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XS Old Crustacean - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean

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1,193 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,193
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.

110 IBU
83 AA
57º Lovibond
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,193 | Reviews: 694 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Imstillthegman
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2002 release. Yeah, I know I'm lucky.

Pours a dark, opaque brown. No head at all. No lacing at all. Just deep darkness. Makes you wonder if you're man enough to take a sip. Yes I am.

Complex smell. Dark fruits (raisins, dates, figs), anise, light tobacco and roasted coffee, some faint leafy floral hops, and some grain. Has a bit of a spiced rum smell as well. The more I smell it, the more I pick up.

Wow...the taste is superb. Must try a fresh one to compare. You can taste the alcohol, but it's a good thing. Raisin, figs, burnt caramel, port wine, black licorice, coffee, some sweetness I just can't peg, and the alcohol. Now, I am not a fan of coffee, black licorice, or port wine but this my friends is very tasty. The blending of the flavors is amazing and rather smooth.

Creamy velvet on the tongue. No wait...like licking silk...nah, that's too kinky. Anyway, I hope you get what I am saying. There is a bit of a burn at the end and some bitterness, also. Viscous, but not too sticky. The drinkability would be higher, but I must be honest...the ABV won't let you drink to many.

I must make my way back to my "secret spot" to see if any remain. Not only for me, but also for Holiday giving. This is one of the best aging barleywines I have ever had.

Photo of biercircus
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark, cola, almost no head

S - Rum alcohol on top of plummy sweetness

T - Strong, really complex, takes over your whole mouth. Dark roasted coffee, sour plums, raisins, cola, lingering bitterness.

M - Bubbles, bitterness, not much body.

D - Good, strong, distinct flavor, but don't drink too much. I was feeling like it was a bit too much flavor too handle. Maybe more of a winter brew because of its savory quality. Not a thirst-quencher.

Photo of dblinkhorn
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a ceramic 750ml bottle with a resealable rubber cork into a glass tulip goblet.

Appearance - Dark, murky, dirty coffee color. No head, spare a few large bubbles from the pour.

Smell - Very, very sweet. It smells like sweet molasses has been added directly to this brew. I also smell some caramel, a slight scent of coffee, and some notes of dark, ripe fruits.

Taste - Wow. This stuff is extremely potent. Right into the mouth, I am hit with a powerful sourness. In the middle, it quickly turns to a warm and sweet taste with a lot of dark fruit flavor, such as raisins and prunes. The finish is very familiar...super-strong glass of espresso, that is very bitter. The flavor is strong, but it tastes as murky as it looks, it is not balanced nor very complex. The flavor is just too overpowering for me. Not impressed.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is okay. It is smooth, almost no carbonation in this brew. If you can unsquirm the mussels in your face from tasting it, it actually has a nice feel in your mouth.

Drinkability - Very low. This brew is just too strong. I've had a few other barleywine style ales before, but this one is over the top in my opinion. This beer seems more like a novelty than a real quality brew.

Worth a try, and only one.

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

2004 vintage

Pours a nice cloudy amber in color with a small tiny bubbled head that withers away to almost nothing at all.

The smell is of light sweet fruit (maybe grapes, apples, with some citrus back). The finish is of a pleasant dose of pine and hops.

The taste is a suprise to me with the first punch of fruit being extremely light in flavor with the crisp grape and apple comming through only slightly. The flavors increase as the beer warms(and warms you at 11.3%). Then at the end there is an awesome hop bitterness that seems to bounce around your mouth until it has hit every part. All i have to say is 120 ibu and you get the picture. The aftertaste of the hops makes this beer a tough one to have more than one, but it is a joy to drink just the one. As the beer warms the hops subdue slightly and give way to more pleasant fruit flavors, but who wants to wait that long. I have yet to be dissapointed by the rogue crew and this does not dissapoint.

2001 vintage

Still is an exceptional beer with the hops still kicking some ass. A lovely nightcap for a cold winter night.

Photo of soulgrowl
3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

2004 vintage.

Appearance: Clear, glowing, cherry juice-stained mahogany or cola-stained cranberry juice body. Thin, faded parchment-tan head with poor retention.

