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: 862
Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 7/2/10 notes. Had on tap at the Big Hunt in DC.

a - Pours a dark brown color with 2 inches of tan head and light carb. Looks great.

s - Smells of sweet chocolate, cocoa, sticky dark fruits, and roasted malts. Hint of vanilla and very well balanced.

t - Tastes of cocoa, coffee, roasted malts, and a little dark fruit.

m - Full body and low carbonation. Smooth and very easy to drink for a 10% ABV RIS.

d - I thought this was a great RIS. I thought it was well balanced and looked, smelled, and finished great. Would love to try again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.

Jumped on this guy the second I saw it listed as being on tap at ChurchKey. Pours a deep opaque black with about a finger of tan foamy head. The lacing that will eventually form is very nice. The smell is of dark malts (grainier than usual), coffee, chocolate, and even a hint of vanilla bean. The taste is pretty similar, with notes of light coffee, slightly bitter cocoa, faint tobacco, and those dark malts from the nose, though they're wheatier here than before. Up 'til now, things have gone according to the usual RIS plot. Where things deviate is in the mouthfeel. Usually these dark beasts are thick, chewy, even crunchy, and coat the mouth very thickly. This guy is decidedly lighter than usual, more toward a light medium than anything heavy; the low carbonation is pretty normal, and there is some coating, but not as much as one would expect. Still, despite this unexpected variance on the style, the overall brew is very tasty and very drinkable.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears pitch black with absolutely no light shining through the body, pours with a short lived thick tan mocha head. It forms even fine lacing with each sip down my chalice.

Aroma has big luscious dark black patent malt roasted qualities of dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans. Another aspect is big fruity black cherry tartness with juicy over ripened plums soaked in alcohol. Robust complex characteristics that entice the senses and get you ready to sip on this Southern RIS.

Flavors blend nicely on the palate sweet dark chocolate and coffee finish of course, but that fruit comes out nicely to play like chocolate covered cherries chased with some nice booze. Herbal hops peek through here among the roasted malt with a touch of caramel sweetness in there as well. This RIS really has a lot of sweetness a nice change of pace from the hop heavy versions that have been popularized in the last 5 years.

Mouthfeel is full bodied slightly chewy in the body with a soothing alcohol burn in the finish. Nothing sits cloying on my palate a welcomed experience that I will seek again.

Drinkability is solid all around excellent version of the style. A perfect portion size, I'm okay with an occasional visit to 12 ounces of this brew, it's nice not having to commit to a bomber of some of the bigger beer styles.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by date of 7/2008 sampled 1/2009
Pours a solid black with a thin tan head that dissipates to a cap. Smell is vinous, with some roast, some chocolate and some dried dark fruits. Tastes of dark chocolate, molasses, coffee, and lots of dark fruits, a lactose sweetness and a slight ash and bitter roast in the aftertaste. Body is medium, Mouthfeel is oily/creamy, low but ample carbonation. Decent brew, not the best RIS I've had, but not the worst either. There is a sweetness in this brew that turns me off.

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

Many thanks to Meguiar for this surprise gift! Super cool, yo! I talked to the Big Brewer upstairs. We've arranged for some more beer karma to come your way. Be expecting some divine miracle over the next week or so. I tried to push for a lottery win.

Pours thick and black with a dark tan head. Nose is thick in malts with a big of chocolate and tar in there. Thick and robust. Flavor brings some serious robust qualities to it as well. But there is an odd almost citric edge to things here that makes me go hmmm. Besides that I get that blue cheese funk that so many of these robust stouts and old ales can give. I love blue cheese so that is a plus in my book. That odd citrus thing seems to fade away after a few sips. There is a nice consistent level of deep and robust character here. Feel is about standard I would say, possibly leaning towards thin.

P.S. Love the graphic on the label. That's a keeper.

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Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing one of these with me.

Pours a thick, oil-like, pitch black with a mountain of beautiful dark brown, dense, soft, foamy head that has incredible retention. It left lacing all down the glass as the beer was drank. The nose has notes of deep, roasted malts, coffee, a bit of butterscotch, and something that reminds me of lactose. The taste is creamy, diacetylic, roasty, and faintly chocolaty, with a note of coffee. There is a mildly bitter hop finish that lends balance. There is also a little alcohol in the finish when the beer warms. The mouthfeel is full bodied, warm, and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

This is an intense beer. It has great flavor though a little creamy and to me off at times. It's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle in a tulip like glass at Fireworks Pizza Alrington Virginia. Bottle is good till April 2012.

