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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

8,455 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,455
Reviews: 1,974
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 875
Gots: 1,288 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sculpin IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,455 | Reviews: 1,974 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Clear golden orange with a thick, creamy, white two finger head. Retention is good and leaves behind sticky lacing.

S: Pine, melon rind, fruity citrus notes, and faint hints of a sweet grainy malt base.

T: Fruity and bitter. Honeydew melon, grapefruit, pineapple, peach, and orange. Pine is there, but not as apparent as it was on the nose. Grainy malt base tries to poke through at times and just barely succeeds intermittently. Fruity, juicy, bitter hop tastes remain on the tongue for a long time.

M: Mouthfeel is great: light and creamy with moderate carbonation.

D: Very high. This is an awesome beer. Tasty as hell and an absolute pleasure to drink.

Notes: Excellent beer. Bitter, but brimming with vibrant, juicy fruit flavors. Perfect West Coast IPA, and easily one of the best IPAs I've ever had. Great from the bottle if you can find it fresh, but a damn near religious experience on tap. Mandarin orange and grapefruit tastes are really augmented.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 00:44:19 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of RonfromJersey
RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden yellow with a heavy haze. Four fingers of dense level super small white micro bubbles. Excellent lacing.

Big inviting citrus aromas are impossible to resist at more than an arm's reach. Lot of peach, apricot, mango, bit of lemon.

Good solid sweet foundation down the tongue is quickly engulfed by an enormous burst of juicy citrus - apricots, mangos, maybe some peaches. Delightful.

Mouthfeel has a solid firmness that holds everything together. Not watery, not syrupy, nicely in the middle, leaning a bit toward the light, and serves the beer well.

Drinkability so good I'm sorry this beer is almost gone.

A much talked about ipa that backed up all the talk. Bring on fresh six packs.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 22:46:19 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. This is the new label, I picked it up at table & vine on Friday so it should be pretty fresh, sadly no bottled on date that I can see.

Pours a fairly clear and golden color with a nice one finger head that fades into sticky lacing. Nose is very floral, sweet and fruity. I get honey and sweet malt along with honeydew and light floral hop notes - classic IPA.

Taste is very nice, it's got a surprising amount of bitterness with a good light maltiness, it finishes very light and dry which makes this deadly drinkable. Very fruity and some earthy notes as well. Mouthfeel is full and rich, really creamy. This will be awesome once it's in 6 packs, it's so drinkable one bomber isn't enough!

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 22:37:52 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of BeerNemesis
BeerNemesis

New York

3.9/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sculpin India Pale Ale | 650 ml. | 7.0% ABV | 2010

Brewer: Ballast Point Brewing Company
Style: American IPA
Glass: Duvel tulip

Presentation:
I'm not a fan of the label at all. I like the idea of using a sculpin, but the design is off.

Appearance:
deep, golden orange -- crystal clear -- with an impressively foamy, snow-white head and phenomenal lacing.

Aroma:
Delicate but oh so juicy: bright and aromatic tangerines, grapefruit, apricot, peach, mango, and lemon flowers.

Taste:
Wet, fresh hop taste derived from the same lush fruits evidenced in the nose. The bitterness is intense, almost overbearing. Aftertaste is pure, dry, bitter hops.

Mouthfeel:
Light-bodied, crisp, clean, and cutting. It's thin, but sticky. Thin, cutting carbonation.

Harmony:
I am blown away by the smell, but somewhat disappointed by the palate. The hops are very intense and fresh. However, the lovely, lush fruit flavors make a brief appearance only to be dominated by the mono-faceted bitterness of the hops. I can imagine this going very well with spicy, greasy food.

Would I get it again?:
Yes, with food.

Bottled: ?
Served: September 27, 2010

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 20:01:10 | More by BeerNemesis
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

3.78/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Having been disappointed by this beer twice before, I decided to give it one final shot to live up to its reputation. Fool me thrice, shame on me. This one was poured from the tap at Tops into a small snifter.

Looks: pale tangerine, slightly hazy, with a decent-sized head of filmy white that grips the sides in sticky ant-farm-shaped trails.

Smells: eye-opening. Bright aromas of pine, mango, grapefruit and orange woke me up.

Tastes: like a letdown. The hops contribute more bitterness than flavor. There's pine and grapefruit, but in muted form. The finish is nice and crisp.

Feels: smooth and nice. Medium in body, low in carbonation, with a tiny bit of warming alcohol.

Drinks: like positive reinforcement. My previous experiences now justified, I can safely say it: I don't get the popularity of this beer. It's decent, but not worth the price and definitely not worth wasting any more time seeking out.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2010 23:08:27 | More by Phelps
Photo of DevilSaint78
DevilSaint78

California

4.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours with a thick foamy head leaving lacey rings all over the glass. A beautiful rusty orange color with slight carbonation. Smells of a variety of citrus but the grapefruit really breaks through more than anything else. At first the taste matches the strong hints of grapefruit in the smell, followed by a punch of hops that complements the sweet citrusy flavor perfectly. Very slight alcohol finish but so so smooth I could sip on this all night long. Excellent!

