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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

755 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 755
Reviews: 400
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.05%
Wants: 25
Gots: 26 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Steelhead Double India Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 755 | Reviews: 400 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from Bottle into Snifter glass.

Pours a swirling hazy dark amber, very murky, with a creamy pillowing off-white head that slowly dissolves and leaves nice lacing down the glass. Aroma has a lot of caramel malt and citrus hop and there is something toasted in the nose as well. Flavor is very malty with some citrus and a medium bitterness that resonates for some time. its heavy to medium bodied and fairly syrupy. Too much sweet malt for me, its not bad but its not that great either.

DiabolikDUB, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz picked up at Brewforia tonight on the way home from work... Poured into my small CC goblet... slightly hazy orange brew with decent retention and good spotty lacing.

Nose is pretty standard West Coast DIPA... pithy citrus and good pale malts.. seems pretty blah honestly.

Bitterness begins on the front and builds toward the end of the palate leaving little for hop flavors in the middle... a nice bounce of grapefruit and maybe tangerine hoppiness is blown out by an resounding bitterness on the finish.

Body and carbonation are about right.. Despite the $$ at Brewforia, this is still a pretty decent brew... I would buy it again.


JohnGalt1, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of peabody
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a cloudy amber orange with one finger of the white stuff. Slight Lacing
Smell is alcohol and caramel and not much grapefruit.
Taste is alcohol and very little hops. This one is bland for a double IPA.
Mouthfeel is a little oily but bearable.
Drinkability is only average here.
Not Mad River's best effort.

peabody, Aug 01, 2007
Photo of BilbosNuts
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a gold with somewhat of a haziness to it. It has a medium white head that lowers to a small head in a few minutes with some good lacing.

S: The smell is of a robust hoppiness. The smell also has crisp and refreshing aspects.

T: It has a very crisp taste with a hoppy and kind of bitter aftertaste. It has the hop profile more of an IPA rather than a double.

M: The bitterness adds a stinging and crisp feel that goes away rather quickly.

D: For a double IPA it is very easy to drink. It seems more like a good IPA instead of a double IPA.

BilbosNuts, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of thehand
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass. Pours a hazy medium copper color, with a about 1" off white creamy head. Aroma is a lot of sweet caramel malt, not much else. Where are the hops? Isn't this a Double IPA? I really have to search to find any trace of hop aroma. Taste is also very malt-forward, hops don't show up until close to the finish, which is dry and earthy. Medium bodied, slick mouthfeel, medium-high carbonation, some alcohol warmth. Unbalanced on the malty side, a little sweet even with the drying finish. That along with the alcohol warmth makes it less drinkable than it could be. No serious off-flavors, but very unbalanced in my opinion.

thehand, May 05, 2009
Photo of Matthew
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazey copper color with a good 1/4 inch of off white head, low retention.
Considering that this is a double IPA the hop aroma is pretty weak IMO. There is a grassy and floral tone to the aroma with a very light watery sweetness. The aroma isn't bad, just not all that good imo.
Very slight hop bite, floral, light citrus, a bit earthy with decent sized malty backbone that almost stomps out the hoppiness in the finish.
Decent mouthfeel. Medium bodied with middle of the road levels of carbonation.
The alcohol is very well hidden in this beer, but if you are looking to drink a double IPA I'd suggest that this doesn't contain the hop character you are probably looking for. This isn't a totally bad beer by any means....just of the mark of my understanding of the style.

Matthew, Jan 05, 2007
Photo of ZAP
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Grilled peach colored...light white whisp of a head..

S-Smells like a DIPA as it has depth and richness....has that malty layer that borders on Barley Wine aroma...hops are also obviously evident with a fruity note...

T-The taste is slightly disappointing as it is a bit muted...fruity...apples and pears....a nice bitterness lingers on the deep finish...has ample malt muscle...not bad but just not as bright or awe inspiring as I like my DIPA's to be..also has a splash of grain alcohol...

M-Medium to full body...rich....finishes with a little dry bite..

D-Overall an average to above average DIPA...it is decent but compared to others it falls a little short...don't get me wrong...I like this and will enjoy the three bottles I have but compared to the others in its class it is average to above average..

ZAP, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of flannelman808
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: woah! didn't realize this was an unfiltered brew... lots of stuff floating around (more than I would like to see really). Amber color and a sticky off white colored head.

S: Sugar cane, honey, and butterscotch. Smells like its going to be really sweet... yikes.

T: Malt malt malt... hops barely shine through. There is a mild bitter pine note in the finish but its outweighed by the sweetness at the start. Plus I sort of feel like I need to pour it through a screen to get rid of all the extra proteins floating around. Maybe this is just an old batch but I don't plan on buying it again soon to find out.

M: chunky

D: low

flannelman808, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of Reagan1984
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to ThreeWiseMen for providing this as an extra in a trade.

The beer poured with a decent off white head that showed nice retention. The color was a cloudy honey color with some real gold tints. No visible carbonation and some nice lacing. A decent looking DPA.

The aroma was spicy, piney and sweet. Could detect a bit of the alcohol.

Flavor was really boozy. I had this in my "warmer" beer fridge so this was served between 46-50 degrees. This surprises me that I could detect that much alcohol. A bit sweet and certainly a pine resin flavor. Slightly spicy as well. More of a white pepper feeling.

The mouth feel was thick and a touch sticky. Again, the booze affected the drinkability. Real warming affect here.

I'm glad that I got a chance to try it, but have to be honest, not my favorite DPA.

Reagan1984, Nov 25, 2008
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.

, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of Mantooth
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Mantooth, Mar 29, 2013
Photo of Bonsai
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Bonsai, Sep 29, 2013
Photo of Lantern
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Lantern, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of IPAchris
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

IPAchris, Oct 12, 2014
Photo of MPSTARR
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

MPSTARR, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of emmasdad
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tried this one last night on tap at the Rackhouse, while deciding which beer to drink. Poured a slightly hazy medium golden color with a decent white head. Nice aromas of fresh grapefruit, citrus and apricot. Medium bodied and drinkable, with flavors of caramel and grapefruit, with a lingering bitterness.

emmasdad, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of Howlader
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Howlader, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of romulus523
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

romulus523, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of hit728
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

hit728, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of CoryR
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

CoryR, Sep 24, 2012
Photo of Bwagner1122
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Bwagner1122, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of Rekrule
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Rekrule, Sep 04, 2013
Photo of tonistruth
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
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

tonistruth, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of Budinetz
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Budinetz, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of b-one
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

b-one, Jul 22, 2013
Steelhead Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 755 ratings.