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

Duck-Rabbit Rabid DuckDuck-Rabbit Rabid Duck
874 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 874 |  Reviews: 515
Photo of paco1029384756
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
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 +6.4%
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 +6.4%
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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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 7 Oct 2008. From siriusAth, thanks.

Poured in a snifter. Small light caramel colored head. Quite bubbly. Opaque pitch black color. Smells of molasses, alcohol, raisins, roasty and chocolatey. Starts very roasty, somewhat smoky, lots of alcohol upfront. Like dry unsweetened cocoa powder. Not much sweetness. Lots of coffee in aftertaste.

Good but prefer imperial stouts with a little more sweetness.

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Photo of BeerSox
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into 8oz snifter.

Pitch black and 100% opaque. No light gets through even when held up to the indoor lighting. A very thin brown head slowly turns into a pad of bubbles. Spotty and stringy lacing.

Sharp burnt malts along with dark fruit and molasses. The alcohol is well hidden in the background, but still adds a light spicy sweetness.

Assertive bitterness from both the roasted malts and a good amount of hops. Some sweet brown sugar is in the middle. The hops add a little bit of citrus to the flavor. Full bodied.

Gotta love the 12oz RIS. Great beer in a perfect portion. This one has some good complexity. It's also on the hoppier side of the RIS style, or at least the hops are more easily detected. Recommended.

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Photo of rallison
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2 year old and 1 year old side by side.

A: Thick, black body (not as thick as Abyss, say, but pretty thick) with a 1/2 finger head that diminishes to nothing after a bit. Both vintages look about the same. Tie.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate and some funky fruits. The 2 year old is a bit more complex in the aroma with more of the chocolate notes coming through. Nod to the 2 year old.

T: Chocolate, molasses, roasted notes, blackberry. Nice. The 2 year old, again, is more complex and a bit better integrated with the 1 year old being slightly sharper in some aspects. Nod to the 2 year old.

M: Viscous, syrupy and warming. Low carbonation. Well suited for this beer. 1 year old has a touch more carbonation. Tie.

D: As the 2 year old won a couple of categories, I find it slightly more drinkable than the 1 year old. Both are nicely drinkable though.

Recommended. A nice imperial stout (especially once warm enough) that seems to age for at least a couple years quite nicely.

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Photo of jdklks
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

reviewed from notes:

dark brown head with minimal lacing and brown/amber edges. looks more like a porter.

dark fruit smell. smoky with roasted coffee.

taste is sweet and dry with a coffee bitterness and lots of FRUIT- mainly plum. slightly boozy, and slightly hoppy.

smooth on the palate, though not too smooth overall. on the lighter side of medium bodied, again, more like a porter.

drinks fine, but not great.

not what you expect or want from the style.

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Photo of Jmoore50
3.38/5  rDev -14%
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 Yesac
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Solid black. Small chocolate-milk-tan colored head that fades quickly to a thin layer.

S - Dark chocolate and chocolate milk

T - Dark chocolate... followed by a milky sweetness. Some dark fruits and a cocoa bitterness.

M - Thick. Smooth, but fairly sticky and dry.

D - Slightly to much of a dry bitterness, but a great dark chocolate flavor.

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Photo of GJ40
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle purchased at Whole Foods in Cary, NC.

A - A deep black with very little head (even using an aggressive pour). Nice lacing though.

S - Sweet, sweet malt with lots of molasses, some licorice and a solid kick of alcohol (although the alcohol fades quite a bit after the first whiff).

T - Quite sweet with lots of molasses and a gradual warming quality. A very rich but balanced flavor.

M - Extremely thick and chewy with a very low level of carbonation.

D - Definitely a sipping beer but very enjoyable.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
3.12/5  rDev -20.6%
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 TheManiacalOne
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from WeisGuy, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short brown head that faded slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is loaded with creamy chocolate and dark roasted malts along with a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is starts with a strong bitter-sweet bite of dark chocolate and some dark fruit in the background. The malt character is just as hearty as any RIS out there and the hops presence is exactly as mild as you would expect to fit in with the style. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it's a good beer, but there are other big stouts that I would choose first.

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Photo of BrewerB
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jakerei for providing this beer via trade.

A - Poured into an Old Rasputin pint glass. Dirty motor oil black, a thin medium tan head formed and is holding up well. Lacing around the glass.

S - Semi-sweet chocolate, coffee w/ creme, prunes, alcohol present but not as intense as I'd expect. Slight presence of hops seem to be piney in nature. This is buried beneath the more prominent dark malt characteristics.

T - Upfront charcoal/chocolate combination followed by hints of some dark fruit (perhaps fig). Alcohol is there but not overpowering. Medium finish with lingering bitterness and a strong coffee/espresso flavor. Medium-high level of bittering.

M - Thick and chewy, slightly oily, full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Warming sensation hints at the higher ABV on this beer.

D - Overall, a nice example of the RIS style. Missing some of the complexity I find in higher-rated versions. Still, I'm looking forward to the other bottles I received.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another fine hookup from below the Mason-Dixon line courtesy of everetends. Into a Duvel tulip 'cause my Cab glass was full of wine at the moment...

Pours black and flat like something out of a NASCAR engine during post-race inspection. Huge viscosity.

The grain bill on this deal must be incredible. I smell not only huge chocolate malt but a big oat-like sweetness. Slight grassy hop presence at first. The beautiful bride proclaims that "it smells like a tootsie roll...and tar..." Now that she mentions it...but what's wrong with that?

At first there's a little clamminess on the palate but that goes quickly. Huge unadulterated roasted and raw stewed grains with a bit of hop grass. Very natural and strong. Interesting backbone - not quite port or sherry tones but maybe something dark and spicy but with a lighter weight...maybe a Tempranillo (sic?)?

