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

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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine AleDuck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale
Very Good
606 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 606 |  Reviews: 361
Photo of mjtiernan
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of buffs9
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +4.7%

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

Poured into a Duck-Rabbit snifter: Deep russet that doesn't have highlights so much as glows a warm ruby-orange. Finger of sticky head that drops to a thick covering with large, tapioca bubbles.

Heady caramel & toffee in the nose, with a kind of rum-like cane sugar & dark fruit skin character. Raisins - or more accurately, raisin bread - & a slightly prickly alcohol power.

Taste is yow! Some hearty booze with a bit of fusel sting wraps around the dark sugar flavor. Some dryness from booze, plus a tannic quality, but this is far from a dry beer with all the sugars going on. There's a kind of burnt astringency in there, a little husky but not terribly prominent. Not loving 100% of everything here, but some real complexity.

Medium-full-bodied, plenty of sticky sugars, like I said, a little tannic, but also yields pretty easily, not super-thick. A more robust body wouldn't be a bad thing.

Some flaws, but overall this is a worthwhile barleywine. Would love to try it on draft.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour, far from clear, almost no head to it, looked rather rudimentary in a homebrew kinda way. Lacked much in the aroma, a little fusel, tad of nutty smell.

Taste, toffee, barely hopped, low carbonation. Very smooth, not overly sweet, hides the alcohol extremely well. Just is kinda plain tasting, not appreciably sweet nor bitter nor hoppy. Its easy enough to drink, even velvety at times. Takes the toffee and nuts and smooves them out into something that is relatively easy going given its abv.

If you like barleywines, check it out, otherwise, its probably a 50/50 chance you dig it or don't.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours reddish brown with a thin off white to tan head, no more than a pinky's width. Head does leave a haze layer.
S: very sweet malty aroma, has hints of caramel, basically not hop aroma besides a very slight pine.
T: very sweet barley flavor, with lightly burnt caramel, an OK alcohol burn on the back end for 11% . No hop profile, I know for a fact its over a year old, anything else I'm not sure about. Also a long slightly leathery after taste.
M: yes, it is thick, but its barleywine, I somewhat expect it to be, low carbonation as well.
O: it is a good one to sip over a long period of time. But it is just warming enough to not be an everyday barleywine if there is such a thing.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.57/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottleshare thanks to Alex.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to n2185 for the sweet extra. Enjoy by date isn't readable. But who cares, it's a barleywine!

Color is enigmatic. In some lights it's red, in others light brown, and in others a deep yellowish amber. Intriguing. Clear, though the color makes it hard to see that. One finger of yellowish head, relaxes slowly, leaving lacing that look like a crown, with little regular peaks ringing the glass.

Smell is deep, sweet, and fruity. Figs and plums come to mind. A bit of brown sugar. You get the idea. Good depth.

Taste is similar, though the sweetness is balanced by an alcohol bite that comes on mid-way through. Still sugary (molasses) and fruity. That alcohol isn't dominating, and it's fairly well hidden given the ABV. Though as it warms up, it does take on a brandy-like boozy character.

Mouthfeel is fairly sticky, lighter than I would expect for such a big beer. Doesn't feel thick or heavy; a little syrupy, but not too much. Low carbonation, but what's present comes on as a bunch of little bubbles right when I need it.

What can I say. A very nice barleywine - sweet, fruity, and potent, with nice dimension of flavor. Nothing mindblowing, but I'm okay with that. I don't find it boozy at all; in fact, if I hadn't looked at the label first, I'd be quite surprised it's as strong as it is.

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Photo of birchstick
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a rustic copper with an insignificant head that retains well

S - smells of raisins and plums (sugary, dark fruits) with hints of bitter pine

T - Typical of the barleywine style, this starts off with sticky caramel malts and toffee, which hang on through the middle of the palate. The malt base gives way to some bitter, piney hops. This one finishes boozy, with sticky malts and hop resin lingering. This was VERY boozy, however that should have been anticipated given the 11% abv on the label. This really warmed me up as it went down, almost how a bourbon on the rocks does. This would make an excellent candidate for a cold winter night companion.

M - medium to thin body with nice, soft carbonation

D - This is a pretty good barleywine. However, I think this was still pretty dang hot and boozy. I could see this really coming into its own in a couple of years. Recommended now, and I am sure 10 years from now.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep murky reddish brown pour into the glass with a quarter inch of khaki bubbles on top of the brew, can't see through this one at all! Aromas are big on fruit upfront with a rich caramel candy undertone. Toffee and maybe even some bubblegum. Super malty with some brown sugar and still some lingering hops as well.

