Sculpin
Ballast Point Brewing Company

SculpinSculpin
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
IPA - American
Ranked #4
ABV:
7%
Score:
98
Ranked #325
Avg:
4.41 | pDev: 9.75%
Reviews:
2,609
Ratings:
14,579
From:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  1,572
Gots
  6,180
SCORE
98
World-Class
SculpinSculpin
Notes: Originally named Northstar IPA. Debuted in 2005.
Reviews: 2,609 | Ratings: 14,579 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Shroom
Shroom from South Carolina

4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally getting a decent fresh supply of this beer after living without it many years in our area of SC. Foam tried to escape the can upon opening. Poured into an IPA glass.
Aroma of fresh hops; hoppy taste that is slightly bready with a medium bitter finish. Improves as it warms; alcohol is well disguised. Amazing old school IPA- reminds of Racer 5.
One of the best overall I’ve tasted.

Apr 10, 2021
Photo of spectru
spectru from Florida

3.76/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

March 29, 2021 - Light amber, clear at the bottom hazy at the top, fluffy white head, persistent, lacy; Typical IPA aroma, (my snifter is poor.); Smooth, tasty, mild; modestly carbonated, :( ; I dunno, I think I need to have a couple more to decide.

Mar 30, 2021
Photo of JimKochFan
JimKochFan from New Jersey

1.39/5  rDev -68.5%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

For this me this is one of those beers I revisit from time to time because I always think I missed something the last time I tried it. Then I come to this site and see the high rating and get sold on trying it again. I safely say after the 3rd time having this beer I won't purchase it again. Extremely bitter and unapproachable. There is virtually no drinkability to this whatsoever. I love a good IPA (Heady Topper, Focal Banger, Kane Head High, etc.) I will always reach for a drinkable IPA (Stone, SA Hazy, etc.) but this is neither.

Mar 24, 2021
Photo of Roon56
Roon56 from California

4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent IPA.
It has a nice amber color and the aroma is very inviting.
What I like about it is that the flavor is very fruity without being overly bitter.
Great for movie nights with popcorn and nuts.
It is a little pricey so it is an occasional quaf for me rather than a daily drink.
The alcohol will sneak up on you.

Feb 11, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund from Norway

3.81/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

355 ml bottle, from the Norwegian importer. ABV is 7%. Deep golden colour, nearly clear, moderate white head. Pleasant aroma of fruity hops (citrus, tropical fruits), also notes of pine. Distinct hoppy flavour on a background of slightly sweet malts, notes of grapefruit, pine needles and resin. Bitter finish, very bitter aftertaste.

Dec 12, 2020
Photo of ChewsitMtMan
ChewsitMtMan from California

4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours into light yellow golden haze, resembles honey. Smells of bitter fruit and heavy with hops. Malts on the mouth balance what you smell upon drinking, very well balanced. Sculpin pulls off the best flavored IPA because of these sophisticated roots...too drinkable, just ask my wife.

Nov 07, 2020
Photo of imnodoctorbut
imnodoctorbut from Texas

4.63/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

finally having this legend for the first time

pours a deep near-amber gold body with a billowing frothy off-white head that has moderately high retention and leaves a ton of thick patches of sticky sudsy lacing as it settles to a murky swamp cap

aroma is a balanced bright yet bitter citrus hop, with a slightly more tropical shade present. fair amount of malt picked up in the background.

taste is an instantly classic balance of citrus hops, flashes alternate an earthy bitterness and citrus sweetness throughout, backed by a consistent bready malt, before finally settling in with an orange peel/rind bitterness at the end that just clings until the next sip

moderate carbonation, medium-light body; occasional carbo prickles against a smooth sailing body and an easy dry finish that lingers bittersweet until the process is repeated

overall:
was NOT disappointed. I will be snagging the much more common Grapefruit Sculpin (in my area anyway) next trip to the store, for comparisons. Interesting that I felt like this brew was akin to biting into a grapefruit, peel and all *already*

Nov 06, 2020
Photo of VicCooper
VicCooper from Ireland

4.07/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sometimes I’m just too lazy to write a review, even after tasting “world class” marked beers, because usually they are good, but not up to the high expectations...

