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Sculpin IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
97
world-class
2,416 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score
Send samples
Sculpin IPASculpin IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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
Reviews:
2,416
Ratings:
13,321
Avg:
4.38
pDev:
9.82%
 
 
Wants:
1,441
Gots:
5,225
For Trade:
48
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 2,416 | Ratings: 13,321
Photo of philbe311
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's...

A - Three fingers of tightly compact off-white head with a batter like top turning rocky as it begins to settle... Impressive retention... Once the head finally subisdes, a reach full inviting lacing is left in its place... A limited amount of slow paced carbonation swirls and rises throughout... A pale orange honey color... Some lace clings to the sides of the glass...

S - The aroma is intoxicating and truly something special... Pineapple... Mango... Kiwi... Lime... Hints of lemon... A modest pine hoppiness... Crisp outdoor mountain air...

T - Sweet tropical fruits... Ripe peach... Some piney hops... A subtle malt backbone keeps this incredibly well balance...

M - Luscious is the first word that comes to mind... It's incredibly smooth and silky... This one goes done very easily... Slight carbonation on the tongue to begin... Medium bodied... A tad on the dry side... A slight bitterness lingers in the back of the throat... Very smooth all the way around...

D - A world class IPA both on draft and in the bottle... Smooth... Easy drinking sip after sip...

I was excited to try this one on draft and it's still a damn tasty brew but I seem to enjoy this one out of the bottle a little bit more...

 1,241 characters

Photo of jeffjeff1
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this up at work yesterday as soon as I figured out that we had it in.
Poured into my Sam Adams glass

Appearance- golden amber color, great head, wonderful lacing

Smell- beautiful, fruity hop aroma

Taste- hops, delicious

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- This one was awesome. I loved it. It was so delicious.

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Photo of phillybeer7779
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel oversized tulip glass. Golden appearance with about a half inch of head. Citrus hops smell that carries over into the taste. Not the biggest hop bomb I've ever had, but very drinkable. Wonderful beer completely deserving of its ranking as a top IPA.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip pint: Deep gold body, transparent but hazy with moderate nucleation. Three fingers of glistening, off-white, lumpy, bubblebath head. Leaves big rings of lacing.

Smells of grapefruit zest, like squeezing the rind & having the bursts of essence come out. Very fresh smell. Other fruity smells, kinda peachy. Slight biscuity undertone, but just enough to give some scaffolding for the hops. Very nice.

Flavor is good -- again the grapefruit & peach, a little lemon, some leafiness like tea or tobacco. And again, just enough malt to back it up without it becoming sweet. What's really impressive is that the hop character is pretty assertive but totally drinkable -- it doesn't become overbearing or aggressive, doesn't turn into a bitter-bomb, but is right with you the whole time. Ends crisply, with the flavor resting gently on your palate. Excellent balance.

Feels very smooth & dry, medium-bodied. This has to be one of the easiest-drinking IPAs I've had, I like having a strongly hoppy beer I don't have to wrestle with. Good show.

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Photo of deereless
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Decent head with some minor lacing, medium straw in color, extremely transparent - 4.00, S: Quite pungent and loads of pink grapefruit and pine, lemon zest and tropical fruits on the nose, mildly brash countered with a slight floral aroma, a wonderful aromatic American IPA - 4.50, T: Defined hop bitterness that lingers on the tongue, slightly grassy, grapefruit pith and pine, malt is present but hides comfortably behind all the hops, clean alcohol flavors - 4.50, M: Medium body, faintly dry - 4.00, D: This is one extremely drinkable IPA, extremely enjoyable and one I'd gladly drink again - 4.50

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Photo of Naugros
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer immediately developed a much larger head than I'm used to from an IPA. Be careful pouring this one. Tightly packed bubbles underneath a cloud-like cover that has some serious staying power. The beer itself remains active underneath it with ample carbonation in the amber glow of the beer. Sticky and splotchy lace lines the sides of the glass.

Smells like a top-notch IPA from the West Coast...probably because it is a top-notch IPA from the West Coast. It smells as if it's going to taste like Ruination.

Okay, it does taste like Ruination at first, but it doesn't have as quite as strong of a resinous aftertaste despite the strong Cascade hops presence. I also find it to be more balanced with the malty caramel and vanilla flavors on the tongue. Still, the grapefruit of the hops dominates the taste as it dominates the smell.

Even though the aftertaste is better controlled for a Cascade hops-heavy brew, it's still there. The body is good and lighter than expected from the full-flavor.

These go down nicely. The 7% abv is hardly noticeable so finish one 22 ouncer and you may not be able to open another. Now I know what all the hub bub is about.

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Photo of IdrinkGas
4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A:Orange copper color, almost no head

S:Floral hops, not much else but thats OK with me. I love the way this beer smells!

