XS Old Crustacean | Rogue Ales

707 Reviews
XS Old CrustaceanXS Old Crustacean

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly "Old Crustacean"

8 Ingredients:
Hugh Baird Carastan and Rogue Micro Barley Farm DareTM & RiskTM Malts; Chinook and Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution & Freedom Hops, Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

110 IBU
83 AA
57º Lovibond

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-03-2001

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Reviews: 707 | Ratings: 1,273
Photo of Halcyondays
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Naja's Place, 2004 Vintage,

A: Pours a murky dark brown with a full tan head into a Chimay snifter, head has good retention.

S: Complex mix of malt and hop notes, some alcohol, pretty typical American barleywine smell.

T: This is really good. Only having had Old Crustacean fresh it was a joy to have it at 4 years old. Great hop character still, in comparison to the '04 Bigfoot I had after which was still excellent but much more a malt bomb. Excellent balance, full pine, grass and terpene flavour. Malt gives strong toffee and caramel, all the flavours are big, definitely aggressive, but they work really well together, excellent.

M: Strong, full-bodied and full of hop resin. Light carbonation after the aging gives it good drinkability.

D: This is an outstanding American Barleywine and the beer I think Rogue really shines in, a must try.

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Photo of Derek
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2004 vintage, openned August 2005.

A: Dark ruby syrup leaves legs on the glass.

S: Caramel & pine.

T: Strong bittersweet hit of flavour. Sweet caramel & roasty nutty flavours fade to a piney, catty dryness. Not overly alcoholic (much less than some dubbles that use adjuncts).

Mouthfeel is sherry-like, being heavy, with mild carbonation.

The depth of flavour is incredible & the bitter aftertaste leaves you wanting another sweet malt hit!

Excellent digestif.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured minimal head on top of a brownish red body with thin lace stuck around glass. A mix of herbal hops and dark fruit, especially cherry, with some caramel and bready malts mixed in. Has a great dry wine like taste with dark fruit, and again I notice cherries for some reason over other fruits, along with a nice chunk of toffee/caramel like sweetness. Not too hoppy but there is a little rounded presence that gives it a dry backbite but dry finish is also due to high alcohol kick. Also some sour fruit and stickiness to this beer. The alcohol bleeds a little on the finish but this is a great sipper/nightcap.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


2007 vintage on tap at Churchill's in a snifter. The beer is dark reddish amber with a nice creamy off white head. Retention is excellent and it leaves thick rings of lacing on the glass.

The nose is of sweet caramel and dark toffee with a strong hop presence. Notes of grapefruit, orange, and pine are ascertainable. I detect aromatic fruit cake. The citrus notes become more pronounced with warming.

The flavor is sweet caramel with a strong citrus hop presence an upper moderate bitterness. The hops are reminiscent of grapefruit and pine resin. The long finish is dry and well balanced, with lingering caramel and grapefruit.

I haven't had this beer in ages, but it displayed an excellent combination of rich caramel malt and citrus hops. It's certainly one of the best experiences I've had with an American Barleywine.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a cloudy, semi-opaque, dark caramel brown color with a very creamy off-white head and MASSIVE loads of fine, tight bubbled carbonation.

S - Some caramel, faint rum, toffee, figs, raisons, toasted butter toffee, and light booziness.

T - There's a brief moment of faint sweet caramel malt up front that immediately gets pounded down by a healthy dose of bitter chocolate, some butter rum, and toffee which in turn gets beaten down by a tidal wave of bitter citrus that hangs on the palette for a long, lingering, dry finish. The amount of bittering in this beer is just sinful for a barley but it all blends extremely well and just plain, "works". The alcohol is not shy at all in making its presence known.

M - Thick, a little bready, chewy, silky smooth on the tongue, lightly syrupy sticky.

D - Exceptional drinkability.

I want many bottles for my cellar. This is my favorite beer from Rogue, to date.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a thick frothy head and leaves a serious lace. The bitterness is the taste that comes through. Their site lists the IBU at 120!! Good body, murky reddish brown - it is unfiltered. Hoppy finish. I'm going to keep a 22oz cellared for a year or so and see how it mellows.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

7oz Bottle from the Potsdam NY IGA - 2010 edition

Appearance - Brown colour with a smaller size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for close to 3-4 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - Malts, caramel, dark fruits, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is a low amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and malts mixed with an earthy flavour. There is also some dark fruits a big dose of hops.

