XS Old Crustacean - Rogue Ales
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Ratings: 1,134 | Reviews: 688 | Display Reviews Only:
4.45/5 rDev +11%
2007 Vintage Ceramic bottle poured into a DFH Signature glass a slightly murky brown with crisp edges and a nice frothy light tan head. Aroma is an abundance of burnt caramel and toasted bread. The taste is a wonderfully complex blend of burnt caramel, brown sugar, molasses, toast, and dried fruits with a nice hop background. The beer certainly shows its 11.3%, but it is not too strong, just a sipper. I've always heard that this one needs some age, and it certainly comes through nicely!
05-25-2009 00:01:26 | More by atsprings
2.75/5 rDev -31.4%
Reviewed 5/13/2009 (Bottle 2008):
Pours a dark red brown colored body, with a good-sized head, tan brown color, very lasting. Aroma of brown sugar, dark fruit. Syrup. Lots of scents. Sweet brown sugar taste, dark fruit too. Aged dark fruit. Dark grape taste. Extremely sweet syrupy taste. Too much for me.
05-19-2009 04:59:42 | More by jujubeast6000
4.45/5 rDev +11%
Appearance- brown in color with slight foam head and low carbonation, somewhat murky in body
Smell- lots of sweetness and malts, raisins, caramel, definite slight hoppy tone in the background
Taste- I really did like the taste and balance on this one, good mix of lots of sweetness and hoppy bitter tone leaving a nice long finish at the end, overall very nice barleywine taste wise
Mouthfeel- Rich creamy and full bodied for sure
Drinkability- very drinkable beer but definitely a sipper and probably a one a nite night cap kinda beer, but I thought it was a very enjoyable example of the style I would certainly try again, If you like barleywines give this one a try good flavor but dont plan on driving anywhere after! (PS REAL TREAT ON TAP)
05-17-2009 03:18:45 | More by Stunner97
4.03/5 rDev +0.5%
Second brew from my fantastic trip to the Rogue Pub in Portland, went with the bartenders recco for a 2nd extreme brew!
A: Dark, brown color with a short head.
S: Very malty and dark fruit sweetness rise from the glass.
T: Big malt profile with caramel dominating the intial taste and hoppy bitterness picking up the undertone.
M: Pretty heavy body with a pretty good aftertaste.
D: A unique Barleywine with the intense caramel flavor which was quite enjoyable. Not my favorite Rogue or Barleywine, but a good brew all in all and one you should try if you get the chance (but not worth going out of your way for). Rogue's one of the breweries doing some cool, original stuff and they deserve credit for this one.
05-13-2009 07:17:03 | More by jdg204
4.15/5 rDev +3.5%
2008 ceramic 750mL into a highball glass (only thing available at the time)
Old Crustacean poured a rich-looking copper with striking red highlights. Overall, the clarity of my sample was excellent, though there were some larger suspended chunks of sediment floating around in my glass. I got a huge caramel colored frothy head which subsided to a constant 1/8" or so with nice lacing throughout the tasting. Some sparse bubble trails, but this beer is, for the most part, still.
The aroma was complex, a definite push toward caramel malty sweetness, yet floral hop notes and a lingering hint of fruit.
Taste was hops up front, floral and fruity initially, to a pleasant caramel malt flavor tinged with a slight hint of alcohol. The caramel notes definitely come through well in this brew, along with some complex notes reminiscent of clover honey. Caramel fades to a bitter, lingering hop flavor which I found rather unpleasant due to its lengthy, bitter stay on the palate. Only reason this one didn't get a 4.5 for taste.
Mouthfeel was very round and fluffy. A bit of an alcohol zing in the throat, but no noticeable carbonation.
Drinkability would be excellent on this beer if it weren't for two factors: The obvious 11.5%ABV make this NOT something you want to throw back all night, although I did finish my 750 in about 2 hours. Secondly, the bitter aftertaste was unpleasant. I absolutely appreciate this beer for the complexities and balance it acheives, and I'd put it forward as an excellent example of the style, but that aftertaste started to get to me midway through my bottle.
05-03-2009 05:59:51 | More by iNHaze
4.68/5 rDev +16.7%
Information: From their website, Old Crustacean is "an unfiltered and unrefined(sp.) Barleywine. Intense, robust, malty and dark. The cognac of beers." Four malts (Great Western Harrington, Klages, Munich and Hugh Baird Carastan) and two hop varieties (Centennial and Chinook) are used in this brew.
