Grapefruit Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

832 Reviews
Grapefruit SculpinGrapefruit 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 Award-winning IPA, with a citrus twist.
Our Grapefruit Sculpin is the latest take on our signature IPA. Some may say there are few ways to improve Sculpin’s unique flavor, but the tart freshness of grapefruit perfectly complements our IPA’s citrusy hop character. Grapefruit’s a winter fruit, but this easy-drinking ale tastes like summer.

The Sculpin IPA is a testament to our humble beginnings as Home Brew Mart. It showcases bright flavors and aromas of apricot, peach, mango & lemon. The lighter body also brings out the crispness of the hops. The Sculpin fish has poisonous spikes on its fins that can give a strong sting. Ironically, the meat from a Sculpin fish is considered some of the tastiest. Something that has a sting but tastes great; sounds like a Ballast Point India Pale Ale. This version of our Sculpin IPA has grapefruit added; the grapefruit flavor really enhances the citrus aroma of the hops.

Added by arfenhouse on 01-19-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 832 | Ratings: 5,883
Photo of jwilcox767
3.79/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a clear golden copper with medium head that dissipates quickly.
S-Aroma starts with standard IPA profile, not too much grapefruit up front.
T-Taste hits the same notes, grapefruit very very muted. Some maltiness.
M-Medium bodied and carbonation and some hop slickness.
O-Overall I just didn't love this beer, the grapefruit addition didn't do much for me. Maybe it would have if I could pick it up... It's a good IPA on it's own, but not a standout grapefruit variant. Not worth the $2.50 for a bottle, but perfectly drinkable

 539 characters

Photo of AverageJoeReviewers
3.67/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

L - Medium/ Light Amber. Trace of head on glass.
S - Smells like grapefruit juice. Amazing.
T - Not an IPA fan. Mildly Sour/ Bitter. Citrus and Grapefruit.
F - Little to no carbonation. A little rough around the edges for the average man.
O - Better than most IPA's. Would drink again.

 293 characters

Photo of BJB13
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 2/7/17.
12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip style pint glass.

Pours a clear, pale, golden orange with two fingers of cream colored, frothy head with good lacing. Decent nose primarily of grapefruit and citrus hops with underlying pine notes. Fairly juicy it starts and finisnes with bitter grapefruit with a hint of base malts in the middle. Mouth feel is light medium with good carbonation.

A great west coast IPA and a solid choice.

 445 characters

Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep gold with nice foamy head and mild lacing. Smell is very nice, hoppy citrus with grapefruit in the front of the citrus. Taste is super dry hoppy goodness, with warm temps hitting AZ this is just a nice beer for a warm day. Lots of hops and that grapefruit bite make this a good outside beer. The finish is light carbonation with dryness, just a well done IPA.

 370 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - Bronze/ copper with a little bit of clarity. 1 finger of head and lots of lacing left all over the glass. Gorgeous beer

S - Grapefruit, X 100. Wow.

T - Grapefruit dominates, so you must like grapefruit to enjoy this one. Tastes so fresh and perfect

F - Well carbonated, nice balance

O - An amazing twist on an amazing IPA :)

 336 characters

Photo of Greyvtrayn
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can aggressively poured into a pilsner glass to produce a sizable head. Holds the head for a couple minutes and left some sticky lacing on the glass. Beautiful burnt orange color that glows when held in the light. When they say grapefruit...holy smokes is it grapefruit! This beer smells like a fresh, sliced grapefruit with a passionfruit compliment (not just a hint), followed by the dank hop that the regular Sculpin is known for. The smaller the sip, the bigger the grapefruit I find, this beer should be slowly sipped for maximum flavor. Grapefruit, passion fruit, nice balance of citrus and hops, perfect amount of carbonation. Feels a bit on the thin side but if you're drinking a grapefruit you want it be thin. VERY impressed with this one. Will absolutely grab a sixer of this next time I see it.

 820 characters

Photo of Zythophile
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle Date: presumably this year
Palate Contaminants: none

Okay, I'm giving the sculpins one more chance.

