Michigan Brewing High Seas India Pale Ale | Michigan Brewing Company

very good
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Michigan Brewing High Seas India Pale AleMichigan Brewing High Seas India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Michigan Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-19-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 202 |  Reviews: 168
Photo of Grundle20
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a with a heavy amount of sediment haze. It's brownish orange in color with an ideal eggshell white head that has great retention and lacing.

I would say this beer smells like the definition of an American IPA only the scent could be a little more potent. There's a good base of caramel malts paired with just the right balance of citrus hopping. There's also some minor notes of fresh baked bread and tropical fruit punch in the background.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
I have to say I'm a little disappointed after the smell. The flavors all kind of try to get in there at once and end up clashing and falling flat on the tongue. After the initial scuffle between the malts and hops, the hops walk away the victor and lend a mild piney taste to the middle of the drink and some dry bitterness. Shortly thereafter your left with a lingering bitterness in the finish and a little bit of yeasty funk, probably from the suspended yeast.

It's not a terrible IPA, and perhaps this isn't the best bottle, but with a 7% ABV and a jumble of flavors it loses points in drinkability.

Bottom Line:
After a couple of letdowns from the Atwater brewery I find this to be a refreshing beer to Michigan's brewing pedigree although it is not quite a Bell's Two Hearted. A pretty decent beer overall.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a hazy dark tea color with a generous foamy off-white head. Ample lacing from start to finish.

Aroma is full of hoppy pine and citrus notes. Very similar to Bell's Two Hearted.

Taste jumps with the piney hops and buttery malts. The alcohol is very well hidden.

Nice mouthfeel. Medium bodied with light carbonation.

I was pleasantly surprised by the IPA and plan to enjoy more during my next trip to Michigan.

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Photo of williamherbert
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boy this one looks nice. The head disappears quickly. It's dark orange, cloudy with a lot of sediment. This one is gonna be thick, I can tell.

Woody hop flavor, with a flowery undertone. Toasted biscuity malt. Hint of oak with an alcohol punch.

Very *very* strong. Almost a strong ale, moreso than an IPA, I would say. I would call it a Strong Ale with a hop kick. Extremely woody/oaky. Very pungent aftertaste.

Thick and chunky. Very creamy and leaves a major, lasting film. Super thick. Thick and oaky. Hops are really secondary. This is hardcore stuff. Hard to repeat.

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Photo of SaucyA
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

looks good in a standard pint glass... pours about a finger think of quickly dissapearing foam. laces all the way down the glass tho. clear golden amber color.

smell's good... major hops, hops, hops. sweetness, molasses.. piney goodness. i like it.

taste is good, bitter, but not mind jarring. lots of hops and sweetness. pine and lemon.

mouthfeel is on point.. not too thick, oily, carbonated... a nice mix that helps it go down without a hitch. i wouldn't change much except maybe make it a tad lighter... seems to be sitting heavy with me :)

i'd rate this higher in drinkabilty if it weren't such a big beer... i know it's not a "big beer" per se', but it still sits heavier than i'd normally like for an ipa, and if i had my choice, i'd go elsewhere. i'll snag another sixxer from the corner to be sure, and i urge you to do the same.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: Dark golden-honey color. Off white one finger head that leaves quite a bit of lace as it recedes. Very still and only slightly hazy.

S: Sweet caramel malt, green apple, and citrus hops dominate the nose. A little too on the sweet side, for me, for an AIPA.

T: Greeted at first by that caramel sweetness which is followed closely by spicy hops that carry through all the way to the end of the finish. Dry malt backbone thrown in for good measure, too.

M: Slick and oily. Sweet malty thickness balanced nicely by the bitter and spicy hops.

D: A good all around AIPA. Should be able to put away a few of these in one sitting, no problem.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow another great IPA. This was a good night to try new things, seemed all three were winners. This was the last and definatly the best of the night. Poured a great hazy orange, with a ton of suspension of particles. Big white head and a lace all the way down. Smell was very crisp and fresh. Lots of hops, with big hints of orange, pineapple, grapefruit, and some lemon. A nice sweet candy like aroma also started to come out as it warmed. Excellent smell, pretty much perfect. Taste followed right behind, a nice hop bomb, but much more complex then that. Lots of fruit like flavors were mixed in, apples and pears were definalty picked up here, but were surround by hops, really well done. A very nice dry bitter finish capped it off perfectly. Went down extremely smooth and very easy, could have drank this all night, in fact I drank this one way too quick and definatly wanted another. Overall this was great, I would call it MY perfect type of session beer. I really could have drank this all night!

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Photo of Imstillthegman
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, cloudy orange with a decent head that leaves good lacing...even in the frosted glass that the bartender insisted on giving me.

The smell was of pine and herb (you know the one) which was almost on it's own. Very little malt presence to support the green hops.

Flavor was more balanced than the aroma. Some sweet, buttery malts lessen the bitterness. Hops comes out in pine and floral flavors.

