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

677 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: 677 |  Reviews: 324
Photo of Anthony1
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear cherry mahogany body with a small beige head that lasts a few minutes. Minimal patches of lace are left on the glass. Aroma features citrusy hops, chocolate malt, and some hazelnut. Mouthfeel is light medium bodied with more carbonation than expected. Taste has grapefruit and pine cone hops, chocolate malt, and lots of roasted, almost burnt, malt bitterness. Nice touch of nuttiness that tastes like hazelnuts. Finishes with a pine hops bitterness that is fleeting. I would estimate the abv. to be around 5%, but it's not noticed. A nicely executed brown ale that is quite tasty and pleasantly drinkable.

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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date apparent. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.75.

A: Bronze hue with thick but bubbly beige head with good retention and thick crusty lace.

S: Aroma is flush with dark and caramel malts with strong coffee and bitter dark chocolate and a touch of licorice followed by spicy and citrusy hoppiness

T: Solid malting with bitter dark chocolate and a short espresso burst layered on an above-average caramel and darkish malt backbone. The hoppiness is hefty and spicy, but there is an aspirin-like bitterness that is overpowering and detracts.

M: Medium-bodied with a slightly thinnish feel and a long and bitter aftertaste.

D: A very good but not great American brown due to the medicinal bitterness that taints the overall impression.

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Photo of callisbeers
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle, best by 12/9. Pours a nice dark brown color with 1/4 head. I love brown ales with some hoppiness and this is one of those browns. Just the right balance of malt and hops. Slightly overcarbonated which lowers the mouthfeel score, I would love to try this on tap. In keeping with reviewing only beers fresh from NC, this is a top ribbon getter in the state fair.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, best by December 2009. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a brown/red color with an inch and half tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is toffee, spicy hops, chocolate, nuts and bread/grain. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like bready malt, spicy and earthy hops, nuts, caramel and chocolate. Good balance between the malty and hoppy flavors. Mouthfeel/body is light, but it's also a bit coating and is well carbonated. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and goes down easy. This is one of the hoppier brown ales I've had, and it was a nice surprise. I could have this as an occasional session beer, I thought it was a good overall brew.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.31/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish brown with a tall light tan head that falls slowly with lacing.

roasted malt, some hop spiciness, brown sugar.

Spicy hops up front, malt sweetness followed by lot's of coffee. bitter and hoppy aftertaste.

Medium body. Carbonation is a little course and plentiful.

Overall it's alright but certainly falls short for me when compared to other Duck Rabbit offerings.

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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 eljefe21
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark, ruby brown in color. Sharp one-finger head after pouring. Some soft lacing.

S: Slight sweet malt smell.

T: Subtle sweet malty flavor with undertones of toffee and coffee. Solid flavor but nothing special -- just what you want in a brown ale.

M: Slightly watery body. Not much carbonation as -- just as you'd like in a brown. A nice smooth feel.

D: Not sure how high powered this is, but it sure tastes like a good session beer. Enough flavor to make things tasty without scaring away those not used to flavor (my wife likes this one).

Served: in a faceted mug.

Review from notes taken on: 7/23/09

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

Pours a dark brown, earthy color. Decent light brown head, good retention and lacing. Smell is off roasted malts and piny and spicy hops, hints of carmel, nuts and fruit. Taste is very piney and woodsy hop forward, spicy and bitter. Hides the roasted malts that typically stand out in a brown ale. Medium bodied, slightly over carbonated for a brown ale, very bitter bite that lingers a little too long in the palate. Not my favorite brown ale, give me a traditional malt forward one instead.

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Photo of lillitnn92
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On draft in a pint glass from a little cafe' in OBX (Manteo to be exact) that doesn't believe in selling anything in bottles or cans. Everything is on Draft!

Color was a darker for a brown ale

Smell was an intense spicy with a woody finish. Very hoppy to me with hints of butter toffee and orange peel

Taste was strong starter with a fast easy finish. Again, very hoppy with that butter toffee texture across the tongue with a citrus spike in the end.

Haven't had many Brown's yet, but this one I could drink all night compared to some others I've had.

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Photo of treehugger02010
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I found this in The Duck-Rabbit variety case that I bought at Bryn Mawr Beverage in Bryn Mawr, PA. I poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: The body is deep brown, just less than opaque, in color. The head is three fingers tall, light tan in color, medium sized bubbles, thick sticky lacing, great retention.
Smell: The aromas are pine resine, coffee and buttery toast.
Taste: The flavors are extremely roasty, bitey and earthy tones.
Mouthfeel: The body is dry and crisp.
Drinkabily: This beer is fairly drinkable.
Don't drink and review.

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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 GJ40
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle in a standard pint glass starting at 48 degrees. Bottle says enjoy by 10/09.

Brown in color with a reddish tinge and a fair amount of light coming through. Good clarity and a moderate beige head that dissipates quickly. The aroma has bread, caramel and a little yeast. The flavor leads with a nice bitterness from both the hops and roasted malts. It also has a fruity hint and a nice tang to it. It's very flavorful but smooth from start to finish. The consistency is a bit thin with a moderate carbonation.

This is a very drinkable beer. I'm really starting to appreciate Duck Rabbit more and more.

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Photo of DeeMented
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to HeadyHops81 for sending me this one.

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a glass beer mug.

The beer poured a deep, brown-amber with a thick, creamy, beige head that stuck around a while. Lots of lacing on this one.

It had a very earthy, sweet malt aroma. Caramel with just a hint of hops.

The mouthfeel was creamy, really showing off the carbonation, and a bit dry.

The taste was surprising, given the aroma. The sweetness I expected from the nose was barely detectable in the start. There was just a hint of malty caramel, a touch of nuttiness, then the hops kicked in about mid-way through. It finished on a dry, bitter hops note that lingered for a long time.

