Repent | DuClaw Brewing Company

very good
24 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Hefe on 09-02-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 58
Photo of philbe311
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An active cascading pour yields a finger and a half worth of audibly fizzy, fluffy, crisp yet lush, light khaki colored frothy goodness... Solid retention... Turns a bit creamier and richer as it settles before giving way to a full veil of lacing on light to moderate collar... The color walks a fine line between deep ruby red and murky medium brown... Mostly still with just a couple of stray micro-sized carbonation bubbles here and there... A rich sweet bouquet... Loaded with dark fruits... Figs... Grapes... Raisins... There is a deep rich layer of caramel and toffee... Brown sugar... A faint whiff of Belgian yeast lingers beneath the surface... Holy cloyingness batman!!! The sweetness of off the charts... Fruity and sugary... There is a slight medicinal presence that lingers beneath the surface, but it does little to cut through the sweetness... A bit of a subtle booziness as well... Full bodied... Very very sticky... Little or no carbonation... Not a bad beer, but I'm glad I was able to split the bottle... A full bottle may of ended up being a partial drain pour given the off the charts cloying sweetness... Hides the 14% ABV exceedingly well... If the sweetness were to be dialed down a notch or two (or three), this has the potential to be an exceptional American interpretation of one of m favorite Belgian styles... As it stands now, it's a slightly enjoyable bit of a hot mess...

 1,426 characters

Photo of mattsdenney
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A gift from my sis-in-law living in DC. Poured from a bomber into goblet glass.

Thick, dark, and cloudy. Plum colored, with very little head. From the looks of this thing it's going to be very lightly carbonated, almost looks cask conditioned. Smells like strong, sticky, sweet figs and raisins. Heavy scents of dark caramel, cider, and that great Belgian yeast essence. Just smells like a strong, heavy beer. First sip, the flavors mirror the nose very closely. The sweetness masks the alcohol well but could be too sweet for some. Dried fruits, sweet caramel, grape juice, The typical Belgian flavor is there and there is little to no hop bitterness whatsoever. I enjoy the flavor but the sweetness is slightly off-putting. Going to let this warm up a while and see what happens. Mouthfeel isn't quite as heavy as expected. Very little carbonation, medium body, very slick and almost lightly syrupy. Overall a good beer that I've enjoyed so far. Look forward to trying more.

 977 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into my Chimay goblet. Looked to be clear orange amber at first. Got hazier by the end of the bottle (or maybe I got hazier). Not much in the way of head or lacing but this is to be expected with 14% abv.

Smell is caramel malts and sweet dark fruit (raisins and plums). You can tell even from the aroma that there was going to be a potent alcohol content here.

Taste is sweet, the dark fruit is the dominant flavor but the sweet malts are present as well. maybe some candi sugar. No Belgian yeast or spicing were noticed here.

Mouthfeel is rich and the alcohol presence is pretty close to being over the top but not quite. I have had this bottle for almost a year, so there is a little age/mellowing going on too.

Overall a pretty decent winter slow sipper. I shared the bottle and highly recommend doing that. This is a bit much for one person!!!

 878 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to 67couple for sharing this one at one of our random Sunday tastings! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster. Poured red-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, fruit, dark fruit, sweet alcohol, subtle tart, candied sugar, and grape. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, fruit, dark fruit, sweet alcohol, wood, molasses, and grape. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. There was a ton of things going on in this brew. I went in to smell this one and was blown away by the amount of complexity going on. The same was true for the flavor as well. I really enjoyed what I found here as it was both sweet and fruity. A well done brew that I wouldn’t mind having again anytime.

 904 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.
14% ABV, no date.

Chaney strikes again! Thanks dood!

Pent and Repent were on a boat. Pent fell out, who was left?

A - Repent is a ruby-hued cloudy rust-colored beer that pours topped by a Guinness-like creamy light khaki foam. Dots of lace stick to the glass and dam up the alcohol legs which slowly dribble down the tulip's sides.

S - Dry, chalky dirt, cocoa, and burnt dark candi sugar push through the dark fruitiness that's contained in this beer of which a swirl exponentially increases. Alcohol-soaked raisin, red grape, and plum greet the nostrils with a sweet backing of caramel malt and warming, spicy alcohol. Spicy hops are all but lost in the fray.

