XS Old Crustacean - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean

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1,187 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,187
Reviews: 692
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.72%
Wants: 89
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 Gosox8787
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: 2008 vintage on tap at a local bar. Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Ruby red and hazy in tone. Very bright colored. Very little head, but a nice thin white lacing settles after the pour.

Aroma: The hop presence does not smell like it has faded despite the fact this is a two year vintage. Pungent citrus dominates, but a strong malt body is certainly present right behind it.

Taste: Nice strong hop presence balances well with the caramel and earthy flavors from the malt. Even after a couple years, the hops are still biting and full flavored. Very well rounded. Barely a hint of any booze notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with enough carbonation to keep this beer refreshing overall. Still feels like a sipper for the most part.

Drinkability: The high ABV does not assert itself at all. Feel much lighter than it actually is. The balance also makes this very drinkable for a brew of this considerable strength.

Overall, a quality, balanced, well-hopped barleywine that ages very well. The flavors are all here and well accounted for. The hop presence on this vintage is rather amazing too. Highly recommended, especially for fans of the style.

Photo of beer2day
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 vintage. Completely overlooked this bottle in the bottom of the beer fridge. Man, I really need to inventory that thing.

Very dark brown pour. Hazy does not do this one justice. Grainy in appearance. No head at all, not unexpected for a 9-year old BW.

Nose is outstanding. Huge malt presence. Thick and rich with maple, caramel, raisins, and plums. Alcohol definitely makes itself known.

Thick, rich, syrupy hit. Stays sweet for bit with the raisin and plum making an appearance. Then alcohol takes over. Lots of it. Very strong burn at the finish.

Feel is spot on. Nice malt body to balance the alcohol.

Easy sipper. 12oz bottle is more than enough for two to share.

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

2008 release, aged 2 years

Poured a small amount into a snifter and set the rest aside for a later date. The color is really fantastic on this one, a deep reddish brown with a fantastic, yet thin, layer of head that doesn't quit. The aroma is also quite good. Normally, I expect barleywines to be overwhelmed with malt character, but there is a fair amount of hop quality here as well. Upon first sip, the beer reveals itself to be viscous, yet pleasantly smooth. There's a good amount of malt here, but again, the hops manage to shine through. I'd be doing this beer a great disservice if I didn't mention that this is likely the best experience I've had with a barleywine to date. Overall, Old Crustacean is very drinkable for a barleywine, although you probably wouldn't want to have more than one or two glasses, as the 11.5 ABV might sneak up on you pretty quick. Definitely planning on getting my hands on another one of there to set aside for aging.

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

Gorgeous mahogany brown, served with a tight yellow-tanned foam. Retention and lacing are magnificent, and the overall appearance is perfect barleywine. Nose is strong, with two tons of hops smacking you in the face: floral, citric, pine resin. Big dose of fusel alcohol goes hand in hand with a huge caramel malt presence.

Slick, viscous mouthfeel is pretty deep, very smooth and full in general. Lots of hops still, but the balance is better here: the caramel and toffee malts hold their own against the aggressive grapefruit pith, pine resin, and black pepper. Long, boozy finish leaves traces of hops all over the tongue and palate.

Exciting, but restrained in a certain sense. I'll never tire of this beer - drink some young, drink some old; it's got the full spectrum of skills.

Photo of BeerNemesis
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Rogue "Old Crustacean" 1998 vintage (12 years aged)

Poured from a funny litte 7 oz. bottle into a tulip glass @ The Gramercy Tavern. Brandy colored no head, no lacing.

Big alcohol smell, and some dark fruit, maybe cherry.

Again a lot of alcohol punch. I'm getting a bit of a whiskey vibe. Dark fruits come on thick and strong. The alchohol burn is a bit too much for my enjoyment here, but I can still taste the vestiges of its former glory.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability:
Syrupy and languid. The carbonation is all but gone, and the hops have been washed away. Whats left is a big malty alcohol presence. Swishes slowly in the mouth, goes down with considerable alcohol burn.

