Sculpin IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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97
world-class
13,838 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
13,838
Reviews:
2,489
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
9.84%
 
 
Wants:
1,493
Gots:
5,690
For Trade:
43
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 13,838 |  Reviews: 2,489
Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Knapp85
4.42/5  rDev +1.1%
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 t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
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 -14.2%

Photo of metter98
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
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 -0.7%
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

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Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
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 -10.3%
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 oline73
3.94/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +3%
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 SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
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 Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy orangey color ale with a large frothy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus hops with deep caramel malt backbone is quite enjoyable. Taste is also dominated by loads of citrus hops with some floral undertones though no grapefruit notes and a deep and solid caramel malt backbone with balanced sweetness level. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done with great balance between malt and hops.

 468 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of zeff80
4.84/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured out a clear, golden yellow color with a small, white, bubbly head of foam. It left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled amazing. Loads of grapefruit, bubblegum, mango and other citrus aromas. It had a slight caramel nose, too.

T - It tasted of sweet citrus flavors with grapefruit and orange peel. It had a nice bitter hop bite and a bitter burnt toast malt flavor.

M - It was crisp and quite sharp. A medium-bodied ale with a smooth finish.

D - This is an amazing IPA. It has all the complexity and depth of an Imperial IPA without an over the top alcohol presence.

 581 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Perfectly clear pale amber with a dense frothy head that leaves behind thick sheets of lace. Can't really get any better here.

Smell: Fresh fruit and oily hops; grapefruit and mango with a touch of pine. Malts are subtle and don't get in the way of the incredible hop aroma.

Taste & mouthfeel: Similar to the nose, but with an even greater pine and mango presence. Malts are subdued and dry, little more than a foundation for the hops, though they lend a bit of biscuit-like flavor and a hint of honey as the brew warms. So damn crisp and light-bodied, I'd never guess this was 7%. Hop bitterness is perfect; coating but not overwhelming, assertive but not aggressive.

Notes: A nearly perfect IPA, easily ranking in my top 5 of all time for the style.

5.0/5.0/4.5/5.0/5.0

3/15/11:

Newer batches of this beer are significantly less impressive. The tropical fruit aromatics are largely gone, and the hop flavor less intense.

 940 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

 1,726 characters

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.

 1,031 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 13,838 ratings.
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