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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.

1,438 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,438
Reviews: 445
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 123
Gots: 265 | FT: 13
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: 1,438 | Reviews: 445 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tucquan
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2011-03-31 in Torrance, CA from a fresh bottle.

A - Deep, dark brown with a big, tan head that fades in half quicky and leaves nice lacing.

S - Chocolate, coffee, a bit of dried currants.

T - Tasty chocolate, toffee, medium roasted coffee astringency and hop bitterness. Sweet, mild sour and reasonable bitterness are well-balanced in the finish. Quite nice. Alcohol taste is there but this isn't a boozy tasting brew.

M - Thick, creamy with enough carbonation to refresh the pallet. Nice.

O - Props to a very good Imperial Stout. The chocolate and other flavors suit me better than oak/bourbon barrel stouts that sometimes emphasize fig/plum and vanilla. I'm a chocolate guy.

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

on tap at khyber pass in philly

Pours an inky black color with a full, frothy beige head, which retains pretty well with a layer of film and spotty lacing on the glass.

Strong scents of dark chocolate with bitter sweet hops and toffee. Roasted malts and slight boozy warmth.

An edge of hoppiness with pine, before the heavily roasted malts take over the profile. Baker's chocolate and bittersweetness run through. Some coffee bean and toffee add to the flavors. A distinct boozy warmth finishes it off.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, dry and chewy. This is a pretty solid imp stout, nice flavor, and the alcohol is masked well.

Photo of ehammond1
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Liquor Stop
San Marcos, CA

A breathtaking beer to behold. A midnight black pour with a huge inch and a half head that bubbles down just a bit before sticking around for a very, very long time. The head is thick and creamy with a gorgeous tan color. Sticky lacing down the glass. Hard to get better than this.

An appealing aroma of espresso coffee, some chocolate, and roasted malt. There is the fainest smell of warm alcohol hidden underneath. A relatively balanced and somewhat unaggressive nose, but certainly pleasing and inviting. While certainly enjoyable, it doesn't do anything to separate itself from other good to great American Imperial Stouts.

The taste falls in line right behind the nose. A balanced combination of bitter coffee and sweet chocolate with a backbone of bitterness from the hops. The coffee aftertaste really stays on the palette long after the last sip. Uncomplicated but delicious.

A medium mouthfeel with the appropriate creaminess I like in my big stouts.

This is a big, delicious, uncomplicated stout. It does everything it sets out to do well enough. Although perhaps a tad unambitious, a delicious and particularly drinkable beer.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On Tap at Uno's Chicago Grill during a Bella Vista Event.

Sea Monster pours out your average stout black with a deep black space look with a creamy mocha shaded cap that left some sticks here and there. Upon smelling this I am reminded of Dragon Stout from Jamacia, that is rotted fruit, although this is less offensive. Extreme warmingh brang out light chocolate, earthy hops, licorice and rotting fruit. a whiff of alcohol, not a great smeller. The taste is not to far off from that. That rotting smell seeps into taste, old dark fruit. Dragon stout light with some chocolate with warming. Vanilla bean, light hops, alcohol, this is a bit disjointed. Feel is there, a bit chewy, approaching full bodied, I just cant get past that rot gut. Carbed up but smooth with a nasty aftertaste. Im glad I did not buy a bottle of this, I'll stick with the Ballast Point IPA's, they know how to do them.

I had the barrel aged version of this on tap two years ago and that was significantly better. A monster indeed.

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

A: Pours black with a small tan head leaving spotty traces of lace.

S: Roasty malt, sweet chocolate, dark coffee.

T: Chocolate malts, roasted coffee, dark chocolate. An earthyness followed by vanilla, and a oak wood char.

M: Rich, chewy, thick and dry on the finish.

O: Nothing particulary amazing here, just very solid and worth the price.

Photo of Gfunk720
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle of the most recent batch, new label. Out of my Long Trail Brewmaster Series glass.

A- Looks very nice. Hearty black with a nice whitish khaki colored head. The lacing is ridiculous, and is all over the glass.

S- Nothing crazy here, just some standard chocolate malty notes. Some hints of hops and a slightly bitter tone.

T- Very creamy and smooth. Chocolate and cocoa, with some hints of coffee. Slightly bitter malty notes, with a full bodied hoppy afertaste.

M- A little watery, but decent body and carbonation. The creaminess is very nice, as is the lingering hoppy aftertaste.

O- Overall, this is a very solid imperial stout. For the price and availability, I drink it pretty regularly. Not the best beer of the style, but a solid performer that I grab when I am looking for something to drink same night.


Photo of DaveHS
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours mahogany, almost black, with over an inch of foamy chocolate milk colored head. Reduces very slowly, leaving complex waves of intricate lacing.

S-Roasted malts, coffee, bitter chocolate, milk chocolate, dulce de leche sweetness. Smells similar to the Victory at Sea, but with less dry alcohol bite.

