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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

510 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(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 Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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

Fresh from Bruisin' Ales. To complete my six-pack, it was between this and some French Broad odd yeast thing. Knowing my preference for new and interesting and being a Belgium-lover, one would forecast the latter, but here I went conservative.
This is a sweet one, it does however taste like a barleywine and gvien the sweet profile, I think that they thought it would be drunk early.
Very boozy, and an early spring cold night seems so right for it. Pours a dirty blond with fantastic splattering of lace. Smells and taste like a boozy barleywine, drinkable after all.A bit of substance to the mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2009 02:12:43 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pomegranate-orange with a frothy, orange creamsicle colored crown that is currently filling the top half of the snifter. The head is now wonderfully melty and is leaving feathery rings of sea foam-like residue on the sides of the glass. Who says that 11.0% is a lace killer?

On a positive note, no alcohol is appreciated in the nose. Unfortunately, the beer smells too much like sour fruit. Sweet would be good, hoppy would be even better, but tart ain't gonna get it done in a barleywine. For what it's worth, I'm almost certain that this bottle is from the original batch (December '06).

Not that it was a difficult call given the nose, but Barleywine Ale is much too sour fruity for its own good. I have no earthly idea why that should be. Go ask a brewer. My hope is that if D-R brews another batch (assuming they haven't already), they rethink things from top to bottom.

Flavors include unripe apricots, oranges, peaches, and maybe even plums, swimming in sugar syrup and caramel. If you like sweet-and-sour barleywines, then Duck-Rabbit has the beer for you. Drinkable? Sure. Enjoyable? Not really. A few months more than one year in the bottle shouldn't have done it that much harm.

Sipping is the only way to go, mostly because of the teeth-rotting sugary sweetness. The mouthfeel doesn't stand in the way of faster drinking since it's thinly syrupy, if that isn't oxymoronic. Little carbonation contributes to a serious shortage of mouth excitement.

Duck-Rabbit deserves some slack since most of their lineup is solid, if unspectacular. Porter and Wee Heavy Scotch Style Ale are the best so far, with only Rabid Duck Russian Imperial Stout to go. I wish the brewers much better luck with the second batch of Barleywine Ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2008 15:29:24 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a deep ruby red with a small head that faded to a long lasting lace down the glass. Smells very sweet, with a hint of citrus. The taste is very rich, this seems odd, but almost tastes like a toffee or candy flavors. Very intresting flavor, I have never tasted this in a beer before. Very nice feel going down, not too thick and just the right carbonation. This is an odd one. I can't really describe the taste, but I cannot put it down either. Gonna have to come back to this, but overall this was definatly good.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 03:28:42 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is dark amber color, leaning towards the red side of things. The head is minimal and off-white in color.

S: Sweet oranges and brown sugar are present on the nose as are some light caramel and toffee notes. There's a fair amount of alcohol present as well.

T: Quite sweet and sugary with lots of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee on the front end. The sweet oranges are there again, too, and so is the rather noticeable alcohol (unfortunately).

M: The body is medium, not quite as thick and full as I would expect for such a high gravity beer.

D: I purposely let this beer age a little bit before drinking it because of hearing about the alcohol strength. Even with several months on it, I still find the beer to be on the harsh side.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 22:38:28 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a tawny brown color with a rocky beige head that is surprisingly lacey

Smell: Rich caramel aroma with a plenty of piney hops adding an unexpected dimension

Taste: The caramel flavor jumps out, although there are piney orange hops tones in there from the outset; by mid-palate, other dark fruit flavors add complexity; after the swallow, all of these flavors blend together into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation and a bit of warmth in the gullet; a little thin, however, for a barleywine

Drinkability: Nicely balanced flavor profile makes this a solid barleywine, although I would place it in the American rather than English category

