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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

356 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 356
Reviews: 213
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 25
Gots: 20 | 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: 356 | Reviews: 213 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - pours a deep copper, rusty color, pretty dark for an IPA, huge creamy head with great retention and lacing, pretty clear, at least on the first pour

s - big grapefruit aromas coming from the hops, slight maltiness and a bit of plastic in the nose as well, no hint of alcohol

t - pretty bitter and citrusy up front, some grapefruit though not nearly as prominent as in the aroma, significant amount of biscuity malt on the midpalate and finish, hints of caramel, finish has some palate drying hop bitterness as well, lingering lemon and biscuit flavors, not much by way of alcohol on the palate

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, pretty dry on the finish

d - drinkability limited somewhat by the dryness of the finish, but overall not too bad in this realm

Decent IPA, but nothing I'd go out of my way to obtain again. Drinks more like a red ale than an IPA to me, not that that's a bad thing. Overall, just nothing that really stands out.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2008 23:52:21 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of Wetpaperbag


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

A- Wonderful rusty red color. The head with very light and thin leaving a plethora of thick lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Roasted malt and a slight smell of coffee is present. A nice cooked grapefruit smell is there as well.

T- The hops is very much there with a grapefruit taste along with the nice malted character that gives this beer a nice balance.

M- Nice mouthfeel, not too tart. This beer doesn't slay your tongue with hoppyness.

D- Easy to drink, would be great with the nice hot days coming up. I just hope those days are coming soon.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2008 04:30:38 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of russpowell


3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2008 03:51:50 | More by russpowell
Photo of JDV


3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle from liquid solutions
Pours an amber to maroon color with a soapy beige head that leaves lacing. Smell is floral, and fruity hops with some sweetness. Taste is pleasant floral hoppy notes and some tea flavors along as well. Some Hibiscus, and peachy, strawberry flavors stand out to me. Nice sharp bitterness and a unique flavor for and IPA. Quite nice and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 00:26:49 | More by JDV
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 SargeC


4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep amber brew with a golden-white head. I was impressed with how dark this beer was.

Smell: Pine, citrus and butter mask hints of sweet malt. I can pick up the aroma of this brew from a couple of feet away.

Taste: Decent balance for an intensely hopped brew. Smoky malt flavors float beneath the hops. Different bitter flavors transition and evolve throughout.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, allow the flavor to linger.

Drinkablity: An interesting IPA. Powerful without overpowering. This was just bottled a couple of weeks ago and the freshness is apparent.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 06:44:08 | More by SargeC
Photo of Imstillthegman


4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Solomon420 for this bomber!

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2008 19:37:04 | More by Imstillthegman
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 Wasatch


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

Pours a nice clean/clear dark ruby red color, too much carbonation, the head was way too much also, foamy off-white, tons and tons of sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is hoppy, slight citrus and some pines, and caramel. The taste is hoppy, slighty sweet, malty, some citrus and pines, caramel. The finish is dry and bitter. Medium body. Drinkable, I was expecting alot from this brewery, since I hear all the hype about them, not that impressed so far.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 22:29:58 | More by Wasatch
Photo of AKBelgianBeast


4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sockeye red is much better out of the tap than in the bottle. It pours a deep amber color with little to no head. The nose is floral with hoppy and citrusy aromas. The taste starts out really floral with almost a clementine taste. The taste then blows up with hops and has a smooth flavor. the hop taste is nice and flavorful but not very strong. The cohoho is much stronger with near the same smoothness. The cascade hops make their presence known but the floralness is missing for cascades. Good smooth beer to get hammered on.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2007 05:36:00 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of Floydster


2.78/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle purchased from Liquid Solutions for about five dollars

Poured into my Russian River pint glass with a dark amber color with a golden orange tint, left a 3/4 inch white lumpy head that also left lots of lacing

Smell was weak, got some floral hop aromas and a small bit of citrus, hard to distinguish, but I would say tangerine or lemon, also hints of faintly sweet malt

Taste was alright, it had a piney taste but felt like it was over hopped, not much balance, not the type of bitterness that you hope to find from and IPA, tasted some small caramel flavors and mellow malty flavors, finish is pretty strong but fades away quickly, not much going on, no hop variety whatsoever, as it warmed it just became easier to drink but the taste got even weaker

Tons of carbonation that was probably too much, average body, but a taste that did not really stand up for a long time

Could maybe drink another bottle of this, the taste just is one dimensional and gets pretty old, pretty light on the stomach and the ABV is fairly low as well, this was did not stand a chance against the other Midnight Sun beer I drank last night, Obliteration 2, I cannot really recommend this beer, not very impressed

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2007 09:17:48 | More by Floydster
Photo of icetrauma


2.6/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured this IPA into pint glass from the 22 oz bomber.. Nice hue. Red in color with an off white lacy and foamy head.

Initial smell was citrusy and some what piney.

Taste was hops, hops and more hops. I am sure there are some malts in their but the hops over power everything else. Tasty was diacytel and very piney. Left a piney after taste which quickly disipatted into nothing. Not smooth at all. Mouthfeel was avg. at best.

This IPA does not suit me at all. I am also reviewing this for a friend so, luckily this first and last was a gift.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2007 02:58:01 | More by icetrauma
Photo of Westsidethreat


3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clean and dark amber color with moderate bubble activity. The beer came highly carbonated which allowed a sudsy light tan head to spring forth.

S: Soft tangerine, some soap, little bit of pine sol and minor bready qualities.

T: Unfortunately, it tastes a lot like it smells. The flavor is dominated by a soapy, basic pine flavor that has avocado traits to it. Not a lot of depth, not a lot of attractive flavors. Some floral components but can’t get away from the sticky pine sol flavor.

M: Medium body, soft across the palate.

