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

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

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

3,086 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,086
Reviews: 1,314
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 58
Gots: 190 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-28-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,086 | Reviews: 1,314 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Treyliff
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown with about an inch of tan head with good lacing. Smells of roasted malts, cinnamon, ginger, a hint of citrus.
The cinnamon and ginger come out on the front end of tasting, and the orange finishes nicely on the backend. Roasted malts also linger on the back end, overpowering the hops.
Very refreshing beer, very drinkable and well balanced. This is a solid seasonal 6 pack!

Treyliff, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of Satchboogie
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes reviewed on 11/29/10:
12oz bottle poured into a SA Perfect Pint glass
Best by: April 2011

A: Pours a light root beer color, somewhat opaque, 1-finger off-white head that dissipates quickly.

S: Spicy hops, malt, SA ale yeast esters, cinnamon and ginger are fairly strong.

T: The spices are in the forefront, the cinnamon and ginger dominate the flavor profile. Strong malt character that overwhelms the hops. Orange peel adds nicely to the background giv

Satchboogie, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of ngeunit1
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep amber-brown color that is still fairly clear and a nice inch of think off white head. The head had decent retention and some very nice lacing.

S - Deep and rich sweet malt smell. Also some elements of dark fruit and raisins, with some sweet brown sugar smells. Just a little bit of spices including cinnamon,

T - Starts off with a sweet building malt flavor, not as powerful as the smell would lead one to expect, but still there. The malt builds then a bunch of other elements jump in including a bit of spiciness, some dark fruit flavors (mostly raisin), and some brown sugar. The aftertaste is a bit of sweet and spicy.

M - Medium-light bodied with an average amount of carbonation. Next to the flavors, this could use a bit more body, however, it stays light and crisp and the same time. Feels just a tad watery.

D - Minus the mouthfeel that is a bit off, the flavors are really nice and that alone makes the beer fairly solid. It stays very drinkable, especially with the lighter than expected body, but there could be some more thickness there.

ngeunit1, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of Scotchboy
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle.

A: Deep, dark, rich brown/hint of carmel color. Small head, dissipates quickly.

S: Spices, hops and malts. Smells sweet, but dark and rich still.

T: 1st taste is quite cold, tastes of spices malts. There is a hop presence, but not an IPA taste. Roasted/dark malts. As it warms, you can identify the chocolate taste to the malts. The slight spice/bite aftertaste isn't pleasant to me.

M: Medium to lighter body - feels like there should be more flavors present.

D: Okay.

Scotchboy, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of kflorence
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep, amber brown with a half inch of tan, frothy head atop. Carbonation looks good, the pour was smooth. A little lacing is left around the glass as you drink.

S: Mmm, smells good. Sweet roasted malts, caramel, nuts and dark fruit. Hops are barely detectable in the backend of the aroma.

T: The taste follows the smell; lots of malts, caramel, nuts and dark fruits. Also detectable are brown sugar, cinnamon, apple and grapes. Hops are present, but hardly detectable. It's almost like a medley of holiday treats!

M: You gotta love the mouthfeel of this one. The carbonation is perfect, and the body is medium and ever so slightly on the syrupy side. Not overly heavy, not watery or light. It is what it should be.

D: This is a great beer. While it's not sessionable (and it shouldn't be), I could definitely enjoy a couple of these. It is the perfect compliment to a cold winters night and would pair great with white meat or desert. Sam Adam's continues to set the stage for American brewers.

kflorence, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of Cylinsier
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz.

Pours a clear but dark drown that glows dark cherry read with the light. Head is off white and thick, retains pretty well.

Smells of rich brown sugar malts and dark fruits like figs.

Taste is similar, but more on the brown sugar malt side with only a little fruitiness, plus a smokey/toasty note and a mild hint of hop.

Feels moderate, maybe on the thin side, with soft tingly carbonation on the tip of the tongue and in the back of the throat.

I'm honestly not too hot on the winter warmer style, but this is pretty good. Kind of rich to be a regular or sessionable brew, but worth a try or two.

Cylinsier, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of jampics2
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, purchased as a single at the Mustard Seed Market. Glad that Anthony takes these packs apart so I don't have to buy a ton of Sam I don't want to try and rate one of the better bottles.