So far, I can't say barleywines are my favorite style, so I admit at least some degree of bias. I'll come back and tweak the review as I gain more appreciation for and experience with them. However, 12 years of aging was too much for this one in my opinion. It seems to be past its peak in complexity and has moved into more one dimensional territory -- almost like a fruity, syrupy burst of alcohol.

The B- rating reflects what I consider to be a decline in complexity due to excessive aging. I have tried not to let my personal ambivalence for the style from getting in the way of judging its potential.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5


Nose is richly malty with some complex aged aromas, a moderate citric fruity/floral/hoppiness, and more malt. Smells nice.

Pours a very dark brown, color makes it quite murky although it seems to be clear. Mild head - bubbly with large bubble and little retention. It looks kind of like a stagnant pond with something growing in it. Looks good.

Very viscous with strong hop bitterness and bite. This must be one of the thickest beers I've tried. Citric fruity hop with some secondary pine and herbal spice. Some roasted tones - coffee, chocolate - go well with the citric. Richly malty. Tastes good. Feels wonderful. Pretty good drinkability.

Good, but significantly overpriced.

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

2002 vintage. Dark copper. Aroma of cherry cola and caviar. Intense, earthy, minerally malt flavor. Mellow hops well-integrated with the malt. Alcohol burn. Some very dark fruit, like chinotto (dark bitter orange) and very dark toffee, overlaid with bitter herbs. A slight hops aftertaste. The hops are no longer identifiable as typically American varieties. If you like barleywine, this is the ne plus ultra.

24 April 2011

2004 bottle --- 7 years old.

Smells of rich munich malts, bourbon, cough syrup, wine-like. Flavor is rich, malty, syrupy, bourbony, and sugary, with an intense bitter pine finish and a strong bitter pine, resiny hops aftertaste. Somewhat reminiscent of Gale's Prize Old Ale, but without the wild yeast notes. Smooth, not boozy, and perfectly balanced, which says something about how intense and perhaps out-of-balance this beer is for the first six years.

Photo of obywan59
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml metallic looking ceramic bottle with a clamp-down cap. 2008 vintage.

Pours dark amber with a tall tan head that dissipates rather quickly leaving some decent lacing. First pour is nearly transparent/just slightly cloudy. More reddish when held up to the light. Very pretty in the glass. 2nd pour looks much more dense. More chocolately red. Brighter light gives just a bit more of a reddish glow.

Rich, sweet barley aroma. Chocalatey caramel. Loads of piney hops with lemon or orange peel as well.

Very full-flavored. Hops would be over-the-top if not well-countered by such a huge malty sweetness.

At first I thought this was going to be too thick for the sweetness, but it settled down nicely. Very full mouthfeel that perfectly complements the full flavor. Substantial burn in the throat.

Perhaps I'm acclimating, but this is my favorite barleywine to date. Very drinkable for the style.

A well-rounded brew. If anything, some might say it's a bit heavy on the hops, but it's an excellent selection, even though it's still young.

Photo of HopHead84
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


2007 vintage on tap at Churchill's in a snifter. The beer is dark reddish amber with a nice creamy off white head. Retention is excellent and it leaves thick rings of lacing on the glass.

The nose is of sweet caramel and dark toffee with a strong hop presence. Notes of grapefruit, orange, and pine are ascertainable. I detect aromatic fruit cake. The citrus notes become more pronounced with warming.

The flavor is sweet caramel with a strong citrus hop presence an upper moderate bitterness. The hops are reminiscent of grapefruit and pine resin. The long finish is dry and well balanced, with lingering caramel and grapefruit.

I haven't had this beer in ages, but it displayed an excellent combination of rich caramel malt and citrus hops. It's certainly one of the best experiences I've had with an American Barleywine.

