Old Woody | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

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Old WoodyOld Woody
109 Ratings
Old WoodyOld Woody

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

Style: English 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 109 |  Reviews: 98
Reviews by jcurtis55:
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 12oz bottle,pours a deep brown with almost no head to speak of,aolt of great aromas going on some caramel,dried fruit,even some cinnamon.Big and complex in the different flavors starts out sweet and caramelly some dried fruit with an underlying woodiness with a nice dry earth finish.Alot of complexities still could age another year I think but still a very nice sipping old ale from the northwest.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – The head was OK. It came up a little and went away rather quickly. What caught my eye was the body. It is a very deep, dark brown and exceptionally thick.

Smell – This ale reeks of sherry-soaked wood. There’s also a nice malt base in there along with some complex fruits and sugars. I can pick out molasses, apricots, and cherries to name a few.

Taste – The malts come out much bigger at the taste. The oaky flavors turn more into a compliment than anything else. The big cherries, oranges, apples, pears, and apricots bring up the rear. There’s also some sort of a refreshing hop balance to this one. Well done.

Mouthfeel – This is very smooth and refreshing. It is definitely full-bodied with a respectable alcohol tinge.

Drinkability – I enjoy these types of big, strong ales with lots of character, but this is not for the novice beer drinker. Buy this one for a change of pace.

Update – I sat down to review this again the week of Christmas 2004 and, guess what, it hasn’t changed a bit. The nose is big sherry-infused oak, the taste is high-octane malts with a plethora of fruits, and the finish keeps you wanting for more. It is one of my favorite beer styles.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of sponberg
4.39/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2003 edition, cellared at 52 degrees - thanks to MR from MA for the bottle.

Pours a deep, slightly cloudy, garnet red-brown with very little head. Aroma of toffee and faint malty grains,maybe some dark fruit and licorice

This stuff is like liquid velvet. It just *flows* - full of toffeeish malt with slight earthy hop, then splits into sugar dates, slight anise/licorice or citric rindiness (changes every sip) way in the background, and a fruity smokiness way in the background along with a warming alcohol that never burns or dominates, yet the fumes permeate the sinuses. Finishes with a combination of all of these; beautiful. All kinds of malty goodness going on here - silky smooth, slightly pinpoint carbonation. After two I'd be looking for a fire somewhere with a big leather chair nearby - it's *that* kind of beer.

One of those "only want one beer tonight" beers that'll have you smiling at your choice afterwards.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

God, I love a good Old Ale!
Vintage 2005...today is the end of May, 2007
Pours a very dark amber that no light penetrates with an impressive single finger head of tan bubbles that melts very slowly and leave a massive mapping on the side of the glass as you drink it.

Aromas are oak...heavy oak....prunes, raisins, dark brown sugar and alcohol. I don't notice it, but my non beer drinking girl friend also smells lots of maple syrup in addition to all of the others.

Wow...what a mellow mouth feel.
Taste is smooth like a wonderfully aged bourbon....flavors are complexly dark fruits, brown sugar, maple, oaks, and bourbon. Nothing strong or overpowering in the alcohol department. Just an incredibly smooth sipping beer. Reminds me of warm southern nights in a porch swing with a snifter of bourbon...the good stuff...not the $10 a bottle crap.

This is a wonderful sipping beer. I love it.
It is going to finish off my evening gloriously.

Seriously, this is exactly like a great southern sipping bourbon without the nasty bite or extremely strong alcohol aftertaste.
Compare it to $90 a bottle good stuff. And enjoy your evening.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of cokes
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005. 12oz.
Pours russet brown trimmed with peach below an ecru heading of modest stature and more impressive cling.
Fragrant of pine cones, caramel-fudge bars, liquorice, wet iron, and bark.
Tramples across the tongue, leaving a melting goo of caramel nougat, milk chocolate, loose nuts, and all things candy bar. Take this in for a second, and ask yourself: "How goddamn tasty are Baby Ruths and/or Kit Kats when I'm stoned?"
Yeah...they're fucking good, aren't they?
And so is this.
Out of the dopey, confectionous malt, grows a bittering sense of liquorice and wet, spicy breads (think: rye). Woodsiness grows with a papery birch bark notion, unfolding into danker shaving of hickory, pine, and maple (complete with trickles of sap). The wood-aging layers a buttery vanilla hazenut coconut laquer. It ends with a contiuned caramel coconut milk leading into a resin-rich pine essence trimmed with metal spangles. Alcohol is barely noticed except in its mind-altering properties and suggestive Pinot Noir vinousness.
Thickish, but not clunky in feel. The sparce yet perky carbonation shines light a beam of sunlight through a dusty, cryptic brew
This can be drained with a quickness, and with an ensuing sadness.
This is special in so many ways. Fishtale has a stable of (generally) winners, but this is a real-deal, triple crown trophy horse.

