Sculpin IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally named Northstar IPA. Debuted in 2005.

Added by brentk56 on 04-02-2006

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,386 | Ratings: 13,098
Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: huge white head, nice clean look
S: citrus! Love my ipas with citrus vs. pine
T: like the smell, very citrus forward. Gets some bitterness from the hops, but it doesn't finish dry which is what I look for in my ipas
F: easy drinking and doesn't have a dry finish.
O: a great ipa, and it's available year- round

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Photo of BrokenEdge
3.58/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent amber orange color with a frothy, bright white head that lasted the whole glass. Big hop flavor and aroma with lots of grapefruit and other tropical notes. Slightly too unbalanced in the way of bitterness, imo, needs a stronger malt backbone. It ends up giving this beer an almost medicinal quality. Leaves a lingering bitter finish.

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Photo of Coopersbeer
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice lacing. Wish the head didn't so quickly dissipate. Very clear - I like an IPA that's a bit cloudy. Crisp. It's good. I'd definitely buy this again.

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Photo of schematix
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Wife got me a bottle as a stocking stuffer for Christmas. Very thoughtful gift. Knew of this beer but wasn't aware of how highly hyped it was.

A: Poured crystal clear gold to copper. KILLER head. In fact, top 2 for me in terms of best head of all time (for beer).

S: Hops.

T: This is where the hype fell flat. Syrupy hoppiness. Hops are noticeably citrus. Not much else.

M: Carbonation is spot on. Wow this is bitter. This has to be like 70-80 IBU.It's a tongue twister for sure. Too bitter to pair with food.

O: Over hyped. Good beer and i'd drink it again, but I don't like syrupy sweet IPAs. At this IBU it needs to be dryer. I would recommend trying it though as it is good, but I'd never pin this as a 'great' beer.

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Photo of Roadking1979
4.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have criss-crossed this great nation in search of the perfect IPA, and the three I submit for your consideration are Sculpin, Union Jack, and Three Floyd's Broo Doo. I've consumed hundreds of bombers, thousands of pints, and a number of growlers I've lost track of. None have beaten Sculpin for consistent quality. Will buy it at any price, and have. It's just that good.

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Photo of jmasher85
3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I will probably make a more in-depth addendum to this review later, but for now, let's just say that it's a solid IPA, not even an American IPA, but a true, almost-English-style one with a great sense of balance and nice malts to even the keel. Grapefruit is the dominant flavor in the hops, but bitter resins still preside over all and a smooth texture and light body make this an easy beginner IPA for anyone who likes a crisp, refreshing, bitter beer. Grapefruit variant of Sculpin takes things in the next logical direction, but I'm enjoying this as it is.

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Photo of Nickholland
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great IPA, hops are dominant but enough malt to provide complexity. Reminds me a lot of Union Jack. Maybe not quite as good, but a great beer in its own right.

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz, bottled Nov., 2015.

Look: Pours a very clear straw color, with a white head; very nice lacing.

Smell: strong smell of citrus.

Taste: lots of hops, and although its minor, there is something in there I am not a big fan of (dry hopped?); all in all, great flavor.

Feel: Medium, and nothing that really stands out.

Overall: I did a side-by-side of Sculpin, Grapefruit Sculpin, and Habaneno Sculpin. For straight up enjoyment, and drink-ability, I like this one best. One of the better IPAs I have had and nicely balanced. Good job Ballast Point.

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

fresh bottle.

Nice Amber/orange, white thick head. Little haze which mostly cleared.
Smell and taste are awesome. Pine, Cirtus/Grapfruit, and more subtle sort of floral fruit.
For me carbonation is just where it ought to be, probably a bit lower than others. It's there but it doesn't get in the way. good medium body for 7%.

Just, so nice. Really nicely balanced IPA for my tastes.


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Photo of Mlkluther
3.85/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This IPA is a perfectly balanced beer. More to the floral side of the IPA style - but a truly excellent beer. A nice change from some of the overly hopped one note IPAs out there. Glad to have it in Alberta!

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Photo of gandres
4.23/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz poured in wine glass
Appearance: Golden amber minimal head, clear, some lacing, appears is appealing
Aroma: smell of hops, hint of citrus
Taste: well balance bitterness
Overall: Excellent India Pale Ale, one of the best even from a bottle

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Photo of Chandango
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Freakin great. It pours golden amber and clear, with a frothy white head that lingers and laces. The aroma is strong with this one, caught a whiff as I poured and was immediately excited to dive in. Smells of citrus fruit, mostly grapefruit, with a backbone of dank hops. That first sip is fantastic, hitting with a complex array of fruit, hops, some malts. Very fresh and crisp. Bitter hops linger somewhat, balancing and adding nicely to the overall drink. Definitely up there in the realm of fantastic IPA

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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 q33jeff
3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle to tall glass. Appearance: light golden color. Medium white head. Aroma is pine hops, citrus, grass, . Taste is also pine, hops, citrus,grass. Touch of ash. Very smooth and well balanced. Feel is light, medium carbonation. A nice beer. Thought I had rated this a few months ago on my last 6-pack, but I saw I did not when rating the grapefruit version.
Side by Side of 5 IPA's
1. Southern Tier UnEarthly
2. Ballast Point Sculpin
3. Evil Genius "This One Time At Band Camp"
4. Alpine Pure Hoppiness
5. Alpine Duet

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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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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,386 ratings.