XS Old Crustacean | Rogue Ales

1,277 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

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Ratings: 1,277 |  Reviews: 708
Photo of xgrigorix
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce brown bottle, 2003 bottling.

Deep tawny russet brown. Topped by a dense tan head. Some thin spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Notes of chocolate & plums light up the nose & are quickly eaten alive by intense hop notes & fusel alcohol aromas.

Big bold dark fruit flavours along with a ton of sweetness to start. Massive hop flavours take over loaded with citrus & pine sap. Plenty of bitterness takes it into a dry finish. Medium-full bodied, relaxed carbonation. A real powerhouse.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2002
Pours a deep mahogany color with a full tawny head. Consistency is syrup-like: obviously a high gravity beer. If you look real hard you can see some bubbles rolling up from the bottom of the glass. Intense stuff. Aroma has some strange familiarity; like Sweet Tarts and some hop notes. Not incredibly complex, but again, intense. Flavor has a sweet start with a slightly biting middle and a numbing hop finish. Intense. It is hard to find any nuance or subtly. Palate is full bodied and syrupy with world-class hop finish. A good representation of the style, but I have had other barleywines with a better balance. However, considering the IBU’s of this beer, Rogue has created an “extreme” balance.

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Photo of Admiraldinty
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is definitely an acquired taste. Pours a dark brown/ruby with nearly zero head.

Heavy fruit, hops, alcohol and chocolate in aroma. Huge, out of control taste. Starts out with malts, bready, chocolate, and then hits you with strong, bitter hops. Had somewhat of a stoutlike character to it as well. Fairly heavy mouthfeel. The alcohol is nothing to play around with in this one, so drink it slowly.

At first, I didn't think I cared for this one, but if you give it a little time it will grow on you. I'd definitely be interested in seeing what a little aging will do.

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Photo of PatandDavid
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a keg of 1994 Old Crusty served at Redbones, which I enjoyed yesterday. Normally, I would stay far, far away from this beer (too much alcohol), but let me tell you, this 10 year old brew was very comfy and mellow. No sharp edges, not even the alcohol notes (they were present) got in the way of my enjoyment of this brew. My 10.5 pour was raspberry in color, with a thin white head that left as soon as I looked away. Aroma was of dark stone fruit (think plums), also some woody notes. Medium - in body, very smooth. Taste was a blend of malt, alcohol, plums again, some nuttiness, and even some licorice thrown in for good measure. Yes, there was some hot spots, but they didn't burn for too long. Enjoy it for what it is. Hops...it has forgotten them now.

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Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had the 97 and the 2003 at Beer Bistro Winter Fest. 2003 was nice and drinkable, hoppy. the 97 was rich and smoke. 97 some smoke. Crisp bitterness but also malt sweetness there so it is an awakening of the palate. 3.5 years later on tap but nowhere as good, age this one.
5.5 years later, Aged somewhat.big off-white head on medium brown. Some medicinal and peppermint aromas. Some licorice in taste.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - pours a muddy purple and brown. No bubbles at all and no fizz upon opening this small sample bottled in 1999.

Aroma - a mixture of vinous fruit, chocolate, and alcohol heaviness like rum. Very fragrant, very resilient.

Taste - very sweet and winy, followed immediately by a very metallic bitter rush, taking complete control. Extremely dry and acrid bitterness. Well after the swallow it gets a roasty chocolate aftertaste that is delicious but all too brief. Perhaps the malts have lost much of their oomph, leaving this one noticeably unbalanced and off kilter. I have a fresher bottle to test this against, maybe newer is better. Has moments of killer chocolate taste, but seems rather roughly bitter, coming off too medicinal.

Mouthfeel - smooth and velvety, low carbonation. Adequate for the style.

Drinkability - this one's a little abrasive even after 5 years. Some good spots, but unless the newer bottle has something more, not one I'd revisit.

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Photo of chunkylover53
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being a big fan of Dr. Zoidberg, I had to try this. I kept imaging him running around with his claws over his head yelling "Professor! Your robut is trying to drink me!"

Although this beer was not nearly as funny as him, it certainly does not foul the good name of crustaceans. It pours a black with slight brown highlights with very little head, and smells of chocolate and nuts. Chocolate is very prevalent in the taste - moreso as it warms up - and it's quite bitter with a very hoppy aftertaste.

It's got a fairly full mouthfeel and the flavour is quite full bodied.

Overall an excellent brew.

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

Very dark cloudy amber...very little head...some lacing. Smell is a very deep floral hop...very inviting. Taste is bitter with floral hop elements..alcohol presence is there with a fruity undertone...great for hopheads. Mouthfeel is somewhat heavy and chewy, but it fits the character of the brew. Drinkaibility for the high abv is fine...a definite sipper.

