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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

552 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 552
Reviews: 342
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.61%
Wants: 111
Gots: 45 | 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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 552 | Reviews: 342 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shivtim
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis.
Looks nice. Hazy, gold/brown with red tinges. Small sand-colored head and solid lacing. Smell is quite sweet. Heavy honey, sugarplums, molasses. Taste is deep roasted malts balanced with dark fruits, and an alcohol finish. Doesn't have the sourness or bitterness found in many barleywines. On warming, alcohol becomes more apparent, and fits the beer well. Mouthfeel is pretty good, feels like a barleywine.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stopped by Trapeze after hitting up Five Points Bottle Shop on my way through Athens. They served 16 oz. of this beauty in a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: A deep, dark ruddy brown body with garnet and ruby hues, hints of orange around the periphery even, a truly gorgeous, foamy tan head - seriously, I had to ask if this was on nitro-tap, it's so immaculate and immobile and meringue-like - with great retention that leaves huge three-dimensional lacing. An amazing-looking beer.

Aroma: Spicy hops dominate, interestingly enough. Tons of light fruit in the followup, white grapes, golden raisins, pears. A faint alcohol permeates the whole ordeal, but blends well with the light fruits and the spicy hops, lending a rum-like note.

Taste: Very sweet, though again leaning more towards the light fruits - pear, sweet cherry, apple skins - with some slightly tosatier qualities (in the form of faint cocoa powder, light springy coffee), hints of toffee, and a little bit of bitterscotch. Plenty of hops too, with piney and citrus zest being the dominant flavors. There's also some rounded nuttiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, thick, syrupy, intense, with low carbonation, and a surprisingly medium body.

Drinkability: What a great beer. One of the few Duck Rabbits I haven't tried, and it's a shame I hadn't before now. This is a complex, balanced, interesting, fruity barleywine, and another very impressive offering from what is, in my opinion, the best brewery in North Carolina (and that's saying a lot). Recommended, along with all their other offerings!

Photo of nrbw23
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice rich looking darkish reddish brown with a nice creamy tan colored head. Head has pretty nice retention and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Smells really nice picked up some dark malts, carmel, honey, and some dark fruits (raisins and plums).

T- Very balanced. Rich malts, raisins, brown sugar, and some fruits. Also has a nice amount of hops to give it some bitterness.

M- Very smooth, light carbonation, not very thin, slick, or thick. Medium in body and feels right on.

D- Really easy to drink. Went down way to fast. Highly recommended on this one.

Photo of illidurit
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of wagenvolks. Poured into a snifter. Russet brown hue that turns brilliant blood orange red when held to light. About a half inch of tan head that recedes a bit quickly.

Aroma is extremely pungent and fruity. Brimming with prune and lush sweet orangey citrus. Malt supports the aroma with toffee notes.

Flavor is sweet up front with candied orange/marmalade. Midpalate is tart and malty, and the finish is roasty with a mild bitterness.

Thick chewy body with light carbonation. A little sticky but the finish is coaxing from the roasted bitter tinge. Alcohol is pretty much undetectable.

Nice beer, not really necessarily spot on for the style, but interesting.

Photo of Imstillthegman
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a beautiful mahogany color with brighter red edges. It had about a one finger head of tan bubbles before fading to a sheet. Some light lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is of caramel malts, dark fruits (plums, dates, raisins) , light sour citrus, and some boozy alcohol in the back ground. Interesting, to say the least.

The flavor combines all of the scents in the aroma adds a nice kick of bitterness to it. Sweet up front, with the caramel malts and a bit of molasses peeking out before the darks fruits hit your tongue. Quickly, though, the bitterness over takes it all. They must have used a big dose of bittering hops, because it's pretty damn bitter but there isn't any flavor to go with the bitterness. Hints if the alcohol come out at the finish.

Medium bodied with good carbonation. Feels heavy on the stomach. Bitter and slightly burning aftertaste. It will be interesting to see this one change over time. Right now, though, due to the bitterness and the abv, one is enough. This is a tasty sipper, so don't get me wrong.

Photo of number1bum
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from BeerTruth. Thanks buddy.

Pours an incredible scarlet mahogany color that is seemingly perfectly clear. An inch and a half of creamy tan head on top, which settles to a thin, somewhat spotty lace and leaves some thick stick on the sides. Beautiful.

Smell is sweet caramel malt, with some dark fruit and a bit of citrus. There's a whiff of booze but not too much.

