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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,405 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,405
Reviews: 1,974
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.52%
Wants: 874
Gots: 1,263 | 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: 8,405 | Reviews: 1,974 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NCSUdo


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

22 oz bottle

A: Clear copper body under a medium white head. Nice lace and retention.

S: Very nice hop aroma. Rind, grapefruit, a bit of pine with a hint of a malt in the back ground. Very well done.

T: Nice taste all around. Hops are tangy, grapefruit, bit of orange and lemon. Bitterness is medium to high, but never over powering. Nice sweetness from the malt. A certain earthiness to the hop character rounds out a very well done taste profile.

M/D: Medium bodied, very slick/oily, light carbonation, body just slides over the tongue. Drinkability is very good for this one. Incredible beer offering a ton of taste but never overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2009 00:25:54 | More by NCSUdo


4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A two finger light tan head quickly turns rocky as the active bubbles slowly fade. Dots of lace are left behind. Body is a beautiful pure rich amber in color. Nose is so big with luscious mandarin orange, fresh cut flowers, dandelions, and more citrus. Really gets the mouth watering. Hops are fresh, crisp and very juicy with first sip, really highlighting the citrus feel. Mouth watering all over the palate with a very subtle bitter character, not harsh at all. Carbonation is just right and carries a floral mineral feel on the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel has a crisp lingering bitter thickness. A sesionable, drinkable IPA that is uniquely refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 17:44:10 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of MacDomer


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

A huge thanks to PretzelCity for sending this one my way. One of my favorite beers to date, this was just amazing.

Poured this one into my Duvel tulip. It's a really nice looking bright gold/banana with orange highlights. Very creamy and sticky head which leaves fantasticly thick lacing. The nose on this is super tropical with loads of mango, citrus, and orange. Jeez, this aroma is great! Taste is great too, with lots of mango, orange and peach. There's a bit of bitter lemon and grapefruit, too. Really well integrated, with a bit, but not much malt. The mouthfeel is light to medium, very smooth, and a bit sticky. This one is easy to drink, and I will for sure seek it out again. Damn, this is awesome! Thanks a lot, Mark!

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2009 03:18:20 | More by MacDomer
Photo of masterchiefMD


4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

decided to have this one on the first 70 degree day of the year. This was part of a birthday gift from my brother seanpachefddfa.

A= golden coper color, transparent nice fluffy white head

S= citrus, piney, hoppy. This was great just perfect!

T= wonderfull small amount of hops up front, very sweet on the back end. For me this is just perfect

M= light carbonation, just right right ammount of hop bite for a single IPA

D= I am easily going to be able to finish this bomber, wish i had more, not to heavy just right.

for an american ipa you cannot go wrong with this! No BS to this beer, just solid.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 22:14:32 | More by masterchiefMD
Photo of BarrytheBear


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

Pale orange pour, slightly murky, nice head

Smells nicely of mild citrus, slight booze and grass.

Taste is slightly off from the scent. Very bitter and biting, less citrus than expected.

Mouthfeel is slick.

Bitter but drinkable, enjoyable but not classic. Thanks to milwaukeeclassic for the brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2009 00:09:54 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

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

A rare treat courtesy of Mauerhan (thanks Topher). 22oz bottle served in a standard pint. Poured a pale orange-gold with a hazy clarity. A quarter inch bright white cap embedded with tiny ringlets quickly dissipates into a soapy slick with a bubbly band around the edges of the glass. Some jagged slashes of lacing are revealed as the brew recedes. Nose is sweet grapefruit. Taste is bitter piney up front, followed by apricot and sweet grapefruit in the middle and a lingering bitterness at the finish. Mouthfeel fell between light- and medium-bodied (but closer to light), with a consistent background effervescence without being overly prickly. Easy drinking and refreshing. Bitterness was intensified because it was initially served a little too cold; however, the true flavor and complexity is revealed as it warms. Great IPA (think I'm finally starting to figure out what this hops thing is all about).

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 13:14:07 | More by Jwale73
Photo of ShrLSU


4.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearence is a copper orange hue with a thin white halo around the rim. The lacing is think but noticeable.

The smell is of sweet citrus and piney hops. Somewhat floral and sweet at the same time.

The taste is sweet with the citrus hops at first then bittery and piney. This gives way to a sweet malt breadiness. The mouthfeel is a bit zesty. It tingles in yoir mouth a touch but has a slightly oily texture.

The drinkability is off the charts. This is the best american ipa I have had. Truly amazing.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 06:19:03 | More by ShrLSU
Photo of ryrust5301


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

Appearance - Shiny orange to almost copper on color. Found the head to be a little flat and thin, but it still manages to leave a more than adequate coating of lace. The body is very light as I can see my fingers through the other side of the glass.

