1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Serious Madness - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Serious MadnessSerious Madness

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

197 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 197
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.35%
Wants: 18
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: klewis on 02-26-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 197 | Reviews: 124 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bfarr
Bfarr

Washington

2.5/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear dark brown and big tan fluffy head on top foamy on the bottom with great retention Chocolate, shades of licorice and roasted malt aromas. Chocolate sweetness but roasted malts dominate with hints of licorice. Smooth mouthfeel with a tacky linger.

Any good flavor is drowned out so your left with a charcoal beer relatively high in alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 18:39:40 | More by Bfarr
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter

Oregon

2.58/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Pours a half finger of head on a black body.
The aroma is roasted malt, sour milk and grass. It's not a great smell.
The taste starts mildly sweet, then some lemon bitterness in the middle to end. It has a milk flavor to it all.
The texture is crisp and soft around the sides.
The sour smell and milk flavor really through this beer off.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2014 00:35:41 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of philbertk
philbertk

Washington

2.68/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Mad River Brewing Company--Blue Lake, CA--Serious Madness Black Ale. 8.60% ABV. 80 IBU's. Lacy tan head. Opaque dark black color. Fruity hoppy dark fruit chocolate body. Imperial Porter CDA. Dry clean end. A little too chocolate for me. (2.0 / 5.0) Sampled 5 oz. Taster @ Fremont Oktoberfest on 9/25/2010.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2010 00:54:58 | More by philbertk
Photo of brokenleadedcask
brokenleadedcask

Ohio

2.7/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on 07/27/09. Reviewed from notes

Typical dark brown body with light brown, almost off-white head. A little bit of lacing and head retention. Smells of campfire, chocolate, burnt caramel, and diacetyl. Dry dark chocolate overwhelms the taste, with a dash of hop bitterness. I found this beer to not have very complex tastes. Dry, chalky and a bit powdery feeling. A few months ago, I enjoyed this but now it's meh?

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 01:32:10 | More by brokenleadedcask
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours a dark brown black with a thick creamy tan head that foes to a thin film and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is subdued - roasted chocolate malts with some dark fruits.

The flavor is a lot of roast - some chocolate and coffee, with a big acidic bitter roast finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly watery.

Overall, it's an OK, very roasty black ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 04:35:50 | More by Beaver13
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sierra Nevada tumbler. Sticker placed on the bottle by the liquor store says 3/29/2012

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/2 inch dark tan head that retains well before descending into a thick ring around the edge of the glass and light surface foam. Slippery, average lacing.

S- Dark, roasty nose that's reminiscent of coffee and dark chocolate. Semisweet.

T- Deep roasted malts that are almost charred. Off-putting bitterness that kind of clashes. Booziness isn't kept in check very well either. Pretty blech.

M- A bit stingy and thick. Almost like it'd be better off just being a stout. Medium-low carbonation.

O- Only the second beer I've had by these guys and I'm not very impressed. Steelhead is all right but I'm not drinking this again.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 02:56:03 | More by Immortale25
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3/5  rDev -24.2%

11-08-2013 06:22:59 | More by largadeer
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured mostly black, with a bit of reddish translucence at the edges, and had a thin cap of tan head that had low retention and lacing.

The aroma was very roast forward, like a heavy Porter or light Stout, with just a faint trace of hops in the background. The flavors were similar, lots of roasted malt and just a barely discernible hop presence.

The body was well on the thin side, a bit too much actually, but I didn't gig 'em for it. Drinkability was good, but since I don't think it represents the style very well, it's hard to give it a higher score.

Overall, a decent enough beer. If perhaps you approach it as a "Light Porter" instead of a CDA, you'll have a better experience. Give it a shot and decide for yourself.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 03:07:38 | More by beertunes
Photo of Murrhey
Murrhey

Montana

3.08/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Quarter inch tan head. Surprisingly long retention. Black body. Sticky lacing.

S- Dark chocolate, some wine or bourbon notes. It's a stronger beer and even the chocolate and coffee notes can't hide that.

T- Rich coffee notes and dark roasted barleys and malts. Deep dark flavors. Fairly nice if not a bit over roasted.

M- Very bubbly for a dark beer, but still smooth. Very dry.

O- I had anticipated a better beer. It loses me in the over roasted flavor and kind of simple feel.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 00:18:58 | More by Murrhey
Photo of zeledonia
zeledonia

Minnesota

3.15/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From notes. Pours a dark black with a massive brown-tan head. Smell is strong, roasted malt, coffee, with alcohol kick. Taste is sharp, like a very bitter stout, with strong coffee flavor and smoky aftertaste, but a little bit overpowered by the hops. Finish is somewhat bitter and has that same alcohol kick. Mouthfeel is lighter than I'd expect, fairly smooth with good, but not overwhelming, carbonation. But the flavor is just too harsh and sharp for me to enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 00:08:56 | More by zeledonia
Photo of shanblur
shanblur

Indiana

3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Recently purchased at the liquor locker Weinbach location in Evansville, IN. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip. No date on bottle, so no telling how long it has been in their cooler.

