Habanero Sculpin - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Habanero SculpinHabanero Sculpin

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BA SCORE
85
very good

346 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 346
Hads: 1,853
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 16.71%
Wants: 158
Gots: 408 | 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: 1,853
Photo of Brent212
5/5  rDev +32.6%

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. (694 characters)

Photo of Sacrifice
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

it's sculpin (the best), but really spicy (even better). wish i could get this in bottle. it's close to as desirable as sculpin on nitro.

just try it if you get a chance. you won't regret it. even if you don't like ipa, if you can tolerate spicy you'll enjoy it. (263 characters)

Photo of josjay
4.89/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Got a lot of beard-growing pussies around here been rating this beer badly. 4.75! What this has done for IPA insofar as horizons!

If it's "too hot" put your beanie back on. Spread out your yoga mat. Breathe. (208 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.84/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent beer, tho I like the Grapefruit version more.This does have the very intriguing aroma with the fruity hop malt caramel thing. Flavor loses almost all of the fruit and gets fairly dry with mostly malty hop and a little capsicum taste. Body is great and the heat from the Habenero is just right. Good drinking brew. (323 characters)

Photo of SDBeerGere
4.83/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer isn't for everyone. I happen to like spicy beers, and this one is great. It definitely stings the throat and I won't have more than two in a sitting, but it's a really good spicy IPA. (193 characters)

Photo of goochpunch
4.79/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep and clear ocher with a barely there head. Smells of pale malt, lighty charred chile, and citrus hops. In the flavor, this has a nice malty base with a touch of caramel and solid citrus hops. Chile takes over completely. Fruity habanero and great heat. Did they use some roasted chile? Did they use both green and fully ripened habaneros? Awesome. Mellow carbonation and a moderate body. This is an amazing beer. Close to a perfect beer to pair with a number of harder cheeses. (499 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
4.78/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Looks very much like regular Sculpin, whose orange color also coincidentally happen to match the skin of a Habanero pepper. The head atop the clear body was two to three fingers thick. foamy, and durable. The aroma was very hoppy and did not bring to mind any kind of pepper, as I could detect grapefruit and orange rind. On deeper inhaling there possibly was a hint of chili pepper, or may be it was just my imagination. The taste however had a very definite pepper kick to it. The Habanero was once considered the hottest pepper in the world, and while it has since given up that crown, it was still king of this beer. The pepper head was clearly evident in every sip, forcing the normally dominant citric hops to play second fiddle. It was quite one dimensional, and it was glorious. The feel was medium thick, with a pepper burn at the end of each sip. This was not quite a harmonious pairing like the Grapefruit Sculpin. Instead it was a showcase for pepper lovers. (979 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 docoman
4.75/5  rDev +26%

Bought one bottle to try.. had a 2013 mango habenero from founders draft and it was great, this beer actually I thought was better, stronger habenero taste but when paired with a cream cheese... was awesome... think this would do great on the east coast.... (257 characters)

Photo of ohnelly
4.71/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Just the right amount of spice that I'm looking for in a hot beer. It goes down exceptionally smooth but then the aftertaste is where the spice hits you. Incredible. (165 characters)

Photo of ianroodt
4.7/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an exciting spiced/peppered beer. I have had the pleasure of enjoying this fine brew from both a fresh keg, and an almost empty one. The heat ranges from a 2 out of 5 to a 4 out of 5 depending on how low the keg is. If you like peppered beers then this is a must try, it has all the taste and aroma of Sculpin but includes a progressive heat that begins as you swallow and proceeds to go from warm to fiery hot in a matter of seconds. (442 characters)

Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
4.67/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First off if you don't like spicy things stay away. however if you spicy stuff this is great.

a: color is a nice strawy yellow.

s: hoppy but oddly warm

t: warm and woody at first. Then the habanero flavor and heat comes in at full force. not like any other pepper beer ive had where the pepper flavor is subtle. if you like habaneros you will really enjoy this beer. finishes out with a peppery hop flavor and feel.

mf: very oil heavy. first sip delivers a mouthful of hop and habanero oil that coats your mouth. then warm heat and a dry finish

overall i would recommend at least giving this beer a go. it was amazing (622 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 BastardKing24
4.64/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I love pepper beers, and this could be the big one, being as I love sculpin. This is my first time having this brew so here goes...

Smell is similar to a classic west coast IPA, but one exception, peppers. Up front is the big aroma like slicing peppers for a dish or what not. Its in your face I think, and I'm saying this before tasting it. YAY HABS.

Wow. Just wow. Big hit of capsaisin, Heat level I'd say 5/10 for anything hot. So what I'm saying is this is drinkable to anyone that loves pepper heat. I also notice lots of flavor from the habs, being the pepper lover that I am and having eaten Habaneros raw before. They have a nice tropical fruity flavor before the intense heat hits your senses. This beer does not hit your senses, only imparts a hint of it, to me atleast. Its bold none the less. Beware!