T - Immensely sweet, dark candi sugar emanates from every aspect of this beer, tethered to caramel and pilsner malt with nary an layer of balance. Notes of lightly roasted malt and spicy, thinning alcohol's involvement aren't quite reflected in the balancing of this beer. Deep, dark fruits maintain their presence with raisin, plum and grape with a touch of faintly tart cherry skin adding an new layer of complexity while a touch of sweet orange peel finishes out with just a drop of citrus.

M - Thick and chewy, this beer drinks like cough syrup, coating the throat on the way down and lingering on the palate for moments, begging to be chased. Carbonation seems lost to the sticky beer though never appearing flat in nature and it doesn't take long for the strong alcohol to really warm one's insides. Summed up in one word; cloying.

O - DuClaw Repent features an incredible label that encourages a moment to ponder it's simplicity and darkness. The beer on the other hand features no simplicity as it overwhelmingly piles on sugary sweetness without a thought of balance and complex yeast esters in the form of dark fruits. Plenty of maltiness is present but it's characteristics are overwhelmed, hops are absent, and alcohol remains aplenty, begging the question, "why?" Inherent Belgian traits, save for the dark fruit, have gone missing and the beer itself seems to be massaged to an extreme alcohol level by overabundance of sugar.

I certainly don't hate it, but I also regret not opening this with at least three other people around for an after dinner sipper to wind down the night. Let this warm and open a little but be prepared for a big, sweet beer.

 2,373 characters

Photo of Proteus93
3.07/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I saw this at one of the beer shops and though "a pent ale?" Now that's just nutty, and very possibly not even a thing... then I promptly bought one for curiosity's sake.

A: Almost a ruby red... though it's not too bad looking, I was expecting a little darker and a bit more head build-up. While some of the lack of head may be attributed to alcohol, most of the quads manage to be very sparkling and billow right up with nice pillows.

S: Pleasant aroma... sweet and fruity, almost carrying a melon-like scent. It's not the dark-fruity smell I was expecting, but I find it nice, nonetheless. A little bit of toffee in there, as well

T + M + D: Things go a bit downhill on this front. The bit of fruitiness greets me, but then my palate is assaulted with some burnt sugary flavours and an odd bittersweet hop presence that doesn't play very nicely with the other flavours. The alcohol has no interest in being held back and offers a bit of a harsh touch to the finish, but not much of a clean and warm feeling as it goes down. It's a big and bold brew, and most certainly one that is likely better off shared. I found myself struggling to drink anymore than ~half despite being in the mood to have another beer.

 1,214 characters

Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Adam (the fellow who reviewed this beer just before me) for sharing that aged beauty of a bottle. This review however is from a fresh bomber secured the same day. Poured into a snifter and shared with my father in law who is the #1 fan of Colossus.

The brew appears a burnt copper color that is sticky with haze. When held to the light, it has some ruby hints towards the thickest parts and almost a yellow to greenish tint towards the outside edges. A finger of tan froth sits atop and slowly fades but it remains with impressive retention considering the strength of this brew. Rising bubbles of carbonation help to support the thin cap that resides atop.

The smell of this brew is all about the caramelized sugars. It is sweet and sticky smelling with caramel, toffee, some yeasty spice, candied orange slices and a hefty waft of solvent booze. The alcohol has almost a perfume essence to it that brings out a floral hop quality. As the brew warms up, there is a very mild touch of oxidation which is interesting. This was also present in the aged version (as expected) but to find it here in a fresh bottle was unexpected.

The taste is sticky and sweet with burnt sugar tasting of toffee. An immediate boost of alcohol makes itself known but the sheer amount of sugar keeps the booze in check. A flavor of orange zest comes into play mixing with a faint herbal hop touch that formulates a hint of floral quality across the back of the tongue. More sips reveal almost a candy-like sweetness that is similar to vanilla as it warms up. Speaking of warming up, wow does that alcohol come out almost to the point of burning your nose if you hold it in your mouth too long. I can't help but get a bit of medicinal quality from this.

