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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

10,081 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,081
Reviews: 2,091
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 1,001
Gots: 2,077 | FT: 43
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
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Ratings: 10,081 | Reviews: 2,091 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerme411
5/5  rDev +13.4%

beerme411, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Bobbydigi
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Bobbydigi, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of bombadil
5/5  rDev +13.4%

bombadil, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of cocoapuph
5/5  rDev +13.4%

cocoapuph, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Jspriest
5/5  rDev +13.4%

Jspriest, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of tbeq00
5/5  rDev +13.4%

tbeq00, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of BrewtifulMind
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber into a Bruery tulip

Pours a really nice looking hazy orange honey type of color. It has about an inch of eggshell colored head, which fades into a small layer of foam that lasts throughout the whole glass. It leaves some nice rings of lace throughout. The nose on this one is citrus forward. I'm getting peach, orange peel, grapefruit, and lemon. Really nice. Taste is also dominated by citrus. I'm getting pineapple, peach, orange peel, and lemon. There's a sharp hoppy bitterness on the back end, paired with a malty sweetness. Really well balanced. Mouthfeel is good, its thin and easy drinking with a nice effervescencee to it. Overall, Sculpin is one of the better selections, one of my favorite IPA's, definitely one I will grab whenever its around.

BrewtifulMind, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of sfprint
3.65/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Transparent orangy gold with no rising carbonation and a two finger sudsy head.
S: floral soap on top of a fairly standard light ipa. mild hops and malt.
T: Dirtiness in the hops, like many German beers, floral soap, invisible alcohol, light bitterness/tartness. Very hidden refreshing fruitiness (grapefruit). Good, but I don't see what everyone is raving about.
M: Light to medium body, carbonation has a fluffing effect, slight mouth pucker for bitter/tartness.
O: Decent. A good one but doesn't stand out to me and for the price ($9), I'd much rather have a blind pig or a hop stoopid.

sfprint, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of TheDinger
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a weizen glass. Beautiful looking golden cloudy pour with a 2 finger off white pillow head. Great lacing throughout and good retention. Smell was of citrus and apricots. A note of grapefruit on the end. Not an overpowering smell, but adequate. Taste followed the nose with was a good fit of citrus malts and adequate hops. Very much on the fruit end which was a surprise. Complex but not too tart. Hides the 7%ABV very well. Feel is full with a lot of carbonation. Not watery at all. Overall- A very solid IPA which is not really my style. Enjoyed the fruit tones with a good amount of hoppiness. Reminded me of citrus bubblegum which is a compliment to it's full flavor. Notes of cloves added to the complexity. A great sipper that I will be having several more of in the future. Very tasty-

TheDinger, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of danieelol
4.03/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Adam @ Platinum for this one

Appearance is really pretty. Mango/pineapple colours with good head and loads of lacing.

In the nose I primarily get pineapple in conjunction with the malt and a bit of a sweaty synthetic smell. Hints of honey. I can tell this is probably much better fresher. As it warms I get more pine resin.

Taste is a whole lot of bitterness which is not tamed all that well by either malt or hop subtleties. As it warms I do get more malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel is slightly better, although the bitterness really lingers. Hard to detect the body and carb past the bitterness. I'll go medium for both. Also there's not a huge lot going on the back palate, although there are some grapefruit and pine notes drawn out.

Overall it's hard to judge this beer. I definitely enjoyed drinking it, but I suspect it's a shadow of its potential.

Edit: had to bump this one up as it warmed. It's really classy.

danieelol, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of nmbr0ne
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had it on-tap in a pint glass at Vine & Barley in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Appearance: Clear golden color that pours a finger thick, off-white head. Great lacing.

Smell: I love the smell of apricots and peaches. I also pick up hints of citrus and lemons.

Taste: Piney and I also taste some grapefruit. Has a bitter finish to it that is not overwhelming, but the presence of the hops are great.

Mouthfeel: Good amount of carbonation. Medium-bodied, not too thick but not too light either. Very dry in the finish.

