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

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Reviews: 705 | Ratings: 1,270
Photo of johnnnniee
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

7oz bottled in 2000 Sampled in 2012 so it's got a bit of age on it. Pours a mostly clear dark brown with ruby highlights when held to light. The aroma is filled with caramel dark sugar and lots of dark fruit with some alcohol and a bit of wet cardboard. The flavor is dark sugars and cherries and raisins with a healthy dose of warming alcohol. There's an earthy herbal component in there as well. Medium to thin body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet harsh alcohol type mouthfeel. Its nice to be able to try a 12 year old bottle of barleywine. I've had fresher bottles of this and felt the alcohol was a bit too present, and this proves that age won't fix that. The twist off cap probably didn't help much, but there was still a little bit of carbonation. Nice to try.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.17/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to David Rosen for bringing over the 2 small bottles (Flying Dog and Rogen)!

Maybe the age has killed the carbonation, but very undercarbonated.

For its age, the dryness isnt as strong as id expect. Which kind of scares me because usually sweetness turns to dryness with age. Lots of very sweet toffee and even more caramel. Im thinking its soooo sweet that its almost dry.

i so wish it tasted like it smelled, but nope. Its kind of bland actually. Its sweet, but not as sweet as it smells. Its like an overly dry, almost off tasting sweetness that turns me off. I think it may have oxidized. I think I want dry sweetness, but I get some dryness, but the grains feel dry (and they dont work with the sweeter notes at all).

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from 7 oz bottle dated 2010 into snifter

Appearance – Pours a hazy orange- copper color with a huge yellowish tinted head. The head had giant carbonation bubbles that slowly popped over time to leave a wonderful level of lacing.

Smell – The smell is sweet and malty. The sweet aromas are of fruit and sugar with the malty aromas of biscuit and sweet bread. There are lighter notes of alcohol mixed within, which when mixed with the rest of the aromas makes a very pleasant smell.

Taste – The flavor is big of chewy bread up front with a light, almost orange, citrus like flavor. The citrus leaves with an even maltier presence coming into the taste as a big biscuit flavor meets the chewy bread. At along this same time an alcohol flavor enters the taste. It gets stronger and stronger toward the end leaving a somewhat mediciney burn on the tongue in the end.

Mouthfeel – Insanely thick. It is like a thick syrupy-decongestant thickness. It coats the mouth thoroughly letting all the flavors really penetrate the tongue. This with a lower level of carbonation and a the burn create a rather unique mouthfeel.

Overall – Big and potent with a heavy boozy flavor and a wonderful thickness.

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Photo of endovelico
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes. Reviewed under medium low artificial light.

Appearance: Murky amber stroke mahogany brew with almost no head (effectively snitching on the alcohol level) and medium perceived effervescence. Upon some swirling, a beautiful tan head emerges. The color is very inviting.

Aroma: Medium in intensity. On a first sniff: Cloying melanoidin with alcohol up front. Grainy and caramel on the back, but all in all very muffled aroma as i can't really put my finger on what i'm getting. Paradoxically a great descriptor, for me, would be piña colada and yougurt.

Taste: Intense flavour. Ash, melanoidin, alcohol, yeast slurry and caramel. Strong minty / vegetable hops reminiscent of Northern brewer hops. Very muddy as opposed to complex.

Palate: Medium low to low carbonation. Medium high body. Coating finish. Medium high bitterness. Some yeast bite. Alcohol apparent but it's really not supposed to be any other way at 11.5% and 110 IBUs. Soapy texture.

Overall: This beer is all over the place for me. Some things i like, some things are off, some things i hate. It's not an amateurish or badly made beer, it's just badly designed in my opinion, it doesn't really work as a whole. I almost feel guilty giving it such a low score but i expect a re-taste in the future to correct or confirm my suspicions.

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Photo of ckollias
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 750ml bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a cloudy brown hue with orange highlights. Small, white, head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Strong malty aroma with a good caramel background and a decent hop presence.

T: Robust malt flavor that is slightly sweet. Caramel and slight hop background.

M: Very big, strong and boozy. Heavy body and medium carbonation.

O: Love, love, love this big ass barleywine. Total worth the money. Great flavor and huge amount of alcohol.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: The bottle is absolutely gorgeous, which is a good start. The beer itself isn't bad either. A few shades lighter than Mahogany, burnt orange I guess with a thick head that faded fast.