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2009 15:42:37 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of gford217: Poured a medium color ale with a nice light brown foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of sweet barley malt is pleasant. Taste is a mix between some sweet malt with light dry fruits notes. Great carbonation with an average full body and no apparent alcohol. Hops presence is quite low but I didn't mind since I prefer English style barleywine usually. Not the most complex offering but still very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2008 19:35:48 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very nice Barleywine, done in true Duck Rabbit fashion. Deep mohogany color with brilliant clarity. Off white head persists for the duration while leaving ample lacing and legging behind. A classic look. Strong barley flavors take over from there with a sukist grain taste and aroma that completely dominates the beer. Molassas, maple syrup, sorgum, nuttiness and plump grain flavors combine with plumbs, raisons, grapes, dates, figs, and nuts for a rich and complexly flavored ale. Hop flavor gives an herbal, grassy note without interferring with the barley taste. No phenolics or unnecessary alcohols to detract. Very nice malt texture sets the stage for the mouthfeel while a light syrup feel reminds us of a beer that isn't quite dry. Sweet without cloying, rich without sticky, and full without thickening, the beer has a bold but delicate texture. Perhaps the hop rates here are a bit high compared to J.W. Lees or Tom Hardy's but the toasted barley gives a bit more complexity than lighter Barleywines. Another world class beer by Duck Rabbit.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2009 02:53:44 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a snifter. Body is a moderate copper color with a very small white head. Some legs on the side of the glass. The nose is some brown sugar, a bit of fruit, booze, and caramel. Taste is pretty good with some sweet bread and fruit plus a bit of booze and caramel. Feel is slightly boozy but the flavors combine and have a nice body. Drinks well but could use some age.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 01:29:13 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2006 Bottle.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark amber body with a small, creamy-looking, beige head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling caramel syrup aroma laced with fruit and citrus and booze.

Taste: Sweet, sweet caramel maltiness with some squashed apricots tossed in. Splash of sweet southern iced tea. A pinch of cotton candy. The mildly bitter remains of some citrusy hops. Vague hint of wood. Warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: In all honesty, I've had better and worse bottles of Duck-Rabbit Barleywine. This one was pretty decent. Overall, I've found the majority of them to be kicked up with sweetness and just a bit thin (for me) in the body department.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2008 02:06:16 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2007 23:47:38 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

What a jaunty little cap. This brew pours a translucent burnt amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, toffee, booze, rye bread crust, and a bit of medicinal aromas. The taste also carries that medicinal astringency, along with some sharp citrus hops, toffee, and maple syrup. The body is a heavy medium, with a moderate carbonation and a gooey feel. Overall, I think this is the least of the Duck-Rabbit brews I've yet had. It seems as though something went awry, I just can't put my finger on it.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 05:56:14 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

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

Duck-Rabbit's barleywine pours a clear, ruby-accented dark chestnut body beneath a short head of creamy tan foam. The rich aroma rises up at you: malty, fruity, hoppy - it's English in nature, but with more fruitiness than you'd normally expect. The head drops steadily to an average collar, but walls of spotty lace are left behind - it's kind of nice... almost like polka dots. The flavor bears out what the nose suggests, and it's malty with a healthy cereal characteristic and lots of sweetish caramelized sugar. There's a touch of toffee and nuttiness to it as well; and the yeast has left a small puddle of reddish fruit juice and lots of dark-skinned fruit as its calling card. The alcohol is kept in check, but it helps to dry things along with a very moderate astringency and solid bitterness. It finishes dry and a bit spicy and earthy or mineralish with a combination of lingering hops (leafy, grassy, floral) and dark skinned fruit. It's well-balanced, well rounded, and well polished, yet all of its components remain able to shine on their own. Very nicely done!!! Certainly worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2007 02:48:56 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Can't even remember who sent this - one of my Carolina/Tennessee hook-ups I'm guessing. Served in my Day of the Living Ales taster glass. Split with the wife. Best before 12/09.

A - One finger of slow dissolving creamy orange-tan foam with tons of lacing. Murky orange with a hint of brown. Pretty good looking for a barleywine.

