Beer Review: Rogue New Crustacean vs. XS Old Crustacean

Let me get one thing out of the way. I’m not a huge fan of Rogue’s beers in general. I have had a few fantastic beers from Rogue, but the rest have been very average and all of them have been overpriced. However, when I got two bottles of Rogue for my birthday recently I thought it would be fun to pit them against each other since they are similarly named. The beers are Old Crustacean, a strong barleywine that has been around for a while, and New Crustacean, a fairly new offering by Rogue that is supposed to be…

Review Overview

Rogue New Crustacean - 85
Rogue XS Old Crustacean - 80

82.5

Virginia Pour House Rating

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Let me get one thing out of the way. I’m not a huge fan of Rogue’s beers in general. I have had a few fantastic beers from Rogue, but the rest have been very average and all of them have been overpriced. However, when I got two bottles of Rogue for my birthday recently I thought it would be fun to pit them against each other since they are similarly named. The beers are Old Crustacean, a strong barleywine that has been around for a while, and New Crustacean, a fairly new offering by Rogue that is supposed to be a play on Old Crustacean. I have had Old Crustacean before but not for a few years, so this will be like trying a new beer to me. I have never tried New Crustacean before this tasting. So, without further ado… the tasting:

Producer: Rogue Ales & Spirits; Newport, Oregon, United States
Beer Name:
New Crustacean
Price Range:
$18
Style:
Barleywine/Imperial IPA
ABV:
11.6%
Appearance:
Clear and Golden
Aroma:
Faint, but hoppy
Mouthfeel:
Buttery and smooth
Taste:
Tastes more like an Imperial IPA than a barleywine. West coast hops dominate the flavor of this beer, but it also has a strong malt backbone. It has a bite that reminds me of a barleywine but this is definitely more IPA than anything else. It has a smooth and buttery mouthfeel with a hoppy bite in the middle and a smooth finish. It does not taste like an 11.6% ABV beer. Pretty solid effort from Rogue.

Producer: Rogue Ales & Spirits; Newport, Oregon, United States
Beer Name:
XS Old Crustacean
Price Range:
$13
Style:
Barleywine
ABV:
10.75%
Appearance:
Dark Amber
Aroma:
Deep malty raisin and fig
Mouthfeel:
coats the palate
Taste: 
The taste matches the aroma. Deep malt backbone with hints of raisin and fig and a bitterness in the middle and finish. It attacks the palate upfront and finishes dry. There is a hoppy middle but no distinguishing characteristic about the particular hops used. This beer stays with you long after the first taste, leaving a whole lot behind after you’re finished. I haven’t had it since 2012, but it’s as I remember it. Not for the faint of heart.

Rogue XS Old Crustacean vs New Crustacean

This is really comparing apples and oranges since the styles are so different. Rogue claims that the New Crustacean is a barleywine-ish beer but I have to disagree. It’s a strong Imperial IPA in my opinion. Too much malt to be called a double IPA but not enough of that deep raisiny backbone to be called a barleywine. Old Crustacean is much different. It’s a true barleywine, much more similar to Stone’s Old Guardian or Uinta’s Cockeyed Cooper. However, both are good in their own right and I would definitely drink both again.

(Written & Reviewed by Eric Schiavo)

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