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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

715 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 715
Reviews: 398
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.05%
Wants: 23
Gots: 13 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Steelhead Double India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 715 | Reviews: 398 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of woemad
woemad

Washington

3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle picked up at The Rocket Market in Spokane for $1.40. No freshness date.

Poured a hazy copper-ish color, with the faintest skiff of white foam that then vanished into a few odd bubbles. A very few spots of lace were to be seen on the sides of my glass.

The nose is hoppy, but not hugely so. Citrus and pine scents can be gleaned. Doesn't smell like a hop bomb, though, and there's no sign of the high abv.

The taste is a bit more complex than the nose. It starts out with a citrusy, Amarillo hop bite, with piney notes piling on. At the swallow is a more herbal hop bitterness. Malts are pretty mellow, lending a vague, bready quality but otherwise being pretty unobtrusive. Like in the nose, there's no sign of the 8.5% abv.

Medium bodied, with a slightly watery mouthfeel. Could be worse, but could definitely be better.

Drinkable, but not one I feel the need to go back to anytime soon. Certainly not when I can get double IPAs like Sculler's or Hop Wallop, as is currently the case.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 20:54:30 | More by woemad
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish/ yellow color with a light tan head. In the aroma, a small hoppiness. In the taste, piney hops and a small citrusy hop in the backround. A small bitter mouthfeel and a semi dry, piney hop aftertaste. Hides alcohol, light in the hops for a I2PA.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2008 17:53:45 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of skizziks
skizziks

Kentucky

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, do discernable date.

Pour gives a 2.5" offwhite, firm, fine head. The beer is a very hazy orangey amber. I noticed quite a bit of sediment and kept it out of the glass so i'll see if this turns out to be a severe chill haze. The foam subsides to about 1/4" and leaves plenty of lace behind

Sugar and citrusy grapefruity hops. Fresh white bread with a hint of alcohol and apricot.

Blast of hops. Just enough malt to keep the hops afloat. The malt base comes through as a mostly light bready flavor with turbinado sugar coming through as the initial smack of hops starts to fade. The hop flavor turns leafy and slightly astringent as it heads to a long bitter finish.

Medium carbonation and medium-full body. Slightly viscous, a little sticky on the tongue but not too heavy. Drinkability suffers minimally. I couldn't drink a lot of it, but it's a very enjoyable beer while it lasts.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2008 22:52:09 | More by skizziks
Photo of littleshamrocks
littleshamrocks

Kentucky

4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness dating. Served in a snifter.

Pours a light copper with orange tint with a minimal white head and moderate carbonation. This looks something like grapefruit juice. What little head there was is gone in a moment leaving a thin ring atop the brew. Leaves some streaky lace. The aroma is sort of complex with the citrus hops in the forefront, followed by sweet maltiness, hints of caramel and noticeable doughy/soapy yeastiness. The hops are king in the flavor, ranging from the most prominent citrus (grapefruit and lemon), but also presenting themselves as piney and spicy. The malt backbone is solid, showing up as both grainy and sweet. A certain peppery spiciness runs throughout. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a semi oily texture and lively carbonation. Fairly chalky finish with a lingering bitterness.

I really liked this beer. It is very well crafted and true to the style and does an excellent job of disguising the 8.6% abv. A strong mix of flavors and enough hops to keep just about any hophead happy, I would have no problem recommending it to anyone. This is the first beer that I have tried from Mad River, but for sure it will not be the last. Solid.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2008 03:09:40 | More by littleshamrocks
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful color of clouded straw/yellow. A small white head forms and then leaves. Nose is mild with minimal funk there. Mild dough. Seems a little boring to me on the nose. Flavor is definitely showing thorough wheat characters. Yeasty funk is there, but not overpowering. Gives a smooth offering. Feel is good on the liquid and has a full carbonation hitting the mouth. Overall this is an easy drinking beer. Smooth and unobtrusive as far as flavors go. Nothing wild here, but nothing bland or mediocre either. Just a smooth and even brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 03:30:49 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of AlexJ
AlexJ

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A beautiful copper pour with a merangue-like head of white froth that retains and laces very nicely.

Aroma is chewy caramel and biscuit malt with strong herbal and pine hops.

Flavor has a great malt base of biscuit and scorched caramel notes and follows through to a fruity hop finish of pine and bitter green herbs. Not quite as hoppy as it could be but the flavor is nice.