The beer looks decent in the glass. It's a dark amber color with some caramel and ruby highlights, and appears filtered and clear, not cloudy at all. The white head eventually settles to a ring and leaves some soapy head. Not bad, but I've seen better.

The smell is interesting but not appealing. There's a ton of sweet malt with a bit of ginger and cinnamon. Some raisin and dark fruit as well, but there's an off note like metal and chlorine that combines with the ginger to be very off-putting.

The taste is actually quite good. There's an initial sweetness that is accompanied with fruitiness from orange peels and the sweet malt. Some raisin, plum and even grape set the stage for the spices to add depth and flavor. The cinnamon and ginger are very nice. Some caramel apple and a touch of darker chocolate malt finish a smooth and nicely flavored tasting experience.

The mouthfeel is also nice, with a medium body benefitting from ample carbonation. The finish is smooth and clean with just a touch of lingering sweetness and spice. This is a drinkable and enjoyable beer - I just wish the smell was more appealing. Something I would actually drink again from Sam. Nice one!

jampics2, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of Buckmaister
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark amber color but still light enough to see your fingers through. A great frothy 1-inch thick head
develops and it takes a while to dissipate. Some minor traces of lacing left over...

A citrus aroma is apparent laced with molasses overtones and some caramel too.

There is definitely a few different malts in this one. Some slight citrusy taste from the orange and bitterness from the ginger. These very different ingredients come together very well!

Old Fezziwig Ale is completely smooth from the tip of your tongue on your first sip to the back of your throat on your last gulp. It doesn't assault your throat like a heavily carbonated beverage does and it's not boring like water.

Drinkability is high with this one. It looks, smells, feels and tastes good so why wouldn't it? The relatively low alcohol percentage also mean you can enjoy a few more glasses as well!

This is a good beer! One of the best offerings I've tried from Sam Adams actually. I would recommend this to any of my friends without hesitation.

Buckmaister, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of StoutHunter
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer came in the Samuel Adams winter 12 pack. I have heard good things about this beer so I am eager to see if it lives up to the hype. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- Old Fezziwig poured a nice dark mahogany color with a finger and half worth of off white chunky head that died down to a think ring that stayed till the end.

S- The first thing that hits me in the aroma is caramel and lots of malts, I could also pick up a slight amount of spices at the end.

T- The malts stand out the most in this brew followed by some caramel in the aftertaste. The spices are more prevalent then in the smell, but not overpowering. I also pick up a small amount of booze. The flavors go well with a cold winter night.

M- Medium bodied and a little under carbonated.

D- I could do two of these but I don't think i would go for a third. Winter Warmers aren't known for their drinkability so I don't expect it

Overall I would say I was satisfied with this brew. I thought it was really well balanced, the ratio of malt to spices was pretty good. This was my second favorite out of the winter pack with the chocolate bock taking top honors. I would say this brew lived up to it's hype and was a good choice for this cold Michigan winter night. I hope they sell this in six packs next year.

StoutHunter, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of jpmclaug
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Transparent, dark red brown body with a small head, fair amount of lacing on the sides as well

S - Light amount of spices of a sweet malty base

T - Reminds me of a brown ale with some spices thrown in. On the sweet side. Light hoppiness but most a sweet malty flavor

M - well carbonated maybe a bit too muc, medium body

D - pretty decent but not mind blowing. I wouldn't mind drinking this but wouldn't go crazy seeking it out.

jpmclaug, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of Lauthaha
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a half-liter beer glass. Part of a Samuel Adams winter sampler pack.

Appearance: Dark mahogany, with ruby tones when held to light. Creamy taupe head which leaves heavy lacing as it recedes.

Smell: Very tasty, lots to acknowledge here. The big kickers are chocolate and malt, seamlessly woven together. Cinnamon and nutmeg and maybe just a touch of some kind of berry at the very bottom of the glass. Faint esters, a very nice mix!

Taste/Mouthfeel: Gentle carbonation eases the malt base onto the tongue. As the bubbles pop, the spices are released softly along with chocolate flavor. Definitely some hop bitterness present, which almost detracts from the taste. If they were a touch less bitter (or perhaps more floral) I would have given the taste a little better rating. As it is, still not bad at all.

Drinkability: Very high in the winter months, this is a great brew!

Sam Adams does dark beers like no other "popular" brewery can. Amazing!

