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Sockeye Red IPA - Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sockeye Red IPASockeye Red IPA

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

366 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 366
Reviews: 213
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 25
Gots: 22 | FT: 1
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: 366 | Reviews: 213 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Picked up a 22oz bomber for $6.99 (wow - pricey!) at Olive Tree Market here in OB and poured it into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a clean reddish/copper hue with a solid one-finger head that sticks around a while leaving a thick coat of lace in my glass from start to finish.

S: Fresh and hoppy - floral citrus earthiness, fermented cherries with nice sweet carmel malt to round it all out.

T: Good bitter hop upfront with a big citrus bight and tons of earthy resins and piney flavors, balanced well with tasty sweet roasted malt.

M: Medium-bodied but definitely on the lighter side of it, pretty dry for an IPA, well carbonated but not too much with a lingering bitterness from the hop.

D: These are easy to throw back, but man i'm trying to figure out how they justify charging $6.99 - just doesn't seem right if you ask me.

DeanMoriarty, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of Xul
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%

A: Translucent dark golden with major ruby highlights, capped by two fingers of frothy off-white head. Retention is moderate as the head settles slowly to a thin layer of foam.

S: Piney hops up front, followed by some slightly stale citrus - orange and pineapple mainly - backed by a big caramel base. It doesn't smell exceedingly fresh, but it just hit San Diego...confusing.

T: Tastes fresher than it smells, opening up with moderate pine presence and light citrus. Caramel base shines on the mid-palate before the hops return, building up to a rather strong, hoppy finish of pine, oranges and pineapple.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation, has a great creamy smoothness.

D: Rather refreshing and easy drinking...good IPA, but certainly wouldn't become an everyday choice for me.

Xul, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%

Yeah, so it's somewhere between a red ale and an IPA, obviously. The colour is not quite the bright and burgeoning mahogany red of a proper red ale, but it's slightly too dark for a real IPA. Head is extremely light white, very bright and very clear. Some lacing, but it's minimal. Looks reasonably good.

Nose is wonderful, a big tropical apocalypse of fruity and pungent West Coast hops. Big pineapple notes, with citrus rind and a little crushed grass to accentuate the sharpness. Very sweet and robust. If it's missing much else, it can be forgiven; these are the characters you want in an IPA.

Taste is nicely done. Big hop character on the front, which dissipates quickly after dropping a dollop of fruity hop resins. It clears very quickly, with little on the mid palate before a slight oily bitterness asserts itself on the back. Overall hop character is restrained, but there's little malt on it whatsoever, so there would be little body to back up the hops if they were more dominant. Overall, it feels rather well balanced. Feel is clean and crisp, what with the light body, but it fits the beer.

Very decent IPA, but the Red in the name only hints at a slightly deeper colour to the appearance. There's certainly no greater grain or malt character to it, and while it's a little thin, that probably aids the drinkability. Not the best example I've had, but it's tasty enough.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of Overlord
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%

Wow, I didn't think I'd be disappointed by a midnight sun brew, but this did the trick.

Pours a reddish amber color. Huge white foam head.

Smells faintly of pine, strongly of ... hmm.... strongly of nothing. Just some pine, maybe a faint hint of stale citrus. Just kind of ... flat and stale.

Taste is ... just ... old. This was supposedly a fresh shipment, and my take kind of matches some other reviews, so I don't know ... just kind of a flat, stale malt flavor, a bit of bittering pine. Not much going on here.

Really carbonated.

Overlord, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of dubinsky
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

dubinsky, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of Docer
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%

Snagged up a bottle at By The Bottle here #inthecouve Vancouver, WA.... nice to see more Midnight Sun brews...

- Nice thin white layer of foam with a rather large ring around my tulip... Very clear reddish copper ale... looks pretty.

- Hops galore... pine, grapefruit, grassy.... light grain, biscuit..

- Wonderful light grainy flow of hops... balanced, and yet the flavors are hop prominent... grapefruit, pine, bitter bite... bready grain, smooth caramel...

- Medium to light bodied... carbonation is near perfection...

- Very drinkable red ale.. I do prefer a little more grain, oats, and roasty touch to a red... but this is what it is... a more red IPA... and certainly is more bitter up front... but yet finishes with great hop aromas... what seems to be various hops...

Docer, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of hooliganlife
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%

Pours a deep ruby copper with hints of brown. Nice inch high head and amazing lacing.

Lots of sweet citrus and floral hops with sweet candy malts.

Tons of hops come out at you with a nice bitterness of pine and citrus. Hints of spice. Nice light sweet malt presence.

Moderate carbonation with a medium to light feel. Not thin by any means but a bit light.

This was a delicious amber ipa. Tons of flavor and very fun and interesting. Perfect ABV made this 22oz easy to kill.

hooliganlife, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

SanDiegoBeerLove, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%

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.

Georgiabeer, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of mgbickel
3.93/5  rDev +4%

Straight from the great state of Alaska; brought to Pittsburgh by my wife's best friend and the godmother of my youngest...if you ever read this Erin, thank you so much!

