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Roller Dam Red Ale - Great River Brewery

Not Rated.
Roller Dam Red AleRoller Dam Red Ale

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BA SCORE
82
good

98 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 12.61%
Wants: 3
Gots: 10 | 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:
Delicious, malty ale with a hint of caramel and a peppery hop finish.

(Beer added by: dpnelson1978 on 07-24-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 98 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spauldo
5/5  rDev +40.1%

Photo of schoon
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%

Photo of buckfever5
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%

Photo of jsh420
4.35/5  rDev +21.8%
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 jjanega08
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No freshness dating

A= Pours a deep deep amber color almost into the brown area with a thin off white head on it that holds sketchy lacing and retention.

S= Smells interesting. More on the malty side of an amber. I would say it smells fruity actually.

T= The taste is again sort of a fruity malt taste. I actually get like a strawberry flavor from it for some reason. The hops are dead in it keeping the sweet malts playing the main character.

M= Medium carbonation.

O= This is a pretty fun beer. The malt flavor is unique to me and unlike anything I've ever had. I'll be buying this again for sure.

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 UrbHawkEye
4.04/5  rDev +13.2%

Photo of Jill_kellum
4/5  rDev +12%

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 tlake38
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of Nofear048
4/5  rDev +12%

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

Poured from a 16 oz can into a Peace Tree pint.

A: Pours a clear copper/orange with 1 finger of pale tan head. Good retention and lace.

S: Sweet, bready malt with a bit of floral tea in the aroma.

T: Similar to the smell. Faintest touch of pine in the bittering hops, malt flavor has a light caramel quality. Level of sweetness is just right, nothing overdone. Hops and malt taper off hand in hand through the finish, which lingers a fair amount. Soft minerals also in the finish.

M: Relatively light mouthfeel with good creaminess.

O: A fine example of the style, and a really nice beer. This beer begs to be paired, and I'm thinking that Irish Stew would be a good choice-- no strong flavors to compete between the two. Will need to test that theory the next time the weather is cold enough. Kudos to the folks at Great River for another tasty brew.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pint can poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange/copper hue with about one finger of eggshell-colored head that quickly settles to a thin film on the surface. Carbonation is subtle, and lacing is minimal.

S: Tons of caramel up front, with some fruity notes and a floral hop profile.

T: Big caramel notes, with some fruity, slightly sweet esters on the mid-palate. Hops lend a slightly bitter, grassy finish.

M: Medium body with a very creamy mouthfeel. Almost exact to the style.

O: While I'm not blown away by this beer, it is pretty good. Its relatively low ABV makes is very easy to drink, and a solid session brew. I'll be returning to this one from time to time.

Photo of tgraven
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of muddyh2oblues
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of fuzzcherry
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of hooverhawkeye
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.98/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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 TheSarge
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
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 dpnelson1978
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
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 Duff27
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Into a pint glass with a damn near 3 inch light tan head. Color is a very pleasant ruby red with some effervescence in the mix. Pretty good head retention and some lacing.

S- Sweet caramel malts, slight bread.

T- Very close to the nose. Well balanced malt/hop-wise.

M- Medium to medium/thin mouthfeel with good carbonation on the tongue.

D/O- Thirst quenching...to say the least. I want more hops in my red...to say even more. I guess that'd no longer be and Irish Red but still, my preference. This would be a good "local" go-to sessionable beer for me as I'm enjoying it thoroughly.

Photo of alostplot
3.92/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Roller Dam Red Ale is named for Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 15, which is the largest roller dam in the world and is just south of our brew house."

--can label

French burnt peanut orange with apricot borders and a cascading crown of golden ecru cream that has a wonderfully sticky texture. An attractive array of lace makes it to the glass in the end.

The aroma has a light caramel malt undertow and a balancing amount of Sterling hops. Not a humdinger, but it follows the style guidelines and makes no major (or even minor) missteps.

Roller Dam Red Ale is solid across the board. There are maltier Irish reds and hoppier Irish reds, but this one has a beautiful balance that should please most everyone. Actually, it's probably hoppier than most versions... which is accentuated by the freshness of the sample, no doubt.

Flavors follow aromas. Each sip delivers an enjoyable pale and caramel malt mix (favoring the latter), followed by a surprisingly zesty bite of herbal-spicy hops. Warming brings out a little more boldness, as it usually does.

The mouthfeel gets it done. It's right about where it should be in terms of size, hang-on and carbonation. Looks like these guys crossed all of their 'T's and dotted all of their 'I's during the design process and the brewing process.

Roller Dam Red Ale is dam(n) fine beer if you like red ales that have perfect malt-hop balance. The recent change in Iowa law allowing higher ABV beer to be brewed was great, but RDRA would've been possible back in the bad old days of 2008. Good job Great River. And keep 'em coming.

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Roller Dam Red Ale from Great River Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.