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Sockeye Red India Pale Ale | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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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 TheLiterati
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
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!

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Photo of Docer
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snagged up a bottle at By The Bottle here #inthecouve Vancouver, WA.... nice to see more Midnight Sun brews...

- Nice thin white layer of foam with a rather large ring around my tulip... Very clear reddish copper ale... looks pretty.

- Hops galore... pine, grapefruit, grassy.... light grain, biscuit..

- Wonderful light grainy flow of hops... balanced, and yet the flavors are hop prominent... grapefruit, pine, bitter bite... bready grain, smooth caramel...

- Medium to light bodied... carbonation is near perfection...

- Very drinkable red ale.. I do prefer a little more grain, oats, and roasty touch to a red... but this is what it is... a more red IPA... and certainly is more bitter up front... but yet finishes with great hop aromas... what seems to be various hops...

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Photo of Rumrunner
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle. Great looking colorful monster salmon on the lable.

What a nice surprise.

Pours a burnt amber color. Great big fat frothy head with awesome lacing and retention. A beer beauty contest winner. The smell is strong and dense on the nose. Strong malts and floral hops. A citrus quality finishes the scent. Dry on the nose as well.

I found the flavors to be quite enjoyable as well. They do not bite as much as the scent though. It starts with a nice burnt malt flavor. Somewhat unusual for an IPA. The hops follow up for balance. A bit bitter but this IPA is milder than the usual California bitter style. Great for the IPA lover looking for a change of pace without switching to a different style. There is some fruit, a mild citrus grapefruit and orange flavors find there way to the taste buds. There is also a bit of alcohol on the tongue. It did not bother me. The only part of the flavors I did not like was the aftertaste. Too sweet and tangy. It is almost like a sweet and sour piece of candy.

Medium bodied in the mouth. A very nice feel of crispness and mild carbonation. A real easy drinker. I will look for more beers from this company. This one has certainly increased my curiosity.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up while I was in Alaska. Definitely wish I had been able to find more of Midnight Sun's stuff.

A: Honey colored and clear with a one finger white head.

S: Lots of citrus hops alongside a lot of caramel malts. I picked up a lot of tangerine in the smell as well.

T: Biscuity malt with a huge dose of citrus hops. Some caramel malts and grapefruit on the finish. Not the most balanced IPA I've come across, but this one is pretty tasty.

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Photo of beernut7
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The last time I had this brew was on tap at Humpy's Great Alaskan Ale House in Downtown Anchorage. I hadn't the mind then to review it, but I remember the goodness of it and recently came upon a few bombers of the stuff. Popped the bottle adn poured a nice big glass of foam. This is teh second time this week I had a bottle from this brewery do that, but I guess after such a long trip I might be a bit foamy about the head as well. Deep red incolor, it is unlike any other IPA out there. The aroma of the hops is drastically apparent. The first smooth sip sets forth a strong malt presence followed quickly by an eclipsing Cascade spice and strong, but integrated bitterness to finish it off. Very tasty and woth the wait. Can't wait till I can get its big brother the Cohoho down here.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colorful label proudly pronounces, 22 fluid ounces of Humpy’s Sockeye Red IPA from Midnight Sun Brewing Company, Anchorage, Alaska. A search of the BA Database reveals no matches – What?? Oh NO!!, I am the first person to Review this beer – Damn, now the pressure is on, I can’t plagiarize everyone else’s review like I normally do, LOL!!!

Inherent carbonation is notably low, but yet it still pours with a head bigger than Mike Tysons. No facial tattoos here though, just a large tanned head that is frothy, rocky and as stiff as whisked egg whites. As it collapses very slowly, this leads to an uneven surface texture. Massive broken bubble lacing is evident as the beer is consumed, indeed the lacing looks like the after effects of drifting ‘sticky’ snow, quite amazing lace . It sticks to the sides of my freshly cleaned glass extremely well, and even overhangs in places. The beer itself has a very clear red-brown body that impresses me. This beer really looks the part.

Aromas are hoppy, crisp and forthright. How do I describe the Aromas? Well, overall, the nose is how I would imagine the smell from a blend of a good IPA, and accomplished Red Ale, would be. Very inviting indeed. A nose teaser.

