XS Old Crustacean | Rogue Ales

1,280 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,280 |  Reviews: 708
Photo of rallison
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

1997 7oz nip bottle into oversized wine glass, cellar temperature.

A: Dark muddy brown with a bit of ruby and almost no head, just a few soda like bubbles.

S: Smells of figs, prunes, rum and other delicious treats.

T&M: Definitely figs, mixed with brandy & port. Lots of nice caramel sweetness, other dark fruits, prunes, molasses, and flavors of the like. Oh, how the hops have mellowed. But they still do back it up a bit. Rich, warming mouthfeel. Love it. An after dinner sipper if I ever did taste one. After some more sips, there is some oxidation - not enough to be overly distracting, but it's there. Of course, this beer is 10 years old, so it's not surprising.

D: Ehh, for what it is, it's pretty drinkable. But really, 7oz size is just right.

What a beer this becomes after 10 years.

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Photo of Vancer
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber pour, small head of course, and a sliding sheet of lace. Ummm.

Sweet mother, what a load of chocolate caramel malts in the enticing aroma – it almost overwhelms the senses. But with the sip we’re back on tierra firma, with tons of malt, fig, caramel, prune, and a big kick of my favorite = bourbon aged wood barrel.

Deathly rich and robust, this is BW heaven, would luv to have more, but that over-priced ceramic bomber has to go!

Geez, Louise, thanks to timtheenchanta in BIF46 for this superb brew!!

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Photo of ccrida
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on draft in the Rouge XS goblet, Old Crustacean has a 1 finger, khaki colored head with medium bubbles, which quickly receded to a slight surface skim, leaving a bit of sticky lace. This was more head then I'm used to for a barely wine (e.g. none!), but I credit that to this being from a (presumably new) keg, being it's at the Rogue Ale house.

There is a moderate aroma that is very sweet malt and a bit bourbonish booze, but no fusels or anything. Also some spicy and piny hops.

The taste, look-out! This sucker is super rich, almost chewy. Sweet malts, like cotton candy, with raisin and a touch of toffee. The hops are there, but only moderately so, mainly bittering, although it doesn't finish too dry. The alcohol is certainly assertive, but quite welcome, and overall this is really nicely done. Being on draft and presumably fresh, the sweetness of the malt might off-set the hops better then an only slightly aged bottled version, b/c this was really nicely balanced and super good.
The mouthfeel is surprisingly moderate, with a nice little bit of carbonation.

The drinkability, for a barely wine in particular, is pretty high. It is very robust though and of course super strong, but if you like barleywines, old crusty goes down like butter. A fantastic barleywine!

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Photo of Mdog
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2002.

Appearance: I managed to pour without any sediment, so this beer was a deep red with a nice head and good lacing.

Smell: This definitely has been affected by aging. The last Old Crusty I had was a 2004 consumed in 2006--it had a powerful citrus aroma. This 2002 has mellowed to a more traditional barleywine aroma of caramel, some fruit, and some alcohol.

Taste: The first few sips were quite malty--caramel, some fruit, even a little chocolate taste. A few more sips and the hops have started to reappear--still a lasting bitterness after 5 years!

Mouthfeel: Syrupy, lasting bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: After 5 years of aging (about 3.5 at the liquor store, 2.5 in my fridge) this is really good stuff.

For my 100th review, I grabbed this one out of the fridge. The last Old Crusty I had is still seared in my memory as the most bitter beer I've ever had. Adding a couple more years takes more of the bitterness off and this starts to become a nicely balanced beer. Too bad it's so expensive to purchase these days since it's a great beer.

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Photo of demcorhip
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The last of the barleywines from the session with chonyr and raider. We took this one head to head with Old Ruffian, two big, bad assed hop forward barleywines. I must of had a good buzz by the time i got to writing my review for this one because its not very easy to read my handwriting, which sucks at the best of times.

