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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

3,248 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,248
Reviews: 1,343
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 66
Gots: 289 | 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: 3,248 | Reviews: 1,343 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle freshness date February 2012.

Poured a deep coppery brown with a full creamy head. Head lasts a good while, nicely laces the glass. Smells of warm spices. Taste is very crisp , which was pleasantly surprising. The spices reflect the aroma, ginger and orange predominate. As it warms, it releases a firm note of alchohol, very "warming"!

Photo of wrycon
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks really sexy - a deep ruby red. Smells of deep malts, some chocolate and a hint of orange. Initial taste is fairly straightforward and plain, but then the different elements pop out. Toasty malt, spiciness and a slight tang. The flavors don't bump into one another, but rather dance in unison to create a unique and highly drinkable brew.

Like it? For Sure

Photo of Brunite
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A brown appearance with red accents and a 2 finger tan head .

S: Smells of faint malt, spices, orange peel.

T: Tastes of caramel malt and faint spice. More like a brown ale than wwinter warmer to my tastes. A bit bitter and dry on the finish.

M: Mouthfeel is medium and smooth, with light carbonation.

O: A nice beer but I guess I am not as enthusiastic as others in my appreciation for this one. Solid...but average IMHO. As a brown ale...I know of better. As a winter warmer....I'm not getting the spiciness I would expect.

Photo of aorloski
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a very nice amber / maroon / deep blood red color. large head with off white bubbles that surprisingly stick to the glass at 5.9 abv, great lacing. Still looks a little thin though.

Smell - To me, it smells like a pumpkin beer, cinnamon, cloves, BIG malts, nutmeg

Taste - I think my smells are on the right track. Tastes like an over malted pumpkin beer. Incredibly malty right up front with cinnamon at the middle, dry after taste. Not bad at all.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is pretty moderate, for a winter warmer i want something more thick, but what can you ask for when it is a sam adams.

Overall - Sam adams seems to put out these beers as "semi" true to style brews and surprisingly they still hold up for me because mostly the price. For 12 dollars for a variety of 12 i am happy, does this hold up to other winter warmers? barely, is it good and for a good price? definitely.

Photo of TTAmod
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pour yields a dark, yet clear brown with a nice one-finger white head.

S: Sweet malts. Chocolate. Spices. Very, very nice.

T: A nice, complex taste. Starts of with sweetness, then goes into spices (nutmeg? cinnamon? Maybe a mix of a few?) which leaves behind a slight bitterness before the maltiness finishes it off.

M: It's on the thicker side of medium, which is perfect considering the taste.

O: Quite impressed with this one. It's not quite winter yet, but I can imagine sitting around the glow of a fireplace during a cold winter night drinking this. A really solid winter offering from BBC.

Photo of whiplash3825
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany with a nice 4-finger mocha-colored head.

Dark fruit and chocolate in the nose... raisin & fig dominates, along with spices like ginger and cinnamon. Nice!

The taste definitely features the malts at first, dark and toasty caramel, chocolate, and fig with a surprisingly hoppy bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is fine, although I wouldn't mind it thicker and chewier to measure up to the robustness of the taste.

I think this is my first of this style, so I can't compare with others. But overall it's a great brew... well-balanced, and for sure the most complex taste I've had in a BBC beer. I say well done!

Photo of rangerred
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First bottle of the 2011-2012 season.

Pours a dark ruby red with a couple fingers of light tan head.

The smell seems rather weak to me. There is a small hint of malt and oranges, though.

The taste is really good. A strong malty backbone with definite notes of cinnamon and orange. It is definitely a good example of a winter warmer.

Like many other people I wish this beer was available in 6 packs. It is by far my favorite of the variety pack.

Photo of jondeelee
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a malty, slightly spicy aroma, with hints of caramel.

On the tongue, it's immediately obvious that much work has gone into the brew, as well as a good measure of malts. The bottle lists both caramel and chocolate malts as ingredients, and these come across in waves: first the caramel, bringing lovely Grape Nuts cereal-like flavors, then the almost-burnt grain flavors of the chocolate. Spices accompany these malts constantly, and while the bottle lists cinnamon, ginger and orange as added ingredients, what comes across most is a light ginger/orange combo that reminds me faintly of Cointreau orange liqueur--though nowhere near as strong, of course. It's more like a dram has been added to the bottle, rather than a full shot. Hops seem kept to a nice minimum to allow the malts to come through, but there's still a grapefruity background fuzz to accompany the citrusy spices.

Overall, I find this to be a well-balanced beer, and thankfully moderate in its application of spices. Many Christmas beers seem to try and mask the flavor of sub-par malts with heavy spices, but Sam Adams has mastered the talent of letting the spices catalyze the malts, swirling with them in a generative, tasty dance.

