Old Woody | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

98 Reviews
Old WoodyOld Woody

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

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gusler on 04-18-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 107
Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bomber poured into a snifter appears a hazy mahogany color with a khaki cap that fades leaving patchy lace.

The aroma contains caramel malt, slight herbal essence and soft oak/oxidation.

The taste is mildly sweet with caramel malt, fruity alcohol and almost vinous feel with faint oxidation.

This is medium in body with light carbonation. A very mild yet enjoyable take on the style.

 391 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage, poured into a Gulden Draak Tulip. Pours a dark, slightly murky mahogany orange amber. One finger, fine off-white head and nice lacing. Aroma of wood, light caramel malt and dark fruit. Flavor is mellow sweet and caramel malt, wood and vanilla, nicely integrated. Finish is somewhat dry, earthy and hop bitter with a final suggestion of the woody notes. Body is medium with a bit of creaminess. This has aged beautifully and is a very nice aged old ale. I hope I get a chance to review this fresh. It came on the market 2 years old and has aged an additional year in my cellar.

 590 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage shared by Thirstybird. Pours the color of cider with no head, just a cluster of bubbles and a swirl of foam across the surface. Some spots of lacing, but no retention. Nose expresses light toasted malts, toffee, prunes and a trace of ethanol. Taste follows nose with the addition of a hops character all on a malty backbone. Mouthfeel is light-medium with an even carbonation. All and all a very drinkable beer, but somewhat light for the style with a well-hidden abv.

 481 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from 05 poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass. Thanks to the generous BA who provided the bottle.

A: Cloudy brown body with a thin head of microscopically tiny white bubbles that stick around in a ring. Ok.

S: Sweet, deep aroma of brown sugar, dark fruit, and molasses. A touch of vanilla. Solid.

T: Follows the nose, with sweet malts and some lightly tannic, vinous oak on the finish. Tasty.

M: Fairly full body with soft, moderate carbonation. Lovely.

O: Very, very good beer, but not quite complex or memorable enough to be really great. I'd gladly drink it again, but won't be seeking it out.


 619 characters

Photo of jcurtis55
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at the Brew Pub in Olympia. The best beer I had at Fish Tale. But then again, I really like malty beers, and this one was right down my alley.

They also served it at cellar temperature, which is a nice change from your average restaurant, or even a brew pub. The waitress warned me it was served at cellar temperature, just in case I was expecting an ice cold beer in a frosted mug. Of course, I said bring it on.

It hid the alcohol well, although it was a little warming. Caramel and dark fruity goodness.

 521 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22oz bottle poured into a snifter.
Cherry amber color with a small tan head. A little bit of lace.
Big caramel malt aroma, followed by sweet fruit.
Very big malt taste, mostly caramel. Plums and raisins. A whisper of hops.
A nice, sweet old ale.
Very good.

 258 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


2008 vintage received in a trade with Pranaferox, thanks!

A: Hazy dark reddish orange with a small beige head the quickly dissipates.

S: Big pine, earth, and citrus hop aromatics. Very hoppy for an old ale...smells more like an American Barleywine. Some caramel and toffee notes. Lacks the requisite rich malt profile of an English Old Ale.

T: Quite bitter, with grapefruit, pine, and earth. Some alcohol notes along with some toffee and caramel. Hops are strong. Big earthy pine finish with some malt.

M: Upper medium body with moderate carbonation. Sticky, dry mouthfeel, with some alcohol warming.

Overall: More like an aged American Barleywine than an old ale, but I like it.

 694 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VIII:

Barrel aged for six months in oak wine barrels. Fish states that this beer can be cellared for several years, but we'll give a fresh go at it.

Tiny, bubbled, tan lace, good stickage all around, with rings on the glass after nearly every sip. Tawny color with a bright clarity. Fresh oak character in the nose, maltiness comes in sweet with a mellow alcohol in back. Creamy, full body, light level of carbonation. Full malt jacket here: Sweetness comes in big with balancing effects from a toasted grain tone. Earthy hop flavor leaves a mild bitterness. Subtle fruitiness from the warming alcohol drops ripe pear, Red Delicious apple and papaya on the taste buds. A sizable oaky dryness lays down layers with hints of vanilla and faint vinous flavors. Juicy confections in the middle with nougat and white chocolate flavors. More earthy, woody hop middle to end. Alcohol is very warming but restrained, as it does not push a big estery flavor on the taste buds. Golden raisin and fig sugar fruitiness in the semi-sweet finish.

