Sockeye Red India Pale Ale | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
85
very good
432 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:
432
Reviews:
221
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
10.55%
 
 
Wants:
28
Gots:
43
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 432 |  Reviews: 221
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a 1 inch beige head that fades to a small cap. Good rings of lace on the drink down. Smells of pine hops and caramel malt. Tastes of pine tree hops with a caramel malt backbone. Medium hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. Not a whole lot going on in the smell or taste. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean due to a good carbonation level. Overall, a better than average IPA that I am glad to try. My bottle was produced in April 2010 so I can only assume this was better fresh.

 510 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Knapp85
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

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 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

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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.

 1,343 characters

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

 1,553 characters

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

 787 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a clear, reddish orange color with a small, khaki colored head of bubbly foam. It had nice retention and left some thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled of pine and tropical fruits - some grapefruit and mango.

T - Nice burnt toast maltiness with caramel sweetness. Good sharp bitterness from the hops with tropical fruit flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a pretty tasty IPA. Another very find brew from Midnight Sun.

 497 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of chinchill
3.64/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can served in a wine goblet.
Pours a very reddish and dark color for an IPA, but then this seems to be a Red IPA.

Aroma: herbal and slightly earthy hops.

Flavor: strong and pungent hops. Reported IBU=70 seems about right.

Feel: medium+ body; good medium carbonation.

O: A well crafted Red IPA.

 305 characters

Photo of oberon
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of only a few Alaskin brews that I have been able to get my hands on,poured a nice rich copper with a reddish tint to it with a slight off white head that settles nicely leaving a sheet of lace behind.Aromas are a little muted but some pine really shows as well as some toasted caramel malt.Very nicely balanced IPA,citusy and quite resiney up front with toasted lightly sweet malt backbone showing thru more as I drank more.Iam not sure what alc% is on this beer but it went down easy with friends,I would love to have again Iam sure this would go well with a bowl of chili or something along those lines.

 610 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear medium to dark amber in color with some ruby red highlights when held up to the light and some light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall beige head that reduces to a couple of small patches of medium sized bubbles, a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of bitter red grapefruit rind citrus hops with just a hint of the cranberry. Underneath that there is a light presence of caramel malt.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of caramel malts with a touch of sweetness. There are light to moderate notes of citrus/red grapefruit rind hops. Moderate flavors of fermented cranberry and kumquat. Moderate bitterness that lingers for quite a while.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer might actually pair pretty well with Thanksgiving dinner as it reminds me of the flavors contained in my mother-in-law's cranberry sauce without the sweetness. Very interesting, not quite what I was expecting but I definitely enjoyed this beer.

 1,178 characters

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

22 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours an extremely clear ruby red with a huge 3+ fingers of poofy off-white head that fizzles down pretty quickly into some big ole' dollops of foam that sit smack dab in the middle. This flares up awesomely, leaving just massive sticky hop lacing behind. The aroma is a huge, fresh, West Coast bouquet that smells like a pine forest, it's so thick with resinous hops and floral tones. And that's about it! Maybe just a tiny amount of malt sweetness that is mixed in with some citrus character.

The taste is once again piny hops but this time they are more subdued than the aroma was. Probably a credit to good balance provided by some sticky tasting caramel malts and citrus notes. It's just that that big ole' fresh hop bite that the aroma promised never showed up. The mouthfeel is medium bodied but seems a bit light at times. The carbonation is fairly creamy though with some hop oil slickness mixed in as well.

Not bad. The Cascade hops in the aroma are to die for but it just never seems to catch fire in the taste profile. Still, this is no slouch and brings the West Coast thunder better than some other IPAs or Red Ales out there. Worth a look.

 1,189 characters

Photo of mactrail
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a handsome cark coppery amber in the tall Saxo wine-style glass. White, fine-grained head adds to the pleasure. That spicy nose of Cascades is always welcome.

Rich, malty, and mouthfilling in spite of the modest ABV. Really nice aroma. Actually an excellent hop taste without the killing bitterness. Every mouthful has that aromatic taste. Even a little sweetness. This is a good argument against DIPAs; this has all the flavor without the overkill.

For a random single can this tastes fresh and flavorful. A nice surprise, but Midnight Sun is one of my favorite breweries from visiting it in Anchorage a couple of times. From the 22 oz can bought at Bine and Vine in San Diego.

 686 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of nathanmiller
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up in a shipment from Liquid Solutions with several other Midnight Sun products. Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Pours a hazy dull copper color with a nice thick white head. The froth settled out quickly to leave a thin covering that laced nicely on the glass.

Aroma has strong citrus and grapefruit flavors along with some sweet malty flavors. Taste has the citrusness of the hops right up front with the finish being a pretty strong bitterness. There is also a decent malt backbone to it as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good. It's a very good drinking IPA, it's not something amazing enough to have it shipped from that far away again but was worth a try.

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Sockeye Red India Pale Ale from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 432 ratings.
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