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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

346 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 346
Hads: 564
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 110
Gots: 50 | 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:
Beer added by: SaCkErZ9 on 12-12-2006

The Duck-Rabbit Barleywine is the hoppiest of all the Duck-Rabbit brews. This is a Farmville-style Barleywine, crafted the way brewers in Farmville have always done. Loads of Amarillo hops give a piney citrusy bitterness that's supported beautifully by a toffee malt backbone.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 346 | Hads: 564
Photo of ppoitras
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (568 characters)

Photo of Dubber55
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Caramel/amber pour with 1 finger of carbonation

Smells like pine, citrus, and alcohol. Lots of piney hops in the aroma.

Taste follows the smell. Loads of piney hops, some orange rind, and booze. Lots of pine resin as well. Pretty sticky. It also seems to be really bready. Must be from the toasted malts. I am tasting a little brown sugar/caramel, but the hops are really overpowering.

Solidy medium carbonation. This is definitely a hefty beer. Pretty chewy and sticky. A little too much carbonation

Overall this beer does not remind me of an English Barleywine. There are way too many hops and no sweetness. Seems to be unbalanced (636 characters)

Photo of Boto
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle: This one pours a cloudy orangish dark amber color. There was a small off white head on it that leaves some lacing. Piney and citrus hops to the nose, but not overly done. Some caramel and mustiness also. The taste is good. Subdued bitterness, with lots of citrus and some hop flavors. fair amount of caramel malt, with the sweetness masked and balanced by the hops. Somewhat dry finish. Not bad at all. (415 characters)

Photo of chicagobeerriot
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to hopsleeroy for stashing this in as an extra.

DR Barleywine makes a very pleasant first impression. It shows up in the glass as a very attractive dark copper with ruby highlights when held to the light. One inch of light yellow head leaves some nice lacing within the limits of the style.

Smells like there will be some decent hops here. Pine, grapefruit and lemon are all hitting the nose with some light custard underneath.

With the first few sips, it's clear that this is going to pack a solid hop punch. The pine is even stronger on the taste buds than on the nose. After the hops take their first shot, there is a sudden, deep caramel note that then fades into a strong pine bitterness fueled by a little bit of alcohol heat.

This should age quite nicely. The pine and caramel notes are in a bit of conflict right now, but some age should round those flavors out and cut some of the heat off the finish. My guess is that, with a couple of years on it, this will become quite extraordinary. As it is, this is well worth a try, especially if you like your Barleywines to be just one step away from being a DIPA. (1,133 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: full orange-bronze. Big creamy head on the pour that mostly recedes.
smell: Citrus, piney hops. Subdued malt. sniffs more like a DIPA, or an American Barley.
taste: Strong hoppy start with a little malt in the finish.
mouthfeel: Fat full and creamy. A hint of something else - wood or maybe even a charcoal dash (in a nice interesting way).
drinkability: This one goes down fast and easy.
Interested to taste these with some age. (442 characters)

Photo of n2185
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage

A: Pours a nice, clear mahogany with about two fingers of khaki head. The head recedes into a ring with a thin film, but leaves behind a surprising spiderweb of lacing.

S: Caramel malt up front followed by some light citrusy hops in the middle. The finish is of warming alcohol.

T: Similar to the aroma, there are some caramel malts up front followed by a surprising showing of some citrusy hops with a light resiny bitterness. The finish slightly bitter with a strong warming from the alcohol. Not too sweet or bitter--quite nice.

M: Thick body with mid-low carbonation, this beer is pretty smooth and avoids being cloyingly sweet like many English barleywines or extremely bitter like many American.

D: A very well-balanced barleywine, especially for 11%. Goes down easily and doesn't leave me feeling like I'm about to get diabetes like some. The alcohol is definitely present, but without being too hot. (925 characters)

Photo of steve8robin
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Been waiting to try this one for a while. Glad to get it in a recent trade. Thanks Cmrillo! 12oz bottle, enjoy by 12/2011...

A: A gorgeous deep reddish color with brown hints. A thick 1+ inch tan head that fades at a decent pace. Awesome!

S: A nice creamy sugary malt with some earthy citrus blended in. A toffee in the middle with faint hints of hops and caramel on the backend. Decent.

T: A boozy watery bitterness upfront with a caramel rye in the middle and some dry metallic tastes on the backend. Kind of a little harsh on the booze and dryness to this one. Decent.

M: Medium body with a heavy carbonation. Very dry bitter finish. Ok.

