Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Sea Monster Imperial Stout | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
498 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Sea Monster Imperial StoutSea Monster Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Sea Monster Imperial Stout explores the darkest reaches of the traditional oatmeal stout. This bold, rich brew first lures you in with roasted coffee notes, then grabs hold with hints of bittersweet chocolate and currant. Backed with a perfect hop balance, you’ll soon discover this is one monster of mythic proportions.

Added by OlieIPA on 11-28-2008

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 498 | Ratings: 1,789
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick ass black stout. If you wanna look for it you can find the deepest brown as part of the contingency. Aroma is just all burnt malt. All of it.

Taste drops a massive amount of two row and chocolate malt along with a hefty dose of hops. Big time. There is not much nuance here. Its good. Not as good as Victory at Sea. This one feels a little more like a Russian Imperial Stout with its increase in bitterness, burnt and dark fruit notes.

Its a good beer, but I'd rather have so many other things from this brewery, even in the same category.

 557 characters

Photo of DaveBar
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got on trade! 650ml bottle served at 9deg C in a tulip.

A- Opens well and pours a nearly 2" high brown head that lasts for nearly 10mins before film out. Super dark brown colour.

S- Nice malt but very metallic

T- Chocolaty good. Lots of roasted malt. Nice coffee at the end. Touch chalky coco flavor as it finishes. Nice bittering hops.

M- Creamy going down the dries up

O- Nice brew. Lots of body and coco/coffee notes and would be a good base for a nice bourbon barrel aged brew I bet you

Food Pairing

This nice brew went well with....... Beer braised beef ribs! Use this brew and it imparts a nice depth to the dish.


 633 characters

Photo of moundbz
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Super black with kind of a lot of foam, maybe had a bad pour, hey it happens. Sweet chocolate/coffee smell. Feels super smooth with a bitter/ alcohol kick at the end. Strong taste,

 183 characters

Photo of larryarms847
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours somewhat thinner in appearance for abv with fluffly and somewhat lumpy head of light tan foam.

Earthy and slightly piney hop aroma, light roasted malt and coffee like character, and some vanilla and chocolate sweetness.

Definitely a heavy hand of hops in this impy stout. Piney and earthy hop bitterness, smooth chocolate, vanilla, and roasty coffee flavors.

Medium-bodied, medium carbonation, earthy bitterness, slighty roasty, a tad thin for my taste.

Overall, while smooth and creamy, there is a bit too much carbonation and not enough chewiness for my taste.

 572 characters

Photo of BrownAleBollocks
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a viscous opaque black with a two finger fluffy mocha color head. Aroma is roast malt, chocolate, light coffee, and some bittersweet chocolate and booze in hints. Flavor follows with huge chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, roast malt, light coffee and vanilla with a bit of booze throughout, though not as much as 10% might suggest. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, and mouthcoating with some prickly carbonation and warming from the alcohol. Overall, this is a very good interpretation on an imperial oatmeal stout, and the flavors and aromas really pop as it warms.

 572 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The sea Monster is a solid imperial stout....I would very much like to try the variants.....barrel aged, etc. This one poured an opaque black with tan head that left a lace. The scent and taste were roast and coffee with hints of milk chocolate. The mouthfeel was fuller in body with good carbonation. Overall....solid!

 323 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black, appearing opaque in the glass, with a half finger light brown head that dissipates to patches leaving light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, chocolate, molasses and licorice. Flavor is dark toasted malt with a mild char, licorice, milk chocolate and molasses. Finishes with molasses, chocolate and nice lingering char and hop bitterness. Medium bodied with light creaminess, good mouth feel. A great full bodied imperial stout, almost a Russian imperial stout profile, but with a bit more hoppiness. Great flavor throughout with dark malts and molasses flavors at the fore. I like this stout a lot. This one got lost in the basement, but this 2 year old bottle has held up great.

 739 characters

Photo of Evilyak
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a solid four all around. dark with a tan head and lots of lace. smells roasty but with a hint of sweetness and some mellow from the oats. flavor is a bit of the same, a little roast, some hop bitterness, and a little dried fruit. mouth is smooth. alcohol isn't too hot, but it's there.

good one from ballast point.

 315 characters

Photo of delta490
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This sucker is black and no light gets through at all. It has a nice moderate cap of light tan head that is slightly on the creamy side. The aroma is a little lacking, very faint, with just hints of dark roasted malt and maybe a little coffee (?). It's hard to pin anything down. The taste is much better, with a pleasant but nondescript dark roasted flavor and little bits of earthy hops. The body is lighter for an imperial but still has a nice feel to it, with just a hint of carbonation.

