Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Beer Review: Serpent's Stout

Reviewing the Serpent's Stout from The Lost Abbey. This is part of the base beer used to blend and barrel aged the Deliverance Ale I reviewed earlier this year. Thank you David Forrest for hooking me up with this bottle!
Score: 91

No bottle date, but this was received from California in early January 2012. Served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 05/05/12.

Appearance: Jet black with a film of brown caramel highlight at the very top of the glass when held directly up to light. One-plus fingers of foamy mocha head at pour settles to a creamy ring around the glass and thin film atop the glass. Awesome lacing, amazing retention. This is an absolutely gorgeous-looking stout. 5/5

Smell: Fig, raisin, dark fruit, burnt brown sugar and roasted milk chocolate. Cocoa, faint coffee grounds, and a hint of vanilla bean. There are subtle notes of black cherry and the faintest hint of sweet soy. 4.5/5

Taste: A little alcohol warmth up front along with burnt brown sugar, burnt fig and used coffee ground. A lot of "burnt" roast. Cocoa and raw chocolate on the back of the tongue and on the midpalate. Milk chocolate and brown sugar in the finish. Good roasty chocolate and bitter coffee ground linger. Some fizzy black cherry comes out on the midpalate and in the finish as the beer warms and layers. There's a real nice bitter roast flavor medley here. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, medium-plus carbonation. Too much carbonation for the style, to be frank. The mouthfeel is a little syrupy and sticky. Bitter finish with faint sweetness. 3.5/5

Overall: A really nice smelling/tasting beer marred by over-carbonation. Maybe this is a bottling issue, as Port Brewing/Lost Abbey is well known for their inability to get bottle carbonation right. I would absolutely love to try this one off tap/cask or even a nitro-tap.

Recommendation: Seek a bottle out. Definitely worth giving a whirl, and not overly expensive.

Pairings: Steak.

Cost: $11.99 for a 750 ml bottle.

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