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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.

1,290 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,290
Reviews: 435
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 104
Gots: 226 | FT: 9
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: 1,290 | Reviews: 435 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdklks


3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance is similar to most imperial stouts, but, held up to light has a more amber tone around the edges. the smell is of dark fruits chocolate and coffee. a hint of alcohol. nothing special. Taste is very close to the smell. a blueberry flavor that is very pronounced. hints of chocolate and coffee as well as molasses. burnt malts and a slight sweetness in the finish. nothing stands out, nothing is exceptional. mouthfeel is a little lighter than expected/desired and drinkability is about where most imperial stouts are to be found. Nothing too special here, but an enjoyable stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2009 19:33:48 | More by jdklks
Photo of jwc215


3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to PhxHorn for this!

22 oz. bottle, poured into tulip glass:

Pours very dark brown/black with a tan head that descends to thin wisps. Some small dots of lacing stick.

The smell is of molasses, ash, coffee, slight chocolate, raisins and herbal notes.

The taste is of roasted, bitter coffee with the roast going towards ashy. Booze-soaked currants give it a fruity character. There is a hint of chocolate and molasses. It's dark fruity sweeetness is balanced by roast/ash and herbal bitterness.

It is full-bodied with ample carbonation keeping it from being syrupy. Some residual sweet sugar clings to the lips.

A well-balanced, though slightly edging towards too ashy, coffee-ish, fruity stout. Booze shows, so sip slowly, and enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2009 12:46:26 | More by jwc215
Photo of Kegatron


4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a couple of pint glasses. Thanks go to HopDerek for sharing this one.

Pours a dense black, with a finger of foamy mocha colored head. Retains with a fizzy look around the edges, with some thin wisps in the center, leaving back some light spotty lacing and brown oily goo. The aroma is HUGE smelling with roasted malts, thick chocolate, molasses, a good bit of coffee character, just a smidge of dark fruits, and some light heat. Nice full smell to this in the nose.

The taste initially is very dark feeling, with notes of roast, bitterness, and coffee, before shifting into an equally HUGELY sweet base of chocolate, caramel, and smokey Blackstrap Molasses. Finishes with a sticky, bitter, and warm feel on the lips. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a big chewy feel to it that goes well with the larger flavors. There is a good bit of warmth in the body but it feels just about right for a 10% beer.

An all around solid Imperial Stout from Ballast Part. While I thought that the aroma was the only aspect of it that went really deep, the taste and body weren't too shabby either and the drinkibility of this was good for a beer of this size. This is definitely worth a look.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 17:03:06 | More by Kegatron
Photo of far333


4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a crystal snifter. Inky black and opaque with a thick and frothy head of uneven bubbles that rise up to a full two inch head, and then slowly drop back leaving a rim of lace and fine bubbles along the sides of the glass.

Rich aroma of dark malt, cocoa, hoppy bitterness, raisin, and a cherry tang.

Complex flavors of bitter chocolate, espresso, cocoa, hints of smoke and charred oak, raisin, and currant. A balanced bitterness rides along, tar and chocolate linger. The ABV strength is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, with rigid carbonation, hints of powder, finishes with tannens. Really good beer, good sipper. Somebody pass me a maduro cigar.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 03:04:52 | More by far333
Photo of RedChrome


3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A glass full of pure onyx colored liquid. A milk chocolate colored head of an inch in height lasted a few minutes. To dark to note any carbonation rising.

Burnt grains scents quickly gave way to a nice dark fruit aroma. Fruit smelled mainly of dates. A very faint coffee grounds presence wafts in and out.

Fruity overall quality to the taste. Dates and plums are strong with a bit of a cherry finish. Roasted grains and coffee are downplayed a bit. A bitter hops burst to finish.

A bit of a watery thickness on the surfaces. Carbonation is a bit week, and tastes don't cling to the tongue.

An O.K. brew. Would taste nice with slices of brown bread topped with plum preserves. A bit of balance for a beer of the style. Not bad, but others are better.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 05:08:33 | More by RedChrome
Photo of Deuane


4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Black with dark ruby highlights and a thin tan head that left spotty lace.

S-Rich and meaty with a dry oakiness and nice chocolate notes.

