Venom | DuClaw Brewing Company

76 Reviews
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Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by farHillsBrewer on 11-02-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 201
Photo of Slatetank
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I purchased this at Wegmans as part of a mix-a-six, poured chilled from the 12oz brown bottle into a tulip.

The color is deep amber with moderate haze and honey like hues with thick beige cap and fine bead. Lace clings in spots and retention is decent. The smell has a fruity yeast ester combined with a citrus type hop aroma and mild caramel scent from the malt. The feel is good, moderate carbonation with assertive bitterness and medium body with slight sweetness and semi-dry finish.

The taste is good with a a nice malt body with mild grapefruit and citrus element from the hops with mild astringent tea-like bitter flavor, pretty mild but a nice amount of hops with some gentle malt which has a caramel backing with subtle alcohol as it finishes. Overall this is better than your average pale ale, a nice amount of hop flavor yet still manages to remain balanced with some pepper and quaffable characteristics.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.77/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Amber body, good clarity, numerous carbonation streams, small level off-white head. No lace.

Aroma heavy on pine, with some citrus and biscuit notes.

Very sweet caramelly beginning. Some fruitiness. A bitter nap at the swallow. Still the opening sweetness never completely yields and overall the beer is unbalanced toward the sweet side, not ideal for a pale ale.

Medium mouthfeel, a bit still.

A bit of a disappointment, it fails to live up to its name in more ways than one.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tall pint glass, color is copper, transparent, head is off white to light tan, fine bubbles, presents 1/2 inch thick, dissipating to a dense top and some lacing.

Smell is hop heavy, citrus, lemon, lighter pine and earthy notes; malt is sweeter, some caramel, bread and biscuit.

Taste is very flavorful from a pale ale, big hop front, citrus, pine, lemon, blending well with a tilt towards citrus; malt flavors are some caramel, toast, biscuit and bread, a little heavier caramel noted.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, good strong bitterness that lingers along with the malt flavors.

Overall, a very solid, flavorful pale ale, bitterness is strong and almost resinous, approaching ipa levels, but still good.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with good clarity and sliwmoving bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: fruity, caramel, a little citrus, and bready.

Taste: Same as above with some lingering bitterness in the end.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, smooth, low to medium carbonation, tingly bitterness, and medium bodied.

Overall: Above average APA that borders being an English version. Could be a bit more cleaner, but happy with the offering.

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Photo of nmann08
3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing an original had. On tap at BWI airport location.

Pours a beautiful mandarin orange color. The head was almost zero, but I think it's due to the pourer at the airport bar than the beer.

Right away the malts hit you in the front, toasted grains, resin, with a kick of zest. A bit unique balance for a pale ale.

Muted piney hops, a faint hint of grapefruit citrus, but nothing really jumps out. It's balanced, smooth, but not a flavor that distinguishes itself.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, actually really nice for a pale ale.

Overall, would have it again.

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Photo of philbe311
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - A bit of a gusher yields four fingers worth of rich lush airy cloud-like light khaki colored head with a rocky top comprised of lots of big chunky bubbles... Impressive retention... Filled with a good bit of moderate paced carbonation with an occasional stray rapid paced bubble... The color is rich amber color with some light golden straw tones when back lit... Gobs of chunky lacing cling to the glass...

S - A strong malt base is at the forefront... A strong mix of rich bready malts and toasted malts in equal proportions... There is also a strong caramel and toffee component... The hops are present, but take a distant back seat... They are of a light citrusy character... Quite pleasant all the way around...

T - The pleasantness continues on through to the palate... The rich malt base domiantes, but there are no toasted malts to speak of... Rather there is abundant biscuit and crust notes... The caramel and toffee are a bit more subdued... There is a very subtle spicy rye component... The hops are quite subtle, but take on a sweet citrusy character... Very nice...

M - LIght to medium bodied... Limited carbonation... A bit juicy... Quite smooth... Goes down easily sip after sip...

D - Simple... Straight-forward... Rather effective... No complaints from me... I rather enjoy the strong malt component... I could easily enjoy a couple of these during a leisurely session... This won't knock anyone's sock off per se, but it will garner the respect of those looking for a mighty fine American Pale Ale... I will gladly indulge in again and this one may even rise to the level of case worthy...

