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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
354 Reviews
Duck-Rabbit Barleywine AleDuck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale
BEER INFO

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

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
Reviews:
354
Ratings:
588
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
13.42%
 
 
Wants:
111
Gots:
56
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 354 | Ratings: 588
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 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 Bung
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Dark amber pour, a small amount of off white head. Sticks around a while though and sticks to the glass pretty well too.

Aroma has some caramel, toffee and burnt sugars. Some herbal pine as well. Overall this was kind of a mild nose.

Taste also has a fair amount of malt, caramel, carmelized brown sugar. Also a large amount of piney resin, citrus, grapefruit, more than I would like for an ENGLISH barleywine.

Sticky medium body, but the carbonation is not quite creamy and accentuates the bitterness a bit. It is warming, with the alcohol coming through a little bit harsh.

Not their best offering, but still good and fairly refreshing for a barleywine.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer is dark watery brownw with a two finger light tan head that fades way to fast.

The aroma is strong and super flavorful. Sweet malts of wonderful caramel, dark fruits and a hint of hops and alcohol on the finish.

The taste is pretty good, starts off sweet caramel but then you are hit with tons of alcohol, not masked very well. Nice hoppy finish.

The feel is kinda light, not totally drinkable with the alcohol.

Overall, this is the best smelling bw I've had. If they could lose the alcohol in the taste that would be a top 100.

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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 glid02
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage courtesy of Paul - much obliged!

Pours a honey-copper color with an off-white head. The head settles fairly quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet malts with a lot of hops - mostly citrus but with pine and floral hints in there as well. There's also a bit of nondescript fruit smells.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the malts are a bit more in charge. Pine hop flavors come out more than any other hop flavor, and the fruit flavors are still there. This is an interesting mish-mash of flavors that ends with a nice bitterness. This is fresh from the brewery and I didn't find much presence of alcohol with the exception of a warming sensation.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a syrupy thickness with good carbonation that makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing what I had, but I'm not sure I could drink more than one of these at a time.

Overall I was impressed with how good this was fresh. The older version was certainly more balanced, but the flavors in the fresh bottle were still impressive. Worth a shot.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

'08 vintage courtesy of RomanW70. Poured a deep caramel/toffee color with a thin slick of foam and a semi-hazy clarity. Some spots of lacing exposed during the tasting, but no adhesion. Nose reveals toffee, raisins, figs, candy and alcohol. Taste is buttery and sugary with dark fruits making up the backbone (figs and raisins). Mouthfeel was medium-light (lighter than anticipated) with an mild carbonation. An easy drinking, well-balanced barleywine. I've yet to be disappointed by this brewer.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, with an unclear date notching.

appears an opaque rust color, with an 1/2" cream colored head. boozy aroma of fermented fruit. taste is malt heavy, a bit of caramel and plum. but finishes drier. body is on the thicker side, low carbonation.

decent beer, but the flavors are just a bit off for me.

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Photo of cbutova
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

A- Hazy red with a small off-white cap that has low end retention. A frothy cloud and ring leave just a little bit of lace.

S- I can tell it will be a strong beer. Huge dark fruit, slight alcohol, cherry, some citrus/hops and a backbone of caramel malt.

T- Follows the nose for the most part. Some yeast hints and very slight medicinal notes in with the fruit. Very strong. Some truffle/toffee/molasses hints and caramel malt.

MF- Creamy moderate body with lower end carbonation. Very, very warm from alcohol and somewhat bitter.

DB- A strong Barleywine with big dark fruit profile. Aggressive but I enjoy that in this style. This would probably age pretty well if the malt came forward a bit more.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – Served a deep copper color with a one finger cream colored head. The head has a good level of retension slowly fading over time to leave a decent level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of sweeter aromas. The main is that of a caramel and butterscotch nature, but it also has lots of fruity aromas of cherry and raisin. Along with these smells is a moderately strong boozy smell of rum and a bit of a herbal hop aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a bready and moderately sweet flavor of caramel and darker fruits upfront. A bit of booziness is present from the start with it growing stronger and more rum like in flavor as the flavor advances. Some wood and herbal flavors begin developing more toward the middle to the taste, with them remaining rather light to the end. Some roasted flavors come to the tongue more at the end and when combined with the herbal and a bitter citrus, one is left with a hot bitter-sweet boozy flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the creamier side with a carbonation level that is rather low. Both are appropriate for creating a more chewy and thick beer which in concert with its strength and boozy nature make for a slow sipper.

