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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.

462 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 462
Reviews: 294
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.89%
Wants: 46
Gots: 15 | 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: 462 | Reviews: 294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ElGordo
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%

Pours a deep rich black from which almost no light escapes, topped by a luscious, creamy dark brown head. Aroma of sweet, roasted malt and a touch of lactose. Palate is dominated by sweet, dark roasted malt, a touch of chocolate malt, and more lactose sweetness. Notes of caramel and molasses come through mid-palate before the sweet, fairly dry finish. Body is rich and creamy, although the carbonation is just a bit in excess of what it should be. A highly drinkable stout.

ElGordo, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of jhammerly
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%

Courtesy of IntriqKen via trade.

A black pour from a 12 oz bottle. A fairly thin tan head that had little retention. A semi-sweet chocolate aroma with a bit of roastiness in the background. A crisp mouthfeel, slightly creamy. Roasted malt is the main character with some notes of chocolate supporting. An aftertaste that sticks to the tongue for awhile. A nice drinkable stout.

jhammerly, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of rkuhnel
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%

Bottle. Poured very black with a nice brown head that left big chucks of lacing. Feels thick and rich on the tongue. Very nice odors with a smoky chocolate dominating. Very smooth drink. Flavor are excellent but what makes this stand out is one of the best palates evey. Feels almost rich enough to eat with a spoon. Mad River does not get a lot of distribution, but when they do it well they are top notch. Very nicely done.

rkuhnel, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of IntriqKen
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours deep black with a respectible tan head that melts slowly to sticky lacing.
Aromas are deep dark chocolate....just slightly sweet.
Flavor follows aroma with a light bitterness on the tale-end
Simple non-complicated American Stout.
Refreshing and satisfying.

IntriqKen, Dec 05, 2006
Photo of flexabull
4.2/5  rDev +4%

Pours BLACK, with a decent tan head. Head dies off a bit, but still a nice looking stout.

Smells like dark bitter chocolate. Very pleasant aroma.

Taste follows along nicely with the aroma. A little crisp and bitter up front, but follows with those bitter dark chocolate flavors.

This stout has a nice mouthfeel for a standard American Style Stout. It lingers nicely on the tongue and on the back of your mouth.

Yet another well done and drinkable offering from Mad River.

flexabull, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of schoolboy
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%

Like some other good stouts, this one can get real nasty if it is too cold, but properly warmed up, it has a very nice complex taste. Very drinkable and worth picking up again, I just have to make sure not to put it in the big fridge with the food (keep it basement cold or maybe a little colder).

schoolboy, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of veech
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%

This was a very impressive looking stout in the pint glass with a thick creamy deep tan colored head. The nose was sweeter than expected with molasses and carmel being the dominant aromas. The taste was also just a tad sweet for my taste, but very good. It was a little syrupy but had a strong robust mouthfeel that coated nicely. Drinkability was not great due to the sweetness. I usually prefer a little more bitterness in extra stouts(e.g. Cooper's), but this was a fairly enjoyable beer nonetheless.

veech, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of tonistruth
3.1/5  rDev -23.3%

A- dark dark brown color with a little tan head that doesnt stick around all too long. Some tan lace on glass.

S- roasted malts, caramel, butterscotch, chocolate, grassy, and nutty. Much going on in the nose.

T- burnt malts and chocolate are most dominant flavors, slight hop flavor creepin' in the background. Chocolate aftertaste.

M- medium body, over carbonated IMO

D- the nose on this brew is fantastic, but its too soda like with all that carbonation, distractsa from the flavor. I wont go out of my way for this but i'd still like to give this brew another go because of the impressive aromas.

tonistruth, Aug 07, 2006
Photo of tgbljb
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%

Poured a very deep brown color woth moderate tannish head. Smell is chocolate, cocoa, coffee, and some dark fruit. Taste is of strong black coffee, dark bitter chocolate, and ripe plums. Very enticing. Finish leaves just enough bitternees to perfectly balance this beer. Excellent example of the style. Thouroughly enjoyable.

tgbljb, Jul 24, 2006
Photo of Crosling
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%

The pour yields a rich black body and a densely topped tan head. Subtle, stale maltiness elevating aromatics of peanut butter, roast and a slight hint of chocolate, but overall it mostly resembles rich mocha in the nose. Flavor is of course malt accented, but it leans toward a mild astringency in the finish, and this is a very fresh bottle. I don’t like the finishing hop either. As it begins to warm though, a rich and creamy roasted chocolate malt character does indeed start to shine through. Overall, an above average stout, although I do prefer the Brewer’s Scotch Porter, which I think is an excellent beer.

Crosling, Apr 12, 2006
Photo of Zorro
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%

Looks great in the glass, Black beer that can not pass light with a tall light brown head that lasts.

Smell is sweet and faintly fruity. Nice toasted grain aroma is strongest, smells of dark toasted whole grain bread. Chocolate aroma is next and faint coffee aroma completes the smell.

