Double Dread Imperial Red AleSeptember 1, 2009 Blue Lake, CA
Mad River Brewing Co.
Blue Lake, CA
Available: CA, NC, OR, WA, MA, NM, PA, OH, IN, IL, FL, HI
Mad River Brewing Co. is located in the small town of Blue Lake, CA in the heart of Humboldt County. Now in its twentieth year, the brewery is committed the most traditional brewing methods and an environmentally sound approach.
Original gravity: 1076
I’m not certain about the style—red ales are associated with Ireland but the Irish didn’t like imperialism. But it’s red, all right, and I suspect a good whack of crystal malt or similar stewed grain is used to get the color. You have to find the aroma through a dense, barley-white head, and then there’s an amazing nose of bready malt, cracker wheat, yeast, fruity esters and floral and resinous hops. The malt loaf character continues on the palate, but the hops really build in the mouth to balance any sweetness: there’s vinous fruit as well as malt. The finish is complex: vinous, malty, burnt fruit and peppery hops. A big hunk of fresh cheddar and I’m in heaven.
- Roger Protz
Well, it’s certainly red―it looks like old Burgundy in the glass and stands a solid beige foam. The aroma is full of minty hops, but not overwhelmingly so, and there’s nice fruit here too. On the palate, this beer carries its big ABV gracefully, with hops, malt, caramel and fruit all taking part in the dance. The bitterness is high without being silly, and it all falls neatly into place. If I believed in a beer style called “double red.” I’d believe in this example. Quite nicely done, and just the thing with spicy lamb merguez sausages.
- Garrett Oliver
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
Comments are closed here.