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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

215 Reviews

(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 TheLongBeachBum
4.11/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colorful label proudly pronounces, 22 fluid ounces of Humpy’s Sockeye Red IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Company, Anchorage, Alaska. A search of the BA Database reveals no matches – What?? Oh NO!!, I am the first person to Review this beer – Damn, now the pressure is on, I can’t plagiarize everyone else’s review like I normally do, LOL!!!

Inherent carbonation is notably low, but yet it still pours with a head bigger than Mike Tysons. No facial tattoos here though, just a large tanned head that is frothy, rocky and as stiff as whisked egg whites. As it collapses very slowly, this leads to an uneven surface texture. Massive broken bubble lacing is evident as the beer is consumed, indeed the lacing looks like the after effects of drifting ‘sticky’ snow, quite amazing lace . It sticks to the sides of my freshly cleaned glass extremely well, and even overhangs in places. The beer itself has a very clear red-brown body that impresses me. This beer really looks the part.

Aromas are hoppy, crisp and forthright. How do I describe the Aromas? Well, overall, the nose is how I would imagine the smell from a blend of a good IPA, and accomplished Red Ale, would be. Very inviting indeed. A nose teaser.

I stare carefully at the billowy off-cream head that stays perfectly horizontal as it rescinds into the glass as I drink the first mouthful. It never changes shape as it returns to its original position. The initial tastes are overwhelmingly hoppy and sharp. These introductory flavors are followed by a hoppy snatch that entices, and will certainly add a smirk to the face of hopheads. The use of Centennial and Cascade Hops really contribute to the 70+ IBU’s in this beer and lend a crisp bitterness as well as a refreshing hoppy kick character. Has a slightly dry finish, with an ever so slight hop-oil cloying – but nothing to be too upset about, in fact I like it. Maybe it is the mild cold I have.

Looks like a great Red Ale, and tastes like an excellent IPA, the best of both worlds here from the two styles. The bitter (and twisted?) characteristics of the IPA are more dominant than those of the Red Ale though.

"A tale of two beers"

– Cool, a nifty juxta-posed beer that really works for me.

Nice one!
My first Alaskan beer, and it was quite impressive – but keep that to yourself. (2,335 characters)

Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A darker shade of copper with a tan head that laced.
Big citrusy, piney hop aroma. Toasty malt buried underneath the hops.

Taste shows a big hop flavor that's mostly piney with some citrus notes as well. The hops overwhelm the malt in this one. Toasty, caramel malt backbone could be kicked up a couple notches, IMO. Of course if you're a real hophead, you might like it this way. Bitterness lingers on the palate just a bit at the finish.

Good mouthfeel and drinkability.

Overall, a good IPA that's very well hopped, but I'd like to see more malt to balance this one out. (583 characters)

Photo of u2carew
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber
A) Pours with a finger thick head that settles into a thin lacing on top and at the edge of the glass. Clear copper body.
S) Very aromatic. Piney with grapefruit rind.
T) Sharp hop bite up front. Grassy. Grapefruit rind. Finishes with an astringent hop bitterness that lingers long into the aftertaste.
M) Medium body. Tannic and dry in the finish.
O) A bold and bitter IPA in the vein of the hop bombs of the Pac-NW and So Cal. I must share this bottle but if I didn't have to I'd drink the whole thing! (516 characters)

Photo of Imstillthegman
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Solomon420 for this bomber!

Poured a ruby-amber color with a decent sized off-white head. Lots of fine, delicate lacing. Made my glass look as if it were lined with a doily.

The aroma was right up my alley. I didn't get the citrus smells I see listed in other reviews. Mine was full of pine and grass (both kinds!). I love the piney, grassy, spicy hops and this one had them.

The flavor showed the same characteristics as the smell with some caramel malts thrown in. Nicely bitter...again, just how I like 'em. No real signs of citrus anywhere...makes me wonder if the "hop shortage" made them go with different varieties then they previously used.

Mouthfeel was full bodied and nicely carbonated. I wish I had another bomber of this in the fridge. Very good IPA. (777 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SGB Jeff for popping open a bottle of this one. Brought home in a salmon shipper box from AK!

A-Deep copper with a medium off-white head that holds strong and leaves nice lacing.

S-Pine forest hops dominate with a bit of malty sweetness in the background. This one is all about the pine...lovely!

T-Prickly, tongue-tingling pine hop bitterness up front with a quick support from sweet caramel malt which cancels out the hop punch a bit too quickly. I wish the taste was as assertive as the aroma. Still good but could be a pine hop masterpiece.

