Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,280 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,280
Hads: 12,304
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 22.32%
Wants: 1,357
Gots: 4,144 | FT: 50
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:
Beer added by: brentk56 on 04-02-2006

Originally named Northstar IPA. Debuted in 2005.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,280 | Hads: 12,304
Photo of Andrewharemza
4.16/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours slightly hazy golden with small white head. Aroma is hoppy and fruity, grassy, citrus, earthy, honey, slight soap. Taste is slightly sweet and medium bitter, citrus, pine, grass, fruity, peaches. Medium body. Bitter finish.

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Photo of hardysf
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours perfect clear Amber. Smells juicy like grapefruit and mango. Taste is sweet malt balanced out by some Citrusy notes. Good mouthfeel. Really a solid perfectly balanced beer.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Can dated 15135 (May 15, 2015). Boston Shaker at World of Beer.

Appearance: Bright, light gold with orange tint - slight haze. 2 finger white, frothy head. Nice lacing, but not remarkable. Excellent retention.

Aroma: Massive hop resins, graprefruity, slightly malty background. Pure resin/grapefruit; not getting the tropical or pine notes as much.

Taste: Bold, hoppy arrival, but not overpowering; light sweetness on mid-palate, but would not describe this as a sweet beer; it is the impression of sweetness without actually being sweet, if that makes any sense.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp hoppy bitter, though there is some malt backbone there to speak of; really perfect for an IPA.

Overall: Does not live up to the hype, though it is probably the second or third best IPA I've ever had. That said, there are a number of more widely available and less expensive alternatives. It is super refreshing and clean; if it were $10.99 a six pack, I'd buy it every weekend. But at $14.99 per sixer, it is for special occasions only. Really puzzled by how World of Beer has cans; only ever seen it in bottles, bombers, or kegs here otherwise.

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Photo of PhillyJ
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

. The cans are making this readily accessible everywhere which is great. This is a top notch IPA you will not find a smoother ale. I'm not gonna compare this to any other ipas. This beer is a classic if you haven't had it yet do yourself a favor and try it. if you can find the grapefruit buy all you find seriously though..

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Photo of Thirstygoat
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought 6pk in cans . Hazy orange/gold color with medium head that settles to thin coat of lacing in my DFH chalice.
Nice hop, citrus smell not too strong .

A dab of hop sting on the back of my mouth.

Enough texture to have substance, but very easy to drink.

This is one highly rated beer that lives up to expectations

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Photo of ctylinebeer
3.9/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into tulip

L - Gold color with a thick foam dome

S - Flowers flowers flowers. Lavendar notes as well

T - I get the malt first with a citrus-bitter aftertaste.

F - Very light in body. Dangerously drinkable

O - File this one under citrus-IPA. I have not had the Big Eye IPA yet, but I would describe it as a strong session-IPA. Very light and drinkable but the ABV and IBU count makes this an IPA. Give this to someone who is "scared" of trying IPAs so that they can get the bitterness. Very good beer and would like to have this again, but I'm down to my last bottle from the six-pack...=[


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Photo of StevenMilligan
4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Light amber/dark orange.

S: Aricot, lemon rind, cut grass.

T: Apricots and lemon rinds again. Naval oranges. Bitter, dry finish with a hint of piney hops.

F: Medium carbonation and adequate mouthfeel. Not overly creamy, I enjoy that in an IPA (even if it's out or character) and miss that here.

O: One awesome IPA! I absolutely loved the grapefruit version and this is almost as good. I wish some of the fruity notes were present in the finish versus that West Coast piney bite. But that's the nature of the beast and you have to respect that. You'd be damned to catch me turn down a pint of this.

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Photo of VincentJB
4.69/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle into stemmed-fluted glass. Appearance was a brilliant orange-amber, with a white fluffy-foam head that settles to finger lacing while drinking. Light and crisp mouth feel, with a pink-grapefruit finish. Not overly hopped, nor too sweet. A great thirst quencher for a hot Summer day.

