Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale | The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

Duck-Rabbit Barleywine AleDuck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale
604 Ratings
Duck-Rabbit Barleywine AleDuck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale

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

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by SaCkErZ9 on 12-12-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 604 |  Reviews: 361
Photo of johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from KarrHeel03, thanks for the opportunity! I believe this bottle is from Feb 2009
Pours a dark brown with a great looking garnet hue when held to light, tightly bubbled off white head peaks out but retreats under the bed with the cats. Smells mostly of sweet dark fruit with a touch of alcohol. Cherries prunes and a bit of brown sugar in there. Taste follows the smell. Alcohol soaked cherries rolled in brown sugar and lightly caramelized sums it up pretty well. Finish is rather dry with a lingering almost sweet and sour fruit. Thick body, light carbonation, sweet sticky mouthfeel. I really liked this one. Its a nice take on an English style barleywine, I wish I could get my hands on some more to lay down...

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Photo of JMforman
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably my favorite beer from Duck-Rabbit so far.

A- Light brown with a thick white head and good retention

S- Toffee, dark fruit, and the remnants of hops (this one has been around for a while)

T- Alcohol, toffee, dark fruit, burnt sugar, cherry

M- A bit dry with a medium feel

O- A fantastic beer. I'd have another.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to rwitter.

Pours a cloudy ruby orange color with one finger of creamy off white head.

Scent of hops, spices, caramel, strawberries, honey, and orange peel. A nicely hopped Barleywine, not overly sweet and well hidden alcohol.

Taste of hops, grain, caramel, earth, sugars, honey, graham crackers and a hint of alcohol. The alcohol it very well hidden for the strength.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation, but it's not quite smooth enough.

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Photo of madjustin
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big, boozy, piney, with a bit of sour cherry and strong malt backbone. Appearance is a slight red color with not much head retention or lacing. Aroma is pie cherry, bready, with citrus notes. Taste is of strong malt backbone but not sweet, generally dry, perhaps a bit over-attenuated, with wonderful sour cherry notes that go well with the malt and surprisingly well with the piney citrus hops. Infected? No. Metallic? Certainly not. Sour? A bit, but very interesting in the style, and very enjoyable. I would say that the malt and hops carry through to make this a true barleywine but the sour edge gives it a unique twist.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Really preety ruby copperish color. Looks very much like a young bottle of JW Lee's Harvest Ale. An impressive and frothy finger of white head with good lacing and head retention.

S: Lots of raisins and dark fruits comming through with the alcohol right behind. Little bit of molasses. There is a sweetness in there that my mind is calling cane sugar. Weird. Also you get just the slightest hint of rum if you let yourself wander for a moment.

T: Starts off with some raisins and then goes into a nice complex malt profile. Getting some munich and maris otter. The hops are there but quite in check. Really quite sweet for the style. Maybe this did not ferment out 100%.

M: Assertive medium body. Not overly heavy. Carbonation is spot on.

D: I like this one quite a bit. If they can cut down on the residual sugars and get this down a bit more they will have a real winner on their hands.

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Photo of msscott1973
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of scifan
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First things first this a gorgeous beer. It pours a very clear ruby amber color that almost glows when you hold it up to the light with a lovely off white head that leaves some nice sticky lacing along the glass.
The first couple of whiffs are alot of sweet malts, some nice sherry and port aromas, there are some hops in the background but they're way in the background.
The first sip reveals a lot of sweet malts. I'm getting some caramel, toffee,and just a hint of the 11% in there as well. There is alot more hop flavor than the nose would leave you to believe this isn't a malt bomb it's very balanced.
The carbonation is right on and coats the tongue very nicely kind of sticky. I'm finding this stuff goes down nice and easy I could put away a few on these in a sitting.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip for good measure. DR just came into philly, I for one am glad.

A- Duck-Rabbit claims to be a "dark-beer specialist" and they ain't lying. Darker than expected this was a dark mahogany color with some red highlights up towards light. A nicely formed dark tan head formed on top sticking around for a while. Very nice lacing on this sucka.

S- Dark malts giving off caramel. A nice hop nose in the beginning but gets sucked up by the malts with warming. Dark fruits out the wazoo including plums. Breadyness from the malts and alcohol from the 11%

T- I was surprised by this one. The hops are there and have a bite on the 1st few sips but that subsides fairly quickly. I really like the dark fruit action with the plum and deep cherry combo. Malts upon malts giving off sweetness. Of course the alcohol is tasted, it is 11% after all. Not overly complex but I like it.

M- Sweet and smooth after time but you have to drink a few ounces before the initial bigness comes in which includes some heat. The alcohol is high but well hidden. A very sturdy body on this but a little thinner than I was expecting, which is probably why I like it so much.

D- Very drinkable which is dangerous. I felt the alcohol half way through my chalice. Im not big on barleywines in general so I really don't know what im looking for in one, but I throughly enjoyed this one. One and done and a bottle or two in the cellar. I think this is past it's "best by" date but who cares, maybe they just have to put that on there.

