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

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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 356 | Ratings: 595
Photo of jimixr
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a totally clear auburn with one finger of white head. The foam falls quickly to some spotty lacing.

S - A lot of caramel aroma with some dark fruit mixed in, a little tobacco is present. There is also a strong whiff of alcohol.

T - Big malt and sweet caramel flavors . There is a nice hop bitterness here as well. The beer is actually quite balanced. As the beer warms more of the fruit and hop starts to come through.

M - Very full bodied, with great carbonation. Very nice.

O - I loved everything about this beer. Simply delicious. A sipper for sure, but a great treat. A little to heavy for an everyday drinker, but excellent overall.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into tulip.

A - Pours a copper brown with good off white head formation. Weak lacing and head wasn't interested enough to stick around

S - Some hops actually, a drying bitterness. Slightly fruity with sugars (brown sugar and caramel).

T - Is this a belgo-BW? Distinct belgian-type yeast flavour, interesting, not bad though. Fairly sweet brown sugar, vanilla and some honey. Could be a little sweeter and a little less bitter to be closer to an English BW. I do pick up a metallic finish on back palate, and I know it is not me.

M - Dry, metallic, messy, medium

O - Not a very interesting beer, and I love English BW but this one falls a bit off the wagon. Weird metallic taste and a bit of a messy taste, unbalanced.

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Photo of bum732
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
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 psiweaver
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an oakquinox tasting glass. Shared by Robert from the original bottling of this beer.

A: pours a hazey brown with a soft little light brown head that quickly dissipates.

S: has a nice smell with lots of sweetness. not a ton to the nose.

T: very very sweet flavor with the alcohol nicely integrated. Not really my thing though as the sweetness was cloying and almost overwhelming.

M: very smooth with the proper amount of carbonation but just too much sweetness that was cloying.

overall just too sweet and that overwhelmed everything else.

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Photo of gopens44
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark copper and clear with a thin foam head

S - Massive cherry smells take over until a little sweet malt comes through.

T - Massive dark cherry taste and a hint of something slightly Belgian? I swear there was a Belgian something happening here. Either way, it's pretty sweet but not cloyingly so. Finishes a little alcohol forward, but not overly hot.

M - Thin to medium body (somewhere right in between) with a decent level of carbonation. Dry finish with very little aftertaste.

O - I tend to forget that there IS a difference between American and English Barleywines, and drank about 1/4" of this not knowing what was happening, then I remembered that this is an English barleywine. Given that, I'd say it's a pretty nifty representation of the style, but just a tad more in the alcohol area than others I've had. Not for drinking after two or three other beers but as a nice aperitif, I think it works pretty well with all the sweet cherry tastes going on.

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Photo of Jimmys
2.8/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: chestnut brown. an off-white/tan head turns into a thin sheet. some serious bubbles rising up.

S: one of the first english barleywines ive had where i noticed an assertive hop character before a malt sweetness. some caramel in there as well, but definitely more on the earth hop side.

T: a significant caramel sweetness, but not as potent as i expected. as i continue i actually find it lacking. especially with the 11%abv nametag. also has an earthy/roasty component. the earthiness has a little bit of hoppy herbal-ness to it as well. a little alcohol on the end.

M: velvet-like, moderate carbonation on a pretty full body. a bit of alcohol warmth.

D: not very impressed with this one. just not sweet enough for an english barleywine. even if it was mislabeled here on BA, i still wouldn't classify it as a good example of american barleywine.

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Photo of seeswo
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

January 2009 bottle. Pours a perfect brown that pops red held up in front of a light, with two fingers of tan head. This looks dead on. Smell is sweet and fruity, but not too sweet. A twinge of faded hops. Smells very good. The taste is not as good as the appearance or the nose. A faded hop bitterness starts things out and dries the palette. This gives way to a bit of sweetness that pokes its head out and then falls back away. The taste is all drying dead hops. What a let down. This is one to open after a few more years or fresh, I would guess. In this bottle, the hops suppress the malt flavor almost entirely, but taste dead themselves. Mouthfeel is a bit bigger than medium with that drying in the mouth. Solid carbonation. Overall, this beer is a big letdown. It just doesn't taste very good. Never had an English Barleywine that was bland, dry and with little to no sweetness. Maybe this is just a dead period in the aging.

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

12 oz bottle into a snifter. Will edit this when I research who exactly sent to to me.

Pours an opaque rust color with nearly no retention other than a few globs of suds along the edges. Greasy porn star legs don't last, leaving nary a hint of lacing. Why must you tease me so?

Smells of brown sugar, vanilla, and candied fruit with a dash of alcohol. Brown sugar cookies...gingerbread?...certainly plays front and center. I wish the hops tried harder here.

Taste mostly follows suit with notes a cider sweeping along the malt. Finish borders on cloying, but remains firmly on the positive side with an orange citrus bite that rounds things out. I'd like a fresh bottle for comparison, but this is nice.

