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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

779 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 779
Reviews: 403
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 24
Gots: 33 | 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: 779 | Reviews: 403 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atsprings
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Rootdog316
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of beernut
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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!!

Photo of illidurit
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of joshwlt
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of rtratzlaff
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of BDIMike
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of RixBeer
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of bruachan
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of cvstrickland
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Spikester
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of MMAJYK
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Golden color and semiopaque. There is no lacing and no head after this semiconservative pour.

S- Sweet and caramel-like. Syrupy and malty with a slight alcohol taste. Citrusy hops are somewhat prevalent.

T- Sweet and super malty. Syrup tastes and sugar dominate. Not the strong point of this beer IMO.

M- Medium to thick with low carbonation.

D- Low. Waaaay too sweet for me. No hop character in the taste and very one dimensional.

Overall- I would not pick this as my IIPA of choice or even one that is on my list to try again. Decent at best.

I still have to give props to my bro, hurleymanvw, for letting me try this one with him.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at The Big Hunt in DC

A: Hazy copper orange with an off white head.

S: Pine and citrus, leaning heavily on the orange side of things. Sweet.

T: Orange up front followed by pine. Hint of sweet malt. Dry finish with a bitter-sweet aftertaste - kind of like a good orange

M: A tad undercarbonated otherwise good. Pleasant finish

D: I'd drink more.

Photo of soupyman10
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber-brown color with an incredibly thick, Guinness-esque head that leaves amazing lacing the whole way down. Looks, basically, perfect. Nose is surprisingly sweet, with lots of different caramel and toffee. Taste is similar: a nice mix of toffee, cookies, some light chocolate, and then nice citrusy hops that mix in there. Surprisingly well-balanced and mild for a DIPA. Definitely a nice taste, although maybe not as out-of-control as a lot of DIPAs. Feel is thick and creamy; not syrupy like some DIPAs. Overall, a very nice beer, although not "extreme" like some DIPAs.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a cloudy deep orange color, nice carbonation, nice small head, some nice islands and sticky going on. Scents of hops, slight malts, citrus, spices, and caramel. The taste is hoppy, slightly sweet, nice touch of citrus, the finish has a nice bitter bite and slightly dry. Medium body. Very drinkable, a decent DIPA from this brewery but many better.

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

served on draught in a pint glass.

A - looks great in a cloudy golden color with a one finger white head.

S - lots of citrus, grapefruit including the peel.

T - earthy tones before the hops kick in and linger. lots of bitterness hangs around the mouth.

M - medium carbonation. a bit of a bite to it. not bad.

D - the bitterness may become overwhelming for a session, but this is a nice beer to drink. i enjoyed it.

Photo of JDV
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Padrefan98 for the bottle!
Pours a semi cloudy orange color with a nice beige head and sediment. Smell is mild but fruity with oranges and hops. Good hop flavor, and much stronger than in the nose. Nice solid bitterness too. Moderate malt orange like sweetness to balance well and very drinkable and pretty tasty. A good DIPA.

Photo of Philabeerphia
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Right off the bat Mad River gets some bonus points for 1. making it out to PA 2. the 0% waste goal/policy of the brewery. From my notes:
12oz poured into a Carver Brewing pint glass.
APP> about one finger of white lace, just a touch of it hanging around in bubbly pockets for the long haul. Glowing golden color, super hazy, I can barely make out the shadow of my fingers on the other side of the glass. good stuff.
SMELL> sweet and flowery, stretching to citric rinds, down to earthen odors like mud. The entire time this is bakked by roasted malts.
TASTE> Spicy, dry & bitter up front, a bit sharp on my lips. Softer floral hop in the middle. Plenty of malts. Towards the back end the bitterness is taking aim at the sensitive & forgotten corners of my mouth. dry bitter finish. malt still there too. I taste an English IPA on 'roids here.
MF> Carbonation keeps the show rolling along, playing off the otherwise sticky medium body. Very pleasant
D> Not super intense, nicely carbonated, dry and bitter and sessionable.

Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. The color was a rich amber. This one had a surprisingly thick consistency, with some sediment floating around. Didn't pour a huge head, but did have OK lacing.

Very strong aroma of hops here, much more than anything else. Nicely done, though.

There was a nice, powerful hops presence with this beer, along with - possibly - some citrus. Pleasantly bitter.

Had a fairly balanced amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Good mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a pretty drinkable beer. If you're into IPA's, you might want to give this one a try.

Photo of JayQue
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good DIPA. Pours a cloudy orange, medium size head good lacing. Smell is very good - strong hops and citrus / grapefruit.

solid classic IPA taste - strong hops and grapefruit. This beer is not at all harsh - probably a malty balance - but I was too busy enjoying the hops.

Mouthfeel is typical of many IPAs - seems a bit watery on first taste but nice and rich as the hops coat the tongue. Crisp and with no unpleasant aftertaste.

Drinkability is good. I could see myself drinking three of these in a long session.

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

Appearance - This poured a beautiful deep, rich orange in color with a nice, pure white head.

Smell - The big pine and orange hops manage to compliment instead of drown out the luscious, malty backbone. The malt is rich and sweet like melted caramel.

Taste - Yes, this is a classic DIPA. The hops are really big and would tromp most beers, but this big fella has a super-strong malt base that is caramel-laden and very sugary sweet from all angles.

Mouthfeel - This medium-bodied DIPA is rich, mouth-watering, very lightly carbonated, and slick across the cheeks.

Drinkability - This is not too big for your average craft beer lover yet big enough to garnish the respect of style fans. Rightly done.

Photo of machiavelli
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good orange/brown color with some lacing, average amount of head.

Decent aroma, typical of IPAs but nothing special

Has a palatable but robust blast of hops, slight tinge of alcohol in the taste that went away as it warmed.

A little heavier than the usual IPA, but not a difficult hurdle to overcome.

Steelhead Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 779 ratings.