Sculpin - Habanero
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Sculpin - HabaneroSculpin - Habanero
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IPA - American
Ranked #4,624
Ranked #24,343
3.82 | pDev: 15.71%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Sculpin - HabaneroSculpin - Habanero
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 544 | Ratings: 2,651 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by mhksuccess:
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mhksuccess from California

3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

it was served on tap in a goblet
appearance look like the sculpin ipa but has an odd smell
not fruity at all
the problem i have with this and i love spicy foods
but this beer has an overwhelming front end of spicy and there is really no back end
so the main taste you get is just a tingle spice in your throat
i think it would be better with less habanero so you can actually taste the beer
but i do give them props for actually experiment
i would much rather just get a regular sculpin as opposed to this

Sep 29, 2012
More User Reviews:
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Todd from California

4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Peppery, Heat, Fruity, Citrus

The label reads: "Heat may vary." And it does. Opening this bottle releases a fruity bouquet with a blast of pepper in the nose indicating the heat to come. It's creamy and a bit chewy with a big dose of spicy pepper that drops layers as it builds up to a very noticeable heat. The beer’s fruitiness and citrus bite complement the habanero, while the underlying sweetness rounds things out and a raw, leafy hop finish reminds you that this is still a West Coast IPA. To those who complain that it's too hot: No shit. It's a habanero beer! Protip for those who worship at the Temple of Capsaicin: Blend some Habanero Sculpin into your Grapefruit Sculpin.

As reviewed in BeerAdvocate magazine #103 (August 2015).

Aug 25, 2015
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Treb0R from Oregon

4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If you dislike heat, then you will dislike this beer. However, if you have an open mind and you are familiar with the habanero as an ingredient, then you will know that Ballast Point completely nailed it here.

In the chile beer category, you will not find another habanero beer as good as this one. The head brewer expertly combined habanero with Sculpin.

After each sip, you get an even, but bearable heat throughout your mouth. A minute passes, and the heat disappears until the next sip.

The aroma is amazing. You get a blast of habanero carried by the head, which smells tropical and fruity. The taste is on par with the aroma, but due to decreased drinkability, I rated taste a quarter point lower.

Not too many people are familiar with habaneros and that is a shame. They are my favorite chile and extremely unique in flavor. I use them in place of jalapenos and serranos whenever I can.

Feb 19, 2015
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beerdedking from Pennsylvania

4.59/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easiest beer to rate ever. If you like Habanero peppers as I do, you will find this delectable. Spicy food lovers and heat heads do not miss this beer. Much less IPA than Chili beer, it goes right up to the line but does not cross. The Habanero flavor is very real, while the Sculpin flavor is bringing up the rear. I'll buy this whenever I see it. The most perfect pizza beer I can now think of....

Dec 13, 2014
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Can_has_beer from Texas

3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a hot little number, much like my ex wife (screw you Jasmine!), and it may be tasty at first, but it will burn you bad, and then fuck all of your friends.

Nov 18, 2015
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Brent212 from California

4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love spicy food/beverages, so one could say that this review is biased. But I think it's really the opposite. You wouldn't want someone who hates IPAs reviewing regular sculpin, would you?

This really is one of my favorite beers of all time. I get that most people can't handle it, because it is actually hot enough to make me break out in a solid sweat, but I frickin' love that. Really bummed that it hasn't caught on as much as the grapefruit variant because I could drink this all day on a regular basis. Definitely nothing noteworthy from the IPA perspective... the habanero basically dominates so much that it could be any beer hidden under there. But god damn is it tasty as a whole.

Dec 12, 2014
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jp32 from Michigan

4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Caution: *HOT* You must enjoy the heat of habanero to enjoy this offering. They did not wimp out on this.

Pours transparent copper/golden in color. A small amount of fluffy head retention. This smells sharp and hoppy.

Flavor and heat in this one is insanely perfect. I like spicy things. I've tried several chile beers in the past, none of which could hold a candle to this one. This is incredible. Its the perfect amount of hop flavor paired with actual, intense, real habanero flavor. As intense as the habanero is in this, the hoppy sculpin ipa flavor never backs away. Pair them together and I feel like I've gone to ipa heaven.

I'm buying as much as I can tomorrow. The end.

Apr 29, 2015
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smanson56 from New Hampshire

3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6 pack at my local bottle shop since it's now available here in NH. As I am a big fan of Grapefruit Sculpin I had to try the Habanero Sculpin I will have to say the Habanero over powers this beer way to much burn to be a pleasant beer to drink on a regular basis. Maybe at a chili fest but not for normal drinking day to day.

