Rabid Duck
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

Rabid DuckRabid Duck
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #686
Ranked #7,676
3.98 | pDev: 12.06%
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
North Carolina, United States
Very Good
Rabid DuckRabid Duck
Notes: The Duck-Rabbit's Imperial Stout is extremely big and robust. This special beer is thick, jet black and oily in texture. Complex flavors of roast malts dominate: bitter chocolate and espresso coffee especially. There is also a very big hop presence both for bittering and for aroma. At 10% alcohol by volume, this brew is made to be sipped and savored!
Reviews: 529 | Ratings: 903 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Brutaltruth
Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz bottle and served in a snifter. This mighty
brew pours a dark coal black with thin dark tea outliers and a
modest had of tan foam that dissipates to a thick ring, thin clumping layer,
and sports some subtle lacing. Nose of rich dark bakers cocoa, dark
coffee, and medium strong herbal hop notes. Flavors surpass the nose
with a nicely rounded RIS showing espresso, dark bakers chocolate, layers
of char, and nice herbal hops that are well presented in a balanced brew.
Nice mouth feel; smooth, coating, light carbonation, warming, full body,
and a rich full bitter malt and cocoa/coffee char laden finish.

Overall---an excellent brew from the Duck folk!


May 23, 2020
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tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, some licorice. Taste is licorice, campfire, roasted malts, alcohol is well hidden. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer and a bit to easy drinking at this abv.

Aug 19, 2019
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Foyle from North Carolina

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass. Color is dark brown/black. Thin tan head, no lacing. Alcohol is present on the nose along with rich roasted malt and hops. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous with a somewhat damp finish. Flavors of dark roasted malt, a bit of char, molasses, a hint of licorice, with a nice hop balance. Overall: a nice sipper on a cold night, but the alcohol presence is quite noticeable.

Dec 22, 2018
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The-Adjunct-Hippie from South Dakota

3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into New Belgium snifter.

Deep dark black color with a beige head of 1/2 finger.

Aromas of molasses and tobacco and dark chocolate. Slight caramel squares, slight vanilla pudding.

Flavor brings heavy tobacco and mildly bitter ash, charred wood, slight caramel, slight bitter chocolate. Harsh black licorice notes. Minty and herbal hops. Slight peppermint. Leans very heavily on the herbal/dank hops.

Feel is thick but not phenomenal, with a busy prickly carbonation and a dryness throughout with moderate alcohol heat.

Overall a decent but not great Russian Imperial Stout. It's definitely within style and is very bitter and roasted, but not really hitting the right notes for me.

Dec 04, 2018
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twage04 from North Carolina

4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark black with tan foam, medium to low carbonation. Aroma is of roast, figs, raisins. Taste is a bit of the same with lots of roast, maybe a hint or bourbon and malt. Overall a decent RIS, easy to sip on and enjoy.

Nov 25, 2018
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter)

L: dark brown, nearly black liquid; fizzy head began to take shape then crumble, but it did collapse into a messy, broken cap and collar with one big dirty splotch of lace

S: mint, caramel, licorice, dark chocolate espresso, perfumed polyester... alcohol pretty well buried... burnt cookie edges... lovely intensity and darkness

T: licorice, semisweet charred wood, blackstrap molasses; powerful punch of fantastically bitter hops and roasted grain from the finish lingering long into the aftertaste... seems like a relatively high portion of roasted barley and herbal hops - sort of reminiscent of Sinebrychoff... bitter char keeps lingering (but in a good way)... underlying malt seems thick, rife with deeply burnt sugars, but the pine branch brushed over the tongue in the finish sweeps away the sweet fat

F: very lightly oily and slick, delicate sludge; lightly-leathery malt meat dialed into a medium+ body, attenuated only marginally by a quiet flush of lazy, tumbled-to-dust ethanol... could be this day's events and activities, but this is too smooth, slipping over the palate almost without notice - begs to be sipped, time taken... could use a little more viscosity and/or heat, but then again, not really

O: wasn't expecting the big charge of hop and roast bitterness, but I loved it... now that I know where to get it, I'll buy the rest for keeping

Oct 03, 2018
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drtth from Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The clear dark black beer pours out into a Duvel glass with a 1/4” creamy dark tan head that recedes slowly but visibly to become a thin irregular island of foam while leaving behind a ring of small patches and legs of lacing on the sides of the glass. Eventually here is a ring of foam around the glass on the surface of the liquid. Sipping creates some scattered small patches and legs of lacing, only a few of which slide back down to the liquid.

