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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,250 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,250
Reviews: 1,343
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 66
Gots: 295 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,250 | Reviews: 1,343 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BelgianDip
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of justintcoons
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of mater
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Josiah2729
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of CowsCanBark
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a solid dark brown with a two-finger tan-white head that quickly dissipates. Decent amount of lacing left as I drink.

Smell: Good. Smells of citrus, pine, malts, booze, with a tiny bit of spicy noting.

Taste: This is great. First taste is of the pine and citrus, followed by hints of cinnamon and ginger, with a malty backbone. Yum.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a relatively high amount of carbonation; it certainly suits the tastes.

Overall: Christmasy, wintery, holiday taste. This is a great beer that is extremely appropriate for the winter holidays, and one I'd definitely get again.

Photo of scottyg354
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This has always been a holiday favorite of mine, up until the past two years. This always reminded me of a christmas cookie of a beer if that makes sense, I think most readers would agree.

The last two years something has been missing which I am not quite sure what it is. It is missing a certain zest that it had in previous years.

Photo of gregb13
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time trying this one, from the winter 12-pack. Pours a nice caramelly brown with minimal head and lacing. Smells of tart cherries, cherry liqueur, some spiciness, and plenty of malt. Taste is more of the same. I really like the cherry and spice notes in this brew. Something a little different. Would definitely pick it up again.

Photo of BeerNoobNC
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had never had this style before, so I waited until the second from my winter variety pack to review here.

Poured a very dark color. I would almost think it was black if I didn't put a light behind it. Not sure if I'm a little stuffed up now or what, but I did not get an impressive smell from this beer. The faint smell I do get reminds me of an octoberfest almost. I suck at telling what a smell is, especially with so little of it, but that is definitely what the spices remind me of here.

The taste is a different story. This beer is full of flavor. The spices still remind me a lot of octoberfest, but the taste is definitely different. This beer does not have as much of a bitter taste. It is definitely a good winter beer that tastes like it would go well with Christmas dinner also. Overall I am impressed with this beer, and the entire variety pack that it comes in (though I would much rather have another winter beer, or anything other than Boston Lager really).

Photo of GreyMorel
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby caramel color. Head is neither robust nor weak, but fairly long lived. Moderate carbonation to be seen.

Smell is mostly malts and roasted grains, lacking the "spice notes" Sam Adams claims in advertisements - though that could be related to serving temperature.

Taste is a rich and complex whirlwind of different grains and malts, followed by an unusual and characteristic doughy sweetness. Finish is a bitter spiciness, though not from hops - these must be the "spices" Sam Adams speaks of.

Stylistically, this beer deviates slightly from the textbook formula in that it is lower in alcohol than most, but with the tweaks provided by the finishing spices, I didn't notice.

Overall this is a very solid beer in general. Sam Adams manages to play with the formula for this type and produce a winner. It could certainly stand on its own, and in light of its seasonal nature, Is certainly worth drinking around the holidays.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Hard pour yields a black in color beer with traces of brown throughout and just under a 1/2 inch head and good retention

Smell: Cocoa nibs and chocolate malt is the first thing I pick up the back end has a real nice cinnamon note

Taste: The beer has some nice roast up front with hints of chocolate and cinnamon picking up the back end

Mouthfeel: A slight bit less body than medium and mild carbonation

Overall: Still one of my favorite Sam Adams beers and I look forward to it every winter

Photo of phichifiji00
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Clear, medium brown with red hue. Pours 2 inches of fluffy tan head that fades slowly. Lots of lacing.

Smell: malty, cinnamon, ginger, citrus, orange peel, caramel, toffee, nutty.

Taste: cinnamon, gingner, orange peel, citrus, malty, nutty, caramel, toffee, a bit of a bitter finish, some roasted notes in the middle.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, light carbonation, smooth.

Overall: A decent holiday ale. The malt dominates the more subtle flavors/aromas. Drinkability is fairly high.

Photo of warnerry
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 2/5/11

A - Pours a deep, translucent red/amber with one and a half fingers of creamy tan head.

S - Smells of caramel malt, cinnamon, and a slight bit of sugar.

T - Nice combination of caramel malts with spices of cinnamon and ginger and a slight bitter orange peel. Enjoyable.

M - Nice medium mouthfeel. The spices provide a bit of a dry finish.

O - Very enjoyable and drinkable. A nice holiday ale that is just a notch below Great Lakes Christmas, but I would love to see this in 6-packs.

Photo of Holland
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a very dark brown color with a half inch head, leaving very small lacing and a tiny ring of foam on the edge.

S: smells of sweet fruit, molasses, yeast, roasted malt, and spices.

T: taste is dominated by malt and sweetness with a fruitcake type taste. Then comes the bitterness and spice, and finally a malty aftertaste.

M: medium to thick body with medium carbonation.

O: good and available and cheap are the best qualities a beer can have, and this one has all of them. The favorite of the winter pack.

Photo of UncleAddie
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a reddish-brown with a thin tan head that hangs around for a bit.

S: Cinnamon spice aroma initially. Orange lingers with the hoppy smell. Toffee and Chocolate linger at the end making for a pleasant aroma.

T: Caramel malt with hints of orange, cinnamon and chocolate. Great tasting beer.

M: Smooth mouthfeel, with adequate level of carbonation. Warming sensation on the way down.

O: Great tasting beer. One that should be around year round but makes for a pleasant treat during the winter months.

Photo of elNopalero
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an intense ruby brown with a healthy layer of foam sitting atop it. I pick up a nicely spiced aroma of allspice and cloves, along with some sweet, caramel and toffee maltiness. It tastes like a spiced Irish red ale, only instead of a dry finish it’s sweet and lingering. The mulling spices play well with this beer and I find it enjoyable.

