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

very good
410 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 410 | Ratings: 829
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very decent hoppy plus IPA. Pours golden colour, with significant beige head, that leaves very decent lace. Only one-third of a litre, I will drink it! Pleasant aroma, even a touch of roast!?! Above average creamy moutfeel, citrus in the background of this beershake. Hops dominate the malt, drinkable. Found at the Warehouse in Cleveland.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy orange-beige head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, citrus zest, and slight perfume-like aroma. Taste is much the same with a medium hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing too exciting for the style.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden orange and murky. Quarter finger head.

S: Lots of grapefruit in the aroma.

T: the taste is complex similar to that of the 90 minute Dogfish head, but not quite as good. The pine notes are just enough and the hops are there, but i would like more.

M: Moderate carbonation and medium bodied.

Overall: I was pleasantly surprised by this one and plan on keeping an eye out for it in bottles so I may stock up.

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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 Knapp85
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a little darker than I expected. This beer looked pretty good from it's appearence. It was a redish colored brew with good thick head on it. The smell was nice and piny, it made my mouth water from all the spicy hop aromas the brew had coming off of it. The flavor was no quite where I thought it should be on this beer. I found that for a double IPA that it would have been a little more bitter or citrusy. The flavors were kind of mellow and didn't really tingle my palette at all. I felt that this beer was a little on the bland side. The mouthfeel of this is good. It's heavy enough to be an imperial but overall I wasn't that impressed with this beer.

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Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy copper in color and has a high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: There are moderate aromas of citrus and pine resin hops in the nose along with some notes of caramel malts.
T: The taste has a light to moderate amount of bitterness and is well balanced between flavors of citrus hops and caramel malts. The initial taste has some hints of malty sweetness and there are some notes of alcohol in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied, smooth and a bit crisp on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is quite filling for the style and tastes strong, so I doubt that I could drink more than one of these at a time.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Becomming more and more impressed with this brewery, with every beer I drink. The beer pours a hazy and dense brew with a dull copper hue and very well-headed. The aromas are rich, but not over whelming and pertray juicy orange-rind, grapefruit hops an d a softly-malty, estery malt presence. The tastes deliver the same juicy, sweet, bitter, fruity characters that were pronounced in the aroma. The beer tends closer to 'balance' than on 'hop-dominance'. This keeps the beer a bit sweeter (cotton-candy like and bready) and lett rough or astringent. The feel is moderately full, but does not compromise drinkability. A nice blend of malt sweetness and hop flavors persist into the aftertaste with a dryness from hops and warming alcohols. I would stop shy of calling this beer a double IPA, but is certainly a fuller body IPA than most.

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Photo of largadeer
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh 12 oz bottle into a tulip. The body is a murky, dirty amber, even without the contribution of the yeast at the bottom of the bottle. A steady stream of carbonation rises to the surface, feeding half an inch of off-white head.

The aroma is yeasty, hoppy, very raw. The hops have an evergreen quality to them and there's a faint bready malt presence. The yeast is strangely dominant for the style.

Hops are stronger on the palate, pine-like with a semi-astringent resiny bitterness. Very yeasty and raw, it's a bit metallic up-front with subtle ale yeast fruitiness. Beyond a bit of bready malt character there isn't much sweetness here, and it finishes quite bitter, almost astringent. This is solid and enjoyable stuff, but not quite in the upper echelon of DIPAs.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a nice, rocky head that dots the pint glass

Smell: Apricot and pink grapefruit with an underlying caramel presence

Taste: Starts with a sweet blend of caramel and apricot/citrus that is joined by a pithy sensation in the mid-palate; after the swallow, the beer becomes very sweet, but there is an undertone of aggressive bitterness bordering on aspirin that lingers well afterwards

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not a bad DIPA at all; the sweet and bitter flavors fight rather than blend - but that would be my only complaint

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Photo of LXIXME
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from above the glass gave this beer a really big off white head that slowly fell into a pretty good lacing on a lightly cloudy roasted honey colored beer.

A floral to citrus hops aroma with a hint of sour grain on a medium bodied IPA.

The floral and citrus hops also dominate the taste but it's laced with a light taste of alcohol and some slight tartness.

This beer has a dry hops aftertaste, and from initial whiff to the last lingering aftertaste, this beer is very worthy.

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Photo of zeff80
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, orange color with golden highlights. It had a very small, white head of bubbly foam. It left little to no lacing.

S - It smelled of tons of grapefruit, bubblegum and pine. There was a mild roasted malt aroma, too.

T - Big pine/resiney flavor. It tasted of a good deal of grapefruit and orange peel. There was a good burnt toast maltiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and had a dry finish. A medium bodied ale with a slight alcohol warmth.

