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

very good
188 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 188 |  Reviews: 133
Photo of bennetj17
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

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Photo of BillyB
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle from January '03(?) I believe.

Interesting hoppy barleywine. 10 types of hops, 100 ibu's and it still tastes like a traditional barleywine. I think some of the hop aromas and tastes have been muted a bit. I'd like to try this one fresh.

Faint aromas of citrussy hops. Piney, cedary. Sweet caramel and vanilla malty smells as well.

Color is burnt copper/orange. Slightly hazy.
Nice hop flavor, sweet malt taste. Impressed with the low alcohol taste for a beer with such a high abv.
Slightly syrupy with a little alcohol warmth . Oily, sticky and sweet.
Decent drinkability.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

january is notched on this 12oz.. i am thinking this is 03 based on reviews and my limited info on fish tale. the website is of absolutely no assistance in this matter. unfortunate.

pours ruby red and crystal clear.. barleywine style head (read: not much of one) and spots of lacing abound. a dot here, a dot there. nothing extreme. surface bears the weight of a thick, cloudy film of something. appearancewise, this looks to be a seriously hearty beer.

aroma is pungent with candied hop juice. rich malt caramel is present as it is in many west coast barleywines, but it lingers far in the background making room for the more floral elements.. which is welcomed. lavender and fabric softener scents waft from the glass as well offering something previously unencountered by this fair reviewer.

very rapid-fire, short-lasting flavor for something so big. bitterness is there, and very pointed. it hits immediately with huge hop warning like an experimental taste of cologne on your tongue. dissipates quick, leaving a mix of grassy botanicals and buttery vanilla bean lingering weakly. malt profile seems to be flighty and overwhelmed by the earthier elements in the flavor.

this beer is an enigma. it is very drinkable for what it is, and possesses much flavor. however, it is a bit thin and i was hoping for more of a sipper full of oomph. i don't know if age has gotten to this, or what, but it's certainly a disappointment at $4 a 12 oz'er.

regardless, thanks to tom for letting me make off with it.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

October 2003. Very well aged although the hop flavors are pretty muted. A dead calm, transparent rubied amber with small, vanishing head. Terrific, subtle aroma of earthiness, malt sweetness, and winey headiness. Nary a trace of alcohol in the flavor, just malts, hops, malts, hops, more malts, and some hops for good measure. Extremely sweet, with a suprisingly thin velvety mouthfeel. Not too sticky. There's a fair amount of hop flavor but it really has dwindled; wouldn't mind a touch more bitterness or some citric flavors to puncture the long, sweet finish. A beer worth saving, although in this case, John's Marketplace did the work for me. When will it be brewed again? I'd like to try a fresher sample.

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Photo of blackie
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: The beer has a .5" off white head that recedes gradually to just a ring around the glass and a thin layer of bubbles on top. The beer is a nice medium orange-amber in color.

smell: Up front are bready (bread crumbs), and estery malt aromas. The aged hops have developed an almost English characteristic aroma. Nice balance and a pleasing aroma, low-moderate in complexity.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a medium to high low, and the body medium, though it seems a little thin.

taste: Good balance between malt and hops, though even with the age, the hops dominate slightly. There is a crisp, yet aged hoppiness up front, with a moderate malt sweetness just behind, but it doesn't even seem "sweet" in the classical sense. Some hints of sweet fruit, though not dark. Same breadiness found on the nose. The malt flavors are pretty light. The finish comes on quickly, with a moderate hop bitterness soon taking over. Finishes very dryly with an almost metallic type feeling in the mouth (what I will call a "papery" flavor comes in after the swallow). Probably past its prime, though still a good beer.

drinkability: Easy to drink, and the high ABV is well hidden.

Brought to NC by dirtylou soon after his move to WI, and cellared for about nine months since then.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautifully burnished orange with butterscotch trim. The remarkably large head resembles orange juice-infused, heavily whipped cream. My hope is that that's a result of hop resins that are still on the warpath after all these years (bottling date of October 2003). Thick rings of lace are sticking to the upper portion of the glass and I haven't even started drinking yet.

The nose is a good one. Unfortunately, it smells like the intervening 2+ years have whittled away at what I presume was an impressive hoppiness immediately after bottling. As a result, the alcohol is more apparent than I'd like. Still though, the nose has power and presence.

