Schwarzbier
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

SchwarzbierSchwarzbier
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Style:
German Schwarzbier
Ranked #8
ABV:
5.8%
Score:
89
Ranked #6,251
Avg:
4.02 | pDev: 10.95%
Reviews:
183
Ratings:
346
From:
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
 
North Carolina, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  71
Gots
  28
SCORE
89
Very Good
SchwarzbierSchwarzbier
Notes: The Duck-Rabbit Schwarzbier is a refreshing summer lager (sometimes referred to as a "black pils"). In true Duck-Rabbit fashion, we've made ours extra schwarzy! It's very dark and quite roasty. Lots of Hallertau hops give this brew an authentic German character.
Reviews: 183 | Ratings: 346 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - The beer poured a smokey black color with an off white head topping the pour.

Smell - The nose dry and dusty with a hint of smoke.

Taste - At the front, the malts are very Earthy and dry. There was an odd vinegar presence that fades as it warms. A bit further, there was a light smoky presence and a hint of coffee toward the back.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation is lighter but made for a smooth ale.

Overall - For the style, the beer is pretty appropriate. The odd flavor was a bit weird.

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Photo of spectru
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very dark, looks like a stout or porter, one finger of tan head, recedes quickly to a persistent film, somewhat lacy; Rich full-bodied aroma; Smooth moderately carbonated mouthfeel; Taste is good, but not remarkable.

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Photo of AyatollahGold
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Don't think I've had any from this style. Interested to see what it brings. I'll just be pouring a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter glass. This beer pours out like a cola and forms a half finger worth of light tan colored crown. The smell is some slight roasty coffee and chocolate notes. Almost reminds me of a coffee brown ale in the smell. The taste comes in with that roastiness again and the coffee but has a hop presence as well. It has a lighter feel, like a lager. It's better than I anticipated and I could see myself going after this style sometimes when I'm wanting roasty, chocolate, coffee flavors without wanting to be weighed down from a huge stout.

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Photo of jkrich
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. freshness dated bottle: deep brown (nearly black) with some ruby highlights when placed in front of the light; the foamy beige head quickly receded leaving some lacing on the glass.

Very nice aromas of cocoa and faintly spicy, European hops.

The lager begins with a noticeable roasted, bittersweet, chocolate flavor with some tangy hops following closely behind. Hints of molasses round out the overall flavor profile, while the lager always remains crisp and refreshing - never cloying.

Somewhat light-bodied with a nice, lingering bittersweet chocolate flavor lingering on the palate.

The brewery describes this is a "black pils", and I must agree. I have been searching for this one for a couple of months, and thankfully I finally located it. The bottle label states this brewer is "The Dark Beer Specialist"; after enjoying this, I have to agree.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Duck-Rabbit rarely disappoints - and this offering certainly does not...

Though not really black (more like really dark brown) the brew pours out a nice tannish head that has no staying power or lacing. I was thoroughly impressed with the smell - I pulled out roasty notes, vanilla, and even a tang of sweetness. The rest of the beer was solid enough, not spectacular, but good - a medium to light-bodied feel, a taste that hangs its hat on the roasted malts, and overall, I found it to be good. Maybe not the best black lager, but probably up there on my list.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a dark reddish brown with a thick, light tan head. Initial impression is hints of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts. Mouthfeel is light - nice and crisp; carbonation is just about right. Neutral, slightly bitter finish. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of drtth
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

While this beer was brewed for summer drinking the store where I bought it has had it in their cold case continuously and so it is still in reasonably good shape even though past its best by date.

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a dark brown color with some reddish highlights near the glass. The light brown fluffy 3/4" head creates a wide ring of foam and lacing as it slowly recedes. Sipping cleans the side a bit leaving some scattered legs and small speckles of lacing.

The aromas include chocolate, a touch of coffee and hints of dark roasted, almost smoky, malt.

As expected from the nose the flavors include some chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt that reminds of black bread. There seems to be some light spicy, almost citric hop flavors in the background.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly crisp with the persistent carbonation. The finish starts as the chocolate and coffee begin to fade and the mix becomes full of all the flavors that are blending together and all gradually fading leaving a bit of dark roast dryness at the end.