Quite dark in colour and slightly opaque, sort of like a cloudy cola. Thin tan coloured head formed while this mildy carbonated brew was poured. No lacings were produced.

A very complex nose, with aromas of dark fruit, leather, toffee and some chocolate. Also a big hop nose with a piney blast that mellowed into slightly less bitter white grapefruit peel.

Another hop bomb of a barleywine, which has an interesting flavour profile much like the above mentioned aromas. Theres some chocolate or roasted malt giving a slight chocolate flavour, as well as hints of nuts, dark fruit, and a leather burley tobacco pouch. All of these interesting flavours are then assaulted by 120IBUs of mouth stripping hops and their pine and grapefruit blast.

A big, thick, mildly carbonated hopwine. Their brutal bitter is a pleasant easy drinking bitter. This one almost lives up to the monicker of brutal bitter. Probably the only thing that prevents this from being cloying is the huge hop blast that strips the inside of the mouth with its resinous hop blast.

A good, brutally bitter sipper, but not very sesionable. Another barleywine for the hop heads, and i may have found this more drinkable at the start of our session as opposed to the end. May try this one again, but i wont be looking for it anytime soon.

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

2001 vintage from Himerman, drank on 2/07.

It was impossible to pour without the sediment (5 days of settling), so it was amber, deep and murky -- like Davy Jones Locker, arrrr.

The hops were still there in the nose and in the taste (perhaps due to the sediment?), they hadn't toned back as much as I would have expected or hoped, but it's certainly not a kick in the teeth like the fresh stuff. Bodywas rich and smooth. There was still a bit of an astringent hop bite and could occasionally get a little hot in the swallow.

This beer definitely holds up well, and probably would continue to age for many years.

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Photo of shadow1961
3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Rogue's Old Crustacean Barleywine Ale pours
out a tan head over a dense brown brew. The
nose is a rich blend of sharp molasses, their Pac-
Man yeast, and dark fruit. The flavor is molasses,
a hint of bitter chocolate, and sharp hops. The
aftertaste is very hoppy and grassy. As the brew
warmed, I noticed that the sharpness moderated and
some of the dark fruit flavors came foreward.
To get the maximum flavor and balance out of this
particular brew, I would suggest serving it at cellar
temperatures- 55º- 60ºƒ. Ice cold out of the fridge
there is an unacceptable level of hop bitterness and
a sort of chalky mouthfeel.
Still, in my opinion the brew is really unbalanced- the bitter
hops pretty much overwhelm the other flavors in it. This is
a real surprise given the great job Rogue did with their Brutal
Bitter. Given the high cost ($15.00 for 750ml) I just can't
justify recommending it. Oh well, you can't win them all. The
bottle is really nice though. Maybe I'll make a lamp out of it.

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

From a 750 ml black ceramic bottle, capped but with extra flip-top. The 2006 edition, this one states 11.5% abv on the painted label. Pours a deep, dark mahogany, with a bright almond nimbus when held to direct light. Tall, frothy and chunky tan head, large bubbles, recedes to a frothy cap. Thick, organic patches of lacing.

The aroma on this thing is intense, as if almost hinting at the heaving leviathan that lurks below the dark, murky depths of this barley wine. Dark roasted malts, blackstrap molasses, dates and black currants. As it warms the hops rise up from the depths, herbal and citrusy.

It's Mr. Toad's Wild Ride meets Moby Dick with regards to the flavour, lots of white knuckle hair-pin turns combined with tidal waves on every corner. Intense dark roasted malts, almost akin to Turkish coffee grounds, which swell as a wave to the middle, where it breaks with an espresso-like character. Black currants mingle underneath that wave, as does a deep warming alcohol presence. The hops also have a seemingly omnipresent character, always there in one form or another. Bitter and herbal over here, then tart and citrusy over there. Bitter aftertaste however, almost as if in tandem with the malts and the hops.