First sip brings a plethora of deep, sweet malts upfront drenched in fruit flavors. Caramel, brown sugar and toffee again make themselves known. Citrus notes along with a slight bitter hop kick...however the sweet malts still win out as it flows down. Touch of spice and warming alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich with chewy malt throughout. Definitely a warming sipper of a barleywine that leaves a bit of a heat trail as it goes down. Glad to have tried it...would be great on a cold night maybe even with a nice cigar.

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

poured into a tulip


Beer is a dark maroon color with about a fingers worth of frothy off-white head that lingers for a few minutes. Decent lacing around the glass.


Nose of sweet and toasted malts...caramel and some toffee. A slight dark fruit presence is noticeable as well as faded hops and some subtle notes of alcohol.


Similar to nose. Sweet malts (caramel and toffee) but a nice balance of hops to it. More hops that I had gathered from the aroma. No flavors really dominant but as said previously, I enjoy the balance of bitterness to sweetness. Booze isn't all that detectable in the taste. I would prefer a little more fruitiness to the taste as it is more like a hoppy old ale.


medium bodied with slight carbonation. Slightly sticky up front but also slightly dry as well in the finish.


A decent showing. Definitely be better to have on a cold night instead of this relatively warm one. I like my barleywines with a little more "fruit" presence but this is still enjoyable. A nice extra, but wouldn't trade for it.

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Photo of haazer
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Slightly more than one finger head forms, off-white/light brown in color. The brew is a cloudy unfiltered(plus in my book) apricot and tea color. Hints of orange and brown throughout the brew.

S- Hard rock candy and caramel first come to mind with the smell. A small hint of cranberry covered and dripping in caramel and molasses comes to the fore. Wheat and caramel malt run an underlying presence.

T- A suprising blend of floral hops and bready malt mash together. Candy sugar. Very heavy grain and wheat flavor in this barleywine. A bit of sour pear pulp as well. Interesting enough to keep me sipping.

M- Medium bodied brew, with a lager-like feel to it for me if that makes sense. Not much felt in carbonation.

O- Pretty decent in a barleywine. I really like the unfiltered look. The flavors were strong, but not standout. Great to be introduced to barleywines with this.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale is not great. Oxidised and bitter.

A: Brown red colour and a 5 mm head that fades to sparse lacing. 4

S: Malty with some oxidised earthiness as well as some darker, roasty aromas 4.

T: Sweet and malty with an immediate hit of caramelisation. The aftertaste is not great: oxidised and bitter. 3

M: Thick with low carbonation... a barleywine. 4

O: The flavour has an unpleasant kick in the tail. 3.5

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Thin, golden brown, translucent color. Off white head with fresh squeezed milk foam that sits and stays.

S: Rich, creamy, stereotypically BW in rising sweetness that crackles through at the end with some spicy nuttiness.

T: Very balanced and subdued for a barleywine. One of the smoothest I've ever tried. Unfortunately, it's very one dimensional and lacks the same depth the smell had.

M: Smooth and forgiving. Virtually no booze. Light carbonation.

O: Super light feeling. Drinkability is insane.

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Photo of finger11
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a Delerium snifter.

A: Poured a dark bown, almost purplish color that featured a nice thin head. Lovely lacing on the glass as well

S: Smells of caramel, toffee, sour cherries

T: Follows along well with the smell. Suprised to see it's an English style, because it doesn't quite taste like it, but still very enjoyable

M: Low to medium carbonation that fits the style well, isn't very heavy, but there is a small alcoholic burn to it

O: pretty good barleywine. I wouldn't search it out again, but have wanted to try it.

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

12oz bottle poured into a Duck-Rabbit Snifter. Date notching is unclear, but this is at least a year old, probably 2.

A - Pours a rusty orange-brown with a thin off-white head that fades to a slight ring and haze.
S - Very sweet aromas of caramel, toffee, candied orange peel, dark dried fruits, and a bit of alcohol.
T - Sweet caramel, dried fruit, and toffee flavors carry over from the nose, as well as a good amount of chocolate and brown sugar. Finish is surprisingly bitter and hoppy for the age, lots of citrus in there still. Really nice, I expected this to be cloyingly sweet, not as finely balanced as it is! The 11% ABV is very well hidden, only the slightest warming in the chest is noticed.
M - Smooth and slightly sticky, with a medium-full mouth-feel and lowish carbonation.
O - I'm surprised by how much I liked this beer, it's held up surprisingly well for its age. I'm kinda wishing I bought more to see what further aging could do!

