Drink Magazine

Brew Review: Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

By Blake

Today we’re going to review a world class IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company.  Ballast Point got it’s start back in 1996 in the back of a homebrew store in San Diego.  18 years and 3 World Beer Cup medals later they are still producing high quality and tasty brew.

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

When I think of craft beer in San Diego the big name that first comes to mind is Stone, and rightfully so as they release pretty awesome beers that hold the interests of craft beer enthusiasts.  So you may ask yourself how does Ballast Point compare with big name breweries like Stone?  The answer is quite simple, there’s a new kid in town and that kid is named Sculpin.

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

Sculpin is a very popular brew amongst the online beer community, receiving a 100 from Ratebeer and a 98 from Beeradvocate, the reviews of this beer are almost overwhelmingly positive.  It is consistently touted as one of the best IPAs in the country as it should be.  Distribution of this beer in Alabama has been somewhat limited; so I was excited to finally get my hands on one last week.

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

Serving Type: 12 oz. Bottle

Appearance: Pours like liquid gold, thin but intricate lacing all the way down.  Has a somewhat transparent orange color with some amber tones.  The frothy head doesn’t dissipate easy, and gives the beer a very stately appearance.  Real nice. 

Smell: Ahhhhh.  Stick your face into a glass of Sculpin and you may never come up for air.  It has an amazing hop nose with strong Pacific NW hops which are wonderfully fragrant and rich.  Very good stuff going on.  It just begs “DRINK ME”.

Taste: Highly bitter.  The hops hit you like a freight train but in a good way. Aftertaste is extremely mild and the 7.0% ABV is hidden by the hops and abundant flavors.  As advertised it “packs a bit of a sting…. just like a sculpin”

Drinkability: Nice, clean, refreshing, and lots of flavor.  Even though it has a good bite from the hops and carbonation, it’s still easily drinkable as the alcohol is not noticed.  The bitterness lets you know it’s an IPA, but it never damages your tongue or throat.  Just a well-rounded, top of the line, IPA.

Overall thoughts: If someone wanted me to suggest an IPA, I think this is the perfect blueprint of the type.  It’s definitely in my top 5 IPAs.  It’s hard to go wrong with a beer that wows you every time you drink it.  Big props to Ballast Point on this award winner. Ok, now kids go play in the back yard.  Daddy needs a Sculpin.

The Southern Committee Rating: 10/10

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

Availability: Year-round
Style: American IPA
Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company [more info]
Alcohol by volume: 7.0%
Bitterness: 70 IBU

“My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best.” - Winston Churchill

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