At the risk of beating a dead horse, be aware that this one-off from '03 is no longer a hoppy American barleywine beast, but is more an elder statesman of the style that now has more in common with its British cousins; or would if they used American citric-sprucy hops. Would it be possible for Fish Brewing Company to have a 10th anniversary every year?

As I allow the beer to ooze over my taste buds, the full range of malty and hoppy flavors settle in and get comfortable. Brown sugar, sticky caramel, orange liqueur, bitter white grapefruit pith... it all fits together seamlessly. I like the fact that orange is so prominent. Maybe the hops aren't so muted after all.

The bitterness is cumulative and is especially noted on the long finish. Even though the day is long past when this beer is able to rip the top layer off the tongue, that doesn't mean that it's content to join the legions of maltier than thou English-style barleywines. I was wrong on that count and am not afraid to admit it. I have no doubt that had I acquired this beer fresh, I'd have been gobsmacked by its hoppy magnificence.

The body/mouthfeel is full, edging into lightly syrupy. I'm sure the years have only added to its heavily silky, soft-edged, well-rounded splendor. Just enough carbonation is evident to keep the beer from feeling underbubbled.

Fish Brewing Company, in my experience, does a much better job with their high-ABV beers. 10 Squared Anniversary Ale is much too good to be limited to a one-time bottling. My advice would be for the brewery to keep the same recipe (10 types of hops, 100 IBUs, 10% ABV), rename it and release it year-round. Seasonally at the very least. This is excellent beer that deserves to see the light of day again.

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Photo of numenor1
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a very very hazy dark brownish orange with head! despite it's years. It even holds a nice collar. It smells greeny hoppy and even a little sour, with whiffs of caramel...very interesting. Upfront a muted green hoppiness and sourness is apparent but completely melded to caramel malts, drying through the finish. Very strange barleywine. But I like it! The sourness is intriguing and begs the next sip. Mouthfeel is full with moderate carbonation and drinkability is about what you'd expect for a brew of this weight.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another nice beer supplied by DirtyLou.

One odd and nice barleywine. Drinks and tastes much more like a DIPA than a barleywine.

Poured a murky borwn. Thick, spongey head that never receded. Lots of layered lace. But there were quite a few little white floaties going around the beer.

Nose is malty and not nearly as hoppy as I am accustomed to for barleywines. More bready than hoppy.

Like I said, this beer tastes much more like a DIPA. Heavy and sweet malts with a bold (bit not barleywine-like oppressive hop presence). Not as fruity as other barleywines other than the prevailing citrus flavors. Little bit of brown sugar and slightly undercooked bread. The ABV is concealed very nicely.

Medium body with a slightly dry finish. Not nearly as bitter feeling as I would think for a beer claiming to be 100 IBUs.

Very drinkable for a barleywine. If not for the high ABV a few of these would make a great night.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, bought for 2.50 at Steves on University in Madison

appearance: super sweet bottle...pours a rich orange/copper with a light creamy head and very little lacing

smell: bread like malts, restrained dark fruit, slight hop aromas

taste: mmm, bready malts, mild alcohol, dark fruit (plum, raisin), decent hoppiness to it to match the bread malts, slightly bitter...quite complex, very impressive

mouthfeel: warming alcohol, bitter hops and thick malts match well on the tongue

drinkability: a little above average for the style

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice slightly hazy amber color with minimal head that falls to a sparse ring over top. The nose is rich and malty. Big caramel and brown sugar with hops playing in hte background. Sweetness is big, but not cloying. Flavor is very well balanced. I was expecting a spiceyness from the alcohol, but its not there. Good brown sugar and caramel sweetness with a nice earthy and spicey hop that barely hangs on the finish. I assume this one is aged a slight bit, and I think that does this beer good. The feel is nice and thick with a minimal carbonation. Overall, a very nice beer for the IBU's, ABV and style. A damn nice barleywine in my opiniom.