Appearance is a good medium-dark amber that's mostly clear. Plenty of fine head that leaves good lacing.

The smell is nice and malty, and it's a hearty kind of maltiness. Marmalade, watermelon, marshmallow, and a slight bit of white grapefruit. I like it. Sweet, but not overboard on it.

The taste isn't overly sweet. It's mostly watermelon up front with bitter grapefruit on the back end. It also reminds me of arugula. It's very vegetal, but not particularly complex.

The feel is medium thickness with fine carbonation.

Okay, I'm back on good terms with Ballast Point.

 683 characters

Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly cloudy and veiled golden color with low activity, and a mist of yeast. A foamy and bubbly creamy, beige with an orange hue, 2-3 finger head, lasting around 10 minutes, with pretty good legs, nice lace and swirl effect. Flavors of soft butter and caramel, grapefruits, tangerines, passion fruits, sweet grains, lemon, wild yeast, herbal spices. Tender tropical fruit sweetness with sharp bitter hops. Slick and smooth medium body with extra crispy carbonation. Medium to strong strength finish, slightly dry and clovey, a bit piney and grassy but dominantly fruity, with zesty citrusy hops, some hay and funky yeast. Quite delicious with a high quality fruity feel, almost like raw juice. Great balance and very well intensified, complex and rich. Highly fresh and drinkable. Almost like California in my mouth. Overall superb quality craft.

 849 characters

Photo of beerguy04
3/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden color with a small white head. Smells of grapefruit and citrusy hops. Taste is sour grapefruit. Very little bitterness. Citrus aftertaste. Mouthfeel feel is medium. Overall, not impressed. Would like more bitterness, and less sour.

 251 characters

Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Moderate grapefruit, followed by a light citrusy hop aroma,

A: Golden color, totally clear with a uniform white head that quickly recedes to form a ring around the glass.

T: Grapefruit upfront, followed by citrusy hops, light malt sweetness, with a moderately light bitterness and semi-dry finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Solid; the beer has lots of grapefruit, but doesnt isnt quite as hoppy as past batches, in terms of aroma and flavor.

 471 characters

Photo of Benjolovesbeer
2.21/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

L: hazy orange, lightly carbonated, fluffy head that soon becomes lacing that smears the glass on every sip.
A: mild grapefruit juice.
F: medium, carbonated, slightly fizzy.
T: grapefruit overpowers the hops. Mainly grapefruit taste followed by citrus hops with sourness caused by grapefruit.
O: i have yet to have regular sculpin but as far as grapefruit IPA it just doesn't do it for me. Sometimes you get grapefruit in IPA beers that is delivered by hops which was what I had high hopes for, but this is like mildly hoppy beer with addition of grapefruit and it just doesn't do it for me. I understand grapefruit is the main feature in this beer but it actually ruins the beer instead of enhancing it.

 709 characters

Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into an IPA glass to a clear and deep yellow topped by a three finger dense white head that retains well and leaves excellent lacing
S: Smells of citrusy hops and grapefruit with a little pine along with some clean malty notes
T: Taste is grapefruit, citrus, and tropical fruits with some nice malty sweetness with hints of toast. Swallow is more juicy grapefruit and pithy hops with some lingering sweetness.
M: This beer is on the lighter side of medium in body with slightly prickly carbonation and an oily hop finish
O: Overall this is one of the best IPAs out there. Great flavors and complexity with the grapefruit really bringing all the citrus to the forefront. Definitely one to grab if you see it.

 726 characters

Photo of california_republic
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Look: dark golden and clear, looks like a nice clean ale
Smell: All grapefruit with some citrusy hops
Taste: Good solid west coast pale ale taste. Nice sourness but I think that's just a feature of regular sculpin. Honestly doesn't taste too much different, but a bit more bitter which makes it worse rather than better.
Feel: Nice grapefruit aftertaste dominates the palate, but the downside of having over-the-top grapefruit is bitterness. Leaves the mouth a little too bitter and a little too sticky too.
Overall: a little bit unbalanced because because of the bitterness and sticky feel. Otherwise, great solid west coast IPA though there are a lot of things out there that are much cheaper and the same quality.

