XS Old Crustacean
Rogue Ales

XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean
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American Barleywine
Ranked #54
Ranked #4,728
4.05 | pDev: 13.09%
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States
XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean
Notes: 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
Reviews: 718 | Ratings: 1,306 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Riff
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a reddish-brown, darker and leaning more towards the brown. Head is creamy, pillowy, leaves behind some nice lacing. Smell is molasses and pine, fairly faint. Taste is bready malt, molasses, pine, caramel, and dark fruits. Medium body. Really benefited from warming up, at first the bitterness from the hops was quite powerful, warmth allows for the softer fruit and sweet notes to come out.

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Riff from Virginia, Jan 12, 2019
Photo of BerryKumquat
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark golden amber colors.
S: Strong barley wine flavors.
T: Strong ride of strange dark flavors.
F: Very heavy and dark.
O: A very dark beer unlike any other that exists.

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BerryKumquat from California, Nov 22, 2018
Photo of brentk56
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 bottling

Appearance: Pours a tawny burnt orange color with a rocky two finger ecru head; good retention and plenty of lacing action

Smell: Resinous pine tones abound, with notes of char, molasses, raisin, cherry and cocoa

Taste: Resinous, with cocoa and molasses forward; the raisin, cherry add a fruity dimension; through the middle, an earthy/piney bitterness builds powerfully as the 105 IBUs take over and dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not in the very top echelon of barleywines I have tasted but not far off, either

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brentk56 from North Carolina, Nov 17, 2018
Photo of craftaholic
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A rich amber mahoganny hue which captures an array of glowing autumnal radiance. There's a thin veil of pillowy lace that rests atop. Has a strong note of diesel on first whiff which develops into a burnt caramel sweetness. The sip is reminiscent of an oaked cognac with flavors that dance on your palate.

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craftaholic from New York, Oct 12, 2018
Photo of siskiyoucellar
4.89/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the 2013, in my cellar for five years. And it is sublime, a really heavenly beer drinking experience. It is only fair to say though that after five years in the bottle it’s not very beautiful. It does have a nice head, even after this long, and a nice orangish barleywine glow, but it’s a bit muddy at this point. But the aroma is a different matter entirely, one of the most wonderful I have ever encountered. Sharp with hops - again, even after five years - rich with honeyed malts, it is so powerful that is just explodes into my olfactory senses. And the taste is just as amazing, so complex that it is different with every sip. There are berries and caramel and smoke and brown sugar and tart apples and much, much more. The feel is excellent, with balanced body and carbonation. Fabulous, one of the best beers to ever come out of my cellar.
Update: tonight I cracked another that had been in the cellar for two years (though dated 2015). It’s excellent, but not nearly the equal of the 5-year-old. I’d give it somewhere in the 4.3 range.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

2013 edition

L: pours clear bronze color with a finger of off white head
S: sweet caramel and raisins with slight bitterness
T: big bitterness throughout, a touch a caramel sweetness.
F: thick, but with lots of carbonation and a dry finish.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a rusty brownish amber color, the malty tones, the 1/4" light tan head, more off white I guess. Aroma of booziness and caramel maltiness.

Taste drops a substantial amount of that foresty pacnw Chinook hop when you have this one fresh. This one transforms similar to Bigfoot when aged. Sticky caramel malt and maris otter draped all over this one. While it is plenty warming, the alcohol doesn't stay too heavy for too long. A very slight impression of wood from the malt tone. I figure this one clocks in around 90 ibu. This one drinks somewhere between old school barleywines like Old Foghorn and Bigfoot. Not as sweet as the Anchor, but not as hoppy as the Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of LifesAnesthesia
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - murky brown with some clarity near the bottom and around the edges with a large tan head that sticks around and leaves a decent amount lacing behind.
S - Sweet bready malt with bitter hops - otherwise a really faint smell.
T - Sweet bready malt and barely up front followed behind by bitter hops. Intermixed are notes of caramel and dried fruits as well as some citrus.
F - Medium to full bodied with a light to medium amount of carbonation. Somewhat chewy.
O - A really nice standard barelywine - everything seems pretty spot on and done very well with nothing crazy or over the top.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass from a fresh 2017 bottle.

Appearance: dark amber color coming off with medium bubbles creating an orange tinted white head rising just about two finger's length off the body. Lacing not sticky at all, drops quickly after the first sip.

Smell: light malt scent not exactly super strong.

Taste: Softly bitter and touch of honey consisting of floral and citrus. Hybrid brew which crosses the plane of IPA and barley wine.

Mouth: sticky brew which I'm painting with chips and you feel that after taste just linger.

Overall: Very good brew but deceiving in regards to the name. Not exactly barleywine, but still a pretty good beer. Always in a glass and I say if you see it on a shelf grab it. Salud!

