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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

3,249 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,249
Reviews: 1,343
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 66
Gots: 292 | 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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Ratings: 3,249 | Reviews: 1,343 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PicoPapa
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a Best Before date notched for Mar. One of the beers from the Winter Classics mix 12 pack. Pours a cloudy deep, dark brown with a frothy medium sized head. Lots of lacing. Aromas of roasted malts, cinnamon, orange peel and a bit more spice. Interesting mix of scents. Taste isn't as in-your-face as the aroma. Nice malty flavor with an orange peel finish. Flavors of spice as well. Really good Winter Warmer.

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

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a clear dark cherry wood color with a 1" head that recedes slowly leaving rings, speckles, sheets and legs of lacing. Sipping leaves similar lacing for much of the beer.

Smell: The aroma, while faint, is fresh with some orange and ginger showing. The cinnamon takes a back seat but is detectable.

Taste: The flavors include the spices described on the label and predicted by the nose, i.e., some orange, ginger and cinnamon. As the beer warms the cinnamon shows more and more. There is a nice malt backbone that carries the flavors and gives them a touch of caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and creamy with lots of soft prickly carbonation. The finish is fairly long and begins as the sweetness fades to bitter spiced dryness, with the spices still present for most of the ending.

Drinkability: I'm enjoying this one a good bit. While the flavors are not strong, they are definite, pleasant, and distinguishable. I'll certainly have no problems with having more of this one. That said, if I could buy it on its own, separate from the variety case, I'd probably give it a pass in favor of some of the other winter warmer's I prefer.

Photo of Khazadum
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Second of the winter celebration pack!

A- A more creamier head than the Winter Lager. We have a smattering of average sized bubbles around the rim, but the center reminds me of a pharmaceuticly elegant emulsion. Deep, deep red... crimson even body is hard to see through to reveal the tons of carbonation. The head has a long retention time, and leaves a wall of lacing all around the edges.

S- The nose is remarkably similar.. familiar... I get the sharp spices up front ( cinnamon for sure! ), the citrus bitter fragrance, but there is a new contender on the outflow I like to call fresh bread. Its sweet in that starchy way. Some caramel glaze perhaps on top to give it an extra kick of sweetness.

T- Opening is what you would expect. We have a sharp cinnamon twang that is ran down by citrus and bitter rind flavors. After the spices have made their presence known, they are beat down by sweet caramels and a hint of chocolate. From the description, I was expecting those holiday orange dark chocolates in liquid form, but its more like a single Hershey's kiss cut into a fourth and melted into the middle. Disappointing.

Its still a decent brew, but its predominantly a caramel loaf with spices sprinkled on top. Finishes off with some citrus memories and a rather clean palate.

M- Creamy, full bodied, and bright with carbonation. Just done right. This is truly where the BBC shines. Not much lingering around, but not a problem or a want really.

D- Doesn't really come through on the alcohol, but I'm not looking for it. Easy drinking, and good flavors over all. Solid offering. I'd drink it again and even suggest it to others.

Photo of alleykatking
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a deep amber with brown color. Light red hues when held to the light. One finger tan head shows low retention.

S- Nice nutmeg and cinnamon spices in the front of the beer. Some caramel malts is the background of the aroma. Nothing really pops out in the aroma which is a little bit of a bad thing.

T- Wow...light caramel malts with some cinnamon in the front of the beer. Orange and nutmeg in the middle of the beer. Some light malts with light spicing in the backing. A nice tasting beer.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Spices left on the palate and long into the aftertaste. Medium drying on the palate. Flavors were clean and blended well.

D- This was a good tasting beer from Sam Adams. The ABV is well hidden and works well with the beer. I wish they made this beer year around or at least by the 6 pack...come on Sam Adams...just maybe for once??

Photo of davod23
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I thought I remembered liking this more in years past. Oh well. Poured from the bottle into a Bruery tulip.

Pour is pretty nice. Orange-brown, nice clarity. Tan head billows up nicely and never truly goes away. Good lacing.

Vaguely spicy and orange-y in the aroma. I can't really pick up cinnamon, per se, but I definitely seem to be picking up on nutmeg and a quality that can only be described as "Christmas-y". Not a lot of power behind this one, I feel like the cinnamon would be good to experience.

