Pineapple Sculpin IPA? Get out of here! Loving pineapple as much as I do, I was very excited to hear about this beer, and happier still when my good buddy Ross mentioned he had snagged me a six-pack in a small store near his home. I hadn’t seen it in my beer travels at that point. I love that Ballast Point messes around with different variants on Sculpin (like Grapefruit Sculpin and Habanero Sculpin). Really, though, beer geeks, calm down because this has been done before.
Yessiree Bob, way back in 2014 Samuel Adams released Longshot Pineapple IPA, a homebrew gone famous by Teresa Bury. That beer wasn’t all that different from Sculpin IPA, though it wasn’t brewed with the new-fangled fruit loopy hops that Sculpin Pineapple was. I think I like the Sculpin a little more, but only a little. I consider them both fruit beers rather than IPAs since the pineapple sang to me more than the hops did. What your hops don’t sing? Mine do.
From the brewery website:
Our Pineapple Sculpin IPA came from one of many small-batch cask experiments to enhance the flavor of our signature IPA. With so many tropical hop notes in Sculpin, how could we not try adding some sweet, juicy pineapple? The combination of fruity flavors and hop intensity definitely packs a punch.
Ballast Point Sculpin IPA has an alcohol content of 7% with 70 IBUS. The kicker is that its ridiculously expensive, $15.99 a six-pack at Total Wine here in Georgia.
Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin IPA pours to a bright pale golden color with a thick pillowy head of foam and a robust nose of pineapple fruit. Taking a sip, the beer has a light faint caramel maltiness up front followed by more pineapple but perhaps some passion fruit from the hops and a bit of resiny pine, too. There’s a gentle grassiness and medium bitterness to wrap it all up, but to my taste the pineapple fruit is the signature element here, with the sweetness balanced off but the bitter hops. Then too, the fruit sweetness balanced the hops to a degree, too.
Hey, this isn’t a bad beer at all, in fact I really enjoy it. Funny thing is, though, that it’s not all that different than the aforementioned Longshot Pineapple IPA, with perhaps a bit more hoppiness and pineapple flavor. Hop on over to Ratebeer though, and you’ll see that Pineapple Sculpin gets 97 for style and 97 overall; the Samuel Adams beer gets 12 for style and 40 overall. The two beers are not that far apart, and this is why I have no use for beer geek sites like Ratebeer.
Would I buy the Pineapple Sculpin again? Not in six-packs at the crazy price, but yes in growlers and on tap where it is closer to average in price.
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.