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very decent beer, I like this style, though not the top represenative. A bit dark, minimal head. Alcohol and cocoa and dark fruit aroma. Bold in the mouth, and closer to a young barleywine. Satisfying though drying hardwood finish.
Sent by Prersario following up my purchases in Calgary, thanks Trevor!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.59/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle simply capped - no cork. Bottled in November 2001. A two to three inch head of creamy light-tan foam rests majestically above a cloudy dark-brown body which reveals some reddish-mahogany highlights when held directly to the light. Eventually, the head drops to a creamy collar and thin surface covering; but it also leaves some very nice lace throughout the glass. The nose is distinctly oaky and reminiscent of good bourbon with a whiff of alcohol above the sweetish malt. The skins of dark fruits, a touch of molasses, and some light acidity follow; leaving the bouquet fairly complex and immensely enjoyable. The aroma alone could be enjoyed for the better part of an hour! The body is medium, creamy, and silky across the tongue! Its flavor explodes in the mouth, rich with chocolate-laced caramel and molasses... and drenched in alcohol and fruit juices (cherry, prune, orange, red grape, plum, raisin)! The bitterness is low-level in comparison to the rich maltiness at this point, and it's quite well balanced. It's very wine-like in many ways; and it finishes with a wash of drying spicy alcohol, some light cocoa, and some residual fruitiness and lingering chalky bitterness. It's surprisingly warming for being only 10%, but it's not overdone as it works well within the character of the beer. This beer will probably improve through cellaring for another two to three years, and may hold for much longer than that! I'd recommend this as a great fireside beer with a good book (let's say "The Count of Monte Cristo"), but it's just too strong and warming to get through more than one or two chapters. Maybe it's best for simply relaxing in front of the fire during a fall or winter night - or on the porch during a cool spring or summer evening as the sun goes down. And for the cigar afficianado, this is a prime choice! But for fans of oak-aged beers, this is a must! Exceptionally well done and well worth seeking out.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, Woodman's

Fish Brewing has quite a line of big beers...wish i could say the same for their lower tier organic brews

appearance: pours a vibrant and full ruby/deep mahogany color, with a light khaki head and a decent amount of lacing. Looks very deep, strong, and inviting

smell: similar to that of an english barleywine...quite nutty, mild alcohol presence, dark fruit - plum, raisin, dates, grape. cherry soaked in alcohol, some smooth chocolate

taste: a very impressive old ale indeed...loaded with vibrant dark fruits - plum, cherry, raisins, dates, grape...brown sugar, warm alcohol presence, smooth chocolate sensation...a brilliant nutty aftertaste, hop bitterness in the aftertaste, loaded with sugary sweet malts throughout. Everything falls in line for this guy

mouthfeel: extraordinarily smooth, alcohol warming

drinkability: pretty drinkable considering the abv, probably need more!

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Photo of russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a chill hazed caramel/brown with almost 2 fingers of fluffy tan head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: Fruitty, caramel notes & leafy hops

T: Big time fruityness (figs & plums) with herbal & minty hops & bit of orange peel up front. A bit of smokeyness accompanies much fruittyness, a touch of brown sugar, dryness, a warming sensation & leafy hops as this warms. Finishes dry with orange slices, leafy & a bit of grapefruitty & leafy hops

MF: Chewy& sticky as all get out with enough carbonation to bring out the hops in this one

Super drinkability for the style & ABV. Nails the style. My first reviewed beer from these guys, the other I've had are just about the same level of quality

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz Bottle via footy. Unique savory nose packed with freshly trodden moss, wet mushrooms, strawberry seeds, pinyon smoke, and barbequed salmon skin. This fights an even handed battle with your typical Old Ale malt aroma, lightly of wood and sweetened with raisins and brown sugar. A heavily blush amber rushes into the glass with a sienna tinted ring around the edge. Core of carbonation. Flavor is an intense amalgam of unique flavors, rich and savory. The unique earthy qualities of the nose have been downplayed into a more refined essence with some grilled vegetables, Mediterranean herbs and light balsamic vinegar, young. The mature fruits and pale strong ale esters glow a little in the middle, before being swept away by a nicely grassy and fresh hop body, bittering on the way out in a traditional feel. Alcohols perks up the back end over a rather fluffy texture and something not fatiguing. Spicy mixed nut smack. Delicious. Further down, spritzy lemon soda and citrus arrive in the middle of the hop body. An excellent, flavorful, well rounded, nice brewed example.