Seems a fairly well made beer that is worth having again, so I'll be looking for more in the future. This would be a great beer to have while having a long after dinner conversation with friends. While there is a chance that the flavors of this beer have faded just a bit, based on other Schwarzbiers I've had recently it still tastes as it should and when I revisit it in the future I'll update this review if needed.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 5.8% abv

Appearance- Pours a coal black with light brown head quick to dissipate yet good lacing on the glass. Opaque.

Smell- Dark roasted malt, light coffee notes.

Taste- The malt profile of this beer is of a mild roast. An earthy grain flavor is quick to follow. Coffee rushes in after the grains, but in a subtle way. The beer finishes smooth and crisp with notes of chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Thin to medium for such a dark and roasty beer. Adequate carbonation.

Overall- An easy drinking dark beer. Reminded me of a light porter. Well crafted and enjoyable.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a blackish dark brown color with a 1/2 inch of light brown head. Good amount of lacing. The aroma is earthy and bready with some espresso. The taste is more of the bready malts with some nice roasted notes. Dark coffee and some light chocolate hints. Peat and some light grassy hop notes. Finishes with some roasted coffee, chocolate and floral hops. Moderate amount of carbonation with a mouthfeel on the lighter side. Overall, a damn good Schwarzbier I hope to have again.

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Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in a snifter. BB date notch of 9/2015.

A: Pours a clear but very dark brown color, looking nearly opaque in the glass. The beer has a half finger of sudsy light tan head that quickly reduces to a partial thin film. Some lacing is seen, nonetheless.

Aroma: Initially disappointing but some off-odors quickly dispersed leaving behind attractive mix of toffee, faint coffee and dark roasted grains. Moderate strength.

Flavor: Dark roasted malts with toffee and chocolate dominate up front but some roasted coffee. There's also a a bit of molasses and a light hint of anise. Lightly bitter overall.

Feel: Medium bodied with medium-light carbonation.

O: A fine schwarzbier that's brewed to style. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of MichaelProcton
4.36/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ultra dark, with minimal (but rich) head and no visible carbonation. The smell is deeply satisfying mix of roasty and toasty. The taste is much the same, with deeply toasted malt notes, and just enough of a bitter hop kiss on the back end to balance everything out. The mouthfeel is full and substantial. I like this beer a lot, within and outside the style.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours black with tall, long lasting, fluffy, beige head and nice lacing. Aroma is of grassy hops and bready malt. Body is medium and smooth. Chocolate, toasted malt and herbal hops are nicely balanced on the palate. Finish is long and semi-dry. Delicious brew.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap:
Pours a very fluid black liquid. As the table moves, the beer easily Laos up and down the glass, with a highly contrasting off-white head (that actually seems darker part way into the pour) along for the ride across most of the beer's surface. Nice thick foamy ring provides lacing down the glass.

The smell is harder to pin down in this place, but is reminiscent of a dark roast coffee, with some smoke added for accent.

The taste starts crisp and cracker-like, but a dark grain cracker. The initial tastes remind me of pumpernickel with the combination of dark grain taste and a somewhat spicy bitterness. There's a But more coffee coming out as the beer warms, but that taste actually seems to evolve into a light smokey taste like there's a campfire somewhere nearby but you can't make out where.

It is a lager, and the appearance foreshadows the feel-which is a bit on the light side, but the beer overall has a nice depth of flavor to it, layering the grain, roasted malt, smoke, and bitterness together in a nice balance.

Little surprised on this one, as Duck Rabbit misses me more often than not. But this is a solid, enjoyable beer.

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Photo of generallee
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has a freshness date but no abv. Appearance: The body has a very dark reddish brown color which appears almost black in the glass. The head on top is tan in color, thick and long lasting. The glass is left with thick lacing. Smell: It has a very roasted and malty aroma. Dark bready and sweet notes jump right out of the glass. Taste / Palate: It starts with sweet dark bready maltiness and then it adds mild coffee and molasses notes. The finish brings some earthy hops flavor and mild bitterness.

