Grapefruit Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

756 Reviews
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Grapefruit SculpinGrapefruit 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 Award-winning IPA, with a citrus twist.
Our Grapefruit Sculpin is the latest take on our signature IPA. Some may say there are few ways to improve Sculpin’s unique flavor, but the tart freshness of grapefruit perfectly complements our IPA’s citrusy hop character. Grapefruit’s a winter fruit, but this easy-drinking ale tastes like summer.

The Sculpin IPA is a testament to our humble beginnings as Home Brew Mart. It showcases bright flavors and aromas of apricot, peach, mango & lemon. The lighter body also brings out the crispness of the hops. The Sculpin fish has poisonous spikes on its fins that can give a strong sting. Ironically, the meat from a Sculpin fish is considered some of the tastiest. Something that has a sting but tastes great; sounds like a Ballast Point India Pale Ale. This version of our Sculpin IPA has grapefruit added; the grapefruit flavor really enhances the citrus aroma of the hops.

Added by arfenhouse on 01-19-2013

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Reviews: 756 | Ratings: 5,476
Photo of Caj1
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into my favorite tulip glass.

Appearance: much the same as the original sculpin, I won't expound too much here. A good amber, a tinge of orange. Mild haze, bright color overall. Good carbonation. Creamy head that lasts through about half a glass (takes me about fifteen minutes to let the beer warm and then drink a 12 oz glass). Good lacing.

Smell: the grapefruit really compounds the crisp, astringent, and citrus smells of the hops. The grassy/herbal notes are still there. Grapefruit does not dominate like you might think it would, it's about half and half with grapefruit and hops. A little bit sweeter smelling than regular Scuplin. Maybe they added just a little bit extra malt to cut the acidity of the grapefruits.

Taste: like a nice glass of Ruby Red at the very beginning but mellows to include the hops and malt. Hops are still citrusy and light, but mostly citrus comes through, which is a flavor in hops that I like anyway (Deschutes Fresh Squeezed, anyone?). A little bit sweet; I can't tell if it's from the sugar in the fruit or the extra malt, or both. Sugar only cuts the acidity, it's not cloying. I get a small flavor of artisan bread as the beer matures on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: more astringent than original Sculpin. I wouldn't exactly call it a dry feeling, but it does suck up a little bit of moisture on the tongue. Nice to meet you again, tannins. Kind of sticky, but not bad. About a medium body overall. I could session this but probably shouldn't.

Overall: I liked this more than the original Sculpin. It's not earth-shattering, but this tastes really nice and kind of helped break me out of the hop doldrums in which I had previously found myself. I don't know if it's only the grapefruit, but it feels like whatever tweaks they made to the recipe paid off. This is a very nice variation on the Sculpin and could compete with a lot of IPAs out there. In other words, it's good.

To good health and good beer.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clean amber, with a nice near-white head of suds and a thick wall of lace.

Aroma: Yummy tropical and citrus hops, like a sunny tropical day. Very impressive.

Taste: Brilliant grapefruit — bitterness and sour and faithful in all regards. Alongside the Schlafly Grapefruit IPA, this is a wonderful and fitting fruit-accented IPA. Well-done!

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Photo of Wsantolucito92
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy reddish bronze with a finger of white head. Smells of grapefruit right away followed by lemon and tangerine with a little pine. First taste is a bit of a shock because it is just like fresh squeezed grape fruit juice mixed with classic sculpin followed by a piney bitter and sweet malt with a lingering taste of mango and orange zest. Mouth feel is well carbonated and is refreshing and crisp and has a dry finish. Overall it is really great and highly drinkable I could throw these back at a bar all night long and I can't say that with a lot of other ipa style beers. Grapefruit and tropical hops work perfectly and man they killed the grapefruit flavor. Well done.

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Photo of Ejonespitt
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from can into IPA glass

L- Copper color,1 finger of head when poured, after settling a nice small remnant remained throughout. Nice lacing was left behind.

S- grapefruit, citrus, pine in background, nice maltiness in the nose. Ver nice citrus ipa smell.