The mouthfeel is full and creamy without being too thick. Well no, I stand corrected, it has some pretty thick, rich moments as well, almost fighting to choke it down. That takes it down a notch.... But all things considered, the mouthfeel falls right in line along the intensity of the aroma and the flavour.

This barley wine is not for the weak or faint of heart. Prerequisites should be a palate trained like a ninja crossed with a navy SEAL, and the stomach of a concrete elephant. Either way, after downing a bottle of this stuff on your own, you'll still be singing that song about the goblin... As with all of Rogue's extreme ales, I feel as if they should be sampled and experienced at least once, and then returned to depending on one's intestinal fortitude and how far their wallet can stretch.

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Photo of shivtim
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a big 'ol ceramic bottle.
Thick brown/red with a tan head. Very hazy and nice. Nose is sweet alcohol, good for the style. Taste is very sweet, some malts, lots of alcohol, and a hoppy finish. Pretty complex, this could probably use some cellaring to even it out.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2004, 12 oz bottle. Pours almost black, but with reddish tints and caramel highlights. Minimal head, as would be expected for the style (and the ABV). The aroma is a bit rough -- it says "I need more time in the bottle". Rough hop notes vie with still-crystalline sugary malts. Pine, graham cracker, and caramel all mix here. On the tongue, very sweet first off with nutty malts and caramel, before moving into malt bitterness gradually through the mid-palate. By the time the finish rolls around, the hops are out in full force, leaving an entrenched, earthy bitterness in their wake. Mouthfeel is extra thick, as expected, with more carbonation than I expected as well. We'll see how time affect that particular element. Overall, this is a promising American barleywine, and one that could show a whole lot of complexity and balance with aging, but as of now it does not match up with the best of the genre.

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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 loren01
4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy rusty red color, reddish head slight lacing down the glass
S: Smell was awesome. Strong chocolattey smell, caramel malt. Also smells fruity and a slight yeast scent as well
T: Dark fruitiness, sweet milk chocolate flavor. Aftertaste is dry and bitter, alcohol is very evident.
M: Very full/thick chewy mouthfeel
D: Excellent barleywine, would get this again for sure.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to himerman for this via trade. This tasting was a nicely cellared 01 vintage. I was at first hesitant to open this. I bought a couple of 05's and tried one in it's first year. Rough is an understatement. Since it was only one bottle and I am ever curious when it comes to vintage beers I thought no time like the present.

A - cloudy reddish brown. I did a slow pour and to no surprise found a touch of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. A faint wisp of carbonation showed up but no head on this beer.
S - Citric floral and piney hops nose with an underlying rich malt body. Almost vinous almost sea water.
T - Hops after about 5 years are still dominant. The malts seem to swirl in a not quite there aged feel. A wisp of carmel/toffee, overtaken by piney hops followed by a wisp of roasted malts overtaken by more piney hops and so on.
M - thick and full bodied.
D - This one is a slow sipper. Definitely a warming effect but not overly alcoholic. Warm, not jet fuel.

This is an intriguing brew. I find bigfoot hit's a good spot for me starting at 6 years old. I think this would probably do the same at 10 years. The only caution I might have to putting to much money into this beer in the cellar is the carbonation. Faint as it is I'd hate to find it is not up to the task of aging to what this beer seems to be capable of. Kudos to himerman for the trade and to all those aging these away. I think I must go put a 6 pack away for future years!

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.27/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2006 Vintage.
Pours a cloudy dark amber with practically no head at all.
Smells like brown sugar, caramel, raisins, dark fruits, and alcohol.
Mouthfeel is very thick and creamy finishing crisp on the end.
Taste is sugary malt and brown sugar then bitter citrus peel (grapefruit) hops. This one is VERY hoppy for a barleywine...even more than Bigfoot.
I'm afraid this beer really needs to age in order to mellow and blend some more. This one was too raw.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 bottled and brewed, maybe bought in chicago a while back. had this once before at clark street alehouse

appearance: pours int a snifter...glowing garnet-mahogany, very strongly tinted....very little in the way of head but a lace can be produced

