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

very good
357 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: 357 | Ratings: 597
Photo of ruckzuck
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap tonight at BSP. I was very glad to be there to inaugurate Duck Rabbit into GA.

A - deep red, off-white head

S - citrus, chocolate, roasted malt, hops

T - same as smell; really great; taste was really enjoyable at the pub; I love this beer!

M - medium body, nice carbonation

D - incredible! My notes from the pub say "should be illegal!" and that's probably about right. Duck Rabbit can do no wrong and I'm proud to have met the brewers tonight!

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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 auxiliary
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - Nice copper color with a large head that had good retention. Nice lace left on the glass because of this.

smell - Caramel, brown sugar, and some citrus smells.

taste - Has a sweet malt taste, with a fruit side here. Caramel and brown sugars are present in the malt taste.

mouthfeel -Medium body with some carbonation.

drinkability - Nice beer, I'm glad i tried this, since I hear a lot about Duck Rabbit. Hope to try them all from this company.

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Photo of beermanbrian
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Last of the Duck-Rabbit brews that i have to try and once again it's a challange to get it into the glass. What is up with this brewery and overcarbonating the beers. It's frankly just pretty annoying and really drags down my impression of what otherwise were fairly solid beers.

Nice bronze color but the head turns me off a little. It's foamy and gives the impression of a glob of tan shaving cream sitting on top of the beer. The head is maintained at a solid inch but stong stream of carbonation to the top.

Sweet sticky malt smell with some that high ABV burning though in the background. Taste is also sticky sweet but it does have that typical english style beer taste, not sure i can put a finger on what it is. I guess it's kind of an earthyness.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with a bland finish. Overall this one leaves me wanting more. The flavors are one dimensional and I still can't get past the overcarbonation that makes it impossible to pour.

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Photo of Vancer
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great brew from limesmut in a nice trade.

Easy with the pour on this one, or it will shoot forth with a massive tan foam bomb – sticky Brussels lace ALL the way down. Beautiful amber oak brew.

Sweet ass caramel malty barley wine brew. Even a pop of RIS dark fruit in the background. Sticky in the throat, must be 1/8 inch thick malt paint in there. Of course, NO hint of a wallop packing 11%. Drinks Way to easy, a hammer wolf in session lambs clothes.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 11 % ABV. Pours with a huge amount of carbonation. I had to pour half and let it settle for a while. Cloudy, lighter shade of chestnet with some ruby highlights. Head is tan, thick and airy.

Caramel covered fruit, butterscotch and cotton candy come to mind in the nose. Some more dark fruit. Certainly on the fruity side, as not much more than some earthy aroma on the hop side.

Cherry, dark fruits, raisins, figs, a bit of butterscotch and again with the cotton candy. Several layers here. Some warming from the alcohol. Fair amount of earthy bitterness at the end.

Sticky and sweet with a lot of fruit going on. Medium to full body. Once the carbonation settled down, things seemed to be ok. Very complex.

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Photo of loren01
4.26/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beer very carefully poured into my glass after an old faithful like explosion when I popped the top. Huge white head, lots of lacing, beer poured a nice ruby color
S: Fruity sweet aroma, smells like grapes or grape juice. Also ETOH scent is present
T: Same grape flavor, sweet malt.
M: Full bodied, medium to high amount of carbonation
D: The amount of carbonation is kind of annoying but this is a very drinkable beer beyond that.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rusty amber in color, a slight haze but mainly clear, a good sized buttery cream head very slowy recedes lacing as it does. Nice sugary sweet aroma with strong citrus notes, like citrus candy, caramel and breadiness and alcohol in the aroma as well. Taste is very similar with a major dose of sugary caramel maltiness and strong citrus flavor. Mouthfeel is soft and creamy, yet big and thick and sugary chewiness, cut in the finish with some alcohol heat. alcohol is very well balanced in all aspects for its size. Unique and tasty beer, some barleywine characteristics but for me more like an very large imperial red or malty strong ale. Either way, a very good sipper, love to see what some age will do.

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

This barleywine poured a nice ruby-brown color with a medium tan head and excellent lacing.
The aroma was tons of brown sugar and raisin, but notes of alcohol and possibly some plum? Decently complex, and surprising.
The taste was very sweet caramel and malt, with mild hop presence and notes of citrus, raisin and spice. Very enjoyable.
The mouthfeel was very sweet throughout, and unfortunately the downfall of this brew in my opinion; just simply too sweet. I look for a good balance in a barleywine and this simply wasn't balanced as well as it could be.
It was an enjoyable beer but its very high ABV and sweetness leaves this beer only decently drinkable. That having been said, I still applaud the take on the style and the attempt by DR; still an excellent local NC brewery.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice, somewhat pale ruby color with a decent head on top. Fruity and toffeeish aroma. Great malty flavor with a nice flavor of dried fruits and rasiens. This has English barleywine all over it for sure. Slight bitterness to it but balanced against a considerable amount of sweetness. I was expecting a slight alcohol harshness for 11% but none here. Great body for the style. Not overly syrupy. Simply a great example. Quite the sipper for sure. Best US version of an English Barleywine I have had.