(1/6/2017) Going back to this after having regular sculpin, I don't think the grapefruit does anything to enhance this beer, except in the nose. It doesn't really affect the taste and kind of takes away from the finish by making it a bit more bitter. Overall it's less balanced and not quite as great.

 1,019 characters

Photo of tbryan5
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I think I prefer this version over the original. Nice balanced grapefruit notes that do not overpower the base beer itself. And the hops still get to shine. Would like to try the other versions.

 194 characters

Photo of Everydayoff
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap served in a pint glass at Wishbeer, Bangkok.

It comes with deep amber hue and likely clear body with ton of white frothy head and excellent strength of retention, it slowly dissipates to a thin eternal foamy crown and leaves very good sticky lacing along the way.

The aromas of orange candy, juicy and fresh grapefruit, herbal, malty biscuit, and vanilla. It is so aromatic and very orange candy-like with some tart of grapefruit.

The palate gets rich grapefruit, lemon, resin, and candy-like caramel malt. The bitterness is there at the finish, nicely balance by overall.

Medium body with smooth mouthfeel, the carbonation is moderate with some crisp and lively touch through the palate, dry finish.

Great IPA indeed, the grapefruit addition makes the character much sharper, fruity, and intense comparing to the original.

 835 characters

Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle without bottle/freshness date into standard pint glass.

L: Honey Amber with solid finger width white head with excellent retention.

S: Heavy on the citrus aroma here, not only citrus hops but also a welcome twist of Tangerine, Orange and of course Grapefruit.

T: I came into this with an open mind, knowing that the regular Sculpin was already excellent but boy is this take on the original just a delight. It keeps the citrus, grassy and floral hops and adds the extra tartness of Grapefruit and Tangerine with the same sweet biscuity balancer in the back. Super refreshing and crisp the finish on this extra just dry enough to make you want to drink more.

F: Light-Medium body, crisp on the tongue and just a slightly dry finish.

O: Better than the original and one of the best IPAs you can buy.

 837 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Cycle Brewing pint glass.

A: Pours a very clear gold, with average visible carbonation and a two finger white head that has great retention. A very pretty beer.

S: Grapefruit – pink and sweet. Light cracker malts. Simple but nice - big grapefruit for sure.

T: Ruby red grapefruit juice with a touch of bitter rind. Pale cracker malts. Finishes with more pulpy grapefruit juice flavor. Remains relatively lightly bitter for an IPA - about the bitterness of unsweetened grapefruit juice.

M: Light body, carbonation sensation on the low side, and the alcohol is quite well-hidden.

O: I thought this was a really tasty beer...but you gotta like grapefruit and grapefruit juice to get into this one. There isn't much else going on here.

 794 characters

Photo of Nemesis1735
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Amber hue, one inch creamy white head with some lacing, ample amount of carbonation drifting up from the bottom
S - Citrus , grapefruit, the aromas are faint
T - citrus fruits and grapefruit and dominate on the front with a slight amount of bitter on the back. The grapefruit balances well with the hops creating cohesion between the two
M - clean, light, and dry
O - A very well balanced IPA. The grapefruit compliments the hops well. I would buy this again.

 465 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a bottle of this off the single shelf at the local Meijer. It poured a clear copper with white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent is grapefruit. The taste is bitter leaning but easy to drink. There was grapefruit present throughout. The Mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's a solid beer.

 334 characters

Photo of 911CROFT
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle into a Spiegleau IPA glass. Paid £5.10 for a single.

Pours a bright, translucent, golden-orange body with a small amount of sluggish carbonation visible. A light, bubbly, two-finger in height, bone-white head, slowly fades to a thin film and collar, leaving behind a decent covering of spotty lace.