Lauthaha, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of n0315
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours tan and has a fiz to the lighter tan head. Dissipates after a min or so.

Smell - Spices galore in this one. Makes you know that this will be a good brew with some mammoth flavor.

Taste - Cinnamon thats soft to the tongue with some malt.

MF - thin, I wish it were a bit thicker, honestly.

D - Very easy to drink and enjoy. Overall, this is a good brew and worth a try. Will not amaze, but something I think all would enjoy.

n0315, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
4.53/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah, the last to be reviewed of the Sam Adams winter mixer. The legendary Old Fezziwig that is the main reason this mix pack is purchased... or is it?

A nice hiss tells me this baby is ready to take the bubble fountain down to my Duvel tulip. Deep mahogany liquid fills the glass, topped with a very full and rich light beige head. Deep amber hues in the light, quite clear. There are thick ribbons of lace where the froth adhered, leaving a decent smattering of bubbles everywhere. A swirl and a waft brings forth a beautiful aroma of deeply caramelized sugar, a warm fruity tone reminiscent of raisins and prunes, and a brighter, nutty tone that accompanies holiday spices. The first sip of Fezziwig for the season brings forth a nice biscuity flavor that transforms into a cornucopia of nutmeg, cinnamon, black currants, and maybe even a hint of pepper! The second sip enunciates these characteristics even more and gives rise to a light herbal bitterness that appears towards the end of the experience and lasts long into the finish, accompanied by a beautiful balance of Christmas potpourri spices. All of this is carried by a full bodied, velvety brown ale with exceptionally smooth carbonation. I finally see the light. This beer represents Christmas by Sam Adams. The first day that this winter mixer appears on the shelves is the first day of the holiday season. This beer, although I didn't know it at the time, was the reason I bought the pack.

DmanGTR, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of chickenflea
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a chestnut body with a beige-colored head.

Smell: Some caramel, some chocolate, with cinnamon, and a bit of ginger.

Taste: Light chocolate taste with some toasted bread and a caramel sweetness. Spicy, with hints of cinnamon, and ginger. Finishes with the spices lingering into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid beer from Sam Adams Box. Great for the winter.

chickenflea, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of AdamBear
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-dark nutty brown with a tan head

S-slightly chocolately slightly nutty. smells like a decent brown ale, some spices present

T-comes in with a taste as same as the scent..that's fairly strong. the after-taste is where the spices come in ever so gently. honestly it was sort of a let down from what i was expecting. its a spicy brown ale. very drinkable.

M-medium to heavy yet creamy carbonation with a dry finish

O-a pretty good beer actually. the first few times I had it, i wasn't a fan. i'm not sure what i was expecting, but its not a bad small beer for the winter. it might do well being sold in larger quantities. definitely one of the best in the winter pack. i definitely like the winter twist on it.

AdamBear, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of dmfrench
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A small, mediocre Winter Warmer.


A: Deep blood/brake fluid body with a small fleeting sandy head

S: Adjunct/corn and a bit of caramel malt and spice. Not pleasant.

T: Fortunately, not much of the adjunct taste makes it to the palate. What can be found is a decent helping of buttery caramel malt, a balancing hoppiness, and spice that I can't identify.

M: Actually quite pleasant... weighty but not heavy, well carbonated and textured... a saving grace

D: Less than pleasant adjuncty aftertase brings down the score

dmfrench, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of russwbeck
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours deeps red with a large brown tinted head that boasts decent retention and lacing.

S: Smells a lot like caramel. Very malty.

T: Taste is all malts, with a caramel aftertaste. Very sweet with a small amount of booziness.

MF: Lighter than I would expect, but medium bodied. Not noticing a lot of carbonation.

D: Alright. I can't say Winter Warmers are the best for drinkability.

russwbeck, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of crossovert
2.7/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle.

It pours a reddish brown with a foamy off white head.

It smells like caramel.

The flavor is pretty tame. It has some caramel malt, some roastiness, and some spices, but it also has a certain wateriness and some metallic flavor.

It certainly isn't as good as their winter lager, but that isn't saying too much.

crossovert, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of slayer3604
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Has a brown sugar body and a head to match it. Some mega-lacing from this bastard. DAMN NOW I HAVE TO CLEAN THIS GLASS LATER ON! Smells of scotch-ale fruit/dark cherry malt with some fizzy complexity behind it, but its SO hard to smell, might as well have been water. This was at near room temp, too. Tastes good! 4=Good....Good=Fezziwig...therefore, Fezziwig=4 :D.

