Sculpin IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Sculpin IPASculpin IPA
BA SCORE
4.38/5
Outstanding
14,331 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#455
Reviews:
2,551
Ratings:
14,331
pDev:
9.82%
 
 
Wants:
1,536
Gots:
6,050
Trade:
41
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14,331 |  Reviews: 2,551
Reviews by titosupertramp:
Photo of titosupertramp
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks goes out to sonicwaveofbees for sending this my way.

A: Nice golden color, with about a finger of soapy, white head. Recedes slowly. Tons of lacing.

S: A bit muted, but very pleasant. Wonderful citrus, pineapple...maybe a hint of peach. There's a juicy quality to the smell. I can't pick up any of the malt on this one.

T: Excellent flavor. Citrus from the nose is what I noticed right away, but there's also an herbal, earthy quality to this that I really like toward the end.

M: Light bodied. Finishes slightly bitter and dry.

D: The light nature, inviting smell and great taste make this a delight to drink. No noticable alcohol.

Wonderful example of a West Coast IPA. Really glad I had a chance to try this one.

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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 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 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 Cramshawbar
3.2/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Has to be one of the biggest disappointments of the year for me. I was quite excited, as I love the style, the ratings are high and this is the first time I saw this sold in Toronto.
The nose is decent, but man the taste isn't. Way too bitter (and this bitterness overwhelms any other possible flavour within), with lingering effects that also include an uncomfortable film in the back of your throat.
I bought a six pack and I will finish but...A real bummer, this one.

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Photo of anakinhush
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Over a solid IPA. Not too bitter, sweet, or overpowering. Very smooth while drinking, ABV kicks in after swallowing. Very easy drinking beer, especially for 7%. Personally, I like the grapefruit version better.

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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 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 Jazzman1963
4.14/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice white head, a bit carbonated, with more a malty character than grapefruit. Great tasting drinkable beer. Price point is a bit high for an american IPA at 7% ABV

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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%

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 14,331 ratings