Photo of Tone
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, dark brown color along the top half of the glass. The bottom is a dark maize color. 3/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of strong hops, alcohol, sweet malt, slight brown sugar, and slight dark citrus. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong alcohol, strong hops, slight sweet malt, and slight dark citrus. Overall, the alcohol is not well hidden, even in the aroma.

Photo of NorCalYeti
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

taste- so alcoholic, bitter, and raisiny

color- dark chestnut brown

clarity- hazy

smell- cinnamon, raisins, roasted meats, yeast

body- full, heavy, medium-length finish

appearance- heavy, oily, flat

overall impression- intense, robust, malty, and dark

glassware: tulip

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

2008 Vintage, 750ml poured into two snifters.

Part of my 30th Birthday Celebration thanks to longtime friend and newbie BA graphx3d.

A: Dark Brown/Red with a thick healthy head.

S: Lots of aromas here, hops & alcohol are prominent. Brown sugar and citrus are also present.

T: Dead on for an American Barleywine. The 2008 is still very young, so it was a little sharp, but still delicious. Alcohol, citrus hops, and brown sugar dominate the palate.

M: Wonderful and think, medium/heavy carbonation.

D: Good for the style. I probably could drink the 750ml alone, but I'm not sure I'd want to.

Photo of PDXHops
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2008 vintage 750 ml bottle, poured into a Duvel tulip.

A rich, deep brown body with glowing reddish orange highlights. Minimal bubbly tan head with a little lacing.

Aromas of brown sugar, toffee, sorghum and sour citrus with a little booze in the background. Unfortunately, the flavors arent't living up to my memories of having this beer multiple times in the past. The beautiful prickly pine and citrus are dulled, and a bit of oxidation has crept in. Tastes slightly stale, which in my experience shouldn't be the case at this relatively young age. Quite complex, though, with a strong woody element balancing out the intense sweet maltiness. A bit boozy toward the woody/earthy finish.

Overall impression: Disappointing experience compared to previous instances of enjoying this beer, both fresh and aged (in times prior to joining BA). I suspect there may have been a bad seal on the bottle that hastened the aging process, as this is not the top-notch barleywine I remember. Don't have any more in my cellar, so I will have to revisit this brew at a time TBD.

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

2008 vintage.

A - Poured with a small, light brown head on top of a somewhat hazy, dark brown body. The foam settles quickly and leaves only minor lace.

S - Aromas of figs and pine hops with some spicy alcohol notes. Complex malt character of caramel and toffee with some molasses.

T - Sweet caramel up front with velvety hop flavors of pine. Rich malt flavors of molasses and toffee mix with the hops and yeast to produce flavors of rum and chocolate covered cherries. The flavors darken in the finish with notes of burnt caramel that are balanced by strong bitterness and mustardy hop flavors. Lingering spicy alcohol notes along with molasses and tobacco.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Nice, complex malt character with very complex dark sugars. I have had fresh bottles of this beer before, when it tastes like acetone and vomit, and the two years that were supposedly on this keg improved it vastly. Both the hops and alcohol have mellowed significantly and the malt character has become darker and more complex. There is still enough of the resinous hops and sharp alcohol left to keep the beer intense and lend it a boozy quality. This was quite good, but I suspect that there is still room for improvement. I can't wait to crack open the five year old bottle that I have in my cellar.

Photo of cfleisher
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours ruby/burnt orange and cloudy, with pillowy head that dies down slowly. Nice lacing. Aroma is clean, slightly soapy and some citrus. Taste is whoah...much drier than I'd expect. No residual sweetness. Could be a double IPA if they'd cranked up the hop aroma. Still might be a double IPA. Piny flavor and hits you in the back corners of the tongue. Alcohol is present, though not overwhelming. A bit sticky on the lips. A very nice beer.

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

Poured from 750ml ceramic bottle into Tulip.