Carbonation is sluggish...appropriate but low and soft in the mouth.

Overall, a good barleywine that doesn't show too boozy. Thanks for the opportunity!

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Photo of eat
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened courtesy of viggo...thanks a ton!

Ruby-amber colour, translucent body with a thin layer of off-white head. Little bit of lacing.

Smells like a huge malt bomb. Tons of sugary caramel, Whoppers malted milk balls, brown sugar, vanilla. I love the smell of super malty beers like this.

The taste follows the nose. Huge mouthful of sweet dark malt, molasses, raisins and figs, candy sugar. All malt, though in a good way. I'm writing this review from old notes and didn't mention alcohol at all; I'm guessing that must be a good thing at 11% ABV. Maybe I didn't realize it was so strong.

Full body with medium carbonation. Appropriate I suppose.

If you're looking for a crazily malty beer, this is a good one. Drinkable as a sipper, definitely don't want to be sessioning this stuff.

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Photo of JMforman
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
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 ppoitras
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained from someone in trade awhile back. Sorry for my forgetfulness, but thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a DFH snifter, formed a 1/4" tan head over the cloudy burgundy brew. Head quickly fades and recedes to the rim, with sticky but limited lacing. Aroma is sweet tannins and fruity alcohol.

Taste starts sweet, lightly fruity in the middle, then goes all tannins and alcohol at the close. Leathery lingering. Mouthfeel is soft over the tongue, not quite as smooth as I would hope, and drinkability is pretty good. Not as exciting as I hoped.

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Photo of Dubber55
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Caramel/amber pour with 1 finger of carbonation

Smells like pine, citrus, and alcohol. Lots of piney hops in the aroma.

Taste follows the smell. Loads of piney hops, some orange rind, and booze. Lots of pine resin as well. Pretty sticky. It also seems to be really bready. Must be from the toasted malts. I am tasting a little brown sugar/caramel, but the hops are really overpowering.

Solidy medium carbonation. This is definitely a hefty beer. Pretty chewy and sticky. A little too much carbonation

Overall this beer does not remind me of an English Barleywine. There are way too many hops and no sweetness. Seems to be unbalanced

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Photo of Boto
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle: This one pours a cloudy orangish dark amber color. There was a small off white head on it that leaves some lacing. Piney and citrus hops to the nose, but not overly done. Some caramel and mustiness also. The taste is good. Subdued bitterness, with lots of citrus and some hop flavors. fair amount of caramel malt, with the sweetness masked and balanced by the hops. Somewhat dry finish. Not bad at all.

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Photo of chicagobeerriot
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to hopsleeroy for stashing this in as an extra.

DR Barleywine makes a very pleasant first impression. It shows up in the glass as a very attractive dark copper with ruby highlights when held to the light. One inch of light yellow head leaves some nice lacing within the limits of the style.

Smells like there will be some decent hops here. Pine, grapefruit and lemon are all hitting the nose with some light custard underneath.

With the first few sips, it's clear that this is going to pack a solid hop punch. The pine is even stronger on the taste buds than on the nose. After the hops take their first shot, there is a sudden, deep caramel note that then fades into a strong pine bitterness fueled by a little bit of alcohol heat.

This should age quite nicely. The pine and caramel notes are in a bit of conflict right now, but some age should round those flavors out and cut some of the heat off the finish. My guess is that, with a couple of years on it, this will become quite extraordinary. As it is, this is well worth a try, especially if you like your Barleywines to be just one step away from being a DIPA.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
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 n2185
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage

A: Pours a nice, clear mahogany with about two fingers of khaki head. The head recedes into a ring with a thin film, but leaves behind a surprising spiderweb of lacing.

S: Caramel malt up front followed by some light citrusy hops in the middle. The finish is of warming alcohol.

T: Similar to the aroma, there are some caramel malts up front followed by a surprising showing of some citrusy hops with a light resiny bitterness. The finish slightly bitter with a strong warming from the alcohol. Not too sweet or bitter--quite nice.

M: Thick body with mid-low carbonation, this beer is pretty smooth and avoids being cloyingly sweet like many English barleywines or extremely bitter like many American.

D: A very well-balanced barleywine, especially for 11%. Goes down easily and doesn't leave me feeling like I'm about to get diabetes like some. The alcohol is definitely present, but without being too hot.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.
Clear ruby color with a 1/4" tan foamy head. Recedes to a thick ring and leaves soapy lacing.
Smells of orange candy and guava paste, slightly vinous, a little caramel or toffee. Faint at first but comes out more as it approaches room temp.
Hop flavors of pine and orange zest up front on the taste, with some subtle toffee and sweet raspberry and cherry. Dry, bitter finish with lingering pine and fruit. Hop forward but fairly well balanced with malt tastes.
Smooth and well carbonated texture, medium bodied. Slightly creamy, moreso as it warms a little. Ends dry and crisp.
Pretty tasty and engaging, a bit too bitter of a finish.
Comes off as more of an American barleywine, but it's pretty good. Could use more malt presence but it has some nice stuff going on.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle shared by viggo - nightacapper, thanks man!

