Paul's Christmas Vacation | The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

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31 Ratings

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by atsprings on 10-19-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 31 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by kwakwhore:
Photo of kwakwhore
4.84/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Armadillo Grill in Greenville NC. I've missed a couple of the Duck Rabbit one-offs and I didn't want to let this one get by me.
Excellent clarity for an unfiltered beer, reddish orange with an ample white head.
A serious blast of citrus hops dominate in the aroma and promise more of the same when I taste it.
Flavors are a blend of heavy hops and sweet caramel from the malts. This is a monstrously well hopped beer, a joy to behold, sniff and taste. Compared to this beer, other double IPAs are watery in comparison.
Oily mouthfeel with very little burn from the alcohol, but the strength of this beer makes it difficult to have more than one or two in a session. One can only hope that this beer will be bottled sometime in the future. Thumbs up to the brewers at Duck Rabbit, especially Matt, for another job very well done.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of reitzbrewing
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Mantooth
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.02/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was one of the highlights from a flight of 4 ounce samplers I had the other night at Bocktown. Appears a pale/amber clear filtered body with an off white tan head. Aromatics were surprisingly hoppy a nice escape from the typical spiced/malt heavy winter seasonal. Maybe hints of spices added but amongst that was a sturdy pine/citrus hop combo. If I wasn't driving this would have been my whole pour for sure, I should have gotten a growler of it. Citrus/caramel/pine combine with hints of winter spice but I'm not sure if there's actual spice additions or a combination of the hops, malts, and yeast used. Complex and tasty kept me wanting more after my four ounce portion was gone. Mouthfeel had moderated carbonation no cloying effects, not too hot with alcohol actually well hidden booze. Drinkability overall would have been my beer of choice if circumstances were different I hope to catch this again before it's all gone in the Burgh.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap at duckworths. ordered for my sister based on her style-paramaters and wound up getting my own

appearance: served in a strange little unbranded chalice - perhaps the lightest duck rabbit beer i have seen, light-amber bodied, no head

smell: christmas tree - loads of pine, citrus hops

taste: Nice beer and a little deviant from the duck rabbit self proclaimed stereotype - piney hops, blood orange, ruby red, caramel, booze, holiday spicing. Nice draft offering from duck rabbit - i'd love to see them shed the dark beer specialist label and continue over to the light side

mouthfeel: sticky malty body, moderate bitterness from the hops

drinkability: nice

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Photo of thagr81us
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a reddish-brown with a minimal off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, bitter hops, and slight citrus. The flavor was of sweet malt, massive bittering hops, slight caramel, and slight alcohol. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. Definitely very hop forward on this one that I was not expecting at all. Had a very nice flavor and aroma going on here. This is definitely a must try given the opportunity!

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Photo of Bung
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft and Macs Steel Creek.
Fairly dark amber pour, solid finger of cream colored head.

Straight forward resiney piney hop aroma.

Loads of bitter pine with some anise. Malt toffee backbone is there but pretty hidden. Finishes very dry and resiney bitter.

Some stickiness, medium bodied. Alcohol taste is hidden, but it is a little potent, a sipper.

A slam dunk DIPA from a malty beer producer. Hopheads are going to really like this one.

Belongs in the DIPA category.

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Photo of wedge
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ The Federal, Durham...

Clear orange-amber under a decent, sticky white head. Highly hopped up nose...big, fresh grapefruit and some pine. Aggressive oily hop flavor. Loads of grapefruit and orange, a hint of Chinook-like qualities, pine. Some caramel malt to balance, but this is clearly a showcase for the hops. Insanely drinkable for such a strong one. Medium-plus, slick body with a hefty bitterness. This is a delicious, high-quality DIPA. I need to seek this out while it lasts...

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a pleasure it was to be able to get a growler of this one, (Go Calton). Served from a one liter growler into a nonic I had the pleasure of enjoying this one last night.

Pour was an ice hazelnut amber with light golden colors shining through for the majority of the session. Nice light cloudiness to it fades quickly and a huge head of white forms on the top of the glass that coats everything it sees. Really strong aroma, enormous, with tons of ripe, fresh hops that tear apart the air around them. One of the best smelling ales I think I have ever come across in my life. Ridiculously smooth with the ABV so well hidden I could not believe it. Rich hops, with sweet juice of pineapple, grapefruit, and mounds of candied sugar, Wonderful blend here and strong, wow. Lighter feel then I would have thought given the power of it but it actually came across a touch crisp to be honest which was quite surprising. Smooth finish just leaves candy sugar and fresh citrus juice on the palate with a huge, dry finish.

Overall as solid as the day is long. I could not get enough of this one, and that was evident by my sleeping arrangements last night. One of the best I have ever had, hands down go get this.

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Photo of blackie
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: full duck-rabbit pint, medium amber in color with well-retained head

s: huge on the pine hops, fresh and resinous, with a healthy caramel malt backing, biscuity notes, balanced sweetness, great start

m: medium-full, malty body, carbonation light-moderate, carrying the weight well

t: a continuation of the aroma - huge green pine, sappy dense hops, some brighter citrus notes, big malt body - biscuity caramel, thoroughly bitter but in an appropriate context

d: drank extremely well for a 10 percent beer, purchase without hesitation

draft at Tyler's, Durham

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Photo of CBlack85
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Duckworths in Charlotte, served in a small chalice.

Pours an amber/orange color with a moderate amount of off white head that recedes fairly quickly leaving spotty lacing and a crown on the beer that remains until the beer is gone.

