Sockeye Red India Pale Ale | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

very good
221 Reviews
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Sockeye Red India Pale AleSockeye Red India Pale Ale

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

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

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Reviews: 221 | Ratings: 431
Photo of JupiterJesus
1.27/5  rDev -66.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

22oz purchased at OL beercafe in Walnut Creek.

I can't tell if something is wrong with it or if it's supposed to taste like this. Filled with harsh, phenolic, medicinal flavors. It tastes like my Union Jack clone (british yeast, combination of british and us malt, cascade & centennial hops), and I considered that batch a failure.

The hops are so harsh and raw that they leave my mouth feeling like I sucked on a combination of kitchen cleaner and mouthwash. Dry, hard to taste the malt behind the hops and the harsh phenolics. It is possible I got a bad batch - I can't believe it would taste like this all the time.

Next time I go to Alaska, I'll have a fresh pint at the brewery. If it's better, I'll amend my review. For now, I can hardly finish my half of the bottle.

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Photo of scootpolute
2.35/5  rDev -38%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Smooth, malty & great hop kick at the top, followed by more malts and spice (from the alcohol)some citrus, then ending with more pine-like spices...a surprisingly dry finish...The carbonation is good There's a good fullness. Present, but not 'too' much fruity/sweet flavors...The final pine/spice balances the beer out wonderfully, although the VERY dry aftertaste threw me...I was expecting a fruitier/hoppier finish...This one good, but not as 'GREAT' as so many others claim...Not to 'poo-poo' the Bros, but 'c-mon...OK...I agree this is still a great example of a NW American IPA, but there are far better ones out 'here' than the hype of this one...I just didn't like the over-dry ending notes...perhaps better on tap, eh?!...Chasin' Cheers :~)

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Photo of Bighuge
2.48/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Nice looking deep orange/amber tone. Big ol fucking ivory white head that forms valleys as it slowly dissipates. Many streams of CO2 ascend to the surface rapidly. On the nose I get grapefruit pulp, lemon rind, slight cannabis and orange. As I taste it I realize that there is TOO much carbonation. Gaseous in the mouth. A little hard to swallow. The taste is not much better. Astingent, husky, tannin-like. Only slight reminders here and there that this is actually an IPA. It doesn't taste that good.

This is the second "bad" bottle in as many tries of this specific beer. Upon closer inspection of the bottle, it looks like the M is marked (for March) and the 1 is marked (for 2001 I assume). That could be a problem.

Thanks for the effort Bum.

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Photo of icetrauma
2.63/5  rDev -30.6%
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.

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Photo of Floydster
2.74/5  rDev -27.7%
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

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Photo of kojevergas
2.96/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 fl oz aluminum can acquired at Adam's Fine Wine and Liquor in Redondo Beach earlier tonight and served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. I like the can art. 70 IBUs. 5.7% ABV confirmed. No visible best before/bottled on date.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. As soon as I opened it, some liquid foamed out; overcarbonation is expected.

A: Pours a four finger beige/khaki colour head of decent cream, nice thickness, and good (~4-5 minute) retention. Body colour is a clear vibrant translucent copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks good for an IPA. No lacing as the had recedes. I'd like a more frothy head.

Sm: Light grapefruit. Noticeable hop bitterness - I'm hoping that's not going to be the case in the taste as well. Floral hop character. Biscuity malts; caramalt. A pretty light aroma. Pretty standard; there's nothing unique or special here. Subpar for the style. I hope the taste is better than the aroma.

T: Caramel, caramalts, some biscuit malt. Noticeable untamed hop bitterness. Flroal hop character but not much. Biting. Grapefruit. Lacks balance; it's not very good. Not very flavorful. Boring. Poorly built for an IPA - "red" or not.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Undercarbonated. Not quite thick enough. Doesn't suit the flavour profile all that well.

Dr: Drinkable but forgettable. I expected far better from a brewery as acclaimed as Midnight Sun. It's decent but pedestrian. I definitely wouldn't get it again. Disappointing but okay.

High C

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Photo of CorvetteMike
2.99/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

While on a land tour in Anchorage Al, purchased a sampler at Humpy's

A: Amber in color, with a small head.

S: Cranberries/grapefruit smell to it.

T: Bitter/tart taste, too strong for me.

M: Full bodied, heavy carbonation, strong.

O: Least favorite of the sampler, too strong for me..

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

When I began to pour Sockeye Red the foam immediately filled my glass. I slowly added more beer until the stiff, thick foam looked like whipped cream on top of a sundae. When it finally subsided it left quite a bit of lace on the sides of the glass and a thin ring on the surface of this hazy amber colored beer.

The aroma is mainly orange citrus. Hints of oak and malt are also detected. Each sip of this light to medium bodied beer has a mild tingle on the tongue. The flavor begins with some citrus hop notes before a stronger oak and sweet malt taste takes over. It finishes sweet with a mild taste of candy sugar left behind.

This beer had an interesting combination of hops, oak and sweet malt. The oak seemed to dominate each sip. An interesting twist to an IPA.

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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.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Peanut Farm in Anchorage. Drink local right?

A - Served a red amber color, crystal clear with a small white ring around the edges with a slight white film on the top.

S - Malty, nuts, wheat.

T - Very Malty, no hop presence at all.

D - Thin body, average carbonation.

O - pretty disappointed. I would not call this an ipa. It could have been a old batch.

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Photo of mschofield
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish amber, topped with a three finger creamy tan head, clear but very dark. Leaves thick rings of lacing.
Citrus and herbal hoppy aroma over a toffee and toasted biscuit malt taste.
The taste is mainly malt, the hops don't come out and don't provide enough bitterness. A note of citrus but mainly dark toasted malt.
Light bodied, could stand to be a lot fuller.
Looks good and smells alright, but weak in other areas.

