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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

382 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 382
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 25
Gots: 29 | FT: 2
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: 382 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mgbickel
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.)!

Photo of augustgarage
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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...

Photo of Gobzilla
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Photo of beachbum1975
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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...

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

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.

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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 BrewerB
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of bcm119
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Photo of popery
4.32/5  rDev +14%
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.

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

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.

Photo of hophead247
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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 Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
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 darklordlager
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Patrick999
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's not too often I get to drink beers from Alaska. If I read the bottle correctly, this looks *reasonably* fresh.

Appearance is certainly that of an IPA - reddish gold, big creamy-thick lumpy foam that sticks.

In the aroma, a lot of sweet grapefruit. Smells nicely hopped, reinforcing my belief that it's not too much past its prime.

Yeah, the hops are still there, no doubt. Taken cold, the profile comes off as sweet grapefruit, as it warms more pine-like notes unfold. While a hop bomb, it doesn't entirely cede the notion of balance. There is a substantial malt backing that gives this beer a little more heft than the typical 5.7-6% IPA. In both taste and feel, I think this drinks a bit bigger than it actually is.

Good IPA. Not entirely distinctive, but good. I do like the relatively low ABV, and big hops with some balance. Lot of flavor for its strength. I could easily make this a staple if it didn't have to travel thousands and thousands of miles to get here.

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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

Hopped with the 2 C's, Centennial and Cascade, so there is no denying that they're aiming at American IPA. Superb frothing and head retention, this is expected and Midnight Sun delivers. Crystal clear and glowing reddish-orange color. Pungent citric, piney and floral aroma from the hops. Big enough that the malt never really reaches the nose. Full mouthfeel of a round malt foundation, smooth and crisp carbonation and a sturdy medium body. Slight vortex of hop bitterness and flavor claims the taste buds only leaving the faintest fraction of room for the malt flavor to come forth. Waves of citric and light piney flavors hold a steady grip on the palate. A hint of bready malt and vague caramel come through middle to end. The finish: it's bitter, and a long lingering bitter road it is.

Before you crack this bottle ask yourself one question. "Do I like hops?" If the answer is yes, then get ready for a ride. It's American IPAs like this that make our world go round and with a borderline session ABV of 5.7 percent, keep it coming.

Photo of mjl21
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Belmont Station in Portland. 22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Comes in at 5.7% and 70 IBUs. The month and week bottled area has no notches indicating bottling info.

A-Pours a clear brownish amber with a one finger off white head. The bottle states that it has a lot of reddish hue but I found it to veer towards the brown spectrum. Lots of bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom.

S-I pick up on aromas of pine and grapefruit which seemed to have faded a little. There is some sweet malt that is apparent.

T-Pine, some bitter grapefruit, and grassy/herbal hops jump out first. Midway through each sip I get some metallic flavor as well as some medicinal notes that distract from the beer. It finishes with some bitter grapefruit flavor. In between sips it has an herbal aftertaste along with some caramel sweetness and a smoked cedar-like flavor. I should note that during the second pour the medicinal/metallic flavors midway through did disappear a little.

M-Slightly watery, smooth, and well carbonated.

D-Since there was no dating, I am not sure if this one is past its prime or if this is the way the brewers wanted it to taste.

I would save final judgment until I have tried an extremely fresh bottle.

Photo of everetends
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber that had a bottle date of early September. Served up in my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

A: Pours a very nice and deep red color. Much more red than I expected it to be. Held to the light, it has more of a light brown and orange hue to it. It is very clear wit a good amount of active carbonation moving around in there. Got about a finger of white, fluffy head. It hangs around a bit, slowly falling to a thick ring on the top cap. Spotty lacing staggers around on the glass. Its a looker.

S: Smell is pretty much fragrant hops. Lot of pine hops aroma fills the glass, its just blatant and wonderful. There is a touch of grapefruit sitting behind that, adding a bit of diversity. I would love to say there is some malt pushing through, but not so much. This isn't a negative though. This is a wonderful IPA aroma, and that pine smell is just amazing. Just smells so cleam and inviting.

T: Yet again its nice. Pine hop flavor shines here as well. Very clean, and up front. Yet again a touch of citric grapefruit mixing things up a bit. Behind that is a touch of a negative medicinal flavor. I don't know if that is how the hops have fallen off or what, but its just a minor set back. Malts are light but add some sweetness to cut through all this hoppiness. Touch of caramel. I like it, but that medicinal flavor keeps it from a 4.

M: Light side of medium in body. Has a touch of creaminess to it at times, and at others it a very crisp and refreshing. Carbonation is a bit high, but this really helps that crisp factor, so thats a plus. ABV is barely noticeable in the feel, just a slight warmth. Aftertaste is all pine hops goodness.

D: I like it. Very clean, refreshiing and crisp. I am always a fan of red IPAs, because I know the malts are going to play a bit more of a role. I really want to get my hands on a fresh bottle so I can see that this nearly 2 months has done to this beer. Still, the hops held up well and didn't make this a weak experience at all. Good stuff for sure

Photo of RedHaze
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright coppery red with a two finger head that sticks around for a long time. Tons of sticky lace is left behind.

Smell; herbal hops lead things off, pine tree, oranges and grapefruit. There's a little sweet maltinees in the nose, but it's all in the background as this is definitely dominated by the hops.

Taste; pine and dusty hay, orange and grapefruit rinds, a little black tea. A decent little toffee sweetness helps offset the bitterness a touch. It actually starts out more bitter than it does in the finish.

Mouthfeel/drinkability; mouthfeel is on the thin side even for a standard IPA, but this may actually help the drinkability. Goes down all to quickly.

This is my second Midnight Sun brew, and both have been really good. Hope I can get my hands on some more in the future.

Photo of stoutfiend27
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..

Photo of morimech
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with a large off-white head that had excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Very dark color for an IPA. Extremely hoppy aroma of citrus, namely grapefruit as well as some grass. Bitterness is very high. It distracts from the actual flavor of the beer. Some citrus flavor does sneak past if allowed to swirl around the mouth but it is short lived. Malt is almost not noticed at all but there is some caramel malt characeristics. This one is for extreme hopheads. Not so much for people who like some balance. The carbonation is a little prickly and when combined with the bitterness it seems harsh. A good hop fix for those seeking bountiful bitterness. A surpisingly low ABV lifts the drinkability despite the somewhat harsh charactor of the beer.

Photo of ralree
4.59/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown, white head, nice lacing.

S: More grapefruit than the Melt Down. Lots of hops.

T: Lots of yeast, lots of Northwest hops, a little grapefruit kick. Not sweet, but good.

M: Very dry, non-astringent, good carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Goes down easy.

Photo of RJLarse
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a bomber of Sockeye Red IPA in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a garnet and copper color and is clear. A rich and thick 2-tone beige and off-white head caps the beer and leaves curtains of lace on the glass.

Smell is decidedly malty, with a sweet caramel fragrance. None of the pine scent one comes to expect from the style.

Taste is malty, with some dominant sweet caramel flavors, a litle smokey presence, and a minty after taste which is kind of interesting.

Mouthfeel is smooth, full-bodied and mildly carbonated. A bit cloying, but not in a bad way.

A very drinkable IPA, and at 5.7% ABV would ber very sessionable. A little over priced at $5.49 for the 22 oz bottle, but a very good northwest IPA.

Cheers to Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Sockeye Red IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 382 ratings.