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Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck - The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Duck-Rabbit Rabid DuckDuck-Rabbit Rabid Duck

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

499 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 499
Hads: 827
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 15.99%
Wants: 190
Gots: 83 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-08-2005

The Duck-Rabbit's Imperial Stout is extremely big and robust. This special beer is thick, jet black and oily in texture. Complex flavors of roast malts dominate: bitter chocolate and espresso coffee especially. There is also a very big hop presence both for bittering and for aroma. At 10% alcohol by volume, this brew is made to be sipped and savored!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 499 | Hads: 827
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black, minimal head. Classic bold bitter RIS though only average mouthfeel, and extra coconut chocolate in there for sweetening and drinkability. A little oily as well. A nice RIS for sure, but a bit disapointed in relation to the ratings. I think this part of the world need get used to a wider sampling of what an RIS is.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Plenum for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch puffy dark khaki head that settles to a thin cap. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark fruits, coffee grounds, and cocoa powder. Taste is of dark fruits, bitter coffee, and unsweetened chocolate. There is also a slight soy sauce aroma and taste as the beer warms up. A mild roasted bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. A good level of carbonation with a crisp but slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good RIS with some solid aromas and flavors. I am glad I was able to get one of these.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: very large multi-finger mild chocolate colored head on a jet black body.

S: milk and dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, roasted malts and toffee.

T: very sweet and tangy up front with an almost light colored fruit and cola character which transitions to coffee and finishes with chocolate and roasted malts.

M: thick and full bodied and moderate carbonation.

Overall: little too sweet and tangy up front. The booze are well hidden. Definitely very dynamic but the initial taste is a turn off for me and ruins the nice middle and finish.

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Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at RFD, Washington, DC

A: The beer poured jet black with a thick and creamy mocha-colored head that died down into a thin layer of bubbles coating the surface.
S: There are light aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: Flavors of dark roasted malts dominate the overall taste and there is a moderate amount of bitterness (particularly in the finish) along with hints of chocolate and coffee.
M: It feels medium-bodied and incredibly smooth and creamy on the palate.
D: The beer does a relatively good job of hiding the alcohol. There's no way I could drink more than one of these in a sitting but it makes for a good sipper.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.44/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i had this immediately after a black tuesday, so my review may be skewed negatively in the shadow of one of the best stouts ever made, but this one didnt really do much for me. it has a couple years on it i think, and may not have aged as gracefully as originally anticipated. the pour is very dark, but oddly thin, not a lot of body on it by the way it looks. the nose and taste are both a little oxidized. we all agree that we smell and taste green olives, its briny and strange. there is a nice bitter roasty malt to this, and a warming alcohol strength, but the flavors in the middle are either aged away or not very dynamic. it drinks really heave for having a body on the lighter side, and the booze comes out a lot when its at room temperature. i will have to get a fresh bottle and revisit this another time, and it had a lot of variables working against it this time around. still, unimpressed by my first duck rabbit experience.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours out as a really dark black color with creamy brown head that fades quickly. The lacing doesn't really exist. The smell of the beer is amped with molasses and dark chocolate. The taste had some big rich chocolate flavors with burnt malts and some bitter molasses in the back end. The mouthfeel is thick and oily. Overall I found this brew to be quite good. The alcohol was well hidden until it warmed up. I would drink this one again.

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Photo of brentk56
2.97/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a thick black color with virtually no head and lacing

Smell: Espresso and dark fruit, with fusel alcohol tones

Taste: Burnt toast with lots of char which masks some interesting licorice and dark fruit flavors (raisins and plums) that become more apparent after the swallow, though the burnt char flavor really dominates

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Perhaps this was from a bad batch or it had been stored poorly before I got it, but this was really disappointing; I have had this beer previously and do not recall the carbonation and char flavors that marred this particular example; I'll try this another time and amend my review if it merits it

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle at Columbia Firehouse. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours near black with a pretty good mocha-colored head and a few legs as it goes down along with a bit of a collar and actually a few sprinkles of lacing here and there. The aroma is strong with espresso, molasses, chocolate, and some roasted malt. A bit of star anise in there as well.

The taste is a bit too sweet and some of the black licorice flavors come out a little too strongly for me. There's some slight booze, but it works well with the espresso and roast notes. Body is heavy and viscous with good carbonation. Hard to believe this weighs in at 10%. Maybe it was the fact that they served it to me in a pint glass, but this beer was pretty quaffable.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.08/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of Moejuck: Poured a deep black color stout with a small dirty brown color head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma of coffee is quite dominating with some weird dry hops. Taste is a mix between some dry coffee, some bitter roasted malt and a dry ending with some hops. Body is quite full with some low carbonation and no alcohol was discernable. I thought the taste was just way too dry to be enjoyable and would have appreciated some sweetness to balance this thing out. Quite glad I got the chance to try this but can’t say I truly enjoyed the experience.

