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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.

464 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 464
Reviews: 295
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: 464 | Reviews: 295 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RootedFool
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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
Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, courtesy of mtnlover, pours as dark as any stout I've seen, producing an opaque ebony body. Head is small and shortlived, but an attractive light brown color, falling into a persistent collar with moderate patch and sheet lacing. Aroma is more bittersweet chocolate than coffee, but this is an ideal blend of both that produces a solid stout aroma. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium full bodied. Appropriate medium carbonation. Taste features a full onslaught of roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, and essence of walnuts. Plenty of dark roasty malt bitterness with some grassy and citrusy hops for a nice balance. Very nicely done and pleasantly drinkable. I've never had a subpar offering from this brewery and Steelhead is a fine example of an American stout.

merlin48, Apr 14, 2005
Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pours black nice and dark very little red/brown highlights around the edge when held to the light. A nice coco colored head forms about a finger and a half, falls to a ring of foam that leaves some lace.
Aroma is roasted malt some coffee mixed with chocolate and hops nice and citrusy. A normal American Stout nose.
Taste is sweet chocolate from the roasted malts. The sweetness lasts thru a good amount of carbonation and even lingers into the finish. Some coffee flavor joins the sweetness about half way thru and lingers into the citrus hops. A solid stout here hits the style right on the head.
Mouthfeel is a solid medium little to the rightof medium but the carbonation makes it feel a little lighter then it is.
Drinkability is good a tastey little stout. Would reccomend to anyone looking for a good example of a American Stout.

mntlover, Mar 27, 2005
Photo of Sammy
2.83/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A bitterness that overwhelms the stoutability (new Webster entry). It looks like a stout, but it starts with a sourness in the aroma. There is roastness, even a tad burnt, some chocolate, but oh the sourness. Stiff upper lip to finish this one. It was a bit better at room temperature, and I am a lenient rater on stouts, it even refreshed, but the..sourness.

Sammy, Mar 06, 2005
Photo of Fish113d
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pouring this brew, I notice lots of yeast at the bottom of the bottle that is splashing its way into the head of my beer. It pours a very dark brown w/ 2 inches of spongy tan head that clings and clings as it dissipates. As I poured I could smell many things going on already. Lots of vanilla and caramel along with some slightly smokey roasted malts and maybe some coffee characteristics. It actually looks like a french vanilla latte! Brown roasted malts accompanied by caramels is the main flavor here. Some smoke makes it way through giving this a dryer feel especially on the finish. No alcohol really to report, but lots of coffee aftertaste. Nice taste overall. Nothing too elaborate on the mouthfeel: well balanced carbonation throught, dry on the finish a bit (oak flavor almost) and nice sweetness balancing the roasted flavors. Full-bodied and filling, but no warming on my belly at all, and actually easier to drink for the style. Fishy LIKEY!

Fish113d, Feb 16, 2005
Photo of kbub6f
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small (1/4"), brown, dense head over a black, black opaque beer. Brown highlights. Sweet chocolate aroma with some coffee. Same thing in the front. Light coffee middle, bitter chocolate, vegetal finish. Not bad. Not as good as the Scotch Porter for me. Just a kind of plain, dry stout.

kbub6f, Jan 19, 2005
Photo of Globetrotter
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scored this at the Total Wine in Northern Virginia in early November. No freshness or ingredient information on the label. In fact, the label only talks about the Steelhead line of brews - nothing specific about the stout at all. Semi-stubby 12oz brown bottle with a pleasing blue and white label featuring a large salmon springing from some forest stream.

Pours an utterly opaque super-dark burgundy under a one finger purplish gray head that is thick and creamy, but still dissipates quickly leaving no trace of lace. The nose has some roasted malt, but what sticks out is a distinct plum note. The mouth is fairly heavy and very carbonated, with a body that hugs anything it touches. This beer almost tastes like a sweet stout, with prominent plum and sour citrus notes. There is roastiness here, and a touch of espresso, but the fruitiness pervades. Only in the aftertaste, long after the prune juice is gone, do the roasted malts and dry hops assert themselves. It's OK, but a bit disappointing in my book.

