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Grapefruit Sculpin IPA - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Grapefruit Sculpin IPAGrapefruit Sculpin IPA

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2,699 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,699
Reviews: 447
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 322
Gots: 812 | FT: 20
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: arfenhouse on 01-19-2013

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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,699 | Reviews: 447
Photo of amesle
4.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Sprkmaker
3.97/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Heady_Eddy
4.06/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of agreenman19
4.24/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kojevergas
3.73/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz. Brown glass. Branded white & red pry-off pressure cap. Great label art & design.

Purchased at an Austin, TX grocery store. Cost was ~$15.00 USD.

Reviewed live at low altitude in Austin, TX. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Vintage: 2015. Couldn't be more than 6 weeks old.
ABV: 7.0%.
Style: IPA (per the label).
Serving temp: Cold.
Serving vessel: Pilsner glass.
Expectations: Sky high; I love Sculpin and have high hopes for this.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~3-4 inches wide. White colour. Nice foam and frothiness. Creamy enough, lending it a soft pleasant look. Great consistency and complexion. Leaves a ring of light even lacing as it recedes.

Retention: Great - ~8-10 minutes.

BODY: Vibrant copper of high clarity; this is more or less what I picture when I think of an IPA. Clean, with no pesky yeast particles visible.

A very good looking IPA, but it's not a unique or profoundly special appearance. I'm certainly excited to try it.

AROMA: Bursts with plenty of hop profile, but the key here isn't the hop content or apparent bitterness, but rather the seeming balance; in spite of how hoppy it is, it's still pleasant and inviting. The fragrant perfumey hop profile brings notes of dominant grapefruit (but without any unpleasant bitter bite), pith, hop resins, mild oily notes, citrus rind, and pleasant floral character. It's magnificent, and I find it alluring. The hop bitterness is tamed by a near-perfect malt sweetness from just the right amount of pale malts.

Aromatic intensity: subdued.

It has a great aroma without coming on too strong or being overbearing. True to form, it seems like a grapefruit-heavy variant of the original Sculpin.

TASTE: Grapefruit does dominate, but it's placed carefully amidst a delicate balance of floral, oily, resinous, rindy, and pithy hop notes, which are themselves well balanced by an apt pale malt sweetness. It does get a biteen too bitter right on the finish, where that zingy grapefruit bitterness bite comes in, but overall this is a nice Sculpin variant which showcases Ballast Point's expertise in terms of balance - a value often lost on West Coast breweries.

Depth of flavour: Good.
Flavour duration: Lasting.
Flavour intensity: Above average.
Flavour amplitude: Solid.

It's never boozy or yeasty, true to style, and it has plenty of cohesion - which is impressive given its diverse hop profile. It's nearly gestalt, and boasts notable intricacy for an IPA. This is hard stuff not to like, and its fruit-forward build is interesting. The hop selection is spot-on, and it's an inspired take on a style that's tough to innovate in.

TEXTURE: Coating without being sticky. Aptly medium-bodied. Thickness, heft, and weight on the palate are all apt. Slight overcarbonation fits the schema, accentuating the grapefruit bitterness with a crisp bite.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

The overcarbonation and relative lack of refreshment holds this mouthfeel back, though it does complement the taste nicely overall. It just doesn't quite elevate the beer as a whole.

OVERALL: A great variant worthy of the original Sculpin, Grapefruit Sculpin is a balanced and highly drinkable IPA that will remind even the most discerning of drinkers why Ballast Point has been one of the West Coast's best IPA producers for a long time. While I do think I prefer the original, this beer is absolutely worth trying and I'll definitely be returning to it. Considering its high quality, its price point is absolutely worth it. Every IPA fan owes it to herself to try this. I tip my hat to Ballast Point; this stands out in the grapefruit-forward IPA category - and there's no lack of competitors. Well executed across the board.

Brewers at breweries like Stone and Green Flash should drink this and take note; balance is important in an IPA, and simply increasing perceived bitterness, hop quantity, and/or IBU does not in itself make a beer better.

High B (3.73)

Photo of shoretaxi
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Trexman_518
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is by far one of my favorite beers. Possibly #1

Photo of weiserr
4.41/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sculpin with a twist. Without reinventing notes from my initial Sculpin review, I'll insert the opinion that I get more bite on the palate, from beginning to end, which can only be attributed to the addition of grapefruit. I also detect a fresh bread characteristic from the malt that adds to the overall balance of the beer. If you enjoy the original, you should appreciate the variance on this one, too. By incorporating grapefruit, Ballast Point did nothing to diminish the properties that worked with its predecessor. Although the original tasted better the first time I had it, I would be more inclined now to reach for this version as a result of the inevitable palate shift. Like Christopher Cross rocking an Earl Campbell jersey in the late 70's, this IPA has me "Sailing".

