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Colossus - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ColossusColossus

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

178 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 178
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 20.22%
Wants: 68
Gots: 49 | 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: 178 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by cdmillard:
Photo of cdmillard
4.39/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep caramel color. Head? None to be found, but not unexpected. Thick and syrupy looking.

S- Incredibly sweet, with some booziness. Maybe dark fruits and honey. Hard to nail down, but very sweet.

T- Sweet. Much like the nose, dark fruits and honey. Someone mentioned candy apples with cinnamon. Might not be too far off. Not nearly as hot as one would expect at 21% ABV. Don't misunderstand me...the alcohol is definitely there, but I have had beers with much lower ABV that were much hotter. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so the sweetness doesn't bother me, but I don;t know that I could drink it routinely.

M- Syrupy with no carbonation. This is my least favorite aspect of this beer. A little too thick for me.

O- Overall, I like it. It's tasty and just a pleasant beer to drink. I'm sharing the bottle with my sons, because I think it would be a mistake to try to kill it alone. Enjoyable, but not for you if you don;t like sweetness.

More User Reviews:
Photo of smakawhat
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.36/5  rDev +19.1%
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.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Photo of Afroman
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jjfoodie for sharing this bottle. I believe this was the second release because it came in a 22 ounce bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-orange color with an off-white head. The aroma is very sweet with a lot of dark fruit, light tartness, caramel and brandy notes.

The flavor is similar. There is a ton of sweetness in this beer. There are also some dark cherries and brown sugar in the flavor, as well as a lot of alcohol. Even though the alcohol is extremely noticeable, I still think it is somewhat well hidden for a beer of this strength.

Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. Glad I got to try this one.

Photo of briandaube
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Bizoneill
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of sandanders
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of JMS1512
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into my Lucifer snifter

Sight: After poured into my glass, I see a golden, honey like brew with a stark white head. It settles down to a thin cap in top. The lacing present on the sides of the glass resembles that dot game where you try to connect them to make more boxes than your opponent, and put an initial in it. I mean it has lots of small dots, not the boxes.

Smell: Booze, booze, and a little more booze. I also detect faint hints of yeasty esters and a touch of malt.

Taste: I’m so confused. Zippy spices, apricot (I later looked at the bottle and saw peach as a perceived flavor so I was in the ballpark), malt, and well… more booze. When it warms up I might get the apples and honey.

Mouthfeel: Slick and oily, teeth-coating. Not much carbonation, but I do see tiny bubbles regularly make their way to the top, in a relaxed, Sunday-driver sort of fashion.

Overall: Well, I’ve had few as big as this one. It drinks almost like a barleywine. Aside from DFH’s 18% nonsense, I’ve not experienced anything quite like this. I bet this would age well, and the alcohol end up less pronounced. It felt lucky to try it, but you won’t see my buying another unless the jack it back up to 20+ abv.

Photo of quirkzoo
4.95/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed blind with several other BA's as part of Blind BIF 7

4 - Appearance is bright orange with almost no head (as is to be expected[wrapping gave warning that it was 15%+) pours really thick despite the clarity.

5 - Smell is amazing. Tons of sweet fruits, lots of fig at first and as it warms a little it gets even sweeter, honeyed apricots, honeysuckle just a lovely smell, really reminds me of a very good dessert wine. Almost no alcohol on the nose which is surprising.

5 - Taste is equally amazing. More sweet fruits, nice light caramel/honey sweetness, not much bitterness, very sweet but not cloying. Alcohol is very well hidden, most of us agree that it tastes like 11%. Perhaps the longest finish of a beer I have ever had it just sticks to the inside of your mouth.

5 - Mouthfeel is perfect for a big beer like this. Big and bold flavors but it doesn't overwhelm your palate, just enough carbonation to give a good cleanse and leave you wanting more.

5 - Overall this is an amazing beer, I have never had anything like it. The consensus is barleywine but it is much fruitier than any barleywine I have ever had. Another BA at the tasting, ucsbmullet commented that he thought it had some age, he guessed about two years. My first guess was a vintage big bottle of DFH Olde School Barleywine but the bottle isn't the right shape and it had an un-branded cap so I am going with my first instinct which is the only 15%+ beer from MD (where Oline73 is from) and that is DuClaw Colossus.

