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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 221 | Ratings: 431
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 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 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 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.

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Photo of xychromosome
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured more a dark amber/copper than red. White head last well into half-glass. Bottle label says hopped with 'generous portions of centenniel and cascade hops' and that's definitely what you can smell in the aroma.
Tastes crisp, with plenty of hop flavour and bite. Body is a little thin but that increases its drinkability. A nice effort, easy drinking american red.

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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 ccrida
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on draft in a shaker pint, at Humpies in Anchorage, the Sockeye is amber with slight haze and a thin eggshell head that leaves heavy lace.

The smell is all hops, amarillo me thinks, spicy and piny.

The taste is also really hoppy, although there is a bit of a malt background to balance it out, sort of! It finishes very bitter though and a bit harsh.

The mouthfeel is slightly creamy but a bit heavy for the ABV and style.

This is moderately drinkable. Pretty good at first if you looking for a spicy hop fix, but I think you'd tire of it by the 2nd pint.

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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.

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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.


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Photo of ecooper
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep amber hue with a HUGE, rocky, off-white head that's sticky like meringue. Leaves splotches of lacing down the glass.

S - Smells very inviting! Full of citrusy hop aromas (pineapple, grapefruit, and orange) and some pine scents as well.

T - Taste is different than expected. Almost entirely bitter the whole way through, the beer introduces itself with a mix of earthy and woody hop flavors. A biscuity malt backbone comes in later and seems to contain some rye.

M - Pretty average for an American IPA - not too heavy & not too light.

D - Moderately drinkable - it would be nice if the malt flavors competed a little more with the hops to help balance it a little.

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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 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 Vancer
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Made in the frozen tudra (yeah, redundant) of Alaska. A solid brew, too. Earthy brown pour with a lacing tan head, died a tad too quick.

Wow, aroma of evergreen pine moss, along with some citrus notes. Earthy and woody nuts in the taste. A tad bitter harsh on the finish.

Sharp and crisp, it’s a nice break from the heat. This would work well in the cool autumn, while checking out football with a dozen hot wings in your lap.

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

This is an unusually dark colured IPA, almost brown ..dark garnet hints, small splotchy white head. Nice spicy/citrus hop aromas, piney and candy sugar come to mind. Deep piney, resinous hop flavours, then it smooths out a bit and shows a bit of malt body.Long pleasing biter after taste. Quite good on the palate, smoth yet not boring again enjoyed the after taste. A nice slightly unusual IPA. A good spring day beer

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Photo of GClarkage
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11/01/05- Purchased at John's Marketplace in Portland, OR.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with a bottled on dating strip on the side of the label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Amber colored pour with a gigantinormous head. Possibly the largest I have seen to date. I shared this beer and it took about 10 minutes to get 11 oz in each of our Duvel glasses. Huge large bubbles that don't go away unless you physically eat them. The lacing is very nice as well.

Smell- Lots of malt and lots of hops. Terrific smelling brew. Caramel with a grapefruit backing.

Taste- Very mindful of the Lagunitas Imperial Red and the Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale (both outstanding brews as well). Tons of sugared caramel blends nicely with pine resin and grapefruit flavored hops.

Mouthfeel- Suprisingly smooth considering the fairly high carbonation.

Drinkability- Definitely recommended. Great red ale/IPA hybrid.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head is a is a light tan color; it is frothy, a slightly creamy consistency, and leaves layers of lace as I work my way through the beer. The aroma has a light citrus character to it with notes orange peel, strawberry and sweet caramel; it really has a sweet candied character to it. The taste is only lightly sweet but it is pretty malty with notes of caramel, toffee, and bits of toasted malt. The beer is pretty light on the palate, and there is a bit of dustiness in the finish of this beer. There is a solid bitterness in the finish, though it is perhaps not as bracing as one would expect. This is a pretty good IPA, but it is missing a dimension, a richness to it that would really make it quite a bit more tasty.

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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.