T- malty sweetness, grapefruit to match aroma. Hop bitterness comes in at the end as it should. Very nice pleasant grapefruit, not overwhelming or artificial.

F- smooth, perfect ipa mouthfeel.

Overall- great citrus ipa. The grapefruit flavor is a nice balanced addition instead of overwhelming it with fake citrus flavor and sweetness. Good fruit smell and flavor with bitter finish as it should have.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Grapefruit Sculpin for $2.49 at The Lager Mill. I've been wanting to try this one for a while, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks good, it's just as eye catching as the original. It poured a golden orange color which took on more of an orange color when held to the light with a little over half a fingers worth of bubbly off white head that died down to a thing ring that stayed till the end and it didn't leave much lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, but I wish it had better lacing.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the grapefruit being the first to show up and it imparts some nice juicy and natural grapefruit aroma. Up next comes the hops which impart all those nice tropical fruit, citrus rind hop profile that the original has, but there's a little bit of green hops that show up in the background. Up next comes just a little bit of doughy yeast followed by the malts which just impart a light pale malt and a light sweet malt like aroma. This beer has a very nice aroma, I thought that the grapefruit works very well with the hop profile.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the grapefruit still being the first to show up and it shows up as much as did in the aroma and it imparts that juicy and natural grapefruit aspects. Up next comes the hops which impart the same great hop profile, but this time the green hops seems to stick out a little more and it's followed by a slightly higher amount of medium bitterness with some malts showing up towards the ends and they impart a little big of a bready flavor with some doughy yeast showing up in the background. In the aftertaste there's a little bit of lingers bitterness with a nice hoppy and grapefruit like aftertaste. This is a very nice tasting beer, all the flavors work really well together.

M- Smooth, refreshing, crisp. medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is very nice and it works great with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a very nice beer and I thought it was a great example of the a fruited IPA, the grapefruit worked great with the base beer and they came together to make for a very nice tasting beer. This beer has good drinkability, I could drink a couple of these, especially when it's hot out. What I like the most about this beer is how great the grapefruit worked with the base beer, they are the perfect combo. What I like the least about this beer is the appearance, it's not bad, but I wish it had better lacing. I would for sure buy this beer again and I would recommend it to anyone who likes grapefruit beers. All in all I was very happy with this one and a little impressed. It's one of the better beer I've had from this brewery and it's a great example of the style. Great job guys, this is one very nice tasting beer, keep it up.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Have purchased singles of this a few times from my local Trader Joe's but I guess I never reviewed it. Pours a gold medal color with medium head but thick, adhesive lace. Nose has the promised grapefruit, grassy hops, and other assorted fruit flavors.

A little high in carbonation and balanced to start, followed by plenty of fruit and a long bitter aftertaste. I get lemon and peach to pace the serious grapefruit. A little astringent in the finish but still tasty.

This is really good but still maybe a touch overrated.

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Photo of BrokenEdge
3.69/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden amber color, mostly translucent, with a frothy white head that leaves tons of lacing. Smells like grapefruit (duh). Some other citrusy smells and tastes come through: grapefruit juice and rind, lemon, orange rind, etc. Also getting some alcohol taste that adds a medicinal/chemical flavor that I've found all variants of Sculpin to have. Luckily, this one is so bitter with grapefruity goodness that it kind of drowns out that flavor that I normally don't like about regular Sculpin. As usual with all Sculpin types, I think this beer is slightly too bitter and lacking in a malt backbone, but I kind of enjoyed BP playing up the bitterness of this beer by adding grapefruit to it. Feels about medium, and leaves a sticky, lingering, bitter finish. Overall, this is a better than average IPA, but the price point (nearly $20 a 6 pack here in PA) keeps me from being a return customer. I think you can do better for much, much cheaper, but it's worth a try anyway.

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Photo of ryhsh72
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into Spiegelau IPA glass, clear amber glow with a fluffy head that lasts for days.

What a sniffer! Grapefruit and crushed wheat on the nose, freshness that exudes a crisp summer day.

