Habanero Sculpin - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Habanero SculpinHabanero Sculpin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,733 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 1,733
Reviews: 416
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 15.43%
Wants: 156
Gots: 379 | FT: 14
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: 1,733 | Reviews: 416
Photo of MacSon1982
4.44/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nose is almost identical to regular sculpin but a bit lighter. Small IPA presence up front and a slow and medium burn begins to follow. The burn continues slowly until you're ready for the next sip. Really good, and this doesn't get the ratings it deserves. Balance.

Photo of Dizzy242
2.65/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

I just did not enjoy the heat. Not refreshing at all.

Photo of Mckently82
5/5  rDev +33%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome beer will buy again!!

Photo of DukeRanger17
4.24/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great balance...sipping beer...peppers are not killer.... Spice is definitely building...

Photo of HattedClassic
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The appearance is very nice with a white foamy head that takes a long while to dissipate. The beer itself is a very nice looking clear deep gold.

The beer smell has those strong habanero notes to it as well as a nice apricot hop note. The two mix well but the habanero seems to take some of the strength of the hops away.

The beer TASTES LIKE BURNING!!! I mean, Holy Cow! You get a double punch from the hops and the habanero taste. The habanero taster is pretty strong and mixed with the grapefruit hop bitterness really makes the tongue work. Unfortunately, the habanero taste is extremely strong and the burn overshadows all other notes. The hops barely makes it out.

The mouthfeel is interesting. The most noticeable feel is the burn. Some will find it enough while others will find it to much. I found to be a little much especially without any stronger notes dealing with it. The beer has a dry finish.

Overall, this is one of those beers that you either love or hate depending on your tolerance for BURNINATING!! I found it to be good but flawed.

Photo of whatthehull
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter/wine glass

A - Beautiful California sunset orange, one finger silky white head and some sticky lacing

S - Hot pepper sauce without the vinegar and other than that this does not differentiate from the original Sculpin itself.

T - The taste is backward from the smell you taste all the Sculpin glory and then a huge quite spicy pepper kicks you in the teeth and sticks around

M - The pepper makes this one feel slightly more full bodied, interesting balance and complexity, the carbonation is still nice and basically Sculpin in all of its glory with a kick arse pepper backbone

D/O - I could drink this everyday but for the usual IPA lover this one may be not what you're looking for in anyway shape or form. Sculpin + Habanero = this IPA

Final thoughts - I will never be a fan of a six pack that costs $14 and only boasts a 7% ABV. However the Sculpin taste with a pepper kick is pretty neat and at the very least worth a try

Photo of unklemike
2.65/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I'm a bit of a spicy food freak so this was right up my ally. The fruityness and spice of the habanero complemented the dry mild apricot like taste of the ipa. The best form of sculpin in my opinion

Photo of Beerma
2.09/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.75

Had one sip and was done! SUPER HOT! I like my beer to be refreshing not kill me!

Photo of harpus
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I have tried the Sculpin IPA, Grapefruit Sculpin and the Habanero Sculpin. This is my least favorite of the 3 that I have tried, it was too hot and was not drinkable to me. I still prefer the just the standard Sculpin.

Photo of beerman999999
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

really, really, really, ridiculously spicy

Photo of paco1029384756
4.36/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours beautiful orange with a fluffy, sticky head. Scent of ripe mango, pineapple, sugar, citrus, and spicy habanero peppers. Habanero heat rushes initially, fillowed quickly by mango, pineapple, citrus, grapefruit, grass and a lingering dry heat.

Photo of toronadotornado
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer Hall - San Francisco, CA - 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

Photo of barnzy78
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, no apparent freshness date
A - tangerine colored ale, thin frothy off-white head
S - tropical regular Sculpin aroma with a garden vegetable habanero heat
T - like nothing I've had before. The habanero flavor hits the palate with the usual Sculpin tropical citrus notes, but then the heat comes. It's just right for a guy who likes a spicy kick
M - medium body, spicy and resinous, habanero and heat linger and build on the palate
O - I came into this with an open mind, but I expected not to like it. It's actually pretty good for what it is. I could see myself bringing this to a blind tasting or sharing it with someone, as it's definitely something to talk about.

Photo of QuakeAttack
2.6/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I had a taster at the Ballast Point at Miramar.

Oh, this one was a mess. Glad that I had a taster. While I like beers with some spice (Bomb!), this one was way, way too much. You couldn't taste any hops. While it wasn't too hot, the habanero just overpowers everything else. Pass.

Photo of W_Des
3.42/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Objectively, Ballast Point does a great job in capturing the floral habanero aroma in the nose and the fruity flavor in the body. They also capture the heat finish well. Very well. It pairs nicely with some rich fatty salty foods but on it's own it is difficult for me to take down since the heat just lasts and is very prevalent. I prefer some balance to the heat like Mexican Cake.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger and half of head on a clear straw body.
The aroma is grain and a hint of pepper.
The taste is mild lemon and grapefruit bitter at first, then hot habanero in the middle to end. The heat is medium and finishes slow. Nice.
The texture is crisp.
Great use of the peppers.

Photo of SDBeerGere
4.83/5  rDev +28.5%
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.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear deep golden honey in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and faint amber + golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit hops over the top of light aromas of grainy malts. There is a light to moderate aroma of spicy habaneros.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of biscuit and grainy malts with a hint of caramel sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of citrus/grapefruit hops which imparts a light amount of bitterness. Finally there is a moderate to strong flavor of spicy habanero peppers which contribute a moderate to heavy amount of lingering heat.

M: Medium bodied with slightly heavier than moderate amounts of carbonation. Dry with a moderate amount of chile heat in the finish.

O: Sculpin is probably in my top 5 easily available IPAs to drink and one that I really enjoy though the addition of the habaneros definitely reduces the drinkability of it. This beer packs a decent amount of heat and habanero flavors which do complement well with the grapefruit and grainy/biscuit malts. Nice if you are a fan of spicy beers.

Photo of exposd
4.55/5  rDev +21%
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!

Photo of Slack
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Copper in color with an inch of head and no lacing.

Smell is hops and habanero with citrus and pine.

Taste is piney, choppy, citrus and lingering habanero finish.

Mouthful is light and crisp with medium carbonation.

Overall an interesting take on an IPA. The habanero is a great addition but almost overwhelms at times. I wouldn't buy it again but am glad I tried it

Photo of LouZ
4.01/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely some heat present; not overwhelming, but a soft burn. Taste is of green pepper up front with trademark Sculpin finish. Not for everyone, but very good for a spicy beer.

Photo of mjk1979
3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Same beautiful Sculpin color, but the base beer is completely overpowered. Must note that from beer to beer, the habanero flavor is widely varied and goes from benign to a rather unpleasant olive flavor. The heat bite is very nice, especially with food, but overall disappointed with the overwhelmingly unbalanced adjunct infusion.

Photo of bcm75
2.81/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The habeneros completely overpower the excellent base beer. It's not solely the excessive heat - hops are less pronounced as well. Adjuncts should complement the flavors of the base beer, not obliterate them. Very disappointing.

Photo of SuomiHobbit
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Habanero bites, but just right. Wonderful fruity flavor from the peppers.

Photo of kevdemers
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Delivers what it says, with the habaneros first affecting mouthfeel in the aftertaste then really making their presence felt down the hatch! That said, this seems to be zero sum where the heat takes away a little of the hoppy flavors rather than add to the base beer. I'll stick to the straight ahead Sculpin for the time being.

Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,733 ratings.