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

very good
509 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 509 | Ratings: 862
Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours a blacked out color with a nice tuft of lightly tanned head resting on top. Retains well with a thick layer of filmy retention, leaving plenty of patchy lacing on the top portion of the glass.

Pretty roasty in the nose with plenty of dark malts. Hints of raisin and dates with some chocolate sweetness. Soft alcohol presence, despite the higher ABV.

Faint hops quickly give way to some dark malts and roasted tones. Raisin and dark fruit cut through with a softer glow of anise. Chocolate comes through in the backbone, which is thick and slightly sweet. Finishes warm with another hint of raisin.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, soft and sticky on the tongue. This was a pretty solid imp stout, and they did a nice job of balancing the alcohol heat with dark fruit flavor.

 821 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by March 2010.

A: opaque, poured with a deep tan head that dissipated to a thin lacing
S: medium nose, intriguing, deep roasted malt, much depth and character, dark roasted chocolate, malted milk balls
T: very nice, good roasted malt up front with pronounced bitter finish that surprised me after the nose, could use a bit more aging to mellow out hops, bitter dark chocolate, well-made
M: deep, dark, roasted malt with bitter dark chocolate finish

 454 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

this year's bottle thanks to Kyle!

Pour was dark black. The air is filled with sweet dark fruits, molasses, and cereal grains. Then I drink it. This might be the first time a beer tastes exactly like it smells. Slick sweet and a full body. Never had a beer that was slick, sweet, and had a full body.

Sits light, and tastes like sweet cereal grains. Normally, I would hate on something so simple, but its very good. Goes down well.

 434 characters

Photo of thain709
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage

A - Pours with a pitch black body and a brown head...the head was one finger and fell to a thin, spotty cap...the cap stays around but only leaves light lacing

S - The nose is very rich...dark chocolate leads the way with a lot of roastiness lingering around

T - Again, dark chocolate is in full force...the roasted malts put off a nice flavor that is adding body...the hard roast on the malts comes across with a bitter flavor...this lends to a coffee presence as well...dark fruits are lingering in the background just to add depth to the flavor...they bring a slight sweetness too...the bitter roast comes back for the finish

M - Semi-full's almost there in fullness...creamy, roasty, and bitter

O - The alcohol is well hidden in this RIS...I enjoyed this one and all of it's dark chocolate flavors...the malts were nicely roasted and gave off a nice bitterness

 894 characters

Photo of rangerred
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance is opaque black with a tiny dark brown head that quickly fades to a small ring around the glass.

Aroma of heavily roasted malt and dark chocolate along with molasses and dark fruit. Some smoke in there as well.

Flavors of dark fruit and roasted malt along with dark chocolate. Also some coffee notes and smoke come through. Bitterness perfectly balances out the sweetness with a little ash flavor on the finish. Mouthfeel is full.

Overall this is a top of the line RIS. It is probably one of the best I have had.

 562 characters

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

12oz bottle. Served in a Southern Tier snifter. 

Black with 1.5 finger light cappucino head. Nice lacing. 

Chocolate cherries. Sweet bread. 

Bitter chocolate. Rich plums. Good all-around RIS flavors that get more rich and complex as it warms up. 

Medium thick, creamy feel. Not much carbonation. 

While not the best RIS out there, this one is worth checking out if you like the style. It was quite good 4 months ago and better now- I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of this six pack evolves over the next 12-24 months. 

 539 characters

Photo of mulder1010
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355 ML bottle poured into a tulip
Thanks to Biglite351 for the beer

A-- Poured black with just hints of ruby at the collar of the beer. half finger dark mocha head that changes to milk chocolate, then fades to film with a good collar. Just some spots of lacing

S-- Dark chocolate, back strap molasses, burnt rubber, earth and wood. Very deep and big nose to this.

T-- Dark bitter chocolate, molasses, coffee, licorice, burnt tires, and earthy sweetness. Quite nice.

M-- dark bitter chocolate and burnt rubber in the front. Quite thick but then smooths out in the back leaves a large bitter coffee and molasses finish. Slight notes of dark chocolate cherries in the back. Lots of bitterness in the finish. Reminds me a lot of the European Imperial stouts as get a candied char and burnt rubber taste. Slightly high carbonation to this.

