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Sea Monster Imperial Stout - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sea Monster Imperial StoutSea Monster Imperial Stout

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1,512 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,512
Reviews: 464
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 126
Gots: 292 | FT: 16
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,512 | Reviews: 464 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ADZA
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a dark as night black hue with decent caarbonation that leaves behind a creamy two finger head that stays and leaves sporadic lacing,the smell is boozy alcohol,chocolate,dark milky coffee and resiny hops,it has a medium bodied well carbonated smooth mouthfeel and has tastes of chocolate,smooth oak aged bourbon,black coffee and piney,resiny hops,and overall its a nice drop that hides its high ABV of 10% very well and a beautiful example of the style cheers.

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

Pours a solid black color with a huge fluffy off white head that shows remarkable staying power. Smells of chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel, earthy hops, and a touch of alcohol. Tastes of coffee and chocolate as expected. Dark caramel, citrus hops, and alcohol battle for supporting roles. Ashy roast and citrus bitterness leave there mark on my taste buds long after every sip. Surprisingly thin body really surprised me, I was expecting much more than this one delivers. Oily chocolate type mouthfeel with a medium to low level of carbonation. Very flavorful brew that I quite enjoyed, but this really could use a bit more body.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a classic deep Ebony colour with a creamy tanned head that retains well

S - Not much but some small hops and malts

T - Very nice flavours of Vanilla, Chocolate and Coffee. Roasten malts present with some nice hops too.

M - Full body and low to medium carbonation.

O - This is a very smooth impy stout with plenty on offer.

Photo of adman08
4.14/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Minimal head, almost black in color.
S-Aromas of coffee, malt, chocolate and a hint of smoke.
T-Chocolate flavor is apparent along with coffee and a bit of smoke. Some hop bitterness as well. A hint of malt flavor and a hint of bourbon probably due to the high alcohol.
M-Thick, rich, creamy, very smooth. Very fine carbonation.
Overall an excellent version of an imperial stout. Not too sweet with good flavors of coffee and chocolate. The high alcohol is obvious in the taste but it goes down very smooth.

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

Near black color but I can detect light through the brew. Modest, but lasting head. Leaves some blanket lace.

Burnt toast and biscuits are the main smells. There is background touch of hop bitterness. Light cream, too.

The flavor is less harsh than the smell might suggest. There is an element of alcohol and hop in the swallow. The body is moderate. The carbonation is as expected. The alcohol is hidden. The finish is bitter and is composed of black patent malt and mild peppery hop.

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

Remember having a version of this beer a couple of years ago. It was at stone and served out of a small wooden barrel. Dont think it was 10% but the taste was phenomenal. A true desert beer. This probably won't measure up to that memory, but wanted to share that first experience with the monster.

Nearly pitch black with low carbonation. Thin tan head doesn't last too long but leaves a nice bit of lacing. Imposing.

Nice chocolate / cocoa aroma. Very mellow without begin soft. A bit of malty roast rounds things out. Surprising lack of alcohol for such a big abv beer.

Strong malt roastiness with a bit of sea monster sharpness about it. Nice coffee and chocolate character gives it some connection to a standard stout which this is anything but. Very much the bigger angrier brother. Not uglier in the least though. Real interesting character, nice robust finish gives this a bit of an edge putting it squarely in the imperial category.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth and light for such a big beer. Goes down pretty light but still carries the flavors well.

As expected it doesn't live up to the memory of that first meeting. Still though, this is a nice impy stout. A bit of a different take with the sharp almost tart flavor, but very enjoyable.

Photo of JoshVandy
3.05/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

650mL bottle shared with Emmaus217 on April 24, 2011.

A- Poured vigorously into a Bruery snifter. A thin dark brown body that turns to a black in the glass with a 2 fingered light tan head. Decent lacing.

S- Hops and alcohol find my nose first, followed closely by a nice chocolate and roasted malt undertone.

T- Hops make their presence known here as well, with a chocolate and roasted malt mid section, followed by dark fruits and a touch of alcohol heat at the end. Tastes a lot like a more mellow Night Stalker, which isn't a bad thing, just different.

M- A little thin in the mouth with a decent amount of carbonation. Surprisingly creamy given the thin body.

O- A decent, hoppy imperial stout from Ballast Point, though a bit one dimensional from a taste a smell perspective. The alcohol is more noticeable than I like in my stouts as well.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 4/16/2011 at Armsby Abbey in Worcester served in an over-sized wine glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and touches of dark fruit and hops.

T: The taste starts out with a creamy hearty roasted malt character and sweet flavors of milk chocolate and dark fruit. There’s a mild touch of hops that creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a nice big stout that is worth drinking for a long time.

Photo of nrbw23
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black color with a nice creamy light brown head. Head is gone pretty quick and leaves no lacing.

S- Smells of smoked barley, charcoal, bitter chocolate and roasted coffee.

