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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Ratings: 871 |  Reviews: 513
Photo of callmemickey
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Massive deep tan head above a pitch black body... good retention with decent lacing.

S: Chocolate, coffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar. Quite a bit of booze.

T: More of the same in the taste. The booze is present through out but the different flavors shine regardless. Lots of roasted sugar and molasses accented by the coffee and chocolate.

M: A bit thin. The alcohol burn is pretty strong even for the style.

D: Suffers a bit from the excessive alcohol.

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

Very glad to see this great brewing company make its way up the continent to Western PA. Poured this bad ass beer into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint tonight...

A: I hate being cliche but there really is no other way to describe this as "pitch black." A very nice dark brown/mocha head also led me to like the look even more. Very thick and creamy looking.

S: The smell was initially dark fruits (raisins, plums and figs) came to the forefront and then some bitter coffee and bitter roast came through. But dark fruits are the main player in the scent.

T: At first it poured cold and the dark fruits, bitter chocolate and roast were subtle, but as it warmed the flavors became more robust and flavorful. Again, the dark fruits and bitter coffee come and are more robust. Not incredibly smooth, as the flavors are a bit harsh, but overall, it is well done.

All in all, this is a really good imperial stout. Very flavorful and it reminds me a bit of Expedition with the harshness of it.

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Photo of argock
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $2.35.

A: Black with no light showing and 2-finger German chocolate cake colored head with nice retention and lacing.

S: Dark fruit, licorice, cherry cordial, coffee grounds, and milk chocolate aromas reside in this dark beauty.

T: The taste is varied and a bit fractioned, but enjoyable nonetheless. Cherry and chocolate flavors are accented with bits of coffee and dark fruit. Alcohol is a bit too prominent and there is a fair bit of acrid molasses flavor in the finish.

M: Very smooth and creamy feeling with low carbonation. The acridness of the finish makes the feel a bit harsh. Aftertaste is heavy on chocolate and molasses.

D: This beer is a bit harsh because of the high alcohol flavor and acridness of the molasses contribution. Not bad, but not a favorite RIS.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep brown with a small but prominent head.

S: Sloght chocholate, slight coffee, and a bit of yeast. Reminds me of a Belgian Imperial Stout.

T: Bitter chocolate with a nice roastiness and an underlying coffee flavor.

M: Medium body but silky smooth. Mild hop presence.

D: Pretty damn good. For a high ABV beer I could definitely have another...

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Photo of chinabeergeek
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 BarrelO
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Black. Respectable tan head leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: Coffee, dark bittersweet chocolate, licorice. Becomes more sugary as it warms up.

T: Roastiness with some chocolate and licorice. Hoppy bitterness and alcohol burn are a bit too prominent.

M: Pretty thin for a RIS.

D: As Moe Szyslak would say, "it's not without its charm." I wouldn't make it a go-to RIS, but it's a decent example of the style at a reasonable price.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased this one as part of my Duck Rabbit splurge at D's in Swissvale.

Look is adequate, black with red highlights, minimal mocha colored head.

Smell is quite good, roast coffee, chocolate, a little vanilla.

Taste is pretty good. Kind of watery at first, then the aftertaste brings the robust fun. Mostly same hints as in smell, more roasty malt aftertaste.

Mouth is still a bit thin, but nowhere near the atrocity that was the milk stout. This is doable.

Overall, while this is much better than the milk stout, and a fairly good RIS, there are similiarly priced offerings that I much prefer, such as Great Lakes Blackout. Beef up the body and maybe a little more in the taste, we have a big winner.

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Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Pours a good hazy amber with a small tan head. The head last fairly well for being thin. Lacing is good. Aroma is honey and a big presence of alcohol. Almost has a whiskey like aroma. Has a light carbonation. A good mouthfeel. The flavor is well blended and the alcohol aroma doen't hold up the alcohol is well hidden. Has a full body. A real good finish and a good aftertaste. This is a good beer, a touch strong but a good beer.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful rich dark dark brown that's essentially black with a few woody highlights. a burnt ruddy caramel colored thin head fizzles away slowly and leaves a bit of lacing.

aroma is powerful... dark roasted malt, cocoa, coffee beans, chocolate, a bit of tart fruit, some figs, raisins, and some pungent alcohol.

taste surprisingly follows the aroma closely. Is this what a rabid duck would taste like? I hope not. A bit potent and the alcohol heat and flavor are definitely present. Roasted malt, cocoa, burnt sugar, and more alcohol. a hint of bitter pine hops, a bit more malt, and more alcohol.

mouth isn't bad, but isn't astounding. Full and rich but there's a bit of slickness and the carbonation doesn't quite attain the creaminess I was hoping for, instead turning a bit sharp. a smidgen astringent.

All in all, this is definitely a solid RIS in my book. Possibly my favorite Duck-Rabbit I've tried thus far. That being said, definitely not my favorite RIS, as the flavors with sour notes and boozy notes just don't quite do it for me. Maybe with more age it might mellow into something a bit more enjoyable, but it just wasn't quite at the top tier of the RIS category as I'd hoped. still solid and most definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of BigMike
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with very little head.

Smell is dark chocolate, burnt coffee, black licorice, Alcohol and roasted malts.

Taste is almost identical to the nose. Dark sweet chocolate, Coffee and a little touch of black licorice.

This is a good sipper. nice complex mouthfeel. Alot of different flavors going on here. Good amount of carbonation and a nice bitter finish round this one out nicely.

A sipper however, drinkability is good. A very tasty RIS

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Photo of meatyard
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out an opaque black/brown with a short, chocolate colored head that falls to a cover with a few spots of lacing.

The smell is of bitter chocolate, a touch of alcohol, cocoa and a bit of dark fruit.

The taste has a lot going on from the very first. There is a roasted, almost smoke taste at the front followed by licorice. The alcohol in the nose is much more hidden in the taste. Among other things there is coffee and chocolate in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and smooth with low carbonation.

Drinkability is quite good for a 10% ABV but this is really a beer to sip and see what you find. This is no run-of-the-mill RIS. I wish I had a couple more to sit on until the fall.

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Photo of ajr24
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hunted this one down thanks to the forum posts.

12 oz bottle poured authoritatively into my Duvel tulip.

A- it floods the glass with a viscous black that quickly dons a garnet aura. A bubbly tan head gladly sits atop.

S- The smell is complicated. The aroma reminds me of spilling my coffee into a bowl of oatmeal. Theoretically a great combo, but the hop presence distorts things a bit. Some cocoa hides in the nose and is apprehensive to be revealed.

T- While shy in the nose, the cocoa is outgoing and assertive on the first sip immediately followed by a sharp, almost cheese like, hop character. It's like chocolate hops... not all that bad. The flavors go full circle really. Cocoa, hop twang, mocha... repeat.

M- The mouthfeel is exciting. It's smooth and energetic in one. It's soothing and encouraging. It's not as chewy as other RIS' but that is not a problem for this one.

D- Savor or indulge. Potayto/potahto.

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Photo of deapokid
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark black in color with a very thin white head with raspberry hues. Beer seems to be lightly carbonated and looks very nice in my brandy snifter.

Strangely enough, I'm picking up fruit in the scent as well. The usual anise, licorice and chocolate scents are present, but with a very light berry aroma.

Taste packs roasted notes in the front, with an alcoholic punch on the back-end. The strength of Kentucky whiskey is also present beneath all of the coffee bean flavor. It's a pleasing taste, but it doesn't have its own unique character, like models from North Coast, Stone and Victory.

Mouthfeel is nice, with the lively bourbon and roastey flavors hitting the tastebuds in the right spots. It really is a very good example of the style, but I was expecting it to make its presence felt. Instead, it merely does its job.

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

Beer pours a nice black color with very faint ruby highlights, barely enough to see. Nice 1 finger tan head that dissipates quickly but leaves a nice lacing in glass. Smell is of dark roasted malts with hints of chocolate, coffee, molasses. Taste is of roasted malt and chocolate with hints of dark fruit and coffee. Warming alcohol can be tasted as beer is swallowed but nothing too hot. Mouth feel is good, carbonation is not overdone. Surprisingly this beer is not as "thick" as I would have expected.

A good beer, especially for the price. I would like to try one with some age on it to see if the flavors meld together more. Something is missing with this beer and I feel it may be the hops or perhaps the type of hops that would help balance out the roasted notes in the beer. Again, still not a bad offering and a pretty good beer.

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Photo of oldhippie247
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown, almost black. Creamy tan head pours thick, with only the larger bubbles lingering. Body appears to be a bit less viscous than some RIS.

Roasted malts with a little plum-like fruitiness outline the nose.

Palate is predominately roasted dry notes, but a mouthwatering soured malt nuance balances it nicely. Mouthfeel is consistent with the appearance in that it's lighter than expected. Medium length finish.

Overall a pretty tasty beer, especially for the price. Not my favorite in this style, but a nice moderate change of pace. Will buy again for enjoyment and to support NC breweries.

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Photo of mentor
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a finger of dark brown head over a pitch liquid. Smells roasty sour, chocolate espresso, potent hops, and blackstrap molasses.

Tastes rich herbal hop on dark grains and decent hop bitter. OMG, yum. Nice intensity and balanced roast, black patent sour, ashy dry, and hoppy dry. Nice supprot malt sweet. Grassy blackberry hop flavor (Northern Brewer?). Clean alcohol has a gentle hand. Carbonation contributes with its own sting. Esters are mild, and the little I get could actually be from hop flavor. Thick body with fine carbonation poking through the dextrinous mouthfeel. Acid in my belly rises as heartburn...aicd from dark grains or maybe infected?

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Photo of tavernjef
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick and black, caps off with a medium dark cocoa browned foam that slips away quickly to leave some big bubbles and a thick skim at the collar. Lots of oily lacing is splattered acorss the glass.

Aroma is dark and deeply tanged in a sweet dark cherry hinted chocolate and bread dough. Slightly heated and spicy with floral hops, leather, vanilla, and graham crackers.

Solid and tanged deep and richly effective in a dark cherry/prune/raisin mild sourness and a fluffy dark bakers chocolate base with hints to molasses, piney oiled hops, leathery tobacco, coffee roast, green apple, and slightly burnt cream. The tang it holds in its deep dark cherry is moderately lengthy with a nice hold as the chocolate tones sweep up underneath leaving a slight fluff and bitterness with all the other notings of stuff going on inbetween.

Body is a solid medium, fairly creamy and smooth, bold, rich, lush, and tangy sweet feel within a very dark realm of dark fruity things; mostly dark cherry and a slight soured snap along with its chocolate balance finding certain areas. As it did get a bit of unconsistancey as it went along. Some sips the cherry tang overwhelmed everything, while others were down right awesome with the chocolate balance.

Be that as it may, this is one very solid RIS and wouldn't turn it down for nothings. It drinks down quite quickly.

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

A: Try as I might I couldn't get a good head on this beer. It ended up having a soda-type head in the end but I was literally pouring from 15" over the glass. The body of the beer is pitch black.

S: Thick roasty malt with sweet chocolate. Some sweeter dark fruits behind.

T: Sweet and flavorful. Not sugar sweet as much as malty sweet though. Some chocolate mid-palate and the end is pure toffee. It's a great aftertaste.

M: Somewhat creamy body with a mouth coating sensation.

D: It's a tasty beer. Not the top RIS I've had but the drinkability is higher than a Dark Lord. Interesting how it comes in 6-packs too, that's rare with RIS's.

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Photo of bbothen
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch opaque black that lets no light through. Small bubbly light brown colored head. Head doesn't stay long. Forms into bubbly ring around glass.

The aroma is of sweet dark fruitiness, date, plum raisin, fig, some chocolate & booze.

Some roasted/toasted maltiness, with plenty of sweetness, some tartness, some black licorice, mild hoppiness, sweet finish.

Feels full, creamy, smooth with low carbonation.

Fairly drinkable. The ABV seemed to be hidden in the flavors. More prevalent as it warmed. This didn't blow me away, but a fine example of a RIS. I would have again.

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Photo of bowersdm
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired this in a trade with ROBORB. 12oz bottle poured into a nonic.

A - black with a creamed coffee colored 1cm head that slowly dissipated into a 0.25cm head.

S - dark, bitter chocolate, roasted barley, charred barley, molasses, alcohol.

T - dark bitter chocolate, roasted barley and a slightly charred barley flavor start out the taste. the finish is of more of the same accompanied by a slightly hopped (very slightly hopped) taste with some molasses. alcohol is slightly noticeable when the beer warms. the taste is overall very dry and reminds me off Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout.

M - nice and thick, the way I like my imperial stouts.

D - definitely one of the best imperial stouts I've ever had. I'm glad I got a second bottle in that trade. As stated above, if you enjoy Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout, then this a beer for you.

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from notes a while ago

A- Opaque black with a thin mocha head

S- Burnt malts with some coffee, chocolate, dark fruits and burnt molasses.

T- A lot of coffee with some chocolate and dark fruits. A little hot but not too much. The roasted malts don't come out as much in the taste.

M- This one is a little thin but not bad. Carbonation was low whick I like in a RIS.

D- This one was easy to drink but not as "imperial" as most I have had. Not a bad offering and I wouldn't mind having it again if given the chance.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to rwitter for the bottle.

Pours a very dark ruby color, no head, and decent carbonation.

Scent of roasted malts, hops, sugars, dark fruits, molasses, and some alcohol. Nice and sweet, but a bit overly so.

Taste of chocolate, grassy hops, earth, roasted malts, and tobacco, alcohol is hidden well. Not very robust; good, but slightly disappointing.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, but thin for an Imperial Stout.

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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 Traquairlover
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to kwakwhore for this bottle.

12-oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A = Dark mahogany bordering on black with large dark tan head, good retention.

S = Strong smells of licorice, dark chocolate, raisins, caffe macchiato.

T = Quite sweet flavor of turkish coffee with chocolate syrup, light balancing bitterness past mid-palate and into the finish, pipe tobacco, maduro cigar. Well balanced.

M = Heavy body, very good mouthcoating, luscious feel.

D = Good at first but is so strongly flavored it gets a little bit cloying. I look forward to having this again, but at the same time I might be tempted to rate the drinkability higher if it only came in a nip bottle.

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Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
3.94 out of 5 based on 871 ratings.
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