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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

3,168 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,168
Reviews: 1,321
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.76%
Wants: 61
Gots: 230 | 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)
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Ratings: 3,168 | Reviews: 1,321 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown and hazy with an ok head and ok lacing.

Smells of indistinct spices, plenty of roasted malts, and a little hops.

Tastes more distinctly spicy, with ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, plus some bitter citrus. It's a bit sweet with not much obvious hops bitterness but plenty of roasty maltiness.

Mouthfeel is medium and smooth bodied, almost silky, with a slightly dry and spicy aftertaste.

A nice selection from their winter seasonals 12 pack, but I wouldn't' want this one all the time.

Photo of MadeInOregon
4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, and here I thought I found a hard-to-come-by beer but from the number of reviews that is obviously not the case.

Samuel Adams' Old Fezziwig Ale is an "ale brewed with cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel" (according to the label). Apparently it is not to be confused with their "Winter Lager" which says the exact same thing on the label, though it lists the spices in a different order! The Winter Lager is good as is the Old Fezziwig Ale, yet unlike the lager the latter's description does little to prepare you for what you are about to taste when you crack one open: a spiced porter. Why not just call it that? Despite the somewhat cryptic and misleading label, Old Fezziwig Ale is great!

Old Fezziwig Ale is a deep, cola-colored brew with a pillowy beige foam head and latte-like lacing. This is first time I've seen a beer that so closely resembles cola.

THE SMELL is of very sweet, roasted barley, indistinguishable spices, and a little hops. Almost smells like a barleywine, but it's more malty.

THE FLAVORS of this one are pretty hard to pin down. There is a strong roasted malt quality along with a nutmeggy/cinnamon spicy, tartness that is present throughout the entire beer. However, nutmeg and orange peel feel most present. There is very little hop bite due to it being masked by the curry of spices that are used. There is a sour, spicy, and slightly dry aftertaste. Overall, this beer is sweet and spiced and tastes very much like a light English-style porter that has been spiced.

THE FEEL is surprisingly nice in that it is medium-thick, and gives the taste buds a workout.

DRINKABILITY, I would say, is still good despite being rather confusing for my mouth. The spice hurts this aspect of the beer, but it is still as drinkable as a heavy porter or a medium-light stout with regard to its flavor intensity. Even with the craziness that is going on with Old Fezziwig Ale it is oddly well-balanced.

Last thing I will add, is "Props to Boston Beer Company for giving us a good, interesting beer without a bunch of snooty, pretentious packaging and geek jargon!" This is a nice, enjoyable beer and is worth picking up when you see it (I got mine in their "Winter Classics" 12-pack.)

Photo of Jdmpolk
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- A mahogany brown body is capped with a slight amount of tan grey foam. Ample lacing clings to the side of the glass.

S- Strong malt aroma is the canvas for this beer. Notes of cherry, brown sugar, and cinnamon adorn it. A hint of syrupy sweetness hangs around the edges.

T- Malt is strong in the flavor, slight roasty quality but predominantly caramel. A hint of spice is drowned out by a bitterness akin only to bitter cucumber skin.

M- Slightly separated waffling from syrupy to watery depending. Full bodied with carbonation easily detectable on the back end.

D- Sadly as you drink this beer it starts to deconstruct itself as you get to the bottom. Initially very tasty but at the end is not what you originally thought.

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

Pours a beautiful dark crimson color with a medium brown head. This beer is clean and crisp on the tongue and then grows bolder after that first taste. I really enjoy this brew, especially with a handful of pretzel sticks. The only bad thing about this beer is resisting the urge to chug it.

Photo of horshack7
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: It pours a dark mahogany with about two fingers of frothy white head. Decent lacing is left behind upon the head thinning out.

Aroma: Cinnamon,ginger and notes of all spice and clove to finish out the spices. The hops are there very well simply to add a balance to the beer in partnership with the malts.

