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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: 2,437 | Ratings: 13,464
Photo of nicholas2121
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sculpin IPA brewed by Ballast Point Brewing Company, with an ABV of 7.00% This IPA pours out a golden amber color with a small white head. There is also a nice cloudy tint to Sculpin IPA. Sculpin IPA is an unfiltered brew you can not see though this IPA. The smell of Sculpin IPA, is nice with hops, grains and malts. You also pick up on a mild sweetness in the smell of this brew. The smell is really inviting. There is also a fair amount of lacing to this IPA. Now for the taste, it is bold with hops at first. Then it smooths out with sweet grains and malts. There is a lot going on in Sculpin IPA . This IPA had the look, smell and taste of most IPA's on the market. Not saying that is a bad thing. What sets this IPA form the others is how smooth it is. Sculpin IPA has a super nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about this brew. It is really hard to pick up on the 7.00% ABV in this brew. The month feel of Sculpin IPA is, Rich, Bold, Clean Smooth and Refreshing. I really how bold this brew is however it goes down nice and smooth. Overall I'm giving Sculpin IPA a 4.50 out of 5. I would buy this brew again. If you are a fan of IPA's look this brew up. Ballast Point Brewing Company, did a real nice job with this brew.

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Photo of JonCorbett
4.21/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A golden-coppery orange with a reddish hue. A good amount of rising foamy white head and some decent looking lacing left behind as it settles.

Aromatics: Fairly strong floral infused pineapple and grapefruit citrus with pine resin. I also get a good level of toasty raisin that keeps the balance closer to the sweeter end of the spectrum. I actually really like the how the subtle sweet malt seems to drift in just underneath.

Taste: There is a bit of a yeasty bread sweetness right at the start that quickly moves on to the more intense citrus peel and earthy pine of the hops. The bitter is equivalent to day old coffee with a hint of mocha added.

Mouth: A decent amount of carbonation (not too much) it sits just below "lively" and is good enough to add a nice sensation to the palate. Body is definitely medium, and doesn't wander closer to one end or the other. It's intake is slick and warming, the finish is of moderate length and intensity with a bitter that has a good heft to it.

Overall: I really enjoyed the complexity and freshness. It is one of the better IPAs I've had, even though IPAs are not my usual these days, and I tend to prefer East Coast hop varieties better than the West, so that probably plays a role in my overall impression. Would I drink it again? You bet! But I'm in agreement with many of the others who have ranked it and noted that it just seem to be as far up the chart as other highly praised beers.

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Photo of superspak
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/22/2016. Pours slightly hazy medium orange/amber color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, apricot, peach, pineapple, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, light caramel, toasted biscuit, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of bright citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, apricot, peach, pineapple, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, light caramel, toasted biscuit, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, apricot, peach, pineapple, mango, lemon/orange rind, pine, toasted biscuit, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and minimal lingering hop astringency after the finish. Moderate dryness from bitterness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, sticky/resinous, and lightly creamy/grainy balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Minimal warming alcohol for 7%. Overall this is an incredible IPA. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of bright citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink despite very resinous bitterness. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of CRyan603
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very good IPA. Not as floral as some of the real good IPAs but still very hoppy and a good mouthfeel. Very unassuming by the looks, but tastes strong and finished smooth.

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Photo of JoLight
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(poured into a pint glass) Yellow-golden, hazy, bubbly; off-white frothy head that leaves a thin, frothy layer; little spotty lacing.

Sweet, sugary IPA hop aroma: tropical citrusy fruits such as pineapple and orange and apricot and tangerine. Piney hops. Honey. A hint of white bread. Delicious, but sort-of mild.

Taste: mild but present hops: fruity (as described above), and the piney hops as well. Honey-oat malt character. I tell you what: this beer is so well put together. The flavors blend with such harmony. It's not so much a round beer as it is a well-blended beer. And the hop profile is one of the most pleasant hop profiles of my beer-drinking experience, for it is not too oily nor does it leave a lasting bitterness on the back of my tongue. I am not an IPA guy, but I could honestly drink this one year-round and not get tired of it. (Still, not as good as Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA.)

Mouthfeel/finish: medium-full, light carbonation; clean, bitter, refreshing.

Overall: I like it as much as I like Sierra Nevada but the price is outrageous, so I would probably go with Airrra Nevada Extra IPA

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Photo of AnthonyJS
3.87/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light amber color. It's flavor has hints of citrus and has a bready aftertaste with a dry finish. It has a hoppy bitter quality to it as well, but unfortunately I thought the bitterness was a tad too strong for my taste. Overall I still think it's a more than decent beer, and if I saw this at a party I wouldn't hesitate to grab a bottle.

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Photo of mjurney
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Amber-gold color, a little chill haze. Full of carbonation. Small head.

Resiny, citrus, herbal, floral, mango, pineapple, sweet caramel malts.

Hop bitterness up front, citrus, resiny, piney, floral, herbal, tropical fruit. Strong malt backbone, caramel, toasty, sugary. Well balance. Finish is semi-dry, clean. Medium bodied, crisp, easy drinking, a little oily.

It's an awesome IPA!

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Photo of dee4maine
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

solid west coast style IPA. was definitely a little too bitter for my palate. Probably will try it again on the tap somewhere and hopefully a fresher one will change my perspective.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having this on-tap. This beer draws a pretty clear, medium golden color with a bit of an orange hue and a white head that's about half an inch thick when first drawn and served. Head settles to a medium sized to thick ring lining the inside of the glass along with some bits of foam on the beer's surface. Aromas of slightly toasted caramel malt notes along with mango, melon, and citrus hops. The taste is pretty much the same, with slightly toasted caramel malt sweetness that gives way to mango, melon, and citrus hop bitterness that also has a bit of an earthy note to it. Good balance of flavors here. Has a mainly crisp, slightly smooth and frothy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a clean finish. easy to drink in the good way.


