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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,437 | Ratings: 13,464
Photo of JCaweinstein
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden color with a nice one finger white head. There are lots of bubbles in this one.
I noticed the aroma as soon as I opened the bottle. Fantastic hop aromas, pine mostly and also detected some caramel notes.
On the first taste I get a subtle hop bitterness which leads the way for the pine. Dark toast and a slight maltiness round out the flavor profile.
This beer is very crisp and clean and you. An feel that on the palate. This sensation gives way to a resinous hop bitterness and a pleasant lingering aftertaste of roast.
Wow! Good stuff! Glad Ballast Point made it to OH. No bottle date but I'm pretty sure it will always be fresh bc I can't see it sitting on shelves for long.

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Photo of spree92
4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Have been hearing about Sculpin for a while now and have finally got the chance to try it. People talk highly of this beer.

I gave it a quick stir so it is a bit hazy pour. Small head but an oily film remains on the surface. The nose is a little weak. The noticeable west coast hops are here, probably cascade, willamette and a couple others. Does have a fresh quality to it. The taste is interesting. Not a bitter as I was anticipating. Nice fruit flavors of citrus and even peach?. A 7% beer, this is very light but is a little acidic. I already have been burping. This is a refreshing IPA and exactly what I wanted after work.

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Photo of LaneMeyer
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, 1/2 finger of head, dissipates quickly.

A - Golden/red amber, looks syrupy in the glass, slightly hazy (prefer more haze).

S - Pineapple, mango, banana, pine resin, raspberry, and some bready qualities.

T - Pine resin, tropical fruit blend, raspberry, bitterness.

M - Nice carbonation feel, not overly watery, goes down smoootthhh.

O - A very nicely done IPA.

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Photo of arvidkoval
3.96/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L- Golden orange

S- Some citrusy grapefruit, kinda sweet. Little bit of pine.

T- Grapefruit bitterness. Hint of some sweet malts.

F- Medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

O- This is really good, but I think it's overhyped. I'm sure this was a game changer when it made its debut, but at this point there are loads of other IPAs I'd rather drink.

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Photo of MaltyPythonsHopCircus
4.41/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L orange, slightly hazy. Frothy head
A tropical fruit, some dankness
T perfect level of upfront bitterness. Malt is flavourful with a hint of sweetness
F slightly grainie, dry but no astringency
O so well balanced. Love it

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Photo of ASirahSyrah
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

It was hard not to rate this a '5', but considering the fact that I've never rated anything a five on the ground that-that would require some sort of undefined perfection, i had to settle - unwittingly - with 4.75. This beer is phenomenal! I had it at some random sports bar with a mixed crowd and velvet couches, but I was happy to get lost in my active enjoyment of the beer over gorgeous flatscreens showing two super exciting, MAJOR, college football upsets at the bar - it was easy too. Many people have rated this meticulously and eruditiously on the quality of it's various elements, but let me tell you, this beer is all "emotion and feel;" no need to quantify the greatness of this beer.

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Photo of woomThomas
3.76/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

When pouring the beer, you get an amber beer with white foam.
The foam has small means bubbles and is perfectly right.
The foam stick around for a while and leave little trace in the glass.
Hop aroma will direct, a little malt notes.
Behind this, we find the fruity tones of grapefruit.
A little tropical and mixed herbs, and a little caramel.
The first thing you taste the hops and subsequent bitterness.
Both hops and bitterness are dominant but behind that is a lovely taste of the grapefruit.
Some mixed tropical flavors of orange and a little lemon.
Some spices, herbs and a touch of toasted coming towards the end.
The hops and bitterness are dominant and sits in all the time and a moderately while afterwards.
I think both hops and bitterness takes over a bit much and that the other flavors will not forward enough.

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

I was happy to find this at a local store, I didn't think anywhere was stocking this right now....pleasant surprise.

A very hoppy offering, hits pretty hard, reminds me of Stone Ruination in that sense, very hoppy and bitter, lasts from beginning to end. Smell is very strong of hops.

Not malty at all, not very sticky either, more smooth and golden and basically scorches your taste buds. Hop heads will love this.

