Redwood Stout | Mad River Brewing Company

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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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 523 |  Reviews: 311
Photo of DUBinMIA
3.16/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with about 3 in. head… not that foamy but decent. Ok lace.

Smell is of roasted malt and toffee. Light caramel notes towards the end. No real hop notes.

Roasted malt is dominant with coffee and piney hops toward the end. Not very complex.

Mouth feel is light for a stout. Could be thicker.

Overall an ok stout. Worth a try but I won’t pick it up again.

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

Deep black body, nice aroma reminiscent of French roast coffee, Head foams up nicely but doesn't hold up long. ( I always drink from Pilsener glass for consistency in comparision)
I think this is a good solid brew, exemplary of it's type and recommend.

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Photo of Dan3279
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had this on cask at the Beer Engine in Lakewood, this is the first cask beer that I remember having. The beer was served to me in snifter glass and had a body that was black as night and a very small tan quarter inch head that left a little lacing.

The aroma has dark chocolate, coffee, and some bitterness. The taste was great, a solid stout with everything I like in my stouts, coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate and good blend of sweetness and bitterness.

This beer was creamy and very easy to drink, I was actually expecting this beer to a little heavier than what it actually was. In fact I think I drank it a little too fast and didn't give it a chance to warm up. My only complaint about this beer is that I wish the ABV was a bit higher, I like my stouts to be in the 9%-11& range, but overall I can't complain at all. I really enjoyed this one and I would probably have had another one if it weren't for all of the other beers that were calling my name at Buckeye.

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

Thanks to chugalug06 for this extra

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip

A-Pours black, no light coming through, with a two finger coffee colored head that slowly recedes to a thin cap that leaves wisps of lace.

S-Nice roasted malt aromas greet me first, followed by hints of molasses, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit. Smells nice.

T-Slightly charred malt and coffee, dark fruit, a touch of smoke, bakers chocolate with just a bite of citrusy hops.

M-Medium body with crisp carbonation. The carb bite is a bit distracting here, but it still manages to coat the palate fairly well.

O-A good, solid American Stout that I enjoyed and would have again.

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Photo of dwilson01
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass, the body is a midnight black tinged with dark brown around the edges. the head is a thin dark caramel mocha coloration which sits on the top of the brew dissipating slowly.

The smell seriously makes me think dark chocolate mocha. It's thick and drowns your scent of anything else in there.

The flavor follows directly from the nose, a dark chocolate comes out in the beginning fading to a roasted coffee flavor and then combining in the end leaving you with a slightly bitter choc/coffee aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is full but surprisingly not too thick, it's got a huge amount of flavor without being a syrupy consistency.

Overall this is a must try brew if you haven't already indulged.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really nice pour, very typical for the style with a deep dark black look to it and a nice head of maybe two inches that came up and over the top with some ease. Settling down it left a decent amount of lacing on the sides, but nothing spectacular though it did retain a good bit of the puff of tan on top. The aroma was nice, well blended mix of chocolate and roasted malts, hints of light coffee notes and a decent bit of dark fruit note carrying over. This was pretty much par for the course with the flavor. Started out very smooth with a rich and well defined chocolate note that dominated early before mellowing with a nice but of vanilla and coffee notes. Small touch of hops catching up right there at the end were enough to make it just slightly bitter, but overall it was a smooth, creamy and very session able stout.

I would have no issue with trying this one again as it went down quite nicely and really left a soft, sweet note in the end. Very well done.

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Photo of felipe2toes
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out of the bottle like black syrup. Not much of a head, and whatever head there is quickly recedes into thin ring.

Smells great. Hints of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and lots of coffee.

Tastes darned good too. Bitter and dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and some sweet molasses/brown sugar notes.

Not as viscous as I initially thought it would be, but still decent mouthfeel and good carbonation.

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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 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 OWSLEY069
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a light brown head. In the aroma, big roasted malt and sweet notes are in there too. In the taste, dry coffee and a big roasted maltiness. A small hop bite and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a dry coffee flavor in the aftertaste. Nice coffee note and easy to drink.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Steelhead Extra Stout

Stubby bottle into a snifter.