My 2008 bottle of Old Crustacean comes in a 750ml. ceramic bottle. 11.5% abv. I poured this offering into my tulip glass. Listening to Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, played by the Academy of Ancient Musics, conducted by Christopher Hogwood.
A: I gave this beer as vigorous a pour as I could manage, but I still came up with a small, foamy, peach-colored head, consisting mostly of big frothy bubbles, which died away steadily and obviously. It left only a pencil-thin line of lace at the edge of the glass. The body itself is a foggy auburn color. It is really tough to see through this brew, being that it is unfiltered. It's colored like an old port, with rich magenta highlights. I get that the brewer wanted this to look raw and unfiltered, but the head was a big disappointment and it turned the beer into something resembling a sludge. I have to give low marks for appearance here.
S: The best nose that I have ever encountered with a American barleywine. Very rich smell with wonderful fruit complexities. So many different aroma qualities here...lavender honey, pear, raspberries, plum, coconut, walnut, vanilla and brown sugar. It smells predominantly of a sweet, thick malt with a good balance struck by the spicy, herbal (minty) hop aroma. Initial whiffs give off a faint indication of the alcohol content.
T: Man that's fucking good...sherry-like. Rich with caramelized malts and smooth as all get up. The flavors are all perfectly balanced. The hoppy bitterness is there, more towards the swallow and not so much up front. There are some unique undertones in the flavor of this beer; for instance, peat, chestnuts and a slight basil note. Though this is a full-bodied and rich malty brew, it never comes close to being cloying. The hops really do their job here.
M: As I said before, this is a full-bodied beer! The carbonation is low and it leaves the mouthfeel extremely smooth and flat. Not viscous though. Which was very nice. It made this beer palatable and quite the thirst quencher.
D: Too good, too good. I drank every last bit of the 750ml bottle. Granted over a period of two days, but I still enjoyed the beer by the end and I can't wait till I open up my other 2008 bottle years from now. Barleywines run the risk of becoming overly hoppy or, as is the case with some English barleywines, too malt forward and one dimensional. This was a beautifully crafted beer and if the look was compromised in the making of this, then so be it.
04-20-2009 22:53:08 | More by MusicaleMike
3.85/5 rDev -4%
1998 7oz bottle - an extra from tthomas in a recent trade. Served in my Foothills taster glass (also from a recent trade with Wespatrick).
A - Poured totally flat, although that's not totally unexpected for such an old brew, seeing as it isn't very frothy even when fresh. Murky raisin color with elements of orange and brown. I'd normally be harder on a brew that looked like this, but since it's over 10 years old and from such a high-gravity style I'll cut it a little slack.
S - Tons of caramel, toffee, apple, brown sugar, and dried fruits (raisins, prunes, etc.). The smell is huge and you can even get a sense that there was once a ton of hops in this brew with a few hints of pine and citrus. It smells utterly delicious.
T - Unfortunately, the taste seems a bit muted. There's still lots of caramel, brown sugar, apple, and rumcake, but you can tell that some oxidization has occurred. There's also an odd woody aftertaste that isn't overwhelming, but isn't all that pleasant either.
M - For the style the minimal carbonation isn't offensive, and the texture is silky smooth with a bit of alcohol warmth. There's lots of residual stickiness as well.
D - The 7oz bottle is definitely appropriate for the style, and I had no difficulty drinking the whole thing. I'd even consider having a second one - if I had access to one that is. Obviously the high ABV prevents this from being a session brew.
I think 1998 Old Crusty might be past its prime - it's nowhere as tasty as the '98 J.W. Lees or the 1996 Westy 8 that I've tried. I'd be interested in checking out something from the early aughts to see if that is peaking right now. Still, I was very glad that I got to try this bottle.
04-17-2009 03:45:41 | More by MasterSki
4.13/5 rDev +3%
I wasn't prepared for the fierce, almost oppressive bittering in Old Crusty. The bittering at first seems distorted and overblown. But a plush fruitiness soon brushes it aside to deliver a rush of plum and fig. Further warming coaxes more fruit in the taste and smell.
Old Crustacean is tawny, clouded, and delivers an impressive stadium wall of lace. Its soft, camel-hair head shows more retention than one might expect from a beer of such high alcohol content.
