The Duck Rabbit Craft Brewery - Amber Ale
- ABV: 5.5%
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: North American Pale, caramel malts
- Hops: Nugget, Fuggle
Given Duck-Rabbit’s specialty, it’s not surprising that this medium amber-brown brew is on the darker end of the spectrum for an amber ale. On the nose, expect very prominent and very toasty bready notes with a touch of brown sugar. Look also for notes of fresh grist (brew-speak for grains) and a slight Belgian-candy like sweetness. The hops are subdued, letting you know this is definitely going to be a malt-forward version of the style. This beer begins a bit sweet on the palate, with those toasty malts coming through strong and building even more in the finish where they linger with subtle chocolate notes. We found the overall grain expression in this brew quite impressive. Notably "fresh-tasting", this highly complex beer is balanced well between moderately sweet and bitter notes, and is so malty it's reminiscent in some ways of a Scotch Ale (without the peat character and alcohol), but that's the Duck-Rabbit duality workin' on ya. Great with Braised lamb or a traditional Greek Gyro.
Founded in 2004, The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery in Farmville, NC, is the brainchild of founder Paul Philippon. Before becoming a professional brewer, he taught philosophy at the university level. One of his favorite philosophy texts, Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein, contains a Gestalt-style image referred to as the Duck-Rabbit diagram. Depending on the viewer's perspective, the diagram looks like, you guessed it, a duck or a rabbit. Now, we're not really sure what it means if you see a duck or if you see a rabbit, but we do know that if you're looking at one of Paul's Duck-Rabbit beers, you're in luck—before you is a guaranteed small-batch brewed, extremely tasty beer. We’ve been consistently impressed with everything we’ve sampled—Paul is one hell of a brewer!
We've surmised that the meaning behind the Duck-Rabbit duality is essentially that 'what one sees depends on your state of mind.' This idea can be applied to one of the brewery's unique features: they're one of very few microbreweries to specialize in brewing "dark" beers. While not all of the beers that they brew on their modest 20-barrel system are dark, a majority do tend to be deeper-hued styles like stout, porter, brown ale, etc. Sure, some might see this as a limiting factor for a brewery, reducing their market potential, while others might be quick to highlight this valuable quality as a conduit for connecting with a niche market within the already niche market of microbrewed beer. Wow, we're getting all philosophical over here… but that's Paul for ya—always trying to make you think! A curse or an advantage? Another dichotomous duality similar to the whole Duck-Rabbit diagram philosophy. Oh man, get these freggin' ducks, no wait, rabbits, no wait, definitely ducks—whatever—out of our heads! (and into our pint glasses where they belong!). For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (252) 753-7745 or check out their web site at www.duckrabbitbrewery.com.
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