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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

2,973 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,973
Reviews: 1,311
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 46
Gots: 138 | 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: 2,973 | Reviews: 1,311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of McGuire75
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A small but steady head with full lacing. A crisp, clear, deep reddish copper color that at times appears almost brown. Old Fezziwig appears to smolder in the glass, deep and inviting.

S- Roasted caramel and buttery toffee with hints cinnamon, nutmeg, and ripe blood orange rind.

T- Deep but not overpowering flavors of caramel corn and toffee and with a crisp very dark chocolate finish that has hints of ginger. A nice lingering finish remained on the tip of my tongue, inviting me to continue enjoying. Overall very well balanced.

M- Nice light carbonation with a velvety smooth medium body.

D- Very solid choice, an excellent seasonal beer and one of the only things I enjoy about the winter season. Would pair great with Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners as well as being an excellent everyday choice. I wish The Old Fezziwig were more easily available(6-packs please).

McGuire75, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of Augustiner719
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a SA taster glass: marked 5.9% abv.

Appearance: Nice dark caramel color. Crystal clear with nice 1 finger head and present lacing down the glass.

Smell: smells like shaved unsweetened cocoa and scotch with a hint of orange peel. Nice aromas of wintery spices and dark fruit.

taste: tastes a little off from last year to me or my palate has changed. Tastes like whiskey and caramel with a little bit of hops finish on the end. not bad, but not what i remember.

Mouthfeel: pretty good carbonation, could use a little bit of sitting time in the glass to make the bubbles go down a bit.

drinkability: solid. sessionable beer. I would have again. too bad its not offered in 6 packs.

Augustiner719, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of Blitzstyle
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint SA pint glass. Small head and a deep deep red almost brown color. Laces really well in the SA glass.

Caramell malts dominate with a little citrus buired in there, also some winter spices.

Roasted caramell right up front, then some winter spices, cinnamon for sure. Then a citrus back end (could be orange). The winter spices balance well with the citrus in the beer.

Somewhat hearty but no lingering on the palate. Will drink selveral during the next cold snap. This beer and the Holiday Porter by SA are really great winter beers!

Blitzstyle, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of wahhmaster
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a thick foamy head that dissipates quickly leaving spotty lacing.

Smell: Sweet malts with a hint of citrus fruits (the label says oranges, so I'm going with that).

Taste: Sweet and malty with a bit of a bready/biscuity taste to it as well. The ginger and other spices leave a nice aftertaste in the back of the mouth.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied without much noticeable carbonation.

Drinkability: A great beer and my favorite part of the SA Winter Pack. The Winter Pack is worth picking up for this beer alone.

wahhmaster, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of ugaterrapin
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a deep clear amber color with about two fingers of off white head. Head lingers for a little bit and leaves a small amount of lacing. Smells of caramel malts, a little bit of spice, and small hint of citrus. Front of the sip has a strong malt presence with small hop notes. End of the sip has some spice mainly noticed in the ginger aftertaste. Overall a solid beer. Can't say anything bad about the beer. Definitely different from a few other winter warmers I have had this fall. I think the strong ginger presence it what differentiates itself. Much much better than the Cranberry Lambic I started with from the Sam Adams Winter Pack.

ugaterrapin, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of BigMike
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A deep reddish brown in color. Not much carbonation and not much of a head. About one fingers worth of whitehead that disappears quickly.

Nose is mainly dark chocolate and caramel malts. A touch of spices. A bit of cinnamon but not much ginger or orange like the label says.

A bit of chocolate and roasted nuttiness. lot's of sweetness and a touch of cinnamon and coffee.

Mouothfeel is average. This is pretty heavy on the tongue. Almost syrupy sweet.

Overall this is not a terrible beer but nothing special either. I like the name and the label artwork as i'm a big fan of a christmas carol. But i probably wouldnt search this one again.

BigMike, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of ProudGreen89
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one of my favorites from the holiday pack sam adams offers each year.

poured from a 12oz. bottle into a sam adams boston lager pint glass.

A-dark ruby red body with golden/tan highlights, looks like rootbeer. An off white head sits nice and fluffy ontop the body then fades slowly to a thin skim and leaves wet lacing but little of it. Not much to the appearance of this beer, i appreciate sam adams going for a darker ale but i think there is too much citrus in the mix diluting the head.

S-cinnamon and nutmeg are very noticeable, beers with this many spices are tricky to evaluate based on smell but this one does a nice job of unmasking those spices with a lightly sweet maltyness and hints of dark, rich fruits. Not much of a hop aroma coming off this ale, i would have liked more hops in it but its still an appetizing scent.

T-This is where the ale really gets my attention, there has been a lot of attention to detail when they brewed this style. Right away you get that sweet malty impact on the tongue, its nice and heavy but not overpowering, the blunt maltyness is followed by a dry bitterness and the beer finishes off with the crisp spices and fruit notes. I love this ale for its notable complexity, im sure there are more complex beers but none are as easy to notice the sublte flavor changes.

M-Medium bodied and crisp at the same time, not a whole lot of carbonation but leaves you feeling refreshed which is appreciated, its nice and bubbly on the back of the tongue and finishes with a snappy dryness.

