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 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 Jayli
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a hazy, deep amber color with a three finger of thick foamy, khaki colored head. Head retention borders on obnoxious...and leaves big chunks of sticky lacing.

S: Nose is bready malts, pale malts, and not a whole lot else.

T: Taste starts full of biscuit and breadiness. Caramel malts and light fruity hops. After taste has a bitter grapefruit bite to it.

M: Medium body, lower to medium carbonation, nice and crisp with a dry finish.

O: Goes down easy, tasty, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style. Taste far exceeds the nose on this one. A decent beer worth having a few pints of.

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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 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 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 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 Pecafaced
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Taken from notes. Had their sampler at the restaurant. They actually served two versions, the second version being served with Nitrogen.

A: Amber to copper coloring in the sampler glass with a minimal white head.

S- The hop aroma was incredible for this "pale" ale. Very citrusy and fruity aromas come through.

T- Excellent flavor. The hops create a nice citrus bite to the beer. Definitely wasn't expecting this from a pale ale.

M- A medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. The nitrogen version created a more creamier experience but I think the nitrogen somehow increased the hops flavor, but it could just be me.

O- I was impressed with this beer. Very good aroma and taste and this was definitely more than what i expected.

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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 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 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 tugdriver7
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

DuClaw is bottling now. They'd done large bottles, but they've got 3 varieties in 6 packs now. Black coated, lightweight screwtops that really keep things fresh.

This is one of the 3 and one of their best "regular" beers. Rich amber color in the glass with a frothy tan head that laces nicely. Biscuity sweet malt in the nose and initial taste that then fills-in with a fruity (citrusy?) hops aftertaste. Complex in that the flavors mix and separate as you drink and yet are very well balanced. Absolutely top-rate example of the style and it loses nothing (other than the ambiance of the bar) in the bottle.

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Photo of Chaney
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on nitro-tap at the Arundel Mills brew pub.

A: The brew itself was damn near crystal clear, with a golden color, separated by a sheen of bubbles rising from the bottom of the pint glass to the top. The mildly off-white head was very dense and creamy and comprised of very small bubbles.

S: Mild citrus flair, with a nice malt presence and maybe even a tinge of fruit candy sugar.

T: Fruity, malty, and citrusy PA with a tinge of bitterness. I got a healthy dose of apricot as well.

M: Creamy as hell... probably as a result of the nitro. The bitterness was kept in check and the carbonation was substantial.

D: Nitro is the way to go on this one. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this is the best PA available in my local area.

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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 jbriggs7036
4.71/5  rDev +27%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great Pale Ale....I have found my new favorite bar!!!

A- Light brown....but brown none the less. Clear and a moderate head that laces the glass for the duration

S- Very good. Smells sweet with a little floral hop aroma...close to DFH 90

T- Very good. Enjoyed with a sirloin BBBQ'd at home! (The extra "B" is for BYOBB) (Whats that extra "B" for?...Its a typo) Anyhoo, heavier than I was expecting with some good floral taste and maybe even some grapefruit zest/peel.

M- Heavy for the least I thought. Its a good thing.

D- Goes down so smoothe. This is a beer you can enjoy all night....amazing craft beer!

I highly suggest getting a growler or two of this one. 21 bucks for the growler filled, then refills are 7 bucks for 2L of this stuff. Awesome!!!!

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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 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 jgasparine
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured with a thick 1/2" offwhite rocky head. Nice retention and lacing. Body is a clear perfect medium amber color with tremendous amounts of carbonation stuck to the sides of the glass and racing up the body as well.

S- Crisp crackerlike malt balanced with a moderate citrus/floral noble hop... slightly skewed to the hoppy side. Very little trace of ale yeast esters. Simple and clean nose overall.

T- Perfect replicate of the nose. The finish lingers with a mild but persistent hop bitterness.

M- A solid medium body with a fair amount of unattenuated sugar. Slightly creamy with the soft carbonation.

D- Goes down smooth... quite quaffable...

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

Normally a fan of IPAs because they have a stronger hop flavor, DuClaw's Venom Pale Ale actually tasted more flavorful and hoppy than the IPA.

Appearance: Clear amber with little head

Smell: floral, hops, malt

Taste: Hops with toasted malt

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a lingering slightly bitter finish

Drinkability: Very hoppy for a pale ale; a sippable beer

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draught at DuClaw Bowie.

Pours copper with a nice, creamy off-white head that sticks around. Nice lacing.

Nose is light, clean citrus, with a light caramel malt base underneath.

Taste is really nice - very lightly sweet, biscuity, caramel malt with a light but vibrant citrus hop note, a bit piney. Really nice. Up there with Alchemy as my favorites from the visit.

Mouthfeek us creamy, full but with light carbonation, nice.

Drinkability is top notch. If Alchemy is my choice on cooler days, this would be one of my top ones when it warms up just a bit.

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Photo of dickroop
4.6/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was surprised to see that I've never reviewed Venom, my favorite of DuClaw's offerings. The Venom I'm reviewing, however, is not the usual, so be warned, your mileage *will* vary. This was double dry-hopped Venom served from a firkin on Firken Friday at the Arundel Mills location. I love DuClaw's practice of creating firkins full of special versions of their offerings. It's certainly enough to tempt me and sometimes enough to bring me in for a taste.

This brew was full of sediment and yeasty floaties, making it a yellowish creamy tawny shade, with *no* head. (Normally Venom is clear and coppery.) The nose was outstanding, mostly piney hop goodness with a touch of citrus, and floral and grassy notes.

The flavor was an outstanding bouquet of hops. It could have been more grapefruity to suit me, but it was just fine, resinous and fresh tasting, a terrific hoppy bite with just enough malt backing to say "some of America's best craft beer". This country has pioneered or enhanced so many styles and forms, from jazz to the musical, from blue jeans to the minivan, and I think that the APA is truly where American craft brewing shines the brightest... for this hophead, at least.

This brew had great mouthfeel, light body for the flavor it packed, just pleasure to sip and swallow. Cask-style, there was little carbonation, but the mouthfeel didn't suffer for lack of it. I could have had many more, but for the need to drive home and not spend all day Saturday detoxifying. I recommend Venom any day, but if you ever get the chance, don't fail to come in when DuClaws taps a firkin of double dry-hopped Venom.

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Photo of hdofu
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm not big on Pale Ales, but this one was a rather plesant and drinkable surprise. It was a pleasant companion to chicken Parmesan (which left something to be desired, granted this is a beer site so I'll leave that at that). A copper orange color under a white head which gave an impressive appearance, but something I'd expect no less from at DuClaws. The smell was also citrus in smell. The taste was crisp and smooth. It was a smooth feel to the tongue with a clean finish, its an easy beer to drink multiple glasses of.

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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 davidt
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper-orange color with a thin head. The aroma was full of piney, floral hops. The flavor was crisp with a slight grapefruit citrus bite. There’s a bit of pine and some malt in the background. The after taste is dry and pleasantly bitter. This was an easy drinking beer

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Photo of Onibubba
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Arundel Mills Location. Nitro pour. Nice orange / yellow color, very nicely sustained, short creamy head. Pleasant grapefruit rind aroma and taste. Nitro gives it a wonderfully smooth body if you are into that. Bitterness is not overpowering and alcohol is quite low. Could pound these all night. Went very well with their fried grouper. Side note - had their beer flight as well. This was the only one that really impressed.

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