S - Burnt sugar, raisins, caramel, dark fruits, some residual floral hoppiness. There's a slight rye bread sourness to the bready malts as well.

T - Taste is a litlte bit less complicated - lots of caramel, booze, dark fruits, and bread. The aftertaste is kind of hot with some roastiness to it as well.

M - Full-bodied, low carbonation, super sticky residual feel, some alcohol warmth. It's what I expect from the style.

D - Too hot to really have more than one bottle. Otherwise it's pretty easy to drink - the aftertaste isn't too strong. I suspect this will be good well beyond December.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2009 00:52:32 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from svosie so a big “Thank You” goes out to her. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains citrus fruits, honey, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, citrus and honey. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with a hint of alcohol sting. The hops presence is strong for the style and makes the beers seem very IPA-like. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

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

O: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very good stronger beer to drink for as long as you can handle it.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2012 03:53:54 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ding for this one!

Pours effervescent brown/orange into a duvel tulip with 1 finger of sand colored head. Average lacing, some oily shimmer & average head retention

S: Some cakeyness, plummy notes, & oakyness. Boozeyness, caramel & a touch of smokeyness once warm

T: Caramel, dryness, & leafy hops up front with some boozeyness. A little vanilla, oaky dryess, along with piney & leafy hops once warm. Finishes a bit too dry, with some brown sugar, & some maple syrup

MF: Chewy & slick with minimal carbonation

Drinks good, between the boozeyness & the dryness, slows you down a bit. This BW has some American traits that detract a little, but this will only improve with age

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2008 05:37:19 | More by russpowell
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 02:51:16 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best By Date December 2007, Sampled July 2007
Very well carbonated, the beer almost explodes as it first hits my glass. After a very careful pour, I end up with a four-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head that sits atop an absolutely brilliantly clear, cranberry red colored beer. The aroma has a distinct fruitiness to it that mixes with the alcohol and reminds me of a mix between brandy and sherry. Almost has a buttery like, toffee-esque, definitely caramelized malt character to it. At times it even smells like sweet grape juice. I am not sure what it is, but something about the aroma is a bit off-putting; something like a mix of green, macerated raisins, some sourish-bitter herbs and a distinct, yet, can't-quite-put-my-finger-on-it vegetable-like thing.

The beer is very thick, at least it should be. The excessive carbonation causes it to froth up immediately as it hits my tongue; luckily this is easily fixed by a couple of vigorous swirls of my glass. The beer is fairly thick and quite sweet; that sort of off aroma is noticeable here in the flavor as well, but I think that it is just a combination of the ample hops and sweet malt. The malt here tastes simplistic and overly stripped, like it had been heavily filtered (though I am not sure this is really the case here). Herbal, definitely grassy, somewhat reminiscent of green grapes, the hop character is quite prominent here, though it seems to manifest itself a bit atypically from your typical hoppy Barleywine. Rich, brown malt, caramel flavors linger in the finish; somewhat similar to a brown sugar encrusted, richly browned, rustic bread crust.

This is certainly not a bad beer, but it just seems a bit weird to my taste buds. It definitely hides the 11% alcohol quite well.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2007 04:37:17 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This barley win pours out as a murky looking brown color, the head is an off white color and leaves a pretty good lacing also. The smell of the beer has a good hoppiness to it, there are some boozey aromas coming off of it also. The taste of this has a good malt base with some pine nots in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is pretty good here, it's got a nice thickness about it. Overall it's not a bad barley wine at all. Found it to be pretty enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 20:12:13 | More by Knapp85
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2008 18:47:49 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thank to Drunkmonk for this one.
Poured a deep orange color with a small head. Nose was of hops, citrus fruit,dried fruit and caramelly malts. Taste was malty,some fruits present and small hop dash.Hops were much more noticeable in the nose than in the taste as the bitterness was quite low. Mouthfeel was medium and left a syrupy feeling in the back of the throat. This beer could materialize if aged but still a good bwine.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2008 14:35:02 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of a trade with unclejedi.

