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: 13,758
Photo of Flyjetz
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

One of the best IPAs I've ever tasted. A mouthful of flavor. First tried at the Yard House in West Palm Beach. If there is a perfect beer, this is close.

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Photo of seeswo
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a nice white head. A very mild citrus hop flavor comes off the nose. A very light, clean citrus hop flavor carries through the taste. Good balance - not too sweet and a good hop profile. Good mouthfeel, possibly a bit of extra sweetness in the body. Overall, this is a very good IPA. You can do far worse than Sculpin, especially fresh.

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Photo of elgiacomo
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle unknown date. Served around 45F. Thanks to Ryan for this unexpected extra!

Pours lightly hazy golden amber with a three finger fluffy white head that holds a great cap and leaves nice spotty lacing.

Aroma is lemon, apricot, floral & grassy hops, some light tropical fruits, some melon, a bit of pineapple, some orange and grapefruit, caramel and bready malt. Good to very good strength.

Flavor is citrus, lemon, orange, grapefruit, some pineapple and apricot, a little bit resinous, balanced against some bread and light caramel malt, finishes with very good bitterness. Minimal alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit oily, medium carbonation.

An excellent IPA for sure although the hype train leaves a tad bit to be desired, particularly in the aroma department. I’m stoked to finally get a chance to try Sculpin and while it may not be quite everything I had hoped it is still a fantastic IPA and one I would seek out again.

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Photo of juhl31
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks city beer store, sf

-yellowy gold. decent carb and lacing

-a sweet, citrus hop nose. takes a bit to pull it out though

-very balanced. tastes like a single IPA version of pliny the elder. some grapefruit, good hops

-lil carb bite at first and then smooth. a touch oily

-very good. would never mind drinking this. not sure about top 12 though, but thats fine

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very solid example of an IPA and my favourite of the lineup at an IPA tasting in October. Great pour with frothy head. Clean clear and crisp. Smells like hoppy goodness with some citrus and just a hint of malt. Tastes like a balanced hop profile between a few types of hopes... some citrus, floral hints, very good. A bit bitter on the back of my tongue but overall very drinkable

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Photo of mothman
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with ThePeskyDingo

Poured into Sierra Nevada Tulip Pint Glass

Pours almost 1 finger of white thin head. Color is a clear golden orange. A medium level of carbonation bubbles. Head fades down to a thin layer, but leaves some great lace. Nice full walls.

Aroma: Damn this is a fruity ipa. Everything the bottle has listed is here: apricots, peaches, mangoes, and lemon. Big hop aroma: floral and earthy. One of the best smelling ipas I have smelt.

Taste: Very bready initially, then comes all the same fruits that are in the smell. A ton of hop and citrus flavors blend together. Big floral taste all around.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but a little smooth. A nice bite for an IPA. Medium bodied. Good level of carbonation. Ends with a nice hoppy, only slight dry aftertaste. This is pretty much how an IPA should be for mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a very impressive ipa. Easy drinking and a ton of great fruit flavors. One of my favorite ipas. If I can get more fresh, I probably will. I can see why it is one of the top IPAs.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle enjoy by 11/30/12 poured into a tulip.

The beer comes out a golden copper colored body that is slightly see-through. Not much of a white head lays atop a glowing brew. Good head retention and lacing.

The nose on this is just a big ol punch of sweet fruits. There is orange, grapefruit, tangerine, peach, and pineapple.

A more pronounced grapefruit in the taste. There is a punch of bitterness that mellows quickly into a nice soft lingering bitterness. There is also enough sweetness to hold up to the bitterness. More of the other fruit like orange comes out a little underneath the grapefruit.

Medium bodied and just the right amount of carbonation. It drinks fairly smooth.

I’ve had this before and thought eh, but this fairly fresh(from what I can tell) bottle is amazing and totally worth the price point.

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Photo of mjyoung
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split w/ bbb099

A: Pretty marigold color, crisp with a filmy off-white head that dissipates quickly.

S: Strong whiff of clean hops with a subtle hint of underlying citrus tones and malt base.

T: Strong hop notes up front with a powerful malt backing. Definitely a citrus concoction, with hints of orange, grapefruit, and maybe something else I can't put my finger on. Mango maybe?

M: Good! Not much to say aside from the fact that nothing about the mouthfeel interferes with the taste.

D: Great. Went down very smoothly and was quite refreshing. This is one my new favorite IPA's.

