I don’t know about any of you, but I’m feeling pretty jealous of Josh and his Hawaiian vacation. Beyond being my happy place, Hawaii has some great local beer. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a great week and the weather today is amazing, but I’m sure it’s balls compared to sandy beaches and cold Kona brews.
As some small measure of Pacific Ocean consolation, I’ve decided to review San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewery’s Sculpin IPA. I’ve learned this brewery is a bit of a West Coast cult favorite, and while I’ve favorably reviewed their Big Eye IPA before, I’ve never before been able to score a Sculpin.
This brew pours out a golden and slightly cloudy yellow, looking a bit like an unfiltered pilsner than IPA. I got a mix of fruity notes on the aroma, settling somewhere between apricots and oranges, with just a touch of stanky hops – my kind of IPA.
Tastewise, this is one of the better IPAs I can think of, and it’s got tons of flavor, starting with piney hops up front. The fruity aroma comes in through the middle, with lots of citrus and tropical tastes. Hard to say what the dominant fruit is here, maybe grapefruit? Regardless, Sculpin returns to its hoppy roots toward the end, with a stanky/resin hops end note that fades into a bitter mouthfeel that lingers until the next sip.
Ballast Point names their brews after local fish, and apparently the Sculpin is known for both it’s dangerous fin spikes and incredibly tasty meat. With just a 7% ABV, I’m not sure this brew is as dangerous as the fish, but I’ll definitely give it props for taste. Make sure to grab one of these brews whenever you can – I know I will!