I'd imagine you could age a beer of this sort for up to a decade with measurable improvement over time, for the excess of hops begs to be tempered with age. Even so, the beer is regal when fresh.
04-12-2009 04:14:56 | More by RedDiamond
4.38/5 rDev +9.2%
Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a short 1/4" head. No lacing with this this beer.
Smell: loads of malt and dark fruit sweetness rise from the glass.
Taste: big malt profile with brown sugar, prunes, some mild fig flavors, alcohol, and a nice bitterness. Big and bold flavors that change as it warms.
Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Aftertaste is long as the malty goodness and alcohol warming last a while.
Drinkability: very nice for the style. A definite slow sipping beer but more than one glass could be had over the course of an evening.
03-28-2009 13:46:24 | More by Gavage
4/5 rDev -0.2%
Apperance: Out of 2008 ceramic 750ml bottle pours a deep and dark mahogony with a off white lacey head. That is deep like an oceanic abyss.
Aroma: Mild nutiness out of the gate. Along with tones of cocoa. Mild hints of rosted malts with the slightest hop notes.
Taste: Light hop carachter with slight cocoa. Nice hints of burnt hops with hints of dark roasted malts. It does have a bit wood graininess to it with a little bit of a bready texture.
Notes: This is a very nice barleywine nicely drinkable on a cool or cold night. Cheers
03-23-2009 01:54:22 | More by horshack7
2.68/5 rDev -33.2%
2008 bottle. Poured from one of those cool-looking ceramic bombers, rather than the bottle pictured above.
Nice dark brown with a reddish tinge to it, a finger or so of grey-ish head. Considerable lacing on the glass.
Smells of dried figs, palm sugar and rum. Awesome.
Dates and dried fruit and caramel malts right off the bat, then a big hit of warming booze, with like... coins and a little Vegemite in the finish, which is where it goes to hell for me. 110 IBUs is a lot, but the hops used in this one seem to make it astringent rather than just purely bitter. Bitterness is one thing, but this is just harsh. Murder on the palate - upon cracking this one I had a nice bit of dark fruit cake as well and instead of the pleasant match you'd expect, the cake served mostly as a brief and welcome respite from the assault going on in my mouth. Hmmm...
Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, with almost no carbonation.
Drinkability at 11.5% was probably never going to be particularly high, but combined with the sheer brutality of the Chinook hop bitterness it's much less so - there's not a lot to compel you to take another sip. I couldn't convince anyone else in the house to have more than a taste and set out to test my own endurance by polishing off the entire bomber - I'm not ashamed to say I quit with about 1/4 of the thing to go. Total battle of attrition.
On a technical level, I'm sure this beer achieved everything Rogue had in mind for it, and they're to be applauded as always for craftsmanship and thinking outside the box. This is "extreme beer", proper. As a guy who paid for it and had to drink it, I'm less objective. Outside of perhaps disciplining your kids should you catch them drinking underage, I can't think of any occasion for which this beer would be appropriate.
03-21-2009 13:47:41 | More by Parrotshake
3.48/5 rDev -13.2%
Pours a translucent mahogany with a fine-bubbled but not thick head (though this may be an artifact of the pour). Aroma is malty and has hints of cloves and hard cider. Flavor is strong and syrupy with a fierce alcohol bite and tones of maple syrup, caramel and hops. It is quite bitter yet has a whisper of sweetness. Texture is ragged and rough with a syrupy core.
03-18-2009 00:38:58 | More by Cyberkedi
4.15/5 rDev +3.5%
Best smelling barleywine I've ever had. I expected this beer to have a lot lighter hue but it presents with more of a caramel amber color. Decent carbonation for a barleywine. So for the smell, it's malt dominated with at least 3 or 4 of the best smelling types of malted barley. Almost triple like in smell but a little more oak. The taste is complex and even changes for a good while after the beer is in your stomach. Strong malt presence with a fair share of hoppy bitterness. The hops is less than I would expect from the west coast, but I feel like this balance really works. Does have a slight alcohol taste to it, but not overwhelming.
03-15-2009 21:52:32 | More by bheilman
4.55/5 rDev +13.5%
One of the finest brews I've had in a long time. Had off the tap at Barcade in Brooklyn. It pored a dark brown, fairly opaque with a bubbly head. Very hoppy scent to it.