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Photo of clvand0
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a standard amber color with a medium head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma has a strong earthy hop character with a caramel malt background. Reminds me of some of the Hair of the Dog beers. I really don't care for the hops used in the aroma. The flavor is a little different. The malty character is more prevalent in the flavor than in the nose. The hops are blended much better in the flavor in the flavor and the earthy hops take a back seat to the other hops. The drinkability is ok on this one and the body is moderate.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Soft and round, this double IPA delivers a dangerously easy to drink ale at 10% abv. It pours a hazy crimson-auburn body beneath a short head of frothy ivory foam that holds well and leaves nice lace about the glass. The nose is restrained, but clean, and offers some bready/doughy malt and spicy hops. In the mouth it's full bodied and lightly creamy with a very fine, natural (bottle-conditioned) carbonation that passes smoothly away. The flavor delivers a well-rounded combination of sweetish, bready malt, yeasty fruitiness, spicy and lightly piney hops, and a slap of alcohol. There's also a touch of wood, but the oak-barrel aging doesn't really come through (although it may be lending to it's dry finish without my notice). It's bitterness is incredibly well-balanced if it is indeed 100 IBU's (as the label states); and the alcohol iis never overbearing. In fact, this beer is so well rounded and subdued that it almost loses some of its character as it's malty, yeasty, hoppy, and bitter compontents don't really stand out on their own. Still, it's an easy and enjoyable beer to relax with and end the day with as the sun goes down. Very nice!

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Photo of cokes
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Static-filled caramel peach with a retreated beige flop.
The nose is sparce, but shows an incredible breadth..for better and for worse. Hops are foremost, with elastic pine cones, shaved ruby grapefruit, wind-scored lemongrass. Then all bets are off. Whisky-laden tannic oak, stale milk, pulled bbq pork, fig jelly, and wet bath towels. I'm truly not sure if I like the aroma or not, but more than anything else, it seems muted.
The mutedness carries through to the flavor, but to a far lesser degree. The weirdness carries through in full. It initiates with a butterscotch-injected pea-soup earthiness. It brightens with blood oranges and papayas, then gathers popcorn and buttered white and yellow sweetcorn characteristics. A heavily dilute rye bread spiciness permeates the middles, as the scales swings towards hops. but even here, the ringers are a diffuse, bllody iron sense of acrid metal, grapefruit-based gin jello shots, wet fern leaves, and shaved limes. Some woody nuance is perceived at the close, with a buttery Chardonnay acidity, and fungus-encrusted cedar perfume, bouncing off tiles of earth-rich Scotch cut with water.
The body is medium-light, with stunted bubbles and a general cask-like texture.
In spite and because of everything,: its vapid ruggedness, its cliches and eccentrcities, its encompassed and crucial off-leaning flavors, and general medicated psychotic personality, I honestly can't say if it I liked it or not. But somehow it was drinkable in nothing less than piggish, snorting gulps.
I liked Leviathan better for it's style familiarity....or maybe I didn't.
After 12ozs, I truly have no handle on this. And thus the rating is meaningless. This could easily have been a 2.5 or a 4.8. I can't tell if this is good, and more simply, I even can't tell if I like it. The best I can do is say that it is interesting in a sedate fashion, and unlike nearly everything....and because of this, I'd label it a "must-try".

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Photo of Skidz
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out bright amber and sits a hazy deep amber brown in the glass with a good sized off-white head. Fades slowly to a light skim, minor lacings around the glass.

Smells rich and malty with loads of caramel, light brown sugar and a doughy core. Apples, grapes, pear and hints of figs. Orange rind and bits of lemon strewn about. Totally floral, specks of walnut.

Flavor is in perfect balcane, everything is intertwined. Rich malts laden with caramel back up a fruity, floral spot of hops flavor giving off orange, grapefruit and a nice shot of pine. So rich, but so well balanced. Well-bittered finish seeps with alcohol and hints of pepper.

Smooth and creamy to the core with mild and tingling carbonation. Medium-full body glides easly about the mouth.

Very well controlled in all aspects, I have to say I'm impressed. This is a fine drinker, not just for sipping.

