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 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 BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We should expect good things from any brewery who specializes in 'dark beer'. There are no exceptions here. Pours a dark, nearly opaque, brown with an abundance of carbonation and retention; laces well. Smells chocolatey and roasty without the bite of rosted grains. Maybe a light fermentation flavor that resembles lactose. Also with a hint of dehydrated fruits and pecans. Very smooth texture, nearly silky. Holds firm into the finish. Hops add a consistent bittering and piney flavor throughout. Tough to find a better Brown.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Just on the brownish side of an amber ale; creamy tannish head that leaves a fair amount of lacing behind

Smell: The nose is filled with roasted malts, with undertones of grassy hops

Taste: Any expectation derived from the nose is quickly put to rest with a burst of bitter hops that quickly overwhelm the malted chicory and chocolate sweetness; after the swallow, the tea-like resinous bitterness continues to build to a crescendo, while the sweeter malts hang around to add balance

Mouthfeel: Nice balance of carbonation and medium body

Drinkability: Clearly an American Brown as there are plenty of hops; nice to have a brown ale with a lot of flavor

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Turdfurgeson: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention. Aroma of deep caramel malt with some light molasses. Taste is also dominated by some sweet caramel malt as well as molasses with some light toffee notes. I also found it to be quite hoppy for the style but it still made enjoyable. Body is quite full with some good carbonation. Pretty good overall if maybe a tad too sweet for my liking.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a pint glass. Pour brings a brown colored beer with a bit of amber in there. Off white head that starts out with two fingers slowly recedes. Not too much lacing. The nose is some caramel, toffee, bread, and nuts. The taste is mostly some slight bread with a bit of caramel dressing. Good feel with a bit of sweetness. Drinks fairly well, but is a bit ordinary.

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Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
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 NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale

Appearance: Brown-black body in a full glass; slightly hazy ruby-mahogany when held to the light. Three-finger thick head of rocky tan. Excellent retention and very good lacing.

Smell: Chocolatey, soft fudge, cocoa-ish. Hints of hops.

Taste: Again, chocolatey, but not nearly as rich or sweetish as the nose suggests - more like bitter dark chocolate. More roasty than the nose suggests as well - like fresh, but watery, black coffee). The hops come through nicely (grassy, gently leafy, lightly spicy, very slightly floral and fruity). It's solidly bitter, but balanced. It's a dry beer from the outset, and it finishes dry with a lingering bitterness at the back of the throat, as well as some leafy/spicy/fruity hops and a chip of unsweetened chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium/medium-light in body, but creamy as the fine-bubbled carbonation warms in your mouth. Gently crisp and then smooth.

Overall: A very solid American brown ale. The label reads "beautifully bitter", and it is. Really well done. Worth trying!!!

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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 TheManiacalOne
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from phisig137, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

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

S: The smell is heavy with caramelized malt, nuts and spice with a faint whiff of hops.

T: The taste is malty with flavors of caramel, maple and a little bit of hops. It remains remarkably consistent and doesn’t overpower you. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, very easy-to-drink, not filling at all, this is definitely a poundable beer.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.29/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Darker amber pour, with a small tan head that receded to a ringlet; moderate lacing. Roasty malts in the nose, cocoa, grassy hops. Taste of caramel malts, sugar sweetness, cardboard, toasted grains, grassy hops for a decent bittering balance. Light-medium body. Decent, but not memorable. Not really my style.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear but almost opaque dark reddish brown in color with some significant garnet red highlights and moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dark beige head that quickly reduces to a couple of small and medium sized thin patch of bubbles with a very thin film covering the majority of the surface and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted chocolate malts, a touch of caramel, and some chocolate with light amounts of earthy and grassy hops.

T: Moderate flavors of roasted chocolate malts with some notes of bittersweet chocolate and caramel but very little sweetness upfront. In the middle there are moderate to strong notes of coffee. Finally there are some light amounts of earthy and grassy hops but very light amounts of bitterness which fades rather quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amount of carbonation. Slightly prickly with a touch of dryness in the finish.

