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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

715 Ratings
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 jwc215


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

Pours clouded orange amber with a thin tan head that holds steady most of the way. Bits of lacing stick.

The smell is piney and floral, slightly perfumy. It has citric notes, as well, with a strong caramel backing and some sharp booze.

The taste is piney with floral and citric notes. The hops are sharp. A sturdy caramel backing, along with the alcohol lend a sweetness to the bitterness, making the finish bittersweet.

The feel is not quite to full-bodied, and not quite chewy. There is a bit of swish to it, but it lands solidly in medium-bodied, and there is some coating effect.

There is a raw harshness to it, though considering that and the abv, it does have a certain drinkability. Considering it's a double IPA with a hop kick, a 6-pack at just under $12 makes it a very good value, I would say.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2008 01:52:54 | More by jwc215
Photo of albern


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

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2008 22:42:55 | More by albern
Photo of skizziks


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 roadhouse


3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2008 22:36:42 | More by roadhouse
Photo of Gueuzedude


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 SacoDeToro


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

The beer poured a murky amber with no head.

Citrus and herbal notes in the hop aroma. A good caramel malt came through with some alcohol.

The flavor of the beer had a good assertive bitterness with a nice caramel maltiness to back it up. It wasn't over the top on either end.

The mouthfeel was on the lighter side considering it's amber color, but that aided in its drinkability so that's a plus. The carbonation seemed dialed in just right.

This was a solid beer and a very drinkable amber double IPA. It's about time Mad River made a new beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2006 15:02:00 | More by SacoDeToro
Photo of ThaBobfather


3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper/yellow with two inches of thick bleached white head. A 5.0 for an IPA but a 4.0 for a Double IPA.
Smell has got some light malt and hop notes.
Taste starts with some earthy hops, then it mellows into some malts, then finishes with a light bitter hop taste.
Finish is less than clean but good with a bitter/malted after-taste.
Drinks great at 8.6% the malt really blends with the bitter to make it drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2009 04:28:02 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of Alchemist00


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 jdense


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

12 oz bottle purchased at Whole Foods Hollywood PDX poured into tulip glass 2.22.10.

One finger white head, quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Orangish amber clear body, some visible carbonation. The nose is peachy, citrus, lots of spicy hops. Taste is peaches once again, citrus, with a good bit of bitterness on backend. Not a fiully carbonated mouthfeel. Too peachy for me, though note that this aspect was minimized as beer warmed to room temperature. I sipped my way through this was, not the most tasty of DIPAs, IMO.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 15:11:31 | More by jdense
Photo of Rootdog316


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2008 10:54:42 | More by Rootdog316
Photo of IBUnit63


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Perfect copper-caramel color for an IPA/DIPA. Thin dulce de leche-colored head. Moderate carbonation.

Grassy bitter hop profile. Very light on the nose with a slight alcohol tinge.

Moderate malt and alcohol presence. Grassiness of hops comes through a great deal on the palate. Light-bodied texture; hop dominance asserts itself.

Very bitter hop grassiness hits back of palate rather than inducing citrusy pucker up front. Mild alcohol/acidity burn.

Decently drinkable - this is a hophead treasure for 1 or 2.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2008 18:29:30 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of mpcrump


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Hazy orange amber. Good 2 finger head, off white in color. Good lacing.

S: Citrus hops orange and grapefruit. Pine and roasted grain. Somewhat on the mild side.

T: Sweetness and citrus hops (orange and grapefruit). Slightly bitter throughout.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation. Slightly sticky sweet.

O: A pretty good beer. Perhaps a bit too sweet for me but the sweetness is not overpowering by any stretch.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 01:56:57 | More by mpcrump
Photo of Wasatch


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Westsidethreat

Pours a cloudy amberish 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 very nice DIPA from this brewery, would recommend.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2006 02:12:09 | More by Wasatch
Photo of vapodge


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip

A - cloudy, muddled amber; good, thick head, lacing is pretty minimal

S - fair bit of malt to go along with some citrusy and piney hops

T - breadier than most -- hops announce themselves in the aftertaste but are subdued at first; very malty -- this is not a bad thing in this beer

M - substantial and thick with moderate carbonation

D - good, but not a palate-bruiser which enhances the chances for multiples, but I wouldn't say this is the brew for hopheads

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2011 20:52:56 | More by vapodge
Photo of Brad007


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy copper-amber color with a one-finger head into my pint glass.

Aroma is full of grassy hops in the nose with just a hint of sweet malt as well.

Taste is full of the same grassy hops that seem to be stronger than in the nose but underwhelming for the style. Alcohol warmth peeks out in the middle along with sweet malt/biscuit malt/bready malt/whatever.

