The Duck Rabbit Craft Brewery - Milk Stout
- ABV: 5.7%
- Serving Temperature: 45-55º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: North American Pale, roast malts, unmalted roast barley
- Hops: Nugget, Fuggle
What is a milk stout? Despite the name, it doesn’t taste like milk, although there’s a similar faint sweetness from the lactose (milk sugar) added during brewing this style of beer. This sugar cannot be metabolized by the yeast, remaining in the beer and providing extra heft to the body and an extra dimension of sweetness to balance the sharpness of the dry, roasted flavors. Duck Rabbit specializes in dark beers, and Brewer Paul Philippon’s skill is readily apparent – he’s nailed this style of stout to a tee (and is understandably a bit coy regarding the specific malts he uses). Expect very roasty aromas from this super dark brown beer. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and dark roasted coffee are front and center, with a light lactose note adding a somewhat creamy impression. The milk sugar came through a bit more for us on the palate, contributing a soft roundness to the body, and sweetness that helps balance the very dry malts. Char, bitter chocolate, dark coffee, cocoa powder, a touch of scorched caramel, and a hint of vanilla all come forward on the palate in a complex interplay with the added sugar, the hop acidity, and a mild underlying sourness. Try this excellent milk stout with a strong coffee cake, drizzled in more than a little chocolate sauce, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Enjoy!
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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