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Serum - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

105 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 105
Hads: 499
Avg: 3.58
pDev: 26.82%
Wants: 10
Gots: 109 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Hefe on 02-12-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 105 | Hads: 499
Photo of DavidS333
5/5  rDev +39.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serum is an American Double/Imperial by Duclaw Brewing Co. The smell is refreshing and has hints of beta hop sweetness mixed in with its overall refreshing smell. Its froth is light on a light-medium-thick scale. The body is close to medium on the side of light on a light medium thick scale. The color is a sort of translucent burnt amber.

The flavor of Serum is a sort of sweet swirly hop taste, that has sort of tasty sweetish lingerings mixed in with the overall hoppy flavor of the beer. The beer's after taste has a sort of lingering lightly sweet hoppy taste, and is quite good. It can be tasted on the top of one's palate for a good moment after tasting the beer, and the beers hoppyness lingers on the tongue for a little longer, ultimately dissolving into a more traditional semi bitter aftertaste after a few moments more.

Overall Serum is a sort of unique American Double/Imperial in that it has a semi different flavor depending on how one drinks it. If one drinks it quickly one gets the bitter hops taste that sort of slides down into the aftertaste at the base of one's palate. If however, one sort of holds it at the front of one's mouth for a moment, then gulps it down, this sort o f allows the hoppy mixture of the beers taste to let its self known in a more clear way per se. Mixing from the bitter hoppiness in the beginning into the sort of hoppy sweetness of the immediate aftertaste in a more clear and sensible way per se.

Overall Serum is a cool, and original take on the American Double/Imperial, and I would encourage anyone on their American Double/Imperial journey, to try it along their travels. Overall a unique hoppy mixture, and a flavorful brew. I would also encourage anyone who tries it to try it by both sipping it slowly and sipping it quickly for its quite intriguing how the taste is semi-different depending on how one goes about drinking this American Double/Imperial brew.

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Photo of squonk45
4.8/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

8.3% but of all the high alc % beers I tried this is the strongest no trying to hide piney bitter alcohol taste It could grown on me definitely a Man's beer . wimps dare not try

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Photo of HopsForBrains
4.72/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Although the ABV of this beer which is listed in this section of BeerAdvocate is higher than stated on the bottle (which is actually 8.3%; 2015 edition), this American Double IPA is very well balanced in delivering the desired hoppy bitterness without much of a bite while at the same time being complemented with a slight malty finish. NO BOOZINESS PRESENT! Dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of Zraly
4.38/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-amber with creamy, off-white head. Smells spectacular: playful floral notes backed up by a candy-malt note with a hint of musk. It reminds me a little bit of a perfume I wear in the summer: Serge Lutens Fleur d'Oranger which highlights the orange blossom flower and cumin. This ale is heady in that respect. In short, it smells damn sexy.

This is a very sweet, malty DIPA. Biscuit and bread notes, along with cotton candy, accentuate the malt profile. There is also a jammy-berry note lingering about (or this is a unique perception of the floral hops and sweet malts interacting). The hops are both floral and piney, and there is a touch of juiciness to the hop profile. Finish is long and eventually dries out. The alcohol isn't buried but it isn't easily perceived either. I

This is a very rich Double IPA and one bomber is plenty. Some of its characteristics are not quite DIPA territory. It's probably not everyone's cup of tea (read ale), but I must say I find it to be a really exciting ale. The market is saturated with IPAs and DIPAs -- it's nice to see someone interpret the style with some sass; I would recommend it if you come across it. I suspect mine is extremely fresh as this shipment just came in to International Beverage the other day and I am in MD. So it is a "must try" if you find it fresh in bottle. I would be interested in trying this on tap.

This would go extremely well with a nice vegetarian Indian meal. I can also see it bringing some Ethiopian cuisine to life.

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Photo of dickroop
4.37/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is DuClaw's 2007 release (note: this beer does NOT seem to be Retired, it's a seasonal.)

Served in a glass tumbler at the Bowie location, the Serum was plain copper color with a full-finger head. Not any ordinary head, this was a creamy, fine foam that left distinct rings of lacing with each one of my 22 sips. I could count them like tree rings!

