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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

305 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 305
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
Ratings: 305 | Reviews: 224 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a two-finger brown head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Almost black. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Nose is roasted coffee. Starts and finishes with a roasted chocolate/coffee flavor but there is a lingering burnt coffee aftertaste. $2.44 for a 12 oz bottle from Oliver's Beverages Albany, NY.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2004 00:17:52 | More by jdhilt
Photo of yankeeheel
yankeeheel

Maine

4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours the usual black with a small but worthy cafe colored head. Moderate lacing. Smells quite milk chocolatety with a bit of the old coffee bean too. Super malty strong. Nice burnt malt acid wash followed by all the desireable porter flavors. Coffee, chocolate, licorice, and raisin. Slightly acidic hopped and burnt ending makes me want more. Full bodied and very drinkable. Worthy of a try.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2004 21:22:30 | More by yankeeheel
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2004 22:02:58 | More by alexgash
Photo of RootedFool
RootedFool

California

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours nearly black with a blood red aura peeking out around the base. Straight-up Coke-like head. As the head falls, some chunky clots of lace hang on to the glass. Smell is of peanut brittle, coffee with heavy cream, and just a hint of prune-like sweetness through the finish. Taste: opens with a bitter jab on the tip of my tongue, like weak black coffee, and quickly gains mass as it spreads toward the back of my palate. A subtle jolt of alcohol, followed by a creamy sweetness (caramel); and closes on a crisp bitter note with the sweetness receding along the edges. And througout the taste there's a hearty base of musty smokiness. Lovely. Mouthfeel is sticky, makes me smack my tongue against the roof of my mouth, gummy, but everything else about this brew makes up for it.

I purchased a sixer at Pat's, a convienence store in Eureka, California.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2004 05:02:48 | More by RootedFool
Photo of aracauna
aracauna

Georgia

3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cola-fizzy head disapates quickly leaving behind only the dark brown, nearly black, body. Sweet caramel and chocolate dominate the aroma with an undercurrent of smoke. The flavor isn’t quite as dominated by the caramel and chocolate as a charred roastiness accents the smoke, each one bringing out the other.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2004 19:41:52 | More by aracauna
Photo of HappyHourHero
HappyHourHero

Indiana

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich roasted malt and chocolate aroma, very nice. Reluctant, small chestnut colored head turned to a film after a minute. Opaque black colored beer, a caramel hue around the edges. Chocolate malt, roasted barely, a pinch of caramel and raisin. Mild biter chocolate flavor towards the end finishing slightly sweet. Solid, well rounded body.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2004 02:51:41 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of mattcrill
mattcrill

Ohio

4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Beerski for this great brew!

Appearance: pours brown, nearly black with a nice tan head. Leaves sticky lacings down the glass.

Smell: smoky for sure. A little malty and carmel arise after the smoke hits you first

Taste: Smoky and woody. Just like puffing on a nice Dominican cigar. I don't know if I have a word that describes it but this is the taste that epitomizes a good complex porter. A carmel and coffee-like quality that is balanced and not over-bearing.

Mouthfeel: light and a nice warm aftertaste.

Drinkability and overall: I could have drank a bunch of these. A good porter if you are a porter fan. This is by far one of my "top 5" porters. This is a great example of a smoked beer/porter if you are looking for a representative of the style.

Thanks again to Beerski for the sample!

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2004 19:58:42 | More by mattcrill
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2004 13:50:32 | More by Suds
Photo of JahNoth
JahNoth

New York

4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very deep garnet wih a fluffy, off-white head. Pronounced toffee nose with slight smoke. Bitter chocolate flavor with raisin and cherries. Slightly smoked malt with a mild hop balance. Finishes bitter. A real nice porter and a great find for the Rochester area!

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2004 02:06:27 | More by JahNoth
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich black and chocolate malt scent that is dry and a tad grainy. The taste is good. It has a very black flavor, rich in patent and roasted barley. It is dry and slightly bitter with a creamy aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine porter. It has a nice dark palate and a wonderful mouthfeel; a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2004 02:04:10 | More by WesWes
Photo of david23
david23

New York

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just goes to show you that seasons don't mean a thing when it comes to just having a good beer and believe me this is one.Having one right now as I write this.Looks great in the glass with a nice tannish head and a dark body. Aroma is chocolate, caramel and a woodsy smokiness.Seems to me they managed to get the carbonation right on this as I experience no fizziness on my tongue.As for the flavor, caramel, chocolate smokey perhaps a little peat and as it warms just a hint of hoppines that melds perfectly. All in all, go for it because this is just one fine brew!!

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2004 22:39:46 | More by david23
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

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....

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2004 05:53:50 | More by ZAP
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost black in color. Thick, dense light brown head. Retention is solid. Lacing is full and comes in rings and patches. Aroma is burnt malt, tar, smoked salmon and roasted malts. Flavor profile offers smoke, bittersweet chocolate, char, burnt malts and tobacco. It's not just a total onslaught (like say Alpha Klaus, which was in a good way) but the flavors are fairly pronounced. This is really enjoyable. The body is damn near full and the mouthfeel smooth, creamy and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2004 04:33:23 | More by Bighuge
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2004 06:09:39 | More by cokes
Photo of Skidz
Skidz

Wisconsin

4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out brown and appears as a super dark, burnt brown. Tan, bubbly head has retreated to the outskirts of the glass by the time I'm writing this.

Smells like a heap of hops have been dumped into this. Citrus tones, most noteably grapefruit, stand out strong. My beer must be getting dizzy from me swirling it so much, but it is very difficult to get underneath that blanket of citrus hops.

