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

BA SCORE
85
very good
600 Ratings
Duck-Rabbit Barleywine AleDuck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
600
Reviews:
359
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
13.42%
 
 
Wants:
115
Gots:
58
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 600 |  Reviews: 359
Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a tawny brown color with a rocky beige head that is surprisingly lacey

Smell: Rich caramel aroma with a plenty of piney hops adding an unexpected dimension

Taste: The caramel flavor jumps out, although there are piney orange hops tones in there from the outset; by mid-palate, tobacco flavors add complexity; after the swallow, all of these flavors blend together into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation and a bit of warmth in the gullet; a little thin, however, for a barleywine

Drinkability: Nicely balanced flavor profile makes this a solid barleywine; it would benefit from a bigger mouthfeel and a more malty character

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Photo of IBUnit63
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of the always generous 'tends. 12 oz. with a BBD of 12/2009. I think this little treasure deserves a place in the Portsmouth snifter.

I am digging the buttery...almost very light maple-colored head that is about a full finger. Head comes and goes pretty quickly but leaves some decent lacing here. Color is that of a natural caramel apple - very solid with some velvety bourbon tones. Mildly translucent...almost opaque...but I can't see the carbonation that will turn out to be pretty solid.

There's a toasty bourbon booze to this that is very warming - some oaky vanilla tones as well, and a little bit of apple butter but by no means enough to consider it a flaw. Lots and lots of toasty caramel malt makes this quite inviting. A little bit of a pine hop bite - maybe even a tinge of citrus - to cut the heft enough.

A bit of charred oak greets the palate at the top of the order. Roasted caramel malts with a fair shake of pine comes around, and then it's a little stewy baked apples. Slight vanilla texture and a powerful yet warming bourbon booziness linger on the finish. It is an exceptionally cold and crappy day in the 617 - the windows are open in the house and it's downright COLD in here...but this deal is keeping me pretty damn warm at the moment. In addition to a mild bourbon astringency there's actually a nice carbonation bite that cuts the weight nicely. With more warmth the traditional dark fruits emerge - dates and the usual suspects.

One word that would be expected...warming. That fresh stewy feel coupled with a decent bit of booze keeps this from being cold on the palate. Finish has a little bit of dates on it after it warms - don't feel a whole lot of prunes or anything - maybe even a baked pear and the associated mild tannins/pectin. I am remiss in one respect - this beer deserves a solid stogie with it.

Very very good offering. It's one to relax and think about. Again, a stogie would play famously here. Something that would go nice with a bourbon in the sidecar. Nicely done.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Can't even remember who sent this - one of my Carolina/Tennessee hook-ups I'm guessing. Served in my Day of the Living Ales taster glass. Split with the wife. Best before 12/09.

A - One finger of slow dissolving creamy orange-tan foam with tons of lacing. Murky orange with a hint of brown. Pretty good looking for a barleywine.

S - Burnt sugar, raisins, caramel, dark fruits, some residual floral hoppiness. There's a slight rye bread sourness to the bready malts as well.

T - Taste is a litlte bit less complicated - lots of caramel, booze, dark fruits, and bread. The aftertaste is kind of hot with some roastiness to it as well.

M - Full-bodied, low carbonation, super sticky residual feel, some alcohol warmth. It's what I expect from the style.

D - Too hot to really have more than one bottle. Otherwise it's pretty easy to drink - the aftertaste isn't too strong. I suspect this will be good well beyond December.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle oured in to a snifter.

Pours a brown amber with a thin tan head.

Big sweet malty smell of malt and candy.

Taste is slightly sour yet bold sweet pungent taste. Alcohol dominates.

Great frothey mouthfeel, but pretty hot beer that could use some quiet time.

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A hearty carmel cream colored head nearly reaches two fingers than starts to crackle away. Body is a robust mahogany in color. Nose is nicely sweet with some vanilla oak and dark fruit sweetness. Includes a sappy hop character as well. Enters the mouth with an initially creamy smoothness, yeasty sweet caramelized malt, tangy dark fruit and burnt graham cracker. Hop profile adds perfect balance and a bit of sappy, piney, marmalade notes. Warms the belly ice but otherwise well hidden alcohol. Mouthfeel is very pleasant and resin like sweet. A super drinkable barleywine. This is a solid brewery.

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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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Photo of bwd110
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into SA pint glass

A: Pours a deep reddish amber, tannish white head about 1" thick rises and fades quickly, leaving spotty lacing. Very clear brew, very red-tinged.