Globetrotter, Nov 24, 2004
Photo of yankeeheel
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the usual tar black with a rather meager espresso colored head, even after an aggro pour. Smells so sweetly molasses that I want to dive right in. Lots of choclate seeping in there too. Smells incredible.Taste is what you smell. Lots of chocolate, molasses, fig, cherry and earthy flavors. Finishes with a lingering smoke/tobacco zing. Quite a solid/thick mouthfeel. Oatmeal like in it's texture. Sitting at 5.5% ABV I could see this as an all night beer at the pub.

Another JahNoth hookup.

yankeeheel, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of oelergud
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black body, impossible to tell level of carbonation. Head is big and brown, dissipates quickly to a thin film, little lace.
Burnt coffee beans all over the place, solid earth flavor and a smoked burnt earthy coffee aftertaste
Very well balanced brew, lots of both hops and malts, firm body that leaves some coating.
Good drinkability, one of the best extra stouts I've had.


oelergud, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of abcsofbeer
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a damn fine stout that pours a dark, used motor oil color. There is no seeing the light on the other side of this one. The head is tannish and very thin that leaves little or no lace.

The aroma is a licorice, coffee blend, with hints of cherries and red grapes. The taste is much the same, chocolate tasting and lightly bitter. The maltiness is heavy and the tastes a little like wine in the aftertaste. This is a fabulous stout, one that makes me think that stout is my favorite beer style. Highly recommend.

abcsofbeer, Sep 19, 2004
Photo of Shiredave
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very happy to find this beer on the east Coast, but I had forgotten just how damn good it is.
Steelhead pours pitch black and opaque with a sparse red/brown head.
Sharp, acidic massive aroma of roasted barley - very stouty with a hint of floral hop softening the overall impression.
Initial mouthfeel is slick and heavy with huge roasted malt flavors.
Hop bittering is firm but not overpowering and mixes neatly in behind the delicious grain bitterness and malt sweetness.
Exceptional balance and outstanding Stout character. A truely great example of a Foriegn / Export/ Extra Stout.

Shiredave, Aug 09, 2004
Photo of arizcards
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at TJ's recently for $1.39.

Appearance is black as night but it poured a dissapointing head leaving no lacing. Smell is good, toasted grains, coffee, and chocolate. Taste is getting better the warmer this brew gets. Roasted malts, hints of coffee and chocolate, and a nice dry finish. It is a bit thin for a stout. Overall drinkability is good. I have another bottle that I will be sure to let warm up from fridge temps!

arizcards, Aug 09, 2004
Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy brown head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich black and chocolate malt scent along with dry, yet creamy finish. The taste is decent. It has an extremely rich black and chocolate malt flavor that is very thick and dry. It goes down slow and finishes with a bitter black malt aftertaste. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent drinking stout. It has a little lacking in the mouthfeel department as well as a little too intense in the grain bill.

WesWes, Jul 22, 2004
Photo of JahNoth
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark pour with small caramel head. Scent of bitter chocolate and mild roastiness. Very nice nose. Nice roasted bitterness in the flavor - the hops, chocolate and slight coffee bounce around in unison. Light on the tongue. A delicious brew! Mad River brews are slowly moving up the ladder among my favorites.

JahNoth, Jul 22, 2004
Photo of mattcrill
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Standard 12 oz. bottle. Pours like tar or maple syrup with almost no head with a fairly aggressive pour. With the carbonation and head evaporation, it almost pours like a soda.
Smell: I smell burnt raisins and hints of vanilla beans. Almost like Guinness (extra stout not the pub draught stuff).
Taste and mouthfeel: Nice carbonation. This is a big tasting stout with a complex array of malt, coffee, and hints of vanilla.
This stout goes down easy and really is a great find.

mattcrill, Jun 12, 2004
Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cant pour any darker than this pitch black stout with a thin mocha colored head,aromas of deeply roasted malt and mocha flavored coffee very rich and appetizing on the nose.Taste is very roasted with a unsweetened chocolate note finishing very earthy and nutty.Very raw and bold beer like the earthiness in the finish and the creamy mouthfeel a big winner here.

oberon, May 14, 2004
Photo of abents
3.23/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an oily black with a big brown head that's gone rather quickly. Not much for lacing. Smells of roasted grain and coffee with a slight hoppy smell as well. Taste is of a bitter coffee and slight chocolate with a nice roasted malty taste as well. Lingers pretty well in the mouth, but nothing too spectacular here. Pretty well carbonated with a light mouthfeel for a stout. I don't know here. A decent offering, but again nothing too terrific. I was impressed with the scotch porter, but this was just OK.

abents, Apr 13, 2004
Photo of watermelonman
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a very dark black with minimal head. The head quickly faded and the lacing is minimal as well.

