Slammin' Salmon Double India Pale Ale | Mad River Brewing Company

Slammin' Salmon Double India Pale AleSlammin' Salmon Double India Pale Ale
839 Ratings
Slammin' Salmon Double India Pale AleSlammin' Salmon Double India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Steelhead Double India Pale Ale

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-18-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 839 |  Reviews: 411
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark kumquat with bright tangerine edges. Because I was able to get all twelve ounces into the pint glass on the initial pour, the beer is filled with a dense cloud of fine particulates that sunlight is barely able to penetrate. The firm cap is somewhere between creamsicle orange and beige in color, persists nicely and graces the glass with an impressive amount of lace.

I expect DIPA noses to be more explosively hoppy. That said, this one smells pretty much like it should. I'm betting on pale and caramel malts, in roughly equal proportions, and citric hops with a tropical vibe that reminds me of Amarillo. I have no knowledge of the hop bill in either case, but my review of this beer's little brother, Jamaica Sunset IPA, makes it sound like Amarillo was used there as well.

Steelhead Double IPA is more vibrant on the palate. Although it isn't a mind-blowing West Coast DIPA like Alpine Pure Hoppiness, AleSmith YuleSmith or Stone Ruination, it's pretty damn tasty in its own right. Mad River claims 85 IBUs. Yeah, that seems about right.

Any more caramel malt (relative to pale) and it wouldn't be nearly as good. The malt backbone is sugar cookie-like with a healthy dollop of caramel frosting. The hops rush in at the midway point and give the tongue a moderately sound thrashing. Pine is especially prominent, along with white grapefruit and bitter lemon. Let's add Cascade and/or Centennial to the hop bill speculation.

The mouthfeel is worthy of a DIPA. It's nice and full with a fruit pulp-like lushness that never becomes heavy or overly sticky. While I'm not tempted to bump the score, it might just be the highlight of this entire experience.

Mad River Steelhead Double IPA is exactly what the brewery intended. In other words, it's a maltier, hoppier, bolder, brasher Jamaica Sunset IPA. It isn't a DIPA that I'd crawl over broken glass to drink (like the ones mentioned above), but I'm more than happy with what the brewery has crafted. I'd pick up a sixer now and then if I lived out California way.

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Photo of wafers
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into standard pint glass

A: Pours a burnt-orange to peach color, very cloudy, moderate amounts of sediment seen floating around
S: Aroma of oranges, some berry sweetness
T: Nice hop flavoring right up front, definite citrus bitterness, flavorings of oranges, tangerine, noticeable hit of alcohol towards the end
M: Medium to full-bodied, not as resiny or sticky as some other IPA's
O: Tasty DIPA, shows characteristics of the extreme hopped flavors of these types of brews but also shows a decent amount of citrus sweetness to offset the bitterness. Would buy again.

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Photo of kflorence
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy amber, orange in color with a good amount of frothy head that dissipates to a thin film layer and leaves plenty of lacing around the edges of the glass as you drink. Carbonation levels look to be good. Has that classic American IPA look to it. Make sure you swish the last bit of beer around in the glass before you pour so you get a bit more flavor (if you prefer).

S: Really a pretty subtle aroma for a double IPA (especially of the West coast variety). I was expecting an olfactory assault of hops, but actually found a fair amount of sweet malts. Don't get me wrong, there is a bit of hop aroma in there... mostly citrus, but the malts seem prominent.

T: As the aroma led me to believe, this is a pretty balanced West coast IPA. That said, the hops do dominate the flavor all the way through, but only slightly, which was unexpected for me seeing as this is an IPA of the double variety. Anyways, the hops are mostly of the citrus variety, a very bitter grapefruit I would say, with a twist of lemon and a bit of Juniper. As for the malts, I'm getting a lot of bread and sweetness; no toasty or roasted notes. That's pretty much it. Simple, but very effective. It could probably use a bit more balance malt-wise, but maybe that's just me.

M: Medium body with a good level of carbonation, this brew comes off quite creamy with a bit of chewiness. There is a bit of oil that coats the tongue, but the beer finishes dry with a little bit of chalkiness.

O: As a West coast double IPA, I expected something overwhelmingly hoppy. What I got was a great, fairly well balanced IPA with a straightforward flavor, great mouthfeel and very high drinkability (especially for an 8.6% ABV). This will probably disappoint those looking for a hop-high, but if you can get past that, this is a very solid offering and another good brew from Mad River. Cheers!

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Photo of Traquairlover
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass>

A = Hazy amber, very small head which quickly dissipated, not much lacing either on glass of on surface, light carbonation with small bubbles.

