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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

539 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 539
Reviews: 339
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.91%
Wants: 109
Gots: 45 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: SaCkErZ9 on 12-12-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 539 | Reviews: 339 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kingcrowing
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler.

Pours a deep cloudy muddy brown with a very thin head. Nose is a bit boozy, malty with some yeast and fruit.

Taste is Fairly decent, nice fruitiness with a light burn from the high abv. Mouthfeel is creamy and rich. Light carbonation and thick feel make it quite drinkable for such a big beer.

kingcrowing, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of rye726
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a tawny brown with a nice tan head and light lace.

Nose has candy malts, honey, faded floral hops, toffee, cherries, pecans and maple.

Caramel, nutty malts, ripe pitted fruits, subtle herbal hops and a touch of brandy.

Full body is well carbonated. Not sure on the age, but this has aged pretty well. At leats a couple years old.

rye726, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A long day at work and a nice and very welcome 12oz. Poured into my Delirium goblet... 2 finger yellowish khaki head.. great lace.. but no real cap.. the brew is pretty deep amber.

Nose has tons of caramel and plenty of estery fruitiness .. plums and maybe dried cherries.. toasted malts and some grassy hoppiness that combine into what makes me think of sawdust.. a bit boozy.

Flavor mirrors the nose, but more cherry esters really come in mid palate and linger through the finish.. some whaffs of cocoa.. but the caramel malts with deep munich are really the main players.. hops are bigger than the traditional English BW.. and definitely lend toward the American side of things.. there is certainly some citric and maybe some piney hops.. the caramel verges on toffee as it warms.. really this is a nice BW.. very drinkable.. but still a sipper in the respect that I want this one to last a bit.

Very nice body.. pretty thick but with a great carbonation... the alcohol seems to cut through the viscosity, but really is not too much of a distraction for me.. It reminds me very much of an aged Old Boardhead or a pretty old.. Old Bawdy... I like this more than the most recent Old Bawdy.


JohnGalt1, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of younger35
4.7/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been meaning to track down this brew for quite some time but somehow it's always alluded me. Luckily gibby is a generous guy and hooked my ass up! Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip while watching the Green Bay vs. Minnesota Monday Night Football game.

Appearance- Pours a fairly dark ruby red with a nice sized half finger dirty white head. Not much of a cap remains but a fairly decent collar leaves very very little lacing.
Smell- Has a very maltiness smoothness with hints of candy and hops. The caramel is fairly prevalent as are kisses of toffee and red licorice. A gentle toast underneath that brings out subtle whiffs of cocoa and Tootsie Rolls. Some light citrus tones and a touch of orange peel and lilac.
Taste- Starts a lot like the nose but the chocolate is quite a bit more prevalent. Caramelized sugars and brandy soaked cherries right from the get go before some cotton candy and red licorice step in. The chocolate is more toward the middle and lingers well into the finish. The beer is lightly sweet at first but finishes with a subtle hoppiness bitterness. Some grapefruit and crab apple also creep in toward the finish amongst the chocolate and cocoa. The alcohol is covered extremely well.
Mouthfeel- Big and rich and creamy with a light bit of carbonation that really adds to the creamy perception.
Drinkability- Definitely one of the better Barleywines I've ever tasted. Its super smooth and easy drinking and amazing that it's 11% because its hidden very well. It's got that nice balance between sweet/bitter-malty/hoppy. It's the beer I was expecting without any disappointment. Great beer, thanks Jeff!

younger35, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of Thur123
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A heavy pour yields no head and a deep murky peat-like brown with a little bit of red. Little carbonation rises and very little light gets through. The smell is a deep dark fruit smell with a bit of spice, maybe something like molasses, the dark fruit is like plums, figs and a bit of raisin smell, with maybe some lighter dried apricot. The alcohol is hidden so well.

Glug glug glug

Hit first with a kind of sharp liquerise flavor with the raisin present too. Towards the back end the heat turns up and the flavor mellows and becomes a little sweeter, which is nice. The mouth feel is thick and a bit chewy which helps coat the mouth with flavor. Pretty good, I look forward to more of these in the winter hopefully.

Thur123, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of nickd717
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from City Beverage in Winston-Salem. I love these guys' logos.

A - Cloudy dark brown color with a two-finger beige head.

S - Caramel malt, citrusy hops, and earth. Pretty much what you'd expect for a fairly good example of the style that is somewhat fresh.

