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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

7,282 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7282
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: 7,282 | Reviews: 1,913 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With great appreciation to Torchednoodle, for this tasty excellent IPA. Orange appearance with white head. Grapefruit aroma, very nice.Very smooth, very drinkable. Great resiny hop. One of the best IPAs I ever had, and the bottle picture is cute too.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2008 02:40:09 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Father's Office in Culver City, CA.

A - Pours a clear honey color with a 1/2 inch head that fades to a very small cap. There were rings of lacing going down the glass on this beer.

S - Smells of delicious citrusy hops and summery peaches and mangoes.

T - Bitter citrus zest/peel with a peach/mango aftertaste.

M - Good carbonation and the hops leave an oily coating in the mouth.

D - Very solid and very tasty IPA. I will look for more of this one for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2010 01:00:29 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sunkist orange with banana peel borders. The good-sized crown is the color of pineapple mousse, is at least as creamy and is twice as sticky. Foam bridges leave a gorgeous array of picture-perfect lace when they eventually rupture. The haziness imparted by yeast or hop flecks would have turned an already attractive beer into a gorgeous one. The label fish... not so gorgeous.

Ballast Point has devised a hop bill that leads to an IPA nose that is right up my lupulin lovin' alley. It's klieg light bright and is as explosively tropical fruity as they come. This may be the most mangolicious beer that I've ever smelled... short of one that actually contains mangos. Sweet orange and zesty lemon help out as well. Wow! Wow! Wow!

Sculpin tastes almost as good as it smells. The hops that were used must be some of my favorites or the beer wouldn't be this lip-smackingly delicious. I'll say Simcoe, Amarillo and... Cascade. There's no other way to get this much mango, tangerine and peach. Let's also add pink grapefruit to the orange and lemon of the nose. Talk about a bittersweet fruit salad in a glass! Pardon all the exclamation points, but this is an outstanding IPA!

The characteristics that shoot it into the stratosphere are a relatively skinny (for an IPA) malt backbone and the fact that nothing darker than pale malt is present. A few crumbles of sugar cookie are enough, because my palate wants to focus on the fresh green hop cones. This is quite possibly a 5.0 beer (for taste) immediately after bottling.

Greedy bastard that I am, I wish it was even more ridiculously hoppy. It doesn't destroy the palate, it just roughs it up a little. However, it's hard to argue with the final product. At this point, I'm reduced to nitpicking a beer that has no real faults.

The mouthfeel seemed a fraction too light in the upper half of the bottle. Thankfully, it firms up with warming and is now perfectly calibrated for rapid consumption (if one so wishes). In the end, it's lightly silky and luxurious without being overly sticky. Keeping style in mind, the score is a no-brainer.

Prior to popping the cap, I had doubts about whether Sculpin was the fifth best India pale ale in America. I still don't think it is, but it's in the top fifteen for damn sure. Ballast Point has never knocked my socks off... until now. If you love hops, hope and pray that this limited release will be brewed again.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2008 15:14:25 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

So this one goes out to Joey. He had been bitchin at me to try this forever and ranting and raving about how it was the best IPA under the sun. Finally, it was in bottles and I could take him up on this. Yesterday afternoon seemed like as good a time as any to try it out, so went over to Dad's for a little while and popped this open while I was there.

Appearance - Now then, this is what an IPA is supposed to look like. The pour was a deep orange amber, and absolutely crystal clear. There was a radiance about it that was outstanding. Tons of carbonation rippling up toward the surface, just enhancing what already looked absolutely stunning to begin with. A huge three-inch head of white foam formed on the top and ohh so gradually settled down into a nice one finger high pillow that settled down over the top of the glass and never did leave. The side glass lace was the absolute stickiest I had ever seen, and I swear the outside of the glass was getting sticky from it. Really just the perfect looking IPA.

Smell - The aroma was the most pungent, ripping citrus hops you could imagine. Just absolutely the freshest grapefruit smell. It was really tremendous to be honest. Such a strong fresh, bitter aroma that I could have been in the middle of a hop field. Just the slightest bit of sugar on the back end sweetening it up, but otherwise this was just a hop driven monster of an IPA.

Taste - The flavor followed right where the aroma left of. It started out with just this dripping fresh hop taste. Really extremely sharp, crisp, and just unbelievably fresh, this was the flavor I had been looking for in the style forever. It was just tremendous, with the floral taste being almost bigger then the beer itself. Hands down, the best hop taste I have ever come across. So crisp and refreshing with a huge taste, I was in heaven with this one. As it warmed some slight bready characters came out, but nothing was toppling the huge hop taste. In fact, it made a nice transformation over to a pine resin like flavor as it warmed, and got even stickier. The finish was huge, dry, and bitter, perfect.

