Sea Monster Imperial Stout | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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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: 1,849
Photo of Suds
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 285 characters

Photo of AndrewMichael
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.62/5  rDev -34.3%
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 captaincoffee
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of Rogerlb
3.67/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of jooler
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of NEdward
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
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.


 804 characters

Photo of q33jeff
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

 628 characters

Photo of tillmac62
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

 1,116 characters

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 mntlover
3.99/5  rDev 0%
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.

 697 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 311 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.99/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

 557 characters

Photo of DaveBar
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got on trade! 650ml bottle served at 9deg C in a tulip.

A- Opens well and pours a nearly 2" high brown head that lasts for nearly 10mins before film out. Super dark brown colour.

S- Nice malt but very metallic

T- Chocolaty good. Lots of roasted malt. Nice coffee at the end. Touch chalky coco flavor as it finishes. Nice bittering hops.

M- Creamy going down the dries up

O- Nice brew. Lots of body and coco/coffee notes and would be a good base for a nice bourbon barrel aged brew I bet you

Food Pairing

This nice brew went well with....... Beer braised beef ribs! Use this brew and it imparts a nice depth to the dish.


 633 characters

Photo of moundbz
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Super black with kind of a lot of foam, maybe had a bad pour, hey it happens. Sweet chocolate/coffee smell. Feels super smooth with a bitter/ alcohol kick at the end. Strong taste,

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Photo of larryarms847
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours somewhat thinner in appearance for abv with fluffly and somewhat lumpy head of light tan foam.

Earthy and slightly piney hop aroma, light roasted malt and coffee like character, and some vanilla and chocolate sweetness.

Definitely a heavy hand of hops in this impy stout. Piney and earthy hop bitterness, smooth chocolate, vanilla, and roasty coffee flavors.

Medium-bodied, medium carbonation, earthy bitterness, slighty roasty, a tad thin for my taste.

Overall, while smooth and creamy, there is a bit too much carbonation and not enough chewiness for my taste.

 572 characters

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

Pours a viscous opaque black with a two finger fluffy mocha color head. Aroma is roast malt, chocolate, light coffee, and some bittersweet chocolate and booze in hints. Flavor follows with huge chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, roast malt, light coffee and vanilla with a bit of booze throughout, though not as much as 10% might suggest. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, and mouthcoating with some prickly carbonation and warming from the alcohol. Overall, this is a very good interpretation on an imperial oatmeal stout, and the flavors and aromas really pop as it warms.

 572 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The sea Monster is a solid imperial stout....I would very much like to try the variants.....barrel aged, etc. This one poured an opaque black with tan head that left a lace. The scent and taste were roast and coffee with hints of milk chocolate. The mouthfeel was fuller in body with good carbonation. Overall....solid!

 323 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black, appearing opaque in the glass, with a half finger light brown head that dissipates to patches leaving light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, chocolate, molasses and licorice. Flavor is dark toasted malt with a mild char, licorice, milk chocolate and molasses. Finishes with molasses, chocolate and nice lingering char and hop bitterness. Medium bodied with light creaminess, good mouth feel. A great full bodied imperial stout, almost a Russian imperial stout profile, but with a bit more hoppiness. Great flavor throughout with dark malts and molasses flavors at the fore. I like this stout a lot. This one got lost in the basement, but this 2 year old bottle has held up great.

 739 characters

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

a solid four all around. dark with a tan head and lots of lace. smells roasty but with a hint of sweetness and some mellow from the oats. flavor is a bit of the same, a little roast, some hop bitterness, and a little dried fruit. mouth is smooth. alcohol isn't too hot, but it's there.

good one from ballast point.

 315 characters

Photo of delta490
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This sucker is black and no light gets through at all. It has a nice moderate cap of light tan head that is slightly on the creamy side. The aroma is a little lacking, very faint, with just hints of dark roasted malt and maybe a little coffee (?). It's hard to pin anything down. The taste is much better, with a pleasant but nondescript dark roasted flavor and little bits of earthy hops. The body is lighter for an imperial but still has a nice feel to it, with just a hint of carbonation.

 491 characters

Photo of mchegash
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: very dark brown, almost black. a good looking beige foam.

s: booze, chocolate, not a lot of other aromas.

t: first thought was caramel covered popcorn, some booze, a little bit a chocolate.

f: medium body, moderate amount of carbonation. low to medium bitterness. overall, a nice feel.

o: a decent imperial stout. by far from the best.

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Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,849 ratings.
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