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XS Old Crustacean - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,161 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,161
Reviews: 690
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.72%
Wants: 88
Gots: 113 | FT: 6
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.

25º PLATO
110 IBU
83 AA
57º Lovibond

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-03-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of XS Old Crustacean Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,161 | Reviews: 690 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TastyTaste
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 Vintage:
A much larger head than i noted in the first review. It is actually about 2/3" with good retention, even with the extreme ABV. Strong sweetness in the nose, very fruity, with a high hop and alcohol presence, slightly citrus. Taste could easily kick your ass inside out. Lots of strong alcohol flavor, the hop equivalent to a rack of brontosaurus ribs and phenomanally large malt on top of that. This beer is all about a melding of extremes. I don't know if an all-around larger beer has ever been brewed. There is no doubt in my mind that this would definitely make Fred Flinstone's car tip over.

TastyTaste, Jul 15, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Rich O's Gravity Head '08:

The tap didn't do much to soften the carbonation, alcohol strength of hop agression. Certainly the kitchen sink of barley wines, but a lot of age will do this beer a lot of good. Can't deny the complexity or depth of flavors though.

August 10, 2005: Bottle:

Not for the timmid. Yep, I'm apparently timmid. Looks somewhere from brown to ruby red in color. Not quite clear, but pours a thick tan head and laced well. Smells like everything: malt, molassas, hops, grapes, prunes, raisons, chocolate, toffee, berries...the list goes on. Tastes like (see smells like...) with emphasis on the dark fruits; add dates, figs, almonds, and red wine. Very agressive with the flavoring and bittering hops: no punches pulled here. Strong body, thick and a bit oily. Quite chewy and almost nausiating (in a good way if there is such a thing.) Finishes anything but dry. Flavors fade slowly. I opened one three days ago and I'm still sipping on it. All in all, a good complex Barley Wine. Too abrupt now, but is certain to meld and mature with time. Buy now, but drink next year.

BEERchitect, Jul 11, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.2/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

no idea how old, but probably a tad bit based on the store where i bought it.

very dark, almost light-proof reddish-brown. quickly dissolved yellowish tan foam, leaving the beer with a slight ring and a couple dots of lace. aroma is mild hops, wood, raw cocoa and a plethora of musty malt. alcohol wafts strong, almost reaching the level of a potent digestif.

more bitter than i would have imagined, with an underlying smooth, sugary caramel. finished with coffee and half and half. mouthfeel is excessively syrupy.. this is a sipper for sure. although, the flavor is multi-faceted and strong and deserves recognition for such an ass-kicking level.

a decent BW just not my style. should buy a cement jug of this and store it for a generation or 7.

goodbyeohio, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of Viggo
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing fucking beer. Pours a dark brown/red with a neat yellowish head and good lacing all around, slightly cloudy. Smell is sweet molasses, but the hop presence is lurking in the background ready to stab you in the mouth. Taste is all hops, floral citrusy you name it the hops are there, background is very malty, with a smooth chocolatey caramel finish. Very thick and chewy with perfect carb. Excellent. Thanks DrJay.

Viggo, Jun 25, 2005
Photo of DrJay
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy, deep auburn, nearly opaque, with ruby highlights topped by a thin, light brown head. Very malty aroma, quite sweet smelling, plenty of dark, ripe fruits, and some graininess. Hop aromas are present and provide some balance. The flavour is really big and is a masterful balancing act between the sweet caramel malt and assertive bitterness. Lots of ripe fruit and alcohol flavour, which provides a pleasant warming towards the end. It finishes off-dry with strong bitterness and caramel notes. Full bodied and moderately carbonated. This is a wonderfully complex beer. Now to find more....

DrJay, Jun 23, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2 1/2 years later, it's time for a new review with a new package style. the 26 ounce, swingtop ceramic type. The kind I hate, but went ahead and spent $13.45 on anyway...slap some celophane on me, and call me a sucker. At least I know it's good beer in here.

It poured flame -red, but is a dark mahogany in the glass, capped with a warm, cocoå-toned head, creamy and inviting.

Classy aroma. Cognac, well-tempered, ...strength doesn't scream, and flavor is subtle compared to the dragon's-breath of other, bolder barleywines. Dark fruit and leather, hints of chocolate, a mess of malt, with a friendly fleet of hops.

Taste: big, rich, and bitter are the main traits that jump on the palate and overtake the mouth, but in spite of it's bigness, this is actually a mellow, relaxing affair. Not too hot, not too alcoholic, not too punishing, juuust right.
Burnished brandy meets cocoa and cherries, in a sophisticated blend.

