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Steelhead Extra Stout - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Steelhead Extra StoutSteelhead Extra Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

480 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 480
Reviews: 299
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 44
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
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: 480 | Reviews: 299 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of erratic
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wasn't expecting too much based the label and name. I know, never judge a beer by its label... but WOW

poured viscous and black. virtually no head until the end of the pour where a thin butterscotch color head quickly vanished. opaque except for a ruby hue skirting the edges.

The smell really perked up my expectations. coffee and chocolate were strong. Really inviting.

slightly sweet with a nice balance of bitter. Chocolate, coffee, raisins and molasses balanced perfectly with the roasted malts.

Full bodied and smooth. loved it

Amazing drinkability out of such a potent brew. Strong flavors that managed to not overpower. I was surprised to see this listed here as an american stout. I thought for sure it was a russian imperial.

Overall, one of the most impressive beers I've yet had the pleasure of tasting!

Photo of bbothen
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark black with a 1 finger tan/coffee colored head. Head doesn't stay around too long.

Smells of coffee & dark fruit. Ripe plum, fig & some sweet malt.

Has big roasted/toasted flavor
with some nice coffee & chocoolate character and a nice bitterness. The roasted maltiness dominates.

Full bodies, lightly carbonated, thick, lush.

Enjoyable stout. Especially if you like roastiness over smoother chocolate character in your stout.

Photo of ShrLSU
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark black with dark brown head. Slight lacing left on the edges.

S: Scents of roasted grains and malts. A touch of chocolate and some milkiness.

T: tastes of roasted malt and bitter chocolate. Somewhat milky flavor and a slight hop bitterness.

M: Thick heavy beer with low carbonation. Milky and smooth.

D: This was pretty good. A nice stout without the big alcohol taste. It had nice balance and good aromas.

Photo of Floydster
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle that was part of an American Microbrews pack from Cost Plus, probably the highlight of that box, split with my dad last night, poured into my Paulaner mug

A-Almost black but still can see through a little, 3/4 inch frothy tan head, stuck around for a while, nice retention, small amounts of lacing
S-Mild coffee beans, burned malts and barley, dryness, figs, and some dark chocolate
T-Started off with a big dry taste with hints of chocolate and some coffee, had a burnt aftertaste, got more malty as time went on, more hoppy than expected, not too s=weet which was a plus
M-Malty, roasted, and mildly sweet mouthfeel, full bodied, too much carbonation, taste lingered for a long time
D-Could not drink much more than a bottle, ABV is not high but very heavy and thick, smooth most of the time, pretty rich

Nice beer for Mad River, hit the spot since I had not drank a stout in a long time, pretty complex and different, which is something I was not expecting, would drink again, recommended

Photo of aerozeppl
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured mostly jet black with some hint of dark brown around the edges when held up to light. Minimal white head no lacing.

S: Tons of roast and hints of cocoa powder. Hints of lactose as well. Little bit of sweet malt lurking in the background.

T: Starts off sweet with the lactose and candi sugar? Kind of weird. Then into a strong roasted taste followed by hints of dark chocolate. Nice and complex without being complex.

M: Nice thick body. Low carbonation.

D: Nice session beer. Great big taste without the big booze hammer.

Photo of LunaChick
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok so maybe I got an old bottle? Given where it was purchased I highly doubt it.

This smells like red wine. Anyone who's ever had "Fat Bastard Merlot" this is what it taste like, only much deeper.
Pours black--decent head--some lacing--but overall it fizzeld quickly.
Aroma is rich red wine. Some dark, bitter chocolate, bandy steeped plums, and very slight hints of yeast.
Taste is very much like red wine. Starts heavy with brandied fruits--some chocolate as well. Hints of malt come thru here and there. Ends warm with alcohol. Overall dang good. Very suprising.
This was so much like the wine I intended for dinner that I dumped it into the beef and onions . It worked out very well.
I can't be nuts--my kids and my mom all thought I used wine in the dish.
In the mouth there is little carbonation, very silky slick and robust. I scored drinkability a little low because of the pungent alcohol warmth. Odd for the ABV. Good beer. I'll get it again for drinking and cooking.

Photo of ballewblake
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to tumbler glass. Thanks to csniezek for sending this loot from the ACBF.

Poured dark black into the glass, slightly viscus. Two and a half finger brown head that dropped within minutes leaving a seawater lace on the glass. Very nice roasted malt on the nose, light hops barried in there. First sip is slammed with some mild bitter hops and dark malts. Getting some milk in the smell mid way through. Very smooth and light on the tongue, decent body. Bitters slow down mid way and I'm getting more of the milk and roasted malts that I was hoping for. Not a bad extra stout.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle(twist-off cap) > small snifter

Just a tough off of black with a very lively, bubbly dark brown head to start off, dissipation is quick with it's wild carboantion.

Smells like very rich and bold chocolate brownies, blackberry jam, caramel slathered on top, vanilla, hostess blueberry pie, dark roastie coffee with tangy scented hops. Right fucking on!

