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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

561 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 561
Reviews: 345
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 111
Gots: 48 | FT: 0
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 561 | Reviews: 345
Photo of wisrarebeer
4.69/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoy by January 2012

A: nice copper color, clear, poured with beautiful, rocky, off-white head that kept all the way to thin veil
S: deep, sweeter malt, some burnt malt noticeable, medium nose, port-like
T: deep, rich roasted malt with well-balanced hop finish, full,
M: very full mouthfeel, very, very, drinkable, incredible rich and moreish

Photo of beerforbears
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of axeman9182
2.65/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle with a notched "best by" of June 2013. It was allowed to warm some before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

Duck Rabbit Barleywine Ale pours a color that's something between amber and mahogany, with no visibility through the glass possible. Maybe two fingers of cream colored foam top the beer and hang around for just a bit before fading. Lacing is spotty. The nose features aromas of caramel, fig, and alcohol. There's also a background fruitiness that's just... odd, and a little out of place. The flavor opens with a healthy swirl of caramel. Just as a little bit of bitterness is coming into the picture, what certainly tastes like an infection comes into the picture. There's a slight medicinal twang to it, and a lime fruitiness that just clashes with everything that came before it. The infection hasn't impacted the mouthfeel too badly yet. The body is a little bit lighter than it should be, but the carbonation isn't too active yet. I've had other vintages of Duck Rabbit's barleywine that were pretty nice, but something definitely went wrong with at least part of this batch.

Photo of yourefragile
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage sampled 12/2012.

Did I intend to save this bottle for 4ish years? No. Did I expect this to be any good when I "rediscovered" it at the 3 year mark? No. Did I expect it to magically get better by throwing it in the back of my fridge for a year before sampling? YES.

Pours like a barleywine. Muddy amber brown with a quickly fading light tan head. Smells like cherry, leather, sherry, gently smoked fine meats, cardboard and bread. Slightly oxidized as expected but I'll be damned, it doesn't taste awful. Chewy and leathery body with delicate and thoughtful carbonation. Less fruity than the nose, more malt forward and proper British. Hell of a lot more enjoyable than the 2008 DR Baltic Porter I threw out my window. But seriously, what jerkoff ages Duck Rabbit beers?

Photo of Wolfpack2005
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage

A-dark amber, clean, no sediment, 2 finger head, nice lacing.

S-Sweet malts, pepper, cinnamon, a little bit of alcohol and hops

T-Mild malty sweetness, brown sugar, raisin, candied fruit, slight earth hops, mild grapefruit tartness, strong alcohol presence in the after-taste

M-Medium-heavy body, high carbonation.

O-This one didn't age as well as I had hoped. The pleasant complex sweetness that seemed to develop over time was overwhelmed by the strong alcohol after-taste. If that could be masked some how this would be an excellent ager.

Photo of darklordlager
2.58/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Interesting beer. As others have noted, it does have an interesting "sour citrus" note to it. It may be infected. A bit odd really. Lime, kiwi, tropical fruits--very unlike any barleywine I've ever had. Finishes with a sour/bitter note as if you had just eaten a kiwi coated in lime juice (sounds weird, but it is actually kind of pleasant/enjoyable). Lightly vegetal, but not offensively so. Perhaps a light, oxidized "sherry" note, but it is hard to tell with all that lime/citrus upfront.

Odd. Interesting. Enjoyable to a point (about halfway through and it becomes too much).
I am intrigued, yet put off after the first 1/2. It becomes astringently sour--must be some sort of infection, unless they add an odd fruit they do not disclose.

Photo of StoneTSR
2.1/5  rDev -45%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

APPEARANCE: Pours a nice, pleasant orange more akin to a Double IPA than to a Barleywine, but good looking nonetheless. A little hazy with a full finger of head that fades quickly.

SMELL: Banana, bread, orange and a little spice. Not too intense, but pleasant.

TASTE: This tastes overly citrusy with an orange and lemon pucker throughout. Not much else going on here.

MOUTHFEEL: It feels fine - light body with a light sparkle.

OVERALL: This is clearly not what others have tasted. Something is wrong and I hate that this is my first review for these guys. I've had some of their other beers in the past and thoroughly enjoyed them, just a shame they let this slip out.

Photo of thebigredone
1.12/5  rDev -70.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Appearance was normal. Everything else was not. Horribly infected, taste awful. Deserves a zero. Don't have much experience with Duck Rabbit, but the two beers that I was sent as extras were both infected. This does not make me want to really give their beers another try, seeing as they have such poor quality control standards.

Photo of Treebs
1.86/5  rDev -51.3%
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.

Photo of pixieskid
2.28/5  rDev -40.3%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Photo of Axnjxn
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of yamar68
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
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!

Photo of madjustin
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.26/5  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.

Photo of nickfl
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.41/5  rDev -36.9%
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.

Photo of kscaldef
1.75/5  rDev -54.2%
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.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of gkatsoris
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
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!!!

Photo of pokesbeerdude
1.82/5  rDev -52.4%
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.

Photo of GONZALOYANNA
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of flyers1980
3.83/5  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.

Photo of VaterRoss
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
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!

Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 561 ratings.