Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Duck-Rabbit Schwarzbier

The Duck-Rabbit Brewery out of Farmville, North Carolina is one of the most consistant and reliable American craft breweries. They claim to be the "The Dark Beer Specialist" and that they specialize in beautiful, delicious, full flavored dark beers. In my experience those claims hold true. From their 2009 GABF gold medal winning robust Baltic Porter to their rich and malty Russian Imperial Stout The Duck-Rabbit knows how to make an amazing dark beer. Even their more "sessionable" beers like their hoppy American Brown Ale and medium bodied caramel malty Amber Ale are some of the top beers in their respective categories. Oh and their Barleywine and some of the barrel aged beers...the list goes on.

For their latest offering the brewery has attempted the often overlooked (at least by American craft breweries) Schwartzbier. The German style dark lager or "black beer" that has it's origin pointing back to Middle Ages in Braunschweig Germany. Not really a surprise pick from a brewery that specializes in "dark" beers and certainly one I was excited to hear about when broke the news.

They have held pretty true to style with their offering. Dark brown in color, almost pushing black with a medium creamy/bubbly deep tan head that left sticky lacing down the sides of my glass. The aroma showcased a rich toasted almost roasty malt character complimented by toasted nuts, some light coffee and milk chocolate. The hops were probably a little more pronounced than some traditional representations of the style, but I liked that. Floral, light citrus and noble hop spiciness. The flavor featured much of the same with more if the bready malt, hard pretzels and brewing grains coming through. Hop flavor and bitterness was there and pronounced. I have heard the Schwartzbiers referred to as a German Pilsner...but black and while this beer certainly has some roasted malt and light coffe and chocolate notes, it's still a rather accurate explaination.

Here is to The Duck-Rabbit continueing to pump out great beers that have yet to really dissapoint -- Cheers!

On a side note...for those of you in the Lansdale, PA area. The Blue Dog Pub is selling this beer for $2 a bottle. Not a bad price for a single bottle.

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