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Grapefruit Sculpin - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grapefruit SculpinGrapefruit Sculpin

Educational use only; do not reuse.

667 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 667
Hads: 4,970
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 24.48%
Wants: 490
Gots: 2,114 | FT: 32
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 667 | Hads: 4,970
Photo of FLima
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amber color with a thick one finger head with decent retention.
Aroma with predominant notes of real and fresh grapefruit, mild spices, biscuit and malt honey sweetness. Fruit is leading here.
Flavor with intense notes of grapefruit, spices and citrusy hops. Also, pine, slightly toasted malts, oranges, some caramel malt, mango, lemon, tea bags, bitter nuts and resin. Dry and bitter aftertaste. It had to sneeze a few times, indicating good hop levels.
Light to medium body with appropriate carbonation.
If you like the grapefruit bitterness and citrusy combo, you cannot go wrong with this beer, it is a grapefruit assault with their pine and lemon citrus cousins.

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Photo of gryffilion
4.07/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a deep gold, almost amber, with about a half inch of head that dissipated slowly. The nose was a little disappointing; I didn't get very much of the grapefruit. Flavor-wise, the grapefruit flavor merged nicely with the hops--neither overpowered the other and they have a nice combinatory effect. It's a tad bit too bitter for me. The mouthfeel is a bit acidic but overall it's a very pleasant beer.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355ml can bought online from the Brewdog shop

Poured a nice golden orange colour. Slightly off white head poured pretty thick and rocky then faded to good one finger covering. Lots of carbonation rushes to the surface... decent sticky lacing...

Aroma - Lots of tropical juicy fruits up front (tons of grapefruit, some lemon and lime), biscuity / bready malts, dank piney resin, floral, cut grass, light talcum powder traces, quite peppery, slightly perfumed, some rubberiness, light garlic and onion traces...

Taste - Lovely balance of tropical juicy fruits (strong grapefruit, limes, apples, light pineapple) and lighty sweet biscuit malt, floral and grassy, chalky traces, faint honey sweetness, some light metallic notes, piney hop bitterness...

Mouthfeel - Sharp and dry initially then a little oiliness comes through... medium bodied... dangerously quaffable at 7%

Overall - A stunningly good beer which lives up to the hype. I was a bit underwhelmed by the standard Sculpin but this is excellent... highly recommended

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Photo of ordybill
4.98/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. This is a crystal clear golden colored beer with a medium sized white head. The aroma is big on tart citrus and hops. The flavor matches the aroma. An outstanding beer.

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Photo of thatche2
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is somewhat transparent golden orange/brown, with a large amount of light head and moderate lacing around the glass.

Smell represents grapefruit and Pine hops with some malt and caramel coming through.

Taste is Pine with a lot of grapefruit/pineapple coming through in the finish, there is a good balance between the hops and grapefruit, but it still clearly tastes like an IPA.

F: Medium body and carbonation, not too thick.

O: This is a very good and well balanced beer. The grapefruit is just strong enough not to be overpowering.

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

Great beer, very bitter with a grapefruit taste; obviously. I like grunion better, but this beer is pretty delicious. Sold at whole foods sometimes, but the Barneys Beanery in Westwood near UCLA has it on tap

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Photo of Tac200
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a perfect golden amber, smells off cold grapefruit being juiced in the sun, tastes of great hoppy Amarillo , cascade, punch through at the beginning but then the surge of grapefruit sweeps
Through your palate in a refreshing moment that lasts for the perfect amount of time. For me this beer is the standard to which all IPA must submit themselves

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

L: Fairly clear golden orange, with a large amount of light tan head.

S: Pine hops, grapefruit, hints of resin

T: Pine, grapefruit, and resin are the main tastes. What I love about this beer is the perfect balance between the hops and the grapefruit. Some beers with fruit added don't add enough. Some add too much. This is just right. Still clearly tastes like an IPA, yet also has a large grapefruit presence.

F: Medium-full body. Medium to medium-light carbonation.

O: This is a fantastic beer. This is better than the normal Sculpin.


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Photo of mothmanscott
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a slightly hazy deep gold bordering on a pale amber producing 2+ fingers of frothy, variously bubbled, moderately lasting, slightly off-white head that leaves a nice webby coating of lace. Aroma is grapefruit juice, pith & zest, pineapple, orange, peach, pine resin & sweet caramel. Taste is grapefruit juice & rind, pineapple, peach, sweet & bready cobbler pie dough, vanilla & a hint of honey with the sweeter portions mid-sip through the finish. Aftertaste is bitter grapefruit & pine. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium-high carbonation, slick, wet & juicy, drying after the swallow, with a nice peppery prickle. Very nice!