O: Very easy to drink and quite enjoyable - I really enjoy the coffee flavors from the roasting that sneak into the middle of the taste. Alcohol is well hidden and I could easily put a few of these down in a session.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours brown (no, really?) accompanied by a beige head with nominal lacing.

Smell: Aroma of chocolate malts with a slight nuttiness and a flowery citrus zing.

Taste: Chocolate malts reach out first, while the spicy hops impart a nice bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Its medium, its mild, but surprisingly drying. Good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: A simple beer that, although a bit more hopped than most browns, is still rather mild mannered. If you take to this style, then you should be pleased with this one.

Re-Review: March 12, 2008

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-brown body with a small, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Malty aroma with a few flecks of chocolate and dark caramel. Touch of grains. Light floral hop character.

Taste: Maltiness represented by chocolate and caramel with a mild sweetness. More pronounced grain flavor. Slight nuttiness. Light, spicy bitterness scrubs away the sweetness and leaves you with a lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: In the neighborhood of medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Much better than when I first came across this beer back in November '05.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby-rimmed wet tobacco that displays some twinklings of gold when backlit with bright sun. The whipped creamy, golden beige cap looks to be on the sticky side. As a result, it's rockier than most, with bridges of foam stretching from head to glass. The lace itself is sudsy rather than thick and tacky, but it's still a good look for a brown ale.

The nose is solid. Plenty of power, roasted malty, nutty, cocoa-like, hoppy... it's all here. Time will tell whether the beer is 'hoppy and beautifully bitter' as the label claims, but if the nose is a reliable guide, it'll be a hoppier than usual brown (Amarillo in the boil and Saaz dry-hopped, according to the website).

This is a good brown. Too many brewers wimp out when it comes to ingredients and end up concocting something more along the lines of a dark lager. Although this one isn't as boldly delicious as my favorites, it's clearly on the more flavorful end of the scale. I'm not sure that 7 varieties of malt were really necessary. I'm just glad that enough was provided to result in a malt skeleton that doesn't break down in the face of the generous hop load. Cocoa powder, unsweetened chocolate, bitter black coffee, grapefruit rind.

This is a hop lover's brown ale. Whether that's a positive or a negative is debatable. Personally, as much as I love Amarillo hops, I want my brown ales to favor malt. In this case, bitter supercedes sour supercedes sweet. The first two are considerable, the last is virtually absent.

While there's nothing standoutish about the mouthfeel, there's nothing really wrong with it either. It's medium in heft for the style, no more than that. I'd like at least a trace of chewiness and the slightest muting of the carbonation.

Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale is yet another quality dark beer from "The Dark Beer Specialists". These words don't usually leave my fingertips, but it would be even better if the malt load was dialed up and the hop load was dialed down just a tad. If bitter browns are your thing, Duck-Rabbit has what you seek.

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Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BBD of Nov 07

Pours chestnut with 3 fingers of tan/brown head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Roasty, malty & nutty

T: Roasted malt & too much coffee up front. Coffee starts to fade as this warms, a bit. Roasted malt, burned grains, dryness & nuttyness all show up in a rather muddled finish

MF: Chewy, medium bodied with low carbonation

Drank good, but too much coffee, would've made more sense a mocha porter IMO. If you love coffee flavors in your beer, this your brown ale of choice

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Photo of billab914
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. Poured a ruby brown color with a big fluffy off-white head that extended half an inch above the glass after the pour. It had very good head retention and lacing as I drank it.

Aroma seems to be a mix of some sweet and roasted malts with a citrus lemon-ish, piny smell to it. The taste has a decent amount of caramel to it but it's not overly sweet. It also has a little roastedness to it as well which is nice. The bitterness balances it out pretty well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly creamy. It's a pretty drinkable beer, I enjoyed it and it went down pretty easy. it had some good flavors and very good head retention that definitely made it a more enjoyable beer to drink.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep rich brown with a huge creamy head and a huge lace down the side, this looks very inticing to say the least! Smell was of roasted nuts with a hint of hops. Caramel sweetness undertones as well, smells thick and very fresh. The taste was very full. Nice roasted tones and caramel was the predominant flavors. Very complex though as there was much hoppiness at both the beginning and the finish. The finish was very nice, very dry and left you looking for more. This was yet another great brew from Duck Rabbit, they are really climbing the charts for off the hook beers here, have not had a bad one yet, and I am chilling my first wee heavy so look for that tomorrow!