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Photo of nomad
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 vintage

The overwhelming sense of this bottle was dark crystal malts, as they lend the deep amber/brown colors to its appearance, a very bittersweet flavor, an earthy but sweet complexity to the smell, and a girth to the mouthfeel that is unmistakeably the mark of specialty grains. Dark and burly with a symphony of similar but differing bittersweet notes of earthy, grainy, sugary, and biting accents.

Regardless of the sweetness, which is marked but varied in flavor for a Rogue brew, the attenuation of this barleywine is noted and pairs with the buckets of hops to bitter and dry with a herbal quality. The balance of dark malts and Chinook and Centennials create an earthy and heady experience as relating this to others of the style is a ponderous stretch.

I've had other vintages on tap, and this was close to the best (which was a 1996 on-tap). Possibly the controlled environment of cellaring served it best. In the future I will age it longer as the Crusty could use another year beyond two to tame the bitterness and even more complexity. Definitely gonna buy more.

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Photo of shapudding
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2002 bottle. Poured out with just a teensy bit of honeyed cream colored head that sat atop the cloudy rootbeer/amber colored brew. So nice and piney scented with hops floating out at you. Grapefruity and woodsy with sweetness in the background... nice sweet malty scents. Wow, surprising first sip! So dark and pine filled, tons of hoppiness in there! Darkness, burnt toast, peppery and warming alcohol. Not much carbination going on, which I like, just such a good mouthfeel to it. There may be too much going on flavorwise to make this a session, but damn nice to sit back for a few, just to sit and enjoy and taste, and smell.... Man, can Rogue do anything wrong?

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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.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.73/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2001 Vintage. Props where Props is due: KClinger’s Publik House had some of these bottles in storage and nicely kept were they.

Appearance: 12 ounce bottle. Into a tulip, this beer has a rich ruby auburn color and a half inch of head that settles to a persistent off white head. Gorgeous. In the bottom of the bottle lies nearly a half inch of deep brown yeasties, sediment and secrets of the past 3 years. I’m all for the vitamins and nutrients, but I believe that scuzz might just kill a man.

Smell: A very full and sweet malt nose melds nicely with a sharp pine bitterness. Very decadent and heavy on the malt, I see it uses five different types.

Taste: The most full beer I’ve ever tasted. Full of flavor, complexity, body, malts and hops. Outstanding. Some of the many intricate flavors after 3 years of aging are pine, oak, rum, cocoa, bourbon, cedar wood. The alcohol is very much a prescence in this, and with the age the beer has taken on spirit qualities. The 120 IBUs are still very much alive, though the hops have settled into place behind the luscious malts. The bitterness exists in the aftertaste and in any burps one might have. An almost saponic quality is present in the aftertaste. Maybe 120 IBUs is approaching the limit of my tastebuds. One of the most complex beers I’ve ever tried. For this, it gets a 5.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth, and immensely rich. At times almost cloying, but never out of place. The malts don’t hide the alcohol, but do a good job supporting it. I think it fits the style and this particular beer very well.

Drinkability: I wouldn’t recommend that anyone ever have more than one of these in a sitting. Dangerously alcoholic but also dangerously alluring, I kept sipping trying to taste new complexities and pinpoint old ones; I kept admiring the outlandish flavors and sanity defying nuances. If the threat of a serious hangover is the only thing keeping me from drinking many more of these, I’d say it’s pretty darn drinkable. This barley wine is an excellent example of the style and one that ages magnificently.

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Photo of pheurton
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2002 vintage: cloudy and intimidating color of fire glazed mud bricks. cream soda colored head bubbles forth from the viscous liquid and subsequently retreats into the murkiness. dark caribbean rum soaked fruitcake aroma with an underlying nostril-searing pine resin hopiness. minimal carbonation...maybe from sitting in my cloeset for 2 1/2 years? ultra full bodied, smooth and deliciously creamy. heapings of caramel malt flavor with notes of green apples and over-ripened plums. hops come in at the end with an uppercut of viscous pine resin bitterness and flavor. the bitterness shows up late and can be rather shocking. alcoholic heat in the belly. still plenty of hop muscle, even after sitting for a few years. goes down well enough though the sheer size and booziness of this brew limits this mere mortal to one in a sitting. totally over the top but executed well. rogue crafts stellar big brews. they ain't classics for nothing.

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Photo of altctrlsdelete
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2002.

Pours an interesting maroon that doesn't change much when held to the light. No head to speak of after a fairly light pour into my snifter.

A sweet malt smell dominates the nose with lots of fruit and sugars up front and a subtle hint of the 120 IBUs that are to come.

The first sip is delectably bitter, with the hops really coming out to party and putting the sweetness in its place. 120 IBUs indeed, and the hop bitterness stays through the finish. The malts are there and command some attention, but the hops are front and center, pounding your tongue. The alcohol is remarkably well masked for the strength.

A heavy feel in the mouth, as a barleywine should be. Nearly perfect.

Delightfully (or dangerously?) drinkable for the alcohol content. The only American barleywine I've had that I prefer to this is Dominion's Millennium. This is a hophead's barleywine.

