Redwood Stout | Mad River Brewing Company

522 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 522 |  Reviews: 311
Photo of bhalter8
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an ink black color with a quickly fading, highly carbonated looking, dark tan head. I literally watched the head disappear before my eyes more quickly than any I can remember. A nice aroma of chocolate malts in the nose, coffee hints in the background. Definitely an appetizing smelling stout, in the classic sense, just strong, dark malt. Taste is even better, extremely strong chocolate flavor, but a purely malt based chocolate. The flavor does not end there, as coffee and a slight bitterness add a nice blend to the back-end of the flavor. A nice full mouthfeel, without any alcohol heat makes this a highly drinkable stout. I am surprised that much flavor comes from a standard stout, it is an incredibly well built beer.

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Photo of gatorbreath
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

App: Ink black really with a mud-brown head. Bout 2 fingers on a mildly violent pour into a Duvel snifter, head hangs around for just a minute or 2 and there is little to no lacing.

Smell: Smellin' Fine. Lots of dark sweets, like caramel toffee or chocolate some..with a little smell of bread it's a confusing smell indeed. Maybe its me

Taste/MF: Here goes...not bad..Malty, thick, just like it smells. Very tasty dark flavored brew. Like i said, lots of chocolate and dark caramel notes for sure.

Drinkability: definitely killin' this growler. always one to switch things up so im sure it'll be some time before i grab this one again. Definitely drinkable and a great stout for a non high-gravity.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black with two fingers of light brown head.

Scent of chocolate, grain, raisins, and roasted malts. Good strength and nicely balanced.

Taste of roasted malts, chocolate, some bitter coffee and a bit of dark fruit. Definitely has the taste of an extra Stout; a pretty damn good beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with good carbonation.

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Photo of scottyshades
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours like motor oil, syrupy and black. The head is one finger of ruby/mocha head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing.

S: Burnt and roasted malts encompass the nose, also dark fruit, coffee, toffee, and a whiff of alcohol at the end.

T: Huge roasted flavors. Coffee and bitter hops balance out the maltyness VERY nicely. Also noticed some lactose...makes this a little sweet and creamy feeling, but thats exactly what I love

MF/D: Exceptional mouthfeel. This is what you are looking for in a stout...thick heavy body, oily and velvety texture. Drinkability is also high!

Awesome beer here. Absolutely a must try

Also, after I poured the bottle's contents, I noticed that the bottom of the bottle was coated in something, which I am assuming is lactose, but either way it contained what seems to be coffee grinds, pretty nice touch on a nice beer

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

Poured from a stubby 12 ounce bottle into a nonic pint glass. The stout appears a dark brown color with about two fingers of rather dense ecru foam. The head lingers for a bit before settling to a thin layer. Smells and tastes of medium roasted grains, bittersweet chocolate, mild coffee notes, sweet malt, mocha. Bordering on full bodied with adequate carbonation. A great version of the style.

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Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Pours black/brown, with a tan head. Grains/oats roast in the nose. Pretty smooth going down, mocha, coffee, chocolate. Medium bodied. Fairly clean finishing. Could have more hop presence, this may be more like a milk stout. Not bad at all though.

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Photo of KeefD
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Much thanks goes out washburnkid for this extra! Pours a dark brown color, nearly black with a small chocolate milk head that had a nice lasting cap. Nice dark chocolate aroma, a bit of smokiness, some metallic notes, and a touch of roasted coffee. Taste follows suit. Dark chocolate and roasted barley make up the bulk of the flavor profile. A nice bitterness rounds things out and balances the light sweetness, a touch of coffee and dark fruit. Nice, thick, and creamy mouthfeel. This was a nice extra stout and I could certainly drink this again if it ever became available to me.

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Photo of morebeergood
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack for $9.99. Poured into a standard pint glass. Extremely dark brown. Thick brown head. Decent lacing. Smelled like a cup of hot chocolate. Taste caught me off guard it was so good. Not expecting that from a ten buck six pack. Man, that was great. Really rich and creamy chocolate, mixed with a nice subtle coffee flavor. Perfect balance of flavor and roasted barley. Thick and chewy in the mouth, but easy to drink. Even more flavor erupted as it warmed to room temp. Could sit all night and enjoy one, or have a couple because the flavor was so good and it was so easy to drink. I've had one or two other Mad Rivers brews in the past, but I am going to keep my eyes open for more based on the overall strength of this beer. A great stout.

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Photo of Tone
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black color. 1/4 inch head of a dark tan color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells strongly of roasted malt, slight alcohol, and some sweet malt as well. Fits the style of an American Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with a low carbonation level. A strong dryness is associated with this brew. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, some hop background, slight biscuit flavors, and some alcohol throughout. Overall, a good blend of flavors, strong palate, and a good drinkability.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: An opaque black color with very dark brown edges when held up to light. The head is rather large, fluffy, and creamy, with a rich brown color. Retention is decent, as is lacing.

S: Roasted dark malt is rather robust. Bittersweet dark chocolate, some lactic sweetness, and espresso - very nice. Some molasses, dark fruit, and lactic notes, along with some leafy/earthy hops.

