Rabid Duck | The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

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Very Good
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Rabid DuckRabid 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: 884 |  Reviews: 518
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 darkness...black 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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Photo of corey0212
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this one as an extra from Georgiabeer!

Pours nearly midnight black, with some dark brown highlights around the edges, tiny tan head rises, minimal lacing. Smell is big-time dark chocolate, and loads of dark fruits. Taste is extremely interesting on this one. I feel like I'm getting a ton of raspberries... tastes like raspberries covered in melted dark chocolate, some raisin and fig in there as well. Mouthfeel strikes me as a little thin for the style, but there's plenty of spicy, mouth-warming alcohol in the mix. Some surprising tastes in this one, but certainly well worth seeking out.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ThirstyBird for the opportunity to try this one. Served in my DFH snifter. Best by 07/09 notched on the label. Poured an opaque brown, just shy of black. Quarter inch tan-colored head quickly dispersed into foam and ringlets as it eventually coalesced into a band around the edges; only spots of lacing present during the tasting. Nose is big, sweet and malty. I picked up coffee, chocolate, dark fruit and brown sugar. Taste is consistent with nose; dark fruit really comes out in the mouth and there is even a bit of tartness that is revealed. Mouthfeel is just shy of medium-bodied and is silky smooth with a little effervescence in the background. Drinkability is good, but not great. Flavors push the fringes of the style, but alcohol is fairly well-hidden. Fruit flavors are a little too big, however, and overwhelms the palate. Elements remind me of an RIS, Baltic Porter and Export Stout. Interesting interpretation nonetheless.

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

A special thanks to oconman for sending this in a trade.

A - Poured a black color with a thin brown head that dissipates to a ring that leaves lacing though

S - Is of very roasted malt with sweet chocolate scents to it

T - The taste is very similar to the way it smells good roasted malt and chocolate flavors

M - Has a medium full body with light carbonation to it

D - This is a pretty good RIS It easy to drink tastes good and is pretty smooth going down the alcohol is hidden well in this beer too its worth trying sometime.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a pitch black with a finger or so of burnt looking tan head that posesses some reddish highlights as well. Retains around the edges and flares up nicely when swirled, leaving behind spotty lacing and oily brown residues. The aroma is sweet chocolate, coffee, licorice, a waft of heat, and some fairly prominent notes of tart smelling dark fruits.

The taste is packed with rick chocolate notes that are balanced out by a huge dark fruit tartness of cherries, plums, and figs. It seems that a bit of anise and coffee are intermingled in there as well, as is a nice underlying layer of roasted bitterness. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a thick and viscous feel at times (especially as it warms). There is also a nice degree of heat in the body that drenches the palette with a warm and sticky feel.

Interesting take on a RIS by Duck Rabbit, going very heavy with the dark fruit character. It works well though, bouncing off the thick sweetness that is also heavily featured. A sipper for sure but a steady one at that, have one now and save the rest for winter.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into oversized snifter.

A - Completely black. Even in the pour, this brew is nearly opaque. A few brown bubbles form near the end of the pour, but disappear quickly. However, there is a little bit of lacing.

S - Very buttery on the surface, with brown sugar. A general coffee/chocolate aroma as well, mingling with plums, berries, and licorice.

T - Sweet chocolate and a hint of coffee start things off with a touch of licorice. Dries out a bit mid palate expressing some minimal smoke/burnt flavor. Buttery flavor, alcohol astringency, and some earthy, somewhat floral, hops pull through in the finish. Aftertaste has slight alcohol burn, and big roasted malt bitterness.

M - Full bodied, low carbonation. A very thick brew with just the right amount of carbonation to keep things from getting things too intense.

D - This is big and bold, and 12 oz might be a bit much. Still very good though.

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Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Just like the Bell's Expedition Stout I had earlier tonight there is no carbonation at all in this one. I know the style can have low carbonation, but there wasn't even a ring around the rim. Otherwise, it looks good. A nice pitch black oily looking beer.

S: The bitter sweet smell of black cherries really pleases the nose. It mixes with the more classic chocolate and coffee aromas. The cherry aroma really puts this in another league for me compared to its rivals.

T: Just like the aroma, the taste walks between bitter and sweet. As you roll it around in the mouth it seems to change between the two. Reminds me of a dark chocolate espresso with hints of cherry and some other dark fruit (fig?). The roasted malts come through as well. It is a very interesting beer.

M: It has an extremely thick and creamy mouthfeel. I would like a little bit of carbonation so that it would give it a little more in mouth interest.

D: The bitterness seems a bit high on this one but its relatively well balanced. Mixed in with the high ABV and its far from a session beer. However, it is relatively easy to drink compared to others in the style.

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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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Rabid Duck from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 884 ratings