Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale | The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

323 Reviews
Duck-Rabbit Brown AleDuck-Rabbit Brown 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

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Reviews: 323 | Ratings: 675
Photo of RBorsato
4.95/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Solid dark brown in color with a nice pillowy light brown head, nice constant carbonation, and some lace. Nice hoppy aroma with some chocolate and roastiness underneath. A robust almost Porter-like roasty espresso and chocolate flavors balanced nicely by a liberal shot of hops. Medium bodied and smooth with a nice roasty espresso and dry bitter finish.

To notch ABA !! The best D-R beer so far, hands down. It is more of a Porter though, or at least a "Double ABA" :-).

Per Label: "Hoppy and Beautifully Bitter"

Per D-R website: Amarillo hops in the boil provide a spicy citrusy bitterness. Saaz dry hops in the fermentor provide a refined flowery aroma. These hops are supported by a grain bill of seven varieties of malt

Enjoy By: 10/06 (notched)
Tasted: 10/29/06

($7.99 / 6-pack)

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Photo of HopHeadRyan
4.79/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle decanted in to snifter tasting glass...

A - Beautiful deep ruby mahagony, nice head, nice edge retention, and great lacing...

S - HOPS! A pleasant surprise...didn't read the bottle carefully...its a hoppy brown! Awesome! Piney-flowery-herbal hop aromas! Subtle roasted malt notes as well...

T - Superbly balanced...the best of both worlds...awesome hoppy bitterness quickly countered by the caramel and roasty malts...very nicely done! One of the most balanced, complex, and interesting ales I've had the pleasure of drinking...

M - Great carbonation, creamy, medium bodied, almost cask-like...very nice

Overall - One of my new favorite brews...very nicely done Duck Rabbit! The best American Brown I've had!


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Photo of number1bum
4.75/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Many thanks to mymrnngjckt for this one.

Pours a reddish/medium-brown color with a good two fingers of fluffy light beige head that fill the pint glass. Head retention is outstanding, leaving a nice thick lace on top and lots of stick.

Smell really jumps out at you with an awesome combo of caramel malt and piney, earthy hops. Also some roasted malt.

Taste is a lot like the smell and is supremely balanced and simply delicious. Caramel malty goodness, a nutty flavor and piney/grassy hops are the dominant flavors, complemented by brown sugar and finished off with nice combo of bitter hops and roasted malt. Finishes clean, with a creamy medium-body. The mouthfeel could maybe be a bit softer but I'm nitpicking.

This is hands down the best brown ale I've ever had. Brown ales are usually so boring that they're afterthoughts, but this is one that I would drink again and again if I could get my hands on it regularly. Awesome brew. Thanks again Kevin!

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Photo of ordybill
4.69/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has an awesome aroma of toasted malt.
Appearance- A beautiful brown color that has a thick light brown head on top.
Taste- An excellent toasty malt flavor with a caramel finish.
Palate- This is a medium bodied brew with moderate carbonation and has a semi-creamy feel to it.
Overall- Excellent brew, first time drinking this and it won't be the last.

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Photo of Beervis
4.68/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one incredible Brown Ale, and one that should please many a HopHead.

Pours a dark brown almost ruby color with a nice thick off-white head.

Smell is roasty with hints of caramel, a bit of coffee, and nice citrus notes.

Taste begins with a smack of hop bitterness up front, with a slightly chewy medium body, followed by amazing chocolatey, roasty maltiness.

Finishes roasty and dryish which leaves you wanting another sip.

I usually don't get too excited about brown ales, but I cannot seem to get enough of this one. It has everything I like in terms of maltiness, but also hammers your tastebuds with balanced hop bitterness.

Fantastic, and is bound to become a mainstay in my fridge.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.63/5  rDev +24.1%
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 jameaterblues
4.63/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


A-Bottle boasts 'Hoppy and Beautifully Bitter"...Dark Brown with hints of tan and red when the light hits the glass....a frothy fluffy chocolate head...very much like a well made cappuccino that was really big it slightly overflowed out of my pint glass. Big sticky lace that leaves rings around the glass...the head even lasts for a couple of minutes.

