Colossus High Gravity Hybrid | DuClaw Brewing Company

Colossus High Gravity HybridColossus High Gravity Hybrid
BA SCORE
57.3%
Liked This Beer
3.67 w/ 206 ratings
Colossus High Gravity HybridColossus High Gravity Hybrid
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States
duclaw.com

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 17.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in 2006, 2011, and again in 2014 to push the limits of our own skills and imagination, Colossus is dark amber in color and full-bodied with a perceptively sweet flavor profile accented by notes of apple, and a surprisingly tame alcohol presence on the palate in light of its staggering 17.3% abv. This astounding alcohol content is achieved through fermentation alone; no alcohol is introduced at packaging nor it distilled. Multiple grains are used in conjunction with three different yeast strains to produce a beer that simply defies classification… and most laws of nature. One sip of this behemoth brew and you’ll agree: Sometimes size does matter!

2011 Batch - 21.92% ABV
2014 Batch - 17.3% ABV

Added by Kegatron on 04-01-2009

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#30,709
Reviews:
61
Ratings:
206
Liked:
118
Avg:
3.67/5
pDev:
19.35%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
77
Gots:
60
Trade:
5
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 206 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of jeffdillon
5/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Loved it, had several large pours from the tap at the local "my favorite" beer store, then took a 4 pack home. Sweet, fruits, caramel, great feel. i may have given it a little less than 5 but reading the reviews by reviewers that obviously thought they were buying a different style of beer pissed me off! I bought this beer because I WANTED a sweet, sticky, strong drink, just like this! I was a treat. Cheers Du Claw, thank you.

 430 characters

Photo of GoatmanBrewsMD
5/5  rDev +36.2%

Photo of haknort
5/5  rDev +36.2%

Photo of adrian21
5/5  rDev +36.2%

Photo of quirkzoo
4.94/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed blind with several other BA's as part of Blind BIF 7

4 - Appearance is bright orange with almost no head (as is to be expected[wrapping gave warning that it was 15%+) pours really thick despite the clarity.

5 - Smell is amazing. Tons of sweet fruits, lots of fig at first and as it warms a little it gets even sweeter, honeyed apricots, honeysuckle just a lovely smell, really reminds me of a very good dessert wine. Almost no alcohol on the nose which is surprising.

5 - Taste is equally amazing. More sweet fruits, nice light caramel/honey sweetness, not much bitterness, very sweet but not cloying. Alcohol is very well hidden, most of us agree that it tastes like 11%. Perhaps the longest finish of a beer I have ever had it just sticks to the inside of your mouth.

5 - Mouthfeel is perfect for a big beer like this. Big and bold flavors but it doesn't overwhelm your palate, just enough carbonation to give a good cleanse and leave you wanting more.

5 - Overall this is an amazing beer, I have never had anything like it. The consensus is barleywine but it is much fruitier than any barleywine I have ever had. Another BA at the tasting, ucsbmullet commented that he thought it had some age, he guessed about two years. My first guess was a vintage big bottle of DFH Olde School Barleywine but the bottle isn't the right shape and it had an un-branded cap so I am going with my first instinct which is the only 15%+ beer from MD (where Oline73 is from) and that is DuClaw Colossus.

 1,500 characters

Photo of hilberryj
4.84/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of Lukafer
4.77/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got a couple bottle in a trade from Worldwidestout, and cracked one open at a tasting, review from notes:

Pours a medium red/amber color, with a decent amount of carb, I wasn't really expecting much. Smells are sweet malts, slight apple, some clove and other spices. BAM! This beer is awesome, liquid French toast, in an extremly good way! I was not expecting it to be this damn good, there's some cinnamon, vanilla, a lot going on here. Mouthfeel is chewy, very pleasant. The drinkability is incredibly surprising given the abv of this beast. I think this beer might have been the show stealer at our tasting, as no one knew what to expect. So good!

