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

very good
356 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 356 | Ratings: 596
Photo of chinchill
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
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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Photo of DefenCorps
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got this many moons ago from SaintNathaniel. Best by December 2008, so this is over 2 years old at this point.

Mildly hazy deep ruby red with a dense, beige head that falls off to a wispy disk rather quickly. Lacing is minimal.

The nose has a big sweetness with a blend of caramel, vanilla, toffee and butterscotch. Moderately fruity with dates and raisins, this is enjoyable. Oxidation is minimal, this is just mostly a complex, sweet smelling beer.

The palate, unfortunately, doesn't live up to the nose. A grainy astringency is very strong, husky and palate-wrecking. It even covers up the sweetness to a good extent. Once my palate has had a chance to get used to it, I notice a blend of fruit - dates, raisins and a little stone fruit (peach? apricot?) coupled with a solid sweetness with flavors of caramel, honey and some toffee. Sweet and astringent on the finish, there's lingering flavors of honey and some astringency. Full in body with moderate carbonation, this is decent on the palate. A bit of a sipper, not necessarily something I'd go out to seek.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Darkness snifter.

A- Really attractive beer, nice 1 ½ finger foamy off white head that dissipates slowly, really nice lacing the coats the side of the glass. Attractive burnt orange/red color.
S- Big bready/nutty malt aroma, dark fruits, plums, raisins, cherries, brown sugar, caramel, alcohol is present.
T- Big malt presence, bready malts dark fruits, really similar to the aroma, the alcohol is a little more hidden in the taste than the aroma, plums, raisins, cherries, caramel, toffee, brown sugar.
M- Medium/Big mouth feel, smooth drinking, thick, a little heat on the finish, crisp finish.
O- This is a solid beer, nothing more nothing less, I enjoyed it, above average beer but not mind blowing.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.39/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler.

Pours a deep cloudy muddy brown with a very thin head. Nose is a bit boozy, malty with some yeast and fruit.

Taste is Fairly decent, nice fruitiness with a light burn from the high abv. Mouthfeel is creamy and rich. Light carbonation and thick feel make it quite drinkable for such a big beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour, far from clear, almost no head to it, looked rather rudimentary in a homebrew kinda way. Lacked much in the aroma, a little fusel, tad of nutty smell.

Taste, toffee, barely hopped, low carbonation. Very smooth, not overly sweet, hides the alcohol extremely well. Just is kinda plain tasting, not appreciably sweet nor bitter nor hoppy. Its easy enough to drink, even velvety at times. Takes the toffee and nuts and smooves them out into something that is relatively easy going given its abv.

If you like barleywines, check it out, otherwise, its probably a 50/50 chance you dig it or don't.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a deep ruby red with a small head that faded to a long lasting lace down the glass. Smells very sweet, with a hint of citrus. The taste is very rich, this seems odd, but almost tastes like a toffee or candy flavors. Very intresting flavor, I have never tasted this in a beer before. Very nice feel going down, not too thick and just the right carbonation. This is an odd one. I can't really describe the taste, but I cannot put it down either. Gonna have to come back to this, but overall this was definatly good.

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Photo of nhindian
3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Duck-Rabbit snifter.

A - Pours a cloudy burnt orange mixed with crimson and amber. It glows softly when held to light, but otherwise it looks pretty dark. About a finger's worth of tan head lies on top with good retention.

S - Overall the nose is fairly sweet with some sticky caramel, toffee, and sweet chocolate malts. It has a bit of spice to it as well in that earthy, gritty sort of way, and it has something like a fruity side to it. All malt, with a kick of alcohol at the end.