D-Its medium body, relatively low ABV and tastiness make it a great session beer but also a beer you can pour into your favorite glass, sit by the fire and just take your time enjoying. Kudos to Sam Adams for this great seasonal ale.

Overall a nicely done ale, fit for the holiday season with this time of year bringing colder weather, good cheer and flavorful foods. Ill be stocking this in my fridge for sure come closer to the holidays. Cheers!

ProudGreen89, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of Kinsman
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Seems a little early to be reviewing a holiday beer, but I'm a sucker for the holidays so I'm hoping by doing this now I will avoid a holiday bias.

Poured from bottle into a pint glass
A: Light brown/dark red in color with a tan 1 finger head. Nothing exceptional about the way this beer looks other than the festive label on the bottle

S: Most notable are the cinnamon and nutmeg spice, but not overpowering. Sweet malty and fruity scents can also be detected.

T: This beer is relatively sweet with a variety of malts, but the spice balances out the sweetness without overpowering the rest of the beer. Caramel and just a hint of chocolate from the malt department and hops are present with just a bit of herbal character.

M: Medium-bodied feel with a nice warming affect from the spices. Good carbonation.

D: An enjoyable beer for the holidays, however like most spiced beers, one or two at a time is enough

Kinsman, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of MOB210SA
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tried 10/29/09

Most impressive looking of the Winter Ale Collection. Pours nice 1 1/2 finger tan head dies to perfect ring. eventually a small island of foam was drifting in the middle. Ruby-red cherry in color.

Smells of spices. Nothing I can pick out in particular.

Nice mouthfeel with after lingering taste.

Really not too high drinkability in amount, but a couple or few are very drinkable.

MOB210SA, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of MrStark
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Appearance is dark brown/red with a light tan one-finger head that recedes into a small cap with a minimal amount of lacing.

Smell is quite malty and sweet with hints of cinnamon and spices. A pretty inviting aroma.

Taste is a rich blend of roasted malts, spice and a little brown sugar. A little bit of fruit and a very faint hop bitterness. A great sweet malt flavor that's pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with moderate carbonation.

Drinakability is great! It goes down nice and easy with a little bit of a warming bite. I could drink this all night and look forward to many more. Quite a flavorful brew.

MrStark, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of jsh420
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours dark brown with a redish tint - has a 1/2 finger head that leaves no lacing

smell - yet another SA brew with little nose - tiny bit of spice and carmel malt

taste is great - nice and malty - a bit nutty - good amount of spice and just enough hop bitterness - one of the best SA beers

mouthfeel is light/medium with plenty of carbonation that give it a creamy smooth finish

drinkability is great - the should make 12 packs of this alone - by far the one of if not the best in the winter 12

jsh420, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of axxis64
4.7/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just got the new Winter Classics pack tonight at Kroger that came with Coastal Wheat. The first out of the pack was my dear friend "Old Fezzie" With out any question, this is my favorite beer from Samuel Adams.

From first look, this seems to be your average brown/dark brew, but it really is far from average. You can really smell the malts in this beverage, and the label tells you about cinnamon, orange and ginger just asking you to drink.

The taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability make this beer for me. The "holiday" flavors mix perfectly with the malts. I've had malty beers that just sit in my mouth and stomach like a rock. This beer is very tasty, and very easy to drink.

If you've never had this beer, get the mix pack. It is the only place you'll find it. There is a good reason why people have been begging for this to go in sixers. Great beer, and I'm not ashamed to say how biased I am about it!

axxis64, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of tone77
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of malts, some spices. Taste of spices and cinnamon and some malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth. Not really a beer I could drink all day. Overall this is a pretty good selection.

tone77, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of dpm12786
4.8/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I absolutely love this beer. All of the spices seem to really come through and there is just nothing else that I would rather have on a cold winter night. I think that this is by far in the top 3 of the sam adams brews and THEY SHOULD BRING IT BACK IN 6 PACKS!!!

dpm12786, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of vegantreats
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with minimal head. The bottle invokes memories of watching Scrooged with Bill Murry and in my childhood stealing my father's rum cookies from the fridge when he was wasn't about.
Has a sweet taste and is a darker ale. Smells like candy beer...or my father's rum cookies!

vegantreats, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of joedon
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a rich dark red-brown with modest tan head.

Spicy aroma that borders on medicinal.

Pleasant flavor. Richly malty, very low hop bitterness. I do get some spice; mainly cinnamon and orange peel. Not overwhelming but good balance with the malt.

Good sipping texture with nice body and malty aftertaste.

Not really very drinkable. Flavors need to warm up and be sipped slowly.

joedon, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of jera1350
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single of this on a clearance section. Obviously not fresh, but thought I'd give it a whirl at this old age anyways.

Pours a maroonish red with minimal tan head. No lacing.

Have to admit, I'm digging the smell. As others have mentioned, smells like chrismas cookies. I think it smells more like a vanilla buttercream frosting. Hints of spices, ginger and roasted malt.

Yeah, it tastes dated. Big roasted malt infused with spice. Hops are long gone. Picking up some orange peel and some cola like flavors. Probably much better fresh.

