Michigan Brewing High Seas India Pale Ale
Michigan Brewing Company

Michigan Brewing High Seas India Pale AleMichigan Brewing High Seas India Pale Ale
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IPA - American
3.78 | pDev: 11.11%
Michigan Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Michigan Brewing High Seas India Pale AleMichigan Brewing High Seas India Pale Ale
Reviews: 168 | Ratings: 202 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by bark:
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bark from Sweden

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is deep brown-orange; the three finger firm (crater) head is off-white. Lots of lacing.

The smell is hoppy with a mild sour flavour. Some metallic hints, some apricots.

The taste is quite neutral for an American IPA, I find it more English in style. Dry, malty and bitter flavours. Some fruits in the aftertaste, as a fine bitterness. The finish is long and bitter.

The carbonation is mild to medium. Large bubbles. Smooth mouthfeel.

I had expected some more citric bitter flavours, but I enjoyed this one either way.

Jul 23, 2008
More User Reviews:
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Realale from Missouri

2.91/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Red-tinged copper. Large sticky beige head settles to a complete cap and laces nicely down the entire pint.

Nose is initially all hops with a predominant grapefruit note. Touch of diacetyl comes out as it warms, and a bit of relatively high L crystal, neither of which are my favorites.

Much worse in the mouth than the nose would lead one to expect. Medium-weight with a husky graininess, and some diacetyl. Good earthy hop note, but no hint of the citrus promised by the nose. The mineral treatment is better controlled than this brewery's Pale Ale. Just hits all of the wrong notes a fault-free IPA can for my palate.

Apr 17, 2005
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yen157 from New Jersey

3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy, somewhat dark orange-amber. Nice nose full of green hops and some mildly toasty malt. Flavor was sort of one-dimensional. It depended on toasty malt to try to counter the big, dry hop bitterness. The malt could not handle it since it was lacking a good sweetness which I find to be a key for the style. Also, bitterness was out of whack with overall hop impression because of the relative lack of hop flavor.

In short, too bitter without the sweet malt to back and flavor of the hops. My second least favorite from MBC that I tried on this trip. My least favorite was the dreadfully foot-odored Sebewaing.

Dec 03, 2003
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LarryKemp from Texas

3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The IPA was a dark amber with a fair white head which was ruined by the floaties.

The strong hop aroma rushed out to greet my nose. The aroma was the best part of this beer.

The hops were strong in the taste and I could taste some fruitiness. The beer finished bitter but not overpoweringly so.

The mouthfeel was light and bordered on runny.

I would not recommend this beer period. It is a poor example of an IPA. The initial great IPA hoppy aroma led to disappointing looks and taste.

(edited comment - After reading the reviews after posting mine, I felt I must have had a VERY bad bottle. I poured out half a glass of beer. Maybe I just got a bad bottle.)

Feb 11, 2003
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Gusler from Arizona

4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour a murky orange, the head considerable in size, creamy in texture, the lace large thick sheets to coat the glass. Nose has a quite pleasant floral aroma, with malt and citrus tones present, very “Sniffable”. Front is malt sweet, the top skinny, the finish is purposefully acidic, commodiously hopped, the aftertaste dry. This beer is a very good representative to the “American Style IPA”.

Nov 15, 2002
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RBorsato from Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy bronze-amber color with a full pillowy creamy light tan head and decent lace rings. Massive pine and grapefruit hop aromas; very resinous. Huge pine and citrus hop flavors dominate but not balanced too bad; big malty backbone and alcohol evident. Full-medium bodied with a creamy smooth character and a big bitter hop finish.

Big... Bold... Good !!

Per MBC website:
Malt: 2-Row, Crystal, and Munich
Hops: Northern Brewer, Cascade
OG: 1.076
ABV: 7.0%

Per BOM notes:
86 IBU
6.9% ABV
Malts: 2-Row, Munich, Caramel
Hops: Cascade, Columbus, Warrior

Dec 27, 2006
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Mitchster from Michigan

3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Having had this on tap and not being impressed, I was urged to review this brew again by Trbeer.

Brewed with 2-row, crystal and Munich malts. Hopped with Northern Brewer and Cascade.
OG=1.076, 7.0% ABV.

