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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

468 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 468
Reviews: 296
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.92%
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: 468 | Reviews: 296 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

DogFood11, Oct 15, 2005
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.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 05, 2005
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.

goschool, Jun 23, 2005
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!

NeroFiddled, Jun 14, 2005
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.

RootedFool, May 20, 2005
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.

OStrungT, Apr 21, 2005
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.

merlin48, Apr 14, 2005
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.

mntlover, Mar 27, 2005
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.

Sammy, Mar 06, 2005
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!

Fish113d, Feb 16, 2005
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.

kbub6f, Jan 19, 2005
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.

Globetrotter, Nov 24, 2004
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.

yankeeheel, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of oelergud
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
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

oelergud, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of abcsofbeer
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
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 +14.1%
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 +3%
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 -9.4%
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 +8.7%
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 +4.2%
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 +0.5%
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 -19.9%
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 -3.7%
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 +1.2%
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 +4.7%
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
Steelhead Extra Stout from Mad River Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 468 ratings.