Brown Ale | The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

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Brown AleBrown Ale
692 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 692 |  Reviews: 329
Photo of mwar
1.75/5  rDev -52.7%

Photo of daverdave
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of Evoforen
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of MattFox
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of thatdirtymick
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of Dweedlebug
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of PalmettoPyrat
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of Arborescence
2.06/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Dark brown with hint of ruby. Visible bits of sediment that do not look very appetizing. Pours a thick head, although it recedes quite quickly.

Aroma: Sweet malt, toffee, hoppy undertones.

Taste: Bitter, undeveloped, almost like homebrew that's not quite done yet. Awful really.

Mouthfeel: Flat, light bodied.

Overall: I wonder if my sample was off or from a bad batch? I only had one bottle of this, but it doesn't inspire me to try another one. Others descripe this as highly carbonated, but mine was almost completely flat, like a real ale. Well, the bottle doesn't have a marked date on it, so who knows -- I'll just have to review it as I got it, which is to say as a very bad beer, most of it ended up going down the drain.

 745 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
2.1/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle best by Nov 2010. Yes, just a bit after the best-by range, but it had been kept refrigerated for a while and shouldn't justify yet ANOTHER infected offering from Duck-Rabbit. This is really getting old guys. Get your stuff together. Generally I would not rate an infected bottle of beer, but this has happened to me on countless occasions with this brewery that they need to be called out on it. Luckily in this case the infection mostly manifests itself in the appearance and not quite as much in the aroma or flavor (ie. it is not totally sour) we go...

Pours brown with 90% head. Takes for ever to pour and even longer for the head to subside enough to drink. Tons of lacing but no surprise since the beer starts as almost all head.

Aroma is nutty, herbal, and grainy, maybe a touch of chocolate, some oxidation/cardboard, musty. Fair strength.

Flavor is nutty, a bit of caramel and toffee, and that signature Duck-Rabbit "tang" (not necessarily a good thing).

Mouthfeel is thin to medium with strong carbonation.

Would love to try this at its best but this is the second time I've had this happen with their Brown Ale (along with their Porter, Milk Stout, and Baltic Porter), so this is not an isolated incident. The Southampton Alt I had earlier today was even older and was in SO much better shape.

I really want to love Duck-Rabbit, cuz when they are on they are great, but the quality control issues really need to be dealt with, but this has been going on for a few years so we'll just see...

 1,531 characters

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.

 993 characters

Photo of ab39z
2.35/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Photo of isualum12
2.36/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Got this bottle on trade otherwise I wouldn't see it in Boise Idaho where I am at.

Dark brown beer with lively head on it. It looks nice
Smell I didnt get much at all.
Taste- was there any?i couldn't tell with the carbonized
Mouthfeel- nothing but co2. So much on drink 3 I dumped and got heart burn from it.

Sorry to be negative but I didn't care for it at all.

 368 characters

Photo of woosterbill
2.37/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle courtesy of my buddy Drew into a Duvel tulip.

A: An initially careless pour explodes into a mountain of froth, and even slowing down to a slanted trickle doesn't let me get the whole beer poured right away. Once things settle down a bit, a creamy, rocky tan head sits atop a murky reddish-brown body. While the clarity isn't what I would like and it appears a bit overcarbonated, I'm still a fan. What can I say? I'm in love with lots of head.

S: Bitter roasted malt (plenty of coffee), as well as some decidedly off, soapy astringency. Sharp, harsh, thin, and disappointing.

T: Just as gross as the smell at first, with hugely harsh roasted astringency dominating. A little bit of welcome malt sweetness, as well as notes of fruit and herbal hops, shops up as it warms. Still not good, but decidedly better than the aroma once things.

M: Watery and terribly overcarbonated.

D: It actually gets easier to drink as I go along, even though it doesn't really taste much better.

Notes: This is the only Duck-Rabbit brew that I haven't loved, and it really didn't impress me at all. While I'm glad that it's improved significantly from my first impressions, I'm still entirely underwhelmed.


 1,214 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of JasonTaverner
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of jk3
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of RyanAU
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of Jerid
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of claytong
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

appearance - light brown in color. leaning towards a copper. not much carbonation on controlled pour. then i have a sip and bam carbonation.

smell - malts, metal, co2

taste - bam the carbonation hits me. malts come in very shortly, tabacco, metal

mouthfeel - over carbonation!

not sure if this was a singular issue or what, but yikes, not a fan if not

 355 characters

Photo of Fettpopps
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of kjrod20
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of ZinFanDave
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of PEBKAC
2.57/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had this on tap not too long ago & didn't care for it. Hoppy browns are not my sort of thing. So I found this bottle in the back of the fridge with a BB notch still in range. With only a vague memory, I think I can go again.

Chocolate toffee & orange rind fill the air around my pint glass. Tree sap, steeping grains, a bit of lactose, & some stiffening aerosol as I go in closer.

Half inch of milky, tan head. Ruby brown body that carries just a small burden of haze.

Taste is earthy & dirty. Charred toast, sharp cherry pits & half tart plum skins. Dusty malt. Moderate bark-like bitterness with an addition of coffee grounds. Lingering steel finish.

Frothy, but the majority of the body was thin & coarse.

I almost finished it.

 738 characters

Photo of SuperSpy
2.59/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz with a drink by date of May 09 (this month).

Poured into a pint glass it is a very cloudy brown with ruby hues and a thick tan head that leaves behind a lot of lacing.

The smell is very faint. In the little bit of aroma I can detect I get a hint of roasted malt but not much else.

The beer is pretty light and goes down easily. The first taste is roast malt with a decently crisp hop finish, but there is not much complexity anywhere in the flavor. Even though brown ales are typically brewed to strike a balance between malt and hops, it doesn't mean that those two ends of the spectrum can't have any character to them.

There isn't necessarily anything wrong with this beer, but there would have to be a pretty weak selection for this to be my drink of choice at one of the local bars. For the style and overall I just find it lacking in aroma and taste complexity, but I will give this another try in hope that this bottle was just past its prime.

 959 characters

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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Brown Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 692 ratings