D: Not the best here.

All in all, this is an ok brew. I've had many better balance barleywines. This one seems more like a booze bomb blended with a very dry taste blended in. Maybe try if you like DR, but if you're looking for a good example of the style, this is not it. (919 characters)

Photo of busternuggz
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.
Clear ruby color with a 1/4" tan foamy head. Recedes to a thick ring and leaves soapy lacing.
Smells of orange candy and guava paste, slightly vinous, a little caramel or toffee. Faint at first but comes out more as it approaches room temp.
Hop flavors of pine and orange zest up front on the taste, with some subtle toffee and sweet raspberry and cherry. Dry, bitter finish with lingering pine and fruit. Hop forward but fairly well balanced with malt tastes.
Smooth and well carbonated texture, medium bodied. Slightly creamy, moreso as it warms a little. Ends dry and crisp.
Pretty tasty and engaging, a bit too bitter of a finish.
Comes off as more of an American barleywine, but it's pretty good. Could use more malt presence but it has some nice stuff going on. (810 characters)

Photo of ritzkiss
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle shared by viggo - nightacapper, thanks man!

Rich golden brown beer with a clean head with some retention. Really classic English malt profiles, rich caramel, toasted brown sugar, raisin, molasses, hints of cocoa, toast. Light citric hopping which provides a light bitterness and drying in the finish. Hides the ABV real well, very full flavored. Just so tasty. (373 characters)

Photo of stimulus
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz (from a 6 pack) into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear amber/brown with a one finger tan head that sticks around for a bit.
S: Caramel, toffee, and citrusy hops.
T: A blast of hop bitterness is followed by the subtly sweetness characteristic of a barleywine (the caramel and toffee).
M: Great carbonation, full bodied, and just a little bit sticky on the palate.
D: Not easy to put down by any means for the style. However, this brew is flavorful enough and lacks any taste of alcohol to add to its drinkability considering its style. (550 characters)

Photo of Pencible
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a hazy copper with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like caramel and butterscotch malts, with citrus hops (mostly fresh oranges) and a little alcohol.
T: It tasted like oranges and citrus zest, with caramel and butterscotch and a bit of biscuit. It had a bitter and clean aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with a little carbonation. Decent body.
D: This had a nice scent and taste, with well balanced elements. Not dissimilar from something like Old Ruffian or even a fresh Gratitude, but not quite as bold or complex as either of those. The alcohol was quite noticeable in the scent, not as much in the taste, so it was fairly easy to drink. This will probably improve with age, as it's still a bit rough around the edges. Fresh, this beer was good, but it was only reminiscent of the truly great barleywines. (828 characters)

Photo of slowbie
4.65/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours a nice reddish brown color with great clarity and ruby highlights flashing in the light. A one finger light tan head forms on top with good retention.

Good barleywine aromas of raisins and plumbs. Not much alcohol in the nose. Very citrusy hops are mildly evident.

Taste is oh so wonderful. Plumbs and raisins fade to orange-citrus hops. The hoppy flavors in this one are just fantastic. Many barleywines (including the one I just brewed) have what I perceive as a harsh astringency from the hops, but this is more of a bitter citrus that works so much better with the malt flavors.

Mouth-coating amounts of body and good carbonation to accentuate but not distract from the flavors that are going on.

As good as this is now, I could see some age doing wonders for this beer. I might just have to convince the wife we need a whole six pack in addition to the two singles I bought. (933 characters)

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 poured into snifter:

A - Ruby red, cherry color but also looks thin in the snifter I poured it in. Good.

S - Heavenly. Rum soaked raisin, hints of cherry, plum and oak. Very nice balance between all these characteristics. Seriously, I can't wait to take my first sip this one.

T - A truly impressive balance between bitter and sweet. Exactly matches the nose. Rum soaked raisin dominates this beer. Hints of cherry and plum and the oak flavor makes itself known also. Right before you'd say this beer is getting a bit sweet, the hops come in and bitter the finish out which keeps you coming back for sip after sip. Very well balanced. Does not taste 11%, alcohol is there but very hard to find. I could go through a few of these thinking it's 8%. Drinks like 8%. The only thing keeping this beer from going above a 4 is a small medicinal cough syrup thing going on but only detectable if you look for it. Focusing on the rum soaked raisin dulls this aspect though.

