Monday, August 8, 2011

Ballast Point Sculpin IPA


This is another West Coast double IPA I've been hearing great things about for a long time. I actually saw this in NYC when I was there in April but forgot to pick it up. Oh well, it doesn't matter since we finally get Ballast Point in Albany now. Not their entire line, just some of their better sellers. Also, as promised in my last vlog we have a new guest reviewer - Shaun - who is a mutual friend of Henry and I. Shaun is a burgeoning homebrewer, but a craft beer lover who's a regular at Mahar's as well. Oh, he's also a lawyer - let's see if he can argue how good this beer REALLY is!


4.1
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (643) - Albany, USA - AUG 4, 2011
I split a 22oz bomber with a friend and poured it into an English nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Bright, slightly hazy apricot or banana skin hue. Some carbonation visible. Forms an average size, eggshell colored frothy head. Excellent retention and lacing.

Smell: A clean, bright, strong aroma of citrus fruits, tropical juice and flowers.

Taste: If I was a little less ethical I’d copy and paste my description of Stone’s Ruination IPA because that beer and the Sculpin IPA are extremely similar in their taste. It begins with a sharp, dry bitterness quickly followed by a sweet, rich and refreshing juice-like taste. Just like the nose, tropical fruits and citrus create for a mélange of acidic tartness and juicy sweetness. Orange and an orange sherbet-like flavor are very prominent throughout the palate. The beer finishes with an even strong burst of dry bitterness than it begins with. This is easily tolerable, but the intensity does wear down the palate a bit.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with plenty of hop energy. More tepid than carbonated.

Drinkability: What prevents Sculpin IPA from being a perfect beer, in my mind, is the fact it’s a challenge to drink. The massive hops create for plenty of flavor, but they also account for a sharp bitterness and an aftertaste that grows a little more dry and cloying with each sip. There’s a lot of energy and weight to this beer considering it’s only 7% ABV. Ideally, a great beer to have with food, although one serving in and of itself is more than satisfying.

Overall, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA is a embodies the West Coast double IPA style and reminds me why I dig beers like this so much.

Grade: 9/10