly sweet, malty, nice touch of dark fruits, very nice tones of toffee/chocolate, with a nice added benefit of caramel. Full body, this brew is tasty to say the least, smooth, chewy/creamy, the alcohol is hidden very well. Very drinkable, and highly recommended. Thanks Andrew!

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

My first Lost Abbey beer = about do damn time!!!

a: Jet black body, light tan head.

s: Figs, chocolate and booze.

t: Chocolate malt forms the backbone of a deliciously roasted stout. Notes of fig, prunes, and chocolate with a nice roasted malt bitterness providing balance in the finish.

m: Thick, syrupy, low carbonation, velvety texture.

d: Damn, can't wait to try more of Lost Abbey's work. Great Double stout. rich yet balanced, dessert in a bottle.

Reviewing the 2010 batch:

Anise, cocoa, graham cracker and hazelnut on the nose.

More licorice on the palate, but not as prominent as in the aroma. Java, chocolate chocolate chip cookie, fig, coffee bean. Very long finish leaves me thinking about espresso and dark chocolate. Just enough bitterness to balance things out.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a nearly black color with ruby highlights and a dark tan head that sticks impressively and patterns the glass with lace

Smell: Loads of chocolate, molasses, dark fruit char and, to some extent, licorice

Taste: Opens with a chocolate base that adds the molasses and char elements by mid-palate, with bitter dark fruit arriving as well; after the swallow, the molasses and fruit elements balance the chocolate and char to provide a complex tobacco finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This is a very nice Double Stout; consumed young it is nothing special, but with a year of age on it, the flavors have blossomed

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Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, MA in March 2008. Served in my DFH snifter. Dense 1.25 inch tight, mocha-colored head floated on an opaque black sea of malty goodness before eventually settling into a solid layer of foam and tight ringlets. Sheets of thick, but watery lacing revealed with each tilt of the glass left behind some thin trails of foam. Scent of dark fruit, chocolate and malt. Definitely some alcohol heat detectable up front. More dark fruit, cocoa and a mild coffee character supported by a backbone of malt. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied, without being viscous, and lively with some carbonation burn, but also some astringency detectable along the sides of the cheeks and back of the throat before settling into a warming sensation that lingers between swallows. A very fine double that improves as it warms. Another excellent offering from Lost Abbey.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Westboro, MA. Corked and caged.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 2" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head lasts and lasts, with tons of heavy froth lacing. Aroma is rich dark malts with underlying alcohol. Taste is chocolatey sweetness upfront, coffee roastiness in the middle, and fruity alcohol slowly burns in on the close. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and drinkability is superb for the style. I look forward to buying this one again.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours opaque black, even when held up to direct light. Medium brown head that retains well.

Nose is toasted caramel, espresso & coffee, with some nougat.

On the palate an overextracted espresso flavor is noted - somewhat bitter/harsh, but mingles with the good espresso & coffee roastiness that is there.

Bitterness towards the finish doesn't mix well with other flavors. It doesn't round it out at all. Almost out of place. Hard to drink, even for the style.

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

Pours a 2 finger head that will not leave. Great retention and a nice dark brown color. As 1/4 of the glass remains., the head finally fades.

Smell is chocolate followed by toffee and mint. Some alcohol astringency is there. It's not the strongest of noses. I wish it was a little bit stronger.

Chocolate malt sweetness with a little bit of roastiness. Undertones of mint and toffee with a tiny bit of cofee. The undertones could come out a little more. I'll see what happens as this beer warms. As the beer warms, more chocolate and toffee sweetness comes out.

Mouthfeel is incredibly creamy and smooth. Slight astringency from the alcohol, but it barely takes away.

As this beer warms the sweetness from the chocolate malts becomes more prominent and thebeer smooth out a little, but at the same time gets to be a little more warming.

