Duck-Rabbit Schwarzbier - The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

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Duck-Rabbit SchwarzbierDuck-Rabbit Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

172 Reviews
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Reviews: 172
Hads: 291
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 64
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: on 07-30-2009

The Duck-Rabbit Schwarzbier is a refreshing summer lager (sometimes referred to as a "black pils"). In true Duck-Rabbit fashion, we've made ours extra schwarzy! It's very dark and quite roasty. Lots of Hallertau hops give this brew an authentic German character.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 172 | Hads: 291
Photo of joepais
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Jay for this want
Bottle poured into a dimple mug produced a finger worth of tan head that faded to lace. The brew was a black larger so guess the color... yup you are right.

Big aroma of roasted malts and a light smokiness hits you, as you sit by the glass. The flavor is roast forward as well (coffee and bitter chocolate), but the feel of the beer comes into play as you drink it. This is nice and light in your mouth, so you know it's a lager. This one has a sweet finish in the flavor. It is a pleasure to drink. This is my first Schwarzbier and I know it won't be my last (588 characters)

Photo of delta490
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep, almost black, brown. A thick creamy tan head caps it and holds on, leaving great lacing throughout the beer. The aroma is delicious in and of itself with a huge roasted malt aroma, deep and rich. The taste is equally malt-forward with just a subtle hint of earthy hops to balance against the malt assault. It has a nice mouthfeel, not too heavy or light. This is a great example of schwarzbier. (409 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is probably the best schwarzbier I have had.Poured a oil slick black,I mean no ruby tint here at all,a 1/2 finger off white head atop.Aromas of deep roast and molasses with just a hint of citric hop.Deep dark roasted notes on the palate mixed with black licorice and molasses,just a hint leafy hop in the finish.Wow this a great black lager,full on roast with just enough sweetness,but light enough to have a few.Hell yeah. (428 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a pokal) enjoy before 11/09
A- This beer pours a black dense body with a thin sudsy head of tan that last as a film for the full beer. There are a few bubbles stuck to the glass but otherwise it is a bit to dense to see any carbonation.
S- This flinty aroma is followed by a smooth roasted black malt note with a light char hint at the finish.
T- This beer has a smooth black roasted malt flavor with no bitterness and a nice cream flavor to follow. As the beer warms there is a note of black licorice that supports the black malt flavor.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat noted.
D- The full rich but lagered flavor has some nice roasted character but still smooth and very drinkable. (723 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours very dark, almost completely black in the glass, but not quite. There's a thick one-inch tan head that recedes slowly and leaves a surprising amount of lacing.

The aroma is fantastic, dominated by some heavily toasted malts bread. There's also plenty of coffee, heavily roasted coffee, and a faint chocolate sweetness in the background, though the massive toasted character is dominant.

The taste is slightly sweeter than the aroma and really tastes almost like a mocha with an extra shot of espresso. There's some coffee bitterness but with a toasted malt backbone and hints of chocolate and even some earthy hops in the finish.

For a schwarzbier, the body is full with decent carbonation and a very dry roasted finish.

This is one of the best schwarzbiers I've ever had. It's full bodied with tons of complexity and a great mouthfeel. Towards the top of the Duck Rabbit list for me. (928 characters)

Photo of NCSUdo
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

A: Dark black under a medium sized off white head. Good retention, decent laze.

S: This is where the beer shines. Excellent aroma. Caramel, nutty, toffee, sweet, toasted, very malty. Just an overall excellent aroma profile. Perhaps even a whiff of smoke as well. Very well done.

T: Not as big as the aroma, but well done. Toasted malt, caramel, toffee are all the big story again. Sweetness is kept at a minimal, an hint of coffee and bitterness is a little stronger then expected and can be slightly off balance at times.

M/D: Medium to full bodied, carbonation is medium. Drinkability is very good. A superb schwarzbier. (639 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark like coffee or cola with a half inch tan head that is quite dense.
The aroma is that of rich toasted malts. Hints of coffee and espresso come through.
Rich and malty tasting, roasted. Tastes similar to a porter.
Tastes and feels like a lager.
Everything about this beer suggests that it is a porter. In a blind test taste you would too, but as the beer warms up the lagerness comes into play.
As schwarzbiers go, this is definitly tops.
Drink well my friends. (471 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep dark brown, not black with some low head retention

smell: sublte dark malts, lots of chocolate flavor, some coffee

taste: low hop profile, lots of deep dark malt flavor. right on style.