O-- Quite complex beer. Quite nice. Good slow sipper that is thick and chewy, yet silky in spots.

 939 characters

Photo of tjkinate
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I loved this beer, I think it is highly underrated.

A: A cocoa brown, half-fingered head that displayed decent retention formed atop this black bodied brew settling to a thin ring, but left behind no lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, molasses, wonderful earthy and slightly chalky undertones.

T: Perfect blend of dark chocolate that masked the ABV completely and was able to do so why remaining relatively dry yet robust. Very unique experience that I would love to experience again.

O: Fantastic brew that I will be seeking out again in the future.

 547 characters

Photo of seanwhite
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The Rabid Duck pours a deep black color with a one and a half finger dark, tan head. The head eventually settles to a mere covering on the beer and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of roasted malts and chocolate. There is a bit of alcohol sharpness combined with a hint of darker fruits. At 10% ABV, a bit of alcohol is to be expected, and it is masked pretty well.

The taste starts off pretty sweet with the sweet malts and some darker fruits (plum, raisin, prune) coming through but then the roasted flavors with hints of coffee and chocolate start to come out. The alcohol again comes into play, a bit more than in the nose. The end is slightly bitter and lingers for a bit with the coffee persisting to the end.

The Rabid Duck is a solid example of a Russian Imperial Stout.

 812 characters

Photo of projectflam86
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Plenum for this extra!

12oz bottle. Best by date of 03/11 (according to the notches in the side). Looks like this one might be around a year old, which is good because I like a little age on my stouts!

A- Pours a nearly jet black color with a massive dark brown head that leaves great lacing. Just about everything you could ask for in a big RIS.

S- Chocolate malts and roasted aromas dominate the nose. Reminds me a bit of Ovaltine powder but not in a bad way. A touch of smoke and alcohol are noticeable as well.

T- Big and roasty right off the bat. A very nice finish of milk chocolate and sweet roasted malts. The alcohol is well hidden considering the strength. As it warms, some coffee and anise notes come into focus.

M- Full bodied and well carbonated. Smooth and creamy with a big roasty aftertaste.

O- Overall I was quite impressed with this brew. I've read a few reviews of fresh bottles that seem to suggest this beer has some flavors that clash a bit while still young. IMO age has only helped meld the flavor profile together in a very enjoyable way.

 1,086 characters

Photo of bonkers
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up in brewery release 3.0, deep black pour with a thin tan head. The aroma is licorice, and dark fruit. The taste has dark fruit, black strap molasses, and a pleasant sour note, lingering finish. The beer is full, good carbonation, no noticeable booze. An enjoyable RIS, not sure what the sour tinge is so just a slight deduction.

 344 characters

Photo of beercar
4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The best beer I've ever had! I've spent some time searching for the best sweet stout I could find. I was ignoring the Imperials as I was looking for something with the perfect balance of sweet and hops. I never thought to look at Imperials. I've tried others only to be let down. I know this may not be the most traditional Russian Stout, but, to me, it certainly is the most tasty. It smells like caramel and hops. It's pitch black with a quickly dissipating head. It tastes like ripened fruit and chocolate. For 10% ABV, its an awesome session beer. I can't imagine all the money I wasted looking for this beer. It can't be done any better. Kudos Duck Rabbit.

 661 characters

Photo of camil1mj
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in a recent trade. Poured at cellar temp into my trusty Bruery snifter.

A: Deep, deep brown with a nice cocoa-colored head that sticks to the edges and forms a permanent ring of head. Nice lacing present.

S: Two words: roasted chocolate.

T: Sweet chocolate that gives way to roasted coffee and malty notes in the finish. Great taste, just what I love from a non-BA stout.

M: Nice sticky thickness. Well carbonated.

O: Instantly one of my favorite RISs. Right mix of sweetness and roastiness. Will look for more of this through trades.

 560 characters

Photo of nhindian
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Duck-Rabbit snifter.

A - Pours a flat black, absolutely opaque, with about a finger's worth of dark tan head. It has a good amount of retention and leaves behind a milky, bubbly cap afterward and around the sides. Thick lacing coats a nice portion of the glass.

S - The nose is full of roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, and a touch of smoke. A little bit metallic at points. The back-end delivers a not of dark fruits, with a lasting aroma of coffee.

