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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

315 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 315
Reviews: 226
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 14
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Steelhead Scotch Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 315 | Reviews: 226 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of flagmantho
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely dark brown with a ginormous tan head. Nice.

Smell: sweet with notes of raisin and chocolate. An interesting combo; I like it.

Taste: very interesting. Again, sweet with big flavors of raisin and plum. There are hints of some roasted-malt chocolate and coffe flavors only at the very end when some of the fruit has subsided. Not at all what I think of when I think of porter, but it's tasty and, you know, porter's a pretty broad style.

Mouthfeel: medium body, pretty typical but not bad.

Drinkability: this stuff is pretty good, but the fruity character is a bit much for me to enjoy in a session setting.

flagmantho, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of avalon07
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a mahogany color and a thick, cloudy texture. There was a half inch of foamy, off white, fairly long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A very nice aroma of chocolate, coffee, malt, and possibly a nuttiness.

T: You get a big dose of chocolate, along with hints of coffee and roasted malt. A well balanced flavor.

M: A nicely carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A very drinkable version of an English porter.

avalon07, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Odds and Ends Tasting II on 10/19/07: This brew is a deep mahogany color with a medium beige head that dissipates steadily. Rings of lacing. The aroma smokey peated malt and caramel with hints of choclate. Medium-bodied and smooth with roasted malt, chocolate and ripe fruit flavors. The finish is smokey with a lingering mild hops aftertaste. Overall this is an interesting and enjoyable Porter.

Dogbrick, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown to black in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, mellow bourbon, scotch, oak, and a roasty coffee. In the taste, bourbon flavors stand out, with some oak notes, and a sweet coffee roasted malt. A boozy bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry bourbon and coffee like aftertaste. Nice bourbon/scotch presence, but a bit thin for what it is, although, quite enjoyable.

OWSLEY069, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of ZAP
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with a tan creamy head...slightly smokey maltiness on the nose...body is rich and fulll....creamy too....nice sweet, smoky malt flavor...a hit of earthy hops in the background....slight alcohol flavor noticable...also some good burnt malt/dark chocolate flavor on the finish...nice flavors to this but not as immense as I anticipated....never-the-less a nice sipper....

ZAP, Jun 25, 2004
Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev +2%

barnzy78, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of cjgator3
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a pint glass. Pours a very dark brown color, almost black. The light tan head possesses excellent retention and lacing. This beer looks great in the glass.

S- The aroma is dominated by sweet chocolate with some coffee, molasses and roasted malts. Very nice!

T- The taste like the aroma starts out with some roasted malts which makes way for sweet chocolate and coffee flavors with a good dose of hops in the finish to help balance out some of the sweetness.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Steelhead Scotch Porter is definitely a brew worth picking up to try. Good beer!

cjgator3, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of illidurit
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce stubby bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark black-chestnut color with a dense cap of tan head. Aroma is light on the smoke, I get mostly chocolate and toffee. There's a light sourness, hard to put my finger on exactly. Almost like a slight rottenness, but it's too faint to be repulsive. When cold, the flavor and body are actually quite nice. The low temperature adds a viscosity that is rapidly lost with warming. The flavor is dark chocolatey with a whisper of smoke, but the body fails to support this as the beer warms. Very unroasty, strictly porterish. There's no mistaking this for a stout. Negligible bitterness. I've been rather sensitive to astringency lately and thankfully this beer has almost none. I guess it's really not bad for a Mad River beer.

illidurit, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev +2%

mrfrancis, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of cokes
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, dark brown. Treated with ruby too, all around the edges. The head is compacted, groping, and tan.
Hops dominate the aroma. No mistaking where this is from. Piney grapefruits. But mostly pine. Smoky backing.
Begins sweet and roasty with caramel injected coffee. Lingers here for a moment or two. Lightly earthy, smoky twinges. But, really, this showcases the hops. Pine boxes and breakfast juice. All grapefruity and foresty. Lightly resinous, but lacks the sticking properties. As it warms, the earthy hues replicate. Like boggy toffee. But still, the hopping dominates.
This weighs in around medium, but seems to thin where it should fatten.
All told, its a good, unbalanced, west-coast-styled porter. But when "Scotch" is placed on the label, I expect it to come to fruition. And it doesn't really here.

cokes, Mar 28, 2004
Photo of ColForbinBC
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Pours an extremely dark brown with ruby highlights around the edges. A thick two finger tan head had solid staying power and left pretty rings of lace.

Aromas of brown sugar, roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate and booze.

Has a bit of a peat flavoring to go along with the roasted malt and dark chocolate. A nice lingering bitterness with a dose of warming does you right on a cold night.

Probably a little thin, but it didn't really detract from the experience. Medium to full bodied with perfect carbonation.

A little boozy, so it is definitely one to sip, but nothing remotely hindering here.