A. Poured a 1 finger off white head. Great head retention. Thick lacing. Dark ruby brown color. Yeast floating on top.

S. No surprise the smell is almost all malt. Caramel, molasses, dark fruit, raisins, alochol.

T. Caramel malt explosion, molasses, taffy, dark fruit, raisins, some alochol, and a little bit of hop bitterness.

M. Full bodied. Some heat, lingering sweetness, and a warming from the alcohol.

D. Drinkable. Not my favorite Barleywine, but still pretty good. Its definitely one to sip on, or it will creep up on you.

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

2002 bottle, kept in the cellar.

Small capped bottle poured into a snifter, it shows a deep burgundy color, minimal carbonation or head.
Aroma is still amazingly showing a strong hop predominance, grassy and fruity, but caramel notes are now getting close to the hoppiness.
It is quite vinous on the palate, and here the minimal carbonation acts in its favor. The hoppy bite is still quite alive, grassy and fruity again, grapefruits and oranges, with caramel and bread notes, peppery spiciness and very little alcohol heat.
This has evolved quite nicely over the almost eight years, and even for someone like myself that does not like hop bombs, turned into a very interesting beer. I am not sure the end result justify the long wait, but for a hop lover, it probably does. But I am quite sure this should not be drank fresh.

Photo of brewandbbq
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Original review date 12/06/05

Vintage 1995
6.4 oz nip bottle

Poured flat, clear mahogany.
No head, but great legs.
Nose loaded with dark rum steeped figs, malt dust covered leather, dried cherries, wet boards.
Aromatics round out bitter and vineous, with a hint of burnt caramel.
Mouthfeel is slick, thickish and mildly chewy.
Still aggresively bitter on the pallet after ten plus years.
Largely alcoholic with generous amounts of caramel, dusty malts, and citrus infused whiskey.
Finishes long, bitter, and slightly metallic with a bit of must.

Revisit 12/07/09, very strange that I pulled another Crusty out only one day later than I did four years ago. This one's the XS version though.

Vintage 1995, 7oz XS series nip

Pours totally flat with a few particles in suspension. Murky, dark brown with zero head and no lacing.

Aromatics lead off with fudge-smeared leather, ripe tobacco, dried figs, and reduced caramel. Juicy malt and cocoa follow through.

On the full side of medium bodied with an oily, slick mouthfeel. Chewy and viscous.

Booze-soaked figs, malted chocolate, chipped toffee, and earthy leather start the palate. A building, smooth warmth builds to a sweetish finish with more toffee and figs.

Finishes with lingering warmth and sweet caramel-drizzeled leather.

Very tasty and not showing any oxidation, too bad it's totally flat. The bitterness has totally dropped off which makes this one much more drinkable. All other hopping is void as well. Apparently the XS series ages better, but just as flat as the standard version from 1995.

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

750ml black-painted clay bottle. It's American Repeal Day, so it's time to break out the biggest, baddest Yankee brew in my fridge...this is the 2008 edition. Nice name - even if it conjures up images of spoiled seafood, when you really think about it.

This beer pours a hazy, muddled orange brick amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, bubbly, and lazily foamy beige head, which renders some spooky layered horror story webbed lace around the glass as it slowly bleeds away.

It smells strongly of stewed black fruits - prunes, raisins, and dried cherries - a stoic caramel/toffee malt, pungent citrus rind oil and pine needle hops, and a bristling, mildly metallic alcohol warming. The taste conversely leads with the big and bitter pine resin and citrus flesh hoppiness, followed up tightly by the caramel, butterscotch, and toffee malt, a bit of singed camping toast, addled, indistinct dark fruit, just a touch (or is it a nod?) of cellar mustiness, and a pleasantly plump, well-rounded alcohol heat.

The carbonation is fairly soft, a mere frothiness lulling me as I merrily trod on, the body an even medium weight, mostly smooth, a bit thick at times, and creamy in the airy citrus sense. It finishes quite robustly sweet and malty, until those hops come crashing back down for another devastating round on yer palate.

