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Habanero Sculpin - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Habanero SculpinHabanero Sculpin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

1,196 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,196
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 16.22%
Wants: 121
Gots: 178 | 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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,196 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TangoJuliet
4.16/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of draheim
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into a tulip. Pours a clear copper color w/ a big fluffy white head, nice patchy lacing. Unsurprisingly, it basically looks like regular Sculpin.

Aroma, likewise, is pretty much regular Sculpin. Bright sweet tropical notes, grapefruit, orange. I don't know if I should expect to smell the habanero, but I don't.

Taste is ... yowza! There it is. Strong habanero heat combined with standard Sculpin sweet pale malt and tropical/citrusy hops. Burns the throat going down. How do I even rate this, as an IPA or a chile beer? I'm going to knock off a couple points just because I don't personally find this all that enjoyable, but a real chile nut would probably love this beer.

Mouthfeel is about what one would expect from Sculpin, medium body and balanced.

This certainly qualifies in the realm of unique beer experiences, but does the habanero enhance or detract from the experience of drinking regular Sculpin? That probably depends on the drinker. But for me, I'd say no. Others are knocking this beer for being too hot, too spicy. But folks, if you are going to make a Habanero IPA, you have to go over the top. That's kind of the point.

Photo of lushes22
3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Way too spicy for a beer. To me its an interesting novelty beer worth trying but get a single.

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

Photo of justintcoons
2.56/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

4.25 Appearance
Gold with 2 fingers of creamy, white head. Good clarity with hop (pepper?) oils floating around. Moderate carbonation.

Nose
Habaneros, mango, papaya, and candy sugar.

Taste
Full-on habanero blast of heat assaulting my tastebuds. Tropical notes hide beneath with papaya and mango. Some candy sugar sweetness. ...But mostly habanero heat.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, spicy, hot, and unforgiving.

Overall
Wow, who can drink this? It's Not really enjoyable as it's just burning my ears and giving me impending diarrhea. Not cool, Ballast Point. not cool at all.

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

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

Photo of Ultimate
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Dr_Fox
4.44/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Extremely well done. Quite a bit of spice, though, so those who done care for the heat likely won't go for this one.

Photo of funjack5150
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

I really like this beer!! I also like spicy foods..... This beer has the perfect amount of heat.

Photo of LazyBas7ard
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Takes getting use too and if you don't like spicy things, don't drink this beer. Good prank beer or for those who like spicy things. Caught me off guard, but grew fond towards the end. Welcomed the heat.

Photo of CJNAPS
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of phishfoolme
3.24/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of morimech
3.32/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vegetal with none of the awesome Habanero flavor.

Photo of Jtrigonis
4.16/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of benzalman
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of stortore
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce, apparently lead- lined bottle, into a snifter.

Really nice golden color. Not much head on pour, minimal lacing. Smell is a very pleasant combo of citrusy hops and an earthy, spicy aroma. Hop smell dissapates as it warms. The taste... well, the label says "heat may vary", and this bottle varied toward hot as hell. I like hot, spicy beers, but this level of heat really detracts from, in this case, an excellent base beer. Citrus comes through when it's still cold, but surrenders as it warms. I do like the taste overall. Mouthfeel is good at the beginning of the sip and then you- ahem, notice the heat.

This is a well crafted beer, that is certainly worth trying, and I did like it. But, it's a little too hot. Even without the excess, it's not as good as Regular or Grapefruit.

Photo of Zekenyce
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Tim725
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of poppollutesminds
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Way too much heat on this to enjoy a full 12 ounces. The great does grow on you after the first sip but definitely overwhelms the awesome sculpin base.

Photo of Ryno3031
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TylerKitchens
4.29/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Treb0R
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If you dislike heat, then you will dislike this beer. However, if you have an open mind and you are familiar with the habanero as an ingredient, then you will know that Ballast Point completely nailed it here.

In the chile beer category, you will not find another habanero beer as good as this one. The head brewer expertly combined habanero with Sculpin.

After each sip, you get an even, but bearable heat throughout your mouth. A minute passes, and the heat disappears until the next sip.

The aroma is amazing. You get a blast of habanero carried by the head, which smells tropical and fruity. The taste is on par with the aroma, but due to decreased drinkability, I rated taste a quarter point lower.


Not too many people are familiar with habaneros and that is a shame. They are my favorite chile and extremely unique in flavor. I use them in place of jalapenos and serranos whenever I can.

Photo of IPAGeorge
2.84/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Shared 12oz bottle 3 way with brothers into tulips

A. Looks like normal Sculpin really. Yellow/Golden and pretty transparent.

S. Aroma smells like Sculpin also. But I can pick out a hint of chile.

T. What? It's just way too hot... All 3 of us agreed. And we all like spicy food. This just doesn't work tho. It's too much.

M. After the burn the carbonation doesn't do anything to help so this doesn't help the beer at all.

O. I wanted this beer to be good. But it's just too much heat to be enjoyable as a beer. However I do see some possibilities of using it in cuisine.

Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,196 ratings.