Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Co.
Size: 22 oz bottle
A few months ago, my buddy Lyell recommended this California IPA from Ballast Point. It’s taken me this long to track one down, but I stumbled upon a cache of it at Petaluma Market tonight. Was Sculpin worth the wait, or will I get stung by this wriggly muddler?
Sculpin pours glowing amber with an ample head that flattens around the edges, leaving a snowy mound behind. Paints petroglyphs of deep-sea denizens imagined in your strangest dreaming upon the walls of the glass. Bright on the nose: grass and piney hops, with a strong suggestion of brown sugar. Very light on the tongue; sparkling carbonation. Sweet as promised: Fresh piney hops and a suggestion of citrus, but none of the top-of-palate hop bomb bitterness I typically associate with SoCal IPAs. Finishes clean, with a slight lingering bitterness in the throat. Each sip invites the next.
With a drinkability and subtleness that you’d expect from a gold medal winning IPA, Sculpin provides an enjoyable and refreshing experience, but ultimately lacks bite. That said, the easy drinkability of Sculpin conceals a potent 7% ABV, so imbibers would be forewarned to steer clear of the spines.