Sea Monster Imperial Stout | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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89
very good
512 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
512
Ratings:
1,849
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
9.77%
 
 
Wants:
168
Gots:
429
For Trade:
14
User Reviews
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Reviews: 512 | Ratings: 1,849
Photo of snaotheus
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015-03-27
22oz bottle split between a pair of large snifters. Stamp on the bottom is nearly illegible, but it appears to be 212230W0011455. Not more than 50% sure on that.

Pours black with a ring of head and a few little clumpy islands. Fairly carbonated, but very fine carbonation. Smell is boozy, sweet, a little musty and yeasty, slight dark fruit and chocolate.

Taste is surprisingly chocolaty, more dark fruit, sweeter than I expected.

Mouthfeel is good -- smooth, a little dry. Overall, very good!

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Photo of 57md
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown with golden edges. Decent roast profile on the nose and in the flavor. Nice big hoppy finish.

This is a good hoppy stout but it drinks "smaller" that its ABV would indicate. In short, I would be more enthusiastic about this if it were a standard stout rather than a double. It just does not have the flavor punch of a top tier double stout.

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Photo of founddrama
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My lady wants a stout so… Chocolate and coffee notes in there but not overdone. Subtle currant notes. Velvety mouthfeel. Finish is slightly boozy. Was hoping for a creamier head. (Oh well.) Such a dark color; more brown than black but wow.

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Photo of KarmicSkrambl8
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

nice and thick, average head, awesome mouthfeel, amazing viscosity, faint oaty oatmeal note, average to above average taste--but not as roasty/flavorful as hoped, BV% nice---and nicely contained, decent aroma--nothing exquisite

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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 beergoot
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Nearly opaque, dark brown; nice, creamy, light brown head; some lacing and specks of foam left on the glass. Mild, malty nose; chocolate; vanilla. Flavors of cocoa powder; milk chocolate; vanilla; mild touch of boozy flavors. Heavy bodied; soft and velvety feel.

A relatively weak head and very low-key aroma presence aside, this is a rich, robust stout. It delivers lots of dark roasted grain flavors and sweetness counterbalanced with a nice hop dryness. The 10% ABV doesn't overwhelm the flavors and the body is thick and chewy throughout.

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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 mactrail
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The brewery calls this an Oatmeal Stout, and it's certainly not the typical American double stout. It has a pleasant grainy edge, and while it's sweet, the sugar comes on more slowly, and fades into a bitter, chocolatey haze.

Very dark, deeply roasted, with some charred taste. Cedar and cocoa. Highly aromatic and spicy. This was a nice surprise to me, and it's a more complex and interesting big stout than the typical imperial fat boys. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Barons Market on West Point Loma.

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Photo of travolta
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Jet black, huge head with an awesome rocky form and fantastic retention. Massive amounts of sticky lacing. I'm proud to look at this on my table right now.

Nose: Plums, fig, raisin, star anise and fennel.

Taste: Fig, raisin, carmel and chocolate. Some oatmeal smoothness and a little alcohol heat at the end.

Notes: an EXCELLENT stout. Just buy it.

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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.

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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 JohnP
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown with a tall, lasting dark tan head. Mild aromas of mocha and hint of herbal hops. Simple flavors with a bit of tropical fruit, toasted coconut and tasted malt. Easy to drink with simple flavors.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage served at cellar temperature in a chalice.

Sea Monster is a medium dark brown in color with good clarity seen on the pour. Head is thick at first but settles fairly quickly. Nice lacing left behind.

Aroma is roasty and chocolatey but surprisingly mild for an imperial stout.

Flavor is thankfully more mild than the aroma would suggest. It has dark malt sweetness up front with big bitterness from middle to end. A combination of roasted malts and hops contribute to the bitterness and there's good balance there.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with low carbonation.

Overall a very good imperial stout but maybe not as special as Victory at Sea.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

2013 vintage 22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a finger of caramel/chocolate-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thick lacing of foam that covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice aromas! Tons of roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted dark bread, some subtle smoke and a little ash. There are also aromas of dark chocolate, a touch of coffee and some floral hops.