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Photo of largadeer
1.64/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance: Pitch black with a thick mousse-like brown head. Excellent head retention, an all-around decent looking beer.

Smell: Sweet dark fruit, fennel and some acrid burnt malt.

Taste/mouthfeel: Sweet and slightly creamy upfront. Flavors of black cherry and molasses follow but are soon overtaken by a sharp acrid bitterness. The body is slightly thin for the style though carbonation is spot-on. A dry finish pronounces the burnt flavors even more - this is a harsh brew with an acidic kick.

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, dark, brown color with hints of ruby. A small, thin, white head quickly dissipated and left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of dark chocolates, caramel, toffee and hints of vanilla. The was also a slight floral notes.

T - It really hits you with a huge dose of sweet chocolate and caramel malt. A bitter hop kick balances out the sweet flavor.

M - It was soft, smooth and velvety. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good RIS that is almost port-like.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Opaque onyx with meager reddish orange highlights along the bottom edge of the glass. Thanks to a pretty vigorous pour, the mocha colored cap is Belgianesque in size. It has a mousse-like texture and looks pretty good as it begins to deflate. Small patches and swirls of sudsy lace help the cause.

The heavily roasted maltiness and dark chocolatiness of the aroma is appealing. Power is definitely not a problem. However, an underlying tart fruitiness could turn out to be much more of a concern on the palate. Not bad... not great... just good.

Rabid Duck is a different sort of Russian Imperial stout. I've never tasted anything quite like it, but then I've never seen a rabid duck either. With all of the seemingly thousands of dog-themed beers in the world, it's amazing that there are no others in the database using the word 'rabid'.

In the end, DRRD tries to be a big-time RIS, but it doesn't hit on enough cylinders to pull it off. It's definitely boldly flavored (and slightly boozy). When those bold flavors clash rather than harmonize, however, the excess power is all for naught. Well, almost all for naught.

Flavors include sour dark fruit (tart plums, prunes, raisins), blackstrap molasses, brown sugar syrup, bitter coffee grounds, lemon peel and grain alcohol. Warming is not really taming the beast. In fact, this duck is beginning to foam at the bill. 10% tastes 12-13% at least.

I haven't been thrilled with the mouthfeels of Duck-Rabbit beer in the past. Only Porter and Wee Heavy Scotch Style Ale are good enough to be called good. This one is also on the light side for style and ABV. The relative shortage of bubbles is fine.

The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery does non-big beer pretty well. Although I haven't been blown away by anything in their lineup, most of them have been solid. Barleywine and Rabid Duck aren't so special. Hopefully, it's nothing that a whole heapin' lot of tinkering can't fix.

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Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice to try a new offering from DR,poured and opaque black with a tight mocha colored head,big roasted malt aromas and French roast coffee a touch of dark fruit and the alcohol seemed to creep in a little as it warmed.I found this to be quite earthy for and Impy stout quite good but Iam not sure if thats on for the style,anyways dark roasted coffee and raw earthiness mainly in the finish dominate here just a tad of dark fruit.Alcohol becomes more evident as it warmed all in all not bad,thanks to hoppedup for sharing last night.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

one of my all time favorites and i was lucky enough to be able to try it on tap again recently. served in a pint glass and enjoyed tremedously.

pours out an almost totally dark black. a good two fingers of head that were on top of the glass from the first pour never do fade away in any way at all, really just coating the sides nicely and leaving tons of brown sticky foam

aroma is of dark fruit, tons of dark malts, chocolate, hints of caramel an toffee, plums, a hint of smoke, truly a wonderful beer in ever sense of the word. each sip seems to bring with it another flavor that you just cannot get enough of, warming, soothing, relaxing and creamy feel just makes it a pleasure to sip as the last drops leave a touch of dark plums and a hint of hops in their wake.

overall this is hands down one of the best of the style, i never shy away from this whenever i can get it. really just a delight.

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Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with two fingers of dark brown head on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles at a moderate pace and leaves nice lace on the glass.

S - Lots of dark, sugary character with notes of molasses, dark cherries, chocolate, and a hint of rum.

T - Dark chocolate and a hint of espresso up front. Fruity notes of sour cherry and plum come out in the middle. Things finish up with molasses, chocolate covered cherries, and smoky coffee.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Interesting, this is a dark and complex beer, but it has a fruity acidity that really brightens things up and gives it a drinkability that few beer of this style ever manage.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an opaque black body with a medium-sized, dark tan head.