Body is almost medium and a bit to light to carry ther big flavors of a IIPA. Smooth mouthfeel and very quaffable for a 8.5% brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2007 19:44:59 | More by AlexJ
Photo of Drew966
Drew966

Florida

3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Steelhead Double IPA pours a hazy orange thats leaning toward brown with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. Resiny pine with a strong caramel malt showing marks the nose. The mouthfeel is medium leaning toward thick. Resiny and bitter tasting. I think I like a little more citrus. Worthy of a try for hop heads.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 00:17:49 | More by Drew966
Photo of jaxon53
jaxon53

Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kirok1999for this bottle, shipped in the Secret Halloween '07 BIF. Served this double IPA slightly chilled in a pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle. Poured a somewhat hazy copper amber color. One finger of fizzy, thin off-white head formed and quickly faded, leaveing almost no lace behind. Smell was quite citrusy, orange peel and lemon zest, hops, with quite a bit of malt in the background. Some nice earthy aromas were noted as well. The flavor was that nice west coast IPA flavor I was expecting. Tons of citrusy hops, a bit of resiny pine, and a sweet maltiness to back up the hops. A very flavorful yet bitter finish. A nice big full bodied, palate coating mouthfeel. Light carbonation and very drinkable. A pretty solid, well balanced double IPA in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2007 19:46:31 | More by jaxon53
Photo of July2Nov
July2Nov

Hawaii

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

Appearance: Cloudy orange color. No head, but has a nice lace around the top.

Smell: Smells like a good IPA should...got the hops and a pine tree smell.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Smooth at first...spikes up a bit and goes down with another smooth edge. Surprisingly mellow for the amount of ABV. Mouthfeel has a numbing effect that hits the back of the throat.

Drinkability: IPA's are usually hit or miss, but this one is a hit. I envision drinking this often...just hope the store keeps it in stock.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2007 03:34:11 | More by July2Nov
Photo of wspscott
wspscott

Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in pint glass

A: Orangish brown and hazy color, almost no head. Looks "thick" as it pours.
S: Smells sweet with a bunch of citrus, like an orange blossom honey.
T: Bitter with hints of the orange side of citrus. Lots of sweet malts to try a balance out the hops, maybe too much malt.
M: Tongue coating, a little heavy feeling but not in a bad way. This is obviously a big beer but there is no hint of alcohol.
D: This is a sippin' beer. I think I would prefer a little less malt, more unbalanced on the hoppy side. It is a little too rich to drink very fast or drink very many. In the end, very true to style. I like this beer but I don't love it. Worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2007 21:54:23 | More by wspscott
Photo of CharlieMopps
CharlieMopps

Virginia

4.63/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: A hazy, dull orange glow that has a unique quality to it, topped by a thick, three-finger white head that sticks around, and to the sides of the glass.

S: Fresh herbal and floral hop aroma, one that smells relaxed, somewhat piney, yet quite delicious. I could see myself sniffing this one like a glue addict all day.

T: Bold, yet balanced. I love it when brewers shoot for the big hop bombs but use the proper amount of malt to balance the flavor. This one has a spicy and floral hop flavor that doesn't kill the palate, and tastes great.

M: Lots of carbonation for a big, fluffy mouthfeel. Creamy in texture and oily from the hops as well.

D: Incredibly drinkable; this one gives you that feeling of tasting an ale made with fresh hops, only it's not. The laid-back nature and impeccable balance makes for an easy-drinking Double IPA that tastes amazing.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2007 19:03:08 | More by CharlieMopps
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a lightly hazy, plum-amber color that sits underneath an initially two-finger thick, light tan colored froth, which even leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass as it falls back into the beer. Sharply hoppy in the nose, it seems to be an even mix of fruity and herbal hop notes. Aromas of grapefruit intermingle with pine, tangelo intersperses with fresh cut grass, lychee melds with a mint and apricot / peach mixes with a light herbaceous note. After a bit of time the fruit driven hop notes become the dominant note, which is just fine by me. Towards the finish, if you really dig for it, aromatic malt notes become noticeable; toasty soda cracker notes, a touch of biscuit malt and an aroma of freshly milled, pale crystal malt.

Fairly sweet tasting up front, but there are enough hops that this is not overly noticeable. Fruit notes of lychee, grapefruit and tangelo are accentuated by the malt sweetness. The fruit and malt sweetness linger on in the mouth for a bit, but then, long after the beer has past down my throat, a sharp, astringent, slightly grassy, definitely tannic bitterness jumps to the forefront. That is not to say that this beer is not bitter throughout, because it is; the bitterness is noticeable from the moment the beer hits ones tongue and it is joined by a light menthol / pine character. This has enough heft to it, enough of a mouthfeel, to easily carry the hop character here; actually a real hop head would probably say that this could still use quite a bit more hop character and even remain "balanced" for an double IPA given...