D - This is a pretty good DIPA. It definitely had a west coast flavor.

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Photo of oline73
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy amber color with a finger of fluffy white head. There is a mild amount of lacing and some good retention.

Smell: Sweet with a solid caramel malt presence. There is also a decent hop aroma with some citrus notes.

Taste: The malt doesn't show up as much here as it did in the smell. There is enough to balance things, but it isn't the first thing you notice. Citrus peel hops with some malt sweetness. The finish is bitter with some alcohol and mildly peppery.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the thick side of medium with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a solid brew. Good hop profile and decent balance. Not sure I would search it out again, but certainly wouldn't turn one down if it was offered to me.

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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 mothman
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours about 2 fingers of khaki colored head. Decent retention after fading to a thin layer. Leaves sticky splattered lace. Color is a copper gold.

Aroma: Citrus notes up front. Then comes some grassy and floral hops with bready malts. Pretty big hop profile here, but nothing impressing.

Taste: Pretty decent amount of floral hops, noting too big though. Lots of grapefruit citrus and bready malts. This DIPA wasn't made to well. It just doesn't seem to click.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but nothing near what I was expecting from a dipa. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends hoppy and sticky.

Overall, this wasn't the DIPA for me. Nothing really worked and it just didn't compare to other DIPAs I have had. Not something I would want to buy again.

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Photo of chinchill
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle.
Pours a hazy deep amber with a decent head.
Flavor has more citrus and is overall more fruity than the aroma. Good balancing malt load. Nicely balanced and soft for style.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Mad River "Steelhead Double IPA"
12 oz. bottle, no apparent freshness dating.
$3.75 @ The Beer Shoppe, Ardmore, PA

Based on the sediment, and the maltiness of this beer (which can seem amplified by early stages of oxidation) I'd have to say that I might have an old bottle here. Of course there's no freshness dating on it so I don't know, but for a brewery that's been around for 22 years I find that pretty shocking.

With all of that said, I liked it. I just don't know if I'm tasting it the way it's supposed to be tasted. And for that reason I'm just going to give some sketchy notes at this point, and hopefully find a fresher bottle soon...

Appearance: Hazy. The sediment really hazed it up. Sediment can be seen in suspension throughout. Deep amber-orange body. Creamy off-white head. Average head retention and lacing. Should be better.

Aroma: Hoppy over golden caramel malt. Surprisingly not citrusy. Some apple-like fruitiness. Very nice soft piney quality. Gently leafy and grassy. A touch perfume-like/floral. Welcoming.

Taste: Welcoming, not unlike the aroma. Soft, sweet golden malt base. Almost syrupy in a way. Gently piney and leafy/herbal hops. Some apple-like fruitiness is carried over. The aroma and the flavor are clearly different, yet at the same time you completely understand how they fit together as being one of the same. Round and rich. Not particularly bitter, although there's got to be at least 60 IBU's in there. The 8.6% abv is present, helping to balance it, but never appears sharp.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and malty. Creamy smooth with a moderate carbonation.

Overall: If this is a double IPA it must be because it's got double the malt. It's stronger too, I'll give it that because I can feel it, but it's certainly not over the top with hops. I find it really unique and charming. It's a reminder of what beers used to be like before brewers started to think that all you had to do to make a great beer was throw hops at it. Quite nice.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from IntriqKen, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy light brown color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is mostly of caramelized malt with some citrus and a mild hops background. It smells a little more like a barleywine without the strong alcohol smell.

T: The taste is also similar to a barleywine with a subdued hops bitterness and a hearty malt character with a sweetness of caramel and a little bit of fruit & spice. The after-taste is a little hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not very filling, good beer but not the best representation of style, good kick, for a “Double IPA” as listed on the bottle, I was expecting much more hoppiness but it’s still a good beer. Although it’s not the first beer I would pick, it’s worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a well clarified amber-orange body, honey-looking in appearance, and capped with a tall, chunky, lightly yellowed head.

Smell: Sweetish, citrusy, and earthy impressions on the first whiff, with scents of caramel atop toasted bread spritzed with alcohol and resins, and pithy, oily citrus fruit peelings.

Taste: Begins with pale and caramel malts, sufficiently sweet, and with tastes of light brown sugar and bready barley. Peppy hop profile, giving off lemon, sweet orange peel, pineapple juice, slight floral tones, and a bit of resinous pine. Solidly bitter, but, thankfully, not to a tongue-scalding, tooth-dissolving level of IBU's. Then, a revisitation of the maltiness, giving more honey and toffee followed by more florals, resins, and grapefruit. The finish is smooth and bittersweet, though it's the bitterness that lasts into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. There's some chewiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I dug it. A nice degree of malt complexity (which, I'll admit, isn't everyone's cup of tea in an IPA), and, while there isn't a ton of hop bitterness, there is alot of hop flavor to it.