The aromas are mostly about the dark roasted malts with just a hint of burnt character. There’s dark chocolate, a bit of dark roast coffee and a soft touch caramel.

As expected from the nose, the flavors are big and mostly about the dark roasted malt. There’s the dark chocolate, a bit of dark roast coffee and the bit of dark bread caramel sweetness that softens and, at first, almost conceals the nearly burnt bitterness. The alcohol is well hidden here and only becomes noticeable when the warmth starts to spread.

The mouthfeel is on the full side of medium bodied and quite smooth with the soft, finely bubbled carbonation. The moderately long finish begins as the chocolate, coffee and light caramel sweetness begin to fade away to a semi-dry finish with some almost burnt bitterness that persists for a fairly long time.

Overall I though this was an enjoyable, fairly drinkable RIS but it is definitely a one a night beer and would be a good choice for sipping by the fire during the winter.

Aug 13, 2018
Photo of avalon07
avalon07 from South Carolina

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

L: Had this at on-tap at Goat Island, poured into a pint glass. Had a dark brown / black color and a thick, opaque texture. There was a quarter inch of foamy, tan-colored head that lasted an average amount of time. So-so lacing.

S: A very good aroma of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, hops, and char.

T: Tasted of a good amount of espresso (not overpowering), a good amount of roasted malt (present throughout), a lot of dark chocolate, light char, some hops, and a little caramel. This is an incredibly well-rounded flavor. The espresso never threatens to overwhelms the other elements. Sweet, but not cloying. Tasty.

F: A solid amount of carbonation with a silky smooth finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

O: A well made and easy to drink RIS. Drinkable.

Aug 05, 2018
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DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

3.49/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big and roasty, dark and bittersweet. A true cold-weather beer from a southeastern craft brewer. A bitter coffee and chocolate approach up front, this stout began to get a bit cloyingly sweet as it warmed.

Aug 01, 2018
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teromous from Virginia

4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The label says:"For best flavor, please refrigerate and enjoy by the date indicated." There is a notch next to 3 and 19.

Appearance: The body is black and it pours with a large khaki head. It has very good retention.

Aroma: It smells a bit like chocolate milk and burnt wood.

Taste: Up front there is a light bit of charcoal with just a touch of this herbal tea and pine that flows to the center of the mouth. The aftertaste has just a bit of mint and more of that burnt flavor. There is a bit of a black coffee character near the end. It tastes exactly like how you imagine a Russian Imperial Stout would taste. It has very clean flavors.

Mouthfeel: It is medium bodied but with a big presence that his held together by a moderate roasted bitterness. It finishes thin and off-dry.

Overall: It is an outstanding example of a Russian Imperial Stout that gives you everything you want from a beer like this. It delivers every expected flavor, very cleanly. I enjoyed it and I would drink it again. I would recommend it.

Jun 22, 2018
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Brew_42 from Massachusetts

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

Pours jet black with a thin head

Smells like roasted malts, coffee, hints of cocoa

Taste follows the nose. Over the plate solid imperial stout.

Mouthfeel-Thick and oily.

Overall a very solid. Doesn't bring anything new to the table, but does everything right.

Mar 17, 2018
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Today was one of those days that are simply unquantifiable. Yesterday, I left my worksite utterly enervated as the result of the start of DST, came home & promptly crashed out. Today, I found myself energized upon my return home & decided to indulge in some beer. Some heavy-duty beer. C'est la guerre!

From the bottle: "Made in Farmville, North Carolina"; "Proudly hand made in small batches"; "The Dark Beer Specialist".

