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

very good
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

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Ratings: 602 |  Reviews: 360
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 ottovon
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank to stoutfiend27 for this offering.

A: reddish brown, with an offwhite head.

S: a slightly metallic smell with toffee and some alcohol. burns the nose a bit.

T: caramel, roasted malt, and some alcohol.

M: medium body, with low carbonation. smooth drink.

D: it was a good offering and I could drink more of this.

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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 Parrotbeak
4.44/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another generous extra from Paul, a fellow BA.

Hazy amber with a golden hue along the edges, and a white, fizzy membrane for a head, which fades almost immediately. A patchy network and a bubbly ring around the perimeter remains, however.
Smell is exceptionally floral and fruity. Strong hops and assertive malts, with sugary fruits which includes apricot, pineapple, banana, green apple, and blue grapes. The malts get a bit bready towards the finish, and some brown sugar comes in as well.
Taste is slightly burnt, bready malts and grassy hops. A bitter waves comes in from the hops, carrying some pineappple, banana, and peach. As with the smell, the malts carry to the finish, becoming more bready. A hint of cinnamon and caramel comes in with the malts at the finish.
Mouthfeel is crisp, with a nice bite from the hops. A little bit sticky, with a medium body.
Good drinkability, with the alcohol being well-concealed in the smell and taste. Delicious smelling and tasting beer!

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

We had a rare beer night and we all brought some stuff over I'll be reviewing on memory for this one as we had alot of smaples that night. Nearly 10 I beleive.

More of American bareywime because it was really hoppy. Nice caramel sweeness but not overpwering at all. Loads of citrus from the hops and beer smelled similar to what is tastes like. Body was light for a BW and I really liked this beer and was extremely impressed. Nice job! D-R

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

Just picked this up at Brawley's in North Carolina.

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a copper-brown color with very little head floating on top.

Smells of grapes, melon, apple, caramel, cinnamon, and citrus. Smells very sweet and some alcohol in the nose.

Flavor is very sweet up front...with a bitter finish. There is a huge grape profile here...bittersweet, and slightly dry and chalky. The alcohol is present in this one, but nothing that makes this undrinkable.

Overall, a fine example of the style, and a very delicious beer.

This is a damn good beer...incredibly drinkable. It has a great body, it's fruity, with hints of bitter hops. The finish is dry, which opens the beer up and gives

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Duck Rabbit snifter this beer is a hazy dark amber body with a thin white ring of lace.
Aromas are slightly boozy and sweet with some herbal hop character.
The flavor is sweet alcohol upfront followed by a huge amount of hop flavor that sticks to the tongue. Fruit esters show up as sweet citrus fruits along with caramel sweetness.
The mouthfeel is not full but light due to the high abv.
I think one bottle is enough for a nice sipper on a cool NC night.

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Photo of dewalt
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper brown, almost black, but clear, and with a solid tan head. Smells like brown sugar, sweet malt, candied fruit. A lot of alcohol on the nose, and a hint of coffee and cigarettes. The first taste is powerful, with a strong alcohol bite, but follows up with lots of malt, sugar, and waves of toffee, caramel, honey, and raisins. It's surprisingly smooth, and after the first taste it's increasingly drinkable -- and at 11% alcohol, perhaps dangerously so.

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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 marvin213
2.94/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This muddy-brown red clay almost plops into my snifter. It's thick like near-dry mud. The head forms quickly to even more quickly disappear. Compared to some of my previous DR Barleywines that spewed all over the counter, I'm stumped by this pour's top looking smooth and serene like lake water. I fear flatness.

Thee bitter barleywine breathes up my nose, and there's a pleasing cherry tinge like the syrup in maraschino cherry jars. Really--there's a sweet infusion here that's spot-on cherry. The angstrom bitterness makes no bones about the style, but the nosy juxtaposition is curious.

Chalky and medicinal, I wish the taste offered more cheery cherry...but it IS an English Barleywine. It tastes like one and, particularly for a Farmville, NC production, it's true to an old English style. It's pungent and warming--almost cheek-numbing. Perhaps like all beers, it's analgesic. The swallow is hot, even as saliva metabolizes the sugars. It's among the most sugary without being sweet. The breakdown actually contributes to a grainy feel, as if destructed into particles. Interesting without inviting.

The Achilles heel of this body, you just can't embrace it. How dark are barleywines anyway? Why are the self-proclaimed "dark beer specialists" making a barleywine? Though respectably true to style, it's okay at best.

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

Pour - dark murky brown in color with a yellowish sticky foam head that looks almost like yellow clotted cream. Its amazing to watch the bubbles in this glass as they continuously stream upwards adding to the head instead of the head sinking into the depths.

Aroma - big dose of malt, malt, malt. It does indeed have a caramel and toffee essence to it and a touch of apple even.

