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Double Dread Imperial Red Ale | Mad River Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 157
Photo of Ryan011235
1.98/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured into an Allagash glass on 10/2/12

Murky rust and mud brown with thickish specks and clumps of sediment hanging throughout the beer. Three finger head. Pretty strong retention overall. Good, sporadic lace.

The aroma smells malty and old. Caramel, figs, raisins, plums and some doughy bread notions. Overtones of floral hops. Almost seems oxidized. At best, this smells like a dead-hop barleywine.

This tastes as murky as it looks and as old as it smells. Dirty notes of caramel, dark fruits and burnt bread. Earthy hops with a long lingering, harsh bitterness. Any decent hop flavor is gone.

The feel is sluggish medium-full sort of thing. Carbonation is on the low side like I prefer, but all that does here is let the less than pleasant flavors stay past their welcome.

Granted, I have no idea how old this bottle is, but it is disappointing regardless. I might be inclined to tough it out, but all the sediment has convinced me to let go this one early.

 967 characters

Photo of PDXHops
2.06/5  rDev -44.3%
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.

 767 characters

Photo of harrymel
2.24/5  rDev -39.5%
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.

 452 characters

Photo of TheDudeRules
2.41/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From a bottle to a pint glass.

Smell was of a bit of pine,a touch of molasses and a hint of hops,and a tad of caramel.

Taste. To be honest I was hoping this girlfriend would be sexier. For me the citrus started up front. Quickly went to a molasses/caramel effect. It wasn't awful,but really wasn't great either.

I was hoping for some moderate bite. False. It ended up creamy. Huh? Yeah,not what I was hoping for.

I pulled one from my four pack,needless to say I'm glad that is all I pulled.

This was recommended to me a good alternative to Furious. There is no good alternative to Furious. That beer is in a class to itself,and this is unremarkable for any class.

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Photo of Bfarr
2.76/5  rDev -25.4%
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.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
2.77/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a squat 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a hazy, silty rust-brown, like thick iced tea or swamp water. This is not what I picture when I think red ale. Decent ivory-colored head, with thick lacing down the sides.

Smell is sweet, citrus hops, with an underlying bready-yeasty aroma.

Taste is, meh. Starts with spice bite, almost metallic. Sweet malt in the middle, with a very astringent unbalanced finish. Not bitter as it is tongue-swelling and dry.

Mouthfeel can't be separated from taste on this one; see above.

Drinkable? Not really; I can barely get through this one. I've heard great things about this brewery, but the two beers I've had so far are no great shakes.

 692 characters

Photo of silverking
2.89/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

 285 characters

Photo of birdypowder
2.91/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

 1,275 characters

Photo of TCgoalie
2.94/5  rDev -20.5%
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.

 655 characters

Photo of aquatonex
2.97/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours deep auburn, almost no light can go through. A short, 3/4 finger head that is also tinged red/brown. Nose is immediate roasted coffee and malts, then some alcohol and slight sweetness (also I would assume from the malts). Taste follows with a thick, roasted flavor. After the first few sips I noticed there was a galaxy of floaters throughout the beer. Looks like this bottle was around for a bit too long. So, I took a few more sips and dumped the rest as I wasn't in the mood for chunky beer. Overall, I would try this again if I found a fresher beer but rating it middle-of-the-road for now.

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Photo of semibaked
2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
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!

 744 characters

Photo of cocogan
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Visual: One finger white head. Creamy bubbly. Spunky lacing

Nose: Cherries, floral, pine, pollen, pineapple, wood, chocolate.

Taste: Cherries, alcohol, smoke, raisins, alcohol, slight citrus, grain, bitter wood after taste.

Mouth: milky smoothness. bit frothy.

Drunkability: I was purty pumped for this beer. I saw "imperial red" so I had to buy it. Looked good in the glass and the aroma was pretty pungent. However, the taste has way too much alcohol booziness to it. It tastes more like cough syrup as I get towards the bottom of the glass... upsetting. O well at least its 8.6 abv.

 589 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a hazy, dark brown body. The foam settles fairly quickly and leaves light traces of lace.

S - An aroma of pine hops and caramel malt.

T - Sweet malt and musty hops up front. Some toffee and pine in the middle. Finishes with pine, grapefruit, and burnt caramel with fairly strong bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Not bad, but it is a bit muddy both is looks and flavor. The malt is bland and it kind of smothers the hops, leaving a flabby character to the finish that doesn't really satisfy.

 593 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red and brown, thin 1/4" head on it. Aroma was alcohol heat. Big time. Underneath that you get a massive load of red malt smells.

This is a chewy, thick beer for style. Bite through it. WAsn't sweet, was more peat earth roasty and bitter, alcohol is prominent in this beer. Drinks like its 10%+. Very hoppy, c hops all the way.

 347 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

 525 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.34/5  rDev -9.7%
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!

 435 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served on-draught into a Mort Subite goblet. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head of nice creamy luscious texture, good thickness, and good (~5 minute) retention. Body colour is a dark glowing ruby. Nontransparent. Solid. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Luscious fruit: cherry, candied fruit, maybe raspberry. Refined candi sugar. Cream. Brown sugar. Biscuit and amber malts. A light aroma.

T: Notes from the nose and little more. Dig the fruit. Balanced but simple. Nicely subtle.

Mf: Dry. Lightly coarse. Good carbonation. Light cream. Good presence on the palate.

Dr: Drinkable and more Belgian in character than expected. I do like it. Might get it again. Wouldn't recommend it to friends.


 752 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

 587 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

 504 characters

Photo of atr2605
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
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

 405 characters

Photo of bnes09
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

 571 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

 368 characters

Photo of ADZA
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The brew pours a dark murky red copper hue with an off white three finger and lacing everywhere,the smell is all about the malts it's sweet caramel,toffee,brown sugar and a nice dose of herbal hops behind them,the mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation and has tastes of sweet caramel,molasses,brown sugar,marzipan and finished with a herbal hoppy bitterness and overall yeah it's alright but honestly was expecting more cheers.

 441 characters

Photo of Glibber
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

 259 characters

Photo of hobojon
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
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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Double Dread Imperial Red Ale from Mad River Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 157 ratings.
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