Redwood Stout | Mad River Brewing Company

very good
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 310 | Ratings: 521
Photo of largadeer
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pitch black with a huge frothy brown head and ample sticky lace.

Smell: A big dark chocolate aroma with undertones of doughnuts, coffee and cream.

Taste & mouthfeel: Fairly dry, flavors of dark chocolate and coffee, a touch of molasses and smoke. Rich and creamy with a full body. Drinkability is outstanding thanks to the overall dryness and balance of flavor.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours like an imperial. You get thick pour with dark black color and nice mocha head that lasts with lacing though out.

S - Didn't really get much of a sent but maybe some slight chocolate.

T - Tasted big but is it really less than an IPA (ABV wise?) WOW taste like a big imperial you get a massive bit of chocolate with mild coffee toes and slight toasty malt. Overall sweetness helps this beer go down smooth.

M - Seems heavy but drinks more medium bodied.

D - Wow they make some great CA beers! This is the third beer this brewery has impressed me with an a couple of places carrying this I may happen on a case. On of the best stouts I ever had!

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Photo of dball
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice stout. As good as any. Great flavor and aroma. I have a local specialty shop that carries this just for me. Now there are more and more folks picking it up. It is just the right balance of malt and ABV. The appearance is exceptional and the smell draws you in. The flavor is full and satisfying. It is a bit costly but worth it if you like a big stout.

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Photo of rkuhnel
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured very black with a nice brown head that left big chucks of lacing. Feels thick and rich on the tongue. Very nice odors with a smoky chocolate dominating. Very smooth drink. Flavor are excellent but what makes this stand out is one of the best palates evey. Feels almost rich enough to eat with a spoon. Mad River does not get a lot of distribution, but when they do it well they are top notch. Very nicely done.

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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!

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Photo of JahNoth
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark pour with small caramel head. Scent of bitter chocolate and mild roastiness. Very nice nose. Nice roasted bitterness in the flavor - the hops, chocolate and slight coffee bounce around in unison. Light on the tongue. A delicious brew! Mad River brews are slowly moving up the ladder among my favorites.

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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 GCBrewingCo
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours pitch black with a slight ruby highlight when held to light. The brown head forms quickly and then falls slowly lacing the glass. The aroma is chocolate and coffee and roasted malt. The flavor is chocolate and coffee and roasted malt. The body is medium-full and appropriate. The finish is dry coffee.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep brown, almost black with a nice milk-chocolate head that dissipated. No lacing.

Tons of coffee, charred toast, deep roasted malt, and some sweet scents. Nice and inviting.

Big luscious flavors here. Dark roast coffee, some light sweetness to balance the bitter, molasses, bitter chocolate, dark bread. Really delicious.

Full bodied, smooth and creamy texture. Great.

Overall, easy to drink, not too much booze to even notice. Great American stout. Wish I tried this sooner. Buy this.

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Photo of woemad
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at the Rocket Market in Spokane. No freshness date.

Poured a viscous black color with two inches of mocha colored foam. Light does not penetrate this beer. Lots of globs of dark tan lace.

The nose is a tasty-smelling combination of roasty and sweet.

The initial taste is one of dark rost coffee which is almost immediately combined with a mollasess-like sweetness. The finish is dry, yet with a little of the sweetness lingering as well. Fairly full flavored considering it's not an impy stout.

Medium bodied, with a slick, oily mouthfeel.

A nice, flavorful stout, one that is fairly rich without being overbearing about it. I enjoyed having one after work, but despite having a moderate abv, I don't think I'd want to session it. As a stand-alone stout, however, it's very tasty.

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Photo of shizzdog
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
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 TheManiacalOne
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from IntriqKen, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color with a short but dense brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is loaded with chocolate along with roasted malt, a little coffee and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is of rich roasted malt and creamy chocolate. There’s a little bit of coffee in there as well along with a very mild hops presence in the background. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium body, slightly sticky finish as expected from a beer in this style.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling for the style, good kick to it, very good representation of style. This is a good stout to drink continuously and I haven’t had very many of those yet that won't fill you up.

