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Sculpin IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Sculpin IPASculpin IPA

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 2,447 | Ratings: 13,525
Photo of hardysf
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours perfect clear Amber. Smells juicy like grapefruit and mango. Taste is sweet malt balanced out by some Citrusy notes. Good mouthfeel. Really a solid perfectly balanced beer.

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Photo of Scrumtralecent
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle

A - Pours a nice hazy copper with a head that lingers and sticks to the side of the glass.

S - Plenty of citrus hops with some pine and lemon for good measure. Big and bold for an IPA.

T - Taste picks up where smell left off. Everything that is in the nose is nicely melded in the taste. Wonderful bitter from the hops with the lemon and citrus to bring it all together.

M - This one is nice and fresh so the hops stay and linger in the mouth afterwards, biting at the sides of the cheeks. Nothing like a good fresh IPA that stays with you for minutes after you take a drink of it.

O - Great IPA and an exceptional job of making all the hops work together and create a great IPA. I could drink plenty of this fresh. But one bottle will have to do.

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Photo of Nightmare1972
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a very clear amber look with a very thick creamy white head. Has a sweet hoppy aroma with a hint of pine. Very hoppy with a light caramel, and somewhat hidden apricot taste.

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Photo of SinjaminBentek
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap.

Appearance - Golden orange hue.

Smell - Dank, pine and citrus.

Taste - Citrus and pine.

Mouthfeel - Very drinkable. Perfect carbonation.

Overall - Very good west coast IPA.

Grade (A-)

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Photo of tillmac62
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden pour, with just a touch of amber, coupled with a very nice head and long lasting lacing. The nose is a complex blend of grapefruit, mango and other sweet tropicals against a subtle spruce. Light medium body with a smooth texture. The carbonation level is a touch above normal. The outstanding flavor profile is expertly complex and follows the nose. Grapefruit leads then flows into the sweeter hop flavors. In the middle the biscuit malt comes through against a subtle spruce flavor. The finish effervesces into a grapefruit bitter tartness over a caramel sweetness. This is an outstanding complex hop flavor bomb.

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Photo of SaucyA
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Fantastic light tan head that's creamy and billowing. Clear orange body. Big bubbles shoot from the bottom of my standard pint glass. Lacing.

S - Hops. Lots of 'em. It smells like a stroll through a forest... tons of pine, pine-sol, lemon, sap, underlying citric notes. I smell random fruits... peaches, grapefruit juice, orange rind, but none in particular... they all meld into a wonderful fragrance. I can't keep my nose out of this glass.

T - I'm having a hard time putting my finger on what's going on. Tons of hop notes, but nothing overly pronounced. I'm getting a lot of citric fruit flavors, a slight pine undertone, with lots of lemony flavors in the middle. Finish is nice and dry, but quenching. Not the most in-your-face taste, but really great. Malt is there only for balance, and plays little role in the actual taste.

M - Light, sparkly, slightly creamy. Finishes a little heavy but nothing to fuss about.

D - Drinkability is up there with the best of 'em. It's a very easy drinker and one I hope Ballast Point makes more of. The 7% abv is not noticeable, period.

Notes: This is what an IPA is. Hoppy, balanced, quenching, easy-drinking, and tasty. I highly recommend seeking one out now, while it's fresh and (somewhat) available. This is gonna be gone for a while, I'm afraid.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a very beautiful orange color, with a hint of goldfish yellow, with a white head, not too much color in there. Just right for the style.

It smells wonderful, but almost exactly how you'd imagine; Piney sweet oranges, it's almost zesty!

It tastes even better, very smooth and juicy from the hops. Not very bitter at all. The first few sips had me thinking "whoa...".

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Photo of muletrane
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle (no dates) into a Bruery tulip.

A: Pours a clear copper colour. 1 finger of dense white head that dissapates quickly. Leaves some lacing as well.

S: Lots of citrusy hops and sweet malts.

T: Lots of piney hops in the flavor. Some citrus hops and sweet malts peek through as well. The finish is dry with lingering bitterness.

M: Moderate body and carbonation. Slightly prickly on the tongue and creamy and smooth going down.

The is simply one of the best single IPA's I've had the pleasure of enjoying. This beer has a great hop profile and is very drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of abrand
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 ounce bomber acquired via trade from JesseTheHut. Thanks Jesse! This is the start of my west coast IPA tour!

The Sculpin IPA pours a brilliantly bright gold color with lots of carbonated bubbles flowing from the SN etched pint glass. A very frothy 2 finger head that does not go away throughout the brew. This is one of the best looking heads I have ever seen. Aromas are pleasantly hops with lot of fruits including apricots, lemons and grapefruit. Quaff is dominated with hops. Also some of the same citrus fruits from the aroma and also pine flavors. No alcohol is noted in the quaff but wow the hops in this are amazing. A hop heads dream come true. Mouthfeel is crispy and full bodied. Drinkability is unbelievable... Flavor profile is intense but incredible. Thanks again Jesse for giving me the chance to try this.

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Photo of PatronWizard
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I only had this thanks to the sick generosity of OlieIPA, who literally stumbled on the release and brought me a bottle. Thanks kid!

