Ballast Point Brewing, Sculpin IPA

Grade: A
Ballast Point Brewing Co.

The hops are much more light and fruity in this beer than other IPAs I've had. The overall impressions I get are light, floral, fruity, tropical, and in general, delicious. Don't think for a second this means the beer is weak in the hop department. It's a hop-heads delight, showcasing just how expertly the Ballast Point brewers handle their ingredients. I also like that this beer is just a normal IPA at 7% ABV, despite it being a very limited release. It's not imperial, or double, or oak aged, or spiced with some exotic kind of bean that only grows on one mountainside in China. This is simply an expertly crafted, easy drinking, hop-delivery-vehicle that will satisfy even the most discriminating hop-aficionado.

An off-white head leaps up from the glass as this crystal clear, light golden straw beer is poured. Pine, citrus, peach and tropical fruit are in the aroma. If there is malt character in the nose, I can't smell it. The hops are forward and assertive, and downright dank. The flavor bursts with hops in every way. The bright citrus and peach flavors come through immediately, followed closely with the pine and resin. The bitterness is solid, with a slight drying effect on the late palate. The flavors in this beer scream of tropical citrus and fruit, without any impression of sweetness at all. The hops themselves are providing the profile of this beer, with the malts playing a very muted, but supporting role. There is a lingering impression of bitterness and peach in the aftertaste, with a bone dry finish. I want to drink this beer til I fall over.