T-The flavor profile is very simple. Dry roastiness up front, a soft chocolate sweetness mid palate, and a fairly dry finish with a hint of bitter hops. That's not to say I don't like it. Well executed simplicity is much more difficult to pull off than a complex mess of flavors that don't add up to anything. Very easy drinking at 10%ABV, with just the slightest trace of booziness. Most of this gets lost in the subtle dryness of the hops on the back end.

M-Smooth and full bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

O-Way too drinkable at such a high ABV. This is a skillfully executed beer, and one I will be revisiting in the future.

Photo of PicoPapa
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Pours an almost black color with brown hues. 1/2 inch of light brown head. Lots of lacing. Aroma is a big whiff of coffee. Chocolatey and sweet smelling. Taste is more of that great roasted coffee. Bittersweet dark chocolate and roasted malt flavors as well. This is a heavy Imperial Stout. Nice mouthfeel. Overall this is a fantastic Imperial Stout and I'll be looking for this again. This is damn good.

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.

Photo of avalon07
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color a thick consistency. There was an inch of off white, foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A big smell of malt, chocolate, and coffee.

T: Tasted of chocolate, malt, some coffee (though not as much as in most stouts), and hint of vanilla. A well rounded, well made flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a surprisingly dry and smooth finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

D: This is a good, solid, drinkable stout.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep brown with a tan foamy head. Some good lacing.

Pine hoppy nose up front, and some coffee and dark roasted malt.

Man, another over-hopped imperial stout. They almost blew it. Pine up front, which almost dominates all other flavors. As that dissipates, you get coffee, molasses, bitter chocolate, a little fruit. The beer dries out to a mild and pleasant nondescript bitterness with some maltiness that is long as well. Alcohol isn't even noticed. A bit more hops and I'd dislike this. Just under the wire for my palate.

Full body, with just the right carbonation.

This is a sipper, rich and complex. Some of my bitches are my palate preferences, but I fairly balance out those issues with a nod to quality and effort by the brewer. A good example of the style. I'd never refuse this, and would have it again.

Photo of jhimstedt
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a bit of a surprise and an anomaly to me. Nice reddish color but no where near opaque, but then has a very creamy thick mouthfeel even if it's a bit overcarbonated to me. Nose is full of hops, but I think my bottle is pretty fresh. Little on the sweet side, but not cloying. Roast is a little subdued under the sweetness and dark fruit. Alcohol is very hidden and the beer is quite drinkable. Definitely recommended even though I still don't know what to think of it. Get you some.

Photo of capeannbass36
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured into a Samual Smith pint glass.
Very dark brown. Light brown 1/2 inch head.
S-Sweet coffee/chocolate
T-Bittersweet chocolate, light coffee, hint of smoke. Just doesn't taste anywhere near as good as it smells.
M-Light carbonation, fairly smooth.
D-Just doesn't do it for me. Expected a lot more.
Overall, looks good, smells good. Taste is not there for me.

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

Pours an inky black, dark and absorbing. It's topped with a fuzzy one-finger head of cream-colored foam that collapses slowly, leaving a very thin ring and some horizontal spatters of lace.

Lots of sweet darkness in the nose -- currants, chocolate liqueur, brandy, molasses, cocoa powder. Very nice.

The taste follows, with lots of bittersweet dark chocolate, oats, light roast coffee, a touch of sherry and currants. Nice and smooth.

Peppery medium carbonation (a bit too high for me) amidst a creamy medium body that fizzes up moderately as it moves about. The alcohol is noticeable a bit in the flavor, but not many more places.

Not a bad brew at all. The 10 percent alcohol is pretty subdued, the flavors are nice and complex. It all combines into a quality drinking experience. Good stuff.

Photo of Douglas14
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a super deep black color with a dark brown, rich head. The head sticks around for a good while. Some ruby and brown comes through the edges. The smell is of coffee, licorice roasty, bready notes, and bitter chocolate. Some hop aroma comes through the nose as well, which is nice. The taste is similar to the nose. Lots of bitterness from both hops and roasted malts. The beer has a nice layering of burnt, roasted, and toasted malts. The mouthfeel is full but possibly on the lighter side for a 10% beer, which, in my opinion, is awesome. Excellent beer.

Photo of d4114
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- Jet black, can see red on sides; 2 fingers of tan head.

S- At first you get strong coffee then some dark fruit; the alcohol come through quite a bit, smells like rum.

T- Coffee up front with some tobacco, bittersweet; You really taste the alcohol, its rum like the smell. the rum flavor really blends well with the other flavors to make a pretty good stout.

M- Left a grainy feeling in my mouth and there wasn't enough carbonation.

D- Pretty good for the abv and how much you taste the alcohol, goes down easy.

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes, 3-7-2011

Opened as a palate cleanser after cave creek chili beer (http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/677/38763/?ba=calbertb2)

A - Surprising amount of light comes through it. Dark with a medium head.