Great coffee like head in appearance with dark caramel even some red hues. Real foamy looking head off the pour dense and rich in appearance. Body is very black more so than I think most stouts with almost black super brown color to them.

Bouquet is real nice, real simple not overpowering, a very good sense of light berry fruit giving mostly to cherries. Then there is some nice whipped up hot milk chocolate. Just a great nose here.

Nose brings the taste luckily as well. Cherry fruit but not giving to barleywine like boozyness, with a nice light malt roast. Finishes with a warm coffee like feeling and some minor cream. Great feeling texture and body for this stout, it's got it all but not in a big way.

Overall this is a very good beer and good example of this style very much enjoyed it. It is though an almost perfect example of a very toned down high Russian Imperial. Really enjoyed it.

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Photo of jwc215
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Wasatch for including this in a trade!

Pours black with a thin brown head that becomes a swirling patch. Lacing slides down glass without stickage.

The smell is of chocolate. Some dark fruitiness and a whiff of alcohol come through, but rich chocolate dominates.

The taste is of rich chocolate, coffee and fruity alcohol. A hint of licorice comes through as it warms/progresses. Alcohol nearly dominates the finish.

There is a mild astringency and the body is just about full. Solvent alcohol glides over the palate, making this a hot one. Alcohol certainly doesn't hide itself.

A bit too sweet and boozy, but drinkable with slow, slow sipping. Not the most complex or drinkable (even considering the abv level). An aggressive RIS.

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

Total darkness...wait, that's taken...
gorgeous roasted tan head. Looks lovely.

Aroma: dry, toast, cocoa powder, refined, restrained, and classy.

Taste is more of the same, it's far from sweet, spare hops, mostly malt, really ...

darker and grittier as it warms. More chocolatey, richer, more complex...bigger, better...dark, deep, and dry...nice stuff. Brilliant, really. I'm liking. Seriously.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap at the brewery and served in a nonic pint, the beer is jet black, with mahogany highlights, and a halo of white head. Nose of bourbon, molasses, smoke, bittersweet chocolate, and old-world fruit highlights of plum and date. Flavors of roast and bittersweet chocolate forward, with rich molasses and fig in the backbone, hints of smoke highlights, and a bittersweet coffee and chocolate linger. Smooth, robust, but still crisp and dry in the finish, with a roasted, rich, and bitter aftertaste, and a fruit and chocolate linger. Fantastic!

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Photo of GClarkage
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/17/07- Received as a gift from BA Talisker.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a best by notch date on the side of the label (Jan-08). Poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

Appearance- Black as night pour with a full one inch foamy and chunky looking chocolate powdered colored head. Lacing is chunky, streaky and clinging.

Smell- Super burnt chocolate malt nose. Coffee grounds are there as well, but the sweet chocolate scent is dominant with a smoky burnt nose as well.

Taste- Starts out very sweet with almost a burnt milk chocolate flavor...then a heavy espresso coffee flavor comes into play. Overall it's extremely dark and deep malt flavor turns smoky and very warming. Good hop bitterness as well in the swallow.

Mouthfeel- A bit more carbonation that I would like. Thick and viscous mouth coating with a lingering hop bite.

Drinkability- Dark smoked beer fans will really enjoy this one. Overall I really liked it, but it was a bit too over the top for me. Had a alcohol bite to it as well, which I failed to mention in the taste category. I imagined a light version of WW Stout when I was drinking this.

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Photo of stevoj
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thick and viscous black/ruby stout. Small creamy silk beige head, lacing coats the glass. Aroma of chocolate and coffee, burnt toast, wet wood. Taste is smooth with a kick of roast grain bitterness on the finish. Velvety mouth feel and lingering finish. A sipper, and a keeper.

