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Sculpin IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
97
world-class
2,447 Reviews
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Sculpin IPASculpin IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
ballastpoint.com

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally named Northstar IPA. Debuted in 2005.

Added by brentk56 on 04-02-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,447
Ratings:
13,530
Avg:
4.38
pDev:
22.83%
 
 
Wants:
1,464
Gots:
5,431
For Trade:
47
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,447 | Ratings: 13,530
Reviews by ChillMike:
Photo of ChillMike
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always a sucker for a new IPA to try and Ballast Point usually puts out some tasty beers. Let's give this a try

A: Pours a light orange color that's somewhat opaque with a nice bright white head that recedes quickly but does leave some nice lacing around the glass.

S:Very pleasant aroma, hop first but a very unique citrus scent is present, it really smells like mangoes, oranges and just a hint of a pepper and even a bit of what seems like peach or apricot.

T:A nice bitter flavor, the hops aren't as in your face as they are in the aroma but they are definitely present. A very floral tasting beer.

MF: Nice and light feel, great day for this beer as it got up to about 95 degrees, very refreshing beer.

D: Very drinkable beer, the taste and aroma make this a very easy beer. Another good offering from Ballast Point.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BillBabbitt
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%

I know this a very highly rated IPA, but I am not a fan. I have tried this beer on tap and out of a bottle. It pours a beautiful golden color with a rich creamy head , but I find the aftertaste a bit harsh.

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Photo of jkrich
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Poured a hazy, golden-orange hue with a sustained, foamy white-head. This seems to be the typical American IPA look. I could not locate a freshness date but there was a number code on the label that may indicate the ale was bottled on the 213 day of 2014.

A very fresh and bittersweet fruity aroma greets the olfactory upon opening the bottle, along with a faint piney, bitter aroma.

The flavor has a surprisingly soft and mellow, citrusy start with a lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue. Very flavorful, but not what I expected given the reviews and especially the aroma. Of course, the bottle is a few months old.

Light to medium bodied with a somewhat thin mouth feel. The citrusy bitterness does linger on the palate.

This is another fine example of the American IPA: full flavored, high in alcohol but so very drinkable.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Gold in color with tiny bubbles rising to the surface. Off white head that froths around the top and settles to a slight layer of bigger bubbles. Lacing is evident along the edges of glass as it slides down. Smell is of pine and some citrus is found in the background. Tastes of pine, grass, citrus and maybe some bitter hops are dancing on the tongue. Smooth on the palate and slightly creamy with the bitterness finishing it off. Overall, a fantastic IPA to indulge upon!

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Photo of OldGriz
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll never forget my first taste of Sculpin. It was a magical beer moment for me.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this bottle from South Bay D&L. Thanks Joey!

It pours a clear and very nice straw gold with a 2 finger head of foam. Plenty of lacing here as well. Very good head retention.

The smell is..whoah...the citrus hits my nose buds first but there's a lot of *other* things going on. Tropical fruit goes hand in hand with grapefruit and I can also smell some malty sweetness. Great nose...now, if I'll just point the glass away from my nose and point it towards my mouth. ;^)

First sip and what a treat. The grapefruit is there in big abundance as are flavours of apricot, peach, and oh yeah, mango; it has a huge presence here and boy does *that* ever work well. Wow. Just before the finish, I get a nice helping of pine but the finish itself, for me, returns to that darn tasty fruitiness that really hits my palate on just the right notes. Again, wow.

It has a near perfect mouthfeel for me and that's helped by a fairly light job of carbonation. Dang, I better slow down here, not because of the abv but because it's so damn tasty and I don't want to be looking at an empty bottle and glass! Yum!

Bottom line: Here's a world class IPA if I've ever tasted one. If you get the chance to try it, don't hesitate for one moment!!

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Photo of Aerocraft67
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this a couple of times but don't think it's worth the price or its vaunted status. A bit lighter and at least as complex as a Dogfish 60, I'll give it that. A fine IPA but the price just grinds my shorts. I also prefer the richness of the Two-Hearted at a bit lower price point.

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Photo of ddean
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance-
Golden yellow, which isn't my favorite color. I'd like more amber or orange in my IPAs. Could be more clear, but I like the frothy head that others have described: it builds quickly and then dissipates right after you have had time to take it in.

Smell-
Here's an interesting one. I get lots of hops, then some sulfur (rotten eggs, skunk?), along with some grapefruit and other citrus that others have put forth. You might think that would be disgusting, but it is quite interesting as a matter of fact, so high marks.

Taste-
I was a little let down here, but it is still quite good. Thin to me, because the grapefruit and the hops dominate. I don't get the pine that others describe, and that is my favorite characteristic of my favorite IPAs (Lagunitas Maximus, Stone Ruination). A little lemon and apricot later on. Definitely good, but there is not much of a counterbalance in the taste.

Mouthfeel-
Smooth, crisp, very nice. I like the superlingering hops. I'm in full agreement with my raving colleagues.

Drinkability-
Goes down nice and easy. The smooth crispness makes me think I'd have no problem reaching for more, but the taste doesn't blow me away quite enough to not want to try other brews in a pub.

In summary, very good stuff, just not the most balanced IPA ever to me. Like the crisp, strong hops, but I want more pine and caramel.

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Photo of Veeblefetzer
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had a six pack of bottles, purchased in San Clemente. Very nice IPA. Citrus smells, lovely color. Nice hop taste with overtones of grapefruit. Very nicely balanced IPA.

