Habanero Sculpin - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Habanero SculpinHabanero Sculpin

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very good

346 Reviews
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Reviews: 346
Hads: 1,847
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 16.71%
Wants: 159
Gots: 403 | FT: 15
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: billshmeinke on 02-26-2011

Our Sculpin IPA with Habanero Pepper began as a crazy experiment that’s taken on a life of its own. While its bright fruit notes and hoppy bite has made the original one of our favorites, this version takes that balance of flavors to the next level with the citrusy, floral heat of habaneros. Sculpin are known to sting, but this one’s got a kick.
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Reviews: 346 | Hads: 1,847
Photo of fx20736
4.53/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought a single bottle from Beers of the World on 8/1/15 from Beers of the World. Served cold in a Duvel tulip. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. copppery amber, white head that diminishes to a thin film. Aroma of grapefruit and Habaneros. Taste: a flash of bready malt before a full scale assault of Habanero sweet, juicy fire. This is a unique, bold, stunning beer. OMG. I love it!!!!!!! (399 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3.39/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a slightly deep, gold color. Decent couple fingers of head, rapidly leaving and ending in some nice, moderate, spotty lacing. Aroma is a little hard to figure out, with pine hops, slightly sweet coming through. Also getting a good amount of citrus, especially grapefruit. Not really getting much pepper aroma, maybe a little if I think real hard, lol. Taste is definitely peppery, with backgrounds of grapefruit and assorted citrus and hops. They are quickly overtaken by the heat and slight burn of the habeneros. I am a pepper fan, so I love this beer. This beer takes the heat to the limit of being too hot, but stops before it gets there. The burn on the back of the throat is ok, not too, too hot, but lets itself be known. Overall, I like this beer a lot, but wish that the habeneros had been a touch less, so that the other citrus and hop presences could have been a little more predominant.. (905 characters)

Photo of Fitzy01
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first pepper beer and I was a little hesitant on trying it, but I'm glad I did! Very different and a nice change but not exactly for me. Everyone should try one at least once. (186 characters)

Photo of RenzoD
2.8/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

My first pepper beer so I don't have much to compare it to, but I can safely say that this isn't for me. Every once in a while you catch a hint of actual habanero flavor but for the most part the biting fire finish just does not blend with the hoppy bitterness in an enjoyable way. Maybe ill try a pepper beer with a style other than IPA. (338 characters)

Photo of Trifecta1
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A hot treat! All the bright citrus hop flavor of Sculpin with habanero flavor and some heat. I'm a pepper junkie and this hits the spot between pleasant and medium; that being said, most people will find this between spicy and hot (uncomfortable). I love the taste of peppers in beer, and this one is no exception. Great IPA, wish there were more like this around.

On a side note, I've had this multiple ways; fresh bottle, fresh tap, properly aged bottle, improperly aged bottle, and I must say, I prefer an improperly aged bottle. You get a more striking balance between the malt and habanero, and the habanero to hops, creating a sort of flavor triangle. Or maybe I'm crazy. (678 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a dark copper gold color with a white fluffy head and n ice retention.

S - Bright citrus: Mango, oranges, pineapple with some of those spicy peppers coming through.

T - The fruity citrus keeps trying to fight its way to the top but keeps getting beat down with big waves of Habanero, the two keep swirling and duking it out to the firey end. Lots of lingering spicy heat. I like heat but the peppers are too overpowering and is a "big glass of fire".

M - Heavy medium body, lingering hot finish that leaves your mouth salivating from the peppers

O - Too hot. (574 characters)

Photo of VincentJB
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I know this sounds stupid, as it is a "habanero" beer, but it was hotter than I expected. I was confused. Usually I eat spicy things, and drink beer to put the fire out. Now the beer was the spicy thing... so I drank more beer, and got more spicy... aghhhh. Seriously though, it was good, and spicy (as advertised) but just not my cup of tea. (342 characters)

Photo of dav2080
4.49/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I like pepper beers. Pours a golden brown with a short lived head. Smell the hops, fruity and citrus and for me faint pepper. Taste the Sculpin clean and then the heat from the Habanero. This is a great beer for a hot summer day just unwinding from a day at work. (266 characters)