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BlurryVisi0n from New York, Jan 08, 2018
Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellared 5 years. Poured into a tulip.

Appearance: dark chestnut-brown with considerable haze. The head is a light tan ½ finger with good retention.

Aroma: sweet malt with hints of molasses and raisins. Alcohol is not readily detectable but you know its there.

Flavor: sweet – but not overly so, with molasses and raisins as in the nose. Alcohol is present, but it is more in the background.

Mouthfeel: medium-medium

Overall: this was enjoyable. A quality barleywine but not the best – really middle of the pack. I wouldn’t buy this again. It is good, but I’d prefer trying other breweries’ barleywines before returning to this one.

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Photo of Radcpa
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Red appearance with tan head that dedicates quickly and some carbonation. Aroma is a little sour fruit. Taste is a slightly sour fruit with no alcohol aftertaste.

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Radcpa from Washington, Apr 23, 2017
Photo of FLima
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage – ceramic bottle. Nice brown reddish color with a thin dark beige head with short retention.
Aroma with notes of molasses, pine, red berries, spices, tea leaves, mild cocoa and red apples. At this stage malt is starting to overcome hops here.
Flavor is sure more interesting. Notes of pine, molasses, char, wood, red berries and cherry, raisins, spices, cocoa, black tea, lemon, their pacman yeast, resin, earth, grapefruit and vanilla. Dry and bittersweet long aftertaste. Its 105 IBUs feels relatively under control, now that it evolved for a few years. But still able to counterbalance the strong malt base.
Full body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 10.75% is well hidden and matches perfectly with the overall beer.
This is a hoppy forward and full of character American Barley Wine. A bittersweet black tea. It has a good complexity that reveals slowly as it warms up. This has aged quite well. And who says hops fade quickly, after four years still is able to punch. Maybe, when young it might be overwhelming for some. Don’t be a predator, drink this after aging!
Reference for the Style and worth trying, specially if you dig the style.

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FLima from Brazil, Apr 02, 2017
Photo of TheSixthRing
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2016 750ml Swing Top

Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy, brilliant amber color with an off-white, finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of suds and a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Not much lacing except a broken line found at the outset of the pour and a few spots here and there.

Smell - Complex aroma that hits on notes of dried apricot, toffee, leafy/tea-like hops, grapefruit peel, caramel, and even a faint hint of chocolate.

Taste - Ahhh, my bittersweet tasty friend. So complex, yet so harmoniously in sync with itself. Upfront, notes of caramel and grapefruit bitterness. Mid-taste sees the flavor shift to notes of dried fruit, toffee and a hint of floral hop character. Shifts again near the finish, moving more toward bitter notes of grapefruit pith and earthy tea leaf bitterness, while a touch of fruit and toffee sweetness hangs in to keep the brew from completely killing you with the sheer mountain of hop bitterness in the finish. The aftertaste buzzes with grapefruit pith, lemon zest and low, tea leaf bitterness. Lovely. Absolutely lovely.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with low to moderate carbonation, but with a slick texture that makes it a fairly smooth drinker. Dry finish; leaves a hint of stickiness on the lips.

Overall - One of my all-time favorite barleywines since I first started on craft nearly 15 years ago, I'd finally reviewed it June of '14, a bottle from 2012 (that I'd found at room temp on a shelf at a pit stop in the middle nowhere on I-5), and found it not quite as good as I'd always had on tap; the age (and possible mismanaged aging of it) simply did it no favors. I'm glad I bought the '16 version this year, and must say I now remember why I love it so much. It's sweet and bitter profile blends so wonderful it's like drinking a hop tea candy that tastes so much better than it sounds. At $18/bottle it's a steep price to pay, but damn does it feel worth it while drinking it. While I'm sure it ages wonderfully if kept under the right conditions, I'm unsure if I'd be able to do so. It's just so amazing when fresh!

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TheSixthRing from California, Jan 15, 2017
Photo of Beginner2
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Listed in the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", my review and possible re-rating comes after I Have this again... but I may not as it is too hoppy for me.

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Beginner2 from Illinois, May 11, 2016
Photo of barczar
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2010 vintage. Aroma is boozy, with notes of rum soaked dates, prunes, and figs dominating. Seems fairly sweet.

Flavor is fairly oxidized, big sherry notes and a hint of cardboard, with a very bitter finish that lingers. Too bitter for my liking. Pretty harsh.

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barczar from Kentucky, Mar 06, 2016
Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into Sam Adams pint glass. 2013 vintage.

Pours a deep, clear mahogany with a thin cap of beige head that leaves cartoon ocean wave lace as it recedes.

Smells of dark toffee, fresh pipe tobacco, candied citrus peel, dark orchard fruit, bourbon mixed with cola and leafy green hops.

