Spruce Tip Sculpin IPA | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Spruce Tip Sculpin IPASpruce Tip Sculpin IPA
BA SCORE
4.05/5
Exceptional
54 Ratings
Spruce Tip Sculpin IPASpruce Tip Sculpin IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
ballastpoint.com

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our flagship Sculpin IPA shows its complexity in this limited Spruce Tip edition. For a different twist on our traditional IPA, we added fresh Oregon spruce tips that contribute a unique piney, citrus and woody character on the nose. Plus, their flavor notes of red berry, lemon and wine grapes perfectly complement our hop profile. A great brew for the holidays and well beyond, this is a standout in a forest of IPAs.

Added by superspak on 07-15-2018

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
15
Ratings:
54
pDev:
6.17%
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
8
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 15
Photo of hermit990
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TrojanRB
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an unfiltered golde, nice finger of white head with good retention

Nose is big time pine and a surprising amount of citrus

Taste is pine needles, lemon rind, very bright, some resin

Full bodied, nice astringent hop presence without being overly bitter. Moderate carbonation

Great west coast ipa, probably my favorite sculpin variant

 343 characters

Photo of ssimpson89
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ShockDVM
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jjquinter
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of PaleAleWalt
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been wary of "different" Sculpin's since the HORRIBLE watermelon debacle...IMHO! Nevertheless, I was intrigued with the desciption of this one, given the resiquite "pineyness" quality sought after in an IPA. First impression, in all honesty, was a mouthfeel as if one had walked by with mouth open as one of those spray air-fresheners loaded with a "Christmas tree" scent and it unloaded!!! As the head subsided, the berries and wine grape flavor came out (not miuch lemon though), and it settled into a nice, flavorful IPA. Worth a try, but one I won't seek out again.

 575 characters

Photo of BKotch
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NeilSilber1
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours golden with thick white frothy head. Good (not great) commercial hoppy IPA.

82 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A good holiday season take on the Sculpin

41 characters

Photo of The_Beer_Guru
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of RyanK252
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Mountain Rambler Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours golden orange amber with a frothy khaki head that settles to a firm layer and laces well.

S: Resinous pine, citrus, tropical and candied fruity notes, a touch of bready malt, and caramel sweetness.

T: Resinous pine, citrus, grapefruit, lemon, lime, and orange, tropical fruit, mango, passion fruit, apricot, hints of green green grapes and red berries, floral notes, bready malt, and caramel sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: After the last couple so-so variants (Aloha and Unfiltered) I was worried the downward slide of this classic IPA would continue, but I do rather like this one. Spruce tips bring it back to being a gloriously piney west coast IPA.

 750 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a super hazy orange amber color with a one finger head of white foam. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a ton of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is a nice mix of tropical fruit smells of tangerine, mango and papaya, as well as hop aromas of pine and grapefruit. Along with these smells comes a little bit of a breadiness and a light yeasty smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice tropical fruit and bready flavor that creates a base taste of the brew. The tropical fruits are mainly of mango and pineapple with some tangerine mixed within. At the start there is also a strong showing of grapefruit hop and a little bit of pine as well. As the taste advances the breadiness dries a tiny bit all while the pine gets stronger and stronger. At the end, the pine and grapefruit are equal in intensity, and are joined by a little bit of grass, which in the end, with the mix of hop, sweet, and bread, create a rather pleasant and diversely hopped taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the slightly chewier side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is average. The feel is great for the mix of fruit, grapefruit hop and more dank hop tastes and makes for a wonderful and refreshing, but still slightly slower sipper feel for the brew.

Overall – The spruce/pine flavor does well to balance out and compliment the sweeter fruit and grapefruit flavors. This is a very nice rendition of the Sculpin. Well done and delicious.

 1,640 characters

Photo of sokol_1993
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Doesn't taste like spruce in there though, as it is quite hidden by the piney-ness of the hops. However, still an excellent beer, no doubt.

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Photo of epyon396
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Consumed in a dark room, but the color looks to be the usual golden/Amber with good clarity. Head formation and retention are good. Sticky webs of lacing.

S: Hop forward nose with that signature simcoe/Amarillo mango, apricot, and grapefruit aroma. Mandarin orange. Juicy fruit gum. Interesting fruit juice/berry sort of nose, and a very subtle woodsy pine. Some underlying toast and caramel too. He nose is fresh and popping.

T: The spruce tips are far more forward in taste, and they bring a unique breadth of flavor. Mild citrus, woody pine, and a fruit juice/berry and almost bubblegum sort of taste. They provide an interesting complement to the normal Sculpin hop profile, which is certainly present here with that token mango, apricot, grapefruit, and mandarin orange profile. Mild caramel and toast malt base. Trailing spruce tip finish with soft woody pine and juicy berry.

M: Decidedly medium bodied with a firm and full malt texture. Mild hop astringency. Well carbonated with a firm but gentle scrub.

O: Pretty great, actually. The spruce tips are a nice twist that work really well with the base Sculpin recipe. The flavor of them is unique, and not what most people will expect. That’s the shame of it, really. I can picture a lot of people passing on this simply because they have a certain expectation of what a spruce tip beer will taste like. Namely, like a Christmas tree. That isn’t really the case though. Try it yourself and see.

 1,499 characters

Photo of Justinprintz
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of runlikeakenyan
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Buck_Jones
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 9/27/2018. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep golden amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and rocky off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big red grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, berries, citrus peel/rind, wood, spruce tips, peppercorn, pine, cracker, biscuit dough, light honey/toast, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops, spruce tips, and bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big red grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, berries, citrus peel/rind, wood, spruce tips, peppercorn, pine, cracker, biscuit dough, light honey/toast, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate pine, citrus peel/rind, herbal, floral, woody, grassy, peppery bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of big red grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, peach, pineapple, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, berries, citrus peel/rind, wood, spruce tips, peppercorn, pine, cracker, biscuit dough, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops, spruce tips, and bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and no lingering hop astringency after the finish. Moderate increasing dryness from lingering bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy, sticky/resinous/rindy, and fairly crisp balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 7%. Overall this is a fantastic spiced IPA. All around out outstading complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/fruity/tropical/earthy hops, spruce tips, and bready malt flavors; very smooth, easy, and fairly crisp to drink; despite the fairly aggressively bitter/resinous/drying finish. Same great Columbus, Centennial, Chinook, Simcoe, Amarillo profile as the base beer; with complementing spruce tip notes that aren't overdone at all. Very juicy, vibrant, dank, and earthy balance hop/spruce tip complexity; nice bready malt backbone, with no residual sweetness from crisp resin dryness. A highly enjoyable offering, and spot on West coast style example as expected.

 2,457 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BarrelAgedG
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of cryptichead
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Gkruszewski
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Elicoleman
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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Spruce Tip Sculpin IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 54 ratings