Immediate rush of grapefruit and mild yuzu on the tastebuds, tempered by the growing bitters from
citrusy hops. Lovely body that coats the palate, with bubbles that gently effervesce. Well balanced, eminently drinkable.

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Photo of psmith161
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having rated nearly 1100 beers on BA, this is my first from Ballast Point! Someone advised me that the grapefruit sculpin was the best. I'm not an IPA drinker because I hate the bitterness from most IPA's, but this one isn't very bitter at all. Very good, with grapefruit coming through strongly. May have to try others from Ballast Point.

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Photo of Ipamadness820
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best grapefruit IPA I have had to this day, just wish the price would go down. To me this is a $12.99 6-pk max, $15.99 is the only reason I don't buy it, Trader Joes in my area sell singles of this but it's the only way I will buy.

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Photo of illpass78
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint on draft at Loco Coco's in Kittery, Maine.

Appearance: Super clear copper color with a short white head. Rings of white lacing left behind.

Aroma: Grapefruit. Smells like an IPA with a big grapefruit punch. Also pine and hops.

Taste: Big, juicy fruit flavors up front, led by (of course) grapefruit. Some nice malt backbone, too. Really tasty. Very smooth at 7 ABV and big hop presence.

Mouthful: Deceptively smooth and easy for a beer with fairly heavy bitterness. Balanced.

Overall: Understandably beloved A-list IPA. Curious how much "grapefruitier" it is than original Sculpin. Grapefruit is a pretty common IPA flavor, but here it's in the spotlight.

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Photo of Marraybay
3.15/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Look: Beautiful: Translucent orange color with +2 fingers of foam on-top;
Significant lacing.

Smell: My first thought was peaches, but as the pour relaxed, the grapefruit
comes powering thru. Very neat.

Taste: Perhaps a whisper of orangey sweetness, but the grapefruit presents
almost immediately and rides thru to the close, which is bitter and lingering.
(Even minutes later!) Fairly surprising punch to this, given the 7%, although
the booze didn't overly present in the taste.

Feel: Perhaps a bit astringent, otherwise, middle-of the road non-descript.

Overall: The glass presentation and nose aside--which were exceptional--
this comes up short for me. Just too much unrelenting bitterness from
the hops and accompanying grapefruit, without enough push-back from
the malt-side.

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Photo of PaddyDragons
4.76/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The grapefruit citrus bitter mixed with the hop bitter is a fantastic pairing, its a must try beer with a great feel and flavor, Ballast Point hit it out of the park on this one.

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Photo of Kevh14
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Might be the best overall beer out there. The grapefuit rind flavor adds citrus and bitterness that complements the hops extremely well. Only Green Flash double IPA rivals it.

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Photo of Skrumpy
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden amber color - very clear. Poured a 12 oz can into a standard pint glass. Beautiful 2 finger head that remains as a film atop the beer for its entire existence. Rich citrus and grapefruit come thru in a pungent manner. The taste is fantastic. Full grapefruit flavor and a great finish with some citrus hops. Slightly bitter and dry is the mouthfeel. An enjoyable beer that I would definitely drink again.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.51/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a classic clear gold with all sorts of foam and head retention.

Huge grapefruit nose that definitely leans towards the hoppy citrus side but I can't help but feel it is a contrived thing going on. Did they just squirt grapefruit juice in each and every bottle? They couldn't have; I get that.

As contrived as I thought the smell was, I feel the exact same way aboot the taste. Beneath the what I feel is pure grapefruit juice, I do get the base IPA, but even that is not up to snuff anymore after all of the great IPAs I have had since then. The juice leaves me trembling. That's me.

Great mouthfeel.

Not for me but like I said. ..that's me. You like? Good for you!

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Photo of Umdrunner
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured straw colored with 1 finger white head. Strong grapefruit scent with additional notes of pine and melon. Flavor follows nose perfectly. Very strong citrus beer that leaves me craving more!

