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 barleywinebrewer
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on a trip through Baltimore. After pouring through the beer menu, this seemed to be the most interesting option.

A - Nice amber color, a small off white head around the edges of the glass.

S - nice citric hops dominate everything.

T - Solid citric hops on a lightly malty base. It's really all about the hops with this one.

M - medium bodied, medium carbonated.

D - went well with the food and was a nice refreshing start to lunch on a rainy dreary day.

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

The same beer in my previous review but on CO2 pour not nitro...and a difference it makes! Apperence a little lacking due to a thin head. Smell gets a boost due to the fact I can detect more hop aroma than the nitro version. Taste keeps the same score for what one lacks in the creaminess you gain in a bit more hop presence. The mouthfeel certainly lacks, all of that nitro creaminess is gone and the CO2 version seems a bit thin. This is still a very nice session style APA.

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

The beer poured a nice amber with a white head. The aroma was of rich malt and floral hops. The taste was of sweet malt that had a floral bouqet to start and then had a gentle bitter finish that worked nicely. The feel was light and dry. A very pleasant beer.

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Photo of
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fells Point Location

Clear, dark golden color. Small, off-white head.

Aromas of citrus, grapefruit predominantly. Nothing sweet in the smell...

Taste is BIG grapefruit. Much more bitter than sweet. Wheat bread as the backbone, just a hint of sweetness. Grass at the finish.

Medium bodied, with medium carbonation. Dry.

A nice, "mild" IPA. Sessionable in taste, but ABV, which is nicely hidden, would probably sneak up on you. I might have to come back for a growler of this.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.37/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Originally served in a pint glass at Arundel Mills, but something wasn't right about it; tasted "off"

Later that night tried again at Fells Point location, much better.
Dark orange color with a nice cream head. Smell of citrus and pine. Heavy citrus taste up front, some maltiness in the middle, with a gentle pine hop finish. Very smooth and bitter. Despite the original serving at Arundels, very drinkable pale ale. Glad its a staple beer at DuClaw, that means I'll always have something to start out with

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Photo of hungryghost
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice lasting head and lacing top off the deep orange colored pint.
Floral hops, citrus, pine and more hops. A great combination on a warm summer afternoon.
Strong hop flavor, surrounded by citrus zest and perhaps a malt finish. I am a fan of this one. It certainly has a high hop bitterness, but is by no means overpowering. there are other flavors in this one.
Mouthfeel is creamy smooth with a bite.
Very drinkable in warm weather.

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

Served in a pint glass at the Arundel Mills location. Amused to see that they served Venom (the hoppiest beer they have at the moment) in an "Old Flame" pint glass that reads "At least the beer isn't bitter."

Appearance: orange tinted amber, no head by the time it got to me at the table, unfortunately, and only a small amount of lacing as I drank.

Smell is of piney, citrusy hops with not a whole lot underneath.

Taste: again, lots of hops. Kind of resinous character. I bet these were high AA hops... A quick check on the website shows it was Columbus and Cascade, I assume Columbus for bittering and Cascade for flavor/aroma. Flavor is a touch one-dimensional, I wish there was some more malt character here - some biscuit malt, perhaps.

Mouthfeel is pretty much what you'd expect from the style. Light-medium mouthfeel, finishes dry.

Drinkability is good. Not complicated, but it's flavorful and finishes dry.

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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 ITK4ever
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My go-to when at the Bel Air location. If you're lucky enough to find it on Nitro tap....DO IT!!! Don't even think twice. When it's drawn this way it puts such an unexpected creaminess to an APA that's really mouthwatering. The creaminess and hopiness from the beer is sooo effing good, it may just translate into creaminess in your jeans.

An outstanding APA from a local brew-pub where they really did go outside the box. It's a risk for these guys, but well done. It is disappointing to go into an establishment like this and see people at the bar drinking Coors Light....yuck.

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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 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 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 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 davestar
4.57/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

- on tap at Arundel Mills, Fells Point, and Bowie

my favorite of the Duclaw brews - probably my favorite APA, period. pours a bright orange/copper with a frothy white head. citrusy nose, though with a grassy malt background. malt and hops are well balanced. i could drink these all night.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite Duclaw beer. It's a clear amber beer with a foamy off-white head that fades fast. Piney and floral hops dominate the nose. Taste is clean with subdued piney and citrus hops and a strong malt backbone. Medium bodied and nicely carbonated for a smooth feel. This is a quite drinkable APA which I often enjoy at home in a growler.

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

Tried several times, most recently last night. Served in a pint glass at the Fells Point location.

Copper, amber tinged brew. Generally not served with much head. When you request it, comes out bright white and quickly dissipating to a nice lace.

Bready malts, beat down by fruity hops, in the aroma.

Decidedly citrus hops flavor runs the show, balanced nicely with some bready malt undertone. Could use just a little bit more of both, though.

Medium bodied, with a lingering flavor of hops that dries the tongue.

