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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,509 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,509
Reviews: 1,976
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 882
Gots: 1,320 | FT: 45
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:
Originally named Northstar IPA. Debuted in 2005.

(Beer added by: brentk56 on 04-02-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,509 | Reviews: 1,976 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nc41

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grapefruit on the nose and on the tongue. Sharp citrus that I absolutely love. Pours nice looks pretty all that good shit, holds a nice head to the end, but taste is where this one is at. Really a well done IPA at a sensible ABV level without sacrificing taste. Surprisingly deep in flavor. Dangerously drinkable too, i would prefer it in a sixer, but i take this one any way I can get it. case worthy to the extreme.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2009 22:33:09 | More by nc41
Photo of minterro


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bought for a New Seasons grocery store in Portland, Oregon. Pretty pumped when I saw this one, cause its been on my radar for a while now. No freshness date, but I expect it to be pretty fresh considering the stores location (Hawthone) and this beers popularity. Poured into a snifter.

A&S: Little over a finger of dull yellow semi fizzy head, retains in a thin layer and leaves some speckled lacing. Beer is a hazy cream yellow coloration. Primary citrus in the nose.

T&M: Predominate tropical hoppiness upfront. Powerful orange zest towards the finish. Semi-bitter, dry finish. Crisp carbonation but the medium-ish body cause this beer to be highly drinkable.

Overall: An incredible beer and the price ($2.50 for a single) makes this beer even more appealing. Would highly recommend to anyone, craft beer drinker or not. Wish this beer reached Colorado, this would for sure end up as a go to.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2014 06:27:51 | More by minterro
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered this from Joey at South Bay.

a - bright amber color, fairly clear, two-finger white head with good retention and lacing

s - big hoppy aroma of citrus and tropical fruits, grapefruit and mango really jump out, nice light biscuit/grain malt notes as well, not much alcohol noticeable

t - taste is dominated by intense bitterness and grapefruit flavors, there is a bit of tropical fruit from the hops as well, light malt backbone with graininess, long lingering bitter finish, not much alcohol, classic West Coast hopbomb here

m - medium-bodied, lots of carbonation, pretty dry on the finish

d - this one is pretty hard on the palate with the intense hoppy bitterness, but the alcohol is muted and this drinks pretty well for a hophead

Great IPA overall. Nothing overly complex or earth-shattering, but a fine ode to the almighty hop. It's too bad BP isn't going to brew this again for awhile.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2008 00:56:14 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of tzieser


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. dated as "best by" sometime in January 2013 (not about to dig the bottle out of the trash to find the exact day, sorry) light copper in color with a big white head that settles into a thin lacing.

s: fruity hop aroma. notes of citrus and tropical fruits. slightly sweet malts. nice.

t: lots of citrus and mango hop flavor. subtle sweet malt flavor which makes everything nice and balanced. slight pine bitterness at the end. fantastic

fantastic IPA. surprised i never reviewed this before. recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2012 04:27:31 | More by tzieser
Photo of gopens44


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased 22 oz. bottle at Wine & Beer Westpark for$9.50

A - Golden yellow and clear with a very nice 1 1/2" frothy white head.

S - Bright fruity hops dominated the smell. Very pleasant, with little else coming through.

T - Just like the smell. Fruity (citrusy) hopes were bold yet very pleasant. Bitterness was well balanced with the great taste.

M - Crisp and well carbonated with just a touch of bitter aftertaste.

O - I had been looking forward to trying this for a while and it certainly lived up to it's reputation as being an exceptional IPA. Just wish it was available here a bit more often!

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 12:02:12 | More by gopens44
Photo of iadler


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured in pint glass. Big thanks to DearthVader for this!

A: Pours a cloudy golden orange with a one finger fluffy head. A nice amount of retinnation sticks to the side of the glass.

S: This smells amazing. Lemon, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, mango and other tropical notes with sweet caramel malt in the background.

T: Very similar to the smell. Amazing tropical notes of pineapple and mango with peach, pink grapefruit, orange and lemon. Some sweet malt backbone provides some balance.

M: Medium carbonation, finishes dry, very drinkable

O: An extremely flavorful IPA. Lot’s of tropical and citrus notes that make this one of the best IPA’s out there.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2011 15:51:28 | More by iadler
Photo of BoatsSinkBro

4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Various number of bottles, tastes/smell/etc were all consistent.
The characteristics popping out at me from this beer were the smell and tastes.
-Aroma of citrus/tropical fruits and pine-y hop.
-Taste being nearly same as smell, with fruit like taste in front and piney hop finish.
-Very balanced IPA.
A very good IPA I can drink regularly if I wasn't in the mood for the more bitter hop character IPA's.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 10:06:12 | More by BoatsSinkBro
Photo of Cresant


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. No date. Thanks to Joey at South Bay Drugs for this one. The body was beautiful and clear golden-orange. The crisp white head slowly faded to a light film. Tiny velvety bubbles slide down the glass leaving only minimal lace.

