Sculpin Bottle Dating?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by coocookuhchoo, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. coocookuhchoo

    coocookuhchoo Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2011 Maryland

    Does anyone know how far forward Ballast Point "drink by" dates Sculpin? I just started grad school in VA, and being from MD, I've never had the chance to get it. I saw it in my local bottle shop here and was excited to try, but the freshest bottle was drink by November 15th. Most of the time "drink by" dates are far past when you'd actually want to drink the beer, especially for IPAs. Was I right in thinking it would be less than fresh?
  2. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    6 months.
    coocookuhchoo likes this.
  3. coocookuhchoo

    coocookuhchoo Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2011 Maryland

    Well that was easy. Thanks. I guess I'll wait until I can find a fresher one for my first try.
  4. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    Anytime. I would certainly recommend Sculpin fresh if you like tropical IPA's. Cheers!
    jzeilinger likes this.
  5. pearljam118

    pearljam118 Aspirant (295) Jul 5, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Having one that was 3 months from the bottling date and it was half the beer it originally was/is.
    oldedog likes this.
  6. PhineasMcClintock

    PhineasMcClintock Meyvn (1,190) Oct 18, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    fresh Sculpin, and while on the subject, fresh Green Flash West Coast IPA are stellar when fresh. But fresh to me is weeks from the bottling. I buy a case when I see them less than a month old. Which is seldom. If it is older, I pass...
    My local case shop got a "fresh" case of West Coast a few weeks ago...bottled in February...where is the weak link in the chain?
    powpig2002 likes this.
  7. skinsfan

    skinsfan Zealot (583) May 24, 2005 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    I am pretty sure that sculpin drink by dates are 90-120 days out. so it was probably either 2-3 months old. Not terrible, but obviously even better when fresher. I love Sculpin.
    smutty33 likes this.
  8. HopsintheSack

    HopsintheSack Devotee (447) Apr 17, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Im pretty sure they bottle Sculpin well after the "best by" date
    Biff_Tannen likes this.
  9. coocookuhchoo

    coocookuhchoo Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2011 Maryland

    What? Do you mean well before?
  10. HopsintheSack

    HopsintheSack Devotee (447) Apr 17, 2012 California
    Beer Trader


    Don't let me sway you, I have my own feelings on sculpin and ballast point. If you feel the need for something fresher bm me.
  11. shand

    shand Meyvn (1,419) Jul 13, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Nah, their date is now three months out from bottling on lower gravity beers (Sculpin, Big Eye, Yellowtail, etc), and a year out on higher gravity beers (Tongue Buckler). They used to do a six-month bottling date below their batch code on the neck, but their new Best By dates printed on the bottom of the labels follows a different scheme. A best by date of November 15th on Sculpin should still be perfectly delicious, if not completely optimal.
    smutty33 likes this.
  12. yamar68

    yamar68 Initiate (0) Apr 1, 2011 Minnesota

    Thanks for clearing that up - so that 6 month system must've been very short-lived? I thought they only recently started dating bottles.

    Thanks in advance for any insight on this.
  13. shand

    shand Meyvn (1,419) Jul 13, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, the six-month system was rather short lived. Ironically, I'm not sure if it even lasted six months. The six month system was inked on the neck of the bottle in a batch code (IE BE###) for Big Eye, and then a numerical date below it (IE 070112 for July 7th, 2012). Now they're inking best by dates on the bottom of the label that follow their new dating standard.
    yamar68 likes this.
  14. proper1420

    proper1420 Initiate (0) Oct 1, 2012 North Carolina

    The bottles of Sculpin that arrived in stores here in central NC the first week of August has an "Enjoy By" date of 11-23, so that date must be more than 3 months after the bottling. The beer in those bottles didn't match what came out of a keg in Durham a week and a half ago.
  15. kinopio

    kinopio Disciple (329) Apr 30, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Why not just put the Bottled On date on the bottle? The posts in this thread show how dumb and confusing the __ months after bottling system is. And not the julian date either. 10/11/12. How hard is that?
    jzeilinger likes this.
  16. smutty33

    smutty33 Defender (606) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader


    I came to say the same.......there are a bunch of threads on here of the same topic.

    oldedog likes this.
  17. Finatic

    Finatic Initiate (0) Jan 16, 2011 Florida

    The Sculpin in Florida right now has a best by date of 1/8/13. Should I be scooping this up. All I have ever had was old Sculpin so I never really understood the appeal.
  18. shand

    shand Meyvn (1,419) Jul 13, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Yes. Yes you should.
  19. GameFreac

    GameFreac Disciple (373) Apr 8, 2011 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    Sorry for bumping and old thread but my 6 pack says best by 4/18/13 so it should be really fresh right?

    It just tastes like a standard IPA. Maybe I'm just not a fan or don't see what the big deal is.
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,109) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I should caveat that the majority of my Sculpin drinking experience is draft vs. bottles.

    On a handful of occasions I have had Sculpin beers that were EXCELLENT. The majority of my Sculpin drinking experiences were that the beers were good but not exactly something to write home about.

    I used to think the explanation of my varying Sculpin experiences was a freshness factor: EXCELLENT Sculpin = very fresh while good Sculpin = not as fresh.

    I have read a number of posts where folks have opined that Sculpin beers vary (from batch to batch?). I am starting to think that Sculpin is a varying beer for reasons other than freshness.

    In my home state of Pennsylvania, 6-packs of Sculpin cost something like $17.99. That is just too much money for a beer which can vary in its taste!

