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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: 111 | 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 Chodite
2.31/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Lower level on the Double IPA rung. Appearance is average. Not a whole lot going on in the nose. Nothing really pleasing about the taste of this beer. Unfortunately, just not a memorable Imperial IPA. Quite boring. Many, many better choices. Will not buy again.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.43/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Matt shared a bottle with dinner last night. I guess we made multiple mistakes with this one, as there's no freshness date, and to make things worse, we drank this right after a fresh Ruination.

Pouring acceptably good looking enough, this beer is a mildly hazy orange with a dense, off-white head that recedes leaving a little lacing. The nose is a full-on assault of malts, with the hops playing a second fiddle. Plenty of caramel with sugar and crystal malt sweetness being most noticeable, there's a moderate hop aroma as well. Citrus and pine are most noticeable hop aromatics, but the malt character is just too strong.
The palate opens rather sweet, with a blend of crystal malt, caramel, some syrup and a little sugar. Hop bitterness is rather low here, with any piney bitterness that's present being washed away by the waves of sweetness. Some citrusy hop flavor is present as well. Sweet on the finish, this beer is medium in body and has a nice, soft carbonation. However, for the most part, these are not the characteristics I'm looking for in a good IPA/DIPA, and for that reason, I have to drop the scores some. However, I would like to try it on tap to see if it's any better fresh.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.47/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy dark copper color. The head is a one finger offwhite shade. Retention is pretty good given its alcohol content, and the lacing left behind is nice looking as well.

S: Malty. There's a lot of caramel, biscuit, and brown sugar in the malt backbone, weakly supported by some faint piny hops. Maybe there's a touch of weed here as well. DuClaw's typical yeast profile comes across less peppery and more...dare I say cardboard-like? Not sure about the age of this one, but I'm not impressed regardless.

T: Hops are very faint here, except perhaps a faint bitter bite on the finish. This one is very much a malty DIPA, and a sweet one as well. At first, there are a surprising amount of plum-like qualities, which will eventually give way to a sweet caramel midtaste. It finishes with only faint piny hops, a sensation badly overpowered by heavy-handed brown sugar and orange sweetness. Good gawd, this is sweet, even cloying; and it can NOT get away with it the way Misery did.

M: The body is really creamy, thick, and syrupy. As a barleywine, the texture works well - but this is a DIPA, so it's just overbearingly difficult to sip (for the record, I don't like most malty DIPAs). The hops cleanse the palate only enough to expose some boozy qualities, without really hiding much of the sweetness or giving the body extra drinkability.

O: A poor DIPA; a passable barleywine/strong ale. I'll be fair to it - the flavor profile screams "badly aged DIPA" to me. It's not drainpour bad, but it's going to take a long time to put this one down. It's just WAY too sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.47/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A dark copper in need of polishing, hazy, topped by two levels fingers of dense off-white foam.

Aroma is sweet like a pixie stick, alcohol, with citrus fruit close by and with some fresh bread notes in support. Nose reminds of a barleywine or dopplebock.

Taste begins extremely candy sweet. Some fruitiness in the background. Slight bitter nip. Small alcohol belly burn.

Medium to full mouthfeel.

Too much sweetness, too much alcohol, not enough bitterness. Not a recommended DIPA.

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Photo of stakem
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On cask at Als of Hampden. This was a firkin aged with pineapple and mango. Served in a nonic from the handpump. The brew appears a clear copper color with more than a finger of yellowish suds.

The smell is like hop candy. Sticky sweet smelling with pineapple and mango making itself known. It actually feels like it has less hop character than fruit addition. I wont lie, it smells pretty nice but this has gone from tropical IPA to full on fruit beer.

The taste is huge with the sticky sweetness. This is downright cloying like drinking candy. I like the pineapple and mango addition but this is like syrup to the point where the sugar actually burns my throat. The faintest amount of caramel/toffee grain tries to make itself known but the sticky sweetness dominates.

Thia is a heavier bodied brew with a light amount of carbonation. Way too sweet for me, I couldnt finish my glass. After drinking 6-8 ounces I felt like I should of had my stomach pumped or maybe injected with a couple CC's of insulin to balance things out.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.53/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Cadmium orange, light and lazy movement of effervesce. Butff colored head, patchy, dissipates almost immediately with minimal lacing.

S: Straw and dry toasted grain, very faint upport with an even more bare minimal, underpar hop profile of muted, undefinable content.

T: Some malt support, old lemony hops, stale grapefruit with a bit of metallic ting. Washed out toasted maltiness, some dry hop appeal but seems warming, like old lemon citrus hop juice, homogenized. Ok level of bitternes for a entry level ipa, just not for a 2x label.

