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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
Reviews: 408 | Hads: 812
Photo of meadhead
4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is solid
Big Citrus,
Pine berry
dominant hop
slight malt balance
not too sweet
easy bitter finish
good drinking IPA

Pours a nice hazy brown orange
with a less than stellar head
which vanishes too quickly

Has a potent aromatic
primarily Citrus hop smell

The mouthfeel is good
with a nice mix of bitter hop carbonation and syurpy
malt sweetness

Drinkability is excellent
given its spiked ABV
Sips or swigs
with plenty of hoppy nuance

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Photo of Talisker
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to friend and BA'er gclarkage for grabbing a bottle for me.

Pours a cloudy orange - decent amount of yeast in this bottle (much of which made it into my glass before I figured out what was going on)! Head a light orangish tan, about two fingers. Lacing sticks around beautifully througout.

Aroma is straightforward but exceptional juicy American hops - some pine, but more citrus. Taste integrates nicely - hops are the star, but there's enough malt to support them without going too far into syrupiness like too many DIPAs. A little bit of puckering dryness on the finish, almost makes you want to take a sip of water between sips of beer.

An excellent beer, and a nice bridge into the DIPA style if you're accustomed to the standard California IPA.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden-orange color with a small ring of creamy white head. A ton of tiny suspended particles don't ever quite settle. Aroma of spicy floral hops, some lighlty sweet caramel malt, and a bit of light sweet fruit. Palate is superb - an excellent balance between huge hop flavor and mellow sweet malt. Body is substantial and just a little bit sticky. A highly drinkable brew that's generally a great value at under $2/bottle.

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Photo of mickeymac
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a fan of Mad River brews, I was happy to see the DIPA in our beer-deprived county. My expectations of something special were met. Out of a 12-ounce bottle with a twist cap, it's a very pleasant goldish-orange with a medium white head. A fairly substantial amount of yeast lingered at the bottom of the bottle. Out of habit, I left it in the bottle with a bit of beer and knocked it down before moving on to the glass. The smell is mainly piney hops with a hint of citrus and a nice malt backbone. The taste comes across as slightly more bitter than expected but still well balanced. The alchol is not overwhelming, either in the smell or taste. The mouthfeel is more or less par for the course for a DIPA, as is the drinkability. It's certainly not an all-day beer, but it's quite drinkable for an 8.5% beer. I have yet to be disappointed by Mad River.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark copper and hazy, some light dregs left behind in the bottle. A moderate quarter inch head of off-white fell within two minutes, making way for a few streaks of lacework and a skimming of foam on top.
Aromatics are fruit-laden and zesty. Plenty of citrusy, tropical notes and a hint of pine sap. Tangerine, pear and grapefruit dusted with powdered sugar. The nose is somewhat subdued for a DIPA, but I have no idea how old the bottle is, so we'll cut 'em some slack.
The mouthfeel is creamy and crisp, with some lingering stickyness.
Ripe fruit and hop resin abound on the pallet, with plenty of snappy citrus zest and a firm alcohol backbone. Malt is subdued, as expected, and a smooth, lingering bitterness helps keep residuals in check.
Finishes with lingering fruit and warming residuals.

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Photo of rallison
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Thick amber color. Somewhat cloudy. Two finger white head that reduces to light lacing.

S: Citrusy, somewhat sweet.

T: Good bit of citrusy hops. Some malt sweetness to balance it. Good amount of flavor.

M: Pretty thick, slightly syrupy. Full bodied.

D: Pretty drinkable, but the richer mouthfeel hurts the drinkability some.

Altogether enjoyable. Recommended.

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Photo of thepitch
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Took the bottle from my fridge (which admittedly is too cold at the moment) and poured into a clean pint glass.

Beer looks great and I was able to extract a pretty dense head from it with a rather aggressive pour. Head is a nice shade of cream with average sized bubbles. Slight thick lacing around the glass and the head is fading pretty fast. It is a rich dark golden amber brown color. Would have scored higher were it not for a slight haze.

Aroma is slight of sweet hops. The beer is extremely full bodied, but not extremely complex. Tastes syrupy, pleasantly bitter, sweet with strong hints of alcohol and a pine aftertaste. Good but not necessarily memorable.

The mouthfeel of the beer is thick and mildly carbonated. This would be an interesting beer to drink to compare with other double IPAs but unfortunately on this early Sunday night it is not unique enough to leave me fully satisfied. Glad I tried it but it probably won't make it into heavy rotation any time soon.

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a "local" brewery so I always hope for the best. From a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass poured a murky golden to dark orange with a medium white head that left nice clean lacing. Fairly solid nose of hops and citrus with a touch of apricots. Mouthfeel is nothing special, and the flavor is of malts, fruits, flowers, and a touch of pine. Generally very complex flavors. The alcohol is well hidden. Finish is bitter as befitting an IPA. But the double IPA competition is fierce these days, and while the price is right, this does not quite measure up to the top hitters. Not a bad brew and I am glad to see Mad River come out with a double.

