XS Old Crustacean | Rogue Ales

704 Reviews
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XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-03-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 704 | Ratings: 1,257
Photo of ncketchum
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage in a ceramic bottle, served in a snifter

A - pours a murky copper with an off white head

S - lots of sweet dark fruit - raisins, dark cherry - butterscotch, brandy

T - sweet malt bomb up front - raisin, butterscotch, malt - balanced nicely by a strong hop presence - resiny, piny

M - thick, oily, bitter , substantial

O - very good barleywine. I was happy with this rogue offering, especially since it was my first of theirs since I ventured into Voodoo Doughnut territory

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Photo of ADZA
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Got a two litre growler of this from Cellarbrations Carlisle it's been a while since i sampled this and pours a rusty copper hue with an off white two finger creamed head and clingy leggy boozy lacing nice,the nose is butterscotch,marzipan,toffee,a touch of booze and a distinct herbal hoppiness and yeah it's a barley wine alright with a nice full well carbonated feel and the taste starts sweet with caramel malts,butterscotch,maple syrup and toffee finished with a fruitcake bittersweetness and overall well worth the price compared to buying it in bottle and well worth a try cheers.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottling, 7 oz bottle.

Murky brown body, nice thick foamy tan head that dissipates to a ring.

Nose is quite enticing with notes of brown sugar, raisin, marshmallow, butterscotch and toffee--a variety of sugary stuff.

Taste is an amalgamation of all that, but it is not as sweet as it smells and is quite bitter, especially in the finish. Some burnt pudding--no, reminds me more of the acrid taste of burnt raisins, like burnt raisin toast. All the other sugary stuff in the nose is in the background, masked by the bitterness.

Body is medium, a little creamy.

A quite bitter barleywine with discordant flavors that have not melded well, even 3 years after bottling and aged in appropriate conditions. I like smelling it, I don't like drinking it as much.

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Photo of MacCherry
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Opened a cellared 2008 ceramic bottle. 5 years on the shelf has done tremendous good to this already spectacular ale. Much of the stickiness is gone, replaced by a mildly sweet maltiness with light caramel tones. It warns you on the nose to take it easy, without the stringent alcohol note. The body is perfect: brand new there was a syrup-ey feel which is now gone. it surprisingly finishes with a long-drawn bitterness which was non-existent in a new bottle.

Gentlemen, your 99 is an understatement. Rogue has set the bar very high for a cellar-able ale.

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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.

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Photo of kojevergas
1.47/5  rDev -63.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

2000 vintage. "Unfiltered and unfined." 26 plato. 120 IBU. "Best when aged for 1 year." Oops. Cute little 7 fl oz brown glass bottle with printed-on clear label and branded pressure cap acquired at a local bottle shop for around $10.00 USD and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are low; I've never had a beer this old that was good.

Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with as much vigor as possible as major carbonation issues are anticipated.

No hiss or signs of carbonation upon removing the cap. Uh-oh...

A: Pours no head whatsoever. I swirl the glass to try to get a floater or something, but I can't. There are some bubbles on the surface, so maybe there's still some co2 in there. Body colour is a murky dull opaque brown with reddish hues. Yeast particles are abundant and chunky, visible plainly at the bottom of the glass.

Admittedly, it's not much to look at.

Sm: Obvious oxidation - wet cardboard comes to mind. Raisin, sherry. Caramalt and biscuit malt. No hop character is present here. Caramel, toffee. Some faded fruity notes. Raisin is dominant, followed closely by oxidation. Touches of alcohol. Dead yeast.

Time doesn't seem to have been good to this beer based on the aroma. Mild in strength. I'd safely call it unappealing.

T/Mf: Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Raisin and wet cardboard. Dull vague malts. Some prune juice. Luckily, there's no booze. But it does have a sticky old feel to it which is rather unpleasant. Dead yeast. Hints of sherry, but not enough to save it. Acrid overall.

