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
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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 107
Photo of jcalabre
2.65/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I originally sampled this beer on 5 April 2003. I am writing this review from my notes. This bottle was vintage (hoppage?) November 2001.
Cloudy reddish brown color w/ nearly no head. In fact, the head was more like you'd see on a soft drink. A rather woody/herbal nose w/ a big alcohol taste on the tongue. Nothing spectacular, especially when you try their Poseidon & Leviathan

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Photo of elricorico
2.88/5  rDev -28.4%
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 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.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.23/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Initially pourced a nice chesnut brown but some of the conditioning elements made their way into my glass. Now it's completely cloudy, light brown.

Nose is surprisingly faint malty sweet. Nothing spectacular.

Palate is alcohol warmth, bready biscuit flavors, some juicy fruit gum sweetness, and more alcohol on the finish. Easy to drink though!

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.24/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a dark cloudy Brown ale with no attempt at forming a head let alone retaining it. Aroma is very sweet and malty with a strong alcoholic presence. The flavor began with a sweet malt flavor that quickly segued into a smoky flavor with a piney almost minty hop bitterness. I did not like this beeras much as the Fish Tale IPA but it still had qualities about it that were outstanding. The flavor may have been off but the body is very nice as it has a semi-thick viscous texture without overwhelming the drinker. The body allows the flavors to be conveyed more smoothly than a higher bodied beer while the carbonation is mild enough to not contribute any carbonic bite. Overall this beer has aspects of it which are ideal while it is also in need of a little fine tuning.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
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 JDV
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2002 bottle shared by Humulone_Red. Thanks for the chance to try this!! Pours a rich dark maroon color with a light tan head. Smell is mellow and balanced and very rounded and obviously aged with malt and light hops and oak all in harmony. Taste is light to moderately tart and oaky with almost a kriek like flavor to it in addition to a smooth maltiness. Oaky, hoppy finish to it. Age has changed this quite a bit from what it was, I was told, but still quite good, and highly drinkable.

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Photo of DIM
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: O.W. is a clear, coppery orange in the fat part of the glass, fading to a golden yellow in the narrow parts. It pours with a thin light tan head that quickly faded to a ring around the glass.

s: Alcohol is the dominant smell here. Mild notes of peaty grains, sour cherries, and sweet raisins as well.

t: At first I found this to be too sweet, but as it breathed the swetness ebbed a bit and this grew on me. Flavors of sweet earthy raisins and alcohol dominate. It has a dry floral finish. For an abv of 9.5%, the alcohol is too noticeable.

m: The carbonation wasn't visible, but I could feel it. The body was a tad thin on this one.

d: Thanks yet again to JohnGalt1 for this; just one of many from an awesome trade. This was good, but it wasn't flavorful enough to mask the alcohol.

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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.

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Photo of bwyker
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks bennetj17 for this one. Poured from a 12oz bottle marked as being “spawned” in April (05?) into a chalice.

Appearance: Musty, mud-like brown. A slight fizz is all I got for a head. Very little carbonation gets through the thick body.

Smell: Dark sweets, toffee, hints of pipe tobacco and a bit of brandy-like boozyness.

Taste: Not as deep as you expect from the aroma. Not very much oak vanilla flavor from the barrel aging. More of a smoothed caramel at the start with hints of sour cherry and very faint pepper spice in the finish. The alcohol is completely masked, with only traces of it burning in your stomach.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light. Full bodied, with no stickyness or drying.

Drinkability: On a weekend, I would definitely enjoy more than one of these. Easy to overlook the 10% abv. Pretty refreshing. Overall an awesome brew.

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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.

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Photo of aracauna
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one pours a hazy dark brown with a sizeable, creamy off-white/cream head. The aroma is fairly vinous and creates an almost whiskey-like aroma from the malt and alcohol. The barleywine like fruitiness also adds to the impression of strength, without any actual alcohol flavors. The wine in the flavor is actually a little off-putting to me, but it’s a complex beer that deserves a try.

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Photo of fartingdog
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not much of a nose on this one seemingly- maybe faint notes of grape/raisin? and caramelized sugar. Taste is a little milder in flavor than many old ales I've had, but pleasant; sweet maltiness with some underlying rich flavors and a slight bitterness. Slight bite on the tongue which is not unpleasant, and some alcohol warming on the swallow. Mouthfeel is a bit thin.

Overall this is a very nice beer to drink and I dig it (probably the best Fish product I've had yet). Got this one in a trade, and still have a bomber in the cellar that I'll age for a bit. If this was readily available, I'd pick it up once in a while for sure, and I won't hesitate to enjoy it again.

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
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 ccrida
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on draught in a small schooner at the brewpub, Old Woody is a hazy auburn with an off-white collar that leaves lots of sticky lace.

Smell is rich malt, brown sugar, and a touch nutty.

Taste is very rich, raisin and fig, with a nicely bitter, lingering finish, where the alcohol is clearly evident but on the smoother side, although you could tell it was young. While I couldn't really cite any faults, I wasn't blown away either, and generally feel it's well made if a bit pedestrian. Hopefully it will develop more nuance as it ages, since I bought a few bombers to cellar.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, with a a medium light body.

