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 zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, dark, brown color with hints of ruby. A small, thin, white head quickly dissipated and left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of dark chocolates, caramel, toffee and hints of vanilla. The was also a slight floral notes.

T - It really hits you with a huge dose of sweet chocolate and caramel malt. A bitter hop kick balances out the sweet flavor.

M - It was soft, smooth and velvety. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good RIS that is almost port-like.

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Photo of ncbeermonger
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

WOW what a stout!
I got a pint at Brixx after I had heard they had gotten it in.

The pour is to the top of the glass leaving little or no head on the stout
The beer appears very dark, and heavy.

It smells strong, and leaves your taste buds begging for the follow through

It tastes smooth, its a mouthful, and the alcoholic content makes its presence aware to the drinker from the first moment it enters the mouth. The alcohol taste is by no means too strong, but this beer is not for the light lager drinking crowd I normally find in the Triad of NC.

The mouth feel is heavy, and bold.

If you enjoy an amazing stout this is one that can not be missed! An absolute pleasure from beginning to end.

I hope to see a lot more of this beer in my near future!

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

Got a fresh bottle of this at Wine Warehouse in Greensboro, NC. Not a huge new review here - just going to say that although I did enjoy this bottle a little more (and thus did modify my score somewhat), I don't think I had a bad bottle last time. This is just an incredibly tart and fruity RIS, not too dissimilar to Black Albert, in my opinion (though a lot heavier and a lot lower in alcohol). This one's not really my thing, though I can definitely see how it might be some people's. Again, not a bad brew, and from a very good brewery, so give it a shot.

***UPDATE 11/29/08***

Bottle from Sam's Quik Shop, Durham, NC. Poured into an Allagash flute.

Appearance: Pours a thick, viscous brown with a one-finger foamy, tan head with average to perhaps slightly below average retention, with glittery sheets and ribbons of lacing.

Aroma: Plenty of dark fruits in this one, and like many of the higher abv% Duck Rabbit brews, fruits dominate the nose. Plump, sugary raisins are up front with traces of lighter fruity esters, followed by faint milk chocolate and sugared coffee.

Taste: All the right elements, but a few funky off notes as well, so let's get those out of the way. There's a steely, metallic note that hits pretty early on, as well as a few funky sour, milky notes mid-to-finalsip - perhaps a bad bottle. However, ignoring those, there're plenty of nice notes here too. You got baker's chocolate, some pleasant dark fruit notes, faint spicy hoppiness, and a few lighter fruity esters. There's also a hot, spicy alcohol on the finish that could use a little aging.

Mouthfeel: A little thick, relatively uneven, chewy, creamy/milky, but also a little slick.

Drinkability: Definitely going to be buying another bottle of this, if only to verify that this one wasn't quite up to snuff - I know Duck Rabbit's new, so I can forgive a little quality control issue every once in a while (since everything else I've had from them in solid), and I'm sure that a proper bottle of this will be much better. Expect this review to be updated! That all out of the way, the alcohol on this one is reasonable, though a little on the high side, though all the proper, expected, tasty notes are present. Give it a shot.

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

Thanks to rnorgart for this, one of many in a great trade.

Best before date April, 2009.

Served at about 50 degrees. Pours into the center of my curvy Sam Adams glass a completely opaque black. A solid inch of tan-colored head settles on top. It has great retention and excellent lacing.

Aroma is superb with lots of roasty malts, dark chocolate, and hops.

Flavor is sweet and chocolately at first but starts to go bitter and slightly metallic at the end. It's not totally unpleasant but it's something I picked up on. There's a lot of goodness in this beer. Sweet roasty malts mix with bitter dark chocolate and coffee to make a well-balanced stout. There's a bit of black cherry at first sip.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, nicely carbonated, alcohol is well-hiden. Drinkability is good for the style but it is, afterall, 10%.

I'm glad I got to try something special from this small brewery specializing in "dark" beers.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A lovely bottle thanks to Everetends in the LNBA BIF.

