Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
354 Reviews
Duck-Rabbit Barleywine AleDuck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
North Carolina, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
354
Ratings:
588
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
13.42%
 
 
Wants:
111
Gots:
56
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 354 | Ratings: 588
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.

 503 characters

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.

 713 characters

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

Thanks to forgetfu for the bonus X-mas present! Too thoughtful!

12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Label dated best before 02/2011. That last year's batch?

Appearance is hazy orange brown with some light tan head. Nose is classic barley wine ale, lots of rich caramel, toffee, fresh cream, a little citrus (mainly orange).

Palate is round and juicy, but not super rich. Great edges from the crisp bitter hops, toffee is the predominate flavor from the malt, nice earthy pine sap towards the finish. Hops make this a mouthwatering barleywine.

Wow, really well crafted. Not cloying at all. Wraps all the classic barley malt inside a fuzzy edged hoppiness.

 655 characters

Photo of rajendra82
4.36/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This new arrival in Georgia was picked up at Green's on Buford Highway today. As I poured the beer into an over sized wine glass, I was surprised at the level of carbonation and head retention in this 11% ABV brew. The body was burnished copper in color, and clear. The aforementioned head was a good three fingers thick, and was creamy enough to form a volcano cone above the rim of the glass. The smell was soft caramel dipped fruit. The spicy hops were also quite strongly evident in the smell. The taste was wondrously earthy sour, and my fears of confronting any cloying sweetness dissolved away as the warmth of the alcohol seared down my throat. The dryness was like sipping on some fine sherry. There were some lingering dry fruits in the finish. The body felt a little small, but it made this fine beer all the more drinkable. All of the ingredients felt a little bit disjointed at this young age, but I can clearly see the greatness this beer will achieve with a few years of aging. Welcome to our state Duck-Rabbit.

 1,026 characters

Photo of Rzzzzz
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kwakwhore for this. Poured into a wine glass, yielding a nice two finger head on the pour that stuck around for a minute or two, then vanished. Color is a dark mahogony--one of the darker barleywines I've experienced--and the nose provides an intoxicating caramel malt blast that says "drink me NOW". I obeyed.

Flavor is sweet malt up front, with a bitter follow that brings to mind cherries and dark chocolate. Then Mr. Alcohol introduces himself with an authoritative but not overbearing presence. Warmly welcoming. This stuff is perfect for a winter nightcap, but by no means out of place on a warm fall evening.

 627 characters

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

A very nice Barleywine, done in true Duck Rabbit fashion. Deep mohogany color with brilliant clarity. Off white head persists for the duration while leaving ample lacing and legging behind. A classic look. Strong barley flavors take over from there with a sukist grain taste and aroma that completely dominates the beer. Molassas, maple syrup, sorgum, nuttiness and plump grain flavors combine with plumbs, raisons, grapes, dates, figs, and nuts for a rich and complexly flavored ale. Hop flavor gives an herbal, grassy note without interferring with the barley taste. No phenolics or unnecessary alcohols to detract. Very nice malt texture sets the stage for the mouthfeel while a light syrup feel reminds us of a beer that isn't quite dry. Sweet without cloying, rich without sticky, and full without thickening, the beer has a bold but delicate texture. Perhaps the hop rates here are a bit high compared to J.W. Lees or Tom Hardy's but the toasted barley gives a bit more complexity than lighter Barleywines. Another world class beer by Duck Rabbit.

 1,053 characters

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.

 338 characters

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.

 1,102 characters

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

 441 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks to sackerz9 for this bottle also, what a great trader

A - this barleywine pours a dark amber red, atop sits a thin tan head with surprising retention held aloft by moderate carbonation

S - big grapefruit aroma up front, a nice hoppy-piney aroma, some orange citrus is also there, strong enough to discern it fromt he grapefruit, and underneath it all lies a mellow dark brown sugary sweetness

T - wow, wicked sweet, without being sickly sweet, grapefruit and piney aromas translate well to the taste and battle the deep tofee/brown sugary sweetness, and call me crazy but i also detect a syrupy pineapple flavor

M&D - slick mouthcoat that soothes and warms on the way down, a highly dichotomous beer, warming/soothing, bitter/sweet, its wonderfully balanced and blended, a great barleywine, a nice way to start enjoying a breweries beers, the high ABV darws the drinkability down a bit, but thats it

 918 characters

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!

