Habanero Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
527 Reviews
Habanero SculpinHabanero Sculpin

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Sculpin IPA with Habanero Pepper began as a crazy experiment that’s taken on a life of its own. While its bright fruit notes and hoppy bite has made the original one of our favorites, this version takes that balance of flavors to the next level with the citrusy, floral heat of habaneros. Sculpin are known to sting, but this one’s got a kick.

Added by billshmeinke on 02-26-2011

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 527 | Ratings: 2,565
Photo of clm9
4.39/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

...If you aren't a fan of heat, why on earth would you drink (let alone rate???) something called a "habanero beer"? The amount of significantly low scores almost entirely attributable to the poster's dislike for spicy/hot things is ridiculously asinine. This, like the grapefruit and pineapple sculpins, is a master-class in balance between the original template (sculpin) and the additional flavor pairing. So, to reiterate one more time for any too slow yet to grasp this simple concept, if you like heat, this beer will give you a new appreciation for what is possible in regards to chile beers; and if you don't like heat...don't drink a habanero beer?

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Photo of bdajedi
3.24/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Medium golden color, light head. Quite spicy finish. If you like spicy things go for it, if not then it's not much more than a fun talking point. Not a sessionable beer

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Photo of JakeScully
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a teku glass.

Ballast point is a bit of a whale in Europe... glad I could try. An interesting ipa even though I could have done without the pepper extra. Cheers!

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Photo of AngusOg
3.24/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Too hot, and not enough hops. I like beers that have a slight burn too them, but this one had my mouth on fire, and kept me from being able to taste anything else. Drinkability is low, drain poured mine after I got about 3/4 through it. Maybe good for those that like super spicy things, but this is not for me.

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Photo of Benjolovesbeer
5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip:

L: hazy orange, 1" foam, slight carbonation

A: citrus, pine, hops, spicy habanero

F: hot and spicy alcohol burn

T: habanero, badass hot beer, but can taste slight IPA character.

O: this is a badass beer and my favorite hot beer and favorite ballast point. A lot better than expected.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale amber with a frothy white head that leaves a trail of lace.

Smells of citrus, tropical fruit, earthy hops, and pepper.

Taste is in your face tropical fruit and citrus is immediately turned up by the habanero which takes over and lingers to the end. Finishes dry with spicy, earthy hops and habanero. This is an intense beer not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of maxdeusphallis
4.57/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden clear amber with a finger of white head.

Smell is grapefruit and strong citra hops. Very nice on the nose. Grapefruit, pineapple and mango.

Taste is a juice / hop bomb followed by some significant habanero/ capsaisan heat on the end. Burns my mouth and throat, not from alcohol but from chiles.

I love it, but you have to be a heat head to enjoy this beer.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought a bottle of this off the single shelf at Binnys. It poured a clear copper with white head that left some lace. The scent was habanero pepper. The taste is spicy with habanero. The Mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's a solid beer. Not necessarily my fav style....ut this would be great with sausage pizza.

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Photo of Stooven
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

As advertised. My gripe is not the heat, but that Ballast sells this in 6ers. If I hadn't found it in a mix-a-6 section, I probably wouldn't have tried it (esp. considering how Ballast prices Sculpin in the Midwest). Maybe a bomber is more appropriate? Shared with a friend with whom you normally eat hot wings, Thai, etc.

I feel this way about a lot of beers. Particularly those of the pumpkin variety.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pouring out of the bottle and into the glass, this version is practically indistinguishable from the original; the bright gold color and moderate froth is all there.
The aroma seems to be dominated by a caramel malt sweetness that belies the surprise that will hit the tongue.
Almost instantaneously, the habanero pepper sets fire to the palate. It burns in the mouth and in the finish. The malt backbone is subtle but barely discernible; you really have to look for it. The hops are there too. They are resiny, citrusy and spicy. However, this is all overshadowed by the atomic spice bomb that lights a fire to the senses. It's definitely more of a sipper due to this.
I have mixed feelings about how to rate this one. The spiciness practically wrecks the palate and overshadows any subtleties or elements of the IPA style. I can say for certain that this brew is not for people who hate spicy tastes. However, if you like spice like me, it's worth a try. I liked it and will rate it well although I wouldn't make a session out of it.

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Photo of stephens101
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pale orange, hot, juicy, piney, grapefruity, medium and hot. Did I mention it's pretty hot, which is a relative term I admit.

I'm sure there are a lot of tough guys that down a six pack of these and say it's not hot enough. Some of them probably spend the rest of the night in the bathroom or furtively downing tums.

This is the kind of beer most people likely either love or hate, and are either suited for or not suited for. But it is definitely one that I can (without hesitation say) only enjoy in small doses.

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Photo of BeerBobber
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a nice copper color with a slight haze and less than one finger of white popping bubbles for a head. Also leaves a nice lacing all down the glass.
The smell was pretty simple and very pleasant with a heavy floral presence with a back note of citrus and tropical fruits.
The taste is very floral with a slight bitterness that is balanced very nicely with the malt backbone. The taste does have a peppery burn on the backside that has a slow fiery feel all the way down to the stomach.
The mouth feel is medium with a bit of a heavier finish with that pepper burn at the back end. The pepper burn comes through more as you sip on this one.
A splendidly done IPA with a lot of pepper heat built in on this one. Just beware as you get to the bottom of the glass the burn is coming in stronger as it has had some time to build.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfect amount of heat here... Spicy from the habaneros but I like spicy foods so..., the bitterness of the hops help calm the storm..... Don't know that I could drink more than 1 or 2 at a time but it's very unique and something I will have on occasion.

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Photo of Peepskp
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really enjoyed this beer but I also enjoy hot peppers. Very interesting and a must try for those of us that prefer things hot. I did not find the heat overwhelming at all but it was enough to satisfy. They did a nice job with this one.