Mouthfeel - Very nice light bodied IPA, with a huge amount of carbonation coming off of it. Lots of bubbles rippling through it over and over, really just perfect here as well, crisp and clean, not too thin and pungently strong.

Drinkability - This is the IPA for me at least. I put down the bottle and was scrounging around the house looking for more. It was just that good. I could have easily had a couple more, would not have been a problem. One of the best ever.

Overall this was probably my favorite west coast IPA I have ever had. I had to score it perfectly, only because I could not find any fault in it. When I think west coast IPA, I think of exactly this beer now. If you love hops, you simply cannot be happy without this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2008 00:41:08 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.83/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stone.

A: A clear pale golden color with a fluffy white head and nice lacing.

S: I could have just sat there and smelled this thing all day long. Amazing hop character, particularly citrus (grapefruit), mango, and pineapple.

T: Like the nose indicates, quite a bit of fruit in this one. Especially the grapefruit and pineapple. An excellent piney bitterness on the finish. The malt is very absent, and that is very much appreciated.

M: Moderately carbonated, which works quite well for this beer. Medium body.

D: One of the easiest drinking and most well rounded IPAs I've had...ever. An absolutely amazing beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2009 07:29:10 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a hazy golden body and a frothy head; retention is good as is the lacing

Smell: Bold grapefruit and floral citrus aromas dominate

Taste: Starts out like a glass of sweet grapefruit juice with a growing pithy bitterness by mid-palate; the grapefruit flavor is unrelenting after the swallow, buttressed by the really clean pale malt

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied (a touch syrupy) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Refreshingly drinkable, this is a great example of an IPA in the mold of what a lot of the San Diego breweries are producing (and marketing as a San Diego Pale Ale)

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2006 12:34:57 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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

Bottle: Poured a hazy orangey color ale with a large frothy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus hops with deep caramel malt backbone is quite enjoyable. Taste is also dominated by loads of citrus hops with some floral undertones though no grapefruit notes and a deep and solid caramel malt backbone with balanced sweetness level. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done with great balance between malt and hops.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 18:54:23 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle (June 21, 09)
On tap at GABF Weekend '08

Holy crap, this is a seriously good beer! A total surprise to me that this relatively unknown beer to be would be a standout among standouts. The hoppy-grapefruit character is everywhere and packs a whollop of citrus bitterness and flavor. Nearly resin-y with Cascades and other American varieties. The hops are very bold in the taste, but rediculously mouthwatering in the aroma. The malt profile flies under the radar and gives a dry, very well attenuated maltiness and with a grahm-cracker crispness. Malt flavors seem to be a 2-row / 6-row traditional balance where the grain flavors accentuate the hop bitterness. Quite fruity for an American IPA with light peaches, appricots, and oranges. If the style is supposed to be hop-forward, then this beer deserves its high rating.

Thanks RyanC84

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2008 14:54:48 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to get a bottle of this in California from Freddie over at Beverages 4 Less.

A: Pours a copper orange with white head. Decent amount of lacing as it goes down.

S: Plenty of tropical fruits and citrus; there is a lot going on in the hop bill here.

T: Much along the same lines as the smell, although the hops aren't quite as strong as I was hoping, and I know that this was the freshest batch, so I feel like I was missing something, but it was the first beer of the night for me, so I don't think there was anything interfering.

M: Right in the range for the style, helping it to drink quite well.

D: Very drinkable. This is where it might have helped that the hop bill wasn't too strong in the taste. Good brew all around, and I'm looking forward to trying it again.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 18:02:16 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy and golden yellow in color. It poured with a large white head that slowly faded away, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A very light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are moderate aromas of citrus and pine resin hops in the nose. Notes of grapefruit stand out in particular.
T: The overall taste is very flavorful and well balanced; there is a medium amount of bitterness from the hops but this is nicely balanced by the underlying malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is highly drinkable; there's a strong amount of hop flavors but the bitterness is balanced by the malts and doesn't slow you down in finishing your glass.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 01:58:17 | More by metter98
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great to get my hands on some of this stuff (thanks Roger at Bestway).Poured into a small tulip glass a clear light golden with a clingy 1/2 finger white head.Holy smokes the aromas are just awesome!A mix of big citrus and tangerine just jump out at ya,a hint of caramel/biscuit is there but its a little faint but hey who cares the hop profile is frickin great.Fresh hop flavors abound with tangerine sticking out the most,its lemony with a bit of mango and overripe pineapple,the sweet biscuit malt base does not hide itself as it holds on thru the duration of the glass.Iam not sure if I have had a beer of the style with such fruity hop complexity,wow this is worthy of the rating.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 23:46:53 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in my trusty Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Big thanks to stevglad and the N00b Traders BIF for this catch!

