Redwood Stout | Mad River Brewing Company

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523 Ratings

Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Steelhead Extra Stout

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-05-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 523 |  Reviews: 311
Reviews by nickadams2:
Photo of nickadams2
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A_Pours thick with a thin dark brown head. Dark brown highlights. Thick spotty lacing.

S_Roasted malt,coffee,and molasses.

T_Same as nose. Roasted malt with hints of coffee and chocolate malt. Sweet molasses in the finish.

M_Very nice mouthfeel. Super thick and creamy.

D_Pretty drinkable but lacking a little in the flavor. Dosn't really stand out. No freshness date so I'm not sure how fresh this is. Would definitely give it another go.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cant pour any darker than this pitch black stout with a thin mocha colored head,aromas of deeply roasted malt and mocha flavored coffee very rich and appetizing on the nose.Taste is very roasted with a unsweetened chocolate note finishing very earthy and nutty.Very raw and bold beer like the earthiness in the finish and the creamy mouthfeel a big winner here.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Blacker than black with a small head that dissipated quickly.

Smell – Giant espresso and cocoa aromas fill the nose, followed closely by strong, roasted malts. The nose is very powerful and fulfilling.

Taste – What do we have here? There’s a surprise in this bottle: balancing hops. Whudda thunk? The bitter espresso and chocolate cocoa powder come with some refined sugary flavors as well, making this one quite the party.

Mouthfeel – Seriously full in the mouth and exceptionally smooth for such a heavy brew. Not a hint of alcohol to this one.

Drinkability – I had no problem killing this little 12-ounce bottle.

Comments – This is one stouty stout. This is what I think of when I think of stout. This is a tremendous example of the style. Much thanks to the Santa Monican MickeyMac for sending me this offering from Mad River.

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Photo of GameOfBeers
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%

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

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

Massive frothing from a pour down the middle of the glass, beautiful tiny beaded bubbly lace leaves a ring with each sip. Dark, opaque ... stout black. Aromas of chicory, licorice root, faint vanilla bean, wood charcoal, freshly used coffee grounds and a hint of black currants. Creamy, slick, full-bodied mouthfeel, with just enough carbonation to bring some smoothness to the glass. Creamy roasted palate throughout. Charcoal and baker's chocolate are dominant with some mild coffee and toasted bread in the back. Moderate hopping that drops a perfect amount of bitterness, which pairs up with the roasted character to balance the sweetness. Kiss of herbal flavor from the hops middle to end. Alcohol is slightly warming with dark fruit; burnt raisins come to mind.

Mad River nailed this one, a stout-lovers' stout. With the Imperial/Double stouts getting all of the hype, beers like this just don't get enough attention. This one is a must.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pours into my tulip glass a viscous dark charcoal black color with an inch of creamy dark tan head on top of the brew. Aromas start out with deep, creamy roasted malts on top of chocolate chunks. Light coffee accents intermingle with molasses and a touch of raisin and dark fruit. A hint of caramel and only a smidge of hops rounds out the show.

First sip brings a roasted, creamy dark malt body across the lips first that is followed by touches of bitter coffee, dark fruits and molasses. It flows down with a nice chocolate flavor as well as a hint of licorice. A subtle kiss of hops on the end with a lingering roasted flavor. Tasty stout.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a solid medium body and a good flow of carbonation. This one is quite hearty without being overly heavy. Overall, a darn tasty stout with an abv that is low enough to make it sessionable. I enjoyed this one and would drink it again!

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Photo of Todd
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz short brown bottle. No freshness date. Unfiltered.

Pours an opaque black coloured beer with a creamy coffee coloured head with decent retention. Aroma holds a slight twang of roasted malts and background of molasses and suggestions of vanilla bean.

Oh so smooth ... creamy, somewhat chewy with a complex malt profile of overall malt sweetness, semi-astringent roasted malts, coffee grounds/espresso, wood, smoke, chocolate, hint of caramel, burnt raisin edges and molasses. Nice citrus hop twang breaks up the malts, then settles back in. Dry chocolate/coffee and grain finish.