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2010 03:26:30 | More by DevilSaint78
Photo of 321jeff
321jeff

Maryland

4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark golden color with a couple fingers of off white head that slowly fades to a layer on top leaving some nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is great, tons of fresh citrus hops with grapefruit dominating.

Tastes as great as it smells with tons of sweet grapefruit and orange. Sweet at first with a subtle bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium and oily with moderate carbonation that matches this beer perfectly. This is now the 3rd time I've had this beer, twice in the bottle and once on tap, and this must be the freshest I've had it. I'd drink this beer fresh anytime, anywhere. It's really just magical, but get it while it's hot...or should I say cold.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2010 19:49:10 | More by 321jeff
Photo of robwestcott
robwestcott

Indiana

4.1/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big thanks to nerdrocker101 and the Traditional GIF for this one.

poured very cold from the bottle a translucent clover honey orange to a sun king shaped pint glass with a nice big off white head leaving a fair amount of retention.

big hops aroma - floral, grapefruit, and a hint of piney hops to boot.

and as advertised, it's all about the hops. again, primarily floral and grapefruit hops. bitter upon the first sip, but not to the point of whacking you upside the head. it's an enjoyable IPA - not groundbreaking, but definitely enjoyable.

a bit thin, very smooth, medium carbonation, bitter to the tongue and even more after.

drinkable enough i'd guess.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2010 22:00:51 | More by robwestcott
Photo of ToasterChef
ToasterChef

Maine

4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from my tasting notes of a decent sized sample I consumed at an epic tasting event held with the members of the SMBDC.

The beer is straw colored and translucent, with a clear area near the bottom of my glass. The head is soapy white foam that leaves a lot of film and foam as it recedes. It has a great warm hop aroma, full of citrus and spruce. The taste has some sweet malts and lots of hops. I can pick out a distinct grapefruit citrus flavor. The bitterness is tingly and impressive. It has a medium body and not too much coating. I find this to be impressive for a DIPA. Equally impressive is the drinkability. I could easily finish this entire 22oz bottle myself.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2010 17:29:17 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of oglmcdgl
oglmcdgl

Pennsylvania

4.93/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A killer side by side with regular sculpin at spinnerstown hotel. Double dry hopped with palisades and cascade and cask conditioned. Baller!

A- comes to me with a small cap of off white head that settles in a bit to a thin ring and some sweet sticky lace with some slowly cascading drips. Slightly hazy sunset yellow orange with the nicest of glows.

S- well its sculpin for sure, huge amounts of tropical and citrus fruits. A light, powered sugar and honey sweetness.

T- opens up with fruity hops bringing peaches, mangos, tangerines, oranges, maybe some pineapple. Its a cornucopia of fruits that will rival any ipa. A bit of wet vegetation in there as well. Malts are wonderfully used to keep things balanced but still never out shine the hops. Honeysuckle and powdered sugar. Juicy hoppy linger.

M- just about medium in body and as its on cask just the lightest hint of carb.

D- I would drink a few of these any day. And today I will. Yea!

Serving type: cask

09-24-2010 00:59:28 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of RTrain12
RTrain12

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber poured into my new DFH hand blown glass. Thanks to djmichaelk for this one. No bottle date, but this is the old lable.

A: Pours a nice bright cloudy orange with a off white head measuring in about 3/4 of a inch. Some noticable carbonation. Head faded quickley leaving behind some lacing.

S: Lemony, and citrus followed by some fresh hops.

T: Mmm... Good! One tatsey IPA! Citrus and hoppy in the beginig, then bitter at the end.

M: Little carbonation up front as it enters the mouth. This one slides over the palet so smoothly! Leaves the mouth just alittle bitter at the end.

D: Very high drink on this one. This bomber will be gone in no time! I'll be trading for this again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 23:09:10 | More by RTrain12
Photo of ballz50401
ballz50401

Iowa

4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. No freshness date but is believed to be fresh because of the new style label that was just released.

Appearance: Pours a deep pale golden copper with a thick, dense head. The head never really disappears and leaves great lacing.

Smell: Aromas of mango, orange, and pine resin fill the bowl of my glass before a touch of sweet caramel/toffee make their presence.

Taste/Mouthfeel: What a great hop flavor! Grapefruit, lemon, mango, and pine resin round up the hop profile. Not much of a malt backbone, but this one is all about highlighting the great hops used. Some light caramel sweetness for some balance. Mouthfeel is meduim bodied with a firm bitterness.

