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XS Old Crustacean - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,101 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,101
Reviews: 688
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 80
Gots: 106 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Formerly "Old Crustacean"

8 Ingredients:
Hugh Baird Carastan and Rogue Micro Barley Farm DareTM & RiskTM Malts; Chinook and Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution & Freedom Hops, Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

110 IBU
83 AA
57º Lovibond

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-03-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of XS Old Crustacean Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,101 | Reviews: 688 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joecast


3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

deep burgandy color with a small head of fine tan bubbles.
bitter floral aroma with strong hints of citrus and alcohol.
huge bitterness mixes with alcohol leaving the malt to make up what is left. the alcohol is just about overpowering in the flavor. only traces of dark chocolate manage to peek out from behind.
mouthfeel is effervescent leaving a tingling sensation.
flavor mellows slightly as it warms.
well, what can i say. its the first beer to make me feel unworthy, though not through superiority, through sheer intimidation. a real bully of a beer. 'tis a barleywine that demands respect.
leaves with a feeling of warmth not only in the belly but in the back of the mouth as well.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2004 12:21:56 | More by joecast
Photo of meathookjones


4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This 12oz was bottled in 2002. Pours a deep reddish brown color with a tan head that leaves a little bit of nice looking lace around the glass as it is consumed. Aroma smell of sweet fruits, citrus hops with a bit of alcohol. The taste is very sharp at first with a big bitterness followed sweet malt flavors and alcohol. This was a bit rough on the first sip but got better as it was consumed. Mouthfeel is full and creamy and it goes down fairly easily considering the bitterness and alcohol tastes. Overall a great barley wine that could probably stand to age another year or so.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2004 18:41:59 | More by meathookjones
Photo of cbl2

New York

3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


An opaque brownish orange with a faint tan head.


I've tried and tried, but for some reason I'm not getting a lot of odor from this one. Some faint citrus fruit, but nothing jumps out.


This is a big beer, and the first sip announces that. Loads of alcohol and crazy hop levels lead me to dislike this at first, but some caramel sweet aspects peek in towards the end to bring it back more into my realm. That sweetness is replaced again by the hops for a slightly bitter finish, but overall this is an excellent Barley wine once you let it warm slightly.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2004 18:34:37 | More by cbl2
Photo of PSUDREW


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

come on everyone, time to sing...

(orangy) red, red (barley) wiiinnnneee, sooo goood to meee, (orangy) red red (barley) wine...

sigh. 2002 XS version is what I am reviewing. Very interesting beer, IMO. Has a dark, deep orangy-red color. Not very see-though, as it were. Has a foamy, thick lightly orange head. Loads of sediment are in my glass, and it gives it an interesting visual.

Smells bready-sweet. Very rich and deeply so. Nice nose, and, gives it s nice aspect when drinking it down. The taste...well, that is an interesting mix too. Sweet maly taste is the 1st thing that hits you, albeit briefly. Then the alchohol mixes in. so then you have a warm tingly feeling and a sweetness behind it, pushing it's way through. Finished with a distinct, bitter, hoppy aftertaste. But, IMO it all mixes, almost indistinguishably. It mixes so nicely too. Mmmm

Thick mouhtfeel, but still highly drinkable. Wow, this brew really impressed me!

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2004 03:25:19 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of Zorro


3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2003 Vintage.

Pours a cloudy deep red brew.

Smell is of nice herbal hops and malt; the alcohol brings up a faint scent of whiskey. Raisin and prune scents are the dominant sweet scents in this.

Taste is sweet and quite bitter. Brash hops hit your tongue and slap the sweetness down. The bottle says it is 120 IBU and I can believe that. The bitterness kills all the subtle flavors.

Mouthfeel is quite good.

Not a super drinkable brew makes a good one to shock your taste buds.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2004 05:20:44 | More by Zorro
Photo of travolta


3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lacing was good, head was tan. The beer was amber.

Grapes, malt, hops, molasses, applecider, roasted cofee.

