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Steelhead Extra Stout - Mad River Brewing Company

Steelhead Extra StoutSteelhead Extra Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

432 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 432
Reviews: 293
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.39%

Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-05-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 432 | Reviews: 293 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of pkalix


4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

black pour, dual-toned colors on the head. nice and creamy, but dissipates quickly.
sweet malts and coffee in the nose.
taste is slightly bitter with some espresso notes, stout-like qualities, but thinner than most others.
overall, it's very decent. but many low-abv stouts are. it is the higher-abv stout with exceptional quality which gains the notoriety, but this one will do. very nice!

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 01:44:23 | More by pkalix
Photo of IchLiebeBier


4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: very dark, almost black body; big frothy tan/brown head after aggressive pour; good lacing

Smell: malty, roasted grain; coffee; dried figs

Taste: creamy malt with roasted grain bite up front; notes of coffee and light hops in the mid; finishes semi sweet with a low hop bite overall; excellent flavor

Mouthfeel: creamy and almost chewy; medium carbonation

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 00:28:03 | More by IchLiebeBier
Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Black, it's a commercial stout...
S- Roast, coffee, and chocolate.
T- Quite incredible. I took one sip and thought it was over roasted. 5 minutes later the flavors were layered with the coffee, roast, and chocolate, were at the beginning, middle,and finish, respectively.
M- Well, it isn't thick, but it's a bit chewy.The bitterness lingers.
O- Overall it's a nice American stout, fit to the style. I may be biased in my judging because I prefer the RIS. This may compete in that style as well.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 08:27:10 | More by BeerAficionadoMCMXC
Photo of Flounder57


4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle was poured into nonic pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no clarity or vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Roasted coffee, chocolate, smoke, tobacco, and some dark fruits. Almost smell like a RIS. Awesome stuff.

Taste: Roasted, chocolate, ash, smoke, tobacco, and some bready malts.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, chewy, full bodied, medium carbonation, and delicious.

Overall: Pretty solid extra stout that has RIS and porter features. Pretty solid.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2013 20:33:38 | More by Flounder57
Photo of micromaniac129


4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Steelhead extra stout is borderline imperial. The only difference is the ABV's, an IRS would have pumped up ABV's.
Pours dark as hell with a tall robust head that fades way to fast. The head leaves wispy lacing.
The aroma is big and bold. Lots of roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. No hops are detected so it doesn't appear to be an imperial.
The taste is like the nose. Big and bold. Lots of roasted and almost burnt malts. Hints of coffee and dark chocolates are in the taste. Plus a light charcoal grit.
On the palate it doesn't really taste full bodied. There is a feeling of chalkiness and grit, but one would expect this judging by the amount of roast in the taste.
A very good beer. Russian imperial stout for the little guy. I can't handle those 12 ABV brews.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 12:26:28 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of austin_page

South Carolina

4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love how dark this one is, almost inky looking. Can be compared to certain Imperial Russian stouts depending on the brewery. Hints of coffee, very smooth and slithers down your throat. Smells very robust like a porter and I sense a smoky smell as well. Just going by taste, it would be good with ice cream or some chocolate dessert. The mouth feel is good although at clocking in at 6.5% abv, it could use a little more alcohol to enhance the taste and even out the robust creamy coffee flavor. Great for the average stout hound.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2013 03:55:28 | More by austin_page
Photo of cyclonece09


3.61/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a pitch black with a tiny brown head. Smells of coffee and slight chocolate. Tastes of chocolate and coffee, with slight vanilla taste intermixed. Beer is carbonated correctly and goes down smooth with its medium body. Overall, a slightly above average beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2013 00:47:30 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of Rathlord


1/5  rDev -75.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I just wanted to throw up a mention on this beer that I got it from a HyVee in Iowa and the first one I opened (and all the others) have the inside covered with yeast (I'm assuming). It coats the entire upper portion of the bottle and is thick, dark, and gunky. I threw out immediately to avoid any kind of bacteria escaping. I know this isn't a proper review and obviously this happens from time to time, but I think it's worth noting that their quality team must be fairly poor. Even in the dark glass I could see it coating the entire upper portion of the bottle. I won't be buying their products again- this was both a (relatively, considering size) expensive beer and a well reviewed one and it was absolutely undrinkable.