Taste is really only okay. I get a bit of cinnamon, orange, and other spices. Rather sweet. Leaves a rather unpleasant aftertaste. It kinda feels like I've been licking a freshly-painted wall.

A bit thin and watery. Lingering finish, but as I mentioned, it's not really a good point for this beer.

Drinkability. Eh. Spiced beers are generally tough to drink to begin with, and I'm unimpressed with this one in particular. This one isn't anything that I care to revisit again, unless the beer turns out remarkably different next year.

Meh. Not recommended, but if you really like spiced winter beers it's likely worth a shot.

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

Pours a deep brown/red with 2 fingers of tannish head. Smells are caramel malts, chocolate malts, and some spices. Tastes are sweet malts, slight apple (from the yeast?), spices and a slight chocolate finish. Mouthfeel is medium and slightly sticky on the lips. Drinkability is good. This is a pretty damn good beer, I'm surprised I've never had it before. I do think that 2 in a 12 pack is enough, at least for me as it seems to get a little sweet at the end.

Photo of DIM
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This was an orange tinted copper color. It poure with a medium sized tan head.

s: On the mild side, I found caramel, toffee, and some vague spiciness.

t: Wow, this is MUCH better than the smell suggested. I easily discern both the cinnamon and the ginger, not so much the orange. The dry chocolate finish was a surprise but it paired very well with caramel and spices.

m: Medium bodied with gently foamy carbonation.

d: This and the holiday porter are the standouts of the winter variety pack. I didn't expect to like this nearly as much as I did.

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

A: Poured into a mug. A dark cola color, with a nice large cream colored head.

S: Smells of ginger, cinnamon and some sweet malts. Very nice aroma.

T: Nice slightly sweet malts along with some spices start and goes throughout the main body until the end with a slight hop finish, just right. I really like the spices in here, not overpowering but they are there.

M: Medium bodied, that leaves smoothly.

D: Exceptional drinkability, with good use of the spices. A very nice, good drinking winter warmer. Again, i really like the spices in this one, yummy.

Photo of goalie33
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 16oz pint glass.
A: Clear dark red-brown color with a finger of tan head. Little carbonation. Leaves nice lacing on in the glass.
S: Malt and spices on the nose. Some cinnamon, maybe a little bit of orange peel.
T: Malt backbone with a lot of spicy overtones, mostly orange peel and ginger. Very tasty.
M: Medium to full body with a very nice, soft mouthfeel.
D: Very drinkable, but at 5.9% abv, not a session beer.

Photo of GregBlatz
3.37/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Brownish red in color. Very clear. A thin off-white head.

S - Malt, nutmeg and a little bit of bottle cap metal in my sample. Smells sweet like a dessert.

T - The spices dominate this brew, balanced with a rich malty sweetness. Finished with a cloying sweetness that lingers.

M - Carbonation bite is pronounced. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I would have thought.

D - Too much going on to really lay into these brews. It might be nice as an after dinner beer.

Overall I like it, but it is a beer I need to be in the mood for. I do love the holiday sampler that they come out with every year. Although I don't love them all, I like all of them(except the Wit, that one sucks:)

Photo of bobhits
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark deep amber colored. Pours a large head that quickly dissipates and leaves some nice lacing. Very clean, very crisp, it's Sam Adams so what else would one expect?

Strong christmas spices and lightly sweet smelling malt. Some earthy hops in the finish, I'd say somewhat english.

This beer is a well done christmas ale. Some hops and bitter flavors, a lot of christmas spices, and just sweet enough to hold it together. It starts to go to the porter side of malt but it isn't really burnt. Well done for a style that isn't all exceptional.

Very easy to drink and the body is rather easy drinking. I'm not really in the mood to sip on it, and in a way I'd somewhat like chug this just to try a different beer.

Photo of DannyDan
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. This beer when pouring it has a dark reddish brown color with a small head that has good lacing and retention. When drinking it the foam from the head clings to the side of the beer mug.
S. When smelling this beer I can smell some chocolate, and some orange which seems pretty balanced since one scent doesn't seem to be stronger than the other.
T. When tasting this beer get some hops followed by a gingery taste. After that I can taste some caramel and a strong chocolaty taste and a hint of orange. The description on the bottle says cinnamon is in this beer, but I can't taste it.
M. The mouthfeel is a medium lightly creamy feel that ends up feeling a little sticky when swallowing it.
D. This is another easily drinkable beer from Sam Adams.
This beer to me is not a bad tasting beer, and even though I am pretty new to the beer drinking world when it comes to this style I am sure I'll end up finding one that I like better than this.

