Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

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2,224 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,224
Hads: 11,984
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 1,319
Gots: 3,809 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,224 | Hads: 11,984
Photo of Greywulfken
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: crystal clear deep gold beer with a firm ivory head and lace trails

S: crisp citrus and pine come to mind

T: bitter hoppy grapefruit and pine resin, clean tasting malt

M: medium-bodied, nicely fizzed, bitter hop lingers

O: a well-crafted brew worthy of its top 100 rank (276 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at another hipster heaven - Chapter One, Santa Ana, CA.

Did Raul just get himself in on this? Yep, it looks like he did!

Raul done had himself Sculpin many times over like Lindsay Lohan has had rehab visits. Only difference between Sculpin and that podunk ginger is that Raul will keep up with his daily Sculpin regime.

Clean, crisp, and devilishly intoxicating. Line another one up. Yep! (398 characters)

Photo of MisSigsFan
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours a golden amber color with a thin, white head that dissipates quickly and leaves good lacing. Smell is mostly fruity and citrusy and bits of pine. This is probably one of the more tropical fruit centered West Coast IPAs I've had. Taste is very forward with tropical fruit and citrus. A bit of pine bite towards the end. Just a bit of sweetness at the end. Just the right amount. The bitterness is not overpowering whatsoever. Mouth is extremely smooth, crisp, and light, with about average carbonation. This is not your typical pine bomb of an IPA. Overall, a great IPA, one of the best.

Also, to Dave39 saying that Sculpin isn't fresh outside of California. I bought a 6 pack of cans two days ago and they're all dated towards the end of March. I'd say that's pretty fresh. (820 characters)

Photo of WunderLlama
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a glass

Translucent golden yellow pour creates a thick, white billowy foam cap. A barista would be happy with this foam.

Aroma of floral and fruits, orange and apricot. Gentle pine whisper.

Great tasting beer. Smooth start with a gentle hop bitter bite. Almost creamy. Hops on the front of the tongue.smooth throughout. Bitterness on the aftertaste but without the bite.

Medium mouthfeel, really good carbonation.

What a great beer. I gotta buy more of this one and will stock it my fridge. Excellent balance and very, very drinkable. (559 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to copper color with a white head. In the aroma, grapefruity hops, big citrus. In the taste, dry grapefruity citrus hops and a nice malty backing. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry grapefruity rind-ish aftertaste. Super big hops, nice everyday drinker at 7%. (301 characters)

Photo of sfoley333
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22oz bottle into PP 7th ann. Real Als Fest english pint glass. Poured a golden orange honey color with thick foamy white head. Smell is a mixture of citrus, malt, and floral hop notes. Taste is like eating a grapefruit with a slight grassy bitterness followed by semi sweet malt profile. The alcohol is well masked in the flavors with a crisp mouthfeel and medium to light body. Carbonation was in great balance with the taste retaining a creamy feel. This is one of he best tasting IPA's on the market right now with just the right alcohol level and great balance still with an upfront grapefruit taste. (616 characters)

Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Date: 21 July 2011
Glass: Piratt tulip snifter ~50cl
Type: 12fl oz bottle

I think the Earth just stopped moving.

Poured gently for a 2-finger head, into a wispy film, average lacing, color is sediment-filled amber-orange.

Where to begin.... Cracking this beer fills the air with fresh hops like you've never smelled before. Unreal.

Aroma. Aroma, aroma, aroma.... lovely fresh tart grapefruit hops, lemon bitters. They are the only things I smell, but they are above and beyond.

Taste begins with very sugary grapefruit without any acidity, into lemon. Honestly, these hops are perfect, and nowhere near overpowering. Plentiful, yet not burdensome.