Based on what the label tells me, I kinda wanna try some sculpin meat. Anyway, the beer pours a clear golden straw topped by over a finger of white foam. The nose holds plenty o' sharp pine and even sharper grapefruit, with a buttery toffee undercurrent. The taste follows pretty closely, though the toffee loses both some power and some butter. The hops, though, remain rather powerful throughout. The body is a light medium, with moderate carbonation and a very smooth feel. Overall, a strong IPA, but kinda overly one-dimensional in favor of the hops. I'd prefer a bit more balance, but it's pretty damn good nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 16:23:48 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
I can't read all of the code on it, but it looks like this:
S _ _ _ _
J D J C A

Appearance: Hazy golden body. Creamy white head drops shortly. Some very nice lacing. Both tiny and larger bubbles rise to the surface... the larger ones run quicker along the side of the glass. Protein/yeast/hop residue (?) is clearly seen in suspension and 'wiggles' if I shake the glass.

Smell: Softly pungent. Hoppy, like opening a fresh bag. Grassy. Slightly cheesy. Some citrus fruit... I'm thinking tangerine, sweetish grapefruit, and perhaps a spritz of lemon; as well as some chalky rind. There are some apricots as well, and a hint of pine needles. It's quite pleasant, and it's not brash. I've had it via cask before and I remember it being a bit bolder, but that may have been dry hopped. Regardless, I actually prefer it as is.

Taste: The same hop and yeast flavors are wrapped in a round ball of rich pilsner-like malt. It's perfectly balanced with the depth of the malt flavor matching the depth of the hop flavors. It's solidly bitter, but not overdone. The resinous hops linger in the finish as the soft sweetness of the malt fades and the bitterness steps forward. The alcohol is well cloaked, and you don't find it at all until halfway through the glass when you get a bit of it in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Smooth and creamy across the palate.

Overall: A really nicely balanced, lush IPA. Nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 01:25:41 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, from the Kahala Whole Foods in Honolulu. Sufficiently unattractive representation of the eponymous fish front and center on the label.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden orange hue, with three fingers of roiling, foamy, bubbly off-white head, which leaves some crooked bonsai tree lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.

It smells pungently of grapefruit rind, blood orange, a slight herbal tinge, pine resin, and the faintest hint of bready caramel malt. The taste is big bitter blended citrus and pine, a slight uptick in the herbal, almost yeasty notes and a still suppressed bready malt, with zero heat from the 7 points of alcohol.

The carbonation is steady, and average, and well, everything you didn't know you wanted, the body a decently svelte medium weight, and more or less smooth, the hops bypassing this usual vein of interference. It finishes still pretty hoppy, but even more muddled, the citrus, pine, and herbal factions all united in plastering my palate with the ol' bitterness.

A pretty solid west coast IPA, with the extra herbal notes adding a complexity that I sometimes find interesting, and others, not so much. Given that here it's the former, I have to go with the overwhelming majority, and pimp this straight out.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 04:58:19 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy paleapricot appearance. Slim white head.

Fresh vivacious, citric aroma, plump with tropical fruit as well.Apricot, pineapple, mango, orange, a little lemon and grapefruit as well. Just gorgeous.

Hops jump on the palate, and spank it good. Grapefruit peeland orange pith spitting in your eye and dripping down the tongue. Smooth, yet zesty and delicious, while still blasting the senses.
Just enough tasty malt holding it down,and the hops are a barrage of bitterness, yes, but never too much...to this hophead, anyway.
Light bodied, and terribly drinkable.
I like this, I would drink it all day, every day. Delish-uss.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 10:24:13 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

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

Thanks to d0b for giving me a chance to try one of these. Not sure of the age on this 22 oz bottle, but it's been in the fridge at both his place and mine.

A - Liquid gold. Pours to a one-fingered white head that dissipates quickly into a complex lace. Very transparent with lots of little bubbles rising to the top. I was little surprised it didn't have more head, but perhaps its because I waited too long to open it.

S - Very sweet malt with the hoppy bitterness and citrus smells further back than I expect from an IPA. Very well-balanced aroma that is incredibly inviting. Again, I wonder if the hops would have been more present if I'd opened it earlier. Reminded me of Pliny - which is the ultimate compliment for an IPA.

T - Wow! The hops are still here and are kicking my tastebuds' asses. Strong hop bitterness that dissipates into sweet citrus, malt and caramel. Leaves a little bit of a bitter aftertaste, but not in a bad way. Not uber-complex - but that's something I tend to expect from a DIPA more than a regular IPA.

