XS Old Crustacean | Rogue Ales

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XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean
1,295 Ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,295 |  Reviews: 713
Photo of kraticus41
1/5  rDev -75.1%

Photo of ChelseaXIII
1/5  rDev -75.1%

Photo of ShaunSimpson
1/5  rDev -75.1%

Photo of Guinness4me
1.46/5  rDev -63.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

The taste comes from the flavor reached by soaking the socks worn by sea captains, or Oregon fishermen, in tepid seawater. This is not a beer for the faint-hearted.

It poured nice enough with a slight head with wispy lace. From there, things went terribly wrong.

The smell was musty and sweet. Ick.

Once the first sip hit the back of my tongue, I swear that all the air was sucked out of my lungs. Maybe it was my body's defense mechanism to keep from breathing-in the fumes. It was an acrid, bitter taste that left an aftertaste like that of coffee with too much chicory, or is it bile?

Taste at your own risk. I'm determined to choke down the last 1/2 of this pint.

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Photo of kojevergas
1.47/5  rDev -63.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

2000 vintage. "Unfiltered and unfined." 26 plato. 120 IBU. "Best when aged for 1 year." Oops. Cute little 7 fl oz brown glass bottle with printed-on clear label and branded pressure cap acquired at a local bottle shop for around $10.00 USD and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are low; I've never had a beer this old that was good.

Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with as much vigor as possible as major carbonation issues are anticipated.

No hiss or signs of carbonation upon removing the cap. Uh-oh...

A: Pours no head whatsoever. I swirl the glass to try to get a floater or something, but I can't. There are some bubbles on the surface, so maybe there's still some co2 in there. Body colour is a murky dull opaque brown with reddish hues. Yeast particles are abundant and chunky, visible plainly at the bottom of the glass.

Admittedly, it's not much to look at.

Sm: Obvious oxidation - wet cardboard comes to mind. Raisin, sherry. Caramalt and biscuit malt. No hop character is present here. Caramel, toffee. Some faded fruity notes. Raisin is dominant, followed closely by oxidation. Touches of alcohol. Dead yeast.

Time doesn't seem to have been good to this beer based on the aroma. Mild in strength. I'd safely call it unappealing.

T/Mf: Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Raisin and wet cardboard. Dull vague malts. Some prune juice. Luckily, there's no booze. But it does have a sticky old feel to it which is rather unpleasant. Dead yeast. Hints of sherry, but not enough to save it. Acrid overall.

Viscous and musty. Sludgy and thick. Bleh. Flat. Vinous. Some acidity. Syrupy.

No hop character comes through at all.

Dr: Not drinkable at all. The tiny 7 oz bottle may be 6 oz too much for me. I'll struggle to get through it, but I may have to just cook with it or mix it with another beer at the very least. Really terrible with 13 years on it; I'll have to revisit it with one year of age to really give it a fair shake, but this experience was consistent with the other bad aged beers I've had. Note to self: don't buy any beer with more than five years of age on it. Definitely the worst beer I've had in a long time.


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Photo of bobhits
1.49/5  rDev -62.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Really, who makes a beer with a statement like “best aged one year” and doesn’t give you the month it was bottled?

Opening a bottle that was bottled in 2010 so I have to assume that January 1 2010 was the bottle date so this is ideal and the perfect version of this beer. No more age could possible help this one based on what Rogue says.

A cloudy and orange with a touch of red color body, yeast and sediment clearly present. The head is about a half inch of off white with caramel colored bubbles. Lacing forms almost instantly down the side.

Caramel and amber malt is about all I can pick up on. This beer smells like some child’s candy. That lack of complexity makes the sweet aroma far from good by beer standards but I suppose just below average for barely wines.

Despite the nose this beer is a hop bomb like few I’ve ever had. Opens with a pillowy sweet caramel and sugar malt profile, but quickly turns to a sharp and bitter funk. A coy and unenjoyable fake candy malt flavor mixed with a beer far over the top with hops leaves the mouth confused and disappointed. This beer claims 110 IBU’s and they are there. The problem is they aren’t balanced and this is a freaking barely wine. Much like Bigfoot this beer tries to create a barely wine that is hoppier than any double IPA and with less malt than most.

Not much to talk about here. Thick but not brandy leggings thick and well carbonated for the style but true to style.

Pass on this one. Rogue I want to give you credit for going away from those awful oversized over priced bottles, but you give us these very drinkable sized 7 oz servings and charge 5 bucks for them. Then you fill with one of the worst barely wines I’ve had…shame on you. Oh and you don’t give a bottled on date but have the audacity to tell me to drink at a year old? I should score this beer all 1’s just for that!

