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Sea Monster Imperial Stout | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
89
very good
509 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:
509
Ratings:
1,834
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
9.77%
 
 
Wants:
165
Gots:
425
For Trade:
14
User Reviews
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Reviews: 509 | Ratings: 1,834
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a pitch black color with a two finger head of dark tan foam. The head has a fantastic level of retention, fading over time to leave bits of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is strong of a caramel and molasses sweetness with a good strong roasted malt showing. Along with these aromas comes other sweet smells of chocolate and a big dark fruit aroma of raisin and prune. Some lighter coffee aromas and a little bit of a woody and earthy aroma are there as well, producing a nice and sweet, roasted aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a big roasted malt taste that is mixed with a rather strong showing of a caramel and molasses sweetness. The molasses and caramel, while strong upfront, actually get even stronger as the taste advances further on. Along with these sweet flavors comes some lighter dark fruit flavors of fig and raisin as well as a little bit of a plum taste. Some light boozy tastes come more toward the middle, giving a slightly warming sweet and roasted taste. While the sweetness increases, it is balanced by some dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavors, which in the end, mix with a little bit of a grainy and woody taste to leave a sweet, slightly warming, and roasted, but still rather balanced taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is average in thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. For the rich roasted and sweet flavors of the brew a slightly thicker and creamier feel may have been slightly better, creating a thicker medium for all the flavors to be fully appreciated.

Overall – A fairly nice imperial overall. A bit on the sweet side, but I like the bit of wood and decently strong roast that balance it all out later in the taste, making this one a rather nice sipper overall.

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Photo of JackieKu
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle.

A: Opaque black. No foam.
S: Intense roasted coffee aroma. Moderate caramel. Somewhat woods. A little pepper spicy. And some nuts.
T: Medium roasted coffee. Moderate chocolate. Medium bitterness. Moderate sweetness. Dry, bitter, and medium long finish.
M: Full body. Moderate carbonation.
O: Powerful and balanced.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours an oily black color, with a small, yet true to the style, head which dissipates quickly. Quite a bit of lacing.

Smells of licorice, molasses, roasted coffee beans, and subtle chocolate. I also detected a minor scent of figs/raisins. The smell manages to hit both the 'conventional', and 'refreshing' boxes - without being groundbreaking in any sense.

Taste is similar to the smell. Despite branding itself as an 'American Stout with Oatmeal', this is most definitely not an oatmeal stout as the taste is quite abrasive, albeit enjoyably so. The slight fruitiness of the figs and raisins that I detected in the smell is nowhere to be found, and the taste is dominated by bitterness, and roasted coffee/chocolate flavors. Licorice also plays an important role.

The feel is full, with moderate-to-low carbonation - even though the bitterness of the taste makes this feel more carbonated than it actually is.

This is a solid stout. The smell raised my expectations that this would push the envelope more than it ended up doing, but it's still rock-solid. Paid $8 for a 22 oz bottle at my local liquor store, which seems like a fair price - without being a steal by any stretch.

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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.

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Photo of kalosjakar
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark black of course, off white head.

Your typical roasted, slightly chocolate malt imperial stout. Slight marshmallow scent.

Dry, semisweet finish.

 150 characters

Photo of RJLarse
3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bottle of Sea Monster in a bottle shop Poured in to a tulip glass.

Pours a black walnut color, opaque, with a frothy tan head.

Smell is boozy, dark fruits and alcohol.

Taste is a lot like the aroma, dark fruit like dates and prunes, with a charcoal presence and a hint of coffee and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is full bodied cloying with a thick sweet aftertaste.

Overall a full flavored stout, but not very drinkable.

 429 characters

Photo of HopHunter19
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - nice dark brown/black beer, small tan head dissipates but leaves really nice lacing
S - nice roasts malts, burnt marshmallow, oatmeal, dark chocolate, little smokiness
T - big roasty malts, burnt marshmallow, oatmeal, bread, dark chocolate
Monday
M - heavy, alcohol covered, aftertaste roasty malts and smoke
O - pretty good

 329 characters

Photo of Viaduck
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Drark brown body & light brown head. Smells pretty; lots of chocolate & coffee & some malt & hops. Taste: chocolate & hops, a bit too much hoppy methinks. Coffee & chocolate battle with hops, IPA drinkers would love this stout.

