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Sea Monster Imperial Stout - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sea Monster Imperial StoutSea Monster Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

474 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 474
Hads: 1,659
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 18.55%
Wants: 147
Gots: 355 | FT: 15
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 474 | Hads: 1,659
Photo of SD-Alefan
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A two-year-old bomber poured into a snifter.
Pours opaque black with a thin, medium-tan head and some spotty lacing.
The aroma is very nice, lots of coffee, licorice, dark fruit and perhaps, even a hint of berry.
What a great tasting stout. Lots of big roast coffee flavor with molasses and chocolate. Some raisin and fruitiness as it warmed a bit and even a touch of bitter hops. And, there is a little warming booziness as well.
Mouthfeel is wonderful, smooth and creamy and still a touch of carbonation.
Overall, a really top-notch stout.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. Bomber into a snifter, 2010 vintage, so it's almost 5 years old now (consumed on new year's eve 2014).
It pours black, but it's not as dark and/or thick as some of those super stouts made by the likes of Evil Twin, Avery, etc.
Before I start sipping I've gotta give it a smell to give me an idea of what I'm in for. Suprisingly the overall aroma was very mild with no specific smell standing out above the rest. This probably has to do more with the age on the beer as opposed to the beer itself.
Now for the most important aspect: taste!! And boy does this one deliver! Up front you get a good combo of cocoa and a little coffee. The texture is excellent, very smooth but not like drinking motor oil as can tend to be the case with some stouts. Once you swallow you get hit with some dark malt and are left with hops on the finish. I was surprised that even after 4+ years the hop taste is still strong (not a bad thing!). Balance is usually a word I reserve to describe my favorite IPA's, but this is truly one of the most balanced imperial stouts I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. Age doesn't hurt it, so if you see it on a shelf near you don't miss out!

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Photo of LouZ
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle; poured black with a thin line of head. Aroma was definitely coffee. Taste is distinctly black coffee with a hint of bitter chocolate. There is a hop presence that adds to the dry, bitter finish. Feel is carbonated and balanced; not as much body as other big stouts I've had lately but not too thin. This is a very nice coffee stout if that is what you are in the mood for.

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Photo of HawkFalco
2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

Tasted: Dec 14, 2014
Purchased: Dec. 10 2014
22 oz. bottle shared

Poured room temperature into a half pint glass. Shared bottle.

Poured black, little light to be seen about the edges. Formed a lovely mocha colored head which lingered.

Tastes: Smooth roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate, turns to nice hoppy bite at rear sides of tongue but then succumbs to harsh burnt, bitter coffee that lasts and lasts. As the beer warmed the flavors opened up nicely but the dry after taste continued.

Feels smooth, not much body. Finish is a lasting bitter desert dry. Is this the high alcohol ?

The overly strong lingering burnt bitterness in the mouth killed it for me. If I was poured this as a guest I wouldn’t rudely turn it away but I’d make sure there was food handy for mouth relief. My friend loved it. I won’t buy it again.

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Photo of jellikit
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Appearance: black. Deep Amber with ruby hues if held to light. Super thin, light-brown head with tiny bubbles.
Smell: coffee. Fig.
Taste: coffee. Chocolate. Raisin. Booze.
Mouthfeel: low carbonation. Big body. Sweet, but not too sweet.
Overall: balanced very well. Not too boozy. Malty but not too roasty. Well done.

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Photo of Boto
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber: This one pours an inky, very dark brown color. There was just a touch of a brown head that didn’t linger long. Getting lots of aromas in there. Chocolate, some coffee, a bit of vanilla, maybe some dark fruits too. The taste is very good. Chocolate, some roastiness, vanilla, maybe some raisin as well as other fruits. It has a very silky mouth-feel to it. Very Nice!

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Photo of daveg36
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Just an awesome stout. Awesome. Incredibly smooth, and no hint of alcohol at 10.2% which is an amazing feat. Please pick this up if you can find it. It will be well worth it to you.

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Photo of richj1970
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter. Bottled dated 14057.

A: Pours pitch black with a long lasting 2-3 finger tan head leaving nice sticky lacing.

S: Roasted malts, cocoa nibs, and vanilla.

T: Big roasted flavors up front. Bittersweet chocolate and a hint of vanilla.

M: Full bodied but on the lighter side for an imperial stout.

O: Very nice. Easy drinking with the big roasty flavors that you expect from an imperial stout.

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Photo of DaveHopSculp
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Awesome beer. If more people knew about this, and actually consumed it, it would definitely be a top 50 brew. Unbelievably smooth and well balanced, incredibly drinkable for 10% ABV. A top 5, world class imperial stout on this planet.

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Photo of pat61
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%

Nose: fruit – prune, raisins, some roast and a hint of chocolate at the attack.
Pours deep, deep brilliant brown, under a 1/2" tan head
A big roast coffee palate up with an initial sweetness front backed by bittersweet chocolate highlighted by creamy smoothness. In the finish there is some hop bitterness hiding behind the roast and bittersweet chocolate. Lingering roast and bittersweet chocolate.
Very creamy, chewy, fine carbonation. Warming.