Nice creamy mouthfeel. Medium bodied.

If this were fresh, I would be really disappointed. It's not and I can see this working really well as a winter warmer. The spices and malts are soothing and do remind one of winter. Even in winter, I think this one would only be good one or two at a time.

jera1350, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of qchic
2.83/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours mahogany in color, lots of clarity and a finger of off white head that refuses to fade. Scent is malty and nutty. Holiday spice is apparent along with some tanginess. The ginger seems overdone in the flavor, with cinnamon sitting more subtly in the background. I can also taste caramel, banana, and a little licorice with bitterness coming in at the end. The carbonation is fine and body medium. With the surplus of spices in this one, I wouldn't have more than one. A little tiring.

qchic, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of rfgetz
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-light copper with nice little khaki head and light lacing

S-Sweet malt, roasted nuts, candied plum and rasin with orange, apple and cinamin notes

T- sweet malts with a toasted nut flavor. The fruity and spicey tastes blend nicely in the background and dont overpower

M-Silky smooth, excellent balance and refreshing carbonation

D-nice well balanced holiday beer without the overpowering spices that can trouble beers of this style

rfgetz, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of stakem
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fired her open and poured into a pint. Color was a dark amberish brown/red with 1 finger slightly tanned head that receeded slowly to a thin lacing. Took a whiff as quickly as I could burst off the cap and got a bit of yeast aroma. That yeast scent quickly went away and out came a sweet malt smell. You can barely make out some trace amounts of aroma hops as well. Take a deep gulp and you get a great crisp beer with what I think is some cinnamon or other form of spice. Ever so slightly bitter but sweet as well. Some traces of toffee or caramel is also present. This medium to full bodied beer has more going on than I intially thought it would.

stakem, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

*Notes from Holiday Sampler Session 1/23/09*

Pours a nice brown/ruby color with a lacing of off-white head.
Smell has an interesting butterscotch note, with some caramel behind it.
A dominant sweet malt flavor with a caramel taste that blends out a hop note at the end.
Finish is crisp with a great sweet topping after-taste.
Drinks very well, the caramel definitely makes it a drinkable warmer.

ThaBobfather, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of generallee
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. A best before date was printed on the label.

Appearance: The body has a deep amber color with a slight reddish hew. There is some visible carbonation that makes its way up to the head which has a light tan color and decent retention. Lacing is slick and quickly slides down the glass.

Smell: The aroma has soft sweet orange peel notes with some cinnamon and roasted malt.

Taste/Mouth Feel: The flavor has a bready malt presence up front that slowly adds in notes of cinnamon, ginger, sweet orange peel and finally some mild hops. It has a good medium to full body and the mouth feel is soft, well rounded with soft carbonation.

Notes: Overall a very solid holiday beer from Sam Adams and one of my favorites in there holiday mixed pack.

generallee, May 30, 2009
Photo of mralphabet
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Deep ruby red, nice clarity... about 1/2 a finger worth of head with very nice lacing all the way to the end.

S: I'm getting the cinnamon right up front, some ginger, and some sweet caramel.... Smells pretty good.

T: Malt is front and center then the various spices following... splashing over the tongue.... cinnamon with some orange peel and some brown sugar.

M: Med bodied but pretty carbonated, I think the carbonation makes it feel a little thin.... Not what I expected from a Winter Warmer... I'm used to a Winter Warmer being a little fuller with more ABV.

D: With the various flavors and pretty low ABV you could drink a few of these....

To me it is not a great Winter Warmer but it is a Christmas beer... Not a bad little brew from Sam.

mralphabet, May 28, 2009
Photo of montageman
2.53/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass.

Finishing off my Sam Adams holiday pack. Not a huge fan of spiced beers, so didn't expect much from this one. Looks nice. Has a dark, almost gingerbread like color. Smell & flavor are similar to Christmas cookies & spices, which while nice, doesn't strike my fancy. This beer is heavily carbonated making it almost feel like soda going down. I can drink this, but having a hard time with it. Not something I'd ever seek out - not recommended.

montageman, May 10, 2009
Photo of saztheorybook
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this on post-season clearance and poured it mid-April at the beginning of shorts weather. Whoops.

A- Poured a pretty beautiful reddish-brown, just like it says on the bottle. The head was a nice rich foam which died down pretty quick leaving minimal lacing. It was a bit see-through for a darker beer, but that said, it was pretty gorgeous.

S- Sweet and syrupy, but not in a sickly or gimmicky way. It does, however, smell so much like malt extract that you wonder at first if the wort really did ferment.

T- Right up front is that same syrupy flavor, though again, in a better way than other sweet beers. It makes me nostalgic for the Wassail even though I don't really know anything about it. I suspect that's the intention since it is both Dickensian and Christmas theme.
The finish is a nice smooth bitterness, featuring mostly roasted and chocolate malts.

M- Like silk, if silk were translucent reddish-brown.

D- I remember one night I had four Leinenkugel's Nut Brown (yes, I know it's a different style) that I bought when I was hard on cash. I'm doing my best to recode that memory with this there instead. Probably less of a headache the next day, too.

saztheorybook, Apr 17, 2009
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 2,973 ratings.