The aroma of this ale was sweet, rich with fruity esters and a fresh hoppy presence. Flavor notes were (possibly) peach and bubble gum. The taste was hop-bitter and malt-sweet in almost perfect balance. Hops were citrus to floral & harder to pick out because of the heavy malt bill. There was a touch of sourness mid-palate, and the finish was enduringly bitter with a bit of graininess. Despite the ABV of 9%, alcohol did not seem to intrude into the flavor profile (nor the mouthfeel, for that matter).

Mouthfeel was full-bodied, rich, and creamy. This brew leaves a sweet stickiness on the lips. Overall, drinkability is quite good, except at 9% you couldn't easily session it to more than 3, I'm guessing. I'm really impressed with the Serum this year, bought 2 growlers - one for me and one for a friend. Recommended, I think it's a truly outstanding offering!

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Photo of sideshowrob
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the beer at the September 04 release date. Stats are 9% ABV and 56 IBUs - a bit high on the ABV and a bit low on the IBUs for this style.

Beer poured an orange-amber color into the standard pint glass. Lots of head that quickly dissipated. Good carbonation. Strong smell of hops and sweet malt present, hops had a cirtus note to them. The malt notes won out the day on the tasting - the beer definately had a sweet overall body - fairly complex. Hops note was present, but under control. Good mouthfeel, aided by the aforementioned carbonation. Surprizingly easy to drink for a 9%abv brew.

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Photo of CraftBeerTastic
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ba Review #232
Served On: 11/02/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 9.0%
Date/ Code: -

This was a 12oz. bottle from a case I bought at Self Serve Beverage in York, PA. Was $39.99.

Look: The brew had a super clear dark honey color. Head was a 1-finger beige layer of frothy foam that eventually became a patchy film of random sized bubbles. Carbonation bubbles were at a respectable level. with lacing definitely forming on the glass.

Smell: Strong pine aroma mixed with some grassy notes and a sweet malt in the background.

Taste: First up was an astringent pine that quickly gave way to some mango and a syrupy malt sweetness in the middle. The finish had some bitterness but was rather clean for such a big beer. Some residual mango seemed to hang on. The sweet malts returned into the aftertaste. A very balanced beer given the ABV.

This brew certainly ranked up there with me. The high level of balance that was achieved is what sold me. To offer such an extreme beer while keeping it drinkable is exactly what I look for in a DIPA. I would almost compare this one to Hop'solutely from Allentown Brew Works, but with slightly more balance and less alcohol warmth.

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Photo of Spfarner
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep orange color with a very small sized head. Aromas of citrus, pine and some caramel. Tastes of pine, citrus, and caramel (just like the aromas). Had quite a few at one sitting and it is a very easy drinking XX IPA, so in a short story to sum it all up, I was pretty wasted that night! Definitely worth having a few on hand! It is bottled, but my opinion, tap is better!

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.16/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz.

Pours a hazy golden orange with fine white film for a head.

Smells of orange blossom honey, orange zest, biscuit malt, and piney and citrusy hops.

Tastes of potent piney and citrus hops with a bitter bite over a lightly sweet biscuit malt with some orange citrus sweetness.

Full body with a stinging carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A pretty good dipa with some very nice flavor and aroma. Goes down smooth, doesn't show its strength too much, and refreshes. Seems a bit underrated to me, definitely worth a look.

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Photo of jbriggs7036
4.14/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very nice...not as amazing as I had anticipated, but worth the growler. Considering how bitchin' the Venom was, i wanted more

A- Deep amber with a thick creamy eggshell head

S- Smell was amazing....had a little more complexity than DFH 90 with with some ETOH kick

T- Not as strong as the smell led me to believe. Tasty nonetheless. a little light on the hoppyness compared to the smell

M- Good bitter feel with. Strong, but not overpowering.