S = Spicy floral hops smells, sweet malt undertones. Not incredibly complex but there is some balance.

T = Citrus up front, some light sweet malt flavors mid-palate, long bitter finish.

M = Light bodied, good mouthcoating, pleasing amount of slightly, frothy carbonation. Marked down because I thought the body was a little too light.

D = Good drinkability, the hops give good flavors and bitterness but there is enough balance to make this a drinker rather than just a pucker inducer.

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Photo of Foxman
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a hazy golden orange with totally static, suspended yeast floaters. A finger of off-white head settles soon to fine frothy cosmos. Aqueducts of lacing arch along the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, oozy caramel malt, berry sweet and bready, is just nudged by mandarin orange citrus and an ensuing misty bitterness. There is just the merest hint of alcohol.

Upon sipping, the dense malt feints toward sweetness before it pulls back, but not until the caramel and berry make a decided point. The hops are rather soft, with an easy citrus zestiness and a rounded but crisp bitterness. The alcohol is moderate but finds the sinuses capably. Bread dough yeastiness is passed by a slowly building bitterness that lingers as it dries cleanly. The flavor is mainstream and especially malty, but rather nice.

Medium bodied, a slow, smooth flow is tainted slightly by the feathery and distracting touch of passing solids.

It's not ideal across the board, but it has some pleasurable strengths. The flavor is a no-suprises tasty, malt-heavy DIPA profile. It has an effortless nature that excuses a sneakily potent ABV. The result is a plesantly drinkable beer with a decent hop nuance. So, maybe it's not a beast like many DIPA's, but even if it's just an imp, it's not bad at all.

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Photo of Natural510
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I haven't had one of these in years; quite possibly the first DIPA I ever tried. Here we go...

Nice, bright orange color with a stationary haziness. Not much in the way of head retention or lacing, tho.
Juicy citric scent of orange marmalade and jasmine.
Sweet malt heaviness with juicy notes and a bitter aftertaste. Earthy, forest-like finish.
Nicely drinkable, but not as well-rounded and full-bodied as you usually find in the style. More of an everyday DIPA, as opposed to others which test the limits of what great beer can be.

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Photo of Callenak
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glassÂ…

Pours a nice pale orange with a good white head. Looks to have been bottle conditioned, an obvious haze to it.

Smells good. Loads of continental hops; citrus and a little pine. Very appealing.

Taste was pleasant. A good malt balance to back up the hops but not to malty like some east coast DIPA's. A solid hop presence but not nearly as much as some DIPA's I've had. You could have told me this was just a slightly hoppier regular IPA and I wouldn't bat an eye. Doesn't have much of an alcohol burn either.

Overall, not a relatively enjoyable beer. Not blown away but not appalled either. It's just nice to be able to get a DIPA in CA that doesn't come in a bomber. Makes me much more prone to open one.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a very rich, piney double ipa. smells like the forest in early autumn, pollen and sap are everywhere. nose is crisp like a chilly evening when the first snow might fall, some caramel and pale malts way back there. flavor is equally pine centered, very fresh flavor, more sweet than bitter, even in the finish. you'd never guess this is 8.6% abv, cant taste it at all, and doesnt have that heavy boozed up feel. feel is great, brightly carbonated and roughly medium bodied, maybe a little fuller than that. This is a beer i'd like to take camping or fishing or something, hearty and delicious, outdoorsy, autumnal. this is a winner in my book.

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a "local" brewery so I always hope for the best. From a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass poured a murky golden to dark orange with a medium white head that left nice clean lacing. Fairly solid nose of hops and citrus with a touch of apricots. Mouthfeel is nothing special, and the flavor is of malts, fruits, flowers, and a touch of pine. Generally very complex flavors. The alcohol is well hidden. Finish is bitter as befitting an IPA. But the double IPA competition is fierce these days, and while the price is right, this does not quite measure up to the top hitters. Not a bad brew and I am glad to see Mad River come out with a double.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted March 27th 2011

A - Red sunset, half finger white head and lots of lacing

S - High octane sweet alcohol, soap, flowers, pine, sap, wheat, yeast. I am also getting a watermelon jolly rancher smell. The malt is so sweet smelling, it's intense

T - Even though it is only 8.6% the alcohol is in your face. Soapy, nice pine, fruit and floral bitterness and a very strange very sweet, toasted and then very sweet again malt. The jolly rancher watermelon is still in the tastes. The sweet and bitter are from two different worlds and don't balance exactly, but tasty

M - Sticky, lots of carbonation and the bitter and than sweet and bitter and than sweet aftertaste is a bit off putting

