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XS Old Crustacean - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean

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1,206 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,206
Reviews: 699
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 95
Gots: 126 | 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: 1,206 | Reviews: 699
Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter; 2013 vintage bottling, 10.75%. Pours hazy deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, raisin, plum, fig, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, herbal, floral, grass, pine, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/earthy hops, dark/bready malt, and dark fruit notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, raisin, plum, fig, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, raisin, plum, fig, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome complexity and balance of citrus/earthy hops, dark/bready malt, and dark fruit flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a smooth, creamy, and fairly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome American barleywine. All around great complexity and balance of citrus/earthy hops, dark/bready malt, and dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of Gavage
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a short 1/4" head. No lacing with this this beer.

Smell: loads of malt and dark fruit sweetness rise from the glass.

Taste: big malt profile with brown sugar, prunes, some mild fig flavors, alcohol, and a nice bitterness. Big and bold flavors that change as it warms.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Aftertaste is long as the malty goodness and alcohol warming last a while.

Drinkability: very nice for the style. A definite slow sipping beer but more than one glass could be had over the course of an evening.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: 2013 Vintage

A: Pours a relatively clear dark reddish amber in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation rising slowly from the bottom of the glass and moderate orange + garnet red highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy foamy dark beige head that reduces to a couple of small to medium sized thick patches surrounded by a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to heavy amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of spicy, citrus/grapefruit pith, citrus/grapefruit zest, and pine hops over the top moderate aromas of caramel + toffee malt sweetness.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of caramel + toffee malts with a hint of smokiness and just a touch of chocolate malts. That is followed by moderate flavors of spicy, citrus/grapefruit pith, and citrus/grapefruit zest which imparts a moderate to strong amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of dryness in the finish and some light amounts of alcohol warming.

O: This one is a very enjoyable though assertive American Barleywine with a really nice hop presence which does not seem to have faded much even with a little over a year of age on it. Pretty easy to drink though it is definitely a big beer and needs to be slowly sipped and enjoyed. Alcohol is pretty well hidden considering the strength of this brew.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Naja's Place, 2004 Vintage,

A: Pours a murky dark brown with a full tan head into a Chimay snifter, head has good retention.

S: Complex mix of malt and hop notes, some alcohol, pretty typical American barleywine smell.

T: This is really good. Only having had Old Crustacean fresh it was a joy to have it at 4 years old. Great hop character still, in comparison to the '04 Bigfoot I had after which was still excellent but much more a malt bomb. Excellent balance, full pine, grass and terpene flavour. Malt gives strong toffee and caramel, all the flavours are big, definitely aggressive, but they work really well together, excellent.

M: Strong, full-bodied and full of hop resin. Light carbonation after the aging gives it good drinkability.

D: This is an outstanding American Barleywine and the beer I think Rogue really shines in, a must try.

Photo of stakem
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, vintage 2002. Slightly rusted cap comes off with hardly a hiss of carbonation. However, the pour into a snifter yields a finger of creamy tan head. A light swirl agitates some bubbles from solution which holds around the edge of the glass and creates spotty lacework. This brew appears a dark brown color with lighter brown around the edges. When held to the light, it is a transparent color of deep ruby red.

The aroma of this brew is very sweet with hints of molasses, caramel, minor herbal hops, fruity booze like plum and raisins. Hints of chocolate and a very light touch of oxidation across the back. As this brew warms up, it picks up more scents of hops still present with fruity and rindy character somewhat like pulp. This brew smells very good with sweet indications that are very deceiving when you take your first sip.

The taste is big and boozy with a flavor of herbal hops. Some chocolate indications through the body provide a bit more bitterness that is lightly roasty. There is a huge hop presence in this brew with a very long lasting bitterness that tastes of a mixture of oily rinds. Quite toasty and almost a bit woody in flavor across the backend. Almost excessively hoppy in a way that some other flavors of this brew are still lost behind the bold hop inclusion.

This is a very bold brew with big fusel alcohol and even more dominating bitterness. For being 9 years old, I think it could continue to age for several more years. Medium to full bodied with a light, enjoyable level of carbonation. This is quite an oily bitter brew that seems a bit onesided in taste which is not what the aroma leads you to believe. Overall a very aggressive american style barleywine that is worth a try. I have a ceramic 750ml bottle that I have been ancy to open up, after having this experience I am in no rush to open it anytime in the next 10 years, it might need that much time to make it a bit more palatable.

Photo of Billolick
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of tempest
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, 10 year old keg on-tap at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse.

Red-amber in a 12 oz. glass. Poured without head but still left a delicate lacing. Smells amazing. Very sweet and fruity aroma, almost like a spiced rum. Taste is very complex, almost too much for me. Starts sweet with citrus, then very rich and fruity which fades out as bitterness comes in.

Nice mouthfeel with a pleasant bitterness. Fairly easy to drink for a 10 year old barleywine. Wow, best barleywine I've had to date. Damn!

