XS Old Crustacean | Rogue Ales

707 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

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Reviews: 707 | Ratings: 1,273
Photo of Radcpa
3.77/5  rDev -6%
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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Photo of FLima
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
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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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
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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Photo of Beginner2
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
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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Photo of barczar
3.85/5  rDev -4%
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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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.33/5  rDev +8%
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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Photo of madelfonatree
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
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 -0.2%
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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Photo of jlindros
3.41/5  rDev -15%
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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Photo of ChrisMon02
3.27/5  rDev -18.5%
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 -0.2%
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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Photo of goochpunch
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
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 +0.2%
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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Photo of FarmerJOrganic
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
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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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
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 CalgaryFMC
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage, black ceramic flip-top bottle poured into a tulip. Note that the recipe of this beer appears to change depending on the year. A murky ruddy root beer brown brew with a copious quantity of creamy, frothy light tan head. Nice aroma of resinous citrus/tropical hops (this incarnation includes Centennial), orchard fruit, dark bread, cotton candy, cacao powder, barroom nuts, and a tinge of umami. Classic American barleywine. Pine, orange, and mango mingle with rich toffee, pretzel, chocolate, pears, apples, black tea, donut, and a little light molasses. Robust malts and equally assertive resinous hops, with emergent walnut, pine needle and astringent tree bark elements cutting what might otherwise be a cloying sweetness. Thick bodied and smooth but not quite syrupy with low end carbonation. Finishes rather dry, more piney hops and citrus rind. Hits all the expected notes: Fruity, aromatic, richly sweet but with a counterbalancing bitterness. Some IPA tendencies. Perhaps less complex than other iconic examples of the style.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.05/5  rDev +1%

primarily notes to self…2013 vintage (in December 2014) from a growler. Very good beer. Hoppy but not as much so as some barley wines, such as Alaskan and Bigfoot. Solid malty base. Not too boozy. I would not pay the ceramic bottle price, but 2 pints for $8 is fair.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

from growler into snifter

S:roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruit

A:minimal head, decent lacing, deep amber

T:watery, bitter, fruity, malt is surprisingly buried, malt accents fruit and binds with it

M:watery, fizzy but not sharp

O:not mind blowing but pretty good, certainly an interesting beer, buy a bottle, not a growler

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Photo of Brubzy
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

I saw this beer a few weeks ago and became curious. I've had many of Rogue's beers before, they've been hit or miss. I got the Barleywine due to I had an Imperial a few days prior. I found the Rogue to have a good "weight" to it, though I thought it would be a tad heavier. The taste was spot on with vanilla and coco notes. The only reason I did not give this a 5 rating was the price. $16 is steep for this beer, I think it's due to the bottle though

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter; 2013 vintage bottling, 10.75%. Pours hazy deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, raisin, plum, fig, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, herbal, floral, grass, pine, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/earthy hops, dark/bready malt, and dark fruit notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, raisin, plum, fig, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, raisin, plum, fig, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, herbal, floral, grass, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome complexity and balance of citrus/earthy hops, dark/bready malt, and dark fruit flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a smooth, creamy, and fairly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome American barleywine. All around great complexity and balance of citrus/earthy hops, dark/bready malt, and dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in downtown Janesville, WI. This pours a medium brown color with a slight head. The aroma is slight malty and sweet. The taste is sweet and boozy. Great taste of caramel malts and smooth finish. Rather filling beer and a nice find to try on-tap. Very nicely made.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.32/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Reviewed from notes.

Appearance: reddish brown color, with a slight haze but not quite opaque. two fingers of a tan head that fades at a decent pace to almost nothing

Smell: strong herbal hops, smaller citrus notes, some alcohol coming through. backend is full of malts, mostly crystal and some earthiness. not a whole lot of sweetness but a small amount of caramel

Taste: opens up with lots of hops. resin, herbal, citrus and spice. plays into an astringent bitter alcohol. malts are barely hanging on, with some light sweetness and crystal character.

Mouthfeel: super bitter and resiny. heavy and low carbonation causing a stickiness.

Overall: i bought this one mostly for the sweet swing-top ceramic bottle. I found the beer to be a bit over priced and but just not doing it for me. the flavors are to untamed and harsh.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: very hazy amber-bronze. Pretty substantial head on the pour that mostly recedes. Handsome enough brew.
Smell: sizzling with hops nested in sweet malt. Certainly hop forward. Pretty straightforward american barley nose but rich and deep.
Taste: wow, I was expecting a pretty harsh hop profile but this is nicely blended. More happening than in the nose. Hoppiness and Barleywine malt go toe to toe from beginning to finish. The hoppy bitterness perfectly compliments the barley richness.
Overall: have been disappointed with many Rogue offerings but not this one. Well done.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip at Stoddard's in Boston.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a dark crimson mahogany color with no clarity or vision of bubbles. Nice frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: caramel, toffee, raisins, fruity, grassy spicy hops, and cherry.

Taste: Same ad above. Based on the smell, I figured it wouldn't be that sweet. Hoppy bitterness in the end.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, full bodied, sipper, low carbonation, and a little booze.

Overall: Pretty nice barleywine. Could use a bit more sweetness, but I'm happy.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage. Poured from a 750mL swing-top ceramic bottle into my Dogfish Head oversized snifter.

Sangria body, dark and clear with a soapy finger of beige foam. Soft yet rocky lacing, thin viscous tears, excellent retention.

Deep intense malt and dark fruit aroma with a low spicy/grassy hop note as well. Lovely, inviting, subtle, complex, with restrained alcohol and no signs of oxidation. Leather, toffee, and very faint pipe tobacco as well.

Very uniform flavor profile, dry, leathery, but with plum, blackberry, and burnt sugar notes as well. Mild bitterness that blossoms in the earthy clay-like finish. Black bread, and jam are hinted at as the beer warms.

Creamy, medium-bodied, rich, slightly warming, but without nearly as much heat as the ABV might suggest.

Lacks some of the edge of a fresh bottle, but the age has bound together the disparate flavors into a perfectly harmonious whole. Excellent beer for a rainy day...wish I'd cellared some more (I think this could easily cellar for a few more years without falling off too much).

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XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,273 ratings.
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