Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

11,810 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,810
Reviews: 2,438
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.75%
Wants: 1,301
Gots: 3,663 | 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: 11,810 | Reviews: 2,438
Photo of foogerd
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- golden orange thick white head tons of lacing
S- fresh grapefruit malts lemon spice
T- an eyeopener coming from the nose so many fruits going on here hard to know where to start, mandarin orange with a sort of spice quality to it is the first thing that comes to mind, then comes the grapefruit, grassy hops some sort of sweet pineapple taste which manages to offset the usual bitterness thats present in an IPA. Plenty of malt backbone to this
M- amazing for an IPA all should follow its lead
D- if your palette could handle all this taste you could go all night

Photo of ufellc
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Very hoppy on the front and back end. Grapefruit, lemon aromas and tastes. Bitterness lingers. Solid mouthfeel that keeps the bitter notes

Photo of Apellonious
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From a growler from FMcD's poured into a tulip glass. First pour from a fill from three hours earlier.

A - Clear golden orange, with a one finger head that quickly moves to a thin lace.

S - The first whiff of this is absolutely magnificent. Pine, hops, grapefruit, and some orange citrus. A tinge of sea salt. It smelled great on the pour at the store from six feet away.

T- Up front hops and citrus, with a heavy dose of bready malts on the finish. Other pine and salt notes are present as well.

M - Tends toward the thin, sharp, watery side, at least at first, then smooths some toward the end of the glass.

O - I had been looking forward to trying this for quite some time, and it just began to appear here recently. The nose alone makes this an impressive IPA. There is a good balance taste wise, with the hops winning out in the end. Recommended.

Photo of ianmatth
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Yellow-orange. I could care less about appearance, so unless it's really beautiful or really ugly, it will get the average of the other ratings. Who drinks a beer for appearance anyway?

S - Very nice pine and citrus smell.

T - More malt and sweetness that I would have expected for the smell. The pine and citrus is there, but the taste is not as strong as the smell. Solid bitterness with a light aftertaste.

M - Pretty balanced, but a little bit of an odd mix of malt, bitterness, and sweet, yet light and clean

O - A very solid IPA, but not worth the price as I think Stone IPA is better and I get it for quite a few $ less. Marginally better than Goose Island and Southern Tier IMO, which I can get for even less.

Photo of Huffs
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sam adams glass, nice white head developed, thick and creamy, with good retention and lacing. Aroma was very hoppy with strong pine notes. Appearance was clear with a dark golden color. Tasted off the charts of pine and hop, almost a tar type of note. More subtle notes of herb and grass. Mild mouth feel with a strong and bitter aftertaste.

Photo of prdstmnky
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh batch into the area, 12oz bottle into a pint glass. A bit cloudy, dark gold color (nearly orange) with 2 fingers of thick creamy head. Nice retention and lacing as well.

Nose is really hoppy, lots of citrus / grass / pine / floral battling it out for aroma supremacy. The taste is certainly hoppy throughout, but not as intense as expected. More of a clean, balanced, citrus/pine thing going on, a tad resinous. Light to medium bodied, with good carbonation, somewhat dry. A nice IPA, though perhaps a tad over rated.

Photo of faulkster4
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I don't think I've ever poured a beer with such beautiful rich hearty golden color. The light fruity smell, in my opinion, is absolutely perfect. Let me say, I am still trying to become an IPA fan but I still struggle with the bitterness. As far as IPA's go though, this one is quite tasty although that may be that I am a fan of grapefruit and Sculpin tastes ALOT like grapefruit. Very thin and light in the mouth, that I really like, with a very light and fluffy head, that I also I like. I was drinking this one with some chips and salsa and for me, I don't think IPAs and salty foods go that well together. I think it really accentuates the bitterness of the IPA. Seems like it would have gone a lot better with a nice medium rare piece of beef. Next time....

Photo of silver0rlead
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep golden color with a thick and frothy white head that retains impressively and leaves beautiful lacing. The aroma is equally impressive, with big citrus fruitiness upfront, along with some pine resin and passion fruit, some biscuit, caramel, esters, and alcohol...not especially complex but impeccably fresh smelling. The flavor is also nice, but a bit of a letdown from the appearance/aroma...notes of citrus and piney hops initially, a little mint, biscuit, herbs, caramel, orange marmalade, alcohol and a slight hint of funk. The mouthfeel is light and sprightly, and drinkability is excellent. Overall a really nice IPA, with a fresh hop character that is pleasant and clean at the same time, there isn't a massively bitter finish like with some lesser IPAs.

Photo of tobin
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a fluted tulip, it's quick to generate a fluffy head of sticky foam. Instant resiny aroma packed with floral/herbal hops and tropical fruit. Color is a light high-clarity orange with tiny rising bubbles. Lacing forms in sudsy sheets, and sticks around for awhile.

