DuClaw Brewing Company

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
IPA - Imperial
Ranked #4,249
Ranked #45,268
3.58 | pDev: 12.29%
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States
View: Beers
Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 528 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a glossy/semi-hazy burnt orange color with a slim finger’s worth white foamy head that quickly dissipated leaving some clingy messy lacing. The smell had some sweet apricot roaming over top of some light orange and lemon. Wet fresh grassy underneath rides a light caramel maltiness. The taste took all of those previously mentioned flavors to combine and leave a dry fruity aftertaste and finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. Carbonated nicely as a DIPA, the bitterness is there to leave an adequate harshness. Overall, I say this was a pretty good DIPA, nothing over the top, but it fits the style and I like the apricot in it.

Jun 27, 2017
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

As I continue to winnow through the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody, I am finding beers that I do not even remember purchasing! In fact, I have so many DuClaw beers hanging around that I am embarking on a horizontal tasting for the next few days. This should be interesting.

From the bottle: "Give your palate a big injection of hop bitterness well balanced by malty sweetness with this smooth, medium bodied, copper colored nectar that takes India Pale Ale to the next level. Pop the top and ... get all hopped up"; "Respect_the_Fluid".

I Pop!ped the cap & decided to resume respecting the fluid with a gentle pour. I know that this one was a semi-recent purchase, but since I do not remember precisely when I bought it, I figured that gentility might be in order. Once I had decanted a fair amount of the fluid, I gave it a really vigorous in-glass swirl that raised two-plus fingers of foamy, soapy, light-tan head that hung around briefly and then fell to wisps, leaving great lacing in its wake. Color was a slightly hazy Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17). Nose had a pungent hoppiness, very vegetal and green, almost like a wet hopped AIPA. There was a good bit of pine mintiness also. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was very cool and minty, not exactly pine, more towards wintergreen or Life Savers Cryst-O-Mint. Once more, I felt like I was gargling with mouthwash, especially inhaling after the swallow. The finish was initially cool and dry, but then I got a shot of caramel malt sweetness on the extreme finish. It is, as others have noted, dangerously drinkable and my bottle noted it as 9% ABV. Phew!

Jan 09, 2017
Photo of q33jeff
q33jeff from New Jersey

2.25/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Bottle to pilsner glass. Cloudy yellow-orange. Small head. Aroma is non-descript, touch of something a little fruity. Taste is pine, ash. Little carbonation. Not great."

Sep 19, 2016
Photo of TequilaTom
TequilaTom from Ohio

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark coppery amber with a thin off-white head. Moderate lacing. Smells floral with pine and some citrus hops and caramel malts. Taste is ditto, with some alcohol burn and bitterness towards the end. Great mouthfeel. I honestly could have 2 or 3 of these, and for a dipa, that's dangerous! Well done DuClaw!!

Apr 01, 2016
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bel Air location. Some east coast brewers can make great IPAs, and this is one of them. In your face bitterness, but buttery smooth on the back end, super thick creamy head, lacing coats the glass. Plenty warm and glowing.

Feb 03, 2016
Photo of fscottkey
fscottkey from New York

3.34/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A: [3.50] Nice hearty 1 1/2 fingers of bright white head. The head is made of dense bubbles and has some really good retention. The bottle lists the ABV at (8.3%) but I cannot find a date code (kind of a sin for an IPA).

S: [3.25] Sweet caramelized sugar. Some underlying tropical fruit scents. Overall the nose is subdued.

T: [3.25] Lots of bread and cracker maltiness up front. Maybe a hint of a fruity flavor early - I am getting blueberry to be honest. The malts play the key role in the flavor profile. Maybe a spark of bitter late from the hops.

M: [4.00] Medium body and good carbonation level. Slightly dry finish but easy enough drinking. There is no hint of alcohol.

O: [3.25] I'll start with the bad news. With no date info I have no idea if this is the beer as intended or I have a hop faded dud. But since Duclaw has decided not to add dates this is what they get for a review. Overall this lacked any hop character on the nose or on the palate. Nice malt bill but nothing piney, citrusy, fruity, etc. to accentuate the hops. That makes for a lackluster IPA.

Dec 15, 2015
Photo of TheRougeBastard
TheRougeBastard from North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

As HopsForBrains wrote, Serum is "dangerously drinkable"...indeed! Poured a color typical of the style, with decent carbonation. Smell, taste and mouth feel was all DIPA, however at the labeled 8.3% .abv, I expected a bit more of a bit, but that was nowhere to be found. Is there such a thing as a "sessionable DIPA? Serum definitely could be, hence the above disclaimer! In fact, I think I'll have another...

Nov 22, 2015
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It pours a clear, golden color. It has aromas of floral, pine, citrus, and hints of malt. It is very hoppy with high citrus and floral flavoring. It is moderately bitter on the way down.

