Venom - DuClaw Brewing Company

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199 Ratings
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Ratings: 199
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.61%
Wants: 9
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: farHillsBrewer on 11-02-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 199 | Reviews: 76
Reviews by domnalbrecc:
More User Reviews:
Photo of shapudding
4.85/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growlered from the Belair location.
Amber and clear with not much head, but a beautiful white swirl and nice ring left in the corner. This may have lost some of the carbination due to a cruddy capping job by the bartender... -my buddy and I were getting into the car and noticed some dripping on one growler, and had to tighten all of the caps... not good.
Wonderful scents of hoppiness, very bitey, piney and citrus. Nice and smooth feeling, perfect amount of carbination, so if it had lost any Im glad! Tastes of clean hoppiness, grapefruit, pepper and pine needles. Damn nice. Great drinkability for hop heads, just a very easy drinker.

Photo of ITK4ever
4.28/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My go-to when at the Bel Air location. If you're lucky enough to find it on Nitro tap....DO IT!!! Don't even think twice. When it's drawn this way it puts such an unexpected creaminess to an APA that's really mouthwatering. The creaminess and hopiness from the beer is sooo effing good, it may just translate into creaminess in your jeans.

An outstanding APA from a local brew-pub where they really did go outside the box. It's a risk for these guys, but well done. It is disappointing to go into an establishment like this and see people at the bar drinking Coors Light....yuck.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A slightly hazy, deep amber-orange body is topped by a creamy head of ivory foam that holds quite well and leaves some really nice lace about the glass. Bright, citrusy and piney hops are evident in the nose; and do their best to eclipse the sweetish, caramel-laced biscuit malt beneath. It's crisp in the mouth - accentuating its bitterness - with a medium body and a fine, standard level of carbonation (@ 2.5-2.6 volumes CO2/liter). The flavor is rich with juicy and resinous, piney and citrusy hops wrapped around a lightly sweet biscuit-like malt that's drizzled with dark, melted caramel. A solid bitterness backs it up, and levels it most impressively. It finishes dry with some short lingering malt and hops that fade to bitterness. A very well done pale ale in the American style! It's certainly worth trying and it pairs quite well with their "Yet Un-named" Crabcake Sandwich!

Photo of KMcG
3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This ale is amber with small head and some lace lingers on the top.  There smells of strawberry and lemon, sweet malts, and a bucket of bolts (some sort of metallic odor).  At first I taste bready caramels and malts with pineapple.  There is strong sweet backbone.  It has very mild hop character with a slight resinous bite. The finish is grassy, but not much bitterness or linger in the palate.  The backbone sweetness and fruitiness is a bit much for a pale ale. 

Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with 2 fingers of slightly off-white head. This retains with a thick foamy finger that holds tight, leaving back some heavy rings of frothy lacing. The aroma is floral with a leafy spiciness, while a tight feeling toasted sweetness is parked underneath. A touch of mineral notes makes themselves known as well.

The taste has a biting citric bitterness that spread out across the tongue. Sweet toasted grains mostly balance this but the hops finish this hard with a finish of rind and spice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and sharp on the tip of the tongue, before getting more smooth and creamy along the back. That 5-6% ABV is right on for keeping this refreshing and approachable.

Venom on draft has long been one of my favorite DuClaw beers over the years and while this bottled version didn’t quite bring the goods like I would have liked, this still provided enough of an aggressive yet balanced hoppy American attitude to the keep me interested during the full duration of the glass. Hopefully they will continue to get this one nailed down in its bottled form.

Photo of hdofu
3.99/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm not big on Pale Ales, but this one was a rather plesant and drinkable surprise. It was a pleasant companion to chicken Parmesan (which left something to be desired, granted this is a beer site so I'll leave that at that). A copper orange color under a white head which gave an impressive appearance, but something I'd expect no less from at DuClaws. The smell was also citrus in smell. The taste was crisp and smooth. It was a smooth feel to the tongue with a clean finish, its an easy beer to drink multiple glasses of.

