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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

538 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 538
Reviews: 339
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.91%
Wants: 111
Gots: 46 | 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: 538 | Reviews: 339 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%

Poured a clear ruby red with little to no head but a nice ring stuck around. Smelled of sweet malts with a hint of hops and some alcohol. There was a very sweet malt taste and what seems like pure sugar. There is a lot of hot alcohol which detracts from the sweetness and some sour hops in the finish. The mouthfeel was oily and the alcohol burned down the gullet. This one didn't impress me but I would like to see what it would be like after sitting for awhile downstairs.

CrazyMacHarris99, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of MMAJYK
3.43/5  rDev -10%

A- This beer is the color of the heart of a stick of cherry wood after you split it with an axe. It is transparent with a head that is off white and 1/2" in my snifter.

S- The smells are rich of caramel malts, brown sugar, and brandy-like. The hops are sour and hidden in the back behind the malt bill.

T- Up front, you definitely taste the malts, roasty and toasty as anything. Midstream, the tastes are of figs, molasses, and the bittering hops. Aftertaste leaves with a big punch of alcohol warming all the way down. This one is a little bit "hot" to me. Maybe some age would improve it.

M- Medium and very oily. Carbonation is low.

D- It is very sweet and rich so that takes away from the drinkability factor for me. I think it needs to chill out a while.

Overall- As BW's go, this one is just OK. I have had better from other US breweries, but it is not bad. I think a few years in the cellar and it will be where it needs to be for sure.

MMAJYK, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%

Thanks to Ding for this one!

Pours effervescent brown/orange into a duvel tulip with 1 finger of sand colored head. Average lacing, some oily shimmer & average head retention

S: Some cakeyness, plummy notes, & oakyness. Boozeyness, caramel & a touch of smokeyness once warm

T: Caramel, dryness, & leafy hops up front with some boozeyness. A little vanilla, oaky dryess, along with piney & leafy hops once warm. Finishes a bit too dry, with some brown sugar, & some maple syrup

MF: Chewy & slick with minimal carbonation

Drinks good, between the boozeyness & the dryness, slows you down a bit. This BW has some American traits that detract a little, but this will only improve with age

russpowell, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of drunkmonk
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%

Beautiful clear mahogany, nice thick two finger head gives out to a really nice steady lacing. Smells of dates and other dried fruits along with sweet candied malts and a dose of ethanol. Sweet malt flavors blended well with an assetive hop bitterness. There was more bitterness present than the aroma's would indicate. A bit syrupy, but not as thick as I was expecting. The 11%abv is not detected in the taste, but felt in a nice warming sensation down the back of the throat. This is a very nicely balenced barleywine. Not as sweet as an English and not as bitter as most American styles. It's a very nice easy drinking sipper.

Another nice job by Paul and the gang at Duck-Rabbit.


drunkmonk, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of jph424
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%

A - Poured a beautiful dark reddish brown with a 3 finger light tan head that has great retention. Leaves wonderful rings of lacing.

S - Amazing aroma, definitely hops, caramel, and malt sweetness

T - Whoa, lots of everything. I taste hops with a bit of alcohol, and a lot of malt and caramel sweetness.

M - Lightly carbonated and full bodied. Very smooth.

D - Pretty darn drinkable, particularly for something this potent. This is a darn good barleywine. I think I would classify this as a in between American and English Barleywine. Great seasonal release from Duck Rabbit who is now in Georgia!

jph424, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of rajendra82
4.38/5  rDev +15%

This new arrival in Georgia was picked up at Green's on Buford Highway today. As I poured the beer into an over sized wine glass, I was surprised at the level of carbonation and head retention in this 11% ABV brew. The body was burnished copper in color, and clear. The aforementioned head was a good three fingers thick, and was creamy enough to form a volcano cone above the rim of the glass. The smell was soft caramel dipped fruit. The spicy hops were also quite strongly evident in the smell. The taste was wondrously earthy sour, and my fears of confronting any cloying sweetness dissolved away as the warmth of the alcohol seared down my throat. The dryness was like sipping on some fine sherry. There were some lingering dry fruits in the finish. The body felt a little small, but it made this fine beer all the more drinkable. All of the ingredients felt a little bit disjointed at this young age, but I can clearly see the greatness this beer will achieve with a few years of aging. Welcome to our state Duck-Rabbit.

rajendra82, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of ruckzuck
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%

Had on tap tonight at BSP. I was very glad to be there to inaugurate Duck Rabbit into GA.

A - deep red, off-white head

S - citrus, chocolate, roasted malt, hops

T - same as smell; really great; taste was really enjoyable at the pub; I love this beer!