Mouthfeel? How is this possibly a single IPA? This is the by far the single best single IPA I've ever tasted. Screw writing more of this review. BUY THIS BEER. (813 characters)

Photo of Jim_Benz
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For a "west coast" IPA, Sculpin is about as good as it gets. Pricey as it gets, too! Poured into a snifter, its a beautiful, clear orange/gold in appearance, with a moderate white head that leaves thick lacing on the glass while maintaining a ring around the edges and a sizeable island in the middle. The nose, for me, is largely citrus and tropical fruit over a whiff of biscuity malt. Taste is where it really shines--the citrusy hops are balaced with a piney bitterness (though not too bitter) over a very tastey malt backbone of bread and bisquit, low on caramel. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light on first impression, but leans to medium in the middle and thickens in the aftertaste, which is moderately bitter, in a really good fashion. Carbonation is perfect for the style--meaning high enough to balance and accentuate the hop and malt flavors.Overall, it's my favorite IPA--after Bell's Two-Hearted and Surly Furious. Is it worth the price? On occassion, or at least when I'm feeling flush. (998 characters)

Photo of avalon07
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden brownish color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was a big, foamy, long-lasting head and some good lacing.

S: A nice fruit aroma of lemon and peaches, with some hops.

T: Lively flavor of peaches, lemon, hops and some apricot. Not as super hoppy as one would expect from a West Coast IPA, but still very well balanced.

M: Well-carbonated with a smooth, mostly dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: This is a drinkable beer, to be sure. Very light and refreshing. (517 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful golden amber. Lots of foamy head dense and leaves tons of sticky lacing.
Lots of carbonation too. A pleasure to watch.
But watch I did not for I must smell this brew and smell I did, of an abundance of fresh hops.
Earthy and floral and fresh and lots of it. Smell is all hops no malts here.
Taste is pur wonderment. Loads of hops and balanced nicely with sweet malts. Hops are fruity with grapefruit mangos and peachs. Malts have a plesent bready sweetness.
Feels wonderful on the palette sliding around at a medium weight. Has a slightly bitter finish
Quite possible one of the best IPA,s out there or definitly in the top 10. (650 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on cask at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint. This was the fuggle dry hop version.

A - Pours a deep, hazy, copper orange with a small one finger white head that leaves light, sticky, lacing down the glass.

S - HUGE hope aroma. Hints of grapefruit, tangerine, and other pungent tropical fruits. A slightly sweet aroma from the malt is a welcome addition to all those hops. One of the best smelling IPA's I have ever had.

T - Starts out sticky sweet thanks to the roasted malt but that gives way quickly to the HUGE amounts of hops. Hops are similar to the nose with grapefruit coming thru more than the others. The grassy hops are not as pungent as in the nose but are still plenty strong. An absolutely amazing cask offering from Ballast Point. How can I drink normal sculpin after having all of these cask versions?

M - Fairly smooth feel with medium-light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. It hides the 7% very well but the big bitterness takes its tole.

D - Near perfection. I could drink this every day for the rest of my life and be very happy. I have now had four different versions of cask Sculpin and this was my favorite, narrowly beating out the simcoe version. (1,192 characters)

Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this one on tap at The Library in Pittsburgh, yes Pittsburgh!!

Served in a pint glass with a 3/4" fluffy white head and an orange hued, slightly hazy body. The smell is amazing! There was a ton of citrus and pine from the hops as well as a slight hint of other fruits such as pineapple. The taste is very clean and well-balanced which is perfect for an IPA. The citrus and pine hop notes were incredible and the malt and sweetness balanced out the bitterness. There is a lot going on with all the different tastes but it all works together beautifully. The mouthfeel was creamy and silky with a slight tang from the hops. Not too much bitterness. The drinkability is high on this one for all the right reasons. I found myself not wanting to finish it but had a hard time putting the glass down. I am glad this one is here in Pittsburgh and will be looking for it more often. (879 characters)

Photo of Maloney1011
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark golden, heavy white head retention, very cleary.

Aroma: Strong NW Amercian hop right out of the bottle. Bittering hop or piney hop balances well with the fruity hop.

Flavor: Smooth carmel malts, same balance of hop comes through strong on taste, finished with a pleasant bitter. As it warms up, stronger apricot flavors come through and less bitterness.