A- A super dark jet black brew with a sexy touch of tan head at the top of the beer. Its just relaxing very thinly on the top of the beer.

S- Coffee, chocolate, anise, and roasted malts are having an orgy of smells in my nose. Mmmm.

T- Tastes like someone stirred this beer with a burnt stick of wood. Lots of smoke taste there as well. It is very intense, just like camping. The chocolate taste is very subtle yet yummy. There is a slight hop taste that is there in the very very end of an after taste.

M- Thick, yet good carbination, not too much just enough to be great.

D- I could drink lots more of this for sure.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black or really dark brown color. A small tan head quickly settled to a thin layer of bubbles some nice layered lacing down the sides.

S- Smells of dark chocolate, roasted espresso beans, dark ripe fruit, some oak barrel, and alcohol.

T- Follows the nose well. Roasted cocoa and coffee beans, ripe cherries and plums.

M- Medium to full in body, low carbonation. Felt creamy and oily.

D- A very solid brew and easy to drink. Wish I had some more for the winter months.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of thethrone
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep dark brown, near black, with a big foamy dark tan head. Retention is good

S - Lots of dark fruit, chocolate, quite a bit of booziness.

T - Flavor starts with cocoa, and follows quickly with dark fruit and big dark malts. Also a hit of wood and espresso, which comes out more as it warms.

M - Full bodied, well carbonated. A bit of graininess in the finish. Not quite as boozy as I expected from the smell.

D - A great RIS, gives you everything you've come to expect from the style. Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of tedpeer
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks to gford217 for the extra in a trade.

12 ounce poured into a pint glass.

A - Poured black with a huge mocha head diminished to an 1/8th inch layer. Good lacing.

S - Roaster, fruity sweet.

T - Roasted. Hint of fruit. Sweet. Mild alcohol warmth at finish.

M - Thick, creamy.

D - A little sweet to drink many of these.

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

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A= This stout poured a deep dark jet-black color. Seriously, even when held up to a light bulb, this one was not letting any through. The rich tan chunky head poured 3/4" and quickly settled to a heavy skim. Some minimal lacing down the glass.

S= I found aromas of dark chocolate, roasted espresso beans, dark ripe fruit, some oak barrel, and some incredible vinous notes. Alcohol presented itself when the beer was swirled.

T= I tasted damn near everything I found in the aromas - roasted cocoa and coffee beans, ripe cherries and plums, lots of oakiness, and a rich yet tart vinous flavor. The alcohol hid itself until the finish where it became a bit astringent, but not uncomfortably so.

MF=Though this was definitely a heavy beer, it was lighter than I expected. Feel was creamy and oily as it coated my tongue and throat. Carbonation was low-medium and entirely appropriate.

D= A damn fine beer from a brewery that seems to be an up-and-comer. Though I cannot easily get this beer, I would definitely drink more of it should some become available.

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

Pours a thick, dark coffee color with almost no head.

Chocolate and oak on the nose. Flavor is a burned chocolate with dark tart fruit, like chocolate covered cranberries. I'm not highly experienced with the RIS's but this one seems fruitier and sourer than typical from the style.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy.

One neat thing about strong stouts is that the flavor seems to change over the course of the session (and this one is no different) which adds to drinkability! Still, at 10% ABV, you probably should not overdo this one.

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

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

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

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

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Photo of illidurit
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of wagenvolks. Poured into a snifter. Completely black with a rather small mahogany head that recedes quickly to a meandering swirl of foam.

Aromas of chocolate flavored graham crackers, lots of roastiness, some lactic sweetness, and some plum/grape.

Burnt coffee flavor with some chocolate and brown sugar sweetness, noticeable alcohol, and a subtle grape cough syrup note.

Body and carbonation could stand to be a bit more substantial. Good clean finish with a pleasant warmth from the booze.

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

A: chocolate brown; almost black. Small head that recedes with some lacing remaining.

S: very similar to their milk stout. Opens up to lots of chocolate flavor though. Specifically it smells like milk chocolate.