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Photo of Real_Thirsty_Guy
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I don't know if I'm partying with this one...while bringing 3 to a small party ain't bad at all...but I don't want to bring the other 3 to the next small party.
This beer looks very nice, looks very good at the party but you've got to like fruit beers to drink her all night.
You can smell the grapefruit, not a bad smell, but I don't get excited about the beer with a nose like that on her.
Real good taste on top and turns over bitter with its only fruit sweetness on the end, not overwhelmingly sweet in the aftertaste.
Real smooth beer and not a light beer, plenty of great hops that make it the type of fruit beer you can really enjoy even if you don't like fruit beer but love IPAs

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Photo of youcantmakeme
3.06/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

l: light brown.
s: candy and citrus.
t: bitter and grapefruit.
f: light.
o: well let me tell you I for one can't give this one an above average rating for the simple fact that iv'e tasted better for less money. $15 for a six pack is not bad but when you can get something for $12 that is just as good if not better than what is a man to do? Yes it smell good it might even look good but does it taste good? No not $15 good at least not to me. If money is burning a hole in you pocket get yourself a bomber if you must, if not then go ahead and skip it unless you simply love grapefruit.

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Photo of Blarkin678
4.01/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoy this beer. It's the hot thing on the east coast right now. It'll be forgotten about in 6 months after the next popular thing comes out. That seems to be the sad thing about the craft beer industry. Something gets popular and then when it gets too popular it's not fun and "good" anymore. I know people are all about local beer these days but most beers I have that are local are garbage close compared to San Diego breweries and Colorado breweries.

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Photo of egrapplesberg
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date is scrambled on bottle. Poured into a pint glass. Deep orange color with one inch head that recedes leaving coats of foam against the glass. Smell is heavenly grapefruit. Taste is grapefruit juice. Terrific beer! Cheers!

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

We snap some can tabs back, pouring into our Great Lakes pint glasses. The color sits near that of apple juice, but with a solid one and a half finger tall head of soapy white bubbles. This retains nicely, with eventual rings of lacing as it goes. Reproducibility is high. A chill haze reduces clarity, but this is transient. No sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be medium. The aroma gives immense notes of cloying grapefruit juice, both authentic and synthetic, along with bright citric and green grassy hops, stevia sweetness, gentle but fusel booziness, chrome, raw pale grain, plastic bite, crushed vitamin c tablets, lemon pound cake, buttercream frosting, and vegetal green bell pepper bite. The flavoring to follow includes the simultaneously most bitter and sweet fresh squeezed grapefruit juiciness, lemony citric hoppiness, oily lemon balm rub, softer soapy hops chemicaliness, fresh heavy creamer, dusty pale grain, washed caramel and cereal graininess, green onions, melted candle wax, apple pulp sugars, herbal thyme oils, black pepper, white sugar sweetness, holly, tangerine sweetness, soured orange pith, and plastic garbage bags. The body is medium but oily, and the carbonation is on the higher end of the prickle spectrum. Each sip gives excellent slurp and smack, with nice cream and froth on the back end. Pop is lost in the creaminess, but not missed. The mouth is left somewhat dried and puckered, but only after a granular coating of sugary bitterness. The abv is appropriate, and drinkability is superb.

Overall, this beer certainly achieves what it sets out to. Actually, thinking historically, and if we’re not mistaken, this is one of the more visible “grapefruit” IPAs that helped to spawn the movement of the “grapefruit IPA”. Rightfully so that it gets such attention. The grapefruit is very authentic, like a freshly liberated glass of juice that might accompany a gourmet breakfast. That said, grapefruit is a genius choice to add to an IPA. It extends the beer’s perceivable longevity, especially with citric hop-forward beers, giving a pseudo-freshness that just makes sense. Here, you just feel that flavoring hang on through the swallow and the aftertaste, and it nicely holds the place of any hops you might be missing. They’re not missing here, but just something worth noting about the novelty story that this beer has come to embody.

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Photo of twage04
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The grapefruit is far from subtle in this beer and distracts from anything else you can really enjoy with the beer. There is a lot of acidity that gets a little better as the beer warms up. The beer has what I perceived as a prickly carbonation but I blame that on the grapefruit again. Not an entirely bad experience but I won't be seeking it out again.

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Photo of CTbrew32
3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

appearance- Copper amber in color with decent visibility to each side. Pours a fizzy three inch head.

aroma- Definitely lots of grapefruit and citrus and thats about it.

taste- Juicy grapefruit and citrus upfront with mild caramel sweetness. Towards the end the citrus/grapefruit becomes more bitter (astringent almost) and a dry bread malt helps keep the finish clean.

feel- Medium feel, oily, almost sticky, medium carbonation, and a mildly sweet finish.

overall- Interesting addition of grapefruit to a great beer in Sculpin. Not sure I like it more than regular sculpin, but its still great nonetheless.

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Photo of JackieKu
3.27/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can. Freshness date unclear.

A: Clear pale amber. Poured with moderate amount of foam but sank soon.
S: Citrus sourness: lemon and, grapefruit. Fresh aroma.
T: Holy #+/=. I did not read the words on the can before I pick this, but the first sip lead me thought there are some additions in this IPA. And soon I confirmed it from the can. The grapefruit flavor is so strong that reminds me the sodas, I don't think it is as natural as it says. Moderate bitterness. Dry.
M: Light bodied. High carbonation.
O: Interesting but not very good. The flavor is so harsh.

