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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,674 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,674
Reviews: 2,056
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.75%
Wants: 978
Gots: 1,885 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sculpin IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,674 | Reviews: 2,056 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aubuc1
4.1/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours a slightly hazy yellow/orange with a white fizzy head.

Huge grapefruit resiny smell. Can't be beer in this.

Taste is a sharply bitter, biscuity with a very dry finish. This doesn't taste fresh, as the biscuit is more pronounced than I would expect from a great ipa.

Mouthfeel is very goood, and this is a very well crafted beer.

I cannot say it is great, because it tastes like a 6 month old ipa. Smells great, but the hop taste has faded.

aubuc1, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of mixed_master7
4.5/5  rDev +2%

mixed_master7, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of kzoobrew
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Decadance for the bottle. Review input from notes.

Clear yellow orange colored body capped with a two and a half finger bone white head. The head recedes leaving a rather impressive cap. Thick lacing left firmly attached to the glass.

Aroma is full of juicy citrus and tropical fruits. Subtly sweet pale malt is set behind providing a bit of balance. Very hop forward but the simplicity of the grain bill is appreciated.

The nose steers the tongue true, the taste is exactly what you would expect. Strong citrus and tropical fruit flavor. More subtle pith and floral contributions from the hops lay beneath. The malt base is rather soft but sturdy.

Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Soft and creamy on the tongue with a finish which is rather dry

Sculpin drinks far too easy. It is unfortunate this beer does not make it into my area or I would pick it up on some sort of regular basis. Well crafted beer with great balance, outstanding example of the style.

kzoobrew, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of greg4579
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

greg4579, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of unclekeith
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

unclekeith, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of superdedooperboy
3.45/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22-ounce brown glass bottle poured into a tulip glass. Served at approximately 40-45 degrees F.

Pours a beautiful deep golden hue, strikingly clear and with a fat frothy cap of white foam that leisurely settles to a thick crown that holds firmly to the walls of the glass, leaving behind a nice residue of lattice-like lacing.

After such a spectacular start, the nose fails to meet the promise that the looks seem to hold. A bit of pine, a touch of grapefruit, a hint of apricot and mango and the faintest biscuit -- but all of it subdued and boring.

Medium-bodied with a light-to-moderate carbonation, the feel is fine, but the flavors are just as subdued as the olfactory glands suggest. A touch of sweetish, slightly biscuity malt opens up to a palate that, despite touches of mango and papaya and swirls of grapefruit peel and flesh, is largely masked by an overriding harsh hop bitterness that is pervasive and extremely drying, almost puckering in nature. It dominates all, leaving behind a finish that is dryer than dust, leaving behind a lingering hint of bitter grapefruit pith.

For those interested in extreme bitterness or hyper-West Coast-style IPAs, this would likely hit the spot. Sadly, though, all of the greatness I've heard about this IPA is just not there, and that includes descriptions filled with rich fruity characteristics that, at least to this palate, simply do not exist to the extent that others have claimed. Perhaps this is a different beast when fresh, but right now it strikes me as just that -- a beast, and a bitter one at that. If you're looking for extreme bitterness in your brews, then by all means, this is sure to hit the spot. But if you seek nuance or big, bold flavor, look elsewhere.

superdedooperboy, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of brownbeer
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Kickin' off IPA-athon part deux with busternuggz.

Semi-rusty gold color with a white crown that remains a thin layer throughout. Pale like I like my pale ales to be.

The nose on this beer is extraordinary. It takes about one second to know this is what beer is about. Blasting an orgy of juicy tropical fruits in your nose and all over your face. Mango. Apricot. Hints of pineapple and pine loom about.

The pine notes come out a bit more in the taste. Still, the fruity citrus pounds forward. Bitter orange, apricot, and a slight grassiness. It's medium-bodied, crisp, and dry with a refresing bitterness that is forward and delicate at the same time. Like a sexy doctor giving you a rectal exam. It's insane how they made this beer perform like this.

Loved it. Try it.

brownbeer, May 30, 2010
Photo of KC9LDB
4/5  rDev -9.3%

KC9LDB, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of Khazadum
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks go out to Pabs311 for throwing this in as an extra during the Math Trade Round 2 BIF. Saved for a few days, chilled in the fridge, and poured into my snifter to be reviewed and enjoyed live.