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

Not sure of the vintage but I got a 10oz pour from the tap which I was surprised to see.

A- Old Crustacean holds a dark mix of brown mixed with some red when held towards the light. From the tap this produced a semi thick tan head that dwindled down to a skim. The head was able to be brought back with a few swirls while this left a sheet of lace.

S- A very intense barleywine with a big malt presense from a few varieties. Big caramel and toffee musk with a less prominent bready scent. Some chocolate even less coffee This would not be a rogue brew without some hops and this one has more than some with a big piney nose. Cant help but to notice some alcohol in this.

T- My god this is big. Crusty is highly hopped up with a big pine taste plus some floral qualities. This could not be that old of a vintage as the hops are still up there. Besides that, big malts on the toasted side with caramel and some bread. Also getting just a touch of dark fruit with some plums but very minimal. The alcohol is expertly hidden.

M- Not as hot as expected as the alcohol is there but does not intrude, there is some heat going down. A bit of bitterness from the hops that would of been much bigger if it was not for the big malt addition. Sweet and a breeze to take down in small sips, it's almost impossible to gilp this. An above medium feel with a good amount of carb.

D- Glad I had it on tap as the bottles are quite pricy and there is no way I could finish a big bottle of this. Even with being so big this was not all to hard to take down and was enjoyable. Being a Rouge product I expected big hops and while they were there they were not a problem actually enhancing the taste. I could see a uber fresh bottle of this being a problem. I need to lay one down for a decade as I would not be to inclined to open it.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

XS Old Crustacean
Rogue Ales
Style: American Barleywine
ABV: 11.50 %

LOOK: Amber hued brew with excellent clarity. Small, short livid head forms and recedes. Looks like a big Barleywine.

SMELL: Complex nose of fruit, spice, heat, and everything nice. Fruit borders on cherry/dark fruits. There is a peppery alcoholic spice aroma as well.

TASTE: Mildly fruity, strong, and hearty. Brown sugar, toffee, molasses, dates, and cherry all come through. Definitely a barleywine.

FEEL: Full bodied, well carbonated. Fruit, spice and alcohol in the finish.

OVERALL: This was a pleasant brew, strong, but never overbearing or not tasty. This would pair with a solid dinner like roasted pork loin and smashed potatoes.

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I tell ya, these 7 ounce bottles in the XS series sure make it easier on the wallet to tick. 110 IBU's? That sounds more Double IPA-esque than barleywine. From a 2010 Vintage, on to the beer:

Little head forms on the pour and it quickly drops into a paper-thin lace, though it does leave some legs on the glass. Glowing dark orange is the best that I can describe this beer's color. The aroma is disspointing as it doesn't jump out at you. Once you find light at the end, there's some tropical fruit punch aroma and cherry cough syrup. Still, I've had worse.

The flavor turns from sweet haven to brutal bitter within seconds of time on the palate. It's got an attractive passionfruit and fruit punch flavor at the begining, and if that were to last all the way through, a 4.5-5.0 score in taste would be granted. Instead, the tastes of ash, resin, and loads of aspirin pill are partially the result of using the hops needed to hit 110 IBU's (for you newbie's out there, Guinness has around 40). It truly is a bittersweet symphony. I want it, I don't want it. My palate is getting thrashed drinking this. Fortunately, some passionfruit and bready malt comes out in the aftertaste. The beer is medium-heavy, and quite tame for an 11.5% ABV beer. All that bitterness, however, is making the idea of a chaser refreshing.

Old Crustacean may be one of the most difficult beers that I've rated. It's got both a lot of good and a lot of bad. This could be a spectacular beer, but additional age may be the way to get there. Right now it's too brash.

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

2001 vintage bottle. Pours amber with a surprisingly great head given the abv and age. Smells big, bready, and slightly oxidized, but it is slight and the overall aroma is very nice. The taste is huge, and surprisingly bitter and dry, Much of the sweetness has gone out of this one and created more of an old ale. Very little citrus or oine flavors, just an earthy bitterness underlying the malty notes. The extreme earthiness of this one makes it a bit hard to drink too much of it, and that same bitterness coats the mouth as well. Very, very different to how i remember this fresh, and certainly more challenging in a way, but still good.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

XS series in swing-top ceramic bottle. Brought back from California to share with mates here in Sydney.

Pours incredibly thick - an amazing gelatinous blob of liquid in the glass. The head looks like newly formed hot toffee, the bubbles are so stuck in the body that rolling the beer around in the glass leaves them static where they were. Body is a majestic mahogany brown, head is a crackling lace of yellow bubbles. Phenomenal.

Lots of toffee-heavy sweetness on the nose, but also a huge resonant hop aroma, and an undeniable spirituous spiciness, coalescing together into one big bad-ass nose. Every thing is big. No getting away from it.

Taste is either wrong, or just insane. This is incredibly bitter, more so than the most insanely hopped DIPA. Despite the huge sweet aromas, there's almost none detectable here - the bittering hops hold the palate to ransom, strangling every little bit of life out of it. There is, meekly peeking around the corner, the usually brash flavour of alcohol, but the hop bitterness so utterly trumps it, ruling with an iron fist. I'm not sure I approve greatly. Mouthfeel is thick at least, like expected.