We are loving this beer, as it grows on us sip after sip. Cellaring this beer could add to the complex character that it possesses, though it's just fine to sip now. A perfect pairing would be with a mild Manchengo cheese and some ripe figs.

 1,324 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an opaque, dark reddish-brown with a small tannish head. Nose is full, caramel. Taste of a big earthiness, detect wood, caramel, fruits and a nice feel of booze. Mouthfeel is sweet, coating, caramel very present as with booze and those wood like elements. Very good!

 273 characters

Photo of rye726
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy brown with a tan head.

Nose has bready malts, ripe pitted fruits, wood, vanilla, whiskey and toffee.

Taste is quite sweet, but still has some herbal hops presence. Also some flavors of whiskey, wood and vanilla.

Medium body is nicely carbonated. Good Olde Ale from Fish.

 288 characters

Photo of jgasparine
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle Sampled: 2008 Vintage

A- Poured with almost no head, with a touch of cream colored edge lacing. Body is an opaque golden-brown (well-sedimented), with no visible carbonation.

S- Sweet caramel malt aromas co-mingles with booziness, hints of stale hops, and a touch of madiera. Lovely!

T- A wonderful replicate of the nost with bigger hop flavors than anticipated. Nothing particularly "woody" coming through... I suppose I can detect a touch of oak tannins, but that may just be me psychologically trying to identify some woody attributes...

M- Big chewy mouthfeel- nicely textured with unattenuates sugar, which is met with a wonderfully soft carbonation. I ready someone else using the term "velvet blanket" to decribe this type of mouthfeel... and I think the term is very appropriate here.

D- Very drinkable until the 10% ABV catches up with you! I imaging this brew will age quite nicely as well!

 912 characters

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been holding on to this one for about two years. A 12 ounce bottle - 2005 vintage. Uncapped and poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The ale appears a rather cloudy color akin to fresh dark brewed iced tea with around two fingers of creamy light ecru colored foam. The head leaves a minimal lace on the inside of my glass. Nose and flavor consist of lots of brown sugar, molasses, dates, raisins, figs, pine, oak, vanilla, dried cherries. nearly full bodied with just about the perfect amount of carbonation for an old ale of this age. Quite smooth drinking with only the slightest hint of alcohol warmth in the throat as the ale warms. Very nice!

 652 characters

Photo of Ragingbull
3.59/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber to brown in color and quite murky due to high sediment. The sediment was a surprise as I poured carefully into two glasses for my brother-in-law and I and dumped the bottom. I figure some of the sediment was suspended in the bottle somehow as it wasn't settled out despite having sat in my fridge for about a month. Stong malt nose with just a faint whiff of hops and perhaps some evergreen notes. Strong flavors of malt with quite a bit of booze presence. There are some bits of wood flavors, presumably oak but it really just comes in as wood. About what I expected for the style. Not as drinkable as I had hoped. I think that the mouthfeel and the body was failing a bit to carry the alcohol. I suppose its pretty decent, but not my favorite. There does seem to be some spice and evergreen in the finish and as I "grow comfortable" with this beer it begins to grow on me a little bit.

 898 characters

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into an imperial pint glass, a rough pour yields a one inch head with good staying power. An opaque, dark ruby mahogany color, lacing in wide, long patches. The aroma is intoxicating, alcohol evident but warm and gripping. Nice oak smell up front, notes of bourbon, brandy and dark berries, among other dark fruits. Notes of raisins and caramel malt, slightly roasted.

The mouth is full and warm, the alcohol hiding but not biting. Carbonation is just enough, everything in this department fits well into the whole. Taste is wallowing in dark fruits and alcohol. The booze isn't oppressive, but it doesn't hide at all. And, I really like it. Its a strong, heady beast of a beer, have to take some time to get through it, but its a treat. Bitterness is spot on, toasted grains and caramel malts, quite nice. In all, a good beer, a good name, a must try for big beer fans.

 871 characters

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

A: Really nice clear Brown/Red ale. Thick cream colored head topped the beer and slowly dissipated to a skim. Lacing was present as well.

