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Steelhead Double India Pale Ale - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Steelhead Double India Pale AleSteelhead Double India Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

786 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 786
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 23
Gots: 42 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-18-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 786 | Reviews: 406
Reviews by kflorence:
Photo of kflorence
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy amber, orange in color with a good amount of frothy head that dissipates to a thin film layer and leaves plenty of lacing around the edges of the glass as you drink. Carbonation levels look to be good. Has that classic American IPA look to it. Make sure you swish the last bit of beer around in the glass before you pour so you get a bit more flavor (if you prefer).

S: Really a pretty subtle aroma for a double IPA (especially of the West coast variety). I was expecting an olfactory assault of hops, but actually found a fair amount of sweet malts. Don't get me wrong, there is a bit of hop aroma in there... mostly citrus, but the malts seem prominent.

T: As the aroma led me to believe, this is a pretty balanced West coast IPA. That said, the hops do dominate the flavor all the way through, but only slightly, which was unexpected for me seeing as this is an IPA of the double variety. Anyways, the hops are mostly of the citrus variety, a very bitter grapefruit I would say, with a twist of lemon and a bit of Juniper. As for the malts, I'm getting a lot of bread and sweetness; no toasty or roasted notes. That's pretty much it. Simple, but very effective. It could probably use a bit more balance malt-wise, but maybe that's just me.

M: Medium body with a good level of carbonation, this brew comes off quite creamy with a bit of chewiness. There is a bit of oil that coats the tongue, but the beer finishes dry with a little bit of chalkiness.

O: As a West coast double IPA, I expected something overwhelmingly hoppy. What I got was a great, fairly well balanced IPA with a straightforward flavor, great mouthfeel and very high drinkability (especially for an 8.6% ABV). This will probably disappoint those looking for a hop-high, but if you can get past that, this is a very solid offering and another good brew from Mad River. Cheers!

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was lookin for a hop fix today so I grabbed this and it filled the need but it could have been better.Poured into an oversized wine glass a hazed burnt orange with a thinner but pretty well retained slight off white head atop.Aromas are lighter but they are appetizing quite floral with some citric notes to be expected along with a pronounced biscuit malt compnent.Mouthfeel is a little light wich actually keeps the big flavors from being hammered home in my mind the flavors are nice though starting out floral and citrusy with a big resiny finish all along a semi-sweet caramel biscuit base is there holding up well to the hops.Man this could be really really good beef up the mouthfeel to enhance the flavors and its a big winner as is its still pretty good.

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

Appearance - This poured a beautiful deep, rich orange in color with a nice, pure white head.

Smell - The big pine and orange hops manage to compliment instead of drown out the luscious, malty backbone. The malt is rich and sweet like melted caramel.

Taste - Yes, this is a classic DIPA. The hops are really big and would tromp most beers, but this big fella has a super-strong malt base that is caramel-laden and very sugary sweet from all angles.

Mouthfeel - This medium-bodied DIPA is rich, mouth-watering, very lightly carbonated, and slick across the cheeks.

Drinkability - This is not too big for your average craft beer lover yet big enough to garnish the respect of style fans. Rightly done.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice copper color a small head that fall quickly leaving nice lacing and barely and head.
Nothing to special.

S- Sweet pine and citrus note dominate the nose with mild malty backbone. Freshly cut grass also comes to mind.

T- Complex fruit flavor of grapefruit, raisens, and plums. Very grassy hop flavor is obvious. Hop bitterness is just right. Excellent for style.

M-D- Easy on the buds if you like a good bitter bomb. Light carbonation allow the mouth to feel the alcohol on the tongue. Drinkable to any means. Love it.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #72 (Jan 2013):

Serious and a bit brash, lovely and fitting traits for this style and it works. Amarillo hops take over a little though there is still a pinch of balance left. Worthy of a go. Old school brewery with some different moves, we can dig it. A bit less of Amarillo and a bit more of some other high alpha hop would have made this brew pop more. None the less we got our fix.

