Monday, April 22, 2013

Best. Beer. Ever.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Untappd, this will not be news to you.

If you read my Brown Knowser blog post of my favourite beers of 2012, this will not be news to you.

Last summer, when I was in Washington, D.C., I visited a Whole Foods store and discovered a wonderful beer section that had shelves and shelves of local craft beer, beer that I had never seen before. I stocked up on some of Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA and some other brews that I had never seen before, like Double D Double IPA and Double Naked Fish Imperial Chocolate Raspberry Stout.

I also picked up a six-pack of another beer that caught my eye with its label and name: The Duck-Rabbit.

The beer was a milk stout, which I had never tried before. In a nutshell, it's a stout that has had lactose added to it to give the beer a creamier taste. Adding whole milk to a stout or porter was actually a common practice in the 1800s, but my (uneducated) guess is that with strict international laws on pasteurization, adding whole milk these days is a no-no.

When I first tried The Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout, back in the fall, I loved it. I shared it with some friends but I really savoured it when I was relaxing at home. In my 2012 list of favourite beers, I said that I thought Milk Stout may very well be my favourite beer of all time.

When I ran out, I was heart-broken, feeling like some lover had left me.

Last week, my friend, Chris, returned from the U.S. with a few beers that he collected for me, including more Duck-Rabbit. I figured that I should give this stout a proper review, so here goes.
Milk Stout (5.7% ABV)
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Farmville, NC, U.S.A.
Beer O'Clock rating: 5
Appearance: deep mahogany with red highlights, almost like root beer but without the big bubbles; a taupe, foamy head gradually dissipates to a thin but dense blanket over the beer. (BTW: I served this stout in my favourite glass, which is slightly skewed, like me.)

Nose: dark chocolate, cedar, and a rich espresso.

Palate: chocolate milk and coffee coat the mouth and culminate in a short, dry finish.

Overall impression: this stout seriously tastes like I'm drinking a chocolate-chip cookie, washed down with a dark-roasted coffee. It is creamy but not sweet. It coats the tongue but is not cloying. It is rich without overpowering.

This is what a stout should be. This tasting has reaffirmed my belief that Duck-Rabbit is my favourite stout. Ever.

Sadly, I'm out again. Of the four bottles that Chris gave me, I gave two to friends, I enjoyed one on Saturday night, and I had my last bottle yesterday for this review.

My hope is that this North-Carolina brewery ships its brew as far north as New York City, where I'll be in a few weeks. If so, I'm stocking up.

But I don't know if I'll be as generous in sharing it out again.



  1. I haven't yet seen this one in NYC, but I'll do some searching.
    It rules based on the label and design alone, as far as I'm concerned!

    1. The label caught my eye. The style made me get it. The contents sealed the deal. If you can find this beer in NYC, grab some.

      I've been told the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle has an impressive beer section.

  2. Hey Ross
    You have myself and one of my coleagues all excited about this one. Such a shame it's so far away.

    1. If you can find it, you won't be disappointed.