Update to my original post on this beer. I found a 6-pack of cans of Sculpin in Vermont and was able to confirm they were fresh (or at least as fresh as a California beer can be after being packaged, shipped and stocked on a retail shelf across the country).
While the beer looked the same it was an entirely different experience with lots of tropical, pine aroma and taste. Finished pretty sweet which makes for a well balanced beer. Certainly one of the better packaged single IPAs that I have tried.
Original review with an old bottle is below.
The only thing I will put into this post is the need for date stamping on bottles. Sculpin is supposed to be a top notch IPA and I am sure that it is when fresh but this bottle was obviously old but there was no way for me to tell as the bottle did not have an obvious bottle date on it. There is a code but I am not sure what it means and it is too difficult to research when you are in the beer isle of a store.
Brewers of IPAs if you don’t use a bottle on date please start. Hope to find a fresh bottle at some point so I can update this post.
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 70
Brewers Website: Ballast Point
Brewers Description: The Sculpin is a testament to our humble beginnings as Home Brew Mart. It showcases bright flavors and aromas of apricot, peach, mango & lemon. The lighter body also brings out the crispness of the hops.
This delicious Ballast Point Ale won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup 2010 in the International Pale Ale category. The Sculpin fish has poisonous spikes on its fins that can give a strong sting.
Ironically, the meat from a Sculpin is considered some of the tastiest. Something that has a sting but tastes great, sounds like a Ballast Point India Pale Ale.