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Manta Ray | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Manta RayManta Ray
555 Ratings
Manta RayManta Ray

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
We’ve developed many IPA recipes in our R&D program, but right from the tank, our Manta Ray Double IPA was a winner. Aromas of fresh, citrusy tangerine, melon and light pine leap from the beer and linger over a smooth finish. Like its namesake, this brew can sneak up on you – a big beer without a bite.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 555 |  Reviews: 138
Reviews by Fremont897:
Photo of Fremont897
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Huge hop aroma.when you open the bottle, full of citrus and pine both. Really aromatic. Malt backbone is subtle but supports for hop bitterness well. For the style this is a world class.example

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 1/9/2017. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy medium golden yellow color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, grapefruit, lemon/orange zest, light pepper/pine, light honey, biscuit, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of bright citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, grapefruit, lemon/orange zest, light pepper, pine, light honey, biscuit, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate pine/citrus peel/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, papaya, mango, melon, grapefruit, lemon/orange rind, pine, light honey/biscuit, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero hop astringency after the finish. Moderate dryness from bitterness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately sticky/resinous, and fairly grainy balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol for 8.5%. Overall this is an outstanding DIPA. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate pale malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the balanced bitterness. Surprisingly light on the malt presence for the ABV. Very bright, juicy, and a bit dank on hops; with just enough malt for bitterness balance. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.34/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Expectations run high when the brewery behind Sculpin puts out a new Imperial IPA. And, apparently, so do prices...

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz. Branded red & white pry-off crown cap. Ballast Point's usual sea creature motif on the label.

8.50% ABV. "Double India Pale Ale." 70 IBUs.

Per the BSJ: "Draft only editions of Manta Ray have been available in the past, as both a sweet stout, and [a] sweet stout with coffee, part of the brewery’s R&D Series."

Served cold into a tulip.

HEAD: Frothy off-white head about 5cm in height, with an even smooth consistency. Leaves light lacing as it recedes, which takes a good 5 minutes.

BODY: Clear clean copper of average vibrance. No yeast/lees are visible within.

Appears well-carbonated. Not unique or special for the style, but generally inviting. A fuller softer head and a more vibrant body would be a good start in terms of improving the appearance.

AROMA: Like many (I)IPAs these days, it has an obvious tropical bend, favoring fruity notes of melon and tangerine along with a little mango instead of a more classic floral or citrusy hop profile. There's no overt hop bitterness judging by the aroma; all of it is covered up by the pale malt sweetness, but there's no troublesome overt caramalt to make it too malty. At least going by the aroma, this brew is true to its "big but no bite" marketing.

I don't find any of the pine Ballast Point claims this has. Not resinous, oily, or juicy.

Aromatic intensity is average. I detect no off-notes or booze.

TASTE & TEXTURE: A scintilla of graham cracker gives this male backbone an English IPA vibe, bending the pale malts and caramalt towards a slightly biscuity influence.

Fruity hop flavours coax it back to the American side, with a moderately pungent presence of mango, tangerine, and melon. There's no overt bitterness, but a better imperial IPA would boast more hop flavour and punch while avoiding imbalanced hop bitterness equally well...and it wouldn't need quite so much noticeable malty sweetness to do it. While fruit is its emphasis, there is some subsidiary floral flavour, but no pine, resins, or oils. Not a juicy or citrusy brew (the melon and mango eclipse any fresh citrus flavour the tangerine might offer).

Medium-bodied, overcarbonated. Coating. Could be softer and more approachable. Far from refreshing; it's too heavy on the palate. Not syrupy, gushed, hot, or oily. But a more oily texture might be of benefit. Smooth and wet, as most beers in the style are. Texture is far from harmonious with the taste, failing to elevate the beer as a whole or to accentuate specific notes. Middling execution mouthfeel-wise.

Flavour duration is average. Flavour intensity is below average for the style. Depth of flavour needs improvement, but it's not a shallow or reticent brew per se - just one that needs more pungency and expressiveness.

Complexity is adequate, and I like that the malty backbone is a bit uncommon. There's room for more intricacy and subtlety here.

