Sculpin
Ballast Point Brewing Company

SculpinSculpin
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American IPA
Ranked #4
ABV:
7%
Score:
98
Ranked #308
Avg:
4.41 | pDev: 9.75%
Reviews:
2,589
Ratings:
14,530
From:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  1,562
Gots
  6,165
SCORE
98
World-Class
SculpinSculpin
Notes: Originally named Northstar IPA. Debuted in 2005.
Reviews: 2,589 | Ratings: 14,530 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of WTBash
3.47/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was really looking forward to this one having never tried it. Poured golden clear with a finger of white head. moderate mouthfeel--basically what I'd expect from a 7%er

I hate being a contrarian. I was legitimately excited to try it. It's reminiscent of any IPA of similar abv. Some fruity notes, but the bitterness is what stands out. Unfortunate, but not a bad beer. Although not deserving of the reputation

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WTBash from Virginia, May 13, 2020
Photo of paltemose2303
3.72/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a traditional pint

L: Loved the way the beer looked in the glass. Crystal clear copper with a nice white head. Pretty persistent and had some nice lacing on the glass

S: Can definitely tell the beer is pretty hop forward. Lots of pine and some subtle citrus. Not a super aggressive aroma, but a good preview for the beer.

T: Very strong and upfront hop flavor. Bitter piney hops from start to finish with some more subtle citrus and apricot in the background. Not much from the malts. Hops pack all the punch. A little too bitter for my taste, but was much more balanced as the beer warmed.

F: Crisp and clean. A really nice bodied IPA. Low carbonation and really easy to drink. Little bit of a lingering piney bitter aftertaste.

Solid West Coast IPA

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Photo of Treyliff
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz can poured into a snifter

A- pours a clear golden color with a one-finger foamy white head that has great retention long after the pour

S- piney and citrusy hop aromas give notes of orange peel and grapefruit, as well as a hint of grass & pine resin. Toasted malt undertones

T- bold citrusy hop notes of grapefruit zest and tangerine, followed by pine resin, peach & apricot. Toasted malt adds a bit of balance, more zesty citrus on the linger

M- medium body with medium carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into a crisp finish

O- a straight up, classic, solid west coast ipa

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Treyliff from West Virginia, Mar 31, 2020
Photo of mtedlee
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful hazy golden-orange hue with a good amount of head. Smells floral and tastes floral, hop-forward, and drinks delightfully smooth. The bitterness is definitely there, but it's welcome. Incredibly silky mouthfeel. Solid IPA overall, and likely one I will come back to regularly.

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mtedlee from California, Mar 12, 2020
Photo of Buckeye55
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden-orange color with full head. Scent is fruity and piney. Taste is a big wow! Fruity then piney then fruity. Light mouthfeel and an aftertaste that mimics the taste. This one is a real surprise, nearly world class for me

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Buckeye55 from North Carolina, Feb 27, 2020
Photo of cratez
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Rating from notes. Consumed November 2013. "Bursting with citrusy hop flavours like clementine, grapefruit, and lemon. Juicy-oily mouthfeel with a resiny, drying, lightly bitter finish. Exemplary West Coast IPA."

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cratez from Ontario (Canada), Jan 26, 2020
Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.36/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A good looking IPA . Thick, creamy head and nice lacing. Righteous aroma. The taste is good up front and a bit bitter on the back end. Smooth as silk on the mouthfeel. Overall a good IPA. On draft at Witten’s Bar and Grill.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.46/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

DATE: December 29, 2019... OCCASION: two days from The Rise of Skywalker, we continue preparing with Return of the Jedi... GLASSWARE: Maudite snifter... the very picture of the genre: a golden amber body, busy as a city with its active effervescence, building a finger's worth of thick clumps of snow white head... this sits nobly and staunchly for the duration of the drink... lemon, grapefruit and mango build a tropical profile, with pineapple and aromatic flowers creating an inviting allure... its secondary scents include sweet bread malts and light peppery spiciness... its body is hearty, smooth and agreeable... at 7% ABV, it finds the sweet spot between drinkable and weighty, drawing heavily on the back end while biting at the teeth with a robust presence... the crunch and chewiness requisite to an IPA is also on full display here--again, if an alien asked what a good west coast IPA was, this is what you would hand it... pineapple, lemon, mango, and citrus fruits collide in a crunchy, resinous drip... strong presence of toasted malts make this a balanced affair--or as balanced as this hop-heavy ale could be... the pepper makes this a bit more nuanced as well... considering its weight and flavor, this could be an every night beer... planning for a gluten-free January, this was one I found hard to believe that I had not sipped it for posterity here.... thanks to Dave and Jen, another great one crossed off the list...