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

Reviewed 01-13-2011. Unsure why the reset happened.

I am frankly kind of anxious to try this one, given people's ravings about it and the fact that it has become a winter seasonal that is only available in the mixed box at this time of year.

From the bottle: "Old Fezziwig Ale is in the tradition of special seasoned beers for the winter Holidays, and takes its name from the festive character in Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'."; "This is a hearty, rich brownish-red ale that gets its character from large amounts of specialty malts. These roasted caramel and chocolate malts give it a very full body and a smooth taste that's then spiced with a touch of cinnamon, ginger and orange. Happy Holidays!"

My aggro pour netted me not only some cascading action but also two foamy fingers' worth of mocha-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep reddish-brown with ruby highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled like MexiCAN chocolate - sweet but laced with a light spiciness. Milk chocolate and cinnamon, to be more precise. Mouthfeel was medium with a pleasant cinnamon/clove (the neck label mentioned ginger) flavor in the mouth. Finish had more of the chocolate taste that I experienced on the nose. My, but this was good on a snow day when the schools were closed, I shoveled my walk early and simply spent the day chillaxing, as my students would say. Definitely worth the cost of the mixed 12-pack. Nary a clinker in the bunch!

Photo of tykees88
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fours across the board

A- ruby red bounces through the light of the amber brown. Fluffy off white head. Lacing is fantastic to look at as it goes down.

S- Smells nice. winter warmer cinnamon, nutmeg. some orange peel. not alot of scents though.

T- It's nice. very heavy on the orange and cinnamon flavor. malty malty backbone.

M- medium bodied to lighter bodied. nice carbonation.

O- It's nice. too bad it's not in a six pack. many a friend could enjoy the ol fezzi

Photo of Rifugium
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Gullifty's, Wayne, PA

Poured a deep amber color with ruby highlights, and a finger of beige head. Caramel in the nose, slightly fruity with notes of spice. Toasty toffee and caramel in the taste, with flavors of orange, raisins, cinnamon. Medium mouthfeel, slightly syrupy, and pretty drinkable.

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of JerseyPaul
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark copper/brown with ruby highlights & good carbonation; small tan head dissipates quickly & leaves minimal lacing on the glass

Smell: Malt sweetness with notes of caramel & spices; some toasted biscuit as well; dark fruit scents also

Taste: Cinnamon & sweet caramel & chocolate malt with toasted biscuits; light ginger, plum & fig notes

Mouthfeel: Medium body; good carbonation; nice complexity that ties in together nicely

Drinkability: Nice cold weather warmer; goes down easy; too bad this only comes in the sampler; would definitely recommend

Overall, Old Fezziwig Ale is another solid beer from Sam Adams. Although it's listed as a winter warmer, it has traits that make it similar to a Belgian Dark Ale. Regardless of the classification, it is a very good beer, with a complex nose and taste that all ties in well together.

Photo of CHickman
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours chestnut brown with red accents and a massive 2 finger tan foamy/bubbly head that fades slowly and leaves very good spotty lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, lemon, caramel, toasted grains and light citrus hops; some other spices and earthy tones are in the mix, but this beer basically smells sweet, malty and spicy.

Tastes like it smells but a bit more complex, with sweet malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, lemon, pepper, caramel, toasted grains, grass, wheat, hay, yeast, light citrus hops, brown sugar and spices; ginger is listed on the bottle, but it's hard to detect it as the other spices and earthy tones in the mix control the flavor and really bring out the sweet malts/grainy notes. The finish is bitter and dry with cinnamon or other spices like allspice lingering.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with light carbonation, a medium body and light heat from all the spices. I would even say that this beer is zesty from the spices and citrus notes which work as a winter warmer.

Overall this is good, and a nice winter beer but just not my favorite style. I drink this every year with the Sam Adams Winter packs, but I wouldn't buy a six pack of this beer. Each year I seem to enjoy this more, so it's slowly growing on me much like the Christmas tale that the artwork is based on...bah humbug.

Photo of Cyrano41
2.3/5  rDev -39%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Tried this beer as part of their holiday sampler. First Sam Adams I've had that was wholly unimpressed with. Smell was OK but taste and mouthfeel were unimpressive. Would not recommend. I'm a big fan of Sam Adam's in general but they phoned this one in! Defininatly lowered their bar here.

Photo of Lemke10
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this in the Sam Adams 12pk Winter Collection variety pack for about $13 at Woodman's in Janesville, WI in mid Fall 2010.

Pours a dark brown with decent long lasting head. Strong scent of sweet malts and cocoa. Heavy taste that is smooth and slightly creamy. A touch of spice thrown in for the mix. A very nice winter. A must try!

Photo of vandemonian
3.29/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale is a malty winter warmer that I found to be a bit uninteresting.