Smell: Tart, fruity, and lively yet deep and sumptuous. Cranberries, plums, cherries, prunes, raisins blended perfectly with a faded yet still slightly sharp estery hop character. Some darker malt tones provide a nice base, namely brown sugar, cocoa powder, nuts, and husky grain. The 11% alcohol is very well-hidden.

Taste: Hazelnuts, walnuts, and sherry. A nutty and very sturdy malt base, not nearly as fruity as anticipated. Huge volumes of lupulic acidity and spirited alcohol firebomb all corners of the palate and warm the mind and body. Extraordinarly flavorful and ferociously bitter, with a ray of berry-like sweetness that peeks through towards the end of the sip before being totally shut out by a heavy curtain of tannic bitterness and resinous hops. To say the finish is dry is like saying the Pacific Ocean is wet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied, smooth and increasingly creamy and textured as you chew. Slightly syrupy and sticky.

Drinkability: Certainly not something I can handle more than one bottle of in one sitting. I do hope that whoever buys this in the big ceramic flip-tops shares it with a friend or two, because at 11% ABV and 120 IBUs, this is one rude brew.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Round 4 of an 8 round American Barley Wine-off with expatsteve. After a very diverse lead-in I thought our palates were ready for the belle of the ball and gem of my fledgeling collection - a bottle of Vintage 2001 I lucked upon last year. My most highly anticipated tasting to date.

Pour: deep, dark, garnet/mahogany, cloudy and chunky, swampy but still gorgeous to look at with a short crown of khaki foam.

Nose: raisin, black licorice, leafy/herbal hops, vinuous, with malt grain in the finish. Reminiscent of old-timey hard candy and aged port.

Taste: gooey caramel, raisin, port wine, trail mix, brown sugar, prune/date/fig, with a long black licorice candy finish. Complexity is paralleled in the style only by the Great Dane's Barleywine '02, another phenomenally aged b-wine.

Feel: luxurious and silky smooth, velvety carbonation...qualities of any number of smooth fabrics really.

Overall/Drinkability: WOW. Just wow.The Sophia Loren of graceful agers, this was a simply sublime drinking experience. 5+ years have mellowed and deepened the flavors to an impressive degree. Very similar, again, to the Great Dane's aged barleywine. So different than any other bottled barlywines out there, it's certainly earned a place of its own in the pantheon of amazing American beer.

Photo of expatsteve
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 2001 bottle with Golden2wenty1 - many thanks for this offering!

Appearance: Orange/copper brown, on the dark side, with low visibility. Hazy finish, but manages to catch the light well; pours a nice 1/2 inch head and light/medium suds remain after a few minutes. Medium/high viscosity - almost a foreboding weight to this one!

Aroma: Grainy, raisin finish, with thick anise and nice floral hops. Complex, but easy on the nose, with late chocolate malt developments.

Taste: Wow - there's amazing development in this beer, and a complex mix of flavors that almost defies description. Coffee on the front palate fades into an amazing licorice finish. Hints of raisins and pine behind these anise notes. Burst of orange are balanced by deep, rich hop developments. Unique flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, owing to the licorice finish. Low, smooth carbonation and a Crisp finish. Wonderful.

Drinkability: This is one of the most fantastic beers I've tasted, with truly unique flavors and the kind of depth and development of flavors desirable in a barleywine. Nonetheless, it achieves a unique blend and balance that makes this stand out. The hops development stands out against other more one-dimensional use of hops, while the malts are rich while remaining fruity. Neither mellow like Old Foghorn, nor abrasive like Old Ruffian, Old Crustacean really stands on its own. Superb.

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

2002 Vintage, 12 oz. Pours a ruby red to brown in color with basically no head. Bottle conditioned cloudiness. Smell is rich of sweet malts, some pruniness, ripe cherries and raspberries, perfuminess and a hint of piney hoppiness that is enveloped in a good size boozy aroma. Taste is nice and rich as well with good malt sweetness up front, red licorice, caramel, and finishing with a strong alcohol flavor and warmth. The hops are far from a fresh sample of this one but are still present in the finish, peppery and dry. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly thinned from aging. This one is drinking well now, but could definitely go longer in the cellar to let more of the malt flavor come through, although fresh its raw power is also enjoyable.