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Photo of pmatz2
1.55/5  rDev -61.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This is the most vile concoction I have ever had. I poured this one down the drain rather quickly. I guess I just didn't get the point. The 120 IBU's were not counter balanced by anything making for a nasty taste from start to finish. I'm not normally pissed off finding a beer I don't like but dropping serious coin for this bomber did the trick.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
1.68/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

A - Scarlet amber ichor with a thin head that barely covered the surface and vanished nearly instantly. Swirling reveals how the brew viscously clings to the sides. There is an odd yellow color in the beer too.

S - Alcohol is extremely dominant here. When I drank this, I didn't realize this was only 11.3%, Rogue does a terrible job of masking it. I have had many high abv beers at this level and I cannot thing of one that is as harsh on the nose. It is like sniffing rubbing alcohol. I can barely detect anything underneath that, but there is a faint caramel malt and a touch of pine.

T - Alcohol! My first thoughts are of battery acid (not that I've ever drank it, but I imagine this is what it tastes like). A caramel malt sweetness with some bourbon character, then the beer turns to an oppressive hop bitterness for the finish. After a while the aftertaste takes on an ocean water / salt flavor. I didn't expect that at all, but I suppose that would account for the name.

M - Numbs the mouth, a lot. Kills germs, or at least it pretends to do that. Refreshes the front of the mouth while drying the back. It is viscous and smooth. A little while after drinking this, part of my mouth started to bleed. I don't think it is a coincidence.

D - The drinkability is bad, even for a barleywine. A few of us shared the gigantic ceramic fifth. My half glass was a distressing chore to finish. It might improve with age. I will pass in the future unless some tells me it was well aged. Sessions unthinkable. Food might be okay, if the beer was.

 1,554 characters

Photo of stirgy
1.87/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Bottled in 2001.

Poured a murky and mysterious burgundy brown color. A thin filmy head of tan cream topped the beer off. The aroma is strong with sticky fruit and heavy with malt sweetness. The heavy and rich aromas that emanate from this beer almost come full circle and almost cabbage-like. The taste – well now, how to say this… it’s like chewing on a grapefruit seed. Intensely bitter throughout and seems highly unbalanced, even with the heavy malt. I know this is an “American Style” barleywine, and it is from the West Coast, but Jesus! Gimme a break here! This might be just the thing if you want to strip the paint off dads’ old Studebaker. A few more sips and I’m breathing fire. It’s like sucking on a green acorn. Tannic, acidic and bitter as hell. Body of malt is heavy, but gets completely overwhelmed by the bitter qualities. It reminds me of accidentally drinking seawater, and it back washes up through your sinus cavity. It stings and numbs. I really can’t see anyone enjoying this… I did manage to finish it, but just barely. Maybe this is just too young... but, until it (or my palate) matures - Gag…

This is just craft beer gone wrong, IMHO.

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Photo of SSGPat
1.93/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I was excited that a barleywine was in my possession. It poured well; nice color and head. It smelled like a hoppy barleywine, which was interesting. I tasted it and thought it was the worst thing that I've ever put in my mouth. Bitter... VERY BITTER. We ended pouring out the bottle because we thought that we'd gotten a bad one. I bought another. Same result. I'd never poured out a bottle of beer before, now I've poured out $26 dollars worth of two beers.

Save your money for Old Foghorn.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
2/5  rDev -50.1%

Photo of jpajpajeff
2/5  rDev -50.1%

Photo of Hooker275
2.04/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Ok, in North Carolina, we finely started getting good beers after the alcohol cap was lifted. Too bad one of those beers was this one.
It came in a large, ceramic type bottle with the pop top. The color was a deep reddish-brown, with a slight head. Smell, whoa, smells like lawn clippings. With a hint of alcohol. It tasted pretty much the way it smelled. Like lawn clippings. Very bitter, lawn clippings. Didn't really think much of the mouth feel as I was too busy wondering if someone emptied a lawn mower, added some faint hops and manure, then put it in my bottle. Overall, not a great ale. Actually, it was horrible. I poured the rest of the bottle out eventually. Definitely not something I'll ever drink again, if I have a choice.

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Photo of ajs4bd
2.25/5  rDev -43.9%

Photo of oregone
2.31/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

7oz into tulip
A:Looks solid. Caramel colored with some transluscence. Nice lacing on the glass after the somewhat prodigioud head (for a barleywine) drops to a fine rim.
S: Some creamy butterscotch up front with a pronounced hop finish. Piney smells with some citrus being the dominant character.
T: An unbalanced hop mess. I love the hop flower, Ruination and other high ibu brews being regulars, but damn. You need some balance or at least good flavor. And this has very little. Strange that a barleywine has the dominant character be bitterness. And Asprirn.
Medicinal, unpleasant bitterness that stays.
M: The initial appreciation is mildly sweet caramels (slightly rich feeling, that is), but quickly the abundant carb and aggressive hops hit your palate and this thins out. Not to style at all for what that's worth, and the finish is dry with no richness nor pleasant character.
D: I have no problem with high abv beers and enjoying them. That said, they must be enjoyable. Going back for sips of this was a tedious chore and akin to choosing to chew another Aspirin. A tough decision. The building nastiness says a sip is enough. I finished my 7oz. But not happily.

