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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

1,363 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,363
Reviews: 439
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 113
Gots: 256 | FT: 12
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: 1,363 | Reviews: 439 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of prototypic
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sea Monster Stout pours a dark chocolate fudge color. It's nearly onyx, but a few burgundy highlights are noted. A light tan head covers the top. It's about a finger and a half tall and holds up fairly well. Lacing was sticky, but on the light side.

The nose is good. A mix of roasted and chocolate malts hit the nose first. The chocolate variety smells like dark, bittersweet chocolate. Roasted coffee/espresso is quite prominent. A light dark fruit scent is noted. While this bottle has been around for a bit (less than a year), there's a fair amount of hops present, as far as I can smell anyway. They smell piney. Alcohol is blended well for such a big stout. I'm not getting much.

The flavor is just a notch below the nose. Chocolate and roasted malts give it a very flavorful, strong base. Bittersweet, dark chocolate flavors are strong throughout. Roasted coffee/espresso complements the malty base very well. Raisin and plum are secondary, but add nice depth. Hops are noticeable, but aren't overly strong. This bottle has a little bit of age on it, so that's not too surprising. Nonetheless, there is a hint of pine and some residual bitterness still lingering. I like it. Alcohol is noticeable, but isn't warm or hot. Finishes malty with a strong coffee aftertaste.

Sea Monster Stout has a medium body that feels a little too thin. Given the malt that's present, I'm a little surprised. It is smooth, but would benefit from more body. Drinkability is good. For a big stout, it's relatively friendly. It is big at 10% though. I'll finish the bomber, but that's plenty enough for me.

Ballast Point brews very good beer for the most part. They even have a great one on their roster. This one's more of the former. Not that that's a bad place to be. Ultimately, I believe more body might kick this one up a notch all around. It's a big stout that just needs a little bit of a bigger body. Nevertheless, damn tasty beer. I wasn't aware that it was retired. That's a shame.

prototypic, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of DovaliHops
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black which becomes an almost pitch dark red when held up to light. The head is light tan and not very big. The scent is VERY similar to NC Old Raspy. I just reviewed Old Raspy the other night, and this seems almost identical. The taste, however, is not identical. First, I get sweet flavors of vanilla, toffee, and possibly even marshmallows. Then I get some black licorice, followed by roasted coffee notes. This also has a bit of booziness at the end, ending with a tiny bitter taste. This is not a bad thing, because I LOVE my DIS/IRSs to be a bit hot. The mouthfeel is creamy, but kinda light and fizzy at the same time. Not syrupy at all. The drinkability is mildly high for a 10%ABV Imperial Stout. Good beer.

DovaliHops, Sep 13, 2010
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 billab914
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. Poured a thick black color with a thin tan head barely covering the top of the beer. The head retreated to the edges of the glass but left some nice lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has some burnt, coffee, roastedness to it with some oats and a moderate dark chocolate, cocoa flavor. Pretty smooth and appealing aroma overall.

The taste has some dark chocolate and cocoa mixing with a bit of fruity cherry flavor. It has a moderate roasty flavor coming through along with a bit of burnt , smokey, bitterness in the finish. The oats come through enough to smooth out the whole flavor very nicely. I loved the smoothness the oats add and the hints of cherry coming through with the chocolate.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side and moderately creamy, while carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is good, I really enjoyed sipping on it this evening. The smoothness of the oats and the hints of the cherry fruitiness really did it for me in this beer.

billab914, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of r0nyn
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my trusty Troegs pint glass.

I've had a fair few imperial stouts in my time so I have an idea of what they should look like. Out of the bottle the Sea Monster looks on point, but as it fills the glass, light pierces through the blackness. I can definitely see through it, the bottom of the glass takes on a dark reddish brown hue. Not what I was expecting. A good sized half inch head follows up and dissipates, leaving a nice amount of lacing that just coats the inside of the glass. I can see the bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass through the lighter parts. Smell is of dark chocolate mixed with some malt and cherry. Alcohol is also prevalent.

