XS Old Crustacean | Rogue Ales

705 Reviews
XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

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.

110 IBU
83 AA
57º Lovibond

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-03-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 705 | Ratings: 1,270
Photo of MacCherry
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Opened a cellared 2008 ceramic bottle. 5 years on the shelf has done tremendous good to this already spectacular ale. Much of the stickiness is gone, replaced by a mildly sweet maltiness with light caramel tones. It warns you on the nose to take it easy, without the stringent alcohol note. The body is perfect: brand new there was a syrup-ey feel which is now gone. it surprisingly finishes with a long-drawn bitterness which was non-existent in a new bottle.

Gentlemen, your 99 is an understatement. Rogue has set the bar very high for a cellar-able ale.

 557 characters

Photo of putnam
4.97/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2002 Vintage: Brilliant solid red with a gold robe. A six-pointed star pattern of very fine bubbles settles onto the surface. The aromas feature freshly cracked new pecans, honey, and terracotta, all in an enormous, profound display of riches. As it opens there are hints of freshly butchered beef, hazelnuts, and sweet prarie grasses that emerge. The flavors are a thundering cascade of velvet: burned sugar, cola, maple wood, black pepper and vanilla bean appear in turn. A keeper, if you can keep your hands off of it.

 521 characters

Photo of STEG
4.97/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'98 Bottle at gramercy tavern.

Very little head, dissipates to nothing, opaque amber brown with a fine bubbled khaki collar.

Deep dark fruit of fig, sugar plum and date, spent hops, brown sugar fusel alcohol nose.

Taste is more of the same. Dark fruits slight alcohol and a malt salvo comprise a wonderful beer that has aged ever so gracefully.

Mouthfeel is balanced, low carbonation. Silky smooth. A real joy to behold.

Overall I'm going to try and procure a few more bottles to take home and it paired wonderfully with veal sweet breads mushrooms and Brussels sprouts.

 575 characters

Photo of inebrius
4.94/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Like a tsunami of sweet caramelly and chocolate malt, Old Crusty comes crashing into an ill prepared community of taste buds leaving an everlasting wake of dry and biting hops. When the powerful flow finally recedes your left with a damaged subfloor covered in spruce buds and a dozen insurance salesmen pounding at the door. But you don't care! No, the rush of it all made you realize how sedentary you had become and now you want more. More of that German chocolate cake flattened into the evergreen forest floor. More of that shaven fluid oozing down your thirsty pipes. More.

 587 characters

Photo of oracle
4.92/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

10 oz pour of 2002 vintage at Gravity Head 2006

Beer arrived a cloudy brownish gold with a bubbly craggy head that left large amounts of lacing to mark it's all too swift passage.

Smell was HUGELY hoppy, with strong citrus notes. The high alcohol content was also very obvious as well.

Taste is just excellent, with a strong blast of hops to start off that quickly mellows out into a complex set of flavors. A little citrus and pine with a little sweetness in the finish.

I finished mine and immediately wanted another, but there were too many other specialty beers to try in the festival. Even if there weren't, drinking a lot of this in a short period of time is not the best way to enjoy it.

The high abv and strength of flavor demands attention when drinking this beer. The very antitheses of a session beer, drink and enjoy slowly and in moderation.

 869 characters

Photo of ykncornelius
4.92/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this 2007 vintage ceramic 750 mL bottle cellaring for quite a white now, anticipating popping the cap on Christmas Eve for years. It's become a rather bitter holiday for me relationship-wise, and the barleywine irony is not lost upon me.

This stuff sits gorgeously in the glass, with a delicate stained glass lacing from millions of tiny bubbles, and a clouded, warm burnt umber tint.

Smells like a sugary Belgian dark ale, rummy and boozy with barely a hint of the hoppiness that eventually asserts itself on the palate. A waft of citrus and pine reassure that this hasn't mellowed out TOO much in four years.

The taste is where this establishes itself as a beer everybody should try and savor: extremely complex, enjoyable and fun. Those rum and dark fruit aromas expand in flavor, with a touch of caramel sweetness...and then the hitherto unnoticed bitterness wallops you on the taste buds. I can only imagine what this batch was like brand new, but after aging there is, literally, the *perfect* balance of delicious malt taste and wild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth and coating. This feels almost medicinal going down (not because of the flavor...more like a comforting, warming flow of goodness).