Finger of crisp white bubbles that start densely packed and begin to coalesce instantly. The retention is pretty good. Doesn't fade too fast or too slow.

Some interesting lacing develops upon the side of the glass. Nice honey coughdrop yellow body and the few hints of carbonation bubble through.

Fantastic nose on this bad boy. Floral fruity notes abound! Strong grapefruit and citrus notes. Pineapples and hops finish it off on the outflow.

Flavor Profile
I wish it tasted as amazing as it smells. The opening verse
is heavily pine in nature. Its like I'm using a branch of evergreen to brush my teeth with jellies. Pineapple jelly, grapefruit jelly that has orange peel in it. The two fruits gently mingle, but always come out strong and distinct at the same time.

Oral Sensations
It has a thickness most IPAs would die for. It is full bodied, perfectly carbonated, and a tad bit sticky. I wish that other flavors would stick around, but the predominant molecule is that of bitter hops. Not much sweetness to balance it out. It isn't awful, but just a desire to have. Also, it has the smoothness one desires in their beer.

This beer is absolutely amazing in the nose. There are probably only a handful of beers that match the deliciousness that this packs in a single whiff. Unfortunately, the taste is no where near the level it could be. I'd love to drink this again, but I'd more like to enjoy sharing this experience with another than anything else. Something to wave under their nose and just go WOW... maybe leave it at that, but its still good to taste, so I guess not.

Khazadum, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of sunofneurot
4/5  rDev -9.3%

sunofneurot, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of Goldfishman
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Goldfishman, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of OgreSanchez
5/5  rDev +13.4%

OgreSanchez, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of loren01
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy orange color, nice frothy white head with good lacing down the glass.
S: Nice malt up front, citrusy hops mostly though
T: Nicely balanced IPA, good malt backbone followed by resiny tangerine like hop flavor
M: Resiny and sticky but goes down pretty smooth. Medium bodied
D: This is a great beer...very drinkable. Reminds me a lot of Hair of the dog blue dot. Would buy this one again for sure.

loren01, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of pearljam118
4.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Copper orange with minimal head, slightly cloudy

S - Purely amazing note, not overpowering with hops. Perfect

T - Sweet honey, a great balance of piney hops and fruitiness

M - Medium bodied with med/high carbonation. Great feel

Overall - This is my new favorite IPA hands down. Just fantasic, get a bottle as soon as you can.

pearljam118, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of Beezee
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Beezee, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of davemathews68
3.75/5  rDev -15%

davemathews68, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of Mikexw
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Mikexw, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of PhineasGage
5/5  rDev +13.4%

PhineasGage, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of Brushkanna
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Brushkanna, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of tpauer
4.5/5  rDev +2%

tpauer, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of GregSVT
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a tall pint glass. Courtesty of MASPuros who has become my favorite BA...thanks Mike!

A: Pours a very light amber with a big white head that reduces to a layering over the top and some very nice lacing.

S: The nose is divine full of tropical fruits like passion fruit and mango. Not much hops in the nose which was suprising.

T: Ah there are the hops and in big force. After the hops blast the palette you get a taste of the tropical fruits that leave a sweetness on the finish. The hops last throughout the whole experience though.

M: Good carbonation that makes this a bit creamy and a nice medium body.

D: Very drinkable and I could see me buying this on a monthly basis if it where available in my area.

Smell really reminded me of Alpine Nelson which is one of the more unique IPAs out there and something I enjoyed. Without the Rye of course...

GregSVT, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of Gushue3
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap or Brewhouse in Weymouth.

A- Golden orange and did not get to see the head. Medium lacing left on the glass. Can imagine there was a moderate sized head

S- Very sweet and hoppy. Bold citrus hops are prominent that are very sharp. Smells awesome

T- Very hoppy. Nice citrus taste with piney taste that sti fs the senses... really nice. Sweet ans bitter contrast is on point. Really well made IPA.

M- medium to lighter mouthfeel with the carbonation a litle heavier.

O- I really cant ask for much more from an IPA. GREAT taste that looks and smells great.

Gushue3, May 18, 2011
Photo of Bdel34
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Bdel34, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of meanmutt
4.5/5  rDev +2%

meanmutt, May 21, 2012
Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 9,674 ratings.