So, this one was sitting at the shelf as a last one, a 12 fl.oz, gorgeous can. Immediately checked the ranking, I won’t lie. Let’s see if it’s really up to its name.

Top: forms a 1” off white/cream head, lasts for average time.

Colour: lovely hazy amber, it’s really pretty.

Smell: raisins, tangerine and dried peach, sweet and aromatic

Taste: follows the nose, very fruity, citrusy, fresh and smooth (well, at first anyway). Its bitterness is decent, but you cannot feel it first, it amplifies slowly -from behind- and takes over. Medium body, medium carbonation.
Lasting dry/semi-dry finish with strong, somewhat sticky bitterness.

Summary: well, a bit of a letdown. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good WCIPA, but I wouldn’t call it “world class”. Had nicer recently, it’s problem is the slightly schizophrenic character. I like beers with strong “personalities”, but it was really unexpected how it changed its taste and feel in 3 seconds. In fairness, as it got warmer and more decanted (and probably I got used to it), changed for the better. I need to try again, and adjust the conditions.

Sep 03, 2020
Photo of highdesertdrinker
highdesertdrinker from Arizona

4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep golden color with a little over an inch of head, good carbonation. The smell is dank, bitter hops, some grapefruit, citrus and pine. Taste follows with a nice, bitter hop bite, red grapefruit, a decent malt backbone, and christmas tree (pine). It’s also dry and crisp, a near perfect example of a WCIPA. Consumed on 8-25 and canned on 7-20-20 so it’s as fresh as you need in the mini keg. It’s on the 3rd owner but the recipe seems intact and always a favorite and much more reasonable at 11.99 per sixer as opposed to the 15.99 that it used to be, cheers!

Aug 26, 2020
Photo of DrBeergood
DrBeergood from Ohio

4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Dark orange-ish amber. Moderate carbonation. Mostly clear. The color on it looks good. Glossy surface.

S: Lots of hops. Mango background. Smells fresh.

T: Pungent west coast style hops. Could be more pungent. There's a nice grassy note. A little spicy. There are between 4-6 hop varieties and 2-3 malts present. It tastes very fresh. There is alot to explore.

F: Fresh and well balanced. Nothing remarkable.

O: Best one so far out of the batch tonight. I will keep this one.

Aug 20, 2020
Photo of MNAle
MNAle from Minnesota

4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Taken from a 40° F 'fridge and allowed to stand for a few minutes before pouring from the 12 oz can into a 20 oz Belgian tulip glass.

Crystal clear golden amber, moderately effervescent, capped by a tall, white head with a slightly yellow tint. The head exhibits descent retention and nice lacing.

Aroma is not too strong, but strong enough to pick up the inviting citrus rind and grapefruit. As the beer warms, I also pick up more tropical fruit aromas, pineapple, others - apricot perhaps?

The citrus rind hits first in the flavor, along with the grapefruit. It transitions in the middle to a slightly sweet malty / bready flavor before resuming the rind bitterness in the finish. The aftertaste leaves a pleasant bitterness on the tongue. As with the aroma, more complexity to the flavor emerges as the beer warms, and in addition to the tropical fruits, the underlying body becomes a bit sweeter. But, the bitter aftertaste remains throughout.

The feel is moderate for the style, with a bit of smoothness to go with the bitter.

Overall, an excellent IPA, and better balanced with a more complex flavor profile than I was expecting.

Aug 18, 2020
Photo of Mikemcgrath4
Mikemcgrath4 from North Carolina

4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dank hop grass, orange peel nose. Extremely well balanced on the palate, with hop forward and bitter backbone, caramelly maltiness rounding out. Bitter but not dry finish.