Photo of bort11
4.73/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml black ceramic bottle with a swing-top lid. I think this is a pretty cool added touch to the presentation. Poured into an Imperial pint glass about half full. With the handy swing-top lid I'll be working on this bottle for the rest of the weekend. It has a creamy white head, about a finger width and recedes to a solid lace that last all the way to the end. Color is a fantasticly rich mahogany and clear. Smell is sweet like molassas and caramel malt. Taste is very complex. It starts out very earthy and malty, but as you finish the swallow it ends up being very hoppy and bitter. There are also some coffee notes around the edges. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy in body. Medium carbonation. This is a fantastic barley wine. I'm definately going to get more to cellar

Photo of hoffman
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Discount Liqours in April 2006 bottle is 2004 vintage.

Requires a vigorous pour to achieve a tw finger head. Lacing is minimal but the carbonation leaves a cap on the beer. The smell is damn good, predominately sweet, brown sugar, toasted carmel, plums, dates, cherries, sweet organic notes, toasted coffee tones as well....very complex and not much hop to speak of. I really liked the taste of this one, very smooth with sweet dark fruits in the beginning, the alcohol shows up in the middle with more subdued sugary undertones and a bit of hop character allready. The hops are there in the finish but are not at all offensive leaving the beer quite balanced. The after tastes leaves you with hints of the alcohol still on your tongue and some very pronounced roasted coffee notes.

Damn drinkable and a damn fine barleywine.

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

Served from a 7oz bottle into snifter glasses. This beer was bottled in 1998. What a treat that I have been waiting for. The beer poured a deep cloudy brown color with some noticeable sediment throughout the bottle that made its way into the glass. The beer had a nice sweet fruity aroma of raisins, plums. Very similar to a port-like aroma which I happen to enjoy. The taste was had a sweet fruit, malty hit upfront that was balanced out slighty by the present hops. Which each sip from the snifter the tastes intensified and the spicey alcohol character got a little more intense. Worth the wait and worth another try in time.

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Vintage 2004, served my trusty John's Grocery tulip.

The color is amber/dark purple and the head rises fast and then receeds back leaving a beautiful lacing that looks very good.

Smell is soo fruity and sweet and malty! This smells great! It's like a dark sweet plum and grape smell that's very malty sweet. I enjoy this smell very much.

The taste hits hard with warm alcohol, it almost made me cough. The hoppiness finally comes out and balances greatly with the fruityness. The flavor has fig, roasted malts, and a fruity almost lemon and berry flavor of it's own.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, carbonated well and leaves the mouth farely fast but still leaving it's presence known on the tongue. A medium-large bodied beer that has a hoppiness that will knock your socks off.

Overall I will buy as much as they have next time I am up in Milwaukee.

Photo of NEhophead
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Vintage 1998.

Poured a murky, syrup-like maple brown in color with noticeable floating sediment. A delicately thin, lightly tan sheet of a head that leaves only a line of pin-like lacing.

Deep vinous fruit: chocolate covered cherry, plum, raisin. A semi-sweet port-like nose with a distinct mustiness. The alcohol presence is noticeable, but seems to bring out this barleywine's natural aromas.

Rich, creamy chocolate and toffee; port-flavored sweetness. Aged fruit: plum, raisin, cherry. The alcohol character is remarkably mellow and balances the sweetness and richness so well. The sharpness and acidic character of your typical barleywine is absent as a result of the aging. Heaven in a glass!

Full bodied; creamy, rich. Almost muddy and wonderfully smooth on the palate.

A classic IMO regardless of the year, but an eight year old batch of this barleywine is as heavenly as it gets in the American craft beer world.

Photo of EStreet20
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle of the 2004 vintage poured into a fairly large snifter glass.

A - Pours out a very dark ruby red, near brown color with a fairly small but seemingly persistant tan head.

S - Smell is nice with notes of alcohol as well as some chocolate and caramel aromas. Some fruitiness on the nose as well. Quite nice.

