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Steelhead Double India Pale Ale - Mad River Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

743 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 743
Reviews: 399
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.05%
Wants: 26
Gots: 24 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-18-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 743 | Reviews: 399 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
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!

Beerandraiderfan, May 25, 2010
Photo of largadeer
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh 12 oz bottle into a tulip. The body is a murky, dirty amber, even without the contribution of the yeast at the bottom of the bottle. A steady stream of carbonation rises to the surface, feeding half an inch of off-white head.

The aroma is yeasty, hoppy, very raw. The hops have an evergreen quality to them and there's a faint bready malt presence. The yeast is strangely dominant for the style.

Hops are stronger on the palate, pine-like with a semi-astringent resiny bitterness. Very yeasty and raw, it's a bit metallic up-front with subtle ale yeast fruitiness. Beyond a bit of bready malt character there isn't much sweetness here, and it finishes quite bitter, almost astringent. This is solid and enjoyable stuff, but not quite in the upper echelon of DIPAs.

largadeer, May 13, 2010
Photo of jwinship83
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle picked up on a recent trip to kentucky. no visible freshness information. drank from sierra nevada hop tulip glass.

A- this one pours out a murky reddish orange colored body with a small off white colored head. the head lasts for a while and leaves behind a wall of lacing. very nice.

S- sweet bready and caramel like malts are the first things that i notice. after that comes the hops, which arnt as dominant as i would have liked. fruity pineapple mixed with grapefruit and pine. smells somewhat balanced.

T- starts out with some sweet caramel and a little bit of toasted bread. after that comes some tropical fruit like hops. pineapple and something else that i cant quite put a finger on. theres a healthy dose of pine and grapefruit as well.

M- full bodied and syrupy with a lowish level of carbonation.

D- i was pleasantly surprised with this one. a little more balance than i normally like in my DIPAs, but this one pulls it off nicely. good price point also. ill check this out again.

jwinship83, May 11, 2010
Photo of Jpatrix
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into pint glass. A hazed light orange amber. Lot's of carbonation resulted in a large head, even with a careful pour. Smell was a malty,citrus smell with hint's of hops. Taste was a bit thin but enjoyable with a orange hint int he malt. A nice drinkable beer.

Jpatrix, May 04, 2010
Photo of camp0474
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip.

A: Pours a clouded orange-amber color with a frothy off-white head.

S: Heavy malt aroma with faint citrus and earthy hops.

T: Smooth flavor of citrus hops and sweet malt. Well balanced, not what I was expecting from this DIPA. So balanced that the flavors seem very subdued, there is no shinning stars (hops or malt) here. Flavors fades into a more acidic pine from hop oils with a slight alcohol burn.

M/D: Medium body and high carbonation, maybe a little too much. The solid balance makes this beer very drinkable. But I personally was expecting more hops characters. Solid beer.

camp0474, May 02, 2010
Photo of chickenflea
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

chickenflea, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of kaseydad
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer and I am glad I did. The two lovely trout's breaching their way upstream. Now that's some good eatin'! Pint glass pour with an apricot colored ale and a bright white frothy head which dissipates quikly. A rather malty aroma with apricots, grapes and oranges in the air. The taste has a nice tangy grapefruit-like character and leaves bitterness on the tongue with a hearty malty backbone, which evens the taste out. Salivation occurs after the sip. This drinks a lot smoother than the 8.6% states. Multiples are easily attainable but the alcohol haze can stay for awhile.

Overall: I recall drinking this a few years back and then never ventured to it until recently. This is a well done Double IPA from the Mad River crew. It's a little more malty than I like my DIPA, but is solid nonetheless.

kaseydad, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of jmerloni
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Absolutely fantastic. A deep hazy pink-orange that looks like red grapefruit juice. Monstrous pillowy head with ridiculous retention and lacing. This baby took me forever to pour. Wow! There are also a lot of unfiltered aspects that make it look very appealing.

