1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Colossus - DuClaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

111 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 111
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 18.64%
Wants: 65
Gots: 34 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  21.92% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Kegatron on 04-01-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 111 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by crashdavisinoh:
Photo of crashdavisinoh


4/5  rDev +5%

02-20-2014 03:31:27 | More by crashdavisinoh
More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000


4/5  rDev +5%

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.

09-25-2011 19:15:15 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Bizoneill


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

02-21-2013 15:23:40 | More by Bizoneill
Photo of quirkzoo


4.95/5  rDev +29.9%

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.

11-19-2012 05:06:21 | More by quirkzoo
Photo of willPS21

West Virginia

3.48/5  rDev -8.7%

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.

02-12-2010 06:47:04 | More by willPS21
Photo of beermantimmie


4.28/5  rDev +12.3%

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!

04-03-2009 14:29:04 | More by beermantimmie
Photo of Aeromaximus


4/5  rDev +5%

01-15-2013 16:16:01 | More by Aeromaximus
Photo of zaphodchak


4.58/5  rDev +20.2%

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.

03-17-2012 02:12:21 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of Photekut


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

05-18-2013 22:53:27 | More by Photekut
Photo of Gonzoillini


4/5  rDev +5%

12-17-2011 18:42:11 | More by Gonzoillini
Photo of trafordboy


1.65/5  rDev -56.7%

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.

09-25-2010 23:35:49 | More by trafordboy
Photo of hdofu


4.7/5  rDev +23.4%

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

02-12-2011 06:32:02 | More by hdofu
Photo of maynard713


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

10-15-2012 23:23:00 | More by maynard713
Photo of GRG1313


4/5  rDev +5%

05-22-2013 04:09:35 | More by GRG1313
Photo of alleykatking


4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

Poured from 22oz bottle. Thanks Luke (Lukafer) for busting this bottle out!

A- Pours a amber copper color. Tiny white head comes and goes right away. No real lacing on the glass which is understandable with the high ABV.

S- Although the alcohol is very apparent in the beer it wasn't the only thing you could smell in the beer. Nice cinnamon aroma from the get go. Green apple notes come and go with a light bready backbone. Sweetness is a big quality to the nose with some honey notes as well.

T- This beer I figured would be a boozy mess..and to my surprise it wasn't. A nice sweet bready malt to start off this beer. Slight spicing notes with the cinnamon in the front end. Maple syrup sweetness in the middle and a little caramel malt as well. Backing is alcohol which is to be expected but it is very sugary sweet overall. This beer tastes like liquid french toast (which was said by Lukafer as we drank this).

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was low but expected with this beer. Sweetness was all that was left on the palate. Sweet alcohol in the aftertaste. Flavor was very good for the ABV. Sticky feeling in the mouth and stays around for such a long time after the sip. Heavy drying on the palate.

D- This beer despite being such a huge ABV is very drinkable. I think this beer is flying under the radar so you should seek out pronto before it blows up. I know I'll be looking out for some more soon.

06-18-2010 04:46:58 | More by alleykatking
Photo of SpdKilz


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

05-21-2013 02:11:03 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of GapingMcNulty

3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

07-29-2014 00:24:03 | More by GapingMcNulty
Photo of waddellc2


4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

01-26-2014 15:17:18 | More by waddellc2
Photo of akorsak


3.88/5  rDev +1.8%

A bottle from the Wine Source. Shared at the Brass Rail with Ffejherb, Pumpkin1 and others.

A: The ale is a darker amber color that, I swear, has a bit of cinnamon red to it. No head, although the 21% price tag probably has something to do with that.

S: The nose is cinnamon and apple and, oh yeah, booze. The spices are strong, sweet with the apple. Frankly, I am floored by the nose, sweet and sticky without betraying too much alcohol.

T: Green and yellow apples, equal parts tart and sweet, drive the flavor, a down-to-earth cider flavor that is complemented by an abundance of cinnamon and honey. Surprisingly, there isn't much heat here, not nearly the alcoholic boost that you'd expect for a 21% beer. The spiciness lingers long after each sip, a nice digestif.

M: The mouthfeel is overwhelmed by the apples and spices, but in a good way. The flavor is big and bold, concentrated enough that one could easily call this a licquer.