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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 NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Duck-Rabbit's barleywine pours a clear, ruby-accented dark chestnut body beneath a short head of creamy tan foam. The rich aroma rises up at you: malty, fruity, hoppy - it's English in nature, but with more fruitiness than you'd normally expect. The head drops steadily to an average collar, but walls of spotty lace are left behind - it's kind of nice... almost like polka dots. The flavor bears out what the nose suggests, and it's malty with a healthy cereal characteristic and lots of sweetish caramelized sugar. There's a touch of toffee and nuttiness to it as well; and the yeast has left a small puddle of reddish fruit juice and lots of dark-skinned fruit as its calling card. The alcohol is kept in check, but it helps to dry things along with a very moderate astringency and solid bitterness. It finishes dry and a bit spicy and earthy or mineralish with a combination of lingering hops (leafy, grassy, floral) and dark skinned fruit. It's well-balanced, well rounded, and well polished, yet all of its components remain able to shine on their own. Very nicely done!!! Certainly worth trying.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
2.76/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm a big fan of the other Duck Rabbit big beers, so I was really looking forward to trying this one. Unfortunately, this beer is out of whack and in my opinion not at all in the same caliber as their other beers. Next time I'll try it again from the bottle and let it age some and see if it improves. Pours dark amber with a big head that lasts surprisingly long given the high abv. The smell is surprisingly light and has a vegetal note to it, (tomato?) that is a little offputting. The taste has more tomato and on top of that is way too sweet. Strong, alcoholic sugar water with a tomato tinge? No thanks! The flavor is just bizarre. I would put this down to the keg being off if it hadn't been served to me by the brewery at the Hickory Hops fest. The mouthfeel is creamy, but also a little too slick. This one is not utterly bad, but its got some flavors going on that I just don't find that palatable. I'm not sure what went wrong here, but I think this beer probably doesn't belong on draft.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.26/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Thick tan head on a crystal clear amber body. Great head retention.
S- Toffee, mix of fruits going all across the board, light citrus hops, and caramel.
T- Citrus orange hops blended with toffee malts and some other fruits. Almost a weird blend of flavors in this. Some breads come through also. Almost like some apple juice in there.
M- Medium body with medium/high carbonation.
D- Its just not my kind of flavors. Really strange blend of flavors. Looks good though!

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

Reddish brown pour into a snifter. Huge head which took up nearly half the glass and lasted a long time. Spicy sweet malt accents the smell, a lot like a Belgian quad. Flavors are similar. Malt predominates, sweet fruit flavors and just a tiny hint of hops. Seven months of cellaring have seriously improved this beer. Alcohol is concealed pretty well, so this is quite drinkable for an 11% beer. Another excellent seasonal from Duck Rabbit.

2008 Vintage.
Dark copper pour with a cream colored head which lasts for quite a while and leaves lacing down the glass. Some spice in the aroma with a bit of malt and a little bit hop presence.
The big difference in this year's version is the prominence of the hops, especially in the flavor, which provides a really nice balance to what would otherwise be an overly malt accented beer. Grapefruit-like bitterness mixes with extremely sweet maltiness to create a much more American version of a barleywine. At the release party we were told that this year's version had 20% more hops than last year's and I believe it.
Mouthfeel is suitably thick and caresses the tongue with silkiness.
This is a great beer right now, unlike last year's beer which needed six months or so to mature. It comes very close to being an American barleywine instead of an English one.

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

Been excited about trying this one. The two previous Duck Rabbits I've sampled have been stellar yet they were higher rated so hopefully this will live up to my hype:)

Hard not to give this a 4.5 for looks. Dark molten copper with scarlet/ruby shinings through. Nice amount of carbonation bubbles, very large make there way toward the large off white bordering yellow head of a good 3 fingers (hard pour). Leaves some very sticky thick spotted lacing behind. Great retention considering the ABV.

Nose is very nice as well. Big and full aromas of melted caramel, toffee, alcohol, dried smyrna fig, prune, brown sugar, buttered baked apple, some dried pear rings as well. RS is noticeable as well. Big complex aromas.

Well I like this beer. Mouthfeel may be bigger and bolder than anything I remember trying. Just a huge round chewy monster of a barley wine somewhat discombobulated with complex flavors lingering on every tastebud of my tongue. First and foremost are a huge thick syrupy caramel, toffee malt. Slight milk chocolate with a fig reduction sauce type flavor. Alcohol plays a large role but doesn't interfere with anything, a nice burn in the chest. White raisin, and maple syrup help round things out with the slightest bit of vanilla bean on the long finish. Such a big beer this is a hard drink but I love the style and could drink a few before passing out.

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Photo of DrJay
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received from derrickt007 as an extra from Double Trouble GIF. Thanks Derrick!

