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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,309 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,309
Hads: 12,520
Avg: 4.38
pDev: 22.37%
Wants: 1,373
Gots: 4,378 | FT: 48
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 2,309 | Hads: 12,520
Photo of Tdizzle
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into an imperial pint glass, this fish pours a clear light-gold color with a white head that settles to a thick, patchy layer over the beer. Each sip leaves behind an array of web-like lacing.

S- A blast of white grapefruit and piney hops along with a myriad of tropical fruit aromas. The malt backing smells crackery and lightly grainy. This is one of the best IPA aromas I've ever encountered.

T- The initial juicy hop bite gives way to a malt backbone that again resembles grainy bread. Very clean and refreshing. The taste has that same tropical fruit undercurrent that the aroma posses. The finish is only moderately dry and leaves a flavorful lemony bitterness on the back of the tongue.

M- The beer feels medium-bodied with a slightly oily and slick texture as it moves over the palate.

D- A pure joy to drink. The 7% ABV makes this even easier to enjoy as make short work of this 22oz bottle.

One of the best IPA's on the market.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge surprise gift from a fellow BA upon moving to town.

A: Straw/Golden orange body, pretty hazy, big slightly off white head with small bubbles, ok lace, pretty good texture. Overall, this beer is good looking but too orange/hazy.

S: Orangey! Like a screwdriver. Very little malt, but it's there. Maybe a little herbal spiciness?

T: Super citrus, of course, more orange. There are other tropical fruit flavors as well, but to me, orange really dominates. I get next to no malt flavor, but there's so much depth and complexity to the hops, I'm ok with that.

M: Awesome, near perfect, but a bit of body might help. Active carbonation is great, it's very much there, but doesn't make this beer too filling/gassy.

D: Amazing.

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Photo of moosington
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Pours a beautiful golden orange with a nice white head that fades, though becomes a lacing machine.

Aroma follows suit from other reviews, incredibly tropical, sweet citrus and an undeniable peach dominate with a very underscored hop scent.

Flavor is very peachy with an extreme balance between malt and hop, very pleasant bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is great. Very tight carbonation rushes through quickly and finishes extremely refreshingly.

This is a fantastic IPA, extremely drinkable and refreshing (90 degrees out as I type). This was an extremely fresh bottle, which certainly played a large part in the awesomeness.

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Photo of aasher
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This growler was courtesy of thagr81us (thanks Calton!), who sent it to me for my birthday despit the package I sent him being destroyed by FedEx. The growler "popped" when I unscrewed the lid, unleashing a multitude of in your face bitter and hoppy aromas. This was poured into a Goose Island pint glass. It poured a rich and beautiful gold in color with a two finger, whispy off white head that laced the glass. The aromas are very wet, bitter, and full of pine. It features very citrusy and sweet hops. There is so much going on here for an IPA! I love the variation. The taste of is of pine and honey. I'd say that this is somwhere in between Hopslam and 90 Minute. It's excellent and a must try. It drinks very crisp and has excellent carbonation. It doesn't leave you with cotton mouth like many IPAs and actually leaves your mouth watering for more. This beer is superb! Thanks for the birthday growler Calton!

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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 VaTechHopHead
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice medium orange, perfectly clear, big bubbly one finger white head, lots of visible carbonation.

S - Pretty much all hops on this one, almost DIPA-like. Strong floral aroma. Humulus lupulus can't really smell much better, as if I were holding a handful of hop cones in my hand and sticking my nose in them.

T - A little shocked the hop characteristic wasn't as complex/unique as much as the hype would suggest. Quite bitter, again almost reminiscent of a DIPA. Hop flavor is very much floral, pretty identical to the aroma. There is a slight citric flavor in the aftertaste.

M/D - Medium body, maybe a little thinner than I had hoped for. Plenty of carbonation to disperse the flavors amongst the palate and an aftertaste that lasts. Sticky hops and soft doughy malt characters get left over after each sip. Simple and pleasant flavor begs for more sips.

Always nice to see a beer live up to its hype and an excellent example of an AIPA with great floral characteristics.

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Photo of KeefD
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks go out to IBUnit63 for this long awaited brew! Pours a pale golden orange color with a huge three finger billowy head that had great retention and left some thick rings of lacing down the glass. My goodness, I could smell the hops from 5 feet away. Enough grapefruit and citrus aroma that this seems like the cure for the common cold. A nice piney aroma is also present and almost zero maltiness in the nose. Sometimes I just love these IPAs that are practically absent of caramel malts and let the hops shine, but it's not often. This is lovely, though. Very nice bitter, hoppy flavor, mostly consisting of grapefruit, orange and possibly some lemon zest, rounded out by a light piney flavor and some cracker like toasty malts giving a somewhat solid backbone. Body on this one is the only that it's lacking, being on the low side of medium, but it really is the only less than desirable quality. Incredibly tasty and very easy to drink. This really is a great IPA. Thanks again, Larry!

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Photo of HotHands
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber with the tan label. I guess that means it isn't the new one? Regardless, BP doesn't distribute to western NY. The store owner brought these up from NYC himself. I'll take what I can get.

A - pours a translucent gold with a 2 finger white head that's quite persistent. Good lacing, too.

S - all citrus, all the time - lots of grapefruit, lemon, and tangerine. Some other fruit too - maybe honeydew?

T - follows the nose quite well. Lots of grapefruit flavors backed up by some tangerine and some pine. Some slightly sweet malt too, which complements the hop flavors. With pine flavors I like a more savory malt, but citrusy hops can handle a bit of sweetness.

M - finishes kinda dry for an IPA, which I like (but not too dry). I'm not the biggest fan of the real oily mouthfeel of some other IPAs.

D - I want more! This is great stuff, and I could drink it all night... and I would if I lived in an area that Ballast Point distributed to.

If you wanted to show somebody an example of a "typical" IPA, bumped up to its apex, Sculpin is where it's at. There's no unexpected flavors here, but everything about this beer is done at such a high level.

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Photo of InspectorBob
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my SA glass, a goldish/orange color with about one finger of head, with good lacing. The aroma given off was of tropical fruits, but to my taste, it was grapefruit that stood out the most. Crisp and clean, very easy to drink, well balanced. I like this beer. I've bought two bombers, will be going back for more....

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Photo of abuliarose
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First, if I could give extra appearance points for the bottle art, I would. Poured into a pint glass. Body is a clear golden with much bubbling, nice airy white head that foams and bubbles nicely. Kind of like sea foam, but without the sick residues. Some lacing. Smells nice and hoppy with a little hop-metallic tinge. Good bitter citrus smells, like sticking my nose in a handful of pellets. A little fruity, but I wouldn't associate the smell with a light IPA over a fresh-hop.

Tastes very hoppy and bitter up front, with a decent malt character to round it out. This is what I'd think of as a solid IPA: with a hop presence that tastes like they were put in there to preserve the beer. Some savory flavors in there, reminds me a little of soybean or is otherwise a little meaty. Definitely not light in taste. Some lemon, hints of apricot nectar and peach as the tongue acclimates to the bitterness. Very smooth, drinkable mouthfeel. Sweet. Carbonation is there at the beginning, just enough to be enjoyable, walking the line between gentle and assertive.

To be honest, at the first few tastes I didn't think much of this brew. Half a glass down, I was starting to enjoy it. Near the end, I was looking forward to topping it off again. It'd be nice to try this one either fresh or let it sit for awhile. Looking forward to my other Ballast Point acquisitions.

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Photo of santomark
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured froma can into a tulip glass. A week old.

A - Mildly hazy, copper orange with hues of yellow. One can filled this perfectly, great head, 1 finger worth, frothy, and dissipates very slowly. Nice

S - In one word, it's balanced. Nice grapefruit, pine, citrus, not really getting the sweeter scents, but definitely the spicier ones.

T - Malty with a bite, finishes with breathes of the smell.

M - Light-Medium Body, slightly sticky, spicy on the tongue. Very good at first, the head gives you a wonderful experience.

O - This is a great IPA. But definitely not something I would give to someone new to IPAs, as it is 100% an ipa. There is no crossover with this.. Very enjoyable right off the bat; for me it's strong points are in the nose and head. The aromas shine through and the head makes this an enjoyable downer or sipper. All in all, I probably will pass on this again. Mainly because in 2015 I feel this is an outdated beer and there are better, unique ones out there. Definitely a must have though if you've not had it.

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Photo of bret27
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell: If they don't infuse this w/pineapple or peach juice they really have a special secret. More obvious citrus than I've had before. Sweet malt and little tartness in the nose, but mostly citrusy sweetness.

App: golden orangey, nice fluffy white head, lacing.

Taste: Pineapple juice, maybe little peach juice in the background. Then the hops bittering effects take over, w/piney and more orangey citrus. Good sweet malt character. Seems appropriate for style.

Mouth: medium smooth. Good. Dry and refreshing, no alcohol presence. Just bitterness lingering.

Drink: Pretty good. But most well-made IPA's are all pretty good really.

Overall: Can't believe the sweet citrus smell. I'd like to know their secrets. Only beer that I can remember that had this much was Dreadnaught from Three Floyds. I can't imagine a better beer to be drinking watching a San Diego sunset. (must add to to-do list).

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Photo of birchstick
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a hazy dark yellow with a tint of copper

S - HUGE hits of grapefruit & citrus hops with a bit of a caramel base - very sweet and very nice!

T - the nose translates very well to the palate. This is a hop bomb and isn't shy about being one. Loads of grapefruit and citrus hops blast your tongue from the start. Throughout the middle (and subtly through start and finish) are some caramel malts that lay a solid base and complement the sweet citrus hops well. The finish is some grapefruit rind. For the most part pretty one dimensional, but that's what it is supposed to be. Solid stuff!

M - a little thin, but what is there is creamy and smooth

D - one of the better IPAs I have tried (I can't believe this isn't a DIPA). In your face hops from the nose to the finish let you know that this beer isn't messing around. Great IPA - up there with the best of them.

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, deciphering the bottle code puts this at Sept 22. Very fresh.

A: Clear body, no haze. Standard IPA appearance. Good retention.

S: Smells awesome. Citrus, tropical fruits. Heavy hop aroma, just what I'm looking for.

T: This is probably one of the best West Coast IPAs. Tons of hop flavor, not much bitterness. Smooth as hell. Light malt backbone.

M: Good carbonation. Dry.

O: When you look up West Coast IPA in the dictionary, you will find Sculpin. Hard to find any flaw in this beer. Drink fresh, drink often.

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Photo of Ricochet
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Light, murky orange/amber. No head, little lace. Poured like water
S: First impression was "I'm in it to win it." A little tar, grapefruit, sweet smelling. Inviting to say the least.
F: Watery and bitter. Lasting faint bitter. Like I've been eating fruit loops.
T: All of the above. Juicy Fruit. Fruit Loops. A touch of grapefruit equal with tar blends 50/50. Fruity bitter with no unpleasant flavors. Almost juice like, pulp free juice.
O: So it seems this is well worth the ratings it's received. It's not as raw as SN Torpedo, but it seems what they went for they got in this one. Not too much of one or the other, and exceeding at everything. Glad my local now carries it.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice solid head and plenty of lacing. The color is a pretty standard gold/amber for an IPA but there is an amazing amount of bubbles.

The smell is sweet of grapefruit and citrus not much pine to it.

The taste is bitter as it touches your tounge but soon changes to very smooth and fruity and it goes down your throat.

This beer is talked up a decent amount and I must say it does not disappoint. A little on the pricy side about $8-$9 but it is a great IPA.

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Photo of mjd83goblue
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber. Thanks to torchednoodle for the trade!

Pours a hazy golden orange with a frothy head.

Smell is quite unique. Pineapple, grapefruit, and peaches. Very tropical. Can tell its fresh.

The tropical overtones follow into the taste. The peach flavor is an interesting change. Great balance here. Nice bitter finish, but the hops are somewhat muted compared to some of the other brews coming from the West Coast. Enough malt to keep it together.

Drinkability is off the charts.

Just a great all-around IPA, with enough character to separate it from the pack.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- clear and bubbly straw in color, excellent retent on a fluffy white head

S- citrus, grapefruit, apricot, mango, pine, citrus rind

T- citric rind, grapefruit, hop oils, sweet cookie malt flavors, hoppy after taste

M- medium and coarse with a dry and sticky after

D- what a drinking experience, possibly one of the most complex scents I've ever come across on a beer, great flavors too back up the nose. do not miss this beer

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Shane. Thanks!

