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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

388 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 388
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 25
Gots: 33 | 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: 388 | Reviews: 216
Reviews by CSO:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of only a few Alaskin brews that I have been able to get my hands on,poured a nice rich copper with a reddish tint to it with a slight off white head that settles nicely leaving a sheet of lace behind.Aromas are a little muted but some pine really shows as well as some toasted caramel malt.Very nicely balanced IPA,citusy and quite resiney up front with toasted lightly sweet malt backbone showing thru more as I drank more.Iam not sure what alc% is on this beer but it went down easy with friends,I would love to have again Iam sure this would go well with a bowl of chili or something along those lines.

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sockeye pours a a vibrant orange-amber with a very light khaki head. Carbonation looks somewhat small and sparse. Lacing left behind on the pint glass is sticky and intricate.

The aroma has a very resiny, piney, and melon-like hopiness to it, along with a caramel and nutty malt presence. I smell a little metal in the smell, too. Is this from the can, perhaps?

The overriding flavor in Sockeye Red is that of a big, juicy grapefruit blended with pine cone and dank cannabis. I really like how the big fruity flavor meshes with the dry, earthy hop character. A little awkward nuttiness creeps into the profile in the middle. Also, there is a bit of a metallic flavor that really comes out at the end of each sip. I do not think that it detracts from the beer at all, though.

The mouthfeel is sort of an exercise in extremes. At first, it's pretty juicy, but not quite medium bodied, then the hops jump in and slam the juiciness into the ground with their dry dankness. Just a little unbalanced and not smooth enough to be characterized as good.

Overall, I thought the flavors in this beer were good, but it was just a little rough around the edges. Very hoppy and dank and fruity, but that nutty smell and flavor were a little strange. I also thought that the flavors and mouthfeel just did not synthesize perfectly. Good beer.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

Hopped with the 2 C's, Centennial and Cascade, so there is no denying that they're aiming at American IPA. Superb frothing and head retention, this is expected and Midnight Sun delivers. Crystal clear and glowing reddish-orange color. Pungent citric, piney and floral aroma from the hops. Big enough that the malt never really reaches the nose. Full mouthfeel of a round malt foundation, smooth and crisp carbonation and a sturdy medium body. Slight vortex of hop bitterness and flavor claims the taste buds only leaving the faintest fraction of room for the malt flavor to come forth. Waves of citric and light piney flavors hold a steady grip on the palate. A hint of bready malt and vague caramel come through middle to end. The finish: it's bitter, and a long lingering bitter road it is.

Before you crack this bottle ask yourself one question. "Do I like hops?" If the answer is yes, then get ready for a ride. It's American IPAs like this that make our world go round and with a borderline session ABV of 5.7 percent, keep it coming.

Photo of Jason
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz brown bomber with a bottled on date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Hazed over, possible chill haze. Dusty reddish copper hue, lots of active froth to go around and the head retention surpasses what I would have expected.

Smell: Rough around the edges as a raw hop aroma pinches the nose. Suggestions of citrus peel and mint come to mind. Light fruitiness and malt compare to the sharpness of the hops.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Nicely flexed crispness cuts through the medium body. The hoppiness is thick in bitterness and flavour … you can barely pick out the malt character. Stray diacetyl and vague fruitiness leave the palate wanting more of something else other than hops. Some dry graininess in the back is the only bite of malt, other than that the hops dominate to the point of being out of control. The hops even clean the palate in the finish to leave little behind.

Notes: A decent IPA, the hop character is too rough IMO and takes away from the drinkablity. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good hop fix … but the bitterness is just harsh.

Photo of merlin48
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle that I purchased because I liked the label. Didn't know that I had my first Alaskan beer until I read the label a few minutes ago. This pours a clear, topaz red, with a thick, ivory head that retains well before fading into islands of thick lace.
The nose is exceptional, with notes of sweet fruit and caramel/toffee morphing into grapefruit, oranges, and apricots, bouncing off a nice caramel malt sweetness. The piney aroma of the Cascades hops lurks in the background.
Mouthfeel is actively carbonated, and features a pleasantly mild hops bite.
The taste begins with a buttery malt sweetness, that is quickly overtaken by the fruity, hops profile. This has a lot of IBU's, but the Cascades and Centennial hops have a lot of malt to deal with, so the end result is a very delicate balance of extreme hopping and solid malt presence. This is, simply, an extraordinary IPA, with no faults that I can discern. The taste resembles the aroma, with all kinds of citrus fruits, as well as apricots and apples, bouncing around with the caramel and butterscotch maltiness. The Cascades hops make their presence known with a touch of spruce pine, but this Sockeye remains extremely well balanced to the very end. Absolutely delicious!
To say that this is an auspicious introduction to Alaskan breweries is a wild understatement. This is one extraordinary brew!