M - For a 11% Barleywine some might call this beer a bit thin. I'd just say they packed a bunch of Barleywine flavor into a thinner bodied beer for the style. Similar to Blind Pig when it comes to IPAs or Pliny for DIPAs. Bravo I say...well done. Not at all syrupy, chewy or "full bodied." Beer gets thicker 1/2 way through the 12oz bottle

D - Very good. You could put these down way too easy for a 11% Barleywine. I could of chose to make this a sipper or killed 2 bottles within 30 min depending on my mood. the beer gets thicker and stickier the further you get into though. Wouldn't have more than 2 in a sitting.

Final Thoughts - I didn't go into this beer with high expectations but I finished this beer very impressed and am sorry that I don't have another. Well Done! (1,751 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a murky mahogany color with a thin white lacing stretched across the top of the beer. The head clung to the edges of the glass and left some modest lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a nice malty flavor with some notes of caramel, cherry and raisins to it. I get a little hop citrus to it as well with a little lemon to it.

The taste shows a rich and sweet malty flavor to it throughout the flavor. Caramel, raisins, cherries and figs show up in the maltiness. I get a bit of a lemony, grapefruit citrus to it as well. Some bitterness comes through in the finish which balances it out pretty nicely and also gives it a bit of dryness.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being about average for the style. It has a bit of a rich and creamy feel to it as well. Drinkability is pretty good, it had a nice rich malty flavor to it but also didn't become too sweet. Pretty good version of the style and an enjoyable beer to sip on this evening. (1,024 characters)

Photo of AwYeh
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter; received in trade from cmmcdonn. Thanks Chad!

A: Pours a cloudy caramel-amber color; honestly, this looks like a melted down caramel drink. Very enticing, and with a one finger head and great lacing to add to the punches.

S: Rich caramel, toffee, and cream; bits of dark fruit and citrus from the hops add to a great aromatic balance.

T: Sweet caramel, bready malts dominate, but are balanced pleasantly with the aforementioned hops. Neither cloying nor too bitter, and the alcohol is undetectable.

M: Medium-thick body; moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy going down.

D: If this wasn't listed as a barleywine, I might have a hard time telling considering how drinkable it is. A bit of warmth from the alcohol peeks through, and sweetness may be just a tad overpronounced, but even saying that is nitpicking. (859 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Really preety ruby copperish color. Looks very much like a young bottle of JW Lee's Harvest Ale. An impressive and frothy finger of white head with good lacing and head retention.

S: Lots of raisins and dark fruits comming through with the alcohol right behind. Little bit of molasses. There is a sweetness in there that my mind is calling cane sugar. Weird. Also you get just the slightest hint of rum if you let yourself wander for a moment.

T: Starts off with some raisins and then goes into a nice complex malt profile. Getting some munich and maris otter. The hops are there but quite in check. Really quite sweet for the style. Maybe this did not ferment out 100%.

M: Assertive medium body. Not overly heavy. Carbonation is spot on.

D: I like this one quite a bit. If they can cut down on the residual sugars and get this down a bit more they will have a real winner on their hands. (895 characters)

Photo of SFLpunk
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to forgetfu for the bonus X-mas present! Too thoughtful!

12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Label dated best before 02/2011. That last year's batch?

Appearance is hazy orange brown with some light tan head. Nose is classic barley wine ale, lots of rich caramel, toffee, fresh cream, a little citrus (mainly orange).

Palate is round and juicy, but not super rich. Great edges from the crisp bitter hops, toffee is the predominate flavor from the malt, nice earthy pine sap towards the finish. Hops make this a mouthwatering barleywine.

Wow, really well crafted. Not cloying at all. Wraps all the classic barley malt inside a fuzzy edged hoppiness. (655 characters)

Photo of CooperEllis
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz into 6oz wine glass. Best before 02/12.

Minimal lacing and thin head stretched over the top of muddy burnt orange/caramel body.

I have to say that I was wondering 'what' I was smelling, the aroma is forward w/ hops and I checked that it's a English barleywine, perhaps just far far to young and I should have let this mellow a bit.

As noted in many other reviews - tart citrus/rind with a large dose of sweet malt in the middle with an eye watering bitter/booze finish that really caught me offguard. After the finish there is a whole lot of piney/citrus sticking around.

I had a hard time getting through the whole bottle, not because of the flavor but because of the booze heat. This is also damn near flat which is making me think more licquor and less barleywine.

(71st) (785 characters)

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice hazy amber-brown with a short, brown head. Aroma of figs, some hops - like a fruitcake holiday treat.