D- Easy...a little too easy for 9% but... coulda been better

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just filled this growler today while meeting some fantasy football buds. Light amber color. Pours with a thin head. Piney hops in smell. Tastes hoppy but not out of balance. Smooth mouthfeel & this is very drinkable. I am not a huge fan of DuClaw's beers but this is a good DIPA.


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Photo of weeare138
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to witbier for picking me up a growler of this from the Bel Air location...
Appears a glowing orange amber with a 1 inch white head that slowly fades out. Tons of scattered webbed lace is left around my tulip glass.
Smell is of flowery, orange citrus, along with some sugary candy, and a piney, wood-like hop presence with an undertone of caramel. Smells almost like an open bag of fresh Nugget hops next to some rich, Caramunich malt.
Taste is of the same sugary brewed aromas with a decent mix of sugar and bitter.
Mouthfeel is sugary, rich, with a bitterness that's there very much so in the begginning of the glass but is kicked in the ass by the sugar content as it warms towards the bottem of the glass. Medium bodied and yummy.
I really enjoyed this. I'm not sure why all the lack of love for it but this '06 version is weighing in at 9% and I can barely notice it. I split this growler off into seperate bottles but I wish I had more b/c I'd drink an entire growler of this on any given night.

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Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer cannot be retired becasue I am drinking some right now as I review this.

Thanks to Nattyboman and liverletdie for picking me up a growler of this from the Bel Air location...

A-Orange / amber with thin off-white head that fades. Lots of fine lacing left around my pint glass.

S-Sweet maltiness with a background of citrus and pine. Certainly a malt forward scent. Gets a bit more grapefruity as it warms.

T-A malt forward DIPA for sure...but the citrusy hop bitterness is not far behind. Not quite what I like in a DIPA but tasty nonetheless.

M-Fairly rich with a decent body. Somewhat cloying but not in a bad "sticky" way. Simply in a way that lets the beer linger in your mouth awaiting the next sip. Alcohol warmth barely noticed.

D-A very nice a totally drinkable east coast style DIPA. I like it more as it warms as it takes on more west coast grapefruit characteristics. Overall, another good effort in this DuClaw "special event" release beer.

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Photo of junjun1
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer poured on-tap at the Roast House Pub in Frederick...

A: Nice orange-hued amber color, with a decent white head, nice lacing as well...

S: The smell is fruity hops, and some booze...

T: No alcohol present, but a rush of fresh fruity hops and a light crackery maltiness...

M: Crisp, light-enough...

D: A really nice DIPA, not the best, but at 5 bucks for 12 oz pour, I could drink this all night.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bowie location of DuClaw. I didn't think I'd like this beer and I was pleasantly surprised.

Beer is dark amber with a mild haze, haloed head of small white bubbles, low carbonation some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet with this earthy piny sense.

Beer is medium in body and moderately bitter in the back, the finish is one of the best things about this beer. It leaves this resiny flavor and feeling in the mouth that carries the bitterness forward on the palate. I'd have this beer again for sure, especially on draft.

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Photo of Hefe
4.02/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Copper/gold with a bright white head that quickly thins to a sticky lacing.

Smell: Powerful, with tones of orange and grapefruit riding the big floral/piney hop pimp-slap that jumps out of the glass.

Taste: Citusy and piney with a balancing whack of sweet honeyish malts. The finish is dry and lasting.

Mouthfeel: Fine carbontaion, and a nice creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Great, but too over the top to drink in any quantity.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I really like this beer. However, if I were drinking it blindly I would never guess American Imperial IPA. One of the more malty IPAs that I have had. While I would not consider this to be sweet, it certainly does not reach the levels of bitterness that are common with the style. Taste is caramel, toffee, light citrus, and candied fruits. The bitterness comes with some dryness at the end. A beer I will likely revisit, but probably not one I would reach for if I want what I typically associate with the style.

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Photo of philbe311
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slightly more than a fingers worth of rich creamy light tan colored head with a good bit of big chunky bubbles mixed in... Minimal retention gives way to full rich creamy lacing... The color is a moderately hazed, yet slightly bright orangish amber... A couple of stray sluggish carbonation bubbles can be seen rising deep within...

