1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 510 | Reviews: 338 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of stimulus

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 04:32:12 | More by stimulus
Photo of Pencible


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 17:43:31 | More by Pencible
Photo of slowbie

North Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +22.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 23:33:04 | More by slowbie
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2011 20:52:41 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
Photo of billab914


3.85/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 02:02:59 | More by billab914
Photo of AwYeh


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 09:20:59 | More by AwYeh
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 01:23:51 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of SFLpunk


4.38/5  rDev +15%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 03:57:49 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of CooperEllis

New York

3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
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.


Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 23:11:46 | More by CooperEllis
Photo of RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 01:55:45 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of domtronzero


3.58/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2010 00:36:51 | More by domtronzero
Photo of JohnQVegas


2.75/5  rDev -27.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 21:13:07 | More by JohnQVegas
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 Hophead101


3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 01:42:29 | More by Hophead101
Photo of vtfan77


3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2010 05:52:58 | More by vtfan77
Photo of DmanGTR

New York

3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 06:33:30 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of Verecund


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

Jan10 (est.) release. Reviewed 11.17.2010.

Cloudy, nearly opaque isabelline. Almost headless, DR barleywine leaves faint lacing.

Dank, tangerine; brown sugar and caramel; honey; slightly muted citrus; dried apricots. Hot and heavy, she's rich and has depth, but smells a bit soft. (There's no date on the DR releases that I know of, but this must be the Dec09/Jan10 release.) NOTE: Re-review when fresh.

Soft citrus and fairly strong herbal hoppiness with a supporting sweet, bready, caramel malt backbone. Sweet toffee finishes, but most of the flavor profile is earthy, slightly citrusy hop meets a bready, caramel malt body.

Medium and somewhat creamy. A little bit of stickiness to it, which I like. Fairly dry midway through the palate all the way to the finish. Warming.

A nice fall/winter brew. I'll update my scores upon trying this one fresh. Not exactly what I look for in a barleywine, but I'd like to try it 1) fresh and 2) with a couple of years on it. Not the best, but not the worst, of the DR seasonals.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2010 01:58:19 | More by Verecund
Photo of speter

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear deep amber with a minimal head, but reasonable lacing nonetheless.

S: Rich malt with an amazing amount of citrusy hops and some booze. A touch of brown sugar as well.

T: Very nice, indeed. As you would expect from a barleywine, the front is dominated by the malt, which in this case is a toasty biscuit malt. The finish is remarkably hoppy (almost IPA-like), which lends a very nice overall balance to the beer.

M: Rich and creamy with a full body, but not. Too chewy. The warmth is there, but it's remarkably well-integrated.

D: OK, at 11%, this isn't one I'm going to have too many of, even more so as it was a single of a beer not distributed in my state, but I certainly wouldn't mind having another.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 02:28:17 | More by speter
Photo of Thorpe429


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 Daniellobo

District of Columbia

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

Good barleywine with a nice fruity touch.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Duck-Rabbit branded label in red gold, white and black with the Duck-Rabbit wearing a hat. Lacks description other than noting being proudly made in small batches. No apparent bottling date. Shows Alc. by Vol. (11%). Served in a snifter.

A - Medium to deep amber pour with a 1/4" head, medium retention, fair surface memory and some touches of lacing.

S - Good nose with a forward fruity sense over the malt and hops.

T - Nice malty range, caramel and molasses, with a subdued hoppy sense under the forward fruit range, fresh and dried berries.

M - Medium body and carbonation with nice smoothness punctuated by a very light dry touch.

D - Not mind-blowing but this is a pretty pleasing barleywine, the fruit sense while forward is not off-putting. Nice brew.

Notes: Hmmm, I haven't had much stuff from The Duck-Rabbit but when I have the quality has been pretty commendable and worth repeating. This brew adds to that conclusion.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 13:45:54 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of codewarrior

New York

4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz From a 6-pack, Poured into a snifter.

Best buy date indicates 2/2011, which I believe makes this from the 2009 batch. Picked this up in a very generous trade with Handle.

L: Deep amber and transparent. 1 finger creamy white head.

S: Strong booze into a hoppy, bitter middle. Fades into caramel. Just wonderful.

T: Strong caramel into a tower of hoppitude. Slowly backs down into a stinging booze-iled finish, and lingers.

F: Wonderfully thick. Stinging in the back, with a puckering sweetness. Wonderful.

D: Great all the way around.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 06:56:12 | More by codewarrior
Photo of argock


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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear- oversized wine glass. 2010 version. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $2.35.

A: Dusky amber with sizeable 1-2 finger off-white head with good retention and nice lacing.

S: Odd aromas of honeysuckle, apricots, and slightly burnt toast.

T: Also strangely fruity with a tang that is hard to place but is most reminiscent of apricot-peach-mango and herbal, grassy hops. Malts are hefty and caramel with a lot of bready yeastiness. Some fruity alcohol is present as well.

M: Reasonably chewy but not heavy witn medium carbonation.

D: An odd outlier of a barleywine with some different and not cohesive, fruity aspects combined with a very bready, toasty malt profile produces a weird mix of flavors that don't quite add up.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 04:59:36 | More by argock
Photo of joshuaseresse


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

Bottle received as an extra from billab914, thanks Bill! Poured into a snifter:

A - A cloudy, brown, caramel color with half a finder of white head. Slight lacing retention. Looks nice.

S - Sweet caramel, brown sugar, slight oak and earth. I find this to be quite pleasant. Little apple cider and dark fruits.

T - Sweet and slightly boozy. Toffee, brown sugar and oak.

M - Creamy but kind of dry. Leaves a bit of chalky feeling in the mouth. Needs a bit more carbonation.

D - Nice drinkability. I could drink about a pint or two bottles a night. Its boozy but at 11% it's kind of expected. I enjoy it though and am glad I got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2010 16:55:44 | More by joshuaseresse
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

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

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a deep copper with a nice sticky 2 inch white head. The aroma is sweet and has a ton of bready notes. Lots of sweet toffee and caramel with a pleasant,warming alcohol finish. Definitely a full bodied sipper. An enjoyable barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2010 00:52:28 | More by bonkers
Photo of cbutova


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

A- Hazy red with a small off-white cap that has low end retention. A frothy cloud and ring leave just a little bit of lace.

S- I can tell it will be a strong beer. Huge dark fruit, slight alcohol, cherry, some citrus/hops and a backbone of caramel malt.

T- Follows the nose for the most part. Some yeast hints and very slight medicinal notes in with the fruit. Very strong. Some truffle/toffee/molasses hints and caramel malt.

MF- Creamy moderate body with lower end carbonation. Very, very warm from alcohol and somewhat bitter.

DB- A strong Barleywine with big dark fruit profile. Aggressive but I enjoy that in this style. This would probably age pretty well if the malt came forward a bit more.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 22:25:09 | More by cbutova
Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.