I've had Old Crustacean young, from the tap, at Rogue in Portland several years ago, and this has matured so much. The alcohol presents itself long after the swallow, only when you breathe back out. "Yeah, I'm still 11.5%." it says, "sip me slowly."

I plan to.

 1,480 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.89/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2001 Vintage: Pours a hazy, reddish body that appears dark brown when sitting upon the bar. The head is densely creamy and holds well, but it leaves only minor lace. Rich notes of fruity, deep caramel malt and piney hops rush forth to assault the nose. Astounding! The bouquet is almost good enough to simply enjoy on it's own. As I make my way through the serving, between sips I will often simply lift the glass to my nose and breathe in it's resiny goodness. Lingering over it's caramel sweetness and thin sharp fruit, one glass could easily be enjoyed for well over an hour (and I credit that towards its drinkability). But onward... it's full bodied with a very fine, gentle carbonation that leaves it quite creamy in the mouth. The flavor starts with rich caramel maltiness, followed quickly by a tour du force of hop flavor that's almost minty! It's intensely rich with notes of licorice and toffee at first, but the sweetness and berry-like fruitiness begin to ooze out as it warms. This is a potion that's best enjoyed slightly warm! Alcohol isn't really noticeable on the palate, although it's clearly there somewhere. It finishes dry with loads of hop flavor (pine, spruce, citrus) and bitterness, but some residual malt sweetness as well. It really coats the mouth and throat with hoppiness that's almost spicy and has the drying feel of smoke. That, coupled with what dark malt is there, teeters on appearing roasty. Although it's all right-there in front of you and easy to see, this beer is actually quite complex! It changes as it warms, and as your palate becomes overwhelmed. There's just no keeping up with it's brutal hop assault! And that's one of the reasons that Crusty is just as good whithin the year of it's release as it is with several years time. Well worth putting a case away to cellar!

 1,817 characters

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Vintage 2004, served my trusty John's Grocery tulip.

The color is amber/dark purple and the head rises fast and then receeds back leaving a beautiful lacing that looks very good.

Smell is soo fruity and sweet and malty! This smells great! It's like a dark sweet plum and grape smell that's very malty sweet. I enjoy this smell very much.

The taste hits hard with warm alcohol, it almost made me cough. The hoppiness finally comes out and balances greatly with the fruityness. The flavor has fig, roasted malts, and a fruity almost lemon and berry flavor of it's own.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, carbonated well and leaves the mouth farely fast but still leaving it's presence known on the tongue. A medium-large bodied beer that has a hoppiness that will knock your socks off.

Overall I will buy as much as they have next time I am up in Milwaukee.

 873 characters

Photo of Trueant1
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage reviewed on may 2008.

Pours a cloudy red brown with small head and sticky looking lacing. Lots of yeast in the glass.

Smells of alcohol, sweet malts, and hops.
Lots of raisons and figs maybe..

Tastes like heaven. Sweet almost candy malts right alongside a very spicy alcohol bite..followed by a hop bitterness. In your face intense!...all FLAVORS!!
Just try this vintage!

Mouthfeel is sticky and dry. INtence from the alchohol spiciness.

This stuff is just pure nector to me!

 494 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Round 4 of an 8 round American Barley Wine-off with expatsteve. After a very diverse lead-in I thought our palates were ready for the belle of the ball and gem of my fledgeling collection - a bottle of Vintage 2001 I lucked upon last year. My most highly anticipated tasting to date.

Pour: deep, dark, garnet/mahogany, cloudy and chunky, swampy but still gorgeous to look at with a short crown of khaki foam.

Nose: raisin, black licorice, leafy/herbal hops, vinuous, with malt grain in the finish. Reminiscent of old-timey hard candy and aged port.

Taste: gooey caramel, raisin, port wine, trail mix, brown sugar, prune/date/fig, with a long black licorice candy finish. Complexity is paralleled in the style only by the Great Dane's Barleywine '02, another phenomenally aged b-wine.

