As the warmer weather approaches, it’s time for me to push the Stouts and Porters to the back of my fridge and bring the lighter, hoppier beers to the front of the pack. A lot of people have several different opinions on fruity beers, but to me, if it’s done well, I’ll drink it all day. Such is the case for most of the beer that Ballast Point is producing. Everything I’ve had has never been over flavored or too artificial tasting and I can appreciate that. Recently I picked up a six-pack of their Grapefruit Sculpin to see what all the
fuss was about. I’ve had the original
Sculpin, which is a fantastic beer, but the addition of the grapefruit just sends this one over the top for me. Here are
my thoughts:
So, I bought this one in a bottle just so I could have more empty bottles for home brewing, but I’m sure that the flavor is much better and probably more intense from the can; either way, it was bottled a little over three weeks ago so we’re in peak drinking time. I poured the bottle into a generic pint glass and saw a nice two finger width head of solid white foam rise to the top of the glass; a small bit of retention on the side of the glass and the foam recedes somewhat quickly. After the foam cleared out, a small film of splotchy head was left on the glass that looked like generic images of the surface of the moon. Before bringing the beer to my nose, I could already smell the beer as it sat on my kitchen counter. Further inspection found a ton of grapefruit notes backed up by some breadlike malt pretty common for Ballast Point and most of their beers. The aroma was definitely sharp, crisp, and clean. This is a summer beer at its finest.
The nose leads right into the flavor, because you get hit in the face with a ton of grapefruit in the first part of each sip. Up front you immediately get some hop bitterness attributed by what seems like Simcoe and Amarillo hops, which give off a bit of a tropical citrus flavor and one that is very prominent in the beer. As you progress through the beer, you can pick up on the sweeter malt backbone that supports a full range of grapefruit flavors from the meat to the zest. As each sip finished, I could feel my mouth start to water and couldn’t help but go back for more. I will say, as the beer warmed, the tropical flavors did dull a little and I was left with mostly hoppy bitterness and some of that malt I mentioned before. This wasn’t a bad thing; it just wasn’t something I was expecting. Last thing about flavor, just drink it cold and don’t sit on it.
The mouthfeel was almost a bigger highlight than the aroma, and that doesn’t happen very often. Moderate carbonation really lets the flavors blossom and really explode in every sip. The finish starts with the bitter grapefruit that you pick up on the back end, and then it leads into that sweet malt, and then gradually fades into a lightly bitter ending that is ever so inviting of another sip. It sat well on my stomach and never made me feel heavy as I reached the bottom of the glass; I could definitely see myself drinking several of these on a hot day outside. This bad boy could be dangerous though as it only clocks in at 7% ABV.
Overall, this is just another stellar beer from Ballast Point. I have yet to have a beer from them that doesn’t live up to their level of excellence. Although, I think the key to this beer is freshness. I’ve had a ton of flavored beers that have really off flavors or really no flavor at all and come to find out they’re about a month and a half old. That flavor will fade just like hop characters will dull out if it’s left to sit for too long so drink up. This beer has all the right flavors in all the right places and begs to be enjoyed during a cookout or basically anything done outdoors. My suggestion is to find this, chill it, and drink it. And repeat of course.

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