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Photo of BethanyB
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Slightly hazy and light orange in color, with a large, frothy, white head.

Smell: A blast of zingy hops. White pepper, citrus, grass, and sugared grape fruit are laced with a gentle pale malt aroma.

Taste: High hop bitterness is balanced by crisp and refreshing zesty hop flavors, with citrus at the forefront. The bitterness lasts well into the finish. A pale malt backbone provides balance, while still allowing the hops to shine.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel and medium-high carbonation add to this beer's strong bite.

Overall: A very bitter, yet refreshing and tasty IPA that clears the sinuses with its complex American hop flavor profile. Both the alpha and beta acids are well-showcased here. Truly an enjoyable IPA that will hit the spot for any hophead.

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Photo of fastsrt
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle poured in a wine glass

A: off white head, amber, hazy.

S: herbal, resinous hops, take over the smell

T: bubble gum, tropical fruit, unique taste, that I like.

M: finishes more sweet and fruity than bitter and is incredibly smooth.

D: this is the third time i have had this There are not too many ipa's that i buy more than once but this is a good drinking beer.

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Photo of Skendawg
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed While Drinking

A- After being poured a nice, mildy yellow, but mostly white head forms on top of a beautiful caramel body. The color is a combination of caramel, orange and gold. Absolutely Gorgeous.

S- Extremely fruity, a lot of grapefruit. Fantastic aroma. One of my friends, after one whiff, turned to me and said "That's just what beer is supposed to smell like". I agree.

T- A great IPA taste. Thick and rich without losing the fruitiness experienced in the aroma.

M- Very little carbonation, and extremely smooth. An easy ride over the taste buds and down the throat.

O- Overall a great beer. I may have to incorporate this into my top 5 beers. Great IPA.

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Photo of SlothB77
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle into mug

A: Poured golden yellow with one finger of cumulus cloud white bubbles.

S: Lots of florals, grapefruit, lemon and cut grass.

T: Starts off a very smooth citrus passion fruit mixed with white bread, orange, grapefruit, switches to a brief, slightly grassy taste, ends with burnt tobacco bite.

M: Light-bodied, medium acidity, medium carbonation, a smoothness. Not too hoppy or bitter.

O: Maybe i have become desensitized, but it doesn't taste as hoppy as I would expect an IPA to taste. Still a flavor that varies over the course of the taste very distinctly..

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Photo of SallyBirkhart
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell is like i said before, nicely fresh, hoppy, fruity, and floral...but this time a good. Flavors have a kick of pine and lemon around the edges, with mango and peach in the middle...I don’t find it that one-dimensional this fact, I think the hop combination in this one is rather awesome. I reckon this bottle was a lot fresher than the first one I had...not sure of release dates, though I know this bottle just showed up, so its gotta be fresh..

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Photo of BeachRez
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a referral from Hooliganlife. I would never had went after it without his recommendation.
Purchased from BevMo HB. Some guy asked to hold these but never picked them up...I got lucky, and he got skunked.

Poured into a pint glass. The color was a deep golden; but a transluscent color. Nice head with good lacing.

The smell was a citricy-hop. Strong. The taste was equal to the smell. It was not overly hopped, so it seemed to have a balanced flavor.

Very easy to drink. I don't really like IPA's, but this seemed to be a great example. Although not something I would go after.

The second bottle heading to you Hooliganlife.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoy by 09/27/12 (day before my birthday). Emptying this one in a Church Brew Works pint glass. Prices out here are always a quite exceeding for this brew. Rather than fronting $19.99 four a sixer or nearly $75 for a case, I forked over $5.75 to take this one home.

Light orange liquid and great clarity in my glass with the cascade effect from the bubbles. Almost two fingers of head from the pour, and it's mostly still there (minutes later). Draping lacing.

Picked up aromatics as soon as this bitch got cracked. Pine, citrus, and ocean water in the hop nose. Got some dark wheaty-cracker type aroma peeking through among the fresh hop goodness. Grapefruit meets orange meets big ol' spruce tree.

Tropical fruits start creepin' in on the taste. Papaya, orange, grapefruit, pine tree, and a flourish of the floral. Malts are checking themselves, as they know where they should be. Supporting actors in the world of a fruity and lively hop profile that isn't snooty and bitter. Touch of mango and kumquat.

