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 Arborescence
2.06/5  rDev -44.8%
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.

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Photo of elgiacomo
2.1/5  rDev -43.7%
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...

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Photo of Soonami
2.35/5  rDev -37%
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 isualum12
2.36/5  rDev -36.7%
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.

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Photo of woosterbill
2.37/5  rDev -36.5%
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.


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Photo of claytong
2.5/5  rDev -33%
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

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Photo of PEBKAC
2.57/5  rDev -31.1%
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.

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Photo of SuperSpy
2.59/5  rDev -30.6%
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.

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Photo of marvin213
2.65/5  rDev -29%
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 Leebo2007
2.7/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

COLOR: Dark Brown/Red

CONSISTENCY: low carbination and slight head

SMELL: Very hoppy, carmel smell with a sweet overtone.

TASTE: when cold it had a mild taste that left a bitter taste. The hops really take over in a cold glass but when it gets warmer it loses some of it flavor. I really enjoyed the carmel taste.

I think that this beer is better served cold. And the smell is better than the taste.

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Photo of biglite351
2.71/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - more of a dark amber ale color than a brown ale color. Extremely tall near white creamy tight head.

S - bitter malt scent. Like a roasted lager, with a bitter end.

T - not what I expected. Much like the scent it seems more like a roasted lager than a brown ale.

M - mild coating with nearly no tingle.

D - drinkable, but many better options out there.

I might have to re-rate this at a later time.

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Photo of
2.73/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle

Clear, orange brown fluid. Huge rocky, light tan head with gentle pour. Lacing as foam subsides.

Aroma has roast notes and grassy/herbal tones. Earthiness. Spicy. Caramel. Something sweet in there as well.

Taste is very well hopped, much more bitter than sweet. Very different from aroma. Grassy & lingering at the finish.

Light body, probably heavier than it seems based on the high carbonation. High carbonation - big pfft on opening. Huge head and significant "zip" in the taste. IMO, carbonation needs to be toned down quite a bit. Quite dry.

Didn't know style when I tried it, but was pretty sure it wasn't an English Brown Ale - way too hoppy. I am having trouble getting past the carbonation and the hops. Both could be toned down to allow other aspects of the beer to shine through.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.78/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Duck Rabbit usually makes really good brews. I picked up this one after the 2010 ACBF once I got back home. After having several good brews from Duck Rabbit there I thought for sure this would follow in it's footsteps. Something didn't go to plan. I found the taste of this beer to be a bit off. I can't really put my finger on it either. The appearance was great, great looking mahogany color with little shades of red. The aroma was nice too but the flavor to me was just not quite right.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
2.85/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to MuenchenerKindl for sending this my way. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my standard shaker "pint" glass. Appears a deep translucent brown color with about a finger of quickly fading head that settles to about a quarter inch. Smells of roasted sweet caramel malts, followed by a hit of hops and a touch of alcohol. Tastes of sweet caramel with citrus notes followed by a bitter roasted grain flavor and a slight alcohol burn (at 5.6% ?). Carbonation is completely overdone on this one. Very bubbly, so much so that I find it hard to think about anything else while drinking it. Got this one in a trade and I'm far from sad that i wasn't sent a pair of these.

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Photo of deg
2.86/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

The beer foamed when I poured from the bottle to my glass. The head was dense and took a long time to receed. The color is a brown, and the beer has a slight opacity to it. I could smell hops, but only faintly and nothing else. I tasted more hops than I expected, but then again this is an American Brown and not an English Brown. There was roasted malt to balance the hops. No alcohol burn, which was what I expected.

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Photo of chinchill
2.87/5  rDev -23.1%
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 Frozensoul327
2.89/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Deep brownish red color with a huge head of spitty foam. Mild lacing in the glass, and a wicked high level of carbonation.

S: Notes of dense caramel, sweet molasses, dark malts, and some roasted grains. Smells nice.

T: WHOA. Not matching up to the aroma. Not even close. Shallow roasted flavors, bitter grains and earth, with a touch of woodiness. No sweet notes, no caramel, and no subsequent enjoyment. Huh. This one's different....

M: Feels like bubbles on top of bubbles in my mouth. I mean, I like high carbonation, but this is like taking the foam off a keg. Way overboard, people.

D: One and done. This isn't one i'm gonna revisit.

Notes: From NoNameBIF, courtesy of mikesgroove.

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Photo of Duff27
2.89/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Holy foam! Nearly two-thirds of my pint glass is head with just a small pour. Subsequent pours to fill the glass result in a ice cream float looking head. Good head retention once I finally fill the pint glass all the way, clumpy lacing.

