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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

8,853 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,853
Reviews: 1,992
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 908
Gots: 1,506 | FT: 50
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Originally named Northstar IPA. Debuted in 2005.

(Beer added by: brentk56 on 04-02-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,853 | Reviews: 1,992 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Edgewater:
Photo of Edgewater
Edgewater

New York

5/5  rDev +13.4%

02-17-2013 00:52:24 | More by Edgewater
More User Reviews:
Photo of clingy
clingy

Maryland

5/5  rDev +13.4%

Classic favorite.

08-19-2014 19:00:54 | More by clingy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +2.7%

Great to get my hands on some of this stuff (thanks Roger at Bestway).Poured into a small tulip glass a clear light golden with a clingy 1/2 finger white head.Holy smokes the aromas are just awesome!A mix of big citrus and tangerine just jump out at ya,a hint of caramel/biscuit is there but its a little faint but hey who cares the hop profile is frickin great.Fresh hop flavors abound with tangerine sticking out the most,its lemony with a bit of mango and overripe pineapple,the sweet biscuit malt base does not hide itself as it holds on thru the duration of the glass.Iam not sure if I have had a beer of the style with such fruity hop complexity,wow this is worthy of the rating.

07-11-2009 23:46:53 | More by oberon
Photo of ddean
ddean

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev -4.8%

Appearance-
Golden yellow, which isn't my favorite color. I'd like more amber or orange in my IPAs. Could be more clear, but I like the frothy head that others have described: it builds quickly and then dissipates right after you have had time to take it in.

Smell-
Here's an interesting one. I get lots of hops, then some sulfur (rotten eggs, skunk?), along with some grapefruit and other citrus that others have put forth. You might think that would be disgusting, but it is quite interesting as a matter of fact, so high marks.

Taste-
I was a little let down here, but it is still quite good. Thin to me, because the grapefruit and the hops dominate. I don't get the pine that others describe, and that is my favorite characteristic of my favorite IPAs (Lagunitas Maximus, Stone Ruination). A little lemon and apricot later on. Definitely good, but there is not much of a counterbalance in the taste.

Mouthfeel-
Smooth, crisp, very nice. I like the superlingering hops. I'm in full agreement with my raving colleagues.

Drinkability-
Goes down nice and easy. The smooth crispness makes me think I'd have no problem reaching for more, but the taste doesn't blow me away quite enough to not want to try other brews in a pub.

In summary, very good stuff, just not the most balanced IPA ever to me. Like the crisp, strong hops, but I want more pine and caramel.

01-06-2010 01:30:03 | More by ddean
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.7/5  rDev +6.6%

Appearance - This came out a gorgeous darkish-orange in color with incredible clarity and a wonderful sheen. The head was perfectly perched on an easy pout. As it slowly went down it left a thick film all along my mug. This is a real beauty shop.

Smell - Hop damn! This almost has to be dry-hopped because the hops are so fresh and pure like you just picked them from the field. The nice pine resin, which usually overshadows all other hop aromas, here is mated perfectly with some monstrous grapefruit and light orange peel. These smells all come together in a raunchy hop bouquet that leaves little chance for the light malt base to be appreciated.

Taste - Surprisingly the hops aren't toned down too much at the taste. This is a hop-burping factory I can tell already. The orange comes on much bigger now and really smoothes out the flavors.

I'm actually going to give a thumbs up to the grain bill here. Most people drinking this won't even notice it because the hops are so big, but the grain knew how and when to take a backseat here without being completely absent. Although I didn't get much from it at the nose, you could crank this down to 20 IBUs and have a nice-tasting beer. The grain is soft, very fresh like the hops, not grossly sweet, and give off a wonderfully light almost cereal flavor.

Mouthfeel - This is medium-bodied, maybe a tad lighter, with some smart carbonation and a very smooth character in between the cheeks. Although I enjoy a bitter beer, what I appreciated so much about this mouthfeel is that for all the hops it wasn't bitter at all. This made it amazingly easy to guzzle - hahaha! Usually a beer with such a huge hop profile takes a week to finish but the lack of bitterness here kept the suds flowing.

Drinkability - I kind of touched on it when reviewing the mouthfeel but boy o boy was this an easy-drinking ale. I don't think I've ever had a beer with this much hop flavor go down this easily. It is one of a kind and a must-try for any IPA enthusiast. This raises a standard that few if any will ever match.

