Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

11,841 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,841
Reviews: 2,445
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.75%
Wants: 1,304
Gots: 3,686 | FT: 49
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,841 | Reviews: 2,445
Photo of daveg36
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Nothing beats fresh Sculpin. Addictively good. When it comes to IPA's Two Hearted is up there, but Sculpin has it beat, by a decent margin. Sculpin is SO drinkable and smooth. Even if you aren't an IPA drinker, you will not find this offensive.

I'll have several other really good beers, then I will be lucky and find fresh Sculpin, and nothing beats it. That's the one issue with Sculpin. Basically impossible to tell it is fresh with no clear bottled on date. I'll give you all a tip who haven't had it before, it should be very pleasant citrus flavors, but not overpowering. If there is a metallic smell or taste of any kind, it is not fresh and take it back to your retailer.

Photo of Fcip78
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I gave a bottle of Scuplin to my friend, whom never had it before, and he commented to me the next day that it was like this giant pint of grapefruit. That sums up why Scuplin is one of my favorites. There are plenty of IPAs with hop additions and grains that are similar to Scuplin, but never quite hit the bullseye like Scuplin. It really nice West Coast style ale, but gives the grapefruit hop aromas just the right finish, so as not to underwhelm or have that one note hop taste. Fantastic beer and highly recommended.

Photo of seymourcox
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best thing about this beer is the smell. Mrs. Cox said it smelled like grapefruit and if grapefruit were actually heavenly, that would be true. And, if grapefruit actually tasted heavenly, it would be true about the taste, too. The feel is soft and nice (oh yeah, that made sense). Lovely stuff.

Photo of richkrull
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received this one from Crabbicuss in N00b BIF 4. Thanks a lot bud!

Poured a cloudy copper color with a decent white head and good lacing.

Good hoppy smell on this one. Not too much malt on the nose.

Taste is very very good. Nice and hoppy throughout. Great bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is light. Goes down smooth.

Overall a great beer. I'll likely add it to my wants permanently once I clear my list a bit. I recommend this one highly to anybody who likes IPAs at all.

Photo of danfouts14
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Literally the best IPA on the planet. If you're lucky enough to make it to the brewery when they have their special Habanero brew, you're in for a treat. Sculpin IPA infused with with the spice of Habenero'll have to taste it to understand. Very spicy, but the spice and the bitterness of the IPA blend perfectly.

Photo of clingy
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Classic favorite.

Photo of ATraurig
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Bright, clear, and golden with very thin white head.

S: Very strong, glorious smell. Very piney and citrusy. Notes of tangerine and grapefruit.

T/M: At first, it has a crisp, refreshing, citrus taste. It finishes with a piney, earthy taste. Stimulates all parts of the tongue. Phenomenal!!

D: I wish I could drink it all the time!

Overall: I've had so many good IPAs, and Sculpin has to be #1 on my list! The smell and taste will make you want to smack you mother! Buy it if you ever have the opportunity.

Photo of MiScusi
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just opened a bottled that was bottled about 6 days ago. Bumping smell from 4.5-->5. I don't know that there is an IPA that smells better than Sculpin. The mouthfeel is right on the mark in terms of dryness, it's not slick and gooey and hard to drink. And the color is exception as a clear orange. Appearance bumped from 4.5 to 5, and mouthfeel bumped from 4.5 to 5. Yep, I gotta give this all 5's because it is THE best IPA being made in the US right now, as far as my experiences have shown.

Bottle just purchased from the 3rd release. Bottle would be less than a week old.

A- Perfectly clear orange. White frothy head builds up leaves nice lacing. Soapy film remains on top of the beer the entire time.

S- citrus fruit hoppiness, mostly orange to me. That's the smell I get when it's in the tulip. However, in my nonic pint I get less citrus and more greenery. Smell is dare I say reminiscent of Pliny the Elder. Only reason I only rate it "good" is because at times I have to search for the smell, it's not as pungent as I think a great IPA should be.

T- There's a lot of citrus type fruitiness and this beer is more similar to Pliny than ANY IPA i've ever had. A medium bitterness lingers on the tongue afterward but it's a pleasant citrusy one.

