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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

1,438 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,438
Reviews: 445
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 122
Gots: 266 | 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 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 TheCorkStopsHere
3.05/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A fairly limited release here on the east coast, I grabbed a bottle as soon as I saw it. Looks good, nice and dark. Plenty of roasted malts, but nothing too bold or intense. For lack of a better term, it's just kinda thin I think.

I'll give it another try in the future, but for now my review is just "meh"

Photo of irs
3.08/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just not what I would expect from this FANTASTIC brewer, especially when Victory at Sea was so amazing. You'd think their imperial porter would be the imperial stout's little brother, but its hard to believe these two even came from the same mother. Maybe this bottle just didn't get treated right?
It starts off right, head is nice, thick. There is no color, just light absorbing blackness. But there isn't much nose, its ok, but not what I would expect, boozy, dark chocolate and coffee, but thinner than I would expect. Same for the mouthfeel and taste. And there is a bitter astringency in the aftertaste that I don't like, nor expect in a big impy. Not that this feels as big as it should either. Overall, I would say this was a good accomplishment if it came from a less accomplished brewer, but this is among the weaker of Ballast Point's offerings.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.1/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Liberty Tap House. Review from notes.

A: The beer was dark brown/black with a very small tan head on top with decent retention. Not much lacing though.

S: Surprisingly hoppy, lots of pine and a bit of citrus. Underneath there was a little bit of chocolate and roast, but the hops dominated the aroma.

T: Again, very hoppy. Too much so for my taste in an imperial stout. They dominate the flavor profile and mask anything else present. Was able to detect a bit of roast and chocolate, but very faint in comparison.

M: Medium bodied, but slightly thin for an imperial. Moderate carbonation.

O: A bit of a let down, too hoppy for my liking, but I guess that isn't entirely surprisingly looking at Ballast's other offerings.

Photo of dmbsteve
3.1/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours black with a thin light brown head that dissipates quickly. Not much lacing to speak of.
S-smells of dark fruits and sweet malts. Some roasty notes too.
T-alcohol up front. Bittersweet chocolate. Not very complex tasting.
M-low carbonation. Sticky and syrupy, but not super thick body.
O-Dissapointing. A couple other Ballast Point brews I've had gave me high hopes for this one. I would not buy this again. Bummer.

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.

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 nhindian
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a Cantillon wine glass. Bottle generously provided as an extra by thagr81us in the 'Nice Piece of Glass CIF', thanks a lot Calton!

A - A very fitting name for this beer, as this beer is darker than the depths of the ocean and I can imagine some blind creatures swimming around in this, much like what is depicted on the label. A contrasting light tan head floats effortlessly on top of the liquid, about 2 finger's in height and with pretty good retention. Lacing is also decent as well, with some generous silk lace coating the glass.

S - The smell is interesting, acrid coffee roast and bitter chocolate make up the bulk of the nose, with some alcohol hiding in back as well. This beer is pure malt from beginning to end, and it definitely warns of its presence. There's some charred ash as well.

T - Well, the taste definitely continues where the nose leaves off, with a ton of burnt espresso and bitter baker's chocolate. There's some darker fruits here as well, and the alcohol coats them heavily. The char lingers here as well. It ends with a lot of bitter roastiness and alcohol. There's a noticeable woodiness in the finish, as if some earthy nuts are coming through. Unlike the nose, there are some hops in the finish, which could be contributing to that earthiness.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy-bodied with good carbonation. Honestly it feels pretty good in the mouth, until the aftertaste comes along and deposits the burnt and char notes. Those combined with the alcohol really do a number on the palate.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. This is a beer that takes some getting used to and it will definitely snag you if you aren't careful. The chocolate flavor in this is really well done, but the burnt notes are a distraction to me. Compound that with an almost solvent alcohol taste and it hurts this beer.

Photo of corby112
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest hint of lighter color when held to a light source. Frothy 1.5 finger chocolate coffee colored head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.

Roasted malty aroma with hints of bitter sweet dark chocolate, toffee, roasted coffee, oatmeal, alcohol and subtle hops. Slightly toasty with some subtle dark fruit notes.

