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Beer Information
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
84 94 72 8 67 262
Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point Brewing Company
American IPA
7.00 % ABV

The Sculpin 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.

This delicious Ballast Point Ale won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup 2010 in the International Pale Ale category. The Sculpin fish has poisonous spikes on it’s fins that can give a strong sting.

Ironically, the meat from a Sculpin is considered some of the tastiest. Something that has a sting but tastes great, sounds like a Ballast Point India Pale Ale.

Latest news for Sculpin IPA
Zymurgy Magazine Announces 2013 "Best Commercial Beers in America"
Review by rhoadsrage on 11/25/13  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
76 3 9 15 4 7 2013
(Served in a tulip glass)
Best by 9/22/13 (it was consumed before this date)
A- There was a touch of haze to the golden body with strands of carbonation and a sticky eggshell white thin cream of head on top.

S- The fresh pale malt leads to some earthy pungent hops in the finish. The hops grow as the beer opens.

T- The pungent note of hops leads to a green unripe fruit hops with a woody hop finish that lingers without much bitterness. There is a sweetness hint in the finish.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle fizz that compliments the hops nicely.

O- Nice strong hop flavor with a good hint of malt support. Good depth to the hop profile aswell.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Ricarrdo on 02/28/10  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
94 3 12 19 4 9 0
Incredible beer – pours a golden hue with nice foamy two inch head from a 22oz. bottle. Extremely hoppy nose that follows through on the taste. This is one hop monster and is comparable to the Pliny the Elder, the Alpine Nelson, and the Alesmith IPA – better than the Alesmith and not quite the Pliny or Alpine, but very close. It has a wonderful grapefruit nose and hoppy, resin, motor oil bitterness you get with the Bear Republic Racer 5, but it’s even better and more pronounced. It also has that funky, IPAness smell that is reminiscent of…? Very little malt in this one – this is an all hops fun fest. 95 of 100 at least – this one is in my top five or even top three right behind Pliny and Nelson

Price: $5.99 Served In: Pint Glass

Review by joe1510 on 11/03/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 2 12 18 4 9 0
22oz Bomber

Received this in a great box courtesy of errantnight, thanks again Derek! Oh, wow! As soon as I cracked this open I took whiff and I can tell I'm going to be in for a treat but before I get to the nose let me explain the pour. Sculpin empties the bomber a moderately hazed golden with bursts of carbonation screaming to the surface. The clean white head grew to two + fingers on the pour and eventually fell to one finger's worth of dense creaminess.

Now, what first caught my attention and has been on my mind ever since popping the top, the wonderful nose. There's a small pale maltiness coming through way, way in back. The good stuff you ask? Huge notes of apricot, tangerine, and a big freshly broken pine needle hoppiness throughout. Ballast Point did an unbelievable job with the hop additions. It's reminiscent of the hopping I find in Dreadnaught and blows my mind that a brewer can get such vivid, delicious aromas from the little cones.

The flavor doesn't quite live up to the nose but that would be near impossible. The taste is softer than expected with a dominant apricot hoppiness upfront followed by the pinyness on the finish. A little sweet in the middle but damn, that apricot is vivid and delicious. This really is a great IPA.

The mouthfeel is spot on. Solid carbonation awakens the tongue for the moderate bitterness present from mid-palate to the finish. The body is medium but the carbonation helps it glide through without a problem.

I wouldn't have a problem drinking this beer all night. If Sculpin was available in my area it would be purchased by the forklift and drank just as quickly.

Ballast Point hit a homerun with Sculpin. This is a really great IPA with a hop profile that is very rarely found except in the most delicious of the style. Ballast Point makes some great beers and this may be the best I've tried from them yet. A new favorite!

Reviewed: 4/19/08

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by bakes on 07/26/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
84 3 10 17 4 8 2009
650 ml bottle courtesy of WeeHeavySD. I love this company's bottle artwork.

Pours a brilliant gold with a tight white head that lasts and lasts and lasts. Smells nothing like fish, but everything like lupulin - grapefruit, lemon/tangerine, a sharp bite on the edge of it, and faint hints of gypsum over a honey/apricot/tropical fruit base.

Starts with an apricot and faintly dry caramel/toffee sweetness, then the hops decide to break down the door and come crashing in. Starts in with a bitter apricot, orange peel, pine and grapefruit hoppiness (you sort them out, but like laundry, all the clothes are there) that grabs the tip of the tongue, while a resinous, oily bitterness goes on like a coat of Benjamin Moore house paint, clinging, flowing, lingering. There's a toasty, slightly spicy malt/hop melange in the middle that gives way to a bracingly bitter finish, grapefruit rind and hints of earth and pine along with faint apricot. Hints of pineapple and papaya and passionfruit... it's like the IPA equivalent of a dry Viognier, full of bright, brash, tropical fruit with little lingering sweetness. Tingly mouthfeel seems to open the taste buds for more. Lingering orange rind and tropical fruit aftertaste still there minutes after the sip.

