XS Old Crustacean - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean

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1,225 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,225
Reviews: 705
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 97
Gots: 130 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-03-2001

Formerly "Old Crustacean"

8 Ingredients:
Hugh Baird Carastan and Rogue Micro Barley Farm DareTM & RiskTM Malts; Chinook and Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution & Freedom Hops, Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

110 IBU
83 AA
57º Lovibond
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,225 | Reviews: 705
Reviews by WilliamPhilaPa:
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Bottled in 2002:) -- Pours a hazy unrefined reddish copper body. The head is dense and creamy and shows some good retention, and leaves a bit of lace. On the nose I got some whiff’s of caramel malts, spices, some fruitiness and pine hops…surprised I picked up these through the strong alcohol aroma. On the palate, the alcohol pierces the mouth with the nearly 12% abv, after the brew warms a bit it is easier to consume with different flavors coming across…caramel maltiness, toffee, spices, pine needles, and some nice sweet fruity flavors. Mouthfeel is some-what sharp. It took me about a ½ hour to finish this freak’n 12oz beer. This is a monster of a beer…very good brew, a slow sipper.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Real nice pour,pours a chesnut brown with a slight orange hue with a nice creamy almond colored head.Aroma is fruity and sweet,a very chewy beer nice and fruity with a definent hop profile in the finish.This beer is an American classic to some and it is a very nice beer.

Photo of Popsinc
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appeaarnce: 2002 Vintage. a clear but dark amber pour. minimal head, fades down to a mere ring quite fast.

Smell: fruity sweetness. molasses & caramel stickiness. underlying chocolate notes. a borbon like woodiness in there as well. big hops.

Taste/Mouthfeel: wow! overwhelming to say the least! hops galore and alcohol pow is right up front and throughout. the sweetness seems to come from raisin & fig. a wallop of black licorice is also in the mix. hop bitterness is huge on this brew and extends itself well after you complete your sip. very long & lingering characteristics. burried beneath all the mayhem there is a pinch of a nutty port-lke quality. the hop kick goes on forever post sip, it's crazy!

Drinkability: as far as barley wine goes this is great example. the big IBUs and alcohol kick may offend some and make the drinkability questionable. this one is a definte late nite sipper or even better if shared between 2.

Photo of RoyalT
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Brown, not dark brown, but so cloudy and thick it appears dark brown. I can't actually see the sediment, but I'm sure it's in there. This ale also showed off a beautiful head that laced the glass well. I thought high ABV ales weren't supposed to lace?

Smell - Nice malt and hop backbone to the sherry-laced aroma.

Taste - Watch out! The alcohol flavor is cranking on this one. The hops move back to the finish and the sherry runs up front. The malt base is thick and substantial though and is finally able to balance things out. This is like Old Guardian mixed with vodka.

Mouthfeel - Don't drink this with a cut on your mouth; the alcohol will send you screaming. It's actually quite smooth all things considered though. It's very full in the body, of course, and leaves a wonderful hop aftertaste.

Drinkability - This is definitely one of my favorite Barley Wines. Don't even think about giving this to your Budweiser Buddies, though.

Update - This ale cellars very well, so I stashed away a bottle of 2002 and opened it four years later in 2006 to share with my buddy skyhand.

It just reeks when you open the aged bottle. The rotten wine smell will curl your toes, and the dryness comes through at the nose. The monster pine hopping seems almost curdled, and the flavors amazing carry over the big hop balance even after all those years in the cellar. What a terrific ABW!

Update - I popped a cellared '08 in 2010 and OMG is this just ripe! The appearance is again absolutely magnificent and better than any other beer that I've ever had. It's not just a perfect 5.0 but better than the few other 5.0s I've given over the years.

This is such a unique ale, and the smells, flavor, and feel of it are in a class all by itself that really defies description. It is one of the most amazing beers that I've had the privelege to drink and is just a hair away from perfect 5's all around, mostly due to the overweight alcohol feel.

Photo of skybluewater
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 bottling. Pours a deep cherry-brown color. Smells of raisin and other dark fruits. Taste isn't bad, but it's terribly raw. Hops assault my tongue, not in a good way, but in a too-bitter way that really detracts from the drinkability. I can detect a great beer in there somewhere, but I think this one needs to sit for a year or two. Mouthfeel is quite nice, however.

