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Duck-Rabbit Schwarzbier - The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Duck-Rabbit SchwarzbierDuck-Rabbit Schwarzbier

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very good

174 Reviews
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Reviews: 174
Hads: 300
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 65
Gots: 23 | 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: 174 | Hads: 300
Photo of hardy008
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a large foamy tan, with very nice retention and lacing. the aroma has dark roasted malt, cocoa, and some earth. The earth smell is almost like the inside of a cave.

Tastes like dark roasted malt, cocoa, and a little smoke. Somewhat sweet, with bitterness for balance provided by the dark roasted malt.

Light to medium bodied with average carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink. A nice beer for sure.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a very deep amber almost black in color with a finger of creme colored head. smells of roasted grains, chocolate, bready yeast. slightly fruity like cherries with lots of chocolate, and roasted grain flavor. has a nice tartness to it from the lager yeast. medium body, high carbonation.

a nice offering from this brewery.. they sure do like their dark beers!

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Photo of Powderhornphil
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this an an extra in a trade. Not my usual style, but it's pretty tasty.

Looks quite nice and black, lets some light around the edges. White fluffy head that leaves some very nice lacing.

Scents are gentle all around. Roast, coffee, chocolate malt.

Taste follows the nose with a clean flavor. A light chocolate malt appears on the finish.

Mouthfeel is very nice for the style and ABV.

Great to try this but I would not seek out again. Overall an enjoyable easy drinker.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass mug.

A: Nearly black (clear dark red-brown) with three-finger, off-white, creamy head that lasted a very long time. Good lacing.

S: Toasted malt and faint chocolate.

T: Light to moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Roasted malt and faint chocolate.

M: Light bodied with fizzy carbonation. Slightly dry and crisp.

O: Good black lager, but I'm not sure it's much better than the Sam Adams black lager. It looks pretty awesome in the glass.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
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

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Photo of Kromes
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear black with brown/red edges and a finger's width tan colored head that leaves rings of lace on the glass. Sweet roasted honey malt and chocolate aroma. Initial flavor is roasted malt with dark chocolate and a bit of sweet grain. Finishes sweet with a big roasted malt flavor and a touch of floral hop. Feel is light with good carbonation. A bit bitter from the roast, but mostly sweet. One of the best Schwarzbiers out there. This is a full flavored black lager.

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Photo of 57md
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is dark brown-to-black with a finger of head that dissipated rather quickly. Good, hearty roasted malt profile upfront, but this offering thins out at the end. There is also an odd sour taste on the finish that I cannot quite place, but it is less than pleasant.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ive heard that awful I word thrown around about this one.

Pour is pitch black with a huge thick frothy light toffee-colored head.

I get alot of smooth coffee and chocolate on the nose, with a hint of light cherry that reminds me of the bottle of their Rabbid Duck I had.

The roasted malt comes out straight away, and I like that. Loads of powdered black chocolate and a bit of toasted coffee. But it competes with sour cherry from what I think is that awful "I" word. I like the base Schwarzbier. Its very toasted and roasted malt, and with no real body.

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Photo of pvo
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was talking to a fellow shopper in Carrboro Beverage Company about this, which they were offering on tap, and he recommended against it. Luckily, a friend of mind walked in soon afterwards, and we shared their $2 pours of both this and Sierra Nevada's Hoptimum. I'm glad I didn't miss this one.

Many Schwarzbiers, to me, are too thin; the Kostritzer one has always been too carbonated for my taste, and several others- like Uinta's Baba Black Lager- I've tried seem to lack depth. I realize lightness is supposed to be a characteristic of this style, but some seem to go too far in that direction. This one may have the opposite problem for many.