S: Earthy/citrus hops aroma first, then caramel and biscuit.

T: Poured at a temperature just cool to the tongue, sweet big malt flavors hit the pallet like a truck, might smooth out a little with more time in the bottle. The malts were followed by a more subtle spicey hops character, leaving a little bitterness on the back of the tongue. Alcohol presence is felt more than tasted. No weak beer here.

M: Very nice. Full-bodied thick feeling ale. Light carbonation; could be a little more for my taste, but not bad.

D: Big flavors and sweetness, not to mention the 10% alcohol make this a sipper rather than a guzzler. However, this is a smooth drink and goes down quite easy. Very dangerous combination.

 847 characters

Photo of AndIWantYou
3.51/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Inappropriate glassware: poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: dark amber, slight cloudiness / haze. Little to no white head, a few big bubbles. Sparkling carbonation bubbles last and last.

Aroma: Vinous, dark fruit, slight oxidation. Not as complex as I might expect for an old ale. No diacetyl.

Taste: Treacle sweetness, dark fruit (figs, not plums), alcohol, cardboard. Touch of hop bitterness but no hop flavor. No diacetyl, DMS, or other off flavors. The sweetness was overwhelming at first but later (perhaps with warming?) it's not so overpowering. No caramel, chocolate, roast, or other complex flavors expected of the style.

Mouthfeel: Viscous but not sticky like the sweetness might imply. Bold and filling. The visible carbonation bubbles aren't fizzy like I thought they might be - more of a coutnerbalance to the medium-thick mouthfeel. Dry finish sets me up for the sweetness of the next sip. This is probably the best attribute of the beer.

Drinkability / overall impression: A nice beer, but I expect more from a strong ale style. Nothing particularly wrong with it, and I wouldn't even call it boring, but lacks the depth and complexity to really make me love it.

Note: this is my first review since taking a 4-month long BJCP class. This and future reviews may not be calibrated on the same scale as my earlier reviews.

 1,343 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
3.22/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle...

A. Pours a cloudy tarnished copper with very little carbonation. Head is only a few millimeters thick and dissappears quickly.

S. Not alot there. Some caramel, with a sweet, almost sugary aroma followed with a very slight hop note.

T. Overall very sweet with hints of caramel, fig, and rasin. It finishes slightly dry with a boozy note.

M. I found this to be almost too viscous. It coats the palate and the sweetness of this beer lingers for longer than desired.

D. I like old ales, but this one was just off-balance to me. Too malty with a lack of hops to even out the flavors.

 615 characters

Photo of froghop
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a semi-cloudy dark copper with a red tint when held to the light, thin egg-shell head, decent lacing.

smell is of malt, caramel, oak, slightly hoppy, and some dark fruits.

taste is thick and sticky, caramel, malt, some pine, roasted nuts, dark fruit, ends slightly bitter.

overall reminds me of a barleywine only a little thinner.

 339 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hints of cherry and orange highlighting, a very vigorous pour results in a one inch head that quickly recedes to a half inch of tighter foam. Lacing is minimal but not bad.

Definitely malt-driven in the nose; notes of caramel, spices, barrel-aging flavors, and dark fruit. Not hugely powerful, and some more complexity would really round it out, but not bad at all.

The flavor is darkly fruity, very much like an English barleywine, although there is a definite hop component that's not present in that style. Some tobacco and earthy herbals, a bit of booze, and a decent chewy mouthfeel make for an interesting little ale.

Cool weather beer for sure. Let this one open up and enjoy slowly.

 696 characters

Photo of Boto
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, from Nov. 2002. Tasted Dec. 2008. This was one hiding in the bottom of the fridge that I kept planning on drinking and never got around to it. It opened with a loud "pfffft", letting me know that all was well with this oldie. The color of this gem is a ruby tinged brown, that is just not quite clear. There was a fairly large off-white head on mine. A wonderful mix of fruits, floral, woody and spicy aromas. Very smooth and rounded taste. A faint tartness to it with some fruits providing that. Spices, malts and a tinge of alcohol in the background. Very warming as it goes down. This is very good!

 615 characters

Photo of John_M
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Woohoo!!! On tap at Collins Pub today.