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Photo of Omnium
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a really nice yellow orange, thick foamy 1 finger head, lacing in the median.
S - Bready malts, resinous hops, citrus, a little floral pine.
T - Acidic bitterness with really sweet malts, the malt profile in this beer is larger than it should be, a mild earthy pine character.
M - Thin feel and acrid bitter aftertaste.
O - I dont really care for this, its too malty for a true APA, more on the lines of an english style, but nothing worthy of returning to.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This must be bottle conditioned. (I see nothing noting as much, but from the beers reactions upon opening and pouring, it seems to be the case.)

Very cloudy beer. It got some hop bite to it, but not really much. Feel has a mouth filling carbonation to it. Easy to drink, but nothing really going on here that is noteworthy, or remotely interesting enough to bring me back to it.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into tulip

Pours a hazy copper color with a ridiculously large white head. Thick, heavy retention with patchy streaks of lacing on the glass.

Light, grassy hoppiness in the nose with some faint citrus. Toasted grain, bread and biscuit malts with a slight sweetness.

Bitter, dry hops up front with a hint of citrus peel and grass. Biscuit and cracker malt with a soft touch of caramel and crystal. Finishes dry and lightly bitter.

Lighter medium body, higher carbonation, dry and lingering on the palate. Drinkable, but definitely an average pale ale - the Anti-Venom versions are better.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.36/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Copper color, clearish, with a thin white head that retained as a ringlet and left a few spots of lacing on the glass. Nose was distant and muted, traces of bready malts, toasted grains. Utter blandness on the palate, almost no flavor at all here. Toasted grains, rice cakes, vaguely floral hops. Light-medium body, definitely easy to drink as far as mouthfeel goes, but without the taste to back it up, there's really no point. Not recommended.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1511th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint

Thanks Troyg2352
No bottle dating on this one

App- A very pretty looking (Yes I called pretty) sunset orange with warm ambers & yellows. A really fast receding and big 2 finger slight off white was there and gone. Head was quite fizzy and bubbly.

Smell- This struck a pretty good balance. This one had slight more malts than I was used to on a pale ale and they lent themselves to more of a caramel sugar aroma with a small hop tinge.

Taste- A pretty good pale but not mind blowing. This one had like the nose struck a really good balace between, malty, sweet, and hoppy. I think with just a little more hops vs caramel would've been good.

Mouth- I really enjoyed the body on this one the most. A fairly solid medium body with a strong medium carbonation level. Residual malty sweet caramel and that aromatic hop tinge carried forward.

Drink- I thought this was pretty tasty. I feel it just needs more hops and for it to be ampd up a little bit, I have to say it was a bit thick for me.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Light amber body with a thin white head.

S- Pretty nice tropical hop aroma, some floral notes as well.

T- Nice juicy hop flavor, some grapefruit, some citrus, some pine. Hop-forward, but balanced and drinkable.

M- Medium carbonation and medium bodied.

O- Solid, drinkable APA. Very tasty.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Looks like a nice pale ale. Amber yellow in color with a 1/4 inch of head.

S - Smells of biscuit like malts, piney and citrus hops and caramel.

T - Taste more of an English pale with tones of biscuit malts and herbal teas. The hops go nicely with the caramel malts and its a touch sour with not as much biscuit as I expected.

M - Light to medium not bad.

Overall not something I would run out and get again but very palatable.

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Photo of nickfl
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A a cascading head of white foam on a clear dark copper body. Great retention and lace.

S pungent pine and floral hop character with significant malty caramel.

T subdued pine hops with breach malt up front. Some musty hop character in the middle and a finish of dry toast.

M medium body, moderate carbonation and a dry finish.

D not bad but like most American style hoppy ales it is definitely better without the nitro.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.16/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this one on both nitro and co2 tap. Review is for nitro.

Single finger head with nice thick lacing on a clear copper with slight gold hue body. Aroma is a little light until the head clears out a bit with mostly citrus hops and some nuts. The flavor of the nitro is dulled a bit compared to the standard. Nice balance of caramel malts and Both citrus and floral hops. Nice hoppiness while staying in the realm of an APA.

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Photo of beerme626
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pretty weak. A slight half-finger head, that disappears quickly. A slight film remains on top, but isn't much. Amber brew.

S: Hard to smell, but there. The hops are clear, along with some... butter?

T: Not bad for a pale ale, but not great either. Hops, yes. A little sour, a little tangy.

M: Bitter, not overly carbonated, and not overly anything.

O: It's a pale ale, but nothing else. It's not terribly exciting. Stick with Doggy Style if you're buying a Maryland p.a.

