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Habanero Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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511 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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Reviews: 511 | Ratings: 2,516
Photo of ksimons
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
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

 398 characters

Photo of LampertLand
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
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 -1.9%
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 +4.5%
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 +0.5%
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 -20.1%
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 -41.7%
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.

 200 characters

Photo of user-951
3.74/5  rDev 0%
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.

 383 characters

Photo of gregangley
1.34/5  rDev -64.2%
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.

 357 characters

Photo of who2host
4.87/5  rDev +30.2%
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.

 267 characters

Photo of msf55
4.71/5  rDev +25.9%
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 +9.6%
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.

 808 characters

Photo of barczar
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
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%
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.

 356 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

 238 characters

Photo of JPadilla
1.97/5  rDev -47.3%
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 -2.9%
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.

 601 characters

Photo of RaphaelSC
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 437 characters

Photo of Korbynlehr
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

For the love of spice, this is the real deal! This sculpin creation is exactly what the label indicates, habanero heat. More than I would want to drink regularly, but good for what it is.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
3.39/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bought this on a whim this morning,.

Poured it into a glass beer mug. Pours a nice copper/amber color with not much of a foam head.

Smells strongly of hops, as expected from an IPA.

Tastes initially at first sip like an IPA, bitter with hops but quickly turns into a hot burn of the habanero. It's a hoppy beer with hot pepper juice. Very interesting.

Feel? As I said, lots of burn to it, kinda thin and would drink easy ifnot for the heat of the pepper.

Overall a very interesting pick, very hot.

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Photo of Kadonny
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. I've been wanting to try this for some time now as I'm a hot pepper fan.

A: A medium amber orange color with a two finger white head. Not a lot of lacing.

S: I got the habanero right away on the nose. The BAer that said it smells like regular Sculpin is nuts (with all due respect). The habanero does mix with the traditional Sculpin smell of tropicial fruit, citrus and some floral notes. Slight pine too.

T: I got the traditional Sculpin flavors immediately with tropical fruit, citrus and floral flavors, but then the hammer comes down with a large amount of spicy pepper flavor. I got more actual "habanero" smell than flavor, but no doubt the flavor is very spicy and hot peppery. The beer just burns, I mean really. Burns the tongue and throat all the way through the finish. Finish is spicy with some pine mixed in. The pepper actually dulls the other flavors IMO. Long lasting burn after the beer is gone. I will say thought the more you drink it the more you get numb to the pepper.

M: Full, spicy, peppery, burning but not alcohol.

O: Ok, I'm a huge hot pepper guy as stated early on, however I'm not a fan of this. It just seemed so out of place for me, and as I said it seems the pepper flavors squash the other traditional Sculpin flavors. Maybe if they dial back the pepper this would be better? Anyway, not a huge fan. If someone hands me one ok, but I won't seek it out.

 1,463 characters

Photo of daledeee
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as a father's day gift.

Poured and got a bright clear gold with white floaties. Head and lacing are good. Nose is not much.

Taste is well...habanero. I was surprised how hot this is. After I got used to the spice, I noticed the hops was still there but not as much as some of their other beers. It is an interesting twist but I would not seek this out as a go to beer.

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Photo of The_Epopt
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The spice hits first, takes you by surprise but then mellows through the rest of the beer. The habanero is well balanced with the IPA which makes it quite enjoyable if you like Chile beers.

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Photo of avalon07
3.27/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted a fair amount of time. Middling lacing.

S: A surprisingly muted aroma of citrus, hops, and the advertised habanero peppers.

T: Before the fiery, esophagus-destroying habaneros took hold, I did get a hint of some hops, pine, light malt, and citrus (grapefruit). The heat from the peppers is so great that it overpowers everything else, and that's really all you remember. Could have been more balanced.

F: A decent amount of carbonation with the aforementioned uncomfortably fiery finish. Medium-bodied.

O: To paraphrase what another reviewer said, this isn't a beer, it's a dare. Unless you really, really like habaneros, drinking one of these is plenty.

 787 characters

Photo of Bear_Lawyer
2.26/5  rDev -39.6%
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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Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,516 ratings.
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