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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 107
Photo of hoppymeal
4.1/5  rDev +2%
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 +2%
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 -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 Lothore
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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 +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 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 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 RedDiamond
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
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 -9.2%
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 NitroGen
4.22/5  rDev +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 -28.4%
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 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 kirok1999
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
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 +10.4%
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 +4.5%
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 crwills
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is from a trade a while back with CBA -- thanks!

Pours a dark golden brown with a small head and very little lacing. TONS of yeast in the bottle, a bunch of which ended up in the glass despite my best efforts. Big malty aroma with some interesting notes of grapes, tart apples, pepper, and something that reminds me of a sandy beach (strange, yes). Well balanced and surprisingly hoppy flavour. Definite notes of chocolate and coffee. Little bit o' citrus, little bit o' pepper and other kitchen spices. Better-than-average mouthfeel and a pleasant roasty aftertaste that I really enjoyed. Ears stay nice and warm from start to finish with this big guy, but I think that's how a good barley wine should be.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.82/5  rDev +19.9%
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 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 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 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 alexgash
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from April 2006.

Rich amber body with copper edges and a small yeasty haze. Finger of tight, very lacy, dirty khaki head. Toffee and butterscotch malts on the nose, along with light vegetal hops, some oak, yeast, and a little sugar. Toasted malt and herbal hop bitterness up front on the palate. Turns fruitier and sweet, with developing notes of butterscotch and caramel. Pine sap and herbal bitterness towards the bittersweet, warming finish. Medium-full body. Would feel syrupy if not for ample, ticklish, bottle-conditioned effervescence. Smooth, warming, and very good.

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Photo of Mandrake
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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 sponberg
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
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 BigBry
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz / 355 ml bottle, same label as the bomber pictured above. Spawned on date of April, 9.5% abv.
Pours a rich and slightly hazy brown color, small amount of foam that quickly faded to a thin floating cap, then just a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Thick layer of sediment left at thte bottom of my glass. Complex smells with lots of thick malt, and a nice warming alcohol aroma. Sweet malt, dark fruits, and more warming (but not really burning) alcohol. Thick and clinging mouthfeel, creamy and smooth. Very well made old style ale, high alcohol content is well balanced and hidden. Good to savor on a cold day. Assume it would cellar well, and round out nicely.

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

From a 12 oz bottle, wish I could have gotten my hands on a 22 oz bomber of the stuff, but I shall not be too picky and will be grateful that this has reached our local shelves at all. My bottle's label proclaims 9.5% abv.

Pours out thick and hazy brown, almost opaque from the haze alone, with a light hazelnut nimbus when held to the light. True to its name it is quite woody in appearance, or perhaps more nutty. A short but thick yellowy off-white head caps it off almost all the way down the glass, leaving thick patches of lacing in its wake.

Thick cake-like chewy toffee malt, warm spice and a warm rush of alcohol on the nose. Very light notes of citrus rind.

The flavour is absolutely delightful. Sweet thick buttery malt, not intense but well contained for the abv%, more breadlike in the middle with sugars from mild dried fruits (raisin bread?), almost a vinuous tone from the alcohol, a touch of marmalade, a more fruity sweetness on the finish, grape and citrus rind.

Gorgeous mouthfeel, thick and creamy and velvety, like a magic carpet rolling over the tongue.

A fine refined ale, civilized and well-crafted, you can't even tell that it is such high octane until near the end of the glass, the high alcohol content is so well contained and hidden. A very pleasant treat on this very frosty day.

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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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