So, I hear this was a fresh batch. Having had others with age and been suitably underwhelmed, I will not be going back. Even if they pale in badness compared to this one, I believe that there is little expectation of goodness. If you looked at this as a DIPA you might be less underwhelmed, but still, that medicinal nastiness would make it less than happy making.

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
2.48/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is one intense barley wine! Almost too intense for me. Very intense, robust, malty and dark flavor with a hop finish so strong that it destroys everything in its path. It’s so powerful it’s hard to review. Apparently the IBUs on this one is around 120 and I can believe it. The sharp scent on this draft pour is raw and smells like cough syrup. There is something likeable about this barley wine but I can’t put my finger on it, perhaps its surviving the intense ride. It’s not very drinkable though, a sipping beer for occasional use.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.48/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle dated 2002. This was the Bull and Bush vintage beer of the month. This thing had absolutely no head which is not surprising for a barleywine. The color was a dark orange-brown and cloudy. I couldn’t pick up much smell from this beer. The taste was good with a hint of chocolate and a little nutty. I could taste the hops as well. The one thing I didn’t like is the “Rogue taste” I detect in all their beers. Maybe it’s the pacman yeast but I just don’t like it. The alcohol was fairly well hidden in the taste but I sure noticed it as soon as I was finished sipping. What a letdown, out of all the Rogue beers I have tried I only liked a 2004 Imperial Stout.

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Photo of Mbpike
2.5/5  rDev -37.7%

Photo of Gaisgeil
2.5/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Oh my lord, talk about bitter!

Now, I love my hops as much as the next BA, but sometimes a brew goes over the top and really kills it, this is definatly one of those.

Pours a dark and rich brown with red tones and a thick tan head, with a bit of retention. Nose is quite hoppy, a bit floral, traces of malt and a certain spiciness, nice. Taste is wicked, atrocious. This just is not my thing at all. I can taste some of the malt and some other miscellanious flavors, but the bitterness just destroy everything in it's path. Maybe some cellaring would even this one out, but as is... I'll definatly pass. I'm amazed I finished the bottle. This is one of those time I just am not seeing what most everyone around here seems to be thinking. The most I can say is at least it was quite warming, and the alcohol wasn't very apparent. Live and learn.


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Photo of chippo33
2.5/5  rDev -37.7%

Photo of Brew33
2.5/5  rDev -37.7%

Photo of bluesplit63
2.5/5  rDev -37.7%

Photo of ChadQuest
2.5/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This is a 2008 ceramic bottle, i got it at the store down the road from FFF a while back, really cool flip top bottle i'm sure ill use in the future, really lame price of $18.

The head doesn't last long, maybe it's because the % is around 11%, but it ends with a slighty cloudy brownish-red color, i can read this text through the edges but not the center.
The aroma is better then the flavors at this point, while the aromas give a brown sugar, brandy, and toasted/melted caramel and citrus rind likeness, the flavors come out with a bit of oxidation,sharp pointed solvent like alcohol, and zesty oranges and mixed malts. Drinkable, but this isn't the flavors i'm happy to pay $18 for. Mouthfeel is in the ballpark of sticky and coating and i'm going to brush my teeth soon.
I had to get this for the experience, and because it's a Barleywine(that's my tick catagory), but otherwise don't pay $18 for it, one of those 7oz bottles may be worth for the experience it if that happens.

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Photo of drperm
2.53/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled at Brewgrass '08.

I love Barleywine. After tasting this, though, I'm tempted to modify that statement: I love ENGLISH Barleywine. This stuff is nuts.

Appearance: Thick, cloudy goodness.

Aroma: Hops, mostly. After the first wave of hop aroma comes a hint of dry-hopped hops. Somewhere in there are some hints of cinnamon and cloves, too.

Taste: Cloyingly-sweet. And more hops. It's like biting directly into a hop cone, basically. With lots of syrupy sweetness. 120 IBUs? Give me a break.

Palate: Syrupy, with a nice spritz to make it swallowable.

Overall: No balance to be found here. If this is at all indicative of "American Barleywine style," then I'll be sticking to the English style from here out. I could have given it a lower rating, probably, but Brewgrass just put me in such a happy, chill mood.

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Photo of zeio
2.54/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I trust Draegers San Mateo to pick good beers from this list and others - but I had a 750 ml of old crustacean barley wine and it was vile. Could be a corked / bunk bottle, but this stuff was seriously unrefined, and I can take a foul arrogant bitter ale with the best of them, but this stuff was not worth the price. Shame on those who charge top buck for foul ups. I was chowing on Nice and McChouffe for a comparison and there was none. If you pay 10 - 15 for 500 - 750 mls, the stuff should be erotic. Rogue is now for me UNTRUSTED for charging and brewing this crap.

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XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 1,295 ratings