Crystal clear burnt orange topped by a generous beige head. Good retention and nice lacing, especially given the gravity. Looks pretty viscous, bubbles rise very slowly through the beer. Citrusy aroma, some tangerine, a little fruity, slight banana, caramel, light alcohol. Very sweet, lots of residual sugar makes this pretty thick. Alcohol is well controlled, bitterness is very restrained. Orange hop flavour throughout, with pine resin backing this up. Malt is a little crackery. Fairly low carbonation, sticky, some warmth. This is a really strange barleywine. It doesn't quite fit my expectations for the style, but it's pretty good and is an easy drinker.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to slcbrewer for this one.

Poured into a chalice a deep dark clean/clear reddish color, nice carbonation, huge creamy tannish head, tons of sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is of malts, cherries, a tangyness, some caramel. The taste is sweet, slightly tangy, a good dose of cherries, some caramel. The finish is slightly dry. The alcohol is hidden very well. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really like this one, very different from an american barleywine, there's a nice sweetness to it, dark fruits, very enjoyable. Highly recommended.

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with greater than a full finger light tan head that has maximum fade resistance. 3-d lacing observed.

The smell has some classic elements. A combination of citrus fruit and sweet malty caramel. This one may be slightly oxidized. You get a Trix cereal fruitiness as it warms up.

The medium bodied, the mouth feel presents a tingly from the visible effervescence.

The flavor is unique. A definite sweetness but, it's a fruity sweetness as opposed to a caramel-like character. The creamy texture of the mouth and this particular flavor don't complement each other that well IMO. I'm not sure what that is but i recognize it from the Arcadia Cereal Killer i had last week.

Drinkability - I experienced an immediate warmth from the 11% ABV, but it wasn't distracting. An interesting combination. I'd like to know more about what's going on. Complex, but not compelling.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
1.64/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I don’t quite know how to start with this one. It looked fine in the glass. Nice reddish copper color with only a slight ring of head around the glass. But this smelled and tasted completely different than any other BW I’ve had.
It had some kind of a what I was referring to as rotten corn taste and smell. Really perplexing. Like spoiled corn syrup was used to make this beast. It was slightly over carbonated, but the alcohol was hidden fairly well. I’m still lost as to what was coming through in the nose and taste. Never experienced anything like it.
EDIT: After reading another review I agree. The smell and taste is somewhat of overcooked vegetables. Not pleasant at all.

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

12oz. bottle poured a clear reddish orange color with lots of foam that made it hard to pour and leaves sticky foam around the glass.

Smell - sweet and fruity with a bit of alcohol.
Taste - some apple and peach with a mild bitterness and slight sour bite in the finish.
Feel - light bodied, sticky, some what dry, seemed a bit over carbonated from the pour but feels a bit flat.
Drinkability - an easy to drink brew, nothing to complex, lots of alcohol but fairly well hidden.

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Photo of Crosling
3.12/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Firey orange color. Big head. The nose doesn’t offer anything of distinction...just a very light smell. Flavor brings some super sweet malt and some unusual fruit flavors. Some nice elements in the flavor, such as the caramel-like finish, but for the most part this is weird and below average.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This wasn't that great when it was really that it's got over half-year of age on it, I'm hoping it'll fare better...

Head is big, creamy and light tan, and it retains relatively well for such a high-alcohol beer. Patient bubbles slowly work their way up in the glassy burgundy-red color. Beautiful. And absolute gobs of lace.

The aroma is simply amazing: big fruit sweetness leaps out of the glass (you can smell it with your nose 6 inches away from the glass at the beginning of the pour); red licorice; musty, wild smell similar to Belgian yeast strains and candi sugars; tobacco leaf; toffee.

Flavor is as sweet as expected, very candylike, like caramel-covered candied apples, also big juicy red cherries, pineapple, sour fruits, and a grassy astringency in the back. Slightly sour finish helps balance the sweetness. Even though they aren't known for barleywines, I would believe this came from Belgium, having several Belgian characteristics that you usually don't find in barleywines.

Mouthfeel is silky and slightly chewy, even kind of creamy, like steamed milk.

Not even close to disappointing or unsatisfying, but it does lack some balance, and maybe it's still too young. It's sweet, that's for sure. Should be interesting to see what more age does to this...and as a self-proclaimed "dark beer specialist" with a great track record, I bet Duck-Rabbit will only improve on this initial recipe.

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Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my trusty Red Oak nonic a deep auburn with a tight formed 2 finger of white head that left spotty lacing as it settled slowly.Brown sugar and almost cinnamon-like spice hit upfront in the nose also quite floral with hints of minty leaf hoppiness.A bit thinner than expected for such a big beer ,not big and chewey like I would have liked still not a major flaw,dark fruit and alcohol warnth standout after the first few sips along with some honey sweetness with decent herbal smack of hops showing thru late.I detected quite an alcohol zip thruout from beginning to end making it a one and done for me for sure still its got good flavors and well it should be a sipper anyways.

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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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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
3.8 out of 5 based on 597 ratings.
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