Pale orange hued clearness. Strikingly clear. You might mistake is for a common cheap macro if not for the frothy white head that hints at its true nature.

Smell is wonderful. Hops. Citrus. Pine. A camping trip in the forest, only stronger and cleaner.

Beautifully imbalanced. Like an IPA should be. Screw the malts! Lingering bitterness. I only noticed this at the end of my first glass because I couldn't stop 'sipping' it long enough to notice before. Excellent belch taste as well. I almost taste fish, but I've been staring at the bottle for awhile now.

Drinkability: all night long, all night

Overall: possibly the best tasting IPA ever

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Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice clear golden body. White foam head - 1-1.5inch in height with aggressive poor.

S - Fantastic hop scent with citrus and pine notes.

T - Very good IPA - All the right notes of hops, citrus, and pine with a sweet complex finish. So good that I may make a brewery trip part of my California vacation this year.

O - Great Session IPA. Certainly needs to be part of the summer IPA rotation. Excited to try some of the other offerings from Ballast Point. Nicely Done!

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Photo of Someguy1989
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz poured into a pint glass.

A: Light yellow color with the slightest copper color.

S: Not a huge nose to it, but whats there is a lot of bitter, piney hops, a bit of citrus and possibly malt flavors

T: Citrus, Mango, very very tropical in the front. In the finish the hops are strong but subdued, which is this beers true stong point. I abhorr hop bombs that destroy the pallet and make the next sip difficult, this one got it exactly right, just enough bitterness for refreshment.

M/D: Medium mouthfeel, a bit creamy at times. Very balanced. I find it hard to believe this is 7%, as I have the strong urge to chug this its so good (which is something I never really do with any beer).

Ladies and Gentlemen I have found my new favorite IPA and maybe new favorite beer. If you can get your hands on this one try it, you will not be disappointed.

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Photo of hotpauko
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 39 days after date on bottle. This is an excellent beer and my guess is if from tap would be awesome. Super smooth, you never get a bite from this beer. Strong flavors never jump out at you, but settle very nicely in the mouth. Had the grapefruit and habanero recently (both ok), but it's nice to get back to the original. While I really like this beer, I'm surprised by the bro's score of 100. It certainly ranks as one of the top IPAs, though. Definitely worth whatever you can get your hands on if you are a hopheads.

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Photo of KarmicSkrambl8
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

instant blast of hoppiness out of the bottle...and on the tongue

love the color and the aftertaste---bitter, resiny...with a bite

a very fine offering...a bit "small" on the ABV% for me...but that is my palate/psyche issue to grapple with

overall...hearty reccomendation

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Photo of EBeckett3
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Caramel-amber, small but full dirty white head, excellent laces
S - Citrus, fruit floral, slight hops
T - Medium-full bodied, caramel malt, fruity, bright hops, crisp bitters
M- Balanced, smooth, with a snap
O - Exemplary IPA, high ABV means home drinking or somebody drives - too good for just one or two...

Served in a 16 oz pint glass at the Pourhouse, Westmont, NJ

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Photo of robL
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A perfect example of an IPA. From aroma to color to taste, it hits on all the notes that exemplify this style.

Grapefruits, lemons, hops, and grass all come through the nose and jump to the palate in a crisp, slightly bitter taste. The finishing sweetness from the malty base compliments the overall experience. With a crisp and refreshing aftertaste, you can never drink enough!

My full review here: http://beerhatesme.blogspot.com/2012/03/ballast-point-sculpin.html

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I know this beer is supposed to be one of the better IPA's out there, and I would agree to some extent. It is nicely balanced for an IPA - just hoppy, piney, and citrusy enough. But I wasn't necessarily overwhelmed with it. It was a good IPA but I think I'm to the point where I'm at IPA overload and can only tell if an IPA is bad.

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Photo of kirkpjr
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thrown in as a very generous "extra" by "thebouch01." Thanks Kevin!

Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a clear golden orange with two fingers of creamy head. Bubbles stream to the top of the glass from the laser etch. Spotted chunks of lacing. The final pour gives a nice haziness to the beer.

S: Pine, mango, and citrus hops. Not quite the hop bomb I had expected here. Very nice though - with a gentle malt in the background.

T: Wonderful crisp hops. Strong lemon zest with a lingering pine flavor. Light mango and peach also here - even though it might be the dialogue on the bottle inducing the peach distinction. Practically the perfect level of bitterness. A very faint malts balances out a little of the hops. Overall a solid and truly great IPA.

M: Medium in body and moderate carbonation. Resinous hop flavor. Extremely crisp and refreshing for the bitterness contained here.

D: Don't know if this one deserves the number 1 IPA, but it is up there. Highly drinkable and very tasty. Would love to have this one down South.

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Photo of gatornation
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from a 12 0z bottle it poured a slightly hazed golden yellow color with a fresh white 1 finger head that stayed with good lacing on side of glass really fresh looking..smell was pine forest with citrus and tropical fruits just bursting with hops. ..taste was crisp pine with loads of tropical hops..mango,pineapple tastes fill the pallet and just resonate full hop flavor ...then grapefruit and and floral hops..malts were there also..mouth feel crisp and fresh well carbonated and full of tropical hops..drink ability is outstanding this bottle was extremely fresh so full of hop flavor really one of the top 5 ipas ive had

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Photo of Musition12
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased from City Beer Store in SF. Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a pale orange-amber with a hefty egg-shell white 2-finger head. Very good retention down to the last drop.

