Barleywine Ale
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

Barleywine AleBarleywine Ale
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American Barleywine
Ranked #306
Ranked #18,291
3.86 | pDev: 13.21%
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
North Carolina, United States
Very Good
Barleywine AleBarleywine Ale
Notes: The Duck-Rabbit Barleywine is the hoppiest of all the Duck-Rabbit brews. This is a Farmville-style Barleywine, crafted the way brewers in Farmville have always done. Loads of Amarillo hops give a piney citrusy bitterness that's supported beautifully by a toffee malt backbone.
Reviews: 372 | Ratings: 626 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BB1313
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best by February 2021. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a light copper with nice clarity and transparency; creamy light khaki head that sticks around leaving great thick retention and sticky frothy lacing. Looks great. The aromas have citrus and caramel. Hops are there. Malts are there. The flavors follow the nose. More citrus, especially orange. More sticky caramel. Hints of dark fruit. Some cherries in the mix. This one has a decent bitterness to it along with a subtle sweetness. Bittersweet. Malts do their thing. Mild warmth in the finish, but it's not hot or boozy at all. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's extremely fluffy, smooth and ultimately dangerously drinkable.

This is a solid barleywine. It basically has everything that you'd look for in an American version of the style. It's enjoyable stuff. I like it.

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BB1313 from Ohio, May 05, 2020
Photo of jjamadorphd
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brewer rarely disappoints, and this one certainly does not...

Great looking brew right out of the bottle - light copperish color with haze, thin foam, no lacing. The smell revealed nothing about the 11% ABV, it was hidden quite well. Mouthfeel for that matter was carbonated but full-bodied and even slightly creamy. The taste was more bitter than I prefer but still a good blend with the booze, which were again, not face-forward. Overall, another good offering from a brewer I am always on the lookout.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This decent little brew pours a
beautiful copper tinged amber with a very nice head of off white
foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin swirling layer, and sports
some very nice lacing. Nose of pine heavy hops with grapefruit
zest and rich caramel notes. Flavors follow the nose with a
solid caramel malt backbone and heavy citrus of grapefruit
and light pineapple notes with a resinous pine hop and
light herbal notes. Nice mouth feel; medium body, smooth,
light carbonation that is lightly prickly, and a bitter hop
and moderate sweet semi dry finish.

Overall, a decent brew but could use some tweaking with
richer malt notes and some raisin elements. That said this
has been one I have wanted to try for quite awhile, and while
it is solid it is barely within the profile one would expect for
a barleywine.


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Photo of Sabtos
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Foggy burnt amber to brown with a persistent, creamy khaki blanket leaving wobbly round lacing on the glass.

Woody pumpernickel and spice cake mix in with some dark fruits via a softly carbonated medium body that finishes cardboard dry. A little pine sap and resinous dankness develop over time, accompanied by a touch of stickiness.

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Sabtos from Ohio, Jan 21, 2020
Photo of muchos
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L. Pretty much brown, translucent, khaki head.
S. Caramel, citrus, bready, some bitterness, not too much boozy-ness.
T. Caramel, bready, grassy bitterness, some citrus, finishes with brown sugar and citrus zest.
F. Leaning towards a full body, no boozy warming, hoppy resinous feel in the end.
O. One of the better barleywines I've had, fo sho. Just great. Cheers!

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muchos from Pennsylvania, Oct 08, 2019
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle purchased at Total Wine in Jacksonville, FL. Served in medium plain snifter.

Orange-ish amber hues with a creamy off-white head of 1/2 finger.

Aromas of caramel and fig, slight sticky dates, and slight hop spoilage, then finally more hot caramel.

Flavor is somewhere between a stale hop caramel sundae and licking a steel tank. It's kinda harsh, pretty hoppy, not exactly what I was expecting. Slightly vegetal.

Feel is hot and slick, with a moderate to heavy carbonation.

Overall a bit disappointing but if you like hoppy barleywines give this one a shot.

