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Habanero Sculpin - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Habanero SculpinHabanero Sculpin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,315 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,315
Reviews: 266
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 16%
Wants: 126
Gots: 219 | FT: 8
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: 1,315 | Reviews: 266
Photo of Laugookneetuss
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Userme59
1/5  rDev -73.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Sorry, could not drink this beer. My own fault, I read the label, just didn't expect that.

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of cjgiant
3.32/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Have had this on tap before and today. Knew to only get a sampler size for this review. Essentially this beer has definite pepper notes in nose and taste, but the heat makes this beer a tad uncomfortable to be refreshing.

Look is nice clear orange-golden, with decent white head.
Nose is vegetal, mostly green pepper, sweet pepper, and some onion.
Taste is quite fine initially, and I mean immediately, because the heat is quickly ratcheted up. If it stopped at about 20%, I think it would've a very interesting, tasty beer, but it keeps going.
I gave it a 3.5 in taste because, what should you expect from a habanero beer. I reduced the feel for the burn - which forces this to be a sipper.
For the novelty, I might grab this once in a while, but not on pure enjoyment.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of xShoWTeKx
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Wizzle32
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beernado
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of atone315
4.54/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spicy, just like I wanted it to be. Maybe off putting for some people, this beer was right up my alley.

Photo of Eman17
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of brayton
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of maedhros09
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: Golden amber with generous frothy head, some cloudiness introduced from bottle sediment
Smell: fresh habanero and citrus
Taste: Begins about the same as the Sculpin with a nearly dry citrusy hop and malt balance. Then, the habanero heat ramps up and all subtlety is lost. In the middle of this maelstrom there are some fairly harsh flavors that I don't associate with habanero but must somehow be a result of the combination with the base beer.
Feel: Light to medium body and relatively smooth yet effervescent mouthfeel. Also, radiating burn from the lips to the throat.

Overall: In terms of realizing a concept this brew has done a decent job. The great thing is that the habanero flavors and aromas, and not just the heat, really come through and have a freshness to them. The downside is that the habanero is not only too spicy but contributes harsh flavors to the palate and predictably drowns out a lot of what I enjoy about the Sculpin. Added flavors should complement rather than detract from the base beer. With the Habanero Sculpin you can find some of both.

Photo of Zach122
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of MJSJr
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of metsfan1
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up recently in Totowa, having never had this before. I enjoyed this beer a lot but boy, was it strong! Fire would be the appropriate word for this since there was enough in the taste and nose but like Tobasco or any good hot sauce, this made me want to come back for more. Enough of the Sculpin IPA was here that the Habanero wasn't too overpowering but even for a seasoned drinker like me, this did take a bit of getting used to!

The pour was nice - a bright copper hue, lively carbonation, and frothy head indicated that this would be no different than the Sculpin IPA when it came to the appearance. Once the bubbles settled, the heat of the peppers started to take over and boy, did I get socked when I gave this a sip. Wham! It's present but the amazing aspect of this was how it didn't overpower what was underneath. Dry, burning, and strong, the pepper complemented the hops nicely as the metallic earthiness came through and softly faded. I did not need a glass of water to get this down as the combination of the hops and pepper led me to wanting more once the initial effect wore off. It didn't taste artificial like other pepper/chili beers that I've had and the heat was just a bit shy of making me break into a cold sweat.

Thankfully, the booze wasn't diminished or augmented by the Habanero and by the time I finished this off, I wanted another one - even though I would have preferred to regular or grapefruit Sculpin the second time around to complement this. This beer isn't for everyone but amazingly, Ballast Point has put together so crazy and abnormal that it somehow works. Give this a go and be patient - the Sculpin was enhanced by the addition of the pepper and those patient enough to enjoy it will find out that the result was well worth the risk.

Photo of tigg924
4.31/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really enjoyed this one. You get all the beautiful juiciness of Sculpin with a bunch of fire from the habaneros. Plenty of grapefruit and citrus that quickly makes way for heat. There is about as much heat in this IPA as I have had in any beer. Perhaps my new favorite from Ballast Point.

Photo of NoProblem
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sludgeman
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Habanero sculpin - regular sculpin but with the burn one the aftertaste and MF.

Photo of baggedlunch
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of skubas86
3.06/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of italianstallion
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Photo of BColton1
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of angrybabboon
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey for the bottle

Review copied from notes dated 3/12/15

A: Clear, copper orange – pours with a small to medium, white head, less robust than other iterations of Sculpin – fades to a slight crap, with a moderate collar, leaves a few splotches of lacing

S: Ripe, fresh habaneros – if you have wondered what it is like to slice into a habanero and sniff the flesh, this is it – fleshy, oily, vegetal habanero – the Sculpin backbone is not completely overpowered – nice citrus aromas, with grapefruit, orange, and some tropical notes – habaneros always smell lightly tropical to me (as I may be insane), and I think this adds to the aroma – spicy and peppery, if I have failed to mention that

T: I love Sculpin, and I love habanero, but I do not love this – I do respect it though, as it is a wonderful union of spicy and hoppy flavors – ripe habanero peppers – fleshy and oily, with a moderate level of heat – decidedly hot, but not burning (this is not making my eyes water or eliciting hiccups) – beyond the pepper, the hops are still here – grapefruit and orange flesh, with some tropical flavors, hints of pineapple and mango – some light malt sweetness – I love the flavors, but my brain screams “no” every time I sip, as drinking habanero just feels wrong

M: Medium body, smooth, oily, adequate carbonation

O: I want to love this beer, but love is hard sometimes

This is a masterful pairing of habanero spice with the potent, juicy hops of Sculpin. But thanks to the dignity-destroying Stone Punishment and a recent experience with Ghost Face Killah, I think I am done with in chile beers in general. I am going to attempt to not let this new bias trash this score.

Photo of mattycasey
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,315 ratings.