T - Lots of dark fruits with a huge alcohol kick and some chocolate flavors. A but of a roasted character as well as huge bitterness and alcohol on the finish. Not bad at all.

M - Not bad. A nice full feel complementing the huge flavors.

D - Pretty good. Not the most balance among the flavors in this brew but still quite interesting. A pretty nice barleywine.

Photo of assurbanipaul
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in 1997, so it's been sitting a long while.

Pours a flat plain murky brown, no head at all. Thick sediment left in the 7-oz bottle, including some sticking to the neck of the bottle like a mold. I poured the last quarter-inch of sediment into the sink and it looked like engine sludge. This is quite a very ugly beer.

Aroma is voluminous: sweet and malty, heavy with alcohol, existing somewhere between a beer and a whiskey. Slick and oily, even a vigorous spin won't raise a head.

Taste is heavily malty, with cocoa and chocolate malt. Some moderate hops flavors, some strong wood flavors, mild vanilla and amaretto, possibly rum. Only a mild flavor of alcohol but a strong alcohol burn is unmistakeable (don't know the precise ABV).

Mouthfeel is very oily, very much like a liqueur, but the finish is short and clean. After warming just slightly, it smooths out considerably. The complexity is intriguing for this grandaddy of barleywines, and age only helps.

Photo of MSchae1017
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a bottle. This was a 2004 vintage recieved via trade with timtheenchanta. Thanks!

This beer pours a rusty copper color with a tan head that holds and laces nicely but eventually fades. The smell is not overpowering but there is still the smells of dark berry fruits, chocholate and some hops. The taste is very similar to the smell with still a good amount of hops hanging around after all the aging but also a considerable amount of residual sugars lingering in the beer. The beer has a good thickness with a significant amount of dryness and smooth carbonation. Overall a nice barleywine, certainly one worth picking up.

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

this re-review was done as a blind taste test, that's why i feel it's relevant

A - a very dark hazy brown, with 1/2 finger of caramel colored head, no visible carbonation or sediment

S - must be a barleywine, the typical dark fruit aroma of a barleywine, like raisins or dates, a strong molasses sweetness to the aroma as well, and behind it all, an alcohol kick

T - bitter at first, middle turns to a brown sugar light sweetness, the finish is bitter and dry, the aftertaste is sweet liek caramel

M - smooth and balanced, nice sweetness and nice bitterness

D - high, a good barleywine, very easy to drink

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

A 2002 12oz. Thanks Running4Beer

Ruby complexion with a slightly green tinted head or maybe it was all the hops that were assulting me or maybe the large malt waves had washed out my mooring. Wow this is much better aged. The hops are still very prevelant and the I feel like I am taking a wort shower. The taste is pretty nice and complex with the malt and a I must say there is a touch of fusel but it seems to be right. You could eat this with a spoon. Good beer to relax with after it has relaxed. ;-)

Photo of Ieatlambfries
3.66/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This example was an 03 that I've aged about 2 years. Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance is a super dark copper orange. Absolutely no head to speak of. Just a mild foam during the pour which was gone almost immediately.

Smell is sweet. raisin like, malty with a hint of soy sauce

Taste is sweet dried fruits up front. Raisins and figs. This gives way to an intense piney hoppy bitterness. Big citrus rind flavor that curls your lips. some hot alcohol vapors on the exhale.

Mouthfeel is heavy. Slight carbonation. Thick.

Drinkability is a hard one. I love the taste, but at over 11% not easy to give a high rating.

Overall an intense barley wine. In my opinion not quite as accessible as say a Big Foot. But, definitely more extreme.

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

Bad-ass barley wine on tap at the Rogue Ale House in San Francisco.

Served in 12 ounce glasses (since the lawyers don't think the average drinker can handle anything bigger?).

Very dark brown but a small tan head.

Not a big aroma but what is there is very hoppy.

Big flavor, lots and lots of hops; maybe even a bit much. Perhaps this beer still needs more ageing. Big malt and residual sugars but good balance.

Thick, chewy on the tongue with lots of lingering hops in the aftertaste. Excellent sipping for a cool, rainy afternoon. Not for big gulps but perfect for sipping and conversation.

