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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

3,267 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,267
Reviews: 1,346
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.53%
Wants: 68
Gots: 323 | 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: 3,267 | Reviews: 1,346 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Erish
4.16/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: clear mahogany color, abundant and long-lasting cream-colored head falls into a thick cap with lovely lacing.

S: lots of caramel malt, gingerbread, a hint of orange, some yeast funk, and the cinnamon is buried in there like a tiny treasure.

T: the sweet malt core explodes up front, the gingerbread cookie flavor and cinnamon dominate the middle, the finish is a tad disappointing, as it seems to weaken quickly compared to the strong start of this beer, but there is a flash of hop oil that does bring it all together. The relatively weaker finish is the only thing keeping this from rating a 4.5 or even a 5. But hey, perfect scores are rare for a reason, right?

M: medium-bodied, creamy, nice carbonation.

D: an excellent holiday beer. This is a top-notch reminder of why we should still love Sam Adams.

Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.48/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a perfect pint glass.

A: Pours a dark red/brown. Some light comes through the edges showing some nice bubbles rush to the top.

S: Smells of caramel malt with some spices.

T: Lots of caramel up front. The caramel goes into some spices. Cinnamon is the big one. Finishes with a bit of coffee/chocolate bitterness.

M: Very smooth. Great amount of carbonation.

D: High. Very good mouth feel, not overly carbonated, not too strong to drink a lot of them.

This is a great winter beer. My only complaint is that they don't sell it in 6 packs.

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

12oz bottle poured into a perfect pint.

Pours a nice deep dark ruby red to mahogany brown with a small slightly off white head that's quite thin. Aroma is very nice, it's pretty subtle for all the spices that it says are in this beer, however it's quite unique and smells like, well christmas? Just a nice balance of spices.

First thing that comes to my mind is "Pumpkin beer on steroids". There's that nutmeg/spice character that almost every pumpkin beer has that's quite welcome for the style. But then as you get further into it more comes out. I do notice some light orange that's fresh and sweet. The body is really quite perfect, it's thick and smooth with light carbonation that makes the whole experience very mellow. It's quite an easy drinker for the style and the alcohol is well hidden. However, it's a bit sweet and spicy for me to want to drink a whole lot. It's a welcome addition to the winter 12-pack.

Photo of jsprain1
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Copper with a thin tan head. Decent enough looking WW.
S- smell is toasted malt and what I could only describe as my mother's spice cabinet. Not picking out individual spices so well in this one so much as just broad "spice" aromas.
T- Caramel and more discernable spice here, in the form of cinnamon and ginger. pleasant, yet simple.
M- Spot on here. Slightly above average body, with medium carbonation and a certain crispness many w.w.'s seem to lack.
D- A good beer and one of the highlights of the Samuel Adams winter pack.

Photo of zhanson88
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Old Fezziwig pours a dark brown, close to black with nice mahogany and ruby highlights. There is about a finger of light tan head that reduces down fairly quickly, leaving little lacing.

Smell: Very malty as is expected from this winter warmer. The roasted malts provide most of the scent, but there is also some dark fruits and caramel as well. Maybe a hint of floral hops at the end.

Taste: Roasted malts up front provide the bulk of the taste. Dark fruits and smooth caramel are there as well, and there is maybe a bit of hop bitterness at the end. A very nice flavor to warm up with on a cold night.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is medium bodied with light carbonation, very smooth. I find it very easy to put down, especially for its style. A nice offering from Boston Beer Co., this is one of my favorites from them.

Photo of u2carew
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz longneck.
A) Pours with a finger thick head. Settles just slightly. Tight and sticky lacing. Clear, mahogany body, almost ruby in color.
S) Caramel. Toasted grain aroma.
T) Toasted bread. Caramel notes. Almond.
M) Fizzy. Medium body, but a heavy medium. Dry in the finish.
D) A decent brew. I'd have another.