M - Smooth, creamy, nice balance of carbonation, viscosity, and hop resin stickiness. Not much more I can ask for from this style.

D - I had misgivings about drinking this on my own, but I'm really glad I did. Doesn't feel any stronger than Masala Mama, my benchmark for sessionable IPAs.

Just checked d0b's review - looks like the bottle is from early September, so I'm on the cusp of freshness for an IPA. There's still tons of hop character in the taste and it hasn't gone super-sweet on me. If you're gonna try this one the clock is ticking on this release. I definitely prefer this to Big Eye (which is a pretty solid brew in its own right). Beginning to dread my trip home to Canada - land of weakly hopped IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 23:29:07 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is an excellent blend of fruity citrus, piney hops and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a strong burst of floral hops bitterness up front that is quickly followed by a sweet citrus flavor and background flavor caramel. The malt character is on the thin side for the style but works well for this beer. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, excellent representation of style, this is an excellent beer and a great hop bomb that is worth drinking for an entire evening.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2009 03:16:28 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

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

Super fresh bottle courtesy of Weibull...

Poured into a fluted tulip, it's quick to generate a fluffy head of sticky foam. Instant resiny aroma packed with floral/herbal hops and tropical fruit. Color is a light high-clarity orange with tiny rising bubbles. Lacing forms in sudsy sheets, and sticks around for awhile.

Concentrated citrusy hop flavors of pink grapefruit and bitter orange pith. Residual leafiness and a juicy mango aftertaste. Pale malt is relegated to the back of the bus, but provides a slight tip to the balance scale. Moderate and creamy carbonation with the obligatory hop bite to it. Slightly dry in the end with a fairly long finish.

This is a fresh and vibrant west coast IPA, check it out...

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2008 01:47:19 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Based on 2nd bottle (cheers Bitterbill!) I'm bumping up Appearance, Drinkabilty & MF

Got this one from tendermorsel, cheers Mike! Very happy to try this!

Pours a honey color with a finger of cream colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Citrus & floral hops

T: Grapefruit, lemons, a touch of apricot & breadyness, plus dryness up front. More grapefruit as this warms, then dryness & some honey & biscuitty malt, plus lemons. Finishes crisp, dry & with puckery grapefruit

MF: Medium bodied & assertive carbonation; fairly nice balance

Drinks easy, not a top flight AIPA, but almost there. Reminds me a lot of Odell IPA, but slightly better. Would love to try this on draft or cask. Finishes with lemony & grapefruitty hops, slight pepperyness. Another good one from Ballast Point!

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2009 03:48:06 | More by russpowell
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WesWes

New York

4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome! Wow, what a hop nose on this one. It's light with mostly a pale malt grist. It's incredibly bitter with a ton of citrus hops. The taste is great as well. It has a tremendous hop flavor thats bitter up front and resinates in the finish. It's light and easy drinking with a solid pale malt base. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a wonderful beer. It so incredibly smooth and drinkable. The hop character is outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 01:20:42 | More by WesWes
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drabmuh

Maryland

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

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into an Arrogant Bastard 0.5 L glass. There is no freshness date. Beer is hazy and amber in color. Carbonation is moderate to high with biggish bubbles. Head is thick, large bubbles, leaves some lacing as it falls away.

Beer smell like funky pine hops and not much else. Smells fine for an IPA.

Spicy, citrus and pine hops. Beer is not dry but rather wet. Almost no aftertaste. The hops cover you mouth. Second taste oranges, pine, lemon, some sweetness, a very good tasting beer.

Medium body good connectiveness in the flavors, hits all the centers on the palate, drinkability high.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 01:10:44 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kaiser81 for trading this one to me.

Pours yellow-orange with a small white head. The beer is very clear. The aroma is strong citrus hops, lots of peach and mango. Very nice smelling beer. There is good bitterness and hop flavor, with lots of pine and citrus. The pine is mainly evident in the aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel and very drinkable. Outstanding beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 20:04:18 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured out a clear, golden yellow color with a small, white, bubbly head of foam. It left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled amazing. Loads of grapefruit, bubblegum, mango and other citrus aromas. It had a slight caramel nose, too.

T - It tasted of sweet citrus flavors with grapefruit and orange peel. It had a nice bitter hop bite and a bitter burnt toast malt flavor.

M - It was crisp and quite sharp. A medium-bodied ale with a smooth finish.