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Photo of TH28
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz can with 11/5/15 code date. Appearance: Golden and slightly hazy, with a thick white foam cap. Aroma: Intense mix of melon, grapefruit, pineapple, grass, and resin. Taste: Light bready malt that quickly turns to sharp bitterness and dank, resinous, earthy hop flavors. Grapefruit and grassiness is there, but very low. Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a medium-high carbonation Finish: Seems to balance well on the finish, with only a slight lingering bitterness. It does leave a sticky resin on the tongue. Overall: Well done west coast IPA that has a great aroma, with a dominant hop bitterness that doesn’t overpower thru the finish. Fairly light malt base that let’s the hops shine but still remains balanced.

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Photo of Kelz87
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bomber to pub pint glass

A- nice dark copper color with about a 2-3 finger head with a regular pour and some decent lacing

S- some tropical fruit, grapefruit, and other sweet notes I can't quite pick out

T- grapefruit, hints of tropical fruit, slight pine,with bitterness that is quite apparent and really hides the 7% abv

M- creamy mouthfeel with low-med carbonation

O- a very solid well rounded IPA, I'm not getting too many malty flavones which I prefer in my IPAs. It easy to see why it's a highly rated beer, but I still prefer the Freshly Squuzed IPA for the money.

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Photo of TheBeerMaster1
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really good ipa with a touch of apricot. Was drinking founders all day iPa back to back and it actually tasted like all day had more abv%, which has 4.7% compared to sculpin at 7%. Great beer but so expensive.

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Photo of ColoradoPhil
4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Omg! this is good. I tried the Grapefruit which may be tastier for the delicious grapefruit added. but this is great world class beer no doubt. I could drink this everyday as a favorite but could drink a number of fine Microbrew IPA's everyday.. for $5.00 less a six pack. This is premium beer, but there are a lot of great beers to be had for $10.00 a six pack. We truly are in a golden age of great American craft beers! Life is good.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful look to it with a solid 2 finger creamy head and some good lacing. Immediate juicy grapefruit smell with a grapefruit / citrusy taste up front with a piney/resiny taste in the back. Good mouthfeel and goes down as smooth as can be. A staple beer for any IPA drinker.

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Photo of fank2788
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can served in a pint glass
Pours a bright coppery orange with a finger or so of bright white bubbles on top. The aroma is incredible with this one. Being a west coast IPA there is a ton of hop aromas and most of those are of the citrus and fruit varieties. There is also a bit of pine and even a touch of sweet caramel as well, great layers. The taste follows the smell with a big hit of citrus up front followed by another hit of resiny pine hoppiness. Its got a serious bitter hit but there is still enough malt in there to leave it at least somewhat balanced. It's quite prickly on the tongue both due to some tight carbonation and the tingly bitterness. Despite being relatively high in alcohol it is very well hidden by the everything else that is going on. Overall this is a very good beer maybe not the best IPA out there but certainly worth giving a try.

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Photo of endovelico
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quintessential American IPA. It is hoppy, complex, layered, refreshing and balanced. The aromatics found are what you'd find in a traditional American IPA. In summary, it is the traditional made very, very well.

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Photo of scbeerman
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had it plenty of times. Even when fresh and from a can, it's just nothing spectacular when compared to a lot of IPAs. Definitely a great beer but it's not a 100.

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Photo of Mortarforker
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a 6 pack in cans from specs in Ft.Worth.Popped the top and right away I could smell this beer.Nose was grapefruit and some citrus and kinda faint pine.Taste was not bad at all,piney grapefruit with a nice bitter finish.Glad I got these.Prost!

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Photo of ljjpowers
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Much like Daniel from Green Eggs & Ham, I could enjoy Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA in a box with a fox, in a house with a mouse, on tap, in a can, from a bottle, ON A BOAT, and theoretically, in any which way it was presented to me. In honor of this San Diego brewery’s affinity for naming beers after sea life, though, I’ve decided to take this particular tasting nautical (Longfin Lager, Wahoo White, Calico Amber, and Black Marlin Porter are just a few of its other marine-inspired classics).

