Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

10,416 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,416
Reviews: 2,117
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 1,051
Gots: 2,289 | FT: 41
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: 10,416 | Reviews: 2,117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SHODriver
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
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 Ezekiel81923
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this a few times, but this review will be of the fresh case I picked up at the Beeryard.

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Nice, clear-ish, glowing orange color. A nice, thick, fluffy white head rises and slowly falls, leaving sporadic lacing down the side of the glass.

Smell: Wonderful aroma. Very citrusy, lemon mostly, with some hints of tropical fruit. The aroma is strong and fills up a decent amount of the room where the glass is the epicenter.

Taste: Lemony, citrusy hops. Resinous hops explode with a front of grapefruit and finished with an oily bitterness. There is a bit of a malt backbone, but the hops really shine with this one.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with mild carbonation. Finished clean and dry. All the flavors linger for a while after each sip.

Drinkability: I drink this slow. It's a good medium-bodied IPA but the hops slow me down a little. Still fantastic though. I can still drink several these over a few hours.

A terrific IPA. Glad it makes it out to Philly every now and then.

Photo of psuKinger
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split 22 ounce bottle with my buddy Griff, who brought it over to my place for some sampling yesterday. Review done from notes. Bottle was poured into my Kona Brewing shaker glass.

A: Hazy golden color with a nice thick white head on top.

S: The nose on this beer is addicting. It has a delightfully full (but not overpowering) smell of apricots, citrus, and hops.

T: The taste follows the nose. This beer is unlike any other IPA I've ever had. It's unique in that it's "hoppy", yet it just has so many delicate flavors balancing out over it's hop profile. It doesn't just punch you in the face with grapefruit and bitterness like a Stone Ruination. It's a unique balance of apricots, mangos, citrus, and even a little grapefruit from the hop oils. For me, the taste of apricot is prominant, but not "dominant". Nothing dominates here. Different hop flavors fade in and out, but nothing overwhelms.

M: Light and creamy in the mouth, and leaves a moderate amount of hop oils on the tongue with the finish.

D: Extremely high. I could easily drink this all night.

[EDIT]: I had to edit this beer on 1-11-2011 and dock it a few points for Taste and Drinkability, as since this review I have found this beer to be probably the most hit-and-miss IPA I've ever come across. With no freshness date on the bottle, I can't conclude that it's merely a freshness issue. In fact, I've had experiences at bars with fresh kegs that I still haven't been impressed with. So I am choosing to drop drinkability from a 5 to a 4. Sometimes this beer is so great it's nearly a religious experience, but equally often this beer disappoints me, and shows itself to be anything but exceptional. When "good", this is an extremely unique IPA, but there are other IPAs out there that are able to deliver with a far higher batting average than this one has.

Photo of chefkevlar
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
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 jjh19
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Very bubbly, with a bright orange hue. Looks very refreshing.

Smell: Citrusy and tropical. Very appealing.

Taste: Hops were surprisingly sharp up front, given the aroma, but not in an offensive way. Just more punch to this beer than the smell would imply.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Drinkability: Very tasty and drinkable. I love the art and the tone it sets with the beer. A tough IPA with big hops.

Photo of Hophead717
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
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
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
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 donkeyrunner
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Everyone says how ugly this poor fishy is but I kinda like him (or her, I didn't check) in a lovable loser kind of way.

Clear, pale orange color with a thin white head. Head stays as is and rides an elevator down to glass bottom, leaving lacey mosiacs in its wake.

Mango. I beer that smells like mango without any mango, what will they think of next? Pineapple and other tropical fruit, it's like that "all night long," song by Lionel Richie in a glass.

Tastes is, again, mango with pine edges. Some orange liquor in there as well. Not as bitter as I would have imagined: just a lumpy, timid bitter in back. I would have liked more please. Thin,but appropriate, light malt launch pad.

Photo of SadMachine
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes from 8/25/12

Bomber w/ no visible bottled on date.

A- Large bubbles form a half-finger head that dissipates quickly. Alluring golden glow.

S- Aroma is mildly piney with a hint of citrus. Definitely hoppy, but not a very strong nose.

T- The taste has a lot of caramel malts not detected in the aroma. The hop profile is mild, yet dry.

M- Dry, bitter finish with a medium and smooth mouthfeel.

O- Tasty, yet indescript in flavor.

P.S. This was reviewed after drinking 2 pints of Enjoy By, so my palate may have been destroyed by that point. I also don't know if this was a fresh bottle or not. I HAVE had fresh Sculpin since, and was significantly more impressed. While I haven't actually written a subsequent review the scores here represent how I feel about fresh Sculpin, not what was written in this particular review.

