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

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506 Reviews
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Duck-Rabbit Rabid DuckDuck-Rabbit Rabid Duck

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

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: 506 | Ratings: 855
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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Photo of jnn4v
3.09/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pretty much pitch black. Doesn't allow light to pass through. Moderate amount of dark head that, as it dies down, turns a slightly lighter tan color. Appears to be thick.

S: Not a very strong scent. Very subtle coffee scents. Some bittersweet chocolate as well. Maybe some maltiness as well, but not a whole lot here.

T: Sort of a tangy sweetness. Odd for an imperial stout. Starts on the sides of the tongue and ends on the tip. I'd actually call it more of a sweet and sour flavored stout than anything else. There are coffee and chocolate notes, of course, but this is odd overall. Some of the ABV comes through as well.

M: Doesn't feel quite as thick as it looks. Moderate carbonation.

D: Not sure I'd want this again, unless this happens to be a bad bottle and it usually tastes different.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
3.12/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black and shiny color. There's a big brown fluffy head that stays around a while with some good lacing. Looks spot on. Nice. The smell is really great. A nice roasty backbone with some sweet notes. Not a strong whiff of alcohol, good balance in the smell. The taste doesn't quite meet my expectations. A good balance, not a strong alcohol presence. Too much black patent malt in this one, and also a bit estery. It gives it a kind of oily, slick feel and kills every bit of sweetness. I hate to be to poetic, but its kind of purple velvet in liquid form. You do get a taste of the roasted malts, and its drinkable and enjoable, but the taste isn't exactly for me. It's like a nice experiment that ought to be improved upon in the future. There are certainly nice qualities here.

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Photo of HosP
3.14/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured 12 oz into a snifter.

A- Pours black, no light coming through this one. Very dark khaki head to this. Goes away rather quickly, to soon really.

S- Hmm, boozey. Tough to get past the boozy smell in this. Some hints of dark fruits in there. Maybe a bit of coffee notes, but tough to detect.

T- Sweeter taste right away with some dark fruit flavors. Bitterness comes up in the middle. Some roasted malts mixed in at the end. Interested RIS, not much coffee or chocolate flavors really noted.

M- Medium to full body. Moderate carbonation. Dry in the mouth.

D- Not sure how I feel about this beer. Not what I expected from a RIS at all. The balance and flavors just aren't there. That being said, it is different and still not bad. Maybe down the road I'll try this one again and see what I think after drinking a few more RIS's.

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Photo of brystmar
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle notched "best before 3/13".

Overly carbonated as the massive tan head erupts from my glass. Strongly medicinal and oxidized nose. Something's wrong here...

One sip and you know it's infected. Charred, burnt malt is overrun by cherry tartness. Honestly, it kinda works! I happen to enjoy this particular infection, though I'd love to revisit a "good" bottle of Rabid Duck in the future.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

thank you brstls4drmrs!

a - opened the bottle and filled my E snifter. poured a somewhat watery black with a thin creamy grey tan colored head. vanished somewhat quickly and the lacing was very slippery.

s - chocolate covered dark fruit. on the sweeter side. grapes and figs. not so roasted.

t - interesting. again on the sweeter side. some dark chocolate, but mostly dark fruit. cocoa powder.

m - not too hot at first, but the alc sits on the back end of this beer and is powerful.

o - overall a bit of a let down. huge fan of the style and this beer misses a lot of the bold roastiness and general thickness that i look for in a RIS. too sweet for me.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an opaque black body with a medium-sized, dark tan head.

Smell: Whew! I rather pronounced alcohol aroma -- I could smell it as soon as I cracked open the bottle. Well, there's some dark fruits, tobacco, leather, and coffee in there, but you've got your work cut out for you to smell it past all that booze.

Taste: Dark roasted maltiness with a flash of sweetness, smoke, and spicy anise. Sharp, tart fruitiness. Loads of leather and tobacco, but rather lacking in chocolate flavors. Hint of soy. Earthy hop bitterness. Plenty of alcohol and burnt coffee roastiness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Some stouts, you just feel compelled to revisit to drink and enjoy every waking moment of the day. I totally understand if Rabid Duck was that for many (many) people. I dunno. I just wasn't taken with it.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip

This beer pours a nice deep brown to black. There was very little head formation and even less lacing. Nose was a mix of weak coffee, chocolate, some vanilla and soy (uh oh). Definitely a soy-metallic taste mixed in with the roasty chocolate/sweet malt flavour (which is actually very good). Mouth is thinner than you'd expect in a RIS. Overall this beer has good potential, just a few off flavours hurt.