The flavor is much more roastie and earthy than the aroma, which is dominated by sweetness. The flavor is actually woody, like it's been oak-aged for a long period of time. There's peanutbutter and burnt marshmellow's with slight currents of mild chocolate. The herbal, green veggie hop really stands out, maybe a bit too much for my taste. The feel is a bit lighter than I would hope, medium to full....more like a thin middle and round edges. The ending flavor is of bitter herbs and chocolate. slighty off-balance as the herbal, bitter flavor's walk all over the malt body.

I'm thinking this one would do very well in the cellar.

Photo of biggred1
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark and dense almost black, hard to see through. Fine creamy chestnut head that leaves nice lace.Rich chicory and roasted coffee in the nose.Big roasted sweet malty flavors with anise, chocolate and a nice bitter hop to balance the flavors.Thick and viscous on the palate with a nice dry finish that lingers.A very drinkable stout,delicious.

Photo of drxandy
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mad River is new to our market, and based on the few i've tried a welcome addition..

12oz to standard pint, pours a deep thick rich brown, foamy brown head fades

smells rich and roasty, chocolate, lactose or oats?

tastes bitter, a very nice stout, thick, creamy, roasty, highly drinkable, clings to glass nicely, lactose?, nice balance.

mouthfeel has a good texture and weight, creamy and easy to drink.

Photo of NCBeernut
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black and opaque. Not much head, even off of a strong pour. Bang of coffee, molasses and chocolate right away in the nose, with some anise and vanilla trailing right behind. Man, almost exactly the same taste as smell. Malts add a nice roasted quality that wasn't as up-front in the smell. The coffee taste in this really makes itself known. Residual sugars. A slight hop bitterness, but just enough to lend a touch of balance. VERY smooth; fairly creamy. This makes a very nice breakfast stout.

Photo of mhewes
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A : Pours a nice black with a creamy tan head. Leaves good lacing behind

S : Roasted malts with chocolate and coffee flavors

T : Pretty much the same as the smell with stronger coffee flavors.

M : Smooth and medium bodied

D : To me, it was just an average stout, nothing stood out about it. It's one I'd drink again but not one I'd go look for.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a nice initial head that fades to nothing. Light roastiness on the nose, as well as some lightly sweet malt and perhaps a touch of dark fruit. The taste is nice, with a balanced creaminess, roastiness, and hints of chocolate and licorice. Smooth and firm mouthfeel with a soft finish. Solid beer that I would pick up from time to time.

Photo of tmitch75
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Monthly club selection for April. Opaque black with chocolate brown head and rings of lace all around.

Roasty coffee and chocolate on the nose with just a touch of licorice.

Chocolate and burnt toast with a pleasant sweetness and light hop bitterness.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel with slightly less than medium body.

A good stout that leaves me wanting more.

Tasted on 5/4/08.

Photo of grandq
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hair shy of black with a thin tan head that evaporates almost immediately. Smells roasty, somewhat vinous, with a touch of milk chocolate. The taste is all roasty malt, chocolate and toffee. A little bit of raisin in there and some faint dark cherries and licorice. Not fond of the mint twinge on the tail end, as well as the sweet finish, which drags down the drinkability. Bitter toasted barley saves the day. Crazy smooth going down, creamy but not terribly thick. A nice easy drinking stout - if mint chocolate chip were my thing, this would be the bomb diggity, but a couple elements just don't quite jibe with my tongue.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a completely pitch black hue with a large mocha tan head floating above the darkness, lacing is thin but evenly strung. Aromatics sweet creamy chocolate notes with hints of coffee and ripe fruit tones like berry and raisins a touch of alcohol there but really just a nice complex roasty stout with some other tricks. In the finish I'm getting some herbal and nutty qualites, the herbaceous hops come off almost minty. Flavor is balanced with some of the fruity qualities wrapped in chocolate and just roasty enough to scream extra stout. Definitely whipped cream layered on a cappuccino with dark chocolate shavings with a touch of hazelnut, finishes with some of those hop qualities described earlier especially the mint note. Mouthfeel is full bodied yet creamy textured a nice way to drink under six percent carbonation is mellow and smooth on the palate nothing weighs you down with bitterness or any one sensation. Drinkability, this is pretty much amazing and it has a different edge than your typical hopped up West Coast style stout it brings sweet and roasted malt flavors out to play and causing excessive amounts of flavor with balance, really nice stuff.

Photo of 11thFloorBrewing
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance - black as night, very dense with a thick one finger coffee colored head that quickly faded to a long lasting ring

Smell - sweet malt, caramel, coffee and chocolate notes

Taste - tastes just about the same as it smells. Very malty and sweet, some bitterness that creates a nice balance against the sweetness, chocolate is a little more mellow then expected, coffee notes in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel - fairly thick, smooth and creamy, leaves a bit of a film in the mouth

Drinkability - very drinkable, would be a great on a cold day as it is. I also tried a mug full with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. Wow, that was the perfect dessert at the end of a hot day. If I could get this in the store I'd never make a regular root beer float again!

