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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.
very good

408 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 408
Hads: 812
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 15.53%
Wants: 23
Gots: 54 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Steelhead Double India Pale Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 408 | Hads: 812
Photo of vegantreats
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a perfect color "indescribable to words" doesn't quite describe. Notes so mellow I find myself placing my nostrils deep into the bottle long after the beverage has been consumed experiencing crispness on a mental level.
I feel like a woman who received a bouquet on an old black and white film. I'm now plunged deep into the plot of a Film Noir movie, the bad boy with the dame running from the law and a loan shark named Tippy.
After which, the universe implodes; but the real question is does anyone hear it?

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Photo of edraid
4.85/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Good friend of mine brought this from Ca. poured beautiful nice head very little lace my only disappointment. very good beer. Represents the style well with a great mouth feel and aroma. Been a long time since I have posted any reviews promise to post more as I work in a beer bar and am encouraged to try everything.

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Photo of crayphish
4.82/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Never heard of this brewery or this beer before it showed up in my local shop. The steelhead logo talked me into grabbing it, and I'm glad I did. This DIPA pours a brilliant golden orange with a dense bubbly head. Lots of lacing going on, sticky! Smell is an intense spicy floral hop blast. At this point I can wait to sip. Taste is an assortment of hop aspects. Piney grapefruits, with just a hint of some sweet malt making an attempt to balance this thing. FAIL! Mouthfeel is blasted dry from the hop load. Very drinkable despite the intensity of the hops. I hope to see it frequent the shelve where I shop.

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Photo of mjr955201
4.71/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great beer. The best IPA I've had. There is a reason why it is $12.50 per 6-pack. One of the few expensive beers that live up to the price-point.

Only sold in 6-packs at my local store. It was recommended by the manager and the guy was right. What a great beer, high 8.6, not noticable, (may be noticable in the grammer in this review) very smooth, drinkable all night.

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Photo of JerryGlumm
4.7/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought in bottle at Jungle Jims in Fairfield OH. BALANCE! This beer has it. If you're like me and can't personally handle the citrus/hops of traditional IPA, this is your beer. Beautiful malt/hop balance without coming across dark or roasty. Pours dark golden and unexpectedly murky. Still looking for more beers like this one and have found anything to rival out. Let me know your suggestions, if any. Hats off to Mad River, this is my absolute favorite brew.

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Photo of clint21
4.67/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this beer partially to try something different and since its locally brewed. Has a very strong apricot smell and flavor. Pours a nice dark orange color with about a 1 inch head. A very strong flavor of fruit and alcohol. Still very drinkable and will get you thoroughly drunk if consumed in mass quantities. One of the better beers I've had in my limited beer drinking career.

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Photo of 1whiskey
4.65/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz twisty bottle. Went to pick up the bottle and the label came clean off. Sheesh...they still haven't fixed that? STILL????

Pours out an impressive near-glowing amber color, with a thick 2 finger head. Beautiful lacing as this sits for a while. As with all MR brews, this is bottle conditioned.

Fantastic aromas wafting up from this one. Sweet, sweet citrus (pineapple, grapefruit) and resinous pine/cedar notes. I'm salivating like crazy as this sits in front of me.

Biting melon rind bitterness meets my palate, but a solid caramel malt backbone fills in shorty. This is really smooth for the style, I have to pace myself here. This is a classic and well-rounded west coast hop bomb, and sweet nectar for me. Great yeasty esters assosciated with all of the MR beers is also evident here, albeit soaked in hoppiness.

Smooth, soft mouthfeel typical of bottle conditioned MR beers. Medium bodied with active carbonation. The is supremely drinkable despite the 8.6% ABV. I want more.

This is a worthy addition to Mad River's Steelhead line, and almost makes me miss Humboldt County. Good thing it's available in Oregon now. Highly recommended.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
4.64/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: A hazy, dull orange glow that has a unique quality to it, topped by a thick, three-finger white head that sticks around, and to the sides of the glass.

S: Fresh herbal and floral hop aroma, one that smells relaxed, somewhat piney, yet quite delicious. I could see myself sniffing this one like a glue addict all day.

T: Bold, yet balanced. I love it when brewers shoot for the big hop bombs but use the proper amount of malt to balance the flavor. This one has a spicy and floral hop flavor that doesn't kill the palate, and tastes great.

M: Lots of carbonation for a big, fluffy mouthfeel. Creamy in texture and oily from the hops as well.

D: Incredibly drinkable; this one gives you that feeling of tasting an ale made with fresh hops, only it's not. The laid-back nature and impeccable balance makes for an easy-drinking Double IPA that tastes amazing.

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Photo of ArrogantBastard
4.62/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was very impressed by this double IPA. I would highly recommend it to anybody, I will break it down into the usual catagories:

Appearance- Dark amber with slight orange

Smell- smells of sweet citrus. very floral, also hints of papaya.