Taste: Medium to full bodied lots of spice cinnamon ginger along with the malts and hops. It's balanced and certainly not overwelming.

Notes: What a great Winter Warmer dam this beer is dam tasty. I only wish it was back into six packs if only seasonal. Cheers.

Photo of chefhatt
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured into a perfect pint glass, has a dark red color body with a little white head to it. The smell is malty, and a hint of cinnamon comes through. The taste is malty with some spiciness, cinnamon jumps out first then a hint of ginger come through. This beer has a little sweetness to it but malty. Very smooth on the mouth and is highly drinkable.

Photo of earthboundagain
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one came from the holiday/winter variety pack. Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights, not much of a head or lacing. Ok I have some malt and spice in the nose, the nose is subtle. The taste is much livelier, some caramel malt, roasted grain, some dark fruit and a spice note that's just right. I find the mouth feel to be smooth with ample carbonation as to not be cloying. The drinkability is not bad, but I couldn't do more then two at a sitting just because I'm not that big on winter warmers.

Photo of NHGrafx
4.47/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle.

Pours a dark red color with small head.

The aroma is rather spicy. Aromas of cinnamon and some very faint ginger. Sweet molasses and citrus are also present. Lots of malt too.

Taste is very good. Lots and lots of malt in it and feels smooth. There is some spiciness in the taste too. The cinnamon is there and also citrus tastes as well. Some nice sweet tastes there too with hints of ginger. Overall its very malty.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. Drinkability is good too. This is one of my favorite winter beers.

Photo of ksimons
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a very dark ruby with a small amount of lacing on top

S-nice sweet malts and spices. Smell isn't very strong but is still decent

T-creamy malts and hints of spice. Malt is the dominate taste, but as the beer warms caramel is more noticable

M-medium body, light carbonation, very smooth

D-Not especially exciting, but not bad either

Photo of zdk9
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The fifth beer in the Dallas Ice Storm '11. It finally snowed last night and the land is beautiful, white, clear, and calm. So tonight a northern winter warmer to celebrate!

A- Pours a rich mahogany brown color with ruby highlights. A full finger of head tinted cocoa and grey tops the transparent fluid. Good webby lacing as i slowly drink down the glass.

S- Strong aromas of spice- cinnamon, ginger, clove, cardamom, bit of pepper.

T- The taste is more complex, with some additional punches thrown by the malt. The spices are still here- cinnamon and ginger, but now accompanied by some roast, caramel, tobacco, and woodiness. There is a slight tangerine/ sweet orange thing going on, which I only mention because it's listed as an ingredient but is subtle at best.

M- Pretty sweet and syruppy. I wish it went down a little lighter.

O- Not a bad winter warmer. Spicy and malty, perhaps a touch too sweet, but besides that very drinkable.

Photo of StaveHooks
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep amber clear brown with a 2 finger khaki head that retains excellent. Great spiderweb lacing.

S - Spicy gingerbread, caramel malts, nutmeg, cinnamon, raisins,

T - Caramel/toffee slightly toasted, some metal notes, butterscotch, citrus hides in the background, caramelized brown sugar coats the mouth, cinnamon and nutmeg are there but aren't pronounced.

M - Medium body, slick feel.

A solid easy drinking winter warmer. Very good looking brew. Nothing spectacular flavor wise but goes down easy.

Photo of david131
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- A clear, dark ruby red liquid with a thin bone white head that leaves some nice lacing as it works its way down the glass.

S- Mint, cola, pine, and caramel. Not too shabby.

T- Exactly the same as the aroma with an emphasis on the mint and cola.

M- A smooth amount of carbonation. Rather clean finish.

D- Interesting flavors that don't build on the palate too much leads to easy drinking. I don't think I'd want multiple bottles of this, but it makes for a nice winter time treat.

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

It has a beautiful rusty red-orange color. The body is clear. Thick and fluffy tan head.

The nose is cinnamon, light chocolate and light ginger.