Dark chocolate flavor and bitterness right up front in the taste which stays throughout. There's some roasted malts in the follow-through, along with a subtle coffee undertone. Towards the end, there's a slight hint of hoppiness, but it quickly disappears. The alcohol twinges a bit at the end. It rounds off with a lightly bitter aftertaste from the omnipresent dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is not as hefty as some other imperial stouts I've had, but is no means watery or light. Has some weight and oomph on the tongue that goes down smooth with just a hint of carbonation.

Drinkability is only slightly affected by the hefty 10% ABV. It isn't easily detected, so you'll have to watch just how fast you're going, since the smell and taste are quite enticing. Definitely an easy brew to get lost in, so watch yourself, lest you fall victim to the Sea Monster!

r0nyn, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of infi
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle - poured into a snifter.

Pours the typical dark and black color that creates no head whatsoever. Just a few lingering bubble islands on top. Opaque throughout as expected. The 10% is made known by the legs of the alcohol on the sides of the glass. At first sniff, the dark chocolate was the first thing I noticed. After a few more attempts, the roasted coffee was identified. Not much of an oatmeal or currant presence as advertised on the bottle - maybe more so after it warms up.

Wow, dark chocolate-dipped cherries? That's my first impression on the taste! So intriguing and tasty, my goodness! The dark-chocolate is made known throughout the whole taste profile and then the currants cut through fantastically. Again, not much of a malt or oatmeal flavor, but no complaints. I'm actually amazed at how well this brew was crafted.

Mouthfeel is one of a well-done stout: smooth, coating and chewy. Flavors permeate throughout your mouth very nicely. Drinkability is very high. Only thing that's holding me back is the 10%, which can catch on quite quickly, depending on the pace you're drinking the beer.

Bravo Ballast Point. Wooed me with your Sculpin and now with the Sea Monster IS. I'd definitely recommend this as a dessert beer.

infi, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of GJ40
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle in a DFH snifter. Temp was 50 degrees at the start. There's no date on the bottle but I think it's fairly young. Thanks to LarryG.

A - A deep black with no light coming through. A small, beige head that dissipates quickly.

S - Dark chocolate, brown sugar, marshmallows, oatmeal cookie and licorice. What's not to like?

T - Sweet but not too sweet with elements of molasses, brown sugar, licorice and a touch of vanilla. Initially I didn't get much from the hops except for a lingering bitterness long after it's left the tongue. But toward the end, I got more hop bitterness. The alcohol is there but well balanced. Even though I started fairly warm at 50 degrees, it gets better as it warms.

M - Thick and chewy with a smooth, silky finish and a very low carbonation.

D - Rich and complex flavors that keep you guessing and coming back for more.

GJ40, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A darker fluffy 1.5 finger head rises up and slowly fades. The beer is essentially pitch black, but not completely, with very slight hints of light poking through.

N: An imperial stout definitely. Lots of roasted malts, a nice slight coffee aroma, chocolate malts, chocolate nibs, a slight creamy oatmeal like aroma, some slight hoppy earthy bitter aromas, chewy malts, caramel, crsytal malts, dark roasty malts, slight sweet malts, just the slightest hint of booze but I may even be nit picking at that point. Some fluffy malts, no nougat or marshmellow.

T: Starts with a sweet malty taste, some marshmellow and nougat this time, with lots of chocolate malt, roasted malt, coffee, caramel, a little vanilla, chewy malts, and lots of great dark malt goodness. Some bitter hops, not very bitter though, some earthy, spicy, and chewy hops. More of a fluffy malt and hop taste. Lots of bitter chewy hop and malt flavors.
They did a great job to side up next to some of the best imperial stouts. I think I could compare this best to Night Stalker.

M: Thick and chewy, slightly creamy, but not super thick, with decent carbonation.

F: Finishes slightly bitter as expected, mostly from the roasty earthy scorched malts, with some earthy hoppy hops. Some lingering fluffy malt flavors, chewy malts, and a little sweetness. It's semi sweet but not really dry at all. More of the smooth oatmeal and slightly chocolate milk flavors. Again more roasty and slight coffee flavors lingering. Slight boozy but not very much, especially for 10%. Some lingering coffee tastes start to really dominate as it warms, and as my mouth becomes accustomed to the other flavors.

jlindros, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of jminsc76
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bestowed upon me a few months ago by the lovely irishgurl4 as a moving-away present (nochmals vielen Dank).

