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

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Reviews: 1,334
Hads: 3,307
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 72
Gots: 390 | 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.
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Reviews: 1,334 | Hads: 3,307
Photo of RonfromJersey
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark red-to-light-brown body, topped by three fingers of light tan tight foam with good peaks and valleys. The aroma is dominated by the three spices listed on the label, ginger, cinnamon, and orange, all three of which I easily identified. A soft malty brown ale lurks below, and the spices carry thru at the end. Well integrated, unlike some spiced beers which give me a dry, chalky finish. Mouthfeel has a slight watery aspect, but not a serious flaw.

Well worth it's place in the Winter Classics box, this is a liquid Christmas cookie. (545 characters)

Photo of BeefyMee
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Mmmm, beer candy.

Appearance: A great ruby-red color. The head wasn't shaping up on the pour so I coaxed it out with a bit more oomf.

Smell: Sugary malt.

Taste: Malty again like some kind of gingerbread or molasses cookie. Very flavorful but a little too sickly sweet at times. I like the spice in this beer. They just need to tone down the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth, and it gets creamier as it warms.

Drinkability: I didn't enjoy the start or finish terribly much but everything in between was great. The beer got better as it warmed except that it lost most of its carbonation, which was not good. I could drink a few of these if I don't get sick of the sweetness. (693 characters)

Photo of kbub6f
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium-sized, dense, foamy, light tan, doughy head leaves lots of spots of lacing. Clear, deep red/brown beer. The aroma is sweet, fruity, bready, creamy, caramely. Some spice. A sweet caramel front, deep malty caramel, creamy, fruity middle. Dry, hoppy finish. This is a good brown ale, but I didn't find it very Christmasy. (325 characters)

Photo of ChrisBowers
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty good holiday offering from Jim Koch and company. I've found BBC beers to be hit or miss. I still prefer holiday brews from Anchor and Sierra Nevada (Celebration Ale) more, but this one isn't bad. Kinda a Christmas cookie in a bottle.

Presents a deep reddish brown hue with a small head that tapers off quickly with no lacing. Good carbonation. Rich mouthfeel with cinnamon, orange, a tiny bit of bitter chocolate and a nice bit of hops. Sweet at first with a nice bitter finish.

The smell is decent, but is my least favorite part of the beer. A little bit of sour cherries or fruit alcohol is present.

If there was a way this beer could improve, it'd be to have a higher alcohol content. 5.6% isn't bad, but it would send this beer to the next level if it had a warming 6.5-8% (795 characters)

Photo of DESTRO
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

we have a ton of these 24 pack sam adams winter things that fell off a fork lift or something so we cant sell them. this means while 1 or 2 bottles are broken, the rest are fine. so baddam, i swiped me some old fezz from the busted up packs. pours a nice ruby with a medium sized head that sticks around for a bit. smells spicey, sweet, cinnamon and maybe light ginger. cookies baby. pretty malty with spices and caramel/toffee in the mix. a decent but not intense hop bite, balanced flavors and just plain yummy. medium bodied and pretty smooth. a nice change up and good treat. spices and such just go well with the holiday season. i ike it. (643 characters)

Photo of bewley
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12 oz bottle, one of two in a Sam Adams Seasonal 12 Pack. The label depicts an old lusty gent in a green suit dancing with a buxum lass who is looking down. Very suggestive me thinks.

Caramel taste up front with hints of coriander and cumin. (Actually, my fiancee doesn't get the cumin part.) She thinks this is just a leftover flavor from the chorizo sausage we just ate, but what does she know? I'm the one writing the review. Nice carbonation as well. I'm not a big fan of Sam Adams, but this is a really a nice seasonal beer.

Too bad they don't sell this one in a six-pack. I would buy it if they did. (623 characters)

Photo of cooter
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours loud, with massive globular bubbles that fizz back up to the thin but persistent head. Distinctly ruby with tan head, and a malty nose reminiscent of baking bread. Taste follows suit, steady malt with a smooth bitter and undertones of the promised cinnamon and je ne sais quoi (they tell me it's orange). Sweet on the tip of the tongue and tart near the throat, it stays thick and flavorful in my mouth without annoying me with a cloying stickiness. Flavorful and intriguing. (481 characters)

Photo of Ellbert
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is a nice deep ruby color with a beautiful tan/off white head. The head stayed around for about a minute and left a beautiful lace that stuck to the glass.