The aroma is loaded with piney and citrusy hops. The malt backbone is mainly caramel and fairly sweet, with just a hint of alcohol. Really a straight forward big aroma that is very inviting.

The taste is very much like the smell; huge piney hop presence, with some citrusy hop undertones. The sweet caramel malty presence doesn't quite balance out the hops, but it does compliment them very well. There is just the slightest alcohol burn that only becomes noticable as the beer warms. I would never have guessed that this was a 10% beer based on taste alone. Medium bodied and mildly carbonated, finishes slightly dry. Very drinkable

Overall this is a terrific beer

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Photo of 8legs2fangs
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm a newb...but I have to say that this is a really nice beer. This specialty was a surprise to me. I didn't know this was coming out, but the bartender remembered me and that I really like IPA's and DIPA's, so he immediately told me about it. I'm very glad he did!

A nice fairly thick head, compared to other DIPA's I've had. It was kind of "creamy" in appearance.

The smell was very hoppy, with nice citrus and oils.

Nice taste, smoothness, no real bite to speak of, nice malty mix with the hops.

I would absolutely drink this again!

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Photo of oline73
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of JebediahScooter
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish to amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, grapefruit like citrus hops. In the taste, a nice small gingerbread like malt back to a huge bitter grapefruit like hop. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry and hoppy aftertaste. It's big, but hides the alcohol. It's hoppy, but comes from a brewery that is the dark beer specialists. It's really good!

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Photo of lpb1970
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. I have always enjoyed DR beers but this is the first one that actually blew me away. I don't know how this is called anything but DIPA. I guess calling it an American Strong Ale means it can be whatever you want it to be. Piney, grapefruity nose; thick, creamy, resinous mouthfeel and delicious hoptastic taste with a solid sweetish malt backbone to back it up. A world class beer and by far the best from this brewery (so far) imo. I thought DR only did dark malty beers? Guess again.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a ruddy dark brown color with an off white head that recedes to a ring. Aroma of roasted malt and ripe dark fruits. Some vanilla and smoke on the back end of the aroma, with no real hint of the alcohol content.

In the taste, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, sweet tobacco. Roasted malts, charcoal and a small hint of alcohol round out the finish.

The body is full, smooth, creamy and dries out a bit. Malts, hops and a wood tone alcohol flavor linger into the aftertaste.

Overall, this a delicious dark ale. I've had three drafts tonight and all were delicious.

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Photo of seanwhite
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.92/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish brown color with a thick brownish white head and tons of lacing. Smells of vanilla, roasted malts and booze. Tastes of roasted malts, warm brown sugar, honey, malts, and a little toffee and hops. Mouthfeel medium and drinkability is high. Not bad at all.

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Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of righthereisay
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A surprise draft on Mt Washington in Pittsburgh, PA.

16 ounce poured a dark brown/tan. Smells a little hoppy.

At first sip, I noticed a great body. There was some hoppyness, but not too much. Nice and malty, with some citrus/pine. Much better than expectations. Not like many other Christmas Ales. Can't believe this is 10%. Tastes like 4%.

Very drinkable, almost deadly. One of my favorite Duck Rabbit beers.

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Photo of brentk56
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a clear dark amber color that reflects garnet highlights in all directions: the modest head declines to a film but leaves some splashy lace behind

Smell: Smells like a pine forest; serious caramel undertones, as well

Taste: The bitter, fresh pine flavors dominate from the outset, with the caramel undertones lingering as well: by mid-palate, pithy elements add additional bite and, after the swallow, the pith, pine and caramel merge together in a harmonious blend

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with prickly undertones and some warmth from the alcohol

Drinkability: Paul needs to take more time off as his previous Day Off and now the Christmas Vacation are some of the best beers that have come out of any brewery, let alone Duck Rabbit; seriously, this stuff needs to be bottled

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Photo of IronCitySteve
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Fatheads Pittsburgh.

A: Pouts a dark orangish amber color with a nice tan foam head that sticks around for a long time. Provides a ton of lacing.

S: Lots of pine and citrus hops with some toffee and caramel malt character.

T: The citrus and pine hops hit the palate first and last throughout the tasting. There is a nice malty backbone that really balances this beer. The malt is mostly caramel, bread and roasted nuts.

M: Leaves a slick creamy taste on the palate.

D: Despite the high ABV, this is a nice Strong Ale. Really big but balance flavor with the alcohol well hidden.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Paul's Christmas vacation has a burnt-orange colored body and a solid looking slab of tan head that has great retention and leaves behind some nice lacing.

One sniff is all it takes for me to know this is a good one. This beer has loads of bitter pine and citrus flavors with a little bit of caramel malt to back them up.

Bitterness and hop flavors rule Paul's Christmas Vacation, which sounds like a decent way to spend a vacation to me. Sharp, resinous pine flavors give way to blood orange and grapefruit. The malt backbone doesn't so much express itself as it melds with the hops, creating a the impression of candied fruit instead of just bitter, biting fruit. The finish has a touch of warmth.

The body is appropriately sized for this big beer.

I enjoyed sipping this one as I waited for it to warm up, but you could drink this beer like you would a normal IPA and not even realize the 10% ABV until you were drunk. There is a touch of warmth in the finish, but it isn't really substantial enough to put you on warning. Good beer and a good drinker for its size.

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Paul's Christmas Vacation from The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 4.34 out of 5 with 31 ratings