I watched as the last six-pack was carried up to the register at Consumer’s Beverages on Clinton today. But of course I always think there must be more “in the back” and in this case (no pun intended) I was correct. Upon inquiry it was discovered that another case remained on the floor in the cooler.
I was informed that three cases of Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin were sold in about two hours. Now, beer geeks know that really isn’t any kind of incredible selling pace compared to other rare allocations. But the buzz was significant enough that I figured I better try it out.
I’ve had a bunch of the Sculpin variants to know what to expect from this beer, including Habanero and the ever-so-popular Grapefruit. It’s been almost a year since my review of Grapefruit Sculpin. I still assert that Grapefruit Sculpin was one of the best beers of 2015 that I reviewed. I drank so much of that just barely overpriced beer that I became tired of it after, err… a few months. But the quality of that beer definitely affected my purchasing decision of Pineapple Sculpin.
So how does Pineapple Sculpin measure up? Pineapple Sculpin is very closely matched to it’s citrus cousin but less flavored. Let’s talk a closer look. My beer has a stamp date of “16046” which translates to February 14, 2016. Pretty fresh.
This 70 IBU and 7% ABV sweet treat contains a very similar body (not surprisingly) to Grapefruit. There is a nice firm malt body to match the heavy hop additions. The aroma most certainly contains pineapple, but I was expecting more. The taste is more of the same: hops and then the pineapple hits you toward the back of the taste. To be frank, I get more pineapple on the burp than I do on the taste. Which is actually quite pleasant.
So what this beer is really about is the brilliant marketing strategy called curiosity. “How much pineapple is in there?” “Can I taste the pineapple?” “Does pineapple really work in a beer?” I’ll posit that the answer to those questions is some, not really, and yes, respectively.
One aspect remains constant across these Sculpin variants. Drinkability. One of the allures of Grapefruit Sculpin was that by the time your brain reconciled the fact that there is grapefruit in the beer, the beer was gone. More of the same here with the pineapple. “Is there pineapple in there? I better have another one to find out.”
Very drinkable beer with some added fruit (extract?). The label claims “India Pale Ale with natural pineapple flavor.” What the hell does “natural pineapple flavor” mean? Actual pineapple rind? Pineapple extract? Juice? I don’t know.
In summary, if you’ve had Grapefruit Sculpin you might claim this beer is “more of the same”. I feel that the pineapple flavor is much less pronounced than the grapefruit flavor. I’m also willing to bet the Pineapple Sculpin in cans will be pretty good on a summer day chilling on the patio.
But then again, the Grapefruit Sculpin will still be great as well. Grapefruit > Pineapple.