Comments - I've handed out a lot of 4.5s in my day and more than my share of 5.0s, but as far as Drinkability goes this is the most drinkable hop bomb I've ever had. For the first time in almost 2,000 reviews I wish I could assign a 6.0 rating to something. You really have to drink this beer to believe it.

10-31-2010 00:36:31 | More by RoyalT
Photo of aszatk01
aszatk01

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -9.3%

04-06-2013 01:37:21 | More by aszatk01
Photo of legalag11
legalag11

Texas

5/5  rDev +13.4%

06-17-2014 02:40:09 | More by legalag11
Photo of DanGeo
DanGeo

Michigan

4/5  rDev -9.3%

06-16-2013 13:13:46 | More by DanGeo
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

4.26/5  rDev -3.4%

Thanks to GetMeAnIPA for this one... I've heard very good things and I've been ISO Sculpin for a long time. Pours a somewhat dull, golden-yellow color with a few orange and light-amber tints. Moderate haze throughout, topped off with a creamy and fine eggshell colored head - decent retention and some nice chunky lacing is left behind.

Bringing this one to my nose reveals a hop-garden barrage with two huge aromas that stand out above all others: grapefruit and florals. The grapefruit is pungent, semi-sweet, and juicy on the nose with some mild bitterness coming in as a peel or pith type aroma. Some other fruits may include pineapple and mango, but grapefruit is far and away the star of the show, here - this beer is a grapefruit bomb. The hops are also highly floral - this one smells much like a rose garden; perfume, roses, leaves, wet flowers. A touch of white pepper sits quietly in the back. After smelling this beer, I am reminded of a hometown favorite of mine, Two Hearted.

After an aroma like that, how can this beer not taste great? Medium bodied with moderate carbonation make for a slick mouth feel that glides across the palate as the hops work their magic. The two stand-out aromas, to no surprise, are the heaviest in the taste as well. It's a grapefruit bomb, full of both the juicy insides and the bitter peel. Some more mango , pineapple, and tropical fruity goodness rummage and couple with a light sweetness via the malt.

Floral, perfumy, leafy, grassy hops round out the edges and send a wave of bitterness across the back of the tongue in no time. Once again, the malt keeps the bitterness in tune without being distracting. The hop flavors seems to take over the citrus flavors and eventually dominate near the end. This beer is a fine example of simplicity done well and balance executed very nicely. Slight pithy and floral aftertaste as the bitterness fades into naught.

This beer reminded me of Two Hearted in a lot of ways (though not quite on the same level, but perhaps I'm slightly biased). They even both have a fish on the label. Being a huge fan of Two Hearted, I can clearly see why the West Coast loves this stuff. Simple, yet excellently crafted and executed. A super-drinkable IPA done right.

02-07-2013 13:38:30 | More by tectactoe
Photo of Hoppin_mad
Hoppin_mad

Florida

4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

05-03-2014 17:28:06 | More by Hoppin_mad
Photo of ricke
ricke

Sweden

4.33/5  rDev -1.8%

A: Yellow, almost straw-colored (great to see an IPA of this magnitude that's actually a pale ale). A rather thin white head settles in a moderate pace.

S: Massive hop aromas. Plenty of exotic fruits, but not so dominated by grapefruits as many other hop forward beers are. Instead here are generous amounts of mango and passion fruits (along with the grapefruit of course). Here is also a very pleasant smell of elder flowers. Some pine needles and hop resins. Biscuity malts are present as well.

T: Replicates the smell with very fresh hop flavors all around. Exotic fruits (grapefruit, mango, passion fruit) mix with elder flowers and hop resins. A semi-sweet crisp and biscuity malty backbone. The finish is really bitter with notes of pine-needles and, citric notes and grassy hop notes.

M: Medium to semi-full body, nice sticky mouthfeel. Crisp carbonation.

D: This is a great IPA with a massive and very tasty hop profile. Still, it manages to stay very balanced. The malts are almost perfectly suited for the hop centered flavors.

07-20-2009 11:51:22 | More by ricke
Photo of Max3
Max3

New York

5/5  rDev +13.4%

05-17-2014 18:26:21 | More by Max3
Photo of ExtraStout
ExtraStout

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -25.6%

Pours a clear golden (with orange highlights) with a foamy white head that lasts and coats the sides of the glass throughout. Some active carbonation.

