Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck | The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

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Duck-Rabbit Rabid DuckDuck-Rabbit Rabid 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!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-08-2005

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Reviews: 509 | Ratings: 863
Photo of CassinoNorth
1.44/5  rDev -63.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Got this in an extra as a trade.

First sniff, uh oh. Sourness.

First sip, yep infected. Total sourness, incredibly bitter. Like sour milk. Took one more sip and down the drain it went. Was pretty excited to try a fairly high rated RIS but this was one of 3 beers I've had to dump.

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Photo of largadeer
1.64/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance: Pitch black with a thick mousse-like brown head. Excellent head retention, an all-around decent looking beer.

Smell: Sweet dark fruit, fennel and some acrid burnt malt.

Taste/mouthfeel: Sweet and slightly creamy upfront. Flavors of black cherry and molasses follow but are soon overtaken by a sharp acrid bitterness. The body is slightly thin for the style though carbonation is spot-on. A dry finish pronounces the burnt flavors even more - this is a harsh brew with an acidic kick.

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Photo of Rish907
1.66/5  rDev -57.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

So I opened a bottle with 2011 labeled, and let it warm for a while.. then proceeded to sip.. the first touch on my tongue was extreme bitterness. After another small light sip, I realized this was definitely infected.. probably the sourest nasty thing I have ever tried. Too bad, cause I hoped for a better stout like the other reviewers. It was an extra, so maybe figures it was infected.. too bad they couldn't bottle condition. Not much more to say.. again, this was a 2011 labeled bottle.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
1.77/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - A loud hiss at the first crack of the bottle is disheartening, as good 'ol Onenote alerted me to possible infection issues with these. Foaming at the mouth! A moderate pour almost over-fills the snifter with dense, creamy cocoa head. Great retention though! Black in color. It looks the part!

S - Sour bacteria aroma emerges immediately, signaling some infection problems. With the roasted chocolatey malt it almost reminds me of peanut butter. Or is that just infected Short's PB&J coming back to mind? Alcohol finish.

T - Sadly, this beer tastes like steamed veggies dipped in awful burnt, bitter, and sour chocolate. Infection has fully taken hold. Undrinkable flavor. On the plus side, Beerwolf shared one recently and it was really good, so I look forward to revisiting this beer.

M - Full-bodied and thick with a potent sour finish that'll make one wince pretty hard.

O - Hmm. Infected Rabid Duck? That's got a ring to it... Seriously though, I remember this beer being great at a tasting; I look forward to amending this review with a full-on, BeerFM style review. Good luck on scrubbing out the issue guys!

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Photo of Prince_Casual
1.9/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Infected: looked fine, smelled great, but nasty metal+sour milk taste that got worse as it warmed up.

I have never taken pleasure dumping a beer down the drain but this one had to go. Disappointing that when I googled this beer, reports of bad bottles go back years. Felt obligated to report on here that this is still occurring.

Label indicated BB 03/16.

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Photo of Jimmys
2.02/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle. freshest before 2/2013.

A: very very dark brown body. distinctively brown bubbly head. retention isnt great. nor the lacing. stouty, but not RIS stouty.

S: a slight soy aroma. a deep dark chocolate works its way in there as well. definitely something rich and roasty. the chocolate is strong as well.

T: fuck, is this one also autolysed!?!? a lingering salty/soy flavor. reminds me a little of edamame. the rest of the body consists of rich soy flavors and dries quickly. there are some RIS flavors that try to make there presence known, but this is pretty bad.

M: moderate fizz on an unfortunate body. trying to look past that i would call this average.

D: forgive my french, but this is the second bottle in a row ive had from duck rabbit that tasted soy-like, the last being their black IPA both purchased from the same store (wegmans in downingtown, pa). i believe autolysed yeast is the culprit and im a little disappointed in duck rabbit not recalling these bottles if they could have. otherwise most things i have had from them are really solid. would love to try beer sans the chinese dumpster flavor.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.19/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. A generous extra from ericwo. Thanks, Eric!

A: Pours a nearly pitch black with reddish-maroon translucence at the very edges. The head... well, there is none. It's not a flat beer; there was a hiss as I uncapped it, and the vigorous pour produced some very slow-rising effervescence on the top of the brew as dark mocha bubbles came out of solution, but they were scattered at best. Not exactly a cap. Still, the beer had nice legs upon swirling.

S: Tart dark fruit -- plums, raisins -- couple with molasses and brown sugar. Coffee. A little booze.

T: Tart dark fruit, for sure. These guys really like that, don't they? Their Baltic Porter couldn't pull it off, but here the flavors meld better into the molasses and brown sugar body of the beer. Coffee provides some lingering contrast near the finish, along with ash. Unfortunately, that's about all there is to the taste; it's not particularly complex. Plus, as it warms, it gets more muddled and soon only ashy dark fruit is left. Weird.

M: I have to give big props to the mouthfeel. Yeah, it's not an accomplishment making a "flat" beer, but it's a heavy one, and the bubbles -- while trace -- are subdued enough to let the beer's flavors do the talking. I like it.

D: largadeer told me this is the worst imperial stout he's ever tasted. Personally, I don't see it; it's below average, but nothing outrageous. I wouldn't have it again.

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Photo of ohiobeer29
2.25/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Had from bottle malt chocolate not a lot else pours black with dark head drinks OK but one ans done worth a try if you like malty stouts gets a little bit better as it warms

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Photo of hardy008
2.33/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Pours dark black with an almost one finger mocha head, which quickly fades to a thin disc of foam. The aroma has dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, and tart dark fruit.

The taste is much like the aroma with dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, tart dark fruit, licorice, and molasses. Many of these flavors don't work too well together, and leave a charred malt and tart dark fruit aftertaste.

Medium to full bodied with below average carbonation. This isn't a total failure, but having tart dark fruit in this beer is a mistake. I will give them credit for hiding the 10.00 % abv well.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
2.56/5  rDev -35%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass, with a thank you to Ian (SincereNC) for the bottle - this one has lingered on my want list a long, long time. Good to finally get to try it!

Pours pitch black with zero signs of carbonation, other than an ultra-fine ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. No head formation, no lacing, no retention - nada.

Nose is is interesting; chocolate abounds, as does blackstrap molasses and boatloads of rich toffee. Burnt sugar is key, though roastiness is largely missing from the equation - no coffee, no roasted malt. Still, an enticing aroma.

Taste, though, is lacking. Some soy notes mix in with the earlier noted burnt sugar character. An earthy, herbal, root-like bitterness in there also - anise. Lots of anise, which I'm beginning to think should be entirely banned from all brewing endeavors going forward. Again, lacking any sort of signature roasty quality. The chocolate from the nose is entirely gone also. Completely one dimensional, and they chose a really bad dimension to highlight. Dissappointing; somewhat reminsicent of Bells Batch 9000. Unfortunate.

Mouthfeel is slick, almost entirely uncarbonated. Again, nothing beyond the initial impression, adds little to the beer at all.

Drinkability is also disappointing, as can probably be deduced from the flavor and mouthfeel scores. A decent beer to sit around and sniff endlessly, so long as it comes nowhere near your mouth.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
2.61/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Best By Date January 2008, Sampled July 2007
Another very well carbonated beer from Duck-Rabbit; this time I was ready for it, but I still ended up with a fat, three-finger thick, creamed-chocolate brown colored head. The beer is a deeply blackened, brownish tinged color. The aroma is actually vinous in some ways; notes of prunes, wood smoke, light notes of espresso, raisins, cherry cough-syrup and once you really dig for it something like a piquant, aged slightly too long, cheddar cheese.

Thickish, though still somewhat light for an Imperial Stout. The first sip brings a finish with a pronounced, sharply herbaceous, phenolic driven, green, yet slightly rancid vegetal character that is somewhat reminiscent of broccoli. This note really seems to linger on in the finish & even mixes in a harsh way with the alcohol; burnt broccoli indeed! Up front the beer has rich flavors of salty malt, layered with chocolate, blackened-lightly acidic coffee, browned-toasted grain. If you never let the beer leave you mouth the harsh finish will not plague the flavor, unfortunately you must eventually swallow or spit the beer out and when you do the broccoli will get you every time.

As the beer warms up, the vegetal character in the finish lets up just a touch, not enough to not be noticeable though. Regardless the beer is still too acridly roasted, with notes of burnt grain-husk bitterness, and a burn malt driven acidity, both of which also come to a head in the finish.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
2.73/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle arrives in my Grumpy Troll tasting glass for multiple visits via jpmclaug. Thanks for the southern goodies Jason.

Looks pretty stout like. Black body with a speckled tannish brown head.

Sweet malts fill the starring role. Accompaniments included cocoa powder, raisins, prune, and the faintest of coffee. Not as robust as hoped for, though by no means unpleasant.

Remember the old school commercials where the animated raisins would sing little ditties and bounce around as the sun shone brightly upon their talents? Or, am I old balls? Regardless, like an old sow ready the glue factory, this beer may be where those raisins went to die. Really just too sweet as a swarming attitudinal mesh of dark fruits lead the charge. Where's the roast for some balance, or at least to take off the edge? Coffee and powdered milk chocolate take a beating and cannot force their way through the bully bouncers at Ye Old Raisin Cafe.

Mouthfeel is syrupy slick. Some carbonation would have soften the feel.

Overall, I'll be the first to admit my bipolar attitude towards balance in beer. While often overrated, it would be a welcome adjective to attach to this experience.

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Photo of thebigredone
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to tat2hllblly for the extra in a trade.

INFECTED, big time.

With that said, I actually quasi-enjoyed the first half of this beer. Almost tasted like it was supposed to be a sour stout. Dominating tastes of burnt malts followed by a sour kick. But half was all I could take before drain pouring the rest.

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Photo of MrIncognito
2.78/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tumbler.

A - Thick engine oil black body with a 1/4inch tan head. Very nice lacing from having such a small head.

S - Very sweet and syrupy dark malt with ripe plums and a hint of cocoa. Not the coffee smell I'd anticipated.

T&M - The taste was overwhelmingly fruity and sweet. Dark malts and bitter chocolate try to mellow things out but it's just too coyingly sweet for me, and I generally like sweeter beers. Bit of a bitter afteraste that would be nice if my mouth was coated in sweet syrup. Very thick and chewy mouthfeel, which I like.

O - I just couldn't finish this one. I wanted to and I wanted to like it but it was just way to syrupy sweet for me. Almost like cola syrup with some hops and dark fruits. Would not do this again.

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Photo of bwiechmann
2.84/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this as a very generous extra from bs870621345 (thanks!). Poured from a 12oz bottle at cellar temp into a snifter.

A- Pours a very deep black with a respectable head for the style. It dissipates quickly, however, and left no lace.

S- Sweet, dark fruits. The lack of coffee and chocolate notes typical of the style was surprising. A load of alcohol covers up most complexities.

T- An atypical imperial stout. Dark fruits head up the charge followed by a punch-in-the-face roasted bitterness. The combo of lactic sweetness and the bitter finish don't mesh well. A lack of complexity is off-putting as well.

M- Good carbonation and substantial body, not bad here.

D- Not great due to the roasted bitterness. I enjoy bitter hop bombs but this bitterness is a different monster.

Overall, I am extremely glad I was able to try this beer but I don't think I would seek it out again.

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Photo of jessecarr
2.86/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A beer bro-ski scooped me one of these as a congrats for having a baby boy. I was excited to try this one, but I was not very satisfied at all. In fact, I came away forcing my self to finish it--something I didn't expect at all from this brew.

The appearance is wonderful. I noticed a bit of a oatmeal-y head quickly dissolve into a tiny ring. Black as hell. The appearance was great.

Nose-wise, it was a bit boozy, with all the imperial stout goodness one would expect.

