1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  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.

9,312 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,312
Reviews: 2,032
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.75%
Wants: 954
Gots: 1,719 | FT: 45
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: 9,312 | Reviews: 2,032 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Leftfield00
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darker shade than expected, verging on amber. Foam is thick and bright white in color. As the foam receded, a ton of lacing is left behind on the glass.

Smells like I just stuck my face in a bag of hop cones! Citrusy hops, floral hops, and bitter hops are all wrapped into one seriously bold and complex nose.

The Sculpin is really, really hoppy on the palate, but smoother than expected. It's on the verge of "too bitter to enjoy" without going too far. The finish is bitter and long, yet fairly clean and crisp for such a hoppy monster.

Leftfield00, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of Finn
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sculpin sports a pale-orange, clear body with a touch of the foaminess on top. Grassy, herbal, piney and citrusy hops play over top a candy-like malt aroma. A taste reveals pretty much exactly what the aroma hints at: A nice blend of all the classic hop qualities, well balanced by the mild sweet malts. It's bitterness is very firm but not overbearing. it finishes very nicely with a medium body, and not too sweet. Overall a top-notch IPA.

Finn, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4.5/5  rDev +2%

GreenMountainBoy, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of Bzah
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Bzah, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of Aschap
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Aschap, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of timwardjr
4.5/5  rDev +2%

timwardjr, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of bvdubn
5/5  rDev +13.4%

bvdubn, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of OneBeertoRTA
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After about 500 of these I figured it was time for a review.

The pour is a rich orange with a finger in a half of head. The hops hit you right up front along with a mish mash of tropical flavors.

The first sip just doesn't want to go down because of the amazing experience on the tongue.

It's hard not to call this my favorite IPA but I literally buy the entire lot everytime it's around. Even then do I have no trouble drinking them while there still fresh.

OneBeertoRTA, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of wchasse222
4.5/5  rDev +2%

wchasse222, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Chugs13
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Chugs13, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of ottodyer
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

ottodyer, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of keanlacrosse
4.5/5  rDev +2%

keanlacrosse, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of UltimateLivewire
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

UltimateLivewire, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of SHCC
4.5/5  rDev +2%

SHCC, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of spark3148857
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

spark3148857, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of chanokokoro
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to davemont for including this as a much appreciated extra in a recent trade.

22 oz. bottle poured into a Becker Pint Glass.

A: Pours a hazy gold with orange highlights. Pure bright white three finger head that takes several minutes to dissipate. Beautiful lacing.

S: Citrus and honey notes with a very slight citrus rind accent.

T: An opening salvo of juicy orange, grapefruit, and orchid/citrus blossom transitioning into smooth slightly sweet malt and closing with a bite of just the right amount of grapefruit rind hop bitterness.

M: Highly carbonated, silky amooth, and medium bodied.

O: This is an extremely well-balanced and enjoyable IPA. Incredibly easy to drink and full of flavor. I'd love to have a stockpile of Sculpin in the summer. Without a doubt one of the better IPA's I've had.

chanokokoro, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of AndrewRoecker
5/5  rDev +13.4%

AndrewRoecker, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of rpjordan
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

rpjordan, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of ReelBigwigFish
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice glass, Sculpin has a translucent pale golden color. The foamy white head piles up nicely at first, but recedes quickly to a moderately thick ring around the glass with some surface foam. While there is some lacing, it's definitely not the full on spider web effect that Stone IPA has.

After a good swirl, the aroma is all hop, not surprising since the beer is so pale. Fruity apricots, citrus, mango, grapefruit, as well as some bittering pine resin, pack a serious punch of hop aroma that is mouthwatering. This is seriously one of those beers that smells so good you wish you could have it as a candle or air freshener.

At first sip, Sculpin actually has a bigger malt presence than I anticipated. While not exactly "malty," there is definitely some sweet malt upfront to lay a bit of a foundation before the onslaught of hop deliciousness. The hop flavor starts out very juicy and sweet with lots of mango, apricot, pineapple, and grapefruit. Bitter and crisp grassy and pine hop finishes it out with a slightly dry finish. Even with all that bold flavor, Sculpin is remarkably light in body, extremely crisp and refreshing. Yes, many of us like our IPA's backed by a serious malt bill, but this one is truly special for packing such a punch, while maintaining the easy drinking mouthfeel of a pilsner. Not an easy feat!

It must be said that at my first sip, I thought this beer was a little watery and not all that special, but about 3 sips in, I realized how wrong I was. Not only is Sculpin IPA worthy of it's position at the top, but it's also just a regular IPA, not a DIPA. And to judge it against other IPA's truly proves how great it is.

ReelBigwigFish, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of halo913
4.5/5  rDev +2%

halo913, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +2%

jwat, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of ficklenicholas
4.5/5  rDev +2%

ficklenicholas, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of Zraly
4.03/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty gold with a soft white head. Nice lingering notes of hops and earth up front.

A big smack of citrus and resin hops hits the palate. Enough malt is used to keep the mouthfeel balanced but yet not too heavy. Medium-bodied. Secondary notes of mango and orange predominate. The finish is clean and dry.

I had this originally in San Diego when on travel and fondly remember that wonderful attributes of this ale. It is nice to find a bottle of it here on the east coast, although some of the fresh hop flavor is diluted a bit from shelf-sitting for a while.

All in all, a very good representation of a west coast IPA. Would be great with an extra sharp aged cheddar.

Zraly, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of taddehaven
4.5/5  rDev +2%

taddehaven, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of BeerNDoggerel
5/5  rDev +13.4%

BeerNDoggerel, Mar 09, 2012
Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 9,312 ratings.