Taste - talk about a rich and full-flavored beer. Loads of malt sweetness is actually balanced out well by a good deal of hop bitterness (even after a year in the cellar). Wow. Its a battle on my tongue between sweet and hoppy. I was worried that I'd get that cloying oxidized taste that sometimes comes with English-style Barleywines but that is definitely NOT the case. This is a winner. Loads of malt flavor is balanced extremely well by the hops. As far the alcohol percentage, well that is definitely noticeable as my stomach is warm and my head is light after not even 4 oz. of this beast. Toasty, hoppy, carame-y, rich and delicious.

Overall - loving it. This is a sipper and one that will definitely deserve some love and affection once the cap is pried. Big flavors from a big beer. Balaced even for 11%. I want more!

Vintage - January 2009 (one year old)

Would I buy more of it? - Absolutely, I love this and all of the other beers that Duck-Rabbit produces.

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

(Served in a snifter) best by 12/09
A- This beer has a dense brown body with a slight amber glow. There is a bubbly yellowish tan head that last a few sips and is supported by a few strands of microbubbles that glide to the surface.
S- This beer has a full rich caramel aroma with a light perfume hops finish.
T- This rich sweet malt caramel flavor has a dry malt finish with a slight hop prick in the finish. There is a nice roasted malt flavor supported with a soft alcohol heat it warms.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with no alcohol heat in the mouthfeel.
D- This beer has a rich malt with a slightly sweet flavor and a dry finish with just enough hops to support the malt.

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Photo of FrognutUnl
2.98/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark reddish brown, with a single finger off white head.

S - Raisins and tart fruits. A good amount of booze also detected.

T - Sweet with a fair amount of hop bite and earthiness. Tastes of brown sugar and dried fruits, with a slight amount of alcohol in the finish.

M - On the lesser side of full bodied with a bit more carbonation than I would like to see in a barleywine.

D - This wasn't tops on my barleywine list, but it was decent. The strange tartness in the nose and the amount of carbonation didn't ruin the experience, but didn't help either.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.39/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tumbler.

Pours a deep cloudy muddy brown with a very thin head. Nose is a bit boozy, malty with some yeast and fruit.

Taste is Fairly decent, nice fruitiness with a light burn from the high abv. Mouthfeel is creamy and rich. Light carbonation and thick feel make it quite drinkable for such a big beer.

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Photo of rye726
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a tawny brown with a nice tan head and light lace.

Nose has candy malts, honey, faded floral hops, toffee, cherries, pecans and maple.

Caramel, nutty malts, ripe pitted fruits, subtle herbal hops and a touch of brandy.

Full body is well carbonated. Not sure on the age, but this has aged pretty well. At leats a couple years old.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A long day at work and a nice and very welcome 12oz. Poured into my Delirium goblet... 2 finger yellowish khaki head.. great lace.. but no real cap.. the brew is pretty deep amber.

Nose has tons of caramel and plenty of estery fruitiness .. plums and maybe dried cherries.. toasted malts and some grassy hoppiness that combine into what makes me think of sawdust.. a bit boozy.

Flavor mirrors the nose, but more cherry esters really come in mid palate and linger through the finish.. some whaffs of cocoa.. but the caramel malts with deep munich are really the main players.. hops are bigger than the traditional English BW.. and definitely lend toward the American side of things.. there is certainly some citric and maybe some piney hops.. the caramel verges on toffee as it warms.. really this is a nice BW.. very drinkable.. but still a sipper in the respect that I want this one to last a bit.

Very nice body.. pretty thick but with a great carbonation... the alcohol seems to cut through the viscosity, but really is not too much of a distraction for me.. It reminds me very much of an aged Old Boardhead or a pretty old.. Old Bawdy... I like this more than the most recent Old Bawdy.


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Photo of younger35
4.67/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been meaning to track down this brew for quite some time but somehow it's always alluded me. Luckily gibby is a generous guy and hooked my ass up! Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip while watching the Green Bay vs. Minnesota Monday Night Football game.

Appearance- Pours a fairly dark ruby red with a nice sized half finger dirty white head. Not much of a cap remains but a fairly decent collar leaves very very little lacing.
Smell- Has a very maltiness smoothness with hints of candy and hops. The caramel is fairly prevalent as are kisses of toffee and red licorice. A gentle toast underneath that brings out subtle whiffs of cocoa and Tootsie Rolls. Some light citrus tones and a touch of orange peel and lilac.
Taste- Starts a lot like the nose but the chocolate is quite a bit more prevalent. Caramelized sugars and brandy soaked cherries right from the get go before some cotton candy and red licorice step in. The chocolate is more toward the middle and lingers well into the finish. The beer is lightly sweet at first but finishes with a subtle hoppiness bitterness. Some grapefruit and crab apple also creep in toward the finish amongst the chocolate and cocoa. The alcohol is covered extremely well.
Mouthfeel- Big and rich and creamy with a light bit of carbonation that really adds to the creamy perception.
Drinkability- Definitely one of the better Barleywines I've ever tasted. Its super smooth and easy drinking and amazing that it's 11% because its hidden very well. It's got that nice balance between sweet/bitter-malty/hoppy. It's the beer I was expecting without any disappointment. Great beer, thanks Jeff!

