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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 Treebs


1.7/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle served in a FW mini taster snifter.
Enjoy by 2013.

A: Pours a dark amber color with a light tan head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thick ring that leaves splotchy lace behind and sticky legs.

S: Cherry bubblegum and tart fruit skings. Really sweet, yet sharp. Light water cracker malts, toffee and a slightly metallic finish.

T: Sour and bitter. Cherry skins with a weird vegetal flavoring. Metallic with sharp twinge of vinegar.

M: Very drying, puckering and off putting. Hard to swallow any sips.

O: The bottle should read "Enjoy by Never". This wasn't a terrible infection, but it was definitely present. There was some rays of hope in the nose with some of the intended flavors of the beer, but the flavor profile was downright bad in the taste. Cannot recommend.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2012 18:48:33 | More by Treebs
Photo of pixieskid


2.33/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I've had both good and bad experiences with Duck Rabbit and although the recent reviews were hit or miss I gave it a shot and unfortunately I ended up with what certainly seems like an infected bottle...

Pours a translucent mahogany hue with a solid 2 finger head...looked great!

Nose: nothing but vinegar and cherries...I suppose a bit of oak.

Taste: honestly, if I held my nose, this had the great makings of a solid barleywine...but, obviously that is an absurd way to consume something. There were notes of charred grains, dark fruits, oak, vanilla, lots of great things going on but that nose of vinegar and a twang of metal got the best of me.

Mouthfeel: slick yet fluffy, really nice actually.

Overall: don't know what the problem was but if it werent for the nose and finish of sourness, this would have been an interesting and well balance barleywine...bummer.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2012 04:42:19 | More by pixieskid
Photo of 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 Axnjxn

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Six pack from Sam's Quik shop in Durham, NC.

poured into a snifter.

Very unique for a barley wine. alcohol is not apparent at all, very easy to drink. Definitely a sipper though. citrusy, grapefruity, hoppy and a tad sweet. Citrus flavor is quite intense. Very unique and another quality offering from the Duck Rabbit.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2012 21:14:11 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of yamar68


3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to snifter, vintage unknown:

Pours a boozy looking burnt caramel. Big legs and distinct lacing.

Massive brown/caramelized sugar bits. It's hard to get past that. Smells like the dessert beer to end all dessert beers. Some smooth toffee and vanilla underneath.

Distinctly barleywine on the tongue... thick and sweet, but hardly boozy. An unexpected sourish citrus quality surfaces. A bit odd, but highly drinkable for the style.

Thanks crunkchiggin2002 for extraing me this one!

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2012 03:31:28 | More by yamar68
Photo of madjustin

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big, boozy, piney, with a bit of sour cherry and strong malt backbone. Appearance is a slight red color with not much head retention or lacing. Aroma is pie cherry, bready, with citrus notes. Taste is of strong malt backbone but not sweet, generally dry, perhaps a bit over-attenuated, with wonderful sour cherry notes that go well with the malt and surprisingly well with the piney citrus hops. Infected? No. Metallic? Certainly not. Sour? A bit, but very interesting in the style, and very enjoyable. I would say that the malt and hops carry through to make this a true barleywine but the sour edge gives it a unique twist.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2012 00:34:34 | More by madjustin
Photo of kylehay2004


3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: no head as expected on a hazy to cloudy copper with golden hues body.

S: sour cherry, almost sour beer like, sugar and candied fruits.

T: not your typical barleywine. subtle smokiness. this one is very sour beer like with the malts taking a back seat to the sweetness. metallic after taste.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation. thin compared to many other barely wines.

Overall: very drinkable for the style and hides the alcohol well but this one is strange and may be infected especially considering the recent reviews describing this though I suspected it before reading those reviews.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2012 04:03:56 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of nickfl


3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours with a small head of white foam on top of a hazy, dark golden body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace on the glass.

S - A spicy, mustardy aroma with notes of black pepper, clove, and perhaps a touch of acetone.

T - Bready malt up front with some sour cherry and pine. Spicy notes of clove and juniper in the middle with a touch of acidic grapefruit. The finish has some smoky notes that intensify in the aftertaste and almost end up as a band-aid like note.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry, acidic finish.