Aug 13, 2015
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Raime from Greenland

4.44/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin.

Went back to a shop I said I'd never return to because I heard through the grapevine that they had some singles I wanted to try. Regular sculpin was a solid ipa but it didn't live up to the incredible amount of hype surrounding it. Grabbed two new variants tonight. Single twelve ounce bottle from Monroe Liquor Plaza for $2.49. Lets see how this one stacks up.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle into a dimpled pint glass. Hard poured. Body is a nice transparent see through golden witg a frothy, immediately stick white head that leaves pits and craters as though you were looking at an image of the moon. No pepper pieces floating around anywhere. Carbonation appears to be extreme in increments that could likely pop a champaigne bottle into the ceiling. Remaining lace after the drink is finished is sticky and soapy.

Smell - Smells much like the regular sculpin with a noticable vegetative peppery aspect with just a tinge of nostril synging (sp?). Floral hoppyness with just a touch of the malts. More well balanced than the regular sculpin with a nice new dimension from the peppers. Not a HUGE nose by any means, but very welcoming. Let's see how the heat stacks up in the flavor.

Taste - Yep, it's definitely better and more flavorful than the regular sculpin. Floral hoppyness like the regular version, but with a good bit more malt to keep things better balanced. The heat is definitely real and will bother those who are not fans of spicy foods and sauces and it adds yet another nice dimension to an otherwise typical session IPA. I'd put the heat as double that of tabasco sauce ( around 10,000 scoville units ).

Feel - The feel is also very nice. Sits medium to full bodied and very creamy though surprisingly the carbonation isn't as strong as you would expect due to the appearance. Moderately strong hit of heat as the beer sits in the mouth. As you continue into the beer is tingles the lips and slightlt numbs the mouth. Heat at this point would be guesses at around 13,000 scoville units. Swallows spicy and very clean.

Overall - If you don't like hot foods you won't be able to handle this beer. Me? Everything I eat it hot so this is a nice treat tor myself. Drink it with a bowl of chili hot or not. I would go far enough as to even say this is my favorite ' chile ' beer so far. Good beers with peppers are hard to come by, but if you are a fan of the style this one will tickle your pickle or clit. As always, try it for yourself and come to your own conclusion..

Dec 17, 2015
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rajendra82 from Georgia

4.78/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Looks very much like regular Sculpin, whose orange color also coincidentally happen to match the skin of a Habanero pepper. The head atop the clear body was two to three fingers thick. foamy, and durable. The aroma was very hoppy and did not bring to mind any kind of pepper, as I could detect grapefruit and orange rind. On deeper inhaling there possibly was a hint of chili pepper, or may be it was just my imagination. The taste however had a very definite pepper kick to it. The Habanero was once considered the hottest pepper in the world, and while it has since given up that crown, it was still king of this beer. The pepper head was clearly evident in every sip, forcing the normally dominant citric hops to play second fiddle. It was quite one dimensional, and it was glorious. The feel was medium thick, with a pepper burn at the end of each sip. This was not quite a harmonious pairing like the Grapefruit Sculpin. Instead it was a showcase for pepper lovers.

May 02, 2015

4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I love the flavor of this when you can taste it but it's just too damn hot for me to drink. If they could dial it back a notch or ten it would be fantastic.

Aug 29, 2015
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msf55 from New York

4.71/5  rDev +23.3%
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!!!!

Sep 20, 2016
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TheIPAHunter from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really enjoyed this beer, but I'm a fan of the habanero. Imagine regular Sculpin with the same exact balance, yet just a touch of heat. I had it extremely fresh, so the citrus notes were unbelievable, as well the dank resinous action I got on the finish. I know this beer isn't for everyone, hence the overall score; however, if you enjoy eat, this beer will be right up your alley. Larrrrrrrrrrrrge.

Jul 06, 2015
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JPadilla from Florida

1.97/5  rDev -48.4%
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.

Aug 15, 2016
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terence from California

1.57/5  rDev -58.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

The habanero overpowers everything. It masks the grapefruit flavors and the heat lingers far too long.

I'm a fan of IPA's and hot goods. I did not like this one. This is a big miss from Ballast Point. The Grapefruit Sculpin is fantastic. Very disappointed with this version.

