Apr 09, 2020
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Troy Pope / The Collegian

Brew Review: Serpent’s Stout will slither up on you

The Lost Abbey is a brewery based in San Marco. The beers they produce generally are religious in nature. Their best-selling beers include “Ten Commandments” and “Judgment Day.”

Although the beers the brewery makes are varied in style, they all share a common trait: complexity.

Stouts are a big change if you’re into IPAs, pales or lagers. They’re very dark, sometimes sweet and generally have notes of chocolate or coffee.

From the beginning, Serpent’s Stout looks appetizing with a thick, dark foam. It boasts an explosion of flavor almost before you even take a sip.

The flavor is all over the spectrum; it manages to taste even thicker than the foam looks.

The first thing you’ll notice is the intense coffee bean flavor. Behind the coffee, there are big notes of cocoa. It combines a mild sweetness and a heavy bitterness for a beer bordering on overwhelming.

“The history of the Bible and religion is indeed the struggle of good vs. evil… Serpent’s Stout recognizes the evil of the dark side that we all struggle with,” The Lost Abbey says on its website. “This is a massively thick and opaque beer that begs the saints to join the sinners in their path to a black existence.”

Stout lovers will find this beer a tall mountain to climb. It’s challenging but rewarding. To get a beer of this complexity or alcohol content, generally you’d have to buy a beer in bourbon barrels, which can get pricey.

However, if you opted for a barrel-aged beer, you also have the option to age it for a few years which will dramatically change the flavor and experience for the better. Beers that can’t be aged have to be accepted as they are.

For better or for worse, the beer’s flavor is very strong. It’s almost too intense, and a beer novice will find it unpalatable. Even beer enthusiasts might find it to be a bit much.

While the coffee flavor is good, it’s clearly there to cover up the high alcohol content. At a high 11 percent alcohol by volume, this beer isn’t for a casual crowd.

While Serpent’s Stout is definitely worth a try if you have an interest in stouts or trying new things, the 750 ml bottle might require a friend to help you finish it, since it’s so incredibly heavy.

However, if you dare, the Serpent’s Stout is classified as seasonal and won’t be around for much longer.

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