1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Steelhead Extra Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 432 | Reviews: 293 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of denver10


3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with an effervescent mocha head and nice lacing. A nice rich, roasty aroma with some chocolate and coffee. A roasty flavor that dies just before it reaches burntness, some licorice, and coffee. Thinnish medium mouthfeel, some activiy, nothing noticeable. Overall, a solid stout. Drinking an Yeti Espresso Stout before this wasn't helpful to this beer's cause but I did enjoy this and will have to revisit it with a fresher palate.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2012 00:03:07 | More by denver10
Photo of Pintofbrown


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I went after some Steelheads with a shaker pint.

Appearance- The pour results in only a half-finger or so of toasted bread colored head. It looks very soapy and filmy and retains pretty well. The black body is completely opaque, without a hint of highlights.

Smell- This nose has a nice combination of roasted notes and a slightly sweet molasses notes. There are also hints of figs, black currants, some tobacco, and brown sugar. The nose is more sweet than roasty, and smells excellent!

Taste- These flavors mimic what was intimated on the nose almost exactly. The roasted flavors hit the palate quickly, but they are not burnt, more like tobacco leaf. Then the sweet and musty flavors begin to take hold and really make this stout soar.

There are caramel malts that stack on top of figs, brown sugar, and molasses. Even a bit of anise seeps into the long finish. This stout leaves behind a long and smokey, chalky and brown sugar aftertaste. So good!

Mouth feel- The stout is a decent medium body, but lacks a solid, creamy feel. I cannot say that this stout is any less fun to drink because of this.

Overall- This extra stout tastes great! The wonderful flavor complexities make for an interesting and very enjoyable beer. I feel some of the flavors could have been drawn out even more and the feel could be creamier, but these are nit - picky things. Definitely have this if you can.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 01:18:53 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of coreyfmcdonald


4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with an inch of dense dark tan foam. Retention is great. Very nice.

S: Strong dark and milk chocolate aroma with roasted malts and some light oxidation. There is also light anise in the background.

T: Roasted malts and dark chocolate dominate this beer. The beer is balanced with toffee sweetness and light milk chocolate sweetness. There is moderate hop bitterness as well that works very well with the beer.

M: Thick mouthfeel with moderate to high carbonation. Creamy, but a tad too much carbonation.

O: I honestly didn't expect a whole lot from this beer but was quite impressed. The dark chocolate and roasted malt flavors are great and the thick mouthfeel works well with the stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2012 00:24:31 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of AmericanGothic


4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint.

A: Pours a totally opaque, dark brown color with 1 finger of light chocolate head. Good retention and lace.

S: Sweet chocolate and mellow roast.

T: Leads with mellow chickory, then the roasted malts come in, fading to chocolate on the finish which lingers on the aftertaste. A ton of flavor for a stout that's not an Imperial. Towards the end of the glass, sweet rose joins in.

M: Smooth, not too heavy but definitely substantial enough.

O: A really fine stout. Have been enjoying this six pack for the last few days and will need to try their other beers which have just arrived in town. Well done indeed.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 00:02:57 | More by AmericanGothic
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

yeah a lovely stout here. pours a sensational chocolate brown color with a thick creamy milkshakey mocha head. smells like a cup o joe, but also with some nice roasty dark malts and a bit of cocoa. flavor is similar, plenty of dark malts and a mild espresso flavor. feel is excellent, rich and creamy without being filling on a plenty full body. this is a great stout, and possibly the best beer ive had from mad river, save the scotch porter, which border epic. this is a sessionable one too, good before or after dinner, and different than most. a winner.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2012 07:12:51 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of chilly460


4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours shiny black with a bit of rootbeer colored highlights at the edges as light shines through. Thick mocha head develops and sticks around nicely, flecks of lacing remain.

S- Really nice aroma, plenty of chocolate, plenty of deep roast coffee. Thick chocolate cake smell too. Some slight sweeter tones, like brown sugar as well. No hop presence that I could detect.