T- Roasted barely comes back nice and strong in the taste, chocolate and coffee. A touch of hop bitterness and a bit of a nutty finish.

M- Just a tad bit on the fuller side of medium with low carbonation.

O- A very nice brew. I'd drink this one again with no problem.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

split 3 ways with some friends; poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Black body with a brown head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Smells like a nice imperial stout with some hops going on in the background. chocolate malts and coffee roastiness. Earthy hops.

Taste: this beer is roasty and bitter. Moderate bitterness from a combination of the maltiness and hops bitterness. Not really balanced, but it not out of line either. The hops don't overpower the malts and vice versa. An earthy and slight citris hop flavor, with a moderate hop bitterness that caries throughout the beer.

Mouthfeel: Full body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is a very solid beer, but not what i expected. Maybe a bit more balance between hops and malts would make this beer better. I still enjoyed the beer.

Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Dark brown almost black color with a nice coffee head. Tan lacing occurs and sticks around the glass afterwards.

S - Lots of hops (more evident from other stouts I've had) with a good amount of malts & coffee. Some chocolate is lingering in there too.

T - Hops, coffee and malts are all there and I can taste the alcohol a bit as well. Little chocolate on the finish but not much.

M - A crisp feel to it with some slight bitterness on the finish.

O - A different stout with a more hop taste and scent from what I'm use to seeing from stouts. Not a bad monster at all. :)

Photo of fastsrt
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce pour in a tulip

A: deep brown, almost black, creamy beige head, sticky lace.

S: roasted malts, hops,

T: roasted malts, fresh hops result in quite a bitter bite. Good beer I like the balance between hops and malts,

M: lighter feeling than ballast points imperial porter good carbonation, lingering bitterness.

O: unique stout not as rich and thick as most, but more refreshing, I like this beer, if your looking for a hoppy stout try this fresh.

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

Thanks Dan for sharing this one. Poured a dark brown/black with a brown head that disapated quickly. Aroma of malt, coffee, and chocolate. Taste didn't disapoint: coffee, chocolate, malt, with just a mild hop bitterness. Definitely a good stout; will seek this one out.

Photo of smakawhat
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A nice three finger soapy head with various sizes of bubbles. Falls at a slow pace. Body color is a dark brown walnut very close to black. Looks pretty good.

Good mix of malt and roast coffee, hints of tonic carbon dioxide gas and molasses.

Sweet and prickly is the first thing I get. Fruity currant finish and spiced hops. Licorice and many other things in the palate, bittersweet chocolate, molasess, coffee. Very complex tasting really interesting.

I real dig this there's a lot going on here for taste and flavor, it's kind of all over the place but this is a near stout!

Photo of BretSikkink
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pleasing mahogany color with just a glimmer of highlighting. Head leaps up magnificently and sticks hard, leaving an ecru-colored network of rings. Superb look.

Strong aroma with a pleasing profile. This is a balanced effort, with coffee and chocolate fighting it out. There's a nice sweetness of cocoa powder that asserts itself against a strong backbone of espresso.

The flavor has a concomitant profile, mainly the roasted malts up front, but with a solid backing performance by C-hops. Good old San Diego. Bitterness is balanced nicely by the sweetness. Further notes include a little caramel, dark fruit, and herbal hopping.

Slightly shy of medium in the body, lightly creamy with the full carbonation. Eminently drinkable - keep an eye on how quickly the glass runs out! Great beer, yet another from Ballast Point.

Photo of beer2day
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black pour with no head and very light lace.

Dry roast coffee with cocoa underneath define the nose.

Creamy smooth chocolate malt hits first, light roast coffee follow, with a smooth dry finish. Light hop presence in the end. Very little indication of the abv.

Body is right on for the style.

Goes down way too easy.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber I picked up at the brewery in San Diego, I poured this beast into a pint glass. It pours with a viscous look to it, coming out a dark amber-brown color that compounds into a deep almost-black when the glass is full. Pours with a healthy 1.5 inch head of chocolate milk coloring that slowly settles into a film as you consume. Great body, as almost the entire glass is laced. Nose is roast coffee and smoke, with dark molasses and meaty characteristics, as well. Smokiness throughtout the taste characteristics, which is fantastic! Dark flavors of coffee bean and cocoa nib also lend themselves to the flavor. Booze not overly present despite the higher ABV. Body is full, rich, and round, but tails off into a crisp, dry, and slightly bitter finish. Very pleasant darkly sweet aftertaste makes this an easy drinker for a bigger beer. I could easily get in trouble with this one!

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a Ballast Point pint glass...

A - Pours a deep brown with a one finger tan head on an aggressive pour. Head dissipates at a fairly hasty pace, but there is a little lacing to be had...

S - Dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and a hoppy aroma...

T - Dark roasted malts and coffe up front followed by bitter chocolate and a hint of vanilla. A smooth floral hop presense finishes this one off. Good, but not great. Would have perfered a little less hop presense and a little more sweet chocolate...