STYLE: American Double IPA
ABV: 8.6%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

LOOK: Hazed brassy amber, heady crown

SMELL: Clean hop resin, tropical fruit, clean estery alcohol, grassy, spearmint, bready

TASTE: Bitter, silky smooth, creamy maltiness, fresh cut grass, melon rind, guava, powdered aspirin, mandarin oranges, mild caramel, bitter-sweet finish

Photo of Todd
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly turbid (it's unfiltered) tawny brew with a decent amount of creamy froth on top that's got some legs.

Fresh malts in the nose, bready, along with a hefty dose of hops that ranges from resiny to mildly soapy to fruity grapefruit.

Smooth on the palate, creamy, and a bit chewy and juicy. Citric hop flavors smack the palate around with a slight sting, resiny stick, saltiness, and grapefruit. Fruity flavors mellow things down with soft apple edges. Estery with an aggressive alcohol that's spicy and warming. Touch of toffee maltly sweetness blends in and rides to the finish, which is dry and a bit burnt-like with a lingering resiny/ash character.

Not a bad example of the style, but it's a bit green and rough around the edges. The alcohol presence could use some subduing too.

Photo of dill
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served on draught in a pint glass.

A - looks great in a cloudy golden color with a one finger white head.

S - lots of citrus, grapefruit including the peel.

T - earthy tones before the hops kick in and linger. lots of bitterness hangs around the mouth.

M - medium carbonation. a bit of a bite to it. not bad.

D - the bitterness may become overwhelming for a session, but this is a nice beer to drink. i enjoyed it.

Photo of Beaver13
2.93/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours a hazy copper gold with a big creamy off white head that retains well and leaves a lot of lacing.

The aroma is some sweet bready malts, a little honey, and some stinky piney resiny hops. It's a little subdued.

The flavor is sweet caramel/crystal malt followed by a big resiny, tarry, hop finish that lingers in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, not a great DIPA. It's a bit one dimensional and not well balanced with a clashing of sweetness and tarry bitterness.

Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, no freshness info. Poured cloudy, slightly red amber, with a medium peach hue, typical light tan head, tiny bubble and showing good retention. Nice looking fine and scattered lace left on the glass. Light hop nose. Wowee, this is a nice, smooth DIPA that packs a nice punch flavor and hop wise. Very pleasant hop infused creation. Bold, yet fairly balanced. I really enjoyed this one, highly recommended.

Photo of AHebel
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great, highly drinkable DIPA. Not overly hopped, bitter, or dry. This is a smooth, complex, mild example of the style. It's appearance contains a slight haze with a good 3/4 inch head, pouring into a pint glass. Upon taking the first sip you understand the smooth, flowery crispness of this exceptional beer. I've bought 3 or so 6 packs of this tasty beverage in the past month. Definitely deserves a rating higher than B+. Was my favorite of 3 DIPA's I"ve tried recently (1. This beer 2. Gordon's 3. Dorado.)

Photo of magictrokini
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally tried this one. Cloudy amber with a foamy white head. Light citrus and heavy grapefruit in the aroma. Flavor is the same with little bit of pine/resin. Some sweet malt, similar in flavor to what you would find in Lagunitas' beers. Would have liked more of the hop bite. Still, this is a really good beer.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served into a flaired tulip glass from a 12oz stubby brown bottle with a twist-off cap

Mirky,golden/reddish color that seems to be glowing. 2" offf-white very creamy white head with good retention a few webs of lace at the top turning spotty yhr rest of the way down.

Clean aroma,lots of citrus,slight grapefruit/pineapple with hints of tropical fruit. Carmell/toffee malts linger in the background.

Pine/citrus first taste a bit on the light side for a double ipa.Clean mid-taste, like the aroma some tropical fruityness. Good balance with very sweet malty goodness.Finished light,crisp with citrus notes and light grapefruit notes.Alcohol very well hidden almost undetectable.Very smooth and creamy.