Into a tulip, pours an incredibly large, thick espresso head atop an impenetrable black body. Very thick legs as I tilt the glass, but not much going on by way of lacing. Looks great though.

Aromas of coffee and cookies (chocolate dough), with some almost phenolic qualities, but that could be the currants. It's pretty good, especially as it warms, with the malts virtually tickling the bouquet.

The flavors are actually quite magnificent, with a dovetailing of the currants meshing with the bitter aspects of the chocolate. It's a bit overwhelming, or at least unbalanced at first, but the spectrum becomes more so (yet still nuanced) as it warms. A lot more sweetness on the finish.

The mouthfeel, for a beer claiming oatmeal stout on the label, is actually not that smooth or pillow-ey. I mean, it's still thick, but the aging I have done with it for the last few months has perhaps blunted the once thick consistency. Hard to say.

Overall, this non-barrel-aged stout is quite good, with a flavor profile that grows on me as I sip. Just hoping future versions can improve that mouthfeel.

jminsc76, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of cbutova
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

A- Pitch black with a light cream-tan head that has good retention. Sticky suds and a coat of moderately thick lace, nice tan cloud re-establishes itself on each sip.

S- Dark roasty malt and dark cocoa up front with some slight caramel and alcohol. Good but not great strength. Some grainy oat. Earthy grassy hops round out the flavor for a good RIS base.

T- Nice dark roast malt and cocoa. Some harshness from the malt and a bit of alcohol but this is nice in RIS. A good amount of hops which are earthy in flavor. Oats are there. Simple but good straight up RIS. Also get some dark fruit flavors towards the end.

MF- Moderately thick, oily body with low carbonation. Somewhat creamy. A coat of cocoa malts and earthy hops stays on the palate.

DB- Had it a few times. A good blend of common RIS flavors, straight up with no fancy additions. Nice balance. Not too expensive or horribly limited to find, good stuff.

cbutova, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An extra I was very excited for sent to me by stoney73.

A-Looks really thick as it pours. Basically no head what so ever is formed. The standard sand colored collar forms around the edges and thats about it. Little pearls of lacing glob up on the sides sporadically. No light gets through this super black beer.

S- Nice chocolate and oatmeal smells. Hops, roasty malts, toffee, currants and anise all come out after some swirling. There is a really nice creamy milk chocolate smell as well

T- Lighter taste than I expected. Everything that is here is really nice but it all could use a punch. Starts out with lots of nice milky sweetness and chocolate. Afterwords it becomes slightly more bitter . Bitter coffee and hops come around to balance things out.

M- Maybe a tad thin. Quite low carbonation. The beer is a bit sticky but nothing out of control. It is much more thin that the initial pour made it look. The oatmeal gives this beer an absurd smoothness.

D- This drinks very easily. Its not really super wild like most imperial stouts. This could really be a pretty good gateway beer into the world of big oatmeal stouts.

MbpBugeye, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of maximum12
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to chickencoop for sending me this brew in a nice, big box of beer recently. Really enjoy Ballast Point, so looking forward to something bigger, darker, & badder from the brewery. And action!

Pours black, with a slight prism of rose trickling in around the edges. Smell is wild. There's a note of cherry or raspberry quick-changing all over this beer. Alcohol makes it presence known, too.

Sea Monster has a freaky, port-like quality to it, as if the big stout had a few oak-port-soaked chips dipped into the tank at some point. The dark fruit carries over from the smell into the taste, but pleasantly, & dominates the beer. Not getting most of the tastes mentioned on the label...just a very viney, winey, almost brandy-hint character off the beer. Bitterness creeps in at the end from the hops.