Taste: Wow!! Strong, strong flavors of roasted malt up front, followed by some almost equally strong flavors of brown sugar-like sweetness, finished with some equally strong flavors of hops. Intermingled between the malt, sweet and hoppy bitterness, all three flavors vying for dominance, are some good flavors of coffee, dark chocolate and dark molasses. Very complex in flavor.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and extremely smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10%, there’s a definite presence of alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a very good imperial stout! It has tons of great roasted malt flavors, accented with some good sweetness, but unfortunately, I find the hoppy bitterness to be out of balance, meaning it’s too assertive for my tastes, to make this beer balanced. I like it, but it has too much hops for me to really, really love it. Hop heads should love this beer, though.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A two-year-old bomber poured into a snifter.
Pours opaque black with a thin, medium-tan head and some spotty lacing.
The aroma is very nice, lots of coffee, licorice, dark fruit and perhaps, even a hint of berry.
What a great tasting stout. Lots of big roast coffee flavor with molasses and chocolate. Some raisin and fruitiness as it warmed a bit and even a touch of bitter hops. And, there is a little warming booziness as well.
Mouthfeel is wonderful, smooth and creamy and still a touch of carbonation.
Overall, a really top-notch stout.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. Bomber into a snifter, 2010 vintage, so it's almost 5 years old now (consumed on new year's eve 2014).
It pours black, but it's not as dark and/or thick as some of those super stouts made by the likes of Evil Twin, Avery, etc.
Before I start sipping I've gotta give it a smell to give me an idea of what I'm in for. Suprisingly the overall aroma was very mild with no specific smell standing out above the rest. This probably has to do more with the age on the beer as opposed to the beer itself.
Now for the most important aspect: taste!! And boy does this one deliver! Up front you get a good combo of cocoa and a little coffee. The texture is excellent, very smooth but not like drinking motor oil as can tend to be the case with some stouts. Once you swallow you get hit with some dark malt and are left with hops on the finish. I was surprised that even after 4+ years the hop taste is still strong (not a bad thing!). Balance is usually a word I reserve to describe my favorite IPA's, but this is truly one of the most balanced imperial stouts I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. Age doesn't hurt it, so if you see it on a shelf near you don't miss out!

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Photo of LouZ
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle; poured black with a thin line of head. Aroma was definitely coffee. Taste is distinctly black coffee with a hint of bitter chocolate. There is a hop presence that adds to the dry, bitter finish. Feel is carbonated and balanced; not as much body as other big stouts I've had lately but not too thin. This is a very nice coffee stout if that is what you are in the mood for.

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Photo of HawkFalco
2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

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 jellikit
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Bottle.
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 Boto
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber: This one pours an inky, very dark brown color. There was just a touch of a brown head that didn’t linger long. Getting lots of aromas in there. Chocolate, some coffee, a bit of vanilla, maybe some dark fruits too. The taste is very good. Chocolate, some roastiness, vanilla, maybe some raisin as well as other fruits. It has a very silky mouth-feel to it. Very Nice!

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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 richj1970
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter. Bottled dated 14057.

A: Pours pitch black with a long lasting 2-3 finger tan head leaving nice sticky lacing.

S: Roasted malts, cocoa nibs, and vanilla.

T: Big roasted flavors up front. Bittersweet chocolate and a hint of vanilla.

M: Full bodied but on the lighter side for an imperial stout.

O: Very nice. Easy drinking with the big roasty flavors that you expect from an imperial stout.

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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 pat61
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%

Nose: fruit – prune, raisins, some roast and a hint of chocolate at the attack.
Pours deep, deep brilliant brown, under a 1/2" tan head
A big roast coffee palate up with an initial sweetness front backed by bittersweet chocolate highlighted by creamy smoothness. In the finish there is some hop bitterness hiding behind the roast and bittersweet chocolate. Lingering roast and bittersweet chocolate.
Very creamy, chewy, fine carbonation. Warming.

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Photo of hardy008
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Pours black with a two finger tan head. The aroma has dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and some dark fruit.

the taste is much like the smell. There is a large amount of both sweetness and bitterness with dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, dark fruit, licorice, and hop bitterness at the end.

full bodied with below average carbonation. Rich and creamy. The only thing that I can find as a negative is a long bitter aftertaste, from the roasted malt and hops. a good beer to be sure, but not as good as the best in the style.

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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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