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Photo of therealzeveriah
5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had beers from all over the world. I often fall in love with a beer and the. In a few months get bored with it, until now. Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin never yields its satisfaction!

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into a teku glass.

Very mildly hazed to almost clear body with copper amber color, the pour quickly forms up very thick creamy white head that stands with very good retention. It just slowly dissipates to a thin foamy layer that won’t go anywhere on the surface along with decent amount of sticky lacing.

Juicy and fruity aroma like the original Sculpin IPA, here come citrus, lemon, peach, mango, passion fruit, and resin. But wait, there is a strong presence of chili/pepper spice popping up in the middle, I can even feel the heat from there. Malt is quite underlying with a note of caramel.

The taste is quite messy but nicely mingled between hop, malt, and habanero pepper. Hop with its resiny and fruity touches in the same kind like the aroma, malt with its sweet caramel as a foundation of the flavor, habanero pepper with its abundance heat and spice. I repeat it is really heat and spice on the palate. Yes, the pepper was there to show not just playing a minor role. The bitterness is also there but seems to be concealed by the big spiciness.

Medium body with smooth mouthfeel and some lively carbonation, the feeling is crisp and heat by its peppery profile. I can even feel the lip being hot and pleasantly pungent.

This one is not that typical IPA, be prepared for the heat and spice, even it is not that too heavy or hefty but it is not infirm for sure. The habanero pepper profile is quite solid. For me, it is class, very interesting brew.

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Photo of ksimons
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-a clear orange yellow color with a fingers worth of frothy white head

S-aroma is of citrus, some pine, and a bit of pepper spice

T-much more spice in the beer than the smell suggests, a little overwhelming and hard to taste much of the citrus and pine

M-medium body and moderate carbonation

Overall I can appreciate this beer for what it is, it is good tasting, but just too hot for my liking

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Photo of LampertLand
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ballast Point Brewing 'Habanero Sculpin' @ 7.0% , served from a 6pack of 355 ml bottles purchased for $20
A-pour is a light gold from the bottle to a clear gold in the glass with a medium size white head leaving a fine spotty lace along the pint
S-pine resin (hoppy) on the initial pour , hints of habanero & pepper
T-ok taste at the start , spicey habanero fire on the swallow
MF-ok carbonation , big medium body
Ov-gotta say I kinda liked it , pairs well with spicey food
prost LampertLand

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Photo of bbtkd
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin, 7% ABV, 70 IBU. Pours medium viscosity, cloudy orange, with three finger white head, leaves decent foamy lacing. Nose is malt, pine, and peppers. Taste is piney bitterness, closely followed by a habanero bite. OK mouthfeel, and overall decent. I am not a big IPA fan, and this is hotter than I expected, but hey I knew it was a habanero IPA going in. We don't get Ballast Point here in South Dakota yet, but they have a lot of beers I want to try, so well worth the short drive across the border to Minnesota. BTW - don't accidentally breathe any of this, not good.

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Photo of dditto2
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I don't have the chance to pour right now, rating the bottle art I guess. It smells floral citrusy hops, mild pepper (habanero) aroma. It tastes like a sculpin with hefty amounts of habanero. You can definitely taste the pepper. Sculpin is a great beer that doesn't need habanero but why not, it does take away from the flavor of sculpin but it is another experience. Ok on to the feel. It is like drinking a sculpin then it heats up. I eat spicy food, I love Sriracha, I am not a sissy when it comes to heat, but, my beer was spicy. More than expected but, not overwhelming, but close. I can't wait to share this beer. $15 bucks for six here, which seems alright but I couldn't drink this too often. Good for sharing I would say if you are into spicy for sure. Going to wash it down with a Pineapple Sculpin now :) Update: I am on my second six pack and the flavor seems to vary quite a bit by batch.

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Photo of vikinggary28
3.76/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I love Ballast Point Sculpin and have had and enjoyed the Grapefruit version as well a but the Habanero variety has been elusive. I finally ran across it at my local Bevmo and would have to say was happy with the results. I've always enjoyed the various chili beers but they often just taste like a Corona with a shot of pepper juice added to it. This one is finally done right. It has the hop taste and character of Sculpin balanced by the hotness of Habenero. It could have had a little more fruit flavours but I'm not complaining. Very enjoyable. Prost!

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Photo of Pierre_Pressure
2.99/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The heat is nice, but the flavor comes off as relatively bland. Habanero peppers can be very flavorful but it just isn't coming through as strongly as it should and the base beer itself is presenting as very mild notes. Bottle date of Aug 16, so freshness isn't the issue here. This isn't a bad beer by any stretch, but if it weren't for the nice kiss of heat this would have been a very forgettable beer.

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Photo of joekoz007
2.18/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I love Sculpin and grapefruit Sculpin. I also love very spicy foods but this is just plain bad. Tastes like hopped tabasco sauce. Lots of burn and a small amount of hop flavor. Will not have again.

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Photo of user-951
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The price kept me from trying this for awhile.. finally plunged in.

Was not too spicy, could smell and taste the capsicum though. My issue was I could not detect the fruity flavors I love in habaneros. They could have called it a serrano or jalapeno beer. I do have 5 more, so maybe that will change. But so far it is a mild disappointment and I am unlikely to pick it up again.

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Photo of gregangley
1.34/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.25

Did not care for it. Had nothing to do with the heat, it was all about the flavor, which was indescribably bad. This is very much an acquired taste which, I guess, I don't have. The flavor and feel comes off far too bitter and sharp, you may think that I am confusing that with the heat of the pepper, but that isn't so. Juts did not care for it at all.

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Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 2,565 ratings.
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