OVERALL: This straightforward imperial IPA from Ballast Point won't charm fans of the brewery hoping for a bigger badder brother to Sculpin, but it's competent work that's drinkable for its ABV and will scratch the imperial IPA itch of any casual drinker. Its price in NYC is extortionate ($16.99 USD per 6 pack) considering the quality, but that doesn't affect my rating and one has to give Ballast Point credit for not opting for the cash-grab bomber format. I can't see the vast majority of consumers opting to pay more for this over Sculpin on a regular basis, let alone picking this over cheaper and superior California Imperial IPAs like Lagunitas Sucks or Hop 15, but it's a beer I'm glad I tried once even if its quality isn't high enough to warrant a second purchase.

For a New Yorker, it's a nice change of pace from all the market-flooding heavily tropical expressions of the style using their coast of origin as an excuse for their slightly off-putting unfiltered appearance. But Ballast Point has done far better with their game-changing Sculpin, and I continue to wonder if they're merely a two-trick pony - offering only Victory At Sea, Sculpin, and variants thereof as their truly impressive beers.

B- (3.34) / WORTHY

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a very classic west coast style double ipa. clear and radiant pale golden orange in the glass with a permanent inch of white foam. aroma is fruity and bright, some citrus, pineapple, and sweet oily resins, fresh and not overly complex. the flavor features a wonderfully fresh and bold hop all the way through it, with suggestions of grapefruit and pine together, a very classic combination of hops, but dialed back just slightly on the finishing bitterness, this goes away nicely on the swallow, and while i do think the hop flavor is familiar, it may also feature a couple of newer varietals that add to the citrus and soften it a bit. a touch sweet on the malt for me, not overly malty in any way at all, in fact its light on malt flavor, but there is a definite sweetness here from the grain, and i do not think its necessary. the hops have a cool oily texture, and there isnt too much body here to appreciate that aspect. good carbonation but not over the top. after a certain point, especially in this style, quality stands out to me more than any of the specific flavor elements, and this is a supremely well made beer, even if it just tastes like a slightly better version of countless other big west coast ipa types, but its nice to see these guys do a new brew, and not just add guava juice or key limes or something to an old standard. i was getting worried there for awhile...

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Photo of MacStinson
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a bulbous Sam Adams pint.
Not much head after an average pour. And what little is there doesn't stick around. Crystal clear honey colour with minimal lacing. A ring of foam persists and little islands hang in there throughout the drink.
Smells of sourdough and pine resin. A little copper and wet dog in there. Lots of sticky basement and apricot... slightly dank and fruity.
In the mouth it gets on track. Huge apricot and peach. A little tangerine, more pine and white bread. I suppose I can sense a little melon; rounds out and cools the pallette. Bitter, biting resin is enhanced by the prickly carbonation. All of the flavors pick this brew up off of the tongue, and the spiney bubbles really liven it up. I'd be curious to have this one from a firkin.
Overall, it's wears it's 8.5% well. Big flavors compliment the body and hide the alcohol. Well crafted and nicely accessible DIPA. Enjoyed it and found nothing wrong.
Great West-side brew, would buy it over some of the pricier options in the style and enjoy it just as much (almost).
Don't hesitate.

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Photo of Beers-es
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a growler, pours a clear light gold. Big 3-finger head is dense and white and lasts forever. Solid lacing. Smell is floral, citrus, spicy herbs and pine. Taste follows with sticky resinous finish. Moderate bitterness. Feel is a rich medium. Solid, tasty beer.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The look is amazing - textbook west coast IPA. So is the aroma. Vibrant grapefruit dominates, with subtle undercurrents of melon, pine, grass floating around. Some malt shows up to balance (but not overpower). Flavor follows suit - it's like drinking grapefruit juice at times. A piny finish keep the subtle malt qualities of graham cracker, toffee, table sugar, and caramel in check. Yet the opening citrus flavors are still superb, and are still allowed to shine. There's a bit of lingering sweetness left on the palate, but it's otherwise absurdly crisp and clean - it never betrays being 8.5% at all. This is a superb, almost archetypal example of a west-coast DIPA. I genuinely believe this would be AT LEAST a 95 on BA had it been released four or five years ago.

4.27/5: Even better than Sculpin, and that's saying something

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Photo of DavidRolle
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Some people are saying that this is the new Sculpin and I totally agree this is better than Sculpin and way better than Dorado. I love how smooth and rich and relaxing this beer is with the hoppy note and care they put into this beer. This I feel is Ballast Point's next generation Sculpin and next flagship of Ballast Point.

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Photo of The_Beer_Guru
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good beer! Smells citrusy and a light bready malt. Taste is very balanced with hops and citrus. Smooth drinking beer that hides the alcohol well.