Concentrated citrusy hop flavors of pink grapefruit and bitter orange pith. Residual leafiness and a juicy mango aftertaste. Pale malt is relegated to the back of the bus, but provides a slight tip to the balance scale. Moderate and creamy carbonation with the obligatory hop bite to it. Slightly dry in the end with a fairly long finish.

Photo of wspscott
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass
best by 12/28/2012

A: Crystal clear, light copper/dark straw color with a one finger almost white head that leaves lots of lace.
S: Citrus and tropical fruit, a sense of sweetness
T: Sharp bitter, but not at all unpleasant, oranges and pine, and something that reminds me of flowers. No sign of the alcohol.
M: Very crisp, with a tingly amount of carbonation.
O: An excellent example of a west coast IPA. There is a lot going on, but it is not an overwhelming/dominating beer (you can have a conversation about something besides the beer). I wish this was a 6% beer vs. 7% so I could drink a six pack over a whole Saturday :) Something makes me think of Two Hearted, I think I need to pick up some for comparison.
Highly recommended.

Photo of thagr81us
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a flared pilsner. Poured a golden yellow with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a half finger slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pine, citrus, and pine hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, pine, citrus, pine hop, citrus hop, and subtle grapefruit. It had a medium feel (almost resiny) on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew as I'm sure you are all well aware. I had this awhile back in the bottle and it was quite heavenly. If I'm honest I MUCH preferred it out of the bottle as compared to the tap. It still had a nice flavor but it just wasn't as balanced. The pine aspect really overpowered in the tap version. It improved slightly upon warming up a bit but still lacked that heavenly aspect. Still a definite must try!

Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super fresh bottle courtesy of Weibull...

Poured into a fluted tulip, it's quick to generate a fluffy head of sticky foam. Instant resiny aroma packed with floral/herbal hops and tropical fruit. Color is a light high-clarity orange with tiny rising bubbles. Lacing forms in sudsy sheets, and sticks around for awhile.

Concentrated citrusy hop flavors of pink grapefruit and bitter orange pith. Residual leafiness and a juicy mango aftertaste. Pale malt is relegated to the back of the bus, but provides a slight tip to the balance scale. Moderate and creamy carbonation with the obligatory hop bite to it. Slightly dry in the end with a fairly long finish.

This is a fresh and vibrant west coast IPA, check it out...

Photo of dismal
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear golden almost yellow orange color with a small white head. Leaves some lacing down the sides. I haven't seen to many IPAs with this color but it looks pretty good. Aroma is pretty strong and good, smells piney to me more than anything and a hint of citrus. Smells great. Taste is bitter at first and finishes pretty smooth. Pretty piney which is great, I've been looking for a piney IPA for a while and this one seems to be doing the trick. Decent mouthfeel, kind of light but yet medium bodied. Drinkability is high, not to high of an ABV and with a good taste it's real easy to drink. A great IPA, I'm more into DIPAs and IIPAs and not to many regular IPAs really get my attention to much but this one does, I think it's the pineyness.

Photo of SHODriver
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep and hazy yellow orange with a quarter of an inch of dense white head.
S: Smells of grapefruit and a hint of pine
A: Once it gets going there is a full on assault of hop flavors. Starts off a little herbal but turns citrusy with some notes of pine with a hint of sweetness from the malt to try and keep things in check and bring in some semblance of balance. Aftertaste is pleasant with a nice citrus nose with some residual sweetness
M: Adequate carbonation and very smooth feeling in the mouth. Not prickly but not flat by any means.
O: A very well done beer from Ballast Point. I'm curious how well the rest of their lineup does.

Photo of lurpy1
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Beautiful to look at in a simplistic way, ordinary golden/amber color, but remarkably clear. Smell is great, hops, pine, citrus, little hint of caramel somewhere. Tastewise, for sure there is a nice hop bite, but along with it comes grapefruit and a bit of malt. Would have liked a bit more body/resin in the mouthfeel, but still pretty good.

Excellent beer. Looking forward to their other stuff on next trip to Cali.

Photo of Rion
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful clear golden color with a nice head. The smell is very nice definitely tropical and citrusy. Says enjoy by 6/29/13. It taste extremely fresh. This is my first time trying this beer. It was recommended by a good friend and this beer did not disappoint. Its very smooth and very easy to drink I will definitely be getting some more soon.

Photo of chefkevlar
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an orange/light brown color with a 1/2 in layer of just-off-white head

S: Intense aroma of peach/apricot with complementary aromas of orange, honey and a slight pine scent.

T: The flavor is very crisp and packed with citrus and hop tastes. There's a slight sweetness at first followed by a slightly bitter and astringent finish.

M: A moderate carbonation serves to lighten a medium heavy body

D: This is not something that could be drank in mass quantities but that's because it's intensely flavored...not because it isn't good.

Photo of Hophead717
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A bomber poured into my Dogfish Head Signature Glass.

A: Golden straw, with a one-finger head. Some lacing sticks to the glass.

S: Light lemon and light graininess. This is a somewhat tame scent, but what's here is pleasant.

