Brown Ale | The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

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Brown AleBrown Ale
696 Ratings
Brown AleBrown Ale

Brewed by:
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale is an American brown brewed with loads of hops from start to finish (it's hoppy and beautifully bitter). Amarillo boil hops provide a spicy citrusy bitterness. Saaz dry hops offer a refined flowery aroma. These hops are supported by seven varieties of malt. The Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale is a great choice for anyone who appreciates assertive hops and nutty toasted malt flavors – oh yeah!

Added by brentk56 on 10-06-2004

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 696 |  Reviews: 330
Reviews by jskennedy:
Photo of jskennedy
4/5  rDev +8.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a tawny brown with a nice tight one finger almond colored head,nice aromas of caramel and roasted malts although quite subtle.Somewhat dry from the get go some earthy nuttiness and roasted malt flavors along with a touch off wood I do pick up some nice dry bitterness from a healthy dose of hops for a brown.I have been breaking away from this style and becoming more of a hophead but this suits me fine,nicely crafted and will buy again.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown and slightly translucent - not black but dark. Poured into a pint glass this produced an abundant foamy head of light brown, dissipating relatively quickly but with good lacing.

S: Coffee is prevalent on the nose with some additional hints of earthiness, especially after a good swirl.

T: Robust flavors from a complexity of malty goodness leaving you with a nutty, dry coffee sort of flavor. The finish is dry and a bit hoppy.

M&D: Pretty good mouthfeel with decent carbonation. The bittering is nice but it seems like it could be a bit smoother.

The overall impression is that this is a pretty good beer. It's satisfying, but not too filling. I personally like the hoppy taste, which is a little bit more than most of the brown ales that I have had the opportunity to sample thus far. All said, not bad.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

In true American style a lot of hops are thrown at this beer from start to finish and dry-hopped to boot (Amarillo and Saaz respectively).

Cappuccino style froth yields a beautiful trail of tan lace that drapes the inside of the glass. Dark chestnut hue but not dark enough to hide the clarity when put up to the light. Pungent and slightly sharp hop aroma, suggestions of citric peel, pepper corn and freshly cut grass come to mind. Mild-roasted malts drop a thick scent of chicory on the nose. Smooth with a slick medium body, perfect level of carbonation still provides crispness throughout. The bitterness from the hops seems to be on top of the palate, though never sharp or overly bitter. A bit of spicy, citric and herbal flavor from both the Amarillo and Saaz. Maltiness comes slightly roasty with some sweetness. A touch of toffee and unsweetened chocolate. Finishes semi-dry.

Some stellar drinking here, impressive flavor profiles from the malt and hops yet still very sessionable. Duck-Rabbit raise the benchmark a few notches in the American Brown Ale style with this one.

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Photo of daveshawley
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of marvin213
2.65/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

After wiping off the counter post-pop-the-top explosion, I'm now looking at 3/4 glass of soapy suds atop a 1/4" off brown ale. The ale that actually made it to my glass looks good and chocolatey brown. Though the beer looks good, this beverage was just a wee bit overcarbonated.

The smell, thru the foam, is indeed chocolatey. Rather than a raisiny malty makeup, it's a Mr. Goodbar-like chocolatey peanut. Oddly, however, the overwhelming fizz offers fuzz interference. It's a negative effect, and alliterative suggestion connotes figs--a flavor of which I'm typically not to fond. Fig chocolate, still, is the nose.

The taste struggles to overcome the fuzzy feel, and there's a blandness revealing either too little chocolate and/or too much fig. Upon further review, I taste toffee raisin with perhaps a hint of caramel. Grasping to objectivity with regards to the style, I conclude it's an ordinary brown--nothing too flavorful, but a bit of what makes browns brown. With all due respect, it's blah.

Anything other than carbon dioxide could add to the feel of this beer. I continue to battle fizz for the detection of anything. More chocolate, core toffee, more caramel, even more fig...any more of any of it, or perhaps just less carbonation, could make for a better feel.

It drinks like an average brown: heavier than the alcohol justifies, and too little of what makes craft beers crafty. I got this selection as a single from Total Wine, and it's been upright in a normal refrigerator since I bought it. Still, almost anything that blows up over the countertop takes a hit on the drinkability standard.

