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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

480 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 480
Reviews: 299
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 45
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 tonistruth
3.1/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 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.

Photo of tgbljb
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Crosling
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Zorro
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Jredner
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of akajimmyd
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 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)

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

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.

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

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!

Photo of germaniac
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Shaw
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of DogFood11
3.03/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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!

Photo of RootedFool
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

Photo of OStrungT
4.15/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of Sammy
2.83/5  rDev -29.8%
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.

Photo of Fish113d
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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!

Photo of kbub6f
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of Globetrotter
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

Photo of yankeeheel
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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