Pours a thick oily black, small brown colored head and little in the way of lace or retention. Aroma of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and some smoke. In the flavor, black coffee, dark chocolate and a hint of vanilla. Moderately sweet with little to no alcohol presence. Smooth and full bodied. A nice sessionable stout with a moderate ABV. Quite tasty.

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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 mlazzaro
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first review since changed "drinkability" to "overall". This beer is a great example of why that change needed to happen. (low drinkability with high overall appeal) Just because you don't want to drink a beer all day everyday, doesn't mean it is not an outstanding/worthwhile example of beer. cheers to that change.

twist off 12 oz. bottle.

I know the beer is fresh because i bought it from a store that just opened up.

A brown head over an opaque black beer. Reasonable carbonation and head retention. Dark malt character in the aroma, good chocolate essence. maybe a hint of yeast to the smell as well. Taste is similar to smells: dark malt flavors, and a bitterness that reminds me of strong coffee. Acidic dark malts are smoothed out by thick body and head. Pretty thick and viscous body, very filling. While still maintaining 6.6% ABV "decent". I wouldn't drink more than one or two of these personally. But a good brew with exciting flavors, I enjoyed it.

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Photo of Rayek
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass, the beer leaves the bottle a thick molasses black. A generous and dense tan cap falls fairly fast to a patchy film. Leaves bits of lace.

This beer is fairly sweet for the style. Molasses dominates the nose and palate. Bitterness is light and burnt. The beer gets a little acidic in the finish. In the mouth, the beer is dense, but overly fizzed.

Overall I liked this. It's a nice departure from the traditional American stout. A solid pickup.

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Photo of samie85
2.73/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A-Pours a pitch black hue with one and a half fingers of marron head.

S-Smells of dark chocolate, freshly roasted coffee, and earthy hops.

T-Dark chocolate with a bit of roast and vanilla and finishes with bitter, dry chocolate.

M-Medium bodied with low carbonation with a pretty dry finish.

D-Definitely not my kind of stout. Very acrid-like roast notes make this one not very palatable to me.

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

From notes, enjoyed January 2011.

Pours nearly black, opaque, and thick, with a coffee-colored one-finger head. Smell is mostly roasted malt with coffee notes but not a ton of complexity. Taste is delicious, straightforward, and just what I want from a stout: malty, strong coffee flavors, some sweetness, and nicely rounded. Mouthfeel is medium-thick but bubbly; has a bit of the stout syrupy texture but enough carbonation to balance it. Overall, quite good. The only thing holding it back from an even higher rating is the lack of complexity to the flavor.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass; pitch black color; light brown head that dissipates to ring along the glass.

Smell is chocately roasted malt with feint hop bitterness; hint of coffee and toffee notes.

Taste is big roasted malt sweetness balanced by a good hop bitterness, just a solid stout.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, a touch on the sweet cloying side, but still well done.

quite drinkable, maybe a touch on the sweet side for great drinkability.

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Photo of GarrettMD
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours very thick. Pitch black, not a single ray of light comes through not even at the edges. 1 finger mocha colored head which dissipates fairly quickly.

S - Coffee, bitter dark chocolate, and roasted malt aromas. Not too much else, just a very good aroma for a stout. Well balanced between those aromas.

T - Coffee and chocolate still dominate. Hints of black licorice. Caramel malts seem more prevalent than most stouts. A little sweet, but still a very well balanced taste. Not too much hop taste or bitterness.

M - Thinner than expected. Thick pour, but the carbonation thins out the body a lot. Finish is sweet with hints of coffee and a lot of chocolate. Keep in mind these are bottle conditioned and that could affect the carbonation and thus the mouthfeel.

D - Very good drinkability. Fairly average ABV, so no alcohol noticeable, but very smooth and inviting beer. Slightly sweeter than I would prefer, but still a very good beer that I would not hesitate to get again.

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Photo of greenmonstah
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass

A - Pours a pitch black, very thick. The deepest black I've seen in a non-imperial stout. Nice one finger brown head that dissipates in a few moments into a nice wisp. Average lacing ut the color is just so impressive.

S - A bunch of coffee, tons of roasted malts. A bit of chocolate. Not amazing, but the roast is nice. The roast and coffee intermingle and complement one another well.

