Sea Monster Imperial Stout
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Sea Monster Imperial StoutSea Monster Imperial Stout
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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #2,115
Ranked #5,976
4.04 | pDev: 9.9%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Sea Monster Imperial StoutSea Monster Imperial Stout
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 523 | Ratings: 1,888 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Sigmund from Norway

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bottle, Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is10.0%. Black colour, large tan head. Pleasant aroma of roast malts, oats, chocolate and mild coffee, hints of fruity hops. Roasty flavour, notes of roasted barley, strong coffee, dark bitter chocolate, liquorice, hints of fruity hops, moderate bittering hops.

Dec 14, 2020
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From old, undated notes. Poured from the bottle.

Black liquid.

Tan head; strong lace.

Black licorice & pepper nose; hint of booze.

Thick mouthfeel.

Black licorice & pepper flavor.

Creamy but not to my taste.

Sep 15, 2019
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iguanodon from Utah

4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber. Pours opaque dark brown with a thin brown head. Aroma is molasses, roasted malt, chocolate. Taste is sweet caramel, malt, chocolate, coffee, a hint of booze. Excellent imperial stout.

Jan 21, 2019
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csmrx7 from Canada (AB)

3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This is a good Imperial Stout. Heavy on the bitterness and a real taste of.dark chocolate. Not.of the faint of heart and pretty one dimensional in flavor.compared to a lot of what is out there these days.

Oct 16, 2018
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Franziskaner from Missouri

3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black in color with a fingernail of brown around the rim and all but a smidgen of the top. No light seeps through this dark brew. The aroma is of oatmeal, dark malt, black licorice, and a hint of smoke. I'm tasting dark roasted barley with a light smokiness. There's also some piney hops and black licorice. The mouth is creamy and smooth.

May 29, 2018
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LampertLand from Canada (BC)

3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ballast Point Brewing 'Sea Monster Imperial Stout' @ 10.0% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $12.50
A-pour is a dark cola brown from the bottle to an almost black in the glass with a medium size light tan head leaving a spotty lace film along the snifter
T-roasted coffee , bitter dark chocolate swallow
MF-decent carbonation , feels full bodied , easily consumed beer
Ov-this beer didn't last long , might half to revisit later
prost LampertLand

Mar 10, 2018
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Hackattack from Indiana

4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is really good as, or better than any, or all of the top shelf stouts you can find anywhere...... I wish I could get this on a regular basis. Like this, all of what I have had from this outfit has been consistently good.

Jan 03, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a nice looking black color with a slim finger’s worth of white to off white foamy head that quickly dissipated leaving some light clingy lacing. The smell had a sweet cocoa to sticky licorice, light roast of coffee and an ample amount of anise settling nicely underneath my nose. The taste was mainly sweet and roasty. A light vanilla did help to balance out. An even-ed out delicate delivery of balanced vanilla licorice boozy aftertaste lead to a semi - sweet and wet finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sipping quality about it. Carbonation, what carbonation, is it there? Not really, but for the style and age, I’m not worried. It’s good stuff. Overall, I say this was a pretty good D/IS that I would have again.

Jun 16, 2017
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stlfatguy from Missouri

4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Black with thick brown/tan head. Smell is chocolate, black jelly beans, and taste is chocolate malty goodness. Feel is AWESOME. Smooth, milky, tHick, outstanDing. A little alcohol warming.

Jun 16, 2017
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Suds from Missouri

3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a large bottle, this brew is essentially black, with a tan head. The aroma is toasty, with a slightly burnt, almost charcoal aroma. Licorice. The taste is balanced, with intense bitterness....roasted grain, coffee, and peppery hops. Full flavor and creamy texture. Excellent.

Mar 10, 2017
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AndrewMichael from Virginia

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle share, poured into stemmed glass. Great roasted malt flavor, some lingering bitterness. L: Black color. S: Roasty. T: Pleasant roastiness. F: Medium body. O: Outstanding.

Feb 11, 2017
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hoptheology from South Dakota

2.62/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Dark color with almost no head

Aroma of cappuccino and espresso, roast malts, milk chocolate, oats.

Metallic flavor profile with odd bubble gummy flavors, roast malts, metallic oats...licking a bloody steel knife.

Feel is moot at this point. Roasty. Whatever.

This was an absolute gut wrenching, goosebump-inducing, total drain pour of a beer. One of the worst Imperial Stouts ever.

Feb 04, 2017
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captaincoffee from Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ballast Point Miramar. Pours nearly black with a small dark head that lasts a while. Nose is more chocolate than burnt./roast barley, and has a nice whiff of coffee as well. Taste is on the mellow side, with rounded roast and coffee flavors rather than anything that stands out and slaps you in the face. Overall, a good imperial stout, but maybe not memorable. Would like to try a BA version of this for sure.

Jan 23, 2017
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the_awesometeer from California

4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer is thick and black. A very thin dark brown head that disappeared. The beer has a nice smokey and coffee aroma to it. The roasted malts give of the smell of dark chocolate. The beer has a burnt flavor with chocolate and coffee. It has a creaminess to it as well. Feels very think as you drink it.

Nov 07, 2016
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Rogerlb from California

3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours thick and black, yet there is some light coming through at the edges. Lacing is nowhere -- a moonscape of bubbles remains after a careful pour along and near the rim.