T: Semisweet cocoa powder and some fudgy chocolate, along with roasted coffee beans. Brown sugar and some creamy lactic flavor. A rugged dose of earthy hops along with a bit of a charcoal note into the finish.

M: Thick, chewy, smooth - pretty nice. Carbonation is quite light. A bit of dryness into the finish.

D: I'm very impressed by this beer, my first from Mad River. They really get the job done with what is an aggressive yet drinkable stout. I'll be picking this up in the future for sure.

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Photo of jwc215
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a brown head that becomes an isolated patch.

The smell is ashy with some dusty cardboard. There is acidity with a vague dark fruitiness.

The taste is of licorice, chocolate (more towards cocoa powder, molasses. A sweetnesss comes through more as it progresses (not quite fruity) mixing with the ashy dryness. There is some acidity and a touch of tart/sour (enough of the latter to detract a bit) in the finish.

The body is medium. A bit of watery thinness is in the middle, though it does thicken to how it was at the start as it gets near the end. Alcohol comes through a bit, but not sharp or masking.

Not bad, but too ashy/dusty, and the slight sour/tart throws it off a bit, for too much. Despite that there is a smoothness, and enough taste, that it drinks well enough.

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Photo of NoLiberty
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful solid deep black color with no apparent light coming through. The beer seems light to medium bodied in appearance with some thickness but nothing overly sludgy about it. A light soft caramel-colored head froths up and quickly settles into a slim ring around the glass with no head lasting throughout the drink. No lacing.

Aroma is rich and inviting. Warm roasted malt and sweet molasses and caramel notes prevail with strong chocolate flavors coming through on top followed by a sweet alcohol base. Subtle burnt raisin qualities add to the sweetness of the malt and alcohol. It's a wonderfully well-rounded and full aroma example of an American stout.

Flavors match the aroma very nicely, accentuated by stronger flavors in some areas, an additional hop presence and an overall drinkability that I wasn't expecting. Begins relatively sweet up front with molasses and dried fruit characteristics and moves to a full roasted malt middle that lingers on the light side as it moves to a roasted bitter finish enhanced by light hop flavors and a lasting bitter-sweet oscillation.

Mouthfeel was a little light for my liking, not standing up to the strong flavors and aromas of the beer. The middle was especially flat with a body lacking the ability to carry the beer around the mouth or compliment its character. The drinkability is also low because of this, but otherwise this is a nice strong example of the style and something I'd pick up again on occasion.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a nice stout hue - dark roasted near-black brown with ruby highlights. a reddish mocha head erupts to two-plus fingers but fades rather quickly and to my surprise, leaves no trace of lacing.

aroma is pleasantly stout-like. roasty and toasty with heavy malt leading a menagerie of pine hops, dark fruit, hints of cocoa and hints of alcohol.

Taste follows suit fairly closely, with a bit more of the roasted, cocoa, and coffee notes and a bit less of the fruit. The alcohol comes through a bit in the taste, despite being relatively low abv. Roasted malt dominates, hints of peat, smoke, and wood come through as well. delicious.

Mouthfeel is a touch on the thin side, with a bit of a watery slickness. I was hoping for more creaminess, and the dark hue had me expecting a bit more viscosity. Not offensive by any means, but nothing outstanding. A decent lingering bitternes and a hint of warming alcohol finish it up.

All in all, not a bad stout. I'd consider drinking it again, and I'd definitely recommend giving it a shot. Nothing amazingly memorable, and the price is just a smidgen high for something unmemorable. But all in all a nice roasty stout.

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Photo of farrago
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the darker brown heads you'll find, good two fingers deep and quite dense and reluctant to dissolve, quality lacing as well. As black as the ace of spades, nary a hint of color anywhere, naturally it is fully opaque. The nose is perhaps too dense itself, you have to work at teasing out accents of milk chocolate, mocha powder, carob coated raisins and then apricot, apple fruit scents, coffee oddly absent, for all of its maltiness and lack of hops, there is a saline, metal edge to it before it dissolves in your nostrils. Full-bodied and bottom heavy in spite of its very polished and round mouth feel and suave carbonation. Like it gets to the party and plops down on the first coach it sees. More toast than roast, dark chocolate, carob, licorice, green coffee bean, not very bready, maybe raw grain or meadow grasses. Traces of mixed blacker fruits. Past the midpoint the palate dries out appreciably, you can feel the moisture evacuate. While more or less monochrome flavor-wise, does have depth. And not difficult to drink.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.35/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours pitch black with a thin, dark tan head with a thick consistency. Head seems to die down relatively fast, leaving some blanketed lacing on the sides.

Aroma is alcoholic and floral. Like a strong RIS. Reminds me of Bear Republic's stout. Chocolately, with some raisins.

