1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig AleSamuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,799 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2799
Reviews: 1310
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.49%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-28-2001)
View: Beers (117) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 2,799 | Reviews: 1,310 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A lager with initially fizzy carbonation that fades as it warms to just significant carbonation. Clearly orange and cinammon, a spot of ginger for spice, and caramel. Weak finish. Medium mouthfeel. Rather a bold herbal tea. Nice chestnut amber colour.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2006 04:09:54 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best before 4/2013.

Pours a clear orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the flavors aren't as good as the smells I am getting.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2012 01:28:46 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark orange-copper topped by a very large, tight-bubbled, ecru colored crown. The lid eventually falls to a thick disk and deposits shredded sheets of lace. There isn't a great deal going on with the nose. Just toasted malt and assorted spices that I'm unable to guess at due to a lack of power.

The flavor is decent, but isn't especially exciting. Like the nose, sweet caramel malt and indeterminate spices are present. According to the label, Old Fezziwig Ale is brewed with cinnamon, ginger and orange. There's no way that I could have identified any of them without knowledge of their presence.

As the beer gains a few degrees, cinnamon comes to the fore, ginger is questionable, and orange peel is essentially absent. There's also a little coffee lurking around the edges. The mouthfeel is at least medium and is enjoyable enough for the above score to be granted.

Sam Adams Old Fezziwig is a nice attempt at a winter warmer, but I've had better. I'm not sure what changes would improve it. A different combination of flavors perhaps? But then it would be a completely different beer and there's not much point in that. Or is there?

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2004 01:15:02 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

reviewed from notes, part of the big sam adams tasting on xams day. we plowed through everyone we could find in the damn state! served cold and poured into a pint glass.

nice pour with a thick look to it that id manage to let some light through though not terribly much, still not a terrible look overall by any means, aroma is charged with spice, cinnamon, hints of brown sugar, ginger and touches of all spice dot the landscape among a sea of nice malty notes. flavor is interesting as it starts sweet and quickly moves over with an earthy hop note and a decent mix of spices that dry the finish and give it a kick,

overall not bad, it seemed to hold its own quite nicely, would definitely try this one again,

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 02:47:59 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: The pour is a clear, dark amber color with a finger's worth of off-white foam.

S: The smell is caramel malt, mild spices such as cinnamon and ginger.

T: The flavors are similar to the nose, but amped up a bit. There is a sweet caramel flavor along with a nice cinnamon and ginger spiciness. There is also a bit of fruit, maybe cherry and orange.

M: The body is medium and the carbonation is quite light, but works nicely for the beer.

D: This is an amazingly drinkable beer. I've never had this beer before and was quite pleasantly surprised by it. One of the better beers in the Winter Pack.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 08:50:16 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy russet body with a prodigious head that provides loads of splashy lacing

Smell: Wonderful spice aromas of cinnamon, orange and a touch of ginger

Taste: Starts out with a raisiny, fruitcake flavor filled with holiday spices; mid-palate, some balancing bitterness kicks in with a touch of pithy orange and cinnamon

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: With enough holiday spices to make it interesting, but nothing over the top, this is quite a decent Winter Warmer

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2006 00:53:49 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a brown color ale with a relatively large foamy head with OK retention and some light lacing. Aroma of caramel malt with light toffee and nutmeg notes is pretty enticing. Taste is a good mix between some solid caramel malt with light notes of nutmeg and balanced residual sugar in the aftertaste. Body is about average with good carbonation. Easily drinkable while retaining some good complexity.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 20:18:37 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Winter variety pack -- part III. Another winner by BBC. Richly malted and creatively spiced. Sweet malts begin to pick up on dark syrup flavors, but not viscocity. Bready and sweet with a hint of toast, nuts, chocolate, and toffee. Spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and curraco decorate the aromas and flavors, adding a punch of variety, but never becomming distracting -- always complimentary. Medium bodied allows for easy drinking. The alcohols and hops cut through those holiday foods nicely while standing on its own if needed. Finishes with a hint of spices and a follow-through of malt sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2006 02:19:30 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very dark brown color with a slight head. The nose brings a good dose of cinnamon, nutmeg, and some other wintry spices. A bit of chocolate and roasted malt in the background. Taste brings a lot of spicing and some malt. The feel is medium with a good balance of spicing and roast, something I find to be quite rare in this style, and thus worthy of a fairly high rating. Drinks quite well and is a nice treat during the holiday season.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2010 19:15:08 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a two finger high dense beige head that slowly died down leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of caramel malts and spices in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has some initial malty sweetness. The flavors of spices are a little stronger compared to the smell and there are some notes of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and somewhat creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: It doesn't seem to be as full-bodied compared to other beers in the style but that's not necessarily a bad thing because it's more sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2011 02:59:03 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark garnet-hued body with a beige-colored head.