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Photo of Blackop555
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear gold with a didn't, medium, short lived white head

Smells Tropical, citrus, very light malt and light pine

Lightly sweet citrus and tropical. Mostly pineapple and lemon. Hints of malt and pine. Dryer finish with a light pine linger fading quickly lighter side of medium carbonation and medium fizzy carbonation.

Lightest double ipa I've had. Well balanced and light bitter.

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Photo of Jsail4fun
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

When I saw the glass of straw colored golden beer I thought maybe they had poured me the wrong beer. Definately doesn't have any of the harsh bitterness you find in other DIPAs in fact it tasts most like the Mango Even Keel Seasion IPA, very light and drinkable with an IPA taste and 8.5% abv. Easily becoming my go to over the more popular Sculpin.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazed pale yellow appearance. Thin and creamy ivory white head. Lacing comes in rings. Nice. Nose is really bright, citrusy, lemony....reminds me of CitraHero from Revolution. Flavor is very bright as well. A surge of citrus. Hop flavor is really good. Bitterness is quite subdued. Flavors of orange peel, lemon oil, dank ripe quava, mango.... Medium to medium-full body with reserved carbonation. Alcohol is barely detectable. Quite good and drinkable for a DIPA.

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Photo of Billolick
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, I looked and looked but could find no bottling date info.

Typical almond amber, near clear, off white cap, leaving a thicker film, low sheeting and then nice looking ringed lacing.

Subtle tropical fruit nose.

Big, bold and flavorful DIPA, with grapefruit notes up front, whole wheat in the middle and a resiny hop drying finish....well done, densly flavorful, heady brew, always glad to see a new offering from San Diego heavy hitter BP....well worth a try

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Taken back by the beer's dry and light body, a double take occurs with this double IPA because its texture suggests something dangerously drinkable yet its flavor is bold, holding up to its imperial status. Ballast Point has made what others struggle to do, look easy.

Their Manta Ray pours a bight golden amber hue with the faintest of haze. Its hoppy perfume equally as bright opens with succulent citrus, grassy pine, a kiss of juicy melon and a whimsical sweetness of honeysuckle before the first sip. As light caramel and sweetness grace the tongue it does so with the soft toastiness of graham cracker.

As the sweetness gently lifts, the full flavor of hops are realized on the middle palate. Branch ripened tangerine, nectarine and red grapefruit wash the tastebuds along with the juicy, thirst quenching capabilities of honeydew and kiwi. As the ale nears its closure, the bitterness grows into impressions of fresh grass clippings and freshly shaven pine.

Smooth yet gripping, the finish is bitter, crisp and clean. Medium light on the palate, the imperial IPA is easily mistaken for standard American IPA because of its dry backbone. This allows the hops to stand out at its fullest hilt, but can also expose some of the hop, grain and alcohol's rougher edges- which in this case, there are none.

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Photo of maximum12
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single – I haven’t seen this around, but I haven’t been looking, either. 12 oz. bottle consumed while watching Andy & Red litter the big screen.

The pour is a titch yellower than a Bud Light, but you could fool Lou down at the corner bar with it. Until he stuck it next to his nose: classic pine, citrus, & you know there is going to be some bitterness right around the corner. West Coast represent.

Manta Ray is more throwback than a Andy Gibb album. Big, bitter hops greet the palate like this was 2009, threatening to wreck the palate in quite a pleasant manner. Pine & citrus from the nose carries through to the tonsils, along with a touch of orange & nostalgia. Sticky.

An old style, easy to drink, bitter-face IIPA. Very good.

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Photo of kflorence
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of arr3388
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jaydoc
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TonyLema1
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: beautiful golden color, with a thin white, lacing head
S: citrus, tropical fruit and pine
T: the taste follows the nose, a little more pine
F: bitter, all the mouthfeel is upfront
O: very solid DIPA

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Photo of mpenske
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BeerLover99
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Skillz
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Das Biergarten. Clear golden body with a nice white head. Smells of citrus and pine in equal measures with a hefty pilsner malt presence. Tastes similar. Citrus up front. Pine and resin behind it. Sweet, but again it’s mostly pilsner malt flavor that never overwhelms. Almost no bitterness. Medium heavy. Tasty, I suppose. But Ballast Point makes better IPAs than this.

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Manta Ray from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 555 ratings