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Photo of KMcG
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This ale is amber with small head and some lace lingers on the top.  There smells of strawberry and lemon, sweet malts, and a bucket of bolts (some sort of metallic odor).  At first I taste bready caramels and malts with pineapple.  There is strong sweet backbone.  It has very mild hop character with a slight resinous bite. The finish is grassy, but not much bitterness or linger in the palate.  The backbone sweetness and fruitiness is a bit much for a pale ale. 

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Photo of MQ4188
1.06/5  rDev -71.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Worst beer I have ever tasted. The head was huge and foamy with loose compaction.

Smell of the beer was metallic. Much like copper.

The taste was off-putting and almost putrid.

I just don't get it. There is no way that this is their regular pale ale. It must be a bad batch.

I tried three different bottles and they were all the same

I know Duclaw can do better than this.

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Photo of JerseyKirk
3.14/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Amber, clear and 1 finger white head. Carbonation bubbles seen on sides of glass.

S: Citrus and chocolate. That was a really odd combo. I don't see the specific relationship with citrus and chocolate.

T: Snappy bitterness. This however isn't so much citrus as it is earthy and herbal.

M: Good carbonation. Balanced.

O: Just ok. Too many things going on that aren't considered complexities but rather detractors that pull me too many ways.

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Photo of thain709
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - First off, this beer took me about ten minutes to completely pour...the head was HUGE on this thing...I'm talking three fingers when all the beer was was off white in color and became very rocky...great lacing...the beer was a hazy, orange-copper

S - Pale malts and some citrus hops catch my nose...there is a bit of a metallic twang going on

T - The first sip brings some citrus flavors out...notably apricots which are juicy and fresh...the middle provides a bready flavor that is backed by some pale malts...that metallic flavor is lingering in the background the beer warms, a nice bitterness comes out

M - Medium bodied...bitter as it warms...watery and metallic

O - Okay, maybe I had a bad bottle...I've passed having this on tap and on cask numerous times...I think I will be trying it the next time I see it around so I can give it a fair review

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Photo of ckollias
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this on tap a Duclaw’s in Bowie out of a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a copper hue with a thin 1-finger white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Mild aroma of citrus hops and pine in the background.

T: Slightly bitter caramel and bread flavors. Citrus hops and pine also present in the taste. Finishes on the bitter side of dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Decent pale ale – nicely balanced and hopped. A nice session beer but not my favorite from Duclaw.

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Photo of Nordstrand
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - clear crisp amber in color with serious head that sticks around

S - not very strong. Mild citrus

T - complex taste here. Hoppy without being too piney. Grapefruit undertones. Am loving this beer.

M - not too carbonated - silky and smooth.

O - this beer was a nice surprise - absolutely delicious...very tasty without being too strong. One of my new favorites.

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Photo of argock
3.19/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. 6-pack purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $10.49.

A: Very deep burnished amber with 2-3 fingers of big-bubbled head with very good retention and lots of craggy lace.

S: Grapefruit juice and mild pale malts. Overall, the aroma is light with only some sour grapefruit pushing to the front.

T: The beer tastes like a pale ale spiked with ruby red grapefruit juice. It carries the pithy citrus gapefruit flavor but also the the sourness and the mild astringency. Following the wrong food, this could taste like paint thinner. I think there needs to be more malt character.

M: Medium body with prickly carbonation and a citrus grapefruit juice aftertaste.

O: A unique beer but not the most smoothly executed.

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Photo of beer2day
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber red pour with 1/2 finger light cream head. No retention.

Nice citrus nose. Took a bit to pick out the various fruits since there is a lot in the mix. Orange, pineapple and a bit of passion fruit define most of it. A bit of bready malt backs that up. Very nice for a pale.

Mostly caramel malt and bread in the taste. Decent shot of bitters in the finish, but nothing of true note. Very dry in the end. Bits of orange coming through have way down the glass.

Medium body, maybe even a bit heavy for the style.

Overall a solid pale. Wished the flavor reflected a bit more of the nose, but still solid nonetheless.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle - thanks to frenchy for this one

Appearance – Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation visible and there is a good amount of lacing. The head lasted for 6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel, grapefruit/tangerines

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a low amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and a fair amount of hops. It also has lots of fruit flavours going on, pineapple, tangerines, grapefruit and even some melon. It ends with a sweet malty/fruity aftertaste with a touch of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall – This one reminded me of the Atomic Smashbomb IPA that is available to me locally. It's got a nice interesting taste that is very drinkable. It actually seems like more of an IPA than a APA. I'd drink it again anytime.

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Venom from DuClaw Brewing Company
3.71 out of 5 based on 201 ratings.
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