 460 characters

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.

 456 characters

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!

 984 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to mntlover for sending this fine bottle. Served into a goblet, it exhibits a radiant copper garnet body topped by a large beige head. Retention is excellent and attractive island chain lace adorns the glass.

Aroma is very pungent. Citrusy orange and tangerine notes suggestive of marmelade mingle with hoppy grapefruit and pine sap. Sturdy malt presence boasts caramel, toffee, and toasted brown sugar.

Mouthfeel is medium in body and carbonation and is somewhat slick.

Taste is awash in fruity complexity, with melon and apple joining the citrus noted in the aroma. Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar show up again and lend a sturdy sweet malt base. Hints of dark fruits like raisins are in the background. Finishes with a pleasant sweetness suggestive of orange marmelade.

Difficult to classify as American or English, but a prime example why Duck-Rabbit has emerged as one of the premier craft breweries in the Southern United States. Very well done!

 977 characters

Photo of beavers
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. into a snifter.

Ruby brown body with a khaki-colored creamy head. Leaves decent, but sporadic lacing all the way down. Smells of rich bready malts with faint fruitiness that is swept away by an aggressive hop aroma. Some alcohol picked up. Tastes is rich maltiness balanced by a strong bittering hop profile that is reminiscent of the west coast barleywine style. Outrageously drinkable for an 11% ABV. Alcohol is never dominant, hidden within the polar balance of rich malts and heavy hops. A true hopheads barleywine. This is my favorite way to enjoy barleywines...young but balanced.

 594 characters

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Style Glass. Liquid portion comes out sort of a bronze red color, maybe the slightest bit lighter. The liquid has excellent clarity. There's an orange to off-white colored head that absolutely erupts from an aggressive pour. Really nice lacing from the top of the glass to the liquid at the bottom.

Smell is very nice; it actually smells very sweet. Huge, generous amounts of barley and hops. Pretty well blended between the two of them as well. Sort of a natural sugar aroma as well. For 11% there's not overwhelming alcohol aromas either, but it does slightly warm the nose.

Taste is equally as good as the smell. In addition it sort of piggy-backs it. Barley backbone is big again producing hints of ripe, fruity flavors. Also some large portions of earthy hops. Again with the slight warmth of alcohol, but not much of a flavor, again very sweet too.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are really good. Well balanced and well blended. Full bodied with a good carbonation level. Slight warmth from the alcohol, almost a burn to the point where it's slightly hotter than you want it to be, but makes it a nice sipper. All in all a nice barleywine, very tasty!

 1,197 characters

Photo of bmeehan
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm forced to review this after having poured a glass with a flat head—I think I got unlucky and got one that had just lost some of its carbonation or something. That said, it still pours a deep reddish brown and tastes wonderful. It's kind of nutty and simultaneously smooth and robust. Fantastic beer.

 305 characters

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A hearty carmel cream colored head nearly reaches two fingers than starts to crackle away. Body is a robust mahogany in color. Nose is nicely sweet with some vanilla oak and dark fruit sweetness. Includes a sappy hop character as well. Enters the mouth with an initially creamy smoothness, yeasty sweet caramelized malt, tangy dark fruit and burnt graham cracker. Hop profile adds perfect balance and a bit of sappy, piney, marmalade notes. Warms the belly ice but otherwise well hidden alcohol. Mouthfeel is very pleasant and resin like sweet. A super drinkable barleywine. This is a solid brewery.

 599 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my trusty snifter. Best by 1/12.

A: Pours a beautiful caramel rust colored beer with a minimal light tan/khaki head that recedes rapidly. Murky viscous looking beer that leaves a bit of lacing. Really pretty Barleywine...almost ideal.

S: Confectionary sweetness with a ton of dark caramel malts. A bit of the dark fruit thing going on, but not as much as some other Barleywines. This is more molasses and brown sugar...lots and lots of sweetness in the aroma.