    LambicPentameter and mackeyse like this.
  21. HopHead84

    HopHead84 Poo-Bah (3,190) Nov 29, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    They keep changing it up. It was best by 120 days then it was bottled on date now. Now it's best by again but I don't know how many days.
  22. CheapBeerBuzz

    CheapBeerBuzz Champion (814) Dec 20, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Saw you tried to BM me. Inbox forever full. Check my profile page if you want my email address...
  23. glaze3

    glaze3 Initiate (17) Jul 29, 2010 Nevada

    Bringing this back from the dead- Just saw six packs with a best by date of 8-10-13, no way it's dated at 120 days out. Anyone know the real story here?
    dar482 likes this.
  24. proper1420

    proper1420 Initiate (0) Oct 1, 2012 North Carolina

    The last six-pack of Sculpin I bought on 2-20 had an enjoy by date of 6-29: 129 days plus the time to reach a shelf in central NC.
  25. bennetj17

    bennetj17 Meyvn (1,374) Oct 30, 2005 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    I saw bombers in Cali the other day that said good till September. They may have been super fresh but no way that beer is good 5 months from now.
    dar482 likes this.
  26. dar482

    dar482 Poo-Bah (3,476) Mar 9, 2007 New York
    Beer Trader

    Wow, this is weird that they made their Enjoy By date so far out. Anyone have a guess on how long it is now? 6 months out they date it?
  27. yountvillewjs

    yountvillewjs Initiate (0) Mar 28, 2013 California

    I have a Dorado in the fridge with a drink by 2/28/14! 10 - 12 months on a DIPA? Maybe they should think about lowering the price and actually selling their product in a timely manner
  28. mrmambo

    mrmambo Initiate (15) Jan 21, 2004 Georgia

    They recommend drinking within 120 days of bottling. The date code is the bottling date--year plus day (in Julian calendar format).

    The six I just bought today in Atlanta was bottled on December 23, 2013, so it's 23 days old. They just started releasing it here within the last 7 days.
    smutty33 likes this.
  29. wsandrew

    wsandrew Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2012 California

    I've read through all of these, but am still confused. This is what is at the bottom of a Sculpin lable on a bottle that I just purchased (today is Feb 4, 2014).
    SC 425

    My guess: 425 = batch number.
    14 = year
    029 = date. (Jan, 29 in Julien time, meaning the 29th day of the year)

    Does that make sense? If so, is it the "enjoy by" date, or the "bottled on" date. Why put the 14 in front?

    I should say that I live in San Diego, just 10 mins down the road from the Brewery. I'm blessed. But the six pack was on sale for $12, which lead me to believe that it might be because it's an old batch. If it really was bottled on the 29th, that would make it less than a week old.

    Lastly, I should also say that it is delicious! But as a rule, I like to know how to figure out the dates.
  30. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    Yup .. It was bottled on the 29th day of 2014. Pretty fresh. I usually dont buy anything more than 2 months out.
  31. wsandrew

    wsandrew Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2012 California

    Thanks man! Was just confused as the numbers were backwards in relation to what everybody else was quoted as stamped on their bottles. In other words, its somewhat counter-intuitive to have "14029", when others were suggesting a different format. It should have read--from what I gathered from the accounts of others--"02914". Anyway, not hard to decipher once you understand the julien system, but they could certainly make it easier.

    Annecdotally, I returned to Vons (also known as Safeway in other regions) and tonight a sixpack of cans was only $10.30!! And it was brewed Jan 27, less than two weeks ago. It is good to live in San Diego :slight_smile:
    jncastillo87 likes this.
  32. teledeluxe

    teledeluxe Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2013 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Do yourself a favor and get Sculpin in the cans instead. Stays fresher longer and the canned date code is on it. Usually has a sticker on the outside of the cardboard.
  33. Knee_Deep_Fan

    Knee_Deep_Fan Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2013 California

    Agreed! Sculpin is one of my favorites, and I will only buy in the cans now, although I used to poo poo cans completely. I hope everyone will trend towards cans, it makes a huge difference.
    I had my first Heady Topper last week and drank it from the can, and I must say, surely there is a reason for canning!
  34. scott10010

    scott10010 Initiate (48) Nov 21, 2011 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Has Ballast Point done away with dating their product? We got new stock in town recently - both bottles and cans. Don't see dates on bottles. No stickers on the outside of six pack boxes.

    Seems a strange move for a hop heavy brewer.
  35. tbaker397

    tbaker397 Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2013 West Virginia
    Beer Trader

    The case of grapefruit sculpin i recently purchased had it printed on the case and on the bottom right of the label on the bottle. Its a julian system where the first 2 digits are year and last ones are the day of the year. I.e. my bottles are all '15067' so the 67th day of 2015. Hope this helpa
  36. shand

    shand Meyvn (1,419) Jul 13, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    For a few months they weren't dating cases or bottles for whatever reason, but they seem to have started dating again.
  37. beergeekofkp

    beergeekofkp Initiate (0) Apr 6, 2015 New York

    I work at a bottle shop and if I remember correctly I don't believe the bottles are dated....could be wrong I think the cans are...
  38. ColoradoPhil

    ColoradoPhil Initiate (0) Feb 2, 2015 Colorado

    I have had fresh Sculpin, and it is delicious. Just as I wrote this I have a six pack that is 93 days old. Grapefruit IPA Sculpin in a can. $15.00 plus tax. Definitely not great beer. The fact is non fresh Ballast Point Sculpin is not very good. Certainly not great. Mileage will vary, but I am witness to Sculpin being over 90 days not tasting grrrrreat! (sorry Tony the Tiger.)
  • About Us

    Founded 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.
  • Our Events

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

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