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Steelhead Extra Stout - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Steelhead Extra StoutSteelhead Extra Stout

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493 Ratings

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Ratings: 493
Reviews: 303
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.67%
Wants: 43
Gots: 24 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-05-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 493 | Reviews: 303
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

Massive frothing from a pour down the middle of the glass, beautiful tiny beaded bubbly lace leaves a ring with each sip. Dark, opaque ... stout black. Aromas of chicory, licorice root, faint vanilla bean, wood charcoal, freshly used coffee grounds and a hint of black currants. Creamy, slick, full-bodied mouthfeel, with just enough carbonation to bring some smoothness to the glass. Creamy roasted palate throughout. Charcoal and baker's chocolate are dominant with some mild coffee and toasted bread in the back. Moderate hopping that drops a perfect amount of bitterness, which pairs up with the roasted character to balance the sweetness. Kiss of herbal flavor from the hops middle to end. Alcohol is slightly warming with dark fruit; burnt raisins come to mind.

Mad River nailed this one, a stout-lovers' stout. With the Imperial/Double stouts getting all of the hype, beers like this just don't get enough attention. This one is a must.

Photo of Flightoficarus
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type - Bottle into snifter

A - Pours an obsidian black, with a thick, mud colored head that quickly gives way to creamy lacing. This is definitely on the darker side of dark!

S - Smell is of bittersweet bakers chocolate, roasted espresso, caramel, and molasses, with a slightly acidic character from hops. Don't let that last part throw you off, the smell as a whole is quite pleasant.

T - Taste if of chocolate, caramel, and rich, roasted coffee, lingering on the slightly maltier side, but there is just enough hopping in this beer to keep it well balanced. The flavor profile is bordering on imperial stout territory!

M - Rich, smooth, and full bodied. Mild carbonation. Very good overall.

D - Not a session beer, but easy enough to have a few of these. Extra points for pulling this off in the stout category.

Overall - A very tasty stout that's worth picking up if you see it. Rich flavor and easy drinkability make it a winner if you're seeking a more drinkable beer with a big flavor profile.

Photo of droomyster
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a fluffy brown head. Aromas are roasty and sweet, with strong notes of dark and milk chocolate. Tastes is roasty up front and becomes intensely sweet and chocolatey on the mid palate, with burnt sugar and espresso near the end. Body is medium-full and extremely smooth. The finish draws on and on, leaving me with dark chocolate breath. A fine dessert beer or nightcap.

Photo of djbreezy
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

appearance - pours a dark brown with no transparency, generous tan head that disappears almost immediately with dominate but tight retention on the edges of the glass, very little lacing

smell - roasted malts, chocolate

taste - chocolate forward with lightly roasted malts and smooth aftertaste, very flavorful finish

mouthfeel - heavy carbonation, smooth, light body, a bit watery when it initially pours but gets better as it warms up

drinkability - generous flavor, well balanced, tasty stout

Photo of BigRedN
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. The beer is near black in color, very dark. My pour produces a brownish head, about 1-inch in height that eventually fades to a spotty cover and solid ring around the glass that leaves a little lacing.

Smell: Bursting forth with malt aromas. Dark chocolate, burnt chocolate, roasted coffee, roasted malt and barley. All malts in the scent.

Taste: A solid malty body. Roasted malts in line with the scent. I think that I also get a little hint of vanilla bean flavor in there as well as the beer warms. A slight hint of bitterness on the finish gives this the illusion of some balance.

Mouthfeel: Going with full bodied (at least full in body to some of the beers I have had recently). An unforced, natural carbonation keeps this lively on the tongue. There is a smooth creaminess as the beer is swallowed.

Drinkability: A very drinkable beer, dangerously so. I had two of these coupled with another beer and I am feeling the effects of three straight 6%+ beers. Definitely worth trying a six of.

Photo of elgiacomo
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

Pours a fairly thick black with a huge three finger brown head that leaves a few clumps of lacing and holds a foamy ring and light cap.

Very nice roasted malt aroma, a lot of chocolate and coffee, decent dose of smoke, a little dark fruits. Nice.

Flavor is heavy on the chocolate, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, some dark fruit, low alcohol, a bit of acidic bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not as thick as it looked upon pouring, slick, oily, lowish carbonation.

Excellent stout, nice aroma, good flavor.

Photo of socon67
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a real treat. I stumbled upon this at the local distributor.

The smell was a great balance of chocolate and coffee. The taste, even better! I'm a tough grader on stouts and this was a great american stout. A nice smokey taste with just the right amount of sweet chocolately goodness. Very smooth to drink. I would love to have these on a nice fall day.

Photo of dball
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice stout. As good as any. Great flavor and aroma. I have a local specialty shop that carries this just for me. Now there are more and more folks picking it up. It is just the right balance of malt and ABV. The appearance is exceptional and the smell draws you in. The flavor is full and satisfying. It is a bit costly but worth it if you like a big stout.

