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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
86
very good

215 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 215
Hads: 403
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.29%
Wants: 27
Gots: 39 | FT: 3
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 215 | Hads: 403
Photo of strictlyrocks
5/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of Earth's most exceptional products. Sockeye Red IPA tastes like Alaska. It's B+ average rating is akin to "There Will Be Blood" averaging an 8.2 on the IMDB - an indictment of the system. Of course there has to be some leverage for personal preference, but any rating that dips beneath an 'A' means they almost certainly didn't understand it. (348 characters)

Photo of fbxdan
4.8/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

By far the finest IPA I have tasted. I am still a newbie to this site but this IPA delivers. Extremely hoppy, citrus taste with hints of grapfruit and some spices. This is Midnight sun's finest beer by far and the best beer to come from my home state (which is saying quite alot). (280 characters)

Photo of MrNuggets
4.7/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep colour, dark for an ipa. Massive head, towering, huge, fluffy full boardering on tan. Smells of hops, strong citrus charactor. Sweetness is crushed by the power of the hops. Hint of carmel starts me off. Hops steal the show for sure. Grassy, bitter finish. I'm happy to have finally tried a midnight sun brew and hope to get more soon.

Got a fresher bottle. Had to update the scores. (391 characters)

Photo of ralree
4.59/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown, white head, nice lacing.

S: More grapefruit than the Melt Down. Lots of hops.

T: Lots of yeast, lots of Northwest hops, a little grapefruit kick. Not sweet, but good.

M: Very dry, non-astringent, good carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Goes down easy. (262 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hmmm, no mention of Humpy's on the label ... oh, well.

Bronze-ish amber with a full creamy tan head, decent carbonation, and very nice clumpy lace. Moderate citrus hop aroma - very nice - not overblown like many IPA's. Nice balanced malt-hop flavor and a bit of fruitiness. Medium-full (leans full) bodied, creamy, and smooth with a nicely balanced finish. Not really bitter at all considering IBU levels of over 70 !!!

Would certainly buy again ...

Label states: "Centennial and Cascade hops"

Per M.S.B.Co. website: 70+ IBUs.
Gold Medal 2000 Alpha King Challenge Denver Colorado.
Bronze Medal 1999 Alpha King Challenge Denver Colorado.
Silver Medal 1999 Great Alaskan Beer Festival, Anchorage, Alaska.

Bottled: 2nd Wk. Nov (2003)
Tasted: 03/23/04

($4.49 / 22 oz. bottle) (794 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.52/5  rDev +18.6%
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! (1,375 characters)

Photo of Elemental
4.52/5  rDev +18.6%
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. (470 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant bronze (equal parts red, orange and amber) that is as clear as the proverbial bell. The intensely pitting, creamystiff, sand-colored head is a tacky lace maker with speckled lace near the top of the glass becoming thick, spackle-like rings farther down. The melted mesa of cream occupying the center of the glass awaits disruption by my eager lips. But first, the nose...

... which is an intensely hoppy explosion of candied orange and grapefruit zest. It's hard to go wrong with Cascade and Centennial. There isn't a whole lot in the aroma except hops, but then what else does a hophead need? That mesa is beginning to flag so I might as well hasten its destruction.

As expected, Humpy's is firmly hoppy and firmly bitter, but isn't anything that I can't handle. It's definitely in the upper reaches of the IPA spectrum and even knocks on the DIPA door. Still though, there's plenty of sweet, almost smoky caramel malt that is attempting to hold the line against the bitter grapefruit, bitter orange and Northwoods spruce.

The malt just does manage to take the bright edge off the hops, which is another reason why The Humpster is almost as much the bigger style as the stated one. 'DIPA light' might fit, but I'm reluctant to use the word light in a beer that's this full of itself, this big, this unrelentingly bitter. Drinkability is directly proportional to the drinker's hop tolerance. Although it's a steady sipper, occasional glugs are rewarding as well. The medium-full body has a semi-viscous quality that pleases the mouth.

What is there left to say? Humpy's Sockeye Red is a DIPA-lovers IPA. It's a big, full-throttle beer from an expansive, wide open, wild state. Check your manners at the door, crack the cap and prepare for a rough-and-tumble hop party. (1,792 characters)

Photo of Kuaff
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
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. (1,044 characters)

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Sockeye Red poured a lovely copper color and had a 2 finger foam head with sudsy lacing that was relentless. It was a great looking beer and was happy to take it down.

The aroma to me was one of the best smelling IPA's I have had. The Cascade hops gave some strong and soothing wafts to the nose. It was smooth and harsh in the same time. The hops were aggressive which I usually like and it had a nice malt backdrop. In the mouth it was highly carbonated with the IBU attacking every pore of the mouth. I found it be another excellent brew from the folks in Anchorage. (574 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Deep amber with 1 finger off white head and some nice lacing.

Smell. Citrus fruit, some bready malt. Some ...under-ripe bananna?

Taste. Good hop flavour and just enough bitterness. Citrus fruit and a little pine tree sap. Some light malt to balance, but not take away from the predominant hoppy goodness. Very little sweetness and it works great. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel. Medium carbonation and just a little thin.

Drinkability. A great drinker. Refreshing and crisp. (481 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11/01/05- Purchased at John's Marketplace in Portland, OR.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with a bottled on dating strip on the side of the label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Amber colored pour with a gigantinormous head. Possibly the largest I have seen to date. I shared this beer and it took about 10 minutes to get 11 oz in each of our Duvel glasses. Huge large bubbles that don't go away unless you physically eat them. The lacing is very nice as well.

Smell- Lots of malt and lots of hops. Terrific smelling brew. Caramel with a grapefruit backing.

Taste- Very mindful of the Lagunitas Imperial Red and the Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale (both outstanding brews as well). Tons of sugared caramel blends nicely with pine resin and grapefruit flavored hops.

Mouthfeel- Suprisingly smooth considering the fairly high carbonation.

Drinkability- Definitely recommended. Great red ale/IPA hybrid. (920 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.39/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presented in a 22oz. bomber with notches in the side of the label indicating it was brewed in the first week of March (2003, I'm guessing). On opening, I experienced a bit of foaming and got an explosive reaction when it hit the pint glass. Crap! Vanilla-colored foam erupted up the glass and I quickly fought to get things back under control. Minutes passed, and I waited for the head to settle. More time passed. Finally, I slurped down some of that eternal foam and oh so gently poured more into the glass.
Sockeye Red IPA had a lightly hazed orange hue and that lumpy off-white head that never, ever went away and left clumps of sticky lace behind. Also noted was a lot of carbonation trails constantly stoking the head.
The smell was quite sweet and malty with strong citrus and floral hops notes. Real surprising, the amount of malty sweetness in the nose. Also surprising that it could push its way through the barrage of hops so evident in the nose. The taste set things straight as the malt character of this IPA took on a decidedly subordinate role to the array of hops. There was a certain sweetness up front but it was quickly dispatched by the flavors of citrus peels and resinous pine. The finish left a tongue and throat-searing bitterness fueled by hops oils that coated the mouth in hops goodness. The feel was medium-bodied, lively due to the carbonation, and finished quite dry.
Aside from the issues with the out-of-control foaming, this was a pleasing IPA and a nice intro to the brews made by the folks at Midnight Sun Brewing. I like it, I like it. (1,574 characters)

Photo of RJLarse
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a bomber of Sockeye Red IPA in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a garnet and copper color and is clear. A rich and thick 2-tone beige and off-white head caps the beer and leaves curtains of lace on the glass.

Smell is decidedly malty, with a sweet caramel fragrance. None of the pine scent one comes to expect from the style.

Taste is malty, with some dominant sweet caramel flavors, a litle smokey presence, and a minty after taste which is kind of interesting.

Mouthfeel is smooth, full-bodied and mildly carbonated. A bit cloying, but not in a bad way.

A very drinkable IPA, and at 5.7% ABV would ber very sessionable. A little over priced at $5.49 for the 22 oz bottle, but a very good northwest IPA.

Cheers to Midnight Sun Brewing Co. (772 characters)

Photo of megahurts4
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Midnight Sun Sockeye Red IPA

Appearance: reddish brown, small head, and good lacing.

Smell: delicious spicy hops.

Taste: nice wet hops and a faintly malty, flowery finish.

Mouthfeel: light and smooth.

Overall:
This has a fantastic aroma, but the actual brew is lightly flavored, while not being watery. It is easily drank and will make an excellent session brew. (367 characters)

Photo of popery
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, home. Very good IPA. The beer is a bright reddish amber, translucent, with a big, creamy off-white head. The aroma is intensely hoppy with a nice caramel malt backbone. I'm a sucker for hops, particularly Simcoe, and this beer has gads of them. It's a pretty even mix of normal American hop notes: grapefruit rind, floral, pine/spruce. There's a relatively big malt presence, but the beer seems relatively dry. It's a bit hard to tell under the bushel of hops that dominate each sip, not that I mind. The feel is really the only thing that tips off the relatively low abv of this beer. It's not bad or anything, but the aroma and flavor wouldn't be amiss in a DIPA. I wish that the price was a bit lower, so I could drink this beer more often. Great. (758 characters)

Photo of codysjb
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
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. (513 characters)

Photo of far333
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (459 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (1,343 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (1,051 characters)

Photo of marc77
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Formidably thick, Belgian esque mountainous head hides a light bronze hued brew with a light haze. Nearly worthy of a pour into a hefeweizen glass. The aroma is comprised of pungent grapefruit citrus and ripe zings of orange zest in hop nose, along with rounding notes of light caramel sweetness. Faint pearish esters and diacetyl butterscotch add unique depth in aroma. Mellow, butter laced sweetness upfront in flavor is quickly contrasted by assertive, sharp, but oddly unpermeating hop bitterness that leaves an ample caramel malt presence. Relatively pronounced diacetyl serves to complement the mellow biscuit notes, lending bread and butter impression mid palate. Heavy handed grapefruit hop flavor with a suggestion of pine. Moderate in body, and amply dextrinous, approaching creamy in mouthfeel. Finishes clean, with fleeting caramel malt yielding to lingering, drying hop bitterness. A flavorful, superbly drinkable brew with balance only lightly skewed towards hop character. Reminescent of an Jamaica Sunset Red and Bell's Two Hearted hybrid. Delicious, unique and highly recommended. (1,097 characters)

Photo of GJ40
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled in my prized Double Mountain tulip pint glass from a 22oz bottle purchased at Pike Street Beer & Wine in Seattle. The label said it was bottled in the first week of April so it was nice and fresh.

A - Amber with a red tinge and very good clarity. Moderate tan head.

S - Piney, citrusy and floral hops with a slightly nutty malt presence.

T - A complex mix of piney hops, citrusy bitterness, pineapple, semi-sweet malt and butter. I really enjoyed this one.

M - A moderate to high carbonation (could have used a little less) and a moderate consistency.

D - A very interesting and enjoyable beer. I'm sorry I only brought one back with me. (650 characters)

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served too cold in what appears to be a 14 oz glass. Had this at a wine bar so...

Appearance- Dark cooper, reddish color. Small, off white head. Little lacing. 3/5

Smell- Pine with a nice malt backbone. The hops still shine bright, though. 4/5

Taste- Big pineiness through out. Malt in the middle but doesn't take away from the hop character. Some sweetness in the end. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel- Very good mouthfeel. Medium. 4/5

Overall - I have always like reds because of the high hop character. This one does not disappoint. 4.5/5 (530 characters)

Photo of jsprain1
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep red/amber. Head was a thin finger that didn't persist all that well but left some wisps of lacing.
S- slight toast and lots of pine and resiny hop aromas. slight bit of eh... "special herb" aroma in there as well.
T- Definitely hop forward. Starts with pine/resin hop flavor with notes of tropical fruit. Slight caramel malt. A bit of a strange finish. Slightly medicinal. Not terrible but just a bit disjointed.
M- Medium body, on the dry side.
D- A solid IPA that I could definitely revisit and have a few of without any problem. (547 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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. (299 characters)

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Sockeye Red IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 215 ratings.