OK folks, as usually happens, I’m going to deviate from the herd mentality on Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. That consensus is generally a rave over this beer, and while I very much like Sculpin IPA, for me I think there are a lot of other IPAs out there that I like just as much. In fact, the very first time that I tried Sculpin was in January 13 of 2014 on draft at Taco Mac, when I wrote the following:
… 11 ounces. Should be a full pour for the price, this is good, more bitter than the (Ballast Point) Big Eye IPA, but I think the Big Eye had more aroma and flavor. It was tasty, but the draft Big Eye actually impressed me more. I got notes of ginger in that one that I didn't get in the bottle.
I liked the beer well enough folks, don’t get me wrong. It’s a beautiful hoppy IPA that is sure to thrill lupulin addicts everywhere. It’s also a beer that everyone tells me “oh you have to drink that fresh, the fresher the better!”. Which I did, it’s hard to get fresher than draft. But, as I love to see what age will do to these beers (IPA was designed to be aged), I socked a bottle away for about 9 months.
Ballast Point has this to say about Sculpin IPA:
A trophy beer that’s a testament to our homebrew roots.
Our Sculpin IPA is a great example of what got us into brewing in the first place. After years of experimenting, we knew hopping an ale at five separate stages would produce something special. The result ended up being this gold-medal winning IPA, whose inspired use of hops creates hints of apricot, peach, mango and lemon flavors, but still packs a bit of a sting, just like a Sculpin fish.
Ballast Point Sculpin IPA has an alcohol content of 7% by volume with 70 IBUs. I paid $7 for an 11-ounce draft pour and $6.99 for a 22-ounce bomber. You can get it in six-packs, too, for around $13.99 in my area. That’s high for a six-pack, although is still cheaper per ounce than the bombers.
Ballast Point Sculpin IPA pours to a bright orange color with a huge towering head of rocky white foam and a wonderfully inviting nose of fresh lemongrass, herbal tea and soft mango fruit. Taking a sip, the beer hits you fast with a big wave of caramel malt followed by some piney resin and a hint of tropical fruit, all followed by a very massive long lingering dry bitterness in the finish. To be honest, I think I like it better at 9 months than I did when it was fresh. It’s a very tasty beer indeed, with just a massive bitterness and waves of malt, and the bombers anyway are fairly priced.
Definitely a beer I will buy again, and though I may not rave as much as some do about it, I do really enjoy Ballast Point Sculpin IPA.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.