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Sockeye Red IPA - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sockeye Red IPASockeye Red IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

385 Ratings

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Ratings: 385
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 25
Gots: 32 | 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: 385 | Reviews: 216
Photo of stoutfiend27
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a friend of mine brought me this back after he took his yearly trip to alaska....bottled the second week of august..22 oz bottle poured into a foothills 10oz glass to taste..

a-coppery gold color...nice off white head that leaves quite nice lacing...bubbly

s-piney and resiny..citrus and grapefruit and a hint of grass...very little malt back in the nose but enough is there to suffice i would think...

t-grass and cirtus upfront...pine then maybe some grapefruit...bitterness throughout...

m-slightly prickly and very oily...coats the mouth well

d-suffers a bit due to the bitterness...i mean i love hops but needs a slight bit more balance..

overall my first offering from midnight sun and im impressed...and very grateful to the friend that brought me this bottle...got a artic rhino to try at some point..

Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dates 04/01.

A - Amber color with about a finger and a half of light tan head average lacing.

S - Smell of Caramel, Pineapple, Citrus, Candied sugar and hint of Rose wine.

T - Tastes of Citrus, Hops, Tart Raspberries, sweet stawberries, and a mineral water finish.

M - Medium body with a crisp bite.

D - Overall a very good and drinkable Hoppy Red Ale. I will be buying this one again hopefully a little fresher.

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

Pours a reddish amber, with a good sized white head that mostly diminishes, but sticks well to the side of the glass on the way down. Aroma is very lightly malty, but dominated with typical cascade hop notes - very piney and citric. Flavor starts with a slight caramel malt, and ends with a strong and somewhat spicey hop kick that lingers on for a bit. Medium body, dry finish.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a clear plastic cup.

I honestly can't remember who cracked this out at DLD, but thanks to whomever you are!

Somehow a second Alaskan beer was broken out in our vicinity at DLD. I'm not gonna argue. This one pours a clear sunset copper-russet topped by a finger or so of dirty white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit, pine, light caramel, light clove, and orange zest. The taste brings in more of the same, though the caramel pops a bit more, bringing in some nice sweetness to balance the fruity bitterness (or bitter fruitiness). The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a very nice IPA. 'Nuff said, really.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sockeye Red is an amber IPA with heavy hints of toast and toffee and a conservative hop influence.

The beer begins with an amber, deep copper (almost brown) color with good head formation, retention, and lacing.

The hop nose is rather conservative; opting for pine, resin, and fresh cut grasses over the brighter citrusy notes. Though those are there, they don't make the splash as much as the more resiny hops do. The hops are rooted in a very firm malt base that keeps the hops from dominating the beer.

Flavors do much the same. Brown sugar, molassas, toast and toffee give a large sweetness to the IPA and keeps the beer from drying out in the end. Hop flavor boasts a big pine, grassy, earthy taste that balances the flavor of malts but has a hard time standing out.

Full, rich, and sugary textures give the impression of an American Barleywine more than an IPA, albeit on the lighter side of the scale. The beer finishes balanced and bold, again not allowing the hops their proper showcase.

The beer is a lot like a light Barleywine (Think Double Bastard) but with gravities that are within IPA ranges. Still a nice beer but the balance keeps it off of my 'must have' list

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

22oz. bomber.

A semi-careless pour resulted in about 1 inch of faintly hazy amber liquid buried under a mountain of light tan foam. Label listed centennial and cascade hops.

Aroma was pine and grapefruit, with some caramel and alcohol peeking through as well.

An hour later, when the foam subsided...I found a very tasty, well balanced beer. Hops were mainly citrus-orange in flavor. I was surprised by some coffee/roast flavors in there. A bit of sweet fruit, maybe apricots?, rounded out the taste.

Medium to full bodied. Very smooth. Carbonation was high. Beer was rather drying.

Overall, very good. Not sure about those coffee notes, but they didn't detract from the beer as a whole. Reminded me a bit of Nugget Nectar, which is a beer anyone should be proud to be compared to.

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

22oz- Pours out a slight reddish copper, settles with a bit of chill haze to its body and keeps an ivory top of firm creamy froth sustaining a small but thick-set stature. Lacing is very nice with lots of thick sheeting action sticking all over the place.

Aroma is fairly dry and piney and leafy with a light wood soaked citrus.

Taste is whole lot of pine dryness in the hops. Toasty factioned in a tame sense of roundedness. Parchness is thoroughly squeezed right from the first sip. Bitterness is dry and pine-sided with high ended grapefruit pith thats scorched, aged, and dried. Balance is more towards the hops as the dryness of leafy/woody hops take center stage. Its a palate pucker.

Feel is roughly medium with a smooth front leading into a drying bitterness holding all throughout its character and finishing qualities. Perhaps a bit more malt balance and crispness would do this good as its pretty dry. Which I don't mind one bit, although it reminds me of the hoppier ambers and reds I've encountered and not so much an IPA. Definately has the hops to carry the style, but the balance is all dry hops. If you don't mind the drier toned IPA's this will suit ya just fine; as it did me.

Photo of inlimbo77
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber bottle into Portsmouth pint glass. This can't be right, bottle notch: Feb. 2nd week

A: Pours a really nice looking clear reddish orange color. Finger and half frothy white head. Lots of carbonation off the bottom of the glass. Mild lacing.

S: Even for what I believe is an old bottle, the hops are really nice smelling. I get lots of pine with some citrus fruits. Mild grapefruit as well. There is some malt balance there.

T: I am actually impressed. Sharp hop bite on the top of the tongue. Lingers there a while too. You get solid malt balance in the mid mouth. And the a crisp hop bite during a clean close. You don't get the fruity hops you smelled but you get piney notes. The low alcohol is actually nice.

M: Medium bodied IPA.

O: I am gonna have to go B+ for this one. A solid score for a nice easy drinking beer. Good work AN

Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up in a shipment from Liquid Solutions with several other Midnight Sun products. Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Pours a hazy dull copper color with a nice thick white head. The froth settled out quickly to leave a thin covering that laced nicely on the glass.

Aroma has strong citrus and grapefruit flavors along with some sweet malty flavors. Taste has the citrusness of the hops right up front with the finish being a pretty strong bitterness. There is also a decent malt backbone to it as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good. It's a very good drinking IPA, it's not something amazing enough to have it shipped from that far away again but was worth a try.

Photo of SurlyDuff
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great clear copper bronze and a thin tan head and lacing.

Potent and raw hop profile in the aroma. Crisp green and spicy twang.

Really hoppy flavor, sharp sweet herbal and floral hops, over the top big ipa flavor. Chewy and pumped up with a big malt presense as well. OVerall a strong and borderline extreme beer. It's a slow drinker because of its big profile, really a good beer buy drinkability is not quite up to par. THe 22oz bomber would've last me all night had I not shared it.

Photo of jakon
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased for $4.99 on 12-26-7 at Tanasbourne Haggen

Bottled-on date notched as the 4th week of November. So it's about a month old, which is a big reason why I decided to give it a try. IPA's especially, really need to be dated in order for me to make the purchase.

A reddish-amber beer with a 3-finger off-white head comprised of bubbles of varying size. Retention is average. Beautiful wash of sticky lacing.

The aroma is huge on the citrus hop character. Big time grapefruit and blood orange, and a light floral note. There is also a faint hint of spicy cannabis bud. This beer has succeeded in provoking my salivary glands to shift into overdrive.

Wow. Intense grapefruit bitterness in the taste. That bitterness just dominates some of the more delicate notes found in the aroma. It lingers on the palate for quite awhile. If you love that grapefruit bitterness, this is your beer. I'm enjoying this, but wish I were able to pick up some of those great aromas in the taste. It's a bit one-dimensional.

The body is on the thinner side, but maybe I'm just used to bigger beers lately. Yeah, now that I think about it, the body is on par with most of your standard IPA's. There's a light carbonation that's really not prickly at all.

Overall, this was a solid IPA that succeeded in displaying its own unique identity. I'm eager to try some more of the offerings from Midnight Sun.

Photo of JohnnyP3
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 fl oz bomber (from La Bodega) into a goblet. Bottled first week of June 2011. Pours a hazy burnt orange with some amber hues. Head is about two fingers that gradually resides to about one. Hard to see the carbonation due to the haze. Lacing is quite nice--good stickage and frothiness.

Wow, the nose is hop resin delight. Pine and citrus (grapefruit) and tropical fruit duke it out for the lead. So much so that it is hard to pick out any of the malt aromas. But, if you are an American IPA hophead, this smell is right on target for you--very floral and bitter.

The taste features hop bitterness front and center. Not much balance from the malt, although you do get some bready notes at the end. I am hit up front with a bitter bang that only reluctantly gives way towards the finish. There was quite a bit of citrus in the nose, and that is the flavor that plays out in this beer--in the form of grapefruit with a little added spice kick. I had to think about it a little bit, however. In other words, the grapefruit does not scream out grapefruit. Could be some pineapple too. Overall a nice IPA, but left me grasping for something a little more.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, perhaps a little on the light side for my preferences. Not a thick IPA by any means.

Overall, not bad. I enjoyed this hop-centric IPA from Midnight Sun. I see this as a good entry point for those looking to expand their IPA and hop horizons--a gateway into the land of no return!

Photo of KevinBrewer
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear dark reddish copper hue with a billowy tan head that last forever and leaves tons of sticky lacing on the glass.

N- Pungent, earthy hops with accents of grapefruit, pineapple, and melon.

T- Sweet toasty malt supports herbal and grapefruit hops. There is a light tropical fruitiness along with twangy grapefruit bitterness in the middle. The bitterness tastes sort of medicinal to me, I guess powdery would be the closest word to describe it. Grapefruit rind, grassy bitterness, and some mineral in the aftertaste.

M- Medium-light body with a bone dry bitter finish.

D- Nice tasty red IPA. The medicinal quality of the bitterness bothers me a little. I think the beer would be an A+ if it were less bitter and had more of the fruitiness. I might change my mind after trying this beer a few more times. I'll find out as I plan to buy a few more bombers.

EDIT: Holy shit, this beer is so hoppy it turns your tongue yellow!

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

This is an unusually dark colured IPA, almost brown ..dark garnet hints, small splotchy white head. Nice spicy/citrus hop aromas, piney and candy sugar come to mind. Deep piney, resinous hop flavours, then it smooths out a bit and shows a bit of malt body.Long pleasing biter after taste. Quite good on the palate, smoth yet not boring again enjoyed the after taste. A nice slightly unusual IPA. A good spring day beer

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 HopDerek
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kegatron for sharing this one with me.

Pours a clear deep rich amber with lots and lots of frothy off-white head. Good retention and great sticky lacing. Smells impressively bitter, lots of pine tree, grapefruit, pineapple, and floral hops with a touch of biscuit and grains. Taste lacks that of the smell though, some grapefruit, caramel, biscuit, and pine notes but not as potent as the smell indicated. Medium to medium light in body, a little thin in places. Good carbonation with some nice oil slickness. A good IPA with amazing nose, too bad the taste doesn't follow as intensely.

Photo of everetends
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber that had a bottle date of early September. Served up in my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

A: Pours a very nice and deep red color. Much more red than I expected it to be. Held to the light, it has more of a light brown and orange hue to it. It is very clear wit a good amount of active carbonation moving around in there. Got about a finger of white, fluffy head. It hangs around a bit, slowly falling to a thick ring on the top cap. Spotty lacing staggers around on the glass. Its a looker.

S: Smell is pretty much fragrant hops. Lot of pine hops aroma fills the glass, its just blatant and wonderful. There is a touch of grapefruit sitting behind that, adding a bit of diversity. I would love to say there is some malt pushing through, but not so much. This isn't a negative though. This is a wonderful IPA aroma, and that pine smell is just amazing. Just smells so cleam and inviting.

T: Yet again its nice. Pine hop flavor shines here as well. Very clean, and up front. Yet again a touch of citric grapefruit mixing things up a bit. Behind that is a touch of a negative medicinal flavor. I don't know if that is how the hops have fallen off or what, but its just a minor set back. Malts are light but add some sweetness to cut through all this hoppiness. Touch of caramel. I like it, but that medicinal flavor keeps it from a 4.

M: Light side of medium in body. Has a touch of creaminess to it at times, and at others it a very crisp and refreshing. Carbonation is a bit high, but this really helps that crisp factor, so thats a plus. ABV is barely noticeable in the feel, just a slight warmth. Aftertaste is all pine hops goodness.

D: I like it. Very clean, refreshiing and crisp. I am always a fan of red IPAs, because I know the malts are going to play a bit more of a role. I really want to get my hands on a fresh bottle so I can see that this nearly 2 months has done to this beer. Still, the hops held up well and didn't make this a weak experience at all. Good stuff for sure

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up the other day at Monument Wines and Spirits.

Appearance- reddish copper color, nice size head

Smell- floral hops, some sweet malt

Taste- sweet malt initially followed by hop bitterness, pretty good

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was pretty good. I would like to have it again.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours with a huge, chunky off-white head toping a nice, slightly clouded amber coloured brew. The stickiness of the head is very nice and this one just looks great overall.

The smell is just as nice, with juicy, oily hops dominiating. There are some floral notes here as well, but sweetness is the main theme here.

As for the flavour...where'd all the hop goodness from the smell go? This one is surprisingly more bland (though still flavourful) than the smell would indicate. Everything pretty much echoes the smell, but on a much lower level. There's a stange kick in the middle that I can't really describe, but it stands out for sure for a second. The finish is a touch hoppy, but very very dry too. There really is no lingering aftertaste.

This one is easy to drink and flavourful enough, but is very weird overall. It starts off kick-ass in terms of look and smell, but falls moreso into mediocrity once you take a sip. Some tweaking is in order here. This one could be a fine brew if the flavour was kicked up a few notches.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first Midnight Sun beer. Been a long time since I first wanted to try something from this brewery.

This one has a very thick malt body with spicy hop influences that bite at the tongue. There is a citrus tone that seems secondary and not overly drastic. This seems like it is mildly hinting to emulate the northwest IPAs, but doesn't get anywhere near going all the way. A nice drinker. Somewhat abrasive, but not so much to make you hate it. This may be a good beer to try on cask.

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This IPA pours to a deep copper color with an off-white head. The aroma is citrusy and malty. Not a whole lot there. The flavor is of grapefruits and malts. It has a juicy hoppiness. It is medium in body with a drying citrus finish. Not too bad of an IPA.

Sampled on 5/30/04

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head is a is a light tan color; it is frothy, a slightly creamy consistency, and leaves layers of lace as I work my way through the beer. The aroma has a light citrus character to it with notes orange peel, strawberry and sweet caramel; it really has a sweet candied character to it. The taste is only lightly sweet but it is pretty malty with notes of caramel, toffee, and bits of toasted malt. The beer is pretty light on the palate, and there is a bit of dustiness in the finish of this beer. There is a solid bitterness in the finish, though it is perhaps not as bracing as one would expect. This is a pretty good IPA, but it is missing a dimension, a richness to it that would really make it quite a bit more tasty.

Photo of BobMessina
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%

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Sockeye Red IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 385 ratings.