 653 characters

Photo of GaryMarkle84
4.75/5  rDev +29.4%

Photo of hdofu
4.67/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A whopper of a beer this is. The biggest I've had from duclaws and undeniably huge. Pours an attractive marmalade brown color with a thin orange tan head. Smell is like marmalade as well. Taste starts out like marmalade but breaks down into cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves finally goin to a thin trace of malts. Considering the strength it has this beer is a rather gentle giant not revealing its huge abv in its taste (I barely noticed any burn). The drinkability of this beer is almost scary but luckily it's huge price and low availability inhibits drinking alot of it

 570 characters

Photo of Martyrob
4.62/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very good with a nice boozy taste.

34 characters

Photo of tellish33
4.56/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of zaphodchak
4.54/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Gradient of red through amber, no head, no lace, some legs.

Nose is lovely fruit punch-type fruit, not in a bad way.

Beer is dangerously sweet, tropical. Notes of pineapple, apricots. Tastes a bit like a mixed drink, but not too boozy. Kinda like the Samichlaus Helles. Some apple and cinnamon as well,a s promised on the bottle.

Thinnish mouthfeel but it sticks with you, almost syrupy glycerin.

Impressive, and not what I was expecting, but I don't know what I was expecting... Sweet, but not malty. Almost like mead.

 523 characters

Photo of waddellc2
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of ckollias
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this draft beer out of a small snifter glass at Duclaw in Bowie, MD.

A: Mahogany – amber ale with a small white wispy lace that quickly disappears.

S: Wow - strong fruity aroma – like a barley wine but stronger.

T: Smooth rich ale with a strong fruity background and generous sweetness. Carmel, spices, cinnamon and syrup are all present. Alcohol is dominant but balanced nicely by the sweetness so it is not too overpowering.

M: Full body and light carbonation

O: This is a sipping beer @ 21 % alcohol by volume. It is strong and robust and amazing! Wow – That is all I can say.

 599 characters

Photo of Heathbrook
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of bmmortale
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of AndrewMichael
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of fear025
4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Aroma:Hot alcohol, raisins, dark fruits.

Appearance:Amber in color, with nearly no head.

Taste:Really sweet, apples, brown sugar, apple strudel, honey.

Mouthfeel:Medium to thick body.

Drinkability:This is an amazingly drinkable, well balanced, high ABV beer.

 262 characters

Photo of cdmillard
4.41/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep caramel color. Head? None to be found, but not unexpected. Thick and syrupy looking.

S- Incredibly sweet, with some booziness. Maybe dark fruits and honey. Hard to nail down, but very sweet.

T- Sweet. Much like the nose, dark fruits and honey. Someone mentioned candy apples with cinnamon. Might not be too far off. Not nearly as hot as one would expect at 21% ABV. Don't misunderstand me...the alcohol is definitely there, but I have had beers with much lower ABV that were much hotter. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so the sweetness doesn't bother me, but I don;t know that I could drink it routinely.

M- Syrupy with no carbonation. This is my least favorite aspect of this beer. A little too thick for me.

O- Overall, I like it. It's tasty and just a pleasant beer to drink. I'm sharing the bottle with my sons, because I think it would be a mistake to try to kill it alone. Enjoyable, but not for you if you don;t like sweetness.

 954 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.36/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer comes forth from the bottle with little froth, nor bubble, until at last a thin ring of tiny bubbles forms and wraps the snifter. The ring of head stays there the duration, beckoning.

Aroma of cinnamon, masking 17.3% ABV commanded by the 2014 batch. Alcohol is not in the aroma so much as malty sweetness and spice. And a spiced ale this ale is.

The flavor has cinnamon, brown sugar, molasses and just a hint of heat. Others have likened the taste to a spiced (cinnamon) liquor and I second that notion. Smooth, vanilla like elements cinnamon sugar and slight fruitiness. Quite nice, unbelievably smooth.

Full, velvety smooth body, drinks like a scotch on the rocks. Slight tempered burn. This is extreme beer, gone extremely right.

 751 characters

Photo of dragonWhale
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Year+ old bottle, courtesy of randomdanger, I do believe. Been wondering a long time when this would get drank, and with my dear brew partner in town for a few days, this would prove to be that time.
Dark amber, the littlest head, quaking to nothingness under the weight of its own body. Booze, caramel oranges and cinnamon all up in this nose. The alcohol is not exceptionally solventy. Seems like it may almost be entirely ethanol without those crazy organic compounds. Time in the bottle has done this well. Good craftmanship, too.
Syrupy, but not sickly sweet. Boozy without intense heat. Cinnamon and a bit of citrus give support. Not overly complex, but exceptionally drinkable for the ABV. Not a mess like 120. Not too hot like World Wide Stout. Haven't had Utopias, but I imagine its something like this only a little better.
Good work DuClaw..I'm proud of you.

