Since my visit to Chicago in June, it seems that we now have Ballast Point available here in Minnesota. I'm over-stuffed with IPAs now, so I'm not buying any kegs for the Nile for the time being, and I haven't gone beer shopping in weeks, so I have no bottles to bring up for review, except...one of the last from that Chicago visit, Sea Monster Imperial Stout. Here come the notes...
Ballast Point Brewing Company Sea Monster Imperial Stout. San Diego, California. 10% Alc. by Vol.
Solid, inky blackness, the backside of a scurrying squid, with a big, tan head on top. Looking the part, setting the scene.
Aroma: charcoal and anise, molasses and ash. Deep, rich and roasty.
Taste: In the mouth, it's a beast, indeed. Full-bodied, vast flavors, big hoppy bitterness matched with massive malt. All those dark flavors from the nose come roaring back. Slightly ashy, rich espresso character, filling the mouth and coating the tongue. Multiple complexities at large and in charge. We're down in the depths here.
I'm wondering what the label tells me…"From the deep dark depths of our Brewmaster's imagination comes this rich and monstrous oatmeal stout. Our sea monster embodies all that the true dark beer aficionado will appreciate; roasted coffee notes, with hints of bittersweet chocolate and currant flavors all brought together by a perfect hop balance. Don't fear the monster!"
I don't actually. The alcohol isn't making itself know quite yet…wait, here it comes…doesn't it, always?
Okay, I'm liking this. It's getting better, deep, and delicious-er as we go further in.