Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Lost Abbey Serpent's Stout review

The Lost Abbey Serpent's StoutI've had a bottle of The Lost Abbey Serpent's Stout for a while now and felt the holidays were the perfect time to break it out. Serpent's Stout is a big 11.0% ABV imperial stout that comes in a 750ml corked bottle. This particular batch was the 2009 version and despite the fact that I like to age some of my imperial stouts for a while I wanted to sample this one now.

Imperial stouts like The Lost Abbey's Serpent Stout are best enjoyed during the winter months in my opinion. The extra bit of ABV seems to warm me up a bit more than my old furnace can.

Appearance: The Lost Abbey Serpent's Stout poured an extremely dark brown. In most imperial stouts I can typically see ruby edges but in this beer I found no such color around the sides. This was one beer that seemed to suck the light out of the room.

The modest head rose in the glass and was brown in color. I like how these stouts have some of the darkest head around. Swirling the beer revealed a slippery lacing that didn't stick long on the glass.

Aroma: Serpent's Stout had a huge complex aroma. I picked up a lot of chocolate, licorice, coffer and molasses. There was a noticeable whiff of alcohol also present in this beer. It's just what I would expect from this beer style. It was a very inviting scent. This beer was served around 50 degrees and was already warmed up nice enough to bring out a rich aroma.

Mouthfeel: The first couple of sips of Serpent's Stout felt creamy and smooth. There was hardly any carbonation save for the nucleation that my laser-etched snifter glass gave off. This beer had quite a thick body to it and left a drying effect in the mouth as it went down.

Taste: Mmmm. Here is where this beer really delivered. I got a rich, roasted malt taste. Serpent's Stout is quite coffee-like in flavor. The alcohol was definitely present but was not too dominating. The chocolate flavor was more like an unsweetened Baker's chocolate. No doubt about it, there is a lot of malt taste in this beer with just enough bitterness to balance it out.

Later on, I detected a hint of dark fruit taste in this brew. Serpent's Stout delivered a full taste experience that was quite pleasant. I shared this bottle with my family and could have gone for a bit more once it was done.

Overall: The Lost Abbey has made a very satisfying imperial stout, one that I could go for anytime. Serpent's Stout was very enjoyable. It ranks right up there with some of the best. The taste definitely gets better as you go along. Just expect a slight shock to your taste buds up front and don't judge it until you've had quite a number of sips into it.

While it wasn't my all time favorite imperial stout, it still deserves an honorable mention among the top beers in the style. One bottle is plenty for you and a friend. It paired well with a Christmas cookie that I had with it.

Do any of you feel this beer deserves to be a top ranked imperial stout? Let me hear your opinion on this.

Related articles:
- The Lost Abbey Judgment Day review.
- The Lost Abbey Lost & Found review.
- Goose Island Bourbon County Stout review.

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