Viscous and musty. Sludgy and thick. Bleh. Flat. Vinous. Some acidity. Syrupy.

No hop character comes through at all.

Dr: Not drinkable at all. The tiny 7 oz bottle may be 6 oz too much for me. I'll struggle to get through it, but I may have to just cook with it or mix it with another beer at the very least. Really terrible with 13 years on it; I'll have to revisit it with one year of age to really give it a fair shake, but this experience was consistent with the other bad aged beers I've had. Note to self: don't buy any beer with more than five years of age on it. Definitely the worst beer I've had in a long time.


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Photo of davey101
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

1997 vintage. 7 oz bottle into a taster glass. From a vertical purchased from Bottleworks and muled thanks to FalconA. This vintage is 26º plato, 120 IBU, 38º L, and 73.1 AA with a different ingredient list than listed. Opens with a faint fizz. Best after one year, this has 16...

A - Pours a surprisingly clear burnt red body. The bottom of the bottle has a 1-2mm layer of sediment which I avoided. No head or lacing to speak of. Swirling leaves behind a faint alcoholic trace.

S - The aroma is fantastic. Rich caramel, roasted malts, raisins, and just a faint nod of oxidation. Sort of a sweet raisin soda like smell. Light fusel heat. This honestly does not smell like a 16 year old beer. I've had 1-2 year old beers in the style that were less composed.

T - Starts off well with muted caramel, toffee, burnt sugar and raisins. Some alcohol heat mixes with a high level bitterness.Things take a turn for the worse on the aftertaste with an odd mineral water flavor. Decent given its age, but 7 oz feels like overkill here. Mouth feel is obviously flat but still drinks pretty well.

O - For a 16 year old barleywine I don't see it faring any better. Short of the mineral water bitterness this was a really impressive science experiment in aging. Me thinks the absurd IBU level does not help after all of the hop flavors have faded away.

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Photo of powerss13
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ST: Bottle into a glass

A: Dark hazy brown; with some head. Nice lacing on glass.

S: Small hints of hop aroma, with a nice malty smell. Has a good bread smell to it.

T: Definitely get a good hop taste to it that you don't get in the smell. Get a good doughy yeast taste.

MF: Nice slight heavy body, but not overbearing to the mouth giving it a nice finish

O: Exceptional beer. This would be a wonderful beer to age. If you find this, get it.

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Photo of sommersb
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tasted On: 05-07-2013
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 750ml colored bottle, swing-top
Glassware: Signature glass
Purchased: Single from The Bottle Shop, Franklin

I like the format on this beer, a ceramic-feeling bottle with a swing-top lid.

A: The hazy, orange-brown beer starts of with big off-white bubbles in the head, probably from the glugging of the first pour due to the narrow neck opening.

S: Aromas have a fruit sweetness, as in dark fruits first off, followed by pine and evergreen hops. Very clean and pleasant smelling.

T: The taste starts off with hop bitterness, in a way I can't easily classify, which is then followed by malty and fruity notes, making a nice contrast between the bitter and sweet. However there is some sort of unpleasant taste I can't put my finger on.

M: Full-bodied brew, with carbonation in the medium to high range. The finish is bitter and has some astringency to it.

O: Overall a good beer, but it seemed to be lacking in terms of others I've had in the style. It smelled better than it tasted...

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

750ml ceramic bottle poured into a large snifter. This is a 2012 bottle, opened 6 April 2013.

Pours ruby brown, very little head (probably because I poured very gently). Slow carbonation makes this look thick and viscous. Smell is rich, musty, vaguely sweet, fairly muted (might be too cold). Dark fruit -- I think I smell dates. A little bit of grapefruit rind.