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Photo of Mandrake
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a quite cloudy reddish-brown, with an average sized yellow-tan head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves very scant lacing. Smell is very oaky, with piles of sweet malts coming through as well. Caramel and sticky-sweet dates and raisins show, with some spicy alcohol and whiskey in the mix as well. Taste is fruity and funky at the same time, with cherries and plums mixing with earthy tomes and wood. A touch of bitter chocolate and tobacco appear as well, and there is a definite alcohol presence which isn't quite welcome. Finish is quite dry, with some yeast and oaky tones, and it lingers well. Mouthfeel has plenty of body and is nicely warming, but lacks a bit of punch. Drinkability is quite good. A nice old ale, it's got plenty of character, but it just doesn't quite stand out as much as it could.

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Photo of elricorico
2.88/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

After a year in the cellar it's time to give this one another try. Pours a toasted brown colour with a tihin tan head. Plenty of sediment in the bottom of the bottle this time around, maybe 1/3 was poured in. A sheet of lacing covers most of the glass as I drink.

Molasses is fairly strong in the aroma, with a side of liquor. Some form of overripe fruit as well, but I can't pin down just which.

First thing I notice is that the mouthfeel seems thinned out. Carbonation is subdued, which isn't surprising, but the body seems to have lost some of its stickyness. Taste is a semisweet mix of molasses and a watery fruit juice. Alcohol has settled, but it leaves the finish almost empty, just a slight heat as it goes down.

A dissapointment, I was hoping time would improve this beer, but it just hasn't worked for me. It's not bad, but certainly wasn't worth waiting for.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark, crimson red, with a reddish-brown head a few specks of sediment here and there.

Smell: Bourbon sweetened with a little candi sugar, the vapors are strong and all over the place, lots of complex alcohols that both tickles your nostril hairs and slaps around you olfactive nerves.

Taste: Quite dry with some pronounced earthy, wood character. I usually don't like it when it gets overboard and the malts are nowhere to be found, and all you get is a popsicle stick flavored vodka. Rest assured, the balance is well respected in this case, the malt holds on just enough to give the hooch a run for it's money.

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Photo of rebel1771
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a hazey reddish-brown color. The smell is a sweet and malty with a definite alcohol note. The taste us chocked full of malty goodness with a sweetness and almost a taste similar to that of barley-wine style ales. I thouroughly enjoyed this ale with it's distinct taste beautiful and appearance. I will probably pick up a six next time I see this in my local specialty shop.

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Photo of StormAles
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Padron4KM
3.35/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Cloudy amber leaning towards light brown, with lots of yeast chunks settling at the bottom of my glass.

Aroma is light caramel, raisin, alcohol, pine.

Flavor is pine, oak, toffee. Some light wine flavors show up when paired with some Parmesan cheese.

This beer was much better with food than it was on it’s own. I will be aging a couple for a year or so and see what happens.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of CBA: Poured a cloudy dark brown color ale with a big thick foamy head with some good retention. Aroma of toffee and dry fruits as well as some NW hops. Taste of toffee malt and subtle dry fruits is well balance by some medium NW hops with s a subtle piney finish. Full body with some adequate carbonation and no alcohol was noticeable. Not totally true to the style because of a higher level of hops then expected but that doesn’t really matters since this is a great beer.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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.


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Photo of lou91
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

November 2001 Vintage in 750ml. Poured dark and nearly still looking like a stale cola - dark brown with some ruby hints. The nose was great, especially if you like oak which was smack dab in the middle. The taste was oak, sweet sherry and dried orange peel in a rather light body. It is very easy to drink meaning the alcohol is not evident but it may need some food to compliment the unique tastes as the label suggests. I've had their Barleywine and Imperial Stout aged in oak and both work better than an Old Ale. I can't remember what this tastes like fresh but aging is not a major help.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Old Woody from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 109 ratings