Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter | The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

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Duck-Rabbit Baltic PorterDuck-Rabbit Baltic Porter

Brewed by:
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter is deep, rich and velvety soft. A full blooded roasty character with almost no burnt flavor is balanced by complex alcohol notes. Strong (9% alcohol by volume) yet unfailingly subtle, this special brew rewards unhurried attention. Enjoy!

Added by GCBrewingCo on 08-10-2006

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Reviews: 471 | Ratings: 887
Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Drunkasmonk. Gone too soon, a rich and dark full-mouthed stouty porter. Bittersweet cocoa. Very good brew and true to its style. Definitate smoke in the finish here. But I do think its style gets above average press compares to other, subtler styles.
Had again four months later at Atlanta Ale meeting, also not sour but more chocolate here and thick mouthfeel. Coffee at end.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours out as a thick looking black body. The head on top is a brownish tan color with a creamy feel to it. The smell of the beer is a roasted and sweet smelling. The taste of the beer is rich with bitter flavors and and sweet caramel flavors too. The mouthfeel of this is pretty thick, it could pass as a stout, it's creamy and oily feeling with an easy going carbonation. Overall I like this brew, I would buy it again.

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Photo of metter98
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high mocha colored head that slowly died down but left lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: There are light aromas of chocolate and roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the nose, except that the flavors of chocolate and roasted malts are stronger. There are some notes of burnt malts and licorice. It has a slight amount of sweetness and bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied, smooth and slightly viscous on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer needs to be sipped given its high alcohol content and full body.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, day 16 of the Craft Beer Advent Calendar - glad am I to be able to try these sought-after brews from the south-eastern US, especially this one!

This beer pours a rather solid black abyss, with the scantest of basal mahogany edges, and one finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and mildly creamy brown head, which leaves but a few strands of dotted mitochondrial lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of bready, grainy caramel malt, rich bittersweet chocolate, reduced brown sugar, a touch of those Scandinavian anise candies, cafe-au-lait, an indistinct dark fruitiness, and a wee hint of metallic alcohol warming. The taste is softly grainy and roasted caramel malt, subtle toffee, cherry and raisin-infused medium dark chocolate, muddled coffee grounds, a suggestion of soured milk, stale brown sugar, ethereal black licorice root, and a relatively respectful dose of booze astringency.

The bubbles are pretty weak in their tamped-down frothiness, the body a decent medium-heavy weight, and generally smooth, only a bit of wayward alcohol heat picking away at my palate here. It finishes off-dry, but not by all that much, as the cocoa, licorice, and coffee have a sort of collective placating effect.

Well, I gotta say, this is pretty damned good, but not the game-changer or eye-opener that it might have been if I'd come into it a number of years ago. Anyways, very worthy, especially as a spreader of this somewhat esoteric style across the near deep American south, I'd imagine.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours dark as a stout, with a creamy tan head that lays upon the liquid, leaving a few strips of lace behind

Smell: Plum and black raspberry, with chocolate undertones

Taste: Dark fruit flavors forward, with the dried plum and black raspberry elements dominant; subtle chocolate tones add some depth, but the sugary malt flavors really take over in the middle and through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A little too one-dimensional on the sweet fruity side; would prefer to see more chocolate and other flavors adding depth and balance

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque black, not much of a head forms, more a thick ring.

Smell: Very roasty, almost burnt. Some vinous notes, a bit of berry and coffee.

Taste & mouthfeel: Much like the nose; charred cereal grains, dry red wine, a touch of acidity. Coffee in the finish. More dry than sweet, though it's nicely balanced. Body is about medium, it's a tad heavier than average for the style but not overly viscous.

Drinkability: Split the bottle with my girlfriend and ended up wanting more.

Notes: Thanks to WeisGuy for tossing this one is as an extra, it was a very pleasant surprise.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Moejuck: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of coffee and roasted malt is dominant and enjoyable. Taste is dominated by dry coffee notes as well as some light bitter roasted malt. I was expecting more chocolate notes then I could detect and the beer was a bit more dry then expected. Body was quite full with some medium carbonation and no alcohol was discernable. Overall, while this was a very good beer I thought it was slightly too dry for the style and I can’t figure out why this rated so high but again I am probably not the biggest fan of the style to begin with.

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Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to wilwfu for this one! Bottle dated "9246" on the bottom, so 246th day of ''s roughly 4 months old.

Into a kbs glass this pours a mahogany red tone in the light, but appears black in the glass. Nice arcs of lace form all around the glass. A wispy skim is left after a few minutes.

Lactic milk chocolate aroma, malted milk balls.

