Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1312) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 24, 2015
Most West Coast IPAs tend to have a natural citrusy aroma and taste due to the hops used in the brew. Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA has been roundly regarded as one of the better examples of the style, so it’s not surprising they would make a variation where grapefruit is added to the brew. Whether it’s whole fruit, just the peel or some kind of flavoring extract I’m not sure. Regardless, it’s still an excellent IPA with the grapefruit being a nice addition at the end.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 2/26/15 and cost $3.85 ($0.32 per ounce).

Appearance: Pretty shade of golden/orange with a mostly clear body. Pours to a large, off-white, frothy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Clean, bright citrusy hops; though I don’t detect the grapefruit distinctly.

Taste: I was expecting this beer to be all grapefruit all the time, but it’s actually quite similar to the regular base brew. In fact, it is just the base brew with “natural grapefruit flavors.” I could essentially copy and paste my description of the original, but I’m not that lazy. Anyway, it’s definitely a hop-forward beer to say the least. Intense dry bitterness right away with a citrusy flavor. It’s closer to pith than actual fruit as it’s not moist and juicy, but rather arid and astringent. The grapefruit flavor doesn’t emerge until the beer begins to go down and it’s closer to pink lemonade with a sharp tartness. I enjoyed it, but I wanted more and something more authentic-tasting (this has a candy flavor). The malt base is solid and supports the palette well, though it’s not sweet or malty per se. Definitely a tasty, enjoyable IPA with a lot of bite – if that’s your thing you’ll enjoy this.

Drinkability: At 7% ABV, Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin is a strong beer in more ways than one. Though not thick and sticky, it’s bigger than just medium-bodied as the flavor is strong from beginning to end. It’s also remarkably crisp while in the mouth and smooth going down. 
Grade: 9/10

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