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: 865 |  Reviews: 510
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Opaque onyx with meager reddish orange highlights along the bottom edge of the glass. Thanks to a pretty vigorous pour, the mocha colored cap is Belgianesque in size. It has a mousse-like texture and looks pretty good as it begins to deflate. Small patches and swirls of sudsy lace help the cause.

The heavily roasted maltiness and dark chocolatiness of the aroma is appealing. Power is definitely not a problem. However, an underlying tart fruitiness could turn out to be much more of a concern on the palate. Not bad... not great... just good.

Rabid Duck is a different sort of Russian Imperial stout. I've never tasted anything quite like it, but then I've never seen a rabid duck either. With all of the seemingly thousands of dog-themed beers in the world, it's amazing that there are no others in the database using the word 'rabid'.

In the end, DRRD tries to be a big-time RIS, but it doesn't hit on enough cylinders to pull it off. It's definitely boldly flavored (and slightly boozy). When those bold flavors clash rather than harmonize, however, the excess power is all for naught. Well, almost all for naught.

Flavors include sour dark fruit (tart plums, prunes, raisins), blackstrap molasses, brown sugar syrup, bitter coffee grounds, lemon peel and grain alcohol. Warming is not really taming the beast. In fact, this duck is beginning to foam at the bill. 10% tastes 12-13% at least.

I haven't been thrilled with the mouthfeels of Duck-Rabbit beer in the past. Only Porter and Wee Heavy Scotch Style Ale are good enough to be called good. This one is also on the light side for style and ABV. The relative shortage of bubbles is fine.

The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery does non-big beer pretty well. Although I haven't been blown away by anything in their lineup, most of them have been solid. Barleywine and Rabid Duck aren't so special. Hopefully, it's nothing that a whole heapin' lot of tinkering can't fix.

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Photo of jessecarr
2.86/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A beer bro-ski scooped me one of these as a congrats for having a baby boy. I was excited to try this one, but I was not very satisfied at all. In fact, I came away forcing my self to finish it--something I didn't expect at all from this brew.

The appearance is wonderful. I noticed a bit of a oatmeal-y head quickly dissolve into a tiny ring. Black as hell. The appearance was great.

Nose-wise, it was a bit boozy, with all the imperial stout goodness one would expect.

Taste, the most important category by far for me, is where the beer fell... well... flat. Both literally and figuratively. The aftertaste is what is really surprisingly bad in this beer. It's pungent, like alcohol that turned strange in a bad homebrew. It takes like 5-10 seconds and then WHAM--you get socked with this nasty taste. Maybe I got a bad batch, but this beer left me very disappointed.

After thinking about this whole review process, I wonder if it's en vogue to just assume that the Imperial Russian's are all decent. I've been confused by the praise of more than a few RIS', including Ten Fidy, Jah-va (not a good beer, to me, at ALL), and now this one. Maybe the best of this variety is world-class, I agree, but let's not get excited with a "small batch" RIS just because. Let's make those beers prove themselves. Just my own 2 cents.

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

Can ducks be rabid or can rabbits duck? Poured a midnight shade of black. Very dark with a light red hue when held to the light. A thick and solid head that last through the tasting. As did a nice lacing. A good viscous material that covered the glass well.

The nose has a lot going on. The first thing I get is noticeable alcohol and solvent notes. Granted this beast is young but whoa. Some yeasty notes, mostly fruity esters. Cherry, figs, raisins and current, just to name a few. The malt is a little hidden but some lighter astringent notes, with hints of coffee and chocolate.

The taste is complex but the alcohol notes come out very strong. Some fusel and solvent notes but blends nicely with a estery yeast notes. The figs/raisin/plum flavor comes out more as the cherry and current notes back off. There is a lactic quality the is more milk stout-esk, versus oatmeal. This is enhanced with a malty note with a minor astringent note on the back end. Some minor woody characteristics as well. Leaves a sweeter finish.

The body finishes sweet with a lot of esters. Good carbonation. Overall more of an American Imp Stout but has some hints of Belgian Dark Strong really changes this beer. I would love to try to this after a few years, should be great.

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Photo of happygnome
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: pours an oily looking black color withabout an eigth inch of tannish/chocolaty coloered head that quickly receeds to a thin layer of lace that covers that beer and slowly dwindles to a thick, sticky ring around the outside of the glass and a spot of lacing towards the middle of the beer. When heald up to the light, no lightcan be seen through this
s: roasted, sweet cocao malts, hints of booze slight earthy hop bitterness towards the finish, only strong enough to give this a very balanced nose
t: roasted chocolate malts that are initially very sweet but later turns into a mellow warmth from the alcohol
m: deffinatly a full bodied beer with little carbonation

overall, wow this is a very good brew i wish i could get it around here

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Photo of wilwfu
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided to review this tonight, have enjoyed it many times. The smell is awesome: Cherries, Figs, Chocolate, A little roastiness and a little citrus... awesome, the cherries and chocolate really standout. The taste follows suit. Smooth, thick and rich with a nice bitter chocolate flavor balancing all of it.