Taste- starts off sweet, then goes very floral on the pallette, and finishes off bitter. a bit too bitter, but the toasted malt and grapefruit help to conceal the bitterness a bit.

Mouthfeel- goes down very smooth with just the right amount of carbonation. It makes you want to take that next swig...

Drinkability- Excellent for a double IPA. Very impressed. I actually like this better than Stone Ruination. I would buy this more often if I didn't have to go out of my way to purchase.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.57/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes Sep 21, 2008
A hazy Golden amber color with lots of creamy white head. The aroma is sweet caramel malt citrus/pine hops and bread. The flavor is awesome,nice thick mouthfeel,and the perfect balance of hops and malt with a heavy yeasty bready caramel backbone.The higher alcohol content is well hidden.I pick up one or two of these at the beer store now and then. VERY very good,like candy,reasonably priced too.

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Photo of ordybill
4.52/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has that malt and hop aroma. Smells real good
Appearance- This beer is a golden yellow with a nice white head.
Taste- Has a nice sweet flavor that finishes with a bitter end with a strong booze aftertaste (strong ABV. can easily be noticed) Tastes good.
Palate- A medium bodied brew with moderate carbonation. Has a slick feel to it, very enjoyable
Overall- I really liked this brew, if you can find it give it a whirl.

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Photo of t2thebro
4.52/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- thick copper, hazy pour, thick cream coloured two finger head. Good sticky lacing that follows down the whole glass.

S-balanced, malts and hops even out. Lots of malt and lots of bittering hops, just a hint of dry hop and alcohol.

T- wow, well balanced, I'd say medium malt, medium Bitterness, and a nice sweet hoppy biscuty finish, with just a touch of heat In the end. Alcohol is not dominant but you can tell its there.

M- low to medium carbonation. Full bodied, but not oily. Alcohol content gives it a bit more bite than it really has.

O- truly enjoyable, this beer has excellent balance. Drinkability is pretty good for a double ipa. Precise amount of alcohol. This style is tough and these guys totally pull it off. I will be back for more.

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Photo of Brent
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For a beer that gets relatively little buzz, I was quite impressed with this. Poured a slightly turbid ruby/amber. Nice hoppy aroma, hinting of citrus. Up front a touch peppery, with quick lemony hops bite. Follow-through was smooth. Surpisingly, and dangerously, drinkable, wiht the ETOH well-integrated in the flavor.

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Photo of oelergud
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stubby dark brown glass bottle, 120z. Green label awith a pair of jumping trouts. Steel gray twist-off cap.
Hazy copper brown body with low carbonation. Creamy head with a lemony tint and up to medium bubbles. Good retention and great lace.
Great smell of caramel, pine, hops and brown sugar.
The flavor is a strong hoppy caramel with lots of complexity and spice. Aftertaste of spiked, spicy hops mingled with caramel notes.
Creamy mouthfeel and a medium body. Some coating and a nice and dry finish.
Very drinkable. Smooth and creamy, interesting and good.


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Photo of Jedimaster1
4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great DIPA. It was recommended by the owner of the Liquor Collection when I was living In Hawaii.

A: Pours a deep, cloudy bronze color.

S: Smell is of hops and malt. Taking a quick whiff of this brew, the drinker will definitely get a hint of what's to come.

T: This thing tastes very hoppy and malty. As one reviewer pointed out, this taste is similar to a Barley Wine -- i.e., the sweet malt backbone cuts through the hops. The brew also finishes dry and refreshing.

M: This one hangs on your tongue after each sip -- which is a good thing.

D: Very drinkable, but because of the high ABV, having two is more than enough.

Great brew from Mad River! Now all I need to do is fined it out here in SoCal, lol.

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Photo of NEBeerWench
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer last night while sitting out on a deck, eating a piece of what has consistently been my favorite pizza since I was about 10 (the Chesapeake from Bottoms Up Pizza, of Richmond, VA). Call me stereotypical, but I honestly can't think of a better combination than a great IPA and pizza. Anyway, the Mad River Double IPA is one of the best: Unlike most double IPAs, which may have a tendency to be overwhelmingly hoppy or alcoholic in taste, the Mad River Double IPA was smooth and refreshing. Unlike many doubles, it seemed to focus on the overall, well-rounded taste of the beer, versus the hops factor or alcohol content. At first it was a bit bitter, but this soon gave way to a rich, warm taste that covered my tongue. It had a moderately clear appearance, a little on the dark side, with a small head that disappeared almost immediately.

Overall, I'd say that this is one of the better double IPAs that I've had. I'd definitely recommend it. I'd be interested to taste this from a bottle, to see if it holds up to its quality on-tap.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had in a snifter at Brickskeller

A: great lacing; copper color; beautiful head
S: gorgeous bouquet; very sweet, hoppy
T: outstanding, complex, very hoppy; a bit salty?
M: very rich and creamy in the mouth

Definitely a very solid IPAx2. Get you one.

