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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

740 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 740
Reviews: 398
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.32%
Wants: 26
Gots: 20 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Steelhead Double India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 740 | Reviews: 398 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tankg
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%

A very strong IPA with a kick and sweeter than most of this style that I have tried. I have been drinking the 60 and 90 minute Dogfish Head and have been sampling similar beers, such as the Uber Pils from that Maryland brewery (Storm Warning? Heavy Seas? It was good anyway) . Anyway, this is good and potent but didn't stand out to me, probably because of a below average drinkability but the taste was good. Poured into a pint, with nothing to add to what others have said re appearance and smell. As other have noted not as drinkable as other potent DIPAs, but the other 2 bottles will be consumed...slowly. A salud'...

tankg, Jul 12, 2008
Photo of albern
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%

This is a very good DIPA, but I subtracted points for the rather throaty alcohol burn in the aftertaste. For an 8.6% ABV beer, this hides none of its alcohol. That being said, it pours a nice deep coppery amber color with a slightly cloudy texture due to almost suspended animation residuals in the glass. There is a nice creamy off white head, lacing, and lingering.

The aroma is sweet malts, pine notes, oily and estery hops, maybe a touch of grapefruity florals. Mostly the pine notes win out.

The taste is full bodied, strong, hoppy, a bit syrupy, sweetish malt, astringent hops, alcohol soaked fruitiness, oily and estery hops, some biscuity grain hidden deep underneath.

This is a strong DIPA, and just too much alcohol up front to enjoy fully. The beer hits so many of the right notes, but the ABV issue diminishes the beer from what it ought to be.

albern, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of argock
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date but no need to bother with a DIPA.

A: Murky, hazy-appearing dried apricot hue with 1-finger foamy head that recedes to a thin cap -- a sure sign of high alcohol content.

S: The aroma is good with mostly tobacco and leafy hops smells, a bot of citrus and piney hops as well, with a solid backbone of malt. The 8.6% ABV is prominent in the nose as well.

T: Unfortunately, for me the alcohol flavors covered over what is likely otherwise to be a great tasting beer. The solid malt and leafy and pine hops flavors are there, but the hefty alcohol flavors are far too prominent to my taste.

M: Mouthfeel is astringent and very thick and oily. Aftertaste is pleasant but also dominated by alcohol.

D: A DIPA that isn't bad but needs to tone down the alcohol aromas and flavors to let the beer's more unique qualities of complex hoppiness and solid malt component take center stage.

argock, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of Freshie
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%

Unfiltered cloudy golden appearance. Slight white head skirts the top of the glass. Visible carbonation.

Nose is very floral with some citrus. Hints of malt.

Taste is bitter up front. Sweetness pours through. Fruity herbal flavors are present. Finishes dry.

Hops definitely overpowers the malt. Makes the aftertaste very bitter, and fails to quench the thirst.

The aroma and flavor are good, but a bit too over the top. Still very well put together.

Freshie, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of roadhouse
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appears a nice cloudy reddish orange with one finger off-white head. Head gradually sinks down to a spotty coating on top. Lots of floaters detract from the appearance.

Aroma of tropical fruits, grapefruit, orange, sweet caramel malt, perhaps a touch of pine wayyy in the back.

Flavor did not quite live up to the aroma. It is a bit more piney than the aroma suggests, but still is dominated by citrus. The sweet maltiness from the aroma is also present here throughout the entire sip, but towards the end it becomes a bit more like toasted malt. There's a strange quality right at the beginning of the swallow that I can't really describe except that it's not positive. Perhaps metallic. Finishes with a citrusy bitterness that coats the tongue and lingers on.

Mouthfeel is pretty full, maybe leaning a bit towards the medium side. Not outstanding, but good.

Pretty damn good DIPA right here. Saw a single bottle hidden behind something in the fridge at the liquor store for a couple bucks and thought I'd give it a try. Certainly not disappointed, but wouldn't really seek out more.

roadhouse, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of WillieMoe
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%

This is a very solid DIPA.