Photo of beerprovedwright
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snot I am starting to like IPAs more and more. Something about the great citrus flavor. Two finger head of thick foam, good full lace with much cling. Color is a 9 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell of grapefruit, lime, malt, pepper, and pine. Taste is very sharp and refreshing, with flavors of grapefruit, pine nuts, lemon peel, roasted malt, and vinegar. Mouthfeel is creamy and full, with good zing. This brew sneaks up and kicks your behind. I will try to get some more of this fine beer.

Photo of adam42381
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger foamy white head. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Pine and grapefruit with subtle notes of orange, tangerine, mango and pineapple. Smells amazing. Probably the best IPA aroma I've ever smelled.

Taste: Pink grapefruit up front followed by orange and lemon in the middle then ending with resinous pine at the finish. There is a hint of caramel malt in the background. Aftertaste is a mix of bitter lemon peel, pink grapefruit and fresh orange. The taste doesn't feature much of the sweetness that I expected coming from the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Goes down very smooth. Hops are very sticky.

Drinkability: High drinkability. After finishing a bomber, I could see coming back for seconds.

Overall: Excellent IPA overall. This is a must try for any hop head. I'll definitely be buying more once we get a distributor down here in Fort Myers.

Photo of SoCalStout
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
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 MarkAvery
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
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
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of Morey
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours yellow-orange in color with a slight haze to it. Two finger off-white head has settled to a thin lace after about 3 minutes or so. Plenty of impressive lacing though!

Smell is definitely on the fruity side as far as Ipa's are concerned. I'm getting orange and apricot as the most dominant.

Taste is more of the same. Nice citrus/fruity flavors with a big hop-bite. Bitterness lingers on the back end, but not too much.

Medium mouthfeel with a nice hop bite and moderate carbonation.

I could easily drink a six pack...easily.

Morey's Bottom Line: Been wanting to try this for a while. Glad I finally got to. It lives up to the hype. It's definitely a top 5 Ipa in my book. Reminds me a lot of Two Hearted.

Photo of cadaugherty
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generous extra courtesy of petecz, thanks man.

Served in my Great Divide IPA glass.

Appearance- Almost a copper/gold color with a lovely rich head off of a slightly aggressive pour. Great carbonation running out of the bottom.

Aroma- You guessed it, Citrus. I smell nothing but grapefruit, for me this is a big plus.

Taste- Great hop profile in the taste and wonderful bitter bite at the end. If there was a little more malt backbone this would be a 5 but there we are.

Mouthfeel- not to thick, not to thin. Good carbonation feel.

Drink- For a very hop forward IPA this is a remarkably drinkable beer. Best of all it doesn't leave a film your mouth the way some IPAs tend to.

Photo of Popkas
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden yellow with a nice creamy head.

S: Unmistakeable Sculpin. Strong citrus and floral hops and some nice balancing sweetness - almost a floral honey scent.

T: Follows the nose with a nice bitter bite upfront followed by nice mellow sweet malt and then another hit of hops.

M: Medium to light body, nice carb.

D: Just a really nice beer that goes down well.

Photo of RTrain12
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into my new DFH hand blown glass. Thanks to djmichaelk for this one. No bottle date, but this is the old lable.

A: Pours a nice bright cloudy orange with a off white head measuring in about 3/4 of a inch. Some noticable carbonation. Head faded quickley leaving behind some lacing.

S: Lemony, and citrus followed by some fresh hops.

T: Mmm... Good! One tatsey IPA! Citrus and hoppy in the beginig, then bitter at the end.

M: Little carbonation up front as it enters the mouth. This one slides over the palet so smoothly! Leaves the mouth just alittle bitter at the end.

D: Very high drink on this one. This bomber will be gone in no time! I'll be trading for this again in the future.

Photo of TheGreatReverend
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance 3.5: The color is close to that of a lager, very yellow and light pale. Though, it is more opaque, giving it a translucent cream soda quality.
I prefer a much darker IPA, as that is usually indicative of strong flavor.

Smell 4.5: The scent is most interesting. A friend poured my glass for me, and from a meter away I could smell pineapple, citrus, and undertones of hops. The pure aromatic power of this drink is quite amazing.
The only reason the score is not a 5.0 is because citrus and pineapple are something that I feel belong more in the purview of hefeweizens.

Taste 4.0: Despite the initial lack in pallor and obtrusive aromas, this is still an IPA. The initial bit comes in crisp in flavor and wet in feel. After the gulp, the sweetness dissipates and hops round out the pallet.
I fancy a savory sweet drink in most of the cases, that's why barley wines are probably my favorite. The sweetness did dock this IPAs taste score as it still out of the ordinary for IPAs.

Mouthfeel 4.5: The citrus and pineapple flavor disappear if left in the mouth for a moment. The IPA flavor comes through a bit more and leaves the drinker well satisfied.