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Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev -0.5%

My recent forays to NorVA and WASDC have enabled me to stop in at Total Wine & More stores in those areas, which is where this beer came from.

From the bottle: “Made in Farmville, North Carolina”; “Proudly hand made in small batches”; “The Dark Beer Specialist”.

Once more, I heard a hissing when Pop!ping the cap, so either it had a snake in there or it was heavily carbonated. As I began even the gentlest of pours, it quickly became obvious that the latter was the case. The four-plus (!) fingers of light-tan head were dense and long-lasting, adding to my frustration. It just sat there like a dollop of coffee ice cream, refusing to fall and evidencing great retention. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM =44) with NE-quality clarity and garnet highlights. Nose had a rich coffee-like bitterness along with a dark chocolatiness. Mouthfeel was kind of thin and watery, despite all of its carbonation. The taste was very evocative of a dark chocolate candy bar! Dark chocolate, coffee-like bitterness and even a charcoal smokiness made up the taste in this one. Finish was dry, bitter, kind of like powdered cocoa.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4/5  rDev -0.5%

The beer is black in color and just barely allows light to penetrate it. A fingernail thin khaki colored head rests on top. Aroma of dark malt,chocolate,and a bit of black licorice. The taste is of chocolate and dark wheat with an edge of bitterness in the front of the palate. The fade is sweet dark malt. The mouth is slightly sticky from the malt.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a dark brown-to-black coloring, with ruby highlights, and a thin, off-white halo of head. Nose of subtle smoke and char, richly sweet nut and earthy tones in the backbone. Flavors are an earthy and smoky blast forward, with bitter coffee and bittersweet chocolate in the backbone. Smoke and peat permeate every sip, on a slick, light body. The aftertaste is very bittersweet, with a solid, subtle, smoked linger. Slick, solid, lingering finish. Very well crafted, balanced brew.

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Photo of slym
1.38/5  rDev -65.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I think I got a bad bottle. It didn't taste "skunky" so much as it tasted like coffee made with seawater. It looks nice, but there was something off about it and I knew it as soon as I opened it.

I will have to try this again later, but for now, with nothing to compare it to, this review stands.

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Photo of delta490
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep, almost black, brown. A thick creamy tan head caps it and holds on, leaving great lacing throughout the beer. The aroma is delicious in and of itself with a huge roasted malt aroma, deep and rich. The taste is equally malt-forward with just a subtle hint of earthy hops to balance against the malt assault. It has a nice mouthfeel, not too heavy or light. This is a great example of schwarzbier.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, best by 10/2014, served in a Rastel pokal glass.

Appearance: Black with some clear cola brown at the edges. Plenty of persistent strands and islands of lacing. Light tan persistent head as well the whole way down the glass.

Smell: Hints of coffee, chocolate, smokiness, and herbal leafiness that reminds me a tad of smoked tobacco.

Taste: Roasted malts with a hint of mocha. A smoky bitterness is mixed in along with a noble hop finish. Earthy with a hint of counterbalanced sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Spicy on the tongue - well carbonated but not fizzy. Nice thickness and not sticky on the teeth.

Overall /Drinkability: Nicely bitter but in a very refreshing way. Overall I found the beer actually quite nice - it paired well with food (sloppy joes) and I think I could sip and savor one as well. Interestingly, despite how much I enjoyed it, I only want one right now. 12oz seems to be a perfect serving for one evening. So in that regard, it is overall very satisfying to the point I don't want another one. Or at least another one this evening. I might have to get a six pack and try it over a few nights and see my enjoyment carries past one evening.

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Photo of joe1510
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle

Big thanks goes out to Ryan for sending me a couple of these guys! Duck Rabbit's Schwarz is the darkest of browns bordering on black. Chestnut highlights glow through the body when backlit and good clarity shows. An easy pour yields a dense, whipped cream like beige head that sticks around the entirety.

Hazelnut comes to mind first on the aroma before moderate roast joins the fray. The roast runs from front to back and is joined by anise in the middle before segueing into a light roast coffee. No single aspect overruns the others. The balance is right on with seamless integration.

