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Sea Monster Imperial Stout - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sea Monster Imperial StoutSea Monster Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,396 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,396
Reviews: 441
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 117
Gots: 260 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

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.

(Beer added by: OlieIPA on 11-28-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,396 | Reviews: 441 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Earthy. Bitter yet balanced. A bitterness based on coffee and hops. Black with red highlights, and lace sheets. Great roast, coffee aromas. A sipper. Another great creation from this brewery.Dry finish.
The hops do not stand out.Very minor chocolate.
Aged a year, thanks AugustGarage.

Sammy, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of t0rin0
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had never heard of this stuff before I tried it the other day. It poured a very black color, no light or other colors showing. The head was almost brown and it was thick and creamy while it lasted. The smell was mostly of coffee and dark malts but there was a slight chocolatey sweetness present.

The flavor was surprisingly smooth. I mean, most of the Ballast Point beers are just alright. Most of the flavor was similar to the aroma but there was a slightly different chocolate/coffee balance. Not real heavy on the bitterness. Overall, a very good smooth drinkable beer.

t0rin0, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque, almost black dark crimson brown with a 3 inch dark khaki head that fades to a thin cap. Thin rings of lace form on the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smells of coffee beans, dark chocolate, and toasted oats. There is also a fruity note that I am smelling. Taste is of roasted coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate, toasted oats, and some dark fruits. There is a bitterness from the coffee/chocolate flavors that lingers on the palate. Low carbonation with a smooth and medium bodied feel. There is also a noticeable alcohol warmth in the throat. Overall, this is a pretty good stout with an interesting mix of smells and flavors. I have another one of these in my cellar and I am looking forward to seeing how this beer ages over time.

UCLABrewN84, May 18, 2011
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

spycow, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -0.5%

djrn2, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -0.5%

zestar, May 16, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near-black with a minimal head that clings throughout. Nose brings forth plenty of coffee, dark sugar, a bit of roasted malt, and a slight nose of chocolate and hops. Taste included a bit more chocolate, but still dominated by coffee and roasted malt. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied closing in on being heavy with good carbonation. Nice drinkability, but nothing spectacular for the style.

Thorpe429, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

acurtis, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -0.5%

nmann08, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color-only traces of amber are visible near the edges of the glass when it is held up to the light. It poured with a thin creamy beige head that hardly died down and left lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts in the nose; as the beer warms up, hints of alcohol become noticeable.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of roasted malts along with hints of chocolate, coffee beans and alcohol, the latter of which is only present in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer seems to be a little thin for such a big stout and seems a little like a Baltic Porter, but it is relatively easy to drink considering its strength.

metter98, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Texasfan549, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -0.5%

kjkinsey, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Roar!" ...ok, sea monsters can't yell. But if they could they would. They would be greatly demonstrative with their attitude, their appearance, and their character- should I be scared to approach this beer?

Sea Monster opens up with the standard "stout" appearance. Deep and darken brown- appearing espresso-black through the middle. Its onyx color carries a dense blanket of tarnish foam that easily endures the session, shedding with lacing rings at each sip.

Its bold roast aromas once again harks to espresso- its earthen roast, burnt toast, grilled nuts and fruit are all supported with the scent of singed toffee and mild smoky chocolate. As the stout breathes, it releases subtle vinous nuances in the form of grape, dark berry and currant along with a spicy rum note.

Its taste leads with caramel, vanilla and heavy whipping cream for a sweeter start up. As the roast, charred toast, espresso, walnut and bittersweet chocolate folds in, the middle palate becomes sultry and robust. Its trailing fruit taste seems of grilled blackcurrant, grape and blackberry as the spicy alcohols carry- again a rummy finish with a long roasty-sweet aftertaste.

Full and smooth, the beer's body is creamy like malted milkshake. Its carbonation woven tightly into it lingering sweetness for a silky and velvety feel. Its roasty-bitter finish dries the palate and is assisted by alcohol warmth and trailing sweetness.

Sea Monster is rather a sea pup- It talks a big game, but is at its heart a friendly and endearing stout with a sweet side.

BEERchitect, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Charred chestnut with dark bronze highlights along the bottom edge. Not a complete black hole, but close enough. An attractive chunk of mocha colored foam occupies the glass from the nonic bulge to the rim and can be seen laying down shredded sheets of lace as it slowly begins to melt.