Drinkability 5.0: Where hops set the overtone, the sweet flavors play an important second fiddle to keep the balance subtle.
This brew is and easy one to knock back, but actually picking up one, or it's uniqueness might keep you from it.

Photo of KAP1356
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650ml bottle into my Hoppin' Frog pint glass. No bottled on date, but it was refrigerated (thank God) in the store where I bought it...

A - Pours a hazy golden color. Did not give it a hard pour, but a 2.5 finger eggshell (slightly off white) white color head did form.

S - Honey, mango, grapefruit, some pineapple. VERY citrus hop presence. However not as strong an aroma as I would have thought for all that is going on here.

T - Honey and very citrusy hops stand out. It is sweet and bitter at the same time with neither overpowering the other. Sweet up front with the fruits coming out, and then bitter fnish with some piney elements coming through. Everything comes together in a tremendous way.

M - Slightly thicker than what I expected. Nice and smooth though.

D - Unbelievably well balanced. More so than most ofthe other IPA's I've had. I didn't even notice that it was a 7% beer. It is quite enjoyable and it would be a tremendous beer on a hot day in the summer.

Photo of NorCalYeti
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

taste- crisp, clean, bitter, lemon peel, citrus oil

color- light gold

clarity- clear

smell- floral, candy, citrus fruit, grapefruit, sourness

body- light-medium weight mouthfeel, medium-length bitter hop finish...most of the weight is at the front of the palate

appearance- nice candy white head when first poured then little carbonation and faint lace after

overall impression- solid effort, medium-weight ipa...easy drinker, interesting sweet and sour balance, a little leaner than i'm used to tasting in a 7% ipa

Photo of SquidRavioli
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here goes my first review on Ba. I just started drinking craft beer last summer. IPA's for me has been love at first sip. I chose the Sculpin IPA after reading reviews here for it. I picked up a bomber at my grocer. The taste was very smooth and the IPA bitterness was right where it should be in my opinion. The hops are obvious but so well balanced that it won't turn you off even if you are a non IPA fan this is a good beer. ABV is appropriate and this could easily be a session IPA. Sculpin lives up to its name and does not dissapoint.

Photo of albern
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great IPA and a hop heads dream. The beer pours a nice amber color with a good head, some lace, some retention. The nose is very piney, some orange citrus hop aromas, some sweeter malts lurking in there too.

The beer is loaded with citrusy, piney hop. The hop is a melange of coniferous elements. There is some orange burst, some lemony citrus hop, some grapefruit sourish hop, but mostly just the estery and pungent piney hop. The beer is medium bodied, very tasty, and it has a nice smooth mid section that adds complexity and assertiveness so that the whole beer isn't taken up with just the strong hop presence. This is a very nice beer. The hops cleanse the palate and it has almost a medicinal quality to it. It is a beer worth coming back to if you need a strong hop blast. L'Chaim.

Photo of bbb099
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Shared with mjyoung.

A - Clear, yellow amber color. Half finger, pure white head with good retention.

S - Fragrant piney and herbal hop aroma. Smells incredibly fresh and inviting.

T - Solid, savory, bitter hop flavor that hits you from the first sip. Hints of apricot as it goes down and a clean, dry finish with little aftertaste. I also detected zero presence of alcohol, which is a big plus.

M - Light to medium bodied. Carbonation is a little on the light side.

D - A well-balanced, palatable beer. Goes along great with a big dinner.

Photo of jzeilinger
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a crisp golden orange color with a moderate amount of carbonation, and very nice head retention. Easily a two fingered creamy head of foam. Looks good.

S - This is exactly how I envision an IPA to smell. Rich and generous amounts of orange, pineapple, some mango, bitter grapefruit, and crisp malt. The nose is dominated with tropical fruit, there's also some faint pine hopping in the background.

T - Crisp caramel malt on the tip of the tongue which disappears under the weight of the hops, then briefly surfaces again towards the end. Almost entirely throughout the palette is greeted with an onslaught of aggressive West Coast hopping. Pine, oranges, bitter grapefruit, some lemons, and some mangos are present on the tongue. There's also a little touch of grass flavoring in there too much ever so slight. The mouth is left with a solid coating of bitter citrus, lemon rinds, and a little pepper. Hop bitterness just lingers, and lingers, and...

M - Lighter side of medium body, crisp, and mild to moderate carbonation on the tongue. Finishes very dry.

D - Really nicely hopped, refreshing, crisp, and leaves me wanting another 22 oz bomber. Perfect ABV level, no dominating alcohol flavors and the perfect IPA to enjoy any time. Bought a case and although it's an awesom IPA, it's not worth the $100 price tag for a case of 12 bombers. The market is saturated with alot of good IPA's and there's many others I enjoy just as much that are far less money.

Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 10,416 ratings.