Taste, the most important category by far for me, is where the beer fell... well... flat. Both literally and figuratively. The aftertaste is what is really surprisingly bad in this beer. It's pungent, like alcohol that turned strange in a bad homebrew. It takes like 5-10 seconds and then WHAM--you get socked with this nasty taste. Maybe I got a bad batch, but this beer left me very disappointed.

After thinking about this whole review process, I wonder if it's en vogue to just assume that the Imperial Russian's are all decent. I've been confused by the praise of more than a few RIS', including Ten Fidy, Jah-va (not a good beer, to me, at ALL), and now this one. Maybe the best of this variety is world-class, I agree, but let's not get excited with a "small batch" RIS just because. Let's make those beers prove themselves. Just my own 2 cents.

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Photo of Dope
2.86/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours pitch black with a big fluffy medium brown head. Fades at a medium pace, leaving good lacework behind.

S: Smells like...meat. Like steak tips off the grille. Steak tips cooked in soy sauce. Kind of reminds me a little of Dark Lord (which was pure soy sauce). Very confusing aroma. It's not even that bad, just unusual.

T: Taste follows the nose. I get a little roasted malt and then it's pure meat. Then a little chocolate and tons of soy sauce. Finishes with a bitter and drying char character. What am I drinking?

M: Fairly heavy, a little chalky. Drying on the back end.

O: Well, there's a little roasted malt and a whole lot of meat and soy sauce. Only other beer that I've had like this was Dark Lord as I already mentioned, which was just soy sauce. I'm not sure if it's a brewing mistake or an infection or just a really strange beer, though they were both RISes. Hmph. Avoid if you dislike drinking meat and soy sauce.

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Photo of ChadQuest
2.86/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Color is black, a finger of dark tan head covers the top.
Aroma is on the dark tannic fruit end of the spectrum, but a touch of smooth espresso in there without a coarse roast presence, and a lactose like milky note too.
The flavors oddly remind me of a dark fruit with tannins like pomegranites or fermented cherries, and full of tannins. Really odd, and burnt flavors that i cant call roasted flavors. There is some leafy earthy notes like Tobacco, probally from whatever hops used, all around a unusual odd RIS.
The mouthfeel is great, nice and oily viscous, helps this one alot.

This beer grew on me the more i sipped it, i think it just hit me from a weird angle at first, but once i stopped making it fit my mold i started to enjoy it, i'd drink it again for sure.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.91/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Pitch black color. Only the slightest remnants of a tan head which fall quickly. I know DR likes minimal carbonation, but sheesh.

4.5 S: Lots of dark chocolate and burnt aromas. Tons of roasted barley. The alcohol comes across as if it were bourbon barrel aged. Prune like fruitiness. Pretty good.

2.5 T: Unfortunately, the taste isn't nearly as good as the nose. Burntness and roasted barley dominate without nearly enough balancing crystal and fruity sweetness. In fact, it's unbalanced to the point that it's barely drinkable.

2.5 M: Medium body. Low carbonation. Would prefer a thicker, chewy body but that isn't what it is. Not smooth as the alcohol and burntness blast the aftertaste.

2.0 D: I wasn't expecting this to be the mess that it is. I love burnt roasty flavors, but this is too much without anything to put it in check.

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Photo of brentk56
2.97/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a thick black color with virtually no head and lacing

Smell: Espresso and dark fruit, with fusel alcohol tones

Taste: Burnt toast with lots of char which masks some interesting licorice and dark fruit flavors (raisins and plums) that become more apparent after the swallow, though the burnt char flavor really dominates

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Perhaps this was from a bad batch or it had been stored poorly before I got it, but this was really disappointing; I have had this beer previously and do not recall the carbonation and char flavors that marred this particular example; I'll try this another time and amend my review if it merits it

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.01/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to jahuneyc for this long-sought brew. Now let's see if its any good...

Best by 3/11...

A - The pour is shiny black, capped with a significant amount of mocha froth, and depositing a solid wall of lace upon the glass' side. It is either visibly on the thinner side for the style, or I am now prejudiced by my repeated exposure to the chunky viscosity that is CCB (Zhukov, Hunahpu...)

