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 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)

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

A: Very dark brown with maroon highlights. Head is firm and creamy, with a mocha color. Spotty patches of lacing.

S: Black licorice and dark roast coffee are highly prevalent. Some notes of dark fruit. A robust and inviting aroma--like a porter without as much roast and bitterness.

T&M: Incredibly complex! Dry dark chocolate and coffee flavors meld with a bread-like flavor up front. Light citrus flavor comes in mid-palate, and the finish is a complete gear-shift to notes of ash and smoke. A wonderfully contemplative beer. Rarely does a sessionable, lighter beer such as this pack such a complex and robust flavor. Body is light and smooth, with a subdued and gentle carbonation.

D: A fantastic schwarzbier. Quite drinkable and complex, with a fantastic mouthfeel. Well done, Duck-Rabbit. (796 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into the glass a deep dark black with a small bubbly light tan head on top. Aromas of wonderful roasted malts mingling with chocolate, molasses, caramel and a bit of peppery spiciness as well. Touch of burnt coffee in there as well. Really love the depth here, draws you in!

First sip brings big dark roasted malts upfront with some char, chocolate, burnt coffee and caramel. Real great depth of flavor in here and a bounty of roasty goodness. Flows down with a touch of peppery spice and lingering roasted grain on the finish. Damn fine brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good steady carbonation. A really solid brew as the weather turns a bit cooler outside. I wish I could get this locally as I would love to drink this more often! Thanks much to smokeypeat for sending this my way. (796 characters)

Photo of Stigs
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, served in a SA perfect pint glass

A - pours with a finger of loose but bubbly tan colored foam. the beer is just about black with some dark ruby hues around the edges in front of light.

S - very Porter-like with ample chocolate, coffee (nice fresh dark roast), and roasted nuts and grains. very warm and inviting.

T - nice and roasty with some great compliments of dark chocolate, coffee, licorice, and nuts. finishes with some earthy hops and a sweet caramel kick. when warmed a nice smoked chipotle spiciness opens up.

M - light bodied with a solid amount of carbonation. Creamy and comforting.

D - why havent i had this before? awesome representation of a cool style...will make a great winter beer, loaded with flavor yet light and easy to drink. DR impressed again. (789 characters)

Photo of Bung
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Picked up a six of this at a local tasting and I'm down to the last one so I better review it.
A somewhat transluscent black pour, some white bubbly head. Good amount of chocolate, roast malt in the aroma, with some of that, lager smell, not sure quite what to call it. Light/medium body not quite creamy, refreshing on the pallet. Roasted chocolate malt, cocoa, burnt nut with some piney hints throughout. Finish is just a bit of roast coffee.
A real good drinker of a Schwarzbier, like it should be. One of Duck Rabbit's best efforts, saying something considering their others are good as well.
I wish more breweries would focus on this style, this is the session beer for the dark beer fan. (700 characters)

Photo of wedge
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown with chestnut highlights. A nice, fluffy milk shake-y like head tops it off. Big, pleasing aroma of rich, roasted (almost charred) malt, nuts, and cereal. Chocolate covered fruit and a whiff of coffee and cream as well. Rich, heavily roasted malty delights flood the tongue...cocoa sweetness, dark chocolate, finishing with some fruity hops. Medium-light body...smooth and dry.

Tasty for sure. I'm glad DR decided to put out a summer seasonal with some real drinkability. Being the "dark beer specialists", a schwarzbier seems like a logical choice and they pull it off very well. (597 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft at Beer Run in Charlottesville.

A: Opaque black, just as I'd hope! Nice, slightly offpwhite head tops about a finger and a half tall. Nice looking, decently creamy, with a bitof a frothy quality to it. Several patches of lace paint the walls of the glass.

S + T: A nice coffee bean scent, and a straight iced coffee flavour to go with it - though it doesn't carry a lot of the chocolate or sweet notes that other styles often exhibit with the roasted malts. Nice and raw, the graininess is very clean and tasty.

M + D: Lighter in body, easy going and smooth drinking. This is a very nicely done beer, certainly accessible and easy to drink. I look forward to imbibing in many more of these as long as it lasts! Recommended drinking. (754 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Abe's in Bethlehem for around $1.75. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my nonic pint glass. Notched freshest by 11/09. The lager appears a nearly opaque dark chestnut color with about an inch of creamy light tan foam. the foam lingers for a bit before settling to a thin layer. Awesome dark roasted grain and bitter cocoa are the first notes to attack the nose and taste-buds, followed by notes of slightly burnt caramelized malt, a touch of smoke and char, grassy hops. Medium in both body and carbonation. Very nice! (532 characters)

Photo of jimpala
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Is this supercharged with co2?
Makes a vigorous noise when opened and pours a huge head.
Even as it warms up a little it still pours a huge head.
Let the head settle and it is very drinkable. Nice smokey, chocolate, hoppy flavor.
I'll look forward to the 2011 rendition. (272 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%

(best by date of Nov '14 - poured into a tall, fluted goblet)

A: deepest ruby-brown... sandy-brown, spongy foam

S: somewhat even play between roasted barley, coffee, and baker's cocoa... certainly a bit of hop coming through, contributing to a mild herbal hard candy character in the background

T: core of cocoa-dusted coffee enveloped in a thick winter coat of an arguably (hop+sugars) fruity, dark malt ... the roasted and bitter notes come on a bit slowly but, once at full volume, buzz and hum in the center of the palate till the end... modicum of bittersweet-ness... pretty nicely dry though

M: at first, it appears on the fuller side for the style, but all that means is it's about medium-bodied... starts off thickish, but drops off quietly, quickly... bit of residual sugars scraping down the back of the tongue, but it never feels at all heavy

O: definitely on the bolder side (roasted and bitter flavor) for the style, but more or less pretty true to its mild finish and overall weight (1,001 characters)

Photo of Genghis22
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best By 11/09

A - Pours completely black, with a nice thin mocha color head. No light penetration at all.