Pretty carbonated up front with a chewy viscous mouthfeel. Very roasty with lots of silky chocolate malts, roasted coffee bean, oatmeal, licorice, toffee and alcohol. A bit too hoppy for my preference with a very strong alcohol warmth. This beer is kind of all over the place and the high ABV is not very well masked. Decent but not what I was expecting.

Photo of marvin213
3.2/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark, as in black, contrasts with an almost white, kinda marshmellowy head. Its got a hop bite for so dark a stout, and the coffee's like the end of a long-sitting pot of coffee. It's tough for me to juxtapose this--a kind of creamy, burnt coffee stout with a hop linger--against the super delish (but outstandingly vanilla-ey) Victory at Sea. Perhaps it's not fair, but this one doesn't hold a candle to that one. It's okay, but a relative letdown.

Photo of slackattack
3.2/5  rDev -20.4%
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...

Photo of butters_mcgee
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of hinemk76
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of Eagles1331
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of golf4collet
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of Hopstout
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of bcm75
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of TubaDan
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of 2beerdogs
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of ADTaber
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of bulletrain76
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, thanks to larryLSB for bringing this from home to DC. Black with a small tan head. Light roast, oatmeal, and sweet malt aroma. Sweet, with rich dark chocolate and fruit; a bit sugary with an almost vegetal oat quality. Creamy and full, but a bit sticky as well. Decent, but definitely not as good as the other stouts of the night, and not as good as the former version.

Photo of bamadog
3.28/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up about a year and a half ago while on a trip to Boone, NC. Review is from notes taken on 8/17/2012 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour, looks a touch thin on the pour; color is deep and dark coffee brown, near black; starts with a full one finger, dark tan and creamy looking head that fades to a thin, uneven and nearly; body is dark, pretty much opaque;

Smell: A tad weak, not what I would expect from an "Imperial Stout..." It's got some nice roastiness going on in there and bit of a bitter, piny hoppiness, just not big and robust with a lot of warm chocolate malts -- smells more like a porter.

Taste: Taste is better than the smell lets on, so that's positive; has a nice earthy and roasty bitterness, like expresso beans, and there is; piny hoppiness is in there as well, with perhaps a touch of citric acid; the nice bonus is that there is some chocolate in there; overall, if it was a porter, I'd probably give it a better score. Alas, it's posing as an Imperial Stout.... so that's going to bring that down a little bit.

Mouthfeel: This beer has some ups and downs to it, but mouth is solid -- pretty creamy, body leaves a little weight to be desired; a moderate; there is a nice coating left behind, it's semi dry and a bit sticky on the teeth.

Overall: I give it a B, but it's a generous B.

Photo of Chaney
3.28/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Special thanks to SamuelJackson45 for sending this one to me in an awesome trade!

I split this with my wife because I thought it would be right up here wheelhouse.

A: Black as night, with a slightly whiter than I expected slight head that retained itself throughout the session.

S: Mild puffs of coffee and cotton. The bittersweet chocolate came through once I really started to search for it.

T: Hoppy! Hell, was there a DIPA buried in there somewhere! Seriously, this thing was pretty bitter.... almost like biting into unsweetened baker's chocolate. This was one roasty, charred mama jama! Bone-suckingly dry on the finish and with a massive ABV wallop!

M: Thick, thick, thick! The lacing was ridiculous and the booze was definitely detectable and then some. The carbonation was fine and prickly for this style.

O: I'm not sure if I will be able to endure another session of this one again, however, I'm glad I got to try it. The second hoppiest IS I've ever tasted... right behind Storm King.

Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black Color brown highlights. Faint nose of chocolate and coffee. Mild charcoal and licorice. Faint nail polish.

Much lighter than expected and highly carbonated. Lots of chocolate sweetness throughout especially upfront. Faint caramel as well as a very subdued smokiness. Dark fruits come out as the beer warms. Black coffee and hop bitterness provide good balance. Mildly tannic. Medium body.

Well crafted and a good beer but doesn't stand out amongst the crowd. Could benefit from a bigger and creamier body. Liking the tanning quality though.

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