Touch of booze in the feel, but this is a bristly beer with some slappy wetness. Not creamy as I'd like it, but milky as I'll take it.

Exceptional IPA. Primo West Coast example with all the bells and whistles. No hype necessary; just a beer I could drink every night and every day.

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Photo of silverblaze540
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - An almost clear light amber color. Only a very slight murkiness. Thick foamy head with decent retention. Minimal lacing with lots of bubbles.

S - Sweet citrus fruits, lemon, orange peel, hints of hops.

T - Lemon peel front, sweet middle, then bitter aftertaste. Bitterness is fairly strong.

M - Medium body. Alcohol burn is not very strong.

O - Very nice smell; sweet and fruity. Taste is a bit bitter, but not unpleasantly so.

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Photo of hu5om
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks again to gon8888! delic. man.
split with newk340
a-orange bronze thin soapy head decent lacing

s-orange citrus, hoppy freshness, vaguely tropical. pineapple, mango.

t-hoppy orange citrus, with a spicy tropical end: mango and pineapple again. a unique ipa. very distinct. newk340 said fish and now i think i taste it! sad, i think it's just a bit oily. piney and lemony, pinesol in a good way somehow.

m-medium resine. not a palate killer by any means. bitter but a pretty decent finish. not pte delicate, but what can you do? a bit oily in texture.

d-excellent, overall i'm very happy. a sipper, but still quite easy drinking. i would have no reason to stop at one if it were easier to get in WI!

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Photo of daledeee
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice big bottle of a highly ranked IPA. This should be fun.

Pours a dark gold, maybe orange. Head is a little pale white and not huge but good lacing.

Nose is citrus and clean

Taste is lots of grapefruit with some sweetness. Good citrus oil aftertaste; I mean great.

Carbonation is pretty darn good. Not dry either.

Overall, a fine example of this style.

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Photo of Momar42
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Unibroue tulip. One month old.

A - Clear golden straw colored. Big 2+ fingers of white foamy creamy head. Good retention beautiful appearance.

S - Huge citrus aromas. From bottle to glass to nose, citrus abounds. Great nose on this brew.

T - Citrus hits right up front. Great bit in the hops. Hits all over the palate in an explosion of citrus. Finishes remarkably clean and smooth.

M - Light creaminess. Terrific mouthfeel. Really hate this category but I try and stick with the ASTMO.

O - Wow, had this on tap in DC but after having it in a fresh bottle in Dallas, my impression has changed. Truly great IPA. Hits good with the citrus hops..goes down smooth and finishes clean. One month old and still great. Love to have this one fresh in San Diego. If you find it fresh get it. You wont be disappointed.

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Photo of capra12
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed at the Gotham Cask Festival at Rattle N Hum enjoyed with a new friend Sam aka Cootercaster on 9/11/09. Thanks to Sam for letting me know about a highly rated IPA and also Patrick from RNH for hosting.

Appareance: Slightly cloudy and wheat/amber in color with little head.

Smell: There most prominent nose in this was fresh pine and grapefruit.

Taste: Opens earthy and piney which carries over to the end with an almost mellowness and subtle malt backbone. Right in the middle to the end there is a hint of citrus leaving a mildy hoppy aftertaste but very enjoyable

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with minimal carbonation and slightly dry.

Drinkability: With out a doubt I would have this again and is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Ryanthebear
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- a gold colored brew with a light white head that seems like it could just hang out on top of my beer all night.

Aroma- like sticking your nose in a barrel of hops, a little grapefruit and pine present.

Taste- hop bitterness up front, there is a hint of malt sweetness, but the hops win out in the end. I actually would have preferred just a little more malt backbone to this beer. But only a little more, and honestly it's still fantastic.

Mouthfeel: nice crisp, light mouthfeel. Moderately carbonated.

Overall: great beer. I could drink this one all night.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber courtesy of seanpachefddfa - thanks a bunch!! Split w/ dkachur, w/ my portion poured into a 22 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a vibrant orange-color, bright and lively, capped by a one-finger, foamy white head of average retention. The carbonation is well-dispersed, of average speed, and of average size - perfect for a middle of the road IPA. The lacing on this one is very nice, too - very sticky, sheet-like, like desert sand patterns all over the sides of the glass, sheet-like in some places. The surface lacing is foamy, almost soapy-looking, though it leaves that bacteria culture-esque sheen in some places as well. Overall, a solid-looking brew.

