Grapefruit Sculpin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Grapefruit SculpinGrapefruit Sculpin
6,216 Ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,216 |  Reviews: 879
Reviews by lovethebelgians:
Photo of lovethebelgians
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

More User Reviews:
Photo of utopiajane
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I happen to think it's extraordinary. I have really enjoyed every ballast point beer I have had so far and this one is out of the park. The Julian date on the bottle reads 15057. Pours very clear and orange with a bone white head of foam that held well and left handsome lacing. Nose is so authentic with grapefruit. it's heady with it, then for perfume it has the scent of fresh orange. A bit of twiggy and woody pine. It smells so fresh and tantalizing. Drinks like a an ocean breeze. All that tantalizing citrus. The orange is bright and light. The grapefruit is something wonderful. It has all the flavor of a real grapefruit but none of the pucker or bitterness of it. it's like they took all that flavor and sweetened it just enough. The malt is elusive but a touch sweet with honey and so soft that it simply cascades over your tongue. Mouthfeel approaches medium but is still wonderfully light with just enough weight from that honey malt to satisfy the palate in a very sensual way. Right before the swallow is this breezy little spritz from carbonation that is so whimsical it made me laugh out loud. It's as though you got a little sea mist at the back of your throat. Perfect crisp finish that brings a little bit of the fruit rind a touch of bitterness to end this amazing beer. It's so good.

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Photo of Todd
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Grapefruity, Hoppy, Zesty, Refreshing

Amber with a thick, creamy, sticky head. Fragrant and floral with grapefruit and stone fruits in the nose, this IPA has big, juicy, zesty, grapefruit character with bitter, piney, grassy and floral hop flavors that drive into the finish. Soft bready malts provide just enough sweetness to balance things out. It ends with a dry, rindy and resiny finish. I love this trend of adding citrus to IPAs, and even more so when it works. Take Grapefruit Sculpin for example, a bright and refreshing twist on a world-class beer.

As reviewed in BeerAdvocate magazine #103 (August 2015).

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Photo of Raime
4.89/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin.

This will be the third variation of Sculpin I have had, with the habanero so far leading the pack over regular. Grapefruits are one of my favorite fruits, and one of my favorite flavors in an IPA. With that said, my review will likely be biased since it's almost as though it was made specifically for me or something * wink wink *. Anyywayyyy, let's drink it.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle hard poured into a dimpled pint glass. Beer pours that ever so classic Californian sunset, though a bit lighter than the habanero version. Head is as expected thick and starts leaving immediate stick the moment it decides to split the crime scene. No pits or craters however. Carbonation appears to be about moderate with this beer exactly as I had expected. The lacing is sticky and soap like in nature and sticks around throughout the entirety of the consumption.

Smell - Well to nobodies surprise it smells exactly like a fresh grapefruit cut in half. Not really the juices, but the whole damn shebang. The malt bill is also much more pronounced than in the previous two incarnations of the brew. Not getting much else by way of scents, but with the intensity of the grapefruit in this beer you really do not need anything else.

Taste - Alright now we're getting a smorgasbord of grapefruit variances. Fresh grapefruit rinds are straight the fuck up all over your taste buds. The malts bill is there as well but takes an obvious back seat to the freshness of the juices that flow throughout your mouth. If you couldn't come to an assumption at this point, it tastes like a grapefruit. Reminds me of my stint in the county youth detention facility about ten years ago for stabbing a motherfucker. Those grapefruits at lunch were always welcomed with a loving embrace.

Feel - The feel is bitter as all holy hell with a gargantuan dosage of creamyness from the depth and thickness of the head that has retention beyond your wildest dreamscapes. This beer has a body like a 23 year old Asian hottie. MmmmMMMMMMM. Swallows easy as can be. Carbonation is moderate sitting in the mouth.

Overall - This is the best sculpin I have come across so far and DEFINITELY in my top ten beers of all time. If I had to complain,the flavor could have bee a bit juicier but that's just for needed nitpicking. If you like grapefruit, buy this beer now. If not, jump off a bridge. I love this fucking beer like I loved your wife before she gained a hundred pounds.

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Photo of Whitley
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Are you kidding me ? This beer is unbelievable. As in unbelievably, ridiculously fantastic !!! If you love IPA's and the more citrusy the better then you will have hit the jackpot with this one. Thank you so much Ballast Point !

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Photo of MisterGone
3/5  rDev -30.6%

Hmmm. Wish I knew what was going on here. I have tried Sculpin a few times now and get little of what others are talking about. It seems too light bodied and subtle for me in comparison to like-style beers like Stone and Lagunitas. So, perhaps the citrus bite of grapefruit will enhance it? It did, but not enough. Still too light bodied for my personal preference. I really enjoy so many of Ballast Point's offerings that this baffles me. Chalk it up to individual palate issues...

