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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,346 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 2,346
Hads: 12,834
Avg: 4.38
pDev: 22.6%
Wants: 1,401
Gots: 4,677 | FT: 48
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 2,346 | Hads: 12,834
Photo of frasergrove
4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I remember the first time I tried this beer in a blind tasting, and I thought I had landed on my favorite IPA (Union Jack)...but then I was exposed to a whole new beer world....

Pours a mild amber golden, head is bone white, and dissipates medium quickly. Aroma is bright with tropical fruit, melon, mango, pine, light hint of breadiness...very complex and well balanced. Body is smooth, while hiding a bit of its bitterness with alcohol sweetness. Excellent finish, crisp with no lingering after bite. Absolutely excellent IPA, one of my two favorites (with the aforementioned Union Jack). Has a bit of shelf life, but fresh is out of this world.

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Photo of gusman61
3.75/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very Refreshing. It gets you past the interesting hump(back) very quickly. BTW, the "Interesting Hump" is the point down a pint glass where you suddenly get more interesting.

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Photo of starclassic21
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer that got me into craft beer.

The quintessential West Coast IPA. Clear, filtered orange color. Smells of grapefruit, tropical fruit and slightly dank hops. Taste matches the nose. Well balanced, citrus fruits (especially grapefruit) with some tropical fruit notes as well. West coast dank. Medium bitterness. Medium mouthfeel. Very clean IPA.


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Photo of HopHunter19
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - nice golden amber color w white head that dissipates quick
S - pine, grapefruit, overly ripe fruit, little bit of dank
T - pine and grapefruit up front, let it linger and you get mango, orange, papaya, passion fruit. No dankness on the taste
M - light to medium. Alc covered. Aftertaste is grapefruit.
O - it's a pretty standard ipa, but it's THE standard ipa.

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Photo of Ninjakillzu
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Poured into a Pint Defiance tulip. Body is a clear orange with a thin creamy white head. Mild carbonation is visible.

S: The tropical fruit is strong with this one. There is a mix of pinapple, orange, lime, lychee, and a hint of banana.

T: Very balanced, which is great for those looking to get into IPAs. The flavor is a mix of tropical fruit and bright citrus colliding in your mouth. Kind of sweet at first but ends with some mild bitterness to round it off. I should have tried this sooner than now.

F: Light bodied and smooth with mild carbonation. Quite pleasant.

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Photo of K-Dog
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice crisp and refreshing hoppy ipa. Reminds me alot of bells two hearted but I thing I like this a little better. Glad this is finally avaiable in michigan. Will be drinking this again and again. Awesome ipa.

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Photo of chicagobeerguy
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Clear, light blonde, low head, slight lacing

S: Hoppy, fruity, flowery, rose petals, wet grass

T: Flowery, fruity, tropical, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, leather, a little watery

F: Smooth, light, crisp, flavor fades relatively fast

O: Solid IPA, dangerously sessionable, and masks the 7% ABV very well

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Photo of Bonkinishwa
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ballast Point Brewing Company - Sculpin. 7% ABV. 12oz bottle split between two snifters.

Look: Nice vibrant translucent gold color, with some bubbly white lacing from aggressive pour.

Smell: Mainly tropical fruit, like mango and peach. Some hoppy pine aroma is backing it.

Feel: Thin bodied, with light carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink.

Taste: Very fruity, with mango, peach, and banana encompassing the majority of the flavors. Into the back end and aftertaste, the fruit is paired with some light pine and bitterness, but not overly bitter.

Overall: Probably the best IPA I've tried so far. Very fruity compared to other piney/earthy IPAs I've had. Although it has a bold fruit flavor, it still retains some hop bitterness, but not too extreme. Very good, and I recommend it as a introductory beer for those wanting to get into IPAs.

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Photo of mtdavidson
4.36/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Broke, I squirishly gathered enough coins for a bottle from the bodega down the street. I selected a Sculpin from thier sparse array. Walking home, a white cat with sickly yellow eyes glared at me from behind a glass door.

