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

Duck-Rabbit Barleywine AleDuck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale

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

510 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 510
Reviews: 338
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.91%

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: 510 | Reviews: 338 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Stinkypuss


4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby red with a soapy head that leaves plenty of lace. Aroma of booze soaked fruit and rich malts. In the taste, caramel, toffee, nuts, raw chocolate and citrus. Full bodied, very flavorful beer. Overall this was a good barleywine, big fruit and sugar, little hint of alcohol. I'd love to age a bottle of this.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2013 06:19:08 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – Served a deep copper color with a one finger cream colored head. The head has a good level of retension slowly fading over time to leave a decent level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of sweeter aromas. The main is that of a caramel and butterscotch nature, but it also has lots of fruity aromas of cherry and raisin. Along with these smells is a moderately strong boozy smell of rum and a bit of a herbal hop aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a bready and moderately sweet flavor of caramel and darker fruits upfront. A bit of booziness is present from the start with it growing stronger and more rum like in flavor as the flavor advances. Some wood and herbal flavors begin developing more toward the middle to the taste, with them remaining rather light to the end. Some roasted flavors come to the tongue more at the end and when combined with the herbal and a bitter citrus, one is left with a hot bitter-sweet boozy flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the creamier side with a carbonation level that is rather low. Both are appropriate for creating a more chewy and thick beer which in concert with its strength and boozy nature make for a slow sipper.

Overall – Not too bad, but a little messy at the end of the taste as the bitter and sweet sorta collide with the booziness leaving a slightly off flavor in the mouth. Not one I would necessarily frequent.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2013 13:37:39 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of beerforbears


4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I enjoyed this beer when I tasted it at the ACBF. Lighter carbonation, complex but not overwhelming taste. It was pleasant to sip on while the flavors sorted themselves out. All in all, an interesting beer, one of my fonder memories from that (somewhat blurry) night.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2013 01:16:11 | More by beerforbears
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out of the tap an opaque light reddish chocolate-brown with a fine-bubbled, pale yellowish tan head. Strong, malty, fruity-sweet aroma is rather inviting. Flavor is strongly fruity and, like a proper barleywine, has a fierce alcohol bite. Texture is lively, edgy and tingly.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2010 01:28:45 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of ImusBeer


4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

ordered this at my Mall of GA favorite

I fugues it would come in a small glass but no. Very dark amber in color, you can just see light through it. Almost NO head.

As it approachs your lips the smell of sweet malt assalts your nose.

The first sip shows you a thick malty taste with a serious alcohol bite. Some molassas in there as well. The mouthfeel is heavy and malty almost warm like a Guiness.

Drinkability is great I like it but only one a night!

Serving type: on-tap

08-30-2009 02:12:58 | More by ImusBeer
Photo of kuranes


4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Looks pretty, nice dark amber with light head that stays around.
S: Floral and citrusy.
T: Floral, citrusy grapefruitish notes with some sweet/bitter interplay at the finish.
M: Full, little sticky.
D: Pretty smooth for a barleywine. Mine cost $3, it's a pretty cheap buzz.

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2009 22:49:58 | More by kuranes
Photo of Klgkenny

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer at the 2009 duckrabbit barleywine release party at the brewery. They had a great three year vertical tasting. I am reviewing the 2007 (aged one year) here.

Poured from the tap into a room temp pint glass, a thick creamy head rests atop an amber body. A fairly transparent beer, I can see a few bubbles of carbonation. A decent appearance.

Smells and tastes like equal parts pine sap and malt mixed with a healthy portion of ALCOHOL! The aromas are very simple, but the taste is a bit more complex. Malty up front with a slight buffer of piney hops before that powerful wave of alcohol. Nicely balanced barleywine. A lot of the time, balance is great, but I think here, a bit of something over the top would be great.

The mouthfeel on this was just eh... Slightly oily, it was as if there was actually pine sap in the beer! The flavors lingered, which was nice, but that clingy feel was almost unpleasant.