Smell: Whew! I rather pronounced alcohol aroma -- I could smell it as soon as I cracked open the bottle. Well, there's some dark fruits, tobacco, leather, and coffee in there, but you've got your work cut out for you to smell it past all that booze.

Taste: Dark roasted maltiness with a flash of sweetness, smoke, and spicy anise. Sharp, tart fruitiness. Loads of leather and tobacco, but rather lacking in chocolate flavors. Hint of soy. Earthy hop bitterness. Plenty of alcohol and burnt coffee roastiness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Some stouts, you just feel compelled to revisit to drink and enjoy every waking moment of the day. I totally understand if Rabid Duck was that for many (many) people. I dunno. I just wasn't taken with it.

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Photo of jlindros
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ever since I had Duck Rabbit at ACBF last year I've been loving it. I got a bunch in various trades, but haven't dipped into them too much yet. Got some of these thanks to kwakwhore and portia99.

A: Very little carbonation as it forms just a head covering of dark rich foam on a very aggressive pour. It is a super pitch black color with legs that would make Cheryl Tiegs blush.

N: I could def smell it on the pour from a couple feet away. A dark luscious super thick viscous like stout. Lots of dark chocolate malt, perhaps black patent malt, lots of roast, tons of sweetness and loaded with malts. A touch of dark fruit, fruit so dark it no longer exists since it couldn't create antimatter that could oppose it. A touch of booze to go with the dark molasses and caramelized brown sugar and malt aroma. And even a touch of fresh cracked crystal malt aroma.

T: Oh boy, can't wait, here goes... pretty sweet but not too much. Very much tons and tons of loaded malts. A roast flavor, but not as much as I thought. A chocolate flavor, with bakers choc, a slight creamy chocolate milk, and bittersweet chocolate, then juicy fruit flavors, and some bitter earthy charred roasted scorched malt flavors. Some coffee and touch of vanilla. I would think of it as thick and syrupy, but it's not so much, more thick less syrupy. WIth all that comes a slight boozy taste that doesn't hit as hard as it should for 10%, but with how rich and thick it is you can tell it was up there in OG. A touch of some licorice and minerality come after some of the flavors build up on the tongue.

M: Thick, pretty viscous and luscious, almost no carbonation though.

F: Long lingering bitterness from all the roasted charred earthy malts and perhaps a touch of hops. Still somewhat sweet but not too much on the finish. A nice roasted flavor comes out a little more at first on the finish, but fades and comes up with some nice rich chocolate flavors. I get a lot of baker's chocolate, dark chocolate, the creamy center chocolate, luscious chocolate... OK I guess I made that last one up, but you get the idea.

Despite that the bottle tells me no refill (sad face) and drink by 04/2009, this is delicious now. I really think this is an aging style beer, and I have no idea how Duck Rabbit can think otherwise. It's still even a little heavy and could use more time to settle a bit. At 10% and probably an OG of like 1.120, and despite not really having a boozy taste, it is really heavy and a little hot. I will try to save my others and really enjoy them in a few years' time.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a pitch black with a finger or so of burnt looking tan head that posesses some reddish highlights as well. Retains around the edges and flares up nicely when swirled, leaving behind spotty lacing and oily brown residues. The aroma is sweet chocolate, coffee, licorice, a waft of heat, and some fairly prominent notes of tart smelling dark fruits.

The taste is packed with rick chocolate notes that are balanced out by a huge dark fruit tartness of cherries, plums, and figs. It seems that a bit of anise and coffee are intermingled in there as well, as is a nice underlying layer of roasted bitterness. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a thick and viscous feel at times (especially as it warms). There is also a nice degree of heat in the body that drenches the palette with a warm and sticky feel.

Interesting take on a RIS by Duck Rabbit, going very heavy with the dark fruit character. It works well though, bouncing off the thick sweetness that is also heavily featured. A sipper for sure but a steady one at that, have one now and save the rest for winter.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.

Jumped on this guy the second I saw it listed as being on tap at ChurchKey. Pours a deep opaque black with about a finger of tan foamy head. The lacing that will eventually form is very nice. The smell is of dark malts (grainier than usual), coffee, chocolate, and even a hint of vanilla bean. The taste is pretty similar, with notes of light coffee, slightly bitter cocoa, faint tobacco, and those dark malts from the nose, though they're wheatier here than before. Up 'til now, things have gone according to the usual RIS plot. Where things deviate is in the mouthfeel. Usually these dark beasts are thick, chewy, even crunchy, and coat the mouth very thickly. This guy is decidedly lighter than usual, more toward a light medium than anything heavy; the low carbonation is pretty normal, and there is some coating, but not as much as one would expect. Still, despite this unexpected variance on the style, the overall brew is very tasty and very drinkable.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from WeisGuy, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short brown head that faded slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is loaded with creamy chocolate and dark roasted malts along with a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is starts with a strong bitter-sweet bite of dark chocolate and some dark fruit in the background. The malt character is just as hearty as any RIS out there and the hops presence is exactly as mild as you would expect to fit in with the style. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it's a good beer, but there are other big stouts that I would choose first.

