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:
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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 107
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 brentk56
4.85/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 Vintage

Appearance: Pours a cloudy ice tea brown color with a beige head that displays good retention and leaves copious amounts of lacing

Smell: Caramel and rum-soaked cherries

Taste: Starts out with an explosion of burnt caramel and cherry flavors that develop in multifarious ways with oak barrel, leather and tobacco complexity; nice bitter, smokey balance on the finish

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and viscous with modest carbonation

Drinkability: Wonderfully complex; an unusual and wonderful example of the style; I'd like to see how this develops with some age (I just tried it again 3 years later and it is even more wonderful; after 4 years, however, it is on its way out)

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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 oberon
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
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 NeroFiddled
4.59/5  rDev +14.2%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 vintage. Blurry cherry tobacco that becomes glowing crimson with backlighting. Minimal CO2 release on crown cracking led to the formation of a small, pastel gold crown that is both dense and creamy. A thick, buttery, short collar is beginning to form and my hope is that more of the same will be forthcoming. A good look.

It's hard to distinguish the nose from an English barleywine; not so surprising since the two styles have quite a bit in common. It's malt-dominant with aromas of Scotch whisky-laced dark caramel and Christmas fruitcake (raisins, dried cherries). It isn't quite powerful or complex enough to be a real barn burner, but the hay loft is smoking.

The flavor mirrors the aroma with uncanny precision. Again, comparisons to the maltier barleywines come immediately to mind, although this beer is simpler on the palate and lighter of body. The flavor profile is roughly midway between the boozy fruitiness (again, raisins and cherries) of a barleywine and the darker flavors of an Imperial stout (molasses, anise), without being as bombastic as either. Wee heavy comparisons would also not be out of line. In spite of all that, since old ale is something of a catchall style, it catches Old Woody with ease.

Other, less prominent, flavors include tobacco, leather and an oaky woodiness (I wouldn't rule out the power of suggestion on that last one). Hops, as might be expected, especially given the beer's age, are significantly muted if not altogether absent. Alcohol is still something of a presence, but is soft and tame after all this time in the bottle. The mouthfeel is lighter than I normally like on big beer. It approaches, without achieving, a light chewiness. That said, it is supremely smooth.

This isn't the biggest, baddest, most rambunctious old ale on the block, nor is it the most complex. It is, however, as comforting and as warming as a sweatshirt and a pair of old slippers worn in the presence of a snapping, crackling fire. Old Woody is 'comfort beer' and such pleasures as it provides are much appreciated on an early January evening such as this.

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Photo of russpowell
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
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 Slatetank
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold in a nonic
A - A deep garnet with hazed copper/brown highlights and a thin tan head that leaves little lacing.

S - Fruits and honey malt aromas mingle with light hop aromas and a date/nut aroma w/ hints of pear.

M - A bit of the fuller bodied side with nutty sweet and slightly syrupy textures and a tiny amount of carbonation.

T - Nice fruit and nutty with a strong honey malt taste. Slightly warming and a subtle woody pine quality peaks through as this strong ale warms. A blend of stone fruit and medium roasted flavors that give way to honey sweetness in the finish.

D - Big and sweet with lots of honey. A malty smooth old ale with sturdy warm alcohol to boot. I would enjoy this beer as a night cap or with a meal. Full of flavor and drinkable- in moderation.

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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.

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

12 ounce bottle, courtesy of whoever tavernjef got it from...; )
Dark ruby color, brief beige head.
Ah, but the aroma is a lovely thing to give one pause, deep, fruity, cherries, berries, with a definite alcoholic kick, bit of a brandy feel, bright, yet medicinal. Smooth and fully flavored entry on the palate, woody flavor really comes through in the taste, still fruity, still boozy. Pungent, poignant, and powerful.
Firmly on the side of tasty, but not yet entering into delicousville.
the 10% is masked very well, not felt too keenly.
Overall, a really nice, tangy, solid old ale, tast-eee!
much thanks to mr. fisheads!

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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.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to JohnGalt1 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a tulip a nice dark clear amber color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy off-white head, nice collection of small islands and sticky lacing. The nose is malty, nice tones of cheeries, very slight yeast, tones of figs, raisins, plums, and some caramel. The taste is malty, very slight tangyness/yeast, and caramel. Medium body, a nice rounded/complex brew. The alcohol is hidden very well. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, definitely would recommend. Thanks Toby.

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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 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.


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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.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of Bighuge
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Woody. The Big Woody. Unfortunately, I left myself with nothing. I used up all my symbolic sexual references and innuendos a couple reviews ago on DEUS.

This beer shows a nice deep scarlet red hue. Very slight chill haze is noted. A nice looking thick and creamy light beige head sits on top of the beer and sticks around for a while. Great retention. ( I wouldn't expect anything less from a beer named Woody.) The lace coats the glass in sheets. Aroma is primarily sweet. There are also subtle hints of cherry, wood and bourbon. The mouthfeel of this beer is very smooth. Velvety. Body is about medium-full. The taste is unique for an Old Ale. The aging in wine barrels really adds some woody and oaky/bourbon-like/winey notes to the beer. The alcohol presence is fairly blunt. A little too much for my liking, but acceptable. The aftertaste is primarily that of sharp bitterness from the EtOH. With a lingering hop presence as well. The meat of the flavor profile is a sweet, fruity, alcohol driven blend. Not a bad beer. But not one I'd buy for that price again. Aging might do wonders for this beer.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of ZAP
4.54/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003-12 ounce bottle

Awesome nose....hickory...oak...sweet cookie dough...caramel..outstanding...

Pours a crimson red...flst looking no head...

Mouthfeel is non-carbonated..flat...sweet but a good dose of heat from the ABV keeps it from being too sweet..still almost a soy souce texture..

Flavor is slickly sweet..caramel...nice dose of woody notes...alcohol is slightly evident...provides a little bite on the finish...

Overall I love the nose on this...body and mouthfeel are a little too uncarbonated for my liking..taste is good to very good...

Overall above average...enjoyable....I would buy again as overall I like it..

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Photo of Gusler
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the pour a stuporous mahogany, the head dinosauric in size, creamy texture, the color a winsome light tan, as the head vaporizes, the lace formed makes a nice sealing sheet upon the glass. The aroma of oak evident, bubble gum, sweet malt, fresh and woodsy? Cloyingly sweet at the start, thickly malt, top is middling in feel, the finish, vinous, tart, the hops pertinent in their spiciness, moderately acidic,
the aftertaste quite dry and a bit alcohol bitter, a nice belly warming feel also present. I’m really not sure what to make of this beer, may need to age a few and re-rate, good but different for sure.

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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 dirtylou
4.38/5  rDev +9%
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 tavernjef
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This tree hugger likes the name and the label. 2003 bottle shared with feloniousmonk from weefisheads -Dark yellowy reddish brown with a burnt edge to its body, small biege head emerged quickly and fades out just as quickly. Lacing in glaring spots. Aroma has some dark cherry right away, other dark fruits emerge gradually with some fig, dates and darkened citrus. Caramel and toffee notes hide underneath a bit of earthy wet woods. Some fairly apparent ethonal heat and even a bit of phenolic hints peep in as well. Taste has a nice toasty caramel overall. Warm, soothing, welcoming, first few sips, very gradually and subtle flavors creep across the palate with some slight dark citrus orangeness, some fig and cherry, also hints of pine wood from hops decorate the finish with some solid warming effects. Feel is about medium, well rounded, gets fuller towards the end, creamy with some fine warming qualities throughout each sip. A nice rendition of a Old Ale style, one I tend to favor more then the English variety.

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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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