D - Weird, this almost seems like a sour with the level of acidity and the odd, yeasty notes. I'm really conflicted about whether this is infected or not, it has some really strange characteristics and it is oddly dry for an English barleywine. The smoky character is really odd for the style and almost to the level that it would be unpleasant. Not something that I would drink again except to confirm that it is supposed to taste like this.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2012 04:02:55 | More by nickfl
Photo of BeerFMAndy


2.28/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
11% ABV, Enjoy by 2, 6, 13 (I think...it's barely there) notched on the label.

Thanks Onenote81!

A - Deep lightly hazy copper in color, this barleywine is gorgeous and topped by a long-lasting ivory head that dots the snifter in delicate lacing.

S - Infection is starting to peek through an otherwise great-smelling beer. Behind the light sour, musty funk and phenolic band-aid nose rests bushels of deep malt. Pleasant dark fruits of plum and raisin skin emerge along side the caramel sweetness and overall dense bready aroma. This contains enough hoppiness, though, to be more akin to an American-style barleywine with it's hefty bitterness and citrus characteristics. Fusel alcohol definitely asserts itself into the aroma as well.

I wouldn't go as far as to say the aroma is ruined, but it's certainly well on it's way.

T - Hearty malts continue on in flavor, but this beer is overly ruined by it's infection. Sour bacteria and phenolic plastic invade it's every pore, sucking the life from the beer. I don't really want to go on at this point.

M - Full-bodied and chewy, there's quite a bit of sweetness, well-balanced by some bold lingering bitterness, but the problem lies in the strong tart, sourness. Oddly enough, even with my love of sour power, I can't dig it. Alcohol continues to be present, warming up the throat as it goes down.

O - Underneath the unfortunate infection problem, this barleywine shows real promise. Deep malts and hops seem to balance well. I look forward to trying this one when it's back on track; I bet it's pretty incredible.

I'll be honest though, I don't find this beer utterly undrinkable. After the initial shock, one could muscle through it if one was so inclined to look for it's alcohol effect. But sadly, I'll be drain-pouring this bottle in search of something else.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2012 01:59:50 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of kscaldef


1.63/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured out promisingly enough, with a garnet color and decent head. Classic barleywine aromas of raisin, honey, and cherry, although this was a bit cold to really get a good sense of it. Unfortunately, all changed when I tasted it and got a mouthful of one of the foulest metallic brews I have ever encountered. Completely undrinkable. Gave it 30 minutes to see if warming up would help at all and regretted going back for another sip. Drain poured the rest.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2012 05:24:21 | More by kscaldef
Photo of Mora2000


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 gkatsoris

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

A: Slightly murky. Tan in color. Thin thin head.

S: Malts and raisins. Vanilla. Bread. Butterscotch. Slight citrus; tangerine.

T: Malty mostly. Really sweet and tangy. Pretty hoppy for a barleywine I think. Tangy.

M: Very nice. Full and thick. Nice coat left in the mouth.

O: A solid barleywine. A big barleywine.

thanks redliner8!!!

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2012 01:04:05 | More by gkatsoris
Photo of pokesbeerdude


1.78/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle that my sister grabbed for me when she was back in GA. Into a Deschutes Snifter. 6/13 best before date. This is my first Duck-Rabbit beer.

A: Turbid copper in color with a light tan head that foams up to about half an inch and quickly recedes, leaving behind a few spots of lacing and practically nothing reminiscent of a head.

S: Tart, like bretty/lacto infected tart? Um. Huh? Smells infected, and not much else behind it.

T: Infected, there's definitely something not right with this brew. Over attenuated, practically no malt flavors, slightly astringent alcohol, and decent hop bitterness. Definitely bretty and infected.

M: Thin, slightly overcarbonated but not necessarily boozy.

