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Donkey Venom | Bellwoods Brewery

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Donkey VenomDonkey Venom
BA SCORE
3.98/5
Very Good
63 Ratings
Donkey VenomDonkey Venom
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bellwoods Brewery
Ontario, Canada
bellwoodsbrewery.com

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Who knew the venom of a magical donkey would taste so good? Aged in barrels with Brettanomyces and other bugs for 6-12 months, what was once a strong porter has emerged anew. Donkey Venom presents a well-rounded range of flavours, balancing roasted malt and tart characteristics. Deceivingly drinkable for its high ABV, this tart porter is among our more unique offerings.

Added by MasterSki on 10-19-2013

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#8,110
Reviews:
14
Ratings:
63
pDev:
9.05%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
8
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 63 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by evil_liver:
Photo of evil_liver
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of JonnyBeers
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of cjgator3
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DaveBar
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the Bellwoods bottle shop for around $9.00 or so for a 500ml bottle. Pricy to say the least

A- Opens well and pours a 2" high brown head that films out in a minute. Very dark brown

S- Lots of brett. Sour

T- Sour. This is a confused porter. Does not have the undertones of a porter nor the malt backbone. Not a good blend at all. Mismatched flavors.

M- Dry and tart

O- Not very good. If this was the LCBO it would be returned. Not a good blend at all and am glad I didn't buy two

Food Pairing

This ok brew went well with.... Pad Thai

Enjoy

 560 characters

Photo of StormAles
4.86/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a black color stout with a nice large brown color head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with nice funky Brett notes also observable. Taste is a mix of roasted malt with some funky Brett notes and a dry finish with some vinous and oak notes also noticeable. Body is about average with good carbonation. Nice level of complexity while retaining some drinkability.

 402 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Adamthornton13
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jaydoc
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one pours a fairly dark black, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells super interesting- there's lots of tart cherry on top of the porter base- almost like a chocolate-covered cherry, with roast, slight coffee, and red wine.

This is really complex, and honestly confusing, but it's really good. There's a lot of cherry, red wine, and oak, and just a hint of funk, and it's on top of a really creamy and excellent porter- classic dark roast, some coffee, and lots of chocolate. It gives off the impression of really weird chocolate-covered cherries.

This is medium bodied and creamy, but a definite slow sipper due to the intense flavors here.

Bellwoods makes pretty amazing beers. This is really unique and really tasty.

 742 characters

Photo of mtomlins
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ikidunot
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of liamt07
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of 111213forlife
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of ludachris
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A soapy cap of khaki coloured head rests on top of its nearly black body. Only a glimpse of its truly deep chestnut brown hue is revealed by light. Alcohol legs stick to where the head once was as it recedes.

The Brett is the dominating character in the nose. It's tangy, tart, and dry. Sweet cherry skin and even wet dog is there as well. Right behind it comes soft oaky vanilla. Underneath Brett's funky influence is the essence of a big Porter. Cocoa, dark chocolate, and sweet alcohol all manage to make an appearance. It's a little bit roasty and a little bit nutty as well. This is a very complex smelling Porter.

As soon as hits your lips you get the tingly pinch of Brett and its tart and dry ways. I find its character more akin to green grape skins in the taste with a wine-like dryness. The influence of the barrels encases everything with a soft and subtle sweet oakiness, helping to round out some of the intensity coming from both the Brett and the alcohol. The alcohol itself gives all the flavours a bit of punch and leaves a long warming feel in the chest. Its Porter quality is an underlying factor. There's some roastiness, some nuttiness, and a little bit of chocolate that becomes more apparent as it nears the finish.

A constant I've noticed in Bellwoods beers is how clean the feel is on all of them and this is of no exception. Its good drinkability is a result of this. The body is medium to full with a sticky dryness and a pinch of astringency.

In my opinion, the craft beer scene in Ontario and several other provinces are a few years behind our neighbours to the South. However, Bellwoods and beers like this are helping to close this gap. Their willingness to be bold, daring, and innovative, as demonstrated by their bottled version of a 9.5% barrel aged Porter innoculated with Brett not only legitimizes Bellwoods spot as one of the best in Ontario, but Ontario's craft beer scene as a whole and how far it's come in recent years. As much as I enjoyed this, I respect their effort even more. Well done Bellwoods!

 2,051 characters

Photo of Whatup14
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Photo of byronic
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours quite dark with a nice head. Definite red wine presence on the nose with chocolate and a hint of Brett. Quite smooth with a lot of grapes and Brett even a nice bunch of sour cherries. Not really noticing any classic porter flavours. Wished for a nice malt backbone. A nice lingering tartness in a semi dry finish.

 319 characters

Photo of BakaGaijin
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Derek
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit sour for my liking...

27 characters

Photo of mmapes
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Wow, what an interesting beer! (Thanks to Andrew for the trade.) I'm not usually a fan of Brett beers, but this one doesn't have any of the dirty aftertaste of a brett-forward beer. In addition, the flavor is dry, a little tart, a lot like a red wine. Interesting stuff, without the barnyard taste I dislike about bretts.

 321 characters

Photo of jrenihan
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-cask during Cask Days. This is the Lost River Baltic Porter aged in barrels with Brett.

Beer is black with a minimally-sized tan head.

Nose betrays a slight tartness, along with cocoa and oak.

Taste is very nice. Moderately sour, with cocoa, cherry and oak. A bit of roasted malt. Yum.

Full bodied, low carbonation.

Overall, very nice stuff. Look forward to more of this when Bellwoods releases it properly.

 415 characters

Photo of JonCorbett
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Red hued very dark brown with a creamy looking sepia head that rises like expedited fresh dough and has a moderate retention, gradually dropping into a wafer of tight light bubbles that coat the surface, and not much for lace other than the cute foam ring, but nothing is really left behind to mar the glass.

Aromatics: A combination of a mild red wine and yeasty bread dough. The date and fig fruits take second stage along with some soft chocolate kisses and caramel.

Taste: hmmm... not like any porter I have had before. A zingy tartness almost like sour cherries and wine grapes have been rolled around with charred oak and cedar chips. The chocolatey notes making a touch down on the palate here and there with a bit of roasted walnut flesh.

Mouth: The carbonation is present, but stays behind the scenes for the most part an lets the slick thinner-medium body to pass through without too much interruption. What I absolutely love in this beer is it's finish - or lack there-of. It just wanders off at some-point and you don't realize it is gone except for the fact that there is nothing stimulating the palate.

Overall: A super easy-to-drink porter. And I doubt I would have know it was 9.5% if I didn't look at the label. I like the clean and dry finish, it seems to end at the right interval to allow for another sip. Kinda like a really good measuring stick.

Pairing: I'm on the fence for this one. I'm thinking this is a good beer for when company is over. It's sophisticated enough to hold its own with the wine drinkers, and so it will undoubtedly match well with the meat and cheese tray, gourmet crackers, artisan bread chunks, and smooth creamy spreads (like spinach/artichoke, country style mushroom pâté, or a spiced up hummus).

 1,765 characters

Photo of chippo33
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Donkey Venom from Bellwoods Brewery
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 63 ratings
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