T - Sweet with lots of caramel malt, toffee, hint of dark fruits, earth, and piney/grapefruity hops.

M - Palate medium-full and a little chewy.

D - Pretty good for the style.

nickd717, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of treyrab
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed one of these after works tonight. I have been meaning to try this one for sometime now, but have always passed it up due to the semi-high price for a single bottle. But, I received my paycheck, so I splurged a bit. Poured cool from the fridge into a snifter.

A: Pour is very hazy. Kind of surprised at how hazy it was, but I supposed I shouldn't be. Nice head that laces well from the sticky hops and sticky malt. Head lasts a long time and is nice and creamy.

S: Nice creamy caramel up front. Real Munich and Crystal malt bomb with some nice citrus hops. Kind of reminiscent of a Double IPA. Some nice bitter toffee as well that is coming through as well.

T: Very nice, robust and in your face with caramel and toffee. Nice and sweet, and the hops are coming out masterfully. Really reminds me of Dank Tank Barleywine if you have had that. Just really sticky, sweet and great caramel and hop balance.

Overall, I was impressed. Duck Rabbit does some good things and this is not an exception.

treyrab, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of hopsandhickory
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While I'm a fan of The Duck-Rabbit's offerings, this is one I hadn't tried before.

This has a nice deep, golden-amber, brown color, much like real Vermont maple syrup. It's dark in color, but transparent. Pours with a medium, foamy head and leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass as it drinks down.

Pungent, powerful. My wife can smell it from across the room. I can best describe it as sweet and malty, with a bit of sourness. Initially, I smelled honey and sourdough bread. By the time I reached the bottom of the glass and it had warmed, it smelled more like a bourbon glaze I like to make.

Taste & Feel
Rich, bittersweet. Actually, bitter-sweet-bitter. This has a strong barley taste with a bit of earthiness, almost peaty. I'm definitely picking up a honey flavor. In fact, between the heavy body and the sweetness, it has a syrupy taste experience.

This brew delivers quite a kick. Initially, the high alcohol content creates a slight, burning tingle on the top of the tongue. Following that is a slow, burning, warmth all the way down. By the end of a glass, I was warm all over.

Sweet aroma, strong flavor, warm booziness. It's good, but holy crap it's strong. This is definitely a sipping beer. Enjoy it on a cool fall night.

hopsandhickory, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another one down from Capone's.Poured into a snifter. Pours a ruby color with a thick off white heading.Does create lacing throughout the tasting.

Smell is heavily malted,A little sour but mostly of plum and raisin.

Taste right off the bat is apple a bit odd but yes a little bit sour.Followed by a heavy boozy warmness taste that drops to the the gut and keeps it nice and warm. As for the rest of the taste just seems a bit too much not enough balance to this.

Mouth is full bodied good carbonation and shit this even warms the tongue as I let it sit and wonder around.

Drink is not to hot. A bit too much warmness and not enough balance to make this sessionable.But then again what barleywine really is sessionable.

TheFightfan1, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle, freshest by 12/09. Poured into my Adnams Imperial pint tumbler. The ale appears a hazed crimson copper color with about a finger of ecru foam. The head leaves only minimal traces of lace behind. Nose and flavor consist of caramel, brown sugar, pine, tangerine, lemon, apples, sourdough bread, grass, raisins, sweet smelling, bitter tasting. Nicely carbonated with a medium to full body. Not much alcohol burn to speak of. Quite drinkable fresh while the hops are still abundant.

ClockworkOrange, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of ImusBeer
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

ordered this at my Mall of GA favorite

I fugues it would come in a small glass but no. Very dark amber in color, you can just see light through it. Almost NO head.

As it approachs your lips the smell of sweet malt assalts your nose.

The first sip shows you a thick malty taste with a serious alcohol bite. Some molassas in there as well. The mouthfeel is heavy and malty almost warm like a Guiness.

Drinkability is great I like it but only one a night!

ImusBeer, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of mynie
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Abominable made is so I like EBWs. Sucks to be the EBW I review right after that one, but Duck Rabbit does some fine work so whatever, just whatever.

Pours flat with a tiny white cap and so thick and dark you'd think it was maple syrup. Neat.

Hmm... maybe this is a bit too cold. It smells richly of thick malt and noble hops, but it's hard to pick out any real complexities. It's good, but I prefer less abrasive malt profiles in my barley wines (so it gets a 4.0 instead of a 4.5 or 5).