Photo of willPS21
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I was ill-prepared for this beast. I had no idea I was coming face to face with such grotesque (twisted) fruit and floral flavors. Difficult to pick a fruit exactly, it seemed like some chaotic combination of prunes, rosepetals, allspice/ginger/instant cider, peach/mango, some red and green jolly ranchers, robitussin, and cotton candy.. Yeah, I'm not standing by that as scientific but it's somewhere in that arena in terms of sugary-floral-sickly-sweetness. This was an issue at first because prior to opening I was thinking bitterness, brandy, no. It should be noted that my sweettooth is pretty weak... yeah, keep your rumplemints, gran marnier, and jaegar. The sweetness was so unexpected that at first my crutch to deal with it was some homemade jalapeno salsa which I'd have intermittently through the first couple oz's. That leveled it out quite well, and at the point I had waded in past my balls, I was able to drink it like a normal human. By the end, I had finally come to enjoy the bizarre and extreme concoction, both for its uniqueness and for the wallop it was giving my tongue, and its medicinal warming. I have a feeling that like many things, a beer of this stature is an acquired taste. It was remarkable how well-disguised the alcohol is, considering. Now that I know what I'm up against, I think I'm ready for another bout with this one to get a better reading, and for nuking it, which I didn't know was possible. And yes that will then be a shot, which might even need a chaser. Obviously drinkability is low for the average brute, unless you drink gran marnier shots with breakfast. Everyone should buy this if they see it to reckon with it's unique presentation when normal human beer seems boring, or to make drinking a 22 with a pal more akin to a sporting event of straight-face keeping.

Photo of beermantimmie
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a liter bottle into a tulip glass.

Smell: hints of Apples, pears, cinnamon, nutmeg, oranges.

Taste: Sugary sweet! Apple pie tasting!

Appearence: Rose colored to a dark red.

Be careful when drinking as you wouldn't know by tasting that it is 22%.

I had this at a temp. of abour 50 degrees. This became very overpowering to drink after a while and I choose to cut it with a hoppier beer to take out the sugar taste. I wasn't impressed with the price! $35/bottle! I could by 4 120 minute IPA from Dogfish head for that price and still have the same ABV content. It's worth having once though. I didn't get a chance to warm it to 105 degrees like the bottle recommends to taste the warm apple pie effect. This bottle if sipped will accomodate two people without a problem, so get someone to split the cost with you. This is also available at Wine World beer and spirits in the fridge to the left of the walk in door on the top shelf. Enjoy!

Photo of Stigs
1/5  rDev -72.7%

Photo of Skabiski
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of Aeromaximus
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of SomethingClever
2.34/5  rDev -36.1%
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

Photo of zaphodchak
4.58/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Gradient of red through amber, no head, no lace, some legs.

Nose is lovely fruit punch-type fruit, not in a bad way.

Beer is dangerously sweet, tropical. Notes of pineapple, apricots. Tastes a bit like a mixed drink, but not too boozy. Kinda like the Samichlaus Helles. Some apple and cinnamon as well,a s promised on the bottle.

Thinnish mouthfeel but it sticks with you, almost syrupy glycerin.

Impressive, and not what I was expecting, but I don't know what I was expecting... Sweet, but not malty. Almost like mead.

Photo of Photekut
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of trafordboy
1.65/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Yikes! Not what I expected at all. Tastes like corn syrup with maple flavor added. If Aunt Jemima brewed a beer I imagine this is what I think it would taste like. The beer has good carbonation and a nice look to it but there is way too much unfermented sugar left in this beast. The reason the alcohol is hidden so well is because of the sugar. I don't have a problem with sweet beers either...this one just missed the mark for me.

Photo of hdofu
4.7/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A whopper of a beer this is. The biggest I've had from duclaws and undeniably huge. Pours an attractive marmalade brown color with a thin orange tan head. Smell is like marmalade as well. Taste starts out like marmalade but breaks down into cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves finally goin to a thin trace of malts. Considering the strength it has this beer is a rather gentle giant not revealing its huge abv in its taste (I barely noticed any burn). The drinkability of this beer is almost scary but luckily it's huge price and low availability inhibits drinking alot of it

Photo of mozim
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of maynard713
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

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Colossus from DuClaw Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.