Overall: A great IPA that I'm happy I can get in South Florida. One of the best around in this region.

nmbr0ne, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of perrymarcus
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap at big city, allston MA. (review from notes)

pours a mostly clear golden-orange tone while yielding a foamy off-white head. good retention and lacing.

haven't had it in a while but i recall sculpin having a kick-ass nose, but this... this is mediocre at best. some citrus hoppiness with a touch of malt in the background but overall nothing like i remember. i'm hoping it's just the melange of odors in the bar making discerning the aroma difficult, and there's nothing to the rumors that sculpin has fallen off.

such hopes are not buoyed by the flavor, which is likewise disappointing. not as an IPA, but as a Sculpin - important distinction. again, yeah there's some citric (primarily grapefruit) hoppiness and a little pine but just sort of underwhelming compared with what i was expecting.

overall, as an IPA this is still a pretty great beer, i'm just wondering what happened. it went from being phenomenal when i first tried (and reviewed) it in bottle to above average... possibly a fluke and i will re-review if so.

perrymarcus, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of jvillefan
4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A typical IPA, nothing impressive about the appearance of this beer. It is a golden yellow with somewhat decent head.

S: It has subtle hops, pine, and citrus. The smell is not that strong considering it is an IPA.

T: There is absolutly perfec balance but it is dulled slightly. There is hops, citrus, pine, caramel, and suprisingly a little mango-like flavor.

M: slighly above average due to the perfect carbonation.

O: Worth having. I feel this beer is slightly overrated.

jvillefan, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of ales4baldo
4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation-Cool little bottle with what seems to be a Rock Cod on the label. Caught some last month while out deep sea fishing off the coast of San Fran.

Appearence-Man this beer has some nice head! I mean nice! The beer itself is really clear. Incredible. I can see right through the pint glass i poured it in. Nice light amber color. Ok enough, i have to taste this beer ive been hearing about.

Smell-Being that i only have on freaken nostril working right now this beer smells really nice. Almost like a Pliny but with variations. Lots of hops for sure. Always a plus. I smell flowers and bunches of fruits. Apples, some grapes, good stuff ok, on too the tasting!

Taste-Mmmmm, let me try again...Ok so a little on the soft side. Not the strong kick i would expect but then again im used to pliny a DIBA. But still very good. Has a nice refreshing blend of hops and citrus. Nice a bitter, not too little or too much. Finish is somewhat clean, lingering a little bit. I keep drinking, its good. Get a little sense of the fruits in here. Little notes of banana here and there. Very clean beer.

Mouthfeel-Settles in nicely onto your palate. Sits soft on the tongue. Light carbonation, nothing forceful. Everything is put together nicely, balances and blends well. Beer is light, not fulling so you can have a couple or more and not feel full.

Overall-A solid beer for sure. Really good. Could very well be my number 2 or 3 IPA that ive had. Glad i tried this out and was able to score some.

ales4baldo, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of bishopdc0
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is orange much like soda with a big head. The head is composed of medium large and surrounded by a thick lace nice..head is great but color is ehh.

The aroma is nice hoppy fruity wiith a clean sweetness. The hops are subtle but good and light.

The taste starts all hoppy very fresh. The mouth fills with carbonation and quickly subsides revaling slight spicy and mostly bitter hops. A great IPA.

bishopdc0, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of BigPlay1824
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: Pours a warm golden color that is gently hazy with a small amount of carbonation bubbles and a two finger head that is pure white and lingers nicely, leaves a ton of thick pure white lacing
S: nice resinous grapefruit hop notes that are bright and smell like fresh squeezed hops
T: begins with nice citrus hop notes and moves into a slight dry taste and bit of funk in the middle that is nice and moves right into the finish
M: gentle carbonation, silky smooth in the middle, then finishes with a very distinct and yet nice dryness
O: a great ipa, really cant believe ive walked past this brew as many times as i have in the store and never once thought to pick it up, i must admit im not a big fan of their labels in general, great tasting, looking, smelling, and drinking brew

BigPlay1824, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of phichifiji00
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Bright, clear, amber in color, pours 2 inches of thick white head that fades slowly. Lots of lacing.

Smell: hops, apricot, lemon, pineapple, peach, mango, citrus, orange.

Taste: citrus, apricot, lemon, orange, caramel, some pine resin, hoppy, bitter up front and at the finish, sweet in the middle.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth, not as bitter on the tounge as many west coast IPAs.

Overall: An amazing IPA. The citrus/fruity notes were very prevalent. The balance between sweet and bitter is perfect. Very well done. One of my favorite IPAs.

phichifiji00, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of Monkeypaws
3.23/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this several times, on draft, in bottles, in San Diego even, and I frankly don't get the ranking. I never get much smell off of it, and it tastes fine, but nothing special. I expected a blast of hops to the nose and the tasebuds, but it hasn't been there in over 5 tries. It was suggested that Sculpin must be absolutely fresh in order to shine, so I'll keep trying and revise this review if it ever happens.

