Sockeye Red India Pale Ale | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
85
very good
431 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good
Read the review
Sockeye Red India Pale AleSockeye Red India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
midnightsunbrewing.com

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

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

Added by purplehops on 02-21-2003

BEER STATS
Ratings:
431
Reviews:
221
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
10.55%
 
 
Wants:
28
Gots:
43
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 431 |  Reviews: 221
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 1,389 characters

Photo of shivtim
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another fish-themed beer. Grabbed a pint to try.

Mostly clear, amber/red, with a soapy thin white head. Nose is fresh hop juice; simple but very pleasant and well done. Taste is hops and pine, a decent amount of generic malt balance, and a weird but refreshing minty note on the finish. Mouthfeel is pretty full. Nice, drinkable IPA.

 334 characters

Photo of RyanK252
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours deep reddish amber with a frothy light tan head that settles and laces well.

S: Citrus hops, a little dankness, caramel malt sweetness,

T: Citrus hops, light grapefruit and tangerine, a little fruity, a touch of pine, a bit of roasty malt, and caramel malt sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Very enjoyable brew.

 397 characters

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

Got this in Anchorage, Alaska in the same store where I found my Smoked Porter. A good IPA. Looks nice...cloudy amber with a huge cream color head with good retention and heavy lacing. Smell is strong and pleasant...floral hops.

Tastes good...This is a hoppy beer....good bitterness up front and slightly sweeter floral hops and some malt in the finish.

Mouthfeel is a hair thin. I was expecting it to self-correct as the flavors broke across the taste buds, but it remained a bit thin.

Drinkability is very good. This is a sipping beer with strong flavor, but it is not that filling and not that high octane. Very nice!!!

 625 characters

Photo of froghop
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear copper with a red tint, a small off-white head, and good lacing.

smell of grapefruit, a touch of spice, caramel, nuts, and malt in the back.

taste is smooth up front, bitter in the back, sweet caramel, roasted malt, and lots of hops, has a clean finish and bitter.

 280 characters

Photo of Xul
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

 801 characters

Photo of markgugs
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

 1,148 characters

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Cheers.

 464 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a slightly beclouded amber color, the head behemothic in size, frothy to the max, light tan in color and after the erosion process, the lace forms a nice sealing sheet upon the glass. Sweet aroma of the hops, malt, citrus crisp, quite fresh and clean this treat to the nose with the start, richly malt and somewhat sweet, top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is modestly acidic, the hops spiteful in their bite, the aftertaste lingering and quite dry, A quite good representative to the style.

 521 characters

Photo of mcallister
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

 689 characters

Photo of rudzud
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade and poured into a dogfish head chalice.

A - Poured a crystal clear amber hue with a one finger white head that faded to a thin thin white blanket and light lacing.

S - Aromas of nice citrus notes and solid tropical notes with light malts. Really really solid.

T - Taste is a bit on the old side with the hops having fadeds a bit to a slight cardboard/older stale hop flavors and malt sweetness on the end.

M - Mouthfeel is pretty decent for the style. Nice light bitter finish.

O - Overall I felt this was at one point a very good beer but is a bit past its prime would like to try it fresh.

 616 characters

Photo of ryan_celia
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%

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.)!

 1,124 characters

Photo of scottum
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy red amber with a huge head which I was able to get to stand over an inch above the top of my 25 oz tulip glass with no spillage at all. Hops are right there. Crisp and bitter with little malt balance. I enjoy huge hop moster IPAs, but I would like to at least sense an attempt to keep the hops in check. Hop heads only.

 332 characters

Photo of EMV
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a Dixie cup.

L: Pours a dark golden bronze color with a finger of white head.

S: Pine and bread.

T/F: Biscuity malts up front giving way to a bitter evergreen hop profile. Lemon peel and cracked peppercorn. Medium in body and resinous.

I: A very solid IPA and easily sessionable. Very glad I got a chance to try it.

 349 characters

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

Nice appearance-copper color with a good dose of head and nice sticky, glass coating lace that retains very well. Aromas are grassy, and the hops are quite mellow. I get a kind of rustic hop character. The mouth feel is creamy, medium bodied, and mildly oily. Flavors are bold, hoppy, and crisp and clean. I get more grassy hop flavors, and the bitter finish is long and fulfilling. I'd drink this in an igloo, on a bear skin rug with a plate of deep fried wale blubber and be plenty happy.

 490 characters

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..

 815 characters

Photo of Dr_Fox
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 425 characters

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

Bomber bottle, $6.99 from DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. "Month and week bottled" info notched onto the side of the label.

Pours darker amber, clear, dark tan head, leaves some fine lace, but not much

Nose is bready, yeah dark and bready.

Red IPA, hmmm whats that all about? This one is about a more then moderatly hopped brew, with gooey grapefruit notes, plus resiny hops abounding. Easy to enjoy this quality IPA, another impressive brew from Midnight Sun

 456 characters

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

Pours a reddish amber, with a good sized white head that mostly diminishes, but sticks well to the side of the glass on the way down. Aroma is very lightly malty, but dominated with typical cascade hop notes - very piney and citric. Flavor starts with a slight caramel malt, and ends with a strong and somewhat spicey hop kick that lingers on for a bit. Medium body, dry finish.

 378 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a clear plastic cup.

I honestly can't remember who cracked this out at DLD, but thanks to whomever you are!

Somehow a second Alaskan beer was broken out in our vicinity at DLD. I'm not gonna argue. This one pours a clear sunset copper-russet topped by a finger or so of dirty white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit, pine, light caramel, light clove, and orange zest. The taste brings in more of the same, though the caramel pops a bit more, bringing in some nice sweetness to balance the fruity bitterness (or bitter fruitiness). The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a very nice IPA. 'Nuff said, really.

 685 characters

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

 1,183 characters

Photo of
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

 797 characters

Photo of FFreak
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My wife picked up a bomber of this for me to share with our friends. Poured into various glasses, it's a slightly hazy, reddish-copper color with a half-inch white head. Aroma is malty with a floral and citrus hop character. This is a fairly viscous full-bodied malty beer with adequate bitterness and some floral and citrus notes. Overall, a slight bit heavy for the style, but still a very enjoyable malty beverage.

 417 characters

Sockeye Red India Pale Ale from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 431 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe