1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

309 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 309
Reviews: 225
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.2%
Wants: 13
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: 309 | Reviews: 225 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of david131
david131

California

4.18/5  rDev +6.6%

A- A very dark brown beer with a little bit of ruby hues around on the edges. The head is thin, off white and splotchy.

S- Some chocolate and peat. A little bit of of smokiness and vanilla in there.

T- Same as the aroma, but surprisingly mild. This beer looks like it is going to have a lot more of a bang to it. I am actually enjoying that.

M- Very smooth with a good carbonation level. Excellent.

D- I wasn't really sure about the idea of drinking a scotch porter, but I am really surprised here. A very drinkable beer with a lot of flavor for the ABV.

09-22-2008 03:57:56 | More by david131
Photo of Seanibus
Seanibus

California

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

A tasty and worthy porter.

Pours deep black with a slightly off white head that falls quickly. Smells strong and sweet, highly malty. The flavor is sweet and extremely malty, a bit peaty and smoky with hints of Chocolate, cherrywood, sandalwood. Although the flavor is powerful, it is not out of balance. The mouthfeel is thin and clean with a nice tickle of carbonation.

09-11-2008 20:44:34 | More by Seanibus
Photo of donteatpoop
donteatpoop

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

Pours a deep dark amber brown with a thin film of tan head.

Smells of pete and chocolate malt.

Wow. Great taste, full of chocolatey goodness. Really fucking good.

Somewhat dry in the mouth, kind of the weak point of the beer.

Very drinkable, I can drink these all night.

09-06-2008 17:49:57 | More by donteatpoop
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
AKBelgianBeast

Alaska

4/5  rDev +2%

Pours a nice deep black with ruby highlights and a pretty nice fizzy off white, grayish head. Nose is roasted malt and some peat. Taste follows with good smokey roasty peat flavor, but defenitely more porter than scotch, although the scotch is there. Mouthfeel could be thicker, as for this type of brew I would expect the abv to be a little higher as well. A good session porter, as drinkability is pretty good. Overall a decent beer, and one I will probably pick up again when looking for a nice dark, flavorful yet not overbearing brew. Good beer.

08-26-2008 04:47:13 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of woemad
woemad

Washington

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%

12oz bottle purchased in June at Bottles in Millwood, WA, for $1.49. No freshness date.

Poured a dark, cola-like color, taking on a slightly ruby-ish tint when held up to light. A thick, creamy tan head of about 2" floated serenely atop the beer in a "New Model" SA glass and hung around for a while. A sticky tan webbing was left behind once it did recede.

The nose on this one is roasty and peaty, as one would expect from a beer marketed as a "scotch porter." There's also a mild scent of brown sugary sweetness.

A chocolatey maltiness first hits the tastebuds, followed by a roastiness that matches the initial sweetness. The peat malt is dialed back further than I thought it would be, but it's still present, more as ambiance than anything else. There's a hoppy dryness at the swallow that might be more at home in a stout than a porter, but I don't think this was meant to follow style guidelines in the first place. The sweetness seems to increase as the beer warms up, but not to an unpleasant degree.

A coating yet watery mouthfeel, if that makes any sense. I think this is a category where an improvement would be nice.

A tasty beer in one or two doses, I think the sweeter aspects of the flavor might get a bit cloying if I were to have more than that. Probably make a decent dessert beer.

08-25-2008 00:08:33 | More by woemad
Photo of bbothen
bbothen

California

3.88/5  rDev -1%

12 oz bottle poured into Sam Adams beer glass.

Deep dark ruddy brown with a small head. head eventually goes away & leaves tiny bubbles around glass.

Has a nice roasted aroma along with some faint chocolate & hop aromas.

Nice bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted/toasted flavor. Slight smoky or charred taste in the finish. Plenty of hop bite as well. Tasty.

Smooth, creamy, full bodied, moderate carbonation.

Several pints easily.

Tasty brew from Mad River. Would be good with some smoked BBQ pork. Let's go.

08-24-2008 01:10:58 | More by bbothen
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4/5  rDev +2%

Appearance: Dark ruddy brown, almost opaque but not quite there. Half an inch of head rises from a hard pour and remains for several minutes before receding to a ring.

