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Sockeye Red IPA - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sockeye Red IPASockeye Red IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

389 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 389
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 25
Gots: 34 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co. visit their website
Alaska, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: purplehops on 02-21-2003

Brewed in the bold spirit of Alaska, Sockeye Red IPA is a finely crafted Pacific Northwest-style India Pale Ale with a real bite. Ample pale two-row malt creates a fresh, firm body while specialty malts impart a spawning red hue. The predominant character of this fiesty catch comes from outlandish portions of Centennial, Cascade and Simcoe hops, giving this beer tremendous citrus and floral aroma and flavor.

Determined and bitter but amazingly balanced, Sockeye Red IPA is gnarly enough to take you hook, line and sinker. Forget about a bigger rig; grab a bigger glass.

70 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 389 | Reviews: 216
Photo of BcOneSeven
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I like the citrus and Forel aroma, but it is a bit too multi/toasty for me.

Photo of RyanK252
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours deep reddish amber with a frothy light tan head that settles and laces well.

S: Citrus hops, a little dankness, caramel malt sweetness,

T: Citrus hops, light grapefruit and tangerine, a little fruity, a touch of pine, a bit of roasty malt, and caramel malt sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Very enjoyable brew.

Photo of anthony-martinez
4.16/5  rDev +10.1%

i bought the can brew, not bottle ones. i pour it into wine glass and it gives 2 fingers foam head when it settles.tasted good and good bitternes. great beer.

Photo of MDDMD
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-orange amber color with a nice big off-white head and good lacing

S-caramel malt, pine, floral, light citrus

T-caramel malt, grapefruit, orange, pine, floral, moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-liked this red style IPA, easy drinking and would love to have more

Photo of flagmantho
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich amber-orange hue with a light haze and moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of pillowy ivory foam with good retention and a nice lace left on the glass. Quite attractive.

Smell: lightly toasty/caramelly malt character; it's redolent of an amber ale. Hops are earthy and herbal with a little bit of citrus character to them. "Red IPA" is right on for what they are going for here. It's not bad.

Taste: caramelly malt with a citrusy, somewhat piney hop character and plenty of bitterness. It's got the right balance for an IPA; pretty good!

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and a decent creaminess for an IPA. Not bad.

Overall: this is a pretty good beer, though I usually shy away from reds/ambers. They've done a good job of getting that toasty/caramelly red character without going too far into the biscuit range of the spectrum -- something I can definitely support.

Photo of chinchill
3.64/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can served in a wine goblet.
Pours a very reddish and dark color for an IPA, but then this seems to be a Red IPA.

Aroma: herbal and slightly earthy hops.

Flavor: strong and pungent hops. Reported IBU=70 seems about right.

Feel: medium+ body; good medium carbonation.

O: A well crafted Red IPA.

Photo of HamdenHector
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: a little hazy; burnt orange; with a fairly aggressive pour, a 3 finger egg shell head; good retention; moderate lacing;

S: mostly pine with a little caramel malt;

T: caramel malt is front and center; the finish adds grapefruit rind and bitterness that builds;

M; medium bodied; prickly carbonation;

O: I wish the hops were more predominant;

Photo of FFreak
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My wife picked up a bomber of this for me to share with our friends. Poured into various glasses, it's a slightly hazy, reddish-copper color with a half-inch white head. Aroma is malty with a floral and citrus hop character. This is a fairly viscous full-bodied malty beer with adequate bitterness and some floral and citrus notes. Overall, a slight bit heavy for the style, but still a very enjoyable malty beverage.

Photo of BoldRulerVT
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a large tulip.
Appearance is as red as they claim, interesting for an IPA. One finger of head.
Smell is very very malty, some hop character in the background.
Taste is very malty as well. Not balanced like a west coast IPA, this is a malt forward IPA.
Mouthfeel was good.
Overall, after having read their own description of the beer, I feel Sockeye missed on this. They talk of hop aromas and hop flavors bursting out of this beer. I got none of that.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a orange-red amber with a half finger off-white head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of bready malt, mixed berries, light grapefruit, citrus and lightly piney hops, classic red ale aroma. Flavor is biscuit and mildly caramel malt, grapefruit and orange rind, grassy and citrus hops, finishing with a semi-dry, grassy hop bitterness. Medium bodied. This seems to me to be more of a classic red ale than an IPA, but it does have fairly aggressive, but not herbal hopping. Enjoyable, but does not stand out much from the pack. I wouldn't hesitate to pick this up when in the mood for a malty, moderately hopped red ale. Good craftsmanship expected from Midnight Sun.