I had very high expectations, I have heard this mentioned in the same breath as Pliny, and this is no Pliny. It is a good IPA, but a little over-hyped in my opinion. I cannot determine when this was bottled so maybe it could have been fresher, but I was a bit let down.

Still a solid brew as my score will indicate, but I have had comparable IPAs.

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Photo of Willytee3
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into tulip glass.

Pours a clear orange with reddish hue. Random single bubbles slowly rise to a creamy one finger head that slowly receeds to a thick ring of lacing.
Smell of tropical fruit with strong pine and a tangerine citrus. Has a sticky sweet, candy smell going on. A touch of wet earth as well.
Tastes of bright tropical fruits with sharp piney bitter and tart citris that bounces between red grapefruit rind and orange zest. Tart dry finish with lingering hop bitter and a kind of rye bread crust comes out as it warms.
Good medium body, creamy almost froth like mouthfeel. I feel like it does not reach it's full potential and kind of thins out at the end, not in a bad way just not as full as one would expect. There is a surprising light alcohol taste on the finish.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%

22 oz Bomber.This has a very nice taste of grapefruit with slight lemon.Very Hoppy beer.Solid IPA with a solid 7.0ABV.This is one of the better IPA`s out there.I noticed that just about all the Ballast Point beers are coming out in cans now.Makes it alot easier if you are going on a picnic or other outing.If you haven't tried this one you owe it to yourself if you like IPA`s.

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Photo of pezhead_79
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

While I am not an IPA fan, I do enjoy the beer style in small doses. This is perhaps the finest year-round IPA I have enjoyed. It hits all the right notes but is never overpowering in any aspect. Overall, I am really happy that it has become available in my region (Indiana).

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Photo of paytoplay
4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cask at Hamiltons in SD. This from cask is stunning. The aroma is tops with any beer ever. Cask from the 1st batch might have been life changing. This recent batch doesn't have the corn flavor like I tasted in the previous 2. Smooth and a bit short and watery on the finish. Cask conditioning changed all that. Great texture, nice that it was served cold. Super aroma. Nice complexities and finish that stretched further than any other sculpin. But man that nose was stunning.

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Photo of Maryobeerian
4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Light honey color, clear but pours out of a 12oz bottle with virtually no head. Nice, effervescent mouth feel without too much fizz. Slight mango, pleasant smell. Taste is smooth. well blended, starting with citrus and then a clean dry finish. No flaws here and very nice but not especially interesting. I would happily drink again but at almost twice the price of some other IPAs I enjoy, will only do so when I am feeling flush.

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Photo of Kubishark
3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

An amber orange color with a rich smell of hops and citrus. Tastes very citrussy, a little piney, and has a mild bitter bite towards the end. Feels solidly medium bodied. Overall it's a fine example of the style.

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Photo of Beerisheaven
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this one sitting in my cellar for about 2 weeks and decided to pair it up with a wasabi, soy, garlic tuna steak on Sat night.

A - Pours a brilliant golden color, crisp and delightful looking with a nice creamy white head rising up on the pour.

S - Brilliant pine and citrus smell dominate.

T - Follows the smell somewhat as the upfront pine is followed by a grapefruit/citrus explosion. It's all good for sure.

M - Very nice and the perfect match with something spicy. The bitterness cuts through the spicyness to make a wonderful treat to the meal.

D - Nice carbonation.

I looked forward to trying this and feels that this matches up favorably with just about any of the other world class IPA's. Worthy of its lofty ratings. Would def get again if it was not so hard to find. Check it out.

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Photo of bierguru
3.18/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -
almost a clear straw color with high carbonation
head is pretty good stays well then laces fairly thick

S -
hop and citrus

T -
hop and finishes with a strong citrus dry bite

M -
mild feel with a drying to it

D -
its okay had better however better then most

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Photo of JoLight
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(poured into a pint glass) Yellow-golden, hazy, bubbly; off-white frothy head that leaves a thin, frothy layer; little spotty lacing.

Sweet, sugary IPA hop aroma: tropical citrusy fruits such as pineapple and orange and apricot and tangerine. Piney hops. Honey. A hint of white bread. Delicious, but sort-of mild.

