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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

730 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 730
Reviews: 398
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.05%
Wants: 24
Gots: 17 | 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
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Ratings: 730 | Reviews: 398 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -9.7%

Thanks to TheManiacalOne for sending this my way for BC2!

Pours a hazy copper, big thick off white head forms, settles to a nice thick layer, great lacing, looks really top notch. Smell is very sweet and malty, caramelized, pine, some floral, citrus, nice hop nose, good balance, almost a pumpkiny spice element to it as well, touch of alcohol. Taste is nice, malty, pumpkin spice again which is slightly weird but okay, floral, piney hops, bit of floral, fruity alcohol finish, kind of a medicinal bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, warms on the way down, slightly harsh alcohol in the flavour, a little weak. Pretty solid, thanks Mark!

07-14-2007 00:18:26 | More by Viggo
Photo of weeare138


3.83/5  rDev +0.8%

Appears a hazy, orange toned amber with a 2 finger, fluffy, off-white head that fades into a small cap. Tons of dry hopped fallout floats around the brew like nuclear sludge. Plenty of scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of biscuit, caramel, pine, grass, and mild fruit notes.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a slightly herbal scent mixed with brown sugar also coming through in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, boozy, fizzy, with hints of creaminess, chewy, sweet, and lightly bitter.

07-05-2007 20:52:40 | More by weeare138
Photo of giblet


4/5  rDev +5.3%

very good beer. IPA's vary greatly in their taste. this one is more suited to my palate. wow, pretty big words for me! anyhoo, i liked it and i liked it a lot!

very good smell and taste. nice color and head and lace. this is the type that i could have one after another. not so heavy that i feel bloated after a few.

giver a try!

suckem up and movem out!


07-04-2007 12:16:30 | More by giblet
Photo of Zorro


3.85/5  rDev +1.3%

In the glass this is a slightly chill hazed amber colored beer with a minimal head formation.

The smell is sweet and strongly hoppy, as it should be. Strong pine and grapefruit scents are the main scents. The lesser scents are wood, melon and a general fruity aroma that I describe as juicy fruit. The alcohol fumes have a mild lemon scent.

The flavor begins as neutral in sweetness and noticeably malty. An agreeable fruitiness and melon flavor linger on the tongue and it finishes with a mild woody bitterness. The bitterness and hops build as I drink this as they do with most strongly hopped beer. This is a rather dry and woody tasting beer and it hides its strength well, only a solid alcohol warmth in the throat and stomach betray it. The flavor is too mild to satisfy your average Hophead.

The mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is this beers strongest attribute. This is very much a super IPA class beer, but the malt and hops are balanced in such away that this is among the mildest of the beers of this type with a full flavor. This is probably the best beer of this type to introduce someone to this beer style, it is mild enough to be accessible and flavorful enough to show what the style is all about. This is about as drinkable as Double IPA gets without being dumbed down.

07-04-2007 04:32:47 | More by Zorro
Photo of bgraney


3.28/5  rDev -13.7%

Golden/amber with reddish hues. Appears lightly carbonated with a 1-finger bubbly/sudsy head.
Less hop impact than expected for a double. Mild grapefruit/cascade aroma.
Hops are more prominent in the taste than the aroma. Not much after the first bitterness hit.
Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin sde. Affter the bitterness wears off the tongue there isn't any other flavor expansion.
Drinkability is limuted due to the fact there isn't much beyond the bitterness to keep it interesting.
Not bad, I certainly wouldn't turn one down, but not in the elite class.

07-03-2007 14:27:16 | More by bgraney
Photo of GimpyCane


3.33/5  rDev -12.4%

Poured a good looking light amber with an orange hues shining through. The head was a small one finger frothy off white with a hint of orange. Also, the head mostly lasted leaving a sticky yet small amount of lacing. The aroma was on the faint side for me. Fresh bake biscuit upfront with a hint of hay. Somewhere in the middle I got a whiff of perfume and caramel that ended with a pepper, dough and wet cardboard scent. The flavor was well balanced and clean but was missing that DIPA hoppy bite. The brew was light to medium body, soft in carbonation, sweet toffee and biscuit start with a lighty bitter dry and oily finish. Overall, I was expecting a stronger and bolder DIPA and had the experience of an IPA. Still a well done beer that one can drink plenty of. Enjoy.