Poured from the bottle, Sculpin draws you in with an inviting copper color that resembles the hypothetical love-child of a seven-year-old penny and the golden honey sticks that are sold at your local farmer’s market (“4 for $1!”). Hovering over the glass for just a few seconds, it becomes impossible to ignore the bouquet of floral, piney, and citrus scents— these components meld together to create an effect more substantial and compelling than their individual parts. Apricot and mango notes also announce their presence after just the third sniff. Now that the proper pleasantries have been exchanged with the guest of honor, it’s time to taste. The hoppy quality synonymous with the IPA style is evident from the get-go, but this bitterness is mellowed nicely by the combination of floral, piney, and citrus components that follow (as expected from the nose). The beer demonstrates smooth (yet crisp) and bitter (yet creamy) qualities in alternate succession that awaken and inspire the palate. And it is this very thing — the intoxicating interplay between elements of taste, mouthfeel, aroma, appearance, and environment — that makes tastings so special. While I’m sure that Ballast Point has a fantastic quality control process and although every Sculpin is virtually identical at a molecular level, no two tasters have the same perception of flavor and no two tastings take place in the exact same way. I, for example, am enjoying this particular brew while boating around the harbor and shooting-the-shit with a good friend. In all honesty, I could probably appreciate Sculpin in the worst of times and in the foulest of places, but the atmosphere in which a beer is experienced has the potential to elevate its subtleties and complexities. Not to mention that another participant provides a second opinion off of which to bounce your perceived tastes, smells, and ideas. Oh, and in my case, a boat captain (thanks, Alex). Make no mistake, Sculpin is everything it’s said to be and the only way to fully understand the fanfare that surrounds it is to try some for yourself. Cheers!

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Photo of WestmontStorm
4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Real nice IPA. Clean crisp refreshing aftertaste. In Illinois this stuff costs $14/sixpack. Very good but not worth the do-re-mi.
Lagunitas IPA is just as good.

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Photo of Weisenbeer
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As Bill and Ted might remark... "This beer is most excellent!" I have tried a lot of IPAs, and this one is near the top of the class. First beer I've had from this brewer. It cost a pretty penny (so my lady friend says), but appears to be worth the extra nickels.

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Photo of d_porter
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First BA review! Still developing a taste for IPAs, but I have to say this is the smoothest one yet. Doesn't have that bite of a Stone or a DF 60 min. Goes down smooth and has just enough taste to let you know its an IPA! Poured out of a bomber into a 23oz pilsner! Easy to drink, so be careful!

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Photo of soupyman10
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Looks like an IPA, amber, great white lacing and a finger of foam. Nose and flavor are well balanced, nice drying hops with a fair bit of fruit and a touch of caramel malt. Really good flavor, almost stereotypically what I think of when I think of an IPA. It's a great brew, on par with a lot of very good ones: Two Hearted, 60 Minute, Titan, etc. Seems like maybe the hype train got a little out of control with this one, but as I said, definitely a tasty everyday beer. Very happy it's started to show up all over the East Coast.

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Photo of Glanzman
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle served in a pint glass.

Pop the cap and the aroma is immediately noticeable!

Pours a beautiful golden color with a frothy 2 fingered, slightly off-white head with perfect lacing.

The aroma climbs up your nostrils and teases your brain with what's to come. Citrus and hops!

The taste is AWESOME! Lots of citrusy hops and a bitter kick (might be too much for some) at the end. DELICIOUS!

This is a really well done beer. Incredible IPA. Would definitely buy a six pack.

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Photo of mdcrouser
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beautifully fluffy white head sits atop a glass of transparent liquid glowing gold.

Freshly carved pineapple is most apparent.

Pineapple, pine, some other citrus - oh man, that's ridiculously good.

Creamy, some sharpness and spiciness in the hops, heavy on the tongue.

Love this beer (and I don't say that much) - well-balanced, lots of freshness, unique in the pineapple being so up front.

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Photo of frozyn
3.86/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L -- Thick white head with a golden color, somewhat hazy.

S -- Bitter hops, a little pine comes through, along with floral notes and very minute tropical fruit.

T -- Lots of hops creates a nice bitterness. Unfortunately, every time I've had this, the only thing I really get from it is bitterness. I notice slight hints of citrus or pine, but they're always overrun by bitter. I

F -- Light-to-medium feel, very crisp and refreshing. No resin leftover to note of.

O -- A very good beer, but I prefer Jai Alai. For the price, I don't feel it presents a good value, especially given what else is out there. I keep trying this in SWFL and it just hasn't impressed me too much. In fact, as I try more IPAs and other different styles, each successive tasting makes me think less and less of this beer. Perhaps someday I'll be in San Diego and get to try it ridiculously fresh and it will change my mind. Until then....

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,280 ratings.