Smell - Robust and explosive! Hops burst out of the glass with a vengence, and is equally matched by a fruity aroma. An awesome sweetness helps take it to another stratosphere. Best nose i've ever smelled on an IPA.

Taste & Mouthfeel - So much hoppiness that my brain is on overload. A few different types of hops must have been used to construct this monster. Orange, grapefruit, and some nectar for a citric sweetness do the trick. What a well crafted beer! Hops and fruit are so masterfully combined that it leads right into a faint calming sweetness, just to show that this beer clearly has you by the balls. They manage to give you all this enjoyment while still managing to keep it a light and crisp feel. The finishing sweetness helps it glide down so smoothly.

Drinkability - I had been told to seek this out for some time, and since it was brewed again I snatched some up. This is worthy of everything I heard and then some. Absolutely colossal, and a monument should be erected to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 06:06:16 | More by ryrust5301
Photo of natasharai


4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured with 1 finger of off white foamy head that dissipated over 5 minutes to a thin rim around the top leaving some lacing. The beer is golden yellowish-orange in color and is clear.

Smell: Piney hops are the most prevalent smell, small amount of citrus hops, with a small caramel sweetness

Taste: Very strong piney hops, some spicyness that reminds me of a black tea, then a very small amount of malt, and leaves a slightly sweet and dry subtle pear/apple flavor

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, strong tingle on the tongue, leaves the mouth a bitter dry

Overall: Not too difficult to drink considering it is an AIPA, pretty bitter, a bit unbalanced taste, good piney hop character, and the alcohol is not really noticeable.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2009 07:27:10 | More by natasharai
Photo of kirok1999


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

Thanks to mcallister for the bottle.
A nice hazy light copper with a super sticky head.
Smells mostly of hops with a nice malt sweetness to balance it out well.
Taste is lots of pine hops with a smooth caramel malt backbone. Very well balanced. I expected this to be over the top hops. Wrong. Very smooth and creamy with a lush mouthfeel.
Balance tilts a bit toward the malt as it warms up.
Really nice to sip and I could easily pound these down on a hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2009 01:35:17 | More by kirok1999
Photo of br3wmeister


4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Large bubbly white head that dissipates quickly leaving a small foamy cap. The beer is a nice golden orange in color.

S- Piney hops with good sweet aromas of caramel and white cake. Some light citrus aromas come through as well.

T- Huge piney hops that takeover at first. Then good sweet caramel taste come through and help to balance the hops but are not enough to stand up to the hops. In the end Dry bitter piney hops takeover again.

M- Medium bodied beer with some good sweetness and oily mouth coating hops.

Overall- Good piney IPA very enjoyable but a little unbalanced.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2009 17:58:56 | More by br3wmeister
Photo of AdmiralDiaz


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

Poured from bomber to pint glass. Thanks to Natashrai for the split!

A: Pours a copper color with great clarity with a nice two finger off-white head that stays for most of the drink but leaves no lacing.

S: Smells very bitter with strong pine and tart citrus. Interesting.

T: First to hit is a strong tartness of grapefruit giving way to a small amount of malty caramel but quickly swallowed up again by strong pine with a bitter finish. This is quite a unique DIPA in that it's bitter from start to finish but still expresses many different characteristics and flavors.

Overall: Interesting DIPA, could be described in one word as bitter. Good mouthfeel with decent carbonation but not a lot of oiliness. It's fairly drinkable but the bitterness slows you down after about 20-30 mins. Still a very unique DIPA that is for sure worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2009 16:29:52 | More by AdmiralDiaz
Photo of sonicdescent


4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to NOBama for this one!

Pours a nice gold with thin off white head.

Smells excellent. Pine is dominant but also hints of citrus.

Taste similar to smell.
Mouth is solid.

This is good, a solid IPA but to be I'm the top 100 there is really nothing outstanding here.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 05:13:41 | More by sonicdescent
Photo of tmoneyba


4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by ajsdad.

Poured hazy copper color with an average frothy white head that lasted with good lacing. Medium body with a slick texture. Moderate to heavy sour citrus hoppy aroma. Moderate to heavy bittersweet flavor with a moderate to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration.

Standout brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 01:18:57 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of tjthresh


3.98/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear light orange with a thin white head. The nose is an all out assault of juicy tangerine and bubble gum. The flavor doesn't live up to the expectations set my the aroma, but still its very good with some piny and citrus hops. Medium body and super easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2009 11:27:38 | More by tjthresh
Photo of lynx1245


4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one has been sitting in my fridge for far too long. Let's have a taste. Thanks Nick of ThreeWiseMen for hooking this up.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. A light orange-amber color with a soapy off white head. Perfectly clear. Looks like a decent beer to drink.