Edit: I do realize that some beers (especially stouts) may have some yeast in them, but this was solid, thick, and absolutely coating the bottle. VERY unappealing.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2013 02:44:47 | More by Rathlord
Photo of KYGunner


4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

BLACK, that's the coloring of this beauty. Thick viscous appearance accent a thin fleeting brown head.

The scent has nice balance with char, campfire ember, Graham cracker, chocolate malt and coffee aromas. Just a bit undertoned it is still diverse and aromatic.

The taste just flat great...dry chocolate notes, malt and smoky coffee flavors fill the mouth. Crackery crust and dry grain ease to the back of a flavorful stout. For as thick and viscous as it pours the feel is rather thin but it doesn't draw away from a simply well done beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2013 23:48:57 | More by KYGunner
Photo of DukeofAle


4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This one surprised me a bit; it has all the flavor of a full-on Russian imperial, but with the body and alcohol content you'd expect of a more typical stout. Pours very dark - I expect there is some solids present here as well! Not much head. Aroma of, what else, roasted barley. Very full flavor, roasted barley and coffee, intense. How they got this much flavor into a fairly light-bodied brew I can only guess.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2013 02:49:34 | More by DukeofAle
Photo of faulkster4


4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I poured this one into a pint glass and was impressed with the dark, beautiful brown pour with a beautiful dark brown head (and I generally don't care about the head but this one is really good looking!) This is a DARK beer. Very tough to get any light through it. A nice chocolately, malty scent that is just right. Everything about this beer is tempting. Poured it, looked at it, smelled it, and was dying to taste it. This is what beer drinking is about. A percentage point or two of alcohol higher would of made this a total winner but who's to complain? I guess I'll just have to drink more than one. aftertaste lingers a bit longer than i would like and gets a bit sour on the tongue but the taste is good enough to sustain the linger. well worth the price!

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 00:43:02 | More by faulkster4
Photo of metter98

New York

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin tan head that died down, leaving some wispy patterns of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of chocolate malts and cocoa are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of chocolate along with notes of cocoa, hints of coffee and roasted malts and a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very flavorful and nice and easy to drink. It seems to have a very good balance between the malts and hops.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 14:01:08 | More by metter98
Photo of Smurf2055


3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed Nov 2011

Poured into my Duvel Tulip.

Dark, think, luxurious with about two fingers of light tan head.

Smells of burnt malt, mostly coffee, roasts. Very rich.

Taste isn’t too bitter. It has a fuller body, and wow does the coffee hit you on the swallow. Not a complete stout, but that’s not really what I was expecting when I picked it up.

Palate is silky smooth. Leaves a bit of a bitter after taste.

Overall, for something I just randomly found at my corner market, this was a treat. It’s a great beer to have around. Not as complex as some other stouts, but certainly a step above the common ones.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 07:45:31 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of harrymel


3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: unk, appears a time back provided the amount of yeast at the bottom...

A: black with a finger of light mocha which falls to a sheet of the same. Cobweb lace.
S: coffee, cocoa, astringency. Standard stout with a hint of chemical tones.
T: Nice and roasty with chocolately malts and some dirty coffee grounds that motion in at mid palate to take over and last and last as the finish line is long here.
M: Medium on thin with moderate carb. Semi dry finish.
O: Nose was off, and could appreciate some more body in the beer, but the flavor was quite nice.

Had again in March 2013. Much better. Roasty, full bodied and dry. Pretty decent stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2013 05:22:57 | More by harrymel
Photo of wiscokid920


4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz shortie poured into Snifter

A- Opaque jet black with creamy tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

S- Roasted malts with molasses, coffee. and subtle vanilla bean notes

T- Huge roasted malt profile! Sweet malts, espresso, woody charcoal smoke, with molasses and vanilla bean up front. Balances with a nice hoppy backbone then finishes with a delicious dark chocolate espresso finish.

M- Full bodied, smooth and creamy.

O- A fantastic stout. Very well balanced with roasted malts, dark chocolate/coffee, and citrusy pop of hops. Oh so drinkable. A very tasty offering!

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 01:40:41 | More by wiscokid920
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - pitch black with a huge, dense, dark brown head that has good retention

S - intense chocolate, some caramel, some roasted malts, some coffee

T - chocolate, roasted malts, caramel-sugar, some faint coffee

M - medium to full bodied, well carbonated

This is a damn good stout. It's intensely flavorful but also easy to drink. I was really impressed by the intense chocolate notes throughout. This is definitely a refreshing stout that I would have again.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 03:13:19 | More by tdm168
Photo of C3likesbeer


4.95/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle from Total Wine

Poured into pint glass

A - Pours pitch black with thinner creamy tan head.