Tastes surprisingly sweet, given its style and aroma. The malt is thick and it cuts into your tongue like a chainsaw through jello, but the long caramel sweetness is balanced nicely by the bitter spice of european hops.

mynie, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
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.

BEERchitect, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of natasharai
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Lum who sent me this beer, who got it in a trade with cvstrickland!! Thanks you two! :-)

Appearance: Poured with a large smooth and creamy off white head, that dissipated slowly leaving some nice lacing on the top of my glass. The beer is clear with a pretty dark brownish orange color.

Smell: Sweet caramel and brown sugar, roasted nuts like pecans and walnuts, a grass or hay smell, and some sappy pine.

Taste: Sweet roasted pecans, nutty caramel, sweet pine, calms down to a toasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation, medium-thick body, pretty syrupy, nice and dry, then leaves mouth with a slightly dry slightly sticky clean feel.

Overall: GREAT drinkability, especially considering it is 11% ABV. The taste/moutfeel afterwards really leaves you wanting more. None of the flavors are overpowering. Nice sweet barleywine but also has a great hop character!! I really love this beer!!


natasharai, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of brentk56
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

brentk56, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of IBUnit63
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of the always generous 'tends. 12 oz. with a BBD of 12/2009. I think this little treasure deserves a place in the Portsmouth snifter.

I am digging the buttery...almost very light maple-colored head that is about a full finger. Head comes and goes pretty quickly but leaves some decent lacing here. Color is that of a natural caramel apple - very solid with some velvety bourbon tones. Mildly translucent...almost opaque...but I can't see the carbonation that will turn out to be pretty solid.

There's a toasty bourbon booze to this that is very warming - some oaky vanilla tones as well, and a little bit of apple butter but by no means enough to consider it a flaw. Lots and lots of toasty caramel malt makes this quite inviting. A little bit of a pine hop bite - maybe even a tinge of citrus - to cut the heft enough.

A bit of charred oak greets the palate at the top of the order. Roasted caramel malts with a fair shake of pine comes around, and then it's a little stewy baked apples. Slight vanilla texture and a powerful yet warming bourbon booziness linger on the finish. It is an exceptionally cold and crappy day in the 617 - the windows are open in the house and it's downright COLD in here...but this deal is keeping me pretty damn warm at the moment. In addition to a mild bourbon astringency there's actually a nice carbonation bite that cuts the weight nicely. With more warmth the traditional dark fruits emerge - dates and the usual suspects.

One word that would be expected...warming. That fresh stewy feel coupled with a decent bit of booze keeps this from being cold on the palate. Finish has a little bit of dates on it after it warms - don't feel a whole lot of prunes or anything - maybe even a baked pear and the associated mild tannins/pectin. I am remiss in one respect - this beer deserves a solid stogie with it.

Very very good offering. It's one to relax and think about. Again, a stogie would play famously here. Something that would go nice with a bourbon in the sidecar. Nicely done.

IBUnit63, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
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.

MasterSki, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of aubuc1
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle oured in to a snifter.

Pours a brown amber with a thin tan head.

Big sweet malty smell of malt and candy.

Taste is slightly sour yet bold sweet pungent taste. Alcohol dominates.

Great frothey mouthfeel, but pretty hot beer that could use some quiet time.

aubuc1, Jun 04, 2009
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A hearty carmel cream colored head nearly reaches two fingers than starts to crackle away. Body is a robust mahogany in color. Nose is nicely sweet with some vanilla oak and dark fruit sweetness. Includes a sappy hop character as well. Enters the mouth with an initially creamy smoothness, yeasty sweet caramelized malt, tangy dark fruit and burnt graham cracker. Hop profile adds perfect balance and a bit of sappy, piney, marmalade notes. Warms the belly ice but otherwise well hidden alcohol. Mouthfeel is very pleasant and resin like sweet. A super drinkable barleywine. This is a solid brewery.

SPLITGRIN, May 24, 2009
Photo of Yesac
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Murky ruby red. Small layer of off-white/brown head.

S- Strong alcohol, brown sugar, caramel

T- Way strong alcohol, dark fruits, sweet hops.

M- Dry, wattery. sticky.

D- Bleh. The finish and mouthfeel and strong alcohol make this tough to get through.