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Photo of Thirstygoat
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice if unexceptional stout
Pitch black with a tan/caramel head that stays a while and leaves lacing
Malt for the nose, with a bit of sweetness
Tastes more sweet malty very agreeable
Like I said a nice stout that I'm glad I got to try

 246 characters

Photo of ZakFaruki
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a Bomber into a Nonic, pours an Opaque black with a khaki head, decent amounts of lace

S: Subtle roasted malts, but a pervasive alcohol smell overpowers everything

T: Roasted malts and a tad bit of hops as well, fades into a pretty large alcohol taste, as expected for a 10% ABV

F: Pretty light mouthfeel for a Imperial Stout, but the carbonation is very light as is typical for the style

O: Obviously this is no "Old Rasputin" or any of the legendary Imperial stouts, but its still a very good example of the style. Big and boozy, and if you enjoy big crazy beers, this is a must-try.

 604 characters

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A brown, almoust black, liquid pouring down the glass.

One finger high, beige-brown, head. Almoust no lacing.

Nose: Dark syrup, soy sauce, vanilla, brown sugar, banana, cream and roasted malt.
Taste: Roasted malt, honey, dark chocolate, hazelnuts, pumpernickel, soy sauce, coffee grounds, dried fruit and oak.
A full body with almoust no carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden.

GREAT beer!

 398 characters

Photo of stakem
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Review is based on a bomber that I have cellared for 5 years. The brew pours black in color with ample khaki head resting atop that fades to a thin ring.

The nose is a pleasant mix of raisony alcohol mixed with milk chocolate. The taste is a little boozy with raison, earth, char and milk chocolate before a bit of solvent booze becomes noticeable.

This is medium bodied and modestly carbonated. A decent sipper that likely should have consumed a couple years ago but whatever, still an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of scbeerman
4.48/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review is of a 2014 bottle.
S: dark chocolate, glorious roasted malts, and a hint of coffee balanced by dark fruit. 4.25
L: black, but with a hint of red shining through around he edges. A half finger of rich dark tan head; little lacing. 3.5
T: this blew me away. Roasted malts combine with currant, a little char, chocolate, coffee, mild sweetness (milk chocolatey almost, but not at the forefront) and a little earthy bite of hops. Absolutely delicious and very good complexity and depth of flavor; strongly considered giving it a 5 here. 4.75
F: 10%??? Could've fooled me. Medium-heavy mouthfeel, but not motor oil; scarily drinkable and hides the alcohol extraordinarily well. Oatmeal adds a wonderful silkiness that I love. 4.5
Overall: This was extremely impressive; not sure why it has a moderate rating on here because this is a delicious, world class imperial stout with a year and a half of age on it. Coffee and vanilla bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts? Nah, I'll take this over most any I've tried. This was a "Wow!" beer.

 1,039 characters

Photo of phrimplepoot
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely sensational. I am surprised by the "very good" rating on this one. But, I'm a sucker for balls-to-the-wall stouts. And, at 10 ABV I can barely taste the booziness. I love it. Love it, love it, love it.

 212 characters

Photo of polloenfuego
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quick Review: Poured a solid black with a very thin dark brown head. Smell was malts and chocolate mostly, but the nose was pretty faint overall for an imperial stout. The taste was nice. Smooth,roasted malty chocolate, and you could pick up oatmeal and hints of dark fruits. Feel was smooth and creamy with lowish carbonation. All in all an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Trooper92292
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The chocolate and oatmeal really stand out and mix well. The smell doesn't have much of an impact to me but this is a wow taste. I can taste the alcohol but I enjoy it with the chocolate taste. Sea Monster is really great, a good older cousin to Victory at Sea. I want another bottle and need to try this on tap.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a three finger light tan head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Soft carbonation and medium bodied. Chocolate, malty nose and taste is baked chocolate, some malty sweetness, no currant. High ABV is hidden. $10.45 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

 320 characters

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 BeerMeColorado
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably better aged...pretty boozy with alcohol a little too dominant at this point. Had it on draft but think if I had some bottles I'd def put some down for at least a year.

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Photo of Jayehm
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Read the summary and don't taste the coffee or chocolate hints. Flavor is still pretty good. Color is solid dark brown with a tan head. It sit heavy in the mouth. You can tell it's high in abv.

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Photo of Totalpackage411
4.51/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is a very smooth Stout, not too overpowering. The oatmeal flavor definitely stands out and gives this beer a delightful taste. I highly recommend this beer if you like Stouts or any dark beer.

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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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Sea Monster Imperial Stout from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,834 ratings.
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