Smell was the best attribute, Wow! Pine needles and satsuma oranges. Grapefruit pulp and mangos. Marmalade and pineapples. Not just juicy fruits but also a cannabis-funk aroma. There are so many wonderful west coast, hoppy IPA characteristics in this one, love it.

Taste was not as equally robust as the smell, however it was solid. Juicy oranges and never harsh citrus pith bitterness. Finishes with a grapefruit juice bitterness. Very drinkable.

Mouthfeel was medium to light with adequate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 13:57:15 | More by Cresant
Photo of mntlover


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lightly hazy amber color with a thumb sized cream head with pretty decent lace.

Aroma is nice tropical and citrus fruits with some light pine notes. Underneath it all some spicy notes and light caramel base.

Taste is big on hop good citrus notes with lots of spice notes or so many hops they tingle the tongue. Lots of bitter grapefruit and lemon zest mingled with pine hints and what seems like peppery notes. Malt is lightly sweet with light caramel hints but hops dominate this one.

Mouthfeel is lighter medium with lots of carbonation that tingles the tongue and helps infuse it spicy notes. Pretty good feel but not overly found of extra carbonation for the most part.

Overall pretty tasty, definitive hop bomb show casing the hop. World class eh so many wonderful IPA's hard to tell but defiantly very tasty one.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2012 11:44:50 | More by mntlover
Photo of mechamifune

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a creamy golden/orange with slight white head. Some nice lacing and carbonation evident.

Smell is outstanding, hops with strong citrus and peach smells. A very pleasant smelling beer.

Taste is very light, refreshing but still very hop forward. Citrus is obvious and lingers in the aftertaste. Malt is very subdued.

Mouthfeel very smooth, creamy, and pleasant. Very easy to drink.... i've gotten so used to the harshness of some DIPAs that this is a nice change of pace.

Very drinkable beer and one you could drink multiples of in a sitting. Glad I finally got to try it, but sadly this qualifies as another beer that, good as it is, is hard to keep justifying at the price point.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2010 18:24:24 | More by mechamifune
Photo of baconbourbon


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Slightly cloudy with a golden body and nice lacing.
Smell - Excellent mixture of citrus hops. It smells fantastic.
Taste - A wave of citrus up front followed by a bit of a malty aftertaste. The aftertaste lingers just long enough until you're ready for your next sip. Fabulous.
Mouthfeel - Goes down easy, incredibly smooth, and dangerously drinkable.
Overall - This IPA cooks all cylinders. It's no Pliny or Heady, but it's pretty damn good.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 23:43:01 | More by baconbourbon
Photo of nUgZ

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy bright golden color with a 1 finger head and some lacing.

S: Lots of citrus hops of all different kinds and very little malt to speak of.

T: Nice hop bitterness followed by a decent amount of malt. Different from what I expected based on the smell.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation . Pretty dry.

O: Pretty solid IPA, but I think I like the Big Eye a little more. This is not as well balanced and refreshing. This is a great beer, but I expected more based on the hype.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2012 01:58:46 | More by nUgZ
Photo of PicoPapa


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. Pours a light orange color with a thin head and lacing throughout. Great aroma. Citrus hops, grapefruit and maybe lemon smells. Taste is more citrus with a bitter aftertaste. Hoppy as well. Pretty smooth. It is certainly a bit dangerous how drinkable this beer is. This is one of the few IPAs that can hold their own against Imperial IPAs. Damn good.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2010 04:24:48 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of ajmitch4


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a friend, Mr. Atwill from Maryland, for sending this to Colorado for me to try. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a yellow-golden color, fairly cloudy and a firm white head.

Smells of very piney hops with a hint of citrus hiding in there. Struggling through the end of a cold right now so I know I'm missing out on more here.

Hop BOMB. Very good presence of piney and grapefruit/citrus hops. Incredibly drinkable for the alcohol and IBUs. Not necessarily a palate-wrecker...it's so smooth going down and the bitterness doesn't linger, only making you need another taste. Balances well with the malt.

Medium-bodied and very smooth. Perfect amount of carbonation.

After the first taste I was thinking this ought to be considered a double or imperial. Regardless, a very solid American IPA from Ballast Point. I'm glad I finally got to try this brew, and it was well worth the wait. Hopefully distro can be sorted out and it will make it to CO soon.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 04:33:51 | More by ajmitch4
Photo of HosP


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple bottles of these from a very generous Stormking47. Poured 12 oz into pint glass

A- Pours a nice dark orange. Nice fluffy white head, leaves lots of lace.

