Habanero Sculpin - Ballast Point Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 759 | Reviews: 103 | Display Reviews Only:
3.73/5 rDev -1.3%
Sculpin has always been a headache-inducing IPA for me - at its best, it's tropical, resinous, oily, and extremely vibrant. At it's worse, it's underwhelming for the price, or worst yet, displays off notes of barnyard funk and even baby diapers. I've found that on tap it's far more consistent than in the bottle, and it was drinking very well that day, which prompted me to try this edition. Consumed at Mikkeller Bar SF during Zwanze Day. Poured into a 9oz tulip wine glass.
Pours exactly like regular Sculpin on tap - orange-amber, glimmering, resinous, and thick. Contains a super frothy head with huge bubbles piled atop one another that leave behind a good deal of lacing, as well as strong head retention. This version, however, is very cleared up, and I'm wondering if the peppers made a difference overall. Bubbles glide very well on this, and I can tell that this is a fresh batch right away from the appearance.
The aroma is also pretty much like fresh Sculpin, with notes of mangoes, papaya, passion fruit, and grapefruit and orange zest, as well as piney spices. Underneath, however, the habaneros are not shy to reveal themselves, and produce a flavor that adds (duh) green peppers, chili peppers, and pepper seeds to produce a bit of heat. The result produces a Sculpin that is far more vegetal and herbal, displaying predominant notes of spicy dried flowers, tarragon, and enhanced piney, dried resin. Not as intense as expected, and pretty well done here as far as chili beers go.
Whoa! Intense heat immediately coats the palate, with an extreme bite and sting from the peppers, as well as the astringent oily piney and citrus flavors from the hops. Notes of passion fruit, mangoes, grapefruit, and limes meld with notes of spicy chili peppers, with the habaneros adding an additional tropical, warming flavor to the mix. Extra tangy and vegetal in the case, but very intense in terms of maintaining a drinkable character. This Sculpin in particular is extremely green, as displayed by the herbal, near cannabis-like qualities, but the peppers make the experience a little extra intense. Acidic, dry, and very, very prickly. Definitely a well done chili beer, but more fun for the sake of novelty than actual practicality.
This is probably the best chili beer I've had to date, but it's definitely got a lot of heat on it, as I expected and feared. I managed to finish my glass, but it required some help overall. This would be brilliant to have with honey-glazed dessert item, or used to marinade on fish or chicken, or perhaps add to a stew. I'd imagine that this tastes best fresh, and it seems to go pretty quickly as well. Not for the faint of heart, but definitely for those looking to try an actually well made (if only difficult) chili beer to drink.
10-15-2013 18:23:05 | More by magictacosinus
3.7/5 rDev -2.1%
This beer is interesting. Tastes like Sculpin but with serious fiery/peppery notes in the nose and on the palate, which can dominate the sweetness of the beer. I just flat out didn't enjoy it, but I didn't enjoy it because it's a bad beer, if that makes sense. I just didn't enjoy the actual habanero features of the beer. So, it's successful in that it combines Sculpin and habanero in exactly the right way, so if you like that definitely try this one. Or...get a 2oz sample of it.
10-02-2013 17:11:19 | More by KeatsShelley
4.41/5 rDev +16.7%
On tap at Newhall Refinery in Santa Clarita, CA.
Beautiful deep golden amber in color, creamy white head with minimal lacing. The nose is dominated by peppery and citrusy aromas, primarily grapefruit coming through. It tastes exactly like Sculpin, with just a hint of capsaicin on the taste buds. However, let me warn you, this beer is genuinely hot. A 12 ounce snifter glass was a daunting task to finish. Overall, I was extremely pleased with this beer, simply a rock solid IPA with a habanero kick.
09-29-2013 23:43:49 | More by SuperbikeShaun
Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 759 ratings.