Roller Dam Red Ale - Great River Brewery

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Roller Dam Red AleRoller Dam Red Ale

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BA SCORE
81
good

103 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 103
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: 103 | Reviews: 39
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 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 sonata2008
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Lives up to its name. It is a copperish red. A little cloudy. About 1/2 inch of cream colored foam. Almost no lacing at all.
Smell: There's some bread, a biscuit aroma. Don't smell much else.
Taste: Hops are on the back end and are not a strong part of the taste. There's a very slight bitterness. The most pronounced is a malted grain taste.
Mouthfeel: Lighter mouthfeel. Effervescent and tingly.
Drinkability: Very drinkable. Would go well with roasted corn, salsa, spaghetti with a tomato sauce. Might even be very good to put into a tomato sauce.

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 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 kawilliams81
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can to pint glass.

A- Dark caramel, 2 finger white head, lacing that resides immediately.

S- Roasted amber malts, some toffee

T- Sweet amber malts, little roastiness to it. Very light hop bitterness.

M- Light body. Easy drinking with medium carbonation.

O- Ok beer. Fairly easy to drink it well balanced for a amber.

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 SolomonGrundy
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great day today - found out a long time friend was the recipient of a Grammy Award and have piles of brews from across the country to sample. This one from excellent trader GraniteSkunk...Cheers mate!

The basics: No idea omn price and 5.4% ABV...decent enough!

Brilliant and clear red with and orange hue to it. Not much of a head, and not really any lacing. A tad too lightly carbonated for me...Mehh thus far apart from the color...

Nice aroma - I get some vanmilla and cinnamon/allspice among the caramel malt notes...Some very nice, sweet notes in here, and they are subtly mixed..Very nice...

Flavor is a mixed bag. Starts off sharp, tangy and vibrant. Very nice...A strange bitterness begins to pervade the flavor in the early middle, and this carries throughout the beer. Can't say as I like it none, neither...It's like the bitterness you get from Tonic water (aka quinine)...That bitterness really pervades the whole taste. There is a slight touch of sweetness to this brew, and it offsets some of the bitterness. Ultimately this beer could do with a slight modification to the recipie to take away some of the harsher qualities and accentuate the malt a tad more. As it is it's serviceable and somewaht unique, but not overly exciting.

What I like most: The beatiful color and unique flavor profile.

What I like least: The quinine-like bitterness.

Verdict: Good enough, but not great. Try it if it's cheap.

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

Pour - dark amber with some reddish hues indeed. A nice looking inch of off-white foam on top. It looks like its glued on there and isn't going anywhere. Clean and clear. This is looking pretty tasty.

Aroma - lots of cereal and grain aromas in the first whiff. A beer like this is definitely focused on the malts and not the hops. Slight hints of orange or lemon as well as bread dough and even cinnamon(?).

Taste - lots of sweetness on the tongue and on the palate, honey and caramel combine with a slightly fruity, almost strawberry-like flavor as well. This definitely has a strong focus on all things malty and I'm actually surprised its only 5.3%, it almost drinks like a stronger brew.

Overall - sweet and tasty. Not a bad brew and certainly one that a malt-head might enjoy. What I like about it is that its not cloying, overly sweet, like some red ales and it doesn't leave me looking for a water (or other beer as the case may be) chaser.

Would I buy more of it? - St. Patrick's Day is about 4 weeks away. Time to load up...

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 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 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 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 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 rundocrun
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer at The Pit BBQ house in Iowa City. Great place with some great BBQ!

A - Appears a deep red-brown color with minimal head that faded quickly. No lacing on the glass.

S - Some slight hop aroma with toasted malty undertones.

T - After the initial sweetness, I get a surprising amount of chocolatey flavor! Must be using some high-quality chocolate malt to help color this beer? The chocolate notes linger from the middle to the finish and a slight, but pleasing hop bitterness strikes the back of the tongue toward the end of each sip.

M - Not too much to say here. Good carbonation, pretty average mouthfeel. Quite drinkable.

Photo of ballz50401
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First brew I've tried from Great River Brewery and I like the slogan on the can "We drink what we can and can what we drink." Poured from a 16oz. can into a Becker glass. No freshness info.

Appearance: Pours a reddish amber with an off white head that appears big after poured but quickly fades.

Smell: Nice little malt aroma of caramel and toast followed by a herbal/spice hop aroma.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Some light toasted caramel and biscuit along with some hop spiciness. Mouthfeel is meduim bodied with a nice dryness and balanced bitterness.

Drinkablility: Overall a well done Irish Red that fits the profile well.

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 bnes09
3.81/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Translucent caramel color. Thick, cream colored head with excellent retention and moderate lacing.

Sweet aroma of candied sugar, grains, and ginger spice.

Flavor is malty and sweet with a buttered biscuit character. Subtle caramel. Mild leafy, earthy hop tones. Descent balance. Tart finish.

Medium bodied with a grainy texture. Dry in the finish.

Solid red ale. Good balance and descent flavor. Easy to drink also.

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 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 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.

Photo of sonnmr31
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours an amber, orange color with a one finger head.

S - All I could smell is the toffee malts.

T - Good flavor and slight hop finish at end

M - Real light mouthfeel and low carbination.

O - This beer as real drinkable and is a solid red ale.

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Roller Dam Red Ale from Great River Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.