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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.
very good

775 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 775
Reviews: 402
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 25
Gots: 31 | 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: 775 | Reviews: 402 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of erikm25
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Review #175. Dark tangerine with crimson copper tinting. Sits in the glass reddish rich and vibrantly shining. Head and subsequent retention are subtle enough. Fairly decent lacing lingers around the tulip glass. I really like the hues on this beer but the rest of the appearance is average.

S: Cherry candy coated grapefruits. Spiced lemon hops with a backdrop of toffee sweetness. Resiny and leafy undertones which I assume should be expected from a Humboldt county beer.

T: Comes through with an initial blast of pine infused hops. While not as bittering as others in this style it is still delivers more then your standard IPA. A bready and malt sweetness comes through to help balance out the alcohol. Has some booze, but at just under 9% you have to know what you are getting into. Peppery citrus coupled with a nutty caramel finish.

S: Solid light heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is fairly light but this one still leaves the bitterness clinging to the tastebuds.

D: Great beer. At $8.99 a six pack it is a very economical IIPA. For those new to this style it is one of the most accessible, yet representative, I have tried. Coupled nicely with Sleep's Holy Mountain.

Photo of youngleo
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a good two fingered head. Head was offwhite to slightly yellow in color. Lots of floaties. Ale its self was yellowish brown. Lots of big bubbles. Also had some decent lacing. Smelled of citrus, pine, slightly sweet. No hints of alcohol. Tasted a hair on the a bitter side. Was slightly sweet, if that makes any sense (bitter yet sweet). Dont get me wrong, tasted very good. Also had that piney flavor going on. Felt thick in the mouth. I thought the carbonation was good. With the higher alcohol content, I think you would have to be carefull. I just wanted to chug a lug. Will buy again. This was the first tasting Ive had from Mad River Brewing. So far so good.

Photo of paco1029384756
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange color with one and a half fingers of white head.

Scent of grass, hops, caramel, and a hint of spice. Not bad for not being super fresh.

Taste of hops, spice and some alcohol. Pretty simple, but not that bad.

Mouthfeel is medium light bodied with good carbonation.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
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 RickS95
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thick white head. Nice looking beer...orangey copper in color. Cloudy, with particles.

Lot of hops in the nose, along with hints of citrus.

It's got a nice, crisp taste; like the smell, the hops and citrus dominate.

Lots of carbonation in the mouth. This is a strong IPA...it's a double and it's obvious from the first sip.

It's a complex beer, you notice the citrus and hops in the taste, but in the finish is a fight between the strong bitter and the sting/warming of the high alcohol.

One a night is all I could handle, but I'd enjoy another on another night.

Photo of edraid
4.88/5  rDev +28.8%
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.

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

Poured from a short 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Two finger light tan head. Cloudy dark orange.

Smell: Oily hop aromas. Mint and some mellow tropical fruit.

Taste: Wow. This is a really big beer. Very slick and full mouthfeel. Pineapple, mint, grapefruit. Abundance of yeast gives the finish a little spiciness to go with the bitterness. Fairly complex example of the style.

Photo of smibroncos
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Poured a cloudy carmel copper, two finger off white head. I couldn't make a judgement on the lacing as the haed never retreated far enough.

S. Not much here faint hops, a little malt

T. Started malty, finnished bitter and hoppy. I can see why all the difference in the rating between a C and an A. I think you really expect alot of hops as the style says double IPA. It is a little disappointing here. Although the balance between the malt and hops makes it very enjoyable. More or less a double malt double hopped IPA.

M. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated.

D. Ok i've had alot better, but all around not bad for the style. I think it could have had some more hop flavor or a little less maltiness. But still a decent ale.

Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from Bottle into Snifter glass.

Pours a swirling hazy dark amber, very murky, with a creamy pillowing off-white head that slowly dissolves and leaves nice lacing down the glass. Aroma has a lot of caramel malt and citrus hop and there is something toasted in the nose as well. Flavor is very malty with some citrus and a medium bitterness that resonates for some time. its heavy to medium bodied and fairly syrupy. Too much sweet malt for me, its not bad but its not that great either.

