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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 105 | Hads: 499
Photo of CuttDeez
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
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 +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Chaney
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
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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Photo of alleykatking
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at DuClaw...

A- Pours a amberish orange body. Half finger off white head shows medium retention. Spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Caramel malts in the front of the aroma. Citrus hops come in next with the middle of the aroma being mostly bready smelling. Ending of the nose is a lot of piney hops with hints of caramel malts. For a DIPA this has a lighter hop aroma.

T- Caramel malts in the front of the beer mix with a bitter piney aroma. This dies down to a light bready middle. Caramel malts do come back in the ending with citrus hops showing themselves in light amounts toward the end. Piney hops come through at the end with a medium warming alcohol finish.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is alright for the style. Flavor is a little watery for the style...or at least to what I am used too (Three Floyd's). Caramel malts and bitter hops are left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly warming alcohol, caramel malts, and citrusy/piney hops. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors were a little too malty for the style I think. No real off flavors when I was drinking.

D- I wouldn't say DIPA for this beer. A nice drinking IPA maybe. A little watery for the style with a alcohol content that I should taste. ABV is high which limits the overall drinkability of the beer. A nice try for the style but a little blah.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Date: 12 March 2011
Glass: 26fl oz brandy snifter
Type: 22fl oz bottle

Pours a crimson amber orange, 1.5-finger head reduces slowly to a strong thin film, Surly-type lacing (small bubbles and very very sticky).

Aroma is light, with earthy floral hops and notes of light pine. Taste is described the same but with far more bitter hops on the tongue than sensed on the nose.

Mouthfeel has a deep bitterness that settles on the tongue, starting with sweet malts, moving into a earthy bitterness, and ending with bitter hop resins. Certainly a decent drinker. This is my first beer (bomber) in a 26fl oz snifter....it's so awesome that the entire bomber fits in the glass!

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Fluffy off-white head supported by a dark orange (amber) malt base with good lacing.
S: Small scent of hops, though I don't get much on the aroma at all.
T: Nice big resiny hop flavor, with a nice malty base.
M: High carbonation, medium body, and lots of scraping action.
D: This is so tasty, its just so drinkable. Hides the alcohol well, so it can also be dangerous.

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Photo of sholland119
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Blind Beer #5 from Thorpe429.

A-Crystal clear amber with a thin off white head. Great retention and nice sticky lacing.

S-Lots and lots of caramel malt. Some earthy hoppiness is detectable as well.

T-Caramelly with some bready malt as well. Nicely malty with some mild citrus in the finish. Perceived bitterness increases as the beer warms.

M-Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

D-Pleasant, smooth.


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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery and at an Oktoberfest event in MD. Pours a clear amber body and a smallish tan head. Grapefruits, pine, light floral qualities, and a touch of caramel in the aroma. Medium to full-bodied and a bit sticky going down. Good balance taste-wise. Some sweet caramel and a biscuity maltiness upfront. Floral qualities and a light peachiness follow. Grapefruitiness at the bitter, drying end. Solid stuff.

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Photo of argock
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.99.

A: Deep copper hue with 1-2 finger off-white head with average retention but craggy lines of lace.

S: Malty, bready aroma with some flashes of pine resin and orange-grapefruit citrus.

T: The flavor is sticky sweet malty with some pine resin and grapefruit citrus hoppiness. The bready malts take over by a long shot, and this makes me think that this would be a good DIPA to cellar as, even at this early stage, it is not hoppy, and it could probably turn into something better than where it's at now.

M: Sticky feel with low carbonation and a medium-full body. Alcohol is present but not obnoxious.

D: Not a bad beer by any means but probably a better fit in the American barleywine style frankly. It is overbalance in the malt column and needs a boost int he hops department.

