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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 TurdFurgison
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this bottle poured into a Duck Rabbit snifter. The beer is dark reddish copper color, transparent, almost no head. The beer smells sweet and malty, sort of sugary too. I think this favors the American barley wine category more than the English variety, a bit strong and sweet. The taste is likewise sweet with a little burn in the aftertaste. A lingering boozy quality. A very well done interpretation of a style I generally don't favor.

TurdFurgison, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of goatgoat
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks UGADawgGuy for the opportunity.

Pours a thick hazy dark coppery amber. Less than a finger's worth of tan head falls quickly into a thin ring. No lace.

Aroma is heavy fruity malts. Caramel, sticky dark sugar, perfume, flowers. Some earthy hops and a heavy handed alcohol.

Flavor is thick, sweet, flowery. Perfume. Even a bit of roasted hidden in there. A light bitterness late in the sip. A heavy alcoholic heat and astringency.

Thick and smooth with a nice low carbonation.

A good barleywine, but on my rare forays into barleywine country, I'd pick up something else.

goatgoat, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a deep mahogany with about a half-inch tan head on top. This dissipates to a thin sheet after a few minutes. Some sticky globs of froth cling to the glass edge.

Smells of oak, cashews, metal, bourbon, and earth. Mouthfeel is nice and crisp. A great pop from the medium to high amount of carbonation. Flavor profile is like the smell, earthy. It's got a dull bitterness going on. Nothing sharp like high hops would give, but bitter anyways. Alcohol is noted but more subtle than I thought an 11% brew would have. As the beer warms I get a sense of citrus in the finish. Like an orange rind. This is a decent brew. I think this may be my first English BW, but I will explore this genre again.

Onenote81, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of drseamus
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Didn't have much head, even with an aggressive pour, but GODDAMN if this isn't the finest body I've seen on a beer. Brilliant scarlet red. I love me a redhead.

S: A good bit of hop in the aroma. More than I'd expect in an English Barleywine but still welcomed. Not a ton of malt coming though for me.

T: Very rich flavored. It starts off with pretty strong bitterness and the malt only really comes through at the very end. I'd like it to be a bit maltier. It's a bit muddled.

M: Medium bodied but not smooth at all. The bitterness roughs it up.

D: Not bad. It seems more like an American Barleywine but even for that style it's average at best.

drseamus, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of scifan
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First things first this a gorgeous beer. It pours a very clear ruby amber color that almost glows when you hold it up to the light with a lovely off white head that leaves some nice sticky lacing along the glass.
The first couple of whiffs are alot of sweet malts, some nice sherry and port aromas, there are some hops in the background but they're way in the background.
The first sip reveals a lot of sweet malts. I'm getting some caramel, toffee,and just a hint of the 11% in there as well. There is alot more hop flavor than the nose would leave you to believe this isn't a malt bomb it's very balanced.
The carbonation is right on and coats the tongue very nicely kind of sticky. I'm finding this stuff goes down nice and easy I could put away a few on these in a sitting.

scifan, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of joepais
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's been a while since I got this one ( best by date 12/07) so I don't remember who sent it but thanks.
My bottle poured into a snifter produced a big off white fluffy head I got a little gush from the bottle when opened so Lets see what happens. The body is a clear burgandy to brown and the head is still around for quite sometime

Big malty aromas coming from my dogfish head snifter. Just a ton of sugar is coming thru no hops left in this at all. Maybe some oxidation in here as well

A nice sweet barleywine is what I got here. Really caramel sweet and none of the alcohol hotness left at all. Some fruitiness comes thru with the flavor as well.

A nice barleywine not super but good I could easily drink this again, and would not turn it down. It gets much better as it warms and the head lasted the whole time. I have not been disappointed with one of their brews. I would love to see them move closer or distribute in the area

joepais, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh from Bruisin' Ales. To complete my six-pack, it was between this and some French Broad odd yeast thing. Knowing my preference for new and interesting and being a Belgium-lover, one would forecast the latter, but here I went conservative.
This is a sweet one, it does however taste like a barleywine and gvien the sweet profile, I think that they thought it would be drunk early.
Very boozy, and an early spring cold night seems so right for it. Pours a dirty blond with fantastic splattering of lace. Smells and taste like a boozy barleywine, drinkable after all.A bit of substance to the mouthfeel.

Sammy, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of gameface23
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first foray into English style barleywines...

Appearance: This thing is beautiful in a glass. A copper/amber color. Clean looking. Not much of a head.