D - This is an amazing IPA. It has all the complexity and depth of an Imperial IPA without an over the top alcohol presence.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 22:38:16 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've head so much about this gem I've been salivating already since I finally found the bottle yesterday. Must be pretty fresh too. I'll have to pour this baby into my oversized DFH snifter, as with any awesome IPA.

A: Pours an airy decent sized head, little less than a finger. Lots of large bubbles disperse throughout as it slowly fades to a light head covering. It lightly covers the golden pale orange and pretty hazy color that almost mask the myriad of little bubbles rising to the top.

N: Oh yeah, with the crazy noble hops! Lots of pine and some citrus, it's got that similar malty like nose that most crazy ass IPAs have, that almost reminds me of a sweet like crystal malt, but it's actually the hops I believe. I think my nose is cringing from the bitterness itself and I haven't even tasted it yet. Lots of spiciness from the hops and some floral qualities also run deep. I get some juicy fruit (not the gum dammit!) thats almost a musty peach or apricot, but its not. Oh that brings me to my next point, it has that somewhat musty aroma that most fresh crazy hopped IPAs have, but this one is a lot more subtle than most.

T: Oh yeah, I can taste it too huh?! Sorry, still nosing it. Mhhmmmpppfff... Wow bitterness right out front. Lots of noble hops with pine and citrus hit right away, and it fades quickly to a really juicy and fruity hop taste, more ripe peach. A very slight malty taste, but it just flicks you enough to make you notice its there. The bitterness again takes over and really dominates once the juice fades. More musty tropical fruit taste in the center, that transforms into a piney minty taste, that reminds me of that time I ate a bunch of pine cones wrapped in mint leaves. Some hop resin and oil find their way through and tickle your tongue a little.

M: Semi thick with a slight sticky hop oil feel, actually its got a really rich fatty oil quality like an unchill-filtered whisky. Decent carbonation but nothing to brag about in this dep, not that that is bad. Also, slightly spicey hops.

F: Damn! It's bitter. What's the IBUs, some huge number? It almost scrapes the feeling off my tongue, like the crazy sculpin fish on the label. But it is saved by a slight touch of sweetness as its not too dry, and the juicy center really eases that tension. The bitterness leaves a winterfresh mouth feel, like I just used mouthwash, I'm totally serious. I think the crazy piney bitterness lingering along, and added the slight fruit it tricks the taste buds into tasting that.

Final thoughts: Wow, it was just as I anticipated. A crazy hop bomb with little malts, lots of pine, citrus, juicy fruit hops, some spice, and lots of greatness. The thing that did surprise me was the slight minty mouthwash feel. If this wasn't so limited and expensive I'd really use it as mouthwash and it would be so great!

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 01:11:42 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.68/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy, two finger thick, pale, tan tinged, off-white colored head. The beer is a clear amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, bright copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma certainly hits the spot for any hop lover with a melange of herbaceous, spicy, fruity, citrusy and yes even dank hop character. Malt, I don't know much about that, though I am sure there might be a hint in the aroma some where, right now I am focusing on the hop aromatics that the malt character is supporting. Vibrant lychee, ripe tangelo peal and bitter grapefruit oil round out the fruity hop aromatics, but in the deep draughts of the aroma it is the herbal hop components that reign. There are turpene rich hop notes, a slight grassy edge, perhaps a hint of chive, but what really jumps out is the essential "hemp" oil components; sticky, dank, resinous, slightly rosemary like, touches of pine tar and a spiciness that almost make my nose itch. Definitely a hop heads beer by the nose.

Lightly sweet up front and then a bracing, richly herbal, bitterness grabs hold of the tongue; this never recedes either as the bitterness lingers on in the palate after the beer has left my mouth. The hop flavors have a fruity, almost oily character that is sensed as a backdrop to the other flavors; tropical fruit, lychee and bitter orange peel. The flavor profile is dominated though by the herbal hop components. Pepper, amply spicy, a touch of sharp rosemary, green turpenes and of course it has a biting, dank, "hemp" oil green flavor to it that lingers on with the bitterness in the finish. This is definitely an aggressively hoppy beer, this can be nice, but somehow this beer seems a bit too one-dimensional, even for a overly hoppy IPA. There is a soft supporting malt character that brings a hint of sweetness as well as a touch of cracker light malt to the flavor, it also supplies a medium'ish body to this brew.

A bit too herbal focused to be great for me; I prefer a nice balance of tropical fruit notes as well as the sticky herbal hop character (the aroma is a bit more balanced than the flavor, though still not quite enough). Still this certainly has appeased my hop fix for the evening.

Purchased: South Bay Drugs, Imperial Beach CA

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 03:34:23 | More by Gueuzedude
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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 7,282 ratings.