T-Robust chocolate and coffee and a beef jerky like backing. Backing bitterness present but this is smoothed out by the malt bill making this a very "round" brew.

M-Medium-heavy, silky smooth and oh, so rich.

D-Wonderful, rich and robust with a big chocolate/coffee/meaty body....so nice. BP does it again!

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2009 13:53:18 | More by Deuane
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 01:51:36 | More by emerge077
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black in color with brown highlights. Large mocha colored head fades rather fast. Looks good, not exciting but good.
Bittersweet chocolate with some herbal hops in the aroma. I expected more coffee and roasted notes. But am pleasently suprised with the hoppiness.
Quite bitter for the style. Lot's of grassy hop flavors. Bittersweet chocolate with just hints of coffee and roasted malts. Dark fruits shine through at the end and become more pronounced as the beer warms.
Wonderful mouthfeel. Silky smooth and not too full. Mouthfeel is the highlight of this beer. Wonderful, I say.
This is not one of the top big stouts, but it's good and a pleasure to drink. I'd love to have another.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2009 02:46:27 | More by wcudwight
Photo of sulldaddy


3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split this bottle with Stopper.

Pouring cellar temp bottle into a snifter. The beer pours a clear dark brown color with creamy tan head that fades to an edge layer fairly quickly.
Aroma is herbal to grassy hops mixing with some brown sugar and bakers chocolate.
First sip reveals fine tingly carbonation with a smooth silky texture.
Flavor is some roasty malt and some chocolate with a hint of brown sugar. No hint of the aromatic hops on the flavor. ABV is well hidden, the beer is amazingly (dangerously) easy to drink. I enjoy this beer quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2009 01:10:52 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Almost jet black with some brown getting through around the edge of the glass. Minimal white head.

S: A really weird sweetness. Tons of chocolate.

T: Tons of chocolate just like the nose. Some roast thrown in for good measure. The sweetness is lingering in the finish.

M: Light body for the style and the carbonation was very subtle.

D: Super drinkable. Very nice the smooth. The lack of body did aid it in this department.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2009 21:30:05 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of Arbitrator


2.65/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bomber into a glass. Purchased from Perry's in Livermore.

A: Pours an opaque black with brown tint at the edges. Develops a thick mocha head that dissolves rather readily into light filming and the dreaded donut ring. Doesn't have much lacing.

S: A fairly mild aroma. Has the right ingredients: dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and some grass.

T: Dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt lay the groundwork in the initial and mid-tastes. In the finish, they scale back a bit and introduce some dark fruit sweetness -- it tastes like grapes and raspberries. Some booziness and coffee bitterness in the aftertaste. The fruits are an interesting idea, but they give the flavor a tart inflection that I don't enjoy.

M: Medium-to-full bodied, with low-to-medium carbonation. Could stand to be fuller. Some stickiness and warmth. Has a lightly bitter and dry finish. ABV is pretty well hidden.

D: It's not bad, but nothing really makes this stand out. I could get a local (Drake's Imperial Stout) for a similar flavor profile and lower cost. I doubt I'd seek this out again.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2009 20:27:26 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of popery


4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown-black opaque liquid with nice mocha head that dissipates perhaps a bit more than I 'd prefer.

S: The smell is a bit too mild, but what's there is quite good. There is a mix of chocolate, coffee and roasted malt notes with excellent dark fruit chiming in from somewhere.

T: Excellent flavor. It's not a chocolate malt bomb or aggressively roasted. This beer attains a balance between the big stout flavors. There is a natural, malty coffee flavor (as opposed to the flavor from added coffee beans, no disrespect to coffee stouts). There are some citric, herbal hops, at least they taste that way over the flavorful dark-roasted malt. Dark stone fruit backs up the malt with flavors of prunes and plums which combine well with the citric hops. It's a well-crafted flavor.

M: There's good complexity to the beer and the alcohol is relatively well-hidden. Slightly viscous.

D: Drinkable. Good aftertaste. Well-balanced.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 07:18:55 | More by popery
Photo of drseamus

New York

3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to aerozeppl and avryle for sharing.

A: Dark black with almost no head.

S: Sweet stout with light roasted malt. For a double the aroma is too tight.