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, $6.99 from DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. "Month and week bottled" info notched onto the side of the label.

Pours darker amber, clear, dark tan head, leaves some fine lace, but not much

Nose is bready, yeah dark and bready.

Red IPA, hmmm whats that all about? This one is about a more then moderatly hopped brew, with gooey grapefruit notes, plus resiny hops abounding. Easy to enjoy this quality IPA, another impressive brew from Midnight Sun

Photo of codysjb
4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle
A: Pours a massive 4 finger head with a nice red amber color. The head looks like the foam from rapids and takes forever to dissipate.
S: hops, pine nice and aromatic. Reminds me of fall and the kind of beer for when the weather starts getting colder.
T: Alcohol and some syrup. Some milder hops along with a little bit of malty syrup taste.
M: Hops and just a nice pleasant all around flavor.
O: Interesting, more like a mix between the flavors of a strong ale and an ipa even at 5.7%. Really good.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish color with a white head. The aroma is earthy with a resin-like touch to it. The flavor is heavy on the piney hops with a good amount of bitterness as well, but still a nice malt backbone. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer that I would like to try again.

Photo of JupiterJesus
1.27/5  rDev -66.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

22oz purchased at OL beercafe in Walnut Creek.

I can't tell if something is wrong with it or if it's supposed to taste like this. Filled with harsh, phenolic, medicinal flavors. It tastes like my Union Jack clone (british yeast, combination of british and us malt, cascade & centennial hops), and I considered that batch a failure.

The hops are so harsh and raw that they leave my mouth feeling like I sucked on a combination of kitchen cleaner and mouthwash. Dry, hard to taste the malt behind the hops and the harsh phenolics. It is possible I got a bad batch - I can't believe it would taste like this all the time.

Next time I go to Alaska, I'll have a fresh pint at the brewery. If it's better, I'll amend my review. For now, I can hardly finish my half of the bottle.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to czoch for a bottle in a trade. This did not start well since the beer overflowed when taking off the cap. It took about five minutes to settle down. Fairly hoppy smell. Tastes primarily of Centennial hops and is tasty. Mouthfeel is a bit overcarbonated like the pour. This beer is drinkable but not special. Typical IPA but I was a little disappointed since my only other taste of Midnight Sun was the Arctic Devil barley wine which was great.

Cheers.

Photo of far333
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy honey color with a big, fat, beige foamy head about an inch high. The head hangs out for a long while. Sweet hop smell with hints of pear and cotton candy. Flavor is a burst of hop flavor. It's powerful, but not overpowering. Leaves the tongue tingling, and wanting more. Big flowery hops and some sweet malt, but that's about all I detect. It's very crisp and clean, with a lingering hop bitter. Chunky lacing all the way down the glass. Excellent beer.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like a red ipa, red, amber and orange all together. Smells like nothing interesting. Doesn't have the typical hop citrus pine ambiance, takes on more of a standard aroma.

Taste, hops kinda muted by the big red malt, which is ok. Tastes like more of a red than an ipa, or even red ipa. Its like 2/3 parts red, 1/3 part ipa.

Mouthfeel, takes on a more earthy, dense woody aspect, slight fruity, which I would have liked to have seen more.

Drinkability, could be, but at $7 a 22oz, there are a lot better quality choices for less investment.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber red caramel hue with a nice cream colored head leaves big chunks of lacing in it's wisp. Aroma: Sweet flowign caramel malts infused with flowery and piney hops some Cascads are evident great aromatics. Taste: Great amount of bitterness lashing the palate big buttery caramel malts with big layers of flowery pine. Mouthfeel: Medium body succulent IPA nice brew. Drinkability: Lacks something for me but a decent all around IPA nonetheless too bad it's from all the way up in Anchorage, could be addicting.

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

22oz bomber, a souvenir from a trip to Portland, OR this summer.

This beer pours a clear medium copper hue, with two fingers of thick, foamy, rocky pale tan head, which settles in the same manner as our northern sun (read: lazily), eventually rendering some perfectly consistent hanging bike chain lace around my American pint glass. It smells enchantingly of bitter citrus rind and pine branches, atop a bready caramel base. The taste is bitter pine hops upfront, some astringent citrus following close on its heels, over a still out-matched, but somewhat persistent cracker/bready malt. The carbonation is fairly sedate, the body medium weight, a bit prickly, but that's a-ok when the hops are responsible - any smoothness disruption becoming an afterthought. It finishes still on the hoppy side, nothing overbearing, just a nice pine/citrus blend of stellar, steady bitterness, oblivious to all things malt, even those with good intent.

Purported 'redness' aside, this is just one well-wrought American (West Coast-adjacent) IPA. Despite the lameness of the malt in this here offering, we somehow wind up with nothing resembling a hop-bomb. Hoppy as shit? Sure. Unbalanced? Nope. I'll leave it to better men (or beer geeks) to figure that one out. In the meantime, I'm putting down the rest of this bomber with my favorite self-made nosh.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sockeye red is much better out of the tap than in the bottle. It pours a deep amber color with little to no head. The nose is floral with hoppy and citrusy aromas. The taste starts out really floral with almost a clementine taste. The taste then blows up with hops and has a smooth flavor. the hop taste is nice and flavorful but not very strong. The cohoho is much stronger with near the same smoothness. The cascade hops make their presence known but the floralness is missing for cascades. Good smooth beer to get hammered on.

Photo of augustgarage
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Rust colored body with faint glimmers of yellow peeking out around the edges. Decent clarity despite the dark color. Immense rocky beige head with thick merengue-like lacing and superior retention.

Earthy, herbal, almost smokey hop aromatics merge seamlessly into the caramel from the malt. Fresh and hemp-like.

Bitterness seems high initially but the forest floor flavors dominate into the finish, accompanied there by a lingering lightly toasted malt flavor with a whisper of smoke. Mid-palate is a different story, as the sweet buttery caramel flavor seems out of place and doesn't contribute anything positive to the profile, and clashes somewhat with the small amount of citrus that I can taste.

I would have guessed that there is a substantial addition of Chinook hops to this brew, but it seems what I am getting is more a combination of the Centennial and Cascade that they used (though I would never have thought they used Simcoe).

Medium-bodied, rich, with prickly carbonation.

A potent albeit imperfect NW-style IPA, which I think would pair well with Gruyere de Comte or maybe a smoked cheese...

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 SpeedwayJim
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just came to NYC! Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Southampton oversize snifter.

Pours a heavy, dark, clear mahogany. Minimal head but robust lacing. Nice color.

Tree sap, cane sugar, and tea. Hoppy.

Dried tea leaves. Hoppy. Cane sugar. Big sappiness. Hoppy finish and sticky, clinging aftertaste. Decent.

Light bodied. Well carbonated. Quenching. Dry finish, lingering aftertaste. Nice.

Overall a nice offering in the style but this one doesn't do much to set itself apart from the rest. Again, good, but its in a style where the bar is set quite high.

Photo of scootpolute
2.35/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Smooth, malty & great hop kick at the top, followed by more malts and spice (from the alcohol)some citrus, then ending with more pine-like spices...a surprisingly dry finish...The carbonation is good There's a good fullness. Present, but not 'too' much fruity/sweet flavors...The final pine/spice balances the beer out wonderfully, although the VERY dry aftertaste threw me...I was expecting a fruitier/hoppier finish...This one good, but not as 'GREAT' as so many others claim...Not to 'poo-poo' the Bros, but 'c-mon...OK...I agree this is still a great example of a NW American IPA, but there are far better ones out 'here' than the hype of this one...I just didn't like the over-dry ending notes...perhaps better on tap, eh?!...Chasin' Cheers :~)

Photo of hooliganlife
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby copper with hints of brown. Nice inch high head and amazing lacing.

Lots of sweet citrus and floral hops with sweet candy malts.

Tons of hops come out at you with a nice bitterness of pine and citrus. Hints of spice. Nice light sweet malt presence.

Moderate carbonation with a medium to light feel. Not thin by any means but a bit light.