SMELL: Great smell with a ton of bread in this thing. Banana, clove and brown sugar are all there as well.

TASTE: This smelled like a malty beer, but it tastes like a hoppy one. The finish is exceptionally bitter while the front is loaded with bread from the nose. A bit of sweet maltiness manages to sneak in between the two, but only a tiny bit.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied, dry and palate-cleansing.

OVERALL: Not great, but not bad either. The look and smell are great, but the taste and the feel are only slightly above average. All of this adds up to a good beer, but it probably isn't worth paying $17.99 for a bomber.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from an awesome resealable gray ceramic 750ml bottle.

Pours a gorgeous oily light caramel color liquid with some nice orange hues and amber notes. Very nice off-white almost yellowish head that is dense and has some sticky lacing to it. Very nice and thick looking.

Aroma is also very nice. Caramel notes a plenty with some hop backed citrus notes and some herbal grassy and flowery notes. Slight molasses aroma can be perceived with some bready notes as well. There are some nice fruity notes as well with some slight prune notes. Mild heat as the beer warms.

Wow. Pretty impressive brew. Feel and body is a bit lighter than expected but the flavor really makes up for this. Strong malt undertones. Tons of caramel and molasses notes that are quickly overtaken by a nice prickly and citrusy notes. Very strong hop backed flavor profile. Definitely a hop bomb American Barleywine. Delicious combination of hops and caramel malt notes. Very rich flavors and a nice boozy notes. As it warms some more fruit notes pop up with some nice toffee notes as well. Mouthfeel is still pretty thick and oily with some nice carbonation and a nice dry bitter finish.

I was pleasantly surprised. I had stayed away from Rogue for a while but this is a great beer. Very flavorful and well crafted. Great job Rogue.

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

XS Old Crustacean
Rogue Ales
Style: American Barleywine
ABV: 11.50 %

LOOK: Amber hued brew with excellent clarity. Small, short livid head forms and recedes. Looks like a big Barleywine.

SMELL: Complex nose of fruit, spice, heat, and everything nice. Fruit borders on cherry/dark fruits. There is a peppery alcoholic spice aroma as well.

TASTE: Mildly fruity, strong, and hearty. Brown sugar, toffee, molasses, dates, and cherry all come through. Definitely a barleywine.

FEEL: Full bodied, well carbonated. Fruit, spice and alcohol in the finish.

OVERALL: This was a pleasant brew, strong, but never overbearing or not tasty. This would pair with a solid dinner like roasted pork loin and smashed potatoes.

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Photo of BeerCon5
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber color with about one finger of off-white head with decent retention.

The scent was fruity with citrus hops and notes of alcohol.

The taste was of citrus and other sweet fruit notes, bready malt, moderately bitter hop presence, prominent alcohol presence.

Medium body, smooth and drying, moderate carbonation.

Overall a pretty good representation of the style, it was balanced very well, the alcohol was noticeable but not overbearing. I wouldn't mind having this again.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I forget where I picked up this little bottle. Was in a barleywine mood and figured I’d try it.
7oz bottle that is marked “bottled in 2010” & “Best when Aged 1 Year”
Poured and left the sediment behind. Yep, looks like a barleywine! Thin film of head that actually shows surprising retention. Classic deep amber color with some burgundy tones. A spot of lace believe it or not.
Some hops in the aroma and a deep malt character. A hint of what surprise lay ahead for me in the flavor.
The flavor is MUCH more hoppy than expected. I am quite shocked actually. Pretty balanced, in that that hop bitterness offsets a hearty base of dark toasted malt.(not roasted or burnt) A touch of sweetness that really gets overwhelmed by the aggressive bitterness.
The body is actually a little thinner than some, but the bitterness offsets this and it’s a big beer.

A hoppy surprise in every bottle

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I first gave this a 3.5, then I had a 2003 bottle at Gramercy Tavern in NYC and now a 2012 draft (in '15). Overall, I really like this. But you have to age it many years. A great, hoppy, sweet, boozy, juicy delicious barleywine

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

Pours a nice copper color with a decent head and lacing, but soon dissipates. The smell has definite notes of malt and a bit of fruity notes. The beer tastes awesome! You can taste the hops but it is smoothed out with the malt and the subtle sweetness of the fruit. You can definitely taste the higher alcohol content, but it doesn't take away from the beer. The smoothness mixed with light carbonation makes for a great mouthfeel. Overall, this was a really well done barley wine.

