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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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 107
Photo of Padron4KM
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Aroma is light caramel, raisin, alcohol, pine.

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

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

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

22oz bottle

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

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

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

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

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

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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 leedorham
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
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 -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

2005 bottling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of TheBungyo
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
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 -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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Photo of nvsblman
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
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 +20.6%
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 AlexJ
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
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 +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 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 czechsaaz
4.79/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12 Oz 2003 bottling (I had a 750 of this when releases but can't find notes)

Big time sherry/oxidative nose. Not unpleasant, good aged smelling. Lots and lots of vinuous fruit. Also a ton of sweet malt.Very comlex, add in some dried cherry deeply ripe fruit fermentation aroma too. I'd expect an alcohol nose in a beer this strong/old, but it's not there (again, probably due to its age.)

Ruby red, almost no head. Leaves legs on the glass from alcohol.

Yowza, there's lots of flavor components. Very malty, A touch of oak. Some alcohol. Lots of fruity flavors. Dried cherry again and apricots. Spice from yeast, clove-like. Each sip seems a little different. There's so much flavor it's hard to dexcribe all the things I'm tasting. I get some chocolate too.

Big bodied, light carbonation. Strong alcohol warming.

Drinkability doesn't really apply,. A great nightcap/sipping beer. Doesn't go down easy, but goes down smooth. Takes some time to get through it, but that's out of respect, not the quality.

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Photo of rebel1771
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a hazey reddish-brown color. The smell is a sweet and malty with a definite alcohol note. The taste us chocked full of malty goodness with a sweetness and almost a taste similar to that of barley-wine style ales. I thouroughly enjoyed this ale with it's distinct taste beautiful and appearance. I will probably pick up a six next time I see this in my local specialty shop.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somewhat muddy in appearance. Orange to amber color. Malty aroma-nice notes of caramel and some oak. Jumbo malt flavor-caramel and toffee. Theres a musty or "earthiness" to it as well-an old ale that tastes old! Somewhat dry with a slight alcohol note in the finish. Syrupy and full body. A very drinkable beer. Damn fine effort from Fish!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Goldorak
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark, crimson red, with a reddish-brown head a few specks of sediment here and there.

Smell: Bourbon sweetened with a little candi sugar, the vapors are strong and all over the place, lots of complex alcohols that both tickles your nostril hairs and slaps around you olfactive nerves.

Taste: Quite dry with some pronounced earthy, wood character. I usually don't like it when it gets overboard and the malts are nowhere to be found, and all you get is a popsicle stick flavored vodka. Rest assured, the balance is well respected in this case, the malt holds on just enough to give the hooch a run for it's money.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a small head. The aroma is very complex: malt, vanilla, oak, and carob. The flavor is equally delicious. It starts with a sweet molasses flavor, followed by fruits, like cherries, plums, and raisins. The oak gives it an extra layer of complexity. There is also some cocoa flavor. This beer is very tasty and complex, but it is a little weak in the finish. The 10% abv is very well hidden. Still, this is a sipping beer. Very well done.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of the one, the only, the Washington state maven BA, Skyhand.

Pours a deep toffee toned dark brown in color with a thin head that didn't last long. Lack of head is often like silence in the forest, something is about to happen. Preliminary offactory inspection yielded few clues as to what lay ahead. This thing just smells STRONG in my Kuhnhenn tulip glass but I found it hard to pick out individual traits. Notes of toffee, dark fruits (raisins, figs) hints of licorice and bourbon bounce on the tongue like a four year old who got into the sugar jar. This is definatly a sipper. This was a real treat however, probably my favorite old ale to date, at least as memory serves, and after this one, it doesn't serve all that well.