M: Light end of medium body, oily stale citrus juice ends with a watery toasted malting. Warming, but very managable for its 9.0%abv and hardly gets in the way.

O: Overall old stale citrus, a big dissapointment, no bottling info so hard to verify age, but it tastes old and stale hop and malt wise. Boring flavor profile, with a lost of interest halfway through the consumption. Unimpressive and forced finish.

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Photo of AndreRus
2.59/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Strong and very hoppy. However kinda has a weird after taste to it. It is not a bad doble IPA for the price you pay. But at the same time certainly not as good as some other doble/imperial IPAs.

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Photo of dedrinker
2.63/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Slightly hazy amber color with a white head.

Aromas of sweet malts and alcohol, with a little floral twist.

Flavors of sweet malt and alcohol with a little hint of yeast and very precious little hop character at all. It tasted like a barleywine.

Medium-full body with a malty and warm alcohol finish.

Overall I was pretty let down by this beer, it didn't have any hop profile on the pallet I could detect, and the alcohol was too present. At 7.99 a 22oz. bottle, I promptly marched myself back to the store where someone had recommended it to me and got my money back. Boo. Hiss.

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Photo of tone77
2.68/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a light brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is malts, some hops, a touch of citrus. Taste is very unusual, and not so godd, bitter, a medicinal property to it, kind of like nyquil, the malts and hops not mixing very well. Feels light in the mouth and overall I was not very impressed with this beer.

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Photo of ANIMOUL
2.73/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75


Received via a cross-country road trip made by my parents. Perhaps it was the heat exposure or dated bottling - to be fair, my parents aren't hip to these nuances - but there was little carbonation and heavy taste. That said, the Duckpin and Neon they transported was fine. Alcohol overpowered the hops and malt. Consequently, wasn't sure what I was drankin'.


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Photo of Terp96
2.73/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I have been turned off by DuClaw's somewhat "off" beers for some time now. Unfortunate, considering I live within walking distance. When this one was announced, I got a little excited since I love double IPAs. So I gave it a try.

True to form, DuClaw dissappoints again. The pour was okay. It was clear amber color with a decent head.

It smelled just like their Venom ale but with a little more alcohol on the nose. More of a skunked hoppiness. Not much in the way of floral or pine smell at all.

Again, this tasted just like Venom (not good) with more of an alcohol kick. I have to say that the beer was a little too warm for some reason. It is not supposed to be ice cold but this was way to warm. Anyway, the beer is a little short on the malty side and the hops just don't meld well for some reason. Maybe that is what they should change.

Mouthfeel is somewhat oily and smooth but thin. This should have more body and backbone.

Not very drinkable either. The 9% abv and sub par taste leave me wanting something else. I actually had one beer and left for the evening. Try again DuClaw.

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Photo of HopticalDeployment
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

...marketing verbage is a dangerous dance for breweries...

After seeing 9% and the audacious descriptors, I was hoping for more body. It has a startling light body considering the ingredients and technique it takes to make a DIPA.

Upfront smells and tastes: Grapefruit rind, not zest. Esther in the nose. There is a bitterness that distinguished the difference between grapefruit rind and not zest. Oddly unique grapefruit pith character (the white part of a grapefruit peel). Very faint creme brulee burnt sugar in the finish. Finishes with that and more pith.

Disappointing that there was not more malt, grain or biscuit notes found in most DIPAs or IIPAs. The finish hung on my epiglotis in an unpleasant way, like a fart in church.

Overall? Good. For $9.99 @ total wine for a sixer.... I'd buy more. Not a party center, just something to get started with.

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Photo of JDizzle
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks dark for a DIPA and filthy. Not really the look I was hoping for.
Smells pretty hoppy, but has a huge malt presence in the nose. Has some good pine, resiny, and grassy notes.
Taste is a huge letdown. The smell is way more hoppy than the taste. Tons of malt on this one and not much else. BOOO!!!! Not sure of the date, but this kinda blows...
Mouthfeel is good with a good amount of carbs.
Overall, it's not a DIPA that I would recomend at all. Glad I bought a single of this.

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Photo of teromous
3.01/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Hints of gold and orange in the color, with a thin white head. Slight haze, but not much. What little head there is leaves some spots of bubbles on the glass, but no real lacing.

S: Lots of malty caramel sweet scents hit my nose immediately. I don't pick up any hops scents which is a bit different for an IIPA. It has that "big malty beer" smell with some of the rich candy-like alcohol esters. I'm not impressed by the scent at all.

