Barleywine Ale
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

Barleywine AleBarleywine Ale
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Barleywine - American
Ranked #319
Ranked #20,848
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: 373 | Ratings: 628 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by cjgator3:
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cjgator3 from Florida

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.

Jul 04, 2016
More User Reviews:
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barleywinebrewer from New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to mikesgroove for this via trade.

A - Poured a cloudy reddish orange. Nice small sized tan head.
S - Citric and piney with a medium caramel / toffee malty presence.
T - similar to the smell. Seemed to be a wrestling within the beer between hoppy and malty through the glass of beer. I felt it was more towards hoppy as the leaning but by no means a hop monster ala west coast style.
M - Medium bodied and smooth. carbonation was light but by no means faint like a Hardy's or gale & co prize old ale.
D - A good drinker. Balanced and a nice american interpretation of an English Barleywine.

I'd prefer a bit stronger malt profile. I think this may cellar well but hard to say. That said I'd easily put a few in the cellar for a tasting every 6-12 months to see how it matures.

Dec 22, 2006
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bs870621345 from Iowa

4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a hazy amber color with minimal head, but leaves bits of lacing down the glass.

Smells like alcohol, raisins, caramel, toffee, and some citrus in there.

Taste opens with an apple and raisin flavor moving into a caramel and toffee sweetness. Bitterness sweeps in and washes the sweetness away into a short lived alcohol aftertaste. For a Barleywine, it is pretty clean.

Mouthfeel is full and nice carbonation.

Overall, its really good. I like my Barleywines malty and this is a good one.

Dec 14, 2011
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Jacobprice from Louisiana

5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mar 27, 2016
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hopsandhickory from North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While I'm a fan of The Duck-Rabbit's offerings, this is one I hadn't tried before.

This has a nice deep, golden-amber, brown color, much like real Vermont maple syrup. It's dark in color, but transparent. Pours with a medium, foamy head and leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass as it drinks down.

Pungent, powerful. My wife can smell it from across the room. I can best describe it as sweet and malty, with a bit of sourness. Initially, I smelled honey and sourdough bread. By the time I reached the bottom of the glass and it had warmed, it smelled more like a bourbon glaze I like to make.

Taste & Feel
Rich, bittersweet. Actually, bitter-sweet-bitter. This has a strong barley taste with a bit of earthiness, almost peaty. I'm definitely picking up a honey flavor. In fact, between the heavy body and the sweetness, it has a syrupy taste experience.

This brew delivers quite a kick. Initially, the high alcohol content creates a slight, burning tingle on the top of the tongue. Following that is a slow, burning, warmth all the way down. By the end of a glass, I was warm all over.

Sweet aroma, strong flavor, warm booziness. It's good, but holy crap it's strong. This is definitely a sipping beer. Enjoy it on a cool fall night.

Sep 20, 2009
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

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.

Feb 03, 2016
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Imstillthegman from Delaware

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a beautiful mahogany color with brighter red edges. It had about a one finger head of tan bubbles before fading to a sheet. Some light lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is of caramel malts, dark fruits (plums, dates, raisins) , light sour citrus, and some boozy alcohol in the back ground. Interesting, to say the least.

The flavor combines all of the scents in the aroma adds a nice kick of bitterness to it. Sweet up front, with the caramel malts and a bit of molasses peeking out before the darks fruits hit your tongue. Quickly, though, the bitterness over takes it all. They must have used a big dose of bittering hops, because it's pretty damn bitter but there isn't any flavor to go with the bitterness. Hints if the alcohol come out at the finish.

Medium bodied with good carbonation. Feels heavy on the stomach. Bitter and slightly burning aftertaste. It will be interesting to see this one change over time. Right now, though, due to the bitterness and the abv, one is enough. This is a tasty sipper, so don't get me wrong.

Sep 08, 2008
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djrn2 from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Apr 23, 2012
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jbehlar from Mississippi

3.11/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aug 13, 2018
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Murchmac from California

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Erikeifert, this was the suprise of the litter, thanks for sending this puppy.

Pours a beautiful burnt orange copper with a big foamy head that leaves heavy lacing down the pint glass. Looking at this beer as it were a giant Giants foam number one hand.

Smells fantastical. Caramel, alcohol, carmalized malts. As good as the gilroy garlic fries.

Tastes be-u-ta-full. Chewy, scotchy, caramel. hint of alcohol, bitter hops. Just fantastic. Freaky, like Tim Lincecum's delivery.

Leaves a burning alcohol residue down your throat. Cant' say enough about this beer even if it was on performance enhancing drugs.