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Photo of glass_house
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I love fresh Sculpin and I love fresh grapefruit. Thus, fresh Grapefruit Sculpin is a little piece of fermented heaven. I can see how those who don't necesarrily dig grapefruit might not be so impressed. But I do, and I am. What a pleasant surprise to find a 2-week-old 6-pack of cans for $14.99. Still slightly more than I prefer to pay for six beers, but reasonable for a world-class IPA, so I'll be buying more of this while I can.

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Photo of docoman
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Exactly what I expected from a grapefruit IPA... has nice ruby pink color, grapefruit smell and taste... only downside was lost some of the "bite" that I enjoy from regular sculpin.

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Photo of milwaukee512
4.81/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Why mess with what is arguably the king of IPAs? That's what I initially thought, but I'm glad I tried it. Grapefruit Sculpin looks great, smells incredible, and tastes nearly as good. The grapefruit slightly lightens up the taste and feel, but retains the qualities that sets Sculpin apart in a crowded field of IPAs. Think of it as a summer version of a full-bodied IPA. Too bad Ballast Point costs nearly TWICE! as much as every other craft beer available in WI.

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Photo of jackb112
4.99/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A masterpiece. I wept while drinking it.

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Photo of CJNAPS
4.89/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The Grapefruit taste stood out but was balanced perfect.

This was a really good beer, One I will drink over and over again.

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Photo of Squire
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful rose gold color with white cap and lacing.

Grapefruit grows on trees so it's a flowering fruit and I don't know what grapefruit flowers smell like but that's what I'm reminded of here. An aroma of bright, flowery citrus hops with a definite grapefruit hit.

Flavor is well defined among the hops in a way that is less sharp yet richer than the regular Sculpin. There is more of a malt presence than the regular Sculpin as well though not enough to compete with the hops, just support them.

Medium full texture with balancing carbonation.

Overall it seems a bigger yet more refined version of the regular Sculpin. I can't say this is just the regular with grapefruit added, it's something more, rounder, smoother (that word again) with a bigger room presence. Stream fishermen are familiar with stream bed stones that have tumbled around for thousands of years becoming rounded down and worn smooth. That's what I mean by smooth, an absence of jagged edges. This is a round stone beer that's strong enough (7%) to be pushy but isn't and hoppy enough to be brash yet it's not. A beer of substance and manners that simply sits down and joins the conversation like a genial, good humored friend.

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Photo of Phaedrus
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoy this IPA... just the right amount of grapefruit flavor and bitterness. I prefer this to the regular sculpin

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Photo of hophugger
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice golden-orange color with awesome head and lacing that clings and holds on for dear life. Had this last night and I was not disappointed. This beer is so grapefruit forward that it is insane. The malt, hops and citrus come together so well, one of my all-time favorites !!

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Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is clear yellowish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge of the glass, and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of fresh grapefruit are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of grapefruit, but with little in the way of associated acidity. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a bit shy of being medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very drinkable and goes down easily. It has nice aromas and flavors of grapefruit, but doesn't really taste that much like an IPA and the grapefruit seems to overwhelm the underlying beer. It seems a lot lighter than a 7% abv beer, almost to the sense that it could be sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of hydrate
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is like a summer beer with teeth. The grapefruit flavor makes it refreshing. But it's not sweet. The slightly sour flavor of the grapefruit is a perfect match for the light dryness of the IPA.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a crystal clear medium golden orange in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and hints of amber highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a mottled thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of citrus/grapefruit, slightly sweet grainy malts, and hops - citrus/grapefruit zest, citrus/grapefruit pith, and citrus/grapefruit hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of moderately sweet grainy malts with moderate to strong flavors of grapefruit juice. That is followed by slightly stronger than moderate flavors of citrus/grapefruit zest, citrus/grapefruit pith, and citrus/grapefruit hops which impart a moderate amount of bitterness which lingers for quite a while.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp with light amounts of dryness in the finish

O: As someone that really loves a fresh Sculpin, I was surprised that I could enjoy the grapefruit Sculpin even more but aroma for this one is absolutely delicious. Alcohol is well hidden and it is easy to drink and extremely enjoyable.

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Photo of zoober911
3.7/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L - At the pour it looks good. White head, good lacing. Very clear body.

S - Smell is some hops but nothing outstanding or exceptional. Some grapefruit, but grapefruit juice...not citrusy.

T - When I saw 'grapefruit,' I naturally thought Citra hop citrus. But this is much more of a 'grapefruit juice added' taste.

F - Feel is as expected with the style. Again nothing out of the ordinary or knock your socks off.

O - There's a lot of hype for this, riding on the coat tails of Sculpin. This doesn't live up to it's predecessor. It was free, if I had an option between two free beers...I wouldn't take this.

