Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

Brewery: Ballast Point brewing Companu
Location: San Diego, CA
Style: IPA
Brewery Website
Rating: A+

For today's tasting I am finally getting to review a beer that I have been trying to track down for a very long time, the Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. The Sculpin has been the top-rated IPA on BeerAdvocate for a long while now, and I was finally able to track down a bomber at one of the many stores I frequent. The Sculpin pours up a deep-gold color with a hint of amber, with a sticky, off-white, large-bubbled head. The nose is just loaded with fruit. There are citrus notes of grapefruit and lemonade, along with notes of peaches and apricot. This is truly one of the most amazing beers I have ever smelled.

The first sip of the Sculpin is like taking a swig of grapefruit juice. The initial impression is juicy fruitiness with a bit of an acid bite. There is a wealth of hoppy fruitiness here. There is a tart orange juice note, along with hints of stone fruit and berries. A hint of sweetness provides some balance and fills out the fruit flavor nicely. There is only a moderate level of bitterness here for such a highly hopped IPA, which fades to reveal pretzel and pasta dough malt notes tucked in the background. The Ballast Point Sculpin is medium-bodies with a bit of fizzy carbonation. The finish sees lingering tart citrus notes fading to an herbal/bitter hop finish.

The Ballast Point Sculpin IPA is by far the fruitiest IPA I've ever tasted. There is a nice tartness here that only serves to accentuate the fruit even more. In addition, there is just a hint of residual sweetness that fills out the fruitiness. It's easy to see how the Sculpin IPA has garnered such acclaim, as this is truly a one-of-a-kind beer. The juicy hops fruitiness may be an acquired taste for some, but there is no denying that this is truly a special beer that belongs on every beer lover's bucket list.

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