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Photo of atsprings
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have to admit, I have only recently gained an appreciation for barley wines. This is one of the first that I really enjoyed. Last year, when I tried several barley wines such as SN Bigfoot and Anchor Old Foghorn, I could barely finish a glass as the taste would diminish with each passing sip. That was not the case with this! Maybe it's just my growingly intelligent palate, but I found so much complexity to this beer. The alcohol is well hidden, yet still has great warming effect that is perfect on a cold January night. The subtle hops provide a great accent to the subtle fruitiness. I will be putting away and entire six pack and look forward to seeing how well this beer ages.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Duck-Rabbit snifter. Poured red-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, caramel, cream, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a very good brew. Nicely well balanced flavor going on in this one that you never would get tired of. Also has an excellent aroma going on to match it. A definite must try!

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: full orange-bronze. Big creamy head on the pour that mostly recedes.
smell: Citrus, piney hops. Subdued malt. sniffs more like a DIPA, or an American Barley.
taste: Strong hoppy start with a little malt in the finish.
mouthfeel: Fat full and creamy. A hint of something else - wood or maybe even a charcoal dash (in a nice interesting way).
drinkability: This one goes down fast and easy.
Interested to taste these with some age.

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Photo of bobbyc881
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A little on the darker side of barleywines. Brown-orange with ruby highlights. Thin tan head settles down to nearly nothing shortly after the pour. Aroma is sweet and boozy. Sort of reminds me of prunes?

Taste begins quite sweet. Prunes, raisins, vanilla, oak, carmelized sugars and dark breads. Certainly noticeable alcohol right up front. Aggressive bitterness through the middle, finishing up bittersweet with a warming sensation I would expect from a strong barleywine. Bold and aggressive flavor -- I like it.

Thick, syrupy mouthfeel. Coats the entire mouth in that sticky bittersweetness. Drinkability suffers a bit from the boisterous levels of alcohol, but this is still an excellent sipper.

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.16/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance 4.0: Beautiful, deep golden amber in color. Nice head for a growler pour, about 1/2". Lots of little bubbles floating around and a decent amount of particulate matter, which is usually a great sign.

Smell 4.25: Lovely bouquet. Very upfront hops with some appealing deep caramel sugars. I could almost place this particular hop... . Regardless, this is a wonderful way to begin a session... .

-Taste 4.25: Front is spicy and very lively on the tongue. Middle is where the hops come in and mingle perfectly with the big barley punch. Lots of residual sweetness here that the obvious dry-hopping balances out. Finish also benefits from dry-hopping as the resiny taste of the hops perfectly accentuates the caramel taste of the malts. Finish is long and dry and all alkaline hop residue. Nice.

-Mouthfeel 3.5: Carbonation/conditioning was spot on for this beer. Usually barley wines are flat, but the added bubbles helped the enjoyment of this complex brew.

-Overall 4.25: Excellent brew. Complex, big and delicious. The 11% (!) ABV is completely invisible in the hazy swirl of hops, malt and yummy goodness. The dry-hopping was stroke of genius as was the added level of CO2. Excellent beer.

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Photo of bum732
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Rich toffee and caramel breadiness, bold and sweet smelling.

L: Cloudy light brown, off-white head quickly dissipates.

T: Semi-bitter malt leads to rich toffee notes with a low but present herbal bitterness. Some citrus undertones leds to a sweet caramel finish with just a touch of herbal dryness. Sharp dark fruits emerge as the beer warms.

M: Medium bodied, medium low carbonation.

Nice balance of flavors, very rich.

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Photo of Beejay
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Mahogany brown, and cloudy. Nice white head on top, but it dissipates rather quickly.

S: Very sweet, with tons of caramel and malt. Cherries and more caramel finish it out. Slight hop aroma, but you really have to search for it.

T: Very nice. Rich, with caramel and cherries. Hints of oak and maple. The alcohol is present, but just barely. Overall this one is a winner. Very nice.

M: Syrupy and chewy, but with a higher amount of carbonation to balance it out.

D: I would definitely get this one again. Not one you could throw back a few of, but a nice sipper. Tasty, toasty, malty and delicious.

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Photo of jsanford
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Duck-Rabbit Snifter. Date notching is unclear, but this is at least a year old, probably 2.

A - Pours a rusty orange-brown with a thin off-white head that fades to a slight ring and haze.
S - Very sweet aromas of caramel, toffee, candied orange peel, dark dried fruits, and a bit of alcohol.
T - Sweet caramel, dried fruit, and toffee flavors carry over from the nose, as well as a good amount of chocolate and brown sugar. Finish is surprisingly bitter and hoppy for the age, lots of citrus in there still. Really nice, I expected this to be cloyingly sweet, not as finely balanced as it is! The 11% ABV is very well hidden, only the slightest warming in the chest is noticed.
M - Smooth and slightly sticky, with a medium-full mouth-feel and lowish carbonation.
O - I'm surprised by how much I liked this beer, it's held up surprisingly well for its age. I'm kinda wishing I bought more to see what further aging could do!

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Photo of JayS2629
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lot of barleywines are either super hoppy or super sweet. This did a good job balancing. Its a muddy brown color with a tan head that fades fast and leaves ok lacing.