S - smells like a chocolate orange; a lot of citrus hops and yeast. Biscuity. Smells creamy.

T - SO smooth. A citrus biscuit with hops that dance and yet don't attack the tastebuds. Earthy! You look forward to every sip. Refreshing and summery. Malty on the end and you can taste the chocolate orange.

M - As stated, very very smooth. Medium to full bodied and almost creamy. Not overcarbonated at all. Everything is in balance and just right with a nice dry alcoholic finish like a scotch ale.

D - More drinkable than most imperials because the hops are subdued from all the smoothness. This beer makes sense - it's very rational and I'm impressed with it. I'll be getting this again soon.

jmerloni, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass, it reveals an orange color with a thick creamy head.

floral boquet of hops and malts in the nose.

I was surprised how malt forward this brew was when the hops really dominated the smell. But the hops are in the back end, and there is some good bittering. Nice and sweet with hints of caramel. the alcohol is hidden well. It's pretty balanced, but i'd say the malt reveals itself more than anything. Very solid taste, but not quite enough hops like I was hoping for.

This brew almost seems creamy, and is medium-full bodied with mild carbonation.

A solid offering, I bought a single and i'd like to try this again sometime. Due to the higher ABV i'd probably wouldn't have more than 2 at a time.

wolfinthemirror, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of Ricochet
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It's got floaties! Poured with them, and looked cloudy burnt amber with little head, and a lace damn near a glass of water.

It was , well, more towards prune juice in smell than anything. Slight Juicy fruit , but overall, nothing more than average.

Very creamy wash with a bitter, lingering aftertaste. More raisin and some licorice inserts itself.

Well, that about says it all. It may be a little watery, but the aftertaste is the taste. The harshness of an imperial is not masked, but the flavor is. Hops punch is mild for an imperial and so is bitter.

Balanced and good, a decent DIPA but I want more whallop when I want a DIPA.

Ricochet, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of biker30x
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bottle into a pint with a thin and short-lived head and ultimately very little lacing. A rich honey golden color with a deep haze and a scent of flowers and a hint of bubble gum along with more standard malty notes of caramel and hints of piny hops. In my mouth it was satisfyingly viscous for a DIPA with just the right amount of carbonation. Very malty which balanced the punch in the mouth of the hops. Flavors of caramel, butterscotch lend structure to the sharp bitter bite of hops and a sharp finish and after-taste of resin. For no discernible reason, I thought this beer would suck, I'm thinking that I thought the label looked cheap? Happy to say, I was wrong. This is a solid DIPA. While it doesn't stand out as amazing in any category, neither does it fail in any of them either. At 8.6abv, this isn't a beer for the whole evening and there are better DIPAs out there, but this one was pretty good.

biker30x, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of tavernjef
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep foggy peach color with a decent medium capped top of firm, mealy, foam that stays for a bit before leveling out to a good skim and big stretches of thick globby stringed lacing.

Aroma is mostly of malt and is not really all that potent or strong for a Dbl. IPA. It has some dryish caramel and light toasted bread crust. Hops are lighter still with some fresh leafyness and a pinch of resinous floral pollen.

Taste is very mild on the hops and medium to full on the malt wihtout much length to what's there. Mostly dry caramel tones with a tender smooth undertow of sweet bready malt. Hops show up a notch towards the end with some earthy floral dryness and chalky leafyness.

Body is a smooth bold medium body with a substantial malt load thats quite decent to drink. Dryish earthy finish that does have a bit of twist in it. Subtle and uneventful. So as Dbl. IPA's go this is fairly tame and weak-ended on the hops complexity, tone, and flare. This really doesn't say much on any level of hops, but it is a good enough brew to drink with the style points set aside.

tavernjef, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of jdense
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle purchased at Whole Foods Hollywood PDX poured into tulip glass 2.22.10.

