Sea Monster Imperial Stout | Ballast Point Brewing Company

BA SCORE
89
very good
1,851 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
1,851
Reviews:
512
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
9.77%
 
 
Wants:
168
Gots:
429
For Trade:
14
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,851 |  Reviews: 512
Photo of vinny21bal
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of MasterRigger
3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of TwoBeers
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.03/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 4/3/2010. Bottle. Pours black with a small light tan head. Aroma of roasted malt, Parmesean cheese, and mild coffee. Flavor of roasted malt, charred malt. This was just a boring beer for me and not very "imperial" in terms of robustness in the palate. Not impressed.

 278 characters

Photo of n2185
3.04/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours black with two fingers of tan head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Roasted malts and sweet, creamy chocolate up front followed by some roasted coffee aromas. Simple, but nice.

T: Lots and lots of roasted malts here. There are some bitter chocolate flavors in there as well followed by a roasted bitter coffee flavor. There are strong char notes on the finish as well as a strong alcohol burn.

M: Medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, the bitterness, char, and relatively light body keep it from being thick and creamy.

O: A mediocre imperial stout that is much too bitter for my tastes. The aroma promises a nice mix of roasted malts with sweet chocolate flavors and then it tastes like coffee that's been sitting on a burner for about 6 hours.

 779 characters

Photo of Smconnor
3.04/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of JoshVandy
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

650mL bottle shared with Emmaus217 on April 24, 2011.

A- Poured vigorously into a Bruery snifter. A thin dark brown body that turns to a black in the glass with a 2 fingered light tan head. Decent lacing.

S- Hops and alcohol find my nose first, followed closely by a nice chocolate and roasted malt undertone.

T- Hops make their presence known here as well, with a chocolate and roasted malt mid section, followed by dark fruits and a touch of alcohol heat at the end. Tastes a lot like a more mellow Night Stalker, which isn't a bad thing, just different.

M- A little thin in the mouth with a decent amount of carbonation. Surprisingly creamy given the thin body.

O- A decent, hoppy imperial stout from Ballast Point, though a bit one dimensional from a taste a smell perspective. The alcohol is more noticeable than I like in my stouts as well.

 852 characters

Photo of TheCorkStopsHere
3.07/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A fairly limited release here on the east coast, I grabbed a bottle as soon as I saw it. Looks good, nice and dark. Plenty of roasted malts, but nothing too bold or intense. For lack of a better term, it's just kinda thin I think.

I'll give it another try in the future, but for now my review is just "meh"

 308 characters

Photo of irs
3.09/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just not what I would expect from this FANTASTIC brewer, especially when Victory at Sea was so amazing. You'd think their imperial porter would be the imperial stout's little brother, but its hard to believe these two even came from the same mother. Maybe this bottle just didn't get treated right?
It starts off right, head is nice, thick. There is no color, just light absorbing blackness. But there isn't much nose, its ok, but not what I would expect, boozy, dark chocolate and coffee, but thinner than I would expect. Same for the mouthfeel and taste. And there is a bitter astringency in the aftertaste that I don't like, nor expect in a big impy. Not that this feels as big as it should either. Overall, I would say this was a good accomplishment if it came from a less accomplished brewer, but this is among the weaker of Ballast Point's offerings.

 856 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.12/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Liberty Tap House. Review from notes.

A: The beer was dark brown/black with a very small tan head on top with decent retention. Not much lacing though.

S: Surprisingly hoppy, lots of pine and a bit of citrus. Underneath there was a little bit of chocolate and roast, but the hops dominated the aroma.

T: Again, very hoppy. Too much so for my taste in an imperial stout. They dominate the flavor profile and mask anything else present. Was able to detect a bit of roast and chocolate, but very faint in comparison.

M: Medium bodied, but slightly thin for an imperial. Moderate carbonation.

O: A bit of a let down, too hoppy for my liking, but I guess that isn't entirely surprisingly looking at Ballast's other offerings.

 743 characters

Photo of dmbsteve
3.12/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours black with a thin light brown head that dissipates quickly. Not much lacing to speak of.
S-smells of dark fruits and sweet malts. Some roasty notes too.
T-alcohol up front. Bittersweet chocolate. Not very complex tasting.
M-low carbonation. Sticky and syrupy, but not super thick body.
O-Dissapointing. A couple other Ballast Point brews I've had gave me high hopes for this one. I would not buy this again. Bummer.

 423 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.14/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On Tap at Uno's Chicago Grill during a Bella Vista Event.