As much as I like a hoppy full-frontal, this seems a tad out of balance for a barleywine, but let's face it, I was duly suckered in after that first gulp of 110 IBU insanity. The difference between this, and the biggest DIPAs out there is negligible, at best. Overall, as the tablewine-esque booze level is basically thoroughly integrated, imma just gonna sit back, and enjoy this heady mutha of a beer, until it slowly creeps up on me. Repeal this, those who had/have/would have the temerity to deprive us all of such well-made craft.

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

it's been a while since i had one, and we were attending an aged beer tasting, so i picked up one of the cutest offerings i could find at bottleworks. a little 7 oz 1998 crusty. this bottle represented all the hopes of rogue brewing.
poured ruby red with a tiny bit of carbonation with about an oz to try for each of us, it wasn't much of a pour. should've put it all into one. disappointed in the twistoff but seemed to hold its seal well. oxidation minimal in the beer. it smells like how a barley wine should smell after 12 years. rich, caramel, hoppy, a little boozy. and that is just how it tasted. really held up well to the rigors of time. really needed a 12 ozer to give a better review.
would've been really nice to go vertical on this one, but too much other goodness to try on this fine evening.

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

750ml ceramic bottle poured into a goblet. 2008 vintage.

A: Red body with a two-finger head that leaves lots of lacing.

S: Caramel, chocolate, and hops.

T: Strong complex chocolate and caramel malt flavors. Hops have receded somewhat but are still very much present. Excellent balance.

M: Thick and syrupy.

D: A top-tier American barleywine. Like an amped-up Bigfoot. They really need to ax those stupid ceramic bottles, though.

Photo of juhl31
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went to an Old Crusty vertical tasting at the Rogue Public House in SF including 08, 06, 04, 03, 02, 00, 99, and 98!

I will review the 08 and give short notes on the other vintages

-dark caramel in color with a nice tan head with good lacing

-rich barley malt nose with a touch of alcohol

-yup, ton of barley. crazy balanced...not too hoppy with an easy bitter finish. close to SN Bigfoot

-very smooth. easy on the mouth indeed

-very drinkable barleywine, i like it a lot

-darker brown with the same tan head
-nose is very close to 08
-a lot bigger up front with less hop character

(actually got poured last because they thought more people would show and wouldnt have enough bottles so my notes suck at the end and out of order)

-getting darker, still a solid head though
-not as sweet, more alcohol
-more roasty, heavy malt taste. not as sweet

-dark brown
-most alcohol so far
-after finishing flight...this is probably my favorite of the group

head is finally starting to diminish. clarity is drastic now and bigger, soapier style bubbles
-more caramel on the nose and most fruity by far...dark fruits
-sediment is caked onto the bottom of the bottle

not much head, but it looks better than the 00...smaller, better looking bubbles
-short in flavor, almost like a real mild liquor

-definitely the best of the really old vintages and top 3 if not top 2 of the flight
-very true to style

Photo of oakbluff
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage from ceramic 750ml- pours a burnt red/brown hue with a very frothy head. Nose- pine and caramel. Taste- spicy, sweet breads, cookie dough initially, quickly followed by a wallop of hops upside the head. Very aggresive hops really take over after the initial malt sweetness and body to a thin, very bitter finish. I don't mind it- a change from an overly sweet and syrupy barleywine. A kick in the ass every now and then never hurts, but not an every day beer.

Photo of hiikeeba
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours up a reddish brown with a thin tan head

S - Smells of caramel and raisins and warm alcohol notes

T - Starts off malty sweet, filled in with dark dried fruits and finishes with hop bitterness on the sides of the tongue.

M - Full bodied with loads of warming alcohol

D - Definitely a sipper.

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

Pours a very nice reddish-amber with a lightly-coloured head which dissipates but leaves some lingering around the glass. Taste is quite sweet and bitter, but not overwheliming from either. It is balanced very well. Some sour/tart character lingers in the mouth after sipping. Aroma is sweet and candy-ish. Some floral hop and tart candy. Nice, full mouth. Boozey wamrth and a bit of slight syrupy viscosity. Very nice all around. Robust flavor while remaing fairly smooth.

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