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dacrza1 from New Jersey, Dec 30, 2019
Photo of maxpower
4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle pours copper color, citrus hoppy aroma, nice hop profile, very nice foamy clingy head. Juicy grapefruit-citrus flavors, medium bodied IPA with a nice rounded full mouthfeel, this may be the most drinkable IPA I have ever tasted, It's hard to stop at just one.

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maxpower from Missouri, Dec 11, 2019
Photo of jernjawn
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

pours a rich orange with creamy off-white head that lingers
peach and apricot on the nose as well as dank hops
big hops from the first taste. it's dank and rich and bitter with some apricot, citrus and booze on the back end
surprisingly light mouthfeel with some stickiness building over time
mmmm, hoppy and bitter. actually tastes bigger than it is. all the big flavors and bitterness are well balanced.

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Photo of Rubicj
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours beautiful into the glass, perfect head. Smells nice, but not too distinguishing. Taste is very balanced, has that dominat hop bitterness but actually ends up being very balanced.

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Rubicj from Massachusetts, Nov 07, 2019
Photo of Nofoba
1.39/5  rDev -68.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured from a 355ml bottle. It has a cloudy orange body, with a thick white head.

It has a fruity sweet aroma with lots of hops.

I must say though that I feel really disappointed by the taste in comparison to the aroma. It's way too hoppy and bitter for my tastes, and the fruity sweetness doesn't go very well with that in my opinion.

A very unpleasant experience. I did not like this at all.

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Photo of JimboGinn
4.24/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought myself a Ballast Point IPA Mix Pack and honestly this was the only beer I enjoyed.

The citrusy bitterness I found enjoyable as a flavor but I could definitely see why others wouldn’t enjoy it.

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Photo of Lukeographer
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer that started it all for me. When I think of Ballast Point, I think of this IPA. Clean, fresh, San Diego taste. It always will hold a special place in my heart and I highly recommend this to anyone who can find it.

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

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a stemless wine glass. Hazy dark orange colored body, with a thick snow-white head that took some time to settle. At approximately six months past its bottling date, this sample was a bit malt-forward on the nose and palate. Even so, quite nicely balanced. Notes of pine, grapefruit, and mango sit atop the light caramel malt base. Medium bodied, well attenuated, good carbonation, and a mostly dry finish. Not too boozy for the ABV. Makes a fine pairing with spicy Chinese food. Review is subject to revision, once I locate some freshies.

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dcotom from Iowa, Sep 28, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unknown vintage; drank 11/21/14 @ the Yarchives.

Drank straight from the can; no visual cues.

Grapefruit & orange citrus nose.

Thin mouthfeel.

Orange, grapefruit & lemon citrus flavors, plus fresh water.

A hint too tart on the grapefruit notes & a touch too thin, but still a nice, citrus forward IPA.

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Sep 14, 2019
Photo of Singlefinpin
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is definitely one of my go to beers.
If, your not a fan of WCIPAs? You won't like it.
Cloudy looking with a nice head.
Smells if tropical fruits, citrusy and not too sweet.
If....? You can find this on draft? It is quite the treat!

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Singlefinpin from North Carolina, Sep 08, 2019
Photo of osheamatth
3.56/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not as enamored with Ballast Point as many people are. I particularly dislike their flavored Sculpins but this plain APA one is passable. Nose is hoppy enough and the flavor profile offers notes of citrus favoring the grapefruit side (maybe that's why they did the Grapefruit Sculpin). Citrus and some stone fruit on the finish.