Taste is very mildly sweet and with a good, but not strong chocolate flavor. Very mild mannered stout here that compares in a good way with a milk stout for friendliness. Not real complex but this is a very eager to please beer, kind of like a Black Labrador Retriever with a Frisbee in its mouth wagging it's tail at you.

Mouthfeel is good, full but not milkshake.

Very pleasing and easy to drink beer. Not a thing is harsh about this beer. Not every beer in the world needs to be a RIS same as not every dog in the world need to be a pedigree. This is you local friendly beer that wants you to throw a Frisbee for it to chase everyday.

Zorro, Mar 22, 2006
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

12 ounce bottle. Mad River Stout pours out a thick black color with a small, dark brown head. The aroma is big and malty, with lots of chocolate and molasses. Bittersweet coffee flavor with loads of chocolate. There is some raisin flavor, though this beer is more burnt and roasty than fruity. Hops are there, though not nearly strong as the malt. There is enough bitterness to balance. The mouthfeel is thickish, though it in no way impedes the drinkability. This is truly a fantastic stout. I was especially pleased with this beer because it is rare to find a beer this good that I have not heard of before.

beveragecaptain, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

Thick black appearance, fine cocoa brown head, slowly thins to nothingness...despite that, a nice looking stout.

Aroma reeks of oils, lush maple and anise, ...feels more like an imperial stout with the twisted, decadent flavors it gives off. Bittersweet espresso mixes with a licorice whip. Deep coffee and chocolate, with lingering brandyish feel. I like it!

Takes charge of the mouth from first sip, blasts with thick, slick, oily roasted malts...a bit brash and bold, a little flinty, mineral-y, ...losing points from not being more rounded and friendly. A bit too abrasive. Not that I don't still like it, just don't love it. A few faults too many.

Full bodied, bracing, thick, lingering, dry finish. Quite a decent stout, ...if it fails me in other ways.

feloniousmonk, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of Jredner
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%

ooohhh this smells good. Cherry sweet aroma. Smelled like those choclate covered cherries. Poured gloppy and black with a fluffy and bubbly mocha head.

Bitter coffer flavors. The taste isn’t nearly as complex as the smell. Still solid, but the smell gets you pumped up for something unique. Kinda crowded almost dirt-like flavor in the finish and far aftertase.

Not bad, but the smell, like a good movie than ends bad, hinted of things it didn’t deliver.

Jredner, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of akajimmyd
3.3/5  rDev -18.3%

Appearance – Opaque black, dark brown but thin head, minimal retention and lacing.

Smell – Roasted and coffee malts.

Taste – Sweet malts up front. Bitter chocolate and hits of dark fruits. Smoky finish. I could use more hops from an American stout. A little raw overall.

Mouthfeel – Full body, thick on the palette. The strong roasted and smoky characteristics detract a little from the smoothness and drinkability.

Drinkability/Notes – I’d like more hop balance. A good stout but there are better. Worth a try. (No freshness dating)

akajimmyd, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of jaluria
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

I picked this up at my local store without knowledge of it's style (AS, ADS, etc.). Interesting artwork caught my attention.

Poured a blue-black color with a fluffy tan colored head that left behind virtually no lacing. Thick and relatively viscous as it dropped into my pint glass. Aromas of chocolate, burnt toast, roasted sugar, and a faint hint of coffee. Dry and sweet with a very smooth, bread-like finish. The back of my throat began to feel sticky and left me with a lingering semi-sweet taste. As the beer warms, the coffee flavors come out more and more.
A very good example of the style with a bit harsh aftertaste, but otherwise a very enjoyable beer.

jaluria, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of BeerManDan
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%

This stout poured a very dark brown, almost black in color with very little tan foam and no lace. Rich, flavorful, deep chocolate color, scented and roasted barley nose.

Complexsity of malts, hops, alcohol and yeast was well balanced. The flavor of this stout was complex as the aroma. One, compliments the other!

BeerManDan, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of germaniac
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours black, a typical stout color. It's not like I expected to be able to see thru this one, anyway. It's a stout! It's black with a brown head! Moving on....

Really rich smelling. Roasted malt with hint of chocolate. Sweet, but good depth.

Tastes of chocolate, with dash of coffee. Sweet roasted malt fights for breathing room pressed up against a wall of hoppy bitterness.

Smooth, but with enough surprising twists to kep it interesting enough for me to want to drink a couple more.

germaniac, Oct 21, 2005
Photo of Shaw
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%

This is a great-looking beer. It's super black with a large foamy head that settles down to a nice layer of foam in my glass after a vigorous pour.

It smells just as good: chocolate, coffee and roasted malt aromas abound.

The flavor isn't quite as good as the smell led me to believe. It's a bit drier than I expected. But it's still nice and creamy with some roasted flavors, though those are a bit weak for my palate.

The body is smooth and slick, quite nice.

This is a fine stout but nothing to go crazy over.