07-03-2007 00:16:18 | More by GimpyCane
Photo of budgood1


3.83/5  rDev +0.8%

pours out of the 12 oz. stubby twist off an orange tiged amber colour, with a thin, bubbly head. slight wisps of lace. aroma is sweetly malty with leafy, herbal hop notes. smells very nice. taste is nice, smooth and mellowish mash of citric laden hops...grapfuit rinds and tangerine....lemon and a hint of kiwi. breaded, biscuity and toasty maltiness is subdued for a such a high ABV brew; sweet but just enough caramel and toffee to balance the juicy hops. alcohol very well hidden...a big beer without the big attitude. another sublimely well crafted and balanced IPA from the west coast. the body is about perfect and the mouthfeel is again velvety and viscous. finishes sort of dry...lingering bitterness and flavours fade like a sunset. drinkability is good... while it lacks the flair of other IPA's, it's a solid but unspectacular attempt among the vast selection of the style.

another major thank you to Intriqken for providing this wonderful sample.

06-30-2007 01:04:58 | More by budgood1
Photo of timtim

District of Columbia

3.48/5  rDev -8.4%

pours a semi hazy light amber color with an off white, creamy head that dissipates quickly in to a kind of funny looking thing thatvaries in thickness from nonexistant to visible across the top. leaves spotty lace here and there. smell is citrusy and a little malty/bready. not the beautiful floral, grapefruit, bubblegum smell i would expect from a double ipa. taste isn't bad, and since steelhead is one of the beers i was a diehard devotee of in the mid 90's, i actually expected this one to have the bitter bite that it does. it's just that to me, this one isn't very well balanced in the bitter meets taste/complexity zone. nice mouthfeel. good density. nice and oily. i just don't go bananas over the taste, so i don't deem this very drinkable. my palate has changed and matured since my steelhead days, so even though this brew brought back good memories of good times and great beers, i wasn't impressed.

06-29-2007 22:34:06 | More by timtim
Photo of cbak999


4.33/5  rDev +13.9%

This is a solid, great tasting, great smelling IPA. The alcohol is hidden very nicely. The color is a nice orange, and the taste is citrusy. I like this because it isn't over the top, like most double IPAs. Some are just too hard to drink. This goes down very smoothly, and has become my go to choice for IPA/IIPA. I definite must check out for the American IPA lover.

06-29-2007 18:53:18 | More by cbak999
Photo of Shaw


4/5  rDev +5.3%

It's great to see Florida getting new beers! The last time I tried beer from this brewery was in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

It pours a cloudy orange in color with a slight head that turns into an irregular layer across my glass.

The smell is powerfully hoppy with big citrus notes backed up with a light aroma of solvent alcohol.

The taste is also good: Powerfully bitter with lots of citrus flavors from the massive amount of hops. There is also a nice amount of malt sweetness and a powerful heat from the alcohol.

The body is slick and thick, quite nice.

Overall this is a fine double IPA. It's not world-class, but well worth coming back to again and again.

06-28-2007 01:50:06 | More by Shaw
Photo of Bierguy5


3.93/5  rDev +3.4%

12 oz. bottle, 8.6% ABV. Good looking cloudy copper color. Thick off white head. Great head retention. Nice lace on the sides of the glass at the finish.

Piney, citrusy, and slightly grassy hop aroma, although the aroma seems somewhat restrained. A little toasty malt in the nose as well perhaps. Nice, but aroma is not big enough.

Nice malt character, seems almost toasty, and a sturdy backbone. Piney and spicy hops enter. Not overly bitter, but pretty solid. Finishes dry. A bit more fruity as it warms.

A bit of alcohol warmth. Good body and carbonation. Not quite a hop bomb, but very nice.

06-21-2007 16:44:20 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of bigdeuce


4.4/5  rDev +15.8%

This is one hellava brew. Nice citrusy, fruity, grapefruit scent on the nose. Makes your mouth water. Probably the most drinkable DIPA I've had to date. Not the hoppiest, but it is hoppy. Very smooth with a nice dry finish. No lingering hops on the back of the throat. Drinks like a 5% but 4 or 5 of these may put you into a coma. Very strong and highly recommended. Tough not to say it could not be a great session beer, but it really isn't one.