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

old fezz

a 3.5 clear dark colacolar w/ rub highlights, not muched dies to a partial cap, largish looking bubbles, scant lace

s 3.5 sweet root beer and ginger, a touch of nutmeg or cinnamon. surprisingly similar to weyerbacher imp pump.

t 3 the spices are not supported by enough sweetness or oomph, roast in the finish, pretty dry. upped to 3.5 due to later tastings noting decreased spice presence and increased balance.

m 3 a glance at the bottle, very full body? i'd say medium, too thin for the style and flavor profile.

d 4 not a huge fan so far, but some other SA beers have managed to grow on me, so will try again sometime. later tries, particularly after a few months, warrant a bump up to 4.

Turns out that after nearly a year in the cellar, old fezz is better than fresh. Perhaps a little root beer-esque, but well integrated, smooth, balanced.

Photo of brewerburgundy
2.83/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, New Belgium glass, March (2011) notched on the label.

The cascading beer had a very copper tint but my glass ended up filled with some ruby, cranberry colored beer with a khaki head. Not a bad sized cap at first but it starts to fade, then decides to stay with its creamy texture.

Sharp cinnamon greets the nostrils, this is truly a spiced beer. On the sweet side of the spectrum with toasted malt, ginger, toffee, and caramel.

The malty body gets beaten back with a cinnamon stick and army of clove-like spice with a wave of tannic astringency in support. A little citric bite at the end, and more bitterness. I don't like the way they handled the spice additions here. The flavor extracted isn't worth the high level of bitter tannins that came with. The malt really tries to battle with caramel, toffee, and much desired toast, but fails ignominiously short of the barricades.

Thinnish and slick with much too much carbonation in my opinion. I'm using a glass that has a huge laser etched logo that knocks out bubbles like crazy and it is still too carbonated after ten or more minutes. Too much for the style I feel.

I try to be very objective in my reviews, at least in every category but drinkability. I even try to avoid the first-person most of the time. This isn't the worst beer I've ever had, and it may just be that I don't really like spiced beers. It is my opinion that Sam Adams can do much better.

Photo of porcelli426
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another really nice winter beer

A: Deep amber color, good head- thick and dense that dissipates soon

S: strong caramel, sweet smell

T: light chocolate, dark malty with a slight fruity finish. Cinnamon and ginger background notes

M: medium mouth feel

D: Pretty high drinkability. Very refreshing, great after dinner drink.

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

Going through a Sam Adams Variety Pack, this one is last on the list for this evening.

Appearance: Poured from the bottle, the beer is a clear, mahogany color with a good inch worth of tan colored head. Retention isn't too shabby, and the lacing is the slow, soapy, runny variety.

Smell: Some mild winter spice smell with some sweet caramel in the background. Nothing really out of the ordinary for this style of beer.

Taste: The spice is much more noticeable here. The caramel is certainly there, but the concoction of winter spices that are used makes it difficult to pick out the individual flavors. I think the only spice I can really pick out is nutmeg. Overall, the combination is a good one. Considering I can't really pick out the unique spices, I'd say they are blended together well.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is good, body is good. Can't complain here.

Drinkability: Winter spiced beers really aren't my thing. Really, no matter how well I may rate one this just isn't a style I reach for. That being said, this one isn't bad. I would say that if you like this type of beer, give it a try. If not, don't worry about it...you're not missing too much.

Photo of beergod1
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cherry-color and thin, off-white head. Aroma of caramel, citrus, and spice. Malty and a tart fruit flavor with hints of chocolate and cinnamon. The spices are well balanced. Medium body, One of Sam Adams better ones. Now on to the rest of the "Up Graded" Winter pack with Chocolate Bock....Thank you Sam Adams.

Photo of Kooz
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into standard pint glass--clean pour produces a nice head that lasts for a while and leaves a nice, sticky lacing. Beautiful rich amber color.

Malty scent; nice notes of caramel.

Tastes pretty good. A bit of a bitter aftertaste, but pretty smooth going down. Overall, pretty good.

Bites a bit too much, but foams up nice and thick with a swish.

Too strong for much consecutive drinking, but a nice beer to have on occasion.