Feel is superb, cant get any more or less carbonated to please beer heads.

Overall as far as a pepper beer goes, this is the best I've had. You really can't make this any better. It is a phenomenal beer with huge dimensions based on what sculpin is, and how you could possibly alter it. Try this beer if you can, it's worth it. (1,145 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.64/5  rDev +23.1%

Abbreviated review. Tasted at Savor 2013. Bright hops, a clean crisp center, and a lightly fruity body pave the way for a white-hot habanero haymaker to the face. Hands down the best chili beer we’ve ever had (213 characters)

Photo of soulcougher
4.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks and smells good. It is very spicy, tastes good, and goes down with a nice burn. This is definitely not a session beer! Try it if you like spicy beers. (160 characters)

Photo of beerdedking
4.59/5  rDev +21.8%
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.... (405 characters)

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Caution: *HOT* You must enjoy the heat of habanero to enjoy this offering. They did not wimp out on this.

Pours transparent copper/golden in color. A small amount of fluffy head retention. This smells sharp and hoppy.

Flavor and heat in this one is insanely perfect. I like spicy things. I've tried several chile beers in the past, none of which could hold a candle to this one. This is incredible. Its the perfect amount of hop flavor paired with actual, intense, real habanero flavor. As intense as the habanero is in this, the hoppy sculpin ipa flavor never backs away. Pair them together and I feel like I've gone to ipa heaven.

I'm buying as much as I can tomorrow. The end. (694 characters)

Photo of lukeskyrocker
4.57/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is straight fire. Not for the delicate palate. It will also decimate most palates so taste this beer last. I had it on draft and from a bottle while in San Diego last summer and I assumed it never journeyed very far from home; as I am now having a Habanero Sculpin in Boston, I'm glad to have been proven wrong. (322 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter bottled on April 25th

A: nice soapy looking head nice orange hue with good clarity looks like it is well carbonated too

S: you get peaches and mango then spicy peppers it smells hot

T: Slight citrus and then a huge dose of habanero peppers you can actually easily taste the pepper and identify which one it is nice soft hoppiness

M: effervescent and tingly from the heat of the pepper lighter bodied

O: I love this beer the pepper taste is extraordinary it is so prominent and the burn from the pepper is incredible a delightful beer if you love the taste of peppers and can handle some heat. (636 characters)

Photo of logicalparadox
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. The sculpin is a truly great IPA. Throw in some habanero and what do you get? A truly great chile beer!

Pours a pristine amber with a beautiful off white 3 finger head that leaves rings of lacing around the glass.

Nose is full of fruit; citrus, predominately grapefruit, orange and... Ugli fruit (now renamed unique fruit). Also some tree sap and resinous pine in the background--not too heavy. A faint heat and bits of chile are there if you know to look for them.

Bam! The palate is assaulted, but not a full frontal assault of bitter hops; more like an indirect flanking maneuver of citrusy and piney hops, then bringing up the habanero for the master stroke. The heat is no joke. Not too much, but as you drink it builds a definite sting. The lips and throat are left with a glorious burn, the tongue and palate get a long finish from the hops and the fruity chile notes, and the soul feels complete. You just want... More!

Mouth feel is not too sticky, but full and firm. The bitter hops are gripping but the malts are quite unctuous. (1,048 characters)

Photo of exposd
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best spicy beer I've ever tasted hands down! West coast IPA infused with Habanero peppers-- I love this brew! If you like IPA's and spicy flavor, then you will love this one by Ballast Point. Pours just like the normal Sculpin IPA with a light carmel color and you get a beautiful mix of extreme hops and hot Habanero chillies on the nose. At first tastes like a hoppy, bitter, slightly citrusy IPA, but after you swallow comes the heat on the back end with extreme habernaro flavor masking the true IPA taste. I will also say, I had a 6 pack and as the package reads "heat may vary" and it's true, each bottle had a slightly different spiciness. If you like this beer, make sure you check out Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA as well! (740 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I’ve only had this on tap (so far, at least) and to be honest I preferred it to the Sculpin I’ve had as of late (from the bottle)… I imagine the freshness factor to be key here, but also… ah, that habanero heat! It brings everything into focus in a way that I just love.

Pours a golden-amber with nice foaming. There’s a sweet habanero kick to the aroma atop a light citrusy hop profile. The flavor starts off smoothly bitter with a touch of fresh citrus and a hint of pine… but then BAM! Up kicks in the heat, and that sweetness. Long, lingering, spicy finish. Love it or hate it, this is not for the timid. (622 characters)

Photo of razorsdescent
4.54/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a stellar pepper beer. I have been trying to find the perfect pepper beer. I thought maybe I had it with Stone's series, but anyone who has followed up with the reviews on that knows how it turned out. This was quite a pleasant surprise, with just the right taste and heat in an already stellar IPA. A bit more mellow than their yardstick IPA, so beware of that caveat. (377 characters)

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)

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