T: I get some pine hop character, but it comes across more as bitterness than flavor. Biscuit and caramel malt character. Some earthy hop character at the end. A little minty. It's a pretty good beer but it's definitely not what I look for in an IIPA. It could use a lot more hop character. The malt flavors are nice, and the pine and earthiness are pleasant, but it just seems very underwhelming. I only rated it an average score because the bitterness and malt qualities are nice, but it's barely a 3.0 for me.

M: I thought the mouthfeel was very good. It has just enough bitterness and carbonation for the beer. It's medium bodied, not slick or smooth but a bit wet. Easy to drink.

O: Overall I wasn't impressed by the beer. I wouldn't buy it again. It just left me wanting more hop flavor and less sweetness. I think I was the most unimpressed with the smell of the beer, because if I did a blind tasting of the beer, I would have no way of telling it was even a pale ale based on the smell alone.

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Photo of qchic
3.01/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

It starts out looking decent, and then it's downhill from there. Reeks of fruit esters and something funky, like rotten mango. A hint of grassy hops. Tastes like artificial grape candy or cough drop. There's some melon flavor, pine, and alcohol bite. Mostly sugar like cotton candy. DIPAs should be hop forward, right? Finishes bitter, but my tongue is not engaged with this. I am adamantly against drainpours, but this is testing me.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.11/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On Tap at Whole Foods

The Serum looks golden bronze in the glass with a nice off white firm cap up top with some stickings on the sides. Good retention with rising bubbles. Darker than a west coast IPA. Smell is ridden with sweet malt, some caramel and some earthy hops. Smells like a double amber if you will. Taste is sweet, malt forward and a earthy, grainy hop taste. Citrus is null, pine is blah, bitterness is non existent, off a tap none the less. I understand east coast style DIPA's so in that sense Serum works. Feel is medium bodied with a gentle carb going for itself, a sweet aftertaste, no bitterness. A glass was all i wanted. I tried Du Claw's pale ale, IPA, and now the DIPA, all bombs. Im going to explore their darker offerings now and skip the lighter.

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Photo of akorsak
3.13/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a pint of DuClaw's new seasonal release Serum. Serum is billed as a Double IPA. It is served in a yellow Pint Club glass and is chilled.

Appearance: The ale has a lighter orange color, not quite a vibrant as some of the better DIPAs, but nonetheless nice. There is a bit of head, but not a thick ring.

Smell: The ale has a nice hoppy aroma, but the hops strike me as more muted, european hops. The website confirms that chinook and nugget hops are used (as opposed to vibrant citrusy amarillo or simcoe).

Taste: The ale has a well-balanced flavor. The hops are not too bitter and stringent, instead they provide an almost earthy hop taste that could rival fuggles or goldings, but not quite.

Mouthfeel: The ale sits well on the palate, with the malt character providing just enough of a counterbalance to the hops.

Drinkability: Had two with dinner and I may grab a growler's worth for the holiday weekend.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.14/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draft at DuClaw in Bowie, MD.

The beer is golden orange colored with a slow and steady stream of bubbles ascending from the depths of the pint glass. The head is off white and measures approximately a half inch thick, leaving ample lacing on the pint glass.

The aroma is surprisingly weak. Even after allowing the beer to warm and putting my nose into the beer (literally), I struggle to detect a strong hop presence.

The flavor is decent, albeit simple. More hops please. American DIPAs should be bold and aggressive, and that's what is missing here.

Mild alcohol burn in the finish. Medium bodied with adequate carbonation.

Overall, uninteresting, especially given the competitive nature of the style.

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Photo of rodlavers
3.15/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a

Appearance is dark amber/orange, fairly clear, no head minimal lacing. It does have a thick look to t, syrupy but smooth. Smell is super subdued; very light caramel and malt, but not much in the way of hops. Hop profile is subtle. Smells sweet and tastes sweet, too sweet for my liking. It's too unbalanced in terms of flavor. Malt and sugar dominate any semblance of hops. Feels smooth, but also a bit too thick and syrupy. Mild carbonation. Overall not a huge fan, probably enjoyed it more in the bottle. Worth a try for those looking to branch out. Cheers.

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Photo of vtfan77
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Nice deep amber with a decent head and good lacing.

S- Very hoppy with an orange and grapefruit juice character and a slight metallic edge. Caramel malt comes through as the beer warms up a little.

T- Honeysuckle sweetness upfront, then hops with an orange candy and maybe light pine needle character... I don't know, I'm really not getting much from the hops. The whole flavor is kind of nondescript. There's a good dose of bitterness on the finish that's pretty nice and lets you know this is a hoppy beer, but the rest of the flavor isn't particularly strong.