The beer pours a murky, muddy caramel color with fair head retention and lacing. Although I think the beer is served a bit too cold, I still get a complex nose of chocolate, cherry, vanilla, nuances of wood, caramel and brown sugar. On the palate this beer is impressive. It's fairly sweet, but with chocolate, vanilla, cherry cough drop and some underlying hoppy bitterness. Carbonation is very low, which helps to give the beer a somewhat smoother flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, and the beer is a bit heavy on the palate. Drinkability is OK, but is not this beer's strongest attribute. There's even some alcohol burn at the end, which detracts from it.

While impressive, this beer could probably use some aging to smooth out the rough edges. Also, I think this beer would be better served at close to room temperature, as there is noticeable improvement as it warms up. A lot of the abv. burn seems to dissipate as the beer warms up.

Regardless. This is a fine beer from Fish Tale brewing and, alas, is a beer I see far too infrequently any more. Tasty stuff.

 1,124 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage 22 picked up at the Coop over the weekend... paid about $8.. sharing with Brenda.. poured into my Chimay goblet.

3/4" head from a fairly aggressive pour... big bubble head and cap.. stuck around for a while.. itty bitty dots of lace.. the brew is fairly hazy reddish brown color.

nose is fairly thick caramel with some molasses undertones.. fruity esters are more evident than I remember.. dried cherries and some golden raisins..

flavor is dominated by caramel and nutty malts.. fairly fruity with prune and dried sweet cherry essence.. earthy and woody ... finishes fairly long with leather and cigar wrapper... dry. Viscosity is on the thicker side... and the carbonation is fairly lite... smooth mouthfeel..

Seems a little bit rough around the edges.... I've never had the wallet or the restraint to cellar these for more than a few months.. but I am gonna give it a go this year... just hopefully the Coop doesn't sell out prior to me getting the gumption to pick up a few more.


 1,017 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by alexsdado6.

Poured a dark cloudy brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy roasted woody malty aroma. Medium to heavy body. Medium to heavy woody bittersweet flavor with a medium woody finish of moderate to long duration.

This is a standout beer that is excellent for style.

 352 characters

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

A clear mahogany brew, and with quite a massive 1" tan head appears, despite the 10% power pack of alcohol. Sticky ring o' lace is looking good in the ol' tulip.

Almost an aroma of a Barleywine; malty, caramel with a dose of spicy hops underneath. Sweet caramel & chocolate malts are gently balanced with a kick of winter spices and hops. A finish of woody resin adds a quirky note.

Full bodied, rich and tasty - no real hint of hot alcohol, except for the red glowing cheeks at mid-glass.

Thanks to my son for bringing this one back from Seattle.

 550 characters

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cracked a 2008 bottle into a large goblet. It poured a dark toasted orange color with some ample haziness. A very thin head bubbled up and stuck around for a bit, finally fading to an eggshell ring leaving some very viscous sticky lacing behind.

aroma is impressive. Sweet malts, caramel, toffee, dark brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla pudding and some ample earthy woodiness - alder, cherry and oak wood notes. The alcohol is definitely abundant in the aroma as well, giving an almost-warming scent.

Taste is a bit rough, bordering on harsh. Sweet roasted malt and an almost-sweet dark hop up front with some caramel and dark fruit notes of fig, dried turkish apricot, prune, raisins and currant. Some warming alcohol comes up in the back, as does a strong almost woody and astringent bitterness. The taste on the whole is a bit more earthy and woody than others in this style, lacking much of the overly sweet notes. It's a nice change, although a bit rough at first. I could see this one definitely improving beautifully with a bit more age.

mouthfeel is chewy, thick, and smooth. Lightly syrupy and some mild carbonation keeps it interesting. Mellow and almost calming, this one is a beautiful sipper. The freshness seems to lend a slighly harsh and rough finish in the back of the tongue and throat, which I'm sure would mellow further with some age.

a beautiful Old Ale, and a beautiful brew in general. Again, this year's (consumed this year) seems a bit fresh and a touch hot. It's highly enjoyable right now, with some earthy heat overtaking some of the honey and maple sweetness. I can only imagine how this one will mature in a few years. Definitely worth a try, and if you can save a few (or find an older batch) then it's bound to be ephemeral bliss.

 1,767 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Woody from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
4.02 out of 5 based on 107 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.