S - Smokey, woody, nutty goodness. All malts in the nose. Great aromas from the roasting process.

T - Big roasty malts are at the front of this beer, both in the nose and the mouth, but the hops really come through. The malt hits you first, but the hops come in and balance the flavor out very quickly. The aftertaste is more of the smokey, nutty roasted malt taste.

M - Light to medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Crisp and clean, leaves the mouth a bit dry.

D - Very tasty beer. Almost like a diet porter. Good nutty smokey flavors from the roasted malt, but enough hops to give it some character. The body is not very thick, making this an easy drinker. (778 characters)

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass, picked up in Asheville. One of my favorite styles, so very eager to try.

Pours deep ruby brown, verging on black depending on how it's viewed. Massive light brown head is very fluffy, rocky, looks very much like the head on a root beer float. Three to four fingers at first, then it actually grows a bit, before finally settling down enough to let me finish the pour a couple of minutes later. I'm thinking some carbonation issues may be present, eh? Still, retention is very good - takes forever and a day for the head to die down enough to really start drinking, and 20 minutes on top of that before it fell to a thin but solid light brown cap. And when it did finally die, there were sheets of lacing all down the sides of the glass.

Nose is rich with baking cocoa, preceded by just a bit of acidic roasted malt bite up front. Dry, powdery even. Lightly sweet, with just a hint of espresso.

Taste is smooth initially; nice fruitiness is surprising, adds a bit of brightness to the subtle dark cocoa and lightly acrid black malt notes that follow and come to dominate. Moderate amount of caramel sweetness in there as well. Just a bit of woodiness on the finish, with more lingering caramel sweetness, and a light, dry hop bitterness lingering the longest. A bit sweet for the style, yet still quite balanced. I found it quite enjoyable.

Should be noted, I also detected the light metallic taste noted by others on the first few sips, but that quickly faded as the beer warmed.

Mouthfeel is light, with a lightish carbonation that has a nice, soft fluffiness to it - guess the massive head did away with the carbonation issues I previously feared. Finish is nice and dry by the end.

Light in body, very flavorful, very well balanced, crisp - very nice beer. (1,806 characters)

Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - yep, its pretty obvious that this beer pours pretty damn dark. There is a reason the style is simply known as "black beer" in German. Thin white head on top, it looks ominous and foreboding.

Aroma - dark roasted malts, dark roasted coffee grounds, charcoal, soy sauce, liquid smoke and finally a bit of burnt sugar.

Taste - light in body for the color, don't let the darkness fool you. This is a very smooth and deceptively light as far as flavor goes as well. Very much a lager brewed with dark malts with not a lot of sweetness and some dryness in the finish, sort of like that last sip of coffee. There is a bit of a hoppy bit in the aftertaste that I didn't pick up on the first couple sips.

Overall - Very roasty, toasty and malty but also very easy drinking. If you're looking for a dark beer other than a porter or stout then check this out sometime. Duck-Rabbit continues to impress.

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. I wish I could buy a mixed case of all of their beer releases! (1,008 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a dark brown-to-black coloring, with ruby highlights, and a thin, off-white halo of head. Nose of subtle smoke and char, richly sweet nut and earthy tones in the backbone. Flavors are an earthy and smoky blast forward, with bitter coffee and bittersweet chocolate in the backbone. Smoke and peat permeate every sip, on a slick, light body. The aftertaste is very bittersweet, with a solid, subtle, smoked linger. Slick, solid, lingering finish. Very well crafted, balanced brew. (533 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

Pours a slick black with mocha highlights and a quickly fading tan head that recedes to a thick ring with little lacing. Roasted, smokey malt aroma, with coffee and chocolate notes, very rich and full. Creamy, medium-full body with soft carbonation and a fairly dry, smooth finish. Flavor is roasted and burnt barley and malt, with mild coffee and chocolate notes providing a little balancing sweetness. Also some light fruitiness near the finish that is unexpected but pleasant. I like black lagers and this is one of my favorite beers from Duck Rabbit (I've been hit or miss with them in the past). (614 characters)

Photo of joe1510
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle

Big thanks goes out to Ryan for sending me a couple of these guys! Duck Rabbit's Schwarz is the darkest of browns bordering on black. Chestnut highlights glow through the body when backlit and good clarity shows. An easy pour yields a dense, whipped cream like beige head that sticks around the entirety.

Hazelnut comes to mind first on the aroma before moderate roast joins the fray. The roast runs from front to back and is joined by anise in the middle before segueing into a light roast coffee. No single aspect overruns the others. The balance is right on with seamless integration.

The flavor runs pretty close to the nose but shows more nuance. The roast again runs front to back and produces a light bitterness. Hazelnut, light cream, soft anise, and light roast coffee all play roles in the flavor profile. With warming dark berries emerge, not much but enough to add even more depth. There's a lot of different flavors but they blend perfectly.

A rather weighty body highlights this brew. Rich, dense, and creamy. The body is smooth and the roast leaves a soft lingering bitterness on the swallow. An incredibly easy beer to put away.

Duck Rabbit's Schwarzbier is one of my favorites. It's a little richer and heavier than some of the best German examples and even shows some porter-esque characteristics. Any time I have a chance to grab this beer in the future I will snatch it up. Thanks again, Ryan! (1,432 characters)

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