Photo of akorsak
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am drinking a pint of Venom, served in a Pint Club tumbler at the Arundel Mills location. The ale is chilled, but the glass is not.

Appearance: The ale is a hazy orange-red color, moderately carbonated, with no sign of any lace in the glass.

Smell: The ale has a light hop aroma, a fruity one that signifies US-grown hops to me. The aroma is not too bitter, but strong enough to make my mouth water.

Taste: The ale has a medium hop flavor (in terms of bitterness). The hops provide a citrusy flavor that overpowers any malt character.

Mouthfeel: The ale sits well in the mouth can could be DuClaw's most sessionable ale.

Drinkability: The ale is very drinkable, with a hop presence that is not too strong and not too weak.

Photo of philbe311
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - A bit of a gusher yields four fingers worth of rich lush airy cloud-like light khaki colored head with a rocky top comprised of lots of big chunky bubbles... Impressive retention... Filled with a good bit of moderate paced carbonation with an occasional stray rapid paced bubble... The color is rich amber color with some light golden straw tones when back lit... Gobs of chunky lacing cling to the glass...

S - A strong malt base is at the forefront... A strong mix of rich bready malts and toasted malts in equal proportions... There is also a strong caramel and toffee component... The hops are present, but take a distant back seat... They are of a light citrusy character... Quite pleasant all the way around...

T - The pleasantness continues on through to the palate... The rich malt base domiantes, but there are no toasted malts to speak of... Rather there is abundant biscuit and crust notes... The caramel and toffee are a bit more subdued... There is a very subtle spicy rye component... The hops are quite subtle, but take on a sweet citrusy character... Very nice...

M - LIght to medium bodied... Limited carbonation... A bit juicy... Quite smooth... Goes down easily sip after sip...

D - Simple... Straight-forward... Rather effective... No complaints from me... I rather enjoy the strong malt component... I could easily enjoy a couple of these during a leisurely session... This won't knock anyone's sock off per se, but it will garner the respect of those looking for a mighty fine American Pale Ale... I will gladly indulge in again and this one may even rise to the level of case worthy...

Photo of CRJMellor
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light amber with golden streaks. Big off-white head that dies down quickly but manages to leave concentric circles of lace on the pint.
Aroma of caramel, powerful pine and citrus hops and some darker grains and rye.
Flavor has a burnt toast note with some roasted barley, heavy pale malt, some sugar and a big dose of pine. Little bit of citrus comes through as the beer warms.
Mouthfeel starts slightly sweet then kicks over to a little bit of roasted notes and then finishes with a short but strong bitter burst and a lingering metallic aftertaste.
Drinkability is fairly good. Nothing outstanding and probably not a must try but this is a very solid beer

Photo of tugdriver7
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

DuClaw is bottling now. They'd done large bottles, but they've got 3 varieties in 6 packs now. Black coated, lightweight screwtops that really keep things fresh.

This is one of the 3 and one of their best "regular" beers. Rich amber color in the glass with a frothy tan head that laces nicely. Biscuity sweet malt in the nose and initial taste that then fills-in with a fruity (citrusy?) hops aftertaste. Complex in that the flavors mix and separate as you drink and yet are very well balanced. Absolutely top-rate example of the style and it loses nothing (other than the ambiance of the bar) in the bottle.

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ba Review #29
Served On: 8/12/2011
Glassware: Weizen Glass

Had this on tap at Dick’s Last Resort, Inner Harbor Baltimore (neat place). The wife and I were in the area for some site seeing on our 10th year wedding anniversary weekend.

Look: Served in a tall Dick's Wizen glass. The beer had a dark golden color – somewhat copper but not as dark. There was a small eggshell colored head.

Smell: The aroma had earthy spice notes – like cinnamon maybe. I also noticed some faint hops. The notes I got reminded me of the Saranac Pale Ale. The color was even similar.

