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XS Old Crustacean - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,195 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,195
Reviews: 695
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 91
Gots: 123 | 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: 1,195 | Reviews: 695 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beercollector
3.61/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of Star80
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of MrSeth
4.37/5  rDev +9%
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!

Photo of jpwild240
3.49/5  rDev -13%
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
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.

Photo of santoslhalper
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

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

It's been a while since I'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.

Photo of 2ndstage
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of TinusTime
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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.

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

The 2nd bottle of 750ml Old Crustacean I've ever opened. It has an immense malt backbone and the perfect amount of hop bitterness to balance. Some definite alcohol warming, but not sharp or overpowering. Some fruity esters and citrusy hop presence in the aroma. Very enjoyable!

I have to say, the new black bottle with the crown cap AND grölsch style cap is very very cool. I always thought it would be great to make a beer in a black bottle, because this is the next step up from brown glass. Can't trust store clerks or BevMo employees to take good care of the fruits of your labor. This way there is NO chance of light getting in and skunking up your perfectly good beer. The grölsch cap is great because you can keep it for later. With this size of bottle, you technically SHOULD, but the beer is so good, you want to keep (slowly) sipping and savoring until suddenly you notice the entire container is empty.

This may seem unrelated, but the first time I cracked a bottle of old crustacean, I somehow created a lake in my kitchen by overflowing my sink. It was my first beer of the day, which I sipped while brewing a porter on my back patio. There is something about this beer.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to orbitalr0x for sharing this with me. IT poured a dirty brown color with a ring of head that sits nicely atop the beer. The nose is a deep sweet caramel wtih a bit of hop. Maybe a touch of raiseny sweetness. The flavor is big hop. Peppery, spicey, slightly woody. A bit of alcohol comes through but the big bitter on the finish is a bit over the top for me, and I like hops. I don't find balance in this. The feel is thick and syrupy, pretty good. Overall, I was less than impressed. I would call this a mediocre barleywine. What I do have to respect is that it rings in at 11.3% and that is very well hidden. That definately scores points.

Photo of Gaisgeil
2.5/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Oh my lord, talk about bitter!

Now, I love my hops as much as the next BA, but sometimes a brew goes over the top and really kills it, this is definatly one of those.

Pours a dark and rich brown with red tones and a thick tan head, with a bit of retention. Nose is quite hoppy, a bit floral, traces of malt and a certain spiciness, nice. Taste is wicked, atrocious. This just is not my thing at all. I can taste some of the malt and some other miscellanious flavors, but the bitterness just destroy everything in it's path. Maybe some cellaring would even this one out, but as is... I'll definatly pass. I'm amazed I finished the bottle. This is one of those time I just am not seeing what most everyone around here seems to be thinking. The most I can say is at least it was quite warming, and the alcohol wasn't very apparent. Live and learn.


Photo of LiamStLiam
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Drinking at room temperature.

Pours a dark, dark red, light brown head.

Deep, sweet, malty nose.

Almost heavy taste. Sweet and full. A lot at the top of the palate for a long time, and at the middle-front of the tongue. Finishes of up to two minutes at points.

Much less sweet on second and third taste. Holds a long, long time.

A very long finish, typical of what I have found in barleywines.

$3.29 for 12 ounces, so a good treat.

2004 vintage. I should get another and cellar it.

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 Vintage

Wish I had layed this beer down for a while. Still good, but I can see where it improves with age. May pick up some more to put away for a couple of years.

The beer poured a dark, dark amber in color with only a scummy head of note. The scum created a "hurrican eye" and was actually quite fun to look at and play with.

The aroma was all toffee and malts. Very cloying to the inside of the nose.

The taste is very deep. Not sure how else to describe it. All the flavors are "old." There is toffee and coffee. Chocolate. Malts are sticky. The hops greatly help balance it out, but are a big wallop. But very nice nonetheless.