Rich and sweet, roasty and chocolatey taste. A little sticky, creamy but astringent in the first sips though it mellows as it warms. Pleasant aftertaste with roast malt, plum/raisin, and chocolate milk traces. A well balanced and flavorful porter, great for the cool winter months.

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Photo of zeff80
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, tan head of bubbly, thick foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace.

S - It smelled of rich malts and a touch of booziness. It had a floral and fruity aroma, too.

T - This is a great Baltic Porter, great maltiness with a strong bitter hop kick. Just a touch of spice.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied beer with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a fantastic Baltic Porter and yet another great dark beer from the brewers of Duck-Rabbit.

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Photo of oline73
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on-tap at Fathead's in Pittsburgh. Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours very dark brown, almost black. There is a layer of tan head that goes away completely.

Smell: Sweet roast and warm alcohol. Hints of dark fruit and molasses as well.

Taste: Sweet and bitter from the roasted malt. Hints of dark chocolate and dark fruit with a bitter finish that is warm from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: On the thicker side of medium body with delicate carbonation. The finish is dry.

Overall: Nice smooth beer. The balance was very good and I would have it again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip glass. The pour brings a dark brown body with a tan head. Nose is pretty complex with some dark fruits, roasted malt, chocolate, and a tad bit of booze. The taste is dark fruits and brown sugar as well as a bit of chocolate and roast. Good feel with a tad bit of booze. Good beer all around and a solid offering from them.

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Photo of mothman
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ThorsHammer for this one.

Poured into pint glass.

Pours a thick 1/2 finger of tan head. Very good head retention, leaving splattered lace. Color is a dark brown, pretty much black.

Aroma: Lots of roasted malts, chocolate with dark cherries, caramel, brown sugar. This is a very malty and sweet beer. I like it.

Taste: Again, lots of roasted malts of the top, but some heat shows here. A very sweet beer. Lots of dark dried fruit, tons of cherries. Caramel and chocolate. Dry hops in the background.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with some heat, very roasted. Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends hot and malty.

Overall, this is one huge baltic porter. It is a little hot for me, but other than that it packs a lot of flavor. Fairly drinkable considering the abv, but would be a lot better if the heat wouldn't show so much. I wonder if this would do well with some years on it.

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Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy hoppedup for this NC treat,poured a deep ink black no light showing thru this puppy a 1/2 finger mocha colored head atop wich is gone quite fast leaving a glass of oil-like fluid.Rich aromas I pick up some bitter chocolate and definent molasses hints along with some dark fruit,wow what a nice full but easy mouthfeel pretty much perfection it glides effortlessly down but is full bodied.Molasses and raisin/prune like dark fruit flavors abound with underlying chocolate and roasted nut flavors a great lingering dryness comes out in the finish as I drink more.Another great brew to come outta NC there are many and this is near the top for me.

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Photo of jlindros
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one thanks to the generous, famous, and awesome Solomon420. Poured this guy into an Orval goblet because I can, wanna fight about it?!

A: Pours out very dark but semi thin, no motor oil in there. Swirled around the glass in a low viscosity dark looking black coffee like beverage. Its black, like my keyboard, but lets no light through, but at the same time doesn't look like the halls of death as some other stouts do. A very light brown head quickly dissipates to leave patches of swirling foam on the top making look swirling galaxies in space colliding.

N: Finally I can smell the damn thing, its got a nice chocolate porter malt nose with a slight rich caramel/toffee aroma, some roasted malt coffee adds to the typical porter nose of a good porter. No off aromas.

T: I can't wait to tast... mmm... lots of roasted coffee malts right out front with some chalky and milky chocolate. It almost makes me feel like a kid again adding chocolate and coffee syrups into my milk. The difference is the alcohol, although this one has a nice alcohol bite to it and hides it well until the finish, my milks as a kid had a few shots of rum in them. A slight raisin and earthy char build out the complexity.

M: Very creamy and slightly chocolatey, but still pretty light and smooth, not over thick, has a slight alcohol sting

F: Finishes somewhat sweet but dries quickly and adds a spicey alcohol bite. Its creamy as it runs down the back of the tongue and throat, then the alcohol bites nicely and surprisingly, except that it's 9% but you don't know it until the finish.

