Sea Monster Imperial Stout | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
512 Reviews
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Sea Monster Imperial StoutSea Monster Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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.

Added by OlieIPA on 11-28-2008

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Reviews: 512 | Ratings: 1,850
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 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 Yes, Ballast Point sent me beer after I had outdated Sculpin.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 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 OStrungT
4.97/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours an inky black color, with a very thin brown head. The head fades quickly, leaving no lace.

This beer smells of chocolate. I can detect some coffee also. Very sweet caramel malt is present in the aroma. It has a nice roasted malt aroma as well.

This beer tastes like it smells. Great. Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts. There is very little hop flavor presnet. Just a healthy dose of hops.

This beer is full bodied. It goes down smooth, leaving a chocolate aftertaste. Carbonation is pretty low.

This beer would make a decent session beer. The alcohol content is a little high, but the flavor is great and would be good to drink all night long.

Overall: This beer is great. It may be the best thing I have ever had from Balast Point. Its almost perfect.

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
4.85/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass.

A - 4.75 - Pours an oily jet black color. Nice head potential, forms a finger and a half to two fingers of dark tan to light brown colored head. Good head retention, pretty solid lacing as well.
S - 4.75 - Raisins, plums, figs and prunes, light touch of alcohol, bittersweet chocolate, currants, star anise, fennel, licorice and a light herbal, medicinal nose. Almost in the vein of a Russian styled imperial stout.
T - 5 - Awesome. A stout that seems to focus more on the dark fruits and chocolate than the coffee. Lightly smoked malt upfront, prunes and currants, fennel, licorice and medicinal herbal tastes, bittersweet chocolate finish.
F - 4.75 - Nice creamy medium/full mouthfeel.
O - 4.75 - Excellent imperial stout. One of the better I've had in a long while. Worth noting I drank exactly one year passed the "best by" date on the bottle and it tasted PHENOMENAL so, don't let it intimidate you if you plan to cellar this one, I did, and the results were worth it!

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Photo of Tom8Analise
4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So far, easily in our top 3 favorite beers of all time...extremely full bodied flavor with very well balanced flavor notes of oatmeal, chocolate, and coffe...very rich and one of the smoothest I've had yet...very excited to share it with some of my good friends but only have (1) left so I plan on aging it for a little while before we crack it open...

Hope you enjoy it just as much as we did!

Tom and Analise

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Photo of scottoale
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
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!

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Photo of elNopalero
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This pours from the tap a thick black cocoa color with a great aroma dominated by cocoa nib notes. So tasty too, with this essence of cocoa mixing and playing nice with the roasty notes. Smooth and thick, this flavor can last for days. This is a tasty one.

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Photo of mobrado
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very good (and quite hoppy) when fresh, but absolutely divine when aged for a year or two (or three). Smooth, but intense dark chocolate and coffee notes for a stout without additives. Exceptional mouthfeel. Criminally underrated. I don't understand the modest ratings for this at all. I think it's much better (and less boozy) than Rasputin and on par with Yeti and Expedition.

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Photo of NickMunford
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured into a tulip style glass. Pours pitch black with a creamy cappuccino like head. The head has moderate retention and leaves just as moderate lacing.

S - Smells amazing. Roasty malt. Strong dark chocolate laced espresso or coffee. Some minor alcohol hints in the background.

T - Tastes as good as it smells. You get all the flavors that you could smell, plus a minor hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste.

M - Thick and smooth.

D - Extremely drinkable. I think this would be one of my top 5 "desert island" beers.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.71/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark brown in color with virtually no head or lacing. Smells of bittersweet chocolate, coco, and booze. No carbonation to speak of with this mostly full bodied brew. Tastes of chocolate, burnt wood, booze, and maybe a little coffee. Overall, a pretty good stout.

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Photo of adkirkish
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Chocolate, toffee and bourbon notes that warmed to espresso
A: Pours black with a ¼ " tan head which quickly dissipated, no lacing.
F: Espresso and coffee upfront, burnt roasted malt and chocolate make up the rest of the flavor which is wonderful. I didn't get any Hop Bitterness in the taste. The Espresso and Chocolate are in complete domination of the flavor profile.
M: The mouthfeel is thick, full bodied, and little carbonation.
O: This is a should have/must have in my book. If you are a fan of dark and sweet stouts, this is your money. Highly suggested if you find it: buy it, age it, drink it. Be sure to first sip cool, and let it warm so you can experience the full flavor profile.

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Photo of sendsilk
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into my trusty "Crab House" pint glass. This cost $9.99 + tax so about $11. In Florida we have to pay handsomely to get this beer.

I have been waiting to try this one. This could totally go either way for me. I tried the Victory at Sea and hated it...too much coffee. Than I tried the Sculpin and loved it!

A- Looks great. takes a few seconds for the head to form but when it does, it comes on strong and large. At least 2 fingers tall with half the bottle poured into my pint glass.

S- Very strong and inviting. I can smell it from at least a foot away...smelling some coffee though. I hope I don't get a Victory at Sea surprise. Let's give her a whirl, shall we?

