Double Dread Imperial Red Ale - Mad River Brewing Company

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Double Dread Imperial Red AleDouble Dread Imperial Red Ale

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BA SCORE
84
good

154 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 154
Reviews: 88
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 6
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cswhitehorse on 06-04-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 154 | Reviews: 88
Reviews by InfernoBoss:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like a doog amped up American hoppy red and this fit that bill for me.Poured into an imperial nonic a hazed reddish brown with a large blooming off white head that lasted a real longtime...to long.A burst of herbal and citric hops hits the nose right away,a caramel biscuit sweet malt base is thee as well,but the hops really stood out.Caramel and a tinge of butter mixed with leafy hops on the palate,it isnt a hop monster but the hops are more than plenty and the beer has good balance.I really liked this beer,maybe not as hopped up as I thought it would have been,but it has good complexity and the alcohol is pretty well hidden, just providing a little more sweetness in the finish.

Photo of jondeelee
4.62/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Double Dread begins with a lovely, sugary nose, full of fruit esters (apricot, nectarine, berries, bananas) and brown sugars, topped with a subtle hint of flowery perfumes, like fresh wildflower honey. A touch of toasted grains adds light biscuit and toast undertones. The result is a thoroughly intoxicating aroma.

On the tongue, the beer is just as sugary as the nose lets on, beginning with a blast of berry, then moving into a darker, but still sugary mode filled with dark fruit esters (cherry, raisin, fig) and caramelized brown sugars, as well as toasted nut and Grape Nuts-like cereal undertones. The sweetness is tempered by a perfectly-balanced addition of hops, which adds just enough citrus bitterness to prevent the brew from turning into liquid sugar. The aftertaste does show off more of the hops, but enough sugars make it through that even the aftertaste is delicious. Mouthfeel is a creamy medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is an excellent Imperial Red: well-balanced, flavorful, and quite drinkable. So finely tuned is this brew that the 8.6% ABV is virtually unnoticeable. Well worth a try.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.34/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A big sturdy red and moreso brown pour. Aroma, meh, alcohol, maybe fusels, but I'll let it slide.

Taste, sticky, chewy, hops transforming to heft. Didn't come across too sweet, which is nice when you already know that this isn't super fresh. Holding up counts for a lot in the real world. Its big all around, red color, bitterness, hoppiness, alcohol. Its a big sticky red ale, and if you don't wanna tangle with ol' willy, stay home!

Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%

12 oz bottle.
Hazy dark ruby-amber; large, fairly creamy, durable tan head that leaves ample sticky lacing.
Aroma: Complex and fruity. More malts than expected to go with the hops. Moderate-high bitterness.
Flavor: A strong but very good sipper. Lingering bitter/sweet aftertaste with some roasted grains. Complex. Floral/fruity/herbal hops.
O: another fine Calif. DIPA.

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.29/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours an earthy, deep auburn brown with an off-white 2 finger head. Excellent retention, leaving a solid layer of microbubbles to coat the surface. Fair lacing with decent stick. Like many of the Mad River brews, this one contains a nice bit of sediment floating throughout.

Smell - Deep caramel, toasted bread, a touch of earth and an orange citrus zest undertone.

Taste - Starts with a bit of creamy caramel and lightly roasted malt that touches on chocolate and coffee character. Notes of bread, then a moderate orange pith bitterness hits mid-taste and rides into the finish, lingering strong and well into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Superbly creamy and smooth. Coats the mouth with inviting warmth. Semi-dry finish.

Overall - How can a beer be so mellow and yet so aggressively seductive? I don't have a clue, but it pulls it off in Houdini fashion. Well balanced, while the aftertaste has a pleasant orange pith buzz. Sits somewhere between Deschutes Red Chair and Stone Arrogant Bastard. I think I've found my go to substitute for R.C. when it's out of season!

Photo of Fatehunter
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a thin head on a cloudy dark straw colored body.
The aroma is a deep malt smell. Wonderful.
The taste has a bold lemon bitterness trying to break out of the big malt bill. Great balance.
The texture is heavier with moderate carbonation.
An awesome bold red ale.