S- Big hops both floral and grassy....acidity...dark chocolate, caramel, and coffee. Unusual for a brown, but very nice...and original.

T- Bitter dark chocolate....strong coffee flavors in the late body, and big hops that take center stage...the hops have a slightly dank and floral...give a nice bitterness that blends will with the coffee flavors.

M/D- Bubbly, crisp, bitter, and mildly heavy....another great beer from a young that I have grown to love.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.57/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a rusted nut shell with a moderate sized, frothy head that leaves tons of thick, raised lacing. What hits the nose first is a very fresh and raw hop aroma, courtesy of saaz dry-hopping. Underneath this is a backbone of malty aromas of brown sugar, chocolate, and a hint of maple. Flavor starts off with a sweet mix of nuts and caramel with a back note of roast malt. The hops kick in with some lemon rind and a very herbal/tea-like presence with some floral jasmine rounding it out. Finishes dry, bitter, and with a lingering hop presence in the mouth. I'm so used to coming across overly sweet brown ales made in the US, that this is one incredibly refreshing example. Mouthfeel is moderate, without any real residual sugar left on the tongue. The carbonation compliments the hops very well. Very drinkable. A surprise of a brown ale, for sure.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.55/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a Chalice.

In my glass sits a dark chocolate colored beer with an amber hue that shows up in the light. A voluminous tan head leaves nice lacing, but both dissipate in time. Take note competition: this is how brown ales should look. Aroma-wise, the typical DuckRabbit malt hits first (you get a nose for this after visiting their brewery). It's followed by notes ranging from chocolate-covered raisins to loaves of Hawaiian bread. The aroma is just right: not too overpowering and not too complicated.

Taste is full of big coffee and chocolate notes, with some nutty malts as well. Mouthfeel is smooth, refreshing, and well carbonated, and a noticable bitter chocolate finish caps this baby off. In the end, it's surprisingly drinkable for a DuckRabbit. Not too thick, and not too shabby. Quite a brew here, perhaps DR's best in my opinion.

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Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruby amber with a mountain of dense, foamy, brown head that has amazing retention. The nose has notes of toasted malt, caramel, nuts, and some piny, earthy hops. The taste is nutty and caramelly up front with a toasty, coffee-like finish. There is a mild astringency and alcohol esters in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and well carbonated.

This is a rather complex brown ale. The flavors are so well blended and yet distinct that each sip reveals a new subtlety. This is a brown ale I'll go back to.

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Photo of bum732
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Dark sweet caramel, some cappucino, vanilla and chocolate presence, subtle fruitiness.

L: Relatively clear reddish brown with a light tan head that dissipates, solid lacing.

T: Rich caramel with a slight roast component, toasted pumpernickle perhaps, with some cappucino. Medium low earthy bitterness. Some tobacco roastiness in the finish. As it warms, there is a dark cherry/fresh fig component.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

A very complex, very different brown ale. Interesting components, but they all work nicely. Really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

DR Brown is labeled as Hoppy and Beautifully Bitter. For a brown ale, this gets me excited.

The pour reveals a clear body that is brown and lighter than most American Browns. The head is thick off white and leaves alot of lacing as it slowly recedes. Let's give it a whiff..
The aroma is a cocoa, roasted malt, and yes, a bit of hops. The flavors are sweet up front with roast, chocolate, and then a good bit of hops keep it 'bitter' as the label describes. I like this.
The mouthfeel is medium with light carbonation.
Drinkability on this one is high as it won't get too sweet and it isn't too hoppy. This beer has complexity but doesn't bash you over the head with it. I would pair this with... well, just about anything.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Style Glass. When held up to the light it's sort of a cola brown, but dark brown otherwise. It has deep amber/red highlights on the side. Not exactly like the typical brown ale color, it's slightly darker. A hard pour provides quite a large head, sort of a latte/cappuccino colored head. It's strong and sticks to the glass. providing excellent lacing. A very god looking beer, especially for the style.

