The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery - Milk Stout
- ABV: 5.7%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- 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), and the beer has taken home bronze and silver GABF medals, as well as a World Beer Cup gold. 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 and the hop acidity. 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, who had been a passionate homebrewer since 1987. 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. It’s been several years since we last featured Duck-Rabbit in the club, and we’re excited to have the opportunity to work with them again this month.
We've surmised 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 super dark (they brew amber ale and barelywine, for instance), many are darker styles like stout, porter, brown ale, etc. The brewery feels all these deeper-hued styles are underrepresented in the American beer market, and they point out that there are a wide variety of flavor profiles to be explored among them. According to the brewery, “what you get in a Duck-Rabbit beer is determined by enthusiasm for delicious beer, not a focus group or a bean-counter!,” and it’s certainly a theme we appreciate. For more information about the brewery and their taproom, call 252-753-7745 or check out their web site at www.duckrabbitbrewery.com.
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