Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig AleSamuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,334 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,334
Hads: 3,314
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 77
Gots: 398 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-28-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (119) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,334 | Hads: 3,314
Reviews by Jadjunk:
Photo of Jadjunk
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

"Old Fezziwig Ale is in the tradition of special seasoned beers for the winter Holidays, and takes its name from the festive character in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." This is a hearty, rich, brownish-red ale that gets its character from large amounts of specialty malts. These roasted caramel and chocolate malts give it a very full body and a smooth taste that's then spiced with a touch of cinnamon, ginger and orange. Happy Holidays!" Brewed in the style of a Winter Warmer, available almost exclusively as part of Samuel Adams' Winter Classics variety pack and one of their most popular offerings.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter. Served north of 54º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a thick, creamy tannish white head with a decent retention and frothy surface cover. Body color is a filtered mahogany brown with ample carbonation, light enough to see through when held to light. Lacing and head quality are shorter than expected, but overall it's a decent-looking beer. 3.5

(Smell) Thoroughly roasted caramel malts and a snap of chocolate for a toasty but sweet malty front. Bready malts are complimented with subtle hints of ginger snaps, ground cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel in decreasing order, perhaps a bit too shallow for compliment to the aroma. Aroma is chock full with warm flavor- for a winter warmer it is clean and well rounded. Despite being short a few notches of my expectations for spice presence, the aroma is potent at the right temperature and lack of any notable imperfections makes for a highly anticipated winter brew. 4.25

(Taste) Smooth, bready roasted caramel malt syrup provides a toasty sweetness. Cinnamon is preserved best in the flavor, and raisin is also a notable compliment for a fruitcake sweetness. Ginger and orange are notable and contribute to the mild drying finish and some faint holiday spice notes to the flavor. Despite balance being slightly malty over spice-led, the malt profile is very quaffable and the holiday spices give a decent show of balance to the beer. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Smooth, slick and mildly creamy texture- carbonation doesn't come out as too spritely or intrusive, merely giving just the texture the beer needs. Mildly dry orange rind and ginger candy finish. There is a medium+ body for the style and medium body amongst all beers. Alcohol presence is low, quite well concealed by the spice profile. 4.25

(Drinkability) When compared to the world of Winter Warmers, Old Fezziwig is less adventurous than its brethren, making simple choices in balancing flavor and drinkability. The malt profile is beautifully roasted and just sweet enough, flavorful and clean drinking. The spice choices were all great compliments and didn't overpower the flavor profile that the malt was pulling off. There are very enjoyable flavors and textures in this winter ale. It is one of my choice holiday brews and I recommend seeking this brew out next winter season. 4

Boston Beer Company's
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

Vertical Notes:

2011 (1 Year, 4 months aged)

Head quality is similar in consistency and color, although it settles slightly faster than the fresh age. Body color is very similar, although a slightly more fuller crimson red tone prevails. The aroma is notably different from the fresh vintage from a huskier malted aroma with a souring note- most of the character of cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel has vanished to time, but the remaining aroma still manages to carry its own, despite some booziness and rough edges. The flavor is equally impacted with a smooth and creamy grain bill with a mild boozy finish, again with no orange, ginger or spice. A bit of alcohol heat has been gained during the wait time for this beer, and the body, while even smoother than in the fresh is prickly and uneven. A lot of the viability of this beer has been lost with aging and I certainly preferred the fresh batch. It did not age particularly well.

Recommended Vintage: Fresh (3,973 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of RonaldWilsonReagan
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slight bitterness is there but not on the front end. I usually can’t detect the trace flavors brewers claim to use, but the orange in this one shines through. Bravo. Malty. Nutty. Smooth. Delicious. The only drawback of this beer is that it’s not available in sixers, but I digress. Like many, I’d drink this stuff early and often were it readily available. (372 characters)

Photo of Jmc181
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer enough to buy a mixed case of Sam Adams for four Fezziwigs. Don't get me wrong, the others get drank, but I buy the case for the Fezziwigs. Wish they were more widely available as a stand alone case. (217 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First time trying this brew picked it up in the variety 12 pack,pours a deep brown/red with a light but lacey head,the aroma is mainly malty with some light brown sugar notes.Taste is very raisiny and bready with a syrupy taste that lingers,a definent malt accented beer wich is nice.I think one of the better BBC offerings but not the easiest beer to drink. (358 characters)

Photo of mojohawk21
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of cam477
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Turbo
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ExtraStout
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Sam Adams Turbinator glass.