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Photo of nvsblman
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a very thick and fluffy head. The aroma is full of grassy, piney hops and some nice floral notes. Also some nice nutty malt scent. The taste is a pine explosion with some citrus in the aftertaste. Defintely pine based hops in this one! Also noticing a woody flavor, maybe some oak? A nice malt presence balances this out and makes it a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of danadeny
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice brown-slightly orange cloudy body with an off white head. Smells malty and fruity. Tastes as if it were wood aged. Slight alcohol detected but amazing for 10%. Medium hop bite and malt. Kind of a astringent finish, with average ballance. For having 10 hops the overall ballance is good. Overall good drnkability. Smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of zacharius
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark orange color with almost no head. There was an insane amount of yeast in the bottom of the bottle, not wanting to pour out 1/3 of the beer I poured some yeast in. Clumps of yeast floating throughout. Smell was grapefruit. Taste was grapefruitty hops, piney hops, and bitter hops but was balanced by a malty backbone. Its a big hophead beer and it is very skewed towards the hops but there is some malt there. Very drinkable for the 10% abv.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange body with ruby hints, much darker than anticipated. Light haze, sincere 1cm foamy and sticky white head. Aroma contains traces of orange, oak chip, balsamic vinegar, herbs, lemon and almost bready yeast. Quite an original I2PA which makes for a nice change of pace. Intense bitter hops and oak marriage although it’s nowhere near as dominant as in the leviathan. Hints of honey, orange, heating alcohol (you’d not guess 10% still). Huge palate killer bitterness. Highly citric (grapefruit). Medium body, moderately bubbly. Good. Cheers to RoyalT for one more incredibly intense beer.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really well balanced beer that uses a lot of hops but has a nice roundedness to the finish. Pretty dark brown tones with decent head this makes for a nice afterdinner pint. I am amazed at how many big beers this brewery makes well. Try their Leviathan to see their big barley wine.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought at Bottleworks in Seattle, this brown 12oz bottle sports an imaginative label featuring an octopus sitting on a keg with one arm on the tap. Label explains "10 squared" as "10 types of hops, 100 IBUs, 10% alc." Cool. No further information on ingredients. "Spawned" in October 2003, I opened it on 6/26/04.

Pours a dark, murky orangish brown under a tan head that starts thin, but then builds slowly to almost 1.5 fingers before quickly fading again to little more than collar, leaving a few traces of lace. The smell is classic barley wine, with lots and lots of malt and enough alcohol to make the nose hairs tingle. The mouth is medium carbonated and fairly heavy. I can't say that I notice the 100 IBUs, but there's lots of malt, both caramel and drier barley, to go with a substantial yet smooth bitterness. Alcohol adds a kick that makes the tongue happy. The aftertaste is a bit on the syrupy side, with style lots of malt balancing some pine sap and espresso bitterness. A good, solid effort.

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Photo of 99bottles
2.67/5  rDev -31.7%
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.

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Photo of goindownsouth
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very good, yet ever-intriguing brew, this one poured from the bottle a golden colour, with a head that was noticeably respectable. The aroma was extremely hoppy, to be sure, but not to a fault, like many brews tend to do. The flavor was sweet, with a good bit of twang in the back of the mouth at the finish. A fine brew, and a pleasant surprise, in my eyes.

Zum wohl!

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Photo of RedDiamond
2.37/5  rDev -39.4%
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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright, garnet-hued, with a brief off-white head, keeping solid time up above.
Aroma, dark, rich sweetness, cognac-like, full of dark fruits. cherries, and grapes, and succulent plums, very aromatic, a gorgeous bouquet, a sweet intoxicating treat to enjoy again and again, oh, that's yummy!
To taste, already: a great mix of flavors, happily at swim among the palate, jetting about the mouth, delivering taste after taste, a continual deliverance of fruity and complex flavors...a happy play among the palate...very sweet contentment occurs...10 hops??? Which ones?, it doesn't matter, it matches terrifically well. Just bitter enough, malty enough...this is nearly a pitch-perfect, bad-ass barleywine. Still utterly delightful, and tasty as they get.
Nice job, Fish Brewing, and Big Thanks to weefisheads for this sample!

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Photo of Crosling
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a muddy brown with a thick and dense white head that laces quite well to start out with but then falls apart later on.

Sweet and fruity malts destroy the ten hops that are trying to break through in the nose. Nice nose.

Citrusy and fruity bouquet. Sweet dark fruits and pineapples combine very well. Perfectly malted to compliment the ten hop varieties. This is a tasty beer.

Ranked 3rd of of five in my blind barley wine tasting.

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10 Squared Fish Tale Ale from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
3.91 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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