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XS Old Crustacean - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,187 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,187
Reviews: 692
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.72%
Wants: 88
Gots: 120 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-03-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,187 | Reviews: 692 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RBorsato
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2002 version (Tasted: 10/21/03)
Medium-dark milk chocolate brown with a nice full creamy light brown head, decent carbonation, and lace rings. Citrusy, sprucey, piney hop aroma which turns fruity and malty as the hop aroma subsides. Big malty and hoppy balanced flavor but definitely more malty with bitterness very apparent. Full bodied with a slow burning alcohol finish.

DRINK FRESHER - much better than 1998 version tasted on same day. Scores reflect 2002 version otherwise they would have been lower...

1998 version (Tasted: 10/21/03)
Medium-dark brown with lots of suspended sediment. Pours thick with no head and low carbonation. Huge malty and bitter aroma with an alcohol nose. Big malty flavors -- chocolate notes. Alcohol so apparent it overtakes the bitterness. Full bodied and smooth with a burning alcohol finish.

In general, I prefer S.N. Bigfoot over this one, any year, any time -- hops much fresher in Bigfoot.

Per bottle (7 oz. and 12 oz.): 26 Plato, 120 IBU, 38 L, 73.1 AA, "Unfiltered and Unfined", Ingred: Great Western Harrington, Klages, Munich, Hugh Baird Carastan malts. Centennial and Chinook hops.

($3.49 / 7 oz.) & ($3.99 / 12 oz.)

Photo of RoyalT
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
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 RenoZymurgist
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the best barleywine i have ever had! The aroma is sweet and full of esters and malt with a slight hoppiness. The flavor is complementary to the aroma as it is a lot like the aroma except for a hidden chocolate flavor and an excellent hop bitterness that allows this barleywine to be tasted again and again without being either too sweet or too bitter. Smooth character is lent from a lighter body than is normally found in barleywines which conributes to the high drinkability. Not a session beer for sure due to the 11.3% alcochol but definetly one to cellar and to cherish along with the best belgian ales. 2002 vintage.

Photo of BierReise
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle, bottled in 2002. Not much head on this dark amber brew that is hazy. Head reduces to a thin film. Aroma is hoppy for a Barley Wine but does have a sweet bready maltiness as well with a hint of caramel. Medium bodied and has a really smooth texture. I'm not a fan of the style but this is pretty decent to me, probably due to the hops. Flavor is sweet and malty with a bitterness from the hops. Has a bit of a kick at the end but alcohol is hidden well. Very bitter aftertaste and a nice warming sensation

Photo of rastaman
3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Quite syruppy, with warming alcohol in the finish. Bitter hops finish, loads of hops. Caramelly/chocolatey malts, some roasty coffee. Loads of ingredients and flavour, some herbal notes. Once again with Rogue, you're guaranteed flavour, just a bit too syruppy and a touch cloying. (Bottle-GBBF 03')

Photo of 86MonteSS
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First of all, whoever is in charge of naming Rogue's beers has earned one shiny penny... and my respect. I don't quite know how this barleywine came to be known as 'Old Crustacean,' but it is cool, and I like it. Hell, I should have listened to Iron Maiden's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" while I was trying this beer. But hindsight is always 20/20.

I drank this bitch with high expectations and Lord, were they met. I've never written a review that was particularly descriptive of a beer's qualities and I'm not about to start; sometimes, it's redundant and unnecesary to comment upon hop and malt content when dozens of others have done so. HOWEVER, this was one of the most notably hoppy, malty, fruity, alcoholic-y bottles o' hooch I ever done swallowed. This little barnacle bolstered my affinity for barleywines, and as long as world-class breweries like Rogue continue to churn them out, I'll be a returning customer.

Photo of beerguy101
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 version - Deep brown color. Small head. Aroma is malty and slightly sweet. A BIG BOLD HOPPY/Malty barley wine. Thick and chewy, extremely hoppy. There are very rich sweet malts in this beer but they take a while to get through the hop assault. Very nice, this one is from the new XS 12oz bottles. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is bitter. Etched/painted beer bottle.

Photo of grynder33
3.73/5  rDev -7%
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 oberon
4.25/5  rDev +6%
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 Stingray5
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2002 bottling. Pours a gorgeous chestnut with a small head that reduced to an island of foam in the shape of Italy. Aroma is sweet fruit with raisin and fig undertones. Incredibly thick mouthful with what might just be the perfect level of carbonation. Taste is an incredible balance of sweet fruit, bitter chocolate/coffee, spices, and hops. Finish is a dry, almost chalky bitterness, but not in a bad way. Bitterness aside, smooth as silk and not even a hint of the 11% abv present in this beast. Wonderful.