Reminds me a lot of a more aggressively hopped bigger Southern Tier Hop Sun, but not up to Uber Sun bigness. If you like bright aggressive hops, this could float your boat nicely.

Served In: Stange

Review by SAP on 01/03/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
72 3 9 13 4 7 2008
Pours with a frothy, two finger thick, pale, tan tinged, off-white colored head. The beer is a clear amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, bright copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma certainly hits the spot for any hop lover with a melange of herbaceous, spicy, fruity, citrusy and yes even dank hop character. Malt, I don't know much about that, though I am sure there might be a hint in the aroma some where, right now I am focusing on the hop aromatics that the malt character is supporting. Vibrant lychee, ripe tangelo peal and bitter grapefruit oil round out the fruity hop aromatics, but in the deep draughts of the aroma it is the herbal hop components that reign. There are turpene rich hop notes, a slight grassy edge, perhaps a hint of chive, but what really jumps out is the essential "hemp" oil components; sticky, dank, resinous, slightly rosemary like, touches of pine tar and a spiciness that almost make my nose itch. Definitely a hop heads beer by the nose.

Lightly sweet up front and then a bracing, richly herbal, bitterness grabs hold of the tongue; this never recedes either as the bitterness lingers on in the palate after the beer has left my mouth. The hop flavors have a fruity, almost oily character that is sensed as a backdrop to the other flavors; tropical fruit, lychee and bitter orange peel. The flavor profile is dominated though by the herbal hop components. Pepper, amply spicy, a touch of sharp rosemary, green turpenes and of course it has a biting, dank, "hemp" oil green flavor to it that lingers on with the bitterness in the finish. This is definitely an aggressively hoppy beer, this can be nice, but somehow this beer seems a bit too one-dimensional, even for a overly hoppy IPA. There is a soft supporting malt character that brings a hint of sweetness as well as a touch of cracker light malt to the flavor, it also supplies a medium'ish body to this brew.

A bit too herbal focused to be great for me; I prefer a nice balance of tropical fruit notes as well as the sticky herbal hop character (the aroma is a bit more balanced than the flavor, though still not quite enough). Still this certainly has appeased my hop fix for the evening.

Purchased: South Bay Drugs, Imperial Beach CA

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Westside Threat on 04/04/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
76 3 10 16 2 7 2008
A: Pours a very clean and refined goldenrod yellow with only a few bubbles moving in the body. Head is a solid inch of off white sudsy bubbles

S: Smells marvelous. Get some tangerine, kiwi, asparagus, grapefruit zest and a bit of earthy pine.

T: Begins tingly with more pine than citrus. The pine is sappy with essence of spruce tips and a tad dirty. Very dry for an IPA without a lot of residual sweetness. Before the swallow, I get some dried tangerine but that’s about as much sweetness as allowed. Immediately after the swallow, a solid wash of bitterness hits the tongue then continues to the back of the tongue while dry grapefruit flavors merge in. Very dry biscuity malts a work. Get a lot of bitterness with some alcohol burn and apricot in the finish.

M: Thin and hard with some carbo sting.

D: Well, this beer was good but not great. The bitterness is unbalanced and blatant just to be aggressive. Not sweet enough to balance the dryness. Good but not great.

Price: $6.99 Served In: Tulip

Review by seaoflament on 03/22/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
92 3 12 18 4 9 2008
Had a few pints of this at La Bella Pizza in Chula Vista (thanks Tony!)

Appearance is yellow color with some touches of amber. Thin head but retains very well, with some lacing as well. Very nice.

Wow, probably the best smelling IPA I have ever had. Tons of citrus, fresh citrus fruits like tangerine, pink grapefruit, orange, sweet lemon. There's also hints of nectarine and peach; this one is just very fruity. Then there is the nice balance of biscuit malt and bread dough, making a perfect combination with the fruitiness of the hops.

Taste is very similar but hard to live up to that wonderful aroma. Citrus and fruit, some lemon zest and a great biscuit malt backbone. Lots of citrus hops as well with a nectarine/peach sweetness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is very good. Not thick or heavy on the palate so it's easy to reach over for another.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Tip Top on 03/11/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 11 18 4 9 2008
A - Pours a clean golden colored body with a few bubbles lazily climbing to the surface. Head is about one finger tall and light tan in color. Soapy from the sides, but thicker looking from the top. Good to great retention.

S - Oh my lord, I have found the smell of heaven. Big, juicy, fruity hops just bursting out of the glass like over ripe citrus fruit. Passionfruit, tangerine, orange and grapefruit.

T - My oh my. Starts out with the same taste that came across in the smell. Big, juicy, fruity hops explode onto the palette. Tangerine and grapefruit up front, with passionfruit and orange in the background. Just tons of tropical fruit flavored hoppiness. Reminds me of Two Hearted quite a bit.

M - Medium bodied with slightly sticky hops. Carbonation is medium with fine bubbles.

Overall - A masterpiece of an IPA. Get some asap. Highly recommended.

Served In: Tulip

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