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Photo of Crosling
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black in color, with a nice looking tan head. Inviting nose, with a lot of depth (chocolate, dark fruit.) Flavor is fairly complex, with hints of chocolate and a wide array of dark fruits. Solid mouth feel. Lots of depth. This is a very nice belgian style.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - pours perhaps a shade lighter than black, huge medium brown head with amazing retention and lacing for a stout

s - big dark bitter chocolate and smoky aromas along with a considerable hop bitterness, some black cherry and blueberry, hints of alcohol

t - dark, bittersweet chocolate and smokiness up front, big sweet black cherry and blueberry on the midpalate, some milk chocolate and fruity hop bitterness on the finish, some alcohol heat

m - full-bodied, moderate carbonation, fairly dry on the finish but not overly so, alcohol warming effect

d - not overly drinkable, but not bad for the style, interesting and not overly harsh on the palate

Very good impy stout overall. Complex in the nose and on the palate and a great looking beer. Here's to hoping this will be at least a semi-regular release.

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Photo of RomanW70
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml. bottle. Pours near black with a thick tan head. Aroma of chocolate, molassas, licorice, and roast. Taste is much the same with notes of dark fruit. Warming alcohol on the finish. Thick mouthfeel and medium -high carbonation. A big, impressive ,well-balanced beer.

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Photo of grub
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sampled may 24/08 as part of biegaman's annual summer saison tasting, with a mix of BA/RB represented. biegaman contributed this one too. thanks jan!

750ml bottle, corked and caged.

pours very dark brown, not quite black or opaque. small very fine brown head that drops fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. toasted multi-grain bread. light roast. dark fruit. light alcohol. just a hint of citrus.

taste is great. roast. toasted multi-grain bread. medium-low bitterness level. dark chocolate. bittersweet chocolate. bit of coffee. light alcohol. dark fruit too, giving it a bit of a belgian stout feel. bit of almond and hazelnut too. light caramel. just a touch of sweetness.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium carbonation level, another slightly belgian nod. just over medium body too.

drinkability is very good. great balance. nice fruity and malty depth. i like the bit of nutty character too. this is great stuff!

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint 9.4 fl oz. cork and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours the typical onyx black with a surprisingly large (for a snifter) two finger brown head that dies down to a full creamy layer of bubbles. Swirling the glass leaves a wall of thick foam on the sides, very sticky. Smell is dominated by dark fruits; dates, raisins, and fig up front. A good amount of booze with some chocolate sauce melted over gooey brownies and toasted oats in the nose. Underneath all that sweetness is a tiny bit of smokey malts as well. Taste is pretty charred up front with a bit of chocolate and caramel malt sweetness. The dark fruits emerge midway with a some oaky tones as well. Aftertaste is a sweet brown sugar and molasses with a hint of dry espresso. A creamy feel that's a bit rough around the edges due to the high level of carbonation. It's a bit chilly in Syracuse tonight for being almost June, this fits well seeing it's a chewy sipping beer that improves as it warms. Decent beer, but there are better double stouts out there for sure.

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Photo of turbine2475
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tprokop7 for the chance to try this brew:
A - Pours an opaque black with an intensely tall and dense mocha head that dissipated slowly into a spotty lace. Not shabby.
S - Espresso, mocha, milk chocolate, and dark fruits rule the nose. Slight touches of toffee, grain, and tobacco.
T - Creamy mocha, mild coffee, dark fruits, and a grainy balance that resembles oatmeal and some salty/sweet resembling peanut butter.
M - Creamy and coating with a low carbonation.
D - Great brew! I'm glad I got the chance to try it! Good balance and excellent flavor. Can't wait to see my family in San Diego and make the pilgrimage to pick some up.

