Redwood Stout | Mad River Brewing Company

521 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 521 |  Reviews: 310
Photo of drxandy
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mad River is new to our market, and based on the few i've tried a welcome addition..

12oz to standard pint, pours a deep thick rich brown, foamy brown head fades

smells rich and roasty, chocolate, lactose or oats?

tastes bitter, a very nice stout, thick, creamy, roasty, highly drinkable, clings to glass nicely, lactose?, nice balance.

mouthfeel has a good texture and weight, creamy and easy to drink.

 408 characters

Photo of NCBeernut
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black and opaque. Not much head, even off of a strong pour. Bang of coffee, molasses and chocolate right away in the nose, with some anise and vanilla trailing right behind. Man, almost exactly the same taste as smell. Malts add a nice roasted quality that wasn't as up-front in the smell. The coffee taste in this really makes itself known. Residual sugars. A slight hop bitterness, but just enough to lend a touch of balance. VERY smooth; fairly creamy. This makes a very nice breakfast stout.

 495 characters

Photo of mhewes
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A : Pours a nice black with a creamy tan head. Leaves good lacing behind

S : Roasted malts with chocolate and coffee flavors

T : Pretty much the same as the smell with stronger coffee flavors.

M : Smooth and medium bodied

D : To me, it was just an average stout, nothing stood out about it. It's one I'd drink again but not one I'd go look for.

 349 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a nice initial head that fades to nothing. 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. Solid beer that I would pick up from time to time.

 352 characters

Photo of tmitch75
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Monthly club selection for April. Opaque black with chocolate brown head and rings of lace all around.

Roasty coffee and chocolate on the nose with just a touch of licorice.

Chocolate and burnt toast with a pleasant sweetness and light hop bitterness.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel with slightly less than medium body.

A good stout that leaves me wanting more.

Tasted on 5/4/08.

 377 characters

Photo of grandq
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hair shy of black with a thin tan head that evaporates almost immediately. Smells roasty, somewhat vinous, with a touch of milk chocolate. The taste is all roasty malt, chocolate and toffee. A little bit of raisin in there and some faint dark cherries and licorice. Not fond of the mint twinge on the tail end, as well as the sweet finish, which drags down the drinkability. Bitter toasted barley saves the day. Crazy smooth going down, creamy but not terribly thick. A nice easy drinking stout - if mint chocolate chip were my thing, this would be the bomb diggity, but a couple elements just don't quite jibe with my tongue.

 634 characters

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.

 1,174 characters

Photo of 11thFloorBrewing
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance - black as night, very dense with a thick one finger coffee colored head that quickly faded to a long lasting ring

Smell - sweet malt, caramel, coffee and chocolate notes

Taste - tastes just about the same as it smells. Very malty and sweet, some bitterness that creates a nice balance against the sweetness, chocolate is a little more mellow then expected, coffee notes in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel - fairly thick, smooth and creamy, leaves a bit of a film in the mouth

Drinkability - very drinkable, would be a great on a cold day as it is. I also tried a mug full with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. Wow, that was the perfect dessert at the end of a hot day. If I could get this in the store I'd never make a regular root beer float again!

 805 characters

Photo of nsmartell
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the micro of the month club. From bottle to a standard pint glass after hanging out in my fridge for a while.

Appearance: Pours out like old motor oil. Very nice thick brown head.

Smell: Sweet malts, espresso and a hint of chocolate.

Taste: Bitter chocolate and coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: Very good stout. Would definitely seek out again.

 448 characters

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.

 552 characters

Photo of Proteus93
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Jet black, topped with a toasted marshmallow head - nice, creamy, light brown.

S: A sweet, sugary scent in the malts with the creamy toffee, chocolate, coffee-ish scents. Almost similar to a premade, sweetened coffee latte drink or something along those lines.

T: Almost a candy-like chocolate caramel flavour, along with a touch of bitterness. Flavours are not as pronounces as the nose, though it's an appropriate flavour. A roasted malt and some hoppiness on the finish rounds it all out. Tasty.

M + D: Smooth and creamy... an incredibly mellow and easy beer. Not a huge body, but it doesn't fall into thin territory, either. Quite nicely done, and something I look forward to having around more often.

 714 characters

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

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - deep, opaque jet black color with a thick foamy collar that is very well retained

S - sweet malt aroma with traces of hops throughout, as it warms, the hops become more present

T - taste delivers the aroma nicely: full roasted malt flavor with hop spiciness that is most noticeable when it has warmed up a bit; slight sweet finish

M - medium-full body with moderate-low carbonation

D - This is an excellent American or even a foreign extra-style stout. Truly a wonderful stout - wish I could get it around here. I would imagine this would sit well on a winter day also.

 629 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a stubby 12-ounce bottle into a tulip-shaped Duvel glass:

A: Poured a jet black stream from the bottle which turned to a deep brown, opaque body with a creamy rich head of coffee colored foam.

S: Smell is of deep roasted coffee malts and some burnt chocolate and charcoal aromas.

T: Taste is quite bitter, with deep slow roasted coffee and smoked wood flavors coming through pretty strong. There is a bittersweet cocoa twang arching the duration of the sip, but the smoky, chocolate and burnt, bitter malts are most pronounced.

M: The mouthfeel is actually a bit thin and bitter across mid-palate, but finishes with a rich, velvety coffee flavor.

D: It's a fine sipper, and great for an after dinner stout. The flavors are a bit overbearing to have two consecutive, but it's really more one to sit and enjoy slowly.

The flavors can become overpowering if you go at it too fast, and I'm not sure if the bitterness of the roasted malt in this brew would accompany too many foods well, but it is enjoyable if you know what to expect from it.

 1,056 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Steelhead's Extra Stout is extra-black, with no light getting through the body. Usually darker stouts are more of a seal brown hue, but this one is truly black in color. A tall head quicky recedes to a thick layer of brown foam; good lacing. Aroma is full of creamy espresso, mocha cappucino, vanilla, caramel, and other sweet notes.

The taste is a bitter departure from the sweetness of the aroma, instead delivering notes of bitter, roasted coffee grounds and earthy hops. The finish falls a bit flat, leaving me wanting something more to the aftertaste. The body is nicely carbonated, with a medium thickness and slightly grainy, chalky feel. All in all, Steelhead's Extra Stout isn't exceptional, but drinkable.

 716 characters

Photo of mooseisloose
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Steelhead Extra Stout
Smells of cocoa and a twinge of cappuccino, coffee with cinnamon. Pours like motor oil with a dark brown micro bubble head that quickly dissipates. Taste is very thick and creamy, roasted malt and more roasted malt. Not much else here but roasted malt, but that's not a bad thing. A lot less complex in simply roasted malt flavor than the smell was leading to believe. This is a classic extra stout and hits right on the mark. A beer drinker's beer without a doubt.

S 3.5
A 4.0
T 3.5
M 3.5
D 3.5

 518 characters

Photo of RixBeer
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark black/super dark brown with no light penetration. cream colored head.

I could smell this from the pour. Prunes, prunes, prunes and a hint of burnt chocolate espresso/coffee with a huge amount of hop-less goodness! One of the best smells I've ever had out of an american stout.

You can taste the burnt coffee and well, that's kind of it. There's really no huge taste that I expected out of a beer with such a huge nose.

Feels pretty good like going down with a carbonated and light thickness oil like liquid.

Quiet drinkable but I'm disappointed in the flavor. SHould be bolder based on the nose. Still not a bad pick up. I would like this over many stouts!

 665 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours nearly opaque black with off-brown head. Even the appearance of this beer is rich.

Nose offers dark chocolate with nougat, almost like a dark chocolate version of 3-Musketeers candy bar.

Palate has a big roasted whomp, immediately reigned in with hops and chocolate dessert flavors. Integrated nicely.

Rather full on the body, rich, chewy. Swirl it around for a few moments and the chewyness is just amazing. Long roasty finish and very drinkable for such a flavorful stout.

 483 characters

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

L: Pours a black color with a short thick tan colored head that fades fast but laces the glass alot.
A: It smells of deep roasted malts, some toffee and coffee aromas as well.
T: It tastes of deep roasted malts, some chocolate, coffee, and a hint of toffee. The bitterness of the malts and a tiny bit of hoppy bitterness at the end makes for a nice tasting beer.
M: It has a very crisp and warming mouthfeel.
D: Good for a stout, I could drink this all day.

 457 characters

Photo of BDIMike
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black color with a dark tan, almost purple, head that dissipates fairly quickly.
Smell is very nice for a stout. Smell is of sweet malts. A little bit chocolate, toffee, and caramel.
Taste is not as strong as the smell. First hit with the sweet caramel and chocolate tastes. Left with an aftertaste of roasted, burnt malts.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin for what I look for in stout. Nice and smooth, though.
This is a very nice stout. Really nice smell with a very balanced taste between roasted and sweet malts.

 520 characters

Photo of Riverwarrior
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S = Nice strong waves of baker's chocolate with roasted coffee beans lingering in the background.

T = Starts out with a fantastic chocolate sweetness and the roasted coffee flavors begin to blend into the mix. Bitterness is very low. I was left with a long, semi-sweet finish comparable to a "cafe mocha" coffee.

MF = Texture was very smooth and creamy. Body was light. Low carbonation. Finish was semi-dry.

Overall, this was a highly drinkable American Stout due to the well balanced flavors and low bitterness level. I think I've just found my "Go To" stout.

 564 characters

Photo of moose3285
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Chris (largadeer) for this extra.

A - Pours black with a half finger tan head. Head disappears quickly. Minimal lacing.

S - Roasted malts upfront with some dark chocolate and hop aroma. Also a bit of yeastiness.

T - Again, strong roasted malt flavor with some coffee and hop bitterness. Very well balanced.

M - Creamy, but not too thick. It coats your tongue without being too much. Carbonation is on the high side, but not too bad.

D - Very drinkable. I love how balanced between malt sweetness and hop bitterness this beer is. Maybe not a real session beer but a couple of these would go down pretty easily.

This is my first beer from Mad River. Now I'm pretty interested to see what else they have to offer.

 723 characters

Photo of ryrust5301
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. A syrupy black color with a chocolate tan head. Sweet malty vanilla aroma with hints of coffee in the background. The taste is of smooth sweet malts, followed up by a ever so faint coffee bitterness. A bit of chocolate helps add to the sweet smoothness. Hella good stout! Not too bad to sip on as an after dinner beer.

 364 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours nearly black; Large big-bubbled beige head (three fingers to start). Relatively light lace for the style.

Coffee to mocha aroma. Light alcohol warmth in the background.

Baker's chocolate flavor up front. Some raspberry in the background. Very dry--the finish is bitter, mostly from burnt malt flavors; some faint hop. Biscuity. Average body for a pale ale, but light for a stout. Good carbonation.

I find this brew to be very interesting with many different flavor profiles to note. This is the sort of Stout that if I'm giving it a lot of analysis, I will probably have several. If I am simply drinking it, I'll probably have several more.

 649 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a 1/2 finger headw ith good retnetion. Dark brown in color that I can't see through.

Smell is of chocolate malts with some slight licorice and toffee.

Sweet caramel malts are followed by a nice chocolatey flavor. TOffee and a hint of mint linger in their as well. Bitterness is very low and serves just to cut through the sweetness.

Smooth creamy texture on the palate that is exquisite.

This beer is one excellent stout that I could drink all night long.

 465 characters

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

Beer of the month club selection. Pours a silky black color with a nice topping of tannish foam. Lightly roasted, coffeeish nose. Excellent malt flavor, with dark chocolate and cocoa notes predominate. Moderate bitterness balances well but leaves some pleasant sweetness at the finish. Creamy texture.

Pretty drinkable stout.

 326 characters

Redwood Stout from Mad River Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 521 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.