Mar 08, 2009
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steve8robin from Massachusetts

3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Been waiting to try this one for a while. Glad to get it in a recent trade. Thanks Cmrillo! 12oz bottle, enjoy by 12/2011...

A: A gorgeous deep reddish color with brown hints. A thick 1+ inch tan head that fades at a decent pace. Awesome!

S: A nice creamy sugary malt with some earthy citrus blended in. A toffee in the middle with faint hints of hops and caramel on the backend. Decent.

T: A boozy watery bitterness upfront with a caramel rye in the middle and some dry metallic tastes on the backend. Kind of a little harsh on the booze and dryness to this one. Decent.

M: Medium body with a heavy carbonation. Very dry bitter finish. Ok.

D: Not the best here.

All in all, this is an ok brew. I've had many better balance barleywines. This one seems more like a booze bomb blended with a very dry taste blended in. Maybe try if you like DR, but if you're looking for a good example of the style, this is not it.

Mar 06, 2011
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Higdon from Maryland

4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dec 08, 2018
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ClockworkOrange from Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle, freshest by 12/09. Poured into my Adnams Imperial pint tumbler. The ale appears a hazed crimson copper color with about a finger of ecru foam. The head leaves only minimal traces of lace behind. Nose and flavor consist of caramel, brown sugar, pine, tangerine, lemon, apples, sourdough bread, grass, raisins, sweet smelling, bitter tasting. Nicely carbonated with a medium to full body. Not much alcohol burn to speak of. Quite drinkable fresh while the hops are still abundant.

Sep 15, 2009
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joshuaseresse from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle received as an extra from billab914, thanks Bill! Poured into a snifter:

A - A cloudy, brown, caramel color with half a finder of white head. Slight lacing retention. Looks nice.

S - Sweet caramel, brown sugar, slight oak and earth. I find this to be quite pleasant. Little apple cider and dark fruits.

T - Sweet and slightly boozy. Toffee, brown sugar and oak.

M - Creamy but kind of dry. Leaves a bit of chalky feeling in the mouth. Needs a bit more carbonation.

D - Nice drinkability. I could drink about a pint or two bottles a night. Its boozy but at 11% it's kind of expected. I enjoy it though and am glad I got to try it.

Nov 05, 2010
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jaimeee from Pennsylvania

2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Unexpectedly hoppy for barley wine but still with very subtle bitterness.

Sep 04, 2017
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jaxon53 from Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank you to brouche, for sending me this beer in NoBS BIF Ultra. Served this one at cellar temperature, in a pint glass, from a twelve ounce bottle.

Appearance: This bad boy pours out a deep copper color with some dark ruby highlights. A semi hard pour yields three massive fingers of tannish head that is quite dense yet pillowy. Great head retention left generous trails of sticky lace clinging to the glass. Loads of tiny carbonation bubbles are noticed rising to the top of the glass.

Smell: Very fruity. Raisin and plum to name a few. Very thick malt aromas with a mild hoppiness attack the nose. Slight notes of tobacco and wood are also noted. A touch of caramel and a hint of booze round out the nose nicely.

Taste: Also somewhat fruity. Rum soaked raisins and cherries come to mind. A sweet maltiness is balanced out by a somewhat bitter hop bite. Brown sugar, yeast, and booze in a finish that is dry and smooth.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium to full bodied mouthfeel here. Not quite syrupy, but some thickness to it. Plenty of carbonation felt in the mouth.

Drinkability: Decent drinkability. The eleven percent ABV and huge sweetness knock it down a few points. A sipper in my opinion. A pretty good beer overall.

Mar 15, 2008
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Parrotbeak from Minnesota

4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another generous extra from Paul, a fellow BA.

Hazy amber with a golden hue along the edges, and a white, fizzy membrane for a head, which fades almost immediately. A patchy network and a bubbly ring around the perimeter remains, however.
Smell is exceptionally floral and fruity. Strong hops and assertive malts, with sugary fruits which includes apricot, pineapple, banana, green apple, and blue grapes. The malts get a bit bready towards the finish, and some brown sugar comes in as well.
Taste is slightly burnt, bready malts and grassy hops. A bitter waves comes in from the hops, carrying some pineappple, banana, and peach. As with the smell, the malts carry to the finish, becoming more bready. A hint of cinnamon and caramel comes in with the malts at the finish.
Mouthfeel is crisp, with a nice bite from the hops. A little bit sticky, with a medium body.
Good drinkability, with the alcohol being well-concealed in the smell and taste. Delicious smelling and tasting beer!

Apr 07, 2010
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NotSaussure from Maryland

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.