Feel: luxurious and silky smooth, velvety carbonation...qualities of any number of smooth fabrics really.

Overall/Drinkability: WOW. Just wow.The Sophia Loren of graceful agers, this was a simply sublime drinking experience. 5+ years have mellowed and deepened the flavors to an impressive degree. Very similar, again, to the Great Dane's aged barleywine. So different than any other bottled barlywines out there, it's certainly earned a place of its own in the pantheon of amazing American beer.

 1,295 characters

Photo of hooligan
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark ruby color w/thick creamy tan head... disapates to a thin clinging foam. Smells of caramel, pepper, slightly roasted characters, and alcohol.
Caramel, bready, and a hoppy spice upfront. finish is sweet, alcoholic, and pleasantly potent bitterness.
This is what a Barleywine should aspire to when it dies... very hoppy, very malty, and both blend well to create a balanced and potent barleywine.
Oh BTW... they are now in 12oz bottles... oh happy day!

 460 characters

Photo of Douglas14
4.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1998 Rogue Old Crusty

Holy shit. Pours out one of the most beautiful mahogany colors I've ever seen. Brown in the middle and ruby red around the edges. Liquid caramelized candy in the nose...the taste builds on it. It's pure heaven...toffee, caramel, and wood undertones. One of the silkiest beers I've ever had. To say it's incredible is a gross understatement. Too bad it is only a 7 oz. bottle. Truly exceptional.

 417 characters

Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the best barleywine i have ever had! The aroma is sweet and full of esters and malt with a slight hoppiness. The flavor is complementary to the aroma as it is a lot like the aroma except for a hidden chocolate flavor and an excellent hop bitterness that allows this barleywine to be tasted again and again without being either too sweet or too bitter. Smooth character is lent from a lighter body than is normally found in barleywines which conributes to the high drinkability. Not a session beer for sure due to the 11.3% alcochol but definetly one to cellar and to cherish along with the best belgian ales. 2002 vintage.

 630 characters

Photo of fitzy84
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottle. I poured some of it in a regular glass since I wanted to save some for later. Great appearance: extremely dark red-amber with great, fizzy lacing on the side. Aromas are thick and potent. Complex combinations of raspberries, malts, molasses, burnt sugar, roasted toffee and vanilla. Man oh man was it decadent. Taste reflects the aromas perfectly. Incredibly strong and sweet with a creamy dryness. Mouthfeel helps aid in making something thick, creamy, carbonated and complex. Overall, this is awesome.

 516 characters

Photo of ClavinCliff
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This came in a nice 750ml ceramic bottle with gate close top. I don't remember the year, I'll have to check the bottle. Poured very thick. Very dark brown with a nice creamy head. Great aroma, hops all over the place. A bit of a sweet note on the nose as well. The taste of this beer was perfect. Nice smooth start, a little sweet, kind of fruity but then the hops kick in. Wow, great hop note. Balances the malt sweetness perfectly and complements the alcohol zing and warmth nicely. Not a beer for those who don't like hops. A neat take on the barleywine. This one will be heading for the cellar very soon! I also have the feeling that it will make regular appearances in my fridge.

 684 characters

Photo of FormatKid
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

--12oz RogueXS bottle – Bottled in 2004

I poured this one out into a goblet. The shade is a nice burnished mahogany, when compared to light it is an almost perfect brown-tinged shade of ruby. A nice respectable head rolls up but eventually recedes to a thin layer on top that does manage to linger.

Smell is rich with dark caramelly malts, and jagged with hops the scent of grape-fruit rinds, with maybe a floral touch. A teeny-tiny whiff of alcohol is apparent as well.

The flavor on this one is really intense, light notes of apple at the start. The middle consists of a brief peep of those burnt caramel tasting malts, which are quickly engulfed and abused by HUGE earthy bitter hops, almost strong enough to make me shudder. The after-taste is strong and doesn’t let you forget what you’re drinking at all. The alcohol barely registers to me, not at all in taste in fact, more of like a back-draft of alcohol from my palette to the inside of my nose. I do however feel warmth in my stomach as it gathers. The mouthfeel is perfectly medium.