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Photo of shizzdog
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Cloudy unfiltered orange with a nice foamy head and minimal lacing.

Smell: Starts off with a sweet malt followed by a great combination of pine and floral hoppiness.

Taste: Caramel Malts on the initial sip which goes directly into a nice citrus hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, great medium carbonation, nice finish with a little alcohol warming.

Drinkability: I was amazed at how well balanced this beer was. Great hop/malt balance but not your typical hop bomb.Easy drinking for 8.6% abv

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Photo of chocosushi
4.44/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Traded my infected Basement Batch in for this
single at Freeman's, making it only .56 cents.
Thanks Kyle

12 oz ->Anchor steam pint

A ~ Very cloudy Mahogany that I can hardly see through.
This is a color that I like to see in IIPAs

S ~ Pinecone, Mint, with a little spicy scent that I cant place my finger on. There's some muted fruitier smells down in there as well, but they don't hop out at you. (not a pun)
Not a whole lot for a double.

T ~ WOW. Flipping my expectations out. Nice flavor throughout thats like fresh baked Wheat bread drenched in fresh Grapefruit juice! I'm not kidding. Whole bunch of freshly grated lemons & a Bit of juniper and coniferous forest flavors. Only a little bit of sappy hit on the way, way back of the throat.
Now In my top favorite IIPAs as a matter of fact.

M ~ Perfect carbonation and creamy mouth. Literally like whipped-creamy. Bit of that citrus/grass bite on the tongue with the sap flavors in the throat that remind you of what you just drank.
Nice balance that's not too malt forward that I notice certain breweries go for when they are attempting to balance a IIPA

D ~ Incredibly drinkable as a single, arguably sessionable sans the 8.6 ABV. They seriously could not approve this one anymore. Balanced without being too bread-y, with the appropriate amount of alcohol for the style without being too flabby and boozy.

Kudos for this recommendation it exceeded my expectation and has opened the Mad River door for me.
Seek this one out.

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Photo of VitoFerrante
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a complete surprise. It was given to me by an industry person to try, knowing I am a monster DIPA unfiltered fan! The likes of Artic Panzer Wolf, Heady, and others of the style attract me. I was blown away. This is an accessible example of the style that really shows its chops. Juicy, hoppy, very little boozy smell and taste that many examples of the style have. West Coast pedigree taste, appearance, and smell. And you can buy it!!! This may be my new "go to" for a DIPA. It really compares to Alchemy Hour, Sucks, and many others of this echelon, but is available all year round. You can see the juicy bits floating around in this beer like so many others that are much harder to get. Buy this beer!

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Photo of chickenflea
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - A hazy deep orange that looks like honey. Three-finger pillowy head with good retention and lacing. Noticed a lot of unexpected unfiltered sediment in the last pour. I am guessing it is bottle conditioned.

S - smells like a orange juice. Malty aroma balances the citrus hops. A touch of yeast is present as well.

T - Very smooth. Its a honey biscuit with a grapefruit juice chaser. The three flavors are very well balanced for the style. I don't think I have had an IPA with this high of a yeast profile. But it is pleasant and not overdone. A long finish give you your money's worth with every sip.

M - Mouthfeel is what it should be for the style. Creamy and a touch sticky. Medium to full bodied and almost creamy.

D - Balance gives this beer high drinkability. My second Mad River brew. So far I am impressed.

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Photo of cokes
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
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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Photo of DrDemento456
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice hazy amber with a fine inch of head

S - Semi bitter hops and slight sweet malt.

T - Ow wow that's clean! The taste of the hops and malts together come off well, almost like a regular IPA but its hard to believe it at almost 9 percent. Mostly Grapefruit and citrus hops too. Very nice.

M - Clean and crisp with little ABV bite.

D - I feel I could almost do a six pack but thankfully it is only singles so far, and the price of the sixer at least 15 dollars. Still worth it though for a nice drinkable DIPA.

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Photo of C20Percent
4.39/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*Review taken from notes*

A: Hazy bronze. Nice white-tan head. Lots of sediment out of this bottle. Maybe a bit too much. Definitely more than I'm used to.

S: Lots of citrus aroma here. Grapefruit. Mostly subtle, though.

T: Strong citrus flavor. Sour grapefruit. Puckering taste. I think the flavor here. Some IPAs come across as dull in the flavor area. I like the risks taken here.

M: Medium to heavy body.

O: Very good long-lasting flavor. Might be the biggest citrus tasting IPA I've ever had. Incredibly refreshing. Alcohol is very well managed. I'd give this beer an "A" letter grade.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

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Steelhead Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 408 ratings.