T: Raisins. Caramelized brown sugar. Molasses. Caramel. Toffee. Just various layers of sweetness. A touch of roast and coffee...just a touch. Some underlying fig and plum, but again not prominent.

M: This is a big, chewy, juicy beer. Full bodied. Thick...coats the mouth and lets the layers slide off the palate unveiling different stages of flavor. Just enough carbonation to keep everything moving.

O: I'm pretty amazed, actually. I wish I knew when this was brewed rather than when it's "best by"...cause I'd say this sucker is perfectly aged. Not that Duck Rabbit makes bad (or even average)beers, but this was surprisingly good. Might have to go drink the other one I bought right after this one. Thick, sweet, but not overly so...complex, challenging and oh so tasty. One of Duck Rabbit's best regulars.

 1,307 characters

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.

 548 characters

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!

 458 characters

Photo of grub
4.52/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

kkipple hooked me up with this one as a bonus in a recent trade. thanks dan!

pours deep red-brown with a small medium density dark yellow head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. lots of deep caramel. bread and biscuit malt. alcohol. earthy. slightly woody, with a bit of vanilla.

taste is great. big rich caramel. light sweetness. big biscuit and bready malt. medium bitterness level. light alcohol. earthy hops. a bit woody. i just love the layers of caramel and malt in this.

mouthfeel is great. medium very fine carbonation. medium-large body. smooth.

drinkability is great. excellent balance. nice depth. i can't get enough of the malt in this one. this is a beer that i could get into trouble with - great balance hiding the alcohol well, and so good you just want to pour another as soon as the bottle is done. thanks again dan!

 879 characters

Photo of natasharai
4.57/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Lum who sent me this beer, who got it in a trade with cvstrickland!! Thanks you two! :-)

Appearance: Poured with a large smooth and creamy off white head, that dissipated slowly leaving some nice lacing on the top of my glass. The beer is clear with a pretty dark brownish orange color.

Smell: Sweet caramel and brown sugar, roasted nuts like pecans and walnuts, a grass or hay smell, and some sappy pine.

Taste: Sweet roasted pecans, nutty caramel, sweet pine, calms down to a toasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation, medium-thick body, pretty syrupy, nice and dry, then leaves mouth with a slightly dry slightly sticky clean feel.

Overall: GREAT drinkability, especially considering it is 11% ABV. The taste/moutfeel afterwards really leaves you wanting more. None of the flavors are overpowering. Nice sweet barleywine but also has a great hop character!! I really love this beer!!

Overall:

 924 characters

Photo of goethean
4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A gift from BA acme, served at room temperature in a completely inappropriate weizen glass

Wow, this stuff is great! Copper. Strong aroma and flavor of dark caramel and dark English toffee, with some mellow medium dark fruit, balanced by a pretty stiff herbal hops bitterness. Really kind of shockingly drinkable for a big barleywine.

 335 characters

Photo of hitokiri
4.62/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is only my second barleywine, but it is also an English style, which I think I like a lot more than the American version.

A- Not very much head, about half an inch. The head sticks around for a while then tappers to a thin ring. Dark ruby red color, almost can't see through it.

S- One of the best, if not the best smelling beers I have tried. Dark malt, carmel, honey, and a lot of dark sweet fruit like raisins, plums, etc...

T- Very balanced taste which I think suited my tastes for a barleywine better. Rich malts, raisins, brown sugar, it might sound weird but also a taste somewhat like very dark (bitter)chocolate. I found a rather large fruit character to this one. Also, just the right amount of hops to give it some bitterness, and and add a bit of floral character and after taste.

M- Very smooth, light carbonation, not very thin, slick, or thick.

D- I found this dangerously drinkable, I had to slow myself down.

I loved this beer from when I first smelled it. I had another barley wine that was of the American variety, but it had way too much hops for me, and I didn't like the way the flavors went together. This was way better, and I thought it was more balanced. I wish I knew how old exactly this beer is, it only has 12/08 notched on the bottle. It is supposed to be released in winter time, so this beer might be a bit different from when it is fresh.

 1,383 characters

Duck-Rabbit Barleywine Ale from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 354 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe