Rabid Duck | The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

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Rabid DuckRabid Duck
Very Good
898 Ratings
Rabid DuckRabid Duck

Brewed by:
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 898 |  Reviews: 526
Reviews by elgiacomo:
Photo of elgiacomo
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, fresh 2011 vintage. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours dark brown to black with a large three finger foamy medium brown head that recedes to a light cap and leaves some spots of lacing behind.

Aroma is milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malts, dark fruits such as dates, figs, and raisins, a hint of smoke. Good, but not great strength.

Flavor is milk chocolate and a strong dark fruit presence, also some roasted malts, coffee, caramel, molasses, touch of anise, some alcohol heat but well within tolerance for a 10% ABV Imperial Stout. Fairly sweet with a bit of bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus, soft and creamy.

This had a lot of personal anticipation and hype as I’ve been hunting this for years and always managed to miss it. So very glad to finally get a hold of some and it is quite the treat. This is right there with their Baltic Porter as far as my favorite Duck-Rabbit brews. I really hope more rolls in as two bottles just won’t suffice (although I do have my doubts as to how well this will age based on past experiences with D-R).

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Shade1951
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of nick_perry
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark, motor oil black with nice brown 2finger head with persistent lacing. Smells of leather, roasted malts, espresso, unsweetened chocolate. Tastes very roasted malt forward, cocoa, hint of chocolate, smoke, peat, fig, coffee notes, nice hoppy floral/pine mid note providing a nice balance to the malt sweetness and nice clean finish. Mouthfeel is medium and very smooth, minimal carbonation – akin to 2% milk. ABV well disguised by complexity of flavors and texture. Great balance, not syrupy.
Overall, this is a solid RIS. Great price point for a great beer. I will definitely pick this up again, delicious!

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Photo of Prager62
4.02/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, best before 03/2016. Served in a snifter glass. Review #700! A stout for a hot summer day!?!?

Appearance: Pitch black, no light coming through at all. Thin tan head with persistent sheets and fine strands of lacing.

Smell: Dark bread, bittersweet chocolate, a hint of alcohol and a hint of raisin, but with a hint of metal/copper on the nose as well.

Taste: At first sip, I'm thinking a stout aged in wood barrels, but then the taste opens up a bit and I get all that roasted malt bitterness, plus some sweetness, bittersweet chocolate, a hint of coffee and fruit to the point I feel I can sum up the flavor as dark chocolate covered peaberry coffee bean or dark chocolate covered bitter cherry or cranberry. The fruit flavor is a tart one - not sweet, but there is some sweetness under all of this, but it's balanced vs. the bitter flavors that start at the beginning of the sip and last all the way to the finish. But at no point does the bitterness get overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, very light carbonation. A bit sticky on the teeth, but not overly so. Given the tastes and light carbonation, I'm beginning to wonder if this is aged in barrels prior to bottling. There is nothing on the website to suggest this, so I'll just assume this is what the brewers wanted. It's not as thick and creamy as other Russian Imperial Stouts I've had though.

Overall / Drinkability: Definitely a sipping beer, and this would be good with dessert as well as a range of grilled meats. I think this would be particularly good with a steak. Not a massive malt bomb of a RIS, but not excessively bitter either - really well balanced. Everything about this beer is good - not great, not amazing, but solidly good to style and balanced. The alcohol is well hidden as well to the point that I could have another one right now, but I know I would regret it later. A good beer for my 700th review - interesting, full flavored, and well worth reviewing. Now for the next 700.

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Photo of JayQue
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
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

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Photo of Rogerlb
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours thick, black and impervious to light. A voluminous dark tan head, nearly two inches, forms and leaves copious amounts of lacing.
Smell is coffee and heavily toasted malts, ashy.
Taste is more balanced with notes of toasted malt, coffee, whiskey (in the back nose especially), peat, some pineyness and the faintest whiff of fruit.
Medium-full body, light effervescence. Slightly drying finish. Could use more body, it is a RIS after all, but otherwise an extremely good beer.

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Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice to try a new offering from DR,poured and opaque black with a tight mocha colored head,big roasted malt aromas and French roast coffee a touch of dark fruit and the alcohol seemed to creep in a little as it warmed.I found this to be quite earthy for and Impy stout quite good but Iam not sure if thats on for the style,anyways dark roasted coffee and raw earthiness mainly in the finish dominate here just a tad of dark fruit.Alcohol becomes more evident as it warmed all in all not bad,thanks to hoppedup for sharing last night.

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Photo of DanGeo
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Marklaker
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Spaten454
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Her black with a one finger caramel colored head. Creamy looking. Thin lacing

S: Lost of roasted malt, dark chocolate, espresso and alittle burnt malt.

T: Nicely balanced with bold roasted malt flavors, dark chocolate being very prominent. Not very bitter and mostly all of the little bitterness is from the chocolate flavor.

M: Kinda thin for a RIS. it's still really smooth with medium carbonation.

O: A very good RIS from a local brewery. Ill will definatly be keeping an eye out for this one.

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Photo of JW_WNC
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours into my glass a deep, dark black like the inside of a cave with only a sliver of dark brown on the bottom edge. A surprisingly big two finger head of creamy mocha foam sits atop and has good staying power. Aromas begin with roasted and toasted dark malts. Burnt marshmallows collide with a bitter chocolate. Notes of sweet toffee and caramel meld in with some dark fruit accents. I get a touch of anise as well. Good show.

