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Habanero Sculpin - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Habanero SculpinHabanero Sculpin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

410 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 410
Hads: 2,102
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 35.11%
Wants: 166
Gots: 549 | FT: 13
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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Habanero Sculpin Alström Bros
Reviews: 410 | Hads: 2,102
Photo of IKR
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Golden yellow color with a moderate white head that slowly faded.

Smell: A combination of peppers, pine trees, and some mild grapefruit/citrus fruit aromas.

Taste:The peppers, pine scent, and grapefruit and citrus fruit aromas carry over to the taste. The heat from the jabaneros come through strongly, The taste and heat from the peppers cover up a bit of the hop profile compared to the standard Sculpin.

Mouth-feel: Fairly light body with a fairly high level of carbonation.

Overall: There's a warning on the label that the heat may vary. In the bottle I reviewed the heat was definitely there but I like hot and spicy foods. The heat and flavor from the peppers mute some of the usual Sculpin hop flavors but they are an interesting addition.

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Photo of emerge077
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright orange, flecks of lace all around the glass. Sharp clarity.

Aroma is indicative of the chili heat, blends nicely with the citrus and caramel malt of the base beer.

Taste has a building moderate heat from the habanero addition. Pretty interesting as a Chile Beer. Blistering heat subsides after a little bit, citrus notes. Overall I liked it, worth a try if you can stand the heat.

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Photo of SFNC
4.29/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

To begin with Sculpin is a great IPA, add Habenaro heat and you have a unique treat. The flavor is pure habenaro on top of the Sculpin pine and citrus goodness. It packs a spicy punch. Tasted very good with grilled burgers.

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Photo of HipCzech
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle bottle poured into an IPA glass. Bright, clear orange gold. Thick, bubbly head of white foam; leaves wispy lace. Plenty of pine needles, resin and citrus pith on the nose and palate. Habanero emerges as fruity pepper notes in the aroma, packing a spicy punch in the taste and lingering burn. Medium body and carbonation. Pepper notes play well with the spicy hop character, but typically tropical fruit and malt notes are lost from the balance.

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Photo of tylerstravis
4.31/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Quite surprised by this. I actually like it more than regular sculpin. A nice smell, taste and feel, but that spicy bite hits you right in palate! It's like a welcomed punch to the mouth that doesn't overstay it's welcome.

I wish this would keep better, I had it extremely fresh and I expect it would turn fairly quickly and I would really have no interest in purchasing six of these. This is a 'sometimes' beer.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.39/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle $2.49 (glad I didn't grab a sixer). Appearance is typical Sculpin: orange, ok head, might have a bit of extra particulate. Aroma is all habanero pepper, smells like I just sliced one up, uncanny. Flavor is hot, definite habanero flavors but where is the Sculpin? It's there but it's sneaking into the background, too subtle. Habanero owns the show here.

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Photo of spoony
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From a 355 ml bottle (no date?) to a tulip.

A-The beer is decent looking. It is nearly clear with a few fine pieces of sediment floating around and a few bubbles making their way up. The head is about one and one-half fingers of shiny, nearly-white foam. The retention is decent and there is some lacing left behind as I drink.

S-The aroma is, as you would expect, spicy with serious notes of chile heat. The chile flavor smells like real chile though, which is nice. Along with the heat, I can smell pineapples, zesty orange, and some toast.

T-The taste is a letdown after the smell. The heat mostly overwhelms any flavors from the beer. I have to search hard to find a bit of sweet orange and tropical fruit. Not much malt makes it way through.

M-The feel is somewhat thin and watery. Carbonation is not terribly inspired. Odd.

O-Fresh Sculpin is one of the more tropical IPAs that I have had, so I figured that a little chile heat would be a perfect match for that flavor profile. I guess I was wrong. The smell is very solid, but the taste and feel are disappointing. Glad I tried it, but this beer may be better suited for chili making.

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Photo of AlvinLin
4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smelled like combination of mango and habanero. Taste from habenero dominates. Glad I tried but not likely to be on my regular rotation. Would recommend others to try once. Good novelty.

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Photo of majorbase2
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I figure I love Sculpin, and I love spicy. Match made in heaven, right?

Poured from a bottle into my new DFH IPA glass. Pours a golden orange color with a good sized off white foam head, which dissipates rather quickly. Leaves a very thin layer of head and some moderate lacing around the edges.

Aroma is similar to that of its counterpart. Strong pine and citrus. Some floral hops and grassiness. There is a small amount of pepper apparent. Not as much as expected. Still very Sculpin.

Upon first sip, the heat hits like a bulldozer. The citrus is still there, as is the pine, but is only evident as the beer hits the tongue. As it moves down to the throat the spices hit and dominate the rest of the flavors. The heat doesn't really linger on the tongue, which is a positive. Definitely has a pepperjack kind of a taste to it. Ultimately I think it could've benefited from toning down the heat and letting the citrus and pine play a larger role. Since the beer took a while to finish, I did notice the citrus and tropical fruit coming out a bit more towards the end.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Definitely some bite from the heat. Would only drink one of these in a night. Sip only.

Overall, definitely a fun beer and well worth the try. Would never buy more than one at a time. Ultimately the habanero just overpowers.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Rhode Island Brewfest IPA glass.

The color is a hazy orange/gold with two fingers of foamy white head and some nice thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is spicy with a peppery aroma mixed into a citrus aroma. There is a pine aroma here but it doesn’t push to the front but instead shares space with a pepper and even a slight herbal aroma in the nose. There is touches of malts but off in the back just keeps things melded together.

