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.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

9,698 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,698
Reviews: 2,060
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.75%
Wants: 977
Gots: 1,897 | 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: 9,698 | Reviews: 2,060 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LandWorld
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

LandWorld, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of Lob
3.75/5  rDev -15%

Lob, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of GMoney
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

GMoney, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of IPRayRay
5/5  rDev +13.4%

IPRayRay, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of ubufan2112
3.25/5  rDev -26.3%

ubufan2112, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of TubaManJack
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best by 8/16/2012 - More than two months out
22oz bomber

Appearance
A light copper body with a slight bit of carbonation. The head is a white pillowy bit which lasts and leaves a bit of lacing.

Nose
Dried hops with a touch of grapefruit zest. It quite balanced and subtle. There also is a bit of malt.

Taste & Mouthfeel
Tamed citrus hops with a bit of resin in the inital attack ioverall this beer is really balanced and is like a spring to many of the other Big/Famous IPAs that i have had which seemed as loud and agressive as a winter storm This clean taste is the result of the hop oils not sticking around on the palate and the right carbination leve to lift the mouthfeel it a light refreshing level

I loved it and would recommend it as the best hot weather ipa out there and a real treat. .

TubaManJack, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of polishkaz
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

polishkaz, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of hoppymcgee
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

hoppymcgee, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of MrJolly
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

MrJolly, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of Blaze5445
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Blaze5445, Jun 12, 2012
Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Pours a hazy golden orange color with a nice head and minimal lacing.

Smell – Citrusy; primarily tangerine, with some grapefruit.

Taste – Taste is very similar to the smell, but also includes a very nice pine flavor.

Mouthfeel – Good carbonation, lightly creamy.

Drinkability – Goes down easy. A very nice IPA.

Falcon91Wolvrn03, Jun 12, 2012
Photo of hagbergl
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the pleasure of reacquainting myself with this excellent example of the American IPA style 6/11/2012 on tap at Redbones BBQ in Somerville, MA. I figured, being a hophead and all, I had to write a review of Sculpin, so I made some notes. Beer was served in a standard 12 ounce pint glass (don't let them trick you into thinking it's 16 ounces of beer you're getting–this isn't England!).

Appearance (4/5): Beer was poured from draft with a one-finger head of white, bubbly foam that steadily dissipated into a thin top layer. The beer itself has a semi-transparent golden color, so on the lighter side of the IPA color spectrum. Looks good to me, though I'd say appearance wise-wise it only rates in the above average-good range; it has qualities that outclass most IPAs, but its appearance isn't one of them.

Smell (4.5/5): Sculpin has a very nice piney and fruity nose–all hops, all the time, and I love it. Notes of ruby red grapefruit, and apricot really come through. Definitely fruit-forward with the hops utilized for their aroma attributes. The aroma is clean and not overwhelming, dank, or funky like some IPAs can be. Refined, I'd say. Excellent.

Taste (4.5/5): The foretaste is dominated by flavors of pine and citrus fruit, as you'd expect with a West Coast style IPA. The beer finishes very smoothly as the hops mellow a bit and you're left with a pleasant lingering lemon-like bitterness that coats the tongue. And while this is certainly a hoppy beer, it isn't highly bitter; the hop flavor tends toward the juicy and fruity, rather than lending a high level of astringence to the beer's overall flavor profile. The pale malt lends some sweetness, adding backbone and countering the bitterness (though the push-back isn't very strong). This IPA is a little more balanced than most West Coast IPAs. I think this is a good approach and demonstrates that a more mild-mannered IPA is an animal that can survive and become revered in the forbidding hop jungle.

Mouthfeel (4.5/5): This IPA has a very good mouthfeel. Appropriately moderate carbonation, a slight prickliness (which I enjoy), and an exceptionally smooth finish. Incredibly drinkable. I'm not one to order multiples of the same beer, but I would do that with Sculpin on draft. Such a good mouthfeel, in my opinion, separates Sculpin from the competition and helps it surpass other very good IPAs, making it a "benchmark"-type beer.

Overall (4.5/5): An excellent IPA, and because of its refined yet uncompromised hoppiness, more accessible than most. When you see it on draft, do what I did and order one. (As an aside, iit would definitely be nice if Ballast Point added bottled-on dates to their bottles rather than simply printing a hard-to-decipher code on the label–when this beer is fresh, it's definitely worth the splurge (commonly $9–10 in MA).) Damn good.

hagbergl, Jun 12, 2012
Photo of BeerShman
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

BeerShman, Jun 12, 2012
Photo of davando
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

davando, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of guezarka
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

guezarka, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of BeerHunter76
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

BeerHunter76, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of Farky87
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Farky87, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at simple pleasures in San francisco- pours a surprisingly clear golden color with a healthy 1.5 finger head, decent retention and beautiful rings of sticky lacing.

Smells very piney and a little resin-y. There's definitely some very pale malt in there as well that provides a nice contrast to the hops.

Very refined IPA flavor- not a blast of hops but definitely a very present hop flavor. Pine up front, followed by a modest bitterness, then some pale malt sweets, overtaken by the pine resin bitterness for what feels like an everlasting dry finish.

Mouthfeel is also great- light body, mild to moderate carbonation, a good amount of resin stickiness. This is a great IPA. Never had it in the bottle but fresh on tap for 4 bucks is unbeatable.

Hopdaemon39, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of mwayne
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

mwayne, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of H0rnedFr0gs
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

H0rnedFr0gs, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of Rado
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Rado, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of etillett
4.5/5  rDev +2%

etillett, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of brealbg
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

brealbg, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of fdig23
4.5/5  rDev +2%

fdig23, Jun 08, 2012
Photo of kagent777
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz brought back from a trip last week to Boston. Insane that I have to go to Boston to get a beer brewed in San Diego, when I live in Salt Lake City. Poured into my beer goblet. Bottle has an enjoy by date of 090712 (I think, it's hard to read).

Appearance: A pale golden with a quickly dissipating head that leaves a little lacing.

Smell: Citrus! I smell lemon, oranges, mango, and maybe some lychee. I smell a little malt backbone with toasted caramel flavor.

Taste: The smell flavors come through in the taste as well. Initial (semi) sweetness gives way to hop bitterness. The taste is less bitter than you might expect from the smell.

Mouthfeel: The flavors really coat well. The body is on the lighter side. The carbonation is strong.

Overall: This is a well done, but expensive beer. I really should be fresh and poured into the correct glass to experience all of the nuances. I am not sure that mine was the freshest. I am very glad to have tried it, but this will not be an every day purchase for me, mainly because I cannot get it in Utah.

kagent777, Jun 08, 2012
Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 9,698 ratings.