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Roller Dam Red Ale - Great River Brewery

Not Rated.
Roller Dam Red AleRoller Dam Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

102 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 102
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 12.61%
Wants: 4
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great River Brewery visit their website
Iowa, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Red Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dpnelson1978 on 07-24-2010

Delicious, malty ale with a hint of caramel and a peppery hop finish.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 39
Reviews by BigRedN:
Photo of BigRedN
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pooured from the 16 oz can into a pint glass, I only get about 3/4 of the can in the glass on the first pour. The beer is a nice copper color, completely clear, with a thick off-white head. My pour produced a thick, fluffy, head nearly 2 inches in height which slowly fades to

Smell: A small floral hop aroma hits the nose first. As I slowly consume the beer and top it off with the rest of the can, a little sweet malt comes through. Overall, the scent was not bad but perhaps a little lacking.

Taste: The lightly roasted malts come through on the outset. A little sweet but not cloyingly sweet. There is a slightly bitter finish on the end. The beer does have a somewhat "clean" finish as there are no aftertastes to it; such as a lack of any lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light in body; avoids having a light watery feel. The beer has a light, natural feeling to the carbonation as it is not overly bubbly and fizzy, a few bubble streams streak through the liquid.

Overall: I bought a 4 pack of 16 oz cans for $6.29. A bit pricey IMO but I wanted to give this a try as I liked the name and like to find good craft beer in a can. An enjoyable beer and well worth trying.

More User Reviews:
Photo of pmcadamis
2.79/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Deep and clear ruby hued beer with a collar of light tan foam. No real head to speak of, but there is a little bit of lace.

S - Caramel, malt, and some butterscotch. Smells like a Worther's Original candy.

T - Super-sweet malt bomb with almost no hop bitterness at first. Some grassy hops pop up at the end. Slight copper penny note at the end.

M - Initially really sweet and malty, but saves itself from sugary hell by coming up with a grassy, slightly lemony, dry finish.

O - Not terribly interesting. A little to sweet, but that could make it a great gateway beer for people who aren't into craft brews.

Photo of plfahey
3.82/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. can poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Copper-red and brilliantly clear with a thick, pale beige cap of foam. Head retention is somewhat weak.

Aroma-Sweet, bready cereal grains with light toast notes. Low notes of floral hops. Otherwise it's rather clean. The malt notes are simple enough, but layered, so still shows some points of complexity.

Flavor-Less sweet than the nose would suggest-toasted grain, some biscuit, and bready notes. Mid-palate is marked by caramel flavors and is punctuated by moderate hop bitterness and low floral hop flavors. Round caramel/lightly toasty malt flavors carry on into the finish.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slight carbonic bite even though the carbonation doesn't seem excessively high.

I actually rather like this one-there's not much special to it, but it's an easy drinking irish red with just enough malt character to make it special. I could knock back a few of these for sure.

Photo of dbossman
3.67/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish brown hue with a huge cream-colored head--sudsy and bubbly with okay lacing

S: Herbal hops and a touch of lemon on top of a very bready, biscuity, malt backbone--lots of bread and toast and biscuit

T: Bready malts dominate but a pleasant albeit subtle herbal and flowery bitterness

F: Nice medium body with a fair amount of oily stickiness

O: A nice English style amber; nothing crazy here but flavorful and subtle

Photo of mtvolkens
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Not a bad brew. Some of the other beers put out by this brewery just missed the mark completely, but I would pick this up if I was in town again. Nice and light, but with a malty sweetness. I've noticed their beers tend to be light on the palate, never feeling heavy by any means, and that makes for more refreshing brews, but less interesting.

Photo of zoolou
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking red/orange color with a light beige head that sticks unevenly down the glass. The smell is a very pleasant sweet toffee aroma.
Taste is dominated by sweet malts, but there is an underlying bitter hoppiness that cuts the sweetness just enough.

This style is usually one of my least favorites, but I really enjoyed this beer. From the few beers I've had from Great River Brewery, I have had a good experience with every one of them, and am looking forward to their other offerings.

Photo of morimech
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Went to reach for Great River Pale Ale and somehow this ended up in my cart instead. Oh well, I have not had it before. Pours a clear amber color with one finger of head that had decent retention before settling to a thick cap. Just a little spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Malt driven aromo of crystal and caramel malts. Somewhat fruity with hints of herbs and flowers.

I like my red ales on the hoppy side but this is definately on the malty, sweeter side of reds. Caramel and fruity esters primarily. Slight herbal and floral hop qualities.

Nicely carbonated and suitable body for a 5.3% ABV beer.

Not what I want in a red ale, but definately well crafted. I will go back to their pale ale for sure. I see this is classified as an Irish Red instead of an American Red. Not sure how I feel about that since it is brewed with Sterling hops and American yeast.

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to cpolking for sending this beer. This beer rushed out of its can and produced an amber color with a 1.5 inch head. Smell is of caramel malts. Taste is also malty, a touch of hops, slightly sweet. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

High clarity crimson scarlet in the glass. Really nice coloration. A few fingers of light khaki foam builds to the rim and settles at about a half inch. Random flecks of lacing are left behind.

