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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

779 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 779
Reviews: 403
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 24
Gots: 33 | 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: 779 | Reviews: 403 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThirstySavage
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of brauseboof
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of derkfromwi
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of DMB
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

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%

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

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Clear and the color of slightly watered down tea. White head on top of about one finger in size. Very nice retention and a great deal of lacing down the sides of the glass.

Aroma was a bit lacking. A touch of citrus hop and a bit of caramel malt. Not too much else. I was slightly disregarded in this aspect of the beer.

Pretty good flavors. Fruity and slightly sweet. A very small touch of hop bitterness. Pretty big on the malt as well, making the hops seem less apparent. Sweet in the finish.

A little too light in the body. Slightly alcoholic taste as well with some heat. Not too bad. Closer to an IPA but good nonetheless.

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 metter98
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy copper in color and has a high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: There are moderate aromas of citrus and pine resin hops in the nose along with some notes of caramel malts.
T: The taste has a light to moderate amount of bitterness and is well balanced between flavors of citrus hops and caramel malts. The initial taste has some hints of malty sweetness and there are some notes of alcohol in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied, smooth and a bit crisp on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is quite filling for the style and tastes strong, so I doubt that I could drink more than one of these at a time.

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

Fair Double India Pale Ale

Pours a tad darkish copper amber [a little dark for me]

Nice head that dwindles to a thin ring in the glass

Very malty aroma, not much hop action, maybe just a tad.

Fairly good balance, it is a DIPA after all, and while some dipa's are sweeter than bitter, this is less sweeter than bitter.

Not the best aftertaste I've ever had, but this could be somewhat oxidized. {probably need to try a fresher one some day}

I suppose I'll never meet a DIPA couldn't enjoy, but this is probably toward the lower end.

Yeah, I'd like to try this again.

Photo of ChazMania
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled. I think this is a good sample of a straight ahead double ipa. If you have had alot of different offerings of this style, then this will be middle of the road. If I'm introducing someone to this style, then this a great entree. A little cloudy orange, hop aroma and thick/creamy on the tongue. Leaves with a highly hopped up residual flavor. Very drinkable, I could have a number of these in one sitting and not get bored.

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 ncvbc
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Trying this thanks to Zorro as an extra.

Pour was a murky and deep amber with medium white head and tiny spots of lacing. It has a pulpy appearance similar to HopSlam or Hopsickle but not as impressive.

Smell was more on the piney side for hops though lightly sugared grapefruit was noticeable with blood oranges in there as well. Bready tones coming up here also and caramel malts helped provide some backing.

A softer, less intense Double when it came to taste. This was kind of a boarderline between an IPA and it's Imperial kin. Double, Imperial, whatever you wish. It had more citrus hops pouring through in taste and a good bit of malt backbone, moreso than picked up in the nose. This one seems to lean more toward balance than dominance when it comes to hops and malts. Not bad.

Mouthfeel is somewhat sticky and resinous from grapefruit oils and piney hops. Sweet caramel malts also add to this sensation accompanied by a bite of hops and burn of alcohol.

Overall I'd say this one is drinkable. It's not a hop monster and more of a tamed beast in the department which it resides, making it a go to brew for me.

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

dark copper color w/particles suspended in its murky depths. poured a big foamy head that receeds and leaves a silky lacing on pint glass.

very floral smell, slight citrus possibly lemon.

tastes great. hoppy sweet/sour bitterness without much of an aftertaste.

no film left after tasting. just a nice clean finish. very smooth.

very drinkable, not as overpowering as some others i've had.

Photo of jwolfie70
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Bistro DIPA fest. Poured a standard reddish copper color, with a thick white head. The head stuck around in the glass even after the sample was gone. Aroma was muted for the style, but was still heavy on the hops. The taste was standard for a DIPA, and was not out of whack in either direction (i.e. too much hops, or too sweet). A good DIPA, but not necessary worth searching for.

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Cloudy, murky dark gold with sediment floaties. Nice head retention and a copper hue throughout.

S: Initial smell is malt bomb. Smells like a fruity malt. Notes of cherries and coffee. Hop notes are floral in character. I don't get much citrus.

T: Malty up front. Pronounced alcohol presence, like whiskey, in the middle of the body, which turns quickly to the bitter hops that were detectable in the aroma. Not for the faint of heart. A real manly beer.

D: This one is just too malty for my liking in a DIPA to kill more than two or three in a sitting.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep cloudy amber color. Head is a pinky finger high. Retains well. Leaves mild lacing.

S-Lighter nose of malty sweetness and citrus. Oranges. Too light for the style. Needs to be much more assertive. I don't like my DIPAs to be mellow in the nose. Rarely a good sign. But what is there in the nose is pretty pleasant.

