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Habanero Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
85
very good
488 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
488
Ratings:
2,429
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
35.47%
 
 
Wants:
177
Gots:
718
For Trade:
11
Habanero SculpinHabanero Sculpin
BEER INFO

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: 488 | Ratings: 2,429
Photo of brywhite
2.82/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

I don't have a method to detect the Scoville units to quantify the heat of this beer but to this craft beer drinker, the 2015 version of Habanero Sculpin is very hot, essentially making it undrinkable for all but the most die hard and perhaps masochistic pepper lovers out there.

I would have liked to have tasted a more subtle Habanero presence... maybe one that complimented or enhanced the flavor of fresh Sculpin IPA instead of destroying it. This beer is sadly one dimensional and really has no recognizable flavor character other than that of a Habanero pepper.

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Photo of IPAGeorge
2.84/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

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Photo of pattyB
2.89/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

So pumped to try this and so disappointed. The smell seemed like there was somewhat of a balance between Sulpin and habanero. There was no such thing. Instead, you're left with a throat closing burn with little trace of ever consuming an IPA. Heatlovers will be hip and claim to love this one.

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Photo of charlzm
2.9/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 1

Finally tried this on draft last night. Looks and smells just like regular Sculpin. My first sip (which, it turned out, was my only sip), tasted fine for a fraction of a second. Then, an earthy pepper flavor was noted a split second before a burst of chili heat.

Putting chili in beer ruins it. Period, full stop.

Regular Sculpin and its grapefruit variation are fantastic beers but this is an abomination.

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Photo of yetijosie
2.91/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

this beer is extremely abrasive, but also very interesting. the fact that it burns when it goes down and leaves a spicy coat on your throat and stomach just gets me excited.(reminds me of drinking a good whiskey) the thing that does not excite me about this beer is the super hoppy flavor, i feel like its kinda hard to stomach at times.(then again, im not big on the stronger ipas)

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Photo of zshaft
2.91/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

holy crap. this beer is like drinking hot sauce. its hot. tastes like spoiled green peppers. ugg. won't be drinking this again. this is the worst. why is this a beer.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
2.92/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Fresh bottle served cold in a pint glass.

Violence in a bottle. This beer started out with no chili in the nose at all with maybe some pepper skin. The taste was IPA for 1 second then a wave of fire and lava drowning out every other sensation. For me, it was far too hot and not worth drinking. I shared a bottle between 3 people and that was more than enough. In truth, I didn't want to finish my glass but I did.

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Photo of BB1313
2.94/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours golden with nice clarity; fluffy eggshell white head that leaves great retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are nice. Lots of citrus and tropical notes with lots of peppers. There's a nice balance between the hops and peppers in the aromas. There's absolutely no balance in the flavor department. This is definitely the spiciest beer I've ever had. You take a sip, and the heat will hit you pretty quickly in the finish. And it lingers. You really feel the heat in the throat and even on the lips. The heat diminishes the flavors and anything else going on. The spiciness is no joke. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with nice moderate carbonation. The heat seems to become normal by the time you get to the bottom of the glass, most likely because my palate is fried. It's ultimately hard to drink. Makes a nice sipper.

Haha I don't like this at all. But you gotta give them credit for execution. They deliver what they advertise. We all know what a habanero is capable of, so of course it's going to be hot! If you're a genuine fan of hot/spicy stuff, then this beer is absolutely for you. I like spicy stuff, but this just isn't enjoyable for me. I'm glad I gave it a try, but this isn't for me at all.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.95/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ummm...no. This looks like Sculpin, alright, with it's nice clarity, nice head, nice lacing and retention. It also smells like Sculpin - fruity, punchy, with grapefruit, orange and pungency, though the spice character is noticeable on the nose. The habanero character is nice - it is fresh, clean, focused and not vegetal like many chili beers end up being. The palate is dominated by the habanero. Big heat, palate coating and aided by the hop oils that make the flavor and the heat stick to every exposed surface. The hop flavor appears briefly with the grapefruit and tropical fruit proving enjoyable before they are obliterated by the habanero heat. Light in body, crisply carbonated, this beer has a long, burning finish. Thanks, but I'll pass. I love spicy food and heat in general, but this is just a complete bastardization of what Sculpin is.

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Photo of kemoarps
2.95/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Quite pale. Clear clean and crisp. Head is those large soapy bubbles that don't really settle into a nice film so much as just kind of get less. OK. Acts as a good window for the carbonation show climbing the pillar though.

Starts to hint at sweet malts and juicy hops but is quickly overhwelmed by the vegetal peppers. Like, over overwhelmed. Womp womp.

Flavour has the same MO. Starts in to a solid foundation of sweet malts and juicy citrus hops but quickly the vegetal pepper flavour rushes in and starts smashing the place up.
There's some heat to it as well, but not so much as to be unpleasant. The bitterness here isn't so much hop bitter as it is like... have you ever made a red sauce and overspiced it (I mean neither have I. I wouldn't mess up a sauce!)? It's that kind of vegetal overwhelmed herb/spice bitter that isn't a pleasant bitter. At least for me. I actually like the heat level they have here, but the flavour I'm tried to have described above just brings it too far into the realm of unenjoyable for me. Maybe I'm just not a fan of chili beers in general.
Basic Sculpin I always felt was overrated, but nothing actually wrong with it, Grapefruit I really enjoyed but this one... this is a miss for me. I don't know if I even really feel like drinking the rest of this bottle.

