Habanero Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
474 Reviews
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Habanero SculpinHabanero Sculpin

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by billshmeinke on 02-26-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 474 | Ratings: 2,383
Photo of buschbeer
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a tulip glass

This beer pours a brilliant amber color with golden highlights. Suspended yeast is visible. It is topped with several inches of beige head.

I get the typical citrus and tropical fruit that I get from regular sculpin. I also get the aroma of fresh peppers.

The taste starts out like a normal sculpin with citrus and tropical fruit and a little pine. It does not take long for the habanero to come through in a complimentary way. The heat is not overwhelming, but it does build with each drink.

Medium mouthfeel

I like this beer as a change of pace to the standard IPA. I don't want to drink it all the time or even drink a whole six pack. I like it every now and then to challenge my palate.

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Photo of musicsherlock
3.36/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sculpin tasting #4

No bottling date noticed

Prototypical translucent orange with a soapy off-white head, thinner than the base beer

Sweet and peppery nose, again made my mouth water in anticipation. A bit more malt notes in this one. Tingled my nose hairs

Hot! no trace of a beer whatsoever. I once had a chile pepper bathing in a Corona or something for days. Tasted like this. Or felt rather. Makes me want to mix it with a stout to balance. Hops are no match for this thing.

Creamy, well carbonated

Overall another unnecessary addition to the Sculpin line. Novelty. Possibly will buy a single to use as mixer.

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Photo of JaimeLondon
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh what to say?
This beer has the most incredible feel ever. I'm not saying it's the best, it's probably not for 99,9 % of everybody that have ever tasted it. But it's definitely incredible. It ranges from bitter to alcoholic and from spicy to hot (oh, what a heat in the chest!). Yeah, it's amazing, check it out!
And all the rest makes it even better. Hoppiness and fruitness are such that you don't doubt this is an incredible IPA. Pepper has its place as well in the mouth and nose. Citrus is, of course, evident. If you like that peppery feeling, you should taste this one for sure!

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Photo of Gipsy_Danger
2.64/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

S: Smells like habanero/cheapy Walmart hot sauce. Not much else.

T: Tastes like some a*hole dumped Frank's Red Hot into what could have been a solid IPA. Habanero
overwhelms everything I like about regular Sculpin'. Now I have 5 more of these beers because some a*hole from bumfukc PA convinced me to buy this at $16 for a six pack.

F: Very light, smooth.

Overall: Mediocre flavor infusion that ruins the character of a standout IPA. Habanero is bush league anyways. Sriracha lyfe.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Spiegelau ipa glass.

A: Lightly tarnished orange, generally good clarity, with a good show of effervesce. Light barley colored head of 0.5 inches is relatively lasting with a sponge-cake like texture. Decent display of soapy lacing.

S: Light traces of the habanero, but more hoppy forward and focal. Toasted chili-grapefruit, with an intial moderate awareness, but a short duration to enjoy it.

T: Good dose of habanero peppers for flavor, its there, but blended nicely with the hoppy quality of the style, not to overwhelm or distract. Grapefruit and pine hops with a nice lingering heat from the habanero chili peppers. Toasted malt and bready chili and citrus hints.

M: Decent crispness, habanero bite and warmth on the tongue and inner cheeks.

O: A very good balance of the hoppiness and emphasis on the habanero chili peppers that blend together nicely. Dry finish, good drink-ability for a chili-hop beer that provides a nice heat kick, while maintaining a good rate of drink-ability.

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Photo of GStone899
2.46/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hot hot hot! The habanero peppers are not so subtle in this one. I've had spicy beers before but this one burns on the way down. Had to sip this one due to the heat. A little more subtlety from the peppers would have made this one better.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on January 30, 2016.

Golden yellow pour under a modest white foamy head. It settles back and leaves a tad of lacing.

The aroma is grapefruit, tropical and floral for the most part. Not much in the way spice.

The body is medium or better.

The spicy pepper sensation kicks in big time in the flavor and has a slight burning note on my tongue.

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Photo of TH28
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. Bottled 12/11/15. Appearance: Clear dark golden with a fluffy white head and decent lacing. Aroma: Like the original Sculpin, dominant hop aroma of tropical fruit, peaches, and mango. No apparent maltiness of sense of pepper. Taste: Starts with a soft malt sweetness, and then, holy hell one sharp bite of capsaicin heat! Kinda overpowers the rest of the flavor profile from there, and is compounded by the sharp bitterness: Mouthfeel: If I could feel my tongue...Medium body with a moderate bitterness. Finish: Strong capsaicin heat lingers long after the finish and seems to intensify. Only a hint of fruity and grassy hop bitterness is perceptible. Overall: The look and aroma of this beer are true to what Sculpin is, then then habanero hits the tongue and it’s game over. The good news is that this beer is exactly what I thought a habanero sculpin would be, it’s a well made beer. But that’s also the flaw in my opinion. The sharp heat eventually overpowers and after a few drinks I find myself not wanting to take another. The spicing becomes cloying.

