Habanero Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

BA SCORE
85
very good
518 Reviews
Habanero SculpinHabanero Sculpin
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:
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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
518
Ratings:
2,529
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
16%
 
 
Wants:
184
Gots:
758
For Trade:
12
User Reviews
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Reviews: 518 | Ratings: 2,529
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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Photo of who2host
4.87/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll keep it brief.

I think most of the so-so reviews either come from those who don't truly enjoy and ipa or hot food.
This beer is delicious. If you enjoy great IPAs and you like mexican/spicy food this beer is terrific. It
reminds me of a chili relleno. Try it.

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Photo of msf55
4.71/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First, if you don't like heat, avoid this beer. I see a lot of negative reviews from people who can't handle the heat. This beer smells of the habanero and it comes out profoundly in the taste and feel. Ballast Point nailed this one, a delicious Sculpin and all the components of what a habanero is. Not for the faint of tongue. Bravo Ballast Point!!!!

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Photo of Maestro0708
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Look: Pours a golden amber color with a one-finger, white head with decent retention.

Smell: Citrus notes dominate the nose. Maybe a slight hint of pepper but otherwise the habanero is almost undetectable.

Taste: There's the habanero. I was warned that this beer was quite hot, but everyone's sensitivity to spicy foods is different. As a lover of spicy foods, the heat of this beer was not overwhelming, but rather the addition of the pepper really works well with the other flavors. The citrus and hop bitterness are strong at first while the heat finishes and lingers.

Feel: The beer is medium bodied and carbonated.

Overall: I quite like this beer. It's definitely a unique take on a west coast IPA. As others have noted, if you don't like heat, be careful.

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Photo of barczar
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is initially dominated by capsaicin and grapefruit, with subtle habanero fruitiness playing with mango against a caramel malt backbone. Resin rounds out the profile.

Flavor reveals a pervading heat that lingers throughout. It's not quite strong enough to drown out the bready caramel malt, floral, and grapefruit pith hops, but it definitely dominates, finishing with a hot bite that lingers indefinitely, and resiny bitterness. Bit of a novelty, for me, and not one I'd drink regularly.

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Photo of Zanico
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this as part of a mix six pack. Love Sculpin so I had to give this a try. The front is just good ol' Sculpin IPA, the back end is fire. Nothing to compare this to, so I had a little trouble rating it. Just not my cup of tea, or should that be cup of beer. I just rated it pretty much down the middle. Glad I tried it, but probably won't buy this again.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light gold color, white head.
Smell is straight normal IPA, no hint of peppers at all.
Taste has the burn! Yeah, baby. Love the spicy, the hops balances well, good malt presence.
Body is solidly middle, carbonation is light. A good brew.

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Photo of JPadilla
1.97/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

As a heat lover, this was completely undrinkable for me. Couldn't take more than a few sips from it, the aftertaste is too strong. It just doesn't work.. I still can't understand how did this go into production.

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Photo of professorchow
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look is same as the other Sculpins. I found the smell more muted, less fragrant--I missed a lot of the other Sculpins' citrus aromas. Taste starts like an excellent California IPA, ends by burning your tongue. love Sculpin. I love Grapefruit Sculpin even more--a great IPA, I think. I'm kinda into chiles, too. Burning your tongue at a kickass Thai place? I'm there. While sipping my beer? Not so much, as I just discovered. Sometimes things you like separately don't play well together. It's cool Ballast Point tried, and there's surely no false advertising. But I don't think it works.

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Photo of RaphaelSC
3.69/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very unique, this beer spice can be very overwhelming.

When poured this beer look like its sisters Sculpin. But once you sip you can feel how hot this beer is.
The burn feel takes hold and the overall sensation make you feel your face and body burning hot.

I really into pepper, but I feel that a beer made with it is not exatly a great idea.

In the end it felt like this is waste of a great IPA just to make this awkward experiment.

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Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 2,529 ratings.
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