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

Very decent hoppy plus IPA. Pours golden colour, with significant beige head, that leaves very decent lace. Only one-third of a litre, I will drink it! Pleasant aroma, even a touch of roast!?! Above average creamy moutfeel, citrus in the background of this beershake. Hops dominate the malt, drinkable. Found at the Warehouse in Cleveland.

Photo of thehand
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass. Pours a hazy medium copper color, with a about 1" off white creamy head. Aroma is a lot of sweet caramel malt, not much else. Where are the hops? Isn't this a Double IPA? I really have to search to find any trace of hop aroma. Taste is also very malt-forward, hops don't show up until close to the finish, which is dry and earthy. Medium bodied, slick mouthfeel, medium-high carbonation, some alcohol warmth. Unbalanced on the malty side, a little sweet even with the drying finish. That along with the alcohol warmth makes it less drinkable than it could be. No serious off-flavors, but very unbalanced in my opinion.

Photo of bjoyce12
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bartender at Bukowski's in Boston recommended. One of their most popular IPA's. I can see why; full of hoppy flavor. Almost too much, with an over the top hoppiness. If you're in the mood for a pwerful double IPA this is a good pick. If you're not feeling like a hammer of hops and the ABV that backs it up, then I'd steer clear.

Photo of iasanlee
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep hazy golden amber with a thick off-white head and loads of sticky lacing. Aroma is sweet caramel and fruity hops. Flavor is almost cloying sweet malts and pineapple hop flavor. Long lasting bitterness and cloyingly sweet finish. Medium full in body with moderate carbonation, and alcohol burn. A bit one demensional for style, but not a bad beer by any means.

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

A- Hazy-orange appearance with little to no head.

S- Lemony hop aromas dominate, with slight caramel/malt presence.

T- Initially floral and citric hop presence, then biscuit/bread-y flavors, finishing pleasantly bitter and dry.

M- Light-medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

D- Very drinkable, it hides the 8.6% ABV almost too well.

Photo of dakid618
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Pours a clear golden amber with a finger of pillowy white head. Very malty wheaty smell for a DIPA. Taste is caramel, biscuit, and a little pepperlike.
very much a malt bomb, possibly an old bottle. Light easy drinking mouthfeel, slightly dry. Good drinkability. A lot more malt heavy than I like in a DIPA. I will probably not buy again unless I know its very fresh.

Photo of akorsak
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle purchased as Liquid Solutions.

A: The DIPA is a amber orange color, almost clear as day (I think that the cold temperature on pour led to the haze). Four fingers of head arose from a vigourous head and are lacing in craggy patches.

S: Grapefruit and pepper create a vibrant hop profile. Caramel is evident in limited quantities.

T: The ale has a boozy alcohol warmth that is noticeable from the start. A strong hop profile seems to set the table for the booze with a full grapefruit bitterness up front. A green vegetal flavor follows the hops, amplifying the flavor. Caramel malts lurk behind the hops but don't make as much noise. The hops add a minty flavor near the end, a nice finish.

M: Hops, lots of hops, and the resiny goodness that comes with them. The vegetal greenness is not necessary but it doesn't spoil the beer.

D: An average DIPA, neither flavor nor aroma really grab me.

Photo of moosiz
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
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 Brad007
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper-amber color with a one-finger head into my pint glass.

Aroma is full of grassy hops in the nose with just a hint of sweet malt as well.

Taste is full of the same grassy hops that seem to be stronger than in the nose but underwhelming for the style. Alcohol warmth peeks out in the middle along with sweet malt/biscuit malt/bready malt/whatever.

Mouthfeel is full of hops and a bit of alcohol warmth. Not bad. I like it when the hops linger.

Not bad but not impressive enough for the style. It's still drinkable but a few months of aging might help it out. Still worth a shot if you are a fan of the style.

Photo of Crosling
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pros: Nice appearance, long lasting cream. Cracker-like malts, cereal, nice balance and fresh flavors.