S: Sweet! No really, brown sugar and fruity notes hit the nose almost immediately. Blended nicely. Some tartness follows, and faint hint of floral hops also detected.

T: It's obvious there is a fair amount of sugar in this one, but is quite pleasant and the dominating fruit and malt sweetness fits the english style quite well. Hops are barely noticeable. Overall, one tasty beverage.

M: Medium body, light carbonation. No problems here.

D: Good, well for 11%. Barely noticeable abv.

Pleasantly surprised with this one, will seek out more.

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Photo of kuranes
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Looks pretty, nice dark amber with light head that stays around.
S: Floral and citrusy.
T: Floral, citrusy grapefruitish notes with some sweet/bitter interplay at the finish.
M: Full, little sticky.
D: Pretty smooth for a barleywine. Mine cost $3, it's a pretty cheap buzz.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to jyounger30 for the trade

12oz bottle. "enjoy by" scheme, notched for 12/09. tasted in late march/early april 2009.

bottlecap is sturdy and "industrial" quality. it was very hefty and took effort to flip off even with my trusty bottle opener.

poured into tulip.

very dark reddish brown. clear, dark ruby under the light. moderate light beige head fades to wispy thin layer and ring. nice but thin lacing.

aroma: malty, sweet caramel, apple juice concentrate, moderately piney hops and citrus zest, with slight phenols and alcohol in the back. faint grassy resins?

flavor is hoppier, though not a "hop bomb". a sweet citrus zest and rind with mildly resinous pine and moderate bitterness going into apple concentrate fruitiness again but also a strong foundation of malty caramel sweetness.

medium to thick body, but not viscous, actually thinner than expected at times, but not a disappointment either. mild astringency in the finish. lively carbonation has creamy moments.

not bad at all, even with all the citrusy/piney american hopping. the fact that it was comparatively restrained while still solidly malty is what puts it somewhat between american and english in style. anyway, it certainly helped to get rid of the taste from those wretched bottles of 1996 gales old ale that i just had to endure prior to this...

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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 BARFLYB
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
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 TurdFurgison
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this bottle poured into a Duck Rabbit snifter. The beer is dark reddish copper color, transparent, almost no head. The beer smells sweet and malty, sort of sugary too. I think this favors the American barley wine category more than the English variety, a bit strong and sweet. The taste is likewise sweet with a little burn in the aftertaste. A lingering boozy quality. A very well done interpretation of a style I generally don't favor.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks UGADawgGuy for the opportunity.

Pours a thick hazy dark coppery amber. Less than a finger's worth of tan head falls quickly into a thin ring. No lace.

Aroma is heavy fruity malts. Caramel, sticky dark sugar, perfume, flowers. Some earthy hops and a heavy handed alcohol.

Flavor is thick, sweet, flowery. Perfume. Even a bit of roasted hidden in there. A light bitterness late in the sip. A heavy alcoholic heat and astringency.

Thick and smooth with a nice low carbonation.

A good barleywine, but on my rare forays into barleywine country, I'd pick up something else.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a deep mahogany with about a half-inch tan head on top. This dissipates to a thin sheet after a few minutes. Some sticky globs of froth cling to the glass edge.

Smells of oak, cashews, metal, bourbon, and earth. Mouthfeel is nice and crisp. A great pop from the medium to high amount of carbonation. Flavor profile is like the smell, earthy. It's got a dull bitterness going on. Nothing sharp like high hops would give, but bitter anyways. Alcohol is noted but more subtle than I thought an 11% brew would have. As the beer warms I get a sense of citrus in the finish. Like an orange rind. This is a decent brew. I think this may be my first English BW, but I will explore this genre again.

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Photo of drseamus
3.21/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Didn't have much head, even with an aggressive pour, but GODDAMN if this isn't the finest body I've seen on a beer. Brilliant scarlet red. I love me a redhead.

S: A good bit of hop in the aroma. More than I'd expect in an English Barleywine but still welcomed. Not a ton of malt coming though for me.

T: Very rich flavored. It starts off with pretty strong bitterness and the malt only really comes through at the very end. I'd like it to be a bit maltier. It's a bit muddled.

M: Medium bodied but not smooth at all. The bitterness roughs it up.

D: Not bad. It seems more like an American Barleywine but even for that style it's average at best.

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Photo of scifan
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
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 joepais
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's been a while since I got this one ( best by date 12/07) so I don't remember who sent it but thanks.
My bottle poured into a snifter produced a big off white fluffy head I got a little gush from the bottle when opened so Lets see what happens. The body is a clear burgandy to brown and the head is still around for quite sometime

Big malty aromas coming from my dogfish head snifter. Just a ton of sugar is coming thru no hops left in this at all. Maybe some oxidation in here as well

A nice sweet barleywine is what I got here. Really caramel sweet and none of the alcohol hotness left at all. Some fruitiness comes thru with the flavor as well.

