10 Squared Fish Tale Ale | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
10 Squared Fish Tale Ale10 Squared Fish Tale Ale
Very Good
188 Ratings
10 Squared Fish Tale Ale10 Squared Fish Tale Ale

Brewed by:
Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Washington, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by PhantomVodoo on 10-11-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 188 |  Reviews: 133
Photo of Arbitrator
1.34/5  rDev -65.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. A gift from end 0))) / ramnuts. Frank, you're way too generous. Thanks.

A: This is one of the darkest IPAs I've ever seen. Pours a murky mahogany-maroon body that glows faintly ruby in the light. Nearly opaque in the center. The head is light beige foam; it doesn't retain for too long, but it leaves thick clumps of bubbles on top of the brew. There is a moderate collar.

S: A pine hop aroma with a backing of citrus. However, the flavor is dominated by crystal malt, imparting wafts of caramel, toffee, bread, and butterscotch.

T: Faded hop flavors of pine and citrus varieties attempt to greet me at the door, but they're quickly trampled by an onslaught of bready, caramel, toffee malts and lots of butter.

M: On the thin side of medium bodied, with somewhat low carbonation. I'd actually accept this as an older American barleywine. A slight touch of heat, but otherwise fine.

D: It's not a drainpour, but I was expecting, well, a DIPA. This doesn't have a bottle date, so I don't know when it was made; it's either a poor bottle or an old one. Truly bottom-tier for the style.

 1,121 characters

Photo of HumuloneRed
1.67/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

The beer pours dark a clear amber with a frothy off white head and soapy lacing.

The nose is pure butterscotch! Diacetyl. ! I get no hop aroma and may be some sweet malt but it is overwhelmed by the diacetyl.

The flavor is overwhelmingly butterscotch with a lot of bitterness in the finish. No balance whatsoever,. The bottle states that the beer has 100 IBU's which is hard to believe since it doesn't even cover up the diacetyl. To be fare, after the beer warms a bit you can taste more of the hops. Unfortunately that are mash-up of conflicting flavors that leaves a metallic flavor in my mouth. Double fault.

Well there is no reason to go much further. I hate diacetyl. It is a flaw in beer that some people like, some can't even detect it. But for the hop profile to be that out of whack is unforgivable. I don't think I can finish this beer. This is a disappointment because I remember really liking this beer the first time it came out. Not this time...

 964 characters

Photo of Nonikins
1.75/5  rDev -55.1%

Photo of lochef81
2.24/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

This was a pure and straight drain pour. The appearance was acceptable with a deep hazy mahogany with a decent off white head. The nose began the downfall. Overly malty, spoiled hops, and rotten yeast. The mouthfeel was thick but right for the style and the age of the beer. The flavor was, just like the nose, repulsive. I know this particular bottle was over a year old but given the style and the abv it should have been far better than this. Utterly undrinkable.

 466 characters

Photo of RedDiamond
2.37/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I tried to pour this slowly to avoid a slurry of yeasties in my glass. When I recognized the futility of this effort, I then tried to stir the yeast residues to homogenize and dissipate them. This too was unsuccessful. The result was a glass full of beer with a host of unappetizing flotsam.

The color was a dark honey brown. The aroma held some refined sweet malt, an abundance of alcohol, and a slight presence of pepper. The taste was truly awful.

I hate to offer any disparaging critique of Fish Tale because I’m a HUGE Fish fan. I’ve lived on-and-off in Olympia since 1983. That invests me with a ton of hometown pride for Fish, most of which is well deserved on account of their fine line of craft brews. On top of that, the vast majority of my fellow BAs seem to be greatly enamored of this 10th Anniversary strong ale. A few more solid reviews could make this a contender for entry in the BA top 50 which would really please this old Olympian.

But I can’t honestly find any words of praise to offer this brew. It looks like pond water, smells unripened, and tastes horribly imbalanced and bitter. There’s ten different types of hops here, amping this poor creature to an obscene 100 IBUs. This is like a beer on steroids. All those hops are just competing for attention. There’s no harmony. No organic balance or finesse. The malt profile is not sufficient in maturity or temperament to offset the indelicate infusion of hops. The bitterness is heavy and acrid. The taste of alcohol is overbearing.

This is a beer that needs several years of cellaring to mellow out. Even then I’d be doubtful as to whether this brew is capable of maturing well enough to overcome the vulgar hop overkill.