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 biglite351
3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - solid darkness. Tall medium tan head. Some lacing.

S - roasted malts, but not that great.

T - roasted malts with some coffee. Bit of chocolate in the after taste. Much better taste than smell.

M - thin feel nut it does coat, which usually do not go together. Tingle on tongue and even possibly the front teeth.

D - multiple bottles are possible.

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

Poured from a bottle.

Nice head. Dark beer that I cannot see through with but the lighting is poor inside my friend's basement bar.

Medium carbonation. Nose is espresso and chocolate mixed with hops. Smells very nice.

Taste is full of flavor. I get great coffee, with dark chocolate, and dark malts. Some licorice root and mild hop bitterness as well. I like it alot. It is smooth and well mixed. Pretty clean on the back of the tongue. A bit on the sweet side, and subsequently, there is a slight thickness to the mouth feel. However, it works fine with the strong mix of flavors of the coffee and malts.

The label says its "Rich & Robust" and I totally agree.

No single characteristic stands out as best but overall its a very solid stout that is worth drinking again.

Highly recommended.

Photo of chickenflea
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
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 SimplySinister
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque black. One finger oil-slick head, with moderate carbonation. Good lacing.

S - Subdued, though I can detect notes of Espresso, Chocolate, dark fruits, and barley.

T - Wow. This is one good tasting stout. It has *alot* of character. It packs some big tastes, but somehow manages to finish pretty clean. I have to admit, there is alot going on in this brew, but everything seems to be in perfect balance. Each indivdual flavor seems to compliment the next, not overpower it. Very well done.

M - Although it mimics the looks of other thicker desert style beers, this brew is actually pretty thin. This gives it all the benifits of great taste, but a velvety clean mouthfeel. Extremely Pleasent.

D - For a full flavored stout beer with a 6% ABV I don't think drinkability could get much better.
In summary, this brew is incredible. I had this one along time ago on a buisness trip to Talahassee. There I was at the ABC and I thought I would do a little mix and match action , so I picked it up. Once I got back to the hotel room, poured it, and took a sip, I knew this was a first class stout. Unfortunatly, I haven't been able to pick one up since, as they seem to be pretty rare in my neck of the woods. Though, as fate would have it, I found one peaking out of the dusty shelves at the local total wines and spirits. Once it caught my eye, it was in the cart.

Photo of climax
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured black as night, with a relatively modest brown head.

Nose wasn't over the top, but it was smooth and flavorful. It wasn't overly roasty or strong in one certain dimension. Some sweet candy accompanies licorice, black cherry, brown sugar and chocolate. The whiff of hops I caught at first poor has since faded, but it's in there somewhere.

The taste is equally as smooth. The balance between sweet and roasty favored the sweet side by a bit. The candy and sugar notes hit right away and hold on. More roasted cofee and chocolate catch up in the middle.

The body is nothing short of full, very syrupy (anticipated by how it poured) feel, and mild carbonation. A sipper for sure.

Photo of Lexluthor33
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown with a tan and large head. Good lace action.
The aroma of roasted malts and yeast with bready hints.
The taste was sweet,malty with hints of chocolate and coffee. The feel was medium body,smooth,mild bitterness in the finish. A well balanced beer.
Medium carbonation.

Notes: A solid beer and very drinkable.

Photo of jmbranum
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A powerful beer that tastes like a punch in the face.

Amazing mahogany brown brew with a tan head. Typical malty-toasty stout aroma. Flavor is intense. Rich. Lots of bitter toasty grain. Nice fresh hops in the background.

Thick rich mouthfeel.

I like this beer a lot. It is true to type and just smacks you around. Hard to explain but I like this one.

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours just about completely black. When held up to the light only the very edges start to appear a deep brown. Nice dark color, but the head is very disappointing. Pour yielded a half finger deep tan head that quickly faded to a very thin ring around the edges of the glass. Almost no lacing was left on the glass.

Smells nice, but fairly subdued. Primarily coffee hints, with a bit of licorice and molasses. Sweet caramel or toffee aroma that lingers a bit.

Taste is better than the smell. Some nice hop bitterness starting out the flavor which rounds into sweet notes of caramel, with roasted malts ending the flavor. A nice amount of coffee is present throughout the tasting notes, with some molasses and black licorice surfacing at different points.

Not my favorite stout, but very solid. Fairly sweet, so it is great for a beer after dinner or sometime late at night.

Photo of PintOHops
3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

6.0%/2010 release

Glass - Snifter

A - Clugged like oil out of the bottle, pitch black color with a 1-2 finger mocha colored head, even on an aggressive pour did it not produce much more head than that. Lacing was pretty good though.