A- Pours a hazy reddish-orange color, with very mild head.

S- A wonderful hop aroma emanates from the glass. Citrus seems to be the prevalent one, but there's a hint of pine as well. It also has an airy, bready scent present.

T- The hop taste is subtle at first, but gets stronger as you get going. Overall the taste is not of your typical DIPA, as the hops do not overpower you. It definitely does not make you think that it is almost 9% ABV. There is a stickiness that coats the tongue as it passes through.

Slightly more drinkable than most DIPAs.

WillieMoe, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%

Stubby 12oz bottle. Pours an orangish amber color with some particles floating around with a nice off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing. The aroma has a surprisingly large maltiness with some pine and citrusy hops. The taste has a really nice malt backbone to support the bitter citrusy hops in the finish. This really isn't a complete hop bomb like most DIPAs, as it is pretty well balanced, but it definitely carries its share of hops. Overall, Steelhead Double IPA is very nice DIPA that I would purchase again. Recommended.

cjgator3, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of gonzo46and2
3.8/5  rDev 0%

Pours a cloudy dark orange to near-tan. Big lacing head. Has a pine flower aroma and a nice frothy head from a decisive pour. What surprised me, was the amount of toasty malt flavor on the initial flavor. Bravo. This IPA has malt balls! Finish is a bit astringent and metallic.

gonzo46and2, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%

Steelhead Double IPA
12oz. brown bottle

A: snifter. pours an opaque burnt orange color. slightly tan head/off-white head. good retention. fair lacing.

S: Nice sweet caramel malt aroma, with a solid hop aroma....some citrus and some serious pine.

T: nice citrus flavors upfront, with a good, wet hop finish. solid crystal malt backbone in this.

M: a little bold and thick. moderate carbonation level. crisp and it does have a bite.

D: very nice DIPA. good flavor and solid body. I will be drinking this one again.

paulthebeerguru, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of LeeMarvin
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%

Picked this up on a whim at the local packy because I hadn't heard of it before. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I like it.

The taste comes on mildly hoppy at first, but sweetens in the middle, possessing an almost carmel-like overtone. The finish is clean and refreshing. I would consider this a fine session beer for a hot, sunny day.

LeeMarvin, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of NEBeerWench
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%

I had this beer last night while sitting out on a deck, eating a piece of what has consistently been my favorite pizza since I was about 10 (the Chesapeake from Bottoms Up Pizza, of Richmond, VA). Call me stereotypical, but I honestly can't think of a better combination than a great IPA and pizza. Anyway, the Mad River Double IPA is one of the best: Unlike most double IPAs, which may have a tendency to be overwhelmingly hoppy or alcoholic in taste, the Mad River Double IPA was smooth and refreshing. Unlike many doubles, it seemed to focus on the overall, well-rounded taste of the beer, versus the hops factor or alcohol content. At first it was a bit bitter, but this soon gave way to a rich, warm taste that covered my tongue. It had a moderately clear appearance, a little on the dark side, with a small head that disappeared almost immediately.

Overall, I'd say that this is one of the better double IPAs that I've had. I'd definitely recommend it. I'd be interested to taste this from a bottle, to see if it holds up to its quality on-tap.

NEBeerWench, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of atsprings
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%

Pours a crisp orange with a thin diminishing head that barely sustains a ring. Aroma is some pine hops and a hint of malt. The taste dominated by tolerable bitter pine hops that are nicely balanced by burnt caramel. The beer is somewhat dry and crisp with slight carbonation. This one is certainly very enjoyable, I wish I could find it locally in stores, but the only place that has it around here is Saucer.

atsprings, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of Rootdog316
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%

The pour presented the thinnest of white heads. It was so thin that it almost wasn't a head. The body was hazy pumpkin orange with miniscule white flecks floating about. The aroma was more apple and/or pear than it was orange and/or citrus, although it was also the latter. There was also a yeasty scent, especially as it warmed. The flavor was bitter and orange--"heavy" orange, although not as bitter as I expected. That was the primary flavor. As it warmed the flavor began to "separate," bringing forth hints of alcohol, yeast, and very light caramel. Steelhead was not as complex and flavorful as I had hoped, but it was still a satisfying beer. I would drink it again.