 1,720 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
2.6/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12oz,Bottle date of January, Sampled December 2006
Pours with a brilliantly clear, dark reddish tinted, ruby-amber color. The head when roused, forms an initially one-finger thick, frothy, amber dirtied, light tan color and actually sticks around for a bit of time. It is quite well carbonated, as evidenced by the ample bubbles rising up through my glass. The aroma is still quite hoppy, but seems a bit smoother than when I last sampled this brew. In fact when I first sampled this it was too raw and muddied to enjoy. Anyway the aroma has note of herbaceous pine mixed in with a dominant citrus character that reminds me of bergamot and tangerines. Some lightly sticky malt notes are here as well; noticeable as caramelized malt notes and a nice cracker-like grain character. Actually there are some quite concentrated malt notes here, deeply caramelized malt, even approaching a fresh malt extract type note and ample crystal malt aromatics are all here.

Sweet malt notes are noticeable upon my first sip, but it does not approach sticky, despite an ample body to this brew. It quickly takes on a harsh, astringent bitterness that leaves a sense of menthol lingering on in my taste buds. It almost has a solvent like note to it, I think it is just the hops, but it could be some fermentation derived note too. Unfortunately this has not mellowed much in the months since I had my first one. I am really surprised how harsh the bitterness is here. This beer should be big enough to stand up to the 100 IBUs, but it just doesn't. There is quite a bit of chewy malt character here with caramelized malt sugars adding a sweet touch. It is also full bodied from all of the residual malts and even takes on a touch of caramelized bread or even a cracker-like malt character towards the end.

I keep coming back to that harsh bitterness though; it just seems to drive my sensory experience with this beer. It is not that the bitterness is too big so much as it is the wrong type that leans towards astringency and just plain harshness. Even the hot alcohol character seems to be drawn out by the bitterness. This is almost as bad as the Founders Black Rye I just dumped down the sink, but this one doesn't even have the excuse that it is infected to save it. In the end this is just a train-wreck.

 2,300 characters

Photo of 99bottles
2.67/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Body is light reddish brown. An abundant head of 1.5" arises and crashes down to nothing leaving sticky lace on the glass.

Smell: Raw hops ready to do battle pull through the nose. So mean and nasty, yet tempting...

Taste: Eeek!! This is the Frankenstein of barleywines. 100 IBUS and 10 different hops gnash at each others throats trying to make a flavor. All that really remains is the overly hopped aftertaste of soap. Really though, it's like drinking pine-sol and downy. Very different than any other barleywine I've tried, this one is unbalanced to the point of self-destruction. Although I can see and feel the heavy malting, it has no affect on the one sidedness (well, crazy ass 10 sidedness to be correct) of this beer. I'm sorry.

Mouthfeel: Taste is too distracting. Nothing right or wrong with it.

Drinkability: I have my favorites in the style, and now I have my least favorites.

Thanks anyway to Weefisheads for the beer.

 961 characters

Photo of jtfest
2.68/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Others seem to real like this brew, but from my perspective a little too bitter tasting and thin for a barley wine. I was less than impressed with the smell, too -- sorta turpentiney. Who knows, maybe I got a bad bottle, or maybe I'm spoiled from tasting Old Horizontal and Doggie Claws over the holidays, but this brew didn't do it for me.

 340 characters

Photo of beertunes
2.71/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a very pleasant light mahogany color with a tall, fluffy medium khaki head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma was far too hop forward for a barleyine, the hops just dominated and overrode any other aspects. There was a bit of malt sweetness in the background. The aroma needs some balance. On the tongue, the hops still burned across the tastebuds. There was a bit more of a malt profile, but, again, some balance would be a great improvement.

The body was solid but not as thick and full as I expect from the style. Drinkability was average for the style, splitting this 22 with a couple of friends was just about right.

Overall, I found this beer to be a bit of a disappointment. The brewers seem to have fallen into the"lets overhop things" trap. I've really liked the other big beers I've had from this brewery, so I'm really let down by this. Try it or don't.

 918 characters

Photo of DIM
2.93/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

a: This was a hazy copper color. It poured with a large, sticky, off-white head.

s: Pine hop aromas with elements of fresh citrus balanced by some brown sugar and toffee.

t: A combination of piny hops, solventy heat, and some toffee. There is some rough, generic bitterness at the finish.

m: A slick, oily body and gentle, foamy carbonation.

d: This was the first brew I tried from a monster box I received recently from JohnGalt1. Thanks Toby, but this one just wasn't for me. I can't wait to get to the rest of them though!