S - A lovely blend of hops and malts... Uber sweet Florida oranges... Some piney notes... Some floral notes... A big strong caramel is at the forefront as well... Some bready notes... The only complaint is that this aroma is a bit timid, I wish it were more assertive...

T - Sweet oranges... Tropical fruits... Some piney hop notes... A strong malt base dominated by caramel with some fresh baked bread... A bit of candied sugars... The finish is ever so slightly medicinal...

M - Very dense... On the fulelr side of medium bodied... A bit sticky... Rich and sophisticated... Clean...

D - Wow, this one caught me by complete surprise... I would gladly drink again, recommend, and hope to grab some more bottles when I'm in DuClaw's distribution radius... A dark horse in the ever expanding field of DIPAs that deserve much higher praise and recognition...

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Photo of hopdog
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample courtesy of weeare138 (thanks!).

Poured a deep orange color with a very small sized head. Aromas of citrus, pine and some caramel. Tastes of pine, citrus, and caramel (just like the aromas). Medium alcohol finish. Decent balance.

Notes from 7/14/06

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Photo of runner440
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just filled my growler up tonight at Duclaw.

It pours a clear redish orange with a bright white head that sticks around.

The smell is the highlight of this beer. Sweet http://beeradvocate.com/beer/user_review/1924/15860/caramel malt, grapefruit, citrus, very west coast style smell.

The taste follows the smell on this one. Cirtus, grapefruit, caramel, and a slight honey taste. There is also a slight pine resin.

Mouthfeel is medium body and smooth with a long citrus finish. The malts give it a good balance.

Overall, this is a solid local beer. Good enough for a growler.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Brewers Cask in Baltimore (Federal Hill). Nice copper color, bug fluffy head, huge hop aroma.. I like where this is going. For a double IPA, it has a pretty good mouthfeel and a good maltiness to balance out the overload of hops. Drinks really smoothly. One of the better double IPA's I've had, tasty, well balanced, and hides the ABV well.. can't ask for much more, a solid offering from Duclaw.

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Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap in February at Fells Point location. This beer is not retired.

Appearance: clear reddish / orange in color. One finger head lasts a bit, and light lacing develops.

Smell: caramel sweetness, grapefruits, and pine cone bitterness is pleasant but mild.

Taste: the flavors follow the nose as the malt profile is thick and sweet, and caramel candy, grapefruits, honey, alcohol, and strong pine resin bitterness grip your tastebuds.

Mouthfeel: smooth throughout with a long lasting bitter finish. Heavy in body.

Drinkability: decent but this one is a slow sipper. Heavy and the alcohol is quite noticeable. Worth giving it a try.

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Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness dating info

Pour is darker amber, near clear, tan head that stays a while then leaves a minor tiny bubble film and minor fine lace.

Resin hop nose of moderate interest

Resinous hops notes dominate here. In a world of seemingly hundreds of DIPA, this one does not really stand out as anything awesome. But its enjoyable, hoppy and well crafted with enough of a malt undercoating to make it quite drinkable.

Went well with some 2 year aged cheddar.

Worth a try if you find this available in your local area

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Photo of HopDerek
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 edition, on tap as of mid-January
Poured a clear golden amber with 1 finger of off-white head, good lacing. Sweet smells of caramel are up front accompanied by grass clippings and grapefruit notes. Tastes of citrus with a nice sweet malty backbone with a good pine finish as well as a hint of alcohol heat. Medium in body with good carbonation and a nice stickiness, very balanced. Easy to drink but beware of the high ABV. One of my favorite seasonal releases from DuClaw, and even though it changes a bit from year to year, it's always a good sweet and hoppy brew.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a copper amber color with an off white head, leaves speckled lacing around my glass. Aroma has nearly burn grapefruit peel, big alcoholic malt layers too. Look it feels like a DIPA double fruit and bitterness, the beer is resinous and all around a let down compared to other DIPAs. The beer is medium to full bodied finishes smooth throughout my glass. Overall I'm a fan only one of the two kind bring about.

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Serum from DuClaw Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.