M - A little light for the style, but really smooth. Was hoping for a more silky viscous mouthfeel. Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation...

O - Would definitely recommend this one to someone who likes a hop presense in there Impy/Double Stouts. A decent brew, but Victory at Sea is hands down a superior beer in my opinion. Would be interested to try the BA verison of this...


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

Lots of thanks go out to beerman4 for adding this in an extra!

A: Black in color with a nicely sized light brown head from a hard pour. Not a lot of retention or lacing.

S: Surprised to smell the amount of hops I'm getting from this one. Sweet chocolate and roasted malts lay in the background, with on overlaying coffee, but really hops dominate the smell.

T: Sweet chocolate start the taste off. Next up is a big wave of citrus hops, almost like a punch in the face. That recedes to some roastiness and coffee. Bit of booziness throughout.

MF: Nice and heavy with decent carbonation. Very dry with a bit of creaminess to it.

O: This is a good beer, but not great for the style. The tastes are strong and intricate, but it leaves a strange taste in your mouth and isn't phenomenally well balanced.

Photo of flannelman808
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

first bottle Ive seen in 2011 ...

A: Very dark brown and very deep and opaque. A little tinge of orange ochre peeks through. Topped with a very well formed light tan colored head which leaves lacing all over the glass (in lines like and excavation cite). medium small bubbles are uniform across the field, looks like lots of carbonation.

S: Dark chocolate and kaffir lime leaf. A mild light roasted coffee bean finishes off the air.

T: Bitter cacao nibs and 75% Dark chocolate meet a zesty hint of citrus (hops) ... I'm thinking lime still, but lemon as well and oh yeah, current is what I'm tasting! Awesome! Overall this badboy is a bitter finishing if that hasn't been clear so far. Though obviously a 10% Imperial Stout has been made with a ton of malt to back it up. Big rich chocolaty XHOU ZAM!!!

M: Oily and heavy.

O: Great stuff, there is no doubt about it! Even better price at I think $7.49.

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

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Peabody's Wine and Beer Merchants (Boone, NC) for $9.29.

A: Murky brown-black with 2-finger thick, craggy head with good retention and a winding row of lace.

S: Aggressive roasted barley character, strong citrus hops, bitter dark chocolate, black coffee, and some caramel notes as well.

T: The flavor is very bitter but still very enjoyable, with the bitterness coming form roasted barley, chocolate, and citrus hops flavors. Coffee is a minor player. Licorice sneaks in with the finish and aftertaste. The dry, roasted quality is the strongest component. Alcohol flashes in the finish as well.

M: A tad thin for the style with medium carbonation and a bit chalky for its dryness.

O: I enjoyed the unapologetically robust roasted barley character of this brew combining with a big dose of hops bitterness to produce a really nice imperial stout. The licorice and chocolate notes add another layer of complexity. I wish the mouthfeel was a big bigger and less dry, but the package is still a really nice beer.

Photo of uturn
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz capped bottle poured into a De Struise Brouwers glass.

A: This beer poured a near black with a fluffy 2 finger tan head which hung around until I was half way finished with my glass and left a minimal lacing on the glass.

S: The nose was all coffee, chocolate and roasted malts.

T: The taste initial tasted reminded me of a Kahlua and Cream as the rich thick sweetness of this oatmeal stout and the coffee hit me first. Then the chocolate kicked in and this beer morphed into a delicious mocha drink, delicious!

M: This beer had a medium to think creamy mouthfeel which was silky on the tongue.

This beer is a great as an after dinner drink and the 10% abv was very well hidden. I'm looking forward to having this one again!

This beer has been sitting in my cellar for well over a year. Most of the bitterness from the hops in this beer has disappeared and the coffee notes have mellowed a bit. In my opinion I liked this brew aged better than fresh. As a result I upgraded my Overall Opinion a notch.

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

Black with a dark tan cap of fine bubbles. Good head retention, lots of lacing - solid sheets near the top, more spotty as my glass was drained. Tons of roast in the aroma, coffee and toffee, some char and bitter chocolate, hint of licorice. Quite sweet, lots of caramel and toffee, bittersweet chocolate, mild leafy hops. Pretty tasty. Lingering bitterness and roasted malts. Carbonation was very fine, but there was quite a bit of it - less would have been better. Mild astringency, full but not heavy body, a little lighter than I expected.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Russian River Goblet. Current batch

Pours a super black with a very nice thick foamy oatmeal stout head. Lacing coating the glass.

Aroma of coffee, roast and a bit of caramel. Smells great.

Taste is very roasty. Wish it had a bit more caramel flavor and a little more sweetness. Not bad though. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is creamy. Smooth.

Overall a tasty brew. Would buy it again for sure and if I couldn't buy it I would have traded for it.

Photo of Tucquan
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,512 ratings.