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XS Old Crustacean - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean

Educational use only; do not reuse.

701 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 701
Hads: 1,240
Avg: 4
pDev: 17.75%
Wants: 107
Gots: 139 | FT: 6
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of XS Old Crustacean Alström Bros
Reviews: 701 | Hads: 1,240
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of wl0307
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.3/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

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Photo of Tone
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, dark brown color along the top half of the glass. The bottom is a dark maize color. 3/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of strong hops, alcohol, sweet malt, slight brown sugar, and slight dark citrus. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong alcohol, strong hops, slight sweet malt, and slight dark citrus. Overall, the alcohol is not well hidden, even in the aroma.

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Photo of akorsak
3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
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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Photo of Axnjxn
4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 bottling date. 7oz bottle.

murky brown color, light head still. smell of dark fruit and mellow booze. taste of a ton of dark fruits..plums...boozy after taste but mild...3+ years has done this well. full bodied, mild carbonation.

overall just a great barleywine..

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Packaged in a 22oz ceramic bottle with a swing top cap. Poured a dark, ruby red with a light tan head that was moderately lasting leaving a sticky film lacing.

S: pine, dark fruit (plums, dates), dried citrus and burnt molasses.

T: The flavor yielded much the same with lots of dried fruit (dates, plums) with some dried citrus (grapefruit) and pine complimentary of Chinook hops. There was a burnt caramel sweetness with some raisins, and figs coming through as well in the finish. Overall a very smooth and very good complexity of aroma and flavor with a massive abv makes this a classic big treat .

M: thick, full and malty with a big creaminess and a bitter dry pungent citrus hopping.

D: Very good drinkability and enjoyment and one that shouldn't be missed.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Derek
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2004 vintage, openned August 2005.

A: Dark ruby syrup leaves legs on the glass.

S: Caramel & pine.

T: Strong bittersweet hit of flavour. Sweet caramel & roasty nutty flavours fade to a piney, catty dryness. Not overly alcoholic (much less than some dubbles that use adjuncts).

Mouthfeel is sherry-like, being heavy, with mild carbonation.

The depth of flavour is incredible & the bitter aftertaste leaves you wanting another sweet malt hit!

Excellent digestif.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of DrJay
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
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....

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle(room temp) a dark clear gold with a smallish head that dissipates quickly leaving just a fine layer with little lacing.

The smell has a very sweet malty nose and there's also an obvious air of alcohol mixed in there but then, this *is* a BWSA so I expected that.

The taste is huge! Lots of malt up front but a more than abundant note of hops(it's 120IBUs) comes into play and takes over and never relinquishes. If the malt had kept up with the infusion of hops, I'd have certainly rated this one higher than I did.

Overall, this isn't exactly the most well balanced Barleywine Style Ale but I do find it a quite enjoyable brew to sip on. I recommend it.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage

750ml painted ceramic bottle poured into a pint glass. The aroma is dominated with dark fruits, malt, caramel and alcohol. The taste starts off pretty mellow, but the hops quickly kick in and give you a nice smack in the face. There is a lingering bitterness of the hops in the finish to accompany the expected warming from the 11% alcohol. Overall, Old Crusty is a wonderful Barley Wine. I look forward to having one after it ages for a while as well. Recommended.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml swing top ceramic bottle poured into tulip nov29 2010

A very dark orange and a little to thick to see bubbles but judging by the solid two finger beige head there's some carbonation in there somewhere. considering the high amount of booze the foam retains quite well and leaves a few partial rings of lace as it falls to a soapy film

S more hops then I expected from a 2008 vintage, I couldn't imagine this fresh some pine and citrus still quite strong, somehow there's a balance here with loads of brown sugar and toffee, the booze is there but pretty well concealed for 11.5%

T fairly earthy and I get some grapefruit rind and a bit more malt then what I smell, the small amount of booze I could smell is gone this is a well made brew

M this is one thick ass beer, enters silky and its a little sticky on the lips, leaves a fair bit behind in your mouth a little gritty even and a nice bitter bite, this is a high point in a truly great beer

D its a fair bit of commitment to crack this one by yourself but I managed it without many issues, I'd never crack a second but even with the massive price tag I'll be buying several more of these to cellar

I could see this one going for another 5-10 years no problem. this was a real treat and it's well worth the 20$ price tag here in Alberta.

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Photo of Viggo
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2001 Vintage: This beer pours like liquid polymer. The appearance is murky burgandy. Looks great. A slight bubbly off-white head is present. It laces nicely. The huge bitterness can be perceived in the aroma. Very nice. The bitternes on the tongue is incredible. It is fabulous. I've had the vintage '98 recently, which was exceptional, but the bitterness and hop flavor is much more pronounced with this younger one. There's actually pretty good balance provided by the malt also. The hops seem very hebal and biting. This is a great concoction.


1998 Vintage: Pours no head. Murky, brown/burgandy color. Huge earthy hop tones mix with a fruity sweetness on the nose. Mouthfeel can be compared to cough syrup. There is a medicinal property in the taste as well. Huge bitterness coming from Centennial hops (as well as Chinook I believe) . IBU = 120 for this brew. But there is also an abundance of sweet flavor. Only John Maier could make a beer with such incredible hop bitterness and malt sweetness like this. There is indeed a warming effect with this brew. Not for the faint of heart. One of my favorite Barleywines. My son and this beer were born in the same year. My son is now four. Both are great treats. And luckily I have several more of these brews to improve with age (as my son will I'm sure too).

