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

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Slammin' Salmon Double India Pale AleSlammin' Salmon Double India Pale Ale
Very Good
841 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: 841 |  Reviews: 411
Photo of buschbeer
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a snifter

A - Lovely amber color with a chill haze. I is topped with an inch and a half of beige head.

S - The nose seems more caramel malt than hops. I do get some mild citrus.

T - Awfully malt-centric. The hops are almost an afterthought. The alcohol is well hidden though.

M - Moderate and smooth. Not a lot of carbonation

O - This is a DIPA for the malt lovers.

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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 thain709
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured with a cloudy, burnt orange body that showed suspended sediment throughout...two fingers worth of off white head formed a full cap and retained that full cap throughout the glass...nice lacing was left behind

S - I'm getting piney hops rather than citrus hops...you can detect the bitterness up front...caramel malt rolling around

T - Yup, there's the bitterness...it lasts through and through with every sip...there is a strong caramel malt middle that does provide some relief but in the end the bitter piney hops win over and finish with an even stronger bitterness

M - Medium...bitter...pretty one dimensional

O - Although I'm happy I finally got to try something from Mad River, I can't say that I was too impressed...for me Steelhead DIPA was pretty one dimensional...I've had better DIPA's that were worth their value or cheaper

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Photo of Kitt
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Rich eclectic malts entrenched with sweet banana and hints of caramel.

Appearance: An unfiltered deep-peach color with virtually no head, yet some strong lacing.

Taste: A bitter blast of strong hops with a balanced malty backbone. Bitter flavor lingers nicely. Although very pleasing, something is missing from this imperial - it seems uni-demensional; I would have prefered a slightly more eclectic malt & hop flavor more reflective of the superb aroma.

Mouthfeel is slightly weak for an double IPA. Lacks a viscous creamy feel typically characteristic of top imperials.

Drinkibility is good for an ABV of nearly 9.0%.

Overall, a good double IPA but not quite up to par with, say, a Ruination or Double Trouble. The rather weak mouthfeel and a lack of eclectic malt/hop balance are the beers downfalls. Nevertheless, an above average IPA.

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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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Photo of Vanlingleipa
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Those wacky cats at Mad River. I love the story (whether true or not) about how they created their Jalapeno beer - screwed up a batch of IPA and rather than wasting it, filtered a buttload of peppers to infuse it with a spicy, snappy Jalapeno flavor.

This Steelhead DIPA was not born of the chemistry set, but there is still something experimental about it. This isn't the standard sweet, burnt malt set loose to lasso the ever-present bitter hops in this beer. From the first quaff there is a distinct smoky peat, butterscotch type flavor, along a malty sweetness that walks alongside the piney, bitter hops. It's a unique flavor that lingers in your mouth along with the hops, although not so much in the tongue, more like the back of my mouth.

Color is a bright, apricot-orange. Scent is interesting - little hops, some faint peat. Excellent beer, made more excellent by its distribution in a low-cost 12 oz bottle.

EDIT: received a response from Steelhead and in the interest of fair play (well, mostly because it's interesting), am adding it to this review.

Hello Valingleipa,
My name is Brian and I am the Senior Brewer at Mad River Brewing Co.. Im writing you in order to give you the real story behind our Chili beer. The story you heard about the Chili beer, involving a messed up batch of IPA, is not true. Good you stated is or is not ;). Here is the real story. Our CEO brought in some chilis he had grown in his garden for us employees to take home and use. Our Brewmaster,Dylan, and I got to thinking, " Hey, why dont we throw some chilis at the Extra Pale Ale, its a perfect base beer for a Chili ale." In addition, we were preparing for a local Beerfest called StrangeBrew Fest and we knew our buddy and fellow brewer at Six Rivers Brewing would have his Chili Ale at the Fest also. So it was just something fun to do. Low and behold, it turned out to be an excellent Chili Ale! So much so, the judges at the GABF awarded it a Bronze medal in the herb or spiced catagory. Go figure!;) So there you have it. Glad you enjoyed the DIPA! All our best to you from MRBCO

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A gorgeous amber orange, cloudy in appearance is presented with some cloudy character. Head is a solid foamy and foams unevenly but has lots of staying power. Also off white in appearance with some thick retention. Scattered lacing while finishing the drink

Smell is mushy citrus fruit. Can't pick the fruit profile so much, some faint earth and grass like hop. Seems like something very sweet and sugary is coming.