A: The barleywine is a dark red, tawny almost, color. A thick, voluminous head and lots of carbonation resulted in a foam volcano after the bottle was opened. That head has laced nicely in the glass.

S: The nose is malty thick, full of strong cereal grains and a pale (color-wise) fruit aroma that is slightly tart but chewy. There isn't much, hopwise, to be said.

T: Nice and malty, this is a nice sippin' beer on a cold windy March night. You know, the kind that comes in like a lion. The malts have a molasses and alefruit flavor, heavy on the boozy sweetness. The sweetness is most evident at the end of a sip, with the strength and taste of green grapes. There is little in the way of hops, making this a malthead's dream.

M: The mouthfeel is definitely English, lots of malts without the overabundance of hops. The sweetness pushes cloying at times.

D: The high abv and intense sweetness is limiting me to one glass. This is not the best that Duck Rabbit has taken to market.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2008 03:18:15 | More by akorsak
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(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.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 15:36:03 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to slcbrewer for this one.

Poured into a chalice a deep dark clean/clear reddish color, nice carbonation, huge creamy tannish head, tons of sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is of malts, cherries, a tangyness, some caramel. The taste is sweet, slightly tangy, a good dose of cherries, some caramel. The finish is slightly dry. The alcohol is hidden very well. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really like this one, very different from an american barleywine, there's a nice sweetness to it, dark fruits, very enjoyable. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2007 00:25:49 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained from someone in trade awhile back. Sorry for my forgetfulness, but thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a DFH snifter, formed a 1/4" tan head over the cloudy burgundy brew. Head quickly fades and recedes to the rim, with sticky but limited lacing. Aroma is sweet tannins and fruity alcohol.

Taste starts sweet, lightly fruity in the middle, then goes all tannins and alcohol at the close. Leathery lingering. Mouthfeel is soft over the tongue, not quite as smooth as I would hope, and drinkability is pretty good. Not as exciting as I hoped.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 02:21:06 | More by ppoitras
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A perfect candy apple colour, the beer appears succulent and sweet. Its clarity is wholly intact with a glossy complexion that nearly sparkles ruby-esque tones when held into the light. It's nothing short of dazzling. If left undisturbed its ecru stained capping will appear just adequate. A quick swirl now and then, however, will resuscitate what is a more than eloquent display of carbonation considering the 11% alcohol.

The aroma seems to showcase all the bitter, astringent character of hops with a disproportionate amount of floral and fruity notes to correspond; it smells like there were plenty of hops used without giving air of a typically 'hoppy' bouquet. Same goes for the malts, I sense the roast and long-boiled stickiness but am whiffing none of the crispy toast or sweet caramel. I'm not sure what to expect from the taste.

...and I'm still not sure what I think. There's an almost doughy, pastry like base but what I taste most is a strong dusting of chocolate that coats a big mixture of dried and over-ripened fruits. I would guess some combination of figs, apricot, dates, and pineapple - not necessarily your most predictable group of fruits. The ones more typical - bruised apple and sun dried cherry - taste as though they were soaked in brandy.

The more I think about it the more the beer does, at its base, resemble a sweet flaky pastry, like something found at a Greek bakery. For one, there's a ton of sugar and secondly there's a small dose of caramelization too. More and more this starts to resemble baklava and a shot of brandy. It's a sugary, syrupy sweet concoction tasting of dried fruits, flaky pastry and honeyed nuts - this brewer has to be Greek!

This isn't my idea of the ideal barleywine but that's not to say it doesn't still make for a good one. I'm still not entirely sure of just how much I like (or love) the beer but I had this same conundrum with this brewery's Imperial Stout. Like the drawing on their labels after which the brewery is named, this too can be seen as two different things: a good (what I think) or great (maybe to some) barleywine. Either way, there isn't any wrong answer.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2009 05:38:17 | More by biegaman
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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.