M- It's full, slick, without being syrupy. It's definitely not watery though (not that I would have too much problem with that). Maybe one of the most full/buttery feeling 7% IPA's I've ever tasted.

D- this beer is in the upper echelon of IPA's I've had. Is it at the top? Probably not, but on any given day it could be. It's just a real solid tasty IPA that nobody who actually likes IPA's could ever feel disappointed with. There's nothing earth shattering to this beer, it's what a good IPA should be.

It didn't occur to me while I was drinking it on tap at the brewery, but now that I sit down with a bottle it just dawned on me how similar in taste (and somewhat in smell) this is to Pliny the Elder. I am definitely going to do a side by side of those two beers to figure out if my memory of a beer I drink semi-regularly is accurate with what I'm tasting in Sculpin right now.

Second bottle consumed at home. Yeah this beer is definitely a big winner. Bumping Smell from 4-->4.5 and the same for mouthfeel.

Photo of mjstacker
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

People always told me to try this and for whatever reason I never have. Very happy I just did. Haven’t smelled/tasted this much melon in anything else except Maine Beer Co. "Another One." I think this is my new go-to IPA. The bomber is great but i really like the six packs that seem new to the area (Mass/NH).

Photo of jwall76
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite IPA. So damn tasty.

Photo of JLaw55
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This may be the best IPA I have ever had. This has a smoothness and balance that you don't often find in an IPA. There is a perfect sweet maltiness present to offset the hops, much like some of the malt leaning DIPA's out there. The difference is that this one is very light feeling, something you do not get with DIPA's. All the flavor, less filling. Sounds like a BMC tagline, but trust me and try this one. You will understand then.

Would absolutely seek this one out and purchase again. Sadly it is not readily available in my area.

Photo of ocelot2500
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden with a ragged white head that fades quickly. Plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smells of delicious hops. A lot of citrus, pine, and some tropical fruits like mango and pineapple.

Tastes of the bright citrus up front with some sweetness on the backend. Plenty of fruitiness from the nose and the sweetness cuts the bitterness well. A lot of grapefruit comes through along with pineapple and mango; touches of apricot and peach as well.

Mouthfeel is a light medium and allows me to gulp this wonderful beer.

Photo of ncredible1
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A. Golden Orange Hue with impressive lacing. This is one good looking IPA

S. Super juicy grapefruit and tropicals (Pineapple,Mango,Tangerine)in the smell and flavor profile. This is probably the best smelling IPA I've ever had.

T. The taste is similar to the smell but with a heap of bitter hops. Grapefruit, pine, and more sweet tropicals. Some sweet pale malts round this beer out nicely. Definitely a sweeter IPA,and a great introduction to an IPA for those who have yet to attempt an IPA. The tast just keeps you coming back for more. Awesome!

M. The mouthfeel is superb. Hidden ABV. Just a well balanced Hoppy to Malt ratio.

D. A wonderfully crafted IPA, and the best one that I have tasted to date. This was a very pricey 22 oz. But if you are into the grapefruit tast of an IPA this hands is the winner.

Photo of Adriatic
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed this magnificent beer next Ina tulip glass alongside a Drakes Aroma Coma. Trying these two beers side by side made me realize the floral characteristics I had never noticed in the Aroma Coma. Plan on buying a 4 pack of the Sculpin to enjoy while watching some football!

Photo of mikesgroove
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So this one goes out to Joey. He had been bitchin at me to try this forever and ranting and raving about how it was the best IPA under the sun. Finally, it was in bottles and I could take him up on this. Yesterday afternoon seemed like as good a time as any to try it out, so went over to Dad's for a little while and popped this open while I was there.

Appearance - Now then, this is what an IPA is supposed to look like. The pour was a deep orange amber, and absolutely crystal clear. There was a radiance about it that was outstanding. Tons of carbonation rippling up toward the surface, just enhancing what already looked absolutely stunning to begin with. A huge three-inch head of white foam formed on the top and ohh so gradually settled down into a nice one finger high pillow that settled down over the top of the glass and never did leave. The side glass lace was the absolute stickiest I had ever seen, and I swear the outside of the glass was getting sticky from it. Really just the perfect looking IPA.

