Friday, April 19, 2013

Ballast Point Brewing Company - Sculpin IPA

Nothing fishy here.
Holy moly, I drank a truckload of beer during my week long vacation in beautiful Southern California. San Diego is a helluva beer destination, but not as good as my hometown of Portland, OR, of course. (Oh, no, he didn't!)

Don't get me wrong, there's a ton of amazing craft beers to be had in San Diego, but you have to do quite a bit of traveling by car to get to their source. In Portland, you can easily visit a dozen breweries and brew pubs in one day--on the city bus. You can randomly throw a rock and hit a brewery in Stumptown. Also, beer prices are generally lower in Portland and we don't pay sales tax.

What I did find in San Diego is that just about every mom and pop corner liquor store has a MASSIVE selection of craft beer bombers and six packs for the pickin'. Expensive, but it's easy to find anything you're looking for. Also, the IPA's brewed in San Diego are the best kind of ridiculous.

My favorite San Diego IPA has got to be Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. Based on conversations I had with a few local beer drinkers, this beer is legendary among San Diego beergeeks, and for good reason. It's practically flawless.

The beer poured into my rented mug a clear, golden orange color. The creamy head rose up to almost a full two fingers and dissipated slowly. A good amount of lacing was left behind. I feel bad that I didn't have an appropriate drinking vessel to showcase that beautiful head. It would look grand in a chalice or an imperial pint glass.

Aroma was citrus hops and tropical fruit. Orange, pineapple and tangerine. A little bit of pine and some sweet malt in the background.

Taste is big bitter grapefruit right up front. Flavors of pineapple, orange and mango. There is a sweet, bready malt taste but it is very well balanced by the hops bitterness. Nice spiciness in the finish.

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Slightly dry finish with a spicy zing left on the palate. 7% ABV but no noticeable booziness. It's an easy drinker and I was wishing I had another bomber of the stuff after I quickly finished it off. 

Sculpin IPA gets a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4.

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