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: 2,478 | Ratings: 13,761
Photo of JackStott
3.2/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I was especially excited to try this IPA based upon the excellent ratings. It pours a hazy golden amber with decent head and lacing. The aroma is lightly citrus and pine. The taste is essentially a middle of the road IPA. It is rather poorly balanced with little citrus/pine hop taste. Definitely nothing special. I tried this IPA twice at different times on tap and once in a bottle. At $13.99 a six pack, it is no bargain. I can't understand all of the high ratings.

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Photo of california_republic
4.93/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First Impression: The first non-fruity Ballast Point that I'm trying. So far have been pretty disappointed with Mango Even Keel and Watermelon Dorado. I thought grapefruit sculpin was good, but not great. Expected to not like this as much as grapefruit sculpin but was surprised that this is better.

Look: Dark golden and clear. Generated a rather large amount of head even though I poured down the side. Definitely looks refreshing.
Smell: Citrus, pineapple, and pine. Is this grapefruit sculpin? Or is it pineapple? Pleasant and inviting without being too overpowering.
Taste: I'm getting a lot of pineapple with a fair amount of hops. Almost tastes like I'm drinking juice instead of beer.
Finish: Crisp and refreshing helped along by the brightness of the citrus. Definitely a hoppy aftertaste with some slight malt. A fair bit stickier than I would have liked, but it's Ballast Point. Plus the fruit juiciness really helps mitigate it. Lychee flavor settles in long after drinking. Less stickiness and it would be perfect.
Overall: Very pleased with this after being disappointed by the Ballast Point fruit beers. I understand why BP decided to add grapefruit and pineapple since the beer has so much intrinsic grapefruit and pineapple flavor. However, adding fruit just messes up the balance so delicately created in regular sculpin. Only thing I wish is that it were cheaper. It's hard to justify $2.50/12 oz when there are many other great west coast IPAs for less.

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Photo of Drvitlkeyustolit80
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had 7/19/13 at Mom's Maxwell's on Main in Doylestown. I just don't love this beer like everyone else. Simcoe, and citrus are good, but the malt profile just doesn't agree with me. I actually, for once, approve of the fruity versions (pineapple, grapefruit) better than the original.

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Photo of matcris
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy, lotsa bubbles, peach in color, finger, finger of slowly fading white head and moderate lacing. Aroma, first thing that jumps out is that catty Simcoe hop, my least favorite hop. Citrus, mostly lemon and a little orange and a bit of peach. Flavor, bit of that astringent, ammonia/catty like quality, again, I bet this has Simcoe. Cracker bread malt, lots of citrus/lemon, nice building bitter bite. Feel is full carbonation, dry, and medium body. I'm sure if I was a fan of certain hops, I'd like this a lot more, so I'll keep that in mind when I choose brews in the future, and I'll be kind, here.

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I once had it on-tap and got unpleasant experience thought my glass was pressed poorly without head and served in too warm temperature. So, I decide to have it again this time on bottle.

355ml bottle poured into a teku glass.

Translucent but not transparent gold amber color with thick white fluffy head, it stands with good retention before subsiding to everlasting foamy film atop and leaves plenty of sticky lacing patch all along.

Apricot, peach, lemon, orange peel, grapefruit, earthy, pine, resin, and spice, all of these scents are derived from its hoppy affair. Sweet malty, biscuity, slight caramel too, overall the aroma is well mellow with resiny and juicy hoppiness.

The taste is mostly leant towards piney and resiny hop yet some spice rather than fruity. The bitterness is upright and strong enough to satisfy any hopheads. Anyway, suggestion of fruit is still able to be sensed through apricot, peach, grapefruit, and orange peel notes while malt acts as a foundation of the flavor structure providing sweetness, caramel, and biscuit profile.

Light to medium body with smooth mouthfeel through the palate, medium carbonation with crisp and lively feeling through the taste buds, finish is pleasantly dry. This brew is the benchmark, the good work of craft, and the master representing American IPA character.

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Photo of ChilliHeights
4.02/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Above average IPA but good for being fairly mass produced. Like the Grapefruit version better. Nice bitter taste with nice citrus overtones. Great color and aroma. Would get a bar or restaurant if on tap.

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Photo of soccrgump
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed 6/15/15
A: 1 - 1 1/2 thick, off-white head
S: Fruity, Apricot; bready
T: Apricot, A little caramel up front, piney finish
M: Good carbonation, medium body
O: Well-balanced IPA

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Photo of SABERG
3.89/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle date coded of 10/16/16 into the modified tulip glass.
A - Wonderful clarity, Golden backdrop, provides lovely cover for carbonation, A big snow white cap tops it all off
S - Grapefruit, lemongrass, sweet malts delightful, pine notes well crafted
T - Honey drop, 2 row and some Cara all in proportion, Nice hop schedule
F - Medium in body, great carbonation keeps it clean, excellent finish
O - A wonderful IPA, much praise has been made and justly so.

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Photo of TerryMills
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into globe glass..

Golden amber body with 1 finger pure white head , nice heavy lacing , quite a bit of carbonation bubbles running up the glass,no floaters but looks unfiltered .

Smell is hoppy of course but not floral ,almost a hint of citrus or something in the background.

Taste is a bit like juniper or some other ever green with a slightly burnt hoppy ending , smell is better than the taste imo.