S - Dark chocolate with some raw licorice - nice and mellow roasty.

T- What a great tasting stout. So very well balanced. It's got lots of dark but sweet chocolate, licorice candy like taste as well. Nice roasty and malty balance with not too much alcohol taste.

M- Medium to dark body.

O- I really like this beer. Balanced, flavorful and very drinkable. If you like this, you should also try the 8 Ball Stout from Lost Coast.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 02:45:02 | More by C3likesbeer
Photo of frankiepop


3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep space black liquid with big creamy tan head. Smells like stout. Thumbs up. Taste like stout Strong stout yet balanced. Reminds me of Sierra Stout. Strong yet drinkable due to balance. Sweeter. Rich. I guess i don't punch this beer's score up higher in score because I find there are more interesting chocolate or coffee focused stouts. This extra stout is the one Guiness should have made when they went for a stronger stout. But Guiness Extra is a surprise that ii is still on the shelves.Anyway this is a quality strong beer. Enjoy.

Pair with a Symphony. Charles Ives Symphony 1

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 18:39:50 | More by frankiepop
Photo of LLP

5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yes, this gets a perfect score. This brew is in a very elite class. Why? Allow me to explain. My wife and I have conducted double-blind taste tests over the past 5 years of every Stout (we always compare beers of the same basic style; plain Stout, Oatmeal, Imperial, Coffee, Chocolate or Cream/Milk Stouts) we could get our hands on (about 50 or so now) and Steelhead has come out the victor every single round!

This is an extremely unique, thick, full-bodied, rich Stout the way a Stout should be. When one decants a Steelhead, a thick layer of goodness can be seen on the bottom of each bottle. We have found that the beer becomes even more complex (if such a thing could be possible given the unbelieveable depth of this brew) if we decant 11 oz. then swirl the final ounce around to loosen the sediment before pouring the last bit. This also serves to create a beautiful thick, rich, dark brown head.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 06:17:26 | More by LLP
Photo of jucifer1818


4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: beautiful darkness, and a light dark head that dissipates at a medium speed.
exactly what a stout should look like

smell: very very light smell. mostly smokey and roasty smells

taste: beautiful. almost no detectable hops, the flavor of this one comes almost entirely from the roasted and smoked malts. beautiful light smokiness (but not overwhelmingly smokey), followed by the dark and conferting roasted and black malts, which give it the taste of dark bakers chocoalte. It has a very nutty/grainy after taste. it is only in the after taste that you can even sense that their is hops in this brew, but it still plays second fiddle to the roasty and nutty flavors
a malt heads paradise when he wants some serious darkness

for 6.5% alcohol, you can taste none of it, and its very drinkable for a beer with its level of malt, roastyness, and smoked flavors

mouthfeel: dark, gritty, nuttyness dominate the mouth-feel, as well as a slight slick syrupyness to it. its quite nice

overall: I've giving this one a 4.5. it doesn't do anything earth shattering, but it doesn't have to
its a perfect smokey dark brew, doing what it says it does, and that is being a damn fine stout

I would have this one again, and I recommend that you try it if you haven't already

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 22:18:48 | More by jucifer1818
Photo of ThisWangsChung


3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is a less-than-one finger tan color with low retention and decent lacing. Not the most impressive looking stout in the world, but to be fair, I DID just review Young's Double Chocolate Stout from a nitro-can.

S: This seems to be more of a fruity, licorice-y stout than a roasty one. Not much in the way of roasted barley, but there is some decent coffee emanating from my glass. My preference lies toward the latter, but this has a decent aromatic profile. Maybe I'm just crazy in expecting this to be an Irish-style stout, when it really isn't?

T: My analysis on the aroma is pretty much spot on - this one lets the licorice, coffee, and dark fruits do the talking. Coffee is strongest on the opening and licorice finishes the flavor progression. There isn't freakish levels of complexity here (although I like how it becomes slightly nutty and chocolaty after a while), but it does strike a nice balance between sweet and bitter. Enjoyable, but not mindblowing.