Taste is kind of interesting. Orange thick sweetness with a nice small bittering pine hop finish. Texture is syrupy, but does not translate into big sweetness as I expected. It's like an aggressive hoppy big orange juice syrup bomb. Alcohol sugariness somewhat noticeable, but doesn't translate into a boozy bomb.

Overall there could be worse but this doesn't seem to do it for me. Better is out there, but this is honestly not a bad beer.

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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 Sensaray
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark golden with half inch off white head. Dissipates fairly quickly.

Smells like fresh flowery citrus hops. Bit o pine, bit o caramel and sweet malt.

Hop spiciness leads to a malty middle leading to some citrus hops which then closes bitter. Piney in the aftertaste. Bit of grapefruit and lemon

Smooth carbonation light medium body.

Good dipa. Nothing spectacular, but definitely good.

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Photo of shleepy
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at The Hop Yard in Pleasanton (Mad River brewery night this week, so there are several of their brews on tap).

A: golden (notably darker than Pliny), somewhat hazy and effervescent; medium white head with small bubbles and medium head retention

S: strong "green" hop smell, similar to West Coast IPA; I'm not a big fan of that flavor, but I know some people love it

T: none of that green hop flavor comes through; instead, it's a balanced and very fruity beer; lots of sweet citrus - more like tangerine than grapefruit; clean (maybe even a little sweet) finish with no hint of bitterness anywhere in there; for a strong beer, I'm actually not detecting a lot of maltiness or booziness

M: a creamy, smooth mouthfeel that's one of my favorite aspects of this beer; unusual for its style; medium body and carbonation

O: DIPA purists may not like the fact that this feels like a lighter, less bitter beer than others in the style; I love fruity, balanced IPA's, though, and this is about as fruity and balanced as they come without being Belgian; good stuff

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Photo of sdmvd6
3.29/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Cloudy orange with no head or lacing.

S - Citrus: lemon and grapefruit, with some pine hints. Not as complex as others of the style.

T - Citrus at the front changing to medicinal and bitter. Small piney contribution with little to no earthiness. Bitterness not well balanced by the malt.

M - Thin and moderately carbonated but lacking the body, stickiness, and resinous feeling that DIPAs should exhibit. This explains the lack of lacing/head.

O - An average DIPA, lacking some of the attributes of the style that are expected.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one was a bit of a surprise, esp. as it's a Cali DIPA....much sweeter and maltier than I would have expected. Moderately carbonated. The hops and bitterness are very restrained here, with the malt much more forward in the flavor than any DIPA I can recall. I'm all for balance - I'm frequently disappointed by overly hopped beers that are nothing but bitterness for miles - but this one was just plain strange. I love malt but it was hard to see this one as an IPA stylistically. Not a bad beer but not what you may expect as you crack one open.

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Photo of chocosushi
4.44/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Traded my infected Basement Batch in for this
single at Freeman's, making it only .56 cents.
Thanks Kyle

12 oz ->Anchor steam pint

A ~ Very cloudy Mahogany that I can hardly see through.
This is a color that I like to see in IIPAs

S ~ Pinecone, Mint, with a little spicy scent that I cant place my finger on. There's some muted fruitier smells down in there as well, but they don't hop out at you. (not a pun)
Not a whole lot for a double.

T ~ WOW. Flipping my expectations out. Nice flavor throughout thats like fresh baked Wheat bread drenched in fresh Grapefruit juice! I'm not kidding. Whole bunch of freshly grated lemons & a Bit of juniper and coniferous forest flavors. Only a little bit of sappy hit on the way, way back of the throat.
Now In my top favorite IIPAs as a matter of fact.

