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

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

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

561 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 561
Reviews: 345
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 111
Gots: 48 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SaCkErZ9 on 12-12-2006

The Duck-Rabbit Barleywine is the hoppiest of all the Duck-Rabbit brews. This is a Farmville-style Barleywine, crafted the way brewers in Farmville have always done. Loads of Amarillo hops give a piney citrusy bitterness that's supported beautifully by a toffee malt backbone.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 561 | Reviews: 345
Photo of rajendra82
4.36/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

4/4/4.5/4.5/4.5

Photo of Neehan
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint glass.

Poured a dark amber-ruby with a large head and plenty of sticky retention. Very nice nose with citrusy fruits as well as more smooth, less pungent fruits. A nice smoky apple on the front. A damn smooth taste with well-hidden alcohol and warm, spicy undertones. A smoky cinnamon apple flavor with a dark, ever so slightly bitter aftertase. Very enjoyable. A chewy mouthfeel initially that becomes smooth and light on the finish. Very drinkable, especially for the style. Very impressive.

Photo of lackenhauser
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of hoppymeal
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of SFLpunk
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to forgetfu for the bonus X-mas present! Too thoughtful!

12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Label dated best before 02/2011. That last year's batch?

Appearance is hazy orange brown with some light tan head. Nose is classic barley wine ale, lots of rich caramel, toffee, fresh cream, a little citrus (mainly orange).

Palate is round and juicy, but not super rich. Great edges from the crisp bitter hops, toffee is the predominate flavor from the malt, nice earthy pine sap towards the finish. Hops make this a mouthwatering barleywine.

Wow, really well crafted. Not cloying at all. Wraps all the classic barley malt inside a fuzzy edged hoppiness.

Photo of auxiliary
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Dave1999
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour a semi transparent dark red with a thick foamy white hed.

The smell is cherry and other dark fruits.

The taste is dark fruit, with a little bitterness and alcohol.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a very tasty and reasonably priced barleywine. If you like barleywines with a dark fruit flavour I'd recommend this.

Photo of nriech
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trade from Enola.
Appearance: Looks like any barleywine. Amber, sticky on the glass, little head.

Smell: Almost burnt caramel. Sweet citrus, pine, alcohol, yeasty. Very low on alcohol smell.

Taste: Sweet, piney hops, orange. Kind of tart. Alcohol wasnt that noticeable so very smooth. I like the extra hoppiness in this. Good mouthfeel. A little sweet but well within paramaters for the style. A good solid choice.

Photo of RCK86
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a sixer of this off the shelf for $11.99 and set it in my fridge overnight to cool.

A: Hazy brownish-orange, somewhere between bourbon and Grand Marnier. When poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip, it retained a slight head that diminished fairly quickly. Not much lacing at all.

S: The citrus hits you first. I thought I caught floral hint on my first whiff, but upon further review I'm not sure it's there. The alcohol is there at the end, but it's very faint. Smells a lot less boozy than other beers of similar or lower ABV.

T: Strong citrus with a bit of a woody tinge. The alcohol is there, but it's not off-putting in the least. Tastes like a beer of considerably lower ABV.

M: Very, very smooth. It's warm, but no in an alcohol-y way. One of the most drinkable 10%+ beers I've ever tasted. I could down a 6-pack of these quicker than I would feel the effects. I'd be on my ass in no time.

O: Highly recommended. I'm not incredibly familiar with the style and thus can't speak to how well this brew adheres to its tenets, but I know a good beer when I taste one. I love The Duck Rabbit's offerings, and this is my favorite beer of theirs. This could become my new go-to "good" beer.

Photo of JasonA
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Photo of hopsandhickory
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Appearance
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.

Aroma
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.

Verdict
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.

Photo of kagent777
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle traded from Sonofalime, thanks man! Poured into my CCB snifter after a little while outside of the fridge. I have had the bottle since November of 2011, but I am not sure how much older it is beyond that.