One finger white head, quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Orangish amber clear body, some visible carbonation. The nose is peachy, citrus, lots of spicy hops. Taste is peaches once again, citrus, with a good bit of bitterness on backend. Not a fiully carbonated mouthfeel. Too peachy for me, though note that this aspect was minimized as beer warmed to room temperature. I sipped my way through this was, not the most tasty of DIPAs, IMO.

jdense, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of Natural510
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I haven't had one of these in years; quite possibly the first DIPA I ever tried. Here we go...

Nice, bright orange color with a stationary haziness. Not much in the way of head retention or lacing, tho.
Juicy citric scent of orange marmalade and jasmine.
Sweet malt heaviness with juicy notes and a bitter aftertaste. Earthy, forest-like finish.
Nicely drinkable, but not as well-rounded and full-bodied as you usually find in the style. More of an everyday DIPA, as opposed to others which test the limits of what great beer can be.

Natural510, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of JMD
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

JMD, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of RedBrewer83
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aggressive pour into tulip...

A: Pours a golden orange hue with ruby hints and a massive four finger creamy head that seems to hang in the balance, very impressive with excellent lacing left behind.

S: Solid citrus and pine aromas of fresh hops just a little muted, expected a bigger nose from this beer.

T: Excellent grapefruit, tangerine and some sticky resinous piney hops as well, all balanced by a well rounded caramel malt profile. Heavy pine resin bitterness on the finish that really lingers long after the swallow. Solid flavor profile just needs a little balance.

M: Medium body with very active carbonation that fades quickly to a smooth finish. Finishes dry and the bitterness lingers awhile. Abv goes unnoticed.

D: Pretty smooth and drinkable, needs more balance to be more quaffable but nice for 8.6%. Would definitely pick this up again.

RedBrewer83, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of oregonskibum
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Cloudy, light amber-orange color with a little sendiment. Thick creamy off-white head, heavy lacing.

S: Lots of piney hops with a little citrus in the background.

T: Hops seem somewhat dulled. The green piney flavors are there, but didn't carry through as much as expected. Fairly malty and oddly not well balanced. What happened to the hops?

M: Chewy. Medium+ body. A little too much for the hop profile. Feel like I just finished eating a wet piece of bread.

D: A passable DIPA, but not the best example. I question the age of the bottle (no date, purchased at Liquid Solutions liquidation sale). I think this would be far better fresh.

oregonskibum, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of Docer
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle to try at The BeerMongers.

- Cloudy dark amber/orange with a boat load of sediment.. much like their imperial red... frothy eggshell head... down to a slithering slew of lace-maker.

- Sweet and rich caramel malt, little brown sugar... very common of their imperials to have such a rich and pure malt backbone. Earthy, grassy, and pine hops..

- Sediment seems to have settled all around the glass... so I will drink it. Kind of a light roasted grain.. then a sucker punch of sweet malts that are not overdone... coupled with an extremely bitter hopping which I quite like. Almost a sour puckering bitterness. Very nice.

- Chewy, thick, medium bodied. Flavorful for a lighter double.

- Overall this is a tasty brew... one that is smooth enough to drink, and one that makes one want to relive the bitter bite after each chug. Good stuff, and quite unique.

Docer, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of gatornation
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this poured a beautiful copper color with a 1 finger off-white head a nice ring and sticky lacing..the smell was great it was pine and citrus with a crisp hop smell ,,,the taste surprised me it was really good it was crisp pine and citrus with an abundance of hops that were nicely balanced with sweet caramel malts... again this 2ipa surprised me on how well balanced and drinkable it was iwill say it was more of an ipa then 2ipa..none the less i wish a bought more then a single..recommended

gatornation, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of mjl21
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Comes in at 8.6%. No abv info is given.

A-Pours a somewhat hazy amber. It has a one finger off white head that dissolves a little in the middle but has some decent retention. Lots of sediment can be seen floating in the glass. Leaves a little bit of lace.

