MetalNHopHead (2257) - Lincoln, Nebraska, USA - OCT 18, 2016
Habanero Sculpin, like the fish it’s named after, lies in wait for you. It relies on natural camouflage. While you do smell some habanero, the hops do what they do best and grapefruit, orange, and pine make up most of the aromatics. You’re tricked into thinking that this beer doesn’t have a lot of pepper. That it will only have a slight kick. You know you’re wrong as soon as it’s on your lips. It just continues from there. Heat on the tongue, roof of the mouth, and esophagus. It keeps going downward. This saga probably isn’t over. Tomorrow I’ll likely experience the burn in a far less entertaining way. While there’s a hint of the original hoppy Sculpin flavor, the whole thing is basically dominated by the intense pepper oils. Still, it’s impressive that this beer isn’t more punishing than it is. You’ll know it’s habanero, no doubt, but it’s doable. Pretty remarkable that the 4 variations of Sculpin I’ve tried have all been totally unique yet well-executed. I consider this an occasional novelty, yet it’s a very good one. Beachmaster (580) - Oklahoma, USA - MAY 27, 2017
Bottle into a tulip. Pours a clear light amber, with a medium white head that lasts. Good lacing. Nose is light malt and hop earthiness. Taste is typical IPA at first, and then the habanero kicks in, lasting through the long finish. Very nice dimeon (500) - Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA - OCT 29, 2017
A: Opaque yellow amber with a medium off-white head
N: Fruity sweetness. Granadilla. Vanilla. Banana. Peach. Paprika. Orange.
T: Wow! That is quite spicy. Peppers up front and plenty of heat. Peach. Apricot. Spicy complexity. Pineapple.
O: This one is pretty hot, which dulls the senses in picking out the many excellent little nuances the beer offers. Still a brilliant brew, however. papajohn (1340) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - JUN 16, 2011
UPDATED: JUN 17, 2011 On tap at BP Old Grove; Light amber/golden color with a medium white head. Aroma is citrusy and light pine. Flavor starts lightly fruity sweet followed by grapefruity hops and sharp habanero heat.The heat almost takes over the beer, but is an interesting twist if you like hot peppers. Medium bodied and smooth with some long lingering habernaro heat. I would like to see a little more balance between the habanero heat and the citrus bitterness, but still I liked it. SDalkoholic (2444) - Linda Vista, California, USA - JAN 13, 2012
On cask @ O’Brian’s: Poured a different color than I remember from the regular sculpin and appeared as a lighter golden blonde. Tiny formation of head which eventually fizzed out leaving the liquid naked. The aroma is not as easy for me to smell due to the food and atmosphere here at O’Brien’s but it does smell very similar to the original recipe. As for the drink, the taste is full of pine and citrus fashioned hops while a heavy spice flavor coats the back of my throat. The habanero is so apparent that lips begin to burn and even a bit of irritation in my stomach as if I ate a spicy dish of Thai or Indian curry. This has to be the strongest chili peppered beer I’ve come across.
weezfest (1) - poway, - JUN 24, 2012 does not count
A good hoppy california ipa. Tastes good, looks like an ipa should. Ballast point knows what they are doing. reggiedunlop (3726) - The dub c, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 7, 2012
Looks just like the regular sculpin...retention and lacing arent quite as good. Aroma is also the same but has just a touch of vegetal pepper. Flavor is sculpin all the way with peppery heat in the end that burns pleasantly for some time. Mouthfeel is medium and the finish is dry and peppery hot. thome50 (1295) - Morro Bay via Orange County, California, USA - DEC 19, 2012
This beer has eluded me for YEARS. I’ve heard it on tap at no less than 5 beer/pizza bars in the last 7 years and NEVER have I gotten to try it until tonight. Ballast Point tap take over at Bru! Pours a clear golden with light white foam in a 3oz tater. Aroma is IPA with very minimal pepper odor. Taste, holy CRAP this is habanero fruit! The chilli fruit is there right away and then the regular floral, citrus and slight pine comes in to showcase the sculpin. The habanero heat doesn’t really come into play until the beer goes down you throat where it is a nice heat. Overall, radtastic pepper beer that I’d totally drink a pint of. Indeed jalapeno probably still beats it out but that was with fresh peppers. Still, love this! radagast83 (8624) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - JAN 26, 2013
Draft for a very short time at the Whole Foods Fair Lakes in Virginia - I’ve been told this was the only keg in the state. Poured a slightly hazy golden color with a small white head, just like the regular Sculpin. Aroma was citrus, some light biscuit malt notes, no pepper spice notes to speak of. However, the flavor is something else, the flavor is some citrus hops, but with a ton of lasting heat backing, not too burning, but a pleasant, lasting heat that packs a slightly mean punch. DocJitsu (2059) - Pensacola, Florida, USA - MAR 30, 2013
Pours a crystal clear, classic golden color with a pure white head. Wet and slick mouthfeel with a burn one would expect from a habanero brew. Plastic and fresh chili pepper flavors get expressed overtly. Fantastically refreshing. Enlivening without being brutal.