1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

XS Old Crustacean - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,196 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,196
Reviews: 696
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 91
Gots: 123 | FT: 7
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of XS Old Crustacean Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,196 | Reviews: 696 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dpend
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2002 Bottle opened 11/19/03

The beer is dangerous!I'm slowly introducing myself to barleywines and this one almost scared me off.I do have to appreciate it for what it is though.Appearance is a clean deep ruby with a thin film of beige for a head and the aroma is very nice.Scent of chocolate,caramel,raisin and faint cherries came from across the table.Taste is more chocolate and fruit with an immense dry,bitter hop kick.Your mouth can't stop puckering.Aftertaste is dry with an elixir remnants.I almost couldn't finish it, but I gotta do what I gotta do.This is a very good barleywine and if that's your style, you will enjoy.If you are new to this, then proceed with caution.

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

ok this is a 2001 bottle. this poured out like murky pond water. cloudy with very little head. the nose of this is big alcohol and big hops being delivered on a huge grain bill. taste wise? ok remember when you were little and to defend yourself against big siblings/cousins/friends youd swing your arms like a windmill to fend off their advances? ok well your tongue is the would be attacker and this beer windmill punches your tongue until it dosnt want anymore. big caramel and roasted flavors, sweet and savory riding shotgun while big piney/floral evil hops are behind the wheel. also there is no mistaking the big alcohol in this brew, you can taste AND feel it. pretty smooth going down, but one 12oz is enough for me.

paid $2.99

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Soooey! Wow, what a beer be here. Plum out of your head with the richness of this giant beer. Pours a hazy, murky light copper with a thin tan head and light lacing. The nose is awesome putting huge notes of fruit and malt at center stage,. Purely an acohol blast disguised in malt clothing. Sweet with balancing hops barely restraining the overwhelming nature of this brew. Thick, rich, creamy mouthfeel with lots of reminders of the ABV, from the warmth to the residual tang from the whang. Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!

Photo of DagFishHead
4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murkey, foreboding dark cider / iced tea body. Very thin, frothy tan head fades fast (what could survive in there?) but huddles in a ring at the glass edge. No lace.
Smell: Whoa... grabs your nose with corrosive hops. Huge grainy roasted malt, over-ripe grape/raisin/huckle-rasp-elderberry mash, alcohol takes what's left of your mucous membrane and strips it out. I think I've been violated.
Taste: Full rich sweet (but not sickish) grainy malt.. it would take a ton of bitter hops to dry this out.. and that's just what it does. Pine, evergreen saps, dried fruits... B-a-r-l-e-y-w-i-n-e.
Mouthfeel: Viscous, warm, course grain, alcohol numbness of the lips. Tingly carbonation eats away at your mouth lining.
Drinkability: One is plenty... but not cuz it's not good. Crusty is a great name for this whale of an ale.

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

Draught @ Papago (02/15/03)
The same deep dark and handsome color on the pour, head is modest and the lace residue a fine covering sheet. The nose fusel alcohol, malt, caramel, more like bourbon than beer, Tons of sweet malt at the start, top thick and the finish dastardly in its acidic bite, detrimental amount of hops, devastating is the alcohol sting, aftertaste alcohol bitter and long lasting. "God" how I love this beer and I just found a 12oz bottle? Never seen that one before, yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus and he works for Rogue.

Photo of HappyHourHero
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2002 Vintage: Pours a nice tan head that dissapated quickly. The beer is dark tea in color. It smells like sweet malty alcohol, with just a bit of cherry to round it out. The taste is at first sweet, but barleywine sweet, as in you know its gonna bite you if you drink it too quick. The sweetness fades into malty caramel, which in turn disappears as the bitter aftertaste comes rolling in. It continues to bite at the back of your tongue as your stomach warms.

Photo of ngandhi
3.54/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sweet maple undertone. Raw espresso bean on the finish. But on to the hops, because that's what this beer is.

For 120 IBUs (Jesus, I can barely process that), this actually isn't too rough. The bitterness comes in stages, almost like tasting the different early hop additions seperately. The floral, lightly smoky, caramel opening gives way to an initial esteriness that quickly yields to a piney bittering from the Chinook. I've actually had one person tell me it tasted like fish (maybe that's where the name comes from?). If you can bare the initial blitzkrieg of Chinook, however, there's a great deal of floral and malty sweetness to be found in the brew. The bitters just kind of set up camp on the back of your tongue and there's not much that can be done about that. They frame (almost physically) the rest of the flavors in this brew and work nicely with each one of them. There's a consistent burst of esters a few seconds into each sip that has notes of roses and bubblegum. The Centennial hops are a wonderful counter to the Chinook.

If there is a problem with this beer, it is simply far too young. I can taste the very petals and feel the oils from the hops in my mouth. I've gotten less intense hop notes from fresh hop pellets than I do from this beer. I had a chance to try last year's at a tasting and it was quite mellow; I can only imagine what a couple years might do to this batch. I absolutely love the use of Centennial hops (a very floral hop that usually reminds me of rose water). Father Time, please: Tame the beast.

Relax, relax.

Photo of byrd
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fairly small tan head that recedes to form a ring around the edges of the glass. Very deep hazy copper in color. Lots or rich caramel malt, a touch or fruitiness, hints or rum, and a trace of hops all on the nose. Old Crustacean has a smooth start of nice caramel malt – sweet, but not overly so. The alcohol is noticeable towards the middle and fades somewhat towards the finish. Strong hops and roasted bitterness finish out the brew and linger for a while. The alcohol hit me rather quickly with this brew. I doubt I could drink more then one. The roasted notes and hop bitterness were more then other barely wines that I’ve had that tend to lean heavily in the malt direction. Old Crustacean is big in all directions. As it warms, the alcohol, malts, and bitterness seem to meld together more and more. Good brew. Nice barley wine to sit back, relax, and enjoy slowly. I’d like to let one of these age and see how it mellows. At this point, it’s anything but mellow.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 ounce bottle, just as the BA Database picture.

Dated near the neck shank as “Bottled 2002”, “Unfiltered and Unfined”.

Appearance: A murky, turbid looking brown body. The condensation on my glass together with the cloudy body can give an almost impenetrable dark brown aura when viewed. A controlled pour offered no head until late in the pour when the lazy gases finally come out of solution and struggle to form a thin brown head. Halo like, the covering is thick at the edges whilst there is just a thin covering on the surface. Limited but crusty lacing.

Nose: Dark fruits, caramel and toffee laden alcohol. A lingering odor in the nose when deeply inhaled. The vapors are pungently invasive and intoxicating.

Taste: Alcohol, ethanolic and very woody in nature, warming but not scorching, incredibly refined and smooth but still with a very sharp bitterness. The bitterness is intense, and it has a liquorice and aniseed character that hits the tongue in the back end. Finishes with warmth in the throat. The high bitterness, tinged with some malty warmth, lingers for quite some time – and makes for interesting belches.

Mouthfeel: Punches the cheeks and yells “Come On!!” It’s here, and it is not going to be ignored. Has a slick oily feel about it, thick almost treacle-like consistency.

Drinkability: 12 ounces – I so wish this would have been a Bomber, there again, I do have to work tomorrow!

Overall: A highly impressive, gorgeous Barleywine. This was the first time I have seen the RogueXS OC Barleywine. I only picked one up – damn, I wish I got a couple more because I bet this 2002 sucker ages really well in the next 5 years!!

Photo of RBorsato
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
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
4.18/5  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 RenoZymurgist
4.83/5  rDev +20.4%
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
3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
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
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
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
3.76/5  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 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 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
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
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
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
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
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
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
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
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
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
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
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,196 ratings.