S-Pine, dank, and caramel malt are all upfront and well balanced.

T-The taste mirrors the nose. Pine and dank flavors start off each sip and give way to a large caramel malt backbone. There is a little bit of detectable alcohol.

M-Falls on the upper end of the medium spectrum. It is nicely carbonated and leaves an oily and sticky coating.

D-Pretty good DIPA. Has a larger malt backbone than a lot of the ones I drink, but there is enough hop flavor to keep me coming back for more.

Nice to revisit this one. I probably haven't tried one of these in two plus years. Should hit this one up more often.

mjl21, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of pmccallum86
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy golden orange red hazy color with a thick bubbly head that dissipates slowly down the sides of the glass.

Smell is of heavy malts and citrus hops.

Smell is caramel malts, pine, lemon zest, grapefruit and biscuits.

Mouthfeel is very full and somewhat creamy, very mediocre. Possibly the most average DIPA out there.

Drinkability is okay, not good but not bad. Very average DIPA.

pmccallum86, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of mothman
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours about 2 fingers of khaki colored head. Decent retention after fading to a thin layer. Leaves sticky splattered lace. Color is a copper gold.

Aroma: Citrus notes up front. Then comes some grassy and floral hops with bready malts. Pretty big hop profile here, but nothing impressing.

Taste: Pretty decent amount of floral hops, noting too big though. Lots of grapefruit citrus and bready malts. This DIPA wasn't made to well. It just doesn't seem to click.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but nothing near what I was expecting from a dipa. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends hoppy and sticky.

Overall, this wasn't the DIPA for me. Nothing really worked and it just didn't compare to other DIPAs I have had. Not something I would want to buy again.

mothman, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed unfiltered rich copper with tangerine and amber highlights. Nice frothy tannish white head. Wispy laces.

Pine, spicy resins, and Grapefruit. Toasty caramel.

Sharp pine and grapefruit rind. Toasty caramel bready maltiness, with a hint of chocolate. Big bitter spicy resinous Grapefruit/pine aftertaste. A bit of an alcohol kick..

Sticky, full bodied, dry, smooth.

Big bitter balanced DIPA. A good fall/winter DIPA.

CHILLINDYLAN, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of Buebie
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown stubby into a pub glass. The pour produces an inch of tan whipped topping head, quite slow to recede. Head just sits there, for a long time. Color is a glowing amber orange, hazy with an unfiltered look to it.
Lace is thin and wispy, retention now is a solid cap. The head has stuck with the beer for the majority of its time in the glass all the way down through sipping.

Aroma is extra caramel like with great sweetness and buttery bread filled aroma. Some mild bubble gum aroma, as well as citrus filled hops, pleasantly humble.

Taste is still buttery breadyness, with plenty of sweet caramel malt goodness lasting throughout. Hops pick up into the swallow bittering with pine and grapefruit. Taste becomes a bit more peppery as it warms, with a touch of aspirin.

Mouthfeel is thick and full bodied with carbonation snap.

This is a very wonderful example of the style, great hop to malt balance, exceeding my expectations greatly. No heat or alcohol presence in taste or aroma. Surprising for a beer in this abv realm.

Buebie, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of Bighuge
3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tarnished bronze body. Yeast particulates suspended throughout the body. Tight and dense white head. Lacing is sufficient. This one has definitely got one of those pungent and dirty IPA aromas. Not bright in the least. Sometimes I like these aromas a lot, but this one is very dark. Flavor is brighter than the nose, but that's not saying much. Surprisingly, I get a little mint right from the start. Then it moves to the more earthy and grimey and dirty hop flavors. Malt base is pretty full and seemingly toffeeish in nature. There's some alcohol noticeable and it leaves a little sting in the mouth. Body is damn near full. Carbonation moderate. For a DIPA, I've had much better many times. This is not bad, but it is fairly average for the style.

Bighuge, Dec 23, 2009
Steelhead Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 743 ratings.