It smells excellent, and it's got everything. It's very malty and hoppy at the same time. Has hints of chocolate followed by slight undertones of caramel. Smells hoppier than most brown ales I've had, and I'm digging it. According to the website it's a very generously hopped beer, and I'm vouching for them, that's no lie! Can't put my finger on the particular hop, but it's a little earthy.

Taste is equally excellent, has all the same that's going on with the smell, and then some. Chocolate is stronger in the taste than the smell, starts that way and towards the end as well. Not overbearing, but more bitter chocolate with slight hints of black coffee and even a little citrus zest. Very well malted and yet again well hopped. Dry hopped earthy, pine, and even a little citrus. Darn tastey!

Mouthfeel is good, pretty full bodied while being smooth. It's sort of a transition from ale to porter in feel. Carbonation level is perfect. It has a slight snap finish from the hop, could be a little cleaner, but good none the less. Very drinkable too.

Overall this could quite possibly be the best American Brown Ale out there. A great beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of Sperzel
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy brown with dark amber hues. Big creamy head that settles, but never goes away. Leaves a scattered, spotty lacing in the glass.

Smell: Toasted biscuity malt with a nice little hop aroma.

Taste: Sweet and malty on the front end with a bitter, grapefruit-ish, juice hoppy finish. A hint of apple in there, too I think... The toasted caramel stays with the bitterness of the hops at the end.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy with a good carbonation. A little oily not unlike an IPA.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, but not in the watery sense. The flavorful mixture, and the cycle of "sweet beginning, bitter finish" makes for a drinkable brew.

This was my first of The Duck-Rabbit brews and being a North Carolinian, I'm proud of this one :) A six-er that will make it to my fridge more often.

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Photo of cpolking
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep brown with ruby and garnet. There is a short half-inch of brown head, somewhat creamy.

The aroma is deep roasted malt, dark toasted, almost coffee, with a nice zesty, aromatic hoppiness on top.

The taste follows the aromas and this is nearly as dark roasted as many porters. There is an element of dark chocolate and raspberry torte. It is like drinking a gourmet bittersweet dessert cake.

The finish is nicely crisp and dry, with a zesty hoppiness that adds just the right bitterness to finish clean, without getting too sour.

This is a well-constructed gem of a brown ale.

Thanks to tone77 for this beer.

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Photo of chief7771
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Okay, now that we are getting DR in Knoxville now, and have met a few of the staff from DR here and at Sexual Choc. release, this continues to be my beer of choice for a premium beer but not high grav. I love this brown ale! Just right amount of hop, smoothness of a brown ale and very drinkable. Like someone said in a previous review, monster head so pour carefully.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from GCBrewingCo as part of BIF 20. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head above the red-tinged brown brew. Head fades slowly, with excellent lacing. Aroma is hearty darker grains, coupled with some fruit hops essences. Taste is grain husk malt sweetness upfront, moves into a hoppy middle, and then closes with some more pronounced citrusy hops bitterness. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both excellent, with creaminess and an all-around ease-of-use. This one was one of those session browns that you sit down with all day.

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Photo of PDXHops
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint. More of a deep auburn than strictly brown, but it's handsome for sure. A thick cap of frothy foam lingers and drips all over the place.

Roasty, toasty notes hit the nose immediately, but further sniffing seems to reveal hints of a rather hoppy experience to follow. Oh yeah, a hoppy brown, I can dig it. Loads of hoppy goodness, citric, herbal, rather spicy, too. Aggressively bitter, but not at the expense of the roasted coffee and plentiful toasted malt flavors. A bare hint of chocolate sweetness. A little juiciness at the swallow, then a nice long roasty finish.

Overall impression: Great beer, one that makes you rethink the possibilities of the humble brown ale.

