Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin

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(Hmmm. Sculpin. Ballast Point Sculpin. Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin.) 

When I was a kid my parents took us on a trip to New England and I caught a Sea Robin off the coast of Maine. The ugliest fish I have ever caught, it made gurgling noises until I threw it back. Sea Robins are in the same group of fish as Sculpins; Glamour Shots would not be able to fix up that family photo. Maybe someone at Ballast Point has a soft spot for Sculpins and wants to change their perception by naming a great beer after them.
But I digress. The rise of Citra as a flavoring hop in West Coast style IPA’s has resulted in a number of fine beers with prominent citrus notes. Ballast Point, in their lineup of very well-made beers, decided that they would see that bet and raise it a grapefruit! Check out Jim’s review of the standard Sculpin IPA from May for information on the brewery. I have tried the regular Sculpin and,well, how does this entry stack up?

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA Review

ABV: 7.0%

IBU’s: 70

Method of Pour: 12 oz. bottle into shaker pint

Color: Same orange IPA hues but not as clear. The head was not as robust as the regular Sculpin and only retained a slight surface foam after dissipating. Foam did not lace my glass.

Nose: If you have read some of my prior reviews you know that I pour them straight out of the fridge and let the beer come up to serving temp in the glass. When first poured the first aromas are hops, pine scented Northwest varieties, then a hint of the grapefruit. As it warms the malt aromas come through.

Palate: The piney nose follows into your mouth but are quickly matched by the malts. The finish is long and firm but not sticky. Where is the grapefruit you ask? It is there, on the sides, supported by the smell of the fruit. But, honestly I didn’t get a lot of it until some of the carbonation came back in the other direction.

Bottom Line: Don’t get me wrong, this is a good, well-made beer but if you were expecting a grapefruit shandy this is not it. The original IPA offers up enough legitimate citrus notes that the actual addition of grapefruit does not seem necessary. It will be interesting to see where the Habenero Sculpin fits in but it has been tougher to find in these parts.

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