Beer Review: Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA

This is the third and final of the Ballast Point trio that my cousin Tyler sent me after his move to San Diego. Spoiler alert: this “world class” IPA was the best of the bunch. You can read about the Yellowtail and Big Eye in my previous reviews.

From Ballast Point:

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 its 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.

Bitterness 70 IBUS
Alc. by Vol. 7 %
Serving Temperature 40-45 degrees

Sculpin 1

Beer Advocate: 98. 100
RateBeer: 100, 100
Untappd: 4.15

I don’t have to tell you that those are some gaudy numbers right there.

Appearance: Light copper to orange in color with a nice white head that leaves substantial lacing on the glass. Another clear and clean beer.

Smell: Big smell of hops when I pop the can top. Citrusy and tropical fruits and mixed with caramel from the malts.

Taste: Those citrus and tropical fruit hops shine through in the taste. I wouldn’t know an apricot if it assaulted me, but I definitely get hints of mango and lemon. This is well-balanced. There’s hops there but they aren’t a punch in the face; the bitterness is pleasant and drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with decent carbonation like the Yellowtail. This tastes refreshing despite carrying 7% ABV around. There’s a bit of lingering hops on the tip of my tongue.

Final Verdict: 5 out of 5. Buy it.

A straight 5. These are easier to come by in my book than many other people’s, but I think the Sculpin deserves it. There’s a great balance of bitter hops with malt sweetness. And it is inspiring to know that someone who was once as clueless about brewing as me made this beer. This is a good way to start off a new week. Lord knows I need it.

Sculpin 3



  1. Easily my favorite IPA – absolutely perfect execution (had it on draft, but I can not think the experience would be any less in cans or bottle). I can not wait for the can’s to get out to the East Coast.


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