Photo of Mitchster
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

26 degrees Plato, IBU 120, Apparent Attenuation 73.1, Lovibond 38.

Brewed with Great Western Harrington, Klages, Hugh Baird Carastan and Munich Malts, Chinook and Centennial Hops, and PacMan yeast.

Pours out to a murky dark amber, forming a sticky dark beige head with a vigorous pour. Retention and lacing are very good. Aroma hits me first with the immediate impression of very ripe strawberries. This is actually created by the interesting mix of the very sweet floral hops, yeast, alcohol, and the prunes, raisins, and figs contributed by the rich amber malts. Mouthfeel is silken smooth with a dense body. Taste begins with brilliant, pungent hops (equally herbal, floral, and earthy), followed by a menagerie of sticky sweet malts with the raisin and prunes characteristics. These are perfectly in balance until a wave of astringent alcohol hits the taste buds, followed by a very intense herbal bitterness which slowly edges into the finish and seems to last forever. The finish is dry and woody with lots of pine notes. Suprisingly, the alcohol is only perceptable in mouthfeel and brainfeel.

This is an excellent brew, completely different from the tap version (see my other review). This is one of the best barleywines around, however I think it would be better if the bittering hops in the finish were more subdued, as it loses it's balance towards the end and limits it's drinkability.

Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy dark amber color with a 1/4" head. The nose is really malty with some hop overtones. There is a large presence of crystal and other specialty malts. The taste is good, but a bit high on the abv.. There is a nice balance between the malt and hop flavor. This makes the elevated abv. more managable. The mouthfeel is good; smooth and not overly carbonated. This a heavy bodied beer. It is a good one and done beer; tastey and powerful.

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a blood red color with a tan ring of lacing. The aroma has a fruity maltiness. Has a biscuity malt aroma as well. It has a very malty, fruity flavor which flows to a deep bitter finish. Definitely a high octane brew. It will warm you up. It is very complex in its aromas and flavors. A very good Barley-wine that I would definitely sample again.

Photo of beerinator
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Deep Ruby Brown.

Aroma- Heavy fruity esters, with hints of caramel and cherry.

Taste- Lingering bitterness. Heavy bitterness up front with caramel undertones. Almost a tingly burn.

Notes- Could be awesome with a slice of carrot cake, or pecan pie with a scoop of ice cream. This is a great beer from a very respectable brewery. This beer is begging for aging. If you buy some, make sure you save it for a while.

Photo of Boto
4.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1995 vintage. A local beer bar had an aged keg that had been brought from Rogue for a tasting night. I was very impressed by this beer. Time has been very good to it. The color is a rich copper color. Almost no head to it. The aroma is very malty sweet. There is a bit of hops to the nose. They are more prevalent in the taste, but time has married the hops and malts quite well. There is a sweet smoothness to the beer, with a subtle, but potent hop aftertaste. It seems as if it has to get awhile to get to this point, but well worth the wait if you have some to put down!

Photo of frank4sail
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Sweet nutty rich smell. Deep ruby color. Tan head disapates rapidly (ABV) to a lighter pale lace and sheen. Original round rich smooth malt, orange peel, and cherry followed quickly by a crushingly bitter hoppy finish. Rich smooth mouth. Big grapefruit, quinine, orange peel, dry tongue... wonderful bitterness. As it warms in the goblet it rounds.. and rounds. Much better at slightly below room temperature! Yummmm.

Photo of SheepNutz
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a dark reddish-brown with one fat finger of head. There is good lacing left on the glass. The smell is packed with hops, and there is some sweet caramel on the nose as well. The taste hits you like a brick wall. Loaded full of hops, this is what 120 IBUs tastes like huh? Somewhere underneath all those hops, there is a bit of a nutty flavor, and some alcohol as well. The mouthfeel is very heavy and strong. The drinkability is way down though. This beer can only be described as a Bigfoot that has just been kicked in the nuts and is out for blood.

Photo of euskera
3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out auburn read with a small head. Smell was hoppy, with some sweet malt in there. Taste was bitter hops, with alcohol and some sweetness in there. The hops were obtrusive to me; it seemed they were out of place. I prefer my barleywines on the sweet side, and I must admit I was dissapointed. This could have been so much better than it was, because I did get glimpses of what was behind the hops, but not enough to make this a beer I'd go back to on a regular basis...