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The-Adjunct-Hippie from South Dakota, Dec 03, 2018
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(12 oz bottle, purchased cold; enjoy by Feb 2019... poured into a snifter)

L: mostly-clear, deep orange-amber hued liquid, slight chill/hop haze (which clears a little); bubbly pad of khaki-colored foam builds, then settles into thin, messy cap and collar... no sediment, little lacing

S: crown uncapped, aromas jet forth... rather hoppy (but in decay), mashed and bruised fleshy citrus rind, dried-out caramel chunks... underlying almost whiskey-like booze slowly creeps up from the back... lemon and grapefruit thick in the mix; most dominant scents are its perfumy/solventy hop-phenol blend, leathery mid-dark malts and resins lurking below

T: grapefruity hop resins galore, attenuated sheet of delicately-toasty pale and caramel malts, odd fusel swell in the finish (dying off by second sip), lightly-spicy softly-pungent marriage of ethanol and hop bitterness in the aftertaste... its lovely tannic bitterness begins to set up shop after the second sip; spice note inches up along the way, light golden raisin note takes hold by very end...

F: mildly malt-nectar-y, fleecy resinous texture... its finish leaves a red-warm glow; delicately oily, rather dry sensation

O: West Coast style all the way, though I was expecting a much richer malt foundation, or at least its flavor tipped in that direction - I suppose the high charge of hops (bitterness) could be throwing off its perception... still pretty decent, could see having again

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Bouleboubier from New Jersey, Oct 01, 2018
Photo of drtth
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The rich brownish ruby colored beer pours out into a snifter glass with a 1/4” tan head that a circle and some legs of lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes to a thin ring around the glass and a small thin irregular cover of foam on the liquid. Sipping creates lots of scattered small patches of lacing, some of which merge and some of which slide back down to the liquid.

The aromas are rich with caramel or toffee, along with some resin and a bit of citrus. There’s also some dark fruit and a nice rich malt character here. The fruits include some plums, raisins, and possibly a bit of green apple.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with some sweet caramel, some resin and a bit of citrus, but with the bitterness being more pronounced and forward than expected. There are also are some dark fruits and a just a bit of nutty character. These flavors are all intertwingled into a fairly complex profile that is challenging to untangle but always has that bitterness component. The alcohol is well concealed and only noticeable as the warmth begins to spread.

The mouthfeel is on the full side of medium bodied and fairly smooth with the finely bubbled, gentle carbonation. The finish begins as the malt and it’s sweetness give way to the resinous bitterness that fades more slowly and persists to the almost spicy and dry ending that follows the disappearance of the caramel and the fruits.

A drinkable beer made for sipping. This is definitely a temperature sensitive beer that should not be consumed at a very low temperature. With this ABV it is a one a night beer but something I could return to again sometime. That all said, if I never find it again it won’t upset me. There are plenty of other Barleywines as good or better that I could be drinking and this one doesn’t really stand out from the pack of locally brewed ones except for a bit more resinous, slightly citric bitterness that not many have.

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drtth from Pennsylvania, Aug 27, 2018
Photo of Marraybay
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: amber in color: little to no head; a tad cloudy

Smell: Pleasant / familiar barleywine scent; fruit-citrus.

Taste: Flavor is on-point upfront, but requires more citrus-bite at the close.
Alcohol is buried well within the mix and is not really a prevalent note.

Feel: Under carbonated...really the thing that's dragging it down for me; Think
more carb would also help the close on taste as well.

Overall: A serviceable BW, particularly given the fact that I can't find any others
at this moment to drink! Would not however, purchase if my goto beers--(Sierra Nevada's Big Foot,
DuClaw's Devil's Milk, or Anniversary Ale from Unita)--were present.

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Marraybay from District of Columbia, Apr 11, 2018
Photo of NotSaussure
1.47/5  rDev -61.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

L: Dark, dark brown.

S: This smelled awful -- like if you left laundry in the washer and then realized it about a week later after your wet clothing had blossomed mold. It was that kind of gross dampness. Also a hint of completely raw hops.

T: This just tasted straight up terrible. It tasted, surprisingly, worse than it smelled. Honestly, it kind of tasted how nail polish remover smells. Maybe I got a bad batch or something, but this is one of the worst beers I've ever had. After three sips, this went down the drain.

F: A bit thin for such a high ABV beer, but nothing offensive.

O: Stay far, far away from this abysmal beer.

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NotSaussure from Maryland, Mar 28, 2018
Photo of Gatch
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at WOB in Pensacola. Strong, hoppy, boozy, malty. A proper ABW but I've been drinking way too long to really appreciate this tonight. I trust that it's serious stuff.

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Gatch from Rhode Island, Oct 01, 2017
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Fountain Porter in Philadelphia. This feels and tastes like an old school barleywine, half way between American and English with additional hops thrown in. Caramel, dessert, the usual suspects and a tad of cinnamon. Dry finish. Average but enjoyable, and damn drinkable for an eleven percenter

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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania, Sep 15, 2017
Photo of tone77
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a 1/23 inch head. Smell is of brown sugar, toffee, raisins. Taste is caramel malts, sweet, alcohol, raisins, cherries, light hops, a bit more alcohol as it warms. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

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tone77 from Pennsylvania, Jun 23, 2017
Photo of JayQue
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good Barleywine from Duck-Rabbit. Pours a clear orange amber color with a small light tan/antique white head. Head retention is less than average, due to the 11% abv, but there are several thin bands of lacing on the glass. Big beer...big aroma and flavor. Aroma includes floral and piney hops, a well as caramel and toffee-like malt. More like an American Barleywine for the hoppiness, but the toffee aroma and flavor and the overall mildness and smoothness of the hops keep it in the English Barleywine ranks. Flavor is similar to the aroma. The malty presence wins out over hoppiness. The strong toffee flavor is reminiscent of Wee Heavys as well as Barleywines. There is some malty sweetness as well. Mouthfeel is rich, slightly sweet but with some bitterness and warming alcohol presence. Overall a very tasty slow sipper.

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JayQue from Virginia, Jun 12, 2017
Photo of justintcoons
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Ruby red. Crystal Clear. Light carbonation. Hardly an head.

Caramel, toffee, cherry, grape, candy sugar, tobacco, grapefruit, and pine.

Caramel, toffee, tobacco, and candy sugars. Overripe grapefruit and pine. Hints of black cherry and concord grape.

Full bodied, silky, smooth, and sticky with a medium-light bitterness.

This is an outstanding example of an American style Barleywine. Go get some!

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justintcoons from Pennsylvania, Apr 14, 2017
Photo of PorterLambic
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy medium brown with a small, short-lived light tan head.
Smell is boozy, malty, woody. Well balanced.
Taste is similar: malt, slightly green wood, booze, earth and light hops.
Warming, relatively smooth but with a cleansing aspect to it. I like it.

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Photo of Radome
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasted from a 12 oz bottle bought in Durham, NC.

L - Copper in color, hazy when cold but clears as it warms. Head is weak and quickly fades to a ring around the glass.

S - Aromas of bready malt, gingerbread, plums, sherry. Low spicy hops in the background.

T - Strong graham cracker and gingerbread flavors lead off, with brown sugar, plums, and sherry following. Hops are present as an herbal/spicy note.

F - THick body with low, almost non-existent carbonation. Moderate hops bitterness. Moderate alcohol presence. Slightly cloying finish.

O - This beer has many of the good characteristics of an English Barleywine. Even though this is a style I enjoy, I find this one to be a bit overly sweet and cloying.

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Radome from Florida, Sep 14, 2016
Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

-stout/porter glass.

A: An almost orange-ish-red coloring has a scant dark khaki head that was bubbly, thin and quick to lapse. Against lighting a nice burgundy color in the vessel, with a good rate of clarity. Light and lazy rise of effervesce, spacious.

S: Boozy sweet caramel, licorice and raisins on opening aroma. Some chocolate, short duration.

T: Flavor was boozy caramel and raisiny dark crystal malts. Spicy toast, dark sweet fruit of plum, chocolate and apple peel that leaves with a spicy bite of alcohol and wet pine hops.

M: Body is oily, a bit syrupy, medium in density and softly carbonated. Warming alcohol feel, was expecting a bit more body.

O: Overall spicy warming raisiny crystal malt is the grain base here with a definite refined english style balance that is not heavy on the bluntness, but rather filled with soft complexities. Smooth and well refined, a bit lighter in body the most, alcohol plays a warming and nice role at 11% while the drinkability is quite well. very good overall from me.

