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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

313 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 313
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: 313 | Reviews: 225 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%

Deep, dark appearance, near black, with clear crimson at the bottom. Nice brown head dissolves in a trice.
Aroma is rich and vibrant, roasted and toasted, a thick malty thing. Molasses and carob, bittersweet coffee and a twist of anise. Dark, but lively.
Thick, full feel on the mouth, stygian in character, a black morass that edges into deliciousness.
Smooth and downright downable, with a sticky, lasting, lingering finish. Full-bodied.
A very smart brew that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Were this readily available in my environs, I'd pick it up with regularity.

(cheers to Chaz!)

feloniousmonk, May 20, 2005
Photo of Truh
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%

Wore a black tartan with this one on 4/14/2005. 12-oz. bottle poured in a shaker glass.

Thunder heads of battling initial ¾-inch head that settles to an isthmus-like covering with a great pastiche of lace. Brown black hue, like root beer without the carbonation as nothing at all can be seen inside of it. Huge peat smoke presence on nose, with a jammy malt skeleton and some earthy tones, somechocolate. Smoked oak and chocolate malt on the tongue, with some ginger snap and brownie sweetness; surprisingly medium-bodied – had expected a bit more body with this.

All in all, passable, but with the lighter-than-expected body I ended up somewhat disappointed. With its moniker, I wanted something more full and complex.

Truh, Apr 15, 2005
Photo of malthead
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%

Appearance is beautiful, black with a dense tan head. Smells of cocoa, dark chocolate and smoke. It has an astringent aftertaste which I'm not fond of... and more hops than I would like. tastes more like a stout than a porter, whatever a 'scotch' porter is... Decent mouthfeel, but it's marred by that overly astringent aftertaste. I like drinking Scotch and all, so it's not that it's simply too harsh for me, but rather that it's too astringent and bitter to fit this style. Decent drinkability, though, inspite of that.

malthead, Feb 06, 2005
Photo of ElGordo
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

Pours pitch black with a half-inch khaki-colored head that has some staying power. Nice aroma of rich roasted malt, mocha, and some peaty smoke. Palate is dominated by smoky malt, with notes of espresso and caramel and a touch of hops. Body is a little thin, but still pretty rich. Probably couldn't have more than one of these in a night, but a good beer overall. Less agressive than other smoked beers, which in my opinion is a definite plus. It doesn't have the beef jerky taste that puts me off most other beers in the category.

ElGordo, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of kbub6f
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.

kbub6f, Jan 19, 2005
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.

BeerManDan, Jan 18, 2005
Photo of ybnorml
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.

ybnorml, Jan 03, 2005
Photo of Sammy
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.

Sammy, Dec 19, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
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.

jdhilt, Dec 17, 2004
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.

yankeeheel, Oct 29, 2004
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.

alexgash, Oct 23, 2004
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.

RootedFool, Sep 29, 2004
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.

aracauna, Sep 17, 2004
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.

HappyHourHero, Sep 10, 2004
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!

mattcrill, Aug 14, 2004
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.

Suds, Jul 31, 2004
Photo of JahNoth
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!

JahNoth, Jul 22, 2004
Photo of WesWes
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.

WesWes, Jul 22, 2004
Photo of david23
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!!

david23, Jul 15, 2004
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....

ZAP, Jun 25, 2004
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.

Bighuge, May 05, 2004
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.

cokes, Mar 28, 2004
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. :)

Skidz, Mar 19, 2004
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.

abents, Mar 07, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
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.

GCBrewingCo, Feb 15, 2004
Steelhead Scotch Porter from Mad River Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 313 ratings.