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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,246 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 2,246
Hads: 12,141
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 1,334
Gots: 3,968 | FT: 50
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,246 | Hads: 12,141
Photo of car2052
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass.

A: Hazy bright orange. 1 in. white head.
S: Peach, grapefruit, dark berry, yeast.
T: Grapefruit and pine right at the front of the tongue. Sweeter fruits take over. Sweetness towards the end.
M: Medium. Nice crisp alcohol at the end.
O: Very standard IPA flavors. I would want more tropical aromas and flavors for a higher rating. (372 characters)

Photo of do_ob
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a tulip. Pours a crystal-clear amber with nearly 3 fingers of white, sticky foam. Tropical fruit, citrus, pine, and bubblegum on the nose. Very sweet tropical fruit and floral notes up front on the taste. Medium-light weight, and a very creamy and crisp mouthfeel. Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, and banana all present up front, with a biscuity-malt settling in middleways. Finishes as creamy as ever, and produced a tingling hop bitterness on the finish. Tart fruit, pine, and hops on the aftertaste.

Incredibly well-made, well-balanced, and tasty IPA right here. It's not often I get to try these world-class brews, but this one is pretty special. Might be the best IPA I've ever had. (705 characters)

Photo of jweaver95
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

An IPA lover's dream. Was fortunate enough to have this at a Padres game out in San Diego, and I was not disappointed. I'm back in Chicago now, and I miss it like I miss California. (181 characters)

Photo of ryaneasterling
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a world class Cali IPA. Get it in the can. Ballast Point is very proud of their beer, and for good reason, but you can't cop a six pack for less than 13 or 14 bucks. (174 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. can

Pours a clear golden color with a coarse two inch head, dissipates very slowly to a lacing.

Smells of honey, buttered bread, grapefruit, and pine.

The taste is of honey and bready malt with a maple hop followed by hints of strawberry, passion fruit, and orange citrus. Finished with a piney bitterness.

Medium body with tingly carbonation on the tongue.

An exceptionally good IPA that does everything right. Drinks very easy and smooth. Deserves to be in the pantheon of great American IPAs. If anything could stand improvement, its the mouthfeel which is every so slightly thin for what the beer is. Otherwise, top notch. (649 characters)

Photo of SensorySupernova
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear dark gold with an off-white head that eventually faded, leaving little lacing.

Smell: Pretty strong citrus and floral hops.

Taste: Moderate-to-strong hop bitterness up front, into a dry malt backbone. A little alcohol sweetness at the very end, and lingering hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Middle of the road thickness and carbonation.

Overall: Solid IPA. Good bitterness, but not over the top, and plenty of aroma. (451 characters)

Photo of exposd
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great west coast IPA from Ballast Point Brewery, but I spoiled myself by tasting the grapefruit and habanero versions of this beer before trying the original. Lots of hops and bitter citrus ofruit on this one. Nice light amber color poured into a pint glass with great head and heavy lacing. This is an amazing brew, but for me with the added grapefruit or spicy heat to the special variants, they are both favorite flavors of mine already so it makes it hard to ever get around to drinking the original. (504 characters)

Photo of Safa1
4.89/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I went in thinking that this has got to be over rated. It is not. It's a great beer. One of the best beers I have ever had. The problem is that it is always 7.99 and that is a lot. Port brewing is almost as good and nowhere near as much money. (243 characters)

Photo of Yeah_IPA
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Gold/Copper/Inviting

Smell - Sweet/biscuit/floral

Taste - Rich/Strong/Hops/Pine

Mouthfeel - Crisp, seltzer

Very enjoyable beer.
Almost like a meal drinking this. (179 characters)

Photo of Beertsipper
3.9/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Can. Had this on tap and it wasn't as impressive. Good bitterness. Oily yet dry. Grapefruit notes with nectarine. Average but very drinkable. Won't buy again due to the big price tag. Available IPA's similar to Sculpin in my area for $5 less per six pack. That's something you can't deny, especially if you have local IPA's that have similar taste profiles with comparable abv. (377 characters)