Very malty taste to it, seems like licorice really comes through. Full-bodied with an excellent bite to it. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer.
03-14-2009 15:50:04 | More by Amalak
4.47/5 rDev +11.5%
King of barleywines. It is not subtle and it overpowers your every sense. Don't drink this beer unless you have a serious love of extreme beers. I drank this on draft at the Rogue taphouse in Newport, OR, and it rocked my world.
A: Dark brown with a dark head.
S: Smells like poison.
T: Has an overpowering bitterness at first, but on the second sip you detect an amazing complexity. Raisins, bourbon, brown sugar, hops, ... wow. Could be considered a right of passage. Awesome flavor. THIS is the barleywine against all others will be measured.
M: Medium; some definite gravity, but not syrupy.
D: You wouldn't want to drink more than one or two...
Overall: This beer defines extreme beer. Love or it hate it, it is not for everyone.
03-09-2009 23:28:07 | More by PalatineBrewing
4.3/5 rDev +7.2%
A - Great dark red color with just a light head
S - Hoppy with a light floral quality
T - Sweet taste, with a bitter hop background/aftertaste that stays with you. May be strong at first but quickly fades and becomes normal.
M - (Looks slightly thick) but is actually light and very smooth
Great, extremely drinkable beer. Very hoppy but with a great floral quality and light caramel flavor. Highly recommended.
03-06-2009 01:31:19 | More by MrDerp
4.55/5 rDev +13.5%
750 ml in a schlafly nonic
A: When held up to the light, this brew is a beautiful dark red. pours a decent 1/2 inch head which fades and leaves swirls of foam on the top on the way down.
S: coffee, citrus, and sugary comes on very strong as soon as you pop the top on the bottle. litte trace of the 11.5% abv
T:Sweet and sugary malts blend well with alot of hop bitterness. Beer tastes strong with the first drink but becomes your new norm after a couple of ounces.
M:Resiny feel from all the hoppiness, smooth, light and slightly oily. halfway through the bottle my mouth feels like i took a shot of some 80 proof liquor a few minutes ago.
Overall, This beer is big and brawny. tongue ripping and face numbing...everything i ever dreamed it would be. Although 15 bucks for 26 ounces of beer is whackadoo. Wish they would ditch the fancy ceramics and give us some cheaper packaging. its the recession ya'll!
02-28-2009 07:10:00 | More by OlRasputin989
3.98/5 rDev -0.7%
A - Poured out a somewhat cloudy, copper color with a small, bubbly, off-white head. It left minimal lace.
S - It smelled syrupy sweet with some subtle floral notes.
T - It tasted of very sweet malt and actually brought some bitter hops.
M - It was fairly sharp and crisp. A medium to full-bodied beer.
D - This was pretty good. I'd like to see how it would taste after a couple years. Maybe the hops would mellow out.
01-23-2009 01:40:02 | More by zeff80
4.38/5 rDev +9.2%
Ceramic bottle shared by daryk77 - much obliged!
Pours a hazy honey-copper color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes quickly into a patchy layer of bubbles on top. Not a whole lot of lacing, but I wasn't expecting much considering the high ABV.
Smells more like an English barleywine than I would've imagined. Loads of sweet caramel malt with hints of booze-soaked chocolate. The alcohol comes out more as the beer warms.
Tastes very good. Sweet caramel malt with toffee notes. As far as bitterness goes...there's a whole lot of it. It comes out midway through the sip and lasts until you wake up the next morning. This is one bitter barleywine.
Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice syrupy thickness and large carbonation that makes this one down smoothly while bringing the boom on the flavors.
Drinkability is very good considering the amount of alcohol in this. It's hardly noticeable until the beer warms a bit, but even then it still goes down very easily.
Overall this is one tasty barleywine. Worth a shot.
01-16-2009 16:16:42 | More by glid02
4.25/5 rDev +6%
A - Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Pours hazy garnet with blond highlights with a thin ecru head.
S - Sweet, caramel malts with a slight hop tinge coming through.
T - The bitter hops load the frontend of the taste before sweet malt takes over and blends with a sort of pepper/brown sugar essence before finishing with a bit of alcohol warmth.
M - On the thick side of medium, viscous, decent carbonation.
