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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

785 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 785
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 23
Gots: 39 | 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: 785 | Reviews: 406
Photo of bump8628
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange with ample carbonation and and a dense, sticky head.

Smell is pine, citrus peel, and flowers. Not bad at all, but way too muted for the style.

The taste makes up for any disappointment in the aroma. Big, sticky, American hops all the way. Pine and citrus dominate, but there are also some fruity and flowery notes coming through. It's all balanced by just enough malt backbone to keep it from tasting like fresh hop squeezings. Alcohol also comes into play but it is well masked, especially considering that this beer is pushing 9%. Finishes very crisp. Bitterness doesn't linger at all into the finish.

A nice crisp finish and medium body keep this beer from being overly sweet and hard to drink. I could drink this beer all night. A great example of the style that may not be as intensely hoppy as others, but still satisfies my hop cravings and is imminently drinkable.

Photo of cokes
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

Photo of beerman207
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Reddish copper color with a nice 2 finger head leaving some decent lacing in the glass. There's also some sediment present in this one and it just looks great.

S: Smell of cherry? Also some very sweet grapefruit coming through the nose and is quite potent. I have to say that the smell of this is fantastic.

T: Wow, the taste is a bit of surprise. I wasn't expecting it to be like a citrus jolly rancher from the nose of it but it hits you in the mouth with some serious bitter up front which mellows to some sweet tones along with a peppery taste. A lot more complex than I was expecting

M: The mouthfeel of this is moderate -heavy but it's good.

D: Honestly, this is a great double IPA. I think it's a bit underrated in my opinion.

Photo of vegantreats
5/5  rDev +31.9%
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?

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 GregPearson33
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured amber brown with a fairly loose head that receded to the rim after a few seconds. Although I thought the pour initially looked promising, as the head collapsed and I realized it was simply opaque (the cloudiness wasn't just the result of an active carbonation... no no, there is definitely shit suspended in there) I was less impressed. Smell is terrific though, dominated by strong orange citrus notes.

The taste reaffirms the citrusy bouquet. The initial impression is of orange/lemon peel, but this is definitely no hop monster and I certainly wouldn't describe it as "spicy". Still, it's supported by a sturdy malt background (burnt caramel?) and I like the taste overall.

The drinkability was also very good - perfect carbonation and a great mouth feel. As is to be expected with a IIPA it's a little thick, but given the alcohol content I was surprised at its weak burn/presence.

Would probably have another one of these to mix things up, but not a go-to DIPA (or even IPA) to satiate a hop craving.

Photo of ThaBobfather
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper/yellow with two inches of thick bleached white head. A 5.0 for an IPA but a 4.0 for a Double IPA.
Smell has got some light malt and hop notes.
Taste starts with some earthy hops, then it mellows into some malts, then finishes with a light bitter hop taste.
Finish is less than clean but good with a bitter/malted after-taste.
Drinks great at 8.6% the malt really blends with the bitter to make it drinkable.

Photo of dbexpert
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a. rich golden hues as expected, with a thick head which disspates relatively quick, although leaving good lacing

s. strong bready smell, with a slight grapefruit/citrus cutting the sweet aroma of yeast

t. up front malty sweetnes, penetrated by a good balance of crisp hops, leaving a long finish.

m. sweet,balanced and well hopped mouthfeel

d. have not had in quality, one is satisfying but believe a sixer would suffice at 8.6% abv, a good brew!

Photo of TLove
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Cleveland Park Liquors, D.C.

Strong, yet soft IIPA with an excellent hop structure and extraordinary balance. A touch sweet, but pretty damn good overall.

Light, hazy amber with cream head and thin lacing. Smells of caramel malts, grape, and citrus, with a barleywine-worthy complexity of tastes from front to back. Went from fig to molasses to malt to wet grass to pine and from subtlely sharp, strong hops to a smooth undertow. A little too fruity and a bit syrupy on the back side, but the taste follows right through to the end and is consequently drinkable. Nice carbonation and the alcohol is disguised well.

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. into a snifter/ no freshness date

P: Hazy orange-tinted copper with a beautiful head of whipped, frothy foam on top. Showed good retention and left thick sheets of lace as it sunk to form a thick collar.

A: Pungeant citrusy hops that smell like predominantly like grapefruit pith jumps out at me first. Followed by lots of pine sap and some soft floral notes as well with some sweet caramel malt and toffee underneath. This is pretty damn nice!

T: Starts on the malty side for the first split-second, then the hops emerge and cut right through their bready caramel sweetness to deliver that same punch of pungeant citrus notes that were noted in the nose. Grapefruit pith, pineapple, and some more tropical fruits that reminded me a bit of peaches come through quite nicely while the sticky pine sap stays behind still pulling its weight in regards to flavor, though. Bitterness tingles the tongue enough to satisfy me, but isn't a bitter monster due to the balancing act put on by the malty sweetness. Finishes semi-dry with a lot of pine in the aftertaste.

M: Full-bodied for a DIPA with a rich, creamy, slightly chewy feel that coats the mouth with sufficient stickiness. Right in the "sweet spot" of where I like my hoppy beers to be.

Notes: This brew's got a nice, West Coast hop profile to it while the thick bready malt counterbalances quite proficiently. I usually don't like my DIPA's on the balanced side of the equation, but this one is still very hop-forward and is a well-made beer. Quite enjoyable!

Photo of erikm25
4.17/5  rDev +10%
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
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
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
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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
3.26/5  rDev -14%
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
4.85/5  rDev +28%
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
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
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
3.17/5  rDev -16.4%
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
3.21/5  rDev -15.3%
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
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
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
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
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
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Steelhead Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 785 ratings.