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Michigan Brewing High Seas India Pale Ale - Michigan Brewing Company

Michigan Brewing High Seas India Pale AleMichigan Brewing High Seas India Pale Ale

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

197 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 197
Reviews: 168
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 11.44%

Brewed by:
Michigan Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-19-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 197 | Reviews: 168 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Pizza Plant in Buffalo. Very bitter bias but clear c-hop. A serviceable IPA but tasted like a citrus cold medicine to me. Carbonation a bit aggressive. Peachy clour. No clear hop aroma.Didnt all go together, but would have it again in a bottle if pushed on me.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2006 14:55:20 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massively murky tawny with candy corn yellow edges. High Seas is one of the most turbid IPAs that I've ever seen and is opaque with even the brightest sunlight behind the glass. The golden ecru cap is firmly creamy and gives a classic 'melted mesa' look as it falls. There's a decent amount of glass coverage, but the lace is thin and watery rather than thick and resiny.

The nose is classic American IPA. That is, it features one or more of the 4-Cs with grapefruit and lemon peel leading the way. It needs to more aromatic, however, in order to seriously compete with the best of this style.

This is good, solid beer. I'm guessing that the malt bill is predominantly made up of pale with just a little caramel for color and flavor. The hops, again, are citrus fruity with brown sugary white grapefruit as the star attraction. Bitter orange plays a supporting role. I'll say Cascade at least and possibly Centennial. Once the brewer calls me back, I'll know for sure. [note: the hop bill consists of Cascade, Northern Brewer and Columbus.]

The malty undercarriage is easily sturdy enough to support a fairly high hop load. Bitter leads at all points along the flavor arc, but is kept somewhat in check by the leveling effect of the malt sugars. High Seas is close to, but not quite, a hophead's delight. It has more than enough flavor and bitterness for most beer drinkers however.

The body/mouthfeel is in line with what one would expect for an average-to-big IPA without threatening to drift over into DIPA territory. If I remember correctly, I was happy with the mouthfeel on the only other Michigan Brewing Company beer that I've had as well. A somewhat generous amount of carbonation is so fine-gauged that it isn't a problem.

I expected quite a bit from High Seas IPA once I found out that it won a gold medal at the 2006 World Expo of Beer, besting such luminaries as Founders Devil Dancer (silver) and Founders Red's Rye (bronze). Of course this is the same competition that said that Killian's Red (gold) is a better beer than Founders Dirty Bastard (silver) in the Scotch and Irish Ale category.

Truthfully, I was pretty sure that this beer wouldn't hold a candle to the two Founders beers that it beat since I consider them to be two of the finest in the world. High Seas India Pale Ale is definitely a worthwhile purchase though, and is yet another deliciously hoppy offering from the increasingly impressive (beer) state of Michigan.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2006 15:48:58 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow another great IPA. This was a good night to try new things, seemed all three were winners. This was the last and definatly the best of the night. Poured a great hazy orange, with a ton of suspension of particles. Big white head and a lace all the way down. Smell was very crisp and fresh. Lots of hops, with big hints of orange, pineapple, grapefruit, and some lemon. A nice sweet candy like aroma also started to come out as it warmed. Excellent smell, pretty much perfect. Taste followed right behind, a nice hop bomb, but much more complex then that. Lots of fruit like flavors were mixed in, apples and pears were definalty picked up here, but were surround by hops, really well done. A very nice dry bitter finish capped it off perfectly. Went down extremely smooth and very easy, could have drank this all night, in fact I drank this one way too quick and definatly wanted another. Overall this was great, I would call it MY perfect type of session beer. I really could have drank this all night!

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2007 22:20:20 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a massiv head that sheets the pint glass as if it were a Belgian

Smell: While there are some nice citrusy hop elements to the aroma, there are also plenty of sweet and fruity maltsas well as a less appealing vegetal aspect to the malts that verges on DMS

Taste: The graham cracker and toffee malts provide a pathway for the citrusy and piney hops to walk right over, which they do through mid-palate and after the swallow; lots of fruit character to join with the sweeter malts, as well, but the aftertaste adds an odd, medicinal dimension, as if there had been some angostura bitters mixed into the wort

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Very drinkable and the beer works, unless you try to deconstruct it into its elements, in which case some less appealing aspects intrude

Thanks, wagenvolks, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2010 17:35:17 | More by brentk56
Photo of metter98

New York

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It poured clear amber in color,
S: There is a light aroma of citrusy and piney hops.
T: Hop flavors stand out in the overall taste, but are nicely balanced by the underlying malts. There is a bit of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and smooth.
D: The beer is relatively easy to drink and the flavor is interesting enough to make me want to have another of these.