Feel: Smooth medium body, well carbonated

Overall: Strong IPA, but flavors are very well balanced. This would definately be a go-to if on draft and in the mood for an ipa.

Side note: Glass poured from bottle bought at AppleJacks in Wheat Ridge Co. (623 characters)

Photo of domtronzero
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brand new batch (new label artwork - that's all I know).

A - Orange-copper colored, very clear, with a quickly-formed, long lasting, frothy, rocky, white head. Long lasting, leaving a lot of lacing on the side of the glass.

S - -Big citrus, grapefruits and lemons and tangerines. A little bit of bready malts and a nice estery component of apples.

F/M - Citrusy hops, reminiscent of tangerines and grapefruits along with a slight bready 2-row malt flavor typical of American IPAs, but balanced juusssttt right. Hop bitterness is strong and pronounced, but leads to a very clean finish. Mouthfeel is medium with a moderate carbonation, again typical of the best examples of this style.

D - Excellent. Easy to chug, but yet it's all the flavor that I'd expect from a world-class IPA. Definitely one of the best IPAs around. (825 characters)

Photo of willjschmidt
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours a golden orangish color with a white head.

S: Lots of tropical fruit, light aromas, little to no pine.

T: Bursting with light tropical fruits such as mangos, tangerines, citrus, and pineapple. Very light malts in the background.

M: Medium bodied, sticky hop resin.

D: A very drinkable IPA due to the lightness of it. Extremely tasty with a most unique hop bill that results in little of the pine found in a lot of IPA's and all of the tropical fruits. (525 characters)

Photo of curasowa
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy copper color with a thick, fluffy head that fades slowly with chunky lacing.

Aroma: Fresh hop, piney, some citrus with caramel malt underneath.

Taste: Good malt presence up front with some nutty notes, then lots of big, piney, fresh hop bitterness. Malt stays present all the way through in the background while the juicy hop bitterness leads. The fresh hop bitterness carries right on into the linger finish.

The Rest: Medium bodied, well carbonated and super tasty. This is an excellent west-coast IPA. (533 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer was poured into a snifter to better capture the aroma on this one. The appearance was a copper color with red accents mingling throughout the glass. A modest white head topped the glass with the beer demonstrating lacing and a solid level of retention as the beer disappeared. The beer exploded with a grapefruit aroma. It may be an exaggeration, but I might suggest you could smell this one from the other side of the room. On the initial taste, one detects grapefruit, papaya, apricot, and lemon on the back of the tongue. The IPA progresses from sweet to more bitter as the sample continues. Grassy notes emerge and the malt backbone is just noticeable. The presence of the malt is just noticeable enough to make sure this is something more than a hop-bomb. In the aftertaste, the citrus notes combine as though it has become citrus candy. There is a noticeable warming sensation that also emerges. The thickness allows that taste to linger with the warming sensation.

For an American IPA, this is pretty close to perfect. Though it is well-balance, it is far from mild in the taste department. (1,107 characters)

Photo of BurpingtonDC
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Golden/Straw color, a smooth creamy head with lacing that doesn't quit.
S - Peach, mango, malt and pine resin scent.
T - Really great balance of hops, malty sweetness and tropical fruit. Pretty damn near perfect balance.
M - A little sticky sweetness that cloys to the tongue then quickly turns to a hoppy dryness and peach and mango overtones. Excellent degree of carbonation.
O - Really nice IPA. Excellent balance of sweet and happy bitterness. I really enjoyed this IPA and I would enjoy drinking one anytime. (517 characters)

Photo of eyncognito
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had numerous, ultra fresh bottles from HopHead84, this one is from dyan. Thanks to all. I've yet to review Sculpin, perhaps I've had too much fun drinking it-a great sign to say the least.

