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

676 Ratings
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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Ratings: 676 |  Reviews: 323
Photo of drtth
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard shaker pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a dark brown, almost black color with some reddish highlights when light shows at the edges. The ¼” head is a nice tan and persists for quite a while leaving adequate lacing. Throughout most of the beer sipping leaves interesting patterns of lacing, some of which cling to the side of the glass for a while but all of which eventually slide back down into the liquid.

Smell: The aroma is dark chocolate, dark caramel or toffee with traces of roasted grain and spicy hops.

Taste: The flavors are crisp and strong on the chocolate but with the hops showing up about mid-way into the sip. The roasted malt flavors go well together with the floral, citric hops

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and has a soft, smooth feel from the fine, persistent carbonation. The beer is relatively dry through out with a finish on the long side of medium that remains dry and tapers off with a lingering bitterness at the end.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I enjoyed this beer more than I had expected since I tend to find most brown ales relatively undistinguished. In this case each sip followed easily from the prior one and the beer was too soon gone. I’ll certainly be happy to have this one again and am looking forward to trying it some evening with burgers from the grill. My overall impression is of good, well made beer with some features that distinguish it from the run of the mill browns and justifies giving it a good score.

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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 alpinebryant
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Slightly hazy brown with a lasting tan brown head.

S: Molasses , Brown sugar and malt dominate

T: A relatively bold American Brown Ale. There are not a ton of hop characteristics inside, but enough English hop presence to balance the strong molasses , Brown malt and brown sugar flavors. Mild english ale characteristics here, a nice bold brown ale. Finishes primarily dry with molasses traits.

M: medium for the style , medium carbonation

O: this is a good brown ale. if available around here I would recommend it

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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 DIM
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a very dark brown, not all that far from black. It poured with a creamy looking, light tan colored head.

s: Malt forward aroma, I found caramel and cocoa with a hint of grassy hops.

t: Wow, this isn't what I expected based on the smell. This has some fairly pronounced stout characteristics. I found sweet, nutty cocoa with a trace of vanilla up front and a finish of surprisingly potent roasty bitterness. The bitter bite linger for quite awhile.

m: Medium bodied with creamy rather than fizzy carbonation.

o: A pleasant surprise overall. Not that I didn't expect this to be good, I just didn't expect so much assertive bitterness.

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Photo of Chaney
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Massively foamy, off-white head on top of a dark cloudy brew. I actually had to wait for some of that fuzz to subside before pouring the rest of its contents into my tulip.

S: Brown sugar and roasted malts with a good bit of hop zing.... especially for this style. This was very dark and potent indeed.

T: I've discovered that one never knows what they're going to get with a brown ale. Will it be fruity or dark roasty? This one was most certainly the later. The caramel on the finish aided in rounding out the experience.

M: Thick and with somewhat of a cloying grip created by the brown sugar content, but I'm fairly certain that was the way DR wanted it. The carbonation was fine for the style and the lacing was moderate.

O: This was the poster child for brown ales of the dark, toasty variety, but other than that, there was really nothing memorable about this one.

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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 JoeyBeerBelly
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer in a trade with AlexFields. Thanks Alex!

12oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

L - dark brown with a beige head that settled as a bubbly ring leaving plenty of lacing behind.

S - sweet roasted malts, a hint of coffee and a hint of chocolate.

T - good roasted coffee flavor upfront with a hint of sweet chocolate and a slightly espresso-like bitterness on the finish.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel.

O - a very good example of the style.

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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 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 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 babaracas
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish brown, thin cream colored head, couple of rings of lace. Smell: fig, plum, apple skin, caramelized sugars, mildly leafy and earthy. Taste: caramelized sugars, sweet and tangy plum, earthy and herbal hopping. Not a whole lot going on, but nice. Medium bodied with a creamy feel. Best by 4/2011.

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Photo of engagechad
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This bottle purchased from Total Wine in Richmond, VA - drink by April of 2011 - Poured into UK pint

Poured amazing.. Beautiful beer with fat head. Dark walnut in color and possibly the best lacing I've ever experienced while drinking a beer.
Smells of dark fruit and vegetables with brown sugar. Kind of odd but still very pleasant.
Unfortunately it just didn't taste right for me at all. It tasted of asparagus a little bit and was difficult to enjoy as a result of this.

Overall I thought it was a disappointing offering from DR as I absolutely LOVE the amber an milk stout

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

[Best served in a Dimpled mug]

The pour was a brown in color with a nice red hue around the edge of the glass it had a small light brown creamy head that was mostly diminishing and had good lacing.

The aroma was moderate of a nutty grain malt, a light resin hop and a mild leathery yeast with notes of caramel, chocolate and a mild dose of coffee.

It tasted moderately sweet with hints of chocolate and caramel in the beginning, and finished a bitter-sweet with a nice light roasted coffee flavor and a touch of chocolate at the end. The flavor was left hanging on the taste buds for a nice long while, thus allowing for a full melding of all the flavors.

Mouthfeel was full in body and nice and creamy in texture with the carbonation being rather flat.

