Sockeye Red India Pale Ale | Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

very good
431 Ratings
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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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 431 |  Reviews: 221
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.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up the other day at Monument Wines and Spirits.

Appearance- reddish copper color, nice size head

Smell- floral hops, some sweet malt

Taste- sweet malt initially followed by hop bitterness, pretty good

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was pretty good. I would like to have it again.

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Photo of Tone
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber/copper color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, rye, slight yeast, slight hop, and hint of citrus. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hops, slight citrus, slight yeast, hint of rye, and hint of earthy malt. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, and bled.

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Photo of vande
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: a blend of a ruby-copper in color...light lacing hugging the glass...carbonation coming from the bottom as the bubbles continue to rise

S: Nothing that jumps out to me...can tell its an IPA..but I just finished a Blind wafts coming form the pint ~ but nothing crazy

T: Coppery hoppery...bit bitter on the back, somewhat dry finish..bit a of a tangy mixture?

M: bit thinne than I'd exptected. Went down rather easy though.

O: I'd like to give it another shot. Got it in a trade and I'm not sure exactly how fresh...label has a month in week bottle...but, nothing really is marked?

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Photo of afksports
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Such a good looking, good feeling, drinkable alcohol leveled American IPA should be the bees knees, right?

Sockeye Red is ... Red. Heady. Clean crisp and filtered. The smell is overwhelming aromatic hops of a serious caliber that strengthens as it warms. Pine, resin, some malts, but mainly just hard and bashing IBUness. The bottle says only 70IBU's. I don't believe it. There's more.

Bitter in the front, middle, and drying in the back, I'm honestly overwhelmed. While impressed, I'm not pleased.

Sockeye, not the bees knees.

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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.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

citrus and floral aroma and flavor, great deep red amber color, great lace, solid hop and malt flavors, good everyday solid drinker, fresh flavors. firm body

Pacific Northwest-style India Pale Ale. pale two-row malt. Centennial, Cascade and Simcoe hops

sampled at the bistro's 13th annual ipa festival, august 7, 2010

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Photo of veinless
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, dark red/orange/brown with lots of head and lace that retained fairly well.

Smelled of tropical fruit, mostly pineapple and mango, along with some caramel sweetness and a twinge of brown sugar.

Taste followed suit, with initial caramel sweetness followed by a hoppy bitter middle and a tropical fruit ending. Malt is nicely dispersed after the initial kick, and balances the brew well.

Mouthfeel is talked about on label - "bite" is mentioned many times. I found Uberhoppy by Valley Brewing to have a much better "bite", but this one had a nice chomp in its own right. Sticky, sweet feel doesn't help drinkability, but certainly isn't a negative, as it fits with the tastes well.

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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 SpdKilz
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours into my SA Perfect Pint with an amber color. About a finger of head is achieved that quickly dissipates leaving very little lacing.

Smell - Heavy floral hops, slight citrus, and a caramel malt backbone.

Taste - Quite herbal, floral, almost medicinal. I get some citrus and pine at the tail end, and also a slight malty backbone, but overall, this seems (reminds me somewhat) of the Saison de Buff from DFH in the fact there is too much herb/floral going on here (spices, etc.). Not really feeling it.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - Ehh, won't pick this up again. Just not really what I expected.

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

Appearance. Deep amber with 1 finger off white head and some nice lacing.

Smell. Citrus fruit, some bready malt. Some ...under-ripe bananna?

Taste. Good hop flavour and just enough bitterness. Citrus fruit and a little pine tree sap. Some light malt to balance, but not take away from the predominant hoppy goodness. Very little sweetness and it works great. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel. Medium carbonation and just a little thin.

Drinkability. A great drinker. Refreshing and crisp.

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Photo of KevinBrewer
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear dark reddish copper hue with a billowy tan head that last forever and leaves tons of sticky lacing on the glass.

N- Pungent, earthy hops with accents of grapefruit, pineapple, and melon.

T- Sweet toasty malt supports herbal and grapefruit hops. There is a light tropical fruitiness along with twangy grapefruit bitterness in the middle. The bitterness tastes sort of medicinal to me, I guess powdery would be the closest word to describe it. Grapefruit rind, grassy bitterness, and some mineral in the aftertaste.

M- Medium-light body with a bone dry bitter finish.

D- Nice tasty red IPA. The medicinal quality of the bitterness bothers me a little. I think the beer would be an A+ if it were less bitter and had more of the fruitiness. I might change my mind after trying this beer a few more times. I'll find out as I plan to buy a few more bombers.

EDIT: Holy shit, this beer is so hoppy it turns your tongue yellow!

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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 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 strictlyrocks
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of Earth's most exceptional products. Sockeye Red IPA tastes like Alaska. It's B+ average rating is akin to "There Will Be Blood" averaging an 8.2 on the IMDB - an indictment of the system. Of course there has to be some leverage for personal preference, but any rating that dips beneath an 'A' means they almost certainly didn't understand it.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22oz bomber for $6.99 (wow - pricey!) at Olive Tree Market here in OB and poured it into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a clean reddish/copper hue with a solid one-finger head that sticks around a while leaving a thick coat of lace in my glass from start to finish.

S: Fresh and hoppy - floral citrus earthiness, fermented cherries with nice sweet carmel malt to round it all out.

