Habanero Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Habanero SculpinHabanero Sculpin
Very Good
2,632 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,632 |  Reviews: 541
Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of jaydoc
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap for the 2nd Anniversary event at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy orange-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus zest, herbal hops, and somewhat mild pepper and habanero aromas. Taste is the same with a burning habanero flavor in the throat on the finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good treatment for Sculpin and very interesting to try but there is no way I could drink a lot of it.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

no doubt this is an enormously high quality brew, but i just dont get the fascination with chili peppers in beer. that said, this is among the best i have had, certainly the best that isnt a dark beer. something about the citrusy hops and the habanero spice really work well together. i like that you can get all the flavor of the pepper before the heat comes on, this might be one of the few beers that shows the flavor of the pepper first, and i appreciate that immensely. the hops are awesome, but they cant beat the heat in the finish, which comes on slow but burns low and slow in the back of the throat awhile. the sweetness at the end helps balance it, and it still feels juicy. in the end, i was glad to be sharing a bottle, and truthfully, it just reminded me how good sculpin ipa is as a base beer. it needs nothing at all. that said, its one of my favorite chili beers going, and if thats your cup, then this is your tea. i have no doubt at all about that

 966 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of djrn2
3.29/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Knapp85
4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Was a little in the fence about trying this one but I was able to purchase a 5oz pour of it and figured that should be plenty. The beer is a nice looking hazy orange color with a thin white head on top. The retention and lacing were both pretty good here. It's a nice looking beer for sure. The smell of the beer is really nice too, the mango-like hops pop out of the subtle pepper aromas this beer has, reminds me of the Habanero Mango wing sause at Buffalo Wild Wings. The taste has a good complexity to it. The initial flavor is the hoppy IPA, that changes into the spicy pepper that is dominant but not overwhelming. The finish left me wanting another sip. The mouthfeel was smooth, nicely carbonated and surprisingly drinkable. Overall it's a hot beer for sure, but there was some really nice aspects of it that I found really interesting. Worth trying if you can tolorate heat.

 883 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On-tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is clear amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: LIght aromas of grapefruit hops and habanero chillies are present in the nose.
T: As you swirl the beer around in your mouth, the habanero becomes hotter and hotter. The heat particularly stands out in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The habaneros make your mouth tingle in the aftertaste.
O: This is an interesting beer, but the habaneros completely turn an excellent beer into a mediocre one. The spicy heat makes it very difficult to drink and I'm glad that I had a small serving size.

 786 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The Sculpin that we've known and loved takes a baptism in the capsaicin pool for a spicy and sinister session that begs for the high quaffing rates of the bright IPA but with a kick that suggests otherwise.

Bright and coppery, its brilliant glow pushes a creamy, cottony swath to the rim- not all in all separate from the original. But Its hop-driven scent carries a tinge of evaporated heat that hides neatly behind the citrus, tropical and exotic herbal scent. Caramel and honey give an even coat to the tongue and seduce the tastebuds with its creamy softness before the heat begins to build.

Shortly into the middle portion of taste, the beer's floral spiciness peaks through the grapefruit, tangerine, mango, pineapple and passionfruit and introduces a slow simmering heat. As the taste unfolds, the hops turn resinous and decidedly bitter while the growing warmth takes the senses by surprise.

Creamy, dry and unquestionably warm, the medium-light ale releases its sweetness and favors hops and peppers there on out. Its spicy capsaicin exacerbates the hops and creates a sharper, spicier hop bite than the hops can merely achieve on their own. Piney, grassy and pithy flavors accompany the heat into a long simmering fruity aftertaste.

 1,245 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on-draught into a New Belgium stem-goblet at The Daily Pint in Santa Monica. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a two finger head of beige colour and nice frothy consistency. Good thickness, great cream, and excellent retention (~7 minutes). Body colour is a vibrant transparent translucent copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Head is soft, fluffy, and luscious. Very appealing for the style.

Sm: Floral hop aroma is prominently featured. Biscuit malt. Pale malts. Some grapefruit citrus ester bite. A bit nectary. A mild strength aroma. Quite appealing. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Prominent floral hops up front with some very balanced citrusy zest hop notes, including grapefruit. It's complemented nicely by a pale malt body which is pleasant and refreshing.

The habanero pepper hits on the climax - seemingly timid at first but burning strong on the aftertaste. The heat waits; most chili beers don't have that effect and tend to be immediately spicy.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Lovely execution with a balance of refreshing hoppy notes up front and intriguing but not scorching heat on the back end. The heat - in terms of intensity and duration - is perfect to my tastes. It's exactly what I want from a chili beer. Fantastic execution. Excellent build for the concept and style. The heat disguises the light bitterness found in regular Sculpin. Very flavorful.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Refreshing. Lightly oily. Excellent carbonation. Suits the flavour profile very well. Not biting or rough. It could be a bit softer. Good thickness. Great presence on the palate. Great body.

Dr: Definitely the best chili beer I've had; the habanero isn't overpowering but rather feels well incorporated into the careful balance. Hides its ABV well. I'd get it again, and I could actually have more than one in a night - you can't say that about most chili beers. A great marriage of habanero with hops. Stands out as special. I'd recommend it to friends. Very drinkable, but pricey at $10.00 a pint. Would pair great with pizza.

Low B+

 2,100 characters

Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of emerge077
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright orange, flecks of lace all around the glass. Sharp clarity.

Aroma is indicative of the chili heat, blends nicely with the citrus and caramel malt of the base beer.

Taste has a building moderate heat from the habanero addition. Pretty interesting as a Chile Beer. Blistering heat subsides after a little bit, citrus notes. Overall I liked it, worth a try if you can stand the heat.

 389 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.76/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives with some lazy bubbles topping the clear amber liquid; some clumps stick to the side of the glass

Smell: Citrusy grapefruit with a hot roasted pepper edge that burns the nostrils

Taste: A touch of biscuit, up front, followed by a citrusy/habanero blast that overwhelms the tongue by mid-palate; the heat dominates the finish, though there some grapefruit lingers underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; the burning sensation tingles the lips

Overall: Glad to try this but this is not for everybody; the heat makes it tough to consume in any quantity

 594 characters

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/29/2015. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, habanero pepper, lemon zest, orange peel, light pine, honey, light caramel, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of citrus/tropical hops, habanero pepper, and light-moderate malt notes; with good strength. Taste of huge grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, lemon zest, orange peel, habenero pepper, pine, honey, light caramel, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness and pepper spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, lemon/orange peel, pepper, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical hops, habanero pepper, and light-moderate malt flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Good amount of dryness from bitterness and pepper spice after the finish as well. Moderate amount of pepper heat, but not overwhelming. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately crisp/sticky/spicy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming other than the pepper heat on the finish. Overall this is an incredible pepper spiced IPA. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical hops, habanero pepper, and light-moderate malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink even with the pepper spice and heat. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 2,632 ratings