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Monday, July 8th 2013

Sculpin IPA
(Ballast Point Brewing Company)

When we first heard that yet another world class IPA was coming to cans, we were pretty damn excited. Sculpin is one of those beers that never lets a hophead down and we couldn't wait to get our hands on some of these hopped-up beauties. Also, in case you're someone who is a fan of public opinion, Sculpin is currently ranked as the #3 American IPA over on RateBeer and is ranked #4 over on BeerAdvocate. Not too shabby.

From the Ballast Point site:

"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."

Here we go...

Pour - bright orange with an inch of off-white head sitting nicely on top. Clean appearance and boy does it smell good.

Aroma - ahhhhh. Stick your face into a glass of Sculpin and you may never come up for air. A boatload of floral aromas, tropical fruits, pine, and sweet citrus all hit the like a soft smack in the face with a pillow stuffed to the max with fresh hops. 

Taste - chewy and resiny, working our way through a lot of pineapple, grapefruit, mango, oranges, and lemons. Bittersweet on the palate with all those tropical notes working well with sticky pine and sweeter caramel malt flavors. At 7% Sculpin packs a bit of heat and after a couple of these you'll be feeling pretty good. It's a sneaky fish that's for sure...but we can't get enough. If you've yet to try this IPA you need to put it near the top of your list. 

Overall - outstanding. Sculpin offers IPA lovers the complete package. It's big and bold with a ton of hop profile both in the aroma and on the tongue. Loads of tropical fruits, pine, and citrus combine extremely well with a solid malt backbone. When it comes to American IPAs in cans it is very, very tough to beat this one.  


original Sculpin can design and mock-up

Note - Ballast Point originally had another design ready to go for their Sculpin cans. This design was based on that of their bottle labels. In the end they went with a clean look across the board for all of their cans, of which there are currently four. Look for cans of Sculpin, Big Eye IPA, Pale Ale, and Longfin Lager - all of them are worth your while.


Ballast Point cans both their Big Eye and Sculpin IPAs

Hops Scale:
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Can Scale:
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Sculpin IPA
Style: American IPA
Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company
San Diego, California  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 7.0%
IBUs: 70
Date: July 8th, 2013

Posted by Russ

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