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Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,252 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,252
Hads: 12,164
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 1,333
Gots: 3,999 | FT: 51
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: 2,252 | Hads: 12,164
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.... (922 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
3.76/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a transparent gold color with an inch of coarse, white suds. Aroma smacks of fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit and little else; maybe a hint of honey-like sweetness sneaks through.

The taste features grapefruit, bready malt, and some grain husk (especially toward the back). Hints of bubblegum lurk beneath the surface as well. Pine resin seeps through more once the grapefruit acquiesces. Medium body and carbonation mostly stay out of the way and let the hops do their thing.

Overall, this is a solid, flavorful IPA. I don’t quite get the hype it receives, but it’s certainly good. (601 characters)

Photo of Short-Pour
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a solid IPA for sure. Very easy to get, and very consistent. Pours nice and clear with a nice one finger head into my glass. Great IPA for an early evening in hot weather. A little too much bitterness at the finish. (229 characters)

Photo of Uhopia
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hype! Hype! Git'cher hype right here! Well, if you have the bollocks to back it up, then I say holler the F away. You earned it. You see, what we have right here is a tasty little blend of citrus-i-nessed-up hop cones of love, swirled in a mildly malty, yet high booze content-laden brew decanted into a proper glass for pure pleasure results - every time. And if you have read any of my other plugs, it also comes in a fricken 6-pack. Thank you Ballast. (454 characters)

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Golden color with a 2 finger high, white, head.

Nose: Grapefruit, lemon, pine, apricot, tropical fruit and caramel.
Taste: Smooth taste of hops, grass, pine, mango and a lot of tropical fruits. Body: A great smooth body with a little bitter taste at the end.
Perfectly balanced!

A really great brew! (305 characters)

Photo of car2052
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass.

A: Hazy bright orange. 1 in. white head.
S: Peach, grapefruit, dark berry, yeast.
T: Grapefruit and pine right at the front of the tongue. Sweeter fruits take over. Sweetness towards the end.
M: Medium. Nice crisp alcohol at the end.
O: Very standard IPA flavors. I would want more tropical aromas and flavors for a higher rating. (372 characters)

Photo of do_ob
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a tulip. Pours a crystal-clear amber with nearly 3 fingers of white, sticky foam. Tropical fruit, citrus, pine, and bubblegum on the nose. Very sweet tropical fruit and floral notes up front on the taste. Medium-light weight, and a very creamy and crisp mouthfeel. Grapefruit, pineapple, mango, and banana all present up front, with a biscuity-malt settling in middleways. Finishes as creamy as ever, and produced a tingling hop bitterness on the finish. Tart fruit, pine, and hops on the aftertaste.

Incredibly well-made, well-balanced, and tasty IPA right here. It's not often I get to try these world-class brews, but this one is pretty special. Might be the best IPA I've ever had. (705 characters)

Photo of jweaver95
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

An IPA lover's dream. Was fortunate enough to have this at a Padres game out in San Diego, and I was not disappointed. I'm back in Chicago now, and I miss it like I miss California. (181 characters)

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

This is a world class Cali IPA. Get it in the can. Ballast Point is very proud of their beer, and for good reason, but you can't cop a six pack for less than 13 or 14 bucks. (174 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. can

Pours a clear golden color with a coarse two inch head, dissipates very slowly to a lacing.

Smells of honey, buttered bread, grapefruit, and pine.

The taste is of honey and bready malt with a maple hop followed by hints of strawberry, passion fruit, and orange citrus. Finished with a piney bitterness.

Medium body with tingly carbonation on the tongue.

An exceptionally good IPA that does everything right. Drinks very easy and smooth. Deserves to be in the pantheon of great American IPAs. If anything could stand improvement, its the mouthfeel which is every so slightly thin for what the beer is. Otherwise, top notch. (649 characters)

Photo of SensorySupernova
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear dark gold with an off-white head that eventually faded, leaving little lacing.

Smell: Pretty strong citrus and floral hops.

Taste: Moderate-to-strong hop bitterness up front, into a dry malt backbone. A little alcohol sweetness at the very end, and lingering hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Middle of the road thickness and carbonation.

Overall: Solid IPA. Good bitterness, but not over the top, and plenty of aroma. (451 characters)

Photo of exposd
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great west coast IPA from Ballast Point Brewery, but I spoiled myself by tasting the grapefruit and habanero versions of this beer before trying the original. Lots of hops and bitter citrus ofruit on this one. Nice light amber color poured into a pint glass with great head and heavy lacing. This is an amazing brew, but for me with the added grapefruit or spicy heat to the special variants, they are both favorite flavors of mine already so it makes it hard to ever get around to drinking the original. (504 characters)

Photo of Safa1
4.89/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I went in thinking that this has got to be over rated. It is not. It's a great beer. One of the best beers I have ever had. The problem is that it is always 7.99 and that is a lot. Port brewing is almost as good and nowhere near as much money. (243 characters)