Overall a bit on the light side for a double ipa. I'm sure it brought the reviews down a bit would do better as an ipa. Neverless a nice beer from Mad River a favorite brewery of mine. Haven't seen this beer in my area had to order from Liquid Solutions. Would pick some of this beer up if I would see it in my area.

Photo of Kraken
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Consumed 7/27/09

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 16oz glass. Firm pour calls fourth a very nice 1/2 inch of off white head that produces a nice sticky lace. Color is a very deep and clouded orange.

Nose- Overripe orange, massive amounts of caramel perhaps a bit a vanilla, and a touch of alcohol.

Palate- Overripe orange, with a touch of orange rind. Plenty of caramel, some vanilla. Some sweetness, followed by a very nice and lasting bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Slightly syrupy, very dry.

Drinkability- A bigger beer that is best sipped.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Not the biggest head or best lacing retention, but the color is to die for (orange)! Decent aroma, a little on the woody side, but still the hops play top billing. A little sweet aroma too.

Taste, big, big ol malt backbone. This is one of the rare instances where a CA DIPA actually does approach balance. Hops are there, but tempered with the aforementioned maltiness. Creates an easier, smoother beer. Burps become rewarding. Price used to be very reasonable, but the last couple of years, they approached the typical price range you see for a beer like this. Props for keepin it in a 6er and not raping us with 22oz prices!

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

Pours a deep clouded copper apricot hue with a thcket of off whie yellow tinted white head. Fine lacing spreads itself evenly aroun the settling lace. Aroma has deep aggressive citrus/pine and slightly metallic notes going on. Sugary malt backbone with super bittering hops going down. Flavor has some butterscotch tones with sugar and hops wrapped around each other, don't get me wrong my local just got this in but it doesn't seem superfresh and Mad River's website is closed! What's going on? Mouthfeel is pretty much coated with hop oils and medium to fuller bodied in general a bit of alcohol in the tail end, at times I'm picturing a big barleywine. This happens to be a bit of an aged DIPA, damn tasty but I remember it being fresh on tap and it was definitely excellent stuff. Solid approachabe DIPA, I'm willing to try it again in the future somebody please drop me a line about what's going on with this DIPA.

Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle.
Pours a hazy deep amber with a decent head.
Flavor has more citrus and is overall more fruity than the aroma. Good balancing malt load. Nicely balanced and soft for style.

Photo of LXIXME
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from above the glass gave this beer a really big off white head that slowly fell into a pretty good lacing on a lightly cloudy roasted honey colored beer.

A floral to citrus hops aroma with a hint of sour grain on a medium bodied IPA.

The floral and citrus hops also dominate the taste but it's laced with a light taste of alcohol and some slight tartness.

This beer has a dry hops aftertaste, and from initial whiff to the last lingering aftertaste, this beer is very worthy.

Photo of racer2k
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber orange color with a very thin white head which dissipates quickly. The beer is cloudy

S- Sweet, pale malt and some grapefruit hoppy aromas. There is a strong malt overtone which is nicely balanced by the hops

T- Malt base with strong bitterness which grows as you cycle through the sip and swallow. Pine, earthy, flowery tastes are present. There is also a hint of alcohol on the back end of the taste.

M - Thin body that is not like a typical DIPA. Minimal carbonation and very easy to quaff even with the 8.6% abv.

D- Drinkable but perhaps as a good IPA not a great DIPA. Good bitterness to boot.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Blitheringidiot for this bottle.
Pours a tangerine orange with a nice full white head that melts to full sticky lacing.
Aromas of tangerines and bubblegum sweetness.
Taste is sweet malt overcome immediately with orange peel hops. There is no struggle here...it balances nicely.
Aftertaste is orange peel drying hops.
Mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy and smooth for a DIPA.
Most DIPAs I have tried overcome you with the sweetness of the malts initially attempting to reach a balance with the overload of hops. This one doesn't. It really balances. Maybe it's not really a DIPA, but as a strong IPA...and intense IPA, it is very very drinkable.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mad River- Double IPA

A- Hazy tawny orange copper with a huge chunky head. Big messy foamy lacing all over the glass.
S- Sweet pine hops hit you up front with a big creamy malt body.
T- Huge fresh green hops, pine and grapefruit rind come up first. Thick sweet caramel malt dominates the body, and more sweet pungent hops with a touch of boozy alc. in the end.
M- This is just malty as hell with a nice hop balance.