A nice barleywine not super but good I could easily drink this again, and would not turn it down. It gets much better as it warms and the head lasted the whole time. I have not been disappointed with one of their brews. I would love to see them move closer or distribute in the area

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Photo of Sammy
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh from Bruisin' Ales. To complete my six-pack, it was between this and some French Broad odd yeast thing. Knowing my preference for new and interesting and being a Belgium-lover, one would forecast the latter, but here I went conservative.
This is a sweet one, it does however taste like a barleywine and gvien the sweet profile, I think that they thought it would be drunk early.
Very boozy, and an early spring cold night seems so right for it. Pours a dirty blond with fantastic splattering of lace. Smells and taste like a boozy barleywine, drinkable after all.A bit of substance to the mouthfeel.

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Photo of gameface23
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first foray into English style barleywines...

Appearance: This thing is beautiful in a glass. A copper/amber color. Clean looking. Not much of a head.

Smell: Pretty damn boozy, but complex. I detected a lot of malts aroma: English toffee/caramel and some roast/tobacco nuances.

Taste: Hop bitterness and a sort of honey sweetness. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good.

Drinkability: It's 11%.

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Photo of goethean
4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A gift from BA acme, served at room temperature in a completely inappropriate weizen glass

Wow, this stuff is great! Copper. Strong aroma and flavor of dark caramel and dark English toffee, with some mellow medium dark fruit, balanced by a pretty stiff herbal hops bitterness. Really kind of shockingly drinkable for a big barleywine.

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Photo of Murchmac
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of remllof
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my duck-rabbit tumbler glass. Poured a small but decent head that left thick light brown lacing. The color is very dark, on the edges has a very dark maroon color to it. The smell is has a bit of friutfulness to it, detected a touch of alchohol. Taste has a up front fruity sweetness to it. Alcohol is fairly hidden in here but you can still in the end of it. Then backed up with a nice bit of hops at the end without much bitterness. Mouthfeel is very thick but smooth. Overall this is a decent barelywine.

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Photo of gdfan47
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- pours a darkish brown with very little white head
S- booze, woah.. alot and hops of course, sugar... and not much else
T- very boozey, a touch of pine, def hops, a touch of malt, sugar
M- thick and syruppy
D- i mean its 11 percent and tastes it, if you are drinking this outside of your house just be carefuil

im not super super into barley wines yet

its good, but this doesnt hide the alcohol very well

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
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 biegaman
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A perfect candy apple colour, the beer appears succulent and sweet. Its clarity is wholly intact with a glossy complexion that nearly sparkles ruby-esque tones when held into the light. It's nothing short of dazzling. If left undisturbed its ecru stained capping will appear just adequate. A quick swirl now and then, however, will resuscitate what is a more than eloquent display of carbonation considering the 11% alcohol.

The aroma seems to showcase all the bitter, astringent character of hops with a disproportionate amount of floral and fruity notes to correspond; it smells like there were plenty of hops used without giving air of a typically 'hoppy' bouquet. Same goes for the malts, I sense the roast and long-boiled stickiness but am whiffing none of the crispy toast or sweet caramel. I'm not sure what to expect from the taste.

...and I'm still not sure what I think. There's an almost doughy, pastry like base but what I taste most is a strong dusting of chocolate that coats a big mixture of dried and over-ripened fruits. I would guess some combination of figs, apricot, dates, and pineapple - not necessarily your most predictable group of fruits. The ones more typical - bruised apple and sun dried cherry - taste as though they were soaked in brandy.

The more I think about it the more the beer does, at its base, resemble a sweet flaky pastry, like something found at a Greek bakery. For one, there's a ton of sugar and secondly there's a small dose of caramelization too. More and more this starts to resemble baklava and a shot of brandy. It's a sugary, syrupy sweet concoction tasting of dried fruits, flaky pastry and honeyed nuts - this brewer has to be Greek!

This isn't my idea of the ideal barleywine but that's not to say it doesn't still make for a good one. I'm still not entirely sure of just how much I like (or love) the beer but I had this same conundrum with this brewery's Imperial Stout. Like the drawing on their labels after which the brewery is named, this too can be seen as two different things: a good (what I think) or great (maybe to some) barleywine. Either way, there isn't any wrong answer.

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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
3.8 out of 5 based on 600 ratings.
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