 870 characters

Photo of Khazadum
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Really has trouble generating and maintaining a head here. The coloration is deep caramel with apple cider nature. No collar, very very minimal bubble-age.

S- Super sweet, apples, bit of sulfur nature that I welcome, some spicing. Cinnamon for sure. Is that honey remnants I smell? Little bit of funk going on in the back end, like hay and saddlebag.

T- BLAM! Apples, caramel, cranberry, fruits, peaches. Some dark fruits help blend it out. Definitely has a honey sweetness on the finish and finishes out tangentially bitter. Just a few spots here and there. Delightfully placed.

M- Full bodied, bit creamy, definitely got a nice heat to it. Nothing near what a 20+% beer should be though. This is insanely drinkable. Like, holy shit if I'm not careful I'm gonna be on my face drunk. Not as syrupy as a huge stout or barleywine, so the heat doesn't hide as well, but I've had hotter 9-10% beers than this. Flavors are sticky, but not too long lasting. Very well put together, and it doesn't have anything disjointed I can complain about.

 1,045 characters

Photo of beermantimmie
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a liter bottle into a tulip glass.

Smell: hints of Apples, pears, cinnamon, nutmeg, oranges.

Taste: Sugary sweet! Apple pie tasting!

Appearence: Rose colored to a dark red.

Be careful when drinking as you wouldn't know by tasting that it is 22%.

I had this at a temp. of abour 50 degrees. This became very overpowering to drink after a while and I choose to cut it with a hoppier beer to take out the sugar taste. I wasn't impressed with the price! $35/bottle! I could by 4 120 minute IPA from Dogfish head for that price and still have the same ABV content. It's worth having once though. I didn't get a chance to warm it to 105 degrees like the bottle recommends to taste the warm apple pie effect. This bottle if sipped will accomodate two people without a problem, so get someone to split the cost with you. This is also available at Wine World beer and spirits in the fridge to the left of the walk in door on the top shelf. Enjoy!

 953 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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: "Three malts, two strains of yeast, and a variety of spices combine to create a behemoth brew of unmatched proportions, disguised by notes of apple, peach, cinnamon, and honey. One sip and you'll agree ... Size Matters!"; "Respect_the_Fluid".

Yeah, I'm hitting their biggest beer for the grand finale of this horizontal. This review is for the 2014 vintage. I was saving it for last & it may be the only thing that I drink today. I will be taking it slow, including the pour since its bottling date is 08/27/14, making it over two years old. It all begins with a Pop! of the cap, followed by a gentle pour. This elicited nothing but wisps, so I performed an in-glass swirl to produce a brief finger of foamy, tawny head that quickly returned to its original wispy state. Color was an oh-so-slightly-hazy Amber to Deep Amber/Light Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13). Nose smelled of freshly baked apple pie sprinkled with cinnamon and/or nutmeg as well as having a vanilla scent. My my! Apple pie ala mode (vanilla). My maternal grandmother made the only apple pies that I ever liked and this smell was evocative of her culinary creations. Mouthfeel had a very light carbonation so it sat on my tongue like a big dollop, continuing the ice cream analogy. Thick, viscous and slightly hot, plus I was afraid to actually swallow it. The taste matched the nose - fresh, hot apple pie with vanilla ice cream and sprinkled with cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg. OMFG! This is far too easy to drink to be safe. I only poured half of the bottle's contents, so I am going to put the cap back on & take a little break. Finish was semi-dry, not hot at all and lingering with the spices, but off set by the inherent sweetness of the honey & whatever else they put into this behemoth, I mean, Colossus. Phew.

Slight addendum(s): warming, the haze dissipated and good clarity resulted; I lived through the experience; the spices became much more pronounced as it warmed.

 2,236 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Colossus High Gravity Hybrid from DuClaw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 57.3% out of 100 with 206 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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