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Roller Dam Red Ale - Great River Brewery

Not Rated.
Roller Dam Red AleRoller Dam Red Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

91 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 91
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 12.96%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | 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: 91 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

t0rin0, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -15.5%

nmann08, Sep 29, 2013
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

mikesgroove, May 30, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

emerge077, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of woodychandler
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

woodychandler, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of LXIXME
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

LXIXME, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

tone77, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of Duff27
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Duff27, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of barnzy78
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

barnzy78, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -15.5%

smartassboiler, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of morimech
3.55/5  rDev 0%
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.

morimech, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of Whiskeydeez
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Whiskeydeez, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.8/5  rDev +7%
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.

4DAloveofSTOUT, Jun 27, 2012
Photo of emmasdad
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

emmasdad, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of TX-Badger
3/5  rDev -15.5%

TX-Badger, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of egrace84
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

egrace84, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of jsh420
4.35/5  rDev +22.5%
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

jsh420, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of zonker17
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

zonker17, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of Herky21
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Herky21, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of gatornation
3.64/5  rDev +2.5%
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

gatornation, Aug 11, 2013
Photo of FreshHawk
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

FreshHawk, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of jzlyo
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

jzlyo, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of Chucker17
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Chucker17, Oct 14, 2012
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Roller Dam Red Ale from Great River Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.