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 beachbum1975
3.51/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Saw this single on sale at the local bottle shop so thought I'd give it a shot.

Pours a ruddy, murky brownish color with a tancolored 1/4 inch head. Creamy and big bubbled in spots.

Smells of molasses and sweet caramel. Slight notes of bread yeast, as well.

The flavor matches the nose. Moderate carbonation in the mouth. Thick and chewy bodied. High caramel and sweetness with a lingering woodiness in the mix, as well.

Nice, but not the best Imperial Amber I've had.

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Photo of jdense
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
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 schoolboy
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This (from my gift sampler) is perhaps the best of the unsolicited bunch. Surprisingly tasty and drinkable, this is one I actually wish I had more of.

It's a bit cloudy and appears to barely suspend the various malts and things, but it works. The color is quite nice. It is maltlier than hopier.

It'snot quite what I would call imperial, but I'll buy double. Not bad.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
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 katan
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint

A - Pours a dark dark amber color, to almost completely brown. Head formation is strong, but quick to dissipate to a off-white film.

S - A combination of strong toffee, caramel malts and a potent profile of orange, grapefruit hops. Very in your face.

T - Starts off lightly malty, but then is immediately taken over by a strong west coast hop note - grapefruit, floral, some orange notes. Finishes with a more malty, biscuit style note. More toffee notes in the finish.

M - Full bodied, even more full bodied following the carbonation. Clinging, sugary on the tongue.

D - Moderate drinkability. Well hidden, but very potent abv. A bit sweet, a bit filling. Flavors hit you strongly, but are quick to back off.

Certainly worth a try - a west coast interpretation of a imperial red.

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Photo of demcorhip
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice looking brew, slightly opaque chestnut coloured body. Decent enough finger of tan head, but retention wasnt happening, breaking down to a thin collar despite a finely bubbled, persistent background level of carbonation.

Nice aroma, citrus hops meets rich toasted malts with caramel accents.

No real surprises here, some fusels present for a touch of heat and woody character. Nice hoppy and malty brew.

Medium bodied, substantial and somewhat thick and chewy. Lots of malt balanced by lots of hops. Decent level of bitterness.

Fairly tasty and drinkable. Recommended to fans of the style. Cant see myself chewing through more than one, although i could feel differently on a cool fall evening versus this warm summer's eve. Glad to get the chance to drink this.

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Photo of Bighuge
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep scarlet red body with yeast particulated suspended. Thick crop of stained beige head. Aroma is bready and a little spicy and citrusy. Carbonation is fairly active in this beer. It supports the voluptuous head nicely. Body is medium full. Flavor starts with caramel and cinnamon bread as it beckons the palate. Moves on to spice and alcohol, though not much of the aforementioned. Solid double red. Finishes a little dry, but nice.

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Photo of chileman13
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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 Florida9
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Chestnut brown with small blobs of yeasty sediment held in suspension. Good 1" of persistent tan head that eventually reduces down to a smooth surface coating. Decent lacing.

S: Yeasty bread. Roasted malts and a bit of piny hops.

T: Thick caramel malt. Piny hop bitterness with a slightly spicy bite on the finish. Definitely more malt-centric than I was expecting.

M: On the heavier side of medium with appropriate carbonation. A slight bit cloying on the tongue.

D: A good beer. Enjoyable. Malty with a nice hop finish. However, I'm not sure it is worth the price.

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Photo of mgbickel
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. Aggressive pour yielded a thick, 1.5 finger dusty pearl head. The sticky foam lasted throughout most of the drink, leaving lots of trails behind. The body is a deep amber with orange and red hues. Lots of floaties present...

The nose offers a sweet caramel aroma that is accompanied by a piney, hop character and a bready, malt backbone.

The taste starts out with a sweet, caramel malt that carries all the way to the finish where it is met by the bitterness of the piney hops. Pretty well balanced with earthy-grainy background flavors.

The mouth feel is light-medium, drying and oily at the same time with moderate carbonation.

Pretty darn drinkable. I will pick this up again if I can find it.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from 4-pack poured into SA's glass.
Cream one-finger head tops an opaque amber liquid. Nice Belgian lacing. Malt aroma predominates with subtle hop edges.
Don't be confused by the label, though it states "generously dry-hopped with a tri-fecta of Cascade, Amarillo and Chinook for zesty citrus aromatics and a resinous flavor explosion", this here brew is all about the malt, and for an amber ale it takes it to the next level with an earthy, dry flavor, which finishes with a somewhat thin and bitter mouthfeel. Overall fine beer but nothing I would seek out.

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Photo of 2Stout4u
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I pick up a nice butterscotch undertone in the smell of this beer. I love the dense deep red color of this one. This has a nice begining and end but the middle is just a little off. This is one of the top three reds I've tried complex and delicious.