Rootdog316, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of beernut
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%

WOW! This beer was goood! Friend gave me a bottle of this and boy was I pleased.

Has a deep gold color, with a foamy white head.

The smell is powerful. This beer has hops, with malt.

The taste is sweet, with maybe a hint caramel, and almost that toasty bread taste as well.

The finish is dry with a touch of spicy aftertaste.

This beer is worthy!!

beernut, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of illidurit
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%

Bottle purchased from 99 Bottles in Santa Cruz. Poured into a pint glass. On the pale end of the DIPA color spectrum, with a gorgeous fluffy white head. Modest lacing but excellent retention. Aroma is grapefruit-dominated and somewhat sweet. Flavor has a mild crystal malt basis that gets trampled by citrus hops. Pleasant even bitterness through the finish. Lacking in flavorful maltiness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Pretty drinkable.

illidurit, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%

Picked this one up the other day, as I had been passing it in the store forever so what the hell right. Cracked this one open with pizza tonight. Poured the 12oz bottle into a my Terrapin Snifter and went on with the show. A very cloudy, hazy, and sediment filled, deep, burnt amber was then poured into the glass. Tons of floaties in this one, which does not really turn me off to it. A nice two inch layer of foam then rose up over it and took over over, settling gently into a thin layer of lace across the top which hung around for a good long while. Some carbonation as well as some decent side glass lace were present as well.

The aroma was a mixture of resin filled piney hops, with a touch of earthy malts. Nothing terribly overpowering here, infact it was fairly well balanced. The flavor was more of the same, started out with a rolling bready malt flavor which coated the tonguey with a viscous, medium bodied feel, soem really nice bitter notes as it passed, with pine and grass mixed with a light grapefruit touch in the finish, Decent carbonation throughout and a good drinkability. No hint of the alcohol at all throughout the session.

Overall not a bad IPA, I dont know if this really qualifies as a double IPA as the huge hops are practically non existent, but it is still plenty descent I have to say. Maybe a fresher bottle would go over better, we will have to see.

mikesgroove, May 31, 2008
Photo of joshwlt
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle it has a coppery-tan color with a milimeter of white head that laces well. Small chunks of yeast are floating around as plenty of carbonation streams to the top.

Smell- floral not too piney but predominantly grapefruit in the nose

Taste/mouthfeel- the hop flavor in this is accented well by the carbonation. I'm pretty bad at discerning the malt profile of IPAs but they are there and are decent with a little vegetabley twinge on it. There is a lingering bitterness. This actually reminds me sort of like a sierra nevada pale (maybe there's cascade in here). More pine in the taste than in the smell. Mouthfeel gets a little more watery as you drink it some more.

This double isn't too overpowering even for someone who doesn't prefer IPAs; fairly drinkable

joshwlt, May 29, 2008
Photo of rtratzlaff
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%

Cool stubby bottle with a label of two trout jumping from the water. There's plenty of yeast floats around the bottle of the bottle.

Appears a deep amber/copper tone with large bubbles for the head.

Smells are buttery, herbal, and some citrus hops.

Taste is a strong hop character that is well matched with the malt. I am slightly dissappointed in the assertiveness of the hops, but they do the job nonetheless.

Mouthfeel and body are spot on for the style.
All in all nothing amazing, but pretty tasty.

rtratzlaff, May 27, 2008
Photo of BDIMike
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%

Pours a yellow-orange color with suspended particles in it. Has a white head that has a slight retention.
Smell has a very nice smell of strong hops. Nice smell of citrus and a bit grapefruit and apricot as well.
Great taste to this DIPA. The taste is almost pure hops. The hops have a great taste of a lot of different fruits. There are tastes of apricot, citrus, and some grapefruit at the end.
Great mouthfeel for a DIPA. Nice thickness, but very smooth. There is also a sharp, carbonated taste that is balanced with the smoothness.
Most DIPAs are not incredibly drinkable because of the harshness of the hops. This offering, however, has a great smoothness for the category. This is a great, strong beer for any weather that would be great all by itself.

