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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

2,249 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,249
Hads: 12,157
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 1,334
Gots: 3,989 | 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:
Beer added by: brentk56 on 04-02-2006

Originally named Northstar IPA. Debuted in 2005.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,249 | Hads: 12,157
Reviews by Nugganooch:
Photo of Nugganooch
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Living in SD I have had the pleasure of enjoying this brew numerous times in many ways including double dry-hopped on cask but for my BA review I grabbed a few bombers straight from the brewery and into my pint glass at home.

A - Pours a golden orange honey hue with some slight haziness but incredibly clear for the IPA style. I had a little snow white head that dissipated quickly with slight lacing.

S - Smell is abundent with sweet citrus -grapefruit, tangerine and mango aromas.

T - An extreme burst of those bright citrusy grapefruit and mango flavors up front that lingers on all throughout. Very slight residual malt sweetness but alcohol barely detectable. Has you questioning "How is this 7% ABV" Hops continue to dance on the tongue as it finishes with a clean yeast bite that tickles your throat and leaves you wanting another gulp!

M - Very light bodied beer with great carbonation. This brew is deceptively good. As the description states Sculpin has a sting to your palate but tastes great.

D - Extremely high. For a hop forward beer Sculpin makes for very easy drinking. So well balanced. I am constantly hearing that even for folks that do not particularly enjoy hoppy beers they love some Sculpin.

I remember the days when Sculpin use to be a rare treat and always an incredible experience. For hop heads anywhere this is an incredible brew. A top 5 IPA on my list for sure. There is no wonder why it won GABF Gold 2010. I do contend however that with the scale up of production this beer has lost some of its luster. I have even seen 6-packs these days. Maybe because I have had some not so good Sculpin experiences at local establishments as well or that there are so many competetive hoppy beers in SD these days. Or maybe it is just me. None the less still a true masterpiece from the brewers at Ballast Point. Such a delicate and balanced use of mass hops. It is no wonder this brew is often sought after. Get to the point! (1,954 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of OldGriz
4.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll never forget my first taste of Sculpin. It was a magical beer moment for me. (81 characters)

Photo of BillBabbitt
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

I know this a very highly rated IPA, but I am not a fan. I have tried this beer on tap and out of a bottle. It pours a beautiful golden color with a rich creamy head , but I find the aftertaste a bit harsh. (210 characters)

Photo of jkrich
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Poured a hazy, golden-orange hue with a sustained, foamy white-head. This seems to be the typical American IPA look. I could not locate a freshness date but there was a number code on the label that may indicate the ale was bottled on the 213 day of 2014.

A very fresh and bittersweet fruity aroma greets the olfactory upon opening the bottle, along with a faint piney, bitter aroma.

The flavor has a surprisingly soft and mellow, citrusy start with a lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue. Very flavorful, but not what I expected given the reviews and especially the aroma. Of course, the bottle is a few months old.

Light to medium bodied with a somewhat thin mouth feel. The citrusy bitterness does linger on the palate.

This is another fine example of the American IPA: full flavored, high in alcohol but so very drinkable. (843 characters)

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Gold in color with tiny bubbles rising to the surface. Off white head that froths around the top and settles to a slight layer of bigger bubbles. Lacing is evident along the edges of glass as it slides down. Smell is of pine and some citrus is found in the background. Tastes of pine, grass, citrus and maybe some bitter hops are dancing on the tongue. Smooth on the palate and slightly creamy with the bitterness finishing it off. Overall, a fantastic IPA to indulge upon! (480 characters)

Photo of ddean
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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. (1,366 characters)

Photo of Veeblefetzer
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had a six pack of bottles, purchased in San Clemente. Very nice IPA. Citrus smells, lovely color. Nice hop taste with overtones of grapefruit. Very nicely balanced IPA. (171 characters)

Photo of moundbz
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

looks great, smells great, tastes great with a bitter after taste. (66 characters)

Photo of Mmart802
4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Lots of flavors of pine, citrus and hops. Bold taste all the way through. (74 characters)

Photo of clingy
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Classic favorite. (17 characters)

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional west coast IPA....but the Grapefruit version is better by far (73 characters)

Photo of chriskelly
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Excellent IPA. One of my top 10 go to IPAs. (43 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at another hipster heaven - Chapter One, Santa Ana, CA.

Did Raul just get himself in on this? Yep, it looks like he did!

Raul done had himself Sculpin many times over like Lindsay Lohan has had rehab visits. Only difference between Sculpin and that podunk ginger is that Raul will keep up with his daily Sculpin regime.

Clean, crisp, and devilishly intoxicating. Line another one up. Yep! (398 characters)

Photo of UTPharm2012
3/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poor man's Cigar City Jai Alai imo (34 characters)

Photo of Joegot4
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic IPA! The gateway beer to hop addiction! (49 characters)

Photo of Jessefromthe9
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Austinkrat
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great, balanced IPA. Just the right sweetness too balance the hops. May be the ideal IPA. (89 characters)

Photo of krbrevard
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from Beer Run in Charlottesville, VA. From what I gather, it was pretty fresh.

A: On its cross country quest, tons of carbonation remain. Nice half inch head, golden copper color.
S: Wow- very floral. Some citrus and pine as well. Could possibly be the best i've smelled on a beer.
T: Very nice foretaste, not overpowering. Back end has all the components of the smell and i'm left with a subtle piney and bitterness which i've grown to love in this style of beer. No Alcohol taste whatsoever.
M: Very smooth, crisp, carbonation is very refreshing.
O: I am very impressed with BP. Had Big Eye a few years ago and definitely enjoyed it. The next time i'm in SD i will be coming to the brewery for sure! (720 characters)

Photo of MisterKilderkin
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm not a huge IPA fan, but this is a fantastic representation of the style (75 characters)

Photo of Hophazzard
4/5  rDev -8.9%

I like this one. Readily available too (38 characters)

Photo of ColoradoPhil
4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Omg! this is good. I tried the Grapefruit which may be tastier for the delicious grapefruit added. but this is great world class beer no doubt. I could drink this everyday as a favorite but could drink a number of fine Microbrew IPA's everyday.. for $5.00 less a six pack. This is premium beer, but there are a lot of great beers to be had for $10.00 a six pack. We truly are in a golden age of great American craft beers! Life is good. (436 characters)

Photo of ZOMBzak
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Outstanding IPA. I consistently put this in the fridge. Goes well with everything and is always my "go-to" beer. Simply put it's just DAMN good! (144 characters)

Photo of RileyTippet
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very tasty. Great amount of hoppiness and backbone to carry it. Not sure why it's so dang expensive though. (107 characters)

Photo of Naidu91
5/5  rDev +13.9%

This one sold me on west coast IPAs (35 characters)

Photo of Vinnygny
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When you think you have tasted the best IPA, try this. (54 characters)

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,249 ratings.