Shaw, Oct 15, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
3.03/5  rDev -25%

I had no idea how many steelhead brews there are so it was fun trying to find this brew. Nice mocha pour and head. Syrupy pour was a welcomed sight.

I get an alcohol smell that is tamed by the rich slightly toasted malted backbone. At 5.5% I was hoping it would be hidden. Bakers chocolate persists throughout. Some sort of bitter twang that has a sour edge. You can put just your lips to this brew and it comes up sour. I think this is either the hop profile or adjuncts ...either way it was a distraction for me.

I'll just say there are many options with this style and this one is eh..ok for the price per oz / score. buy one bottle first if your on a budget.

DogFood11, Oct 15, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%

Glossy obsidian with the slimmest chocolate brown edges imaginable; extremely close to total light rejection. The head is the color of dark brown sugar and isn't overly large, but is firm and dense. Immediately after the pour, I was ready to bestow greatness on the appearance, but the anti-geologic nature of the cap, its quicker than expected descent, and the near total absence of lace have tempered my enthusiasm a little.

The nose is incredibly powerful and features a killer combination of radically roasted black malt, bittersweet chocolate liqueur and espresso. There's no hoppiness that I can detect, but it isn't needed. Simply put, this is one of the most aromatic and one of the best American stout noses I've ever experienced.

Thankfully, the flavor follows suit. When I drink a beer like this, it makes me want to throttle the (seemingly) vast majority of craft brewers who couldn't brew a proper stout if their lives depended on it. It's supposed to be *stout* dammit! Steelhead Extra absolutely oozes malt and floods my taste buds with bottomless pools of dark, rich flavor.

The flavor profile consists of melted double fudge ice cream with chunks of roasted coffee beans covered in chocolate syrup. Chocolate stays comfortably ahead of coffee at all points along the journey. The beer is marginally more sweet than bitter, although there's enough bitterness on hand to keep the malt in check.

The mouthfeel starts out at 'stout medium' and comes together just enough with warming to be considered medium-full. Bigger would undoubtedly have been better, but might also have impacted negatively on the high degree of drinkability. This isn't an RIS or an American double stout, after all. Smooth applies, silky does not.

Steelhead Extra Stout is a straighforward beer, but I mean that in the best way possible. There's nothing surprising or original here, there's just loads of bold, lip-smacking black malt flavor. Again, I'm surprised that American stouts of this quality are as rare as they are. That means I'll have to give credit where credit is due: Mad River has brewed a classic of the style.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 04, 2005
Photo of goschool
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%

This is a prototypical stout. It pours very dark with a big creamy beige head. While it is thick and chewy with more carbonation then average, it's also quite smooth. This one features some tasty roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee flavors with a hint of fruit and since this is a West Coast stout the brewers gave it a welcomed spicy, hoppy kick. This went rather well with my bowl of Waffle Crisp cereal.

goschool, Jun 23, 2005
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%

Mad River's Steelhead Extra Stout pours a magnificently dark body beneath a full head of densely creamy dark tan foam. The head retention and lacing a bit limited however. The nose is somewhat restrained as well, but what is there is all about mocha java!, with just a hint of fruitiness peeking through. It's medium-light bodied with a very fine-bubbled, zesty carbonation (it appears bottle-conditioned, unless whatevers in the bottom of the bottle isn't yeast). Through the front and middle, the flavor delivers a note of vinous fruit that's wrapped in luxurious caramel/toffee, and then dipped in sweet milk chocolate. The coffee flavor comes on strong, however, towards the swallow and into the long lingering roasty finish. Superbly done!

NeroFiddled, Jun 14, 2005
Photo of RootedFool
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a sturdy beer mug. The head is densely bubbled, chocolate milk in color. Body is black as night. Smell: Delicious waft of espresso and chocolate, leaning more heavily on the chocolate, very sweet with a pleasant sizzle of toasty malts and thin hop presence. Taste: luscious rush of roasted malts upfront, burned crescent roll (but in a good way), chocolate, chocolate pudding, coffee grinds. The middle is a more pronounced bitterness as the sweetness slides underneath to sneak up on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel: perfectly rich, middling carbonation.

RootedFool, May 20, 2005
Photo of OStrungT
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%

This beer pours, from a twist top bottle, a very dark brown. The head is brown. It fades somewhat fast leaving minimal laces. It has a strong coffee aroma. It also had a roasted malt aroma whit slight hints of chocolate. Also, there is a very subtle caramel scent. It tastes of coffee, and chocolate. It has a slight hop finish that balances it out nicely. This beer is carbonated will. It leaves a coffee aftertaste on the palate. It is a good beer. It might be the best beer I have ever drank from a twist top bottle. This beer would probably make a decent session beer. The alcohol content is low, and the flavor is not overly aggressive. I dont know if I could drink 12 of them in one night, but I would definately have a few.

OStrungT, Apr 21, 2005
Steelhead Extra Stout from Mad River Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 462 ratings.