Overall - Really surprised at the hop punch with this beer even after sitting for 4 years. A decent brew that seems like it would have held up for a few more years. Wish I had a few more tucked away.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage

750ml painted ceramic bottle poured into a pint glass. The aroma is dominated with dark fruits, malt, caramel and alcohol. The taste starts off pretty mellow, but the hops quickly kick in and give you a nice smack in the face. There is a lingering bitterness of the hops in the finish to accompany the expected warming from the 11% alcohol. Overall, Old Crusty is a wonderful Barley Wine. I look forward to having one after it ages for a while as well. Recommended.

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

Poured from 750ml bottle(room temp) a dark clear gold with a smallish head that dissipates quickly leaving just a fine layer with little lacing.

The smell has a very sweet malty nose and there's also an obvious air of alcohol mixed in there but then, this *is* a BWSA so I expected that.

The taste is huge! Lots of malt up front but a more than abundant note of hops(it's 120IBUs) comes into play and takes over and never relinquishes. If the malt had kept up with the infusion of hops, I'd have certainly rated this one higher than I did.

Overall, this isn't exactly the most well balanced Barleywine Style Ale but I do find it a quite enjoyable brew to sip on. I recommend it.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Packaged in a 22oz ceramic bottle with a swing top cap. Poured a dark, ruby red with a light tan head that was moderately lasting leaving a sticky film lacing.

S: pine, dark fruit (plums, dates), dried citrus and burnt molasses.

T: The flavor yielded much the same with lots of dried fruit (dates, plums) with some dried citrus (grapefruit) and pine complimentary of Chinook hops. There was a burnt caramel sweetness with some raisins, and figs coming through as well in the finish. Overall a very smooth and very good complexity of aroma and flavor with a massive abv makes this a classic big treat .

M: thick, full and malty with a big creaminess and a bitter dry pungent citrus hopping.

D: Very good drinkability and enjoyment and one that shouldn't be missed.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.54/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750mL black ceramic bottle poured into a stemmed glass. 2008 Vintage.

(A)- Pours a thick cloudy red mahogany color that actually briefly cascaded during the pour. Left a giant foamy tan head that left tons of intricate lacing behind as it slowly dissipated.

(S)- Fruity. Some fig & raisin with a touch of cherry & cranberry. Some almost burnt caramel. Some dry wood notes. Kinda closed though.

(T)- Dry, with a big hop pine wood bite up front. This is surprising despite its age. Malt of that same burnt caramel. Some new fruits of lemon & lime with fig, raisin, & cranberry. Rather bitter; gets more & more bitter the more I have of it.

(M)- A good carbonation level. This is surprisingly backwards. Still ridiculously hoppy & bitter; not much malt coming through which is so weird since it should be the other way around since this has 2 years of age on it.

(D)- I cant believe how well this has aged. Based on this, it could age for even more years. Still very hoppy; was hoping for more of the malts to come through, but I can live with that. For what you get though, I am glad I did not pay the full price tag for one of these. Definitely not worth the typical $20 price tag for one of these.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

XS series in swing-top ceramic bottle. Brought back from California to share with mates here in Sydney.

Pours incredibly thick - an amazing gelatinous blob of liquid in the glass. The head looks like newly formed hot toffee, the bubbles are so stuck in the body that rolling the beer around in the glass leaves them static where they were. Body is a majestic mahogany brown, head is a crackling lace of yellow bubbles. Phenomenal.

Lots of toffee-heavy sweetness on the nose, but also a huge resonant hop aroma, and an undeniable spirituous spiciness, coalescing together into one big bad-ass nose. Every thing is big. No getting away from it.

Taste is either wrong, or just insane. This is incredibly bitter, more so than the most insanely hopped DIPA. Despite the huge sweet aromas, there's almost none detectable here - the bittering hops hold the palate to ransom, strangling every little bit of life out of it. There is, meekly peeking around the corner, the usually brash flavour of alcohol, but the hop bitterness so utterly trumps it, ruling with an iron fist. I'm not sure I approve greatly. Mouthfeel is thick at least, like expected.