The flavor runs pretty close to the nose but shows more nuance. The roast again runs front to back and produces a light bitterness. Hazelnut, light cream, soft anise, and light roast coffee all play roles in the flavor profile. With warming dark berries emerge, not much but enough to add even more depth. There's a lot of different flavors but they blend perfectly.

A rather weighty body highlights this brew. Rich, dense, and creamy. The body is smooth and the roast leaves a soft lingering bitterness on the swallow. An incredibly easy beer to put away.

Duck Rabbit's Schwarzbier is one of my favorites. It's a little richer and heavier than some of the best German examples and even shows some porter-esque characteristics. Any time I have a chance to grab this beer in the future I will snatch it up. Thanks again, Ryan!

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Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Wil for another NC gem!
Label notched "enjoy by 10 13".

Pour is dark brown and transparent, plenty of tan foam billows up and laces very nicely on the glass. Frothy around the edges, a patchy skim floats in the center. Mellow but roasty aroma, clean and dry. Crisp body, deep roast malt taste, light lingering bitterness. Well rounded, very roasty and smooth. Earthy chicory, roasty coffee flavors. Easy drinking for sure. A classic example of a Schwarz.

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

A: Pours a clear yet opaque very dark brown in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some ruby red + cola brown + dark amber highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy light tan head that reduces to a large patch of very thin film and a thin ring of larger bubbles at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of roasted malts with light to moderate aromas of freshly roasted coffee and some light hints of chocolate + anise.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of dark roasted malts with some moderate flavors of roasted coffee. There are moderate flavor of bittersweet chocolate and just a light hint of anise/licorice. There is a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Relatively crisp.

O: This is a really nice schwarzbier - well brewed and to style. Lots of complexity and roastiness to the flavors/smell of this beer. Definitely worth grabbing again.

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Photo of SerialHiker
3.64/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with noticeable brown hues along the edges…head is a light mocha, but very thin and dissipates even after a good swirl…dark and dense though…(3.25/5)

Smell: Tons of dark malts, I’m getting dry chocolate, oatmeal and roasted malt – an RIS/porter feel right off the bat…a little smoky…full, deep aroma…mildly astringent when I stick my nose deep in there…this really is a good smelling ale, but not overly diverse…dark malts are abundant and abound…it’s nice…(3.5/5)

Taste: Hmm…my initial feel is that its tastes like a non-hoppy black IPA…I’m getting tons of roasted malts (and maybe some barley), light oatmeal, light chocolate – then it sorta stops and where I’d expect a bitter, hoppy bite, there’s a soft, grassy/wheaty-ness that doesn’t attack my taste buds…oatmeal flavor stands out…very nice…(3.75/5)

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body…carbonation is also light, but enough to bring a nice roasted malt/light oatmeal flavor to the palate…this thing is hitting the back of my tongue with awesome flavor, but brings little in the bitterness (sides of tongue) category…wet, smooth and crisp…after taste fades leaving me wanting more…an easy, malty sipper for sure…(3.5/5)

Overall: I’m very surprised by what I got from a “black lager”…I typically don’t choose lagers when selecting beers at the store, but with this being a Duck-Rabbit production, I took a chance…unfortunately, I only got one because this thing drinks very easy and packs tons of dark, malty flavor…this is a great brew for hanging with friends around a fire or watching some football in a recliner…yum! certainly a seasonal that is fading out, if you see this hanging around your beer store, grab one and enjoy! (3.5/5)

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Photo of mattsdenney
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Duck Rabbit finally available in Nashville. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into tulip glass.

Pours nice and thick, dark, oily. A nice thick medium brown head. Smells of chocolate, coffee, and toasted bread. Some hops in there as well. The upfront taste is a relatively strong hop bitterness, this quickly turns to sweet, smoky coffee and chocolate. Slightly smoky, excellent flavor. Consistency is perfect, medium bodied and very drinkable; low carbonation. Overall an excellent beer. I haven't had many of this style but I can't imagine there are many that are better than this one.

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Schwarzbier from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 346 ratings