Photo of Glibber
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Mad River beer despite being at the brewpub. It was a nice pour- a dark copper colored cloudy beer with a thick off white head that left some lacing. A nice creamy mouthfeel, with low carbination, burnt wheat with a slight hop kick. A decent balance.

Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep amber, with several fingers of off-white/near tan foamy head. Retains with a medium sized layer of froth that's got a great flareup to it when swirled (a near finger!), that leaves a very strong looking smattering of foamy lacing behind. Big bouquet of floral hops, spice, and resins here in the aroma to start things out, with a underlying thick layer of toasted grain, citrus, and more sharp smelling pine giving the nose some beef. There is a stiff whiff of warmth on the backend of this as well, making you remember that your dealing with a heavier hitter here.

The taste is sharp with bitter resins and spicy notes that rip at the tongue. This is properly backed by that heavy grainy malt bill, with citrus hanging on the edges, and it all pulling together into a tangy flush in the back, lingering with some extra spicy character. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a touch fuller, with a mellower and creamier feeling carbonation which sits on top of some hefty alcohol beef. Luckily, that is where the ABV mostly stays, in the feel, with any kind of alcohol taste just coming out as some warmth in the finish. This is very nicely hid for the most part.

This was just a really nicely done Imperial Red with a well balanced nature to it. The grains came off as a little less toasted in this, which I found to be a nice change of pace from some others in the style and the high alcohol content wasn't intrusive at all. Good stuff from Mad River.

Photo of heliosphann
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. Served in a Pint glass. No freshness date, but I know it's fresh because the beer was just released for the first time and kept cold.

A: Almost a finger of white head. Bright Blood Red. Plenty of carbonation. Lacing is average.

S: Not a whole lot going on here. Some resiny hops and some sweet malts.

T: Decent amount of earthy hops balanced very nicely with a solid malt backbone. Some sweetness to bridge things and a small amount of bitterness on the finish.

M: Carbonation is spot on. Nice medium body that feels just right.

D: Goes down very easy for the 8.6% ABV. Very little alcohol presence if any. Quite enjoyable. I could drink a few of these.

Another solid offering from Mad River Brewing. I enjoyed Serious Madness from them, and now Double Dread has made a good impression on me. I need to revisit some of their other offerings, but if only I can find them fresh.

Photo of hobojon
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at brewery.

A- hazy. amber to red with off-white head.

A- pine, citrus, Amarillo, some alc, burnt caramel, resin. still good as warms.

T- big citrus bite/grapefruit and resin. dark heavy caramel. alc is present but clean. very little vegetative taste. great hop character.

M- dry and balanced, slightly astringent. med carb.

D- impressed for Mad River. good overall. malt could be simplified, a lot going on.

Photo of emerge077
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glad to finally get a single of this at Food N' Fermentation in Godfrey, IL.

Copper caramel with a ton of floaties. Lots of sticky lace too. Ok retention with a broken skim after the initial pour.

Old crystal malt, super sweet and caramelly, kind of off-putting. Spicy residual hops, but they seem faded. Full feeling, some light hops in the back that seem faded from former glory. A big beer that seems to suffer from largesse. Not harmonious or easy to drink, it comes off as an aged imperial SNPA.

Photo of Docer
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 4-pack at the newly remodeled Fred Meyer on 39th and Hawthorne which now has a great selection! No freshness date.

- Murky dark red and brown ale... lots of yeast floating about... minimal to no head... bit of thick lacing though... but seriously... a ton of yeast all over the beer.. for me that is undesirable..

- Huge caramel malt smell... reminds me of a malty Rogue ale.. smells like many barleywines... little bit of citrusy hop.. some bitterness....

- Very sweet caramel malt... bready... earthy.. some roastiness.. chocolate lingers.... not too bad.... but I hate having a mouthful of yeast... little bitter tidbits....

- little dry, sweet aftertaste... some chewiness....