T:Tastes like it smells. Floral hops, some citrus

M:Lightly carbonated

D:One of the most drinkable beers I've ever had.

I've had this beer from a growler and it was even better.
Edit:
Almost 2 years later and this is still one a my favorite Ipas.

 374 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.12/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Chip Shop, Brooklyn, NYC.

Poured a medium copper hue with a two finger foamy white head. There was good twtention and lacing.

The ell featured a sharp herbal hop and juicy orange.

The taste consisted of a multi-tiered hop that started herbal and finished with elements of grapefruit and orange. A good grainy malt backbone detected as well.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller end of the style.

Overall a tasty and complex hop bomb.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours an orange-golden with a fluffy white head that reduced into a thick dense film leaving some streaks of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Fresh hops smell piney and citrusy. Big ruby grapefruit notes. Also hints of lemon zest and peach.
T: Very fruity yet not super sweet. Light notes of pale malt shine through the citrus hops. Large grapefruit and peach taste just like the nose. Aftertaste is lemon zesty, piney and bitter.
M: Body is light, maybe a tad too thin, but the mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, and the alcohol is hidden completely. Bitterness is modest and comfortable and the finish is crisp, fresh and refreshing.
D: This beer has a phenomenal smell and taste, and it also light, crisp and refreshing. Closer to a DIPA than a regular one. Definitely one of my favorite IPA's.

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Photo of thisisxxmyIPA
3.83/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Appearance is extremely exceptional. It's pitch perfect clarity has me thinking that it may not be naturally carbonated. Pours a thick rocky white head that dissipates slowly. Beautiful apricot color. Lacing is decent.

S - Great hoppy goodness. Smells of tropical and citrusy fruits. Crisp with a sweet maltiness.

T - Good. Unfortunately not as impressive as the aroma. Sort of leaves something to be desired. The fruitiness is far harder to pick up in the flavors. Maltiness also far thinner than I was expecting from the aroma. A good IPA, but I've had better.

M - Pretty straightforward. Not watery, but not creamy or mouthfilling. Average.

D - Actually a very drinkable IPA coming in at 7%. I'd like to thank tbadiuk for the great trades again. You've got some Allagash coming your way!

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Photo of chalsk
3.85/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber orange color with life and a thin foam head. Has an aroma of grapefruit and pine with hints of apricot. Has a creamy bitter taste with the bitterness becoming more pronounced through the finish. You get a very subtle hit of sweet up front and then lots of malt on the finish. Very tasty. But I feel it is a tad overrated.

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Photo of mgbickel
4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. Instantly, a huge, 2-3 finger head formed...did someone put a slice of angel food cake in my glass? The foam receded slowly, leaving tons of itself behind. The body is yellowish gold with some tangerine lowlights.

The nose has lots of citrus hops up front...orange and lemon zest, grapefruit. The backbone of the nose is malted grain and sweetbread.

Man...the taste of this offering is fantastic! Pretty much right in line with the nose...starts off with some hops, but not overly bitter. The middle finds a sweet/grassy character and the finish goes back to the bitter (hop) side. Wonderful balance.

Medium mouth feel, a little oily with moderate carbonation.

This is one of my top overall drinking beers. Refreshing, easy to drink and complex (without being overpowering).

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Photo of MikeBrandman
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Body is an interesting amber on top and yellow on the bottom. Heavy carbonation. 3 fingers of very rocky white head. Great rims of lacing.

S - Grapefruit hoppiness in the nose. Something sweet in there too. That's what really separates this one from the rest.

T - Bitter fruits everywhere. Mainly grapefruit and even a bit of mango. Interesting hop profile. Mainly hops, but the malt gives it a good sweetness. Even a hint of mint in this. No alcohol bite.

MF - Smooth and on the lighter side. Surprisingly all the carbonation that you can see doesn't come into the mouthfeel or taste.

D - Easily the most drinkable IPA I've ever had.

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

Served in a 22 oz. bottle.

Appearance is overall very nice, with a light, peachy-gold hue and clear body. It pours with a good amount of eggshell-colored head and leaves a fair amount of lacing.

Aroma is heavy on floral hops, peach, grapefruit and tropical fruits. There is a touch of boozey sweetness and a hint of chlorine.

Although the taste was very balanced up front, it has a very piney finish. The aroma is a bit more complex than the taste, as you can't taste too much of the fruitiness in the smell. Grapefruit and lemon rinds are definitely present, but not much of the sweeter fruits. Bitterness lingers in the mouth along with a woodiness and hint of sulphur.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin and could be creamier. Carbonation gets foamy in your mouth and leads to a dry finish.

Although its a bit pithy on the back end, the drinkability is pretty good overall, since you don't notice the booze at all.