The cap pops off with a firm whoosh. Pours out to a cloudy dark caramel with orange accents, forming a very large peaking mreingue-like light beige head with superior retention and lacing, although it's due to the intense carbonation. The head is thick and sticky, and actually quite dense with a palpable firmness. Aroma is not too pleasant with immediately boozy fusels and higher alcohols, along with sharply pungent citrusy and piney hops, offset by faint vanilla and honey from the heavy malt bill. Mouthfeel is spritzy with a medium-dense body. Taste begins nicely enough with sharp and pungent hops akin to West-Coast offerings, however this is quickly replaced with the higher alcohols and some kiwi-like yeast esters which are out of place for the style. It has a homebrew twang, limiting it's drinkability. Finish is peppery dry from the isopropyl alcohols. Bitterness is moderate intensity. Letting it breathe blew off some of the higher alcohols and made it more drinkable.

This is an OK IPA, but there are much better to be had for the same price, especially in Michigan. Fermentation has to be cleaned up and the carbonation issue has to be resolved before this is a contender.

Aug 09, 2004
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HardTarget from Texas

3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: Michigan Brewing Company High Seas IPA. Date code inked on label 01/29/08 15:06 (sampled 03/07/08 17:58) nothing else of use.

Aroma: Hoppy and bready. The aroma is fruity, like peaches and grapefruit, really nice. There's a firm sweet note as well of slightly under attenuated wort, but it really adds to the peach sweetness. Mild yeast element brings in the bread.

Appearance: Pillows of over enthusiastic white foam slowly settle into an ample cover that leaves tide marks of lace. Glass is very hazy dark amber orange.

Flavor: Strong peach element to the beer has to be hop driven (website lists Northern Brewer, Cascade), and has a fair amount of grapefruit as well. The fruity hops are well supported by a strong malt base that is just a touch over sweet in the finish for my tastes, but not a serious distraction. Hops seem a little grassy in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a bit too firm, the finish is both dry and oily which is odd. Body seems just a touch weak, a medium light level.

Overall Impression: Nice flavor helps me overlook some other elements that could use a tweak. Carbonation could come down, malt could drop a bit, or maybe a tweak in the malt bill, which might help the finish a bit. Still, an enjoyable IPA.

Mar 08, 2008
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy amber with with a soapy off white head that fades into a small soapy head. Leaves tons of lacing all over the glass.
Smell is of caramel, biscuits, and citrus hops that seem balanced and outright addictive.
Taste is of the same aromas. Sweet biscuits and bitter citrus hops in a tangled web.
Mouthfeel is biscuit sweet with some bitterness that slowly fades out.

Jan 13, 2006
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Bierguy5 from Ohio

3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, best before 9/26/09. Pours a cloudy copper color, with a nice thick white head. A fair amount of bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass. Very nice head retention, and lace.

Citrusy hop aroma, mainly grapefruit. A good amount of caramel malt in the nose.

Nice caramel malt, with just a bit of sweetness to it. Lots of citrusy hop character, with a good amount of bitterness.

Good body and carbonation. Pretty simple here. Easy to drink, and enjoyable.

Aug 06, 2009
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Ellbert from Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks good with a dark orange/amber color and a white sticky head. Aroma is fruity with apricot and other fruit.

Taste is very hoppy with little malt to back it up. It is not thin however. A decent mouthfeel makes this palatable. ABV does not seem to come through in the flavor.

A decent drinkable brew.

May 26, 2012
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WesWes from New York

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy dark golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid malt scent that boasts of pale and Carapils malts along with a wonderful hop aroma. The taste is good. It has a powerful hop flavor that is bitter from the swallow to the finish. It's balanced with a mild malt flavor. The hops overpower and leave the flavor a bit lopsided. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good American IPA. It's big and bold with loads of hops; a good drinker.

Mar 02, 2007
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arizcards from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer was received as part of the October MicroBeerClub shipment received in late October.

Beer poured a cloudy orange-amber with a nice fluffy white head that is leaving a generous lacing behind. Nose is of floral hops, malts, and citrus. Taste is malty to start and finishes with a big grapefruit hop. Mouthfeel is fairly creamy and smooth. Overall drinkability is good. This is another very enjoyable product from this brewery from my old home state!

Dec 02, 2006
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alexgash from Connecticut

4.36/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy apricot copper with a tumultuous, rocky, glass-lathering, light sandy head. Crushed Smarties, lemon meringue, pine needles, and sourdough. Tangy, piney bitter hop nettles up front. Turns to butterscotch and fruit malts; sweetish and malty. Pine resins and light citrus hop bitterness take over the finish. Medium-bodied, creamy feel. Very nice. Good depth and balance and not too alcoholic. A bit of a surprise here and something I will buy more of.