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Photo of brettski66
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers out there. Glad it comes in cans. Only downside, which doesn't affect score, is the fact that it takes a bit of time to get to the East Coast. There's nothing like wicked fresh sculpin!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.24/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a cloudier version of regular sculpin, a little bit orange with plenty of that grapefruit zested skin floating throughout the beer. Aroma smacks less of the dry hopping and more of the old school grapefruit C hop bitter kick.

Taste, yeah, this obscures what made Sculpin great. Instead of being that beer that first dropped other hop flavors than grapefruit and pine, this one reverts back to a substantial amount of grapefruit that obscures everything else. Forget any notions of other jucier and more flavorful citrus or tropical fruit. The body is still relatively drinkable, but not as dry somehow. I dunno, I just file this in the long line of beers that fall under the "hoppy beer they made worse by dummying it up with fruit like adjunct."

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

We snap some can tabs back, pouring into our Great Lakes pint glasses. The color sits near that of apple juice, but with a solid one and a half finger tall head of soapy white bubbles. This retains nicely, with eventual rings of lacing as it goes. Reproducibility is high. A chill haze reduces clarity, but this is transient. No sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be medium. The aroma gives immense notes of cloying grapefruit juice, both authentic and synthetic, along with bright citric and green grassy hops, stevia sweetness, gentle but fusel booziness, chrome, raw pale grain, plastic bite, crushed vitamin c tablets, lemon pound cake, buttercream frosting, and vegetal green bell pepper bite. The flavoring to follow includes the simultaneously most bitter and sweet fresh squeezed grapefruit juiciness, lemony citric hoppiness, oily lemon balm rub, softer soapy hops chemicaliness, fresh heavy creamer, dusty pale grain, washed caramel and cereal graininess, green onions, melted candle wax, apple pulp sugars, herbal thyme oils, black pepper, white sugar sweetness, holly, tangerine sweetness, soured orange pith, and plastic garbage bags. The body is medium but oily, and the carbonation is on the higher end of the prickle spectrum. Each sip gives excellent slurp and smack, with nice cream and froth on the back end. Pop is lost in the creaminess, but not missed. The mouth is left somewhat dried and puckered, but only after a granular coating of sugary bitterness. The abv is appropriate, and drinkability is superb.

Overall, this beer certainly achieves what it sets out to. Actually, thinking historically, and if we’re not mistaken, this is one of the more visible “grapefruit” IPAs that helped to spawn the movement of the “grapefruit IPA”. Rightfully so that it gets such attention. The grapefruit is very authentic, like a freshly liberated glass of juice that might accompany a gourmet breakfast. That said, grapefruit is a genius choice to add to an IPA. It extends the beer’s perceivable longevity, especially with citric hop-forward beers, giving a pseudo-freshness that just makes sense. Here, you just feel that flavoring hang on through the swallow and the aftertaste, and it nicely holds the place of any hops you might be missing. They’re not missing here, but just something worth noting about the novelty story that this beer has come to embody.

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Photo of NeilSilber1
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden amber with heavy fading foam head. Nice notes of tart grapefruit and citrus. Good balance to bitter hop with a summery bite... good IPA!

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Photo of dar482
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a dark amber orange.

The aroma explodes out of the glass of grapefruit juice. Ruby red grapefruit. Barely anything else.

The flavor is less aggressive with the grapefruit in the front. Pink grapefruit candy, a bit of grapefruit flesh, and the fruit's bitterness. A touch of malt in the middle and caramel sweetness. On the back, decent pine bitterness and grapefruit peel flavor.

A wonderful beer that really does elevate and compliment the base.

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Photo of ELS
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After being disappointed with the regular Sculpin IPA I was wondering if maybe I bought an old bottle that wasn't fresh. I heard this is a beer that you want to drink fresh. I just recently received this Grapefruit version in a trade and I'm definitely impressed. The smell is pure ruby red grapefruit and the taste is the perfect complement of grapefruit and citrusy, piney hops. The malt backbone that seemed to be missing when I had the regular sculpin has appeared enough not to make this beer a hop bomb. I would definitely want to buy more of this beer and would like to try a regular Sculpin again to see if I was missing something.

Had regular Sculpin fresh and on tap and I definitely had an old bottle. The beer was excellent.

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Photo of vic21234
4.02/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a snifter. Canned on date is 04/22/15.

A- Pours a hazy orange color with a half finger of white head which hangs around awhile.

S- Citrus on the nose as expected, but not as much of a citrus punch as I was hoping for.

T- A nice tart hoppiness with plenty of citrus and grapefruit notes. Not much more to say here; tastes like regular Sculpin with grapefruit juice.

M- Light, well carbonated, refreshing, easy drinking, with a dry finish.

Nice and refreshing IPA.

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Grapefruit Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.32 out of 5 with 6,216 ratings