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Photo of mchegash
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Deep and bright orange. About a finger of off-white bubbly head. Little visible rising carbonation.

S: Citrus (particularly grapefruit) and pine hops. Maybe a bit of spice as well, but that could be my mind playing tricks on me.

T: Pine citrus hops, with the citrus aspect being very grapefruity (as in the smell). A lot of resin and dankness as well. I don't remember the normal Sculpin having this much resin/dankness, though maybe I am misremembering. There is a very minor spice kick at the end of the sip. The spice is very mild. I am disappointed by how mild it is.

F: Pretty typical mouthfeel.

O: Overall I was disappointed by this beer. There are plenty of better spicy beers. I love the Sculpin and the Grapefruit Sculpin, but I think I'll be sticking to just those two in future. The Habenero Sculpin is subpar compared to those two.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours deep orange with thick white head that is gone in about a minute or so decent lacing.

Smell I get notes of grapefruit and some orange peel.

Taste very spicy and hot the first taste numbed my tongue also get grapefruit and citrus flavors.

Feel very light body the heat causes a little burn and some numbing but not in a bad way!!

Overall I liked this beer but was a little warm for me but that is what it was supposed to be.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.58/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a fire, habanero orange, with a frothy white head, which leaves behind a ring of lace. It gives a spicy, pepper type aroma reminiscent of splitting a fresh spicy pepper open. The taste is where this beer really stands out. Immediately upon sipping this beer, your taste buds are soaked with hoppy flavors from the base beer - Sculpin. As the hop flavor recedes, the habanero heat ratchets up on the back of the tongue much like the heat you experience when you take a bit out of a fresh habanero, or after soaking a slice of pizza in hot sauce. It feels good in the mouth. Make no mistake, this beer can be hot. Since the heat varies by batch, and everyone has a different interpretation of what "spicy" means, I'd caution drinkers before they chug a glass of this. Overall, I really enjoy it. I love hot sauces, and trying out spicy food in general. Until this beer, I had not tried a single spicy drink that I enjoyed drinking. Habanero Sculpin has changed that. Very, very pleased.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of kalosjakar
3.14/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Slightly orange in color, mostly cloudy.

Aroma is very citrusy, not getting much else.

Holy hotness, spicy to say the least.
Ive had a couple beers which added chile peppers but nothing even remotely close to this in regards to heat.

I would probably love this stuff if the heat was closer to subtle, but there is no mistaking the heat. Overpowering.

If I had some margerita mix I would try it as others have suggested.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
1.78/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

L: darker yellow, small off white head
S: not much, a little citrus
T: holy spicey! Crazy hot, didn't take a second drink. Drain pour
F: burning
O: too spicey. Glad I bought only one in a mix-a-six

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Photo of HeightsEats
4.85/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark golden, aroma is of complex hops and capsaicin. Full-bodied mouthfeel with a good malt backbone followed by grapefruit / orange hops and a lingering burn from the habanero that intensifies slightly as you make your way through the bottle. As the only drinker in the house, I tend to get bored near the middle of a six pack, but not for this beer as it's so interesting.

Also, this makes the best beer margaritas you could imagine, just 50/50 Habanero Sculpin and fresh lime juice margarita.

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Photo of gustavmahler-09
1.81/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75

I was given a bottle by a friend to try. It looked fine, smelled ok, but was so hot that I couldn't drink it, and had to pour it out. I admire Sculpin IPA but this is for someone else!

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Photo of SmashAdams
2.25/5  rDev -40%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

This is a super weird beer. The smell is grapefruit and hops and a touch of floral habanero peppers. The taste starts off as a normal IPA and then strong habanero flavors overwhelm and it finishes with a slightly spicy kick. I love habanero but this seems unnatural and I couldnt finish it. nb

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Photo of Thankin_Hank
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The first time I tried this it was on draft and I loved it. I found a six pack and it tasted exactly the same as the draft. The Second six pack was H_O_T, very hot. The third six pack was little milder(today's rating) and I will keep buying this IPA beer that I will drink.
Ballast Point also makes a craft Habanero Vodka "Fugu" which is very good. ATTABOY's to Ballast Point, San Diego, California.

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Photo of beantown_hopster
2.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I almost didn't review this beer because I didn't think it was fair... maybe it wasnt my cup of tea so I gave it one more try. I love spice, I love heat, I love beer, but I couldn't handle this altogether. I tried twice, I love Ballast Point, but this was just too odd of a heat profile for me. :(

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Photo of ordybill
4.96/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear light copper color with a medium sized thick white head. The aroma is hot pepper and hops, a fantastic smell. The taste is awesome, the heat is perfectly blended with the hops to create an insane flavor mix. Overall, a world class beer.