Sea Monster pours out your average stout black with a deep black space look with a creamy mocha shaded cap that left some sticks here and there. Upon smelling this I am reminded of Dragon Stout from Jamacia, that is rotted fruit, although this is less offensive. Extreme warmingh brang out light chocolate, earthy hops, licorice and rotting fruit. a whiff of alcohol, not a great smeller. The taste is not to far off from that. That rotting smell seeps into taste, old dark fruit. Dragon stout light with some chocolate with warming. Vanilla bean, light hops, alcohol, this is a bit disjointed. Feel is there, a bit chewy, approaching full bodied, I just cant get past that rot gut. Carbed up but smooth with a nasty aftertaste. Im glad I did not buy a bottle of this, I'll stick with the Ballast Point IPA's, they know how to do them.

I had the barrel aged version of this on tap two years ago and that was significantly better. A monster indeed.

 1,007 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.15/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a dark-ish brown color with some red highlights and a short lived tan head.

S: Roasted malts make up the bulk of the aromas of this beer. A slight coffee note, licorice, some burnt sugar, and a slight acidity.

T: The burnt sugar and roasted malt dominate the flavor of this one. There is a touch of chocolate and coffee, along with a fair amount of licorice. Somehow, it doesn't really come together and is on the astringent side.

M: The body is medium, a bit on the thin side for an imperial stout, with a medium level of carbonation.

D: This is a really disappointing effort from Ballast Point. I'd stay away from this one and stick with a Victory at Sea or any of their other beers.

 704 characters

Photo of rderedin
3.15/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of nhindian
3.21/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a Cantillon wine glass. Bottle generously provided as an extra by thagr81us in the 'Nice Piece of Glass CIF', thanks a lot Calton!

A - A very fitting name for this beer, as this beer is darker than the depths of the ocean and I can imagine some blind creatures swimming around in this, much like what is depicted on the label. A contrasting light tan head floats effortlessly on top of the liquid, about 2 finger's in height and with pretty good retention. Lacing is also decent as well, with some generous silk lace coating the glass.

S - The smell is interesting, acrid coffee roast and bitter chocolate make up the bulk of the nose, with some alcohol hiding in back as well. This beer is pure malt from beginning to end, and it definitely warns of its presence. There's some charred ash as well.

T - Well, the taste definitely continues where the nose leaves off, with a ton of burnt espresso and bitter baker's chocolate. There's some darker fruits here as well, and the alcohol coats them heavily. The char lingers here as well. It ends with a lot of bitter roastiness and alcohol. There's a noticeable woodiness in the finish, as if some earthy nuts are coming through. Unlike the nose, there are some hops in the finish, which could be contributing to that earthiness.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy-bodied with good carbonation. Honestly it feels pretty good in the mouth, until the aftertaste comes along and deposits the burnt and char notes. Those combined with the alcohol really do a number on the palate.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. This is a beer that takes some getting used to and it will definitely snag you if you aren't careful. The chocolate flavor in this is really well done, but the burnt notes are a distraction to me. Compound that with an almost solvent alcohol taste and it hurts this beer.

 1,854 characters

Photo of corby112
3.21/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest hint of lighter color when held to a light source. Frothy 1.5 finger chocolate coffee colored head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.

Roasted malty aroma with hints of bitter sweet dark chocolate, toffee, roasted coffee, oatmeal, alcohol and subtle hops. Slightly toasty with some subtle dark fruit notes.

Pretty carbonated up front with a chewy viscous mouthfeel. Very roasty with lots of silky chocolate malts, roasted coffee bean, oatmeal, licorice, toffee and alcohol. A bit too hoppy for my preference with a very strong alcohol warmth. This beer is kind of all over the place and the high ABV is not very well masked. Decent but not what I was expecting.

 736 characters

Photo of slackattack
3.21/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber down the middle to nonic. Black, initial 1/2 inch head that dwindled to a film that hung around and left some wet spotty lacing. Nose is unspectacular. Some toasty malts and alcohol. Please don't disappoint me beloved Ballast Point. First taste is alcohol in your face. Actually tastes like much more than the 10% that it is. There's dark chocolate and toasted malts that are definitely there, but the alcohol is way more there. Good hop bitterness, but the alcohol, did I say the alcohol. Damn. Letting this warm.... As it warms it opens up a little but the alcohol is still dominant. Probably won't go here again...

 636 characters

Photo of marvin213
3.23/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark, as in black, contrasts with an almost white, kinda marshmellowy head. Its got a hop bite for so dark a stout, and the coffee's like the end of a long-sitting pot of coffee. It's tough for me to juxtapose this--a kind of creamy, burnt coffee stout with a hop linger--against the super delish (but outstandingly vanilla-ey) Victory at Sea. Perhaps it's not fair, but this one doesn't hold a candle to that one. It's okay, but a relative letdown.

 449 characters

Photo of butters_mcgee
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of hinemk76
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Co1911lt
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I have enjoyed many different stouts and I would even say I am a stout connoisseur. Ballast Point has taken a new swing at stouts on this one. Not to bad.

 154 characters

Photo of Eagles1331
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Hopstout
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of bcm75
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,851 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe