Sockeye Red IPA - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sockeye Red IPASockeye Red IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

215 Reviews

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Reviews: 215
Hads: 400
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: 400
Photo of beerguy101
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Red/amber color. Medium head. Aroma is floral hops with a touch of grapefruit. A medium bodied IPA. Malts are nutty and sweet. Hops are fairly bold, grapefruity, citrusy, piney, a touch resiny and fairly bitter. Little bit overbalanced towards the hops, but a nice solid IPA. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is bitter. (354 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hmmm. A gusher, and its labelled 6/10 at the store. Pours reddish amber with a huge rocky head. Smells a bit grainy, and a little old. Some light sourness in the smell, but I don't think its infected, just a bit from the grain. The taste is hugely bitter with piney and earthy hops and grapefruit pith. A little one dimensional. The malt body can't stand up to the hops, and seems thin. Out of balance, and not in a good way. They've done much better- or maybe its just a bad bottle- but consistency counts as well. (515 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
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. (1,068 characters)

Photo of darklordlager
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear, cark copper/amber with a nice 1" head. Nice lacing as it goes down the glass.

S: Pungent hop pellets, with the "raw" scent you smell right after you throw them into the kettle. Malt extract, earthy. Light grapefruit, slightly skunky. Biscuit aroma as it warms, and some pepper/soy sauce.

T: Malt comes through much better in the taste than smell. Very balanced with the hops. Sweet caramel malt up front, with bitter citrus coming in later and lasting into the finish.

M: Medium carbonation, and medium body. (530 characters)

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a golder copper color with a very strong off-white head which seems to never recede. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Initial tones are of strong hop nature, with a hint of caramel and barely any malt tones from what I can pick up.

Taste: Initially hops are all I can taste from this brew, and the hop flavor lasts throughout the brew. Slight malt tones are present but not many. Strong bitterness, but not much else going on here.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation which splashes the mouth. This beer is of medium to light body.

Drinkability: Very bitter and hop like but I was hoping for something a little more besides that. Goes down easy enough but the flavor is not too complex and more single minded (just very hoppy).

Overally a decent IPA but needs more malt to fill up the flavor. If your a hop head, you may like this beer but there are definetly better offerings out there. (925 characters)

Photo of Shumania
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
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. (552 characters)

Photo of argock
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
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. (1,111 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 21 Mar 2009. Courtesy of jtrockchalk, thanks!

Poured in Abita pint glass. Three finger off white foamy head. Medium carbonation. Clear dark cinnamon color. Caramel, resin, tea leaf and nutty aroma. Caramel sweet and hoppy to start. Lots of nuttiness, pecans, slight resin present throughout. Finish and aftertaste are moderately bitter. Light body, mild ethanol.

Hop presence a bit milder than I like but still decent. (440 characters)

Photo of rkhaze
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden amber. Medium sized creamy and foamy, off white head. Left decent lace.
Smells of clean citrusy hops, sweet malt, caramel and a bit of fruit.
Tastes bittersweet with rich caramelly malt, grassy/citrusy hops and tea. Finished with a sharp bitterness. This just didn't seem to come together. The flavors seemed to work against each other.
Medium bodied with a full rich mouthfeel and great amount of carbonation.
The sharp almost skunky bitterness in the finish and lack of balance killed the drinkability for me. (544 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
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. (1,184 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Note: this bottle was brewed by Uinta Brewing Co. in Salt Lake City, Utah for Midnight Sun Brewing, Anchorage, AK.

Dark Amber, perhaps a tinge of brown in the color. Tan head is generous and retains nicely.

Aroma is surprisingly faint for an IPA. Has a fresh "clean" aroma with some light citrusy notes and a whiff of pine.

On the palate the hops give a steel-like metallic character that dominates, followed by a prominent dry character that holds through to the finish. This is a dry, dry hoppy beer.

Mouthfeel is thicker than I'd expect for an IPA even though the alcohol strength is a touch low for an IPA. Average drinkability - even if I craved this beer above all others in the fridge I'd never drink more than one in a given sitting. (753 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
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. (548 characters)

Photo of jcalabre
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally sampled on 23 January 2003. I am writing this review from my notes.
Appearance: Sockeye has a pretty reddish gold color with a long lasting white head.
Flavor: This IPA has a nice hoppy flavor, as it is supposed to
Aroma: The smell is hoppy, (256 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

consumed on 6/29, while I was "on Hiatus." picked up at my local fairway grocery store. enjoyed from a midnight sun tulip.

a - brew poured an amber orange with a generous 3 fingers of foamy frothy ipa head. the head slowly dissolved leaving giant foamy chunks on the side of the glass. semi transparent when held to the light with some subtle visible carbonation.

s - malty amber smelling with some hops on the backend, but predominantly like an amber. the bottle doesn't appear to be dated and pretty sure these have been in town for a little while (although they just appeared at the fairway where i got it)...not to mention must take some time to get out here from alaska, but none-the-less there is some hoppiness to the nose, just not much for an "ipa."

