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 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 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 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 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 jlindros
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Screw cap... really?!

Pours a nice decent sized fizzy almost 2 finger head that fades semi quickly at first before slowing a bit and leaving a bit of lacing, over very hazy sediment filled dark ruby grapefruit pink orange copper color. The color is a bit off with the darkness and super hazy sediment, but saved by the nice bit head and soapy lacing.

Nose starts nicely, with some light fruity citrus hops, hint of orange peel and zest as well as touch of pine, a light fruity almost candy like hops as well and floral. Despite the different hop aromas, it remains fairly light, with just a touch of grainy malts.

Taste starts with more malt at first, some caramel and toasty reddish malts, rich and semi sweet, with a bit of juicy malt. It's fairly big in malt character that slowly fades as the hops finally start to come into play. The hops come in with a vengeance though, bringing a big spicy kick at first, getting fairly bitter, and then a bit of citrus and zest, a bit of fruity juicy hops as well, and hint of earthy pine hops. It gets a bit "dirty" and earthy tasting, and slightly tannic. Finish brings more of the earthy hops, starts to get a bit astringent but not much, bit spicy hop lingering almost like chewing on hop pellets, with touch of citrus and some malt flavors but pretty dry. Late on the finish I start to get a slight yeasty flavor as well.

Mouth is slightly bigger bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, maybe the best I've had from DuClaw so far. Decent hop and malt balance, nothing special. It does get a nice big spicy bitter hop kick partway through, and I like how the hops come on slowly at first then kick you in the mouth partway through.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A slightly hazy, deep amber-orange body is topped by a creamy head of ivory foam that holds quite well and leaves some really nice lace about the glass. Bright, citrusy and piney hops are evident in the nose; and do their best to eclipse the sweetish, caramel-laced biscuit malt beneath. It's crisp in the mouth - accentuating its bitterness - with a medium body and a fine, standard level of carbonation (@ 2.5-2.6 volumes CO2/liter). The flavor is rich with juicy and resinous, piney and citrusy hops wrapped around a lightly sweet biscuit-like malt that's drizzled with dark, melted caramel. A solid bitterness backs it up, and levels it most impressively. It finishes dry with some short lingering malt and hops that fade to bitterness. A very well done pale ale in the American style! It's certainly worth trying and it pairs quite well with their "Yet Un-named" Crabcake Sandwich!

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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 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 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 Huhzubendah
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank a growler of this last night while eating wings and watching football. Bliss.

The beer appears a orange/amber hue. It is, for the most part, transparent, though not 100% clear. Each pour yields a substantial head that leaves a film of caked-on lacing stuck to the glass. The scent is relatively weak, emitting a balance of hop and malt aromas. The beer tastes decent. It's nothing amazing, but nothing offensive either. I mean, I did drink the whole growler by myself - it is certainly drinkable and enjoyable, though not remarkable, beer. The feel is remarkably smooth, making this beer quite quaffable. I really enjoy pairing a simple pale ale with wings or other variants of bar food. I have had this beer several times. It's local, fresh and consistent. Enjoy a beer at DuClaw if you're in the area.

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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 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 Gavage
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear orange in color with yellow highlights. A nice one finger head lasted a bit before falling to a thick surface foam. Decent lacing develops and plenty of tiny carbonation bubbles race to the surface.

Smell: huge floral hops and strong citrus opens up the nasal passage.

Taste: this beer was as fresh as they come. Big floral hop bitterness with oranges, all balanced off a nice malty backbone. Super agressive west coast pale ale with some overall dryness.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish. Dryness hits as you swallow. Medium bodied beer. Bitterness lingers a bit into the aftertaste.

Drinkability: this can be quaffed all day long without getting bored. One of DuClaw's staple beers, and it is the one I would select if I could only choose one while at the brewpub.

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

A - Pours a deep copper color, a small, barely one fingered foamy white head, and very spritely and active carbonation.

S - Pine, citrus, earthy with a toasted caramel malt backbone. The aroma smells somewhat British style with more kick.

T - Balance up front is nicely blended with toasted caramel and mildly spicy pine until around mid-way through the sip when the grapefruit bitterness kicks in and kicks the other flavors out of the picture. Finishes with a mild toasted caramel spice coating with bitter citrus rolling in over the top with a dry, lingering bitterness.

M - Medium body, finishes a little thin, just a tad grainy.

O - This has always been a favorite DuClaw beer of mine. Just got back from Maryland today and brought back a sixer of Venom and an assortment of DuClaw's bombers (all their bigger beers that I've never been able to get on tap), can't wait to dig into the rest!

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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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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 RBorsato
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at the Arundel Mills location on 6/30/04.

Copper colored with a decent off-white head and good carbonation. Citrus hops are prominent in the nose with a touch of maltiness underneath. A nice flavor which is definitely more hoppy than malty. Light-medium bodied with a crisp lightly bitter finish. Overall a nice APA and probably my favorite one of the night after the 13 degrees and the Bare Ass Blonde (glad I saved this one for last).

Per the DuClaw website:
Style: American-Style Pale Ale
Color: Light Amber
Hop Variety: Columbus & Cascade
Grains : Pale Malt, Aromatic Malt, Crystal Malt
Bitterness Units: 36 IBUs
Gravity: 13.5 plato
Alcohol Content : 5.6% abv

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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 mltobin
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My friend picked up a sixer of this at State Line in Elkton MD.

Appearance is amber with a one finger head that has some lacing after a couple sips. The smell contains citrus, hops, malt, kinda on low key level. Upon sipping this APA from DuClaw, I am impressed. It tastes of pine hops, more citrus comes through and a good amount of malt in the end. MF is medium, good carbonation here. Overall, this is a solid offering from these folks out of Maryland.

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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 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 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 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 Boto
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught in Fells Point: This one ours with not much head on it at all. It sits in the glass with a clear, coppery color. It leaves a decent amount of lacing. Fairly decent aroma of grapefruit hops. The taste is decent also. A decent bitterness, mainly tasting of the grapefruit hops. This one borders on an IPA. A decent quaff.

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