Photo of Schmittymack
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into trusty old shaker glass on 26 Nov 10. Poured a dark reddish brown color with a decent head that disapated pretty fast. Aroma of cinnamin and bready malt. Taste was malt goodness, cinnamin, and some caramel with a very smooth finish. This is a very good winter seasonal that I wish they'd bottle into sixers. Will look for more of this this winter.

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a veryy dark amber color amot black with a small head that didnt last without. Smelled sweet with alot cimmimon. Has a smooth sweet complx flavor with alot of cimmon. Easy to drink but a nice sipping beer. Overall a really nice winter beer.

Photo of bagpiper2005
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Dark ruby red in color. A finger and a half of tan head that retained well and laced the glass nicely.

Smell: Rich malty aroma. A deeper inhale revealed the underlying cinnamon and ginger notes, and the faint hint of orange.

Taste: Rich and complex. A little bit of caramel, some chocolate, and dark fruits. Spicy, and you can definitely pick out the ginger and cinnamon, though the orange is very faint and only comes through after warming. Finishes off with just a hint of coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with very low carbonation. About the smoothest beer I've ever drank in my life.

Drinkability: Very good for a winter warmer. At 210 calories, it sticks to your ribs though!

Final Notes: Not much else to say about this beer other than it's delicious. Beautifully complex sweet and spicy flavor would pair well with any hearty meal or dessert, and has enough alcohol warmth to keep you warm.

Photo of Groomsy
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from 2010 Winter Variety Pack, notched with freshness date of Mar. 2011. Poured into a pint glass. Review taken from notes during and after consumption.

Appearance: Pours out a very Newcastle type of brown but with some hints of crimson red in the light. A two-finger rocky white head tops off the beer and leaves some spotty lacing down the glass.

Smell: As good as this smells, I can't say that it necessarily smells original. Honestly, it smells like an amped-up version of some of Sam Adams other winter seasonal beers. Aside from the ample caramel malts, there are also hints of cinnamon and ginger spices, as well as some citrus/orange hints? Malts and spices are the order of the day here; low hop presence.

Taste: BIG caramel malts hit the tongue at first. Very sweet and pleasing, but not overly sweet or artificial. There are plenty of spices to follow as well, including the aforementioned cinnamon and ginger; the cinnamon takes the biggest part here and the other spices fade in with it. There's a tiny bit of citrus zest in the finish as well some hints of brown sugar. There's a very mild earthy hop bitterness to finish out the taste, but it's hardly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Big and creamy, no mistaking it. This beer's aim is to warm your innards on a chilly winter night, and the thickness of this beer certainly does it. It has a thick body, but the carbonation helps to prickle the tongue with some of the spices and finer flavors.

Drinkability: Despite the big body of this beer, its malty and sweet body would make it easy to drink several pints. Just be sure to handle it carefully.

Out of the Winter Variety pack, I think this is probably one of the best selections, but at the same time, it only takes the Sam Adams seasonal recipe - lots of caramel, big spices, low bitterness - and tweaks it some while boosting other characteristics. Maybe I'm just burnt out on the Winter pack at this point, but I still found this to be a delicious and wonderful beer.

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

Another beer I tried while at a family gathering for thanks giving. Was sitting in the cooler and bottle had some wear and tear so I don't know how long it might have been in there for. In general I was impressed with this beer. The hopiness and overall flavor did catch me by surprise, although it felt light at the same time. Definetly something I would give another try.

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - An opaque dark brown with a reddish hue and an off-white hue.

S - A nutty smell with some dark malts and some spices of ginger and cinnamon.

T - A little malt sweetness in addition to a little bitterness from the roasted malts. Again you get hints of ginger and cinnamon. There is a very slight bitter hop finish.

M - A medium carbonation and light body.

D - Really drinkable. Low abv and a light body makes it easy to throw back a few of these on a cold winter day.

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

Bottle into Sam Adams Glass.