I'm curious as to what is in this "Scotch Porter" so I'm just going to dive right in. Tastes like what I imagine a smoked grapefruit to taste like. The smoky hues and strong citrus presence dominate, with some brown sugar flavors and roasted grains peeking through every now and then. Nice bitter finish, nice flow and great taste.

Medium-medium-full body sits nicely in the mouth with a vast amount of tiny carbonation bubbles tingling your mouth on all sides. Very nicely built, easy as pie to drink, I'd like to sit down with a few of these for a good night. If nutritional facts were on the label, I could see this being a good source of vitamin C. :)

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2004 04:44:13 | More by Skidz
Photo of abents
abents

Wisconsin

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

Appearance: Dark brown pour with dark tan head. Laces glass, but fades quickly

Smell: Roasted malts dominates with slight hint of carmel or some sweetness to it.

Taste: Here we go... Wow, good roasted maltiness initially. Also has notes of bitter chocolate and carmel. Followed with citrus hops for a second then quickly masked by a smoky feeling that lingers in the mouth. Very comforting beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth but full taste that sticks in the mouth and lets you taste it for hours.

Drinkability: Very nice porter, smooth and smoky, but easy flowing could drink this a while. Good job.

This is my first brew from mad river and I will definitly be trying their stout next. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2004 04:10:19 | More by abents
Photo of GCBrewingCo
GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2004 00:53:42 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I pour this chilled sample into my pint glass. Gotta love the label with salmon flying around.
The brew pours extremely dark brown almost black. No light gets through my glass. A tan head foams up easily to about 1cm. The head fades rather quickly to a thin suface layer.
Aroma is very rich and malty, some bourbony scents and faint hints of smoke too. I dont pick up any hops.
First sip reveals sharpo carbonation and a medium bodie brew. The flavor is malty sweet caramel and chocolate up front with a little oaky, earthy, bourbon in the middle. FInish is a little empty with not too much flavor. There is a very mild caramel flavor left in my mouth but very faint.
No hops on the flavor in my opinion. This is a nice brew but I wish it was a little thicker and had a stronger finish. Good flavors to drink on a cold winter's nite just not very strong.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2004 03:54:08 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark and brooding brown color with a monstrous light tan head that is semi-creamy in texture, as it slowly erodes a thick and sticky curtain of lace forms to seal off the glass. The peated malts add a bit of muskiness to the nose, backed by the mild toasted barley and crystal malts, sweet, fresh and a pleasant change of pace. Start is sweet, thickly malt, the top is light to medium in its feel to the palate. Finish is benignly acidic, the hops perky in their spicy bite, very dry and somewhat bitter aftertaste, a decent beer and one I’ve not sampled for 1091 days, I guess that’s just a tad short of 3 years, way over due I’d say, as Mad River is a favorite Brewery, just never see this beer here.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2003 00:25:27 | More by Gusler
Photo of JISurfer
JISurfer

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh yeah! This is one badass brew! It's a Scotch Porter, yet it resembles an Imperial/Old Ale in smell and taste. It's a very dark amber, almost black, with a dark tan head to it. It had a smokey smell to it, mixed with chocolate and subtle fruits. It was creamy and coated the mouth very well, as well as the throat. The taste was very nice too. It had the same properties as the smell, but much more intense, especially on the chocolate maltiness. I guess if this were a candy, it would be an alcoholic malted milk ball. This is the first Steelhead that I have ever had, and if they are all great like this one, it won't be the last.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2003 04:00:16 | More by JISurfer
Photo of rkhaze
rkhaze

California

4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Always nice to run accross this one. Poured a very dark brown with reddish highlights. Good thick tan head that left sticky lace.
The aroma had roasted malts, caramel, chocolate and a peaty smokiness.
Tasted of rich roasted malts, coffee, caramel, cocoa and a nice earthiness due to the peat/smoke. Hops came in a bit citrusy but it helped balance the richness a bit. As it warmed it got more complex due to the smoke coming out more and a molasses-like sweetness showing up. Finished long and dry.
Had a medium body and was very drinkable for such a rich/smoky beer due to a good level of carbonation.
Definitely an interesting brew and highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2003 02:57:45 | More by rkhaze
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101

California

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black color, medium tannish foamy head. Aroma is malty and sweet, with a touch of smoke. Roasted malts, slightly hoppy. Robust malts, nearly chocolaty. Full flavor, some sweetness. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is smooth. Smooth taste. Aftertaste is malty, slightly bitter.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2003 01:22:31 | More by beerguy101
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 oberon
oberon

North Carolina

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

Poured a nice rich looking deep brown with nice fluffy light brown head,smell was sweet and caramelly.I got the taste of roasted nuts and some light chocolate tones.Real liked the body of this one,pretty rich and velvety.First so-called"scotch porter" I think I have had,real nice.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2003 07:29:45 | More by oberon
Photo of Zraly
Zraly

Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark and strange brew that reminds me of a recent homebrew that we dredged up. Our intentions were to come up with a strong stout...and it tastes much like this, except ours is a bit more powerful in the hop department. (We used a couple ounces of Chinook hops...and that isn't all!)

The head retention in this beer is poor, but I'm not paying much mind. It's a wonderful, deep mahogany...very close to being a substantial black.

The smell is that of chocolate and alcohol. There is a rich, leather note that comes out in the intial flavor...with hints of vanilla and coniferous tree. A "day-old-burnt-coffee" flavor finishes up the bouquet. There is also a sweet, residual alcohol flavor that waits around...similar to a flavored vodka.

This is definately an experimental brew because I think it defies classification. (Specialty porter...hmmm?) I think it is a good representative of a porter/stout hybrid with some creative touches added for good measure. Give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2003 14:59:40 | More by Zraly
Steelhead Scotch Porter from Mad River Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 305 ratings.