Photo of ADR
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally, an "Old Crusty"...2002 bottling...

Thick grainy pour, hazy nutmeg brown appearance with a speckly but pretty scant head. many ring laces. Resinous aromas, some balsam and hints of acidity and alcohol. Starts with a lump of malt, like a thick slug of molasses that evens out as the monster 120 IBUs makes its presence known. Still a ginger-like sweetness battles the hops valiently, but not quite so much of a throat kicker as a relatively new and raw Bigfoot. Pretty impressively brewed beer, thick and flavorful with a decent sense of balance when a characterful sweetness factors in to the equation. This beer may not calm down for quite a while.

Photo of far333
3.25/5  rDev -19%
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.

Photo of GreenCard
3.08/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Sampled at Rogue Brewery in Newport, OR.

Appearance: deep reddish brown, some haze, fair amount of head for a BW, lacing

Aroma: some sweet malts and a big helping of piney hops

Flavor: rich sweetness prevails as long as the sip is held in your mouth, hop flavor creeps in slowly but then wallops your tastebuds immediately after swallowing, caramel, raisin, sweet finish despite high bittering rate

Mouthfeel: full body, on the verge of syrup, nice alcohol warmth without the burn

Overall Impression: I know it's probably blasphemous, but I'm not a huge fan of Rogue's beers. I've tried 9 or 10 of them and they were all pretty aggressively bitter, even their American Amber was assertive. Finely crafted beers and a brewery that deserves a lot of respect, but I find the high hop rate a bit boring. It's pretty easy to throw a ton of hops in a beer. I must admit, I'm not much of a hop-head, so take my Rogue reviews with a grain of salt. If there's a Rogue ale that is balanced, I'd like to try it.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep amber brown hue with a tan off white head, just from the texture of the pour I can tell this is a very big beer. Well here we go aroma from the beginning I am getting notes of plum buried deep inside a garden of overzealous vinous hops of pine cone slash grapefruit west coast variety but with the deep overly ripened fruit tones this is a definite monster barley wine great. The forefront of the flavor gives an eye-opening rush of hop bitterness mixed with some joyous malt and fruit undertones, just a huge beer from Rogue I admire a brewery willing to go over the top but still create an outstanding example of a barley wine. With deep tones of alcohol and slightly salty sweet shimmering notes of malt this beer is quite an experience bottled in 2002, just amazing. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy without being cloying in my opinion. Drinkability is well try one and leave it at that what an experience a must try west coast barley wine, let's put it this way Bigfoot is tame compared to this.

Photo of mickeymac
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I finally tracked this one down. It's 2002 vintage. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, it explodes out of the glass with a thick looking off white head. However, the head was gone before the beer was half gone, leaving an unadorned reddish-brown liquid. The smell is almost all hops, with pine scents and a noticeable alcohol aroma. It's quite bitter initially, but the malt makes its presence known as it warms. The mouthfeel is nice and creamy, and it's very drinkable for a 11%+ beer.

Photo of tavernjef
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 bottling - Color is a murky deep mahgoney with a very thin fizzy, dark ivory head, leaves a thin ring and minimal oily spotty lace. Smell is heavy, dark and earthy malts and juicy hops with a heavy tangyness and strong alcohol late. Taste is heavy, hefty amounts of dark roasty malts, smacked of dark, fat, earthy hops with solid tang and quick bitterness of woody pine and lingering heavy dryness. Full bodied and heavy, with sharp hop tones and texture. This may be a little young yet, I have three bottles left and I'll let em age some before opening the next, a definate revisit. It did get easier to handle as it warmed, but was still a major sipper.

Revisit 11/16/2003 of 2002 bottle - aged wondefully, hops more abundant in both smell and taste, much smoother drinkablity. Still hefty, load of wondefully mixed thick, heavy, chewy malts, hops have a darkened, dry bitterness, earthy, heavy pineyness with a mellower tone and balance. Ohh sooo nice...
Glad I decided to open it!

Photo of freed
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruddy in color, this beer was served in a 12oz glass only. It had little head that disipated quickly. The smell was wonderfully fruity and malty with hints of the hops and alcohol it contained.

The taste was equally warm and malty. Side notes of fruit and hops, all which was very smooth and was way to easy to drink. Decent for a barleywine, though not what I'd expected from Rogue. It made for a good desert though.

XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,187 ratings.