Drinkability: This brew highlights the hops very well. Great hop flavor/aroma that is refreshing and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 05:13:30 | More by ballz50401
Photo of Mooch273
Mooch273

California

4.83/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice head retention, glowing orange with a bright clarity allowing light to penetrate like a beacon of brilliance beneath feathery lace.

A: Pungent citrusy aroma: grapefruit, orange aromatics dominate with a slight peppery grass undertone.

T: Citrus blast of hops upfront and a nice sweet bitterness in the aftertaste. Booziness is nearly undetectable.

M: Smooth with a refreshing amount of carbonation; slight dryness on the palate typical of the style.

D: Appropriate carbonation, balanced flavor and bitterness, and inviting aromatics make this an excellent multi-pint IPA.

Overall: This deliciously hoppy nectar gets my vote for the best IPA ever.

Serving type: on-tap

09-21-2010 03:51:19 | More by Mooch273
Photo of GPHarris
GPHarris

Alabama

4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a one and a half fingers thick eggshell colored head into a snifter that settles into a thick ring with good sheeting and tremendous lace. the body was a bright amber color.
s - very strong aroma of grapefruit and pine with a hint of some sweet citrus fruits.
t - strong piney bitterness with a hint of spice and some lemon and orange zest. this is all hops with not a lot of balance but it is as good as it gets for an ipa.
m - thin to medium with carbonation that dances on the tongue.
d - excellent beer and a top-notch ipa.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 00:46:43 | More by GPHarris
Photo of johnnieoz
johnnieoz

Texas

4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

No longer a limited release as witnessed by the redesigned bottle. But still the King of IPAs...

A: Hazy gold shade with ample off-white froth sitting in the red wine goblet, beckoning with those aromas...

S: Name it, it's in there. Mango and grapefruit in abundance joined by all but the most coniferous, piney scents.

T: Bountiful sweet, tangy tropical fruit on the tip of the tongue giving way to mouth-puckering citrusy hops completely coating the palate and the gums. The malt backbone lurks in the equilibrium. Almost negates the need for DIPAs.

M: If I may quibble here...the carbonation lends to a little harshness. Could be my taste buds on the day, but I don't recall this w/ previous Sculpins.

D: Eminently and infinitely refreshing, delicious and thus drinkable. 'Nuff said.

Is there a better 7% abv IPA? No.
At 6%, I love the distinct DFH 60 Minute; and above 7%, it's all about PtE, Burton Baton, Exponential Hoppiness and PtY for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2010 02:34:32 | More by johnnieoz
Photo of nataku00
nataku00

California

4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a fluted Allagash chalice. Beer is a clear golden orange. The initial four fingers of snow white fluffy head was very beautiful, lacing lightly on the glass as you take sips and the head dissipated. A beautiful beer, that you should see in daylight to do it justice.

The nose is predominantly orange peel, with some grapefruit and lemon peel as well. Some pineapple as well, which is different and really adds to the aroma. One of the best smelling IPA's that I've ever had.

The taste follows the nose, with the bitterness sharp initially, but is quickly predominantly citrus that washes over your tongue. The lovely aroma is enhanced as the beer warms in your mouth and is really pleasant. The bitterness does not overpower your palate, and makes this IPA perfect for accompanying food (I had half with some fajitas and salsa, the second half of the bomber after the meal).

Light bodied beer with a small amount of carbonation sufficient to tingle your tongue. Sculpin is the most drinkable IPA I've ever had, delicious flavor profile without the overpowering bitter aftertaste common to this style

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 01:25:42 | More by nataku00
Photo of dubc19382
dubc19382

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this on tap and in the bottle. Never a bad day with this beer to look forward to at the end of the day. Nice aroma, big IPA bite, and really cant say anything bad about it.

If you like IPAs this should be on you short list, and make sure someone else is driving you home.

Another great west coast beer!

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2010 01:35:20 | More by dubc19382
Photo of mjrod2142
mjrod2142

Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found the last 22oz. bomber at Brookline Fine Wine & Gourmet for $10.99. Poured into a pint glass.

The beer has a beautiful straw-colored orangey-ness. I was surprised to see it's also a bit cloudy, but not in an unfiltered sense. The head was thick and creamy, but quickly dissipated. The aroma is beautiful. Very crisp, bright and floral with strong citrus and hoppy notes.

I immediately notice a sharpness to the taste on the middle of my tongue. Obviously, the hoppy bitterness is most prevalent, but the tingling sensation was very interesting. The finish is very long, with lots of complex hop flavors. It packs a bit of a punch at 7% ABV, but I found myself still wanting more.

A very solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 23:47:20 | More by mjrod2142
Photo of OtherShoe2
OtherShoe2

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium orange with an off-white foamy head. Good clarity. I expected more lace -- some, but not much.

Grapefruit rind and light toasted malt and some fruit. Nice aromas.