 922 characters

Photo of coldmeat23
4.84/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees, set in fridge for about 20 minutes
Big thanks to adamharbaugh for this bottle! I just had someone else send me a bottle and it got smashed during shipping. Adam and I were also in the midst of a trade and he just happened to ask me if I'd have interest in a bottle of this. Sweet!

This pours up like sunshine in a glass. A beautiful, golden yellow color with light tinting of golden orange. The two-finger head of bone-white colored foam has some really nice retention. The lacing is spotty and while there doesn't seem to be alot of it, what is here is quite sticky.

Huge citrus nose bomb! Wow, that smells nice. Tons of grapefruit, lemon and oranges. A suprising amount of tropical fruits, as well. Loads of mango and pineapple. Small hint of pine. Light touches of caramel malts poke through the surface, but they are on the side of balance, not overpowering.
Probably the best nose I've ever smelled on an IPA. I love the tropical notes. They make this one seem super inviting!

You get a slight touch of the malts, right out of the gate. Then the hops explode on your palate. Huge notes of tropical fruits, following the nose. They bring many other fruits with them as well, most easily spotted are peaches and apricots and tangerines. These are followed by the tartness of the citrus hop notes. Lots of grapefruit, along with lemons and orange peels. The finish has a very slight return showing of malty sweetness, which is bringing balance to the bitter hop bite that closes the whole thing out.
Very tasty and very nicely done.

This one has a medium-to-almost-full body. The carbonation level is on the lower side of medium. This is very smooth and has a nice touch of creaminess, which kind of throws me off, for the style, but I really like it. Not as crisp as I'd expected it to be, but it totally works.

This is a very solid, well-made beer. The 7.00%abv is nowhere to be found and the body and flavor work wonderfully together. I'd have no problem drinking this one for an entire session.
(Now if someone would just send me a case or two...)

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Photo of dirtylou
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, split on a saturday of world cup action, 2nd in a long line of samplings following the Port Hop 15

thanks to lou91 for sending this one

appearance: split and served in an imperial pint, light golden body, big frothy white head with healthy retention

smell: pungent hops - grapefruit, orange zest, lemon, mango, tropical fruit.

taste: needed some palate cleansers after the Port DIPA to allow this one a proper tasting. The flavor profile is dominated by grapefruit and other strong citrus flavors. Hints of tropical fruit and mango are present in a very representative socal IPA. The finish was a little off for me - kind of grainy. A lovely IPA - i'd like to have some more to better gage where this truly falls on the IPA leaderboard

mouthfeel: light and crisp, well carbonated

drinkability: good

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

Received in a trade from StormKing47 a few days ago.. let's see how this beauty tastes..

A: Beautiful golden orange in hue with a thick one inch white head with a the proper pour. Some light lacing coats the glass as it goes down.. always a great sight.

S: Very strong hop aroma, with bitter grapefruit and other citrus and a little bit of a piney scent as well. Classic IPA scent. Makes me want to dive right in.. a few more sniffs and I actually get a little bit of sweetness, too.

T: Hits you with some sweet malts off the bat, then pow!, there's the hops. All together, the sweetness of the malts and bitterness from the hops and citrus blend together very nicely. This is definitely one of the best IPAs I've had.

M: Medium-bodied.. almost a bit thinner than I was expecting. Finishes smooth and crisp, with a bite from hops.

D: Well, I savored this entire bomber to myself with ease, so I'd say very drinkable! You don't have to be an IPA lover to enjoy this one.

T:

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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 StJamesGate
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy mango orange with pocketed white foams that fades to a clinging ring at the edge of the glass that leaves sheets of lace. Nose is pineapple and skunk with a hint of other tropical fruit. Huge fresh papaya juice malts are crept up on by a hint of nettle but pineapple and lemon sorbet hops assertively take over. Hint of mint to finish.Tight tingly clove oil linger. Round, creamy, medium-full.

Straight hop bitterness comes out as it warms (?).

I was all ready to deny the hype and slam this if it deserved it. Well, it doesn't...

The most integrated IPA I've ever tasted - fruity malts meld seamlessly with citrus hops. I could drink nothing but this for a whole summer and be happy.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. 7% ABV, Bottled and shipped from the brewery a few weeks ago. Niiiice and fresh.

A - Poured at a tall height with vigor from my steady hand, Sculpin looks brilliant! A dense off-white foam froths up in no time and takes forever to lower but, when it reaches it's inevitable lumpy pile, thick lace coats the whole glass. The beer itself is a looker too; it shows off an almost completely clear goldenrod color. Perfection to look at.

S - The tall pour unleashes a palpable cloud of strong hop aroma into the air that's ripe with freshly cut grapefruit and pine needle with resins. A good malty backbone seems to hold up the hop nose well but is all but drowned out. The nose on this IPA would scare the pants off any non-hophead from two bar stools down.

