Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin

A friend included this bottle of Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin as part of a Christmas goodie bag. I've been anxiously waiting for the chance to try it out. One of the benefits of a "staycation," besides not shaving everyday, is having the chance to relax with some good beer. I grabbed the bottle to try out before dinner one evening.

Habanero Sculpin has an aroma of fruit and citrus, with only a faint note of habanero. I was concerned as I had been told the heat level is variable. Would this bottle live up to the name? I need not have worried. The initial flavor is that of a nice, citrusy IPA, and then it hits — Habanero alert! The pepper heat comes in strong and unmistakable. It's exactly what one would experience from fresh habaneros. But it's a tasty, not destructive flavor. Interestingly, the heat does not linger long. After a minute or two, the habanero heat diminishes leaving the palate is ready for another sip.

I'm a fan of spicy food. If the top of my head doesn't sweat just a bit, I don't consider the food to be spicy. While I didn't break out in a sweat from the beer, I did get the impression of eating a habanero-laced dish. It was just a couple weeks ago I enjoyed another habanero-enhanced beer, Starr Hill Mango Genius. That beer had a more subtle heat, and was a perfect accompaniment to a spicy food dish. I enjoyed the Habanero Sculpin on it's own, and I think I prefer it that way. It's a novelty beer, and probably not one I'd drink several of in a sitting. That said, it's quite flavorful and enjoyable. I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a six pack if I see it in the store in the future.


  1. This idea seems to be spreading. I’ve been a fan of the Cave Creek Chili beer and a couple years ago I tripped over a recipe for a JalapeƱo / raspberry brew so I tried it.
    I would not have sought out raspberry for a beer, but this turned out really great. As you know, ales should be served a little warmer than lagers or rather not super cold.

    However, if you chill the pepper beer more than normal, the heat of the pepper is more pronounced.

    1. Cant say that I would have gone for the raspberry either -- but guess it's good you took a chance!


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