Double Dread Imperial Red Ale | Mad River Brewing Company

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Double Dread Imperial Red AleDouble Dread Imperial Red Ale
158 Ratings
Double Dread Imperial Red AleDouble Dread Imperial Red Ale

Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cswhitehorse on 06-04-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 158 |  Reviews: 90
Reviews by Drinkerofales:
Photo of Drinkerofales
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like a hazy copper brown, golden highlights. A quickly dissipating tan shrinks to an island of foam, but doesn't leave much lacing.

Smells of toasted caramel, a bit of hop, and a good dose of chocolate.

Taste follows closely, piney hops, roasted malts, and a bit of chocolate.

Texture is smooth, and almost thin, but very drinkable for the high abv.

Very rarely does the flavor and aroma match up so perfectly, a really enjoyable beer.


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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 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.

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Photo of Shagator
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Hazy amber to brown, 1” cream colored head, small chunks floating in the beer.
S: grassy hops, cola or cardamom
T: Spice, rich malt, creamy, some toffee to caramel in the background, assertive bitter finish.
F: Creamy, medium high body, medium carbonation
O: Brewer doesn’t have a best by date on the bottle but tastes and feels a little old.

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Photo of rwilde
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

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!

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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.

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Photo of InfernoBoss
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4/5  rDev +7.8%

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!

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Photo of tdm168
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of andrew8626
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Nage37
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

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.

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Photo of Pookie
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

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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...

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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.

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Photo of Hopmodium
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

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.

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Double Dread Imperial Red Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 158 ratings