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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

557 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 557
Reviews: 344
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 110
Gots: 47 | 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: 557 | Reviews: 344
Photo of Georgiabeer
2.76/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of JohnQVegas
2.79/5  rDev -27%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into The Bruery tulip; best by date of 2/11. Big thanks to Ian for the bottle - a long-time resident of my wants list finally gets set aside.

Pours a positively murky red-brown - you can't see more than a couple of millimeters into this one. Thin tan head on top fades quickly to a ring of bubbles. The murkiness is a bit of a turn-off - I appreciate unfiltered, but this is like pond-water.

Nose, however, is quite enjoyable. Notes of caramel saturated in alcohol are surrounded bright, fruity notes ranging from candied cherry to tangerine, like rum-soaked fruitcake. A bit of light cardboardy oxidation notes as the beer warms.

Taste, however, is a bit unexpected. Instead of the onslaught of rich malt, I'm getting an intensely savory, almost umami character. Slight fruity sweetness is immediately set aside for earthy, almost fresh-leather savory notes bolstered by the firm alcohol presence. Finish is more of the same, intensely savory and rather unappealing. Honestly, my first expectation would be that this one is bad, but it's well within the best by date.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy, light carbonation. The bizarre flavor is rather enhanced, in a not pleasant way. Plodding.

Drinkability is no better than flavor. Doubtful that I'll finish the glass.

All in all, before I had my first Duck Rabbit beer, I was ridiculously excited about this brewery. While there have been some exceptions (Milk Stout is very good, Schwarzbier is aboe average) for the most part I've been disappointed. For a dark beer specialist, their specialty is rather unrefined.

Photo of Jimmys
2.8/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: chestnut brown. an off-white/tan head turns into a thin sheet. some serious bubbles rising up.

S: one of the first english barleywines ive had where i noticed an assertive hop character before a malt sweetness. some caramel in there as well, but definitely more on the earth hop side.

T: a significant caramel sweetness, but not as potent as i expected. as i continue i actually find it lacking. especially with the 11%abv nametag. also has an earthy/roasty component. the earthiness has a little bit of hoppy herbal-ness to it as well. a little alcohol on the end.

M: velvet-like, moderate carbonation on a pretty full body. a bit of alcohol warmth.

D: not very impressed with this one. just not sweet enough for an english barleywine. even if it was mislabeled here on BA, i still wouldn't classify it as a good example of american barleywine.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.86/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle (best by 12/2007) courtesy of my Secret Santa. Pours a murky mahogany with a supper thick, foamy tan head. Aroma of toffee, vegetal notes, an odd sweetness. Flavor of sweet malt and vegetal notes. A little too sweet/vegetal, even for an aged barleywine. This is far past its prime. Hopefully I will be able to rerate this again fresh.
6/4/5/3/12 (3.0/5)

Photo of BedetheVenerable
2.88/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Huge thanks to Alewatcher for throwing this one in as one of MANY extras! 12oz brown pop top with cool DR label; this is my first go at this brewery. Best by 2-2011, but considering the style, I'm not too nervous.

Appearance: Slightly hazy orange amber brew, with a nice dark ivory/light beige cap with nice retention.

Smell: Definitely more in the English tradition, with dark boozy caramel and a bit of dark fruit. Sweet, boozy, and pleasant, but not a lot of depth.

Taste: Perhaps the fruitiest barleywine I've had to date. Boozy medium fruits and...well, more booze. Not really 'hot', but damn close. Not getting any of the big, sticky caramel notes I expected from the aromas. Decent bitter kick on the finish, with a hint of toast.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied

Overall: Really glad to have finally gotten to try something from this brewery; thanks Alewatcher! I must say, however, that this is a bit disappointing. All booze, no real depth of flavor, etc. I know this is out of date, but this really should be ok. Probably not one I'd go back to again.

C = Doesn't particularly offend, but nothing here to make me revisit this, when there's so many better options out there.

Photo of marvin213
2.94/5  rDev -23%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This muddy-brown red clay almost plops into my snifter. It's thick like near-dry mud. The head forms quickly to even more quickly disappear. Compared to some of my previous DR Barleywines that spewed all over the counter, I'm stumped by this pour's top looking smooth and serene like lake water. I fear flatness.

Thee bitter barleywine breathes up my nose, and there's a pleasing cherry tinge like the syrup in maraschino cherry jars. Really--there's a sweet infusion here that's spot-on cherry. The angstrom bitterness makes no bones about the style, but the nosy juxtaposition is curious.

Chalky and medicinal, I wish the taste offered more cheery cherry...but it IS an English Barleywine. It tastes like one and, particularly for a Farmville, NC production, it's true to an old English style. It's pungent and warming--almost cheek-numbing. Perhaps like all beers, it's analgesic. The swallow is hot, even as saliva metabolizes the sugars. It's among the most sugary without being sweet. The breakdown actually contributes to a grainy feel, as if destructed into particles. Interesting without inviting.

The Achilles heel of this body, you just can't embrace it. How dark are barleywines anyway? Why are the self-proclaimed "dark beer specialists" making a barleywine? Though respectably true to style, it's okay at best.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.96/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass. Courtesy of Neffbeer. Thanks!

A: Pours a dark, but clear, maroon body capped with an inch of beige foam. It leaves lacing in its wake, and it maintains a broken swath of bubbles on top of the beer after all is said and done.

