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

397 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 397
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 26
Gots: 37 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 397 | Reviews: 216
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a 1 inch beige head that fades to a small cap. Good rings of lace on the drink down. Smells of pine hops and caramel malt. Tastes of pine tree hops with a caramel malt backbone. Medium hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. Not a whole lot going on in the smell or taste. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean due to a good carbonation level. Overall, a better than average IPA that I am glad to try. My bottle was produced in April 2010 so I can only assume this was better fresh.

Photo of metter98
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
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

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 BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +19%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks a ton for the great gifts frank, we had a fun night with all of these for sure!

The rich velvet like amber pour was a touch cloud and capped by a wonderful light light of white that reached a height of around of two inches before dropping down with copious amounts of side glass lacing. Rich and biting citrus hops across the nose, bitter with a sweet orange peel like zest to it. Super smooth flavor here with a nice medium bodied feel and more then ample carbonation. The biting hop note mellowed mid palate as some nice balancing came into play with light buttery like malts and a light hint of grain before a smackdown of hops came across my tongue and shattered all hop of anything but a luscious and dry finish.

Such a super drinkable and wonderful 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 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 womencantsail
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of ipa247. Thanks Jeff!

A: The pour is a red-orange/amber/copper color with a rather fluffy off-white head.

S: The nose is quite heavy on the bitter grapefruit, pine, and even some mild floral notes. There's still a bit of bread and caramel malt in the background.

T: The beer has a wonderful and sharp bitterness to it which I found very enjoyable. The hops are quite piney and have plenty of bitter grapefruit as well. The malt stands out a bit more than I generally like, but not sweet by any means.

M: The body is on the lighter end of the medium spectrum with a moderate carbonation and a pleasant bitterness.

D: This was a very nice beer from Midnight Sun. A bit of a mix between an IPA and a hoppy amber ale which worked well. I'd taste this one again.

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a clear, reddish orange color with a small, khaki colored head of bubbly foam. It had nice retention and left some thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of pine and tropical fruits - some grapefruit and mango.

T - Nice burnt toast maltiness with caramel sweetness. Good sharp bitterness from the hops with tropical fruit flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a pretty tasty IPA. Another very find brew from Midnight Sun.

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 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 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 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 mactrail
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a handsome cark coppery amber in the tall Saxo wine-style glass. White, fine-grained head adds to the pleasure. That spicy nose of Cascades is always welcome.

Rich, malty, and mouthfilling in spite of the modest ABV. Really nice aroma. Actually an excellent hop taste without the killing bitterness. Every mouthful has that aromatic taste. Even a little sweetness. This is a good argument against DIPAs; this has all the flavor without the overkill.

For a random single can this tastes fresh and flavorful. A nice surprise, but Midnight Sun is one of my favorite breweries from visiting it in Anchorage a couple of times. From the 22 oz can bought at Bine and Vine in San Diego.

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 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 kojevergas
2.96/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 fl oz aluminum can acquired at Adam's Fine Wine and Liquor in Redondo Beach earlier tonight and served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. I like the can art. 70 IBUs. 5.7% ABV confirmed. No visible best before/bottled on date.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. As soon as I opened it, some liquid foamed out; overcarbonation is expected.

A: Pours a four finger beige/khaki colour head of decent cream, nice thickness, and good (~4-5 minute) retention. Body colour is a clear vibrant translucent copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks good for an IPA. No lacing as the had recedes. I'd like a more frothy head.

Sm: Light grapefruit. Noticeable hop bitterness - I'm hoping that's not going to be the case in the taste as well. Floral hop character. Biscuity malts; caramalt. A pretty light aroma. Pretty standard; there's nothing unique or special here. Subpar for the style. I hope the taste is better than the aroma.

T: Caramel, caramalts, some biscuit malt. Noticeable untamed hop bitterness. Flroal hop character but not much. Biting. Grapefruit. Lacks balance; it's not very good. Not very flavorful. Boring. Poorly built for an IPA - "red" or not.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Undercarbonated. Not quite thick enough. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well.

Dr: Drinkable but forgettable. I expected far better from a brewery as acclaimed as Midnight Sun. It's decent but pedestrian. I definitely wouldn't get it again. Disappointing but okay.

High C

Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle:

Pours hazed dark amber with an off-white head that stays. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is woody/earthy with grapefruit, pine, tea-leaf, tobacco-leaf and caramel.

The taste is herbal, pine/wood with tea-leaf. Caramel mixes with tobacco-leaf, but an aspirin-y bitterness overrides. Bitterness lingers through the finish.

It is medium-bodied with lasting dryness.

It has a bitter, slightly alcoholic bite. The bitterness is a bit too dry and aspirin-y. Still, it's a solid hop-fix.

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 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 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 GClarkage
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

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 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

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Sockeye Red IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 397 ratings.