O: Wow, incredibly disappointed. This is clearly infected. If this is the brewer's intention, I have to say that I hate this. Brett and tartness in a barleywine just don't work for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2012 01:07:11 | More by pokesbeerdude


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

330ml bottle. Snifter glass. Enjoyed on dec´11. Dark ruby in color, orangish to the light. Close & dense crown, yellowish color, small bubbled with good retention. Caramel malt & sweet toasted malt aromas, notes of prune & raisin. Sweet bitter upfront then moderate flavor of malts & gentle warming alcohol.Hues of spices & cask-wood. Full body, medium carbonation. Overwhelmed molasses in the middle lingers into a kind sugary finish. Ripe fruits on the aftertaste. No bothering high ABV.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 18:14:20 | More by GONZALOYANNA
Photo of flyers1980


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Mad Elf tulip glass after letting it sit about an hour or so out of the fridge. Aroma is very much like an IPA, which could fool you if you didn't know which beer was in front of you (but how often does that happen). Definitely much more full budied than Old Horizontal or the Appalachian Brewing Co. barleywine I've had (those are the only other two I've tried). Definitely a sipper but also incredibly drinkable for a beer of this style. A nice 6-ounce glass (or a whole 12-ounce bottle if you're me) make for a perfect aperitif before fish or chicken.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2012 19:19:34 | More by flyers1980
Photo of VaterRoss

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into New Belgium snifter.

Beer pours a dark orange/copper with a nice clingy orange/white head. Smell is very sweet and so citrus hoppy as to be almost oily. Taste is hard to pull apart due to the extreme hoppiness. Starts with a light sour body that is quickly swallowed by a mouth prickling wave of citrusy hop bitterness. There is also some sweetness in there from the malt. The sourness and citrusyness reminds me of lemon. Beer is actually quite sour and citrusy and super hopped. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light in body and also quite sour.

The sourness of this one really threw me off, also very lightweight for a barley. Doesn't taste like 11% but you can feel it. Not a bad beer but I've had much better barleys. I wish it wasn't so sour.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2012 01:49:12 | More by VaterRoss
Photo of TheRougeBastard

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very good brew! I admit was surprised at the smoothness and drinkability having expected more of bite, but found none. The aroma had hints of caramel, citrus, and even cinnamon and molasses. It was very drinkable, not overwhelming in the least with a pleasant aftertaste and none the “heavier” beer note at all. A thoroughly enjoyable beverage, one for my favorites list!

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 01:19:53 | More by TheRougeBastard
Photo of FosterJM


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

1216th Review on BA
Bottle to CCB snifter

Thanks to Gurudel for this one

App-  A huge dark orange with ambers, garnets and even some red.  Giant head and keeps the sticky cling going as it slides gently.

Smell-  Really has a lot going on. The malts open this one and then a huge damp pressed cherry note. A bit of tingly booze and thick sweetness. Big candy notes.

Taste-  As I sip on this it really opens up. Huge malty and sweet notes. This seems to be a true BW. Toffee sweet and moves to boozy and dark cherry notes.

Mouth- A full medium with a semi creamy and filling medium carbonation. Residual booze and cherry malts.

Drink-  A very tasty beer. Has a large flavor profile. Complex, tasty and sweet. Classic BW flavors and the ABV is well hidden

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 00:17:07 | More by FosterJM
Photo of smakawhat


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

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Vintage 2012.

A simple pour brings a faint caramel head that settles with a nice top and whispy laced collar. Body color is a gorgeous glowing bronze red, shimmering and just a beautiful color.

Great nose. Candied fruits of apricot, mild brown sugars, sweet malts faint sour lemon and powdered cinnamon also. Real impressive, I love this sweet and sour angle with citrus sense.

Sour angle hits with an interesting palate for a barleywine. Sour lemon pulp, zest and pith with a slight astringent hop character. Body is a little wet even hinting at fizz. On the swallow boozy character only hits in the stomach not on the palate.

Overall I've NEVER had a barleywine that tasted like this, it's real impressive, but perhaps not one I would go nuts over. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 21:56:21 | More by smakawhat
Photo of RCK86

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a sixer of this off the shelf for $11.99 and set it in my fridge overnight to cool.

A: Hazy brownish-orange, somewhere between bourbon and Grand Marnier. When poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip, it retained a slight head that diminished fairly quickly. Not much lacing at all.

S: The citrus hits you first. I thought I caught floral hint on my first whiff, but upon further review I'm not sure it's there. The alcohol is there at the end, but it's very faint. Smells a lot less boozy than other beers of similar or lower ABV.

