Habanero Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
519 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: 519 | Ratings: 2,543
Photo of JLaw55
1/5  rDev -73.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Horrendous. Took a great beer and made it undrinkable. I like spicy, but not this. Tried twice and couldn't stomach it. It was in your face, unadulterated heat. Nothing but heat with a small touch of hops on the back end, once your face finishes melting that is.

Would drink again: No
Would purchase again: No

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Photo of bmeGT
1/5  rDev -73.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I've never give anything a one, but if I wanted to taste peppers I would buy a pepper. Got this as an extra in a trade and couldn't finish it. Take one sip and your throat is on fire.

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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 kkleu357
1.55/5  rDev -58.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

Interesting to say the least. Tastes like jalapenos and nacho cheese. Pretty awful. Oddly, I’d probably buy it again to share with other people, even though I would not enjoy the experience. Sure took a great beer and made it terrible.

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Photo of terence
1.57/5  rDev -58.1%
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.

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Photo of maximum12
1.65/5  rDev -56%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Ran to grab a beer I didn’t have to review to close out our draft & accidentally grabbed this monster. One sip told me “oops”. 12 oz. bottle, evidently.

The pour is bright orange whipped into a froth that would do a Carlsbad beach proud. The nose? A touch of evil laced with heat. Only by consuming liter after liter of air do I detect a touch of the citrus base. I think.

Sculpin – Habanero is one of those beers that begs for a deft touch, a perfect drag bunt between the pitcher & first baseman, a wacky-rigged plastic dropped right on the weedline. Alas, it is not so. Sip two start yelling “Fire fire fire fucking fire get out!” & then pulls the fire alarm, a few seconds too late. Heat fills up the mouth & encompasses the palate, driving out anything resembling an IPA. I have to take my fleece off now, probably my pants later if I power through this. Should have split this…but with whom? My wife nor my dog would touch this.

Nothing subtle here – a world-class beer drowned in heat. Not quite in the same class as Stone’s Crime (Against Humanity) but there’s nothing redeeming about this. Not good.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
1.78/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

L: darker yellow, small off white head
S: not much, a little citrus
T: holy spicey! Crazy hot, didn't take a second drink. Drain pour
F: burning
O: too spicey. Glad I bought only one in a mix-a-six

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Photo of spacecake9
1.81/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass.
A - Pours a nice orange amber color with a small white head.
S - The aroma is somewhat muted, not as strong as other Sculpin varieties. What does come thru is citrus.
T - First you get heat, then some nice citrus IPA flavors and then more heat.
M - Hot, with medium carbonation.
O - Do not like this beer and won't drink again. I like heat in my stouts (occasionally) but not in my IPA's. If I was going to drink this again I would have a pile of watermelon slices handy to try to offset the heat. Maybe I could get through it.

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Photo of gustavmahler-09
1.81/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75

I was given a bottle by a friend to try. It looked fine, smelled ok, but was so hot that I couldn't drink it, and had to pour it out. I admire Sculpin IPA but this is for someone else!

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Photo of bretmaverick24
1.83/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Worst beer i have ever had in my life period! Having the name sculpin in this beer is a disgrace to the name. This beer taste like drinking hot pepper juice with nothing but heat on the tongue. I like spicy food alot and was excited to try this, but it is just pathetic attempt at making a beer. there is just nothing going on in this beer except heat. I'll stick to the grapefruit sculpin which is a amazing beer. One thing i will say is try mixing about 1/4 part habanero sculpin and 3/4 parts grapefruit sculpin and it is quite good.

 545 characters

Photo of rab53
1.87/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Vile. Looks innocent, like the regular Sculpin. Smelled vegetal and savory.
As soon as the beer touched my lips, I retched. Managed to swallow the second sip with a cringe.

Soon afterwards, the back of my throat began to burn unpleasantly. Now, I enjoy spicy foods, but hate "spicy for the sake of spicy" stuff. I returned a few minutes later determined to get a few ounces down. Mission accomplished, regrettably.

The rest of the bottle is currently eroding through my kitchen plumbing.

 489 characters

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 krl2112
2.04/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Since I love the grapefruit sculpin I thought I would give this one a try. Honestly for me, this beer is horrible. I like spicy things but I can't even drink this. I took one sip and my mouth is still burning 5 minutes later. For me this is a horrible beer. I like beers with peppers but I can't even drink this one.

 316 characters

Photo of BuccoFan
2.06/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

After having the Grapefruit, I knew to expert not just a subtlety spicy beer, but a fiercely habaneroed beer. And indeed it is. It has the perfect look and feel of a Sculpin, but it all goes down hill from the point in which you tip the glass. The Grapefruit I could deal with and semi-enjoy, but this I poured out after only a few sips.