Jun 26, 2015
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Jadjunk from Georgia

3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No label information. Brewed in the style of an American IPA with Habanero Peppers added. Available in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on limited draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a tulip glass. Served above 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a smooth foamy head of a golden ivory color over a mildly hazy medium amber body with light spritely carbonation and mild flecked haze. Retention is good and lacing is light and patchy. 3.75

(Smell) Abundant grapefruit character forward from the hop profile atop a slick and lightly sweetened caramel and pale syrup body. The habanero character comes through subtly in the aroma, generating the passive vegetable character and some aromatic spiciness tingles. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) The grapefruit hop character and the habanero oils mix right from the start, generating a clean but noticeable blend of grapefruit and peppery spiciness. The burn is strongest at the finish as the grapefruit and citrus hop flavors drop out, the habanero character lingers on. Malt characters are smooth, slick with a light sweetness, perfect for balancing the grapefruit character. Despite having a flavorful hop profile and a peppery heat that is far from overly abusive, the habanero character takes the majority of the attention of this beer. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) The texture is slick, moderately oily, smooth, peppery but clean and mildly dry. Carbonation is light, generating a moderate frothiness and a lightly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium overall. Balance is slightly spicy and bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 4

(Overall) It's hard not to notice the pepper character by the end of a serving of this beer, but while this is no doubt the most divisive of Sculpin variants, I enjoy the flavor variation and think that this would be ideal with spicy and flavorful foods. All that said, the habanero oils and flavor, like the grapefruit character in the Grapefruit Sculpin, is front-and-center in this beer and it would likely not be worth your money unless you were interested in a beer that packs some notable heat. If this seems interesting to you, this is one of the best beers integrating hot peppers that I have yet sampled out there, although I do not know if I attribute this beer's success to the peppers themselves or the phenomenal base IPA recipe that Sculpin already is. It's an excellent pairing, nonetheless. Reportedly your heat potential per bottle may vary, so get a few in case the first sampling is disappointing. 3.75

Ballast Point Brewing Company's
Habanero Sculpin

May 06, 2015
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Dentist666 from Russian Federation

3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into english pint.
Clear golden/orange beer with off-white head, moderate retention. Smell - medium to intense pepper, floral hops. Taste - malt sweetnes in the further edge, some citrusy hops and a hurricane of pepper. Utterly hot beer, fetch me a jar of cold water.

Jun 29, 2015
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endovelico from Portugal

4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It just works, surprisingly. The heat adds a depth to the original that is refreshing (no pun intended) but unfortunately a beer this spicy will prove itself too unapproachable even for the more venturous beer drinker. I'd say take this for fun, if nothing else as it will undoubtedly make you question everything you think a beer should be.

Jul 04, 2015
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Userme59 from Massachusetts

1/5  rDev -73.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Sorry, could not drink this beer. My own fault, I read the label, just didn't expect that.

Mar 31, 2015
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haines710 from Delaware

4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very interesting and unique beer. Picked up a bottle at the local supermarket and poured into a pint glass. Beautiful golden color and fruity IPA smell. The pepper is hidden but definitely kicks in the taste. A nice burn makes this a slower drinking beer. Enjoyable if you like hot. Glad I tried this one.

Jul 04, 2017
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NorthSideSean from Illinois

2.96/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Love Sculpin. Love grapefruit Sculpin as much if not more so. I'm good with heat so was willing to pony up a big $16 for a 6'er. Rarely write reviews but... consider this a public service announcement. This is awful. Tastes like you left your beer to go piss and your friends pranked you and dumped a bunch of burning hot sauce in your pint glass. Don't let your enjoyment of Sculpin trick you into wasting your hard earned beer money on this Tabasco IPA.

Nov 09, 2015
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bdajedi from Bermuda

3.24/5  rDev -15.2%
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

Apr 21, 2017
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bcm75 from Illinois

2.81/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The habeneros completely overpower the excellent base beer. It's not solely the excessive heat - hops are less pronounced as well. Adjuncts should complement the flavors of the base beer, not obliterate them. Very disappointing.

May 30, 2015
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DerekCarruth from Georgia

2.01/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Completely unnecessary addition to a great line of beers. Don't like this.

Jul 07, 2015
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IMFletcher from Kentucky

3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I consider myself to be a spicy beer fan, but this one is extreme. It's not undrinkable, though, but all I can get is heat and carbonation. However, I find myself wanting to try another. Go figure.

Jan 16, 2015
Sculpin - Habanero from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 2651 ratings