1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

1,297 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,297
Reviews: 435
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 104
Gots: 229 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1226-1250 | 1251-1275 | 1276-1300  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,297 | Reviews: 435 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of number1bum


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

Got this one from my buddy BeerTruth. Thanks dude.

Pours out black with a big and billowing tan head which makes for a slow pour. Head is pretty thick and creamy. Retains a pretty solid lace and leaves a ton of stick on the sides.

Smells of chocolate and coffee and some roasted/toasted malt. There is a whiff of fruity hops in there, too. Different, but enticing.

Tastes like it smells, with a pleasant chocolaty sweetness, some coffee and a good dose of fruity hop flavor. I'm surprised at how prominent the hops are, but pleasantly surprised I must say. Through the finish there is more prominent bitterness which is espresso-like as well as roasty malt-ish.

Mouthfeel is a bit more than medium-bodied yet feels light in the mouth. Smooth and an easy drinker.

This is lighter and hoppier than I expected, but it's pretty solid and tasty. It's finally starting to warm up outside so I'm not sure I wanted a big, heavy stout today anyway. The prominence of the hops make me think it's more like a porter, but it was tasty so who cares what the style is.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2008 22:28:30 | More by number1bum
Photo of warmstorage


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

22 ounce bottle, from BevMo in Mission Valley, San Diego.

Appearance: Deep inky black, with a medium brown head that maintains and leaves a thick curtain of lacing.

Aroma: roasty toasty and slightly sweet.

Taste: big roasty robust stout, a little creosote, distinct bitterness but not in a hop pronounced sort of way. Full and thick and roasty, like a big stout should be.

Mouth: Thick and full and slightly slick. Nice for the style.

Overall: Not necessarily all it's been cracked up to be, but well worth drinking, and something I'd probably buy again given an opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2008 06:14:02 | More by warmstorage
Photo of tpd975


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

A: Pours deep dark black, with a creamy head, ample retention, with spotty lacing.

S: Weak scents. Touches of malt and a tad of cocoa.

T: Flavors not at all big and bold. Nice oatmeal malts with tinges of chocolate and coffee.

M: Smooth yet flat, needs more body.

D: So so, not a favorite of mine.

Overall: Ballast Point is grossly underated as a brewer, but this is not their best offering. Glad I had a chance to try but once is enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2008 21:27:41 | More by tpd975
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

I was very anxious to try this one for sure. I had seen a bit about it for a week or so before I finally just sucked it up and ordered me a couple to try it out. Well that was a while ago, and one has been sitting in my fridge ever since. I finally decided last night to crack it open and see what was going on. Pulled it out of the fridge and let this great looking twenty-two ounce bomber warm up to around 50 degrees before serving it inside my fluted Brooklyn pint glass.

A - Poured into my glass a very deep dark brown, essentially black with a very light bit of dark brown color showing up around the sides and the bottom of the glass, giving it just the slightest bit of brown coloration to it. Did not look terribly thick on the pour, as sometimes with a big stout you will see it appear as though it is sludge like in the glass, however this was not the case on this one. A very nice and large chocolate brown colored head rose up over the top to a height of around three inches. After a minute of so this had settled down nicely and what was left was a nice thing pillow of lace across the top about a half-inch high, which stayed with it throughout the session. Very nice side glass presentation as well. Thick webs of brown dripping down the sides throughout the session. Overall a very nice looking glass of beer here, not the thick oil like monsters you see sometimes, but rather a little bit lighter, but still black as night.

S - The aroma was a little shocking at first as there is a good amount of bittering agent in here, and it was picked up on by me right away. Lots of bitter dark chocolate coming through on here, along with a good deal of licorice in the smell. Deep roasted coffee now coming through as well, really pushing to the forefront here and dominating the aroma full on. It was really quite full, and was morphing in and out f several different styles at times. Really quite interesting. Io started to pick u lots of roasted malts now, even a touch of smoke coming through as well. Finally, as it was almost near room temperature you could start to detect the slightest bit of grassy hops now. Really quite complex, but to b honest, the smell reminded me more of a Baltic Porter then an Imperial Stout, but the aroma was still quite pleasing.

T - The flavor was very interesting, and I have to admit just a touch off. I have been trying lots of stouts lately, and most of the big ones have come across my table in the last month or two, so I was really expecting a good deal from this one, however to me, it just seemed to have fell a touch flat. It was a really good Baltic Porter in my opinion. The first flavor to come across was a rich bitter coffee flavor, very un-sweet. This was laced with a good bit of bakers chocolate, really darkening it up and giving it a touch of the richness of the chocolate, but still staying quite bitter now. There was a touch of hops in here as well, really pushing through towards the end and coming across clear as day, which is not really what I would want from a big stout. No taste of alcohol in here at all, none, which is quite nice. There was a touch of an off wood like flavor, but not too strong and this was wiped out again with a good touch of coffee to finish it off. Now this was not the nice sweet coffee like flavors you would see in a coffee or oatmeal stout, this was a rich bitter , black espresso type of flavor. Overall, it was ok, but I am not blown away by this at all.