First sip brings roasted dark malts to the forefront and moves into burnt marshmallow and toffee notes. Bitter chocolate makes its way in with a touch of coffee as well. As it flows down I get some dark fruit flavors and a oak quality. The brew finishes dry with a bit of anise and spice and a lingering roasted flavor.

Mouthfeel is quite big, however there's a tingly carbonation that I get with each sip that takes away from the viscous, creaminess I usually enjoy in an imperial stout. It's not as heavy as I expected, but it still drinks like a meal. Overall, a tasty brew to have as a night cap on a chilly evening in Illinois. I would grab this one again if I had access to it. Cheers to Duck Rabbit and to Pop The Cap for making this 10% brew a legal reality!

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Photo of blitz134
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from AKSmokedPorter in a personal trade...thanks man...

Pitch black. Two finger dense light chocolate brown head which slowly shrank to pillowy mounds. Biggest head I've seen on a brew of this octane. Laces in a near solid sheet down the glass. Nicely done.

Nice mix of toasted aromas and dark fruits. Raisin, fig and plum really come through and work with the subtle sweetness of alcohol. Some milk chocolate a bit of toffee work their way in as well. Truely an inviting aroma on this one...

Taste starts a bit sweet and crisp on the tongue. After swallowing is when it really comes out. A bit of bitterness of dark toasted malts start and then some expresso and coffee really start to hit. Flavor continues to linger for quite a while in the form of chocolate. Very nice flavor, definately not subtle at all, except for the alcohol which is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is oily but feels a bit thin, probably medium in body overall, like most russian impy stouts. Coats well and the flavor really hangs in there. Drinkability is good, the in your face flavor could become overwhelming. A very good brew and a awesome first shot by the "dark beer specialists".

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Photo of ripocceschi
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of oteixeira
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of marvin213
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duck Rabbit snifter, this beer looks awesome! A solid, frothy tan head rests atop an opaque black stout. Though the full head dissipates to a patchy covering, the spotted top's darkness distinguishes this beer. The head is really dark brown, and it screams RIS!

The smell is so very good, and also so fitting of a an RIS. Catherine would be so pleased. It's like dark fruit (plums) with fig roots and chocolate. That sounds kinda disgusting, but the aroma is awesome. I like neither plums nor fig (or fig roots, or even fig newtons), but this beer smells au natural like that with a sum far greater than its parts. It might not be like a candle (a la Founders Breakfast Stout), but it smells like a Russian Imperial should be.

This beer is fresh--the first I've found from this year's batch, and there's a tart type of sour semblance of ripe plums. Milk sugar and a chocolate-like component provide balance. It's not chocolatey like a chocolate bar, but that flavor is there like liquid poured thru a chocolate bean. It's sweet like bitter chocolate, fruity like a plum, and complex like an ancient riddle. Like most big stouts, the layering of flavors will increase with time. Still, fresh out the barrel, this is an undeniably good beer.

Mouthfeel is exceptional. This is among the best beers in a 12oz bottle, and it holds its own among even the baddest of big boy beers. It's like a milk stout on acid. Though I'm no Michael Jackson, this beer is as multi-faceted as a fine wine. Paul could put this under wax and no one would bat an eye. It feels fantastic.

It's big and bad with depth. Undoubtedly I'm a homer, and this is the best beer in the Carolinas. Even for a Russian Imperial, it's a complex beverage, and I suppose that detracts somewhat from drinkability. For a double-digit ABV RIS, however, it's one of few of which I'd have two.

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Photo of babyhobbes
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you tpd975 for this BeerPowerball experience!!

I used a snifter for this and got a nice inch and half or so head. This looks like coffee with a layer of chocolate foam on top. The color is dark, dark brown. You can't see through this, but you won't bother trying as you'll be staring at this lovely head.

Smells is some alcohol, plums and fruit, burnt caramel...it's good. Reminds of WWS from DFH, without as much alcohol bite. Taste is similar as well, but more mellow. It's much more fruity that I would expect and that is awesome. This isn't all chocolate malt and coffee, for a change.

This is pretty thick on the palate and leaves a coating in your mouth along with a bit of an acid taste. I like it, sort of like a beer lollipop, in a good way.

I'm not sure I could drink more than one, mainly due to the EtOH content, but it's good. I would buy it if I had that option.

I am so thrilled to have gotten some Duck Rabbit brews via Beer Powerball. If this is any indication, I am going to be begging for more.

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Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of merlin48
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pours dark, inky, and opaque, with a small tan head that quickly drops to a film with spotty lace.

Aroma has dark choclate, mild Columbian coffee, vague dark fruity esters, and a hint of earthy hops.

Mouthfeel is almost full, with a subdued satiny carbonation.

Taste opens with a bitter dark roast maltiness that is like scalded coffee. Dark and bittersweet chocolate notes quickly follow. Fruity notes of red apples and darker fruits add complexity. Earthy hop bitterness becomes prominent midway through. Finishes clean, with a slight bitter roastiness.

Very nice big stout that hides its alcohol content very well.

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Photo of tigg924
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of badbeer
3.09/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appears black in the glass with a light mocha colored head that retains pretty well. Roasted charcoal aromas paired with some earthy hoppiness, booze, and vinous smells. Taste begins quite ashy and earthy, maybe a bit vegetal too. It does transform into sweeter caramel flavors as it sits on the tongue, with a roasty finish, but doesn't start off good and finishes rather weak. I think I also got some lactose and cherry flavored Tootsie-Pop flavors too. Nice thick, full body, but it is too carbonated, which takes a way a little. This just seemed to be missing a lot for me, maybe I'll need to visit this one again sometime.

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Rabid Duck from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 898 ratings