The zesty, hop-forward nose predominantly consists of semi-sweet juicy citrus. Fleshy grapefruit, orange and tangerine lead above lesser notes of light-skinned stone fruit, while floral and pine aromas become perceptible towards the back end. Taste roughly follows suit. Bold, juicy, sweet grapefruit undoubtedly leads, but its presence is not as dominant as the name might suggest. Plenty of orange and tangerine follow shortly after, along with faint traces of tart apricot, peach and nectarine. Hints of caramel, honeyed pale malt and a light bready sweetness reveal the beers subtle backbone, combining with citrus to create a marmalade-like profile throughout the lengthy mid palate. Bitterness begins to build towards the back end. Oily grapefruit peels, pine and floral hop profiles mark a change from the initially juicy and sweeter start. In the mouth a light to medium body paired with assertive but not aggressive carbonation feels smooth and crisp from start finish. On the very end, bitter, pithy citrus and resinous pine linger just long enough to balance any residual fruit and malt sweetness, drying the palate and finishing quick and clean.

Overall this is an excellent beer. Bright, juicy and incredibly well balanced, it captures a punchy, authentic grapefruit character that perfectly complements the regular Sculpin underneath. Crisp and refreshing, alcohol is completely undetectable, drinking dangerously below the 7% ABV. It took some effort and expense to acquire my bottles in the UK. If I had regular access to fresh, reasonably priced six-packs, I would definitely add this to my list of year-round fridge staples. Recommended.

 1,971 characters

Photo of sokol_1993
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent IPA. Grapefruit smell and taste is throughout, sometimes subtle, sometimes strong. The bitterness from the grapefruit blends with the hoppiness, creating a sour, but earthy bitterness.

 197 characters

Photo of SargeMcCluck
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very clean, bright gold colour - think elven hair.

Aside from obvious grapefruit, the smell is taking me back 20 years to the magic of little orange jelly packets. In more adult terms, you might call that a basket of oranges, grapefruit and a few lemons left on the window-sill for too long, then crushed just enough to release some juicy mist into the air... On the tongue, this is balanced by some hay and rich biscuit in the backbone, but i find that the bitterness overwhelms the palette on the swallow, detracting from these flavours.

The carbonation begins quite high, but subsides as you work your way through the drink to, eventually relaxing into a medium body and mild warmth on the breath. Very pleasant - would like to try it again.

 755 characters

Photo of TrueOregonian
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's a unique taste I'll give it that..

Honestly this beer does not deserve any part in the world class talk though..

I personally taste perfume and citrus with a hint of grapefruit..

DON'T have grapefruit in the name of the beer when it's not even the prominent flavor..

14$ for a 6 pack... only worth it so that I can tell the next person not to waste their money.

 372 characters

Photo of dditto2
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks nice golden amber orange with medium white foamy head. Smell is citrus hops, juicy grapefruit, sweet aroma.
Taste is citrus hops, obvious Sculpin flavor, the grapefruit is nice, there is a little sweetness but it is mostly overpowered by citrusy bitterness. It is juicy without being very sweet :)
Overall this is top notch as usual for a Sculpin variant. Nice evening sipper with lots of flavor. Top notch. Great brew!

 426 characters

Photo of dacrza1
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE: October 21, 2016... OCCASION: watching the Hamilton special on PBS with the family... GLASSWARE: Howard's Pub pint... a robust orange amber body raises confident bubbles at a constant rate... the two-finger head is thick, white, and lacing like a picket fence of cloud cover... yes, the grapefruit is the soup du jour, but a refreshing sense of lemon, an earthiness and flowery uplift that is winning... sweetness comes in an undercurrent of bread malts... mouth feel is incredibly sessionable, medium-bodied, active at the teeth but balanced enough... the aftertaste is ebullient, with plenty of staying power... flavor profile includes the aforementioned grapefruit, with lemon, orange, bread, and earthy hops... the much lauded Sculpin is given a fruity, Pacific island kind of feel, with enough strength to create a buzz after only a few... does not disappoint...

 873 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Grapefruit Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.28 out of 5 based on 5,883 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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