Despite that this is a purely hop focused beer, there is actually a substantial malt character here, lying just beneath the surface. Significant flavors of caramelized malt sugars, notes of toasty grain, a solid biscuit-like character, and a certain brown sugar encrusted bread flavor. This is certainly quite hoppy, but it seems to be missing that punch-drunk, wallop over the head that should be the defining characteristic of the best double IPAs. Still this is a thoroughly enjoyable beer for any hop lover and I definitely recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2007 04:03:19 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A dark cloudy tea color with a thin white head and good lacing. The aroma is like coconut malt and sweet piney hops with a little smoke. The taste brings on strong piney hops with high alcohol presence. Thick bodied with mild carbonation. There are some citrus, raisin and maple nuances that make this very complex and likeable but it is stronger than I would normally like best. So I wouldn't call it very drinkable for more than a couple, but it is a quality brew with great flavor going on, especially for the hophead. Very solid stuff and recommended if you like some hops but probably worth a try for anybody with a nose for taste treats.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2007 02:55:22 | More by Durge
Photo of ohoove
ohoove

Connecticut

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the first whiff of the glass i said to myself " now this is more like it ". A DIPA will a set of nuts but very drinkable. Somewhere in the middle of Small Batch 471 (lighter ) and the Lagunitas Kill Ugly Radio( strong ). If your pleasure is IPA's and DIPA's this baby is for you, not for the meek or hop cheery's. Would gladly purchase this if it was available in CT.In moderation!

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2007 22:36:54 | More by ohoove
Photo of cswhitehorse
cswhitehorse

Oregon

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

The Steelhead Double pours into a hazy amber hue with a bottle date on the label. Nice work Mad River. It had very little head and left no trace on the side of the glass. The aroma was heavy alcohol and citrus. With the taste you could initially taste the alcohol but half way down it faded and the flavors came out more on the malt side with some caramel in the palate. Overall I enjoyed it and would have it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2007 02:03:13 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of Jedimaster1
Jedimaster1

California

4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great DIPA. It was recommended by the owner of the Liquor Collection when I was living In Hawaii.

A: Pours a deep, cloudy bronze color.

S: Smell is of hops and malt. Taking a quick whiff of this brew, the drinker will definitely get a hint of what's to come.

T: This thing tastes very hoppy and malty. As one reviewer pointed out, this taste is similar to a Barley Wine -- i.e., the sweet malt backbone cuts through the hops. The brew also finishes dry and refreshing.

M: This one hangs on your tongue after each sip -- which is a good thing.

D: Very drinkable, but because of the high ABV, having two is more than enough.

Great brew from Mad River! Now all I need to do is fined it out here in SoCal, lol.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2007 23:12:48 | More by Jedimaster1
Photo of kirok1999
kirok1999

Ohio

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

Pours a hazy, cloudy dark gold/bronze. Very little lacing or head. Doesn't need either.
Smell is a musky sweetness promising a lot.
Taste is definitely a Double. Almost a barleywine quality to the sweetness, as many fine DIPA's possess. The taste matches the cloudy appearance and musky smell. Thick and creamy and damn delicious.
A sipper for sure; so far I've sipped 2 and that is plenty.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2007 02:58:41 | More by kirok1999
Photo of ojiikun
ojiikun

Washington

3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live reviewed from Collins Pub in Seattle.

A full pint came down with little head, insanely foggy, and a dark, muddy toasted-bread brown. Lace is holding up quite well.

Scent is a little musty with a forest of hops (pun intended, very piney). Smells of a mix of extremes - dark and light malts. Something is nearly porter-burnt. Overripe citrus rind. Undermalted fresh grains.

Taste is quite unassuming. The malt might be double, the hopping isn't. Sweet, fruity, caramalized. A little salty, not overly floral. Long-boiled.

Hides it's booze all the way thru, smooth at first but ends sticky. Easy enough to drink if you like your alphas. Almost mistakable for a normal IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2007 02:30:33 | More by ojiikun
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76

Wisconsin

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep orange with a thin white head and sticky lacing.

S - Citrus, pine and grapefruit with a touch of caramel for balance.

T - Piney, citrus and grapefruit hops with a nice balance of caramel sweetness.

M - Medium mouthfeel, slightly sticky but slightly creamy also. Dry hop finish.

D - A nicely balanced hoppy but not over the top DIPA. This one is an easy drinker for 8+%.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2007 03:39:32 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of Foxman
Foxman

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a hazy golden orange with totally static, suspended yeast floaters. A finger of off-white head settles soon to fine frothy cosmos. Aqueducts of lacing arch along the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, oozy caramel malt, berry sweet and bready, is just nudged by mandarin orange citrus and an ensuing misty bitterness. There is just the merest hint of alcohol.