Final thoughts: This is a lip smacking, high octane dark porter. It doesn't overstretch the bounds or experiment much, but its still a great beer. Adds some nice roasted and charred as well as chocolate malts, creamy and slightly chalky, pretty robust as well as complex but smoothed well. The chocolate and alcohol finish linger for a little longer than necessary, but otherwise a good consistent beer, but similar to many other great strong porters.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pleasantly surprised by this one, I found the fruitiness to be almost irresistable; and the beer itself to be quite unique as Baltic porters are generally lagers, and fruitiness is limited. As expected, it poured an imperviable black body and frothy tan head. The retention was somewhat limited, but at 9% that's to be expected. Some nice rings of lace made up for that. The nose is rich and full, and you could easily while away a half hour or so just nosing it. Apart from the bright, juicy plum, it's also got notes of cherry and dark red berries. Beneath that a darkly toffeeish, coffee-accented maltiness rounds it out. Full-medium in body. Creamy smooth. Similar in flavor to the aroma, the fruitiness sings a siren-song that keeps you coming back sip after sip. A hint of chocolate appears, more low-key roastiness, caramel, and a spritz of alcohol; but based on my experience, a touch of alcohol is appropriate for the style. It doesn't appear particularly bitter, but it's there nonetheless, keeping watch and ready to dry the finish. Surprisingly, after such a massive flavor assault, it fades from the palate rather quickly... leaving you with no choice but to go back for another sip! I am most impressed!

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Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, with no notch on date strip, poured into a Avery nonic.
A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a moderate tan head that fades slowly. Thick lacing is left on the glass at first, but only spotty lacing after the head dies down.

The aroma has a very pronounced dark chocolate note, plenty of dark roasted malts, a little hops and coffee, and some dark fruit. It also has a hint of molasses.

T: The taste has a slight bit of sourness, but otherwise the off-note is much diminished. Otherwise, the aromatic components are repeated in the flavor, with the addition of a little smoky and earthy tint. The bitter-sweet and slightly smoky after-taste ;ingers for a good while and features chocolate, coffee and dark malts.

M: Full bodied and smooth, with somewhat high, medium carbonation. A light harshness and warming from the high ABV.

O: Rich and distinct version of this style may not appeal to all baltic porter fans.

(Review tweaked with better smelling 12 oz bottle on Halloween, 2014).

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted coffee, dark fruit, dark malts, dark chocolate and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out a little smoky and the hits with a heavy dark malt character and flavors of dark chocolate, dark fruit and black coffee. There's a very mild hops presence that bring a little bit of balance. The after-taste is slightly smoky and bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, nice representation of style, this is a very good beer to drink for a long time if your in the mood for a high-octane porter.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a near black body with a smallish, light tan head.

Smell: An excellent, inviting aroma of dark unsweetened chocolate, mild dark fruits, coffee, and hints of nuts.

Taste: The taste is huge and dessert-like, with flavors of dark chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, dark fruits, and toasted caramel. A light, subtle herbal hop flavor brings you to the light, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Low carbonation. Soft, creamy mouthfeel akin to melted chocolate.

Drinkability: I think its safe to say that its Duck-Rabbit's best!

*Sampled again at the 2007 Brewgrass Beer Festival. Still as great as ever, and still Duck-Rabbit's best!*

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear but opaque jet black in color with some light amounts of dark amber highlights and very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall creamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted and chocolate malts with just a hint of licorice and dark fruits (plum and black raspberry).

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of dark roasted malts, chocolate malts, and cocoa. After that there are some more subtle hints of licorice with a moderate dark fruit sweetness (including the plum and black raspberry flavors). Light to moderate amounts of lingering bitterness in the finish.

M: Between medium and full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slick.

O: This beer is a real sipper due to the full and filling body in addition to the high ABV. There are some nice flavors to the beer but it did not have the vinous acidity that I really like in the style. Definitely an enjoyable beer and one that I would gladly have again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Roasted coffee bean black with a glimmer of ruby along the bottom edge of the glass. The creamy caramel colored lid is on the small side, which isn't surprising for a higher ABV ale that received a gentler than usual pour. It hold its own, for several minutes at least, and leaves just enough lace to be polite.

The nose could just as easily belong to a Russian Imperial stout as a Baltic porter. On second and third sniff, it's a dead ringer for an RIS. Roasted and black malts create nicely aromatic aromas of chocolate syrup, espresso and blackstrap molasses, in decreasing order of prominence. There's no way that this isn't going to be good beer.

The flavor is more impressive than the mouthfeel. The former is about what I expected (these guys can brew), but the latter isn't as big as it needs to be given the ABV and the style. With more of a heavy creaminess, that would have led to more flavor intensity and more flavor linger, Baltic Porter could have been something special.

Each mouthful is a delicious commingling of bittersweet chocolate, crushed coffee beans and tangy dark fruit. That last one is what makes Baltic Porter tastes like a Baltic porter rather than an RIS. The sourness is somewhat lactic acid-like, but is more fruity. Something along the lines of chocolate-covered figs and black currants.

