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

Duck-Rabbit Barleywine AleDuck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale
Liked This Beer
3.82 w/ 602 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 602 |  Reviews: 360
Photo of domtronzero
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear amber color with a tiny, short lived whitish head. Very little lacing.

S - Sweet bready caramel malts. Tons of hot boozy alcohol. Lite earthy hops emerge from behind the booze as it warms.

F/M - Tons of sweet caramelly bready malts. Again, an overpowering hot solventy booze flavor is quite dominant. Medium earthy and spicy hop flavors with a moderately high bitterness. Medium-full bodied with moderately low carbonation. Lingering boozy flavors mixed with caramel malt sweetness.

D - OK, but this beer is obviously a little hot right now. I'm not sure how old (or young) this bottle is, but it could probably benefit from a few more months in the cellar, if not a year.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
2.79/5  rDev -27%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into The Bruery tulip; best by date of 2/11. Big thanks to Ian for the bottle - a long-time resident of my wants list finally gets set aside.

Pours a positively murky red-brown - you can't see more than a couple of millimeters into this one. Thin tan head on top fades quickly to a ring of bubbles. The murkiness is a bit of a turn-off - I appreciate unfiltered, but this is like pond-water.

Nose, however, is quite enjoyable. Notes of caramel saturated in alcohol are surrounded bright, fruity notes ranging from candied cherry to tangerine, like rum-soaked fruitcake. A bit of light cardboardy oxidation notes as the beer warms.

Taste, however, is a bit unexpected. Instead of the onslaught of rich malt, I'm getting an intensely savory, almost umami character. Slight fruity sweetness is immediately set aside for earthy, almost fresh-leather savory notes bolstered by the firm alcohol presence. Finish is more of the same, intensely savory and rather unappealing. Honestly, my first expectation would be that this one is bad, but it's well within the best by date.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy, light carbonation. The bizarre flavor is rather enhanced, in a not pleasant way. Plodding.

Drinkability is no better than flavor. Doubtful that I'll finish the glass.

All in all, before I had my first Duck Rabbit beer, I was ridiculously excited about this brewery. While there have been some exceptions (Milk Stout is very good, Schwarzbier is aboe average) for the most part I've been disappointed. For a dark beer specialist, their specialty is rather unrefined.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
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 Hophead101
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

drank on 12.9.10 as part of Blind Beer BIF #3 from hayesez.

poured the 12 oz bottle into a snifter type glass. Pours a beautiful copper brown color with a well paired tan head to go with it. The glass hold beautiful lacing to add to the appearance.

The smell was a bit boozy (ok, a lot boozy), molasses, brown sugar.

Tasted very nice, follows the nose, some oak in there as well. A bit hot in alcohol, but I am very much enjoying this beer. Medium body, slight funk in the aftertaste, but you get used to it pretty quick. Nice beer.

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Photo of InsolublePancake
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy burnt orange with a small head that instantly dissipates into a thin ring of lace. Beer leaves small, patchy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Sweet caramel and toffee in the nose with a slight backing of bright citrus that keeps things interesting.

T- Tart citrus rind at the outset segues into rich, caramelly malt. Finishes a little sweet with a good dose of bitterness and a bit of alcohol burn. Very hoppy for an English Barleywine.

M- Full and a little syrupy; fairly low carbonation, but good for the style.

D- The alcohol level and the richness keep the drinkability down, but the flavors are good enough that you want to keep sipping.

Quite the enjoyable barleywine. The hops are a bit aggressive right now (especially given the style) so if you have one of these I'd recommend waiting a few months to let it mellow out a bit. A bit of age should really bring out the malt flavors and could make this an excellent beer going forward. As it is now it's good, just not great. Recommended.

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Photo of DmanGTR
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes on 6/18/10

A - brilliant deep amber/maple. Quite clear. Short lived cream colored head reduced to a soapy trail. Light trails of lace. 4.0

S - Lots of sweet caramel, honey, esters, touch of pears and alcohol. Maybe some raisins lost in there too. Honestly, it smells like someone kind of threw this together haphazardly. 3.5

T - Hugely sweet with a tiny hint of green apple. Raisins all around. Hot, alcoholic finish. 3.5

M - Medium bodied, smooth carbonation, but there's a bite to it. Very hot finish. 3.5

D - Decent, not the best but I think I'll give the other bottle a few years and revisit it then. 3.5

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Photo of Verecund
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Jan10 (est.) release. Reviewed 11.17.2010.

Cloudy, nearly opaque isabelline. Almost headless, DR barleywine leaves faint lacing.

Dank, tangerine; brown sugar and caramel; honey; slightly muted citrus; dried apricots. Hot and heavy, she's rich and has depth, but smells a bit soft. (There's no date on the DR releases that I know of, but this must be the Dec09/Jan10 release.) NOTE: Re-review when fresh.

