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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,299 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7299
Reviews: 1913
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.52%

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: 7,299 | Reviews: 1,913 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RavenForBeer


5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is truly a world-class beer. If you have not had the pleasure of trying it, then you are missing out. I am looking forward to trying many of their other selections of beer that have just made it into my region.

Despite being served in a plastic go-cup, this beer is still amazing. When you live in Savannah and rarely sit at one place for very long, you must have a travel beer/roadie. Hence the plastic cup.

Even with the plastic, the lacing is beautiful and head is durable. The slightly citrusy aroma comes through as well.

I am big on mouthfeel, and the smoothness of this beer is unparalleled. I imagine that this is what separates many of the world-class beers from the rest.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2014 13:22:59 | More by RavenForBeer
Photo of Franziskaner


4.06/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half inch thick of frothy white head. Light copper hue with good clarity. Nowhere as bitter as the DirtWolf I just had. The aroma is a balanced play of pine like hops and light malt backbone. Mouth is thick and sticky. The taste is a nice balance of pint like hops and light malt backbone. The bitterness is picking up as it warms. Nice!

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2014 23:57:14 | More by Franziskaner
Photo of DenverHopHead


4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

On tap; poured into a pint glass.
Appearance - bubbly gold; modest white head that leaves solid lacing.
Smell - the citrus hops, mango and apricot grabs your attention and your senses; well done!
Taste - that's good; follows the nose brilliantly! More please!
Feel - an IPA like it should be; hop forward, but not overly aggressive, well balanced and easy drinking!
Overall - a bit pricey on their turf...I'd like to see this come to Colorado.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2014 02:38:16 | More by DenverHopHead
Photo of Jeeshizz1


4.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great beer, very hoppy, more hop then citrus. a MUST TRY for IPA lovers. The overall feel from it is very hoppy upfront, and smooth citrus in the back. Beautiful soft color betrays the mouthful of flavor. The citrus notes are in the smell and tail end of the taste, but this is definitely overwhelmingly a hoppy beer... in a great way!!

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2014 21:15:32 | More by Jeeshizz1
Photo of nreynoso90


4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of our favorite IPAs, always pick up a 6 pack or bomber of this fantastic beer when we get the chance. We recently visited this brewery last month, and even went on a tour. A solid brewery definitely. As far as Sculpin goes, a wonderful west coast IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2014 00:03:36 | More by nreynoso90
Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at torinado. Slight white film and lace. Colour is a clear orange gold, no visible carbonation. 3.75
S- ruby grapefruit, tons of earthy and herbal hops, citrus intensity with a hint of caramel. Leafy notes, with a bit of dankness. 4.25
T- smooth grapefruit, pine needles, rosemary and mint, with some biscuity malt but the hop intensity is really what you're getting here. Full on aggressive citrus and pine. Leads to a minty dry finish. 4.25
M- moderate bodied with a ton of hop oiliness, moderate bitter slickness and a peppery finish. A bit antiseptic but balanced really nicely. Creamy mod/high carbonation. Blends well to hold off an overwhelming bitterness, it is quite bitter but doesn't seem too strong. 4.5
This is a wonderfully balanced and delicious aggressive ipa, some chili even, tons of hops driving the flavor but you can wallow in the great flavor and it never gets too hoppy. Well worth the reputation, and a tasty treat. 4.25

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2013 16:23:55 | More by mick303
Photo of reebtaerG


4.94/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pour with a really nice golden color with a nice one finger head
S-great smell of hops with peach mango and citrus
T-the light body gives a great bittersweet malt then end with a crisp hop taste
M-well balance with great bitterness to end with
O-one of the best IPAs there is hands down

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2013 13:12:31 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of stephens101


3.58/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thick, light tan and resilient froth topping a reddish orange brew. Big oily hops to the nose with slight caramel notes. Grapefruit to the tongue up front with a strong malt backbone and a herbal aftertaste. Some spice exists. Lighter than expected. This one seems pretty typical for the style, and I admit I wonder what I'm missing. Going with my honest opinion here, but will revisit when I get the chance. Perhaps I missed something.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2013 00:41:12 | More by stephens101
Photo of GeneralSpecific

Manitoba (Canada)

4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite GOT TO beers when I'm traveling on the west coast this beer is so identifiable by its nose, big hoppy, grapefruit, piney explosion.

Amazing west coast style IPA with plenty of body to go along with that hoppy goodness.