The body/mouthfeel belongs on a 7%'er, not a 9%'er. It is hunkering down a bit as the beer warms, but I'm still not blown away. I wonder if age has anything to do with the less than full feel. The estimated age of this bottle is somewhere around 18 months, with a full year to go before the 'best by' date. At least the bubbles stay in the background.

Baltic Porter is my first high-gravity beer from Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery. Even though it's at least as good as Brown Ale, Porter and Milk Stout, I expected more. Olfabrikken, Okocim and Sinebrychoff have nothing to worry about. However, if the brewers add more malt and can work on improving the mouthfeel, the Euros might get a little uneasy. This one has potential.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes:

A: Pours a very deep, dark brown with a small tan head that has decent retention and little bits of lace here and there.

S: Nice dark chocolate with dark fruits - some cherries and plums. Some roasted malt and a touch of coffee.

T: Lots of dark roasted malt, dark chocolate and dark fruit. It has a nice sweetness as well as a bit of smoke. Bittersweet finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinks very smooth.

O: A very good beer with a great flavor profile. Only thing I would have liked, was for it to be a bit creamier. Easy drinking for the abv as well.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can you honestly believe I have never had one of these before? Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/25/2009.

The pour was fantastic. A rich dark brown in color, essentially black with a large tan head on top of it that only slightly faded into nice lacing up and down the sides of the glass. Aroma is full of dark fruits, rich, sweet and nearly perfectly done. Nice touches of boozy aroma and rich tobacco notes. Smooth and seductive flavor of rich dark chocolate, smooth dark cherry notes and a touch of sweet molasses and tobacco. A very big beer that hides its alcohol well, this made a fantastic night cap.

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Photo of russpowell
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another one from my in-person trade with twiggamortis420, thanks Greg!! Also thanks to Ding for sending me one, I never figured out what happened to that one, my guess is accidentally thrown away in a fit of spring cleaning a year or 2 ago...

Pours mahogany/black with a finger of mocha colored head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Coffee, roasted malt & a bit of iron, raisins, booze & a touch of vanilla, dang near pulled a 5.0

T: Roastyness, some herbal hops & dark fruit up front. Roasty bitterness, dark chocolate, raisins & some booze surface once warm. Finishes dry, a bit pruney, with much roasty malt & nice dark chocolate

MF: Chewy, low carbonation & oilyness, a bit warm

Drinks pretty good, but the thickness & booze slow me down after a bit. Went great with brownies, another good'un from Duck Rabbit

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Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked this bottle up at Al's of Hampden - poured chilled into a Duvel tulip allowed to gradually increase toward cellar temp.

A - A deep coffee brown w/ translucent clarity and thin 1/2 inch of medium tan cream w/ a very tiny bead. A speckling of lace clings to the glass's interior

S - Aromas of malt - creamy vanilla and sweet caramel w/ cocoa(malted milk ball) and gentle scent of toffee w/ nuts and bits of toasted graham cracker odor. The mild cherry like aroma is there too -(thanks octopus87) and is more on the black cherry/currant side w/ mild dark toast tinge

M - The feel is full of sweet malt w/ a mix of roasted and dry grain notes and has a moderately high level of carbonation w/ subtle earthy notes of nuts and spice w/ a mild warmth of alcohol and mild bitterness

T - The tastes of caramel malt and sweetened walnuts w/ mild vanilla bean and slight dark cherry/currant notes w/ a light tannic flavor which gives a mild earthy tartness and blends well with the cocoa notes a mild dry coffee flavors. The acidity is there but layered in with the dark chocolate flavor with slight toffee notes and subtle hazelnut roastiness in the final sips

D - I was pleased, this is a decent baltic porter, a bit sweeter than some, but very drinkable and one I would be happy to try again. I like the complexity since it comes off as more ale, than lager-like but still smooth and not overly boozy either.

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Photo of billab914
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Poured black with a very thin tan head. The head all but disappeared after a few minutes and didn't leave much for lacing.

Aroma has some chocolate and roasted grains coming through along with a little caramel sweetness. The taste is big and roasty with bitter chocolate, coffee and roasted grains. there is a nice caramel sweetness to it that helps balance it out. A very delicious tasting beer for sure.

Mouthfeel is thick with moderate to low carbonation. I usually enjoy DR's darker beers and this is no exception. I very good drinking and tasty Baltic porter for a cold winter night. It might not be the prettiest, or the best smelling but it is thick and delicious which matter most to me for the style.

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Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
4.08 out of 5 based on 887 ratings.
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