To be honest, I found this to be a terribly difficult beer. Everything before the first sip indicated a big, malty, rich barleywine, but the palate was so completely skewed in one direction that I was left reeling.

I prefer more balance in my beers, but it's hard to disrespect it.

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

Another good selection from Falling Rock in Denver. A cloudy brown pour with a thin, yet rick white head.
Smell is tough to discern. Some nuts and raisin it seems. A bit of caramel, too.
Taste is a bit odd for me. Mostly nutty and raisin, some dark fruit perhaps plum, but very discrete. The feel is a bit buttery or creamy, not my cup of 'tea'. Yet it is still good. I prefer some other BWs to this.

Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Unsure of vintage or dating here.

Muddy murky orange and light brown body, with a faint tan head that falls to a good collar, but a bit of a hazy top.

Nose is warm, inviting. Boozy malt and alcohol, figgy, warm pleasant spices of nutmeg slightly. Good dark sugars hide, not too cloying or syrupy, but big.

A good hop kick to this barleywine on the palate. Bitter mellow astringent hop, hits in the mid palate with a good thick warming malt body. Not much fruit like undertones to this, but a good solid malt backbone provides a good canvas. Mouthfeel is light, but full of flavor. Carries the flavors real nicely. Hints of pine and earth finish on the swallow, with a light bodied malt density. Seems like a contradictory statement, but it works.

Overall quite a good and very different from most barleywines. Nice to grab this one for a change.

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

Since Alabama "free'd the Hops" I reaped the benefits in Huntsville.
Poured a cloudy copper color with a thin, yet rich white head. Nose is hops, fruits, caramel and some pine. Taste is very good. Lots of hops and you can tell this things has serious IBU. Mostly nutty and raisin, some dark fruit perhaps plum, but very discrete.

Photo of wl0307
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in July 2006 at OnlyFineBeer, a fantastic beer shop in Chelmsford, but very pricey it was... Vintage 2002, served cool in a broad rimmed Kasteel goblet.

A: dark brown with ruby glows; poured with a faint beer head settling to a rim, on top of a static body.
S: dense flowery hoppyness, caramel malts, caramelised longan-fruits, alcohol-soaked small plums and raisins, backed by a touch of Chinese tea-smoked prunes; the sharp edge of sherry and woodiness dances in the air. Overall, it smells not so old for a 2002 vintage old ale, for it's still alive and kicking in its hop aroma and pretty intense and dangerous for its alcoholic edge!
T: quite oily-lubricating, dence and rich... the semi-liquidy and mildly sweet caramely malts come hand in hand with fat fresh hops with plenty of syrup as well as tea-tannins to chew... gradually the woody and roast-tea-leafy bitterness of hops and lightly smoked bitterness of longan-fruits (with shells) dominate the back of the palate, turning drier and drier and drier at its own pace, before hitting a peppery and spirit-like finish, packed of rum, madeira, and dry sherry, but lacking a delicate touch... feeling ve...ry warm down the throat; fortunately this burning kickback doesn't come up too early.
M&D: with an oily and syrupy-rich palate sparkled by micro-scopic fizziness, this is an absolutely 120%-bodied barley wine benefiting from a liveliness unlike any 5-year-old strong ale. As it breathes, the alc. edge considerably softens (or maybe because my tongue and throat have got used to it?!), allowing for a more colourful display of hops and malts. I can't imagine how it might have tasted when it was younger, while I take it that there's still plenty of room for it to mature, maybe for another five years~~ Recommended for patient, small sipping, better shared in small quantities as a digestif.

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Zorro
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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

(Served in a snifter)
bottled in 2010
A- This beer pours a hazy brown body with a slight burnt sienna hue to it and a thin wispy white foam head. There are a few big bubbles stuck to the base of the glass.

S- The sweet caramel wort aroma has a soft green hop pellet finish. As the beer opens up there is a fresh silage note and some dog biscuit notes in there aswell.

T- The big bitter hops have a dandelion bitterness all the way to the finish. There is a faint papery caramel sweetness that pops through but it remains in the background.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a slightly slippery texture and a tight fizz. There is a very soft alcohol warmth in the finish.

O- There is no real malt backbone in this and the only hops are bitterness with no real aroma or flavor hops.

Photo of akorsak
3.41/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the infamous ceramic flip top bottles.

A: The ale is a deep dark brown color with a small head.

S: The ale has a slightly malty aroma but no hops whatsoever (compared to, say, Old Ruffian).

T: The malty aroma is very sweet, giving the ale a chewy character. There is a hint of hops, but not enough to satisfy an American Barley Wine.

M: The mouthfeel is nondescript and not very memorable.

D: The bang for the buck was terrible, $13 for a malt bomb that falls short on the hop side.

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XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,206 ratings.