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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.

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Photo of Overlord
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Gmann
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear copper color, not quite amber. The cream head is short and dense and leave some lacing on the glass.

The aroma is of a tart grapefruit hop with some pine. A bit metallic and peppery as well. Some light bready and caramel notes from the malt.

The taste has a strong metallic note. The hop profile is quite bitter. A lot of pine and resin come through. The flavor is grassy and earthy. The malt is lightly bready with some honey like sweetness and very much takes a back seat to the hops.

The beer has a light feel with prickly carbonation. Very bitter on the palate, a bit harsh.

Kind of a rough IPA. Definitely not my prefered hop profile in this one.

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Photo of beertunes
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a very nice copper color with an inch of light tan head that had very good retention and decent lacing.

The aroma was a nice blend of floral, pine and weed scents. The flavors were sort of similar, but there was a weird metallic finish.

The body was decent, a bit thinner than I like. Drinkability was good, but that weird finish took a lot away. Overall, a decent enough beer, not special, but worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of adrock
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish-brown color, very hazy but this could be due to the fact I'm drinking this on the East Coast.
Great foamy head taller than normal
Fair aroma of citrus and spice
Thin on malt due to the great amount of bitterness this beer puts forward. Biting hops at the end are nice but more malt would of been appropriate for the flavor and body of this brew.
Clean bitterness in the aftertaste allows good drinkability
A good IPA that I would like to try again closer to its origins.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just came to NYC! Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Southampton oversize snifter.

Pours a heavy, dark, clear mahogany. Minimal head but robust lacing. Nice color.

Tree sap, cane sugar, and tea. Hoppy.

Dried tea leaves. Hoppy. Cane sugar. Big sappiness. Hoppy finish and sticky, clinging aftertaste. Decent.

Light bodied. Well carbonated. Quenching. Dry finish, lingering aftertaste. Nice.

Overall a nice offering in the style but this one doesn't do much to set itself apart from the rest. Again, good, but its in a style where the bar is set quite high.

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Photo of Kookiekwan
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a hazy orange/amber has a thick two finger head with good retention and thick walls of lacing. The aroma of pine is strong making it hard to smell anything else. The taste was grassy and slightly bitter with some caramel and pale malt in the background.

Reflection: This beer smells better than it tastes, I would pass on this one and grab a local IPA.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served on tap at McGinley's Pub in downtown Anchorage.

appears a clear reddish orange in color, with frothy white head. aroma and taste are heavy on the floral hops, but I don't get any malt to balance it out. a bitter finish. carbonation is medium, body is on the thinner side.

overall - I personally like at least some malt flavor to balance an IPA, and none is found here.

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Photo of jabocu
3.24/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

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Photo of Roguer
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Deep red color, almost brown. Solid two-finger cream head with decent retention and lacing. Brew is thick, pulpy, and bubbly, and is nearly opaque.

Good blend of hops and malts in the nose. Fairly subdued and balanced: pine and citrus, against caramel, honey, and wheat.

Odd blend in the flavor. Huge brown ale intro - sweet and malty - followed immediately by a very clean and dry hoppiness - mostly pine sap and resin. Strong malts again follow: toast, honey, sweet caramel. Slightly spicy finish: pepper and heavy dry hops.

Extremely lively and carbonated, carrying a significant sting. Little residue or cling; no foaming. Lighter feel than average. No poor aftertaste, but the sting is almost too much to allow me to really savor the flavors.

This is a particularly well-balanced, but not particularly tasty IPA. I think the flavor profile is creative and carefully crafted, but I'm just not sure who the target audience really is. It's not bad, it's just unremarkable, and I wouldn't order it if I had an alternative IPA. Would I order it instead of a different style of beer? Maybe. Over an AAL? Absolutely. It's certainly worth a try; the hop profile might be more to your liking than mine.

No bottle or enjoy by date, but it tastes plenty hoppy.

Thanks to BlackCloud for the trade!

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Photo of warmstorage
3.26/5  rDev -14%
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.

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Photo of rmalinowski4
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a chalice

Pours a deep amber with a very large and fluffy off white head. The head recedes quickly leaving lots of lacing clinging to the glass.

The smell is sweet carmel malt, earthy hops, orange zest, and some tropical fruit. The smell is clean and well balanced, nothing seems to dominate.

The tase is bitter pine, orange zest, a slightly sweet carmel malt backbone, and some spicy & slightly tropical flavors that linger in the background. The overwhelming flavor is pine.

The mouthfeel has medium body with with a light carbonation. Need some more carbonation to make the flavors dance on the palate.

Overall, this is a solid IPA. It has good hop flavors, a nice malt base, and some orange zest flavor. The pine is a little strong for my taste, but it does not completely overpower everything else. I would drink this again if offered one.

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Photo of metter98
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down a bit but consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of cranberries in the nose along with some hints of grapefruit.
T: The taste is quite bitter and a little tart; it has flavors of cranberries and hints of ruby red grapefruit peels. The cranberry flavors linger through the finish, which also tastes a little medicinal.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly crisp in the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer definitely tases unusual and I've never experienced tart cranberries in a beer before. Maybe I might have enjoyed this more a few weeks earlier with my Thanksgiving dinner.

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Photo of snpub540
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice dark copper with some red highlights to it. It was a clear hue with nice carbonation. Topped of by an eggshell colored head that left some nice sheets of lace.

Smell was piney and citrusy hops and a little nutty malt aroma. That was about it.

Flavor was a caramel and nutty malt flavor. Hops were resiny and pine making a nice balanced brew.

Mouthfeel was ok but not a lot of body going on. Its an ok beer but nothing to write home about. I'm just glad I found something from Midnight Sun in my neck of the woods.

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