Steelhead Extra Stout - Mad River Brewing Company

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Steelhead Extra StoutSteelhead Extra Stout

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480 Ratings

(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 abmhighrise
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

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.


Photo of ChrisKayler
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Ispeakforthetrees
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

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

Darkest of brown approaching black if not altogether already pitched in black whilst settled in the glass. Medium dark brown tanned foam lofts up with might to slowly dwindle into a puffy collar ring. Impressive appearance.

As is the aroma, impressive; wow, was actually the first notion upon the my first wiff as a big roasty boom of chocolate laced coffee cake, oatmeal, caramel, vanilla, and iced coffee. Very ice creamesque, clean, round, and appetizingly fresh.

Taste is solid and just as impressive. Clean, rounded, brisk, and flavorful with very nice, mild, creamy, chocolate and caramel tones easing in first as it gradually grows a slight burntish edge of bready malt, old coffee, and char. It then remixes itself into a chocolatey roasty burnt bitterness and semi creamyness as it floats off lightly with a simple yet intriguing chocolate complexing finish.

Body is a mildly medium creamy medley of easy going tones and character. Its clean, round, and just bold enough to push out its edges to add a great level of roasty touch of crispness while maintaining an overall milky smooth chocolatey tone most of its stay.

One super solid stout! Drinkable by many. There's so many average to OK regular American stouts out there and Mad River's Steelhead is an entire step, if not more than a few above, most of them.

Photo of trytoketchup
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Herky21
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of BeerTruth
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My boy tpd975 hooked me up with this brew. Cheers to you my friend!

12 oz. stubby bottle poured into a nonic. I need something smooth tonight.

Pours a complete black with a two finger dark tan head that dies down to a frothy layer of thin bubbles. Stickiness is a weak with just about nothing on the sides of the glass. Let this warm up for sure before drinking, smell improves immensely. Cocoa powdwer and fresh hazelnut coffee with an oaky wood aroma. The faintest hint of hops underneath all the dark malts. Sweet caramel all the way through with a smokey wood flavor. A quick citrus hop zing midway through. Very creamy feel with a smooth molasses aftertaste. I love the drinkability of this brew as it warms. I could easily drink this beer year round. Definitely the best beer I've had from these guys. I need beers like this in my fridge at all times. This is probably the best American Stout I've had.

Photo of Torabayama
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of the_awesometeer
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Appearance- pitch black with a nice tan head, that lives foam on the glass the whole way down.

Smell- roasted coffee with a hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel- smooth and creamy

Taste- roasted coffee flavor with a little chocolate.

Photo of jucifer1818
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: beautiful darkness, and a light dark head that dissipates at a medium speed.
exactly what a stout should look like

smell: very very light smell. mostly smokey and roasty smells

taste: beautiful. almost no detectable hops, the flavor of this one comes almost entirely from the roasted and smoked malts. beautiful light smokiness (but not overwhelmingly smokey), followed by the dark and conferting roasted and black malts, which give it the taste of dark bakers chocoalte. It has a very nutty/grainy after taste. it is only in the after taste that you can even sense that their is hops in this brew, but it still plays second fiddle to the roasty and nutty flavors
a malt heads paradise when he wants some serious darkness

for 6.5% alcohol, you can taste none of it, and its very drinkable for a beer with its level of malt, roastyness, and smoked flavors

mouthfeel: dark, gritty, nuttyness dominate the mouth-feel, as well as a slight slick syrupyness to it. its quite nice

overall: I've giving this one a 4.5. it doesn't do anything earth shattering, but it doesn't have to
its a perfect smokey dark brew, doing what it says it does, and that is being a damn fine stout

I would have this one again, and I recommend that you try it if you haven't already

Photo of brheuer
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

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

The beer pours a raven color, not a hint of light passes through this stout, the head pythonic in size, the texture spumescent, and the color a rich chocolate brown, as it disperses, a thick and claggy lace welds itself to the glass. The deep rich aromas of the toasted grain reaches you first, followed by the sweet malt, with hints of bittersweet chocolate and yes even some deep rich roasted fresh ground coffee, delectable the nose. Start is ambrosial, thickly malt, the top full and chocolate rich with the finish pleasantly acidic, the hops spiteful in their spicy presence, very dry and slightly bitter aftertaste, clings to your palate like a newborn baby to its mother’s bosom, quite quaffable this beer from a fine brewery.

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 bnes09
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ink black and completely opaque. Beautiful, metallic copper colored head. Poor retention but does leave a nice ring around the glass.

Complex dark aroma, coffee, dark chocolate, sherry and nuts.

Massive roasted malt attack on the palate with coffee, bitter chocolate, licorice, and roasted almonds. Underlying molasses sweetness mellows things out. Fairly assertive hop punch, pine and spinach leaves. Smoked maple character. Very well balanced.