I Pop!ped the cap, but despite it being a relatively fresh (Best before 04/18) bottle, I decided that I would go with a gentle pour, partially due to the lateness of the hour & my unwillingness to clean up any potential mess. A vigorous in-glass swirl raised just over a finger of dense, foamy, deep-brown head with good retention that left behind some nice lacing in its wake. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose was VERY roasty with notes of French Roast coffee, dark chocolate, burnt caramel, treacle & light smoke. 8=O Mouthfeel was dense, full & creamy, like a scoop of it had been lain upon my tongue. The taste was EXTREMELY chocolaty, like a liquefied fudge brownie! Wow. This, to me, was more of a dessert beer than one to simply be drank on its own. Chocolaty, bready, with notes of treacle and burnt caramel in the shadows. Phew. Finish was amazingly dry for all of the sweet flavors that I got in the mouth & on the tongue. I suppose that the relatively high ABV helped in this regard. The taste was overall pretty sweet, but the finish definitely had me reaching for water.

Mar 14, 2018
Photo of bret717
bret717 from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look- pours black with a thin tan head; minimal lacing

Nose- bitter baker's chocolate, burnt coffee, cocoa

Taste- intense roasty bitterness and espresso with a nice soft milk chocolate flavor riding along under that

Feel- medium/full bodied with low carb makes for a creamy, mouth-coating sip; finishes long and bitter

Overall- nice focus on super roasty malt with chocolate and coffee notes combined with a nice creamy feel make for a nice drinking that improves with each sip

Mar 05, 2018
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haines710 from Delaware

4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm not a huge stout fan, but this one was very good. Beautiful black with expected smell. Very easy to drink. Chocolate and coffee flavors dominate. Glad I picked up this bottle.

Oct 01, 2017
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jjamadorphd from Florida

4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This brewer is quickly going to the top of my 'go-to' list...

I have truly enjoyed this beer - dark and sultry to look at, bready and boozy to smell, and very smooth, light-bodied going down. This was another offering from DR that just didn't disappoint. The taste was rich with a touch of chocolate, some caramel, and cocoa (the coffee version.) I really enjoyed it...

Sep 25, 2017
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tillmac62 from South Carolina

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

BBD 4/18. Pours pitch black, just like a stout should. Outstanding head volume, quite outstanding retention but the lacing is only good.

Outstanding, but typical, nose for a stout. The base has a light sweetness with notes of malt and caramel. Chocolate is subtle while dark chocolate / cocoa is more evident. Roast is present but very little char. Coffee is the primary component but remains subtle. As it warms, a touch of fig is noted.

The body is light full and is deceptively oily and creamy from mid-palate on. The result is a sensation of the body becoming "fuller" as it progresses. The carbonation / body balance is very good but lacks the effervescence to aid flavor separation. However, the lack of prickly carbonation allows for the body to be deceptively "fuller". On balance, the mouthfeel is outstanding.

The flavor profile is outstanding. Balance is world class and results in a very smooth beer flavor wise. Complexity is outstanding while intensity is very good. It begins with roast which quickly yields to coffee. The middle has a light sweetness that allows bitter dark chocolate / cocoa to emerge. Very subtle fig notes emerge as the chocolate fades. Then come the heavy hitters of the stout world - leather and tobacco - that give a RIS some punch. As the finish approaches, alcohol becomes uncovered and provides the typical flavor distraction and astringency. The finish is a slow fade of slightly sweet caramel, leather and tobacco that gives that nice burn at the back of the throat. Unfortunately, the alcohol is also present and the astringency lingers.

Jul 18, 2017
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Laceyface from Florida

4.97/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's sweet and tastes of very strong coffe (the only way to drink it). Had this in tap in Tampa and became obsessed. Much to my dismay I cannot find it anywhere near me. If you see in on the menu go for it. While I am hesitant to say it is m favorite because I only had it once I will say it is a strong contender.

Jul 16, 2017
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q33jeff from New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


bottle to snifter.