T: Sweet malt with some roast. Ends with a sweet aftertaste. I'd like a little more in a double.

M: Medium bodied. Smooth and sweet.

D: Not bad but not amazing.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2009 16:14:26 | More by drseamus
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured out thick and dark brown. Once settled, body was very dark (pitch black) with just a little brown at the outermost edges. A small, light brown, fizzy head formed on top but quickly disappeared. Very mild lacing. Second pour was vicious and produced a lot more head. Still didn't retain that well, though it did cling to the sides of the glass and leave some more consistent, spotty lace .

Smell: Didn't get much of anything when it was cold: faint molasses, raspberry, and roasted malt. As it warmed, dark chocolate appeared and the raspberry and roasted malt grew stronger. Smell is good, but just too faint for an imperial stout.

Taste: Rich, smooth, dark chocolate throughout. Roasted malt and coffee are most prevalent in the beginning, then give way to currants, booze, and hops. The three latter flavors provide for a dry, tart, zing. Some charred wood in the aftertaste. Molasses also present - noticing it more toward the end.

Mouthfeel: Dry, thick, and oily. Lots of mouth numbing and a decent amount of warming, too. Not very creamy, not very syrupy, but a pretty filling beer. Finishes bitter and dry.

Drinkability: I probably shouldn't have tried tackling this alone. Then again, it was just one of those days where a big, strong beer like this really hits the spot. Pretty damn filling and definitely intoxicating. I wouldn't mind buying this again and, being that it's a limited release, I probably will. Not a bad offering from Ballast Point, but also just that - not bad.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 00:58:50 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of djaeon


4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into a tulip style glass. Pours pitch black with a creamy cappuccino like head. The head has moderate retention and leaves just as moderate lacing.

S - Smells amazing. Roasty malt. Strong dark chocolate laced espresso or coffee. Some minor alcohol hints in the background.

T - Tastes as good as it smells. You get all the flavors that you could smell, plus a minor hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - Thick and smooth.

D - Extremely drinkable. I think this would be one of my top 5 "desert island" beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2009 00:02:28 | More by djaeon
Photo of DIM


4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This was pitch black. It poured with a large tan head that quickly faded to lace.

s: Dark roasty cocoa and coffee plus a little heat.

t: I haven't tried many imperial oatmeal stouts, but I do love them. The flavors are bitter and biting while the body is silky smooth. What a fantastic contrast! Dark chocolate syrup flavors dominate throughout. They are punctuated at the end by a strongly bitter combination of leafy hops and roasty, malty coffee. The smell is hotter than the flavor.

m: Silky smooth with gentle carbonation that suits this one pretty well.

d: Big thanks to joepais for this one. I'd never heard of it, but I loved it!

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 10:44:03 | More by DIM
Photo of blitz134


4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First review in quite some time...Pretty awesome fish on the label...Angler Fish, I believe...

Poured pitch black into my snifter with a thin and fleeting tan head that left only a ring around the edge of the glass. Not really any lacing.

Nice subdued roasty aromas that give way to coffee and expresso. Some sweeter dark caramel comes through. A touch of citric hop, orange peel presence rounds it out with the slightest addition from some esters. Alcohol shows itself as it warms. Only downfall is that it just doesn't do the upcoming flavor any justice.

Flavor starts out with just a touch of fruitiness as soon as it hits the tongue, but then there is an explosion of dark roasted grains, coffee, and char to finish things up. Warming alcohol whisps trickle down afterwards and warm the stomach, especially as it comes closer to room temp. Dark chocolate and ashy flavors linger for a long while.

Nice full bodied beer, oily slickness from the oatmeal works well. Not the heaviest stout I've had, but this is nice. Coats the mouth well and the flavors really linger.

Supremely drinkable when chilled given its size, but its obviously an alcoholic drink after some time. This is a robust beer that big beer drinkers should love. Good stuff...now, to figure out how to brew something like this myself!

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2009 21:05:07 | More by blitz134
Photo of HopDerek


4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bottle picked up back in December at Pizza Port Carlsbad's bottle shop.

Poured an inky black with some dark brown edges. Two fingers of mocha brown head has ok retention and leaves a bit of spotty lacing and an oily coating. Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, nuts, coffee, currants, plums, and a bit of alcohol. Tastes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruits like black currants and plums, coffee, anise, and a soothing alcohol finish. Medium full in body with low carbonation. Pretty thick, smooth, and creamy with a nice balance. A pretty enjoyable Imperial Stout, not overly mind blowing, but also not a total miss. Quality stuff, easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2009 17:32:25 | More by HopDerek
Photo of NCSUdo


4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle

A: Deep black under a good sized brown head. Low retention and lace.

S: Very nice smell, chocolate, roasted malt, nuttiness. Really nice balance. Maybe some sweet cream. Very pleased with the aroma.

T: Again, very nice and very balanced. Chocolate and roasted malt balanced with a nice cream sweetness. Bitterness is there along with some heat, but never overwhelming. A hint here and there of some dark fruit.

M/D: Full bodied, low carbonation, could be a little better however (silky, creamy, smooth, etc.). Just missing some texture. Drinkability is very nice. A really good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2009 00:05:25 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of htomsirveaux


4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 25 Mar 2009. Gift from A&P, thanks!

Poured in a DFH shaped pint glass. Medium sized dark brown head. Lightly carbonated. Dark brown bordering on pitch black. Smells almost muddy, like wet earth, chocolate, some coffee. Taste is much better than the aroma, very chocolately, roasty, milky and malty. Like a mocha malted milkshake, some dark fruits, currants. Finish and aftertaste are barely bitter, but instead are chocolately and sweet. Medium to heavy body, almost oily. Alcohol is warming.

Tasty, overall pretty good but the aroma is a bit off.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2009 05:07:21 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of ppoitras


4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. What head there is melts away to thin layer of small bubbles, with leggy slow-falling lace. Aroma is roasty dark malt, anise, and alcohol. Taste stays the course of the nose, with alcohol peeking through at the close. Mouthfeel is velvet smooth, and drinkability is WAY too easy for 10%. Find it, try it.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2009 00:59:58 | More by ppoitras
Photo of aforbes10


4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very black with a short brown head, lacing very nice and unbroken. Smells of bittersweet chocolate, brandy and plums. Nice roasted chocolate flavor, laced with some coffee and a vague dark fruit. More roasted coffee on the finish with a slight alcohol warmth. Flavor is well balanced for the style but nothing amazing. Thick and full bodied, almost chewy. Drinks well. A good all around impy.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2009 04:23:06 | More by aforbes10
Photo of tmoneyba


4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at local BA tasting.

Poured black color with an average brown frothy head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate roasted malt,chocolate and small alcohol aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy sweet roasted flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration.

Good complex stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 02:32:58 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of CheeseTurds


3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this from a bomber last night.

This is a very well-executed stout from a great brewery. It took me a while to remember that I had this on tap at Toronado a few weeks back (my memory had been clouded by the 5 or 6 pints of stout I had afterward). It was quite the treat then, too.

This beer pours dark as hell. I held it up to the light and nothing shined through. That gets big points from me.

I had eaten pancakes before drinking this beer. This was just a little runnier than the maple syrup I had eaten. Thick, creamy feel. I felt like I was chewing on it, but it doesn't stick long. Again, that's what I want from an Oatmeal stout and this didn't disappoint.

The taste was a little boozy (as it's gonna be at 10%) but this is very drinkable. Perhaps I drank it too fast as I was asleep an hour after I finished the bottle.

Even though I intend to experiment more and more with Imperial Stouts, I'd definitely pick this one up on a "non-experimental" night.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2009 05:51:07 | More by CheeseTurds
Photo of rudylaw


4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to HawekeyeDaz for the share!

Beautiful looking stout with a 2-3 finger, brown head.

Very sweet in the nose. Roasty, chocolate goodness.

First few sips I get a crack of booze. Some bourbon? Then, it mellows out into a very tasty RIS. It mellows out into a delicious, creamy, chewy finish. It's nothing that I haven't had before, and it isn't breaking any new ground, but it's still fantastic stuff! Glad for the opportunity to try more from Ballast Point.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 23:07:52 | More by rudylaw
Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,290 ratings.