Notes - Really tasty, strong but not overpoweringly so, a nice sipping beer.
01-15-2009 22:41:53 | More by HeyItsChili
4.08/5 rDev +1.7%
A: Poured from a growler to a pint glass. Had a rich mahogany color and a cloudy consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy head and good lacing.
S: A strong aroma of hops, malt and caramel.
T: The big thing you notice here are the highly bitter hops. It's inescapable. However, this mixes well with the malt, caramel and pepper. A big taste with lots of noticable alcohol.
M: A well-carbonated beer with a chewy texture and a dry finish. Full-bodied.
D: This is a well made, drinkable beer, but not one I could sit down and drink a whole lot of. Still, a solid brew.
01-15-2009 15:10:56 | More by avalon07
4.15/5 rDev +3.5%
To celebrate my 100th review, I decided to pull out a 10 yr. old Crusty. Poured the 1999 vintage out of the classic 7 oz. bottle into a Rochefort Chalice.
A- Nice cross of burgundy and brown. Clarity was rather hazy and revealed little to no head.
S- Everything a barleywine should smell like and more. As I swirl the contents of the chalice, I get nice whiffs of caramel, sweet malts, burnt sugars, and booze.
T- Very tasty and held up a lot better than I thought it would. At first sip, the caramel and malts are definitely noticed. As it progresses, the beer finishes with a sugared sweetness likened to various dark fruits.
M- Due to age, there was virtually no carbonation. I was also hoping for something with a higher viscosity, but all that was produced was something medium bodied with water-like qualities.
D- Very drinkable, especially since this vintage only came in a 7 oz. bottle. The light consistency combined with great taste and aroma make it stand out in this category.
Overall, a very special treat indeed. As I said above, it held up better than I thought it would. The aroma was heavenly and stood out more than anything. My only complaint was that I was hoping for a thicker consistency, one that would compliment the taste. Other than that, this was definitely worthy of my 100th review.
01-12-2009 01:22:31 | More by rhinos00
3.38/5 rDev -15.7%
An intensely malty flavor at the beginning of the mouth feel followed by a sweet aftertaste typical of a barley wine style. Definitely enjoy the bitterness and alcohol content while the complex woodsy smell enveloped my palate. I bought this on tap at the Stone Brewery.
01-03-2009 08:55:15 | More by nd5282
4.33/5 rDev +8%
750mL 2008 bottle poured into a snifter.
Pours a murky brownish amber with hints of red around the edges. The bubbly off-white head is one inch thick and recedes pretty slowly to a thick ring leaving decent lacing.
The aroma was surprisingly hoppy up front with lots of citrus and some floral pine hints as well. The caramel malt base is present but not as dominant as I expected. Some raisins and plums come out as the beer warms.
The taste started out with the some hop kick, mostly grapefruit and other citrus. The sweetness of the caramel malt and some dark fruits are present in the middle before the floral hops turn on the bitterness in the finish with a good bit of alcohol heat.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily with decent carbonation.
Overall it's a bit more abrasive than I imagined, but I should have expected as much from a fresh bottle. It's good now but I'm going to age a couple of these for a while as I know a couple of years will make this one much better.
EDIT: Tasted the 03 and 04 in a side-by-sde recently and was impressed with the way this one had ages. The abrasive hops and alcohol had calmed a good bit and really rounded this one into a fine barleywine. Score reflects this updated view.
01-03-2009 02:10:46 | More by gford217
4.3/5 rDev +7.2%
Lightly poured from a refrigerated, ceramic fliptop bottle into a room temp pint glass.
A murky amber body supports a thin milky head. The head leaves rings of lace down the edges of the pint as you drink.
Bright hoppy scents backed by a caramel malty aroma waft from the glass. Upon closer inspection, citrus and grapefruit assault the nose. A great taste for a fresh barleywine. If it were a couple of years older ot would be pretty balanced, but the present green taste makes it a sipper.
This is a medium bodied beer that is cut with a nice fresh carbonation. The alcohol doesn't bite in the nose or the mouth, but lies in wait until it has the opportunity to ambush your stomach, but not an unpleasant ambush... A warm surprise for the belly.
As it is right now, this is a great barleywine, but in a couple/three years, it will be great. I'll lay one of these down for the ages.
01-01-2009 04:21:19 | More by Klgkenny
XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,134 ratings.