Bitter at first, tastes like a barley wine should only a little hoppier. It was very light and smooth on the tounge at the begining of the taste. Ethanol alcohol a bit at the end. Creamy mouthfeel.

Notes: Not blown away, but a good drink.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2004 20:18:21 | More by travolta
Photo of watermelonman


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

This poured to a very dark brown with a really thin but dark head. There's not too much lace but it looks nice.

Its taste is sharp and abrupt up front, with lingering hints of malts and alcohol.

The mouthfeel is sharp and potent, like any other good barleywine. All things considered, it's pretty drinkable too.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2004 06:58:43 | More by watermelonman
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, brewed in 2002. Pours darkest amber, minimal carbonation and head, Tiny bubles, leaves some lacing. Not much nose detected. Mouthfel is smooth, rich and lucious. Vinious, strong alcohol presence. Lovely malt backbone. Hops more subtle, but grainyness is evident. Very strong BW, well crafted, this is a nice sipper, excellent night capper.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2004 02:26:51 | More by Billolick
Photo of sulldaddy


3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was my second beer of the nite at Delaney's.
2002 vintage on tap!! Sampling was 5/15/04 (my birthday!)

The beer is served in a flute glass and is a very dark mahogany color on the pour. I get a small beige creamy head as well.
The aroma is very mild with some malty toffee and caramel, not really any hop scents which surprises me a little.
First sip, big thick body with nearly no carbonation. I get a huge hit of alcohol up front and then flavors of prunes, ripe pears and some toffee too. Not really a strong hop presence in taste but perhaps some piney hops mixed in on the finish. I think the alcohol really dominates and warms me as I drink it.
The hops have definitely faded a little on this one. This is a real treat and I would try it again, just be ready for a big beer!

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2004 14:04:09 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of Tballz420


4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2002 reviewed in 2004

This beer has a dark purple/brown colored body, small khaki colored head on top. Big mnalt scent, chocolate and syrup. The taste has an intense malt character, with a bitter hop backbone. Chewy mouthfeel, sticks to the throat as well. The alcohol becomes evident as the beer warms. This beer is not for pussies, and will leave you feeling old and crusty when youre done.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2004 20:14:58 | More by Tballz420
Photo of kmo1030


4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

dark brown with a light red hue, hazy with a tan head. fresh piney hop aroma, with citrus and fruity brown sugar. quite hoppy with mostly oily piney hops. brown sugar, berries and oranges. toffee flavors emerge as the beer warms, creating a very pleasant complexity. really nice just shy of full bodied beer with a perfect amount of light carbonation. the alcohol is definitely present, but not overwhelming, but when coupled with an intensely bitter hop aftertaste, the drinkability of this great tasting beer takes a slight hit from what it maybe should be. this is one of the few instances in which i will say that i wish there were a little less hops; not in the taste but the aftertaste. with age to mellow the hops a bit, i think this has potential for greatness. i'll be picking up a few more bottles to find out.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2004 21:26:04 | More by kmo1030
Photo of drewbage


4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 Vintage served from the bottle at The Bayou in Salt Lake City.

12 oz bottle into a straight side “pint” glass

Deep tawny chocolate brown with virtually no head.

Aroma is deep caramel malt, alcohol and resiny rough grapefuity hops.

Flavor starts sweet with molasses and brown sugar. Rising godzilla like from these deep swampy mucks of flavor is the warming fire tandem of bitter piney hops which sweep the tongue of most of the malt. What is left is quickly removed by the warming alcohol that leaves a mulled ale feeling in your throat.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2004 22:18:32 | More by drewbage
Photo of UnionMade