T- That's good. Not sure which way it would go. Very creamy, nice toasted malt flavors with SOME coffee but doesn't kill with it. The weird thing is the hops I taste are totally on the backend of this beer. I actually don't taste the hops until several seconds after I have swallowed it. Interesting.

M- Really great. Very creamy but not overdone.

D- If it wasn't so freaking expensive I could drink the shit out of these. At over $5 an 11 oz. glass, it's not doable too often. If I had a keg of this stuff, I would go apeshit for about a week with it.

Very nice Ballast Point, You've impressed me with 2 out of 3.

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Photo of rallison
4.59/5  rDev +15%
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.

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Photo of ccrida
4.59/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber (cellared 1 year), Sea Monster is a blackish brown with a tan head that leaves scattered foamy lace.

Smell is sweet, red wine and caramel. Crazy depth, I really love it, like a BSDA.

Taste is strong, big bakers chocolate, but also very vinous, tasting older then the year I've had it (bought it at a beer store in San Fransisco so I suppose it could have been sitting for a while). Tannic as well, although it wasn't barrel aged AFAIK. Reading teh able, I just saw that their description of currant, and that is very accurate. This really tastes like a Belgian stout, which I love.

Mouthfeel is very slick, medium light bodied, with the viscosity being a bit ephemeral.

Drinkability is good, this is a super tasty stout, a bit unusual though do due the sweet dark red and black fruits. It's so rich that it's a bit slow drinking in a satisfying kind of way, but it's light bodied and very smooth. Aged very well, great beer.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. What head there is melts away to thin layer of small bubbles, with leggy slow-falling lace. Aroma is roasty dark malt, anise, and alcohol. Taste stays the course of the nose, with alcohol peeking through at the close. Mouthfeel is velvet smooth, and drinkability is WAY too easy for 10%. Find it, try it.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my 2006 Strong Beer Month snifter.
Mocha head...bright bubbly and jet black in appearance.
Very unique aroma for an IS...freaking love it! Sweet chocolate, hot booze, candy hops and blueberry. Bright front end of chocolate and yummy hops. Sticky at times in the middle. Hops very prevalant in the complaints here. Roasty creamy middle, juicy berry-hoppy chocolate finish. Semi-dry finish. Dangerously drinkable for a 10% IS. Alcohol very well hidden.

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Photo of ordybill
4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

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Photo of ERRL710
4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best by 02/14/14 served in my snifter

A- Deep and dark with quickly dissipating head in a beautiful light mocha head.

S- Roasted malts, dark fruits, espresso, some chocolate, with alcohol on the tail end.

T- Just as the nose. Starts off with dark fruits but quickly settles into a nice espresso slightly hopped bitterness. I also get a nice mocha flavor on the caboose of this as well. Alcohol is well hidden, but blends perfectly with the minuet amount of hops in this beer.

Over all delicious, first glass is almost down after this review, drinks quick, and sits nice. Highly recommend for any stout lover. Nice intro to Imp stouts if you haven't danced before.

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Photo of phrimplepoot
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely sensational. I am surprised by the "very good" rating on this one. But, I'm a sucker for balls-to-the-wall stouts. And, at 10 ABV I can barely taste the booziness. I love it. Love it, love it, love it.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Oblivion in Orlando. Poured into a snifter, pours a dark black color with a tan colored head. The taste and aroma is dark and roasty with a substantial amount of hops to balance things out. Very similar to a Victory Storm King in my opinion. Very tasty and definitely recommended! Cheers!

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Photo of GehenHerzog
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Pours a deep black with a finger tan head.

S- Smells of fresh coffee and vanilla. Little bit of roasted malt

T- Tastes of sweet chocolate malt and a nice coffee bitterness in the end. Very balanced. A sweet beer but not overly done. Some coffee and chocolate sweetness that keeps this one balanced

M- Thick and creamy.

D- Very drinkable. Even at 10% it is not noticeable.

Nice to finally get to try this beer and I was more impressed than I expected going into it.

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Photo of Totalpackage411
4.51/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is a very smooth Stout, not too overpowering. The oatmeal flavor definitely stands out and gives this beer a delightful taste. I highly recommend this beer if you like Stouts or any dark beer.

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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 TexIndy
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip. No dating info on the bottle but we had Milt pick this up at the brewery about a week after the release so there are fresh. Color was black in the center with mahogany edges when against the light. It had a large tan head that settled into a good collar and central foam. Great sheeting with some sticking.

The aroma was excellent. Coffee, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate and just a bit of the alcohol. I like the coffee choice in this one. The taste was also excellent and matched the aroma with the roasted coffee and malt up-front with the chocolate hitting later on. Sweet from the malt to balance out the bitterness. Good balance. Dangerously drinkable at 10%. Mouthfeel was full and creamy. Good carbonation and sweetened coffee after-taste.

Overall, an excellent imperial stout and another excellent offering from Ballast Point. Very highly recommend. Hits both the imp stout and coffee beer buttons for me. Avail/Rot: not available here in TX so had Milt ship me some. If here, would be couple per release. As-is will be in the shipping schedule. Need to get some and cellar and see what happens. [R;Y;cellar]

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Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,850 ratings.
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