S- Lot of juicy hop aroma to this. Citrusy, piney hop smell comes through the most. Very nice.

T- Just like the nose, lots of hoppiness to this beer. Citrus mostly with orange and mango flavors. Some pine hop taste too. Sweet caramel malts hidden in the background. Not really to much bitterness, pretty mild.

M- On the lighter side of medium body. Moderate carbonation.

O- A very well done IPA. Give hints that it could be a DIPA with the amount of hop flavors, but the bitterness of a DIPA isn't there. Makes for a great drink. Would love to drink a sixer of this anytime. Thanks Josh for the bottles!

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 02:45:19 | More by HosP
Photo of jeff1973


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz into a my Founders pint glass.

A - Golden tilting towards light orange. Eggshell head with great lacing.

S - Piney, citrusy in all the good ways. A little mango/pineapple.

T - Upfront grapefruit/mango/pineapple, then goes to pine. Has a slightly earthy finish along with more grapefruit/mango/pineapple.

M - Medium. Good carbonation.

D - High. This one tastes great. The medium body and good amount of carbonation make it go down easy. The dry finish is very refreshing.

Great IPA. I would put this in the top 5 of IPAs that I have had so for.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 04:10:34 | More by jeff1973
Photo of JayQue


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow!! This is Avery Maharajah's civilized little brother. A blast of grapefruit hops in the nose and taste, but not as challenging and in-your-face as Maharajah. Pours a color half way between dull gold and light amber with an average size, slightly off-white head. Average retention and thick spotty lacing.

Aroma is pronounced and pleasing....citrus (grapefruit) hops and bitterness.

Flavor is hophead nirvana. Bitterness...grapefruit...smooth and civilized. This is a great IPA that is still accessible to those that do not usually wallow in hoppy goodness.

Mouthfeel is crisp and surprisingly light for the hop wallop it packs.

Drinkability is very good. I could keep drinking this until I ran into problems

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 04:41:03 | More by JayQue
Photo of cookedw


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had Sculpin on tap and bottles before but never on cask, so I knew I had to make it down to Triple Rock to have some (they had Sculpin and IIMAXX going "head to head" on cask).

A - A light, cloudy amber. Minimal head, obviously, but there was some nice lacing.

S - Immediate citrus notes, primarily grapefruit and maybe something like apricot or guava. There was also a strong floral presence, but more in a lavenderish way than your typical "floral" hop flavor.

T - The grapefruit again dominated the flavor up front, but it subsided into a very strong, piney flavor. The aftertaste had a sap-like, resin-y quality with a little bit of sweetness but mostly just a bitter bite. I loved how the bitterness didn't really punch you up front...it sort of snuck up from behind. It did linger quite a bit, though.

M - This is a rather thin beer, which is both good and bad. I'm rather surprised that it was 7%, but because it's thinner, the flavor dissipates rapidly, leaving behind just the bitterness. On the plus side, I like the light, refreshing IPAs like this - perfect for summer (much more so than the drizzle I came inside to avoid). And I'm a sucker for cask IPAs, so I loved the subtle carbonation.

D - This is pretty drinkable. 7%, are you kidding me? I sipped it to savor, but I could have just as easily gulped 'em down readily. The one drawback is the aftertaste, which is substantial.

There's no doubt this beer is a west coast IPA, but it doesn't overburden your tongue with bitterness or come off as pushy. If you like more balance, this is not for you, but if you enjoy some bright, floral hops and lots of citrus, this is a keeper.

Serving type: cask

02-15-2011 06:22:02 | More by cookedw
Photo of beagle75


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip.

A: Hazy light orange color with a diminishing one-finger white foam head. Lacing on the glass is light.

S: Appealing aromatic hops that take on some similarities to perfumed hand soap after repeated whiffs. While no malts are detectable in the smell there is a slight note of alcohol, which I am surprised to find there.

T: There is substantial bitterness present and it arrives quickly after sipping. This results in a very pleasant simultaneous tasting of big, fresh citrus and melon flavors with bracing bitterness. Slight biscuit malt is detected in the finish, as the hops fade.

M: Light but dry texture with moderate carbonation.