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

Appearance - Gold/Copper/Inviting

Smell - Sweet/biscuit/floral

Taste - Rich/Strong/Hops/Pine

Mouthfeel - Crisp, seltzer

Very enjoyable beer.
Almost like a meal drinking this. (179 characters)

Photo of Beertsipper
3.9/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Can. Had this on tap and it wasn't as impressive. Good bitterness. Oily yet dry. Grapefruit notes with nectarine. Average but very drinkable. Won't buy again due to the big price tag. Available IPA's similar to Sculpin in my area for $5 less per six pack. That's something you can't deny, especially if you have local IPA's that have similar taste profiles with comparable abv. (377 characters)

Photo of Veeblefetzer
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had a six pack of bottles, purchased in San Clemente. Very nice IPA. Citrus smells, lovely color. Nice hop taste with overtones of grapefruit. Very nicely balanced IPA. (171 characters)

Photo of bareju
3.84/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bomber. Very nice floral and citrus nose. Taste is lightly sweet malts followed by light citrus and floral hops, and are then overwhelmed by hoppy piney bitterness. Pretty full body for an IPA, and a good bit of carb. This drinks more like a DIPA, and I'm not a big fan of bitter piney hops in my beer. Nicely balanced, but not my favorite take on an IPA. I would love to try it on tap to see how the hop profile differs. Similar to torpedo from what I remember, although maybe a bit more complex. (498 characters)

Photo of blackett511
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Good lord. I first had a Sculpin IPA about two years back. Ballast Point has made one of the better IPAs I've ever had. A little heavier than comparitive IPAs but worth it for the ABV and myriad of tastes. The body is much lighter than you'd expect; caramel or burnished bronze, the aroma is fruity and pleasant. Carbonation isnt too high so the head--even on a bad pour--is pretty low. (386 characters)

Photo of J30wang
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drunk this straight from the bottle, so unsure what the liquid looks like. Can't say much about how it pours or how the head is, so i'm just going to skip right to smell.

The smell is remarkable. I am new to this drinking beer as an art craft instead of an alcoholic beverage, so did not smell it before I took a sip. But after I had finished the bottle, I took the time to give the bottle lip a few good whiffs--boy was it floral. It's not a light smell; reminds me of honey all thick and syrupy.

Your typical hoppy sip upon first drink. Reminded me of the Sierra Nevada Torpedo, but where it differs is what lingers on the palate after. It's very sweet! A good thick, sweetness that's more floral than citrusy (is it supposed to be citrusy?). Torpedo has got a more bitter/malty aftertaste, which is refreshing. This is a good beer, but will feel like too much 3/4 bottles in because it is so decadent. You won't realize at first, because the sweetness takes a while to sink in, though I can definitely see why many would be a huge fan of this.

It is not a light beer, and also not very carbonated. This might be because I let it sit for a while before I had popped it open to drink it. Realized that this beer was also on tap at the bar I visited later. I should probably give this beer a try again, from a draft pour--hopefully then I'll get a better idea at what Ballast is trying to achieve with this beer. I liked it very much, but there is a time and place for this kind of beer--probably better enjoyed in cooler weather. When it's hot out I still prefer my lighter, wheat beer/pale ales. (1,602 characters)

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lite amber, off white head. Hoppy citrus nose. Hoppy lemon and stone fruit (apricot) flavors. Medium lite mouthfeel. Overall excellent easy drinking well balanced IPA. (167 characters)

Photo of RenzoD
3.35/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yeah it's alright. Looks pretty thin. Not too much of a head. Aroma is amazing. Taste...well...More of a sipper. Drink too big of a swig and it tastes like cough syrup. I think it's a decent IPA and I'm glad I tried it but I probably won't have it again. Now Big Eye IPA, that one is killer. (291 characters)

Photo of Jacobob10
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Amber color with a fluffy white head. Massive citrus and tropical fruit aroma. Light caramel malts keep the balance towards the hops. Medium bodied. A light, fruity, juicy, and bitter IPA.

I remember the first Sculpin I ever had was 4-5 years ago on tap at DBDG in NYC. It blew me away then and has been one of my favorite IPAs to this day. (341 characters)

Photo of Beerds
4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Long sought after and scored some for my birthday. Well worth the wait (for fresh) and the price, $15 a 6 pack. Hard to drink others having this one. (151 characters)

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

velvety mouthfeel, healthy lacing. Huge citrus aroma with a warmer finish. Taste is as close to palate perfect for me. Lives up to the 13.99 price tag. (154 characters)

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

Had on-tap at the Main Street pub in Bally, PA - poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep clear amber with thick creamy white head. Great retention.

S: Citrusy hops on the nose, somewhat floral. Malts also detectable.

T/F: This is a great tasting IPA. Not as hopped up as an Imperial IPA, but a nice citrus hop backbone... a bit resinous, and good balance with the sweet malts. Very smooth and drinkable, with moderate carbonation.

O: Phenomenal session IPA, also great with a meal and as noted by many others this is a superb representation of the style. (572 characters)

Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,252 ratings.