Smell: This is how all IPAs should smell. Earthy, weedy, hoppy, piney! Huge grapefruit backing it up. A real west coast IPA. Love it!

Taste: Like eating a grapefruit peel... in a good way! It's like... it's like waking up in the morning to the smell of fresh cut grass. Not for the faint of heart hop haters, but awesome for hop lovers! Definitely interesting with tropical fruit hints in this one.

Mouthfeel: Deliciously crisp and oily. Definitely a refreshing beer to throw around in your mouth.

Drinkability: Most definitely a very drinkable IPA. I just don't know how much I could take. I love the hops in this one but it may seriously kill your taste buds after a few glasses.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2009 08:59:38 | More by lynx1245
Photo of Scoobydank


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

Ah my boy Carlos, thanks buddy!!!!
L: Barely off white frothy thick head. Crystal clear bright light amber color. Tight tiny bubbles dance up the glass.
S:The glass is over a foot away from my nose and I can still smell those stinky delicious hops. Freshly cut spicey gass is the first thing. A slight sweet candied apricot floats in.
T: That fresh cut spicy grass is the first sip. A weedy grassyness even. It continues to bombard you with those hops. A caramle sweetness meshes with a grainy bredyness. A touch of pepper.
M:Tiny little bubbles flick the tongue. Yes it still feels fat and round.
D:Frickin great. The balance of this beer is amazing, yet the grassy hops are so pungent. Everything just gives way to each other for a beautiful beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2009 04:11:35 | More by Scoobydank
Photo of rhinos00


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

Scott (swnicholson) was extremely generous in hooking this midwestern BA up with a some quality west coast brews. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Golden orange fuzed with a light, pale brown. Semi-clear with two fingers width of white head.

S- Very unique in that mellow, milder fruits were clearly distinguishable when compared to the citrus hops. Aside from the grapefruit and distant pine scent, there was fantastic aromas of peaches, apricots and mangos.

T- Upfront, the tropical, citrus flavors really come forward, producing a mellow taste. A malt flavor kicks in mid-taste in what can only be called the calm before the storm. The beer ends in a fury of bitter, piney hops that only give way to the subtle, sweet and malty finish.

M- Light bodied with some carbonation. Really think more of a body with some slight chewiness would bring this one around perfectly.

D- Went down like water. Fantastic taste with wonderful aromas make this one extremely drinkable at 7% abv.

Overall, one hell of an IPA. The aroma was distinct and the flavors truly on point. Thanks again Scott for giving me this opportunity. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 23:36:02 | More by rhinos00
Photo of jwc215


4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks fo Bitterbill for this gem!

22 oz. bottle:

Pours bright orange amber with a foamy white head that leaves broken rings of lacing.

The smell is of tangerine, grapefreuit, resiny pine - spicy herbal/grassy notes. This is a wonderfully hopped brew! Very aromatic.

The taste is of grapefruit and tangerine with grassy/herbal notes - some pine - complex hoppy goodness. Bitter notes - but with rounding caramel sweetness in the back that rounds it out in the finish.

The body is medium.

Hoppy, but rounded. An American IPA classic. This is a great example of the style. Not just hops thrown in, but well-blended with a nice caramelish backbone. Awesome! (There's alcohol in this?)

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2009 22:41:06 | More by jwc215
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy paleapricot appearance. Slim white head.

Fresh vivacious, citric aroma, plump with tropical fruit as well.Apricot, pineapple, mango, orange, a little lemon and grapefruit as well. Just gorgeous.

Hops jump on the palate, and spank it good. Grapefruit peeland orange pith spitting in your eye and dripping down the tongue. Smooth, yet zesty and delicious, while still blasting the senses.
Just enough tasty malt holding it down,and the hops are a barrage of bitterness, yes, but never too much...to this hophead, anyway.
Light bodied, and terribly drinkable.
I like this, I would drink it all day, every day. Delish-uss.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 10:24:13 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of jamie2dope


4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was never especially interested in seeking this beer out, but when it was offered to me in a trade, I wasn't gonna say no, thanks to srandycarter for hooking me up with this rare IPA. Pour in to a tulip glass reveals a clear golden coloration, and a white lacing of white head. Very potent hop profile in the nose, my mom equated it to my old smelly hockey bag. I definitely get the mango and peach smells alluded to on the blurb on the side of the bottle. Faint garlic and onion can be detected to from the hops. Taste is very pleasant, and not nearly as extreme as the smell as far as the hops are concerned. At the same time, the dominating flavor is hops, it is like hop juice with hints of fruit here and there. Mouthfeel is somewhere between light and medium, and surprisingly the malt can be felt despite all the hop dominance. Drinking this will be a delight for any hophead. Well executed beer we have here from Ballast Point. Very complex, and I am sure I am only scratching the surface of what is happening with this one. If only this was distributed here. Oh well, final note: I love the Sculpin fish on the label. Cheers

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 00:52:12 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

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

22oz bottle from SouthBay Drugs at 52 degrees.