M ~ Perfect carbonation and creamy mouth. Literally like whipped-creamy. Bit of that citrus/grass bite on the tongue with the sap flavors in the throat that remind you of what you just drank.
Nice balance that's not too malt forward that I notice certain breweries go for when they are attempting to balance a IIPA

D ~ Incredibly drinkable as a single, arguably sessionable sans the 8.6 ABV. They seriously could not approve this one anymore. Balanced without being too bread-y, with the appropriate amount of alcohol for the style without being too flabby and boozy.

Kudos for this recommendation it exceeded my expectation and has opened the Mad River door for me.
Seek this one out.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a caramel-amber color with a solid 1 finger bubbly white head. Decent retention and lacing.

Notes of caramel, malt, sweet citrus and butter on the nose

Full of flavor and very well balanced. This is how I like my DIPAs and not just a hop bomb. Very nice caramel malt character up front transitioning into a nice light floral and citrus hop character.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall a Very good DIPA. Very well balanced. This is what I appreciate about good brewing. Balance. Well done Mad River.

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Photo of UpToMeBeer
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this at Choice City Butcher in Fort Collins, CO.

A--Semi-cloudy, a nice golden-orange look with steady carbonation and a thin head. Moderate lacing.

S-- Citrusy, floral..slight pine,... array of bitter notes.

T-- Nice, but not as bitter as what I've come to like and expect from double-IPA's. More on the sweet side, with a hoppy edge. A pretty long finish with the lingering sense of carbonation. The carbonation curtails the fruitiness on the finish.

M-- Feels medium-bodied, not as heavy as the Double IPA's I prefer. Understated on the Alcohol which is nice and plays well with the sweetness (...also a nice departure from what seems to be the heavier alcohol feel of double-IPAs)

Overall, it's good. Not mind-blowing, but solid.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The body of the beer was orange amber in color, hazy, and developed a one finger thick head. The smell was citric and spicy, and lacked the piney bite that many West Coast DIPAs possess. The taste was well balanced between sweet and bitter, and was a good showcase for both the hops and the malt. The taste became sugary mid palette and finished chalky. The mouthfeel was soft and sticky, and finish was drying. This was milder than what I was anticipating, but delicious overall.

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Photo of Yagman3000
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance is a light brown orange but surprisingly cloudy. What's the filter situation here?

Smells subtly of hops but some malt is coming through.

Tastes of slightly bitter hops but the malt is coming through. Definitely not hoppy enough for a double!

Mouthfeel is uneventful. Some bitter hops up front with a quick finish.

Overall nothing too special... Especially as it claims to be a double IPA. Maybe for a pale ale but I even question it being imperial (literally and figuratively!).

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Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - golden and yellow hues. minimal head no collar. little carbonation meets the eye.

s - mild fruit. citrus and bitter hops. slight sweet malts.

t - sweet and fruity then malty and bitter. pretty nice but not a very full flavor. pretty tame.

m - medium carbonation. clean finish. medium body.

o - its alright.

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Photo of velmalikevelvet
2.58/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap in a legally-limited 12oz glass.

A: Straw is not the color I expect in a DIPA, but that's all you get here. Lack of head & lacing contributes to the less-than-average appearance of this brew.
S: What smell?
T: Bland & tart simultaneously; how did they do that? Absence of hop overtones was disappointing, & malty predominance was not my favorite either.
M: Somewhat clingy in the mouth, with a not-entirely pleasant aftertaste.
O: I did not care for this beer at all. Too bad, since it is made in my neighborhood & I'd like to be able to recommend it.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.93/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours a hazy copper gold with a big creamy off white head that retains well and leaves a lot of lacing.

The aroma is some sweet bready malts, a little honey, and some stinky piney resiny hops. It's a little subdued.

The flavor is sweet caramel/crystal malt followed by a big resiny, tarry, hop finish that lingers in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, not a great DIPA. It's a bit one dimensional and not well balanced with a clashing of sweetness and tarry bitterness.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Straw colored head; pours aggressively too. Somewhat soapy, but more foamy than soapy. Color is cloudy orange with amber hues. Head maintains for sometime and reduces with nice lacing left behind.

S - Not much scent at all... Kinda boring for an IIPA. Hints of pine, wheat, and slight citrus.