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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 VelvetExtract
2.18/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Bottle. Pours like Sculpin. Mostly clear, nice head. Aroma is quickly spicy. I can tell that those peppers aren't going to be shy. Underlying hoppiness that is very dulled down compared to the original. The flavor has an initial flourish of hoppiness, then comes a stunning amount of heat. It's like fruity/hoppy hot sauce. Habanero water. A few sips is enough for me. Far too hot. I couldn't even imagine drinking a six pack of this in one sitting. A full six pack would be torture and probably cause life-altering, spraying diarrhea. Sweat inducing heat. I didn't like Grapefruit Sculps that much and this one is twice as bad. Leave the fish alone, it's good enough in its natural state.

 689 characters

Photo of NorCalAussie
2.24/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This was an extra and I was super excited to try it. After I tried it I was super excited that it was an extra and I didn't spend money on this.

Let me start by saying I am a big fan of Sculpin, grapefruit Sculpin and habanero chilis but this was a mix that just did not work.

Look is great like regular sculpin and the mouthfeel is about the same also with good carbonation and texture.

That's where the sculpin comparison ends. The smell was not good and the fruit and hops were replaced with jalapeños and vinegar.

The taste was terrible and not because it was too hot (I like spicy) but it was just muddled and wrong in all kinds of ways, basically The spice overtook all other flavors.

I wanted to like this one but sadly most of the 12oz bottle didn't get consumed.

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Photo of daryk77
2.25/5  rDev -40%

Had on draft. Beer tasted good but so much heat it is pretty much undrinkable and I am someone who enjoys spiciness. I managed about 2oz and called it quits. I am wondering if the draft version I had was more intense than the bottled version reading some of the other reviews.

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Photo of SmashAdams
2.25/5  rDev -40%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

This is a super weird beer. The smell is grapefruit and hops and a touch of floral habanero peppers. The taste starts off as a normal IPA and then strong habanero flavors overwhelm and it finishes with a slightly spicy kick. I love habanero but this seems unnatural and I couldnt finish it. nb

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Photo of ScaryEd
2.26/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Pours a nice golden color with a bit of haziness and a soapy white head that leaves a minimal amount of lacing around the top of the glass.

The smell is...interesting. Hoppy with notes of grapefruit and orange, followed by a good amount of hot pepper. Not unpleasant, but there's something off about it.

The taste. Just...no. I really, really don't get spicy beer. Now, this beer is not a habanero bomb akin to something like Stone's aptly named "Punishment", but the spiciness is there and it does not go away. I love spicy food. But for some reason, spiciness and beer just don't mix for me. There's still plenty of IPA in this beer, with notes of grass, grapefruit, and pineapple, but it is sent to the back of the line by the spiciness of the habanero.

The feel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. My mouth is still on fire.

Overall, I wanted to try this because I love regular Sculpin and Grapefruit Sculpin so I figured I'd give this a fair shot. This beer just is not for me. It's too spicy, and the beautiful, floral hoppy notes are simply overpowered by the spiciness. I think I'm going to stay away from spicy beer from now on.

 1,151 characters

Photo of Bear_Lawyer
2.26/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

No thank you. I couldn't find one redeeming quality in tasting this beer. The heat from the habanero just makes it undrinkable. The capsaicin is so upfront and overwhelming that it felt like I was drinking watered down hot sauce.

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Photo of JSuperman
2.26/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

If you are a habanero lover, you may really like this one. As someone who likes mild heat, this was far too much and didn't last past one sip. The hear is immediate and intense. It lingers a long time on the palate and is not unpleasant if you expect this much heat. The sculpin taste is lost on me due to the amount of heat. The most uniqueness beer I have had.

 362 characters

Photo of krh
2.38/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

This beer tastes like burning. Can't detect any Sclulpin or hops. Any other label and I'd say it's a mess. With Ballast Point, I applaud the effort, but it's likely still a mess. Trying to finish the entire $2.99 bottle, but I don't like my chances.

 253 characters

Photo of MonkeyboyATL
2.44/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

I love hot and spicy foods and will put habanero hot sauce on just about anything. This however was not something I enjoyed. The capsaicin really overpowers all else in this one and in the end it just seems like an interesting novelty rather than a good beer. That's a shame because the other Sculpin varieties I've had are all fantastic.

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Photo of TCog
2.45/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I know it's habanero, but having had a number of other pepper beers, I expected a lot more complexity. Especially from people like ballast point that know what they're doing, this is really disappointing.

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Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 2,543 ratings.
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