Taste is a little perplexing. I'd say it's sweeter than most stouts but has a dry, charcoal-plum finish. It's simultaneously sweet and dry which is what is confusing me. Not a lot of roasted barley flavor.. mostly chocolate malt or de-bittered black malt and maybe some oats or flaked barley. There's a ton of body so that's definitely a possibility. Fairly watery. This stout lacks discipline- it's all over the place.

This is a pretty high bodied beer. Very heavy. Drinkability is average to good. Not a lot of directly appealing flavors, but not a lot of alcohol harshness as well. This probably could have been rearranged a bit into a nice Irish Stout, but instead it turned out weird.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured an opaque black. About a finger of chocolate head developed and dissipated quickly to form a spotted lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Impressive. Sweet chocolate with a perfect balance of roasted coffee. I also caught a hint of plumb.

Taste: At first the bitter coffee malts dominated, overpowering the sweet chocolate from the smell. But as it warmed I got a hint of dark chocolate. Not too complex, but still solid.

Drinkability: It's definitely a dessert stout, speaking for itself. Though I'm not sure it's a "hearty breakfast drink," as the Mad River website claims.

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Photo of jonziefle
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured an opaque black with a dark brown one finger head. Head diminishes to nothing pretty quickly.

Smell: Smells of dark coffee, roasted malts, and hints of chocolate. Fruity hops are hidden deep down. Not inspiring.

Taste: Coffee and chocolate malts mostly, with almost none of the fruity hops from the nose. Bitter bite upfront, with a smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty filling, with a smooth finish. Good bite up front.

Drinkability: Good simple stout, but nothing too special. Definitely worth a try at least.

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Photo of WalterSobchak
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like a brainer.
Smells chocolaty with a soy/salty background.
Really nice stout! Not usually my thing but this is good stuff. Nice carbonation, not too syrupy and a well balanced smokey flavor. Just enough carbonation to keep it very drinkable. Reminds me of Stovepipe on tap but better.

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Photo of aubuc1
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip glass

Pours black with a thick stouty tan head.

Smell is roasty, creamy, coffeeish, and some light cherry.

Bright roasty, sweet and then tart taste that finishes very dry and clean. Excellent stout.

Very good mouthfeel and an extremely easy drinking beer. Another great beer from mad river.

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Photo of argock
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased from Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.90.

A: Black with brown-ruby highlights. The tan head is initially 1-2 fingers but disippates quickly, leaving no lace.

S: Lush aromas of dark chocolate, espresso, and roasted dark malts

T: This is a very good stout with exceptional roasted but not acrid dark malt character, dark chocolate and strong coffee flavors, and a soft hops finish. One area of improvement would be in a more robust hops presence to carry both the flavor and a better head for appearance as well as more complex aroma.

M: Exceedingly smooth and easy to consume. Not quite flat but low carbonation, and full-bodied.

D: While I haven't been a huge fan of Mad River's ales (good not great), MR Extra Stout is an exceptional stout with a very full body composed of a hefty dark malt investment which gives a supreme flavor and feel.

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Photo of BMoney575
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on 2-6-09

Pours super black, a thin ring a tan head, and huge brown lacing. The slightest bit of red shows around the edges.

Smell is huge maltiness, a little aged, with tons of complexity. Aromas of anise and chocolate are prevalent. Very good.

Taste is just like the smell, tremendous malt, tons of coffee and chocolate. Normally you have to go for an RIS to get flavors this big.

Mouthfeel is great, perfect thickness and carbonation.

Drinkability is outstanding, a hugely flavorful beer with a reasonable abv.

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed by this beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of shizzdog
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Motor Oil, Tan Head.

Smell: Chocolate Malts, Roasted Grains, Licorice.

Taste: Nice deep Dark Chocolate with hints of smoke and some coffee.

Mouthfeel: Smooth & Delicious, Medium Body & Medium Carbonation.

Drinkability: Extremely easy drinking, the complexity of all the flavors makes this a must try again.

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

Bottle from total wine.

A - Pours dark black with a 2-fingered mocha head. Dissipated as soon as I turned my head away from it (um, fast). No lacing.

S - Coffee, chocolate, cherries, and bittering hops.

T - Coffee, chocolate, cherries, smoke, and bittering hops.

M - For a stout, feels slightly thin and sugary. They have the same f'n problem when I homebrew, strain of safale yeast gets the cherry ester.

D - Could easily make a session out of this, but there are too many other good stouts to enjoy.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle an opaque black with red highlights and a small mocha-colored head.

Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and nuts.

Like the aroma, tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, nuts, and grains.

Thinner mouthfeel than expected, clean, and moderately carbonated.

A bit thin for my liking but a quality stout none-the-less.

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Photo of u2carew
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(A) Dark.... pours like crude oil. Once in the glass becomes opaque. Gathers a timid, biege colored head.
(S) Smells like dark roasted coffee one day old. Has mild chocolate tones as well.
(T) Flavors of bitter dark chocolate and coffee. Has a smoky after taste.
(M) Has a bold full bodied and substance with a smooth feel.
(D) A very delicious beer. Easy to drink, especially for coffee and chocolate lovers.

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Redwood Stout from Mad River Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 522 ratings.
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