Ballast Point Brewing Company

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IPA - American
Ranked #4
Ranked #324
4.41 | pDev: 9.75%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Notes: Originally named Northstar IPA. Debuted in 2005.
Reviews: 2,608 | Ratings: 14,579 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by travolta:
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travolta from California

4.5/5  rDev +2%

Appearance: A bright, clear, and clean golden color. Awesome head with rocky formations and very good retention. Lacing is nice and thick. Great head. Awesome head.

Nose: Sharp peach and apricots. Lemons and lime, with some mint and slight herbs. Clean, green, fruity, and circusy. Spun sugar in the end.

Taste: A bit of syrup throughout, with tropical fruits up front. Hides it's alcohol well. A tiny bit of hotness on the tongue.

Notes: A great IPA that does not think it's an Imperial.

Sep 24, 2014
More User Reviews:
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BillBabbitt from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -20.6%

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.

Aug 23, 2014
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Aerocraft67 from Maryland

4/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Aug 31, 2016
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jkrich from Florida

4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

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.

Nov 30, 2014
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dpgoblejr from New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
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!

Apr 10, 2015
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Cramshawbar from Canada (ON)

3.2/5  rDev -27.4%
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.

Oct 02, 2018
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OldGriz from Washington

4.93/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Apr 13, 2015
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Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
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, 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!!

Apr 11, 2008
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anakinhush from North Carolina

4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Jan 20, 2018
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ddean from Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Jan 06, 2010
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tmbgnicu from Pennsylvania

4.91/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

May 21, 2014
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Austinkrat from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +2%
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.

May 16, 2015
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clingy from Maryland

5/5  rDev +13.4%

Classic favorite.

Aug 19, 2014
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Riggsby from New Jersey

4.66/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first drank this lovely at Stone in Escondido in 2007. At the time I was blown away by the citrus forward aspect of this beer. A couple of years later I toured the brewery just before this beer blew up in the national sense. We had a personal tour and were told they were putting 7 varieties of hops in each batch. The expen$e to make this ale was considerable. Thus the addiction began. I believe that, with my uncle, we put this beer on the map on the East coast because we were drinking at least a pallet/year. I have a set of garage doors nailed with thousands of caps to prove our consumption!! But what happened? As they grew this brew dropped off. I remember that on our West coast visit they were expanding tankage to outside fermenters. I believe this and hop shortages/prices changed this beer. Pliny on tap on the East coast, at least at Monk's, is close to what you taste in Santa Rosa. I can't say the same for Sculpin. Like a first love, she always fades with time. Thus the toying with grapefruit, kiwi, habaneros, etc to cover up the loss of what made this beer unique. Ballast boys- get back to the basics and make less so that we have "more"!

Dec 18, 2014
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drtth from Pennsylvania

4.84/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Dec 31, 2009
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MisterDigger from Louisiana

1.52/5  rDev -65.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

I tried this highly rated IPA based upon the high number of reviews. This was my first and last brew from Ballast Point. If I wanted grapefruit in my drink, I would make a paloma from one of my fine tequilas. I am delving into craft beers very late in my life and this beer only backs up my theory that craft beers are for hipsters who have yet to graduate from snowball syrup to fine distilled spirits. I did find one great craft beer with Founders Centennial IPA and it's bye-bye Heineken for me.

Jul 05, 2018
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Jazzman1963 from North Carolina

4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
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

Nov 21, 2018
BIGPOPPAS from New Jersey

3.89/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I guess we all have different palates, but I was really excited to taste this today , however was quite disappointed for a top 250 brew .
I'm not going to say it was bad overall, but being a noob to IPA's it was not even close to the Bolero Snort Rogue Bull I had earlier today .
I had with red beans and rice, so it was refreshing, however the bitterness at the end kind of let me down .
Beautiful amber color and a wonderful smell , however I just couldn't get past the bitterness.
I will try it again as even my friends truly love it as an IPA, but maybe I was expecting too much for a a common shelf beer .
As a stout and dark ale drinker it is quite an adjustment, so we will see in time :)
Next up will be Pineapple Sculpin ;)

Dec 19, 2016
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Harn_SOLO from Colorado

4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
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!

Jan 27, 2016
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citizennsnipps from Massachusetts

2.36/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

No no and NO! I made an account because this beer should not be the second best American IPA. It is a solid beer, but the grapefruit is WAY too robust for this to be just an IPA. If this were a fruited beer section (no idea if they exist on here yet), then this beer would definitely compete for the top spot. There are dozens of incredible IPAs that I'd put above this.

Jul 21, 2018
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Jessefromthe9 from California

5/5  rDev +13.4%

Aug 22, 2014
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TeamMathis from West Virginia

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

It has the best head retention I've ever seen in an IPA. Super frothy. The citrus smell is very, very inviting, but subtle. The taste also isn't overwhelming, but has a really nice bitter burn on the end. It's very close to the bitterness of an English IPA. Yes, I'd get this again. Is this one overhyped? Maybe, but worth getting.

Jul 31, 2016
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GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

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

Wow, a really great IPA! Citrus bomb that smells and tastes awesome!

May 17, 2015
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BucBasil from Rwanda

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

Pure clear orange color with a two finger off-white head. Smells pine with citrus rind in there. Smooth and somewhat fruity. Accessible but with a big character. The bitter dryness is just enough to make you want another sip. Very refreshing without being mouth-numbing like some other modern IPAs. Definitely a great example of the type.

Apr 07, 2016
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jmd1978 from Missouri

4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pale copper color with maybe half finger of head. Nose of apricot, citrus, tropical fruits, little peach. Taste of lemon, pine, orange peel, tropical fruits, and nice hoppy bite on the back end with a hint of breadiness. Dry finish with a nice lingering feel at the end. This is a very good IPA. Very light and refreshing with the bitterness you love. I prefer their dorado but this is a close second in the Ballast line up.

Apr 08, 2016
Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 14579 ratings