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Photo of delta490
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottle claimed something to the effect of "dark beer specialists", so I had my hopes up. I was not disappointed. The beer pours out a beautiful, clear ruddy brown with a nice cap of creamy tan head. It clings to the glass and leaves nice lacing. Aroma-wise this one is spot-on. Dark caramel and roasted nuts play off each other with just a little hint of earthy hops to round it out. Flavor-wise, this one is great. The hops take a more dominant role but the balance becomes much better and enjoyable. There's a little bit of fizz from the carbonation but it has a nice weight to it and is mostly smooth on the palate. An under-appreciated style, frequently butchered. This is just about perfect.

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Photo of cracgor
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark Brown. Lots of Rub/orange at the edges of the glass. Very small head that clings readily to the glass.

Smell: Fruity and sweet. It smells very good. The hops are not overpowering but there.

Taste: Hops play a role in this one--adding a piney chracter. A little nutty, a little roasted like. No clue what the alcohol is, but I could drink it forever.

Mouthfeel: Medium to a little full bodied. Little to no carbonation. No problems here.

Drinkability: Well I already hinted that it's very drinkable. Very tasty. Not overly complex or harsh. I'd recommend this as my favorite from the DuckRabbit.

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Photo of cbleary
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

This is a delicious and expectation-bending brown ale. It poured with a big off-white head and a deep brown body. The smell was an intoxicating mix of rich malt and strong hops. The taste was a rich and complex mix of mild caramel malt, strong and complex American and European hop flavor and a hint of roasted malt on the finish. Saaz finishing hops in a Brown Ale? Brilliant!

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Photo of JamesS
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a good moderately dark brown with some very nice head (too much, really) and decent lacing. Nice deep scent, malty and dark with hints of sweetness (crystal malt?); could've been deeper, but was still nice. Very good flavor, a nice deep ale, good malt thickness, slight nutty flavor, sweet finish with a very nice American hop bite mixed in. Well balanced and very smooth.

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Photo of CHickman
4.34/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beer notes from 7/9/2012 down in the Outer Banks, NC: pours hazy chestnut brown color with a massive 3 finger foamy tan head with tons of bubbles in it that faded very slowly, leaving craters and pockets in the foam and great foamy lacing and rings as it went down - a great looking beer.

Smells of caramel, brown sugar, sweet malt, nut, floral hops, roasted grains, maple syrup, a light hint of burnt wood and sugar or cinnamon; very sweet with nice roasted and nutty notes.

Tastes like it smells, but richer and more intense with caramel, molasses, brown sugar, sweet malt, nut (of some sort), floral hops, lemon zest, citrus hops, light grapefruit, roasted grains, maple syrup, burnt wood, apple cider, candied sugar, cinnamon, sour grapes or plum; very sweet flavor that allows the nutty and grainy accents to compliment the fruity sweetness, hops and bitterness that covers the alcohol completely.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth, with light carbonation, a medium body and a rich nutty aftertaste that trails off slightly bitter.

Overall a great brown ale that was full of complex flavors and easy to drink. Malts, hops, nutty and sweet accents all add up to a stellar beer that was highly drinkable and a leader in this class.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As a recent emigrant to NC from the more sophisticated (at least beer wise) lands to the north, I must admit that Duck Rabbit makes an extremely good product and I am quickly falling in love with their beers. I have confidence this will be no exception.

Color is mahogany with an immense tan head that takes up half my pint glass at first pour. Nose has impressive balance, with both coffee and chocolate tones and faint spicy hops as well. Lots of sticky lacing too.

Malts dominate here, I can recognize the Saaz among them. Tones of caramel and coffee and a dry, complete aftertaste and finish. Complex but compact and very tasty. Not a style I've loved in the past but this is really good. Duck Rabbit rides again.

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Photo of Alkey
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured a dark brownish red color with a large lightly tan head that left lots of lacing on the glass. Has a nice citrusy hop smell. Taste is rich dark roasted malt with a bitter citrus hop flavor that cuts right through at the end. Mouth feel is more like a thick and creamy stout. This is a highly drinkable beer, nice and smooth with rich robust malts and slight tang of bittering hops.

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Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
3.73 out of 5 based on 675 ratings.
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