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Steelhead Scotch Porter - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Steelhead Scotch PorterSteelhead Scotch Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

306 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 306
Reviews: 224
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 12
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-23-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Steelhead Scotch Porter Alström Bros
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Ratings: 306 | Reviews: 224 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

Scotch Porter? Yeah, that's what you get when you blend an English Porter (dark and robust) with a Scotch Ale (sweet and caramelly), and then decide to add some Scottish peated malt (intensely smoky) and German rauch malt (smooth and smoky) to further confuse palates around the world. That said, some of the most confused beers tend to be the tastiest.

Pours a dark, rich, opaque brown with a brief cascading carbonation effect that produces a thick, creamy, beige head, which sticks to the glass and retains a healthy looking lace. Brown breads, freshly malted milk, and a soft smoky and roasty malt aroma. Full, even, thick body with a smooth mouthfeel and prickly carbonation around the edges that helps lifts things a bit. Sweet upfront--not overwhelming though--with caramel candy, carob and buttered brown bread. A bit robust and roasty, with some mild coffee notes too. Throughout the experience there's a slight tangy smoke character, hint of char and a smoothed out peat that's laid down on the foundation. Hop character is moderate, with some spice, leaf, and slight citric snap that rides off the carbonation. Finishes with a semi-bourbonesque quality (less the heat), followed by dry lingering grain, carob and a soft peat linger.

Last time we tried this beer was back in 2003. Although things seem to have been refined, that's not necessarily a bad thing, as the beer remains unique, complex and fun on the taste buds. If you're a fan of Porters, Scotch Ales, bourbons, or any combo of the three ... you need to buy and try this beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 20:33:28 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of Todd
Todd

Colorado

4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz short brown bottle. No freshness date.

Hmm ... a "Scotch Porter." Let's see what we've got here:

A meaty looking beer. Brown, but it's so dark it's nearly black, topped with a creamy coffee coloured head with unfiltered chunks dancing beneath it. A sticky and awesome level of head retention this beer has. Citric, smokey, woody with aromas of freshly milled malt.

Hell yeah! Big, smooth, chewy, malty mouthfeel. Initial flavours range from coffee, caramel, toffee, molasses, distinct and standout-ish peat/smoke character, plenty of dry chocolate, wood, earth and notes of black currant and purple grapes. This complex burst on the palate is immediately followed by a bitter splash of sharp citrus, a moderate amount of hop spice, salt, leaf flavours and notes of grass that cut through the hearty malts, providing balance and all of that stuff. Smoke remains after the hop fire, and lingers into, through and after the finish with notes of grain that dry the palate to the bone. Smoke gets amplified as the beer warms.

Boo-yah! I'd rename this beer to "Smoked Porter," but that's just me. Regardless, this is a very interesting beer, and I like their approach at brewing a more traditional Porter (whatever that means these days). Oddly complex. Tasty. Intriguing. I want more.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2003 19:53:56 | More by Todd
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz short brown twist bottle with no freshness date to be found. Thin layer of sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

Appearance: Very black with ruby trim, a wonderful tan varied bubbly sized lace that leaves a dusting trail even to the finish.

Smell: Mix of roasted malts, subtle hop and a mild charcoal like smokiness in the aroma. Peated malt and crystal malt give a smoked caramel impression.

Taste: Fullish body of a semi chewy malt mouth feel, kicks quick into the robust roasted grain flavour of espresso and mildly smoky charcoal (earthy). Hints of peat smoked malt enhance the roasted character, hops are a touch oily with a restrained yet pungent bitterness that somewhat hide behind the malt. As the beer warms up to cellar temperature the sweet alcohol mingles and gives a ghost impression of licorice and evergreen. Caramel hits middle to finish though the slightly astringent roasted flavour is still dominant throughout the beer.

Notes: Huge and brave, not for the faint of heart. This is a porter that wants respect and gains more character as it reaches cellar temperature. Makes for a most excellent night cap. 6.43% abv.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2001 23:27:10 | More by Jason
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DavidHume

Virginia

4/5  rDev +2%

07-14-2014 14:22:39 | More by DavidHume
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ab39z

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

07-07-2014 23:59:57 | More by ab39z
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delta490

Virginia

3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured out a deep brown. A small amount light gets through. A thin tan head barely hangs on past the first minute and no lacing is left behind. There is a good amount of detritus floating around. Definitely a negative. There is a small amount of smell, just nondescript malt and a hint of alcohol. The taste, though, is full of flavor. Deep roasted malt notes, with a nice earthy hops and not-unpleasant astringent hit. There is a decent weight to the body, my preference would be a little fuller but it's not thin by any means. The flavor for me is what does it a not complex but very good taste.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2014 20:57:10 | More by delta490
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paulish

New York

4/5  rDev +2%

07-02-2014 02:25:45 | More by paulish
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BenHesk12

California

3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mad River Steelhead Porter served from a bottle with no freshness date on it. I did notice a high amount of residual yeast and musty things in each bottle. Here we have a decent porter with a flair for scotchy smokiness. In between sips, I noticed a long lasting smoke taste in my mouth as if I had been smoking a nice cigar or drinking an Islay scotch. At 6.5% alcohol with medium body, this beer isn't going to overwhelm or inspire you, but to me it's an above average beer of a niche style. Once again, the beer is mild for something called a 'scotch porter' which might scare away most casual beer drinkers. This is a beer that critical drinkers will appreciate and adventurous laypeople will like too. Malty with well balanced molasses and smoke. Overall, an average porter with some additional intrigue and smoke flavor make this beer something to check out.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2014 02:44:42 | More by BenHesk12
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McIntosh

New Mexico

4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

06-07-2014 23:13:40 | More by McIntosh
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KevMo84

California

3/5  rDev -23.5%

06-03-2014 05:46:08 | More by KevMo84
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Latarnik

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +2%

06-01-2014 13:46:11 | More by Latarnik
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zestar

California

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

05-31-2014 08:31:10 | More by zestar
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North Carolina

3/5  rDev -23.5%

05-10-2014 17:34:04 | More by yaksurf
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Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

05-02-2014 22:08:20 | More by Kegatron
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LXIXME

New Mexico

4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

04-22-2014 00:46:45 | More by LXIXME
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durlta

Iowa

4/5  rDev +2%

04-15-2014 01:14:17 | More by durlta
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KeyWestGator

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

04-13-2014 16:47:51 | More by KeyWestGator
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3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

04-07-2014 03:04:48 | More by Spiller
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1.75/5  rDev -55.4%

03-26-2014 03:37:20 | More by kraticus41
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2/5  rDev -49%

03-24-2014 15:08:43 | More by Kataco16
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California

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

02-24-2014 06:27:10 | More by Beermasterjarrett
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dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque but clear very dark brown in color with moderate amounts of fine gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some dark amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thin film and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amount of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of chocolate malts with light to moderate amounts of molasses and roasted malts. There is also a light presence of smoked peat/scotch.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of roasted, smoked, and chocolate malts with notes of smoked peat - much like you would expect from a scotch ale. Slightly sweet with some hints of coffee bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin.

O: This is an enjoyable beer and somewhat a hybrid of the current versions of the porter and scotch ale. Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol - I would definitely grab another one of these when I come across it.

Serving type: bottle

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California

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

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4/5  rDev +2%

01-22-2014 02:22:04 | More by kvgomps
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3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

01-07-2014 03:55:41 | More by jak
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Steelhead Scotch Porter from Mad River Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 306 ratings.