To be honest, I found this to be a terribly difficult beer. Everything before the first sip indicated a big, malty, rich barleywine, but the palate was so completely skewed in one direction that I was left reeling.

I prefer more balance in my beers, but it's hard to disrespect it.

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

Since Alabama "free'd the Hops" I reaped the benefits in Huntsville.
Poured a cloudy copper color with a thin, yet rich white head. Nose is hops, fruits, caramel and some pine. Taste is very good. Lots of hops and you can tell this things has serious IBU. Mostly nutty and raisin, some dark fruit perhaps plum, but very discrete.

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Photo of wl0307
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in July 2006 at OnlyFineBeer, a fantastic beer shop in Chelmsford, but very pricey it was... Vintage 2002, served cool in a broad rimmed Kasteel goblet.

A: dark brown with ruby glows; poured with a faint beer head settling to a rim, on top of a static body.
S: dense flowery hoppyness, caramel malts, caramelised longan-fruits, alcohol-soaked small plums and raisins, backed by a touch of Chinese tea-smoked prunes; the sharp edge of sherry and woodiness dances in the air. Overall, it smells not so old for a 2002 vintage old ale, for it's still alive and kicking in its hop aroma and pretty intense and dangerous for its alcoholic edge!
T: quite oily-lubricating, dence and rich... the semi-liquidy and mildly sweet caramely malts come hand in hand with fat fresh hops with plenty of syrup as well as tea-tannins to chew... gradually the woody and roast-tea-leafy bitterness of hops and lightly smoked bitterness of longan-fruits (with shells) dominate the back of the palate, turning drier and drier and drier at its own pace, before hitting a peppery and spirit-like finish, packed of rum, madeira, and dry sherry, but lacking a delicate touch... feeling ve...ry warm down the throat; fortunately this burning kickback doesn't come up too early.
M&D: with an oily and syrupy-rich palate sparkled by micro-scopic fizziness, this is an absolutely 120%-bodied barley wine benefiting from a liveliness unlike any 5-year-old strong ale. As it breathes, the alc. edge considerably softens (or maybe because my tongue and throat have got used to it?!), allowing for a more colourful display of hops and malts. I can't imagine how it might have tasted when it was younger, while I take it that there's still plenty of room for it to mature, maybe for another five years~~ Recommended for patient, small sipping, better shared in small quantities as a digestif.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am drinking the 2013 vintage out of the 750 ml bottle. This is a big, bitter, intense beer. Pours hazy ruby brown under a rocky light tan head that produces thick lace. Has a big malt nose with dark sugars and some sherry notes. Begins with a touch of sweet malt and then goes through three or four versions of hop bitterness and spiciness ending in a long lingering hop bitterness riding on smooth caramelly malt. A big alcohol palate joins with some heavy duty bitterness to balance the big, rich sherry malt flavors. Lingering bitter alcohol finish. The alcohol is warming but not overly hot or solventy.

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

(Served in a snifter)
bottled in 2010
A- This beer pours a hazy brown body with a slight burnt sienna hue to it and a thin wispy white foam head. There are a few big bubbles stuck to the base of the glass.

S- The sweet caramel wort aroma has a soft green hop pellet finish. As the beer opens up there is a fresh silage note and some dog biscuit notes in there aswell.

T- The big bitter hops have a dandelion bitterness all the way to the finish. There is a faint papery caramel sweetness that pops through but it remains in the background.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a slightly slippery texture and a tight fizz. There is a very soft alcohol warmth in the finish.

O- There is no real malt backbone in this and the only hops are bitterness with no real aroma or flavor hops.

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

2002 version (Tasted: 10/21/03)
Medium-dark milk chocolate brown with a nice full creamy light brown head, decent carbonation, and lace rings. Citrusy, sprucey, piney hop aroma which turns fruity and malty as the hop aroma subsides. Big malty and hoppy balanced flavor but definitely more malty with bitterness very apparent. Full bodied with a slow burning alcohol finish.

DRINK FRESHER - much better than 1998 version tasted on same day. Scores reflect 2002 version otherwise they would have been lower...

1998 version (Tasted: 10/21/03)
Medium-dark brown with lots of suspended sediment. Pours thick with no head and low carbonation. Huge malty and bitter aroma with an alcohol nose. Big malty flavors -- chocolate notes. Alcohol so apparent it overtakes the bitterness. Full bodied and smooth with a burning alcohol finish.