The aroma was distinctly inviting as I popped the familiar cap (first time drinking this beer, thouh I watch it fly off the shelves, daily, at work); a complex floral scent, tinged wih a slight rumor of alchohol. I poured it into the trusty insulated Lagunitas aluminum pint glas, producing a fine foamy white heqd. Its about 11:00 pm and the house is empty.

Delicious. Bitter in a subtle fashion. Harmonized notes of pine and citrus, the promised garden of hoppy flavors, and a really nice crisp finish. I see what all the fuss is about. In a world with way too many IpAs, here is one that deserves the space on the shelf.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
4.01/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ballast Point Sculpin.

Finally. Finally. FUCKING FINALLYYYYYY arrived in Michigan!. Release date was today as a matter of fact. Went and grabbed a sixer for $12.99 . Was gonna get a few of the other ballast point beers but I'm already a bit strapped for the week. I genuinely hope this one lives up to the insane amount of hype it is given in the beer world. Enough talk, it's drinking time.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass. Poured a slightly murky orange with a finger and a half of creamy looking white head that eventually settles down to a moderately thick froth amongst the top of the drink. Carbonation appears to be on about moderate levels with this beer. Lacing is sparse.

Smell - The nose starts off with a moderate to higher level of sweetness and centenniel esque hoppiness. Lots and grass and sweet candy like malts. The hops are lowly piney in nature and there is a rather large dosage of fresh cut grass. Pine levels are low though clearly present.

Taste - The flavor profile on this beer is very clean. Headed by a nice dosage of pine notes though not exactly bitter in any sense of the word. A bit of mango like juicyness and papaya. The malts are once again very sweet like in nature and not overly present. The thing I like the most is it's almost session ipa like in nature though without the cloying sweetness those beers tend to quickly bring on.

Feel - Mouthfeel on this brew is very creamy and coats the tongue along with the rest of the mouth very nicely. Carbonation is low to moderate depending on the specific swallow. Moderate pine notes without the bitterness really dominate this aspect as well. Beer swallows very easily and ups the bitterness a bit in the throat..

Overall - Well...I will admit I was expecting something truly beereligious(trademark) but instead I got a very well done session like IPA that manages to control the stupid sweetness that most of them allow to prevail. Reminds me of Oskar Blues Pinner with better balance which makes a huge difference. I will surely try more beers from these guys, but I do not think this one should be rated as highly as it it. In terms of Michigan beers, it was comparable to a less malty, slightly more hop forward Two Hearted Ale. As always, try it and come to your own conclusion..

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An oldie but a goodie. Light amber color, soft white head. Aroma is tropical, this was one of the first ipas that started to deliver that mango aroma. Throw in some peach for good measure.

Taste is great, so crooooshable. 7% hearty, but never overpowering. Prolly a little more malt body to it in the mouthfeel than a lot of the new super dry west coast ipa's coming out. Bitterness is dialed in around 50ibu I'd venture to guess.

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Photo of EMH73
4.56/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Starts off with a great smell of hops and fruit. Incredibly well balanced IPA, so many citrus and fruit flavors but none overwhelms. Moderate bitterness, just a terrific IPA.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy deep gold bordering on a pale orange amber producing 2+ fingers of frothy, variously bubbled, moderately lasting, white head that leaves a nice coating of lace. Aroma is pine resin, grapefruit pith & zest, pineapple, orange, peach & sweet caramel. Taste is grapefruit, pine, juniper, pineapple, peach, sweet & bready cobbler pie dough, vanilla & a hint of honey with the sweeter portions mid-sip through the finish. Aftertaste is bitter grapefruit & pine. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slick & wet in the mouth, drying after the swallow,medium-high carbonation with a high octane peppery prickle. Absolutely delightful!