smell: great complexion in the first whiff...sugary sweet booze, rich malt structure, smooth hopping noticeable in the background. sweet dark fruit soaked in booze

taste: pungent hops noticeable immediately...still very bitter after 2 years. sweet sugars, raisin, plum, booze covered fruits, light spice. complex but it all comes back to bitterness in the finish...starting to think another year or two would have been appropriate. good barleywine from rogue

mouthfeel: high bitterness, thick body

drinkability: pretty good

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Photo of warmstorage
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 brewed and bottled, 12 ounce bottle. Poured into wide-mouhed wine glass.

Pours a cloudy medium brown, with a small, dense beige head that dissipates into nothing, and leaves little to no lacing.

Smell is prunes, plums, and alcohol. Hot alcohol, like rubbing alcohol. Yeast is vry evident.

Taste is much the same, with warm, sweet fruit, solid hop bitterness, and very, very warm alcohol. Distinct yeast character, even with a careful pour. Some sugar, some caramel burn-ness. I love this stuff, but I can't quite say why: it's just got that certain something about it. Finishes with prunes and plums and cherries.

Mouth is tingly and warm alcohol.

An outstanding example of its style, and one which I've bought a lot of, and will buy a lot more of.

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Photo of jettjon
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the attractive 750ml flip top ceramic bottle, it's very dark, nearly opaque reddish brown, with no visible bubbles or sediment in the pour. Capped by a long-lasting 1-finger head of fine bubbles that leave a moderate amount of lacing behind. Nose is hoppy with a burnt chocolate and sweet malt presence, seeming to me to be similar to a cross between a quadrupel and a porter. Taste is sweet malts up front quickly followed by a respectable, biting bitterness, fading to a warm alcohol presence, then finishing on a mild, dry bitter finish. There's also a bit of toasted malt in there; the juxtaposition of toasted malt, sweet malt, and biting hops is new and strange to me, though by no means bad. Mouth is pleasing: viscous, heavy, smooth, with moderate carbonation that stings the tongue a bit. Drinkability is quite good; it is possible to finish the entire bottle in one sitting, though the 11.3% ABV is to be respected.

Overall: A good beer in its own right, though this is not what I expected from a barelywine. I was not familiar with the high-hopped American style, and believe I prefer the English.

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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 vladimerjr
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(2006 vintage)Bought this at my favorite local distributior for a friends birthday party which had a wine tasting theme (I am not much of a wine drinker). Only 3 of us tasted it the rest wussed out. They don't know what they were missing.
Sold in a 700ml ceramic? Bottle with a swing top to reseal (which did not work so well) which weighs about 3lbs after empty it is a good bottle to have in hand if you get into a fight.
Poured into wine glasses due to a lack of much else out at a wine tasting party, had a modest head and a nice orange/dark amber color. You could actually smell the sweetness in the beer the odor overall was very overpowering.
This was only the second Barleywine I had ever had as the first (years ago) had not left me very fond of the style. But after this I think I am going to have to try a couple more as I was pleasently suprised at how much I liked it. Sweet and hoppy and strong, yes it is a sipping beer but it went well with the cheese's and deserts that were out for the wine tasting.
Not something to drink everynight but I will definately find some more occasions for it.

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Photo of scorched
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought the beer, having tried a couple of barleywines before. The style alone takes a little getting used to, but seeing as how I knew what to expect this time, I was ready. The large 700ml bottle has a sealed cap, but has a grolsch-style sealer cap attached to it, which is needed, because if you were to consume the entire bottle, you wouldn't be able to write a review for it. As with all barley wines, the alcohol content is high.

I poured the brew into a tulip-style glass and allowed the head to form, which was a stark contrast to the almost ruby-orangeish color of the body of the beer. The aroma of the brew is fantastic, reminiscent of many other barley wines, but with something a little extra - you can actually smell the alcohol. The Rogue website actually calls the brew the "cognac" of beers, which is very appropriate.

