Diabhal | Rabbit's Foot Meadery

39 Ratings

Brewed by:
Rabbit's Foot Meadery
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fermented with traditional Belgian barley, yeast and candi sugar + generous amount of the finest honey.

Added by Todd on 12-18-2008

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 39 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of scottoale
4.25/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml. brown bottle with flip-top and a label depicting El Diablo in leprechaun attire, drinkin' out of a chalice. The brew pours out a honey amber-gold with a red tint. Small white head fizzles quickly to a ring, patch and some lace that's delicate, yet sparce.

Sweet fruit, honeysuckle, honey and the likes, fill the nose. Very floral and very fruity, through and through. It smells as sweet as night blooming jasmine and similar.

Very sweet light malts and honey run the show in this brew. Not much in the hop dept. and the alcohol is very subdued for a significant 8.2% ABV. Different for this style, it's got a light to medium body at best and the sweetness of a Belgian Triple and then some. Feels good in the mouth, smooth and supple, with a mellow zip from the faint carbonation. Overall this is a very easy drinker if you like sweet and don't care about hops. Interesting brew.

 888 characters

Photo of caseyoharaa
4/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of halo913
4/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of SoCaliC8
4/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of Alpha309
4/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of 4000qtrap
3.87/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: 16oz. Bottle. No expiration date.

Smell: Mostly honey, some citrus hops and apple, carmel, and alcohol.

Taste: Very sweet, but with very limited complexity at first. Mostly honey and caramel. Moderate bitterness (orange peel) in the middle balances things out though. As the beer warms quite nice yeasty and fruity notes develop which are very nice. Mouthfeel is thick. Moderately low carbonation which fits nicely. Finish is yeast and caramel that lingers forever.

Notes: At first I was quite disappointed by the complexity of this brew but by the end I was a pretty big fan. Actually a very big fan. It is quite s unique style and well worth a try. Interesting that Braggot isn't a BA beer style since I personally wouldn't compare this the BSPA....its much more trippel - or frankly, even dubbel - to me.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.77/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - This poured a beautiful bronze in color with some dark brown hues and was topped with a fluffy, yellow-white head.

Smell - This is a classic combination of sharp Belgian spicing, one of the best coriander scents I've ever smelled, a nice malt backbone if a bit grainy, and some light sugary sweets.

Taste - This was a bit of a disappointment. The spicing was stale at the taste, the malts that smelled a bit grainy turned out to be a lot grainy, and the sugar was overpowering. I still think this was a good drink but it let me down at the taste. I was hoping that the sweets would be, well, more like natural bee's honey but it wasn't even like cheap Winn-Dixie honey. We all know the historical combination of beer and honey but this was far short of a classic.

Mouthfeel - I enjoyed the medium body but the carbonation was a bit weak.

Drinkability - I liked this beer but it was just so-so and not a terrific BSPA like I was expecting after seeing and smelling it.

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Photo of chumba526
3.77/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appears cloudy red in color with a small off white almost tan colored head.

I smell a bit of a rich honey like flavor. I get a bit of a sour nose. There is a mild fruity Belgian yeast smell to the beer as well.

It tastes initially a bit sweet. There is pronounced, strong honey like flavor. I get a fruity smell. There is a mild citrus and grape like flavor. There is a mild semi-sweet bread like flavor. I get a bit of a Belgian yeast flavor but it is fairly muted by the strong sweet honey flavor.

There is a smooth mouthfeel to the beer and there is a low carbonation.

The drinkability is not bad. The beer is very easy to drink. It is very smooth and is not offensive. However I am not driven to have more than one glass of this ale.

Overall a pretty unique tasting beer. I am not sure how to grade this as this beer is so different than any I have had before. It is not the best beer but it is quite enjoyable. I enjoy the unique taste of this beer but it is not my favorite.

 986 characters

Photo of sharkdigital
3.75/5  rDev +14%

Photo of KimenTshom
3.75/5  rDev +14%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Pours a hazy honey amber, which lightens to golden when backlit. The head builds to a half-finger of creamy ecru, but dies away just as quickly, leaving a bit of lace in its wake. The smell is mild, with hints of honey, hops, and even a bit of caramel and toffee. The taste begins heavy on the honey, with a slight twinge of bitterness behind it; the caramel comes near the back end, bolstered by a swan song of honey-based sweetness. The body initially feels as though it will weigh you down, but it reveals itself as lighter than pictured. Coupled with the nice bit of carbonation and velvety smoothness, this brew stands as highly drinkable (almost too highly for its ABV...).

 713 characters

Photo of Reidrover
3.68/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Swing top 16 oz bottle from "Lifesource" Salem. $5.49 Actually a nice slightly hazy bright copper hued ale with a small yet persistent off white head. Reasonable 'Belgian" type yeast aromas, slight barnyard, earthy..with a tinge of banana and bubble gum. Taste is mainlly malty with some hay and dough and clove. emi sweet i guess from the honey. Quite enjoyable on the palate..soft carbonation works well. Overall not bad at all. i certainlly enjoyed.

 452 characters

Photo of jreveles
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of NickMunford
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DeezGunz14
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of SHODriver
3.48/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep amber into a duvel tulip with a monsterous and dense slightly off white head with excellent retention
S: smells sweet with plenty of fruity esters, a little yeasty, some honey aroma, and a bit of bready malt
T: sharp up front with some fruity ester flavor from the yeast, some apple skin, strong honey flavor at times, candi sugar, and a bit of alcohol. swallow brings more honey sweetness, another dash of fruitiness, and a slight bitterness. not a lot of malt in the flavor
M: high and prickly carbonation over a medium mouthfeel. slightly astringent finish
O: I can't get a feel for this beer. it has good complexity, an interesting flavor profile and a nice twist on the style. Carbonation is too high and the alcohol isn't very well masked. It doesn't taste bad either but the alcohol is far too apparent. It's tasty and it interests me but it isn't extraordinary.