Smell: Some caramel, some chocolate, with dried orange peel, cinnamon, and just a tiny bit of ginger.

Taste: Light chocolate taste with some toasted bread and a caramel sweetness. Spicy, with hints of cinnamon, orange peel, and ginger. Y'know, it actually reminds me of some pumpkin ales I've had. Finishes with the spices lingering into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid wintertime release, and a fine addition to the Sam Adams Box of Winter Delights.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2008 00:42:58 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2003 01:53:39 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

VDubb has talked this one up for a good while now, simultaneously drinking up all that he can get (thus leaving me with none to try for myself). Now it's my box, so I've got some to sample. It pours a clear dark ruby-brown topped by a short half-finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises anise, light roasted malts, figs, raisins, rye bread, nutmeg, and a decent amount of banana. The taste runs similarly, with the rye bread taking up more space than before, and a cola-like flavor rising up as well. The body is a light-feeling medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth, grainy feel. Overall, a very nice brew, not spectacular, but very tasty and highly drinkable. I can see why, to some degree, anyway, that people wait around for the SA Winter Styles pack every year.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 01:58:53 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Fezziwig name couldn't be more appropriate for such a rich and lively ale. Its reddish-chestnut body displays glowing ruby highlights and its creamy ivory head holds well and leaves some nice lace about the glass. Rich, caramel-soaked and hop-infused malt dominates the nose, beckoning you to take another whiff where subtle spicing may be found. In the mouth its fine, median carbonation gently zests on the tongue before warming to become just slightly creamy. The spicing is far from over-done, and simply lends a bit of extra character and depth to an already rich brew. Deeply caramelized malts abound, and a touch of dark chocolate helps to anchor it although that's where the hops come into play. Much like the spicing, they play a supporting role, but a full on at that. The bitterness is firm enough to balance the sweetness of the malts, but never surpasses that function; and the grassy and floral hop flavors help to thin the richness of the malt so that it doesn't appear as "sweet", all the while adding breadth of character. The cinnamon, ginger and orange perk up in the finish as the dark caramel subsides, allowing you to notice them more at the start of the next sip. Like a bright, well-orchestrated symphony, Fezziwig evolves with each new movement, adding new layers to its themes without losing focus, and ending with a brilliant crescendo once the beer has warmed. It may not be quite the beer it once was, but it's certainly worth buying the winter seasonal case to have it on hand when friends and relatives drop by. An exceptional holiday beer!

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2004 12:22:08 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear crimson/bronze color, fuzzy beige foam.
Aroma is surprisingly mild, but on close inspection, we find spicy hints, notes of nuts, and it opens up with time, revealing ginger, cinnamon, clove, the whole panoply of holiday spices. Smells a bit like a Christmas cookie baking.
Soft, lush entry on the palate, not too forceful on the tongue. big malty flavor, bright and just a bit fruity, but the yeasty/spicy character is king. Nice and sweet, with spice joining in, and getting stronger with each subsequent taste.
Ideally, I'd like it a bit bolder, bigger, fuller of flavor and body, but that's just me. As it is, I can't fault it too much. In fact, I pretty well like it. Good Old Fezziwig!
(just now perused the label, and I'm thinking "yeah, now I can taste the orange...sure...")

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2004 11:44:29 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep copper color with a short and foamy off-white head and leaves a thick, even lace.

S: Cinnamon, ginger & malt with a slight bit of hops and fruitiness, but not very strong.

T: You definitely taste more hops than you smell, which you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a Winter Warmer and I don’t think that’s a bad thing in this case. There’s also the cinnamon, ginger & malt sweetness that you detect in the smell and remains in a faint after-taste.

M: Very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, not as thick as other Winter Warmers that I’ve had.

D: Tasty and not to filling, given the style. I could definitely drink more that the two bottles that I get in one sampler 12-pack.

This was a very good beer and an excellent representation of the style. I’ve had other Winter Warmers that go overboard with the spice and sweetness. This beer gets it just right and still maintains the Sam Adams signature.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2006 05:05:49 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077


3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tawny reddish copper color, filtered with bright clarity. Thin loose head of tan foam. Thin ring at the edges, no lacing. Carb visible rising around the edges.