With all of the above elements falling together the way that they did, this is a drinkable beer, but... If you are a barleywine freak, then give this a shot. It just seemed as if it was one step off the whole way.

SIDE NOTE: I was informed at the brewery that between the 2006 and 2007 season, the recipe for the barleywine changed. The 2006 was UBER-sweet. The 2007 (aged one year) was balanced, and the 2008 was very hoppy. If you are a hop worshipper, then you might really like this barleywine. Otherwise, you're going to want to set this aside for a year.

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2009 01:06:56 | More by Klgkenny
Photo of shivtim


3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis.
Looks nice. Hazy, gold/brown with red tinges. Small sand-colored head and solid lacing. Smell is quite sweet. Heavy honey, sugarplums, molasses. Taste is deep roasted malts balanced with dark fruits, and an alcohol finish. Doesn't have the sourness or bitterness found in many barleywines. On warming, alcohol becomes more apparent, and fits the beer well. Mouthfeel is pretty good, feels like a barleywine.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2008 15:11:31 | More by shivtim
Photo of CrellMoset


4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stopped by Trapeze after hitting up Five Points Bottle Shop on my way through Athens. They served 16 oz. of this beauty in a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: A deep, dark ruddy brown body with garnet and ruby hues, hints of orange around the periphery even, a truly gorgeous, foamy tan head - seriously, I had to ask if this was on nitro-tap, it's so immaculate and immobile and meringue-like - with great retention that leaves huge three-dimensional lacing. An amazing-looking beer.

Aroma: Spicy hops dominate, interestingly enough. Tons of light fruit in the followup, white grapes, golden raisins, pears. A faint alcohol permeates the whole ordeal, but blends well with the light fruits and the spicy hops, lending a rum-like note.

Taste: Very sweet, though again leaning more towards the light fruits - pear, sweet cherry, apple skins - with some slightly tosatier qualities (in the form of faint cocoa powder, light springy coffee), hints of toffee, and a little bit of bitterscotch. Plenty of hops too, with piney and citrus zest being the dominant flavors. There's also some rounded nuttiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, thick, syrupy, intense, with low carbonation, and a surprisingly medium body.

Drinkability: What a great beer. One of the few Duck Rabbits I haven't tried, and it's a shame I hadn't before now. This is a complex, balanced, interesting, fruity barleywine, and another very impressive offering from what is, in my opinion, the best brewery in North Carolina (and that's saying a lot). Recommended, along with all their other offerings!

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2008 22:41:49 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of maltphile

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Loved this beer for it's rich characteristics. That said lets get down to, er, my opinions.

The review was conducted in Flying Saucer Draught Emporium (ok it's been awhile) on a partly cloudy day, outside temp. in the mid 50's. No smoking inside.

Serving: draught,
Color: Dark Amber,
Carbonation: lower than normal, not much at all,

Head and retention: mostly fine bubbles with some med. bubbles, head of approx. 1/2inch disipates quickl leaving lace.

Overall appearence: glinting amber light around edges of glass, warm and clear.

Smell: Initial notes of sweet malt yielding to a flowering hopiness with a hint of fruit.

Taste: Mimics scent, initial maltiness cloaking alcohol flavor yielding to hops, creating a dried cherry-esque flavor, hops aroma lingering in nose.

Mouthfeel: Thick, malt stickiness stays around

After a few oz.s definite alcohol warmth in chest, mellowed by the maltiness. hops are present throughout as an underlying note. Malts become very strong by bottom of the glass.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2008 02:02:09 | More by maltphile
Photo of ruckzuck


4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap tonight at BSP. I was very glad to be there to inaugurate Duck Rabbit into GA.

A - deep red, off-white head

S - citrus, chocolate, roasted malt, hops

T - same as smell; really great; taste was really enjoyable at the pub; I love this beer!