Photo of jakdracula
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

OKAY, Sam Adams continues to surprise me.

Why are we supposed to hate Sam Adams again? I know many of my beer snob, or sorry, beer advocate friends look down their collective noses at Sam Adams, but I keep trying them and I keep liking their beer.

Get this, try it, and lemme know...

Photo of Blanco
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

color is a very dark brown, with red hue and a tan head. head is strong and fluffy but doesn't hold long. smells and taste are good, but somewhat muted and it's difficult to pickup individual flavors. Slight taste of dark fruit. gentle spice notes and caramel. medium bodied. the drink goes down smoothly. highly drinkable winter warmer, even if the tastes are a bit muted. good for those times where you want a good tasting beer you don't have to think too much about, which is perfect for the holidays with family.

Photo of DaveHS
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours the color of dark stained wood, with 1/4 inch of off white head that dissipates quickly, leaving no lacing.

S-Cinnamon, nutmeg, light grassy hops.

T/M-Nutmeg, bready malts, a surprisingly hoppy finish. Slightly astringent, which works against the sweet holiday spice profile. Light bodied with moderate carbonation.

D- Too thin for the style. With a little more body, this would stand out more. It's nothing special.

Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 16 November 2010.

Poured aggressively into standard nonic, color is deep deep red-brown, forms a spongy 2-finger head that shrinks into a creamy film after first sip, average lacing. This is another one of the Sam Adams winter pack. Lately I've been drinking high ABV beers (this one is 5.9%) and have been trying my super very best to evaluate these lower ABV beers. The flavors in this ale are so mild. After swirling, aroma consists of slightly toasted malts, maybe a hint of smoke and caramel. I can hardly taste hops, but haven't tasted hops before in a "winter warmer" beer, sooo I just wasted a perfectly good sentence. This is a standard malty beer with a touch of sweetness. Still on the light side, but matches the season well.

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

A - Dark red color with a small one finger cream colored head that fizzles down quite quickly.

S - Very intriguing.. Caramel, Nutmeg Cinnamon, Clove, Raisins and maybe some other dark fruits.

T - Right off the bat I taste dark fruits and caramel, a long with some of the spices I got in the smell. Especially the nutmeg and cinnamon.

M - Very light mouth-feel with the perfect amount of carbonation. I could easily down a few of these no problem.

D - Very Drinkable I could drink these all day.

Notes: I got this in the SA Winter Sampler. I rate this their best in the sampler followed closely by the chocolate bock. I wish these two came in 6rs.

Serving type: bottle to mug.

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

A - Dark tawny color with an above average sized, frothy, sticky, bubbly, light, off-white colored head. Good retention

S - I'm really digging the aroma. A lot of spice with cinnamon, a orange peel, ginger, touch of clove, nutmeg, and allspice. Sweet caramel malt and a dry biscuit-like malt. Has a gingerbread cookie type aroma that is nice. Sweet and spicy and just what I want in a Winter Warmer.

T - Similar to the nose but a little toned down. Sweet raisin and caramel and biscuity malt. Spices are similar to the nose with a nice amount of Christmasy spice and reminds me a bit of gingerbread. A little lighter than what I'd like. Sweet, spicy, and a nice orangy citrus.

M - A little on the light side with a good level of carbonation. A little watery and thin, but fairly smooth.

D - Easy to drink, even with the spices and sweetness. Was very nice to sip on during a cold day.

Notes: From the 2010 Winter Pack. Very nice Winter Warmer. Good level of spice and malty sweetness. I really enjoyed this, but it could just be a bit better if it was a bit fuller. Good balance between the spice and malt. I definitely enjoyed this, but it fell just a little short for being great, as it is, it is really good.

Photo of king75
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- a extremely dark amber, brown color. No light passing through, little head retention.

S-picking up orange, heavy cinnamon, chocolate, very light ginger smell and maybe some brown sugar.

T- This one is complex in flavor and the flavor changes as it warms. Starts out with a strong citrus and cinnamon. As it gets warmer a little ginger comes through and a lot of chocolate flavor comes through.

M-almost a little too carbonated, light but not too light. crisp at the end.

D- Is very drinkable due to the low alcohol and great taste.

Notes: liked this one a lot seems to have a mind of its own and changes like a chameleon as it warms. Very solid brew.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,249 ratings.