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Double Dread Imperial Red Ale - Mad River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Double Dread Imperial Red AleDouble Dread Imperial Red Ale

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154 Ratings
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Ratings: 154
Reviews: 88
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 5
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
Photo of Nage37
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Photo of Chitlons
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

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 PthPndr
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of DarthGuitarHero
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of harrymel
2.24/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottled: unk
Pours dark brown with red hues in the murky ale. Some surface tan foam. Nose has some spicy hops and plenty of malt character which is a tad sharp. Some hints of spiced pear and brown sugars. Sweet flavor with obvious alcohol and little hop presence IMO. There a bit of an acetone character - not impressed with the flavor here. Medium bodied with moderate carb and a wet, chemical finish. I'm not going to purchasing another one of these.

Photo of atr2605
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a dark amber with a tan head with average retention and lots of floating sediment
S-faint caramel aroma, low hop aroma
T-Lots of malt met with balanced hop bitterness, leaving a bit of bitterness on the palate along with caramel flavor lingering
M-medium-full bodied
O-Not a bad beer but definitely not the best red ale that I've had. Don't regret trying it but probably wouldn't seek it out again

Photo of shelby415
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Tyrawlings
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

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 ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of zenwatts
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of chodinheaven
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep reddish-brown hue with an off-white head on top that sticks around for a while. Leaves sticky rings of lacing. Tons of sediment floating around in there. Big amount of citrusy hops in the aroma combining with a bunch of caramel malt. A bit of soft pine. Maybe even a hint of apple? A bit of alcohol, but not an extraordinary amount. A nose that lets you know that it will be a bold flavor profile.

Somewhat sweet and caramelly up front that moves to a grapefruit taste in the middle, which turns into a fairly citrusy bitterness in the back. The front is almost barley wine-like in its sweetness, with hints of apple and pear combining with the caramel malt. This is a short-lived flavor however as the hops take over and make for a flavorfully bitter beer. The bitterness is certainly not over the top and I'm finding that the sweetness up front does a pretty good job of balancing this beer out. It has plenty of grapefruit citrusy hops to make for this interesting combination. The alcohol could actually go fairly unnoticed except for a bit of a twinge in the middle and the breath. At 8.6%, this is a feat of brilliance. The other flavors keep it in check very nicely, but also allow it to be known. It finishes dry and hoppy, making for a bitter but citrusy lingering aftertaste, still with that hint of soft red apple.

This is a very enjoyable beer for me as it has some nice sweet, almost barley wine, qualities to it, but also has a nice amount of hops that balance the beer out with a citrusy and grapefruit kind of taste. Very interesting beer, definitely recommended by me.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of bnes09
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright ruby colored ale. Descent depth of off-white head. Good retention. Big yeast flakes suspended in the brew.

Complex nose of deep caramel and pine-like hops.

Lots of malt flavor, mostly caramel, toasted bread and almonds. Malt flavor is good but the hops are a little rough. They are very pungent and soapy and leave a strange aftertaste. Tastes like an unbalanced barleywine.

Full bodied but not syrupy. Snappy carbonation. Dry finish.

An ok beer. A little rough around the edges. As stated before, a little balance would do a great deal at improving this beer.

Photo of Gatordaddy
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of johnhenryconway
4/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

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 mactrail
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Attractive amber in the tulip glass, lots of head. Rather hoppy, nice rich bitter mouthful. Fairly austere after a few sips. Take a mediocre red and double it. Not bad, but not an appealing style. Sort of an imperial pale ale.

This is a hoppy and likeable beer with an aromatic nose and long bitter aftertaste. Resiny and a bit astringent. Drinkable but a bit winey.

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

A pretty solid beer here. Pours a dark copper color with a swirly head. The aroma is sweet with malt, but there is a firmness in the finish. There is also a bit of citrusy hops, but the nose at least seems malt driven. The taste still has lots of that firm malt, but a good deal more hop presence than was evident in the nose, with quite a long bitter citrus finish. Quite good. A bit chewy, but ultimately dryer than expected with all of the noticeable malt. A long spiciness is also noticeable amongst the bitter notes in the finish. I was hoping for some hops here and I expected to be disappointed, but instead was pleasantly surprised.

Photo of rajendra82
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The burnt umber colored body was clear, and relatively still, although the poring action did form a decent two finger thick head. The aroma was nutty and grainy, and did not smell all that imperial to me. The taste was vacillating between semi-sweet chocolate and nuts, with an astringent middle similar to a strong tea, and a bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel was lighter that I would have preferred, but thicker than a typical red ale. The overall impression was a decent one, but not overly impressive. Easy to drink, despite the ABV.

Photo of Bfarr
2.76/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark red with good tan frothy head and good retention. Roasted chocolate and light tea aroma. Tastes heavy on the roasted malts with light tea and a back of the throat bitter and tacky coating. Smooth and sticky feel and a biting sensation.

There are hints of good flavor but are muddied and lost in the roasted tackiness. Really fairly hard to even finish this one and nothing to look out for.

Photo of TCgoalie
2.94/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a murky brown with chunks of yeast floating around. An off white head and splotchy lacing adds something good to the appearance of this beer.

The smell is malty with burnt tones, caramel, and fig. I can detect some west coast hops there as well.

This is a malty bomb to the face. Burnt Scottish style malts, tobacco, pine hops, and dirt round out the flavor. The aftertaste is unpleasant.

The feel of this beer is the best aspect. Full in the mouth with ample drying.

I cannot find a date on the bottle, so I must assume that this was past its prime. Either way, the only way that I will drink this again is if someone offers it to me for free.

Photo of Avantyawn
3.64/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce pour

A: Yikes, I like some lees, and I love unfiltered beers, but contrasting with the deep amber hue of this, to be honest, all the floaties look sort of gross! There are more floaties in here than I have ever seen in a beer.

S: Piney , ripe strawberries and cherries, and a sweet malt scent. Slight alcohol detected. It smells very potent. Cough syrup.

T: This beer is not very nuanced in its cadence. It has a fresh pleasant fruity soapy intro, and then it blasts you with hop bitterness. The bitterness is a bit dominant and one dimensional. I would say this beer is very tasty but a bit unbalanced leaning toward hop bitterness without much of a flavor cadence. Still it is tasty. Has a bit of a cough syrup finish. I would like to have this with a pizza meal!

M: Mouthfeel is nice and thick, as to be expected from the style. Very good texture and feel to this, maybe the most impressive part of the beer.

O: Overall , this is a strong B beer to me. It is good, but imperfect, unbalanced, and with all the great strong amber ales, I don't see myself aggressively seeking this out again. Glad to have tried it and would love to try it fresh on tap sometime.

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