Wow! One of the most intense beers I have ever tried. Don’t have a whole lot of experience with Barleywines but I think I could even tell this one was a bit green.I'm laying down another bottle for as long as I can stand and will try it again later. Still an awesome beer!, I just think it could have more potential with age.

Thank you Rajendra82!

 1,411 characters

Photo of goethean
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 vintage. Dark copper. Aroma of cherry cola and caviar. Intense, earthy, minerally malt flavor. Mellow hops well-integrated with the malt. Alcohol burn. Some very dark fruit, like chinotto (dark bitter orange) and very dark toffee, overlaid with bitter herbs. A slight hops aftertaste. The hops are no longer identifiable as typically American varieties. If you like barleywine, this is the ne plus ultra.

24 April 2011

2004 bottle --- 7 years old.

Smells of rich munich malts, bourbon, cough syrup, wine-like. Flavor is rich, malty, syrupy, bourbony, and sugary, with an intense bitter pine finish and a strong bitter pine, resiny hops aftertaste. Somewhat reminiscent of Gale's Prize Old Ale, but without the wild yeast notes. Smooth, not boozy, and perfectly balanced, which says something about how intense and perhaps out-of-balance this beer is for the first six years.

 882 characters

Photo of Gehrig
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brilliant Blind Pig.

Two frothy fingers of dark tan froth top a somewhat cloudy amber body with ruby trim. Good duration and ample lacing on the tulip provide a good start to Old Crustacean. Big, beefy nose filled with molasses, biscuity malt, ample hops (including the advertised Chinook), plenty of fruit, and caramel; outstanding.

The taste is no letdown whatsoever--big, bold, complex, and loaded with flavor. The first half is seriously bitter, very English-style barleywine, malty and loaded with black licorice. It's good, but really strong. The second half is a delight--very fruity with both berry and citrus flavors permeating the molasses.

It's is not as viscous as I like barleywine, but Old Crustacean is packed with flavors, is complex, and offers much to lovers of good, strong barleywine. For all its ABV (11.5%) and heft--and this has heft to spare--Old Crustacean is not a sipper; very accessible and, while robust, is smooth enough to enjoy at a a variety of paces. It's like a great basketball team--it can win at either a slow or fast tempo.

And Old Crustacean is unquestionably a winner, a truly outstanding barleywine that I would love to enjoy on a semi-regular basis. Kudos to the great Blind Pig for yet again providing a complex variety of beers from around the nation and world, for putting this beauty on tap was a first-rate coup.

A must try.

 1,400 characters

Photo of Boto
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1995 vintage. A local beer bar had an aged keg that had been brought from Rogue for a tasting night. I was very impressed by this beer. Time has been very good to it. The color is a rich copper color. Almost no head to it. The aroma is very malty sweet. There is a bit of hops to the nose. They are more prevalent in the taste, but time has married the hops and malts quite well. There is a sweet smoothness to the beer, with a subtle, but potent hop aftertaste. It seems as if it has to get awhile to get to this point, but well worth the wait if you have some to put down!

 574 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

While enjoying my birthday dinner in New York I came across the 1995 vintage of this beer. (there was also a 1994 old ale... but I forget the brewer) I ordered it while hardly being able to contain myself. I love a good barley wine, and a bottle aged for over 15 years blows the mind. [If you are looking, they are serving it in very small supply at Dylan's Steakhouse]

This beer pours in a very dark ruby color. The head and carbonation was missing... as expected for a beer that old.

The smell and flavor was amazing. You get the vineous quality, the fruityness, the sour, the sweet. It was an amazing combination.

It was served in a small bottle, and I just sipped it through the first couple courses with a smile on my face.

It is amazing getting to drink a beer with this kind of history. My hat is off to this restaurant for stocking this bit of history and to Rogue for making a barleywine that keeps so well.

 920 characters

Photo of Jason
4.79/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1999 Vintage: Close to heavenly, the hops are still running wild even after three years of aging. Touch of estery alcohol and a dollop of fruitiness partially from the hops.