This one is thick and sweet, but also quite bitter, which is a good thing because it tempers the sweetness. Loads of caramel malt, with a slight nuttiness and some toffee flavor. Then comes an intense bitterness, which unfortunately doesn't include a corresponding splash of fruity or otherwise terribly flavorful hops. There is a bit of herbal and pine flavor, and just a bit of fruit, but I wish there was more hop flavor. Finishes somewhat boozy with lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is thick and full, quite chewy.

This beer is pretty good, but I don't love it. It's too bitter. A sipper for sure, and worth a try.

Photo of Floydster
2.33/5  rDev -39%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

12 ounce bottle received as an extra in a trade about a year ago, sorry I forgot who it was from, this bottle is from 2006 I know that much, drank tonight and poured into my funky Urthel glass

A-Deep brown and ruby red color, one inch light tan head, lasted forever, great retention, some nice lacing
S-Ash, lots of caramel, other dark fruits, burned sugar, candy, booze, oak, and dark berries
T-Started off with a pungent sweetness, then was dominated by alcohol, where are some dry accents or bready malt to battle out the fruit and toffee, almost repulsive, got even stronger as it warmed and never mellowed out, so much alcohol in here, lacked complexity and needed something else going on other than sheer strength
M-Sweet, boozy, and strong mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, needs more carbonation and crispness, taste never seemed to go away
D-Hard to get down, sweetness and hot sensation ruin it, super heavy on the stomach, ABV is high, overwhelming

I could not even drink four ounces of this stuff and I moved on to another beer shortly after, my dad did not even want it when I gave it to him, worst I have had from Duck Rabbit, will not drink this again, not recommended
I could not even drink four ounces of this stuff and I moved on to another beer shortly after, my dad did not even want it when I gave it to him, worst I have had from Duck Rabbit, will not drink this again, not recommended

Photo of HopDerek
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jophish17 for the hookup.

Pours a dark ruby red/purple with 1 finger of creamy khaki colored head into a snifter. Good retention and nice lacing rings. Smells of caramel, toffee, dark fruits, bread malt, floral hops, and booze. Tastes of hops up front then sweet malt, caramel, and toffee with a finish of raisins, cherries, grapes, and figs and a hammering punch of alcohol. Medium in body with good carbonation. Nice and sticky with a dry bitterness in the finish mixed with booze. Mostly sweet but the hops do show up. A good barleywine with some English styling.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thank to Drunkmonk for this one.
Poured a deep orange color with a small head. Nose was of hops, citrus fruit,dried fruit and caramelly malts. Taste was malty,some fruits present and small hop dash.Hops were much more noticeable in the nose than in the taste as the bitterness was quite low. Mouthfeel was medium and left a syrupy feeling in the back of the throat. This beer could materialize if aged but still a good bwine.

Photo of maltphile
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Loved this beer for it's rich characteristics. That said lets get down to, er, my opinions.

The review was conducted in Flying Saucer Draught Emporium (ok it's been awhile) on a partly cloudy day, outside temp. in the mid 50's. No smoking inside.

Serving: draught,
Color: Dark Amber,
Carbonation: lower than normal, not much at all,

Head and retention: mostly fine bubbles with some med. bubbles, head of approx. 1/2inch disipates quickl leaving lace.

Overall appearence: glinting amber light around edges of glass, warm and clear.

Smell: Initial notes of sweet malt yielding to a flowering hopiness with a hint of fruit.

Taste: Mimics scent, initial maltiness cloaking alcohol flavor yielding to hops, creating a dried cherry-esque flavor, hops aroma lingering in nose.

Mouthfeel: Thick, malt stickiness stays around

After a few oz.s definite alcohol warmth in chest, mellowed by the maltiness. hops are present throughout as an underlying note. Malts become very strong by bottom of the glass.

Photo of hitokiri
4.62/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is only my second barleywine, but it is also an English style, which I think I like a lot more than the American version.

A- Not very much head, about half an inch. The head sticks around for a while then tappers to a thin ring. Dark ruby red color, almost can't see through it.

S- One of the best, if not the best smelling beers I have tried. Dark malt, carmel, honey, and a lot of dark sweet fruit like raisins, plums, etc...

T- Very balanced taste which I think suited my tastes for a barleywine better. Rich malts, raisins, brown sugar, it might sound weird but also a taste somewhat like very dark (bitter)chocolate. I found a rather large fruit character to this one. Also, just the right amount of hops to give it some bitterness, and and add a bit of floral character and after taste.

M- Very smooth, light carbonation, not very thin, slick, or thick.

D- I found this dangerously drinkable, I had to slow myself down.