This was a delicious amber ipa. Tons of flavor and very fun and interesting. Perfect ABV made this 22oz easy to kill.

Photo of Elemental
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first thing that is noticable is the overwhelming amount of head. It pours strong and foams very easily. But disregarding the head issue this is a wonderful beer. Very nice hoppy smell with a copperish amber color. A litIe dark for an IPA but that was evident from the name as a red IPA. Good flavor from the first sip to the last. A nice amount of bitterness that isn't overwhelming with a hint of citrus taste.
All around a great beer. I'll have to buy some more.

Photo of russpowell
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottled 4th week of November pours caramel/brown with 2+ fingers of tan head. Very good head retention & good lacing

S: Piney hops & some biscuitty malt

T: Piney & metallic hops, plus some grapefruit & slight caramel up front. Biscuitty malt & leafy hops, plus dryness as this warms. Finishes with much leafy hops & a little toasty malt

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation, skews a bit hoppy to me, not to mention, I'm just not liking the hops in play here

Drinks good, but not really something I'd want to session on

Photo of Kegatron
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours an extremely clear ruby red with a huge 3+ fingers of poofy off-white head that fizzles down pretty quickly into some big ole' dollops of foam that sit smack dab in the middle. This flares up awesomely, leaving just massive sticky hop lacing behind. The aroma is a huge, fresh, West Coast bouquet that smells like a pine forest, it's so thick with resinous hops and floral tones. And that's about it! Maybe just a tiny amount of malt sweetness that is mixed in with some citrus character.

The taste is once again piny hops but this time they are more subdued than the aroma was. Probably a credit to good balance provided by some sticky tasting caramel malts and citrus notes. It's just that that big ole' fresh hop bite that the aroma promised never showed up. The mouthfeel is medium bodied but seems a bit light at times. The carbonation is fairly creamy though with some hop oil slickness mixed in as well.

Not bad. The Cascade hops in the aroma are to die for but it just never seems to catch fire in the taste profile. Still, this is no slouch and brings the West Coast thunder better than some other IPAs or Red Ales out there. Worth a look.

Photo of bditty187
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Colossal beige head, fists of foam and only ounces of beer. Irritating to say the least. I had to use a Weizen glass and that couldn’t contain the head. This out of control foamy mass didn’t budge either. Oh well, it is snowing outside; I’ve got time on my hands. Slightly hazy liquid, amber-gold in hue. It is very attractive; I also like how the bubbles race upward in the liquid. Active. It looks great… only if the head wasn’t such a problem. Oh well, there was tons of subsequent lacing and it was sticky and organized. The nose offers plenty of raw hoppiness, dry citrus flesh, grapefruit rinds, pine needles, and spruce bark. Malt is very weak, even for a Pac/NW IPA. I can’t find it actually. I’m sure its there though. Oddly (sadly) the hop potency really isn’t that loud, so the malt is very quite. There is some soft fruitiness, typical of an ale, nothing noteworthy here. I like the dry, hoppiness of the nose but it is not groundbreaking. Besides the potency is too low for me. It smells nice. IPAs should smell mean. Inviting nevertheless. The palate is raw. Old Dirty Bastard {RIP} would have loved this beer. Raw. Hot. Dry. There isn’t much malt here, sweetness is limited; more malt is needed. This beer lacks balance and any sort of second level flavor. Light fruitiness but even this is hard to pinpoint. Why? Because the hops are so raw, I love IPAs as much as the next hophead but come on! Dry, leafy, light on complexity. Dried citrus flesh with grapefruit rinds. There are some influences of pine and spruce. Orange peel. Hints of candy, like peppermint. The hop profile brings some flavor but not enough. Alcohol heat is obvious. Overall this is a boring IPA. The aftertaste is the highlight of the palate as it is pleasantly juicy. This beer might work well with a garlicy tomato sauce. Medium in body. The mouthfeel is too fizzy as there is far too much carbonation. This aspect is in need of improvement, more bulk and less bubbles. After about ten minutes the mouthfeel improves, it becomes smoother but this shows the thinness. I guess this beer can’t win. I could drink this beer again. But it wouldn’t be a priority. There are far too many better IPAs on the market. It is too simple to be great. Is this beer for the nerdiest hopheads only? Purchased on-line from Liquid Solutions.

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Sockeye Red IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 388 ratings.