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Colossus - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ColossusColossus

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

175 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 175
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 19.89%
Wants: 66
Gots: 47 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  17.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed in 2006, 2011, and again in 2014 to push the limits of our own skills and imagination, Colossus is dark amber in color and full-bodied with a perceptively sweet flavor profile accented by notes of apple, and a surprisingly tame alcohol presence on the palate in light of its staggering 17.3% abv. This astounding alcohol content is achieved through fermentation alone; no alcohol is introduced at packaging nor it distilled. Multiple grains are used in conjunction with three different yeast strains to produce a beer that simply defies classification… and most laws of nature. One sip of this behemoth brew and you’ll agree: Sometimes size does matter!

2011 Batch - 21.92% ABV
2014 Batch - 17.3% ABV

(Beer added by: Kegatron on 04-01-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 175 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smakawhat
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Bottled August 27th 2014.

Very clear, with a little bit of fine carbonation that litteraly looks stuck in the glass, with a big bright tangerine orange color. Non existent head and a filmy oily to watery top. Big spotty bubbled collar, with little retention. Some sticky legs and barely a little spotted dot lacing.

Fruity white wine aroma, more in a sense of a faint white port. Hints of apricot and nectarine ripe fruit, with a thick skin. Big amounts of sweet honey coming off and a hint of booze but not very large surprisingly. Pretty good so far.

Palate is real intersting. Big huge honey coating on this in feel but not too syrupy. Good amounts of citrusy to tropical hops that feel like mushy fruit. Huge amounts of honey sweetness. Big long lasting bitterness and large alcohol heat, with a big stomach pit warmth on the finish. Liquid honey sugar tasting and feel quite a bit. Manages to stay away from liquor angle enough to give some barleywine/strong stock ale and hop roots to stick to the ground.

It's a lot like drinking a very flavorful malt tree sap, but in a way kind of fun. Doesn't really have much wow appeal, more of a go for broke sense. Regardless it is still enjoyable.

smakawhat, Nov 06, 2014
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.36/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer comes forth from the bottle with little froth, nor bubble, until at last a thin ring of tiny bubbles forms and wraps the snifter. The ring of head stays there the duration, beckoning.

Aroma of cinnamon, masking 17.3% ABV commanded by the 2014 batch. Alcohol is not in the aroma so much as malty sweetness and spice. And a spiced ale this ale is.

The flavor has cinnamon, brown sugar, molasses and just a hint of heat. Others have likened the taste to a spiced (cinnamon) liquor and I second that notion. Smooth, vanilla like elements cinnamon sugar and slight fruitiness. Quite nice, unbelievably smooth.

Full, velvety smooth body, drinks like a scotch on the rocks. Slight tempered burn. This is extreme beer, gone extremely right.

Stinkypuss, Oct 28, 2014
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Review from notes- Had this on-tap at DuClaw Arundel Mills on 10/11/14.

A- Body is nearly transparent dark amber/topaz hue. Served with a thin white collar which maintains well down the glass but leaves no lacing.

S- Nose is astringent and boozy which does not come to a surprise considering the ABV. The astringency is the most prominent- but the nose is quite complex with a lot of apple, cinnamon, and grain in the background.

T- Upfront is apple-cinnamon with a thick malty backbone-caramel seems to come through the most-but it could be the mix of apple/spices that makes me want to taste caramel. The finish is quite hot, but not overbearing. A big boozy alcohol heat and remnants of the initial flavor are left over.

M- Feel is low carbonation, relatively medium to heavy in weight, and slightly sticky overall-but the boozy astringency is there in the feel.

O- Overall this is a nice big beer,and probably the nicest extreme beer I have had. The alcohol is there-but its not overpowering or annoying-it is also much more present in the nose and mouthfeel than it is in the actual flavor.

PittBeerGirl, Oct 26, 2014
Photo of Snowdog
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Snowdog, Saturday at 11:20 PM
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle of the 2014 vintage pours a mostly clear copper color with a small cap of white head. Not much fore retention or lace.

Nose is JP 8 rocket fuel and vinous fruitiness with a caramely malt base. Smells scary.

Taste is grimace-inducingly strong with the malts not enough to cover for the massive wave of alcohol. Not enough hops to provide a bitter, clean finish either. There are better huge beers out there, but most of those tend to fall in the stout category where the alcohol can be balanced by a heavy malt load. Its an interesting beer to try, I can finish my bottle and would like to see what a 3 or 4 year old vintage would taste like, but I wont go searching for this. Too boozy.

twiggamortis420, Saturday at 06:39 PM
Photo of Zekenyce
4/5  rDev +9%

Zekenyce, Nov 18, 2014
Photo of SomethingClever
2.34/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle poured into Chimay Chalice

A: hazy dark copper color almost the color of rust hard pour no head

S: cloves spices

T: Apple cinnamon sweet disgustingly so and booze lots of it

M: cloying as shit

O: this is like drinking gasoline with a ton of sugar added, it's absolutely awful

SomethingClever, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of Texasfan549
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Texasfan549, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +9%

kjkinsey, Nov 16, 2014
Photo of harryhops
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%

harryhops, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of bvdubn
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

This beers pours a golden color with a foamy white head. I was surprised how light this beer was in color as I would expecting a thick dark colored ale with low carbonation.