Smell: Pretty damn boozy, but complex. I detected a lot of malts aroma: English toffee/caramel and some roast/tobacco nuances.

Taste: Hop bitterness and a sort of honey sweetness. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good.

Drinkability: It's 11%.

gameface23, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of goethean
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A gift from BA acme, served at room temperature in a completely inappropriate weizen glass

Wow, this stuff is great! Copper. Strong aroma and flavor of dark caramel and dark English toffee, with some mellow medium dark fruit, balanced by a pretty stiff herbal hops bitterness. Really kind of shockingly drinkable for a big barleywine.

goethean, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of Murchmac
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Erikeifert, this was the suprise of the litter, thanks for sending this puppy.

Pours a beautiful burnt orange copper with a big foamy head that leaves heavy lacing down the pint glass. Looking at this beer as it were a giant Giants foam number one hand.

Smells fantastical. Caramel, alcohol, carmalized malts. As good as the gilroy garlic fries.

Tastes be-u-ta-full. Chewy, scotchy, caramel. hint of alcohol, bitter hops. Just fantastic. Freaky, like Tim Lincecum's delivery.

Leaves a burning alcohol residue down your throat. Cant' say enough about this beer even if it was on performance enhancing drugs.

Murchmac, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of remllof
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my duck-rabbit tumbler glass. Poured a small but decent head that left thick light brown lacing. The color is very dark, on the edges has a very dark maroon color to it. The smell is has a bit of friutfulness to it, detected a touch of alchohol. Taste has a up front fruity sweetness to it. Alcohol is fairly hidden in here but you can still in the end of it. Then backed up with a nice bit of hops at the end without much bitterness. Mouthfeel is very thick but smooth. Overall this is a decent barelywine.

remllof, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of gdfan47
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- pours a darkish brown with very little white head
S- booze, woah.. alot and hops of course, sugar... and not much else
T- very boozey, a touch of pine, def hops, a touch of malt, sugar
M- thick and syruppy
D- i mean its 11 percent and tastes it, if you are drinking this outside of your house just be carefuil

im not super super into barley wines yet

its good, but this doesnt hide the alcohol very well

gdfan47, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to rwitter.

Pours a cloudy ruby orange color with one finger of creamy off white head.

Scent of hops, spices, caramel, strawberries, honey, and orange peel. A nicely hopped Barleywine, not overly sweet and well hidden alcohol.

Taste of hops, grain, caramel, earth, sugars, honey, graham crackers and a hint of alcohol. The alcohol it very well hidden for the strength.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation, but it's not quite smooth enough.

paco1029384756, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A perfect candy apple colour, the beer appears succulent and sweet. Its clarity is wholly intact with a glossy complexion that nearly sparkles ruby-esque tones when held into the light. It's nothing short of dazzling. If left undisturbed its ecru stained capping will appear just adequate. A quick swirl now and then, however, will resuscitate what is a more than eloquent display of carbonation considering the 11% alcohol.

The aroma seems to showcase all the bitter, astringent character of hops with a disproportionate amount of floral and fruity notes to correspond; it smells like there were plenty of hops used without giving air of a typically 'hoppy' bouquet. Same goes for the malts, I sense the roast and long-boiled stickiness but am whiffing none of the crispy toast or sweet caramel. I'm not sure what to expect from the taste.

...and I'm still not sure what I think. There's an almost doughy, pastry like base but what I taste most is a strong dusting of chocolate that coats a big mixture of dried and over-ripened fruits. I would guess some combination of figs, apricot, dates, and pineapple - not necessarily your most predictable group of fruits. The ones more typical - bruised apple and sun dried cherry - taste as though they were soaked in brandy.

The more I think about it the more the beer does, at its base, resemble a sweet flaky pastry, like something found at a Greek bakery. For one, there's a ton of sugar and secondly there's a small dose of caramelization too. More and more this starts to resemble baklava and a shot of brandy. It's a sugary, syrupy sweet concoction tasting of dried fruits, flaky pastry and honeyed nuts - this brewer has to be Greek!

This isn't my idea of the ideal barleywine but that's not to say it doesn't still make for a good one. I'm still not entirely sure of just how much I like (or love) the beer but I had this same conundrum with this brewery's Imperial Stout. Like the drawing on their labels after which the brewery is named, this too can be seen as two different things: a good (what I think) or great (maybe to some) barleywine. Either way, there isn't any wrong answer.

biegaman, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of everetends
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle I picked up in a six pack from Tower Beverage in Atlanta. Served up in my Terrapin snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown color with some nice red highlights in there. Held to the light a little more red comes through but still holds up as a pretty dark brown in the body. A pretty vigorous pour got a little bit of cream colored head, but it slowy disperses the a pretty thin ring around the glass. Lace is pretty stick but spotty.