S: On the sweeter side: caramel, toffee. It has an herbal earthiness to it as well.

T: The flavor starts off sweet, with a blend of caramel and toffee flavors up front. They segue into herbs and earth in the mid-taste, rounding out with a drying (not dry) finish of earthy bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste. Not particularly complex or special, but if you enjoy barleywines you'll probably get a kick out of this.

M: Sweet up front with a bitter finish. Not a particularly complex flavor, but the flavor that is there is delivered on a medium-full body with low carbonation.

O: This is decent. Nothing to write home about. I found it all right.

Photo of FrognutUnl
2.98/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark reddish brown, with a single finger off white head.

S - Raisins and tart fruits. A good amount of booze also detected.

T - Sweet with a fair amount of hop bite and earthiness. Tastes of brown sugar and dried fruits, with a slight amount of alcohol in the finish.

M - On the lesser side of full bodied with a bit more carbonation than I would like to see in a barleywine.

D - This wasn't tops on my barleywine list, but it was decent. The strange tartness in the nose and the amount of carbonation didn't ruin the experience, but didn't help either.

Photo of IdrinkGas
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of chippo33
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of tpacek
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of JohnnyK
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of AndrewMichael
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of GaryMarkle84
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of Gatordaddy
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of Stargazer2892
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of Hodgin
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of semibaked
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my Chimay Goblet.

A - Pours a very cloudy dark brown with about a half an inch of orange/brown head. Tons of great lacing appears throughout drinking.

S - Sweet malts, raisins, toast, and a touch of orange.

T - Kind of an Orange Peel bitterness dominates plus hop bitterness, orange, raisins, and malts.

M - Oily and slick, some resin too.

D - This is a let down, it smelled good but the taste is just too bitter for me. I wish more of the other flavors could come through, but it isn't terrible either. Worth a try.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

What a jaunty little cap. This brew pours a translucent burnt amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, toffee, booze, rye bread crust, and a bit of medicinal aromas. The taste also carries that medicinal astringency, along with some sharp citrus hops, toffee, and maple syrup. The body is a heavy medium, with a moderate carbonation and a gooey feel. Overall, I think this is the least of the Duck-Rabbit brews I've yet had. It seems as though something went awry, I just can't put my finger on it.

Photo of Crosling
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Firey orange color. Big head. The nose doesn’t offer anything of distinction...just a very light smell. Flavor brings some super sweet malt and some unusual fruit flavors. Some nice elements in the flavor, such as the caramel-like finish, but for the most part this is weird and below average.

Photo of CooperEllis
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz into 6oz wine glass. Best before 02/12.

Minimal lacing and thin head stretched over the top of muddy burnt orange/caramel body.

I have to say that I was wondering 'what' I was smelling, the aroma is forward w/ hops and I checked that it's a English barleywine, perhaps just far far to young and I should have let this mellow a bit.

As noted in many other reviews - tart citrus/rind with a large dose of sweet malt in the middle with an eye watering bitter/booze finish that really caught me offguard. After the finish there is a whole lot of piney/citrus sticking around.

I had a hard time getting through the whole bottle, not because of the flavor but because of the booze heat. This is also damn near flat which is making me think more licquor and less barleywine.

(71st)

Photo of OakedCanuck
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into tulip.

A - Pours a copper brown with good off white head formation. Weak lacing and head wasn't interested enough to stick around

S - Some hops actually, a drying bitterness. Slightly fruity with sugars (brown sugar and caramel).

T - Is this a belgo-BW? Distinct belgian-type yeast flavour, interesting, not bad though. Fairly sweet brown sugar, vanilla and some honey. Could be a little sweeter and a little less bitter to be closer to an English BW. I do pick up a metallic finish on back palate, and I know it is not me.

M - Dry, metallic, messy, medium

O - Not a very interesting beer, and I love English BW but this one falls a bit off the wagon. Weird metallic taste and a bit of a messy taste, unbalanced.

Photo of nick76
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Photo of nickfl
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours with a small head of white foam on top of a hazy, dark golden body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace on the glass.

S - A spicy, mustardy aroma with notes of black pepper, clove, and perhaps a touch of acetone.

T - Bready malt up front with some sour cherry and pine. Spicy notes of clove and juniper in the middle with a touch of acidic grapefruit. The finish has some smoky notes that intensify in the aftertaste and almost end up as a band-aid like note.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry, acidic finish.

D - Weird, this almost seems like a sour with the level of acidity and the odd, yeasty notes. I'm really conflicted about whether this is infected or not, it has some really strange characteristics and it is oddly dry for an English barleywine. The smoky character is really odd for the style and almost to the level that it would be unpleasant. Not something that I would drink again except to confirm that it is supposed to taste like this.

Photo of Dubber55
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Caramel/amber pour with 1 finger of carbonation

Smells like pine, citrus, and alcohol. Lots of piney hops in the aroma.

Taste follows the smell. Loads of piney hops, some orange rind, and booze. Lots of pine resin as well. Pretty sticky. It also seems to be really bready. Must be from the toasted malts. I am tasting a little brown sugar/caramel, but the hops are really overpowering.

Solidy medium carbonation. This is definitely a hefty beer. Pretty chewy and sticky. A little too much carbonation

Overall this beer does not remind me of an English Barleywine. There are way too many hops and no sweetness. Seems to be unbalanced

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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 557 ratings.