Long finish, very complex flavors, hangs definitely in the mouth, thoroughly full-bodied.

I'm going to run out for some seafood, to match curstacean for crustacean.
But, my, this is a nice reunion!
Truly a standard for the style.

feloniousmonk, Jun 22, 2005
Photo of bigbubba
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is dark brown with some red highlights. The head is tan but small. The head leaves tiny tight bubbles that lace the glass a bit. The smell is great, very sweet and fruity. Also a hint of wine and alcohol smell. The taste is very sweet but there is a lot of bitterness to balance it out. The aftertaste is very dry and bitter. The mouthfeel is good, a little on the thin side for an 11.3% barley wine, but enjoyable. The drinkability is OK. I couldn't sit down and have a bunch of these, but maybe someday I'll try.

bigbubba, Jun 13, 2005
Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle.

Ruby red with floaties and dregs. Light tan head with nice lacing.

Caramel, raisins, oak tannins in the nose.

Thick and syrupy with an impressive mouth coating. Talk about hops! Grapefruit and coniferus sap, a huge ass malt body, booze is well hidden. A roasted malt flavor comes out in the finish.

This is a very brash beer, and I like that. It took a period of a few months to savor 4 bottles, but Old Crusty is a damned fine brew.

Shultzerdugen, Jun 09, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass hazy deep dark amber with a frothy and tall tan head which lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was strong esters of fruits. The aroma was deeply malty with a strong caramel presence. The hop presence was critrusy and grassy, but melded well within the other aromatics. A malty Munich malt nuttiness was noted in the aroma as well.

The flavor was malty with a strong Munich malt nuttiness that is substantially hopped to give a very strong bittering component. The bittering was assertive enough to make the malt presence seem like a coffee bittering. The crock label read 120 IBU and that is certainly a believable number. The bittering and hop flavors are grassy with grapefruit. Also present was a substantial alcohol component in the flavor.

The finish was dry with hop bittering and hop flavor kicking you in the palate long into the aftertaste and letting you know that Old Crusty is not to be trifled with. The body was full and almost viscous. The alcohol was present mainly in the flavor and finish with a definite alcohol warming/burn after consumption.

750 ml black ceramic capped bottle with bail top. I've had Old Crusty before but never thought of it as being this agressive. This bottle was young and purchased out of the first batch of ceramics released by Rogue. Time might do this beast some justice.

GCBrewingCo, Jun 07, 2005
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at Volo the other night (IMO the best beer bar in TO). It pours a hazy burnished amber with a creamy moderate sized head and a small amount of lace. I was expecting a huge beer at 11.3 ABV and 130 IBUs and huge is an undertatement. The aroma is replete with thick resiny piney hops with some herbal spiciness and alcohol. The taste is like a kick in the teeth, apparently this beer mellows with age and is at its prime in a year after bottling. This was a very fresh sample and the brashness was still all there. the bracing hops have an almost turpentine quality in there intensity. Theres a bready thick malt base to provide (some) balance. The finish is goes on forever with cascading waves of pure bitterness. This is the longest finish I remember in a beer.

What an excellent ale, everything is in the right place. I want to try an aged version to compare. I can undertand why some people say this beer is too much when young.

CAMRAhardliner, Jun 05, 2005
Photo of Naerhu
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown opaque body with a small white head.
S - Resin, dark rum and tabacco aromas. Did I say resin, volcanos of the thick sappy aroma.
T - Massive tabacco, sweetness and bitterness coil around each other like fighting snakes. Maltiness punches through with a year and a half of aging since the last time I had this.
MF - Very little mouthwarming alcohol, extra smooth.
D - This certainly packs a punch. I had this after dinner and this one 350 bottle made me feel good.

Vintage 2002
Consumption 6/2005
Expiration date 2028.

Naerhu, Jun 04, 2005
Photo of HoboAGoGo
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2002 vintage, poured from the 12 oz bottle into about a 5 ounce serving in a flute. Very thin head on top of a deep red, rusty metal looking body. Smells of alcohol, prunes, some citrus and hops. Taste is sweet, thick, chewy malt, more prune plays alongside that, you can feel the warmth of the alcohol and the hops come in full view after having sticking to the tongue. I couldn't give it a higher rating on drinkability, because it's very strong, and I could only drink a little bit at a time, this was one ferocious beer.

HoboAGoGo, Jun 02, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz brewed in '04 poured into a pint glass.

Deep reddish brown with a light tan head lasts a few a few minutes until it falls to thin foam surrounded by a fat ring that leaves patchy lace.