Monkeypaws, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of DaveHack
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Mad Elf tulip.

Pours a very clean coppery gold. Very nice looking in the glass. Small head dies down to leave a nice white ring around the glass with a very healthy lacing.

The smell is the best part of this beer. It is a bouquet of warm caramel and fresh flowers, fantastic smell!!

The taste on this is similar to the smell, definate caramel, followed by a bitter floral hop presence.

This is a nice, medium to slightly heavy bodied beer. The only thing it is could use to improve it is a more noticeable hop oil presence.

Fantastic beer definately worth seeking out.

DaveHack, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of ianroodt
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours crisp and clear with a modest head.

S- Citrus, hopy, with a floral hint.

T- Crisp and smooth with the oh so familiar west coast ipa bitterness. With each sip you desire another. Excellent taste.

M- Light on the tongue.

O- This is an excellent ipa worthy of being a world class beer.

ianroodt, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of chrisrhoppe
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had about a gallon over the coarse of 3 days when it was on tap at Lupulo.

Beautiful bright orange with a thick creamy sticky head coating the glass from top to bottom in lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, pine, pineapple, citrus, mango, and floral hints.

Tastes as explosive as it smells. Huge resin tongue puckering goodness. Sweet, bitter and fruity.

Really one of the best IPAs I've ever tried, I'd even choose it over Pliny. A must try, I just wish we could get it year round.

chrisrhoppe, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of doughanson78
4.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to KevSal for this huge want.

A: A darker straw yellow color with a slight haze. One finger bright white head with great retention and one of the stickiest lacings I've seen.

S: An awesome balance of citrus hops and caramel malts. Like a big bowl of caramel covered pineapples and grapefruit.

T: Again a perfectly balanced IPA. The caramel and citrus fight the whole way for your taste buds. In the middle of the drink the bitterness wins for a second or two but the sweetness comes back at the end.

M: Light to medium bodied. Medium high carbonation. Very crisp and dry. Super refreshing.

O: My new favorite IPA next to Union Jack. Super balanced while still allowing you to get all the flavors.

doughanson78, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of teetee523
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely love this beer, love that I can find it pretty easily in MA now.

A: Golden color, light orange hues, creamy off white, finger and a half worth of head

S: Smells of papyrus, mango, tropical fruit, pine-y hop resin, pineapple, lots of tropical fruit aromas going on

T: Intense fresh bitterness gets drawn out by understated malts while waves of hops powered by pineapple wash against the palate and leave a memorable finish (beer poetry)

M: Medium-light body and slightly dry

O: As you can tell, one of my favs. Get this beer now!

teetee523, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of Cisco619
3.63/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

64 oz growler poured into Duvel tuip several times. This is a staple in my fridge, I felt it was time to review it.

A: Golden amber that has a lingering, stark white head. The head dissipates to a filmy cap that covers the top of the brew. Clear & paints my palm golden honey hue akin to a San Diego summer sunset. California in a glass.

S: Slight mango scent greets the nose that is tempered with an orange zest. A slight sweetness follows that ends in a dank hop aroma. Quite the balance of the hops is achieved, creating an intoxicating blend that draws you in.

T: Dank hops with a citrus zest. The hop bitterness is slight & lingers after sip is long gone. Not as powerful as the aroma, but quite pleasing.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a hop stickyness that lingers. Nice carbonation that tingles the tongue slightly, letting the hops do their thing.

O: Great brew that never fails to please. Nothing better on a hot Cali night like tonight.

Cisco619, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of jwhancher
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought a 22 oz bottle back at the Homebrew Mart in early June of this year. Poured into a snifter for review.

A: pours a brilliantly clear gold with excellent frothy head.

S: strong hoppy aroma with notes of mango, lemon, and peach. Some piney notes.

T: tastes slightly more sweet from perceived caramel malts and sticky sweet hop character.

M: feels medium bodied because of the strong hop character. Rather bitter but with decent malty balance. More on the West Coast hoppy side of things which is fine by me.

O: A very yummy IPA. Have this one fresh - you won't beat the excellence. I shall be seeking out this one again.

jwhancher, Oct 14, 2011
Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 10,081 ratings.