S - smoke, chocolate, dark fruits, roasty malts.

T - Roasted nuts, sweet chocolate and fruit.

M - thick, medium body.

D - decent, not bothersome, but not highly enjoyable.

Photo of OldIronLungs
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark caramel into my Duvel snifter with about a finger head that quickly dissipates - nice lacing left over however.

Smells of roasted malts and light coffee but a sip brings a nice creamy smooth mouth feel with light carbonation and some hope bitterness at the end. Oh and some of the booze is present at the finish since this is, in fact, Imperial.

Nice drinker, good mouth feel, a proper impy stout. Would love to try one with some age on it but I'd snag this guy again if I saw it.

Photo of brew3crew
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-disappointing for an imperial stout. Very light and maroon with a tan head that quickly disapates
S-small coffee smell along with lots of malt
T-very light bottle. Would have guessed this as a porter rather than anything else
M-medium bodied and smooth
D-very drinkable but a bad representation of the style. This is a porter. Deal with it

Photo of Urbancaver
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown. Looks fairly thin off the pour but very nice head. Smells very roasty and very malty. Tons of strong malts. Almost a hint of booziness as well. Tastes very roasted and strong. Lots of smoked malt flavours with some nice sweetness. Thicker mouthfeel than i was expecting given the appearance. Wll carbonated and fairly drinkable for a 10 percent beer

Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A HUGE thanks to GuruDel for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours into my Bruery Tulip with a dark chocolate color. About a finger of slight tan head is achieved that leaves some great lacing on the sides of the glass to be honest.

Smell - Immediately cocoa, dark chocolate, coffee, slight bitter hops, vanilla, and a hint of oak.

Taste - More roasted malts than anything up front. Slight coffee, more so cocoa and hints of vanilla. Nice flavor though I do prefer the Victory at Sea.

Mouthfeel - Rich, creamy, medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability - Easy to drink for such a big beer. If Victory at Sea wasn't available, I'd pick this up instead. Cheers!

Photo of sendsilk
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into my trusty "Crab House" pint glass. This cost $9.99 + tax so about $11. In Florida we have to pay handsomely to get this beer.

I have been waiting to try this one. This could totally go either way for me. I tried the Victory at Sea and hated it...too much coffee. Than I tried the Sculpin and loved it!

A- Looks great. takes a few seconds for the head to form but when it does, it comes on strong and large. At least 2 fingers tall with half the bottle poured into my pint glass.

S- Very strong and inviting. I can smell it from at least a foot away...smelling some coffee though. I hope I don't get a Victory at Sea surprise. Let's give her a whirl, shall we?

T- That's good. Not sure which way it would go. Very creamy, nice toasted malt flavors with SOME coffee but doesn't kill with it. The weird thing is the hops I taste are totally on the backend of this beer. I actually don't taste the hops until several seconds after I have swallowed it. Interesting.

M- Really great. Very creamy but not overdone.

D- If it wasn't so freaking expensive I could drink the shit out of these. At over $5 an 11 oz. glass, it's not doable too often. If I had a keg of this stuff, I would go apeshit for about a week with it.

Very nice Ballast Point, You've impressed me with 2 out of 3.

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

Opaque black with pale tan head. Sexy. Nose is appetizing with plenty of dark chocolate aromas, roasty notes, and a dark bready quality. Chocolate emerges on the palate but is somewhat dry, with a nice oat smoothness to it that is pleasing. Hops creep in towards the back and it finishes with a little kick to remind the drinker of its potency.

Photo of 100floods
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Surprised to see that I haven't reviewed with beer yet, so here we go.

Slowly opened the bottle to have a faint roasted aroma burst outwards. Pours a very dark, burn mahogany when put up to light. Faint tan lacing. Some sweet but dark malt aromas.

Earthy, dark and roasted flavors are immediately apparent. It almost tastes a little woody, too, probably from the hops. A faint touch of alcohol warmth. Piney hops in after taste. Hidden notes of vanilla and chocolate, molasses? This drinks more like an oatmeal stout than an imperial. Despite that, this beer still tastes good. Definitely a good batch o' stout. Definitely deserving of letting this one breath, and maybe let it age for 6 months to smooth out some of the edges. Definitely not as rough as beers of its size, just in need of a little mellowing.

Photo of silentjay
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark brown with some mahogany, but settles almost black with a cascading mocha head that retains and laces well.

vanilla, cacao, black coffee, pretty standard for an Imperial Stout. nice, though.

dark roasted malts bring plenty of cacao, dark black coffee, a bit of vanilla, molasses, dark caramel, and lots of piney woody hops on the swallow and some cacao powder and tobacco on the finish.

almost full-bodied and creamy with an abundance of carbonation.

drinks rather well... kind of toned down compared to many of today's over-the-top imperial stouts, but thats a welcome change every now and then.

Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,438 ratings.