T - While the nose seems a bit disjointed, the flavor comes across as more refined. It's quite sweet with the chocolate and dark fruits, but it still has an underlying roastiness that lasts throughout. Some cocoa powder. The smokiness continues here as well, although it's not huge, and there are notes of alcohol in the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is medium- to light-bodied with decent carbonation. I was a bit surprised this is as thin as it is since I am used to the more robust Russians. Long-lasting finish full of roast, chocolate, and figs.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. This is a rollercoaster for me. The aroma leaves something to be desired, but the flavor puts it right back on track, but then the mouthfeel is lacking. Even so, I think it drinks fairly easily overall.

 1,270 characters

Photo of MerryTapster
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Black with a Tan head that last fairly long with some good lacing.

S: Dark Chocolate, Maple and Hops. Really a very good smelling beer.

T:Malty and Chocolatey, Toast with some notes of dried fruits. Slight hoppiness, but not to overpowering.

M: Smooth and velvety.

O: Probably one of the best RIS's I've had in a while, comparable to some of the top ones.

 362 characters

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Style Glass. Pours black, milk chocolate brown highlights. Nothing gets through with the exception of a little bit of light on the edges. Head is brown but a slight red tint to it. Decent lacing, each sip the liquid clings to the edges like pure maple syrup. A good looking brew.

Smell is good, a big time malt bomb. Super roasty and a mix of generous chocolate flavors, both sweet and dark bitter-sweet. Some coffee and even some hints of alcohol (bourbon or whiskey), slightly woody and some sweet nuttiness, like vanilla/almond. With all the complexity with this beer, there's still a slight funk I can't quite put my finger on.

This brew is VERY tasty (like much of Duck-Rabbit's lineup). Like the smell, this is pretty malty. Super roasted dark malts. Again both sweet and dark bitter chocolate, but more bitter than sweet this time. Vanilla oak and some slight nuttiness, slight pine hop presence in the aftertaste. Again with a slight liquor flavor, probably bourbon or whiskey again. Don't detect the funk in the flavor profile that I could pick up in the nose. Just a downright good tasting brew.

Mouthfeel is really good. I've had this on tap a few times and it seemed thicker, but this time it feels slightly lighter. Don't get confused, this is still a full bodied beer. Good carbonation level and insanely drinkable. I know I've mentioned an alcohol flavor a few times, but 10% is still masked pretty well. Duck-Rabbit you continue to please!

 1,499 characters

Photo of Avagadro
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Tim and Jeff for sharing this with me. Label reads, "best by 4-12"

A: Rabid Duck is espresso colored, invitingly viscous, and topped off with a creamy mocha head.

S: Aroma is a touch faint, but notes of dark chocolate, rum, and raisins prevail.

T: After a brief rush of semisweet chocolate, the flavor is swept away by bitter hoppines. The impression left on the finish is that of rum and vanilla.

M: Full bodied with a great velvety texture.

O: a great RIS, but I prefer them without the onslaught of hops in the flavor. I just don't get the pine/chocolate flavor combo. Other than that deviation from my preferences, this is a superb stout.

 662 characters

Photo of Centennial
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Dark blackish brown with 1 finger head, looks rich

S. Dark candied fruits, soy and chocolate

T. Dark chocolates, burnt toffee, soy sweetness but hops hide it a little but alcohol burn is also present.

M. Smooth and creamy, mild carbonation is spot on to allow the flavors to stand alone

O. Nice RIS, much more complex then the milk stout by duck rabbit. This RIS gets better with age.

 391 characters

Photo of readbaron
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jefe73 for the beer. Poured it into a duck rabbit snifter from JebediahScooter.

Pours out fairly thick and black with limited head - basically a tan ring.

Smell is good - most everything you want from a stout. Dark sweet molasses, coffee, a hint of char, a bit of coffee and chocolate.

Taste however, is not as good. There's a lot of char - a charcoal flavor that is present and distracting in every sip. There's some sweetness - chocolate and dark fruit - and a bit of licorice, but the overall balance skews to bitterness and char.

Feel is pretty good - fairly thick for a stout - nearly creamy.

Overall, a good stout - but not something I'll seek out. A bit too much char for my taste. I'll stick w/ the baltic porter or milk stout.

