Donkey Venom | Bellwoods Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Donkey VenomDonkey Venom
Very Good
63 Ratings
Donkey VenomDonkey Venom

Brewed by:
Bellwoods Brewery
Ontario, Canada

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 63 |  Reviews: 14
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +0.5%

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

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of liamt07
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewery. Date October 2015. Served in a wine glass.

A - A dark mocha foam settles to a thick collar and near-complete cap, leaving behind minimal lacing. Very dark brown that approaches black, but reveals some transparent mahogany at the edges of the glass.

S - Roasted malts, baker's chocolate, some biscuit, hints of vanilla, and notes of tart cherry and musty funk. Perhaps a hint of some grape-based beverage; definitely not aged in whiskey barrels, and fairly low in wood presence in general. Well-hidden alcohol.

T - Taste has more of the tart cherry and vinous fruit notes, with a slightly plasticy brett note late. Base porter is less present here, providing notes of roast, char, and dark chocolate. Less sweetness than the aroma.

M - Hearty, medium, body with surprisingly zesty carbonation. Dry, roasty, and laden with tannins. Again, well-hidden booze.

D - Split a bottle with the wife and had no problems. Wild porters and stouts are generally my favorite style, but this is one of the best examples of the style. Would happily drink again, just not often.

 1,090 characters

Photo of Erik-P
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

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 fredmugs
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

I'd love to know how the brewery came up with the name 'Donkey Venom' - safe to say, you won't see any trademark infringement lawsuits over this one. Safe to say also that 4 months confinement in the barrel probably didn't turn this porter any darker or opaque than it already was; this is solid black, its only colour being the brownish tint of its head.

The aroma shares one or two characteristics with a wet dog. Barrel-aging the beer with Brettanomyces has accomplished exactly what it set out to do: funk-i-fy things. This porter smells like curdled chocolate milk (creamy and chocolatey but with a soured lactose twang) with the oak contributing a complimenting pinch of vanilla.

Barnyard 'funk' and malty remnants of coffee and black licorice are impressed immediately but it's the notes of sour cherries and over-ripe plums that prove to have the most staying power. Its faint rum cake-like flavour makes it slightly vinous tasting (overlooking the roast qualities, of course). It tastes like a cherry- and Kahlua-infused hot chocolate. Ginger or cinnamon too?

Despite an enthusiastic start the 'funk' proves surprisingly docile in the long run; warming brings more 'coffee and cream' sweetness and less 'farm animal funk'. As is typically the case with the big bad Brett, alcohol is less a factor than yeast; the texture is leathery and the finish tart like festering fruits. The bitterness of raw cocoa beans is dusted over the finish.

The only thing I've tried that compares to Donkey Venom (quality- and character-wise) is Jolly Pumpkin's Madrugada Obscura. Considering that brewery specializes exclusively in sours and Bellwoods still merely experiments with them, that's a mighty impressive fact. It is an offering as unique as its name and as good as you'd expect from one of Canada's best microbreweries.

 1,825 characters

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 dgilks
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

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

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

Photo of DaPan
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of peensteen
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nearly jet black, ring of tan head, some spots of lace as well. Smell is quite funky, cherry and vinious oak jump out, lemony and a bit of musty brett, chocolate is in there as well with a bit of roast. Taste is tart and funky up front, more of that lemony-cherry from the nose, oak and wine like flavours, washes away with chocolate and coffee, some roast flavours, oaky aftertaste, more porter flavour as it warms. Medium carbonation, drying medium body. Pretty good stuff here, similar to No Sleep Til Brooklyn with a bit more funk but still good in its own right.

 567 characters

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 yancot
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of polloenfuego
3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Electros
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Beervana
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Donkey Venom from Bellwoods Brewery
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 63 ratings