Mar 28, 2018
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rtratzlaff from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Duck Rabbit snifter this beer is a hazy dark amber body with a thin white ring of lace.
Aromas are slightly boozy and sweet with some herbal hop character.
The flavor is sweet alcohol upfront followed by a huge amount of hop flavor that sticks to the tongue. Fruit esters show up as sweet citrus fruits along with caramel sweetness.
The mouthfeel is not full but light due to the high abv.
I think one bottle is enough for a nice sipper on a cool NC night.

Mar 16, 2010
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dgugliuzza from Illinois

3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Bell's tulip

Pours a deep orange with a thin film of tan head. Seems well carbonated as many bubbles line the rim of the glass. Some small strips of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts and molasses followed by pungent floral and piney hops. Leaves rich and sticky aromas in the nose. Smells very fresh for a barleywine.

Tastes of bitter and floral hops followed by toasted malts and sticky molasses. This is certainly hop forward and would greatly benefit with some age.

Has a medium bodied mouthfeel that smacks with carbonation. The alcohol is not well hid as it burns going down. It's best to chip away at sip by sip.

Overall this stays true to an English Barleywine. Strong and hoppy with the malt character taking a backseat. It's robust and flavorful, but ultimately unrefined. I would love to get my hands on a few more bottles to stick in the cellar.

Jun 05, 2011
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nickfl from Florida

3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours with a small head of white foam on top of a hazy, dark golden body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace on the glass.

S - A spicy, mustardy aroma with notes of black pepper, clove, and perhaps a touch of acetone.

T - Bready malt up front with some sour cherry and pine. Spicy notes of clove and juniper in the middle with a touch of acidic grapefruit. The finish has some smoky notes that intensify in the aftertaste and almost end up as a band-aid like note.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry, acidic finish.

D - Weird, this almost seems like a sour with the level of acidity and the odd, yeasty notes. I'm really conflicted about whether this is infected or not, it has some really strange characteristics and it is oddly dry for an English barleywine. The smoky character is really odd for the style and almost to the level that it would be unpleasant. Not something that I would drink again except to confirm that it is supposed to taste like this.

Jun 28, 2012
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zestar from California

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Aug 01, 2014
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flexabull from California

3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright and clear dark amber color. Head is a nice half an inch, and retaining well. Looks great.

Aromas are a bit muted, I notice some sweetness, a raisin like quality, also a touch of ice tea.

First thing I notice on the taste, is how full bodied and well rounded the mouthfeel is. Very nice. Flavors are sweet, but not overpowering. There is a very crispy and carmel like creaminess on the finish. I also noticed just a touch of hop bitterness on the finish as well, but it's very slight overall, the flavors are kind of mellow, and not overwhelming at all.

While I am drinking this I can't believe that this is 11% ABV. This beer is surprisingly subtle for having such a high alcohol level. I could easily drink this again. I like Barleywines to have more of kick, but this one is nice for what it is.

Thanks a lot for this one mikegroove!

Feb 04, 2007
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FosterJM from California

4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1216th Review on BA
Bottle to CCB snifter

Thanks to Gurudel for this one

App-  A huge dark orange with ambers, garnets and even some red.  Giant head and keeps the sticky cling going as it slides gently.

Smell-  Really has a lot going on. The malts open this one and then a huge damp pressed cherry note. A bit of tingly booze and thick sweetness. Big candy notes.

Taste-  As I sip on this it really opens up. Huge malty and sweet notes. This seems to be a true BW. Toffee sweet and moves to boozy and dark cherry notes.

Mouth- A full medium with a semi creamy and filling medium carbonation. Residual booze and cherry malts.

Drink-  A very tasty beer. Has a large flavor profile. Complex, tasty and sweet. Classic BW flavors and the ABV is well hidden

Apr 13, 2012
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sinstaineddemon from Connecticut

4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks to sackerz9 for this bottle also, what a great trader

A - this barleywine pours a dark amber red, atop sits a thin tan head with surprising retention held aloft by moderate carbonation

S - big grapefruit aroma up front, a nice hoppy-piney aroma, some orange citrus is also there, strong enough to discern it fromt he grapefruit, and underneath it all lies a mellow dark brown sugary sweetness

T - wow, wicked sweet, without being sickly sweet, grapefruit and piney aromas translate well to the taste and battle the deep tofee/brown sugary sweetness, and call me crazy but i also detect a syrupy pineapple flavor

M&D - slick mouthcoat that soothes and warms on the way down, a highly dichotomous beer, warming/soothing, bitter/sweet, its wonderfully balanced and blended, a great barleywine, a nice way to start enjoying a breweries beers, the high ABV darws the drinkability down a bit, but thats it

Feb 02, 2007
Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 628 ratings