Sockeye Red India Pale Ale | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
85
very good
221 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good
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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
Reviews:
221
Ratings:
430
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
14.78%
 
 
Wants:
27
Gots:
40
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 221 | Ratings: 430
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

All that mixture of red, orange and yellow, 3/4" off white head. Aroma doesn't punch you, it has a good blend of C hops and Simcoe, but I guess not enough late addition hops.

Taste is really riding the red malt train. That drives the flavor for the most part, some hops in the mouthfeel, but its all that earthy, woody red malt going on. Bomber format sucks, would not repeat, although it is better than average, especially for a red ale. I'm guessing around 75 ibu.

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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.

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Photo of tone77
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A big thanks goes out to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a bronze color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of citrus hops, caramel malts. Taste is is citrus hops, some pine, light malts, medium bitterness. Feels medium/full bodied in the overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I think that I will participate in New Beer Sunday (Week 583) & what better way than to begin with this beer to further The CANQuest (tm)? Yep, they have put this in a CAN! Yum yum.

From the CAN: "We CAN Be Green * We CAN * Be Green *"; "It Bites - hook, line & sinker! Instinctively bold, Sockeye Red IPA is a beautifully crafted Pacific Northwest IPA with a real bite. Specialty malts impart a spawning red hue to its fresh, firm body but the predominant character of this incredible catch comes from outlandish hops. SNAG IT!!"

I am a Piscean & my favorite food is les Fruits du Mer (anything from the sea), so Sockeye salmon is right up there. I visited AnCANorage, AlasCAN in 2008 and my Couchsurfing hostess marveled at my capacity for eating salmon. I had some with scrambled eggs for breakfast, ate plank-cooked salmon for lunch, met her at her workplace while I was chewing on salmon jerky (!) and then I finished with salmon cakes (think crab cakes, but with salmon) for supper. And that was just Day 1!

The Crack! released both a mild amount of foaming action through the vent as well as a VERY piney hops smell. My mouth began watering in CANticipation ... A vigorous in-glass swirl raised a brief finger of tawny head. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was sticky & piney, underlain with a light caramel sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium. OMFG! All 70 of its IBUs began burning my poor, bruised tongue with an unexpected intensity. I ran into the living room to grab my hophead hat & once I had it on, all was well. This was a shining example of why I love AIPAs, and especially from a CAN! It was really resinous with pine with just enough caramel malt to keep it from being over the top. It seems unbelievable that it is only 5.7% ABV. It was drinking more like a DIPA. The finish was dry, piney (like licking the stump of a freshly-cut pine tree) and really good. Me = happy.

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Photo of 303beer
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light red with a white head that leaves ample lacing in the glass. The nose is strong of hops mabey cascade variety. The taste is similar to the smell hoppy then a touch of malt at the very end.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours two fingers of head on a hazy dark straw body.
The aroma is big grain and lemon.
The taste has a malty start, then a moderate lemon bitterness.
The texture is thicker and fizzy.
Nice.

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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.

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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 MDDMD
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-orange amber color with a nice big off-white head and good lacing

S-caramel malt, pine, floral, light citrus

T-caramel malt, grapefruit, orange, pine, floral, moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-liked this red style IPA, easy drinking and would love to have more

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Photo of flagmantho
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz can into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich amber-orange hue with a light haze and moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of pillowy ivory foam with good retention and a nice lace left on the glass. Quite attractive.

Smell: lightly toasty/caramelly malt character; it's redolent of an amber ale. Hops are earthy and herbal with a little bit of citrus character to them. "Red IPA" is right on for what they are going for here. It's not bad.

Taste: caramelly malt with a citrusy, somewhat piney hop character and plenty of bitterness. It's got the right balance for an IPA; pretty good!

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and a decent creaminess for an IPA. Not bad.

Overall: this is a pretty good beer, though I usually shy away from reds/ambers. They've done a good job of getting that toasty/caramelly red character without going too far into the biscuit range of the spectrum -- something I can definitely support.

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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.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: a little hazy; burnt orange; with a fairly aggressive pour, a 3 finger egg shell head; good retention; moderate lacing;

S: mostly pine with a little caramel malt;

T: caramel malt is front and center; the finish adds grapefruit rind and bitterness that builds;

M; medium bodied; prickly carbonation;

O: I wish the hops were more predominant;

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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.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a large tulip.
Appearance is as red as they claim, interesting for an IPA. One finger of head.
Smell is very very malty, some hop character in the background.
Taste is very malty as well. Not balanced like a west coast IPA, this is a malt forward IPA.
Mouthfeel was good.
Overall, after having read their own description of the beer, I feel Sockeye missed on this. They talk of hop aromas and hop flavors bursting out of this beer. I got none of that.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a orange-red amber with a half finger off-white head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of bready malt, mixed berries, light grapefruit, citrus and lightly piney hops, classic red ale aroma. Flavor is biscuit and mildly caramel malt, grapefruit and orange rind, grassy and citrus hops, finishing with a semi-dry, grassy hop bitterness. Medium bodied. This seems to me to be more of a classic red ale than an IPA, but it does have fairly aggressive, but not herbal hopping. Enjoyable, but does not stand out much from the pack. I wouldn't hesitate to pick this up when in the mood for a malty, moderately hopped red ale. Good craftsmanship expected from Midnight Sun.

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Photo of cbutova
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle brought back from CA. No bottle date so I'm not sure on freshness.

