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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
90
outstanding

1,142 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,142
Reviews: 688
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.72%
Wants: 86
Gots: 113 | 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.

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: 1,142 | Reviews: 688 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tempest
4.53/5  rDev +13%

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!

tempest, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

barleywinefiend, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of wl0307
4.25/5  rDev +6%

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.

wl0307, Jul 05, 2007
Photo of Billolick
4.13/5  rDev +3%

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.

Billolick, May 22, 2004
Photo of stakem
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%

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.

stakem, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

Georgiabeer, May 07, 2008
Photo of drewone
3.25/5  rDev -19%

drewone, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of akorsak
3.43/5  rDev -14.5%

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.

akorsak, Sep 24, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%

(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.

rhoadsrage, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of DoubleJ
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%

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.

DoubleJ, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of jdhilt
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Pours with a thick frothy head and leaves a serious lace. The bitterness is the taste that comes through. Their site lists the IBU at 120!! Good body, murky reddish brown - it is unfiltered. Hoppy finish. I'm going to keep a 22oz cellared for a year or so and see how it mellows.

jdhilt, Feb 22, 2003
Photo of Zorro
3.73/5  rDev -7%

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.

Zorro, Jun 15, 2004
Photo of BARFLYB
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%

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.

BARFLYB, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev -0.2%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%

2006 Vintage
750ml Ceramic Bottle/Swing Top

Poured into a chalice a nice deep brown color, nice carbonation, very nice one-finger creamy tannish head, which left a nice puddle of sticky lacing in the center of the glass. The nose is malty, hoppy, nice tone of spices, dark fruits, and caramel. The taste is very nice and smooth for a brew this high in ABV, malty, nice hoppyness, slight spice, getting some dark fruits, and caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, one of the easist drinking BW I've had to date, highly recommended.

Wasatch, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%

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.

Stinkypuss, Apr 29, 2012
Photo of ppoitras
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%

12oz bottle received in the No BS BIF Beta from HimerMan. Bottled in 2001.

Poured in a Rapscallion glass, formed a scant 1/8" tan head over the barely translucent reddish brown brew. Head is gone in a flash down to swirl and tiny rim bubbles, with delicate but lasting lacing. Aroma is heavy sweetness and musty alcohol. Taste starts with earthy grains, quickly switching to alcohol, which almost seems to evaporate off the tongue. Mouthfeel is excellent for this style and age, and drinkability pretty nice as well. Glad I got to try this one with this much age under its cap.

ppoitras, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +6%

BillRoth, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

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.

Mebuzzard, Feb 22, 2007
Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

mdaschaf, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

brandoman63, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of biegaman
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%

Sampled a number of occasions now.
While this review is a collection of impressions (as this beer does make so many) I base its marking (the higher marks) on a 2004 bottle I recently had - served almost at 3 years of age.
It was fantastic...
...Mind blowing really. Some trace of head still lingered, leaving something resembling legs (as in a wine) more than lacing. Carbonation still present enough to hold a stern spine to the mouthfeel (altough carbonation is low anyhow in this one) Appearence seems to earn the right to bear the 'Old Crusty' title - a murky, pond water appearence but with lovely highlights to the colour. How these hops haven't weakened in 3 years is beyond me. They are just as ever present as always. More refined - yes. Any weaker? No.
Flavour is chalk full of malt, that coats the mouth like a sweet nectar or sticky candy. A long, lingering resonance is felt as much as it is tasted. Such a balance between hop bitterness and malt finish. Same can be said for the balance in the aroma. One hell of a beast - but ... refined and balanced. Hints of alcohol can come and go, but never disturb the flavour and if anything, compliment the character. A fantastic barley-wine, great candidate for cellar (defintely has improved with age) and one I keep finding guilty pleasure treating myself when going back to.

biegaman, Oct 03, 2006
Photo of John_M
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%

An old favorite of mine... rare to see this on tap outside of the NW in my experience. On tap at Max's tonight.

The beer pours a copper amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, with cherry cough drop, lots of sweet malt, vanilla, and something of a meaty flavor. The flavor replicates the nose in this sweet beer, except there's even more cherry cough drop, along with some noticeasble alcohol and hoppy bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is full, with a long, sweet and bitter finish. Alcohol is noticeable, but is not over the top.

There are better barleywine's out there these days, but this is still an impressive, well made, very well crafted beer from the folks at Rogue. Definitely a walk down memory lane with this one....

John_M, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of smakawhat
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

smakawhat, Sep 06, 2012
Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +24.7%

rab53, Dec 05, 2011
XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,142 ratings.