D: Highly drinkable if you crave a good IPA like I do, but at 7% abv the alcohol content is a little high for the style. This beer blurs the line between the single and double IPA categories. Sculpin seems less balanced than some other single IPAs I enjoy, such as Racer 5, Marin IPA, and even BP Bigeye. It is strikingly similar to GF West Coast IPA.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 03:14:10 | More by beagle75
Photo of Schmaltzy


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Great color, awesome amber golden color that is clear slight haziness.
S-Awesome, one of the best smelling beers, my wife likes to smell this one and she doesn't drink. Definate tropical fruit followed by citrus and with all IPA's pine.
T-Off the bat you get those citrus and fruit flavors followed by pine, but then a second burst of tropical flavors.
M-Good mouthfeel but maybe too much on this batch, last batch was light/medium this one is definately medium.
D-Great IPA I could continue drinking this all day long.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2009 18:35:28 | More by Schmaltzy
Photo of tobelerone


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally found the elusive Sculpin here on the East Coast, at Party Beverages in Newburgh, NY. Paid 8.50 for a bomber which I feel is still pretty steep, even after drinking this excellent brew.

The beer looks great, slightly cloudy, dark yellow. Smells awesome, with freshly cut grass and citrus ringing in the nose clearly. A lovely hop bouquet. The taste really delivers the goods...it's beautifully balanced, all those juicy, fruity, cirtusy, grassy notes are there. This is not an over-the-top hop bomb. The bitterness isn't overpowering everything else and the aftertaste is just right, stopping well short of overstaying its welcome.

This may not be the holy grail of AIPA's that some make it out to be but it is truly excellent. After drinking a number of other highly regarded IPAs on the same night and over the same weekend, I kept coming back to this one as the best of the bunch, with the tastiest and most complex flavors and best balance by far. Still, at $8.50 a bomber I may not buy this one all that often.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 21:50:48 | More by tobelerone
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy amber with the fastest rising core of bubbles I've ever seen (including champagnes). Soapy head forms easily and sticks around, and to the glass. Reminds me of a rootbeer float- on my last, roughest pour, I had a kind of volcano-looking foam mountain that lasted even after my last swig.

S: Extremely expressive, tons of fruit aromas, and not just the super-citric stuff; mangoes, cantaloupe, orange, apricot, etc. Almost no pine- a plus! Balanced by background breadiness. Mmm.

T: All those fruits, no pine, malts/yeast provide balancing sweetness and a bready flavor, but don't diminish from the overall bitter finish. I'm not an IPA guy, but this bitterness is totally welcome after that refreshing array of flavors.

M: That lasting head gives this a really creamy mouthfeel, but the effervescence adds to the spicy-bitterness. Either way, it's fantastic.

O: Hands down my favorite IPA. Didn't know I don't enjoy pine from hops until this beer; their absence is very welcome! Not super harsh like other IPA's despite the respectable 70 IBU's, and I'm a fan of the unique array of fruit esters present. If I can find 6-packs (which should be more economical) this will become a go-to!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 04:56:09 | More by 1000lbgrizzly
Photo of bronco94


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the neck coded bottles (according to BP, they just started neck-coding the bombers ~6 weeks ago). Poured into a pint glass

A - bright golden yellow, thick creamy white head with good lacing.

S - a wonderful aspect of this beer...full of tropical/citrus hop smells (grapefruit, lemon) a touch of sweetness

T - follows the smell nicely, but not quite as intense. Balanced well between the hop punch and the malt backbone...definitely hop-forward but the malty sweetness is nice to balance things out and make this beer a pleasure to drink.

M - carbonation makes it feel lighter in the mouth than it probably is because it has a slight thickness

D - I wouldn't want to drink more than one bomber at a time simply because after the first, I couldn't appreciate the intensities of the hop flavor. Its a great, intense, IPA with a moderate alcohol content with good drinkability. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and I wish it was available closer to me.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 18:38:50 | More by bronco94
Photo of ProfessorX


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have this on tap and in the bottle. This was the first beer I had at Ballast Point Brewing Company. The color is a nice golden orange color, that reminds me very much of the Sculpin fish that this is named after. The aroma is rich with many different, smells, the strong is that of citrus fruits with orange and grapefruit being some of the strongest. A very hopy taste with with a nice balance of flavors, the cirutus flavors are balanced nicely with that of the malted hops. Over all a great IPA

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2012 01:45:56 | More by ProfessorX
Photo of beerwolf77


4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into my pint glass the beer is clear golden yellow. Two fingers of off white head fade slowly to leave sticky lace everywhere.

The aroma is pure pine and citrus hop goodness. Grapefruit and lemons slathered in pine sap. Nothing else to smell here. That's a good thing in my book.

The flavor is pretty much a mirror of the nose. Loads of citrus and pine assult your taste buds. A modest amount of malt helps to keep this from going off the rails into unbalanced territory. Bitter mouth puckering finish.

Medium body with plenty of carbonation.

Overall a fantastic AIPA. So glad I was able to secure a few bottles of this.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 15:21:35 | More by beerwolf77
Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 8,509 ratings.