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Sculpin IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Sculpin IPASculpin IPA
BA SCORE
4.39/5
Outstanding
13,970 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:
#247
Reviews:
2,497
Ratings:
13,970
pDev:
9.79%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,503
Gots:
5,804
Trade:
43
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 13,970 |  Reviews: 2,497
Photo of Sammy
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With great appreciation to Torchednoodle, for this tasty excellent IPA. Orange appearance with white head. Grapefruit aroma, very nice.Very smooth, very drinkable. Great resiny hop. One of the best IPAs I ever had, and the bottle picture is cute too.

 250 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single finger head with nice lacing on a amber gold clear body. Very nice sweet aroma with mostly grapefruit and pineapple notes. Flavor is very different with mostly a dry, pine and musty hop taste. Moderate to high carbonation and medium body. Overall a very good IPA

 269 characters

Photo of acurtis
4.09/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ballast Point Sculpin, 22oz bomber picked up at Liquor Outlet Wine Cellar. Pours beautiful hazy orange color with large white head in shaker. Head sticks to glass nicely. Great aroma of grapefruit and hops. Super citrus flavor, clean malt base. Light, smooth and silky. Very drinkable, this is a superb brew. I was worried that the bottle may not be fresh but that was put to rest the moment I open the bottle and poured it. It smelled excellent before I could even get my nose near the glass.

 493 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of jaydoc
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Father's Office in Culver City, CA.

A - Pours a clear honey color with a 1/2 inch head that fades to a very small cap. There were rings of lacing going down the glass on this beer.

S - Smells of delicious citrusy hops and summery peaches and mangoes.

T - Bitter citrus zest/peel with a peach/mango aftertaste.

M - Good carbonation and the hops leave an oily coating in the mouth.

D - Very solid and very tasty IPA. I will look for more of this one for sure.

 474 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.62/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very different beer in the bottle than when on tap!

Pours a honey yellow with firm white head. Huge very ripe and sweet pineapple nose. Huge and very appealing.

Mouth is full and medium rich; somewhat bold although does not have the bright character whatsoever of this beer on tap.

Flavors are bitter pine and pine resin with some grapefruit skin, not the bright bitter charachter when on tap.

Appealing but not nearly as bright and inviting as this one on draft. Draft and bottle are two very different beers for this one, draft being far more inviting and far more appealing. This draft rivals any "big hop brew" I've tried. In the bottle, it's good but that's about it-not outstanding as it is on draft. Bottle was actually quite disappointing after trying this on draft. EDIT 08/31/10 - the new batch with the first "new" label is wonderfully drinkable and appealing. Review stands as written and yes, tap is still better. But Ballast Point is able to make a wonderfully fresh and crisp hoppy beer and still make it creamy and mouthfilling. A wonderful drink. End Edit

Finish is grapefruit skin and lemon oil that goes to pine and resin.

 1,150 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally, at long last, I got the chance to enjoy a sculpin. actually, I enjoyed three of them! the setting was the strip house steak joint in the planet Hollywood casino in las vegas, Nevada. I sat down with my hockey teammates, who all ordered a fancy cabernet, but I asked to glance at the beer list, and there it was, sculpin ipa. it poured a beautiful cloudy grassy pale golden color, with an inch or so of off white head that lasts forever, leaves excellent lacing, and is easily reinvigorated with a swirl the wine glass I asked the server to bring me. the nose on it is long and hoppy, but not in that dank oily sweet fruity way that some of these are, but more subtle, not more simple, but more in focus, more sure of its identity. there are notes of fresh pineapple and spruce, but this is neither bitter nor sweet. its got an impressive degree of malt balance, as well as a yeast character that reminds me of some of the European ipa offerings. the flavor is standalone. its got a gorgeous hop bouquet, with some floral notes in there too, but I cannot quite place any of the specific varietals. less citrus and more pine than I expected, and a forever finish that's both refreshing and filling to a degree. the alcohol is impossible to pick out. feel is also lovely, with effervescently bright carbonation that tickles the tongue without being invasive, and a medium body that doesn't stand in the way of the flavor. this was the absolutely perfect complement to a 20 ounce bone in ribeye, dry aged, rare. I had three of these with my steak, and would have had more if they weren't 12 bucks a go. what a glorious ipa this is, distinct from the crowd, and worth every word of the hype. really sensational brew.

 1,720 characters

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Knapp85
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm to the point now that if I see this at my local beer store I just buy as many as I can. This IPA is well worth the $2.75 a bottle I get it for. Sculpin pours out as a pleasing golden color with a nice soapy looking white head. The head settles and leave a white bubbly film over the beer that leaves a pretty damn good lacing down the glass. The smell of this beer is very inviting. It's got hops in there along with Grapefruit, lemon, orange, and a faint aroma of peach. The taste is very good as well it's gives off a really nice sweetness upfront followed but a cotton mouth bitter dryness in the back end. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation to it. Overall it's a very pleasing IPA, once of the best that isn't an Imperial in my opinion. The more you have the better they get. I really hope Ballest Point never pulls out of PA.

 864 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got a chance to try this, one of the highest reviews IPAs on the site. I must say.. it lives up to it's billing. One of the most well balanced and flavorful IPAs I've had, satisfies the hophead in me but isn't overly bitter and remains smooth and tasty. Not much can be said that already hasn't been, but if you get a chance to try it you should without any hesitation.

 377 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of metter98
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy and golden yellow in color. It poured with a large white head that slowly faded away, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A very light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are moderate aromas of citrus and pine resin hops in the nose. Notes of grapefruit stand out in particular.
T: The overall taste is very flavorful and well balanced; there is a medium amount of bitterness from the hops but this is nicely balanced by the underlying malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is highly drinkable; there's a strong amount of hop flavors but the bitterness is balanced by the malts and doesn't slow you down in finishing your glass.