Mouthfeel is full of hops and a bit of alcohol warmth. Not bad. I like it when the hops linger.

Not bad but not impressive enough for the style. It's still drinkable but a few months of aging might help it out. Still worth a shot if you are a fan of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2009 20:20:52 | More by Brad007
Photo of MagicJeff


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Murky, unfiltered look into an off-white head. Decent lacing afterwards. Pale copper color.

S: Standard citrusy aroma, some green apple and even grass. Smell reminds me of the Fall.

Taste: Wasn't expecting much but was pleasantly surprised. Very crisp initial taste leads to citrus and an apple finish. Even getting some leafy-resin on the back end.

Mouthfeel: crisp, medium-bodied.

Overall: Pretty solid way to start off #IPAday. Refreshing and worth a try. Had better in this style, but it has a unique, earthy taste that I will definitely revisit some time soon.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2012 23:05:03 | More by MagicJeff
Photo of SeanRedd

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick malt base, slight spice, tad bit sweet, chewy and doughy. Hops to balance but never in excess, a shame. Smooth and warming, like a warm custard dessert. Biscuits and molasses, an awesome combo, yet lacking the hop aroma and aftertaste. Comes up just short, but nontheless a very enjoyable DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 02:52:36 | More by SeanRedd
Photo of paulthebeerguru


3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2008 19:56:43 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of SteveGNC

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange with decent head but very little lacing. Looks good as it is an unfiltered beer. I don't consider this a typical double IPA. Not overly hoppy in aroma or taste - more malty sweetness than a typical IPA. Some definite alcohol warming as you drink. Overall, I really liked this beer and would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 22:29:29 | More by SteveGNC
Photo of foureyedgeek


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

12 oz bottle into imperial pint.

Pours a cloudy amber with a smallish off-white head that falls to a mere ring of foam. A little lacing, but this beer just doesn't have the stickiiness I would expect from a DIPA.

Smell is sweet and hoppy. The aroma is a little lacking here...

The taste brings this beer back around. Its not balanced, nor should it be, as the hops certainly ride high over the sweet malts.

Mouthfeel is full and lush and a tad dry in the finish, and the alcohol, while lower than a lot of DIPAs out there is also well hidden, its warming to the tongue.

Drinkability is good, this really isn't a standout in this category, as you've really go over the top to get noticed. Certainly not a bad beer and one I would have again, but nothing I would really seek out in a hop fueled obsession.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 01:28:30 | More by foureyedgeek
Photo of flexabull


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

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2008 23:17:09 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of Bfarr


3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy with floating particles dark copper with sunny bottom. Big off white head reduces to a thin band with good lacing. Floral and sweet citrus aroma. Grapefruit and citrus hops in balance with some caramel and a hint of spice. A good bitter linger with not too much grapefruit. Big beefy mouthfeel yet satiny.

Unfortunately, the floating pieces were a bit off putting but it otherwise looked pretty good. Decent aromas and a pretty nice balance. Between the floaters and the mouthfeel it seemed to be bottle conditioned but it doesn't say that anywhere on the bottle. Pretty easy drinking for a DIPA albeit not incredibly complex, just pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2010 01:14:21 | More by Bfarr
Photo of elgiacomo


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

12oz bottle, unknown date.

Pours amber/orange with a large white head, nice rings of lacing. Lots of floaties.

Aroma is a bit muted, but features nice juicy citrus hops, orange, tangerine, some pine, caramel and bread.

Flavor is quite hoppy, more juicy citrus, pine, sweet caramel malt and fruit in the middle, medium bitterness on the finish. Some alcohol but not as much as others in the style, which I kinda like.

Medium to full bodied, oily, slick, low to medium carbonation, a little sticky towards the end.

Very nice DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 02:50:13 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of wolfinthemirror


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

Poured into a tulip glass, it reveals an orange color with a thick creamy head.

floral boquet of hops and malts in the nose.

I was surprised how malt forward this brew was when the hops really dominated the smell. But the hops are in the back end, and there is some good bittering. Nice and sweet with hints of caramel. the alcohol is hidden well. It's pretty balanced, but i'd say the malt reveals itself more than anything. Very solid taste, but not quite enough hops like I was hoping for.

This brew almost seems creamy, and is medium-full bodied with mild carbonation.

A solid offering, I bought a single and i'd like to try this again sometime. Due to the higher ABV i'd probably wouldn't have more than 2 at a time.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2010 04:59:00 | More by wolfinthemirror
Steelhead Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 715 ratings.