I love NC but we don't exactly stand out on the beer map... this beer is awesome though and I'm glad I can get it and store it away for a special occasions.

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Photo of DIM
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: This was absolutely black. It poured with a medium sized mocha colored head. Decent lace and retention.

s: Roasted grains, dark fruits, coffee, cocoa, and a hint of alcohol. Big and complex overall.

t: Flavors of dark chocolate covered cherries dominate. Mild alcohol and hop burn on the finish.

m: Very viscous and well carbonated.

d: Thanks to WeisGuy for the extra. Very nice RIS from the south.

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

Pours black and completely opaque with nearly no head. What did form was a light brown in color, but dissipated quickly.

Aroma is decent. Dark roasted malts, showing coffee and grain. Also a slightly floral hoppiness.

Taste is decent. Chocolate tones dominate, with some sweet floral tones as well. Seems like there is also a subtle dark fruitiness.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is fairly high. Flavor is good. Alcohol is fairly high, however well hidden. Combines to be quite a drinkable brew.

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Photo of aubuc1
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Black with ruby hidden behind with tan head.

Complex smell that is rich chocolate most of all.

Very sharp/tart taste that is less coffeeish than most. Like unsweet chocolate.

Very full mouthfeel than is very smoothe.

Buy Buy Buy. Beautiful beer. I don't like coffee, and this is less coffee than most RIS.

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Photo of lpayette
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Limesmut for trading me a couple of these.

Appearance- Pours darn near black with about a finger's worth of tan head that dwindles away leaving some lace behind.

Smell- Fairly complex. Suggestions of oats jumps out at me a bit, although the fruity and smokey notes are more dominant here. A definite chocolate characteristic but a subdued one. Very nice.

Taste- Accordingly follows suit with the smell in complexity. I've been wrong before but I'd have to say that there are some oats in this which I like. Traces of smoke add a nice touch. Quite a bit of ripe, dark fruit (prunes/raisins especially). Mild chocolate. Overall, this has got a really good taste. Only downside is a bit too much alcohol presence for me- although all things considered- still very well hidden. Could use a bit more of age I think.

Mouthfeel- is thick and bit slick. Bittering finish. A bit grainy at the end.

Drinkability/final thoughts- Overall this is an excellent example of the style. I really like the faint traces of smoke. I do have to admit that this beer started at a disadvantage for me as I just had some Kate the Great last week, but I was still not disappointed. A great beer that I'll be excited to try again after some aging.

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

12 oz bottle I got off the singles (survivors) rack at Green's in ATL. Poured this puppy into a Tulip glass.

A: Poured a nice, thick black. Has a seriously thick consistency. Didn't pour much of a head, but still has a ring that produces some nice sticky lacing. Where there is no head, there is an almost oil slick like situation going on on top of this brew. Looks tasty.

S: Some serious bitter aroma coming out of this brew but I can't tell if it is the hops or not. Coffee is coming through pretty strong and could be the source of the bitterness. Other notable scents: bitter sweet chocolate, dark fruit and alcohol.

T: Taste starts out as some serious alcohol soaked dark fruit (raisins, plum, prune). Coffee follows quickly with some bitter sharpness. Lactose offers a bit of twang to the brew. Chocolate rounds out the flavor with a tasty richness.

M: Very thick and sticky. The brew really sticks to your mouth and tongue. Slight alcohol burn sits on the back of your tongue and on your throat. Aftertastes linger of coffee and chocolate.

D: This is a heavy brew, perfect for a dessert brew. It will overwhelm and challenge the palate. This is probably the best brew I have had from Duck Rabbit. Pretty damned balanced and well rounded. Absolutely a great example of the style. Makes daddy happy.

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Photo of edmedina
4.95/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick black, no head really to show for this pour. Aroma is more of a coffee almost a chocolate or molasses smell there. Surprisingly the taste isn't at all over powering. You don't really get anything at first but then malt sneaks up on you to let you know they are around. Taste is really a malty coffee taste. It is mild though unlike most Imperial Russian Stouts this one is rather tame. I get very little after taste with this beer. It definitely ranks up there as one my favorites

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a brooklyn snifter

Appearance: completely opaque with a mean looking chocolate colored head that is very bubbly, nice lacing.