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Photo of Cresant
3.26/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served this 12 oz. bottle in a New Belgium globe. I could not read the notching for the date. The label was torn. That could not matter though. This 10% RIS will stand up for a very long time. The body was densely black/brown with a creamy, deep tan head. The cap left specks of lacing.

The smell was soy sauce and light fruitiness. Mild alcohol and plums. I would have hoped for a bit more here.

The taste was first tangy with a roast bitterness finish. Rich nutty malted grain. Some lactic notes were discernible too. Not too sweet, maybe not sweet enough?

The mouthfeel was silky with a modest amount of carbonation.

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Photo of ratedz
3.27/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received as an extra from mjmadden. Thanks again, Mike!

Pours pitch black with an inch of mocha colored head. The head dissipates quickly.

The nose is full of of roasted malts and chocolate. Hints of coffee and vanilla are also present. The nose reminds me slightly of Old Rasputin. Can't wait to take my first sip!

The first flavor I picked up is a little difficult to pinpoint...it's kind of a metal flavor almost. After that goes away, some roasted malts begin to appear. The metal flavor comes back on the finish and the taste lingers in the mouth for quite some time after the beer is gone. Huge disappointment after the intense nose.

Medium body and light carbonation. Creamy, but a little thin. Average drinkability, but the slightly off flavor makes it a little difficult to get excited about taking that next sip.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got one of these from bullywee (thanks!) before moving to the area, and have had a few since then. For the purpose of this review, 12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Near black with deep ruby highlights and a finger of fluffy tan head that sticks around for a while and leaves a fair amount of lacing.

Aromas pretty much hitting the checklist for the style. Chocolate? Yep. Roasted/burnt malts? Yep. Dark fruit? Yep. A little boozy? Yep.

Flavors don't quite hit the nail as squarely on the head. Perhaps a bit heavy handed on the sweetness of dark fruit and molasses, although a surprising bitterness and some burnt malt keep it somewhat in check. Mouthfeel's a bit light, with lingering cherry, booze and espresso.

Overall impression: Bold flavor profile, but it doesn't quite click with me. This could be a good candidate for aging, though; I may pick up a few to experiment with next time I see it.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle thanks to caroberts. This one was allowed to warm a good bit before being poured into my Dogfish Head signature glass.

Rabid Duck pours an impenetrable black, with about two and a half fingers of mocha foam topping off the beer. Retention is a bit brief, and there's just a touch of lacing left around the glass. The nose is of slightly burnt espresso, and some seriously bitter dark chocolate. The flavor is carried by those same notes, and while it's not as bad as beers that have a straight roast flavor, this one tastes like it's leaning a bit heavy on the dark specialty grains. The surprisingly dry finish and lack of sweetness only accentuates this. Despite that, the body, while a bit less robust than I'd normally expect, is still comfortably full for the style. This is probably aided by the appropriately subdued carbonation that manages to keep itself out of the way. I usually enjoy Duck Rabbit's offerings, but their crack at an imperial stout was just a bit of a miss for me.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.31/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, Bruery tulip, notched best before 3/11 on the label. Thank you to Dunt for this want.

This black booty pours insidiously dark, impenetrable to light, with quite a tall cocoa brown head. The foam is slow fading and seems to be quite sticky.

So far the nose is simple and classic; dark chocolate, sweet malt, dark caramel, moderate roast, cherry, dough. Yeah, there's some soy sauce and solvent.

The overly roasted, sour character noted by so many others is immediately apparent. At first the sip is full of dark chocolate and then a tidal wave of dark, dark roast crashes with a souring astringency. It's not really off putting to me, but it is a flaw. It gives it a molasses or soy sauce character that lingers with dark fruits. Overall not bad, but they really oughta dial that patent malt back next time.

Despite some astringency, the mouthfeel is full, viscous, and a bit oily. Carbonation is medium-low. This part works well.

While not a real departure from the big RIS that so many are doing, all that roast intentional or not, keeps things interesting. This is one that I'm very glad to try, but don't really want to drink again.

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3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours to a thick motor oil black body hosting a rocky two finger milk chocolate colored head with nice staying power. Nose is very sweet with tones of smokey malt, spicey alchol and lots of dark over ripe fruit. Enters the mouth with a scattered sour feel but quickly yeilds to a long burnt bitter. Some sour dark fruit notes are there that resemble plum and grape skin in the underripe form. Almost as if it were brewed with sour cherries. The sour and bitter really battle on the mouthfeel. I dont know if this was the desired effect of the brewing or just a result, but drinkability isnt nearly as high as many other Impy stouts.