T: Strong citrus with a bit of a woody tinge. The alcohol is there, but it's not off-putting in the least. Tastes like a beer of considerably lower ABV.

M: Very, very smooth. It's warm, but no in an alcohol-y way. One of the most drinkable 10%+ beers I've ever tasted. I could down a 6-pack of these quicker than I would feel the effects. I'd be on my ass in no time.

O: Highly recommended. I'm not incredibly familiar with the style and thus can't speak to how well this brew adheres to its tenets, but I know a good beer when I taste one. I love The Duck Rabbit's offerings, and this is my favorite beer of theirs. This could become my new go-to "good" beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 22:01:22 | More by RCK86
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

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

Poured into a Southern Tier tulip.

Pours a dark, ruby amber with a thing layer of off white head. The nose is complex; there are notes of bread, citrus, fruity, caramel, and an underlying cherry, medicinal note. The flavor is similar; big malty body offers caramel and bread but the hops are intense with a very strong grapefruit juice and pineapple citrus character. The mouthfeel is warm, smooth, full bodied, and well carbonated.

This is a good beer. It's a sipper but it's highly drinkable. It's balanced, hoppy, and a little sweet. I think a little age would mellow it out more, but it's good as is. The citrus quality is intense and may not be for everyone, but I liked it.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 23:38:22 | More by tdm168
Photo of aasher


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

This beer pours a medium bodied dirty, cloudy copper with a one finger soapy off white head. The nose is surprisingly oaky and dry. The matinees is sweet with sme cherry and toffee. The flavors too are pretty woody, especially for a beer that isn't advertised to be barrel aged otherwise it follows the nose with candied sugar and cherry. It drinks between light and medium in body and isn't overly sticky. It finishes dry fr the style if anything. This is an interesting barley wine. Its worth a try and is a nice change of pace for the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2012 12:40:04 | More by aasher
Photo of AndyAvalanche


4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Style Glass. Liquid portion comes out sort of a bronze red color, maybe the slightest bit lighter. The liquid has excellent clarity. There's an orange to off-white colored head that absolutely erupts from an aggressive pour. Really nice lacing from the top of the glass to the liquid at the bottom.

Smell is very nice; it actually smells very sweet. Huge, generous amounts of barley and hops. Pretty well blended between the two of them as well. Sort of a natural sugar aroma as well. For 11% there's not overwhelming alcohol aromas either, but it does slightly warm the nose.

Taste is equally as good as the smell. In addition it sort of piggy-backs it. Barley backbone is big again producing hints of ripe, fruity flavors. Also some large portions of earthy hops. Again with the slight warmth of alcohol, but not much of a flavor, again very sweet too.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are really good. Well balanced and well blended. Full bodied with a good carbonation level. Slight warmth from the alcohol, almost a burn to the point where it's slightly hotter than you want it to be, but makes it a nice sipper. All in all a nice barleywine, very tasty!

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 02:11:07 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of jayfro70


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours very cloudy, dark burnt orange color. Very little head.

S: Very strong smell of brown sugar.

T: Nice bitterness up front and at the end. Tastes like it smells. Brown sugar and currants.

M: Very smooth, slick mouthfeel. Smooth

O: Despite the nice individual aspects of the beer, overall disappointing. There seems to be a lot going on in this beer, but it doesn't seem to come together for an overall effective beer.

Serving type: bottle

***picked this beer up at a local restaurant/bar that was having a "vintage beer" sale. Not sure when this beer was produced, but the "drink by" date was Feb 2012. Drank on Jan 27 2012. I would have expected a barleywine like this one to have aged better. Decent beer, but not what I was expecting.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 02:58:29 | More by jayfro70
Photo of GregSVT


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

12oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a ruddy orange with a nice cream colored head that fades to a ring and leaves no lacing on the glass.

S: The nose has really big aromas of caramel, toffee, bready malt, and citrusy hops. Smells more like an American Barleywine than an English one.

T: The taste starts with a huge blast of grapefruit along with some sweeter flavors of caramel and toffee. Definitely an American Barleywine...needs to have the classification changed.

M: Feel is medium bodied oily and slick.

O: This is about on par for the correct style. Huge hop presence makes this kinda hard to drink though.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 03:52:00 | More by GregSVT
Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.