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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,277 |  Reviews: 708
Photo of biegaman
4.57/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled a number of occasions now.
While this review is a collection of impressions (as this beer does make so many) I base its marking (the higher marks) on a 2004 bottle I recently had - served almost at 3 years of age.
It was fantastic...
...Mind blowing really. Some trace of head still lingered, leaving something resembling legs (as in a wine) more than lacing. Carbonation still present enough to hold a stern spine to the mouthfeel (altough carbonation is low anyhow in this one) Appearence seems to earn the right to bear the 'Old Crusty' title - a murky, pond water appearence but with lovely highlights to the colour. How these hops haven't weakened in 3 years is beyond me. They are just as ever present as always. More refined - yes. Any weaker? No.
Flavour is chalk full of malt, that coats the mouth like a sweet nectar or sticky candy. A long, lingering resonance is felt as much as it is tasted. Such a balance between hop bitterness and malt finish. Same can be said for the balance in the aroma. One hell of a beast - but ... refined and balanced. Hints of alcohol can come and go, but never disturb the flavour and if anything, compliment the character. A fantastic barley-wine, great candidate for cellar (defintely has improved with age) and one I keep finding guilty pleasure treating myself when going back to.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2002, 12 oz. bottle, 120 IBU ! Pours a cloudy, alomst muddy chestnut color. Thick tan foamy head which held very well for the strength and age. Huge candy caramel aroma, along with floral, citrusy and piney hop aroma. Still a great amount of hop aroma for being 4 years old. Dark toffee, caramel, a bit of chocolate are the flavors at first. Finishes with some piney and citrusy hop flavor, along with some burnt notes. The burnt flavor seems overwhelming until this warms up even more. Still intensely bitter, I can't imagine how raw this is fresh. Very low carbonation. This doesn't seem to have aged as well as I hoped, but it did improve as it set out.

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Photo of akorsak
3.41/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the infamous ceramic flip top bottles.

A: The ale is a deep dark brown color with a small head.

S: The ale has a slightly malty aroma but no hops whatsoever (compared to, say, Old Ruffian).

T: The malty aroma is very sweet, giving the ale a chewy character. There is a hint of hops, but not enough to satisfy an American Barley Wine.

M: The mouthfeel is nondescript and not very memorable.

D: The bang for the buck was terrible, $13 for a malt bomb that falls short on the hop side.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a thick, cloudy ruddy brown, no lacing or carbonation apparent.

S- Very hoppy, very malty. This is going to be a shoot out. Raisins, caramel, sweet malt, citrus, all fight to dominate.

T- Hops dominate the start, citrus, slight floral notes, slight bitter notes. The malts take over later on with nice fruit notes, raisins, currants, and caramel. This is a battle between hops and malts and you are the winner. This is so intense and is now my favorite barleywine.

M- Super smooth due to almost no carbonation, thick, syrupy.

D- You need to be in the mood for this one. Very intense and super drinkable.

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

Four years old at sampling, but still quite an intense beer here. Color is garnet, with decent head but little lacing - we'll blame that on the high alcohol content. Smell is quintissentially barleywine: lots of dark fruit, hops, alcohol, and sweet malts. Taste is very similar, but with a certain harshness in the finish, could be from roasted malt or perhaps from the hops (120 IBU's!). Smells better than it tastes, I think. Mouthfeel is smooth but syrupy, good carbonation for the style. Drinkability isn't great - harsh finish and high alcohol make this a special occasion beer, and I think I prefer Bigfoot, regardless.

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Photo of rsyberg01
3.01/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

S - Black painted ceramic bottle. Red lettering "Old Crustacean Barleywine style ale"

A - Deep reddish brown hue. Head hits a finger and a half of off white fine bubbles then to a thin cover over the surface of the beer. Average lacing.

S - Roasted coffee, caramel, sweet maltiness, slight fruit note, bit of citrus, floral note, quite a noticable alcohol note.

T - Sweet, roasty, then sweet again. Kind of fatiguing to the palate. Bitter finish, carbonation is a good amount. Big notes of bitter. floral smell/taste. Grassy/earthy notes as well.

D - I could hardly finish a single glass. Good, yet average. Could be extraordinary with a few years of aging

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought the fancy ass XS series cermaic like bottle. Amazing presentation. This poured a deep maroon color with an awesome brown colored head. The body was quite hazy. THe nose was nice but nothing extraordinary. I thought it was actually kinda mild in the hop department. This tasted almost wine like or a strong belgian. It was really malty which is nice, I am sick of DIPA style barleywines. The mouthfeel is smooth and syrupy.