Aug 17, 2020
Photo of Dan2213
Dan2213 from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: great golden color with a nice fluffy white head that dissipates and leaves nice lacing.
S: citrus and pine Resin in the nose. Really west coast vibes here to me
T: follows the nose, citrus and pine with nice malt flavor to bring it together
F: carbonation seemed perfect. Nice light feel
O: an outstanding WCIPA worthy of its reputation

Aug 12, 2020
Photo of jonphisher
jonphisher from New Jersey

4.09/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: I love the color of this beer, nice creamy head still linger, halfway through as I type this. Some very decent lacing on this one too.

Aroma: I get apricot and some orange as well as a noticeable malt aroma

Taste: sappy, apricot, sweet oranges

Mouthfeel: awesome! Perfect carbonation and it is so smooth and CLEAN. The bitterness really bites and then slowly disappears into a nice lingering bitterness.

Aug 09, 2020
Photo of TooManyGlasses
TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Been a while - this is such a great beer. 16 ounce can packaged late May so less than 2 months.
Pours a crystal clear golden with 2 fingers of tight white head - the clarity is refreshing and gorgeous.
Aroma of piney hops, caramel malty sweetness - floral, honeysuckle, citrus.
Taste crisp and piney, resinous, grapefruit - floral hops and balancing sweet grainy malt - bitterness dominates the sweetness.
Smooth medium full mouthfeel with building and lingering bittersweetness - clean and delicious.

Jul 18, 2020
Photo of Shiredave
Shiredave from New York

4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A friend brought this back years a go before we could get it on the E coast and it was one of the best IPA's I had had then and it hasn't changed much since it was that little brewery in Stone's shadow.
It can't look much prettier - amber gold with steady carb bubbles rising and a dense, slightly off white head of sticky, lacy foam with everlasting retention.
Aromas of pine and honey and some sort of flowers flooded the room as soon as the bottle cap came off. More of the same bloomed as it poured. Big malt sweetness - more honey and floral notes and delicious mashed grain and fresh wort smells that recall a working brewery.
The flavor is classic west coast IPA profile. Malt up front , sweet honey and porridge, an over ripe cherry-berry thing and then the pine needles and wet grass hop flavors move in. The hops win out in the end but the grain character and sweetness hold their own almost to the finish.
Medium bodied with a dry, slightly astringent hop bite on the tongue that lingers on the finish.
A bit less full and malty than I remember but still one of the better "true" American IPA's out there.

Jul 17, 2020
Photo of kjensen42
kjensen42 from California

4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this beer while on vacation in San Diego and really glad I tried it. Very nice flavor, excellent smell and visually very attractive. Had this at their brewery and it was kinda pricey but they had a lot of other beers to try so appreciate their efforts and look forward to visiting again to have more of their offerings.

Jun 24, 2020
Photo of Profundobaso
Profundobaso from New York

4.36/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. amber color and transparent. beautiful three finger head with excellent lacing retention.
Smell - old school dank, dominated by a lot of pine, seconded by citrus, and some tropical fruits.
Taste - slightly sweet and floral start, and hoppy bitterness quickly comes in and lingers until the end. finish is clean on the mouth, but bitterness (and aroma) lasts for quite some time. too delicious.
Feel - medium bodied, average carbonation, and appropriately boozy at 7%.
Overall - this is a top 5 American IPA in my book, and a quintessential representation of the style. It's an old school, textbook west coast style IPA, and one that got me hooked onto craft beer...even if Ballast Point is no longer craft.

Jun 04, 2020
Photo of WTBash
WTBash from Virginia

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

May 13, 2020
Photo of paltemose2303
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

Apr 26, 2020
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

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

Mar 31, 2020
Photo of mtedlee
mtedlee from California

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.

Mar 12, 2020
Photo of Buckeye55
Buckeye55 from North Carolina

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

Feb 27, 2020
Photo of cratez
cratez from Canada (ON)

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."

Jan 26, 2020
Photo of Thankin_Hank
Thankin_Hank from Texas

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.

Jan 08, 2020
Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 14579 ratings