M - medium body, nice carbonation

D - incredible! My notes from the pub say "should be illegal!" and that's probably about right. Duck Rabbit can do no wrong and I'm proud to have met the brewers tonight!

ruckzuck, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of DIM
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

a: The color of this one is perfect, a clear amber orange color. Very pretty. The problem was it took me 10 minutes to pour because of the massive, fluffy, light tan head.

s: The most obvious aroma was a sweet candy cherry smell. I also detected some piney hops and mild alcohol notes.

t: Cherries that are mildly sweet start things off. At the finish there was flowery hops and alcohol.

m: Good viscosity and carbonation, but some slight chalkiness as well.

d: Thanks to barleywinebrewer for the chance to try this tasty barleywine.

DIM, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of auxiliary
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%

appearance - Nice copper color with a large head that had good retention. Nice lace left on the glass because of this.

smell - Caramel, brown sugar, and some citrus smells.

taste - Has a sweet malt taste, with a fruit side here. Caramel and brown sugars are present in the malt taste.

mouthfeel -Medium body with some carbonation.

drinkability - Nice beer, I'm glad i tried this, since I hear a lot about Duck Rabbit. Hope to try them all from this company.

auxiliary, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of beermanbrian
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%

Last of the Duck-Rabbit brews that i have to try and once again it's a challange to get it into the glass. What is up with this brewery and overcarbonating the beers. It's frankly just pretty annoying and really drags down my impression of what otherwise were fairly solid beers.

Nice bronze color but the head turns me off a little. It's foamy and gives the impression of a glob of tan shaving cream sitting on top of the beer. The head is maintained at a solid inch but stong stream of carbonation to the top.

Sweet sticky malt smell with some that high ABV burning though in the background. Taste is also sticky sweet but it does have that typical english style beer taste, not sure i can put a finger on what it is. I guess it's kind of an earthyness.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with a bland finish. Overall this one leaves me wanting more. The flavors are one dimensional and I still can't get past the overcarbonation that makes it impossible to pour.

beermanbrian, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of Vancer
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%

Great brew from limesmut in a nice trade.

Easy with the pour on this one, or it will shoot forth with a massive tan foam bomb – sticky Brussels lace ALL the way down. Beautiful amber oak brew.

Sweet ass caramel malty barley wine brew. Even a pop of RIS dark fruit in the background. Sticky in the throat, must be 1/8 inch thick malt paint in there. Of course, NO hint of a wallop packing 11%. Drinks Way to easy, a hammer wolf in session lambs clothes.

Vancer, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of Bierguy5
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%

12 oz. bottle, 11 % ABV. Pours with a huge amount of carbonation. I had to pour half and let it settle for a while. Cloudy, lighter shade of chestnet with some ruby highlights. Head is tan, thick and airy.

Caramel covered fruit, butterscotch and cotton candy come to mind in the nose. Some more dark fruit. Certainly on the fruity side, as not much more than some earthy aroma on the hop side.

Cherry, dark fruits, raisins, figs, a bit of butterscotch and again with the cotton candy. Several layers here. Some warming from the alcohol. Fair amount of earthy bitterness at the end.

Sticky and sweet with a lot of fruit going on. Medium to full body. Once the carbonation settled down, things seemed to be ok. Very complex.

Bierguy5, Nov 01, 2007
Photo of loren01
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%

A: Beer very carefully poured into my glass after an old faithful like explosion when I popped the top. Huge white head, lots of lacing, beer poured a nice ruby color
S: Fruity sweet aroma, smells like grapes or grape juice. Also ETOH scent is present
T: Same grape flavor, sweet malt.
M: Full bodied, medium to high amount of carbonation
D: The amount of carbonation is kind of annoying but this is a very drinkable beer beyond that.

loren01, Sep 24, 2007
Photo of hoppymeal
4.38/5  rDev +15%

Pours a rusty amber in color, a slight haze but mainly clear, a good sized buttery cream head very slowy recedes lacing as it does. Nice sugary sweet aroma with strong citrus notes, like citrus candy, caramel and breadiness and alcohol in the aroma as well. Taste is very similar with a major dose of sugary caramel maltiness and strong citrus flavor. Mouthfeel is soft and creamy, yet big and thick and sugary chewiness, cut in the finish with some alcohol heat. alcohol is very well balanced in all aspects for its size. Unique and tasty beer, some barleywine characteristics but for me more like an very large imperial red or malty strong ale. Either way, a very good sipper, love to see what some age will do.

hoppymeal, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of sinistrsam
4/5  rDev +5%

This barleywine poured a nice ruby-brown color with a medium tan head and excellent lacing.
The aroma was tons of brown sugar and raisin, but notes of alcohol and possibly some plum? Decently complex, and surprising.
The taste was very sweet caramel and malt, with mild hop presence and notes of citrus, raisin and spice. Very enjoyable.
The mouthfeel was very sweet throughout, and unfortunately the downfall of this brew in my opinion; just simply too sweet. I look for a good balance in a barleywine and this simply wasn't balanced as well as it could be.
It was an enjoyable beer but its very high ABV and sweetness leaves this beer only decently drinkable. That having been said, I still applaud the take on the style and the attempt by DR; still an excellent local NC brewery.

sinistrsam, Aug 25, 2007
Photo of lackenhauser
4.38/5  rDev +15%

Very nice, somewhat pale ruby color with a decent head on top. Fruity and toffeeish aroma. Great malty flavor with a nice flavor of dried fruits and rasiens. This has English barleywine all over it for sure. Slight bitterness to it but balanced against a considerable amount of sweetness. I was expecting a slight alcohol harshness for 11% but none here. Great body for the style. Not overly syrupy. Simply a great example. Quite the sipper for sure. Best US version of an English Barleywine I have had.

lackenhauser, Aug 08, 2007
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%

Best By Date December 2007, Sampled July 2007
Very well carbonated, the beer almost explodes as it first hits my glass. After a very careful pour, I end up with a four-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head that sits atop an absolutely brilliantly clear, cranberry red colored beer. The aroma has a distinct fruitiness to it that mixes with the alcohol and reminds me of a mix between brandy and sherry. Almost has a buttery like, toffee-esque, definitely caramelized malt character to it. At times it even smells like sweet grape juice. I am not sure what it is, but something about the aroma is a bit off-putting; something like a mix of green, macerated raisins, some sourish-bitter herbs and a distinct, yet, can't-quite-put-my-finger-on-it vegetable-like thing.

The beer is very thick, at least it should be. The excessive carbonation causes it to froth up immediately as it hits my tongue; luckily this is easily fixed by a couple of vigorous swirls of my glass. The beer is fairly thick and quite sweet; that sort of off aroma is noticeable here in the flavor as well, but I think that it is just a combination of the ample hops and sweet malt. The malt here tastes simplistic and overly stripped, like it had been heavily filtered (though I am not sure this is really the case here). Herbal, definitely grassy, somewhat reminiscent of green grapes, the hop character is quite prominent here, though it seems to manifest itself a bit atypically from your typical hoppy Barleywine. Rich, brown malt, caramel flavors linger in the finish; somewhat similar to a brown sugar encrusted, richly browned, rustic bread crust.

This is certainly not a bad beer, but it just seems a bit weird to my taste buds. It definitely hides the 11% alcohol quite well.

Gueuzedude, Jul 09, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%

Duck-Rabbit's barleywine pours a clear, ruby-accented dark chestnut body beneath a short head of creamy tan foam. The rich aroma rises up at you: malty, fruity, hoppy - it's English in nature, but with more fruitiness than you'd normally expect. The head drops steadily to an average collar, but walls of spotty lace are left behind - it's kind of nice... almost like polka dots. The flavor bears out what the nose suggests, and it's malty with a healthy cereal characteristic and lots of sweetish caramelized sugar. There's a touch of toffee and nuttiness to it as well; and the yeast has left a small puddle of reddish fruit juice and lots of dark-skinned fruit as its calling card. The alcohol is kept in check, but it helps to dry things along with a very moderate astringency and solid bitterness. It finishes dry and a bit spicy and earthy or mineralish with a combination of lingering hops (leafy, grassy, floral) and dark skinned fruit. It's well-balanced, well rounded, and well polished, yet all of its components remain able to shine on their own. Very nicely done!!! Certainly worth trying.

NeroFiddled, Jun 29, 2007
Photo of Georgiabeer
2.73/5  rDev -28.3%

I'm a big fan of the other Duck Rabbit big beers, so I was really looking forward to trying this one. Unfortunately, this beer is out of whack and in my opinion not at all in the same caliber as their other beers. Next time I'll try it again from the bottle and let it age some and see if it improves. Pours dark amber with a big head that lasts surprisingly long given the high abv. The smell is surprisingly light and has a vegetal note to it, (tomato?) that is a little offputting. The taste has more tomato and on top of that is way too sweet. Strong, alcoholic sugar water with a tomato tinge? No thanks! The flavor is just bizarre. I would put this down to the keg being off if it hadn't been served to me by the brewery at the Hickory Hops fest. The mouthfeel is creamy, but also a little too slick. This one is not utterly bad, but its got some flavors going on that I just don't find that palatable. I'm not sure what went wrong here, but I think this beer probably doesn't belong on draft.

Georgiabeer, Jun 27, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
3.2/5  rDev -16%

A- Thick tan head on a crystal clear amber body. Great head retention.
S- Toffee, mix of fruits going all across the board, light citrus hops, and caramel.
T- Citrus orange hops blended with toffee malts and some other fruits. Almost a weird blend of flavors in this. Some breads come through also. Almost like some apple juice in there.
M- Medium body with medium/high carbonation.
D- Its just not my kind of flavors. Really strange blend of flavors. Looks good though!