Like I said, this beer is very cloying and that fairly describes the mouthfeel.

Now would I want this beer again? Hmmm... Honestly, Yes I would and I see it sparingly enough that I would buy it again if I do see it, but if it was in my basket and i needed to make a cut for the sake of price it would most likely be on the chopping block.

Photo of acrawf6
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow this beer tastes so concentrated. Very rich flavor! but this could be because of the vintage... its only a year old. Pours out a very dark ruby color.

Aroma in rogues all smell the same to me. I couldnt tell you the difference from one to the other. but if i had to say anything maybe some caramel.

Taste is, again, very rich and bitter. The mouthfeel is very full.

overall i think the drinkability would be better if i would have waited from opening up this one. But overall i think it is a great beer to enjoy one at a time.

Photo of gbontrag
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

That's soaked fruits, I can see 'm and smell 'm soon as I pour.
Dark, fuzzy crimson. Tan froth cloaks the glass. Yeah, dried fruits soaked in molasses simple syrup, and doused with grand marnier then burnt. Sprinkle with amaretto, garnish with a mint sprig and greek oregano essential oil. Serve with a shot of >raisin liquer?< Too bad it's numbing.

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

2004 vintage. 12 ounce XS bottle. Old Crustacean is a dark reddish-brown with a minimal head. Aroma is strongly and solely of west coast hops. Holy hell this is a hoppy beer, even compared to Stone Ruination. Is this a barleywine or a DIPA? Luckily the hops mellow out just enough as the beer warms up to make the big malt flavors noticable. Still hops dominate big time, especially in the finish. The 120 IBUs are definently noticed here. Drinkability is a little low, the high ABV and the super hoppiness make this tough to have more than one or two. I'm definently going to save my second bottle and try it in a year or two.

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

"rainbow" case from wheatland distributors (lancaster, pa) (XS brews, w/ impy stout & 2ipa). unmarked box, which was oddly assuring (old crusty don't need no fancy box)

2004 vintage

deep garnet with 1.5 fingers off-white head that dissipated but remained as a coating and left some nice lacing

really citrusy hop aroma with some dried fruit and lots of caramel sweetness

IMO the taste could almost pass for an impy stout (at least the one i've produced on my own) with its rich toffee and mocha flavors. i actually sense something here similar to something in their mocha porter: a certain roasty bitterness

this stuff is real good. damn

Photo of ElGordo
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 12oz bottle

Pours into my Duvel tulip glass a cloudy deep burgundy hue with orange highlights. About a half-inch worth of tan-colored head tops it off then mostly subsides after a few minutes. Huge, beautiful nose of spicy hops, whisky malt, and lots of alcohol, accented with notes of brown sugar, figs, and a touch of black pepper.
Palate is...wow, this is tough. Initially, my take was that this is a very caustic and unpleasant beer. After a few sips, though, and getting past the huge whallop of alcohol, I can comment better. Begins rather sweet, with a roasted malt profile with notes of figs and raisins. Huge, floral hops come out mid-palate, becoming bitter towards the back of the mouth. The body is substantial - syrupy, sticky, and everything you'd expect from a huge beer from Rogue. Unfortunately, halfway through the bottle I feel like I can't take any more. Don't worry, I'll finish it, but I can't give it high marks on drinkability. Otherwise, it's wonderful.

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

2005 750 ML Ceramic Swingtop Yuppie-Bait Bottle:

Pours an exceedingly dark (for a barleywine) almost black with one finger of tan head that dissipates quickly, but not too quickly. Beautiful lacing...

There are minor roasty notes in the aroma, with strange tobacco elements and a hint of dark caramel and citrus hops. Chewey and slightly chocolately but with caramelized sugar - like smores or rocky-road.

On the first sip there is massively overwhelming hop bitterness. I'm going to have to take this slowly to pick up on the rest of it, maybe grab some cheese and crackers to cleanse... Burnt charcoal and chewing tobbacco come next. I say goddamn, this doesn't taste like caramelized fruit, it tastes like burnt fruit. Massively devastating to the palate when fresh, I doubt anything can stand up to this...

