Saturday, December 20, 2008


I had the latest Sculpin release last night. I was waiting to share this with a friend, but its hard to keep a fresh Sculpin in the fridge. (I still have one more to share, so I was not that much of a Scrooge this Holiday season.) It was great, of course, but I still don't think it matches the first release of the year last spring. What made that release so memorable was its smell. Pouring a glass would fill the air with the smell of hops. The last two releases did not seem to have the powerful aroma of the first release this year.

The Sulpin has a marvelous floral hop flavor. But many IPAs have tremendous hops. What, to me, makes Sculpin great is its drinkability, which is due to its balance. It has to be one of the most balanced IPAs I have had. Without its balance, Sculpin's great hop flavor would overwhelm the taste buds and render it too bitter. The offsetting malt allows the hops to shine. It is a tribute to Ballast Point that it could pull off this masterpiece.


Steve said...

I wonder if after the first batch they decided to back off the hops a bit to see if they could still produce the same or close aroma/flavor while saving a bit of money. Just a thought. It's a solid, very good beer but the way you and other people describe that first batch really makes my mouth water.

Rational Realist said...

You have a good point on backing off the hops, especially at today's prices. I also thought that maybe my memory is making the hop smell greater than it was, but I had four or five of the bombers and I clearly remember the aroma. Still, beggars can't be choosers and I'll take Sculpin any time because the taste does not seem to have been compromised. It sure has gotten expensive, though.