1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,667 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,667
Reviews: 2,056
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.75%
Wants: 979
Gots: 1,884 | FT: 41
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sculpin IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,667 | Reviews: 2,056 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Flounder57
3.93/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz beer was poured into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a two finger head that reduced to a thin puffy layer and left some nice lacing on the glass. It is a pale orange color with great clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: tangerine, grapefruit, light caramel and bready malts, some mango and pineapple too. The aromas seemed a bit faint, but happy to see them come through when I drank the beer.

Taste: The taste is along the same lines, but blended well together with some lingering bitterness from this well hopped IPA.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light to medium bodied, medium carbonation, lingering bitterness, and quite enjoyable.

Overall: A really good IPA. I wouldn't mind trying it out on draft sometime to see how good it tastes. For all the hype, I should still be drooling by now.

Flounder57, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of comfortablynirm
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

comfortablynirm, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of avanti
4.5/5  rDev +2%

avanti, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of ChugginOil
3.53/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle marked "ENJOY BY 1/03/13

Pours a clear golden color with a finger of white head. There is a bit of lace randomly placed around the glass.

The nose is bringing some notes of pineapple and apricot, along with some citrus fruits and there is a bit of malt as well. Smelling pretty good.

The flavors of Sculpin are assertively hoppy with bitter notes of citrus rind, tropical fruits and caramel malt. I was hoping for a bit more of a "hop takeover" here.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and has a crisp carbonation level.

Overall, meh, decent IPA but i didn't see the 98/100 here. Or maybe my bottle is too close to it's ENJOY BY date.

ChugginOil, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of MinnTwins
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

MinnTwins, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of jdaddy
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

jdaddy, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of williamjbauer
4.71/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Bottled in a 22oz bomber served in a weizen glass. The sculpin fish label is so ugly it is awesome.

A - Clear golden amber with a 1 finger white head with good retention and excellent sticky lacing around the whole glass.

S - Very pungent citrus hops with a nose full of mango I have never appreciated in any other beer. Apricot, grapefruit, oranges, booze. One of the best noses on an IPA.

T - Ouch, did I just prick my finger on those nasty spines? The sharp bitter citrus intro fades quickly as a multitude of citrus hops dance on the palate with the delicious mango being the star of the show, but with plenty of grapefruit, apricot, orange, and lemon zest. The climax is great with all those fruity nose, and then the warming booze, the only thing really lacking is the malt presence. The beer is quick light on malt and leaves the beer with a very light body some might enjoy, but is odd for the style especially considering the quality in the other respects.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation, wet, a touch too much emphasis on the booze at the end without a strong malt backbone or bitter finish to balance.

O - A fantastic IPA that is truly unique and holds up to its bottle description. It does have a mean bite that quickly fades into a light, fun, fruity IPA with a great nose and interesting variety of fruit.

williamjbauer, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of rangerred
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter out of a 22oz bomber.

Pours a nearly clear brownish gold with a half finger white head. Head retention isn't especially impressive but lacing is good.

Aroma is an amazing balance between malt and hops. Earthy hops with a very faint hint of tropical fruit along with a healthy dose of wood and caramel. A touch of biscuit and apricot.

Faint tropcial fruit in the flavor balanced with pine and earthy hops. Caramel is quite prominent with lots of wood. There is a little bit of toast but it is faint along with a vanilla, almost bourbon, note. Bitterness is fairly high but not harsh at all and lasts long after the flavors have dissipated. Full, smooth mouthfeel is nearly perfect.

Overall, an amazingly balance IPA that is extremely easy to drink. A great marriage between malt and hop and bother perfectly compliment one another. A must-try should you ever come across it.

rangerred, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of fDOTbear
4.5/5  rDev +2%

fDOTbear, Nov 24, 2012
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of SpottedCat
4.5/5  rDev +2%

SpottedCat, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of dsshuck
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

dsshuck, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of nquigley16
4/5  rDev -9.3%

nquigley16, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of oso
4.5/5  rDev +2%

oso, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of methtlcai
1/5  rDev -77.3%

methtlcai, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of ncworster
5/5  rDev +13.4%

ncworster, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of bbreneman
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

bbreneman, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of Broden
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a standard pint glass.

A- This beer is a crystal clear golden color with a thin white head that quickly dissipates. Little lacing noted. Very attractive IPA.

S- HUGE hop nose with a variety of citrus that jump out.

T- A great hop bitterness, with a small amount of malt. No apparent alcohol makes this dangerously drinkable.

M- Light to medium bodied beer. I need to research what type of yeast Ballast Point uses because I love how this beer is fermented. Not dry but at the same time does not have an overly sweet malt character.

O- Overall this beer is difficult for me to score. It is one of my favorite beers, not to mention one of the best IPA's I have had the opportunity to have. I usually prefer beers that are very balanced, but this beer is the exception to that. The hops definitely dominate this beer, but they are so complex, and so well done that I have a difficult time even mentioning any issues with its lack of balance.

GREAT IPA...GREAT BEER!! This is one of my go to favorites and I have a hard time not ordering it any time I see it on tap.

Broden, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of McD0uche
4/5  rDev -9.3%

McD0uche, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of swbws
4.5/5  rDev +2%

swbws, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of gobseulmuhri
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had been hearing a lot about the Sculpin IPA, but being in the east coast, it's been hard to spot any, especially a batch that's fresh.

Luckily, a store nearby had 6 packs of 12oz'ers that were only a month old. It was extremely overpriced, but I bit the bullet, and boy was it worth it!

This all happened during Sandy, when I had nothing to do - no power, no lights, no nothing. Thankful to have had a 6-pack of this beautiful beer.

Poured into a BK brewery snifter. Poured a light copper colored gold hue with medium retention and nice lacing.

The nose really surprised me. It's tropical, citrusy, but with enough malt to balance it out. There's some grassiness thrown in there as well. As far as beer aromas go, this was my clear favorite.

Taste is similar to the nose, but there was an added bit of herbal, grassy complexity. Beautifully bright, tropical, fruity, grassy...I loved it. However, like the nose, it wasn't all hops, there's enough malt here to even it out just enough. My gosh, this is such a beautiful beer. I wish I could have this everyday, fresh off the tap.

Mouthfeel is on the medium side. Carbonated, crisp, but mildly creamy and smooth. It's amazing how vividly I remember all the details of this beer.

If you see it on shelf, and it's reasonably fresh, go get it irrespective of the price. Too bad I don't live in San Diego.

gobseulmuhri, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of brother_kenneth
4.5/5  rDev +2%

brother_kenneth, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of jricharc
4.5/5  rDev +2%

jricharc, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of anteater
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%

anteater, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of badboy7113
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

badboy7113, Nov 19, 2012
Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 9,667 ratings.