Habanero Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
2,593 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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,593 |  Reviews: 534
Photo of odement
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, no bottled on date present. Finally getting around to reviewing this one; acquired a single bottle of this stuff at the local bottle shop. "India Pale Ale with Habanero Peppers Added" "Heat May Vary".

Poured into a Duvel tulip snifter.

A - Pours a juicy cloudy golden orange body, lots of sediment in the glass with two fingers of frothy fluffy off-white head that lingers, leaving some random scattered lacing. Appears aptly carbonated. Looks very nice.

S - A nice traditional IPA aroma: fresh herbal / floral hop aroma, with some balancing bready biscuit malt sweetness. A fresh, floral, & soapy aroma; no real indication of any vegetal, peppers, or heat as far as I'm concerned.

T - The fruity / juicy hop presence & the sweet bready malts fade quickly, as the habanero pepper heat quickly takes over. The peppers are authentic; juicy & vegetal, very delicious stuff, until the fiery capsicum heat hits you. It's definitely very good, but the heat is, for me, very overpowering to the point of being unenjoyable. If you enjoy tons of heat / spice, then this is for you. Notes of juicy fruity grapefruit, orange, mango, lemon are perceivable beneath the waves of heat.

M - The feel is smooth, crisp, & creamy. A fairly light-bodied, well carbonated beer, but the fiery heat makes this very difficult to drink, almost to the point of being unbearable. Definitely a beer meant to be savored and sipped, probably best served with food.

Overall, a unique and interesting beer, to be damn sure. If fiery IPA's (or spicy food in general) then i can't think of a better beer for you. The pinnacle of habanero IPA's for the fans. For the rest of you, avoid.

Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin -----4/5.

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Photo of Abragg3
3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Bozer1981
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Czequershuus
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a hazy orange with a large head. The aroma reminds me of classic Sculpin - Grapefruit is dominant, with some mango, pine, and a touch of pineapple. The flavor starts with a tropical fruit, as well as grapefruit and orange peel, and then the spice hits. There is no discernible pepper flesh flavor, it is all pure capsaicin, searign brillint spice tearnign through the second half and swallow of the beer. The mouthfeel feel is whatever my mouth can still feel. At this point the spice does dominate. However, as a chili beer it does work. Unlike others I have had I could easily finish a glass of this, and I did not end up with heartburn. First time I enjoyed a light bodied chili beer. I am sold on the concept in stouts and porters, but now I see it can work in a pale ale as well.

 800 characters

Photo of jkrug5
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of constantine_272
3.34/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark reddish copper, that foamed up nicele leaving a good lacing. Smells of pine resin with a hint of bell pepper vegetable. The taste, wow, yeah. That's unique. The beer starts off pine and bright but immediately turns vegetable with carrot and bell pepper. The beer finishes with a big rush of heat in the back of the throat and then travels down and warms the stomach. Feel is just heath it obliterates all else. Too much of everything for me. Too much vegetable and too much heat.

 484 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.49/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours hazy golden orange with floaties and a big frothy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is subdued - bready malts, piney hops and a quite a bit of chili pepper.

The flavor is bready malts and some fruit that is quickly overwhelmed by a ton of heat from the pepper. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, nice spice heat, but that overwhelms the base beer. Good chili beer, not much IPA.

 468 characters

Photo of Junichi
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of IceAce
4.48/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of markjarema11
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beginner2
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Mega-heat. On both counts.
count #1: Habanero Sculpin pushes the standard for IPA alcohol... before it graduates to the imperial IPA.
And it definitely pushes the heat with the Habanero.
Here is my theory on hot (and chile) beers: it should not be spicier than the food.
I had this with a spicy Chinese, Szechuan dish.
The beer was hotter than the dish and I couldn't taste the food.
Beer should complement food, not overpower it.

 431 characters

Photo of Futbolmanby
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brewhausdude2016
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tregan_20
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of witster18
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I love this beer because the heat from the habenero kinda masks the actual abv. It's truly 'hot', and that's not a bad thing at all. I love the fact this beer gets the heat right. If you don't like hot stuff - you won't like it. Even though the bottle says that heat may vary - the beers I've had have been very consistent. I love the fact it's a sipper beer, because it's a sipper beer you wanna keep sipping, and the heat isn't that 'bad' fermentation heat, it's just straight-up great habanero heat on a great ipa backbone. You can actually taste the habanero, and the grapefruit and citrus backbone o f the ipa still shines nicely. Very good quality overall. I would love this with a super light fruit-filled lunch or other light mid-day fare. Awesome brew.

 764 characters

Photo of ktferber
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'm a fan of ballast's sculpins and every one brings something new and unique to the tableand this is no exception. It looks like your typical IPA but a good sniff and you detect the slight aroma of hot peppers. The heat hits you right up front and blends really well with the citrus notes. I've had a few other pepper brews that leave the heat to the back but this one puts it right out there. Very unique and awesome brew but be forewarned if you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen.

 494 characters

Photo of tubeman
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Skrumpy
3.18/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured 12 oz bottle into standard pint glass. I'm not a big fan of pepper heat. If you are, this may be a winner. I could not finish the bottle. The look is like the Sculpin, and the smell is rather light. The pepper heat kicks in and you can feel it in the back of your throat. I couldn't tell what remaining flavor was there because the heat killed it. I took a few more sips & could feel it in my stomach. Stopped right there. My friend drank it & drank grapefruit Sculpin in between sips. Said it was a good mix.

 526 characters

Photo of cyclone
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Wsantolucito92
4.27/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a barely transparent reddish gold with a quarter inch thick head that after a min or two goes away. Smells like a fresh jalapeño or somethings a little grassy along with grapefruit and citrus hops. Smell gives it away that your mouth will feel some burn as soon as you taste it. Taste is very much as smell, getting the citrus bitter notes as you would normal sculpin and immediately get hit with a grassy tasting capsaicin burning effect that coats your checks and tongue towards the back of your throat before it stops and lingers for a little as it finishes with a grassy bitter and a floral sweetness. Nice carbonation overall but the burn is real. Not so much like a chili burn but more like chewing spicy cinnamon gum. Overall, a really great beer and a must try. It is a little aggressive to throw them back so it makes it a great beer to try on tap once and a blue moon, no orange needed for this one!

 916 characters

Photo of FitgerFanatic
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up at the COOP, but it is at all the bottleshops and most grocery stores now... Pours clear orange with a nice enough white head.. Traditional CCC hoppiness with a fruity chili flavor and aroma... But the heat builds and becomes unpleasant for my palate.


 291 characters

Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GrantBrennan
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 2,593 ratings.
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