Smell: Roasty and dry. There's some coffee along with a hint of smoke and cacao.

Taste & mouthfeel: Mildly peaty and smoky initially, those flavors transform into a long note of dark chocolate and coffee bean before the dry and roasty finish. Medium-light in body, I'd appreciate a bit more thickness for the level of flavor, but it's a small complaint. This is a well-crafted porter, subtle but unique and very drinkable.

08-22-2008 01:10:29 | More by largadeer
Photo of tonistruth
tonistruth

Nevada

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

A- deep mahogany brew with a little off white to tan head, no lacing

S- caramel, rich toasted malts

T- sweet and rich malty flavors, caramel, toffee, subtle dried fruits, smokey malt flavors, lots of toasted malts flavors

M- full creamy body with a subtle coarseness

D- awesome scotch ale, tasty and complex, recommended

08-18-2008 23:52:58 | More by tonistruth
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%

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.

08-04-2008 05:26:51 | More by argock
Photo of drxandy
drxandy

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

12oz to flare pint, pours an opaque deep brown, floaties present, foamy head fades to a nice lacing

smells of chocolate malts, roastiness, lactose?

tastes bitter, smooth, heavy malts, chocolate, roasty bitterness, a nice take on a porter.

mouthfeel is bitter roasty smoothness, easy to drink and would pair well with food.

07-23-2008 17:34:54 | More by drxandy
Photo of NCBeernut
NCBeernut

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +7.1%

A: Khaki 2 finger bubbly head falls in a few minutes leaving a tan coating over the seemingly black to dark brown brew. A bright light will reveal its dark brownish red color, with plenty of suspended sediment.

S: Butterscotch, a touch of smoke, slight hints of cocoa that shy away. Still maintains a roasted quality that you would expect from a porter.

T&M: Same elements as the smell. Roastiness comes out more, and lingers in aftertaste. Smoke come forward as well. Butterscotch is still there at about the same level, but it blends in with the other flavors that have come forward. A very earthy quality where a subtle touch of hops contributes. A little bitterness, but just the right amount to lend some balance. Definitely a malty showcase. Very good. Mouthfeel is slick and bubbly. Extra points for uniqueness.

07-18-2008 19:24:20 | More by NCBeernut
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -12%

Thanks to kinnaird for this one.

This beer pours a murky, lake-water brown with a thin collar of pale tan.

Smells of caramelized sugar and a slight green apple fruitiness that's balanced off by a distant woody hop.

Tastes rather faint with a touch of burnt sugar and a hint of coffee that's backed with a light garden vegetable. This picks up a slight dryness and finishes off quite dry with a touch of woody hop and a nip of fresh coffee.

Feel a little heavy with an explosion of bubbles that froth things up a bit.

A really solid average beer.

06-26-2008 02:47:52 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of AltBock
AltBock

Ohio

2.95/5  rDev -24.7%

12 oz. undated stubby bottle that has a drawing of a Steelhead Trout jumping out of a CA stream. If this fish doesn't watch themselves, they're going to jump into a mouth of a bear. To the right of the picture is the barcode and US Government warning. To the left is the refund values and a brief paragraph that talks about the brewery.

When poured into a Heavy Seas Euro style pint glass, this Steelhead is a heavly carbonated dark mahogany brown with some cranberry red highlights along the sides. The head of foam on this beer was 3/4 of an inch in height and was a light tan color. It was decent, but this head of foam quickly dissipated away into a handful of tan rings along the edge. No skim of foam, no lace, it just left behind tan rings.

The aroma to this beer was definitely a Porter aroma with a gentle touch of Scotch in it. The aroma was dark and roasted with roasted malts, roasted nuts, a splash of dark chocolate, and a light whiff of smoke at the finish.

The taste had a touch more Scotch characteristics in it, but they were still kept down to a minimum. The taste was lightly roasted with watered down bitter dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, roasted malts, biteer roasted citrus hops, and a tiny hint of smoke at the end. To me it would have been better if they would have increased the roasted aspect of the flavors and not water down the dark chocolate. It wasn't all that bad, it was just average.