I stare carefully at the billowy off-cream head that stays perfectly horizontal as it rescinds into the glass as I drink the first mouthful. It never changes shape as it returns to its original position. The initial tastes are overwhelmingly hoppy and sharp. These introductory flavors are followed by a hoppy snatch that entices, and will certainly add a smirk to the face of hopheads. The use of Centennial and Cascade Hops really contribute to the 70+ IBU’s in this beer and lend a crisp bitterness as well as a refreshing hoppy kick character. Has a slightly dry finish, with an ever so slight hop-oil cloying – but nothing to be too upset about, in fact I like it. Maybe it is the mild cold I have.

Looks like a great Red Ale, and tastes like an excellent IPA, the best of both worlds here from the two styles. The bitter (and twisted?) characteristics of the IPA are more dominant than those of the Red Ale though.

"A tale of two beers"

– Cool, a nifty juxta-posed beer that really works for me.

Nice one!
My first Alaskan beer, and it was quite impressive – but keep that to yourself.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A darker shade of copper with a tan head that laced.
Big citrusy, piney hop aroma. Toasty malt buried underneath the hops.

Taste shows a big hop flavor that's mostly piney with some citrus notes as well. The hops overwhelm the malt in this one. Toasty, caramel malt backbone could be kicked up a couple notches, IMO. Of course if you're a real hophead, you might like it this way. Bitterness lingers on the palate just a bit at the finish.

Good mouthfeel and drinkability.

Overall, a good IPA that's very well hopped, but I'd like to see more malt to balance this one out.

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Photo of u2carew
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber
A) Pours with a finger thick head that settles into a thin lacing on top and at the edge of the glass. Clear copper body.
S) Very aromatic. Piney with grapefruit rind.
T) Sharp hop bite up front. Grassy. Grapefruit rind. Finishes with an astringent hop bitterness that lingers long into the aftertaste.
M) Medium body. Tannic and dry in the finish.
O) A bold and bitter IPA in the vein of the hop bombs of the Pac-NW and So Cal. I must share this bottle but if I didn't have to I'd drink the whole thing!

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of Deuane
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SGB Jeff for popping open a bottle of this one. Brought home in a salmon shipper box from AK!

A-Deep copper with a medium off-white head that holds strong and leaves nice lacing.

S-Pine forest hops dominate with a bit of malty sweetness in the background. This one is all about the pine...lovely!

T-Prickly, tongue-tingling pine hop bitterness up front with a quick support from sweet caramel malt which cancels out the hop punch a bit too quickly. I wish the taste was as assertive as the aroma. Still good but could be a pine hop masterpiece.

M-Medium body with sticky pine hop resin clinging to each and every nook and carnny in your mouth.

D-A solid, pine hop ass-kickin' IPA. Good but borders on great if they could just punch through the hops on the tatsebuds.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into SA glass. No dating.
Amber-red elixir, initial frothy head settles to tan, 2mm thin head with copious, tight bubbles. Plenty of lacing as the taste progresses.
Wonderful pine, resin aroma, with mango and grapefruit accents; subtle earthy/biscuit notes in the background.
Nicely assertive hops predominate, noted immediately on the front and wash over the buds, smoothed by the malt and leaving a nice resinous aftertaste.
Well done IPA, and at 5.7%, and canned, should be a "go to" brew.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of treyrab
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to randawakes for this incredible Midnight Sun beer. Perfect for this warm summer night.

A: Pours a clear copper with noticeable red hues. Poured cold from the fridge and the glass sweats as a result. Initially pours a one finger head, but that slowly dies to a thin ring.

S: Somewhat subdued notes of pine and grass hops with a touch of citrus and caramel. I wasn't expecting to be blasted in the face with hop scents for the low ABV, so this was right where I expected.

T: Boom. Nice and uber crisp with fresh pine and grassy hops. I'm really digging this fresh pine flavor. Intense grass hops, some nice sweet caramel back, and just a great IPA all around.

M/D: Give me more and I won't complain.

Thanks Kyle. Midnight Sun never ceases to amaze me.

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Photo of anthony-martinez
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%

i bought the can brew, not bottle ones. i pour it into wine glass and it gives 2 fingers foam head when it settles.tasted good and good bitternes. great beer.