06-15-2007 22:29:19 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of Night


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%

Pours murky copper with gold, orange, and amber tones. Large, creamy, and bubbly off-white head lasts fairly long and leaves thick lacing. Aroma is clean and refreshing: suds, pineapple, orange, grapefruit, apple, pollen. Some distant toasty malts. Mouthfeel is mildly syrupy; solid medium body. Flavor hits with bittersweet floral and grassy hops; toasty, lightly buttery malts follow. Notes of honey, cake, pepper, grass, and alcohol warmth throughout. Finish is light hops; very mild bittersweet aftertaste.

06-15-2007 01:01:50 | More by Night
Photo of macster


3.8/5  rDev 0%

Pours into the snifter a fairly hazy copper-orange color under a tight, but thin bone white head. Head gradually reduces to several islands of thin wispy foam. Some dispersed spotty lacing noted.

Aroma profile definitely leans toward the hops but unfortunately a tad restrained. However, pleasant notes of orange, grapefruit and pine needles greet the nose. Some faint caramelly malt aromas can be detected in the background.

Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety with a restrained CO2 level, but seems slightly thin mid-palate for a DIPA.

Flavors were nicely balanced out between the hops and malt resulting in an upfront caramel candy and tropical fruit sweetness backed by a farily prominent citrus rind and hop resin bitterness. Finish is long, crisp and slightly dry. Just a slight alcohol warmness can be perceived.

Not a top-shelf DIPA, but at $8.49/sixer its a good value and worth re-visiting.

06-11-2007 03:51:42 | More by macster
Photo of ReDave


3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Fair Double India Pale Ale

Pours a tad darkish copper amber [a little dark for me]

Nice head that dwindles to a thin ring in the glass

Very malty aroma, not much hop action, maybe just a tad.

Fairly good balance, it is a DIPA after all, and while some dipa's are sweeter than bitter, this is less sweeter than bitter.

Not the best aftertaste I've ever had, but this could be somewhat oxidized. {probably need to try a fresher one some day}

I suppose I'll never meet a DIPA couldn't enjoy, but this is probably toward the lower end.

Yeah, I'd like to try this again.

06-03-2007 02:35:24 | More by ReDave
Photo of drewbage


3.7/5  rDev -2.6%

Poured from a nice fresh bottle into a straight sided pint glass.

Nice piney, grapefruit hop character riding over the top of a caramel toasty malt aroma.

Matches with a caramel and brown sugar note that lies under a nice biting resinous hop character.

Overall, I need more aroma. I'd like more dryness, but really it's a decent DIPA available for once in a 12 oz bottle. That's a good thing.

05-11-2007 06:34:06 | More by drewbage
Photo of hunteraw


3.28/5  rDev -13.7%

Appearance: Darker orange/amber in color with a decent head. Yeast floaties, despite having been in the refrigerator for a while. Not much lace.

Smell: Aroma is unsurprisingly heavy on hops, citrus, assertive...

Taste: Dominated by aggressive hops. Not a well-balanced double IPA, in my opinion - and same for the friend I was tasting with. The hops are there for the sake of being obnoxiously bitter rather than for flavor, which is fairly indistinct. Some malt sweetness, but it's easily overwhelmed. Need a significant pause between sips before you feel like taking another. This from two regular IPA drinkers. Disappointing.

Mouthfeel: About medium in body, carbonation seemed fine.

Drinkability: Struggled to finish one bottle. After reading some other reviews, I wonder whether the brewery is having problems with consistency: some say barely any hops, others say vinegar, others (like me) are astonished by the lack of balance.

05-10-2007 16:50:55 | More by hunteraw
Photo of flexabull


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%

Had this on tap tonight...

Pours a bright orange color with a decent white head.

Aromas are mild, a bit of a hop citrus like smell.

Taste is nice. There is a full bodied and malty creaminess up front. Finish is crisp and bitter, with a very grapefruit like hop quality.

Mouthfeel is good. Beer has a good feel that coats the mouth nicely.

Drinkability is good. As with many beers in my experience, this one is better on draft.

04-26-2007 04:41:26 | More by flexabull
Photo of Cresant


2.68/5  rDev -29.5%

Thanks to Flexabull for this one. Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. A small off-white head capped an orange/golden muddy looking body.

