Sculpin IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

13,789 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13,789 |  Reviews: 2,481
Photo of Huffs
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sam adams glass, nice white head developed, thick and creamy, with good retention and lacing. Aroma was very hoppy with strong pine notes. Appearance was clear with a dark golden color. Tasted off the charts of pine and hop, almost a tar type of note. More subtle notes of herb and grass. Mild mouth feel with a strong and bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of cantal
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of KVH
4.31/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of ricke
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Yellow, almost straw-colored (great to see an IPA of this magnitude that's actually a pale ale). A rather thin white head settles in a moderate pace.

S: Massive hop aromas. Plenty of exotic fruits, but not so dominated by grapefruits as many other hop forward beers are. Instead here are generous amounts of mango and passion fruits (along with the grapefruit of course). Here is also a very pleasant smell of elder flowers. Some pine needles and hop resins. Biscuity malts are present as well.

T: Replicates the smell with very fresh hop flavors all around. Exotic fruits (grapefruit, mango, passion fruit) mix with elder flowers and hop resins. A semi-sweet crisp and biscuity malty backbone. The finish is really bitter with notes of pine-needles and, citric notes and grassy hop notes.

M: Medium to semi-full body, nice sticky mouthfeel. Crisp carbonation.

D: This is a great IPA with a massive and very tasty hop profile. Still, it manages to stay very balanced. The malts are almost perfectly suited for the hop centered flavors.

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Photo of phatsmackey
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MrKasbeer
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of bfred805
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of buschbeer
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle
Served in a Detroit Red Wings shaker pint

A - It is a golden color with about three inches of off white head.

S - The aroma is fresh citrus and tropical fruit.

T - There is a lot of tropical fruit upfront. It finishes with some piney bitterness.

M - Moderate

O - I'm kind of surprised by the mild bitterness. I was expecting a west coast hop bomb. It is very tasty and refreshing.

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Photo of blackie
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: shaker pint, golden amber in color, served with a creamy layer of carbonation that retains well

s: fresh, vivid hop aromas of citrus oils and deep tropical fruits on a nice clean malt base, lightly sweet, pungent, great hop profile pushed to the front

m: lively carbonation, smooth but functioning well to spread the flavors around, body ranging light to medium

t: lots of hoppy citrus, grapefruit, passionfruit, pale malt body with a light caramel sweetness, favoring juicy hops over malt depth, satisfyingly bitter - but not gratuitously so

d: it's not the hoppy revelation that I might have expected, but it's a top tier ipa by my standards, easily drinkable

draft at Galaxy Hut

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Photo of rbfurr3
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Ezekiel81923
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this a few times, but this review will be of the fresh case I picked up at the Beeryard.

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Nice, clear-ish, glowing orange color. A nice, thick, fluffy white head rises and slowly falls, leaving sporadic lacing down the side of the glass.

Smell: Wonderful aroma. Very citrusy, lemon mostly, with some hints of tropical fruit. The aroma is strong and fills up a decent amount of the room where the glass is the epicenter.

Taste: Lemony, citrusy hops. Resinous hops explode with a front of grapefruit and finished with an oily bitterness. There is a bit of a malt backbone, but the hops really shine with this one.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with mild carbonation. Finished clean and dry. All the flavors linger for a while after each sip.

Drinkability: I drink this slow. It's a good medium-bodied IPA but the hops slow me down a little. Still fantastic though. I can still drink several these over a few hours.

A terrific IPA. Glad it makes it out to Philly every now and then.

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Photo of psuKinger
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split 22 ounce bottle with my buddy Griff, who brought it over to my place for some sampling yesterday. Review done from notes. Bottle was poured into my Kona Brewing shaker glass.

A: Hazy golden color with a nice thick white head on top.

S: The nose on this beer is addicting. It has a delightfully full (but not overpowering) smell of apricots, citrus, and hops.

T: The taste follows the nose. This beer is unlike any other IPA I've ever had. It's unique in that it's "hoppy", yet it just has so many delicate flavors balancing out over it's hop profile. It doesn't just punch you in the face with grapefruit and bitterness like a Stone Ruination. It's a unique balance of apricots, mangos, citrus, and even a little grapefruit from the hop oils. For me, the taste of apricot is prominant, but not "dominant". Nothing dominates here. Different hop flavors fade in and out, but nothing overwhelms.

M: Light and creamy in the mouth, and leaves a moderate amount of hop oils on the tongue with the finish.

D: Extremely high. I could easily drink this all night.