I noticed that the hops mellowed just a bit as the beer warmed, and I started to get just a bit more caramel at the start.

The label promises it to be, "Hoppy and beautifully bitter", and it delivers just that.

This was well worth a try, and I really enjoyed the beer, but my personal preference is a little more malt and a little less hops.

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Photo of jmjackson6880
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a medium brown. Very clear dark amber when held to a bright light. Left about one finger of a tan-colored head. A light layer of head remained until the last sips. Light lacing left on my pint glass.

S - Very nice. I detected a piney/citrusy hop presence followed by the sweet, nutty and malty notes you'd expect from a brown ale. Some chocolate in there as well.

T - Honestly not what I expected after experiencing the aroma. Hop flavor (not too strong) up front with some earthy, piney flavors followed by the sweet, slightly malty flavors afterwards. Some bitterness left on the back of the tongue.

M - Crisp. Light body, light carbonation.

D - An "OK" beer. Not particularly memorable, but worth trying. I could easily put back a few of these.

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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 DarkerTheBetter
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cherry amber color with a dirty tan film for a head.

Smells of chocolate candies, caramel and a touch of dry, woody hops for balance.

The flavor was unexpected as it starts with a touch of cocoa and honey, but then is dominated by something that is not quite coffee, but not quite smoke, almost like a smoked porter or a rauch.

Feels light and distant with a playful swelling carbonation that is very clean, helping to deliver the smokey notes.

A great beer, but for the style, it seems a bit off.

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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 Beejay
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice dark brown color.. clear, but with little head..

S: Slightly tart, possibly a little vinegar, and yeasty..

T: Malt and lots of it. A little bit of tart in there as well..

M: Cool, crisp, but a little watery.

D: Easy going down, but not sure I would buy this regularly even if it were available.. good, but not great.

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Photo of Bung
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. Pretty dark brown pour, large off white head. I thought this was one of the best brown ales I've had in a long time. Aroma reminds me more of a porter, malt, roast and nut, a little more floral. Taste also reminds me of a porter, but more nutty. Slightly more maltiness. Light/medium body, maybe just a bit too much carbonation, same as with their porter. Very balanced, not blown away by nut, tea or old sock qualities. A good drinker, if you're in the mood for a brown.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really dense light brown/tan head forms atop the beer. Real tight and creamy with a great deal of structure. Got it to form a ½ inch above the top of the glass. The beer itself is lighter than I had anticipated. Like an iced tea or cream soda. Insane retention on the head and lacing is like a spider web all over the inside of the glass.

Aroma is very smooth and full of mocha notes ending in a milk chocolate aroma. Really fresh and bright.

Flavor is less sweet than the aroma had led me to believe. Roasted grains up front, slight charcoal and them some under sweetened caramel. After this you get some more malt tones and a hint of iced coffee. After this there is a sense of bitterness that seems to be a combination of some hops and more roasted malt.

Very smooth mouth feel with pin point carbonation. There is almost a dryness to the mouth feel. Slight graininess.

Nicely drinkable. Not among the best browns I've ever had, but still good.

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Photo of TeamSeabass
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Amber in color, nice light brown foamy head. After a couple minutes sitting, it calms down some and leaves some lacing and still some of the thicker froth.

Nice hoppy smell and light roasted malts.

Stronger roasted malts & good hops. The bitter roasted malt flavor lingers again after the hopiness dies down. Some chocolate notes. This one packs a flavorful punch.

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Photo of Gish
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Brown (who would have thought?) with a smallish head. Good lacing.

S - Raisins, brown sugar, malt.

T - Wow, the smell really fooled me. It definitely has the bready taste I expect from a brown but the hops dominate this beer. It's good but I feel it would benefit from staying a bit more to style.

M - Fairly thin body, lightly carbonated.

D - Very quaffable and enjoyable, I'm going to have a few of these!

It's a bit of a different take on the style but definitely worth a try. I've enjoyed the other beers I've from Duck Rabbit so far more at this point though.

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Photo of Keith238
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass with little to no head and almost no lacing.

Very floral hop aroma, same floral hop flavor well balanced with just the right amount of malt for my taste with a slight caramel flavor. Up there with the best of other brown ales.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby color with two fingers of off white head.

Scent of brown sugar, earth, nuts, and some hops.

Taste of sharp brown sugar and nuts, with earth and hops in the aftertaste, not bad at all.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with biting carbonation.

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Photo of asabreed
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A deep brownish amber color as far as the body goes, with a lighter mocha-colored head and some slimer-like lacing skirting down slowly the sides of the glass.

Smell: Distinguishing hops in a Brown Ale? You gotta be kidding me. Alas, as they claim, they're there. There's a cookie-cake thing going on here as far as the malt sweetness, along with some toffee and vanilla, and some roasted more mild malt sweetness, and then there's some good lemon and orange zest citrus-like pungency with the hops.

Taste: Don't like your Browns too malty or too sweet? This seems to be the one for you, as it seems like it's the one for me. I love the hops here, as it seems to not necessarily balance things out, but it adds a more visceral and heady nature to the brew, and seems to also bring out some of the more buried malt flavors. Total bitter orange hops, along with lighter coffee and chocolate, faint hints of the cookie-cake or doughy sweetness, and a finish that has the best of both worlds by the end.

Mouthfeel: More carbonated than a lot of other Browns, but in a good way. Fuller-feeling, but I like what's going on with the carbonation. Almost-creamy by the end.

Drinkability: I like this beer a lot, and I think if I have a go-to domestic Brown, this would be it. No new ground is broken, and even though I've never had this hoppy of a Brown before, it's still not overbearing and I think ends up melding the old-school and new-school, if you will, quite well.

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Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
3.73 out of 5 based on 677 ratings.
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