Photo of MatthewWalters
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a cool brew. You immediately smell the peppers, and I even told my buddy it tickled my nose, at which point he laughed... I definitely taste the peppers as well! It feels like an alcohol burn going down yet lingers much longer in the back of the throat. Super interesting and not something I would expect from a beer, but one that must be tried if you're into out of the box stuff. (386 characters)

Photo of JeffBlue
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(draft, Quinn's Pub & Grill, Long Beach) finally tried this albeit reluctantly, glad I did, the habanero gives it a nice little kick without ruining this beer. If you LOVE the flavor of habaneros, this is a must try. (217 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a golden copper color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap

S: Citrusy hops and some fruitiness stick out amidst a background of habanero heat. Heat not overwhelming but definitely quite present

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the base of citrusy, fruity, and floral notes imparted by the hops. Get a bit of maltiness and then the habanero heat kicks in in full force. Peppery and spicy notes get kicked around with the habanero. Finishes with the habanero and peppery notes with just a hint of the fruity and citrus notes

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: As long as you're okay with spicy foods and peppers, this one is a great take on the base beer. The heat doesn't overwhelm (though it is VERY present) the base and works nicely with the hops. Obviously the drinkability is cut down a bit, but a couple is enough in a sitting anyways. Again, recommended if you're into things like jalapeños, habaneros, or spicy peppers in general. Not so recommended if you can't handle the heat (1,030 characters)

Photo of aleckpa
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Too hot for my liking. You get the initial taste of the Sculpin IPA. However, the heat kicks in and it kicks hard. Undrinkable for me. Some pepper beers are balanced, but this is all heat. (188 characters)

Photo of neenerzig
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My extremely good and awesome buddy Jon Passow, who is the Barrel Operations Manager at Anderson Valley Brewing Company, sent me this in a package from northern, CA a few weeks ago. then like 4 days after receiving this package my wife and I began our 2 week trip to California, one week of which was spent going to many breweries there with my friend Jon. I also got to try this beer on-tap when we went to Ballast Point about a week and a half ago. Onto the review. Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass of mine, this beer pours a slightly cloudy and hazy, but mainly clear, medium golden color with a nice copper/amber hue with a white head that is about 1/2 of an inch thick when first poured that settles quickly to a solid surface coating along with a pretty thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Not too much lacing unfortunately. Aromas of some toasted malts, citrus hops, and certainly the habanero. Has a slight toasted malt sweetness presence upfront followed by a nice floral, citrus hop bitterness. The spicy heat bite from the peppers is at just the perfect level for a chilihead like myself, and I understand how and why this might be too much of a hear bite for others people. Has a clean finish. Has a crisp, slightly smooth and frothy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Easy to drink for me in the a well crafted beer ought to me.

Eric (1,412 characters)

Photo of Jeffwise
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great beer... Amazes me how they can nail the sculpin taste the whole way until u swallow. Then the heat... Very spicy although I disagree with the reviews saying it's too much heat. If you like all things heat this is a great beer for you to try. (247 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single May 1 from TW Arrowhead for $2.99. No visible bottling date but i remember this being a fresh batch.

Beer poured golden orange with a nice white head that had some ok hang time.

Nose is wonderful, fresh citrus and tropical hops!

Taste is just like the regular Sculpin and them wham-o, the pallet is assaulted by a strong habanero infusion. You start to get the wonderful citrus, tropical, and pine and then the habanero takes over.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and quite lively.
Overall as a hophead i love the base beer. The habanero has been a novelty to try but it is doubtful i will do this again. (635 characters)

Photo of TheDonster
4.76/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Smell doesn't really match the flavor, but that's alright here. This is a great chili beer. I love the regular Sculpin, and the additional flavor in this one really works for me. If you like subtle, complex flavors, this probably isn't your beer. (246 characters)

Photo of HopsForBrains
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Completely lacks the smell/taste semblance of any IPA
Smell - spicy watermelon
Taste - a hint of watermelon but EXTREMELY SPICY, so much that it lingers in the back of your throat and a tad in the nostrils
Feel - way too much for me
Overall - somewhat interesting but it comes no where near the enjoyableness of the regular sculpin (331 characters)

Photo of TheIPAHunter
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really enjoyed this beer, but I'm a fan of the habanero. Imagine regular Sculpin with the same exact balance, yet just a touch of heat. I had it extremely fresh, so the citrus notes were unbelievable, as well the dank resinous action I got on the finish. I know this beer isn't for everyone, hence the overall score; however, if you enjoy eat, this beer will be right up your alley. Larrrrrrrrrrrrge. (402 characters)

Photo of madelfonatree
4.11/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - Light orange see through body. Thin, white to tan head with moderate pour.