- Drinkable.. but for an Impy Red... there are many others I would rather indulge in...

Photo of Spikester
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy brown with a large two finger head and very well laced. Aroma is brown sugar. Taste is strong bitter hops and semi sweet cocoa. I did not detect the high abv except in the after effects. Very drinkable and smooth. Hard to believe this would be classed as an American Amber. Maybe an Imperial Amber! IBUs must be at least a 60. Dry bitter finish.

Photo of Greywulfken
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: guess I'm looking for something more striking here - a murky brown with hints of burnt orange; decent head that laced and clung to the sides as it faded

S: mostly malty and hoppy - fairly subdued aromas

T: not too complex, but I'm not an experienced imperial red drinker - got some dark hops; fairly dry finish, not a sweet beer, but rather a meaty beer - had a full satisfying taste: slightly bitter, slightly umami

M: medium body, chewy, savory aftertaste; nice bite of alcohol and bitterness on the backend

O: a good beer - reminded me of a drier version of my recently sampled Betrayal, an imperial red by Speakeasy - for my tastes, I like the umami quality in a beer like this, but I wanted something with a little more sweetness - looking at the beer I expected some caramel or fruit or toffee, but I personally didn't taste any. But don't get me wrong, I would still recommend trying this beer. As noted in my review of Betrayal, this style of beer could easily fall into the American double/Imperial IPA category.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Red and cloudy. Pretty thick tan-red lacing.
smell: Subdued piney hops. An even more subdued malt profile.
taste: A bit more of a hops bite in the taste. Some grapefruit with malt taking the edge off slightly. Finish is a little smoother.
With all the great beers out there i may be getting too picky. This is a good beer but not something i'll likely pick up again given all the fine choices available.

Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is murky dark brownish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation along with some particulates floating in suspension. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down and left lacing on the surface and the sides of the glass and a collar around the edge.
S: Moderate aromas of sweet caramel malts are present in the nose along with notes of chocolate malts and hints of fruity yeast—figs seem to stand out in particular.
T: The taste starts out like the smell and has yeasty Tootsie Roll flavors with hints of fruits in the initial flavors, which then transition to a light to moderate amount of bitterness from underlying grassy and piney hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this beer to be rather drinkable for an imperial red ale as it wasn't too malty, sweet or heavy on the palate and hid its alcohol rather well.

Photo of HalenRush
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Blue Lake Casino's Playstation 777, a stones throw away from the brewery.

A - Pours a deep deep ruby red approaching copper/garnet hues with a nice tightly beaded pillowy head.

S - The aroma is very citrus with grapefruit and tangerine punching through.

T - The citrus comes through on the taste too. Not as malty as one would think an Imp Red to be. I was expecting a raisin like malt flavor.

M - A bit high on the alcohol bite but very warm and relaxing. Easy to drink in spite of its 8.6% ABV.

D - Of course, the moniker "Imperial" attached to any beer would mark it down in the drinkability category. I found this highly quaffable and its easy to forget its ABV. Its smooth character is a polar opposite of its big brother, "Serious Madness".

I'm really enjoying this second installment of this adventure the boys at Mad River Brewing are embarking on. I think this is a good group of guys sticking to their brewing values when the other local breweries (I won't mention) have changed their brewing practices for the worse in this tough economy. Looking forward to the Belgian Golden Ale!

Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky dark amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a full caramel malt cut by a grassy clean hop.

The taste consisted of a crisp grainy caramel malt cut by a medley of grassy and light piney hops.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style with a super clean finish.

Overall a tasty amber ale that revealed no signs of its hefty ABV. Very drinkable.

Photo of biggred1
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy russet amber with a million tiny suspended yeast particles visable and a creamy tan head that leaves rings of sticky lace on the glass. The nose is sweet roasted malt and fruity hop spice. Nice piney hop flavors balance nicely with a ton of caramel maltiness. Hop bitterness lingers long into the finish. Slippery hop oil mouthfeel, medium bodied. A fine brew.