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Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Leftmindedrighty for the trade. This is a dessert beer if I've ever had one. After having a few lighter beers I figured I'd finish with this. Pours pitch black with a tall light brown head. This beer is like a complex dark chocolate bar - the good, super-dark stuff. The aroma is chocolate syrup and graham cracker, while the flavor and feel is a mix of sweet and bitter cocoa with notes of citrus that almost make it tart. Pretty good RIS here.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received a bottle from Unclejedi on his Beer Tour adventure. Thanks Jim
Different looking label. Kooky.
Pours a nice, slick looking black with dark ruby edges. Topped with a rather large brown head. Settled down to about a 1/2 finger, then to a slight film, but reappeared with a good swirl.
Smells of coffee, toffee, baked caramel and roasted malt. Typical, nice blend.
Taste is much the same, bold coffee and some dark chocolate. Anise and black raisin also round out the taste.
What I really liked was the mouthfeel. Smooth, a bit of velvet, nice. Definitely bumps up drinkability. This didn't last long. Very nice.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to trep for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tannish head, which then left some nice slicks and sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose was malty, oaky, slightly roasted, some bourbon, and a good dose of toffee, caramel. The taste is malty, a nice blast of toffee/oak/roast at first sip, then there is a nice slightly dry, toffee/burnt oak finish. The ABV is hidden pretty well, nice warming feel. Medium body, nicely balanced brew. Very drinkable, a very nice/tasty RIS from DR, highly recommended.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to forgetfu for sending me this bottle. Always excited to try new beers from Duck-Rabbit.

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruit and some alcohol notes. This smells exactly like what I want a Russian Imperial Stout to smell like.

The flavor is dominated by chocolate and roasted malt. I also get a lot of cherry notes as well as some other dark fruit. As the beer warms I get some coffee notes and a little bit of light smoke.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a good medium brown head that lasts for a while and leaves some pretty decent lacing as well. The smell is winey and with a touch of soy sauce, but there are also rum soaked raisins there. The taste is very nice. More rum, bitter chocolate, a touch of light coffee, and some roasted grain. A little thin on the mouthfeel, and could be creamier, but the lingering bitterness helps give it structure, and the alcohoilis well hidden. Pretty drinkable, but its a big beer and fairly intense.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.48/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Rabid duck pours out the standard dark color with a deep black color with a active rising tan head that got up to 2 inches. This creamy looking foam receded after a few leaving a skim on the surface. Some thin lines of lace on the glass.

S- A heaping of roasted malt is on the surface which also gives way to a chocolate scent. Creamy milk chocolate with a backdrop of cherries hidden away. Some alcohol as well. Getting just an underlay of hops from the fresh batch. All in all pretty sweet.

T- First sips, I got a nice roastiness from the malts along with a semi charcoal taste. A bit of heat as well. After some more this faded though and this duck turned very sweet. A bunch of chocolate and a milky cream essence. Some cherry flavor interwoven. Some grains mixed in there as well and just a touch of alcohol.

M- This one is on the slick and smooth side and is somewhere above medium bodied. thick enough for an RIS IMO. Otherwise this starts off roasty and becomes sweet after time. The alcohol does not intrude and for 10% I am impressed.

D- This stuff is good and damn drinkable for 10%. it's pretty much perfect and I could of drank more. I may need to find some on my next time down.

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Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This North Carolina brewery claims to be dark beer specialists and this black beauty certainly ranks among the top percentile for opaqueness; only holding it directly into bright light will reveal any kind of highlighting (which exists only along the base and not even the perimeters). Its cocoa coloured head is amplified especially around the fringe although any agitation can serve to revive the bed of foam which originated off the initial pour.

Rich cocoa dense dark chocolates, green bulbous hop cones, hazelnut, and mocha-late dominate the aroma. This bouquet has all the parts it needs to make an alluring, appetizing machine of an Imperial Stout. There is one caveat, however, which is a soured lactic type note, something loosely resembling a blend of over-ripened fruits and curdled milk. Let's hope that's no reason to be alarmed...

Unfortunately, that sign of caution was posted with good reason. The taste still demonstrates all the wonderful flavours of gourmet coffee, fudge brownies, dark currants, burnt espresso and chocolate covered nuts but isn't without a strong lactic quality. This taste of curdled chocolate milk and over-ripe plums isn't anything nearly strong enough to turn me away from the beer, but it does make a great flavoured beer taste no more than just good.

