Habanero Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
2,582 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,582 |  Reviews: 533
Photo of Jeff_Byrd
2.25/5  rDev -40%

Photo of ccozzi
2.25/5  rDev -40%

Photo of M_chav
2.25/5  rDev -40%

Photo of Kerrrie
2.25/5  rDev -40%

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.

 276 characters

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

UPDATE - it made me poop liquid.

 327 characters

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.

 229 characters

Photo of DaHood
2.26/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

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 peabody
2.31/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2.25

Photo of Corman00
2.32/5  rDev -38.1%

Photo of miffsudd
2.32/5  rDev -38.1%

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 Didier
2.4/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.25

Photo of moarmare
2.42/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of hypnotoad1
2.42/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

 338 characters

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.

 205 characters

Photo of Nyrangersgrrl
2.46/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of GStone899
2.46/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hot hot hot! The habanero peppers are not so subtle in this one. I've had spicy beers before but this one burns on the way down. Had to sip this one due to the heat. A little more subtlety from the peppers would have made this one better.

 238 characters

Photo of manfromanotherplace
2.47/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This isn't a beer, its a challenge, and not one I'd take again. Had this after a mango magnifico which managed the habanero's very well, this set my chest on fire for an hour afterwards.....how this is rated world class is almost as strange as the beer itself.

 260 characters

Photo of Beer-Revelry
2.47/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

This just isn't my thing. Color was fine, smell was promising, but the taste, it's just way too much habanero pepper for me to really get passed to pick out more subtle nuances of things like hop profile and such. I understand for some people this would be a dream come true, but for me, it's just way too hot to enjoy. Gave a middle of the road 3 score to mouthfeel due to the fact that I couldn't drink enough to really properly asses it.

 440 characters

Photo of vinny21bal
2.47/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.25

Photo of jcruelty
2.48/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

WAY too spicy for me. I honestly found this beer undrinkable. I've had good chili beers-- in particular Prairie Artisan Ales "Bomb!", which is surprisingly delicious-- but this one didn't do it for me. I poured mine out halfway.

 231 characters

Habanero Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 2,582 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More