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Beer Review: Grapefruit Sculpin

Ballast Point Sculpin and Big Eye IPA have been long-time favorites of mine for some time.  These are solid IPAs that you can always go to and expect a great beer.  I heard about a hard-to-find variety called Grapefruit Sculpin.  I missed a keg of Grapefruit Sculpin on tap at The Moor Pat by one day.  The keg was drained in mere hours.  But the timing was right for me to finally have a meeting with this beer at the local Consumer’s Beverage beer store yesterday.  One 6-pack of Grapefruit Sculpin was “in the back” and after some gentle prodding and employee infighting I managed to finagle this beer into my possession.  I then went to another location today where I grabbed another two 6-packs directly off the shelf.  Now, with 18 beers, I began to question my purchases and wondered if Grapefruit Sculpin would indeed live up to the hype.

The citrus treasure known as Grapefruit Sculpin does indeed lives up to the hype.

Here’s a fact that surprised me.  Did you know that in addition to beer that Ballast Point makes liquor?  In fact, a lot of their spirits have won awards.  Ballast Point makes Three Sheets rum, Fugu vodka, Old Grove gin, and Devil’s Share whiskey, to name a few.  Here is a picture of their newest addition, Opah, a herbal liqueur.

Ballast Point is located in San Diego, California.  Did you notice the fishing theme?  And Ballast Point even has their own fishing team!  Here are some pictures of their fishing team and tasting room.

But let’s get back to the one fish I really enjoyed, the Grapefruit Sculpin.  Here is a picture of my beer.

Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits Company: Grapefruit Sculpin
ABV: 7.0%
Style: American IPA
Rating: #18 in style and #244 in top 250 overall

Grapefruit Sculpin pours a clear amber with a modest head.  The smell is certainly citrus up front but not overwhelmingly so.  The taste of Grapefruit Sculpin is really quite amazing, as the hops fight with the citrus for dominance on the palate.  And they both somehow win.  The taste of Grapefruit Sculpin is grapefruit, lemon, and orange at first, and then progresses into the hops you have come to expect from a Sculpin IPA.  The mouthfeel is light with appropriate carbonation.

Oh yeah, and Grapefruit Sculpin is 7.0% ABV.  But because of the citrus, it’s impossible to have just one.  You want more because the citrus makes Grapefruit Sculpin just so interesting.  Not complex, mind you.  Just amazingly interesting (there’s a joke about a girl I used to know in there somewhere).  Grapefruit Sculpin is different but not overly experimental (see above parenthesis).  The flavors are bold but not overpowering.  Grapefruit Sculpin is a well-crafted balance between hops and front-flavor citrus.

I could imagine drinking Grapefruit Sculpin in my basement in the winter, or on a patio deck in the summer.

NOTE: This beer will be on tap as part of the The Moor Pat Tidal Wave this Wednesday 3/4/15 along with many other Ballast Point beers including Ginger Big Eye IPA, Habanero Sculpin and Victory at Sea Imperial Porter.  If you can’t make this event, grab a 6-pack of Grapefruit Sculpin when you can.

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