The nose is classic for the American double stout style. It also earns an extra half-point for aggressiveness. Even a passing sniff results in a pleasing burst of roasted malt that slightly favors bittersweet chocolate over black coffee. If the flavor is this impressive, SMIS might end up as one of my favorite Ballast Point brews.

Sea Monster Stout is delicious beer that is a little smaller in scope than many American double stouts. I'm more than fine with that. Massive beer is great, but it can sometimes be difficult to get through an entire bomber in one sitting. This one should be no trouble at all... as long as I can find a soft place to land after the final ounce.

Given the masterpiece that is Sculpin IPA, it's obvious that the brewers at Ballast Point know their way around a hop cone. Therefore, it isn't surprising that Monster contains mucho hops. While the individual characteristics of the hops (Summit and Amarillo) aren't obvious, they succeed in adding a considerable amount of citric fruit flavor and back end bitterness.

As it should be, the flavor spotlight is on the typical stout flavors of chocolate and coffee. Let's also add dark caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit (raisins) to the list. No molasses, no anise, no smoke. Again, those who love both American C-hops and stout will be in seventh heaven.

The mouthfeel fits the beer perfectly. Like the flavor, it's no kraken, but it's no skinny little minnow either. Positives include a light creaminess and just the right amount of bubbles. Gulping is encouraged, as long as one remains mindful of the ABV.

Ballast Point isn't usually mentioned in the same breath as the giants of California craft beer. That's a shame because these guys release quality beer... after quality beer... after quality beer. Sculpin is still my favorite, but Sea Monster is fantastic as well.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

ygtbsm94, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was very anxious to try this one for sure. I had seen a bit about it for a week or so before I finally just sucked it up and ordered me a couple to try it out. Well that was a while ago, and one has been sitting in my fridge ever since. I finally decided last night to crack it open and see what was going on. Pulled it out of the fridge and let this great looking twenty-two ounce bomber warm up to around 50 degrees before serving it inside my fluted Brooklyn pint glass.

A - Poured into my glass a very deep dark brown, essentially black with a very light bit of dark brown color showing up around the sides and the bottom of the glass, giving it just the slightest bit of brown coloration to it. Did not look terribly thick on the pour, as sometimes with a big stout you will see it appear as though it is sludge like in the glass, however this was not the case on this one. A very nice and large chocolate brown colored head rose up over the top to a height of around three inches. After a minute of so this had settled down nicely and what was left was a nice thing pillow of lace across the top about a half-inch high, which stayed with it throughout the session. Very nice side glass presentation as well. Thick webs of brown dripping down the sides throughout the session. Overall a very nice looking glass of beer here, not the thick oil like monsters you see sometimes, but rather a little bit lighter, but still black as night.

S - The aroma was a little shocking at first as there is a good amount of bittering agent in here, and it was picked up on by me right away. Lots of bitter dark chocolate coming through on here, along with a good deal of licorice in the smell. Deep roasted coffee now coming through as well, really pushing to the forefront here and dominating the aroma full on. It was really quite full, and was morphing in and out f several different styles at times. Really quite interesting. Io started to pick u lots of roasted malts now, even a touch of smoke coming through as well. Finally, as it was almost near room temperature you could start to detect the slightest bit of grassy hops now. Really quite complex, but to b honest, the smell reminded me more of a Baltic Porter then an Imperial Stout, but the aroma was still quite pleasing.

T - The flavor was very interesting, and I have to admit just a touch off. I have been trying lots of stouts lately, and most of the big ones have come across my table in the last month or two, so I was really expecting a good deal from this one, however to me, it just seemed to have fell a touch flat. It was a really good Baltic Porter in my opinion. The first flavor to come across was a rich bitter coffee flavor, very un-sweet. This was laced with a good bit of bakers chocolate, really darkening it up and giving it a touch of the richness of the chocolate, but still staying quite bitter now. There was a touch of hops in here as well, really pushing through towards the end and coming across clear as day, which is not really what I would want from a big stout. No taste of alcohol in here at all, none, which is quite nice. There was a touch of an off wood like flavor, but not too strong and this was wiped out again with a good touch of coffee to finish it off. Now this was not the nice sweet coffee like flavors you would see in a coffee or oatmeal stout, this was a rich bitter , black espresso type of flavor. Overall, it was ok, but I am not blown away by this at all.