M - medium body, nice carbonation

D - incredible! My notes from the pub say "should be illegal!" and that's probably about right. Duck Rabbit can do no wrong and I'm proud to have met the brewers tonight!

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2008 03:58:58 | More by ruckzuck
Photo of sinistrsam


4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This barleywine poured a nice ruby-brown color with a medium tan head and excellent lacing.
The aroma was tons of brown sugar and raisin, but notes of alcohol and possibly some plum? Decently complex, and surprising.
The taste was very sweet caramel and malt, with mild hop presence and notes of citrus, raisin and spice. Very enjoyable.
The mouthfeel was very sweet throughout, and unfortunately the downfall of this brew in my opinion; just simply too sweet. I look for a good balance in a barleywine and this simply wasn't balanced as well as it could be.
It was an enjoyable beer but its very high ABV and sweetness leaves this beer only decently drinkable. That having been said, I still applaud the take on the style and the attempt by DR; still an excellent local NC brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2007 18:06:12 | More by sinistrsam
Photo of Georgiabeer


2.73/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm a big fan of the other Duck Rabbit big beers, so I was really looking forward to trying this one. Unfortunately, this beer is out of whack and in my opinion not at all in the same caliber as their other beers. Next time I'll try it again from the bottle and let it age some and see if it improves. Pours dark amber with a big head that lasts surprisingly long given the high abv. The smell is surprisingly light and has a vegetal note to it, (tomato?) that is a little offputting. The taste has more tomato and on top of that is way too sweet. Strong, alcoholic sugar water with a tomato tinge? No thanks! The flavor is just bizarre. I would put this down to the keg being off if it hadn't been served to me by the brewery at the Hickory Hops fest. The mouthfeel is creamy, but also a little too slick. This one is not utterly bad, but its got some flavors going on that I just don't find that palatable. I'm not sure what went wrong here, but I think this beer probably doesn't belong on draft.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2007 18:19:12 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of clayrock81


3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a reddish brown body with some decent head and lace retention. Aroma is a little boozy but nothing bad and there is both some dark fruit and sweet malts coming through. Beer is medium bodied, smoth, not only a touch of dark fruits (I'm thinking figs) there is a caramel and toffee, even almost candi sugar sweetness, that pokes through at times. The alcohol holds things in balance from being too sweet and there is a good malt base that keeps it held together. An interesting and enjoyable barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 17:16:46 | More by clayrock81
Photo of kevanb


2.55/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a Duck-Rabbit snifter.

The beer pours a dark caramel color, hues of deep amber, brown and slight orange, extremely opaque and thick. A taught, firm khaki head appears, rising about a finger high, moderate retention and a fair amount of sticky lace is left behind. The aroma is bitter, earthy hops, crisp and a bit of spice, burnt brown sugar, caramel and rich, sugary dark grains. It unfortunately lacks any fruit presence and reads as just bitter and earthy. The flavors are powerfully bitter, no balance or complexity, just waves of earthy hops, hop spice and astringent alcohol. Light brown sugar, caramel and rich grain are present, like in the nose, but they are dominated by the bitterness, nothing sweet really shines. The body is rich, a little over carbonated for my tastes, crisp, although fairly thick and coating. The finish is a bit dry and crass, could be creamier and softer for sure.

Verdict: An unfortunate disaster. Overly simple, but not refined in any way, too bitter, too astringent and just unpleasant. Perhaps the high levels of carbonation are a sign of slight infection? I can't quite say, the flavors don't appear to be "off" other than they just aren't that good.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 21:10:40 | More by kevanb
Photo of ThisWangsChung


3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy chestnut color. The off-white shaded head is quite small - not even a finger high - and doesn't even retain itself well. It leaves a bit more lacing than I expected, though.

S: There seem to be a goodly amount of toasted malt notes, giving it a lush breadyness to it. Plenty of dark fruits lurk behind the malty goodness, and even a wisp of dark chocolate comes through occasionally. There are some tart and boozy touches. Some nice subtleties here - it isn't just malts and a bit of fruit.

