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Sockeye Red IPA - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Sockeye Red IPASockeye Red IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

325 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 325
Reviews: 208
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.08%

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:
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 added by: purplehops on 02-21-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 325 | Reviews: 208 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of stoutfiend27

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
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..

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2009 01:00:37 | More by stoutfiend27
Photo of dubinsky


3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Copper with an amber tinge and very good clarity. Nice and soapy two finger tan head.

S - This beer is rather old. Oops, fell into the abyss of my beer fridge and i saw it and realized it needed to be drunk ASAP. Perhaps the age on this beer has diminished the smell, since its rather faint for an IPA, but i am smelling pine cones, citrus and floral hops with virtually no malts.

T - Great blend of piney hops, citrus rinds, pineapple and malt. I surprisingly really enjoyed the taste given the age of this one. Great bitter finish.

M - A moderate to low carbonation. Perhaps this is a factor of age, but it was rather flat.

D - An enjoyable beer, but at the price of this bottle, $6.49 i think i will stick with Green Flash Hop Head Red.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 03:50:44 | More by dubinsky
Photo of JohnnyP3


3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 05:58:02 | More by JohnnyP3
Photo of bcm119


4.13/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 03:30:01 | More by bcm119
Photo of kmcnair


3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, a very welcome freshness dating on the bottle and consumed from my 22oz Arrogant Bastard glass. This pours a nice redish amber color and makes a HUGE off white head. H-U-G-E!!! I was gentle with the pour and there was nothing stopping this monstrosity of creamy head. Aroma is a decent blend of cascade hops and a bit of malt, very standard west coast IPA flare here, fitting of the style but nothing too special for me, notes of citrus. Flavor is bitter but not overly complex, light grapefruit esters in the finish, fairly well balanced. Medium mouthfeel with lots of carbonation and a dry finish. It is a solid drinkable brew, but it just doesn't sock me in the eye like I was hoping! I think there are much better options on the market for this style.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2004 07:53:20 | More by kmcnair
Photo of hophead247


3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Quite cloudy and orange amber in color. Strong hoppiness and moderately bitter with some orange citrus, but what makes this IPA good is that it has a solid, lightly sweet malt backbone, though the hops does remain somewhat dominant here. It has a mild sourness (in all 3 tastings) and a lingering hops bitterness that outlasts the malt in the finish. Medium to full bodied with a solid mouthfeel, and high carbonation levels that expand inside the mouth on each sip. Very hoppy, though soapy nose, but with a fair amount of maltiness for nice balance.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 06:34:35 | More by hophead247
Photo of DelMontiac


4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's nice to have friends in Alaska when you live in Oklahoma.

Nicely decorated label on the 22oz bottle. Color was a cool shade of red/orange and produced a decent two fingers of white foam that never completely went away leaving nice patterns resembling snow-capped Alaskan mountains. Pretty beer.

I expected a more extreme hop aroma based on what I read before receiving this bottle. I found the hop nose to be strong, but not overpowering. The firm citrus/pine combination still allows for the sweet caramel malt to make a show.

Yes, the hops are going to grab you, but they are accentuated by a nice grapefruit/lemon peel presence. Nice sticky caramel malt foundation. Balanced nicely.

Moderate body. Good carb even with the long flight. Moderate drinkability.

So glad I got my hands on this. Would recommend this Alaskan brew to anyone curious about the brew in the land of the Midnight Sun.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 05:13:11 | More by DelMontiac


4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So this Sockeye Red has a mildly ruby color, plenty clear, with a mild and lacing froth.
The nose speaks solely of a sugared spruce, with more sugar than spruce.
The taste has a lot of the foreshadowed pine resin notions, with an unexpected, wild, and fleeting sweetness that for a brief glimpse makes me think about a cotton candy machine I always wanted.
Overall a good American IPA, which I must say bears a VERY strong
resemblance to 3Floyds Alpha King. Very muvugin strong indeed.

And that's a good thing.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 03:46:06 | More by GIVEMEBACKMYSON
Photo of KevinBrewer


3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 05:05:01 | More by KevinBrewer
Photo of kennyo

New York

3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, pours with nice big, rocky head, kind of Belgian like. The head stays for the entire beer. Reddish/amber color, clear. Sweet hoppy aroma, lots of Cascades wafting thru the air.no malt aroma at all, hops take over. Mouthfeel average, not thin, not thick. More hops than malt in the flavor profile. Very drinkable beer, goes down very nice. Very nice beer for my first beer from the state of Alaska.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2004 11:18:11 | More by kennyo
Photo of TheLiterati


4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After completing a full marathon up in Anchorage, AK, home of Humpy’s Great Alaskan Ale House, just about anything would have tasted good to our little team of runners! Still, we were determined to S-L-O-W-L-Y make the one block walk from the Egan Convention Center where our “official” victory party was being held, to Humpy’s where the real party would begin!

Being a fan of BIG Pacific Northwest IPAs – especially those not readily available in So Cal where I live – I was looking forward to having a sampling of what Humpy’s had to offer.

We all settled on Humpy’s Sockeye Red. As the team beer aficionado, I was asked to describe the potentially hoppy bite of a big Pac Northwest IPA. And as I watched the Sockeye being poured, I warned our little crew: this could be bigger than any beer they’d ever had.

Then again, they’d all just done a full- or half-marathon, so why not go for it?

