1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Steelhead Scotch Porter - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Steelhead Scotch PorterSteelhead Scotch Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

323 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 323
Reviews: 226
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 9.97%
Wants: 13
Gots: 15 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-23-2001

This traditionally styled Porter has complex malt characteristics balanced with a mild hop profile. Scottish smoked and peated malts lend added complexity and a mild smokey flavor.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 226
Photo of Vylo
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Irrationalist
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of tronester
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark chestnut color, with a thin tan head. smell is a bit of toasted grain. taste is rich velvety caramel malt, followed by a rich peaty smoke flavor. mouthfeel is smooth. carbonation is a bit high, but nothing crazy. overall a great beer, I will be getting this again.

Photo of RudeElf
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a chalice. Tan head repidly dissipated. Overall, a garnet brown color, slightly opaque. Smells of malt with a hint of underlying sourness on the nose. Tastes malty and smokey. A bit thin on the mouthfeel Fine carbonation. Smokey aftertaste lingers for several minutes.

Overall, not a bad porter. Typically I like my porter a bit smoother with more body and a little less smoke.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter

A - Deep, dark brown and solidly opaque, with a one-finger head of khaki tan brown, tight foam that quickly becomes a thin haze on the surface that lingers during the entire glass. Held to a strong, natural light, the edges of the bottom of the glass display just a trace of deep ruby red.

S - 50% dark chocolate, dark caramel, roasted malts, cocoa with a few marshmallows, all softly wrapped in a soft peaty envelope.

T - Dark chocolate/thick dark caramel with hints of smoke woven throughout. Moderately-burnt toast. Like a dark semi-sweet chocolate Dove bar with chocolate caramel ice cream. What hops are present are very much in the background and there to balance the chocolate, not compete with it.

M - Fundamental creaminess includes enough carbonation to cut through and clean the palate. On the thin side, in the traditional English porter style, but definitely not watery. Good, balanced structure. Not much of finish, although chocolates linger.

O - A bit of smokiness, dark caramels, and some bass in the chocolate dress up the standard English porter quite nicely. No confusing this with a stout, it's been pulled in a different direction. Probably a bit too focused on the chocolate to drink several, but it would pair exceptionally well with anything complemented by chocolate, such as vanilla ice cream or raspberries. Requires a fuller cigar with a dark but mellow wrapper. It should be noted that the "Scotch" has been dropped from the label, but "Porter" is printed on a tartan background. Recommended for non-hop-heads looking for more from a porter but not the burnt bitterness of a stout.

Photo of Nage37
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of laymansbeerfan
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of 57md
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown in color with little head. Nose is definitely roasty, but it is not super impressive. This a a solid classic porter - roasted malt upfront with a bitter malt finish. This is a respectable effort and the yield is a solid session porter even if the abv is a bit high for those purposes.

For me, it is certainly a positive bonus that this offering is proudly union made by brothers and sisters in the IAM.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

excellent excellent porter. pours chocolate syrup brown with a tall lace head. smells peaty, like a nice scotch, a bit smokey, and full of deep roasted chocolatey malts. flavor is complex as the peat notes really come through. gentle coffee bitterness creeps in at the end to round everything off. feel is nice, full bodied and properly carbonated. this is easily my favorite mad river brew ive had, and one of the better porters ive enjoyed this winter. really nice beer

Photo of chasmandocharles
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of tdm168
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown with a mountain of thick, dense, foamy, brown head that has great retention. The nose offers notes of soft, roasted malts and faint coffee. There is also a faint musty smell that is natural to English beers. The taste is rich and malty with notes of dark, roasted malt and faint coffee. There are some very faint hops in the finish that add balance and a mild bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation.

This is a very enjoyable, smooth, easy drinking porter. I would have this again.

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of guytyping
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of kirkse
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Hmhmurphy
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of towlea25
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of 1p5v
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of ejohnson654
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.95/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sweet and smokey. Dark brown in the pint glass. Very grainy with tastes of oatmeal and buckwheat. Smoke pretty well gets in the way but it's not a bad smoke. Campfire and charred wood rather than peat. Malt gives some rich, slightly sweet flavors. Light mouthfeel. Something of a dishwater aftertaste. Not particularly pleasant for drinkability.

On tap at The Linkery on 30th for San Diego Beer Week.

Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky dark brown with a 1 inch puffy tan head that settles to a thin film. Foamy chunks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. However, there is a sludge-like substance that sinks to the bottom of the glass after the pour. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and coffee. Taste is the same as the smell with a emphasis on roasty flavors - especially with the malt and coffee. A very mild roasty bitterness quickly fades after each sip. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a very crisp mouthfeel. A bit too much carbonation for the style in my opinion. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing really stands out for me.

Photo of bpfrush
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a really dark brown color from a 12 oz bottle. Almost pitch black once it is in the glass, and a lot of visible sediment floating around the edges till it finally settles.
One finger tan head that dissipates very quickly.
Aroma is high on chocolate, malt (more like chocolate malt balls) with hints of roasted coffee.
Taste upfront is slightly sweet, with the sweetness slowly consumed by a hint of bitterness in the finish. Surprisingly inspite of the bitterness, the finish is a nice lingering sweetness.
This is a very delicious porter. Medium bodied and easy to drink.
Definitely worth a try.

Photo of Murrhey
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into a Pilsner glass

A: Very thin, tan watery head. Half a finger width and zero retention rate. Deep chocolate dark, moderate lacing. Weird little floating bits?

S: Roasted malt, coffee overtones. Some sweetness in there as well.

T: Coffee and chocolate flavoring. Smooth and tasty. Would go great with chocolate.

M: Wonderful, smooth all the way.

O: Nice Porter, despite the poor head and retention. Mouthfeel and taste are top notch.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Steelhead Scotch Porter from Mad River Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.