The smell is caramel, toffee, chocolate, and spicy pine.

The taste is of rich caramel, chocolate, toffee, vanilla, brown sugar and good doses of pine, floral, and some citrus. Slight booze bite that doesn't linger.

Thick, syrupy, and smooth. Nicely balanced and tasty.

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Photo of speter
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear deep amber with a minimal head, but reasonable lacing nonetheless.

S: Rich malt with an amazing amount of citrusy hops and some booze. A touch of brown sugar as well.

T: Very nice, indeed. As you would expect from a barleywine, the front is dominated by the malt, which in this case is a toasty biscuit malt. The finish is remarkably hoppy (almost IPA-like), which lends a very nice overall balance to the beer.

M: Rich and creamy with a full body, but not. Too chewy. The warmth is there, but it's remarkably well-integrated.

D: OK, at 11%, this isn't one I'm going to have too many of, even more so as it was a single of a beer not distributed in my state, but I certainly wouldn't mind having another.

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Photo of jophish17
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a six pack purchased at Cheers in Carrollton, GA - poured into a snifter glass

Aroma: heavy aroma from the malts with some floral hops peaking through. I have to assume that this is a fairly fresh batch with the hop presence still in tact considering what other BA's have reported

Appearance: a nice dark amber body with some thin head that leaves behind minimal lacing

Taste: The hops hit the tongue up front, then the malts take charge. Caramels and roasted malts are heavy, adding to the viscous body, with some brown sugars added in. Not overly sweet like some barleywines. Alcohol is present but in no way is it abrasive. A very pleasant taste,

Feel: A good amount of carbonation for this heavy brew. It warms and really dries out the mouth.

Drinkability: 11% avb? It doesn't drink like such a high alcohol content beer and with a fine taste balance between hops and sweets, its a really pleasant beer.

This is my second sampling of the D-R barleywine and I am a bit more pleased this time around. Not the best English-style, in fact I would have to argue that it tastes a lot more like an American barleywine with the sort of hop profile it has, but an enjoyable version that caps off a night perfectly.

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to oldhippie247 for this bottle.

A = Clear deep reddish amber with a bone coloured head consisting of foam and small bubbles, good retention, medium lacing.

S = Strong mix of earthy hops, spicy hops and rich baked muffin malt scents, well balanced, only slight complaint is there is a very faint soapy or plastic smell lingering underneath the primary smells.

T = Rich deep flavors of Belgian or Swiss milk chocolate, caramel, whipped cream, all balanced out with a very good hops bitterness but only slight hops flavors of an earthy quality. Very well balanced and very good.

M = Medium body, foamy luxurious feel and decent mouthcoating.

D = Good drinkability, definitely a barleywine worth drinking.

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Photo of drunkmonk
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful clear mahogany, nice thick two finger head gives out to a really nice steady lacing. Smells of dates and other dried fruits along with sweet candied malts and a dose of ethanol. Sweet malt flavors blended well with an assetive hop bitterness. There was more bitterness present than the aroma's would indicate. A bit syrupy, but not as thick as I was expecting. The 11%abv is not detected in the taste, but felt in a nice warming sensation down the back of the throat. This is a very nicely balenced barleywine. Not as sweet as an English and not as bitter as most American styles. It's a very nice easy drinking sipper.

Another nice job by Paul and the gang at Duck-Rabbit.


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Photo of hozersr
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jph424
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a beautiful dark reddish brown with a 3 finger light tan head that has great retention. Leaves wonderful rings of lacing.

S - Amazing aroma, definitely hops, caramel, and malt sweetness

T - Whoa, lots of everything. I taste hops with a bit of alcohol, and a lot of malt and caramel sweetness.

M - Lightly carbonated and full bodied. Very smooth.

D - Pretty darn drinkable, particularly for something this potent. This is a darn good barleywine. I think I would classify this as a in between American and English Barleywine. Great seasonal release from Duck Rabbit who is now in Georgia!

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Photo of cyclonece09
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. Pours orange red with a nice fluffy head. Smells of berries, slight grape, and sweet light grain. Tastes of berries, molasses, and slight alcohol. Beer is full bodied good carbonation. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

It's a beautiful thing to see bigger, bolder beers come from North Carolina. Just think: About three years ago, beer over 6 percent was against the law. Let's drink to the third anniversary of N.C. popping the cap.

Clear ruddy-brown color wears a crown of tan lacing; great head retention for a higher-alcohol ale. Rich caramel malt aroma with some spicy earthy hop and a clean nearly hidden alcohol. Smooth and creamy with a wet, medium-full body, which shows that this beer is not too thick. Maltiness has a good amount of depth with caramel and some toasted that blankets the taste buds. A little fruity with suggestions of dried plums and raisins. Slight cocoa note within. The alcohol wakes the palate up with a clean warmth and slight spiciness. Hop bitterness drops just enough flavor to keep the malt sweetness in check. Finishes slightly sweet with a lingering spicy alcohol.

Balance is the charm here, and even within balance there can be complexity. The 11 percent is definitely there, though not within the first couple of sips. A lovely sipper to be had.

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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 604 ratings
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