 491 characters

Photo of mchegash
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: very dark brown, almost black. a good looking beige foam.

s: booze, chocolate, not a lot of other aromas.

t: caramel...my first thought was caramel covered popcorn, some booze, a little bit a chocolate.

f: medium body, moderate amount of carbonation. low to medium bitterness. overall, a nice feel.

o: a decent imperial stout. by far from the best.

 355 characters

Photo of jaypaul522
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into pint glass. Thick, black look with nice head that lasted awhile. Smell is of coffee and chocolate and malt. The taste is very good, complex, and the fruit comes through in the aftertaste. Very nice. This is a full bodied stout that is very satisfying. Highly recommend you try this one!

 298 characters

Photo of MjBrewhouse
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Vintage 2013. I'm surprised that this has held up for 2 years. Has a nice amount of bitterness to balance out the malt.Pretty much has the usual imperial stout flavors, coffee, chocolate, slight oak finish and abv is noticeable on the finish. Good Imperial stout from Ballast point.

 282 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with one finger khaki head that slowly died and left minimal lace. Coffee, bitter chocolate, bits of hops and oats come through in the aroma. Smooth despite its heavier body, thanks to oats, bit of hop bitterness on finish adds balance to beer, but make no mistake this beer is mostly a mix of bitter chocolate and light coffee so it's more sweet than roasted/coffee malt based. Easy drinking stout that is enjoyable and love the hidden ABV.

 464 characters

Photo of teromous
3.64/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the label: 15355

Appearance: Black body with a moderate creamy light khaki head. Good retention and lacing.

Aroma: Light roasted aroma and a bit woody. Very subdued aroma.

Taste: Big bold roasted flavor right up front. I get lots of charcoal and a touch of sweet caramel.

Mouthfeel: It's nice and smooth delivering a big full body.

Overall: It's a good imperial stout and I would recommend it. It doesn't have a massive aroma or a great depth of flavor and complexity but it is a good imperial stout.

 510 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a pitch black color with a two finger head of dark tan foam. The head has a fantastic level of retention, fading over time to leave bits of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is strong of a caramel and molasses sweetness with a good strong roasted malt showing. Along with these aromas comes other sweet smells of chocolate and a big dark fruit aroma of raisin and prune. Some lighter coffee aromas and a little bit of a woody and earthy aroma are there as well, producing a nice and sweet, roasted aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a big roasted malt taste that is mixed with a rather strong showing of a caramel and molasses sweetness. The molasses and caramel, while strong upfront, actually get even stronger as the taste advances further on. Along with these sweet flavors comes some lighter dark fruit flavors of fig and raisin as well as a little bit of a plum taste. Some light boozy tastes come more toward the middle, giving a slightly warming sweet and roasted taste. While the sweetness increases, it is balanced by some dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavors, which in the end, mix with a little bit of a grainy and woody taste to leave a sweet, slightly warming, and roasted, but still rather balanced taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is average in thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. For the rich roasted and sweet flavors of the brew a slightly thicker and creamier feel may have been slightly better, creating a thicker medium for all the flavors to be fully appreciated.

Overall – A fairly nice imperial overall. A bit on the sweet side, but I like the bit of wood and decently strong roast that balance it all out later in the taste, making this one a rather nice sipper overall.

 1,891 characters

Photo of JackieKu
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle.

A: Opaque black. No foam.
S: Intense roasted coffee aroma. Moderate caramel. Somewhat woods. A little pepper spicy. And some nuts.
T: Medium roasted coffee. Moderate chocolate. Medium bitterness. Moderate sweetness. Dry, bitter, and medium long finish.
M: Full body. Moderate carbonation.
O: Powerful and balanced.

 330 characters

Photo of Wer34truh
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours an oily black color, with a small, yet true to the style, head which dissipates quickly. Quite a bit of lacing.

Smells of licorice, molasses, roasted coffee beans, and subtle chocolate. I also detected a minor scent of figs/raisins. The smell manages to hit both the 'conventional', and 'refreshing' boxes - without being groundbreaking in any sense.

Taste is similar to the smell. Despite branding itself as an 'American Stout with Oatmeal', this is most definitely not an oatmeal stout as the taste is quite abrasive, albeit enjoyably so. The slight fruitiness of the figs and raisins that I detected in the smell is nowhere to be found, and the taste is dominated by bitterness, and roasted coffee/chocolate flavors. Licorice also plays an important role.

