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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale - The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Duck-Rabbit Barleywine AleDuck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

538 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 538
Reviews: 339
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.91%
Wants: 111
Gots: 44 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: SaCkErZ9 on 12-12-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 538 | Reviews: 339 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by watsonmd:
Photo of watsonmd
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

watsonmd, Feb 24, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%

Poured into my trusty Red Oak nonic a deep auburn with a tight formed 2 finger of white head that left spotty lacing as it settled slowly.Brown sugar and almost cinnamon-like spice hit upfront in the nose also quite floral with hints of minty leaf hoppiness.A bit thinner than expected for such a big beer ,not big and chewey like I would have liked still not a major flaw,dark fruit and alcohol warnth standout after the first few sips along with some honey sweetness with decent herbal smack of hops showing thru late.I detected quite an alcohol zip thruout from beginning to end making it a one and done for me for sure still its got good flavors and well it should be a sipper anyways.

oberon, Mar 28, 2007
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%

Poured form a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice style glass.

A: Deep brown with a fantastic ruby hue. Pours with a light head that reduces to light layer of bubbles and thick ring around the glass. Very nice lacing. This is what a barley wine should look like!

S: Complex aromas of fig, malts, brown sugar, and a whiff of alcohol.

T: Strong malts wash over the tongue teasing it with sweetness slowly giving way to a rather strong alcohol presence. The finish is relatively dry, which is interesting given the relative maltiness on the front side. The linger actually has a hint of bitterness.

M&D: Mouthfeel is rather heavy, which is to be expected and is well matched to the brew. However I found the strong alcohol taste a bit distracting. The carbonation is very light, but persistent. Although the taste on the front end of the drink is quite good, the alcohol linger is distracting to me. I enjoyed the drink, but don't know if I would want to drink more than one at a time.

SIRIUS2, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

It's a beautiful thing to see bigger, bolder beers come from North Carolina. Just think: About three years ago, beer over 6 percent was against the law. Let's drink to the third anniversary of N.C. popping the cap.

Clear ruddy-brown color wears a crown of tan lacing; great head retention for a higher-alcohol ale. Rich caramel malt aroma with some spicy earthy hop and a clean nearly hidden alcohol. Smooth and creamy with a wet, medium-full body, which shows that this beer is not too thick. Maltiness has a good amount of depth with caramel and some toasted that blankets the taste buds. A little fruity with suggestions of dried plums and raisins. Slight cocoa note within. The alcohol wakes the palate up with a clean warmth and slight spiciness. Hop bitterness drops just enough flavor to keep the malt sweetness in check. Finishes slightly sweet with a lingering spicy alcohol.

Balance is the charm here, and even within balance there can be complexity. The 11 percent is definitely there, though not within the first couple of sips. A lovely sipper to be had.

BeerAdvocate, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of newk340
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

A: a maroon mahogany reminiscent of a dark apple cider, crowned by a thin foam ring.

S: extremely sweet on the nose, full of tropical fruits, not unlike a fruit punch.

T: a cool tapestry of sweet fruits - mango, apple, and grapes. flavors swirl in the mouth but disappear with the swallow and don't linger.

MF/D: an initial sizzle of carbonation but leaves a dry heat in the back of the mouth. certainly a new take on the barleywine, but i'm glad i shared the bottle.

newk340, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%

Deep murky reddish brown pour into the glass with a quarter inch of khaki bubbles on top of the brew, can't see through this one at all! Aromas are big on fruit upfront with a rich caramel candy undertone. Toffee and maybe even some bubblegum. Super malty with some brown sugar and still some lingering hops as well.

First sip brings a plethora of deep, sweet malts upfront drenched in fruit flavors. Caramel, brown sugar and toffee again make themselves known. Citrus notes along with a slight bitter hop kick...however the sweet malts still win out as it flows down. Touch of spice and warming alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich with chewy malt throughout. Definitely a warming sipper of a barleywine that leaves a bit of a heat trail as it goes down. Glad to have tried it...would be great on a cold night maybe even with a nice cigar.

orbitalr0x, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of JasonA
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%

Received in trade from marvin. Hopefully it will bring my Eers luck today vs UofL.

Pours a reddish carmel red. Looks more like a marzen except the head. Med thick, ample lacing. You can tell there is depth. Lots of bubbles, I gotta let this one breathe even though its at 50F.

Medium malt, carmel, piney hops. Smells more like a American BW. Mild ABV, but present.
Solid malt body, wine sweet, little hop character (back to english). Nice level of bitterness, almost ESB, though much sweeter. I bet this could drop to 60F and be just as smooth.

Creamy smooth. Well balanced, sits comfortably. Carbonation pretty high still, need to let cool a bit more.

Over all a great brew. Only downside could be carbonation level. As far as an English BW, this is an excellent example. Would def have again.

JasonA, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of marvin213
2.93/5  rDev -23.1%

This muddy-brown red clay almost plops into my snifter. It's thick like near-dry mud. The head forms quickly to even more quickly disappear. Compared to some of my previous DR Barleywines that spewed all over the counter, I'm stumped by this pour's top looking smooth and serene like lake water. I fear flatness.