T: It starts with plenty of toasted malts. Dark fruit flavors enter the picture after the midtaste, with some alcohol appearing on the finish. Touches of leather, chocolate, and cherries also come through. The boozy nature isn't just generic fusel nastiness, but it's also well nuanced, well integrated, mellow, fruity, and a bit tart - just like it should be in a barleywine. Complexity isn't forceful, rather it's subtle and challenging yet rewarding all at the same time.

M: The body is full, but perhaps not quite as creamy as I'd enjoy. It's quite well attenuated, giving it low finishing sweetness (for the style), but a noticeable booze presence and a tart bite. An 11% barleywine devoid of a significant hop presence shouldn't be this drinkable. And yet this is.

O: Where did this come from? All I know about Duck-Rabbit is that they only brew dark beers - and that they struggle with infection problems. This, thankfully, isn't infected, just damn tasty. One of the better non-barreled barleywines I've had in a while.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2013 19:55:16 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of Dave1999

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour a semi transparent dark red with a thick foamy white hed.

The smell is cherry and other dark fruits.

The taste is dark fruit, with a little bitterness and alcohol.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a very tasty and reasonably priced barleywine. If you like barleywines with a dark fruit flavour I'd recommend this.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 23:19:55 | More by Dave1999
Photo of Flounder57


4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a tulip.

Appearance: This poured a decent sized head that reduced to a thin layer with nice lacing on the glass. It is a dark copper color with slow moving bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Fruity, boozy, malty, caramel, dried citrus, raisins, and bready.

Taste: Same as above with a bit of chocolate, bitterness, nutty, and roasted coffee.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, low carbonation, medium bodied, lingering bitterness, and a little chewy. The alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: A very interesting barleywine. So many characteristics and still a tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2013 07:03:16 | More by Flounder57
Photo of Dope


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 2/14

A: A clear, deep red pour with a large fluffy tan head.

S: Big raisin bread aroma.

T: Raisins up front, followed by a nice toasty, almost burnt bread flavor. In the finish, the sweetness drops out, really giving you that acrid, burnt toast flavor. In a good way, that is. Very grainy from start to finish with lots of toasted malts. Surprisingly not boozy.

M: Nice robust body. Hearty.

O: A pretty simple barleywine but I really liked the toasted bread notes. They really come through strong and sharp. Tastes like you're drinking alcoholic liquid bread. The raisin is just enough to add another layer in with some raisin bread quality. Surprisingly tasty.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2013 03:07:49 | More by Dope
Photo of crewfan16


3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

thanks triagestat for this beer in a great trade. poured a 2012 vintage to a snifter after a rough day at work....hopefully it will cheer me up.

a- pours a dark ruby/brown color with surprising clarity. aggressive pour produces an inch of off-white foam that fades quickly leaving some nice lacing. a nice looking beer.

s- sweet raisin and lots of malty sweetness. there is some citrus hop aroma that balances it out nicely. smells about like i would think a barleywine should.

t- sweet raisin is there, but way more hops than the nose, again in a citrus fruit like variety. lots of malty sweetness as well but not overpowering.

m- enough booze that i can tell its high abv, but nothing that takes from its drinkability. a bit of a oily, sticky mouthfeel that i would expect. a dry finish. moderate carbonation.

overall, a very nice barleywine. decent complexity, and i like the hop-forward profile. if it was distributed around here, i would have a few more in the cellar, but wouldnt go out of my way to trade for it.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 05:34:28 | More by crewfan16
Photo of AmitC


4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A very nice pour. Deep amber color with an excellent off white tan colored head - about two fingers thick. Nice head retention. Excellent lacing that is just awesome with every sip. Very beautiful looking. Clear and transparent.

