Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

11,839 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,839
Reviews: 2,444
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.75%
Wants: 1,304
Gots: 3,681 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,839 | Reviews: 2,444
Photo of sinodux
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down my favorite IPA. Yes even better than Pliney

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

Quintessential American IPA. It is hoppy, complex, layered, refreshing and balanced. The aromatics found are what you'd find in a traditional American IPA. In summary, it is the traditional made very, very well.

Photo of vosmith3
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer, refreshing IPA beer

Photo of Jmikepow
4.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a great go to beer for any occasion. The fact that it is that accessible any time of year and this good is a plus for craft beer drinkers!

Photo of scbeerman
4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had it plenty of times. Even when fresh and from a can, it's just nothing spectacular when compared to a lot of IPAs. Definitely a great beer but it's not a 100.

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

Bought a 6 pack in cans from specs in Ft.Worth.Popped the top and right away I could smell this beer.Nose was grapefruit and some citrus and kinda faint pine.Taste was not bad at all,piney grapefruit with a nice bitter finish.Glad I got these.Prost!

Photo of Briesch
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Best readily available IPA out there. Best consumed as fresh as possible. I prefer mine out of the can.

Photo of ljjpowers
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Much like Daniel from Green Eggs & Ham, I could enjoy Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA in a box with a fox, in a house with a mouse, on tap, in a can, from a bottle, ON A BOAT, and theoretically, in any which way it was presented to me. In honor of this San Diego brewery’s affinity for naming beers after sea life, though, I’ve decided to take this particular tasting nautical (Longfin Lager, Wahoo White, Calico Amber, and Black Marlin Porter are just a few of its other marine-inspired classics).

Poured from the bottle, Sculpin draws you in with an inviting copper color that resembles the hypothetical love-child of a seven-year-old penny and the golden honey sticks that are sold at your local farmer’s market (“4 for $1!”). Hovering over the glass for just a few seconds, it becomes impossible to ignore the bouquet of floral, piney, and citrus scents— these components meld together to create an effect more substantial and compelling than their individual parts. Apricot and mango notes also announce their presence after just the third sniff. Now that the proper pleasantries have been exchanged with the guest of honor, it’s time to taste. The hoppy quality synonymous with the IPA style is evident from the get-go, but this bitterness is mellowed nicely by the combination of floral, piney, and citrus components that follow (as expected from the nose). The beer demonstrates smooth (yet crisp) and bitter (yet creamy) qualities in alternate succession that awaken and inspire the palate. And it is this very thing — the intoxicating interplay between elements of taste, mouthfeel, aroma, appearance, and environment — that makes tastings so special. While I’m sure that Ballast Point has a fantastic quality control process and although every Sculpin is virtually identical at a molecular level, no two tasters have the same perception of flavor and no two tastings take place in the exact same way. I, for example, am enjoying this particular brew while boating around the harbor and shooting-the-shit with a good friend. In all honesty, I could probably appreciate Sculpin in the worst of times and in the foulest of places, but the atmosphere in which a beer is experienced has the potential to elevate its subtleties and complexities. Not to mention that another participant provides a second opinion off of which to bounce your perceived tastes, smells, and ideas. Oh, and in my case, a boat captain (thanks, Alex). Make no mistake, Sculpin is everything it’s said to be and the only way to fully understand the fanfare that surrounds it is to try some for yourself. Cheers!

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Photo of WestmontStorm
4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Real nice IPA. Clean crisp refreshing aftertaste. In Illinois this stuff costs $14/sixpack. Very good but not worth the do-re-mi.
Lagunitas IPA is just as good.

Photo of nazdrowie23
3.69/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good IPA, was hoping for something more.

Photo of Davidstan
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My fave IPA.
T. Very fruity, citrusy with a slight pine note. Finish is crisp and smooth
O. The best single IPA out there for me

Photo of Weisenbeer
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As Bill and Ted might remark... "This beer is most excellent!" I have tried a lot of IPAs, and this one is near the top of the class. First beer I've had from this brewer. It cost a pretty penny (so my lady friend says), but appears to be worth the extra nickels.

Photo of Big-T
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This IPA has it all. This is a sure thing if you like true West Coast style IPAs.

Photo of d_porter
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First BA review! Still developing a taste for IPAs, but I have to say this is the smoothest one yet. Doesn't have that bite of a Stone or a DF 60 min. Goes down smooth and has just enough taste to let you know its an IPA! Poured out of a bomber into a 23oz pilsner! Easy to drink, so be careful!

Photo of OregonGrown7
3.98/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great standard IPA. A little syrupy. Nothing to wow me, but packs a solid punch.

Photo of thebeerprincess
3.98/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very solid standard IPA. Nothing special about it, very good taste.

Photo of soupyman10
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Looks like an IPA, amber, great white lacing and a finger of foam. Nose and flavor are well balanced, nice drying hops with a fair bit of fruit and a touch of caramel malt. Really good flavor, almost stereotypically what I think of when I think of an IPA. It's a great brew, on par with a lot of very good ones: Two Hearted, 60 Minute, Titan, etc. Seems like maybe the hype train got a little out of control with this one, but as I said, definitely a tasty everyday beer. Very happy it's started to show up all over the East Coast.

Photo of srumbolt
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great go to everyday drinker.

Photo of Jcorn
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not bad. Great smell, good taste. Would buy again.

Photo of mdcrouser
4.63/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beautifully fluffy white head sits atop a glass of transparent liquid glowing gold.

Freshly carved pineapple is most apparent.

Pineapple, pine, some other citrus - oh man, that's ridiculously good.

Creamy, some sharpness and spiciness in the hops, heavy on the tongue.

Love this beer (and I don't say that much) - well-balanced, lots of freshness, unique in the pineapple being so up front.

Photo of Dag95
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very delicious IPA With fruity start

Photo of jwall76
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite IPA. So damn tasty.

Photo of frozyn
4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L -- Thick white head with a pale amber color.

S -- Pine, hoppy, tropical fruit, floral.

T -- Lots of hops creates a nice bitterness.

F -- Quite good for an IPA, a little fizzy.

O -- A very good beer, but I prefer Jai Alai. For the price, I don't feel it presents a good value, especially given what else is out there.

Photo of MaximalC
3.76/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a transparent gold color with an inch of coarse, white suds. Aroma smacks of fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit and little else; maybe a hint of honey-like sweetness sneaks through.

The taste features grapefruit, bready malt, and some grain husk (especially toward the back). Hints of bubblegum lurk beneath the surface as well. Pine resin seeps through more once the grapefruit acquiesces. Medium body and carbonation mostly stay out of the way and let the hops do their thing.

Overall, this is a solid, flavorful IPA. I don’t quite get the hype it receives, but it’s certainly good.

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

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Just awesome.

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 11,839 ratings.