Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

Gold Medalist in the World Beer Cup in 2010, ratings of 100 and 98 on Ratebeer.com and Beeradvocate.com caused me to think I really should try this beer. I have to admit I’m not crazy about the name. A Sculpin is a kind of fish that has poisonous spikes that give a strong sting…kind of like the bite of hops in a hoppy IPA. That makes a certain amount of sense, but I’m not sure it makes me think beer. Anyway, to the beer. It poured a nice darkish golden color with a medium sized white head that dissipated fairly quick. The aroma was strongly floral, slightly piney, as I would expect. There was a certain amount of malt that fought back the hops from being totally overpowering. This gave the beer a nice balanced smoothness that is sometimes missing from the punishingly hopped west coast IPAs. The alcohol was still relatively mild for an IPA at 7%. I would rate this one 5 out of 5 proper pints. I would have this almost anytime. I happened to have it with a curry chicken and it complimented the spice nicely without either flavor overcoming the other.

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