Sea Monster Imperial Stout | Ballast Point Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
1,858 Ratings
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Sea Monster Imperial StoutSea Monster Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
ballastpoint.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,858
Reviews:
514
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
9.77%
 
 
Wants:
168
Gots:
429
For Trade:
14
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,858 |  Reviews: 514
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Earthy. Bitter yet balanced. A bitterness based on coffee and hops. Black with red highlights, and lace sheets. Great roast, coffee aromas. A sipper. Another great creation from this brewery.Dry finish.
The hops do not stand out.Very minor chocolate.
Aged a year, thanks AugustGarage.

 284 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Photo of jaydoc
3.74/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost opaque, almost black dark crimson brown with a 3 inch dark khaki head that fades to a thin cap. Thin rings of lace form on the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smells of coffee beans, dark chocolate, and toasted oats. There is also a fruity note that I am smelling. Taste is of roasted coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate, toasted oats, and some dark fruits. There is a bitterness from the coffee/chocolate flavors that lingers on the palate. Low carbonation with a smooth and medium bodied feel. There is also a noticeable alcohol warmth in the throat. Overall, this is a pretty good stout with an interesting mix of smells and flavors. I have another one of these in my cellar and I am looking forward to seeing how this beer ages over time.

 764 characters

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

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

enormous beer, great this time of year. dense malt layers in this one, like an under cooked fudge brownie. it ranges from day old drip coffee to sweet milk chocolate and oatmeal in the aroma, and hides its booze well. real dark look, but not shiny, its muted in luster, looking less exciting than it is, but the head is rocky peaky and tall, tan in color, and lasting for days. first sip shows a ton of viscosity, with flavors of bakers chocolate and licorice and burning bread. its great, its complex, its got depth like the sea itself, and it has an almost smoked note for a second in the finish. cocoa powder and a note of dried cherry there for a second, even coconut too. full bodied is an understatement, and this is a filling slow slipper, but the alcohol isnt all that aggressive and the beer on the whole is both very unique and very delicious. bold and intense, one heck of a stout.

 892 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out at a rich thick looking black goop. The head struggles a bit to get to the top of the beer. The head leaves a nice lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is big, lots of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, booze, and a light sweetness in there too. The taste of the beer is sweet and full of chocolatey notes upfront that finish with a bitter sweet vanilla coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is nice and thick here, really fits the style well. Overall this beer is pretty damn tasty. I would probably give it another try if I saw it again.

 556 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had never heard of this stuff before I tried it the other day. It poured a very black color, no light or other colors showing. The head was almost brown and it was thick and creamy while it lasted. The smell was mostly of coffee and dark malts but there was a slight chocolatey sweetness present.

The flavor was surprisingly smooth. I mean, most of the Ballast Point beers are just alright. Most of the flavor was similar to the aroma but there was a slightly different chocolate/coffee balance. Not real heavy on the bitterness. Overall, a very good smooth drinkable beer.

 577 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color-only traces of amber are visible near the edges of the glass when it is held up to the light. It poured with a thin creamy beige head that hardly died down and left lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts in the nose; as the beer warms up, hints of alcohol become noticeable.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of roasted malts along with hints of chocolate, coffee beans and alcohol, the latter of which is only present in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer seems to be a little thin for such a big stout and seems a little like a Baltic Porter, but it is relatively easy to drink considering its strength.

 780 characters

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.

 1,537 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle - I forwent ordering this at every place whose doorstep I darkened in Idaho last summer, on the precept that my local Ballast Point rep would get around to procuring some - and they finally have!

This beer pours a solid black abyss, yet with fast and loose basal cola edges, and three fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat bubbly brown head, which leaves a stellar array of spindly and webbed tree branch lace around the glass as it quickly sinks out of sight.

It smells of roasted caramel malt, singed dark chocolate, black licorice, unsweetened cafe-au-lait, a muddled bruised orchard fruitiness, and quite subtle earthy, leafy, and mildly perfumed floral hop bitters. The taste is medium chocolate fudge, crackery caramel, coffee with slightly soured milk, still hard to define dark fleshy fruit, a sort of zingy anise spiciness, and more plain leafy, weedy, and floral hops - now with a hovering and micro-managing (my least favourite thing in the real world) booziness.

The bubbles are fairly sedate in their workaday frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight for the style, and smooth enough - the inherent oatmeal goodness offset just a little too much by an increasingly familiar metallic alcohol edginess. It finishes sweet, the cocoa headliner not to be denied its dues, while the strong (if sometimes misdirected) side players maintain a stiff upper lip stance.

Overall, a more or less simple, if still heady version of the Americanized imperial stout - things just seem a bit disjointed, and that 20-proof booze trips one up more times than I cared to count. Anyways, not bad, and a relative bargain for your scrounged beer-spending moolah - big surprise.

 1,686 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -27.8%
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.

C

 2,516 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On the sweet/chocolate syrupy end of the spectrum. Light-sucking black body, generous tan foam that puffs above the rim of the glass. Delicate lacing all around, it looks very appetizing. Slick and rich chocolate notes, slight fruitiness, sticky molasses and brown sugar.

Full and rich, palate coating. Finishes dry and slightly bitter, with delicate Belgian chocolate traces. The initial flavor is much more of a sweet fudgy blast to the senses. Light hop bitterness in the back, not a trace of 10%. The fruity element gives it something unique, and it's very well crafted. Something special to savor.

Thanks to Jason for this one!

 636 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of zeff80
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, raisin, toast, dark bread, light char, brown sugar, floral, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted malt notes with light fruitiness; and good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, toast, dark bread, coffee, light char, light raisin, floral, and roasted earthiness. Slight coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, toast, coffee, light char, dark bread, floral, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors with some light hop balance; with great robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent imperial stout. All around great balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt flavors with slight hop/fruitiness balance; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,353 characters

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Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,858 ratings.
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