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 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.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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 chinchill
3.7/5  rDev 0%

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 allengarvin
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: This is a dark ruby amber color with some light sediment and a small but thick head.
S: Lots of caramel malt
T: Initial taste is a heavy malt followed by a sharp, quickly-developing bitterness (not much hop flavor though). Malt is rich caramel, with some toffee hints, and a teeny bit of roast.
M: Big body, with neutral texture.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
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 metter98
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is murky dark brownish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation along with some particulates floating in suspension. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down and left lacing on the surface and the sides of the glass and a collar around the edge.
S: Moderate aromas of sweet caramel malts are present in the nose along with notes of chocolate malts and hints of fruity yeast—figs seem to stand out in particular.
T: The taste starts out like the smell and has yeasty Tootsie Roll flavors with hints of fruits in the initial flavors, which then transition to a light to moderate amount of bitterness from underlying grassy and piney hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this beer to be rather drinkable for an imperial red ale as it wasn't too malty, sweet or heavy on the palate and hid its alcohol rather well.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.29/5  rDev +15.9%
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 UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky reddish-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, citrus zest, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that smells much better than it tastes in my opinion.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - orange amber, high clarity, a thin layer of creamy foam. Lots of lace sticking all around. The covering is thin but holding well.

Aroma - orange and caramel breadiness, reminding me of a barleywine. A sweet caramel toastiness as it sets up with nan occasional whiff of vanilla. Mmmm.

Taste - caramel bready malts up front, lots of orange pushing to grapefruit at mid-palate. Bitterness at the swallow builds into the aftertaste along with the dry finish. As bitter as it is at the end, there is still a good element of malt here for more balance than I would have expected.

Mouthfeel - smooth and heavy, this feels like a double red ought to. It still maintains the crispness of an amber, nicely done.

Drinkability - a great sipper on a cold December night. Toasting my son's successful play debut at school tonight (5th grade). Attaboy Connor - cheers! Now go to bed...(just Connor, not the rest of you).

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Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky dark amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a full caramel malt cut by a grassy clean hop.

The taste consisted of a crisp grainy caramel malt cut by a medley of grassy and light piney hops.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style with a super clean finish.

Overall a tasty amber ale that revealed no signs of its hefty ABV. Very drinkable.

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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 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.

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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.

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Photo of shigg85
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in a pint glass at Popeye in Ryogoku, Tokyo. Dark red cloudy ale with a thin white layered head. Strong hops smell with a bit of cherry. Powerful hops punch that goes down smoothly without any harsh aftertaste. Foams up nicely as I spin it with a dark fruit flavor peeking out. Overall, a wonderful strong red ale that I would gladly partake of any time I can find it.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
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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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Strong aroma is mainly yeasty, with plenty of hops like a good IPA, and notes of caramel and cinnamon. It pours a clear, dark, hot mahogany with a decent light tan head. Flavor has a malty core and firm woody, hoppy and cinnamon tones. Texture has average body and average fizz, but that is this beer’s weakest point. Big deal. Overall, a worthy brew.

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Photo of shand
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

This beer pours a murky brown-red color with a finger of head. The aroma is rather interesting. It's got a big, bold aroma with caramel and toffee malts right up front, with a decent dose of citrus hops, fruits, and a bit of toasted grain. The taste is just about as complex as I expected from the nose, with the sweet fruits coming down right on the bat, dancing with toasted malts and coffee flavors in a bizarre, yet not quite unwanted way. Sweet toffee is a constant undertone. There's also herbal and citrus hops that contribute to a slightly roasty finish.

The mouthfeel is on the heavy side of medium bodied, and the carbonation level is low. A very complex and rich ale that could use a touch more coherence, but is otherwise nice tasting. It's worth a try just to experience all the different flavors this bad boy has.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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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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.

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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

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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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