End all? This is simple, but very good, very unique, nothing at all what I was expecting, & nothing like any other RIS I've had. But I'll take it any day.

maximum12, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of adkirkish
4.72/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Chocolate, toffee and bourbon notes that warmed to espresso
A: Pours black with a ¼ " tan head which quickly dissipated, no lacing.
F: Espresso and coffee upfront, burnt roasted malt and chocolate make up the rest of the flavor which is wonderful. I didn't get any Hop Bitterness in the taste. The Espresso and Chocolate are in complete domination of the flavor profile.
M: The mouthfeel is thick, full bodied, and little carbonation.
O: This is a should have/must have in my book. If you are a fan of dark and sweet stouts, this is your money. Highly suggested if you find it: buy it, age it, drink it. Be sure to first sip cool, and let it warm so you can experience the full flavor profile.

adkirkish, May 22, 2010
Photo of Jayli
3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Acquired from dgb3 so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours a thick, opaque deep, dark, rich brown almost black. Only a dark brown film of head sits on top but a more rigorous pour yields a two finger of head. Minimal wisy lacing is left on the glass.

S: Nose is strong alcohol, licorice, toffee, caramel, coffee and some roasted malts.

T: Taste is sweet upfront - toffee, molasses and licorice. Middle has a mild amount of roasted malts before a strong alcohol flavoring hits. As the beer warms, a nice chocolate flavoring comes in right before the coffee notes. Hints of coffee in the finish and lingers.

M: Fuller bodied, low carbonation, creamy body with a slightly chewy finish.

D: This one is more of a sipper, goes down alright, big kick, the alcohol is a touch overwhelming, and a minor sweetness that lingers in the finish makes this a one and done.

Jayli, May 21, 2010
Photo of akorsak
3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to swnicholson for this bomber. Shared with ksak and janlud.

A: The stout, on first look, poured murky and black with a half a finger of tan head. That murkiness disguised a rather disgusting clump of yeast that looked like a hairball. Thankfully it wasn't in my glass (sorry janlud), but it was fuckin' gross. That cost the appearance big-time, as I spent the rest of my night peering ominously into my snifter looking for hairballs.

S: The nose has no clumps of hair, so no issues to report with the roasted nutty malt body, burnt at times with rich alcohol and vanilla notes.

T: The stout shows off all of the right notes, roasted grains, chocolate, burnt toast, even some vanilla and dark berries. The flavor, though, is thin, rarely providing oomph until the finish arrives. There, a sweet roasted fullness contentedly lingers.

M: The mouthfeel, aside from being thin at times, is never unpleasant. Roasted notes and chocolate always go over well with me.

D: Drinkability takes a hit for the same reason appearance does. I was paranoid with every sip. Not the way I like to spend a night.

akorsak, May 20, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, deep dark brown with a small cap of creamy brown head, leaving little lacing. Smell is of fresh dark roasted coffee, cream, dark fruit with hints of bitter chocolate, fudge and toffee. Taste pretty much follows the scent... a nice well balanced stout that brings well developed coffee and chocolate notes backed by a mild creamy sweetness. Only knock is the touch of misplaced warmth from the ABVs in the entire sip. Great body... full, creamy. A very good Impeial Stout that leans towards big yet balanced flavors and does not overdo any particular aspect.

rfgetz, May 12, 2010
Photo of Lunch
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle acquired in a trade with volatilesther (Thanks!) into my Cigar City snifter at cellar temperature (04/24/10).

A: Pours very dark shade of brown, nearing black with a one finger cap of an espresso colored head that has some retention and leaves bits of thick lace.

S: The smell is dominated by coffee and roasted malt. Hints of bitter dark chocolate and just a flutter of milk chocolate.

T: As with the smell, the flavor profile is made up of primarily coffee and roasted malt. Layers of bitter, dark chocolate and milk chocolate. Perhaps just a hint of alcohol comes into play as well. No as complex as I was expecting.

M: On the lighter side of medium-bodied with a moderate carbonation and some creaminess. A little thin for my taste.

D: Quite drinkable and the 10% abv. well hidden. Just a bit lacking in complexity.

Overall this was a pretty decent Imperial Stout and another fairly tasty offering from Ballast Point. Thanks again Esther!