Good flavor, too. It's heavy on the malt, roasted and chocolate. The spices of cinnamon and ginger are more prevalent than the orange, but the orange peel does add a nice finishing touch.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, medium-bodied.

A pleasant winter warmer and, in my opinion, one of the better offerings Sam Adams puts out.

Photo of kindestcut
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Sam Adams Old Fezziwig Ale pours a dark ruby with a lively beige head. The beer has a spicy aroma with a hint of citrus. The flavor is typical of many spiced winter ales- warming and flavorful with an initial shock of spice giving way to a smooth sweetness.

This is a smooth beer. Unlike many winter warmers, the warmth does not come from alcohol. However, it is not overly spicy.

A good beer that I hope to find next winter, preferably on a snow day.

Photo of ramseye4
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another beer from the Sam Adam's Winter pack. I'm trying to down them all before I can move on to the Brewmaster's choice one or whatever it's called. Pours a surprisingly dark mahogany brown with a one finger fluffy head, good lacing down the glass. Smells like dark caramel malts, some faint spice, though I don't feel it is as pronounced as others have. I get caramel malt in the taste primarily, with the spices finally becoming pronounced in the aftertaste. I also get a bit of dark fruit, especially raisin. The spice is perfectly balanced, with it being just enough to make this stand out in the winter warmer market. Mouthfeel is full and rich, and the drinkability is great, especially in cold weather!

Great beer, and much better than the winter lager IMO

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

One of my Samuel Adams favorite which is found in their holiday variety pack. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a dimpled mug. Poured a dark brown, not much head on it but a lively carbonation. Had a very complex aroma, with cinnamon really standing out. The flavor is complex with roasty notes, caramel, spice, fruit, a little sourness, and low on hoppiness. A fairly interesting beer and a good and different offering from Sam Adams. I found this beer to be very drinkable.

Photo of jdflyer06
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. into a pint glass.

A: Deep amber/ruby in color with a clear body, moderate carbonation and a thick head which reduces quickly and leaves a small bit of lace.

S: Malty, bready with some sour citrus notes. Slight spice profile; cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Maybe some faint dark fruit, grapes as it warms.

M: Mild carbonation with a creaminess up front that is quickly cut through by some tartness and dry finish. Fairly watery body.

T: Bready, biscuity with a sour finish. Fresh baked bread with some citrus notes and pleasant alcohol warmth. I'm not getting a whole lot from this beer, although it's still pretty tasty. Very refreshing for a winter warmer.

O: I like this, although I can't quite tell you why. It's just a satisfying winter warmer but I wish there were more spice in the flavor. It's well balanced and reminds me almost of a Moerlein OTR, toned down a bit. I feel like I could session these all night. Unfortunately you can only get them two at a time in a 24 pack.

Photo of dstc
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, ruby brown color with full, tan head. Head falls to a very small one, thin lace.

Aroma is of caramel malts with mild spice. Smells a bit roasty. Smells good.

Tastes of roasted malts. Bit of bitter chocolate with a mild, bitter finish. Nice Christmas spices give it wonderful flavor.

Medium bodied yet a little chewy. Lowish carbonation.

Good stuff. I do look forward to this every year although I've missed it the past two winters. Now that I've had it again I don't think I'll go a season without getting some.

Photo of JizackFH
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer pours a dark brown color, and has a copper hue to it when held to the light. It has a small beige head, that has decent retention. The head also left some light lacing on the glass.

S - It smells of malty caramel sweetness and some cinnamon. There are also some other spices, as well as some citrus.

T - The taste is bready, malty, and there is also a roasty bitterness that comes into play. There are also hints of cinnamon, chocolate, and ginger.

M - This has a medium body and nice carbonation. It is smooth and creamy. There is also a crispness to it.

D - The drinkability here is pretty good. The spices are on the lower side of things . I think this is a good christmas beer. Also, I think it is one of the best beers out of the sampler pack, and I wish it were available in 6-packs.