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. A massive, 2 ½ fingers of sandstone head formed on top of the clear, rusty amber body. The thick layer of foam slowly dissipated, mounding in the center like Mt. McKinley, leaving a huge amount of froth on the side of my glass.

The nose has a lot of sweet aromas...caramel, roasted malts, and milk sugar. There are some hops present, but not what I would expect from an IPA...they linger in the background more so...

Well, the shy nose hops sure as hell don't follow the rules on the palate! They hit hard and fast, coating my mouth with a piney resin that sticks around throughout the entire drink. The caramel/malt notes are still there, but (totally opposite form the nose) they play a secondary role.

The mouth is on medium bodied, oily and decently carbonated.

Drinkable for sure...wish it was available in my region. Worth a try if you are in Alaska (or CA, or wherever else it is dist.)!

mgbickel, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Rust colored body with faint glimmers of yellow peeking out around the edges. Decent clarity despite the dark color. Immense rocky beige head with thick merengue-like lacing and superior retention.

Earthy, herbal, almost smokey hop aromatics merge seamlessly into the caramel from the malt. Fresh and hemp-like.

Bitterness seems high initially but the forest floor flavors dominate into the finish, accompanied there by a lingering lightly toasted malt flavor with a whisper of smoke. Mid-palate is a different story, as the sweet buttery caramel flavor seems out of place and doesn't contribute anything positive to the profile, and clashes somewhat with the small amount of citrus that I can taste.

I would have guessed that there is a substantial addition of Chinook hops to this brew, but it seems what I am getting is more a combination of the Centennial and Cascade that they used (though I would never have thought they used Simcoe).

Medium-bodied, rich, with prickly carbonation.

A potent albeit imperfect NW-style IPA, which I think would pair well with Gruyere de Comte or maybe a smoked cheese...

augustgarage, May 23, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%

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.

Gobzilla, May 13, 2010
Photo of beachbum1975
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Picked this up yesterday at City Brewing in San Fran. Per the owner at City Beer, they just started carrying Midnight Sun a short time ago - woot for me!

Pours a crystal clear reddish brown with tan highlights. Gorgeous to look at, but it would be nicer if the light tan head lasted longer.

The nose is very pleasing. Floral, almost rose-like qualities mixed with citrus and a mildly sweet caramel.

Light to medium bodied with higher carbonation. The hops are much more powerful when tasting. The amount of hops bring a nice crisp and bitter freshness...

Very refreshing and enjoyable. I'd have this again if it was available to me in Cincinnati...

beachbum1975, May 10, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +5.8%

A true NW style IPA. Some love it, some hate it and I happen to dig it.

A: Nice copper color with good carbonationa nd a big white head

S: Lots of fresh, earthy hops, fuits, mainly a light citrus, tropical

T: Nice citrus, tropical fruit taste, earthy undertones, finish is a sting of very light booze and hop bitterness with some malt.

M: Has a sharp, short lived hop bite, earthy, malty and syrup feel.

D: Pretty darn good.

barleywinefiend, May 04, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

womencantsail, Apr 01, 2010
Photo of BrewerB
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%

Reddish-copper. Great clarity. Formed an off-white, sticky foam with great retention. Hops dominating in the aroma. Pineapple/tropical fruits perch atop a moderately-rich caramel maltiness. Would appreciate more hop character in the flavor. Medium-dry finish. Medium bodied with a moderately-high carbonation. Glad to have tried it but unlikely to purchase a second bottle.

BrewerB, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of bcm119
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%

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.

bcm119, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of popery
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%

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.

popery, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +5.8%

A: Poured a rustic-amber with coppery-orange hues along with a bright clarity. A gentle pour yielded a billowy 3 finger monster of a head that was off white in color and of great retention. A thick entangled foam spiderweb coats the greater portion of the glass for a lacing. Visible carbonation was sparse, composed of rapidly rising macro-bubbles.

S: A good wiff of pacific west hops first emerges on the nose. Traditional scents of pine and semi-dry grapefruit are also represented here with fairly good strength. There was a bit of fresh wet lemony touch, which reminded me of Amarillo as well. The malting is only lightly noted here with but the slightest indication of dry toasted nature that is soon to come.

T: The malting is well displayed in the flavor with an almost American amber like body. Dry with a good show of Pacific northwest hops come through with very good results. Fresh piney notes along with dry grapefruit are prominent here against a ample toasted backing of grains. Things finish up with a dry hop offering of pine and grapefruit that lingers for a brief bit. Overall I liked the flavor, a solid good offering.

M: The body was light with a very smooth experience on the tongue. Upon the hold it slowly creams up from the ample carbonation giving a rough flowery texture.

D: Nice drinakbility, drinking like amped up American amber. A bomber goes well here and pretty solid by example.

beerthulhu, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of hophead247
3.63/5  rDev -4%

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.

hophead247, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%

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

BEERchitect, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%

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.

Beerandraiderfan, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%

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.

Mora2000, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of darklordlager
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%

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.

darklordlager, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of billab914
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%

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.

billab914, Dec 23, 2009
Sockeye Red IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 366 ratings.