Photo of cbutova
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle brought back from CA. No bottle date so I'm not sure on freshness.

A- Poured from the 22oz bottle into a snifter and a pint glass with a deep red body. Creamy, off-white head forms to about two fingers high and has nice retention. Thick, frothy ring leaves a ring of thick lace where every sip ends.

S- Fair amount of maltiness with a hops offsetting it towards the end of the whiff. Toasted and caramel malts make up the base with some honey hints. Hops are somewhat faint with hints of pine, flowers and citrus. Some yeast bread notes.

T- As the nose sort of suggested, this would go into the more balanced IPA category. A strong base of malts brings caramel, honey, cracked cereal grain, biscuit and sweetness to the table. Hops round it out with citrus zest, floral, herbal and pine notes.

MF- Light-medium bodied with a moderately high carbonation. Agitation brings on some creaminess and bitterness is fairly high, lingering on the palate.

A fairly even balance of malts and hops in this IPA. As a red IPA I would expect a certain maltiness and overall this is a pleasant brew.

Photo of Roguer
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Deep red color, almost brown. Solid two-finger cream head with decent retention and lacing. Brew is thick, pulpy, and bubbly, and is nearly opaque.

Good blend of hops and malts in the nose. Fairly subdued and balanced: pine and citrus, against caramel, honey, and wheat.

Odd blend in the flavor. Huge brown ale intro - sweet and malty - followed immediately by a very clean and dry hoppiness - mostly pine sap and resin. Strong malts again follow: toast, honey, sweet caramel. Slightly spicy finish: pepper and heavy dry hops.

Extremely lively and carbonated, carrying a significant sting. Little residue or cling; no foaming. Lighter feel than average. No poor aftertaste, but the sting is almost too much to allow me to really savor the flavors.

This is a particularly well-balanced, but not particularly tasty IPA. I think the flavor profile is creative and carefully crafted, but I'm just not sure who the target audience really is. It's not bad, it's just unremarkable, and I wouldn't order it if I had an alternative IPA. Would I order it instead of a different style of beer? Maybe. Over an AAL? Absolutely. It's certainly worth a try; the hop profile might be more to your liking than mine.

No bottle or enjoy by date, but it tastes plenty hoppy.

Thanks to BlackCloud for the trade!

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bomber with no dating that I can find anywhere on the bottle or label. Poured into a 16 oz nonic style tumbler.

Appearance - It definitely earns the title of "red" IPA, with a body that screams "American Amber Ale". A dark amber hue with notes of rust and burnt orange, as well as a tiny highlight of yellowish white where the light hits the glass. Atop the body is a goldish-tan head of two and a half fingers. The foam fades over a good amount of time, leaving a mottled sheet of lacing and a consistent layer of foam across the top of the liquid.

Smell - Lots of hops up front, with grapefruit, orange zest and other generic fruity phenols. Faintly, in the background, there is a bit of caramel sweetness, presumably from the specialty malts. The hops aren't as pungent as a straight-up pale malt IPA, so the "red" component is definitely doing its job.

Taste - Here, the grapefruit element is again present, this time more like zest, with bitterness and citric essence replacing the more fruity component from the aroma. As with the aroma, there is some caramel sweetness and the semisweet presence of burnt sugar, much like you expect from an American Red ale. They've really captured the essence of both styles in this pseudo-hybrid.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation, but there is sort of a unwieldy nature to the body that it's hard to describe. Impedes drinkability a little bit, but nothing to ruin an otherwise solid beer. Finish has a faint bitterness that lingers.

Overall, a nice take on the "red" IPA style. Of the now two offerings I've had from Midnight Sun, this is easily my favorite. If this were readily available in my area, I'd probably reach for it again, but glad to have tried it nonetheless.

Photo of Shumania
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can picked up at City Beer Store in SF poured into a tumbler.

A: Clear deep amber color with a one finger head that remains after a strong pour.

