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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,280 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 2,280
Hads: 12,309
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 22.32%
Wants: 1,358
Gots: 4,153 | 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: 2,280 | Hads: 12,309
Photo of EggsBenny
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An awesome beer. King of the readily available IPAs, possibly of all readily available beers, in Connecticut. Floral-y and Citrus-y as opposed to malty and spicy (like Founders Centennial or Dogfish 90min). Very refreshing and crushable in my opinion. I work at a liquor store with a great beet selection and its tough for me not to buy this every time.

If you like this and are looking for similar things try check out DC Brau's The Corruption or Finch's Hardcore Chimera.

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

. The cans are making this readily accessible everywhere which is great. This is a top notch IPA you will not find a smoother ale. I'm not gonna compare this to any other ipas. This beer is a classic if you haven't had it yet do yourself a favor and try it. if you can find the grapefruit buy all you find seriously though..

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Photo of daveg36
5/5  rDev +13.9%

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.

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Photo of Rathattack75
5/5  rDev +13.9%

This is the best IPA I've ever consumed. In fact, it turned me into an IPA man! I crave the hops finish at times which has never seemed like a possibility before.

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Photo of TheRaven
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Normally, when you get a beer as hyped as this one, it is nearly impossible for the beer to meet expectations. Not so with Sculpin. It is pretty damn close to perfect. Just buy it.

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Photo of Tilghman
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Great IPA. Picked up a 6 pack and enjoyed each one over two or three nights. Top shelf IPA, a bit pricey at almost $17 for a 6 pack but maybe that's just because it was bought in Maryland. Still good stuff.

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Photo of JLaw55
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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

What do you say about something when everything has already been said?
To me, this beer and I have a close relationship that was at a time monogamous in our understanding. Like a first kiss from your first love, you simply can't forget for eternity what you were doing when this delicious beer quenched your palette for a first time.
The appearance is so unique as it is beautiful that when served on a flight you can immediately tell that the blood orange red color is Sculpin IPA.
The smell is subtle, yet strong enough to hit the back of your nostrils, with floral hints of pine, spice and fruit combination.
Unlike many IPA's this beer's taste is only slightly bitter, the fresh citrus taste with a hint of kick from the combination of hops and spices is a thing to behold. It is not a beer you can drink too many of though however, because it will lose it's taste. I only have 2 of these at max on draft but they do need to be ICE COLD.
I love you Sculpin.

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

Just about my all time favorite IPA. What can I say to start it off... Its juicy, floral, fresh and crisp. Ballast Point truly made a world class beer. The nose has pleasant notes of lemon, tangerine, peach and pine. It is floral and light with fresh hints of melon, honey, and many citrus flavors that all come together with a crisp bite and a dry, yet juicy finish. I always look for that special beer which hits me as a masterpiece keeps me coming back to get more and more. Sculpin IPA truly fills that title. To me, its perfect. It is a testament to what creativity and experimentation can produce. Give it a try.

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Photo of NorCalBrewBuff
5/5  rDev +13.9%

When you consider all of the IPA's regularly available in northern California including the most famous regularly available (although in limited supply) brew (nod nod, wink wink), I believe this tops them all. Having consumed these top IPA's numerous times and side by side, I have come to the conclusion that Sculpin tops them all. A rare combination of all that hoppiness has to offer in a very drinkable brew. Many may consider this a very hop forward beer but in the spectrum of what is out there these days, Sculpin offers a hop experience that is flavorful and very smooth. Best of the class.

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

This is truly a world-class beer. If you have not had the pleasure of trying it, then you are missing out. I am looking forward to trying many of their other selections of beer that have just made it into my region.

Despite being served in a plastic go-cup, this beer is still amazing. When you live in Savannah and rarely sit at one place for very long, you must have a travel beer/roadie. Hence the plastic cup.

Even with the plastic, the lacing is beautiful and head is durable. The slightly citrusy aroma comes through as well.

I am big on mouthfeel, and the smoothness of this beer is unparalleled. I imagine that this is what separates many of the world-class beers from the rest.

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

Malt seems thoughtful, but this beer is all about the hops. Layer upon layer of bitterness. Complex but not overcrowded. Smell and taste is spice, with some pine, and citrus. Finish is loooong and bitter. Can't wait to give it a shot out of the can.

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

Sculpin...how I love thee!!! It started out with a bomber bottle and is now readily available in six packs, and boy am I happy for that. This very well may be my absolute favorite beer to drink. Perfection in a bottle.

Appearance: Pores a beautiful golden orange with a nice white head. A solid amount of carbonation present. Beautiful lacing left on the glass!

Smell: FRUIT, RICH CITRUS FRUIT! Smells absolutely delicious. I still remember the first time I took a whiff of this and couldn't wait for the taste.

Taste: Balanced perfection. Grapefruit, tangerine, some hints of tropical fruit. The hops attack but get balanced out by subtle malts.

Mouthfeel: Clean and refreshing. Hits the palette nice and smooth with a rush of the bitterness that blends nicely with the malts.

Overall: As mentioned above it is so well balanced I truly have no complaints. It's smooth, it's bitter, its refreshing. The only slight negative I could possibly find is that some places don't carry the freshest bottles which leads to a slightly maltier taste. But fresh...it doesn't get much better. I'm hoping now to get my hands on some Habanero Sculpin to see how that is.

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Photo of SDBP123
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great beer, but between this and the longfin IPA I'd take the longfin.
This has an aftertaste I can't exactly make out but it seems to be an excessive bitterness from the hops. Regardless of the aftertaste it starts off great and goes down smooth.
Ballast Point remains my most favorite brewery from SD.

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

This IPA by Ballast Point is outstanding. You won't be disappointed. The aroma is great. And the taste is even better. ABV's at 7% and you don't taste the alcohol. Not heavy which I love because you can enjoy more than one. You can taste tropical fruits in the beer like mango and pineapple. Not a fruity beer though. Defiantly an IPA taste for sure.


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

This is what IPA's want to be when they grow up. The smell is amazing, the taste is transcendent. This beer comes as close to perfection as humanly possible. I hope I can find it on tap someday.

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Photo of mjstacker
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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).

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

An absolutely amazing India Pale Ale. This is a west coast IPA at its best!! The clarity of the beer is great. A wonderful balance of bitterness and dankness!! As huge fan of IPA's this along with Bear Republic's Racer 5 are my go-to's on any given day!! Keep up the great brew's Ballast!!

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Photo of pda22
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of seymourcox
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of Adriatic
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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!

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Photo of danfouts14
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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 peppers...you'll have to taste it to understand. Very spicy, but the spice and the bitterness of the IPA blend perfectly.

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Photo of TheCobbgoblin
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of Jay43613
5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of Rjtribb1e
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer in the planet. Citrussy bitterness. Like biting into a white grapefruit or the taste of that stuff people put on their fingernails to stop from biting them (hey some people like that taste, don't judge me.) My only problem with this beer is I can't get it living in GA. Ill be living in the city of angels soon though, can't wait.

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,280 ratings.