Photo of RossCain
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 12oz dated best by April 2012, poured into a Samuel Adams pint:

A: Pours as a semi-translucent, toffee colored brew with a respectable tan and creamy head that sticks around for a bit. Webs of lace cling to the glass as the head recedes, breaking apart in little bubbles upon each sip. It's an attractive ale that fits Sam's pint like a glove.

S: Spicy notes of cinnamon with a dash of allspice and orange-peel are noticeable upon first inspection. The nose welcomes with a sweet, sourdough bread undertone that complements the spices nicely. Light notes of toffee come together in the close, making for an exciting aroma.

T: A well blended cast of the aforementioned spices with a rather smooth caramel malt-backbone. Finishes with bready notes on top of semi-sweet, chocolately goodness. Well balanced and very drinkable.

M: Smooth with very well done carbonation that imparts the right amount of liveliness. Medium bodied, a little less so than normal for an ale but has a very easy going finish. Drinks very easily.

O: This makes for another stand-out brew in Sam's Winter Pack line up. A great, easy drinking ale with enough flavor and liveliness to keep you wanting more. Its easy to see why this is looked forward to every year.

Photo of chicagoabbot
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz into a tulip...about a middle of the road winter warmer. Once again, Samuel Adams fails to make an exceptional ale...they should just give up on ales and focus on lagering. This isn't as bad as some of their ales, but it's not great. Spice profile doesn't impress too much. Nose and tongue tell me it's one-dimensional...not always a bad thing for certain styles, but not winter warmers. Part of a sampler pack for the holidays. Not really recommended, but not atrocious.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
From the 2011 Winter Classics pack.

A - Pours a nice dark brown color with some ruby red hues on the side. Seems a bit oily. There is a thin 0.25 inch head that forms up with some dense bubbles and some bigger medium sized ones. It recedes fairly quickly down to a thin mat.

S - Sweet malty aroma is immediately present. Some slight gingerbread notes and also some slight cinnamon spice. Nice bready notes are present. There is some slight banana bread notes present. Very similar to a Belgian Dark Ale in aroma. Slight phenols.

T & M - Starts off with a bready and grainy note. This is followed by some delicious sweetness. There is definitely some nice christmas-like spice. Maybe some nutmeg, gingerbread and definitely some slight cinnamon spice. Very appealing. The flavors are not too overwhelming because they are balanced by some grainy notes and some nice slight roasty malt notes. There is also a nice slight bitter finish that makes the beer quite drinkable. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy but also slightly refreshing.

O - This beer is ok. Its definitely not bad but not my favorite Winter Warmer. I enjoy Blvd. Nut Cracker a bit better IMO.

Photo of tdm168
3.31/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber with 1/2" of loose, bubbly head that has decent retention. The nose smells of orange peel and ginger. The taste is orange peel and ginger as well with very faint cinnamon and caramel malt coming through in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, very light carbonation, and very smooth.

Well it's easy to drink, but comes across tasting almost like a Belgian beer. The orange peel and ginger combined are a little unusual and the cinnamon is so faint as to be nonexistent. I'll probably pass in the future.

Photo of homebrew311
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Surly pint glass.

A: appearance is deep dark red, vigorous pour yields short lived tan head, reduces to thin layer, good lacing

S: nose features mellow spices, notes of caramel, orange, cinnamon and cherry. Things are pretty mellow on the nose... I prefer this vs the in your face spice rack attack that some winter warmers feature.

T: notes of bubblegum show up first followed by caramel malts, notes of honey, cinnamon and cloves, slightly bitter from spices on the finish

MF: medium body, medium carbonation

O: nicely balanced winter warmer, spices never become over powering.

Photo of gtermi
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a redish black, with a very thin, creamy head.

S: It for sure has a nice Winter Warmer scent with a lot of spice and a some what Dr. Pepper scent.

T: A lot of ginger and nutmeg that lingers on the back of my tongue. It almost tastes like a pumpkin beer.

M: I really enjoy the crispness of the beer and the tiny bit of carbonation.

O: This is one of the better winter warmers out there. It has a lot of amazing tastes and is very easy to drink.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours brown with crimson undertones. Light tan head is about a finger high. Head is frothy and leaves decent lacing. Beer appears transparent.

S-Sweet aroma with spices. Cinnamon is the most noticeable smell aside from the overall sweetness.

T-Very spicy. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Quite malty. Almost tastes like a pumpkin beer without the blatant pumpkin flavor. The spices are nice. An easy drinking flavor.

M-Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation too. Crisp feel.

O/D-Pretty good winter warmer. Light, spicy and easy to drink. Surprised this hasn't been released in a six pack. Solid winter beer.

Photo of Kbogac
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. Short head that disappears very quick. Minimal lacing with a small ring. Wonderful burgundy color. The scent is malty, toffee and dark fruit. The taste is very similiar to the scent. Malt, caramel and dark fruit. Some spices but nothing jumps out at me. Lots of carbonation at first but it calms down a little. Very well balanced for a winter warmer. Overall a vey good beer.

** I recommend letting this beer warm up a little. It's nowhere near as flavorful cold. Also some the carbonation fades which also makes it more enjoyable.

Photo of SawDog505
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 13 oz tulip. Pours a dark auburn, with a nice 1 inch off white head, leaves some nice lacing. Smell is bready, candy apple, brown sugar, and a hint of toffee. Taste is all that, with some Ginger bread in the middle. Body is nice, not chewy or thin, nice amount of life. This is a very unique and nice beer. I remember 5 years ago when this was my last beer to drink besides the cranberry limb. Glad my tastes of developed.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,250 ratings.