Beer Review 0162: Duck-Rabbit Porter

The Duck-Rabbit Brewery is another beer company located in my home state of North Carolina. This brewery specializes in dark beers, and according to their website, “When we brew, we’re happy and we dance; during fermentation, we sing softly to the yeast.”

Duck-Rabbit started selling beer in 2004, and the beverages can be found exclusively on the east coast, making this one hard to find for most people.

What exactly is a duck-rabbit? The founder of the company, Paul Philippon, taught philosophy and saw a diagram of a duck-rabbit (a figure that looks like a rabbit when looking from one perspective, a duck from the other) in a textbook and decided to use it in a logo as a connection to what he did before brewing.

It’s hard to find information about Duck-Rabbit beers, primarily because it looks like their website hasn’t been updated since 1996 — seriously, it looks like an old Geocities website (remember those?!) According to the primitive site, Duck-Rabbit’s Porter is to have a dark chocolate flavor, and is brewed with oats to give a silky mouthfeel. The ABV (alcohol by volume) isn’t listed on the site or the bottle (buzzkill!) but my research on various other sites has found it to be 5.7%. Guys at Duck-Rabbit: please update your website and start putting the alcohol content on your bottles. A date would be nice, too; I see you have a space for notched date codes, but no notches… MONTH/DAY/YEAR — it is not hard…

But enough bitching, on with the drinking…

The pour yielded a small, creamy, but quickly diminishing head atop a ruby brown beer. The liquid was dark but see-thru when held to the light, and had a clear body, free of particles or sediment. There was no lacing to speak of as I imbibed.

The aromatics featured the story of a fairly typical robust porter; all maltiness, all the time. There’s a nice chocolate cocoa flavor up front, with a touch of coffee and caramel. This beer is fairly bready smelling, like toast, slightly burnt. Very much like the English Porter style, with a hint of a tangy twang…

On the taste buds, this beer presents faint chocolate up front, a caramel hit in the middle, along with a toasty and crisp note. There’s a twang on the finish that is fairly tart and acidic, like bitter black coffee, which leads into a more fleshed out coffee flavor and burnt toast. The mouthfeel was pretty thin and the beer did dry the mouth out. At the very conclusion of the finish, which was of average length, it hints at darker fruits like raisins and prunes.

Duck-Rabbit’s Porter is merely average, I’m afraid. It wouldn’t be my first pick and I doubt I return…but if you love a classic English-style Porter, you’ll probably love this. I just don’t really dig them.

Duck-Rabbit Porter, 78 points. Price: $1.79 for one twelve ounce bottle.

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