This is a thick brew with a modest level of carbonation. The alcohol is there for sure. Dont kid yourself, this beer is to be respected and treated like a sipper. If you are a fan of big sticky-sweet boozy beers, you will love this. It would best be served after a hearty meal or hell even as a meal itself. Fans of aged DFH 120 or Colossus will find this mini-me version a pleasant substitute.

 2,139 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 1L swingtop; I've been holding on to this bottle for approximately 5 years. #257 of 500 from that fall 2006 release. Patiently stored since then. Shared with Al, Nate, Ed, Tierney, Jeff, Jeannine and others at the DuClaw unveiling.

A: A deep caramel color. Even with six years under its belt, the bottle opened with an audible pop. Not unsurprisingly, though, all forms of carbonation were missing from the ale. After breathing for a few minutes, the ale sat still like a fine port. I'm really anxious for this one.

S: The nose is spicy, intense with raisins, brown sugar and caramel, with plenty of booze to keep things lively. As compared to the current version (on tap), the ale has lost its sugary sweetness and fortified itself, strengthening over time. Amazing beer; age has done it well.

T: While not a sugary sweet malt bomb, the ale still carries plenty of fruits. Caramel and apple butter flavors mix with the brown sugar, raisins and cinnamon; plenty of booze keeps things hot too. Very complex, no one flavor dominates. That allows every aspect to take a small turn in the sun. A booze bomb when fresh (I still remember drinking this at Arundel Mills on release night), the ale has aged nicely. I really, REALLY wish I had another bottle. This beer should easily last another few years.

M: A perfect beer to share with a large group of people. It has aged well, turning into an excellent Belgian strong ale. Wow, just wow.

 1,440 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
2.66/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

No head really or lacing on a slightly hazy copper and crimson body. Aroma is super sweet and tart and so far this is more like a barley wine than a Belgian dark strong at this point. Flavor is ridiculously sweet with caramel toffee and brown sugar. This one definitely overwhelms. Oily body and light to moderate carbonation. I do not recommend buying a bottle unless it is to share with many people.

 401 characters

Photo of nickfl
2.85/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A poured with a small head if off white foam on a hazy, dark amber body, low retention and lace.

S sweet fruit with notes of red apple and plum as well as caramel.

T really sweet toffee and raisins up front. Some syrupy caramel in the middle and a spicy, fruity alcoholic finish.

M a thick, syrupy body, moderate carbonation, and a very sweet finish.

D wow, this is over the top, and unfortunately not in a good way. Too big and too sweet, but at the same time kind of one dimensional.

 489 characters

Photo of obywan59
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, orante-ruby to ruby depending on the light, with a 3 finger head in my Duvel tulip. Light lacing that shortly vanishes, leaving a ring around the glass.

Smell of bubble-gum, dried fruits and alcohol.

Possibly the sweetest beer I've ever tasted. Very grapey and vinuous. Not far off from a Port or Sherry.

Medium-thick bodied. Very little bite of carbonation, but the high ABV makes it very warming.

I liked this beer from the start, but by the time I was midway through, I liked it a lot. This would be a great winter time beer.

 546 characters

Photo of russwbeck
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed On-Tap at Duclaw's DC Release event! I must say, I was quite spent after this monster.

A: The beer pours a hazy deep brown in color with about a finger of off-white head. The retention is great but lacing is lacking. 4

S: The aroma is of booze and Belgian yeast. It smells like an extremely boozy quad, perhaps the barrel aged beers are wearing on my ability to smell. 3.5

T: The taste is extremely boozy, but it isn't undrinkable. Certainly Belgian, the extreme level of malt and dark fruits is something I've never experienced before. Its roasty too, which I must say I did not expect. The definition of the big beer, it's just a bit too boozy for me. 3.5

MF: Heavy body with a big hit of booze. Make sure you're sitting down when you try it. It is pretty drinkable, which is a good and bad thing at 14%. 4

Value: $6 for 11oz, which was a lot of this beer. If you haven't yet, I'd say try it once and tell me what you think. 4

O: Overall this was an interesting experiment. Certainly not on the level of Quads or BSDA I've had before, but I did like it. Duclaw tries to push the limits with their beers, and they definitely did just that here. I'd say it was a success. 4

 1,187 characters

Photo of HopHead1951
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OK, it's sweet - yeah, but I like it a lot! This is a super boozey beer at 14.6% ABV but I'm a fan of BIG beers. Nice color, sweet ripe-fruit smell, though high in alcohol I don't find that to be an overwhelming factor. Great beer to wrap up an evening. You can't drink a lot of it but man is it good.