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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 dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a very hazy golden copper in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation along the sides of the glass, a light to moderate amount of fine particles in suspension near the bottom of the glass, and faint peach + golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy beige head that reduces to a small to medium sized thick patch of larger bubbles surrounded by a mottled thick film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate amounts of citrus/grapefruit and pine hops over lighter aromas of caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of slightly sweet caramel and grainy malts with a touch of caramel sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of citrus/grapefruit pith and pine hops that impart a moderate amount of lingering bitterness. Light hints of alcohol in the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp and smooth.

O: Enjoyable but the alcohol is not very well hidden in this brew and it is quite filling for the style - this is likely a one and done for me but I would consider having it again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up the other day, as I had been passing it in the store forever so what the hell right. Cracked this one open with pizza tonight. Poured the 12oz bottle into a my Terrapin Snifter and went on with the show. A very cloudy, hazy, and sediment filled, deep, burnt amber was then poured into the glass. Tons of floaties in this one, which does not really turn me off to it. A nice two inch layer of foam then rose up over it and took over over, settling gently into a thin layer of lace across the top which hung around for a good long while. Some carbonation as well as some decent side glass lace were present as well.

The aroma was a mixture of resin filled piney hops, with a touch of earthy malts. Nothing terribly overpowering here, infact it was fairly well balanced. The flavor was more of the same, started out with a rolling bready malt flavor which coated the tonguey with a viscous, medium bodied feel, soem really nice bitter notes as it passed, with pine and grass mixed with a light grapefruit touch in the finish, Decent carbonation throughout and a good drinkability. No hint of the alcohol at all throughout the session.

Overall not a bad IPA, I dont know if this really qualifies as a double IPA as the huge hops are practically non existent, but it is still plenty descent I have to say. Maybe a fresher bottle would go over better, we will have to see.

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Photo of smcolw
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Two-fingered head with superb lacing on the glass. Slow to recede and thick. The color is orange-amber and very cloudy.

Fresh floral hop aroma. While dominant, I like that it isn't overpowering; there's still some malt in the background.

Brief dry malt on the initial sip and then it succumbs to the hop wallop. Again, it isn't too much for the style. It is peppery (almost spicy) with a small amount of pine in the flavor. I'd describe this as an 80-20 hop-malt DIPA. I think that is a very good ratio. The body is above average in richness and the carbonation is really spot on.

I love this style and can be critical of those that go too extreme. This beer is what I expect from the Double IPA's.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep clouded copper apricot hue with a thcket of off whie yellow tinted white head. Fine lacing spreads itself evenly aroun the settling lace. Aroma has deep aggressive citrus/pine and slightly metallic notes going on. Sugary malt backbone with super bittering hops going down. Flavor has some butterscotch tones with sugar and hops wrapped around each other, don't get me wrong my local just got this in but it doesn't seem superfresh and Mad River's website is closed! What's going on? Mouthfeel is pretty much coated with hop oils and medium to fuller bodied in general a bit of alcohol in the tail end, at times I'm picturing a big barleywine. This happens to be a bit of an aged DIPA, damn tasty but I remember it being fresh on tap and it was definitely excellent stuff. Solid approachabe DIPA, I'm willing to try it again in the future somebody please drop me a line about what's going on with this DIPA.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful color of clouded straw/yellow. A small white head forms and then leaves. Nose is mild with minimal funk there. Mild dough. Seems a little boring to me on the nose. Flavor is definitely showing thorough wheat characters. Yeasty funk is there, but not overpowering. Gives a smooth offering. Feel is good on the liquid and has a full carbonation hitting the mouth. Overall this is an easy drinking beer. Smooth and unobtrusive as far as flavors go. Nothing wild here, but nothing bland or mediocre either. Just a smooth and even brew.

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Photo of tdm168
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orangish amber with a quarter of an inch of soft, dense, off white head that has great retention. The nose has faint bready malt notes as well as some big citrusy hop aromas featuring grapefruit and pineapple. The flavor is big and malty; bready and sweet with hints of birthday cake. The hop come in strong in the finish. They open up citrusy with grapefruit and pineapple notes but close with a mild, piny bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with just a tad too much carbonation.

This is a big, robust, malty DIPA with great balance and drinkability. I will definitely have this again.

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Slammin' Salmon Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
3.79 out of 5 based on 829 ratings.
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