Tastes of more dark toffee/caramel malt, bourbon soaked sugared raisins, preserved mandarin oranges, and after all that sweetness, a massive wave of leafy, piney, resiny hop bitterness.

Feels big and fat. Full bodied with mild carbonation. Finishes long and dry with no detectable alcohol besides a warming sensation.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended, but careful about that bottle variation.

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Hat_Fulla_Beer from Alberta (Canada), Feb 01, 2016
Photo of REVZEB
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had an aged bottle. Still a ton of booze here, and besides the body where the booze lingered a bit too much, it worked for me. Booze fits into the aromas of toffee, orange zest, barley, and raisin. Taste took all of those flavors and added caramel, plum, some subtle hops and herbal elements. Not overly sweet which is appreciated

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REVZEB from Illinois, Jan 14, 2016
Photo of madelfonatree
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Flip top bottle from 2013 enjoyed October 12, 2015 in a Mad Elf tulip/snifter.

Look - Very slow to develop head. It chug a lugged out of the bottle with an aggressive pour to yield a finger of light tan, fine bubbled head. Body is very murky clay. Lacing is nice. Head ends up being a ring.

Smell - Toffee. Plum. Raisin. Whiskey. Tobacco. Brown sugar. Hop.

Taste - Bitterness from the sediment overpowers it. Tobacco. Whiskey. Toffee. Floral. Fruit.

Feel - Perfect. No part of this is hard to drink. It sits well in the stomach. It is well carbonated but not overpowering. Creamy and not too heavy or watery.

Overall - 2013. Great. Filter it a bit to lessen the bitterness. Feel is top notch.

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Photo of Ellis1701
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like Stone Old Guardian, Old Crustacean is not sickly sweet, so it's a very drinkable barleywine for me. Not one of my favorite styles of beer, so finding one that I like is not easy.

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Ellis1701 from North Carolina, Sep 01, 2015
Photo of jlindros
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very old bottle, no date.

Very little head, dark murky brown color.

Nose oxidation, aged malts, brown malts and wet paper, candy thing.

Taste sweet syrupy, little hop note, bitter notes, candy syrupy, bitter spicy hops, mild oxidation cardboard, candy toffee.

Mouth is med bod, decent carb.

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Aug 05, 2015
Photo of ChrisMon02
3.27/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 3.25

2012 release. Finally pulled the trigger on this and wish I hadn't. Ceramic bottle poured into a snifter.

I must have a bad bottle as there is no sign of carbonation. A few soapy bubbles floating on top with no lacing or sign of what would be considered even a small head.

Very flat and watery. Flavored of caramel malts and spicy tea like hops. Interesting flavor that shows potential but the mouthfeel and lack of any carbonation is killing this for me. Boy this is going to be tough to finish.

Will never invest in a bottle again, may try on draft but even then won't go out of my way to find it. Disappointing.

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Photo of stevoj
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barley wine bottle share on 1/31, 2008 bottle. Pours a cloudy brown with amber highlights and just a faint skin of light off-white head. Hot and hoppy in the flavor. Aroma is great, full of brown sugar and molasses. Complex alcohols change as it warms. Nice hoppy finish, lingers.

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stevoj from Idaho, May 26, 2015
Photo of goochpunch
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle with 2-3 years on it.

Rusty brown body with a thin frothy head. Smells of worty malt with citrus and pine hops - some booze. Tastes of dried fruit, fig, cane syrup, wort, caramel. Solid bitterness. More bittering hops than aromatic ones. Body is creamy, full, and smooth. Excellent American barley wine. Textbook.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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dbrauneis from North Carolina, Feb 13, 2015
Photo of FarmerJOrganic
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark amber, low head (had to stretch to poor in order to produce proper foam mostly, I'm sure, due to it being a 13 year old vintage.)

Smell: Strong sweet malt smell. Tons of sugar and chocolate on the front. A touch of small citrus hint from the hop on end. Almost woody, smell seems familiar but I can't place it at this time.

Taste: Smoker than the smell would lead you to expect. Again tones of wood. Finishes with a strong malt/ savory chocolate finsihes, it lasts. The only taste of chocolate and malt lingers and hints briefly at small citrus hint from the hops.

Feel: Much thinner, and drier then the smell would make you expect. Age prevented proper appreciation of the head. Head quickly dissipated again mostly ,I"m sure, due to age.

Overall: 13 year vintage purchased in house at Rouge in 2002. We ran out of beer tonight and this was the only left that we thought had aged long enough. Overall a great beer, the smell and taste are far from each other. When I first opened it I thought it would be overly sweet but instead it's smokey hoppy malty, and incredibly smooth. Overall glad I kept one around for 13 years.

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FarmerJOrganic from North Carolina, Jan 31, 2015
XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1306 ratings