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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

528 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 528
Reviews: 338
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.91%
Wants: 107
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 528 | Reviews: 338 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys

Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -27.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 01:52:02 | More by Jimmys
Photo of BedetheVenerable
BedetheVenerable

Missouri

2.83/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 05:13:46 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

2.83/5  rDev -25.7%
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)

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2009 02:22:30 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of marvin213
marvin213

North Carolina

2.93/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2010 03:57:17 | More by marvin213
Photo of FrognutUnl
FrognutUnl

Michigan

2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 07:46:47 | More by FrognutUnl
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 06:45:02 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of IdrinkGas
IdrinkGas

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -21.3%

04-09-2012 19:27:29 | More by IdrinkGas
Photo of chippo33
chippo33

Vermont

3/5  rDev -21.3%

02-01-2013 19:43:57 | More by chippo33
Photo of JohnnyK
JohnnyK

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -21.3%

04-12-2014 17:45:40 | More by JohnnyK
Photo of AndrewMichael
AndrewMichael

Virginia

3/5  rDev -21.3%

06-01-2013 22:06:36 | More by AndrewMichael
Photo of GaryMarkle84
GaryMarkle84

Virginia

3/5  rDev -21.3%

06-01-2013 01:35:55 | More by GaryMarkle84
Photo of Gatordaddy
Gatordaddy

Maryland

3/5  rDev -21.3%

11-18-2011 22:38:19 | More by Gatordaddy
Photo of Hodgin
Hodgin

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -21.3%

02-28-2012 03:35:08 | More by Hodgin
Photo of semibaked
semibaked

Kentucky

3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 01:26:49 | More by semibaked
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 05:56:14 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of CooperEllis
CooperEllis

New York

3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
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)

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 23:11:46 | More by CooperEllis
Photo of seeswo
seeswo

Ohio

3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

January 2009 bottle. Pours a perfect brown that pops red held up in front of a light, with two fingers of tan head. This looks dead on. Smell is sweet and fruity, but not too sweet. A twinge of faded hops. Smells very good. The taste is not as good as the appearance or the nose. A faded hop bitterness starts things out and dries the palette. This gives way to a bit of sweetness that pokes its head out and then falls back away. The taste is all drying dead hops. What a let down. This is one to open after a few more years or fresh, I would guess. In this bottle, the hops suppress the malt flavor almost entirely, but taste dead themselves. Mouthfeel is a bit bigger than medium with that drying in the mouth. Solid carbonation. Overall, this beer is a big letdown. It just doesn't taste very good. Never had an English Barleywine that was bland, dry and with little to no sweetness. Maybe this is just a dead period in the aging.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2011 05:19:34 | More by seeswo
Photo of OakedCanuck
OakedCanuck

Washington

3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 20:00:31 | More by OakedCanuck
Photo of nick76
nick76

Florida

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2009 07:59:46 | More by nick76
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2012 04:02:55 | More by nickfl
Photo of ewright
ewright

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured into a snifter, there is little head. The beer is a slightly murky dark brown.

S: A bit of fig, some sharp alcohol on the nose. I get a little caramel buried in there as well. EDIT (4/9/08): A bit more complexity is showing. I get notes of other dark fruits to go with the fig ... raisin or plum. +.5

T: Good hop bite to balance the large amounts of malt. Finish is a cross between a cloying stickiness on the middle of the tongue and a dry burn on the back. The alcohol is WAY too prominent though.

M: It burns a bit. The alcohol is not nearly as subtle as with other barleywines or RIS.

D: I'll be sipping this one slowly for a couple of hours. Hopefully I'll warm up to it, since I have 5 more to go. EDIT (4/9/08): Not as harsh as I first rated it, but I still think a few more months will do nothing but help this beer. +.5

Overall, not one of my favorite barleywines when young. I think I'll lay down a couple and see how they taste in 6-12 months. There seems to be good potential for aging in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2008 00:45:32 | More by ewright
Photo of Dubber55
Dubber55

New York

3.15/5  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

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 16:55:51 | More by Dubber55
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pomegranate-orange with a frothy, orange creamsicle colored crown that is currently filling the top half of the snifter. The head is now wonderfully melty and is leaving feathery rings of sea foam-like residue on the sides of the glass. Who says that 11.0% is a lace killer?

On a positive note, no alcohol is appreciated in the nose. Unfortunately, the beer smells too much like sour fruit. Sweet would be good, hoppy would be even better, but tart ain't gonna get it done in a barleywine. For what it's worth, I'm almost certain that this bottle is from the original batch (December '06).

Not that it was a difficult call given the nose, but Barleywine Ale is much too sour fruity for its own good. I have no earthly idea why that should be. Go ask a brewer. My hope is that if D-R brews another batch (assuming they haven't already), they rethink things from top to bottom.

Flavors include unripe apricots, oranges, peaches, and maybe even plums, swimming in sugar syrup and caramel. If you like sweet-and-sour barleywines, then Duck-Rabbit has the beer for you. Drinkable? Sure. Enjoyable? Not really. A few months more than one year in the bottle shouldn't have done it that much harm.

Sipping is the only way to go, mostly because of the teeth-rotting sugary sweetness. The mouthfeel doesn't stand in the way of faster drinking since it's thinly syrupy, if that isn't oxymoronic. Little carbonation contributes to a serious shortage of mouth excitement.

Duck-Rabbit deserves some slack since most of their lineup is solid, if unspectacular. Porter and Wee Heavy Scotch Style Ale are the best so far, with only Rabid Duck Russian Imperial Stout to go. I wish the brewers much better luck with the second batch of Barleywine Ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2008 15:29:24 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of psiweaver
psiweaver

Washington

3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an oakquinox tasting glass. Shared by Robert from the original bottling of this beer.

A: pours a hazey brown with a soft little light brown head that quickly dissipates.

S: has a nice smell with lots of sweetness. not a ton to the nose.

T: very very sweet flavor with the alcohol nicely integrated. Not really my thing though as the sweetness was cloying and almost overwhelming.

M: very smooth with the proper amount of carbonation but just too much sweetness that was cloying.

overall just too sweet and that overwhelmed everything else.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 21:21:59 | More by psiweaver
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-slightly hazy dark golden orange in color with an off white head that has a good bit of bubbles on top but looks creamy and relatively tight. The retention is very good, it lingers for quite some time and leaves a very nice coating on the glass.

S-the nose is actually quite hoppy especially for an english barleywine. It is more along the lines of a bigfoot, which I like but is a little off for the style. Grapefruit and apricot come at you right up front and really is the centerpiece of the aroma. A lightly toasted bready malt comes in towards the back with some pale malts lying underneath.

T-the taste is a little all over the place. Grapefruit and apricot are strong up front. Tons of burnt brown sugar and caramel malts set up in the middle. The bready malts seem to hide in the back with a strong bitterness taking hold at the finish. Notes of alcohol seem to kick in towards the middle and really have a warming effect towards the back.

M-this is medium bodied and syrupy. It is pretty smooth and seems to have some carbonation issues in the back, rough on the back of the throat. It is pretty wet throughout.

D-this is a little bit of a mess, its kind of all over there in the taste and really hoppy for an english barleywine. The booze is quite strong throughout and not something I would want to drink frequently.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2010 02:50:11 | More by cpetrone84
Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 528 ratings.