 301 characters

Photo of Foolmonkey
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had many Duclaw beers in the past. I got a sample pour of this beer last week and they did a great job with it! I only had 2 ounces of the beer, but a serving size is 9 oz. in a snifter.

The color comes to you as a dark brown with a thin tan head. Aroma of huge malt and dark fruits. Flavor matches this with big delicious flavors and sweetness. The body is moderate and mouthfeel was smooth and fresh. Almost unbelievable at 14% ABV! Lacking any hop flavors, aroma, or bitterness but it really hit the spot at the end of the night

A great after dinner dessert drink or a heavy malt bomb to pair with some hearty/foods. Try some!

 636 characters

Photo of djbow
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap @ DuClaw Pub

2012 Edition / Release of this Beer.

A: Pours a cloudy deep deep amber color with no head, just a everlasting thin foam ring around the glass. Massive alcohol legs cling to the glass, at 14.6% ABV this is no surprise.

S: Sweet, lots of ripe dark fruit, raisins, candy sugar, bready yeast and alcohol. Lots of alcohol.

T: This beer is quite sweet . It is smooth but I think that it would definitely benefit from age from the age. Given the ABV you could put 3 - 4 years on this one with no problem and it would be smooth as glass. Following the nose ripe dark fruit raisins and candy sugar fill you mouth just before the big but not overly hot booze comes in and washes it all away leaving a sweet taste behind.

Ml: Thick and syrupy no carbonation to speak of. As mentioned above in this this could be a really smooth beer.

O: With some age the beer will smooth out and be more of a pleasure to drink. I don't know that I will seek this out again, but if offered it I would not decline. Give it a try if you are in a Baltimore are a pub or one of the DuClaw company pubs.


Glass: Snifter.

 1,125 characters

Photo of oline73
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was the 2005 version, on-tap at Max's. Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy mahogany color with no head to speak of.

Smell: Sweet with lots of ripe dark fruit and some brown sugar.

Taste: This is a really sweet beer. Quite smooth from the age, especially given the abv. Overly ripe dark fruit and brown sugar. The finish is slightly bitter but really sweet.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy. This one is almost flat with a dry finish.

Overall: I was really excited to get to try this. The age smoothed it out really well (I assume it didn't start this way) I don't know that I would want any more

 613 characters

Photo of hopdog
3.67/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sample tasted from growler provided by jeffin7 (thanks!).

Poured a dark copper color with smaller sized off white head. Aromas and tastes of dark fruits, grapes, cherries, chocolate and some caramel and spices. Alcohol content completely hidden. Definitely a sipping beer. I found this one to be way too sweet for my tastes though.

Notes from 10/9/05

 353 characters

Photo of John_M
3.13/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jeez Loueez DuClaw, what are you trying to do with this? The smell and taste of this beer is so sweet it's almost overwhelming. Lots of cherries and candied raisans in this one, maybe some honey as well.

This beer tastes exactly what it is, which is a mammoth, sweet and malty alcohol bomb. The alcohol (all 14.6% of it) is pretty noticeable, so maybe it's a good thing the beer is so sweet. I cannot imagine drinking a 12 oz. glass of this stuff; my palate was worn out just after a tasting sample.

Maybe others will like this beer, but it just doesn't do it for me.

Edit from 4/15/12. For good or for bad, DuClaw has decided to re-release this beer. Not sure if the recipe has changed, but I do see that the abv. is the same as before (14.6%). As this was one of the first reviews I wrote on BA, it seems only fair to revist it. Sampled at Max's today.

Apearance - same as before
Nose - the beer smells sweet and boozy, but I can't say I'm as overwhelmed by it as I was previously.
taste - Jesus Christ, this stuff is disgusting. As before, the beer is incredibly sweet, syrupy and boozy, with some noticeable heat in the finish. Frankly, my initial score was generous and I've had to lower it. Really, this beer is almost nauseatingly sweet and boozy.