 885 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
3.48/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Here's an interesting pick I found the other day. Apparently a beer made by a company known for its mead. I've had honey-infused beer a long time ago, but I thought another chance should be on its way. Poured from a 16oz bottle into a chalice.

Pours a strong amber color with very little carbonation overall. Didn't expect a head at all, to be honest, what with the high ABV and honey, but there was a little ring that persisted for quite some time. This looks a lot like your average DIPA, and its syrupy, dense appearance would no doubt make it readily disguised.

The aroma has some honey, but not as much as I expected. There's a brown sugar/caramel infused smell no doubt influenced by the malts, but there is a little bit of spiciness and sweetness that manages to creep its way through. I expected the honey to be more overblown here, but there isn't much going on other than the malt character, and perhaps the boozy character. Disappointing.

The flavor and feel, on the other hand, to make up for whatever seems to have gone lost in the aroma. While the initial flavor is malty, caramel-y, and slightly boozy as the aroma was, there's a honey flavor that manages to finally creep up in a rather playful way. First it tastes like a strong ale low on hops, and then, eureka! it fills the mouth with a warm, pleasant taste of honey that's as fresh as you'd like it. While the feel is quite astringent towards the finish, it's smooth overall and easy to swallow. It *does* seem a bit unbalanced overall, and I think the high alcohol is the culprit in this situation.

Was a worth a try for experimentation, but at $5.99 a bottle, I don't think I'll be revisiting this any time soon. The flavor is definitely the highlight of this beer, as I enjoy the honey cascade, but I might try their less stronger, seemingly more balanced "bière de miel" when I want to pick up another honey ale. Or, even better, try their meads, as they seem to know perfectly well what to do with honey!

 1,985 characters

Photo of TruePerception
3.44/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Red Branch Diabhal: Belgian-style braggot, no head;

Appearance: cross between liquid honey and apple juice;

Smell: buckwheat honey, slight green tea;

Taste/Mouthfeel: faint hoppy bitterness, slight yellow apple, faint honey, very light carbonation;

Pretty good.

Poured into a pint glass.

 344 characters

Photo of biancasaur
3.43/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Nice amber color and thick, creamy head, which dissipated quickly. (The bottle does say there's a thick head and fantastic Belgian lace --- when poured from the tap.) :)

Sweet honey (which, hey, I was expecting!), apple, very slight banana, and a fresh, clean character (I was put in mind of chlorine). Pleasant and not very complex.

Honey and sugar. Mostly sweet, with slightly tart overtones -- some caramel and apple. Alcohol character is subtle, coming through as a rum-like tone. Slightly fizzy, thin & watery mouthfeel - this could be because I expected it to be thick and syrupy.

This beer is not very complex, but very drinkable. It's also got a lovely aftertaste. Something about it is really accessible, like something I'd pour for someone who's never been into beer -- I loved mead before I loved beer, and I would have loved this back in those days, too. Yum! I would get this again if I wanted something sort of like mead but sort of like beer.

 1,010 characters

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.37/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a new change.

Appearance- amber color, transparent

Smell- honey, citrus, floral notes

Taste- sweet, honey

Mouthfeel- no carbonation

Drinkability- pretty good, It was something new and I enjoyed it. The only thing I didnt really like was the carbonation but other than that it was pretty good.

 306 characters

Photo of olmatty
3.35/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours a deep brown gold color with a light head.

Smell- Whiff of alcohol and honey

Taste- Sweet honey and a brandy-like quality. The Belgian yeast is prevalent.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and moderately carbonated.

Drinkability- Pleasant and tasty. One is enough for any session. It doesn't surprise me that this beer comes from a meadery, it has a very mead-like quality. Kind of a hybrid I guess. Worth trying for sure.

 431 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.01/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Oktoberfest orange with several streams of slow and steady carbonation leading up to a fluffy cap of golden beige foam that filled half the glass on a high-altitude pour. A BSPA with a generous amount of honey should be honey gold. More lace would be nice too.

The aroma is woefully underpowered. Guessing the correct style would not have been difficult if blinded, it would have been impossible. Sweeter than usual pale malts is the lackluster olfactory bottom line. An average score here is being kind.

Diabhal doesn't have much flavor either. On a good note, it does taste like a beer-mead mixture and the alcohol is masked pretty well. Unfortunately, the Belgian yeast is an underachiever and adds almost none of the typical golden fruit and spice of the style. Rabbit's Foot calls the beer tripel-like, but no matter.

To get a general idea of the flavor, think strictly average Belgian pale ale that is sweeter than normal, less hoppy than normal, and less yeasty than normal... with more honey notes than normal. There is nothing to get excited about here. Nothing at all.

Despite a relatively healthy escape of CO2 on crown cracking and an initial four finger head, it didn't take long for the beer to feel bubble-deficient. Things deflate quickly on contact, while staying just short of flat.

Adding a generous amount of honey to a BSPA/tripel sounds like it might work, but it did not work in this case. Diabhal ('Devil' in Gaelic) is way too wimpy and cookie cutter plain to make a positive impression. Pretty cool label, and the swing-top bottle is a nice touch, but that's where it ends.

 1,604 characters

Photo of trocketsauced
3/5  rDev -8.8%

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Diabhal from Rabbit's Foot Meadery
Beer rating: 3.29 out of 5 with 39 ratings
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