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Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

My recent forays to NorVA and WASDC have enabled me to stop in at Total Wine & More stores in those areas, which is where this beer came from.

From the bottle: “Made in Farmville, North Carolina”; “Proudly hand made in small batches”; “Hoppy and Beautifully Bitter”; “The Dark Beer Specialist”.

In Pop!ping the cap, I released a bunch of gas and even the bottle gave off a hissing noise. I had a feeling as to what this might mean, but I began a heavy-handed pour anyway. It was not long before the glass began filling with foam and I had to back off in order to allow it to settle. I am going to be frank here and say that due to its overcarbonation, I was irritated and impatient, neither of which are conducive to a positive review. It finally settled into two fingers of dense, soapy, light-tan head with good retention. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity and copper highlights. Nose had a minty hoppiness and a chocolate malt sweetness. To quote Wendy’s, “Now, that’s better!” Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium, so even with all of that carbonation, it did not lend anything to the mix. Taste was initially minty, thanks to the hops, but slowly giving over to a chocolaty sweetness. I was put in mind of a York Peppermint Patty and I was getting the sensation. In the interim, all of that foamy head had begun to create some sticky lacing on its way down. Finish was semi-dry with the hops outstripping the malt. It was definitely an American Brown Ale and if you like that sort of thing, more power to you. I was left waffling about the whole experience.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A – A great looking beer. Brown cherry cola with deep ice-tea highlights. Nice khaki head leaves a nice lace.

S – Brown sugar with a great chestnut note. Touch of oaky smoke. Toffee and dark chocolate as it warms.

T – Toasted, lightly smokey malt. The center brings out a heavy char, with tree nuts and toffee to balance things out. The backend ebbs away from the roast and reveals a woody hop bitterness.

M – Relatively light body. Smooth with some sharp charred edges in the center of the profile.

O – A very nice brown ale balanced on the roastier side of the style.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
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 RblWthACoz
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I popped the cap on this one, I knew something wasn't quite right. There was a audible pop and much more of a release of gas than I would expect.

Pours a nice brown with a huge tannish head. After letting it warm for some time, it is quite nutty. Not overly so, but clearly present. Seems to be a bit out of whack with what almost seems like an alcohol burn? Odd. Still though, pretty workable. Feel is standard. Fairly easy to drink. But I am not sure if this is how it was intended and will try again in the future when I have the chance.

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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 smakawhat
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Stoney's in DC into a shaker pint. A little too cold not totally optimal.

Appears a nice dark brown with light brown clear hues on the body. Very foamy off white/tan head. Drink was poured with a small finger head but leaves decent lacing while drinking.

Bouquet is a mild malt smell and some faint nuttyness. Unfortunately it's a little closed not much going on here.

First impression on taste is fizzy carbonated, then a nice malt with sense of chocolate. There's a mild spicey hop feel on the finish kind of bitter but tolerable. Chocolate in the aftertaste, even a little milky in feel.

Drinkability is good for me, but it's a little unbalanced in places I think. I could have this again and wouldn't complain but I think I know I would go for something else if I had the choice.

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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 tempest
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle at the Liberty St. Tavern in Allentown, PA. It's good to see more Duck-Rabbit beers around. Appeared a clear brown with a short tan head. The beer was very smooth with a mix of candy caramel and cocoa malt flavors mixed into a balanced body. It's not too dry, not too sweet, and not too sweet. Just a good, sessionable brown ale.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to MuddyFeet for this brew.

Pours a dark brown color, lots and lots of carbonation, huge four finger plus tannish foamy head, lots and lots of sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slight toffee/chocolate/, and caramel. The taste is malty, slightly bitter, with some toffee/chocolate/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice brown ale from DR, recommended.

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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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