Beer of the Weekend #722: Sculpin

The Iowa men’s basketball game against Florida State tips off really late tonight (thanks, ESPN) so I am having a brown bottle lunch.

The beer today is a Ballast Point beer I know I have not had before: Sculpin, brewed by Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits of San Diego, California.

Sculpin pours a beautiful, clean, and clear medium-amber. A finger of buttery, dense, eggshell-colored head, which leans gray, dissipates evenly and leaves a bubble-spotted, slowly thinning skim and a collar of foam, which sticks to the glass. The aroma is bold and reminiscent of a West Coast-style IPA with lots of citrus and tropical fruit — tangerine, grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple, and maybe a little cara cara orange (God, I miss those). As it continues to warm, the aroma becomes reminiscent of sticky, partly dried citrus or fruit juice. The mouthfeel is surprisingly creamy. The flavor mostly mirrors the smell, but a nice, ascendant bitterness works the taste buds. The ABV is also noticeable with a touch of alcohol that lingers on the back of the tongue. The flavor is not as sticky sweet as the aroma, but the citrus and tropical fruit are still prominent. Flavors of grapefruit, tangerine, kiwi, orange, and pineapple can still be picked out, but they blend together nicely. Grapefruit seems more prominent, though, especially in the aftertaste. I like the flavor, but I am not a fan of the booziness.

Fun facts about Sculpin:

• Style: IPA.

• Price: $2.69 for a 12-ounce bottle at the “Drug Town” on First Avenue in Iowa City.

• Alcohol content: 7 percent ABV.

• IBU: 70.

• Food pairings: Suggested on the beer’s webpage are coconut basmati rice, Jamaican jerk chicken, and tropical bread pudding.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B+.

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