Serving type: cask

05-09-2010 18:30:08 | More by metter98
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange with a tight one finger white head,sharp citrus and pine aromas dominate the aromas a touch of alcohol sneaks its way in there ass making you think this is one intense IPA.Flavors are not so in your face and that maybe a good thing,the big hop presence is there very resiny and citrusy but a frim nutty malt base holds up real well keeping the hops in check a little.Not a bad beer to be had here seems to be pretty raw but it all comes together quite well.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2005 21:29:50 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange in color with a full frothy ivory head that holds quite well, eventually dropping to a creamy 1/8" surface covering and leaving some very nice lace. The aroma offers some very nice fresh hop character - as if they were right in front of you - that appears to be Cascade. Boldly floral with soft citrusy notes! Upon closer inspection some sweetish malt is also present. Really nice and exceptionally well done! The flavor starts with a soft, sweet, and gently fruity malt that's immediately coat-tailed by citrusy hop flavor that continues straight through and lingers in a long finish with a bracingly dry bitterness. The body is medium with a very fine and moderate carbonation that's quite creamy in the mouth and helps the malt that's present to balance its deep bitterness. Well balanced with maltiness, hop flavor, and bitterness being able to share the same stage throughout the entire glass. Well brewed! Clearly the gem of the Michigan Brewing line-up.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2002 18:01:31 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.13/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade from plaztikjezuz, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, citrus and a background of floral hops.

T: The taste starts out malty with flavors of caramel and citrus, but not much sweetness. Then a burst of pale hops bitterness comes in. I’m also detecting a faint background of what tastes like berries. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, while this isn’t really a bad beer, this one might not be my first choice when looking for an IPA to drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2007 04:32:53 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy dark golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid malt scent that boasts of pale and Carapils malts along with a wonderful hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a powerful hop flavor that is bitter from the swallow to the finish. It's balanced with a mild malt flavor. The hops overpower and leave the flavor a bit lopsided. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good American IPA. It's big and bold with loads of hops; a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2007 00:40:07 | More by WesWes
Photo of Mora2000


3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is a mixture of various hop characteristics including floral and citrus along with some caramel malt and bready malt. The flavor starts off with piney and resiny hops but I also get some floral and citrus notes. The caramel malt backbone keeps the bitterness pretty low. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. I was surprised by how nice this beer was.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 22:52:59 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, light golden color with a small, white head of fizzy foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It has a strong citrus aroma - mostly orange, with a nice caramel smell.

T - Good burnt toast and caramel malt flavors supported by a spicy bitterness with a touch of orange.

M - It was crisp, sharp and pretty dry. A light to medium bodied IPA.

D - This is a really nice IPA. Great balance and and easily be sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 22:03:26 | More by zeff80
Photo of weeare138


4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy amber with with a soapy off white head that fades into a small soapy head. Leaves tons of lacing all over the glass.
Smell is of caramel, biscuits, and citrus hops that seem balanced and outright addictive.
Taste is of the same aromas. Sweet biscuits and bitter citrus hops in a tangled web.
Mouthfeel is biscuit sweet with some bitterness that slowly fades out.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2006 03:21:54 | More by weeare138
Photo of Bighuge


3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Murky looking deep orange tone. Dirty white bubbly head. Lace comes in rings.

Aroma: Resiny pungent hops and toffeish English style malts.

Flavor/MF: Citric bitter hops. Pinecone bitter. Kind of abrasive actually. Malts provide a sturdy backbone, but not really a lot of flavor. The full body is evidence of the malt presence.

Drinkability: This is o.k. Better than average, but not yet what I'd consider "good". The bitterness is just a little too jagged and rough around the edges. Maybe there are some higher alcohols present that add to this rough feeling. Hard to tell.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2008 04:50:00 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Gusler


4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour a murky orange, the head considerable in size, creamy in texture, the lace large thick sheets to coat the glass. Nose has a quite pleasant floral aroma, with malt and citrus tones present, very “Sniffable”. Front is malt sweet, the top skinny, the finish is purposefully acidic, commodiously hopped, the aftertaste dry. This beer is a very good representative to the “American Style IPA”.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2002 16:29:10 | More by Gusler
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at the brewery.

A: Copper-amber; off-white head, a little retention and lace.

S: Piney, resiny, slightly citrusy, American hops.

T: Piney, slightly citrus American hops. Toffee with some cotton-candy like fruity esters. Pleasant bitterness, tons of hop flavour.

M: Body is on the lighter side of moderate and it's quite acidic. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Quite good. I wouldn't have guessed it's as strong as it is!

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2006 23:14:11 | More by Derek
Photo of ZAP


3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice balanced IPA with some impressive qualities.

A hop bomb this is NOT but it is an enjoyable IPA. I find the hop qualities to be woody and herbal in nature to begin with....also some sweeter fruity notes like peaches....a bready malt base adds an interesting touch...

Body is medium and on the long finish there is a a hint of hop bitterness...

Overall this is an interesting and appealing IPA I would drink again....almost seems more like a good beefed up APA in some regards....not in the body or feel but in the drinkability...

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2008 03:32:54 | More by ZAP
Photo of bark


4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is deep brown-orange; the three finger firm (crater) head is off-white. Lots of lacing.

The smell is hoppy with a mild sour flavour. Some metallic hints, some apricots.

The taste is quite neutral for an American IPA, I find it more English in style. Dry, malty and bitter flavours. Some fruits in the aftertaste, as a fine bitterness. The finish is long and bitter.

The carbonation is mild to medium. Large bubbles. Smooth mouthfeel.