Overall – Not too bad, but a little messy at the end of the taste as the bitter and sweet sorta collide with the booziness leaving a slightly off flavor in the mouth. Not one I would necessarily frequent.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.24/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, delivered by Blackie who always keeps me up to date on my mediocre NC beer drinking (not you highland!!)

appearance: very nice appearance...shiny amber body, very clear, big frothy beige head with great lacing. It's a nice looking barleywine, thats for sure

smell: odd...metallic, plasticy pungent hops, sharp candied aromas...unusual and difficult to describe

taste: This is just a wierd beer. Its not particularly offensive but its not one of the better barleywines i have had. Hop presence is a tad sour, not too bitter, and difficult to place (its citrusy, not particulary piney)...artifical cherry flavoring. I'm at a loss for words

mouthfeel: pretty smooth, sour, lacking bitterness, moderate alcohol feel

drinkability: eh

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Photo of maximum12
2.68/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to marcpal for this one, I'm always willing & eager to pop open a barelywine I've never tasted before. Let the popping begin!

Well, I've never experienced that before. Pouring the beer leads me to wonder if I'd just poured milk into a bowl of Rice Krispies, the head was popping & hissing clearly for several seconds after the end of the pour. Freaking weird! It's gotta real purty mouth, too, ruby red just the way I like it.

Smell is...rubbing alcohol? I might have to transplant some hair from ears to my nose after a whiff, the alcohol presence is epic.

But who cares about that? What's important is the taste, & it's, it's, got a strange funk to it. After a couple of sips, not a pleasant funk. More like the funk of your scrubbing sponge when it's been sitting wet in the sink for a week or two. Hmmmm. There is some dank fruit, & the alcohol is surpisingly subdued, but the must overpowers the positive aspects. It does get somewhat better as it warms.

Too bad; maybe a bad bottle? The run-up to the actual tasting was great, but ultimately this beer doesn't hold up it's end of the bargain.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.41/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
11% ABV, Enjoy by 2, 6, 13 (I think...it's barely there) notched on the label.

Thanks Onenote81!

A - Deep lightly hazy copper in color, this barleywine is gorgeous and topped by a long-lasting ivory head that dots the snifter in delicate lacing.

S - Infection is starting to peek through an otherwise great-smelling beer. Behind the light sour, musty funk and phenolic band-aid nose rests bushels of deep malt. Pleasant dark fruits of plum and raisin skin emerge along side the caramel sweetness and overall dense bready aroma. This contains enough hoppiness, though, to be more akin to an American-style barleywine with it's hefty bitterness and citrus characteristics. Fusel alcohol definitely asserts itself into the aroma as well.

I wouldn't go as far as to say the aroma is ruined, but it's certainly well on it's way.

T - Hearty malts continue on in flavor, but this beer is overly ruined by it's infection. Sour bacteria and phenolic plastic invade it's every pore, sucking the life from the beer. I don't really want to go on at this point.

M - Full-bodied and chewy, there's quite a bit of sweetness, well-balanced by some bold lingering bitterness, but the problem lies in the strong tart, sourness. Oddly enough, even with my love of sour power, I can't dig it. Alcohol continues to be present, warming up the throat as it goes down.

O - Underneath the unfortunate infection problem, this barleywine shows real promise. Deep malts and hops seem to balance well. I look forward to trying this one when it's back on track; I bet it's pretty incredible.

I'll be honest though, I don't find this beer utterly undrinkable. After the initial shock, one could muscle through it if one was so inclined to look for it's alcohol effect. But sadly, I'll be drain-pouring this bottle in search of something else.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle received in a trade with leftmindedrighty. The pour was red-brown with a very nice sized white head. The smell was dark fruits and alcohol. The taste was the same with an added medicinal quality as well as cherry cough syrup. I was really let down by this as I have loved DR's porter and baltic. Oh well, it was worth a try.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.21/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-slightly hazy dark golden orange in color with an off white head that has a good bit of bubbles on top but looks creamy and relatively tight. The retention is very good, it lingers for quite some time and leaves a very nice coating on the glass.

S-the nose is actually quite hoppy especially for an english barleywine. It is more along the lines of a bigfoot, which I like but is a little off for the style. Grapefruit and apricot come at you right up front and really is the centerpiece of the aroma. A lightly toasted bready malt comes in towards the back with some pale malts lying underneath.

T-the taste is a little all over the place. Grapefruit and apricot are strong up front. Tons of burnt brown sugar and caramel malts set up in the middle. The bready malts seem to hide in the back with a strong bitterness taking hold at the finish. Notes of alcohol seem to kick in towards the middle and really have a warming effect towards the back.

M-this is medium bodied and syrupy. It is pretty smooth and seems to have some carbonation issues in the back, rough on the back of the throat. It is pretty wet throughout.

D-this is a little bit of a mess, its kind of all over there in the taste and really hoppy for an english barleywine. The booze is quite strong throughout and not something I would want to drink frequently.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out of the tap an opaque light reddish chocolate-brown with a fine-bubbled, pale yellowish tan head. Strong, malty, fruity-sweet aroma is rather inviting. Flavor is strongly fruity and, like a proper barleywine, has a fierce alcohol bite. Texture is lively, edgy and tingly.