SMell: Rich chocolate and coffee and a little bit of lactose like aroma on the nose. Maybe a touch of leather and tobacco

Taste: A complex sweet and bitter combination that is very full bodied and really sticks with you. There is a duet of dark strong roasted malt that is full of fruit flavors like nearly burnt fruit. There is definitely some tobacco in the flavor as well and a strong bitterness as well that is very assertive and lets you know that the hops are there big time. An almost espresso grind bitterness that is hard to ignore, coffee definitely permeates and its not the sweetened starbucks kind, this is serious flavor.

Overall: This is rich, dark and delicious with a lot of character and certainly a ton of aging potential. This beer will be much better with a year on it I can say that for certain and could age for a much, much longer time than that. Seeing as it comes in packs buy one and drink one of these every 6 months and go on the journey.

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

12 ounce bottle, acquired in a great trade with mikesgroove. Thanks! Bottle indicates ""for best flavor" enjoy by 1/08. Heh. Whatever.

Appearance: pours medium to deep black, totally opaque, with a medium dense, medium brown head. Impressive head retention for a 10% beer. Lingers for a bit, fades to very light lacing.

Aroma: roasty creosote carmalized raisins and plums. Yum.

Taste: Kind of coarse, with deep raisins, plums, and stonefruits, intense roast and creosote, hints of blackstrap molasses. Delicious. Not at all subtle, but who wants subtle in an imp. stout? Very slight hints of almonds, and maybe strawberries, and maybe coffee, but I could be looking for it.

Mouth: Slick and full, moderate alcohol warmth but far from heavy for 10%.

Overall: Damn delicious. Given the (inconceivable) opportunity, I'd absolutely drink it daily. Yes, really.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Motor-oil black, with a thick and sticky brown head. While the head is creamy, it's got some bubbles going on that make for extra aroma.

S: Well-sugared coffee, cocoa (with quite a bitter edge), rich, deep roasted malts.

T + M + D: A bit of a puckery bitter cocoa powder, roast malts, a touch of caramel, espresso. A creamy and full mouthfeel - something I often expect from the style, but continue to love when I get it. This reminds me quite a bit of Ten FIDY, and I'd go so far as to recommend it to fans of that. Likewise, as I felt about the Ten FIDY, it can get a little big after a while, but that seems to be the point.

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Photo of largadeer
1.64/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance: Pitch black with a thick mousse-like brown head. Excellent head retention, an all-around decent looking beer.

Smell: Sweet dark fruit, fennel and some acrid burnt malt.

Taste/mouthfeel: Sweet and slightly creamy upfront. Flavors of black cherry and molasses follow but are soon overtaken by a sharp acrid bitterness. The body is slightly thin for the style though carbonation is spot-on. A dry finish pronounces the burnt flavors even more - this is a harsh brew with an acidic kick.

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick brown black that I am so in love with I wish I could get an ipod in that color. The sand beige head makes a fast appearance but then fades to nothing but an apparition, mine is in the shape of Australia.

Smell is mouthwatering. There are dark rum soaked fruits with some chocolate, malty, coffee notes strummed into a perfect composition.

Taste is initially dominated by a alcohol soaked fruitiness, more along the lines of dark raisins in a fruitcake. Fighting through the dark fruits is a subtle malt backbone with a pretty bitterness and a chocolaty aftertaste. Wonderful combinations and a very layered complex flavor.

The mouthfeel is very smooth with a lick of oiliness that coats your palate making the flavors linger. Low carbonation add to the smoothness and ease of drinking. Not good at 10% ABV... or is it?

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.68/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This comes out of the tap a rich, opaque sable with a dark tan head. Aroma is strong, like smoky or roast coffee with a hint of sweet chocolate. The rich, smoky, coffee-ish flavor has an undertone of chocolate and a whisper of sweetness. This delightfully smooth stout fairly dances on the tongue and is a joy to drink.

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

Rabbid duck pours an opaque black with an inch of creamy coffee colored foam.

The aroma is dark chocolate and toffee with some dark roasted malts and raisin/raspberry fruitiness.

Flavor is dark chocolatey sweet with dark fruits and lightly tart raspberries. Black coffee and unsweeted chocolate bitterness shows in the finish with a little bit of alcohol. Pretty smooth and creamy as far as RIS's go.

A pretty decent, moderately orignial, stout with some tangy fruitiness to it.

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Photo of Strix
4.65/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black as night with decent head.

Yummy roasted malt in the smell, along with dark fruit, chocolate and coffee.