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am drinking the 2013 vintage out of the 750 ml bottle. This is a big, bitter, intense beer. Pours hazy ruby brown under a rocky light tan head that produces thick lace. Has a big malt nose with dark sugars and some sherry notes. Begins with a touch of sweet malt and then goes through three or four versions of hop bitterness and spiciness ending in a long lingering hop bitterness riding on smooth caramelly malt. A big alcohol palate joins with some heavy duty bitterness to balance the big, rich sherry malt flavors. Lingering bitter alcohol finish. The alcohol is warming but not overly hot or solventy.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

7oz Bottle from the Potsdam NY IGA - 2010 edition

Appearance - Brown colour with a smaller size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for close to 3-4 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - Malts, caramel, dark fruits, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is a low amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and malts mixed with an earthy flavour. There is also some dark fruits a big dose of hops.

Overall - Really surprised at the hop punch with this beer even after sitting for 4 years. A decent brew that seems like it would have held up for a few more years. Wish I had a few more tucked away.

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Photo of dgilks
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, dark copper colour with a non-existent head. Some lacing.

Sweet, burnt caramel. Nutty. Slightly earthy. Good.

I wonder where the hops are. There is certainly hop bitterness but there is far more burnt sugar, toffee and malt.

Full body with moderately-low carbonation. Fine.

A decent beer but nothing overly impressive. I think it needs a touch more fresh hop character to build up the flavour profile.

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Photo of Brad007
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 edition here.

Pours a nice garnet/ burgundy color with a thick two-finger head into my fluted tulip.

Aroma is raisin-like with some alcohol warmth present upfront followed by muted hops.

Taste is strong and boozy with raisin and a blunt amount of hops. Things calm down in the middle but still quite boozy.

Mouthfeel is warm and boozy with the alcohol coating the throat and a good dose of hop bitterness and raisin lingering.

Best enjoyed slowly due to the booziness. I wonder if it needed to be a bit more cold but then again, the cold does nothing for a beer like this. It's been a while since I've reviewed this style. Otherwise, this is a decent beer that could probably use more aging. I wouldn't buy it again though because I've had better.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.54/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750mL black ceramic bottle poured into a stemmed glass. 2008 Vintage.

(A)- Pours a thick cloudy red mahogany color that actually briefly cascaded during the pour. Left a giant foamy tan head that left tons of intricate lacing behind as it slowly dissipated.

(S)- Fruity. Some fig & raisin with a touch of cherry & cranberry. Some almost burnt caramel. Some dry wood notes. Kinda closed though.

(T)- Dry, with a big hop pine wood bite up front. This is surprising despite its age. Malt of that same burnt caramel. Some new fruits of lemon & lime with fig, raisin, & cranberry. Rather bitter; gets more & more bitter the more I have of it.

(M)- A good carbonation level. This is surprisingly backwards. Still ridiculously hoppy & bitter; not much malt coming through which is so weird since it should be the other way around since this has 2 years of age on it.

(D)- I cant believe how well this has aged. Based on this, it could age for even more years. Still very hoppy; was hoping for more of the malts to come through, but I can live with that. For what you get though, I am glad I did not pay the full price tag for one of these. Definitely not worth the typical $20 price tag for one of these.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured minimal head on top of a brownish red body with thin lace stuck around glass. A mix of herbal hops and dark fruit, especially cherry, with some caramel and bready malts mixed in. Has a great dry wine like taste with dark fruit, and again I notice cherries for some reason over other fruits, along with a nice chunk of toffee/caramel like sweetness. Not too hoppy but there is a little rounded presence that gives it a dry backbite but dry finish is also due to high alcohol kick. Also some sour fruit and stickiness to this beer. The alcohol bleeds a little on the finish but this is a great sipper/nightcap.

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Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ceramic bottle shared by daryk77 - much obliged!

Pours a hazy honey-copper color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes quickly into a patchy layer of bubbles on top. Not a whole lot of lacing, but I wasn't expecting much considering the high ABV.

Smells more like an English barleywine than I would've imagined. Loads of sweet caramel malt with hints of booze-soaked chocolate. The alcohol comes out more as the beer warms.

Tastes very good. Sweet caramel malt with toffee notes. As far as bitterness goes...there's a whole lot of it. It comes out midway through the sip and lasts until you wake up the next morning. This is one bitter barleywine.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice syrupy thickness and large carbonation that makes this one down smoothly while bringing the boom on the flavors.

Drinkability is very good considering the amount of alcohol in this. It's hardly noticeable until the beer warms a bit, but even then it still goes down very easily.

Overall this is one tasty barleywine. Worth a shot.

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Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a growler to a pint glass. Had a rich mahogany color and a cloudy consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy head and good lacing.

S: A strong aroma of hops, malt and caramel.

T: The big thing you notice here are the highly bitter hops. It's inescapable. However, this mixes well with the malt, caramel and pepper. A big taste with lots of noticable alcohol.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a chewy texture and a dry finish. Full-bodied.

D: This is a well made, drinkable beer, but not one I could sit down and drink a whole lot of. Still, a solid brew.

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XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
90 out of 100 based on 701 ratings.