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Duck-Rabbit Schwarzbier | The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

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Duck-Rabbit SchwarzbierDuck-Rabbit Schwarzbier

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

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by on 07-30-2009

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Reviews: 178 | Ratings: 323
Photo of gford217
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours very dark, almost completely black in the glass, but not quite. There's a thick one-inch tan head that recedes slowly and leaves a surprising amount of lacing.

The aroma is fantastic, dominated by some heavily toasted malts bread. There's also plenty of coffee, heavily roasted coffee, and a faint chocolate sweetness in the background, though the massive toasted character is dominant.

The taste is slightly sweeter than the aroma and really tastes almost like a mocha with an extra shot of espresso. There's some coffee bitterness but with a toasted malt backbone and hints of chocolate and even some earthy hops in the finish.

For a schwarzbier, the body is full with decent carbonation and a very dry roasted finish.

This is one of the best schwarzbiers I've ever had. It's full bodied with tons of complexity and a great mouthfeel. Towards the top of the Duck Rabbit list for me.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a flute. Lot of carbonation going on here. First pour yielded four plus fingers of head.

3.5 A: Black color. Three fingers of frothy light tan head. Good retention, but just touches of spotty lacing.

4.0 S: Dark roast coffee, roasted barley, ashy toastiness, and grainy. Finally, a slight touch of funkiness similar to what you might find in a Berliner.

4.0 T: Taste is much like the nose. Dark roast black coffee, roasted malts, ashy, smoky toastiness, and grainy.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Too much carbonation, which gets really annoying trying to pour this one. Roasty aftertaste and reasonably smooth. Anyway, too much carbonation, but okay otherwise.

4.5 D: Solid beer. I've had more than half a dozen of this style now and I'm really starting to appreciate it. Each one has been noticeably different. This one is definitely the roastiest one and is something I'd like to drink at least once a year. Anyway, good drinkability. Tasty and interesting enough to warrant another.

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Photo of argock
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear tulip glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.70.

A: Black with no transparency and 2-finger off-white, beige head with good retention and spotty lace.

S: Roasty dark malt nose with soft floral and herbal hops

T: Tastes like a less dry porter or a softer stout with a solid dark malt, roasted flavor with minimal acridity but with herbal, floral hops. A big dose of chocolate comes through the middle and adds both bitterness and sweetness.

M: Lighter than a porter and a stout with a good body and more carbonation. Aftertaste is more in line with a dry stout.

D: A very good brew that really raises the bar for this style done in the US. It's still very easy to drink and a great beer for dark malt lovers. This may well be Duck-Rabbit's best beer.

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Photo of blackie
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: pilsner glass, the scwarz is a deep stained chestnut brown in color, capped with a light mocha head that shows good retention and lace

s: big aromas of dry, charred barley dominate with undertones of cocoa and earthy hops mostly masked by the roast, smoked meats and a touch of lager malt underneath, some mildly caramelized sugars, it's evident already that D-R has taken a very unique approach to the style - kicking up the roasted barley to levels not really found in other examples

m: carbonation on the full side, creates a surprisingly creamy mouthfeel in combination with the light-medium body

t: much like the aroma, rich charred barley is the dominant flavor here, big roasts suggest coffee and cocoa dances underneath with a light toffee sweetness on a supportive body of clean malt, finishes with a lingering dry roast (surprise!) and mild bitterness, with sub-flavors of meat left on the grill to the point of carbonization, does all this make a good Schwarz? I dunno, but I dig it

d: easy, drinks like (and very much resembles) a dry Irish stout, drinks well and continues to do so even after warming

six-pack from Whole Foods, Vienna, VA...glad to have the Duck-Rabbits up here in the Commonwealth

sampled subsequently on tap at Bierria Paradiso DC and have found it to be considerably more appealing in bottled form

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Photo of wedge
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown with chestnut highlights. A nice, fluffy milk shake-y like head tops it off. Big, pleasing aroma of rich, roasted (almost charred) malt, nuts, and cereal. Chocolate covered fruit and a whiff of coffee and cream as well. Rich, heavily roasted malty delights flood the tongue...cocoa sweetness, dark chocolate, finishing with some fruity hops. Medium-light body...smooth and dry.

Tasty for sure. I'm glad DR decided to put out a summer seasonal with some real drinkability. Being the "dark beer specialists", a schwarzbier seems like a logical choice and they pull it off very well.

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Photo of tpd975
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark black, tan head good retention and some spotty lace.

S: Light smoke, loads of chocolate, coffee, and a tinge of hops.

T: Nice brew, rich with a touch of smoked malt. Rich bitter chocolate with some acrid coffee. Another good DR brew.