Nov 08, 2015
Photo of DavidS333
DavidS333 from Virginia

5/5  rDev +39.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serum is an American Double/Imperial by Duclaw Brewing Co. The smell is refreshing and has hints of beta hop sweetness mixed in with its overall refreshing smell. Its froth is light on a light-medium-thick scale. The body is close to medium on the side of light on a light medium thick scale. The color is a sort of translucent burnt amber.

The flavor of Serum is a sort of sweet swirly hop taste, that has sort of tasty sweetish lingerings mixed in with the overall hoppy flavor of the beer. The beer's after taste has a sort of lingering lightly sweet hoppy taste, and is quite good. It can be tasted on the top of one's palate for a good moment after tasting the beer, and the beers hoppyness lingers on the tongue for a little longer, ultimately dissolving into a more traditional semi bitter aftertaste after a few moments more.

Overall Serum is a sort of unique American Double/Imperial in that it has a semi different flavor depending on how one drinks it. If one drinks it quickly one gets the bitter hops taste that sort of slides down into the aftertaste at the base of one's palate. If however, one sort of holds it at the front of one's mouth for a moment, then gulps it down, this sort o f allows the hoppy mixture of the beers taste to let its self known in a more clear way per se. Mixing from the bitter hoppiness in the beginning into the sort of hoppy sweetness of the immediate aftertaste in a more clear and sensible way per se.

Overall Serum is a cool, and original take on the American Double/Imperial, and I would encourage anyone on their American Double/Imperial journey, to try it along their travels. Overall a unique hoppy mixture, and a flavorful brew. I would also encourage anyone who tries it to try it by both sipping it slowly and sipping it quickly for its quite intriguing how the taste is semi-different depending on how one goes about drinking this American Double/Imperial brew.

Oct 30, 2015
Photo of ANIMOUL
ANIMOUL from Vermont

2.73/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75


Received via a cross-country road trip made by my parents. Perhaps it was the heat exposure or dated bottling - to be fair, my parents aren't hip to these nuances - but there was little carbonation and heavy taste. That said, the Duckpin and Neon they transported was fine. Alcohol overpowered the hops and malt. Consequently, wasn't sure what I was drankin'.


Aug 22, 2015
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip, bottled 6/30/15

A- pours a deep Amber color with a reddish hue, one-finger foamy white head retains Laing after the pour

S- Some earthy and piney hop aroma up front, followed by fruit juice, alcohol & sugary sweet malt

T- very sweet and malty base eventually gives way to some citrus and piney hops, followed by flavors of red fruit juice, the artificial kind. Sugary malty finish with some alcohol burn on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and a slightly boozy finish

O- this drinks more like an American strong ale, as it is very malty and boozy

Aug 06, 2015
Photo of squonk45
squonk45 from Louisiana

4.8/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

8.3% but of all the high alc % beers I tried this is the strongest no trying to hide piney bitter alcohol taste It could grown on me definitely a Man's beer . wimps dare not try

Jul 25, 2015
Photo of HopsForBrains
HopsForBrains from North Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Although the ABV of this beer which is listed in this section of BeerAdvocate is higher than stated on the bottle (which is actually 8.3%; 2015 edition), this American Double IPA is very well balanced in delivering the desired hoppy bitterness without much of a bite while at the same time being complemented with a slight malty finish. NO BOOZINESS PRESENT! Dangerously drinkable.

Jul 10, 2015
Photo of jonwiseman
jonwiseman from Florida

3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I like the beer. Could use more ibus but that's a personal preference. The look is excellent. Cloudy, unfiltered, it spoke to a classic grapefruit aftertaste. The reality is it's much maltier than it looks. But it is a good solid ipa. Lacks some lacing which says smoother than most to me. At the BWI airport with my beer hero Eddies fiancé. Trying to make a good impression with my beer knowledge prowess! As for the beer; I'll have another!!!

Jun 03, 2015
Photo of Beejay
Beejay from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Orange brown in the glass, practically muddy. With a light amount of head on top.

S: The smell is thick with sweet fruit aromas. Orange, tangerine, pineapple, and peach. A hint of brown sugar in the finish.

T: Sweet, but with an assertive bitterness. Tropical fruits, and citrus peel.

M: Medium in body with fairly high carbonation. A touch of carbonic bite in the finish, as well as some lingering hop bitterness.

O: Overall a decent brew, but I think it falls short of others in the category. I'm still enjoying sipping on it though.

May 13, 2015
Photo of sjones5045
sjones5045 from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Home 5/5/15

Pours golden tan with. Nice head. Mother smell is hoppy and citrus notes coming through. Not a bad taste, but kind of acidic. The booze comes through on this in the aftertaste but not a bad beer. Certainly better than the ratins suggest.

May 06, 2015
Photo of jimmerz
jimmerz from Pennsylvania

3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I liked this beer. It's not in my top 10 DIPA's, but very drinkable. Hides the alcohol very well. I thought the aftertaste was the best part of the beer. It reminded me A LOT of Hop Drop and Roll. For the price, great beer!

