Thursday, October 16, 2008

Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale

I haven't done a beer review in a while, but I tried a new beer this week that surprised me and I figured I'd share that find. It was a pleasant surprise, but unanticipated nonetheless. When I was in Durham for the World Beer Fest one of the beers I picked up to bring home was Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale. Colleen especially enjoys brown ales and we've enjoyed other Duck-Rabbit beers in the past, so it seemed a good choice. I tend to think of brown ales as exhibiting a smooth malt, caramel flavor with little hop bitterness. As soon as I poured the Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale, I knew we were in for something different. Of course, had I read the brewer's description beforehand, this would have been no surprise, but that would have certainly spoiled the fun of discovery.
The Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale is an American brown ale brewed with loads of hops from start to finish (it's hoppy and beautifully bitter). Amarillo hops in the boil provide a spicy citrusy bitterness. Saaz dry hops in the fermentor provide a refined flowery aroma. These hops are supported by a grain bill of seven varieties of malt. Oh yeah!

The beer pours a very dark brown, and is nearly opaque. The rich brown head is persistent and hangs around for the time it takes to drink the beer. The aroma brings brown sugar, dark fruits and citrusy hops to the nose. The flavor is most interesting. It opens with bitter chocolate and espresso. There's a prominent roasted character to the taste, with strong bitter hops in the finish. The roasted bitterness lingers and the finish is somewhat astringent. I thought the beer was just a bit over-carbonated but that didn't distract from my enjoyment.

The Duck-Rabbit interpretation of an American Brown Ale is interesting and enjoyable. It's somewhat stout-like with the espresso and roasted characteristics. The strong hop presence was an unexpected twist. The Amarillo hops are balanced quite well by the roasted malts. This is a beer I'd definitely drink again. And since there are still a few left in the refrigerator, I will, soon.

1 comment:

  1. This one is my favorite of their regular offerings. I couldn't agree with you more on the review!


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