Mouthfeel....medium body with average carbonation. Not a lot of dryness or bitterness in the aftertaste, which I enjoy. This brew went down pretty easy, but then again, the hotel bar dind't have many other options so that helped me to enjoy this more. One thing that I noticed...has nothing to do with what is inside the bottle...the labels have a somewhat cheap look, IMO. May turn me off if were to see it in the store. Just my two cents. Good beer, though, and I am sure I may have one or two more tomorrow.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very dark hazy orange with an extremely generous head that slowly dies down throughout tasting. Lacing is a dark white that remains quite sticky. Very weak hop aroma for an IPA, more of a dirty/grassy smell to it. Taste is quite weak in the hop area which disappoints me just a bit. To me this has a very "bready" taste to it with a very mild hop aftertaste. Malt is fairly present that balances this out quite well. Carbonation is pretty weak throughout...but that's fine by me. Extremely drinkable for a 7.2% abv IPA, but I like them with a more bitter bite to them. Probably one of the smoothest IPA's I've ever had....definitely give this one a try if you enjoy your IPA's drinkable.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep sunset orange with a brownish center and very cloudy. A frothy and solid-looking head sticks around for a while and leaves an abunadace of sticky lace on the glass.

S - Herbal and dank woody hop aroma. Very marijuana-esque. Smells dry-hopped to me.

T - Nice and biscuity solid malt backbone. Bitter herbal hops with the same dank and pot-like character from the nose. A few sour notes pop in at the end and keep things lively.

M - Full and soild. Modedrate to high carbonation levels combine with the acidity and bitterness to create a very lively and perky mouthfeel. As it warms, I can feel alcohol warmth and the mouthfeel gets softer and more full.

D - Outstanding. This has every quality that I look for in an IPA, and the zingy mouthfeel is very pleasant.

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Photo of mentor
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.75/5  rDev +26.3%
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

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Photo of aquatonex
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not much of a fan of IPAs but this one was pretty good...

Pours cloudy burnt orange-amber with a nice foamy head of several fingers that has good retention, rather stiff. Some lacing. Smell is dominated by floral hops, hints of breadiness. Taste follows with a well hopped malty brew. Sweet bready undertones peek through and it finishes very hoppy. A solid IPA.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.7/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured beer into a tumbler at 50 degrees. Beer was kinda cloudy with a interesting blurred golder color. This beer smelled like bread a hops or hops and bread. I thought it was pretty bitter though typical of a IPA and it was also strong of alc. as an IPA is. Taste was just pure hops, way too much. Will not buy again.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed on May 4, 2006. 12 Oz Bottle. Pour of molten amber lava with fringes of sunrise, rimmed with a cream froth of ivory. Aroma is a spicy, yet cherry syrup-esque waft of candied orange peel, light resins and ginger. Flavor is a decent, yet slightly weak, sweet ruby red grapefruit, with limes peels and a good dose of warm bready spiced yeasts and a finish of toothy grass. Alcohol shows, but carries hop juices nicely. A quite standard IPA, with good construction, great flavor and nice drinkability. Maybe a little too much bitter resins in the finish. Palate bites a little with a touch of hop sugars. Light diacetyls over caramel apple smack.

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Photo of alexgash
4.36/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of sloejams
3.46/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

received as part of Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club, Oct 06

This pours a murky, amber color with plenty of lacing from the 1/4 inch head. The aroma is bready - hops are present but not intense. It's piney with a slight grapefruit note. Taste follows suite. It has a pleasant bitterness that finishes with the malty balance.

Not a bad American IPA but with so many that excel, it gets a little lost in the middle.

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Photo of arizcards
4/5  rDev +6.4%
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!

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, pours a dark amber with off-white inch thick head, shrinking to a nice puffy foam, with lots of lacing sticking to the glass. Aroma is hop dominant, floral and piney, a little citric. Taste is likewise, lots of piney citric hops with a pretty decent malt backing that kind of flirts in the shadows, nice dry bittering finish. Body is medium, good carbonation, good finish, an overall solid beer, recommended.

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Photo of hanco005
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of my beer of the month club offerings, 12 oz bottle, no freshness date, poured into a pint glass

A—pours hazy amber copper with a 1 inch fluffy white head that lasts for about 10 minutes, thick sea foam lacing is produced

S—pine is strongest, followed by grapefruit, some sweetness is hidden, but the pine is almost over powering

T—pine for sure, but mixed pretty well with grapefruit, perfume and a touch of pepper, just a hint of honey like sweetness, too

M—a bit raw and scratchy, medium bodied, good carbonation

D—a solid IPA. Glad I tried it and would definitely have it again.

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Photo of Sammy
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Photo of eballard
2.83/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a cloudy reddish brown color with a light airy head that sits fairly well on this beer. The head settles into a nice lacing. It has a sweet hops smelt with a hint of citrus. The taste is very hops. It has the regular IPA spicy qualities but the beer finishes a little bitter. The beer is smooth and heavy with a nice finish. In all the beer ends up a little on the harsh side. It’s a good tasting beer and if you like IPAs give it a try but in the competitive world of IPAs this one is not of the top of my list.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of Derek
4.23/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at the brewery.

A: Copper-amber; off-white head, a little retention and lace.

S: Piney, resiny, slightly citrusy, American hops.

T: Piney, slightly citrus American hops. Toffee with some cotton-candy like fruity esters. Pleasant bitterness, tons of hop flavour.

M: Body is on the lighter side of moderate and it's quite acidic. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Quite good. I wouldn't have guessed it's as strong as it is!

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Photo of nicksta
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: It has a deep ruby color that beautifully reflects light. On the negative side it has a thin head and no lacing.

S: I smell toasted hops and hints of alcohol. I also smell fruit. Is that pinapple juice?

T: It is similar to all the other APAs I have add except it is much more bitter. Other than that it is has hints of fruit and toasted malt and hops just like other APAs.

M: The mouthfeel is slightly think but acidic.

D: It has poor drinkability due to the bitterness.

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Michigan Brewing High Seas India Pale Ale from Michigan Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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