ColForbinBC, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

TheBeerAlmanac, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of alexgash
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, blackish, and cloudy with sediment. Medium-big, fluffy, brown head.
Peaty, smoky aromas; charred cedar logs, a touch of dark coffee, all underlaid by sweet, roasty malts.
Tastes much like it smells. Smoky elements stand out (yum), with whiskey and fruit also coming through. Roasty-sweet throughout with bitter dark chocolate into the finish. Finish is bitter (but not terribly) and earthy, with some lingering fruity malt. Big bodied; somewhat creamy feel. Delicious.

alexgash, Oct 23, 2004
Photo of bpfrush
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

bpfrush, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- This be a pretty Porter. Thin frothy khaki head. Head, while diminutive in stature, retains well and leaves curtains of lace. When held up to the light I can see through it but only very slightly, not because its opaque, just because its quite dark.

S-Nose is sturdy to say the least. Chocolate, coffee, smoke and even some nuttiness. Smoke is definitely the most prominent feature in the nose. Much of the traditional Porter aroma is there as well (coffee/chocolate).

T-Nose and taste are similar. Smoke rules but is not overbearing. More chocolate and coffee appear as they should. I normally am not very enamored by a smoked element in my beer, but here I find it to be quite pleasant. Molasses dances around after ever sip too.

M-Medium body. Carbonation is fairly prickly. A bit dry but has a nice smoothness that lingers after each sip.

O/D-Super-deal ($4.99 a six-pack) makes this a ridiculous deal. I enjoyed this more than their DIPA. Smoke is set to an elegant tune. A solid, sturdy, brawny porter.

VelvetExtract, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of Brent
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought this as a single and the bottle only notes that it is a porter (albiet with the label showing a Scottish tartan design under the word "porter," perhaps that should have been my clue?). Even without knowledge that this was sort of a hybred, I was struck by the interesting, smokey nature of the malt and an undercurrent of unsweetened cocoa powder. None of the cardboard mustyness that all too often plagues porter malts. Very nicely done.

Brent, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of tigg924
2.68/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, dark brown in color, cloudy, sediment

Smell: peat, toasted malt, alcohol, and chocolate

Taste: peat, toasted malt, alcohol, chocolate, and a small bit of coffee

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, moderate body, semi-sweet

Drinkability: Not a favorite. It seems as though the alcohol really overpowers the good malty taste. This seems like two different beers and the flavors do not combine. I will pass in the future.

tigg924, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of ADZA
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Love a hybrid brew and keen for this one which pours the darkest brown non see through hue with a creamy two finger head and subtle clingy lacing,the smell is peated smokey malts,dark chocolate and roasted caramel,the mouthfeel is medium bodied with above moderate carbonation and on taste it starts off like a scotch ale and finishes like a porter with tastes first up of smokey peated malts,a touch of whiskey,roasted caramel,a dash of coffee liqueur and finished with a dark chocolate bittersweetness and overall it's definitely half scotch ale and half porter which works and I for one enjoyed it and buy again without doubt cheers.

ADZA, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of Suds
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours as a thick, nearly black (and solid) color with a frothy tan head. The head is long-lasting and fairly dense. The aroma is intensely roasted, burnt and malty. Chocolate, smoke, and malt (perhaps more-so than other porters). Rather than a bitter coffee quality, this porter seems to have a sweet coffee quality. Just a touch of alcohol warming, and a solid, full mouthfeel. It’s rich, tasty, and very smooth. Relatively low hoppiness, but still detectable. Very enjoyable, but a bit too sweet for my expectations.

Suds, Jul 31, 2004
Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chestnut body with a small tan head. Good retention and some patchy lacing on the glass. Aroma of milk chocolate and a hint of smoke. Medium body with subdued medium carbonation. Taste is chocolate malt, hints of burnt coffee, vanilla, and a note of fruity hops. No smokiness in the flavor. A decent American porter.

merlin48, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of petermethot
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

petermethot, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of tgbljb
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep reddish brown color with moderate tannish chunky head. Nice lacing noted. Smell is of roasted malt and dark fruit. Taste starts off roasty and coffee-like, but a strong dryness begins to show through. Finish is on the very dry side, and is a bit too strong because it completely overpowers any malt taste. An OK beer, but not one that I will revisit.

tgbljb, Jul 28, 2006
Photo of argock
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date.

A: Deep brown-black with deep tan at the edges. The medium-tan head is attractive with a rising dough character. The lace is haphazard and starts at 2/3 down the glass.

S: A little light with dark chocolate, roasted and burnt malt, and woody barrel aromas present.

T: Definitely a porter with roasted malt, burnt malt, bitter chocolate, and a slight but noticeable smoke note that is enhancing without being overbearing. Sweeter than you'd imagine -- pretty delicious and would go well with sweet onion and barbeque.

M: Chewy and full-bodied with light carbonation and a real porter feel.

D: A really drinkable porter with a light smoke and non-peat note that enhances. Great feel that make sit hard to put down.

argock, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured black with ruby highlights. The head was brown and fell slowly. It laced the glass.

The aroma was chocolate with caramel in the background. Also in the aroma was some fruitiness.

The flavor was chocolate and coffee with hop bitterness in the background. Also present was a complex smokiness that enhances the flavor.

The finish was dry coffee and chocolate. The body was medium.

12 ounce bottle. I would not particularly stick this in the smoked beer style, more of a porter.

GCBrewingCo, Feb 15, 2004
Steelhead Scotch Porter from Mad River Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 315 ratings.