T - The nose translate faithfully into the taste, with two exceptions. For starters, the fruit comes across stronger here, with a noticeable tangerine and fig flavor. Secondly, the alcohol is turned up a notch. It's a bit hotter here, and while it doesn't make it undrinkable, it does detract a little from the overall experience and balance. Otherwise, it is still pretty sweet with lots of caramel and toffee with a peppery spice to it. The chocolate is more subdued as well, but stretches out over the entire duration of the sip.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good carbonation. Like Rabid Duck, I feel it's a bit thin and light for the style, and especially so for the sweet taste. I guess it's a better compromise than having it be syrupy, though.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. This is definitely on the sweeter side of the barleywine spectrum, but the taste does counteract this a bit with the hops. The biggest grievance I have against this beer is the somewhat hot alcohol burn in the flavor. While bold, the rest of the flavors have a tough time compensating for this.

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- This beer is the color of the heart of a stick of cherry wood after you split it with an axe. It is transparent with a head that is off white and 1/2" in my snifter.

S- The smells are rich of caramel malts, brown sugar, and brandy-like. The hops are sour and hidden in the back behind the malt bill.

T- Up front, you definitely taste the malts, roasty and toasty as anything. Midstream, the tastes are of figs, molasses, and the bittering hops. Aftertaste leaves with a big punch of alcohol warming all the way down. This one is a little bit "hot" to me. Maybe some age would improve it.

M- Medium and very oily. Carbonation is low.

D- It is very sweet and rich so that takes away from the drinkability factor for me. I think it needs to chill out a while.

Overall- As BW's go, this one is just OK. I have had better from other US breweries, but it is not bad. I think a few years in the cellar and it will be where it needs to be for sure.

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Photo of mntlover
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep copper/red mixture with lots of bubbles slowly rising to the top of a nice khaki head. The head falls slowly to ringed scum that leaves lots of sticky lace behind. Nice looking brew I am a sucker for red beers.

Aroma is fruity like figgy citrus. Sugar soaked figs mingled with honey dipped apricots. Lots of sweet malt present, caramel, molasses lots of free floating sugars. But there is that west coast hop presence that kind of throws a kink in the Englishness of it. But it smells good any how.

Taste is like the aroma but even more sugary. Lots of malts caramel, molasses, lots of free floating sugars mingled with figs mainly but some citrus showing up apricot like. Brew is not overly hoppy but seems west coast in nature on an English malt like base so its a little strange. Alcohol is noticed but it does not distract or play negative role at all. I was wanting to like this one hell looks great, smells good but only tastes ok. Just too much sweetness for me, hopefully age will bring it all together soon. The rest are headed for the cellar.

Mouthfeel is not as full as you would expect, a big medium with good mellow carbonation.

Drinkability is ok, not something I would run out and buy more of until I find out how it ages.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured golden-yellow-red...almost brown, from a 12oz bottle. Almost no head, slight floral smell. Tasted slightly bitter with obvious high alcohol content. Virtually no lacing. Not the most drinkable beer but I like the kick. If this is your session beer…you are an alcoholic.

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Photo of TK5150
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pours a fairly dark amber with a bug-bubbled beige head. The large bubbles remain on top of the beer after the head fades away. Nice legs as I swirl.

S- As soon as I popped the bottle I got a huge waft of estery fruitiness. As I smell the beer, that is the most dominating smell, but I also get quite a bit of molasses which is pleasantly surprising. Some general yeast aromas and malt round out the nose.

T- Fruity/spicy esters are the big player here as well. No molasses present in the taste which is a little disappointing. A hint of earthy hops, as well as a little tartness (like a tart apple). Malty sweetness is there in the mouth, but the finish is dry in the back of the throat.

M- Bordering on full-bodied, this feels smooth in the mouth.

D- This is decently tasty beer, but I probably wouldn't drink more than one.