Pours a dull orange into my Duvel tulip, a thin white head leaves some spotty lacing. Aroma-chocked full of hops-a whirlwind of tropical and citrus fruits, resiny, and floral. Malt? a hint of honey sweetness, but it's an afterthought. The flavor is nothing short of exceptional. Mouth-bracing hops-mangoes, orange, tangerine, meyer lemon, grapefruit. I remember the first time I tried this beer, it was a jaw-jacking fruit riot. A wonderful blend of tropical and citric flavors. Only a hints a sweet malt, but it is not held in check, the hops are the boss.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not too sweet or syrupy. Gentle carbonation that is spot on. Good drinkability, but the bitterness is pretty intense for a standard IPA. It really wrecks the mouth after 22oz. Not that I wouldn't welcome the challenge. (1,000 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into DFH snifter signature glass. No bottle date present. 12oz bottle purchased at Capone's in Norristown, PA.

A: Pours a slightly (it is nicely filtered) hazy, golden color. One finger, white head fades quickly. Good lacing. Great carbonation, bubbles throughout.

S: AWESOME fruity hops. I got citrus and pine off the nose. Lots of grapefruit. Amazng....

T: Taste is just like the nose....hops and more hops. Delicious stuff. Crisp bite at the start and a clean finish. Mild to no malt kick. It's there but doesn't overpower.

M: Mouthfeel is nice and coating, but doesn't completely mouth pucker. This isn't overly chewy like some Imperials get.

D: I could drink this all night! I really put this up there as one of my top 5. A little harder to find though. And that 7% ABV does catch up to you.

Overall, as mentioned this is a top 5 IPA for me if not #1. Love the A/S/T/M/D in total. Great package. Really enjoy the products from this brewery. Big Eye is good too, but Sculpin is much better. (1,020 characters)

Photo of South2NW
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber to Sierra Nevada IPA glass.

A: Amber-orange, slightly cloudy. 1 finger head with good retention and lacing.

S: Peachy, citrus and pine. Very refreshing and pleasing.

T: Smooth bitterness complimented by the citrus fruit notes and peach.

M: Light, and clean. Medium carbonation.

O: Very good IPA. Glad they make 12oz 6 packs. Could definitely sit around and enjoy a few of these. (391 characters)

Photo of dubc19382
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this on tap and in the bottle. Never a bad day with this beer to look forward to at the end of the day. Nice aroma, big IPA bite, and really cant say anything bad about it.

If you like IPAs this should be on you short list, and make sure someone else is driving you home.

Another great west coast beer! (317 characters)

Photo of Rodster
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell is fragrent floral and a little spicy, the taste matches the smell closely with no offnotes, doesn't have the silky or somewhat viscous mouthfeel that I prefer in my favorite IPAs but it is smooth nonetheless. Amber color with a creamy head. From my own personal experience, I consider this a top tier IPA. It is on my short list of IPAs to seek out when I'm making a beer selection... (391 characters)

Photo of gqqg
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking this bad boy straight from the can like a piece of po' white trash! Can't beat the mango-guava-tropical nose. The hops make love to your tongue but in a totally violent way. Truly one of the finer IPAs out there. Would be a great beer to crush after a long run on a hot day. (283 characters)

Photo of AmitC
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Enjoy by date of 06/29/13.

Color is pale golden. About two finger thick off white head with excellent retention. Very nice lacing. Some bubbles seen rising up. Clear and transparent.

Aroma is of raw mango pulp and grapefruit. Citrus, grassy, herbal and spicy aromas dominate. The malt content is the dominating factor. Strength is strong. Bitterness is very well forecast here.

Taste is just the same as nose. A bit more accentuated. Raw dry hops burst upfront. Bitter and full of lupulin acids. A solid middle of caramel malts but still pretty much dominated by hops. Nice and easy on palate. Finish is deeply bitter. Hops linger on the palate for a good amount of time. Grapefruit and grassy hops. Slightly spicy and herbal. Sap.

Mouth feel is medium bodied. Moderate on carbonation. Oily touch. Somewhat resiny and piney. Nice bitterness and warmth.

A very solid IPA out and out. This is a winner from the word go. (969 characters)

Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,224 ratings.