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Photo of Toddv29424
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours out of a beautiful ceramic bottle. Included is a rubber seal, but I'm pretty sure that any BA won't need to use it, as they will finish it in one sitting ;) The color is a dark complex brown, with layers and floaties much like a Quad. Huge smell, although its hard to explain... The initial taste is of alcohol but that isn’t to say it not well balanced. Lots of hops and fruits, which add up to a very impressive nose. There is a lot added, and it goes down almost syrup-like. Mouthfeel and drinkability are lower because of the lingering alcohol taste, and the slightly bitter after taste. Overall a beer to seek out for sure.

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Photo of TrickKnee
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Just had some of this in the new ceramic bottle. First of all the bottle is beautiful, A+ on the packaging. Never being a big Barleywine type of guy i was a little impressed with how tasty and more drinkable than others i have had in the past. Deep dark color, almost a little red. There was no head and very little carbonation, which is common with barleywines. however the taste was really good.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2002 release. Yeah, I know I'm lucky.

Pours a dark, opaque brown. No head at all. No lacing at all. Just deep darkness. Makes you wonder if you're man enough to take a sip. Yes I am.

Complex smell. Dark fruits (raisins, dates, figs), anise, light tobacco and roasted coffee, some faint leafy floral hops, and some grain. Has a bit of a spiced rum smell as well. The more I smell it, the more I pick up.

Wow...the taste is superb. Must try a fresh one to compare. You can taste the alcohol, but it's a good thing. Raisin, figs, burnt caramel, port wine, black licorice, coffee, some sweetness I just can't peg, and the alcohol. Now, I am not a fan of coffee, black licorice, or port wine but this my friends is very tasty. The blending of the flavors is amazing and rather smooth.

Creamy velvet on the tongue. No wait...like licking silk...nah, that's too kinky. Anyway, I hope you get what I am saying. There is a bit of a burn at the end and some bitterness, also. Viscous, but not too sticky. The drinkability would be higher, but I must be honest...the ABV won't let you drink to many.

I must make my way back to my "secret spot" to see if any remain. Not only for me, but also for Holiday giving. This is one of the best aging barleywines I have ever had.

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Photo of biercircus
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark, cola, almost no head

S - Rum alcohol on top of plummy sweetness

T - Strong, really complex, takes over your whole mouth. Dark roasted coffee, sour plums, raisins, cola, lingering bitterness.

M - Bubbles, bitterness, not much body.

D - Good, strong, distinct flavor, but don't drink too much. I was feeling like it was a bit too much flavor too handle. Maybe more of a winter brew because of its savory quality. Not a thirst-quencher.

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Photo of dblinkhorn
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a ceramic 750ml bottle with a resealable rubber cork into a glass tulip goblet.

Appearance - Dark, murky, dirty coffee color. No head, spare a few large bubbles from the pour.

Smell - Very, very sweet. It smells like sweet molasses has been added directly to this brew. I also smell some caramel, a slight scent of coffee, and some notes of dark, ripe fruits.

Taste - Wow. This stuff is extremely potent. Right into the mouth, I am hit with a powerful sourness. In the middle, it quickly turns to a warm and sweet taste with a lot of dark fruit flavor, such as raisins and prunes. The finish is very familiar...super-strong glass of espresso, that is very bitter. The flavor is strong, but it tastes as murky as it looks, it is not balanced nor very complex. The flavor is just too overpowering for me. Not impressed.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is okay. It is smooth, almost no carbonation in this brew. If you can unsquirm the mussels in your face from tasting it, it actually has a nice feel in your mouth.

Drinkability - Very low. This brew is just too strong. I've had a few other barleywine style ales before, but this one is over the top in my opinion. This beer seems more like a novelty than a real quality brew.

Worth a try, and only one.

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

2004 vintage

Pours a nice cloudy amber in color with a small tiny bubbled head that withers away to almost nothing at all.

The smell is of light sweet fruit (maybe grapes, apples, with some citrus back). The finish is of a pleasant dose of pine and hops.

The taste is a suprise to me with the first punch of fruit being extremely light in flavor with the crisp grape and apple comming through only slightly. The flavors increase as the beer warms(and warms you at 11.3%). Then at the end there is an awesome hop bitterness that seems to bounce around your mouth until it has hit every part. All i have to say is 120 ibu and you get the picture. The aftertaste of the hops makes this beer a tough one to have more than one, but it is a joy to drink just the one. As the beer warms the hops subdue slightly and give way to more pleasant fruit flavors, but who wants to wait that long. I have yet to be dissapointed by the rogue crew and this does not dissapoint.

2001 vintage

Still is an exceptional beer with the hops still kicking some ass. A lovely nightcap for a cold winter night.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

2004 vintage.

Appearance: Clear, glowing, cherry juice-stained mahogany or cola-stained cranberry juice body. Thin, faded parchment-tan head with poor retention.

Smell: Tart, fruity, and lively yet deep and sumptuous. Cranberries, plums, cherries, prunes, raisins blended perfectly with a faded yet still slightly sharp estery hop character. Some darker malt tones provide a nice base, namely brown sugar, cocoa powder, nuts, and husky grain. The 11% alcohol is very well-hidden.