M: The feel is weird, or maybe it's just a hair more overcarbonated than I like? Actually, it might be both. Though to be fair, the carbonation helps to neutralize the slightly thick texture some. There is some pleasant char on the aftertaste, but it's not really as dry as I like my stouts to be. At the same time, it's not really 'wet' finishing, either. The wet/dry balance isn't very strong - like I said, it's kind of weird.

O: I like it a good deal, but I don't love it. A textbook example of a fallback stout when little else is available, but it's a great choice to fill out a mixed 6 pack with.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2012 22:51:52 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of HopHead84


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Bottle purchased at Olive Tree Market a few months back. Snifter.

A: The color is deep brown with an attractive mocha colored head. Solid retention and scattered lacing.

S: A pleasant mix of molasses, dark chocolate, and brown sugar. The beer exhibits balance between those three aspects. Roasted malt blends in nicely, and there's a light anise presence. Dark fruit is evident.

T: The flavor is a bit roastier than the aroma indicated, with an upper low level of earthy, woodsy bitterness. There's a lower moderate sweetness that balances the bitterness and roast. A dash of molasses meets bittersweet coffee. The finish is lightly burnt and coffee lingers.

M: Upper medium to lower full body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky, sticky, creamy, and smooth.

Overall: A well done American Stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2012 04:16:21 | More by HopHead84
Photo of barnzy78


3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, pours nearly black with brown at the edges, thin light brown head, little lace left on the glass. Aromas are rich dark chocolate, roasted barley, baker's chocolate, molasses. Tastes are chocolatey, roasty, rich, smooth, molasses, slight bitterness on the finish. Mouth-feel is the disappointment here. It's rather watery and thin, modest carbonation. I like my stouts fuller. Overall, good aroma and pretty good flavors but the feel is really lacking.

Looking at others' reviews, I am baffled to see people rave about the mouth-feel. I've seen stranger things when it comes to beer though. I doubt I'll come across this one again to retry it, but you never know.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 03:33:38 | More by barnzy78
Photo of TheSixthRing


4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours midnight black with a dark cocoa powder, 2 finger head. Good retention, results in a thin but consistent, sticky and silky lacing.

Smell - Strong notes of cocoa and deep chocolate, like baked brownies. Faint hints of coffee. More sweet than bitter.

Taste - Starts sweet, with milk chocolate at the forefront, then quickly shifts closer to baker's chocolate and subtle notes of coffee grounds, though an underlying sweetness still remains. Flavor remains through to the finish, with an aftertaste that's not far away from what I could imagine a glass of chocolate milk with a splash of coffee tasting like or, more or less, a really dense, rich chocolate cake. Deep fudge once the room approaches room temp.

Mouthfeel - Near full-bodied with a silky smooth carbonation. Goes down beautifully.

Overall - A great American stout. Flavorful, aggressive, yet goes down with grade A smoothness. Sweet with a good amount of bitterness to balance things out. This is not one I'll quickly forget.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2012 03:04:57 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of BarryMFBurton


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mad River: one of my favorite California brewers that isn’t wildly popular. Here’s hoping they do a good interpretation of one of my favorite styles…

A: A menacingly dark pour – how the hell is this beautiful black sludge less than 7% ABV? Love the presence. A dark brown touch of oily microbubbles sits above the body, with thin, milky retention and intermittent strings of lacing.

S: A nose that’s very coffee and mineral water-forward; quite bright for such a dark beer. Even the chocolate malt underbelly is an array of bittersweet aromas, not all that thick and fudge-like. Touches of dark fruits, vanilla, and roasts show up, but it’s definitely all about chocolate-flavored coffee and metallic mineral hints.

T: Chocolaty and remarkably savory – a mild hickory-smoke to a palate that’s mainly all about smooth roasted malt and deliciously complex fruits. Smoked dates, roasty grain husk, thick oak, cocoa powder, and a slight leathery mustiness make this one enjoyable sipper. However, it has a ton of brightness to it that give it an undeniable light character: mineral water and an acidic, citrus fruitiness. The aftertaste is roasty and dry, though the chocolate flavor also clings to the tongue for a while after you’re done.

M: A bit more bubbly than I was expecting, so it’s surprisingly fizzy on the first drink. Goes down a little thin for that reason, but it’s still a satisfying drink.

O: An impressive stout in a small package – can’t beat that. I’d gladly have multiple bottles with dinner sometime, or just on a cold night.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 00:48:46 | More by BarryMFBurton
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Steelhead Extra Stout from Mad River Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 432 ratings.