Toffee and brown sugar aroma, raisin and plum, clearly malt forward.

Rich maltiness, fruity raisin and plum again, possibly from the ale yeast. Drying aftertaste of molasses. Bready with Crystal malt caramel sweetness. Not all that bitter, though the can states 30 IBUs. Fairly big malt flavors, and light bodied, making for an easier session. Well made and full of flavor, still it could use a touch more hops to make it really great.

Photo of jsh420
4.33/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours clear dark amber with a creamy 1+ finger head that had good retention and left lacing all down the glass

smells of biscuit malt and a little lemon

taste is very good biscuit caramel toffee malt tiny bit of hops to give it the needed bitterness

mouthfeel is medium light body with good carbonation slick yet creamy

overall i am very impressed and this could be a regular session ale and one to introduce new people to craft beer

Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

light amber pours with a huge head of white that came up a full three fingers in height. Smooth settling left a good bit of side glass lace and a nice and even coating across the top of the glass. Interesting aroma as it started out with a nice and well rounded bready malt that seemed to slowly evolve into a grassy, herbal hop profile with a bit of a kick from the caramel. Did not seem to have a clear direction, but the taste made up for it nicely. Very smooth, nice caramel and malty tones that won me over with ease. Smooth even flavor, crisp, clean and well balanced. Smooth notes of grassy bittering hops coming in at the finish gave it a nice little drying effect and warmed it up. Very drinkable as it went down smooth and left me looking for more right away.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice tawny amber color with a slightly below average (really probably would consider average on second thought), foamy, sticky, off-white head. Average retention leaving a thin layer of lace.

S - A touch on the faint side but it gets stronger as it warms. Plenty of nice, sweet toffee aroma with some caramel as well. Nice malty, sweet aroma. A touch of fruitiness as well.

T - Typical Amber/Red flavors with plenty of toffee malt and some caramel. Some nutty flavors as well. Some golden raisin and apple also come out mid-sip. A slight mineral tang toward the finish. Sweet but not overly sweet or cloying.

M - Between medium and light body with average carbonation. Pretty slick and smooth. The sweetness adds a touch of a drying feel at the finish.

D - Pretty drinkable. Nice flavors that are sweet and malty, but don't come off as out of balance.

Notes: A nice, although fairly typical, Amber/Red ale. Plenty of toffee and nutty flavors with some caramel. Sweet maltiness, but nothing too overboard. Another good, not great, offering for the brewery. Great options for getting a canned beer and for introducing people to craft beer. Worth picking up and trying.

Photo of mdwalsh
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Ruddy Reddish brown with a thin tan head, ok but not great active carbonation, and the head goes away pretty quick. It's a bit dark, and not as bright as I would hope. Sort of lack-luster. 3.5

S: Mildly grainy and metallic, but not overwhelmingly so. A decent, mild hopping is present, but not a huge part of the character. Overall, it's interesting, but not crazy intriguing. Worth a try, not something I'll get regularly. 3.5

T: Again, sort of metallic, and not as robust or malty smooth as I would like. There is a bitter sharpness, but I think it comes from the grain and not any aggressive hoping. There's not a lot going on here, though it's starting to warm on me, but not great. 3.0

M: Again, it's thin, too thin for what I think it's should be, but a little refreshing as well. 3.0

D: Really quite drinkable, but simply nothing fantastic. 4

Photo of gatornation
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a clear ruby brown color with a nice tan head and good looking lacing thru out
S-caramel and toffee with pepper and ginger some wood and peat
T- follows the nose its sweet with spice and hops and a nice earthy finish
M- pretty robust with medium carbonation very good red with loads of flavor
O- tasty easy to drink red in a pint can with around 5% ABV liked this one

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from cpolking so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 16oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, honey, fruit, tea and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, tea, honey and some fruit. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with a mild but complementary hops presence creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice flavorful beer with some substance making it worth drinking for a long time.

Photo of TheSarge
3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours perfectly into my pint glass, for a dark ruby red colored brew and cleanly filtered. The head retains very well, and is off white in color.

The aroma is toffee and a hint of metallic hops.

Taste wise it shares much of the same qualities as the aroma, but has a sweet figgy finish.

Nice medium bodied brew, somewhat complex with a hint of a powdery dryness. A surprisingly warm finish for a brew with a lower ABV.

Photo of woodychandler
3.78/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was first a gift from the brewers following the GTMW and then some more showed up in a trade. I love The CANQuest (TM)! CAN you dig it (and you know who I'm asking)?

Love the Crack & Glug! Beer as an auditory pleasure in addition to everything else. My pour netted just over a finger of light-tan head that burbled, bubbled, exploded with CO2 and phased itself out of existence. Red? Like a coppery amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a sweet, malty, raspberry-like quality. Mouthfeel was medium with a very sweet caramel taste on the tongue. Phew! I am not a fan of sweet beers, but anything in the interest of the quest. Finish was bittersweet with a light metallic tang. Bottom line for me was that it was simply too sweet for this self-avowed hophead to want to drink on a routine basis.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

tallboy can poured into sam adams pint glass.