Photo of Veeblefetzer
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had a six pack of bottles, purchased in San Clemente. Very nice IPA. Citrus smells, lovely color. Nice hop taste with overtones of grapefruit. Very nicely balanced IPA. (171 characters)

Photo of bareju
3.84/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bomber. Very nice floral and citrus nose. Taste is lightly sweet malts followed by light citrus and floral hops, and are then overwhelmed by hoppy piney bitterness. Pretty full body for an IPA, and a good bit of carb. This drinks more like a DIPA, and I'm not a big fan of bitter piney hops in my beer. Nicely balanced, but not my favorite take on an IPA. I would love to try it on tap to see how the hop profile differs. Similar to torpedo from what I remember, although maybe a bit more complex. (498 characters)

Photo of blackett511
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Good lord. I first had a Sculpin IPA about two years back. Ballast Point has made one of the better IPAs I've ever had. A little heavier than comparitive IPAs but worth it for the ABV and myriad of tastes. The body is much lighter than you'd expect; caramel or burnished bronze, the aroma is fruity and pleasant. Carbonation isnt too high so the head--even on a bad pour--is pretty low. (386 characters)

Photo of J30wang
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drunk this straight from the bottle, so unsure what the liquid looks like. Can't say much about how it pours or how the head is, so i'm just going to skip right to smell.

The smell is remarkable. I am new to this drinking beer as an art craft instead of an alcoholic beverage, so did not smell it before I took a sip. But after I had finished the bottle, I took the time to give the bottle lip a few good whiffs--boy was it floral. It's not a light smell; reminds me of honey all thick and syrupy.

Your typical hoppy sip upon first drink. Reminded me of the Sierra Nevada Torpedo, but where it differs is what lingers on the palate after. It's very sweet! A good thick, sweetness that's more floral than citrusy (is it supposed to be citrusy?). Torpedo has got a more bitter/malty aftertaste, which is refreshing. This is a good beer, but will feel like too much 3/4 bottles in because it is so decadent. You won't realize at first, because the sweetness takes a while to sink in, though I can definitely see why many would be a huge fan of this.

It is not a light beer, and also not very carbonated. This might be because I let it sit for a while before I had popped it open to drink it. Realized that this beer was also on tap at the bar I visited later. I should probably give this beer a try again, from a draft pour--hopefully then I'll get a better idea at what Ballast is trying to achieve with this beer. I liked it very much, but there is a time and place for this kind of beer--probably better enjoyed in cooler weather. When it's hot out I still prefer my lighter, wheat beer/pale ales. (1,602 characters)

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

Lite amber, off white head. Hoppy citrus nose. Hoppy lemon and stone fruit (apricot) flavors. Medium lite mouthfeel. Overall excellent easy drinking well balanced IPA. (167 characters)

Photo of RenzoD
3.35/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yeah it's alright. Looks pretty thin. Not too much of a head. Aroma is amazing. Taste...well...More of a sipper. Drink too big of a swig and it tastes like cough syrup. I think it's a decent IPA and I'm glad I tried it but I probably won't have it again. Now Big Eye IPA, that one is killer. (291 characters)

Photo of Jacobob10
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Amber color with a fluffy white head. Massive citrus and tropical fruit aroma. Light caramel malts keep the balance towards the hops. Medium bodied. A light, fruity, juicy, and bitter IPA.

I remember the first Sculpin I ever had was 4-5 years ago on tap at DBDG in NYC. It blew me away then and has been one of my favorite IPAs to this day. (341 characters)

Photo of Beerds
4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Long sought after and scored some for my birthday. Well worth the wait (for fresh) and the price, $15 a 6 pack. Hard to drink others having this one. (151 characters)

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

velvety mouthfeel, healthy lacing. Huge citrus aroma with a warmer finish. Taste is as close to palate perfect for me. Lives up to the 13.99 price tag. (154 characters)

Photo of EMV
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Main Street pub in Bally, PA - poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep clear amber with thick creamy white head. Great retention.