Soft citrus and fairly strong herbal hoppiness with a supporting sweet, bready, caramel malt backbone. Sweet toffee finishes, but most of the flavor profile is earthy, slightly citrusy hop meets a bready, caramel malt body.

Medium and somewhat creamy. A little bit of stickiness to it, which I like. Fairly dry midway through the palate all the way to the finish. Warming.

A nice fall/winter brew. I'll update my scores upon trying this one fresh. Not exactly what I look for in a barleywine, but I'd like to try it 1) fresh and 2) with a couple of years on it. Not the best, but not the worst, of the DR seasonals.

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Photo of speter
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear deep amber with a minimal head, but reasonable lacing nonetheless.

S: Rich malt with an amazing amount of citrusy hops and some booze. A touch of brown sugar as well.

T: Very nice, indeed. As you would expect from a barleywine, the front is dominated by the malt, which in this case is a toasty biscuit malt. The finish is remarkably hoppy (almost IPA-like), which lends a very nice overall balance to the beer.

M: Rich and creamy with a full body, but not. Too chewy. The warmth is there, but it's remarkably well-integrated.

D: OK, at 11%, this isn't one I'm going to have too many of, even more so as it was a single of a beer not distributed in my state, but I certainly wouldn't mind having another.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a snifter. Body is a moderate copper color with a very small white head. Some legs on the side of the glass. The nose is some brown sugar, a bit of fruit, booze, and caramel. Taste is pretty good with some sweet bread and fruit plus a bit of booze and caramel. Feel is slightly boozy but the flavors combine and have a nice body. Drinks well but could use some age.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good barleywine with a nice fruity touch.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Duck-Rabbit branded label in red gold, white and black with the Duck-Rabbit wearing a hat. Lacks description other than noting being proudly made in small batches. No apparent bottling date. Shows Alc. by Vol. (11%). Served in a snifter.

A - Medium to deep amber pour with a 1/4" head, medium retention, fair surface memory and some touches of lacing.

S - Good nose with a forward fruity sense over the malt and hops.

T - Nice malty range, caramel and molasses, with a subdued hoppy sense under the forward fruit range, fresh and dried berries.

M - Medium body and carbonation with nice smoothness punctuated by a very light dry touch.

D - Not mind-blowing but this is a pretty pleasing barleywine, the fruit sense while forward is not off-putting. Nice brew.

Notes: Hmmm, I haven't had much stuff from The Duck-Rabbit but when I have the quality has been pretty commendable and worth repeating. This brew adds to that conclusion.

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Photo of codewarrior
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz From a 6-pack, Poured into a snifter.

Best buy date indicates 2/2011, which I believe makes this from the 2009 batch. Picked this up in a very generous trade with Handle.

L: Deep amber and transparent. 1 finger creamy white head.

S: Strong booze into a hoppy, bitter middle. Fades into caramel. Just wonderful.

T: Strong caramel into a tower of hoppitude. Slowly backs down into a stinging booze-iled finish, and lingers.

F: Wonderfully thick. Stinging in the back, with a puckering sweetness. Wonderful.

D: Great all the way around.

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Photo of argock
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear- oversized wine glass. 2010 version. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $2.35.

A: Dusky amber with sizeable 1-2 finger off-white head with good retention and nice lacing.

S: Odd aromas of honeysuckle, apricots, and slightly burnt toast.

T: Also strangely fruity with a tang that is hard to place but is most reminiscent of apricot-peach-mango and herbal, grassy hops. Malts are hefty and caramel with a lot of bready yeastiness. Some fruity alcohol is present as well.

M: Reasonably chewy but not heavy witn medium carbonation.

D: An odd outlier of a barleywine with some different and not cohesive, fruity aspects combined with a very bready, toasty malt profile produces a weird mix of flavors that don't quite add up.

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Photo of joshuaseresse
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle received as an extra from billab914, thanks Bill! Poured into a snifter:

A - A cloudy, brown, caramel color with half a finder of white head. Slight lacing retention. Looks nice.

S - Sweet caramel, brown sugar, slight oak and earth. I find this to be quite pleasant. Little apple cider and dark fruits.

T - Sweet and slightly boozy. Toffee, brown sugar and oak.

M - Creamy but kind of dry. Leaves a bit of chalky feeling in the mouth. Needs a bit more carbonation.

D - Nice drinkability. I could drink about a pint or two bottles a night. Its boozy but at 11% it's kind of expected. I enjoy it though and am glad I got to try it.

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Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a deep copper with a nice sticky 2 inch white head. The aroma is sweet and has a ton of bready notes. Lots of sweet toffee and caramel with a pleasant,warming alcohol finish. Definitely a full bodied sipper. An enjoyable barleywine.

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Photo of cbutova
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
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 elgiacomo
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Pours copper/brown, red under the light, with a good two finger foamy light tan head that leaves some decorative lacing and holds a light cap and ring.

Aroma is brown sugar, molasses, dark fruits, cherries, prunes, figs, some banana, earthy and floral, bread, yeast and alcohol. Good strength.