Overall- Very tasty and too drinkable for being over 8%abv. 1 of the best I've had this Fall and probably within my top 20 of my new beers of 08'. Highly recommended, and glad it's available in my area.

Photo of tastybeer
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Murky orange copper color with a big beige head. Retention is decent and looks tight and hop oily. Lacing is sparse, to slick to stick. Nose is of pungent muddied hop aromas with smoothing malts. Pungent not to be confused with huge. Aromas are pine, grapefruit, grassy, and assertively resinous. Taste has a pointed bitterness which seems to cloud the hop and malt flavors instead of compliment and enhance them. Flavors are otherwise similar to the nose. Still intensly resinous, and the bitter finish extends on forever. Taste aside, mouthfeel is gritty and has a lot of texture. An entertaining mouthfeel. Drinkability is ok but the the mounds of resins and thick bitter hops slow me down.

This has its own character for sure. Too sharp I think and not balanced enough. If there were more malts and at least more flavor/aroma hops to work with the bitter hops I think this would be closer to excellent.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a caramel-amber color with a solid 1 finger bubbly white head. Decent retention and lacing.

Notes of caramel, malt, sweet citrus and butter on the nose

Full of flavor and very well balanced. This is how I like my DIPAs and not just a hop bomb. Very nice caramel malt character up front transitioning into a nice light floral and citrus hop character.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall a Very good DIPA. Very well balanced. This is what I appreciate about good brewing. Balance. Well done Mad River.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a hazy copperish orange with bits of sediment floating around the glass. The head is a hair off-white, frothy and 2 fingers thick. Great retention. Copious amounts of lacing left behind, sip after sip.

Smell - Strong caramel malt at the forefront, backed by hops that come across as floral with a hint of citrus.

Taste - A mountain of caramel malt at the forefront, complimented by a slightly spicy, moderately floral hop that hits mid-taste. Subtle trace of orange rind bitterness lingers well into the aftertaste. Hop profile builds if sipped in quick succession.

Mouthfeel - Thick, full-bodied, and creamy as hell. Entirely drinkable.

Overall - Well balanced DIPA. Maybe too much. No freshness date, so it's hard to say if the hops have been killed off by time, or if it's meant to be as I tasted. In any event, it's fairly close to their Extra Pale Ale, with a bit more of a hop kick.

Photo of appenzeller
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mmmm Steelhead. Makes me want to go fly fishing. Hope this lives up to its noble title.

This one pours a deep, deep amber that is quite hazy. Medium head whit very good retention and average lacing.

Smells of toasted bread, slightly hoppy.

Taste is more complex, bready base with an acidic citrusy note, smooth moderate malts. The hops are, of course, the main note but not over the top--spicy American hops with a good bite that lingers. Despite the high ABV, I don't find this to be an alcohol-laden drink, the alcohol element is well embedded in the brew.

In summary, nothing remarkable but a perfectly good DIPA.

Photo of cokes
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange-brass with hints of ruby beneath a shortish stack of ivory suds.
Powerful pine, citrus, and floral hops nose, sedated in part by the caramelly breadiness of the malt.
Bready again, on the onset through the mouth, turning toastier and nuttier as it progresses. It sweetens a good deal, midway, with caramel, and honeydew melons, as the hops begin to arrive. Here on out, its a deluge of grapefruit pith, orange pulp, pine needles, pressed flowers, and dried grass. Alcohol, while present, is shut out taste wise.
Pushing towards full bodied, with a steadfast bead of carbonation. This is drinkable and dangerous and a good example of a well balanced, yet still forcefully hopped, DIPA.

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Steelhead Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 786 ratings.