Rogue XS Old Crustacean Barleywine

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you may already know, this blog is all about my search for all of the beers from ‘1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die’. The last time I sat down and wrote a post about a new beer from the list – not a #throwback, and not a retelling of my overseas adventures – was when I had the Baird Rising Sun Pale Ale. That was on 25/02/2014…NEARLY FIVE MONTHS AGO!!

This has to change.

I’ve made two promises to myself. The first is that I’ll have marked off over 200 beers from the epic list by the end of the year – that means 35 more beers in under five months. The second (which will go a long way towards helping me keep the first promise) is that I’ll drink all of the beer that is stashed in my fridge before I go on any more beer hunts. I doubt I’ll be able to keep that second promise for long, so I’d better get through these fridge beers quickly. The first takes me back to the US,

When I was in San Fran I got to visit the Rogue Brewpub, and try their New Crustacean Barleywineish Imperial IPA Sorta. One of the reasons I chose this beer from their extensive menu is because I knew I had a bottle of it’s older sibbling sitting in my fridge back home. Now that I’m back, I’ve busted it open. Beer number 166 from the epic list is the Rogue Old Crustacean Barleywine.

What’s on the bottle?

The bottle is the same as the XS I2PA that I tried a while back, so there’s not much new to say here. One notable difference is that the swing top lid is black instead of white, which gives it just a little more attitude.

What’s in the bottle?

The first thing you notice is the MASSIVE bitterness that you have to battle through to get any other tastes – it’s impressively bold and brash. Once you manage to dig through it you get some big sweet malts, kicking up lots of oaky vanilla notes that’d be just as at home in a small batch bourbon. A boozy warmth rises up the further into the bottle you delve. There’s a little citrus tartness from the hops, whispers of pine, and some anise, earthy…but mostly it’s just a big, big bitterness. Once again, that familiar XS tongue numbness starts creeping in…

Final Thoughts

There’s at least one similarity I’ve noticed between the brews I’ve tried from the Rogue XS series – there’s nothing subtle about any of them. I guess that’s why they’re bottled in those fancy-high-pressured-flip-top-canisters?

Fact from the book…

I banged on about the MASSIVE bitterness in this beer, and for good reason – the Siebel Institute of Technology has verified this ale to have an eye watering 120 IBU’s. Dayum!


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