D - This one is big in a lot of ways. 8.6%, really sweet and yet really bitter. This contradiction IPA is one for the books

Final thought - This is a crazy beer, but heck, I like crazy. Just make sure if you see $12.99 you price match to $9.49

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Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was lookin for a hop fix today so I grabbed this and it filled the need but it could have been better.Poured into an oversized wine glass a hazed burnt orange with a thinner but pretty well retained slight off white head atop.Aromas are lighter but they are appetizing quite floral with some citric notes to be expected along with a pronounced biscuit malt compnent.Mouthfeel is a little light wich actually keeps the big flavors from being hammered home in my mind the flavors are nice though starting out floral and citrusy with a big resiny finish all along a semi-sweet caramel biscuit base is there holding up well to the hops.Man this could be really really good beef up the mouthfeel to enhance the flavors and its a big winner as is its still pretty good.

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Photo of Amalak
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A. It has a dark brown color with a ton of sediment floating through out. It has a big white foamy head with a good deal of lacing.
S. it has a big hoppy scent.
T/m. It has a strong florAl hop taste. It is grassy almost weed like. Heavy taste with a long finish. Some alcohol.
O. It is tasty but not overly flavorful for a double IPA. But it is true-ish to the name.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2011-11-05 in Columbia, PA

A - Hazy sunset-orange with a 1.5-finger off-white head and good lacing into a nonic glass.

S - Orange citrus, pine, sweet and mildly roasted grain. Pleasant but not overpowering.

T - Sweet, bready malt, pine, mild spice and orange-candy citrus. Not hop forward. Citric bitterness comes in at the end and lingers in the aftertaste with some tannin and roasty astringency.

M - Medium-heavy body and light-medium carbonation. Resinous, sticky and a tad prickly.

O - I enjoyed this brew. It's a little sweeter than I'd normally choose for a DIPA but it isn't syrupy sweet and the tannin and hop and roasted bitterness do a good job of toning this down.

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Photo of drumrboy22
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra from a trade with Jw347. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Kronenbourg 1664 glass. Beer was a slightly cloudy copper color with a large, three finger, off-white head. Soft carbonation and thick lacing around the glass.

Aroma was very sweet with floral and citrus hops. Thickly aromatic. I can already tell this is going to taste good.

Taste was grapefruit, hops, caramel, light fruits and honey. Very nice beer.

Mouthfeel was thick, somewhat chewy and creamy. It leaves an oily coating on the tongue. Would go well with some extra sharp cheese.

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Photo of Act25
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Mad.

A Cloudy brass amber, with large heady crown.

S: Clean, west coast, tropical fruit, estery, grassy, herbal, bready.

T: Follows smell. Bitter, smooth, creamy, fresh cut grass, melon, oranges, caramel, bitter-sweet finish. Candy like. hop resin galore.

F: Solid, thick, great resiny finish.

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Photo of popery
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another good DIPA is always welcome. This beer pours a thick amber with a lot of suspended bits and a fine sticky head. There really are quite a few suspended flecks. I don't know if this would bother anyone, but it's not a big pro or con to me. The smell is sweet and hoppy. The hops are mostly citric with some pine. The flavor is sweet and bitter with hops. It's up my alley, but I know that's not a universal opinion. The feel is lush and creamy. As compared to this brewery's Extra Pale Ale, the DIPA does a lot with its extra 3% abv. It's full-bodied and hoppy. I find the beer easy to drink but I love these DIPAs that are almost like carbonated hop syrups. There's some balancing malt, but it's not the main attraction. This is an enjoyable beer that would have a higher score if it was compared against a weaker style.

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Photo of crossovert
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Comes in a stubby 12 oz bottle with a slightly different label than pictures. No apparent date.

Pours into my american pint glass with a full 2 finger, lumpy, off-white head and a murky apple cider colored body.

Smells very sweet and citrusy, very nice for a DIPA. California styled in the scent department for sure.

Taste has a decent malt backbone but the hops are the main show with some cirtus lemon and grapefruit notes and a bitter finish. Not as intense as its other west coast counterparts, but still a solid tasting DIPA. Mouthfeel is a little too smooth for me.

Overall a decent offering in the DIPA category, not to malty, and enough hops to excite the palate somewhat, it is a bit pedestrian but is better than the lower tier beers such as Maximus.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange color. A lot of floaties-obviously a bottle conditioned beer. Huge level of lacing on down the glass. Nice, full hopped aroma. Soft malty flavor with a moderate blast of hop bitterness. Mellow,somewhat astringent bitterness in the finish. Good mouthfeel. Very-and at 8.5%-dangerously drinkable. Damn enjoyable.

