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Habanero Sculpin - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Habanero SculpinHabanero Sculpin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

1,297 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,297
Reviews: 260
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 16%
Wants: 123
Gots: 214 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,297 | Reviews: 260
Reviews by Nugganooch:
Photo of Nugganooch
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to my FW snifter glass
From notes on 05/16/14

Have had this on tap at the brewery a few times and now from the bottle

A: Pour is a caramel amber body and looks to be a shade darker than original Sculpin. Has a faint but noticeable haze along with some coagulated protein thingies floating to the bottom. Bubbly with a finger width of khaki suds building up top. Good hang time and some nice strokes of stick across the glass.

S: Mangoes and tropical fruit with some candied citrus up front. Fresh and fruity with bright apricot and tangerine. Then the fiery Habanero spice starts to assert. I get some layers of pine and grass in between but man dat pepper. It's a formidable scent... It stings the nostrils. In a good way.

T: Starts out with a delicious fresh Sculpin highlighted by juicy mangoes, pineapple, tangerine, and some earthy evergreens. Follows with a wave of mildly hot pepper juice. Distinctly Habanero with a swelling hotness to it and a spicy burn on the finish. Fairly intense. The beer is hoppy but any bitterness is all but melted away from the peppers and same for any alcohol notes. I do like spicy and this one is a nice little stinger.

M: Light to medium body with ample carb to give a nice frothy consistency throughout. I would say there is some hop resins at play and a nice drying to it. But reality is this has a numbing effect from the pepper oils and a fiery finish! Is burning a mouth feel?

D: Pretty nice in small doses. Overall this is a very successful chili beer however going with Habanero’s reduces the drinkability considerably. The Scovilles really start to take hold of the palate. Done well but will definitely have you sweatin’ to finish the bottle.

Pairs great with cheese and works wonders for a morning beermosa or Bloody Mary.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Treb0R
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If you dislike heat, then you will dislike this beer. However, if you have an open mind and you are familiar with the habanero as an ingredient, then you will know that Ballast Point completely nailed it here.

In the chile beer category, you will not find another habanero beer as good as this one. The head brewer expertly combined habanero with Sculpin.

After each sip, you get an even, but bearable heat throughout your mouth. A minute passes, and the heat disappears until the next sip.

The aroma is amazing. You get a blast of habanero carried by the head, which smells tropical and fruity. The taste is on par with the aroma, but due to decreased drinkability, I rated taste a quarter point lower.


Not too many people are familiar with habaneros and that is a shame. They are my favorite chile and extremely unique in flavor. I use them in place of jalapenos and serranos whenever I can.

Photo of beerdedking
4.59/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easiest beer to rate ever. If you like Habanero peppers as I do, you will find this delectable. Spicy food lovers and heat heads do not miss this beer. Much less IPA than Chili beer, it goes right up to the line but does not cross. The Habanero flavor is very real, while the Sculpin flavor is bringing up the rear. I'll buy this whenever I see it. The most perfect pizza beer I can now think of....

Photo of Brent212
5/5  rDev +33.3%

I love spicy food/beverages, so one could say that this review is biased. But I think it's really the opposite. You wouldn't want someone who hates IPAs reviewing regular sculpin, would you?

This really is one of my favorite beers of all time. I get that most people can't handle it, because it is actually hot enough to make me break out in a solid sweat, but I frickin' love that. Really bummed that it hasn't caught on as much as the grapefruit variant because I could drink this all day on a regular basis. Definitely nothing noteworthy from the IPA perspective... the habanero basically dominates so much that it could be any beer hidden under there. But god damn is it tasty as a whole.

Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
2.97/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This beer was one of the biggest disappointments of my beer drinking life. I love sculpin and grapefruit sculpin, but this one was unbearable. The heat is, in a word, INTENSE. You basically can't taste anything else except for a deep burn in one's throat that is present for the entire drinking "experience". I don't mean to be discouraging, if you like spicy beer by all means give it a try. It just wasn't for me.

Photo of IMFletcher
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I consider myself to be a spicy beer fan, but this one is extreme. It's not undrinkable, though, but all I can get is heat and carbonation. However, I find myself wanting to try another. Go figure.

Photo of Kevinpitts
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

You must like heat to like this beer, otherwise don't try it. Lots of heat and habanero flavor, het still tastes like an IPA. Good beer and great job by Sculpin in my opinion.

Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap last night at Jake's Billiards here in GSO.Came in a goblet a burnt orange infused golden with a 1/2 finger head that lasted for awhile.Big citric hops than a big burning heat,both are large and in charge.At first the flavors were of big citric and resiny hops with a slower burn but as I drank more the heat overpowered the hoppiness and kinda took over.I like heat and I liked this beer but one goblet is all I could really drink of it.

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of MadScientist
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

Photo of CavemanRamblin
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jose_alehouseSD
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Ben7773
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of tjumfrid
4.48/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I love the heavy spiciness from the habanero. Several minutes after taking a sip, your mouth will still be tingling. If you love spicy foods, give it a go.

There really isn't a lot of other flavors from the base Sculpin that come through, however. You really only taste the habaneros. Like emptying a packet of pizza pepper flakes into your mouth. I did enjoy my beer, but was quite done after the 12 oz. bottle was finished. It gets a little tough to gulp down toward the end.

But yet, I did really like it. Do I want another one right now? Not really. Gimme another week.

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Afroman
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Ryno3031
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Fcip78
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Doomcifer
4.41/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Beerswag
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of SuperbikeShaun
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Newhall Refinery in Santa Clarita, CA.

Beautiful deep golden amber in color, creamy white head with minimal lacing. The nose is dominated by peppery and citrusy aromas, primarily grapefruit coming through. It tastes exactly like Sculpin, with just a hint of capsaicin on the taste buds. However, let me warn you, this beer is genuinely hot. A 12 ounce snifter glass was a daunting task to finish. Overall, I was extremely pleased with this beer, simply a rock solid IPA with a habanero kick.

Photo of mctizzz
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of aquazr1
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of KolbMarley
4.5/5  rDev +20%

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Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,297 ratings.