The flavor of the beer, once again like other barley wines, is very full-bodied and an overwhelming potion of sweet, bitter, and maltiness.

The mouthfeel is smooth, and very appropriately carbonated, but not over-doing it.

The finish is clean and refined.

In summation, I would say that if anyone thinks that they are ready for a barley wine, they should start with this one. It is a good alternative to ice cream for an after-dinner snack.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Purchased winter 2005) pretty expensive at $14.99 a bottle. 700ml tall, black, ceramic, swing top bottle. No freshness date printed on the bottle. Pours a dark, blood red. Head has a pinkish/tan color to it but reduces to a thin film of foam. Nice creamy lacing. Aroma like a port wine hints of prune, walnuts, vanilla, and chocolate (there is an aroma in the background that reminds me of play-doh). Thick, full bodied texture and a sticky/slick mouthfeel that coats the palate. Sweet toffee/ butterscotch flavor, Hints of wood, bourbon and chocolate notes. Slight alcohol numbing to the palate. Hop bitterness is delayed and doesn't hit until well after the swallow but it does pack a punch and leaves the mouth feeling hot. The finish has a grapefruit citrus, earthy, pine bitterness and it'll stick to the palate for a grip. This beer is incredibly complex, really tasty but a sipper. After a glass I was feeling a bit twisted. I enjoyed this barley wine with chocolates.


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Photo of WeisGuy
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at Capital Ale House

a - dark brown color, decent head with little retention but good lacing

s - lots of roasted malt and bitterness on the nose, alcohol very evident as well

t - sweet maltiness up front, very bitter hoppiness with bitter finish, strong alcohol present in the finish

m - little carbonation, medium-bodied, not overly dry finish

d - not overly drinkable, abv too high and alcohol too evident to have much more than one chalice of this stuff, definitely a sipping beer

Glad I found this on-tap at CAH in Richmond, because I've been wanting to try it but was hesitant to spend $14 on a bottle. Definitely glad I tried it, but I won't be buying the bottle anytime soon. A very intense beer that I'm sure would get a little better with some age on it.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a big ol' ceramic swingtop bottle....2006 edition.

pours brown with a tan head. lots of tiny little bubbles rising through the brown body. looks good for a barleywine. Smells very sweet, with floral hops and alcohol. Taste is very bitter and very sweet and malty. Some floral hops flavors, along with a smokiness that's quite nice. bitterness would probably fade a bit more with time, but its good to go now as well. i might age one just for fun anyway to see how it changes. Good to sip and takes a while to get through the whole thing.

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Photo of wingman14
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a solid dark brown with a tan head that is gone before you blink. The smell is hoppy and sweet, smells similar to many Rogue beers; also you can detect the alcohol. I am picking up some fruits, maybe some citrus. A very aromatic barleywine. Do not gulp this one, it will knock you to the floor. This thing is packed to the brim with flavor. Starts sweet with the fruit which quickly turns to the hops and bitterness. Ends with a soft finish because the beginning packs quite a punch. The aftertaste is mostly bitter, with hints of the citrus. The mouthfeel is warming and smooth, goes down like a smooth whiskey. A great sippin beer. I gave it a lower drinkability score because of its harshness, but do not let that scare you away from trying this beer. Another solid offering from Rogue.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown color with some orangish hues. there is a nice two finger, off-white head that doesnt last very long but leaves some lacing.

Smell is sweet. There is a strong carmel presence as well as some honey and fruit (perhaps raisons).

Taste is sweet initially but quickly fades to a roasted/burnt bitterness. There is like a citrus rush to the palate with this beer when it warms. Alcohol is also present. This brew is intense and I like it.

Mouthfeel is very heavy and not a whole lot of carbonation but it works well for this beer.

Despite the high alcohol this is pretty drinkable.

Good job by Rogue. I will purchase this again.

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XS Old Crustacean from Rogue Ales
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,280 ratings.
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