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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 mntlover
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with redish hints small brown head. Aroma is sweet caramel malts with fruit hints in nose grapefruit hints expecting more hop aromas but not bad smelling. Taste is thick chewy caramel malt really sweet then the bitter hops kick in and coat your tounge with oily hops. This beer has alot of hops atleast in the alpha acid dept but not much in way of aroma or flavor or its overpowered by the bitterness. I was wanting to like this beer but couldn't talk myself into thought about rating taste average but this beer is anything but average its just not for me. Mouthfeel is big and full a beer that means business. Drinkability for me average I guess, would have it again if offered but wouldn't look for it.

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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 MrNuggets
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Last time I had an old crusty it was a harsh, hoppy, palate devastating beer. Nothing like what is in my glass this time. Where are my beloved hops? Carmel dominates the flavor here. the beer seems to have turned from a hop fed beast to a malt monster. Burnt flavors come threw, certainly some interesting stuff going on here in this finely structured mass of malt. The beer enters and leaves the mouth with out any notice of the high alcohol content.
I'll need to rereview a newer bottle.

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Photo of Popsinc
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appeaarnce: 2002 Vintage. a clear but dark amber pour. minimal head, fades down to a mere ring quite fast.

Smell: fruity sweetness. molasses & caramel stickiness. underlying chocolate notes. a borbon like woodiness in there as well. big hops.

Taste/Mouthfeel: wow! overwhelming to say the least! hops galore and alcohol pow is right up front and throughout. the sweetness seems to come from raisin & fig. a wallop of black licorice is also in the mix. hop bitterness is huge on this brew and extends itself well after you complete your sip. very long & lingering characteristics. burried beneath all the mayhem there is a pinch of a nutty port-lke quality. the hop kick goes on forever post sip, it's crazy!

Drinkability: as far as barley wine goes this is great example. the big IBUs and alcohol kick may offend some and make the drinkability questionable. this one is a definte late nite sipper or even better if shared between 2.

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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!!!

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Photo of Hibernator
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 Rogue Old Crustacean Barleywine.

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle served in a goblet at slightly above room tempature. Very nice looking bottle, very typical for Rogue. 8 ingredients in total used in this beer.

The appearance was absoutely incredible. Nice shade of brown, almost a warm red color. I was surprised at the over 1 inch head and amazing lacings on the sides of the glass with each sip. Sticky and thick lacings were all over the glass.

Smell is sweet with a mocha aroma and slightly fruity.

This is one robust and complex barleywine. Very rich in malt flavor with a serious mouthfeell. Syrupy with a bitter finish. A warming and intense brew. One of the best of this style that I have sampled. Recommended.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Old Crustacean was served from a silkscreened 12 oz bottle dated 2002 (aged 2 years). In a pint glass, the beer was a rich and very deep and attractive mahogany brown, and was topped by a thin light brown head. The nose was extremely complex and wonderful with exploding textured roasty, mushroomy, spouted-grain, woody maltiness. Irratic plumes of varnish-like alchohl caught my nose from time to time. Sweet notes are present but stuggle to escape. On the palate, a big roasty, peaty malt profile with some nice cocoa nuances reared back to release searing scotch-like alcohol flavors that warmed the throat on the way down. A huge complementing bitterness came through this in the finish leaving lingering roasty, lightly astringent nutty notes. The medium body felt good for the flavors and character of the beer. As for drinkability, it suffers considerably due to the completely detached alcohol thoughout....I sipped it like as if it were scotch, and I barely got through the bottle. Despite this harshness, the nose was amazingly developed and good flavors made it enjoyable for a while. This aged barleywine was quite intense.

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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!

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Photo of jlervine
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat translucent hazel brown color. Off-white head forms and fades before waving "hello". Smell is an elegant mixture of sticky caramel malt, fragrant alcohol, and grapefruity citrusy hops. Taste is quick and to the point. Hop bitterness followed by a cleansing alcohol bath, a touch of malt, and palate stripping fruity hops leaving the mouth wanting more. It's not completely unbalanced, but it wants you to think that it is. The dry mouthfeel coupled with the mouth-watering hop bitterness attempts to balance it all out, but falls just a bit short. I think more residual sweetness would make this a killer barleywine. Very drinkable, but the flavor is in that grey area between American double IPA and barleywine. Expecting one or the other may skew your results.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Blood red, cloudy pour with a head that was a couple of inches thick. The aroma was sweet hazelnuts, flowery hops, and a musty leathery funk. The taste is very powerful with a malty and hoppy punch to your face that makes you sit up and take notice. A very complex series of flavors is found here, as each sip starts off as an innocent mixture of sweet dark skinned fruits, and ends up as a roasty peppery tobacco juice that makes your head spin. Just an incredible beer that shows what we had been missing for nearly 70 years in Georgia.

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XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,277 ratings.
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