Appearance: A nice burnt orange to ruby with a slight haze. White finger wide head settles to foam cap in the middle of the glass and leaves a little lacing as I go. Smell legs appear after a drink.

Smell: Rich dark smells. Dried fruit, caramel, a touch of vanilla and some citrus.

Taste: Nice dark spiciness that I do not recall having tasted in a BW before. Hints of tobacco and rich leather go along with the deep fruit and caramel. Alcohol is present but well hidden for 11 ABV. The beer is bitter, but not to the extent of, say, fresh Bigfoot. It is needed to balance the malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: A velvety solid drink but not over thick on the body. The flavors are so dense and coat the mouth for an extended time. The carbonation is smooth and present but subtle.

Overall: I very solid English Barleywine. I do wish this one was available here in Utah.

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

12oz From a 6-pack, Poured into a snifter.

Best buy date indicates 2/2011, which I believe makes this from the 2009 batch. Picked this up in a very generous trade with Handle.

L: Deep amber and transparent. 1 finger creamy white head.

S: Strong booze into a hoppy, bitter middle. Fades into caramel. Just wonderful.

T: Strong caramel into a tower of hoppitude. Slowly backs down into a stinging booze-iled finish, and lingers.

F: Wonderfully thick. Stinging in the back, with a puckering sweetness. Wonderful.

D: Great all the way around.

Photo of AmitC
4.29/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A very nice pour. Deep amber color with an excellent off white tan colored head - about two fingers thick. Nice head retention. Excellent lacing that is just awesome with every sip. Very beautiful looking. Clear and transparent.

Aroma is full of malts. Strong booze. Piney, spicy and herbal hops. A little bit of fading citrus and grapefruit. Some wooden character. Strength is good. A good mix of hop and malts. Aroma reminds me of Big foot. Very close.

Taste is of bitter hops upfront. A silent malt middle. Very boozy and warm. Hops and malts combine really well to deliver a bitter taste that is very likable.

Mouth feel is medium bodied with a nice amount of oily and boozy touch. Warmth from alcohol is somewhat strong. Low to moderate carbonation.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in a trade with Tayner. Thanks Dana!

This pours a clear deep amber red with close to a 2 finger head of foam.

The smell is plumb full of caramel malty goodness with a light hoppiness in the background.

The taste starts off with that caramel malty sweetness that exemplifies the style and it's quickly followed by some light notes of hop bitterness bringing very good balance and some notes of chocolate and some fruit...cherries. Nice. Easy drinking as well as there's hardly a sign of this one being 11%abv. Just some welcome warming after the swallow. Not overly complex, in my book, just tasty and very smooth drinking. I like.

The mouthfeel is wonderfully thick and goes well with the light carbonation.

Drinkability is very good for a brew of this strength and the very good lacing after each sip encourages me to keep on trucking.

Bottom line: I think this is a great representation of the English Barleywine Style Ale where Malt is King and the hops are only used to balance things out. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 poured into snifter:

A - Ruby red, cherry color but also looks thin in the snifter I poured it in. Good.

S - Heavenly. Rum soaked raisin, hints of cherry, plum and oak. Very nice balance between all these characteristics. Seriously, I can't wait to take my first sip this one.

T - A truly impressive balance between bitter and sweet. Exactly matches the nose. Rum soaked raisin dominates this beer. Hints of cherry and plum and the oak flavor makes itself known also. Right before you'd say this beer is getting a bit sweet, the hops come in and bitter the finish out which keeps you coming back for sip after sip. Very well balanced. Does not taste 11%, alcohol is there but very hard to find. I could go through a few of these thinking it's 8%. Drinks like 8%. The only thing keeping this beer from going above a 4 is a small medicinal cough syrup thing going on but only detectable if you look for it. Focusing on the rum soaked raisin dulls this aspect though.