 530 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
2.96/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

22oz bottle from Main Street Party Store (Ann Arbor, MI). 12.99. Bottled 10/2011. Served in a Bruery snifter.

Pours a deep, opaque burgandy chestnut with two fingers of sand hued froth. The head settles to a modest cap that leaves small splotches of lace.

Aromas of cereal grains, earth, pine, mild floral and caramel malts. There is a faint herbal bitterness but it smells rather flat.

Taste follows the nose but not in the most flattering way. Cereal, musky earth, floral herbaceous bitterness, pine bark, burnt caramel and a sharp bite of booze. The flavors seem to fight each other rather than work together and this comes across as rather disjointed.

Medium full feel with plenty of carbonation. The finish is sticky with a resinous bitter earthiness and a touch of burnt sugar.

I'm not sure how much of my lackluster experience with this brew was my fault for trying to age this bottle or if it is just a difference of opinion with the brewers. I found this to be all bitterness without the sweetness I look for in the style. There are enough options out there that I can't see myself returning to this one.

 1,123 characters

Photo of duff247
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.01/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a murky dark brown color. Ridiculously murky, actually. The head is a one finger yellow shade. Retention is superb for 10% - a couple of minutes have passed by and it's still standing. Good lacing, too.

S: This one smells really hoppy - actually not so much hoppy as it is just bitter smelling. It's about 6 months old and has still retained a nice hop bite to it. Beneath the piny hops lie a decent malt backbone consisting of caramel and brown sugar. Maybe there's even a touch of chocolate. While the aroma is really good, I kind of worry it will be too bitter.

T: And yes, bitterness hits from the start, except it's a troubling vegetal bitterness. It's overly reminiscent of green pepper, which I never like in my beer. After a while all that pepper goes away, and it turns into a strongly grassy yet herbal note near the back end. Even with all the vegetal notes, sweetness is fairly high, with a ton of caramel and brown sugar on the finish. Once I get used to the peppery hops, it becomes okay.

M: It's actually pretty crisp and clean for such a big, boozy monster, with just enough of a sweet finish to conceal the alcohol. With a slightly better flavor, this could have been REALLY easy to down. Carbonation kind of stays in the background.

O: I didn't like this at first...but it improves after a few sips. And it deteriorates after several more. The hops here are way too green pepper-esque for my tastes, luckily every other aspect is pretty solid. I can't really say that I like it that much. There are definitely some out there who will, though.

 1,606 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.07/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Woody and earthy, with a murky, mushroomy stew of flavors. Seems to be the hallmark of these Reel Ales. Reminds me of their Imperial Red and the Starfish black. Too Cascadian for words.

Clear, dark amber in the narrow tulip. Not so foamy, but plenty of spritz on the tongue. Hot and dirty. The aroma is one of the better features, with the big resiny hops. Flowery nose with some cedar and black pepper. Lots of malt, but it's more the quantity than any distinct sort of flavor. The hoppy bitterness gradually throws its weight around and take over the place.

I love the new label-- it's all tentacles. Maybe the art director knows something about brewing beer. From the 22 oz bottle.

 687 characters

Photo of Jredner
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2 to the 2 ,O. Z. Bomber yo. Bottled in two to the double 0 Six, yo. From the aroma I can tell you right now this is someones idea of amalty DIPA...call it a strong ale if you wish. Huge caramel malt aroma is kept in check by an equally huge grapefruit accented aroma...simplistic, but I if you like those smells...it’s ambrosia. I only like half those smells so it is like ambrosia with bell peppers in it for me.

Dulce de leche caramel body color with a lazy white head that fades quickly. Massive caramel and hop fore. Syrupy...faintly woody with Barleywine-ish flavors. Finish is citric, grapefruity and wow massively malty. If I liked massive quantities of hops and caramel malt, I’d love this...I don’t though and it gets boring to me like I imagine big doses of flavors I like would get boring to someone who didn’t like then as much as I do.

 857 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.16/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked this one up at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido on a recent vacation. I bought this one with fond memories of the Fish beers I'd purchased in Seattle early in the decade. Based on that, I was a bit disappointed. Poured a dark reddish brown with a light brown head. Aromas of grapefruit (big citrusy hops) and caramel malt. On the palate, this one was full bodied, with flavors of sweet malt, hops and caramel. Something about this one didn't sit right with me.

 469 characters

Photo of ratzofftoya
3.19/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in a duvel tulip glass.

A: A brown somewhere between hazelnut and milk chocolate, with very little head and faintly noticeable carbonation.