4.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

1995 Vintage, drunk fall 2003. Served in a snifter.
The beer is a deep amber red, a thin collar of foam bordering a couple large patches of mist. Great clarity, pretty much perfectly transparent. The head thins down to a weak collar, leaving large cobwebs of lace trailing down the glass.
The aroma is incredibly smooth, refined with age. All the aromas seem to melt together, with the hops very much diminished, allowing the subtle nuances of the malt to shine. Extremely smoothed out, with a thick, caramelly maltiness dominating. The alcohol is still present, although much diminished, a vinous character acquired with the 8 years or so of aging. The malt is glazed with a soft nuttiness, hinting at both almond and pecan. A brush of fruitiness lingers, weaving in and out of the vinous texture. Still plenty of prune, with hints of black cherry and currant having been acquired in the cellar. The hops have receded quite a bit, a resiny pine scent trembling with old age, although still retaining the virile, youthful strength of it's once strong grip.
The flavor has changed so much, starting with a huge, syrupy malt sweetness. Heaps of burnt caramel, maybe a bit of peat buried below, with a heavy vinous touch. Mellowed, sun baked prune eases it's way in, hints of apple and plum very diminshed, replaced by red grape, black cherry, currant and fig. The fruitiness lingers through the sip, carried by the vinous character of the malt. The finish is still hoppy, although it's subdued enough to allow the malt it's moment, finally. Sappy pine and earthy herbal flavor melds with a soft almond nuttiness, with a stooped brush of alcohol creating a heating blanket of warmth going down. A rich, fruity, vinous maltiness lingers on the tongue long after the last sip is downed. The body is thick and sticky, a much mellowed, soft carbonation rocking it along the palate. The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, acquiring an aged port-ness in it's body and feel.
Still a powerful brew, even in it's old age. I was very fortunate to catch this on tap, which the folks at Rogue brought so graciously for their tasting at my local. The fresh version is inspired, but this is sublime. Like a talented young artist with a brilliant career, creating his finest masterpiece in the autumn of life. Quite a brew with enough age on it, worth hanging onto a couple bottles for this kind of experience.

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2004 07:47:26 | More by UnionMade


4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2002 edition.
This barleywine pours a beautiful deep amber color. The nose is very malty, smells a lot like a really good wee heavy scotch ale, due to the malts and alcohol present.
The taste is absolutely incredible. Throughout the spectrum of temperatures, alcohol is pronounced up front, but never a nuisance. The IBU rating is 120, and it shows with a very unique, sharp bitterness. The presence of the Chinook produces a flavor I feel unequipped to put into words. As the glass warms, the hops lose some of their intensity, giving way to a myriad of different flavors to pick out. Every single sip of this nectar can be interpreted differently, it is so complex.
When there were about 1 or 2 sips left in the glass, I took the empty bottle and poured in whatever had clung to the sides during the pour. Dark brown sludge. And so damn tasty. And all gone...
I'm stocking up on the current release, to set aside for maturation. Also, going back to the store that had 2002 on the shelf and buying whatever remains.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2004 14:42:40 | More by GIVEMEBACKMYSON
Photo of cedricwarner


4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep Caramel Brown color, practically no head. Aroma of a freshly baked cinnamon rolls and raisins. Bittersweet warmth, full flavored, minimal carbonation. Not sure how long is the ideal aging for this beer should be, but I can't imagining it getting much better. A very tasty barleywine, and not too pricy either. 2001 bottling sampled 07th of April, 2004.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2004 22:17:14 | More by cedricwarner
Photo of rkhaze


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2002 bottling. Poured a slightly hazy bright amber with red highlights. Small creamy beige head that coated the inside of the glass rather nicely. Smells of spicy, citrusy hops. Sweet malt, caramel, dark red fruit and a noticeable alcohol presence.
Sweet earthy tangy malt flavor. Butterscotch, caramel and toffee. The alcohol really came through in the taste but more in a brandy soaked fruit way. HUGE spicy, resinous hop profile. The bitterness was almost a little too much... and I'm a hophead! Seemed to throw it out of balance and lingered on the palate viciously.
Excellent mouthfeel. Rich, creamy and slightly oily. Perfect amount of carbonation.
Wow, huge beer! This is two years old and still seemed a bit young and harsh. Will probably age and improve for years to come.
Damn! That was my last bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2004 00:14:51 | More by rkhaze
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy mahogany witha thin tan head. Some light lace. Smells of sweet caramel malt with assertive hop aromas. Big malt and some alcohol smells as well.

