Aloha Sculpin is an American IPA brewed by Ballast Point Brewing Company, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in an IPA glass from a bottle.
The label reads “Hazy India Pale Ale” and it does pour a cloudy golden orange hue. But it’s not opaque like a New England style brew. Regardless, it’s topped by a thick stack of puffy ivory-white foam that shows fair retention. Patches of sticky lace cling to the sides of the glass following the reduction.
As one might expect from a name like Aloha Sculpin, the aroma consists primarily of pineapple. Hints of guava and apricot appear as well.
The palate begins with a taste of lightly toasted bread mixed and a note of tropical fruit. A mild dose of pine is mixed in and the tasting transitions through mellow bready malt and tropical fruit. A sharp hoppy bite follows with contrasting citrus and peppery hops flavors. The bitterness lingers long through the finish and a flash of pineapple is picked up on the swallow.
Its feel is relatively smooth on the draw with a dry and crisp finish. Its medium body and moderate carbonation finish with a sharp astringency.
Its appearance is nice and the aroma is quite pleasant, even if it lacks persistence. Its feel in line with the style but the palate is another matter. Not to say it’s bad, but the hops seem to clash with one another and their blend with the rest of the palate is less than harmonious. But the hopheads are sure to enjoy a substantive bite from the Aloha Sculpin. For everyone else, this brew is refreshing and easy to drink. A solid but not exactly remarkable IPA.
Ballast Point recommends the following food pairings with their Aloha Sculpin American IPA: crab, Macadamia nut and papaya salad, Chicken Katsu, and Hawaiian Haupia coconut pudding.