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Photo of Retail1LO
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on paper 2/3/12.

Received this bottle at my tasting as a gift for my recent birthday. :) I've never had this before. This is a 2009 vintage bottle.

Pours a ruddy, reddish-brown hue with virtually no head. Despite the very thin crown a straight down the middle pour provides, it leaves decent enough lacing behind. The smell on this is lovely. It's a bit on the hoppy side of things, but overall it has that lush vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, and generally sweet nose to it. I just love the smell of this barleywine. The taste is decent enough too. The smells don't translate fully into the taste, but the hops certainly shine through, to the beer's detriment, IMO. The mouthfeel has a lot going on. Boozy, hoppy (very), and sweet...this has a pretty smooth draw. It's not as thick and lush as I'd prefer, but it's nothing to sneeze at. Overall, this is a very solid barleywine. Despite it possessing some characteristics that I typically don't find appealing in a BW, the beer as a whole is very successful.

P.S. 11.5% ABV? WHERE? VERY well hidden.

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

An old favorite of mine... rare to see this on tap outside of the NW in my experience. On tap at Max's tonight.

The beer pours a copper amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, with cherry cough drop, lots of sweet malt, vanilla, and something of a meaty flavor. The flavor replicates the nose in this sweet beer, except there's even more cherry cough drop, along with some noticeasble alcohol and hoppy bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is full, with a long, sweet and bitter finish. Alcohol is noticeable, but is not over the top.

There are better barleywine's out there these days, but this is still an impressive, well made, very well crafted beer from the folks at Rogue. Definitely a walk down memory lane with this one....

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Photo of EricCioe
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage on tap at the Rhino. At their February 2012 barleywine fest there is 2009 Old Crustacean, 2008 Alaskan Barleywine, 2008 Bigfoot, 2008 Gnarleywine, and 2007 Old Guardian.

This pours ruby red with a small head that dies down leaving decent lace for the abv. On the nose there is a mixture of raisin, smoke (?), toasted malt, and pine resin. In the mouth there is an immediate strange saltiness combining with more standard dark fruit flavors. There is still a surprising hop presence given the age. The body is medium sticky with a long bitter finish.

Overall, this was probably the least good beer of the flight. There seems to be a weird amalgamation of flavors here, almost like rather than a well-integrated barleywine it's a mixture of scotch ale and DIPA.

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Photo of Meerkey
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: No real head to speak of. Muddy orangey brown. Kind of like thick, dark honey.

S: Grainy malts and some hops. Some fruit.

T: Yum! Lots of strong, drying hops accompanied with bready malts. Some fruit. Alcohol is definitely noticeable.

M: Bitter, very drying. Sharp, but smooth on the tongue. Nice.

O: A very good beer. Surprisingly hoppy. Recommended.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 7 ounce bottle into an Albemarle Ciderworks glass. 2010 vintage.

A: Light but dense off-white head is short-lived. The beer is an ugly sort of translucent, muddy orange-brown. Unfiltered.

S: Bready malts, older hops that still have some kick, and significant amounts of fruity alcohol.

T: This is a damn good barleywine. Loaded with hops that have barely mellowed over the last year+, but balanced with a heavy malt base and a subtle sweetness of fruity esters and alcoholic body. The back and forth across the tongue is oh-so-pleasant. By the end, the hops have finally won out. 110 IBU? I believe it.

M: Astringent, but full-bodied. Bitter, but only lightly dry on the aftertaste.

O: Really great Rogue beer -- one of the best -- and a steal at under $2 a bottle. Highly recommended; a stellar example of the American Barleywine style. I have no idea what it's like fresh, but this aged bottle is a thing of beauty. Would have again.

EDIT 23 Dec 2016
Same 2010 vintage. Let's see what nearly five more years have done. Poured from a 7 ounce bottle into a BrewDog glass.
A: Murky red with no head.
S: Hugely fruity. Lots of strawberries. Also some residual bitterness; earthy, dead yeast; and whiff of booze.
T/M: Substantial body. The bitterness is overwhelming, in a citric-hoppy way. Could be residual alcohol is well. This is a beast. Behind the beautiful, fruity astringency is a mild maltiness and a long, lingering bitterness. Damn, son.
O: Was it worth aging this long? Probably not. Is it damn good? Yessir, it sure is.

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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.

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Photo of hiku7
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Delicious barleywine.

Pours orange reddish, somewhat cloudy, with a small quickly dissipating cream-color head. Good lacing though.

