Red Dread Imperial Red Ale | Bitter Root Brewing

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Red Dread Imperial Red AleRed Dread Imperial Red Ale
Very Good
24 Ratings
Red Dread Imperial Red AleRed Dread Imperial Red Ale

Brewed by:
Bitter Root Brewing
Montana, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.24%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our spring seasonal and most anticipated release of the year! Big, malty, Hoppy and full flavored beer aggressively dry hopped with 1/2 lb of CTZ and 1/2 lb of Citra hops per barrel...

Added by CliffBrake on 08-10-2011

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 12
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More User Reviews:
Photo of TheSixthRing
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours an opaque, rusted out orange/brown color with a sandstone colored, near 2 finger head. Certainly not the prettiest brew out there. Fair retention, giving way to a thin, broken layer of surface suds.

Smell - Hoppy with a malty undertone. Picking up grapefruit, fresh cut grass, baking bread and a very faint caramel.

Taste - Predominantly hoppy, with grapefruit and lesser pineapple being the main focus, but there's a lot more caramel backbone in the flavor than found on the nose. Faint spice and some leafy bitterness. Hints of pine pop in mid-taste along with a trace of dark chocolate. The finish is fairly balanced with a touch of bread and grassy hop entering the fray.

Mouthfeel - Heavy medium body with moderate carbonation. Silky, smooth texture glides down easily before a semi-dry finish.

Overall - Very delicious, unique take on the Imperial Red style. I've only had two beers from this brewery, and my experience with all Montana breweries is very limited, but I'm beginning to suspect that they might be Montana's best kept secret.

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Photo of jheezee
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My brother picked this up on his recent trip to Yellowstone... Purchased at Marcellars in Idaho Falls... He paid about $5 for the bottle... poured into m Cigar City snifter.

Foamy off white head... the brew is VERY HAZY lite amber.. nice lacing for sure.

The nose immediately makes me think of many of the Lagunitas brews... Good pine and citrus zest that gets a bit muddled in caramel and toasty maltiness...

Flavor shows pretty much the same attributes... citrus and caramel malts up front but a good hoppy bitterness trails things out for a long finish.. dry and sorta pungent on the end.

Body seems on the heavy side of medium, but the everpresent carbonation helps pull everything together.

I am serious... I could sell this to my geek brethren as a good Lagunitas brew easily. Nicely done.


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Photo of DKRowden
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a pint glass. Appearance is deep red with a bubbly 1-2 finger white head. Smell is of citrus aroma hops. Taste was enjoyable with a malty base and citrus notes and slight hoppyness. Feel was oily goin in and dry after. Overall 4 I would definitely have again.

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Photo of Jameswoody
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of elektronen
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of KlayWey
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of EricCioe
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a cloudy dark amber with a nice big offwhite head that leaves good lace. On the nose there is a huge dose of orange peel with a backdrop of danker, forest green type aromas back it up. There is a little bit of dough underneath, but this is a hoppy brew. In the mouth there is a caramelish sweet note up front quickly giving way to a controlled bitterness further back. It isn't the raging hop component that the nose might indicate, but it's still quite bitter. The finish is medium short, with a nice level of carbonation complimenting the medium body.

Overall, this is a fine example of a big, hoppy amber. And for $3.49 a bomber, it's also a great deal. This is a super fresh bottle, as this is their midwinter seasonal. Get this fresh if you can.

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Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of neckbeered
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of zeledonia
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted 28 June 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours very dark amber, deep but clear, with a finger of dense yellowish head. Decent retention, and really nice lacing.

Smell has a pungent maltiness that's hard to describe. It's almost mushroomy, sticky and pungent. A punch of resinous hops adds some contrast.

Taste is a balance of those pungent fruity malts with the bitterness of the hops. Has the slightly syrupy, sweet, chewy caramel-fruity flavor that many malty red ales have. The hop bitterness is slightly subdued, maybe 3/8 or 1/2 of the taste. This bitterness comes and then goes, leaving the malts behind to finish things off. I don't pick up any alcohol in it, which is surprising given the ABV.

Medium-bodied, carbonation is medium-low. Just fine.

A pretty good red ale. Hopped up and malted up, though the hops are heavier in the boil - coming through more in the bitter taste, without the strong aromatics. Nothing unique about it, but a nice balance of that characteristic syrupy-but-not-sweet red ale malt flavor with ample hopping.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The label on this beer, which depicts a laid back, red-dreaded hipster leaning against a tree with his bomber, reminds me of the 2013 Rainbow Gathering, rumored to be occurring in my area this year. Who creates all the great artwork on these beer labels?

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a Shaker pint glass. A moderate pour produces about 1/2 inch of very creamy, bubbly, tan colored head. The beer is a moderately dark reddish-brown with golden highlights and a definite haze, rather like a homebrew. You can see about 3/4 through the glass with an unlit background. The lace is sticky, and clings to the sides for the duration. Little islets of bubbly, creamy foam suggest a volcanic archipelago.