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Photo of bsuedekum
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bell's tulip.

A: The best feature of this one. It looks incredible in the glass. Pours a very dark (almost brown) ruby color with about an 1/8" head (which I like on a barleywine).

S: Malts, alcohol, sugars

T: A very balanced barleywine. It has a few tastes going on, but nothing too complex, just straight forward goodness. A classic barleywine upfront with a touch of a bitter hop finish which works well for this one.

M: Medium body with slight carbonation and a crisp finish. Has a booze to it but doesn't linger.

O: I think it's solid throughout and a very good barlewyine. This is my first beer from Duck-Rabbit and I thought it was satisfying and a very enjoyable treat. I'll be sure to pick up a couple bottles if I'm ever somewhere this is sold.

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Photo of mynie
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Abominable made is so I like EBWs. Sucks to be the EBW I review right after that one, but Duck Rabbit does some fine work so whatever, just whatever.

Pours flat with a tiny white cap and so thick and dark you'd think it was maple syrup. Neat.

Hmm... maybe this is a bit too cold. It smells richly of thick malt and noble hops, but it's hard to pick out any real complexities. It's good, but I prefer less abrasive malt profiles in my barley wines (so it gets a 4.0 instead of a 4.5 or 5).

Tastes surprisingly sweet, given its style and aroma. The malt is thick and it cuts into your tongue like a chainsaw through jello, but the long caramel sweetness is balanced nicely by the bitter spice of european hops.

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Photo of Pencible
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a hazy copper with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like caramel and butterscotch malts, with citrus hops (mostly fresh oranges) and a little alcohol.
T: It tasted like oranges and citrus zest, with caramel and butterscotch and a bit of biscuit. It had a bitter and clean aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with a little carbonation. Decent body.
D: This had a nice scent and taste, with well balanced elements. Not dissimilar from something like Old Ruffian or even a fresh Gratitude, but not quite as bold or complex as either of those. The alcohol was quite noticeable in the scent, not as much in the taste, so it was fairly easy to drink. This will probably improve with age, as it's still a bit rough around the edges. Fresh, this beer was good, but it was only reminiscent of the truly great barleywines.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy chestnut color. The off-white shaded head is quite small - not even a finger high - and doesn't even retain itself well. It leaves a bit more lacing than I expected, though.

S: There seem to be a goodly amount of toasted malt notes, giving it a lush breadyness to it. Plenty of dark fruits lurk behind the malty goodness, and even a wisp of dark chocolate comes through occasionally. There are some tart and boozy touches. Some nice subtleties here - it isn't just malts and a bit of fruit.

T: It starts with plenty of toasted malts. Dark fruit flavors enter the picture after the midtaste, with some alcohol appearing on the finish. Touches of leather, chocolate, and cherries also come through. The boozy nature isn't just generic fusel nastiness, but it's also well nuanced, well integrated, mellow, fruity, and a bit tart - just like it should be in a barleywine. Complexity isn't forceful, rather it's subtle and challenging yet rewarding all at the same time.

M: The body is full, but perhaps not quite as creamy as I'd enjoy. It's quite well attenuated, giving it low finishing sweetness (for the style), but a noticeable booze presence and a tart bite. An 11% barleywine devoid of a significant hop presence shouldn't be this drinkable. And yet this is.

O: Where did this come from? All I know about Duck-Rabbit is that they only brew dark beers - and that they struggle with infection problems. This, thankfully, isn't infected, just damn tasty. One of the better non-barreled barleywines I've had in a while.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you to CruisaC (and the barleywine BIF).

a - opened the bottle and filled my CCB snifter. Classy transparent ruby orange brown with a thin off-white head. Semi-sticky lacing.

s - Nice sweet malts. Brown sugar, nutmeg, great balance. Touch of caramel.

t - good brown sugar, caramelly malt...finishes bitter. alcohol comes across a bit peppery. a bit one dimensional.

m - extremely smooth, leaves a heavy alcohol tingle throughout my mouth.

o - overall, this is a pretty big beer. it is good. nothing crazy.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
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 rodbeermunch
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
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 AgentZero
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottleshare thanks to Alex.

A - Nice looking, deep red-mahogany colored beer with a slight bit of off-white head. Faded to a partial ringt with no real stick left on the sides of the glass.

S - Smell is actually pretty nice. Some good caramel, little earth, crystalized malts, and a little bit of nuttyness. Slight bit of alcohol heat.

T - Taste is a little thin, not as sweet as the smell would indicate. Slightly watered down, kind of a boozy finish that thins it out even more. Caramel not nearly as pronouncd as you would like.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied, moderate carbonation, hot on the thin finish.

O - It's not horrible beer, but the taste is a letdown from what is a pretty good smelling beer. The heat isn't helping, but this isn't horrible.

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Photo of jaxon53
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 354 ratings.
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