Drinkablity was just above average. While it satisfied my thirst for a slow sipping big beer, it was still a bit too rough around the edges to really overindulge.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown, murky with a bit of floating sediment throughout, head is slim but retains nicely for awhile. The aroma is mostly chocolatey with some raisiny, cinnamon roll like malt smell and hint of alcohol. Quite inviting. The taste lacks the same depth as the aroma, it opens with some of the chocolate malt flavor but stays low on the sweetness, leading to a finish that's stronger in flavor with some roasted character and minor bitterness. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden for 10%. The mouthfeel is nice, leaning a bit to the thin side, with lower carbonation. This brew began with much promise but only ended up being slightly above the curve. Worth a try if you like the style...

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Photo of Shaw
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown from a 12-ounce bottle dated 2005. It's got a frothy, off-white head that reduces to a slim layer of foam in my glass.

It smells strongly of alcohol and caramelized malts. It's quite complex. Nice.

The taste is also complex. I'm tasting lots of roasted malt flavors, not something I expected. The bitterness is lower than I expected.

The body is slick and smooth, thanks to the high ABV.

Overall this is a fine Old Ale. It's strong, so be careful.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
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 lou91
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
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 jtfest
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was the 2003, 12 oz bottle. It pours a dark caramel with reddish hues and a thin, tan head that leaves a nice lacing. Not quite opaque in the glass, but very dark. The aroma is light and woody with a distinctive alcohol presence. The alcohol is far less (though not un) distinguishable in the flavor, which is big and malty with the "woody-ness" appearing more in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat syrupy. This is a very nice strong ale -- particularly if you are a woody-beer lover -- but it's a bit big to drink a bunch in a sitting.

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Photo of blackie
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 bottling

appearance: The pour into my snifter gives a low khaki head that slowly recedes. The beer is a rich medium brown with hues of red.

smell: Sweet tree fruits and slightly buttery, toffeelike malts uprfont. Notes of bourbon soaked wood and an earthy spiciness. Moderate to high English hop aroma. Considerable ethanol presence. Quite nice.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a smooth, low medium. The body is full but not overbearing.

taste: Moderately sweet toasted malt flavors alongside alcohol soaked wood and some dark fruits. Not as complex as I'd like an old ale to be. Light to moderate English type hop flavor with a slightly drying bitterness.

drinkability: The ABV is well hidden, but the beer lacks character. Still, a decent example of the style.

12 oz. bottle picked up in Madison last December and cellared since

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Photo of dnichols
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was served a 750 ml bottle with a chilled glass at the Fishbowl Brewpub in Olympia, Washington.

A: It has a very deep, dark brown body with a head that came fast and went away quickly.

S: There is a strong aroma of smoky burnt malts, fresh brewed black coffee, and thick rich molasses. After a rest some dark fruits emerges including plums and cherries.

T: The burnt malts and hops dominated early leaving an initial flavor burst that was quickly overtaken by a bitterness that was not repugnant but did diminish my enjoyment. However, after letting the beer rest for a few minutes the hops receded and the flavors of molasses and smoked dark malts dominated.

M: It is medium to full-bodied with a filling sweetness matched by the tang of hops and the warming of alcohol. Slightly bitter aftertaste that lingered.

D: I began not enjoying this beer, however, I let it rest for a few minutes and after having a chance to breath it became a much more enjoyable brew. I'll definitely have this one again.

Comment: This is my favorite from Fish. It's a complex beer that grows on you (or at least it did one me). There are other brews from this style that I enjoy more but this beer is novel.

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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.

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

Vintage 2005, Sampled November 2006
As I pour this is shows a lightly hazy, slightly amber tinged, brown color, though it sits in my glass an opaque, drab brown color. It is topped by a frothy, quickly disappearing, light brownish tan colored head. The aroma is almost murky in character; a sort of melange of caramel notes that lean towards being lightly burnt, a touch of roasted grain character. This is quite fruity in the aroma as well there is a roasted raisin like note, notes of plums and figs as well. The aroma definitely leans towards being sweet, it is quite complex though and fits with the overall character of this beer.

The taste is sweet up front with lots of malt sugars focused here. It quickly picks up toasted & even roasted notes though, especially through to the finish where it reminds me of dark cup of coffee at times. Chewy toasted grain notes that even have an astringent edge to it are noticeable in the finish too. Caramelized notes of dark, concentrated fruits and chewy malty sweetish notes of malted chocolate balls sort of mix and help to balance out the more toasted / roasted aspects of this brew. The beer, despite it relatively light color, even finishes with a bit of roasted grain derived acidity; it is at a low level here and really seems to balance out the sweetness more than detract. A touch hot in the finish at times, or more accurately, and much more appropriately, this beer provides a bit of a warming character, which is quite nice on this cool autumn night. This is one beer which should age quite well, I'll definitely have to pick up a few more of these.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

A - Pours a ruby amber with a small khaki head.

S - Malty with some nuttiness and dark fruits. Raisins and cherries. A little English barleywine like.

T - Sweet malt with dark fruit, cherries and raisins. Alcohol is clearly present. Some hop bitterness shows up in the background.

M - Medium body due to a very slight syrupy character. Light carbonation makes this one a nice sipper.

D - A solid old ale but nothing stands out in this one to make it more impressive than many other old ales I have tried. The alcohol is also clearly present in this one.

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Old Woody from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
4.02 out of 5 based on 107 ratings.
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