Dec 09, 2006
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granger10 from Wisconsin

4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a apricot peach like color with a small fizzy white head. Aroma is quite nice with a dominating piney sting and fruity aspects complimenting it. Taste is much less bitter than the nose would lead one to believe. There's lots of grapefruit and citrus in here. The bitterness never really reaches its peak like I think it's going to. Very rounded hop flavor here. Malt is a bit weak definitely under the hops, I think its lending a fruity aspect and holding the bitterness back. Finish is resiny with some pine coming back. This is one of the most flavorful hoppy beers without the bitterness I have had. Quite nice.

Aug 27, 2005
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HappyHourHero from Indiana

2.93/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Small, foamy, light cream colored head fades briskly to a thin film. . Mild aroma is barely malty with even less hops, and a kind of vegetable undertone. Very hazy copper colored beer with a straw colored hue. There's a bit of light malty sweetness up front and some grapefruit flavored hops. The finish is strongly alcoholic and pretty bitter. Mouthfeel is a bit chewy. Something just doesn't seem right. The aroma and first sip suggest a very light IPA with minimal hops, but then the finish is really big and bitter. It's like it morphs from a pale ale to a IIPA. A bit strange, but interesting. Thanks to malty for a chance to try this one.

Jun 07, 2005
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DrunkMcDermott from Illinois

3.22/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yes, the samplers at the MBC taproom just keep on coming. Interesting that Michigan Brewing has 3 pale ales on tap (not counting Celis Pale Bock, which is actually another pale ale). This one is indeed different, though. A good and hoppy character with a fruity, almost sticky mouthfeel. However, I also caught something of a metallic tang in it, but otherwise a solid IPA with a bit of flair.

Dec 07, 2003
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mentor from Colorado

3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle was a 2006 GABF left-over that was given to me as a reward for my volunteer efforts. Thanks a million to GABF and to Michigan Brewing for the opportunity. Entered into judging in category #39 (American IPA).

Pours a one finger tan (slight orange) head over a clooudy and particulated golden rust liquid. Sedimnet retained in the bottle. Smells piney sour. No malt to behold. Very one-dimensional.

Tastes wet on the pull turn to piney hops with a strong cohumulone rough. Creamy finish comes in a nice transition. Hop oil flat with a gritty tettnanger-like aftertaste. Sour apple, which I think is from hops and not a yeast off-casting. The sour apple is an estery character, not an acetaldehyde character.

Md body and strong carbonation.

Jan 14, 2007
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cameraman from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A medium amber color, with a light beige colored head. The head laces slowly down the glass from its inch high starting point. A fragrant grassy and pine scent at the front of the aroma and finishing with a mild citrus fragrance. The malt starts at the front of the palate and stays there for some time, then it is overtaken by the hops. The hops come in strong about halfway overwhelming the bread and cracked grain flavors of the malt. The hops bring a grapefruit citrus flavor, that is followed by a touch of pine at the end. Thin at the front, but it gradually gains some weight as it reaches the back part off the palate, A mild dryness is left behind. An easy to drink IPA, strong aroma, solid flavor, though I was hoping for a little more from the flavor. The feel was solid, overall this a very good beer.

May 03, 2009
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frazbri from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

High Seas India Pale Ale from Michigan Brewing poured a slightly hazy copper body, topped by a well sustained cream colored head. The aroma was dominated by pine, but a hint of grapefruit emerged as well. Bright citrus flavors dominate. Grapefruit is enveloped in a round bitterness. It was medium in body and moderate in carbonation.

This IPA is full of citrus flavor. High Seas is my favorite Michigan Brewing offering I've had to date.

Jul 12, 2005
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CRJMellor from Arkansas

3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber nectar with minimum heads but lots of lace. Aroma is tremendous citrus, grape fruity, resiny hop smell. Taste is light malt and powerful, grity bitterness. Hops used are Warrior, Tomahawk and Cascade. The real hopheads would truly enjoy this beer, those looking for a little balance won't really find it. Not quite in the league of an Imperial IPA but 75 IBU's is up there and really hides the relatively high ABV. Just a hint of grittiness in the mouth takes a few marks off the mouthfeel and drinkability.