D: This beer was a disappointment in my book. Pass.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2007 22:02:30 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of mcallister


3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dirty brown until some light interacts and shows it's amber side. Full thick fluffy retentive head leaves chunky lacing abound and around.

Lush grapefruit and caramel. Other tropical fruits abound. Sweet floral candied malts. What a wonderful nose. Melon, papaya, with other citrusy, and tropical notes. A very grainy feel as well.

Flavor kind of falls apart. A very good drinkable IPA with a good amount of bitterness but loses most of the complexity the nose portrays. Grapefruit, dark grains, caramel, hints of toffee, and a bit of peach on the finish. Nice floral hop bitterness also on the finish. Hefty carbonation and full mouthfeel. A full bodied IPA that is a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2007 18:50:59 | More by mcallister
Photo of xychromosome

North Carolina

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

Poured more a dark amber/copper than red. White head last well into half-glass. Bottle label says hopped with 'generous portions of centenniel and cascade hops' and that's definitely what you can smell in the aroma.
Tastes crisp, with plenty of hop flavour and bite. Body is a little thin but that increases its drinkability. A nice effort, easy drinking american red.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2007 21:13:37 | More by xychromosome
Photo of warmstorage


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler filled at the brewery ($7 when you have your own glass), so it's about as fresh as it can be short of being on tap. Impressions are very similar to the dozens and dozens of bombers I've consumed over the years.

Appearance: deep amber, almost copper, with medium dense white head that sticks around and leaves moderate lacing.

Aroma: bring earthy hops and sweet, caramel malt are evenly represented.

Taste: again, a nice balance of earthy, grassy hops with some citrus, and a deep, fairly sweet malt body with caramel and some grain notes.

Mouth is odd: it's full in a sweet malt sense, but the beer is a little thin overall. A tingly carbonation is present.

A solid IPA, but not particularly for the West Coast style. (The MSBC web site describes it as a Pacific NW style IPA.) It's not quite hoppy enough, and the malt body is too pronounced, and kind of outshines the hops. It's quite drinkable, and as a malty English IPA/session beer it would be outstanding. As an American, West Coast IPA, however, it's merely average.

Serving type: growler

08-13-2007 00:34:17 | More by warmstorage
Photo of ccrida


3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on draft in a shaker pint, at Humpies in Anchorage, the Sockeye is amber with slight haze and a thin eggshell head that leaves heavy lace.

The smell is all hops, amarillo me thinks, spicy and piny.

The taste is also really hoppy, although there is a bit of a malt background to balance it out, sort of! It finishes very bitter though and a bit harsh.

The mouthfeel is slightly creamy but a bit heavy for the ABV and style.

This is moderately drinkable. Pretty good at first if you looking for a spicy hop fix, but I think you'd tire of it by the 2nd pint.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2007 15:51:14 | More by ccrida
Photo of

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber.

A semi-careless pour resulted in about 1 inch of faintly hazy amber liquid buried under a mountain of light tan foam. Label listed centennial and cascade hops.

Aroma was pine and grapefruit, with some caramel and alcohol peeking through as well.

An hour later, when the foam subsided...I found a very tasty, well balanced beer. Hops were mainly citrus-orange in flavor. I was surprised by some coffee/roast flavors in there. A bit of sweet fruit, maybe apricots?, rounded out the taste.

Medium to full bodied. Very smooth. Carbonation was high. Beer was rather drying.

Overall, very good. Not sure about those coffee notes, but they didn't detract from the beer as a whole. Reminded me a bit of Nugget Nectar, which is a beer anyone should be proud to be compared to.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2007 19:35:25 | More by
Photo of SkinnyElvis


3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to czoch for a bottle in a trade. This did not start well since the beer overflowed when taking off the cap. It took about five minutes to settle down. Fairly hoppy smell. Tastes primarily of Centennial hops and is tasty. Mouthfeel is a bit overcarbonated like the pour. This beer is drinkable but not special. Typical IPA but I was a little disappointed since my only other taste of Midnight Sun was the Arctic Devil barley wine which was great.


Serving type: bottle

02-23-2007 00:24:39 | More by SkinnyElvis
Photo of ecooper


3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep amber hue with a HUGE, rocky, off-white head that's sticky like meringue. Leaves splotches of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells very inviting! Full of citrusy hop aromas (pineapple, grapefruit, and orange) and some pine scents as well.

T - Taste is different than expected. Almost entirely bitter the whole way through, the beer introduces itself with a mix of earthy and woody hop flavors. A biscuity malt backbone comes in later and seems to contain some rye.

M - Pretty average for an American IPA - not too heavy & not too light.

D - Moderately drinkable - it would be nice if the malt flavors competed a little more with the hops to help balance it a little.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2007 22:09:15 | More by ecooper
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 brentk56

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2006 01:00:51 | More by brentk56
Photo of Vancer


3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Made in the frozen tudra (yeah, redundant) of Alaska. A solid brew, too. Earthy brown pour with a lacing tan head, died a tad too quick.

Wow, aroma of evergreen pine moss, along with some citrus notes. Earthy and woody nuts in the taste. A tad bitter harsh on the finish.

Sharp and crisp, it’s a nice break from the heat. This would work well in the cool autumn, while checking out football with a dozen hot wings in your lap.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2006 21:16:01 | More by Vancer
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 Reidrover


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

This is an unusually dark colured IPA, almost brown ..dark garnet hints, small splotchy white head. Nice spicy/citrus hop aromas, piney and candy sugar come to mind. Deep piney, resinous hop flavours, then it smooths out a bit and shows a bit of malt body.Long pleasing biter after taste. Quite good on the palate, smoth yet not boring again enjoyed the after taste. A nice slightly unusual IPA. A good spring day beer

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2006 03:02:45 | More by Reidrover
Sockeye Red IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 356 ratings.