The taste is hoppy at first with a citrus flavor that gives way quickly to a hot peppery flavor. The taste is big peppery flavor that is constant from about three seconds into each sip. I was expected hit throughout my mouth with a hot flavor starting at front then getting warmer as it goes back. Here it starts quietly letting out the hops first with a mellow vegetable flavor and then the burning comes right at the back skipping the rest of the palette. After you have time to adjust there some interesting flavor here throughout. There is some salsa-like flavor her which must be coming from the habanera which also leads me to believe I’m tasting lime but that might only be in my head because of flavor association.

This beer will keep you occupied for a while. This is not a big beer; it’s about medium in body but really fills that extra space to make it appear bigger at times. It’s work to really finish this beer and the aftertaste keeps with you for some time. It will stay with you but there is some really great flavor here that would go fantastic with the right food. The heat is great once you get used to it and really makes for a whole new beer experience.

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Photo of Getalegup
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Geez! Had to try it. Looks and smells great like a sculpin, but the heat of the habanero just overpowers the classic sculpin hoppy flavor. I finished the bottle while eating TexMex flood, so I didn't need hot sauce. One bottle is enough of this "extreme" beer.

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Photo of josjay
4.89/5  rDev +30.1%
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.

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Photo of -Rick
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

For what they are trying to accomplish, this beer hits the nail on the head. Smells like hot peppers, and tastes like VERY hot peppers. I split a 12oz bottle of this, and that is all that I needed. I did enjoy sipping the 6 oz, but would not seek this out again. Warning.. this is HOT and a pallet wrecker!

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Photo of soulcougher
4.6/5  rDev +22.3%
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.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
2.77/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Clear orange with a fluffy two-finger white head.

S - VERY strong aroma of capsaicin, vegetal pepper, and a hint of pine.

T - Just a hint of IPA flavor before the pepper taste takes over. Tastes less like a beer and more like carbonated pepper juice. Heat starts out a prickly and slowly builds from there.

M - Lighter bodied with medium carbonation.

O - Unfortunately too spicy (and I love spicy foods) and too gimmicky to really be considered good. Glad I tried it, but would never rebuy and probably wouldn't even take one if offered.

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Photo of Shumania
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottles poured into a snifter

A: orange and amber hue. Small head, good carbonation

S: strong sweet tropical fruits, slight spiciness

T: mango, pineapples and then huge punch of habanero. It burns as it goes down

M: good full bodied IPA

I wish it had more tropical punch to match up to the hot pepper

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Photo of 45nDown
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Scent of the habanero is there right after opening the bottle its subtle but its there. Taste is a little bit sculpin but honestly the habanero qualities are awesome. This will be really good with fish tacos. Like a HOT salsa...once you start hard to stop. DON"T DRINK TOO COLD FOR MAXIMUM EFFECT

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Photo of MikeyLegend
3.12/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours out like a regular sculpin. Smell is a bit citrus and hops but is quickly over powered by the peppers. I love spicy food, but I'm guessing I don't like my beers that way. All things considered, this beer is delicious and at first taste like the original sculpin. Problem is the habenero finish burns it all out very quickly. Too spicy.

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Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Such an awesome beer. Hot and spicy, but not overdone. You can feel the burn, but it is a good burn. I really enjoyed this offering and plan on getting more.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – Pours a clear golden orange color with a nice head and light lacing.

Smell – A grapefruit like citrus with habanero.

Taste – Initial taste is like Sculpin - citrus and pine; but the habanero quickly takes over.

Mouthfeel – Good carbonation, lightly and creamy. But the heat is a bit much.

Drinkability – A little hot for my liking.

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Photo of Czarkazm
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Color is what you would expect from a sculpin', clear and amber. Nose is inviting, nice pine and citrus hidden underneath a sweet pepper skin with no heat evident. One taste though and there's no going back. This beer is no joke. The heat lingers a long time between sips to dance the tango on your taste buds. I kind of liked this beer more as I drank it. You kind of get numb to the habanero kick to enjoy what the base beer has to offer. Bottle states that heat varies but if Ballast Point cut back on their use of habanero in this beer, it'd be money.

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Photo of JRed
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours burnt orange with white frothy head that sticks. Aroma of sweet habanero, grassy, slight pine. Aggressive in flavor: citrus hop presence, pine, big habanero spice and flavor, grass, spice lingers prickly as a cactus. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Hotter than expected which was a nice realization. A wild child but I like it.

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Photo of Anker13
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - looks like regular sculpin, tangerine in color, creamy off white head
Aroma - Lots of pepper spice, slight remnants of fruity hop character
Mouthfeel - Very spicy, hard to think about anything else. medium bodied
Taste - Not crazy about this one. The pepper heat is pretty much all you taste. After a few sips the heat is still present, but you can somewhat taste the regular sculpin.
Residual - Heat lingers for 5-10 minutes after

The habanero heat dominates everything to the point where you probably wouldn't be able to tell that sculpin is the base beer. For a habanero beer, however, it's on point. You can't compare this to a chile pepper or jalepeno beer because habaneros are significantly spicier.

Disclaimer- I don't really like pepper beers in general, however, I tried to be impartial and rate this beer for what it is. On the glass scale of sample-pint-growler, this is a sample glass beer...I enjoyed it for a few sips and I'm glad I tried it, but odds are I won't order this again.

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Photo of Kennethzelljr
4.02/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The best pepper beer I've had to date.smells of mostly freshly sliced pepper,with light undertones with a bit of a citrus touch.while tasting it I could feel the heat of the pepper with a hint of a bitter dry citrus bite.

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Photo of changdulla
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Holy fucking shit this is hot! It looks great. Smells nice and fruity like I like my IPA's. Then WHAM!! The habenero smacks you with heat and a habenero flavor thaat takes some gett8ng used too.

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Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 410 ratings.