S- Cola smell. Biscuity.

T- Roasty, caramel in there as well. Coffee notes at first then finishes in a slightly off-putting acidic flavor...maybe that was the "bitter part" of it? never experienced anything quite like it.

M- Smooth, creamy. Medium to medium/light mouthfeel.

D/O- I'm not so sure this bottle wasn't infected. Tried reading through some of the "low" reviews and some claimed the same issues...HUGE head, acidity, etc. So for now, this review stands. If I acquire another bottle and find it to be different I'll update accordingly.

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Photo of Cresant
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle dated 5/06 into a Samuel Smith tulip.

I tried to pour it I should say, it took over ten minutes to pour the entire bottle into the imperial pint glass! The huge fluffy tan head was out of control.

I had not shaken or dropped the bottle, but it had been sitting on the counter warming some before it was opened. Wow. It looked like a Coke float. Very large frothy bubbles filled the glass and stood an inch above the lip. It took several more minutes to settle down after it was finally in the glass. Body was a ruby, brown, copper color. Sticky lacing remained on the sides of the glass.

Smell was slightly of bittersweet molasses. Sweet grains. Slight metallic aroma. Dried nuts.

Taste was of sweet, deeply roasted grains. Assertive hop bitterness balanced the sweetness somewhat. A better way to describe it would be to say that sweetness alternated with the bitterness, fighting throughout the drink. A bit cloying. The taste, nor the smell was nearly as impressive as the giant head of this one.

Mouthfeel was thin to medium. Dull.

I will not seek this one out again.

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Photo of wac9
2.91/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

not much to say about this beer too much head a beauiful beer in a glass but overall i got nothing to say new or maybe old about this beer its does nothing for me so drink and enjoy and read other reviews about this beer fall short for me cat wait to tryother duck rabbit beers but this one does nothing for me

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Photo of k4df4l
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A/A: 12oz bottle pours a garnet brown with a massive fluffy light tan head that dissolves down to a dollop of cream on the surface through the glass. Aroma is light roast and slightly hoppy.

F/P: Flavor is initially sharp & bitter followed by a malty mid palate featuring toasty & bready notes with a definite roasted flavor. Citrus hops come in to wash out the malt and it finishes bitter and somewhat astringent/minerally. Medium body and ample carbonation. Overall it's somewhat perplexing as the different flavors seem to step on each other and the finish becomes unpleasant at times.

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Photo of Minkybut
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this okay beer into my tumbler at 40 degrees. The beer poured a pretty nice head, mahogany colored it was pretty. Pretty nice head also. The beer was slightly hoped at the finish not too bad and the beer had a bit of a bitter finish . Not going to buy again as it was just not GREAT.

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Photo of tigg924
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
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 brewdlyhooked13
3.02/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - pours a very dark amber with burgundy hues. Lots of carbonation here, so I'm pouring slowly into a glass. Still get a sizeable cap of tan foam. As it settles, a plateau forms in the middle reminding me of the Kill Devil's Hill or whatever that guy was making with mashed potatoes in the Close Encounters film. Thick lacing like insulation all around the glass. Some head formation is fine but this one is a bit much. Like the amber, they're putting too much gas in the brew.

Aroma - sweet toasty malts beneath a charred grain. Nice dimensions in the nose. As it settles, some chocolatey notes come through as well.

Taste - good representation of the roasted malts. Just a brief touch of sweetness up front. Plenty of char mid-palate. The swallow turns pretty bitter, the only flavor is a slightly harsh pepper flavor like jalapeno. A little more grain sweetness would help balance this. As a counter-balance to the malt, it doesn't provide the same tasty profile, mostly just some bare alpha hoppiness. The finish has some good flavors of roasted malt and char that I like but the hop side isn't helping this beer.

Mouthfeel - very bubbly, about average weight, maybe a little to the thin side but not much.

Drinkability - I didn't enjoy this one very much, mostly due to the brashness of the hops. My palate adjusted some, but not enough.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- a nice, solid brown with a one finger light tan head. The actual beer is nice and clear with some bubbles rising. Leaves some average to good lacing. Looks really nice.

S- mmm...beautiful nuttiness and roasted malts. Very smoky.

T- theres an odd taste to the back of the nuttiness...almost a little sour or bitter, and not in the good way. Very offputting. Metallic, even.

M- pretty thick for an brown ale...nice carbonation. Could maybe benefit from being a little thinner, actually

D- that taste that I'm not liking...its really getting to me and making me not want to drink anymore, but I will because I'm a trooper. I'd be willing to try this again to see if this bottle was an anomaly...but that almost metallic bitterness...ugh.

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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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