Feel is nice , medium body, certainly not watery.

Overall it's not my thing as far as ipa goes, ide rather have a dogfish head.

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3.89/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I guess we all have different palates, but I was really excited to taste this today , however was quite disappointed for a top 250 brew .
I'm not going to say it was bad overall, but being a noob to IPA's it was not even close to the Bolero Snort Rogue Bull I had earlier today .
I had with red beans and rice, so it was refreshing, however the bitterness at the end kind of let me down .
Beautiful amber color and a wonderful smell , however I just couldn't get past the bitterness.
I will try it again as even my friends truly love it as an IPA, but maybe I was expecting too much for a a common shelf beer .
As a stout and dark ale drinker it is quite an adjustment, so we will see in time :)
Next up will be Pineapple Sculpin ;)

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Photo of Radcpa
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden appearance with a pleasant hoppy aroma. The taste was much better than most IPAs I have tried. It is slightly fruity which is a big plus. I would recommend it to both IPA lovers and non-lovers

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Photo of DaneBramage
4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber, darker than most IPAs
S: very citrusy and piney
T: nice balance between the hops, malt and citrus
F: Smooth
O: Had this on tap at a local restaurant. I argue with friends who prefer Bell's Two Hearted, but this is just superior to most all other IPAs out there.

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Photo of holtonwes
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pour from 12oz bottle into pint glass, one finger offwhite head, quick dissipation but decent lacing. Fairly transparent amber\dark gold
Smell: dark bread, citrus peel, tangerine, pine
Taste: a lot of grapefruit and tangerine, very malty middle, sweet brown bread, dry finish
Feel: Dry, medium body, airy and refreshing
Overall: An extremely well balanced IPA. One of the best West Coast IPAs I've had.

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Photo of titletownusa
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My friends and I are always trying to find the best IPA Beer. So we all got together today with 16 different IPA'S and had a taste test. Grant we all had our favorite brands and thought we knew a lot about beer. Our final two beers were Ale Smith IPA and Sculipin IPA. Sculpin won our taste test 6 votes to 2 due to a better finishing taste.

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Photo of fireazzi
3.8/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I first had this it was one of the best. It is still a strong beer but there are so many awesome options. This one is just a great beer with a nice crisp smooth hop taste. I'd still prefer the grapefruit sculpin.

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip

Appearance: amber-golden. A vigorous light tan head of silky find bubbles forms immediately when poured. Very pretty. Good head retention.

Aroma: sharp, piney, like resin. Very "dry" smelling if such a thing is possible. Inviting.

Flavor: wow! This is much different and better than memory serves. The malt is sweet and extremely honey-like in flavor. Super hoppy and dry. The hops contribute more honey flavor and melon...honey melon?, but honey foremost. No off flavors whatsoever.

Mouthfeel: medium, but the body seems to add up as you progress through the bottle. Multiple beers would weigh you down.

Overall: much different than memory and far better. My memory was a positive one, but the refresher was better still. I can't stress enough the honey flavor. Other beers have this same honey flavor, but none with absolutely no off flavors. Very good. A repeat purchase for certain.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.04/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a cigar city pint glass.

Thin white frothy head,nice looking cascade that ends quickly along with the head.Golden straw color,with amber tint.Crystal clear through the glass,with light carbonation.

The nose is mostly hops,with a floral background.

The palate is mostly west coast hops,with notes is citrus.Small hints off floral notes,with a little bit of dankness.

The body is medium with some hop fizzling in the mouth.

This is a solid IPA.I personally think it is a little overrated,but that is my opinion.Definitely a good IPA,definitely one I would drink again...But it doesn't crack my top 10.

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Photo of mrbasbl
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New to IPA's, but very familiar w Ballast Point. Good tasting IPA. Not to heavy on the florals which are a slight turn off for me on some IPA's. Ballast Point continues to make awesome brews and this does not disappoint. I LOVE the Cali Kolsch so I had to give the Sculpin a taste. Not disappointed!

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Photo of Malbiter
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Crack open a can and you will smell and see what all the fuss is about.
Pour the can and taste the brew and you will taste what the fuss is all about.

Very nice and clean IPA, with a nice citrus flavor and smell.

Pricy, but what can you do. Everything is.

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Photo of Mad_Monkey
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

When looking to continue from a good IPA like a Dogfish 60min, you should give this a try. A clean, crisp, and light to medium weight IPA. A nice beer to start a cool night with a grapefruit taste that will be a good entry to other grapefruit IPAs that have been making grate advances in the IPA world.

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Photo of iridius
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great IPA. I was avoiding it for years for some reason, probably stupidity. I now officially love this and dogfish 90 minute. I'm going to San Diego next week so maybe I'll find lucky number 3.

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Photo of Kdouble
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Something new to my area and seemed a little pricey. Poured from a can into a snifter glass.

Nice golden color with a slight haze. Very little head.

Really nice citrus combination with pineapple and mango in it. Some malt in there that blends nicely.

Really like the bitterness of the hops in the first taste. The tropical fruit kicks in and slight taste of maybe caramel also.

Clean crisp feel that makes this very drinkable.

Overall a great IPA. Easy to drink and enjoy.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
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 -3.7%
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 -0.9%
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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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 13,761 ratings.
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