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Photo of alleykatking
3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a murky light brown with some red hues to it when held to the light. Half finger off white head shows light retention. Some light streaks of lace on the sides of the glass when I drink this one down.

S- Caramel and toffee malts dominate the front of the nose. Hints of sugared figs and plums as well linger into the ending with a light piney hop aroma. Alcohol is very apparent but it goes along with the aroma itself.

T- Caramel and toffee malts come out strong in the front with hints of piney hop that brings it down a notch. Sugared darker fruits in the middle make up most of the flavor there. Ending shows more of a caramel malt base with hints of brown sugar and molasses. Alcohol comes through pretty strong in the ending bringing out a medicinal taste.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Sweet malts, darker fruit, hint of piney hops are left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly medicinal alcohol, light brown sugar/molasses, and darker fruits. Flavors were balanced very well for the most part. No off flavors were present while drinking. Medium high alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This was a nice drinking barleywine. Nothing over the top but a nice sipping beer on long winter nights. The ABV is a little on the high side and it shows up a lot but adds a light secondary flavor. Overall would love to get my hands on some more of these bottles.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lot of barleywines are either super hoppy or super sweet. This did a good job balancing. Its a muddy brown color with a tan head that fades fast and leaves ok lacing.

The smell is caramel, toffee, chocolate, and spicy pine.

The taste is of rich caramel, chocolate, toffee, vanilla, brown sugar and good doses of pine, floral, and some citrus. Slight booze bite that doesn't linger.

Thick, syrupy, and smooth. Nicely balanced and tasty.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This barley win pours out as a murky looking brown color, the head is an off white color and leaves a pretty good lacing also. The smell of the beer has a good hoppiness to it, there are some boozey aromas coming off of it also. The taste of this has a good malt base with some pine nots in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is pretty good here, it's got a nice thickness about it. Overall it's not a bad barley wine at all. Found it to be pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of dgugliuzza
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Bell's tulip

Pours a deep orange with a thin film of tan head. Seems well carbonated as many bubbles line the rim of the glass. Some small strips of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts and molasses followed by pungent floral and piney hops. Leaves rich and sticky aromas in the nose. Smells very fresh for a barleywine.

Tastes of bitter and floral hops followed by toasted malts and sticky molasses. This is certainly hop forward and would greatly benefit with some age.

Has a medium bodied mouthfeel that smacks with carbonation. The alcohol is not well hid as it burns going down. It's best to chip away at sip by sip.

Overall this stays true to an English Barleywine. Strong and hoppy with the malt character taking a backseat. It's robust and flavorful, but ultimately unrefined. I would love to get my hands on a few more bottles to stick in the cellar.

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

Pours a clear dark orange with one finger cream colored head that settles slowly to a quarter inch and leaves splotchy rings of lace down the glass. Smell: a ton of caramelized sugars, faded pine and earthy hopping, date, a little apple skin. Taste: again lots of caramel atop toasted grain, piney and earthiness, red plum with skin. Medium bodied, sugary, very earthy and drying finish. Pretty good. Notched as best by 12... 2012?

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Photo of bsuedekum
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bell's tulip.

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

S: Malts, alcohol, sugars

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

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

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

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

12 oz bottle, with an unclear date notching.

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

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

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Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Duck-Rabbit snifter. Poured red-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark fruit, caramel, cream, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark fruit, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a very good brew. Nicely well balanced flavor going on in this one that you never would get tired of. Also has an excellent aroma going on to match it. A definite must try!

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a murky brown with red hues. Even though the ABV is high I got a half inch of head with nice sticky lacing.

S - It smells like a very sweet barleywine. Lots of caramel and toffee like malts with little alcohol on the nose. I didn't get much hops but they were there.

T - Wow this beer is tasty. Starts off moderately sweet and candy like with a bit of caramel sweetness, almost brown sugar like but not cloying. Alcohol is there but very balance. Even during this review I am half the glass deep. Surprised to find a bitter hoppy finish even though its english. Yum.

M - Medium to heavy for sure because of the ABV. I am a powerhouse so I could easily enjoy a couple spread throughout a sitting.

Overall due to case laws I have not found a place that has Duck Rabbit six packs. Singles run between 3-4 dollars so I could easily throw 10-12 dollars on a four pack. Definitely a fine barleywine.

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Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 606 ratings
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