This one requires a fair amount of warmth and generates a slight feel of black currants along with the oatiness and deep, dark malt. Drinks heftily but finishes with strength and big viscosity.

The power of this thing brings along the requirement to sip and savor. Wondering what it would taste like after a few months downstairs...or out of the tap...

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Photo of Bung
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very black with a brown head. Reddish tones around the edges. An impressive looking brew. Strong burnt aroma with dark fuits. Strong roast coffee, slight mocha, port wine flavors. A fair amount of carbonation and certainly full bodied. A slightly fruitier take on the style than I prefer, but still excellent and worth trying.

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Photo of Riverwarrior
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S = Chocolate, coffee, and hint of alchohol.

T = Dark chocolate and dark fruit intermingled with molasses and coffee in the background. The alchohol became more noticable in the finish where it lingered.

MF = Full body with low carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

Overall, this was a very nice Impy stout worth trying. As for me, I would've like to have had more coffee flavor, but none the less, it's very drinkable.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Unclejedi for this one. Bottled 05/08.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my New Belgian globe. This beer pours a pitch oily black with just a hint of a dark brown head that quickly disappeared. The aroma of this beer is really chocolaty with coffee, roasted malts, and cherries. The flavor is chocolaty, a little bit of smoke, roasted malts, a bit of booze and an odd salty flavor. The mouthfeel is pretty average for Russian Imperial Stout. It's pretty smooth but nothing crazy. This is a beer I would really like to try again with some age on it. I think it could really smooth out some of its rough edges and odd flavors.

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Photo of midaszero
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

01/08 notched on the bottle

A - Very very dark body with a solid single finger for dark tan head and some okay lacing.

S - Chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee. Kinda boozy but not to much especially for being 10%

T - Very coffee tasting with some chocolate back notes. Kinda boozy just like the nose.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Wish it was a tad bit thicker

D - Pretty solid RIS but I think some more age would really help this one out and help it mature despite the age already on it.

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Photo of Buebie
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank you to gford217 for this bottle!

Poured from a 12 ounce brown bottle into an oversized snifter.
Color is black as night, no light penetration. A very dark, 2 finger brown head forms atop a rigerous pour. Spotty almost absent lace.

Aromas are very chocolaty. Its a well balanced chocolate, not just sweet but also including cereal grains. A bit of grain alcahol aromas.
Some nutty earthy hop aroma.

Smooth as all get out. Super rich and heavy creamyness. Carbonation is there, yet it isnt there. It smoooth.
Butterscotch, sweet vanilla cream, oaky wood flavors, at the swallow a rush of toasted oak, and toasted chocolate grain. Mollases, and more butterscotch chips.
Theres is a grassy hay flavor, some bittering and a long linger of dark chocolate.

Thanks again Grant, this is a delicious desert to the omelet I just cooked.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
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 ViveLaChouffe
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark as night with a thin brown head. Rich malty and creamy in the nose with significant alcohol and dark fruit notes.

Wow. Malty and rich in the mouth. Oaky with a light roastiness. Very, very sweet dark malt. Bitter chocoalte and creamy mocha. Very bold and intense. Enormous body in the mouth, full and sticky. A roasty finish and aftertaste.

My first Duck Rabbit is a positive experience! Go get some.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- black thick looking body with a thin coffee colored film of a head.

S- lots of coffee and roasted malt upfront followed by semi sweet chocolate in the middle. lightly boozy finish.

T- full of coffee. not as much chocolate or roasted qualities that i could smell.

M- a little thinner than i would have liked with a nice low level of carbonation.

D- not the most interesting RIS. one would be enough. not sure i would seek this one out again, but i thank yesac for the bottle.

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Photo of brdc
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small capped bottle, thanks turdfurgison for this one.

Small capped bottle poured into a snifter. Nearly pitch black, but not quite. Average tan head, decent head and retention.
Aroma, as well as taste, it is what is expected for the style; solid and tasty, but not as great as I would expect for this brewery. Roasted maltiness, chocolate notes, coffee, well balanced between the bitter roasty notes and chocolate sweetness. Molasses, fruity notes round it up.
Body is medium to chewy, but not quite full. Easy to drink for the style, but it lacks that added punch to take it to the top tier.

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Photo of mnstorm99
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black pour with a dissapointing small tan head that leaves before I even think of taking a taste.
Aroma is nice malts, chocolate and caramel with a touch of roast. Also some mild spicy hops in there.
Taste is good, something different. The chocolate is there, but the roasted flavors I am getting are almost a roasted caramel flavor (how does that work?), spicy hops in the background are pretty nice.
Mouthfeel is good and thick, carb. a little lacking, which is fine for the style. This is a very drinkable RIS, but not the top of the heap for me.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this 12oz. bottle in trades with Jeff (Faro) and Brent (brentk56). Thanks guys! Poured bottle (07/09 nitched on the side) into a snifter.

A- Dark, chocolate brown. Two fingers worth of tan head formed and dissipated quickly after an aggressive pour.

S- Nice combination of molasses, malt, chocolate, and coffee beans.

T- I was expecting a lot more from the taste. Initially, there was some promise. Chocolate malts and molasses hit the tongue, but are quickly subdued by bitter, roasted coffee beans.

M- Medium to heavy bodied. The viscosity was not the problem. The aftertaste left a gritty, unrefined finish that I was not expecting.

D- The roasted coffee bean bitterness and the gritty feel were just too much for me. Not sure what else to say here, except that the ABV was well hidden and the consistency was perfect.

Overall, pretty disappointed. Maybe these will get a little better with age. Definitely will be back to review this one in time.

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Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 874 ratings
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