So much flavour, and so damn drinkable. Oh yeah ... this is a damn tasty stout.

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, courtesy of mtnlover, pours as dark as any stout I've seen, producing an opaque ebony body. Head is small and shortlived, but an attractive light brown color, falling into a persistent collar with moderate patch and sheet lacing. Aroma is more bittersweet chocolate than coffee, but this is an ideal blend of both that produces a solid stout aroma. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium full bodied. Appropriate medium carbonation. Taste features a full onslaught of roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, and essence of walnuts. Plenty of dark roasty malt bitterness with some grassy and citrusy hops for a nice balance. Very nicely done and pleasantly drinkable. I've never had a subpar offering from this brewery and Steelhead is a fine example of an American stout.

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Photo of MisterDeeds
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black. Black. Black. To quote Rick James; "DARKNESS!!".

Smells roasted and sweet. Very malty.

Wow. For once, a beer tastes exactly like it smells, and I love it. Very sweet up front. Not quite chocolately, but somethng tasty. Finishing with a balance of roasted malt and hops that just barely border on bitter.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thick, but not too much. The perfect coating for a stout.

Yes, I could see myself having a few of these. Not an ideal warm weather brew, but if you are looking to warm up or stay warm by the fire, this is a winner.

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Photo of SudsSurfer
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of brewerdrew
2.91/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this beer into an Ommegang Belgian Ale Snifter. Presented Beautifully. Dark Black with a Deep Head just the right size.

The Smell was pretty innocuous.

The Taste as good at first but quickly disipated illuminating a lack of mouthfeel that I typically hope for in a Stout.

The Flavour was roasty but again fell short with its staying power.

Not running back to this one.

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Photo of Marius
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a medium height tan head. Roasted malts, a bit of vanilla, cocoa, dark chocolate.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with short head that turns into a ring of tan bubbles. Coffee, semi-sweet chocolate and roasted malt in the nose. Same is mirrored in the taste, but with more toffee, molasses, and sweet cream. An excellent subdued stout; hard to find these days in the bigger is better beer world.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pitch black with 1” dark tan head that provides good lacing on the glass. S: roast malt aromas, a little chocolate and some sweetness T: very pleasant and drinkable with nice chocolate notes and some roast malt F: Medium full to full body, medium carbonation, soft in the mouth. O: a very pleasant, enjoyable American Stout

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Photo of yankeeheel
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the usual tar black with a rather meager espresso colored head, even after an aggro pour. Smells so sweetly molasses that I want to dive right in. Lots of choclate seeping in there too. Smells incredible.Taste is what you smell. Lots of chocolate, molasses, fig, cherry and earthy flavors. Finishes with a lingering smoke/tobacco zing. Quite a solid/thick mouthfeel. Oatmeal like in it's texture. Sitting at 5.5% ABV I could see this as an all night beer at the pub.

Another JahNoth hookup.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Kind of a dirty brown appearance, like some catfish would really thrive living in. Chocolate malt nose, and hops.

Taste, hoppy for a stout, bitter, chocolate malt. Not super thick, but not thin either. May have a very slight amount of very weak coffee, or it could be the bitterness making me think that. Smoky at times in a minimized way. Not a bad beer all around, tends to tail off just a tad. A good beer from a good brewery.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark deep brown like a stout should be
S - Nice caramel and coffee aromas, medium sweetness and a slight hoppy bitterness to folllow.
T - Great roasted barley, coffee, dark chocolate flavors
M - Full body, medium carbonations
O - everything an extra stout should be!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a completely pitch black hue with a large mocha tan head floating above the darkness, lacing is thin but evenly strung. Aromatics sweet creamy chocolate notes with hints of coffee and ripe fruit tones like berry and raisins a touch of alcohol there but really just a nice complex roasty stout with some other tricks. In the finish I'm getting some herbal and nutty qualites, the herbaceous hops come off almost minty. Flavor is balanced with some of the fruity qualities wrapped in chocolate and just roasty enough to scream extra stout. Definitely whipped cream layered on a cappuccino with dark chocolate shavings with a touch of hazelnut, finishes with some of those hop qualities described earlier especially the mint note. Mouthfeel is full bodied yet creamy textured a nice way to drink under six percent carbonation is mellow and smooth on the palate nothing weighs you down with bitterness or any one sensation. Drinkability, this is pretty much amazing and it has a different edge than your typical hopped up West Coast style stout it brings sweet and roasted malt flavors out to play and causing excessive amounts of flavor with balance, really nice stuff.