S - Wow! Rich deep chocolate syrup aroma, a vigorous swirl gave me some dark fruits like cherry & a bit of raisin. A bit of licorice in there with mild coffee, very inviting aroma but not much in the roasted malts department. Just a dominate chocolate syrup aroma overall, moderately sweet smelling though.

T - Rich dark chocolate syrup upfront, soft but noticeable citrus unfolding into coffee & toffee flavors, not very sweet though. Unfolds beautifully and finishes with licorice & roasted malts, roasted flavors aren't robust as expected for the style but there is a great balance between bitter/roasted/sweet. Soft bitterness here.

M - Mildly crisp, a little thick and almost velvety, around full bodied and perfect for the flavor profile.

D - My overall impression of the beer is that it's more of a dessert Stout than anything else. I really enjoyed this one without food, but I would of liked it a bit more robust with more malty flavors instead of a dominate chocolate syrup kinda thing. Not worth seeking out to me but worth a try if you like dessert stouts, I think this one needed a bit more though.

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

This beer must fly under the radar, as I'm surprised there is not more buzz about this very well-done stout that lands firmly in the American Stout category. Nice mocha head. Aroma of roasted malt with a bit of caramel. No over the top chocolate or coffee flavors - just straight forward big stout. Slightly sweet and with a clean finish. Will see more of my beer fridge.

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

12 oz into a pint glass

A: Dark, real dark (black) with a tan 1/2 inch head. What you'd expect from a so-called "Extra Stout."

S: Lots of roasted malt. Very nice. Dark chocolate with espresso beans. Aromas that scream drink me.

T: Tons of coffee come through on the palate. Lingering finish. Some toffee on the finish with a hint of fresh cream.

M: Awesome! Tons of cream. Finish lasts with drying on the back palate. I like it. Low cabonation is perfect for this style of beer.

D: I like it!

Photo of Joeynocturnum
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the extra LongBeachHopHead. And I just opened your most recent package and see that you sent another.

A- Thick Black with a tan head, poured about half a finger of foam.

S- Smell was mild, not overpowering, roasted malts, hints of chocolate and coffee.

T- Tasted mostly the smokey and of toasted Malts, with a very mild coffee and chocolate after taste. Based on the smell I thought I would be tasting a little bit more coffee and chocolate. ABV 6.6 is very well hidden.

M- Slightly more carbonation then some other Stouts that I have had recently.

D- Because it was light and not over the top in any one of the above taste, I think that i would be able to drink two or three of these in one sitting before I change it up.

Photo of kegger22
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mad River Steelhead Extra Stout is a very brown, almost black color with a thin tan head that dissipates to a self sustaining collar.

The aroma is something of a let down, lightly burnt coffee and bitter chocolate.

The taste is roasted, bitter coffee, I'll let it warm up a bit. After the warm up, the same bitter coffee, some unsweetened chocolate.

The mouth feel is medium bodied, a little light for a stout, and carbonation is more than ample.

Drinkability is good at 6.60 ABV and acceptable taste.

A good, not great stout. Not as well balanced as I would have liked.

Photo of CMiller683
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A used-motor-oil black color with a deep rich caramel head. A little retention around the edges, with no lace.

S - Lots of coffee, almost burnt. Deep malts.

T - Dark roast coffee, with a hint of sweetness hidden in there. Chocolate and molasses.

M - Smooth and creamy.

D - Not too strong. Pretty easy to drink, though thick. A solid beer overall. Not my top Stout, but if I had no other choice, I would be happy to drink this.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep brown, almost black with a nice milk-chocolate head that dissipated. No lacing.

Tons of coffee, charred toast, deep roasted malt, and some sweet scents. Nice and inviting.

Big luscious flavors here. Dark roast coffee, some light sweetness to balance the bitter, molasses, bitter chocolate, dark bread. Really delicious.

Full bodied, smooth and creamy texture. Great.

Overall, easy to drink, not too much booze to even notice. Great American stout. Wish I tried this sooner. Buy this.

Photo of mralphabet
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Black oily and thick looking. Less than 1 finger of dark tan head that disappears quickly.... No lacing...

S: Lots of good stuff here... Roasted malts, some dark fruit, coffee, toffee, a hint of chocolate and licorice... Wonderful smells, very stout like.

T: Perfect Stout....lots of roasted malt flavors a nice touch of hops to balance everything out. All the smells are in the taste, leaning more to coffee, toffee and licorice as it finishes.

M: Wow... smooth creamy with a velvety texture... Med to heavy bodied, just what how a stout should be....

D: This is a great beer... everything you want in a stout.... ABV is not bad, I this is a one or two beer in a session...

This is a must try if you like a good stout... Everything with this beer gets better as it warms up.... Run out an get this one !!!!

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Steelhead Extra Stout from Mad River Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 493 ratings.