I will revisit this version in a few years, and see if I'm right or wrong about that rawness...

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2004 vintage
Deep creamy brown pour with a small tan head atop. Barely lets any light through. Nutty caramel, big citrus hops that burn the nose with a vinous background. Wow.

Bitter, bitter, bitter....holy shit, did I mention this was bitter? Sweet nutty caramel, dark fruits, molasses, some cocoa and citrusy hops. Stings and burns on the way down. Not much alcohol in the taste...but not much can get out from behind the wall of biterness.

Mouthfeel is nice, fairly thick and creamy. Good body, maybe a bit too much carbonation. Drinkability....well...I'm gonna finish this one but I'm not looking for another. This brew needs to age big time. I have a 2002 in the cellar that I look forward to trying. Worth a try just for the experience.

Photo of blitz134
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with red highlights. Head barely had time to form before it disappeared to absolutely nothing on the surface. I’m not going to knock this brew too much on appearance due to lack of head. It actually takes on a more wine-like appearance. Smell is fruity sweet, I’m reminded of raisins and dark cherries to some extent. A little alcoholic in nature. There is definitely some sweet malt in the aroma. I don’t pick up too much on any hop presence in the smell, I’m sure its there but they must blend well with the other smells and just aren’t noticeable for me.

The taste is not as harsh as some describe it, I just don’t find the bitterness many describe. It is quite complex after it sits on the palate for a bit. Initially I pick up on the sweet malts which transfer over to a piney resin hops towards the end. The finish after was unexpected. I detect some toasted malt flavors in the last bits of the finish. Alcohol is definitely warming on the way down. I feel it reeking havoc with my stomach lining.

Mouthfeel is nice as well, thick and slightly oily. Drinkability suffers a bit with the stomach agitating effects this beer has with me. I could maybe have two and then I’d be done.

Overall, this beer exceeded my expectations. I’m setting one aside to see how it develops next year, but this relatively fresh one is more then suiting. I was actually a bit scared to pop the top on this one, but I’m certainly glad I did. I’ll be visiting this one again.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was part of a Rogue sampler I offered to some friends. I liked this better than they did. It was a dark red/brown color with a thick white head and some interesting lacing. I could detect fruit, wine, and caramel in the odor. The taste was all hops, and more hops, with some sweetness. Mouthfeel was just a touch cloying, but still a nice beer.

Photo of Todd
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

1996 Vintage: Redbones BBQ in Somerville, MA tapped this baby last night at their North West Fest. Whoa! Pretty rough stuff! The hops were incredibly puckering/assertive and the malts were intensely complex. You could lay this down to mellow for another 10 years, easy.

The yeast had broken down in the keg and leech out a bready/yeasty flavour in the background, and there was loads of proteins and the like permanently suspended in the beer, but it was still a good beer.

Photo of grynder33
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a dark reddish color with very little head. It had a wonderful, fruity, rich, creamy, almost cherry ice cream soda type of aroma.The first mouthful had a cherry, hoppytaste with a very smooth mouthfeel.Then a very bitter backtaste made itself evident. After further sips, a strong alcohol presence became evident. I would have liked this better if I had more time to drink it. Definitely a slow sipping brew.

Photo of shapudding
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2002 bottle. Poured out with just a teensy bit of honeyed cream colored head that sat atop the cloudy rootbeer/amber colored brew. So nice and piney scented with hops floating out at you. Grapefruity and woodsy with sweetness in the background... nice sweet malty scents. Wow, surprising first sip! So dark and pine filled, tons of hoppiness in there! Darkness, burnt toast, peppery and warming alcohol. Not much carbination going on, which I like, just such a good mouthfeel to it. There may be too much going on flavorwise to make this a session, but damn nice to sit back for a few, just to sit and enjoy and taste, and smell.... Man, can Rogue do anything wrong?

Photo of bishopdc0
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the tap take over at Novare Res.

The appearance is amber with a hefty head formation. It pours over the glasses edge multiple times at the bar tender pours it. The head stays and leaves a generous lace.