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Photo of nstroup
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of TimoP
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of petewheeler
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of merlin48
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served into an imperial pint glass, pours a clear cherry mahogany body with a small beige head that lasts a few minutes. Minimal patches of lace are left on the glass. Aroma features citrusy hops, chocolate malt, and some hazelnut. Mouthfeel is light medium bodied with more carbonation than expected. Taste has grapefruit and pine cone hops, chocolate malt, and lots of roasted, almost burnt, malt bitterness. Nice touch of nuttiness that tastes like hazelnuts. Finishes with a pine hops bitterness that is fleeting. I would estimate the abv. to be around 5%, but it's not noticed. A nicely executed brown ale that is quite tasty and pleasantly drinkable.

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Photo of tigg924
3.01/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: high carbonation, clear, huge rocky top head, leather brown

Smell: hops, grapefruit, some bready malt

Taste: big dose of hops, malt, and a touch of caramel

Mouthfeel: bitter start, semi-sweet middle, then a bitter aftertaste, medium bodied

Drinkability: This was a way bitter brown..Most likely the most bitter I have had. A little too hoppy for my liking, this is my least favorite of what I had from Duck Rabbit. I will not search for this again.

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Photo of badbeer
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear brown color with a strong pillowy off-white head. Smell is roasty with hints of caramel and plenty of earthy hop aroma. Taste is earthy in the beginning but gains a nice nuttiness in the middle. Lingering nuttiness and roast in the finish that is quite nice. High carbonation with a medium body. Pretty nice beer, but there are just a few things that take away from what it could be. The lingering aftertaste is awesome, but it isn't that great for me when it hits the tongue, and the mouthfeel wasn't quite on for me. Worth a try, you may love it.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle courtesy of AKSmokedPorter.

Holy explosive head! This was an "Oh Shit!" on the pour as it foamed up about 5/8 of the glass and threatened to boil over (in my imperial pint glass, no less!). Took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get the head to die down so I could manage a taste. Pillowy tan lace all over the glass and clumps on the glass. Roasted malt aromas mixed with a metallic scent and a dash of campfire ashes. Flavor has an upfront bitterness to it, followed by a sweeter middle of caramel and chocolate. Maybe some coffee notes as well? Finishes with a long-lasting bitterness. A taste of metal and more ash seeps in. Super-carbonated mouthfeel detracts from the overall experience. Quaffable.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.63/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

picked this beer up on my vacation at the Outer Banks was in a 12oz long neck brown bottle with a crimped cap dated notched 10/07.

Opened to a very loud hiss,poured with a very generous light tan head,color was mahogany with reddish hues. Very good retention leaving chunky,clingy lacing. Well carbinated extra tiny bubbles surging up everywhere.

Moderate to delicate aromas woody/earthy malt aromas of toffee/nut some dark fruit,lighty chard aromas, bisquity and herbal notes.Complex and very tempting can't wait to taste.

Very clean taste has an earthy/mineral taste. Light complex malty tastes of mostly chocolate also toasty and very nutty. Finishes with a clean,sharp, crisp, citrus rind feel with a chocolate fade. Has somewhat of and English feel to it,because of the nuttiness and the mineral tastes.

Light bodied,slightly grainy texture,with a mouthwatering dryness. Very refreshing. The best brown i've had to date one to compair other to. Wish this beer was avalible locally. Pick this one up if your're lucky enough to run across it. Hell, send me some too.

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Photo of mjtiernan
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of PretzelsNBeer
3.06/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got the beer at a take out pizza place and upon looking at the label, I noticed that the enjoy by date was Nov's the last day of Jan 2010 so I was a bit skeptical on the true taste and that should be taken into account too when reading this review.

When I poured the beer into my pint glass there was a good amount of head and it actually took 2 pours to get it all in the glass. I think you can take or leave reviews on the type of head since it all depends on the cleanliness of your glassware but this head was Jay Leno like....muy grande. The beer is a nice brownish/copper color and looks to be bottle conditioned.

The smell of the beer is slightly sweet with noticeable hop notes. The hoppy notes seem a little muted which is probably due to the age of the beer. The nose doesn't come out and grab ya, as it would if this was a fresh beer.

The taste is definitely a bit mellow for a hoppy brown ale, again due to the age of the beer. The taste is fine but it does taste a little old. The beer has definitely mellowed a bit but there are signs that this would have been a more dynamic beer if it was fresher.

The mouthfeel is fine. Medium bodied and slighly more effervescent due to the bottle conditioning and age in the bottle.

The drinkability is okay too. It would be a lot better if it was fresher but all in all it's an okay beer in regards to drinkability. It's definitely mellowed out but would be right up my alley if it was fresh and the hops stood out like they were intended to.

