Daily Drop No. 24 – Ballast Point Brewing Co.’s Sculpin IPA

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Today on the Daily Drop I’m tasting Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. This critically acclaimed IPA is a gold medal winner that is named after a tasty fish whose sharp spines can inflict a painful sting which can scarcely be relieved. I’m not sure if they’re implying this ale cannot be sessioned without serious repercussions, but I think some research is in order. Let’s check it out!

Appearance

A slightly orange-ish golden ale, with a creamy white head and lively bubbles. Excellent head retention.

Aroma

There is a massively wide profile of pine and citrus on the nose. This fades into a very smooth raspberry-hinted mild malt body.

Mouth feel

Smooth draw into a slight bite from the bubbles, strong bitter hop acidity with clean creamy feeling on the tongue. Finishes a hint on the sweet side.

Flavour

The initial hop bitterness is very powerful, especially with lemon and citrus, and then there’s a handover to the slightly sweet malt flavour. With a quick hello from the sweet malts, the hops are back with a very dynamic floral and mango combination which slowly fades into the slightly sweet finish, and resolves on a pine and citrus aftertaste.

Overall – Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

This beer is sensational, and is a very well made beer. It has an incredible combination of flavours which come from the expertly refined hop schedule in which Ballast Point delivers 5 hop additions from boil to bottle (or can or keg). It’s remarkable floral arrangement leaves a flavour of lilies in the back of the mouth which is also detected in the aroma before swallowing. Very impressive, and highly drinkable and sessionable.

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

Brewing thoughts

A big grain bill of mostly 2 row pale malt, some Caramalt, and maybe some pilsner or victory. The hop schedule is going to be intense, and I reckon it begins with Warrior and has a wide array of floral and tropical hops to provide such a bold ​yet refined flavour.

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Have you speared a sculpin in Southern California? What about brewing a rich-flavoured IPA? Or maybe you’ve found your all-time favourite beer? If you’ve got something brewing in your head, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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