This Porter was more light bodied than anything and featured a soft and gentle aftertaste of roasted malts, roasted coffee beans, and a hint of bitter roasted hops.

I'm on the fence with this one. I could go either way when it comes to this beer. I like how they added a small hint smokyness to this beer, but when compared to other average Porters out there, I really couldn't care less about this one. In other words, one is more than enough for me.

06-15-2008 16:43:27 | More by AltBock
Photo of MisterDeeds
MisterDeeds

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +9.2%

Well, I'm not sure what a dark porter beer has to do with fishing for Steelhead, but if we can get past that, we're in good shape.

Pouring from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Perfect Pint glass.

Dark. Really Dark. Bag over your head in the trunk of a cadillac dark. Almost pure blackness, but you can catch a tiny glimpse of light coming through at the bottom. Poured a thick creamy looking head that retreated quickly to a thin lacy white residue.

Smells like a mix of day-old coffee some type of of dark chocolate bar.

This is a very high quality porter. Starts off with a chocolately toffee sweetness, that balances well and finishes with a slight bourbon-like bitterness. Definitely could warm you up, or get you through a chilly tailgating day. Tastes a lot stronger than 6% abv, but isn't that the beauty of a good porter?

Muthfeel is almost on the level with a glass of whole milk. Very nice.

Not sure how many I could put away, almost like a Guinness or another heavy stout, but it is very tasty and inviting for a porter. One of my new favorites, and I can't wait have one outside in the snow while I am waiting for kickoff.

Or, perfect when you've just come in from the cold.

05-31-2008 01:46:40 | More by MisterDeeds
Photo of RixBeer
RixBeer

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -4.8%

Poured a medium chocolate brown and cascaded 3". Then the head fades from a quarter inch to a thin layer on the top.

Deep roasted chocolate and caramel with a funky smell of raspberry preserve. So weird. No wait it's strawberry jam. WTF?

Tastes of chocolate and melted caramel. Tiny hint of coffee that is barely present. Was there some sort of jam actually used in the fermenting tanks? F'n weird! Good though. Not great but good. It has a very interesting flavor.

Very smooth drinking. Seems that all the Mad River beers have that smoothness. Lingering carbonation that sits a minute.

Very drinkable. A little too much nothing for me. But I could see why people would like this beer. Not as good as some other porters but it's a decent pick!

05-17-2008 03:22:54 | More by RixBeer
Photo of BDIMike
BDIMike

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +4.1%

Pours a jet black color with a tan head that dissipates immediately.
Smell has a slight sweetness to it, but is more dominated by some nice roasted, burnt malts. A bit of a plum smell as well.
Taste starts of immedieatly with a good plum taste to it. It then finishes with a good burnt malt taste.
Very smooth feel to this beer. Goes right down and has a good thickness as well.
Great drinkability for a porter. This beer is so smooth and leaves a dry, roasted malt flavor on your tongue that encourages you to take another sip.

05-11-2008 01:58:05 | More by BDIMike
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

4.43/5  rDev +13%

God damn, this is an underrated brewery. They offer sixers from 8 to 12 bucks, and I find myself going back to them time after time. This seems to be the last of their beers for me to review. Quite excited to try it.

Pours a creamy dark brown with an inch or two of brown foam. To be honest, it doesn't look much like a porter. Almost more like a brown ale ... but it's too opaque and creamy for that. Pretty unique looking.

The smell is chocolate roasted malt with a bit of smoke to it. I don't know what peat smells like: maybe that's the aroma I detect. The taste is great. Creamy, chocolatey, some coffee in there, and a woodsy smokey background that's nicely understated (an example of a beer overwhelmed by it would be the Alaska smoked porter).

Just a great offering, particularly for the price. I wonder if this is seasonal, as I don't see it very often.

05-09-2008 07:34:12 | More by Overlord
Photo of JamesS
JamesS

Indiana

3.88/5  rDev -1%

Pours a very nice opaque (porter) color, although with just a bit of head and bit of lacing. Excellent scent, it combines the nice burnt grain of a porter with a slightly bit of smokiness of a scotch. Nice taste, as well, it has a slightly coffee flavor that mixes well with the scotch peatiness. The only thing really hurting the taste and feel is the bit of alcohol apparant in the aftertaste. Still, an excellent scotch porter.

