Double Dread Imperial Red Ale
Mad River Brewing Company

Double Dread Imperial Red AleDouble Dread Imperial Red Ale
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American Imperial Red Ale
Ranked #100
Ranked #30,782
3.75 | pDev: 13.07%
Mad River Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Double Dread Imperial Red AleDouble Dread Imperial Red Ale
Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 158 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by PDXHops:
Photo of PDXHops
2.06/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle poured into a LaChouffe tulip. We're almost out of amber and into brown territory here; it's a reasonably handsmome brew with a dense off-white head on top, but not a ton of lacing.

Nose has a bit of hmm? about it. Caramel malt with a (perhaps faded) assortment of piny, floral and soapy hoppy notes and muted fruitiness. The flavor's not altogether pleasant, either, although one wouldn't go so far as to call it bad. Awkward, yes. Scorched sugars and yeast with a big bitter burn, but little in the way of hop flavor. Kind of stale maltiness; one wonders if this isn't a bit past its expiration date (although no dating is to be found on the bottle). There's just enough carbonation to keep the palate somewhat scrubbed, but the mediocrity lingers.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of pinotboy007
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Caramel w/a rich, bubbly khaki-colored head that leaves some lacing.

S - Malt, citrus, pine, leather, and peat. Very nice!

T - Delicious. Very much like it smells witha refreshing "zing" going on along with an herbal quality. The hops really linger and a noticeable alcoholic heat is there on the finish, so avoid spicy food.

M - Dense and creamy but still somehow refreshing. Only a trace of carbonation.

D - The ABV is too high to say this is highly drinkable, but it depends upon your standard. Avoid the high temps of summer heat on the deck and wait until the July sun sets like we did. Very nice.

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Photo of semibaked
2.98/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Down right scary with the tons and tons of floaties in it, never have seen that many before. It is dark copper in color with a nice inch of head on top.

S - Big smell of malts, biscut and light caramel. I was expecting more hops because of the Imperial in the title but I am not disappointed though, smells really nice.

T - Nice sweet maltiness up front then a sharp bitterness after that, don't know if it is because of the huge amounts of sediment on the bottom, but it wasn't pleasant.

M - Nice creamy richness probably the best aspect of this in my opinion.

D - I won't be drinking this again because on the large amount of sediment in it and the very sharp bitterness in the taste.

Sorry not impressed!

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, unknown date.

Pours brown/copper with a large beige head that leaves an initial ring of lacing and reduces to a ring and faint cap. Pouring the entire bottle introduces a TON of chunky sediment. I don't mind a hazy beer, but this goes a bit too far.

Aroma is both very hoppy and malty, good dose of citrus hops and caramel and spicy malt. Brown sugar, molasses, dark fruits such as raisins come out more as it warms. Moderate strength.

Flavor is resinous hops, citrus rind, caramel malt, a touch of chocolate, some toffee, mild sweetness, medium bitterness on the finish. Not as bitter as the commercial description would indicate, but still good.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily and slick, low to medium carbonation.

Pretty good ASA/Imperial Red and a solid offering from Mad River. Only bought a single and will probably leave it at that, glad I tried it though.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Double Dread is a limited release beer that I picked up a John's Market. It poured a cloudy dark red with a good 2 finger foam head with decent retention. The lacing was minimal but what was around was sticky.

The aroma was a douse of alcohol in the nose with a deep caramel smell that was lovely. The taste was sweet up front with a really smooth finish. Hop bitterness was moderate. You could taste the 8.6 abv pretty easily but like most doubles, the more drinks and warmer it gets, the smoother it gets. It was moderately carbonated and left me with a happy feeling. It was a very enjoyable beverage and I will buy again.

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Photo of Spikester
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
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 chileman13
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz into sam smith pint glass. P/U @ jubilation in Abq. NM.
Good 2 finger foamy head that disapates pretty quick.
A-cloudy red brown.
A-malty bready with hops undertones
T-Malt first notes and then POW hop heaven hits hard.
D- The high alcohol content is apparent. Cabonation is good mouthfeel is medium. It's good, not my favorite but real drinkable.

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Photo of bcsbeer
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of sendsilk
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
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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Photo of jdense
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont Station 8.17.2010.

Two finger light brown head, medium dissipation with significant lacing. Big hop presence in the nose, tropical fruits balanced by a healthy doe of caramel malt. Good amount of cherry notes up front on the taste re crystal malts, but this beer was not bitter on the back end, which surprised me. Medium full mouthfeel, average effervescence. One of the better Imperial Red's I've had, though once again I was struck by the lack of bitterness despite the significant hop bill. Good drinkability, though at this ABV be careful.