S: not a strong scent, some citrus, pine, and sweetness/caramel from the malt

T: Good balance. Sweetness up front, breadiness, then goes on to be bitter with citrus (cannot identify what specifically) and pine.

M: Extremely smooth

This is a good IPA, but not great. Could definitely enjoy a few during a session, but I would not rush back to this. I definitely need to try more beers from Midnight Sun.

Photo of PicoPapa
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. Pours a murky dark copper color with over an inch of head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is piney with some malts and light hints of citrus. Not much of a nose on these one. The taste is more of the pine with some light orange and citrus hops in the background. Caramel malts and some breadiness. Some spicy hops towards the finish. Fair amount of bitterness throughout. Mouthfeel is creamy with a lot of carbonation. Overall, not bad, not great. Reminds me more of a hopped up Red Ale than an IPA. I'd probably have this again but wouldn't go out of my way.

Photo of argock
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Oliver's Beverage (Albany, NY).

A: Copper-orange with thick, frothy, 2-3 finger, off-white, oatmeal-colored head with decent retention and a lot of sticky lace.

S: Aroma is dominated by citrus and pine hops, but they are not that prominent. There are some herbal and minty qualities in there as well. The malt aroma is very light with only a lightly bready and soft caramel note at most. Pretty bland aroma.

T: The flavor is very harshly bitter, probably from too many early kettle additions if I had to guess since this is a predominantly Centennial and Cascade hopped beer. The malt contribution is blah with some light caramel but most cardboardy flavors.

M: Overly carbonated but decent medium body.

O: Sockeye Red seems old-fashioned compared to the elite and top-tier IPAs of today -- it very bitter without a lot of hop complexity. I think the hopping schedule in this beer should be revisited. The malt profile also seems muddled and could probably be looked at again as well. Disappointing.

Photo of CorvetteMike
2.99/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

While on a land tour in Anchorage Al, purchased a sampler at Humpy's

A: Amber in color, with a small head.

S: Cranberries/grapefruit smell to it.

T: Bitter/tart taste, too strong for me.

M: Full bodied, heavy carbonation, strong.

O: Least favorite of the sampler, too strong for me..

Photo of Kuaff
4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Alright... I drink this one all the time, so it's time for a review. Poured from a can into a tulip glass, probably around 45-50 degrees.

Sockeye Red's appearance is very pleasing, and appropriate for the beer's name as well. It's got an off-white, three finger head that sits on a deep, dark red body which really DOES remind me of a spawning sockeye salmon (aka "red salmon").

The aroma gives off grapefruit more than anything else. Glorious grapefruit. But there is also a bit of grass and something that smells like flowers. Wonderful.

The grapefruit is dominant in the taste too. Hops are coming through, and there's something else going on here that I can't describe very well... I kind of just want to call it maltiness... whatever it is, it's GOOD. It's also got a great bitter aftertaste.

Nothing about the mouthfeel really pops out at me, but sometimes that's a welcome thing. This isn't a DOUBLE IPA, after all. The feel is unobtrusive.

This is a rock solid IPA that's never disappointed me. A sockeye that's worth fishing for.

Photo of kojevergas
2.96/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 fl oz aluminum can acquired at Adam's Fine Wine and Liquor in Redondo Beach earlier tonight and served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. I like the can art. 70 IBUs. 5.7% ABV confirmed. No visible best before/bottled on date.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. As soon as I opened it, some liquid foamed out; overcarbonation is expected.

A: Pours a four finger beige/khaki colour head of decent cream, nice thickness, and good (~4-5 minute) retention. Body colour is a clear vibrant translucent copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks good for an IPA. No lacing as the had recedes. I'd like a more frothy head.

Sm: Light grapefruit. Noticeable hop bitterness - I'm hoping that's not going to be the case in the taste as well. Floral hop character. Biscuity malts; caramalt. A pretty light aroma. Pretty standard; there's nothing unique or special here. Subpar for the style. I hope the taste is better than the aroma.

T: Caramel, caramalts, some biscuit malt. Noticeable untamed hop bitterness. Flroal hop character but not much. Biting. Grapefruit. Lacks balance; it's not very good. Not very flavorful. Boring. Poorly built for an IPA - "red" or not.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Undercarbonated. Not quite thick enough. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well.

Dr: Drinkable but forgettable. I expected far better from a brewery as acclaimed as Midnight Sun. It's decent but pedestrian. I definitely wouldn't get it again. Disappointing but okay.

