Redwood Stout | Mad River Brewing Company

310 Reviews

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 310 | Ratings: 521
Photo of stephendr
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle- color of dark raost coffee , with a medium tan head - nose of bittersweet chocolate , sour red fruit , cocoa , and coffee – taste of coffee , burnt , bitter chocolate , vanilla , and milk chocolate - body is a medium smooth cream , dry , and with light carbonation – aftertaste of vanilla , coffee , chocolate , and lingering

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.54/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a brown stout, deep brown. Mississippi river y'all. Some chocolate malt sensation, relatively tame.

Plenty of hops and bitterness in this stout, the ibus are a poppin'. Not an overly thick beer, but it definitely falls in the chewy range. You get hints of smoke and coffee from the roasted malt.

Been reliable every time I've had it.

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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

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

No freshness date on bottle. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Dark pour with a dark tan head which leaves extensive lacing.

S - The standard roasted malts with chocolate and coffee aromas.

T - Much like the aroma, with a chocolate and coffee flavor. A bit on the acidic side.

M - Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

A nice stout. Would not go out of my way for one, but could definitely drink another bottle.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.52/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, pours nearly black with brown at the edges, thin light brown head, little lace left on the glass. Aromas are rich dark chocolate, roasted barley, baker's chocolate, molasses. Tastes are chocolatey, roasty, rich, smooth, molasses, slight bitterness on the finish. Mouth-feel is the disappointment here. It's rather watery and thin, modest carbonation. I like my stouts fuller. Overall, good aroma and pretty good flavors but the feel is really lacking.

Looking at others' reviews, I am baffled to see people rave about the mouth-feel. I've seen stranger things when it comes to beer though. I doubt I'll come across this one again to retry it, but you never know.

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Photo of cbutova
3.51/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours out purely black. A very small tan head builds up just enough to cover the beer but dies down very quickly. Only a small ring remains and leaves only a tiny spot of lace.

S- Threw me off at first, thought this was going to be a let down. It has a very different raspberry chocolate liqueur feel to it, a bit too strong in my opinion.

T- Roasty caramel, bittersweet chocolate malt lead the flavor. The raspberry/dark fruit aspect is in the finish here and not as off-putting as in the nose. Very roasty feel, almost burnt. Tiny bit of earthy hop feel.

MF- Fairly thick and creamy with higher end stout carbonation. A tiny bit of warming and slight cocoa bitterness.

DB- Not a bad stout at all... the flavor ends up being pretty balanced and well crafted. No complaints here except for the sharp dark fruit aroma.

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Photo of denver10
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black with an effervescent mocha head and nice lacing. A nice rich, roasty aroma with some chocolate and coffee. A roasty flavor that dies just before it reaches burntness, some licorice, and coffee. Thinnish medium mouthfeel, some activiy, nothing noticeable. Overall, a solid stout. Drinking an Yeti Espresso Stout before this wasn't helpful to this beer's cause but I did enjoy this and will have to revisit it with a fresher palate.

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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 farrago
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
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 Crosling
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pour yields a rich black body and a densely topped tan head. Subtle, stale maltiness elevating aromatics of peanut butter, roast and a slight hint of chocolate, but overall it mostly resembles rich mocha in the nose. Flavor is of course malt accented, but it leans toward a mild astringency in the finish, and this is a very fresh bottle. I don’t like the finishing hop either. As it begins to warm though, a rich and creamy roasted chocolate malt character does indeed start to shine through. Overall, an above average stout, although I do prefer the Brewer’s Scotch Porter, which I think is an excellent beer.

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Photo of jsh420
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

pours dark dark brown with a 1 finger fizzy tan head that left some spotted lacing

smells is faint but i do pick up some roasted malts and milk chocolate

taste is along the same lines as the nose - those same roasted malts chocolate a little dark fruit and some nuttiness - pretty dry overall -

mouthfeel could be better - overcarbonated and thin

overall - while i dig the flavor i dont dig the body and this beer is a ltttle pricey to boot - would rather have a SN stout or founders porter

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Photo of PintOHops
3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

6.0%/2010 release

Glass - Snifter

A - Clugged like oil out of the bottle, pitch black color with a 1-2 finger mocha colored head, even on an aggressive pour did it not produce much more head than that. Lacing was pretty good though.

S - Wow! Rich deep chocolate syrup aroma, a vigorous swirl gave me some dark fruits like cherry & a bit of raisin. A bit of licorice in there with mild coffee, very inviting aroma but not much in the roasted malts department. Just a dominate chocolate syrup aroma overall, moderately sweet smelling though.

T - Rich dark chocolate syrup upfront, soft but noticeable citrus unfolding into coffee & toffee flavors, not very sweet though. Unfolds beautifully and finishes with licorice & roasted malts, roasted flavors aren't robust as expected for the style but there is a great balance between bitter/roasted/sweet. Soft bitterness here.

M - Mildly crisp, a little thick and almost velvety, around full bodied and perfect for the flavor profile.

D - My overall impression of the beer is that it's more of a dessert Stout than anything else. I really enjoyed this one without food, but I would of liked it a bit more robust with more malty flavors instead of a dominate chocolate syrup kinda thing. Not worth seeking out to me but worth a try if you like dessert stouts, I think this one needed a bit more though.

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Photo of biglite351
3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - solid darkness. Tall medium tan head. Some lacing.

S - roasted malts, but not that great.

T - roasted malts with some coffee. Bit of chocolate in the after taste. Much better taste than smell.

M - thin feel nut it does coat, which usually do not go together. Tingle on tongue and even possibly the front teeth.

D - multiple bottles are possible.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle(twist-off cap) > small snifter

Just a tough off of black with a very lively, bubbly dark brown head to start off, dissipation is quick with it's wild carboantion.