I would try this beer again since I like hoppy brown ales and think this beer has a lot of potential when consumed fresh.

 1,635 characters

Photo of far333
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Toasted chestnut colored with a gargantuan light brown head that filled half the glass and slowly settled down to allow the rest of the pint to be poured.

Aroma of rich roasted malt and cocoa, some raisin and a touch of smoke.

Rich flavor of roasted malt with moderate sweetness, cocoa and charred oak. Pronounced hop bitter rides along and complements the other flavors well. Powdery finish.

Rich and full mouthfeel, a tannic feel lingers.

Very drinkable, interesting take on the style. Thanks to MuenchenerKindl for sending this one in my direction.

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Photo of Soonami
2.35/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A nice looking brown ale, that pours a clear reddish brown with a nice tight head. The beer immediately smelled of chocolate with undertones of fruit preserves and plune. The taste is sharp and sour with little body and finishes with an astringent, acrid bitterness. This beer does not taste good at all. This beer ranks as a 1.0 for taste because it tastes nothing like what an American Brown should, it's just a brown. This is a rare drain-pour for me. I really hate pouring beers out, but this was unpalatable for me. I don't know why others have ranked it so high in the past but recent reviews have been down, like mine

I tried looking at other reviews to see if others had the same experience with this beer that I did, and what I conclude is that a majority of tasters also tasted the same acidity that I taste. So this is likely not a contamination or defect, but just how the beer is. Also, because the beer didn't gush or smell sour, I don't think it's spoiled, just not good.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No secrets here, per the label "Hoppy and beautifully bitter". That may be a nice escape from the typical English style brown ale. Appears a deep chestnut mahogany brown hue with a light khaki head form fine bubbled even layers of lacing as it dwindles. Aroma has a big nutty chocolate tone with caramel and toffee blended in as well, but a strong air of herbal and earthy hops is provided as well. Flavor was raw with hop bitterness earthy herbal hops was right, those nutty dark chocolate tones are overshadowed by the wave of alpha hop bitterness giving the flavor a really dirty muddled flavor overall. Sharp acidity with a back end of sweetness finishes very dry in acidic, carbonation level is soft on the mouthfeel but body is medium with a slight level of oily hops. At this point just brew an IPA if you want to keep it a dark beer go black with your IPA, but compared to Terrapin and DFH's versions of a hoppy brown this one goes a bit overboard. Drinkability is kinda hurtin' due to the lack of cohesion of flavors, abrasive hops within a traditional brown doesn't work to well.

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Photo of chinchill
2.87/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle marked best by Nov. 2012, poured into a St. Bernardus snifter.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a foamy tan head that faded slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The smell is marred by an off-odor of something like soggy peat with a bit of not-so-fresh fish. Some sweet and roasted malts there too.

T: The taste is malty with a little bit of hops. No fish flavor here and the peat mixes well with other flavors from the malts and hops.

M: Lightly crisp medium carbonation; smooth; medium body,

O: Aroma aside, this is at best an unexceptional brown ale ... disappointing from the "dark beer specialist". QC issues at work?

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Photo of weareallfalafel
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SPRichard
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

part of Duck Rabbit's Philadelphia kick off

dark, almost opaque brown with a nice amount of carbonation and retention...decent lacing of the glass

chocolate and roasted scents with some lactose

super smooth and silky texture until the end

Hops presence throughout each sip...this one had the most dominant hop presence of the 3 Duck Rabbit offerings I had tonight

Best of both worlds in this one...dark beer with an excellent hop presence

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Photo of WCBCFrank
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this a Village Whisky, home of the best burger in the world...but I digress. Duck Rabbit was proudly poured in my pint, with a nice brown and off white head that had nice lacing. It has a decent nose, full of chocolate, caramel, nuts, etc. Some sweetness up front, but finished OK, not great. The hops were there but not much of presence as I expected.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of glid02
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a single at Green's on Buford in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy dark brown color with a one-finger tan head that leaves spotty lacing down the glass.

Smells of citrus hops and lightly toasted chocolate malts. As it warms the hop aromas intensify.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Toasted chocolate malts kick things off and are soon overtaken by citrus hop flavors. The ending allows a bit of the chocolate flavor to sneak back in before the mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness, though the carbonation is a bit on the heavy side.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem with one glass but I'm not terribly excited about another.

Overall this is a hoppy brown that's tasty, though I wish the malts had more of a presence.

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Brown Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 696 ratings