Apr 04, 2015
Photo of AndreRus
AndreRus from Pennsylvania

2.59/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Strong and very hoppy. However kinda has a weird after taste to it. It is not a bad doble IPA for the price you pay. But at the same time certainly not as good as some other doble/imperial IPAs.

Mar 26, 2015
Photo of tigg924
tigg924 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I really like this beer. However, if I were drinking it blindly I would never guess American Imperial IPA. One of the more malty IPAs that I have had. While I would not consider this to be sweet, it certainly does not reach the levels of bitterness that are common with the style. Taste is caramel, toffee, light citrus, and candied fruits. The bitterness comes with some dryness at the end. A beer I will likely revisit, but probably not one I would reach for if I want what I typically associate with the style.

Mar 22, 2015
Photo of qchic
qchic from Maryland

3.01/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

It starts out looking decent, and then it's downhill from there. Reeks of fruit esters and something funky, like rotten mango. A hint of grassy hops. Tastes like artificial grape candy or cough drop. There's some melon flavor, pine, and alcohol bite. Mostly sugar like cotton candy. DIPAs should be hop forward, right? Finishes bitter, but my tongue is not engaged with this. I am adamantly against drainpours, but this is testing me.

Feb 01, 2015
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25 from North Carolina

3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Bottleneck says Bottled 12/15/14.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 3/4 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves large clots behind.

S- Sweet with a sharp hop fume as well as a noticeable alcohol presence.

T- The sweetness continues and the hops counteract with a pretty assertive bitterness. There's a certain honey-like aspect to the sweetness that makes me think more of a barleywine than a DIPA. A hint of citrus and the alcohol isn't as noticeable as in the nose.

M- Tangy and a bit oily with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Smooth enough for what it is: a DIPA that drinks more like a hoppy barleywine.

Jan 27, 2015
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear deep copper-ish amber in color with moderate amounts of active fine visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and hints of golden apricot highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy dark beige head that slowly reduces to a very thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel malts underneath moderate aromas of pine, citrus/grapefruit pith, and herbal hops. Hints of alcohol as well.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of caramel malts with a light to moderate amount of grainy sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of pine, citrus/grapefruit pith, and herbal hops which imparts a moderate amount of bitterness that lingers for a reasonable amount of time. Hints of booziness in the finish as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy.

O: For whatever reason, I'm just not a huge fan of this beer - the combination of hop aromas/flavors and sweet grainy + caramel malts just do not mesh for me. Alcohol is a little too present for this one to be easy to drink or enjoy.

Jan 17, 2015
Photo of HopticalDeployment
HopticalDeployment from North Carolina

2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3 verbage is a dangerous dance for breweries...

After seeing 9% and the audacious descriptors, I was hoping for more body. It has a startling light body considering the ingredients and technique it takes to make a DIPA.

Upfront smells and tastes: Grapefruit rind, not zest. Esther in the nose. There is a bitterness that distinguished the difference between grapefruit rind and not zest. Oddly unique grapefruit pith character (the white part of a grapefruit peel). Very faint creme brulee burnt sugar in the finish. Finishes with that and more pith.

Disappointing that there was not more malt, grain or biscuit notes found in most DIPAs or IIPAs. The finish hung on my epiglotis in an unpleasant way, like a fart in church.

Overall? Good. For $9.99 @ total wine for a sixer.... I'd buy more. Not a party center, just something to get started with.

Jan 10, 2015
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81 from Florida

3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Poured a reddish brown body with one finger head and a bit of lace patches.
Aroma is citric hoppy with hints of grape and a little bit of fruit and caramel sweetness.
Smooth and light bodied for a DIPA, ABV well-hidden, retains oily, citric hops and touches of grape and caramel sweetness.
Fuller, bready, dry finish and overall not the best DIPA, a simplistic version if you will, but not as bad as some reviews on here led me to believe.

Oct 15, 2014
Photo of Act25
Act25 from New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Buy 6.

My 2nd dose is much better than the first!
With regard to being Serum or dangerous... Has a bit of river wharf barge fun-house board walk dampness smell. Tar, salt, old wood, sea, and a bit of rot - but in a good way.

A - Much better 2nd time around, with lasting sticky head. Slightly darker, standard looking IPA. Dark amber body. Mildly sticky lacing. but peters down both head and lacing as she warms. Hazed.

S - Smell is malt forward with ample citrus hops and a bit boozy malt. Ample.

T - Follows smell, and it's a lot of sweet fruity core, coated in grassy hops in fairly good balance. Hides ABV, but who needs 9% when 6 will do? Not enough nuanced, fruit or personality. Missing complexity.

M - Medium bodied, lacking the mouth feel of the best.

O - It's more in the direction of a boozy "Captain Lawrence" or east coast hoppy beer, but I dont get what the 9% adds, so I would have passed,but.... it's so much better that I Think you must buy 6.

Oct 08, 2014
Serum XXIPA from DuClaw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 528 ratings