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Photo of beertunes
3.32/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a cloudy red with almost 2inches of dark khaki colored head that had good retention and lacing.

The first scent was pine hops, then was some malt sweetness and a bit of citrus in the background. The flavors were similar mostly piney hops, with some citrus notes, and some malt foundation.

The body was average for the style, as was drinkability. Overall, a decent but unspecial brew. I like Red Ales to have more of a malt presence and this was a hop forward brew. Worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of birdypowder
2.91/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

What could have been...

This beer needs some adjustments to make it worth trying again. The huge size and quantity of floaters made it very unattractive to look at, the perceived lack of late hop additions made the malt stand out too much and the large amounts of bittering hops make the finish unpleasant.

Pours up with a nice finger and a half of tan foam that resists annihilation from the elements as long as possible. Color is a deep amber. Things are starting off right. However, it was impossible to get past the beta fish sized floaters that appeared to group together like schools of bait fish, roaming about their new 12oz clear sided world. Very unattractive.

Initially some appealing piney and citrus hop aromas shoot out of the glass and are then followed by a strong blanket of malt sweetness with notes of toffee and molasses. Estery alcohol notes waft up as well.

The sweetness greats you right away and then introduces you to the alcohol which faithfully stays with you on the entire journey to the somewhat harsh bitter grassy finish.

Basically what is expected for style...substantial thickness, everything is in order here.

Needs some work, or I need to go to Blue Lake California and try it fresh.

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Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%

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 hobojon
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
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 LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 06/22/2009. I had this on draft. The beer pours brown with a tan head. The aroma is of sweet malt and sweaty, grassy hops. The flavor is of sweet caramel malt with bitter hops and a sweet finish. I thought this was pretty good although a touch sweet.

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Photo of biggred1
4/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of emmasdad
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another bottle picked up in Boulder yesterday. Poured a medium reddish amber with a large amber head. Aromas of hops (pine, citrus, grapefruit), sweet malt and caramel. On the palate was medium bodied and smooth with, flavors of caramel, pine and grapefruit.

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Photo of UA8
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours cloudy and dark amber with a tall light brown head.

S- Citrus notes with a backing a caramelized malt.

T- Deep roasted malts, citrus notes, herbal hop bitterness and a touch of pine.

M- Medium to high carbonation but a nice medium viscosity.

D- Quite a hoppy brew but well worth a try. An interesting take on the Imperial red. Another worth beer from Mad River.

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Photo of salvo
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured deep dark brown red into my new favorite Sam Adams beer glass. Some floating sediment in this unfiltered double-red. Head is fluffy, starting at two full inches and poking up above the tulip rim, falling back to an inch after 10 minutes, and even after 20 minutes there remains a fluffy island of foam.

Smell is powerfully malty, honeyed and sweet towards biscuit, with pine and citrus hops coming through after the sweetness subsides.

First impression is sweetness: malty, honey, biscuit sweetness.
Second is the warming pine astringency of the hops, but this is a malty red first and foremost.
Third, on second thought, the hops nicely balance the sweetness. For the hops to have any presence at all is an accomplishment because this is a big, thick, heavy, sweet beer.

Then again, it is mighty sweet. Lovely so, but be ready for a bg, thick, biscuity sweet malt-bomb.

Drinkability is lower because it is so big and sweet, but a great nightcap brew or dessert beer. It will overwhelm most foods it accompanies.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.29/5  rDev +14.4%
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 dbexpert
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
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 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

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Photo of HalenRush
3.9/5  rDev +4%
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!

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Photo of snaotheus
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Got it at Whole Foods in Bellevue

Extremely dark ruby amber, cloudy but not opaque, small beige head with the beginnings of some really nice lacing. Smells roasted and malty and sweet.

Taste is sweet and roasty, a little nutty, and balanced nicely with hops.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy, a little sticky (I might want to call it "chewy"). Pretty drinkable -- I may be overrating it a little bit right now, but this beer is exactly what I was looking for right now (and yes, this is the first time I've ever tried it).

I'll send a picture of the bottle if you want it.

2013-08-24 Trying it again. Bottle has the following code: 065 13 C-1 1031 N. I suppose that would be "bottled in early March 2013", so not the freshest thing in the world.

This one has little floaties (but I poured 'with vigor') and a big beige head. I note a little bit of soapy character. I've tried a lot of hoppy beers in between now and when I originally tried this, but this is still a tasty beer. I'd probably give it a somewhat lower score now.

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Photo of PthPndr
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Double Dread Imperial Red Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 158 ratings