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Sculpin IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Sculpin IPASculpin IPA
14,020 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14,020 |  Reviews: 2,502
Photo of SkinniePost
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of mgr78704
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of rtepiak
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

an orange pour of something quite nice in the nose. a textbook balance of all the aspects of an IPA. Orange clear with a nice white head. there is retention. nose is a perfect balance of malt pollen, floral hop, and citrus fruit. otherwise the body seems to be just that. its right in the middle. textbook. feel is a bit soapy. grapefruit...

an all around balance of an IPA but not something that is characterized as uniquely great or number one. it may be a regional thing but i've had some better IPA's in the midwest. this is a good one to set examples too... but doesn't have any accent.

 592 characters

Photo of Hophead717
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A bomber poured into my Dogfish Head Signature Glass.

A: Golden straw, with a one-finger head. Some lacing sticks to the glass.

S: Light lemon and light graininess. This is a somewhat tame scent, but what's here is pleasant.

T: Strong lemon-rind upfront with some nice bitterness from the hops upfront and lightly in the finish. Some earthy notes...slightly grassy. Mild grapefruit underlies the beer, but the lemony-citrus drive the beer. Absolutely excellent.

M: Light and very carbonated. Not overly carbonated, but close.

O: I'm a big fan of this different-type of IPA than I'm used to. The lemon and medium hops drive the enjoyable taste.

 648 characters

Photo of Kubrickx
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Belittle
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of cjohns73
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of npachl
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of doktorhops
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of those “long time coming” beers in that it’s so highly rated in the US (BeerAdvocate has it on their Beers of Fame list: The gold standard of tasting lists IMO) and Dan Murphy’s have stocked their Big Eye IPA for many years - I mean WTF took them so long to get Sculpin in?!? Anyway, it’s here, it’s overpriced, and it’s finally getting either the “Doc brand seal of Approval” or the “Doc brand seal of Meh!”... or something in-between those 2 seals [perhaps half of each seal? I haven’t really given it that much thought]. So take it away Ballast Point Sculpin IPA!

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Hazed amber body with a half centimetre dense cream-coloured head that leaves a decent bit of spider web lace on the side of the glass. Overall this is a top-notch looking, although a tad prosaic, American IPA. 8/10.

S: Quite a perfume of hops here - very flowery, with piney/citrus and a touch of pineapple. The most noticeable thing though is the bold floral character - which is not uncommon in an IPA, but intriguingly takes centre stage in the aroma of Sculpin. 9/10.

T: Sweet potpourri of flowers upfront crashes against assertive piney/citric bitterness and somewhere in the mid palate you’ve got light caramel malts and a touch of fresh pineapple [nowhere near the hefty “pineapple chunks in syrup” notes you get from another certain DIPA, which is Doc’s favourite... I won’t name names - you’ll just have to read my blog]. It’s got just enough to differentiate it flavourwise from Big Eye without being any more impressive [to me at least]. 8/10.

M: Medium bodied with a decent dense carbonation - it’s lacking a bit of wow in the mouthfeel. 7/10.

D: So it’s really just Big Eye with a slightly different flavour profile (for better or worse). I did dig the floral aroma of this one over Big Eye, but apart from that I’m finding Ballast Point to be a little overrated in the IPA stakes - there’s a good many excellent IPA brewers out there in that land they call ‘Merica: Where anyone, no matter how terrible their hairpiece is... I mean like an animal died and is withering away on their head, and no matter how bigoted the person, they can still run for president of the country - now that’s freedom right there! [or the slow decline into despotism]. 8/10.

Food match: Thinking Thai cuisine - like a Kaeng pa with fresh chilli or Som tam Thai (also with fresh chilli).

 2,466 characters

Photo of Sarge3130
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of ralphw56
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of firkingroovin
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Duhast500
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a stemmed glass.

The color is a clear orange/gold with two or three fingers of foamy white head and some thick lacing.

The smell is pretty floral hops with some funky citrus flavor. This has a nice west coast IPA feel and I am impressed already.

The taste is pretty sweet and pretty bitter but with a fruity citrus flavor that does give off a bit of zing. Pretty good spiky flavor that does poke with a bitterness that is not surprising but fun. Some tropical fruit I can't name brings you to a slapped back fruity flavor.

The feel of this beer is a pretty smooth beer. It goes down pretty darn smooth but does leave it's mark on your mouth as it bitters the palate with some nice flavor.

 724 characters

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a light copper/golden hue with a fat head and thick lace from start to finish with a good amount of effervescence.