Overall an exquisite brown ale with tons of flavor, tasting so good it leaves you wanting more...

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Photo of Overlord
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

What a strange brown ale.

Pours a deep wood-y (har har har) brown with some faintly translucent edging. Maybe an inch of off white foam.

Smells oddly bitter and ... like citrus rind? Weird. Maybe some odd harsh malt notes in there, too.

Well, the beer ain't that bad, but it isn't a brown ale. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe there's a brown ale base, but this is weirdly astringently acrid, bitter, and the odd citrus rind flavor is isn't to the style.

Somewhat thin mouthfeel.

Tough one to grade.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a translucent brown with some burnt orange highlights. The foamy, light brown head is extremely tall initially, with medium density and slightly rocky texture as it fades. Numerous specks of lacing stick to the glass nicely.

S: Roasted maltiness, with some nice backup from brown sugar/caramel sweetness. Rather nutty overall. Perhaps some light cocoa. Herbal and leafy hop aromas are fairly firm for a brown ale, and there's a light citric tone underneath that.

T: Moderately roasty up front. There's a decent amount of brown sugar/caramel sweetness, but not nearly as much as the nose suggested. Faint cocoa powder, and substantially nutty notes. Hop bitterness is fairly high for the style, with a leafy, herbal flavor dominating into the finish.

M: Slightly fuller than medium body. Carbonation is a bit perkier than average. There's an unusually dry, bitter finish, which is somewhat out of place for the style.

D: This is enjoyable, but a bit hamstrung by how bitter it is. The bitterness isn't bad, but it overshadows the maltiness of a beer style that's supposed to feature it fairly prominently. A solid, if unbalanced, brown ale.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.06/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

And for my final brew of the evening, let's round it out with a Duck Rabbit Brown. Big thanks to my bro-in-law for the case plus of NC locals this holiday!

A - Standard brown ale that poured much more amber, but settled as a deep dark ruby brown with about a finger and a half of frothy white head and semi-sticky lacing.

S - Nutmeg, brown sugar, and molasses. Has that new belgium earthiness about it that I'm not a big fan of.

T - Yum. Comes alive in the flavor dept. Sweet brown sugar with nutmeg and a touch of earthiness.

M/D - Lively carbonation and medium bodied with a good balance of flavors. The nose doesn't do this beer justice. I really dig the drinkability of this beer and would be happy to have a few in an evening, but could see the flavor getting old if you were to drink a few.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz into .3l tulip.

After reading a bunch of reviews prior to enjoying this I had tempered expectations. But really, thought this was solid to above average across the the board.

The pour is a light mahogany, with a bit of very light (in texture) head. The lacing stuck for the first half of the glass.

Aroma is malty with a decent bit of what I think is hops, but smells of celery.

There is certainly hops in the taste. A bit of sweet citrus is present with the richer malt flavors.

I didn't have any carbonation problems with this bottle, which I note because other reviews mention problems with carb and infection. Light for the stlye (in my opinion) but enjoyable. Crisp/bright and clean from front to back.

For a brown ale, I don't think it would be my 'go to' but for an ale in general I found this well balanced, if lacking in complex flavors. The segments of the flavors are more distinct than I would expect from a brown ale.


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Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.47/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a nice red ruby color with tan head that blows up immediately. doesnt take long to go away but leaves lacing all over the glass.
smells like a murky basement.. with sugar. i dont drink a whole lot of brown ales so im not quite sure of some of the smells im getting. smell and taste are both a little funny to me. i definitely wont say i dont like it, im just not sure what to say. i dont know if its burnt brown sugar, or wood, or.... what.
i probably need to revisit this beer sometime if i can land it again... its rather intriguing, i just cant give a wholly formal review.

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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 WCBCFrank
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
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 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 thain709
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - The beer poured with a brown body that was a bit transparent...the head stood about three fingers and was off white in lasted a while and left nice lacing

S - A decent nose...normal for a brown ale...nuts, caramel, toffee, and a bit of roasted chocolate

T - All the flavors from the nose were there but it came off a little different...there was an initial sweetness from the caramel and toffee which was nice...but in the middle of the beer was a nutty characteristic that just threw me off a little...I like a hint of nuttiness, but this was a bit overpowering...the finish had a nice, subtle hop bitterness

M - Medium bodied...smooth and bitter...not as hoppy bitter as the label suggests but still pleasant...can't complain

D - This was just an average brown ale...all the characteristics were there...the nut flavor was just a little too pronounced for me

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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 bucklemyshoe
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle at 42* into a pint glass. Upon opening, it produced a loud "pssssttt!" sound and about a quarter of the beer spewed out.

A: It pours a deep mahogany color with a huge, 3 finger, soapy head. The enormous head sticks around for the entirety.

S: The smell is mild all around, with toffee, caramel, and a bit of citrus.

T: The taste is much more pronounced than the smell; it has caramel, nuttiness, sweet maltiness, brown sugar, and more hoppiness than the average brown ale.

M: It feels sticky, soapy, and far from smooth.

D: This has a nice flavor but the hypercarbonation keeps it from being very good.

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Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
3.73 out of 5 based on 676 ratings.
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