Photo of hipcat
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Can_has_beer
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of OldRickSputin
4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of OddNotion
4.81/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of tillmac62
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear light amber (orange). Outstanding head volume and retention. Lacing is world class.

Rich nose of pink grapefruit and tropical citrus (orange with some mango) over a subtle biscuit sweetness. As it warms, hints of pine and pepper are present.

Light medium body with a smooth texture. Normal carbonation with a bit of effervescence in the finish.

The flavor profile is world class. It is reasonably intense, somewhat complex and very well balanced. It begins with pink grapefruit and slowly takes on an orange under flavor with a touch of mango. The middle is a mild rind like bitterness with a balancing subtle biscuit sweetness. The finish is somewhat crisp and a mild grapefruit rind bitterness lingers.

Photo of iJyuken
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Goose Island tulip. It pours out a dark gold color, quite clear with a slight haze and about a finger of fine white head. Wonderful nose on this one. I get fresh grapefruit halves like you'd eat for breakfast- I can smell the juice and everything - as well as a hint of fresh bread and the standard citrus-like hop aromas of lemons and oranges.

Medium-light body with a delicate, yet firm feel. Slight biscuity sweetness up front, then a pleasant salvo of bitter, tropical fruit-flavored hops and fresh, unsweetened grapefruit juice. I love the way the grapefruit is incorporated into the beer. The flavors very seamlessly flow from grapefruit to hops and back again. In fact, it's difficult to pick out where one flavor ends and the other begins. Finishes dry and fruity with grapefruit, lemon, and orange rind all lingering. Extremely refreshing and pleasant to drink.

This is a very unique beer. There's not much around I can compare it to. I have had one other IPA that incorporated grapefruit - but I can't quite remember who made it and it wasn't nearly as good as this one is. This is the kind of thing Dogfish Head usually comes up with. The grapefruit flavors are quite strong, yet well-tempered with the other flavors. How strong are they? I could definitely drink this beer at the breakfast table and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it contained 100% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. Very highly recommended.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ballast Point's "Sculpin" has always been a fruit-forward IPA in its hop character alone. But hops can only take you so far. If the preferred character of grapefruit is what's so desired, then the actual grapefruit additions to the beer might be in order.

Grapefruit Sculpin pours a lot like standard Sculpin- deep straw with the signature hoppy haze. What's not common is the compromised head character that's a result of the citric acid from grapefruit. But that's of little consequence as the nose is rife with the most pungent and vibrant red grapefruit character possible. Its taste is tangy with citrus fruit but is also supple in caramel and honey sweetness.

Yet as the beer blossoms over the middle palate, its floral, fruity and tangy citrus character puts on a full display that leads with overt grapefruit but also claims apricot, mango, passionfruit, orange and gooseberry. With the light honied sweetness dropping out, the ale turns decidedly hoppy and bitter beyond it's halfway point.

Its medium weighted feel dries wonderfully but also falls flat and still after its creamy-dry body lacks life quickly, again due to the citric acid that chases away the carbonation and head retention. But its deeply resinous bitterness is of pine, but more so of grass, herb and a distinct cannabis afterglow.

Photo of Laugookneetuss
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BDeibs
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of thedumbphase
3.41/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Too much grapefruit and not enough Sculpin.

Photo of Zack_B
3.06/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Way too malty for my preference, could've had some age on it, didn't know bottle date.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.66/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Gregorian bottling date that translates to 03/05/15

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and a bright golden orange with an off-white, two finger head. Good retention, breaking down to a thin, broken layer of suds. Lacing is mostly spotty with small streaks running between. Good stick.

Smell - Fresh and citrusy, like a grapefruit that's just been cut in half, with a light undertone of sugary sweetness and a hint of grain. Squirt comes to mind.

Taste - Falls well short of the nose. I'd almost describe it as a hollow, incomplete flavor profile, never really attaining any sort of upfront or defining character, but rather goes straight to the aftertaste which consists of light grapefruit pith, citrus sweetness and a spot of grain.

Mouthfeel - Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Stupid smooth and quaffable.

Overall - A shame this thing lacks some balls. The aroma had such massive potential, only to be let down by the utter lack of flavor. I wouldn't turn it down if offered, but at the price it is, I surely have no desire to buy it again.

Photo of fearfactory
3.72/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of The_Black_Pearl
3.74/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kanno
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Teddy_Hopper
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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Grapefruit Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,699 ratings.