Serious Madness | Mad River Brewing Company

BA SCORE
88
very good
217 Ratings
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Serious MadnessSerious Madness
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company
California, United States
madriverbrewing.com

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by klewis on 02-26-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
217
Reviews:
126
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
10.15%
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 217 |  Reviews: 126
Photo of shelby415
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Nage37
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of Murrhey
3.1/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

 548 characters

Photo of poopsmitherson
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of jharkins07
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Lucasrj
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of zenwatts
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Drinkerofales
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
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

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Photo of thain709
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a deep, dark brown that bordered on being black...one fingers worth of tan head disappeared rather quickly...only some light lacing was left behind

S - There is a lot of milk chocolate coming off the nose...a roasted characteristic pokes through and is balanced by some sweet vanilla notes...slight hop presence

T - A dark roasted malt flavor starts the beer off...there is a slight charcoal presence lingering in the background...all of that turns sweet though...dark fruits and vanilla help with the sweetness...dark and milk chocolate settle in for the finish...the finish comes across bitter

M - Medium bodied...not quite full...roasty, dry, bitter...lingering chocolate notes

O - This was a serious beer...it's not your typical "black ale/IPA" which I was okay with...the hops were at a minimum and the roast was strong and enjoyable...I would have this again

 879 characters

Photo of EROCK75
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of johnhenryconway
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of jeezie
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Beaver13
3.01/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #33 American Black ale on the beeradvocate.com best of lists. Served in a goblet.

Beer is black with a big tan head of soapy big bubbles, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is a little malty, mild hops, sort of boring.

Beer is sweet, a little boozy, nice malt, minimal hops, kind of tastes like a porter, a big porter, but a porter. What about this beer makes it an "American Black Ale?" I guess the label calls it that but there is close to no hops in it. As a porter though it is decent. I might have it again but I'm not excited about that possibility. I won't have trouble finishing this little bottle.

 662 characters

Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serious Madness is a seriously dark ale, noticeable even in the nose, which bears notes of milk and dark chocolate, chocolate malt, peat, tobacco, and just at the edges, a slight floweriness from the hops.

On the tongue, the brew is instantly dark and black, with strong chocolate malts hitting the tastebuds, accompanied by ash and tobacco, as well as peat. The level of black malt flavors is more pronounced than a Guinness, and more geared toward ash and tobacco. Toasted pecans and slightly burnt grains round out the malt flavors. A good smattering of hops gives the beer a nice bitterness, though the grapefruit/pine notes normally associated with hops are largely overwhelmed by the malts. Aftertaste is mainly ash and chocolate malt, and lingers at the back of the throat for a while. Mouthfeel is medium-light and silky, and carbonation is medium-light.

Overall, this is a good black ale, with plenty of flavor to go around. Some might find it a bit too ashy, and the brew is more watery on the tongue than I would have expected, given the flavors, but it's still a nice addition to the collection.

 1,111 characters

Photo of Brent
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With the label proclaiming it as a black ale (I still think of them as "Cascadian," showing my age), I expected the black IPA characteristics. I was surprised at how much this came across as an American Stout. Big, deeply roasted malt flavor. Some dextrose sweetness and a bit creamy in the mouth. Hopping was firm, but not the centerpiece of the beer. Quite good, but I'm not sure it really hit the style it was aiming for.

 424 characters

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and has a bit of particles visible floating near the bottom of the glass when it is held up under close inspection to a bright light. It poured with a finger high creamy tan head that has excellent retention properties and consistently covered the surface and left a thick coating of bubbles down the edges of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the overall taste is dominated by flavors of burnt and roasted malts from start to finish. There is also a light amount of bitterness from the hops, but this is overshadowed by strong amount of malty flavors. Notes of chocolate become evident as the beer begins to warm up.
M: It feels medium-bodied, dry, smooth and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer isn’t that difficult to drink because the alcohol content is well hidden from the taste. There’s also a good balance in the flavors—just enough hops are present to keep the malts from overpowering your palate.

 1,073 characters

Photo of shanblur
3.19/5  rDev -19%
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

 726 characters

Photo of Briken
2.58/5  rDev -34.5%
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.

 346 characters

Serious Madness from Mad River Brewing Company
3.94 out of 5 based on 217 ratings.
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