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Photo of jeff1973
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a twist-top 64oz Alpine growler into Schlafly tulip. Fresh from the Piggly Wiggly growler station in Myrtle Beach SC. Gotta love (some) SC beer laws and scratch your head at California's. Thanks beerbyrd!

A - Jet black with a slight ruby red on the edges. Mocha head leaves decent lacing.

S - Roast, dried cherries, prunes, a little licorice. A faint baker's chocolate.

T - Roast primarily, then the dried cherries and prunes. Licorice is prominent on the back of the tongue, also a very faint cocoa. Finishes dry with a little acidic note.

M - The light side of a heavy mouthfeel, although finishes a bit watery (go figure). Low carbonation.

O - This beer is a little strange for me. I really don't like the flavor combos here. I'm not a big roast guy and the licorice definitely doesn't go with the roast. I have had this in bottles and felt the same way. This was sent on a whim. Next time, I will ask him what he is sending but he ships;-)

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Photo of kels
3.34/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this up at the Vintage Cellar in Blacksburg - very excited to try since we don't get this back in Cincy. I loved the bottle - great cap atop the rabbit's head. This review is on the beer poured into a snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours a very dark brown, slightly black. It is quite opaque, with very little head. There's only the slightest tan head, and it fades immediately to the slightest skim along the sides of the glass. Liquid does not appear as viscous nor oily as expected.

Smell: Quite strong aroma, filled with bittersweet chocolate, dry roasted malts, almost smoky, and distinctly strong alcohol that forces the other scents to compete.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Whoa - taste is very bold and very strong. I would definitely say a little overwhelming for me. The smokiness of the malts is incredibly strong in the taste and is kind of grossly reminiscent of smoked meats. The bitterness is very distinct and only the slightest sweetness comes out of the overpowering boldness. The feel is bright and fizzy, with a moderately full feel.

Drinkability: Not high at all - in fact I might not finish this one. It is definitely unbalanced, and the smokiness almost pushes it to rauchbier standards. Definitely not for the faint of palate.

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Photo of mralphabet
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into Pint Glass

A: Jet black, and think with a dark coffee colored head.

S: Lots of strong coffee, chocolate, sweet malt and alcohol.

T: Bitterness and alcohol dominate the taste at first.... Followed up by a little coffee, chocolate and sweet malt.... The overall affect is very bitter and boozy...

M: Medium body, maybe a little syrupy. Little to no carbonation makes it seem thinner

D: High ABV & a very alcohol taste makes this one a 1 beer session.

Not my favorite Duck Rabbit to date...

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Photo of kevanb
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into a Duck-Rabbit snifter.

The beer pours a deep, jet black color, extremely opaque, with a finger or so of khaki head, very thick that has moderate retention and leaves a huge network of soapy lace behind, a very sexy beer. The aroma is very, very roasted, burnt coffee, toasted dark malts, char and burnt chocolate with a bit of stone fruit and licorice. The flavors are similar, lots of toasted grain, roasted coffee, burnt chocolate, which is a bit milkier and softer than the nose. The grains are in full force on the tongue and really tone down the licorice and stone fruits, which, while sweet are still outmatched by the roasty and charred qualities. The body is nice, creamy, moderate to low carbonation, coats the mouth well, finishes smoothly although a touch thin.

Verdict: A decent RIS from The Duck-Rabit, perhaps this is quite young and needs more time to balance itself out. This beer is so roasty for my palate that it made it hard to finish more than about 4-5 ounces, the complexity is lacking and the balance is poor, but I will commend this beer for hiding all traces of alcohol.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

thanks to jyounger30

another one of those "industrial strength" bottle caps from duck-rabbit. lol...

label notched as "best by" 04/09. tasted in early april, incidentally. poured into tulip.

almost opaque black, hint of red translucency under direct bright light. reddish brown, foamy head gradually recedes to creamy wisps and sudsy ring. not much lacing sticks however.

aroma: raisins, prunes, dried cherries. light vanilla? hint of licorice. molasses. faint earthy tones (hops? roasted malt?)

similar sweet flavors, but marred somewhat by acidity, which overwhelms everything right in the middle, which is also the peak of all the other flavors, unfortunately. moderate bitterness, lingers with roast coffee and malt notes into the aftertaste, but doesn't compensate enough against the acidity.

almost viscous and smooth, but marred once again by the acidity, which also just doesn't blend too well with the mild to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of DeeMented
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | 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, dark black, and was capped with a tan head that kept growing after the pour. The head faded rapidly, leaving little lacing.