M - The feel was a little thin to me to be honest. Not as full bodied, as I would have liked to have seen in a stout, rather it was much more like a porter then anything else. Had a very nice carbonation profile and the flavors were rich enough, it just seemed to be lacking a touch in the thickness. I really wish it could have come off a bit fuller as it really would have made all the difference here and kept this one from being a bit more then ordinary to something that could have really stood out.

D - As far as the drink ability of this one, here I would have to say it was outstanding. Really, a very easy drinker that one could easily throw down more then one bottle of in a sitting with ease. There was just this really nice light quality to it, no obvious alcohol content and a really vibrant profile in the flavor. I would have liked to have had another bottle next to it as I easily could have hit this one as well.

Overall, I would have to say this one was not half bad at all. Now don't get me wrong there are much better double stouts out there, but this does have a bit of a charm to it, a little bit extra that the others perhaps just did not have. I would have liked to have seen this one be a little fuller as I feel that the thinness in the profile really hurt it a bit, however other then that I would say to go out and give this one a try, and it would be worth it.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2008 16:09:37 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

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

Thanks to mikesgroove for this bottle.

a - pours black with a two-finger tan head, not much retention or lacing

s - bittersweet chocolate and deeply roasted malt dominate, some black cherry and other dark fruits, hints of alcohol

t - bittersweet chocolate and cherry up front, burnt malt and more chocolate on the midpalate, evolves into a more prominent bitterness on finish with substantial dryness, not much alcohol on the palate

m - medium-bodied, not too full, even with the oatmeal, moderate carbonation, finish is pretty dry

d - somewhat drinkable for an impy stout, the alcohol is not overwhelming at all, but the finish is pretty dry

Pretty good impy stout overall. Nothing outstanding, but well above average. Well worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2008 04:39:07 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of Wasatch


4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Bitterbill for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a Squatters true pint glass a nice clean/clear dark brown color, very nice carbonation, very nice one-finger plus creamy tan head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slight roast, big on toffee/chocolate/caramel. The taste is slightly sweet at first, very nice malt profile, there's a slight roastyness to this brew, with some big tones of toffee/chocolate/caramel. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very smooth drinking. Very drinkable, one of the best Double/Imperial Stout's I've had to date, highly recommended. Thanks Bill for sending one my way.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 19:21:47 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Imstillthegman


4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Solomon420 for this bomber...received as part of the NABBIF.

Wow! I think I saw some demons fly out of the bottle when I poured this one. Dark as sin. Black as the lungs of a coal miner who smoked two packs a day for the last fifty years. No light can penetrate this bad boy...like the depths of the ocean where this Sea Monster lives. Two fingers of dark caramel colored head float on top. Lacing rings the top of the glass reminding me of the jagged rocky cliffs over looking the ocean. By the way, this one is dark, just incase you don't know already.

The aroma is a roasty blend of coffee, and chocolate malts. There is a hint of burnt wood lingering in the background.

The flavor consists of bitter, black coffee; dark chocolate, sweet milk chocolate, then more coffee. I also get just the slightest taste of oak at the finish.

Very smooth and creamy full bodied brew. A tad drying in the aftertaste, but that just makes me want more. The taste combined with the not-too-high abv makes this one pretty darn drinkable to me. Thanks, Damian, for this great beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2008 01:00:42 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of m1ked


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

I love the BP Robust series. They have stopped bottling these already, so if you see a bottle better grab it! Next in the series is the Sculpin.

A- Dark, opaque blackness....darker than the center of your eye. Rimmed with a coffee corona.

S- Woody, smokey, coffee, rich dark chocolate

T- A little bitter upfront. Closely followed by a wave of rich dark chocolate, coffee cooked over a campfire, with a touch of fig. Long lasting smoked wood in your mouth.

M- Surprisingly thin, yet coats the mouth.

D- Most enjoyable...I love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2008 03:42:31 | More by m1ked
Photo of d0ggnate


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

Shared a bottle with friends last night during a stout tasting session. This was the most crittically acclaimed bottle of the bunch.

A: Shown brown/black with close to no head.
S: Hinted smushed raisins and brown sugar.
T: Very rich and boasted its coffee flavors.
M: The complexity lingers on your palate. My mouth salavated for more.