Taste: Again, the taste was very reminiscent of a Saranac but with a heavier mouth feel. Sill had that initial spiciness up front, followed by the mild hops. The aftertaste wasn’t quite as dry though.

This beer is extremely drinkable. I can’t say it surpassed its Saranac counterpart, but it was very enjoyable and made my experience at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor a little extra special.
By the way, they left me keep the Weizen glass!

Photo of Bierguy5
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden/orange color with a nice foamy white head. The head stayed on this beer for a while. There was a great amount of lace on the glass at the end. Smells slightly citrusy, like grapefruit. Taste had a good amount of malt in the beginning, with a nice balance of fruity hops. The bitterness was present, but not overwhelming. Good balance. Medium body with some carbonation, which seemed appropriate. Overall, this went down well. I would have this beer again.

Photo of cubedbee
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite Duclaw beer. It's a clear amber beer with a foamy off-white head that fades fast. Piney and floral hops dominate the nose. Taste is clean with subdued piney and citrus hops and a strong malt backbone. Medium bodied and nicely carbonated for a smooth feel. This is a quite drinkable APA which I often enjoy at home in a growler.

Photo of MQ4188
1.06/5  rDev -70.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Worst beer I have ever tasted. The head was huge and foamy with loose compaction.

Smell of the beer was metallic. Much like copper.

The taste was off-putting and almost putrid.

I just don't get it. There is no way that this is their regular pale ale. It must be a bad batch.

I tried three different bottles and they were all the same

I know Duclaw can do better than this.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Looks like a nice pale ale. Amber yellow in color with a 1/4 inch of head.

S - Smells of biscuit like malts, piney and citrus hops and caramel.

T - Taste more of an English pale with tones of biscuit malts and herbal teas. The hops go nicely with the caramel malts and its a touch sour with not as much biscuit as I expected.

M - Light to medium not bad.

Overall not something I would run out and get again but very palatable.

Photo of spinrsx
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle - thanks to frenchy for this one

Appearance – Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation visible and there is a good amount of lacing. The head lasted for 6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel, grapefruit/tangerines

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a low amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and a fair amount of hops. It also has lots of fruit flavours going on, pineapple, tangerines, grapefruit and even some melon. It ends with a sweet malty/fruity aftertaste with a touch of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall – This one reminded me of the Atomic Smashbomb IPA that is available to me locally. It's got a nice interesting taste that is very drinkable. It actually seems like more of an IPA than a APA. I'd drink it again anytime.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on a trip through Baltimore. After pouring through the beer menu, this seemed to be the most interesting option.

A - Nice amber color, a small off white head around the edges of the glass.

S - nice citric hops dominate everything.

T - Solid citric hops on a lightly malty base. It's really all about the hops with this one.

M - medium bodied, medium carbonated.

D - went well with the food and was a nice refreshing start to lunch on a rainy dreary day.

Photo of Pecafaced
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taken from notes. Had their sampler at the restaurant. They actually served two versions, the second version being served with Nitrogen.

A: Amber to copper coloring in the sampler glass with a minimal white head.

S- The hop aroma was incredible for this "pale" ale. Very citrusy and fruity aromas come through.

T- Excellent flavor. The hops create a nice citrus bite to the beer. Definitely wasn't expecting this from a pale ale.

M- A medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. The nitrogen version created a more creamier experience but I think the nitrogen somehow increased the hops flavor, but it could just be me.

O- I was impressed with this beer. Very good aroma and taste and this was definitely more than what i expected.

Photo of Dithyramb
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried several times, most recently last night. Served in a pint glass at the Fells Point location.

Copper, amber tinged brew. Generally not served with much head. When you request it, comes out bright white and quickly dissipating to a nice lace.

Bready malts, beat down by fruity hops, in the aroma.

Decidedly citrus hops flavor runs the show, balanced nicely with some bready malt undertone. Could use just a little bit more of both, though.