D: At 21% this is a sharing beer. We had 6+ people and it was still a struggle. Not one to try on your own.

03-26-2010 13:24:11 | More by akorsak
Photo of emerge077


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

Thanks to Joe for breaking out this brainbuster... Review from notes.

Ominously large liter bottle with yellow wax, as pictured here. Poured placidly into a small snifter, bright vibrant orange with high clarity. A loose ring of bubbles cluster on the surface.

Aroma was sweet and fruity... plum, apple, slight spiciness in the background. No real hint of alcohol, just fruit syrup sweetness, and little else.

Sticky sweet fruit cocktail of plum, pear, and apple. Malt? Nope. Syrupy body, and rather sweet, which effectively masks the alcohol. Surprisingly drinkable. A 22% booze bomb is the perfect way to end a night, just be sure to split the bottle 8 ways or more... thanks Joe!

02-13-2011 02:50:43 | More by emerge077
Photo of sneth019


2.5/5  rDev -34.4%

02-10-2012 01:55:29 | More by sneth019
Photo of DBoone


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

My buddy, BeermanTimmie,thanks BeermanTimmie, bought this beer at Beer and Wine World in Abingdon MD. Approximately 3 miles from the DuClaw restaurant and brewery.

Appearance: Grapefruit pink color with small to medium off white head poured into a tulip glass. Medium amount of carbonation. Average lacing.

Smell: Little to no hop aroma. Fruity smell consisting of currants, cherry and pear. Maybe a slight hint of vanilla.

Taste: Sugary, fruity taste similiar to a rose. Slight taste of bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Very nice, smooth and silky, no warning of alcohol in this beer.

Drinkability: Good. Just a little too sugary for my taste, but this is what is expected in a beer with an alcohol content of 22%.

04-02-2009 13:46:57 | More by DBoone
Photo of BeerSox


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%

1L waxed swingtop bottle into 25oz snifter. Most of the beer into the glass. The rest will be heated tomorrow.

Looks almost black when sitting on the table, but when held up to the light it exhibits a clear ruby glow. A one finger tan head slowly settles to a rim along the glass.

Thick aromas of sweet berry, grape, and grapefruit. Strong spice from the alcohol.

Supersweet flavor consisting of cane sugar along with hints of cinnamon. Shreds of apple are in there. A bit of a toasty bread-like grain sits in the background. The alcohol gives a strong warming feeling. Full bodied - syrupy.

As the name suggests, this is one very big beer. It's not that boozy, however the alcohol still has a strong warming effect. This is also a very sweet beer. I've seen people mention "apple pie", and that seems to be an accurate description. I'm curious to see this one warm. Overall, it's a good beer, just one to be sipped.


Heated to 110 degrees, poured from simmering pot into tea mug. Not factored into review score.

Any whiff gives a bit of apple, cinnamon, and a strong amount of alcohol. A lot of alcohol in the aroma, it's like I'm sniffing a shot of whiskey. The flavor almost tastes like fresh apple, and the spices are slightly morphed into a sharper flavor, more like allspice. A lot of warming alcohol on top of the warming alcohol.

Not that great when heated. It's like all I can taste is the alcohol. This one's probably best served slightly chilled like white wine, in a sipping glass.

04-05-2009 01:11:01 | More by BeerSox
Photo of jmarsh123


3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

06-06-2013 15:36:17 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +5%

Glad to have shared this with myself at my nightly tastings in my living room with my wife and my cat.

now this is the definition of a massive beer!!

Poured a deep dark brown, with a big head that fadeed to nothing. Some nice lace down the glass, lots of activity left in the film on top, looks good. Smell was so complex it is even hard to describe. Everytime you went near it you smelled something different. Bready tones the first time, spiceness the second, alchol, some fruitness, a bit of the hops, it offeres a variety in every sense of the word. the taste is big, thick, full of alcohol, which is not even remotely hidden here. Lots of dark fruits and berries can be found in here if you look. Grassy tones, apricot, pear, very complex and lots of flavors seem to be battling each other. Almost tastes like a cross between an american and belgian strong due to al the complex things going on in here

07-08-2011 02:57:27 | More by mikesgroove
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Colossus from DuClaw Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.