Smell - Don't notice peppers here. Grapefruit and citrus. Dank.

Taste - Strong pepper up front and fades slowly. Has a plastic taste as well.

Palate - Dries up quickly with pepper. Lighter bodied.

Overall - Smell was surprising. I don't know where the faint plastic smell comes from. Heat from a beer you expect heat. (404 characters)

Photo of endovelico
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It just works, surprisingly. The heat adds a depth to the original that is refreshing (no pun intended) but unfortunately a beer this spicy will prove itself too unapproachable even for the more venturous beer drinker. I'd say take this for fun, if nothing else as it will undoubtedly make you question everything you think a beer should be. (342 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Bright orange with good clarity. Head settles after a time. Thin, broken rings of lacing.

S: Vegetal and hot habanero peppers are forward on the nose. Bright tangerine and citrus notes underneath. Whiffs of toasty malt too.

T: Fruity and vegetal habanero flavors are forward. The heat kicks in after a few seconds. It's pretty hot as far as pepper beers go, but not outrageous. the heat does build sip to sip until it peaks at about a 7 on my personal 1-10 scale. As the palate adjusts to the heat, bright tangerine, cantaloupe, mango, and pineapple notes come forward. Fleeting pine and resin too. Toasty malt. Hot peppery finish lingers for a long time.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy and smooth, though the peppery heat doesn't let you pay much attention to the texture of it. Fine carbonation.

O: Drinking the whole bottle would probably give me raging heartburn, but I actually really enjoyed this one. It has enough heat to put hair on your chest, but the nice tropical hop flavor that is so central to Sculpin is still allowed to come through. Of course this will be a very polarizing beer for most people though. Putting it in a six pack might be a little much, but it's not like a bomber would be a better choice. Best bet is to find a bottle shop that sells singles. (1,314 characters)

Photo of milwaukee512
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Such an unnecessary beer; obviously IPA fans know that Sculpin is practically a legend in this category. Habanero Sculpin retains the excellent feel and look of Ballast Point's beers, but the spice overwhelms everything else here. Interesting to try one, but kind of a waste. Stick to the real thing. (303 characters)

Photo of dcotom
4.64/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Twelve-ounce bottle, poured into a chalice. Very pretty light copper color, two fingers of head with good retention. Piney aroma with some citrus, particularly grapefruit. The taste, though, is where this one really shines: nicely balanced, pleasant hop bitterness on the finish, and the heat was not overpowering. The distinctive flavor of the habanero became slightly more pronounced as the beer warmed up. I found this very enjoyable with food as well as on its own. Well done! (480 characters)

Photo of WunderLlama
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Growler poured into antique GermN bier glass

Two finger white foM cap, very good lacings. Clear Amber with some carbonation

Aroma of grapefruit and pine

Taste of the hops and then an explosion of haberno spicy heat. You taste the habanero and then feel the heat

Spicy, habanero afterburner!!!! Lingers in the mouth and the back of the tongue.

It's fun, it's different . Love the regular sculpin , interesting variation (424 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
2.72/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Essentially, I tried to drink a full 12oz bottle and couldn't even get through one ounce. The body is a light copper body, two finger white head, nice retention time, a bit of lacing, moderate film. Smells slightly peppery, almost a vegetal aroma, along with a bit of citrus, pine, caramel. Flavour is exclusively peppers and a strong heat that kicks in say, 1/4 of the way through the palate. It's strong and makes it incredibly difficult to drink. My lips and tongue are burning. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation, but the finish is what makes it undrinkable for me. So much heat, tingling and burning along my oral digestive tract. Overall, a cool concept but I'm not sure why they bottled this. Good God, this is way too hot for me. (747 characters)

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Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.