XS Old Crustacean - Rogue Ales
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Ratings: 1,116 | Reviews: 688 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ojiikun:
4.05/5 rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
2006 vintage now appears to come in a beautiful, dark grey stoneware bottle with a cap and a flip-top ready to reseal it if you're not down for a whole bomb of barleywine. Best in class presentation - this would cellar itself in most conditions and the homebrewers will certainly not mind the free bottle!
Cap pops with much fanfare and gas, the pour into my favourite, smallish tulip generates just a quarter inch of head. Body is a dark, red garnet and head is, well, a light garnet skin that turns coffee coloured when swirled. Perfectly even cloudyness, no flecks. Gentelest swirl conjurs back the millimeter of head and even leaves leopard spots of lace on the glass.
Smell is like an old, strong belgian brown brewed by monks, not 'mericans! Lots of sweet, raisiney malts, very dry, ashey yeast funk, and warm nutmet riding on the lightest breeze of alcohol. Hazelnuts, under-ripe pears, toffee, and something almost floral like rose or honeysuckle right at the end.
Taste is worlds hoppier than expected! Tons of tart, tight alphas that are confusingly fresh; vermouth bitters, slightly more floral finish. Sweet and coffee-dominated at first, under the hopping; drys out by the time your 'buds have recovered for a bready finish with some chocolate-covered espresso beans as an afterthought.
Feels sweet but cooling on the tongue and sticks to your cheeks and palate more than a little. Good levels of carbonation do wonders to tidy things up, but the intense bitters really linger on past all else. Booze never really comes up, the hops providing the diversion.
An all around surprise that breaks all the rules about how the genere should smell or taste. True Pacific Northwest in hop style and almost patronizing to the old world traditions of high gravity. Good right now, and I'm going to bank on a whole case to throw in my basement on the suspicion that this will only get better.
Serving type: bottle
01-09-2008 05:34:28 | More by ojiikun
More User Reviews:
3.25/5 rDev -18.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
Appearance - Pours a hazy, rustic orange with a sandstone colored finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a thin layer of surface suds.
Smell - Caramel and some notes of copper. hmm.
Taste - Flavors upfront are good; caramel and touches of coffee, along with some light fruitiness... but then high leafy bitterness and metallic twang (like sucking on a penny) dominate the finish and aftertaste which, having drank Old Crustacean many a-times on tap, doesn't seem to fit what I recall.
Mouthfeel - Full in body with low carbonation and light creaminess. Goes down smooth at first, but the astringent finish makes it hard to drink sip after sip.
Overall - Ya know, I found this '12 bottle at a store a few months ago, and then later that day had the '14 on tap. It was pure heaven on tap; perhaps the greatest barleywine I've ever had... and despite this I decided I'd wait to review the '12 bottle. I should've reviewed the '14. This is fair, but the flaws are evident. Whether from improper storage or what, it's not the Old Crusty I'm used to drinking. Too much bitter, metallic astringency in the finish to think this was the intent after 2 years of aging. '14 probably would've netted a 4.5 score; this '12 is certainly not up to par, as you can see by the score. future review for sure, because I've had Old Crusty too many times in the past to know this is a fluke.
Serving type: bottle
06-25-2014 07:13:27 | More by TheSixthRing
XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,116 ratings.