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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,556 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,556
Reviews: 1,977
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 891
Gots: 1,348 | FT: 44
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sculpin IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,556 | Reviews: 1,977 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zeledonia


4.09/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Best by 25 May 2013. Trying to taste all of the beers of fame, so I traded for this one. Thanks to BeerThirty for the bottle. Tasted 16 March 2013.

Pours a bright medium orange. Almost totally clear, just a thin haze blurring the details. Half finger of whitish head, okay retention, some lacing. Decent enough.

Smell was good on the first hit, powerfully hoppy. Fruity, with bits of grapefruit, peach, and pineapple. But every subsequent sniff comes nowhere near it. It's like the smell blew away within a minute of popping the bottle. On the second pour, I can barely pick up the hops at all. This is half 4.25, and half 3. Weird.

Taste is in the upper tier of IPAs. The fruity hops come through much more in the flavor than they do in most beers. Starts out grainy and slightly sweet, grapefruit rind kicks in astringent and bitter, before it drifts into a chalky bitterness. Aside from the grapefruit punch, a low-level lemon-orange citrus flavor permeates it. Bitterness level is right at the peak, just beyond perfect, and almost on the downslope, but reeled in at the end before it can start to bother me.

Feel is quite good. Medium-light body, kinda airy. Carbonation right where it should be, rising up, then sliding slowly down. Lasting, but cutting off right when I want it to.

I like this beer, but it doesn't wow me. I think the big let-down is that I want a top-notch IPA to blast my nose with hops. This one did, just once. Taste is excellent, though. And both the taste and the feel show restraint, backing off just when I worried they'd start getting worse.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 03:14:57 | More by zeledonia
Photo of GJonesy


4.5/5  rDev +2%

03-16-2013 18:28:34 | More by GJonesy
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.36/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into tulip, cheers IanSpindler for the bottle

A clear golden liquid with just a couple visible bubbles slowly making their way to a finger of foam that hangs around for a few sips leaving a couple partial rings of lace

S pineapple and pine, tangerine, grapefruit, apricot and peaches, big tropical blast with a little mango too, smells pretty nice if you ask me, just a little toffee hiding in there and slightly catty but for some reason I like that in my beer

T some lemon and lime I wasn't smelling, a little more rind opposed to the fresh flesh I was smelling, I get just a hint of booze but its no concern, pretty solid

M a a little bitter snap to it and a little slick after the fact, medium bodied with much more carbonation then what I could see in the glass, piney rind lingers long on the finish

O I could drink myself stupid with this stuff in a hurry with this stuff, I only have a sip left in my glass and I only started typing a few minuets ago. Great example of the West Coast IPA, I'd be drinking this all the time if I could get my dirty hands on it

This beers well deserving of its reputation, it hits all the spots and leaves me craving more. I heard my wife say the other day she wants to go to California, I'm starting to agree with her but I think we may have different reasons for wanting to go.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 17:06:26 | More by wordemupg
Photo of brandon911


4.5/5  rDev +2%

03-16-2013 06:29:07 | More by brandon911
Photo of alienlifeforcecube


4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

03-16-2013 06:18:20 | More by alienlifeforcecube
Photo of dailyminefield

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -9.3%

03-16-2013 01:39:00 | More by dailyminefield
Photo of cjargyros


5/5  rDev +13.4%

03-16-2013 00:34:28 | More by cjargyros
Photo of rdilauro


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

As soon as I opened this one, the hops came flying across the room in full bold force. I was expecting an IBU number of 150+

Dont care what the actual IBU is, but the bouquet was outstanding and the taste was even far better.

I now have to say, it is now my favorite IPA. This one was as close to perfect as I expect out of an IPA.

The first taste was great, the mouthful was better and the aftertaste even better Beer Heaven as it should be

:Review Update: I realize that in my initial review, I was too excited about this beer that I never really described it.

But I will say, that HOPS did come flying across the room. They were strong and constant hops that helped maintain the bitterness of this beer with the malt. Nicely balanced.
The aftertaste was almost better than the initial tastes!

You dont run across many beers like this one. Anyone who is serious in beer tasting needs to try this one.

Another tasting of Sculpin. This was really the first time since I've read about how some hoppy beers need to be consumed soon. In fact one person, told me specifically that Sculpin needs to be consumed within 3 or 4 months after release.