Aroma: This beer's best aspect. The first wave that hits after agitation - huge tropical fruits. Just huge. Peaches, mangoes, and kiwi are all prominent, interlaced and intermingled with slightly heavier citrus zest notes, lemons and orange zest. Herbal spicy notes - perhaps basil, perhaps thyme - mingle with a few vegetal-esque notes that don't detract too much from the remainder of the brew. A few spicy pine notes round things out. The malt backbone doesn't factor in much in the aroma - this one's all about the hops.

Taste: Moderate bitterness in a dry, crisp malt body. On the downside, the water seems slightly metallic, and the slightly vegetal component of the hop schedule is still present. On the plus side, everything else is pretty much spot on: the dry, slightly caramelized malts, the strongly herbal (definite rosemary, slight basil, mint) and fruity (peach and/or apricot, lemon and orange, definite mango) hop notes, and a moderate, spicy bitterness. Just a pleasantly balanced brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, moderately carbonated with carbonation of a moderate size ... just a very nice, even, smooth beer. The effervescence is even and slightly creamy. Really good for the style, really good overall.

Drinkability: A solid, drinkable brew. There's not too much to dislike about this one, excluding the aforementioned slight vegetal aspects and the mineral quality, the latter of which is likely augmented by the dryness of this one. The hop notes - though light - are really fantastic, complex, authentic, and tasty/aromatic. The abv%, at 7.0%, is perfectly reasonable (even though it's near the upper end of the style). This is just a very solid, drinkable beer. Maybe not the best IPA I've ever had (though I'll have to check my ratings to be sure!), though it's definitely in the top 3. Recommended.

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Photo of output01x
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Dan3279 for yet another awesome trade.

Poured from a 22 oz. capped bottle (no date) into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a slow-rising 1/2-finger off-white head that quickly disappears to a tiny island and thin ring of foam. The body is a slightly hazy orange amber with traces of yellow amber at the edges. A decent amount of small, slow-rising carbonation bubbles are also visible. Almost no lacing can be seen at any point during consumption.

The nose is packed full of tropical citrus aromas. Notes of apricot, mango, mandarin orange, and pineapple are all apparent. A bit of grass and pine are also noticeable. As is typical with many other West Coast IPAs, this beer's nose is very unbalanced with very little malt aromas coming through.

Piny and grassy at first, each sip quickly transitions to strong citrus hops flavors of nectarines, grapefruit, apricot, mango, and cantaloupe. As the beer is swallowed, a pine flavor quickly comes forward along with more citrus hops flavors that quickly dominate the pine. As these flavors slowly fade out, the nectarine flavor sticks around and is soon met by a slight piny bitterness that lingers between sips as an aftertaste.

Light to medium bodied with excellent carbonation, this beer is like a non-syrupy fruit nectar. The body is truly thirst-quenching. It glides over the tongue easily while being just heavy enough to properly carry and deliver a tremendous amount of flavor. The carbonation is only slightly fizzy, making it difficult to notice. This is certainly a good thing as the lack of fizz causes no distractions. The carbonation is, however, just strong enough to properly match the body and create great drinkability.

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Photo of icetrauma
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is transparent orange with a 2 finger head that coated the glass as it was drank.

Smell - Citrusy and crisp with lots of grapefruit.

Taste - Above avg West Coast IPA. Little to no maltiness with citrus hops ranging from mango, lemon and grapefruit. Nice sharp grapefruit finish that lingers a bit after the last swallow.

Mouthfeel - Slightly above avg. Not thin or heavy just right.

Overall - This beer will be a staple in my IPA drinking. Easy to drink and no pine at all to me. Good job BP.

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Photo of papat444
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed one of the last bombers at Winooski Bevy.

Poured from a 22oz. bottle, enjoy by 02/26/13.

Appearance: A light gold body appears and even with a vigorous pour, nets me barely a 2 finger head. Retention is real nice on the sides.

Smell: Heady for sure. Peaches come strong as does sticky resin and a good dose of grapefruit.

Taste: Peaches first but then overwhelmed by a very assertive grapefruit flavor. Some orange tries to take the edge off as well as a sweet touch in the finale.

Mouthfeel: Bitter from the get-go, malt tries to keep things in check but the long lasting bitterness is stronger.

Overall: An awesome IPA that lives up to its reputation.

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 13,758 ratings.
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