Pours clear gold with a copper tinge. A two inch head of dense white swelled up in the tulip glass. Great looking lacework after the head made a slow retreat, as well as throughout the glass. A solid skim coat remained on the surface for the duration also.

Aromatics are floral, fruity, and almost pungent. Peaches, mango, tangerine, pear, melon, and apricot. Juicy and fresh, with a resinous kick.

Medium bodied with a crisp, drying mouthfeel. A minerally, sharp bite enhances the bitterness.

Ripe fruit and light malt start the palate. Orange zest, peach skins, grapefruit pith, and melon rinds. A firm, drying bitterness steps forward along with some spruce sap and warming alcohol.

Finishes with a lingering bitterness, lush citrus fruit, and bone dry.

Great IPA. If this was in sixers it would be a mainstay in the cellar. Dry, crisp, fruity, and clean. The low malt really brings out the hops. A fresh drawn pint must be quite a treat.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2009 00:08:13 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

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

Received in trade from jtrockchalk, thanks for the opportunity!

Pours a crystal clear golden with a tinge of orange. Surprisingly light in color. Smallish white head dissipates quickly. Smells of hops. Pine, resin, citrus, perfume, floral, some malty sweetness in the background. Taste is malty sweet with a citrus hop punch. Bitterness hits the tongue up front, finishes dry with a resinous almost mineral aftertaste that makes your mouth salivate for another sip. Medium body, resinous sticky mouthfeel, crisp carbonation. Lots of bitter hop punch and a surprising amount of sweet malt. Great Ipa, but I can't say that I enjoyed it as much as some others I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 22:32:17 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received today from dqderrick .... Immediately put into the freezer for a flash cooling ... this is one that I wanted to try as fresh as possible.... Thanks Derrick for the super trade!

Very pretty foamy 2 inch head leaves great lace for the entire glass.. the brew is a slightly hop hazed tangerine orange..

The nose is honestly pretty astounding... like a fruity citrus juice concoction.. lemons.. limes.. melon... yummy... I missed pineapple :-)

Wow! Tangerine and tropical fruit hoppiness from front to back on this one.. only enough pale malts to deliver the hoppy goodness .. finish reminds me of grapefruit zest..

Body is on the lighter side for the style.. but it adds nicely to the overall package.. sorta dry too.. and I appreciate it.. dangerously drinkable.. but more than one bomber and my palate would be shredded.

This is truly a fantastic IPA... Thanks again Derrick for suggesting we make this part of the package... Awesome beer that is worthy of the high grade.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 07:38:04 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Philabeerphia


4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks be to god to PretzelCity for this trade. A bomber poured into a pint, which yields a smallish off white head of foam that all but disappeared by the time I looked again, leaving behind only a hint of bubbles which pool around the glass. The lace itself slides easily back into this vibrant, golden & crystalline beauty. When I dream of a west coast IPA it looks similar to this visage.
I forgot to mention that this is one of those bottles you open up and the room is filled with gorgeous fragrance. Dominated by tangerines and melon, all of my senses are almost overcome. Some biting citric & pine are also part of the ensemble, backed by some milk, honey & a bit of crisp biscuity malt.
T> Up front I taste a nice dose of bready sweet yeast and crisp biscuit, but it is relatively subdued until it reaches the nether regions of my mouth where it completely opens up. A supremely pleasing bitterness takes control. My tongue feels like a calf being roped up by an outlaw hop flower.
Thats not to say this beer is sloppy or disjointed. It speaks eloquently and concisely. This brew is very well put together. Biting pools of pine-like hop fluids build behind my tongue, with echoes of vanilla and sweeter flower & fruits.
minutes later the back of my mouth feels like whole hop flowers have camped out below my tonsils. The corners of my mouth are a treasure trove of weedy hop goodness. I am complete.
MF> viscous, oily, helped along by slightly above ave carbonation that I feel in the back of my throat..
D> Obviously I'm smitten. But how can I rank drinkability for an IPA at a perfect 5 when the ABV is 7%? This obviously isn't a session brew. In my mind, the perfect IPA is a bit lower in alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2009 01:18:30 | More by Philabeerphia
Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 8,405 ratings.