Overall, an ok beer which I would not mind having again sometime. Smell and appearance are by far the highlights.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
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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Photo of steve8robin
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear ruby red with little to no head but a nice ring stuck around. Smelled of sweet malts with a hint of hops and some alcohol. There was a very sweet malt taste and what seems like pure sugar. There is a lot of hot alcohol which detracts from the sweetness and some sour hops in the finish. The mouthfeel was oily and the alcohol burned down the gullet. This one didn't impress me but I would like to see what it would be like after sitting for awhile downstairs.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best By Date December 2007, Sampled July 2007
Very well carbonated, the beer almost explodes as it first hits my glass. After a very careful pour, I end up with a four-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head that sits atop an absolutely brilliantly clear, cranberry red colored beer. The aroma has a distinct fruitiness to it that mixes with the alcohol and reminds me of a mix between brandy and sherry. Almost has a buttery like, toffee-esque, definitely caramelized malt character to it. At times it even smells like sweet grape juice. I am not sure what it is, but something about the aroma is a bit off-putting; something like a mix of green, macerated raisins, some sourish-bitter herbs and a distinct, yet, can't-quite-put-my-finger-on-it vegetable-like thing.

The beer is very thick, at least it should be. The excessive carbonation causes it to froth up immediately as it hits my tongue; luckily this is easily fixed by a couple of vigorous swirls of my glass. The beer is fairly thick and quite sweet; that sort of off aroma is noticeable here in the flavor as well, but I think that it is just a combination of the ample hops and sweet malt. The malt here tastes simplistic and overly stripped, like it had been heavily filtered (though I am not sure this is really the case here). Herbal, definitely grassy, somewhat reminiscent of green grapes, the hop character is quite prominent here, though it seems to manifest itself a bit atypically from your typical hoppy Barleywine. Rich, brown malt, caramel flavors linger in the finish; somewhat similar to a brown sugar encrusted, richly browned, rustic bread crust.

This is certainly not a bad beer, but it just seems a bit weird to my taste buds. It definitely hides the 11% alcohol quite well.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one came as a gift from some friends going to Philly, many thanks. Pour reveals a copper colored beer, with less than a finger of white head. Smell is of sweet brown breads, a bit of metallic aroma, dark fruit and alcohol. Taste is initially sweet upfront. I get sweet molasses, alcohol, more dark fruit, and just a little hint of caramel. Body is heavy, though there is little carbonation, which makes it feel bigger than it really is. This is more of a sipper than anything else. Overall a good beer, though one that might benefit from a tiny boost of carbonation. This is my second beer from Duck Rabbit, and while their stuff is certainly respectable so far, both offerings have left a bit to be desired. Cheers

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Photo of Immortale25
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales Teku glass. No notches next to the dates on the label

A- Pours a reddish light brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan had that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Has a standard red ale aroma with a mildly hoppy tone.

T- This is a barleywine? Basically tastes like a red ale with a bit of a boozy finish. Definitely on the dryer side since there's none of the sweetness I associate with barleywines. Mildly bitter.

M- Soft feels with a bit of a boozy afterbite. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- This is a good beer but it's not a barleywine. It's a hoppy imperial red ale. If it was labelled as such, I might've scored it higher.

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Photo of VaterRoss
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into New Belgium snifter.

Beer pours a dark orange/copper with a nice clingy orange/white head. Smell is very sweet and so citrus hoppy as to be almost oily. Taste is hard to pull apart due to the extreme hoppiness. Starts with a light sour body that is quickly swallowed by a mouth prickling wave of citrusy hop bitterness. There is also some sweetness in there from the malt. The sourness and citrusyness reminds me of lemon. Beer is actually quite sour and citrusy and super hopped. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light in body and also quite sour.

The sourness of this one really threw me off, also very lightweight for a barley. Doesn't taste like 11% but you can feel it. Not a bad beer but I've had much better barleys. I wish it wasn't so sour.