 752 characters

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

A: Pours pitch black with a two finger tan colored head on top. Great retention, slowly dissolving to a nice layer of foam on top. Lacing forms around the entire glass.

S: Nice roasty aroma with a bit of coffee and some dark chocolate. There is a little bit of dark fruit on the back end.

T: Very nice beer here. Solid roasted flavors - coffee and chocolate, as well as a bit of dark fruit. There is some bittersweet chocolate in the middle with a mild hop presence. The finish is on the sweet side.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with medium carbonation. Drinks smooth with a slight warming feeling.

O: A solid RIS, a nice sipper over an evening, but still quite drinkable. Despite the warming feeling, the abv is hidden very well.

 735 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes. Still playing catch up. Bottle courtesy of the one and only KingKong. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours black into a tulip. Two fingers of mocha colored head is achieved with a regular pour.

Smell – A blast of roasted malt with slight coffee, vanilla, and bittersweet cocoa.

Taste – The roasty/burnt malts mix with the bittersweet chocolate to create a rather dry taste. The sweet flavors of the beer are played down though I do detect hints of caramel and molasses.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, creamy, smooth.

Overall – A good beer. I could taste the alcohol a bit, and the beer was a bit too bitter and I would have liked to see just a hint more sweet chocolate shine through. I have another sitting in the cellar that I’ll open this winter.

 772 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

thank you brstls4drmrs!

a - opened the bottle and filled my E snifter. poured a somewhat watery black with a thin creamy grey tan colored head. vanished somewhat quickly and the lacing was very slippery.

s - chocolate covered dark fruit. on the sweeter side. grapes and figs. not so roasted.

t - interesting. again on the sweeter side. some dark chocolate, but mostly dark fruit. cocoa powder.

m - not too hot at first, but the alc sits on the back end of this beer and is powerful.

o - overall a bit of a let down. huge fan of the style and this beer misses a lot of the bold roastiness and general thickness that i look for in a RIS. too sweet for me.

 658 characters

Photo of doopydoogle
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

32 oz growler poured into a tulip:

A - Opaque black with a brown head that hangs around with a bit of lace remaining.

S - Surprisingly yeast forward with a characteristic similar to Pretty Things (good news:)). Almost a soy sauce like characteristics with some spice. Some roasted malts underneath, but big time SS.

T - Soy up front too. However, smooth chocolate and burned caramel give way to a nice roasted bitterness that reveals toffee and coffee characteristics. The finish is not too pronounced with the coffee and chocolate dominating without too much bitter to back them up. A decent sweetness masks the high ABV, and there is a slightly tangy quality to the brew as well. Cassis and darker fruits and berries are there as the beer warms.

M - Thick, syrupy, with decent carbonation and a good coating sensation. Minimal bitter and a good tangy acidity.

O - A really good beer! Complex, with an evolving profile that reveals itself further with each sip. A winner for sure!

 987 characters

Photo of BierBliss
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served in a tulip glass.

aroma: coffee tones

appearance: pours black into a tulip, no head, light lacing that doesn't cling

flavor: slightly burned coffee taste, no noticable hops or strong malt that was expected

mouthfeel: booziness on the tongue, drinks easy

overall: a very solid stout. one of my favorites

definately a stout that I will seek out again and again

 371 characters

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

Bottle poured into New Belgium globe. Best by date of 4/2012. Thanks to titosupertramp for this one.

A- Black, with only minimal red tones around the edges. A single finger of fairly dense dark brown head. Very sticky coating the sides of the glass.

S- Big roasted malt notes right out of the bottle. Some dark chocolate behind that. A decent bitter component that seems to be in part in line with the chocolate, and part a pine hop bitterness. Nice and fairly straight forward for an RIS.

T- A very big bitterness stands out first. Far more than the smell would have led me to think. A good amount of roasted malt. As it warms the chocolate notes start to come through more. If the bitterness was toned down a bit, I'd like this much more.

M- A bit thin for a jet black 10% RIS.

O- A solid beer. Of the three Duck Rabbit offerings that I've had, I'd have to rank this third though, behind their Baltic Porter and Milk Stout.

 930 characters

Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
3.94 out of 5 based on 862 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.