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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.
very good

309 Ratings

(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
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Ratings: 309 | Reviews: 225 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kbub6f

New York

4.03/5  rDev +2.8%

A tiny brown head dies in twenty seconds. The beer is dark, dark, toffee brown. It's almost black. Sweet toffee liqueur in the alcohol-rich nose. Some chocolate and pure vanilla too. Up front are the toffee and chocolate, with just a little smoke. A malty, toffee syrup middle shows some nice, cool milkiness. Finish is dry with bitter chocolate, some veggies and a little smoke. Nice. It's a good, toffee-chocolate porter.

01-19-2005 22:21:26 | More by kbub6f
Photo of BeerManDan


3.78/5  rDev -3.6%

When poured it was a dark brown with foam on the inside face of the glass. The smell was of roasted malts is what first filled the nose. The taste was of roasted malts, with a smokey flavor and hints of chocolate. Sort of a thick creamy texture to this scotch ale.

01-18-2005 06:05:12 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

3.6/5  rDev -8.2%

A very dark brown nearly black beer with a hint of red. Has a small (one finger) creamy light brown head. A good malty aroma with a strong chocolate character and a smokey background. The roasted malt bitterness washes over your tongue followed by a bittersweet chocolate aspect.

01-03-2005 01:41:02 | More by ybnorml
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev -20.2%

Part of the latest trend to add scotch or bottles in or with wood or bourbon. I tasted the scotch, the porter part was not great. There was smoke but it subtracted also. Letdown, like the Unibroue version better. Maybe with some barbeque food. Malt in there, and something different, but not my cup of tea.

12-19-2004 03:35:32 | More by Sammy
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

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


4.08/5  rDev +4.1%

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.

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


4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

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.

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


4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

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.

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


3.2/5  rDev -18.4%

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.

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


3.98/5  rDev +1.5%

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.

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


4.3/5  rDev +9.7%

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!

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


3.8/5  rDev -3.1%

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.

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

New York

4.53/5  rDev +15.6%

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!

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

New York

4/5  rDev +2%

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.

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

New York

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

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!!

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


4.03/5  rDev +2.8%

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....

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


4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

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.

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


3.78/5  rDev -3.6%

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.

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


4.15/5  rDev +5.9%

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. :)

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


4.22/5  rDev +7.7%

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.

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

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2%

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.

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


3.6/5  rDev -8.2%

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.

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


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

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

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

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.

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


4.28/5  rDev +9.2%

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.

10-15-2003 02:57:45 | More by rkhaze
Steelhead Scotch Porter from Mad River Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.