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Sea Monster Imperial Stout - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sea Monster Imperial StoutSea Monster Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

474 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 474
Hads: 1,655
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 18.55%
Wants: 146
Gots: 354 | FT: 15
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:
Beer added by: OlieIPA on 11-28-2008

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 474 | Hads: 1,655
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.

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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!

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Photo of stakem
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Review is based on a bomber that I have cellared for 5 years. The brew pours black in color with ample khaki head resting atop that fades to a thin ring.

The nose is a pleasant mix of raisony alcohol mixed with milk chocolate. The taste is a little boozy with raison, earth, char and milk chocolate before a bit of solvent booze becomes noticeable.

This is medium bodied and modestly carbonated. A decent sipper that likely should have consumed a couple years ago but whatever, still an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of scbeerman
4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review is of a 2014 bottle.
S: dark chocolate, glorious roasted malts, and a hint of coffee balanced by dark fruit. 4.25
L: black, but with a hint of red shining through around he edges. A half finger of rich dark tan head; little lacing. 3.5
T: this blew me away. Roasted malts combine with currant, a little char, chocolate, coffee, mild sweetness (milk chocolatey almost, but not at the forefront) and a little earthy bite of hops. Absolutely delicious and very good complexity and depth of flavor; strongly considered giving it a 5 here. 4.75
F: 10%??? Could've fooled me. Medium-heavy mouthfeel, but not motor oil; scarily drinkable and hides the alcohol extraordinarily well. Oatmeal adds a wonderful silkiness that I love. 4.5
Overall: This was extremely impressive; not sure why it has a moderate rating on here because this is a delicious, world class imperial stout with a year and a half of age on it. Coffee and vanilla bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts? Nah, I'll take this over most any I've tried. This was a "Wow!" beer.

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Photo of phrimplepoot
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely sensational. I am surprised by the "very good" rating on this one. But, I'm a sucker for balls-to-the-wall stouts. And, at 10 ABV I can barely taste the booziness. I love it. Love it, love it, love it.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quick Review: Poured a solid black with a very thin dark brown head. Smell was malts and chocolate mostly, but the nose was pretty faint overall for an imperial stout. The taste was nice. Smooth,roasted malty chocolate, and you could pick up oatmeal and hints of dark fruits. Feel was smooth and creamy with lowish carbonation. All in all an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Trooper92292
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The chocolate and oatmeal really stand out and mix well. The smell doesn't have much of an impact to me but this is a wow taste. I can taste the alcohol but I enjoy it with the chocolate taste. Sea Monster is really great, a good older cousin to Victory at Sea. I want another bottle and need to try this on tap.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a three finger light tan head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Soft carbonation and medium bodied. Chocolate, malty nose and taste is baked chocolate, some malty sweetness, no currant. High ABV is hidden. $10.45 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of Co1911lt
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I have enjoyed many different stouts and I would even say I am a stout connoisseur. Ballast Point has taken a new swing at stouts on this one. Not to bad.

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Photo of BeerMeColorado
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably better aged...pretty boozy with alcohol a little too dominant at this point. Had it on draft but think if I had some bottles I'd def put some down for at least a year.

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Photo of Jayehm
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Read the summary and don't taste the coffee or chocolate hints. Flavor is still pretty good. Color is solid dark brown with a tan head. It sit heavy in the mouth. You can tell it's high in abv.

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Photo of Totalpackage411
4.51/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is a very smooth Stout, not too overpowering. The oatmeal flavor definitely stands out and gives this beer a delightful taste. I highly recommend this beer if you like Stouts or any dark beer.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split between a pair of large snifters. Stamp on the bottom is nearly illegible, but it appears to be 212230W0011455. Not more than 50% sure on that.

Pours black with a ring of head and a few little clumpy islands. Fairly carbonated, but very fine carbonation. Smell is boozy, sweet, a little musty and yeasty, slight dark fruit and chocolate.

Taste is surprisingly chocolaty, more dark fruit, sweeter than I expected.

Mouthfeel is good -- smooth, a little dry. Overall, very good!

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Photo of 57md
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown with golden edges. Decent roast profile on the nose and in the flavor. Nice big hoppy finish.

This is a good hoppy stout but it drinks "smaller" that its ABV would indicate. In short, I would be more enthusiastic about this if it were a standard stout rather than a double. It just does not have the flavor punch of a top tier double stout.

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Photo of founddrama
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My lady wants a stout so… Chocolate and coffee notes in there but not overdone. Subtle currant notes. Velvety mouthfeel. Finish is slightly boozy. Was hoping for a creamier head. (Oh well.) Such a dark color; more brown than black but wow.

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Photo of KarmicSkrambl8
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

nice and thick, average head, awesome mouthfeel, amazing viscosity, faint oaty oatmeal note, average to above average taste--but not as roasty/flavorful as hoped, BV% nice---and nicely contained, decent aroma--nothing exquisite

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.71/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark brown in color with virtually no head or lacing. Smells of bittersweet chocolate, coco, and booze. No carbonation to speak of with this mostly full bodied brew. Tastes of chocolate, burnt wood, booze, and maybe a little coffee. Overall, a pretty good stout.