S - The nose is unusually sweet, like a Milk Stout; this is my first impression. I get small roast-y notes, some green grass and ester-y fruitiness. Surprisingly devoid of deep roast character i.e. coffee, chocolate, etc. Smells smaller than an RIS.

T - Initial impression: (slight) disappointment. The depth of character is lacking in the flavor. The aromas discerned by the nose are not improved or expanded upon. There is a basic roastiness that seems to be fused with a slight lactic tartness, and there you have the malt side... There is green grassy hop that doesn't mesh. Finally, there is a sweetness that melds with the alcohol and yeast-driven esters that lends an interesting but not entirely well-placed fruitiness to the brew. This is not bad. It just isn't good, either.

M - Perfect creaminess, but a bit thin. Close to nailing it.

D - A letdown, overall. The D-R Milk Stout is better.

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Photo of cxg231
3.01/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I understand that high abv beers tend to be on the sweeter side in order to have enough fermentable sugars, but this is very sticky sweet. I bought a case after reading the reviews here, expecting a malty sweetness balanced well by hops, which is not the case. If you like sticky sweet malts this beer is for you, the hops don't make much of an appearance or an impression.

Pours dark and viscious with almost no head, even with a vigerous pour. Smell is dominated by sweet malts. Taste is as described above. The mouthfeel is very nice, rich and velvety.

Drinkability is low for my tastes.

I can tell this is a beer crafted with care and top quality ingredients, but it's just not for me.

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Photo of 7ways
3.06/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Honestly, my expectations may have been too high, but I'm a little disappointed.

Lovely appearance, damn near jet black. Pours with a thin tan head. Looks like a black wine. Smells like burnt chocolate, burnt coffee, burnt...something. Vinous. OK.
Taste is roasty as hell and sickly sweet. That's about it. I feel like they could just call it Duck-Rabbit Double Milk Stout. A little cloying. Some licorice in the background. The alcohol is mildly astringent, but for 10%, it's not bad. The biggest problem I had was the feel; kind of like cheap cough syrup.

Not something I would buy again, but if it was on tap at Trappeze, I would definitely give it a shot.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.08/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of Moejuck: Poured a deep black color stout with a small dirty brown color head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma of coffee is quite dominating with some weird dry hops. Taste is a mix between some dry coffee, some bitter roasted malt and a dry ending with some hops. Body is quite full with some low carbonation and no alcohol was discernable. I thought the taste was just way too dry to be enjoyable and would have appreciated some sweetness to balance this thing out. Quite glad I got the chance to try this but can’t say I truly enjoyed the experience.

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Photo of jampics2
3.08/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into my Duvel tulip. Best by date of 3/2011, consumed a month before that date.

This beer has great color but not exactly the best head or lace ever. But a quick swirl reawakens the brown foam and it stays for a bit before disintegrating into the night below. Midnight black, to be precise. No light escapes the viscous body.

The smell is odd. I let it warm up to almost room temp before tasting because the nose threw me off. There was initially a sour twang to this, but now it's becoming more of a burned acrid note. There's a ton of fruit like black cherry and a wicked chocolate base. More dark chocolate and molasses emerge as it warms. No hints of sweetness.

The taste is also just a bit off. It has a huge sour fruit component that almost comes off as a acidic roast. Besides that, there's a touch of soy and a huge roasted malt base. Some stale coffee and a lingering, dry, bitter finish. This is way too burned and tart, I'm sort-of dissapointed. There's a big boozy presence and the flavors don't just fall short of masking the burn, they actually may be making it worse.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. It's not exactly a milkshake of a stout, but it's acceptable. The carbonation is fine and adds just enough for this to avoid being syrupy or sticky. I'm not a fan of this beer. The flavors didn't mesh and the elements that did stand out felt out of place. Certainly a huge mis-step after the tremendous Duck Rabbit Milk Stout.

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Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
3.94 out of 5 based on 863 ratings.
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