Taste: mild but present hops: fruity (as described above), and the piney hops as well. Honey-oat malt character. I tell you what: this beer is so well put together. The flavors blend with such harmony. It's not so much a round beer as it is a well-blended beer. And the hop profile is one of the most pleasant hop profiles of my beer-drinking experience, for it is not too oily nor does it leave a lasting bitterness on the back of my tongue. I am not an IPA guy, but I could honestly drink this one year-round and not get tired of it. (Still, not as good as Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA.)

Mouthfeel/finish: medium-full, light carbonation; clean, bitter, refreshing.

Overall: I like it as much as I like Sierra Nevada but the price is outrageous, so I would probably go with Airrra Nevada Extra IPA

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In a word, perfection. Citrusy, lightly fruity, not much herbal hop flavor it all; a little residual sweetness from what tastes like a gorgeous marriage of caramel hops with the prerequisite two-row. Color is dark gold, not quite brassy with beautiful lacing and head retention. An exceptional and fantastic IPA, one of the best in the world.

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Photo of Roby923
4.73/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow wow wow. On tap at the Park House PIT. Refreshingly hoppy and has just the right amount of malt. A real treat of an ipa. Another winner from SAN.

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Photo of gyllstromk
4.67/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful, nearly-clear golden. Nose is pine, melon, mango, bubble gum, light citrus, and vanilla. Flavor is resiny hops, light fruit, with a nice bitterness and a perfume aftertaste. The hops are really put on front stage here and make for a delightful beer and one of the best examples of the style (a slight nit: the taste was not quite as strong as the aroma predicted). With a crisp, wet feel it makes for a refreshing summer (or anytime) beer. Highly recommended.

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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 caskstrength
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden yellow. No haze. Exactly what's expected. Take a picture for your IPA Fancy magazine.

Smells are citrus first. And second. Pine in third. Maybe some tropical stuff too. Very good and as hoped.

Tastes are right in my wheelhouse. Citrus, pine, yada, yada, yada. Done really well here. Like hopslam without the thicker honey sweetness. This is clearly a top shelf IPA.

Mouthfeel is great. A bit dry, clean. No odd or off flavors, zesty and fresh.

Probably won't be drinking/trading for it much, however, when I can get two 500ml Plinys for less than a bomber of this. Maybe the 6 packs will help the value equation.

I bet it's great on tap.

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Photo of mxchap
4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dense head (~3 fingers) with a nice translucent amber color.
Aroma: Big citrus and grapefruit upfront. Also lemon, pine, and an underlying crystal malt.
Flavor: Sweet, caramel malt at the front followed by a blast of American hop flavor. A complex mix of hop bitterness takes over (mostly grapefruit and pine).
Mouthfeel: The only part about this beer I didn't really enjoy. Sculpin was a tad resiny and VERY dry for the style. Some residual sugar here from malt would go a long way.
Overall: A very solid west coast IPA. Not the best, imho, but quite a treat. A more balanced mouthfeel would make this beer truly great.

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Photo of warrenout330
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter

A- pours a hazy golden orange color. Creamy white head sticks around almost the whole time to the beer... big thick chunks of lacing to the glass

S- hop resin, pine sap, tropical fruits, malty back bone

T- pineapple, mango, citrus fruit punch... big ol' smack of pinney sap, cleaned up with sweet caramel malt swirl

M- medium body with medium carbonation... creamy mouthfeel... prickly bittereness in the back.... dry,wet finish to the beer... maybe its wet cuz its making my taste buds go crazy

O- once again I am not a IPA fan but all these good ones recently have really been making me think twice.... this is a damn good. My first offering from ballistic and now I will keep a close radar on this brewery

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

12 oz. bottle, from a case dated mid/late Feb. '14, poured into my trusty 3 Floyds teku.

A: Bright and hazy orange straw. Almost glowing. Looks great.

S: Can smell the hops from a few feet away. Pine, grapefruit, maybe some pineapple.

T: Crisp citrus/grapefruit up front, followed immediately and intensely by a dry, piney bitterness. Delicious.

M: Very smooth and mildly carbonated.

O: A great IPA; so crushable. A little too expensive ($14.99/6-pack around me) to be an everyday kind of beer.

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Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 13,464 ratings.
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