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Photo of loren01
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber color, nice frothy white head good lacing down the glass
S: Bready malt followed by floral hop scent
T: Much like the smell, bready malt followed by citrusy floral hoppiness
M: Medium bodied, finishes slightly dry
D: This is a great beer, would buy this again for sure.

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Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
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

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Photo of elNopalero
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a light amber tinge the color of sweet potatoes. It’s easygoing and mellow, with a light aroma. Doesn’t have a big malty body, nor does it have a heavy dank hop aroma. What I found was a whole produce-basket of notes: kale and mushrooms, quinoa and lentils, raspberries and raisins. (Note: No one else in my party caught any of these flavors or aromas.) I found it interesting, to say the least.

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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.

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Photo of stegmakk
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice copper and amber look with an off white head that left nice lacing...
Aroma Floral hops...p;ain and simple
Taste...Floral hoppy but mixed with a slight butter taste and a evening hint of caramel malt. Finished nice and dry. Great
Mouthfeel slick and good
Overall this is a great IPA...wish I could find it out here...thanks to weefishheads...MMMMMM

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Photo of LiamStLiam
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good, solid IPA. Had a decent bite and is very hoppy.

I picked it up because I was intrigued by the two Alaskan 22-ouncers I always see at Kappy's (the nut brown is the other).

I like IPAs, and I liked this beer a lot. I would love to try it on tap.

Pours a darker brown than I expected. Thick, white head (I actually overpoured it).

It's a beer you need to concentrate on and enjoy. There's a lot going on, and if you drink it mindlessly, you'll miss a lot.

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Photo of jsprain1
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep red/amber. Head was a thin finger that didn't persist all that well but left some wisps of lacing.
S- slight toast and lots of pine and resiny hop aromas. slight bit of eh... "special herb" aroma in there as well.
T- Definitely hop forward. Starts with pine/resin hop flavor with notes of tropical fruit. Slight caramel malt. A bit of a strange finish. Slightly medicinal. Not terrible but just a bit disjointed.
M- Medium body, on the dry side.
D- A solid IPA that I could definitely revisit and have a few of without any problem.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served too cold in what appears to be a 14 oz glass. Had this at a wine bar so...

Appearance- Dark cooper, reddish color. Small, off white head. Little lacing. 3/5

Smell- Pine with a nice malt backbone. The hops still shine bright, though. 4/5

Taste- Big pineiness through out. Malt in the middle but doesn't take away from the hop character. Some sweetness in the end. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel- Very good mouthfeel. Medium. 4/5

Overall - I have always like reds because of the high hop character. This one does not disappoint. 4.5/5

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Photo of far333
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy honey color with a big, fat, beige foamy head about an inch high. The head hangs out for a long while. Sweet hop smell with hints of pear and cotton candy. Flavor is a burst of hop flavor. It's powerful, but not overpowering. Leaves the tongue tingling, and wanting more. Big flowery hops and some sweet malt, but that's about all I detect. It's very crisp and clean, with a lingering hop bitter. Chunky lacing all the way down the glass. Excellent beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, a souvenir from a trip to Portland, OR this summer.

This beer pours a clear medium copper hue, with two fingers of thick, foamy, rocky pale tan head, which settles in the same manner as our northern sun (read: lazily), eventually rendering some perfectly consistent hanging bike chain lace around my American pint glass. It smells enchantingly of bitter citrus rind and pine branches, atop a bready caramel base. The taste is bitter pine hops upfront, some astringent citrus following close on its heels, over a still out-matched, but somewhat persistent cracker/bready malt. The carbonation is fairly sedate, the body medium weight, a bit prickly, but that's a-ok when the hops are responsible - any smoothness disruption becoming an afterthought. It finishes still on the hoppy side, nothing overbearing, just a nice pine/citrus blend of stellar, steady bitterness, oblivious to all things malt, even those with good intent.

Purported 'redness' aside, this is just one well-wrought American (West Coast-adjacent) IPA. Despite the lameness of the malt in this here offering, we somehow wind up with nothing resembling a hop-bomb. Hoppy as shit? Sure. Unbalanced? Nope. I'll leave it to better men (or beer geeks) to figure that one out. In the meantime, I'm putting down the rest of this bomber with my favorite self-made nosh.

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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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