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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.

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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 plaid75
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep oily black hue with a one half finger creamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a heavy burnt grain with elements of burnt sugar.

The taste consisted of a robust burnt grain and coffee flavor, tempered by a lingering sweetness.

The mouthfeel was full with a moderate chewiness.

Overall a very good stout. All the flavor and complexity of a high ABV export stout.

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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.

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

Consumed 10/14/2009- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Absolutely 100% black with about a half finger cocoa colored head that faded to a thin skim.

S- Deep and earthy. Caramel, little of black licorice hints, dark bread, lots of stuff going on here!

T- Again very deep and earthy. Caramel, dark bread, roasted malt, coffee hints, cant find the licorice but picked up a little oaky flavor.

M- Despite the look I'd say its still medium bodied. A little waterier than I expected but not in a bad way. Pretty smooth.

D- Very sessionable, this is only available in one shop around here that I've found so I'll be stopping by there again!

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Photo of bhalter8
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
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 AtLagerHeads
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From an unimpressive start, this little number really built steam and made me a believer. Much like a true Russian Imperial stout, ala La Coq, there is virtually no head and, likewise, no lace.

But from the nose forward this is an impressive brew, again ala La Coq. The dark opaque body captures a sense of extreme roasted goodness and gives off lovely aromas of burnt grains and thick, roasted caramel malts.

The taste is very Imperial having a rich fullness that is very much of the old school. It is truly waming of the innards despite its relatively low alcohol content; can this be an accurate rating of ABV?

The full, heavy, and thick body is just shy of being syrupy, earning it high marks in this lesser dimension. The drinkability is likewise enhanced by the moderate ABV and lovely feel. Grande! Let this Steelhead come upstream and multiply!

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Photo of argock
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
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 chugalug06
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Blackened caramel color with taupe colored "soapy" looking head. Not too much lacing kisses the glass

S - Smell is very burnt and low odor. Super dark chocolate and roasty... Not quite what I was looking for

T - GREAT! Definitely a must try, I've been looking for this brew for sometime now... Thank you for distributing to CO!!!!

M - As close to perfection as i've had in quite sometime... Smooth and light carbonation

D - Super rich chocolate and delicate hop balance mellows out the flavors leaving you with a ver enjoyable ending mouth feel

Great Job Mad River!!! Congrats on your small brewery of the year award too!!! I will definitely be purchasing a lot of Mad River brews in the near future, keep em' coming!


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Photo of goschool
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a prototypical stout. It pours very dark with a big creamy beige head. While it is thick and chewy with more carbonation then average, it's also quite smooth. This one features some tasty roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee flavors with a hint of fruit and since this is a West Coast stout the brewers gave it a welcomed spicy, hoppy kick. This went rather well with my bowl of Waffle Crisp cereal.

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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 faulkster4
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I poured this one into a pint glass and was impressed with the dark, beautiful brown pour with a beautiful dark brown head (and I generally don't care about the head but this one is really good looking!) This is a DARK beer. Very tough to get any light through it. A nice chocolately, malty scent that is just right. Everything about this beer is tempting. Poured it, looked at it, smelled it, and was dying to taste it. This is what beer drinking is about. A percentage point or two of alcohol higher would of made this a total winner but who's to complain? I guess I'll just have to drink more than one. aftertaste lingers a bit longer than i would like and gets a bit sour on the tongue but the taste is good enough to sustain the linger. well worth the price!

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Photo of socon67
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a real treat. I stumbled upon this at the local distributor.

The smell was a great balance of chocolate and coffee. The taste, even better! I'm a tough grader on stouts and this was a great american stout. A nice smokey taste with just the right amount of sweet chocolately goodness. Very smooth to drink. I would love to have these on a nice fall day.

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