Well, in the past two years, I have had about 8 Sculpins spaced over time. 3 of them were from a shipment we received in early 2012. The rest of them we took shipment in January of this year. Tonight, I had one from early 2012.. With my eyes closed, there was nothing that took away from this beer! Now the appearance wasn't as great. It had a cloudy haze initially.
Tonite , I used one of my Duvel Tulip glasses that I think showed off more of the cloudiness.
Its been about 10 minutes from the initial pour. Still a bit cloudy, but not as before. The grassy citrus grapefruit nose was present again, perhaps just a tad off from the newer ones, but still for me, deserved the 5.... So, I guess the younger Sculpins should get a 5.5.

The smooth big body matched with its uncanny bitterness still showcases a great beer

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 00:14:56 | More by rdilauro
Photo of mzablocki


4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

03-15-2013 21:58:25 | More by mzablocki
Photo of alysmith4

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +2%

03-15-2013 21:35:27 | More by alysmith4
Photo of Heavy-G


4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

03-15-2013 19:51:20 | More by Heavy-G
Photo of Cazlo


4.5/5  rDev +2%

03-15-2013 16:33:22 | More by Cazlo
Photo of EROCK75


4.5/5  rDev +2%

03-15-2013 16:11:18 | More by EROCK75
Photo of EricTheRed

New York

4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

03-15-2013 06:35:09 | More by EricTheRed
Photo of analienacorn


4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

03-15-2013 04:56:15 | More by analienacorn
Photo of hopfen


4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Picked up a sixer for $13.49, just getting into IPAs and this was the most I have ever paid in my life for a sixer, but man oh man....was it worth it.

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- Bright orange golden amber like a sunset over Malibu in a glass.

S- Wow! What a great aroma of pine, orange, grapefruit, and flowers

T- Amazing, the first sip was pure nirvana. Rich but crisp, hoppy up front but it ever so gently turns into a bouquet of citrus and pine. The bitter hoppy after taste lingers just enough then just disolves away in your mouth like orange cotton candy. Simply a work of palette art.

M- Smooth and no residue lingering at all.

O- The best tasting beer that I have ever had. Its like getting kicked in the mouth with a pair of fuzzy slippers dipped in sweet nectar. Amazingly good and worthy of the price and hype. I am eager to see how it holds up against the other big hitters. Was a step above the Stones I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 03:32:17 | More by hopfen
Photo of screamking


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

12 oz bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance-pours medium orange with a 1 finger white head, not much lacing but some. 3.75

Aroma-grapefruit and orange dominate the early smell. Followed by a earthy pine that adds a little more depth. Dried apricot is in there as well. 4.25

Taste-The taste follows the aroma exactly. Two grapefruits battling in your mouth, first is sweet the other is bitter. Then comes the outdoors, pine and honeysuckle. Lots of orange in there as well. Great even taste. 4.5

Feel-light to medium body, very easy to drink, nice carbonation. 4.5

Overall-Surprised, yes I am. Didn't quite expect this beer to be this good. Very well balanced and drinkable as hell. Surprised that this is a 7% abv beer, yes. I would put this beer up there with the doubles that get all the hype. 4.5

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 02:06:50 | More by screamking
Photo of VALIS666

New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy gold with typical lace. Lots of sweet orange on the nose, very nice. Taste? Well, maybe mine is a tad stale from being on the shelf for a bit, but I’m not seeing where this beer’s legendary status comes from. I get a fair amount of juicy orange, which I like, but it doesn’t have the biggest bite and there’s a funky aftertaste I can’t quite place. A good one for sure, but it wouldn’t make my personal IPA top-10.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 01:35:34 | More by VALIS666
Photo of EricClayton

West Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -20.6%

03-15-2013 00:49:31 | More by EricClayton
Photo of Teeoff19


4/5  rDev -9.3%

03-15-2013 00:03:52 | More by Teeoff19
Photo of TheLostGringo


3.75/5  rDev -15%

03-14-2013 20:27:18 | More by TheLostGringo
Photo of Fusebuddy


4/5  rDev -9.3%

03-14-2013 20:15:45 | More by Fusebuddy
Photo of duobob


4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

03-14-2013 20:13:52 | More by duobob
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac


4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

03-14-2013 19:07:33 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
Photo of wardenclyffe


5/5  rDev +13.4%

03-14-2013 18:08:03 | More by wardenclyffe
Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 8,556 ratings.