 779 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From bottle (June 21, 09)
On tap at GABF Weekend '08

Holy crap, this is a seriously good beer! A total surprise to me that this relatively unknown beer to be would be a standout among standouts. The hoppy-grapefruit character is everywhere and packs a whollop of citrus bitterness and flavor. Nearly resin-y with Cascades and other American varieties. The hops are very bold in the taste, but rediculously mouthwatering in the aroma. The malt profile flies under the radar and gives a dry, very well attenuated maltiness and with a grahm-cracker crispness. Malt flavors seem to be a 2-row / 6-row traditional balance where the grain flavors accentuate the hop bitterness. Quite fruity for an American IPA with light peaches, appricots, and oranges. If the style is supposed to be hop-forward, then this beer deserves its high rating.

Thanks RyanC84

 850 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, from the Kahala Whole Foods in Honolulu. Sufficiently unattractive representation of the eponymous fish front and center on the label, I gotta say.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden orange hue, with three fingers of roiling, foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves some crooked bonsai tree lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.

It smells pungently of grapefruit rind, fleshy blood orange, a slight herbal tinge, pine resin, and the faintest hint of bready caramel malt. The taste is big and bitter, blended citrus and pine esters, a slight uptick in things herbal, mild yeasty notes, and a still suppressed bready malt, with zero heat from the purported 7 points of alcohol.

The carbonation is steady, and average, and well, everything you didn't know you wanted in a frothy offering, the body a pleasantly svelte medium weight, and more or less smooth, the hops bypassing this usual interference vector of theirs. It finishes still pretty hoppy, but even more muddled, as the citrus, pine, and herbal factions all unite in plastering my palate with a lingering dose of the ol' bitterness.

A pretty solid west coast IPA, with the extra herbal notes adding a complexity that I sometimes find interesting, and others, not so much. Thankfully here it's the former, so I have to go with the overwhelming majority, and pimp this one straight out, ugly-ass bottom-feeders notwithstanding.

 1,421 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.92/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic pilsner glass in a friend's gaff in low altitude San Diego, California. Bottle acquired at Ballast Point a few hours ago. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I had this on draught in Orange, California back in December and it was the best IPA I'd ever had - even though I usually don't like them. I'm hoping the bottle measures up to the draught.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured without any extra vigor as no carbonation issues were anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of off-white colour, nice cream, nice thickness, and great retention for the ABV. Colour is a clear copper. No floating yeast particles. Appealing, but not unique or special. Standard for an IPA.

Sm: Hoppy - mainly floral,with some buried bitterness. An orange fruit ester note emerges from the hops; maybe citra was used. A bit dry. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Hoppy but very nicely balanced, with only mild bitterness coming through about the climax and third act. Floral, with hints of fruit like mango and perhaps apricot. Lovely grapefruit citrus zest. Fresh. Pleasant. Enjoyable. Refreshing. Clean bright malts form the foundation. The balance sets it a notch or three above most other IPAs. Lightly creamy. Very well built. I like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Some lovely welcome cream helps the mouthfeel complement the flavours. Near perfect thickness. Well done in that it doesn't get in the way of the flavours. The coarseness is adequate to bring out the flavours. Near perfect carbonation.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV and style. I quite like this IPA. Refreshing and enjoyable. Really fantastic. Worth the price tag. I do prefer it on draught. I'd definitely have this again. It's pricey, but well worth the money for the quality. I don't think Big Eye comes close to Sculpin. Even at $14-15 a 6 pack, I keep coming back for more.

High B+

***
08/30/16 impression:

B / GOOD

 1,967 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super fresh bottle courtesy of Weibull...

Poured into a fluted tulip, it's quick to generate a fluffy head of sticky foam. Instant resiny aroma packed with floral/herbal hops and tropical fruit. Color is a light high-clarity orange with tiny rising bubbles. Lacing forms in sudsy sheets, and sticks around for awhile.

Concentrated citrusy hop flavors of pink grapefruit and bitter orange pith. Residual leafiness and a juicy mango aftertaste. Pale malt is relegated to the back of the bus, but provides a slight tip to the balance scale. Moderate and creamy carbonation with the obligatory hop bite to it. Slightly dry in the end with a fairly long finish.

This is a fresh and vibrant west coast IPA, check it out...

 719 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a hazy golden body and a frothy head; retention is good as is the lacing

Smell: Bold grapefruit and floral citrus aromas dominate

Taste: Starts out like a glass of sweet grapefruit juice with a growing pithy bitterness by mid-palate; the grapefruit flavor is unrelenting after the swallow, buttressed by the really clean pale malt

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied (a touch syrupy) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Refreshingly drinkable, this is a great example of an IPA in the mold of what a lot of the San Diego breweries are producing (and marketing as a San Diego Pale Ale)

 620 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of oline73
3.94/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a mildly cloudy golden/light amber color with two fingers of fluffy white head. A layer of head remains.

Smell: Sweet and fruity hops with a hint of citrus fruit.

Taste: More bitterness and less sweetness compared to the smell. The dominant flavor is a strong citrus peel bitterness. There are hints of fruit(apricot) and herbs as well. There is a mild malt sweetness and a very bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a lot of tingly carbonation. The finish is on the dry side.

Overall: This is a really good IPA, but I don't know that It lives up the the hype. Both times I've had it, it has been from a bottle, so I'll look for it on tap when I get the chance. It's really bitter, but not super interesting other than that. I would have it again.

 825 characters

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 13,970 ratings
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