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Photo of beergoot
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Nearly opaque, dark brown; nice, creamy, light brown head; some lacing and specks of foam left on the glass. Mild, malty nose; chocolate; vanilla. Flavors of cocoa powder; milk chocolate; vanilla; mild touch of boozy flavors. Heavy bodied; soft and velvety feel.

A relatively weak head and very low-key aroma presence aside, this is a rich, robust stout. It delivers lots of dark roasted grain flavors and sweetness counterbalanced with a nice hop dryness. The 10% ABV doesn't overwhelm the flavors and the body is thick and chewy throughout.

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Photo of mactrail
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The brewery calls this an Oatmeal Stout, and it's certainly not the typical American double stout. It has a pleasant grainy edge, and while it's sweet, the sugar comes on more slowly, and fades into a bitter, chocolatey haze.

Very dark, deeply roasted, with some charred taste. Cedar and cocoa. Highly aromatic and spicy. This was a nice surprise to me, and it's a more complex and interesting big stout than the typical imperial fat boys. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Barons Market on West Point Loma.

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Photo of travolta
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Jet black, huge head with an awesome rocky form and fantastic retention. Massive amounts of sticky lacing. I'm proud to look at this on my table right now.

Nose: Plums, fig, raisin, star anise and fennel.

Taste: Fig, raisin, carmel and chocolate. Some oatmeal smoothness and a little alcohol heat at the end.

Notes: an EXCELLENT stout. Just buy it.

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

enormous beer, great this time of year. dense malt layers in this one, like an under cooked fudge brownie. it ranges from day old drip coffee to sweet milk chocolate and oatmeal in the aroma, and hides its booze well. real dark look, but not shiny, its muted in luster, looking less exciting than it is, but the head is rocky peaky and tall, tan in color, and lasting for days. first sip shows a ton of viscosity, with flavors of bakers chocolate and licorice and burning bread. its great, its complex, its got depth like the sea itself, and it has an almost smoked note for a second in the finish. cocoa powder and a note of dried cherry there for a second, even coconut too. full bodied is an understatement, and this is a filling slow slipper, but the alcohol isnt all that aggressive and the beer on the whole is both very unique and very delicious. bold and intense, one heck of a stout.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.85/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

A - 4.75 - Pours an oily jet black color. Nice head potential, forms a finger and a half to two fingers of dark tan to light brown colored head. Good head retention, pretty solid lacing as well.
S - 4.75 - Raisins, plums, figs and prunes, light touch of alcohol, bittersweet chocolate, currants, star anise, fennel, licorice and a light herbal, medicinal nose. Almost in the vein of a Russian styled imperial stout.
T - 5 - Awesome. A stout that seems to focus more on the dark fruits and chocolate than the coffee. Lightly smoked malt upfront, prunes and currants, fennel, licorice and medicinal herbal tastes, bittersweet chocolate finish.
F - 4.75 - Nice creamy medium/full mouthfeel.
O - 4.75 - Excellent imperial stout. One of the better I've had in a long while. Worth noting I drank exactly one year passed the "best by" date on the bottle and it tasted PHENOMENAL so, don't let it intimidate you if you plan to cellar this one, I did, and the results were worth it!

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Photo of JohnP
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown with a tall, lasting dark tan head. Mild aromas of mocha and hint of herbal hops. Simple flavors with a bit of tropical fruit, toasted coconut and tasted malt. Easy to drink with simple flavors.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage served at cellar temperature in a chalice.

Sea Monster is a medium dark brown in color with good clarity seen on the pour. Head is thick at first but settles fairly quickly. Nice lacing left behind.

Aroma is roasty and chocolatey but surprisingly mild for an imperial stout.

Flavor is thankfully more mild than the aroma would suggest. It has dark malt sweetness up front with big bitterness from middle to end. A combination of roasted malts and hops contribute to the bitterness and there's good balance there.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with low carbonation.

Overall a very good imperial stout but maybe not as special as Victory at Sea.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

2013 vintage 22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a finger of caramel/chocolate-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thick lacing of foam that covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice aromas! Tons of roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted dark bread, some subtle smoke and a little ash. There are also aromas of dark chocolate, a touch of coffee and some floral hops.

Taste: Wow!! Strong, strong flavors of roasted malt up front, followed by some almost equally strong flavors of brown sugar-like sweetness, finished with some equally strong flavors of hops. Intermingled between the malt, sweet and hoppy bitterness, all three flavors vying for dominance, are some good flavors of coffee, dark chocolate and dark molasses. Very complex in flavor.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and extremely smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10%, there’s a definite presence of alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a very good imperial stout! It has tons of great roasted malt flavors, accented with some good sweetness, but unfortunately, I find the hoppy bitterness to be out of balance, meaning it’s too assertive for my tastes, to make this beer balanced. I like it, but it has too much hops for me to really, really love it. Hop heads should love this beer, though.

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Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.