Duck-Rabbit steps up their game
A Review of Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale by Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Posted on 5/20/2011 by Chops
I really love when this happens. Small breweries can be a lot of fun to follow because their beers can change drastically from style to style and year to year. A beer you weren't too thrilled about one year can blow your mind the next year. As a brewery matures, so does it's product. No brewery comes out of the gate with a pinnacle beer. As with everything else in life, it takes practice.

It's Friday, so I'm lunching it up and hanging with my fellow brew mates at my favorite local pub. And now that BrewChief is in full swing, I have reconfigured my brew ordering routine. My tried and true favorite-new-favorite has been upgraded to new-new-favorite. Gone are the days of ''the usual.'' These days, it's ''surprise me.''

Today's ''surprise me'' was Duck-Rabbit's Brown Ale. I've been sampling Duck-Rabbit for many years now. They are a relatively new brewery (sold their first beer in 2004), so they are still firmly in the ''dice roll'' period of brewing. Some beer are impressive, some are underwhelming, and they change from year to year. The Brown Ale has been one of their steadily maturing beers, gets a little bit better every year. So in having this beer today, I already had a preconceived level of quality in mind. And much to my delight, it far surpassed my expectation.

I have no idea what Duck-Rabbit has tweaked with their Brown Ale, but this current configuration is amazing. I poured it into my glass and was stunned by it's beauty. This is a gorgeous brown ale, the exact kind of coloration you would expect from the style. Now follow me closely on this one... the appropriate color for a brown ale is... you guessed it, brown. I know that seems painfully obvious, but you'd be amazed at how many breweries get this wrong. Might come out light brown, mahogany, hazel, muddy, which is fine and all, but the target is brown. Pure, rich brown. And that's what this beer is.

Surprisingly enough, the dominant aromas and flavors of this brown ale all center around coffee. This really surprised me since browns tend to be more sweet malted with chocolate and caramel flavors. I do taste some sweet notes, but rich and roasted coffee notes take center stage with a vengeance. Definitely not complaining, it's just really odd to find this in a brown ale. It even feels like coffee with an earthy, grainy mouthfeel. There's no prominent sediment, so the mouthfeel is purely flavor driven.

Overall this is a very tasty beer. Fans of coffee brews will really enjoy it, as well as any style camp brown and beyond (bitters, porters, stouts, etc.). It's by no means the best brown in the world, but it's definitely worthy of a six pack purchase and is by far the best beer Duck-Rabbit currently has to offer.

Oh, and a little amusing side note... what other awesome thing do you see in the helpful pic? Think Where's Waldo.

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Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale by Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
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