While I haven’t gotten around to writing about all of them, my experiences with Mad River Brewing from Blue Lake, CA have all been quite pleasant and some down right wonderful. So when I ventured over to The Four Firkins yesterday and learned they were out of Eric’s Ale at the moment I was very pleased to see some Double Dread sitting on the counter. Clocking in at 8.6% ABV this is should be one hearty Imperial Red Ale. Pours an incredibly dark ruby red hue that appears almost black when away from light. A solid three plus fingers of creamy off white bubbles are produced that quickly open up but slowly fade.Â Eventually leaving a few millimeters of tight bubbles around the surface of the brew and a good deal of lacing. Smells of clean grains, caramel/crystal malt in particular, as well as some lightly toasted malt, gentle toffee, and a variety of gentle hoppy citrus esters. Tastes of gently roasted malts, clean crystal malt richness, modest malty sweetness, a variety of citrus notes from peach and pear to grapefruit and lime and even some pine as well as a good deal of hop bitterness. Very gentle coffee and almost burnt esters are nicely contrasted with the serious bitterness present in this brew. Body is medium and the mouthfeel is very smooth. A nice balance of grain sweetness and serious bitterness to compliment the unquestionable alcohol content of this brew. If you enjoy hoppy bitterness, strong ales and some nice contrasting flavors you will have no problem with this beer. I will certainly have no problem finishing my four-pack though I should probably eat first. Give it a shot and ride your bike.