I had expected some more citric bitter flavours, but I enjoyed this one either way.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2008 18:39:29 | More by bark
Photo of alexgash


4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy apricot copper with a tumultuous, rocky, glass-lathering, light sandy head. Crushed Smarties, lemon meringue, pine needles, and sourdough. Tangy, piney bitter hop nettles up front. Turns to butterscotch and fruit malts; sweetish and malty. Pine resins and light citrus hop bitterness take over the finish. Medium-bodied, creamy feel. Very nice. Good depth and balance and not too alcoholic. A bit of a surprise here and something I will buy more of.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2006 00:42:51 | More by alexgash
Photo of Brent


3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Overall a solid IPA. Pour was mid-dark amber with a tight white head. Aroma was muted citrus hops. Up front the citrus nature of the hops took center stage, with a mid-range bittering that was consistent throughout. ABV added the barest bit of pepper at the finish, but, overall, the alcohol was not particulary evident in the flavor profile.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 13:08:09 | More by Brent
Photo of lordofthewiens


4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Leaving Michigan to fly back to Maine. The Irish Pub in Terminal C.

In a pint glass, the beer was a hazy amber color. It had a thick white head that left a lot of lace.

Citrus aroma. Sweet malt.

Very grapefruit taste. Orange and tangerine also. Sweet malt background.

Pretty hoppy beer, but balanced.

Best beer I had in my two days in Michigan.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 00:21:58 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Durge


3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This IPA has a clear amber color with a good off-white head and equal lacing. There's a fruity citroen brandy malt aroma. The first taste is a full bodied tart pear and lemony butter. There's an odd medicinal quality that I'm not crazy about. But overall it's good. Middle level body, some alcohol with OK drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 17:41:09 | More by Durge
Photo of GbVDave


3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: Dark golden-honey color. Off white one finger head that leaves quite a bit of lace as it recedes. Very still and only slightly hazy.

S: Sweet caramel malt, green apple, and citrus hops dominate the nose. A little too on the sweet side, for me, for an AIPA.

T: Greeted at first by that caramel sweetness which is followed closely by spicy hops that carry through all the way to the end of the finish. Dry malt backbone thrown in for good measure, too.

M: Slick and oily. Sweet malty thickness balanced nicely by the bitter and spicy hops.

D: A good all around AIPA. Should be able to put away a few of these in one sitting, no problem.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2007 23:44:00 | More by GbVDave
Photo of morimech


4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by 8/10/10. Has been in my fridge for a couple of weeks.

Pours a hazy amber color with a very large head that billows over the lip of the glass. The head slowly settles to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Pleasant aroma of citrus hops and pale and caramel malt. Not the strongest aroma but it is good. Middle-of-the-road as far as bitterness flavor goes, but I was surprised by the alcohol warmth in the finish. I see the ABV is getting up there in DIPA range. The hops give a good dose of citrus. There is enough malt to carry the hops and makes this beer more than one dimensional. The body is a little larger than most IPAs. The carbonation is enough to add some pep to the beer while maintaining a soft texture. A very good balance. A good drinker that is only hindered by the high ABV. If I had regular access to this beer, I would see it in my fridge regularly.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2010 22:07:50 | More by morimech
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12oz bottle

A - Cloudy golden amber with soft yeasty head. Decent lacing as well.

S - Hoppy smell really jumps out at ya. Smells good.

T - Really hoppy and bitter tasting. Not my favorite IPA but certainly not my least favorite either.

M - Good amount of carbonation and sits well in the mouth.

D - Pretty drinkable IPA. Didn't love it compared to some of the others out there, but certainly not a bad beer. Definitely worth trying for the fans of the hoppy IPAs

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 21:32:26 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of Mitchster


3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Having had this on tap and not being impressed, I was urged to review this brew again by Trbeer.

Brewed with 2-row, crystal and Munich malts. Hopped with Northern Brewer and Cascade.
OG=1.076, 7.0% ABV.

The cap pops off with a firm whoosh. Pours out to a cloudy dark caramel with orange accents, forming a very large peaking mreingue-like light beige head with superior retention and lacing, although it's due to the intense carbonation. The head is thick and sticky, and actually quite dense with a palpable firmness. Aroma is not too pleasant with immediately boozy fusels and higher alcohols, along with sharply pungent citrusy and piney hops, offset by faint vanilla and honey from the heavy malt bill. Mouthfeel is spritzy with a medium-dense body. Taste begins nicely enough with sharp and pungent hops akin to West-Coast offerings, however this is quickly replaced with the higher alcohols and some kiwi-like yeast esters which are out of place for the style. It has a homebrew twang, limiting it's drinkability. Finish is peppery dry from the isopropyl alcohols. Bitterness is moderate intensity. Letting it breathe blew off some of the higher alcohols and made it more drinkable.

This is an OK IPA, but there are much better to be had for the same price, especially in Michigan. Fermentation has to be cleaned up and the carbonation issue has to be resolved before this is a contender.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2004 22:34:22 | More by Mitchster
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Michigan Brewing High Seas India Pale Ale from Michigan Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.