Taste: Hazelnuts, walnuts, and sherry. A nutty and very sturdy malt base, not nearly as fruity as anticipated. Huge volumes of lupulic acidity and spirited alcohol firebomb all corners of the palate and warm the mind and body. Extraordinarly flavorful and ferociously bitter, with a ray of berry-like sweetness that peeks through towards the end of the sip before being totally shut out by a heavy curtain of tannic bitterness and resinous hops. To say the finish is dry is like saying the Pacific Ocean is wet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied, smooth and increasingly creamy and textured as you chew. Slightly syrupy and sticky.

Drinkability: Certainly not something I can handle more than one bottle of in one sitting. I do hope that whoever buys this in the big ceramic flip-tops shares it with a friend or two, because at 11% ABV and 120 IBUs, this is one rude brew.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Round 4 of an 8 round American Barley Wine-off with expatsteve. After a very diverse lead-in I thought our palates were ready for the belle of the ball and gem of my fledgeling collection - a bottle of Vintage 2001 I lucked upon last year. My most highly anticipated tasting to date.

Pour: deep, dark, garnet/mahogany, cloudy and chunky, swampy but still gorgeous to look at with a short crown of khaki foam.

Nose: raisin, black licorice, leafy/herbal hops, vinuous, with malt grain in the finish. Reminiscent of old-timey hard candy and aged port.

Taste: gooey caramel, raisin, port wine, trail mix, brown sugar, prune/date/fig, with a long black licorice candy finish. Complexity is paralleled in the style only by the Great Dane's Barleywine '02, another phenomenally aged b-wine.

Feel: luxurious and silky smooth, velvety carbonation...qualities of any number of smooth fabrics really.

Overall/Drinkability: WOW. Just wow.The Sophia Loren of graceful agers, this was a simply sublime drinking experience. 5+ years have mellowed and deepened the flavors to an impressive degree. Very similar, again, to the Great Dane's aged barleywine. So different than any other bottled barlywines out there, it's certainly earned a place of its own in the pantheon of amazing American beer.

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Photo of expatsteve
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 2001 bottle with Golden2wenty1 - many thanks for this offering!

Appearance: Orange/copper brown, on the dark side, with low visibility. Hazy finish, but manages to catch the light well; pours a nice 1/2 inch head and light/medium suds remain after a few minutes. Medium/high viscosity - almost a foreboding weight to this one!

Aroma: Grainy, raisin finish, with thick anise and nice floral hops. Complex, but easy on the nose, with late chocolate malt developments.

Taste: Wow - there's amazing development in this beer, and a complex mix of flavors that almost defies description. Coffee on the front palate fades into an amazing licorice finish. Hints of raisins and pine behind these anise notes. Burst of orange are balanced by deep, rich hop developments. Unique flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, owing to the licorice finish. Low, smooth carbonation and a Crisp finish. Wonderful.

Drinkability: This is one of the most fantastic beers I've tasted, with truly unique flavors and the kind of depth and development of flavors desirable in a barleywine. Nonetheless, it achieves a unique blend and balance that makes this stand out. The hops development stands out against other more one-dimensional use of hops, while the malts are rich while remaining fruity. Neither mellow like Old Foghorn, nor abrasive like Old Ruffian, Old Crustacean really stands on its own. Superb.

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

2002 Vintage, 12 oz. Pours a ruby red to brown in color with basically no head. Bottle conditioned cloudiness. Smell is rich of sweet malts, some pruniness, ripe cherries and raspberries, perfuminess and a hint of piney hoppiness that is enveloped in a good size boozy aroma. Taste is nice and rich as well with good malt sweetness up front, red licorice, caramel, and finishing with a strong alcohol flavor and warmth. The hops are far from a fresh sample of this one but are still present in the finish, peppery and dry. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly thinned from aging. This one is drinking well now, but could definitely go longer in the cellar to let more of the malt flavor come through, although fresh its raw power is also enjoyable.

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Photo of bort11
4.73/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml black ceramic bottle with a swing-top lid. I think this is a pretty cool added touch to the presentation. Poured into an Imperial pint glass about half full. With the handy swing-top lid I'll be working on this bottle for the rest of the weekend. It has a creamy white head, about a finger width and recedes to a solid lace that last all the way to the end. Color is a fantasticly rich mahogany and clear. Smell is sweet like molassas and caramel malt. Taste is very complex. It starts out very earthy and malty, but as you finish the swallow it ends up being very hoppy and bitter. There are also some coffee notes around the edges. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy in body. Medium carbonation. This is a fantastic barley wine. I'm definately going to get more to cellar

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Photo of hoffman
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Discount Liqours in April 2006 bottle is 2004 vintage.