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Photo of BB1313
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, no dating. Pours a dark hazy amber color w/ beautiful head and thick sticky lacing. The hops were subtle but flavorful, not bitter.. I'm not sure if this was recently bottled or "old". Either way it tastes like it smells which is a good thing. Lots of sweet caramel and candied raisins? Not very bitter and far from a hop assult. This beer is very balanced and smooth.. I could of went for another one. The alcohol is undetected, I could drink a couple of these.

A unique take on an Imperial Red Ale, I would never turn this one down.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gorgeously muddy body of dark coppery rust topped with a large and thickly lush smoothed foam of dark ivory hue. The cap stays with might and the glass laces out with lots of tattered sheeting.

Aroma is fairly pungent of piney sided dry hops, cedar notes mostly, dry and earthy with a touch of spruce, rye, and deep black tea, spiced lightly with white pepper, and spritzed with a dash of lemon.

Taste has a nice offering of dry spicy rye, red malt, and cedar backed by a mellowed dry caramel smoothness and toasted breadyness. Alluring white pepper, black licorice, and black tea add some nice depth to its bold rye and red malt snappy drying nature. It really holds itself on the palate well with its dryness as it lasts forever and a day saying hello in that very present Red ale way.

Bold medium body with lots of complexing dryness and balanced in earthy spice holds surprising length and makes a great warming impression of spruce and cedar as ya get into it.

One very solid Red ale that definately has the stamp of West Coast on it. Drinks down quite well.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy copper-red, with a quarter-inch cream colored head that fades gradually, becoming patchy.
Smell is heavy, bready, slightly toasted malts with some faint caramel tones. Faint hops and cinnamon. Little bit of alcohol presence.
Taste is toasty malts with some burnt caramel at the back end. The malts carry, becoming slightly buttery. Bitter hops come in as well. Slightly bitter, malty finish.
Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, with a little bit of hops bite halfway through. Decent level of carbonation. Medium-light body.
Drinkability is good. Alcohol is well-hidden in the taste. Pretty good beer overall.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just arrived today. This is possibly the reddest red I have seen. Deep crimson color with a finger-thick eggshell head. Retention is good, accompanied by some sticky lacing. The smell is quite hoppy, with aromas of citrus, pine, and what I will describe as cannabis. Malt is present in the backround, showing notes of toffee and honey. The taste is quite similar to the smell. Caramel and honey malt flavors, with cereal grain, laces with sticky pungent hop flavors. Grassy, floral notes, with citrus and pine give the beer a very pleasant finish. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous, more so than other beers of this style. for a stronger brew, it's very easy to drink. A sipper that would accompany many different types of fare.

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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!

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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.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
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 Monkeyknife
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a murky tea color with floating sediment and a thin creamy tan head.

Aroma of sweet caramel malts, tangerines, and grapefruit.

The taste is nicely balanced with tangerine and grapefruit up front followed by caramel malts and a slightly bitter finish.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy, with a moderated carbonation.

Once you get past the murky appearance you discover a very nice Imperial Red from Mad River.

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Photo of flexabull
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Kind of an ugly looking poor. Bright and dark red, hazy, with lots of "floaters", decent head.

Nice nose, bright and fresh hops, hard candies, orange, and lots of other sweet citrus notes.

Hoppy beer with less malts than I expected. Bitterness up front, with a backdrop of roasted malts. Finish has another kick of bitterness, piney, and a little bit of resin as well.

Mouthfeel is ok, a little on the thin side though.

Drinkability is good, this is a nice hoppy amber. It just doesn't look very good in the glass.

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Photo of heliosphann
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
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 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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Photo of vegantreats
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy red with pieces of yeast floating throughout the beer that somehow don't really settle, as is the beer was gelatinous.
A ring of white creamy foam was left around the glass.
This ale smelled of alcohol with a light hint of pine.
I don't often drink red ales, and, therefore, am not certain if most reds are bitter, this one was with a definite alcohol finish.
AS far as the taste goes, a decent beer, yet the real show is in the appearance of this beer, not certain is every bottle has the chunks of yeast, or if I was treated to a rare show.

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Photo of WorldWideStout
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely translucent reddish-brown color.

Smell is overwhelmingly hops. Smells just like an imperial or double IPA.

Taste is citrusy and bitter to start out with. In the middle becomes slightly less bitter, as one might expect from an imperial red, and somewhat spicy, but then turns back to bitterness in the after taste.

Mouthfeel is pretty normal, maybe a bit thicker than the usual brew.

Nothing too jarring in the taste, but the alcohol isn't as well-disguised as others I've had.

Overall, a quaffable brew, but I was disappointed at how similar it was to an IPA.

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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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