LWBR: Long Winded Beer Review

Ballast Point Unfiltered Sculpin

tl;dr (skip to the bottom if you want to know if you’ll like the beer, but don’t have time for my shit)

After drawing an absolute blank for articles today, writer’s block today, Taco blocks Monday, it’s been a rough week already, I figured, fuck it, time for a beer. National IPA Day on the 3rd and my local Law Dawg gave this to me as a gift, M-Town connect! Ballast Point Sculpin, a legend in the American history of IPAs, a literal OGIPA, now on the haze-craze with the new variant. But first, a snack!

Fit & Healthy Turkey Sausage Frozen Breakfast Sandwich? It’s fit AND healthy, I can’t afford not to eat this. Also, I haven’t had a microwave breakfast sandwich since I was like 15.

Turn on the old telly, now we’re being productive. PTI? Na, all baseball. Baseball ain’t my thang. Mid day? Futurama is on, classic show with a (quasi-recent) update, kind of like this brew.

First things first this bottle is feeling a little light, time for a side by side:

sculp bot

I don’t want to say that I’m getting gypped here, that’s disrespectful to Gypsy’s, but Coronado hooked me up apparently, Ballast Point?…

Pretty pour. Nice chill haze with a cloudy insoluble protein filled body, fluffy 3 finger head with retention on fleek all the way to the last sip. Clearly a Hazy IPA, but not soup like, thank goodness. I’ve had super murky NEIPAs that were great, but I do generally prefer not drinking something that looks like pond scum. But that’s just me. Notes of freshly snapped pine branches intermingled with ripening tropical fruits meld into lightly herbal esters with a touch of sweet onion on the back that tickles the nostrils.

Now onto the “sandwich’. I’m only going to say this once. Whats the deal with microwaving frozen bread? It doesn’t work. Its 2017, can we not figure this out? Now I’m not closed minded, maybe the microwave technology just isn’t suited to warming up frozen bread, but A) The sandwich package INSISTS that you keep them frozen (literally there are rules printed on the instructions not to leave a sandwich just plain refrigerated for more than 3 days. What’s going to happen after day 3? A breakfast sandwich monster? I assume that’s how Mayor McCheese happened)

and B) There are complex instructions on how to heat this thing. Defrost mode for 1:30 wrapped in a paper towel, flip halfway through, then microwave on high for 60-65 seconds (don’t you dare do 66 seconds, that’s 2/3 the mark of the beast you heathen, and you’re the other 1/3rd!) and the bread still tastes like thick cardboard, wet because it was soaked in unflavored jello. The sandwich is fine. That was just my soap box rant for the day.

The palate has a strong maltiness, cara/crystal forward that blends into a mellowing mild bitterness. The hops add an herbal layer accentuated by grapefruit and grassy papaya. Interestingly enough the sausage from the sandwich has a tame spice to it that accentuates a lemon/lime character as well as the onion note I always notice when pairing spice with Columbus hops. How’s that for a beer pairing?

Wait, is that rain? But it’s completely sunny outside:

LoveSpen on the SnapChat, I post videos of either me making beer or being stupid if you’re into that sort of thing. Sunny rain and microwave frozen bread. Two contradictions happened today.

People who will like this beer: I mean if you like Sculpin you’ll like this beer. It is a bit softer, and feels a tad maltier. The IBU difference is only listed as 68 vs 70 on the website but even a small shift in delaying the additions can alter the mouthfeel of the bitterness drastically. If you haven’t had Sculpin I tend to find this IPA on the sappy side of the IPA scale but it has its Amarillo tropical fruit notes. But more grassy and herbal. Lacks that west coast bitterness punch (as intended) but if you want that, it’s not there.

People who won’t like this beer: Anyone who blows Treehouse. Don’t get me wrong, Treehouse is dope, but you guys don’t like anything else “NEIPA-related” as a rule. But seriously, Columbus punch on the back of this one so anyone who doesn’t like that sweet onion note will find this probably is not up their alley. My MD cohorts, not dissimilar to Flying Dog Snake Dog if you like or don’t like that.

Ruling on the Breakfast Sammy: Look, I’m not going to say I’m a beer pairing genius, but I’m pretty creative, it worked, Ballast Point I noticed you don’t have it listed on your recommended pairings, I’d recommend getting on that.

Sculp pair+

sculp sand.jpg


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