The beers is thick and syrupy. It is sweet, boozy, medicinal, and solvent like. It can best be described as cough syrup or syrupy running alcohol.

Overall it is a very poorly done beer and not one that I will be trying again.

bvdubn, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of EuphonicHops
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

EuphonicHops, Nov 13, 2014
Photo of Stigs
1/5  rDev -72.8%

Stigs, Nov 10, 2014
Photo of GetTheYayo
3/5  rDev -18.3%

GetTheYayo, Nov 07, 2014
Photo of tellish33
4.56/5  rDev +24.3%

tellish33, Nov 04, 2014
Photo of Darkmagus82
4.14/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 vintage poured from bottle into a snifter glass

Appearance – The beer pours nice golden color with a two finger head of a white thick foam. The head fades fast at first, but then settles at one finger height where it has a good level of persistence. The beer has a rather thick look upon pouring as the carbonation bubbles seem to struggle to stream up through the body of the beer. Eventually the head does fade leaving a lighter level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is very bready overall with other aromas of caramel and toffee and some aromas of fruits with white grape, pear, and apricot all there. Along with these aromas comes a decent showing of spice, with cinnamon and nutmeg being the foremost. As may be expected for a beer of 17.3 % that was only aged for a bit of time, a decently boozy and warming rum aroma is there as well, producing a rather nice and warming and actually rather palatable aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a doughty and very sweet taste with notes of toffee, caramel, and fruit flavors of an apricot, pear, and peach flavor. While not too boozy or spiced upfront, both do quickly come to the tongue with the spice gaining a moderate level of intensity to the end, while the boozy get moderatly hot and potent. The spice flavors are largest of a nutmeg and allspice upfront, but move heavier in cinnamon toward the end. All the white some other fruit flavors of grape and plum join the flavor profile brining even more sweetness to the brew. As stated prior, the alcohol gains intensity toward the end with it bringing a nice warming rum flavor to the tongue. With a little bit of a more herbal and earthy hop taste coming at the very end of the taste profile, one is left with a warming sweet and boozy (but not as boozy as may be expected for a 17.3 % abv. brew) taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side, as may have been expected for a brew of its potency. For the sweet and warming tastes of the brew it was rather appropriate, keeping this one a slow sipper as it should be.

Overall – I was actually quite surprised. I was expecting something a bit boozier in nature, but the sweetness and doughtiness of the beer really nicely balanced the rummy booziness of the beer and made it very palatable. For such a big beer this one was rather well done.

Darkmagus82, Nov 04, 2014
Photo of hilberryj
4.84/5  rDev +31.9%

hilberryj, Nov 03, 2014
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

spycow, Nov 02, 2014
Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

IvoryFoxhole, Nov 02, 2014
Photo of PassMeAZima
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

PassMeAZima, Nov 02, 2014
Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

duceswild, Nov 01, 2014
Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.79/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a clearish amber color - honestly, I expected something darker here. The head is a finger high, with a white shade. Since the texture is bubbly like soda (and since the gravity is so massive, natch), retention just plain sucks. No lacing either, but there are some impressive alcohol legs. (3)

Smell: Whoa, this is spiced? I'm definitely picking up some notes of cinnamon here. And booze. Wow, I can't believe it, a 17.3% beer smells boozy! Aside from the booze, there are also huge amounts of sugar, alongside some fruit punch, apple, white grape, brown sugar, and a little diacetyl. While it doesn't smell particularly appealing per se, it earns brownie points just for being so damn unique. (3)

Taste: This is intensely sweet. And intensely spicy. And intensely hot. It starts off with massive notes of apple cider before gaining a cinnamon-laden middle and a boozy finish. After many sips, caramel flavors start appearing in earnest. Normally, cinnamon in a beer bothers me if it's not ballasted by a load of sweetness - well, that's not a problem wit this beer, that's for damn sure. It's starting to dawn on me...the initial flavor is apple cider, and the finishing flavor is cinnamon whiskey...HOLY CRAP THIS IS LIKE A 12 OZ BOTTLE OF ANGRY BALLS. Though the alcohol presence is strong, it's well restrained - unlike the sweetness, that is. This is one of those brews where I need a drink in between sipping this to cleanse my palate. I never like doing that while drinking beer, but it genuinely works in making this beer seem (slightly) less cloying. (2.75)

Mouthfeel: Since it's so sweet, it leaves behind huge amounts of residual sweetness on the palate, while the back of the throat and esophagus are heated by the alcohol presence. On the tongue directly, booziness is suppressed (more like smothered) by the huge sweetness. There's a small prickle of carbonation to help will it down more easily. (2.5)

Overall: I like to think that I get this beer. I don't necessarily like it, but I get what DuClaw was shooting for here. The main problem here is that it's way too sweet without showing much in the way of nuance or depth. I fear my subjectivity against monster beers like this is hurting my score, but even still, I wouldn't buy it again. (2.75)

2.79/5: Rather unsophisticated, but if you enjoy mixing apple cider with Fireball, you'll probably love this

ThisWangsChung, Oct 29, 2014
Photo of Doodamis-Maximus
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Doodamis-Maximus, Oct 27, 2014
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Colossus from DuClaw Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.