It has the same roast, chocolate flavors one would expect in a mild stout or porter, but has a distinctly lighter finish. It's a nice addition to the belgians/wheats that I've been drinking all summer. I'd seek it out again.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.25/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of starrdogg
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an extremely dark brown/black with a small off-white head. Smells is a fantastic roasted malt and chocolate, but with a bit of something maybe cola-ish in there as well. It's really quite enticing! Flavor is amazing - to me, this is the best-tasting schwarzbier out there. It's got a very heavy roast going on, but it also manages not to be too bitter and has a great lightness to it that makes it incredibly drinkable. Mouthfeel is also quite fantastic, highly carbonated and light, which is just as it's supposed to be, goes perfectly with the roasty flavor. Overall, this is the best schwarzbier out there and right up there with Moonlight's Death & Taxes as the best dark lager in existence. To me, this is absolutely underrated style that incorporates the lightness/refreshing aspect of a lager with the roastiness of a stout/porter, and this beer does it better than any other.

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Photo of mattpoin
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm always happy to see Duck-Rabbit coming out with new styles, especially since so few breweries are committed to dark beers year-round. The pour is gorgeous--as black as beer can get. The nose and taste aren't quite on par with the best schwarzbiers yet; the Einbecker Schwarzbier is much more robust and malty. Still, it's exciting to see an American brewery giving this style a go. Definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of tdm168
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for leaving this in my fridge.

A - pitch black with a huge, dense, brown head with great retention

S - roasted malt, faint chocolate, faint lager yeast, a hint of coffee

T - roasted malt, bitter, faint chocolate, lager yeast

M - crisp, well carbonated, medium bodied

This is a solid schwarzbier though it's a bit bitter and a little bitey. The chocolate and roasted malts give it a great flavor. It's highly drinkable and very enjoyable. I'll definitely have this again.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle date is illegible. But it's been refrigerated most of the time I've had it.

Pours very dark brown, black in the glass, and opaque except at the very edges. Half-finger of medium-tan head, gone in a flash, but some decent lacing.

Smell is quite smooth, with mellow citrus and smoky wood. The different components of the smell work really well together, forming an integrated whole that's hard for me to parse apart. Malty, slightly hoppy, dark, but airy and ethereal at the same time. If this beer were a fantasy character, it would be a happy dark sorcerer. Only complaint is that I'd like it to be more potent.

Taste is less integrated, and less interesting. A mix of slightly roasted malt with a hint of smoke, and some rather bland hops. Finishes mildly bitter.

Light-bodied, medium-low carbonation. On the flat side.

I was enthusiastic after the smell, but the taste let me down. Not bad, and among the more refreshing dark beers I've had. But not great.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark black colour with a very mouth-watering and lovely brown head. Some good lacing too.

Smells dark and malty.

Tastes thick yet slightly watery. Fairly dark and burnt malts present too.

Overall a decent beer. Couldn't drink it in large quantiities though.

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Photo of Naugros
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was worried at first because it sounded and looked like I had poured a cola into the glass. A lot of sizzle and an active head with bursting microbubbles. But then it settled down I was able to pour more into the glass and raise the head well above the rim of the Duck-rabbit tulip I got in a BIF trade. As I continued to pour, the top of the head began to look the top of a soft-serve cone...coffee flavored. Absolutely awesome!

Roasted malts mixed with German hops make up the nose, smelling a little like a Baltic porter, for anyone not familiar with a schwarzbier. For anyone not familiar with a Baltic porter that means some dark fruits and a vinous quality amid roasted malts and a touch of hops. In this case the hops, being German, give off a bit of floral.

The taste is a bit disappointing, but still good. There's a metallic tang, like licking a penny...go ahead try it...you know you want to. But beneath that are the roasted malts and the hops. The copper tang lessens as the beer warms, but is still pretty distracting. This does not seem to often be an issue with this beer, so I'm assuming it is either this batch or this bottle. No one knows where metallic tastes comes from (even some think they know), but the only theory I could check was the bottle cap and it seemed fine.

The beer was a little over-carbonated, as I suspected from the initial pour, so there was a bit of tingle in the mouth, but it didn't lessen the body considerably.

I feel that this could be a phenomenal brew. I'll need to get another bottle to confirm that this is an anomaly. If I can, then I will surely change my score in the Taste category.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of Ruds
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a 'Pforzheimer Hausbrauerei' 0.3l handled glass.