Never had a bad one and find myself only drinking this beer when it's on tap vs trying others it's that good

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2013 23:24:20 | More by GeneralSpecific
Photo of dexterk1


4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap in SD both at the brewery at a another location. I have also had in the bottle.
The appearance is a light tan/ orange and the head was thick.
Odor was of hops, slight citrus and pine and a little sweet.
Taste is very complex. Sweet and hoppy. Finishes with hop bitterness, but not piney. There is some citrus with the sweetness/fruityness upfront. Really nice start to finish.
Carbonation is about middle of the road and the mouthfeel is about the same.
Overall it is one of the most balanced beers I have tried. Excellent from beginning to end.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2013 01:42:08 | More by dexterk1
Photo of joeworrall


4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

not familiar with Ballast Point Brewing before tonight, this was served as part of a tasting flight at Whole Foods in a 4 oz. tasting glass...

tonight, I am compaing it with some other IPA's on tap at Whole Foods: Four Peaks Hop Knot IPA, Mother Road Lost Highway Black IPA, Dragoon IPA, and the standard for double IPA's Dogfish Head 90. I will also pour a Stone IPA from a bottle before the evening is over...

color and appearance are a dark honey yellow with a head that at about 1/4" and settles down to a thin foam

smell is very fruity - it has hints of citrus and apricot, not much malted barley present

taste is nice and result in a very pleasant mouthfeel, with a citrus aftertast

In my search for the perfect IPA, this one is probably in the top 20.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2013 03:05:16 | More by joeworrall
Photo of EBeckett3

New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Caramel-amber, small but full dirty white head, excellent laces
S - Citrus, fruit floral, slight hops
T - Medium-full bodied, caramel malt, fruity, bright hops, crisp bitters
M- Balanced, smooth, with a snap
O - Exemplary IPA, high ABV means home drinking or somebody drives - too good for just one or two...

Served in a 16 oz pint glass at the Pourhouse, Westmont, NJ

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2013 03:05:14 | More by EBeckett3
Photo of PieOhMy


4.24/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into pint glass.

A Copper. Transparent. Thick white foam.

S Hops. Caramel malt. Very floral.

T Ahh this is nice. Hoppy as hell. Right up front the hops hit you. Nice and bitter with a kick of citrus and pine.

M Good body. Nice refreshing finish.

O First time for me. Not the last. Really well crafted IPA. Good and bitter but not overdone. The mix of flavors is great. So glad Ballast Point is in Minnesota.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2013 18:04:36 | More by PieOhMy
Photo of RaulMondesi


4.61/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2013 22:25:04 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of Sludgeman

District of Columbia

4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint @ Lost Dog Cafe

A very good very solid IPA.

A - Pours a clear copper, hard to judge the head per bartenders pour, some sticky off-white lacing.

S - Piney aroma with some sweetness.

T - Malty and hoppy, a rather balanced IPA, some malty sweetness in the middle, bitterness lasting through finish.

MF - Medium bodied, well carbonated and with the bitterness somewhat of a sharp mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

08-29-2013 02:03:21 | More by Sludgeman
Photo of Rjtribb1e


5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer in the planet. Citrussy bitterness. Like biting into a white grapefruit or the taste of that stuff people put on their fingernails to stop from biting them (hey some people like that taste, don't judge me.) My only problem with this beer is I can't get it living in GA. Ill be living in the city of angels soon though, can't wait.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2013 23:15:22 | More by Rjtribb1e
Photo of bark


3.6/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

The three finger head is white; it sinks slowly leaving lots of lacing. The clear liquid is golden coloured.

The smell is earthy-hoppy. Honey. Citric marmalade. It is rather sweet.

The taste is hoppy and quite fresh. Clean bitterness. It feels a bit empty. Citric fruits and citric marmalade. Earthy notes in the background. Passing clean sweetness. Some cat litter box hops. Full body. The aftertaste is light and smooth. Some citric notes; it is a bit harsh. The finish feels, again, empty.

Medium strong carbonation; the bubbles are short lived. The liquid is harsh.

The hoppy flavours are different from the AIPAs that are brewed in Sweden. Bit it is not very much better.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2013 18:51:14 | More by bark
Photo of stinkydaddy


4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I wish I had written out a full scoresheet when I had this beer. With a group of other folks after a meeting and did not have anything to write on with me. Not even a phone. This is what I remember from two nights ago.

o - Freaking tasty beer! Glad I had it on IPA Day.