A: Nice red colour and a 2 cm head that lasts for quite a long time. It maintains good lacing too.

S: The smell is weak and quite grainy.

T: The taste is malty with a hint of woody bitterness. The aftertaste is spicy. Overall... kinda boring.

M: Nice and foamy.

O: Not much happening here.

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

Poured from a 12oz. into a pint.

A&S - Dark ruby brown with a 1-finger tan creamy head. Nice roasty malt aroma with maple and dried fruit. Smells very attractive.

T&M - You get that crisp medium bodied Winter Warmer feel with tons of roasted malts, some alcohol notes, dried fruit, maple, and some nutty spices.

O - A great winter warmer. Definitely an overlooked style when the season comes around.

Here we are yet again with another SA brew. I'm a little late on this one, however this review was written from notes and what have you. Right off the bat this doesn't look like your normal SA beer. Its also one of the few SA's that doesn't have that classic SA taste. Not sure what it is but most have a certain note(Maybe the yeast) that gives it that SA characteristic. This really hits the spot on a cold day and as I said winter warmer is a really overlooked style, I believe this is caused by its lack of a wow factor. They're not too heavy and not too light which keeps the customer from coming back for more. Overall a good beer, don't think i'd buy it again but I will however look forward to it coming in my SA variety packs. Stay thirsty my friends.

Photo of secondtooth
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark cola-black in color, with heavy head and big lacing, too.

Aroma is a little roasty. The spices (cinnamon, ginger, orange peel) also make their presence known.

Taste is malty and roasty, with a sweet spiciness. Definitely cold weather beer, with a nice warming sensation (and little trace of the alcohol). This one is different and has a unique flavor, and is also quite drinkable.

Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of devilben02
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a nice enough beer, but I am not going to join the masses that look forward to the Winter pack solely for this beer. It does give a great first impression, pouring with a rich, garnet-tinged brown color and topped with a thick, creamy, sand-colored head. The aroma is quite inviting, with fresh cherries, caramel, and biscuits all melding into a wonder malty sweetness. There is something a bit off about the flavor, though. All of the same sweet malt characteristics are there, but there is also a dull, nondescript bitterness that is presumably from the aging combination of spices and hops (although I am drinking before the best-by date). There is a solid body and a pleasant, moderate carbonation, but the texture can't right the wrongs from the flavor. Overall, there is certainly something a little different and enticing about this beer, but the weird bittering really detracts from the overall impression.

Photo of LtCracker20
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from notes.

A- Pours a deep ruby body with a finger's worth of off-white head with good retention and lace.

S- subtle dark fruits and slight spice. Again, very subtle.

T- Slight cinnimon, dark fruits and a little smoke. All the flavors are subtle, but very nice. All is in balance. Slight orange peel flavor with a slight bitterness.

MF- Creamy and full blodied with flavors that linger.

Photo of birdyone
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red brown color. lots of carbonation.

very mild smell. pleasing.

taste is nothing extravagant for a Sam Adams. It has a little bit of a Christmas Cake taste to it; kinda fruity and dense. It's far from bad, but if you take out the specialness of it as a seasonal offering, it's pretty average. There's a reason Sam doesn't sell it all year long.

It's a nice mouthfeel, light and crisp, but still dense. Kinda like jello vs pudding if that makes sense.

I'll give it good marks on drinkability. It is a nice tasting ale, it isn't overbearing or too expensive. If i were throwing a Holiday party I would serve it without too much expectation of complaint from both beer drinkers, and people who just drink beer.

Photo of GossageBrewery
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Old Fezziwig...Takes me back to when I was a young boy watching A Christmas Carol - I probably had a glass of Fizzy Root Beer....anyway- This Winter Ale is everything a winter ale should be, big, spicy and warms you up on a cold day. I poured this from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It poured a very dark reddish brown color and produced a thick white head. The lacing of this beer was outstanding. The aroma was filled with a spicy mix of ginger and cinnamon. Medium body and had traces of chocolate and burnt malt. Slight traces of ginger were also present. The finish was nice and warm. Perfect for a Winter Ale.

Photo of rlshep
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Smells a little like Coca-Cola. Malty. Cinnamon and ginger.

Appearance: Pours aggressive chunky tan head. Some lacing. Deep dark brown color.

Flavor: Good malts. A big heap of chocolate. Lots of cinnamon, some ginger. Medium low bitterness. No hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Thin body, watery. Alcohol noticeable in aftertaste. Lots of carbonation.

Overall: I hate to jump on the "not as good as last year" bandwagon, but this years was a little lacking. In years past this was one of my favorite beers. It tastes kinda like cocoa mix with water and spices mixed in. Which isn't horrible. I expect more body, more malt character and more balance.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,248 ratings.