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beerthulhu from New Jersey, Aug 19, 2016
Photo of Shade1951
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is NICE! It looks kind of like sherry, has a fragrance like that of sherry, and the taste also has some sherry in it. A dry sherry, though there is a small hint of sweetness. The alcohol presence is known in your head fairly quickly, but not so much in the taste and mouthfeel. The hoppiness is just about right - not overwhelming as in a couple other Barleywines I've tried.

It's pretty smooth going down - thus, it wouldn't be too hard to drink a couple of these in one session. But you won't be much good for anything after that if you do.

UPDATE: I probably wrote this review a couple years ago when I was a big fan of hops. Since then, I've grown weary of super hoppy beers. This one isn't super hoppy, but I find it hoppier than I care for in a barleywine. I won't change my ratings. This is still a very good barleywine for those who like a taste that's hop-forward.

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Shade1951 from Pennsylvania, Jul 16, 2016
Photo of cjgator3
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. The aroma is jammed pack with sweet malts, toffee, and a good dose of hops. The nose is fantastic, very aromatic. The taste starts out with malty sweetness that lingers well into the finish. To help balance out the sweetness, a generous amount of hops create a really nice bitterness in the finish. This is a fantastic beer that I'm looking for in a barleywine. Tons of malts and hops and perfectly balanced between the two. At 11%, this is also a beer that seems like it will age nicely.

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cjgator3 from Florida, Jul 04, 2016
Photo of GStone899
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is rich mahogany. The taste is honey, toffee and dark fruit. You definitely get the alcohol taste but it's not bad for 11% alcohol. Smell is great. I love barleywine and this one is solid.

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GStone899 from Minnesota, Jun 26, 2016
Photo of Jadjunk
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No label information. Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale is brewed in the style of an English Barleywine, available in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on seasonal draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, foamy head of a caramel-white head over a hazy burgundy-copper body. Retention is average and lacing is light and spotty. 3.5

(Smell) Faded soapy hop notes atop a light caramelized malt body with delicate fruit sugars. Potency is mild. 3.25

(Taste) Caramelized malts, lightly toasted grains and fruit sugars, light peppery and faint piney hop finish. Certainly a bit dated at this stage and a bit light on the flavor profile for a barleywine. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, moderately chewy, mildly residual and medium dry. Carbonation is soft with a light frothiness and a modestly crisp finish. Body is shy of medium for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is slightly grainy and hoppy bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is moderate and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) The lingering faded hop character indicates this to be one aggressively-hopped beer when fresh. Unfortunately, this tastes a bit old and much of that character is faded. Duck-Rabbit's beers are seemingly poorly distributed and difficult to locate in the Atlanta area, and the imperial series are even more challenging to locate, largely several months old at best, to several years dated when located. The antiquated dating system on the label is nearly impossible to read, but suggests the beer to be a year to two out. Hopefully, I'll be able to revisit this ale in the future in a fresher batch, but its flavor profile is surprisingly collapsed and shallow for my expectations of the style. I expected barleywines to be a bit more gracefully aged than this. 3.5

The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery's
Barleywine Ale

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Jadjunk from Georgia, Feb 16, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Brown pour, little to nothing in terms of head formation. Aroma of alcohol and mild roasting notes of malt and nuts.

Taste, toffee, underhopped despite their claim. Low carbonation, a little bitter and boozy, enjoyable roast and dark malt presence though. Maybe a little more caramel instead of so much toffee would help this out a little. Thankfully no off flavors. Needs some sweetness or hoppiness to round this one out.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into snifter. The color is a golden honey with a frothy, cream-colored head and lacing which did not last very long. The smell is malty with some sweet toffee, tobacco, and slight fruitiness. The initial taste is sweet vanilla, followed by nuts, raisin, plum, molasses, and finishing with a hoppy bitterness. It's also very boozy. While the taste is complex and interesting, the bitterness and booziness is a little harsh. This is definitely a sipper and a good dessert beer.

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MacMalt from New Jersey, Oct 11, 2015
Photo of chinchill
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle served in a snifter.
A bit lighter in color and less rich in flavor than average, although there was some sediment left in the bottle. Somewhat spicy. ABV partially hidden.

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chinchill from South Carolina, Oct 05, 2015
Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 626 ratings