My second favorite of the usual suspects they always have on tap. Running just slightly behind the bad moon porter.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.19/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

American style crystal clear amber hues with antique white thin collar head cap.

Exquisite hops nose and redolent delicious bouquet. Delicious floral aromatic bouquet nose.

First swigs: Sweet fragrant hops. A bit of bubblegum and pine syrup which matches the nose, but not 100%. Acidic and delicious.

Sticky sweet feel, but a lesser than desireable crispness might be from a sitting growler. Probably better when fresh.

Last swigs: Reminds me of Yards Pale Ale. Hop delight. Thanks th BA Shapudding for the growler share from vacation. This is a beer that needs to be tried again. SOON!

Beer is good. Happy, free growler split beering.

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Photo of shapudding
4.85/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growlered from the Belair location.
Amber and clear with not much head, but a beautiful white swirl and nice ring left in the corner. This may have lost some of the carbination due to a cruddy capping job by the bartender... -my buddy and I were getting into the car and noticed some dripping on one growler, and had to tighten all of the caps... not good.
Wonderful scents of hoppiness, very bitey, piney and citrus. Nice and smooth feeling, perfect amount of carbination, so if it had lost any Im glad! Tastes of clean hoppiness, grapefruit, pepper and pine needles. Damn nice. Great drinkability for hop heads, just a very easy drinker.

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

Pours light amber with golden streaks. Big off-white head that dies down quickly but manages to leave concentric circles of lace on the pint.
Aroma of caramel, powerful pine and citrus hops and some darker grains and rye.
Flavor has a burnt toast note with some roasted barley, heavy pale malt, some sugar and a big dose of pine. Little bit of citrus comes through as the beer warms.
Mouthfeel starts slightly sweet then kicks over to a little bit of roasted notes and then finishes with a short but strong bitter burst and a lingering metallic aftertaste.
Drinkability is fairly good. Nothing outstanding and probably not a must try but this is a very solid beer

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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 Hefe
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Taste from Nitro-pour at Bowie DuClaw.

Appearance: Hazy amber/orange with a pillowy white head that wont quit.

Smell: Very hoppy and floral with notes of yeast and malt, though slightly obscured by the nitro

Taste: Nice malty sweetness with a touch of citrus(orange), then bam! Hops. Glorious grapefruity piney sprucy hops. the finish is marred by the tell-tale nitro bite.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth.

Drinkability: Very drinkable though I would stick to the regular tap offering which is much better. Every once in a while I give the 'ol nitro a try. Damned if I know why, it screws up the flavor of any beer it get's near.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden/orange color with a nice foamy white head. The head stayed on this beer for a while. There was a great amount of lace on the glass at the end. Smells slightly citrusy, like grapefruit. Taste had a good amount of malt in the beginning, with a nice balance of fruity hops. The bitterness was present, but not overwhelming. Good balance. Medium body with some carbonation, which seemed appropriate. Overall, this went down well. I would have this beer again.

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Photo of yeagerbm
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Although I wrote some negative reviews on Duclaw seasonals recently (which I now hear is from contract brewing during a brewery expansion), this one is so damn good I had to do a side by side comparison with hopdevil and I can tell little difference. The only thing I'm unsure of is its pale ale category. Compared to other pale ales its a solid IPA/APA with its solid hop bitterness. Honestly I can't tell much difference between this and hopdevil. A bright amber color and a light brown head make an appearance, hops and malt on the nose with citric flavorful blend of hops with a solid malt backing. This is a fantastic hoppy ale. It may finish a little drier however which definately isn't a bad thing. Comes together well balanced and very drinkable for a hophead's palate. Delicious brew that I would seek out if you are in the area. With the great food and 2 dollar happy hour pints, I will make sure to stop by more often.

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Photo of sideshowrob
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one caught me by surprize. I tried it just because it was the last DuClaw "stock" beer that I'd left to sample. Normally, a pale ale like this at a mass-market brewpub is meant to appeal to the masses, however, this is no ordinary pale ale. Actually, it's not a pale ale at all! For some reason DuClaw calls this scrummy little bitter ale by the derogatroy term "pale ale" - probably because the ignorant masses wouldn't otherwise order something labeled "bitter". All the same, It's become my standard DuClaw beer, and it's the only Brew-pub in my hometown!

Appearance - pale yellow, just a hint of amber brown in the glass, solid carbonation easily visible through the transparent fluid. Smell, just a hint of the hops to come, very subtle and underwhelming. Taste - Nirvana! As a confessed Hop Head, I was delighted by this brew. A faithful rendition of the classic English style. Marvelous hop-dominance of the brew. Narry a hint of malt to be found. Mouthfeel - swimmingly good. lot's of lovely hops flavor and just right carbonation to keep the tounge happy. Drinkability - I'd use this stuff as water if DuClaw could keep it on tap! Very easy pint to either enjoy slowly over dinner, or at home over Darts. Thankfully DuClaw does do reasonably priced Growlers...

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