Rich golden brown beer with a clean head with some retention. Really classic English malt profiles, rich caramel, toasted brown sugar, raisin, molasses, hints of cocoa, toast. Light citric hopping which provides a light bitterness and drying in the finish. Hides the ABV real well, very full flavored. Just so tasty.

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

Poured from a 12 oz (from a 6 pack) into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear amber/brown with a one finger tan head that sticks around for a bit.
S: Caramel, toffee, and citrusy hops.
T: A blast of hop bitterness is followed by the subtly sweetness characteristic of a barleywine (the caramel and toffee).
M: Great carbonation, full bodied, and just a little bit sticky on the palate.
D: Not easy to put down by any means for the style. However, this brew is flavorful enough and lacks any taste of alcohol to add to its drinkability considering its style.

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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 slowbie
4.65/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours a nice reddish brown color with great clarity and ruby highlights flashing in the light. A one finger light tan head forms on top with good retention.

Good barleywine aromas of raisins and plumbs. Not much alcohol in the nose. Very citrusy hops are mildly evident.

Taste is oh so wonderful. Plumbs and raisins fade to orange-citrus hops. The hoppy flavors in this one are just fantastic. Many barleywines (including the one I just brewed) have what I perceive as a harsh astringency from the hops, but this is more of a bitter citrus that works so much better with the malt flavors.

Mouth-coating amounts of body and good carbonation to accentuate but not distract from the flavors that are going on.

As good as this is now, I could see some age doing wonders for this beer. I might just have to convince the wife we need a whole six pack in addition to the two singles I bought.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 poured into snifter:

A - Ruby red, cherry color but also looks thin in the snifter I poured it in. Good.

S - Heavenly. Rum soaked raisin, hints of cherry, plum and oak. Very nice balance between all these characteristics. Seriously, I can't wait to take my first sip this one.

T - A truly impressive balance between bitter and sweet. Exactly matches the nose. Rum soaked raisin dominates this beer. Hints of cherry and plum and the oak flavor makes itself known also. Right before you'd say this beer is getting a bit sweet, the hops come in and bitter the finish out which keeps you coming back for sip after sip. Very well balanced. Does not taste 11%, alcohol is there but very hard to find. I could go through a few of these thinking it's 8%. Drinks like 8%. The only thing keeping this beer from going above a 4 is a small medicinal cough syrup thing going on but only detectable if you look for it. Focusing on the rum soaked raisin dulls this aspect though.

M - For a 11% Barleywine some might call this beer a bit thin. I'd just say they packed a bunch of Barleywine flavor into a thinner bodied beer for the style. Similar to Blind Pig when it comes to IPAs or Pliny for DIPAs. Bravo I say...well done. Not at all syrupy, chewy or "full bodied." Beer gets thicker 1/2 way through the 12oz bottle

D - Very good. You could put these down way too easy for a 11% Barleywine. I could of chose to make this a sipper or killed 2 bottles within 30 min depending on my mood. the beer gets thicker and stickier the further you get into though. Wouldn't have more than 2 in a sitting.

Final Thoughts - I didn't go into this beer with high expectations but I finished this beer very impressed and am sorry that I don't have another. Well Done!

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Photo of billab914
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a murky mahogany color with a thin white lacing stretched across the top of the beer. The head clung to the edges of the glass and left some modest lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a nice malty flavor with some notes of caramel, cherry and raisins to it. I get a little hop citrus to it as well with a little lemon to it.

The taste shows a rich and sweet malty flavor to it throughout the flavor. Caramel, raisins, cherries and figs show up in the maltiness. I get a bit of a lemony, grapefruit citrus to it as well. Some bitterness comes through in the finish which balances it out pretty nicely and also gives it a bit of dryness.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being about average for the style. It has a bit of a rich and creamy feel to it as well. Drinkability is pretty good, it had a nice rich malty flavor to it but also didn't become too sweet. Pretty good version of the style and an enjoyable beer to sip on this evening.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter; received in trade from cmmcdonn. Thanks Chad!

A: Pours a cloudy caramel-amber color; honestly, this looks like a melted down caramel drink. Very enticing, and with a one finger head and great lacing to add to the punches.

S: Rich caramel, toffee, and cream; bits of dark fruit and citrus from the hops add to a great aromatic balance.

T: Sweet caramel, bready malts dominate, but are balanced pleasantly with the aforementioned hops. Neither cloying nor too bitter, and the alcohol is undetectable.

M: Medium-thick body; moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy going down.

D: If this wasn't listed as a barleywine, I might have a hard time telling considering how drinkable it is. A bit of warmth from the alcohol peeks through, and sweetness may be just a tad overpronounced, but even saying that is nitpicking.

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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
3.8 out of 5 based on 595 ratings.
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