M- Medium to full-bodied and kind of syrupy with a fairly low dose of carbonation.

This is pretty much your run-of-the-mill DIPA. Its main problem was its lack of hop character. The hops were obviously there as evidenced by the strong bitterness on the finish, but they just didn't "pop" the way they do in better beers. There's nothing really "bad" about this beer and it's no drain pour, but it wasn't worth the money. You can do better.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of creamy off-white head. This retains with some thick foamy ringing that leaves back a moderately robust cascade of sticky spotty lacing. The aroma smells a bit leafy, with notes of spice, pine, and a sticky mix of caramel, ripe fruit, and a toasted graininess. The citric aspect of this has a touch of fresh brightness to it that helps carry things here for the most part.

The taste is bitter grapefruit that is surrounded by ripe herbal and tropical flavors before running into a backbone of stiff toasted grains and tangier caramel sweetness. Hops return in a dry finish that sticks to the tongue with a spicy and resinous feel. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a lively carbonation on the edges and then more of a sharp chewiness that lies on the tongue. This does have some heat to it, which not only brings out the aggressiveness of the hops but also turns this into more of a sipper than I would have liked.

I’ve had this one and off now for like 6-7 years and while this bottled version is pretty close to what I’ve had on draft before, it’s still just not a DIPA that I can really get into. Just too much sweetness and alcohol in spots with some of the hop character here as well getting to be a bit too harsh at times and an overall drinkability that is hampered by its high ABV. I wish I liked this one more.

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Photo of LtCracker20
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Portsmouth tulip. Purchased in Ocean Ciy, MD on vacation with the wife's family.

A- Pours an orange/amber color body with a half inch off-white head. Head quickly recedes to a small bubbly cap. Lacing is literally spotty.

S- A very piney aroma upfront, followed by a good scent of citrus (pineapple and grapefruit). Almost has the smell of a DIPA that was barrel aged. A lot of sweetness in the smell. Nice, but a slight medicinal aroma.

T- Surprisingly, there's not a lot going on here. I don't think it's too cold, but it's really just bland. The sweetness comes through, though, but that's really about it. Kind of anti-climactic after the smell being not so bad. There's the slight sweetness, medicinal flavor, and the alchohol. Not much else.

M/F- Medium bodied DIPA that feels nice on the palate. I think it could use slightly more carbonation in my opinion.

D- I think the alchohol or maybe the medicinal floavors are a little too much here. Kind of dissapointing considering how decent the smell is. Don't think I'd every get it again, but it was worth trying a beer that I can't get in CT.

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Photo of jimmerz
3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I liked this beer. It's not in my top 10 DIPA's, but very drinkable. Hides the alcohol very well. I thought the aftertaste was the best part of the beer. It reminded me A LOT of Hop Drop and Roll. For the price, great beer!

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Photo of xnicknj
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at perch pub

Pours a hazed golden orange color with a thinner crop of white head resting on top. A slick of retention sits while leaving rings of sticky lacing on the glass.

Bitter, sticky hops in the nose with a formidable amount of malty sweetness. Touches of caramel and honey with toasted grain and tropical hop tones. Swirl of boozy warmth.

Rounded hop bitterness in the profile up front with touches of grapefruit and tropical fruits. Fairly sweet and resiny in the backbone with caramel. Toasted grain and bread with a one-two punch of bitter hops and alcohol heat.

Medium body, well carbonated, full, sticky and chewy on the tongue. A pretty average DIPA, as the combo of sweet and heat became a little much after about half of the pour. There's just too many great beers in this genre, leaving this one in the dust.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.24/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head Ale glass.

A real nice creamy head, whipped up off white tan in color but only makes about two fingers and settles quickly to a one finger tall puck. Body is a crystal clear bronze dark amber, nearly hinting at hues of red and some very faint rising carbonation in the middle. Pretty solid looking.

Nose has a mushy sense of tropical hop angle, and fresh cut grass. Faint thick malts seem to be in the back, with a sense of boozy quality. Very large mushy fruit and heat.

Weird palate. First initial sip in the mid palate is full and syrupy thick with not much flavor, then swallow brings a quick lingering peppery hot and piney hop blast. Strangely for the thickness the beer doesn't really coat or fill the palate in fact all the flavor and sensation seem to barley get past my lips. Some noticeable heat that's about it.

Overall it is hop forward like a dipa but doesn't have much of a distinguishing hop palate or any body. THere's no fruit quality in taste to match the nose, no malt backbone, or even sweetness. Just a noticeable aftertaste of pine bitter. This is a weird one, it's sort of strangely empty so I'll pass on it.

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