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Photo of hardy008
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Pours black with a two finger tan head. The aroma has dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and some dark fruit.

the taste is much like the smell. There is a large amount of both sweetness and bitterness with dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, dark fruit, licorice, and hop bitterness at the end.

full bodied with below average carbonation. Rich and creamy. The only thing that I can find as a negative is a long bitter aftertaste, from the roasted malt and hops. a good beer to be sure, but not as good as the best in the style.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%

2013 bottle, poured into a pint glass

A- pours a nearly opaque jet black color with a small creamy khaki colored head that reduces to a thin film, leaving no lace behind

S- roasted malt aroma gives notes of burnt toast & earthy/herbal coffee, sweet aromas of toffee/dark chocolate kick in mid-palate, dark berries/black currants with a hint of vinous character 3.75

T- sweet up front, with flavors of heavy cream and caramel, also picking up a fruity currant sweetness. Roasty notes kick in with flavors of charcoal, coffee and burnt bread. The finish gives more notes of sweet berry/currant with notes of red wine 4

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a super creamy mouthfeel and a smooth finish that hides the alcohol very well 4.25

O- nice mix of dark fruit and roasty notes that is incredibly drinkable for 10%, perhaps the age has mellowed it out a bit 4

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
2.84/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sea Monster is a Imperial Stout and is my second beer i have tried from Ballast Brewing with Sculpin being the first.Poured it into my 20 oz Firestone glass and its very Jet black in color.I gotta tell you this was not one of my Favorite stouts.At 10.0 ABV it is very respectible but the taste just did not get it for me.When you compare this to Stones Imperial Russion Stout it`s not even close.It is truely a very odd flavor.The reason I tried this was because of the rating on Beer Advocate.Just goes to show everyone has different taste buds.Keep on Rockin from the Motley Drunk.

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Photo of slackattack
3.21/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber down the middle to nonic. Black, initial 1/2 inch head that dwindled to a film that hung around and left some wet spotty lacing. Nose is unspectacular. Some toasty malts and alcohol. Please don't disappoint me beloved Ballast Point. First taste is alcohol in your face. Actually tastes like much more than the 10% that it is. There's dark chocolate and toasted malts that are definitely there, but the alcohol is way more there. Good hop bitterness, but the alcohol, did I say the alcohol. Damn. Letting this warm.... As it warms it opens up a little but the alcohol is still dominant. Probably won't go here again...

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Photo of Powderhornphil
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black of course. Light penetrates at the edges. Thin layer of khahi head. Not the most ominous of stouts but looks nice.

Aroma is deeply roasted malt. Bitter espresso and hops.

In the taste the deep roast is apparent. Long bitter finish with hops and coffee. Dark fruits also evident but not dominant.

Coating mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation

Nice year round stout offering.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Black pour with a 2 finger tan head. The head has nice dense bubbles that are all uniform. The head recedes slowly and does not last for the whole drink.

S: Bold smell of alcohol. The alcohol is the strongest note in the aroma. There are also roasted malt notes.

T: Follows the nose with an alcohol forward taste. The mid-palate has hints of chocolate and mild vanilla. There is also a tannin type feel/taste.

M: Nice coating feeling. Heavy feeling like you'd expect for an oatmeal stout. Very nice overall feel with low carbonation.

O: It's a sipper where the alcohol is not masked - it is right up front. I couldn't drink more than one of these in a session.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Not quite black. Beaded head.

S - Chocolatey nose.

T - Bitter burned flavours. Burnt malt. Soy sauce. Metalliic aftertaste, very much like the iron taste you get from blood. Lacks toffee, maple or chocoalte to round out the palate.

M - Not super creamy but at least it's not lightweight.

O - Doesn't particularly do anything wrong but lacks depth. Its decent but unremarkable.

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Photo of dave39
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sent to me by Ballast Point itself! Yes, Ballast Point sent me beer after I had outdated Sculpin. This was the last of it, and AWESOME. They sent me 2 six packs of Sculpin and this in bomber form. Amazing beer.

I don't usually like stouts. Loathe Guinness and others that are too heavy for my taste. This was awesome!!

Warm inviting chocolate, coffee tones upon opening.

Taste is SO SMOOTH. Extremely drinkable and tasty. This beer in their line-up doesn't get the publicity of Sculpin, but it is just as great in it's own way. Get some. Do yourself a favor. Great beer.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A new entry to the Minnesota market. And a cold spell in April feels like the perfect time for a stout. Tasted 18 April 2014.

Pours black and thick. Half-finger of medium-tan head, dense. Good retention and lacing. Lovely.

Smell is rich, potent, and chocolatey. Has a fluffy sweetness behind that, reminds me of oats or lactose. Nice.