S: Citrusy hops on the nose, somewhat floral. Malts also detectable.

T/F: This is a great tasting IPA. Not as hopped up as an Imperial IPA, but a nice citrus hop backbone... a bit resinous, and good balance with the sweet malts. Very smooth and drinkable, with moderate carbonation.

O: Phenomenal session IPA, also great with a meal and as noted by many others this is a superb representation of the style. (572 characters)

Photo of Hoppity1
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured my first Sculpin from a 22 Oz bottle into a hotel 10 Oz plastic cup. It was wonderful. It is even better with real glassware! Excellent beer. (150 characters)

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this at the local liquor store--very happy to see they've distributed into my neck of the woods. The bottling date states it was produced a little over 2 months ago. Poured right from a 12 oz glass in the fridge into a pint glass.

L: Pours a beautiful warm amber color with an inch of white head that falls to a film and ring after a few minutes and leaves considerable cling on the glass. Extremely clear, with moderate visible carbonation.

S: Big bouquet of citrus and herbal hops. Nice balance of brightness and earthiness. There's also definitely a floral aspect to this one. Some sweet and bready malt notes in the mix, as well.

T: Sweet and bready malts at the outset, with a suggestion of rye in the midst. The hops immediately open up, with a charge of herbal flavor and the citrus taking just a bit of a back seat. Some resinous pine notes are present in the middle, with the malt underside continuing to make its presence felt. The back might be my favorite part of this taste: it continues to bring those herbal and piney/earthy hop flavors in a very smooth balance with the malt. Just a suggestion of clear alcohol in the mix. The aftertaste is hoppy bitter, but in no way overpoweringly so. Dee-lightful.

F: Medium-bodied, but perhaps on the lighter side of what I was expecting with a beer of this ABV. It's smooth, creamy, crisp, and bitter in turns. While it brings the bitter, it doesn't feel overtly chewy/sticky/syrupy on the palate. Very nice, and very easy to put away.

O: I tried the Grapefruit Sculpin before this one, and I'm definitely impressed by both offerings from Ballast Point. Sometimes you come across a beer that has "well-crafted" written all over it, and this is certainly one of those times. I will be seeking out more of this beer in the very near future. (1,804 characters)

Photo of JustShutUpStupid
4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Spent a day in San Diego and found a place that served Sculpin. So when I got home I did a comparison between Sculpin and Racer 5 (a regular). Sculpin is clearer on pour, better foam action that lasts a long time. Sculpin has a more distinct hops smell and taste. Racer 5 is more full bodied - malty. Both not far apart. At 14.95 a 12 pack, you can't beat Racer 5. The little fish would be the catch of the day if the price came down without cutting quality. (459 characters)

Photo of krbrevard
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from Beer Run in Charlottesville, VA. From what I gather, it was pretty fresh.

A: On its cross country quest, tons of carbonation remain. Nice half inch head, golden copper color.
S: Wow- very floral. Some citrus and pine as well. Could possibly be the best i've smelled on a beer.
T: Very nice foretaste, not overpowering. Back end has all the components of the smell and i'm left with a subtle piney and bitterness which i've grown to love in this style of beer. No Alcohol taste whatsoever.
M: Very smooth, crisp, carbonation is very refreshing.
O: I am very impressed with BP. Had Big Eye a few years ago and definitely enjoyed it. The next time i'm in SD i will be coming to the brewery for sure! (720 characters)

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

Smelled great soon as I opened the bottle. Strong hop flavor with some citrus and solid bitterness. Really tasty and one of the best smelling beers I've had. For me this is the model for an IPA. yb (197 characters)

Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,246 ratings.