T - Very biscuity. Taste is very nice and pleasant, would drink wonderfully on a hot day. Too bad they don't can this brew for backpacking... Not a typical IPA or IIPA for that matter... Drinks more like a wet pale. Very bitter at first, but quickly mellows to minimal bitterness.

M - Very wet and distributing. Light bodied and evenly distributing. A great brew with wonderful carbonation, heavy carbonation, but it fits the brew.

D - Great drinkability. Could drink many of these. I really wish Mad River canned... Great brew.

Try it if you can find it! A big thank you to Mad River!


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Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.87/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into Lost Abbey stemware. No bottling/freshness date.

A: Standard pour yields a thick, creamy 1 finger white head with moderate retention. Beer is a semi-clear pastel orange. Lacing is minimal with some spottiness and very little cling though with decent legs. Not the best looking brew.

S: Nose is a muted pureed orange fruit hoppiness. Notes of mango and papaya linger. Moderately aromatic with a dense, heavy scent. Balanced but not much going on overall.

T: Opens mango, citrus, and papaya lingering in the back. Sweet fruit is interrupted by a sappy hop bitterness for just a second towards the middle. Cane sugar and more mango and other tropical fruits toward the end. Finish is an accented touch of piney hop bitterness that dissipates quickly. Dry. Aftertaste is a sticky, sappy hoppiness mixed with fruit syrup sweetness. A touch too sweet, even for a fan of malty east coast IPAs like myself.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Some bubbles in the mouth that dissipate quickly into a smooth, almost oily feel. Goes down smooth with a bit of a bite. Finish is accented and a bit dry with an aftertaste that lingers. Again, rather pedestrian.

O: Overall, this is a slightly less-than-impressive beer. There's a lack of crispness and liveliness that I crave from an IPA that is missing here. In addition, the malt body completely overwhelms the hop profile present. A decent beer but there are many more solid offerings out there.

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

Pours cloudy orange gold in color with a massive 2-3 finger foamy tan head that creamed up and lasted a very long time, easing down very slowly and leaving great foamy lacing coating the sides of the glass; a fine looking beer out of the bottle.

Smells of big citrus hops, grapefruit, orange peel, sweet malt, caramel, light toasted grains, biscuit and light spices; the initial hop aroma gives way to a well balanced smelling beer.

Sharp and sweet hop taste up front, like a spicy citrus hop blast, with orange peel, lemon zest, grapefruit, coriander, sweet malt, pepper, biscuit, wet wheat bread, caramel and what seems like brown sugar; the sweetness is sour and tart, like an apple starting to rot with some heavy spices at the end that bring heat. This is tart and almost too sweet, but still a pretty good IPA.

Mouthfeel was crisp and zesty, with a high carbonation tingle, a medium body and a chewy feel; this beer did not slide down easy, but it was balanced enough to be a good beer that was well balanced and enjoyable. A good beer that was tasty, just not that different and flavorful to be a great beer. Worth trying.

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

Received as part of a recent trade.

Pours a golden orange/amber with a nice off white soapy head that lingers briefly and then fades into a faint ring. Nose is filled with juicy grapefruit, sweet bready malts, some grassy bitterness. Flavor is very well balanced; citrusy hops and pale malts that give way to a caramel sweetness. Slightly astringent finish with some earthy notes. Feels great on the tongue with pleasant carbonation. Well done IPA.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at Vine Street Pub in Denver, next to a Hop Vivant. Given that I loooove Hop Vivant, this review tries to be impartial. here it goes...

Somewhat bright gold and tangerine. A bit of a haze, served very cold. Small head, a bit creamy. Looks nice

Aroma is sharp fruitiness--citrus, blood orange, maybe some casaba. A strong malt back bone. Sweet biscuit

yeah, it's sweeter than Hop Vivant. Malty; sweet bread biscuit, lightly toasted. Almost takes away from the citrus and very ripe melon. Mostly a clean taste, with the sweetness always around.
Fairly easy drinking, the 'zip' cannot quite get away from the malt.

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Slammin' Salmon Double India Pale Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 841 ratings
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