Smell - The aroma was the most pungent, ripping citrus hops you could imagine. Just absolutely the freshest grapefruit smell. It was really tremendous to be honest. Such a strong fresh, bitter aroma that I could have been in the middle of a hop field. Just the slightest bit of sugar on the back end sweetening it up, but otherwise this was just a hop driven monster of an IPA.

Taste - The flavor followed right where the aroma left of. It started out with just this dripping fresh hop taste. Really extremely sharp, crisp, and just unbelievably fresh, this was the flavor I had been looking for in the style forever. It was just tremendous, with the floral taste being almost bigger then the beer itself. Hands down, the best hop taste I have ever come across. So crisp and refreshing with a huge taste, I was in heaven with this one. As it warmed some slight bready characters came out, but nothing was toppling the huge hop taste. In fact, it made a nice transformation over to a pine resin like flavor as it warmed, and got even stickier. The finish was huge, dry, and bitter, perfect.

Mouthfeel - Very nice light bodied IPA, with a huge amount of carbonation coming off of it. Lots of bubbles rippling through it over and over, really just perfect here as well, crisp and clean, not too thin and pungently strong.

Drinkability - This is the IPA for me at least. I put down the bottle and was scrounging around the house looking for more. It was just that good. I could have easily had a couple more, would not have been a problem. One of the best ever.

Overall this was probably my favorite west coast IPA I have ever had. I had to score it perfectly, only because I could not find any fault in it. When I think west coast IPA, I think of exactly this beer now. If you love hops, you simply cannot be happy without this one.

Photo of mterv
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Perfect beer

Photo of scottyshades
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growlers of Sculpin for $14 at Green's in Greenville, SC? Yes please

A: Pours a slightly cloudy bright orange color. The head is fluffy, billowy, and retains very very well.

S: In growler form, the nose is a little different than its bottled cousin. The hops are much more aromatic and intense, giving strong notes of pineapple, grapefruit, mango (not as much as the bottled version), lemon, and other citrus fruits. Not really piny or resinous ,which is what I prefer. Malts are subtle, but give enough balance. Truly awesome stuff.

T: Compared to the bottles, this growler tastes amazingly fresh. The hops are bright and flavorful- lots of citrus, tropical fruit, and zest. Bitterness is a little more up front it seems, but definitely manageable. The yeast may be the best part. It adds this unique flavor that is best described as "fresh". Malts balance a little, but this is just a hoppy beer.

MF/D: Carbonation is sometimes a major flaw in IPAs, but this was right on the money. Medium feel to the body. The finish is mango and pineapple juiciness with some bitterness. Alcohol is completely hidden.

Notes- bottle vs growler:
There are minute differences, but I would say that I prefer the growler version due to the freshness of the hops and the aroma. Its really close to call, and either way, its amazing and my personal favorite

Photo of Jessefromthe9
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Amazing !

Photo of pda22
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has to be the best IPA ever, right? Not double or triple but a regular IPA. From appearance to mouthfeel to taste, this beer is top-notch! Fantastic! Delicious. Pairs well with many foods. This beer is the best, home grown I'm San Diego, land of the IPA.

Photo of Jay43613
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best IPA I have ever tasted. Sculpin captures the bitter that I look for in every IPA. The smell and flavor are perfect. The color adds to it. The head when you pour it does not over-flow, and there is no stale taste to it by any means. If you are looking for perfection in an IPA this beverage is for you.

Photo of ianroodt
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours crisp and clear with a modest head.

S- Citrus, hopy, with a floral hint.

T- Crisp and smooth with the oh so familiar west coast ipa bitterness. With each sip you desire another. Excellent taste.

M- Light on the tongue.

O- This is an excellent ipa worthy of being a world class beer.

Photo of Pattymac
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Just awesome.

Photo of Klebe
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this originally rated as a 4.75. I have since revised it due to the fact that I can ALWAYS find it at my favorite beer store. Compare this against several other (5) rated beers (PTE, HT), which seem to come around less frequently than the comet known as Haley.

Photo of TheCobbgoblin
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the few best examples of an IPA. It hits all the right notes, stings when it's supposed to, is fruity and wonderful at the right points as well.

Photo of Jtcolella
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best beer I've ever had

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 11,841 ratings.