I loved this beer from when I first smelled it. I had another barley wine that was of the American variety, but it had way too much hops for me, and I didn't like the way the flavors went together. This was way better, and I thought it was more balanced. I wish I knew how old exactly this beer is, it only has 12/08 notched on the bottle. It is supposed to be released in winter time, so this beer might be a bit different from when it is fresh.

Photo of thryn
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dan from Atlanta for donating this to me while I was up there!

This pours into my large wine glass a translucent reddish-brown; there is little head, but a layer of creamy tan foam lingers and is inviting.

Smell is sweet, rum, raisin, toffee. Alcohol is noticeable, but no off-putting. Smells fantastic!

Sweet, caramel-toffee richness floods the mouth, and a rum-alcohol burn follows. Faint bitterness lingers. It's not complex, but it's balanced and delicious.

It's not too light, not too heavy, not too carbonated, not too slick.

The first barleywine I ever had was English-style, and despite having really developed a love for extreme American styles since then, I really enjoy this. Is is smooth and not at all difficult to drink, warming but not biting. Not an everyday beer, but one I could happily drink often if it was available locally.

Photo of jophish17
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a six pack purchased at Cheers in Carrollton, GA - poured into a snifter glass

Aroma: heavy aroma from the malts with some floral hops peaking through. I have to assume that this is a fairly fresh batch with the hop presence still in tact considering what other BA's have reported

Appearance: a nice dark amber body with some thin head that leaves behind minimal lacing

Taste: The hops hit the tongue up front, then the malts take charge. Caramels and roasted malts are heavy, adding to the viscous body, with some brown sugars added in. Not overly sweet like some barleywines. Alcohol is present but in no way is it abrasive. A very pleasant taste,

Feel: A good amount of carbonation for this heavy brew. It warms and really dries out the mouth.

Drinkability: 11% avb? It doesn't drink like such a high alcohol content beer and with a fine taste balance between hops and sweets, its a really pleasant beer.

This is my second sampling of the D-R barleywine and I am a bit more pleased this time around. Not the best English-style, in fact I would have to argue that it tastes a lot more like an American barleywine with the sort of hop profile it has, but an enjoyable version that caps off a night perfectly.

Photo of Traquairlover
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to oldhippie247 for this bottle.

A = Clear deep reddish amber with a bone coloured head consisting of foam and small bubbles, good retention, medium lacing.

S = Strong mix of earthy hops, spicy hops and rich baked muffin malt scents, well balanced, only slight complaint is there is a very faint soapy or plastic smell lingering underneath the primary smells.

T = Rich deep flavors of Belgian or Swiss milk chocolate, caramel, whipped cream, all balanced out with a very good hops bitterness but only slight hops flavors of an earthy quality. Very well balanced and very good.

M = Medium body, foamy luxurious feel and decent mouthcoating.

D = Good drinkability, definitely a barleywine worth drinking.

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear brown with a tan head. Tight bubbles, but the head soon fell.

S: Malty and molasses with a hint of smoke.

T: Malty sweet with a bitter hop splash. Nice balance.

M: Medium - full and slick.

D: Sweet and hoppy. This would make a great after dinner drink. Will be interesting to try after it has some age.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of gford217: Poured a medium color ale with a nice light brown foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of sweet barley malt is pleasant. Taste is a mix between some sweet malt with light dry fruits notes. Great carbonation with an average full body and no apparent alcohol. Hops presence is quite low but I didn't mind since I prefer English style barleywine usually. Not the most complex offering but still very enjoyable.

Photo of deepsouth
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer poured an amber color with no head. average looking barleywine. most seem to look like this.

the smell is bittersweet, hops and caramel. must be english style. it is....

the taste is bittersweet and tart and hoppy and leathery.

the mouthfeel is syrupy and a bit oily.

easy to drink, although it is a sipper.

Photo of drperm
4.77/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one is a real treat. The Duck-Rabbit folks consistently brew top-of-the-line products. I can only surmise that living and working in Farmville, NC inspires the brewers to spend long, long hours at their work indoors (where it is presumably air conditioned and has more interesting landscapes..).

Appearance: Russet-copper color. Mahogany, really. And as one would expect, no appreciable head to speak of.

Aroma: A real treasure-trove here: leather, tobacco, hops, cloves, allspice, and even a hint of oregano.

Taste: Banana, clove, caramel, allspice, grapes, brown sugar, and hops. Oy vey pass me another snifter!

Palate: A dry and warming finish.

