Old Woody | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

Old WoodyOld Woody
108 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 |  Reviews: 98
Photo of AndIWantYou
3.51/5  rDev -13.1%
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 WYVYRN527
3.22/5  rDev -20.3%
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 froghop
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
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 BretSikkink
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of Boto
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
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!

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Photo of John_M
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
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 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 tmoneyba
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of Vancer
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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

2008 vintage. Pours a dark amber, rusty brown in color with a good sized cream head that slowly dissipates. Sweet maltiness in the aroma, some raisins, caramel, berries and breadiness. Some alcohol is evident in the aroma as well. Taste is a good blend of caramel maltiness, some cotton candy sweetness, a biscuity bread flavor, slightly toasted, and some grassy hop bitterness. A warmth of alcohol in the finish. Medium to heavy in body, slightly creamy feel, drying in the finish and a well balanced warmth of alcohol in the end. Very good beer, much better as it warms. Maybe a little understated, but I like the fact that it is somewhat simple and straightforward rather than having too much going on. Will age some for a year or two and check back. Thanks Bottletrek for having this in stock, my first order with them.

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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 JDV
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
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 Lothore
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy caramel color with little to no head.

S- Smell is sweet, with caramel and dark fruits.

T- Very malty all the way through. Starts off with caramel and moves into mixed dark fruits with a slight hop bitterness peeking out at the end followed by a little alcohol bite.

M- Medium viscosity, low on the carbonation.

D- Excellent sipper. I love a good old ale and this was a good old ale.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
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 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 DIM
3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
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 RedDiamond
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Woody brought home a gold medal for Fish at the 2007 GABF. That’s a first for Fish – a gold Fish, if you will – and a good call. The old ale or strong ale category is underappreciated and deserves a wider following in my view. It has a lot of potential as a glass of Old Woody will attest.

They serve Old Woody at the Fishbowl pub in 10-oz. nonic schooners. Both the aroma and taste are alive with bold fruity esters touching upon apple, cherry, and juicyfruit essence. A strong presence of alcohol sweeps through the taste and is accented in the finish with a wallop of bittering. Most beers might be overwhelmed by the prominence of so much alcohol. I take it as a defining characteristic of the old ale style and found that it served Old Woody well, giving it a gruff, bracing quality that stands up admirably to a winter’s night in the northwest. And its plump fruitiness still carries the day.

Dark cinnamon color with a light soapy head and ample lace. Well done.

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Photo of ccrida
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
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 NitroGen
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: 12 oz. Brown longneck bottle. Brewed in April, no year indicated. 9.5% alc./vol.

P: Brown with slight reddish slight murkey pour with a load of yeast, oh please be yeast, at the bottom of the bottle. ½ finger loose foam tan head that dissipates to a thin cover/ ring with lacing.

S: Deep wood, toasted malt, dark drown sugar and heat of alcohol finish.

T: Smooth and balanced roasted malt,sweet burnt sugar, roasted grain and then a wave of alcohol.

M: Surprisingly thick very mellow, velvety throughout the mouth and the finish of sweetness and alcohol.

D: One of these at the end of a sitting will do. This is one to sip and contemplate as it is almost like sipping a smooth and aged whiskey. Now if only I had a cigar...a smoking jacket...crackling fire..and a hunting dog sleeping at my feet.
I like this one!

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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 dnichols
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
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 kirok1999
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful dark glowing copper with no head at all. Almost a winey smell, nicely sweet and malty.
Taste is wonderful, very mild and full of flavor, caramel, buttery toffee, very little bitterness in the finish. This is simply malts with enough hops added to back the thing up. Mouthfeel is thick and lush.
Really easy to drink as the slight carbonation lets it slide down easily.

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Photo of markaberrant
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled date - April 06

A - I accidentally kicked up some sediment (it had a LOT, which was surprising), but it was pouring a clear auburn. Almost nothing for head.

S - This is the first beer I've smelled that has a definite leather/ tobacco character. Lots of complexity, fruit, nuts, caramel, etc I quite like it.

T - I find the taste to be superb. Similar to the smell, and it's got a fantastic balance between malt and hops. The alcohol flavour is almost non-existant.

M - Thick and chewy, like a decadent truffle it coats your entire mouth. Carbonation is low. Has a big alcohol warmth that smothers and comforts you.

D - This is a fine sipper if their ever was.

I don't get the opportunity to drink a lot of big english style barleywines/old ales. However, I find this one to be fantastic, and compares very well to one of my favourites, the Bushwakker SOB. This is one heck of a beer!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.2/5  rDev +4%
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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Old Woody from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 108 ratings
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