A - Pitch black color with a thick fluffy tan head and extreme retained lacing

S - Somewhat muted chocolate, coffee and some piney hops

T - Similar to the smell with some Dark chocolate and coffee notes with a well integrated piney hop flavor

M - Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation

I don't know if this bottle is well past it's prime or if I just didn't like it as much as others. As tasted, an average brew which I would not go out of my way to try again. I have another from this brewery which I look forward to tasting

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 00:26:01 | More by shanblur
Photo of jk3
jk3

New York

3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

05-02-2013 11:42:50 | More by jk3
Photo of jsteele
jsteele

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

02-10-2013 01:43:34 | More by jsteele
Photo of beernads
beernads

Florida

3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

08-23-2013 04:23:45 | More by beernads
Photo of XmnwildX12
XmnwildX12

Minnesota

3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

12-09-2013 05:21:38 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of julian
julian

Washington

3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: near black but not completely opaque. Nice showing of wet frothy off white head.

S: toasty, malty, roasty, definite boozy aroma on the nose

T: Big roasty flavors, A little too roasty on the finish.

M: medium high carbonation, sticky burny flavors.

D: Definitely not sessionable, but could drink a few. Not the best example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2011 05:34:31 | More by julian
Photo of BB1313
BB1313

Ohio

3.33/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with brown hues. Kakhi head that fades and leaves decent lacing. The aromas are full of roasted chocolate malts. There's hints of smoke, oak, caramel and vanilla. There's a subtle anise/black licorice notes, but it definitely doesn't dominate. Not much of a hop aroma. Flavors are loaded with dark chocolate giving it a nice bitterness. Hop bitterness is there; hop flavor not so much. But I don't really think this is intended to be a "Black IPA". This truly is a black ale. It's more reminiscent of a stout or a porter, but not quite. Very roasty. Coffee notes are there as well. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin for a big beer and there's alot of carbonation. It doesn't exactly match with the flavors, imo, but still works. Alcohol is hidden.

Starts off interesting and then becomes redundant, but it's still pretty solid. This would be good for the winter or during the colder weather.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 22:35:34 | More by BB1313
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pours a good looking cola/ruby with a solid finger of light tan foam. Nice stick as the head recedes.

Aroma - light caramel and toasted grain. I may be a little nasal impaired tonight but thought I would pick up more than I did here.

Taste - lots of roast character to the malt. Some hop bite on the swallow, not much flavor to it though. Abv presence on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - smooth, quite crisp, with a medium to medium-plus body.

Drinkability - sort of am 'imperial Schwarz', I guess. I'll age one or two just for kicks, but these drink nicely.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 03:10:52 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty much a black beer with a light brown head to it. Roasty smell.

A serious amount of bitterness. Heavy roasting. Chocolate and coffee malt probably. Very carbonated. Slight amount of metallic vibe to it. Not a lot of hop mouthfeel, just the bitterness.

A decent enough black beer, nothing complex, but it hides the alcohol well enough. Tough to really categorize the style, somewhere between a stout, porter and an ipa.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 16:26:19 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of BESTIALEX
BESTIALEX

Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

12-26-2013 21:17:14 | More by BESTIALEX
Photo of lemniscate
lemniscate

California

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

04-14-2013 01:49:39 | More by lemniscate
Photo of SamW
SamW

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

11-27-2012 19:53:20 | More by SamW
Photo of Zbeetleman
Zbeetleman

California

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

07-08-2013 05:47:20 | More by Zbeetleman
Photo of Drinkerofales
Drinkerofales

California

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black, no light penetration. A huge light mocha head is quick to dissipate, but leave tons of lacing.

Smell is of tangerine hops? WTF!? I was expecting a stout here by the look of it. Some sweet malts are in here too, with some boozy scent to round it out.

Taste is strangely mellow, some roasted malt, with a bit of citrus hop tartness on the finish.

This has some hop bite to it. There is some boozy hotness, and a very smooth finish.

Kind of a strange beer, I would drink one again if free, but not buy one again. Black IPAs are still not my thing, and this was black with huge hops, just not as much in the taste for me...

DOA

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2012 10:38:36 | More by Drinkerofales
Photo of ncelauro
ncelauro

New York

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

08-06-2013 20:31:39 | More by ncelauro
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Serious Madness from Mad River Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.