Taste is really good, though not quite on the level of the smell. The character of the smell is there, but there's also a sharp pinch of bitterness and char.

Feel is outstanding. Chewy and thick, but fluffy. The carbonation is like fuzz, bringing a gentle buzz to things, making the flavors dance. Perhaps the best texture in a stout that I've encountered.

This is my kind of stout. Thick, rich, and flavorful, with sweetness and chocolate backed by full, chewy roasts. Yum.

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Photo of itsscience
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black in color with no reddening around the edges and a finger of coffee colored head. The nose has a roasted malt character that takes on coffee and burnt toast notes, plus strong alcohol and a hint of dark fruit. It has a dark chocolate taste with char, coffee, berries, grapes, and bitter hops on the back end. There's a burning sensation from the alcohol, which is 10% by volume and very much apparent in the beer. It may not sound like it all works together, but it does. Goes down silky with a medium body.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In review is a 2011 vintage.

A - Pitch black pour with a roasted toffee colored head that's thick, creamy, and sticky.

S - Dark roasted chocolate, light toffee notes, some char, faint alcohol, and coffee cream.

T - Dark chocolate/roasted dark chocolate, dark fruit, bitter molasses, some black licorice, coffee cream, and alcohol - the alcohol, presence isn't as noticeable in the nose as it is on the palate. Nice lingering roasted dark chocolate bitterness on the finish.

M - Medium body with borderline velvet texture on the tongue.

O - Held up incredibly well for a 2011, would be interesting to compare to a more recent bottle to compare the two. Overall, nicely done!

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Photo of kdahnke123
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottling poured into a snifter.
A - Dark brown pour with a 2F head that very slowly dissipates to a cream colored lacing.
S - A rich malty smell a balanced amount of hops and hints of chocolate.
T - A balanced integrated flavor of roasted malt and medium hops.
M - Very smooth, with medium carbonation.
O - A very nice creamy stout. No edge to this one, just nice and smooth.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoy by 02/08/2014 printed on the label

A: A black beer showing some deep garnet highlights on the edge. The head looks like the crema on a freshly brewed, well made expresso with deep rich browns and creamy, compact bubbles. The head fades to a ring around the glass after a minute and leave a light lacing.

S: Licorice, roast and lots of dark fruit with a medium alcohol sweetness. Some chocolate with a moderate malt sweetness.

T: Roast and caramel malt sweetness at moderately-high levels. There is a slight charcoal to burnt sugar note with some roasted malt bitterness as well. A medium-high malt bitterness and some alcohol countering the malt sweetness but balance the beer is tilted slightly towards the sweet side of things. The finish is off-sweet with a lingering roast flavor.

M: Full bodied and warm from the alcohol with a medium level of carbonations.

O: The taste is right up there with so of the best Stouts I've had with rich, layers of dark flavors. This will definitely help one shake of a chill on a cold March's night. The alcohol is a bit propionate in the flavor profile but it's in balance with the other strong flavors and not out of place for the style.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Roar!" ...ok, sea monsters can't yell. But if they could they would. They would be greatly demonstrative with their attitude, their appearance, and their character- should I be scared to approach this beer?

Sea Monster opens up with the standard "stout" appearance. Deep and darken brown- appearing espresso-black through the middle. Its onyx color carries a dense blanket of tarnish foam that easily endures the session, shedding with lacing rings at each sip.

Its bold roast aromas once again harks to espresso- its earthen roast, burnt toast, grilled nuts and fruit are all supported with the scent of singed toffee and mild smoky chocolate. As the stout breathes, it releases subtle vinous nuances in the form of grape, dark berry and currant along with a spicy rum note.

Its taste leads with caramel, vanilla and heavy whipping cream for a sweeter start up. As the roast, charred toast, espresso, walnut and bittersweet chocolate folds in, the middle palate becomes sultry and robust. Its trailing fruit taste seems of grilled blackcurrant, grape and blackberry as the spicy alcohols carry- again a rummy finish with a long roasty-sweet aftertaste.

Full and smooth, the beer's body is creamy like malted milkshake. Its carbonation woven tightly into it lingering sweetness for a silky and velvety feel. Its roasty-bitter finish dries the palate and is assisted by alcohol warmth and trailing sweetness.

Sea Monster is rather a sea pup- It talks a big game, but is at its heart a friendly and endearing stout with a sweet side.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber enjoy by 2/22/14 at 50 degrees into goblet
Aroma of roasted malt, slight coffee tinge
Head small (2 cm), light brown, creamy, mostly diminishing
Lacing ok – reticulum
Body black, opaque
Flavor begins with roasted malt with slight coffee taste and hints of vanilla
A slight alcohol burn is present. No hops, no diacetyl, no oat smoothness
Palate is medium, slightly creamy, soft carbonation

Pretty well meets the type criteria.
Not a bad beer but will probably mellow with aging. Could not tell that it was supposed to be an oatmeal stout. Would buy again to age.

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Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.