M: Medium in body nice carbonation solid

D: Good I really like it.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.01/5  rDev 0%
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 deapokid
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black with nice carbonation and a thin brown head. It's lacey and well-presented, making me really excited for the first sip.

The overwhelming scent immediately hits you in the face, packing a big roasted malt and coffee bean stink, which is disarmingly delicious and enticing.

Consistency is thin (which is common for this type of lager), with sweet dark chocolate and espresso being the prevalent flavors. All tastes are extremely well-balanced and the roast smokiness accompanies the bitter sweetness of the chocolate.

As you sip, the liquid coats the tongue, hitting the tastebuds with sweetness and the back of the tongue with a roasted dryness.

I'm always a big fan of schwarzbiers and think they're one of the most drinkable lagers. Although this one is heavy on roast flavor, it is still really easy to down and potentially one of the best American renditions of this German style.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.64/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown to black with a decent head at pour the disappates to a little foam around the rim. Smell is sweet and chocolately. Flavor is dry up front and dark malty through the middle but converts to a nicely balanced chocolate taste on the finish. They really eeked a lot out of this sessionable but flavorful brew!

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Photo of 57md
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is dark brown-to-black with a finger of head that dissipated rather quickly. Good, hearty roasted malt profile upfront, but this offering thins out at the end. There is also an odd sour taste on the finish that I cannot quite place, but it is less than pleasant.

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Photo of harrymel
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by: 10/2011
A: black and opaque with a finger of dirty brown foam and cobweb lace. Looks nice. (4)
S: Nuts, coffee, hollow co2 chill. Leaves in the fall, a bit muddy. (4)
T: Hints of unsweetened cocoa, coffee grounds, metal and the slightest hazelnut give this an interesting and pleasant flavor. Never thought I’d say this, but this beer might benefit from the smallest addition of smoke malt. (4)
M: Nice and smooth with a light body and dry finish. (4)
O: Good beer. Could drink this on a cool summer night in volume. (4)

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark like coffee or cola with a half inch tan head that is quite dense.
The aroma is that of rich toasted malts. Hints of coffee and espresso come through.
Rich and malty tasting, roasted. Tastes similar to a porter.
Tastes and feels like a lager.
Everything about this beer suggests that it is a porter. In a blind test taste you would too, but as the beer warms up the lagerness comes into play.
As schwarzbiers go, this is definitly tops.
Drink well my friends.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 355ml bottle with a BB of Nov 2010! At least I think so - it's notched into the side of the label. Seems pretty damn old - I bought this just last week from a webshop. Oh well, here's hoping it tastes OK. I'm liking the labelling, although I reckon the duck is more of an albatross.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. Yeast sediment indicates conditioning with live yeast. Pitch black in colour - a deep brown when held to the light. Yields a massive head of creamy light brown foam with excellent retention; this lasts for ages before subsiding to a thick surface layer. Incredibly rich aroma of roasted malt with strong notes of coffee and hints of cocoa/chocolate, burnt grain and yeast.

Tastes of intense roasted malt with a bitter finish. Notes of coffee, burnt grain, cocoa, stewed hops and subtle earthy yeast. Has a dry, spicy quality. A powerful bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with a spicy astrinency. Dries the palate. An aggressive aftertaste of roasted malt and bitter coffee.

Wow - fantastic! Not sure it quite matches the traditional style, but an excellent beer nonetheless. Roasted malt and coffee notes take your tastebuds hostage. A top notch brew - don't hesitate if you have the chance to try it.

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Photo of philbe311
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Two fingers of active very active fluffy batter-like tan head that recedes chunk by chunk and shows some modest retention at one finger before further fading to leave a full creamy lace... A couple of very tiny slow paced carbonation can be seen towards the top of the glass... Text book opaque black in color...

S - Displays a big assertive and appealing aroma... Strong coffee... Roasted malts... Dark bread and crust... A slight syrupy sweetness... Rich cream... A touch of smokiness...

T - Roasted malt... Burnt grains... Espresso... Very faint hints of dark chocolate... A vague nuttiness... A very strong bitterness lingers as part of the aftertaste...

M - Medium bodied... Ever so slightly on the thin side... Smooth and consistent... Fills mouth fully and evenly... A constant burnt chalky texture...

D - An excellent Schwarzbier... Nothing less should be expected from the self proclaimed "dark beer specialist..." Stands along with Rabid Duck as Duck Rabbit's best offerings... I wish I had me some more...

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to Mikesgroove for this one.

Duck Rabbit Schwarzbier is a very dark brown that is opaque everywhere except its edges, where a few rats of light pass through to reveal brown and ruby tones. The head is only about a finger thick, but it has a thick, creamy look to it. A few spots of lacing cling to the glass.

As soon as I poor the beer I get a good whiff of a wonderful aroma. Lots of smoke, chocolate, toffee, coffee. Pretty nice.