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Photo of moundbz
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

looks great, smells great, tastes great with a bitter after taste.

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Photo of Mmart802
4.73/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Lots of flavors of pine, citrus and hops. Bold taste all the way through.

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Photo of clingy
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Classic favorite.

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Photo of frozyn
3.86/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L -- Thick white head with a golden color, somewhat hazy.

S -- Bitter hops, a little pine comes through, along with floral notes and very minute tropical fruit.

T -- Lots of hops creates a nice bitterness. Unfortunately, every time I've had this, the only thing I really get from it is bitterness. I notice slight hints of citrus or pine, but they're always overrun by bitter. I

F -- Light-to-medium feel, very crisp and refreshing. No resin leftover to note of.

O -- A very good beer, but I prefer Jai Alai. For the price, I don't feel it presents a good value, especially given what else is out there. I keep trying this in SWFL and it just hasn't impressed me too much. In fact, as I try more IPAs and other different styles, each successive tasting makes me think less and less of this beer. Perhaps someday I'll be in San Diego and get to try it ridiculously fresh and it will change my mind. Until then....

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Photo of DanPiek
2.11/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

I have no idea why this beer rates so high with everyone. Maybe they are not very experienced in drinking a variety of IPAs. Compared to coors light this is a 97, but as far as IPAs go it is as generic as they come. No hop flavor other than bitterness, no malt, crappy carbonation. Overall, nothing special.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional west coast IPA....but the Grapefruit version is better by far

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Photo of chriskelly
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Excellent IPA. One of my top 10 go to IPAs.

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Photo of jamex
1.98/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I used to really love Sculpin. I would periodically stop by the Scripps Ranch brewery and fill up a growler at least once a month. Many times I'd stop by the brewery just to get a pint. Life was good, and I was excited to have such a world class brew within a few minutes of my house.

Then something changed. I'm not sure what - the hops, the blending, whatever - I'm not a brewer so I can't explain it. I'd say it happened about a year ago. The aroma changed. The taste drastically changed. It just wasn't the beer I fell in love with. Tropical notes all but vanished. The bitterness was heightened. The fresh piney hints turned sour and "urinal-like."

Maybe my tastes have changed. I guess it's possible. Maybe I need to visit the Home Brew Mart location for a final test since all of this ranting is based from multiple, different growlers and pints at the Scripps tasting bar. But each pint and growler fill pushes me away. Last night I did the unthinkable: drain poured a 1/2 growler of this mess.

If there really is an alternate recipe, please BP go back to your roots. Let me once again give this golden drink the score it deserves.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at another hipster heaven - Chapter One, Santa Ana, CA.

Did Raul just get himself in on this? Yep, it looks like he did!

Raul done had himself Sculpin many times over like Lindsay Lohan has had rehab visits. Only difference between Sculpin and that podunk ginger is that Raul will keep up with his daily Sculpin regime.

Clean, crisp, and devilishly intoxicating. Line another one up. Yep!

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Photo of Harn_SOLO
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pretty much the best IPA I've ever had. The Ballast Point flagship beer really is amazing. A nice citrus flavored hop mixed with some sappy piney notes as well. Very balanced and refreshing. They charge a pretty penny for six-packs, but it really is worth the cost. Golden tint and crisp taste are great!

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Photo of UTPharm2012
3/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poor man's Cigar City Jai Alai imo

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Photo of Joegot4
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic IPA! The gateway beer to hop addiction!

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Photo of Jessefromthe9
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Austinkrat
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great, balanced IPA. Just the right sweetness too balance the hops. May be the ideal IPA.

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Photo of tmbgnicu
4.91/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

If I am ever on deathrow, and I am allowed a last meal and can choose the beverage- I want a fresh bottle or can of Sculpin to be my drink. I grabbed a six pack of cans locally with a canned date of 5-20-14- just over two weeks old. The first six pack of Sculpin I had was about 3 months old, and boy was there a difference. The fresh Sculpin was the best ipa I have ever had. It was crisp and clean with the perfect notes and bitterness. West coast IPAs- fanfreakingtastic.

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Photo of drtth
4.84/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a nonic pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear golden orange color with a ½" firm, fluffy white head that recedes to leave patches of foam clinging to the sides of the glass, a ring around the liquid and a patch of foam on the surface of the liquid. Sipping leaves some nice lacing. At least some of the foam and lacing persist through out the beer and there are sticky patterns of lacing on the glass even to the end.

Smell: The aroma is dominated by tropical fruits with a lot of pineapple and mango and is simply a pleasure to sniff. There is also some citrus present but it is more tangerine than bitter grapefruit. Underlying the fruits there is a nice touch of light sweet malt.

Taste: The flavors are crisp, clean and are pretty much what is expected from the nose--a citric, pineapple and mango delight. There is no bite from the hops, just a smooth and balanced bitterness that is fruity, citric, piney, bitter and sweet all at once.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth with consistent, persistent moderate carbonation. The finish is medium to long and is one of those where things fade a way so smoothly you just don't notice it happening until they are gone.

Drinkability: This beer is so drinkable that I finished it off in about half the time I would normally take with an IPA of the strength of this one. There is not even a trace of harshness in the hop bitterness. I definitely want another one and expect I'll do so without hesitation next time I have a chance. This IPA is now in my top few for the style and I'd love to be able to do a side-by-side tasting with this one, Bell's Two Hearted, and Founders Centennial.

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 13,530 ratings.
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