Taste is smooth, deep and drinkable. Figs and raisins, touch of rum. Tastes like a fine English pub ale on steroids.

Not explosive or anything, just nice and warm for New Year's Eve.

I like. (301 characters)

Photo of domtronzero
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear amber color with a tiny, short lived whitish head. Very little lacing.

S - Sweet bready caramel malts. Tons of hot boozy alcohol. Lite earthy hops emerge from behind the booze as it warms.

F/M - Tons of sweet caramelly bready malts. Again, an overpowering hot solventy booze flavor is quite dominant. Medium earthy and spicy hop flavors with a moderately high bitterness. Medium-full bodied with moderately low carbonation. Lingering boozy flavors mixed with caramel malt sweetness.

D - OK, but this beer is obviously a little hot right now. I'm not sure how old (or young) this bottle is, but it could probably benefit from a few more months in the cellar, if not a year. (685 characters)

Photo of JohnQVegas
2.79/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into The Bruery tulip; best by date of 2/11. Big thanks to Ian for the bottle - a long-time resident of my wants list finally gets set aside.

Pours a positively murky red-brown - you can't see more than a couple of millimeters into this one. Thin tan head on top fades quickly to a ring of bubbles. The murkiness is a bit of a turn-off - I appreciate unfiltered, but this is like pond-water.

Nose, however, is quite enjoyable. Notes of caramel saturated in alcohol are surrounded bright, fruity notes ranging from candied cherry to tangerine, like rum-soaked fruitcake. A bit of light cardboardy oxidation notes as the beer warms.

Taste, however, is a bit unexpected. Instead of the onslaught of rich malt, I'm getting an intensely savory, almost umami character. Slight fruity sweetness is immediately set aside for earthy, almost fresh-leather savory notes bolstered by the firm alcohol presence. Finish is more of the same, intensely savory and rather unappealing. Honestly, my first expectation would be that this one is bad, but it's well within the best by date.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy, light carbonation. The bizarre flavor is rather enhanced, in a not pleasant way. Plodding.

Drinkability is no better than flavor. Doubtful that I'll finish the glass.

All in all, before I had my first Duck Rabbit beer, I was ridiculously excited about this brewery. While there have been some exceptions (Milk Stout is very good, Schwarzbier is aboe average) for the most part I've been disappointed. For a dark beer specialist, their specialty is rather unrefined. (1,580 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (280 characters)

Photo of Hophead101
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

drank on 12.9.10 as part of Blind Beer BIF #3 from hayesez.

poured the 12 oz bottle into a snifter type glass. Pours a beautiful copper brown color with a well paired tan head to go with it. The glass hold beautiful lacing to add to the appearance.

The smell was a bit boozy (ok, a lot boozy), molasses, brown sugar.

Tasted very nice, follows the nose, some oak in there as well. A bit hot in alcohol, but I am very much enjoying this beer. Medium body, slight funk in the aftertaste, but you get used to it pretty quick. Nice beer. (537 characters)

Photo of vtfan77
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy burnt orange with a small head that instantly dissipates into a thin ring of lace. Beer leaves small, patchy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet caramel and toffee in the nose with a slight backing of bright citrus that keeps things interesting.

T- Tart citrus rind at the outset segues into rich, caramelly malt. Finishes a little sweet with a good dose of bitterness and a bit of alcohol burn. Very hoppy for an English Barleywine.

M- Full and a little syrupy; fairly low carbonation, but good for the style.

D- The alcohol level and the richness keep the drinkability down, but the flavors are good enough that you want to keep sipping.

Quite the enjoyable barleywine. The hops are a bit aggressive right now (especially given the style) so if you have one of these I'd recommend waiting a few months to let it mellow out a bit. A bit of age should really bring out the malt flavors and could make this an excellent beer going forward. As it is now it's good, just not great. Recommended. (1,011 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes on 6/18/10

A - brilliant deep amber/maple. Quite clear. Short lived cream colored head reduced to a soapy trail. Light trails of lace. 4.0

S - Lots of sweet caramel, honey, esters, touch of pears and alcohol. Maybe some raisins lost in there too. Honestly, it smells like someone kind of threw this together haphazardly. 3.5

T - Hugely sweet with a tiny hint of green apple. Raisins all around. Hot, alcoholic finish. 3.5

M - Medium bodied, smooth carbonation, but there's a bite to it. Very hot finish. 3.5

D - Decent, not the best but I think I'll give the other bottle a few years and revisit it then. 3.5 (631 characters)

Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.