t - interesting. no, let me rephrase that INTERESTING!!! like a toasted amber ale. lots of nuts in the flavor with a bit of a bitter finish. semi sweet, but really no balls on this one. after viewing some other reviews, i'm inclined to say that this one has lost its luster and if you see it in NY you might want to pass on it unless you like an IPA with faded hop flavors. that being said, the flavor is pretty good, but a beer, but lacking in the IPA category.

m - fairly watery and thin while still having some prickly carbonation.

o - overall, not all that impressed. perhaps it is the age, perhaps it is the watery body...this would be a lot better of a beer if it didn't say "india pale ale" on the label or if it had a bottle date and i could get an idea on the age of this bad boy. if it were an amber, it would be pretty decent, but as an IPA, i'd pass on it unless i knew it was super fresh. the toastiness on the flavor saves it and gives it some character.

bottle (1,740 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (761 characters)

Photo of snpub540
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice dark copper with some red highlights to it. It was a clear hue with nice carbonation. Topped of by an eggshell colored head that left some nice sheets of lace.

Smell was piney and citrusy hops and a little nutty malt aroma. That was about it.

Flavor was a caramel and nutty malt flavor. Hops were resiny and pine making a nice balanced brew.

Mouthfeel was ok but not a lot of body going on. Its an ok beer but nothing to write home about. I'm just glad I found something from Midnight Sun in my neck of the woods. (530 characters)

Photo of HamdenHector
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
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; (347 characters)

Photo of rmalinowski4
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a chalice

Pours a deep amber with a very large and fluffy off white head. The head recedes quickly leaving lots of lacing clinging to the glass.

The smell is sweet carmel malt, earthy hops, orange zest, and some tropical fruit. The smell is clean and well balanced, nothing seems to dominate.

The tase is bitter pine, orange zest, a slightly sweet carmel malt backbone, and some spicy & slightly tropical flavors that linger in the background. The overwhelming flavor is pine.

The mouthfeel has medium body with with a light carbonation. Need some more carbonation to make the flavors dance on the palate.

Overall, this is a solid IPA. It has good hop flavors, a nice malt base, and some orange zest flavor. The pine is a little strong for my taste, but it does not completely overpower everything else. I would drink this again if offered one. (873 characters)

Photo of warmstorage
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler filled at the brewery ($7 when you have your own glass), so it's about as fresh as it can be short of being on tap. Impressions are very similar to the dozens and dozens of bombers I've consumed over the years.

Appearance: deep amber, almost copper, with medium dense white head that sticks around and leaves moderate lacing.

Aroma: bring earthy hops and sweet, caramel malt are evenly represented.

Taste: again, a nice balance of earthy, grassy hops with some citrus, and a deep, fairly sweet malt body with caramel and some grain notes.

Mouth is odd: it's full in a sweet malt sense, but the beer is a little thin overall. A tingly carbonation is present.

A solid IPA, but not particularly for the West Coast style. (The MSBC web site describes it as a Pacific NW style IPA.) It's not quite hoppy enough, and the malt body is too pronounced, and kind of outshines the hops. It's quite drinkable, and as a malty English IPA/session beer it would be outstanding. As an American, West Coast IPA, however, it's merely average. (1,066 characters)

Photo of Roguer
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
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! (1,296 characters)

Photo of jabocu
3.24/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Being a huge fan of Midnight Sun, this one let me down just a little... maybe expectations were too high :)

Pours a orange-amber hue with a two finger cap. Aroma was very nice, malty, caramel, hops, citrus, and a hint of spice. The flavor was just muddled and not enough malt or flavor to backup the powerful hop bite. I love IPAs and hops, but I feel there should have been a little more to support the hop profile. Medium body, medium carbonation, and grapefruit finish. (475 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served on tap at McGinley's Pub in downtown Anchorage.

appears a clear reddish orange in color, with frothy white head. aroma and taste are heavy on the floral hops, but I don't get any malt to balance it out. a bitter finish. carbonation is medium, body is on the thinner side.

overall - I personally like at least some malt flavor to balance an IPA, and none is found here. (379 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
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. (562 characters)

Photo of Kookiekwan
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a hazy orange/amber has a thick two finger head with good retention and thick walls of lacing. The aroma of pine is strong making it hard to smell anything else. The taste was grassy and slightly bitter with some caramel and pale malt in the background.

Reflection: This beer smells better than it tastes, I would pass on this one and grab a local IPA. (372 characters)

Photo of adrock
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish-brown color, very hazy but this could be due to the fact I'm drinking this on the East Coast.
Great foamy head taller than normal
Fair aroma of citrus and spice
Thin on malt due to the great amount of bitterness this beer puts forward. Biting hops at the end are nice but more malt would of been appropriate for the flavor and body of this brew.
Clean bitterness in the aftertaste allows good drinkability
A good IPA that I would like to try again closer to its origins. (484 characters)

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