The mouthfeels is big and sharp and piercing, and leaves you bleeding. Acrid and massively bitter, this is the anti-smooth.

Damn, this is the first time in two years that I've had Old Crusty when fresh, and I shan't say I'll do it again soon. When fresh, this is just too rough. Let this sleep a few years at least.

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

This sample bottled 2003.
Nice oxidation with good sherry tones, not too sweet. rich but not excessively so.
Dark amber of dep red (mahogany). Somewhat cloudy. Smallish head.
Wow. Greatly complex initial sip! Alcohol dominates at first. The moderately nice fruity malt with subtle sherry tones. Then the hoppy bitterness kicks in the middle to a long hoppy dry finish. Full hop experience with just enough malt backing.
For an almost 2 year old bottle the hop presence remains intense.
Feel is adequate, but not as soft or smooth as some others. A fine carbonation.
I take a little off for the intense often burning alcohol quality. Otherwise this is quite good.
Thanks to Mark at 3 Corners for this sample.

Photo of krberg
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1


Deep deep brown with burgundy highlights. Suprisingly large, but rapidly dissipating head.

BIG malt smell. Some hints of what may have been hops 3 years ago. There is another strong smell I cannot place. Not unpleasant, just unknown.

Wow is that smooth! Slight co2 tingle. Lots of warming alcohol in the finish. Just enough hops left to leave a slight bitterness in my mouth and on my tongue. 11.3?!

Feels slick and rich like a barleywine should.

This one would hurt me. This one may hurt me. Delicious but a nightcap.

This one has held up very well. I find old crusty undrinkable when fresh and have been dying to get my hands on an aged bottle for a few years now. I may have to buy my LBS's stock of these before someone else does. Too bad they don't come in the nip bottles anymore.

EDIT: I can feel it warming my ears.

Photo of SBPCGuru
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark caramel color when poured out of the glass to a ever so small head that quickly dissipated. I am left with a thin ring of lacing around the beer. The beer starts off with a sweet malty flavor followed by a huge hit of hops bitters. I was not ready for this bitterness explosion in my mouth and it is still lingering around. Man, this is one bitter barleywine. But, I got back to the name of this beer and study it "Old Crustacean". Crustaceans have hard crusts or shells like the old and bitter guy on the bottle. Seems to make sense to me now. I find this to be a unique barleywine and cannot wait to try it in a year after mellowing out the rough edges. Thanks again Rogue!

Photo of cncbofh
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pour started as a tawny port and then turned a nightmare black. Very minimal head with big bubbles that ran to the top and promptly disappeared.

The smell was detectable immediately... pop went the cap and Oh Man... my nose was in heaven. Heavenly nose of currants, blackberries, pepper, juniper berries and roasty earth...

The taste was sweet upon entering and bitter going down. Similar flavors to the Sam Adams Triple Bock. Loads of sweet aged fruit, oak, malt, and tawny port initially, followed by an overwhelming bitterness - certainly from the Centennial and Chinook hops. A slight soy sauce and medicinal aftertaste.

As with most of Rogue's offerings the hops tend to be overwhelming - and that is why this one gets a low drinkability score from me... One is incredible... Two maybe... Three is torture on the tastebuds.

Excellent brew from Rogue.

Photo of SaunaKing
2.85/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The crustacean doesn't agree with me. oh well.
It poured a nice rusty copper color that changed as the background changed with a small tan head that quickly gave way.
The aroma is very powerful, I could smell it as I poured into a glass. Strong fruity smells, a mix of squished berries. The taste reminds me of black currants overwhelming the malt. Tangy mouthfeel but the alcohol is nicely disguised. Not really to my liking. I prefered the last barleywine I tried but neither are my preferred style.

XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,195 ratings.