T: Good bitter hop upfront with a big citrus bight and tons of earthy resins and piney flavors, balanced well with tasty sweet roasted malt.

M: Medium-bodied but definitely on the lighter side of it, pretty dry for an IPA, well carbonated but not too much with a lingering bitterness from the hop.

D: These are easy to throw back, but man i'm trying to figure out how they justify charging $6.99 - just doesn't seem right if you ask me.

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Photo of Xul
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Translucent dark golden with major ruby highlights, capped by two fingers of frothy off-white head. Retention is moderate as the head settles slowly to a thin layer of foam.

S: Piney hops up front, followed by some slightly stale citrus - orange and pineapple mainly - backed by a big caramel base. It doesn't smell exceedingly fresh, but it just hit San Diego...confusing.

T: Tastes fresher than it smells, opening up with moderate pine presence and light citrus. Caramel base shines on the mid-palate before the hops return, building up to a rather strong, hoppy finish of pine, oranges and pineapple.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation, has a great creamy smoothness.

D: Rather refreshing and easy drinking...good IPA, but certainly wouldn't become an everyday choice for me.

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

Yeah, so it's somewhere between a red ale and an IPA, obviously. The colour is not quite the bright and burgeoning mahogany red of a proper red ale, but it's slightly too dark for a real IPA. Head is extremely light white, very bright and very clear. Some lacing, but it's minimal. Looks reasonably good.

Nose is wonderful, a big tropical apocalypse of fruity and pungent West Coast hops. Big pineapple notes, with citrus rind and a little crushed grass to accentuate the sharpness. Very sweet and robust. If it's missing much else, it can be forgiven; these are the characters you want in an IPA.

Taste is nicely done. Big hop character on the front, which dissipates quickly after dropping a dollop of fruity hop resins. It clears very quickly, with little on the mid palate before a slight oily bitterness asserts itself on the back. Overall hop character is restrained, but there's little malt on it whatsoever, so there would be little body to back up the hops if they were more dominant. Overall, it feels rather well balanced. Feel is clean and crisp, what with the light body, but it fits the beer.

Very decent IPA, but the Red in the name only hints at a slightly deeper colour to the appearance. There's certainly no greater grain or malt character to it, and while it's a little thin, that probably aids the drinkability. Not the best example I've had, but it's tasty enough.

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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 dubinsky
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Copper with an amber tinge and very good clarity. Nice and soapy two finger tan head.

S - This beer is rather old. Oops, fell into the abyss of my beer fridge and i saw it and realized it needed to be drunk ASAP. Perhaps the age on this beer has diminished the smell, since its rather faint for an IPA, but i am smelling pine cones, citrus and floral hops with virtually no malts.

T - Great blend of piney hops, citrus rinds, pineapple and malt. I surprisingly really enjoyed the taste given the age of this one. Great bitter finish.

M - A moderate to low carbonation. Perhaps this is a factor of age, but it was rather flat.

D - An enjoyable beer, but at the price of this bottle, $6.49 i think i will stick with Green Flash Hop Head Red.

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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 hooliganlife
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby copper with hints of brown. Nice inch high head and amazing lacing.

Lots of sweet citrus and floral hops with sweet candy malts.

Tons of hops come out at you with a nice bitterness of pine and citrus. Hints of spice. Nice light sweet malt presence.

Moderate carbonation with a medium to light feel. Not thin by any means but a bit light.

This was a delicious amber ipa. Tons of flavor and very fun and interesting. Perfect ABV made this 22oz easy to kill.

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Photo of SanDiegoBeerLove
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dates 04/01.

A - Amber color with about a finger and a half of light tan head average lacing.

S - Smell of Caramel, Pineapple, Citrus, Candied sugar and hint of Rose wine.

T - Tastes of Citrus, Hops, Tart Raspberries, sweet stawberries, and a mineral water finish.

M - Medium body with a crisp bite.

D - Overall a very good and drinkable Hoppy Red Ale. I will be buying this one again hopefully a little fresher.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hmmm. A gusher, and its labelled 6/10 at the store. Pours reddish amber with a huge rocky head. Smells a bit grainy, and a little old. Some light sourness in the smell, but I don't think its infected, just a bit from the grain. The taste is hugely bitter with piney and earthy hops and grapefruit pith. A little one dimensional. The malt body can't stand up to the hops, and seems thin. Out of balance, and not in a good way. They've done much better- or maybe its just a bad bottle- but consistency counts as well.

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Photo of mgbickel
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight from the great state of Alaska; brought to Pittsburgh by my wife's best friend and the godmother of my youngest...if you ever read this Erin, thank you so much!

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. A massive, 2 ½ fingers of sandstone head formed on top of the clear, rusty amber body. The thick layer of foam slowly dissipated, mounding in the center like Mt. McKinley, leaving a huge amount of froth on the side of my glass.

The nose has a lot of sweet aromas...caramel, roasted malts, and milk sugar. There are some hops present, but not what I would expect from an IPA...they linger in the background more so...

Well, the shy nose hops sure as hell don't follow the rules on the palate! They hit hard and fast, coating my mouth with a piney resin that sticks around throughout the entire drink. The caramel/malt notes are still there, but (totally opposite form the nose) they play a secondary role.

The mouth is on medium bodied, oily and decently carbonated.

Drinkable for sure...wish it was available in my region. Worth a try if you are in Alaska (or CA, or wherever else it is dist.)!

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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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