A- Poured from the 22oz bottle into a snifter and a pint glass with a deep red body. Creamy, off-white head forms to about two fingers high and has nice retention. Thick, frothy ring leaves a ring of thick lace where every sip ends.

S- Fair amount of maltiness with a hops offsetting it towards the end of the whiff. Toasted and caramel malts make up the base with some honey hints. Hops are somewhat faint with hints of pine, flowers and citrus. Some yeast bread notes.

T- As the nose sort of suggested, this would go into the more balanced IPA category. A strong base of malts brings caramel, honey, cracked cereal grain, biscuit and sweetness to the table. Hops round it out with citrus zest, floral, herbal and pine notes.

MF- Light-medium bodied with a moderately high carbonation. Agitation brings on some creaminess and bitterness is fairly high, lingering on the palate.

A fairly even balance of malts and hops in this IPA. As a red IPA I would expect a certain maltiness and overall this is a pleasant brew.

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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 LambicPentameter
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bomber with no dating that I can find anywhere on the bottle or label. Poured into a 16 oz nonic style tumbler.

Appearance - It definitely earns the title of "red" IPA, with a body that screams "American Amber Ale". A dark amber hue with notes of rust and burnt orange, as well as a tiny highlight of yellowish white where the light hits the glass. Atop the body is a goldish-tan head of two and a half fingers. The foam fades over a good amount of time, leaving a mottled sheet of lacing and a consistent layer of foam across the top of the liquid.

Smell - Lots of hops up front, with grapefruit, orange zest and other generic fruity phenols. Faintly, in the background, there is a bit of caramel sweetness, presumably from the specialty malts. The hops aren't as pungent as a straight-up pale malt IPA, so the "red" component is definitely doing its job.

Taste - Here, the grapefruit element is again present, this time more like zest, with bitterness and citric essence replacing the more fruity component from the aroma. As with the aroma, there is some caramel sweetness and the semisweet presence of burnt sugar, much like you expect from an American Red ale. They've really captured the essence of both styles in this pseudo-hybrid.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation, but there is sort of a unwieldy nature to the body that it's hard to describe. Impedes drinkability a little bit, but nothing to ruin an otherwise solid beer. Finish has a faint bitterness that lingers.

Overall, a nice take on the "red" IPA style. Of the now two offerings I've had from Midnight Sun, this is easily my favorite. If this were readily available in my area, I'd probably reach for it again, but glad to have tried it nonetheless.

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Photo of Shumania
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can picked up at City Beer Store in SF poured into a tumbler.

A: Clear deep amber color with a one finger head that remains after a strong pour.

S: not a strong scent, some citrus, pine, and sweetness/caramel from the malt

T: Good balance. Sweetness up front, breadiness, then goes on to be bitter with citrus (cannot identify what specifically) and pine.

M: Extremely smooth

This is a good IPA, but not great. Could definitely enjoy a few during a session, but I would not rush back to this. I definitely need to try more beers from Midnight Sun.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. Pours a murky dark copper color with over an inch of head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is piney with some malts and light hints of citrus. Not much of a nose on these one. The taste is more of the pine with some light orange and citrus hops in the background. Caramel malts and some breadiness. Some spicy hops towards the finish. Fair amount of bitterness throughout. Mouthfeel is creamy with a lot of carbonation. Overall, not bad, not great. Reminds me more of a hopped up Red Ale than an IPA. I'd probably have this again but wouldn't go out of my way.

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Photo of argock
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Oliver's Beverage (Albany, NY).

A: Copper-orange with thick, frothy, 2-3 finger, off-white, oatmeal-colored head with decent retention and a lot of sticky lace.

S: Aroma is dominated by citrus and pine hops, but they are not that prominent. There are some herbal and minty qualities in there as well. The malt aroma is very light with only a lightly bready and soft caramel note at most. Pretty bland aroma.

T: The flavor is very harshly bitter, probably from too many early kettle additions if I had to guess since this is a predominantly Centennial and Cascade hopped beer. The malt contribution is blah with some light caramel but most cardboardy flavors.

M: Overly carbonated but decent medium body.

O: Sockeye Red seems old-fashioned compared to the elite and top-tier IPAs of today -- it very bitter without a lot of hop complexity. I think the hopping schedule in this beer should be revisited. The malt profile also seems muddled and could probably be looked at again as well. Disappointing.

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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 Kuaff
4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Alright... I drink this one all the time, so it's time for a review. Poured from a can into a tulip glass, probably around 45-50 degrees.

Sockeye Red's appearance is very pleasing, and appropriate for the beer's name as well. It's got an off-white, three finger head that sits on a deep, dark red body which really DOES remind me of a spawning sockeye salmon (aka "red salmon").

The aroma gives off grapefruit more than anything else. Glorious grapefruit. But there is also a bit of grass and something that smells like flowers. Wonderful.

The grapefruit is dominant in the taste too. Hops are coming through, and there's something else going on here that I can't describe very well... I kind of just want to call it maltiness... whatever it is, it's GOOD. It's also got a great bitter aftertaste.

Nothing about the mouthfeel really pops out at me, but sometimes that's a welcome thing. This isn't a DOUBLE IPA, after all. The feel is unobtrusive.

This is a rock solid IPA that's never disappointed me. A sockeye that's worth fishing for.

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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 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.

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Sockeye Red India Pale Ale from Midnight Sun Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 430 ratings.
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