mouthfeel: medium and light for a dark beer

drinkability: world class scwartz. i expect nothign less from this brewery. (326 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Black color, I guess that is why it is called a "Schwarzbier." Two fingers of dirty to tan head.
Smells like toasted barley and a little bit burnt, but in a good way. Really pleasing.
Burnt bread, a hearty malt side that ends with a little bitter bite at the end.
Medium bodied, little carbonation, fairly crisp.
Really impressed with this one. I think the "true" style is a little lighter bodied with a touch less malt, but this is delicious. (471 characters)

Photo of cvstrickland
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Duck-Rabbit's new schwarzbier pours clear and is dark polished mahogany in color with a three-finger deep cap of beady-bubbled, sticky ecru foam atop. The headcap retains very well, slowly settling into a rocky-surfaced cloudscape as it plasters sheeted webs of lacing onto the sides of my imperial pint-sized willibecher glass.

The aroma is a touch fruity with mild candied sweetness and is laced with a streak of smoky charred grain. Nuances of soft and mellow fallen apples, medium roast coffee, and dark vanilla caramels are woven into the profile and augmented with savory cereal sweetness.

The taste is a blend of chewy candied malts, mellow caramel, black plums, and a balancing splash of semisweet mocha. A lovely finishing bite of mildly-bitter dryness superbly complements the subtly grainy, sedately fruity sweetness.

The drink is medium-bodied and highly quaffable with mild carbonation that suits the brew and this drinker just fine. An excellent first-time offering that I hope to see in D-R's rotation again. (1,026 characters)

Photo of Bitzy
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Given to me by a friend from PA, Since I can't get Duck Rabbit in NYC

Appearance: Opaque black, moderate carbonation, light brown head (great retention).

Aroma: Dry cocoa, bittersweet chocolate, some nuttiness, hints of coffee, roasted malts, and that metallic lager taste.

Taste: Very impressive! A nice bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts, some sweet coffee in the aftertaste, and some of that metallic lager taste (blended in well)

Mouthfeel: While cold ie out of the fridge, the mouthfeel was sorta light, but once it warmed up to about 48-52F a nice creaminess replaced the former sensation and made the beer quite enjoyable.

Overall: My new favorite Schwarzbier!!! (676 characters)

Photo of dgfair
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Samuel Adams Boston Lager specialty glass.

The beer pours a beautiful dark black color with a nice big tan foamy head. The head dissipates fairly quickly, leaving the glass lined with some nice sticky lacing. As I take a whiff, my nose is greeted with a lovely smokiness of roasted malt with a slight caramel/toffee backbone...a perfect balance of sweet and smoke in the aroma.

The taste is delicious roasted malt upfront with a little balance from the sweet malt behind. I also get a slight touch of oak and vanilla as the beer remains in my mouth. On the swallow, the beer leaves an earthy flavor of roasted oak with a little bit of almost fruity sweetness.

This is a fantastically easy drinker...not sure on the abv, but this one goes down smooth. Definitely a sessionable beer with a ton of flavor. The only other schwarzbier that I've had in quantity is the Sam Adams Black Lager, and I think the Duck Rabbit is head and shoulders above. I would love to see DR add this to their standard lineup, as it could become a go-to. (1,067 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to Mikesgroove for this one.

Duck Rabbit Schwarzbier is a very dark brown that is opaque everywhere except its edges, where a few rats of light pass through to reveal brown and ruby tones. The head is only about a finger thick, but it has a thick, creamy look to it. A few spots of lacing cling to the glass.

As soon as I poor the beer I get a good whiff of a wonderful aroma. Lots of smoke, chocolate, toffee, coffee. Pretty nice.

A ton of sweet chocolate bursts on the scene up front, dominating the flavor. Next comes a good bit of toffee, which is followed by roasted malts and maybe a hint of coffee. The coffee is weak, and it could just be the taste of the roasted malt as it fuses with a little bit of smoke flavor. The finish and aftertaste is where the smoke is strongest; the same goes for the roasted malt. The background has a noticeable yet muted hop flavor that lends a little bit of bitterness and a little bit of citrus flavor to the beer.

The mouthfeel is a little bit creamy, a definitely on the heavy bodied side of the style, which is fine by me.

I was really impressed with this schwarzbier. More so than the few others I've tried from Duck Rabbit. Overall, it isn't the smokiest schwarzbier I've tried, but it is one of the best. (1,271 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. I don't remember who gave me this but I really enjoyed it!

A- Pours a near black color. Light red hues when held to the light on the sides of the glass. One finger light tan head stays for a short bit before becoming just film on the top of the beer. Some light streaking lacing that slides down the glass.

