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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

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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 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
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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
4.32/5  rDev +14%
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
3.41/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of callmemickey
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber/copper with a medium sized off-white head... mediocre lacing...

S: Mostly citrus and floral aromas come through... there is a bread like malt background that shines through...

T: A bit more bold than the aroma .. a good floral character sets the tone.. some grapefruit like hops kick some bitterness in... malts take on a caramel tone.. pretty solid.

M: Medium body... thick and smooth...

D: Its a good dIPA... not earth-shattering, but a reasonable choice.

Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured a cloudy red-honey amber. Decent head and nice lacing.
S-Hops w/light spice, honey, grapefruit, floral notes.
T-Grapefruit and nectarine, hops, spice, and honey on freshly-toasted country bread. The finish is full of citrus, light spice, tasty hops, and something that makes me think of rye, but I'm not for sure.
M-Very good. Slightly sweet w/great body and perfectly moderated carbonation.
D-Very nice dry-sweet harmony. I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of drumrboy22
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra from a trade with Jw347. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Kronenbourg 1664 glass. Beer was a slightly cloudy copper color with a large, three finger, off-white head. Soft carbonation and thick lacing around the glass.

Aroma was very sweet with floral and citrus hops. Thickly aromatic. I can already tell this is going to taste good.

Taste was grapefruit, hops, caramel, light fruits and honey. Very nice beer.

Mouthfeel was thick, somewhat chewy and creamy. It leaves an oily coating on the tongue. Would go well with some extra sharp cheese.

Photo of clint21
4.67/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this beer partially to try something different and since its locally brewed. Has a very strong apricot smell and flavor. Pours a nice dark orange color with about a 1 inch head. A very strong flavor of fruit and alcohol. Still very drinkable and will get you thoroughly drunk if consumed in mass quantities. One of the better beers I've had in my limited beer drinking career.

Photo of toolbrew
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this beer on a whim while in Ohio. Pours a hazy orange/brown color. Lightly carbonated although some larger bubbles. White head that went away quickly. Some residue left behind.

Light fruity hop flavor...very nice.

Initial taste is good. Can taste the hops very well. Light body and smooth. Dull citrus finish.

Good beer to sit around and have a few if you enjoy DIPAs. I sure do.

Photo of davidt
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy marmalade-orange color with a thick white head, leaving lots of lacing on the sides as it drops. Aroma is balanced, typical DIPA aromas and well-balanced. Taste starts off with sweet maltiness and rapidly followed by strong hops, mostly bitter and pine. Bold and balanced. Finish is sweet and alcoholic with a lingering stickiness. This is a nice DIPA and newly available in my area.

Photo of Overlord
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Despite what angry McCain (below me) says, this is a better than average DIPA, particularly considering the price (8.99ish a sixer).

Pours a pale, goldenish orange. Nice big white head, suprisingly long lasting.

Nice smell of pine and grapefruit, taste is mostly hoppy grapefruit bite with a nice apricot/tropical fruit/caramel malt background. Tasty, no flavor overwhelms any other, very nuanced.

Mad River is a criminally underrated brewery.

Photo of jwolfie70
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Bistro DIPA fest. Poured a standard reddish copper color, with a thick white head. The head stuck around in the glass even after the sample was gone. Aroma was muted for the style, but was still heavy on the hops. The taste was standard for a DIPA, and was not out of whack in either direction (i.e. too much hops, or too sweet). A good DIPA, but not necessary worth searching for.

Photo of theformula
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer #25 in my 366 Days of Beer Quest, tasted on 1/25. "Double IPA"; you don't have to say another word...mmm.

A: Dark copper body in a tulip glass. A healthy, off-white head forms with decent retention. Good clarity. Spotty lacing is left over.

S: For a DIPA this is very subtle. Light citrusy, floral hops barely make their way our of the glass. Sweet cherries and honey as well as a bready malt character balance it out decently.

M: Med-full body, med. carbonation. Super thick, creamy body, like velvet. A bit thick, but nice.

T: Thankfully the hops wake up a bit in the taste, yet still not up to par with most DIPAs. Hop character is citrusy and woody like bark, and clings on the tongue w/ a woody bitterness. Must be Amarillo hops...Malt bill is heavy w/ caramel, raw honey and some grainy, bready notes. A spicy kick of alcohol comes into play as well, and is pretty assertive.

D: An average DIPA, nothing extraordinary. Hop levels aren't strong enough & alcohol isn't well hidden. Yet it's tasty and well made, it's just a little rough and a bit different for the style. Worth a drink, that's for sure.

Photo of oelergud
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stubby dark brown glass bottle, 120z. Green label awith a pair of jumping trouts. Steel gray twist-off cap.
Hazy copper brown body with low carbonation. Creamy head with a lemony tint and up to medium bubbles. Good retention and great lace.
Great smell of caramel, pine, hops and brown sugar.
The flavor is a strong hoppy caramel with lots of complexity and spice. Aftertaste of spiked, spicy hops mingled with caramel notes.
Creamy mouthfeel and a medium body. Some coating and a nice and dry finish.
Very drinkable. Smooth and creamy, interesting and good.


Photo of Traquairlover
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass>

A = Hazy amber, very small head which quickly dissipated, not much lacing either on glass of on surface, light carbonation with small bubbles.

S = Spicy floral hops smells, sweet malt undertones. Not incredibly complex but there is some balance.

T = Citrus up front, some light sweet malt flavors mid-palate, long bitter finish.

M = Light bodied, good mouthcoating, pleasing amount of slightly, frothy carbonation. Marked down because I thought the body was a little too light.

D = Good drinkability, the hops give good flavors and bitterness but there is enough balance to make this a drinker rather than just a pucker inducer.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a Duvel chalice.

An aggressive pour leaves a hazy, bright copper body with amber-orange highlights in my glass. The head is rocky, light tan in color, and decently retained; lacing is purty, too. As for the aroma, floral, fruit-laden hops mingle with an unbalanced amount of caramel malts. The hops notes are good enough without a large malt aroma, however, and mandarin orange, clover, and a touch of alcohol comes through as this IIPA warms.

Flavor - candi/caramel malts poke through just quickly enough to be detected before an onslaught of bitter hops and sour whiskey mash rushes in. An alcoholic sweet- and bitterness overpower the hoppy notes upon the finish. Carbonation level is decent enough, but the boozing blow to the palate at the end of every gulp is a far cry from what I consider enjoyable. This is a decent enough IIPA, but it's not great. If I didn't like the style so much, I'd warn to look elsewhere. As an aside, though, it does pair nicely with some sharp cheddar cheese.

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

Thanks to seaoflament for this beer
L:Small white head that disapears immediately.Bright clear light brown color.
S:Light roasted nutty malt. Just a slight hint of floral hops.
T:Sweet roasted malts. Piney hops with just a tad bit of peach.
M:Very creamy and warm. Pretty good roundness.
D:Good. Really different for a DIPA. I found it to be a bit light.

Photo of tonistruth
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

on tap @ Stone Brewing Company Bistro in Escondido, CA

A- auburn with orange hues, 1 finger of silky foam, good retention, filmy lace

S- citric and floral hops, malt sweetness

T- citrus, pine, and leafy hops, toasted caramel malts, somewhat balanced

M- coarse and sticky medium body

D- pretty solid double IPA until it warms up a bit, then its not very inviting to drink

Photo of woemad
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.41/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of skizziks
3.84/5  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.

Photo of littleshamrocks
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev +9%
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.

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