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Photo of ChefSamG
4.74/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

orange color, nice foamy head
Smells delicious hint of orange citrus
Tastes excellent. Nice balance not too fruity not over the top hoppy but nice west coast piney bitter hop
perfect carbonation
I could drink this as my go to IPA. it is an excellent beer and not too crazy ABV also can stick with it for a while

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Photo of Real_Thirsty_Guy
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper-tan...clear and a nice medium to full body
Has a decent smell, faint sweetness and maybe earthy tones lie deep in the flavor
The beer is very well balanced for my liking w/hops that come boldly and evenly throughout the sip
It's a smooth IPA, nicely carbonated and ends with a nice medium bitterness

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Photo of yummybluewaffle
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If only this stuff wasn't so overpriced, I would have nothing but Sculpin in my fridge. The amount of bitter hoppiness isn't overwhelming and perfectly complimented with the fruity and tropical flavors. Everything in this brew is in perfect harmony with each other.

Had countless bottles and cans of these, in San Diego and even a Houston dinner movie theater had them

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Photo of gmoneyproductions
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a perfect IPA!
had this on tap in a pint glass
have had the grapefruit sculpin a bunch but never the sculpin
pours gold to orange with a thick white head
smells of hops pine and fruit
taste is piney resiny hoppy with a slight fruit taste and bitter finish
feel is crisp and effervescent
an excellent beer highly drinkable

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Photo of sokol_1993
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: deep yellow with a lively white head. Great head retention.
Smell: Full of orange peel smell.
Taste: at first: creamy head with much orange notes.
later: somehow the orange taste disappeared, and it becomes much like a common IPA: floral and bitter hoppiness. Still very drinkable though.
Feel: Medium body. Extremely refreshing for a 7% beer, which may be dangerous.
Verdict: will get it sometimes when I'm looking for a good IPA. Great brew!

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Photo of tregan_20
4.63/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter. Overall this is a solid IPA, with great taste and feel. The flavors consist of pine, citrus, floral hops, etc. The west coast hops are definitely prominent here. Solid offering from Ballast Point, well done! Cheers.

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Photo of Raider89
4.81/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Discovered the Sculpin line a month ago and it has rapidly become one of my favorite Crafties - if not my favorite. Fantastic aroma, taste, color-clarity-look, head and not super heavy. Very fine job putting this together.

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Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A must buy every time I see it. I'd really hate to admit that a California IPA could beat our Washington
hop-mastery, but few can rise to this level. A near perfect balance of sweet, bitter, and citrus, it's refreshing like no other.

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Photo of NickTheGreat
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L (4.5) - I really like the color of this one, a bit more amber than some IPA's. A little bit of very white foam, but dissipates quickly.
S (4.25) - Really nice hop aroma. More floral than citrus in my opinion.
T (4.25) - Tastes as good as it smells. Nice floral hop presence at the beginning. It finishes a little bitter for my liking, almost like earwax. I can overlook it, but this keeps it from being top shelf in my book.
F (4.25) - Good mouthfeel. Not super carbonated, but easy to drink.
O (4.25) - Overall, I liked this beer. I'm excited for Ballast Point to be in our state, and look forward to trying their other fine beers.

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Fruity, citrusy hops upfront, followed by some malt presence.

A: Golden color with a slight orange hue, clear with an inch of head that slowly recedes to a thin film.

T: Fruity citrusy hops that give way to some malt. The malt’s sweetness is restrained and the beer has a moderately low bitterness.

M: Med-light bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Wow, I forgot how tasty fresh Sculpin is on draft. The beer has great fruit forward, citrusy hops with just enough malt.

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Photo of mchegash
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a DFH IPA glass.

L: A vibrant orange-gold with several fingers of light tan head, with lots of rising carbonation rising up the beer. Looks pretty close to a perfect IPA

S: Delicious pine citrus notes, some mellow resinous aromas as well

T: An almost even split in taste between the resinous flavors and the pine-citrus flavors. Some light lager-ish malt characteristics as well.

F: A great mouthfeel, a moderate amount of carbonation, medium-full body, smooth.

O: A really great IPA, one that I would buy again (and did...I didn't review any from my first 6-pack, bought a second one today, "so I could review")

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours yellow gold with a white foam head. Smells of bitter citrus and hops. The taste was not as fruity as I expected. All I could point out was maybe lemon, along with some herbal and grassy hop notes. Very bitter, but not overdone. High carbonation and medium body give it a nice feel. Overall, a good, bitter, hoppy IPA, that could be just a bit more flavorful.

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,346 ratings.