T-Flavor is citrusy and grassy. The citrus is pretty lively and ripe. Is definitely an upgrade from the nose. Quite sweet too. A very balanced DIPA. Light alcohol warms the cheeks. Simple, balanced, and straightforward.

M-Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Not very bitter or resinous. Now seeing that this is nearly 9% alcohol, I am impressed by how well the alcohol is hidden throughout.

O/D-The local store has an absurd discount on most of the Steelhead beers. $4.99 a six-pack is ridiculous. May be on the back 9 in terms of freshness, but its very drinkable. If this wasn't so cheap I wouldn't re-buy it though.

Photo of LukeD23
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour - slightly light copper with minimal head retention

aroma - pinapple, tangerine and lemon zest backed with subtle bread notes

taste - Very nice hop flavors that seem balanced and subdued for style. I like the malt backbone to the beer...I would rate this higher if it were a normal IPA, not DIPA.

Mouthfeel - almost perfect for style, medium body with a dry finish

Drinkablity - I could drink a couple pints of this, alcohol is not noticed.. a bit dangerous

overall- I like this one, but the hop aroma is lacking for me for this style. I wish it wer a bit lower alcohol.

Photo of iPaleAle
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured two ways; Duvel Tulip and ENG pub pint.

A: A very cloudy IPA color... cloudy copper... cloudy pale ale in-fact...

S: A very sweet smelling aroma with piny notes. You can smell the hops Mad...

M: its always carbonated till the last drink. A strong grapefruit finish afterward. It lingers in your mouth.

T: Every time i take a sip it always feels like grapefruit. its a very sweet n sour pale. Sweet malts with the strong piny hops.

D: Starts with hops all the way through. It had great balance with the hops and malts. You forget your drinking a Double IPA.

I could see my self drinking another sixer of this.

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a nice, rocky head that dots the pint glass

Smell: Apricot and pink grapefruit with an underlying caramel presence

Taste: Starts with a sweet blend of caramel and apricot/citrus that is joined by a pithy sensation in the mid-palate; after the swallow, the beer becomes very sweet, but there is an undertone of aggressive bitterness bordering on aspirin that lingers well afterwards

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not a bad DIPA at all; the sweet and bitter flavors fight rather than blend - but that would be my only complaint

Photo of ABHatter
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz btl with no freshness date into 16oz tumbler.

Pours a murky orange/copper color with loads of sediment floating around. Smell up front is mostly honey, a little caramel maltiness ,mild citrus aromas and a touch of alcohol on the end.
I was hoping for a little more hop aromas, But they were just not there.

Taste is pretty damm good! Sweet malty entry gives way to a nice grapefruity hop rush, then the malt strikes back with another toasty bready sweeetness finishing off with another delicate hop rush. Mouthfeel is also exceptional due to the great balance.

Drinkibility was very good. At 8.6% abv I found this to be quite drinkable and also very tasty beer. Epic battle of Malt VS Hops. If this was a boxing match it would be a 12 round no decision. Overall a very good well balanced beer from Mad River.

Photo of woemad
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle picked up at The Rocket Market in Spokane for $1.40. No freshness date.

Poured a hazy copper-ish color, with the faintest skiff of white foam that then vanished into a few odd bubbles. A very few spots of lace were to be seen on the sides of my glass.

The nose is hoppy, but not hugely so. Citrus and pine scents can be gleaned. Doesn't smell like a hop bomb, though, and there's no sign of the high abv.

The taste is a bit more complex than the nose. It starts out with a citrusy, Amarillo hop bite, with piney notes piling on. At the swallow is a more herbal hop bitterness. Malts are pretty mellow, lending a vague, bready quality but otherwise being pretty unobtrusive. Like in the nose, there's no sign of the 8.5% abv.

Medium bodied, with a slightly watery mouthfeel. Could be worse, but could definitely be better.

Drinkable, but not one I feel the need to go back to anytime soon. Certainly not when I can get double IPAs like Sculler's or Hop Wallop, as is currently the case.

Photo of JMD
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy light copper color iwht peachy tones. Small head that fades quickly and leaves a small amount of lacing.

S: hoppy aroma with big notes of citrus and pine. Some sweet malt is present as well to balance it out.

T: Bready upfront with soemo carmel sweetness. Big citrus hop flavors follow with fresh grapefruit and lemon zest.

M: Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

D: This is a good DIPA, but not my favorite. There are other better alternatives to this one, but I'm glad I tried it.

Photo of daledeee
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried one bottle instead of a six pack. Never heard of this brewery.

Poured really cloudy rust with off white head and great lacing.

Nose has some hops with malt but not powerful.

Taste is a little odd. The finish is quite hoppy but the front end is a little twisted. Plenty of citrus and hops and plenty of malt but it is just not right.

Mouthfeel is pretty good but overall there are just many more that beat this one. As with most of these. They taste better right off the press so maybe I should go out there and try one.

Steelhead Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 779 ratings.