M - The feel was a little thin to me to be honest. Not as full bodied, as I would have liked to have seen in a stout, rather it was much more like a porter then anything else. Had a very nice carbonation profile and the flavors were rich enough, it just seemed to be lacking a touch in the thickness. I really wish it could have come off a bit fuller as it really would have made all the difference here and kept this one from being a bit more then ordinary to something that could have really stood out.

D - As far as the drink ability of this one, here I would have to say it was outstanding. Really, a very easy drinker that one could easily throw down more then one bottle of in a sitting with ease. There was just this really nice light quality to it, no obvious alcohol content and a really vibrant profile in the flavor. I would have liked to have had another bottle next to it as I easily could have hit this one as well.

Overall, I would have to say this one was not half bad at all. Now don't get me wrong there are much better double stouts out there, but this does have a bit of a charm to it, a little bit extra that the others perhaps just did not have. I would have liked to have seen this one be a little fuller as I feel that the thinness in the profile really hurt it a bit, however other then that I would say to go out and give this one a try, and it would be worth it.

mikesgroove, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of womencantsail
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a dark-ish brown color with some red highlights and a short lived tan head.

S: Roasted malts make up the bulk of the aromas of this beer. A slight coffee note, licorice, some burnt sugar, and a slight acidity.

T: The burnt sugar and roasted malt dominate the flavor of this one. There is a touch of chocolate and coffee, along with a fair amount of licorice. Somehow, it doesn't really come together and is on the astringent side.

M: The body is medium, a bit on the thin side for an imperial stout, with a medium level of carbonation.

D: This is a really disappointing effort from Ballast Point. I'd stay away from this one and stick with a Victory at Sea or any of their other beers.

womencantsail, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out at a rich thick looking black goop. The head struggles a bit to get to the top of the beer. The head leaves a nice lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is big, lots of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, booze, and a light sweetness in there too. The taste of the beer is sweet and full of chocolatey notes upfront that finish with a bitter sweet vanilla coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is nice and thick here, really fits the style well. Overall this beer is pretty damn tasty. I would probably give it another try if I saw it again.

Knapp85, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a near black body with a small, dark tan head.

Smell: Roasted malt aroma with notes of bittersweet chocolate squares and charred wood.

Taste: Dark maltiness with a medium sweetness that grows more and more roasty as the flavor progresses. More dark chocolate and still there's a taste of burnt wood. Faint fruitiness. Light, earthy bitterness. Sweetish, chocolatey finish.

Mouthfeel: A bit above medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine stout! I enjoyed it, for the record.

ChainGangGuy, Jun 05, 2008
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour to this Imperial stout was not nearly as dark as most of the style in my opinion,poured more of a cola color with ruby tint from bottem to top of the imperial nonic,a 1/2 finger beige head atop.Aromas are charred with heavy darkk roast coffee and dark fruit,solid but it doesnt make a big splash.Flavors of spiced rum,dark chocolate,dark roast coffee,and dark fruits,again all come together well but it isnt anything that makes you say wow.This is a real good impy stout but it doesnt really bring a big game to the table,but again it is good.

oberon, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -0.5%

SocalKicks, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

largadeer, May 01, 2013
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -0.5%

JAHMUR, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Anyone else getting flashbacks to Finding Nemo? Anyway, this stuff pours a a very dark black-brown topped by a finger of steadfast tan foam. The nose comprises darkly-roasted malts, deep molasses, light cocoa, and a vague sense of dark fruits, primarily figs. The taste brings in more of the same, with a bit more roast than before and a hint of bitter coffee near the finish, lingering on momentarily. The body is a lithe medium, with a light carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, though a bit on the thin side, this was a solid stout, the most enjoyable of the beers that have been introduced the Chicagoland market thus far that I have tried. Hope remains.

TMoney2591, May 22, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On the sweet/chocolate syrupy end of the spectrum. Light-sucking black body, generous tan foam that puffs above the rim of the glass. Delicate lacing all around, it looks very appetizing. Slick and rich chocolate notes, slight fruitiness, sticky molasses and brown sugar.

Full and rich, palate coating. Finishes dry and slightly bitter, with delicate Belgian chocolate traces. The initial flavor is much more of a sweet fudgy blast to the senses. Light hop bitterness in the back, not a trace of 10%. The fruity element gives it something unique, and it's very well crafted. Something special to savor.

Thanks to Jason for this one!

emerge077, May 14, 2009
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Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,396 ratings.