The smell is quite complex. I can smell the malty sweetness and a touch of hops and slight cinniamon.

The taste was good. It was very malty and a little spicy. I loved the taste but there was not as much spiciness as I would expect in this type of brew. I could not discern much of the different flavors. I guess that means it was very balanced. Very tasty and mild.

The body of this beer is very big. It is chewy and sticky... It really stays in your mouth and coats it. Very nice.

Very drinkable, a great all around beer. (702 characters)

Photo of Mustard
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; standard Sam Adams "for brewery-fresh taste, purchase before" warning notched on the bottom label's left periphery; no ABV %; purchased as part of the twelve beer "Winter Classics" sampler pack for $9.99 from Ralph's.

Appearance: Pours a dark, ruddy brown with fairly decent clarity; sudsy, three-fingered headl sports something of a toffee-colored hue; a good c-cup's worth of lace; not much in the way of head retention.

Aroma: Largely of toffee-like malts, ginger and orange peel with a hint of cinnamon.

Taste: For the most part like its nose; fairly sweet with something of a burnt-caramel malt profile; notes of ginger, orange peel, cinnamon and plum pervade; just a hint of grain in the finish; mildly doubt both hop and roasted malt related; moderately full in body; lightly crisp mouthfeel.

Notes: I'm not a huge fan of spiced, winter seasonals; not as cloying as it could have been... (952 characters)

Photo of benmiliron
2.71/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I got this in a 12-pack SA winter variety sampler thing. I'm glad I didn't find it as a sixer or I'd be intrigued enough to try it. It looks beautiful in the glass, kind of a smoked ruby color. The taste is pretty awful though, burnt, stale malts throughout, I couldn't really notice the ginger, orange or cinnamon. And one notable ingredient missing: hops! I didn't detect a bit of hops in this one at all.

Get the 12 pack to try the Cranberry Lambic though, very nice! (473 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
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. (450 characters)

Photo of EagleTalon
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking beer but merely above average beer drinking experience. Pours to a good off-white head and gobs of lace. aroma is mostly sweet malt and some fruit and spice--but not as much as I expected. Flavor is decently balanced and malty... finishes sweet and fruity. Not what I expected but not bad either. (309 characters)

Photo of BigPapaLager
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 2003 Winter pack from Sam's. This is a good winter spiced brew. Poured a reddish brown with a modest head but decent lacing anyways. This is one of the better balaced spiced beers of the season, not too overpowering, though it had a strong ginger taste. Too bad I had to give away a couple lights and lambics for this baby and a couple stouts. O'well, happy holidays. (376 characters)

Photo of yankeeheel
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep brown with an off white head. Smells very leathery and nice.

Tastes a lot like a porter/brown hybrid if that makes any sense. Lots of dark fruit, smoke, and malt up front. Very smooth a just a little bit of carbonation to keep the mouthfeel solid. Minimal hopping helps it go dawn nice. (307 characters)

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cherry red witha small creamy white head. Smell is very fruity and malty sweet.

Taste is dominated by sweet malt. Caramel flavors and fruity undertones. Sweet, sweet, sweet.All malt driving the flavors here. A bit of underlying spice. Mouthfeel is lightly sticky. This is a fine holiday beer and a good selection for the Winter Classics but it is not as good as I remember. Makes me wonder whether I will endure the Light and Lambic next year just to get to this one. (483 characters)

Photo of dpend
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice mahogany with a well-built beige head. Aroma is of berries,malt and spice. An extra syrupy sweetness is there as well. Sweet roasted malt, cinnamon and a nuttyness preside in the taste. A bit of a watery brew that lacks a chewy definition. All in all, a good beer. (278 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 putnam
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown under a mottled beige/gray head.
The aromas have the slate, blueberry and cream notes that I associate with the Old Tadcaster brewery. It is a milk chocolatey, voluptuous richness expressed as perfume.
On the palate it's fizzy and clean with simple rootbeer-like sweetness and mild, roasted tannins. A pleasantly short, slightly dilute finish still allows for impressions of cocoa and cinnamon.
Certainly decent.
Creamy. (443 characters)