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osheamatth from New York, Aug 14, 2019
Photo of monkist
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At last! Finally I could get my hands on a Ballast Point assorted six pack so I had to start with the Sculpin! It smells and slightly tastes a lot more boozier than it actually is, but the taste balances it out with a quite easy to drink medium mouthfeel. It needs some time to warm up so that it can release its full capacity in the aroma with earthy and piney tones - and the taste takes it to the next level, nice earthy, piney, resinous hop bitterness, just the way I like it! This is not your tropical IPA, but this is the kind of trademark IPA that conquers with dignity. I guess the sculpin is a name coined according to the concept of fishing, but the one on the label looks tough enough to represent this IPA. An instant favorite. Boom!

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monkist from Hungary, Jul 12, 2019
Photo of Reef
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. can packaged 5/24/19
Clear copper, 1 cm white head, quickly reduced to a net cap and curtain of lacing.
Tangerine, apricots, grapefruit, yeast aromas
Pine, grapefruit, pineapple, light ale malt
Bracing bitterness up front, stubborn carbonation, medium body, sweet aftertaste
This beer is in every shop here, at least three months old, and with faded hops. When a reasonably fresh six pack is available it’s quality is revealed. Very few nationally distributed WCIPA’s are its match.

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Reef from South Carolina, Jul 04, 2019
Photo of Mugman8
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This looks like a great beer on the pour....cloudy burnt orange color with a big foamy head. Essence is fruity and taste is a bold display of fruits and hops with a tart piney finish. While ABV is substantial, it is smooth going down and easy to drink. This is good one, worthy of its reputation. I will be buying again!

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Mugman8 from New York, Jun 29, 2019
Photo of eugene17pluto
2.3/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

high on bitterness and low on taste

price asks for a premium so I thought paying more would mean more taste but it just means the buyer is getting screwed

I regret buying a sick pack - not only bc of price but bc I know have to drink 5 more of these bitter, no flavor beers

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eugene17pluto from New Jersey, May 28, 2019
Photo of Sandgrounder95
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into glass.
Look - Deep orange color with a nice thick head and lacing on glass
Smell - Citrusy (orange and perhaps tangerine) and some other fruity aromas (peach, apricot), with piney hops
Taste - Taste is similar to aroma, however more of the non-citrus smells are more prominent in the taste. Enjoyable and easy to drink.
Feel - good carbonation, nice light feel

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Photo of MaltyMagic
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bright zesty grapefruit/pine hop. A bit of leather. Fresh biscuity malt backbone is a bit light. Slightly salted. Resinous, bitter hop oils take over as the beer warms, no sweetness in the malt profile to compete. Solid west coast IPA, hop bomb.

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MaltyMagic from California, May 10, 2019
Photo of defunksta
4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, pale copper-orange color with a tall foamy and lacy head.
Aroma: Strong aromas of citrus and stonefruit. Lots of orange, grapefruit, peach, apricot, mango.
Taste: Much more floral and pine on the taste. Still lots of citrus though. Mostly orange, grapefruit, some ripe pineapple. No melon! A honeysuckle, floral quality. Some peach and apricot stonefruit add to the sweetness. No appreciable tropical melon.
Feel: Finishes with a overwhelming hop bitterness. Completely dry and bitter. Very west-coast finish. Not juicy at all.

Compared to Bell's Two-Hearted: This one has more citrus, floral, and stonefruit. More lemon and pineapple. Less dark tropical melon. Less dank and resiny. More hop focused and less malt balance. Less honey-malt sweetness. Finishes much more dry, bitter and west-coast style as expected. Overall, I think I prefer the flavor of Sculpin, but the balance of Two Hearted. This is a near-runner up for my favorite IPA and is arguably one of the best.

Overall: A delicious west-coast style IPA. What I appreciate about this IPA is the citrus and stonefruit focus that lacks any tropical melon. Sometimes the dank resiny tropical melon flavors of mosaic and simcoe that are so commonly used can overwhelm other hop flavors. This beer characterizes the citrus and stonefruit quite well. Keeps the flavor light and crisp. Finishes completely dry and bitter as expected in your west-coast style. One of the best-crafted west coast IPAs. Worth $2 a pop in a sick pack, however? That may be a different story, but you decide.

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defunksta from Illinois, Apr 28, 2019
Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 14530 ratings