I found the Sea Monster to be a wonderful beer. Delicious after dinner, one beer kind of drink. I can't wait to cellar a few bottles and see what may come.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 01:53:44 | More by d0ggnate
Photo of tonistruth


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

A-near black, doesn't produce anything I'd call a head but a ring of deep brown foam remains at all times

S- roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee

T- roasted malts, oats, and dark chocolate sum up the flavors of this stout, strong and tasty aftertaste, chocolate has hints of richness and theres some lingering coffee flavors

M- full, smooth, and somewhat creamy....maybe a bit over carbonated

D- simply delicious, some age will probably do this brew well, i don't have any real complaints here, solid offering, recommended

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2008 08:05:41 | More by tonistruth
Photo of aromatorio


4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle from South Bay (woo Joey). Poured into the usual (pint glass).

Apparently I don't have very good taste, because I liked the Mephistopheles from Avery, and I liked this one too. Again, I ended up drinking this with some dark chocolate as a nightcap.

It poured ok, with maybe a finger worth of head, loose creamy consistency, didn't last long. Aroma wasn't as frightening as the Mephistopheles, was actually pretty faint. I would have preferred a bit more of a bouquet.

Taste, for me, was good. It was a little more earthen than I would have cared for - a little heavy on a nutty, espresso taste, but it finished well. Hops were barely detectable. Feel was pretty thin.

I will confess that after drinking it, I picked up another bottle at the La Jolla BevMo. I would recommend this, but don't break the beer bank if you can't find it easily.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2008 22:31:52 | More by aromatorio
Photo of BeerTruth


3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a complete onyx black with a huge three finger fluffy mocha colored head that takes a good while to die down. Stickiness is amazing, lots of thick webbing on the sides. Smell is a very light wood scent with a hint of citric hops. A faint floral aroma makes an unwanted appearence. Chocolate, caramel, and toasted oat are pretty weak in the nose but there. A good Folger's presence all over. I just don't understand the smell of this one. Wow, taste is very coffee-ish. Fresh french roast flavor that is quickly taken over by a dusty hop bite. Smokey roasted barley with dark chocolate in the mix as well. Just not enough sweetness to call this an oatmeal stout. Medium body with a slick and smooth feel. Subdued carbonation throughout. This beer is all over the place, not enough balance IMO.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2008 05:43:35 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of Overlord


3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a big fan of Ballast Point (particularly Big Eye IPA, Black Marlin Porter, and Double Dorado), and I may be hurting the trade value of my other bottle of this, but I was fairly disappointed.

Pours a nice black with bubbly dark brown on the edges. Decently thick mouthfeel. Carbonated more than most stouts.

Smells, and tastes, most strongly of coffee and roasted malt. It's bitter coffee, and there isn't much chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, or anything else really to sit it off. The strong coffee-ness became offputting after a while.

I've had some great stouts over the last few months, and this really didn't measure up.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2008 04:45:12 | More by Overlord
Photo of t0rin0


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

I had never heard of this stuff before I tried it the other day. It poured a very black color, no light or other colors showing. The head was almost brown and it was thick and creamy while it lasted. The smell was mostly of coffee and dark malts but there was a slight chocolatey sweetness present.

The flavor was surprisingly smooth. I mean, most of the Ballast Point beers are just alright. Most of the flavor was similar to the aroma but there was a slightly different chocolate/coffee balance. Not real heavy on the bitterness. Overall, a very good smooth drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 21:53:20 | More by t0rin0
Photo of sfoley333


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

Poured from 22oz bottle into New Belgium snifter. Poured a dark midnight black, might be the same black found at the bottom of the sea but for sure its pretty black( you get the point). The head was a tan mocha color that was full and thick for a minute and then was gone with a slight residue left over. Smell is coffee, roasted malt, and a hint of coco. Taste is coffee, chocolate, small amount of alcohol but hiden very well. Mouthfeel is dry full body with not as much thickness as other imperial stouts. But for a dark sea monster this is a really easy to drink and enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 09:23:28 | More by sfoley333
Photo of Halcyondays


3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle, purchased from Vin de Pays, in Long Beach, CA

A: Pours black, with a full creamy tan head, with good retention, limited lacing though.

S: Strong scents of roasted malt and coffee.

T: There is a strong coffee flavour on the first sip which melds into a flavour of dark chocolate bars. A nice flavour, but kind of 1-dimensional for a Double Stout, actually tastes a lot more like an Irish Dry Stout to me.

M: Smooth, creamy, lacking in richness which I usually find in this style, but overall, not bad.

D: A good stout, but in the end didn't really find anything special about it to make me spend $8 on another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2008 19:19:24 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Bitterbill


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

I purchased this bottle from South Bay Drugs & Liquor. Thanks Joey!