Pleasant nose of bready gingerbread sweetness, vanilla, nutmeg.

Some light astringent bitterness, earthy toasted malt and light dry spices that mirror it's aromas. Light bodied and mellow, finishes slightly watery. Spices are light and not overdone, rather they are an accent in the aftertaste that compliments the primary toasted maltiness. Lingering dry bitterness in the aftertaste. Overall a good Winter Warmer, fairly middle of the road.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2011 02:07:46 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell


4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright copper to red in color with a rocky tan head that held up great and left a significant lace trail down the pint glass.

Smell: Malt, cinamon, raisins & alcohol.

Taste: Some hop bitterness on the tounge with malt, orange, brown sugar & cinamon coming through.

Mouthfeel: Thick, balanced and carbonated just right.

This would go great with gingerbread or leiberkuchen (sp?). Will try to find if I can buy just sixer vice the holiday 12 pack. Better than last year's vintage IMHO

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 04:17:30 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick light tan head. The aroma is spicey. There is a mix of malts and spices here. The smell of orange peels and ginger comes through. The taste is average. Again, ginger and orange peel are present here. Also, there is a bit of crystal malt here producing a light malty flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a decent seasonal, but it's one and done for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2003 01:32:39 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh


4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer served in a Sam Adams pint glass, don't believe me, check my twitter. At the time of this review, this is the most reviewed Winter Warmer on beeradvocate and the #38 beer on the "Top Beers - Winter Warmer" list on the best of styles on beeradvocate.com.

Beer is dark brown but clear at the corners, thin off white head, small bubbles, lacing on the glass. Moderate to low carbonation, low retention, looks fine.

Aroma is sweet, mildly cinnamon mild spice. Nutmeg perhaps.

Beer is medium in body and really sweet, finish is a little dry the spice comes through nicely, overall the beer is fine. I like it, very good for a winter warmer, enjoyable. I'm running out of beers that have greater than 1000 reviews, just a few left now.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 06:11:31 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000


4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this beer.

Pours a dark, reddish-amber color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is very nice with cherry, vanilla, spices and cream. The cherry is predominant. The flavor is very spicy with some ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2010 00:16:10 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In the Sam Adams Winter Classics 12 pack.

A - Poured out a deep burgandy color with a bubbly, tan, three finger head. It left sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of spice and nutmeg. Also, some malt and other sweet aromas.

T - It had a nice complex mix of flavors. There was some chocolate, cinamon and other spices. Also, a good roasted maltiness.

M - It was sharp and very crisp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is pretty good. I think I like it better than their Winter Lager.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2007 17:29:37 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros


4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Sam Adams special pint glass.

A: Nice 1 finger frothy head that fades slowly with a lacing on the glass. Very clear copper reddish brown color showing all the nice bubbles rising to the top.

N: A nice red/amber malt aroma with some toasty malts, slight aromatic hops, slight spices, a creamy fruit and sweet fig newton like aroma.

T: Starts with a dark malty sweetness and some roasted and smoked malts. Theres a nice smoked malt flavor. A slight hoppy taste, but it's semi faint. Dark rich porter like flavors, with lots of maltiness. A slight spicy warming feel as well, and hints of spices.

M: Semi thick with good carbonation.

F: Semi dry, a little bit of the smokiness still, roasted malts lingering with a little bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2009 00:50:40 | More by jlindros
Photo of Knapp85


3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Fezziwig pours out as an amberish orange color, it's got a white head on it that leaves a bit of lacing at times. The aroma of the beer is spicy smelling and has a little bit of an orange peel in there as well. The taste is similar to some Belgian Ales out there, the spices really come through and mix with the citrusy notes this beer has. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and doesn't have a whole lot of carbonation. Overall it's an interesting brew and worthy of giving it a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2011 16:47:02 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Freshness month of May notched:

Pours ruby brown with a thin tan lasting head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is malty (caramel/toffee) with a touch of ginger and cinnamon.

The taste is of sweet caramelish malt turning toffeeish and chocolatey with ginger and a touch of cinnamon. Some orange liqueur mixes in as it warms and progresses. Very well-balanced between malty and spicy. A nod of warmth in the finish.

It just reaches full-bodied. Sweet without being sticky or syrupy. Smooth texture.

A nicely balanced winter ale. Malty with just a touch of spices to add to the flavor. Alcohol peeks through just enough to be warming without being powerful A good one to have on a wintry day, aiding drinkability. Nice!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2008 21:15:24 | More by jwc215
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,799 ratings.