T- Very chocolatey like chocolate syrup. Then comes the coffee, deep roast but not bitter at all, perfect. Flavor is thick and rich, this beer has as much punch as some RIS. Slight tones of brown sugar as detected in the nose. The roast malts and coffee keep this from being too sweet, nice.

M- Nice medium body with creamy carbonation, well done.

O - A pleasant surprise, I don't get many plain stouts that have the depth of flavor this showed, will be a "go to" stout for me when I'm not in the mood for a bigger RIS

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2012 21:38:46 | More by chilly460
Photo of CaptDavyJones

New York

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured almost pitch black from a 12 oz bottle, with ABV on the label. Couldn't find a freshness date anywhere on the bottle.
Nice one finger mocha colored head that dissipated very slowly. Always pleasing to see a darker colored head.
Aroma is a pleasing blend of coffee and chocolate malt. The aroma had the feel of chocolate in various forms blended together with coffee. Easy on the nose.
The taste, similar to the aroma, is slightly sweet upfront. In the middle there are hints of bitterness which are akin to dark coffee and dark chocolate. The bitterness doesn't linger after the finish.
Very tasty and very easy to drink. However, it is a shade lower than a medium body.
Overall, I think this is a very good stout and glad I tried it. Has all the makings of a good sessions beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 03:40:11 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of Swim424


4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into mug

A-dark dark brown. not much light gets through this one. no head at all.

S-like a bit of coffee and a good amount of chocolate.

T-like coffee with lots of chocolate. really good.

Mf-medium-thick. thinner than expected. nice feel, smooth, perfect carbonation.

O-really good. this is very well balanced. a bit light feeling but very very good flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2012 12:14:58 | More by Swim424
Photo of cps98


3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My buddy got me a bottle of this for Christmas and I was pleasantly surprised. Poured into a fresh pint glass.

A – Nice midnight black with a rocky 2 finger mocha colored head.

S – Light hints of coffee and chocolate.

T – Nice coffee and chocolate flavor.

M – This was a nice smooth stout with very little bitterness. Medium to full bodied, with decent carbonation.

O – Overall a really nice smooth stout nothing really stood out but a good brew none the less.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 01:02:06 | More by cps98
Photo of williamjbauer

West Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark deep brown like a stout should be
S - Nice caramel and coffee aromas, medium sweetness and a slight hoppy bitterness to folllow.
T - Great roasted barley, coffee, dark chocolate flavors
M - Full body, medium carbonations
O - everything an extra stout should be!

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2012 20:27:51 | More by williamjbauer
Photo of barczar


3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque brown black with a one finger dark chocolate brown head that dissipates quickly into oblivion.

Toast, roasted malt, burnt sugar, chocolate comprise the aroma. Very minimal hop presence, as expected. Perhaps a slight earthiness. Vanilla surfaces as it warms

Citrus and herbal hops are surprising in the flavor, with roast malt and chocolate providing backbone. Coffee and burnt flavors finish out the profile.

Body is medium, with moderately high carbonation accentuated by sourness.

Definitely different taste than expected, given the aroma. Lots of american hop influence, and a decent stout base.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2012 07:09:24 | More by barczar
Photo of VelvetExtract


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours black with only a sliver of light able to penetrate the very edges of the beer. Thin head that is barely even a consistent layer above the liquid. Leaves minimal lacing.

S-Wreaks of chocolate syrup. Smells like I am about to make a chocolate milk. Lighter whiffs of coffee, and molasses. Very sweet with almost no hop presence.

T-Again like the nose syrupy chocolate. Hershey's syrup. Molasses and brown sugar. Coffee is less prominent but is the secondary flavor. Hops are actually pleasantly noticeable here. Finishes quite roasty which is nice because I wanted a bit more coffee in the initial flavor.

M-Fuller bodied. Carbonation is very much there. Slick and smooth. Slick and smooth, like a stout should be. Light enough to have more than two of these.

O/D-Ridiculous deal ($4.99 a six-pack). This is actually a very good stout. A great non-Imperial/Double stout. No glaring flaws. A textbook stout with nothing to complain about.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 07:22:42 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of cmq103

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into a Duvel Belgian Tulip glass. I picked up a six-pack of this from the Beer Store in Southampton PA. They have an outstanding collection of craft beers if you haven't been there yet and live in the area.