The aroma is very nice, notes of vanilla, honey and earthiness from the hops comes through, it is all backed by pale malts.

The taste mimics the aroma starting with sweet flavors of vanilla and honey it begins to dry as the carbonation subsides and a bitter earthiness finishes to the end.

Photo of Britton
4.69/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage in a 750 mL stop-top XS bottle.

A: A multihued, deep amber or mahogany with a thin layer of frothy bubbles, quickly fading to oblivion. Some haziness from sediments(?).

O: Malts quickly followed by hops, a faint whiff of EtOH and other organic-y solvents here and there. This all colludes to provide a somewhat overwhelming but pleasant aroma.

T: Malts. Spice from hops, then the sweets, bitters again. A little twinge of alcohol in the ol' uvulator. Just grand.

M: Sticky and thick, just as it should be.

D: Sip or die, but as with anything really worth trying again I could drink the whole bottle to myself.

Overall, A very hoppy barley guy, one which would surely benefit from aging, but perfect in its own way as-is.

Photo of Jason
4.79/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1999 Vintage: Close to heavenly, the hops are still running wild even after three years of aging. Touch of estery alcohol and a dollop of fruitiness partially from the hops.

Photo of merlin48
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I will preface this review by admitting that I'm not a big fan of barleywines. This 12 oz bottle of the 2002 edition pours a deep, chesnut brown, with no head and no lacing.
Aroma is very much like a sherry or port wine, but has some floral hops notes in the background.
Mouthfeel has a slight hops bite, an alcohol presence, and is minimally carbonated.
Taste begins dry and bitter, with a vinous alcohol dominance. Sweet maltiness emerges as the tulip glass warms, and an abundance of dark fruits make their presence known. Plums and vodka-soaked raisins are very apparent in the profile, but a vinous and hoppy bitterness maintain authority over the flavor profile.
This Crusty reminds me of a strong Belgian dark ale, minus the spices and yeast character. Overall, a nice introduction to the barleywine style.

Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, brewed in 2002. Pours darkest amber, minimal carbonation and head, Tiny bubles, leaves some lacing. Not much nose detected. Mouthfel is smooth, rich and lucious. Vinious, strong alcohol presence. Lovely malt backbone. Hops more subtle, but grainyness is evident. Very strong BW, well crafted, this is a nice sipper, excellent night capper.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A deep, dark brown...very hazy with tan head. What little head formed, disappeared almost instantly. Lace also very slight.
Notes of cherries, with a touch of chocolate. There is nothing grabbing me at this point...especially since I have had alternate Barleywines for the last two days and this one is the least aromatic.
But wait...the taste is a very thick, flavorful experience....with coffee and malts smacking me in the face. This beer is dry and bitter, but it is balanced enough to have a very attractive flavor. I also taste some raisins in here.
The alcohol is very hidden, which allows this 11% plus to sneak up on you, but to say I would have more than 2 of these in an evening would be false. Not my favorite (on my very short list), but I am really glad I picked this one up.

Photo of badbeer
3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750mL Ceramic XS bottle, poured into Tripel Karmeliet chalice.

Red, mostly brown color, tan head that quickly went away leaving no lacing or anything behind. Very malty backbone, caramel and dark fruit, with a floralness not far behind. Very nice caramel maltiness, but the hops are not blended enough, there is the maltiness and then a very strong bitterness following. Pretty good but I think needs some age to perfect its flavor. Mouthfeel is full bodied and a low carbonation level. Took quite a while to finish the glass, but perhaps I'll age one for a few years, I imagine it could turn out quite nicely.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. amber bottle. Bottled in 2002.

Appearance: Pours a very thick-looking and cloudy deep amber color. Poured some back in the bottle to swirl around and catch the layer of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Brownish-colored head quickly disappates.

Smell: An interesting mixture of sweetness, some alcohol, and some citrus mingling together.

Taste: I had a few sips prior to reading the bottle. Needless to say, I was very surprised to see that this beer has an IBU of *120*! There is no way that a beer with an insane 120 IBU can taste this smooth! The caramel sweetness is so prominent up front. It is only in the later stage that the prfound quantity of hops make their appearance. The alcohol has a lovely warming effect, perfect for this blustery, wintery evening we are experienceing. Also, the aftertaste is like having a Heath bar in your mouth...the toffee flavor is very prominent at the end and is so tasty on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Lovely. Large and creamy mouthfeel. Like Pepto-Bismol...it coats, soothes, and relieves.