 173 characters

Photo of imblane
4.79/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW! I am not a huge fan of Barley Wines, I do like Stone Old Guardian on occasion, but during a recent trip to Vegas, I dropped into my favorite watering hole there, The Freakin Frog. I found, quite by accident, they had tapped a keg of 1996 Vintage Old Crustacean, a week or so prior and there was still some left. I decided to give it a shot, and boy what an unbelievable beer this is!! No head to speak of, but a beautiful dark amber color, no carbonation to speak of either. Strong malty backbone, very strong on carmel, but before it got "sweet", the hops took over and finished smooth as velvet with a warm alcohol bite. I would love to have some of this for winter, it is truly a belly warmer. I immediately ceased any thoughts of drinking anything other than this for the remainder of the evening, which was not too awful long, considering the high ABV of 11% + who knows what has happened over the last 8 years. I will go buy some of the current release at my local liquor store; however, I am afraid I may be disappointed in a newer offering. Get to the Frog in Vegas and get some quick!!!

 1,100 characters

Photo of andyo
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2002 Bottle bought at Jubilee Grocery Store in Worthington, Ohio for $2.79.

This beer poured an incredible chesnut/auburn color into my glass. There was minimal head, yet still present (to my surprise). This beer gave off a very spicey hopped up aroma...wonderful! I was somewhat surprised at the hop presence in this barleywine. This beer was very complex, and gave off big sweet piney flavors from the hops, mixed with a nice wood flavor, some sugary sweetness (but not too much) and a definate malt background....though not even nearly as pronounced as the hops in this beer.

This beer was very well balanced in my opinion, and went down incredibly smooth. In fact, besides the batch 6000, this has been my favorite barleywine that I have tried to date. Now, if only I could get my hands on some older bottles of this wonderful beer.

 843 characters

Photo of jneiswender
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this beer in a 4oz sample glass at the brewery as part of a sampler.

A-reddish brown color, looks almost like a mixed drink like "sex on the beach" or something with a beige head.

S-citrus and pine needles

T-piney...hoppy...with a great alcohol finish


D-Just outstanding. Well crafted. Full of flavor. I would have this again.

 344 characters

Photo of UnionMade
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

1995 Vintage, drunk fall 2003. Served in a snifter.
The beer is a deep amber red, a thin collar of foam bordering a couple large patches of mist. Great clarity, pretty much perfectly transparent. The head thins down to a weak collar, leaving large cobwebs of lace trailing down the glass.
The aroma is incredibly smooth, refined with age. All the aromas seem to melt together, with the hops very much diminished, allowing the subtle nuances of the malt to shine. Extremely smoothed out, with a thick, caramelly maltiness dominating. The alcohol is still present, although much diminished, a vinous character acquired with the 8 years or so of aging. The malt is glazed with a soft nuttiness, hinting at both almond and pecan. A brush of fruitiness lingers, weaving in and out of the vinous texture. Still plenty of prune, with hints of black cherry and currant having been acquired in the cellar. The hops have receded quite a bit, a resiny pine scent trembling with old age, although still retaining the virile, youthful strength of it's once strong grip.
The flavor has changed so much, starting with a huge, syrupy malt sweetness. Heaps of burnt caramel, maybe a bit of peat buried below, with a heavy vinous touch. Mellowed, sun baked prune eases it's way in, hints of apple and plum very diminshed, replaced by red grape, black cherry, currant and fig. The fruitiness lingers through the sip, carried by the vinous character of the malt. The finish is still hoppy, although it's subdued enough to allow the malt it's moment, finally. Sappy pine and earthy herbal flavor melds with a soft almond nuttiness, with a stooped brush of alcohol creating a heating blanket of warmth going down. A rich, fruity, vinous maltiness lingers on the tongue long after the last sip is downed. The body is thick and sticky, a much mellowed, soft carbonation rocking it along the palate. The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, acquiring an aged port-ness in it's body and feel.
Still a powerful brew, even in it's old age. I was very fortunate to catch this on tap, which the folks at Rogue brought so graciously for their tasting at my local. The fresh version is inspired, but this is sublime. Like a talented young artist with a brilliant career, creating his finest masterpiece in the autumn of life. Quite a brew with enough age on it, worth hanging onto a couple bottles for this kind of experience.

 2,393 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,270 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.