Taste is grapefruit rind bitterness, some floral sweetness, a little bit of smokiness. Lots of bitterness. A little bit of the dates or plums.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich and pleasant. Overall, this is a very solid beer. I like it.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 7 ounce bottle, the beer pours a dark amber color with very little foam. The aroma is strong with candy sugar and laced with dark fruit overtones. Smooth and slightly carbonated on the palate. It starts sweet, offering a few tobacco notes as it glides back. Bitterness rises at the end to finish it off. Overall this is a good beer. I would appreciate more depth, perhaps more age, for Barleywine.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage, on-tap at Bar Hop.

Dark amber in colour. Small white head, nice lacing. Fades quickly.

Smell is not particularly strong. Bready malt, caramel, some grassy notes.

Sweet caramel malt flavour-wise, along with toffee. Decently hopped, some pine and slight citrus. Well balanced with a slightly bitter finish.

Medium to full bodied, moderately carbonated. Oily. Surprisingly light bodied given the ABV.

Overall, pretty good.

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Photo of Ascender
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was a gift from my bro-in-law and I'm thankful for it!

A cloudy burnt umber pour with a one finger head and medium lacing afterwards.

The nose has plum, pine and a bit of wood, or almost bark in it.

The taste is cinnamon, allspice, hops, pine and a high sweetness where the alcohol comes through. It's really tasty but it's clearly a high alcohol beer, that taste is unmistakable.

That said, I really enjoyed this. Great beer.

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Photo of Bung
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Been a long time since I've had an old style Rogue for various reasons.
Draft at Grapevine.  Dark amber pour, just a ring of white.

Aroma,  mostly hops, citrus and pine.  There is an exteamly faint caramel malt.

Taste,  a sweet caramel up front, then fruitcake.  Then dominated by the bitter hops, pine and some grapefruit.  A little unpleasant alcohol.  Kind of a toasted malt with slight anise finish.  

Pretty big and sticky.  Carbonation keeps it from being too sticky.  Definetely some warmth, can see this should get less abrasive with some age.

An old standard.  Probably a good starting place for those new to the style. Yet another reminder of why I prefer a good English Barleywine though.

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Photo of Kromes
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A hazy dark amber color with a thin tan colored head.

Toasted malt, caramel, and grassy hop. A little bit of earthy hop or peat in there also.

Initial flavor is of sweet toasted grain and caramel malt. The earthy and grassy hops then kick in to cut through the sweetness and give it a peppery spice and bitterness. These are strong flavors that complement and balance each other very well.

Good carbonation makes it smooth. A little bit oily.

Very nice beer here. There's no doubt that this is a sipper. The flavors are very strong yet blend together very well.

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

2006 release poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, brown sugar, bourbon, some fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of bourbon, caramel, brown sugar and a little fruit. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with a touch of an alcohol sting. The hops presence is strong considering the age of the beer and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are better beers in the style.

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Photo of DocZygote
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like Barleywines, unless they are too sweet. Like many good Rogue beers the flavor of the Old Crustacean was never lacking, and for a high gravity beer that is important. One of the best Barleywines I have had.

Brewed 2004
Bottled 2004
Drank 2012 in a beer snifter.

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

I was given a bottle from 1998 that an uncle had cellared. I cracked it open on a damp, cool September night. I enjoyed it but wasn't blown away. I'm thinking it might have been slightly past its prime (14 years is quite a long time I know) but it was enjoyable. The alcohol had all but vanished but there was some subtle bitterness that felt out of place. It was definitely better when it was closed (cold) then after I had let it sit. The warmer it got the worse I felt it got. I have another bottle that was cellared in 2010 so I think I'll try that shortly and compare the two. I have no doubt about it's legendary status but, for me, this wasn't spectacular, just merely good.

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

This cold and rainy September night calls for this crustacean to make an appearance

A- a dark orange and copper body fills the glass with ruby hue on the edges of the glass. A good looking barley wine appearance

S- good caramel and toffee scent is completely surrounded by dark fruit and raisin scents. Some sweet sugar and mollases are in the background as well

T- very heavy handed syrupy caramel flavor with dark fruit flavor all over. Alcohol is very evident but also invited. Really a full bodied barleywine

M- syrupy full flavor that is smooth

O- crustacean is a powerful barleywine that is smooth but does pack a powerful punch. Good enjoyable flavor

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Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Unsure of vintage or dating here.