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Photo of Risser09
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden orange with a very small ivory colored head. It is short-lived and leaves no lace on the glass. Swirling creates some spotty lace.

Smell: Sugary sweet pale malt is railroaded by an equally sweet & floral hoppiness. There is a cereal aroma that is also quite buttery.

Taste: Solid malt base. Long bitterness starts sharp and attacks the palate. It is piney, earthy, vegetal and lingering. A flower fresh flavor is overpowered by all that bitterness.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a pretty light body for a DIPA. Lots of bitterness that blends nicely with the alcohol. Slick and easy to drink. Not much carbonation.

Drinkability: If the taste was more complex, this could be a dynamite brew. Plenty of eager bitterness and aroma makes this a very drinkable beer. Very nice. Will revisit.

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Photo of AmitC
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of magictrokini
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally tried this one. Cloudy amber with a foamy white head. Light citrus and heavy grapefruit in the aroma. Flavor is the same with little bit of pine/resin. Some sweet malt, similar in flavor to what you would find in Lagunitas' beers. Would have liked more of the hop bite. Still, this is a really good beer.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a hazy copperish orange with bits of sediment floating around the glass. The head is a hair off-white, frothy and 2 fingers thick. Great retention. Copious amounts of lacing left behind, sip after sip.

Smell - Strong caramel malt at the forefront, backed by hops that come across as floral with a hint of citrus.

Taste - A mountain of caramel malt at the forefront, complimented by a slightly spicy, moderately floral hop that hits mid-taste. Subtle trace of orange rind bitterness lingers well into the aftertaste. Hop profile builds if sipped in quick succession.

Mouthfeel - Thick, full-bodied, and creamy as hell. Entirely drinkable.

Overall - Well balanced DIPA. Maybe too much. No freshness date, so it's hard to say if the hops have been killed off by time, or if it's meant to be as I tasted. In any event, it's fairly close to their Extra Pale Ale, with a bit more of a hop kick.

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Photo of anchordrinker
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy-orange appearance with little to no head.

S- Lemony hop aromas dominate, with slight caramel/malt presence.

T- Initially floral and citric hop presence, then biscuit/bread-y flavors, finishing pleasantly bitter and dry.

M- Light-medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

D- Very drinkable, it hides the 8.6% ABV almost too well.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

4 cloudy tangerine with golden edges. abundant pulpy chunks are suspended throughout, some eventually settling. very short head leaves a ring and ample but temporary lace. i don't mind the chunks in this one. hopefully they're intended.

4 bright grapefruit and generic citrus rind in the smell. very straightforward

4 the taste is straightforward like the smell. almost all rind, very little pine. simcoe hops? juicy and fairly sweet, a little sticky and resinous. the alcohol is well concealed.

3.5 medium to full bodied, a little closer to medium. modest carbonation. a few of the chunks are hefty enough to chew or spit. very much like pulp.

4 one of the dipas i reach for when i want a simple, juicy hop fix. wouldn't mind even more juiciness.
at something like 8.99 for six, a good value too.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was served on cask at the Blind Tiger in New York, NY. It arrived in a mug and appeared tawny in color with a one finger tan head, which left nice lacing as it dissipated. The brew appeared hazy with large pieces of yeasty sediment present at the bottom of the glass. Upon sniffing, citric hops were extremely apparent upfront, with lemon and grapefruit as the main components. Additionally, some earthy/mineraly notes become more apparent as the beer warmed. The taste opened with equally as strong citric hops and some mild toasted malt character. The same earthy qualities present in the nose pop through here in the beginning of the taste, but oddly lead to a crisp and clean tasting middle. As the beer moves to the back of the palate, we find a revival of the citrus components, however this time the flavors speak more of lime and orange citrus, as opposed to the grapefruit and lemon from earlier. Additionally, there is the faintest spice of mustard seed, along with a chalky and dirty wood component. Souring hops finish us off along with a faint booziness. Both the body and the carbonation are medium, and the beer seems a bit watery compared to other beers of the style, but does maintain a certain creaminess that is not overly drying considering the huge hop component. The abv is appropriate and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed best about this beer were the huge citrusy hop components. These lent a nice freshness to the beer making it great to drink on a hotter summer day. Additionally, it was interesting to observe the progression from the grapefruit citrus on the aroma, to the lime and orange citrus that were appreciated at the end of the sip. It was subtleties throughout the hops that make this beer a great find

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Slammin' Salmon Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 839 ratings
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