Taste is an alcohol burn up front. Spicy and swet caramel. Richly malty sweetness. A very strong hop bite. Big hops for big malt. Very well balanced. The hops dominate the finish and the aftertaste. Chewy malt, like molasses. Really smooth and drinkable, even though this is probably a bit young for peak flavors. I am going to lay some of these down.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2004 02:14:25 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of Fish113d


4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opening this, it appeared to be a dark-amber in color, which did not give much head, but did form some edge"line" around the goblet. I served it at room temperature which I do for most of my beers I taste. This barleywine is very floral in aroma, with a hint of sugar or caramel mixed in there somewhere. Upon tasting this, it gave first a sweet taste (caramel), and some hints of fruit come through, particularly raisins, but soon became more of a sour hoppy taste overall, in which the alcohol came through very apparently more at the end. 11.3%???? Yeah right! I am betting the ABV is more around 14-15% at this point (bottled in 2002). This beer has a great texture; creamy, smooth, but has some kick at the ass-end due to the alcohol. The carbonation is stingy at the front on my tongue and maintains itself throughout. I really enjoy this fine Rogue beverage....yet again why they are as good as they are!

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2004 02:29:34 | More by Fish113d
Photo of merlin48


3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I will preface this review by admitting that I'm not a big fan of barleywines. This 12 oz bottle of the 2002 edition pours a deep, chesnut brown, with no head and no lacing.
Aroma is very much like a sherry or port wine, but has some floral hops notes in the background.
Mouthfeel has a slight hops bite, an alcohol presence, and is minimally carbonated.
Taste begins dry and bitter, with a vinous alcohol dominance. Sweet maltiness emerges as the tulip glass warms, and an abundance of dark fruits make their presence known. Plums and vodka-soaked raisins are very apparent in the profile, but a vinous and hoppy bitterness maintain authority over the flavor profile.
This Crusty reminds me of a strong Belgian dark ale, minus the spices and yeast character. Overall, a nice introduction to the barleywine style.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2004 20:06:24 | More by merlin48
Photo of faernt


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

This one has the deep mahogany color I've come to expect in an Old Ale or Barleywine. It looks like Bigfoot and Old Foghorn and Third Coast Old Ale and Old Stock Ale. I consider that a compliment and sometime I will try them all in a "hand" of beer some evening when I don't plan on doing anything else.

It threw a big, beguiling aroma into the room when I poured it. It was a combination of Port and Balsamic Vinegar. It isn't either but a blend of both. I consider this 2002 bottling somewhat young for Old Crustacean but it is good enough to check (regularly). To me, a good barleywine is one that tastes good young and aged. This stuff about American Barleywines being great young but not aging very well is not all together true.

It tastes great. There is just a little butteriness behind the dance of hops and malt. This is what I'm enjoying. There is no dominance of hop or malt; just this blend. I expected a hop predominance but no. Even this young, the balance is here.

The mouthfeel is the true contribution to this beer. It's silky. The buttery backbeat amplifies this. It has a big body (Rogue style). My compliments to the brewery for representing all these years. I've been drinking Rogue since the mid 90's and they continue to impress. Their consistency is in their exhuberance.

Old Crustacean is very drinkable. I refuse to consider drinkability by how many I will drink in a session. No Barleywine will ever be a session beer. My basis in drinkability is "will I come back to this again and again". Yes!

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2004 04:55:26 | More by faernt
Photo of RootedFool


4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

"Bottled in 2002."

Pours tenebrous crimson into my tulip glass, barely a head of bright white foam dissipates into greasy swirls on the surface of the brew. Several large chunks of yeast settle on the bottom of the glass.

Smell is a rich, earthy pillow of floral hops, bready malt sweetness, and some bright fruity notes like berries (raspberries, blueberries).