Medium bodied. Drying. Malt seems to stick to the tongue and continue to deliver more flavor all the time.

A truly awesome beer. I love stouts and this one really hits the spot.

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 chilly460
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours shiny black with a bit of rootbeer colored highlights at the edges as light shines through. Thick mocha head develops and sticks around nicely, flecks of lacing remain.

S- Really nice aroma, plenty of chocolate, plenty of deep roast coffee. Thick chocolate cake smell too. Some slight sweeter tones, like brown sugar as well. No hop presence that I could detect.

T- Very chocolatey like chocolate syrup. Then comes the coffee, deep roast but not bitter at all, perfect. Flavor is thick and rich, this beer has as much punch as some RIS. Slight tones of brown sugar as detected in the nose. The roast malts and coffee keep this from being too sweet, nice.

M- Nice medium body with creamy carbonation, well done.

O - A pleasant surprise, I don't get many plain stouts that have the depth of flavor this showed, will be a "go to" stout for me when I'm not in the mood for a bigger RIS

Photo of dwilson01
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass, the body is a midnight black tinged with dark brown around the edges. the head is a thin dark caramel mocha coloration which sits on the top of the brew dissipating slowly.

The smell seriously makes me think dark chocolate mocha. It's thick and drowns your scent of anything else in there.

The flavor follows directly from the nose, a dark chocolate comes out in the beginning fading to a roasted coffee flavor and then combining in the end leaving you with a slightly bitter choc/coffee aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is full but surprisingly not too thick, it's got a huge amount of flavor without being a syrupy consistency.

Overall this is a must try brew if you haven't already indulged.

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

A: An opaque black color with very dark brown edges when held up to light. The head is rather large, fluffy, and creamy, with a rich brown color. Retention is decent, as is lacing.

S: Roasted dark malt is rather robust. Bittersweet dark chocolate, some lactic sweetness, and espresso - very nice. Some molasses, dark fruit, and lactic notes, along with some leafy/earthy hops.

T: Semisweet cocoa powder and some fudgy chocolate, along with roasted coffee beans. Brown sugar and some creamy lactic flavor. A rugged dose of earthy hops along with a bit of a charcoal note into the finish.

M: Thick, chewy, smooth - pretty nice. Carbonation is quite light. A bit of dryness into the finish.

D: I'm very impressed by this beer, my first from Mad River. They really get the job done with what is an aggressive yet drinkable stout. I'll be picking this up in the future for sure.

Photo of Swim424
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into mug

A-dark dark brown. not much light gets through this one. no head at all.

S-like a bit of coffee and a good amount of chocolate.

T-like coffee with lots of chocolate. really good.

Mf-medium-thick. thinner than expected. nice feel, smooth, perfect carbonation.

O-really good. this is very well balanced. a bit light feeling but very very good flavor.

Photo of gps2388
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stouts being my favorite style this is one of my favorites. Goes to show that you absolutely don't need high alcohol in this style for it to be exceptional. (The high alcohol stouts I think get too 'hot' and distract you from all of the other flavors that you should be enjoying)

A- As a stout should look, creamy brown head resembles the crema on an espresso shot; opaque appearance

S- Gives you a great picture of what's too come, mostly malt with just a little hop character to balance at the end...

T- ... And that's what you get, lots of creamy malt like a heavy wet cappuccino but without the old coffee grounds or burnt tastes some other stouts get (like Founders and Sierra Nevada respectively) and plus some nice subtle chocolate and vanilla tones plus some hop character for balance to keep it from tasting too porter-ish

M/D- Not too thick/chewy but still stout, goes down nice but heavy and thick enough to remind you what you're drinking

All in all one of my favorite stouts and definitely my favorite from the West coast.

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

A - Pours black with a dark tan head. This beer DOES look scary. Head dissipates rapidly and leaves little lacing.

S - Aroma with typical chocolate and coffee aroma up front, but side notes of graham cracker, alcohol and maraschino cherry.

T - The flavor is sweet with lots of milky chocolate, burn whole grain toast, caramel, and a very ashy bitter finish. Very slight hop profile. Just enough to keep my interest at a very high level. Hops are no match for the heavy malts though.

M - Medium-full body with an almost chewy texture and slight chalkiness. It is smooth and creamy almost like a milk stout.

D - A beautiful beer. Reminds me why I love beer. Well done.

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

Another Humboldt-brewed beer, on to it we go:

Cocoa colored head with a loud fizzying sound on top of motor oil black. Lots of cocoa in the aroma, touched up with a bit of molasses. Despite it's intiminating look, the flavor won't wallop your palate. I know this is starting to sound redundant, but pleasant cocoa is in the taste, but tastes best as you gulp down the beer. Fruitiness is weaved in nicely. Just a delight to drink.

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