Muddy murky orange and light brown body, with a faint tan head that falls to a good collar, but a bit of a hazy top.

Nose is warm, inviting. Boozy malt and alcohol, figgy, warm pleasant spices of nutmeg slightly. Good dark sugars hide, not too cloying or syrupy, but big.

A good hop kick to this barleywine on the palate. Bitter mellow astringent hop, hits in the mid palate with a good thick warming malt body. Not much fruit like undertones to this, but a good solid malt backbone provides a good canvas. Mouthfeel is light, but full of flavor. Carries the flavors real nicely. Hints of pine and earth finish on the swallow, with a light bodied malt density. Seems like a contradictory statement, but it works.

Overall quite a good and very different from most barleywines. Nice to grab this one for a change.

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Photo of ediaz
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage (7oz) into a glass

A: Warm deep apple cider color with warm red notes. thin white lacing.

S: Sweet caramel and dark fruit notes with vanilla and a little booze.

T: Bright dark fruit taste that finishes with the other tastes noted in the smell.

M: Medium with a light amount of carbonation.

O: I would have this again but I wouldn't search very hard for it. Nonetheless, a very decent beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the bottle share hosted by Adam Fine Wine & Liquor held at Sophie’s Place in Redondo Beach, CA.

2008 vintage.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, citrus fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is much the same with a sweet flavor and an herbal hop flavor on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is tasty and easy to drink with some nice aromas and flavors.

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

P:  Pours a murky dark apple cider appearance with minimal tan head the leaves thin spotty lacing. 

S:  Huge roasted caramel aroma, luscious berry wheat bread, coriander, dry dog food, soy sauce, burnt toffee, musky yeast. Once swirled the sweet aroma of alcohol stings the nose. 

T/M:  Taste follows the nose bready, loaded with sweetness and roasted caramel. The taste opens up the palate to bitter citrus and pine resin. Decently thick and silky mouthfeel that has subtle carbonation. Finish is dry with bitter fruity and grassy hops. 

O:  This beer is huge on the sweetness, bready malts and the bitterness is there but not truly pronounced.   I think this has faded somewhat but is still good regardless. The flavors really playoff each other a develop a complex and balanced beer.  Bottled in 2010 I can tell that the hops have faded quite a bit. I was expecting to have a big robust hop palate but I will have to find a fresh bottle to get the real flare of this beast. That being said it has aged very well. 

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

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at Mr. Dunderbak's. Served in a goblet.

A: Dark amber with some haziness and an off-white head that settles to a ring of foam. Minimal visible carbonation.

S: Sweet malty caramel on the nose. Also some alcohol heat to the nose.

T: Follows the nose with some coriander, dark spice, dark fruitiness. Ends with some boozy alcohol burn with the sticky sweetness.

M: Nice thickness to mouthfeel. Not a whole lot of carbonation but not unexpected with style.

O: This one is tasty, and I went into it with no expectations. There are barleywines I prefer to this one, but I would drink this again.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

7oz bottled in 2000 Sampled in 2012 so it's got a bit of age on it. Pours a mostly clear dark brown with ruby highlights when held to light. The aroma is filled with caramel dark sugar and lots of dark fruit with some alcohol and a bit of wet cardboard. The flavor is dark sugars and cherries and raisins with a healthy dose of warming alcohol. There's an earthy herbal component in there as well. Medium to thin body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet harsh alcohol type mouthfeel. Its nice to be able to try a 12 year old bottle of barleywine. I've had fresher bottles of this and felt the alcohol was a bit too present, and this proves that age won't fix that. The twist off cap probably didn't help much, but there was still a little bit of carbonation. Nice to try.

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XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 704 ratings.