BDIMike, May 16, 2008
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%

I was lookin for a hop fix today so I grabbed this and it filled the need but it could have been better.Poured into an oversized wine glass a hazed burnt orange with a thinner but pretty well retained slight off white head atop.Aromas are lighter but they are appetizing quite floral with some citric notes to be expected along with a pronounced biscuit malt compnent.Mouthfeel is a little light wich actually keeps the big flavors from being hammered home in my mind the flavors are nice though starting out floral and citrusy with a big resiny finish all along a semi-sweet caramel biscuit base is there holding up well to the hops.Man this could be really really good beef up the mouthfeel to enhance the flavors and its a big winner as is its still pretty good.

oberon, May 15, 2008
Photo of Offa
4/5  rDev +5.3%

This is a smooth, but still quite hoppy double IPA with a lot of nice flavour.

Slightly hazy amber, this has a fairly big off-white head that slowly shrinks and leaves a little lace.

The aroma is rich and pleasant, with sweet caramelly malt underlying complex flowery-fruity hops accented with a faint hint of pine.

The taste is sweetish at first, but with strong flowery hop flavour with some citrus and a hint of pine followed by caramelly malt sweetness before leaving a dry, slightly bitter finish with the hops lingering in the mouth. It has a soft, smooth palate for the style and is fairly drinkable, with plenty of hop flavour to go along with the bitterness, and some good malty sweetness and flavour.

Offa, May 15, 2008
Photo of RixBeer
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%

Pours an light amber orange with NO head at all. doesn't look very appealing.

Really nice floral hop aroma takes your nose by surprise. It is very much the smell of a good DIPA

Tastes a little bland for an IPA. Every more bland for a DIPA. I don't get this even being called a Double anything. This ought to be called a pale ale.

It feels pretty good on the mouth with a light coating that makes you go back for more. But alas, there's no extra hop flavor.

Very drinkable but I wouldn't want to.

RixBeer, May 15, 2008
Photo of bruachan
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%

good head retention, although it would be a poor DIPA that didn't. standard amber hue--nothing exciting there--and a ton of carbonation reinforcing the foam

the aroma is, unsurprisingly, of NW hops (let me see if i can exercise my nose: chinook? damn, not sure)

the flavor is complex and rich. plenty of hops, obviously, but they tangle with some sweetness. very viscous, and, to be quite honest, kind of a sticky mess. hops do really control the experience, which is no problem in and of itself, but they seem to even supply the sweetness

bruachan, May 11, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip yields a hazy orange-amber body with golden highlights; topped by a 3+finger bubbly white head that retains nicely and leaves small fluffy rings of lacing.

Smell is hard lemon candy, bitter orange, piney, floral and sharp; bitter, malty sweetness lurking; some sweet alcohol evident.

Taste is predominantly sweet, deeply malty with a strong, dry bitterness backed by a hint of lemon rind and earthiness; a fruity alcohol character emerges as the beer warms, bringing some heat.

Smooth in the mouth, a lingering buttery sensation, with a tiny bite of carbonation.

cvstrickland, May 08, 2008
Photo of Spikester
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a reddish amber with a good three inch off-white head Lacings galore.
Aroma is piney hops.
Taste is bold piney resinous hops, good amount of sweet malts. Wow. Big bold taste. Hides abv of 8.6% pretty well.
Nice brew.Paid $1.79 per single. Good value.
Not a session brew due to high abv.
From a 12 ounce bottle.
One of my first in the Double IPA category.

Spikester, May 06, 2008
Steelhead Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 740 ratings.