Medium bodied, with a lingering flavor of hops that dries the tongue.

My second favorite of the usual suspects they always have on tap. Running just slightly behind the bad moon porter.

Photo of JerseyKirk
3.14/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Amber, clear and 1 finger white head. Carbonation bubbles seen on sides of glass.

S: Citrus and chocolate. That was a really odd combo. I don't see the specific relationship with citrus and chocolate.

T: Snappy bitterness. This however isn't so much citrus as it is earthy and herbal.

M: Good carbonation. Balanced.

O: Just ok. Too many things going on that aren't considered complexities but rather detractors that pull me too many ways.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the BelAir location

Pours a nice light amber with an off-white head that fades, but not completely.

Smells of mildly citrusy hops, but not a strong aroma. Not bad, just nothing to get me very excited.

Taste is just ok. Some nice citrusy hop flavors up front, with an unexpectedly bitter bite in the aftertaste. Hints of malt help make up some ground, but it's just a little unbalanced.

Solid body for the style.

Not a bad brew, and I could drink more than 1 if I'm bellied up to the bar. But, there are much better APAs to be had.

Photo of Hefe
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Taste from Nitro-pour at Bowie DuClaw.

Appearance: Hazy amber/orange with a pillowy white head that wont quit.

Smell: Very hoppy and floral with notes of yeast and malt, though slightly obscured by the nitro

Taste: Nice malty sweetness with a touch of citrus(orange), then bam! Hops. Glorious grapefruity piney sprucy hops. the finish is marred by the tell-tale nitro bite.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth.

Drinkability: Very drinkable though I would stick to the regular tap offering which is much better. Every once in a while I give the 'ol nitro a try. Damned if I know why, it screws up the flavor of any beer it get's near.

Photo of Nordstrand
4.4/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - clear crisp amber in color with serious head that sticks around

S - not very strong. Mild citrus

T - complex taste here. Hoppy without being too piney. Grapefruit undertones. Am loving this beer.

M - not too carbonated - silky and smooth.

O - this beer was a nice surprise - absolutely delicious...very tasty without being too strong. One of my new favorites.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours copper colored with a white head. The nose brings some light floral and citrus hops without too much else going on. Pretty plain though nicely balanced. Taste is slightly hoppy with a bit of bread. Light feel with mild bitterness. Drinks fairly well.

Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Screw cap... really?!

Pours a nice decent sized fizzy almost 2 finger head that fades semi quickly at first before slowing a bit and leaving a bit of lacing, over very hazy sediment filled dark ruby grapefruit pink orange copper color. The color is a bit off with the darkness and super hazy sediment, but saved by the nice bit head and soapy lacing.

Nose starts nicely, with some light fruity citrus hops, hint of orange peel and zest as well as touch of pine, a light fruity almost candy like hops as well and floral. Despite the different hop aromas, it remains fairly light, with just a touch of grainy malts.

Taste starts with more malt at first, some caramel and toasty reddish malts, rich and semi sweet, with a bit of juicy malt. It's fairly big in malt character that slowly fades as the hops finally start to come into play. The hops come in with a vengeance though, bringing a big spicy kick at first, getting fairly bitter, and then a bit of citrus and zest, a bit of fruity juicy hops as well, and hint of earthy pine hops. It gets a bit "dirty" and earthy tasting, and slightly tannic. Finish brings more of the earthy hops, starts to get a bit astringent but not much, bit spicy hop lingering almost like chewing on hop pellets, with touch of citrus and some malt flavors but pretty dry. Late on the finish I start to get a slight yeasty flavor as well.

Mouth is slightly bigger bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, maybe the best I've had from DuClaw so far. Decent hop and malt balance, nothing special. It does get a nice big spicy bitter hop kick partway through, and I like how the hops come on slowly at first then kick you in the mouth partway through.

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Venom from DuClaw Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.