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Photo of cokes
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005. 12oz.
Pours russet brown trimmed with peach below an ecru heading of modest stature and more impressive cling.
Fragrant of pine cones, caramel-fudge bars, liquorice, wet iron, and bark.
Tramples across the tongue, leaving a melting goo of caramel nougat, milk chocolate, loose nuts, and all things candy bar. Take this in for a second, and ask yourself: "How goddamn tasty are Baby Ruths and/or Kit Kats when I'm stoned?"
Yeah...they're fucking good, aren't they?
And so is this.
Out of the dopey, confectionous malt, grows a bittering sense of liquorice and wet, spicy breads (think: rye). Woodsiness grows with a papery birch bark notion, unfolding into danker shaving of hickory, pine, and maple (complete with trickles of sap). The wood-aging layers a buttery vanilla hazenut coconut laquer. It ends with a contiuned caramel coconut milk leading into a resin-rich pine essence trimmed with metal spangles. Alcohol is barely noticed except in its mind-altering properties and suggestive Pinot Noir vinousness.
Thickish, but not clunky in feel. The sparce yet perky carbonation shines light a beam of sunlight through a dusty, cryptic brew
This can be drained with a quickness, and with an ensuing sadness.
This is special in so many ways. Fishtale has a stable of (generally) winners, but this is a real-deal, triple crown trophy horse.

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

The beer comes courtesy of Mickey. Thanks for opportunity!

I am sampling a 12 oz bottle in a snifter at room temp. 2003 vintage. The beer pours a clear chestnut with garnet highlights. A small creamy off white head foams up and fades to a thin edge layer fairly quickly.
Aroma is fruity with raisin and prunes some lite brown sugar hints as well. No real hop presence here
The first sip reveals a fairly lite body and very soft and fine, yet tightly packed carbonation. Flavor is a little sugary up front toffee and raisins mix nicely with a slightly peppery bitter finish which I attribute to the alcohol as I havent found hops anywhere else yet and I also get a little warming on the swallow.
A nice beer that is easy to drink even with the warming on the finish.

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Photo of Cwrw
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My friend from Olympia pleasantly surprised me by bringing up some good Fish Tale Ales, and this one really delighted me. Vintage 2003 in a 355ml bottle, tasted on May 15, 2005. Old Woody poured a rich and deep chestnut brown, with soft hints of dark purple, topped by a thin but fine layer of lightish brown head dappled darker brown where some of the yeast dropped in. Small bubbled lacing. The beer's colour, I must say, is superbly attractive held against a white background. Peering really closely through the glass I can see the free-floating bits of yeast, and the overall haziness of the liquid. The aroma is incredibly similar to Fish Tale's Detonator Doppelbock, with perhaps the difference of more phenolic smells in this one. Up front alcohol mixes with more subtle notes such as burnt and spicy malt, currants, raisins, figs, extremely sweet sugars, cloves and cinnamon, black licorice and dates, some almost Belgian-tripel style yeast aromas, brown sugar, fresh brownies, and some oak. The aroma is a veritable cornucopia of complexity. This is similar to their doppelbock, only better--less spicy and more malty. The aroma also smells as if perhaps sugar has been added to the beer. The taste is almost like sipping syrup and is suprisingly not harsh with alcohol. I taste dark licorice and tobacco immediately, followed by dry burnt maltiness. The resins and syrup comparisons are inevitable. The sweet malts and chemical-strong sweetness is an incredible combination, leaving a finish of dried grain, with grapefruit bitterness, and yes there are even some grassy hop notes. Sweet chocolate and raisins, with a burnt toast bitterness. The alcohol is not overly noticeable, but this beer warms the stomach very rapidly. An excellent ale for a brisk winter night. The mouthfeel is like drinking car-oil: extremely thick and with intensely low carbonation. This is perhaps one of the thickest beers I have tasted, and I love it. Mouth-covering silkiness fills the whole palate. Disturbingly drinkable, despite the alcohol content. This is a beauty, and I think the 2 years aging probably increased my liking of it. I would love to try this with a vintage 2005.
By far the best I have tried from Fish Brewing.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003 vintage, 12 oz bottle.
A syrupy pour reveals Mahogany with crimson edging and a rocky beige head.
Supple and juicy in the nose with a big,bready malt character and earthy hops.
Hints of toffee,caramel,vanilla,smoke, and cedar. Finishes with vineous alcohol.
Rounded and smooth on the pallet.
Dusty malt with a residual sweetness.
Filled with "Old Ale" character with substantial Northwest hop character (although subdued).
Toasted,doughy malts,warming alcohol,lingering bitterness and a slick, musty finish.
Hints of cedar,oak,dry wine, and smoke.
A 750 of this would be friggin' righteous.

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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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