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

Medium amber color with soapy head. Smell is amazing. Nice, sharp and citrusy. Warm mango flavor with nice lemon rind flavor in the hops. Smooth texture driven by the malts. Really well rounded IPA.

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Photo of Holderness
3.38/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L -- vibrant pale orange. Slight haziness. Medium head with significant lacing
S -- mango, hops, lemon, nutmeg
T -- bitter hops and burnt orange. Very similar to lagunitas little sumpin sumpin but far too bitter
F -- crisp and heady. Pretty standard IPA
O -- I would purchase little sumpin sumpin instead

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

I actually reviewed this beer about a year and a half ago.
I deleted the review, because the beer was totally different than the last time.

Since Ballast Point is now part of a bigger company, it has better distribution, and fresher bottle dates. Years ago, it was not uncommon for Sculpin to be 8 months old.

This can was brewed in late July. Less than 2 months.

Poured a golden copper- red color with a 3F head in a Spiegalau glass.

Wonderfully fragrant aroma, spicy, piney, other fruit.

Taste follows the aroma : pine, fruit- stone fruit, very spicy and carbonated.

Good hoppy finish, not too strong.

Okay, this the Sculpin which has the great rep.
Class-act West Coast IPA.

More for the fridge in the near future.

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Photo of Kubishark
3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

An amber orange color with a rich smell of hops and citrus. Tastes very citrussy, a little piney, and has a mild bitter bite towards the end. Feels solidly medium bodied. Overall it's a fine example of the style.

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Photo of wesdevclimb
4.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I enjoyed Sculpin from a 12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint glass. The beer pours a dark, golden, orange that looks as refreshing as it tastes. There was about a finger and a half of paper white head with good lacing on the glass.

The aroma is very strong and is dominated by citrus, floral, and fresh characteristics. I picked up lots of orange and grapefruit.

This is a medium-heavy bodied beer that feels hearty and sweet with a nice amount of carbonation and buttery smooth finish. It is a great level of bitterness compared to lots of other IPA's. I'll probably pick up another sixer of Sculpin as long as I can not look at the price.

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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 Brant
3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a gorgeous, brilliant tangerine-honey color with a thin head. Smells mostly of citrus/grapefruit and hops. Tastes like you'd expect a grapefruity IPA to taste - a balanced floral, grapefruit zing that quickly fades but with minimal bitterness. Seems only moderately carbonated, which I liked.

Overall I found this quite enjoyable and refreshing. I only bought one to try, but I could see my future self busting through the door with a six-pack of this stuff.

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

great looking brew. notes of bready and caramel malt, floral, grass, resinous pine, light grapefruit. mouthfeel is decent but doesnt stand up to other top IPAs.

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Photo of adamhdg
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a beautiful straw color with a thin head. Smells of citrus and pine. Delicious flavors of the same including mango. Easy and light going down. Awesome for a hot summers day. Overall, the best IPA I've had.

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Photo of gotzilla
3.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Copper color, little head, light bubbles carbonation which I like.

Got hit by the smell right away in a really nice way. When I returned to get the aroma it seemed gone.

Love the smoothness, which is helped by the low carbonation.

Can't detect the alcohol and it's 7%

I'm totally getting the citrus, especially the grapefruit.

Ultimately, I don't love the taste. I like it, but there's something bitter that keeps me from getting into the hype. Maybe it's the hype itself that's getting in my way. I see how drinkable it is, I appreciate the comments about the foam on the side of the glass, but it's still a little one-dimensional, it's bitter at the end, and I don't think it's at the level of a Dogfish, Pliny, or Lizard's Mouth.

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Photo of Mateo2699
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My #1 go-to, accessible IPA for years now. Pours a clear golden orange, nice white tight bubbled head that lasts the whole session. Excellent lacing. Aroma consists of a citrusy burst of orange peel and grapefruit, pine and and a hint of sweet malt in the back end. That sweet bready malt initially in the taste, waves of grapefruit and pine and finishes with a subtle bitter hoppy after taste. Mouthfeel is relatively thin to medium bodied, moderate carbonation. A great easy drinker, hard to sense anything wrong with this.

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Photo of ryanswartz47
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Simply a prime example of an IPA. I didn't want to put it down to write this review. Therefore, I'll keep it short. Whatever comes to mind when you think "IPA" is what this beer looks, smells, tastes, and feels like. My only complaint is that I didn't buy two (or three). I didn't give 5's across the board because nothing is perfect.

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Photo of Theworldiscrazy
4.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is one of the highest rated IPAs, and with good reason. Tons of hops, but a very balanced flavor-profile as well. It's a bold IPA, well-suited to those that like west coast IPAs and hoppy bitterness, while still being extremely smooth and refreshing at the same time. My biggest gripe is with the price - yes, it is probably one of the best IPAs on the market and can command a premium price, but there are many other great options at 1/2 the price!!

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Photo of TeamMathis
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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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 nerdboy19
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look : Redish orange, very clear with white head - 4/5
Aroma : Huge citrus, grapefruit aroma. Balanced piney, malty nose. - 4.5/5
Mouthfeel : Medium carbonation, medium bodied, excellent. - 5/5
Flavor : Perfect balance with hop and malt for west coast ipa. Mainly very grapefruit like, but also has piney character. Balanced malty sweetness and great bitterness - 5/5
Overall : It might taste boring since there are so many great new ipas in the world right now, but this beer tops west coast style ipa. My all time favorite - 5/5

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 13,464 ratings.
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