S: Pungent bouquet of pine and grapefruit hops with lemon zest and a lingering maltiness in the background.

T: Whoa. This is a pretty complex IPA. There are the usual suspects: Grapefruit, pine cone, lemon-lime, pineapple, and mango. But there's also some subtler berry and peach notes. All shock the palate with a big burst of fruit juiciness that descend to a sharp (but very short-lived) bitterness that stings the back of your throat and disappears. There's some sweetness here too: white bread and honey provide some stability for the orgy of fruitiness going on here. Fantastic.

M: Incredibly soft and creamy feel considering all the citrus in the taste. This overcomes the intense dryness in the finish and leaves a sticky, resiny hop film on the tongue. I can't imagine an IPA "feeling" any better than this.

D: I'll have another. And another. I wish I could afford to stock up on this.

For a standard West Coast IPA, this is out of sight. The most extraordinary aspect of Sculpin was the outstanding dynamism of its mouthfeel - sensual and seductive with a little "sting". This is a rare example of a West Coast IPA firing on all cylinders, reaching for extreme taste and an intriguing mouthfeel while remaining imminently drinkable. An instant favorite.

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Photo of HopDeezy
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - golden orange, crystal clear (classic west coast filtration) white frothy head that hangs around

S - Every tropical and citrus fruit you can imagine and then some that don't exist yet.

T - same. Tropical and citrus fruit, floral. Many IPAs showcase a certain "fruit" character but this is very complex. A hint of almost everything adds up to a remarkable flavor.

M - highly carbonated with a biting bitter finish that is just right.

O - Realistically this is my go to as it's available in 6 pack cans for $14. Easy to find for me here in the Boston area, always great. With all of the world class beers here in New England (quite a few a little better and by a little I mean slightly) I always go back and compare them to Sculpin. My staple go to beer. Awesome.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a stemmed glass.

The color is a clear orange/gold with two or three fingers of foamy white head and some thick lacing.

The smell is pretty floral hops with some funky citrus flavor. This has a nice west coast IPA feel and I am impressed already.

The taste is pretty sweet and pretty bitter but with a fruity citrus flavor that does give off a bit of zing. Pretty good spiky flavor that does poke with a bitterness that is not surprising but fun. Some tropical fruit I can't name brings you to a slapped back fruity flavor.

The feel of this beer is a pretty smooth beer. It goes down pretty darn smooth but does leave it's mark on your mouth as it bitters the palate with some nice flavor.

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Photo of BastardKing24
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've wanted to review this beer for a while, but I've only had it once. This is my 2nd time.

Pours a dark gold/orange, with a small white head that falls to a ring and some bubbles.

Smells like some serious hops, grapefruit, pine, lemon, some malt backbone, and kinda peppery.

Taste is heavenly with loads of fresh hops, a perfect selection of them. Orange rind, lemon zest, apricot, also I get a taste very similar to my own tangerines that I have from my tree. Very inviting with sort of a peppery note in there, like an anaheim chile taste. A decent amount of bittering hops flavor resides on the tail end of the taste.

Mouthfeel is generous with a nice balance of thickness per sweetness ratio. Medium to full carbonation gives it a prickly taste bud experience. I like this brew alot and wish other breweries could come up with similar but equally unique recipes. So far Lagunitas Sucks is on par with it, and also pliny the elder. Give this one a try you won't regret it. Also I am pairing this with cracked pepper cheese curds from my local farmstead shop, giving it another dimmension as well. Good IPA's deserve to be paired well with good food.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. can

Pours a clear golden color with a coarse two inch head, dissipates very slowly to a lacing.

Smells of honey, buttered bread, grapefruit, and pine.

The taste is of honey and bready malt with a maple hop followed by hints of strawberry, passion fruit, and orange citrus. Finished with a piney bitterness.

Medium body with tingly carbonation on the tongue.

An exceptionally good IPA that does everything right. Drinks very easy and smooth. Deserves to be in the pantheon of great American IPAs. If anything could stand improvement, its the mouthfeel which is every so slightly thin for what the beer is. Otherwise, top notch.

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Photo of orfeu
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Total Wine in Phoenix, AZ. "Enjoy by 08/12/13." Poured into an Alesmith Ten Year Anniversary tulip glass. Golden orange in color, somewhat hazy but mostly clear. Rapidly thinning cream-colored head. Appealing thick, sticky lacing. Aromas of pine, candied grapefruit, lemon rind. Slight malt sweetness at first, but a sturdy bitterness quickly takes over and sustains throughout the finish. A caramel-sweet base carries massive citrus rind and pine sap flavors. Some soft apricot and mango notes appear throughout. Nice and light on the palate with a smooth, dry finish. Must-try for IPA aficionados, although somewhat pricey at $9 a bottle.

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 13,525 ratings.
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