T - Sure enough, piles of sweet malts hold up to the strong bite of the hops. Caramel and pale malts with a touch of honey lay down a foundation for juicy melon and grapefruit citrus with a sharp bite. Pine and hop resin is strong too but secondary to the fruity, grapefruit, citrusy hop flavor.

M - Sculpin is medium-full bodied and smooth going down with a sharp bitter bite to the finish. The balance and lingering flavor between the sweetness and citrusy bitterness is very nicely done.

D - It's not over-the-top in any regard which really helps Sculpin in drinkability. I've got the 22 oz bomber to myself tonight (which is good after the day I had) so I don't presume any left over [nope, none].

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Photo of garuda
4.64/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Mostly clear golden in color with a small white head, but it has decent retention and fairly good lacing down the glass.

S - Much bigger aroma from this brew on tap than the bottle. Big citrus hop profile with mangos up front, then grapefruit, orange peel, peach, and a touch of pine resin all making presence as it warms. Hints of toasted malt add some balance.

T - Follows the nose, with a bit more toasted malt presence, but still a deliciously complex hop profile.

M - Light side of a medium body, perfect medium carbonation level really helps bring out the hops. Creamy across the palate with residual stickiness from the hop oils.

D - This really shines on the CO2, lets the hop profile get a higher level of complexity. Alcohol is well hidden, I could sluck this down all night, until the 7% catches up to me.

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Photo of ebin6
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had the very last bit available at Beachwood BBQ on Friday...couldn't have been happier.

A - Milky yellow coloring with the typical large, porous head which never leaves. Bits of hops, barley, what-have you floating around

S - You can really smell the hops well on cask. Not as sharp as on-tap, but makes up for it in the range: earthy, almost herbal notes to it

T - Again, it doesn't taste as sharp as it does on-tap, however, the same range of tastes you don't get on-tap are there

M - Almost a dryness to it. Lingers long after swallowing

D - Very impressed with how drinkable it was. I only had a small bit of it, but felt that I could have had many, many more before it would start to wear on me

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear pale amber colour, trails of bubbles up the glass leading to a very pleasant head, creamy-coloured with good retention and nice bubbly texture on top. Lace is pretty nice and clingy. Looks good.

Ooh yeah, get those hops India! Smells fresh and fruity, almost wet-hopped level, with huge pineapple, passionfruit and lemon pepper on the aroma, balanced beautifully by a nice caramel maltiness. Smell is zesty, fruity and pleasant, very nice indeed.

Taste is a very pleasant IPA palate. Hops are noticeable from the front, with notes of pine resin and lemon rind. Malt comes through in the mid-palate, mild with nice caramel notes, rich enough even to call them toffeed. Hops come back for the finish, slightly resinous but never a real harsh astringency, although they are potently bitter. Very nice, clean finish, with enough hop flavour to pack a whallop but not leave you gasping for golden syrup for balance. Yeah, in fact the finish is sweet, with some toffee malt notes, just great hoppiness as well. That is indeed a delicious palate, full of fruitiness and vegetative flavours, fresh, but sweet and balanced. Just a hint of an acerbic aftertaste drops it short of perfection.

Smooth, noticeable malty body, not sticky but thick enough, a little bit dry on the back, yeah, pretty great texture.

Overall beautifully drinkable. A tasty, tasty drop.

 1,370 characters

Photo of LittleDon
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on cask in a somewhat tulip shaped glass at the Stone Brewery (12 oz pour).

Dirty dishwater yellow. Not much of a head, but what there is sticks to the glass. Opaque. Resinous and piney aroma. Don't know why, and IPAs are my favorite, I'm always reminded of cat urine when I smell them (but, oddly enough, not in a bad way). Maybe too much time with my head over the litter box. Probably says too much about myself already. Piney and bitter up front. Smooth. Cask makes anything better. A tad of sweetness in the middle and on the back end. Smooth as silk. I'd have another if there wasn't so much to choose from.

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Photo of Hoops4life511
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into pint glass. No freshness date visible, but I was told it was a brand new shipment.

Appearance - Absolutely perfect clarity in this golden sparkling beer. Quarter inch white fluffy head slowly fell to a persistent head that left amazing lacing throughout. A few streams of constant carbonation throughout the session. Overall a very pretty beer that makes you want to drink it.

Smell - Pineapple and apricot right up front. Some grassy and earthy notes follow. Very pleasant.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Taste is a continuation of the aroma, a very bright flavor up front, lots of hops flavors going on without being too harsh. Earthy and bitter dry finish is what you would expect. Thin feel without being watery, but still not all there. Nice carbonation, but maybe a bit much.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink, refreshing and not harsh, but toward the end leaves your mouth coated and unable to fully appreciate it. Not bad by far but not the best.

Overall, a very nice beer, one that I would gladly buy again. A must have if you are into IPA's or really any craft brew, but I don't know if it fully lives up to its top 20 rating.

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 2,416 ratings.
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