Upon sipping, the dense malt feints toward sweetness before it pulls back, but not until the caramel and berry make a decided point. The hops are rather soft, with an easy citrus zestiness and a rounded but crisp bitterness. The alcohol is moderate but finds the sinuses capably. Bread dough yeastiness is passed by a slowly building bitterness that lingers as it dries cleanly. The flavor is mainstream and especially malty, but rather nice.

Medium bodied, a slow, smooth flow is tainted slightly by the feathery and distracting touch of passing solids.

It's not ideal across the board, but it has some pleasurable strengths. The flavor is a no-suprises tasty, malt-heavy DIPA profile. It has an effortless nature that excuses a sneakily potent ABV. The result is a plesantly drinkable beer with a decent hop nuance. So, maybe it's not a beast like many DIPA's, but even if it's just an imp, it's not bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2007 17:55:11 | More by Foxman
Photo of


3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle courtesy of BlindPig - Thanks!

Hazy, dirty amber colored liquid. Quite a bit of sediment. Large, creamy, light tan head. Some lacing, not much legs.

Aroma was quite tasty. Grapefruit, peaches and caramel (big time as it warmed). Biscuity. All the smells I love in an IPA/DIPA.

Taste was pretty hoppy right from the start, but was supported by a strong, caramel malt backbone. Pretty well balanced. Nice lingering hoppiness at the finish and in the aftertaste. Alcohol noticeable near the finish.

Medium + body. Medium carbonation. Rather dry.

Overall, OK, but doesn't wow me. I look back over my notes, and it's hard to put my finger on what I don't like. Perhaps it's too balanced, when I like the hops to be a bit stronger. The alcohol could be better hidden. In the end, seems pretty well made, just not to my taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2007 19:50:02 | More by
Photo of ncvbc
ncvbc

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Trying this thanks to Zorro as an extra.

Pour was a murky and deep amber with medium white head and tiny spots of lacing. It has a pulpy appearance similar to HopSlam or Hopsickle but not as impressive.

Smell was more on the piney side for hops though lightly sugared grapefruit was noticeable with blood oranges in there as well. Bready tones coming up here also and caramel malts helped provide some backing.

A softer, less intense Double when it came to taste. This was kind of a boarderline between an IPA and it's Imperial kin. Double, Imperial, whatever you wish. It had more citrus hops pouring through in taste and a good bit of malt backbone, moreso than picked up in the nose. This one seems to lean more toward balance than dominance when it comes to hops and malts. Not bad.

Mouthfeel is somewhat sticky and resinous from grapefruit oils and piney hops. Sweet caramel malts also add to this sensation accompanied by a bite of hops and burn of alcohol.

Overall I'd say this one is drinkable. It's not a hop monster and more of a tamed beast in the department which it resides, making it a go to brew for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2007 01:01:48 | More by ncvbc
Photo of Alchemist00
Alchemist00

Florida

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

Has a nice yellowish color to it with a pleasant amount of head that quickly vanishes. The first smell gave off a slight fruity undertone that was nice and really got my tastebuds ready. Tastes very nice. There was a mild fruity flavor to it that was followed with a bitterness that was not overwhelming, a very nice blend. Mouthfeel was good, flowed nicely and did not leave a film in the mouth. Quite drinkable. It was mild and smooth enough that several could be had in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2007 23:40:07 | More by Alchemist00
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a nice, rocky head that dots the pint glass

Smell: Apricot and pink grapefruit with an underlying caramel presence

Taste: Starts with a sweet blend of caramel and apricot/citrus that is joined by a pithy sensation in the mid-palate; after the swallow, the beer becomes very sweet, but there is an undertone of aggressive bitterness bordering on aspirin that lingers well afterwards

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not a bad DIPA at all; the sweet and bitter flavors fight rather than blend - but that would be my only complaint

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 18:32:03 | More by brentk56
Photo of PittBeerGirl
PittBeerGirl

Pennsylvania

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

A- Transparent amber colored body with foamy white head that soon fades off to a nice white collar. Leaves behind plenty of lacing in the glass.

S- Citrusy hops and a nice grapefruity smell. Light malt backbone can be detected.

T- Lots citrusy hop flavor and a lot of grapefruit upfront. Small sweet malt backbone. Finish is very clean. Nothing lingers on the palate. Not too big on hop taste for a DIPA.

M- Medium carbonation and medium to light weight body. Decent; but I would expect a more oily body for a DIPA.

D- This one has a high drinkability due to the fact that the ABV is well hidden and that it has a very clean finish. Something that is easy to session-but dangerous. Watch out for this guy because it can be an easy session rather than a slow sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2007 04:47:25 | More by PittBeerGirl
Steelhead Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 715 ratings.