Lunch, May 04, 2010
Photo of illidurit
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Poured into an absurd massive chalice that wouldn't have broken if I'd thrown it at a wall. Deep black color with a thin creamy light-brown head. Zesty coffee aroma with touches of red fruits ad dark chocolate. Fudge and coffee flavor, very fresh, not like the cold, burnt coffee notes of some other imperial stouts. Light peppery alcohol influence and a dry, bitter, lasting finish. Mild fruitiness in the background. Fulfilling mouthfeel.

illidurit, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown with one finger of tan head that has great retention and lacing. Light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Hints of vanilla and booze.

t - Taste is roasted malts, bitter chocolate, cofee, and piney hops. Some bitterness to it and hints of alcohol in the end.

m - Full body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth.

d - A pretty nice stout. Pretty interesting taste with the coffee and chocolate malts and piney hops. Would try again.

mdfb79, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of mgbickel
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. Formed a sand colored, bubble on bubble, 2 finger head that, when receded, left tons of lace behind coating the glass. The body is dark brownish/black that allows some light through to form amber edges.

The nose has dark chocolate characters and roasted coffee beans up front. Some earthy (peat) aromas hide in the background but come out more as the beer warms.

The flavor follows the nose pretty well...sweet chocolate malts up front that fade into a roasted coffee finish. You can detect the 10% ABV toward the end...

The mouth feel is thick and creamy with mild carbonation.

Overall, this is a nice drinking stout...almost right up there with the big boys. The boozy finish keeps this from being marked higher...

mgbickel, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of homebrewhawk
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to MASPuros for this one. 22oz. bottle served in a snifter. Poured a deep brown/black with a thin tan head. Lots of roasted malt with some piney hops. Alcohol in the aroma made me think it would be hot, which was not the case. This is a West Coast IS for sure, plenty of hop bitterness. Rich and full bodied. Big roasted malt finish with some drying hops. Long finish. Went down way too easy for a 10% beer!

homebrewhawk, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of TexIndy
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip. No dating info on the bottle but we had Milt pick this up at the brewery about a week after the release so there are fresh. Color was black in the center with mahogany edges when against the light. It had a large tan head that settled into a good collar and central foam. Great sheeting with some sticking.

The aroma was excellent. Coffee, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate and just a bit of the alcohol. I like the coffee choice in this one. The taste was also excellent and matched the aroma with the roasted coffee and malt up-front with the chocolate hitting later on. Sweet from the malt to balance out the bitterness. Good balance. Dangerously drinkable at 10%. Mouthfeel was full and creamy. Good carbonation and sweetened coffee after-taste.

Overall, an excellent imperial stout and another excellent offering from Ballast Point. Very highly recommend. Hits both the imp stout and coffee beer buttons for me. Avail/Rot: not available here in TX so had Milt ship me some. If here, would be couple per release. As-is will be in the shipping schedule. Need to get some and cellar and see what happens. [R;Y;cellar]

TexIndy, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Big black brown and foamy. Maybe a little red in there too. Thick. The ol motor oil cliche.
Aroma is burnt choco.

Taste, massive. Big ass heft, even a substantial amount of hopping. Everything about this beer is big. There is nothing left as a nuance. Gets a little puckering. Has that almost cabernet feel to it, big, bold, bitter maybe even some kind of fruit dallop from something like blackberries or dark grapes?

Expensive, but it is a mammoth beer.

Beerandraiderfan, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of Gavage
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a black color with a 2" creamy dark tan colored head. Thick lace is left on the inside of the glass as it goes down.

Smell: chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt tones are up front, with a hint of bitterness in the background.

Taste: big roasted malt flavor with bitter dark chocolate, some coffee tones, and a hint of grapefruit or similiar tart citrus arriving late. Alcohol is mildly noticeable, and there is a hearty bitterness balancing this one out.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and creamy at the finish. A bit of drying arrives late too. Aftertaste is long as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Drinkability: despite the high alcohol level, this beer goes down smoothly. A definite slow sipper, one bomber should be enough in a session, but I could see having one more glass. Great flavor.

Gavage, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of femALEist
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's not distributed out in the Bay Area. Traded to get a hold of this beer. This stout poured ink black and smelled of freshly roasted coffee, burnt caramel and citrus/piney hops. It tasted a bit toasty, with some dried raisins, plums, licorice, toffee, alcohol and subtle hops. What made this stout stand out to me was the hop flavor mixed into it. I usually only taste sweet or bitter stouts, but this one seems to be rounded out and a bit smoother due to the hop content.

femALEist, Mar 26, 2010
Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,363 ratings.