Cons: Nose is very light on the hop, slightly milky, sour cream, chive, kinda nasty. Dull. Not very bright, or assertively hopped.

A decent ale..

Photo of Clydesdale
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A somewhat cloudy, dark copper-orange color. The light tan head is moderately large, fluffy, and creamy, with good retention and nice lacing.

S: A surprisingly healthy caramel malt presence in the nose, accompanied by a dose of pale malts. Hops are expressive, indicating mostly citrus (bitter orange rind and tart grapefruit) along with some floral notes.

T: Again, caramel malt is unusually noticeable for the style. Hop flavor is pronounced. Grapefruit, lemon, and a piny/floral characteristic. While the flavor is nice, bitterness is much lower than I expected, hanging back until the very end, where it offers a focused, puckering bite.

M: Quite full-bodied. Carbonation is light, allowing a smooth, creamy feel. A riding, drying bitterness into the finish that I have to describe again as focused. Well done.

D: It definitely doesn't conform to the standard West Coast DIPA, but that doesn't make this any less tasty. Nicely brewed, and a good change of pace in its own right.

Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +5.5%
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 bamadog
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked this one up on a whim, and I have to admit that I am not disappointed. A reasonably priced DIPA that delivers. Granted, I'm not going to compare it to the likes of a Hopslam or anything, but solid enough - almost 4s across the board. Poured from the bottle into a trusty pint glass.

Appearance: Nice copppery color with a hint of amber in there as well. About a 1/2 finger head that disappeared pretty quickly but left a moderate lacing and oily residue on the side. Beer appears cloudy with a lot of sediment bubbling throughout.

Smell: A little floral/piney, but nothing especially bitter coming out of it. Slightly sweet honey-esque/malty sweetness eminating from it and just a whiff of alcohol coming out of it too.

Taste: Nice, hoppy and pleasantly balanced by that sweetness alluded to above. Alcohol is failry present, perhaps a little more so than I prefer as it started to become a little more dominant as I worked my way down the glass.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, dries a bit as well after the alcohol passes but still leaves a slight film on the palate as well. About what I would expect.

Drinkability: Moderate - this is a fine DIPA but the alcohol is a little high in this style, so I don't think I'd want to sit through more than a couple, and I'm not as tempted to want to as I would be with some other DIPAs.

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 callmescraps
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked it up on a whim. Let's give her a run.

Appearance - A pretty nice cloudy copper/amber color. About a half inch of fluffy head. Very cloudy, lots of sediment. It's nice, but not spectacular.

Smell - Some nice hoppiness. Got a little citrus, a little funkiness. Maybe some malty breadness. Not entirely clean. A little muddled.

Taste - Not sure where the hops went. They seem like they want to show up, but then it gets all malty and weird. Very bitter on the finish. Out of whack somewhere.

Mouthfeel - A little heavy. It has all the stickiness of a hoppy beer, but not enough of the flavor.

Drinkability - Not bad, given the booziness. Otherwise, it's pretty average. I wouldn't really be thrilled about another, but I wouldn't have a problem drinking it.

Eh. Really not great. Probably shouldn't have called it a DIPA. The hops get sort of lost, it's a weird muddle, and the aftertaste is kind of gross. I've been drinking killer DIPAs recently, so this was a good reminder of how difficult the style can be to pull off.

Photo of BeerSox
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Cloudy honey color with a one finger off white head that settles to a thin cap. A wall of solid lacing takes its place. Little bits of sediment are suspended in the beer.

Bready grains in the background with some slightly peppery hops. More noble than anything, not really bursting with the sharp citrusy aromas.

The grains are lightly toasty with an overall biscuity flavor. A mild sweetness comes in toward the middle. The end gravitates toward the hops, with a slight grapefruit sharpness. Full bodied.

Not my favorite DIPA out there. More like an AIPA with some off flavors, and somewhat acerbic. I probably won't be revisiting this one.

Steelhead Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 775 ratings.