Redwood Stout | Mad River Brewing Company

Liked This Beer
4.03 w/ 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
Photo of u2carew
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
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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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 russpowell
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like motor oil, with 2 fingers of mocha/brown head. Average head retention

S: Smelled dark chcolate in the bottle, only getting hints of wet cardboard in the glass.

T: Toasted malt, coffee grounds & bitter choclate & dryness. Cocoa & a touch of leafy hops as this warms, plus, just a bit of charred juicy grains. Finishes dry with some dark fruit & cocoa notes

MF: Smooth as heck, medium bodied with nice carbonation

Drinks pretty easy, the dryness would wear on me after a while. A good, not great stout

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Photo of Vancer
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now we're talking - a big ass black pour with a creamy tan head. Looking good in the ol' Corsendonk tulip. Sheets of lace on the way down.

Big aroma of chocolate milkshake in the aroma, with a touch of dark roasted coffee.

Dark toasted malt in the quaff, powdery and sticky. Even a blend of dark fruits down deep. Crisp and clean finish for a stout. Damn tasty brew from a brewery just now hitting the Midwest area.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12/11/08- Purchased at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- About as black as you can get for a stout. Dirty white hot chocolate colored 1/4 inch head and sticky small patches of lace left behind.

Smell- Super roasted deep dark chocolate malt. Really no hops in the nose, but a small nose of coffee as well.

Taste- This sucker is dark. Very deep roasted malt, a tad brunt and a tad smokey. Chocolate is there and burnt and lightly bitter. Charcoal notes and a brunt coffee pot flavor as the finish.

Mouthfeel- A bit overcarbonated for the style. Not really any aftertaste exepct for a light smoke flavor.

Drinkability- I like my stouts a bit smoother and a bit less roasted, but it was a nice change of pace and a good authentic deep dark stout.

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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 daliandragon
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is ink black and oily but with almost no head at all to back it up. The nose features deep chocolate malt with alcohol and toffee in reserve.

Dark malt flavor with some roasted tones and quite nice for the style. The texture is thick and has plenty of depth but also is blanketed by carbonation.

This is a delicious, oily stout but doesn't feature a ton of complexity or overwhelming character. solid and worth trying, but don't castigate yourself if you don't.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured black with maybe just the slightest hint of ruby at the sides of the glass. A loose head of light brown foam settles pretty quickly. I suspect this beer will have a lot of roasted character. Smells like powdered cocoa. The first sip is thick with chocolate flavors followed by coffee with cream. The finish is dry with the carbonation tingling the sides of tongue. Slightly drying. This would be a good breakfast stout to me, as it seems very filling. It's also a stout with a good balance; not too sweet or too hoppy and bitter. I would add that the hop character here is rather muted, with hops added for bitterness and virtually no aroma or flavoring hops detected.

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Photo of Magpie14
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: thick oily pour, with delicious foamy chocolate colored head. Black in color, all around

S: chocolate, robust malts and vanilla with dark coffee beans

T: dang! rich chocolates, or rather chocolate covered espresso beans. Robust malts, smooth texture, and very dark in overall flavor (just how I like my stouts!) A flip of bitterness helps things from getting to sweet and decadent. After I pried the beer from my hand and took a breath I detected a slight smoked, somewhat nutty finish hanging around

M: creamy times 2! Smooth and delicate with heavy body. I could drink this for a dessert or have it after a nice plate of eggs, hashbrowns, and a side of toast

D: I had never even heard of Mad River Brewing and they make one of the better stouts I have had. What happened to stouts like seems hard to find them with these types of characteristics?

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a nice initial head that fades ta a slight rim. Light roastiness on the nose, as well as some lightly sweet malt and perhaps a touch of dark fruit. The taste is nice, with a balanced creaminess, roastiness, and hints of chocolate and licorice. Smooth and firm mouthfeel with a soft finish.Drinkable but I could only drink 2 at a sitting I think. A very good brew

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Photo of JayQue
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color with a small tan head. Average head retention and a minimal amount of lacing. Smell is of roasted malt and a little alcohol or vanilla extract.

Good taste!! Roasted malt, coffee, a little bittersweet chocolate.

The best part of this beer is the mouthfeel. It is rich, creamy and silky smooth. The flavors blend well and the rich feel lets it slide down real nice and easy.

Drinkability is excellent. Good for a few pints in a long session. Would love to try this on tap.

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

A: Black pour with deep brown receding head. Lacing around my mug as it drops.

S: Sweet, maltiness with a hint of smoked coho in the very, very distant background. It makes you want to drink this libation.

T: Now, here's where we get down to business. Taste is overall outstanding. Very much a sweet introduction with a smooth silkiness associated with it. I believe it is so well balanced that you barely notice the sweet transition into a delicate bitterness for the unbelievable finish.

M: Smoooth, silky goodness. Perfectly carbonated for its style. Slick aftertaste.

D: Ok. If this wasn't 6.6%, I think I could go with several of these for dinner. Very akin to Duckrabbit's Milk Stout with more of a punch. I very much enjoyed this one and will seek out this delicious treat again.

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

Appearance: Quickly dissipating, creamy, brown heap sits atop a viscous, pitch-black fluid. Surprisingly a lot of brown yeast inside, though lots of yeast sediment seems to be Mad River's calling card.

Smell: Strong coffee and milk chocolate nearly drown out everything else. A touch of oats.

Taste: Rich milk chocolate with much lighter coffee, burnt malts, nuts, and caramel. Chocolate is very predominant, though definitely delicious - tastes like a chocolate stout.

Mouthfeel: Cool and smooth. Not very syrupy. Great warming/numbing. 2% milk consistency with light carbonation. I absolutely loved this!

Drinkability: Most enjoyable Steelhead I've ever had. Not very complex, but very smooth with just the right amount of sweetness. Enjoy!

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours like motor oil, thick and pitch black with a creamy tan head. Smells quite roasty with an underlying creamy sweetness.

Very roasty in the mouth. Lots of coffee and dark chocolate flavors. Rich malty sweetness. Roasty burnt malt in the finish and aftertaste. Big beer, thick and rich in the mouth but still pretty drinkable.

A good roasty stout always hit the spot for me. Good stuff.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful appearance. A hefty pour yielded a pitch-black, ebony, opaque hue with a reddish, tannish, creamy, frothy head...
Smell: Deep malts, chocolate, mocha, and dark lattes...
Taste: Excellent stuff! Strong roasted malt flavor... Very smokey aftertaste... Heavy on the nuts, dark-chocolate, espresso, rich mocha, strong cappuccino nuances... Really good, flavorful...
Creamy, rich mouthfeel...
Good level of drinkability as well...

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Photo of sholland119
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a remarkably deep black with a thin tan head and some decent lacing.

S-Sweet chocolate and toffee with some caramel. For a light stout, this has a great aroma.

T-Tasty. More roasty than the nose would suggest but still with a mildly sweet start. The finish has a nice roasted coffee flavor and a bit of hop bitterness.

M-Crisp and nicely moderate bitterness. Good medium carbonation.

D-This is an excellent session stout. I find a lot of 6% ABV stouts to be a bit thin and bland. But not this one.


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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 gordavidson
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- A very dark, black beer with a very creamy brown head. The retention is very good. This is just a beautiful beer and how an American stout is supposed to look.

S- Some coffee and chocolate. A little earthy and some dark fruit. Pretty good, but not amazing.

T- Same as the aroma, with some smokiness and a strange sourness in the aftertaste. It's actually pretty good and everything goes really well together.

M- Very smooth and creamy. Really impressive. The carbonation level is great.

D- The ABV makes this a very tasty pick. This is a very flavorful beer. Get some.

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Photo of erratic
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wasn't expecting too much based the label and name. I know, never judge a beer by its label... but WOW

poured viscous and black. virtually no head until the end of the pour where a thin butterscotch color head quickly vanished. opaque except for a ruby hue skirting the edges.

The smell really perked up my expectations. coffee and chocolate were strong. Really inviting.

slightly sweet with a nice balance of bitter. Chocolate, coffee, raisins and molasses balanced perfectly with the roasted malts.

Full bodied and smooth. loved it

Amazing drinkability out of such a potent brew. Strong flavors that managed to not overpower. I was surprised to see this listed here as an american stout. I thought for sure it was a russian imperial.

Overall, one of the most impressive beers I've yet had the pleasure of tasting!

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Photo of bbothen
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark black with a 1 finger tan/coffee colored head. Head doesn't stay around too long.

Smells of coffee & dark fruit. Ripe plum, fig & some sweet malt.

Has big roasted/toasted flavor
with some nice coffee & chocoolate character and a nice bitterness. The roasted maltiness dominates.

Full bodies, lightly carbonated, thick, lush.

Enjoyable stout. Especially if you like roastiness over smoother chocolate character in your stout.

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

A: Dark black with dark brown head. Slight lacing left on the edges.

S: Scents of roasted grains and malts. A touch of chocolate and some milkiness.

T: tastes of roasted malt and bitter chocolate. Somewhat milky flavor and a slight hop bitterness.

M: Thick heavy beer with low carbonation. Milky and smooth.

D: This was pretty good. A nice stout without the big alcohol taste. It had nice balance and good aromas.

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Photo of Floydster
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle that was part of an American Microbrews pack from Cost Plus, probably the highlight of that box, split with my dad last night, poured into my Paulaner mug

A-Almost black but still can see through a little, 3/4 inch frothy tan head, stuck around for a while, nice retention, small amounts of lacing
S-Mild coffee beans, burned malts and barley, dryness, figs, and some dark chocolate
T-Started off with a big dry taste with hints of chocolate and some coffee, had a burnt aftertaste, got more malty as time went on, more hoppy than expected, not too s=weet which was a plus
M-Malty, roasted, and mildly sweet mouthfeel, full bodied, too much carbonation, taste lingered for a long time
D-Could not drink much more than a bottle, ABV is not high but very heavy and thick, smooth most of the time, pretty rich

Nice beer for Mad River, hit the spot since I had not drank a stout in a long time, pretty complex and different, which is something I was not expecting, would drink again, recommended

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured mostly jet black with some hint of dark brown around the edges when held up to light. Minimal white head no lacing.

S: Tons of roast and hints of cocoa powder. Hints of lactose as well. Little bit of sweet malt lurking in the background.

T: Starts off sweet with the lactose and candi sugar? Kind of weird. Then into a strong roasted taste followed by hints of dark chocolate. Nice and complex without being complex.

M: Nice thick body. Low carbonation.

D: Nice session beer. Great big taste without the big booze hammer.

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Photo of LunaChick
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok so maybe I got an old bottle? Given where it was purchased I highly doubt it.

This smells like red wine. Anyone who's ever had "Fat Bastard Merlot" this is what it taste like, only much deeper.
Pours black--decent head--some lacing--but overall it fizzeld quickly.
Aroma is rich red wine. Some dark, bitter chocolate, bandy steeped plums, and very slight hints of yeast.
Taste is very much like red wine. Starts heavy with brandied fruits--some chocolate as well. Hints of malt come thru here and there. Ends warm with alcohol. Overall dang good. Very suprising.
This was so much like the wine I intended for dinner that I dumped it into the beef and onions . It worked out very well.
I can't be nuts--my kids and my mom all thought I used wine in the dish.
In the mouth there is little carbonation, very silky slick and robust. I scored drinkability a little low because of the pungent alcohol warmth. Odd for the ABV. Good beer. I'll get it again for drinking and cooking.

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Photo of ballewblake
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to tumbler glass. Thanks to csniezek for sending this loot from the ACBF.

Poured dark black into the glass, slightly viscus. Two and a half finger brown head that dropped within minutes leaving a seawater lace on the glass. Very nice roasted malt on the nose, light hops barried in there. First sip is slammed with some mild bitter hops and dark malts. Getting some milk in the smell mid way through. Very smooth and light on the tongue, decent body. Bitters slow down mid way and I'm getting more of the milk and roasted malts that I was hoping for. Not a bad extra stout.

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Redwood Stout from Mad River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83% out of 100 with 523 ratings
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