Smells of figs and plums with citric hops and alcohol. Sugars and yeast are in there as well.

The taste has a lot of rich malt upfront that is followed by a hop blast tempered by alcohol. Very drying with a nice warming effect. Not for the weak.

Thick in the mouth, oily in the middle. A sipper for sure.

ypsifly, Jun 01, 2005
Photo of baiser
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep brown, with a thin film of foam. Thick and syrupy appearance. Aroma of caramel, liquor, dark fruits and malt. This is one smooth, full bodied and potent beer. I really appreciated the taste, but it's not something I'd consider one of my favourites. Complex flavours of ripe fruit, herbal flavours, hops, grapefruit, bitterness and alcohol. Finishes sweet and welcoming. It'll beat your tastebuds down over and over.

baiser, May 29, 2005
Photo of amicar
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours brownish- reddish- copperish color with thin persistent white head. Nice malty burnt roast on the nose with a sweetish citrus candy smell as well. The taste is pretty amazing- astoundingly hoppy, bitter and again those roast flavors. A little coarse, but warms the whole way down with the syrupy sweetness of it all. Fills the mouth and the flavor stays there for a very long time. Very easy to drink, but I can tell that this will get even better with time.

amicar, May 28, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle of 2003 pulled from the cellar; 12 oz. serving.

Pours a very deep ruby color with almost no head into a snifter.

Even after a couple of years, the hops are still pretty strong and assertive in the nose, along with some candied fruit, alcohol, and some raisiny notes.

Flavor is mellowed quite well. Alcohol warms the tongue as a nice little malt backbone builds under the bite of hops and alcohol. Candied fruit, port, and some bitterness are all present.

Overall: Not my favorite barleywine, but the aging has made this one pretty nice to sip slowly, and it gets more inviting as it warms.

whartontallboy, May 22, 2005
Photo of beercollector
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a bottle of 2001. It was a red amber. Poured with a small head with good lacing. This beer has a alcohol nose followed by a slight malt.

The palate started light and slick, there was little carbonation. It has an astringent bitter quality.

This had a fairly average tast surantion with a malt sweetness, followed by alcohol and then a slightly bitter aftertaste.

This is not a beer that I would drink numbers of. I have a vertical six pack that covers the little bottles up to the latest version. I would have have to share these with a friend as the mind would go fairly quickly if I drank a full six pack of these.

beercollector, May 09, 2005
Photo of Star80
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a mahogany color making this the darkest barley wine I've seen. Smell is sweet of malt, perhaps some hops. Taste is sweet, but backed by a hop kick that doesn't quickly fade. It kicks you in the ass all the way through! Very heavy mouthfeel; just what it should be. This is a good one and though I like the hop edge it could be cellar aged very well.

Star80, May 08, 2005
Photo of MrSeth
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque chalky brown color with a small tan head. Vinous malt and just a touch of hops are present in the nose. The complex malt flavors come across at first like one of those great British old ales [Gale's Prize Old Ale]. Toasty, with a subtle smokey character and a huge hoppy end. Clean finish, just right for the style. Deceptively great condition. This is one of those rare surprises where an ale looks very off at first but turns out to be grand. Whew!

MrSeth, Apr 23, 2005
Photo of jpwild240
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A charcoal-gray ceramic 750 mL bottle sits on my desk next to my computer. The pitter-patter of early-spring Virginia rain taps against my window... oh, sorry, you wanted a beer review, not a graphic novel.
The painted ceramic bottle seems quality, and one must imagine that the product within is quality as well. The little white sticker on the back that reads: $13.75 makes me hope that my assumptions are correct. Small icons on the back clue me in to the fact that this should be enjoyed with pork or dessert. I think. Just like a trip to the local mall filled with 14-year-old girls, I stare at the product and wonder how old it is; there is no bottled-on date. Also, there is no alcohol content either, so I wonder just what I'm getting myself into by opening this 25.36 oz. bottle today.