S: Smell is pretty nice. There is first of all a heavy malt presence. That malt is nice and somewhat like a maple syrup smell. There is also a nice butterscotch smell coming out as well. Then comes the hops in some really nice grapefruit presence. The grapefruit is nice and tart. Really nice balance of malt and hops.

T: Taste is pretty darned good as well. Malt is once again on display with a ton of sweet goodness. Maple syrup, butterscotch, brown sugar, toffee, and a touch of chocolate all come out in this flavor. Then comes the bitter slight tart flavor from the hops. Citrus goodness which is mostly some nice grapefruit that is pretty close to the perfect blend. There is a slight touch of pine resin in here as well. Very interesting flavors.

M: This feels to be medium in body but on the heavy side which is damned near to full bodied. Carbonation is a bit on the in between side and I don't know if it needs more or less, but it feels pretty decent. ABV feels light considering it sits at 11%, feels maybe half that. Just the slight amount of heat on the throat, but otherwise pretty well controlled. The beer is a bit oily and sticky on the palate allowing the hops flavors to be enjoyed.

D: This is a pretty damned nice beer. This beer is good or better in all categories. The smell and taste are all solid, and this beer truly shines in the feel department. For a barleywine, this is pretty drinkable for the style. I have noticed that this one went down much easier and quicker than previous barleywines I have had. DUCK RABBIT RULES!!!

everetends, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of tommy78
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured the beer out of the bottle and a nice, golden reddish color is quickly visible. When I held the beer up to the light, the golden reddish color became a deep red color. As for the head, a thin layer formed after being poured. It became thinner as I drank the beer.

S - Decent aroma from the beer. However, I felt that the aroma could have had more a punch to it. I did detect some fruit in it though.

T - A very good taste for the barley wine. Very sweet in the flavor, along with a hint of caramel. In terms of being a 11% beer, I could barely taste the alcohol.

M - Good amount of carbonation in the beer. Usually with high alcohol beers, the carbonation is, at times, overpowering. Here, it is balanced.

D - While it is a good beer, one could only have one to two during a session due to its high alcohol content.

tommy78, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a stunning clear deep copper with 3 inch fluffy tan head. It has a sweet aroma of candied cherries, plums and dates that have been beaten with a mallet and allowed to soak in alcohol. I also get a note of sweet caramel. The first impression of the flavor is that it tastes like an English style barleywine. There's a medley of fruit such as dark dark cherries, sweet black grape juice, dates, raisins and cranberries. I also get a cherry cough drop quality.

BigMcLargeHuge, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of PatrickJR
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into oversized snifter.

A - Surprisingly clear, reddish tinted cola color. A quarter inch of off white head rises but falls quickly, though this brew does leave quite a bit of lace.

S - Rich caramel aroma with a big dose of toffee. There's also a small note of roasted malt hiding in there. A bit of indistinct fruitiness mingles with noticable alcohol.

T - Prominent flavors of butterscotch, toffee, caramel, and brown sugar start things off with ample sweetness. A touch of roasty flavor and an earthy bitterness begin fighting through the sweetness mid palate, and the brew takes a quick dive into alcohol with a slight fruity character. The bitterness really jumps out of nowhere and late palate is completely dominated by the alcohol. Not bad, but I think the alcohol is masking complexity.

M - Duck Rabbit's Barleywine starts out full bodied and chewy enough, but once the bitterness enters and the alcohol takes hold it becomes little more than thin and boozy, on the verge of being a mess. Carbonation is moderate, perhaps a little high for my tastes but nothing major.

D - A decent enough beer but I was hoping for something a little bolder. Were the alcohol tamed down a bit I think this brew would really shine. Big blatant alcohol detracts.

PatrickJR, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of cnjohn19
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Referred to me from a fellow barleywine drinker since its a local brew...Beautiful pour of a dark red-brown...cloudy with a thick dull white head which settles nicely...Smells of caramel, fruits--possible plum--kind of like the dark hard candy my grandma used to give me...

I think this beer has too keen of an alcohol taste...very distinct and strong, which is usually sought after, however doesn't seem to match the overall taste...a little let down...

Was definitely expecting more from this rather local barleywine...overall, i wish the taste matched the pour...

cnjohn19, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of ncstateplaya
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours unbelievably clear, crystal clear crimson or blood red. Very similar to the red on the label. A sweet oatmeal colored head that was extremely creamy and frothy looking. The lacing was exceptional...a very impressive pour.