Photo of nsmartell
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the micro of the month club. From bottle to a standard pint glass after hanging out in my fridge for a while.

Appearance: Pours out like old motor oil. Very nice thick brown head.

Smell: Sweet malts, espresso and a hint of chocolate.

Taste: Bitter chocolate and coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: Very good stout. Would definitely seek out again.

Photo of MisterDeeds
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black. Black. Black. To quote Rick James; "DARKNESS!!".

Smells roasted and sweet. Very malty.

Wow. For once, a beer tastes exactly like it smells, and I love it. Very sweet up front. Not quite chocolately, but somethng tasty. Finishing with a balance of roasted malt and hops that just barely border on bitter.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thick, but not too much. The perfect coating for a stout.

Yes, I could see myself having a few of these. Not an ideal warm weather brew, but if you are looking to warm up or stay warm by the fire, this is a winner.

Photo of Proteus93
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Jet black, topped with a toasted marshmallow head - nice, creamy, light brown.

S: A sweet, sugary scent in the malts with the creamy toffee, chocolate, coffee-ish scents. Almost similar to a premade, sweetened coffee latte drink or something along those lines.

T: Almost a candy-like chocolate caramel flavour, along with a touch of bitterness. Flavours are not as pronounces as the nose, though it's an appropriate flavour. A roasted malt and some hoppiness on the finish rounds it all out. Tasty.

M + D: Smooth and creamy... an incredibly mellow and easy beer. Not a huge body, but it doesn't fall into thin territory, either. Quite nicely done, and something I look forward to having around more often.

Photo of scoobybrew
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - deep, opaque jet black color with a thick foamy collar that is very well retained

S - sweet malt aroma with traces of hops throughout, as it warms, the hops become more present

T - taste delivers the aroma nicely: full roasted malt flavor with hop spiciness that is most noticeable when it has warmed up a bit; slight sweet finish

M - medium-full body with moderate-low carbonation

D - This is an excellent American or even a foreign extra-style stout. Truly a wonderful stout - wish I could get it around here. I would imagine this would sit well on a winter day also.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a stubby 12-ounce bottle into a tulip-shaped Duvel glass:

A: Poured a jet black stream from the bottle which turned to a deep brown, opaque body with a creamy rich head of coffee colored foam.

S: Smell is of deep roasted coffee malts and some burnt chocolate and charcoal aromas.

T: Taste is quite bitter, with deep slow roasted coffee and smoked wood flavors coming through pretty strong. There is a bittersweet cocoa twang arching the duration of the sip, but the smoky, chocolate and burnt, bitter malts are most pronounced.

M: The mouthfeel is actually a bit thin and bitter across mid-palate, but finishes with a rich, velvety coffee flavor.

D: It's a fine sipper, and great for an after dinner stout. The flavors are a bit overbearing to have two consecutive, but it's really more one to sit and enjoy slowly.

The flavors can become overpowering if you go at it too fast, and I'm not sure if the bitterness of the roasted malt in this brew would accompany too many foods well, but it is enjoyable if you know what to expect from it.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Steelhead's Extra Stout is extra-black, with no light getting through the body. Usually darker stouts are more of a seal brown hue, but this one is truly black in color. A tall head quicky recedes to a thick layer of brown foam; good lacing. Aroma is full of creamy espresso, mocha cappucino, vanilla, caramel, and other sweet notes.

The taste is a bitter departure from the sweetness of the aroma, instead delivering notes of bitter, roasted coffee grounds and earthy hops. The finish falls a bit flat, leaving me wanting something more to the aftertaste. The body is nicely carbonated, with a medium thickness and slightly grainy, chalky feel. All in all, Steelhead's Extra Stout isn't exceptional, but drinkable.

Photo of mooseisloose
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Steelhead Extra Stout
Smells of cocoa and a twinge of cappuccino, coffee with cinnamon. Pours like motor oil with a dark brown micro bubble head that quickly dissipates. Taste is very thick and creamy, roasted malt and more roasted malt. Not much else here but roasted malt, but that's not a bad thing. A lot less complex in simply roasted malt flavor than the smell was leading to believe. This is a classic extra stout and hits right on the mark. A beer drinker's beer without a doubt.

S 3.5
A 4.0
T 3.5
M 3.5
D 3.5

Photo of RixBeer
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark black/super dark brown with no light penetration. cream colored head.

I could smell this from the pour. Prunes, prunes, prunes and a hint of burnt chocolate espresso/coffee with a huge amount of hop-less goodness! One of the best smells I've ever had out of an american stout.

You can taste the burnt coffee and well, that's kind of it. There's really no huge taste that I expected out of a beer with such a huge nose.

Feels pretty good like going down with a carbonated and light thickness oil like liquid.

Quiet drinkable but I'm disappointed in the flavor. SHould be bolder based on the nose. Still not a bad pick up. I would like this over many stouts!

Steelhead Extra Stout from Mad River Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.