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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: 11
Gots: 104 | 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 stakem
2.5/5  rDev -30%
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 Billolick
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
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 kylehay2004
3.56/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.2/5  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.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
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 JerseyKirk
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Golden white 1 finger head. Small to medium bubbles.

S: Spicy, herbal, slight dankness. Hop forward and dominated nose. Touch of caramel.

T: Same as above.

M: Well carbed but not too fizzy. Big warming alcohol finish that is sweet.

O: A little too much of a pronounced alcohol note which detracts from the beer's complexity. Still awesome though. Just a big IIPA with warming notes.

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

Off tap at the brewery this beer was a rich amber color sliding towards the copper spectrum. The head was off-white, retained itself fairly well as a collar and left lacing especially towards the beginning. The aroma was of grapefruit, orange peel, light pine and the caramel malt base. The flavors were good but not as bold as one might expect from a “Double” IPA. I tasted citrus peel and grapefruit zest as well as the floral and piney notes of hops later as the beer warmed. The malt base was solid and overall it was indeed tasty but if someone would have told me it was a plain old American IPA I would have believed them. This was partly because the alcohol was well-concealed, to the brewmaster’s credit. The mouthfeel was good, the body medium/full and the carbonation on the light side.

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Photo of Spfarner
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
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 Huhzubendah
3.14/5  rDev -12%
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 ckollias
3.7/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this on tap out of a pint glass at Duclaw in Bowie, MD.

A: Pours an orangish-amber color with a thin 1-finger white head that quickly dissipates into almost nothing.

S: Strong hoppy aroma with an alcoholic tone and piney backbone.

T: Bitter beer with a hoppy background pine and citrus flavors.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: This beer was pretty decent – maybe a little too bitter – but easily drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of runner440
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
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 junjun1
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
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 Metalmonk
3.71/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours that super-creamy kind of head you want to see on a Double IPA. Hazy bronze/copper color. Par for the course, in a good way.

Relatively weak aroma, for the style. Something mildly medicinal creeps in too (gotta be the 9% ABV). And, in fact, there's more caramel sweetness than pine/citrus here, indicating that the generous malt presence noted on the label is in effect...although I wonder where the hops are. The pour indicates a fairly vibrant beer, but without bottle dating, there's no way to know whether the hops have faded due to this bottle hanging around the store shelf too long. I did pull it out of a cooler, so...on to the taste.

There's a raw, unrefined character to the taste of Serum, which is kind of nice. An enjoyable tropical and citrus fruit melange shows the hops doing their thing, while the malt is intensely caramel-ish without ever being too sweet. Spearmint emerges with some warming. A juicy, fruity character dominates, and there's also a pungent, resin-y quality to the beer, especially in the finish. 9% alcohol provides only the mildest bit of warmth.

There's a stickiness trying to happen here, but never gets there, and the body lacks the creamy roundness you want in a beer like this...probably a tad too much carbonation too. The thinner body is never watery, but ultimately it just escapes feeling lackluster.

I was in the mood for a really great double IPA, but new ones in that category are proving elusive. Maybe that bar has been set too high. In any case, I like this, and it performs well enough to satisfy. Won't be a problem to finish the bottle.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.43/5  rDev -31.9%
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 drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
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 jzeilinger
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a cloudy copper color (more of an opaque caramel color, actually), fine layer of foam eases down to a mild lacing ring, carbonation is not active. As the beer warms up, it turns clear copper color.

S - Aroma is not overly strong with a balance between toasted caramel/toffee, some mild oranges, and honey. The first thing that comes to mind is "balance" in the nose.

T - Serum hits the tongue with honey, malt and caramel initially followed swith a boozy effervesence as it permeates upwards through the nose from the throat. Sweet malt forward followed by a citrus mixture of grapefruit and oranges with the predominant bitterness coming in the form of oranges, unique for a D-IPA. As I work through the bottle, the booziness settles down.

M - Fairly smooth on the tongue and a thin, medium body (thinner than I'd prefer for this style).

O - Interesting orange nuances, closer to balanced than being overly bitter. Glad I was able to try this one, purchased three bottles of this on a trip to Maryland this past week.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tab before, and must say, the bottled beer was myth better!
Poured into my crystal mug, the color is a clear deep gold with a creamy white head building about one finger high. It dissipates within two minutes into good lacing,
Smelling the beer, caramel and honey notes are dominant.
The taste is confirming that up front with very sweet caramel and honey flavors. In the middle some flowery hops add to the palette and in the end a little bittersweetness balances this beer somewhat. Still a very sweet finish, almost to sweet for this beer style.
I liked the bottled version much better than the tab version!

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Photo of vtfan77
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
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 Clydesdale
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent orange color with a medium amount of haziness. The medium-sized head has a similar orange hue and a fairly dense, frothy texture. Retention is sturdy, and some solid rings of lace stick to the glass.

S: Some soft caramel sweetness up front. Hop notes are prominent, but not overly aggressive. Citrus/grapefruit, along with a resiny/candylike character and perhaps some faint pine. Pleasant, but not as big as many DIPA offerings; perhaps this will open up a bit with time. No alcohol is detectable.

T: Substantial sweetness up front - both caramel and lighter sugary sweet flavors are present. Hop bitterness steps in fairly strongly to shift the balance in the expected direction. Grapefruit and candied/resiny hop flavors are at the fore, but there are lesser floral and pine notes as well. The hop bill isn't especially vibrant in the citrus overload/West Coast style, but there's a decent amount of depth/complexity to the flavors I'm picking up on. Alcohol is again well masked for a 9% DIPA.

M: Medium body. Carbonation is relatively low/soft, lending a bit of a creamy texture rather than any perkiness. It starts off a bit sweet, but finishes long with a lasting dryness appropriate for this style.

D: This isn't in the upper echelon of DIPAs, but it's brewed nicely and sports a hop profile that departs a bit from the current industry norm, which tends toward citric American hops and neutral malt. For that, this is a welcome offering. A bit short on wow factor, but this is a nice beer nonetheless.

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Photo of Zraly
4.38/5  rDev +22.7%
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 dedrinker
2.63/5  rDev -26.3%
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 CuttDeez
3.66/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 OZ poured into a Tulip
A - A beautiful deep copper/amber color with a large very lacy white head.
S - Good citrus and grapfruit notes with a small piney background
T & M - Very sweet and crisp on the taste with notes of citrus throughout. The malt background is subtle. The beer is medium to light bodied and it hides its ABV well in my opinion with only a warmth near the end. The beer ends a little dry but smooth.
O - A good DIPA from a small brewery. I like the overall crispness and freshness of the beer. I did try it very fresh!


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Photo of philbe311
4/5  rDev +12%
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 Chaney
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on tap at DuClaw's Arundel Mills location.

A: Mildly cloudy golden color, with really no head to speak of whatsoever... maybe just a few lurking bubbles.

S: Very much like a can of syrupy and intense Del Monte fruit cocktail. This was way too much in my opinion.

T: Bitter, but not boozy. However, this was very fruity and syrupy without much hop sizzle to cut through it. Still, it wasn't that bad.

M: Sugar water for sure, with low carbonation (which was probably appropriate for a DIPA with this high an ABV).

O: Given how much I enjoyed "Venom" (especially on nitro!), this one disappointed me.

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