Overall: Well-rounded for sure. This is one to cellar in bulk! Drinking this makes me long for winter -- seated in front of a roaring fire with my D-R Barleywine in one hand and a nice cavendish pipe in the other. Wearing a wool waistcoat, to be sure.

Photo of grub
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

kkipple hooked me up with this one as a bonus in a recent trade. thanks dan!

pours deep red-brown with a small medium density dark yellow head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. lots of deep caramel. bread and biscuit malt. alcohol. earthy. slightly woody, with a bit of vanilla.

taste is great. big rich caramel. light sweetness. big biscuit and bready malt. medium bitterness level. light alcohol. earthy hops. a bit woody. i just love the layers of caramel and malt in this.

mouthfeel is great. medium very fine carbonation. medium-large body. smooth.

drinkability is great. excellent balance. nice depth. i can't get enough of the malt in this one. this is a beer that i could get into trouble with - great balance hiding the alcohol well, and so good you just want to pour another as soon as the bottle is done. thanks again dan!

Photo of Gilgemesh
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look - Pours a nice deep copper, with an off white head. Good lacing.

Smell - A very nice smell. Hints of fruit and sweetness. Pretty much exactly what I would expect from a Barley Wine.

Taste - A good complex tasste. Devlops nicely from start to finish. Hint of the sweetness you get in the bouquet.

Mouthfeel - Great. Medium Body with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - A nice example of this type of beer. I particularly like the fact that the alcohol level is hidden by the flavors in the finish.

Packaging - A classy label that Hints at the complexity and robustness of the beer. The label deserves a second look from anyone who doesn't immediately get the duck-rabbit. As should this beer.

Photo of gford217
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark amber with a small dense head that shows good retention and a little bit of lacing

S: Huge sweet malt smell with caramel, cinnamon, brown sugar, and toffee. Some dark fruits, including raisins, along with a healthy alcohol burn in the nose.

T: Taste actually has a quick hoppy, leafy kick up front which quickly gives way to the sweet malts , molasses and caramel. The finish is actually a bit dry and crisp which I wasn't expecting.

M: Mouthfeel is medium body with strong carbonation and a big sticky sweetness that dominates everything else.

D: This is a decent English Barleywine, though I would definitely term it a sipper.

Photo of hellcatsjg
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark ruby with a finger of tan head. Bit of lacing as you go.

Smell: Alcohol is prominent, along with some dark sweet fruitiness and a bit of malt.

Taste: Alcohol is big up front at the start of the glass, but as you go, the sweetness takes the first spot. Bit of oakiness and vanilla is present in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium body with low carbonation. Nice sweetness and alcohol lingers and there is a bit of warming as you go.

Drinkability: Nice barleywine. High ABV may limit what you can drink, as may the heaviness. Good beer and nice example of the style.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2006 Bottle.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark amber body with a small, creamy-looking, beige head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling caramel syrup aroma laced with fruit and citrus and booze.

Taste: Sweet, sweet caramel maltiness with some squashed apricots tossed in. Splash of sweet southern iced tea. A pinch of cotton candy. The mildly bitter remains of some citrusy hops. Vague hint of wood. Warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: In all honesty, I've had better and worse bottles of Duck-Rabbit Barleywine. This one was pretty decent. Overall, I've found the majority of them to be kicked up with sweetness and just a bit thin (for me) in the body department.

Photo of pwoods
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kkipple for this brew.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter. BB 12/08

A: Pours a nice brandy color with good visibility for this denseness of color. A short head forms and dies to a fluffy skim. Some wisps of lacing.

S: Thick, sweet, chunky malts with plenty of warm alcohol. Some muted hops. A light smoky or smoked meat aroma.

T/M: A nice alcohol line mingles throughout the entire drink. Hops are again muted but add a nice light citrus flavor and a touch of bitterness. Caramelized sugar in the malts with plump dark raisins and currants. More of the soft smoked meat character. Body is about full and a bit syrupy. Carbonation is moderate with a nice smoothness.

D: Pretty easy to drink for an 11% BW. A good night cap.

Photo of Viggo
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to excellent kkipple for hooking me up with some of these, you rock Dan!

Pours a hazy dark red, some orange highlights, thin light brown head forms, settles to a thin ring and a layer, few lace spots on the glass. Smell is nice, very rich, toffee, sweet sugary goodness, alcohol, sherry, almost wine like, bread, bit of toast, pretty neat. Taste is super sweet and bready, caramel, wine, brandy, alcohol, toast, very sweet middle and finish, iron, sherry in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, very warm, but pretty drinkable. Different kind of barleywine, but interesting. Thanks Dan!

Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 552 ratings.