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

750mL Ceramic XS bottle, poured into Tripel Karmeliet chalice.

Red, mostly brown color, tan head that quickly went away leaving no lacing or anything behind. Very malty backbone, caramel and dark fruit, with a floralness not far behind. Very nice caramel maltiness, but the hops are not blended enough, there is the maltiness and then a very strong bitterness following. Pretty good but I think needs some age to perfect its flavor. Mouthfeel is full bodied and a low carbonation level. Took quite a while to finish the glass, but perhaps I'll age one for a few years, I imagine it could turn out quite nicely.

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

In a word...WOW!
Alrighty then, not sure of the exact vintage of this Old Crusty, it comes in the big 750ml, black ceramic XS edition bottle w/cap and flip top ceramic stopper as well. Nice presentation of this fine Rogue barleywine, pours into my small tulip glass a very dark copper-brown with an ivory half inch of short lasting head. A few specks of lace as the head dwindles.

Smell is dark, roasty and chocolaty, with floral notes creeping through. A tad of burnt something and sharp, spicy hops penatrate the rich, roasty foreground of previous sniffs...complex, I think so !

Burnt black patent malt grabs your tongue...bitter black coffee and baking chocolate, rip your tastebuds off the bat. The extremely high IBU's of the mega hops used, over-powers the fore mentioned with a pungenty bitter bite...whoa!!! This extremely potent brew needs to rest a few more years to mellow and mature to tame the powerful characteristics at hand here...seriously! I truly believe this stuff will age to an incredible Barleywine in at least 2years. It is way too young at this point, giving indication that it has only been bottle for no more than 2years max. Two more years minimum should yield a truly top-notch BW, no doubt...judging by the Old Crusty's since it's inception.

Still very tasty, it's got sharp edges that need to be honed by time, plain and simple.

Although patience is essential for proper cellaring, it will pay off well if you sit on this, for a few more years. Great things don't usually happen overnight, but with a bit of patience, you will be rewarded greatly!

Being what it is, I love the stuff from now...till then, what can I say?


Photo of ommegangpbr
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 ounce bottle into a goblet.
I'm guessing this bottle is at least a couple years old making it quite a bit smoother than a fresh sample.
Looks pretty typical for a barley wine. No head, some lacing, a murky dark maple syrup color. Smells quite sweet; mostly malts with some floral hop scent.
Taste is quite sweet with an upfront hop attack. Nothing terribly interesting as far as the style goes but it has got what you need for a barley wine fix.
Mouthfeel is very resinous. Very piney. I imagine a fresh incarnation would be quite harsh on the palate. As this is, it's pretty sticky leaving a lingering bitterness.
I've had enough barley wine now to not be overwhelmed by this one. Maybe I'd pick up a $3 12 ounce every once in awhile, but I wouldn't bother with $13+ ceramic bottles.

Photo of DogFood11
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 version on tap at Naja's. 3 years of aging has done well for this offering. Pours a dark brown to black, some light can get through this filtered body. Nice solid tan head graces the top of this huge beer.

I think the biggest thing aging has done to this brew is it mellowed it out. Its still a humongous offering that defies my senses. Speaking in generalities I'd say this is a heavily malted, syrupy, caramel bomber. But the hop profile is smashing every taste bud with bitterness, much less than the fresh version but this bitch still holds a punch. As it warmed the hops really started to shine. I will have to say its not shy about the alcohol and it is a bit astringent at times but overall its a gem.

Notes: These huge barleywines like Old Guardian and this Old Crustacean are so incredible with a few years of age on them. Drink a few now and drink a few later. For those folks that are cellaring this bad boy and are wondering when to drink it I'd say that although now is Awesome, another year or two would still do this some good.

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

Pours a deep ruby red/brown... excellent, thick head. Off-white in color... leaves a 1/4" cap and some very good stick to the glass.

Aroma is of caramel and sugary sweetness. Some maple and malt. A small bit of berry. Some pine. Hops as it warms. Dried fruit.

Thick, thick and creamy on the palate. It glides over the tongue.
Alcohol burn and vapor. Quite dry.

Taste is huge. Malt then hops...

An excellent beer... one to share.

XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,193 ratings.