The only hint at what I'm getting into is the following info:
26° Plato
120 IBU
73.1 AA
38° LOVIBOND
The only thing I have any inkling about is the IBU. International Bitterness Units ... 120 sounds good :)

The bottle opens with a slight hiss. I pour a 12 oz. serving into a brandy-snifter and re-close the bottle with the provided stopper.
It pours thick, probably the thickest-looking barley wine I've ever had. Color is very dark amber, like a bock. Slightly hazy with just the slightest rim of laced Guinness-colored head.
The aroma is mild, sweet and very subtle. I honestly expected more pungency from the nose, but it's sweet and subtle. I'm getting the feeling this isn't a knock-your socks off type of barley wine style ale.
First sip. Mellow... very very smooth. Not overly sweet like Old Horizontal and others. Less spicy than Bigfoot... It's very similar to a mellow, well aged double bastard.
Mouth consistency is healthy, as should be expected from a barley wine. It goes down with very little hint of alcohol.
Pure taste: It seems to have the coriander hints of most Rogue brews. But compared to their other styles, this is the least stand-outish in the Rogue-style of brewing. I taste a slight cardboard aroma, like when you slice up a cardboard box and can smell the little fibers in the air. Not unpleasant though. Aftertaste from each sip Is pleasant, but a little bland. Personally, I like a barley wine to hang around in your mouth like the annoying guy who you were FORCED to invite to your Christmas party.
Possible improvements: I applaud Rogue for making a less-sweet barley wine, but I think they might've gone a little overboard. I would prefer this a tad sweeter, but I don't plan on taking any points off for that aspect, because I know I differ from the majority in that personal opinion.
ULTIMATELY: A quality barley wine. But frankly, the ability to pick the same amount of Double Bastard for more than $8 less, makes this particular barley wine EXTREMELY overpriced in my book. If you can find this cheaper, you may want to pick it up. Or, simply pick it up for the purpose of trying it. (Just so you can say you did.) It's good, just overpriced.

jpwild240, Apr 22, 2005
Photo of santoslhalper
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearence: Pours a dark, hazy ruby with a creamy beige head.

Smell: The smell is very spicy and alive, filled with alcohol, sweetness, pine and more alcohol.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is also very spicy and the alcohol his huge. I think this one pretty much should be cellered. The alcohol is a little uncalled for. The flavors are sticky sweet caramels and strong, strong hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is slick and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: Not a bad barleywine, but not the best. Another year or so and it'd be perfect. The alcohol is too outta control for me. It was pretty tasty though, and I can't say I didn't enjoy iy.

santoslhalper, Apr 21, 2005
Photo of Onceeven
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's been a while since I'd had a barleywine.. I almost forgot what I was missing.

Appearance: Deep hazy garnet, highlights sparkle ruby when held up to the light. Thin but substantive head. This beer looks dense.

Smell: Initial whiff of alcohol gives way to the scent of dark fruits (raisins,prunes). Chocolate comes to the forefront mixed with a caramel-like sweetness.

Taste: The alcohol prickles the tongue mixed with sugary sweetness. A bitter chocolate flavor reveals a prominent hop bite. There is so much going on with this beer, amazing!

Drinkability: Good considering it is a barleywine, an 11.3 abv at that. I may not be able to drink two in a row, but I'd definitely return to this brew. Perfect for a rainy day or cold night. Beers like this really open your eyes to the vast range of styles out there for our enjoyment. Brilliant.

Onceeven, Apr 13, 2005
Photo of 2ndstage
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow what a barley wine. Granted this was a 2004 vintage it will have quite awhile to age gracefully. First thing to hit you is the huge hop presence and intense bitterness. Malt balances it back out in a moment leaving you with a long fairly smooth finish for the IBU’s. Can’t wait to try some more in a few years.

2ndstage, Apr 13, 2005
Photo of TinusTime
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep garnet colour with not much head really just a rim off off white collar that sticks for a bit.. other than that you get a whisp swirling around. The aroma is of Sweet alcohol and dark fruits. Its a 2003 bottle so the hops are not so much in the face, but they are there. Taste is English Barleywine at first but even after 2 years the hops come back for a battle royal and dry this mother out.. Tasty rum spice cake with a hop back. Mouthfeel is good, as with a lot of High ABV its not the most carbonated beverage, but it goes down silky smooth. Drikability is great for a Barleywine of this magnitude.. However this was a 12oz 2 year old.. I would love to have more, but not sure that i would need 750ml of this for 13bucks in a black ceramic crock.. It is a good good good American barley wine however.

TinusTime, Apr 10, 2005
Photo of foamer
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a garnet with a light tan head which diminishes rather quickly - to be expected at that abv. Nose detectable at range. An explosion of malt with some hints of raisin and alcohol. I also get hints of cinnamon and brown sugar. A lot of malt at the outset upon tasting, developing to a plum/raisin taste and other dark fruits, thence to an alcohol warmth and finally to a surprisingly hoppy finish for a barleywine. Quite an interesting American barleywine. Very nice mouthfeel. A decidedly drinkable beer despite the abv. Quite marvellous.

foamer, Apr 06, 2005
XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
88 out of 100 based on 1,161 ratings.