The feel is full, with moderate-to-low carbonation - even though the bitterness of the taste makes this feel more carbonated than it actually is.

This is a solid stout. The smell raised my expectations that this would push the envelope more than it ended up doing, but it's still rock-solid. Paid $8 for a 22 oz bottle at my local liquor store, which seems like a fair price - without being a steal by any stretch.

 1,186 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle - I forwent ordering this at every place whose doorstep I darkened in Idaho last summer, on the precept that my local Ballast Point rep would get around to procuring some - and they finally have!

This beer pours a solid black abyss, yet with fast and loose basal cola edges, and three fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat bubbly brown head, which leaves a stellar array of spindly and webbed tree branch lace around the glass as it quickly sinks out of sight.

It smells of roasted caramel malt, singed dark chocolate, black licorice, unsweetened cafe-au-lait, a muddled bruised orchard fruitiness, and quite subtle earthy, leafy, and mildly perfumed floral hop bitters. The taste is medium chocolate fudge, crackery caramel, coffee with slightly soured milk, still hard to define dark fleshy fruit, a sort of zingy anise spiciness, and more plain leafy, weedy, and floral hops - now with a hovering and micro-managing (my least favourite thing in the real world) booziness.

The bubbles are fairly sedate in their workaday frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight for the style, and smooth enough - the inherent oatmeal goodness offset just a little too much by an increasingly familiar metallic alcohol edginess. It finishes sweet, the cocoa headliner not to be denied its dues, while the strong (if sometimes misdirected) side players maintain a stiff upper lip stance.

Overall, a more or less simple, if still heady version of the Americanized imperial stout - things just seem a bit disjointed, and that 20-proof booze trips one up more times than I cared to count. Anyways, not bad, and a relative bargain for your scrounged beer-spending moolah - big surprise.

 1,686 characters

Photo of kalosjakar
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark black of course, off white head.

Your typical roasted, slightly chocolate malt imperial stout. Slight marshmallow scent.

Dry, semisweet finish.

 150 characters

Photo of RJLarse
3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bottle of Sea Monster in a bottle shop Poured in to a tulip glass.

Pours a black walnut color, opaque, with a frothy tan head.

Smell is boozy, dark fruits and alcohol.

Taste is a lot like the aroma, dark fruit like dates and prunes, with a charcoal presence and a hint of coffee and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is full bodied cloying with a thick sweet aftertaste.

Overall a full flavored stout, but not very drinkable.

 429 characters

Photo of HopHunter19
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - nice dark brown/black beer, small tan head dissipates but leaves really nice lacing
S - nice roasts malts, burnt marshmallow, oatmeal, dark chocolate, little smokiness
T - big roasty malts, burnt marshmallow, oatmeal, bread, dark chocolate
M - heavy, alcohol covered, aftertaste roasty malts and smoke
O - pretty good

 329 characters

Photo of Viaduck
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Drark brown body & light brown head. Smells pretty; lots of chocolate & coffee & some malt & hops. Taste: chocolate & hops, a bit too much hoppy methinks. Coffee & chocolate battle with hops, IPA drinkers would love this stout.

 227 characters

Photo of Thirstygoat
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice if unexceptional stout
Pitch black with a tan/caramel head that stays a while and leaves lacing
Malt for the nose, with a bit of sweetness
Tastes more sweet malty very agreeable
Like I said a nice stout that I'm glad I got to try

 246 characters

Photo of ZakFaruki
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a Bomber into a Nonic, pours an Opaque black with a khaki head, decent amounts of lace

S: Subtle roasted malts, but a pervasive alcohol smell overpowers everything

T: Roasted malts and a tad bit of hops as well, fades into a pretty large alcohol taste, as expected for a 10% ABV

F: Pretty light mouthfeel for a Imperial Stout, but the carbonation is very light as is typical for the style

O: Obviously this is no "Old Rasputin" or any of the legendary Imperial stouts, but its still a very good example of the style. Big and boozy, and if you enjoy big crazy beers, this is a must-try.

 604 characters

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A brown, almoust black, liquid pouring down the glass.

One finger high, beige-brown, head. Almoust no lacing.

Nose: Dark syrup, soy sauce, vanilla, brown sugar, banana, cream and roasted malt.
Taste: Roasted malt, honey, dark chocolate, hazelnuts, pumpernickel, soy sauce, coffee grounds, dried fruit and oak.
A full body with almoust no carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden.

GREAT beer!

 398 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 498 ratings.