[EDIT]: I had to edit this beer on 1-11-2011 and dock it a few points for Taste and Drinkability, as since this review I have found this beer to be probably the most hit-and-miss IPA I've ever come across. With no freshness date on the bottle, I can't conclude that it's merely a freshness issue. In fact, I've had experiences at bars with fresh kegs that I still haven't been impressed with. So I am choosing to drop drinkability from a 5 to a 4. Sometimes this beer is so great it's nearly a religious experience, but equally often this beer disappoints me, and shows itself to be anything but exceptional. When "good", this is an extremely unique IPA, but there are other IPAs out there that are able to deliver with a far higher batting average than this one has.

 1,834 characters

Photo of blane1
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear golden body. light white foam head - 1-1.5 inch in height

S - Fantastic hop blast with citrus and pine notes.

T - Everything a IPA should be - Hop kick with citrus, and pine finish. One of the best example of the variety

O - A must try for all hop-heads.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Almasi_
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of beerprovedwright
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snot I am starting to like IPAs more and more. Something about the great citrus flavor. Two finger head of thick foam, good full lace with much cling. Color is a 9 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell of grapefruit, lime, malt, pepper, and pine. Taste is very sharp and refreshing, with flavors of grapefruit, pine nuts, lemon peel, roasted malt, and vinegar. Mouthfeel is creamy and full, with good zing. This brew sneaks up and kicks your behind. I will try to get some more of this fine beer.

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Photo of JayN
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Dewb17
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CraftAleRookie
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle in a DFH signature glass.

A- cloudy, orangish dark gold hue, with a 1/4 inch thin but bubbly head- which clung immediately to the sides of the glass and hung high while the core head slowly bubbled down to nice lace.

S- as I scribbled my "appearance" notes on a scrap of paper, I caught whiffs of piney hops from 2 feet away from the glass. Citrus, pine, grapefruit, sweet-hop.

T- strong hop-bite up front; tart citrus taste. Bitterness remains through the finish- no hints of sweetness that can sometimes be present in an IPA of this reputation, but still solid.

M- outstanding- "light" for such a a tart/bitter IPA. Tingly bubbles, refreshing texture.

D- very very good IPA that is leaning toward the charactistics of a DIPA. Flavor is full and bitter- want to try one of these on draft!!

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Photo of GaryLikesAle
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of goods003
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Morey
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours yellow-orange in color with a slight haze to it. Two finger off-white head has settled to a thin lace after about 3 minutes or so. Plenty of impressive lacing though!

Smell is definitely on the fruity side as far as Ipa's are concerned. I'm getting orange and apricot as the most dominant.

Taste is more of the same. Nice citrus/fruity flavors with a big hop-bite. Bitterness lingers on the back end, but not too much.

Medium mouthfeel with a nice hop bite and moderate carbonation.

I could easily drink a six pack...easily.

Morey's Bottom Line: Been wanting to try this for a while. Glad I finally got to. It lives up to the hype. It's definitely a top 5 Ipa in my book. Reminds me a lot of Two Hearted.

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Photo of Popkas
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden yellow with a nice creamy head.

S: Unmistakeable Sculpin. Strong citrus and floral hops and some nice balancing sweetness - almost a floral honey scent.

T: Follows the nose with a nice bitter bite upfront followed by nice mellow sweet malt and then another hit of hops.

M: Medium to light body, nice carb.

D: Just a really nice beer that goes down well.

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Photo of JPeterson17
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KAP1356
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650ml bottle into my Hoppin' Frog pint glass. No bottled on date, but it was refrigerated (thank God) in the store where I bought it...

A - Pours a hazy golden color. Did not give it a hard pour, but a 2.5 finger eggshell (slightly off white) white color head did form.

S - Honey, mango, grapefruit, some pineapple. VERY citrus hop presence. However not as strong an aroma as I would have thought for all that is going on here.

T - Honey and very citrusy hops stand out. It is sweet and bitter at the same time with neither overpowering the other. Sweet up front with the fruits coming out, and then bitter fnish with some piney elements coming through. Everything comes together in a tremendous way.

M - Slightly thicker than what I expected. Nice and smooth though.

D - Unbelievably well balanced. More so than most ofthe other IPA's I've had. I didn't even notice that it was a 7% beer. It is quite enjoyable and it would be a tremendous beer on a hot day in the summer.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

taste- crisp, clean, bitter, lemon peel, citrus oil

color- light gold

clarity- clear

smell- floral, candy, citrus fruit, grapefruit, sourness

body- light-medium weight mouthfeel, medium-length bitter hop finish...most of the weight is at the front of the palate

appearance- nice candy white head when first poured then little carbonation and faint lace after

overall impression- solid effort, medium-weight ipa...easy drinker, interesting sweet and sour balance, a little leaner than i'm used to tasting in a 7% ipa

 521 characters

Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 13,789 ratings.
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