Thee bitter barleywine breathes up my nose, and there's a pleasing cherry tinge like the syrup in maraschino cherry jars. Really--there's a sweet infusion here that's spot-on cherry. The angstrom bitterness makes no bones about the style, but the nosy juxtaposition is curious.

Chalky and medicinal, I wish the taste offered more cheery cherry...but it IS an English Barleywine. It tastes like one and, particularly for a Farmville, NC production, it's true to an old English style. It's pungent and warming--almost cheek-numbing. Perhaps like all beers, it's analgesic. The swallow is hot, even as saliva metabolizes the sugars. It's among the most sugary without being sweet. The breakdown actually contributes to a grainy feel, as if destructed into particles. Interesting without inviting.

The Achilles heel of this body, you just can't embrace it. How dark are barleywines anyway? Why are the self-proclaimed "dark beer specialists" making a barleywine? Though respectably true to style, it's okay at best.

marvin213, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of merlin48
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%

Many thanks to mntlover for sending this fine bottle. Served into a goblet, it exhibits a radiant copper garnet body topped by a large beige head. Retention is excellent and attractive island chain lace adorns the glass.

Aroma is very pungent. Citrusy orange and tangerine notes suggestive of marmelade mingle with hoppy grapefruit and pine sap. Sturdy malt presence boasts caramel, toffee, and toasted brown sugar.

Mouthfeel is medium in body and carbonation and is somewhat slick.

Taste is awash in fruity complexity, with melon and apple joining the citrus noted in the aroma. Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar show up again and lend a sturdy sweet malt base. Hints of dark fruits like raisins are in the background. Finishes with a pleasant sweetness suggestive of orange marmelade.

Difficult to classify as American or English, but a prime example why Duck-Rabbit has emerged as one of the premier craft breweries in the Southern United States. Very well done!

merlin48, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of warriorsoul
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%

Special thanks to Muddyfeet for sending this one my way...we miss him around MA, but nice to know I can score some NC brews from him.
Cherry rust in color with a full two fingers of khaki-colored head...most of which rests on top like a foamy pillow for quite some time and leaves some thick coated lacing.
Decent in the nose...cherries, vanilla, citrus, some floral (lavender) notes too.
Taste is a bit less complexity...a bitter sweetness grabs the tongue right away, but settles into a candied caramel flavor.
Quite bitter w/ floral hops mainly...slight tart cherry flavor with some orange peel twang in the finish. The alcohol is nowhere to be found, which is very surprising...how do you totally mask 11% abv?
Mouthfeel is full bodied and the carbonation is a touch high for the style...definitely a sipper and I find myself drinking this one very slowly.
It's good, but honestly, I find myself a bit underwhelmed...will sit on the other to see if this one mellows a bit.

warriorsoul, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of reitzbrewing
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

reitzbrewing, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of KolbMarley
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

KolbMarley, Dec 19, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5%

Thanks to djrn2 for sending me a handful of Duck-Rabbit beers.

The beer pours a dark red color with an off-white head. The aroma has a lot of piney hops in it, as well as some heavy caramel and brown sugar notes. There is also some alcohol in the aroma. The flavor is similar. There are some pine and orange notes in the flavor which go well with the heavy caramel malt backbone. There is also some brown sugar-like sweetness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, May 13, 2012
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%

Thanks to Kwakwhore for the send. 12oz brown bottle served into a tulip glass. 1" light tannish/brown head,very creamy.Nice clear mahogany color had good retention leaving some sticky webby lacing down the glass with a few strands of very tiny bubbles tighly knitted rising.

Clean,dark fruit with dates and figs,slighly musty,earthy,slightly boozy,vinious with dried tea leaves.

Heavy strong maltiness,lots of burnt tastes, bittersweet dark fruitiness with a touch of sourness. Good balance with a very leafy,tea-like hop bite. Feels like a stong beer,the boozyness is well hidden for an 11% beer. This beer could only get better with age.

Thick and cloying with wine-like dryness. Was a bit rough to be real drinkable. Some aging would really do this beer some justice.

jcdiflorio, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of kingcrowing
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler.

Pours a deep cloudy muddy brown with a very thin head. Nose is a bit boozy, malty with some yeast and fruit.

Taste is Fairly decent, nice fruitiness with a light burn from the high abv. Mouthfeel is creamy and rich. Light carbonation and thick feel make it quite drinkable for such a big beer.

kingcrowing, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of mjtiernan
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

mjtiernan, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.43/5  rDev -10%

Dark brown pour, far from clear, almost no head to it, looked rather rudimentary in a homebrew kinda way. Lacked much in the aroma, a little fusel, tad of nutty smell.

Taste, toffee, barely hopped, low carbonation. Very smooth, not overly sweet, hides the alcohol extremely well. Just is kinda plain tasting, not appreciably sweet nor bitter nor hoppy. Its easy enough to drink, even velvety at times. Takes the toffee and nuts and smooves them out into something that is relatively easy going given its abv.

If you like barleywines, check it out, otherwise, its probably a 50/50 chance you dig it or don't.