Photo of JISurfer
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty good brew. It's got a very nice smell of various raosted things and some citrus. It's got a creamy taste/mouthfeel. The taste is most malty, mixed with citrus, some various spices, and some roasted nuts. It actually tastes a lot like a lighter Skullspliter, which is one of my more fav beers. If you have the chance, don't deprive yourself of this one. (369 characters)

Photo of flaminghomer
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the first look and taste of this beer had me thinking scotch ale.

the look of this beer was a dark reddish brown with a great looking light tan head, very sticky.

compared to the scotch ales that i have drank, this beer tastes very much in that order. i could taste no spices.

i thought that this was a really good beer. a six pack of it would do me just fine. this beer comes in the winter sampler pack and you only get two. which is a shame. (452 characters)

Photo of mschofield
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper towards brown with a slight haze
1 finger khaki head, laces well as it slowly dissipates.
Caramel aroma with cinammon, the ginger is subtle and hides in the back.
In the taste the orange peel becomes more pronounces with the cinammon sliding back, and a ginger-ale undertone. Quite malty at this point - chocolate and roasted caramel.
Orange comes out even more as it warms. Full but flat feel to it.

Good, but I probably wouldn't like it as much if I got more than 2 bottles a year. A few years ago I didn't like it at all, but it has grown on me over time. (572 characters)

Photo of shippos
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep garnet-amber color with a thick slightly off-white head. picking up cinnamon mainly in the aroma combined with hints of malt and hops. has a chewy mouthfeel with some toffeeish notes, this is an awesome beer. spices are don't come at you very strong, they are very nicely balanced with the malt and hops with each ingredient coming through. very slight hot cinnamon bitter aftertaste. definetly one of there finest beers. (426 characters)

Photo of Beastdog75
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Samuel Adams "Winter Classics" pack, 2003)

Old Fezziwig Ale is one of the Sam Adams beers that I only see in their winter sampler. The fact that I've never had this beer warranted my decision to purchase the sampler pack (which includes the infamous Cranberry "Lambic" :-) . This ale turns out to be what I consider the better of Sam Adams winter offerings.

Old Fezziwig pours a clear, medium-dark brown color with a ruby hue. A decent tan foam head forms and dissapears in under 1 minute. There is a nice smell of caramel malt and roasted malts, some citric and fruity hoppiness, light spiciness (some cinnamon), and a very light orange smell. Smells is a little remicient of a pale ale, but "enhanced." The mouthfeel is smooth and lightly carbonated. The flavor does have some nice complexities. There are decent darker and roasted malt flavors here, with a nice fruitiness abound. The hop bitterness is pleasant, lending some citric and spicy qualities along with some dryness in the finish. The hoppiness is reminicent of the Boston Lager in a way. The beer is mildly spiced and definitely not overdone. I thought I could pick out the cinnamon, and the orange peel presence was very light (I couldn't really pick out the ginger). The aftertaste continues with the hoppy dryness, and there is an "orange flesh" flavor here, along with some woodiness. This finishes out with some alcoholic warmth.

This would be nice if it were put into six-packs. It would make for a nice drinking ale during the cold months. This seems a bit more flavorful and assertive than the Winter Lager, but at the same time it doesn't overdo anything. Mild enough for the average beer drinker, enjoyable enough for a BA. (1,708 characters)

Photo of winomark
2.86/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a deep red/mahogany color with a foamy off-white head.

Aroma: Tart citrus tones with some conveyance of the cinnamon. Fairly mild nose.

Taste: Ginger and cinnamon make an appearance with some dark malts in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Flavorful, but not much character. Coffee in the back, with nothing but carbonation everywhere else.

Drinkability: Worth trying once, but you have to buy the sampler 12-pk for the experience. (450 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany with a thin, web-like foam. Nice lacing. This beer has a very intriguing aroma. Ginger and orange stand out in the smell, with the cinnamon in the background. The spices completely dominate the smell, and it's hard to get to the malt aroma because of their presence. Likewise, the taste is decidedly spicy...I get an awful lot of ginger...with a very pleasing maltiness underneath. Caramel and toasted qualities are very nice. Medium body, quite drinkable, and a whole lot of fun to sniff. Overall, the beer is well-made, and definitely worth picking up.. (577 characters)

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 1,334 ratings.