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.14/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz, bottled Nov., 2015.

Look: Pours a very clear straw color, with a white head; very nice lacing.

Smell: I get hops, and a faint something that I think must be spicy peppers, but it's hard to be certain.

Taste: It tastes similar to Sculpin, and the heat is not present at first, but then after about 5 seconds it starts to build, and then, WOW! I can feel the spicy hotness around the bottom of my mouth and in the back of my throat (as one reviewer put it, hot, but still bearable). Absolutely amazing!

Feel: medium body, smooth and creamy.

Overall: I did a side-by-side of Sculpin, Grapefruit Sculpin, and Habaneno Sculpin. This one was similar to Sculpin (although not quite as fresh or citrus-y), with that amazing spicy bite in the finish. Not a beer to drink regularly, but very fun to try and share with others that love spicy food!

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Photo of SometimesIfart
4.44/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin.

Went back to a shop I said I'd never return to because I heard through the grapevine that they had some singles I wanted to try. Regular sculpin was a solid ipa but it didn't live up to the incredible amount of hype surrounding it. Grabbed two new variants tonight. Single twelve ounce bottle from Monroe Liquor Plaza for $2.49. Lets see how this one stacks up.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle into a dimpled pint glass. Hard poured. Body is a nice transparent see through golden witg a frothy, immediately stick white head that leaves pits and craters as though you were looking at an image of the moon. No pepper pieces floating around anywhere. Carbonation appears to be extreme in increments that could likely pop a champaigne bottle into the ceiling. Remaining lace after the drink is finished is sticky and soapy.

Smell - Smells much like the regular sculpin with a noticable vegetative peppery aspect with just a tinge of nostril synging (sp?). Floral hoppyness with just a touch of the malts. More well balanced than the regular sculpin with a nice new dimension from the peppers. Not a HUGE nose by any means, but very welcoming. Let's see how the heat stacks up in the flavor.

Taste - Yep, it's definitely better and more flavorful than the regular sculpin. Floral hoppyness like the regular version, but with a good bit more malt to keep things better balanced. The heat is definitely real and will bother those who are not fans of spicy foods and sauces and it adds yet another nice dimension to an otherwise typical session IPA. I'd put the heat as double that of tabasco sauce ( around 10,000 scoville units ).

Feel - The feel is also very nice. Sits medium to full bodied and very creamy though surprisingly the carbonation isn't as strong as you would expect due to the appearance. Moderately strong hit of heat as the beer sits in the mouth. As you continue into the beer is tingles the lips and slightlt numbs the mouth. Heat at this point would be guesses at around 13,000 scoville units. Swallows spicy and very clean.

Overall - If you don't like hot foods you won't be able to handle this beer. Me? Everything I eat it hot so this is a nice treat tor myself. Drink it with a bowl of chili hot or not. I would go far enough as to even say this is my favorite ' chile ' beer so far. Good beers with peppers are hard to come by, but if you are a fan of the style this one will tickle your pickle or clit. As always, try it for yourself and come to your own conclusion..

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Photo of JeanJacketLover
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

It's sculpin with a big kick. The least refreshing beer I've ever have, by far. Can't imagine drinking it while eating food. If you enjoy spicy food (which I don't) you may love. If you don't like spicy food you'll be very overwhelmed.

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

Poured from 12 oz too wine glass, with spicy dinner
Appearance: Dark Golden Yellow, light amber
Smell: Aroma of Hops and Pepper
Taste: Spicy and Bitter, but doesn't go very well

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Photo of russpowell
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent gold with a thumb of eggshell colored head. Great head retention & lacing, stays effervescent

S: Pineapple & breadyness, some grapefruit pith.

T: Grapefruit, some pepper burn, not too much, some dryness & breadyness up front. More heat, grapefruit & a little breadyness. Finishes with grapefruit, heat & a little smokeyness

MF: Medium body, fairly firm carbonation, pretty decent balance

Drinks pretty easy, I couldn't session on this but, would work well with food, or as a pallet scrubber

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/29/2015. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, habanero pepper, lemon zest, orange peel, light pine, honey, light caramel, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/tropical hops, habanero pepper, and light-moderate malt notes; with good strength. Taste of huge grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, habenero pepper, pine, honey, light caramel, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness and pepper spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, lemon/orange peel, pepper, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical hops, habanero pepper, and light-moderate malt flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Good amount of dryness from bitterness and pepper spice after the finish as well. Moderate amount of pepper heat, but not overwhelming. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately crisp/sticky/spicy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming other than the pepper heat on the finish. Overall this is an incredible pepper spiced IPA. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical hops, habanero pepper, and light-moderate malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink even with the pepper spice and heat. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.