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Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Typical L.A. bomber, caged and corked, w/o vintage nor freshness info (it would kinda be nice to have this info on beers like this one) Pours black, with a very dark tan head, that leaves moderate slippery lace. Espresso mostly in the nose, with whiffs of mocha and vanilla. Dense, deeply flavorful brew. More espresso, layers of cocoa, mocha and burnt/dark malty goodness. Sweetness is somewhat counterbalanced by some fairly subtle and late to the party hops. All in all a tasty and thoroughly enjoyable dark and muddy creation., Highly recommended.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Thick dark mocha head on a black body.
S- Big roasted and burnt malts with mocha and chocolate coming through nicely. Alcohol also tickles the nose along with grass hops that take a back seat in this one.
T- Big robust dry burnt bittering malt. Sweet chocolate with some mocha flavors that really come out in the aftertaste. Dry dark fruits come through just enough to add a little more complexity to it. Also a nice smokey flavor comes through lightly which seems to just be from the malt. Alcohol warms up back of throat just slightly. Really does a great job at hiding the alcohol. Really dry and bitter aftertaste with a full body and high carbonation (the classic St. Berny's carbonation).
D- Great beer and can't wait to see how this one ages with so much dry notes in it.

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Photo of RixBeer
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet Black, 2 fingers of head. cascaded for 2+ minutes. Looks awesome! Very dirty cream colored head that stick to everything!

Overwhelming Plum, chocolate and coffee. Sorry I have to drink this now.

WOW, Coffee, Bittersweet chocolate and Roasted something I can't place. Wow I need to taste more. It's a smooth bitterness of chocolate and coffee. Really an amazing taste! The taste alone will remind me each and every time I see this beer to grab one!

Creamy like buttermilk with a light carbonation but nothing too overwhelming. The creaminess lingers a little bit after the liquid is gone.

I could drink this till I had to call it a night. Drinking these it would be a quick night. I want to keep the glass attached to my lips so I can enjoy the flavors overwhelm my palate.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

05/15/08- Generously shared by BA member Talisker.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caged and corked. Poured into a Toronado tulip. Not sure of freshnessm but I believe it is an early 2008 release.

Appearance- Deep black in color. Full one inch plus creamy dirty brown head. Leaves very nice lace sheeting.

Smell- Chocolate, coffee, sweet roasted malts and some dark fruit notes.

Taste- At first it had a cola like note in the flavor and the carbonation rate. As it calmed down and warmed to room temp, it gave a nice bittersweet chocolate note, mild coffee flavor and some prune flavors...maybe even a bit of anise. Abv seems lighter than listed.

Mouthfeel- The only sub par point about this beer. Came in cola like, but by the time it was finished, it was much better and smoother. Saved by room temp.

Drinkability- Sans the carbonation, this was a nice stout. I've liked others better, but this is still a quality one worth trying.

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

A- Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter. Pours a pitch black thick liquid. About a 1/2" head.

S- Nice dark heavily roasty malts with a definite coffee note. Some chocolate and burnt notes.

D- This is a strong brew. Lots of burnt malty note with a ton of coffee. Very potent with a bit of alcohol.

M- Very thick beer. Some mild carbonation but this is a sticky thick beer. Good to warm the soul!

D- I like this a lot. You definitely notice the alcohol but it is very tasty.

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ultra-thick 2-finger banana nut bread-colored head. Body pours like liquid licorice. Nice stuff.

Needs ample time to warm up. A little licorice candy - almost a hint of roasted corn tortillas and peanuts (?!).

Ultra-charred malt. A little smoke, cinnamon sugar and molasses. Grassy hops are abundant and bitterness cuts the sweetness - sort of the same way with semisweet chocolate chips.

Alcohol burn slides to back of mouth with sweet viscosity. Charcoal lingers throughout finish. Somewhat unbalanced but powerful.

Enjoyable but never seems to warm efficiently to achieve true balance; the alcohol may be the main contributor. Don't get me wrong, though - this is very good stuff.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an opaque black body with a small, short-lived, white head.

Smell: Predominately roasty aroma with lesser notes of dark chocolate, smoked dark fruits, spiced espresso, and oven-roasted almonds.

Taste: Roasty, burnt maltiness and a full taste of coffee and dark chocolate. Charred sugars and nuts. Slight berry-like fruitiness. A wisp of smoke. Earthy bitterness. The flavor grows increasingly roasty as it warms. Dash of spent espresso grounds. Sweetish, roast-packed finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Somewhat chewy texture.

Drinkability: Roasty to the max, baby! A very tasty, highly recommended stout from the fine folks at Lost Abbey.

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Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,756 ratings.
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