Sea Monster Imperial Stout | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Sea Monster Imperial StoutSea Monster Imperial Stout
1,873 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,873 |  Reviews: 517
Photo of spoonhawk
2/5  rDev -50.2%

Photo of blee0891
2/5  rDev -50.2%

Photo of Bradmartin
2/5  rDev -50.2%

Photo of CubsJedi
2.15/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Taking votes to rename this the "Granny Apple Porter". Taste of Apple and pear throughout... Maybe just me. Just being honest. Nice color and initial scent. Drinkable, but not what I was expecting, which was a top shelf traditional imperial stout, from a top shelf brewery. Disappointing.

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Photo of Pinknuggets
2.19/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from bomber into a mug

A: Very dark brown with a 2cm mocha/tan head that thins but lingers in a ring for awhile, id like it to be darker though.

S: I really can't smell that much the aroma is very weak. I can smell some malt, which surprises me as the one thing that stands out not much else to say.

T: okay idk if i got a flat bottle or what (the bottle says best by 07/07/12) but this follows the nose with the malt thats pretty much all I can taste. This tastes like a super dark red to me nothing like any IS i have ever tasted. Its not bad but its not to style at all.

M: Really light for an IS esp with this high of an abv. It goes down easy but i wouldn't describe it as smooth at all.

O: So id be willing to try this again fresher just to give it a fair shot, but straight up this bottle was pretty bad and I was throughly disappointed.

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Photo of bcerv-ca
2.25/5  rDev -44%

Photo of argelyn
2.34/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Harkrank
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

Photo of WritersBlock
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

Photo of lisahope27
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.58/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared by PWoods. Thanks PimpP!

Pours a very dark brown, we'll just call it black in color. There's a huge coffee colored head that forms on the pour. The kind of head that I've experienced in infected bottles.
Smell is charred cocoa, some dark malts. But there's also a scent of "off-ness" that I just can't put into words.
The taste follows up my instincts. There's something not right about this bottle. Don't know if it was stored wrong or something happened during production, but there's a very noticeable off flavor. What lay underneath seems to be interesting. Will seek out and try again.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.62/5  rDev -34.8%
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.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.68/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bomber into a glass. Purchased from Perry's in Livermore.

A: Pours an opaque black with brown tint at the edges. Develops a thick mocha head that dissolves rather readily into light filming and the dreaded donut ring. Doesn't have much lacing.

S: A fairly mild aroma. Has the right ingredients: dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and some grass.

T: Dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt lay the groundwork in the initial and mid-tastes. In the finish, they scale back a bit and introduce some dark fruit sweetness -- it tastes like grapes and raspberries. Some booziness and coffee bitterness in the aftertaste. The fruits are an interesting idea, but they give the flavor a tart inflection that I don't enjoy.

M: Medium-to-full bodied, with low-to-medium carbonation. Could stand to be fuller. Some stickiness and warmth. Has a lightly bitter and dry finish. ABV is pretty well hidden.

D: It's not bad, but nothing really makes this stand out. I could get a local (Drake's Imperial Stout) for a similar flavor profile and lower cost. I doubt I'd seek this out again.

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Photo of gr0g
2.73/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle marked "SM 19 enjoy by 02/08/14."

Jet black in color with a head about one finger tall, fading pretty quickly with hardly a trace. Heavy aroma of fusel alcohol. A solvent note is dominant and hides most everything else. Licorice, molasses, and brown sugar are detectable.

Alcohol sting weighs heavily upon the flavor as well. Any chocolate or coffee notes are hidden. Texture is thin and fizzy, and it doesn't help at all to bring this back from the brink. Having had Sculpin and Victory At Sea, I had high expectations for this. Sea Monster is a hot mess, though, and a borderline drain pour. Maybe age will mellow it out and unveil a good stout, but I won't be picking up another bottle to find out.

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Photo of danywever
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

Photo of HawkFalco
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

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 jonathaniler
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

Photo of bobhits
2.76/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

The pour is a touch thin for an imperial russian but still big black dark beer with a tan cap of foam. Nice lacing and given the short time the head is retained I'm a bit surprised.

Light and subtle nose that brings out the dark malts with some coco nibs. Hard to really discuss with much detail as it is faint.

The flavor starts out very dark and over roasted fading into dark chocolate and then we get to a tart sharp alcohol and something else bite and then the after taste is lingering coffee. I'm seeing others getting fruits and perhaps that's what I'm getting in the middle of this beer, but the end result is this beer comes off hot and hard to drink...and I like my scotch neat and smokey as hell.

This is a big stout but it doesn't really take on any of the desirable elements some can bring on. It's carbonated and has body but the carbonation isn't right for the style and the body somewhat suffers from this. Add in my complains above and I find it a bit difficult to enjoy drinking it.

The more I drink the less impressed with this one I am. It's not awful but this is a pretty competitive style and when there are beers like Narwal that per oz are about half this one in price I think Ballast Point might have to consider upping their game or dropping their price.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
2.84/5  rDev -29.4%
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 kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 fl oz/650 ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a narrow-mouthed Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Acquired at Wally's Wine in Westwood, California. Expectations are high given the brewery, whose Victory At Sea I was rather impressed with. I also quite like their Sculpin IPA.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice tan colour, good cream, good thickness, and above average retention for the high ABV. Colour is a predictable solid nontransparent black. No yeast particles are visible - either because there really aren't any or because of the nontransparency. Opaque. It's standard fare for the style, but I'm looking forward to drinking it.

Sm: Coffee, mocha, cream, chocolate (not very rich at all), dark malts, and caramelized malts. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Not horribly complex or subtle, but generally inviting. No yeast is detectable.

T: Chocolate (not rich or exquisite), coffee (the dominant note), cream, and a dark malt foundation. No mocha comes through in the taste. Tame caramelized malts. Has a troublesome balance that never feels quite right. Full-bodied. Not subtle or complex. Some layering. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Kind of simple for an imperial stout. I expect complexity, subtlety, and richness from a good imperial stout. This is somewhat disappointing - especially from Ballast Point. That said, it's not bad. It's pleasant to drink and enjoyable. Of course, it isn't refreshing.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some cream (but not enough). A touch too thin, actually. The rolling smoothness is pleasant across the palate and suits the flavours nicely. All things considered, I'd prefer it more dry and coarse. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Most of Ballast Point's beers are named after a specific fish. Like the taste, this one's title is generic and bland instead. A disappointment from Ballast Point, but a minor one. I wouldn't get this one again, even to age it. I'll be sticking to Victory At Sea in the future. Drinkable for the well concealed ABV, but lackluster for the style and something of a sipper.

A poor candidate for aging given that its starting quality is limited.

Drank just fine out of me Guinness goblet, but I'd recommend a snifter as the ideal vessel for this beer.

Would pair well with chocolate, full flavoured nuts, or toast.


 2,516 characters

Photo of emptyglassagain
2.9/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of boyeryan
2.94/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Too hoppy for my taste.

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Photo of rwilde
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of BuschLeagueOC
3/5  rDev -25.4%

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Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 1,873 ratings