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Photo of ChazMania
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange color. A lot of floaties-obviously a bottle conditioned beer. Huge level of lacing on down the glass. Nice, full hopped aroma. Soft malty flavor with a moderate blast of hop bitterness. Mellow,somewhat astringent bitterness in the finish. Good mouthfeel. Very-and at 8.5%-dangerously drinkable. Damn enjoyable.

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Photo of Matthew
3.21/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazey copper color with a good 1/4 inch of off white head, low retention.
Considering that this is a double IPA the hop aroma is pretty weak IMO. There is a grassy and floral tone to the aroma with a very light watery sweetness. The aroma isn't bad, just not all that good imo.
Very slight hop bite, floral, light citrus, a bit earthy with decent sized malty backbone that almost stomps out the hoppiness in the finish.
Decent mouthfeel. Medium bodied with middle of the road levels of carbonation.
The alcohol is very well hidden in this beer, but if you are looking to drink a double IPA I'd suggest that this doesn't contain the hop character you are probably looking for. This isn't a totally bad beer by any means....just of the mark of my understanding of the style.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very unattractive pour. Pale, hazy, cloudy peach color. The beer tries to form a head, but instead forms a lace that looks like one of those bald men that try to comb what hair they have over the bald spot to cover it up. It's an unimpressive appearance.
As I get to the aroma the beer starts to impress me. Very sweet in a cloying way. It's like the beer is trying to seduce you with out you realizing your being seduced. Nice fruity aroma. It's not the usual citrus and pine smell in other beers of the style. It's more of a mango and orange smell. After being let down with the appearance, my hopes are now high after the aroma.
Flavor: It's weird...This beer has a lot of malt flavors. Caramel and sugar sweetness. And, it has a lot of hop flavors. Grapefruit and orange. But I wouldn't call it balanced. It's almost like at the beginning the beer is too sweet and it's too bitter at the finish. It's not bad, but it could be much better.
Mouthfeel is good. The hops really shine here. Sticky and very oily. The bitterness and/or the alcohol add a nice little tingle and warming to the mouth.
Drinkability. In some aspects this beer has a lot going for it. In other aspects it underachieves. Overall it's not a bad beer, but you could do better.

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Photo of maek228
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: A murky, bright, burnt orange with a small but frothy head. The head clings to the glass nicely all the way down the glass. Overall, a traet for the eyes

Smell: Fresh and hoppy....but nothing to prevelant.

Taste: Fresh, crisp, with a long oily hop finish.

Mouthfeel: crisp

Drinkability: These would be easy to put back

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Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Westsidethreat

Pours a cloudy amberish color, nice carbonation, nice small head, some nice islands and sticky going on. Scents of hops, slight malts, citrus, spices, and caramel. The taste is hoppy, slightly sweet, nice touch of citrus, the finish has a nice bitter bite and slightly dry. Medium body. Very drinkable, a very nice DIPA from this brewery, would recommend.

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Photo of Callenak
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass…

Pours a nice pale orange with a good white head. Looks to have been bottle conditioned, an obvious haze to it.

Smells good. Loads of continental hops; citrus and a little pine. Very appealing.

Taste was pleasant. A good malt balance to back up the hops but not to malty like some east coast DIPA's. A solid hop presence but not nearly as much as some DIPA's I've had. You could have told me this was just a slightly hoppier regular IPA and I wouldn't bat an eye. Doesn't have much of an alcohol burn either.

Overall, not a relatively enjoyable beer. Not blown away but not appalled either. It's just nice to be able to get a DIPA in CA that doesn't come in a bomber. Makes me much more prone to open one.

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Photo of SacoDeToro
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a murky amber with no head.

Citrus and herbal notes in the hop aroma. A good caramel malt came through with some alcohol.

The flavor of the beer had a good assertive bitterness with a nice caramel maltiness to back it up. It wasn't over the top on either end.

The mouthfeel was on the lighter side considering it's amber color, but that aided in its drinkability so that's a plus. The carbonation seemed dialed in just right.

This was a solid beer and a very drinkable amber double IPA. It's about time Mad River made a new beer.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.34/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I saw this for the first time @ beverage warehouse and was inclined to pick up a couple six packs based on my great experiance with mad river brewing. Poured into a pounder glass it takes an aggressive pour to form a thin head. Orange body and no lace. Not impressive to look at but who really cares? not me.

Lots of piney and resinous hops but overall its a tame double IPA. Sweet and tame is the theme. A rather mundane grapefruit presence without the zip or citrus angle. Vegetables start to appear but only for a second and they are squashed by the sweet hop/malt backbone.

Notes: I love this brewery but this was a dissapointment. Sweet malts detract from a rather boring hop profile, considering the style. Hops come across more in the mouthfeel than the taste. Apple pie seems to be the finishing note with a touch of cinnamon. OK, not great, decent price.

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Photo of unclederby
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I suppose this is the right spot to review this beer. The bottle calls it Steelhead Double IPA... anyway.