Photo of dbexpert
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a. dark ruby/brown color, garnet, thin head(may have been way too cold)but solid lacing on the sides of the glass,yeast a float

s.aroma permeates with deep roasted malt, cut by a sweet bitter aroma

t.like a red, lol(j/k)if you have had their Jamaican red this is easier,think red stripe then a add two tons of quality, one ton balance and you have a kick ass red with a high abv. and great drink-ability(not the bl kind)

m.balanced,great tight carbonation helps deliver a malt sweetness relieved with a terrific hop bite that dries enough to desire another sip but leaves enough for a long finish of sweetness battling the bite of hops

d.personally, could drink a ton of it never too heavy and is quite refreshing in the heat, seems like enough malt to be comforting on a cold day too, and remember it's style, enjoy with much respect!

p.s. I have had this on tap also, which was also very good. This beer is not hurt by a bottle but a fresh tap is always appreciated, review was done with a bottle sample

Photo of DrDemento456
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Not bad for almost a year old (I suspect since the sediment and brewed once date) Dark copper brown with a slight bit of head that has a very sticky lace ring.

S - Subdued hops (mildly pine) apple or pear and mild caramel and toffee malts. Hope it's not oxidized.

T - Mild hops with some bitterness. Caramel sweetness and toffee. Kind of subdued but it's not terrible. No noticeable ABV.

M - Medium bodied but seems to have fallen off a bit.

Overall I had no idea this was so old when I bought it. It's not terrible but it definitely has fallen off a bit with the flavor profile.

Photo of shand
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

This beer pours a murky brown-red color with a finger of head. The aroma is rather interesting. It's got a big, bold aroma with caramel and toffee malts right up front, with a decent dose of citrus hops, fruits, and a bit of toasted grain. The taste is just about as complex as I expected from the nose, with the sweet fruits coming down right on the bat, dancing with toasted malts and coffee flavors in a bizarre, yet not quite unwanted way. Sweet toffee is a constant undertone. There's also herbal and citrus hops that contribute to a slightly roasty finish.

The mouthfeel is on the heavy side of medium bodied, and the carbonation level is low. A very complex and rich ale that could use a touch more coherence, but is otherwise nice tasting. It's worth a try just to experience all the different flavors this bad boy has.

Photo of silverking
2.89/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A- deep red, tons of sediment. Thick khaki head that refuses to go away. Excellent lacing.

S- extremely sweet malt. dried cherries, alcohol.

T- very very sweet. Candied fruit, mild bitterness.

M- thick, syrupy, warming alcohol. Moderate carbonation.

O- I will not buy this again.

Photo of BB1313
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, no dating. Pours a dark hazy amber color w/ beautiful head and thick sticky lacing. The hops were subtle but flavorful, not bitter.. I'm not sure if this was recently bottled or "old". Either way it tastes like it smells which is a good thing. Lots of sweet caramel and candied raisins? Not very bitter and far from a hop assult. This beer is very balanced and smooth.. I could of went for another one. The alcohol is undetected, I could drink a couple of these.

A unique take on an Imperial Red Ale, I would never turn this one down.

Photo of sendsilk
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a recent trade.

A- Really dark and dirty looking. Dark Red/Light brown whatever you want to call it.

S- Really hoppy and malty at the same time.

T- Not really being a red ale fan, it's good, a decent red ale. If I owned a brewery, here's how the conversation would go with my head brewer:

Brewer- I have an idea for a red ale we should brew.
Owner- Why? Nobody really likes red ales.
Brewer- I think I can brew one that people will really like using (fill in the blank) hops and (fill in the blank) malts and people will love it.
Owner- Sounds good. Now how about, instead of a red ale, we make a nice IPA or solid Imperial stout and make some money for the brewery instead of wasting time and space brewing a red ale that no one really gives a shit about.
Brewer- keep it in mind for the future.
Owner- You worry about brewing good beer, I'll worry about sales and what the CUSTOMER wants. I don't know of a brewery built on making a red ale. I'd like more than 20 customers to market to.

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Double Dread Imperial Red Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 154 ratings.