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Photo of Thur123
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A heavy pour yields no head and a deep murky peat-like brown with a little bit of red. Little carbonation rises and very little light gets through. The smell is a deep dark fruit smell with a bit of spice, maybe something like molasses, the dark fruit is like plums, figs and a bit of raisin smell, with maybe some lighter dried apricot. The alcohol is hidden so well.

Glug glug glug

Hit first with a kind of sharp liquerise flavor with the raisin present too. Towards the back end the heat turns up and the flavor mellows and becomes a little sweeter, which is nice. The mouth feel is thick and a bit chewy which helps coat the mouth with flavor. Pretty good, I look forward to more of these in the winter hopefully.

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Photo of nickd717
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from City Beverage in Winston-Salem. I love these guys' logos.

A - Cloudy dark brown color with a two-finger beige head.

S - Caramel malt, citrusy hops, and earth. Pretty much what you'd expect for a fairly good example of the style that is somewhat fresh.

T - Sweet with lots of caramel malt, toffee, hint of dark fruits, earth, and piney/grapefruity hops.

M - Palate medium-full and a little chewy.

D - Pretty good for the style.

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Photo of treyrab
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed one of these after works tonight. I have been meaning to try this one for sometime now, but have always passed it up due to the semi-high price for a single bottle. But, I received my paycheck, so I splurged a bit. Poured cool from the fridge into a snifter.

A: Pour is very hazy. Kind of surprised at how hazy it was, but I supposed I shouldn't be. Nice head that laces well from the sticky hops and sticky malt. Head lasts a long time and is nice and creamy.

S: Nice creamy caramel up front. Real Munich and Crystal malt bomb with some nice citrus hops. Kind of reminiscent of a Double IPA. Some nice bitter toffee as well that is coming through as well.

T: Very nice, robust and in your face with caramel and toffee. Nice and sweet, and the hops are coming out masterfully. Really reminds me of Dank Tank Barleywine if you have had that. Just really sticky, sweet and great caramel and hop balance.

Overall, I was impressed. Duck Rabbit does some good things and this is not an exception.

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Photo of hopsandhickory
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While I'm a fan of The Duck-Rabbit's offerings, this is one I hadn't tried before.

This has a nice deep, golden-amber, brown color, much like real Vermont maple syrup. It's dark in color, but transparent. Pours with a medium, foamy head and leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass as it drinks down.

Pungent, powerful. My wife can smell it from across the room. I can best describe it as sweet and malty, with a bit of sourness. Initially, I smelled honey and sourdough bread. By the time I reached the bottom of the glass and it had warmed, it smelled more like a bourbon glaze I like to make.

Taste & Feel
Rich, bittersweet. Actually, bitter-sweet-bitter. This has a strong barley taste with a bit of earthiness, almost peaty. I'm definitely picking up a honey flavor. In fact, between the heavy body and the sweetness, it has a syrupy taste experience.

This brew delivers quite a kick. Initially, the high alcohol content creates a slight, burning tingle on the top of the tongue. Following that is a slow, burning, warmth all the way down. By the end of a glass, I was warm all over.

Sweet aroma, strong flavor, warm booziness. It's good, but holy crap it's strong. This is definitely a sipping beer. Enjoy it on a cool fall night.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another one down from Capone's.Poured into a snifter. Pours a ruby color with a thick off white heading.Does create lacing throughout the tasting.

Smell is heavily malted,A little sour but mostly of plum and raisin.

Taste right off the bat is apple a bit odd but yes a little bit sour.Followed by a heavy boozy warmness taste that drops to the the gut and keeps it nice and warm. As for the rest of the taste just seems a bit too much not enough balance to this.

Mouth is full bodied good carbonation and shit this even warms the tongue as I let it sit and wonder around.

Drink is not to hot. A bit too much warmness and not enough balance to make this sessionable.But then again what barleywine really is sessionable.

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

A 12 ounce bottle, freshest by 12/09. Poured into my Adnams Imperial pint tumbler. The ale appears a hazed crimson copper color with about a finger of ecru foam. The head leaves only minimal traces of lace behind. Nose and flavor consist of caramel, brown sugar, pine, tangerine, lemon, apples, sourdough bread, grass, raisins, sweet smelling, bitter tasting. Nicely carbonated with a medium to full body. Not much alcohol burn to speak of. Quite drinkable fresh while the hops are still abundant.

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Photo of ImusBeer
4.51/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

ordered this at my Mall of GA favorite

I fugues it would come in a small glass but no. Very dark amber in color, you can just see light through it. Almost NO head.

As it approachs your lips the smell of sweet malt assalts your nose.

The first sip shows you a thick malty taste with a serious alcohol bite. Some molassas in there as well. The mouthfeel is heavy and malty almost warm like a Guiness.

Drinkability is great I like it but only one a night!

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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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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
3.8 out of 5 based on 602 ratings.
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