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Photo of farrago
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thin head, covers the surface, just, eggshell white, some larger bubbles form an island to the side, zero lacing. Murky liquid, mix of muddy brown to orange rust to sand yellow, completely opaque, no clear sign of any floating matter inside. Richly layered nose of fruitcake, rum raisin ice cream, walnuts, fig, golden raisin, apricot, peach and pineapple, slides in white and pink grapefruit, mandarin orange before the honey and molasses sweetness catches, cuts a sharp enough profile that you can only rarely catch scents of chocolate or cocoa. Full-bodied, drier than expected, however, this doesn't impede its ability to cover the whole palate. Pine and orange, lemon, grapefruit citrus appear first, certainly has the hops to challenge the malts. Maple syrup, brown sugar are moderate and, while boozy, there's little burn. The fruit fresher here, less raisin, fig and more peach, apricot, pear, red cherry. Lowkey nuttiness and breadiness, just parts of a whole. You sense that the carbonation is trying hard but still unable to break up the density. Keeps your mind engaged but a bit tiring to drink.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale is not great. Oxidised and bitter.

A: Brown red colour and a 5 mm head that fades to sparse lacing. 4

S: Malty with some oxidised earthiness as well as some darker, roasty aromas 4.

T: Sweet and malty with an immediate hit of caramelisation. The aftertaste is not great: oxidised and bitter. 3

M: Thick with low carbonation... a barleywine. 4

O: The flavour has an unpleasant kick in the tail. 3.5

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Photo of haazer
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Slightly more than one finger head forms, off-white/light brown in color. The brew is a cloudy unfiltered(plus in my book) apricot and tea color. Hints of orange and brown throughout the brew.

S- Hard rock candy and caramel first come to mind with the smell. A small hint of cranberry covered and dripping in caramel and molasses comes to the fore. Wheat and caramel malt run an underlying presence.

T- A suprising blend of floral hops and bready malt mash together. Candy sugar. Very heavy grain and wheat flavor in this barleywine. A bit of sour pear pulp as well. Interesting enough to keep me sipping.

M- Medium bodied brew, with a lager-like feel to it for me if that makes sense. Not much felt in carbonation.

O- Pretty decent in a barleywine. I really like the unfiltered look. The flavors were strong, but not standout. Great to be introduced to barleywines with this.

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Photo of birchstick
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a rustic copper with an insignificant head that retains well

S - smells of raisins and plums (sugary, dark fruits) with hints of bitter pine

T - Typical of the barleywine style, this starts off with sticky caramel malts and toffee, which hang on through the middle of the palate. The malt base gives way to some bitter, piney hops. This one finishes boozy, with sticky malts and hop resin lingering. This was VERY boozy, however that should have been anticipated given the 11% abv on the label. This really warmed me up as it went down, almost how a bourbon on the rocks does. This would make an excellent candidate for a cold winter night companion.

M - medium to thin body with nice, soft carbonation

D - This is a pretty good barleywine. However, I think this was still pretty dang hot and boozy. I could see this really coming into its own in a couple of years. Recommended now, and I am sure 10 years from now.

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Photo of DIM
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: The color of this one is perfect, a clear amber orange color. Very pretty. The problem was it took me 10 minutes to pour because of the massive, fluffy, light tan head.

s: The most obvious aroma was a sweet candy cherry smell. I also detected some piney hops and mild alcohol notes.

t: Cherries that are mildly sweet start things off. At the finish there was flowery hops and alcohol.

m: Good viscosity and carbonation, but some slight chalkiness as well.

d: Thanks to barleywinebrewer for the chance to try this tasty barleywine.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thank to Drunkmonk for this one.
Poured a deep orange color with a small head. Nose was of hops, citrus fruit,dried fruit and caramelly malts. Taste was malty,some fruits present and small hop dash.Hops were much more noticeable in the nose than in the taste as the bitterness was quite low. Mouthfeel was medium and left a syrupy feeling in the back of the throat. This beer could materialize if aged but still a good bwine.

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Photo of Yesac
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Murky ruby red. Small layer of off-white/brown head.

S- Strong alcohol, brown sugar, caramel

T- Way strong alcohol, dark fruits, sweet hops.

M- Dry, wattery. sticky.

D- Bleh. The finish and mouthfeel and strong alcohol make this tough to get through.

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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
3.8 out of 5 based on 596 ratings.
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