Strong flavor of molasses, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, some raisins and cherries, alcohol taste but less than expected for 11% ABV. Fairly sweet but good bitterness on the finish to offer some balance.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, low to medium carbonation.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is dark amber color, leaning towards the red side of things. The head is minimal and off-white in color.

S: Sweet oranges and brown sugar are present on the nose as are some light caramel and toffee notes. There's a fair amount of alcohol present as well.

T: Quite sweet and sugary with lots of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee on the front end. The sweet oranges are there again, too, and so is the rather noticeable alcohol (unfortunately).

M: The body is medium, not quite as thick and full as I would expect for such a high gravity beer.

D: I purposely let this beer age a little bit before drinking it because of hearing about the alcohol strength. Even with several months on it, I still find the beer to be on the harsh side.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
Thanks to GeezLynn for this one! I love Duck-Rabbit!

A sightly hazy, medium shade of amber color. Light tan foam makes the smallish head, which doesn't stay around, but leaves a nice surface covering film. The lacing is in tiny little spots, but is nicely sticky.

Loads of sweet, butterey toffee and caramel notes flourish here. Hints of dates and raisins. Also light traces of apple juice and a good hint of marascino cherries. Traces of toasted malts. Mild hints of grassiness and orange zest, presumably from hops.

This has a nice sweetness to it, but the hop biterness crushes all chance of enjoying it.
This seems much more like an american style barleywine than an english one.

Full-bodied with a light creaminess to it. Mostly smooth, but has a touch of sharpness around the edges.

Nicely drinkable, but not for me. Very well made though.

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Photo of pmsawyer
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Color of a good sherry, Mahogany brown

Smell: Dark ripe fruits

Taste: Sweet malt balance with light hop flavor, alcohol drying toward the end.

Texture: Medium body smooth

Drink-ability: Medium to low carbonation. Alcohol warming requires sipping.

Great way to end the day. Slowing doing to enjoy and savor one of the finer barley wines.

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Photo of newk340
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a maroon mahogany reminiscent of a dark apple cider, crowned by a thin foam ring.

S: extremely sweet on the nose, full of tropical fruits, not unlike a fruit punch.

T: a cool tapestry of sweet fruits - mango, apple, and grapes. flavors swirl in the mouth but disappear with the swallow and don't linger.

MF/D: an initial sizzle of carbonation but leaves a dry heat in the back of the mouth. certainly a new take on the barleywine, but i'm glad i shared the bottle.

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Photo of farrago
3.49/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

It's a beautiful thing to see bigger, bolder beers come from North Carolina. Just think: About three years ago, beer over 6 percent was against the law. Let's drink to the third anniversary of N.C. popping the cap.

Clear ruddy-brown color wears a crown of tan lacing; great head retention for a higher-alcohol ale. Rich caramel malt aroma with some spicy earthy hop and a clean nearly hidden alcohol. Smooth and creamy with a wet, medium-full body, which shows that this beer is not too thick. Maltiness has a good amount of depth with caramel and some toasted that blankets the taste buds. A little fruity with suggestions of dried plums and raisins. Slight cocoa note within. The alcohol wakes the palate up with a clean warmth and slight spiciness. Hop bitterness drops just enough flavor to keep the malt sweetness in check. Finishes slightly sweet with a lingering spicy alcohol.

Balance is the charm here, and even within balance there can be complexity. The 11 percent is definitely there, though not within the first couple of sips. A lovely sipper to be had.

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Photo of mothman
4.09/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Great Lakes snifter.

Pours a very small layer of white head. Color is a clear copper.

Aroma: A fairly big amount of malts here. No big hop profile... def English. Caramel and toffee sweetness in the malt profile. Candy sugar. Dry fruits. Raisins stick out a lot.

Taste: Very sweet and malty. An awesome English bwine. Caramel, toffee, plums, raisins. Nice flavors that blend together very well.

Mouthfeel: Dry and warming. A light amount of booze shows, but in a good way. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends fairly dry.

Overall, a very drinkbable english bwine. I like all the fruit flavors in this beer. For 11%, this drinks amazing. Nicely done.

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Photo of jonvan04
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank it out of a bruery tulip glass. The first thing that you notice is the intense malt presence, which obviously goes with the style. The mouthfeel was lighter than most barleywines while still maintaining a respectable level of booziness. The taste was most of what you would expect out of a barleywine with some nice toffee notes thrown in.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

What a jaunty little cap. This brew pours a translucent burnt amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, toffee, booze, rye bread crust, and a bit of medicinal aromas. The taste also carries that medicinal astringency, along with some sharp citrus hops, toffee, and maple syrup. The body is a heavy medium, with a moderate carbonation and a gooey feel. Overall, I think this is the least of the Duck-Rabbit brews I've yet had. It seems as though something went awry, I just can't put my finger on it.

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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 67.6% out of 100 with 602 ratings
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