Old Woody | Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub

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Old WoodyOld Woody
109 Ratings
Old WoodyOld Woody

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

Style: 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: 109 |  Reviews: 98
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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Photo of crwills
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
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 +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.23/5  rDev -20%
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 -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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Photo of alexgash
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
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 -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of BigBry
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
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 +7.7%
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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Photo of Padron4KM
3.35/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Aroma is light caramel, raisin, alcohol, pine.

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

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

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
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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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
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 leedorham
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter poured from a bomber with no visible bottling date.

Pours an opaque, dark reddish-brown with a 1 finger head. The head stays with lacing from start to finish.
The aroma is full. Burnt caramel notes and sweet malt.
The first sip is velvety smooth. More toasty caramel notes with a hoppy background. It finishes with a pleasant malty-sweet aftertaste.
I will definitely partake again.

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Photo of fartingdog
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
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 blackie
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
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 bwyker
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
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 TheBungyo
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 vintage.
Poured cloudy with pockets of yeast swirling like twisters. Minimal head but a little lacing. Nose was faint to start but became stronger with syrupy cherries and notes of warm rum. Taste is boysenberry, cherry, maple, caramel and buttery diacetyl in the finish. Pleasant Piney aftertaste. Nice and complex. Carbonation is minimal but seems to frolick at the edges of the mouth. I plan on buying this again to see how it fares fresh.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
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 nvsblman
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 bottling, enjoyed in March 2006.

Cloudy dark brown with a pillowy off-white head. Deep, sweet malty aroma with plently of oak and alcohol noticable. Also some raisins and plums. Smells like a good barleywine. Earthy and oaky taste with plenty of sweet malt flavor. Brown sugar and raisins are also noticable in the sweetness. There is a nice warming alcohol presence that becomes more noticable as this beer warms. Just a light bitterness to provide a little balance. Full and chewy body. This is a really enjoyable beer, one that I will definitely be picking up again.

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Photo of brentk56
4.85/5  rDev +20%
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 AlexJ
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bruno for sharing this 03 vintage!

Brillient crimson amber pour that glows from within. Minimal carbonation does it's best to form a dense, 3/4 inch head that leaves gobs of lace as it settles into a lasting collar.

Aroma is malty and rich, with tons of scorched caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla pudding notes accented by ripe fruit, molasses, and yellow cake. It has a great candied citrus peel note that I hope tranlates to the tasting.

Flavor mimics the nose with massive caramel and butterscotch malts, molasses, honey drenched fruit, cherries, oranges, pinapple, sweet chewing tobacco, a dusting of powdered cocoa, and a citruss/pine hop finish that is subtle enough to let the malts take control.

Body is pretty damn big, with a silky texture and full, creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is light, but tight, adding to the creamy texture.

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

12oz single, Woodman's

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

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

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

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

mouthfeel: extraordinarily smooth, alcohol warming

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

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
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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Old Woody from Fish Brewing Company / Fishbowl Brewpub
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 109 ratings