Drunk on 10-12-12, reviewed from notes

A: Golden-copper yellow. Great white head lasts for the duration of the beer.

N: Oh Lord in Heaven. Pineapple, mango, citrus, mandarin orange. This is like walking around a fruit stand. Some pine. This nose goes on forever.

T: As fruity as the nose is, the body is equally piney and earthy. Very, very bitter and dry. A little pineapple, but this is an overwhelming spruce bomb. Some bready/biscuity notes and malt. Quite the dichotomy.

M: Palate is dry to the point where it's like a hop covered with spikes and razors. Fair amount of alcohol.

O: The epitome of the West Coast IPA. Dry, scraping, and lacking in most of the malt needed to balance out the hops. If only the dry hopping lasted throughout the body, this might be my first perfect 5.

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Photo of adamhand
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into an Allagash chalice.

A - Light amber, about a two finger head.

S - Fantastic. Very floral hops, grapefruit, pine. A joy to smell.

T - Equally as fantastic. Great hop profile, very refreshing, perfect amount of bitterness.

M - SUPER crisp, very light for such a flavorful beer.

This might just be one of my favorite IPAs ever made. It is consistently fantastic, wish I could find 6ers, only get bombers here in MA! Dear Ballast Point, SEND MORE BEER.

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Photo of phichifiji00
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Bright, clear, amber in color, pours 2 inches of thick white head that fades slowly. Lots of lacing.

Smell: hops, apricot, lemon, pineapple, peach, mango, citrus, orange.

Taste: citrus, apricot, lemon, orange, caramel, some pine resin, hoppy, bitter up front and at the finish, sweet in the middle.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth, not as bitter on the tounge as many west coast IPAs.

Overall: An amazing IPA. The citrus/fruity notes were very prevalent. The balance between sweet and bitter is perfect. Very well done. One of my favorite IPAs.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a bright, clear, gold, topped by a thin white foam which leaves some spotty lace. The aroma carries an abundance of resiny/floral hops with loads of citrus. Some sweet malt notes lie mostly in the background.

The flavor is also very hop dominant, and I experienced perhaps the fruitiest ctirus tang possible in an IPA; lots of orange. The finish reveals a bit of dry toastiness, but it isn't quite potent enough to balance out the hops. Oh well. The bitterness doesn't seem too intense either, but it does add up after awhile. Overall a great flavor profile. Medium body, not too heavy or syrupy. The carbonation is perfect, not overpowering.

Intense, fresh hops all around in this brew. It is quite spectacular. Much easier to drink than their Dorado Double. Don't you just love California?

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Photo of Jazzcrop
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tastes are citrus hops and awesomely more citrus hops, maltiness, floral and unfloral hops, fishy yeast, peppery flavors -- aspicy backbone-- a little heat, dry sugar, canned soups, garlic, flower stems, rye, pepperoni, losanges and aged, bittersweet sweetness.

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Photo of pigc
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a straw yellow with a hint of orange color with two finger white head that fades rather quickly.

S - Lots of citrus right up front. Grapefruit, lemon, orange, tons of tropical fruit in this one!

T - Clean citrus hops smack you right in the face right away. A subtle malt backbone shows up just enough to keep this one is check. Flavors of pineapple, orange, grapefruit, mango.

M - Medium body with slightly dry finish. Perfect for an IPA.

O - Wow, what can I say? This is truly a world class IPA and one that is definitely worth seeking out and/or trading for. Perfect example of a west coast IPA. One that all others to be judged against. Wonderful job Ballast Point!

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bubbly golden body with an enormous off white thick bubbly head. This beer leaves a lot of lacing as it subsides, very nice.

Smells very hoppy, tons of pine notes with even more grapefruit. A very fruity aroma, lots of pear, grapefruit, peach and lemon. Terrific nose, hard to improve on this aroma.

Big and hoppy! Just how I enjoy IPAs, tons of hop bitterness and variety. Lots of grapefruit, pine, lemon, pear, mango and just overall terrific hop profile. Not much malt noticeable, just a slight bready backbone. Very well done, near perfection.

Mouthfeel is light and bubbly, carbonation is on the higher end of the spectrum for an IPA, but I like it.

Drinkability is very good, pleasure on the palate, I wish I could drink it all day long.

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,309 ratings.