Beerandraiderfan, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%

Appearance, pours out from the 12 oz. bottle into my Gulden Draak chalice. Fine stream of beige leather bubbles cascade through the deep Sangria like blood orange body, murky with yeast particles suspended bringing out quite the colloid. Head forms thick and stands up with resilience, lacing is fine even and intricate what a beautiful glass of barleywine lies in front of me. Aromatics deliver with deep over ripened raisin and plums reduced and caramelized in brandy, touch of pear drizzled with light syrup. All that malt is balanced with pine cone and herbal minty fresh hop doses, also alcohol is also evident with vapors tickling the nose and an earthy wood like accent finishes the party. Flavors flood well together drinking sweet right now but guaranteed not to be too cloying upfront sweet citric, caramel richness barrages my senses. Slightly burnt brown sugar really coats the palate, with alcohol soothing the back of the throat like a mild anesthetic. Bitterness streaks through with piney, citrus peel, and herbal mint qualities really impressive flow going on this is real barleywine. Alcohol is evident but maybe I have a high threshold I'm not tasting 11%, that's a good thing no instant headaches here or fusel alcohol, ethanol is just another well coordinated aspect of the brew. Mouthfeel is soothing with residual sugars coating the palate on each sip strong even bitterness is left on the palate carbonation is ample but not overdone body is medium to full in the spectrum of things. Overall drinkability is really great, I like this barleywine from the front to the back in every way a great beer I find it more impressive than the Baltic Porter or standard Porter I've had from them. What an up and coming brewery thanks jcdiflorio for the opportunity to sample this one. I also agree that this beer will only get better with age if your able to hold on to one for that long, because it's drinking pretty good right now and that friggin' red eyed duck with the derby on won't stop staring at me when I open the fridge I had to sample this one.

WVbeergeek, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of FrognutUnl
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%

A - Dark reddish brown, with a single finger off white head.

S - Raisins and tart fruits. A good amount of booze also detected.

T - Sweet with a fair amount of hop bite and earthiness. Tastes of brown sugar and dried fruits, with a slight amount of alcohol in the finish.

M - On the lesser side of full bodied with a bit more carbonation than I would like to see in a barleywine.

D - This wasn't tops on my barleywine list, but it was decent. The strange tartness in the nose and the amount of carbonation didn't ruin the experience, but didn't help either.

FrognutUnl, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +5%

2009 vintage courtesy of Paul - much obliged!

Pours a honey-copper color with an off-white head. The head settles fairly quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet malts with a lot of hops - mostly citrus but with pine and floral hints in there as well. There's also a bit of nondescript fruit smells.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the malts are a bit more in charge. Pine hop flavors come out more than any other hop flavor, and the fruit flavors are still there. This is an interesting mish-mash of flavors that ends with a nice bitterness. This is fresh from the brewery and I didn't find much presence of alcohol with the exception of a warming sensation.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a syrupy thickness with good carbonation that makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing what I had, but I'm not sure I could drink more than one of these at a time.

Overall I was impressed with how good this was fresh. The older version was certainly more balanced, but the flavors in the fresh bottle were still impressive. Worth a shot.

glid02, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of OBIrish24
4/5  rDev +5%

OBIrish24, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%

(Served in a snifter) best by 12/09
A- This beer has a dense brown body with a slight amber glow. There is a bubbly yellowish tan head that last a few sips and is supported by a few strands of microbubbles that glide to the surface.
S- This beer has a full rich caramel aroma with a light perfume hops finish.
T- This rich sweet malt caramel flavor has a dry malt finish with a slight hop prick in the finish. There is a nice roasted malt flavor supported with a soft alcohol heat it warms.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with no alcohol heat in the mouthfeel.
D- This beer has a rich malt with a slightly sweet flavor and a dry finish with just enough hops to support the malt.

rhoadsrage, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of pwoods
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%

Thanks to kkipple for this brew.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter. BB 12/08

A: Pours a nice brandy color with good visibility for this denseness of color. A short head forms and dies to a fluffy skim. Some wisps of lacing.

S: Thick, sweet, chunky malts with plenty of warm alcohol. Some muted hops. A light smoky or smoked meat aroma.

T/M: A nice alcohol line mingles throughout the entire drink. Hops are again muted but add a nice light citrus flavor and a touch of bitterness. Caramelized sugar in the malts with plump dark raisins and currants. More of the soft smoked meat character. Body is about full and a bit syrupy. Carbonation is moderate with a nice smoothness.

D: Pretty easy to drink for an 11% BW. A good night cap.

pwoods, May 08, 2008
Photo of jbphoto88
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with a best by date of december 2008. The beer is a dark amber, mahogany color. There is a light tan head that is slow to form and dissipates quickly.

Smell is of sweet malty caramel. There is also an alcohol twinge that floats into your nose.

Taste is slick and fruity with a malty caramel middle and then an aftertaste that is slightly bitter and earthy but not super astringent. The higher ABV warms the throat and belly.

Definitely better as the beer warms, this is a fine sipping beer. Not one I could drink all night because of the potency but a nice one to try from time to time.

jbphoto88, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

acurtis, Oct 29, 2012
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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 538 ratings.