Steelhead Double India Pale Ale


Produced by the Mad River Brewing Company and weighing in at 8.6% ABV, this ale appears to include a bottle aging. I observed settled sediment in the bottom of the bottle when putting it in the refrigerator to cool. The label doesn’t mention bottle aging and so many tasters poured the sediment into the glass and found that to be (not surprisingly) an unpleasant addition. I carefully poured this ale with the aim of avoiding the sediment and was successful in doing so. This yielded a beautiful light copper amber coloured ale with a creamy white head that lasted for quite a while but did not lace the glass as the beverage was being enjoyed.

The aroma is tart with the citrus smell of hops but includes a solid and pleasant malty foundation. The mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. This Double IPA begins with a mellow malt sweetness that is immediately checked by the aggressive hops. Lots of grapefruit and orange peel flavour almost overwhelms the maltiness all the way across the palate through to a dry finish. As the beverage warms, however, the malts are given more emphasis and the combination results in a sweeter fruitiness on the palate. Still, the deliciously strong hop backbone remains. There is an enjoyably long finish that initially emphasises the dry tartness in the back of the mouth but grows to give a full balanced expression to the malt in the middle of the palate as the beverage warms.

The Mad River Brewing Company of Blue Lake, California, has exhibited great craftsmanship in this ale. They describe it as follows.

Maltier, hoppier and stronger than regular IPAs, Double IPA is dry hopped with Amarillo hops for a fresh citrus flavor and aroma. Goes great with red meats and life in general. Does not go well with driving or machinery.

It is a worthy and enjoyable high gravity IPA — recommended.