Caramel and toffee dominates the aroma, followed by a tangerine citrus blast, then some nice hearty alcohol warming.

Flavor is also tangerines, caramel, toffee, plus some nutty burnt sugar. Hop bitterness is substantial, especially in the finish. Slightly gingerbready spiciness also in the finish. Sweetness is balanced somewhat by the hop bitterness, but stays sweet enough per the style.

Medium full body. Moderate carbonation. Sticky sweet mouthfeel with plenty of residual sweetness in the finish.

Overall, this is a solid west coast hoppy barley wine. Very big feeling beer and great after dinner on a rainy cold night.

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Photo of JTSbeerislife
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft, poured into a 10 oz tall snifter at Cobblestone’s York PA, 1/8/2012.

Notes taken at bar.

As poured a rather thin head, but this glassware leaves a little something to be desired.
Deep, brown amber color.

Medium rich malty aroma, with a hint of yeast. Could be a little more distinct, but it’s pleasant enough. I believe a larger more open glass would have helped the smell quite a bit.

Thick creamy entry on the palate of crisp bitter hops, followed by very rich malt. The yeast tries to come forward but loses to the hops and malt. Very full mouth feel and great carbonation.

Very long finish of bitter hops and rich malt.

A somewhat different take on the American Barleywine Style. Scotch Ale like flavors and somewhat candyish malt. Still there is a really distinct hop kick to this ale that hangs in from the first sip to the last. Very tasty. Best at 55 degrees or so. I would love to try this in a proper glass.

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Photo of vitrael
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage poured from XS bottle into snifter glassware.

A: Deep amber, slightly hazy, with a thin oily tan head.

S: Spot on, wonderfully bready and sweet malty aroma. Very appetizing.

T: Hops, aggressive and harsh, rather spoiled the experience for me. The biscuit / toasty malt flavor is exquisite, but cowering behind a harsh hop bitterness. Tastes really quite overhopped to me, though I can tell the malt body is quite good. The bottle is 12-18 months old so could possibly need more time, although it recommends 1 year cellaring right on the bottle. I'm still going to buy more.

M: Appropriate to the style, a very heavy and viscous body, although perhaps a little overcarbed. Difficult to appreciate the sensation of this one in the mouth as the hop aggressiveness sets in after a few seconds.

I'll still get more bottles of this and give them a couple of more years to mellow. I wouldn't approach the 2010 vintage until at least 2014.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage on tap at St Augustines in Vancouver.

A: 1/4" tan coloured head that left a nice lacing over mahagony liquid.

S: Muted rich toffee malt and vanilla.

T: Bitter pine hops up front with rich toffee malt. Peppery and vanilla flavours are present as well.

M: Thick viscosity and a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: Complex and drinkable, a very good barleywine.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

7oz into New Belgium glass. Raiding the cellar. just shy of 2 years old at this point.

A- Nice copper, head is 1cm tall, sandy tan, settles out and sticks nicely to the glass.

S- Hops are still pretty strong.. Nice malt sweetness to counter.

T- Wow, bitter. Hops are still abrasive. Lovely fruity malt undertones, hope are strong but subside and let the malt come through. Still very bitter, though.

M- mellowed out a bit, bit still not tame by any sort of a stretch.

O- Fantastic, but I think the best is yet to come. Glad I still have a bottle in the cellar.

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Photo of jpro
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

7oz bottle (2010) poured into a snifter...

A: Pours a hazy, cloudy pecan-orange; virtually no head other than a light beige ring of foam; no lace on this 11.5%er.

S: Heavy caramel malt; candied fruit; sweet, boozy aroma.

T: Holy hops! Wow - the 110 IBUs are still well intact... the hops blast the palette right from the start. Sweet malt is there, but is destroyed by the borderline harsh hop bitterness; pretty raw stuff! Maybe another year or two would tame this beast of a barleywine.

M: Full; high carbonation; crushingly bitter.

D/O: A definite sipper. So bitter, though, its tough to get through 7oz; probably the most bitter / intensely hopped barleywine I’ve had - except for fresh Bigfoot, maybe.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep amber to brown-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, fruity and a small alcohol presence. In the taste, dark fruits, with a pleasant alcohol burn all the way through. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry dark fruit and alcohol presence in the aftertaste. Does not seem huge in alcohol, quite smooth and mellow.

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XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,270 ratings.
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