Sucks getting old.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2013 12:43:55 | More by stinkydaddy
Photo of bcheng


4.66/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

For this popular beer, I wanted to have it a few times before rating, both in bottle and on tap. It's completely possible that the bottles I had were not as fresh, because I didn't like them. However, after visiting San Diego and also had it locally (yeah!) on tap, it changed my perception of it. In other words, it's best when fresh.

Poured from growler, fresh filled. Medium carbonation, just right.

Appearance: Golden amber, looks like the "sticky" type.

Smell: Pine resin, grapefruit.

Taste : Hop bitter, pine, grapefruit, a bit hot.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, clings a bit to your tongue, but it's crisp on the finish.

Overall: A great food beer, I can keep drinking this. It almost feels like a DIPA due to the strong characteristics. I love it fresh!

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2013 23:27:51 | More by bcheng
Photo of JFlynn986


4.71/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A bar near me has started to carry a much better selection of beers which is where I got to finally try this amazing IPA. The color is a crisp golden caramel and it pours with a light head. The citrus undertones pair nicely with the hoppyness of the beer. Overall I was very happy with this selection and look forward to enjoying this again.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2013 00:02:30 | More by JFlynn986
Photo of mschind


4.46/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear deep gold with a thin white cap that coated the glass all the way down.

S- Lots of hops. Pine and grapefruit. A bit one note, not much in the way of malt here.

T- Bitter at the start, dry and balanced finish. Hops dominate. Pine and citrus.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A very clean and dry IPA with a heavy load of hops.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2013 20:55:04 | More by mschind
Photo of JohnF


4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tried in the bottle and it was super. Then tried it on tap at the LA vegan beer fest last spring.
Great beer either way. I like hops in beer, but this one is way above most others in taste
and mouth feel. Good alcohol content so you can drink more than a couple in an evening.
On the East coast it is often difficult to get but worth the effort.
Tried in the bottle and it was super. Then tried it on tap at the LA vegan beer fest last fall.
Great beer either way. I like hops in beer, but this one is way above most others in taste
and mouth feel.

Serving type: on-tap

07-10-2013 23:06:48 | More by JohnF
Photo of Hopscat


4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- On tap in home, got a huge head of foam initially then subsidises to nice quarter inch white thick foam. Leaves pretty lacing on glass. Golden amber color but in low light not really sure.
S- Really nice floral hops, fruity citrus with some grassy characters. Very nice .
T- Malt sweetness up front with grapefruit, mango fruity goodness. Strong hops follow on then continue into midway and end of swallow. Malt balance shines with biscuit , caramel holds up well with the aggressive hops throughout. NOthing of an off character nature found.
M- about medium bodied. Carbo seems right with nice refreshing sparkle. Very smooth drinking.
O- Just an overall fantastic IPA. Does the west coast style extremely well. Probably my #1 IPA in my short journey through craft beer land. I've got many more to try[Pliny, Heady, Fuzzy BD, to name a few] but the reputation for Sculpin holds up for me.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2013 19:18:23 | More by Hopscat
Photo of GorillaMedic


4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Definitely one of my favorite IPAs to date; Sculpin is hoppy, sharp, balanced, and remarkably tasty.

A - Light amber colour with medium head.
S - Right away, the piney smell of hops hits you strong with a slightly nutty (?) undertone.
T - Hops! Very sharp start that is balanced well with a light maltiness and honeyed sweetness. Really, really good.
M - Pleasant amount of carbonation and a smooth feel.
O - A fantastic beer if you like a balanced, unique IPA experience.

Serving type: on-tap

06-29-2013 00:24:56 | More by GorillaMedic
Photo of ZRBE


3.94/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a beer I've been wanting to try for some time. Heard its praise, never had the chance until it recently got Oregon distro. Looks great, very clear with a thin light head, good carb. The nose is my favorite thing about this, smells like a fair amount of amarillo went into it. I don't know how fresh this is, but I was expecting a bit more out of this one. The bitter is there, I just wanted more floral or citrus presence. It's there, don't get me wrong, I just expected more given all the hype I've heard. Maybe it's just the living in the PNW that's talking, but I think there are other IPAs out there to be had for cheaper that are of comparable or higher quality.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2013 23:16:08 | More by ZRBE
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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 7,299 ratings.