Has a sticky and lasting malt/spice deamon. Like it!!!

Drinks well. Nothing offending about this beer, nor does it warrent anything higher than "4".

Thanks, Sam!

slayer3604, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of sommersb
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle, best before date of 02-11. Perfect pint glass

A: Clear brown beer with reddish hues. Had about 2 fingers of off-white head; a good amount of lacing on the glass. This beer was very carbonated as far as the bubbles streaming from the bottom for the whole duration.

S: Big, sweet, malty aromas coupled with some chocolate and caramel smells. No hop aromas. Smells delicious

T: The sweet malts dominate here, with almost no bitterness. Some alcohol warmth comes through. It is sweet but certainly not overly so. I get the chocolate taste as well as caramel, toffee and some cinnamon.

M: Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. Smooth feel that starts sweet and finishes dry.

D: Good and easy to drink. I enjoyed this beer and look forward to more in the future.

sommersb, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of mikeg67
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark red color with a regular tanned head. The aroma is sweet caramel malt and spice. Medium to full body, quite crisp. Flavors start with spices and herbal hops, continues with sweet caramel malt and some orange fruit, and finish becomes dry with coffee notes. Fairly complex, nice holiday brew.

mikeg67, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of bboelens
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A-Dark red-orange color with a huge off-white head that dissipates in a moderate amount of time leaving minimal lacing

S-Incredible, cinnamon, citrus, malts, ginger, maybe hints of nutmeg

T-Like the smell but a little more subdued, malts, orange, and cinnamon take the forefront while the ginger and nutmeg take a back seat but are still present

M-Mild and perfectly carbonated

D-One of the best in the holiday pack, definitely worth picking up the whole pack for

bboelens, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of Misfit138
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A- Dark orange/brown with fizzy tan head

S- Chocolate malt and cinnamon some citrus

T- Nice balance of caramel and chocolate malt with cinnamon with a citrus finish

M- Medium bodied with fair carbonation

D- Very good beer. I wish it would be possible to get a sixer of this.

Misfit138, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of chrisgn
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- beautiful mahogany color. Fluffy, off white head with great lacing. Awesome looking beer.

S- Not picking up much here. Light spice, orange, and malt sweetness.

T- A tasty malt offering with light spice and orange notes, no over the top flavors. Taste like a modified Winter Ale. Sweet up front with a dry finish.

M- full bodied and good carbonation. Excellent feel.

D- not too high in alcohol and flavorful without being too much. Nicely balance! A fine winter warmer that comes is a great new winter mix.

chrisgn, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of bbkd3b
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Poured out of the bottle with a pretty, burgundy color. Off-white head, came out a decent size but dissipated fairly quickly. Left a decent amount of lacing all of the way down the glass... Fairly attractive to my eyes, I must say.

S - Oh, this is pretty damn good! Reminds me of Christmas for sure! Cinnamon, nutmeg, maltiness. Nice mixture of spices and a twist of orange in there. Damn... If I had to choose a single word it might be "comforting." Reminds me of baking cookies or something. Neat.

T - Spiced beer for sure! I won't complain: it's very good. A nice balance of cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg for a balance between spicy and sweet. Only complaint might be the back end, with the twist of citrus flavor that doesn't really fit with the rest of the delicious going on. Very good!

M - Medium-bodied, almost syrupy in character. Slips right down the tongue, with the carbonation never threatening to be overdone. Warming.

D - If it weren't for the fact that its only sold in the winter classic 12 packs (those punks!), I'd probably give this the top rating. Alas, I can only have 2 on me at a time. Very drinkable, but annoying to get.

Overall/notes: Second year I've tried this, and it's just as good as I remember it being. Great combination of flavors! When I get a Christmas brew, I like a degree of sweetness that reminds me of the holiday season, and this has just that. It perfectly understated. Also, the winter classics this year is VASTLY improved now that the cranberry lambic and coastal wheat have been replaced, so this is much easier for me to buy and bite the bullet for. Awesome.

bbkd3b, Dec 06, 2010
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,086 ratings.