Appearance: An aggressive pour got me maybe a half inch of dark brown head which quickly diminished to a thin ring. A thicker, syrupy looking pour that was pitch black. Lacing was almost non-existent.

Smell: Coffee, caramel, a little vanilla and chocolate at the first inhale. A gentle swirl of the glass brought out the roasted malt and oatmeal in the nose. Very nice. Not earth-shattering, but worthy of an inhale between sips.

Taste: Light coffee, mild unsweetened chocolate with a mild hop bite. Roasted malts, hint of oatmeal, with a moderately bitter lingering finish. The taste it top notch in my book. By far, this category will get my highest rating.

Mouthfeel: A light to moderate body for an extra stout. Carbonation was perfect. All of the flavors blend well as they meet the taste buds. Creamy, with a nice roasted bitterness in the finish. Thinner than expected from what I saw in the initial pour.

Overall: This could easily become one of my favorite stouts under 7% ABV. I will seek this one out again. This is exactly what a stout should taste like. Well done Mad River!! You have a new East Coast fan…

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 00:33:16 | More by cmq103
Photo of dlbrockmiller


4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holy cow this is good! This is a very dark appearing ale. It almost looks black! It has a wonderful malty aroma with a touch of hops. The flavor was the most distinctive thing about it. It starts with an almost coffee flavor then moves on to a chocolate aftertaste. It has a good mouthfeel and I can almost picture this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream like a root beer float.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2011 21:56:45 | More by dlbrockmiller
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

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

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass. Some black sediment remained on the bottom of the glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brown, nearly black, with a smallish creamy tan head.

Smell: Roasted malt with hints of coffee, licorice and prune

Taste: Starts out a bit sweet, butquickly becomes balanced. The roasted malt centerpiece is surrounded by hints of prunes, coffee and dark chocolate, along with some more obvious spicy hops. After the swallow, there is a bit of smoke in a toasty finish that lingers a good while.

Mouthfeel: full body with moderate carbonation; creamy smooth.

O: An exceptional and very flavorful stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 23:56:50 | More by chinchill
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a thin cap. Random dots and streaks of foam form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, malt balls, and cocoa powder. Taste is of dark roasted malt, dark cocoa powder, and some slight coffee flavors. There is a nice roasty bitterness that lingers on the palate. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a crisp yet smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good stout with a very nice balance in the smell and flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 03:59:50 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of shanblur


3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No freshness date on bottle. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Dark pour with a dark tan head which leaves extensive lacing.

S - The standard roasted malts with chocolate and coffee aromas.

T - Much like the aroma, with a chocolate and coffee flavor. A bit on the acidic side.

M - Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

A nice stout. Would not go out of my way for one, but could definitely drink another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 00:23:45 | More by shanblur
Photo of BeerNutz324


4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle into a pint glass

Ap- deep, rich dark brown (almost black). Cinnamon head typical of a lot of stouts. Most of it dissapears pretty quick but the surface head has stuck around for a while.

Ar- Dark fruit (cherries, figs), some chocolate, some oats.

T- chocolate, cherries, raisins, roasty malts and some sweet malts too. Smidgeon of coffee.

M- smooth, creamy, medium body, perfect carbonation for this style.

O- this is an awesome stout. I just want to keep on sipping this stuff so the flavor is always in my mouth. I will be having another tonight :)

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 02:59:37 | More by BeerNutz324
Photo of bnes09


4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ink black and completely opaque. Beautiful, metallic copper colored head. Poor retention but does leave a nice ring around the glass.

Complex dark aroma, coffee, dark chocolate, sherry and nuts.

Massive roasted malt attack on the palate with coffee, bitter chocolate, licorice, and roasted almonds. Underlying molasses sweetness mellows things out. Fairly assertive hop punch, pine and spinach leaves. Smoked maple character. Very well balanced.

Medium bodied. Drying. Malt seems to stick to the tongue and continue to deliver more flavor all the time.