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Photo of NorthSideSean
2.96/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Love Sculpin. Love grapefruit Sculpin as much if not more so. I'm good with heat so was willing to pony up a big $16 for a 6'er. Rarely write reviews but... consider this a public service announcement. This is awful. Tastes like you left your beer to go piss and your friends pranked you and dumped a bunch of burning hot sauce in your pint glass. Don't let your enjoyment of Sculpin trick you into wasting your hard earned beer money on this Tabasco IPA.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
2.97/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This beer was one of the biggest disappointments of my beer drinking life. I love sculpin and grapefruit sculpin, but this one was unbearable. The heat is, in a word, INTENSE. You basically can't taste anything else except for a deep burn in one's throat that is present for the entire drinking "experience". I don't mean to be discouraging, if you like spicy beer by all means give it a try. It just wasn't for me.

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Photo of Treyliff
2.98/5  rDev -20.5%

Bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours a slightly hazy golden orange color with a small foamy white head that reduces to a film skimming the top, short lasting lace 4

S- grassy hops with some tropical fruity notes of mango & passionfruit, sweet & bready malt, not really picking up any habanero aroma, but perhaps a little bit of singe on the nose, however I could just be imagining it 3.75

T- Wow, the habanero taste is the first thing that is noticed, with flavors of dried red pepper, followed by a big pepper burn on the palate that continues into the throat. The burn of the habanero masks nearly all trace of hops, and continues to dominate through to the finish 2.5

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel with an intense burning finish and linger 3

O- I'm all for spicy chile beers, but this one was just too much heat. So much that it masked all of the wonderful hop notes from the base beer. The habanero needed to be cut back a bit to achieve more balance. This should be classified as a chile beer. 3

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Photo of jopezu
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a clear amber orange with a medium head that poofs. nose; vegetal hot pepper, and buried, mildly discernible ipa notes. taste; toasted malt and immediate hot pepper burn. there's some grapefruit and citrus hop backbone here from the sculpin, but the habanero is too heavy-handed for any subtleties to even matter. pepper and an almost acid reflux sensation builds in the back of the throat midway through the glass. medium carbonation & mouthfeel. they've torpedoed the original brew with enough pepper to make it an extreme novelty at this point. i love hot and spicy food, but i'm hard-pressed to finish a single serving here.

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Photo of CasanovaCummins
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm a big fan of Ballast Point. I've been to the brewery and can honestly say their barrel-aged brews stand up well against anyone else's, but this offering is all flame and not as much flavor as it should be. In other words, HOT, HOT, HOT.

At first it pours and tastes like regular Sculpin, but then, WHAM, your mouth is over-whelmed with heat and any subtlety of flavor goes missing. This would be a great dare pour, but not one to have on regular rotation.

If you like Sculpin, try it. But only to see how much better the regular pour is.

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Photo of Pencible
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A: This poured a hazy gold with thick white head.
S: It smelled like fresh grapefruit and orange zest and hot habanero, with a little resin and honey malt.
T: It tasted like grapefruit and orange zest for a moment, then very hot peppery habanero, with a hint of sweet honey malt. It had a clean and sweet aftertaste with lasting heat.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a brutally hot drink, but otherwise a great IPA. The scent and taste were dominated by habanero. The body was a little weak, and the finish was very spicy, so it was not easy to drink. Interesting to try a few sips, but I wish they dialed back the spice, a lot.

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Photo of beer2day
3.04/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Ridgewood Wine and Beer in Raleigh.

Poured into fluted goblet with no head and no lace. Amber gold color.

Nose hints at the pepper, but get some of the standard Sculpin fruit and pine.

And then the fun begins. This is nothing but pepper, from start to finish. Hits hot, finishes hotter. All pepper with very little else. Really no indication that this is a Sculpin. While that's not all bad, it would be much better to tone the peppers down ... a lot.

Feel has some of the oily resin from the hops, but after the first couple of sips all you "feel" is fire. And I like spice in my food.

Good to try, but one and done.

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Photo of aleckpa
3.05/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Too hot for my liking. You get the initial taste of the Sculpin IPA. However, the heat kicks in and it kicks hard. Undrinkable for me. Some pepper beers are balanced, but this is all heat.

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Photo of Benish
3.09/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. No known bottle date.

Appearance: some head while pouring, but not much. Light amber in color.

Smell: Peppers, peppers, peppers. All over the place. It really over power the hops - if there are any. Despite the peppers, its not all bad. Just something very out of the ordinary.

Taste: Starts out light and refreshing. Then halfway though that sip, the heat kicks in hard. It kind of taste like what it smells. No hops though. Maybe it's an old bottle??

Mouthfeel: light and refreshing in the mouth but then the heat kicks in. Heat in the back of the mouth and tingles at your lips. Handle this beer carefully.

Overall: this is a gimmicky beer. It's definitely fun to try though. The one positive side I have to say about this beer is that the heat doesn't stick around. Fifteen minutes after drinking this beer, you should have no trouble drinking and enjoying a different beer. Unfortunately the hops were barely noticeable. It wouldn't surprise me if this was an old batch. If I had excess to a fresh batch, I'd be excited to try it again.

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Photo of MikeyLegend
3.12/5  rDev -16.8%
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 leitmotif
3.13/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

I have to justify my rating with a review.

Well there is nothing much there to say. I love the looks and the smell just gets me there, wanting to drink this. But as soon as you get a hold of a sip everything is wasted. No beer there. Just pepper. And hotness. And... that's it.

I like spicy food. But this beer is dominated by the chili and has nothing to do with an overall good drink.

Cheers

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Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
3.13/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

At first there was the familiar taste of Sculpin (which was enjoyable), then a merciless rush of habanero (which was not). The heat obliterated any trace of the base beer. More subtle heat would have made this way better.

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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 Falcon91Wolvrn03
3.15/5  rDev -16%
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 dbnarley
3.15/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Different. The heat starts at the back of the throat and works forward. A one off novelty beer. For the money I would rather drink Sculpin or grapefruit sculpin.

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Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 488 ratings.