Pours a 'light' black colour, chestnut brown when held to the light with a huuuuge frothy tan/off-white head. The head subsided after a few minutes but retained a good finger pretty much thereafter.

Dark roasted malts predominate on the nose with a hint of chocolate and caramel in the background.

Roasted malts again at the forefront of the flavours allied to a little chocolate, a little smoke, slightly sweet and a slightly - but not overpowering - bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is as good as any beer I've had of this style in Deutschland. Well balanced and just the right level of carbonation.

Overall a very decent Schwarzbier and one that I'd happily have again!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 01/27/12 notes. Got a bottle of this at Bier Baron in DC. 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark amber color with two inches of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, roasted malts, nuts, light chocolate, and light coffee. Very nice.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, light coffee, and nuts. Little mroe chocolate than the nose and some nice cream/vanilla; a step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a great schwarzbier. Lots of roasted and caramel notes to it, and creamy and easy to drink. Would certainly have it again.

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Photo of Vec2267
4.25/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of TheDinger
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Rich, deep brown/black with nice 2 finger tan head. Minimal lacing, spotty at best. Smell is of rich malts, some notes of cocoa and brown sugar, a hint of coffee. Not a strong aroma. Taste is sweet and a bit on the chocolate end of the spectrum. A little hint of coffee, similar to the nose. A little hop ending to even out the sweet beginning. A good balance of carbonation to wake up the tongue. Creamy and silky to round it out. Overall- A very good schwarzbier that is complex and smooth. Roasted malts and sweet chocolate with coffee blend with a decent amount of carbonation. A solid brew I will seek out again- Tasty

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Photo of harrymel
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by: 10/2011
A: black and opaque with a finger of dirty brown foam and cobweb lace. Looks nice. (4)
S: Nuts, coffee, hollow co2 chill. Leaves in the fall, a bit muddy. (4)
T: Hints of unsweetened cocoa, coffee grounds, metal and the slightest hazelnut give this an interesting and pleasant flavor. Never thought I’d say this, but this beer might benefit from the smallest addition of smoke malt. (4)
M: Nice and smooth with a light body and dry finish. (4)
O: Good beer. Could drink this on a cool summer night in volume. (4)

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Photo of brystmar
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to pest for this extra!

A: pours black as night, reminiscent of a stout but without the heavy consistency. Active body produces plenty of brown head that sticks around and soils my glass with lace.

S: roasty malts, smoked malts, lager yeast. The expected schwarzbier aromas are here, and the addition of smokey malts is a nice touch.

T: the roasted malt addition makes this brew much more interesting than most schwarzbiers. Shows hints of stout-y roasted malts, but its regression back to a standard lager malty backbone towards the end retains its appeal to the "I hate dark beer!" crowd.

M: thin and active. Needs more body, though I'm not sure this is possible within the context of the style (or with lagers in general).

D/O: pretty good drinkability, though I personally wouldn't down more than one of these in a sitting. Great example of a craft brewery's take on the schwarzbier style.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this from Brent. Thanks boss! Poured into a pint glass. Pours dark brown with about a finger of creamy tan head.

Dry cocoa powder in the aroma with a nice roast character towards the middle. It finishes with a little bit of a fruity aroma. The pallet is a lot like what the aroma would indicate. Cocoa with a bit of char and a touch of dark fruit in the finish.

The body is medium with lively carbonation. Overall a solid offering here. Reeal enjoyable on a nice Autumn afternoon.

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Photo of oline73
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours black with some reddish brown at the edges. There is a finger of light tan head with decent retention.

Smell: Roasty but in a smooth way. Notes of chocolate and sweet malt as well.

Taste: Just like the smell, roasty but very smooth. Dark chocolate notes with a mild sweetness. Good amount of sweetness to counter the malt. The finish is a bit bitter. Quite good.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Very good. Roasty but super easy to drink because it's so smooth. Would definitely have another.

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Duck-Rabbit Schwarzbier from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.