Habanero Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
2,565 Ratings
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 Hahnin
5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is bold, unique, and will kick your fucking dick off. It is spicy, but it doesn't linger longer than it should. I think this beer will be hit or miss for most people. For me, like almost every other Ballast Point, it is a grand slam.

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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 Sacrifice
5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

it's sculpin (the best), but really spicy (even better). wish i could get this in bottle. it's close to as desirable as sculpin on nitro.

just try it if you get a chance. you won't regret it. even if you don't like ipa, if you can tolerate spicy you'll enjoy it.

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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 ordybill
4.96/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear light copper color with a medium sized thick white head. The aroma is hot pepper and hops, a fantastic smell. The taste is awesome, the heat is perfectly blended with the hops to create an insane flavor mix. Overall, a world class beer.

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Photo of owenwood
4.93/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

OK, no point in going any further with this craft beer snobbery. This is my favorite beer by a wide margin. To be fair, it is not for everybody. The pepper in this beer is an aggressive pepper, and you really have to be partial to this type of palate assault to truly enjoy it. Combine that pepper with the "regular" Sculpin, which is world-class in its own right, and no other beers need to be tried. Lacing is typical of the brewer's products, aka perfect. Nose doesn't really tip off the hot pepper, which can add some high hilarity when offered to unassuming newbies. Only caveat is that in PA a sixer costs a small fortune..

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Photo of josjay
4.89/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Got a lot of beard-growing pussies around here been rating this beer badly. 4.75! What this has done for IPA insofar as horizons!

If it's "too hot" put your beanie back on. Spread out your yoga mat. Breathe.

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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 HeightsEats
4.85/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark golden, aroma is of complex hops and capsaicin. Full-bodied mouthfeel with a good malt backbone followed by grapefruit / orange hops and a lingering burn from the habanero that intensifies slightly as you make your way through the bottle. As the only drinker in the house, I tend to get bored near the middle of a six pack, but not for this beer as it's so interesting.

Also, this makes the best beer margaritas you could imagine, just 50/50 Habanero Sculpin and fresh lime juice margarita.

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Photo of drpimento
4.84/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent beer, tho I like the Grapefruit version more.This does have the very intriguing aroma with the fruity hop malt caramel thing. Flavor loses almost all of the fruit and gets fairly dry with mostly malty hop and a little capsicum taste. Body is great and the heat from the Habenero is just right. Good drinking brew.

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Photo of SDBeerGere
4.83/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer isn't for everyone. I happen to like spicy beers, and this one is great. It definitely stings the throat and I won't have more than two in a sitting, but it's a really good spicy IPA.

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Photo of Raider89
4.8/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is not for the timid. It has a robust spicy bite, outstanding aroma and clear golden color with a faint head. The spice is indeed a kick to the senses, but for those who enjoy that, this beer will make you happy!

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Photo of goochpunch
4.79/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep and clear ocher with a barely there head. Smells of pale malt, lighty charred chile, and citrus hops. In the flavor, this has a nice malty base with a touch of caramel and solid citrus hops. Chile takes over completely. Fruity habanero and great heat. Did they use some roasted chile? Did they use both green and fully ripened habaneros? Awesome. Mellow carbonation and a moderate body. This is an amazing beer. Close to a perfect beer to pair with a number of harder cheeses.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.78/5  rDev +27.5%
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.

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Photo of TheDonster
4.76/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Smell doesn't really match the flavor, but that's alright here. This is a great chili beer. I love the regular Sculpin, and the additional flavor in this one really works for me. If you like subtle, complex flavors, this probably isn't your beer.

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Photo of docoman
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

Bought one bottle to try.. had a 2013 mango habenero from founders draft and it was great, this beer actually I thought was better, stronger habenero taste but when paired with a cream cheese... was awesome... think this would do great on the east coast....

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Photo of Lysaghtjeremy
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look, it's made with habaneros. It's going to be spicy. I grow them, along with Carolina reapers and many other super hots. Don't get on here and ruin a beers reputation because it's too hot for you. It says habanero on the bottle. Rule of thumb is, if you enjoy peppers, and you enjoy I.P.As, you'll LOVE this beer. If not, just say it's not for you. Don't say it's awful.
Nose-fresh Habs creamy mouthfeel from 1 finger head. Perfect hop, malt, heat balance.spicy dry finish. Give me MORE (Although perfect heat for me, a bit hotter than it should be to please the general public) I need this recipe!

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Photo of ohnelly
4.71/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Just the right amount of spice that I'm looking for in a hot beer. It goes down exceptionally smooth but then the aftertaste is where the spice hits you. Incredible.

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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 ianroodt
4.7/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an exciting spiced/peppered beer. I have had the pleasure of enjoying this fine brew from both a fresh keg, and an almost empty one. The heat ranges from a 2 out of 5 to a 4 out of 5 depending on how low the keg is. If you like peppered beers then this is a must try, it has all the taste and aroma of Sculpin but includes a progressive heat that begins as you swallow and proceeds to go from warm to fiery hot in a matter of seconds.

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Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
4.67/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First off if you don't like spicy things stay away. however if you spicy stuff this is great.

a: color is a nice strawy yellow.

s: hoppy but oddly warm

t: warm and woody at first. Then the habanero flavor and heat comes in at full force. not like any other pepper beer ive had where the pepper flavor is subtle. if you like habaneros you will really enjoy this beer. finishes out with a peppery hop flavor and feel.

mf: very oil heavy. first sip delivers a mouthful of hop and habanero oil that coats your mouth. then warm heat and a dry finish

overall i would recommend at least giving this beer a go. it was amazing

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Photo of dcotom
4.64/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Twelve-ounce bottle, poured into a chalice. Very pretty light copper color, two fingers of head with good retention. Piney aroma with some citrus, particularly grapefruit. The taste, though, is where this one really shines: nicely balanced, pleasant hop bitterness on the finish, and the heat was not overpowering. The distinctive flavor of the habanero became slightly more pronounced as the beer warmed up. I found this very enjoyable with food as well as on its own. Well done!

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Photo of BastardKing24
4.64/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I love pepper beers, and this could be the big one, being as I love sculpin. This is my first time having this brew so here goes...

Smell is similar to a classic west coast IPA, but one exception, peppers. Up front is the big aroma like slicing peppers for a dish or what not. Its in your face I think, and I'm saying this before tasting it. YAY HABS.

Wow. Just wow. Big hit of capsaisin, Heat level I'd say 5/10 for anything hot. So what I'm saying is this is drinkable to anyone that loves pepper heat. I also notice lots of flavor from the habs, being the pepper lover that I am and having eaten Habaneros raw before. They have a nice tropical fruity flavor before the intense heat hits your senses. This beer does not hit your senses, only imparts a hint of it, to me atleast. Its bold none the less. Beware!

Feel is superb, cant get any more or less carbonated to please beer heads.

Overall as far as a pepper beer goes, this is the best I've had. You really can't make this any better. It is a phenomenal beer with huge dimensions based on what sculpin is, and how you could possibly alter it. Try this beer if you can, it's worth it.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.64/5  rDev +23.7%

Abbreviated review. Tasted at Savor 2013. Bright hops, a clean crisp center, and a lightly fruity body pave the way for a white-hot habanero haymaker to the face. Hands down the best chili beer we’ve ever had

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Photo of CJCouillard
4.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Dark golden in color with a warm orange tint.
Smell: Smells like a typical IPA with a very subtle hint of pepper
Taste: A mild to moderate hoppy taste is noticed initially , followed by a spicy peppery bite.

Warning! If you do not like spicy things, this beer is not for you. The bite from the habanero is very hot.

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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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