A vigorous pour yields a hazy orange ale with a one finger head that disappears rather quickly. However, only a few sips reveals nice, sticky lacing. Nose is malty sweet (candy-like) and a dead ringer for apricots. A bit of swirling brings out the hoppy character of the brew: spicy and floral, perhaps centennial. Taste is also malty/sweet with the aforementioned apricot up front after which a medium dose of hops introduce themselves. Hops are orange accented with a bit of minty like pineyness. The finish is off-dry with a lingering, slightly aspirin-like bitterness. Nothing overpowers here... Mouthfeel is more creamy than syrupy and medium-full with noticeable carbonation. This is not a huge DIPA but it is still unique and tasty and i could drink a few of these in a session. Alcohol is well-masked.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rusty red and unfiltered. Head appears to have a decent creamy consistency, just a bit of white into the beige territory.

S: Pink grapefruit, lemon drops, red fruits and just a touch of pine.

T: Begins with solid caramel malts with some earthy hop tastes. Spritzy lemon juice tantalizes the lips while lemon rind creates the first wave of bitterness. Some butterscotch and red fruit notes add a nice base for the citrus to work on. Finishes very much so grapefruit with a sugary hop personality.

M: Medium body, fairly smooth and fitting for the style.

D: This beer is going really well with the chees, crackers and prosciutto.

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Photo of DrJay
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pint was mostly clear with an orange/amber colour. The cream coloured head had a yellowish cast and was composed of fine bubbles that showed good retention and solid lacing, even forming rings marking each sip. Fresh hop aroma with lots of citrus (grapefruit and tangerine) along with faint pine. Mellow, but nice. Mild bitterness (for a DIPA) with caramel malt sweetness throughout. Citrusy, piney hops filled out the middle and it finished with plenty of grapefruit, light alcohol warmth, and linger hop bitterness. Medium bodied with refined carbonation, nearly silky texture. This is a nicely balanced, pleasant beer. I found the bitterness a little too mild though, although it did come forward in the finish once the malt fell away.

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Photo of stephendr
3.37/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz glass bottle - Dull brown murky appearance– nice white head– nose of fresh hops, cannabis , sweet fruits , and alcohol – heavy to medium body – initial taste is sweet then turns bitter , hops , malt and coffee - aftertaste malty chocolate , and bitter

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dual fish jumping out of the river label that indicates 8.6% ABV. $6.95 a six pack.

Pours with a golden sunset rusty orange hazy hue topped with a settled patchy vanilla head cap covering a few scant bubbles rising.

Bright peach nose of citrus fruity sweetness. Bubblegum nose underlies a floral character.

First swigs: Sweet balance of orange and malt solid start. Sugared tea of orange pekoe, bubble gum and orange juice pulp. Middle of Pez candy sugar and peach nectar. Fruity sugary sweet.

Feel is tightly carbonated with a chewy surup thickness. ABV Is hidden under a fell bodied 2IPA.

Last swigs: Subtle bubble gum orange balanced 8.6% 2IPA. Becomes a tad cloying towards the end.

Beer is good. Happy balanced beering.

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Photo of LongBeachHopHead
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mad River Steelhead Double IPA 8.6% A.B.V.
Purchased at BevMo in Cypress, Ca.

Appearance: An amber hue, slightly murky with very little head that disipates within minutes. Great color and definitely inviting.

Smell: On first swirl I get a very bitter and hoppy upfront nose with a hint of slightly sweet breadlike malt. There is a large presence of floral hops and alcohol.

Taste: A good usage of hops with a subtle sweet malty background. Aftertaste is a dry bitter one with a slight burning sensation due to the higher alcohol. An above average Double IPA with a good amount of flavor. Not as grassy and piney as I like them.

Mouthfeel: I don't particularly like the burn that is left behind from the unbalanced alcohol appearance. The viscosity is high and immediately coats the tongue with the large amount of bittering units.

Drinkability: I could drink a couple of these but that's it. I enjoy the complexity of the beer and would say that it improves the image that I had of Mad River.

A great offering by Mad River. I will pick up a sixer when I see it again. Worthy of a couple spots on the middle shelf.

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Photo of clickpush
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 12oz bottle to tulip glass. Comes out with a three finger light tan head over a slightly cloudy orange/amber brew. Lots of bubbles along the sides of the glass. Head descends quite slowly, sticking to the glass all the way down and forming big plump bubbles as the smaller ones unionize. Descent stops with a thick smattering over the surface of the beer, and the webs that remain on the glass are as thick and opaque as the cap itself. Extremely inviting.

Nose: Very hop forward and presenting some winter spices: clove notes, lime and grapefruit, and some sweet balance of malt. A bit on the faint side.

Mouth: Sour and bitter, lacking the complexity of the aroma. Malts are present up front and are lightly sweet with flavor of sweat peas. Puckering occurs along interior of my cheeks, and the hops leave big lasting bitter aftertaste. A bit of warmth accompanies the exhale, though no flavor. Mouthfeel seems a bit weak, but with small bubbled carbonation throughout remains drinkable nonetheless. A little bit funky.

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