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Photo of Gubbser2
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Usually not a huge IPA fan but the way the grapefruit and hops work together in this beer, it is amazing! Nice pungent smell of grapefruit and hops, seems somehow they cancel out each others bitterness and enhance the flavors. Went down too easy now I need to find more!

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Photo of RickS95
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks like a good IPA should. It pours a golden color, with just a bit of chill haze. Mostly opaque. The head is a gorgeous finger and a half of bright white. Good retention with s foamy top.

Most West Coast IPAs don't need grapefruit added for the scent to come out, so this comes with an amazing display of grapefruit in the nose. A little peach and mango hiding in the background.

It tastes like a grapefruit fell into a glass of IPA, and that's basically what happened. You can't tell where the hops stop and the grapefruit starts. It tastes better and better as it warms.

The initial feel of sweet is quickly taken over by acid and bitter and it never really lets up. It's not palate busting bitter, just crisp, sharp bitterness. Very refreshing. Dry prickly finish.

So easy to drink and despite being sort of a warm weather beer, this thing would be good regardless of the season.

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Photo of HenryPorter7777
3.74/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice easy-drinking IPA; grapefruit influence is there without overtaking. Smooth dry finish; some bitterness again without overwhelming. Best as temps rise in later Spring and Summer.

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Photo of bin31z
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nose is great, lots of grapefruit along with the other citusy fruits. So fresh smelling and grapefruity. Bitter and hoppy on the palate. Fresh and easy to drink.

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Photo of StringsAreWings
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours the same translucent gold with just a bit of haze as regular Sculpin but slightly lighter in color. Smell is definitely grapefruit forward with some hops in the background. Taste is a big splash of grapefruit that has some of the properties of hops entangled in it but somewhat overpowers them as the grapefruit is in the spotlight. They did a great job of nailing the super fresh grapefruit taste. Feel is close to perfect and makes for a smooth swig with a burst of fizzy micro-bubbles on the tongue that adds even more life to this brew. I prefer the regular Sculpin by just a bit as the grapefruit is so forward in this one but on a hot summer day I can see this being a very refreshing choice.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look golden with some orangish hues. Thick, fluffy head is khaki and leaves spotty lacing all over the glass.

Smell is pure grapefruit. Can't really get past that, but it's nice and refreshing so no problem there.

Taste is dominated by grapefruit, but certainly can pick up some lighter citrus notes. Not much maltiness to speak of, but the bitterness is surprisingly tame.

Feel is light with decent carbonation, chewy mouthfeel and a clean finish that's mostly bitter but holds the tartness of the grapefruit.

Not sure what else I can add. This is world class, and if something has changed since their acquisition I don't see it, and it's not gonna stop me from trying more BP in the future.

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Photo of Finkline
4.95/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In quotes before it'so my original flavor Sculpin review. As for the grapefruit, this one is my favorite so far. I'm not big on fruit flavor in my beer, let alone grapefruit, but this is a clear exception to that rule. I never would have even tried it if it weren't for a cute bartender that raved about it and I declined for my first coupe pours. Then she put a sample size in front of me and basically dared me to try it. I did and then had a couple of those and the hook was in my mouth and I was being pulled in. This one I prefer on tap, but bottled it's probably still my favorite Sculpin flavor.

"This is a fantastic beer. I tried this on tap last year and I have been hooked ever since. I'm trying to get to all the flavors of Sculpin. There are a bunch. This beer is so good that that you don't want to put it down and you end up drinking fairly fast. Then it's on to number 2, be careful this second one could sneak up on ya and bite ya in the @$$. It's potent! A 6 pack has put me down for the count. In a happy as a pig in slop kind of way. Can't wait to get down south to one of their breweries. If you see it in the store do yourself a favor and try it. It is pricey, especially for 6-pack, but well worth it."

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Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pour is dark orange color.

Overall: Aroma is big grapefruit citrus with other sweet citrus notes. The taste starts out with a candy sweetness followed by a grapefruit flavor with medium body but not overpowering. It finishes with the typical bitterness of an IPA. A very good, well-balanced IPA.

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Grapefruit Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 756 ratings.