The aroma seemed to be dominated by the alcohol. As it warmed, I was able to get burnt malt and coffee, but the nose seemed a little weak for a stout.

The mouthfeel was medium, leaning toward thin. I felt it could have used a little more carbonation to beef it up. As it warmed, the alcohol really started to bite my tongue.

The taste was burnt coffee, hops bitterness and alcohol. As an after-effect, there was a little taste of chocolate, but the alcohol dominated. Kind of weak, kind of hot.

The alcohol was not very well hidden, and the flavors seemed unbalanced toward the hops and coffee bitterness. Nearing the end of the glass, as the beer approached room temperature, it started to become more and more harsh.

It was worth a try. Not a bad beer, but not a great one, either.

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Photo of Pencible
3.36/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This poured opaque black with moderate dark tan head. It smelled like milk chocolate with roasted coffee and burnt barley and some alcohol. It tasted like bitter chocolate and burnt coffee, with a bit of sour cherry and soy. It was thick with some carbonation, and had a dry bitter aftertaste. Overall this was an interesting beer with a weird sweet and sour flavor. It smelled good and had very nice body, but the strange flavor made this somewhat difficult for me to drink. It wasn't a bad beer, but it also isn't one I really care to drink again. I doubt it would improve with age either. Just not for me.

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Photo of Jmoore50
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this baby as an extra in a trade.

The appearance of the bottle is hideous. It is like some three year old scribbled a duck wearing a russian cap. The brew itself, although, had an imperial stout look. It was dark. Good. It came to a one finger head. Okay. It sloshed around the glass with a nice thickness and then released a lot more aroma.

The taste and smell of this brew were just okay for me. It had an earthy smell that kind of reminded me of freshly harvested oats and barley. It also came with a sour smell, and since this brew was relatively new, and considering it was an Imperial Stout, it was not skunked. The sour taste that came with the smell was not so nice. It was okay and gave the taste a rich complex flavor, but nothing great. The complex flavor was fun because ever sip you could pick out something different. It was sour and tasted like dark fruits, it tasted really dry, and also gave off an alcoholic bitterness that was kind of new to me. For the new tastes, thanks.

The mouthfeel was pretty good and the drinkability was just average. This beer I would not want to drink alot of. It was fun to taste, and fun to drink but other than that I would most likely not pick this up in a store.


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Photo of dragonWhale
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hideously dark with a mountain of the foamy stuff. This beer reigns chocolate down on my mouth, too heavily so, in fact. Seems to be fairly well hopped, pretty bitter beyond just a chocolate bitter. Finishes dry, the sweetness of the malts is outweighed by the hop and chocolate bitter. It's a good beer, but it's just not working for me.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have a descent stockpile of the Rabid Ducks... This is part of the "I'm still broke" cellar raiding.. This bottle came from bullywee.. thanks Kenneth... A fantastic trade and a fantastic trader.

Poured into my Delirium goblet... awesome dark tan/brown head.. the brew is expected black ... nice lacing for the entire glass and a firm cap throughout.

Nose is a sorta interesting RIS.. baskets of dark malts and dark fruits... waves of chocolate.. but some weird fruitiness really shows as it warms..

Flavor doesn't quite compute.. the dark fruits are a bit too much.. sometimes verging on sour (not infected)... Reminds me alot of Sam Smith's Stingo with more dark malts.. Strikes me as more "English" than any American interpretation of the style.. growing more boozy as it warms... cigar wrapper tobacco... salty? ... The body and carbonation are pretty much spot-on.. burpy... fruity... ehhhh.... I'm having a hard time with it.. flavors are waaayyy better and more meshed as it warms... don't drink it any where near cold...

I am honestly digging this one.. but really... I am trying to convince myself that this is not an infected batch that I have held on to for too long..

I need to share one of these with the Boise homies and test my taste buds... I don't think I'm off.. but I would be interested to see what we gather around a round table.


Edit: I may be way off base... but if this is NOT what Rabid Duck is supposed to taste like.. I will renounce this review upon further batches .. but right now... I am just not enjoying it.

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Photo of philipquarles
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours black with a creamy beige head. Stays thick and leaves nice lacing. Strong smell of sweet coffee and some mocha. A bit of cherry/tanginess. Bitter roasted coffee ground taste with some tanginess. Some cocoa. Dry, bitter finish. Medium body with medium carbonation. Quite bitter; really a sipper. Unremarkable as far as RISs go.

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Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 506 ratings.
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