S- Some roasted and light smoked malts upfront. Very clean smelling by far. Some light chocolate notes bring in a bittersweet aroma to the beer. Some very light whiffs of coffee every now and then.

T- Sweet chocolate and light bitter smokey malts upfront. There is more of lager body in the middle with a light hopping in the back end of this beer. The darker color fools you into thinking this is going to be a stout style but it's not. Nice lager with some baby stout like qualities.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light drying in the mouth as I sipped on this. Roasted bittersweet malts left on the palate with some light hopping in the aftertaste. Clean tasting through and through.

D- This was a very good beer for a company whom I've not had much from. I think this is a wonderful style that most people overlook. I would love to get my hands on more of this! (1,229 characters)

Photo of hippityhops85
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer blew my mind. I had never had a Schwarzbier before this one. The color of the beer made me thing "oh here comes another heavy weight" while the viscosity should have tipped me off otherwise. The taste of this beer really reminds me of good coffee and smoldering embers. The beer is black, and i mean BLACK. It's really nice looking in a glass mug. Really happy with the results and I am on the hunt for more Schwarzbiers! (431 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sn't it funny the ones you just never get around to trying? This was another one that seemed to have alluded me this past year, and much thanks to Roborb for trading me a sixer as I had literally been dying to try it. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, I was thrilled to be able to enjoy this one on 02/07/2010.
 
The pour was dark, rich looking dark brown with a small one inch head of off white that capped the top of the glass very, very nicely before it settled down leaving with it some nice lacing up and down the sides of the glass that seemed to really thicken up and push through as the time went on. Aroma is smoked malts right off the top. Dark, evil, with hints of campfire, peat, dark roasted chocolate and a good bit of almost a licorice touch to it. As I take the first sip a rich and creamy feel overloads the senses. Wonderful and rich, dark and foreboding, it seems that it is just meant to be evil and dark. Loads of roasted and smoked malts just rolling across the tongue. Lightly dry finish leaves just enough room for a small amount of smoky flavor to pop its head in and really give it a nice show. Solid, rich, and dark, exactly what it should be.
 
Overall I was very impressed here. As always, they really seem to have their act together over at Duck Rabbit. Solid ale and a nice warmer on a cold night.
  (1,346 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: pilsner glass, the scwarz is a deep stained chestnut brown in color, capped with a light mocha head that shows good retention and lace

s: big aromas of dry, charred barley dominate with undertones of cocoa and earthy hops mostly masked by the roast, smoked meats and a touch of lager malt underneath, some mildly caramelized sugars, it's evident already that D-R has taken a very unique approach to the style - kicking up the roasted barley to levels not really found in other examples

m: carbonation on the full side, creates a surprisingly creamy mouthfeel in combination with the light-medium body

t: much like the aroma, rich charred barley is the dominant flavor here, big roasts suggest coffee and cocoa dances underneath with a light toffee sweetness on a supportive body of clean malt, finishes with a lingering dry roast (surprise!) and mild bitterness, with sub-flavors of meat left on the grill to the point of carbonization, does all this make a good Schwarz? I dunno, but I dig it

d: easy, drinks like (and very much resembles) a dry Irish stout, drinks well and continues to do so even after warming

six-pack from Whole Foods, Vienna, VA...glad to have the Duck-Rabbits up here in the Commonwealth

sampled subsequently on tap at Bierria Paradiso DC and have found it to be considerably more appealing in bottled form (1,339 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 355ml bottle with a BB of Nov 2010! At least I think so - it's notched into the side of the label. Seems pretty damn old - I bought this just last week from a webshop. Oh well, here's hoping it tastes OK. I'm liking the labelling, although I reckon the duck is more of an albatross.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. Yeast sediment indicates conditioning with live yeast. Pitch black in colour - a deep brown when held to the light. Yields a massive head of creamy light brown foam with excellent retention; this lasts for ages before subsiding to a thick surface layer. Incredibly rich aroma of roasted malt with strong notes of coffee and hints of cocoa/chocolate, burnt grain and yeast.

Tastes of intense roasted malt with a bitter finish. Notes of coffee, burnt grain, cocoa, stewed hops and subtle earthy yeast. Has a dry, spicy quality. A powerful bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with a spicy astrinency. Dries the palate. An aggressive aftertaste of roasted malt and bitter coffee.

Wow - fantastic! Not sure it quite matches the traditional style, but an excellent beer nonetheless. Roasted malt and coffee notes take your tastebuds hostage. A top notch brew - don't hesitate if you have the chance to try it. (1,253 characters)

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tall pilsner glass, color is dark brown to black with some amber edging; head is tan and dense and frothy, light lacing.