Everything else is the same... this is seriously not a very good beer, and I'll be damned if I can figure out why DuClaw decided to make it again. I guess it will be popular with the frat boy crowd, as at 14.6%, it clearly will get you fucked up pretty quickly. However, that's not what I'm looking for in a beer, and I've scored this beer accordingly.

 1,615 characters

Photo of Higravity
3.2/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served in a snifter and it was almost completely flat, a deep red brown body was sparkling clear. Very malty and sweet sugar like molassas with some rum and port characteristics, alcohol was also present. The sweetness kind of turned my stomach in a way but I went in for a sip. The fruit-berry molassass syrup was a bit much and the alcohol of all things seemed to lend balance. The finish is cola like, as if I was drinking a reduction of a sweetened up cola. Still for such a big beer it had a great body, just not sure if I would want more, until it got about 5 years on it.

 578 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Crystal clear; blood-accented mahogany with ruby and orange highlights. No head.
Aroma: A wine and malty combination; alcohol; summer fruit (berries, apple, lightly tart grape)
Taste: Sweet, berry-like. Alcohol is clearly present but it's more back-bone and drying than obtrusive or interfering. It receeds from the palate with grace, leaving behind some floral and fruity notes that linger.
Mouthfeel: Full.
Drinkability: As a sipper, this is one tasty little mother! It's sweet but not overly done, and the fruitiness is quite nice. You could drink more than one, which goes greatly towards drinkability.

 622 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
3.22/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Partying candi sugar create all kinds of molasses and fat chocolate aromas, highly candyish and insanely sweet, but leaning toward the fine liquor or port wine more than the aggressive high alcohol cheap beverages. It passes through a rainbow of fruits before hitting you with its alcohol content all at once, the sweetness becoming hard to tolerate for me. It doesn’t just feel like an unjustified beast, but I’m not the biggest fan of port either, due to a limited tolerance to extreme sugariness. It remains complex and uncommon rather than a caricature, a bit like the upscale Dogfish Head products, so you know what to expect, thick syrupy malts showing you their muscles. Full bodied, light carbonation, long finish.

 724 characters

Photo of Tim460
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Bel Air location but review is based off a Growler I took home with me. Pours a deep copper/brown with almost no head and a slight lacing. Smells very sweet, grapes, figs, candy, slight caramel smell. Taste is very sweet as well, reminds me of a cola somewhat. Alcohol warms the throat as it goes down and the tastes of grapes becomes apparent. Left a sweet after taste in my mouth. Feels very smooth going down, not too heavy but there is a bite from the alcohol. I enjoyed this beer greatly which is why I purchased the growler and for 12 bucks it was a steal. I've read that there will be bottles of this available around the holiday season.

 662 characters

Photo of cubedbee
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Arundel Mills location in the unique Repent glass. Beer is a nice deep purple-burgandy with no head to speak of, just a small ring of lacing. The aroma is very appealing--fresh grapes, figs, raisins, leafy vegetables, and a slight winelike note. Taste is similar to the aroma, with a fruity raisin/cranberry sweetness, a slight alcohol burn in the throat, and a bit of minty spiciness. Full bodied with a syrupy smooth body. This is another really great special release from Duclaw, whatever style a Belgian pent is supposed to be, it's damn tasty for the amount of alcohol it packs.

 606 characters

Photo of Hefe
4.59/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Repent is being billed as a Belgian Pent, though what the hell that means. I'm listing it as a Strong Dark Ale, as there is no listing for a pentuple.

It is a lovely deep, ruby/mahogany colour, with a very thin off white lacing, minimal head to speak of. (Given the abv, no surprise.) The aroma is fabulous, fig and spice, plum and candied apricot. The flavors are deep and mimic the nose, with a slight bite from the alcohol mid-palate, though the finish is very smooth. Mouthfeel is creamy and slightly slick and the abv is hidden very well.

This is an excellent brew, reminds me of the Gouden Carolous Cuvee Van der Kaiser.

 636 characters

Repent from DuClaw Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 58 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.