Fitting the bill
A Review of Hoppy Bunny by Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Posted on 2/7/2013 by Chops
The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery out of Farmville, NC has made quite an impact on the regional craft beer scene since opening their doors in 2004. They are perhaps best known for their delicious Milk Stout, a regional staple and reliable option on most local beer menus. For the most part, their product line stays on the darker end of the spectrum. So whenever any local beer fan craves a healthy dose of dark malty goodness, a Duck-Rabbit brew will almost certainly fit the bill (pun intended). I have been steadily drinking through and greatly enjoying their tasty brews. Up next in my journey is the Hoppy Bunny American Black Ale.

In the glass, this beer is stark black with only a sliver of caramel edging. It comes with a big thick creamy tan head that has very long retention. On the nose, I was greeted with a piney citrus aroma and a nip of alcohol burn. That's pretty much it, this beer has a very specific introduction that is easy to grasp. Going into that first sip, I expected little more than a solid IPA with a tasty base roast.

I should take a moment to note that American Black Ales (also known as Black IPAs) have a notable sensory disconnection between their stout-like appearance and hoppy IPA aroma. Hoppy Bunny is a great example because it looks like a solid stout, but smells like a solid IPA. Don't let the appearance fool you into thinking the beer is somehow misbrewed. When all is said and done, you should be able to close your eyes and enjoy a good malty IPA.

Right away I was greeted with an aggressive hop profile. It is piney and stingy to start off, but mellows out on the finish. The sweet citrus is somewhat overshadowed by the roasted malty base flavor, but neither combat the hops. I found hints of sweet chocolate and pumpernickel bread swirling around in the mix, which added a very nice character. The mouthfeel is in a light-to-medium range with a tingly bitterness. The beer finishes dry with a long lasting airy bitter aftertaste.

Overall, Duck-Rabbit's Hoppy Bunny American Black Ale is a tasty brew with lots of good flavor and is a solid representation of the style. It also fills the role of a good session beer, even at a respectable 7.3% ABV. The nip of alcohol helps reign in any mindless drinking, so I especially recommend this beer to novices. Hoppy Bunny is a great bridge beer into the style because it forces your to pay attention. The aggression is present but not overbearing. The flavors are bold but not unbalanced. In short, Hoppy Bunny is a great learning tool and should be used as such.

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Hoppy Bunny by Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
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