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Serum - DuClaw Brewing Company


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252 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 252
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 11.83%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Hefe on 02-12-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 252 | Reviews: 81 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.41/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: Poured alight amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of bitter earthy hops with dry caramel malt notes. Taste is also dominated by bitter hops notes with limited complexity and some lightly sweet malt backbone. Body is about average with good carbonation. I thought there was too much malt and limited hops presence with a lacks of complexity in the hops profile.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 19:23:09 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of drabmuh


4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2011 00:30:23 | More by drabmuh
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer looks great off the pour. Great amber hue with a nice head. Flavor profile is thick with malts and what seems like a minimal amount of hop character. Could definitely use some more punch. Feel is quick smooth and slick. But considering the style, and what all else is out there in this style, this is nothing overly interesting.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2013 04:17:54 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.81/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 03:45:55 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2007 00:48:41 | More by Gavage
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 7/24/10 notes. Had at cdc release.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with an inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel and fruity malts, citrus hops, and pine.

t - Tastes mostly of caramel and fruity malts, and a hint of pine hops..

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A decent DIPA, but I got a lot more malts than hops. Would give another shot.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2010 21:04:51 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak


3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-25-2006 00:25:31 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2012 03:17:05 | More by Billolick
Photo of stakem


2.43/5  rDev -31.5%
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.

Serving type: cask

08-09-2012 17:48:10 | More by stakem
Photo of Kegatron


3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2012 17:12:21 | More by Kegatron
Photo of weeare138


4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

Serving type: growler

06-22-2006 00:43:07 | More by weeare138
Photo of johnmichaelsen


3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at the Bel Air location.

The beer pours a copper amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is fairly pungent (simcoe hops?), showing dank earth, pine, pepper and considerable sweet malt. The flavor profile tends to replicate the nose pretty closely in this malty, East Coast style DIPA. Still, there's also considerable hoppy bitterness which helps to counter some of that sweetness. This leads to a relatively long, dry, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is fairly smooth and long in what seems like a fairly low carbonation DIPA. Drinkability is OK, but the combination of sweet malt and noticeable alcohol tend to weigh this beer down and tire out the palate pretty quickly.

I thought this a decent DIPA, though hardly anything unique or outstanding. There are so many great IPA's and DIPA's out there these days... this just isn't one of them.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2010 15:21:19 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

2.53/5  rDev -28.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2013 01:07:16 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2012 03:43:23 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Slatetank


3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks a lot to tenderbranson69 for sharing this 12oz with me -enjoyed from a tumbler chilled.

The color is deep amber with mild haziness as is apropos for the style with lots of creamy ecru head and copious lace indicating an oily hoppy ale which has good retention. The smell is just average, not bad, but showing more alcohol than necessary and has more of a malt sweetness in the smell than bursting with hop aromatics, it does have some citrus but it seems sort of muted in the background. The mild tropical accent is easy to confuse with alcohol in the aroma. The feel and flavor are both decent with moderately high bitterness and slight spice with some acidity that is balanced by the malt backing with some alcohol drying in the finish.

Overall this is a nice Imperial IPA with nice hop flavor which seems fresh but it follows the lead of many east coast versions with more balanced approach and less emphasis on hop pizzazz than I prefer. It is recommended if you enjoy 90 minute and similar Imperial IPA's since it has a nice sweetness augmenting the hop flavor, but it does not push the envelope when it comes to bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 15:05:14 | More by Slatetank
Photo of smakawhat


3.2/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2013 23:54:18 | More by smakawhat
Photo of kylehay2004


3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single finger head with decent lacing on a clear copper with golden hues body. Nice strong aroma with caramel malts, spices and candied citrus. Fairly well balanced in the flavor with the caramel malts equally present to the candied fruit hops. Fairly mild for what I was expecting after the venom pale ales. Creamy body with light carbonation. I was a little disappointed with this one. After having the other APA and IPAs this one leaves you wanting more.

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2012 02:08:33 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of DrDemento456


3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pretty standard looking IPA. Dark amber body with tons of carbonation bubbles reaching a head of at least 1/4 inch. Mildly sticky lacing.

S - Smells more malt forward mild citrus hops and boozy malt but both mixed together to give it a neutral like smell.

T - First impression is that's it's pretty good. The boozy factor is pretty subdued behind a wall of sweet fruit like hops and the malts seem to be crisp and provide balance. Not bad at all.

M - Medium bodied a sure fire sipper though.

Overall these guys seem to make a pretty unique DIPA that walks the line of really boozy DIPA "Captain Lawrence" vs too hoppy "Short's The Liberator".

Quite drinkable but forgettable. Worth the nostalgia hype of trying an IPA call Serum.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2012 01:12:04 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of DefenCorps


2.38/5  rDev -33%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 21:05:44 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of tone77


2.6/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2013 15:04:23 | More by tone77
Photo of nickfl


3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A poured with a nice head of off white foam on a clear dark copper body. Decent retention and lace.

S moderate pine aroma with some caramel and orange notes.

T sweet malt with some orange hop notes. More toffee and a bit of sweaty character towards the finish.

M medium body moderate carbonation and a balanced finish.

D not bad but a bit light for a dipa. Just not as hoppy as I would have expected based on their other beers.

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2012 02:06:41 | More by nickfl
Photo of FosterJM


3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1506th Review on BA
Bottle to Piraat Tulip

Thanks to TroyG2352 for this

App- Into the glass this fell as a deeper copper mixed in with some lighter ambers and a tinge of yellow/gold on the edges. A pretty nice 2 finger head was there and then left rather quickly. Only a touch of subtle cling. Fell to a small pond layer on the top of the beer.

Smell- When I 1st took a sip on this one, the first thing I got was the overall booziness of iI mean I get it, its 9% but damn. The booze was followed up by sweet syrup, thicker malts and some hoppy aroma. A little bit creamy and smells like a cordial like a thick cherry sherry.

Taste- Well most of the nose doesn't cross over. This is a high malty and thick DIPA. It was a bit of a carry over with regards to the creamy hops. I picked up on some very cantaloupe like flavors with a fairly sweet and boozy bite. I liked this more than the smell.

Mouth- A very large medium body with a good paired medium carbonation. The flavors retained are the thick malts with a large booze note and a bit of caramel sweetness.

Drink- It was pretty tasty and at the same time kinda unique in the grand scheme of things. I racked my brain and nothing really compares. Maybe Devil Dancer or Double Crooked but those are a bit thicker and boozier as well.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2012 19:16:43 | More by FosterJM
Photo of hopdog


3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
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

Serving type: growler

11-12-2008 14:42:32 | More by hopdog
Photo of Deuane


4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

Serving type: growler

01-20-2008 12:57:16 | More by Deuane
Photo of BARFLYB


3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2012 04:31:57 | More by BARFLYB
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Serum from DuClaw Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 252 ratings.