T: Strong lemon-rind upfront with some nice bitterness from the hops upfront and lightly in the finish. Some earthy notes...slightly grassy. Mild grapefruit underlies the beer, but the lemony-citrus drive the beer. Absolutely excellent.

M: Light and very carbonated. Not overly carbonated, but close.

O: I'm a big fan of this different-type of IPA than I'm used to. The lemon and medium hops drive the enjoyable taste.

Photo of Genuine
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bomber into a clean pint glass

Had a relatively small head, about 1-2 fingers, but the lacing was impressive for this one. Stuck to the inside of the glass quite nicely.

Smell - This one immediately reminded me of a barley wine. Lots of fruit, mainly grapefruit, very tangy.

Taste - This is where this beer fell for me. I wasn't a huge fan of the taste. It was very sweet and while one of my friends liked the grapefruit/sweetness, it came across to me as a heavy metallic taste. There were some hops in the end but I felt as if they didn't help this brew.

Mouthfeel - very syrupy, if I remember correctly.

Drinkability - I couldn't even finish the glass I had. Served a room temperature, I couldn't get past the taste. Maybe this beer just wasn't for me. Definitely didn't remind me of an IPA.

Tried again the other day:

I don't know what I was thinking, but this is one of my favorite, all-time IPA's!

Photo of dulwich
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent two finger head on the pour. Bright amber coloring as well as a strong floral nose. The first sip brings in notes of grapefruit and leaves your palate slightly dry with a breath of citrus. Not overly carbonated but lively enough to excite your senses, leaving you wanting to drink more.

One of the most sessionable beers out there. Sculpin continues to be one of my favorite IPA's. Always fresh tasting regardless of age, this beer is a must for all IPA lovers. Strong hop flavor but not overpowering to the palate.

Photo of SoCalStout
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Churchill's 2/28/2012.

Appearance: Amber orange with a 1 fingers worth of white head with moderate lacing.

Smell: Pineapple, passion and mango fruits, mild citrus, pine and hop floral. A wonderful smell but not as powerful as on-tap.

Taste: Piney hops followed by mildly-sweet tropical mango and citrus, some pine resin and orange with lingering bitterness. It's a completely bright citrus finish; some sweetness that milds down the drying. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body and moderately-high carbonation. Creamy and a bit resinous.

Overall: Just a first-rate brew. Certainly in my top 10 IPA's when fresh and on-tap like this.

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very pumped to have finally reeled in the legendary Sculpin. So happy to have a great wife to give me gifts like this for our anniversary.

A- Pours a clean copper with a white head. Fantastic retention and serious lacing.

S- A lot going on here with the hop profile- Grapefruit, apricot, peach, orange zest. Finishes with a sweet malt base that smells like honey.

T- Something totally different and unique from some of the standard floral and pine hop IPAs that seem to be redundant. The fruits the nose caught along with some pine hops upr front mellows to a pale malt base, then hops come back with a vengeful bite, and then finishes so smooth and tasty. A lot going on here.

M- Mid body, good rush of carbonation. Dense.

O- Loved how this one gave me something a little different from the norm. Nice balance and a fantastic brew that I would have time and time again.

Best by 8/4/13
Consumed on 4/27/13

Photo of justintcoons
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance
Gold with 1/2 finger of head. Excellent clarity with low-moderate carbonation.

Nose
Mango, papaya, candied orange and hints of pineapple.

Taste
Mango, papaya, candied orange and hints of pineapple. Caramel and pale candy sugars. Finishes with some tangerine and a touch of pine.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, crisp, juicy, dry and clean.

Overall
Yeah, still an outstanding IPA. Loads of tropical fruits striking a nice balance between the candy-like malts. Juicy and not overly bitter.

Photo of MarkAvery
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this in the bottle and on tap. Outstanding IPA!! I Kept seeing and hearing great things about this beer. I stumbled upon it at some tiny little craft beer/DIY brewing store in Port Jefferson NY. I wish I remembered the name because it was a great little store with a great selection and good help. Anyway, the beer caught my eye, and I said "Finally!!" Snagged it off the shelf and back to my hotel room I go! Fantastic taste and mouthfeel. I had it around room temperature so I could really get a feel of this beer. And it delivered! Since then I've purchased it several times as well as had it on tap. I think I prefer it from the bottle to a glass myself. But either way, get on this beer if you already haven't!

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap at the brewery, this beer was served in a pint glass. I'm looking forward to this because I have had it before in a bottle and I have always enjoyed the beer. The colors are brighter than the Big Eye IPA that Ballast produces. The beer was slightly hazy, but more orange-toned to the amber coloring. The beer had no head to speak of. Heavy aromas of cedar and citrus hit the nose, with a very strong, hoppy background. Grapefruit sweet and tart on the tongue, with mild, peppery, green hops to balance. The beer is extremely well balanced, and ridiculously smooth. Tart and bitter aftertaste, with a surprisingly smooth finish. Well balanced and smooth bodied, I could drink this one all day.

Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 11,810 ratings.