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Photo of rowew
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz short bottle - notched with freshness date.

Appearance: Pours a nice dark red orange color with a thick head. Slightly haze, head sticks around quite a while. Lots of lacing on the glass and surface.

Smell: Strong citrus hops with just a hint of sweetness. Definitely dominated by a grapefruit aroma.

Taste: Very bitter, but not huge amounts of hops. Mouthfeel is slightly oily. Flavor is definitely dominated by bitterness and the actual flavor of the hops doesn't show through much.

Overall impression: Tasty beer - but the hops really don't get the change to shine through. Very bitter - I certainly couldn't drink many of them.

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

22oz- Pours out a slight reddish copper, settles with a bit of chill haze to its body and keeps an ivory top of firm creamy froth sustaining a small but thick-set stature. Lacing is very nice with lots of thick sheeting action sticking all over the place.

Aroma is fairly dry and piney and leafy with a light wood soaked citrus.

Taste is whole lot of pine dryness in the hops. Toasty factioned in a tame sense of roundedness. Parchness is thoroughly squeezed right from the first sip. Bitterness is dry and pine-sided with high ended grapefruit pith thats scorched, aged, and dried. Balance is more towards the hops as the dryness of leafy/woody hops take center stage. Its a palate pucker.

Feel is roughly medium with a smooth front leading into a drying bitterness holding all throughout its character and finishing qualities. Perhaps a bit more malt balance and crispness would do this good as its pretty dry. Which I don't mind one bit, although it reminds me of the hoppier ambers and reds I've encountered and not so much an IPA. Definately has the hops to carry the style, but the balance is all dry hops. If you don't mind the drier toned IPA's this will suit ya just fine; as it did me.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a reddish amber ale with a four finger rocky head. It took a while to die down.

Aroma was of grapefruit and hop resins, with slightly sweet malt lurking in the background. Very much like a strong IPA, although a little more malt would not have been out of place.

Taste was sharply bitter, mainly grapefruit and hop resins like the aroma, with a sweet, candy-malt finish. Very interesting... I apparently found it much hoppier than most of the others who have reviewed this beer.

Mouthfeel was OK, not too rich and chewy. Drinkability is all right, too, but it would have gotten better ratings with a bit more balance between hop bitterness and malt character.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Curios looking abstract eye ball painting label bomber explaining "Centennial & Cascade" hops to hook you in.

Pours out a delicious looking spumescent sticky khaki dense craggy uneven head cap over an auburn dark orange offering.

Aromas of bright orange citrous notes, topped of with lemony banana.

First swigs: Sweet Tart candy bite. Grassy and grapefruit taunt tension. Dry finish. This is a sweet quick in 'n out grapefruit mimicking IPA. Bone dry finish. As warmed some bubble gum notes pop through.

Feel is sticky sweet. Firm carbonation.

Last swigs: Desert dry grapefruit IPA. Reminds me of Alesmith IPA or Avery IPA. $3.69 at John's Marketplace. CHEAP!!! The only problem is that this is not available near my home town. This is a must try for any straight shootin' USA IPA kick. Go my hop fix here.

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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 NEhophead
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very rocky, lightly tan head with tremendous strength. Ringed lacing throughout the pint with great durability. Cloudy auburn in color.

Big hoppy-bitter aromatics. Hop oils, lemon, slight grapefruit, and a touch of grain. This one smelled like a Double IPA.

The huge hop bitterness that the aromatics hint at, turn out to be very mild and more citrusy. Great use of cascade hops here, giving a very palatable lemon flavor leading to a light bitterness. There's also a moderate rustic wheat and grain flavor in addition to the citrus quality. Finishes a touch dry with more of the cascade flavors in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; prickly and grainy on the palate, which works well for this offering.

Not as bold as other IPAs in terms of hop bitterness and intensity, but a very pleasurable brew nonetheless. Very easy drinking. I regretfully only picked up one bottle. This is one that I'll definitely pick up again.

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