Yesac, May 24, 2009
Photo of bwd110
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into SA pint glass

A: Pours a deep reddish amber, tannish white head about 1" thick rises and fades quickly, leaving spotty lacing. Very clear brew, very red-tinged.

S: Sweet! No really, brown sugar and fruity notes hit the nose almost immediately. Blended nicely. Some tartness follows, and faint hint of floral hops also detected.

T: It's obvious there is a fair amount of sugar in this one, but is quite pleasant and the dominating fruit and malt sweetness fits the english style quite well. Hops are barely noticeable. Overall, one tasty beverage.

M: Medium body, light carbonation. No problems here.

D: Good, well for 11%. Barely noticeable abv.

Pleasantly surprised with this one, will seek out more.

bwd110, May 20, 2009
Photo of kuranes
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Looks pretty, nice dark amber with light head that stays around.
S: Floral and citrusy.
T: Floral, citrusy grapefruitish notes with some sweet/bitter interplay at the finish.
M: Full, little sticky.
D: Pretty smooth for a barleywine. Mine cost $3, it's a pretty cheap buzz.

kuranes, May 14, 2009
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to jyounger30 for the trade

12oz bottle. "enjoy by" scheme, notched for 12/09. tasted in late march/early april 2009.

bottlecap is sturdy and "industrial" quality. it was very hefty and took effort to flip off even with my trusty bottle opener.

poured into tulip.

very dark reddish brown. clear, dark ruby under the light. moderate light beige head fades to wispy thin layer and ring. nice but thin lacing.

aroma: malty, sweet caramel, apple juice concentrate, moderately piney hops and citrus zest, with slight phenols and alcohol in the back. faint grassy resins?

flavor is hoppier, though not a "hop bomb". a sweet citrus zest and rind with mildly resinous pine and moderate bitterness going into apple concentrate fruitiness again but also a strong foundation of malty caramel sweetness.

medium to thick body, but not viscous, actually thinner than expected at times, but not a disappointment either. mild astringency in the finish. lively carbonation has creamy moments.

not bad at all, even with all the citrusy/piney american hopping. the fact that it was comparatively restrained while still solidly malty is what puts it somewhat between american and english in style. anyway, it certainly helped to get rid of the taste from those wretched bottles of 1996 gales old ale that i just had to endure prior to this...

tai4ji2x, May 13, 2009
Photo of jamie2dope
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one came as a gift from some friends going to Philly, many thanks. Pour reveals a copper colored beer, with less than a finger of white head. Smell is of sweet brown breads, a bit of metallic aroma, dark fruit and alcohol. Taste is initially sweet upfront. I get sweet molasses, alcohol, more dark fruit, and just a little hint of caramel. Body is heavy, though there is little carbonation, which makes it feel bigger than it really is. This is more of a sipper than anything else. Overall a good beer, though one that might benefit from a tiny boost of carbonation. This is my second beer from Duck Rabbit, and while their stuff is certainly respectable so far, both offerings have left a bit to be desired. Cheers

jamie2dope, May 12, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip for good measure. DR just came into philly, I for one am glad.

A- Duck-Rabbit claims to be a "dark-beer specialist" and they ain't lying. Darker than expected this was a dark mahogany color with some red highlights up towards light. A nicely formed dark tan head formed on top sticking around for a while. Very nice lacing on this sucka.

S- Dark malts giving off caramel. A nice hop nose in the beginning but gets sucked up by the malts with warming. Dark fruits out the wazoo including plums. Breadyness from the malts and alcohol from the 11%

T- I was surprised by this one. The hops are there and have a bite on the 1st few sips but that subsides fairly quickly. I really like the dark fruit action with the plum and deep cherry combo. Malts upon malts giving off sweetness. Of course the alcohol is tasted, it is 11% after all. Not overly complex but I like it.

M- Sweet and smooth after time but you have to drink a few ounces before the initial bigness comes in which includes some heat. The alcohol is high but well hidden. A very sturdy body on this but a little thinner than I was expecting, which is probably why I like it so much.

D- Very drinkable which is dangerous. I felt the alcohol half way through my chalice. Im not big on barleywines in general so I really don't know what im looking for in one, but I throughly enjoyed this one. One and done and a bottle or two in the cellar. I think this is past it's "best by" date but who cares, maybe they just have to put that on there.

BARFLYB, May 08, 2009
Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 539 ratings.