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Serum - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

102 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 102
Hads: 489
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 26.89%
Wants: 10
Gots: 105 | 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: 102 | Hads: 489
Photo of RonfromJersey
2.47/5  rDev -30.8%
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 mvanaskie13
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into tall pint glass, color is gold/copper, head is light tan, big, frothy, laces well.

Smell is mild, neutral pale malts, maybe some caramely sweetness, hops are fruity mostly, some piney/earthy bitterness noticed.

Taste is pretty solid, clean and crisp malt flavors, not overly sweet, hops are the right amount of bitterness for this size ipa, hardly notice its strength.

Mouthfeel is great for such a bit ipa, nicely drying, good tongue presence and mild sweeetness that lingers.

Overall, a very solid dipa style, clean malt flavors, not too sweet and hops are spot on for the bitterness.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.24/5  rDev -9.2%
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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Photo of beerthulhu
2.53/5  rDev -29.1%
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 y2jrock60
3.44/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark orange with a two finger head that leaves moderate lacing.

S- Very sweet aroma with hints of piney hops. The malt or more prevalent in the nose than the hops.

T- Very sweet upfront, very similar to their Venom PA. The hops make an appearance at the end but are overwhelmed by the malt sweetness. You don't get hop flavors, just their bitterness. There is a slight presence of alcohol which undermines the bitterness as well.

M- Medium-thick bodied, almost syrup like, with a moderate-low amount of carbonation.

O- Very similar to their Venom PA, almost too overly sweet for my liking. The hops are an afterthought with this beer, I actually perceive more hop flavor and bitterness from the Venom PA. I understand the alcohol plays a part in the profile, but Dogfish Head and Breckenridge are able to bring them through in their doubles.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.36/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.47/5  rDev -30.8%
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 jmdrpi
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, no date

copper, clear, orange highlights. thin off-white colored head. aroma is mostly citrus and pine hop flavors. taste has just enough malt to balance it, slightly bready. lingering hops. medium body, coats the tongue, slick. medium carbonation. overall - good balance.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5


A- a fuzzy amber color with a half finger head that leaves a line lace around the inside of the pint.

S- phenols and grapefruit dominate. no malt presence that i can detect.

F- grapefruit but more of an alcohol taste. It over powers any other flavor.

M- dry and alcohol laden. warm in the throat.

O- a very alcohol laden ipa in the nose and flavor. it takes away from other notes in the beer. Could be better but a little better than average.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.82/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

clean amber pour with a finger of foamy white head. the smell is mostly malty sweet with some notes of phenol, grapefruit essence is there as well. this is an interesting ipa. i can barely taste any hops so i'm assuming it was sitting on shelves for a while.. risk you take ordering beer online. the malty sweetness is definitely there, but a very unique grain is giving off an awesome caramel like flavor.. nutty notes as well. i'd really like to see what this is like fresh. sweet like a wildflower honey. medium-full body with ow carbonation and a nice warmth from the alcohol.
this is a decent dipa as is, but i would honestly love to try it fresh to get a true feel for it.

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Photo of GiantMidget
3.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip glass on tap from Pinocchio's in Media PA.

This was a very hazy orange/brownish IPA which, IMO wasn't what I expected for a double, I think it was WAY darker and hazier than I would've expected.

However looks can be deceiving and in this case it certainly was.

While the scent of your typical DIPA exists, with citrus, hops, pine and some extra fruitness.

Grapefruit evidence quickly to the taste and the extensive dry hopping is noticeable as it leaves the palate with a dry nature while the mouthfeel does it's work leaving it full bodied.

It is an excellent but not terrific DIPA, I'd drink it again but it's not at the top of my list due to the caramel sweetness and otherwise not overly memorable other variables outside of the good job of dry hopping.

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Photo of tone77
2.68/5  rDev -24.9%
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 teromous
3.01/5  rDev -15.7%
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 BARFLYB
3.11/5  rDev -12.9%
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 Slatetank
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of JDizzle
3/5  rDev -16%
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 IronLover
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper orange in color with just the slightest haze. Poured with a short white foam that quickly reduced to a wispy cap. Sweet caramel malt aroma with light resinous pine and citrus beneath. Medium bodied with smooth oily feel and light, subtle carbonation. Sweet caramel malt up front followed by citrus and then pine bop bitterness that longers a bit at the finish. This was a more malt forward DIPA.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
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 NoLeafClover44
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass. No bottling info that I can find. Risky.

A - Pours a glowing amber color with a half finger of porous white head. Some amoeba lacing left behind.

S - Sweet and malt forward aroma for an IPA. Some honey, brown sugar, buttered bread, and tropical fruits all contribute to this effect. Mellow hops, floral mostly. Generic aroma, if you ask me.

T - Has a clover honey vibe throughout. Some hops kick in midpalate and offer a bit of relief from the sweet and bready malts. Some pine and booze on the finish and beyond.

M - Medium-thick body and good carbonation.

O - Overall, a forgettable beer, but nowhere near a drainpour. Some hops, but overloaded with a plethora of malts that come off sweet and bready for my taste. There is nothing to advance this one beyond the herd of average DIPA's out there. Perhaps this wasn't fresh (no bottle dating, so I give no benefits of the doubt), but I probably won't be getting it again.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Somewhat transparent amber body with a light tan head that leaves a lot of lacing around the rim of the glass.

S- Some piney hops come through, but the overwhelming aroma is sweet bready malt.

T- Balanced IIPA that has a good hop presence balanced out by bready malts. Certainly not hop-forward, but the hop flavor is there.

M- Full-bodied with medium-high carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

O- A decent IIPA with good flavor, worth a try for those who want a balanced IIPA.

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Photo of CraftBeerTastic
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
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 rodlavers
3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
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 DrDemento456
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Serum from DuClaw Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.