A truly awesome beer. I love stouts and this one really hits the spot.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 01:52:11 | More by bnes09
Photo of MEsoJD


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

A: Thick/syrupy black body, mocha head (fast dissipation), and minimal lacing(mild stick).

S: As expected, it smells of roasted chocolate/toffee notes. Not really picking up any dark fruits.

T: hmm.... not what I was expecting. It's quite watery for a stout. Despite that, sweet malt, taste of coffee, licorice, caramel, some raisin(?), possibly some vanilla and very settle hops/bitterness.

M: Boozy... for 6.5, the alcohol comes out even more than some 8 or 9s(defiantly makes it's presence known). The texture was lighter than expected, medium carbonation, smooth(despite what was said), and light(for a stout) to medium bodied.

O: It wasn't what I was expecting from the style, but it's enjoyable. This is a hard style to stand out in, and this does it by taking me off guard of my original assumption. Though it may not be amongst my top stouts, it has left it's mark. Sure if my options are limited and if it's set at the right price, I would buy again and share with friends.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 04:37:32 | More by MEsoJD
Photo of DUBinMIA


3.15/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with about 3 in. head… not that foamy but decent. Ok lace.

Smell is of roasted malt and toffee. Light caramel notes towards the end. No real hop notes.

Roasted malt is dominant with coffee and piney hops toward the end. Not very complex.

Mouth feel is light for a stout. Could be thicker.

Overall an ok stout. Worth a try but I won’t pick it up again.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 02:18:49 | More by DUBinMIA
Photo of CaptJackHarkness

New York

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

Deep black body, nice aroma reminiscent of French roast coffee, Head foams up nicely but doesn't hold up long. ( I always drink from Pilsener glass for consistency in comparision)
I think this is a good solid brew, exemplary of it's type and recommend.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 20:47:12 | More by CaptJackHarkness
Photo of Dan3279


4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had this on cask at the Beer Engine in Lakewood, this is the first cask beer that I remember having. The beer was served to me in snifter glass and had a body that was black as night and a very small tan quarter inch head that left a little lacing.

The aroma has dark chocolate, coffee, and some bitterness. The taste was great, a solid stout with everything I like in my stouts, coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate and good blend of sweetness and bitterness.

This beer was creamy and very easy to drink, I was actually expecting this beer to a little heavier than what it actually was. In fact I think I drank it a little too fast and didn't give it a chance to warm up. My only complaint about this beer is that I wish the ABV was a bit higher, I like my stouts to be in the 9%-11& range, but overall I can't complain at all. I really enjoyed this one and I would probably have had another one if it weren't for all of the other beers that were calling my name at Buckeye.

Serving type: cask

07-24-2011 19:58:13 | More by Dan3279
Photo of Lerxst


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to chugalug06 for this extra

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip

A-Pours black, no light coming through, with a two finger coffee colored head that slowly recedes to a thin cap that leaves wisps of lace.

S-Nice roasted malt aromas greet me first, followed by hints of molasses, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit. Smells nice.

T-Slightly charred malt and coffee, dark fruit, a touch of smoke, bakers chocolate with just a bite of citrusy hops.

M-Medium body with crisp carbonation. The carb bite is a bit distracting here, but it still manages to coat the palate fairly well.

O-A good, solid American Stout that I enjoyed and would have again.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2011 18:07:47 | More by Lerxst
Photo of dwilson01


4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass, the body is a midnight black tinged with dark brown around the edges. the head is a thin dark caramel mocha coloration which sits on the top of the brew dissipating slowly.

The smell seriously makes me think dark chocolate mocha. It's thick and drowns your scent of anything else in there.

The flavor follows directly from the nose, a dark chocolate comes out in the beginning fading to a roasted coffee flavor and then combining in the end leaving you with a slightly bitter choc/coffee aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is full but surprisingly not too thick, it's got a huge amount of flavor without being a syrupy consistency.

Overall this is a must try brew if you haven't already indulged.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2011 02:51:45 | More by dwilson01
Steelhead Extra Stout from Mad River Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 432 ratings.