Flavor is sweet and bitter as anticipated. Sweet fruits, like apricot maybe, factor into the maltier-than-expected taste, complimenting the piney hop character. Some astringency and hop spiciness at the end, followed by a touch of tongue parching.

Refreshingly different and drinkable.

06-01-2011 02:31:59 | More by ExtraStout
Photo of DavyJones
DavyJones

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +2%

05-15-2012 00:46:00 | More by DavyJones
Photo of TCHopCraver
TCHopCraver

Michigan

4.22/5  rDev -4.3%

Split a bomber with a fellow BA. Received from another fellow BA. Thanks, buddy! Reviewed from notes on 3/20/10.

A: Poured golden-yellow with a pure-white 2-finger head into an oversized wine glass. The lacing was really sticky and looked like the Rocky Mountains in a glass. Head retention was good.

S: Off the charts fresh. It had a citrus-fruit, rose-floral hop profile that was nicely balanced by a golden malt and slight honey bouquet that filled my nose with fresh spring time happiness. This really made my tongue excited to experience this elixir.

T: It doesn't quite have the impact on my palate that the bouquet had on my olfactory. There is more of an earthy, coppery profile than the fresh, citrus taste at which the smell had hinted. It is good and quite fresh, but not quite as enlightening as I thought it would be after smelling it.

M: Pretty standard for an IPA, I would say. It was light to medium bodied in the mouth, with a good, crisp, dry finish.

D: Although I was a little disappointed with the taste, this beer is eminently drinkable. At 7% a.b.v., I could definitely tip back several of these if the price tag wasn't sooo high. Generally speaking, I enjoyed this brew, but I'm not sure if it really stands out as far from other good American IPAs as the average review score bears out.

03-24-2010 17:05:42 | More by TCHopCraver
Photo of OhioBobcat
OhioBobcat

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +2%

08-28-2013 00:49:18 | More by OhioBobcat
Photo of MadScientist
MadScientist

New York

4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

02-18-2013 22:45:37 | More by MadScientist
Photo of CavemanRamblin
CavemanRamblin

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

07-14-2014 18:51:50 | More by CavemanRamblin
Photo of Zakk
Zakk

Florida

5/5  rDev +13.4%

08-13-2013 20:15:05 | More by Zakk
Photo of jono0101
jono0101

Missouri

4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

12-11-2013 18:26:03 | More by jono0101
Photo of brownbeer
brownbeer

Missouri

4.55/5  rDev +3.2%

Kickin' off IPA-athon part deux with busternuggz.

Semi-rusty gold color with a white crown that remains a thin layer throughout. Pale like I like my pale ales to be.

The nose on this beer is extraordinary. It takes about one second to know this is what beer is about. Blasting an orgy of juicy tropical fruits in your nose and all over your face. Mango. Apricot. Hints of pineapple and pine loom about.

The pine notes come out a bit more in the taste. Still, the fruity citrus pounds forward. Bitter orange, apricot, and a slight grassiness. It's medium-bodied, crisp, and dry with a refresing bitterness that is forward and delicate at the same time. Like a sexy doctor giving you a rectal exam. It's insane how they made this beer perform like this.

Loved it. Try it.

05-30-2010 19:29:38 | More by brownbeer
Photo of npala86
npala86

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +2%

06-25-2014 19:43:45 | More by npala86
Photo of abeerdude
abeerdude

California

4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

06-22-2012 17:30:46 | More by abeerdude
Photo of BeerEnergy
BeerEnergy

New York

5/5  rDev +13.4%

08-30-2013 02:20:53 | More by BeerEnergy
Photo of hbensinger
hbensinger

Oklahoma

4.61/5  rDev +4.5%

Serving type: bottle, poured into pub glass. In South Korea of all places. I was skeptical at first thinking this might be a knock-off but as I have had the real deal recently I figured this would be a good one to have. I was not disappointed.
A- Pours a nice golden/orange color with a delicate white head that dissipates into nice lacing.

S- very floral and strong sweet scents of apricots and peaches

T- awesome. Might be a little off as I have not had a good IPA in about a month. Balanced sweetness and bitterness, great hop flavor on top of the bitterness. Aroma still knocking it out of the park.

M- Nice carbonation, not too thin. Drinks wonderfully.

O- I loved this beer when I had it in the states and literally blew my socks off when I found it over here. Just one had a smile on my face all night. This is a great beer.

04-22-2014 01:57:47 | More by hbensinger
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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 8,853 ratings.