High C

Photo of mactrail
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a handsome cark coppery amber in the tall Saxo wine-style glass. White, fine-grained head adds to the pleasure. That spicy nose of Cascades is always welcome.

Rich, malty, and mouthfilling in spite of the modest ABV. Really nice aroma. Actually an excellent hop taste without the killing bitterness. Every mouthful has that aromatic taste. Even a little sweetness. This is a good argument against DIPAs; this has all the flavor without the overkill.

For a random single can this tastes fresh and flavorful. A nice surprise, but Midnight Sun is one of my favorite breweries from visiting it in Anchorage a couple of times. From the 22 oz can bought at Bine and Vine in San Diego.

Photo of elNopalero
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a light amber tinge the color of sweet potatoes. It’s easygoing and mellow, with a light aroma. Doesn’t have a big malty body, nor does it have a heavy dank hop aroma. What I found was a whole produce-basket of notes: kale and mushrooms, quinoa and lentils, raspberries and raisins. (Note: No one else in my party caught any of these flavors or aromas.) I found it interesting, to say the least.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Sockeye season is still several months out of the way, but I do have a beer named after this extraordinary fish. India Red? I'm calling it a hoppy red. From a 22 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

I was expecting a bright red color like the flesh of Sockeye, but this is more of a crimson orange when shown through a light. A small head forms on top which retains in okay fashion, leaving a small lace of itself. The smell of earthy and bready malt hits the nose before a chase of pine, gentle orange, and soft passionfruit.

Something has hit me, but what is it? This Red IPA is rather relaxed, and paired with a light and gently crisp mouthfeel does go down easy. A dash of toffee hits first, followed by a wave of vague minerals, a touch of pine and grass....oh, that's what hit me....I sense something with a band-aid flavor in part of the finishing act. I've had it worse in other beers, here it poses a minor threat, however it still dampens the mood of the beer.

I thought that I was walking into a hoppy red ale, but I now must confess that I was wrong. Despite the Red IPA monikor, this drinks more like a standard red ale. Nothing wrong with that, but don't expect a hop fix.

Photo of metter98
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down a bit but consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of cranberries in the nose along with some hints of grapefruit.
T: The taste is quite bitter and a little tart; it has flavors of cranberries and hints of ruby red grapefruit peels. The cranberry flavors linger through the finish, which also tastes a little medicinal.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly crisp in the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer definitely tases unusual and I've never experienced tart cranberries in a beer before. Maybe I might have enjoyed this more a few weeks earlier with my Thanksgiving dinner.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear medium to dark amber in color with some ruby red highlights when held up to the light and some light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall beige head that reduces to a couple of small patches of medium sized bubbles, a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of bitter red grapefruit rind citrus hops with just a hint of the cranberry. Underneath that there is a light presence of caramel malt.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of caramel malts with a touch of sweetness. There are light to moderate notes of citrus/red grapefruit rind hops. Moderate flavors of fermented cranberry and kumquat. Moderate bitterness that lingers for quite a while.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer might actually pair pretty well with Thanksgiving dinner as it reminds me of the flavors contained in my mother-in-law's cranberry sauce without the sweetness. Very interesting, not quite what I was expecting but I definitely enjoyed this beer.

Photo of smakawhat
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my Dogfish Head Ale glass. No obvious bottle dating that I can see. First Midnight sun brew.

Real nice gold out of the bottle, hits withe a real amber and crystal brown, brown as crystal? you bet! Shines almost like a ruby brown gem. Head is creamy of white three fingers and clumps nicely with a big island in the middle.

Airy aromatic hops, and sweet malt. Some faint caramel hints and chocolate, earth and herbal tea. Spruce like. Very appealing, and a nice malt and hop balance. I like this, this seems very different from just most ambers I've had, really like where this is going.

Palate hits with a soft subdued mellow malt richness, caramel rolling but hit with a good oily hop front punch. Quick finish hits with good leaf and herbality. Feel comes out fairly solid, nothing mindblowing though, just simple medium carbonation, and lets the palate do its job.

Overall though I really like this for a hoppy amber, would love to have this again if I could. It's varied but simple, and I just like it in that way.

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Sockeye Red IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 389 ratings.