It smells like a prototypical good stout. The taste is a little bit plain, but it's of pretty good quality. It feels good on the mouth and it definitely goes down easily as well.

A touch plain, but a good solid beer.

watermelonman, Mar 31, 2004
Photo of Skidz
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out dark, and I mean DARK, brown finishes jet black with no signs of light anywhere. Dark tan head with beautiful lacings on the sides, holds pretty strong on top.

Smells of roast grains, coffees and some nice hoppy aromas. Taste is very bold. Nice roastiness with a bit of citrus twist to it as well. Finished mildly bitter, with those hops floating around your mouth to get you ready for more.

Nice full body, very smooth and clean tastes all around. I could easily make a night of this superb stout. The price is just right for this, so it's even easier to dive in.

Skidz, Mar 07, 2004
Photo of francisweizen
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a fine extra stout. It pours out a dark, opaque black colour with a nice frothy espresso coloured head. The aromas are nice. Chocolate, espresso, caramel, hops, deep roasted malts, and a bit of spicy booze. The taste follows suit with a wonderful melange of roasted coffee and chocolate flavors. The mouthfeel is neither thick, nor thin, and it is all too easy to drink one of these puppies down. Nice stuff.

francisweizen, Jan 04, 2004
Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From an unimpressive start, this little number really built steam and made me a believer. Much like a true Russian Imperial stout, ala La Coq, there is virtually no head and, likewise, no lace.

But from the nose forward this is an impressive brew, again ala La Coq. The dark opaque body captures a sense of extreme roasted goodness and gives off lovely aromas of burnt grains and thick, roasted caramel malts.

The taste is very Imperial having a rich fullness that is very much of the old school. It is truly waming of the innards despite its relatively low alcohol content; can this be an accurate rating of ABV?

The full, heavy, and thick body is just shy of being syrupy, earning it high marks in this lesser dimension. The drinkability is likewise enhanced by the moderate ABV and lovely feel. Grande! Let this Steelhead come upstream and multiply!

AtLagerHeads, Jan 02, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours pitch black with a slight ruby highlight when held to light. The brown head forms quickly and then falls slowly lacing the glass. The aroma is chocolate and coffee and roasted malt. The flavor is chocolate and coffee and roasted malt. The body is medium-full and appropriate. The finish is dry coffee.

GCBrewingCo, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Blacker than black with a small head that dissipated quickly.

Smell – Giant espresso and cocoa aromas fill the nose, followed closely by strong, roasted malts. The nose is very powerful and fulfilling.

Taste – What do we have here? There’s a surprise in this bottle: balancing hops. Whudda thunk? The bitter espresso and chocolate cocoa powder come with some refined sugary flavors as well, making this one quite the party.

Mouthfeel – Seriously full in the mouth and exceptionally smooth for such a heavy brew. Not a hint of alcohol to this one.

Drinkability – I had no problem killing this little 12-ounce bottle.

Comments – This is one stouty stout. This is what I think of when I think of stout. This is a tremendous example of the style. Much thanks to the Santa Monican MickeyMac for sending me this offering from Mad River.

RoyalT, Nov 29, 2003
Photo of rkhaze
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a ruby tinge. Creamy, thick dark tan head that leaves decent lace.
Coffee, chocolate and some red fruits( plums, currants ) show up in the aroma along with an almost burnt roastiness.
Just a great taste of espresso, dark chocolate and roasted malts. A nice spicy hoppiness and licoricey sweetness lead to a dry finish.
A little thin in the body for the style but still creamy and highly drinkable.
I really like this stout! Top notch and highly recommended. Pick some up if you run accross it.

rkhaze, Oct 15, 2003
Steelhead Extra Stout from Mad River Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 464 ratings.