Requires a vigorous pour to achieve a tw finger head. Lacing is minimal but the carbonation leaves a cap on the beer. The smell is damn good, predominately sweet, brown sugar, toasted carmel, plums, dates, cherries, sweet organic notes, toasted coffee tones as well....very complex and not much hop to speak of. I really liked the taste of this one, very smooth with sweet dark fruits in the beginning, the alcohol shows up in the middle with more subdued sugary undertones and a bit of hop character allready. The hops are there in the finish but are not at all offensive leaving the beer quite balanced. The after tastes leaves you with hints of the alcohol still on your tongue and some very pronounced roasted coffee notes.

Damn drinkable and a damn fine barleywine.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 7oz bottle into snifter glasses. This beer was bottled in 1998. What a treat that I have been waiting for. The beer poured a deep cloudy brown color with some noticeable sediment throughout the bottle that made its way into the glass. The beer had a nice sweet fruity aroma of raisins, plums. Very similar to a port-like aroma which I happen to enjoy. The taste was had a sweet fruit, malty hit upfront that was balanced out slighty by the present hops. Which each sip from the snifter the tastes intensified and the spicey alcohol character got a little more intense. Worth the wait and worth another try in time.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Vintage 2004, served my trusty John's Grocery tulip.

The color is amber/dark purple and the head rises fast and then receeds back leaving a beautiful lacing that looks very good.

Smell is soo fruity and sweet and malty! This smells great! It's like a dark sweet plum and grape smell that's very malty sweet. I enjoy this smell very much.

The taste hits hard with warm alcohol, it almost made me cough. The hoppiness finally comes out and balances greatly with the fruityness. The flavor has fig, roasted malts, and a fruity almost lemon and berry flavor of it's own.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, carbonated well and leaves the mouth farely fast but still leaving it's presence known on the tongue. A medium-large bodied beer that has a hoppiness that will knock your socks off.

Overall I will buy as much as they have next time I am up in Milwaukee.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Vintage 1998.

Poured a murky, syrup-like maple brown in color with noticeable floating sediment. A delicately thin, lightly tan sheet of a head that leaves only a line of pin-like lacing.

Deep vinous fruit: chocolate covered cherry, plum, raisin. A semi-sweet port-like nose with a distinct mustiness. The alcohol presence is noticeable, but seems to bring out this barleywine's natural aromas.

Rich, creamy chocolate and toffee; port-flavored sweetness. Aged fruit: plum, raisin, cherry. The alcohol character is remarkably mellow and balances the sweetness and richness so well. The sharpness and acidic character of your typical barleywine is absent as a result of the aging. Heaven in a glass!

Full bodied; creamy, rich. Almost muddy and wonderfully smooth on the palate.

A classic IMO regardless of the year, but an eight year old batch of this barleywine is as heavenly as it gets in the American craft beer world.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle of the 2004 vintage poured into a fairly large snifter glass.

A - Pours out a very dark ruby red, near brown color with a fairly small but seemingly persistant tan head.

S - Smell is nice with notes of alcohol as well as some chocolate and caramel aromas. Some fruitiness on the nose as well. Quite nice.

T - Lots of dark fruits with a huge alcohol kick and some chocolate flavors. A but of a roasted character as well as huge bitterness and alcohol on the finish. Not bad at all.

M - Not bad. A nice full feel complementing the huge flavors.

D - Pretty good. Not the most balance among the flavors in this brew but still quite interesting. A pretty nice barleywine.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in 1997, so it's been sitting a long while.

Pours a flat plain murky brown, no head at all. Thick sediment left in the 7-oz bottle, including some sticking to the neck of the bottle like a mold. I poured the last quarter-inch of sediment into the sink and it looked like engine sludge. This is quite a very ugly beer.

Aroma is voluminous: sweet and malty, heavy with alcohol, existing somewhere between a beer and a whiskey. Slick and oily, even a vigorous spin won't raise a head.

Taste is heavily malty, with cocoa and chocolate malt. Some moderate hops flavors, some strong wood flavors, mild vanilla and amaretto, possibly rum. Only a mild flavor of alcohol but a strong alcohol burn is unmistakeable (don't know the precise ABV).

Mouthfeel is very oily, very much like a liqueur, but the finish is short and clean. After warming just slightly, it smooths out considerably. The complexity is intriguing for this grandaddy of barleywines, and age only helps.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a bottle. This was a 2004 vintage recieved via trade with timtheenchanta. Thanks!

This beer pours a rusty copper color with a tan head that holds and laces nicely but eventually fades. The smell is not overpowering but there is still the smells of dark berry fruits, chocholate and some hops. The taste is very similar to the smell with still a good amount of hops hanging around after all the aging but also a considerable amount of residual sugars lingering in the beer. The beer has a good thickness with a significant amount of dryness and smooth carbonation. Overall a nice barleywine, certainly one worth picking up.

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