S: Big citrus spiciness, tons of sappy pine and fresh cut grass - there's some sweet malt at the end, but the hop runs the show.

T: Similar to the smell with tons of resinous hop, grapefruit rind, just a small amount of malt which is nice as it doesn't take away from the amazing hop flavor - it just adds a nice touch to the perfectly rounded flavor of this ale.

M: Well carbonated, medium-bodied (but on the lighter side), crisp and clean.

D: These go down like nothing and if you're not careful the 7% ABV will catch up with you over an evening of drinking these tasty little guys.

 712 characters

Photo of donspublic
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Raime
4.01/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ballast Point Sculpin.

Finally. Finally. FUCKING FINALLYYYYYY arrived in Michigan!. Release date was today as a matter of fact. Went and grabbed a sixer for $12.99 . Was gonna get a few of the other ballast point beers but I'm already a bit strapped for the week. I genuinely hope this one lives up to the insane amount of hype it is given in the beer world. Enough talk, it's drinking time.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass. Poured a slightly murky orange with a finger and a half of creamy looking white head that eventually settles down to a moderately thick froth amongst the top of the drink. Carbonation appears to be on about moderate levels with this beer. Lacing is sparse.

Smell - The nose starts off with a moderate to higher level of sweetness and centenniel esque hoppiness. Lots and grass and sweet candy like malts. The hops are lowly piney in nature and there is a rather large dosage of fresh cut grass. Pine levels are low though clearly present.

Taste - The flavor profile on this beer is very clean. Headed by a nice dosage of pine notes though not exactly bitter in any sense of the word. A bit of mango like juicyness and papaya. The malts are once again very sweet like in nature and not overly present. The thing I like the most is it's almost session ipa like in nature though without the cloying sweetness those beers tend to quickly bring on.

Feel - Mouthfeel on this brew is very creamy and coats the tongue along with the rest of the mouth very nicely. Carbonation is low to moderate depending on the specific swallow. Moderate pine notes without the bitterness really dominate this aspect as well. Beer swallows very easily and ups the bitterness a bit in the throat..

Overall - Well...I will admit I was expecting something truly beereligious(trademark) but instead I got a very well done session like IPA that manages to control the stupid sweetness that most of them allow to prevail. Reminds me of Oskar Blues Pinner with better balance which makes a huge difference. I will surely try more beers from these guys, but I do not think this one should be rated as highly as it it. In terms of Michigan beers, it was comparable to a less malty, slightly more hop forward Two Hearted Ale. As always, try it and come to your own conclusion..

 2,296 characters

Photo of greg4579
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of BColton1
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Ajlvt
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of jjanega08
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

No noticed freshness dating

A= Pours a hazy orange color with a nice thick two finger head on it that rises and holds retention with solid lacing

S= Smells of powerful grapefruit and citrus.

T= The taste has a big citrus bite up front. Puckeringly bitter. Little alcohol bite that is hidden by the bitterness.

M= The mouth is relatively average. It's not quite the creamy IPA I was hoping for.

O= This is definitely a great beer but not as amazing as I have been lead to believe. The mouth is somewhat average and the flavor is on par with great IPAs but nothing more.

 573 characters

Photo of prisdefer
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of ryanpj
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of TooGood
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Scotchboy
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes, reviewed 1/14/12.

Sculpin bomber, fresh from the brewery via Sean, thanks man! Poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a brilliantly clear golden honey color, with a big fluffy and soapy white head. Ok lacing.

S: Decent West Coast hop notes jump out on the nose; pine, tropical fruits, hop sweetness, bitter resin, decent floral notes. No malt detectable - good sign.

T: Smooth bitterness, front to back. There is a touch of pine, some astringent notes, papaya, mango, and grapefruit zest character. A touch of biscuity malt presence as well.

MF: Solid, smooth and lighter bodied, with decent bitterness and dryness. By no means is this beer that oppressive 'West Coast' kind of dry.

O: I'd say this is a solid drinker, if unremarkable.

 756 characters

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

A - body has an unusually bright orange hue, nice head, lacing carries through

S - like nothing Ive ever come across in a beer, intriguing tropical fruity hops, peach and mango in particular

T - sweet and hoppy, very refreshing, mildly shocked that it is 7.0%

M - a light tart mouthful, soft carbonation

O - just like an equatorial getaway, exceptionally refreshing, a distinctly new experience for me and one Im agreeable to repeating pronto.

 447 characters

Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 14,020 ratings
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