Photo of AleWatcher
2.03/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

So I used to love this beer... About 4 or 5 years ago, I would drink this all up... I would buy the winter seasonal packs and this was the beer I drank first!

So let's see how things are now...
Poured into a pint.

A deep clear amber body is heavy on the red hues... So heavy that it almost hints at plum and purple. A dark tan head is about the color of light brown sugar: it rises 2 fingers before dropping down to a frothy cap of bubbles. Some seriously thick and sticky lace forms rings and chunks on the side... I'm getting excited...

Well... Now it falls apart.
The smell is sweet-- caramel malts and sugar cane. Reminds me of a flavored soda-- perhaps a vanilla coke? The spices are intense, and not in a good way. I find it difficult to differentiate the spices from eachother... Just a big mess of spices melded together. The taste is the same. A caramel sweetness gives way to a soda flavor and spices. Not liking this so much anymore... There seems to be some coffee and bitter chocolate in here too... And the orange notes really one through on the finish: you'd think it would help dry the out the aftertaste, but it doesn't help at all. In fact, it seems to really be a problem.

The body reminds me of soda. Fizzy and very carbonated.

This is not what I remember. Has the recipe changed? I doubt it. It seems I have changed though, and that is a tad bit depressing. I can't even finish this beer.

Good bye Old Fezziwig.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ST: 12oz poured into a Sam Adams glass

A: Light at the bottom and becoming progressively darker brown towards the top, this beer has a thick dark brown head when poured fast.

S: Ginger, orange, and sweet malt dominate the nose.

T: Starts with citrus notes and quickly moved into ginger and malt. The finish lingers on the tongue and has notes of smoke, roasted malts, and biscuit.

M: Medium body and creamy.

D: Nice kick of alcohol and relatively smooth.

Overall: What a balanced beer! This is one of the best beers Sam Adams makes, and I wish it came in six packs. It has great flavor throughout, and each flavor builds on the next.

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark ruby with no sediment, the foam is white and settles to a shape resembling that of a hip bone. It smells of malt and somewhat nutty. The taste has some nice malts but is very earthy and has few spices to speak of. It's earthy to the point you almost expect to find some dirt at the bottom of the glass. The finish leaves that earthy taste on the tongue. It's OK but if it wasn't in the winter pack I wouldn't get too many of them.

Photo of DrewKid4
2.83/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nut brown with fizzy brown head that dissipates quickly.

S: Slight nutmeg and cinnamon, but really not much of an aroma for this brew.

T: Slight toasted malts and even slighter hops. Some lasting spice along the back of the tongue.

M: Very light for a self proclaimed Winter Warmer. Bite is merely from the heavy carbonation. Some lasting spice along the back of the tongue.

D: Due to the lightness, you can knock a few of these back in a sitting. Not a bad tasting beer I mean its more like a very introductory winter beer, but I see winter warmers as being a much thicker and creamier beer rather than a Boston Lager with nutmeg in it.

Photo of Meerkey
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Tons of bubbly, foamy tan head. Intricate lacing. Rich mahogany. Very attractive.

S: Cinnamon, ginger, orange. Chocolate malt, toast. Musty.

T: Malty, caramel and chocolate. Ginger and orange. A little hops. Pretty good, but something about it fails to impress me.

M: Smooth and creamy, but a little watery. Few bubbles, like it's going flat.

D: Good enough, but lacking some element to make it great and exciting.

Photo of Thickfreakness
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured quickly into a tulip glass, what little head it had, disappeared rapidly. Deep auburn color with tiny lacey bubbles around the sides.

S- Clove, star anise, nutmeg and cinnamon with a nice malty nose.

T- A little sweet and malty. Nice spice as it warms up. Nothing amazing here, but drinks nicely and leaves a nice caramel aftertaste.

M- Kinda flat. Was wishing for more carbonation.

D- I always look forward to Sam's winter mix so that I can get a couple of these.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 3,168 ratings.