04-16-2008 21:11:17 | More by JamesS
Photo of cswhitehorse
cswhitehorse

Oregon

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

The Steelhead scotch pours a dark brown/black color with a solid 2 finger foam head with some good retention. It has some good circular sudsy lacing.

The aroma is chocolately and deep roasted malts. The flavor is deep and complex. You can taste a scotch barrel wood in there. Along with chocolate. It was smooth and chewy in the mouth. Overall a wicked solid porter.

04-06-2008 00:18:09 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of alephilmac
alephilmac

Washington

3.38/5  rDev -13.8%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into imperial pint

A- blackish brown, with nice tan head that stays for duration and a decent lacing...

S- Light, too light for the type, improves as it warms, but all the same it just lets you down a bit when you pour a "scotch" porter...

T- Smoky sweet with caramel and richness, almost reminds me of a bourbon aged porter I had a while back(but not quite as good)

MF- Too much carbonation, but as that goes away and as it warms, the "scotch" flavor or caramel as it seems to be comes though very nicely

D- Other than the slight overcarbonation it is very nice and I could drink a number of them.

03-31-2008 00:46:33 | More by alephilmac
Photo of clint21
clint21

California

3.43/5  rDev -12.5%

Pours a dark brownish red. About a 1 inch head when poured into a Guinness glass. Tastes like your average Porter, very malty and strong. Didn't really taste any different than the porters I've had, maybe a bit stronger. Still very drink able. This is a local beer and another pretty good choice.

03-08-2008 05:39:02 | More by clint21
Photo of davidt
davidt

Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours a very dark brown with mahogany at the edges. Thin beige head. Aroma is chocolate and roasted malt with a light smokiness. The flavor is lightly roasted malt with a smoky background. The smoke flavor is enhanced as the beer warms. There are some bitter hops lingering in the aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

02-12-2008 21:29:54 | More by davidt
Photo of Kemmerlin
Kemmerlin

Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +11%

A: Dark as night. You hold this beer to the light and the light is gone. But at the edges it is dark brown and absolutely gorgous.

S: The is a strong and intising smell of allspice with oatmeal and other strong malts in the aromas.

T: Smoky taste with oatmeal and other malts in the front but not much bittering agents.

M: Strong in the beginning but has a huge after washing effect that brings on some serious taste.

D: I would drink it again but not many at one time.

02-04-2008 01:25:25 | More by Kemmerlin
Photo of oelergud
oelergud

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Stubby dark brown glass bottle, probably 12oz. Twist-off steel gray cap and the usual jumping trout on the cover.
Opaque mahogany body with a large airy tan head consisting of a creamy outer ring and a much less dense center. The retention is quite good with clumpy lace.
Nut, earth, smoke, peat and really dark bread make up the smell. Warm and inviting with just a kick of spice.
Smokey pine with some mildly subdued malts and enough peat to make your mouth water. The aftertaste is fairly short but great, smoke, peat and spiced hops mingled well together. Nice and complex.
Medium body with a grainy texture and a dry finish. Just abit of coating.
Very drinkable. Warm and pleasant.

-Oelergud

02-03-2008 18:43:50 | More by oelergud
Photo of BeerSox
BeerSox

Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

12oz bottle into nonic

Pitch black with no ruby edges. A tan one finger head slowly settles to a thick cap.

An interesting aroma. I can detect the roasty malts, which is typical of a Porter, but the deep caramel and flowery esters are that of a typical Scotch Ale.

The flavor seems to be more Scotch Ale than Porter. The caramailzed sugars dominate while the roasted flavors sit in the background. Just like both styles, the hops don't do much, but to subtly balance the hops. Full bodied with a slightly lower amount of carbonation. The finish is slowly fading caramel flavors.

I found this one to be a rather tasty beer. And interesting concept, and it seems to be a good one too. Complex and malty. Recommended.

02-02-2008 04:12:35 | More by BeerSox
Steelhead Scotch Porter from Mad River Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.