Pineapple Sculpin – Ballast Point Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA, USA)


TL:DR – “Super smooth balanced tropical IPA, go get it.”


Pineapple Sculpin – Ballast Point Brewing Company, 7.0% ABV, 12 fl. oz., (San Diego, California, USA)


  • Style: (flavoured – pineapple) India Pale Ale
  • Taste: sweet grainy barley malt fruity apricot-pineapple subtle dry grassy bitter hop
  • Where I got it : Cost Plus World Market / The Grove, LA
  • How much: $2.45 USD / $3.19 CAD – 12 fl.oz., March 2018
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: Yes
  • Recommended: Yes
  • What made an impression: extremely easy drinkability, clean flavour

Visual: Pours translucent deep orange with a smallish 3mm head, a thin layer of fine retention, loose clusters of steady micro streams.

Nose: rich light green hoppy-honey barley malt, hints of pineapple. (lvl-7)-pungency.

Attack: creamy-silky-crisp

Mid-palate: fruity apricot, smooth (lvl-5)-sweetness barley malt, subtle dry grassy bitter hops

Finish: grainy barley malt, subtle pineapple exhale, hints of lemon.

Summary: super smooth, virtually zero alcohol detection, masterfully crafted.

Victory at Sea – Ballast Point Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA, USA)

Victory at Sea (Porter with coffee & vanilla, Imperial Porter) – Ballast Point Brewing Company, 10.0% ABV, 22 fl.oz., (San Diego, California, USA)


on the front-right label:

“Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with vanilla and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and the minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee balanced perfectly with sweet caramel undertones of the malt, a winning combination for your palate.”

(right)


  • Style: (flavoured – vanilla, coffee bean) Imperial Porter
  • Taste: Smooth roasted coffee malt subdued alcohol-acidity integrated vanilla
  • Where I got it : Sherbrooke / Edmonton
  • How much: $13 CAD (after 10% off) – 22 fl.oz., March 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes!

Visual: (cellared for 0.5 years). Pours beer bottle brown without much of a head, half layer of lasting retention, micro streams surfacing,

Nose: sweet roasted barley malt, vanilla, roasted coffee bean, caramel brown sugar malt. Can’t get much better than this. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: mild slick/thicker-soft crisp, roast malt impression

Mid-palate: subdued zingy alcohol, soft background sourness, (lvl-7-sweetness), roasted coffee, caramel roast barley malt

Finish: vanilla, residual sweet malt, roasted coffee malt exhale, alcohol hit, roasted bitter hops

Summary: What on earth?! Impossibly smooth and very drinkable for a 10%. It does get somewhat heavy 2/3 through, but I appreciate the robust roasted coffee malt profile and integrated vanilla that makes each sip a delight. Excellent quality, wishing for more creamy milkiness to make it truly phenomenal.

Grapefruit Sculpin – Ballast Point Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA, USA)

Grapefruit Sculpin – Ballast Point Brewing Company, 7.0% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (San Diego, California, USA)


printed on the side of the can:

“Our Grapefruit Sculpin is the latest take on our signature IPA. Some may say there are few ways to improve Sculpin’s unique flavor, but the tart freshness of grapefruit perfectly complements our IPA’s citrusy hop character. Grapefruit’s a winter fruit, but this easy-drinking ale tastes like summer.”


  • Style: (flavoured – grapefruit) IPA
  • Taste: Supremely smooth bitter grapefruit toffee biscuit malt lengthy bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Trader Joe’s / Seattle
  • How much: $14.79 USD / $19.10 CAD – 6×12 fl.oz., October 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). 12 oz. can. Pours translucent bright orange with a slowly dissipating foamy head, sticky lacing, 5mm fine foamy retention, very tight clustered micro streams.

Nose: sweet toffee’d biscuity malts, citrus undertones (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: creamy-smooth, sharp crisp bite, tangy bitter malt impression

Mid-palate: background tangy, very smooth transition, (lvl-3-sweetness), grapefruity toasted biscuity malt

Finish: grainy bitter grapefruit hops, lingering long soft bitterness

Summary: Incredible smoothness from start to finish. Lots of flavour, body, balance, and drinkability for a 7% bitter bomb.

Even Keel Session IPA – Ballast Point Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA, USA)

Even Keel Session IPA – Ballast Point Brewing Company, 3.8% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (San Diego, California, USA)


  • Style: India Session Ale / ISA
  • Taste: Super sessionable light-full smooth tangerine tangy resin barley malt soft bitter hops
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $3.40 (after 5% off) – 12 fl.oz., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: Pours golden copper orange without much of a head, a very thin fine hazy layer of retention, suspended nano-sediment, lots of slow singular streams.

Nose: hints of tangerine-mango hopped barley malt. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: full smooth CO2 mouthfeel, crisp bite

Mid-palate: (lvl-3)-sweetness, tangerine-orange, metallic-resiny barley malt

Finish: residual tangy-tingly, grapefruit exhale, soft bittersweet hops

Summary: Smooth, fine, and full mouthfeel accompanied by a good malt backbone and vibrant citrus hops – another great quality brew along the lines of their Sculpin. Only just a touch of thinness but actually quite nice for only 3.8%.

Longfin Lager – Ballast Point Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA, USA)

Longfin Lager- Ballast Point Brewing Company, 4.5% ABV, 12 fl.oz., (San Diego, California, USA)


  • Style: Helles Lager
  • Taste: Crystal clean sweet lager barley malt slight tang
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $3.40 (after 5% off) – 12 fl.oz., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah

Visual: Pours light golden straw yellow with a small dissipating head, a thin layer of retention, singular steady streams.

Nose: soft farty, sweet lager malt. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: crisp, smooth tingly/light fizzy CO2

Mid-palate: (lvl-4-sweetness), crystal clean sweet lagered barley malt, soft bready, background subtle citrus

Finish: lingering sweet barley, subtle hops

Summary: Clean, sweet and straightforward with a pretty good crisp mouthfeel. Okay body but I guess this as good as a lager can get. Good quality, but not really memorable. It’d be nice with a meal.

Sculpin IPA – Ballast Point Brewing (San Diego, CA, USA)

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Sculpin IPA – Ballast Point Brewing, 7.0% ABV, 1 pt 6 fl.oz., (San Diego, California, USA)

on the front-right label:

“A trophy beer that’s a testament to our homebrew roots. Our Sculpin IPA is a great example of what got us into brewing in the first place. After years of experimenting, we know hopping an ale at five different stages would produce something special. The result ended up being this gold medal-winning IPA, whose inspired use of hops creates hints of apricot, peach, mango and lemon flavours, but still packs a bit of sting. Just like a Sculpin. ”

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  • Style: India Pale Ale
  • Taste: Whipped creamy smooth fruity mango-apricot toffee malts soft hopped bitter zen
  • Where I got it : gift from a relative in San Diego
  • How much: ~$8 USD – 1 pt. 6 fl.oz., Summer 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: 100%

Visual: Pours cloudy apricot orange with a large long-lasting very-foamy head with sticky lacing and good retention, scattered steady singular streams.

Nose: faint orange-mango, mild fishiness (coincidentally?!) (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: whipped cream smooth silky mouthfeel, fluffy bite, lemon oils

Mid-palate: fruit-forward, (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) mango-apricot, toffee malts

Finish: clean transition, soft & gentle bitter hopped finish.

Summary: Complete balance and supreme clean flavours, even the finish where IPAs generally leave a sharp lingering bitterness, this does not. Absolutely fantastic and I’m not that much of a hophead. Pretty outworldly, much like the 90-minute IIPA I had from Dogfish Head at VCBW (Vancouver Craft Beer Week)