Drinkability: This certainly got better as it warmed. I'm still trying to dial in my dedicated beer fridge temperature (happy birthday to me..) and it was about 40 degrees when I started. After letting it sit for about 30 minutes, it was definitely better. Overall, a very good barleywine. A little hop-heavy (a previous reviewer's quote of "The IPA of barleywine?" is certainly appropriate), but still very good.

Photo of magictrokini
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy mahogany with ho head. Aroma is nice and hoppy with caramel and some malt. I really like the taste. Sweet up front, smooth and malty, then turns to a strong hop bitterness. Mroe pepper and resin than citrus. The finish is more hops with caramel and toffee. The alcohol is hidden throughout, but it creeps up in the end.

Photo of jamesm7485
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Been looking for this for a LONG TIME! Being a rouge junkie and a barleywine junkie i was excited to find this. 2006 vintage in one of their over priced fancy ceramic bottles. Pours almost syrup like a dark dark red amber, a head is quick to form but quick to fade as well. As most rogues go its not terribly balanced and heavy on the ibu's but that is not a bad thing! Bought two bottles one to enjoy now and one to enjoy when i graduate from vet school, i truly enjoyed it however with old guardian and old ruffian being just as enjoyable at 1/3 the price not sure how often ill drink it, rogue chocolate stout is my most popular beer but its also 1/4 the cost of this. All in all a stand up beer but like alot of their xs line its not cheap and their are equal beers for far less money.

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am drinking the 2013 vintage out of the 750 ml bottle. This is a big, bitter, intense beer. Pours hazy ruby brown under a rocky light tan head that produces thick lace. Has a big malt nose with dark sugars and some sherry notes. Begins with a touch of sweet malt and then goes through three or four versions of hop bitterness and spiciness ending in a long lingering hop bitterness riding on smooth caramelly malt. A big alcohol palate joins with some heavy duty bitterness to balance the big, rich sherry malt flavors. Lingering bitter alcohol finish. The alcohol is warming but not overly hot or solventy.

Photo of ehammond1
3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

On Tap (2007)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

(Aged for 6 years)

Murky brown with little head. Some trace carbonation bubbles present. Leaves the glass only oily on the way down.

Sweet sticky caramels and oxidation are heavy in the aroma. Little else.

Flavor is a fairly bitter one alongside lots of oxidation and sweetness. Some very old hop character is left. Drinkable, but 4 ounces is a generous pour.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. A bit slick.

Decent, but I wouldn't want any more than my 4 ounce pour.

Photo of masikon
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2004-12oz. bottle. Pours a dark copper to bergundy with minimal head which recedes to only a ring after a short time. Nose is huge and complex, full of garden scents, rasins, and alcohol. Taste is a slam of fruits up front with raisins, spicy peppers, onions? It's all balanced by a strong malt backbone which gives texture of biscuits or toast...aftertaste has a strong but not unpleasant alcoholic warmth. I had bought this with intentions of aging it but got impatient as tends to happen, enjoyed it nevertheless however. Out of a limited number of barleywines i've sampled so far this is my favorite, edging out Stone's Old Guardian on the basis of more flavor...less burn.

Photo of far333
3.27/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

2000 vintage. Appearance is fairly average, with dark copper coloring and a dark beige frothy head that dissipates quickly. Looks can be deceiving - the aroma is the first clue. It's strong and consists of sweet malt, some hop bitter, and definite alcohol. Then the flavor sucker-punched me in the head. Huge flavor all at once, very rich and malty with a kickin' hop bitter, and an alcohol kick at the back of the tongue. Bitter orange peel aftertaste, with nuances of sweet candy. Tangy alcoholic bitter aftertaste sticks in the back of the throat. Very smooth mouthfeel, low carbonation. Low drinkability due to the wallop that is delivered. This one ended my evening, and then pounded my forehead in the morning.

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XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,225 ratings.