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

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass. Some black sediment remained on the bottom of the glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brown, nearly black, with a smallish creamy tan head.

Smell: Roasted malt with hints of coffee, licorice and prune

Taste: Starts out a bit sweet, butquickly becomes balanced. The roasted malt centerpiece is surrounded by hints of prunes, coffee and dark chocolate, along with some more obvious spicy hops. After the swallow, there is a bit of smoke in a toasty finish that lingers a good while.

Mouthfeel: full body with moderate carbonation; creamy smooth.

O: An exceptional and very flavorful stout.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours, from a twist top bottle, a very dark brown. The head is brown. It fades somewhat fast leaving minimal laces. It has a strong coffee aroma. It also had a roasted malt aroma whit slight hints of chocolate. Also, there is a very subtle caramel scent. It tastes of coffee, and chocolate. It has a slight hop finish that balances it out nicely. This beer is carbonated will. It leaves a coffee aftertaste on the palate. It is a good beer. It might be the best beer I have ever drank from a twist top bottle. This beer would probably make a decent session beer. The alcohol content is low, and the flavor is not overly aggressive. I dont know if I could drink 12 of them in one night, but I would definately have a few.

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Photo of glid02
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the Liquor Loft in Tallahassee.

Pours opaque black with a minimal brown head, even after a vigorous pour. What little head there is recedes into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, and light citrus hops. The citrus hop aroma recedes very quickly as the beer warms.

Tastes great. I let the beer get a bit cold so I had to wait for the flavors to come out, but once they did they came out in droves. Understated roasted malt is joined by sweet molasses and dark chocolate. The ending is solidly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. Again, I had to let it warm a bit, but it's got a great thickness for the (relatively) low ABV with subdued carbonation. Goes down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. This one went down faster than I realized, and I could down a lot of these without a problem.

Overall I'm glad I picked this up. It's a stout without frills, and what's done is done very well. Give this a shot.

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Photo of frankiepop
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep space black liquid with big creamy tan head. Smells like stout. Thumbs up. Taste like stout Strong stout yet balanced. Reminds me of Sierra Stout. Strong yet drinkable due to balance. Sweeter. Rich. I guess i don't punch this beer's score up higher in score because I find there are more interesting chocolate or coffee focused stouts. This extra stout is the one Guiness should have made when they went for a stronger stout. But Guiness Extra is a surprise that ii is still on the shelves.Anyway this is a quality strong beer. Enjoy.

Pair with a Symphony. Charles Ives Symphony 1

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Photo of cmwilliq
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Brenden
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a thick black brew with a tan head that sits at one creamy finger and leaves some lacing in patches.
There's lots of smoke in a big roasted malt with the molasses and licorice of a RIS plus something vanilla and a raisin-like hint.
Lots of smoky wood in the flavor as well, being somewhat dominant in the character of a huge malt reminiscent of an RIS in its boldness and depth. Some grains, more of a barley than a softer grain, lie beneath along with roasted coffee and a light raisin / plum as well.
This one's smooth and creamy, thick and rich with a full body. The label claims this one is robust, and it's no idle claim.
This is a great stout, huge, robust, hearty, bold and full-flavored. The tendency is toward astringency, and it would take just so little more complexity to put it to an A.

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Redwood Stout from Mad River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 523 ratings