Smells like very rich and bold chocolate brownies, blackberry jam, caramel slathered on top, vanilla, hostess blueberry pie, dark roastie coffee with tangy scented hops. Right fucking on!

The flavor is much more roastie and earthy than the aroma, which is dominated by sweetness. The flavor is actually woody, like it's been oak-aged for a long period of time. There's peanutbutter and burnt marshmellow's with slight currents of mild chocolate. The herbal, green veggie hop really stands out, maybe a bit too much for my taste. The feel is a bit lighter than I would hope, medium to full....more like a thin middle and round edges. The ending flavor is of bitter herbs and chocolate. slighty off-balance as the herbal, bitter flavor's walk all over the malt body.

I'm thinking this one would do very well in the cellar.

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Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: truly black body with minimal tan head that fades pretty fast

s: a noseful of sweet chocolate and coffee malts

t: after the smell it's a little dissapointing; there is a lot of wineyness and and the incredible strength of the burnt coffe bitterness overpowers many of the subtleties of the other flavors

m: a little on the cloying side and a little on the carbonated side but overall still pretty creamy/ok

d:there are so many better stouts that are readily available i am not sure it makes sense to get this one but worth a try

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is a less-than-one finger tan color with low retention and decent lacing. Not the most impressive looking stout in the world, but to be fair, I DID just review Young's Double Chocolate Stout from a nitro-can.

S: This seems to be more of a fruity, licorice-y stout than a roasty one. Not much in the way of roasted barley, but there is some decent coffee emanating from my glass. My preference lies toward the latter, but this has a decent aromatic profile. Maybe I'm just crazy in expecting this to be an Irish-style stout, when it really isn't?

T: My analysis on the aroma is pretty much spot on - this one lets the licorice, coffee, and dark fruits do the talking. Coffee is strongest on the opening and licorice finishes the flavor progression. There isn't freakish levels of complexity here (although I like how it becomes slightly nutty and chocolaty after a while), but it does strike a nice balance between sweet and bitter. Enjoyable, but not mindblowing.

M: The feel is weird, or maybe it's just a hair more overcarbonated than I like? Actually, it might be both. Though to be fair, the carbonation helps to neutralize the slightly thick texture some. There is some pleasant char on the aftertaste, but it's not really as dry as I like my stouts to be. At the same time, it's not really 'wet' finishing, either. The wet/dry balance isn't very strong - like I said, it's kind of weird.

O: I like it a good deal, but I don't love it. A textbook example of a fallback stout when little else is available, but it's a great choice to fill out a mixed 6 pack with.

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Photo of harrymel
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled: unk, appears a time back provided the amount of yeast at the bottom...

A: black with a finger of light mocha which falls to a sheet of the same. Cobweb lace.
S: coffee, cocoa, astringency. Standard stout with a hint of chemical tones.
T: Nice and roasty with chocolately malts and some dirty coffee grounds that motion in at mid palate to take over and last and last as the finish line is long here.
M: Medium on thin with moderate carb. Semi dry finish.
O: Nose was off, and could appreciate some more body in the beer, but the flavor was quite nice.

Had again in March 2013. Much better. Roasty, full bodied and dry. Pretty decent stout.

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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 jwc215
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
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 wiseguy142
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
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 Marraybay
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Dark black - Not much head

Smell: Roasted coffee; Slight hint of fruit

Taste: Just a smidgen of upfront fruit sweetness, but not nearly as much as
expected, given my experience with MR's porter. Dry, slightly bitter finish.

Feel: Full

Overall: Had high hopes, but alas, not enough sweetness in
this one for me. More of a tease. As noted, would rather
drink MR's porter.

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Photo of akajimmyd
3.29/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – Opaque black, dark brown but thin head, minimal retention and lacing.

Smell – Roasted and coffee malts.

Taste – Sweet malts up front. Bitter chocolate and hits of dark fruits. Smoky finish. I could use more hops from an American stout. A little raw overall.

Mouthfeel – Full body, thick on the palette. The strong roasted and smoky characteristics detract a little from the smoothness and drinkability.

Drinkability/Notes – I’d like more hop balance. A good stout but there are better. Worth a try. (No freshness dating)

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.27/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scored this at the Total Wine in Northern Virginia in early November. No freshness or ingredient information on the label. In fact, the label only talks about the Steelhead line of brews - nothing specific about the stout at all. Semi-stubby 12oz brown bottle with a pleasing blue and white label featuring a large salmon springing from some forest stream.

Pours an utterly opaque super-dark burgundy under a one finger purplish gray head that is thick and creamy, but still dissipates quickly leaving no trace of lace. The nose has some roasted malt, but what sticks out is a distinct plum note. The mouth is fairly heavy and very carbonated, with a body that hugs anything it touches. This beer almost tastes like a sweet stout, with prominent plum and sour citrus notes. There is roastiness here, and a touch of espresso, but the fruitiness pervades. Only in the aftertaste, long after the prune juice is gone, do the roasted malts and dry hops assert themselves. It's OK, but a bit disappointing in my book.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out an oily black whit a slight amount of head that quickly went away. A bite of bitter bakers chocolate in the nose with a lot of booze as well. The taste is smoother than expected but it still has a sharp bite that has a pungent bourbon alcohol aftertaste. I was not too impressed with this one.

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Photo of abents
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an oily black with a big brown head that's gone rather quickly. Not much for lacing. Smells of roasted grain and coffee with a slight hoppy smell as well. Taste is of a bitter coffee and slight chocolate with a nice roasted malty taste as well. Lingers pretty well in the mouth, but nothing too spectacular here. Pretty well carbonated with a light mouthfeel for a stout. I don't know here. A decent offering, but again nothing too terrific. I was impressed with the scotch porter, but this was just OK.

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