BlindPig, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of kwakwhore
4/5  rDev +5%

Reddish brown pour into a snifter. Huge head which took up nearly half the glass and lasted a long time. Spicy sweet malt accents the smell, a lot like a Belgian quad. Flavors are similar. Malt predominates, sweet fruit flavors and just a tiny hint of hops. Seven months of cellaring have seriously improved this beer. Alcohol is concealed pretty well, so this is quite drinkable for an 11% beer. Another excellent seasonal from Duck Rabbit.

2008 Vintage.
Dark copper pour with a cream colored head which lasts for quite a while and leaves lacing down the glass. Some spice in the aroma with a bit of malt and a little bit hop presence.
The big difference in this year's version is the prominence of the hops, especially in the flavor, which provides a really nice balance to what would otherwise be an overly malt accented beer. Grapefruit-like bitterness mixes with extremely sweet maltiness to create a much more American version of a barleywine. At the release party we were told that this year's version had 20% more hops than last year's and I believe it.
Mouthfeel is suitably thick and caresses the tongue with silkiness.
This is a great beer right now, unlike last year's beer which needed six months or so to mature. It comes very close to being an American barleywine instead of an English one.

kwakwhore, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of mcallister
4/5  rDev +5%

Been excited about trying this one. The two previous Duck Rabbits I've sampled have been stellar yet they were higher rated so hopefully this will live up to my hype:)

Hard not to give this a 4.5 for looks. Dark molten copper with scarlet/ruby shinings through. Nice amount of carbonation bubbles, very large make there way toward the large off white bordering yellow head of a good 3 fingers (hard pour). Leaves some very sticky thick spotted lacing behind. Great retention considering the ABV.

Nose is very nice as well. Big and full aromas of melted caramel, toffee, alcohol, dried smyrna fig, prune, brown sugar, buttered baked apple, some dried pear rings as well. RS is noticeable as well. Big complex aromas.

Well I like this beer. Mouthfeel may be bigger and bolder than anything I remember trying. Just a huge round chewy monster of a barley wine somewhat discombobulated with complex flavors lingering on every tastebud of my tongue. First and foremost are a huge thick syrupy caramel, toffee malt. Slight milk chocolate with a fig reduction sauce type flavor. Alcohol plays a large role but doesn't interfere with anything, a nice burn in the chest. White raisin, and maple syrup help round things out with the slightest bit of vanilla bean on the long finish. Such a big beer this is a hard drink but I love the style and could drink a few before passing out.

mcallister, Jun 08, 2007
Photo of DrJay
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%

Received from derrickt007 as an extra from Double Trouble GIF. Thanks Derrick!

Crystal clear burnt orange topped by a generous beige head. Good retention and nice lacing, especially given the gravity. Looks pretty viscous, bubbles rise very slowly through the beer. Citrusy aroma, some tangerine, a little fruity, slight banana, caramel, light alcohol. Very sweet, lots of residual sugar makes this pretty thick. Alcohol is well controlled, bitterness is very restrained. Orange hop flavour throughout, with pine resin backing this up. Malt is a little crackery. Fairly low carbonation, sticky, some warmth. This is a really strange barleywine. It doesn't quite fit my expectations for the style, but it's pretty good and is an easy drinker.

DrJay, May 28, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Thanks to slcbrewer for this one.

Poured into a chalice a deep dark clean/clear reddish color, nice carbonation, huge creamy tannish head, tons of sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is of malts, cherries, a tangyness, some caramel. The taste is sweet, slightly tangy, a good dose of cherries, some caramel. The finish is slightly dry. The alcohol is hidden very well. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really like this one, very different from an american barleywine, there's a nice sweetness to it, dark fruits, very enjoyable. Highly recommended.

Wasatch, May 27, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%

Pours a clear copper color with greater than a full finger light tan head that has maximum fade resistance. 3-d lacing observed.

The smell has some classic elements. A combination of citrus fruit and sweet malty caramel. This one may be slightly oxidized. You get a Trix cereal fruitiness as it warms up.

The medium bodied, the mouth feel presents a tingly from the visible effervescence.

The flavor is unique. A definite sweetness but, it's a fruity sweetness as opposed to a caramel-like character. The creamy texture of the mouth and this particular flavor don't complement each other that well IMO. I'm not sure what that is but i recognize it from the Arcadia Cereal Killer i had last week.

Drinkability - I experienced an immediate warmth from the 11% ABV, but it wasn't distracting. An interesting combination. I'd like to know more about what's going on. Complex, but not compelling.

jjayjaye, May 24, 2007
Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 538 ratings.