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Photo of Pencible
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear copper with some white head.
S: It smelled like caramel and some citrus zest and grapefruit.
T: It tasted like bitter citrus zest with some grapefruit and resin, and a little honey malt. It had a clean bitter aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with moderate carbonation. Pretty good body.
D: This was a good imperial IPA with nice scent and taste, but it was really simple and generic. It had decent body and well hidden alcohol, so it was pretty easy to drink. But there was really nothing special or memorable about this beer.

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Photo of 2BDChicago
3.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A:Pale amber that's perfectly clear. Very complex, thick head of off-white foam head.

S: Citrus hoppy, caramel, bready, piney, but all low grade.

T: First impression is high sweetness factor along with bready malt. There's a taste in the middle that I can't identfy, not horrible but out of place. Heavy or cloying mouthfeel. Slight dryness and subtle hop bite.

D: It's a big brew in a style I love. My first issue was that the aroma and look didn't reflect the fact that this would be a solid DIPA. The other was that it was slightly unbalanced. Overall it was close to being a really good brew in it's style. Problem is that there's a few really great brews in the style. But, in the end it's a good brew that could just use some refining. I would definately have it again and hope the brewers improve it over time.

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

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

A- Deep amber with a thick creamy eggshell head

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Seanibus
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big and hot, but lacking some essential something that would make it great.

Pours a fairly clear copper with a sticky head that takes a while to develop, even with a heavy pour. The aroma is sweet, hoppy, and overripe. It takes a while to open in the glass. The flavor is large and grainy, with floral and cirtusy hops, more on the botterness side than on the flavor. The mouthfeel is big and sticky and there is a sharp booziness to it, almost a sherry quality, though I don't get a sense that the beer has oxidized.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a pint glass at Arundel Mills.

Pours a clear dark copper with a stream of steady bubbles supporting a non-existent cream colored head that leaves no lacing. Aroma is sweet and hoppy, a strong blend of caramel malt and piney, reding hops. Flavor is more of the same; a little overly sweet. Melts and hops both are amped up from the normal venom, but aside from the sweetness and slightly hot finish that actually kind of works. Mouth is very thick and full with strong carbonation and a creamy smooth piney hop finish. This is a nice local DIPA fresh on tap if you need a hop fix, but is a little too sweet and misses the mark in finding a cohesive balance between the caramel malt backbone and pine hops.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this bomber from Lunch on our second excellent trade-- thanks Paul. This is my first beer from Duclaw.

Pours a light coppery color with a near white head of a hair over a finger. A huge ring of thick lacing still hangs on the inside of my pint glass... From the first sip... I'm now half way through the glass. Good looking DIPA.

Smells of sweet malts- toasted bread, honey tinged dry barley. Then the hops come at you. Big grapefruit and pine notes. Some fresh floral notes as well.

Taste is right in line with nose-- nice citrusy notes with bitter grapefruit and a touch of pine cone. All underscored by a pleasantly sweet malt base. A lingering bitterness on the finish starts to highlight some pine notes.

Body is medium-- decent carbonation. In the time it took my wife and I to discuss how to decorate the dining room, I had finished the bomber--- easy drinking.

Overall: this is good. Not mindblowing. Not top 100 for DIPAs. This is just a good example of the style. It is good in every ratable aspect. I look forward to trying more stuff from DuClaw!

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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 John_M
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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

Sample courtesy of weeare138 (thanks!).

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

Notes from 7/14/06

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of ITK4ever
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love Venom and I was surprised to see Serum on-tap. I always wanted to try it, but I always seemed to miss the release. This a fine DIPA. Poured a copper color with a light tan head that didn't last long. One other reviewer mentioned that it wasn't cold enough...which was true. I would have liked it to be just a tad colder and let it warm on it's own. Regardless, this beer is definitely an IPA. Hoppy up front on the nose and into the gullet. But it doesn't seem to be Cascade, or Warrior....I can't put my finger on it. I'll tell you what though, this stuff packs a wallop!!!! At 9% I had two of these and was feeling absolutely no pain....add those two to the 3 Venoms and 2 Sawtooths I had. Good stuff from what I remember. I can't wait to go back and try it again.

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