I’ll say this: if doing a 26.2-mile footrace didn’t knock me on my butt, the Sockeye IPA certainly did. A beautifully red-amber IPA with a nose that comes close to overwhelming – but doesn’t – this ale demands careful consideration and is meant to be fully appreciated.

One team member immediately observed the notes of grapefruit and citrus, both in the taste and the nose. This is what Humpy’s describes as a “med-high hoppy bitterness,” and believe me Sockeye delivers.

The mouthfeel wasn’t as heavy as I’d have expected from ale as heavily hopped as this one, but it wasn’t unpleasant. It started with a nice amount of carbonation that didn’t get in the way of the complexity of flavors – a nice balance of citrus and malt, a tart sweetness without being syrupy or cloying – and ended with smooth and dry.

We paired this beer with the Alaskan Smoked Salmon Spread, served with French bread along with some other tasty appetizers. The spread had a peppery bite, but the Sockeye more than stood up to it and made for a nice pairing.

Drinkable? Absolutely. I’ve read that you can get this Ale in bottles in the Pac Northwest. Though I’m sure it won’t quite stand up to having this ale at the source, you can bet I’ll snag at least a few bottles on my next trip north!

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2006 17:48:27 | More by TheLiterati
Photo of Elemental


4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2003 20:28:23 | More by Elemental
Photo of MrNuggets


4.7/5  rDev +24%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2004 07:15:19 | More by MrNuggets
Photo of jakon


3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2007 05:50:37 | More by jakon
Photo of Kookiekwan


3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2005 00:49:38 | More by Kookiekwan
Photo of Kuaff


4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
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.

Serving type: can

06-01-2013 16:09:54 | More by Kuaff
Photo of markgugs

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(bottle dated Nov. 2007) 22oz. bottle poured into a pint glass, thanks to AKBelgianBeast for the trade (consumed: 2/18/08)

A: Pours a gorgeous clear copper body with a lovely 2-finger off-white creamy head, which lasts quite a long time and leaves tons of thick, sticky lacing. The hops are strong with this one, fo' sho'.

S: Boom! Huge hop bouquet, mostly of the citric and pine variety, with a slight roasted malt character behind that. But really, this guy is a hopmonster, i.e. a PNW brew. Sorta one-sided, but you get what you want here.

T/M: Just writing this from my notes, my mouth began to water again, that's how juicy & delicious this beer was. Every sip was an explosion of evergreen pine needles backed by a grainy, fresh-baked bread malt center for balance. Finish is all bitter, all the time. A true classic IPA. Carbonation and oil slick qualities combine to create a creamy masterpiece.

D: For an insanely hoppy & bitter IPA, this guy would be a regular if it wasn't so hard to get. Reminded me a bit of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in a way, so I'm just guessing the ample use of Cascade hops have a lot to do with that. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2008 19:49:07 | More by markgugs
Photo of jabocu


3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2006 02:00:53 | More by jabocu
Photo of scootpolute


2.33/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Smooth, malty & great hop kick at the top, followed by more malts and spice (from the alcohol)some citrus, then ending with more pine-like spices...a surprisingly dry finish...The carbonation is good There's a good fullness. Present, but not 'too' much fruity/sweet flavors...The final pine/spice balances the beer out wonderfully, although the VERY dry aftertaste threw me...I was expecting a fruitier/hoppier finish...This one good, but not as 'GREAT' as so many others claim...Not to 'poo-poo' the Bros, but 'c-mon...OK...I agree this is still a great example of a NW American IPA, but there are far better ones out 'here' than the hype of this one...I just didn't like the over-dry ending notes...perhaps better on tap, eh?!...Chasin' Cheers :~)

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2012 00:37:40 | More by scootpolute
Photo of codysjb


4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2012 04:23:20 | More by codysjb
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove


3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 04:34:22 | More by SanDiegoBeerLove
Photo of Shumania


3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Serving type: can

09-04-2013 00:46:21 | More by Shumania
Photo of rmalinowski4


3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 01:53:19 | More by rmalinowski4
Photo of CorvetteMike

Rhode Island

2.99/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

While on a land tour in Anchorage Al, purchased a sampler at Humpy's

A: Amber in color, with a small head.

S: Cranberries/grapefruit smell to it.

T: Bitter/tart taste, too strong for me.

M: Full bodied, heavy carbonation, strong.

O: Least favorite of the sampler, too strong for me..

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2013 18:23:28 | More by CorvetteMike
Photo of JupiterJesus


1.25/5  rDev -67%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

22oz purchased at OL beercafe in Walnut Creek.

I can't tell if something is wrong with it or if it's supposed to taste like this. Filled with harsh, phenolic, medicinal flavors. It tastes like my Union Jack clone (british yeast, combination of british and us malt, cascade & centennial hops), and I considered that batch a failure.

The hops are so harsh and raw that they leave my mouth feeling like I sucked on a combination of kitchen cleaner and mouthwash. Dry, hard to taste the malt behind the hops and the harsh phenolics. It is possible I got a bad batch - I can't believe it would taste like this all the time.

Next time I go to Alaska, I'll have a fresh pint at the brewery. If it's better, I'll amend my review. For now, I can hardly finish my half of the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 04:18:43 | More by JupiterJesus
Sockeye Red IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 325 ratings.