A ton of sweet chocolate bursts on the scene up front, dominating the flavor. Next comes a good bit of toffee, which is followed by roasted malts and maybe a hint of coffee. The coffee is weak, and it could just be the taste of the roasted malt as it fuses with a little bit of smoke flavor. The finish and aftertaste is where the smoke is strongest; the same goes for the roasted malt. The background has a noticeable yet muted hop flavor that lends a little bit of bitterness and a little bit of citrus flavor to the beer.

The mouthfeel is a little bit creamy, a definitely on the heavy bodied side of the style, which is fine by me.

I was really impressed with this schwarzbier. More so than the few others I've tried from Duck Rabbit. Overall, it isn't the smokiest schwarzbier I've tried, but it is one of the best.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Black, very light traces of brown 1/4 inch creamy head

Smell - Has a burnt, smoked porter smell. Can smell the alcohol, hops, some sugars, malts and barley.

Taste - Well now, this has some bite to it. A little rough but alot of flavors, backed by a smoked taste. I really liked the malt kick it had. Theres some nice hop and yeast flavor in there also. This beer has alot going on

Mouthfeel - Its a little bitter but its very enjoyable. Mouth gets a treat since theres so many flavors in this.

Drinkabilty - I would buy this again. I reminds me alot of a smoked porter but its a little more bitter and hoppy. DIfferent, tasty and enjoyable, could drink a few of these

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Photo of atsprings
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a dark almost opaque black with a decent head that diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing on the glass. The aroma is a decent amount of roasted malts, dried fruits, cocoa and slight coffee. The taste is a nice subtle blend of roasted malts with subtle yet present coffee, cocoa, and dried fruits with a decent hop backbone. The beer is quite light and refreshing, even on a hot summer day. This is a very respectable version of the style.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This has been one of the more elusive bottled D-R offerings for me, so when I saw a case at City Bev last week, I happily grabbed a sixer. Best by November, 2010 notched on label. 12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a dark ruby-tinted chocolate brown. There isn't a bit of light creeping through at all. Great thick look. A large tan head grows on top. Retains fair enough. Leaves some light sticky lace behind. Scents of chocolate powder, fresh dark breads, ground coffee, and a husky dryness on the finish.

The mouth is the weakest part of this beer. It's a little too thin for my liking; could stand a bit more depth in this dept. All is forgotten when I taste this though! Wow! Great chocolate-y flavors, with some light bitterness. Warm bready flavors as well. Slightly roasted as well. Excellent finish. This is one of the best of the style I've ever had. Great representation. Get some if you have the chance.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4/5  rDev -0.2%

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 ClockworkOrange
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Abe's in Bethlehem for around $1.75. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my nonic pint glass. Notched freshest by 11/09. The lager appears a nearly opaque dark chestnut color with about an inch of creamy light tan foam. the foam lingers for a bit before settling to a thin layer. Awesome dark roasted grain and bitter cocoa are the first notes to attack the nose and taste-buds, followed by notes of slightly burnt caramelized malt, a touch of smoke and char, grassy hops. Medium in both body and carbonation. Very nice!

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark black colour with a very mouth-watering and lovely brown head. Some good lacing too.

Smells dark and malty.

Tastes thick yet slightly watery. Fairly dark and burnt malts present too.

Overall a decent beer. Couldn't drink it in large quantiities though.

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Photo of hardy008
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a large foamy tan, with very nice retention and lacing. the aroma has dark roasted malt, cocoa, and some earth. The earth smell is almost like the inside of a cave.

Tastes like dark roasted malt, cocoa, and a little smoke. Somewhat sweet, with bitterness for balance provided by the dark roasted malt.

Light to medium bodied with average carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink. A nice beer for sure.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle date is illegible. But it's been refrigerated most of the time I've had it.

Pours very dark brown, black in the glass, and opaque except at the very edges. Half-finger of medium-tan head, gone in a flash, but some decent lacing.

Smell is quite smooth, with mellow citrus and smoky wood. The different components of the smell work really well together, forming an integrated whole that's hard for me to parse apart. Malty, slightly hoppy, dark, but airy and ethereal at the same time. If this beer were a fantasy character, it would be a happy dark sorcerer. Only complaint is that I'd like it to be more potent.

Taste is less integrated, and less interesting. A mix of slightly roasted malt with a hint of smoke, and some rather bland hops. Finishes mildly bitter.

Light-bodied, medium-low carbonation. On the flat side.

I was enthusiastic after the smell, but the taste let me down. Not bad, and among the more refreshing dark beers I've had. But not great.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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 joe1510
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
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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Duck-Rabbit Schwarzbier from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
4.01 out of 5 based on 323 ratings.
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