T: very roasty and toasty. It actually does not taste that entirely different from a zinfindal. (I know, I am crazy). Its very malty.

M: very zippy.

D: very drinkable for 10%; kinda scary

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Photo of maximum12
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopflop for shipping a few bottles of this RIS my way. Always on the lookout for a new RIS.

Pours black hole with a quick-exit tan head. Smell is much to speak of, standard stout, but muted.

Taste is mind-twisting. The mild smell is nothing like the, ah, rabid taste. Big stout taste with plum-like fruit in the middle, followed up with some hop bite in the end. What the hell? What is this beer? I love it! Nothing like a really good stout that completely confounds expectations.

The Rabid is full & filling, which might be it's only downfall, a bit heavy. But easy to drink, partially perhaps because I keep wanting to have another puzzled taste.

Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of glid02
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a single of this from Green's in Atlanta. Every now and then they will have some gems over there in that singles rack.

Pours completely black with a one-finger dark tan - actually brown - head. Absolutely no light is getting through this. Head recedes into a wispy layer of bubbles on top, and the lacing is pretty nice.

Smells good. Huge amount of roasted malt and coffee, with some light hints of vanilla. This smells like an intense beer.

Tastes good. Just like the smell, there are big hits of coffee and roasted malt up front, but then it gets a little intense. There are some dark fruit flavors, but so dark that they are almost sour. There's also a big wallop of bitterness at the end. Very interesting, but not necessarily great.

Mouthfeel is good. Thickness is right on, it's got a great thickness and the carbonation does nothing but complement the flavors. Very smooth.

Drinkability is good. Howeer, the late flavors and aftertaste described above make it go down just a little less easily.

Overall this is an interesting beer. I've never tasted an RIS with this type of ending note. It's good, but not great, but either way it's worth a shot.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a tan head. In the aroma, chocolate, roasty malt and a huge coffee presence. In the taste, roasty coffee, and just a hint of chocolate. A smooth and big bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry coffee, small hint of alcohol in the aftertaste. Nice big flavor, and hide alcohol quite well.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours into my glass a deep, dark black like the inside of a cave with only a sliver of dark brown on the bottom edge. A surprisingly big two finger head of creamy mocha foam sits atop and has good staying power. Aromas begin with roasted and toasted dark malts. Burnt marshmallows collide with a bitter chocolate. Notes of sweet toffee and caramel meld in with some dark fruit accents. I get a touch of anise as well. Good show.

First sip brings roasted dark malts to the forefront and moves into burnt marshmallow and toffee notes. Bitter chocolate makes its way in with a touch of coffee as well. As it flows down I get some dark fruit flavors and a oak quality. The brew finishes dry with a bit of anise and spice and a lingering roasted flavor.

Mouthfeel is quite big, however there's a tingly carbonation that I get with each sip that takes away from the viscous, creaminess I usually enjoy in an imperial stout. It's not as heavy as I expected, but it still drinks like a meal. Overall, a tasty brew to have as a night cap on a chilly evening in Illinois. I would grab this one again if I had access to it. Cheers to Duck Rabbit and to Pop The Cap for making this 10% brew a legal reality!

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

A : Pours a nice black with a 2 finger tan head. Leaves some nice lacing on the glass

S : Roasted malt, oak, chocolate, coffee, and alcohol

T : Dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, oak. The alcohol comes through also, more strongly than I like

M : Full bodied, good carbonation, smooth

D : It's easy to drink but the alcohol detracts from it. I'd definitely like to try some aged.

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Photo of lightindarkness
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours nicely black, thick with dark brown oily edges as it pours. Reluctant head rises finally, moments after a hard pour, with creamy dark tan bubbles that surface and then dissolve casually back into the beer.

Ooh, now this one smells tasty. Nose is full of big rich dark aromas, gummy sweetness, molasses, chocolate cake, slightly bitter earthy wood, prune, fig, and just a touch of dark grain.