Jan 04, 2004
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massively murky tawny with candy corn yellow edges. High Seas is one of the most turbid IPAs that I've ever seen and is opaque with even the brightest sunlight behind the glass. The golden ecru cap is firmly creamy and gives a classic 'melted mesa' look as it falls. There's a decent amount of glass coverage, but the lace is thin and watery rather than thick and resiny.

The nose is classic American IPA. That is, it features one or more of the 4-Cs with grapefruit and lemon peel leading the way. It needs to more aromatic, however, in order to seriously compete with the best of this style.

This is good, solid beer. I'm guessing that the malt bill is predominantly made up of pale with just a little caramel for color and flavor. The hops, again, are citrus fruity with brown sugary white grapefruit as the star attraction. Bitter orange plays a supporting role. I'll say Cascade at least and possibly Centennial. Once the brewer calls me back, I'll know for sure. [note: the hop bill consists of Cascade, Northern Brewer and Columbus.]

The malty undercarriage is easily sturdy enough to support a fairly high hop load. Bitter leads at all points along the flavor arc, but is kept somewhat in check by the leveling effect of the malt sugars. High Seas is close to, but not quite, a hophead's delight. It has more than enough flavor and bitterness for most beer drinkers however.

The body/mouthfeel is in line with what one would expect for an average-to-big IPA without threatening to drift over into DIPA territory. If I remember correctly, I was happy with the mouthfeel on the only other Michigan Brewing Company beer that I've had as well. A somewhat generous amount of carbonation is so fine-gauged that it isn't a problem.

I expected quite a bit from High Seas IPA once I found out that it won a gold medal at the 2006 World Expo of Beer, besting such luminaries as Founders Devil Dancer (silver) and Founders Red's Rye (bronze). Of course this is the same competition that said that Killian's Red (gold) is a better beer than Founders Dirty Bastard (silver) in the Scotch and Irish Ale category.

Truthfully, I was pretty sure that this beer wouldn't hold a candle to the two Founders beers that it beat since I consider them to be two of the finest in the world. High Seas India Pale Ale is definitely a worthwhile purchase though, and is yet another deliciously hoppy offering from the increasingly impressive (beer) state of Michigan.

Sep 14, 2006
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Pizza Plant in Buffalo. Very bitter bias but clear c-hop. A serviceable IPA but tasted like a citrus cold medicine to me. Carbonation a bit aggressive. Peachy clour. No clear hop aroma.Didnt all go together, but would have it again in a bottle if pushed on me.

Oct 20, 2006
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nortmand from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep amber red with a small amount of tan/white head.
Very cascade hop smell- citrusy, geen hoppiness, very nice.
Tastes mostly of hops, with a nice malty balance that gives the beer a rich, smooth mouthfeel. Very citrusy and juicy flavor, with a tinge of alcohol presence.
Very drinkable, definitely hits the spot when in the mood for a highly hopped American Ale.
Highly recommended.

Jun 05, 2004
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marcellaproust from Washington

4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never been so surprised in my life. Didn't think anything would top my favorites, Bell's Two Hearted and New Holland's Mad Hatter. Those lovers have since been abandoned: this IPA dazzles! For an IPA, a strangely reddish, copper color topped with an enormous and slow-subsiding head that, moreover, has the tiniest bubbles. Smells like the bitter grapefruit and hops but with atypical intimations of subtle yeast. That same hermaphroditic unity is more than outdone by the taste: we have bitter citrus fruit (can't be categorized as grapefruit - the flavor is too elusive) front and center, but then an incredibly creamy, not-sweet but mellowed smoothness follows with finish plus aftertaste of hops and . . . for those of you born in the late 60s/early 70s . . . tastes like that chewy candy (sans sweetness) Bit O' Honey, which we all know didn't taste at all like honey but rather like a mere *gesture* towards peanut butter taffy, vanilla, and honey. I know that Bit O' Honey is still around but the recipe, I believe, has been updated for our current sweeter sweet tooths, and so those of you born too late, don't judge according to the current imposter. What's really great about this IPA is that is complex and friendly - so while I usually can't drink beers like this and indulge in good convo (beers that like spoiled kids demand too much attention), MBC IPA is like the perfect stranger you bring to a party of close friends: contributes to small talk and conversation rather than sulking in a corner or engaging in histrionics when your attention is directed elsewhere.

Jul 18, 2004
Michigan Brewing High Seas India Pale Ale from Michigan Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 202 ratings