Aroma is full of malts. Strong booze. Piney, spicy and herbal hops. A little bit of fading citrus and grapefruit. Some wooden character. Strength is good. A good mix of hop and malts. Aroma reminds me of Big foot. Very close.

Taste is of bitter hops upfront. A silent malt middle. Very boozy and warm. Hops and malts combine really well to deliver a bitter taste that is very likable.

Mouth feel is medium bodied with a nice amount of oily and boozy touch. Warmth from alcohol is somewhat strong. Low to moderate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 02:59:43 | More by AmitC
Photo of HardTarget


3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light amber glass shows good clarity and has a sticky white foam cap that laces my glass like a pro.

Smell: Rich rum raisin, deep sweet malt, and a whiff of leafy hop to keep it all in check.

Taste: There's a slight off note, but it's quickly drowned in sweet grainy malt and slightly earthy hops. The off note is a bit solvent, maybe a fusel alcohol of some sort. It's mildly distracting, but there is a lot of goodness around it so it's easy to forgive.

Mouthfeel: Very still, little gritty carbonation seems a bit flat, even for style.

Overall: A tasty tasty beer. A heavy hitter with a soft glove.

Big thanks to Illudium for the sample!

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 01:48:59 | More by HardTarget
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

This bottle has no dating but must be at least eight years old. It's been well-cared for; I think it was my last one so I held off drinking it, but the time has come.

Appearance - pours a murk reddish amber with a thin short-lived cream-colored head. In seconds it's at a few bubbles and thin collar.

Aroma - caramel and syrupy citrus.

Taste - sweet, vinous with raisin and fig. Sherry on the swallow, notes of oxidation are evident. Tart cherry on the finish and a fine warmth at the end along with a note of cocoa and toasted grain.

Mouthfeel - low end carbonation, good weighty feel and smoothness.

Overall - aged amazingly well, though the tartness at the end gets lengthy after a while, approaching cough syrup like flavor at times. Overall, a successful aging experiment in my book.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2013 02:05:09 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of roundthewaygirls


3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a tulip glass

A: poured half a finger of off-white creamy head. beautiful auburn, burnt orange color. translucent, a little light gets through. a few bubbles.

S: bready malts. caramel. ethanol. a hint of dark fruit, fig or apricot.

T: surprisingly fruity. slightly sour. deep, smoky malts. hops are only noticeable in the dry finish. booze is well concealed.

M: fine carbonation. medium body. sour going down and sticky on the lips.

O: pretty decent. liked the fruity character. i love the body of most barleywines, but this one was a little thin for me. there's a lot of confused malty character that has potential. could be developed with aging?

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2013 00:46:44 | More by roundthewaygirls
Photo of BeerDocT


4.16/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance 4.0: Beautiful, deep golden amber in color. Nice head for a growler pour, about 1/2". Lots of little bubbles floating around and a decent amount of particulate matter, which is usually a great sign.

Smell 4.25: Lovely bouquet. Very upfront hops with some appealing deep caramel sugars. I could almost place this particular hop... . Regardless, this is a wonderful way to begin a session... .

-Taste 4.25: Front is spicy and very lively on the tongue. Middle is where the hops come in and mingle perfectly with the big barley punch. Lots of residual sweetness here that the obvious dry-hopping balances out. Finish also benefits from dry-hopping as the resiny taste of the hops perfectly accentuates the caramel taste of the malts. Finish is long and dry and all alkaline hop residue. Nice.

-Mouthfeel 3.5: Carbonation/conditioning was spot on for this beer. Usually barley wines are flat, but the added bubbles helped the enjoyment of this complex brew.

-Overall 4.25: Excellent brew. Complex, big and delicious. The 11% (!) ABV is completely invisible in the hazy swirl of hops, malt and yummy goodness. The dry-hopping was stroke of genius as was the added level of CO2. Excellent beer.

Serving type: growler

03-04-2013 04:05:33 | More by BeerDocT
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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.