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Photo of russpowell
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Second tasting notes: Conducted 3/5/08:

pretty much the same as below with the same grape koolaid thing going on, but a little less. has lost some of it's nose. I'd probably rate this a tad lower than my original rating, probably giving taste a 4.5 , everything else, I'd say held up

BBD of 02 10 08??

Poured black as night with 3+ fingers of mocha/tan colored head. Great lacing with rings of stick residue with above average head retention

S: Rich chocolate, oak, vanilla & bourbon notes, plus a little booze

T: A a hint of grape koolaid (weird), chocolate, oakyness, & vanilla notes up front. Licorice, roasted malt, & raisins surface as this warms. Finishes dry with bourbon notes, charred grain notes & a little booze burn

MF: Rich, chewy & oily with minimal carbonation

Drinks easy for the ABV, a lovely IMP stout & a positive result of the cap popping in NC! Highly recommended

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Meguiar for this surprise gift! Super cool, yo! I talked to the Big Brewer upstairs. We've arranged for some more beer karma to come your way. Be expecting some divine miracle over the next week or so. I tried to push for a lottery win.

Pours thick and black with a dark tan head. Nose is thick in malts with a big of chocolate and tar in there. Thick and robust. Flavor brings some serious robust qualities to it as well. But there is an odd almost citric edge to things here that makes me go hmmm. Besides that I get that blue cheese funk that so many of these robust stouts and old ales can give. I love blue cheese so that is a plus in my book. That odd citrus thing seems to fade away after a few sips. There is a nice consistent level of deep and robust character here. Feel is about standard I would say, possibly leaning towards thin.

P.S. Love the graphic on the label. That's a keeper.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears pitch black with absolutely no light shining through the body, pours with a short lived thick tan mocha head. It forms even fine lacing with each sip down my chalice.

Aroma has big luscious dark black patent malt roasted qualities of dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans. Another aspect is big fruity black cherry tartness with juicy over ripened plums soaked in alcohol. Robust complex characteristics that entice the senses and get you ready to sip on this Southern RIS.

Flavors blend nicely on the palate sweet dark chocolate and coffee finish of course, but that fruit comes out nicely to play like chocolate covered cherries chased with some nice booze. Herbal hops peek through here among the roasted malt with a touch of caramel sweetness in there as well. This RIS really has a lot of sweetness a nice change of pace from the hop heavy versions that have been popularized in the last 5 years.

Mouthfeel is full bodied slightly chewy in the body with a soothing alcohol burn in the finish. Nothing sits cloying on my palate a welcomed experience that I will seek again.

Drinkability is solid all around excellent version of the style. A perfect portion size, I'm okay with an occasional visit to 12 ounces of this brew, it's nice not having to commit to a bomber of some of the bigger beer styles.

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Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated best by 2/2012 served in a pint glass.

Pours nearly black, resembling motor oil. Clear [or perhaps slightly hazy}. Small tan head that quickly reduces to a lasting ring. Leaves a bit of light brown lacing.

Aroma roasted malts with hints of spices and hops. Approaches 4.5. High ABV largely hidden, especially before warming.

T - very rich and flavorful brew with a strong dark roasted malt flavor dominating, especially in the finish. Hop presence is detectable. Dark roasted with some coffee but minimal burnt flavor. High ABV hidden; quite surprised to find out this is a 10% beer!

M - full and smooth body with light carbonation.

O - a very full flavored stout that is not otherwise challenging or bold. An easy recommendation.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 7/2/10 notes. Had on tap at the Big Hunt in DC.

a - Pours a dark brown color with 2 inches of tan head and light carb. Looks great.

s - Smells of sweet chocolate, cocoa, sticky dark fruits, and roasted malts. Hint of vanilla and very well balanced.

t - Tastes of cocoa, coffee, roasted malts, and a little dark fruit.

m - Full body and low carbonation. Smooth and very easy to drink for a 10% ABV RIS.

d - I thought this was a great RIS. I thought it was well balanced and looked, smelled, and finished great. Would love to try again.

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Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 499 ratings.