T - Roasted malts, lots of coffee, dark chocolate, and a finish with plenty of black licorice. Finish leaves you tasting licorice and coffee for a while. Very different from the nose, with less of an emphasis on roasted malts and instead some intense licorice and a lot of coffee. Very complex for a regular American stout. I'd like a bit more chocolate, which I prefer to coffee in general.

M - Only medium in body, not nearly as thick as the pour made me anticipate. I'd like it a bit thicker. A bit drying and slightly 'empty'. It's enough body for a 6.6% American Stout, and it's extremely impressive that I keep comparing it to Imperials.

D - Goes down fairly easy, but it goes down like a 9 or 10% Imperial, which is to say that the flavors and whatnot are very intense. A very tasty stout that looks amazing and lives up to the complexities and appearance of some Imperials I have had. Flavors may be too strong to have more than one at a time.

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Photo of gps2388
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stouts being my favorite style this is one of my favorites. Goes to show that you absolutely don't need high alcohol in this style for it to be exceptional. (The high alcohol stouts I think get too 'hot' and distract you from all of the other flavors that you should be enjoying)

A- As a stout should look, creamy brown head resembles the crema on an espresso shot; opaque appearance

S- Gives you a great picture of what's too come, mostly malt with just a little hop character to balance at the end...

T- ... And that's what you get, lots of creamy malt like a heavy wet cappuccino but without the old coffee grounds or burnt tastes some other stouts get (like Founders and Sierra Nevada respectively) and plus some nice subtle chocolate and vanilla tones plus some hop character for balance to keep it from tasting too porter-ish

M/D- Not too thick/chewy but still stout, goes down nice but heavy and thick enough to remind you what you're drinking

All in all one of my favorite stouts and definitely my favorite from the West coast.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.06/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Elk Public House

Appearance is jet black with a bubbly dark beige head.

Smell is faint. There is a bit of a roasted coffee aroma.

Taste is candy-like chocolate flavors. Not a very robust flavor and it lacks a sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but a bit thin for the style.

Very drinkable very sessionable. Not a great stout but it will do.

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Photo of beerphan
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle -> sa taster
no date

Pours oily black with a inch high mocha head that settles to fine film and leaves dotted droopy lace.

Nose: Roasty, raisin and plum, a little booze

Oil slick chewy mouth. Heavy roasted malts give chocolate, burnt coffee beans, thick cocoa, and some mild dark fruit. Some bitter pine tries to sneak out but is smacked down by the chocolate roast. Finishing bitterness is quick and welcome. Ends dry. Easier to drink than some of the heavier stouts, but still more than a couple would be chore, imo.

A good flavorful stout, heavy enough to be leaning towards the desert side of things.

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Photo of righthereisay
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blackish/Brown. Smells like an imperial

Taste: Some chocolate, some licorese. A little vanilla and oak. For some reason I'm thinking Milk Stout on this. My issue is there is a lot of carbonation on this. More than most of the beers I have had.

For a stout, that wasn't the greatest. It really reminds me of an imperial stout, even with the low alcohol content. The body was medium/low at best. A little bitterness at the end, but not much.

I've had better. I think the carbonation and lack of body hurt this one for me.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Kind of a dirty brown appearance, like some catfish would really thrive living in. Chocolate malt nose, and hops.

Taste, hoppy for a stout, bitter, chocolate malt. Not super thick, but not thin either. May have a very slight amount of very weak coffee, or it could be the bitterness making me think that. Smoky at times in a minimized way. Not a bad beer all around, tends to tail off just a tad. A good beer from a good brewery.

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Photo of nickadams2
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A_Pours thick with a thin dark brown head. Dark brown highlights. Thick spotty lacing.

S_Roasted malt,coffee,and molasses.

T_Same as nose. Roasted malt with hints of coffee and chocolate malt. Sweet molasses in the finish.

M_Very nice mouthfeel. Super thick and creamy.

D_Pretty drinkable but lacking a little in the flavor. Dosn't really stand out. No freshness date so I'm not sure how fresh this is. Would definitely give it another go.

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Redwood Stout from Mad River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 523 ratings
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