Appearance: medium amber bodied beer with easily 2 finger of head. Nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell: Nice malty red with a touch of grassy and floral hops. Malts smell of caramel and bready.

Taste: Malt forward Irish red. Nice caramel sweetness, fresh bread, and a hint of brown sugar. The malts are also a little fruity too. A touch of grassy hops in the finish offer just the right amount of a mild bitterness to help balance out the sweet malt profile.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Easy drinking Irish Red.

Overall: Another solid beer from Great River! Riminds me of Fat tire, but I prefer the Roller Dam Red. Its worth you time! Convience of a can and priced great at 7.99 a 4pk of tall boys.

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.99/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. can into SA "Perfect Pint"
45°F

5.99 / 4-pk.

3.5 - A: Deep bright copper body with a big tight rocky head of medium retention but only the slightest lacing and a thin cover.

4.5 - S: Raisin notes backing up a slightly sweet, but powerful malt nose. Not much hop aroma (30 IBU - listed on can).

3.5 - T: Slightly sweet malt backbone with just enough hop character to keep it balanced. Simple biscuit flavor profile, but a fantastic local alternative to any macro. Very accessible to any audience.

4.0 - M: Light body with medium to high carbonation that lends an unmistakable crispness.

4.5 - D: Very crisp drinkable beer. Wonderful session qualities without a watered down flavor. Moderate residual bitter aftertaste but plenty of residual enjoyment.

3.85 - O: I'm glad I stumbled upon this beer in desporation while out of town on business. I'll be sure to be on the lookout for other offerings the next time around.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Serving type: 16-ounce can. No freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into an imperial pint glass. The color is light red/copper; it looks like grenadine colored 7-Up. Two fingers of eggshell-colored head dissipated quickly to leave a spotted lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Sweet and malty. Caramel, toffee, floral hops, and perhaps strawberry jam or syrup.

Taste: Mirrors the aroma. Sweet caramel, toffee, floral hops, and strawberry syrup.

Drinkability: I do not have much experience with Irish red ales, so I cannot comment on how the beer fits the style. Overall, though, it is too sweet for my taste. It is far from my favorite Great River beer.

Photo of JackieTH
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jeremiah for the sample pint-can of this relatively new Iowan here in MN.

Pours red-amber with a short-lived head that dissipates leaving no lacing. Smell was earthy, Lipton tea. Taste is subtle sweetness, but primarily tea leaves and biscuit-malt. A noticeable hop oil bitterness comes in late around the edges of the tongue. Bitterness lingers. Medium mouthfeel, but lower than expected carbonation. Not great, but drinkable.. I did enjoy their IPA a bit more.

Photo of doucmehu
3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16oz. can purchased in Sioux Falls last week, no canning date.

A: Reminiscent of a mid-summer Cali girl with a nice body and an orange-amber tan, giving some nice head that lasts for quite a while.

S: Some tame sweet caramel malt, bread grain, black tea. Nothing too interesting.

T: Sweet toffee malt, cheerios, mild tartness at the back of the tongue. Fairly bold flavors for the style and they work well.

M: Back to the Cali girl analogy, this does indeed have a solid body and hangs around just long enough, leaving a mildly bittersweet finish.

O: A very drinkable, sessionable ale that I was pleasantly surprised with.

Photo of Schmittymack
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16 oz can into that ol' trusty shaker glass. Poured a nice amber color with a very small whiteish head that quickly disapated. Aromas of malt, caramel, and something I can't quite put a finger on. Taste was sweet malt and caramel with no hop bitterness. Quite quaffable; I could do this one as a session beer and would definitely have this again on draft.

Photo of emmasdad
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a can of this one last night from my friend Schmittymack. Thanks Dan. Had this one late Saturday afternoon, before dinner. Poured a nice amber color with a medium white head. Aromas of caramel malt and woody hops. Nicely balanced, medium bodied, with flavors of sweet malt, woody hops and caramel/toffee.

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.91/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Old Capitol Brew Works, served in a pint glass.

Appearance- This one has a velvety, off-white head that is about a finger in width. It has decent retention, with very little lace. The body is an amber-orange with some reddish tinge.

Smell- This one is really sweet! Some crystal malt and toffee. Although what is noticed is appealing, it is not jumping out of the glass.

Taste- The malt really makes this a nice amber. It is almost sticky sweet. It goes from biscuit malt to a honey-syrup feel, appealing to say the least! There is a little grassy and earthy hop in there that comes out near the finish, but it does not bitter up. Tastes really good!

Mouth feel- It is just borderline light to medium. It certainly could be much creamier, mouth feel is pretty hit or miss on Great River offerings.

I would not say it is "fizzy", but it does not really glide over the tongue either, or coat the mouth.

Overall- I really enjoy how this amber tastes. I would certainly have it again and could easily drink more than one in a sitting. The nose leaves a lot to be desired. It smells good, it is just really hard to pick out.

And again, mouth feel is a little bit of an issue. I would really enjoy this one being much creamier and just sliding over the tongue.

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Roller Dam Red Ale from Great River Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.