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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,192 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,192
Reviews: 694
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 91
Gots: 121 | 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.

25º PLATO
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: 1,192 | Reviews: 694 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured minimal head on top of a brownish red body with thin lace stuck around glass. A mix of herbal hops and dark fruit, especially cherry, with some caramel and bready malts mixed in. Has a great dry wine like taste with dark fruit, and again I notice cherries for some reason over other fruits, along with a nice chunk of toffee/caramel like sweetness. Not too hoppy but there is a little rounded presence that gives it a dry backbite but dry finish is also due to high alcohol kick. Also some sour fruit and stickiness to this beer. The alcohol bleeds a little on the finish but this is a great sipper/nightcap.

Photo of mcscratchtree2
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle of Old Crustacean XS is vintage 1996-2000, not sure on the exact year. I do know that it was properly stored until 2007 when it was removed from the basement of JK Moose's Par 4 Cafe in Wilkes-Barre, PA and placed in a refrigerator.

I wasn't confident that it would hold up but was very pleasantly surprised when it hit my gullet just a few moments ago. The aroma is typical of a barleywine, smells like alcohol! It has a velvety smooth mouthfeel and I detect a strong caramel taste both in the nose and in the aftertaste. I know I should be sipping this beer, but it is very difficult to do so...love it.

Thanks Moose!

Photo of Wisconsinality
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer #3 of our Cinco de Mayo mini tasting.
Thanks to beerfmandy for this one.
2008 vintage.

A- Pours a nice deep amber with a little light showing through around the edge of the glass. Just a small amount of haze as well. A half finger worth of head that recedes quickly and leaves no head.

S- Big burst of dark fruits. Dates and figs mostly with some cherries thrown in. Caramel rounds out the nose and just a faint bit of alcohol pokes through.

T- Like the nose, big dark fruits, caramel, cherry and some biscuit as well. This beer has definitely mellowed after two years and the booze adds a nice subtle background.

M- A small amount of bitterness on the front end but relatively smooth on the tongue. Just the right amount of carbonation for the style. Good medium body and not cloying like some barleywines can be.

D- Some age has done this beer well. I am guessing it was pretty hot when it came out. Good flavor and good body. Solid beer all around.

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

Opened from 2002.

Poured this thing out and its head was yellow. A very carbonated Yellow. Weird.

I was drunk so dont remember the smell or color or anything but this thing tasted hoppy as hell. I couldnt believe how unbelievably hoppy this beer was after 8 years. We had it after a 200 J.W. Lees and it was so different.

The other bw characteristics shown through in this beer. It was an excellent brew. Get one and cellar it, I usually hate rogue beers too.

Photo of movingtrain
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drinking a 12 ounce bottle from 2002...have been saving this for years...can't wait to give it a try. Found this at Anderson's in Columbus on a sale rack...

Pours a fine ruby red with a small, creamy head on top. A little cloudy in appearance, thick, and bubbly.

Aroma gives off hints of caramel, cinnamon, crusty bread, earthy grapes, and heavy alcohol. Some wet oats, gin elements, juniper, grapefruit, black olives, and some brown sugar.

Some chocolate in the taste, butterscotch, and lots of hops. The presence of hops is remarkable after all these years. There are some brown sugar notes, almost of Belgian candy sugar quality. The alcohol really comes through in the aftertaste. Some bready notes, caramel, burnt/caramelized sugar, and cream.

Overall, this beer has held up extremely well. The alcohol is very present, as are the hops. The beer is a standout, new and aged...and this one, eight years old, is a fine example of a beer that deserves some age on it.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
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
4.17/5  rDev +4%
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
3.89/5  rDev -3%
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
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
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
3.32/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

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

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

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

Taste:
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.

Notes:
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

2008

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
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
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
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1/25/2010

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
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
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
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
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
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
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
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
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
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
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
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,192 ratings.