M-Medium body with sticky pine hop resin clinging to each and every nook and carnny in your mouth.

D-A solid, pine hop ass-kickin' IPA. Good but borders on great if they could just punch through the hops on the tatsebuds. (781 characters)

Photo of CaptCleveland
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into SA glass. No dating.
Amber-red elixir, initial frothy head settles to tan, 2mm thin head with copious, tight bubbles. Plenty of lacing as the taste progresses.
Wonderful pine, resin aroma, with mango and grapefruit accents; subtle earthy/biscuit notes in the background.
Nicely assertive hops predominate, noted immediately on the front and wash over the buds, smoothed by the malt and leaving a nice resinous aftertaste.
Well done IPA, and at 5.7%, and canned, should be a "go to" brew. (508 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured amber colored with a finger head and a little lacing.

S: citrus fruit sweet malt and not as much hops as I thought it would have. I get a slight caramel aroma as well.

T: good hop bitterness but crisp and dry finish with a good malt balance to even this brew out. I also like the citrus fruit that accent the fresh clean flavor.

M: crispy meduim bodied beer with great carbonation to enhance the overall hoppy based brew.

D: definitely a better than I expected coming from the land of the ice. (507 characters)

Photo of bcm119
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A reddish amber color with a substantial frothy head. Wonderful PNW hop smell with some sweetish caramel hints. Hops are very prominent, and bitter. They are fresh, green, and permeate the palate with citrus rind bitterness. Delicious. The malt is substantial, and has a caramel flavor, but thankfully isn't very sweet, and its overpowered by the C hops anyway. While I normally don't like malty IPAs, this one's hop profile is so strong, green and fresh it really works well. Finishes clean and fairly dry. All this flavor in a 5.7 abv beer... I love it. If it were only cheaper I could drink this all night. A very nice IPA. I'm glad Midnight Sun is distributing around here now. (681 characters)

Photo of treyrab
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to randawakes for this incredible Midnight Sun beer. Perfect for this warm summer night.

A: Pours a clear copper with noticeable red hues. Poured cold from the fridge and the glass sweats as a result. Initially pours a one finger head, but that slowly dies to a thin ring.

S: Somewhat subdued notes of pine and grass hops with a touch of citrus and caramel. I wasn't expecting to be blasted in the face with hop scents for the low ABV, so this was right where I expected.

T: Boom. Nice and uber crisp with fresh pine and grassy hops. I'm really digging this fresh pine flavor. Intense grass hops, some nice sweet caramel back, and just a great IPA all around.

M/D: Give me more and I won't complain.

Thanks Kyle. Midnight Sun never ceases to amaze me. (763 characters)

Photo of anthony-martinez
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%

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. (158 characters)

Photo of loren01
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber color, nice frothy white head good lacing down the glass
S: Bready malt followed by floral hop scent
T: Much like the smell, bready malt followed by citrusy floral hoppiness
M: Medium bodied, finishes slightly dry
D: This is a great beer, would buy this again for sure. (291 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear dark copper color with a glacial head that sticks better than any I have previously encountered; chunks of foam cling to the side of the glass and the head persists at 1/4" for 15 minutes at least (Outdoes the old Reingold commercial, for sure!)

Smell: Solid caramel malt backbone provides a platform for some serious "C" hop aromas to waft about

Taste: As the beer warms, the caramel malt, which was hidden at first, jumps out upon the sip; after the swallow, the resinous piney hops make a strong appearance and close with a pithy component as well; a touch of sweet grapefruit juice appears at the very end

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This IPA makes me want to board the plane and head to Alaska - mighty nice (787 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (415 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)

Photo of stegmakk
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice copper and amber look with an off white head that left nice lacing...
Aroma Floral hops...p;ain and simple
Taste...Floral hoppy but mixed with a slight butter taste and a evening hint of caramel malt. Finished nice and dry. Great
Mouthfeel slick and good
Overall this is a great IPA...wish I could find it out here...thanks to weefishheads...MMMMMM (357 characters)

Photo of LiamStLiam
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good, solid IPA. Had a decent bite and is very hoppy.

I picked it up because I was intrigued by the two Alaskan 22-ouncers I always see at Kappy's (the nut brown is the other).

I like IPAs, and I liked this beer a lot. I would love to try it on tap.

Pours a darker brown than I expected. Thick, white head (I actually overpoured it).

It's a beer you need to concentrate on and enjoy. There's a lot going on, and if you drink it mindlessly, you'll miss a lot. (481 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 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 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 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 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)

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