Monday, March 19, 2012

The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery - Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale

First of all, I have to admit - brown ales really aren't my thing. It's not that I particularly dislike them, but I tend to get caught up in the hype surrounding the beers of the moment and those beers tend to be more "radical" styles (Double IPAs, sours, barrel-aged stouts, etc.). Browns just don't get my heart racing like a rare (fill in the blank). So it's not often that I'll choose a brown over just about any other style out there. That said, I may just have stumbled across a brown worth trying.

I'd heard of Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery during the course of my many hours spent perusing beeradvocate's site and many forums. But since they're a relatively small brewery in North Carolina, I figured the chances of me ever seeing a bottle from them here in San Diego were slim to none. Then, a few days ago, my coworker, Dan, asked me if I'd be interested in trying some beer he was able to get from his brother who had just traveled to North Carolina. Sure enough, that beer was a brown from Duck-Rabbit.

Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale pours a deep chestnut color with some ruby tinges when held up to light. A soapy looking sand-colored head formed immediately and stuck around for the entire beer, leaving nice trails of lace down the glass. I'm used to pretty mild smells from brown ales, but this one had fairly aggressive aromas of coffee, toffee, roasted malt, chicory, caramel and a rich earthiness. Clearly this isn't your average brown ale.

The taste opens with rich nutty malt flavors followed by a nice hit of earthy hops. The hops are soon replaced by some notes of freshly ground medium-roast coffee, baking chocolate and cola nut and the finish leaves a lingering (but not overpowering) dry bitterness. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy and makes this beer drinkable like no other. This is right up there with Rogue's Hazelnut Brown Ale for me as one of the best browns I've come across. A huge thanks to Dan for getting me this. Looks like I'm gonna have to make a trip to North Carolina in the near future.

Final Grade: A

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 37

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