My rather poor olfactory sense detects some nice floral and piney hops and some caramel malt. The full flavor is a well-balanced treat, with nice caramel malt base tones and a piney, citrusy bitterness. I also detect a sweet-sourness suggestive of apple, and perhaps a touch of fine tobacco. The mouth feel is also very notable, with a creaminess that clings to the whole inside of the mouth and throat. A nice warming sensation from the alcohol becomes apparent after a few sips.

This is maybe the best beer brewed in Montana that I've ever tried. I think the bomber was fairly reasonably priced as well.

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Photo of GClarkage
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of flagmantho
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: rich, dark red-brown hue with plenty of haze and a thin layer of frothy tan foam. Pretty nice.

Smell: super bready and caramelly. Big and rich, but a little one-dimensional.

Taste: sweet, malty, bready and caramelly with a dose of citrusy, bright hops. The combination is OK but it doesn't blow me away. Something about the piquancy of the hops just doesn't quite work with the thick bread of the malt.

Mouthfeel: rich body with a moderate carbonation but merely an OK creaminess.

Overall: this beer is OK but it just doesn't do it for me. The citrusy hops don't actually play with the imperial redness super well.

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Photo of SCZ
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Sark
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bomber

Appearance- caramel colored pebbly head of about 2 fingers, red-orange hue with good carbonation

Smell- sweet maltiness complemented by a good dose of citrus, lemon peel, and some grains

Taste- big malt notes that hit up front, sweet and grainy with noticeable spices in the middle, the finish has a earthiness and hop resins come back, touch of booze heat too

Mouthfeel- medium/full bodied, hop resins are all over

Overall- bummed this is only a seasonal, definitely a red that I'd enjoy in all weather, it's bright but not too bright and very well balanced

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Photo of sporklift87
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a slightly hazed brick red color with a one finger head of off white foam sitting atop the brew. As the head slowly fades over time it leaves a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is very bready with lots of caramel sweetness as well. Tons of pine aromas mixed with a lighter grapefruit hop create a very pleasing hop base to the smell. There are hints of a roastedness and a moderate showing of a grassy and herbal hop as well, creating a very inviting and pleasant smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins a bit drier then I would have anticipated, but not too dry. There is a lighter caramel sweetness mixed with a decently doughy and lightly toasted bread taste upfront. Along with the more malty tastes are some decent hop flavors of a pine and grapefruit hop. The grapefruit remains relatively constant, but the pine grows stronger and stronger as the taste moves on. All the while the caramel flavors fade a bit and create a drier flavor. With a little bit of a grassy hop joining the more bitter and resinous pine, a slightly dry hopped flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker side in terms of creaminess with a carbonation level that is average. The thicker body was fantastic for the drier red flavors of the brew with the carbonation being a nice balance between easy drinking but still supporting of flavor. Well done overall.

Overall – A drier and rather tasty hopped red overall. A great one to try if you get a chance.

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Photo of elglueckert
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of a77cj7
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Irrationalist
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sleuthdog
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into GI pint

Pour: A hazy reddish brown color with a thick 2 fingers worth of head. The head was a dense light tan color and moderate lacing. When this is held up to the light it evolves into a ruby color especially along the edges.

Smell: A decent amount of pine and some citrus in the form of orange peel. A large dose of maltiness follows with a nose of bread/biscuit and a touch of caramel. I get a bit of earthiness in-between all the above noted.

Taste: A bit of a puckering bitterness at first. Not a huge hop bitterness as in a big IPA but of a mild pine bitterness. Then the malts take over and dominate the palate with the biscuit and bread and crackers. There is a bit of a syrup like sweetness and caramel with some dark fruit? Actually a relatively complex beer with a few things going on and alcohol is non existent to me. As I continue to sip and finish off the first glass I am getting some of that earthiness which is hard for me to explain.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and like stated before it has a sticky consistency.

Overall: This I'm sure is somewhat past it's prime but this is a solid and enjoyable beer. Must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this.

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Photo of CliffBrake
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy reddish-amber color with a light tan head that dissolves fairly quickly. Leaves moderate lacing on the glass.

Orange and bread on the nose, in equal amounts and well integrated with each other. An inviting aroma.

Flavor continues the impression of citrus and bread, with some spicyness on the finish.

Full mouthfeel, a bit sweet toward the middle but with a dry crisp finish that invites further exploration.

Overall, a tasty well crafted beer. I keeps the interest up and I would be glad to try it again. Thanks to sholle for the sample - my first beer from Montana - and off to a great start.

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Photo of Beernoisseur
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up from Mason at Marcellars in IF. Damn that's a great place.

On the pour, this one looks a little hazy, but otherwise nothing too off-putting. Two finger head receeds to a quarter ince layer that hangs around. This one reminds me of the color of old honey.

The smell is wonderful. Sweet, Resinous, a little bit of pine. Also, unspecified fruits.

The flavor is hop forward, but only just. The sweet maltiness is very strong as well. There's a tartness on the finish.

All in all, an excellent beer.

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Red Dread Imperial Red Ale from Bitter Root Brewing
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 24 ratings