Smell is a wonderful blend of mild toasted malt, roasted malt and chocolatey malts - delicious.

Taste is clean, a little sweeter than most schwarzbiers, maybe closer to a stout but very clean finishing and only a bit of light fruitiness, but no excessive bitterness - smooth. Flavors start out roasty, blend to chocolate and finish a little thin and clean.

Mouthfeel is nearly exceptional, a bit of roasted bitterness, but other than that exceptional clean flavors and lighter lingering sweetness. Carbonation is not excessive, light lingering bitterness

Overall, a great, tasty brew - great roast presence, nice sweet balance and great smooth finish (789 characters)

Photo of deapokid
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black with nice carbonation and a thin brown head. It's lacey and well-presented, making me really excited for the first sip.

The overwhelming scent immediately hits you in the face, packing a big roasted malt and coffee bean stink, which is disarmingly delicious and enticing.

Consistency is thin (which is common for this type of lager), with sweet dark chocolate and espresso being the prevalent flavors. All tastes are extremely well-balanced and the roast smokiness accompanies the bitter sweetness of the chocolate.

As you sip, the liquid coats the tongue, hitting the tastebuds with sweetness and the back of the tongue with a roasted dryness.

I'm always a big fan of schwarzbiers and think they're one of the most drinkable lagers. Although this one is heavy on roast flavor, it is still really easy to down and potentially one of the best American renditions of this German style. (913 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, kindly gifted by blackie

enjoyed during bears-steelers.

if you self-proclaim yourself "the dark beer specialists" then your schwarz had better be good.

appearance: nice pour into a great dane imperial pint glass, extremely dark body, inky black, creamy chocolate cap and nice lace

smell: smokey, sugared dates and raisin, peat, toffee, roasted barley

taste: nice bold flavor - big roasted malts, dry chocolate, smokey and earthy, dried dark fruit...big on roast and big on smoke, this one is clearly in the same vein as the other duck rabbit darks

mouhfeel: creamy, moderate roast-bitterness, full body

drinkability: good (641 characters)

Photo of ewright
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. A finger of creamy beige head forms and recedes to a thin layer. The beer is black like a stout, but very slightly less opaque.

S: Aroma is dominated by the smell of a natural wood smoker mingling with notes of coffee.

T: Coffee and faint caramel notes are overlaid with moderately strong smoke. The smoke is more of a woody smoke than a meaty smoke that I've found in some German rauchbeirs. Hops are just present enough to balance the malt sweetness.

M: Moderate carbonation with a medium body. The creamy body hinted at by the head comes through in the back of the mouth.

D: The smokiness that adds to the taste score slightly decreases the drinkability. By the end of the beer, I've had enough smoke for one night. On the other hand, that makes it a good 6pk purchase as it should last for the better part of a week! (882 characters)

Photo of Vec2267
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - black, with red tints when held up to the sun, 1/2 tan head which falls fast and coats the side of the glass nicely

S - smokey, peat, coffee

T - much the same as the smell, lots of smokey roasted flavors

M - medium in body, rich without the syrupy feel of some styles and low in alcohol

O - wonderful beer

I love this style, but have a hard time finding it. I occasionally find Palone, this is much better. Purchased at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville while on vacation last fall. One bottle made it home for the review. (524 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This has been one of the more elusive bottled D-R offerings for me, so when I saw a case at City Bev last week, I happily grabbed a sixer. Best by November, 2010 notched on label. 12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a dark ruby-tinted chocolate brown. There isn't a bit of light creeping through at all. Great thick look. A large tan head grows on top. Retains fair enough. Leaves some light sticky lace behind. Scents of chocolate powder, fresh dark breads, ground coffee, and a husky dryness on the finish.

The mouth is the weakest part of this beer. It's a little too thin for my liking; could stand a bit more depth in this dept. All is forgotten when I taste this though! Wow! Great chocolate-y flavors, with some light bitterness. Warm bready flavors as well. Slightly roasted as well. Excellent finish. This is one of the best of the style I've ever had. Great representation. Get some if you have the chance. (930 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on tap at beer study in chapel hill. into a snifter.

pours a pitch black with a good sized head. big cocoa aroma on the nose. taste is quite the same and very impressive for the ABV. Good chocolate notes. very tasty. medium bodied, actually quite light and drinkable.

overall one of the best from duck rabbit. (312 characters)

Duck-Rabbit Schwarzbier from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 172 ratings.