Sculpin - Grapefruit
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Sculpin - GrapefruitSculpin - Grapefruit
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IPA - American
Ranked #12
Ranked #591
4.34 | pDev: 9.22%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Sculpin - GrapefruitSculpin - Grapefruit
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 925 | Ratings: 6,377 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by metter98:
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metter98 from New York

4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
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

May 10, 2015
More User Reviews:
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utopiajane from New York

5/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Mar 29, 2015
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Todd from California

4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
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).

Aug 25, 2015
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Raime from Greenland

4.89/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Dec 18, 2015
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Whitley from Vermont

5/5  rDev +15.2%
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 !

Feb 18, 2015
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milwaukee512 from Wisconsin

4.81/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

May 10, 2015
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4.99/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A masterpiece. I wept while drinking it.

Jun 11, 2015
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Squire from Mississippi

4.08/5  rDev -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.

Mar 07, 2018
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glass_house from Ohio

4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

May 27, 2015
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MisterGone from California

3/5  rDev -30.9%

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...

Nov 16, 2014
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CJNAPS from California

4.89/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Jan 09, 2015
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docoman from Michigan

4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Dec 22, 2014
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TheBrewo from New York

4.21/5  rDev -3%
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.

Oct 26, 2015
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Jan 01, 2015
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Phaedrus from Arizona

4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
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

Mar 29, 2015
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aficionado224 from Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There are a few crafted so well that words are insufficient to describe how much pleasure and satisfaction can be delivered by those brews and this is one of them.

Jul 14, 2018
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haines710 from Delaware

4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple of bottles at the supermarket. Poured into a pint glass. Nice head and orange color. Smell is bursting citrus and grapefruit. Great for a summer day or night. Easy to drink if you like grapefruit. A nice dry IPA with a little fruity kick. Loved this beer.

Aug 05, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.24/5  rDev -25.3%
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."

Nov 01, 2017
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jgpineda from New Jersey

3.16/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bit on the sweet side. Middle has mandarin/orange rind notes. Was expecting a bit more from this as regular sculpin is great.

Jan 15, 2015
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zoober911 from New York

3.7/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

Feb 19, 2015
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scvance from South Carolina

4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a brilliantly clear, golden, honey color. Large layer of perfectly white foam, quickly fades to a very thin layer with good cling. Smell is pure citrus, grapefruit (duh), and slight resin. Taste is very fruity and very citrusy. The bitterness is there, but it's rather mild compared to the strong grapefruit notes. Bitterness grows as the taste fades to the finish where it lingers with strong pine notes. Very smooth, medium bodied, and high carbonation.

This beer is similar to the original Sculpin, however the balance between pine and citrus has been tilted way to the favor of the citrus, which is not a bad thing. Very good IPA, will try again.

Jan 18, 2015
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Beersmuggler from Michigan

2.79/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I had to have this because it was in the BEer advocate 250. It actually was not that bad. I don't like grapefruit and I only kinda like India pale ales but this was very drinkable.

Aug 30, 2015
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MLaVioletteJr from Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks great, smells great...that's about it. I've tried the Sculpins many times, draught, cans, bottles...I don't understand the ratings. Overly bitter and one dimensional, not much going on. Maybe it's better super fresh out in San Diego, but this isn't even close to as good as the best IPA's out there, never mind beyond outstanding.

Jan 26, 2015
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hophugger from Virginia

4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
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 !!

Feb 17, 2015
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Econoceki from Colorado

3.54/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reading the other reviews, I wonder if the bottles I've had (all from the same pack) were contaminated. I love the Sculpin and I love grapefruit in beer. That said, I struggled to finish the four bottles I had. They looked amazing, smelled like a good IPA, but tasted like someone took the sculpin and simply poured grapefruit juice in before serving. It tasted sickly sweet, with unblended flavors and I was left with the impression I'd just taken medicine. I'll have to give this another try though, based on the cult following it has.

Jul 29, 2015
Sculpin - Grapefruit from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 6377 ratings