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Photo of biegaman
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grapefruit Sculpin pours with a blistered but burnished golden colour and partially hazed complexion; my fingers on the other side of the glass appear but are lightly distorted. Its head, thin as a napkin, indeed sits like a flimsy place-mat and leaves not a crumb of lace behind.

Regular Sculpin is about as hoppy as they come. Part and parcel with that, it's also about as citrusy as it gets as well. So what happens when Ballast Point adds actual grapefruit to this already grapefruit-dominated IPA? What do you think? Unless you're an idiot the answer should be obvious.

It's amazing! Duh! Just a few sniffs could cure scurvy. This smells like a fruit stand combined with a flower shop combined with a bakery (oven-fresh bread isn't lost amongst all the citrus and rose-like notes). The addition of actual grapefruit pays dividends especially in the finish which is super pulpy.

Grapefruit Sculpin pushes the envelope without touching the existing alcohol or bitterness - if anything, the added flavour helps subdue them. Standard Sculpin is about as easy to drink as properly hopped IPAs come and this one, owing to the enhanced Starburst zest, is even more approachable, believe it or not.

Grapefruit Sculpin makes the presence of both hops and grapefruit felt without making them overpowering - find me a more agreeable, flavourful, better balanced IPA and I'd be shocked. As if Sculpin wasn't impressive enough already... they go and make it even brighter, juicier, more tropical.

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Photo of wdberkley
3.67/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

At the risk of sounding like an asshole - I just don't see what all the love for this beer is about. I LOVE Sculpin, so I figured I had to try Grapefruit Sculpin.

Smells like the grapefruit juice your Grama orders at Easter Family Brunch to wash down her handful of old lady pills. And, unfortunately, tasted much like carbonated, slightly hopped grapefruit juice with a slightly bitter, almost sour aftertaste. I'll pass and stick to the regular variety.

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

Clear golden orange with three fingers of white head. Retention is average for such a large head. Plentiful lacing.
Smell is malty grapefruit.
Taste is similar to the nose but the big fruity floral hops weigh in with a bang and we are in West Coast IPA heaven.
Mouthfeel is medium with a good carbonation level to keep things moving forward.
Overall this 12 ounce can is something I like to revisit on a regular basis. Do I like this better than the regular Sculpin? I am not sure but this may be a bit easier to drink more frequently.

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

12oz bottle with no date code on the label. Only indication of any kind of date is on bottom of the bottle "7 15".

Pours hazy copper with an inch of white foam. A partial skim coat and decent lacework for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with tropical fruit and grapefruit. Not pungently floral but nice nonetheless.

Medium bodied with a tacky mouthfeel.

Grapefruit oil, pine sap, mango, peach, and apricot start the palate. A drying bitterness steps forward with barely a trace of malt.

Finishes with a balancing mix of hops and grapefruit.

Tasty beer, but not tasting very fresh. The hops are certainly subdued to for a variation of Sculpin.

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Photo of Coolcheech
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Rich amber color, with a white 1/2" head that left some lacing.

Smell: In the bottle I just got some hints of citrus, I don't know if I'd be able to tell it was grapefruit. However, after pouring into the glass I got a strong aroma of grapefruit.

Taste: Floral hops dominate. You can taste the citrus and grapefruit but it's understated.

Mouthfeel: Nice to drink, medium body.

Drinkability: The hops flavor was really strong for me. It's a great beer, but I'm more more of a malt-forward kind-of person so the hops wore out my taste buds after a while. Still though, it's a beer I'll have a gain and could drink 2-3 in the right setting.

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Photo of brettski66
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers out there. Glad it comes in cans. Only downside, which doesn't affect score, is the fact that it takes a bit of time to get to the East Coast. There's nothing like wicked fresh sculpin!

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a stone glass.Smell is very grapefruit up front slight hop smell.Nice ABV of 7.0 doesn`t get in the way of the great taste.Taste up front is grapefruit,pine but a very nice mix not over powering on the grapefruit.Got to say I really liked this beer and would buy it again.Very small head on this one.Nice orange color.Give it a try.

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Photo of Steelocation
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a 12oz pint size glass. I didn't find a bottle number or expiration date. I bought a six-pack of this for home consumption.

Appearance: golden dark color with some haze. It looks lively as there was plenty of carbonation.

Smell: sweet and perfume like with a citrus odor.

Taste: malty and has a definitive aftertaste of grapefruit. Goes down pretty dry.

Mouth feel: well carbonated and goes down coarse due to that carbonation.

Overall: enjoyed the beer because it does have that fruity taste. This is coming from someone who does not enjoy fruity beers. Even if you don't like grapefruit, you'll only get that taste in the end. Has a distinctive taste and with a high ABV, enjoyable enough to want more than one.

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Grapefruit Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 667 ratings.