A: Amber Maroon into a large head that diminishes into a creamy thin lacing.

S: Overall, the aroma is not particularly strong, but evokes a bit of citric spice, cinnamon, and persimmon.

T: This is a fantastic motley of spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper flavors are enhanced by the strong (but balanced) maltiness of the beer. The initial taste is a lot of spices and citrus rind up front, followed by a drawn out maltiness intermingled with a sizable carbonation bite, before finishing smoothly with a slight touch of dark chocolate.

This flavor is strong, interesting, and impressive - a superb winter beer. Despite the joie-de-vivre exhibited by Old Fezziwig, this is a better beer for an evening of relaxation, putting your feet up, and biding your time before being visited by various Christmas-themed spirits.

Photo of alli4051
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA perfect pint.

Pours a dark, crystal clear, amber with a light tan heard. Head is big and fluffy, hangs out for a bit, and leaves minimal lacing as it goes. Scent is sweet and fruity with some subtle spiciness. Taste is lots of maltiness up front with some subtle roasty and spicy notes. Ginger, orange peel, and cinnamon are there as promised on the label but much more subtle than I expected, which is a good thing. Just by looking at it I expected a big beer and was surprised to see the 5.9%; however, this probably makes it a bit more of a drinkable beer overall. Mouthfeel is spot on with a slightly sticky finish. A good beer overall, especially for winter.

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

From the bottle into a goblet.

Really nice looking pour. Reddish hue, with a quickly dissipating head. No cloudiness to speak of.

Smell is just OK; muted malt with a slight spice presence, but it's mild and muddled with a little metallic.

Taste is nice and warm. Could stand to have a higher ABV to add even more warmth. And speaking of warmth, I'd be inclined to drink this at almost room temperature. The spices, most notably nutmeg and cinnamon, come through much brighter with some warming of the beer. I could barely sense anything except some lager-like crispness when this was fully chilled. Take it out of the fridge before you go out to shovel the driveway, and it'll be perfect temp and ready to go when you get back in.

Mouthfeel is solid. The flavors are potent enough, and good sweetness hangs around.

Drinkability is also high. I agree with the sentiments of many- if this was in six packs, it'd be a go-to winter brew for sessions.

Photo of TheSarge
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours perfectly with a massive amount of tight forming light tan head, and has a crystal clear dark copper colored body.

The aroma is sweet and bready, a little spicy ginger there maybe too. Not much in the way of hops, but mostly dominated by malt qualities.

Bready in the taste too, a bit on the dark rye with some sweet butter and a dash of cinnamon on it. There is a slight metallic hops presence in the end.

A bit brisk up front, nicely carbonated and almost medium in body. This brew makes a decent winter beverage,

Photo of brewdub17
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Gorgeous deep brown body with small hints of a red hue that is spotted with a dark copper. Thin light beige head is atop.

Smell: Spicy notes are most prevalent and are complemented well with the malt characteristics. The malt produces a sweet smell that is also noted in the tasting.

Taste: Most of the taste is made up of the spicy notes from hops and other spices and the sweetness from the malt bill. Added together they create a nutty, full bodied flavor.

Mouthfeel: The flavors are full and cover the mouth well, but come off a little too spicy, nutty, etc., which leave a not too appealing aftertaste.

Drinkability: Similar to the idea of the mouthfeel above, the beer comes forth with a strong aftertaste that doesn't feel very appealing.

Photo of hopheadjuice
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, best by April 2011

Pours a dark mahogany amber with a one finger head that falls fast and laces moderately

Smells very much like their flagship beer Boston Lager having a huge grain presence with the slightest touch of gibger and orange peel.

Taste is of roasted malts with a slight ginger and orange kick to it, not bad but nothing special.

Thin to medium mouthfeel with light carbonation and a bit slick/watery.

Drinkability isn't bad, i just dont get some of the hype for this beer, didn't even strike me as a "winter warmer".

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.

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 3,267 ratings.