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 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 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 cuzinpete00
2.73/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

was excited to try this beer but as soon as i opened it got a blast of a non-appetizing smell, idk maybe i had a bad was drinkable but i thought that it wasnt hopped as well as i personally like it a friend of mine who also tried it felt the same way. i personally wouldn't recomened this beer but dont get me wrong duclaw has some awsome beers.

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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 Terp96
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer begs to be an IPA but it just can't be.

It has a nice, clear amber color with ample head that sticks around.

There are a lot of hops here but I cannot place the aroma. It is not overwhelmingly floral or citrusy.

Taste is okay. Too hoppy for a pale ale but not enough for an IPA. What is this? There is a bite or off taste at the end of every sip.

To me, this beer is not very drinkable. It starts off well enough but at the end of every sip, I am still left wondering if I really like this one or not. It is not a very balanced brew at all.

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

Ba Review #29
Served On: 8/12/2011
Glassware: Weizen Glass

Had this on tap at Dick’s Last Resort, Inner Harbor Baltimore (neat place). The wife and I were in the area for some site seeing on our 10th year wedding anniversary weekend.

Look: Served in a tall Dick's Wizen glass. The beer had a dark golden color – somewhat copper but not as dark. There was a small eggshell colored head.

Smell: The aroma had earthy spice notes – like cinnamon maybe. I also noticed some faint hops. The notes I got reminded me of the Saranac Pale Ale. The color was even similar.

Taste: Again, the taste was very reminiscent of a Saranac but with a heavier mouth feel. Sill had that initial spiciness up front, followed by the mild hops. The aftertaste wasn’t quite as dry though.

This beer is extremely drinkable. I can’t say it surpassed its Saranac counterpart, but it was very enjoyable and made my experience at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor a little extra special.
By the way, they left me keep the Weizen glass!

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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 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 MaltyGoodness
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the BelAir location

Pours a nice light amber with an off-white head that fades, but not completely.

Smells of mildly citrusy hops, but not a strong aroma. Not bad, just nothing to get me very excited.

Taste is just ok. Some nice citrusy hop flavors up front, with an unexpectedly bitter bite in the aftertaste. Hints of malt help make up some ground, but it's just a little unbalanced.

Solid body for the style.

Not a bad brew, and I could drink more than 1 if I'm bellied up to the bar. But, there are much better APAs to be had.

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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 akorsak
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am drinking a pint of Venom, served in a Pint Club tumbler at the Arundel Mills location. The ale is chilled, but the glass is not.

Appearance: The ale is a hazy orange-red color, moderately carbonated, with no sign of any lace in the glass.

Smell: The ale has a light hop aroma, a fruity one that signifies US-grown hops to me. The aroma is not too bitter, but strong enough to make my mouth water.

Taste: The ale has a medium hop flavor (in terms of bitterness). The hops provide a citrusy flavor that overpowers any malt character.

Mouthfeel: The ale sits well in the mouth can could be DuClaw's most sessionable ale.

Drinkability: The ale is very drinkable, with a hop presence that is not too strong and not too weak.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours copper colored with a white head. The nose brings some light floral and citrus hops without too much else going on. Pretty plain though nicely balanced. Taste is slightly hoppy with a bit of bread. Light feel with mild bitterness. Drinks fairly well.

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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 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 Rschis16
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty orange-colored beer with a nice 2-finger off-white head that leaves decent lacing all the way down. Interesting and slightly weird smell of burnt orange rinds and of all things, band-aids or medical supplies of some kind are flashing to mind when I smell this. That's different, but not entireley unenjoyable, if for nothing else than the curiousity of it.

Here is a very interesting and different tasting pale ale. Nicely hopped with citrusy, bitter hops. Weird though. Something is out of place with this beer and I can't quite put a finger on it. But then again it's not necessarily a bad flavor. Just interesting and perplexing. Aftertaste of hop bitterness with a medium body that is fairly highly carbonated but close to being a little too watery.

I want to try a different batch to compare it too just to see if that is any different. Interesting beer though, and the brewery is popping up in more liquour stores in the area, so I'm sure to pick up some more.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Amber with a medium sized head, decent retention and delicate uneven rings of lace left behind.

S - Strong pine hops with a bit of floral notes and some malt underneath.

T - Strong pine upfront with a pleasant malt backing. The aftertaste was a moderate pine hop bitterness.

M - Medium viscosity, smooth for the most part, not particularly refreshing.

D - Good. I certainly could have had another pint. I will likely order the variety sampler sometime and I look forward to enjoying this brew again.

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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 Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with 2 fingers of slightly off-white head. This retains with a thick foamy finger that holds tight, leaving back some heavy rings of frothy lacing. The aroma is floral with a leafy spiciness, while a tight feeling toasted sweetness is parked underneath. A touch of mineral notes makes themselves known as well.

The taste has a biting citric bitterness that spread out across the tongue. Sweet toasted grains mostly balance this but the hops finish this hard with a finish of rind and spice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and sharp on the tip of the tongue, before getting more smooth and creamy along the back. That 5-6% ABV is right on for keeping this refreshing and approachable.

Venom on draft has long been one of my favorite DuClaw beers over the years and while this bottled version didn’t quite bring the goods like I would have liked, this still provided enough of an aggressive yet balanced hoppy American attitude to the keep me interested during the full duration of the glass. Hopefully they will continue to get this one nailed down in its bottled form.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery as well as at MD Oktoberfest. Pours a transparent dark bronze copper with a well-lacing white head. Aroma of fresh grapefruity hops and lightly sweet pale malt. Starts with good fullness and sweet caramely malts balanced with fresh resiny hops before a crisp, clean bittersweet finish. A well-balanced and drinkable IPA.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer served on draft at DuClaw in Bowie. Beer is reddish / amber but darker than amber and mostly clear with a decent white head that breaks and pulls to the glass...leaving some lacing behind.

Aroma is sweet with a mild citrus hop presence, smells good.

Beer is a little too thin in the body for this to be a APA in my opinion, the hop flavors are there and finish is mildly bitter, overall decent but too thin. Not too bad though, I might even have it again.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer onto my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was a golden color that was pretty normal but poured a really crappy head that did not hang around long at all. The beer smelled like caramel and had a bready smell and taste. It had a bit of a bitter finish but not too bad. I will buy again.

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