This is delicious. Roasted malt, coffee, raisin, molasses, dark chocolate, burnt toast, and even some dark berry in there somewhere. Hops present in good balance, but not overbearing. Warming alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel smooth and silky, coats the mouth nicely.

This is what I like in an RIS. Highly recommended.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Rabid Duck sported a label with the Duck-Rabbit donning a Russian fur hat. The pour looked more dark brown than the inky blackness typical of other RIS beers. The brown head over the body was quite thin. The smell was a little too mild for what this was. I detected coffee, cocoa, and toffee in the nose. The taste was where this seasonal release started to come into its own. The level of roasty and hop bitterness detected in the first sip was completely unexpected based on the smell. This was followed by a lot of coffee and bitter chocolate. The finish was astringent and grainy. Quite dry for the style with not much in the way of fruit or residual sugars. The alcohol was apparent due to the warmth but not blatant. Quite a bit thicker feeling in the mouth than it looked. Quite American in character with a heavy West Coast style hop profile. This should be one of the prime candidates for aging, and I can't wait a few years to get some verticals going.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am drinking a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a jet black color with a 2 cm creamy tan head foaming up and fading relatively rapidly to a sturdy surface layer and then clingy edge layer. Aroma is dark malts, with plums and roast malt almost smokey, definintely some anice and bittersweet baker's chocolate. A little bit of sharp alcohol notes as well.
First sip reveals fine yet tingly carbonation and an average body with slightly oily texture. Flavor is heavy on malts with raisins, baker's chocolate, roasted malt, again almost smokey, and warming booze on the finish. The booze lingers and makes the beer a definite sipper. No hidden alcohol here. But for the style I expect a little kick. A pretty tasty beer, but not for the faint-hearted.

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

A: Pours out inky black with a trace of foam that immediately dissipates.

S: Straight from the fridge, I get dark brown sugar, plums/prunes, and a hint of espresso. As it warms up, notes of leather, smoky pipe tobacco and an unidentifiable earthy smell are evident.

T: Bittersweet cocoa, dark fruit and a bit of coffee aftertaste. Big hot alcohol presence up front as well. There is no noticeable hop flavor, but enough bitterness to keep this one balanced.

M: Thick and clingy due to the low level of carbonation.

D: A sipper, and I wouldn't want more than one/day, but I'd be happy to open another one tomorrow.

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

12 oz bottle poured very aggressively into a tulip yields an ebony body that defies passage to even direct sunlight, save for the extreme edges of the glass that twinkle with a hue of the darkest possible ruby. Creamy, oily, dark khaki foam tops the brew, slowly receding into a ring that leaves speckles of lacing and motor oil-hued legs clinging to the glass.

Smell is roasty and dark with ashy-sweet dark roasted barley, hints of toffee, black coffee, and a peppery whiff of alcohol.

Taste is smoky, toasty, notes of winey tannins and overripe red apples, rich chocolate-infused aromatic brandy, dark caramel malts with robust dark chewy coffee and dry-cured wood, followed by a lingering dark, dry, bitter chocolatey finish. Rich, bold, and very big.

Smooth and creamy with fluffy carbonation. Great drinkability.

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Photo of gford217
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours black with mahogany hints around the edges with almost no head. Lacing is minimal.

S: Smell is dominated by aromas of burnt coffee, roasted malts, and chocolate. There is also a definite alcohol burn in the nose and a faint dark fruit smell in the background.

T: Taste is actually much more bitter than I expected. Roasted malts are first but quickly give way to a big astringent burnt coffee flavor with a bitter hop profile in the background. The sweetness of the dark fruits are there but tough to make out beneath the bitterness and alcohol.

M: Mouthfeel is oily and viscous with little carbonation. It is fairly creamy but the alcohol is evident in the mouthfeel.

D: This one could definitely use a little bit of aging. The flavors all seem to be there, but it's not as drinkable as I would like and I think it would improve over time.

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Photo of drxandy
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

acquired in trade from beavers - thanks man!
poured into tulip glass from 12oz
pours a deep velvety black with a nice brown head, looking creamy and delicious

smell is dominated by coffee and heavy malt

tastes of raisins, dark chocolate, plumbs, coffee notes. sweeter for an RIS, which i kinda dig - nice on the palate, light bitterness
makes me glad i got a couple in the trade, as i can age them as i see fit, and some age would be great with the alchohol heat - i can see it panning out nice

mouthfeel is great, coats the mouth with creamy goodness

all in all i wouldn't drink a ton in a sitting, but it would be great paired with some chocolate or something sweet

definately an interesting take on russian imperials, this is my first duck rabbit brew and it most certainly won't be the last.

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Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
3.94 out of 5 based on 865 ratings.
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