LOOK: Dark black and thick black, creamy beige head, solid lacing remains after head fades. Very pretty.
AROMA: Strong roasted malt and coffee, touch of cocoa.
TASTE: char, coffee are up front and prominent. Some brown sugar sits in the middle. More subtle is some dark fruit and woody character. Finishes with more charred/roasted malt.
FEEL: thinner feel than the appearance would suggest. some decent carbonation. smooth finish.

Great bitter-sweet slow-sipper. Another nice brew from the Duck-Rabbit. Been a fan of these guys since I first had their Milk Stout about 15 years ago. Don't get a ton of their beers here (none in NJ, but some in PA), so I grab them when I see them.


Jun 17, 2017
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BeerSexLove from Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This stout is definitely worth mentioning. The color is inky brown, the smell and taste are rich, offering a nice melody to delight the senses, the feel is creamy, thick, mildly oily but not in unappealing way, and not too carbonated which I've been noticing in a lot of stouts as of late. This stout is worth trying. Cheers!

May 24, 2017
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nick_perry from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark color, not much head. Aromas and taste of malt and molasses. Bit of an alcohol note on the finish (bottle says 10% ABV). Heavy and full-bodied as you’d expect. Rather complex for a stout. I didn’t notice this while drinking it, but it left a slight coffee scent in the glass.

Mar 11, 2017
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Prager62 from Colorado

4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A twelve ounce bottle with a enjoy by date bar on the side that looks to be punched 2/17. Let's pour this in a 13oz. snifter for the review.

Look- Pours a medium viscosity dark cola brown with a fat finger of creamy mocha colored foam. Some thick lacing appears after settling.

Smell- Dark roasted malt, raisins, figs, char and a salami-like spice.

Taste- Dark chocolate, figs, char, tobacco and wood.

Feel- Medium bodied, oily, slick on the tongue with a bite of alcohol in the finish.

Overall- A solid stout with some pretty big flavor and a feel that makes it dangerously drinkable for 10%. This is one to try for lovers of big stouts.

Aug 21, 2016
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours opaque, black in color with 3/4 inch head. Taste is cocoa powder,char, roasted malt, and light vanilla. Heavy bodied and slightly bitter. Good not great RIS. Glad I had and would happily have this again.

Aug 20, 2016
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Rogerlb from California

4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black all right. Head is one-finger micro-bubbles khaki. Aroma is quite chocolate and coffee. Slight rotten prunes in there. In a good way!

Taste is more to Russian style, with char, roasted malt, a slight oily bitterness under a sweet fruit hit. The bitter chocolate approaches creamy, and I'm getting dark fruit (although not as much as in the nose). Tobacco, chocolate-covered espresso beans. Rich and well balanced. Slight booze, a sweet flavor as if it were aged in wine barrels.

Bitterness that comes from coffee rather than hops (in my opinion) finishes up. Graininess increases, finishes smokey and ashy, with some resin to give you pause. Hides the booze well but is forward with many tastes without quite being in balance. First half better than the second half. Generally well done.

Jul 23, 2016
Photo of Shade1951
Shade1951 from Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is what a RIA should look and taste like. Nice, inky black color - not much of a head, but that's fairly typical of high ABV brews. I like that there is not an overabundance of hops. I really like hops, but too much of it turns the brew into something other than a RIA, in my opinion. This has a nice, musky, earthy flavor with, as many others have noted, chocolate and dark coffee flavors. It's not meant to be gulped, and the strength of the flavors would make it unpleasant to do so. This is meant to be savored slowly, and would probably go great with a good cigar. I cannot attest to that because I am not a smoker.

Jul 21, 2016
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JayQue from Virginia

3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good RIS. Pours a dense black color with absolutely no light coming through. Big dark tan head with good retention for a high abv beer. Thick lacing on the glass. Strong aroma of malt, a little coffee/chocolate and a vinuous aspect - kind of like a port wine aroma/flavor. Flavor is similar to aroma. Big malty flavor, hint of chocolate and coffee and also some hops bitterness in the finish, The hops and port wine flavor add a little bite to an otherwise very smooth malty beer. Good one, well worth trying

Jun 07, 2016
Rabid Duck from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 903 ratings