Great balance here. Citric hop bitterness, smooth toasted malt backbone, light fruit, but this is actually fairly dry. Silky brew. Clean flavors. Long lingering bitterness. Wonderful.

Good body and just a bit of a tingle on the tongue.

Overall, there is a reason this is in a bomber -- because you want more. Very drinkable, with just the right bitter/acid/sweet balance. Glad I grabbed this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 22:25:27 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of bronco94
bronco94

Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the neck coded bottles (according to BP, they just started neck-coding the bombers ~6 weeks ago). Poured into a pint glass

A - bright golden yellow, thick creamy white head with good lacing.

S - a wonderful aspect of this beer...full of tropical/citrus hop smells (grapefruit, lemon) a touch of sweetness

T - follows the smell nicely, but not quite as intense. Balanced well between the hop punch and the malt backbone...definitely hop-forward but the malty sweetness is nice to balance things out and make this beer a pleasure to drink.

M - carbonation makes it feel lighter in the mouth than it probably is because it has a slight thickness

D - I wouldn't want to drink more than one bomber at a time simply because after the first, I couldn't appreciate the intensities of the hop flavor. Its a great, intense, IPA with a moderate alcohol content with good drinkability. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and I wish it was available closer to me.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 18:38:50 | More by bronco94
Photo of mltobin
mltobin

Connecticut

4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at DeCicco`s.

I used a wide wine for this one. Sculpin poured a light golden color with a big head on the initial pour, 2 fingers in size. The aroma pops with citrus first, then comes faint spice as well as the smell of fresh flowers. Alright, time to take a sip...the taste contains grapefruit, hops of course. The hop content seems to be just the right amount for an IPA in my opinion. And it finishes dry, but not overly so. Carbonation level is good as well. This beer receives praise regularly and I would say it is warranted. It is a nice deviation from some of the east coast IPAs that I drink on a more regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 13:47:24 | More by mltobin
Photo of TKEbeerman
TKEbeerman

Florida

4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to portia99 for throwing this in as an extra!

A: Poured into my pint glass, this IPA pours a golden poppy yellow with a massive, intense, sea foam like, pillow of a head.

S: The nose lacks bright intenseness that I expect in a top-of-the-line IPA. Not to count the nose out here, Sculpin is a reflection of the tropical paradise I expect to see a fish like this. Fruity, citrus, floral hops, with a sturdy sweet malt background.

T: The flavor is more resin and piny bitterness. The malt profile adds to the "tropical" theme in this brew. Lots of notes of fruit, lemon/orange citrus.

MF: The mouthfeel is smooth and lightly carbonated. The body is a little less full then I'd like.

D: Drinkability is excellent. The way this brew is crafted to be flavorful, and big without being a gigantic pallet and liver buster makes this brew what it is.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 00:05:56 | More by TKEbeerman
Photo of KYFriedChildren
KYFriedChildren

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just had this fresh on tap at Capone's on 9/15/10.

Appearance- This golden yellow brew showed up at my table with a tiny little white head bubbling on top. For some reason I thought it would be a little darker.

Smell- Absolutely wonderful smelling beer. It smelled strongly of floral hops and tangerine. Just a pleasure for the nose.

Taste- Sculpin is a wonderful tasting beer, everything in this nose is right there in the taste. Supreme hoppiness, and citrus flavors.

Mouthfeel- Nicely carbonated but a tiny bit thin.

Drinkability- I could knock back quite a few of these at only seven percent. Very delicious and drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2010 04:58:18 | More by KYFriedChildren
Photo of foogerd
foogerd

New York

4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- golden orange thick white head tons of lacing
S- fresh grapefruit malts lemon spice
T- an eyeopener coming from the nose so many fruits going on here hard to know where to start, mandarin orange with a sort of spice quality to it is the first thing that comes to mind, then comes the grapefruit, grassy hops some sort of sweet pineapple taste which manages to offset the usual bitterness thats present in an IPA. Plenty of malt backbone to this
M- amazing for an IPA all should follow its lead
D- if your palette could handle all this taste you could go all night

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2010 02:59:15 | More by foogerd
Photo of aewinte1
aewinte1

Arizona

4.93/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a nice golden yellow with generous 2 finger head
S- Smell is absolutely amazing. Aside from your standard citrus and hops aromas you expect out of an IPA, I get hints of sweet pineapple. I have had this beer numerous times and in every instance I can distinctly smell pineapple. The pineapple-hops smell kind of reminds me of a double-simcoe IPA.
T- Taste is very similar to the smell. Lots of hops balanced with strong malt flavor. Orange and grapefruit as well as pineapple.
M- Perfectly carbonated, but a little on the thin/light side for body.
D- While the hops are the star, they don't become overpowering when you drink a few of these. Alcohol is well hidden and this beer is extremely refreshing.
Overall- Probably my favorite IPA

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2010 00:15:55 | More by aewinte1
Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 8,455 ratings.