Taste isn't a total let down, but it's not quite what I expected from the nose. Less full sticky flavor and more roasted bitter dryness. Dark toasted grains, very bitter cocoa, burnt wood, and a bitter dry roasted somewhat hoppy finish. Sure, there's a touch of darker fruit and some richness hidden in there, but it's very faint. Not a bad beer, just not what I was hoping for from the nose.

Fuller medium body with some mild weak carbonation. Bitterness leaves a dried out sucking feeling, somewhat unexpected.

Overall a decently drinkable beer. It's nice to sip, and has plenty of character. The taste does grow on me, but it's too bitter, overwhelming what seems from the smell to be a nicely complex rich deep Imperial Stout. Had a bottle of this stuff a while back and I remember thinking it was a lot better than this one.

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Photo of bhalter8
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I loved this beer!
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to tulip

Pours a deep, dark jet black with a thin head that quickly disappears

Smells like a chocolate/toffee blend almost, delicious

Alcohol is apparent in the taste, but doe not overwhelm the chocolate and fruit backbone of flavor

Beers goes down easy, considering the style, not too thick, robust taste though. A fantastic beer!

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Photo of daythree16
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours black as night with a .25" brown head.

Aroma is very strong with chocolate and dark fruit really coming through. There is also a big boozy alcohol presence. Taste is dark chocolate, figs, and some fruity sourness. Has a little bit of coffee as well. Good hop bitterness on the finish. It also has a noticeable amount of alcohol burn.

Full-bodied with a slick and oily mouthfeel. Definitely a sipper. Enjoyably complex, but very strong, and one bottle is definitely enough.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This Imperial Stout pored in to my Portsmouth tulip glass came out a black as black can be color, with a small tan heading. Nose contains a mix of dark and milk chocolate, some bitter coffee bean, molasses chew, and a hint of must. Taste has dark burnt chicory in it, molasses and soy sauce (seems like it would pair very well with barbecue). Alcohol adds a bit of mild fruit beneath the smoky barbecue aspect of it. Body is not bad at all, but doesn't quite measure up to the strong flavors present in this beer. To me, if the tastes are that strong, so should the girth of the beer, body and alcohol wise. Drinkability is lowered slightly by some of the strong numbing flavors, but is still very respectable. This is my first beer from the guys at Duck Rabbit, and I am not disappointed. While it didn't quite deliver on all fronts, it is a fine stout that is more than worth a purchase. Thanks to Todd to introducing me to this brewery. Hopefully there will be more tastings in the future. Cheers

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thin brown head that chills to a crown quickly. Color is a murk of complete and utter as midnight...impenetrable.

Aroma is alcohol-soaked dark fruits, fresh chunks of chocolate, primo coffee beans and vanilla syrup. Yep, that wonderful.

Flavor is right on target for the style, but more lively in terms of sweet dark fruit, black pepper and alcoholic elements as opposed the dominating robustness of a coffee/chocolate-drowned RIS. Not as roasty as others, definitely on the sweeter side, and purely luxurious. Generous alcohol warmth on the back end, which doesn't intrude and actually underscores the flavors, keeping them alive within and long outside the finish. Magical stuff.

Mouthfeel is a bit oily, totally slick, and froths up nicely if you want it to. Texture here has a life of its own. Another fantastic facet to this great beer.

Unsubtle but utterly delicious, Rabid Duck's 10% is felt and tasted, so it's a slow night-capping sipper if anything. One of Duck-Rabbit's best (and one of the beer names for any beer, anywhere). Duck-Rabbit have more than earned their reputation as a "dark beer specialist".

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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 julian
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured jet black with a thin layer of nutty brown head that quickly dissipates leaving big bubbly trails around the glass.

S: roasted, burnt aromas along with coffee, slight fruity flavor as the head was forming along with an mild alcoholic presence.

T: 10% is noticeable but isn't overpowering. Taste is of roasted coffee, mildly bitter chocolate, fermented dark fruit undertones as well.

M: low to medium carbonation, medium viscosity, mild booziness but drinks relatively smooth.

D: Pretty good.

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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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