Smell was sweet malts. Dates. Alcohol later. Subdued hops.

Taste was vegetal? More sweet than bitter, yet pretty balanced for a double IPA, I expect them to be out of balance toward the hops bitterness. The aftertaste was mildly bitter and long. I think this may have been an older bottle, it seemed rather dulled fron an DIPA.

Mouthfeel was medium in carbonation and medium/full in the body.

04-13-2007 03:09:19 | More by Cresant
Photo of walshclimb


4.13/5  rDev +8.7%

A- Clear, slightly orange color with some floating sediment, nice lacy head.

S - Tropical fruit - pineapple and grapefruit, very pleasant and not overly sweet

T - dry, slightly alcoholic flavor. slightly sweet with a hint of the tropical fruit noted in smell. Nice hop bitterness

M - good body, slightly viscous

D - smooth and easy to drink

04-11-2007 19:03:13 | More by walshclimb
Photo of cbn


3.63/5  rDev -4.5%

This ale pours a beautiful amber color with a small thick foamy head that dissipates quickly.

Bright and fresh citrus aromas, lemon and rind of grapefruit with a candy sweet backbone, slight hint of apricot and alcohol.

Big hop bite, citrus and pine conceal a peach/apricot sweetness.

Soft on the palate biting to the tongue. Hop stickyness coats and retreats from the mouth between sips.

I'm good for a couple at the end of the shift, but not a session beer.
A tad too sweet for the style and/or my taste.

04-02-2007 17:46:22 | More by cbn
Photo of BigJTrucker


4.05/5  rDev +6.6%

Pours a cloudy amber color simiar to a unpasteurized apple juice. neglibeable head. Smells delicious. Just the right amount of citrus notes, perhaps some pear notes as well. Very grapefruity taste, fades to a nice hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is a bit oily. Very drinkable. A very nice example of my favorite style.

03-21-2007 07:23:36 | More by BigJTrucker
Photo of ArrogantBastard


4.63/5  rDev +21.8%

I was very impressed by this double IPA. I would highly recommend it to anybody, I will break it down into the usual catagories:

Appearance- Dark amber with slight orange

Smell- smells of sweet citrus. very floral, also hints of papaya.

Taste- starts off sweet, then goes very floral on the pallette, and finishes off bitter. a bit too bitter, but the toasted malt and grapefruit help to conceal the bitterness a bit.

Mouthfeel- goes down very smooth with just the right amount of carbonation. It makes you want to take that next swig...

Drinkability- Excellent for a double IPA. Very impressed. I actually like this better than Stone Ruination. I would buy this more often if I didn't have to go out of my way to purchase.

03-19-2007 07:23:42 | More by ArrogantBastard
Photo of GClarkage


4.15/5  rDev +9.2%

11/14/06- Purchased at Ledgers Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my Steelhead pint glass.

Appearance- Rust-orange in color. Tiny yeast particles create a cloudy appearance. 3/4 inch head settles at a light rim. Above average lace markings remain.

Smell- Lots of floral and fruity grapefruit hops. Brown sugar and caramel malt with a roasted base. Maybe even a touch nutty.

Taste- Bitter hoppy slap in the face. Very good flavor. Hearty hops with grapefruit oils. Malt comes through, but not as much as the hops. More of a hop head's delight. A touch of burnt sugary chocolate is found deep in the malt.

Mouthfeel- Lower carbonation, thick and oily mouthfeel. Rather chewy with a long lasting sharp bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Much better than expected going in. Full taste, good flavor. Still tasting the hop onslaught an hour after drinking. A really good beer and true to style.

03-10-2007 18:41:30 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Imstillthegman


3.58/5  rDev -5.8%

This Mad River DIPA pours a cloudy amber color. Thin off-white head leaves minimal lacing.

Very hoppy aroma. Strong citrus, with some pine resin and a solid caramel malt backbone. The smell is the best part on this beer.

The flavor good, but not outstanding. Citrus hops backed by caramel. The bitterness at the end is accompanied by a strange burnt flavor I can't quite peg.

Dry, puckering finish. Medium body. It's a middle of the road DIPA to me. I probably wouldn't pick it up again.

03-04-2007 18:41:27 | More by Imstillthegman
Steelhead Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 730 ratings.