Taste opens with a violent tango of hops and malt -- intense bitterness on one hand, dense sweetness (like rum drunk raisins) on the other. The bitterness increases toward the middle, skyrocketing around my palate right through to the finish. Aftertaste is what I imagine it must taste like to suck on a hop cone, but not entirely -- there's still a vague spine of malt sweetness lingering like a shadow in the corner of the bitterness. Hey, I love it!

As the brew warms, the malts come through a little stronger -- like a nice, light crust of caramel over the slam-dancing hops.

High as the ABV is, I don't detect it in the taste -- feeling it in my gut and nose, warmly vibrating.

Mouthfeel is creamy -- the consistency of whole milk -- and surprisingly, after all this time, has some carbonation.

This is, hands down, the hoppiest barleywine I've had, and one of the most enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2004 02:31:21 | More by RootedFool
Photo of Imbiber

New York

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Henry Street Ale House, Brooklyn. Deep reddish-brown, good tan head with some lacing. Aroma was alcoholic with some hops detected, not too strong; a bit sherry-like. Taste was big and warming, there was a marked bitterness from the hops which increased steadily as the balancing maltiness was overpowered and faded out. Alcohol could be tasted too, giving a nice warming sensation (good timing as there was a blizzard raging outside). A slight hint of burnt malt came through too towards the end. The finish was bitter with a good, long aftertaste.

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2004 17:06:06 | More by Imbiber
Photo of Southernbrew


4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up to try, first barley wine, kind of curious.

Pours a dark reddish-brown, very little head.

Strong hops aroma, some ripe fruit and sweetness.

Very thick body, lots of hops here. Very strong flavors, definitely meant for sipping. Lots of spice, very warming, you feel every bit of the alcohol. Strong bitterness, hard to describe well.

A good brew but I struggled with it. I think I'll pick up a couple more and see what a couple years aging does.

2002 Version: The hops are still running wild, but the spiciness has mellowed, while still leaving plenty of bitterness. It is also more sweet with definite caramel notes. I don't notice the "tobacco" flavor so many have mentioned. Absolutely delicious!

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2004 16:38:18 | More by Southernbrew
Photo of woemad


3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.Bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $3.39.

Poured a cloud, dark amber color, with a tight tan head. Head didn't stick around for long. Not much lacing.

Smell is BIG! Huge sharp hop scent and big sugary maltiness. I don't know if its balanced or just two huge scents filling the same glass.

Taste is like the smell: HUGE! Actually huge doesn't do it justice - how about GARGANTUAN or COLOSSAL. This beer is actually too big for me (first time that's happened). I really didn't care for the extreme nature of this. Perhaps if aged for a few more years and allowed to mellow I would like it better. This is not so much balanced between its hoppy and malty aspects as it is a beer in which massive hoppiness and maltiness are engaged in all out war with one another. There is a big alcohol taste to this (not surprising considering its abv) which I found a bit overpowering.

Mouthfeel is the last thing I'm considering as I drink this. I'm just calling it good because I can't find any reason not to.

Drinkability - only if you plan on going nowhere. I find it hard to imagine getting this on tap anywhere unless they strictly limit the number of pints someone can have of this. While I've downed imperial stouts at 10%abv without a second thought, this is simply too much for me. Is it a bad beer? No - otherwise, my scoring would have been brutal. It's just not my cup of tea

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2004 09:02:45 | More by woemad
Photo of govtmule


4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

3-12-04, on-tap at Eli Cannon's

It was served in a small tulip glass. Temp was a nice chill. It had about an 1.5 inch head that stayed to near end. The color was a dark reddish black. It may have been the lighting but it seemed almost purple. Lots of hops, not too much though. Hoppy, some fruit but spicy and plenty of alcohol. Pretty good balance though and not overpowering.

I had it with dinner, but I think it would have been better alone. It demands your attention.

Serving type: on-tap

03-15-2004 22:18:22 | More by govtmule
XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,101 ratings.