S: The typical aggressive hoppy smell of a barleywine, with some dulce de leche and a hint of cedar to back it up.

T: Little subtlety in the front of the mouth, with some rather pronounced hops and a chestnut richness. In the back, you'll taste more bitterness and a tinge of sweetness.

M: Begins with a slightly overcarbonated lightness and moves on to a more viscous simple syrup feel.

O: An average example of the barley wine style, lacking much to distinguish it from its cousins. I was expecting a bit more from this, but if I am at a bar and they have it on tap, and I'm feeling like a barleywine or strong ale, I'll give it another shot.

 796 characters

Photo of Dave_Treat
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of CBA : Poured a medium clear copper color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention but some good lacing. Aroma of citrus hops is dominating with a sweet malty base. Taste is dominated by some medium bitter hops with some citrus presence but probably not as much as expected. The malt base is slightly too sweet for all the hops in there and I would have preferred more caramel malt presence. Body is quite oily but not full enough considering the style. Interesting experience but not something that need to be repeated too often.

 558 characters

Photo of vkv822
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle into snifter.
bottled November 2010.

The beer pours a beautiful red with faint orange hues. The head is light tan, leaving a thin ring and really nice lacing.

The aroma is dominated by citric hops with a pine under note. The very faint malt notes that are present are caramel and biscuity. Definitely leaning towards a DIPA more than a barelywine thus far.

This is still a total hop monster in the flavor, though as it warms a faint caramel backing comes through a bit more, as well as some boozy warming notes.

The mouth feel is well balanced with smooth carbonation.

I would really like to see what some aging would do to help balance out this beast. I was a bit conflicted in the grading, as this is a pretty bad example of a barelywine but I still enjoyed it, though the booziness and strong hop bitterness really detract from the drinkability.

 865 characters

Photo of bennetj17
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Murky copper brown color, thin head. Weak aroma has light hops and caramel malt. Moderate alcohol fume. Medicinal bitter hops open up the flavor with a light caramel malt taste in the background. This quickly dissipates into an almost empty finish which is strange. Not overly alcoholic in taste. The mouthfeel is decent, medium thickness, enough carbonation to make it pleasant. For a barleywine I expexted much more, especially with 10 types of hops. I wasn't very impressed.

 477 characters

Photo of doughanson78
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Special Brews in Lynnwood, WA

A: Deep Amber/golden color. Decent 1 finger head. Ok lacing. Lots of bubbles, maybe a lot of carbonation?

S: Big hop smell. Faint traces of caramel backing it up.

T: Definitely not as hoppy as the smell would suggest. The caramel malts do a very nice job of balancing this one out. Faint alcohol aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied. Coats the mouth well. Kinda fizzy.

O: Good beer. For what is supposed to be 100 IBU's you wouldn't know it by the taste. Other than that there's nothing super special about this. Definitely worth a try though.

 580 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Shane for sharing this one.

A: The beer pours a clear amber color with a very minimal head forming.

S: The beer smells almost oxidized, maybe it's the old hop smell? In any case, lots of sugar, particularly brown sugar and caramel. Some candied, yet still bitter, orange peel, and a definite alcohol aroma.

T: An assortment of citrus flavors from the hops. There's a lot of bitter and resinous hop character as well. Bread and toffee seem to be the bulk of the malt flavor, but there's a bit of a chalkiness.

M: Medium in terms of the body with a low to medium level of carbonation.

D: I think this was another pretty "meh" beer from this brewery. I haven't had much luck with their beers as of yet.

 715 characters

Photo of Treebs
3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle served in a Pumking goblet. Bottled October 2011. Thanks to mfavoino for the bottle.

A: Pours a deep amber color with some ruby and brown hues in the body. A light khaki head forms on the pour and recedes to a thick, bubbly ring. Sheets of soapy lace are left down the glass.

S: Piney and earthy hops upfront with a malty backbone. Some slightly sweetness on the backend, but this a hop forward and earthy barleywine. Mild raisin pops up as it warms. A little brown sugar as well.

T: very malty upfront. Oaty and sweet there are underlying pine and grass notes. Some dark fruits with a little alcohol notes. Not hot though. Some caramel sweetness on the back end. The hops creep back up on the finish with a bitterness that cuts the sweetness.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation level and a drying finish.

O: Pretty solid overall. I can't imagine how hoppy this was a year ago, but I like the level where it's at now. Earthy and piney bitterness meet a sweet and oaty malt base.

 1,005 characters

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
10 Squared Fish Tale Ale from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 188 ratings