The nose was dominated by a sweet gummy fruit...possibly plum or fig. There is a musty odor that I wasn't sure where it stemmed from, possibly the yeast? There was just a little bit of hops in the nose.

It had a very caramel like sweetness that paired extremely well with the slight hoppy bitterness. The alcohol is undeniable in the finish, but in no way is it overwhelming.

Medium bodied with lively carbonation and surprisingly smooth. It coats the mouth leaving it feeling pretty sticky. There is a nice bitterness on the finish along with the bite from the alcohol.

I really enjoyed this barleywine, even more so than a year aged bigfoot. It was very smooth and pretty tasty, although being from down east I may be a little biased. I think this is one of my favorite barleywines so far...and very drinkable.

ncstateplaya, Feb 06, 2009
Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage courtesy of Paul - much obliged!

Pours a honey-copper color with an off-white head. The head settles fairly quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet malts with a lot of hops - mostly citrus but with pine and floral hints in there as well. There's also a bit of nondescript fruit smells.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the malts are a bit more in charge. Pine hop flavors come out more than any other hop flavor, and the fruit flavors are still there. This is an interesting mish-mash of flavors that ends with a nice bitterness. This is fresh from the brewery and I didn't find much presence of alcohol with the exception of a warming sensation.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a syrupy thickness with good carbonation that makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing what I had, but I'm not sure I could drink more than one of these at a time.

Overall I was impressed with how good this was fresh. The older version was certainly more balanced, but the flavors in the fresh bottle were still impressive. Worth a shot.

glid02, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of JasonA
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from marvin. Hopefully it will bring my Eers luck today vs UofL.

Pours a reddish carmel red. Looks more like a marzen except the head. Med thick, ample lacing. You can tell there is depth. Lots of bubbles, I gotta let this one breathe even though its at 50F.

Medium malt, carmel, piney hops. Smells more like a American BW. Mild ABV, but present.
Solid malt body, wine sweet, little hop character (back to english). Nice level of bitterness, almost ESB, though much sweeter. I bet this could drop to 60F and be just as smooth.

Creamy smooth. Well balanced, sits comfortably. Carbonation pretty high still, need to let cool a bit more.

Over all a great brew. Only downside could be carbonation level. As far as an English BW, this is an excellent example. Would def have again.

JasonA, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of nick76
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The aroma is full of caramel, syrup, fruit, grain husks, and hops. The appearance is mahogany with a super thin head. The flavor is like the aroma with some muskiness and soapiness. The palate is typical for the style. Overall its better than average but that's all.

nick76, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good - surprising. Nice pour, nice head and amber straw color. Not a ton of aroma, but sweet and thick. Taste is very good. I never would've guessed that it was 11% alcohol. Very, very smooth and sweet. Nothing too bitter or burnt - it may have been better with those qualities, but it was good. Feel is great - good carbonation and it goes down smooth and silky. I'd drink several of these easily, and with this alcohol content I'd certainly feel great afterward. I'm going to try to get some more of this for sure.

prsguitarsr4me, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of Klgkenny
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer at the 2009 duckrabbit barleywine release party at the brewery. They had a great three year vertical tasting. I am reviewing the 2007 (aged one year) here.

Poured from the tap into a room temp pint glass, a thick creamy head rests atop an amber body. A fairly transparent beer, I can see a few bubbles of carbonation. A decent appearance.

Smells and tastes like equal parts pine sap and malt mixed with a healthy portion of ALCOHOL! The aromas are very simple, but the taste is a bit more complex. Malty up front with a slight buffer of piney hops before that powerful wave of alcohol. Nicely balanced barleywine. A lot of the time, balance is great, but I think here, a bit of something over the top would be great.

The mouthfeel on this was just eh... Slightly oily, it was as if there was actually pine sap in the beer! The flavors lingered, which was nice, but that clingy feel was almost unpleasant.

With all of the above elements falling together the way that they did, this is a drinkable beer, but... If you are a barleywine freak, then give this a shot. It just seemed as if it was one step off the whole way.

SIDE NOTE: I was informed at the brewery that between the 2006 and 2007 season, the recipe for the barleywine changed. The 2006 was UBER-sweet. The 2007 (aged one year) was balanced, and the 2008 was very hoppy. If you are a hop worshipper, then you might really like this barleywine. Otherwise, you're going to want to set this aside for a year.

Klgkenny, Jan 12, 2009
Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 539 ratings.