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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

2,346 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,346
Hads: 12,837
Avg: 4.38
pDev: 22.6%
Wants: 1,401
Gots: 4,678 | FT: 48
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: 2,346 | Hads: 12,837
Reviews by cbak999:
Photo of cbak999
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed among new friends at the epic beer tasting.

A - pours a clear, yellow with a white head. Minimal lacing, but enough to leave a trace on the glass.

S - A blend of citrusy, fruit...but not overpowering by any means. Hints of apricot and mango.

T - WOW. A perfect IPA. Tastes similar to the smells come through, plus some earthy pine. Definitely hop forward, with a nice hop aftertaste that follows.

D - if available, I'd drink this just about every time I wanted an IPA. It's that good. Easy to see why it's ranked so high.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BillBabbitt
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%

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.

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Photo of jkrich
4.25/5  rDev -3%

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.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
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!

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Photo of OldGriz
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this bottle from South Bay D&L. Thanks Joey!

It pours a clear and very nice straw gold with a 2 finger head of foam. Plenty of lacing here as well. Very good head retention.

The smell is..whoah...the citrus hits my nose buds first but there's a lot of *other* things going on. Tropical fruit goes hand in hand with grapefruit and I can also smell some malty sweetness. Great nose...now, if I'll just point the glass away from my nose and point it towards my mouth. ;^)

First sip and what a treat. The grapefruit is there in big abundance as are flavours of apricot, peach, and oh yeah, mango; it has a huge presence here and boy does *that* ever work well. Wow. Just before the finish, I get a nice helping of pine but the finish itself, for me, returns to that darn tasty fruitiness that really hits my palate on just the right notes. Again, wow.

It has a near perfect mouthfeel for me and that's helped by a fairly light job of carbonation. Dang, I better slow down here, not because of the abv but because it's so damn tasty and I don't want to be looking at an empty bottle and glass! Yum!

Bottom line: Here's a world class IPA if I've ever tasted one. If you get the chance to try it, don't hesitate for one moment!!

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Photo of ddean
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of Veeblefetzer
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of moundbz
4.6/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of Mmart802
4.73/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of clingy
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Classic favorite.

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Photo of frozyn
3.86/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L -- Thick white head with a golden color, somewhat hazy.

S -- Bitter hops, a little pine comes through, along with floral notes and very minute tropical fruit.

T -- Lots of hops creates a nice bitterness. Unfortunately, every time I've had this, the only thing I really get from it is bitterness. I notice slight hints of citrus or pine, but they're always overrun by bitter. I

F -- Light-to-medium feel, very crisp and refreshing. No resin leftover to note of.

O -- A very good beer, but I prefer Jai Alai. For the price, I don't feel it presents a good value, especially given what else is out there. I keep trying this in SWFL and it just hasn't impressed me too much. In fact, as I try more IPAs and other different styles, each successive tasting makes me think less and less of this beer. Perhaps someday I'll be in San Diego and get to try it ridiculously fresh and it will change my mind. Until then....

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.6/5  rDev +5%
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

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Photo of chriskelly
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.6/5  rDev +5%
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!

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Photo of Harn_SOLO
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pretty much the best IPA I've ever had. The Ballast Point flagship beer really is amazing. A nice citrus flavored hop mixed with some sappy piney notes as well. Very balanced and refreshing. They charge a pretty penny for six-packs, but it really is worth the cost. Golden tint and crisp taste are great!

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Photo of UTPharm2012
3/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poor man's Cigar City Jai Alai imo

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Photo of Joegot4
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic IPA! The gateway beer to hop addiction!

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Photo of Jessefromthe9
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Austinkrat
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of tmbgnicu
4.91/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

If I am ever on deathrow, and I am allowed a last meal and can choose the beverage- I want a fresh bottle or can of Sculpin to be my drink. I grabbed a six pack of cans locally with a canned date of 5-20-14- just over two weeks old. The first six pack of Sculpin I had was about 3 months old, and boy was there a difference. The fresh Sculpin was the best ipa I have ever had. It was crisp and clean with the perfect notes and bitterness. West coast IPAs- fanfreakingtastic.

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Photo of krbrevard
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
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!

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Photo of MisterKilderkin
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
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

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Photo of Hophazzard
4/5  rDev -8.7%

I like this one. Readily available too

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Photo of timfelix
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I have had it on tap and from the bottle. Similar tasting experience. Lots of hop flavors throughout, while staying smooth even with quite a bite from all those hops. No malt noticed. If you like hops, this is excellent. But as another reviewer noted, there are other very good IPAs that will cost a lot less.
Full disclosure: I find many IPAs to be so hoppy I think I could bite into a fresh hop and chase it with cold water and get the same taste.

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,346 ratings.