M - For a 11% Barleywine some might call this beer a bit thin. I'd just say they packed a bunch of Barleywine flavor into a thinner bodied beer for the style. Similar to Blind Pig when it comes to IPAs or Pliny for DIPAs. Bravo I say...well done. Not at all syrupy, chewy or "full bodied." Beer gets thicker 1/2 way through the 12oz bottle

D - Very good. You could put these down way too easy for a 11% Barleywine. I could of chose to make this a sipper or killed 2 bottles within 30 min depending on my mood. the beer gets thicker and stickier the further you get into though. Wouldn't have more than 2 in a sitting.

Final Thoughts - I didn't go into this beer with high expectations but I finished this beer very impressed and am sorry that I don't have another. Well Done!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from svosie so a big “Thank You” goes out to her. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains citrus fruits, honey, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, citrus and honey. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with a hint of alcohol sting. The hops presence is strong for the style and makes the beers seem very IPA-like. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very good stronger beer to drink for as long as you can handle it.

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of loren01
4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle shared by viggo - nightacapper, thanks man!

Rich golden brown beer with a clean head with some retention. Really classic English malt profiles, rich caramel, toasted brown sugar, raisin, molasses, hints of cocoa, toast. Light citric hopping which provides a light bitterness and drying in the finish. Hides the ABV real well, very full flavored. Just so tasty.

Photo of marcpal
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six-pack of this from a trip to Charlotte. Like the other dark beers from the dark beer specialists, wow was I not let down here.

A: Dark brown, thick cherry red that comes out thick like oil. A think foamy head. Oddly attractive- the thinnest of heads that stays on the beer stay in enormous sized bubbles.

S: I didnt catch the hops but sure did catch the cocoa cocvered raisins. Spicy and meaty. Delicious. The dried cherries are reminiscent of three philosophers maybe?

T: Sweet with a ridiculous amount of ridiculous flavors that each. All of the flavors oddly end up in the sweet dried fruit range. There is a hop presence to add to the complex flavors but the raisiny goodness again takes the dominant role. Imagine honey and chocolate teddy grahams soaked in a strong alcohol. If I could ask for anything it would be for some more bitter undertones to finish out the sweet caramel maltiness.

M: Thick, viscous, meaty, clingy and again..thick. Perfect for capping a night in a cold autumn November day spent raking leaves.

D: Nothing short of great. The most complex barleywine Ive had in a while, not necessarily the single best but like a rubix cube of flavors. The alcohol brings down drinkability some. Not hot, just powerful. Very powerful. Get your hands on this beer.

Photo of FosterJM
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1216th Review on BA
Bottle to CCB snifter
12oz

Thanks to Gurudel for this one

App-  A huge dark orange with ambers, garnets and even some red.  Giant head and keeps the sticky cling going as it slides gently.

Smell-  Really has a lot going on. The malts open this one and then a huge damp pressed cherry note. A bit of tingly booze and thick sweetness. Big candy notes.

Taste-  As I sip on this it really opens up. Huge malty and sweet notes. This seems to be a true BW. Toffee sweet and moves to boozy and dark cherry notes.

Mouth- A full medium with a semi creamy and filling medium carbonation. Residual booze and cherry malts.

Drink-  A very tasty beer. Has a large flavor profile. Complex, tasty and sweet. Classic BW flavors and the ABV is well hidden

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

This bottle has no dating but must be at least eight years old. It's been well-cared for; I think it was my last one so I held off drinking it, but the time has come.

Appearance - pours a murk reddish amber with a thin short-lived cream-colored head. In seconds it's at a few bubbles and thin collar.

Aroma - caramel and syrupy citrus.

Taste - sweet, vinous with raisin and fig. Sherry on the swallow, notes of oxidation are evident. Tart cherry on the finish and a fine warmth at the end along with a note of cocoa and toasted grain.

Mouthfeel - low end carbonation, good weighty feel and smoothness.

Overall - aged amazingly well, though the tartness at the end gets lengthy after a while, approaching cough syrup like flavor at times. Overall, a successful aging experiment in my book.

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