This beer pours from 22oz bottle a pitch black with a nice 2 finger head of tannish foam. It's a very appealing sight in my Sam Adams glass.

The smell is very sweet. I'm getting a big caramel malt nose along with some chocolate and some roasted malt.

The taste...Yummy. Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and all are there in ridiculously high abundance. The more I sip on it, the more I notice the coffee and roasted malt flavour. This is a very compelling Imperial Stout to drink. The relatively low abv for the style really helps when it comes to drinkability. It has a medium to medium full mouthfeel and it's fairly lightly carbonated. The finish has an ever so pleasing mix of coffee and chocolate that you *just* don't want to see end.

This is the my first experience with a Ballast Point brew and oh, I just noticed that the label says it is 8%bv. The alcohol is hidden *very* well. This is a winner in my book and if you're a fan of coffee and chocolate in an American Double/Imperial Stout, I can only recommend it highly. This is damn good stuff!

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 18:50:59 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of seaoflament


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

Pours a few shades darker than milk chocolate with a great two fingers of foam. Foam takes its time to settle down to a thin layer, leaving some traces of bubbles clinging to the glass.

Aromas of roasted coffee, toast, chocolate malts, nutty aromas like hazelnut, malted milk, oats, and slightly spicy hops. Smells like a chocolate milkshake with some coffee and toffee.

Taste has some oats upfront, a bit of granola followed quickly by the chocolate malts and coffee. Almost all of the aromas are present in the taste, the nutty flavors and malted milk as well as sweet chocolate and finishing slightly bitter and medium dry with some more coffee.

Mouthfeel is very good almost a 4.5 but it finishes just a little thin. Surprisingly easy to drink at 8% almost a stout one could have for breakfast.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 04:01:15 | More by seaoflament
Photo of Stoneman78


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On CASK at O'Brien's
A- Dark red to deep brown hue, 1/2 finger of tan smooth head, mild lacing
S- Sweet espresso aroma, earthy/floral hops, tones of dark chocolate
T- Initial taste is espresso coffee malts, roast malts, nice mix of sweet and bitterness, hops, fruits and berries come through midway, finishes bitter coffee
M- Light/medium-bodied, watery texture, minimal carbonation
D- Smooth and easy-drinking imperial stout, nice balance of roast coffee malts and bitter hops, this is one great stout and I am looking forward to picking up some bottles very soon!

Serving type: cask

12-12-2007 05:16:08 | More by Stoneman78
Photo of rallison


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

Freshly bottled - from the new Robust Series of special releases. Bottled version is listed at 8%.

Pours a tasty dark brown/black (mostly black with brown at the edges). Nice 1 finger tan head that subsides to a touch of lacing.

Smells of coffee. Then more coffee. Then lots of chocolate and roasted malts. This thing smells delicious.

Initial taste I find quite pleasing - this really is an imperial oatmeal/coffee stout. I get a lot of coffee flavors here. A fair bit of roastiness is also present. The oats add a wonderful component here - they help to smooth out what might have otherwise turned into too sharp of a beer. This gives it a creamy chocolate flavor/mouthfeel which I find quite excellent. They definitely pulled this one off.

Mouthfeel, as stated, is rather creamy. Wonderful. Drinkability is also exceptional.

Highly recommended. If their subsequent Robust Series releases stay this good, I will be picking every one up.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2007 05:21:40 | More by rallison
Photo of sleazo

New York

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

On tap at Obriens Looks like a guiness. It smells very clean, withsome malt hitting you as well. First sip hits you with the choclate then some bready malt and nice west coast hop for a decent aftertaste. Creamy mouthfeel.

This is an above average stout. The alcohol is hidden well enough that you can knock back more than a few.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-22-2007 19:05:44 | More by sleazo
Photo of scottoale


4.83/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Have had a lot of this one lately at O'Brien's and at the BP Brewery. Especially tasty and creamy deliscious on nitro, it pours out black with a beautiful cascading head that swells to a thick and creamish head of cocoa one finger plus.

Smells strong of dark roasted coffee and bitter-sweet chocolate, through and through. Very dark and roasty with some sweetness.

Tastes very much as it smells...reminds me of Speedway Stout with a nice fresh coffee appeal, full and rich with a cream froth topping

Very tasty and super easy to drink...I highly recommend this elegant rich stout with no compromise, flavor worth savoring and a mild ABV that's satisfying as well. Cheers!

Serving type: nitro-tap

01-30-2007 00:46:33 | More by scottoale
« first ‹ prev | 1226-1250 | 1251-1275 | 1276-1300  | next › last »
Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,297 ratings.