This packs a good amount of flavour and an equally large amount of texture, too. What diminishes that tiny, off-putting lactic quality is a generous inclusion of hops that's ensured plenty of green, herbal-tea like leafiness and a healthy bit of resiny bitterness. The malts seem powdered with an ashy charred level of roast that imparts plenty of near burnt sensation. The alcohol may murmur a bit but it's never anything more than an undertone.

Despite that lactic character, this profile of dark fruits, almonds, coffee and dark chocolate certainly worked for me; I thoroughly enjoyed the beer. This brewery's logo and name is lifted from an ambiguous figure drawing which the brain can see as either a rabbit or a duck, often depending on the time of year. Similarly, this beer can be seen as either really good or great; tonight I perceive the former but that answer, too, could change on any given day.

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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 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 tobelerone
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After all the recent reports of infected bottles I am happy to say this beer was free of infection and really quite delicious. Black body with a finger of mocha colored head that settles slowly and leaves some patchy lacing. Roasty, sweet aroma with a trace of booziness; some dark fruit notes, good chocolate presence.

Very tasty. A balanced blend of chocolate and roasted, slightly charred malt flavors, again a hint of dark stone fruits, traces of espresso coffee and a mild, pleasantly warming booziness in the finish. Moderately sweet molasses flavor, slightly sticky and lip-smacking. Subtle anise (not a favorite of mine so I was thankful it was well-integrated and not particularly prominent).

Full bodied and smooth, moderate carbonation, creamy and thick mouthfeel that’s just right for the style. Not the biggest or most extreme imperial stout but a damned good one. Very drinkable for the heft and ABV. I’m a Duck Rabbit fan and this beer certainly didn’t hurt that!

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Photo of Zorro
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled through "I Want That" BIF 2 and mikesgroove.

Well I will say this brewery has certainly nailed the look of RIS. Black beer that does not allow light to pass and a tall brown head that almost expanded over the top of the pint glass. Bad idea to pour this too aggressively because this doesn't need any help at all in the head forming department.

The smell is sweet and hoppy with a slight carrot and citrus aroma. Mild scent of Kahlua coffee liqueur and less so of chocolate. This is a bit stronger on the coffee and patent malt end of the aroma spectrum for RIS. Other than the little bit of boozy aroma of coconut rum that is about it.

The taste begins very strong with the patent malt and the dark roasted coffee and frankly a little bit of carbon flavor. The heavy roasted flavor pretty much stays with you through out the whole glass so it is on the burnt tasting fringe of this beer style. After a bit this beer gets sweeter and the patent malt flavor diminishes but this is pretty much a coffee beer.

The mouthfeel is OK.

OK drinkable but I am probably spoiled from getting Stone RIS pretty much any time I want it. A good RIS on the coffee end of the spectrum, but not a great one. Great looks and OK flavor this is worth a try but not top of the class.

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Photo of John_M
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Big Hunt yesterday.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with considerable creamy, tannish brown head. Retention is excellent, and there is considerable lacing. Frankly, appearance-wise, it doesn't get much better than this in a RIS. The nose is impressive, primarily due to the rich intensity of the aroma profile. I get a considerable amount of coffee, chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. In fact, the aroma really reminds me of a baby version of the Bourbon County Stout from Goose Island. Flavors generally replicate the nose, except the chocolate flavor leans towards dark chocolate, and the light hoppy bitterness seems to give the beer something of coffee ground flavor component. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner then I was expecting given the flavor profile, but nevertheless, it's still pretty full, rich and long. Drinkability is pretty good for a 10% beer, though needless to say, with a beer this rich and boozy, it's slow going working through my cheater pint. Regardless, this is a very fine beer, and one I was very happy to have the opportunity to try.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a almost blackish with one finger brown head that slowly dies and leaves some lace on top of a mostly roasted, coffee like aroma, although there's some bread, toffee, dark chocolate as well but not much in terms of dark fruits. Taste and mouthfeel offer more on the aroma as the beer is smooth, medium bodied, but at times sticky like there's molasses in there (tastewise as well), and mostly this is like drinking a tamed stout as there is some heaviness and dryness thanks to roasted and coffee malts but it comes across more like java or coffee with a dash of chocolate (which sounds odd, I know). I did appreciate this beer for the light price and it works as a dessert sipper but not your textbook RIS (I will say I had no idea it was 10% either b/c it didn't come across as boozy).

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Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
3.94 out of 5 based on 862 ratings.
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