Aroma is underwhelming; coffee and some malt. Taste is surprisingly hoppy and malty. Burnt and smoky licorice. And a sweet currant taste is in there, different than the chocolate cherries I was expecting. Old coffee, wet cigar, cheap caramel from Halloween. Chewy and dank.

Quite a RIS, it's a monster all right and I'm not exactly enjoying it but it does what it's supposed to do. 10% is present and you can feel it.

Oct 04, 2016
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jooler from California

3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

look is good, smell is of coffee and bourbon. taste is coffee but aftertaste is flat and bland. no follow up with the wave of coffee notes. i was expecting aloft more.

Sep 24, 2016
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NEdward from Rhode Island

3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

finger cream head of lose bubbles that mostly disappears soon after pouring. dark body. smell is a vague malt sweetness. immediate homogeneous bitterness, declines without complication. more carbonation than I was expecting. body profile is watery. mild bitter finish.

not very notable.

Jul 27, 2016
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beefy RIS pours a deep coal black with an excellent head of brown foam in a pint
glass that settles to a thick fluffy layer with very nice sudsy lacing. Nose of dark roasted
coffee, dark cocoa, deeply roasted malts, medium to strong notes of char, and subtle dark fruit.
Flavors follow the nose with notes of cocoa and deeply roasted and long standing java that
has lingered in a pot on high heat for a long time on the middle and back, cocoa falls off on
the sides of the taste with strong char flowing over the taste masking all other flavors other
than the bittering hop that presents itself on the aft of the taste. Nice mouth feel, full and
lightly warming with medium carbonation.


Roast lovers TAKE NOTE! This one hits all the marks of a DEEPLY roasted RIS.


Jul 26, 2016
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to Snifter. Aroma: Coffee. Toasted grains. Appearance: Dark black , medium white head, oily sheen after head fades. Taste: alcohol, burnt toast, Not great....The Ballast Point IPA (sculpin) is better, and its rare that i would prefer any IPA to a stout.


22oz Bottle to coffee mug...being discreet at a family pool in Absecon.

LOOK:Dark black, creamy tan head.
AROMA: roasted malt.
TASTE: roasted malt, notes of coffee, nutty.
FEEL: creamy, smooooooooth.

A nice creamy, tasty stout. Different in some ways, but almost on par with Victory at Sea. Better than I rated 18 months earlier.

Jul 11, 2016
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tillmac62 from South Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BOD 355/15. Pitch black pour. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

Outstanding light nose of baker's chocolate, roast, molasses and a hint of dark fruit (plum, currant).

Medium body that is smooth but lacks any hint of being creamy. A bit under carbonated for the body but has a fairly effervescent middle and the finish approaches prickly.

The flavor profile is outstanding...especially as it approaches room temperature. The flavor is slightly blended throughout, but separation occurs in the middle and beyond. It begins with a blend of coffee and roast that flows to the middle. Here a rather sweet molasses and caramel take center stage with bitter chocolate playing a supporting role. Hops appear as well adding another layer of complexity and a mild bitterness. Underneath, dark fruit (plum and light currant) gain strength and briefly rise to the surface, as a sea monster should. As the finish approaches, the 10% alcohol rears its head in terms of heat and light astringency. The finish is a slow slightly sweet fade of molasses that succumbs to grain alcohol flavor and astringency.

Jul 01, 2016
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ordybill from Georgia

4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 OZ bomber into a pint glass. Pure black color with a rich tan to brown head. smooth taste heavy with malt and chocolate. The high ABV is noticeable but blends well with the flavor.

Jun 26, 2016
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mntlover from Tennessee

3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black but some deep ruby highlights when held to the light. Small brown head falls quickly and leaves some light lace.

Aroma is roasted malts good doses of chocolate and coffee. Some light vinous fruity notes and light hop notes. Pretty basic big Stout notes nothing extra ordinary.

Taste is like the nose roasted malts, chocolate mainly with some coffee. Light fruit notes maybe some licorice hints. Overall a pretty basic Imperial stout nothing great but good.

Mouthfeel is only a big medium not quite full but medium level carbonation makes it feel nice.

Overall a good big stout but not as good as there IPA's sadly, still drinkable though just not something one would search out.

Jun 17, 2016
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

look: Very dark brown. Some cola highlights peek around the edges when held to light.
smell: bittersweet chocolate. Coffee albeit coffee with sugar and cream.
taste: the ciharacterteristics of the nose are there but also a modest but pervasive bitterness. Nice stout but no monster here, domesticated pet maybe.

Jun 11, 2016
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KYGunner from Kentucky

3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Absolutely gorgeous pour that sets up an eternal frothy head. Flavors start with bitter chocolate, lactose cream, roasted malts, coffee char and embers. Some hop bitterness at the end. Easy to drink and the priced right.

Jun 11, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick ass black stout. If you wanna look for it you can find the deepest brown as part of the contingency. Aroma is just all burnt malt. All of it.

Taste drops a massive amount of two row and chocolate malt along with a hefty dose of hops. Big time. There is not much nuance here. Its good. Not as good as Victory at Sea. This one feels a little more like a Russian Imperial Stout with its increase in bitterness, burnt and dark fruit notes.

Its a good beer, but I'd rather have so many other things from this brewery, even in the same category.

May 29, 2016
Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1888 ratings