A - Pours a ruby-tinted deep brown with a nice off-white head.

S - Smells of spice - cinnamon and a bit of raisin. Some roasted malts are present as well.

T - The taste compliments the smell with the cinnamon and raisin apparent immediately. Some dark fruit flavors and a nice toasted malt backbone. Some sweetness but not overpowering. A slight hop flavor is floating around in there too.

M - Pleasant, smooth.

D - Not bad for a couple, but the spice might wear on your palate after a bit. (538 characters)

Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of npala86
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Tiernan
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of tohe9384
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of J2L
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of GameOfBeers
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Chuggnutt
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear brown with garnet tints. Tan head, smooth, collapsed relatively quickly.

Smell: Spicy and malty. Hint of cinnamon; toffee; molasses?; maple syrup.

Taste: Brown ale with a kick. Black pepper at the back of the throat; bitter orange; cinnamon bark; chocolate malt; twiggy/woody. Cloves?

Mouthfeel: A little light, with a woody feel. Kind of wassail-y with the spices and orange.

Overall: Not sure what to expect with a name like "Old Fezziwig," but I thought it turned out remarkably better than I was expecting. A good holiday ale, not overpowering in the spices. (592 characters)

Photo of wrycon
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks really sexy - a deep ruby red. Smells of deep malts, some chocolate and a hint of orange. Initial taste is fairly straightforward and plain, but then the different elements pop out. Toasty malt, spiciness and a slight tang. The flavors don't bump into one another, but rather dance in unison to create a unique and highly drinkable brew.

Like it? For Sure (362 characters)

Photo of kcc
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of Dmann
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer looked great out of the glass as it poured a great medium brownish color with a great white head that settled into a small foam on top of the beer. The ginger really came through in the smell as did the cinnamon. The taste of this beer was a little too on the spicy side for me, and did not do much for the palate. I would have to say this is very balanced as far as the spices go but this is just not my cup of tea(or beer!). Having said that though, this is one of the better spiced beers that I have had but I do not think I could drink more than one at any given setting. (585 characters)

Photo of MikeC144
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear brownish red pour with a nice two finger head. Deep blood red comes through when held up to the light. A bit of lacing as well...nice. Sweet chewy caramel with cinnamon and hints of citrus on the nose.

An interesting blend of cocoa and caramel upfront followed by a healthy sprinkling of cinammon and nice spicy ginger bite on the back of the palate. A smattering of citrus and a bit of piney hops are in the mix as well. Quite tasty and a nice winter brew that's not overly spiced.

Medium bodied with a smooth, slightly creamy texture. Works for me! I could see myself having a couple of these, especially during the holidays. My fave Sam Adams brew as of now....why the hell don't they put this in sixers!!! (729 characters)

Photo of markallmon
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one seemed much like a porter to me. It poured like one, with a rich, deep hue, and attractive head that took its time dying down.

The chocolate malts are out in force in the scent. You can also detect the orange peel slightly.

Again, the taste reminded me of a better quality porter. The caramel & toffee were noticeable, but not too overpowering. This was a very thick, almost chewy beer. Big points.

Robust & full of character! Perhaps the perfect follow-up to the disappointing cranberry lambic (which also comes in the Samuel Adams winter classics 12-pack), as it will totally take your mind off that previous beer. Too bad you cant get Old Fezziwig seperately. I would imagine it would be a brisk seller. (724 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of the Brewmaster's Collection. Bottle said best by 3/07. It was a pretty enjoyable beer. A reddish/brown color with a medium head. It had a spicy citrus aroma, with maybe a little caramel. Taste was mostly fruit (orange) with a little spice. Decent mouthfeel, and not so fruity that you couldn't drink a few. (314 characters)

Photo of SD-Alefan
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - An opaque dark brown with a reddish hue and an off-white hue.

S - A nutty smell with some dark malts and some spices of ginger and cinnamon.

T - A little malt sweetness in addition to a little bitterness from the roasted malts. Again you get hints of ginger and cinnamon. There is a very slight bitter hop finish.

M - A medium carbonation and light body.

D - Really drinkable. Low abv and a light body makes it easy to throw back a few of these on a cold winter day. (475 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 1,334 ratings.