In general, I prefer S.N. Bigfoot over this one, any year, any time -- hops much fresher in Bigfoot.

Per bottle (7 oz. and 12 oz.): 26 Plato, 120 IBU, 38 L, 73.1 AA, "Unfiltered and Unfined", Ingred: Great Western Harrington, Klages, Munich, Hugh Baird Carastan malts. Centennial and Chinook hops.

($3.49 / 7 oz.) & ($3.99 / 12 oz.)

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Photo of wordemupg
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml swing top ceramic bottle poured into tulip nov29 2010

A very dark orange and a little to thick to see bubbles but judging by the solid two finger beige head there's some carbonation in there somewhere. considering the high amount of booze the foam retains quite well and leaves a few partial rings of lace as it falls to a soapy film

S more hops then I expected from a 2008 vintage, I couldn't imagine this fresh some pine and citrus still quite strong, somehow there's a balance here with loads of brown sugar and toffee, the booze is there but pretty well concealed for 11.5%

T fairly earthy and I get some grapefruit rind and a bit more malt then what I smell, the small amount of booze I could smell is gone this is a well made brew

M this is one thick ass beer, enters silky and its a little sticky on the lips, leaves a fair bit behind in your mouth a little gritty even and a nice bitter bite, this is a high point in a truly great beer

D its a fair bit of commitment to crack this one by yourself but I managed it without many issues, I'd never crack a second but even with the massive price tag I'll be buying several more of these to cellar

I could see this one going for another 5-10 years no problem. this was a real treat and it's well worth the 20$ price tag here in Alberta.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 bottling date. 7oz bottle.

murky brown color, light head still. smell of dark fruit and mellow booze. taste of a ton of dark fruits..plums...boozy after taste but mild...3+ years has done this well. full bodied, mild carbonation.

overall just a great barleywine..

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Photo of barczar
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2010 vintage. Aroma is boozy, with notes of rum soaked dates, prunes, and figs dominating. Seems fairly sweet.

Flavor is fairly oxidized, big sherry notes and a hint of cardboard, with a very bitter finish that lingers. Too bitter for my liking. Pretty harsh.

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Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a growler to a pint glass. Had a rich mahogany color and a cloudy consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy head and good lacing.

S: A strong aroma of hops, malt and caramel.

T: The big thing you notice here are the highly bitter hops. It's inescapable. However, this mixes well with the malt, caramel and pepper. A big taste with lots of noticable alcohol.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a chewy texture and a dry finish. Full-bodied.

D: This is a well made, drinkable beer, but not one I could sit down and drink a whole lot of. Still, a solid brew.

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

12oz bottle received in the No BS BIF Beta from HimerMan. Bottled in 2001.

Poured in a Rapscallion glass, formed a scant 1/8" tan head over the barely translucent reddish brown brew. Head is gone in a flash down to swirl and tiny rim bubbles, with delicate but lasting lacing. Aroma is heavy sweetness and musty alcohol. Taste starts with earthy grains, quickly switching to alcohol, which almost seems to evaporate off the tongue. Mouthfeel is excellent for this style and age, and drinkability pretty nice as well. Glad I got to try this one with this much age under its cap.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark brown. Creamy brown fluffy head. Thin retention. Nice lacing.

Smell - Delicious dark fruits and caramel tempt the nose. Some coffee and anise notes are present as well. Nice hoppy presence as well.

Taste - Raisin, figs, burnt caramel, black licorice, coffee, and hops all playing on your tongue. This is incredibly smooth.

Mouthfeel - Heavy body. Creamy velvet feel. Some good carbonation. Lasting dryness that's still sweet.

Drinkability - I am glad I have another of these aging!

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

Slightly hazy, deep auburn, nearly opaque, with ruby highlights topped by a thin, light brown head. Very malty aroma, quite sweet smelling, plenty of dark, ripe fruits, and some graininess. Hop aromas are present and provide some balance. The flavour is really big and is a masterful balancing act between the sweet caramel malt and assertive bitterness. Lots of ripe fruit and alcohol flavour, which provides a pleasant warming towards the end. It finishes off-dry with strong bitterness and caramel notes. Full bodied and moderately carbonated. This is a wonderfully complex beer. Now to find more....

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